Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

which he finds ? It is a general of the children of men”--that rule, to receive those, as doc- “ he will raise the dead, and trines of revelation, which, if judge the world at the last day'they were such, could not be ex that “ all the angels of God worpressed in clearer and stronger ship him, and to him every knee terms.

shall bow, of things in heaven I remember once to have and things in earth”-that " as heard two gentlemen disputing he through the eternal Spirit on our present subject. One of offered himself withoŲt spot to them, arguing against the Dio God, so his blood can cleanse vinity of Christ, said, “ If it were from all sin, and purge the contrue, it certainly would have been science from dead works.” If expressed in more clear and we believe his Divinity, these unequivocal terms." “ Well," doctrines are easily understood, said the other, “ adnitting that and readily admitted. If we deyou believed it, were authorized ny it, these doctrines become to teach it, and allowed to use more difficult to be explained, your own language ; how would and more hard to be received, you express the doctrine, to than that which we deny. make it indubitable ?” “I would Rash and injudicious explanasay,” replied the first,“ that Je- tions of the doctrine have probasus Christ is the TRUE GOD." bly been the cause, why some “ You are very happy,” rejoined have denied, or been thought to the other, “ in your choice of deny it. What is denied may words, for you have happened to perhaps, in many cases, be rathhit on the very words of inspira- er the human dogma, than the tion. St. John, speaking of the divine truth. Son, says,

This is the true God, How far right conceptions, and and eternal life.”

correct ideas of this wonderful There are unions in the natur, doctrine, may be essential to al world, which the philosopher salvation, the humble Christian cannot explain. Why should chooses to leave with him, whose the believer attempt, or the dis. judgment is always according to believer demand, an explanation truth. His principal concern is of the union between the divine with himself, to know the truth, and human natures in Jesus and to be governed by it. For Christ? The Scripture says himself he examines carefully, enough, when it tells us, that that he may be fully persuaded “ God was manifested in the in his own mind. But of his Aesh”-that “in Christ dwelt brethren he will hope charitably, the fulness of the Godhead bodi- and speak cautiously. Besiire he ly.Does the philosopher go will be slow to condemn, as herefarther in stating the union be- sy, the rejection of his own extween soul and body in man? planations of particular doc

The Scripture asserts that “all trines ; for he knows, men may things were created by Jesus agree in the substance, but difChrist" that “ he is before all fer in the circuinstances of the things, and by him all things faith, delivered to the saints. consist”-that " he searcheth At a time, when the gospel itthe hearts, and trieth the reins self is opposed, its friends ought

to unite their strength in its de- present gratification can compenfence, and be watchful, lest they sate in any degree for the loss of weaken their own, and each oth- the soul. Let that gratification, er's hands by unnecessary con therefore, be resolutely denied. troversy, and uncandid severity. Valuable as an eye or hand may But let not Christian candour be, it has no value, when comdegenerate into indifference, nor pared with our peace and salvaabandon the distinguishing doc, tion. Less ground is there for trines of the gospel for the sake comparing the pleasure of senof peace. The wisdom, which sual gratifications of any kind is from above, is peaceable, but with the consequent damage susit is first pure. THEOPHILUS. tained both in this and in the fu

ture world. THE DECALOGUE.

This command has its foundaSEVENTH COMMANDMENT. tion in the present state of things. “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” What it requires is necessary for

MARRIAGE was originally the our own happiness, and also institution of the Creator, and guards one of the best interests was designed to promote the of society. The irregular, break purity, domestic comfort, and through all bounds, and incapacisocial order of mankind. To tate themselves for the purity guard men from violating its sa- and order for which celestials cred duties is the object of this are distinguished. precept.

