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no means to be subjected to the dis- of his, are now preached and printcipline of the church. We shall ed freely, without fear, and with litnot enter far at present into a dis- tle notice. He thought, for incussion on this difference of opi stance, that the active obedience of nion. One thing we think is clear Christ, constitutes no part of his - Things which were considered justifying righteousness. Now the and treated as proper subjects of doctrine is, that no part of Christ's church discipline twenty years ago, righteousness has any thing to do are not so considered and treated with the sinner's justification-the
Some of the doctrines of the sinner is never justified at all by Rev. W. C. Davis, promulged in a Christ's righteousness; but in conbook entitled " The Gospel Plan," sequence of what Christ has done, and condemned by the General the sinner is pardoned by a soveAssembly of 1810, as "contrary to reign act of God, and remains to the Confession of Faith of the all eternity the same guilty creaPresbyterian church,” and for which ture that he ever was. So also in he was ultimately suspended from regard to the covenant of works, it the gospel ministry, were the fol- is thought idle to talk about obedi. lowing That the active obedi- ence or disobedience to that coveence of Christ constitutes no part nant, for there never was such a of that righteousness by which a covenant. As to the rest of the sinner is justified—That obedience condemned articles of Davis's docto the moral law was not required, trines, we have some of them in as the condition of the covenant of currency, almost exactly as he works- That God could not make taught them, and others with vast Adam, or any other creature, either improvements. holy or unholy-That regeneration Now, when doctrines which were must be a consequence of faith. once considered so dangerous that Faith precedes regeneration–That the teacher of them was suspended faith, in the first act of it, is not a from the ministry, are thought to holy act-That if God has to plant deserve no censure at all, or at any all the principal parts of salvation rate not to require that their propain a sinner's heart, to enable him gators should be disciplined at all, to believe, the gospel plan is quite we think it follows unavoidably, out of his reach, and consequently that either the former judicatories does not suit his case; and it must of the church were criminally and be impossible for God to condemn cruelly severe, or that those that a man for unbelief; for no just law we now live under, are carelessly condemns or criminates any per- and censurably negligent of their son for not doing what he cannot, duty. For ourselves, we do not do.” [See Assembly's Digest, pp.' believe that in the American Pres145, 6, 7.] Most unfortunate Da- byterian church, there has ever been vis!-hc published his book twenty too rigorous a discipline. The comyears too soon. Had he reserved it plaint of our wisest and best men till 1831, he would not have been has always been, that we had too suspended from the gospel ministry. little discipline, and that little too He might have been written against lax: and when we see that little perhaps, but he would have received become less, and as to doctrine, alno disciplinary censure whatever; most extinct, we confess we are or if he had, the General Assembly alarmed. Doctrines are the stamiwould not have confirmed, but re na, the vital parts, of every church moved it. It is too notorious to system. Ecclesiastical order is admit of denial or to require proof, chiefly valuable, for the sake of prethat some of his errors, greatly ag- serving doctrinal purity. Let docgravated, and some worse than any trinal soundness be lost, and church
government may become even a tially opened. But we hope and curse, instead of a blessing. It trust in God that she will not pemay be rendered an engine of he- rish-that she will see the gulf and resy and tyranny, to suppress vital avoid it. piety and to persecute its friends. In view of the foregoing stateIt is doing this very thing in the ment, we think our second question Swiss Cantons, at the present hour -who are the criminal disturbers -doing it in churches formed and of the church's peace? may be anindoctrinated by Calvin bimself. swered by the quotation of a single These churches took the precise passage from the sacred volume: 1 course which we are taking. They Kings, viii. 17, 18. “ And it came relaxed their discipline as to doc- to pass, that when Ahab saw Elitrine, and one error came in after jah, that Ahab said unto him, art another, till the church has become thou he that troubleth Israel? And Unitarian; and now, having re- he answered, I have not troubled tained their ecclesiastical order Israel; but thou and thy father's and power, the church authorities house, in that ye have forsaken the are denouncing, and ridiculing, and commandment of the Lord, and cruelly persecuting, the few ortho- thou hast followed Paalim." Prodox men that remain, and even ba- testing that we neither mean to innishing some of them from their timate that those with whom we country. We have reason to be act are worthy to be compared with thankful to God, that church power Elijah, nor that those whom we opin this country cannot inflict civil pose are so unworthy as Ahab, but pains and penalties. But if our that the scope of the passage anchurch loses its doctrinal purity, swers correctly, as we believe, the our ecclesiastical order and influ- question before us, we leave the ence, whatever it may be, will all text without farther comment, and be turned against sound doctrine quit for the present this ungrateful and evangelical piety: and when subject. we have already gone so far that A third topick, which we wish to hardly any error short of avowed notice a little in this miscellaneous Unitarianism can be touched by dis- number of our work, relates to recipline, and are in the very track virals of religion. In the General which has always led to the intro- Assembly of 1850, a particular duction of that too, we think it is friend came to us, and used in subtime to sound the alarm; and we stance this language. “ Those who only wish we could sound it, so ef- oppose you, are circulating it among fectually as to wake up every le- the members, that you are an enemy thargick Presbyterian 'throughout to revivals of religion. I know it our whole communion. Most sin- is not true; but I wish you would cerely do we deplore the present take some opportunity to deliver divided state of our church; but your sentiments on that subject bethe existing affliction we regard as fore the house." This took place necessary to prevent—if prevention within a few hours after we had be yet possible-a thousand fold read to the Assembly the copy of greater evil: and therefore we he- the letter, which was sent down to sitate not to say, that we regard the churches, recommending a more the present state of things as far general and devout observance of less to be lamented than the apathy the monthly concert of prayer; into which, three or four years ago, every word of which was penned by our church had sunk, and in which the band which writes this, and in she was in danger of sleeping the which the importance of revivals of sleep of death. Now if she perishes, religion held a prominent place. it will be with her eyes at least par. This did, at the time, appear to us Vol. IX.-Ch. Adr.
