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Final Perseverance vindicated.
objection of J. W. to my former statement, What J. W. says on
the powers of the amounts to just nothing at all but a mere world to come,” requires no reply; for whequibble.
ther we regard this clause as expressive of That it is possible for persons to “taste the amazing and tremendous efficacy of the the good word of God," and yet not be gospel dispensation, which is sometimes the genuine believers, I conceived to be quite savour of death unto death—or the overevident from the case of the stony-ground whelming influences of eternity itself—it is hearers, who, it is said, “ heard the word, but of little consequence to the present disand received it with joy; yet had they no cussion; for most certain it is, that in relaroot in themselves, and therefore soon tion to both, many a poor wretch has tasted, withered away.” But here J. W. remarks, and trembled, and for ever sunk beneath the that “the expression used in the parable) powers of the world to come. is, not that they tasted the good word of But “there is a difference, we are told, God, but that they received the word with “ between one person being illuminated, joy, and that these may not be of the very another tasting the heavenly gift and parsame import.” Perhaps they may not; taking of the Holy Ghost, a third tasting but has he proved that they are not? Most of the good word of God, a fourth of the assuredly he has not, unless we are to regard powers of the world to come, and the same the following most singular assertion in the person being the subject of all these.” This light of a proof, viz. “ that the words used is granted : but still, upon the supposition, by the apostle are evidently more expres-(and the supposition has not yet been resive of the state of grace, than those used futed,) that not any one of these particulars in the parable! That is, to taste the good really amounts to a vital part of true reliwork of God is more expressive of a state gion, it will be of no material consequence, of grace, than to receive it with joy! whether we suppose them all possessed by But I should really like to know, by what one individual, or distributed among many; magic touch the writer makes the word or for he who might possess them all would act of tasting evidently signify more than no more be a real Christian, than he who that of receiving. I suppose, sir, that most possessed but one of them; just the same of your readers, as well as myself, have as he who has four counterfeit sovereigns, been in the habit of thinking, till the ap- is not a whit richer than he who has pearance of this extraordinary assertion, but one. There is, therefore, no necessity that to receive a thing, whether corporally for producing an instance in which all the or mentally, whether into the body or the particulars specified are to be found in the soul, was evidently expressive of something same individual, and he undeniably a stranmore than that of tasting it. And it would ger to vital religion. But still, I do not seem, that even the evangelists were old- think it at all difficult to produce instances, fashioned enough to think so; for one of from the sacred writings, in which persons, them tells us, that Jesus tasted of the vine- to all appearance, went quite as far in the gar mingled with gall, and another adds, profession and experience of personal re“ but he did not receive it.” But tasting, ligion, as those specified in Heb. vi. 4-6. we are reminded, “is sometimes expressive I will quote two instances. When he slew of a state of grace;" and so is receiving ; them, then they sought him; and they re“ for as many as received him, to them turned, and inquired early after God. gave he power to become the sons of And they remembered that God was their God.” But the truth is, that neither of the rock, and the high God their Redeemer. terms necessarily implies a saving reception Nevertheless they did flatter him with their of the gospel : that must be ascertained by mouth, and they lied unto him with their the context. There is, for example, a nu- tongues; for their heart was not right with merous class of hearers, in most of our dif- him, neither were they steadfast in his ferent places of Worship, who not only covenant, Psalm lxxviii. 34–37. They evince a taste and relish for the good word seek me daily, says God, and delight to of God, but are frequently, by the preach- know my ways, as a nation that did righing of that word, melted into floods of tears; teousness, and forsook not the ordinance of and yet, in the course of the week, they their God: they ask of me the ordinances may have been seen in the pursuit of every of justice, they take delight in approaching folly, or practising the arts of fraud, or to God! And yet this is the testimony of even rolling about our streets in paroxysms God : Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, of drunkenness! And yet, after all, is it and to smite with the fist of wickedness! too much to say of such awful characters, Isa.lviii, 2,4. If J.W. should think proper that they tasted the good word of God ? to object to these cases as inapplicable, by They did more : they received it with joy! saying, that “the expression used is, not
214 that they were once enlightened, &c. but It is amazing that your correspondent, that they daily seek me,” &c. I shall deem who is such an adept in making distincit a waste of time to make any reply, judg- tions where there is no difference, should ing that he intends, after all, nothing but a endeavour to confound a partial falling into mere logomachy, or war of words, instead sin and error, for a time, with an open and of sense.
