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ungodly, demands no prerequisite, but a guilty conscience, and this surely is common to the savage with the civilized finner.
We have said that this scheme is founded on errors of the first importance. We cannot therefore be surprised that the rest of Mr. J's. work should afford too many causes of censure. -For example. That must surely be a strange system of religion which is founded merely on the belief of the justice, rectitude and holiness of God, unconnected with the view of his goodness or mercy.
Yet Mr. J. seriously informs us, that under the Jewish difpenfation, the piety of believers was formed from such a system (see Page 15). Has Mr. J. a different canon of fcripture from that which is commonly received? Or does he forget that memorable passage of facred writ, in which Jehovah proclaims himself to the Ifraelites, the LORD, the LORD God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgresion and fin? - What is become of the book of Psalms ? are they all, except that from which he has drawn his text, to be expunged from the sacred canon? or must we suppose that the numerous praises of the Divine mercy and goodness and love, which they contain, are like an ideot's tale « full of found and fury, signifying nothing ?”-Or what was the design of the whole of the Jewish dispensation, its miracles, its prophecies, its civil polity, and its religious rites ? was it not to exhibit Jehovah in the endearing character of the just God and the Saviour?
Again, Mr. J. tells us, that the great excellency of the Old Testament, consists in its inculcating the doctrine of the Divine ubiquity.
(page 10, 11.) Now if this truth be, as he also informs us, the parent principle of goodness, a revelation surely was but little needed, as this parent principle of goodness was taught by many, of the heathen sages. For though the learned writer informs us, that philosophers looked in vain after this principle, some of our readers. will perhaps recollect a passage in Xenophon, in which it is as sti ongly expressed as in Mr. J's, sermon. (Mem. L. 1. c. 4.)-Besides if the piety of the ancient believers was founded on this doctrine, why cannot the devotion of the modern Deists be acceptable to God, since they retain in their creed “ this parent principle of “ goodness,"_" this soul of genuine wisdom, 66 which when cordially embraced, gives life, " and strength, and, spirit, to virtuous princi« ple.” He might therefore have spared his indignant exclamations, against the insidious arts. of false criticism--the minute cavils of insane philofophy—and the mock piety of deistical quietism, &c. The false critic, the minute philosopher, and the deistical quietist all agree witla Mr. J. in his fundamentals of Christianity, and charity forbade him to quarrel about the noneffentials of religion. 'Tis true, Mr. J. feems, from the compliments he is pleased to bestow upon Christ, (page 15, 16.) to be an asserter of his divinity, and thus perhaps his creed may seein to be distinguished, from that of the perfons whom he has reprobated. But this doctrine seems to occupy a very inferior rank in his system of theology, as he has made but little use of it in displaying the excellence of the scriptures, and has even placed on his roll of Christian worthies, the names of two of its most celebrated opponents. (page 75.) Indeed, except in certain cases, he seems not to be very nice about such trifles as religious opinions ; let but a GREAT man have the name of Christian, he is sufficiently recommended to Mr. J. and is immediately celebrated as one “ whose piety more than “ kept pace with his intellectual attainments ;" he may be a protestant, or papist; a defender, or an oppofer of the Trinity; this is a matter of small importance: it is Mr. J's. maxim, Tros, Rutulusve fuat, nullo discrimine habebo ; and the same catalogue which contains the names of Boyle and of Pascal, holds up to our admiration the religion of a Newton and a Locke!
On the whole, although Mr. J's design of recommending the scriptures merits our applause, we are sorry to say that his work affords a very inadequate conception of what constitutes their fuperiority; and were we not otherwise persuaded of their divine excellence, what Mr. J. has urged would have been insufficient to convince us of their importance.—The great distinguishing feature of Christianity, the view of God just and the justifier of the ungodly, seems to have no place in his fyftem of theology; its efficacy in giving peace to the self-condemned sinner, by proving that the blood of Christ cleanseth from all fin, is passed by, as a quality of little estimation. Instead of these glories it is invested with a false brilliancy; it is decorated by the names of men of talents and rank, instead of being allowed to force our applause by its intrinsic beauties. At one time it is commended for what it has in common with other even rival systems of religion. Now it is applauded for merely inferior excellencies, for “the harmonious connec« tion and luminous order of the sacred oracles," for those beauties of expression, and delicacies
" of sentiment, which are fo admirably calculated os to delight the taste and captivate the affections.” And it is even recommended sometimes for qualities which it disowns, for “inducing a renewed “ relish for the pure, innocent, and simple
pleasures of life."
Thus have we directed our readers' attention to Mr. I's. pamphlet, and pointed out what has appeared to us erroneous or defective in his representation of Christianity. As some of his errors are on fubjects of the greatest importance, we presume that none who are, what all profess to be, sincere lovers of truth, will be displeased at the minuteness of our examination. But if any conceive our scrutiny to have been too ftrict, or our censures too severe, let them remember that it is our duty earnestly to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints, and that our final happiness or misery will depend upon our admission or rejection of divine truth.
The Scriptural Account of the Way in which
FAITH comes, opposed to the POPULAR DocTRINE on that Subject.
It is often asked, are no rules to be observed, no means to be used, no works to be exerted by the human mind or body, in order to justification? The answer is ready: yes, very many. And they may be thus shortly summed up: " Be perfect; keep the commandments, and “ thou shalt live.” The obligation of the law is eternal, so can never be loosed.--But perhaps another state of the question will be demanded, and that faith should be more directly respected therein. Well then, let it stand thus : ought not a man to be at pains to attain to the persuafion, that all the pains he takes are good for nothing, except to enhance his guilt ? Here we are landed at downright absurdity. For who will. labour in hopes of being convinced, that all his labour is to no purposë, unless to his hurt? Who will travel an hundred miles, in the hopes of being persuaded at the journey's end of his. folly in attempting to travel at all? Yet on some such principle we must travel, and that too with much fatigue, and in the midst of many perplexities, if we will be conducted by the popular" doctrine.
The question then will still remain, how is faith obtained ? This we would answer by putting another question, how have the most remarkable discoveries that have served most for the accommodation of human life been obtained ? Has not, that providence, which continually watches over the life of man, prevented human skill and industry in giving the first hint of these? We are told, that the polar direction of the magnet obtruded itself on the first difcoverer, when he was in queft of no such thing, being occupied in some very different enquiry. Do we not owe our knowledge of the falutary virtue of the Jesuit's Bark, and many other medicines, to the divine Providénce preventing human fagacity? Has not the chymist often been surprised with useful discoveries when at his wit's end, and when he thought all his labour and expence loft?
If then it evidently appear, by the frequent and remarkable escapes and deliverances of unwary men, by the daily preservation of all, and