« AnteriorContinua »
Calvinistic doctrine. Let it not be thought an officious intrusion to exhort them to make the true meaning of the Scriptures the first and last object of their pursuit, and to employ all the leisure which they possess before their admission into holy orders, and all which they may afterwards be able to reserve from the more active duties of their office, in the severe examination of the Greek Testament, by the grammatical construction of which many a controversy may be determined, and many perverse things may be rectified. Hence let them learn what is true, and they will have no occasion to follow the circuitous path which was recommended by Bishop Horsley, or to labour through the ponderous volumes of Calvin, and his immediate followers, whose authority is exploded, and much time and erudition have been vainly exhausted in refuting it. Let them not call Pelagius or Austin, Calvin or Arminius, their father or master upon earth, to perpetuate their perverted doctrines; but as the disciples of Christ, instructed by the Apostles and Prophets, let them lay in straight furrows the Word of Truth, and keep to sound and wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ.
THE DOCTRINES OF THE ROMANISTS COM
PARED WITH THE SCRIPTURES.
1 Tim. iv. 1, 2, 3. Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the
latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils ; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe
and know the truth. THE privilege of offering pure and acceptable worship unto God was reserved to distinguish the times of the Messiah. Before the world was instructed by his gracious doctrine, the Gentiles, who knew not God, offered a false and unmeaning service to them, that by nature were no gods : and the Jews, who had received a form of
knowledge in the Law, but had corrupted its holy ordinances by many burthensome ceremonies of human invention, entertained but little consideration of the grace, the spirit, and the truth, which are appropriate to the adoration of the heart. The time was foretold when“ incense and a pure
offering" should be offered in every place, to the name of God a; when not in one chosen mountain only, but in every place, from the “rising of the sun to the going “ down of the same,” “the house of prayer” should unfold its gates for the admission of all peopleb; and when no more with the distant homage, which the creature owes to the Creator, but with the confidence and freedom of access, which become the children of adoption, they should draw near to the throne of grace, and '“ worship the “ Father in spirit and in truth.”
He, who knew the service which God required, and which it was in the power of man to offer, hath taught us to worship the heavenly Father with the secret aspirations of the heart, and with unwearied importunity, but without the exhibitions of hypocrisy, or the tediousness of vain repetitions. It was worthy of his deep and penetrating knowledge of the human heart, and of the natural disposition of men to substitute the easy forms for the elevated practice of devotion, which had been but too powerfully exemplified in the formalities of the Jewish worship, that expressions should occasionally fall from him to warn his disciples of the danger of a false and lifeless religion, and of implicit deference to human authority, if not exact prophecies of such an event. To his Apostles the Spirit spoke expressly of an apostasy from the true faith, and of a corruption of their spiritual worship. To the last and most beloved of his disciples, the progress of this corruption was exhibited in mysterious detail: and the event, as far as it has been developed, has justified all of the prophetic revelation which can be interpreted and explained. The ancient prophet Daniel
a Malachi i. 11.
b Isaiah lvi. 7. c John iv, 21-23,