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We regret not presenting a much longer passage on this latter subject; but we shall, perhaps, gratify curiosity by giving a different kind of quotation, for the purpose of comparing it with one which occurs to us from the writings of Bishop Horsley, as an illustration

of the difference we have hinted at between the somewhat dishevelled

genius of our American divine, and the finished style of a genuine English theologian.

"Thus, then, we arrange our ideas apon this point. The gracious promise to the first human pair, that the Seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head,' was never wholly lost. In the heathen world, like the original sentiment of a God, it became faint, and was

corrupted. But still a glimpse of it sometimes appeared, especially in the mind of the studious and virtuous sage. In the family of Abraham, it was kept alive. At intervals it was renewed and unfolded. When the Jews were sepa. rated from all other people, and formed into a nation under a Theocracy, the prophets of the Almighty repeated the

promise, more and more explicitly; till,

like the dawn, obscure at first, and opening gradually, it expanded into full light; and all observers saw, that in the east the sun should presently appear. There was a full expectation of a Personage great, and greatly to be honoured, when Christ was born; and John sent no unmeaning nor untimely question to him in the text, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another?" Vol. I. pp. 245, 246.

The passage from Bishop Horsley occurs in his Dissertation on the Prophecies of the Messiah dispersed among the heathen :-" In this Balaam set the sun of prophecy in the horizon of the Gentile world; and yet a total night came not. For some ages a twi

light glimmered in the sky, which gradually decayed, and became almost insensible, but began to brighten again during the captivity of the Jews by the Babylonian monarchs; and, from that period, continued to gather strength, till, at length, the morning star took its station over the stable at Bethlehem. The Sun of Righteousness arose to set no more; and the light again was clear and universal."

We should regret to quit such pleasing ground, but for what ensues in the three next sermons to Here we find the blesings of our Dithe twenty-fifth, on Christmas-day, vine Redeemer's mission more fully developed; first, from John iii. 16; next, from Nehem. viii. 10; lastly, from Isa. xliv. 23. These discourses are of the most joyous and brilliant complexion. We might safely select, at a venture, any passage from them of a descriptive nature, and use it as illustrating the exuberant powers of a fervid imagination, conversant with scriptural language, and pursuing scriptural views of the stupendous nature, divine attributes, and boundless and unsearchable mercies of the Son of God.

On the great points of the entire fall of man, and the total absence of all claim or recommendation to the favour of God, Bishop Dehon is particularly striking; as the following passage, amongst many others, will testify. It occurs in the first sermon in proof" how God loved the world."

"You will observe, that the Son is said to be given unto us; which plainly indicates, that there was no claim in the receivers, neither obligation upon the giver. It is entirely to the free and disinterested compassion and goodness of God, that we are indebted for this great salvation. For, on the part of man, where was the least shadow of claim to this wonderful mercy? He had rebelled against his Creator. Under an his life. And who can limit the degree easy and equitable law, he had forfeited of sinfulness to which his depravity tends? Alas! it has been found sufficient to despise the humilation, to which

his Saviour condescended for his ransom; to dash back the cup of mercy npon his Maker, and prefer the servitude of iniquity. Had the Most High, then, left him to the fruit of his own devices; nay, had he erased him utterly from among his works, who could have laid any charge against the righteousness of God? And, on the part of the Deity, what constraint of wisdom or interest could have caused our preservation? All angels that fill heaven are his; and so, for aught we know, are the inhabitants of a thousand worlds. What are we, and what is our origin, that we should, by our being, add any thing to his glory; or by our service, to his happiness! He speaks, and it is done;' and were we removed for ever from the creation we have blemished, in the place we occupy, beings of surpassing innocence would, at his fiat, appear. Nay, from everlasting to everlasting, without aid or benefit from any of his creatures, he hath, in himself, the utmost plenitude of glory and bliss. Nothing, therefore, but that benevolence which induced him, for the communication of happiness, to give existence to the crea tures; nothing but that ineffable love, which makes him the fit object of the entire affection of every intelligent being, could have actuated him to resign the beloved Son of his bosom, for the recovery of our ruined race! He saw the unhappy condition into which his erring children had brought themselves by transgression; he saw and pitied them. He desired to rescue them from impending destruction. His own Son he would give to make atone. ment for their guilt, by the sacrifice of himself; his own Spirit he would give, to renew them in righteousness; his own nature he would permit to be united with theirs, that the dignity they had lost might be restored, and man be begotten again to the love of his Maker! In this way, he would commend both his justice and his mercy, to all the subjects of his government; and a beloved part of his family be brought back from the paths of perdition, to the enjoyment of that happiness for which he created them. In the moment, there. fore, in which he passed upon man the doom, which immutable truth required, he consoled the hopeless offenders with the promise of a deliverer. And when the fullness of time was come, the period which his wisdom had chosen, he sent

