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important in the temptations, the distressés, the burdens, and the conflicts of the Christian life. Real Christianity is the religion of the heart, as well as of the intellect; God hath shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God 'in the face of Jesus Christ. The outward defence of the truth is not to be undervalued. Christians have been shielded from many reproaches and much contempt by the learned works of men, whose general spirit and conduct has, alas! been such as to free them from the reproach of the cross, and all suspicion of enthusiasm, and who have too manifestly been of the world, to be hated by the world. They have had, we will say, the ingenuousness of mind to admit the great essential doctrines of the gospel : nay, we may go farther and say, they have assisted the real Christian by the powerful intellectual defence of doctrines, of which it is to be feared they themselves had not that full experimental enjoyment which to the Christian was another most satisfactory evidence of their truth. Let us never rest in a bare orthodoxy of sentiment. Our creed may be perfectly right in the intellect, and our heart perfectly wrong, because it never truly received it. With the heart man believeth unto righteousness. It is real Antinomianism to rest satisfied with an orthodox creed, whether that creed comprehend many or few articles of faith, if those articles are destitute of holy influence on the heart and in the life.
We may observe that religion does not ordinarily flourish most when its professors have most worldly honour and outward advantage. It is true that in the primitive time, when the churches had rest, they were edified, and walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost were multiplied : but this was in a peculiar day, and under a peculiar effusion of the Holy Ghost. The general history of the church shows how little even the best of men can bear
power, dominion, and prosperity. God has wisely chosen in general a humble lot for his people, and leaves mostly to the world that which the world so eagerly pursues, the kingdoms and glory of this world. Seldom do Christians gain a large measure of riches or dominion, of science or learning, without seriously suffering in their best interests. Those who are thus raised in the world, and at this cost, have rather need of our prayers than our congratulations.
..The uncertainty of human judgment, and the differences of important sentiment among learned and pious men, and the impossibility of man's being always infallibly right, may tend to raise our thoughts to that great day when the fullest and the most decisive light will shine upon us.
How clear is it that there must be a judgment day to make all truths and all characters manifest and apparent, when with every help of history, and accounts of opposite sides laid open to us, we find it often impossible to discern where the exact truth really lies, and may perchance ourselves, after exercising our best powers, condemn that which God approves.
- May we not also hope for days of greater knowledge on earth ? Allowing that there may be great intervening trials, yet the scriptures lead us to hope that happier days are now before the church, days when Ephraim shall not envy Judah, nor Judah vex Ephraim, when there shall be a vast increase of
pure scriptural knowledge in its richest experience and its highest attainment, communion with God our Heavenly Father :
the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters do the sea : They shall see eye to
when the Lord shall bring again Zion.
And happier days still are before the Christian, days when he shall have a freer and closer intercourse with all the saints and servants of God our Saviour. All their darkness will then be dispelled, and all their errors for ever removed, all their coldness and separation for ever gone; and, nothing but light, and joy, and love filling every glorified spirit above, who can duly estimate the full bliss and glory of this general assembly of the first-born! When we look around our studies, we see quietly ranged together in the same shelves Origen and Cyprian, Augustine and Jerome, Bradwardine and Aquinas, Calvin and Arminius, Hooker and Owen, Baxter and Stilling fleet, Toplady and Wesley, Whitfield and Fletcher, Watts and Doddridge, with modern Episcopalians, in perfect peace; and it is cheering to have them each in his turn ready at our elbow to minister instruction and edification. But o, how much more cheering is that peace, how perfect that love in which they now dwell together. How full of joy the hope that we shall soon be with them, and know as we are known, If sorrow could enter there it would be that we were ever divided on earth; but even that sinful division will serve to amplify and illustrate the riches of that
grace which pardoned all, and in which we shall triumph through eternity.
Their love so cold, so mixed before,
And we shall rejoice in a yet higher joy, even in seeing God as he is ; without a veil, or emblem, or shadow, or letter; and to our unutterable bliss, join David in saying, With thee is the fountain of life, and in thy light shall we see light. The imperfection of the light of grace was doubtless intended to quicken our desires after, and our anticipations of the unclouded light of glory.
In the mean time much is to be learnt, and much to be done for the glory of God and the good of man.
There are at present, living authors and divines of almost all the classes which have been noticed, and it is immensely important for every Christian and every minister to consider what class comes nearest to the Holy Scriptures, and what doctrines God most blessés to the conversion and salvation of immortal souls. The author has no hesitation in saying that he firmly believes that the sentiments of the Reformers are eminently con formed to the word of God, and influential to practical good. Let all who love the Saviour be warned by the history of past ages to take heed of losing the simplicity of faith, and falling back again to that state from which we have been rescued. Let us never sink to the worldly, and latitudinarian, and self-righteous spirit of past days, but hold fast the profession of faith. Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
These reflections cannot be concluded better than in the striking words of Bishop Stillingfleet— Christ crucified is the library which triumphant souls will be studying to all eternity. This is the only library which is the true Iarpetov pugns that which cures the soul of all its maladies and distempers : other knowledge makes men's minds giddy and flatulent; this settles and composes them: other knowledge is apt to swell men into high conceits and opinions of themselves, this brings them to the truest view of themselves, and thereby to humility and sobriety: other knowledge leaves men's minds as it found them; this alters them and makes them better. So transcendent an excellency is there in the knowledge of Christ crucified, above the sublimest speculations in the world.” 1
BRIEF COURSES OF STUDY OF DIVINITY.
The object in view in our studies must regulate the nature and course of them. The Christian student who merely aims at his own satisfaction and edification, need not pursue his studies to the same extent as another who is designed for the ministry. To a certain extent indeed they may both
the same plan. But the student for the ministry will find many things requisite in addition to those studies which are important to Christians in general.
The plans of study sometimes given are so long as to be impracticable. It is not a bad Hindoo proverb, * There is more to be learned than
have apply to learning, therefore acquire that for which you have got immediate use.' But amid the multitude
1 See his Origines Sacræ, p. 378, folio.