« AnteriorContinuar »
under the law, the law writ on stone, meant that every man to whom God under the gospel, the law writ in the offered this light had truc knowledge, heart. And that this was the general whether he would or no. For to that evangelical rule. When I am better stretch thou bringest it. The like informned I shall believe and write bet. about its sufficiency, as if it were sufter ; 'till then I must do as I can; and ficient to that end without man's reI see nothing in that paper to induce gard of it. No such matter, it is so me to any alteration of my creed. in itself, but not in men without their For what I understand by light I need assent, and so thou confessest. I see only say, that not one of my argu- nothing offered in this paper that I ments is so much as attempted, at could not with as much reason proleast as laid down by me: and, in a duce against the Holy Scripture itself. manner, all is granted me, beside It lies most upon the question, if you what thou mistakest me in. I am chid mean so, I deny it; if so, I grant it. for not distinguishing upon the term When, alas, I mostly intend what thou light. Truly I deserved it, had not grantest, and can see no cause given my adversary taken the term for by that discourse for any such objecgranted, as I understood it; and what tion, unless that a noted Presbyterian, need there was I should turn critic as inen call him, had got my book, upon the term agreed upon, thy re- and I was to be lessened by any artiprehension hath not afforded ine light fice where I had any interest, espeenough to see. I all along shew I cially if it was thought to prevail. meant not the sun in the outward “'I shall conclude with this assurfirmament, the mere knowledge of ance, that if the civility and kindness of man, or capacity to receive knowledge our late meeting had not been with as constitutive of a rational creature, some more than ordinary satisfaction but the internal sun of righteousness, remembered by me, I had made more by which the soul receives divine use of thy name than I have done, both understanding. And my inan I had in my late Answer to the Epistle beto do with gives his suffrage to this fore mentioned and in this paper : but, thing; for he was a Socinian,* one methinks, it is so desirable for men to that believes in the outward sun, and confer with reason and modesty, that but too largely of man's mere naturali rather choose to beseech people into faculties, and but too meanly of a that commendable disposition, than to divine and supernatural light, as ne. raise their passions by an early aggracessary to man's eternal felicity, which vation of their miscarriages. I am, in I conceive to transcend the light of very much love, birds, fishes, &c., by thee, in my ap
“ Thy assured Friend, prehension, frivolously objected. Thy
“ Wm. PENN. fling at my attempt to prove man en- “ The answer was writ about three lightened from John i. 4, 9, hits me weeks since, but other occasions prenot in the least; for I affirm from vented its being sent. those words, that it is not any light, as “ For Richard Baxter, at thou wouldst make me only to intend his House in Southand extend my argument to, that is hampton Buildings, constitutive of beasts or men as such, London." in an abstractive sense, but something transcending and supernatural, as some John Goldie, of Kilmarnock. pahination, as Drusius well
. I 'rep dormir. p.24, there is an eth. Again, thou art by much too extract from Maly's Review for the severe in straining these words,—The light must give true sight ; as if I year 1785, (Vol. VIII. p. 282,) relat
ing to John Goldie, a peasant's son of Kilmarnock, in Scotland, of an ex
traordinary genius, and the author of • To whom W. Penn here refers, does
a volume of Essays, 8vo., and of a not appear. It could scarcely be Faldo, work entitled The Gospel Recoverfor his book, Quakerism no Christianity, ed,” in 5 vols. 8vo., designed to overasserts strongly the proper deity of Christ. throw the reputed orthodox doctrines. Ep.
Attached to the extract is an inquiry 141
John Goldie, of Kilmarnock. after this singular person; but we that have been engrafted on the Chrishave not been able to learn any thing tian religion, by different sects, have of him beyond a few particulars which occasioned not only much opposition we find in “ The Christian Reflector and enmity amongst Christians, but and Theological Inquirer,” (a monthly have tended beside, to much depravapublication, at Liverpool) for Febru- tion of morals. What, in particular, ary of the present year. In this work, can be more destructive to virtue and a writer, signing himself Glasguensis, good works, than the doctrine of faith, after quoting the extract, before re- as perverted by many of our zealots ? ferred to, from Maty, proceeds to In a word, Christianity, among those give the following information : who adopt it in its purity, is the great
“ Several years ago, I was induced, support of morality, and the great in consequence of reading this account, cement of goodness and benevolence to make some inquiries after this ex- among men. But not to mention traordinary man, but I soon found other bad effects of the engrafted docthat the place which had known him, trines mentioned, a man of sense, knew him no longer ;' and was forcibly when he begins to study the motley reminded by my fruitless researches figure that Christianity makes in the of the lines of the poet :
doctrines of many of our sects, must
be a very good man indeed, if he be « « Full many a gem of purest ray serene not tempted to think that religion is The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean all a cheat ; and consequently that
bear, Fall many a flower is born to blush without check or controul.
