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too frequently followed on both condition in relation to moral prin. sides of the Atlantic, by English- ciples is unhealthy and declining. men and Irishmen, as well as by He who “must reign till he hath Americans. He loves his country, put all enemies under his feet,” is without loving its faults. He ad. not called the “Prince of the Kings mires the institutions of his native of the earth” by an empty, mean. land, without being blind to their ingless title; and when it is said, defects; and believes in their gene. “ For the nation and kingdom that ral adaptation to the circumstances will not serve thee shall perish, of the people, while yet he perceives yea, those nations shall be utterly and acknowledges, that, in some wasted,” (Isai. Ix. 12,) no vain and respects, their moral influence is powerless denunciation is prounfavourable. We do not make the
nounced. citations which we are about to We think that those of our read. transfer to our pages, for the purpose
ers who will not have the opporof covertly assailing a form of civil tunity of referring to the entire artigovernment differing from that which cle, will thank us for giving to select happily is established in our own portions of it a permanent record in country; but for the sake of those the volumes of the Wesleyanlessons—we had alınost said, those Methodist Magazine. invaluable lessons—which they incul The opening paragraphs of the cate. Dr. Wayland is evidently one Essay are full of the most instructwho believes that on all moral sub- ive significance. jects, whether they refer to individuals or nations, the way to obtain “ Among the consequences which flow the largest measures of the highest from the rapid developement of the deand purest wisdom, is to “sit at mocratic principle, no one has failed to Jesus's feet, and to hear his word.” observe the increased energy which it has There are too many persons, both
conferred upon public opinion. Great in England and America, who seem
and increasing power is always an object to suppose that in all political mat
of apprehension ; especially so when we ters they are beyond the limits of it will be exerted. Every man is con
can scarcely divine the direction in which either religious teaching, or religious scious that he can accomplish little, and obligation. They speak and act as may suffer much, by resisting, singleif it were a demonstrated truth, that handed, the leviathan of Hobbes. Hence “the Bible has nothing to do with he too frequently hastens to make his politics.” To individuals such no peace with a despot which will be pacitions are always injurious. He who fied by nothing but submission; and, says, in respect to a large class of having surrendered up opinion, belief, moral questions,—and only to such nay, common sense itself, at the feet of political questions do we now refer,
this mysterious divinity, he becomes, in - that scriptural truth has nothing absorbed into its essence, and imme.
the language of one of our philosophers, to do with their decision, has already entered into temptation. De- death the most distant living thing that
diately unites in hunting down to the ciding one sort of moral questions refuses obedience to the universal will. without referring to the word of “Foreigners have frequently remarked, God, he will be prepared for decid- that this blind devotion to the popular ing others in a similar manner; and voice, this sad want of mental and moral thus will be in danger of contracting independence, is more prevalent in this a habit of indifference to religious country than in any other. It is natural truth altogether inconsistent with its that it should be so. In no country that supreme authority and paramount
ever existed has the whole power of sociimportance. And when the politics ety been so directly in the hands of the of a nation become thus atheistic,
whole population. In no other country, and the members of the state are, in probably, has property been so equally
divided; never has so large a portion their corporate character, without fallen to the lot of every individual ; God in the world, their circum.
never was the ability to read and write stances in relation to divine Provi- so universally diffused; and now bere dence are as full of danger, as their are the means of rapidly communicating
THEIR DECISIONS ARE COMMONLY AS VALUELESS AS THE
He says, –
knowledge to every portion of the com conclusions deserve, and they generally munity so universally enjoyed. In other receive, universal respect. But when countries of great extent, an agitation at men assemble to decide all questions on the centre has commonly died away be the instant, by a show of hands; when fore its last wave has reached the cir they lend their ear to addresses to the cumference. But here the whole surface, passions, instead of appeals to the reason from centre to circumference, is in mo
and the conscience; when they merge tion at once. The whole power, legis the character of citizen, of father, and lative and executive, and frequently judi husband, in that of partisan, political or cial, is in the gift of the people. Public religious ; opinion is speedily aroused, either for good or for evil; and it requires but BREATH THAT UTTERS THEM. little skill, in a professed agitator, to
(Page 303.) direct the whole storm of its violence upon the head of any unfortunate wight The conclusion which Dr. Waywho will not add to its clamour, and do
land thus forcibly states is confirmed homage to its infallibility. It is thus liable to become a terrific engine in the
at once by general reasoning, and by hands of unprincipled and ambitious
the facts of universal history. But
that he is not the mere student of men. What was intended by our constitution to be the terror of vice, may be
books, is evident from the following the persecutor of virtue. What was de extract, which shows him to be obsigned for the purpose of abasing false servant of the movements of living hood and annihilating folly, may become society on both his side of the the direct enemy of truth, and the chosen Atlantic and ours. instrument of thoughtless, daring presumption.
