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“After this avowal, on the part of Mr. C., it ceases at once to excite the least surprise that he should censure the preaching of the total corruption of human nature. But the real question, and that to which I beg your particular attention, is, whether the views he condemns be, or be not, accordant to the Scriptures, and to the standard writings of our Church? It may serve to clear the question of some difficulties, to remark at the outset, that the term "good" is to be understood, in the theological sense, 66 good" in the sight of God; whether man possess much that is morally good, i. e. of right feelings towards man-justice, humanity, benevolence, gratitude, generosity, &c.—is not the question: for it neither is nor can be denied. What we maintain, however, is, that man, independent of Divine Grace, is destitute of a right state of the heart towards God, i. e. of supreme, and consequently of all genuine love to God, his worship and service; and not only so, but that he is, independent of grace, at enmity with God, averse from the knowlege, love, fear, and service of him; and this alienation of the heart and will we trace to a depraved nature, inherited from Adam as its source and origin." P. 10.
We have here given the reader Mr. Whish's notions on the subject of the corruption of human nature; according to the view which he takes of the Evangelical doctrine. As to his reasoning and illustrations and general observations, in proof of his very peculiar opinions, we think that they might have been omitted without any disadvantage.
THE CLERGYMAN, himself, however, makes no such nice distinctions. He does not say that by "good" he only means good" of a particular sort, and that when he agrees in general with those who describe human nature " as a total mass of corruption," he only means a total mass of a particular kind of corruption-this writer speaks out boldly.
"There is only one expression more I have to notice before I proceed to your next topic. He did not die to save us when we had become diabolical, but to save us from becoming so, p. 14. I judge of the meaning you attach to the word diabolical, by comparing it with preceding expressions, viz. fit companions for devils
and infernal spirits, pp. 10 and 11. And are not all men so by nature? The Scripture hath concluded all under sin.' (Gal.iii. 22.) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.' (Rom. iii. 23.) All are
by nature the children of wrath.' (Ephes. ii. 3.) Having asserted that Christ did not die to save us when we had become diabolical, you immediately add this transverse sentence, while we were yet enemies he died for us; not considering that ADVERSARY OF ENEMY is the very meaning of the word devil. What can be more diabolical than ENMITY? And the carnal mind,' which all men have by nature, is pronounc ed to be enmity, not merely an enemy, but ENMITY itself against God. (Rom. viii. 7.) It is written, 'Christ died for the UNGODLY.' (Rom. v. 6.) While we were yet SINNERS, Christ died for us.' (Rom, v. 8.) And what is the Scripture character of sinners? They are ENEMIES (diabolical) by wicked works.' (Col. i. 21.) When we were ENEMIES (diabolical) we were reconciled to God, by the death of his Son.' (Rom. v. 10.) Sinners therefore, who die impenitent, being, (according to Scripture testimony,) diabolical, are fit companions for devils and infernal spirits. Whether they be moral unbelievers, or openly profane, the Scripture makes no distinction. The unbelieving shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone.' (Rev. xxi. 8.) The wicked shall be turned into hell,' (Ps. ix. 17.) into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.' (Matt. xxv. 41.) Notwithstanding the disposition you feel so highly to exalt the character of fallen man, I must be permitted to yield to the authority of St. Paul, in preference. See the representation he gives of man's natural condition, in which he includes himself, and Titus his son after the common faith;'For WE OURSELVES also were sometimes
foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.' (Tit. iii.) To this description of character what epithet can be more appropriate than diabolical?" P. 27.
