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bles or animals was founded on the grant of the Creator.

The earth was presented to mankind in general for their use. But as intelligent beings, they were allowed to make the most of this valuable gift. They, who were most successful in improving it, had reason to demand a principal advantage from their ingenuity and labour. Hence the origin of private property. The expectation of this advantage encourages cultivation of the ground, which none would undertake, were they not to receive immediate benefit. A nation of Indians, consisting of two or three hundred, will take up a tract of land, which, with proper management, would maintain as many thousands. Private property also preserves the produce of the earth. Were all in common, fruit would not be likely to arrive at perfection, grain would not ripen, nor flocks and herds come to their fuli growth. Beside, what contests would arise, what conveniences would be lost. Private property allows men to follow different occupations, which afford the civilized so many advantages over the savage life. The poorest in countries, where each has what he calls his own, are better accommodated, than leading persons in those countries, where most things are in common. Since such advantages arise from private appropriation, no doubt it is pleasing to the great Proprietor, who, in the grant he made to mankind, had their advantage in view.

In whatever I call my own, I am fully secured by the eighth commandment. It restrains the fraudulent. It curbs the plunderer. It takes cognizance of every

species of imposition. Let not the workman be superficial in his work, nor the trader overvalue his commodity, Let not the buyer say, it is nought, nor the seller be deceitful in his weights. "Let no man go beyond and des fraud his brother in any matter; because the Lord is the avenger of all such. Let him who stole steal no more; but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth."

Improper deductions have been drawn from the history of the primitive Christians. The gospel does not wrest private property from the hand of the possessor. The apostle Peter disclaims the thought. "While thy possession remained," said he to Ananias, "was, it not thing own? And after it was sold, was it not in thine own power?" The disposal of their possessions was left entirely to the discretion of individuals. of individuals. The offering must be free, that it might be acceptable. The gospel teaches us the blessedness of giving to others. In proportion as we imbibe its spirit, we shall be liberal. But the gospel intermeddles not with civil governments. It leaves them as they are. Taking posi session of the heart, it fixes there benevolent and energetic principles. How men would act, if they were all real Christians, is evident from the instances recorded in Scripture. Far from infringing the property of others, they would esteem it their chief joy to be able, in any degree, to be aiding to their fellow creatures, by their sympathy, their personal services, and their pas sessions.

that his mind will incline this way, rather than that. Almost all prayer is offered on this supposition, that our minds are ca pable of divine influence. We pray that God would direct us to safe and prudent measures in our common undertakings; that he would keep us from error, and lead us into the truth as to religion; that he would lead us to a right use of his providences; that he would establish us in the truth, and sanctify our hearts. Now these requests, which are the most common among men, who pray at all, do certainly imply a belief, that God can operate on our minds; for unless this be supposed, how can he direct us to the choice of suitable measures ? How can he preserve us from fatal wanderings, establish us in the truth, or sanctify our hearts?.

Were we to discard all belief in the reality of divine influence on the mind, the reason and ground of prayer would be weakPHILOLOGOS.ened, and the subjects of it greatly diminished.

The eighth command forbids every act of fraud or imposition, as well as taking privately or by force what belongs to another. The punishment annexed by the Jewish law to this crime was restitution with a fine. If the offender could not advance the fine adjudged by law, he might be sold and his family, until their labour should amount to what the law demanded. The unjust are ranked in Scripture with the most abandoned characters. They shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven.

The weight of this command has not been generally felt. It has been openly violated by nations, as well as individuals. Nimrod, the founder of the AssySucrian empire, led the way. cessful warriors have trode in his footsteps. History dignifies their names as great, and blazons their deeds with admiration. But their true character is that of public plunderers, whose deeds are infamous, and whose names are accursed.




It seems to have been the opinion of all ages, that the Being, who is styled, in Scripture, the God of the spirits of all flesh, has easy access to the human mind, and great influence over its determinations. If a man be deliberating, whether to engage in any particular enterprise or not; it is generally thought, that, without diminishing the free agency of that person, God may have great influence over his conclusion, that he may lead him to such a view of the subject,

It is certainly a very reasonable opinion, that Deity, who is himself a Spirit, has influence on the spirits which he has made. One man has great influence over another. A man of clear discernment, great information, and much acquaintance with the ways of the world, will suddenly produce great changes in the opinions, views, and pursuits of his neighbour. How differently will a subject appear to the latter, after having conversed with the. other. And how totally changed will be his determinations and actions with regard to it. Now, if such effects arise from the influ ence of man with man; how

much greater effects will result from the influence which God has upon man. If we can alarm one another by exhibiting dangers; cannot God alarm the sinner by convincing him of his danger? If we are sometimes able, by various means and long importunity, to alter the determinations and change the course of our neighbours, as to earthly objects; cannot God, by some of those innumerable means, which are always at his command, alter our determinations, and change our course as to heavenly things? If we can comfort and confirm one another; cannot God give consolation and establishment to the Christian's mind?

But even if the doctrine of divine influences were less intelligible than it is, we could not for that reason reject it, as it is clearly and strongly asserted, both in the Old and New Testament. We say in the Old Testament, because, although the law, of itself, does not contain so much grace, as is implied in God's communicating aid and help to sinners, in their endeavours after holy obedience; yet God has never, even in this respect, left himself without a witness; but conferred on the Jews, out of mere favour, that influence of the Holy Spirit, of which the law made no mention. Petitions for divine influence, acknowledgment of dependence on it, and promises of the outpouring of the Spirit, are very profusely scattered among the Psalms and Prophecies. Teach me to do thy will, saith the Psalmist, for thou art my God. Thy Spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. Surely it is meet to be said

unto God, that which I see not, teach thou me. The Psalmist uses the language of a child under a humble sense of his need of parental instruction. Shew me thy ways, O Lord, teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth and teach me; for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee will I wait all the day. Good and upright is the Lord; therefore will he teach sinners in the way. Solomon, when he came to the throne of Israel, impressed with the importance of the station to which he was called, sought direction and strength from above. Give,therefore, to thy servant an understanding heart, to judge this people, that I may discern between good and bad.

