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Methodists heen alive, he certainly would have thought himself in strange company, and begged permission to retire from such society, to some more congenial to his sentiments. I believe he would much sooner have taken a chair by the side of Calvin himself. If Calvinists and Arminians differ, the difference is between th ose who either are, or may be the disciples of the blessed Redeemer. But those who oppose the doctrines of Grace neither are, nor can be considered by either of them as persons who build upon the same foundation with themselves. Mr. Fellows differs from the general body of Socinians in admitting the immortality of the soul, though he seems scarcely to believe in the doctrine of the resurrection, Dr. Taylor believed in the personality of the Holy Ghost, but in other respects the difference between him and the Unitarians is extremely small. Were we to recommend the writings of a divine of the Church of England, or of the Church of Scotland, as a fair specimen of the senti. ments of the society of the Friends, we should do exactly what Mr. Evans has done, when he refers to the writings of such men for an account of Arminianism. Misrepresentations of this kind are attended with the very worst effects. They are so many traps set to catch the simple, and those who are off their guard, of whom there are too many in all societies. To prevent this, we have no doubt was Mr. Benson's intention in cautioning the Methodists to beware of being led astray by the Sketch, which warning has given so great offence to Mr. Evans as to disturb the ordinary tranquillity of his mind. The Editors of a periodical work, conducted with considerable abilities, have fallen into so gross a mistake, though of a different kind, as to call Hooker, whose sentiments were decidedly Calvinistic, an Arminian.--Writers of
the Semi-Pelagian school have been numerous, such were Archbishop Newcombe, Bishops Bull, Warburton, &c. &c. &c.
ON EVANGELICAL RELIGION.
THOSE are called Evangelical Ministers and writers, who consider the state of man as that of a fallen and guilty creature; the atonement made by the obedience and sacrifice of the Son of God, and the consequence of it, justification through faith in his blood; regeneration by the spirit and grace of Christ, as fundamental truths of Christianity, and who give them in their sermons or writings that prominence, which they appear to them to hold in the Gospel of reconciliation. They do not consider the practical and relative duties of Christianity as things of less importance than the truths we have mentioned, but admit both of them to be equal in their proper places. In repentance toward God, and in faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, they lay the foundation of their system, and on this foundation they teach men to build themselves up in their most holy faith, adding to it every virtue, being steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the way and work of the Lord. No men more decidedly enforce the practice of good works, and the absolute necessity of them, not only to salvation, but as an eminent and essential part of it. They are careful, however, to distinguish good from dead works, vital religion from mere decency, and the obedience which springs from a lively faith, working by love to God and to man, from that which knows no higher motive than self love. Of their system Christ is the sun, not a mere satellite revolving around orbs, and appended to them for some secondary purpose, but the day-spring from on high, the fountain of light, life, and joy. It is in his rising with healing under his wings, that they expect the shadow of death to be turned into the morning, the wilderness and the solitary place to become glad, and the desert to blossom as the rose. To the grace which He is exalted as a prince and a saviour to bestow, they look for those powerful energies which raise men from the death of sin, to sit with their Saviour in heavenly places, and to abound in the works of righteousness, which are by him to the glory of God. Of their morality, the supreme love of God is the radical principle, which, being shed abroad in the hearts of men by the Holy Ghost, kindles a spirit of devotion to God that is fervent; and to men, a charity that burns with a constant flame.
Of Evangelical preaching, the effects have been as conspicuous and incontrovertible, as they have been important and salutary. That they are far from being universal must be acknowledged ; for the Gospel, like all other medicines, can operate a cure only when it is received. The ministers of Christianity, like their Divine Master, have generally had to complain “ Lord who hath believed our report? and to whom has the arm of Jehovah been revealed ?" The numbers of those who have derived the highest blessings from Evangelical preaching are sufficient to arrest the attention, and to extort a confession of its happy effects, even from some of those who appear to be decidedly hostile to it. A late writer of this kind observes, “ Nor ought we to be insensible of the multitudes tha have been reclaimed from the most abandoned profligacy,
to a state of religious recollection, by the very laudable exertions of the Evangelical Clergy, and the Dissenting Methodists, that, but for their labour of love, might have continued in a state of siu and impenitency to the close of their mortal existence.”*
Evangelical Ministers, though scattered among many religious denominations, are a large and rapidly increasing body of men. In the Church of England they form a very considerable and a highly respectable body. Many of them are distinguished for literary talents, as well as for active and laborious piety. By the blessing of God on their ministrations, a new portion of life and vigour has been infused into that Church ; and genuine Christianity has struck its roots deeply into the hearts of
Though no such extensive and eminent revival of piety has taken place in the Church of Scotland, there are still in that Church a considerable number of men, respectable for their abilities, and venerable for their godliness, whose exertions have been the means of cherishing the remains of devotion, and preserving the languishing flame from being extinguished. The Relief Church has had, and continues to have in her communion, many men of distinguished excellence and piety. The two bodies of the Secession, in Scotland, with those who have separated from them by the name of Old Light, have universally been the depositories of Evangelical religion, and have been faithful to the sacred trust. They possess men distinguished for learning, exemplary for their piety, and who are justly entitled to rank highly as men of talent and genius, and who are well skilled in the art of
• Ingram on the Increase of Methodism, and on Evangelical Preaching.
composition. Of the Antiburghers we needonly mention Dr. Jamieson, Dr. M'Crie, and Mr. Ferrier; of the Burghers, Dr. Lawson, and Mr. Dick. Whatever opinion men may form of the peculiarities of these parties, there is one peculiarity on which the Evangelical world should place a high value, that their ministers all teach the great doctrines of Christianity. Among the English Dissenters, may be found men celebrated for their intellec . tual powers, and genuine worth, who would be an honour and a blessing to any church. As the number of Dissenters has greatly increased within these last twenty years, the increase has been principally among those who are Evangelical. Where the great doctrines of Christianity are not preached, even the appearance of religion is soon extinguished. The power of Godliness not being felt, its form quickly disappears. Of men of Evangelical principles all missionary societies, and all missionaries consist. The disciples of Pelagianism, and those who approach that system, are seldom roused to any vigorous measures, for promoting the tenets they have adopted, unless when they are inflamed with resentment against those, who are the advocates of a religion, that warms and melts the heart. The great purposes for which the Son of God came down from Heaven, assumed our nature, suffered and died,--the glory of God, and the salvation of men, appear little to interest persons of their sentiments. The spirit and temper, the active piety and the universal philanthropy of the Apostles, are found associated only with the Gospel which they disseminated and taught.
Many of the numerous Independent Churches are adorned with pastors, learned, able, and eloquent ; and whose talents are dignified and consecrated by the