total apostacy from the cause and faithful Considerable stress is also laid on the servants of Christ. That 1 John ii. 19, phrase "to renew them again to repent- alludes to such characters as never did in ance," as though it necessarily implied, that truth belong to Jesus Christ, but to Antithey had once been the subjects of genuine christ, is a position which I imagined no repentance. This objection, at first sight, one, whatever might be his creed, would appears somewhat plausible; but that plau- feel disposed to deny, and that their going sibility will immediately vanish, if we con- out” from the true servants of Christ was only sider, first, that similar phraseology is fre- the natural result and development of that quently made use of in the sacred writings, fact. “ Little children, it is the last time, where a real repetition of the same thing is and as ye have heard that Antichrist shall not implied. Let the following instance come, even now are there many Antisuffice :-“But now, after that ye have christs, whereby we know that it is the last known God, or rather are known of God, time. They went out from us, but they how turn ye again (επιτρεφετε παλιν) to the were not of us; for if they had been of weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye us, they would have continued with us; desire again (Talv avwbev) to be in bond- but they went out, that they might be made age ?" Gal. iv. 9. Now it is quite evi- manifest that they were not all of us," dent, that by these weak and beggarly verses 18, 19. This language is too expli. elements
, we are to understand the Jewish cit to need comment. And I must still be ceremonies, to which these gentile converts allowed to say, that to me it is quite clear had never before been subject ; and yet that the characters described in Heb. vi. they are represented as turning again to 4-6, never were the genuine disciples of these ceremonies, and as desiring again to Jesus Christ; for in the first place, they be in bondage unto them. In the second are compared by the inspired writer, in place, let it be observed, that, (according to ver. 8, to that barren kind of earth, which, our great Parkhurst,) the Greek adverb, after all the culture bestowed upon it, proralıv, signifies not only again, but “ also, duces nothing but thorns and briars, and is likewise, then, afterwards, in consequence. therefore rejected. And we are conducted Let us, then, substitute the word then for to the same melancholy conclusion, in the that of again, and see how the passage second place, by the peculiar manner in will read : “For it is impossible for those which the same writer addresses those who were once enlightened, and have tasted whom he considered as genuine believers : of the heavenly gift, and were made par- “ But, beloved, we are persuaded better takers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted things of you, even things that accompany the good word of God, and the powers of salvation, though we thus speak.” ver. 9. the world to come, and have fallen away, Real believers, then, do possess better then to renew them to repentance." It things than wretched apostates ever did; appears to me, sir, that this reading throws even things which do accompany the salconsiderable light on the passage, by placing vation of the soul; and are, therefore, to the emphasis where it ought to be, and be distinguished from all that knowledge, where it is placed by the original-Taliv and tasting, and partaking, which left their ανακαινιζειν εις μετανοιαν. If I am mis- possessors, first in a state of unfruitfulness, taken, I shall most cheerfully submit to the then of apostacy, and finally, of eternal imdecision of those who are much better qua- penitency and wo! I believe, sir, that lified to judge on this subject than myself. these wretched characters had, among other
J. W. asserts, that if my views of the sins, committed that of blasphemy against passage be correct, it is not easy to perceive the Divine Spirit, the peculiar capacity for wherein the condition of these persons was which, according to our best writers of worse after their apostacy than it was be- every party, sists of knowledge in the fore. If my views of the passage are cor- head, and malice in the heart; a sufficient rect, the case, sir, will stand precisely thus : quantity of which, it appears, was possessed Before their apostacy their sin was great; by these unhappy men! They had once but afterwards it was awfully aggravated. been enlightened, &c, but had fallen from Before their apostacy there was room for their profession; and then, as if they had genuine repentance; but afterwards there discovered the imposture, with horrid mawas none !
lice, they, in their own hearts, crucified a
THE INJUSTICE OF SLAVERY ASSERTED.
