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Sonie of the Presbyteries keep aloof from a union so essen. tial to church order from a most mistaken deference to a few half-Presbyterian ministers who are associated with them; and others from motives equally subversive of Presbyterian principles. Judging from
historical facts, and from the deteriorating tendency of even a small wilful deviation from the acknowledged structure of God's house, there is reason to fear that Presbyterianism in England will ere. long be utterly annihilated. This must inevitably be the case, unless the proposed connexion with the Church of Scotland, or some other measure equally efficient, be speedily carried into effectgi for collecting the scattered fragments into a solid, consistent, and beautiful mass. Broken down, as they in the meantime are, into churches and into insulated Presbyteries, over which no inspection and control exist, with their avowed sentiments they present an unseemly aspect, they preclude the very possibility of respeet, of influence, and of general usefulness as a body. Nay, it cannot be disguised in their present state they carry within themselves as a distinct denomination the elements of self-destruction.
(To be continued.)
Tho following is the form of a card sometime ago prepared by the Conductors of a Sabbath School. The particular pur. pose for which it was intended, was to prepare the children upon the different subjects, stated in it, as an exercise for a public examination. Each child was furnished with a copy of the card and assisted in a diligent study of the various doctrines, chiefly as expressed in the several texts of Scripture affixed to each. Its use was found to serve many valuable purposes, and it is now given to our readers, in the hope that it may suggest some valuable hints to those who are engaged in the good work of Sabbath-School instruction. I. Man's original condition.-Gen. i. 26, 27; Ps. viii. 5,
6 ; Ecc. vii. 29. II. Man's Fall.--Gen, ii. 17; iii. 6. 17, 18, 19; 1Cor. xv.21. III. All men fell in Adam.-Psalm li. 5; Rom. v. 12.14;
1 Cor. xv. 22. IV. Man cannot save himself.—Job xiv, 4; Prov. xx. 9;
Rom. iii. 20; Eph. ii. 8.
V. God sent his only begotten Son to save sinners.--John
ii. 16; Gal. iv. 4, 5; 1 John iv. 9. 10. 14. VI. Christ is God.- Isa. ix. 6; 'xliv. 6 John i. 1, 2, 3. 10;
John x. 30; Rom. ix. 5; Heb. i. 8. VII. Christ made atonement for sin.- Isa. liii. 5, 6; John
x. 11; Eph. ii. 13, 14; Col. i. 19, 20; 1 Pet. ij. 18. VIII. Sinners are justified by the righteousness of Christ.
Acts xiii. 39; Rom.in. 22, 25, 26; v. 17, 18, 19;
1 John ii. 1, 2. IX, Salvation is by faith.-Mark xvi. 16; John iii. 36 ;
Acts xvi. 31; Rom. i. 17; Gal. ii. 16; iii. 26.
Psalm Ixviii. 18; John xvi. 7; Acts ii. 33; Eph. i.
13, 14. XI, The Holy Spirit 'renews the heart.-John vi. 63;
Rom. v. 5; 1 Cor, vi. 11: 2 Cor. ii. 18; Titus
iii. 5, 6. XII. The fruits of the Spirit abound in the Christian.
Ez. xxxvi. 26, 27; Rom. vii. 9; Gal. v. 16. 22, 23; Eph. v. 9.
Who will render to every man according to his deeds." —Rom. ii. 16.
I HAVE often considered that many professed followers of the Lord Jesus, and even some who repose all their hopes of safety on his finished work, have but a vague conception of the test by which, as we are informed in the above, and many other passages, God is to judge the world. The Book of Revelation is so decidedly hostile to meritorious Justificationso’explieit in its statements, that it is by Faith we stand; the experience of the awakened sinner accords so harmoniously with the representations in holy writ of the spirituality of the Jaw, and of his inability to keep it, and the death of Christ in the latter day, has so wonderfully demonstrated the insufficiency of human endeavours to procure divine favour, that to many it might appear scarcely consistent with the plan of redemption to exhibit works as at all connected with our acquital or condemnation. Such an opinion, however, we shall endeavour to shew is by no means warranted, and arises either from a partial examination of Scripture- from forgetting that while it is through grace alone the sinner is saved, he is required to
exhibit a life of holiness as indicative to its tendency, and from not remembering that as long as a combination of elements is connected with any effect, we may speak of the change produced by their co-operation as the consequence of one or other of them.
With respect to works or actions in general, it will not be denied that they are occasioned by the feelings of the mind. Various as are the opinions of moralists respecting the nature of virtue, almost all are agreed on the impropriety of designating any work as good, unless it have originated from a pure and holy principle; and that an action by no means derives its moral character solely from the effects consequent upon its performance. Mind' is so generally considered to be the source of the sublime and beautiful, both natural and moral, that we might almost admit it as an axiom, that actions are but the feelings of the soul clothed in visible language. Sound philosophy indeed will invariably be found to harmonize with the declarations of Revelation; and it is pleasing to see the conclusions of scientific moralists confirming the testimony of our Blessed Lord, that “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh."
