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perfection of the Christian system, and important in its connexion. It may also be a truth which no one, with a good heart, would reject, knowing it to be what it really is. But to doubt the truth even of a gospel doctrine, while a person has not evidence that it is contained in the scriptures, and while he apprehends that the doctrine is dishonorable to God and injurious to man, is no certain evidence of a depraved heart. In this way, I suspect, many important truths have been rejected by good men, from the want of correct information, and through, the influence of prejudices of education.

A. By essential doctrines, I mean those, a belief in which is essential to salvation.

B. Do you mean essential for every person, and in every supposable case?

A. I do.


Will you name some of those doctrines for examples? A. I will. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. He died the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God.

B. These I regard as sacred and important truths. We will now proceed on the supposition, that a belief in these three doctrines is essential to salvation, in all cases, and to every child of Adam. What are the consequences? Must we not, in the first place, suppose, that the souls of all who lived before the flood have gone to perdition? What knowledge had any one of them of these truths? In the second place, this principle must exclude from heaven every individual that dies in infancy. In the third place, it dooms to destruction the whole of the heathen world in every age. In the fourth place, it will be very doubtful whether Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob, or any one of their posterity, who died prior to the birth of the Messiah, has gone to heaven. From the spirit of prophecy they had an expecta tion of a Messiah; but we have, I think, no evidence that any of them had a correct understanding and belief of the three. propositions which you have stated. It is very certain, that the apostles of Jesus had not a belief in the third proposition till after his resurrection; and they perhaps had as much information in respect to the objects of the Messiah's mission as almost any of their ancestors; for they had long been the disciples of Christ, and attendants on his ministry.

A. These consequences are indeed shocking. But does not the gospel, or rather the Messiah himself, say, "He that believeth not in the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him?"

B. Truly. But "what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law;" so whatsoever things the gos

pel saith, it saith to them who are under the gospel, and who have some knowledge of its doctrines and its requirements.

A. It may be so, and I hope it is.

B. Where much is given, much is required; where little is given, a righteous Governor will require the less. Of course, a belief in the doctrines of the gospel is not required of infants, who are incapable of understanding them; nor of the heathen, who have no knowledge of them.

A. This is a consoling doctrine, if it be true; yet I believe there must be the spirit of love and obedience to qualify men for heaven; and how can this take place without a particular knowledge of Christ, and a belief in him who is "the way, the truth, and the life?"

B. Cornelius, the centurion, was "a devout man, one who feared God with all his house, and gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God alway;" and his "prayers and his alms came up for a memorial, before God," prior to his knowledge of Christ as the Saviour of sinners. That Divine Spirit which wrought in Cornelius, prepared him to embrace the messages of the gospel by Peter, as soon as they were made known to him. In the same manner, and by the same spirit, thousands may have been prepared for heaven, who never heard of Christ till they saw him in glory at the right hand of God.

A. How is this consistent with the opinion which many good people entertain, that there can be no true love or acceptable obedience, without a belief in certain mysterious doctrines, which have been termed orthodox?

B. I do not say that it is consistent with that opinion; nor do I believe that opinion to be correct. On the contrary, I believe that there have been thousands who never heard of those mysterious doctrines, who have been as good men, as those who entertain such an opinion of their importance. Some of those doctrines I suspect were unknown to Enoch and Abraham, to Moses and the prophets, and even to Christ and his apostles, unless they were foreseen by them as the inventions and errors of late times.

A. If you believe that men may be saved who never heard of Christ or his gospel, on what principle can you justify the modern missionary exertions to spread the gospel, or even the labours of Paul, among the Gentiles? If we may judge of his views by his conduct, in his opinion it was of great importance that the Gentiles should be brought to know and obey the gospel.

