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Felis it true, as the new divines teach, that human agency is en
tirely disconnected from divine sovereignty-that men act un
der the influence of motives, without any divine influence upon se their hearts or wills—and that “ if God touched the heart of a 5. > saint, or a sinner, He would destroy his free agency ?" These
are important questions, respecting which, every man, and es- .
pecially every minister, ouglit to be “fully persuaded in big P own puind.”
In my view, Mr. Editor, the obvious import, as well as the general tenor of scripture, is altogether on the side of the old
diviues. Nothing seems to me more plain, than that the sa-- cred writers represent nien as baving been both praised and
blamed, rewarded and punished, for those actions which God had foretold and foredetermined, and which He turned their hearts or inclined them to perform. They teach us, that wbile " God is a perfect sovereign," doing his will in all places, and “ working all in all;" men at the same time, act freely, and have no excuse for their “coldness and deadness," nor for any of their sins.
A MIDDLE-AGED MINISTER.
For the Hopkinsian Mngazine. IMPORT OF THE PHRASE, “BY NATURE." The apostle Paul, in his epistle to the Ephesian christians, chapter xi. verse 3, speaks of them and all other believers, as " by nature children of wrath." Dr. Guire, of London, in bis note on this passage, observes, “ If we consult the scriptural use of the term, by nature, we shall find, that when it is appli. ed to God, it relates to what He is, by his own nature and per. fections, in opposition to all false gods; and when applied to men, it relates either to what remainders there are of the light of nature in mankind, or to what they are in their natural state, or by birth ; as when the Gentiles are spoken of as the olive tree which is wild by nature, and the uncircumcision by nature, is opposed to the Jews by nature. These, I think, are all the places, besides the one before us, where the term, by nature, occurs, either in the Old or New Testament; and there is no appearance in any of them, that it ever signifies by custom, or by practice, or customary practice, as some would base it here; which would indeed make the apostle guilty of a needless tautology; for this cuslomary sinning had been fully expressed in the former part of the verse; but all these passages agree in expressing what belongs to the nature (native state or character,) of the persons to whom it is applied. And when we are said to be 'by nature children of wrath,' the word children, in
its primary sense, has a peculiar reference to birth-it has respect to being born to what we are in our fallen state of na. ture by birth."
If this note of the learned and generally accurate Expositor, be correct, as it appears to be, then the Apostle's meaning in the expression, "by nature children of wrath,” is simply this : that christians, and of course all inankind, as they come into the world, and remain till renewed by the Holy Spirit, or bord again, being sinners, are under the wrath of God. The phrase "by nature," merely imports, the natural or unrenew. ed state of men ; it has not the least reference to any supposed "moral nature," distinct from affections and voluntary exercises, antecedent to them, and the source of them. There is no passage of scripture, which speaks of such a nature. The sacred writers place sin, where every enlightened conscience places it; in free, voluntary, selfish affections and exercises. "Sin is the transgression of the law." The notion, that a certain something, be it called nature, principle, taste, heart, or whatever else, which precedes all exercises of will, and is entirely dormant and inactive, and yet has a moral quality, is praiseworthy, or blameworthy, is one of the grossest of absurdities. To talk of such a nature, is as contrary to common sense, as to talk of a square round, or an acute color.
If certain Calvinistic and Hopkinsian divines, who both hold that the first moral exercises of men are sinful, were not “willingly ignorant" of Paul's meaning in the phrase, by na. ture, they might save themselves the task of much labored discussion respecting "native depravily ;" as they would see, that, as to all that is real, they are agreed, and that they differ only respecting a phantom of the imagination.
"CLAY PARTY," IN RELIGION. The Vermont Chronicle of July 13th, under the abore title, addresses "a few remarks" to that numerous class, whose "religious views" exactly agree with those expressed by Mr. Clay, in the U. S. Senate, on occasion of his motion for a Fast, on account of the Cholera. Mr. CLAY said,
"A single word, Mr. President, as to inyself. I am a member of no religious sect. I am not a professor of religion. I regret that I am not. I wish that I was, and I trust that I shall be. But I have, and always have had, a profound respect for Christianity, the religion of my fathers, and for its rites, its usages, and its observances."
Respecting the "class" who agree with the Hon. Legislator in his views, the Editor of the Chronicle remarks, among other things,
"And in respect to themselves in another world, if they die as they now are, there is reason to think it will be more tolerable for them in the day of judgment, than for those whose consciences have been equally enlightened, and more entirely disregarded."
Such a remark, coming from a source generally correct, ght not to pass without notice. We presume it was a "lap
penne," a mere hasty expression, the incorrectness of which, e disceruing Editors, upon reflection, will at once perceive. must be obvious to them, that light and conviction, and not ternal deporlment, measure the guilt of sinners ; and that, mongst the finally impenitent, it may be as intolerable for a barisiical moralist, as for an openly profane sinner.
