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“ The vulgar abuse and grossly ignorant misrepresentations of Calvinism, which have disgraced some controversial writings, are absolutely beneath criticism. Hence I represent a candid Arminian, as disdaining to resort to such unseemly and dishonest practices; and a well informed Arminian, as diso tinctly perceiving the perfectly hopeless inutility of this expe. dient. He does not therefore charge his adversary with aiding and abetting immorality; on the stale plea, that, accord. ing to the Calvinistic system, it matters not how men live: for, let the elect be ever so wicked, they must inevitably be saved; and let the reprobate be ever so pious, they must inevitably be damned. With this, the honest Arminian charges not his adversary: because he knows full well, that his adver. sary teaches no such monstrous impiety; because he knows full well, that genuine Calvinism maintains, all God's people to be elected to salvation only through the medium of holiness, and all the children of the evil one to be predestined to damnation only through the medium of unholiness. Neither does he harangue upon an imaginary ascription of injustice to God by the leading principles of the Calvinistic theory: because he is perfectly aware, that no case of injustice can possibly be made out even on the most completely developed principles of that theory, except by the previous denegation of man's original sinfulness; because he perceives, that, if all men be acknowledged to descrve punishment from their very birth, no act of injustice could be ascribed to God, on the ground of his extending to some rebels by an exertion of his sovereign pleasure that mercy which he denies to others."
ARTICLE IX.- An Exposition of the Old and New Testament:
wherein each chapter is summed up in its contents; the sacred text inserted at large, in distinct paragraphs; each paragraph reduced to its proper heads; the sense given and largely illustrated; with practical remarks and observations: by Matthew Henry, late Minister of the Gospel. A new edition: edited by the Rev. George Burder, and the Rev. Joseph Hughes, A. M. with the life of the author by the Rev. Samuel Palmer. In VI vols. 4to. London, 1811. For sale by P. H. Nicklin, Philadelphia. Price $50 00.
This edition of Henry's Exposition is the best which we have seen; unless it be the sixth in folio; and even that is not so convenient, on account of its size, nor are VOL. I. 20
the divisions of his lectures upon particular portions of the Bible, so distinctly marked in that as in this.
The life of the venerable author prefixed, enhances, moreover, this last edition: and the many engravings contained in it, are calculated to illustrate many sub. jects, and give us more lively conceptions of others.
A seventh volume printed in uniformity with the six on the Scriptures, may also be had, which contains all the other writings of this inestimable divine.
Of all the expositions and commentaries extant, we prefer the one before us, for a comprehensive view of each book, a natural distribution of the matter contained in each chapter, a clear statement of the meaning of each verse, and a pious lecture upon each section. For a divine, or a private Christian, Henry is, in our opinion, very much superior to any expositor, but Calvin, who went before him, and to any that have succeeded him. Scott's Family Bible we consider the next best; for it contains no small portion of Henry's practical remarks, with many critical notes from Patrick, Lowth, Horne, Doddridge, Gill, Orton, Clarke, and Macknight. All these commentators have their merits, but Henry is worth ALL of them put together. If a student in divi. nity, or a settled Pastor of a church, can afford to purchase only one or two of these, let him obtain Henry; and Calvin if he can. The person who has this great practical work, and afterwards wishes criticism, should procure Lowth, Michaelis, Parkhurst, Schleusner, Williams on the Song of Songs, Macknight's Harmony, Macknight on the Epistles, Owen on the Hebrews, Campbell on the Gospels, and Doddridge's Expositor.
It gives us pleasure to inform the friends of theology, that some fine editions of several highly valuable works have lately been imported, and are for sale, by Mr. A. Finley, and Mr. P. H. Nicklin, of this city; particularly, complete sets in quarto, or royal octavo, of the works of Charnock, Bates, and Watts. The writings of these three persons, the errors of the latter notwithstanding, together with Henry's Exposition, would form a more valuable library than many of our brethren in the minis.
try, of considerable reputation, possess. We wish all of them had it in their power to command such books as they ought to desire, and that they had time to read them; for we are sure their people would not then have occasion to complain of the perpetual sameness and leanness of their discourses.
Clarke on the Bible contains a great deal of curious and fanciful criticism, and is frequently useful in illustrating oriental customs, to which the inspired writers refer; but Calmet's or even Brown's dictionary of the Bible would, in company with Henry, prove more beneficial, to the Divine, or private Christian.
If the pious head of a family has a bible, and could expend for all other books only fifty dollars, we would advise him to purchase Henry's Exposition.
