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tention, at a distance from the house of God, and from all religious society, while deeply engaged in their ordinary concerns, their minds are suddenly turned to the subject, their consciences are awakened, their sins are set in order before their eyes, and they are made to tremble with fearful apprehension of the wrath to come. All this has frequently happened, and in the case of persons to whom nothing had been recently said on the subject, who did not know that any others were seriously impressed, and where there was no room

for the influence of sympathy, or
any other influence which human
beings could exert. And it has
often happened at the same time
to several different persons thus
circumstanced, at a distance from
each other. A special divine in-
fluence has been exerted upon their
minds, and that effect is produced
at once, which ministers of the
gospel and Christian friends had
long laboured to produce, but la-
boured in vain.

A Friend to Revivals.
Christian Repository.


[Continued from page 17.] It is often asked, with much anxiety, whether Socinianism continues to progress; and what is the prospect as to its further spread. On this subject I have had my hopes, and I have had my fears. After several years of attentive and anxious observation, my fears preponderate. Unless more efficient measures are taken to stop its progress, I have but little doubt that it will ultimately sweep the American church like a desolating flood. I will give my


of danger. If any one should sound an alarm, he will be disregarded; for no enemy is to be seen. This fancied security favours the approach of the enemy. And he will be likely to see his advantage, and take it, before his approach is discovered. He will not appear in the open field, with the weapons of war in his hand; he will approach in the garb of a friend, and hold out the emblem of peace. He will not demand the surrender of the fortress; he will only ask to be admitted into the garrison. He will not propose to throw open the gates; he will only ask to be entrusted with the keys. By the soothing manner of his address, he will full the fears of the

1. The danger is not sufficiently apprehended. Nothing favours the success of an enemy so much as fancied security. Out of the timid. By appearing modest in immediate vicinity of Socinianism, there is no apprehension of its approach. Our Ministers are pious and orthodox. Our churches are united together for mutual defence. Their creeds are sound and scriptural. How can the enemy make any inroads? Such considerations seem to promise security; and there is no apprehension

his demands, he will gain more than he asks. And before the danger is discovered, he will accomplish all he desires. Such, at least, has been his manner hitherto; and such we have reason to expect it will continue to be.

2. The causes which have contributed to the introduction and spread of Socinianism in New

England, are silently operating in | every direction. The benevolent efforts of the present age have brought Christians of different denominations nearer together. A spirit of catholicism greatly prevails. They regard each other as brethren, and rejoice in each other's prosperity. So far it is well. But this is not all. Closely connected with this is that spurious charity, which sapped the foundation of the New-England churches. We too have begun to regard our fathers as too rigid in their views, and have begun to pursue a more liberal policy. We too are impatient to take to our bosoms many of those who cannot subscribe the creeds of our churches. Regarding many as Christians, who do not think as we do, we are beginning to consider those things in which we differ from them as matters of small importance, and by no means to be placed among the essentials of Christianity. Though we still believe them to be true, it would be no great sacrifice to us to strike them from our creeds.Though we still believe them to be true, we should be quite satisfied never to hear them preached.Though we still believe them to be true, we have no anxiety that our children should be taught them. Were our pulpit vacant, we should quite as soon consent to settle a Minister who never preached them, as one who did. This, I believe, is the state of feeling with a very large portion of the members of our churches. And thus they have taken the first step in that downward course which has led such multitudes into Socinianism.

Many have gone a step further. In the fulness of their charity towards those who do not believe the truth, they have taken sides with them against it. They profess to believe it still, but they are

opposed to its being preached. They profess to believe it still, but they do not think it profitable.They are afraid it will give offence to those friends of theirs who do not believe it, and they cannot bear to have them displeased.They acknowledge that it is in the Bible; but they think those parts of the Bible ought to be kept back, lest they should do hurt. They make an urgent demand for practical preaching, with which all will be suited. And if the minister will not comply with the popular voice, it is very easy to get him dismissed. The minister knows this, and is often sorely tempted to comply. On one side his judgment tells him is the path of duty; but it is filled with objects that pain the eye. The disapprobation of his friends-the blame of unreasonable obstinacy-the scorn of the worldthe enmity of the wicked-dismission and poverty-the sufferings of a sickly wife, and the cries of famishing children-how can he endure the thought? On the other side, by a little compliance it is probable he may soothe the clamors that are raised against him. By softening down the tone of his preaching, and passing over a few offensive subjects, he may retain the approbation of his people. By retaining their confidence he hopes to be able to do them much good. He doubts whether he ought to set up his own judgment against that of those who are called the great and the wise. He is afraid, that, if he persists, and is driven away, some other will occupy the place, who will not preach so much truth as he can, if he complies with the present demands. There is no prospect that he will be better received elsewhere, or that he can do so much good in any other place. On the whole, after a few faint struggles of his conscience, he concludes it is best to comply.

