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far extended. These doctrines are frowned upon by men in high stations. I know that our Saviour has predicted, what experience has abundantly verified, that the preaching and teaching of the true gospel, will ever create enemies in the world. The modes of persecution differ in different periods; but, in all times, the defenders of evangelical truth are exposed to some mode or some degree of it. I know it well; yet, 'Woe is me,' may I, and every preacher say, “if I preach not the gospel ;'' the true gospel ; such at least, as after the most careful search and long consideration, it appears to my imperfect understanding, and such as I believe it to be in my soul. I only desire the adversary, if any such should arise, to allow the possibility that he, as well as I, and the many great men who support me in my sentiments, may be mistaken! and to ask his own heart, whether he has hitherto studied the subject as a truly humble Christian,' a fallen, depraved, ignorant, and weak creature; or merely as a scholar, critic, philosopher, logician, metaphysician, controversialist, or politician, contending for the glory of victorious disputation, or the rewards of a profession established and encouraged by the state.
If any clergyman' of the church of England 16 These doctrines serve no end of popular learning, they help no people to figure and preferment in the world, and are useless to scholastic, controversial writers." -Law.
? But I must remember that, the fear of man bringeth a snare; but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord, shall be safe.'Proverbs, xxix. 25.
3 1 Cor. ix. 16.
4 Antoninus taught that the very first requisite to form a philosopher, was anobaleiv oinoiv, to throw away all conceit of knowledge.
5 The Rev. Mr. Thomas Edwards, Fellow of Clare Hall,
should be disposed utterly to deny the doctrine of immediate grace, divine energy, and supernatural impulse, I would beg leave humbly and affection
Cambridge, after writing a learned and elaborate book against the doctrine of grace, is compelled, by the force of truth, at the conclusion of it, to make the following concessions :
" There are undoubtedly several passages which sufficiently show, that the operations of the Holy Spirit are not to be entirely limited and confined to the extraordinary and miraculous gifts and endowments peculiar to the apostolic age; but, on the contrary, that it will, in all succeeding ages, be communicated in a peculiar manner, to all those who may stand in need of it, in order to the discharge of their duty.
- I can therefore by no means give into their opinion, who, with the witty French Jesuit, look upon these supernatural workings of the Spirit upon the minds of men, as entirely visionary or chimerical; or, as he expressed himself, a mere nescio quid, (je ne sais quoi.) A tempore Augustini, vix ulla vox frequentior fuit voce gratia, ubi sermo est de hominis ad saniorem mentem reditu et vi, cui is reditus debetur. Ea tamen voce quid significetur, cum ab iis quæritur, qui ea utuntur, nihil responsi perspicui ferre licet. Hinc factum ut in Gallia, Jesuita festivi ingenii, non inficete dixit, 'Gratiam illam divinam, quæ tantum strepitum excitavit in scholis, et tam mirabiles effectus in hominum animis edit, gratiam illam adeo efficacem, et sua. vem simul, quæ de duritie cordis, illæsa arbitrii libertate, tri. umphat, nihil esse tandem, præter nescio quid. Clerici, Ars Crit. p. 2. s. l. c. 8.-“ From the time of St. Augustin, scarcely any word has been in more frequent use than the word grace, when the subject of discourse is a man's return to a sounder mind, and the power to which that return is to be ascribed. But when the meaning of the word is asked of them who use it, they can give no clear and definite answer. Hence it happened that in France a Jesuit of a facetious turn jocosely said, “That this divine grace which made such a noise in the schools, and produced such wonderful effects on the minds of men ; this grace, at once so efficacious and delightful, which triumphs over the hardness of the human heart, without destroying free will, was after all nothing more than what the French express by the phrase, Je ne sais quoi.'
• The general manner in which the Spirit operates upon men, we may, i humbly conceive, suppose to be, by raising such particular ideas, or making such particular impressions upon their minds, as may influence them,” &c.
ately to remind him of the question proposed to him when he was ordained a minister of Christ, and the answer he then made, with every circumstance of religious solemnity, receiving the sacrament upon it, and thus evidently resting all his hopes of God's blessing on his sincerity.
