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• The Presbyterian standards have this important advantage, that every - doctrine refers to the text on which it is founded, both for illustration and
proof. The scriptural terms and expressions in our Confession and Catechisms, must, therefore, be understood in that sense, which they evidently bear in the sacred writings; for it would be very absurd to surpose, that the same words and phrases were used, in one sense in the scriptures, and in another in our standards. Hence, to ascertain the genuine sense of the sacred text, to which any article refers, is absolutely necessary, in order to understand the doctrine to which we subscribe. This remark is intended to rescue our excellent standards, from being perverted by the followers of Calvin.' p. 294.
Without attachment to sects, we must advocate the cause of honesty and integrity, and bear testimony against such sophistical representations, as would sanction men in subscribing articles which they do not believe. Those who compiled the Scotch Confession expressed their sentiments in plain and unambiguous language; and, by appealing to the scriptures, they declared the sense in which they understood the texts to which they referred. Mr. S. would reverse the design, and would have recourse to the texts, and his interpretation of them, to ascertain the sense of the Confession. Whut purpose then could be served by that formula ? Or how could it answer its intention of excluding from the ministry, in that church, all. those who did not believe it? On the plan of this Jesuitical paragraph, unprincipled men may with perfect ease gain ad. mittance into any established church. By adopting the mental reservation, that they subscribe the articles only in the scriptural sense of them, oaths, creeds, and articles, however numerous and rigid, might be swallowed without hesitation. How would such arts be treated in the commercial world, by men of common probity? Would they even have been thought of in the religious world, but for the temptation of Kirk-preferment, and an ambition for worldly honours and “ filthy lucre.” Alas for the unfortunate ignorance of those ve. nerable and holy Confessors, who suffered imprisonments, tortures, and death, rather than subscribe what they did not believe! They too, if they had been'endowed with a judiciou and convenient conscience, might have expounded the articles by the scriptures, and the scriptures by the articles, and, eni trenched within this circular device of dishonesty, might have been secure from penalties and privations, might peaceable have enjoyed the profits of their knavery, the good things of this world, and died in full age unlamented. Where was their boasted wisdom, in renouncing the guilt and the wages of unrighteousness, to ensure the dissemination of truth, the testimony of a good conscience, and the final approbation of the supreme judge?
inds it or POVBLED
A volume might be written on the errors in Mr. S.'s account of faith. He coufounds it with the understanding, by calling it "an original principle or power of human nature, implanted in Adam, not lost by the fall, but transmitted to his offspring as a law of our nature." p. 300. He rejects the opinions of those, who think that faith is produced by the mind being led to the cordial reception of divine truth, through divine influence, which he stigmatizes with the epithet “miraculous." But though no new faculty is created, nor any new revelation made, at the conversion of a sinner, yet the faculties of his mind may be enlightened, by the influence of the holy spirit, to understand and believe the nature and excellence of the truths revealed in the scriptures; otherwise the apostle Paul was in an error, when he prayed for the Ephesians, that God would grant them the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of himself, and enlighten the eyes of their understanding, that they might know the hope and privileges of the gospel. But the true object of Mr. Smith's hostility, is the doctrine of divine influence. He asserts the 66 means of conversion" to be not less "regular and certain in their operation, than natural causes are in the material world,” and that “ we have no more reason to expect a supernatural agency in the production of faith, than in the ordinary birth of a child, or its progress to manhood." p. 302. Our limits compel us to pass over much of what he has advanced on this subject, to notice his account of the faith of Abraham, which was counted to him for righteousness. This Mr. S. says consisted “in a permanent principle, which disposed the patriarch at all times, and in all things, to believe and obey his God.” p. 314. A principle which only disposed him to believe could not be faith, but something that tended to produce it; and a permanent principle'that disposed him to obey God, must have been piety, the effect of faith rather than faith itself. This is implied in the author's next sentence. 6. This disposition was produced by just conceptions of the being and perfections of Deity; particularly of his power, goodness, and veracity.” If Abraham had just conceptions of the being and perfections of God, he must have believed them; and if conceiving and believing justly concerning God produced in him a disposition to obey, this disposition must have been the fruit and effect of the faith which he already had, and therefore was not faith itself but its consequence. Mr. S.'s statewent is philosophically, as well as theologically, wrong, and evidently confounds cause and effect. In the next page he allows, the particular revelation which Abraham' believed was, that his seed should become numerous as the stars of heasen.” But after quoting Rom. iv, 20,he staggered not,
&c.” he adds, “it was not this particular act that God impnted to the patriarch, but the established principle of faith which continued to operate through his whole life.” Is not this clearly to contradict the 4th verse, “ Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness?"-We subjóin two short passages from this essay, leaving our readers to come ment on their consistency.
• That we are not justified by faith, as the meritorious cause, is readily granted; for, if that were the case, then it would be bestowed on us as a debt, and not as an act of grace. We are justified by faith therefore ; as that important and fruitful principle, which qualifies us for becoming members of Christ's kingdom, and for enjoying the purchased inberitance,' p. 319.
• When man is said to be justified, by faith, without deeds of law, or without works ; it would not be inconsistent with the sepse, in which the
terms are frequently used, to understand the expression to mean, that we · are now saved, by the profession and practice of Christianity, and not by Judaism.' p. 320.