will do something. But if those who read it are taught to regard the doctrinal parts of it as of little or no use, they will easily be persuaded to neglect them. Of the religious tracts in circulation, very few indeed appear to be intended to convey doctrinal instruction.The writing and preaching against Socinian errors may be very necessary where they are beginning to prevail, but this does not lay the axe at the root of the tree. Nothing will be an effectual guard against the spread of Socinianism, unless the churches are establish

In this manner I account for it | tion. The circulation of the bible that the tone of doctrinal preach ing and of doctrinal instruction has been softened down, within a few years, to a very considerable extent. And many of the churches have already made so great progress in the downward course, that though their articles as yet remain unaltered, the faithful preaching of them would not be submitted to by their members. The next generation that comes on the stage, will be still more lax than their fathers; and their creeds will be altered or disregarded. And this downward progression will need to go on but a short pe-ed, not only in the belief of the great riod, before the door will be opened to all those errors which bring Socinianism in their train.

3. Another reason for my fears of the ultimate spread of Socinianism is, that the measures adopted to prevent its progress, are altogether insufficient. The principal measures which seem to be relied on, to prevent the spread of Socinian sentiments, are, the establishment of theological seminaries, the bringing forward of pious young men for the ministry, the encouragement of Sabbath schools, the circulation of the bible, and of religious tracts, and preaching and writing against Socinian errors. All these are well, as far as they go, but they do not reach the source of the evil. The theological seminaries may furnish learned and orthodox ministers; but what good will these do, if people are unwilling to hear them? And I fear, that in some of these seminaries, more attention is paid to what is requisite to make popular preachers, than to what is necessary to make men mighty in the scriptures. The Sabbath schools will do something. But, from all that I can learn of their management, they contribute but little towards the doctrinal instruction of the rising genera

truths of the Bible, but in the love of them too. They must not only be willing to hear them preached, but they must deem the preaching of them indispensable. They must not only be willing to have their children trained up in the knowledge of the truth, but they must see that it is effectually done. To accomplish this object, some efforts are made by a few. But they labour against every discouragement, and accomplish but little. Their efforts are often treated with contempt, and often meet with direct opposition, and that too even from the professed friends of truth. The knowledge that this is the fact, appears to me a serious ground of alarm. When so little is done that is at all adapted to be an effectual guard; and when almost the whole attention of our churches and ministers is directed to those measures of defence, which, without this, are utterly insufficient; I cannot but fear that the churches are doomed to suffer a deluge of Socinian errors, and that at no distant period.

4. The prevailing taste of the present age, is, I think, highly favourable to the ultimate spread of Socinianism. The present is not an age of close thinking. It

have but a small portion of their pages filled with such materials, or they can obtain few patrons and fewer readers. Religious newspapers and magazines of intelligence have occupied their places. In these, there is so much that is interesting, so much to gratify the thirst for novelty, so much to move the passions, that they are eagerly read. And the Bible itself, it is to be feared, receives from most professing Christians but a small share of attention. I do not mean to complain of the circulation of religious intelligence. I wish it was more generally diffused than it is. But still it ought not to occupy the principal place in the reading of Christians. The fact that it does, to the almost entire exclusion of other reading, is that which is ground of alarm.