The question is, “ Do you trust that you are inwardly moved by the Holy Ghost, to take upon you this office and ministry to serve God, for the promoting of his glory, and the edifying of his people ?” “I trust so,” replies the person to be ordained.
As the topic is rather invidious, and certainly concerns myself as well as any of them whom I have the honour to call my brethren in the profession, I will refer it to bishop Burnet, to make remarks on the response to the interrogatory. “Certainly,” says the truly able prelate, “the answer that is made to this, ought to be well considered; for if any one says, I trust so,' that yet knows nothing of any such motion, and can give no account of it, he lies to the Holy Ghost, and makes his first approach to the allar with a lie in his mouth; and that not to men, but to God. Shall not God reckon with those who run without his mission, pretending that they trust they have it, when perhaps they understand not the importance of it? nay, and perhaps some laugh at it,
1“ All sacerdotal power is derived from the Holy Ghost; and they who do not acknowledge themselves under the Holy Ghost's influence, acknowledge that they have no sacerdotal power. Our Saviour himself took not the ministry upon him, till he had this consecration.”
We think too lowly of the priest's office in our age. Very great it is under the energy of the Holy Ghost.
as an enthusiastical question, who yet will go through the office. They come to Christ for the loaves ; they hope to live by the altar and the gospel, how little soever they serve at one or preach the other; therefore they will say any thing that is necessary for qualifying them to receive the loaves and fishes,] whether true or false.” The bishop's animadversion is severe; and every man's own conscience must whisper to him, in his own case, whether it be just and true.
One thing, however, is certain, and sufficient for my purpose. It is plain that persons who enter on the ministry, thus declaring themselves to believe that they are under a supernatural motion or impulse, cannot consistently deny, or explain away, the main principle of my book, which is the reality of such a supernatural motion or impulse. They confess that, in their own persons, they believe they have experienced that divine energy of the Holy Ghost, which, I maintain, moves the mind to believe in Christ, and inclines the heart to all moral virtue.
If the sublime and comfortable doctrine of immediate grace were generally preached, the churches would be better frequented and infidelity rare.'
I“ We must carry this yet further than the bare believing that these things (the doctrines of Christianity) are true; such a faith devils have. We must make our people understand, that this faith purifies the heart, and works by love: and it only becomes a saving and justifying faith, when, upon our entering upon the practice of those rules that this religion prescribes, we feel a real virtue derived into us, that makes us new creatures, and gives us such a vital perception of the truth of the promises made us in it, that we receive these, as earnests of our inheritance, and so taste and see that God is gracious to us. This makes us living stones in the spiritual building." Bishop Burnet's Charge.
The common people, unspoiled by vain philosophy, hunger and thirst for the spiritual food which comes down from heaven. Ought not their shepherds to feed them with such as is convenient for them, and to lead them from broken cisterns and barren lands, to the green pasture, and streams of living water ? Who shall judge what is most convenient for them ? a few individuals, or the million, directed, in their choice, by the concurrent guidance of the church, the liturgy, and the Scriptures ? It has been justly suggested, by a wit of antiquity, that the guests, and not the cooks, are to judge of the taste and salubrity of the viands prepared for the table. Now the guests invited to the spiritual feast, appear, by their numerous attendance, to prefer the food which comes from above, the truly evangelical doctrine of grace. However unskilfully dispensed, the places of worship where it is, or appears to be, dispensed at all, are thronged with multitudes, while other places are almost deserted. How are the churches crowded by young and poor persons, at confirmations; the whole of which office is founded, most evidently, on the doctrine of grace, and the Holy Spirit's actual interposition.
The following is the bishop's prayer, in the office of confirmation : “ Almighty and everlasting God, who hast vouchsafed to regenerate these thy servants, by water and the Holy Ghost, and hast given unto them forgiveness of all their sins; strengthen them, we beseech thee, O Lord, with the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, and daily increase in them thy manifold gifts of grace, the spirit of wisdom and understanding; the spirit of counsel and ghostly strength; the spirit of knowledge and true godliness; and fill them, O Lord,