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ousness; and its character is essentially the same in every case of genuine conversion.
We may further observe, that during this process the mind is too much interested about the objects themselves, which the Holy Spirit presents to its contemplation, to raise any questions of a subtle nature, respecting its own operations. The desire of obtaining relief, under a sense of guilt, absorbs, for the time, the consideration of other matters, and, at such a period nice speculations about the nature of faith, would be as unseasonable and as uninteresting, as an anatomical lecture on the internal structure of the ear, in the case of a prisoner waiting for the appearance of the jury, whose verdict is to pronounce his acquittal or condemnation. It is not till after the first surprise and interest, produced by the discovery of "the pearl of great price," have abated somewhat of their intensity, that the mind is in a condition to examine the steps by which it has proceeded, in its transition from darkness to light. It is not to our present purpose to enquire how far this change is to be considered as a subject of regret or congratulation, The fact, however, is, that during the crisis of conversion, there is neither time nor inclination to enter critically into an enquiry concerning the nature of faith. It does not follow from this, that the enquiry itself is unprofitable; but it must be at least admitted, that the substantial benefit may be enjoyed, without our being occupied about the precise mode of its conveyance; nay more, that at such a moment, to feel any strong interest in an enquiry of the kind, would seem to indicate a state of mind scarcely reconcileable with a due sense, on the part of the individual, of his state before God.
We should, however, I conceive, fall into an error on the opposite side, if we were to conclude, that under the supposed circumstances, the mind takes no cognizance of faith, as the instrument by which the knowledge of salvation is communicated. It is evident, on the contrary, not only that the use of faith is understood, but that an acquaintance with its use is necessary in order to give peace to the conscience. And here, Mr. Erskine, in my humble opinion, has fallen into a mistake, from not considering, that faith itself is a subject matter of divine revelation. He seems to suppose, that we can perfectly partake of salvation without any reference to the instrument by which it is conveyed, just as a person can partake of food, and turn it into nourishment without any acquaintance with the process of digestion, or the organs by which it is effected. The illustration is not correct; because, as observed above, faith itself requires to be treated of, and is treated of, as to its place and function in the scheme of salvation. But the distinction seems to lie here. All nice questions involving metaphysical science, are regarded as unimportant and uninteresting, at a period when the mind is under the pressure of a burden from which it labours to be relieved; but the practical enquiry respecting the distinction between salvation by works, and salvation by faith, so far from being, at such a season, out of place, is in truth, the hinge upon which hope turns; and it is manifest that, under such cir
cumstances, faith itself is the subject matter of distinct and separate consideration, so far, at least, as is necessary to render intelligible the distinction between salvation by faith and salvation by works: the former, as being consistent with grace; and the latter, as not being so. To say more on this subject here, would be to anticipate; to say less, would be, as appears to me, to leave a false impression on the mind of the reader.
While we remain ignorant of the Gospel as a scheme of grace, faith seems quite too insignificant a thing to be admitted as the only medium through which salvation is to be enjoyed. Hence arises the attempt, in a variety of ways, to evade those passages of Scripture, which announce a truth so much at variance with the opinion of the world. When we come to be acquainted with the true character of the Gospel, as a revelation of pure mercy to the guilty, a difficulty of a different, and indeed, an opposite nature begins to be felt. That faith, which, under the influence of an entirely erroneous view of the nature of the Gospel, we had regarded as utterly inadequate, from its insignificance, to sustain the office assigned to it in Scripture, becomes a subject of embarrassment now on the contrary account. The question, in this view of the matter, is, how to dispose of it, so as not virtually to change the character of the scheme in which it is called to act so prominent a part, and to convert it into one of refined self-righteousness. To make salvation be " as it were, by the works of the law."
