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make void that promise if we are not wanting on our part? Our Saviour has told us that the wind bloweth where it listeth;' can we not be content then to let the Holy Spirit operate in his own way, and at his own times, but must we undertake to determine the mode, and the extent, and the period of that, concerning which we know nothing but by its effects? Christians! let us rather comply with his ordinances and endeavour to do our duty, and trust with unlimited confidence in his holy promises. Of this we may rest assured that no unrighteous person will be admitted into the kingdom of Christ and of God; and the declaration of our Saviour ought to make every one tremble," Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord,not every member of my church on earth, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven-the kingdom of glory-but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.'" pp. 15, 18.
As we are on this point, we may as well finish all that relates to it, before we touch on other topics. In page 63, Dr. Jarvis, after quoting Rom. vi. 2-6, has the following observations.
"We are risen, says the Apostle, in baptism. Does the resurrection, in this metaphorical sense, mean only the rising of the soul from the death of sin to the life of righteousness? This would make the Apostle affirm that the inward and spiritual grace always accompanies
the outward and visible sign in which case, all dispute upon the subject of the efficacy of baptism would be at an end. But the great body of Christians will admit the expressions in ourTwenty-fifth Article to be correct,that the sacraments have a wholesome effect or operation in such only as worthily receive the same. And if this be admitted, then it must also be admitted that the bap tismal resurrection is a complex term, involving the outward and visible sign, as well as the inward and spiritual grace. In the largest acceptation of the word, all baptized persons are risen with Christ. They are made members of his body, the church. They have risen from an uncovenanted, to a covenanted state. They are translated into God's kingdom. From being aliens and foreigners, they are admitted to be fellow-citizens with the saints, and of the household of God. They are allowed to partake of all the means of grace, CHRIST, OBSERV. No. 252.
and, if they have come with right motives, all the hopes of glory.
"In a less extensive sense, or rather in the most complete acceptation of the metaphor, they only are risen with Christ who are risen from the death of sin unto the life of righteousness. This spiritual resurrection of our nature, through the powerful assistances afforded us under the new covenant, must take place in this life, or we shall never attain unto that final and proper resurrection in which our souls shall be for ever united to bodies fashioned like unto the glorious body of our Redeemer." pp. 63, 64.
These considerations appear to us so just, as greatly to lessen, in point of practical effect, the importance of the verbal part of the controversy respecting the precise sense of the single and much controverted term, Regeneration, as used in our public formularies. the construction put upon the term be not such as in any measure to diminish the universal necessity for repentance, faith, conversion, and sanctification of heart, we are certainly not disposed to argue, with any great warmth, points of mere grammatical precision. We must however state, that our fear has always been that, under the appearance of a technical controversy, the real dispute has been for essential principles closely connected with the doctrines of original and actual sin, justification by faith, and the necessity of a complete renovation of character by the grace and power of the Holy Spirit.
2. The force of the word resurrection, and its connexion with the one we have hitherto been considering, form the second subject of Dr. Jarvis's Appendix. This discussion is closely allied with the preceding; for our author having endeavoured to shew that regeneration, as used in the Grecian philosophy, and as borrowed by the Hellenistic Jews, denoted the final resurrection of the body, and its reunion with the soul, now infers with confidence, that regeneration is, in the sense of the sacred writers, either synonymous
with avasaris, resurrection, or differing from it only as a continued state of existence differs from its incipient moment. Thus he considers the two terms as properly relating to the eternal state of being in the future world, and as applicable only metaphorically to the present life. On this we merely stop to observe, that with regard to the word Resurrection, the remark is perfectly clear. Of course it relates properly to the future world, and only metaphorically to the present. But, with respect to the word Regeneration, we pause: we do not reject, but we hesitate. To proceed, however, with our author-He cites various passages in the New Testament, where the word Resurrection is used, (such as Luke xx. 34-36; Acts xiii. 32, 33; Rom. i. 1, 3, 4; Col. ii. 12; Col. iii. 1; Rom. vi. 2-6.) in order to shew that the word Regeneration may be employed with the like latitude, and must be subjected to similar limitations. The tendency of this part of Dr. Jarvis's argument is good, as our quotation above, from his 63d and 64th pages, will have convinced the reader; but its force, as respects the word Regeneration must depend on the admission of the premises from which it is deduced.
3. The last, and perhaps the most valuable, certainly the most spiritual and practical, part of the Appendix, contains an examination, as we have already intimated, of other expressions in the New Testament, which have an affinity to the terms Regeneration and Resurrection. In this review, (which is, however, very far from embracing all the passages which might have been comprehended,) Dr. Jarvis begins with John iii. 5; and John i. 11, 13. He then notices the several important passages in the First Epistle of St. John (1 John ii. 29; iii. 2, 3, 9, 10; v. 1, 4, 18,) and makes the following judicious observations.
