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very enemies are constrained to admit that these consequences are exhibited in most exemplary holiness, by Mr. Campbell and his followers. Much of the error in our Northern brethren we now perceive to be attributable to their imperfect acquaintance with the English language. We find that they have been using the words " pardon, redemption, atonement," &c. in a sense which these words do not convey to an English understanding—just as it happened with the word sinful, in the other great question of the Incarnation. But, instead of turning to argue the question now with those who would so limit the love of God, we desire to put it to their consciences in a practical manner: we would ask such persons, whether they really think that God requires them to be more loving and tender-hearted than he himself is. We know that this question will at first receive a negative, and will appear too absurd to be entertained. But let our opponents remember, that God does command us, in the most positive terms, to love our enemies, even those who despitefully use us and persecute us- -wrongs which the sinner cannot inflict
God. We believe, therefore, that God loves his enemies of all mankind; for all are by nature on the same level; all sinned in Adam ; and as, without the death of Christ, not one could be redeemed of all mankind, so in dying for any one man, when all were alike dead, he died for all: in being available for one, his death must be available for all, where all are alike. These doctrines, too, we desire to have written upon our own hearts, that we may acknowledge that by nature we have no superiority over the vilest sinner, and that all the gifts which God has bestowed, of whatever kind, are but so many calls and motives to glorify the heavenly Giver. We would seek earnestly more abundant supplies of love our enemies still more and more. And if it should seem to any, that we have heretofore transgressed against this command of our Lord, we beg it to be remembered how difficult it is to shew sufficient zeal in behalf of a calumniated friend, without strong zeal against those who wrest his words and pervert his meaning. Yet if any still think that we have transgressed against charity, we do assure them that it is unconsciously to ourselves, and, requesting their prayers for us, throw ourselves upon
mercy of our God.
SOCIAL DUTIES ON CHRISTIAN PRINCIPLES.
A WORK under the above title has gone through three editions a proof that it has been extensively circulated ;-and our notice is further attracted by a review which appeared of it in the Christian Observer. The chief merit of the volume consists in shewing that all the duties of life are duties because they are the actings forth either of the essential attributes of Deity, or of the relationships which God has assumed towards his creatures. The editor of the Christian Observer praises all that the author says about dutiful children, faithful servants, and loyal subjects; but objects to the only point which makes this duty, fidelity, and loyalty to be religious at all-namely, that they are exhibitions of various forms of dependence which creatures have upon God.
From a second review in the Christian Observer, it appears that the author wrote to the editor, and endeavoured to enlighten him by quoting a long passage from Hooker’s Ecclesiastical Polity; but he might just as well have written to the Emperor of China, and would have had an equal chance of being understood. It is the more surprising that the author should have taken this gratuitous and useless trouble, inasmuch as in his preface he seems to appreciate very properly the amount of religious knowledge and spiritual attainments of the Evangelical world; and nothing would be more amusing, than to see magazine traders setting up for instructors, when by so doing they are only exposing their ignorance, were it not so melancholy to reflect that the flock of God is poisoned, or at best fed only with chaff, by such pastors and teachers.
The point in which we think this volume deficient, is in not carrying out its principles to nearly a sufficient extent: for not only do all duties set forth the Divine attributes, or else the relationships between God and his creatures; but every quality which it is possible for man to display is nothing more, and can be nothing more, than one which is inherent in the being of God. The only nicety in handling this subject arises from the difficulty of finding terms which shall express abstract qualities independent of their exercise in any particular direction ;-a difficulty which all writers have experienced who have treated of the phenomena of mind, or the operations of the invisible spirit of man, from the Grecian philosophers down to the modern phrenologists. The use that is made of the powers with which a creature is endowed, constitutes the sin or holiness of that creature: the abstract power itself, independent of its use, exists in Deity ; in the image of whom-that is, as the manifester of whom-man was created.
Let us take, as an example, the quality of Justice, or a sense of right, to which all things ought to conform. Every human being professes this sense, and acts more or less under its influence. This quality is so strong, that where it is not tempered by benevolence, or some other amiable feeling, it forms an ingredient, if not the chief ingredient, in the most sanguinary and revengeful characters. In many radicals and revolutionists it assumes the form of righteous retribution for wrongs long
inflicted by their rulers, and patiently endured by them : it is the maxim of“ An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth :" it says, “Reward them as they have rewarded thee, and blessed is he that taketh thy little ones and dasheth them against the stones." A more horrible feeling than this, in the breast and under the perverted reason of fallen man, cannot exist. It has a semblance of, and is the image of, a glorious attribute; but one so awful as only to be safe from abuse in the bosom of Infinite Love and Infinite Wisdoin; and the more glorious and the more awful it is there, the more tremendous does it become in the hands of cruel men.
The basis is true : for there is such a principle as stern, inflexible justice, to which all things must bend; which will inflict righteous retribution on offenders, and which will not regard the cry of the most exquisite suffering: and this quality is recognised by intelligent Pagans and Deists as an essential attribute of Deity.