216 second time the Son of God, and did all ) jugated all other nations, England rethat was in their power to hold him up to mained unsubdued. She fought, she conpublic infamy and contempt! And hence quered, she adjusted. Now that she their fearful doom-It is impossible to holds the balance in her own hand, what renew them to repentance! May each has she to do but to be just? She has
Lord, let my heart be sound been generous to other nations; she ought in thy statutes, that I be not ashamed !”– to be just to herself. If she conquer to Yours truly,
make slaves, it is unjust. If she conDec. 16, 1828.
quer to make subjects, it is heroic. If she mend the condition of the aborigines of her conquered territory, it is praiseworthy.
May her power increase; but never retroTue planters are in possession of every grade. May her acquisitions never incur thing. The slaves are not in possession of Heaven's displeasure. I am a subject; but any thing. Governors, judges, magistrates, not a slave. If I am injured, I have a officers, and jurors, all are under the con- right to complain. He is not a British trol of the European. Not more are the subject who has not a right to complain. brute creation at the mercy of their owners, There is a reciprocity between the sovethan are the slaves at the mercy of the reign and the subject of Great Britain, Europeans in the West Indies. The value which is hardly equalled in any other Euroof the life of a slave is, the pounds, shil. | pean nation. Colonists protected, ought lings, and pence estimated as the loss to not to be impertinent. The magistrate is his or her master. That the colonists should not upon an equality with the judge; nor wish to perpetuate this state of things, and the judge with the legislature. The popu. that the British government should hesitate lation of Great Britain supplicate the exeabout, or delay its interference, is as para- cutive government to extend justice to the doxical, as would be the question, “Shall enslaved Africans in the British colonies. we put an end to the system of smuggling, They implore the legislature to exercise its or shall we perpetuate it?" Smuggling has authority over those colonists, who have been of long continuance. It affords sup- arrogated to themselves such unlimited port to many families; and to prevent it is power over these African fellow-men. The of vast expense to government.
British public lament to find, that amongst Were an attempt to be made to put an the legislative representatives of the British end to the depredations committed under empire, men are found, who participate in cover of darkness, might not our guardians this appalling trafic. Were not the present of the night remonstrate against a measure state of West India self-evident, it would calculated to deprive them of their legiti- be hardly believed that such a state of mate office and support ? Do away with things existed within the British empire. prostitution, and you will have some thou- It has been veiled. It is now uncovered. sands of females to provide for by other The Atlantic ocean no longer hides this
It is begging the question, to monster of deformity. It wants but to be plead for the continuance of an evil, be known, to be abhorred. cause some good results therefrom. When That the offspring of Africa have been the necessity of keeping 800,000 human held for such a lapse of time in West beings in bondage and imprisonment is India as beasts, and that the planters in demonstrated, when slavery is proved to be West India wish still to hold them as the fair result of civilization and justice, then beasts ; and, moreover, that the planters shall a blush vail my face, and my sup- represent the Africans as wishing to conposed maturity of seventy-three shall be tinue as beasts, is truly paradoxical. That construed into a second state of child- the planters never have, nor ever intended hood.
them, to rise above the state of beasts, is “Before I go hence, to be no more clear to a demonstration. Religious in. seen,” not any thing would afford me struction was permitted by the planters, more pleasure than to see the British legis- chiefly to render the slaves more beneficial lature free itself from every charge of in- to the owners; but it does not appear to justice or oppression. Not a nation in have been designed as a preparatory step Europe stands more independent of other to the future manumission of the slaves; nations, than does the nation of Great Bri. but merely for self-interest. tain. The revenue of the sovereign of the It would be rebellious in British subjects British empire, in all probability, exceeds to demand of the British legislature, the the revenue of every other sovereign in abolition of the enslaved Africans. But to Europe. When usurpation had nearly sub- remonstrate and to petition against it, is a
just right, and a humane procedure. Were beautiful than the singular clearness of the slavery to be immediately abolished, or water of the northern seas. As we passed were it acknowledged by the British legis- slowly over the surface, the bottom, which lature as having no legitimate right of here was in general a white sand, was existence, what, or wherein, would be the clearly visible, with its minutest objects, evil?
