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Ware on the Formation of Christian | INDEX OF THE PRINCIPAL CRIT.
Tyerman & Bennett's Jour-
Child's Book on the Soul.-
Biblical Repository for Jan.
Abboti's Lecture on Moral
An Essay Introductory to
Edwards on the Will 180
Cheever's Select Works of
Arch Bishop Leighton 183
Hints to Christians in their
efforts to Convert men to
Mr. Dimmick's Sermon : A
Memorial of the year 1831 240
Dr. Dana's Sermon : Con-
version the Work of God 240
Dr. Tyler's Sermon on the
Prospects of the Heathen
without the Gospel 243
Biography of Sell-Tauglit
Men. By B. B. Edwards 243
Tales of the Indians. By B.
B. Thatcher, Esq. ' 243
Biography of Pious Persons,
abridged for Youth 244
Murdock's Translation of
Mosheim's Ecc. History
Baies's Harmony of the Di.
Wardlaw on Infant Baptism 361
Jay's Evening Exercises for
The Daily Commentary 363
Sprague's Lectures on Re-
vivals of Religion
Thompson's Sermons and
Sacramental Exhortations 480
M'Clure's Lectures on Uni-
Sermons by Rev. Charles
Memoir of John Knill 483
Youth's Book on Natural
Historical Discourses, by the
Rev. Enoch Sanlord
Dr. Sharp's Discourse on the
Apostolic Mode of Preach-
Abbott's Young Christian 667
Origio and History of Mis-
sions, by Rev. J- 0.
A more excellent way, a
Sermon by the Rev. Sam.
American Biographical and
Thoughts in Amliction
Orthodoxy literally signifies correct opinions. The word is commonly used to denote a particular system of doctrines, or a connected series of facts, on the subject of religion. The following summary, extracted from the introductory article in the first volume of the Spirit of the Pilgrims, contains the more material parts of the Orthodox faith. Those who embrace this system believe,
“That, since the fall of Adam, men are, in their natural state, altogether destitute of true holiness, and entirely depraved:
“That men, though thus depraved, are justly required to love God with all the heart, and justly punishable for disobedience; or, in other words, they are complete moral agents, proper subjects of moral government, and truly accountable to God for their actions:
“That, in the unspeakable wisdom and love of God, was disclosed a plan of redemption for sinful men:
“That, in the developement of this plan, God saw fit to reveal so much concerning the nature and the mode of the divine existence, as that he is manifested to his creatures as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and that these Three, each partaking of all the ata tributes of the Deity, and being entitled to receive divine worship and adoration, are the one living and true God:
“That the Son of God, laying aside the glory which he had with the Father from everlasting, came down from heaven, took upon himself man's nature, and by his humiliation, sufferings and death, made an atonement for the sins of the world :
“That in consequence of this atonement, the offer of pardon and eternal life was freely made to all; so that those, who truly repent of sin and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, will be saved:
“That men are naturally so averse to God and holiness, that, if left to themselves, they reject the offers of salvation, and neither repent of sin nor truly believe in a Saviour:
VOL. V.-NO. 1.
« That God, being moved with infinite love and compassion, sends forth the Holy Spirit, according to his sovereign pleasure, by whose beneficent energy an innumerable multitude of the human family are renewed, sanctified, and prepared for heaven; while others are suffered to pursue the course which they have freely chosen, and in which they obstinately persevere till the day of salvation is past :
“That God, in his providential dispensations, in the bestowment of his saving mercy, and in his universal government, exhibits his adorable perfections, in such a manner, as will call forth the admiration and love of all holy beings forever:
“That believers are justified by faith, through the efficacy of the atonement, so that all claims of human merit, and all grounds of boasting, are forever excluded:
“That the law of God is perpetually binding upon all moral beings, and upon believers not less than other men, as a rule of life; and that no repentance is genuine, unless it bring forth fruits meet for repentance, and no faith is saving, unless it produce good works:
“That those, who have been renewed by the Spirit, will be preserved by the power of God, and advanced in holiness unto final salvation: and
“That Christ, as the Great King of the Universe, the Lord and Proprietor of created beings, will judge the world at the last day, when the righteous will be received to life eternal, and the wicked will be consigned to endless punishment."
Since the reformation from Popery, those who profess to admit these doctrines, and others necessarily connected with them and forming a part of the same system, have been denominated Orthodox ; while to those who openly reject them, or any considerable part of them, this appellation has been denied.