The way of man is not in himself, and it is not in man that walketh, to direct his steps. The prophet Isaiah speaks of gospel days, as a season, when the Spirit of God shall be, in unusual measures, poured out from on high. In allusion to gospel times, God speaks thus by the mouth of Joel; It shall come to pass, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophecy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions, and also on the servants and handmaids in those days I will pour out my Spirit. This prophecy was fulfilled, according to St. Peter, at the feast of Pentecost, when so many were converted, and the converts received miraculous powers. Acts ii. Now, although it is evident, both from the prophecy, and the fulfilment,, that miraculous powers, such speaking in different languages, were to be one consequence of the outpouring of God's


Spirit; yet no person can reasonably doubt, that secret divine communications to the hearts of these worshippers, who then embraced the gospel, were likewise foretold; nor can any one doubt, that in this sense, likewise, the prophecy was fulfilled.

not doubted, that divine truths are necessary to be known, be fore we shall seek after salvation, and that the word is a most powe erful instrument of conversion and holiness; but yet it is not efficacious of itself. And it is exceedingly evident, from the general tenor of the New Testa ment, as well as from particular passages, that spiritual communications are necessary to accompany the word, in order tø its producing the fruits of righteousness. The children of God are said to be chosen through sanctification of the Spirit, and be lief of the truth. In this place the sanctification of the Spirit is mentioned in distinction from the word; and therefore it is impossible, that both should mean the same thing.

In the eighth chapter of the epistle to the Romans, the matter is placed beyond all reasonable doubt. If any words be capable of proving a doctrine, that of divine operation upon the human mind is there proved. Being led by the Spirit, and having the Spirit dwelling in us, is there stated to be indispensable to our religious security. Ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit; if so be, that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now, if ang man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. As many as are led by the Spirit, they are the sons of God. If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead, dwell in you; he, that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit, that dwelleth in you. If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if through the Spirit ye do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. Unless the necessity

The New Testament, as might have been expected from the nature of the Christian dispensation, is more clear and copious on this subject. Christ expressly asserts, that no person Can enter the kingdom of heaven, unless he experience a divine birth by the agency of God's Spirit. Except a man be born of water and the Spirit, he cannot see the kingdom of God. And the general progress of a Christian, as well as particular parts of a Christian carriage, is attributed to divine grace. Persevering believers are said to be kept by the power of God through faith to salvation. Christians are said to be led by the Spirit. It is by the Spirit that they mortify the deeds of the body.

In opposition to this, it has by some been objected, that by the Spirit is meant nothing more, than the word, which was given by the inspiration of the Spirit. Persons are said to be born of the Spirit, they tell us, when the word of God has such influence upon them, as to lead them to a holy life, although no divine communications are made to the mind. To this it is replied, that Paul does indeed say to the Corinthians, I have begotten you through the gospel; and the church is said to be cleansed and sanctified by the word: but neither of these expressions excludes the agency of the Spirit. It is

of divine influences be here asserted, these strong declarations must have little or no import. For it is here said, that they, who are Christ's, have the Spirit of Christ; and that they, who are the sons of God, are led by this Spirit ; i. e. directed and influenced in a holy life; and that those, who live in Christian obedience, do it by aid from above. It is through the Spirit, that they mortify the deeds of the body.

Goodness, righteousness, and truth, are said to be fruits of the Spirit, (Eph. v. 9.) and so are love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, faith, meekness, and temperance, (Gal. v. 22, 23.)

We know not the way of the Spirit; nor ought we to attempt minuteness in describing the manner, in which its effects are produced. God uses various instruments, and frequently accomplishes the same purpose by different means. At one time he leads the mind to serious contemplation of some weighty and alarming subject, and presents that subject to the view, in a clear and striking light. He fixes the attention of sinners on those considerations, which most evidently demonstrate their danger, and the certain ruin, to which they are approaching. He directs the humble soul, the broken and the contrite heart, to those declarations of mercy, contained in the covenant of grace; and either communicates, withholds consolation, as his wisdom and goodness dictate.


As to directing the Christian's life, God may, by an imperceptible impulse, preserve him from violent and overbearing temptations; or, when temptations are presented, may invigorate and Vol. II. No. 9. Frf

establish his good resolutions by bringing to his mind some striking passages of Scripture, or some alarming ideas of God's presence, or of the world to come. He may excite him to a religious activity by representing to him the danger of sloth in the business of salvation; or may urge him to sobriety by representing to him the great solemnity of the work, in which he is engaged.

Though the indwelling of the Spirit, or to be led by the Spirit, is peculiar to the children of God; yet there is reason to believe that all men under the gospel receive something of divine communications. The ancient Jews did always resist the Holy Ghost; but they could not have resisted the Holy Ghost, unless he had been sent to them. Of sinners it may, in general, be said, as of the ancient Jews, that they will not submit to the suggestions and influence of divine grace; they oppose and grieve the Spirit of God. Whereas the humble and contrite soul yields. to the grace of Christ, becomes obedient to divine emotions, is led by the Spirit, and through the Spirit mortifies the deeds of the body.

As God has a perfect knowledge of all means, circumstances, events and combinations of events; it seems reasonable to suppose, what is in fact the case, that he makes use of various means in producing the fruits of holiness in the human heart. Sometimes loss of worldly substance, severe disappointments, imminent danger, alarming sickness, the examples, or the private admonitions of good men, consideration of their triumphant

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