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For the certainty of the event must be established, before it can be foreknown. Who establishes this certainty? Is it God, by permission? But if the certainty depends on permission, then where is the difference between permission and decree? If the permission renders it certain, then the decree does no more. It will thence be seen, that all attempts to modify, or explain away, the plain common sense, as well as Bible doctrine, that God moves, by his efficient will, the whole system of moral agency, is but to darken counsel by words without knowledee."
The above extracts, Mr. Editor, are well calculated, it appears to me, to exhibit the absurdity of that new fangled system of pretended orthodoxy, which sets limits to the Most High, by saying that sin is a "baleful incident" to the present system of things, and is no part of God's original plan. I would that all who embrace this system, could be induced seriously to peruse these extracts. If you think them coincident with the grand object of your publication, and calculated to subserve the interests of truth, it would be gratifying to L. M one of your readers, at least, to have them inserted.
POSTAGE OF THIS PAPER.
The decision of the Post Master General, respecting the postage of this periodical, is at length received. The following is an extract from his letter, `dated "Post Office Department, June 8th,
"To be considered a newspaper, it is necessary the publication should contain advertisements, &c. summary of news or notice of current events. If, hereafter, any portion of it should be devoted to the information of the day, it will become proper to consider it a newspaper, and to rate the postage on it as such.
W. T. BARRY."
In this decision we cheerfully acquiesce; and shall, accordingly, devote a portion of each number of our work, to intelligence, news, or "the information of the day," agreeably to the original plan of the publication, as thus expressed in the introduction to the first volume-"For the gratification of such readers, as may not have access to other sources of information, an abstract of Religious Intelligence is proposed, and the usual notices of Ordinations, Anniversaries of charitable societies and new Publications. In those instances, in which we may have departed from the above plan, it has been owing rather to inadvertance, and the narrow limits of our work, than to any change of purpose.
It may now be considered as settled, that the postage of this paper, to any place within the State in which it is printed, is one cent; to any place without that State, not distant more than one hundred miles, one cent-over a hundred miles, one and half cent.
Revivals of Religion.-It is mentioned in the Christian Mirror, that revivals exist or have recently taken place in Blandford, Westfield, Springfield, West Springfield, South Wilbraham, Monson and Brimfield in the county of Hampden; and in South Hadley, Granby, Belchertown and Ware, in the county of Hampshire, Mass. Forty-four Presbyteries sent in their reports to the General Assembly, at their late session in Philadelphia, "of the visitation of God's Spirit, and of hundreds of sinners converted by his power."
We learn from the Missionary Herald of July, that "the Ceylon Mission is again favored with the influences of the Holy Spirit."
"The Treasurer of the Massachusetts General Hospital, has the pleasure to acknowledge the receipt of five thousand dollars, as a donation from a Merchant."-Boston Transcript.
The Worcester County Historical Society, will celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the incorporation of that county, on the 22d instant.
Watson's Life of Wesley, has just been published in this city, by S. Hoyt & Co. Franklin Buildings. It is a neat edition; and the enterprising publishers succeeded in having it stereotyped by James Conner, printed, bound, and ready for delivery within ten days from their receipt of the first copy of the English work that had ever crossed the Atlantic. It contains 328 pages 12 mo. and is embellished with an elegant likeness of Wesley, engraved by Longacre.
France seems on the eve of fresh troubles.
The Poles are again victorious, and seem to have expelled the Russians from their territory.
Greece. The general condition of things is not very satisfactory, and there are fears of fresh disturbances. The whole of Bosnia is in a complete state of insurrection against the Sultan. Several French men of war had crossed the Adriatic, probably to influence the negotiations between France and Rome.-Gen. of Temp.
This number is a week later than it should be; owing to the indisposition of one of the Printers.
SCOTT'S FAMILY BIBLE, with critical Notes and practical Obser vations, in 6 Octavo vols.-Price 13 dollars-For sale at No. 5, MarketSquare, by BREWER & WILCOX.
THE THREE FIRST VOLUMES OF THE HOPKINSIAN MAGAZINE, either Half-bound, or in Boards, may be had, entire, or in single volumes, at very reduced prices, at the Book-store of
HUTCHENS & SHÉPARD, First door West of the Bridge, Providence. WILLIAM MARSHALL & Co No. 12, Market-Square, Providence, R. I. will execute orders of any amount for Book AND JOB PRINTING, in a neat manner, with promptness, and on reasonable terms.
Providence, March, 1831.
In my last I pointed out several advantages of exhibiting all the counsel of God in revivals. Several others may yet be noticed.