It is not to be inferred, however, that the Orthodox have been, or are, entirely unanimous on the subject of religion. In matters comparatively unessential, and in their modes of stating, explaining, and establishing essential truths, there has always been more or less a diversity. Thus, persons may disagree as to the form of church government, or as to the mode of administering ordinances, and yet have an equal claim to be entitled orthodox. Or persons may disagree in their interpretation of particular passages of scripture, and as to the manner in which these bear on the doctrines of religion, without forfeiting their title to the same honorable appellation. For instance, one person may regard a particular passage as proof conclusive of the Divinity of Christ; while another may be in doubt respecting it, or may apply it differently; and yet both be firm believers in the Divinity of Christ. Many passages which the old writers quoted as proof-texts have, in the progress of critical science, been differently interpreted ; and yet the evidence in support of the Orthodox system, so far from being weakened in this way, has been constantly gaining strength.
Again ; persons may disagree, to a certain extent at least, in their statements and explanations of the most essential doctrines, and yet be properly and equally orthodox. In illustration of this remark, several examples will be given.
All orthodox Christians believe in the full inspiration of the sacred scriptures; or that the holy men, through whose instrumentality the world originally received these scriptures, spake and wrote “as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” They believe in this as a fact of the utmost importance. But there have been various modes of stating, explaining and illustrating this fact. Some, for instance, have spoken of two or three kinds of inspiration ; others have insisted that there can be but one kind; while others have thought it better to state the subject in general terms, without attempting very minutely to define or. explain them.
All orthodox Chri-tians believe in the doctrine of the Trinity ; or that the one God exists in a three fold distinction, commonly called persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. They believe this as a revealed fact, and as an essential part of the Christian doctrine. But how differently has this fact been stated by different individuals ? What different explanations have been put upon it? While not a few have preferred to leave the subject--as God seems to have left it-altogether unexplained.
All orthodox Christians believe in the universality of God's eternal purposes, in the certainty of their execution, and that they are so executed as not to obstruct or impair the free-agency of man. But respecting the manner of God's executing his purposes-whether by the instrumentality of motives, or by a direct efficiency-persons having equal claims to the appellation of orthodox have not been agreed. *
All the orthodox believe in the natural and entire depravity of man; or that, in consequence of the sin of his first progenitors and previous to regeneration, every thing within him, going to constitute moral character, is sinful. But how many theories have been framed to account for the connexion of our sin with that of Adam? And how many explanations have been put upon the doctrine of entire depravity? Some bave made this depravity to extend to all the powers of the soul; others have restricted it to our voluntary exercises and actions; while others have confined it chiefly to a moral taste, disposition, or instinct,
* The former seems to have been the opinion of the first President Edwards; while the latter opinion has been adopted by several succeeding theological writers. The question of orthodoxy in regard to this point relates to the fact of God's universal purposes, and the certainly of their execution, rather than to the manner in which they are executed.
which is regarded as back of our voluntary exercises, and the
which of them. os believe
All the orthodox believe in the doctrine of atonement; but all do not state or explain this important doctrine after the same manner. Some suppose the atonement of Christ to consist wholly in his obedience; others, wholly in his sufferings; and others, in both his obedience and sufferings. Some hold that Christ suffered the penalty of the law for sinners; and others that he only opened a way in which, on condition of repentance, this penalty may be remitted. Some think the atonement made only for the elect; while others regard it as the propitiation for the sins of the whole world.
The doctrine of instantaneous regeneration by the special operations of the Holy Spirit is believed by all, who have any claim to be called orthodox. But this doctrine, like the others mentioned, is variously stated and explained. Some consider man as entirely active in regeneration; others as entirely passive; and others as not entirely the one or the other. Some believe there is a holy principle implanted in regeneration, which ever afterwards remains in the heart of the subject; while others believe the change to consist in the commencement of holy exercises, which may be subsequently interrupted, though not finally · lost. As to the manner in which the Spirit operates in regeneration, there is also a difference of opinion; some holding that he changes the heart by a direct efficiency, and others that this is done by the more powerful presentation and impression of motives.
Another doctrine of the orthodox system is that of justification by faith in Christ. But this, also, has been differently stated and explained. Some think the believer justified by Christ's righteousness, others by the influence of his sufferings and death, and others by the joint efficacy of both bis obedience and sufferings. Some believe justification to be the same as forgiveness; while others regard it as implying, not only forgiveness, but also a title to eternal life.
It is evident from the examples here given, that although Orthodoxy denotes a general system of important doctrines or facts on the subject of religion, it is not to be inferred, either by friends or foes, that orthodox Christians are tied up to precisely the same views of subjects, or that there exists no diversity of sentiment among them. There is, and always has been, a diversity of sentiment, in regard, not only to modes and forms, but to the statement, proofs and explanations of the most important doctrines. Many of these differences have been hinted at above. Some of them, to be sure, are little more than verbal; but oth