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of saying that sinners cannot believe and obey, we take words of the same import, and say, they are wholly disinclined to do it, that they have an absolute aversion, an obstinate unwillingness to obey, which no arguments can overcome, every one sees that we mean to charge them with great and inexcusable wickedness. To be disinclined to do what is right, and inclined to do wrong, is so far from furnishing an excuse, that it is the very essence of sin.

This then is the answer I give to the first question of “Inquirer,” and it is the best answer I can give. If he is not satisfied with this; if he is not ready to admit that the sacred writers have good reason to affirm, that sinners can. not believe and obey, and that we have the same reason as they had to affirm it; and if he is not ready to admit, that it is the moral depravity or sinfulness of men, which constitutes the hinderance and the only hinderance to holy obedience; that this hinderance may justly be expressed as the sacred writers express it; and that to say that rational and moral beings cannot love God and obey his righteous law, is to represent them as exceedingly sinful, yea, desperately wicked; if he will not admit this, I know not on what principles I can argue the case with him, or how I can advance any thing that will conduce to his satisfaction.

But while we are, in the proper connection, to affirm that sinners cannot obey God; are we to affirm this in all cases, and whatever may be the drift of discourse ? By no means. When it is our object to describe men as rational and accountable agents, and to show what necessarily belongs to them as the proper subjects of the divine law, we must represent them as endued with competent powers and faculties; in other words, with what New England divines call a natural ability, commensurate with the divine requirements ; so that if they fail of obedience, it will not be for want of any of the requisite natural endowments. These endowments, these intellectual and moral faculties constitute the proper ground of obligation. When, with such an object in view, we say that man has power to do, or can do what God requires, we advance a truth of great importance, and virtually recognised by all.

On the other hand, it is not true, that sinners have in all respects an ability to keep the divine law, or that in every sense they can obey. There is an important sense in which they cannot obey. Those who have been thoroughly convinced of sin know, by their own experience, that sinners cannot come to Christ, unless the Father draw them, and they know too in what the inability consists. Now when we are speaking of men in a religious point of view; when our object is to describe them as sinners, or to show what is their moral character and state, and to induce them to look to Christ for salvation; then truth requires us to use the language of the inspired writers, and to make the alarming, humbling representation, that sinners cannot believe, or do any thing spiritually good. Unless we tell sinners this, how do we tell them the whole truth ? And if ministers of the gospel never tell sinners this, how do they conform to the infallible standard of God's word ?

There is one point more to be considered, though it must be in few words." Inquirer" asks, (p. 459.) whether the inability of an unsanctified man is such, was precludes the possibility of his changing his present state for a better one." And if so, then he asks, what we are to say of the com. mand,“ make you a new heart, and a new spirit.” I reply: This command, which is of the same import with the command to repent, or the command to turn from sin, is obligatory upon sinners, for the same reasons that all other moral precepts are.

God's commands are all holy, just, and good ; and they certainly do not cease to be bind. ing upon us, because we are disinclined to obey, or because our disinclination is so strong and obstinate, that nothing but the renewing influence of the Spirit can remove it, and bring us to cordial obedience. Now it is clear, that we are under no other inability or impossibility to comply with the command to change from a sinful to a holy state, than the inability we are under in regard to all the other commands of God. It is an inability of a moral kind, consisting in the entire depravity of the heart, or its total and invincible opposition to holiness. When the command comes to sinners, requiring them to love God, or to believe in Christ, the wickedness of their hearts interposes and prevents. This is the only hinderance; but it is an effectual hinderance. And when the command comes to them, to repent, to turn from sin, or to make them a new heart, the same cause prevents. Tell me in what sense unregenerate sinners are unable to love God, or what hinders them from loving God, and you at the same time tell me, in what sense they are unable "to change their present state for a better one,” or what it is which hinders such a change. And that depravity or wickedness of heart, which has prevented and which now prevents them from obeying this and every other divine command, will certainly, in opposition to reason, conscience and duty, continue to prevent till the day of salvation ends, unless God is pleased to have mercy upon them, and give them a new heart and a new spirit.

[To be continued.]

ARTICLE XII.

CRITICAL NOTICES.

