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from law-work as the ground of his confidence; hence the prominence which he gives to the doctrine of imputation,-a doctrine which lays man in the dust, and reduces him and all about him, whether as saint or as sinner, renewed or unrenewed, to a mere cypher in the matter of justification. The. doctrine itself, indeed, viewed as a theological point, may be demonstrated, we think, as clear as Scripture and reason can make it; for it amounts to nothing more nor less than this, that as Christ was dealt with as if he had been the guilty one in our room, so the believer is dealt with as if he were righteous in Christ. But without entering on this discussion, one thing is evident, that, by this system, Christian theology becomes decidedly objective in its character.
That both the subjective and objective views we have noticed are needful to a right comprehension of the truth, will, of course, be conceded by all who remember that the gospel deals with man both as criminal and as corrupt; but if we are asked which of the views is most characteristic of the gospel, we can have no hesitation in deciding upon the objective. Viewed in its subjective form, the gospel has nothing to distinguish it from other systems of religion or morals, except the superiority of the motives which it employs for the accomplishment of its purposes. It is the objectivity of Christianity-in the grand facts and mysteries of redemption-that gives it all its distinctiveness, impart to it all its dignity as a revelation, and all its efficacy as a moral instrument. It is hardly possible to do justice to the gospel, objectively considered,-meaning by this the glad tidings of salvation through Christ,-without fulfilling the great ends of the gospel, subjectively considered, as bearing on the spiritual transformation of the sinner. But it is quite possible, and by no means uncommon, to treat the gospel subjectively, in such a way as practically to ignore its objective character and lose sight of its distinctive glory and blessedness. Young and ardent preachers are apt to fall into this mistake. Finding themselves confronted with a class of hearers who give no evidences of regeneration, they cease to present the saving truths of the gospel, and confine themselves to a few commonplaces, bearing on the nature and necessity of conversion. A more fatal blunder can hardly be committed. Men are not to be converted by treatises on conversion. Dead souls are not to be quickened by being hectored on the necessity of regeneration. We never hear such preachers without thinking of the words addressed to the man of mistimed filial affection, "But go thou and preach the gospel." Another evil resulting from giving an undue predominance to the subjective over the objective form of the gospel is, that it tends to introvert the eye of the soul, to turn it away from "looking
unto Jesus," and to turn it in upon ourselves. Self-examination is good, provided it is occupied in "proving our own selves," by looking to the fruit of the Spirit in a holy life and heavenly conversation. The apostle, by the surprise which he expresses that Christians should not "know their own selves," plainly intimates that the regenerating work of the Spirit, as developed in conversion, corresponds with our nature as moral and intellectual agents, and may be detected in desires and affections perfectly cognoscible by all. But if, instead of looking to conversion, in which we are active agents, we look to regeneration, which is the exclusive work of the Spirit-if, instead of looking to the fruit, we are called to decide upon the mysterious working of the Spirit in producing the seed of the divine life, is there no danger of indulging in fanatical presumption, or yielding to perpetual doubting and despondency? May it not be owing to this that regeneration is never mentioned in our standard books as a distinct benefit of redemption, but included under our effectual calling and sanctification as the hidden spring of the visible stream? One thing, however, is certain, that Christian comfort, as well as true conversion, is a plant, the roots of which are to be sought, not in ourselves, but in Christ-the Christ of the Word, not the Christ of the heart. Now, the excellency of Hervey's school is, that it leads us entirely and at once out of ourselves to Christ. First, it presents us in Christ with what the sinner needs a perfect righteousness, to justify him before a holy God. We say, not merely with what God needs, an exhibition of justice, a vindication of law; but what man needs, a justice-satisfying and law-magnifying RIGHTEOUSNESS. And then, while the eye is fixed wishfully and with eager appetence on this desirable object, it assures every sinner of his immediate and unchallengeable right to accept of Christ as his own Saviour, and to rely on him. alone for salvation, founded on the divine offer or exhibition of him made in the gospel to all without exception. Thus, it presents an object "worthy of acceptation," and, at the same time, clears the path of the sinner from every obstacle in the way of his actually accepting it. Such was the doctrine of Paul when he prayed, "That I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law." Not mine own righteousness, pharisaic or evangelic; not mine own inherent holiness, but the righteousness of another Person. Not even the righteousness of my faith, as if my faith were now my righteousness, but "the righteousness which is by faith in Christ Jesus." Not a human righteousness, but "the righteousness which is of God by faith." lose sight of Paul altogether, Paul the sinner, and Paul the saint; and if we would seek for him, he is only to be "found
in Christ," identified with him as his righteousness. Such was Paul's theology-such was the theology of Hervey, and such, thank God, is now the theology of evangelical Christendom; the highest praise of which is, that it annihilates self, and secures the fulfilment of what is written, "He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord." The glorious objectivity of the gospel is preserved, and after all the visions and voices have been seen and heard on the mount of Revelation, the result is, that WE SEE NO MAN SAVE JESUS ONLY.
