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for the duties of the closet. Here tures, which contain the words of we may confess the sins of the eternal life. day, and supplicate a blessing on 3. Attendance on the public the word, which we have heard, worship of God is an indispensathat it may be savingly beneficial ble duty, on the Lord's day. We to ourselves and others. The are commanded not to forsake ministers of Christ should not be the assembling ourselves togethforgotten, in these near approach- er.' The institution of social wores to the throne of grace. In ship requires the presence and connexion with prayer, it is prop- concurrence of all, who are able er to meditate on the doctrines to come up to the courts of the we may have heard, to search the Lord. The end of preaching the Scriptures, to test their truth, and gospel cannot be obtained, unless to apply them, so far as scriptur- the people give a regular and al, to our own feelings, conduct punctual attendance on the inand spiritual state.
structions of God's house. To 2. The private exercises of re- those, who absent themselves, the ligion are incumbent duties of the gospel is hid. It is as much the Sabbath. These include all the duty of people to hear, as of min
. religious services, suitable for a isters to preach. Wo unto minisfamily, in its collective capacity. ters, if they preach not the gosReading and expounding the Scrip- pel: and wo unto the people, if tures, accompanied with prayer, they will not come and hear it. and the singing of psalms and They will be found, at last, among
, hymns, when practicable, togeth- those, who have rejected and deser with the catechising of chil- pised Christ.
pised Christ. A deceived heart dren, and the instruction of ser- may easily invent excuses for the vants and domestics in the truths neglect of public worship: but
" and duties of religion, should pre- such excuses will generally apcede and follow the more public pear, in the light of the great day, exercises of the day. These du- to be vain. They are mere refuties, which ought not, without ne- ges of lies. In a time of revival, cessity, to be neglected on any when religion is realized, as the day, should receive peculiar atten- one thing needful, people seldom tion on that day, which is set apart find any difficulty in getting to the
, for the
express purpose of worship house of God; and that in season. ping God and attending to the A lowery day, a slight indisposiconcerns of the soul. If parents tion, or the labour of travelling a and heads of families would have few miles, will not keep those at their households serve the Lord, home, who esteem the Sabbath a they must train them up in the delight, and who love the courts way they should go, by a regular of the Lord: Nor will such frivocourse of discipline and instruc- lous excuses detain such, as have tion, to which the rest of the holy any serious concern for the salvaSabbath is specially adapted. Lit- tion of their souls. Those, who tle do those heads of families think make no scruple of breaking the of the worth of the souls commit- Sabbath, by absenting themselves, ted to their charge, and of the ac- unnecessarily, from public worcount they must give at the bar of ship, are so far from being ChristChrist, who restrain prayer for ians, that they are not so much as them, and neglect to make them awakened sinners. Let such conacquainted with the holy Scripsider, that there is to be one mealing, from which they will not be such as have profaned the Sabbat able to al sen themselves, and and neglected his great salvation, which will so 'n take place before "Behold, ye despisers, and wosin
“ the bar of Christ; when he will der, and perish!" preach himself, and will say to all
FOR THE HOPKINSTAR MAGAZINE.
novation; because, as they would
have it understood, it differs frora ESSAYS UPON HOPKINSIANISM.
the Calvinistick system. If, thereNo. VIII.
fore, it has been made to appear, OBJECTIONS ANSWERED. Under this head, it was propos- with ancient, genuine Calvinism,
that Hopkinsianism harmonizes ed to take notice of a few only and grows out of it as the branchof the more general and plausible
es from the stock of a tree, and objections, which are made to the system at large; leaving it to oth differs only from what is called ers to remove such as are brought Orthodox of the present day; it system at large; leaving it to oth: Calvinism by some of the reputed against particular doctrines, as they may occur, in the course of must be obvious, that the charge these essays.' In
of novelty lies not against Hoppursuance of
kinsianism, but against modern, this plan, I have endeavoured to give an answer to one objection, corruption of the
pure doctrine of ,
or spurious Calvinism, which is a in my
and now proceed to another.
the venerable Reformers. OBJECTION II.