The crime here forbidden was The comment, which our punished by the law of Moses Lord has given us on this com

with death, inflicted by strangmand, is evidently the dictate of ling, or sioning, according to the true wisdom. “ Ye have heard degree of aggravation attending that it was said by them of old the crime. It was peculiar to time, Thou shall not commit adul- the Mosaic dispensation to relery : but I say into you, That move the jealousy of a husband, whosoever looketh on a woman to when excited, by bitter waters lust after her, hath committed adul- administered in a solemn manner tery with her already in his heart. by a priest to the suspected perAnd if thy right eye offend thee, When the suspicions had pluck it out, and cast it from thee : no foundation, the waters were for it is profitable for thee that one of a salutary and invigorating naof thy members should perish, and ture ; but otherwise, nothing can noi that thy whole body should be be conceived more instantaneouscast into hell. And if thy right ly pernicious and fatal. hand offend thee, cut it off, and

The deviations of those desticast it from thee : for it is prof- tute of revelation

were very ilable for thee that one of thy great with respect to this commembers should perish, and not

mandment. The Lacedemonian that thy whole body should be virgins were taught to consider cast into hell.Let the ave it as an act of religion to sacrinues to sin be shut. Chasten fice their honour once in their your thoughts, your words, and kfc, out of respect to their godyour actions. In gaining this dess Astarte. The same praca point use every exertion. No tice prevailed at Carthage. The Vol. II. No. 8,

Zz

son.

Lacedemonian virgins were not publish the following extract only indulged, but even en- from the learned Dr. Campbell, couraged by law in exercises, Prelim. Dis. VI. part 1. § 10. which were inconsistent with this « A late learned and ingenious commandment. With respect author, * has written an elaborate to purity of manners the Gentile dissertation to evince, that there world in general were in a la- was no real possession in the dementable state.

moniacs mentioned in the gosScott, in his note on this com- pel; but that the style there emmandment, well observes, that ployed was adopted merely in “ writing, publishing, vending, conformity to popular prejudicirculating, or reading obscene ces, and used of a natural disease. books ; exposing to view inde- His hypothesis is by no means cent picturs or statues, or what- necessary for supporting the ever else may excite men's pas- distinction which I have been ilsions, partakes of the guilt of lustrating, and which is founded transgressing this command; purely on scriptural usage. Conand wit, elegance, and ingenuity cerning his doctrine, I shall ononly' increase

the mischief, ly say in passing, that, if there wierever the specious poison is had been no more to urge from administered. All the arts of sacred writ in favour of the comdress, motion, and demeanor, mon opinion, than the name which form temptations to heed- darmov. Soperos, or even the phrases less youth, with all those blan- desplovlov sXsıx, ExBandes, &c. I should dishments, insinuations, amo- have thought his explanation at rous looks and words, which sub- least not improbable. But when I serve seduction, and prepare the find mention made of the number way for criminal indulgence, fall of demons in particular possesunder the same censure. In sions, their actions so expressly short, the commandment re- distinguished from those of the quires the utmost purity, both man possessed, conversations held of body and soul, in secret as by the former in regard to the diswell as before men ; with a holy posal of them after their expul. indifference to animal indulgen- sion, and accounts given how ces, and the strictest govern. they were actually disposed of ; ment of all the appetites, senses, when I find desires and passions and passions."

ascribed peculiarly to them, and How grateful ought we to be similitudes taken from the confor the restraints of religion. duct which they usually observe; Listen to its instruction. It is it is impossible for me to deny the instruction of tried friend. their existence, without admit. ship, summed up in few words ; ting that the sacred historians do thyself no harm. PHILOLOGOS. were either deceived themselves

in regard to them, or intended to

deceive their readers. Nay if ON POSSESSIONS.” they were faithful historians, As there are some, who disbe- this reflection, I am afraid, will lieve the literal account of pos- strike still deeper." sessions found in the gospels ; a constant reader requests you to

* Dr. Farmer.

EXTRACTS FROM DR. CAMPBELL

Selections.

IN MATTERS

OP

IN

THE

COX

THE EFFECTS OF TEMPORISING tions and in their manners, by his

RELIGION, gentler and more artful remonEXEMPLIFIED

strances, and abhorred his ironies DUCT OF ERASMUS.

no less than the bold invectives

of Luther. However, Erasmus Extracted from his Life by Dr. Fortir.