forth his Son to appear in the flesh, and fulfil his gracious pleasure. It is diffi cult to conceive in what way God's love to the world could have been so strong. ly manifested. What could he have given us that was dearer to himself; what could he have given us of which we were more unworthy; what could he have given us that would be to us a source of such felicity? Made of God unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption; he is both the pledge and security to us, sinful beings, of the remission of sins and eternal life. But we strive in vain to rise to a full apprehension of the great. ness of this mercy. We may perceive the benefit; we may rejoice in the bliss; but we must say, with the great Apostle of the Gentiles, that the love which pro duced it 'passeth knowledge."" Vol. I. pp. 262-264.

mated under the sacred text, in
Amongst the causes of joy inti-
which we are enjoined "not to
be
sorry, for the joy of the Lord is
our strength," we find the follow-
ing characteristic effort of our
preacher's pathetic, as well as ar-
dent, imagination.

"By the coming of the Redeemer,
which kept the living in terror, and
that dominion of death is destroyed,
seemed to threaten to hold the dead in
ture looked into the tomb.
eternal bondage. Anxiously had na-
heart overcharged with emotions, she
With a
all she could with certainty discover
endeavoured to look beyond it. But
been. Amidst these she stood, listen
was mouldering relics of what man had
ing in anxious awe, if from unseen forms
any sound might be heard of departed
beings, still in existence. But there
that regarded. Hope whispered to her,
seemed none to answer, neither any
Listen more intensely, for that the spirits
live.
which had animated these relics yet did

called; again she hearkened; but all Again she paused; again she was solemn stillness. She turned from the tomb, clinging to the consideration, that no voice had been heard unfa-, back upon it, yet longing after imvourable to her wishes. She looked mortality; but it was a land of darkness as darkness itself; and where the power of Immanuel this kingdom the light was as darkness.' But before fell. He overcame the sharpness of

death, and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.' Through his most blessed Gospel, we have the comfortable assurance from him who holds the keys of life and death, that when the waves of this troublesome world

have subsided, we shall find a haven where there shall be no more storms, nor fears, nor death, and the tears shall be wiped from all faces. Forasmuch as the children were partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who, through fear of death, were all their life-time subject to bondage.'" Vol. I. pp. 270, 271.

In the former page we had been reminded by the Bishop, that through Christ,

"We are assured of a righteousness,

which shall supply our deficiencies, through which our sincerity shall be accepted instead of that innocence we have lost; and our imperfect obedience, for that perfection to which we are unable to attain. We no longer are left to err in vision, and to stumble in judgment."

On this statement we submit how far our excellent bishop may not in some measure himself have "stumbled in judgment," when he makes our Saviour's righteousness a mere supply for deficiencies to those whom he so repeatedly shews to have no claim whatever on the favour of God, but that righteousness. We also entirely question the acceptance of sincerity instead of innocence; believ ing assuredly, that, in the place of

our

own innocence, no worthy substitute can be found but the

obe

perfect innocence of the all-spotless Lamb of God; and, for the perfection to which we are unable to attain, no obedience, we believe, will ever suffice, but the dience, ever perfect, of Him who, "being made perfect, became the Author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him." In short, these expressions, considered by themselves, we should regard as fundamentally unsound; though, we question not, used often, as now, with a very sincere and inno

CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 246.

cent intention*. They have two of the very worst effects when made, as they are, the system of some theologians. They insinuate some claim of our own on the favour of God, in conjunction with that exclusive claim to be urged through the righteousness of Jesus Christ; and they woefully mislead the practical Christian into a tendency, ever too easy, not to aim at the original and proper purity and perfection of his nature; contrary to the declaration of our good bishop, in the very sentence preceding the above quotation, where he appeals to "the help of God's Spirit, for assisting the feebleness of nature, in recovering its pristine excellence and beauty." We make these observations, not for the purpose of lowering the credit of our departed and truly pious instructor in the faith of Christ, from whom we should have expected the fullest acquiescence in our stricture, but for the benefit of the living, and to make our views stand perfectly clear in our attempt to do full justice to the work before us. It is not easy to stop to weigh the propriety of a passing expression when we are summoned to far other raptures than those of chilling eriticism; when the angels are described ushering in the day of the nativity, and their songs are

We perceive that the epithet" imperfect," in the last extract, is of British manufacture, not being to be found in the American edition. Not having re

marked the interpolation till this sheet was passing through the press, we have not time to compare the two editions, in order to discover what other altera

tions the English editor may have introduced into Bishop Dehon's text; but we are always very jealous of such unacknowledged alterations, and particularly after some well remembered specimens in the publications of the venerable

Society of which Dr. Gask in is the Secre

tary. In the instance before us, the alteration proves that Dr. Gaskin felt

the inaccuracy which we have ourselves

adverted to; but we do not think that even his qualifying epithet obviates it, 3C

"wrought up to rapture by the view of our bliss; and the skies are rent by them with affectionate gratulations. In deed, on this day, 'mercy and truth are met together,' the Law and the Prophets present themselves, Saints and Angels are assembled, God and Man are united, to manifest, proclaim, and extol the wonderful goodness of the Creator, and the singular honour and happiness of his human creatures. And who, amidst the grandeur and the transport of the scene, can avoid partaking of the general glow? Who among the sinful offspring of Adam, has not cause to leap as an hart, at the tidings of redemption; especially when assured, that his Redeemer is mighty, even the Holy One; and his Intercessor, the beloved Son, in whom the Father is ever pleased?" Vol. I. p. 285.

well

We pass over a short but edifying sermon, the twenty-fifth, on the Circumcision, to arrive at the two next, on New-Year's Day: the first teaching us, from Ephes. v. 16, to" redeem the time;" the second applying the parable of the fig-tree cumbering the ground, from Luke xiii. 7, 8. There are indeed, in these sermons, as in some of their predecessors, no very striking beauties to redeem them from other imperfections, in style and arrangement, which these volumes often exhibit.

or

In the first sermon, after speaking of the impossibility of recalling the moments which, once gone, are gone for ever, " until we find them in the eternity of God, at the day of judgment," testifying for against us, the Bishop hints, more than once, at a very questionable mode of atoning for their loss, and so recalling them. We may, by increased fidelity, make some atonement to our Creator for past prodigality, and some return for his mercy in still prolonging our being." p. 300.

And again, he speaks of what "should make us tremblingly solicitous to regain what we have lost, and atone for what we have abused." P. 303.

But having before protested against these occasional expres

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in wilful blindness. from Matt. ii. 9-11. delineates duct of the wise men coming from more fully the character and conthe East to Jerusalem. The third, from John viii. 12, demonstrates the blessings of Him who said,

66

am the light of the world;" more especially, in contrast with the situation of mankind before his rising, their deplorable ignorance and wretchedness,—and the world, as to its religion, morals, and expectations, overcast with clouds, and filled with blindness and debasement. At the approach of the Divine purposes, it is true, "Prophets, like the planets of night, while yet the sun was unseen, glowed with his beams, and, in harmonious concert, proclaimed the certainty of his existence, and instructed the devout to be waiting for his appearance." p. 343. Opportunities had before been offered for the acquisition of saving knowledge.