"In these remarkable expressions, the Apostle evidently uses the term 'sons of God,' to denote those who are so in
the highest sense in which it can be applied to men in this world. His lan guage amounts, in fact, to a description of the Christian character. He affirms that the true Christian doth righteousthat Jesus is the Christ; loveth God and ness; doth not commit sin; believeth all mankind, but more especially all who partake of the same renewed nature; overcometh the world by his faith; and guardeth himself from the temptations and assaults of his spiritual adversary. In a word, he who is regenerate in this world, in the most com plete sense of the metaphor, is risen from the death of sin unto the life of righteousness." pp. 66, 67.
We have not space to dwell on the other passages which Dr. Jarvis endeavours to illustrate, but must hasten to a criticism of great moment offered by him on the affinity of the words Renovation and Regeneration. He considers the distinction which has been made of late years between these two expressions as unfounded in fact, as unsupported by the usual language of the ancient fathers, and of the greatest divines of our own church; and as narrowing the phraseology of the Scriptures, and leading to confusion and schism. He concludes by asserting that Resurrec tion, Renovation, and Regeneration, were in a metaphorical sense used anciently as convertible terms. His remarks here are too important not to be cited.
"If the renovation of our nature be but another term to express its resurrection or regeneration from the death of sin to the life of righteousness, then it will be seen that our spiritual regemortal life. It is begun when the Holy neration is the process of our whole Spirit begins to operate upon our minds. It is promoted by the use of all the means of grace, by the preaching and reading of the word of God, by prayer, by the administration of the sacraments, by our very trials and afflictions. While the seeds of sin remain in our nature, our inner man must be renewed from day to day. We must be for ever engaged in purifying our bodies and our souls, and continually becoming more and more perfect until this mortalityshall be swallowed up of life." pp. 74, 75.
On the whole, it is impossible for us not to observe with pleasure the inviting openings to a reconciliation of contending opinions which this respectable publication presents. The chief point of novelty in it is the import given to the word Regeneration; on which topic we will only further say, that we think the arguments of our author highly deserving of attention. Probably the sense given to the word by the Greek writers, the Jews, and the early fathers, has not had sufficient weight with many modern divines. This part, however, of the question is really of less moment, if we are allowed, with Dr. Jarvis, to consider the grace of the Holy Spirit as not necessarily and invariably accompanying the outward administration of baptism; if we are further at liberty to expound and illustrate regeneration by the numerous other passages in holy Scripture, which describe an entire change of heart and life; and if we are likewise free to distinguish the liturgical and charitable use of the term, as connected with the sacrament, from the ordinary and practical consideration of it, as synonymous with all those various figurative expressions by which the New Testament enforces on us the indispensable necessity of a new creation in Christ Jesus.
We need scarcely remark how widely distant is all this from the dangerous notions which appeared in the well-known tract of Dr., now Bishop, Mant, which gave rise to the baptismal controversy; a tract in which, as it originally stood, the public were taught that baptism "rightly administered," that is, by an authorized clergyman, and irrespective of its being "rightly received," always conveys those spiritual benefits of which the outward sacrament is a sign and a seal, but, as experience too plainly proves, is by no means invariably an instrument of conveyance.
Still, it is comparatively a small
matter that, owing to the late controversy, most important concessions have been made, unless the better information which has been elicited on this subject lead to corresponding results. The practical use which the clergy of the episcopal churches of England and America make of this doctrine in their ministry, is the great question. If infinitely more than a baptismal investiture, if a deep, pervading, abiding, spi ritual change of heart is indispensably necessary in every descendant of our fallen parents, then the doctrine of conversion, or renovation, or regeneration, call it what we will, is of prime moment, and should appear both from the press and the pulpit in broad distinction from all questions of mere outward privilege. We would suggest to the respected author's consideration, whether the manner in which this doctrine is displayed in the sermon before us is adequate to the infinite importance of the souls of men, and the extreme danger of a formal, worldly, and lifeless Christianity. We are aware indeed that conciones ad clerum have been allowed to expatiate very widely on points of learned criticism, as if taking for granted that all is right in matters of faith and practice; and we do not deny that the chief questions involved in the baptismal controversy are of quite sufficient importance to become the subject of discourse and erudite inquiry on such an occasion as a convention or visitation sermon. Still, matters should not be left thus. All human beings, young and old, rich and poor, cleric or laic, are rapidly hastening to eternity; points of infinite moment, points to which all subjects of form and ritual are far subordinate, press for instant and paramount attention. We entreat the episcopal clergy on both sides of the Atlantic, to consider whether spiritual religion, the religion of the heart, the religion which springs from the grace of the Holy Spirit
the religion which flows forth in contrition for sin, which clings with affectionate and holy faith to the atoning death of the Saviour, and which produces the fruit of divine love to God and man whether this religion is not in fact EVERY THING-whether it is not the remedy of human misery, the characteristic of the Gospel, the glory of the Son of God, the source of every good word and work. It is the persuasion that this view of true religion is gaining ground rapidly amongst us, that has induced us to notice the present publication as holding out a prospect of increasing harmony of sentiment and feeling. The rest is to be learned upon our knees, in the closet, in communion with our own hearts, by the illumination of the Holy Spirit, by the study of the Bible. In proportion as religion, thus acquired by Divine teaching, is super added to an orthodox creed and the attainments of sound theological knowledge, will our episcopal churches flourish under the Divine blessing and grace. We take our leave of Dr. Jarvis-of whose zealous labours, missionary spirit, and earnest contention for the faith against those Socinian principles which so fearfully prevail in the site and vicinity of his pastoral ministrations, we have heard not without much pleasure and satisfaction with a sincere respect for the talent and industry manifested in this work, with an entire approbation of many of his sentiments, and with a fervent desire and prayer that the interchanges of Christian affection - and esteem with our American brethren may not only cement our sister churches in harmony and good will, but may likewise contribute to the general good understanding and amity of two nations, already united by so many ties of kindred and language and common interests, and called, therefore, in an especial manner, to the cultivation of that peace and charity which are the
elements of all social and national felicity, and are attendants and handmaids of religion.