Our most eminent theologians of former days, whose writings have reached us, do not appear, so far as I know, to have hesitated about admitting trust to be a component part of justifying faith: nor do they seem to have thought, that in doing so, they were guilty of the offence of turning the Gospel into a scheme of works. Of late years a serious controversy has arisen on this subject; and it has been asserted, that to make trust a component part of faith, is not only to corrupt the truth, but utterly to subvert it. That trust is a fruit of faith, but no part of faith itself, and that therefore it would be as reasonable and as safe to make love, or any other fruit of faith, a part of it, as trust. It is the opinion of those who hold this sentiment, that faith is nothing but the bare assent to the truth of the divine testimony, on the evidence presented to the mind; and that to suppose it any thing else would be to make salvation depend on a work of the mind, which does not, they say, differ essentially from any other work; and, that thus, under the name of salvation by faith, we have really salvation by works. Much has been written on both sides of this question by those who, holding the connection between faith and pardon, differed about the nature of faith; but Mr. Erskine has, by his scheme, rendered any controversy on that subject superfluous. He has cut the knot, by denying that faith has any thing to do with pardon, as it respects personal acceptance. "It appears to me," says Mr. Erskine, "that the testimony of the Bible is, That sinners are pardoned for Christ's sake." Again, he says, "The terms in which the Gospel has all along been proclaimed, seem to me, to involve, necessarily,
an universal and unconditional forgiveness of sin, which is to stand in force during the period of man's life on earth." And again, "I conceive all men to be in this state, that all are forgiven." From these passages, and many others of the same import, it appears, that Mr. Erskine considers that the faith of a believer, has nothing whatsoever to do with his pardon, so far as that pardon relates to a change in his state. Indeed, his whole scheme is constructed upon the principle, that if pardon depended in any way upon the faith of the individual, it would not be gratuitous. In order therefore, to be relieved at once from all embarrassment, arising from the existence of any medium, through which pardon is to be received, Mr. Erskine considers pardon to be the very thing announced in the Gospel, as what has already taken place, and as a common benefit conferred on all mankind. He denies that there is any thing in the nature of faith, be it what it may, that could constitute it a suitable vehicle of a free salvation; and therefore, he concludes, that its office in the scheme of the Gospel is something quite irrespective of pardon. If Mr. Erskine can establish this point, he entirely gets rid of any difficulties arising from the nature of faith, as proper instrument for the conveyance of pardon. The freedom of the gift, in his view, depends upon the absence of any medium whatsoever. To be free, pardon must have no more to do with faith, than with the works of the law; and we might as well say, as Mr. Erskine thinks, that a man's personal obedience has an influence upon his state before God, as that his faith in Christ has.
The only safe way of treating such a subject as this, is simply to apply ourselves to the infallible record, "What is written in the law? How readest thou?" Now I perceive, at the very outset, that Mr. Erskine is involved in a difficulty from which he labours hard to disengage himself; but, in my opinion, unsuccessfully. Mr. Erskine does not deny, that justification depends upon the faith of the individual: this being the case, it is evident, that if pardon and justification be one thing, or, if the former be included in the latter, Mr. Erskine's scheme must be abandoned as indefensible.
I perceive that my letter has already exceeded reasonable bounds, I shall therefore beg leave to conclude for the present, intending, if the Lord will, to take up the subject at this point, in my next.
REMARKS ON "REVIEW OF HORNE."
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER.
SIR,-In your Magazine for November there is an article, on which, if you will permit me, I will offer a few remarks. Perhaps indeed, as it is in your Review department, you will consider it to
be privileged from criticism; but I believe you do not, like some of your brother editors, even in that department, profess infallibility: and, I think I have seen articles in your valuable miscellany entitled "Reviewers reviewed." It may render you less unwilling to admit the present critique, when I tell you that I do not differ from your Reviewer as to any point of religion, politics, or morals. I merely censure him for having quoted, and recommended to his readers— what appears to me-a very superficial, or rather, a very incorrect article, from the new edition of Mr. Horne's Introduction, on the subject of the confirmation given to Scripture history by the "late discoveries in Egyptian antiquities."
It must give sincere pleasure to every lover of revelation, if such confirmation was really given to the historical facts which it has recorded, by any modern discoveries; and we may confidently hope, that, if the hieroglyphic language can be completely deciphered, some documents will be found and translated, bearing on those periods, when the transactions recorded in the Bible, in which the Egyptians bore a part, took place. If this shall be the case, these documents will, no doubt, confirm the sacred history. They will agree with it, when the transactions are to the credit of the Egyptians: and when otherwise, they will still allow the real facts to be seen through the disguise, with which national vanity may have clothed them. As yet, however, I believe no such documents have been discovered. The only one which, as far as I have heard, has been alleged to exist, is, the appearance of certain bearded captives, supposed to be Jews, among the sculptures in the tomb discovered by Belzoni; which tomb has been assumed, by Dr. Young, to be the tomb of Psammis, the son of the Pharaoh Necho, who is recorded (2 Kings xxiii. 29-35) to have defeated and slain Josiah, and afterwards deposed his son and successor Jehoahaz. If the hieroglyphics on this tomb have been, or can be, deciphered, so as to identify its tenant with this Psammis, or, (what is just as likely) with Necho himself, this will be, as far as it goes, a confirmation of the sacred history; but with this possible exception, I repeat, no fact has been recently discovered, at all bearing on the sacred history.