Mr. Whish again strenuously denies that the Evangelical Clergy preach faith, without resting upon the necessity of works; he denies, in like manner, that the doctrine which teaches us to believe that man is not a free agent, is a doc
If the clergyman means here to appeal to the etymology of the word devil, he is greatly mistaken.
trine of their creed; and he indignantly asks, "how it comes to pass, that Mr. C. has so strangely misconceived the opinions of the Evangelical Clergy? Is it, he observes, that they have no settled opinions, but are advancing sometimes one thing, and sometimes another?" It is just so; and in proof that it is so, we would refer Mr. W. to the pamphlet of that identical, Evangelical Clergyman, whose doctrines Mr. C. had impugned, and in whose favour Mr. W. has so valiantly and unthankfully taken up the cudgels. For example, Mr. W. says, "they (the Evangelical Clergy) certainly do not fall into the error of looking upon man, as a mere machine, with. out freedom of will, waiting for the divine impulse."-Hear what THE CLERGYMAN himself says,
“Christian motives is an expression of less doubtful designation, knowing that you regard Christianity as a religion of But can the sentiment be vindicated? If I rightly understand the term motive, it means an inciting cause which influences the choice, and instigates to action. Now it is possible you may entertain such exalted notions of the dignity of human nature, and its tendency to good, as to persuade yourself that man is possessed of inherent motives to obedience. St. Paul was not of this opinion. He says, Not that we are sufficient of ourselves, to think any thing as of ourselves.' (2 Cor. iii. 5.) And the prophet Jeremiah declared, they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge. (Jer. iv. 22.)
"To ascribe motives to man, discard the work of the Spirit. can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.' (1 Cor. xii. 3.)" P.7.
Again, Mr. C. had charged the Evangelical Clergy "with preaching faith without works, as alone necessary to salvation." He does not charge them with preaching against works, but merely with preaching that faith alone is necessary to salvation. And this charge excites, as it well might do, Mr. W.'s particular animadversion-" The Evangelical Clergy," says he, "are, I am confident, falsely charged with in
structing their congregations that faith alone will save them."-Once more hear THE CLERGYMAN, speaking for himself. The following passage is as direct an admission of the charge which Mr. C. brings, as any Clergyman, in the present day, dare make, who does not open"To ly profess Antinomianism. preach Christ crucified," says he, p.5, which is the sum and substance of "the Gopel, constitutes au Evangelical Preacher. **** And in so doing, he must be prepared to go through evil report as well as good report. But if, to the merits of Christ, he adds the works of the law as necessary to salvation, then is the offence of the cross ceased, and all men speak well of him." That is to say, if there be any meaning at all in the above passage, that a man may go to heaven, by faith alone, without works, for that these last are not necessary to salvation.
Now which of these two writers, Mr. Whish, or the unknown "Clergyman," "be the true Evangelical preacher, we cannot pretend to say; it is clear, however, that both of them cannot be.
It is true, indeed, that both of them take to themselves the name; but except in a disposition which is common to them both, to dissent from the opinions of the majority of their brethren, it is in name only that they agree. Had Mr. Whish seen the letter of the Clergyman to whom Mr. C.'s letter was originally addressed, before the publication of his own, it is probable he would have forborne to ask, "how it comes to pass that Mr. C. has so strangely misconceived the opinions of the Evangelical Clergy?" for we have shewn, by an evidence which Mr. Whish himself cannot gainsay, that "they have no settled opinions, but are advancing sometimes one thing, sometimes another." This, in fact, is true, not only of different writers among each other, who belong to that religious party, but excepting,
in the case of the thorough-going Calvinists, (who commonly are the only preachers among them who have any pretensions to theological learning) it would be easy to shew, that the Evangelical Clergy are hardly more agreed with themselves, and with their own opinions, than with the opinions of each other. We gave an instance of this, from the pamphlet of Mr. Whish, while instancing his opinions on the subject of original sin; and had it been a matter worth taking any trouble about, we could easily point out a thousand contradictions in other places of his pamphlet. But we have already extended our remarks much beyond the proper limits; and but for the opportunity which they have afforded us, of recording the high respect which we entertain for Mr. C., much beyond what the occasion, so far as regards the weight of his opponents, would seem to have deserved.
The Origin of Frauds detected, or a brief Commentary on Paley's Exposition of "The Law of Honour," being the Substance of a Discourse, preached at Laura Chapel, Bath, October 31, 1824. By the Rev. E. W. Grinfield, M.A. Minister of Laura Chapel.