where the depth was from twenty to twentyAgainst the British government, or against five fathoms. During the whole course of the colonists, a most awful charge is laid. the tour I made, nothing appeared to me so Against the slaves, not any just complaint extraordinary as the inmost recesses of the is preferred. Nor can any complaint be deep thus unveiled to the eye. The surface justly laid to their charge, as an aggregate of the ocean was unruffled by the slightest body. They have been taken by force. breeze, and the gentle splashing of the oars They have been held by power. Were scarcely disturbed it. Hanging over the these prisoners in the island of Great Britain, gunwale of the boat, with wonder and deevery prisoner would not only be entitled to light I gazed on the slowly moving scene his acquittal, but to remuneration for the below. Where the bottom was sandy, the injury sustained. To take any description different kinds of asteriæ, echini, and even of property in Europe, (as men, women, and the smallest shells, appeared at that great children are taken in Africa, and transported depth conspicuous to the eye; and the to West India,) would subject the offender water seemned in some measure to have the to severe punishment. To want the labour effect of a magnifier, by enlarging the obof Africans originally, or now to want their jects like a telescope, and bringing them labours, may be perfectly in accordance with seemingly nearer. Now creeping along, established usage; but, for the planters of we saw far beneath, the rugged sides of a West India to claim a legitimate right to mountain rising towards our boat, the base the African, to require the African to pur- of which, perhaps, was hidden some miles chase his manumission, or to prohibit his in the great deep below. Though moving return to Africa under a severe penalty, is on a level surface, it seemed almost as if we an assumption of colonial authority, that were ascending the height under us, and exceeds every anterior claim of any part of when we passed over its summit, which the human family, over any other portion of rose in appearance to within a few feet of our species.
W. our boat, and came again to the descent,
which on this side was suddenly perpendi
cular, and overlooking a watery gulf, as we MARINE WONDERS.
pushed gently over the last point of it, it << These see the works of the Lord, and his won. seemed almost as if we had thrown ourders in the deep."-Psalm cvii. 21.
selves down this precipice : the illusion, That the water of the sea conceals from from the crystal clearness of the deep, acour view objects of the most interesting na- tually producing a sudden start. ture, cannot be doubted. The watery world, “Now we came again to a plain, and as it has most significantly been term- | passed slowly over the submarine forests ed, contains probably productions of almost and meadows which appeared in the exevery class peculiar to itself. An intima- panse below, inhabited, doubtless, by thoution of this is perhaps given us, when Elihu sands of animals, to which they afford both speaks of God as 'covering the bottom of food and shelter,-animals unknown to man: the sea, or, as in the marginal reading, the and I could sometimes observe large fishes roots, Job xxxvi. 30. The Red sea is, of singular shape, gliding softly through the literally, the weedy sea. Mr. Bruce says, watery thickets, unconscious of what was that it contains large trees or plants of coral, moving above them. As we proceeded, perfectly in imitation of plants on land. the bottom became no longer visible; its He saw one, which, from a root nearly cen- fairy scenes gradually faded to the view, tral, threw out ramifications in an almost and were lost in the dark green depths of circular form, measuring about twenty-six | the ocean.”- Travels through Sweden, feet diameter every way. To explore the Norway, and Finmark, to the North recesses of the ocean, is impossible. Our Cape, in the summer of 1820, by A. de acquaintance with them must, therefore, be Capell Brooke, A.M. 4to. p. 195. very partial and limited. In the following In these profound depths is found the extract it appears, that new scenes were remarkable gorgonia lepadifera of Linopened, and new enjoyments produced, to naeus, “ considered rare by the inhabitants an adventurous voyager in the northern of these parts, who, when they accidentally
meet with it, hang it up as a curiosity “ Nothing can be more surprising and This extraordinary zoophyte grows in the
A BURNING AND A SHINING LIGHT.
