Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

The following Publications, on the final Reftoration, may be had of E. VIDLER, No. 349, Strand, London; and of J. TAYLOR, Grafsmarket, Edinburgh.

L.o

2.0

Dialogues on Univerfal Restoration, with notes by
W. Vidler, fine 4s. common
Lectures on the Prophecies, vols. Ift, 2d,

and 4th, boards

Philadelphian Magazine, 2 vols.
Gospel preached by Apostles
Face of Mofes unveiled

Process and Empire of Chrift, a poem
(The above by Mr Winchester.)

Everlasting Gospel, by Siegvolck
Purves's Humble Attempt, &c.
Wrights Hints on Univerfal Restoration
Answer to Ryland

Dr Chauncey on Univerfal Restoration
White on the Restoration

1

O 16 6

O 13 6

6

6

I

2

O

5

I

Leicester on Univerfal Salvation
Brown's Effay

I

1

Endless Mifery overthrown, by J. Weaver o
Petipierre on Divine Goodness

O 2

Letter to the Editor of the Methodist's

Magazine

Addrefs to Candid and Serious Men
Letter from a Minister to his Son
Difcourfe on Predeftination, by A. Bennett o
God's Love to his Creatures afferted and
vindicated, by W. Vidler
Theological Magazine, by W. Vidler.

This work, altho' principally dedicated
to the illuftration of the doctrine of
Restoration, will be found an impartial
vehicle of religious difcuffion and in-
telligence, in which Chriftians of every
denomination are invited to appear in
their own drefs. It is regularly pub-
lished in monthly numbers, at

[blocks in formation]

I O

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small]

OUR
UR Divine Mafter comprises the whole of his religion in two points, the love of God

and of our neighbour. The first of these naturally produces the other, and both are infeparable. “ Love worketh no ill to his neighbour, (saith Paul) therefore love is the fulfilling of the law." The faying of the Apostle John, who felt, in a high degree, the influence

this principle, merits serious confideration—" If a man fay, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar; for he who loveth not his brother whom he hath feen, how can he love God whom he hath not feen? And this commandment have we from him, that he who loves God love his brother alfo: For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”

The perfon who loves him that begets, will, for that very reafon, love those who are begatten of him. God is the creator or father of all men; and they are, therefore, bound to love, one another as brethren. As he is no fuch respecter of perfons, as to confine his paternal love to any clafs of his creatures; fo fhould our best wishes, and kind offices, as we have opportu nity, extend to all, according to their diversified rank in the scale of existence. Is man naturally led to feck his own happiness, from the native influence of the principle of felf-love and will not the genuine love of our neighbour lead us to wish and seek his good? An indifference to his welfare, either here or hereafter, is quite incompatible with that fraternal affection. If alive to a fenfe of our own guilt and mifery, will we not be anxious about deliverance, and the means by which it may be effected? A fellow creature, whether happy or miferable, whether in this ftate or in that to come, does not cease to be our brother; and therefore, the love we owe him juftifies every inquiry in our power refpecting his future deftination. Can one member of the great household suffer, and the rest have no fellow-feeling with it? While the common doctrine dooms millions of these to mifery, which admits of neither end, measure, or mitigation, and it is poffible we ourselves, or fome of our dearest relatives may be of the number, will we refufe coolly to weigh any arguments that may be urged from scripture in favour of their restoration? Does God require fuch a facrifice at our hand, out of deference to the opinion of fallible men, founded on words confeffedly indefinite, and applied to subjects between which there is an infinite difference with regard to their duration, fuch as the Mofaic ritual, and the eternal King? or can that love which we bear to all men justify such an apathy to their happiness?

In the letter addreffed to Mr V. fome of the reafons of this publication are affigned. In the progress of the work, the subject appeared with additional light or evidence, which fometimes led to recur to articles which had been previously under review. Tho' the whole was written, he ventures to say, under the influence of that philanthropy which the doctrine itself is fo much calculated to infpire; yet was it not easy wholly to fupprefs the innocent feelings of nature, which grofs misrepresentation, the keen severity of unmerited cenfure, and the anathemas of bigotry, must produce in every fufceptible mind.