8vo. pp. 31. Cadell. London. 1824.
THE Commission of notorious crimes by men of established reputation in society, is a subject which naturally attracts much observation, and excites indeed some degree of incredulous amazement. There is a strong tendency in the mind to associate merit and public approbation;-as we expect that virtue should have its reward even in this life, so we are also disposed to believe that wherever the proper rewards of virtue are, there also virtue itself resides. Whenever then we behold the fall of one whom the world caressed with its smiles and applause,
we feel as if a fundamental principle were shocked and the order of nature violated. The confusion of the world, it must be acknowledged, accustoms us to exceptions to the right rule, which assigns approbation as the invariable consequent of virtue; but these exceptions do not so stagger our judg~ ment, as when we behold an apparent inversion of the rule. These negative exceptions we can account for in a great measure from accidental circumstances impeding or delaying the true result:-but that the appropriate advantages of virtue should be found in conjunction with a vicious character, is a phænomenon which we are puzzled to explain.
The fact however is, that there is no inversion in such cases of the distributive justice of the Deity. We either have not the opportunity, or we are not careful, always, to discriminate a real from a spurious approbation-that honour which is of God, from that which originates with man. The regard which the world shews ference which he pays to its opinito a man, is proportioned to the deons and sanctions, and a man consequently may obtain a very high degree of credit and respect from the world, who is in himself utterly poor
and naked and miserable.
probation of men when awarded to the possession of real worth, is but the voice of God speaking through his agents; but when it is indulgently conceded to qualities on which the corrupt principles of the world bestow a fictitious value and splendour, then is such approbation only a deceitful and dangerous possession to the individual to whom it is vouchsafed.
The principles on which the world distributes its approbation, are those which we are in the habit of complimenting with the title of "the laws of honour." These laws accordingly, derived from so impure a source, are naturally of a mixed character, partaking of that stock of
good which has survived the wreck of our nature, as well as in a very large measure of that degeneracy which marks our present state of degradation. Hence it is that they foster and reward some good qualities, and on the other hand bestow their countenance on others, which are positively vicious; and where they do vouchsafe their approbation to the right, it is rather to the more ostensible virtues than to those which flourish in the shade, because the former have in themselves more of that mixed character which belongs to the constitution of things from which the laws of honour are derived. There is consequently somewhat in them to approve, and still more in them to condemn. When they give their sanction to virtue, then we may justly avail ourselves of their help as an additional incentive to laudable energy; but as they lean at the same time to the side of criminal indulgence, we cannot too rigidly guard against their seductive influence, while we admit even their partial authority. From their close coincidence with the evil bent of our nature, they of course readily ob. tain a hearing where they ought to have no control; and, satisfying men that they are walking by a rule, divert their minds from the severer tribunal of conscience, as unnecessary, and inapplicable to their case, while they hold themselves bound by the sanctions of their favourite laws. The unwritten character of these laws also gives them an imposing air, as if they were a more refined code of morality, adapted only for purer spirits, disdaining the legal restraint of more positive institutes of right and wrong. And above all, the cheap reputation of virtue which they hold forth to their votaries, exalts them to a supremacy in indolent minds, over the arduous mode of acquiring the like result by acts of self-denial and laborious exertions of duty. In short, their tendency is to defraud religion at once of its
authority and its dues, by substituting themselves and their rewards for the rule of conscience, as inforced by the sanctions of religion.
To demonstrate the futility of this principle of honour as a substi. tute for religious principle, is the purport of the discourse now presented to the public by Mr. Grinfield, under the title of the " Origin of Frauds detected." Excited by recent occurrences to a contemplation of the utter instability of that principle of honour which begins and ends with the world, he has directed his endeavours to the improvement of the passing occasion, by an argu. mentative exposure of the fallacy of that opinion which substitutes this principle as a rule of life instead of the authority of religion.
