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as we utterly abandon them, so no pretence is given unto them from any thing which we believe concerning the Holy Spirit and his operations.” (Preface to the Work on the Spirit).
For the latter—“Christ would have,” says he, on Acts i. 4—8, “his Apostles look neither for assistance in their work, nor success unto it, but from the promised Spirit alone; and lets them know also, that by his aid they should be enabled to carry their testimony of him to the uttermost parts of the earth. And herein lay, and herein doth lie, the foundation of the ministry of the church, as also its continuance and efficacy. The kingdom of Christ is spiritual ; and, in the animating principles of it, invisible. If we fix our minds only on outward order, we lose the use and power of the whole; it is not an outward visible ordination by inen, though that be necessury by rule and precept, but Christ's communication of that Spirit, the everlasting promise whereof he received of the Father, that gives being, life, usefulness, and success to the ministry.” (p. 156 ; see also p. 122, &c.; Owen's IINEYMATOAOTIA. fol. Ed. 1674).
Page 15. Reason without faith......nature without God.
" At quidam contra hæc ignari materiai
Lucretius, lib. jj. 167. We are indebted to Dr. James, the late Bishop of Calcutta, so prematurely, to our apprehension, snatched away from the hopes of an affectionate family and an expectant church, for a very comprehensive and acute classification of the modern scepticism-we must, I fear, rather call it infidelity-after the model of the ancient, in his work entitled “ The Semi-sceptic.” The work principally confines itself to foreign systenùs
of philosophy, and begins with expressing an assurance, which all good men would be most happy to find well founded, that “there exists little of positive infidelity in this country.” It is too much to be apprehended, that if abroad it is " the destruction which wasteth at noonday;" the difference at home is this only, that it is here “ the pestilence that walketh in darkness.” Each individual will, no doubt, speak according to his own impression received from things or persons presented to his view. But if we were more in the habit, than perhaps we generally are, of tracing the various and strange phenome
mena of opinion and of practice around us to their true source, it may be we should oftener than we expected discover at bottom a lurking mind of misbelief, as well as “an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”
Page 15. The highest of all intellects have for the most
part been the humblest, and the first to acknow
ledge their sufficiency to be of God. Some slight classification may be necessary in reference to the persons here described. Take, for instance, first, the highest and most sagacious of those intellects who have employed their reason in reasoning themselves out of religion and the fear of God; and these it will be found have often been the loudest, and even the most abject, in their laments and exclamations on the weakness and insufficiency of mere human powers, Lucretius, in the book quoted above, having discarded God for his guide, most appropriately exclaims upon that very reason which he had deified in his room :
“O miseras hominum mentes! O pectora coca !
Qualibus in tenebris vitæ, quantisque tenebris
His more inexcusable counterpart in modern times, Mr. Hume, with Christianity before him, and with calmness and philosophy enough to have descried its real import and substantial grounds, on which indeed his sagacity could not help occasionally stumbling, yet, together with its rejection as a system, allows as largely as we could wish the poverty and weakness of the naked human intellect. “ Could dogmatical reasoners,” he says, in his Inquiry concerning the Human Understanding, “ become sensible of the strange infirmities of the human understanding, even in its most perfect state, and when most accurate and cautious in its determinations ; such a reflection would inspire them with modesty and reserve.....The illiterate may reflect on the disposition of the learned to be still diffident in their determinations :....and the learned....may benefit by a httle Pyrrhonism, if it shew them their few advantages over their fellows, compared with the universal perplexity and confusion inherent in human nature.” (Essays, vol. ii. p. 169. 1812.) – It is important to add, after satirizing “ priestly dogmas invented to tame and subdue the rebellious reason of mankind,” his own admission, with admirable inconsistency and no less truth, of “our whimsical condition, who must, after all, act and reason and believe, though we are not able, by our most diligent inquiries, to satisfy ourselves concerning the foundation of those operations, or to remove the objections which may be raised against them.”(Ibid. p. 168).
The well-known contemptuousness of Bolingbroke, exclaiming, through his organ Mr. Pope, on the “ madness, pride, impiety” of man, all summed up in that complimentary designation of our whole species, “ vile worm *,” needs no comment.— Vide Pope's Essay on Man, Ep. i.
* " A worm, a god!” Ds. Young.–See the whole passuge in “ The
Another and far more respectable class of these complaints, is to be found in the honest confessions of men who, without the knowledge of the true God, were yet “ feeling after him (naproavtes, as men in the dark), if haply they might find him.” We pity, and almost respect, the happy irony of Socrates, who, on being informed of his superior wisdom by the oracle, is represented in Plato's Apology as unable to divine its meaning, till he at last discovered that all were alike ignorant, but that he knew his own ignorance, and others knew not theirs. And what was his refuge ? Divine inspiration. Xenophon relates of him as accompanied with a certain spiritual agency, to which he always had recourse as a superior and guiding providence : and in the Alcibiades of Plato he is represented as warning his pupil to wait till he be instructed from some higher source: Περιμενειν έως αν τις μαθη (learn from another) ως δει προς θεος και προς ανθρωπος διακεισθαι. κ. τ.λ. (Platonis Op. Ficin. p. 43).--Admissions of the same kind are quoted both from the Greeks and Latins, and both before and after the Christian era, by the excellent Ellis,on “Knowledge of Divine Things from Revelation, and not from Reason and Nature.” (See pp. 217, 235—8, 256, &c. Ed. 1811.) To which may be added the following passage, amongst other similar ones, from that strange medley of pure and corrupt philosophy, halfChristian and half-Pagan, the works of the courtly Seneca. Prope est a te Deus, tecum est, intus est. Ita dico, Lucili, sacer intra nos spiritus sedet, malorum bonorumque observator et custos; hic prout a nobis tractatus est, ita nos ipse tractat. Bonus vir sine Deo nemo est.... Ille dat consilia magnifica, et erecta. In unoquoque virorum bonorum (Quis Deus incertum est!) Complaint,” Night I., for a far truer estimate of man as he is—"though sully'd and dishonour'd, still divine."-See, above all, the condescending and dignified use of the same term in Isai. xli, 14.
habitat Deus.” (Senecæ Epistol. 41).--Again, in a
But, after all, very different, and far more consistent,
“ For whatsoever we may have hitherto taught, or shall hereafter, concerning the force of man's natural understanding, this we always desire withal to be understood, that there is no kind of faculty or power in man, or any other creature, which can rightly perform the functions allotted to it without perpetual aid and concurrence of that Supreme Cause of all things. The benefit whereof as oft as we cause God in his justice to withdraw, there can no other thing follow than that which the Apostle noteth,—even men endued with the light of reason to walk notwithstanding in the vanity of their mind, having their cogitations darkened, and being strangers from the life of God through the ignorance which is in them, because of the hardness of their hearts.” (Eccles. Polit. lib. 1).—And again, in the same book, we find the following sublime passage on the approach of the human towards the Divine mind :
Dangerous it were for the feeble brain of man, to wade far into the doings of the Most High; whom