men may give way to every appetite unseen, And waste its sweetness in the desert
“I am, Sir,
“ Your obedient humble servant, air.'
“ HENRY HOME. “ I was happily more successful “ To Mr. John Goldie." with respect to Goldie's publications. These were lent me by a friend, and “ The poet of nature and of truth, I can truly say afforded me sincere Robert Burns, was, it appears, the pleasure in the perusal. The first intimate friend of John Goldie, and a work published by Goldie, was his short time subsequently to the ap• Essays Moral and Divine,' intended pearance of the Essays Moral and to overthrow the dogma of original Divine,' addressed to his heretical or birth sin, and to prove that heart- brother the following lines. It is withering opinion to be utterly repug- strange that these and similar effusions nant both to reason and scripture. of Burns's muse, should have been A copy of these ` Essays' was pre- excluded from most of the editions of sented by their author to the celebrated the works of dear nature's artless writer of The Sketches of Man,' child.' Though when it is rememLord Kaimes. This distinguished in- bered that those editions have been dividual's opinion of Goldie's talents usually made for the 'gods of earth, and principles will be seen by the fol- perhaps it is not strange. It is ‘ auld lowing letter, which is printed in the orthodoxy,' which alone can bedeck Preface to the second work that Goldie her advocates in the purple and the published, “The Gospel Recovered,' fine linen. A greater than Solomon &c. It cannot fail, I think, of being has declared, that they that wear highly interesting to the friends of soft clothing are in kings' houses.' free inquiry and of scriptural Chris. And observation will teach him who
needs the instruction, that in the paEdinburgh, laces of the mighty, the words of
August 2, 1779. truth and soberness have no certain “I hold myself much obliged to dwelling-place. The plain dictates of you for distinguishing me, from your reason and common sense, usually other readers, by a present of your find most favour with those, who rebook. I applaud your perforinance semble the man of God of old, who greatly, and still more the motive that had his raiment of camel's hair, and induced you to write.
a leathern girdle about his loins. Nor “ The strange and absurd doctrines need it excite much surprise that the
attacks which · Burns undauntedly " "Tis you and Taylor * are the chief
Wba are to blame for this mischief. made, on ‘poor gapin', glow'rin', su.
But gin the Lord's ain fooks gat leave, perstition,' should have been prevented
A toom tar barrel from appearing before the eyes of the
An' twa red peats wad send relief, polite, when the strong but honest lan
An' end the quarrel."" guage of virtuous indignation against those sons of mammon who first cor
OBSERVE in your Repository
666–669] some stric-
tures from your correspondent Mr. northern luminary. Can such things Remission of Sins. After very attenbe, and overcome us like a summer cloud, without our special wonder? tively considering all that he advances, Aye, even so, for the age is evil and the views which 'many Unitarians
am still decidedly of opinion, that corrupt! But here are the lines :
hold on this subject do not embrace "O Goudie!,terror of the Whigs,*
the whole truth of Scripture. This, Dread of black coats and reverend I think, the more to be regretted, on wigs,
account of the prejudice which it exSoor bigotry on her last legs,
cites against our name in the minds Girnin' looks back,
of other Christians. While they see Wishin' the ten Egyptian plagues us associating Jesus with our redempWad seize you quick. tion in no other character than that of
a prophet or martyr, they regard us as Poor gapin', glow'riu', superstition, Waes me ! she's in a sad condition ;
grossly ignorant of one of the leading Fy, bring Black-Jock, her state physi- features of the common salvation : and cian,
not, perhaps, without some apparent To see her;
Without all controversy it is Alas! there's ground of great suspicion the Scripture doctrine that Christ died She'll ne'er get better.
