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and suffered, as given by himself and his followers. So of depravity, so of election or predestination, so of perseverance, so of future happiness and wo. What, then, are the doctrines of Christianity? Simply staments of what has been, of what is, and what will be in the government of God. In this every thing is as far as possible from abstraction. There is as little abstraction, and, why may we not add, as little sacredness, in these facts-we mean sacredness to prevent inquiry into their true nature as there is in the science of geology, the growth of a vegetable, or the operations of the human intellect. We may add, that in no way has systematic theology rendered more essential disservice to mankind, than in drawing out the life-blood from these great facts--unstringing the nerves, stiffening the muscles, and giving the fixedness. of death to them, as the anatomist cuts up the human frame, removes all the elements of life, distends the arteries and veins with wax, and then places it in his room of preparations, as cold and repulsive as are some systems of technical divinity.

In the doctrines of Christianity, as given us in the Bible, we find nothing of this abstract and unreal character. The whole tenor of the Scriptures prepares us to demand that theology be invariably conformed to the laws of the mind and the actual economy of the moral and material universe. The. changes which have taken place in orthodox systems of divinity since the era of the Reformation have been chiefly owing to the changes in the system of mental and moral science. Whenever that system shall be fully understood, and established on the immovable foundation of truth, all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity, will be of one mind in their mode of stating the doctrines of the gospel, as they already are in their spiritual feelings. Till then, all that can be done by the friends of truth will be to show, that the objections which are urged against the doctrines of grace, can

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be urged, with equal power, against all the facts in God's moral government.

From the beginning, formidable objections have been brought against what are called the Doctrines of Grace, or the Evangelical System, or Calvinism. These objections have seldom, if ever, been drawn from the Bible. Their strength has consisted in the alleged fact, that these doctrines are in opposition to the established principles by which God governs the world. We concede that there is just enough of apparent irregularity in those principles to make these objections plausible with the great mass of men, just as there was enough of irregularity and improbability in the Copernican system of astronomy, to make it for a long time liable to many and plausible objections. Certain appearances strongly favoured the old doctrine, that the sun, moon, and stars travelled, in marshalled hosts, around our insignificant orb, just as, in the Arminian system, certain appearances may seem to indicate that man is the centre of the system, and that God, and all the hosts of heaven, live and act chiefly to minister to his comfort. But it is now clear that all the proper facts in astronomy go to prove, that the earth is a small part of the 'plan, and to confirm the system of Copernicus. So we affirm that the Calvinistic scheme, despite all Arminian appearances, is the plan on which this world is actually governed; and that all the objections that have been urged against it are urged against facts that are fixed in the very nature of things. And we affirm that a mind which could take in all these facts, could make up the Calvinistic scheme without the aid of revelation, from the actual course of events; just as in the ruins of an ancient city the skilful architect can discern in the broken fragments, pillars of just dimensions, arches of proper proportions, and the remains of edifices of symmetry and grandeur.

In entering on this subject, however, we cannot but remark,

that the evangelical scheme is often held answerable for that which it did not originate. We mean that, when opposers approach the Christian system, they almost universally hold it responsible for the fall, as well as the recovery of man. They are not willing to consider that it is a scheme proposed to remedy an existing state of evil. Christianity did not plunge men into sin. It is the system by which men are to be recovered from wo-wo which would have existed to quite as great an extent, certainly, if the conception of the evangelical system had never entered the Divine mind. The theory and practice of medicine is not to be held answerable for the fact that man is subject to disease and death. It finds men thus subject; and all that can be justly required of the art is, that to which it makes pretensions, viz. that it can do something toward removing or alleviating human suffering. So in Christianity. That men are, in fact, in the midst of sin, suffering, and death, is undeniable. The doctrine is common to the deist, the atheist, and the Christian. For that Christianity is not answerable. It proposes a remedy, and that remedy is properly the Christian system. Still we shall not, in our present discussion, avail ourselves of this very obvious remark; but shall proceed to notice the objections to the entire series of revealed facts, as if they constituted one system-and the rather as the evangelical system proposes a statement respecting the exact extent of the evil, which has an important bearing on the features of the remedy proposed.

