« السابقةمتابعة »
fallen into complete disrepute, as possible. Such an education and it is much doubted whether is a subject incalculably imporany advocates can be found to de- tant to society, the foundation of fend it. People are now con• all just notions of government, vinced, that from the nature of and a vast assistance to the cause man, and the evident intention of religion. It may here be reof God, there must be few schol- marked, that the disciples of the ars, in comparison of the whole Old School did more, uniformhuman race. And they have ly, to promote real knowledge adrawn this practical inference, mong men, than a thousand genthat it is wise to learn thorough- erations of philosophers would ly those plain things, which are ever do. Those acted in detail, useful in the transactions of ev- and found something for their ery day, and not spend time and hands to execute ; these spent labour in a vain attempt to at all their efforts on paper. The tain those acquisitions, which opinion which I oppose, is that Providence never designed them which makes men learned, when to attain, and which, if attained, they really know nothing; which could neither bring utility, nor makes them conceited smatterers happiness.
in things above their reach, What is here said, is by no while it prompts them to negmeans intended to discounte- lect what might prove of imnance any thing, which tends to portant benefit. C. Y. A. render the education of youth in general, as easy, and thorough (To be continued.)
ON LIBERALITY IN RELIGION. blunderers, would be to banish
knowledge and science from the (Concluded from p. 428.) world. The effect of such a
chaos is the same; whether it be Three questions arise out of produced by individual folly, or this subject :
by a sort of pic-nic collection, in First, How far such liberality which numbers contribute their is consistent with the love of respective shares, and fairly club truth?
a medley of contradictions. Why · Discrimination belongs to the should that which is absurd in essence of useful research. The every thing else, be rational in reman who transposes cause and ligion? It is evident that within effect; who classes phænome. the domain of this idol-liberality, na without regard to their na there is not a spot on which ture ; or who huddles together truth can rear her temple or a mass of incoherent facts, will plant her foot. Because truth never enlighten the community, of every kind, under every form, nor obtain the suffrages of its apd in every degree, is necessawell informed members. They rily and eternally intolerant of all agree that to encourage such falsehood. And therefore to. Vol. II. No. 10.
exempt from challenge a host of never determining that point at discordant sentiments, and that all. Here, then, are two divine on the most interesting topics, precepts of which it mocks the is to wave the rights of truth to authority by frustrating the apthe whole extent of the exemp- plication. Who is to seize the tion. It takes for granted, eitherravening wolf,” if it is a settled. that the truth on these topics is rule in theological etiquette to not discoverable ; or that it is look no further than the sheep's not worth the trouble of conten- skin ?" Who shall chase the tion. The first of these assump “ Antichrist" from his door, if it tions is a libel on the word of be unmannerly and boorish to God; and the second on his ask what “ doctrine” he brings ? wisdom. They who thus aban- There cannot exist a doubt, that don the claims of truth, by put-' if the Lord Jesus himself were ting them virtually on a level to descend with his apostle, in with the claims of error, are not veiled glory, and mingle again. her friends, and the alternative with men, one such sentence a is plain.
piece as are quoted above, would The next question is, How expel them both from the circle this liberality of theirs consists of “liberal” Christians! That with fidelity to our Lord Jesus evangelical hero, Paul, took the Christ?
elders of Ephesus to record that He was himself the great wit- he was “ pure from the blood of ness to the truth ; and has com- all men.” Why? Because he manded all his followers to imi- had thrown the reins on the tate his example. Not one in- neck of his charity ; had represtance can be pointed out, of his sented the precious truths of the countenancing, in the slightest gospel and their opposites as manner, a catholicism which well qualified to harmonize ; treats with nearly equal regard and had refrained to enforce parall opinions and doctrines that ticular views of doctrine, lest he shelter themselves under his should infringe liberty of judgname. He has charged us to ment, or the maxims of good beware of “ false prophets, who breeding ? No! But because he come in sheep's clothing, but in- “ had not shunned to declare the wardly are ravening wolves.” WHOLE counsel of God.” And And the apostle, who lay on his they who do, must go to their breast and imbibed most of his Judge with “ blood-guiltiness” in tenderness, has written,“ if there their consciences. Let this be come any unto you and bring solemnly pondered by those minnot this doctrine," (the doctrine isters who having had the of Christ) “ receive him not into “form of sound words," havo your house, neither bid him been carried away by the curGod speed, for he that biddeth rent of a spurious liberality ; him God speed, is partaker of have gradually dropped the pehis evil deeds." What the doc- culiar doctrines of Christianity; trine of Christ is, can be deter- and now, through fear of ofmined only from his word. But fence or the ridicule of singularthe liberality which is now on its ity, avoid them altogether. Sa trial, draws its chief praise from that the utmost which can be
said of them is, that if they do sacrifice of Christ, by which he not preach the gospel, they do is redeemed from the curse of not preach against it-i. e. that the law; and another reputes their discourses, in every thing, the whole doctrine of redemption affecting the salvation of a sin- through the blood of Jesus to be ner, contain--just nothing at all an old wife's fable.
