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Review of Dew Publications.
The immoral and pernicious ten- faithfulness, to oppose the errors
dency of error. Illustrated in of the times. Still we are ready a sermon at the ordination of to wonder, that the writer conthe Rev. James Beach, to the tents himself before the great pastoral care of the church in doctrine of the apostle, with only Winsted. Jan. 1. 1806. By examining a few gross and danASAHEL HOOKER, A. M. Pas- gerous errors. It would have tor of the church in Goshen. contributed much to the merit of Hartford, Lincoln & Gleason. the sermon, already excellent, if Feb. 1806.
the ingenious author had underEvil communications corrupt good taken to prove, by some obvious manners, 1 Cor. xv. 33.
arguments, the connexion beAfter a very proper intro- tween wrong theory and wrong duction, the author gives this as practice. This connexion might the doctrine of the text. As gross have been invincibly argued from errors are destructive of good the proneness of mankind to do morals, they are necessarily hostile what their judgment approves to true religion. It is a rule laid or to act according to their condown by the most approved wri- viction. It might have been arters on sermonizing, that the gued from the vigilance of indoctrine, or leading sentiment spiration to guard us against of the discourse be expressed in erroneous sentiments, as well as as few and simple terms as possi. against wicked actions. It might ble. It is, therefore, queried, have been argued too from whether the great sentiment of the conduct of many individuals the text, and of the discourse both in the church, and in the might not, with more propriety, world. have been expressed in some Though we suggest these such manner as this ; wrong the additions, we do not forget the ory is productive of wrong prac- narrow limits of a single distice; or thus, erroneous sentie course. ment: lead to wicked actions.
The plan adopted is executed The author's plan is to illus- with ability. The first error grate the doctrine, not by ab- mentioned, as of a pernicious stract reasoning, but by examin- tendency, is Deism. The second ing several gross and dangerous is the error of the Universalisis. errors, which abound at the pre- It is satisfactorily proved, that sent day. This method is not mankind, as they are, will take without its advantages. The occasion from this scheme, if author governs himself by the believed, to sin with the greater favourite maxim of a divine, greediness. This is, in brief, whose memory is highly respec- the spirit of his reasoning. If ted in New England ; that it is the hearts of men are fully set in one important branch of ministerial them to do evil, because sentence
against them is not speedily friends of error and irreligion. In executed; how much more will
this compromise it is agreed to ex
tend their full charity to one another, they be set on evil, if they be
however different their opinions, and lieve the sentence will never be even to all mankind, except those, executed.
who maintain an essential difference "The Most High said of the false between right and wrong, between prophets of old, they have strengthened truth and error, and who thence con. the hands of the wicked, that he should tend earnestly for the faith once de. not depart from his wicked way, BY livered to the saints. As this wonPROMISING HIM LIFE. Nor is it ea. derful liberality is founded in a deep sy' to perceive in what respects the rooted love of darkness, it renders doctrine, which teaches the salvation men no less opposed to a candid, imof all men, of all characters, and partial, and prayerful investigation of which, of course,
makes it depend on moral and religious subjects, than to no conditions, is a whit less immoral that teachable and humble spirit, and pernicious in its tendency, than which is essential to receiving the truth the doctrine of the fool's heart, there in the love of it. The genius of this is no God. The father of lies, who liberality is distinguished by such was a murderer from the beginning maxims as this ; it is no matter what and abode not in the truth, doubtless men believe, if they are but sincere in apprehended the real tendency of the their belief. This word, sincere, is doctrine in question, and first preach the bait, which is designed to cona ed it to mankind with dire effect. The ceal the deceitful and fatal snare. consequence of their believing it, and By being sincere, in the present case, acting on a presumption of its being nothing better can be correctly intrue, was the apostasy and ruin of the tended, than men's really believing human race."
what they profess to believe. But The third false opinion men professing, or not professing, can tioned is, that the depravity of never alter the nature of their belief, mankind arises from their igno- stripping their language of disguise,
or of the things believed. Hence, fance of the truth. The author
this is the doctrine, which they in. shows that this sentiment is con- tend to maintain, that it is 10 matter trary to plain scripture declara what men believe, or what they disbetions, and that it implies that
lieve, and therefore, that they are not
accountable to God for any senti. man is by nature holy, and needs
ments, which they are pleased to emnot to be renewed by the grace brace. Some men use this language, of God; and, accordingly, that who dare not avow themselves the the sentiment is suited to cherish open and unequivocal adversaries of bis pride and make him pure in
religion, and of morals. But might
they not avow this, consistently with his own eyes.
truth? And would they not do it, The author finally notices the were they not, for the present, less opinion of those, who deny the bold, than impious; or more afraid divine institution and perpetual
of men, than of God ? If it be no mat
ter what men believe, they may be." obligation of the Christian Sab
licve that the doctrine of an all-perbath. In a note he suggests, that fect Deity, who is the Creator, the what has been advanced concern Governor, and the Judge of the ing a few gross errors is equally world, is a mere chimera of supersti
tion. They may, in like manner, disapplicable to others.
