Page images


in words, acknowledge their de- feel so much respect for the word pendence on God ; they may call of God. They are much inclined it the work of God, and profess to to take their own feelings for a give him all the glory. But while guide. And sometimes they carry such professions are on their this so far, as to make their own lips, their whole deportment e. feelings the rule by which the vinces very different feelings of scriptures are to be interpreted. heart. They engage in the work, Whatever does not agree with evidently expecting that they them, must be explained away. themselves shall do some great The impressions made upon their thing-In their prayers to God minds are equivalent, in their es. they use a degree of boldness and timation, to a new revelation, familiarity, which ill becomes sin- which supercedes the revelation ful worms, when addressing their contained in the bible. Other subMaker ; and they make their re-jects of a spurious revival, who have quests in such language as is fit to too much information to take this be used only when we go to an course, manifest their disesteem equal to challenge our rights.- for the scriptures, by treating them And when their efforts are with neglect. They dare not decessful, they manifest a kind of ny their authority, or pretend to a triumph and exultation, which new revelation which renders them seems to have a strong resemb- unnecessary. But they do not lance to that of the man who said, tind, in the study of the scriptures, “Is not this the great Babylon so much pleasure as they do in the which I have built p”

study of other books. They are 8. There is a great difference better entertained with reading of between the subjects of a genuine a different description; and so the and spurious revival, as to their bible is pushed out of place. esteem and reverence for the holy 9. A genuine and a spurious rescriptures. The subjects of a gen- vival differ from each other in uine work of grace, feel a high their permanent effects. The subrespect for the word of God. They jects of a genuine revival show, take it for their guide, and study by their after life, that they are it with a teachable disposition.- new creatures. After the first They do not wish some parts of it glow of feeling has subsided, “ the erased, because it disagrees with peaceable fruits of righteousness" their own views. They are ready still remain. The meek and quiet to renounce all their preconceived spirit of the gospel, “ the mind opinions, and to embrace every that was in Cirist,” is still to be truth which the bible reveals.- found among them; and forms a 'It is their earnest desire to know striking contrast to that spirit of what the Lord their God will say; the world which raled in their and when they hear hin speak, hearts before. But a spurious rethey are ready to receive whatev-vival produces no permanent efer he teaches, without murmur- fects, or they are those of a differings or disputings. The bible is ent character.

ent character. Many of the subto them a precious book. It is jects of a spurious revival, after "sweeter to their taste than the the first glow of feeling has subhoney or the honeycomb;” and sided, sink down gradually into * more to be desired than gold, the same state they were in beyea, than much fine gold.' fore. Their religion has been only

It is not so with the subjects of a storm of the passions, and has a spurious revival. They do not I been too violent to be lasting.


And they soon cast off the profes- principal marks of distinction be. sion, as well as the appearance, tween a genuine and a spurious of devotedness to God. In other revival. And in proportion as cases, there are some permanent they are to be found in an indieffects; but they consist very much vidual, or in a nuinber of individin spiritual pride, vain glory, con- uals, I think we may safely contempt of others, and a bigotted at- clude the work to be a genuine tachment to certain favourite opin- work of grace, or a great and danions, or to certain forms of wor- 1 gerous delusion. ship, while the genuine spirit of

A Friend to Revivals. the gospel is not to be found.

Utica Christ. Repos, Such appear to be some of the


moral depravity, and not moral

depravity itself. Men are active ESSAYS UPON HOPKINSIANISM.

only in their free, voluntary affecNo. V.

tions and exercises, which comThe native character and condition pose their hearts; for these only of mankind.

are they accountable to God; and

in these consists whatever they Next in importance to the know- possess of a moral nature. It is ledge of God, is a knowledge of not true, therefore, as some mainourselves. Some of the greatest tain, that human depravity is uniand most dangerous errours, pre-versal, i. e. that all the powers and valent in the Christian world, orig- faculties, both of the minds and inate from incorrect notions of the bodies of men, are depraved. Denature, origin, extent and conse- praved men ossess all the corpoquences of human depravity. The real and mental faculties, which scriptural doctrine of depravity, Adam possessed before his fall, lies at the foundation of all the and are as well able to exercise doctrines of grace. Hence, Hop-them. Human depravity does not kinsians, in their systems, sermons consist in a dormant principle, and tracts, have dwelt much upon taste, or appetite of the mind, this subject. I shall endeavour which is antecedent to voluntary to express their views, as clearly exercises, and the source of them. and concisely as I am able, in the If such a principle exists (which following propositions.

