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resurrection, rising up from earth into heaven. The Lord, speaking of his bringing up his people out of Egypt, says, “ I bore you on eagles' wings ” (Ex. xix. 4); and Moses, speaking of the Lord's mercy and instruction, designed to lead his people into the ark of their strength, says, “ As an eagle stirreth up her nest and fluttereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her wings; so the Lord alone did lead them. The quickness and certainty with which the eagle darts upon its prey, is an apt symbol of the judgment of the Lord, swift and inevitable. Our Lord, speaking of his coming to judgment, useth the figure of the eagle to express it, saying, " for wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.”
c. 19. In allotting the symbol of the eagle to Dan, we have appropriated the whole of the four beasts of St. John to the four divisions of the Jewish nation, as encamped before the Lord. In the course of our examination we have seen that these four are given to foreshew the four succeeding dispensations of the church. In the first (the lion), the head of all wild beasts, is seen to apply to Judah, the head of the first division; and they, both and each, to symbolize the Jewish dispensation of the church. In the second (the ox), the head of all tamed beasts, is found to mark Ephraim, the head of another division of the Jews; and together they stand as the symbol of the Gentile dispensation of the church. In the third (the man), we have the head of all reasoning creation, and indeed of all creation ; signifying Reuben, the head of another division, and forming a symbol of the Millennial dispensation of the church. And in the fourth (the eagle), the head of all the fowls of the air, parallelizing Dan, the head of the last division of the Jews, and prophetically depicting the last dispensation of the church, in the General Resurrection.
12. Sufficient consideration has now been given to the Jewish ordinances and witness to confirm the general view before taken of the four-fold offices and order of manifestation of Christ in the church, and likewise to confirm the view advanced concerning the fulness of the vision of St. John, when coupled with the other visions, and compared with the form of God's manifestation of himself dwelling in the midst of his people Israel. We have seen that the four-fold order of manifestation is a full key to the interpretation of the visions and emblematic pictures ; and that these visions and emblems are themselves unassailable proofs of the order of manifestation. To examine in detail the whole of the Jewish laws and ordinances would occupy volumes : we may, however, briefly refer to one or two other heads, to serve by way of hints to examination for those who may be led to pursue it.
(To be continued).
CALVINISM NOT THE WHOLE OF CHRISTIANITY. "I should not recommend a young minister to pay much deference to the Scotch divines. The Erskines, who were the best of them, are dry, and laboured, and prolix, and wearisome. He may find incomparable matter in them, but he should be aware of forming his taste and manner after their model. I want a more kind-hearted and liberal sort of divinity.” (Remains, p. 204). The opinion here pronounced by Mr. Cecil is that which every one must form, who, pursuing indefatigably his search after truth, has sought it in books of modern divinity. There are two classes of religionists, under opposite but equal delusions : the one, which resolves all religion into doctrine; the other, which resolves it all into feeling. As examples of these, but not without exceptions, or meaning thereby to exclude all others, may be instanced the Scotch Calvinists on the one side, and the Wesleyan Methodists on the other.
As our business is with the former, we shall dismiss the consideration of the latter for the present, with only a very few remarks. Their errors arise from ignorance of God: their feelings are too powerful for their judgment: when they read a passage in Scripture which strikes them as giving a harsh view of God, they pass it by, without endeavouring to correct their apprehension of Him by it; and they underate the Atonement, by not rightly understanding the nature of the work which is to be effected by the Spirit.
The errors of the modern Calvinists are just the opposite of these. They have attained to more knowledge of God; and this knowledge has puffed them up, so that they think they know all of God that is revealed. Besides this, they mistake a knowledge of doctrines for a knowledge of God; and place the seat of religion in the intellect, and not in the affections. They, too, pervert Scripture on their side, and resolve, by hook or by crook, every appeal in it to the moral responsibility of man, and which responsibility every man feels to reside within his own breast, into a mere declaration of God's decrees: of which perversion the writings of Dr. Gill afford many striking examples. The faults of both Arminians and Calvinists arise from inaccurate views of the separate offices of the Second and Third Persons in the salvation of the sinner. The one looks to the work of the latter within him to constitute his title to heaven; the other looks to the work of the former without him to constitute his meetness for heaven. The five points, as they are called, of the Calvinists, overstrained, lead to much error, which it is our present purpose to examine; and this error, in proportion as it is embodied in the heart of the Calvinist, renders his character
VOL. IIT.-NO. II.
the very opposite of that which the Bible requires us alone to consider as that of a Christian.
Of all commentators on Scripture, Calvin is the fairest. As a scholar he is pre-eminent. The dedication of his works to the King of France is, with the exception of that of Thuanus to his History, the purest example of modern Latinity extant. He would probably be greatly surprised at having the distorted, rickety thing now called Calvinism, affiliated upon him; and still more at being quoted as authority on subjects which he had only incidentally touched, and never very deeply considered. Neither has it fared much better with him who has been elevated into his rival, Arminius, whose writings would certainly be condemned by the followers of Bishop Tomline and Mant as highly Calvinistic. The five points * selected by this latter from the writings of Calvin, as those on which he thought that great man had expressed himself unguardedly, have been the puncta salientia from which have been subsequently generated systems much more opposed to each other than was the real creed of Arminius to that of Calvin: just as we find two country attorneys in a borough election waging implacable war against each other, whilst their principals are upon the best terms of mutual friendship.
