To the reader, who has consented to submit his mind to my temporary guidance, and who permits me to regard him as my pupil or junior fellow-student, I continue to address myself. Should he exist only in my imagination, let the bread float on the waters! If it be the Bread of Life, it will not have been utterly cast away.


Let us pause a moment and review the road we have passed over since the transit from religious morality to spiritual religion. My first attempt was to satisfy you, that there is a spiritual principle in man, and to expose the sophistry of the arguments in support of the contrary. Our next step was to clear the road of all counterfeits, by showing what is not the Spirit, what is not spiritual religion. And this was followed by an attempt to establish a difference in kind between religious truths and the deductions of speculative science; yet so as to prove, that the former are not only equally rational with the latter, but that they alone appeal to reason in the fulness and living reality of their power. This and the state of mind requisite for the formation of right convictions respecting spiritual truths, afterwards employed our attention. Having then enumerated the Articles of the Christian Faith, peculiar to Christianity, I entered on the great object of the present work: namely, the removal of all valid objections to these articles on grounds of right reason or conscience. But to render this practicable, it was necessary, first, to present each article in its true Scriptural purity, by exposure of the caricatures of misinterpreters; and this, again, could not be satisfactorily done till we were agreed respecting the faculty entitled to sit in judgment on such questions. I early foresaw that my best chance (I will not say, of giving an insight into the surpassing worth and transcendant reasonableness of the Christian scheme; but) of rendering the very question intelligible, depended on my success in determining the true nature and limits of the human understanding, and in evincing its diversity from reason. In pursuing this momentous subject, I was tempted in two or three instances into disquisitions, which if not beyond the comprehension, were yet unsuited 237 to the taste, of the persons for whom the work was principally intended. These, however, I have separated from the running text, and compressed into notes. The reader will at worst, I hope, pass them by as a leaf or two of waste paper, willingly given by him to those for whom it may not be paper wasted. Nevertheless, I cannot conceal that the subject itself supposes, on the part of the reader, a steadiness in self-questioning, a pleasure in referring to his own inward experience for the facts asserted by the author, which can only be expected from a person who has fairly set his heart on arriving at clear and fixed conclusions in matters of faith. But where this interest is felt, nothing more than a common capacity; with the ordinary advantages of education, is required for the complete comprehension both of the argument and the result. Let but one thoughtful hour be devoted to the pages 161-182. In all that follows, the reader will find no difficulty in understanding the author's meaning, whatever he may have in adopting it. The two great moments of the Christian Religion are, Original Sin and Redemption; that the ground, this the superstructure of our faith. The former I have exhibited, first, according to the scheme of the Westminster Divines and the Synod of Dort; then, according to the*

*To escape the consequences of this scheme, some Arminian divines have asserted that the penalty inflicted on Adam, and continued in his posterity, was simply the loss of immortality--death as the utter extinction of personal being: immortality being regarded by them (and not, I think, without good reason) as a supernatural attribute, and its loss therefore involved in the forfeiture of supernatural graces. This theory has its golden side: and, as a private opinion, is said to have the countenance of more than one dignitary of our Church, whose general orthodoxy is beyond impeachment. For here the penalty resolves itself into the consequence, and this the natural and naturally inevitable consequence of Adam's crime. For Adam, indeed, it was a positive punishmentment: 238 scheme of a contemporary Arminian divine; and lastly, in contrast with both schemes, I have placed what I firmly believe to be the Scriptural sense of this article, and vindicated its entire conformity with reason and

a punishment of his guilt, the justice of which who could have dared arraign! While for the offspring of Adam it was simply a not super-adding to their nature the privilege by which the original man was contradistinguished from the brute creation--a mere negation, of which they had no more right to complain than any other species of animals. God in this view appears only in his attribute of mercy, as averting by supernatural interposition a consequence naturally inevitable. This is the golden side of the theory. But if we approach to it from the opposite direction, it first excites a just scruple, from the countenance it seems to give to the doctrine of Materialism. The supporters of this scheme do not, I presume, contend that Adam's offspring would not have been born men, but have farmed a new species of beasts! And if not, the notion of a rational and self-conscious soul, perishing utterly with the dissolution of the organized body, seems to require, nay, almost involves, the opinion that the soul is a quality or accident of the body--a mere harmony resulting from organization.

