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divine legislation, is the leading design of his discourse. “The above truths,” he observes, relerring to the doctrine of eternal punishment and some others, “are essential to the moral influence of legislation generally.” He finds in the nature of the human mind a rational test, by wbich, a priori, to determine whai the doctrines of the scripture must be to render them promotive of evangelical affections. “To secure evangelical affections," he remarks, “the following truths are as essential, according to the nature of the human mind, as fire is essential to beat, or any natural cause to its appropriate effect: to wit, the doctrines of ibe Trinity, the atonement, total depravity, &c. The entire unholiness of the human heart is necessary,” he says, to beget just conceptions of guilt and danger; the doctrine of the Trinity, as disclosing a Saviour able to save,”' &c. Some may be ready to question the consistency of our reverend author in professing to have discovered from the nature of the human mind, that the doctrines of the bible, as be apprehends them, are essential to the moral influence of legislation in the production of evangelical affections, when a few pages back he has declared, that "reason must ascend the throne of God to decide, whether the precepts and doctrines contained in the bible come in their proper place and are wise and good in their connexion with the whole." He himself, it appears, has ascertained from the nature of the buman mind, that the doctrines attributed to the word of God by Calvinists and Trinitarians do come in their proper place, and are wise and good in their connexion with this part of the universe; are essential to the production of evangelical affections and to the moral influence of legislation generally. If, afier bis strong and unqualified declaration of the impossibility of ascertaining, whether the precep's and doctrines of the bible are fully worthy of God, he perceives no impropriety in arguing thus from the nature of the human mind, it may be hoped, he will in future be willing to indulge a similar privilege to others. If he should, we trust thai many, even of his own party, would say, that, judging by their reason merely according to the nature of the human mind, it would appear necessary to the moral influence of divine legislation, that men should be dealt with in a moral way; should be drawn by motives ; and not be left dead and insensible by nature to the influence of motives, till by an act of Almighty power, with which a few only are favoured, they are made capable of feeling them. If we might settle our creeds by his rule, that " those doctrines are fundamental, without which the evangeli. cal affections can have no" rational “being;" we should hesitate, whether the doctrine of man's being consigned to everlast

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ing misery for a native inbora depravity, curable only by an act of Almighty power, never exerted in his favour, should be admitted, for its fitness to inspire an ingenuous and supreme respect and affection for the equity and goodness of God. Neither should we be clear, that this doctrine ought to be inserted, for its tendency to produce self-condemnation in the sinner's breast. That many, who are self-condemned for their sins, are thorough believers in total depravity, we do not doubt; but that their remorse proceeds from a sense of natural impotency to think a good thought or exercise a good disposition, and not from that voice of conscience upbraiding them for their actual transgressions, which regards no creeds of man's inven-, tion, is not so certain to our minds. On the wbole, we must thank Mr. Beecher for furnishing us a test of fundamental doc. trines, so favourable to rational Christianity, as that of their adaptation, according to the nature of the human mind, to promote good feelings and the moral influence of divine legislation.

But we are more than suspicious that a test of this description was far from being proposed by him, with a view to exhibit the sentiments of his opponents in their most favourable light; on the other hand, it is painful to discover how much bis discourse is adapted throughout to strengthen the prejudices, which many entertain against the Christians, who are not of his way of thinking. It is manifestly aimed, not at distant, solitary, or insignificant heretics, but at the great body of Unitarians and Anti-Calvinists, the usual objects of orthodox attack; with whose sentiments too many of his readers and bearers would not have wanted prejudice, we fear, to identify the wildest errors and absurdities, though he had been less distinct in indicat. ing them to be the persons for whom his animadversions were intended. We are grieved, therefore, to see he has employed so large a portion of his performance in combating opinions, than which none could be more unlike those of his opponents in gene. ral. “It is often alleged," says Mr. B.," that there are so many opinions concerning the doctrine of the bible, that no man can know bis own belief to be the true belief; and on the ground of this supposed inevitable uncertainty, is grounded the plea of universal charity and liberality. But who is this," he demands, “that libels his Maker, as the author of an obscure and useless system of legislation, which no subject can understand ; so obscure, that they, who discard it, are little incommoded by the loss ?" True, we would ask, who are they, who plead for charity on the ground he mentions? He intimates, they are a numerous class. But assuredly they are not the great body of those in this country, who are opposed to himself in sentiment. How can he believe, that their argument for charity is

founded on an alleged obscurity in the bible, so great as to render the scripture useless, and unintelligible to those, who read it? How could he deny, that they bave arrived at a knowledge of the sacred writings satisfactory to tbeir own minds ; and that they believe similar satisfaction may be attained by all, who study the word of God with candour and diligence? How can it be his opinion, that they are charitable to others, only because upsettled themselves ; and not because they, consider it agreeable to the spirit and precepts of Christianity to attribute the errors of their bretbren to pardonable ignorance, bias, and mistake, when to such causes they may be reasonably assigned ; and to exclude none from the fold of Christ, who offer encouraging evidence of embracing essential truths so far, as is necessary for their salvation? We are but too sensible how wide the opinion has spread, that the charity of liberal Cbristians is of the kind be describes. But it is of a very different description. They may, it is true, class a number of religious debates among the doubtful disputations, which had better be dropped. But that they profess to see notbing clear and settled in the bible to fit it to be an useful system of legisla. tion, or render it a blessing to its possessor, is a charge, which it might beforehand be difficult to suppose could be found upon record.