Let us now take the opposite of this, or rather the quality that modifies the operation of pure justice in God, which is Love. If the former quality is perverted into cruelty by ungodly men, this is perverted into the utter confounding of right with wrong; whereby, as the poet truly says, "a God all mercy is a God unjust.” But this quality also, even in its greatest abuse, has a foundation of truth; for in Christ Jesus there is a channel revealed in which mercy and love do know no bounds, and do make no distinction whatever between great and little offences, the merits and demerits of the objects, but receives without limit or discrimination all who come to God by it. The most aggravated case of the perversion of this quality in creatures, is that wherein a young and unsuspecting female has been induced, by a worthless and cruel man, feigning himself to be estimable, kind-hearted, and trust-worthy, to abandon herself unreservedly to his care, his protection, and his supposed worthiness. The devotion which she feels is due to God alone; but nothing less than that total abandonment of self, and willingness that He should do with us what He pleases, is what we all ought to give to Him. The devotedness of woman's affections on a worthless man is the strongest instance of misdirected love which the records of creation can furnish; while, at the same time, it shews us of what pure disinterestedness human hearts are capable, even in their fallen condition, and the extent of our alienation from the Only Object worthy of it, since it is so readily and so commonly bestowed on a sinful and treacherous fellow-creature. But this disinterestedness is not a quality inherent in the creature, as a creature, but in mankind as the exhibitors of that attribute in God. The salvation and happiness, or perdition and misery, of man, cannot add to the enjoyment of God, which must be always incapable of addition from the state of any created thing, or
VOL. IV.-NO, II.
of any other thing than His own complete and immutable perfections. The salvation of man is therefore an exhibition of pure disinterestedness on the part of God, and a quality very difficult for man to exhibit in any way, or towards any object.
This last remark brings us to the consideration of the impossibility of man exhibiting any quality of God at all, but in proportion as he does so with the mind and in the Spirit of Christ; and that, if he attempt to exhibit it in any other way, he does not exhibit God, but Satan : he sets a false god before the creation ; he does not fulfil the end of his being, which is to be the image of God. When man fell, instead of manifesting the true God, he manifested a lie; and the first step towards the recovery of his duty, towards his fulfilling the end for which he was sent into the world, is to see the holiness, mercy, and justice of God in Jesus Christ ; and exhibit now, not the God of the unfallen Adam, but the God of his fallen and redeemed self. The truly regenerate man should cultivate unceasingly the mind that was in Christ Jesus ; fill himself with apprehension of the boundless ocean of love that is in the breast of God, as revealed in his Son; and look upon all mankind solely with reference to their state before God. It is in reference to this mode of considering them that our blessed Lord called upon us to hate father, mother, wife, children, and our own life: it was in reference to this that he declared those were his mothers and sisters and brethren, who did the will of his Father which was in heaven.
When men are viewed only with reference to their state before God, sin, which is seen in them, causes the severest pain : “I am horribly afraid for them that forsake thy law.” All feeling of anger at their differing from us dies away, and we are willing to become any thing to them, so that they may cease from their evil ways and learn to know the living and true God. Every quality they manifest is admired as an exhibition of an attribute of God; and the direction of it only is watched that it may be turned to coincide with God, instead of being perverted by Satan to set forth a falsehood. Doctrines of theologians, forms of discipline, and ordinances of every description, are honoured as means conducing to an end ; but not considered as of any importance in themselves, except as they serve to bring men into closer communion with God. The social relationships of life are seen in their true importance for the same reason, instead of dwindling into merely useful contracts for the best continuance, rearing, and government of mankind.
The Scriptures set forth our duty to manifest God not only in the above instances, but in others wherein it would seem impossible for creatures to exhibit the conduct of the Creator, inasmuch as we might presume, à priori, that it was impossible for the Creator
to be in situations parallel with His creatures. The duty inculcated in the First Epistle of St. Peter, is to take patiently ill-treatment; assigning, as the reason of our doing so, that God Himself has suffered in the person of Jesus Christ. St. James tells us of the happiness of endurance; and St. John of the blessedness of being hated of all men for Christ's sake. Now it is obvious that there is neither happiness nor blessedness in mere suffering, considered by itself; but since, where God is manifested, that state is inflicted by the world which hates Him, the likeness of God is proved to be exhibited by the consequences which follow.
The only case in which our Lord appears to have felt and expressed indignation, was at those who were poisoning the people with false doctrine, while they were the authorized instructors of the church; so that it was impossible to deliver the people out of error but by destroying the system by which these false teachers held their sway.
In like manner, while we should feel nothing but pity for the people who are deluded in these days, a very different meed is the portion of those who persevere in blinding the peoples' eyes, after that the falsehood of their system has been proved to them so completely that they dare no longer defend it, while they have not the honesty to change it. The Lord is coming upon a swift cloud to judgment; and the especial cause that provokes him to rise up and vindicate his insulted honour, is the blasphemous assumption of the ungodly rabble, that they, and not He, are the source of power and authority on the earth. This blasphemy the Christian Observer has done as much to inculcate as the People's Penny Papers, the Birmingham Political Union, or Taylor and Carlile themselves; and yet we are to be scared from telling men this, because the writers in that journal are called Evangelical, and subscribe to societies miscalled religious. It is quite idle to suppose men can see God in other things, if they cannot see him in kingships; if they refuse the testimony, not only of Scripture, but of all the civil law that ever was written. As to Scripture, indeed, with their Neological spiritualizing, it is hard for them to say what it does or does not inculcate : if Christ's coming to this earth, in order to inflict judgment upon apostate Christendom, be the one grand theme for the world's warning; and His coming, to constitute a happy globe for his people's habitation, be the one subject of the Christian's hope; then do we deny the Christian Observer to be a believer in the first rudiments of the subject-matter of the Bible; then must we, when calling ourselves believers in the Christian's hope, refuse that title to men whose hope is no resemblance to ours, but is a shadowy, baseless thing, no one can tell what, or where, or when.
In the foregoing instances of justice and love, we have taken