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LETTERS

FROM AN

Christ. Since he for our trans- The variety of expression, usgressions and iniquities, as the ed by the prophet on this submeritorious cause, was wounded, ject, in order to ascertain his bruised, and suffered the punish- meaning, and preclude every ment due to us; what can be a evasion, seems worthy of replainer and more necessary in- mark. But men are not easily ference, than that our obligation, persuaded to give up a favourite to suffer this punishment was hypothesis. Words are often so transferred to him, and he took ambiguous and flexible, that init on himself; that is, in other genious critics will bend and adwords, that our guilt was imput just them to a different meaning ed to him. This is also plainly from, what they most obviously expressed in the next verse, express. Yours, « the Lord hath laid upon him A Christian of the Ancient School. the iniquities of us all.” Our

(To be continued.) sins were not infused into him, for in him was no sin, but they ORIGINAL were laid upon him, judicially

AGED' MINISTER. charged upon him, or as it is ex

No. 5. pressed in the Hebrew, they met Dear Sir, or rushed upon him. No words When my last was broken off, could better express, what is I was going to add a hint of premeant by imputation. The pro- ferring those writers who do the phet adds," he was cut off from best justice to the Scripture docthe earth, (but it was not for trine of the fall of man, and the himself) he was stricken for the great revolution it has produced, transgressions of God's people.”, with reference to our moral state; The chastisement of our peace the ground of our hopes toward (by which our peace was made God; the redemption and rewith God, or by which our peace 'covery we want, and I might or happiness was obtained for us) have said, in the whole of our was inflicted upon him; and religion. For 6 as one kind of born by him. And again," My regimen (says bishop Sherlock) righteous servant shall justify" is adapted to preserve a good many, for he shall bear their inconstitution, and another to reiquities," i. e. bear the guilt, the store a broken one," so it is burden, or punishment of them. here. A great part of the mis: And yet again, “ He bare the takes, which learned men have sins of many.". The guilt of committed in theology, may be these sins must; therefore have traced to their not keeping this been laid or charged upon him. distinction sufficiently in their How else could he hear it? And view. And, as when we read yet farther, it is said that “ His Pope's Essay on Man (so strik: soul was to be made an offering,ing and beautiful in many res: a sacrifice of atonement for sin, pects) we are surprised to find and so be substituted in the not a single hint of a defection place of sinners, to die in their from primitive rectitude which stead, and bear the punishment has degraded our species; so we due to them, as was represented are more or less disappointed in in atoning sacrifices.

mapy theological writers; and

consequently in their systems at siderable talents appear not to large.

have bestowed a due proportion Sometimes, indeed, we meet of their time upon them :-The with an extreme in the other outlines perhaps have had some way; and man's depraved condi- justice done to them, but the tion set out with a kind of roman- interior has been too much posttic extravagance. But this does poned. not promote conviction. It di Upon this last branch of in, minishes the credit of the preach- quiry, I think you will find as er, and raises a prejudice against much in President Edwards, on the truth. Happy the student Religious Affections, as in any by whom the straight line marked author I have seen ; and as able by the simple doctrine of Revela- and thorough an examination of tion, is well distinguished, and the Scriptures. I am, &c well kept. I am, &c,

(7o be continued.) My dear. Sir,

No. 6. When I think of you, an idea occurs afresh, which, though

THE DECALOGUE. No. 10, very simple, I have often thought TENTH COMMANDMEYT. might be of great use for every" Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's

house, thou shalt not covet thy student in theology, viz. that of

neighbour's wife, nor his man-ser applying chiefly to the very heari

yant, nor his maid-seryant, nor his of it. I mean to include all

ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that which relates to that conviction is thy neighbour's." of sin, which is preparatory to