Here are -Horesco referens ! Well may flat contradictions : and contratheir “flesh tremble," when dictions of such a nature, that, if they think, if ever they think, of what is usually termed the orthothe interrogatories, which await dox side, be true, the opposite them at the bar of Jesus Christ, involves nothing less than the concerning his suppressed truth; eternal perdition of those who his abused gospel; his forgotten hold it.' Yet all these men call cross : and all this, for the feath- themselves Christians. Now it er of being thought “liberal,” is clear as the meridian sun, that by men who give themselves no the word of God cannot stand trouble to
escape the wrath to with both sides ; but that the one come.”
or the other “ has made him a The third question is, How liar ;” and it is no less clear that far the liberality 'under review he who makes God a liar, by not consists with real charity to receiving his testimony concernmen ?
ing his Son, is under condemnaThe treating as non-essentials tion. It follows, that they who and matters of accommodation, enlist themselves under the banall differences which may occur ner of the prevailing liberality, within the precincts of that gen- either by teaching that there is eral term “ Christian,” is not to nothing in the doctrines of the be justified but upon the principle, different sects called Christian, that such differences cannot en which ought to excite controverdanger the “ saving of the soul.” sy; or by professing their chariIs this true? One' man believes ty for those who hold these most and teaches that the Spirit of detestable opinions ; or by mainthe living God must change a taining a studied reserve toward sinner's heart, and unite him to the peculiarities of the mediatothe Lord Jesus, as the Lord his rial plan, are leagued in a conrighteousness and strength, be- spiracy against the “glorious fore he can be a Christian, and gospel" of the “great God our possess a "good hope through Saviour,” and those eternal ingrace”; another man laughs at terests of men, from which the all this as fanaticism, and main- faith of it is inseparable. Deceiv. tains that nothing more is neces. ed by this traffic of complaisansary to constitute' a Christian ces, especially when they see the than a rational assent to the truth ministers of religion among the of divine revelation, and a good most active in promoting it ; moral life. One man worships many rest in the conclusion, that the Lord Jesus Christ as his Sa- it is of no consequence what they viour and his God; another re believe, if their character in presents him as a mere creature ; society be fair. Searching the it may be “a frail, fallible, pec- Scriptures,” for the “words of cable man.” One rejoices in the eternal life,”! becomes an anti
quated employment. Occasional If we look a little closer at misgivings of conscience are this affected liberality, we shall relieved by the soothing imagina- perceive that, exclusively of its tion that we are all Christians, tendency, the very attribute and that is enough. Gross which it vaunts the loudest, ignorance of the gospel thickens universal tolerance, has no exapace,' in a clime illuminated by istence. its broadest sunshine. The bar The proof is short. No men riers which ought to divide the are more impatient of contradicchurch from the world, are swept tion in the affairs of common life, away, and every trait of discrimi- than these liberal thinkers ; no nation effaced. “What fellow- men contend for their political ship bath righteousness with un- views with fiercer zeal, or deeprighteousness ? and what com er animosity. Why? Because mudion hath light with darkness? human speculations are more and what concord hath Christ certain than the truth of God? with Belial ? or what part hath or civil arrangements of higher he that believeth with an infidel?” moment than the concerns of a is a tale of other times. And future world? That cannot be thus, in a “land of Bibles,” which pretended. Why, then, do the cannot be opened without the bosomsof these “liberal” philosolightning of God's reprobation phers swell with rage against a of their folly flashing in their political opponent ? And surely faces, miserable sinners, unjusti- no men can pursue others with fied, unwashed, unsanctified, are more contempt and rancour, than praising each other's Christiani- do they whomsoever they are ty! The delusion is often foster- pleased to stigmatize as bigots. ed by the very men, whose office Yet, what have the bigots