Under the terms covenant and union with Christ, there are some remarks worthy of attention, from such as have expressed themselves incautiously on those subjects; but they are made in an unworthy spirit, and are delivered with a sneer at communion with God, and experimental religion, p. 333. The views and feelings of serious Christians in general, though he chuses to speak of them as Calvinists, are evidently obnoxious to this writer; and their anxieties, and internal conflicts are the subject of his indecent sarcasms. In explaining the term nature, he charges with “folly” those divines who speak of man as naturally an enemy to the gospel. Having quoted a passage from Dr. Witherspoon to that effect, he adds;
« The legs of the lame are not equal ; for those who adopt these senti. ments allow, that the suitability of Christianity to human nature, is one of its chief recommendations to our regard. If man, by nature, or by his rational powers, make the strongest opposition to the doctrines of the gospel, and cannot receive them; then Christianity is not a religion, suited to hu. man nature.' p. 406.
We cite this passage to detect the sophismi in it. When die vines represent Christianity as suited to human nature, they express its suitability to the circumstances, wants, and mise. ries of mankind. When they say, that man by nature is an enemy to the gospel, they speak not of his wants, or natural faculties, but of his moral disposition. Both statements are correct and consistent. Mr. $., by the nature of man, would understand his rational powers, and by using, in his syllogism, the term nature in two different senses, first his own, and then that of those whom he opposes, he endeavours to form an ar
gument against them. If he did not see the sophism, it is to the disgrace of his logic; if he did, it is decisive against his integrity. By nature, Mr. S. further understands “the particular dispositions which individuais acquire from their parentage, education, and habits. This second nature" he asserts, (but where is the proof ?) " is cailed the old man'' in the scriptures, “which the Christian religion teaches us to cruci- ' fy.” Agreeably to this view, he says, p. 412, “Those who have been brought up and educated under the gospel, may be called Christians by nature, in the same sense tha Paul says, " We are Jews by nature, and not siuners of the Gentiles." Does not Paul mean that they were born Jews; and are men Christians now by their natural birth? The author here re. verts to his favourite task, the abuse of Calvin, and produces at the foot of p. 408 the most flagrant instance of audacious and malignant misrepres ntation that we ever read. Our limits will not allow us to point it out. We shall only say, that Calvin, whatever his errors may have been, expressly disclaimed the sentiment which Mr. S. bas printed as his words. See the Institution's, Lib. II. c. 1. $ 10, 11.
The extracts we have given, will amply display the spirit in which this volume is writtiön. More of vulgar illiberality toward those who differ from him, we have seldons, if ever, met with in any author; nor have we ever seen a writer assume the character of pacificator among theological disputants, with so slight a portion of the qualifications, either of understand. ing, or of temper, that are requisite for such an office. Vio. lating equally the dictates of prudence and decorum, he cannot refrain from applying opprobrious epithets to those, whose sentiments he chiefly wishes to bring to the level of his own. We have had some specimens of bis scurrility against the Calvinists: whi:e he calis them “Pharisees" p. 212, and acquaints them that their upin ons “are not unfavourable to the Pharisaical temper," he tells the Arminians that “their principies are more congenial to the chara ter of a Sadducee." p. 421. .
If the author had been honest enough explicitly to declare his sentiments, and had treated tho-e from whom he differs with the meekriess of wisdom, we should have considered his character, at least, if not his work, as intitled to respect. As’ the case stands, the essays in the second part lamentably illustrate the observation with whi h they commence, “ Disputants frequently maintain their controversies by misrepresenting the opinions of others,” “ hence polemical publications-degenerate into contemptible quibbling:" "This q ibbling in. deed perrades the volume, which so insinuates important error, that it might be very injurious to the cause of scriptural Christianity, but for that inadequacy of execution and incon
sistency of sentiment which must be fatal to its fame and pers petuity. Art.VIII. Chemical Philosophy; or the established Bases of Modern Chemis
try. Intended to serve as an Elementary Work for that Science. By A. F. Fourcroy. Third Edition, considerably enlarged and amended ; trans-, lated from the French, by W. Desmond, Esq. 8vo. pp. 291. 7s. bds. Symonds. 1807. TO) those of our readers who are acquainted with the modern 12 history of chemistry, a formal introduction of the celebrated author of this work is unnecessary : M. Fourcroy has discovered too much, and written too well, on chemical subjects, to need elevation from our praise, or fear depression from our censure. The present work, with the exception of the introductory part, has been more than once exhibited to the British public, though in a less perfect state'; and it is somewhat remarkable, that while the larger treatises of the same author are well known and admired, this has not yet obtained the notice or the applause to which it is eminently intitled. On its first appearance here, more than twelve years ago, in a spirited translation published by Johnson, we were much struck with the precision and elegance of its style, and the excellence of its arrangement; and we are happy in the present opportunity of calling the attention of our readers to an enlarged and improved edition of so judicious a summary of the facts and doctrines of chemistry.'
Among the various causes which have contributed to the advancement of chemical science, the reforination of its nomenclature was certainly not the least efectual : the disa missal of its barbarous and incoherent names, and the regular classification of its principles and facts, tended obviously to facilitate its study, and consequently to engage more persons in its cultivation. To those who are not able to appreciate its advantages, the new chemical nomenclature may appear to be a triding or useless labour,--a work of genius indeed, but of genius misapplied, wasting its strength in strenuous idleness;' while those who admire precision of language, who can see any beauty in a scientific arrangement of terms, or set any value on a perspicuous adaptation to their objects, will do ampler justice to its merits, and cheerfully admit the claims of its illustrious authors. Of the advantages of this nomenclature, we know not a more convincing proof, or a more luminous exhibition, than the work now under consideration. The translation is made from the third edition of the original, published at Paris in 1805: the two former editions contained the philosophy of chemistry only, but to this the author has prefixed a succinct introduction, defining the · nature, pointing out the objects, and explaining the general