“ It is by no means uncommon for the “ In these remarks, however, we in fanatic and the politician to unite their tend to utter no denunciation against the forces in an attack upon the Christian democratic principle ; nor would we be church. The former agitates until he wail the energy which recent events have has combined under his banner a small, conferred upon public opinion. We be but energetic and well-compacted, party. lieve, fully, in the government of the As soon as their number is sufficiently people ; but we believe, also, that the large to be of any importance at the people, like any other Sovereign, must ballot-box, he forms a union with the be restricted within the limits of consti- politician. The accession which he thus tutional law. Without such restriction, makes is, however, too powerful, and too there can be no government but that of well skilled in diplomacy, to be under brute force; and soon there will be no his control. His success is, therefore, society. We duly estimate the value of
in the end, fatal to himself; and the our energetic public opinion ; but we be- fanatic and his party are liable to be lost lieve that public opinion is neither omni in the political association in which they scient, infallible, nor all-holy. The opi- have been merged. They must soon be nions of mankind, when they are ex reduced to nothing, unless they can be pressed after due deliberation, and a full useful as tools ; and then they become view of the merits of the case, are rarely the very instruments which the politician
When they are expressed in employs for the purpose of ensnaring the the haste of popular excitement, on the church. Hence, unless the church be motion of interested and headlong lead true to herself, she is, at the present ers, they are almost never correct. When moment, both in England and America, men at home, in the solitude of the clo
in danger of becoming the mouth-piece set, or amidst the bland influences of the of unprincipled and infidel demagogues ; fire-side, come, unbiassed by external and thus, out of the perfect bond of chainfluences, to the same conclusion, their rity 'itself, will be forged the chains by
which she will be manacled to the car of And here lies a chief excellence of the British constitution. Combining the three principles of
PULAR DESPOTISM.” (Page 305.) political power, it makes each one to checked by the other two. Each is at once stronger and Weaker from its connexion with the rest. The We would call the reader's attenproblern is as far solved as human imperfection
tion particularly to the solemn warn. allows its solution, of recognising real power without making it absolute, and assigning to it
ing ihus given by this acute and real limits without making it dependent and
Christian American observer. He inefficient.--Edit.
well knows that Popery has no love Vol. XXIII. Third Series. APRIL, 1844.
a RUTHLESS AND INFURIATED PO
for either evangelical principles or them only take care that this holy religious liberty ; that, in fact, it work-for we are verily persuaded mortally hates them both, as infi- that such it is—be not desecrated delity does the doctrines and com. by the lowering admixture of humandments of revelation. But he man feeling. The cause is God's, knows, too, that both Papists and not man's. For our own part, were infidels are well aware, that neither the party in question to throw off in England nor America have they all their haughty exclusiveness of sufficient strength to obtain the manner, our opposition would not domination they desire, unless aided be in the slightest degree relaxed. by others. What, then, is their Their behaviour may be even insultplan? They bait their trap with ing, and human nature is not very fine, high-sounding phrases about patient under insults; but the eneliberty; and they call themselves my must not be allowed to take liberal,—they who never yet had advantage of this, to make us willpower but they employed it in put- ing to seek to put down one set of ting down all who were opposed to bad principles, by assisting to adtheir own principles. We mention vance others equally as bad. We this as an undeniable historical fact, oppose these exclusive principles, be. obvious as the brilliancy of the sun cause we believe them to be opposed at the noontide of a cloudless sum to those very principles of the Gosmer day. And what is the conse pel which are the origin of that quence? They find many simple- delightful name which, by heavenly hearted and sincere, but any thing designation, it bears, and which rather than well-read, professors of alone make it “the power of God religion, who, exasperated by the unto salvation.” And for this very pride and exclusiveness of an eccle reason, that the cause is so holy, siastical domination, which, possess and so intimately connected with ing the power of a Protestantism of the salvation of men, it should be which it repudiates the name, and kept clear of those lower objects to which it is a disgrace, forget that which, it may turn out, will be most there are means by which it may be effectually secured by the attainment more efficiently resisted, and throw of the higher. “Seek ye first the themselves into the arms of a party kingdom of God and his righteouswho will, indeed, help to avenge ness, and all these things shall be them of their adversaries, but who added unto you,” is a text of very will do it by crushing them both. extensive application. The defendThis is the warning, not of some ers of the doctrine