1.-History of American Missions to the Heathen, from their

commencement to the present time. Worcester: Spooner

and Howland; 1840, pp. 818.* The design of this work is concisely stated in the advertisement. The want of a complete history of American Missions has been, for some time, extensively felt and generally acknowledged. The principal facts connected with their operations were, indeed, before the public ; but were scattered through many volumes, such as the periodicals of the several societies, memoirs of individual missionaries, and accounts of single missions. Probably no private or public library contained all the printed works necessary to a full examination of the subject. It is the object of this work to bring the substance of all these publications within the compass of one volume of convenient size and moderate expense ; supplying their deficiencies, reconciling their discrepancies and correcting their errors by reference to the original documents of the several missionary societies. For this purpose, several authors were engaged, each having the confidence of the Board whose history he was to prepare, and favored with

• We give the actual number of pages. In the copy which we have examined, pp. 528 10 620 are repeated.

access to its archives. The time expended on this work amounts to more than two entire years. The result of their labors is here submitted to the friends of missions and of general information, in the full belief that it will meet all reasonable expectations.” After a careful perusal of the volume, we do not hesitate to say that it does “meet all reasonable expectations.” It is all which it professes to be,-a full and faithful history of American missions.

The contents of the work are as follows: “1. History of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, compiled chiefly from the published and unpublished documents of the Board, by Rev. Joseph Tracy. 2. History of the missions of the Baptist General Convention, prepared under the superintendence of Rev. Solomon Peck, Foreign Secretary of the Board. 3. History of the Missions of the Methodist Episcopal church, by Rev. Enoch Mudge. 4. Missionary efforts of the Protestant Episcopal church in'the United States, prepared from official documents, by William Cutter. 5. History of the Freewill Baptist Foreign Mission Society, by Rev. Enoch Mack, Corresponding Secretary. 6. History of the Board of Foreign Missions of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian church in the United States of America, and of its Missions, by Rev. Joseph Tracy."

The history of the American Board of Commissioners for For. eign Missions is preceded by an introductory chapter, which gives a condensed and interesting view of Protestant Missions, previous to its formation. We wish it had been consistent with the plan of the work to present a more detailed account of the efforts which have been made-even from the first landing of the Pilgrims—to civilize and Christianize the Aborigines of this country. Our children, and our children's children will desire to know more-much more- -about the pioneers in this goodly enterprise, than is now generally known. Materials, still in existence to satisfy this inquiry, may then be lost.

The history of the American Board, including the appendix, occupies 320 pages. It begins with Mills, Hall and Richards at Williams College, their seasons of fasting and prayer, and their secret Missionary Society. It gives a particular account of the formation of the Board at Bradford, June 29, 1810. It takes us to the perils by sea and the perils by land, which our first missionaries were called to encounter. It leads us on from this day of small things, to the present hour We close the book, our eyes fixed on the crowded chapels and the immense churches of the Sandwich Islands-and exclaim : “What hath God wrought!”

The preparation of this narrative has been a work of very great labor. As a collection of facts, it is invaluable. Indeed, it may be regarded as an authority. Unlike most of our histories of missions, it shows us what has been done at home as well as abroad. It makes us acquainted with the advance of missionary feeling in this country. It explains, with sufficient detail, the principles of the Board, and, to some extent, its plans for the future. At the same time, it traces, diligently and accurately, the progress of the respective missions. It states the difficulties which have embarrassed their movements, the reverses which have befallen some of them, and the success—in some instances, the triumphant successwhich is now crowning their labors. To those who desire to understand the operations of the American Board, we recommend the present work as entitled to their implicit confidence. For the benefit of those friends of the Society who find themselves unable to purchase these collected histories of American missions, we will barely add, that the one of which we are now speaking is bound in a separate volume.

The history of the missions of the Baptist General Convention, occupying 268 pages, has been laboriously and carefully prepared. The account which it gives of the operations of the missionaries is somewhat more full than that of the American Board ; but the interest is well sustained throughout the narrative. Some incidents, indeed, growing out of the mission at Burmah, possess the charm of high-wrought fiction. No one we think, can rise from the perusal of this portion of the volume, without the sincerest joy in view of what our Baptist brethren are doing in their wide and inviting field.

The number of the missionaries, now in the service of the Convention, is about 150. Their principal stations are in India, Burmah, Siam, China, Africa, France, and among the Aborigines of this country. They appear to be diligent and successful in their work. And it is gratifying to see that their labors are appreciated at home. The cause of missions has evidently gained a strong hold upon the Baptists in the United States.

The compilers of the shorter histories in this volume, occupying together 98 pages, have performed the duty assigned them with commendable fidelity. The account of the missions of the Methodist Episcopal church is introduced by a brief notice of the visit of Wesley to this country in 1736. It was not till 1768-9, that the first American Methodist church was built in the city of New-York. The first Missionary Society was formed a little more than twenty years ago. In May 1820,

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