The more we study the subject, the more deeply do we feel convinced that our friends in England, who are so violently prejudiced against what they call Calvinism, are misspending their zeal against some unhappy caricature of the system, or some grim misconception of it which has no existence save in their own fancy. They are mistaken if they imagine that we hold our Calvinism in abeyance when we preach the gospel; if they suppose that, like the waters of the Arve and the Rhone at their confluence, the two streams flow alongside without amalgamation. On the contrary, we feel that our views of the sovereignty of divine grace impart depth and dignity to the whole scheme of redemption, while they do not in the least interfere with the perfect freeness and universality of the gospel invitation. We distinguish between the ground of the sinner's hope, and the source of the believer's consolation. The sinner, we firmly hold, is justified and saved, not because he has been elected to life, but because he has believed on the Son of God. But with equal firmness do we hold that the believer on the Son of God has reason to "thank God who has from the beginning chosen him to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." The word of the gospel presents nothing before the eye of the sinner but Christ and him crucified." But before the opened eye of faith, resting on the cross of Calvary, the vista of eternity, past and to come, opens up in a blaze of heavenly splendour; and he beholds, in the outstretched arms of the Crucified, one hand pointing, as it were, to the eternal love of the Father, and the other to the sure prospect of life everlasting. Nothing can be more untrue in fact, or more contradicted by the experience of every genuine believer, than the idea that the system of Hervey is encumbered with difficulties, or calculated to involve the soul in all the metaphysical dilemmas which have been rashly ascribed to the Calvinistic doctrine of election. On the contrary, it could be shown, from an incalculable number of witnesses, that it is the only way of successfully escaping at once from the quagmire of doubt and the ignis fatuus of enthusiasm. It is some consolation to Calvinists to reflect that the objections usually brought against their
system of doctrine resolve themselves into the two brought against that of Paul, and that they have been answered by anticipation in the sixth and ninth chapters of the epistle to the Romans. And it is no less consoling to think that their distinguishing tenets are so entwined with the precious gospel, that they cannot assert the blessed perfection of its righteousness, and the freeness of its offered salvation, without finding themselves compelled, as Hervey was, to fight the battle of their Calvinism. Instead, however, of contenting ourselves with general reasoning, we shall close by giving a practical instance of what we have advanced. It is in the shape of an extract from the letter of an intelligent correspondent, a true Calvinist, who, knowing that we were engaged on the subject of the present article, writes us as follows:
"I have a vivid recollection of the struggles I had with this perverted view of the doctrine of election. If, I reasoned, I am elected to salvation, I must and will be saved, for the purposes of God cannot fail; but if I am not chosen to salvation, all my endeavours are of no avail, and it is better to enjoy myself in this world than struggle after a condition which I can never attain. Like all others, I suppose, in this state, I entertained very erroneous views about the nature of faith, imagining that it was produced in the heart by such a supernatural process as left no room for the exercise of the mind and the affections, in the way of being influenced by motives and desires; in other words, I imagined that faith and regeneration were, the one implanted, and the other effected, by some mysterious process in which the person was consciously passive, and not in accordance with his character as an intelligent and reasonable being, and hence this error paralysed my endeavours and desires to believe. I had no clear or correct view of the warrant of sinners, as such, immediately to rely on Christ for salvation, and consequently no just view of the perfect freedom of the gospel offer. In my moments of greatest distress, I never once thought of coming direct to Christ as a sinner, and as such relying on him for pardon and acceptance, but desired some immediate, supernatural, self-conscious exercise of divine power which would, at once and for ever, deliver me from my present awful condition, and introduce me into the state and blessedness of a new creature. You will see from this statement where the great error of many convinced sinners lies, who, like me, had a confused and partial acquaintance with Bible truth, and you will also perceive the suitableness of the remedy to which divine providence directed me.
"I was nearly seventeen years of age when I met with 'Theron and Aspasio.' I had read the Meditations' before, and had also seen and partly read the work just mentioned, but at this time I read it through and was astonished to find, what I never knew before (in the same manner), that all sinners are warranted, by the express declaration of the Giver, to accept Christ as their Saviour, each for himself, to appropriate-aye, appropriate-Christ and salvation by him, and to do this immediately, without waiting for any other warrant or preparation than the declaration of God, and their own pressing, imme
diate, and absolute need. This doctrine is so fully and explicitly set forth in the 15th and 16th Dialogues, that it left me no room for further doubt or delay; and in the state of mind in which I then was, this discovery led, not merely to an enlargement of knowledge or a change of opinion, but, at least, to an endeavour to accept Jesus Christ and to rely on him for salvation, and was followed with a peace and joy which I had never known before, and which, though often lost and obscured, I would not exchange with all that the world could bestow."
ART. II.-1. Discourses on Christian Nurture. By HORACE BUSHNELL, D.D., Pastor of the North Church, Hartford. Approved by the Committee of Publication. Boston: Massachusetts Sabbath School Society. 12mo. Pp. 72. 2. Dr Tyler's Letter to Dr Bushnell on Christian Nurture. 8vo. Pp. 22.
3. An Argument for "Discourses on Christian Nurture," addressed to the Publishing Committee of the Massachusetts Sabbath School Society. By HORACE BUSHNELL. Hartford: Edwin Hunt. 8vo. Pp. 48.
THE leading idea of Dr Bushnell's Discourses is organic, as distinguished from individual life. Whatever may be thought of the expression, or whatever may be the form in which it lies in his mind, it represents a great and obvious truth; a truth which, however novel it may appear to many of our New England brethren, is as familiar to Presbyterians as household words. Strange, and in our view distorted, as is the form in which this truth appears in Dr Bushnell's book, and incongruous as are the elements with which it is combined, it still has power to give his Discourses very much of an "eld-school" cast, and to render them in a high degree attractive and hopeful in our estimation. Apart from the two great illustrations of this truth, the participation of the life of Adam by the whole race, and of the life of Christ by all believers, we see on every hand abundant evidence that every church, nation, and society has a common life, besides the life of its individual members. This is the reason why nothing of importance can occur in one part of the church without influencing all other parts. No new form of doctrine, no revival or decline of spiritual life can exhibit itself in New England, that is not effective throughout the Presbyterian Church. We as a body owe, in no small measure, our character, as distinguished from other Presbyterian communities, to our participation, so to speak, of the life of New England; and the New England churches are indebted,