lacks all proof) it cannot be of a 1. The depravity of mankind is moral nature, and, therefore, canscated in the heari, or will. It is not be the seat of moral depravity. of a moral nature; otherwise it The sacred writers, represent would not be criminal. Men are human depravity as belonging to not to blame for depravity of body, the will and affections, which comor weakness of intellect, or, in- pose the heart; as consisting in deed, for any thing, in which they loving darkness and hating the are not voluntary and active. Nei- light-in choosing the evil, and ther the organs and motions of the refusing the good—in hating God, body, nor the faculties and opera- and loving one's own self." tions of the understanding, are of 2. Human depravity essentially a moral nature. It is true, that and summarily consists in selfishthe bodies of men are diseased, ness. It is of a moral and crimiand their understandings darken- | nal nature; or, in other words, it ed; but this is the effect of their , is sin. “ Siu is the transgression


of the law.” The law requires thing—that the heart of the sons supreme love to God and self- of men is full of evil—that every measured love to one's fellow- imagination of the thoughts of man's creatures, i. e. the constant exer heart is only evil continually that cise of good will, benevolent affec men are, by nature, dead in trestion, or disinterested love. The passes and sins—and that there is transgression of the law, therefore, none that doeth good, no, not which is the opposite of such love, must be supreme self-love, or self 5. Mankind are the subjects of ishness. In this, then, all sin, all moral depravity from their birth. moral depravity, essentially con As they come into the world with sists. This is the carnal mind, all the faculties, which they ever which is enmity against God: this possess, and are men and women is the evil heart, from which pro in miniature ; go they are free, ceed evil thoughts, murders, and moral agents, and have voluntary all other crimes and vices Such exercises, as soon as they have rais the representation of scripture: tional souls. These exercises must

all seek their own-being lovers be either holy or sinful. If their of pleasure-lovers of their own first moral exercises were holy, selves.'

they would not need to be born 3. All mankind are subjects of again, nor would it be possible to moral depravity. This is evident account for the fact, that they all from experience and observation, exhibit, in their external conduct,

and is expressly asserted in sacred the fruits of a depraved heart, as į scripture. •All have sinned soon as they become capable of

they are all gone out of the way, making known their feelings. there is none that doeth good The

scriptures assert, that manboth Jews and Gentiles are under kind are depraved from their birth.

66 Man is born as the wild ass's 4. The moral depravity of man

colt-The wicked are estranged kind is total. The meaning of this from the womb; they go astray as i term cannot be mistaken, after soon as they be born, speaking

what has been stated above. It lies—The imagination of man's obviously does not mean, that any heart is evil from his youth—That, thing belonging to man, is deprava which is born of the flesh, is flesh ed, except his heart. It does not Death hath passed upon all men, mean, that one has as much de- for that all have sinned." pravity, as another. Men have 6. Mankind come into the world different capacities; and, there in a state of moral depravity, in fore, whilst all, in their natural consequence of the fall of Adlam. state, are totally depraved, some Though Adam was not the federal have more depravity, and are much head of his posterity, as they nevgreater sinners, than others. But, er chose him for their representathe term does mean, that all the tive; and though no one, but bimvoluntary exercises of mankind, in self, is guilty of his sin, or can an uprenewed state, are selfish, justly be punished for it; yet his and, consequently, that all their fall, by a Divine constitution, moral actions are sinful. That which God had a sovereign right mankind are thus depraved, is the to make, rendered it cerlain, that uniform doctrine of the sacred all his posterity would be sinners writers, who assert, that "they have froin their birth. This is believed not the love of God in thein-that to be the meaning of the apostle, in the flesh, there dwelleth no good when he says, in Rom. v. that


“ by one man's disobedience, the human and Divine natures, in many were made (constituted) sin the One Person of the Lord Jesus ners”—and that " by the offence Christ. They believe, that, whilst of one, judgment caine upon all he was really a man, possessing men to condemnation."

• a true body and a rational soul,' The sin of Adam, in eating the he was also God over all, blessed forbidden fruit, may be called forever. It is pow, I apprehend, original sin, not because it was the prevailing sentiment of Hopthe first sin coinmi t:0; for the kinsians, that Christ is called the woman was first in transgression; Son of God, in reference to his but because it was that sin, which, human nature only, and on ac. in a certain sense, originated, i. e. count of his miraculous conception according to the Divine determin- by the power of the Holy Ghost. ation, 'rendered certain the sinful Christ, as man, being made ness of all mankind.