This will, doubtless, appear to your readers a strange assertion after the five instances given by Mr. Horne in the article alluded to; but the fact is, that Mr. Horne, or rather M. Coquerel, from whom he appears to have taken his information on trust, has fallen into a complete mistake. He has confounded the recent discoveries of M. Champollion with the old and well-known facts, which M. Champollion has brought forward in his writings, as his data. That these facts do strongly confirm the Scriptural narrative I freely admit; and in the sequel of this article I will give some striking instances of it omitted by Mr. Horne. But let us take an instance from Mr. Horne's work, which will show the mistake into which he has fallen. “The Pharoah, under whose reign Moses was born, was Ramses IV., surnamed Mei-Amoun, who left several edifices, built by the children of Israel, whom he so cruelly oppressed. He caused the vast palace of Medinat-Abou to be erected, as well as the temple
situated towards the southern gate of Karnac. The sarcophagus of this monarch is preserved in the Louvre at Paris. The cotemporary of Moses must have swayed the Egyptian sceptre more than forty years, since the Hebrew legislator passed forty years at his court, and a long time afterwards, it is said, that the king of Egypt died. Now it is certain, according to the recent discoveries, that this identical Ramses Mei Amoun reigned sixty-six years." There are no recent discoveries, which would give us any information respecting the length of this king's reign. That there was such a king of Egypt, who reigned sixty-six years, was not lately discovered by M. Champollion, or any of those others mentioned by your Reviewer (all whose names, by the bye, with singular disregard to justice, he places before that of their master): but was stated by Josephus, on the authority of Manetho, 1750 years ago. M. Champollion's discoveries, as far as they relate to this king, merely show us the manner in which his name was hieroglyphically written, and the titles which he bore; and point out to us the edifices, which he built, or on which he caused his name to be inscribed. M. Champollion has also found this king's name on the sarcophagus in the Louvre, which he therefore concludes was his tomb. All these are interesting facts to an antiquarian, but I cannot see how they throw any light on Scriptural history. Whether the length of his reign, as given by Josephus, corroborates the Mosaic account or not, is a different question; but of this anon.
The recent discoveries in Egyptian antiquities have certainly directed the attention of literary men to the ancient Egyptian records, as compiled by Manetho, of which fragments are extant in the works of Josephus, Ensebius, and Africanus; and so far they may be said to have contributed to the corroboration of the Scriptural accounts; for these records, as I now proceed to show, coincide with the Scriptural history in a number of minute points, where an agreement could not possibly have been expected, unless both were true.
The number of dynasties reckoned up by Manetho, and the old Egyptian chronicle, quoted by Syncellus, is thirty, which terminated with the conquest of Egypt by Ochus (B. C. 347). Of these thirty dynasties, the last six, comprising a period of 403 years, may be considered as perfectly ascertained, by a comparison of profane authorities with each other, both as to the order of their sovereigns, and as to the duration of their reigns. Now in this interval four kings occur, whose names are similar to the four Egyptian sovereigns mentioned in Scripture, as having reigned in the course of this interval; and they all four reigned, according to the Egyptian records, at the very time when they should have reigned, according to the sacred chronology. Seuechos, the second monarch of the 25th or Ethiopian dynasty, or Seuach, dropping the Greek termination, is the same name with So (ND) mentioned 2 Kings, xvii. 4. He reigned, according to the Egyptian chronology, from B. C. 738 to B. C. 726, when he was succeeded by Taracas or Tarac, evidently the same with Tirhakah mentioned 2 Kings, xix. 9, who reigned to B. C. 706, when the Ethiopian dynasty ended. Now the time