The Nature and Obligations of Personal and Family Religion; with a Variety of Prayers, for Individuals and Families. By DANIEL DEWAR, LL. D., late Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University and King's College of Aberdeen, and now Minister of the Tron Church, Glasgow. Second Edition, greatly enlarged. Glasgow: Chalmers and Collins. 8vo. pp. 426. price 8s.
"WE are setting up," said Dr. Paley, in his Charge to the Clergy of the Diocese of Carlisle in the year 1790, "a kind of philosophical morality, detached from religion, and independent of its influence, which may be cultivated, it is said, as well without Christianity as with it; and which, if cultivated, renders religion and religious institutions superfluous." We fear that in Scotland as well as in England there has been too much truth in this observation. The "philosophy of morals" has been too often taught on principles either adverse to Christianity, or at variance with its spirit, or altogether independent of it; and the consequence has been that many young men have entered on the study of theology with tempers and principles far remote from the humble simplicity and intellectual diffidence of Christian disciples. The great and essential articles of religion have in such cases been either wholly overlooked, or at least have not received that prominence to which they are entitled. Erroneous views of the moral character of God and man have been cherished and promulgated. The revealed will of the Creator has not been openly and decidedly appealed to as the supreme standard of right and wrong; and the obligations of virtue have been deduced rather
from considerations of feeling, of honour, or of interest, than from those nobler and purer motives which God himself has been pleased to address to us.
We are gratified, however, to find that notwithstanding the evil results which have been so frequently attributed to the manner in which morals and metaphysics are studied in the Scotch universities, there are some, we would hope many, professors of moral philosophy," who, like the author of the valuable work before us, have formed more correct sentiments of what ought to be the ethical system of Christians; who have founded the science of morals on the solid basis of Christian principle; who have availed themselves of the sacred lights of revelation, in exploring the dark and intricate mazes of the human character; and instead of exploding the Christian graces, as Hume has done, under the designation of "Monkish virtues," have elevated them to their justly exalted place in the code of moral obligation. And, indeed, of what avail are speculations on morality, when unaccompanied by practical principle? And what is the value of that virtue which terminates in theory or in feeling? It may figure in the pages of a philosophical system; it may smooth the rugged surface of human society; it may please the lovers of theory and the sentimental subjects of feeling; but it will leave the diseases of human nature exactly where it found them, and oppose a very contemptible barrier to the march of profligacy and vice. That morality alone is profitable, and suited to the state of man as a fallen and sinful creature, which looks to the will of God as its rule, and the glory of God as its end; and which appeals to such sublime and purifying principles as those which are inculcated and exemplified in the valuable work before us, on "The Nature and Obligations of Personal and Family Religion."
Dr. Dewar is already known to the public as the author of two treatises; the one, on "the Character and Customs of the Irish;" and the other, on "the Internal Evidences and Designs of Christianity." The present work will not detract from his reputation. It may not indeed enlarge his fame among merely literary men; and we should pity the writer who would make this his main or ultimate end. But it will be received with gratitude by those who value evangelical truth as the true foundation of morals and the only effectual safeguard of human society; and will be hailed as a valuable gift at the altar of domestic piety.
The work consists of eight chapters on the following subjects:The importance of personal religion to all, but particularly to heads of families;-The necessity of family religion to personal religion;-The nature of the duties of family religion;-The manner in which they ought to be discharged ;-Motives to the practice of them;-The improvement of family afflictions;The duties of young persons;-and the dangers and duties more peculiar to young Christians. These varied topics are severally illustrated with ability, with distinctness of apprehension, and with becoming seriousness of mind and manner. On some of the topics the author is rather prolix; and this tendency to spread out has the effect of frequently enfeebling his statements, which would gain much by being exhibited in a more condensed form. The style of Tacitus is perhaps one of the best models for works of didactic instruction; that of Sallust or Livy seems better adapted to oral communications, particularly from the pulpit. The manner of Paley, though deficient as respects feeling and " unction," is, from its simplicity and perspicuity, admirably suited to the conveyance of religious and moral truth from the press. But the