believe the record, which God hath A number of interesting re
given of his Son, or embrace any othflections close the discourse. er opinion, however grossly errone. "1. We may hence see the fatal ten ous, and utterly subversive of the dency of modern liberality. This libe Christian faith. When straitened for rality, when examined by the light of arguments to support their liberality disine truth, is found to be a sort of in all its absurd and borrid conse. cómpromise between the various quences, they will plead their own Vol. II. No, 2.
cause, by asserting, that they cannot practical atheism. They labour to alter their belief, und that, therefore, set aside the doctrines, and even the it cannot be sinful. And with a lit. reality of a divine revelation, because tle more hardihood, but with no more they wish to live in such a manner, absurdity or impiety, they may pro. as fills them with horror, when preceed to assert the same in respect to sented with the awful prospect of bemy vices, in which they are pleased ing arraigned at the tribunal of Heato indulge. They are not more vol.
Accordingly, the doctrine, untary in the practice of these vices, which maintains the innocence of all than in embracing those sentiments, opinions, is a most insidious attack on which are believed for no other rea the pure and undefiled religion of the gon, than their agreement with the gospel, and being universally admit. feelings of a proud, sensual, and de- ted, would be soon followed with the praved heart.
universal destruction of the morals “ The liberal doctrine of modern and the happiness of mankind in this times takes for granted what is pal. world, and of their souls in the world pably false, that there is no connex: to come.” ron between men's sentiments and In the second inference the their hearts, and between their hearts author points out the cause, to and their practice. They never act understandingly, in enubracing false
mast ascribe and immoral opinions, but from an alarming prevalence of vice and answerable frame of spirit. It is true, irreligion. He mentions eril men often become much more de communications, or corrupt prinpraved and immoral in their lives, in consequence of embracing those
ciples, as having a chief influsentiments, which justify iminorality
ence. and irreligion, and which are thence In the third place he infers, suited to draw forth the latent seeds very naturally, the importance of sensuality, pride, envy; revenge, and impiety. But in other cases,
not merely of shunning prevathose, whose crimes have got before lent errors and vices, but of takhand of their speculative opinions,
ing the best measures to oppose are found plunging suddenly into the them, and to counteract their darkness of gross error, that the hid pernicious influence. eous deformity of their characters
" It will perhaps be said, that we may be concealed from the view of live in a land of liberty, where every their consciences, and no longer dis.
man enjoys the right of forming and turb them with the guilty forebodings expressing bis own opinions. True. of infinite wrath.
But God has invested no man with “ Again, that mode of reasoning, the right of calling evil good, even if which makes all sorts of opinions in his errors are kept to himself : nocent, might do the same, as con. much less the right of communicating sistently, in respect to all sorts of the foul contagion of them to those actions. The sentiments, which men
around him. All men are accountable embrace on moral and religious sub.
to God for the sentiments, which jects, are their rules of moral conduct. they embrace, and which they incul. Every man, therefore, who justifies
cate on others. Nor bave they any errors in opinion, must, if consistent,
more right," on the principles of piety justify the same, when carried into
and benevolence, “ to disseminate practice. This agrees not only with
those evil communications, which the tendency of erroneous sentiments,
corrupt good manners, than to prac. but with the evident design of num
tise those flagrant abominations, bers in embracing them, and with
which are at once an insult to the the habitual conduct of many. They Majesty of the universe, and an atembrace error with the sole view of tack on the peace and safety of manfindling in it a cloak for their sins.
kind." Many labour to disbelieve the moral
The occasional addresses at gorernment of God, and cven his ex. istence, because they are in love with the close are marked with perti
nence, solemnity, and Christian of the matter, and in the propritenderness. On the whole we ety of the manner, far excels the cannot forbear saying, that this generality of sermons on simsermon, both in the importance ilar occasions.
The General Assembly of the Presby. With heartfelt pleasure the Assem. Krian Church, at their annual sessions bly bear testimony to the charitable in May, are in the practice of receiving exertions made by some of their accounts of the state of Religion, froin churches, for the relief of the poor, the members representing the various and for the maintenance of the holy parts of their ecclesiastical jurisdiction, ministry. They rejoice to find that and of condensing and publishing these the ordinances of the gospel are, in accounts in the form of a Report. The general, attended with punctuality and following is their Report for May last. earnestness. They regret, however,
that in some particulars, they are com. The Assembly have heard with pelled to use the language of reprc. pleasure, accounts from the east and hension. It is with pain they observe west
, the north and south, proclaiming it to be the practice of too many, in the triumphs of the Redeemer, in the some of their churches, to attend di. extension and prosperity of his king- vine service only on one part of the day, dom in our country:
to the neglect or contempt of the re. The Assembly have received an maining part. Against this practice, impression of the most pleasing kind so injurious to the spiritual interests from the intelligence that there is, in of their people ; so entirely inconsist. almost every quarter, a general, and in cnt with the Christian character and some parts of our church, an increased privileges, they think it no more than attention to the public worship of God: their duty solemnly to protest. And that there exists a spirit of inquiry in they do most affectionately beseech regard to religious truth, and a more ali who are conscious of delinquency general conviction that the power of in this respect, no longer to withhold godliness is necessary to stamp val. from God any portion of that time, ue on its form.