220 form of a tree or branch; and its simila- | the upper and slighter parts, these give rity is such, that few indeed, even after a way, and are drawn to the surface along minute investigation, would suppose it with the line. They are hung up by the possessed life, or imagine it was any thing fishermen in their huts, who
them but what it has hitherto been considered, to be a kind of charm or protection against a vegetable. This idea, which long pre- storms. They arrive at a very extraordivailed with respect to the class of zoo- nary size, if we may believe the accounts phytes in general, has been gradually ex- of the fishermen, who have most frequent ploded, as the attention of naturalists has opportunities of seeing them, attaining dibeen directed to marine productions. mensions even equal to those of our largest
“On a final inspection of this gorgon, forest trees."--Ibid. p. 321. we behold nothing but a mere branch, singular indeed in appearance, and covered over with whitish scales, which seem like seeds hanging on every part of it: how
(From Clarke's Commentary-John v. verse 35.) extraordinary then does it appear, when we are told that it is an animal, with not only “The expression of lamp, our Lord took bone and flesh, but even possessed of mi- from the ordinary custom of the Jews, who nute muscles and tendons. The stem of termed their eminent doctors, the lamps of the branch, which is the inward support or
Israel. A lighted candle is a proper bone of the animal, appears to be formed
emblem of a minister of God; and alieri of different distinct layers or circles of a
serviens consumor- “ In serving others, I hard calcareous matter, and in the living
La proper motto. There state is surrounded by a fleshy substance.
are few, who preach the gospel faithfully, This is thickly covered with small whitish that do not lose their lives by it. Burning tubercles, which appear like barnacles may refer to the zeal with which John hanging on it, and are the cells that con
executed his message; and shining may tain the numberless animals of which the refer to the clearness of the testimony which gorgonia consists, protecting their delicate he bore concerning Christ. Only to shine, parts from injury. These they have the is but vanity; and to burn without shining, power of contracting and opening; and will never edify the church of God. Some from them the tentacula of the polypus ex
shine, and some burn, but few both shine tend themselves, to procure nourishment, and burn ; and many there are who are which is afterwards conducted to the main denominated pastors, who neither shine nor stem or body.
burn. He who wishes to save souls, must “ The manner in which the gorgon is ac
both burn and shine : the clear light of the cidentally removed from the great depths of knowledge of the sacred records must fill the ocean, is singular. The uër, or red
his understanding; and the holy flame of fish, (perca marina,) is seldom met with loving zeal must occupy his heart. Zeal but in the fiords, and where the depth is
without knowledge is continually blunderfrom 150 to 300' fathoms. The fishermen ing; and knowledge without zeal makes no generally remark, that this fish is found in converts to Christ.” the greater plenty in these parts, and more particularly where the sea - trees most abound ; delighting, as they informed me, in sporting about the branches of the gor
R. W. HAMILTON'S LETTER ON CATHOLIC gon, or animal-tree; but possibly they feed EMANCIPATION. on the heads of the polypi, when they This letter, it seems, is considered by some stretch out their tentacula for nourish- of the advocates of what, in the vocabulary ment. It sometimes happens, that the of the day, is called “Catholic Emancipalines, when set at these great depths, are tion,” an able and masterly production; in let down between the arms of the gorgon which they evidently agree in opinion with itself, and the red fish, when it takes the the author himself, whose estimate of its bait, on finding itself hooked, runs away merits, and of his own talents, is so high, with the line, and entangles itself among that in its conclusion, he says, “It will not the branches of the animal. When this is be an unknown or common antagonist who the case, the fishermen endeavour to re- will tempt” him to reply. lease the line by pulling it; and if the gor- Why he should entertain so high an opi. gon be of a very large size, the branch nion of this production, I know not, unless round which it is fast resists all their en. it be that it is his own offspring, and bears deavours, and the line is lost. If, how. his image. Had I not known the author ever, it happen to have caught hold only of to have passed the spring-time of life, I
OBSERVATIONS OCCASIONED BY THE REV.