Another error, against which the zeal of Mr. Beecher is directed with great success, is the “maxim, that it is no matter what a man believes, provided his life be correct; no matter whether be believe or disbelieve in the divine existence, whether he love or hate the Lord; whether he repent of his sins or remain incorrigible; whether his motives be good or bad ; if the mere motion of his lip or hand or foot be according to rule all is well.” In confuting this miserable error he employs four of the most glowing pages of his discourse; and, not to consider him as designing simply to gratify us with a display of his argumentative skill, but as seriously intimating, that it is an error, embraced by persons sufficient in number and importance to be worthy of notice ; we are led to inquire, where does he find a class of this description, who would say, it could be immaterial under any circumstances whatever, whether a man believe or deny the existence of a God; whether he be penitent or inpenitent; whether he be actuated by good or bad motives? Is it within the limits of possibility that any human being, however weak or ignorant, can fancy that he has found them in the great body of Unitarians and Anti-Calvinists? Who can suppose, that Mr. Beecher believes it to be the opinion of his opponents or of any person living, that any outward mechanical deportment, may constitate a person

religious and good, while accompanied with Atheism, impenitency, and bad motives?

“ It is the opinion of some,” he goes on to observe, “ that the obvious meaning of the (sacred) texts, according to the es. tablished rules of expounding other books, is not to be regarded." We can only say, that though we know full well how many would be ready to think liberal Christians liable to the charge of violating the received laws of interpretation in their explanations of scripture, we were very little prepared to hear of them, that they openly profess to construe ibe bible without regard to these laws.

“Of the doctrines of the Trinity, total depravity, &c.," he observes, " that these doctrines are fundamental is evident from the violence, with which they have always been assailed, One,” he adds, “ denies the being of the lawgiver; another discards tbe statute book; a third subjects the laws of Jehovah to the censorship of reason, till he can believe without humility, obey without self denial, and disobey without fear of punishment. All representations of the character of man, at variance with the scripture account of his entire depravity, have for their OBJECT the evasion of the precept or penalty of the law. Faith, in the system of such persons, is intellectual assent to revealed truth without holiness. Tbose, wbo discard the doctrine of the Trinity, discard usually every other fundamental doctrine with it." These, and a multitude of similar passages toward the close of his discourse, sufficiently indicate, that it was not his design to leave it doubtful, what heretics he had in view. As concerned for the honour of the clerical profession, we regret that such sermons should be delivered; though we cannot doubt what the nature of that re-action will be, when the discovery sball be fully made, that persons may go the length of discarding the doctrine of total depravity, and evenbelieving in the entire unity of the Godhead, without "rejecting every fundamental doctrine of the scriptures ;" without "libelling their Maker, as the author of an obscure and useless system of legislation;" without “propos. ing it as their object to evade the precept or penalty of the law;" and without "deeming it immaterial, in any possible case, whether men believe or disbelieve the existence of God; be penitent or impenitent; be actuated by good or bad motives."

P. A.


The language of the gospel concerning the Love of the World is very strong. It pointedly and decidedly condemns it, as unworthy a place in the Christian's heart. It denounces it as the hinderer at least, and finally the destroyer of true piety. If any man love the world, says the Apostle, the love of the Father is not in bin. These two affections are inconsistent with each other; they cannot dwell together in the same soul. But one of them is the first and great commandment, which if we keep not, we want the essence of our religion. Therefore, the only thing to be decided is. is the nature of these opposing principles; who have determined this, we have only to govern ourselves accordingly.

There is an assertion of Paul apparently coincident with that above quoted from John. The carnal mind is enmity against God ;-i. e. the sensual mind, the mind devoted to sensual things, is enmiry against God; for, adds the Apostle, it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Hence, the being subject to God's law, is a sign of love to him. “The mind, subject to sensual things, cannot, at the same time, be subject to the law of God, and therefore is enmity against God.” Consequently, the mind not subject to sensual things, may be subject to the law of God, and therefore love bim. Thus subjection to God's law is love to God. So says our Saviour; Then are ye my friends if ye keep my commandments. So says Joho: this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments.

If this, then, be the definition of the love of God, that we keep his commandments; the question arises, What are his commandments? By careless attention to this language we might be misled. The term commandments carries our mind to the ten precepts of the Jewish law-the code of external morals; and we turn away at this explanation of the love of Goll, imagining it a very simple thing, and satisfied that we are in no danger of failing to answer all its demands. But a little serious consideration of the nature of our religion and our connexion with a future state, must convince us, ibat this view is deficient. The term commandment must by no means be understood to exclude the regulation of the inner man, the control of the thoughts, the purifying of the affections, the watching over the inotives, the lifting up of the heart, the feeling, affectionate, devoted heart, to that excellent Being. All this, so far froin being excluded, is certainly included, because it is all part of the commandment. Christianity is a religion of the af

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