which he hath specially consecrated to Associations for prayer and reading his own service. the holy Scriptures, have, it appears,
We live at a time when it becomes been the means frequently blessed by a duty peculiarly incumbent, to "con. God, to preserve the very existence of tend earnestly for the faith once deliv. religion, in places destitute of the ered to the saints.” It will, however, preaching of the gospel, and the full be remembered, that the sacred cause administration of its ordinances. of truth can never be promoted by Such associations have happily pre angry controversy, or railing accusa. pared the people for the labours of the tion. It is therefore recommended pious missionary, who thus came up to the churches, to vindicate the truth, on ground, as it were, already broken not only by sound and temperate dis. ep, and profitably scattered the good cussion, but also and especially, by the seed of the word.
manifestation of its sanctifying and The Assembly have also heard with transforming power over the life and great satisfaction, that the catechising conversation; and by evincing, that, of children and others, has, in certain “the like mind is in us which was in parts of our church, been practised Christ Jesus our Lord.” with more than ordinary care, and
It should ever be recollected, that with that desirable success, which error in doctrine hath a native tenden, may ever be expected to follow a suit. cy to produce immorality in practice ; able regard to this most important du- and therefore, that we should not be
carried about by every wind of doc, .
trine. Let us prave all things, and The Assembly beseech all their hold fast that which is good. This people to bear in mind, that if they caution, it is hoped, will be received allow themselves to abandon the un. with attention and solemnity, inas. erring guidance of God's written much as the church has been of late word, they will inevitably become the invaded by errors which strike at the prey of ignorance, superstition and very foundation of our faith and hope, fanaticism. “Budily exercise profits such as the deņial of the Godhead, eth little.” The mind sown with the and atonement of the blessed Re. seed of the word; the soul renewed deemer, the subjection of holy Scrip- by the Holy Spirit; these profit ; ture to the most extravagant impulses these entitle a man to the character of the heart of man. These and other of being truly religious : and whatsoerrors of a dangerous nature, have ever has not a tendency to cherish been industriously, and, alas! that and promote true religion, is incon. the Assembly should be constrained stant as the wind, and light as the to add, in some portions of our coun
chaff it scatters. try, too successfully disseminated. The assembly are happy to add,
It is believed that in the revivals of that their observations on the proslate years, many have been added to perity of the church, and the favour. the church of such as shall be saved. able position of religious affairs gene. Many, who, stedfast in the Christian rally, were not meant to be confined life, seek to adorn the doctrine of to the presbyteries under their care : God their Saviour in all things. For they comprehend also the state of this, let the Giver of every good, and things within the bounds of the Geng every perfect gift, be praised. These eral Association of Connecticut, and happy subjects of divine grace are among the Congregational churches exhorted to "hold fast that, which they in the state of Vermont, where the have received, that no man take their interests of Christ's kingdom appear crown;" to “be faithful unto death, to prosper. that they may obtain a crown of life.” On the whole, they commend their
But as it has often occurred, in for- beloved people to the grace of God, mer periods of the church, so there is praying the great Head of the reason to believe, it has happened church to vouchsafe to them yet far. with respect to these effusions of the ther days of refreshing from his Spirit's gracious influences. Trans presence. Exalted Redeemer, “pour formed into an angeloflight, the enemy water on the thirsty ; floods of water of souls hath endeavoured to mar the upon the dry ground ; thy Spirit on glorious display of divine operations, our seed, and thy blessing on our by inciting to the most absurd and offspring ; that they may grow up as extravagant outrages upon Christian grass, and as willows by the water sobriety and decorum.
FOREIGN. MANGOURIT, the last year, pub- have here, as erery where else, a comlished at Paris, “ Travels in Hanorer, mercial disposition. In the great cit, in the years 1803, 1904.". Among ies they are bankers; in the villages other informatioirof value, is the fol many of them are butchers; their lowing, viz. That only two religions children partake in the advantages of are known in Hanover, Judaism, and public instruction. There are a few Christianity, which latter is divided Catholics in Hanover; they were into the Catholic, the Calvinist, and twenty times more numerous, a centu. the Lutheran persuasions. Before the ry ago. They have adopted the reunion of Osnaburgh with the Electo. ligion of the prince. Calvinism is rate, the Jews were the most numero scarcely ever mentioned in Hanover. ous body after the Lutherans. They Lutheranism prevails throughout the