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The extensive circulation of Mr. sermon, that the charge in question Mant's work has given rise to many “muhl well have been disregarded, minor compositioos, both published whico it was in the mouth of a few and unpublished, on the saine topic, seceders from the church."-" Then, and will probably continue for some inderd,” continues the preacher, time to produce similar effects. We " might the accusation have been might, perhaps, in consequence of our soffered to invalidate itself. But, having already entered so fully into alas! it is not now from the open the general merits of the question *, enmity alone of those who have left have been excused from noticing the Establishment that we suffir this Dr. Holland's publication. But Vic dishonour; but from the misdirected sitation Sermons, printed at the zeal of some of our own familiar request of a considerable body of friends, of some who sull walk with the clergy, though not always con. us in the house of God, as friends!"clusive evidence of their sentiments, That the extracts whicb
are to are yet entitled to more than ordin support and illustrate this charge, nary attention ; and in the present should be chiefly composed of pascase, there is a suflicient degree of sages from the Journals of whitenovelty to justify us in laying some field and Wesley; from the Meaccount of it before our readers. thodist and Evangelical Magazines;
The design of this sermon is ob- and from other professedly Sec-
spel. Dr. Holland conceived, there introduced, and with reference to · fore, and very justly, that it would this formidable charge, which is the
be expedient in publishing his ser- ground-work of the sermon, did inmon, to verify his representations deed excite in our minds feelings of by quotations from the authors to miogled astonishment, indignation. whom he refers. He has accordo and regret. The passage from the ingly added an Appendix of " Ex- "Pracucai View”ofthis distinguished tracts from Sectarian Writers, and layman, which is quoted expressly as Notes." Now before we proceed to this point, is the following:any further, we beg to direct the “ In our days, the peculiar docallention of our readers to the title trines of Christianity have almost of these extracis. They are slated altogether vanished from the view. to be from sociarian writers. No Even in many sermons scarcely any olhers are mentioned ; and that the traces of them are to be found. In term was not adopted without ina a subsequent note, Dr. Holland has tention, or inerely with a view to added another sentence from this describe, as it does very correctly, eloquent work, to this effect:--" Let the greater part of the quotations, our churches no longer witness that but to comprehend them all, is unseemly discordance, which has manifest
, both from the customary too much prevailed, between the reference to the well-known appel- prayers which precede and the serlation of “ Evangelical Preachers,
mon which follows.” Now without or Gospel Ministers ;” and from the urging any further the disingenuous declaration at the opening of the and uncandid classification to which
Dr. Holland, io bis zeal to establish See the Christian Observer for March, his own view of the question, has 1813.
resorted respecting Mr. Wilberforce, CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 147.
what is there in either of the passages the Reformation was most general extracted from bis work, which is of and striking about the ume ai which a sectarian tendency, or which is not Wesley and White field commenced completely borne nut by unques- their bold and eccentric career. We tionable facts? They are both taken are under no apprehevsion whatfrom that part of ihe “ Practical ever, that our own principles will View,” in which a brief inquiry is be mistaken by any competent and instituted inio the state of Chris- candid judges, and therefore we tianity in this country at the time feel no hesitation in expressing our when the author was writing, that is opinion, that notwithstanding the in the year 1797, nearly seventeen irregularity and enthusiasm of years since, together with some of their proceedings, these extraordithe causes which led to it, Chris- nary men were the instruments of tianity, at that period, was said to have rousing numbers in the Church of greatly declined into a mere system England out of the lethargy into of ethics; and the cause to which which they had suuk, and of leading this unhapry declension was said to the way to a general recurrence to be principally owing, was the re- the evangelical doctrines which vulsion of religious sentiment and had been so much neglected. Their Seeling, consequent upon the gross efforts, however, tended rather to abuse of the doctrines of grace by make converts from the middle and many of the sectaries in the reign lower orders of the laity, than from of Charles the First. And is it not the rich and the learned, more espenotorious, that the divines of the cially of the clergy. The improveChurch of England subsequent to the meni, iberefore, in the church at Restoration, from a strong impres- large was neither rapid nor promi. sion of these abuses, and of the evils To promote this, an impulse which had resulted from them, did from a higher, and a more accregradually run into the opposite ex. diled quarter was required ; and this treme, until the peculiar doctrines we cannot but avow proceeded in a of Christianity almost vanished from great measure, though certainly in the view ? Tois fact has been ac connexion with other coincident knowledged by Secker and Por- causes, from the animated work of teus, by Barrington and Horsley, the eminent person to whom we and many other distinguished pre are referring From the period of Jates of our church, who have la- that important publication, a very boured by their exhortations and decided difference has appeared in examples, to raise the general tone the divinity of the Church of Eng. of doctrinal preaching amongst the land. Merely moral discourses beclergy. It requires, indeed, but a gan to be exploded, and the genuine very moderate acquaintance with doctrines of the Gospel were far the current divinity of the hundred more generally and earnestly inculyears preceding the publication of cated. The improvement in the Mr. Wilberforce's work, not state of things in this respect is perr subscribe to the truth of both his fectly notorious, and forins one of observations, that many sernions of the leading sources of congratulathat period exhibited bat faint traces tiup and thankfulness at the present of the peculiar doctrines of the moment. Indeed, that any man, Gospel; and thai, without comparing who on some points can write with them to the sentiments of Calvin, candour and good sense, should, as Dr. Holland would seem to io even with reference to the period sinuate, a marked discordance when they were first published, class might be perceived between the the judicious and temperate animado prayers which preceded and many versions of Mr. Wilberforce on the of ine sermons which followed. state of the national religion, with This departure from the doctrines of the coarse and exaggerated aceusa