under the law,' was bound to be, 7. As mankind commence their what he was, perfectly holy, and existence, as rational, accountable obedient, in all things, to the will creatures, in a state of total mor of his heavenly Father. By his al depravitv, so they are under obedience, therefore, he did not condemnation by the law of God, merit any thing, either for himself, and are di serving of its penalty, or others. It was not his obedience, which is endless punishment. but his sufferings and death on the *** The wages of sin is death.”. cross, that made atonement for the Being by nature, or from their sins of men. Accordingly, the birth, dead in trespasses and sins, scriptures represent the sufferings men are children of wrath. Sin of the Saviour, his death, his blood, and desert of punishment are in as opening the way for the pardon separable. All mankind deserve of sin. Though the sins of men punishment, greater or less in de could not be transferred or imputgree, according to the number and ed to Christ, so that he should bemagnitude of their transgressions, come guilty of them, or be punishand will deserve it, so long as it ed for them; yet his sufferings in shall remain true, that they have the human nature, and as Mediator sinned. Neither the atonement between God and men, as fully of Christ, nor the forgiveness of manifested God's hatred of sin God, nor the misery of hell, ever and regard to the honour of his did, or ever can render any child law, as they would have been of Adam innocent, or undeserving manifested by the condign punishof punishment

ment of all mankind. Hence it Such is the depraved, guilty, and was predicted by Isaiah, “ He deplorable state of all mankind;will magnify the law, and make in which they must have remained it bonourable;" and the apostle and perished, had it not been for states, that God hath set forth the interposition of the Son of God. Christ to be a propitiation through Which leads me to state the sen- faith in his blood, to declare his timents of Hopkinsians, respect righteousness for the remission of ing

sins, that he might be just, and the The Character and Work of the justifier of him that believeth in Redeemer.

Jesus.' As Hopkinsians, in common with The atonement of Christ was all the Orthodox, hold to the doc-not designed, either to render God trine of the sacred 'Trinity: so they merciful to men, or to render men believe in the mysterious union of undeserving of punishment. “The

Lord is good to all, and his tender blood of Christ, there could bave fi mercies are over all his works." been no remission of sin at all."

-It was a disposition in God, to But, such a manifestation having *. show mercy to men, consistently been made by the sufferings and

with the honour of his law and the death of the Divine Saviour, in the · holiness of his character, that led nature of men, and as Mediator

him to sacrifice his well-beloved between them and their offended 1 Son. “

"God so loved the world, Sovereign; the way is as open, so that he gave his only-begotten far as respects the necessity of an

Son, that whosoever believeth in atonement, for the pardon of all 1. him, might not perish, but have men, as of an individual. We

everlasting life. As the sins of are, accordingly, taught in scrip

men could not be transferred to ture, that Christ tasted death 3 Christ; so he was not punished for every man,' and that · He is

for them ; nor did he suffer as the propitiation for the sins of the much misery as

men deserve. whole world.' let But, though the sufferings of Christ The atonement by Christ did

were not the penalty of the law, not oblige God, in point of justice nor equal to what men deserve for to men, to pardon any of them; sin; yet, being the sufferings of a but only rendered it consistent Person, who was God as well as and proper for Him to offer pardon . man, they as fully manifest God's to all men, upon reasonable terms, hatred of sin, regard to his law, Upon such terms He does offer and respect for his character, as pardon to men in the Gospel. A would the condign punishment of statement of these terms, accordall mankind. Such a manifesta-ing to the views of Hopkinsians, tion was necessary to the consis

will be attempted in my next estent pardon of a single sinner. say.

A HOPKINSIAN. - Without the shedding of the


Mr. Editor,


“ Prayer,” says a certain writer, “ moves the hand that

moves the world." There can be The question, “ Is it the duty no doubt that the eyes and ears of of sinners to pray before they re God are open to the prayer of the penti” is a practical question, and righteous: for the scriptures are deserves the careful investigation full of interesting examples to ilof every candidate for eternity. lustrate this point. The prayer of The following answer, you are at

Abraham almost averted the ruin liberty to insert, if you think pro- of. Sodom. Had ten such men per, in the Hopkinsian Magazine. been in that devoted city, it would

not have been destroyed. The "If sin lay cover'd in my heart, efficacy of penitential prayer is so While prayer employ'd my tongue, The Lord had shewn me no regard,” &c.

manifest, that little need be said to shew it. Here, let me enquire

if, in answer to the prayers of imPrayer is not only a duty, but a penitent men, “ Bitter waters" privilege, and a most powerful in- have been made sweet; (Ex. xv. 25) strument in the hands of the peni the sun and moon to stand still;

“ The effectual, fervent (Josh. x. 12, 13) the shadow to reprayer of a righteous man availeth turn backward on a sun-dial ;



[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »