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e may talk, but probably it will be worse than beating the air. et a religious student cultivate an habitual interest in the spirital welfare of those around him, and let him, without being offiious or obtrusive, manifest that interest, by a course of judicious
id affectionate and persevering ettort 10 save souls from death, ind it cannot but be that he will god his own heart the fruitful oil of good affections and losty christian purposes; and he will le going rapidly forward to the sulness of the stature of a perfect erson in Christ.
In view of the subject which has been before us in this article, vhat christian is there but will prize more highly, and acknowldge more perfectly, and supplicate more earnestly, those richest fall blessings-revivals of religion ? Blessed be God, these isitations of mercy have already been richly experienced in nany of our seminaries of learning; they have purified the noral atmosphere which prevails there; and the church has lifted jer voice in a thousand songs of gratitude and triumph, that so nuch talent and learning have already been consecrated by rerivals, in those institutions, to the Redeemer's cause. What has been already, we fully believe will be hereafter, and in a still vigher degree. We confidently anticipate in reliance on God's race, that through the influence of revivals, our literary instituions are to become more and more the nurseries of the church : bat infidelity, and profligacy, and all open irreligion will ere long de compelled to seek some other retreat ; that the bible standard of christian character, and no other, will prevail ; and that every college and academy in our land, will be brought under the halloved and sanctifying infiuences of the gospel. How long a period may elapse before ibis blessed consummation, we pretend not to decide ; but surely we have a right to expect it sooner or later; we ought to expect it; and it should animate our prayers, and quicken our efforts, for its speedy arrival.
But we ought not to close our remarks without reverting to the excellent work which has suggested them. It is written with much perspicuity and force, and is evidently the product of a highly disciplined and cultivated mind. The style is rather bold and strong than flowing, but still possesses much of that kind of attraction which is desirable, considering the class of persons to whom the work is addressed. We confess we have been so much interested in it, that we feel half disposed, on finding ourselves at the end to quarrel with our author, that he had not kept us longer; and we would seriously suggest to him, whether if the book passes into other editions, (as we think it deserves to do,) he may not advantageously increase its interest by increasing its size. We perceive that it has been re-printed in
England, and spoken of with much favor by some of their periodicals. May its benign effects be felt on both sides of the water, and the excellent lessons it conveys, help to form and elevate the character of every coming generation.
ART. VI.—Dr. Tyler's REMARKS AND DR. Taylor's REPLI Remarks on Dr. Taylor's Letter to Dr. Haves. By Besset Tiler, D. D. Reply to Dr. Tyler's Remarks. By NATHANIEL W. TAYLOR, D.D.
We are glad to see, that the question between Dr. Taylor and those of bis brethren who differ from him, is beginning to be placed on its true ground. Their real differences relate, not to ihose great fundamental facts, or doctrines which constitute Nero England calvinism; but to certain theories and philosophical erplanations, by which those doctrines are defended, and reconciled with other acknowledged truths. Accordingly Dr. Tyler says “ 10 the eleven articles of Dr. Taylor's creed, I do not object.” “ I have no doubt he really believes the doctrines stated in his creed." Among these doctrines, we find the following, viz. tbat of the trinity—the eternal decrees of God, extending to all actual events, sin not excepted—the entire depravity of mankind by nature, as the consequence of Adam's first sin— the vicarious atonement of Jesus Christ—the necessity of regeneration by the Holy Spirit- the eternal election of those who are renewed unto salvation-and the final perseverance of all the elect. These doc. , trines, beyond all question, constitute the calvinistic system; and as Dr. Taylor is acknowledged sincerely to maintain them all, he is of course fully acquitted by Dr. Tyler of any departure from the received faith of the New-England churches.
In connection with these doctrines, however, Dr. Tyler adopts ! certain philosophical theories, which he regards as absolutely es sential to a consistent belief in the doctrines themselves. Some of these theories Dr. Taylor rejects, and proposes other solution of the facts, which are better adapted, in his view, to support the calvinistic system, in which both parties confessedly agree. Here then is the exact point of difference between these two brethren; and it is avowedly on this ground, that Dr. Tyler comes forward to accuse one whom he admits to be sound in the faith, of entering on “a gradual undermining process” to destroy the fundamen tal doctrines of the gospel. Now we are not greatly surprised, when we look back on the progress of theological discussion 11 our country, to find that Dr. Tyler has so intermingled bis phi losophy with his theology-has so identified his theories with his doctrines-as to believe sincerely, that no man can consistently re
ject the one and yet maintain the other. How often have NewEngland men been told by their southern brethren, that in receding from the old ground of the imputation of Adam's sin, they must abandon the doctrine of man's entire sinfulness by naturethat in rejecting the scheme of limited atonement, they would inevitably be led on step by step, into open universalism—that in asserting man's ability to repent and embrace the gospel, they were opening upon the church the foodgates of Pelagian error! All this has been honestly said and honestly believed by a multitude of good men, “who verily thought they ought to do many things" against their New-England brethren in the Presbyterian church, quietly laboring as they were, and with great and acknowledged success, to build up the Redeemer's kingdom. Dr. Tyler, we doubt not, has sympathized deeply with many of his brethren under these trying circumstances; and has felt how cruel and unjust it was, to blast the character and destroy the influence of a minister of the gospel, by throwing over bim a cloud of anticipated heresy. He has seen too as the result of more than thirty years of observation, that none of these threatened desections from the faith, have actually taken place; and has rejoiced in spirit with many of his brethren, as he saw them gradually relieved from the load of obloquy which had borne them down, and rising to the first stations of influence and usefulness in the church.
While we do not wonder, then, that Dr. Tyler, like too many excellent men among us, has identified his theories with the doctrines which they are intended to support, we are surprized that he should so entirely forget the lessons taught us by the experience of the last thirty years, as to charge a man whom he acknowledges to be sound in ihe faith, with being engaged in " a gradual underming process” to destroy the doctrines of the gospel, simply on the ground of a difference in philosophical theories. Dr. Taylor's views, it is well known, are of no recent date. During his labors of twenty years as a minister of the gospel, and ten years as a teacher of theology, these views, according to Dr. Tyler's own confession, have not led him to abandon the fundamental doctrines of the gospel. Nearly one hundred young men have been educated for the ministry under his direction. If the alledged tendency of these views to produce a defection from the faith, had any foundation in fact, surely there could be found in this number, some individual who has renounced the great principles of orthodoxy. Not a solitary instance of this kind, however, does Dr. Tyler bring forward ; nor do we believe a man can be found who has passed through the regular course of instruction in the theological department of Yale College, who would not give his hearty assent to all the doctrines—confessedly those of the calvinistic Vol. IV.
system—which Dr. Taylor has embodied in his creed. Of what weight are the most confident predictions of future heresy, against these plain and unequivocal facts ?
But it may be said, Dr. Tyler bas pointed out several contradictions between the creed and the theories of Dr. Taylor. On this point we would refer our readers to Dr. Taylor's Reply. It is there shown, that these apparent contradictions are all made out, by imputing to Dr. Taylor opinions which he never held, but on the contrary has unequivocally disclaimed. As most of our readers undoubtedly will examine this Reply for themselves, we shall not dwell on this topic. We shall only say, that knowing the candor and integrity of Dr. Tyler, we are certain he will be among the first to acknowledge and regret the errors, into which he has fallen.
As Dr. Tyler has chosen to implicate the Christian Spectator in the same condemnation with Dr. Taylor, we think it proper, without going over the ground taken in the “ Reply” of the latter, to present the subject in another light, by exhibiting some of the reasons which have induced us to reject Dr. Tyler's two principal theories, as exhibited in his Remarks. Our object is to show, that these theories are encumbered with difficulties of such a nature, that they must be set aside as false, whatever else is admitted to be true. The two theories which we shall notice, relate to the Depravity of man, and the Divine permission of sin.
I. DR. TYLER'S THEORY RESPECTING HUMAN DEPRAVITY." - This theory is, that the nature of man since the apostacy, differs as really from his nature before that event, as the nature of a lion which leads him to feed on flesh, differs from that of the ox, which leads him to feed on grass. Accordingly he asks, “ what inconsistency is there, in supposing that there is in man, a native propensity to evil, propagated from parent to child, like other natural propensities?” By the “nature" of man, Dr. Tyler must here mean the constitution of his being, for it is in this sense that the lion differs from the ox. When he speaks of the supposed propensity to evil as propagated, and compares it to those qualities which “run in the blood," and are transmitted “constitutionally," he shows too clearly to be misunderstood, that it is the very constitution of the mind itself, which he considers as depraved. On this theory then we would offer the following remarks.
1. It exhibits God, as the responsible author of sin. We suppose Dr. Tyler to believe, as others who have advanced the same theory maintain, that this propensity to sin, is itself sinful ; or as another writer affirms, " is the essence of all sin.” Now who will deny, that God is the responsible author
of that which he produces, whether by direct creation, or by the physical laws of propagation ? In either case, there is the same unqualified purpose to produce it on the part of God, and the same natural impossibility to avoid it on the part of man. God therefore, according to this theory, is the respopsible author of that in man, in which the essence of all sin consists; and actually damns the soul for being what He makes it, or causes it to be by physical laws.
If Dr. Tyler should say, that the propensity to sin, of which he speaks, is innocent, still man as he comes into being, is doomed to sin by a natural and fatal necessity ;--he is led to disobey rather
than obey God, by the same cause, or the operation of the same - physical law of his being, as that by which a lion is led to feed on
flesh and not on grass. If this latter act were sinful, which would
be responsible for the fact, the lion or his Maker ? = 2. This theory accounts for all sin in men, by asserting a
previous sin as its cause. It considers the existence of a propagated propensity to sin, as “the cause or reason, why all men become sinners.” If then a propensity to sin, is sinful, we have : one sin at least in men before they “become sinners ;" for this
propensity is the cause or reason of their becoming sinners ; i. e. there is one sin, before all sin-even the essence of all sin, before
all sin, as its cause! E 3. This theory is inconsistent with the doctrine of natural
ability, and of course with the moral agency of man. Accordting to Dr. Tyler, man cannot sin without a constitutional prospensity to sin as its cause ; but he certainly cannot in any
sense avoid sipping, if he has such a propensity. With such a propensity, man has not a natural ability to avoid sin. This is alike true, whether this propensity be supposed to be sinful or innocent. If sinful in itself, then as resulting from the physical laws of propagation, man cannot in any sense, avoid being a sinner. If innocent, still it leads to sin as the only possible result,
by the same laws by which the lion is led to feed on flesh and not = on grass. Man therefore by the laws of propagation, is naturally e unable, to avoid sin and to become holy, and therefore is not a moral agent. Of course
4. This theory subverts the doctrine of moral inability. As ibis doctrine has been taught by orthodox divines, the sole obstacle in the way of the sinner's conversion, is his own free voluntary perverseness in sin. But according to Dr. Tyler, a propagated constitutional propensity to sin, is the true cause of continued sin, and the real obstacle to the sinner's conversion. Of course, the sinner's inability to repent and turn to God is not a moral inability. He is constitutionally disqualified, -naturally