"The wanderings of the Patriarchs, in the first ages, carried a knowledge of the true God among the Canaanites, the Egyptians, the inhabitants of Mesopotamia, and many countries of the East.

The captivities of the Jews, under the Mosaic dispensation, brought the Divine name and character among the Assyrians, the Medes and Persians, and The dispersion of the tribes, and, inmany polished neighbouring nations. deed, the commercial intercourse of the Hebrews with other nations, must have introduced the mention of the true God

among the inhabitants of Europe and Asia, and of all places whither they went. The prevalence of circumcision among some heathen nations, and many parts of the mythology of others, are, to this day, vestiges, defaced vestiges, of the course of truth; monuments of opportunities afforded all men to become

8

acquainted with the true theology." Vol. I. pp. 319, 320.

And the Bishop gives it as his opinion, that

"The Holy Ghost did frequently strive in the hearts of the heathen. This blessed Spirit, which the mediation of the Son hath purchased for the children of men, lifts his still small voice' in the bosom of every man. Whatever attainments in true wisdom or virtue we find in the heathen world, all was the fruit of the assistance of that blessed Spirit by which we are sanctified. His motions enabled them to shew the work of the Law written in their

hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing, or else excusing, one another.' And had they yielded to his gracious influences, he would, no doubt,

bave led them to God and virtue. But they preferred their carnal inclinations and depraved lusts. They resisted and quenched the Spirit. And God, surely, was not obliged, in justice, to preserve them supernaturally from the consequences of their wickedness. No creature can claim any thing of him as a right; much less sinuers the interference of his mercy." Vol. I. p. 319.

The preacher here clearly places an important inquiry on its right basis. He speaks nothing of the powers of unassisted reason; nor of that still remaining and only half-extinguished light of nature, in which some modern Pelagians are so prompt to discover, or rather to fancy, the dignity of fallen man. Whatever of good was found amid the dreary waste of human depra'vity, that he carries up to the secret but sanctifying influence of God's Holy Spirit: whatever of evil, to the voluntary departure of man's depraved will from the guidance and governance of God. The extent of the evil we know no where drawn out in more just or glowing descriptions than those of our American instructor; and we seem as if irresistibly borne away, by his fervent and grateful acknowledgments of our own Gospel light, to the duty he so appropriately recommends.

"Let me entreat you, to look upon

the multitude of heathens, upon whom the light of the Gospel hath not shined. While their dark, degraded, dismal condition excites your gratitude for your if you have means or opportunities, Christian felicities, let it prompt you, faithfully to use them for extending to the benighted heathen the instructions and hopes in which you are happy. Means and opportunities, have you none? Yes. You may give them your prayers. And what Christian will neglect to do this, when he considers, that Peace cannot be among men, till it is. shed upon them by the Redeemer; and that Jerusalem must be trodden down Gentiles be fulfilled.' of the Gentiles, until the times of the

"Which brings me, in the last place, to observe, that upon God's ancient people, our elder brethren, we should bestow the look and the wishes of an holy and anxious regard. If the fall of them have been the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more their fulness? They are kept, yet, to acknowledge the Messiah, whom they have rejected. They are reserved to be the crown of our Lord's rejoicing, the consummating triumph of his word and power. He came to our earth to be not only the light which should lighten the Gentiles,' but also the glory of God's people Israel.' Let us then, as our church teaches us, offer our prayers for all Jews,' as well as Turks, Infidels, and Heretics;' that God would take heart, and contempt of his word; and from them all ignorance, hardness of

so fetch them home to his flock, that they may be saved among the remnant of the true Israelites; and made one fold, under one Shepherd, Jesus Christ, our Lord."" Vol. I. pp. 336, 337.

The many animated appeals of the latter kind, and the deep interest and profound views with which Bishop Dehon seems to consider the case of God's ancient people the Jews, cannot fail, we trust, of stimulating many of his readers to join in the pious efforts now making, with abundant promise, for their spiritual benefit. Never was the boasted charity of the Christian world, and even its prophetic sagacity, more strangely deficient in its proper fruits than in this case: and even the present age is not wanting

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