of faith ought English partisan, but of the Ameri not themselves to be practically uncan republican, Dr. Wayland, who believers ; nor should they listen believes, as we have seen, that at for a moment to the suggestions of the present moment, both in land fear, even though their fidelity to and America, this is the peculiar truth should reduce them to comdanger of the real church of Christ. paratively a very small band. What Giorious are the bonds of true were the “ three hundred men that Christian charity ; but let not those lapped,” against the hosts of the who wear them, allow Papists and Midianites and Amalekites, which infidels to forge out of them the "came as grasshoppers for multichains by which the church will be tude ?” And yet by these three manacled to the car of a ruthless and hundred men did God save Israel. infuriated popular despotism. Let Let us take care that our cause be our Wesleyan readers be assured, good, and seek to advance it by that the aid of neither Papists nor means that are obviously in strict infidels is required for opposing and accordance with it. Sooner or later, putting down the anti-Protestant “the sword of the Lord and of and, as we believe, the anti-scriptural Gideon” shall prevail. -dogmas which just now luxuriate The doctrine of expediency (which so rankly, and with such fatal influ is only another expression of the ence, in the Anglican Church. Let fearful maxim, that the means are
jastified by the end) some have at manfully bear it. Surely systems so tempted to establish from certain diametrically opposite, in every possible points in the history and writings of respect, need not be, of necessity, misSt. Paul. Dr. Wayland devotes a
taken for each other.” (Page 323.) considerable part of the paper to the cxamination of this attempt, and tri We may once more observe, that umphantly exhibits its decided fails the notice we have taken of this ure. The following sentences de valuable and interesting volume will serve especial notice :-
not, of course, be understood as im.
plying a universal agreement with “In a word, then, the scriptural ques all its arguments and conclusions. tion of expediency is simply this : * In Our object has been, in the first how far may I sacrifice my own personal place, to call the attention of such convenience, and my own personal pre- of our readers to the work, as might ferences, for the spiritual good of my be likely, from the character of the brethren?' And the answer is, 'You studies which they were pursuing, may do it, and from love to Christ (not from obligation to your brethren) subordination to this, by means of
to procure it for themselves; and in you are bound to do it, in every innocent thing; but you are forbidden to do it
extracts and other notices, together where
, by so doing, you would by impli- with such observations as they might cation teach what is false, or become a
suggest, to construct an article not party to what is wrong.'
unuseful to the general reader, in “We cannot, then, fail to observe how whose way the book itself might widely the expedience of the Apostle never come. Of course, it is for bibPaul differs from that with which it is lical students, already somewhat ad. too frequently confounded. The latter vanced in their studies, that the allows us to modify, exaggerate, or at work is chiefly designed and these tenuate the truth of God, for such pur will find in it a rich treat. And poses as we may deem advantageous to
more than this. Reading it with ourselves or to others. The former concedes no such liberty ; but declares that attention, and due discrimination, in simplicity and godly sincerity, not
they will not only obtain much valuawith fleshly wisdom, we are to have our
ble information directly; but they will conversation in the world. The one
be the better for the perusal indiallows us, for the sake of results which rectly, by those habits of thought we, anticipate, to encourage practices and inquiry which it is calculated to which, but for those results, our con assist them in forming, and the sciences would disapprove; the other formation of which will contribute allows us a choice of actions only in to make them “ workmen that need cases where both courses, in themselves, not to be ashamed, rightly dividing are alike innocent. The one teaches us
the word of truth.” It is this to sacrifice truth, and righteousness, and
which, when connected with evident the best interests of the cause of Christ, spirituality of character, and the for our own convenience ; the other commands us to sacrifice ease, convenience, prospering blessing of the Lord the nay, life itself, for the cause of truth, Spirit, sought by continual prayer, and for the good of souls who are perish shall give dignity and power to the ing. The object of the one is to deter- pulpit, and bring the flock of Christ, mine in how far I may become a party who know his voice, and will not to what I believe to be wrong, for ny follow the voice of a hireling stranger, own benefit ; that of the other, to deter- even though he come to them in mine what self-denials I may undergo; sheep's clothing, to love and revere in order to render the simple truth of its ministrations. To higher service God more acceptable to weak and pre than the service of the sanctuary, judiced men. In short, the one is a sys
mortal man cannot be called ; and tem whose essential element is selfish
it is service which both demands ness; while of the other the only element is self-sacrifice. The one is in.