Most of the essential doctrines · The Hopkinsian system is com
in the Hopkinsian system, are posed of novel doctrines, and is a expressly taught in the Institutes departure from the faith once de- of Calvin ; and they may all be livered to the saints.
inferred from the principles there This objection is frequently al- laid down and established. So leged against particular Hopkins- far from being an innovation, Hopian doctrines, as well as against kinsianism only clears away the the general system. Hopkinsians rubbish, which degenerate divines are accused of being bold projec- and lax laymen have heaped upon tors, who are not sufficiently hum- genuine Calvinism, and presents ble to walk in the plain, beaten the edifice in its fair form and due path of evangelical truth, but are
dimensions. By all the Orthodox, ambitious to display their ingenu- therefore, who look upon Calvinity and acuteness by advancing ism as the ancient and true faith, new theories and strange hypothe - not Hopkinsians, but Modern Calses, which, they endeavour to vinists, ought to be viewed as the make the world believe, are won- real innovators and projectors. If derful discoveries and mighty im- the Calvinism of John Calvin, was provements in Divinity.
the faith once delivered to the This popular objection is near saints; so is Hopkipsianism. akin to the one, which was discus- But, suppose it could be made sed in my last essay. The charge to appear, that Hopkinsianism difof novelty comes chiefly from fers, in some points, from the systhose, who lay an exclusive claim tem of Calvin; and, that, where to Calvinism. They complain of it does not difter, it explains some the Hopkinsian system, as an in- I things more clearly, reconciles
some apparent inconsistencies, and from the Farewell Address of that draws some new deductions ; it excellent and truly liberal pastor, would not from thence follow, that the Rev. Mr. ROBINSON, to those of Hopkinsianism is a novelty.- his flock, who were about to sail There are teachers of Divine truth, from Holland to Plymouth, in 1620. older, and of higher authority, , |
to than Calvin and his coadjutors. by any other instrument of his, be The penmen of the Sacred Scrip: as ready to receive it, as ever you tures, wrote before Calvin, and were to receive any truth by my wrote as they were moved by the ministry; for I am verily persuadHoly Ghost. We should be poor ed, I am very confident that the protestants, and unworthy to be Lord has more truth, yet to break called the followers of the Reform- out of his holy word. For my ers, if we did not pay more defer- part, I cannot sufficiently bewail ence to the authority of the sacred the condition of the reformed writers, than to that of any unin-churches, who are come to a period spired men, however great and in religion, and will go, at present, good, and make our final appeal,
no farther than the instruinents of in all matters of controversy, not their reformation. The Lutherans to human productions, but to the cannot be drawn to go beyond Oracles of God. Calvin, it is ac- what Luther saw. Whatever part knowledged, was acute and learn- of his will our good God has reed, honest and upright; but he vealed to Calvin, they will rather was not infallible. Just emerging die than embrace it. And the Cala from the Egyptian darkness of vinists, you see, stick fast where Popery, it is not to be supposed, they were left, by that great man that his mental vision was purged, of God, who yet saw not all things. at once, from every film of errour, This is a misery much to be laand that, at the first glance, he mented. For though they were had an intuitive and comprehen- burning and shining lights in their sive view of all Divine truth. times, yet they penetrated not inConsidering what superstitions to the whole counsel of God; but and prejudices he had to encoun- were they now living, would be as ter, 'Calvin achieved wonders, ready to embrace further light, as But, possibly, there may yet be that which they first received. I some nook of Theology, which he beseech you, remember it is an ardid not explore, some just infer- ticle of your church Covenant, ences from his principles, which “ that you be ready to receive
" he did not draw, and some objec- whatever truth shall be made tions to his scheme, which he fail- known to you, from the written ed to answer in the most philo word of God." But I must exsophical, scriptural and satisfac- hort you to take heed what you tory manner. The doctrines taught receive as truth. Examine it, in the Sacred Scriptures are ihe consider it, and compare it with faith once delivered to the saints. the scriptures of truth, before *** To the law and to the testimo- you receive it; for it is not posny: if they speak not according to sible, that the Christian world this word, it is because there is should come so lately out of thick no light in them.” This is the antichristian darkness, and that fundamental principle of the Re- perfection of knowledge should formation; a principle happily ex- break forth at once. emplified in the following extract
FOR THB LOPKIXSIAN XAGAZINE.
its phraseology, with a view to ren
der it both more concise and more ANSWER TO THE QUESTION OF NE
Some have supposed, that Mel. Who was Melchisedec? (page 190.) chisedec was a Prince, who reign
ed in Canaan, where Abraham soMR. EDITOR,
journed, and who was the founder The question of Nepios, is rath-of Jerusalem. But, if Melchiseer of a speculative, than practical dec was a Canaanitish Prince, it nature. But, as “all scripture is
seems very surprising, that he given by inspiration of God, and should not only preserve his knowlis profitable;" a satisfactory an-edge and belief of the true religswer to this question cannot be ion, when the whole world was altogether useless or unimportant. sunk in idolatry, but that he should It seems, also, that the apostle, also be a Priest superior to Abrawho frequently mentions this ex: ham, whom God had expressly traordinary personage, considered called and chosen to be the father it as of some practical importance of the faithful. to know who he was.