Into this dispute, however, we do not now mean to enter ; but shall confine ourselves to the enumeration of some important parts of Christian truth which are not referred to at all in the five points, in order to shew, that, even under the most favourable view—even if it were demonstrated that not one of the five points were carried to excess, and that no error were connected with them-still a man whose religion consisted either wholly, or even mainly, in them, would yet be so far ignorant of the far greater portion of the mind and revealed will of God as scarcely to deserve the name of a believer in the Bible at all, or to be able to fulfil the duties of this life as unto God; far less become conformed to the character of God, which alone is salvation.
If there be one subject more often declared and insisted upon than another in Scripture it is, that the place which shall be assigned to every man in the world to come shall be according to the measure of his doings in the world that now is. (Matt. xvi. 27.) This doctrine occupies so predominant a place, that the majority of mankind, who read the Bible superficially, find nothing else; derive from thence their opinion of the efficacy of human merit in man's salvation, and miss the doctrines of grace altogether. It is impossible to calculate the importance of this doctrine, or the danger and loss which has accrued to the souls of thousands, who have vainly deluded themselves into the idea that they were safe because they believed in the atonement, and in election, and in predestination, &c.; while the belief of neither the one nor of the whole of these doctrines served any other purpose but that of increasing their everlasting misery. Happiness is not consequent upon holiness by reason of any arbitrary decree of God: but holiness is bappiness; and it is an impossibility for happiness to exist in any thing else. God is willing that men should be happy: therefore declares this truth to them, and also the means by which they may attain to it. When men talk of imputed holiness, and are content with that, they must be content with imputed happiness also: for they are but two names for the same thing, under two different aspects; the one with reference to the Creator, the other with reference to the creature. Such is equally the case with respect to sin and misery. Sinners will not be miserable in hell in consequence of any arbitrary decree of God ordaining that which without his ordination would be otherwise. Sin is misery, by as necessary a law as that which makes fire burn, or ice feel cold. This being an eternally necessary and immutable truth of God, He, out of pity to mankind, declares it, in order that by fleeing from sin man may flee from misery; but if man would only flee from misery, and not flee from sin, he is attempting to do an essentially impossible thing. To make this point perfectly clear, it would be requisite to enter more at length into the nature of sin and holiness, and mto the meaning of those expressions which impute impossibility to God; but that would lead us beside the object inore immediately in hand. The practical truth is of incalculable importance-namely, that each human being, during every moment of his existence on this earth, is increasing his own heaven or his own hell; that is, increasing bis own capacity for happiness or misery. No change takes place beyond the grave: as the tree falls so must it lie: he that has fitted himself for the command of one, or of ten cities, and he that has fitted himself for the reception of few or of many stripes, must await both from the hour of his death, without the possibility of addition or diminution.
* 1. The import of the words Election and Reprobation. 2. The extent of Christ's Redemption. 3. The Grace of God; whether it be vouchsafed sufficiently to those who improve it not, and irresistibly to those who do improve it; and whether men be wholly passive in the work of their regeneration. 4. The Liberty of the Will in a state of trial and probation. 5. The Perseverance or Defectibility of the Saints.- Whitby on the Points.
Closely connected with this subject is another, which is very necessary to be rightly known-namely, the nature and situation of the kingdom of heaven; or, in other words, the future state of the blessed. We have often had occasion to expose the ignorance of the majority upon this subject, as exemplified in all the Religious Magazines. This ignorance, like that on other branches of truth, arises from the same source, and, indeed, can
arise from no other---namely, that the Calvinists, not finding it among their five points, cared not to inquire whether or no it was in the Bible; whether God had revealed it; or whether they were bound to learn it because He had written it for their instruction. If they had done this, they must have perceived, that, as the kingdom of heaven to be manifested is not an abstraction above the clouds, no one knows where, nor for what purpose, nor with what duties connected, but a tangible, visible place, for the purpose of rule over this earth, and perhaps over all creation,-so are the duties of life intimately and necessarily connected with it, and preparatory to its enjoyment : whereas every honest Calvinist will acknowledge that he does not see the remotest connection in kind between his actions and the performance of his duties here, with the reward of those actions and duties in the world to come. Thus the parables of the Talents, &c., would have had clear and definite meanings, which could not have been slurred over; and men would have seen there was a reward for striving, a real race to be run, a real contest to be fought, a real crown to be won. It is scarcely to be wondered at, that, with the views of the Calvinists after an indefinite, shadowy, heathen elysiuın, the word strive, aywrišomas, should seem to have been expunged from their Bibles.
The error respecting the nature and situation of heaven is part and parcel of their losing sight of the only object held up in Scripture for the church's hope ; namely, the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to this earth, and the purposes for which he comes. Nothing can more strongly prove the ignorance of the leaders of the Religious World ; their habitual want of honest study of the Scriptures; the certainty of their reading only detached parts, and for previously intended objects, whether building up in partial doctrine, or inculcating maxims of morality -reading, in short, for any thing but for acquiring knowledge of God—than the language which has been held by the whole mass of religious magazines upon this subject. They are now very fond of accusing us of bad spirit, and calling us by all manner of injurious epithets ; of talking of our“ tirades” against the Evangelicals, and our wish to “exterminate the religious world !” because we reiterate our warnings to the church of God against these blind leaders of the blind. We nevertheless hold it to be our bounden duty to make Christians see the meagre theology, which does not deserve the name of theology, with which the church has been exclusively fed by these publications; and we shall continue to do so from time to time. For one Journal to be perpetually arrayed against others looks so like the petty quarrels of rivals for public favour, that we have abstained during several numbers from commenting upon the trumpery that is monthly put forth ; but we shall be compelled