unaccountably strange. Since that genuine revivals of religion, that time, however, we have become so they were calculated to injure, arfamiliar with similar misrepresenta- rest, and bring them altogether into tions, made in the face of notorious disrepute. We have been greatly facts, that we can no longer deno. gratified in seeing this subject minate them strange--they at pre- treated with ability and just discrisent neither surprise nor move us mination, in the last number of the much. The Editor of the Christian Biblical Repertory, which we ear. Advocate, from the earliest period . nestly recommend to the careful and of his ministerial life to the present candid perusal of all our readers. hour, has been the decided and ear In closing this long paper, we nest friend of revivals of religion shall remark for a moment on an in conversation, in preaching, and idea thrown out in the last General in most of the publications which Assembly, which we then imputed he has given to the world: and he to excitement, but which we have has the pleasure to say, that among since found is cherished, by some all the brethren with whom he har- at least of the New School party. moniously acts in ecclesiastical It is, that the present Board of courts, or in the common service of Missions is not the Board of the the sanctuary, he knows not an in- General Assembly, because the Asdividual who is not, as far as can sembly continued it as a matter of be known by speech and action, a compromise. What is a comproreal friend to religious revivals. mise? Johnson says it is “a comYet the whole of the Old School pact or bargain, in which some conPresbyterians have been represent. cessions are made on each side.” ed as hostile to these glorious dis. And is not a compact or bargain plays of divine power and inercy. binding, both in law and conscience, The design is evident—the destruc. when, in forming it, concessions are tion of their character and influ- made on each side? We should ence among the friends of vital suppose that no man, who wished piety.
to preserve his character for underIt is indeed true, that many of standing, would say no. Yet this the Old School Presbyterians, and is in effect said, by those who hold the writer among the number, are the language on which we remark. deliberately, and we believe irre A better description could scarcely concilably opposed, to certain new be given of what was done in the measures, as they have sometimes Assembly in relation to the Board been called, for getting up, promot- of Missions, than is given by Johning, and conducting revivals. But son in his definition of a comprothis opposition is wholly directed mise. Shortly after the Assembly against the unscriptural extrava- rose, we asked a member of a state gances which were pointedly con- legislature, a good deal versed in demned by Edwards and Dickenson, law making, whether laws were not in the great and general revival which sometimes made by compromise? took place in their day; and more re He replied, that a great part of cently condemned, and more point them were made in that, and in no edly too, in a very able paper, of other way. And every American which Dr. Beecher of Boston was the tizen, who knows the history of reputed author, and which was di the Federal Constitution under rected against some of the new mea which he lives, knows that it was sures of Mr. Finney, Dr. Beeman, formed by compromise, and never and their associates. It was ex could have been formed but on ceedingly well shown in that paper, such a principle; and that this was that the wild doings condemned, distinctly intimated in the circular were so far from being friendly to letter of President Washington, in
which a copy of the instrument was political, social, or religious freetransmitted to the executive of the dom. What we have in view, is several states. Yet the Board of personal liberty, which belongs to Missions is not the Board of the every rational man, in all his exAssembly, because it was conti- ternal actions, and in all the volinued by compromise! It is surely tions of his mind. not necessary farther to expose this Every man, having the faculties monstrous absurdity.
of understanding, heart and will, underanged, possesses two kinds of liberty or freedom. One relates to external action, the other to the mind alone.