No nation can produce a sys. real religion; the mistakes and tem of moral and religious prey the dangers, to which the awak cepts so perfect as that which ened are exposed; the directions was given to Israel from Mount suitable for them; the source Sinai. It will bear the strictest from which their encouragements examination, and when reduced should be derived ; the views to practice it preserves us in the and the submissions, they must way of holiness. The apostate be brought to :-after these the Emperor knew this, but anxious pature of true conversion ; the to find defects, where none exist, difference between common and he could only say, that the law effectual operations of the Dip contains things 100 simple and tog vine Spirit on the minds of men ; trite for 80 high an origin, the specific nature of saving What he says in detraction, is a faith, repentance unto life, true high eulogium. It admits, without love to God, and love to man in designing it, that the law is acits distinct branches; the dis- commodated to the meanest un. tinguishing nature of Christian derstanding, and thus answers hope, joy, humility, self-denial, the great purpose of instructing every grace; and evangelical and reforming mankind. Our obedience at large.

duty to God and to man is here In these the life and substance brought into one point of view. of theology seem empbatically The system is pure and comto con sist. And yet it often plete. - Forined on this modely þappens, that preachers of con: a religious and useful race would

arisę venerating Jehovah's name, ably imporеrishing other men and seeking the welfare of fel- and is therefore a direct viola low creatures.

tion of this law. Public gaming, The tenth commandment" is by lotteries, so far from being placed as the fence of all the rest. less criminal than other species The apostle's reference to it, of that vice, is the worst of them (Rom. vii. 7, 8.) shows that it all: for it abets and sanctions, comprises the utmost spirituali- as far as example and conty of the law; and it is a perpet: currence can do it, a practice ual confutation of all those sys. which opens the door to every tems, by which the outward, species of fraud and villany; gross crime is considered as the which is pregnant with the most only violation of each command. extensive evils to the communiWe are here expressly, and in ty and to individuals ; which selthe most forcible language, pro- dom fails annually to bring sev. hibited so much as to desire what eral to an untimely end by suiis withheld from us by the com- cide or the sentence of the law; mand or providence of God; which unsettles an immense and so far from levelling proper multitude from the honest em ty, or seizing violently on our ployments of their station, to run neighbour's possessions, we may in quest of imaginary wealth pot so much as at all banker af, and which exposes them to man. ter them. The most secret ifold temptations, unfits them for wish for another man's wife vio- returning to their usual mode of lates this precept : but to desire life, and often materially in an union with an unmarried wo, jures their circumstances, breaks man, only becomes sinfựl when their spirits, sours their tempers, it is excessive, and when it is not and excites the worst passions of submitted to the will of God, if which they are susceptible. Inhe render it impracticable, We deed, the evils, political, moral, may desire that part of a man's and religious, of lotteries are too property, which he is inclined to glaring to be denied even by 'dispose of, if we mean to obtain those who plead necessity for it only on equitable terms : but continuing them ; and top nuwhat he chooses to keep, we may merous to be recapitulated in not covet. The poor man may this place. Can it therefore condesire moderate relief from the sist with the law of God, “ Thou rich: but he must not coyet his shalt not covet," or with the affluence, nor repine even if he character of a Christiản, to con. do not relieve him. Men, ex cur in such an iniquitous and inposed to equal hazards, may a- jurious system, from a vain degree to a proportionable contri: sire of irregular gain ? Whatevbution to him who suffers loss ; er argument proves it unlawful for it accords with the law of love for two or three men to cast lots to help the distressed. This for a sum of money, or to game exculpates insurance, when fạir: in any other way, much more ly conducted. But every species strongly concludes against a mil. of gaming originates from an un- lion of persons gaming publicly due desire and hope of increase by a lotiery for a month or six ing our property, by proportion, weeks together, to the stagna