To a person who has not devoted much time to the study of abstract principles, the harmony of Scripture doctrine, or the niceties of the language in which it has been published, it might seem almost impossible to reconcile the statements that we are to be judged according to our works with those which affirm that it is by faith in Christ that the people of the Lord are distinguished from the objects of his righteous indignation; and some might perhaps from the former declarą. tion be induced to settle down in the opinion so flattering to the pride of the human heart, that we must not leave ourselves out of the question when the subject of our salvation is agitated. Such individuals forget the nature of gospel holiness, and overlook the principle laid down in the bible, that all actions are vain, and all virtue empty, unless originating in a heart renewed after the image of God, or of such a tendency as to advance his glory. Love to the Author of our being is an affection insisted on no where but in the Scriptures ; nor would unenlightened man ever have attained a knowledge either of its nature or the manner of its exercise. In the gospel dispensation however it occupies a conspicuous place. We are there told of the necessity of loving God with the whole heart; and when the Lord Jesus was shewing to the Jews the poverty of their obedience, he said " I know you, that you baye not
the love of God in you;" intimating that however lovely we may appear in the eyes of the world, it is only when this principle actuates the soul that we can hope for acceptance from our Judge.
We need only glance at the page of Revelation, to see that a total change must take place in the character of man before he can be admitted into favour, with the Most High. He is every where exhibited in bis natural state as having a corrupt heart, which imparts its malignity to his very best services. We are told that he is in a state of darkness, and that it is the Lord Jesus alone who can dispel the gloom brooding over his nature ; that he is at a distance from God, and that it is only through the blood of the eternal covenant that he can be brought nigh; and, most alarming thought, he is even represented as
enemy of God-opposed to his will —a bater of holiness--and glorying in his rebellion against the throne of heaven. The picture may be more highly coloured in some cases than in others, but could we examine the fạirest exemplar of mere natural virtue, the same dark outline would everywhere be discovered. It is manifest that a being of such moral turpitude cannot do aught to merit the approbation of a pure Spirit
, much less can he be admitted into intimate communion with him, and were there no provision made for his recovery in the dispensations of grace, he must have been given over to eternal ruin. But the Lord has made known a plan by which sin can be pardoned, and the boliness of his law and his own faithfulness be kept untarnished. He bas been graciously pleased to exercise his sovereignty in man's salvation, and to raise up in the body of the sinner a temple where he himself may dwell. A change, a total reformation takes place in the experience of the offender. He was before in darkness and gloom-he is now brought into the enjoyment of the full blaze of the Sun of Righteousness; his soul was once covered with weeds and thorns; a field where there was nothing but sterility and barrenness. A seed is then implanted, small indeed at first, but of a precious nature-it soon germinates and bears fruit destined to adorn the garden of the Lord.
The Spirit of God in infinite condescension to man, has been pleased to represent the changes effected by his agency
in the character of the sinner, as somewhat analogous to those
kingdom of nature. It is common in Scripture for the vital principle of grace to be likened to seed, and for the righteous to be compared to trees planted by the
hand of the Most High. We see the husbandman forth at this season and cast his grain into the bosom of the earth. He trusts, at least he ought to trust, on the promise of God, that while the earth remaineth seedtime and harvest shall not cease, and it would be in vain for him to expect a crop without the necessary preparation. So it is with man in reference to God. In his natural state he may seem to bloom luxu. riantly, but his verdure is the rankness of weeds springing up in an accursed soil. But the Lord can change that soil he prepares it by his good spirit, and commits to its keeping the seed of bis grace. It is not left there to die, but to bring forth fruit in abundance; yea, until the whole soul is adorned with the peaceable fruits of righteousness. They misrepresent the Gospel, then, who say that it tendeth to licentiousness; it is the only dispensation that has made effectual provision for perfect holiness; and the individual who may have tasted of the “heavenly gift," and has abused its richness by cold reasonings on its nature without rising from glory to glory, will be overwhelmed with everlasting infamy. The Jewish church of old was compared to a fig-tree. "It was of the Lord's planting, and was tended with the utmost care. tion to its advantages was the more fruit looked for, and year after
year was sought evidence of its goodness. In this however it was found wanting. It brought forth the leaves of an outward profession, but they were not followed nor attended by the fruit of a holy life. Grieved that they had done dispite to the Spirit of his grace, the Lord gave the command“ Cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground.” And when the gardener interceded on its behalf, he consented that if after another season's trial it still continued barren, he himself would yield to its destruction. We see in this and many
other cases that the seed had to be planted before good fruit was expected, and the condemnation of the barrenness of the tree should operate as a warning both to churches and individuals, that while it is through free grace alone we can be saved, that grace must be exhibited in living personality.
It is further worthy of observation, that the new obedience of the believer is no where said to depend on the law of Moses. “ Remembering,” says Paul to the Thessalonians, " your work of faith.' It is worthy of remark, that he does not call it work of Law; it was work flowing from a heavenly principle in the soul-work in accordance with their relation to Jesus the author and finisher of that grace, for he immediately adds, “ your labour of love." The Apostle has told us in his epistle to the Hebrews, that “ without faith it is impossible to