External liberty, when examined
inductively, will be found to consist Doctrine of Freedom.
in an unbroken connexion between There are few facts more cer- choice and external action. We tainly ascertained than man's free have already seen that one importagency, and yet few things have ant use of the will, is to move and been subject to greater diversity of direct bodily action. Whenever speculation. We have not time those actions are unrestrained and now, nor will the limits of the pages so directed, they are free, because allotted to this discussion permit there is a connexion between the us, to review the speculations and choice and the action. This kind theories of man's freedom, which of liberty may be partially or wholhave occupied the schoolmen, and ly obstructed. The slave has this perplexed philosophers. Nor is it connexion often broken by force. necessary to our present purpose, It is true that many of his actions that we should encumber our dis- are free-entirely the result of cussion with the statement and re- choice, but others are the result of futation of errors, which serve only constraint. The violence done to to perplex the subject. A simple the freedom of external action in exposition and plain illustration of the case of the slave, rather respects the true doctrine, will be entirely some privileges and immunities, sufficient for our purpose.
than the connexion between the acLet the question first be answer tions which he does perform, and ed, what is freedom? The abstract the choice of his mind. The child notion of liberty is, the absence of also has his external liberty interall restraint from action, external, rupted by force. He chooses to do or internal. But the thought is many things, and to obtain many modified by the relations, or sub- things, which the watchful parent jects, to which it is applied. Poli- prevents in various ways. Men tical freedom does not imply the often have this external liberty obabsence of law and government, structed-sickness, palsy, a broken which are intended to operate as a limb, and external force, may
break salutary restraint. The absence of the connexion between volition and all the restraints of law and go- choice. But it is of less importvernment would be political licen- ance to discuss this kind of liberty, tiousness, undesirable and disas- than that which belongs to the trous to man's best interests and mind. There is no difficulty in unhappiness. With this liberty we derstanding, and accurately definhave no concern at present, any fur ing, external freedom. Every man ther than to distinguish it from the of common observation can tell subject of present discussion. Nor what it is; and although he may do we intend to discuss the fran- not be able to give the shortest or chises, immunities, or privileges of most technical definition of it, he
will make out an intelligent de- ticle. In the same article, we think scription of its exercise, and point the doctrine of motive, there set. you to that in which it consists. tled, shows conclusively that pleaEvery man can tell when it is ob. sure always governs the choice. structed, and it would be strange if It has been supposed by some, he could give no account of that that moral freedom includes an inwhich suffers obstruction.
dependence of the will, and a conMental liberty, or as it is some. trol over the temper, or disposition times called, moral freedom, is more of the heart. The doctrine of selfdifficult to define, and vastly more determination belonging to the will, important to be described. It re was once a popular doctrine, and quires a careful examination of it bids fair to become so again, alinental exercises, their connexion, though it has been so often and so relations and laws, in order to un- ably refuted. Its refutation is exderstand definitely and clearly ceedingly simple, plain and concluwhat mental freedom is. Without sive. lingering here to write the process The operations of mind, in a conof discovery, which is inductive, nected order, may be thus briefly we state the result in brief and stated; perception, feeling, choice. plain terms.
'The first operation, is perceiring the Mental, or moral freedom, con- object, the next is feeling pleased sists in a connexion between the or displeased with it, and the result pleasure of the heart and the choice is choice, or refusal of the object. of the will. Or if any person should This is substantially the analysis object to the distinction of faculties of mental process in choice. We implied in this statement, we say appeal to every man, who can hold the mind chooses just as is most his mind fixed to the examination agreeable to itsell, which in our of his own mental process, for the view implies the same thing-a correctness of this statement. Now connexion between pleasure and if this be so, where is the self-de. choice. This is freedom, and noth. termination of the will? It is out ing else can be mental liberty. It of the question altogether; it is not is the highest kind of freedon con- possible that moral freedom should ceivable, and the only kind of free. involve such an independence of dom desirable for the mind. In- will. But if there be bo such selfdeed the whole is implied in the determination of the will, it can single term choice. The mind al- exercise no control over the temper ways chooses just as is most agree. of the heart. able, and in no other way-nothing It has been denied by some, that else is choice. If it were conceived are free moral agents, and that men had liberty to choose for there has been much philosophical the sake of pain, they never would speculation on the subject. But use it, nor is such a supposition one single argument sets aside all possible; it is not choice, nor free. the philosophy which has denied, dom. It is however true, that men and mocks at the speculations, which sometimes choose objects which are would deprive man of his mental disagreeable, and even painful; but freedom. 'It is an argument foundalways do this for the sake of some- ed upon consciousness. Every man thing which is agreeable: so that is conscious of choosing as he in all those cases the connexion pleases, or in oiher words, is consubsists between the pleasure and scious that his mind is free, whe. the choice. This statement in- ther he choose right or wrong. All volves the doctrine of ultimate and arguments against a man's consubordinate objects of choice, which sciousness are useless, because its we bave discussed in a former ar- testimony is paramount to all other.