tions of the leaders of the Me- they conform themselves to those thodists, more than half a century excellent rules. Here, again, we preceding, is an instance of that are tempted to ask by the way, why vulgar and indiscriminating censure this significant term regular? Is it which cannot but be deeply la- meant to be opposed to that of mented. But that such an un. evangelical, which, whether seemly confusion should be made sunied or ascribed, is well known at the present day, when the fruits to designate a considerable body of his labours, and of those of many of the clergy; and is it intended to other pious and excellent men, par. insinuate, that all who are described ticularly among the clergy, are be- by the latter term are irregular ei. held and experienced in every part ther ecclesiastically or morally, or of the country, is almost as preposter- both, and that all who reject it are ous as it is to bear the Roman Ca. every thing that the church requires tholics of the nineteenth century, them to be both in doctrine, pracenlightened and improved as they tice, and discipline? How unwaronquestionably are, inveighing a. ranted are such insinuations and gainst the Saxon Retormers for the assumptions as these! How. noinjustice and uncharitableness of toriously contrary to truth and cantheir charges against the ignorance dour! But we will once more enand corruption of the Church of Rome deavour to pursue our course. at the period of the Reformation. This In prosecuring the design which is, unhappily, no new subject of we have just stated, Dr. Holland procomplaint. We have had frequent ceeds to vindicate hinself and his oceasion to animadvert upon it, brethren on some of the leading and we seriously think that it is an points in which he conceives that offence of no slight magnitude. ihey are accused of having abanWhile it continues to be committed, doned the form of sound doctrine. we fear that the divisions which " And first,"
says the learned still subsist in the Church can
let us defend our ad. scarcely be expected to be healed: dressing ourselves to the reason of we feel it, therefore, to be our duty our hearers ;" and then he goes on, to expose and protest against it, opon the whole very jastly, thougti whenever it falls under our notice ; cursorily, to define the use and more especially when, as in the abuse of reason in matters of relipresent instance, it is of so glaring gion. We should noi, perhaps, have and palpable a nature.
used the expression, that " Kevelaintending to proceed to some obser- tion itself is knowledge submitted vations on the force and propriery fif I may say it without ii rererence) of general defences of any large by the Creator to the reason of bis body of men, such as the clergy; ereatures"--because, though we bebut our readers will probably wish; lieve that the meaning of Dr. Mol. in the first place, to know some land may be correct, such a mode tbing more distinctly of Dr. Hol. of speaking is liable to misconstrucland's sermon. To this, therefore, tion; but his is by no means mawe shall previously attend.
terial. The point on which we are From the admirable manual of anogetber in douht is, to whom shig instructions to the Christian Mic whole topic was intended to refer? nister given by St. Paul, in his No quotation from any sectarian wri. Epistle to 'Tirus, in which he es. ter is appended to any part of it, so horts his disciple to speake" the that we cao torm no certain conthings which become sound doe jucture upon the subject. We trine," the Reverend Author pro. should have been inclined, had they poses to shew, that in the doctrines ever been introduced into the con. which are preached by the regular troversy, to suppose that the tenets Clergy of the Established Church, of the Quakers had been intended;
but this was probably not the design that the efforts of the early Me. of the author. It is very possible thodists, and of those in the church tbat the leaders or the followers of who have been called Evangelical Melbodism, strictly so called, may Preachers, were chiefly directed; have unduly depreciated this no. and, as we have before observed, ble faculty; and that some writers, their endeavours have been crowned even of our own church, may have with signal success. The doctrines spoken incautiously on the province of grace are more generally known, of reason with respect to revelation. and more plainly laught. "Dr. HolBut is there any thing of this nature land, like Mr. Mant and many in Mr. Wilberforce's “ Practical other respectable writers of the View;" in the sermons and other same school, affirms the necessity of writings of many of the clergy who a sincere and humble reliance upon would be classed by Dr. Holland the merits and intercession of the Son amongst the evangelical and irregu- of God; and we rejoice in bearing las; or in our own pages, which our testimony thus far to the soundwould doubtless also be referred to ness of his views. But these divines the same denomination? Let those conceive, that because those whom who fully and fairly offend upon this they consider as their accusers are point be exposed and refuted. We decided in their exclusion of the should rejoice in every such attempt best and purest morality from claimto rescue the understanding from the ing any share in the work of justiobloquy which may at any time befying a man in the sight of God, thrown upon it by the ignorant, the and bringing him to a state of reweak, or the enthusiastic; but let conciliation and acceptance, they are not so unfounded an insinuation go therefore enemies to good works, and forth to the world, as that all whom teachers of a'dangerous and licenyious Dr. Holland and others may be . doctrine. We are fully aware that pleased to stamp with an opprobrious the first leaders of the Methodists, in naine, are the friends of a religion the ardour of their preaching, were and a faith which are at war with frequently betrayed into language reason, and the supporters of a which is liable to serious objections; system which appeals exclusively to that they dwelt too exclusively on the imagination and the passions of the necessity of faith, and enforced mankind.
