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ed at this precedent, seut his min-ry occasion. "Great is truth, and isters to seize the man Jesus, and it will prevail." put him to death. His orders
In this fragment of history, we see the folly of allowing the existence of instrumental creatures, and are led, involuntarily, to pity the men, who can believe such obviously erroneous sentiments. When we look abroad into the works of God; can we believe, that the Maker of all did not create by his immediate agency?Who ever thought, when viewing the starry heavens, that they were made by proxy? Yet men, in this enlightened age, will tell us, with much assurance, that God made the world, as Noah did his ark, through the instrumentality of a second cause. He created Jesus Christ, and then folded up his arms, having little more to do, than to see his son, a mere creature, give life to the universe. The Supreme God stands by and looks. on, as an idle spectator, while his Son shews himself the Creator, Upholder, Governor, Redeemer and Judge. Is this reasonable? Yet multitudes of literary men, professedly pious men, do insist that it must be reasonable. Is it not presumption, then, to question the truth of their opinions? They gravely tell us, in vindication of their honest convictions in regard to this subject, the scriptures teach us, that God created all things by Jesus Christ;' which is, in their view, a moral demonstration of their position. They hang their doctrine mostly on this little word of two letters; and, by pertinaciously insisting that it cannot possibly mean any thing but what proves their doctrine, are ready to shout, on eve72
Overlooking what the light of nature alone would teach them, disregarding the first passage of divine revelation, "In the beginning GoD created the heavens and the earth," and the prophet's declaration respecting the peculiarity of manner, in the work of creation, "I am the Lord that maketh all things, that stretcheth forth the heavens alone, that spreadeth abroad the earth, by myself (Isa. xliv. 24) and glossing over John i. 1-3, Col. i. 15, 16, Heb. i. 8-10, which teach most clearly, that all things were created by Jesus Christ, as the Supreme efficient Cause; they dwell on the word by, as evidence sufficient to prove our Lord only an instrumental agent. On this they chiefly build their opinions, which are no less revolting to good sense, than the creed of the Egyptian Gnostick. Besides, a momentary examination of Schlensner, and the best commentators, will convince a sober man, that the word BY, in their favourite passage, expresses the efficient, not the instrumental cause. For God to create all things by Jesus Christ, then, is the same as for Christ, in his divine nature, or in the character of God, to be the Creator of all things. Jesus Christ was not only man, but God, the Creator of the universe.
The Gnosticks considered themselves the only persons, who had the true knowledge of Christianity. They viewed all other professed Christians, as simple, ignorant, unreasonable beings, who misinterpreted divine truth.
[The Question, to which the follow-proportionate to the resistance to ing piece relates, had already received an answer, before this came to hand. See page 427. But, as there are ideas in the remarks of P. C. new, perhaps, to some, and incorrect in the opinion of others; the piece is inserted, with a view to excite a more close examination, if not a more full discussion of an important subject.] EDITOR.
TO THE QUESTION OF MATHETES, ON MATTH. XI. 21.
Mr. Editor-In answer to the question proposed by "Mathetes," in the number for May, I beg leave to offer a few remarks. The question is, "If human depravity, in every age, and in all places, is the same, on what ground could it be said (Matth. xi. 21) that Tyre and Sidon would have repented, if they had enjoyed those privileges which Chorazin and Bethsaida did enjoy, but repented not?"
The question, as it stands, may be briefly answered thus. The depravity of all men is the same in kind, but not in degree. All men are entirely destitute of love to God, and consequently, their whole moral nature is perverted. In this respect, their depravity is the same. But while all are prone to evil, some have stronger propensities to it, than others. The hearts of some are more hardened in sin and less susceptible of divine impressions, than others. But it might be true, that that measure of influence, which had been exerted without effect on the hardened Jews, would have brought the inhabitants of Tyre and Sidon to repentance, and that on the supposition, that the hearts of both were totally at enmity against God.
And this does not militate at all against the fact. that an irresistible divine influence is necessary. in order to effect repentance. The power, which produces an effect, is
be overcome. And if the Jews were more hardened than the Sidonians, it would require a stronger influence to produce an impression upon them. This is true, whether the influence be mediate or immediate that of means, or of the Spirit of God.
But the great difficulty is yet to be met. Christ has here no reference to the special influence of the Spirit. He confines the remark to the mighty works which they had seen. It is as if he had said, that if Tyre and Sidon had enjoyed the means which the Jews enjoyed, they would have repented. And though I conceive I have met the question in the abstract, as stated by your correspondent; yet the text is not cleared of its difficulty.
In order to solve the difficulty, we must revert to the two relations in which man stands to God. The bible and common sense concur, in representing man as a complete moral agent, and at the same time as a creature entirely dependant on his Creator. And here I shall take for granted what might be easily proved, would the limits of this article admit, that these tvo characters, though existing in the same person, are so far independent of each other, that what is true of the one, is none the less true for any thing which concerns the other. And God, of course, sustains two corresponding relations to man. If man is a moral agent, God is a moral Governour. And if man is a dependant creature, the passive subject of divine impressions, God is related to him as the author of these impressions. And in this relation, he may be called the Sovereign, Efficient Cause. And these two relations are distinct and perfect. And what is true of the moral Gover'nour, is none the less true for any
thing which concerns the Sover. mises, his rewards and punisheign, Efficient Cause. Accord- ments, are distributed without refingly, in different parts of the bi- erence to any thing which concerns ble, God is presented as speaking men as passivc. Now, if all this and acting in these seemingly op- is consistent; it is consistent for posite relations. As Sovereign, we the moral Governour to measure hear him saying, "My counsel shall the probability of men's restand, and I will do all m pleas- penting, by the motives which And as moral Governour, he sets before them; without we hear him seying, with nothing any reference to their need of the but motives to induce sinners to iufluences of the Spirit. Considcompliance with his request, "Ohering the Tyrians and Sidonians that my people had hearkened unto me, and Israel had walked in my ways" When he speaks as moral Governour, he has no reference to his power as a Sovereign-as when he says "What could I have done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it?" And when he speaks as moral Governour, he speaks to men as moral agents, as having full power to do all that he commands. He lays his commands on men, without any reference to their need of a supernatural influHis threatenings and pro
xtract of a letter from an intelligent French Traveller, M. de Warville, dated Boston, July 30, 1788.