Just in proportion to the knowledge and belief which one as of the Christian religion, and his consequent "regret” that e is not a professor, and wish” that he was, and trust" that e shall be, and "profound respect for Christianity :" must be is criminality for remaining impenitent, and rejecting the DiFine Saviour. We can, therefore, hardly imagine a class of mpenitent sinners and rebels against Heaven, for whom it will be more intolerable in the day of judgment, than for those who, like the “Clay party," have known their Lord's will, but refused to do it, and with their eyes open, bave spurned the gracious offers of the Gospel, and judged themselves unworthy of everlasting life.”
There is one thing inore, in these editorial remarks of the Chronicle, which calls for animadversion. In reply to an ex
cuse supposed to exist in the mind of Mr. Clay, for not begin- ning to serve God immediately; to several excellent observations, the Editors add the following:
“We are dependent on the help of God-therefore, we ought to attempt his service when he offers to help us, and he offers to help us now, but does not pronjise to help us at any other time-therefore, let us, trusting in hiin to do as he offers to do, begin his service now. He certainly calls upon you to engage in his service now. He certainly offers to assist you now. He certainly does not say, that he will aid you at any future time. If, then, you believe that you are dependent on divine aid, how can you delay?"
This sounds, in our ears, too much like "new divinity.” We have no recollection of any passage of scripture, in which God offers sinners, in consideration of their dependence, to help them, if they will try to repent and serve him. The sacred writers, as we read them, consider sinners, notwithstanding their dependence, as able, and therefore bound, to do all God requires. They never admit that sinners would bave a good excuse for, delaying obedience, if God did not promise to "help". them; or suggest that God's promise to help them, is the reason why they should immediately make an attempt to obey. If there is any passage of scripture, in which God tells sinners how to repent, or directs them to try to do their duty, or promises to aid them, if they will; we should be glad to have it pointed out, as we have never seen it.
POPERY.-The Roman Catholic Bishop of New York has very condescendingly permitted the Catholics to eat meat on Friday and Saturday during the prevalence of the Cholera.
JOAN RANDOLPH's PEDIGREE.-Pocahontas, an Indian, whose name was Malouca, baptized Rebecca, married John Rolfe, Es His only son Thomas, had an only daughter, who married Rabat Bolling, of Bolling Hall, west riding, of York. He left a son, Job Bolling, one of whose daughters m'rried Richard Randolph, of Cr. tis, whose youngest son, John Randolph, of Roanoke, married Free cog Blind, and the present John Randolph, of Roanoke, is the youngest son, the sixth in descent from Pocahontas.
MORAVIANS.-The whole number of the Moravians is said to amous to no more than 16,000, who keep up 129 missionary establishmena. at an annual expense of more than £9,000
AWARD OF PRENTUM.-_'The Committee to whom was referred the examination of Manuscript Tracts on Prayer, have performed the te ty assigned them, and up toimously agreed to award the premium te the minuscript mirked No. 4. On ascertaining the author's parte. it was found to be the Rev. Seth Williston, late of Durhim, N. Y.The Tract has been adopted by the Publishing Committee of the smerican Tract Society, and the author has generously ipade the premiuin a donation to aid in perpetuating its circulation.
W. Far, Chairman.
AGENTS. Ruode-ISLAND. Providence-Yates & Richmond, No. 3, Market square. Pawtucket, (North Providence)-Joseph Mclotire, Bookseller.
MISSACHUSETTS. Boston-Dea. James Loriny, Bookseller, No. 132, Washington-street. Taunton-Deacon John Reed. New-Bedford-Stephen Potter. Reading, Jaines Weston Jr. AmherstThomas Hervy. Falmouth-Capt. Sil:s Weeks.
CONNECTICUT. Ashford-R-v. Israel G. Rose.
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DR. THOMPSON'S CELEBRATED EYE-WATER. “The best article for curing sore and inflamed Eyes, that was erer
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September 30, 1832.
SERMON. So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.-LUKE xii. 21.
Our Saviour improved every opportunity of pouring instruction into the minds of men. And, as he was perfectly acquainted with their hearts, he knew how to adopt his public and private discourses to the state and character of every person. A multitude being gathered round him at a certain place, he instructed his disciples, in their presence, upon a number of important subjects. This excited the attention and admiration of one of the company, who applied to him for advice and agsistance in a certain case. “Master,” said he, “speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.” Upon this, our Saviour turns to him, and after rebuking him for his impertinence, reads a solemn lecture upon the sin and danger of worldly-mindedness. “And he said unto him, man, who made me a judge, or a divider over you ?” “And he said unto them, take heed, and beware of covetousness : for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth, And be spake a parable unto them, saying, the ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully : and he thought within bimself, saying, what shall I do because I have no room where to bestow my fruits ? And he said, this will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater, and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, thou sool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall these things be which thou hast provided ? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God." These last words are an explanation and application of the parable, by both which it appears,
That worldly-mindedness is extremely sinful and dangerous. I shall,