may stand excused in some meaThe celebrated diet of Worms sure in the sight of candid and was held this year, 152l, where favourable judges, because he Luther, who had as much cour- talked thus, partly out of timidiage as Alexander and Julius Cæ- ty, and partly out of love and bar put together, made his ap- friendship towards him to whom pearance, and maintained his he addressed himself. “ You opinions, in the presence of will tell me,” says he,“ my dear Charles V. and of other Princes. Jonas, to what purpose these After this, his friend, the Elec- complaints, especially when it is tor of Saxony, carried him off too late? Why in the first place, secretly, and conveyed him to that (although things have been the fortress of Wartburg, where carried almost to extremities) he remained concealed for some one may still try, whether some time, being proscribed by the method can be found to compose emperor, and excommunicated these terrible dissensions. We by the Pope. Hereupon Eras have a Pope, who in his temper mus wrote a long letter to his is much disposed to clemency ; friend Jodocus Jonas, a Luther and an emperor, who is also mild an, in which he deplores the fate and placable.” Honest Erasmus of Luther, and of those who de judged very wrong of both these clared themselves his associates; persons. Leo was a vain, a vo& blames them much for want of luptuous and debauched man, moderation, as if this had brought who had no religion, and no comtheir distresses upon them. passion for those, who would not Moderation doubtless is a virtue : submit entirely to his pleasure, but so far was the opposite party as he shewed by the haughty from allowing Luther to be in manner in which he treated Luthe right, as to the main points, ther, without admitting the least that it was his doctrine which relaxation in any of the disputed gave the chief offence to the points. Such is the character court of Rome ; and he would which history has bestowed up. have gained as little upon thein on him : and as to Charles V. he by proposing it in the most sub- was a most ambitious and restless missive and softest manner, as prince, who made a conscience he gained by maintaining it in of nothing, to accomplish any of his rough way. Erasmus him- his projects, as it appears from self experienced the truth of the bloody wars which he waged this ; and the monks were not under religious pretences, and induced to change any thing that indeed from his whole conduct. was reprehensible in their no The Lutherans would have been

accom:

fools and mad, to have trusted complied with his proposal, we themselves and their cause to should have been at this day insuch a pontiff, and to such an volved in all the darkness, which emperor.

had overspread the Christian “ If this cannot be

world in the fifteenth century, plished,” continues Erasmus, “I and for many ages before it. So would not have you interfere in far would the popes and the ecthese affairs any longer. I al- clesiastics have been from aban. ways loved in you those excel. doning their beloved interests, lent gifts, which Jesus Christ hath founded upon ignorance and subestowed upon you; and I beg perstition, that a bloody inquisi. you would preserve yourself, that tion would have been established, you may hereafter labour for the not only in Italy and Spain, but cause of the gospel. The more in all Christian countries, which I have loved the genius and tal- would have smothered and exents of Huiten, the more con- tinguished forever those lights cerned I am to lose him by these which then began to sparkle. Lutroubles; and what a deplorable theranism, gaining more strength thing would it be, that Philip and stability than Erasmus exMelancthon, an amiable youth pected, prevented the tyranny of of such extraordinary abilities, an inquisition in Germany, and should be lost to the learned the reformation of Calvin securworld upon the same account ! ed the liberty of other countries. If the behaviour of those, who If all Germany had yielded & subgovern human asfairs, shocks us mitted to Leo & to Charles, in comand grieves us, I believe we pliance with the timorouscounsels must leave them to the Lord of Erasmus, he himself would If they command things reason- undoubtedly have been one of able, it is just to obey them ; if the first sufferers; and the court they require things unreasonable, of Rome, no longer apprehenit is an act of piety to suffer it, sive lest he should join him. lest something worse

self to the heretics, would If the present age is not capable have offered him up a sacri. of receiving the whole gospel office of a sweet smelling savour to Jesus Christ, yetitis something to the monks, who did a thousand preach it in part, and as far as we times more service to that court, can !! Above all things we should than a thousand such scholars as avoid a schism, which is of per

Erasmus. nicious consequence to all good

(To be continued.) men. There is a certain pious craft, and an innocent timeserving, which however we must so

APOSTLE use, as not to betray the cause of

PAUL, BY MILNER. religion." !!&c.

Such is the gospel which Eras -IVE have now finished mus preached up to the Luther-' the lives of two men of singular ans, imagining that they and excellence unquestionably, James their cause would go to ruin, and the Just, and Paul of Tarsus. that a worse condition of things The former, by his uncommon would ensue. But, if they had virtues, attracted the esteem of a

ensue.

CHARACTER OF

TH

« AnteriorContinuar »