Those who adopt this course have the advantage of being consistent with themselves. A perfect harmony and consistency runs through all the doctrines and duties of the gospel, when exhibited in the light of the ultimate design of God in the gospel scheme. All the duties of the gospel spontaneously and naturally result from its leading doctrines and first principles. No doctrine or duty in the whole system clashes with any other, or with common sense. They are all connected and bound together by the strong chain of consistency. And those who honestly declare all the system, present each and every part in such a light that they will appear as constituent parts of the same comprehensive glorious scheme which emanated from the divine will. This gives a peculiar beauty and grace to their preaching, for there is nothing which the human mind more spontaneously admires than consistency and harmony. But those who deny or conceal some of the leading doctrines or duties of the gospel, are always liable to run into gross inconsistencies and absurdities. It is the common fate of error to run crooked. Some who profess to hold that God works in men to will and to do of his own good pleasure, teach that he absolutely chooses to have all men saved, and does all he can to effect it without destroying the freedom of the will; and yet deny universal salvation. Some who teach that God does all he can to make all men forever happy in heaven without absolutely destroying free agency, yet profess to believe that all impenitent sinners are at enmity with God. Some hold that God infallibly foreknew all events from eternity, and yet Some profess to hold to the doctrines deny his universal purposes. of election and divine sovereignty, and yet deny the doctrine of reprobation. Some teach that the natural heart is "deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked," and yet believe in the sufficiency of moral suasion to convert the sinner. Some teach the doctrine of natural inability, and yet urge the duty of immediate repentance and holiness; and others, that we all sinned in Adam, long before we existed. Some who profess to hold to the divinity of both Christ and his Father, teach that the present system is much less desirable Some preon the whole, than if men and angels had never fallen. sent selfish inducements, to persuade men to turn from all sin. Some
profess to be Calvinists, and yet never preach divine decrees, sovereignty, election, special grace, entire dependence, disinterested benevolence, &c. in time of revivals, if indeed they ever do. And of late others have taught that God has bound himself by sure promises immediately to convert all those sinners whom Christians actually pray for in faith; that the prayer of faith for all men is the fundamental duty of all christians; and yet profess to be christians, while thousands and millions of the human race annually die without conversion. Some profess to believe the Bible which contains predictions of terrible divine judgments for peculiar sin and wickedness upon the earth before the millennium, which two or three christians by praying in faith if this scheme is true, could easily defeat. But these and all other inconsistencies and absurdities weaken the moral power of the gospel, and greatly diminish the influence of those who preach it. Scarce any thing has been more detrimental to the progress of religion, than such gross inconsistency in religious teachers.
Exhibiting all the counsel of God is adapted to make deeper and better impressions upon the minds of men, than any partial exhibition of divine truth. Those who adopt this method have the advantage of the united weight and influence of the whole of the divine system. This is adapted to make an indelible impression upon both the conscience and the heart. What can so effectually impress the mind with a sense of obligation to obey the divine law, as a clear view of the divine supremacy and authority over us? What can make us feel our dependence, like just views of the universal agency and absolute sovereignty of God? What can make us feel our guilt and inexcusableness for hating and sinning against God, like a clear and comprehensive view of the infinite goodness of God, in all his designs and works? What can transform the heart into the divine image, like beholding the true glory of God?
The more christians behold his glory here, the more will they be sanctified. What can stimulate us to benevolent zeal and action, like a comprehensive view of the glorious design which Christ is carrying into effect. But those who conceal some of the primary truths of the gospel, neither much enlighten the understanding, nor very deeply impress the mind.
"As from the wing, no trace the sky retains,
So disappear the ephemeral impressions made by this course of preaching upon the soft passions, tender sympathies, and selfish hearts of mankind. They flatter and please and impress the heart, which is as unstable as water, and elastic as the wind.
Exhibiting all the counsel of God is better adapted to try and manifest the hearts of men, than any different course of preaching. This is very desirable in many respects. It is a great favor to false converts, to have their false hopes exposed and destroyed, that they may not be led to trust in them to their everlasting ruin. It is a great favor to hypocrites to have their hypocrisy and deceit exposed, painful and mortifying as it is; that they may be induced to renounce it, and not, by self-flattery, ruin their souls forever. It is a great favor to have sophistry, deceit and delusion of deceivers and seduc
ers exposed and detected, that they may cease ruining themselves and others by their deceitful arts and wiles. It is a great favor to the church of Christ, to have all her real enemies exposed and manifested to all, that she may disclaim them, and not fellowship them at the expense of truth, faithful discipline, and the divine favor. It is a great favor to the world, to be taught accurately to read human nature and character, by seeing them unveiled, and as they manifest themselves in the furnace of divine truth; for it may save from many a snare.
Exhibiting all the counsel of God is the best way to guard men against all religious errors. There is one system and but one that is guarded on all sides against all religious errors. And that is the system which comprises all the counsel of God. A good knowledge of this scheme will enable a person instantly to detect any religious error, and avoid the imposition and snares of all errorists. Though a good heart is indeed indispensible to salvation, yet an enlightened understanding often proves a better bulwark against gross and fundamental errors, than a good heart with very limited knowledge. The heart is extremely mutable, but the understanding is not thus changeable. For the want of good eyes, thousands of good people have been exceedingly imposed upon, and led into gross and dangerous errors. But how many thousands of impenitent sinners have been saved from delusion and fatal errors, by their knowledge of the whole counsel of God. How important does this knowledge appear, when a storm of false religion, enthusiasm and fanaticism, like a resistless torrent, is making such moral desolations, as almost to justify the application of the lines of the poet,
"Earth seems a garden in its loveliest dress
CHANGE OF HEART.
For the Hopkinsian Magazine.
Mr. Editor-I lately heard a popular preacher use the phrase change of heart, in a manner, which struck me as novel, if not improper. In illustrating his subject, he supposed the case of two men, who had long been at bitter enmity; but who, having fallen into the same party in a time of great political excitement, laid aside their enmity, sat by each other's side in caucus, and were ready to do each other every kind office in their power. Now, said the preacher, Their hearts are changed towards each other." Suppose this to be true in some very figurative sense; it was to me a novel mode of expression, and when thrown out without any explanation, seemed to me a dangerous mode of expression. It is manifest that the two men in the case supposed, might retain the same selfish feelings towards each other, after they became apparent friends, as when they were open enemies. And let the electioneering ferment subside, and their individual interests seem to clash;