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“The fact that Christ endured such sufferings to show the evil of violating the law, is one of the strongest motives prompting to obedience. We do not easily and readily repeat that which overwhelms our best friends in calamity; and we are brought to hate that which inflicted such woes on the Saviour's soul.
This is an advantage in moral influence which no cold, abstract law ever has over the human mind. And one of the chief glories of the plan of salvation is, that, while it justifies the sinner, it brings a new set of influences from heaven, more tender and mighty than can be drawn from any other source, to produce obedience to the law of God.” Notes on the Romans, p. 92.
The atonement is spoken of throughout these volumes, not as the offering of a gracious Redeemer to appease the Father's wrath, but as a work of love on the part of the Father as well as of the Son.
On the subject of man's nature, capacities, and duty, our author is sound and lucid. The idea of hereditary depravity he spurns as unworthy even a passing notice. He asserts repeatedly that men sin only “ in their own persons, — sin themselves, -as, indeed, how can they sin in any other way?” The imputation of Adam's transgression he treats as a scholastic absurdity. “ Those who are condemned, are not condemned for the sin of another without their own concurrence, nor unless they personally deserve it.” “In the divine administration none are regarded as guilty who are not guilty." of the figment of Adam's federal headship, and the condemnation of his posterity for partnership in bis sin, Mr. Barnes says, • There is not one word of it in the Bible.”
" It is a mere philosophical theory; an introduction of a speculation into theology, with an attempt to explain what the Bible has left unexplained." “Nowhere in the Scriptures is the word covenant applied to any transaction with Adam.” it be right to charge the sins of the guilty on those who had no participation in them?
How could millions be responsible for the sins of one who acted long before they had an existence, and of whose act they had no consciousness, and in which they had no participation ?” The imputed righteousness of Christ is similarly disposed of. “None are constituted righteous," says our author, “who do not voluntarily avail themselves of the provisions of mercy.”
These “ Notes stand in advantageous contrast to the “Comprehensive Commentary," inasmuch as they abhor the
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policy of concealment, and give, on every important point of controversy within the scope of a popular work, a fair view of both sides of the question, generally with the arguments employed by the advocates of each.
The principal defect which characterizes these works, regarded in a critical point of view, is one which (far from being carried to excess) heightens their practical interest and value. We refer to the occasional insertion of a beautiful and truly Christian sentiment, which the words immediately under consideration suggest, but which the context shows could not have been present to the sacred writer's mind. Thus, on the words, “In my Father's house are many mansions,” * which the whole context limits in their application to the heaven whither Jesus was going, and would one day welcome his disciples, our author gives us a touching and beautiful amplification of the idea, that heaven and earth are separate mansions of the universal house of God, that thus Jesus after his ascension, and the Apostles, yet treading in his footsteps of toil and suffering, were to be fellow-tenants of the same house of his Father and their Father. Thus also, the unity of the parables is often marred by the attempt to give a meaning, whereever it will admit of a true and good meaning, to their mere imagery.
The “ Notes on the Epistle to the Romans” are defective, for want of a good program of the Apostle's argument at the commencement, and regular indications of his transitions and digressions, of the points made and combated, of the reasonings employed by the sacred penman himself, and the reasonings put by him into the mouths of imagined interlocutors. Mr. Barnes interprets this Epistle too much as a series of aphorisnis,
too little as a continuous and compact whole. But it is this aphoristical mode of interpretation, which has given rise to the deduction from this Epistle of those strange and false dogmas which our author so ably refutes. Difficulty ceases, mysticism vanishes, the darkest portions of this most sorely tortured book of the New Testament become lucid and instructive, when we view it as a logical argument for the establishment of a single definite point, namely, that the Gospel is not less designed and adapted for those without the Mosaic
* John xiv. 2.
law, than for those under the law, - a point, of which, even in his digressions, the Apostle never loses sight, and for the proof of which he has, at the close of his Epistle, accumulated an irresistible weight of argument. We hope that Mr. Barnes, in extending his labors to the other apostolic Epistles, will adopt more entirely Locke's principles of interpretation as a guide, and thus present to us, with more distinctness than he has done in this instance, the unity of purpose, aim, and end which is one of the most prominent, though most frequently forgotten characteristics of these Epistles.
