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tion, and certain success; and those on the other, by obstructing the channels of its dissemination and influence, contribute to check its power and limit its triumphs. Those who oppose it, though they cannot accomplish its general overthrow, may yet produce wide spread evils, and incur the guilt of debarring its infinite blessings from many individuals, and calling causes into action that shall involve their final ruin; and those who labor for its advancement, though they may not succeed in achieving all at which they aim, will yet exert a powerful agency that will give birth to great immediate blessings, and transmit a long succession to future generations.
It is obviously the duty of the church and community to sustain and advance all the great institutions whose object is to disseminate the blessings of general education, to place the volume of truth in the hands of every family and individual, to send the living teacher to every destitute village, and dwelling, and to raise up and fit for the future agencies of the church, a learned and devoted ministry. To abandon these great objects, were scarcely less than apostacy from the cause of Christ; to oppose them, were to wage war on human happiness, as well as his kingdom. No constructive duty was ever clearer than is that of carrying on these enterprises, until their objects are fully accomplished. Their appeals to the church and world for a cordial and generous support, are so many voices from heaven, proclaiming what glory to God in the highest demands, and peace on earth and good will to men require.
The chief task of sustaining the religion of Christ, and transmitting its blessings to future generations, obviously belongs to the ministers of the gospel; and they are as obviously to fulfil that high commission chiefly by the faithful
discharge of the ordinary duties of their several spheres-the just exhibition of its character, and claims to assent and acceptance; a fit manifestation of its adaptation to the nature, wants, and condition of men; and a direct and instant application of its great and glorious truths to the reason, conscience, and affections. And what lofty and powerful motives urge them to furnish themselves for the momentous enterprise, by all the aids of knowledge and discipline of art, that can give dignity to their office and efficiency to their labours! To the young, especially, these inducements should address themselves with redoubled force, and prompt them to aim at a thoroughness of preparation and energy of effort, that bear some proper correspondence to their responsibilities-at a finished cultivation of their powers, the attainment of just and capacious views, familiarity with large and noble sentiments, and the expectation of great labours, great trials, and great success. Without thus tasking their energies, and entering the field with all the advantages of cultivation, they not only cannot fulfil their high trust, but cannot maintain the dignity of their profession, nor keep pace with the progress of the age; but with them, and the usual blessing of God, they will sustain the interests committed to their charge, and give triumphant diffusion to all the infinite blessings which are the appointed fruit of their faithful instrumentality. In no other country is religion so dependent for support on public opinion, nor that opinion so largely influenced by the pulpit, as in this; nor is there any other where so direct and decisive an influence is exerted by it, when appropriate means and efforts are employed to render it efficacious. The pulpit is accordingly the scene where their agency is chiefly to be exerted, and the destinies of the church, so far as they are
concerned, are to be determined. Let them, then, but fulfill their duty, and with the accustomed favour of heaven, the church is safe, and the perpetuity and perpetual triumph of the gospel are rendered sure.
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE
THEORETICAL AND CONTROVERSIAL "PLAN"
"SIN IS NECESSARILY INCIDENTAL.”
THE theological system of "the Dwight Professor of Theology in Yale College," is, obviously from the notices of it which have been offered in former numbers, essentially incompatible with the orthodox, and its disciples, if it have any, must naturally form a new and peculiar sect. That efforts are still to be made, at least as zealously as heretofore, for its support and dissemination, is sufficiently apparent from the tone of his reply to Dr. Woods; and to be made too, it seems to be a matter of just expectation, without any important modification of its doctrines, or amendment either in the expedients which are relied on for its support, or the spirit by which it has hitherto been characterized. A sufficient period has elapsed since its adoption and publication, for his views of it to have become thoroughly matured, and ample means and opportunity have been enjoyed for a settled decision respecting the validity of the objections which it has been called to encounter; and he has also, in his numerous and laboured discussions, given the public adequate materials for a just
judgment respecting himself as a theologian and controversialist. The character, therefore, both of the system itself, and the means to which it is to owe its dissemination, may be considered as essentially fixed and developed. A brief recapitulation of its principal doctrines in their connexions with each other and relations to the gospel, and retrospect of the expedients which are employed for its defense and propagation, will serve still more clearly to develope that character, and enable those who are solicited to adopt its principles, to form a just estimate of the process through which they will be required to pass, in order to become its disciples.
The first class of its doctrinal points to which I shall advert, is that which relates to the attributes and agency of moral beings; in which he has united, it will be seen, the opposite doctrines of a self-determining power of the will, and of physical depravity; and intermixed besides several other positions peculiar to himself, that are incompatible alike with those dogmas, the laws of moral agency, and the truths of revelation.
The former is presented in the doctrine that from the very nature of voluntary agency, it is impossible to prove, that the Almighty Ruler himself of the universe can exert such an influence through any medium whatever on a moral being, as infallibly to sway him to obedience; or that the supposition of his being prevented by such an influence from sin, will not involve a self-contradiction. But this is to assert that there is no proof that motives have any determining influence on the mind in its choices, or that there is any certain connexion between their influence and the exertion of the volitions which it puts forth under their agency; and this is to assert that there is no certainty or