1

tion in great measure of every affection,' are the evils here proother business : whilst the gain hibited ; and we know them to made by government and by in- be the sources of all other crimes, dividuals, from the stakes depos. and of . man's misery. And ited with them, renders it as im- the command requires modera prudent, as it is sinful in 'the ad- tion in respect of all worldly venturers; for every individual things, submission to God, acstakes three 10 two on an even quiescence in his will, love to his chance, if a covetous appeal to commands, and a reliance on him Providence may be called chance for the daily supply of all our (Prov. xvi, 33.) Even Tontines wants, as he sees good. This is seem not wholly excusable, as right and reasonable, fit for God they constitute a kind of compli- to command, and profitable for cated wager about longevity, to man to obey, the very temper be decided by Providence in fa- and felicity of heaven itself: but vour of the survivors; and must it is so contrary to the dispositherefore partake of the nature tion of our heart by nature, and of other games of chance. Cov- so superior to the actual attaineting other men's property con- ment of the best Christians on trary to the law of love, and en- earth, that it is very difficult to riching the survivors, commonly persuade men in general, that at the expense of the relatives God requires such perfection ; of the deceased, are intimately still more difficult to satisfy them, connected with them : whilst that it is indispensable to the hapthey lead men into strong temp- piness of rational creatures; and tations secretly to wish the death most difficult of all to convince of others, for the sake of advan- them that every thing inconsisttages, which they inordinately ent with, or short of, this is sin ; desire and irregularly pursue. In that it deserves the wrath of fine, discontent, distrust, love of God, and cannot be taken away, wealth, pleasure, and grandeur, except by the mercy of God, desire of change, the habit of thro’ the atonement of Christ.” wishing, and every inordinate

PHILOLOGOS.

IN MATTERS

THE

CON

DUCT OF ERASMUS.

Selections.
THE EFFECTS OF TEMPORIZING swered, that they wlio imagined

OF RELIGION, themselves to have as great abil-
EXEMPLIFIED IN

ities for settling those Christian
truths, which concern all men

and all times, as they had for a
(Continued from page 424.)

theological compotation, or a lit6 THERE was at this time a tle scholastic dispute, were in. certain preacher at Constance, finitely mistaken. Truth, says who consulted Erasmus by Bot- he, is efficacious and invincible, zem, how the reformation might but it must be dispensed with best be advanced. Erasmus an- evangelical prudence. For my

* Scott's Commentaries,

self, I so abhor divisions, and so tianity, if the pacific scheme of love concord, that I fear, if an Erasmus had been received and occasion presented itself I should pursued., Divisions, it must be sooner give up a part of truth, owned, do much harm; yet than disturb the public peace. they have at least produced this

“But the mischief is, that a good, that the truth of the gos. man.cannot thus give up truth, pel, and a Christian. liberty, without running into falsehood, which acquiesceth only in the and assenting to things, which decisions of Jesus Christ, are he doth not believe. For a man not entirely banished from the cannot judge that to be right, face of the earth, as they would which his own reason pronounces have been without those strug to be false, only because over, gles of our ancestors. They bearing persons attack the truth have produced no small service with more vehemence, than he to the memory of Erasmus himchooseth to employ in defence self, who, having his works con. of it, and are the majority and demned by theological cabals, the stronger party. :

Besides, and mangled by inquisitions, when such enemies, to reason which struck out the most valu. and to religion, perceive that a able part of his writings, would man will not have the courage have been stigmatized and proto defend his opinions at all ex. scribed through all ages, if a partremities, which Erasmus con- ty had not risen up in Europe fessed to be his own disposition, and also amongst his own counthey never fail to take advantage trymen, which willingly forgives of him, to oppress him, and to him his weaknesses and irreso, tun him down, well knowing lution, for the sake of his useful that nothing is necessary to ac- labours, philological and theolocomplish their purposes besides gical ; and hath restored to him stubbornness, clamour, impus, a second life and recommended dence, and violence.

And so

him to the Christian world, by spiritual tyranny, being once an elegant and faithful edition of erected, would endure forever, all his works. and gain strength and stability. “ But let us hear some more Concord and peace are unques- of his advice. This preacher, tionably valuable blessings ; but says he, who certainly is a woryet not to be purchased at the thy man, will do more service to expense of truth and liberty, the gospel, the honour of which which are infinitely more ești- we all have at heart, if he takes mable than a sordid tranquillity, care to join the prudence of the beneath the yoke of falsehood evangelical serpent to the siinand arbitrary dominion. Be. plicity of the evangelical dove. neath this yoke the Christian re- Let him essay it; and then let public becomes a mere faction him condemn my counsel, if he of poltroons, solicitous about en- finds it not to be salutary:' joying the present, and neglect- « Alas !

experience hath ing every thing that is laudable taught the Christian world, that under the pretext of preserving this same serpentine prudence the peace.

Such would have served to make falsehood triumheen the present state of Chris.. phant. It was even easy to fore

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