This work, we know, needs not our praises to recommend it to those who have read it; but we have thought proper to perform, what will be to some a work of supererogation, because the love of novelty has unduly exalted the merits of living commentators, to the neglect of the more estimable dead, whose writings ought to be lasting as time.
ARTICLE X.-The Advantage and Necessity of the Christian
Revelation, shewn from the state of religion in the antient heathen world; especially with respect to the knowledge and worship of the one true God: a rule of moral duty: and a state of future rewards and punishments. To which is prefixed a preliminary discourse on natural and revealed religion. In two volumes. By John Leland, D. D. Author of the View of Deistical Writers, &c. Now in the press, and soon to be published by A. Finley, Philadelphia.
DR. LELAND flourished about the middle of the last century. His View of Deistical Writers is in the hands of very many in our country; but the work before us has been very scarce. For twelve years we have sought to purchase a copy, and were not able to find one until the sale of the late Professor Barton's library took place, in this city. All the clergymen in America we imagine must have seen it quoted in standard works, hundreds of times; and probably have desired, but for the greater part in vain, to procure it. The high recommendation of it, by the late President Dwight, induced us first to seek it; and possessing ourselves of a copy, we have encouraged Mr. Finley to republish it, for the benefit of those who may wish to enjoy the treasure. In America, no man has ever been a more thorough master of the Deistical Controversy, than President Dwight; and on the same subject no man, at least for the last hundred years, in any country, has proved himself superior to Dr. Leland.
Would it not be deemed arrogance for us to attempt to add any weight to the authority of a host of learned men, who have strongly recommended Leland on the Advantage and Necessity of Revelation, we should en. large this article; but now it is enough to give notice, that the book is soon to be republished in Philadelphia.
ARTICLE XI.-1. A Farther Reply to the" Objections against
the Position of a personal assurance of the pardon of sin by a direct communication of the Holy Spirit,” which were first published in the Christian Register, under the signature of W. W. and have lately been re-published in an Essay, with Notes, by William White, D. D. Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. By John Emory, a minister of the gospel, of the Me
thodist Episcopal Church, Philadelphia, 1818. pp. 103. 8vo. 2. A Review of the Question of a Personal Assurance of Par
don of Sin, by a direct communication of the Holy Spirit; in an Essay und Notes on the subject: and in a Reply and a Farther Reply to the same: the two last being under the signature of Föhn Emory, a minister of the gospel
, of the Methodist Church. With an Appendix, on the notice of the subject, in the Quarterly Review by the Rev. E. S. Ely, A. M. By William White, D. D. Bishop, &c. Philadelphia
, pp. 80. 8vo. 1818. When Mr. Emory arrives at the 88th page of this
, his second pamphlet, he understands the Bishop“ to deny altogether, a personal assurance of the pardon
sin by a direct communication of the Holy Spirit.” His understanding so far is certainly correct. “But he is not understood to deny, nor has it been intended to represent him as denying, the possibility of a Christian's knowing at all, by any means, that he is within the terms of the gospel covenant. There is a caution in the Essay, (p. 19.) against such a supposition.” This is correct too. But the Bishop " is also understood to deny
a personal assurance consisting in a consciousness of the change at the time of its taking place; such as may justify the subject of it in saying, that he was converted, and experienced the pardon of his sins, at a particular assignable time.”
The Bishop admits, if we understand him aright, that in the days of our Saviour, and the miraculously endowed apostles, some persons were assured, by words, which they heard through their ears, pronounced by persons in whom they could confide, because they knew the mind of the Lord, that their sins were pardoned. This is one admitted mode of assurance to some, in former times, which has not been enjoyed since the divinely inspired apostles left the world.
Assurance of mind upon any subject, consists in such a judgment in relation to that subject, as excludes all doubt, at least for a time. Assurance is an attribute of an act of the judgment. Now the Bishop admits that a man may have an assured judgment that his sins are pardoned; and that he may be conscious of such a judgment. This may be a well founded, a scriptural; or an ill founded, an unscriptural, assurance: it may be an assured judgment, that one is born of God, while he is in the gall of bitterness; or an assured judgment that one's sins are pardoned, whose sins really have been pardoned by God. There may be assurance of mind in a false, as well as in a just judgment. Hence some fanatics, as Dr. White has shown, have been assured that they were authorized of God to perform certain immoral actions; and others, that they were commissioned to teach most blasphemous doctrines. Dr. White will admit, that an ignorant man may have some strong conceptions and