with comparative feebleness that of The next point upon which Dr. good works; and that some writers Holland thinks it necessary to vin. of the Establishment, who had emdicate those whom he styles the braced a highly Calvinistic system regular clergy, is, that they preach of doctrines, such as Mr. Toplady, morality-not the morality of human Mr. Romaine, and, latterly, Dr. wisdom, for in this case he admits Hawker, and their disciples, occathat they would deserve censure, sionally fall into the same error. but the morality of the Gospel. We do not need extracts from their
That there was a time when the journals, letters, sermons, or other moral duties of Christianiry were so publications, to convince is of the inculcated by many preachers, that iruth of this charge. We could too high an opinion was given of readily supply those who delight the merit of good works, and the in such things with a much better doctrines of the atonement and of assortment than has been yet retailed justification by faith were, in con to the public. But when this was sequence, neglected, is exactly the done, the question between them fact to which we bave already ad- and their opponents would not be verted; and that sonie, even to the the nearer to a decision. The fact present day, continue this erroneous is simply this: with the exception practice, cannot be disputed. It of professed and avo ved Antinowas against this fundamenial mistake mians, we will ventuie to assert, that
neither Methodist nor Calvinist will to Dr. Holland the study of the be found, who would deny the abso. incomparable discourse from which lute necessiiy of good works, of sound we have quoted these words. Were Christian morality, 10 salvation. the sentiments which it contains They deny, with St. Paul, and with fully understood and cordially emthe Articles and Homilies of our braced, we should not have found church, the necessity and the value him, in common with many other of good works in the matter of writers, asserting, that when St. justification. They declare, that Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans, man is justified in the sight of God, appears to depreciate good works, through the redemption which is in "in all such passages he means Christ Jesus, by faith, and by faith either the observances of the Mosaic only, and they peremptorily exclude Law, on which the Jews were wont from this office good works of every to build their proud pretensions, or description. But, with equal con- those works of which the Gentiles formity to scriptural and ecclesi- might be disposed to boast as having astical authority, they maintain, that been the meritorious cause of their the faith which justifies “ worketh being included under the Christian by love, and will be productive of dispensation." p. 21. This is the the fruits of righteousness ; that if first time tbat we ever heard of the barren, it is utterly unprofitable; and meritorious works of the Gentile that without repentance and holiness world! See a striking account of “no man shall see the Lord.” If their excellence in the first chapter any preacher or writer whatsoever of the Epistle to the Romans, or in seach not the things which become the classical authors passim. After this “ sound doctrine," but in ang 'this, it is not wonderful that Dr. manger encourage their disciples to Holland should also inform his reveexpect salvation while they continue rend brethren, that. St. Paul had the servants of sin, or do not strenu. not so much to teach the Gentiles oosly contend for the necessity of a “ the rudiments of moral duty, as to morality far more strict, elevated, and establish their morality upon higher extensive than it is customary to principles;" that "he had not so hear from some of the regular clergy, much io teach the wicked the turpitude we resign them without hesitation to of moral evil, as to warn them of the the reproof and condemnation which punishment due tosin,which required lbey justly deserve. It is, however, no less an atonement than the death very apparent that Dr. Holland has of the Son of God:"_and again, not attended to the important dise "to lead persons of a proud, selftinction so plainly recognized by sufficient virtue, to acknowledge Scripture and our church, and so their many unheeded imperfections.” admirably pointed out by Hooker, in his sermon on Justification, Lecturer subsequently to his elevation to the between the necessity of good works, episcopal bench, and could, he believes, the fruits of faith and the evidence furnish a preity correct draught of the of its sincerity, and the exclusive Lectures from the notes which he took of office of faith, as “the only hand them at the tice. Some of the most valuable wbich putteth on Christ unto justifie parts of them were the recommendations 10 cation *.” We earnestly recommend his pupils, interspersed throughout the
course of the most valuable houks in theo• Hooker, vol. iii. p. 474, Oxford edition, logy.-Amongst these, the writings of the 1793.-In one of his notes, Dr. Holland Reformers, ihe immortal works of Jewell, speaks in terms of just praise of the lectures Hooker, Pearson, Stiilingfleet, and others, of the late Bishop of London, 'when Regius obtained a distinguished place; and to tlie Professor of Divinity in the University of study of them Dr. Holland may be assured Oxford. The writer of this article reniem- that the sentimenis contained in this Review bers, with much pleasure, his own attendance of his Sermon may be principally aturiod the course delivered by that eminent bated.