done? should impel them to counteract By the nature of the case, they and destroy it. And there is too are under no obligation to be as sad reason to fear that the loss of condescending to a “ liberal” the soul is the first thing which man, as this latter to them. Hc awakens numbers from their is bound by his profession to be dream. Yes, they “ die in their as charitable to a bigot as to any iniquity; but”—but “their blood other. But the contrary is true. shall be required at the hand” of “ Bigot" is a brand of infamy; those pastors who “ warned” not less than “ heretic” or “infithem not. That liberality, there. del,” and quite as freely applied. fore, which lets all sorts of Serious as the subject is, one can opinions pass under the large hardly forbear smiling at the cloak of “Christian ;" or which mistakes which we are apt to forbears to urge, without qualifi. commit in estimating our own cation, the peculiar topics of the characters. The man who supgospel, deserves another epithet posed himself inaccessible to than “charitable.” Of charity flattery, was not aware, till his it has nothing but the abused acuter friend detected him, that
Instead of executing her this supposition was precisely benign functions, it comes with the point in which his vanity was perfidy, and cruelty, and death, centred, and was assailable by to the souls of men.
the flatterer. As little do they,
who plume themselves on their immediately the cry will be rais. freedom from bigotry, suspected. “ Bigot," " fanatic,” will that their “ liberality” is the start from a hundred mouths ; point on which they betray the and, short of open violence, as very temper they denounce in little mercy will be shown to others. Touch this darling of wisdom's children by modern, theirs, and you will find that as by ancient toleration. Instead, they have as much bigotry as therefore, of a pure and effective other folk. There are no more benevolence, this liberality of the decided bigots on earth, than age is a mask drawn over the those who are bigoted to liberali. face of enmity to God's holiest ty. The fact is, that modern truth, and to all who espouse it.ļiberality is of the same kind and That “ love” which is “ without spirit with the old heathen toler. dissimulation,” wears no such ance, One was at perfect liber- guise. It consists in kind affecty to worship his calf, provided tions and offices. It can do men another might burn incense to good without flattering their the queen of heaven. And thus corruptions, or sanctifying their Baal, and Jupiter, and Moloch, mistakes. It is he “who conand Mithras, and all the rest of verts a sinner from the error of them, fraternized in the most his way,” not he who treats it as liberal intercourse. “ If you harmless, that “ shall save a soul have but a god, no matter who from death, and shall hide å or what ; only do not interfere multitude of sins." Between with your neighbours.” And it the incessant agitations of disis very possible that, upon the pute, and the oblivious calm of same terms, Christians might, indifference, there is a wide for a time, have fared easier than scope for the exercise of Chris; they did. But the moment they tian forbearance. taught men to turn from these But let those who desire not vanities to serve the living God, to be entrapped into a fatal sethe worshippers of Baal, and curity, beware how they listen to Jupiter, and Moloch, and the the siren song. Let them rewhole rabble of pagan deities, member, that an air of affablenéss rushed upon them, and drenched and magnanimity is often a pass, the earth with their blood. So port for error, both speculative now : compliment my dogma, and practical, to an undefinable and I will compliment yours. extent. There is so much dignis But let unbending truth fall in ty in freedom from little prejuwith the confederacy, and accost dices, and so much flattery in the the members of it without cere reputation of it, that generous mony. Let her arraign the car. minds are thrown off their guard nality of one, the corruptness of by its very appearance. another, and the unfaithfulness pressions, slight at first, are deep: of a third. Let her deny, at ened by repetition : advantages once, the Christianity of all who are imperceptibly gained over reject the divinity and atonement the sternness of truth, and the of Lord Jesus ; or who, ad caution of virtue : and the head mitting both, live without the and the heart are perverted, un, practical influence of either; and der the seductive notion of over,