Mr. Grinfield assumes, as the ground-work of his observations, the account of the law of honour which is given by Paley in the opening of his
"Moral Philosophy;" and which defines it to be "a system of rules constructed by people of fashion and calculated to facilitate their intercourse with one another, and for no other purpose." The incompetence of such a system of rules to effect any useful end, is argued by Mr. G. from the following considerations. First, he refers us to the authors of the system, who are described to be "men of fashion." These he justly infers must, from their very nature, be unfit to be legislators on any matters of grave concern, and must consequently be quite out of their sphere when they would attempt to establish a rule of life. Next, if we look to the object of the laws of honour, their insufficiency, he shews, is apparent in the circumstance, that these laws aim at nothing more than to facilitate the intercourse of fashionable society. Or if we look to their effects in their own immediate circle, their value, he urges, is questionable, inasmuch as that class of society which they profess to regulate, is notorious for licentiousness and general immorality;
adding that, as the operation of the laws is extended commonly beyond their proper limits, that is, to the regulation of moral duties, as well as of social intercourse, between men of fashion, their tendency is rather to incommode than to facilitate that intercourse-that, whilst they omit all duties except those between equals, ́ an omission in itself characteristic of their inadequacy as a standard of morality, they fail most grossly, even when applied to the duties between equals, since they prescribe modes of conduct altogether at variance with the maxims of equity and justice, such as the practices of duelling-adultery-gaming. Upon this point we must permit Mr. Grinfield himself to be heard.
"Again we are told, that the law of honour prescribes and regulates the duties betwixt equals, omitting such as relate to the Supreme Being, as well as those which
we owe to inferiors.' The omission is ominous, and would of itself indicate the danger and insecurity of any such an imperfect and partial standard. But, with out insisting on this objection, it will be easy to shew, that they are totally incompetent to regulate those duties which even men of fashion owe to each other.
"If the laws of honour could aspire to regulate the duties betwixt equals,' they would be founded on the maxims of equity and justice, and they would teach their votaries to do unto each other even as they wish to be done unto them.' But whatever is peculiar to men of honour in their opinions respecting duelling, adultery, or gaming, will be found to be at open variance with this maxim, Can it ever be our duty for some slight or imaginary affront, to risk our own life, or to put to hazard the life of another? And what shall we say of a system which deems it a triumph to deceive unsuspecting confidence, and to betray innocence to its ruin? The truth is, that these imaginary laws of honour no more prescribe the duties betwixt equals, than they prescribe duties towards the Supreme, or towards our inferiors; and that whoever attempts to regulate any of his duties by them, is sure to become licentious and profligate, a dangerous friend, a bad citizen, and a seductive companion."
The effects of such laws upon soREMEMBRANCER, No. 72.
ciety in general are next considered; and under this head Mr. Grinfield first simply refers to the statement of Paley, who enumerates several improprieties of conduct in matters of duty both towards God and our neighbour, which constitute no breaches of the law of honour.
Paley, however, having stated that the man who is actuated by such principles of honour "is not the worse to deal with in those concerns which are usually transacted between one gentleman and another;" Mr. G. proceeds, in the sequel, to impugn this statement, and to shew the baneful influence of such principles " on the public at large and upon our national welfare."
Waving then the strong preliminary objection which occurs from the fact of these laws applying only to the duties between equals, and from their authorizing many serious crimes, circumstances which must altogether incapacitate them from forming any bonds of social union. Mr. Grinfield points out their dangerous effects on society,-from their neglect of inforcing the duty of religious example-their dispensing with the duties of common humanity and common honesty-the insecu rity which they must produce in. commercial transactions-in compacts and agreements-and their tendency to destroy that love and confidence, which ought to subsist. between the rich and poor.
"In a commercial country like Britain, where every man is more or less dependant on the honesty and integrity of his neighbours, where credit and confidence must be given and accepted to almost indefinite extent, it is plain that the triumph of such honourable principles would prove the inevitable ruin of the country, and that nothing more is required to effect our national downfal, than that the peculiar principles of men of fashion should become the staple sentiments of the public." P. 15.
He lastly considers the effect of such principles on "the domestic peace and happiness and virtue of