But let this pass unquestioned. Whatever else the descendants of Adam might have been without the intercession of Christ, yet (this intercession having been effectually made) they are now endowed with souls that are not extinguished together with the material body. Now unless these divines teach likewise the Romish figment of Purgatory, and to an extent in which the Church of Rome herself would denounce the doctrine as an impious heresy: unless they hold, that a punishment temporary and remedial is the worst evil that the impenitent have to apprehend in a future state; and that the spiritual death declared and foretold by Christ, the death eternal where the worm never dies, is neither death nor eternal, but a certain quantum of suffering in a state of faith, hope, and progressive amendment--unless they go these lengths (and the divines here intended are orthodox Churchmen, men who would not knowingly advance even a step on the road towards them)--then I feel that any advantage their theory might possess over the Calvinistic scheme in the article of Original Sin, would be dearly purchased by increased difficulties, and an ultra-Calvinistic narrowness in the article of Redemption. I at least find it impossible, with my present human feelings, not to imagine otherwise than that even in heaven it would be a fearful thing to know, that in order to my elevation to a lot infinitely more desirable than by nature it would have been, the lot of so vast a multitude had 239 experience. I now proceed to the other momentous article--from the necessitating occasion of the Christian dispensation to Christianity itself. For Christianity and Redemption are equivalent terms. And here my comment will be comprised in a few sentences: for I confine my views to the one object of clearing this awful mystery from those too current misrepresentations of its nature and import, that have laid it open to scruples and objections, not to such as shoot forth from an unbelieving heart--(against these a sick bed will be a more effectual antidote than all the argument in the world)--but to such scruples as have their birth-place in the reason and moral sense. Not that it is a mystery--not that it passeth all understanding;--if the doctrine be more than a hyperbolical phrase, it must do so;--but that it is at variance with the law revealed in the conscience, that it contradicts our moral instincts and intuitions--this is the difficulty, which alone is worthy of an answer. And what better way is there of

been rendered infinitely more calamitons; and that my felicity had been purchased by the everlasting misery of the majority of my fellow-men, who, if no redemption had been provided, after inheriting the pains and pleasures of earthly existence during the numbered hours, and the few and evil--evil yet few--days of the years of their mortal life, would have fallen asleep to wake no more,--would have sunk into the dreamless sleep of the grave, and have been as the murmur and the plaint, and the exulting swell and the sharp scream, which the unequal gust of yesterday snatched from the strings of a wind-harp.

In another place I have ventured to question the spirit and tendency of Taylor's Work on Repentance.* But I ought to have added, that to discover and keep the true medium in expounding and applying the efficacy of Christ's Cross and Passion is beyond comparison the most difficult and delicate point of practical divinity--and that which especially needs a guidance from above.

*See also Literary Remains, vol. 888, pp. 295-325. 240 correcting the misconceptions than by laying open the source and occasion of them? What surer way of removing the scruples and prejudices, to which these misconceptions have given rise, than by propounding the mystery itself--namely the redemptive act, as the transcendant cause of salvation--in the express and definite words in which it was enunciated by the Redeemer himself?

But here, in addition to the three Aphorisms preceding, I interpose a view of redemption as appropriated by faith, coincident with Leighton's, though for the greater part expressed in my own words. This I propose as the right view. Then follow a few sentences transcribed from Field (an excellent divine of the reign of James I, of whose work on the Church,** it would be difficult to speak too highly), containing the questions to be solved, and which is numbered as an Aphorism, rather to preserve the uniformity of appearance, than as being strictly such. Then follows the comment: as part and commencement of which the reader will consider the two paragraphs of pp. 152-153, written for this purpose, and in the foresight of the present inquiry: and I entreat him therefore to begin the comment by re-perusing these

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