for our sins, and that we are recon
ciled to God by the death of his Son. • Auld orthodoxy lang did grapple, But are not many Unitarians very reBut now she's got an unco ripple,
served on this subject? And is it not Haste, gie her name up i' the chapel Nigh unto death ;
a proof of their having abandoned the See how she fetches at the thrapple,
true sense of these expressions, that An' gasps for breath. they employ them so little either in
their writings or their pulpits? I • Enthusiasm's past redemption, shall rejoice if I can, in any degree, Gaen in a galloping consumption, contribute to promote amongst us a Not a’ the quacks, wi' a' their gump- grateful and frequent acknowledgment tion,
of the mode of redemption which DiWill ever mend her,
vine Wisdom appointed, convinced,
possibly detract from the freeness of
and which carried on the plan, through
every succeeding step, to its glorious the Whigs' mentioned, are not those whom an admirable writer has well de- thought any deficiency in the grace fined to be but the fag-end of a Tory; and mercy of the Judge of the world, but those noble spirits who, in days gone if he deem it necessary to conduct his by, dared to vindicate their rights as
acts of forgiveness according to memen, and made the moun ins of Scot- thods which exhibit peculiar features, land the strong holds of liberty, those who coutended for what they deemed the purity of God's worship, in opposition to * “ Dr. Jobo Taylor, of Norwich, the mummery of a state-religion, an Act- whose admirable work on Original Sin, of-Parliament Christianity, the Cove- was probably the cause of Goldie's rcnauters and Cameronians."
On the Remission of Sins.
143 such as are calculated to vindicate and and proper connexion between the secure his authority, or in any other death of Christ and the remission of way to fulfil purposes best known to sins as is here asserted. They appear his infinite wisdom. There may thus to recognize no other connexion bebe occasion, in a dispensation of for- tween these things than that which giveness, for something more than may be traced in the natural course an invitation to repentance, a declara- of events. Because the death of Christ tion of pardon, or a perfect rule and appears, among other circumstances, pattern of righteousness; something to have been eminently conducive to which shall reflect a light on the Dis the promotion of Christian faith and Fine government and character, and virtue, and these again lead to forgivemake impressions on the minds of ness, they imagine that this remote the erring creatures, salutary and sea- connexion is all that is intended in sonable, according to the nature of the words of Scripture. But is it not their circumstances. I shall now en- obvious that, according to this mode deavour to answer your correspon- of interpretation, any thing to which, dent's objections, nearly in the order in the course of events, our repenin which they occur.
tance may be traced, and through that The first which I find is this ; that our pardon, a good book, an impreswhile i disapprove several views of sive sermon, a striking occurrence, this subject which others have taken, may be said to have been for the reI have not advanced any clear or in- mission of our sins, and a propitiation telligible doctrine myself. I readily for them ;'and that Paul's preaching allow, that on a subject somewhat dif- had the same relation to our redempficult as this is, and entangled in so tion as Christ's death? But I must much controversy, I may, probably, be allowed to say, that such explanahave failed either to think or to speak tions appear to me no better than so clearly as I might have done; but, trifling with the subject, and frittering at the saine time, I am confident that
away the import of sacred words. To there is contained in my papers, not justify the language of Scripture, some only some doctrine, but an intelligible much more close and proper connexion and important one. What I advanced than this must be found ; so must was this: “ that the mediation of there also, before it can be said with Christ, and especially his death, was propriety that the death of Christ was the way or method which Divine Wis- The way o' method chosen by God for dom chose for granting to mankind the remission of sins. Whether, remission of sins; i. e. deliverance therefore, there be or be not in my from their consequences.” Now your statement all that clcarness which I correspondent thinks that this is saying might have given it, still it goes nothing at all, and that such expres- decidedly to affirm more than your sions convey only an indefinite and correspondent admits, and is not, indescribable doctrine." I must allow therefore, so nu as he represents that my proposition may wear a some- it. what questionable shape to those who But, after all, it does not appear to wish immediately to recognize a friend me any thing very obscure to say that or foe by the shibboleths of party ; but the death of Christ was the method this I deem no proof of its being des- which Divine Wisdom adopted for the titute of real significancy. I think it pardon of our sins. However, as I gives a simple and intelligible account desire to do my best to be understood, of the end or final cause