In conclusion we would say, that, while our Orthodox brethren publish, and circulate, and receive with favor such books as these “Notes," we most cordially extend to them the right hand of fellowship, even though they refuse to return it. We regard them as fellow laborers with us for the overthrow of time-hallowed absurdities, for the cleansing of the Christian creed from “wbatever defileth and maketh a lie.” Calvinism is now a house divided against itself. It embraces within its walls two, not only distinct, but opposite sects, the one that of the friends, the other that of the enemies of free inquiry, the one that of the votaries of reason, the other that of the blindfold recipients of a traditional faith. The house is tottering, is on the point of falling; and, when it falls, we confidently expect to receive into the citadel of liberal Christianity, and shall greet with a most hearty welcome, those beneath whose well-aimed blows the walls of the old mansion are shaking, and its foundations crumbling.
A. P. P.
Art. IV.-1. The Laws of Sobriety, and the Temperance
Reform. An Address delivered before the Young Men's
Elisha BARTLETT, M. D. Lowell. 8vo. pp. 30. 2. An Address delivered before the Massachusetts Stute Tem
perance Society, May 31st, 1835. By the Rev. SAMUEL K. LOTHROP. 2d Edition. Boston: 1835. 8vo. pp. 30.
3. Proceedings of the Temperance Convention held in Boston
on the twenty-third of Sptember, 1835, in pursuance of an Invitation of the Massachusetts Temperance Society to the Friends of Temperance; with an Address to the Friends of Temperance. Boston : 1836. Svo. pp. 45.
For several years we have looked with a good deal of anxiety upon the progress of the “Temperance Reform"; and we feel it our duty to inquire into its condition and prospects, and to report the circumstances which seem to favor or hinder it. The best interests of mankind are embarked in this enterprise ;
are they safe, or otherwise ? Are they wisely and prudently cared for, or are they endangered by rash and headlong management ? A stout ship was fitted out, - but ill victualled and manned as it seemed to most for such an enterprise, and waiting for a favoring breeze. We entered and had some small command ; and at length, obtaining more supplies and men and getting out into deep water, we made rapid way, which gave promise of a successful issue. Accordingly, before the voyage was nearly completed, — no port being in sight or soundings possible, there was a prodigious shouting and clapping of hands, as if the danger were over and the end as good as accomplished. . We rejoiced with the joy of the men, deeming it of good omen ; nevertheless we had our misgivings about all this shouting and clapping of hands, as somewhat premature. We remembered the wise saying,
66 Let not hini that girdeth on his barness boast himself as he that putteth it off.” We knew that the easiest part only of the work was done, that difficulties and perils were yet to be encountered in unknown seas.
Our fears have been verified. We are at present in a delicate position in relation to what is called “the Temperance movement.” We are no whit behind the foremost in our devotion to the object aimed at. For this object we deem no sacrifice too great, and no effort too laborious. Deep accordingly have been our sorrow and mortification at seeing the new character and direction given of late to that influence which has been working such desirable changes in the opinions and habits of society. We grieve to say, that the progress of reform is obstructed, if not altogether brought to a stand, — not so much by the opposition of enemies, as by the indiscretion or error of well-meaning friends. 30 S. VOL. II. NO. J.
It is not then because we are indifferent to the cause, but the reverse; — it is because it is dear to us, and we see its present peril, that we venture, at some risk, to call in question the wisdom and truth of certain new ideas which are hurrying the public mind, as we think, in a false direction. There are times when it is the duty of true men, at whatever hazard of being crushed, - to hang as a weight upon the wheels of reform. And now, when we see them whirling along, no one knows whither, with such portentous and heating velocity, we think such a time has come.
We may as well confess in the outset, that we are not generally in favor of combinations to effect good objects by public agitation. We had from the beginning our fears and misgivings about the working of the formidable machinery by which a great moral reform was to be elaborated, the rubbish of old error and vicious custom cleared away, and a new fabric of society constructed on better foundations. We discerned the elements' of reform already working in the community ; and we feared that they would lose somewhat of their direct and spiritual action on the minds and sympathies of men by being diverted from their natural modes of manifestation, and made undistinguishable parts and springs of this social machinery. It seemed to us that a firm, temperate, and good man, in his individual thought and free activity, had in him a moral force which must be lost or greatly impaired, when he consents to merge himself in an association, whose movements he cannot control.
For what is an association but a living machine, which yet, taken as a whole, has in it no spiritual life and unity, and can attain such only by sacrificing the minds of the many to one, or, at most, a few? And these few are commonly not the best or wisest, but coarse, violent men, whose restless activity, -or what is worse, -unflinching and unfeeling hardihood on public occasions, places them in the front rank, from which men of profound reflection are apt to retire. It is to be deplored as one of the evils incident to such combinations, that persons of the former description thrust themselves into the places of great men, and stand forth to the world as such, while the real teachers and reformers of mankind, are thrown into the back-ground.
We had, however, no doubt of the rectitude of the motives by which individuals were drawn into “concerted action” in