"Boston is just rising from the devastations of war, and its com
as moral agents and having natural
houses, you hear the forte piano. This art, it is true, is still in its infancy. God grant, that the Bostonian women may never, like those of France, acquire the mal
merce is flourishing; its manufac-ady of perfection in this art! It is tures, productions, arts and sciences, offer a number of curious and interesting observations.
The manners of the people are not exactly the same, as described by M. de Crevecœur. You no longer meet here that Presbyterian austerity, which interdicted all pleasures, even that of walking; which forbade travelling on Sunday; which persecuted men, whose opinions were different from their own. Musick, which their teachers formerly proscribed, as a diabolical art, begins to make part of their education. In some
never attained, but at the expense of the domestick virtues.
Neatness, without luxury, is seen every where,. at Boston, in their dress, in their houses, and in their churches. Nothing is more charming, than an inside view of the church on Sunday.-I shall never call to mind, without emotion, the pleasure I one day had, in hearing the respectable Mr. Clarke, successor to Dr. Chauncey. The discourse, the prayer, the worship, every thing, bore the same simplicity. The sermon breathed the best morality,
and it was heard with attention. The excellence of this morality characterizes almost all the sermons of all the sects, throughout The ministers the continent.
rarely speak of dogmas. Universal tolerance, the child of American independence, has banished the preaching of dogmas (principles, doctrines) which always lead to discussion and quarrels. All the sects admit nothing but morality, which is the same in all, and the only preaching proper for a great society of brethren. This tolerance is unlimited at Boston. Every one, at present, worships God in his own way. Anabaptists, Methodists, Quakers, and Catholicks, profess openly their opinions. Virtue, talents, and not religious opinions, are the tests of publick confidence.-The ministers of different sects live in such harmony, that they supply each other's places, when any one is detained from his pulpit. They have concluded, that it is best to tolerate each other.
Before this opinion was so general among them, they had established another: it was the necessity of reducing Divine worship to the greatest simplicity, and of not giving their priests enormous salaries, to enable them to live in luxury and idleness. They have succeeded. In the country, the Church has a glebe: in town, the ministers live on collections, made each Sunday in the church, and the rents of pews. It is an excellent practice to induce the ministers to be diligent in their studies, and faithful in their duty; for the preference is given to him whose discourses PLEASE THE MOST, and his salary is the most considerable. This economical institution, which has no example but in the primitive church, has been censured by those, who still believe in the tradition of orders. But, the Bostonians are so near believing, that every man may be his own preacher, that the apostolick doctrine has not found very warm advocates.”
ORDINATIONS AND INSTALLATIONS.
1825. Sept. 28. Ordained, Rev. TuoMAS HALL, as Pastor of the Congrega tional Church in Waterford, Vt. Sermon by the Rev. Silas M'Kean.
1825. Oct. 12. Ordained, Rev. ISAAC E. WILKINS, as Pastor of the Church in Garland, Me. Sermon by Rev. Professor Smith.
1825. Oct. 19. Ordained, Rev. LrMAN COLEMAN, as Pastor of the Congregational Church in Belchertown, Mas. Sermon by Rev. Mr. Hawes, of Hartford, Con.
1825. October 19. Ordained, Rev. Messrs. AARON FOSTER, HENRY B. HOOKER, RICHARD C. HAND, and ALVA DAY, as Evangelists. Sermon by Rev. Phineas Cooke, from II. Tim. ii. 4.
1825. Oct. 19. Ordained, Rev. HENRY WHITE, as Pastor of the Union Church in Brooks and Jackson, Me. Sermon by Rev. Professor Smith of Bangor.
1825. October 26. Ordained, Rev.
2 4 5 6 -3-4
as Colleague-Pastor with Rev. Nathaniel Webster, of the First Church in Biddeford, Me. Sermon by Rev. Jonathan Ward, from I. Cor. i. 21.
1825. Nov. 3. Ordained, Rev. HORACE B. CHAPIN, as Pastor of the South Congregational Church in Amherst, Me. Sermon by Rev. Mr. Birge.
1825. Nov. 9. Installed, Rev. CHARLES JENKINS, as Pastor of the Third Congre gational Church in Portland, Me. Sermon by Rev. Sereno E. Dwight, from John iv. 42.
1825. Nov. 9. Ordained, Rev. HENRY H. F. SWEET, as Pastor of the Congregational Church in Palmer, Mass. Sermon by Rev. Jacob Ide, from II. Thes. iv. 25.
1825. Ordained, Rev. WILLIAM K. TACOTT, over the Presbyterian Church in Nottingham West N.H. Ser mon by Rev. Dr. Dana.
1825. Installed, Rev. THOMAS W. DAMAN, as Pastor of the Second Congre. gational Church in York, Me. Sermon by Rev. Mr. Marsh.