B. That was doubtless his opinion, and I am of the same mind. But can there be no motives for exertions to spread the

gospel, except on the supposition that every soul will be lost who has no opportunity to hear it? Some men are recovered from dangerous diseases without the aid of well-informed physicians, or the application of the best means: does it hence follow that there is no motive for improving the science of medicine? Every dispensation of divine mercy may have been in some measure adapted to the benefit of mankind, and to the salvation of the soul. Yet one dispensation may have been far more favourable than another. The posterity of Jacob were a peculiar people, highly favoured, when compared with the Gentiles. The Gospel dispensation is far more favourable than the Mosaic. Suppose that in proportion to the number of people in the several countries, there are ten times as many saved from under the light of the gospel as from heathen lands; would not the obligations and encouragements to spread the gospel be very great?

A. They certainly would; but not so great as on the supposition, that all are lost who have not the gospel.

B. Be it so; still they are sufficient to justify all the benevolent exertions that ever have been made, or will be made. We have no occasion to represent God as unjust or unkind in his conduct towards the heathen, in order to magnify the riches of his mercy in sending his Son, or in sending to us the news of salvation by him.

A. God is a sovereign in the dispensation of his favours. He gives to one and withholds from another, as seemeth good in his sight. All men are his creatures, and he has a right to do what he will with his own. We should be still, and know that he is God.

B. Amen: still it should be understood that this sovereign God has the heart of a tender parent; that he is wise, just, and merciful, in giving or withholding his favours. It never seems good in his sight to require the improvement of any faculties or privileges which he has not bestowed. He may justly do what he will with his own, because he is invariably disposed to do right. We should therefore be still, knowing that God is as good as he is great, and that his tender mercies are over all his works.





There is a very animated air and chorus which I have heard sung with great delight, adapted to a triumphant song on the overthrow of the Egyptians.

"Sound the loud timbrel o'er Egypt's dark sea,
Jehovah hath triumphed, his people are free."

The following lines to the same tune, I send you, as more suitable to Christian worship. They are particularly adapted to Easter day.


Lift your loud voices in triumph on high,
For Jesus hath risen, and man cannot die.

Vain were the terrors that gathered around him,

And short the dominion of death and the grave;
He burst from the fetters of darkness that bound him,
Resplendent in glory, to live and to save.

Loud was the chorus of angels on high,
"The Saviour hath risen, and man shall not die."


Glory to God, in full anthems of joy;
The being he gave us, death cannot destroy.

Sad were the life we must part with to-morrow,

If tears were our birthright, and death were our end;
But Jesus hath cheered the dark valley of sorrow,
And bade us, immortal, to Heaven ascend.

Lift then your voices in triumph on high,
For Jesus hath risen, and man shall not die.

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Discourses, chiefly on Devotional Subjects, by the late Rev. Newcome Cappe. To which are prefixed Memoirs of his Life, by Catherine Cappe. With an Appendix, &c. From the second English edition. Boston, Wells & Lilly, 1818.

We are happy to commence our labours as reviewers, with the notice of a work, which we can cordially recommend; in which we shall have little to censure, and a great deal to praise. The character and writings of Newcome Cappe are not very much known in this country; it is only about a year since this volume was reprinted here. If we can do something to make it known as it ought to be, and promote its circulation, we shall think we have done a worthy service to the Christian cause; for we are persuaded that the example of such a man, and an acquaintance with such sermons, must promote virtue and piety; that no Christians cannot read them without being edified and cheered.

The author himself, of whom an uncommonly interesting biography is prefixed, was born in the year 1733, and died Dec. 24, 1800. He was a man of fine powers of mind, which he cultivated with exemplary fidelity and great success. Dr. Doddridge, under whose care he pursued his theological studies, spoke of him, when quite a young man, as possessing "distinguished talents, adorned with modesty of behaviour and sweetness of temper; preserving the Christian character, and giving hopes of eminent usefulness in the ministry." These hopes were not disappointed. He exhibited through life the same vigor of mind and excellence of character. He devoted himself to the cause of religion; and no one, we think, can read the story of his life without being convinced that he was wholly guided by its influence; without feeling that there is something truly sublime in his piety and faith, and that he was a rare example of the greatness and loveliness of the Christian character.

We cannot stay to enter into the particulars of his life or studies. Our business is with his sermons. It was in sermo

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