The late famous Mr Burke fays, fomewhere in his writings, that in all religious perfuafions the bigots are perfecutors. The reafon he affigns is, that they will not take the pains to examine the grounds of the tenets of their adverfaries, whence they are ready to afcribe to them the very worst of motives for maintaining fuch doctrines. Prejudice of old cried, " Can any good thing come out of Nazareth?-out of Galilee arifeth no prophet!" But Bigotry went farther, and exclaimed, “ Away with him; Crucify him, crucify him!" Candour replied, "Why, what evil hath he done?" This remonftrance proceeded from the lips of an heathen judge. When thofe of the facred office, as they are called, give way to prejudico, se

wonder the people under their charge fhould be bigots, and fhew far lefs candour than those whom they brand as infidels, and deem unworthy to be fet with the dogs of their flock.

The power of early prejudice may be feen even in the common concerns of life. When the ufe of fanners was firft introduced, many objected to them, upon this ground, that it was not lawful to make use of the devils wind to clean their grain: But every old wife in the country would not fcruple, at the fame time, to blow up her fire with this very wind. That has been often branded as coming from Satan, which, upon inquiry, was found to be of God. Our Lord himself was mistaken by his own difciples for an apparition, when he came treading on the waves of the lake for their relief. Not feldom, too, the tares are taken for wheat.

Many apply the terms beretic and apolate to those who recede from any article of their belief, without attempting to convict them of having erred from the faith of the gospel. Here fy may be taken in a good or bad sense, and denotes, in its original acceptation, no more than a choice or fect; and an beretic is one that makes a choice, and, in confequence of this, attaches himfelf to a fect, party, or denomination, that is like minded. Those who differed in their judgment viewed them in a bad light, and hence the term came to be mutually applied in the worft fenfe. Chriftianity itself was at first universally called a herefy; after the way which they call herefy, faid Paul, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets. The word apoftacy was deemed quite harmless, until designing men found an interest in attaching odium to it. Dr Johnston explains it, in his Dictionary, parture from what a man has profeffed." According to this definition, all Proteftants are apoftates from the Romish church, and all diffenters are apoftates from the established churches to which they originally belonged. There may be apaitacy from that which is bad, as well as from truth and piety; whence it is often a duty to apostatise.

a de

Faith is the refult of conviction, not of force, nor of any fecular expedient that may be employed to bribe the understanding. The unreftrained liberty of thinking, judging, speaking, writing, and acting for himself, in all matters of religion, is that inalienable right of private judgment, which every man derives from God, and cannot, by human compact or consent, be diffolved or given up. The obligation to believe and obey God in all things, and him alone, is founded on his relation to us as our Creator, Redeemer, Lawgiver, and Judge; and because this relation always exifts, the obligation resulting from it cannot cease to bind the conscience, er be transferred to any creature or church, What a man thus believes with the heart, he is bound, as a Chriftian, to confefs; and if he do not, he walks in craftinefs, and handles what he believes to be the word of God deceitfully. Can that God who has made this every man's privilege and duty, make it at the fame time the duty of others, either individual or commubity, to moleft their brethren in the exercife of that right, or attempt to rob them of it? But the perfon who would benefit mankind, mut lay his account to be, in the first instance, oppofed, mifreprefented, and reproached. So was the greatest friend of the human race that ever appeared in the world. Turning to the Lord, and following him fully, is apoftacy from bondage under the elements of the world and the traditions of the elders, by which the fear of many towards God is taught. Can they fay worfe of us than the Jews did of Jefus, He has a devil, &c.

[ocr errors]

#

From the writings of fome of our most famed authors, it appears that they faw fome ground in fcripture to expect a restoration of all things, tho' fome of them feem to think this will be realized in the millennium. The late worthy and pious Mr Cowper, of the Inner Temple, whofe poetical works are defervedly held in great eflimation, has the following lines, in his Winter Walk at Noon:

"Thus heaven-ward all things tend. For all were once
Perfect, and all must be refter'd.

T.

[ocr errors]

So God has greatly purpos'd; who would elfé
In his difhonour'd works himself endure
Difhonor, and be wrong'd without redres.”

« ZurückWeiter »