of our Lord's I will endeavour to explain myself death, considered as an event appoint- somewhat more presisely. ed by God, and of the relation in And first, on the very threshold which this event stood to the forgive of this discussion, I think it necessary ness of sins : and these particulars to state clearly what I understand by appear to me to be interesting and the forgiveness of sins. Now I cerimportant knowledge. And I think tainly do not understand by forgive. that, without going any farther, I have ness, in this connexion, thai merciful herein advanced something more than regard and favourable purpose with your correspondent, and many other which the Father views every returnUnitarians, fairly admit; for they will ing wanderer. No mediation is neceshardly acknowledge any such close sary for this : it is secured by penitence alone, ipso facto, and has been church from the irksomc burden of a so in every age, and will be so to all ceremonial worship. All these great eternity. It depends on nothing but mercies, intimately connected togethe contrite heart of the suppliant, ther, constitute in my judgment, the and the ever-flowing mercy of God. forgiveness of sins. We may observe, The forgiveness of the penitent, in that this forgiveness cannot be fully this sense, was not one of the blessings carried into effect till the end is come, derived to mankind through Christ, and the righteous are possessed of inasmuch as it was always most freely their mansions above; yet, considered promised and enjoyed from the foun- as one entire dispensation, it is spoken dation of the world, and, therefore, of as complete from the very time of it could not be one of those which he our Lord's death. Thus the writer to died to procure. In ascertaining the the Hebrews says, “ When he had by true sense of remission of sins, as himself cleansed our sins, he sat down here spoken of, I think we should on the right hand of the Majesty on consider only those advantages which high." the world has actually derived, or is This, then, is what I think we are about to derive, from the mediation to understand by the forgiveness of or agency of Christ. Keeping this sins ; certain privileges and immuniprinciple in mind, I should say that ties granted to mankind through the by forgiveness of sins, as here spoken agency of Christ. This forgiveness, of, I understand a declarution and the essential mercy of God deterassurance of the removal, on the part mined him to impart: of this deterof God, of certain penalties inflicted mination, the mediation of Jesus, in ør denounced on men for their trans. all its' parts, was not the cause, but gressions, and that these penalties are the consequence. But he that is dechiefly the following: 1. The aliena- termined to do an act of mercy, will tion of the world at large from the next consider what may be the fittest knowledge of the true God, and froin mode of doing it. To the Almighty, the sense of his favour. 2. The sub. then, thus considering (I speak hujection of the Jews to the law, which manly) the redemption of man, the was burdensome to observe, and left mediation of Jesus, but especially his them under condemnation. 3. The fear obedience unto death, appeared the of death in this life, and the evils con- fittest mode of effecting it. But in sequent
on death, through sin, in the choosing a suitable mode of accomnext. The careful reader of the New plishing any thing, we have often two Testament will, I think, adınit that points to consider, efficiency and proour deliverance from these evils con- priety. A mode may be efficient, that stitutes the redemption which is in is, equal to producing the intended Christ Jesus. It is certain that he effect, but upon more extended condoes, in fact, deliver bis faithful dis- sideration it may not appear proper. ciples from them. Submitting to Now, as the forgiveness of sins is death, and being raised again to a new more a sovereign act of God than a life by the power of God, he has not natural process, so the propriety of only given us the knowledge of a fu- the mode in which it is to be accomture life, but is also become the des- plished is a point probably more to tined agent by whom we are to attain be considered than its efficiency. And to it.
“ God will raise up us also by here it is that I think many Unitarians Jesus.” But not only shall we attain err: they regard almost exclusively through himn a new state of existence, the natural efficiency of the Christian but be by him delivered from the evils mode of redemption, paying little atto which we should still, on account tention to its moral propriety. It is of our sins, be exposed. Hence the my object to recommend this latter apostle speaks of him our deli. to their consideration. It may be verer from the wrath to come.” Pre- considered both in relation to God paratory to these great final blessings, and man. And let us not forget, in we know historically in what manner respect to what end it was, that it Jesus has reclaimed the Heathen had this moral propriety. That end world to the knowledge of the one was the forgiveness of sins ; not the true God and the enjoyment of his confirmation of the truth, nor the set. grace, and how he emancipated the ting an example of righteousness.