is an age of novelty, and an age of feeling. And the preaching that is heard, and the books that are read, must be in accordance with the spirit of the times. A sermon of President Edwards', in most of our churches, would not be endured at all. Such writings as his do not form the reading of the present day. His works may perhaps be found in the libraries of the clergy; but probably few of them ever make them their study, and fewer still pursue the same strain of preaching. A sermon, to be popular now, must not put the audience to the trouble of thinking. It must either contain something sprightly, to please the imagination, or it must be addressed to the passions, and move the animal feelings.Now, it is plain, that a discourse addressed to the imagination or the passions, is not adapted to the purposes of instruction. A people may sit under such preaching from year to year, and be much delighted with the preacher; but of the great doctrines of the Bible, the belief and love and practice of which constitute the vital parts of Christianity, they will know little or nothing. So it is, also, with their reading. A large volume is seldom, if ever, perused. Those books of instruction, from which, as exuberant fountains, our fathers drew the precious and health-giving waters of life, are now laid aside. Something new is eagerly sought after. And nothing can be tolerated, even if new, unless it furnishes entertainment to the imagination or stimulus to the pas-its, and they will be prepared to sions. And even then, it will tire, if it is not short. Those magazines which contained doctrinal instruction and theological investiAll that is necgation, which required labour of essary to ensure its progress is to thought in the writers, and labour keep truth out of view. This has of attention in the readers, have been well understood by the adgradually perished, one after anoth-vocates of error in all ages. It er; and the few that survive must was well understood by the advo

The effect of these things upon the rising generation will be deplorable. They will grow up with a strong distaste for every thing which requires labour of thought. Books of instruction will be still more disregarded. The Bible will be still more carelessly and superficially read. Doctrinal preaching will be still more unpopular.Close, discriminating, argumentative preaching will be still more rarely heard. And that spurious charity, which consists in disregard of Gospel truth, and indifference or kind feelings towards error, will be still more prevalent.

Let the rising generation grow up in this state of mind; let them form such a taste, and such hab

fall an easy and a willing prey to every deceiver. All the native feelings of the human heart are on the side of error.

of error.

cates of Socinianism in N. England. I us: The professed friends of truth In their private correspondence are themselves doing the work of with their friends in Europe, a few its enemies. And they are doing years since, they disclosed the pol- it far more effectually, too, than its It was icy they were pursuing. enemies could, if they were on the not to raise a controversy against ground. the truth. It was not to propagate Let matters go on in this course; their tenets, by preaching or writ- let the causes which are now opeing in their favour. It was to keep rating to a great extent throughout in the dark. It was to cry down the American churches, but contindoctrinal and instructive preach-ue to operate, and the door will soon ing. It was to appear strenuous be thrown open to the advocates Let our Ministers and advocates for charity, liberality and good feeling among all denomina-churches continue to sleep over tions. They knew that the tem- the danger; let no alarm be soundof the natural heart was on ed; let no more efficient measures per their side. And they clearly saw, be adopted to guard the purity of that if the great truths of the gos- the faith; let orthodox books, and pel could be kept out of sight, orthodox preaching go more and they would be gradually and si- more into disrepute ; and let the lently expelled from the public rising generation grow up with a mind; and then their victory confirmed disrelish of doctrinal would be certain. As long as instruction and enquiry; and I see nothing which is likely to opthey were able to pursue this covert policy, it was attended with pose even a feeble barrier to the great success. And so it will universal spread of Socinianism. doubtless be again. There is this difference, however, among l


No. II.

Character of Dr. Hopkins.
The mind of Dr. Hopkins was
endued with no ordinary pow-
ers. For clearness of conception,
depth of penetration, and sound-
ness of judgment, he was equalled
by few in any age or nation. The
strength and firmness of his bodi-
ly constitution, rendered him ca-
pable of intense application to
study, for many years, and ena-
bled him to perform an uncommon
degree of ministerial labour.

His great study was the BIBLE, that inexhaustible fountain of Divine truth; with the sacred contents of which, he was, probably, better

Christ. Repos.

acquainted, than any other divine of his day. He was, indeed, mighty in the Scriptures, and greatly excelled in the exposition of them. To this, the survivors among his stated hearers, can attest; who sat with much delight and edification, while, as his manner was, for many years, he expounded a chapter, or large portion of a chapter, every Sabbath morning. "His mind appeared readily to enter into the spirit and comprehend the meaning of passages, which, to others, were obscure. And, though he did not neglect consulting expositors and commentators, with whose works he was well acquainted, yet his uncommon discernment of the sense and import of the sacred writings, seemed to arise, rather from a

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