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ascribed to God, and describes the change made in a man's heart, when it becomes truly religious, in such language as must lead the mind to some strength superior to our own by which it is effected.' The increase of Christians in faith and piety, is spoken of as the work of God; which must more strongly imply, that the first beginnings of it are to be ascribed to him. The Scripture does expressly assert the absolute necessity of such Divine influences on the mind, in order to faith and holiness, and speaks of God's giving them to one, while he withholds them from another, as the great reason of the difference to be found in the characters of different men in this important respect.:
“ It appears probable from the light of nature, and certain from the word of God, that faith and repentance are ultimately to be ascribed to the work of special grace upon the hearts of men. As
John i. 13; iii. 3, 5, 6. Acts, xi. 18; xvi. 14. 2 Cor. iii. 3. Eph i. 19, 20; ii. 1, 10; iv. 24. Phil. i. 29. Col. i. 11, 12; ii. 12, 13. Vid. James, i. 18. 2. Tim. ii. 25. To this catatalogue we scruple not to add Eph. ii. 8, though some have objected that T870 cannot refer to TSEWC; since the like change of genders is often to be found in the New Testament: compare Acts xxiv. 16; xxvi. 17. Phil. i. 28. 1 John, ii. 8. Gal. iii. 16; iv. 19. Matt. vi. ult. xxviii. 19. Rom. ii. 14. Elsner's Observ. vol. i. p. 128. Raphel. Observ. ex. Herod. in Matt. xxviii. 19. Glassii Op. 1. iii. Tract. ii. de pr. Can. xvi. p. 524-526.
2 Psal. cxix. 32. Phil. i. 6; ii. 13. 1 Cor. vii. 25; iii. 7; iv. 7; xv. 10. 2 Cor. v. 5. Heb. xiii. 20, 21. 1. Pet. v. 10. Jude, ver. 24, 25..
s Deut. xxiv. 4. Matt. xi. 25, 26. John, vi. 44, 45, 46; xii. 39, 40. Rom. ix. 18—23.
4 Lime-street Lect. vol. ii. p. 242—245. Tillotson's Works, vol. ii. p. 80, 81, Limb. Theol. 1. iv. c. 14. & 4.21. Brandt's Hist. of the Ref. vol. ii. p 75. Doddridge on Regen. Serm. vii. p. 221-233. Jortin's Six Dissertations, No. 1. Warburton's Doctrine of Grace. Fost. Sermons, vol. ii. No. 5. præs. p. 104, 105.
to the manner in which divine grace operates upon the mind, considering how little it is we know of the nature and constitution of our own souls, and of the frame of nature around us, it is no wonder that it should be unaccountable to us.' Perhaps it may often be, by impelling the animal spirits or nerves, in such a manner as is proper to excite certain ideas in the mind with a degree of vivacity, which they would not otherwise have had : by this means various passions are excited; but the great motives addressed to gratitude and love seem generally, if not always, to operate upon the will more powerfully than any other, which many divines have therefore chosen to express by the phrase of delectatio victrix."?
The Opinion of Soame Jenyns on the fundamental
Principles of Christianity.
“ If Christianity is to be learned out of the New Testament, and words have any meaning affixed to them, the fundamental principles of it are these :
1 John, iii. 8.
? Compare Deut. xxx. 6. Psal. cxix. 16, 20, 32, 47, 48, 97, 103. Psal. xix. 10, 11. Rom. vii. 22. i John, iv. 18, 19. Rom. v. 5. Le Blanc's Thes. p. 527, § 53. Burn. Life of Roch. p. 43–51. Barclay's A pol. p. 148. Burn. on Art. p.
“ That mankind came into this world in a depraved and fallen condition; that they are placed here for a while, to give them an opportunity to work out their salvation; that is, by a virtuous and pious life to purge off that guilt and depravity, and recover their lost state of happiness and innocence in a future life; that this they are unable to perform without the grace and assistance of God; and that, after their best endeavours, they cannot hope for pardon from their own merits, but only from the merits of Christ, and the atonement made for their transgressions by his sufferings and death. This is clearly the sum and substance of the Christian dispensation; and so adverse is it to all the principles of human reason, that if brought before her tribunal, it must inevitably be condemned. If we give no credit to its divine authority, any attempt to reconcile them is useless; and, if we believe it, presumptuous in the highest degree. To prove the reasonableness of a revelation, is in fact to destroy it; because a revelation implies information of something which reason cannot discover, and therefore must be different from its deductions, or it would be no revelation.”
The opinion of a professed wit and man of fashion may have weight with those who are prejudiced against professional divines. It has been doubted by many whether Mr. Jenyns was a sincere Christian. I am inclined to believe that he was sincere. As, in recommending Christianity, “ it is right to become all things to all men, that
120. Whitby Comment. vol. ii. p. 289, 290. Scougal's Works, p. 6-10. Seed's Serm. vol. i. p. 291. Ridly on the Spirit, p. 210. King's Origin of Evil, p. 71, 376-380, fourth edition,
we may save some,” his testimony is admitted in this place, though his lively manner of writing throws an air of levity on subjects, which, from their important nature, must always he considered as grave by all the partakers of mortality, who think justly and feel acutely.
The opinion of Bishop Horsley on the prevalent neg
lect of teaching the peculiar doctrines of Christianity, under the idea that moral duties constitute the whole or the better part of it. Among the peculiar doctrines is evidently included that of grace, which the Methodists inculcate, (as the bishop intimates,) not erroneously.
Bishop Horsley has proved himself a mathematician and philosopher of the first rank, as well as a divine. All his works display singular vigour of intellect. He cannot be suspected of weak superstition or wild fanaticism. To the honour of Christianity, the editor of Newton, as well as Newton himself, is a firm supporter of its most mysterious octrines. I desire the reader to weigh well the words of this able divine, as they were delivered in a charge to his clergy.
“A maxim had been introduced,” says he, “that the laity, the more illiterate especially, have little concern with the mysteries of revealed religion, provided they be attentive to its duties; whence it
hath seemed a safe and certain conclusion, that it is more the office of a Christian teacher to press the practice of religion upon the consciences of his hearers, than to inculcate and assert its doctrines.
“ Again, a dread of the pernicious tendency of some extravagant opinions, which persons more to be esteemed for the warmth of their piety than the soundness of their judgment, have grafted in modern times, upon the doctrine of justification by faith, as it is stated in the 11th, 12th, and 13th of the Articles of our church, (which, however, is no private tenet of the church of England, but the common doctrine of all the first reformers, not to say that it is the very corner-stone of the whole system of redemption,) a dread of the pernicious tendency of those extravagant opinions, which seem to emancipate the believer from the authority of all moral law, hath given general credit to another maxim; which I never hear without extreme concern from the lips of a divine, either from the pulpit or in familiar conversation ; namely, that practical religion and morality are one and the same thing : that moral duties constitute the whole, or by far the better part, of practical Christianity.
“ Both these maxims are erroneous. Both, so far as they are received, have a pernicious influence over the minisry of the word. The first most absurdly separates practice from the motives of practice. The second, adopting that separation, reduces practical Christianity to heathen virtue; and the two, taken together, have much contributed to divest our sermons of the genuine spirit and savour of Christianity, and to reduce them to mere moral essays : in which moral duties are enforced, not as indeed they might