and admits of the richest mental tended to instruct us in the most adroit culture in that order of subjectsmeans of escaping the cross; and the subjects than which the mind can other to teach us where we may most
conceive of none more exaltedreadily find it, and how we may most with which it is conversant. We
are obliged to Dr. Robinson and his we should extend their beneficial esteemed coadjutors for thus contri- influence. Happy will it be, both buting to the advancement of this for England and America, if a com. culture. Though they belong to
Christian literature should another country, and are ranged, serve-as, we think, it is becoming too, in other sections of the uni more and more likely to serve-to versal church, we recognise the cement the union between these two value of their labours, and shall be great nations, and to render it more thankful if, by this notice of them, friendly and enduring !
SELECT LIST OF BOOKS RECENTLY PUBLISHED,
(The insertion of any article in this List is not to be considered as pledging us to the approbation of its contents, unless it be accompanied by some express notice of our favourable opinion. Nor is the omission of any such notice to be regarded as indicating a contrary opinion; as our limits, and other reasons, impose on us the necessity of selection and brevity.]
The Mirror of Infants : being a calm that the question is not, whether, through and serious Inquiry into the Relation the redemption of
our Lord Jesus of Infants to Christ; showing that, Christ, men are in a better condition than prior to Baptism, and independent of that in which they would have been, as that Rite, they are all in a regenerated guilty and fallen in Adam ; but whether State, by the free Gift of God. By that advantage is a state of real regenera. Abraham Watmough. 12mo. pp. 48. tion, a regeneration, too, in which infants -We regret to feel ourselves under the are actually born. One would have necessity of noticing this tract; but we thought that Mr. Watmough would have still more regret its publication. The first fixed the scriptural characters of regebroad assertion, that all infants, as such, neration, and then inquired whether, in in virtue of the mediatorial dispensation, Scripture, either the term or the characare, independently of any religious ordi
ever applied to children, as nance, “in a regenerated state,” is so such. One instance, indeed, of his reaobviously anti-Methodistical, só totally soning, will, we think, satisfy the reader. destitute of all scriptural foundation, that He refers to Psalm lviii. 3: “ The no alternative is left to us, unless we wicked are estranged from the womb." were willing to let it be supposed that “Now," he says, “ to be estranged to do we considered the subject as a matter a thing, is to be turned aside to do it ; of perfect indifference, and were willing and always implies an agent to do the that it should go forth among the estranging act. We had always unchurches of the land, if not as a statement derstood that “ estranged " here was to of Wesleyan doctrine, yet as a statement be taken passively, not actively; the of doctrine which Wesleyans are not wicked are in an estranged, that is, concerned to oppose.
The questions alienated, state and condition. “No," involved in the subjects here referred says Mr. Watmough ; ««the wicked to, are too weighty to be examined are estranged,' actively estranged; the in the space which can be allotted to wicked parent criminally estranges his these notices; and to examine them children to tell lies.” But the Psalmist otherwise than fully, would be incon- still says, “ from the womb.”. Mr. sistent with their importance : we there. Watmough easily gets rid of this by a fore at present refrain from doing so simple denial : “Not from the moment altogether, and content ourselves with they are born, which no man is able to thus protesting against the supposal, do; but he does as early as he can, that the sentiments advanced by Mr. which is the true sense of the text." Watmough are at all consistent with This is not the saying of the text, at the doctrines held by the Wesleyan all events; and it is an odd way of reaMethodists, and believed by them to be soning on a passage of Scripture-first, scriptural. We may, however, observe, to take a word in it in a new, unheard-of