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Extracts from “Doctrinal Errors of the Apostolical and
early Fathers ;” by William Osburn, junior.
APP E N D I X.
INTRODUCTION. THE “ Extract” (A) is from a letter which was addressed to the Author by a highly valued Friend and deeply experienced Christian, who kindly allows this use to be made of it. It contains striking observations on some passages in Barclay and Penn, illustrative of their views on the great point of • Justification.”
The “ Notes on Mysticism” (B), by my Friend John Eliot Howard, will be found deeply interesting, to those who wish thoroughly to investigate the subjects to which they refer : they deserve an attentive perusal.
The Extracts from the late John Eliot's “ Strictures on some Passages in Barclay” (C), afford strong presumptive proof that Barclay adopted Keith's visionary system, and that we are indebted, through those writers, to the Platonic Philosophy, and not to the New Testament, for the doctrine of
a Universal and Saving Light," as "something " distinct from the Holy Spirit ; as well as for a peculiar and questionable mode of stating the scriptural doctrine of the influence of the Holy Spirit.
The Extracts (D and E) which conclude the Appendix are from two works which at the present juncture are peculiarly valuable, because, without referring to our Society, and evidently without any
view to its present position, they each strikingly illustrate the evils resulting to the Christian church whenever it departs from the paramount authority of Holy Scripture, or uses unscriptural terms in treating on religious subjects; and also the pernicious consequences of every attempt to graft Christianity on Philosophy, and to be wise above that which is written, by endeavouring to explain the hidden counsels and purposes of God by the unsanctified efforts of the dark and narrow conceptions of the human mind. And it is well worthy of remark, that those who have most earnestly protested against the application of human learning to Divine subjects, have been insensibly led, by the writings of imaginative and philosophical men, to adopt certain views apparently inconsistent with revealed truth, and to explain and support them less on the authority of Holy Scripture than on that of the Heathen Philosophers and the ancient Fathers; many of whom, in embracing Christianity, could not relinquish their predilection for their own darling systems, or refrain from attempting to har. monize them with the simple and sublime truths of the Gospel.
EXTRACT FROM A LETTER TO THE AUTHOR.
MY DEAR FRIEND,
The reasoning contained in the book to which I alluded-namely, “ The Doctrine of the Catholic Church respecting the blessed Eucharist, by the Rev. Henry Rutter”-is most ingenious ; and it appears to me evi. dent that nothing can fairly controvert it but the blessed doctrine of Justification by Faith. Luther was most certainly directed by the Holy Spirit to lay hold of that one only weapon that could reach and give a deadly stroke to the root of Popery. But I will proceed to give thee the passage which I mentioned to thee as having its exact counterpart in Barclay's Apology.-
“ As the body of Christ is here in its glorified state, it is perfect and entire under each species ; consequently, under that of bread is contained the blood in the body, and under that of wine the sacred body is produced together with the blood. With Christ's body and blood there must also be his soul; and, by a necessary connexion, the Second Person in the adorable Trinity hypostatically united to his humanity; also, by accompaniment, the other two Divine Persons, as they have but one individual nature, and are one and the same God. So that here are present, Christ, true God and true man; and the whole blessed Trinity, who by His immensity fills the whole creation, but in a particular manner is present with the sacred humanity of Christ.” p. 28.
I will now just mention what in Barclay appeared to me a parallel to this gratuitous assumption.
Prop. v. & vi. SS. 13, 14: “ By this seed, grace, and word of God ......... We understand a spiritual, heavenly, and invisible principle, in which God, as Father, Son, and Spirit, dwells ....... and this some call Vehiculum Dei, or the spiritual body of Christ, the flesh and blood of Christ, which came down from heaven, of which all the saints do feed, and are thereby nourished unto eternal life............ Wherever it is, God and