Others have supposed, that Melhe writes, Heb. vii. 4) consider how great this man was, unto whom ah. But, this supposition is inad
chisedec was Shem, the son of Noeven the patriarch Abraham gave missible: for we are told, that the tenth of the spoils."
“ But, Melchisedec was without father, how are we to know, whether he was great or small, if we do not mother, or descent; whereas, the know certainly who he was?” In parentage and descent of Shem,
are plainly recorded in scripture. Heb. v. 2, the apostle seems to re.
Others, again, have supposed, prove the Hebrew Christians for their inability to understand what God himself. But, this opinion
that Melchisedec was the Son of he thought it useful to say, respecting Melchisedec: “Of whom told, that Melchisedec was made
seems totally absurd. We are we have many things to say, and
like unto the Son of God: was he, hard to be uttered, seeing ye are
then, made like unto himself? We dull of hearing." And if, as,
are further told, that Christ was perhaps, will appear in the sequel
, made a priest after the order of Melchisedec was an eminent type Melchisedec: Does this mean, that of Christ; no one will doubt the he was a priest after his own orpractical utility of endeavouring der? to ascertain who he was.
I have never thought myself ca- The preceding erroneous opinpable of answering this question; ions probably arose, from first and have waited, impatiently, for conjecturing that such and such the answer, which, it was suggest- persons were Melchisedec; and ed, a Correspondent of yours, eve-then forcing the character, given , ry way qualified to investigate him in scripture, to apply to them: such a subject, proposed to give. whereas, the only proper and safe The following, extracted from the method of investigation, is, to find Theological Magazine for Decem- out the person by means of the ber, 1797, appears to me more sato character. Let us proceed in this isfactory, than any thing else on method, and first, carefully conthe subject. I have taken the lib- sider every artic'e in the scripturerty, not only to abridge the piece, al character of Melchisedec; and but, in many instances, to alter then, secondly, enquire whether
this character will apply to any
" Who can count his generation; of the human race?
for his life was taken away,” &c. First, Let us consider the sev- He must, then, have been of the eral traits in the character of Mel- fathers of the human race: and, as chisedec, as it is drawn in scrip- there were only two of these, viz. ture.
Adam and Noah; we may be
very 1. He was priest of the Most sure, that Melchisedec and Noah High God.
were one and the same person. 2. He was superiour to Abraham. We are now to enquire,
S. His priesthood, like that of Secondly, Whether the characthe Son of God, hath no end. ter of Melchisedec, as drawn in
4. Like him, he was without Scripture, is applicable to Noah? descent; he came into the world | And, by the miraculous power of God; 1. Was Noah a priest of the and none on earth could claim Most High? That he was, is evikindred with him. And,
dent from his offering a sacrifice, 5. Like the Son of God, he was immediately upon his coming forth a King, and his titles were, King from the ark. Gen. vii. 20. * And of Righteousness and King of Noah builded an altar unto the Peace.
Lord, and took of
clean Such was the character of Mel- beast, and of every fowl, and offerchisedec. And from the slightest ed burnt offerings on the altar." consideration of these particulars, 2. Was Noah superiour to Abrait is easy to see, that he must have ham? He certainly was ; for he been superiour to any other human was Abraham's ancestor, and the creature. The Jews were supe- preserver of the whole human riour to all the nations on earth, as
As Adam was the father being the chosen people of God. of mankind and the greatest man, Abraham, the founder of the na- before the flood; so Noah was the tion, was greater than any of them: second father of mankind and the and Melchisedec was greater than greatest man, after the flood. Abraham. In the days of Abra- 3. Is the priesthood of Noah, ham, Melchisedec was a priest, like that of the Son of God, withto whom Abraham paid tythes, as out end? In an important respect, his priest; from whence it is evi- it is so. The sacrifice, which he dent, that he had offered a sacri- offered, was not only for himself fice for Abraham. And as he was and those, who came out of the a priest in the days of Abraham; ark with him, but for his posterity, so was he, in the days of Paul: for to the end of the world. Gen. viii. the apostle says, that, “ being 21..“ And the Lord smelled a made like unto the Son of God, he sweet savour; and the Lord said abideth a priest continually.” He in his heart, I will not again curse must, therefore, have offered a the ground any more for man's sacrifice for the apostle Paul, as sake; for the imagination of man's well as for Abraham; and of con- heart is evil from his youth: nei. sequence, for us, as well as for the ther will I again smite any more rest of mankind. Again,
every thing living, as I have As none of the human race was done.” It is in consequence of his father or mother, it follows, the sacrifice of Noah, that the that he must have been before them earth is no more to be destroyed all : and, therefore, none could by a deluge. God spake thus unknow his descent, or count his gen
to him, Gen. ix. 11, 12, 13.
"I eration; as it is said of Christ; will establish my covenant with