1. The first fact, then, presented for our examination is the fall of man. The Scriptures affirm that a solitary act-an act in itself exceedingly unimportant-was the beginning of that long train of sin and wretchedness which has passed upon our world. Now, we acknowledge that to all the mystery and fearfulness of this fact our bosoms beat with a full response to that of the objector. We do not understand the reason of it; and what is of more consequence to us and to the objector, is,

that an explanation of this mystery forms no part of the system of revelation. The only inquiry at present before us, is, whether the fact in question is so separated from all other events, as to be expressly contradicted by the analogy of


We know there has been a theory which affirms that we are one with Adam-that we so existed in his loins as to act with him that our wills concurred with his will-that his action was strictly and properly ours-and that we are held answerable at the bar of justice for that deed, just as A. B. at fifty is responsible for the deed of A. B. at twelve. In other words, that the act of Adam involving us all in ruin, is taken out of all ordinary laws by which God governs the world, and made to stand by itself, as incapable of any illustration from analogy, and as mocking any attempt to defend it by reasoning. With this theory we confess we have no sympathy; and we shall dismiss it with saying, that, in our view, Christianity never teaches that men are responsible for any sin but their own; nor can they be guilty, or held liable to punishment, in the proper sense of that term, for conduct other than that which has grown out of their own wills. Indeed, we see not how, if it were a dogma of a pretended revelation that God might at pleasure, and by an arbitrary decree, make crime pass from one individual to another-striking onward from age to age, and reaching downward to "the last syllable of recorded time," punished in the original offender; repunished in his children; and punished again and again, by infinite multiples, in countless ages and individuals—and all this judicial infliction, for a single act performed cycles of ages before the individuals lived, we see not how any evidence could shake our intrinsic belief that this is unjust and improbable. We confess we have imbibed other views of justice; and we believe that he who can find the head and members of this theory in the Bible, will have no difficulty in finding

there any of the dogmas of the darkest night that ever settled on the church.

But that the consequences or results of an action may pass over from one individual to another, and affect the condition of unborn generations, we hold to be a doctrine of the sacred Scriptures, and to be fully sustained by the analogy of nature.* And no one who looks at the scriptural account of the fall and recovery of man, can doubt that it is a cardinal point in the system. We affirm that it is a doctrine fully sustained by the course of events around us. Indeed, the fact is so common, that we should be exhausting the patience of our readers by attempting to draw out formal instances. Who is ignorant of the progressive and descending doom of the drunkard? Who is a stranger to the common fact that his intemperance wastes the property which was necessary to save a wife and children from beggary; that his appetite may be the cause of his family's being despised, illiterate, and ruined; that the vices which follow in the train of his intemperance often encompass his offspring, and that they, too, are profane, unprincipled, idle, and loathsome? So of the murderer, the thief, the highwayman, the adulterer. The result of their conduct rarely terminates with themselves. They are lost to society, and their children are lost with them. Nor does the evil stop here. Not merely are the external circumstances of the child affected by the misdeeds of a parent, but there is often a dark suspicion resting upon his very soul; there is felt to be in him a hereditary presumptive tendency to crime, which can be removed only by a long course of virtuous con

Rom. v. 12-19; 1 Cor. xv. 21, 22, 49; Josh. vii. 24, 25; Ex. xvii. 16; 1 Sam. xv. 2, 3; Matt. xxiii. 35. This view is by no means confined to revelation. The ancient heathen long since observed it, and regarded it as the great principle on which the world was governed. Thus Hesiod says, “ πολλάκι καὶ ξύμπασα πόλις κακοῦ ανδρὸς ἐπαυροῦ.” And Horace says, "Quicquid delirant reges plectuntur Achivi."

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