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the nature of God and moral evil, or more amply display bis justice to men and angels, to all orders and successions of beings, than that it was necessary for the highest and purest nature, even for Divinity itself, to pacify the demands of vengeánce, by a painful death; of which the natural effect will be, that when justice is appeased, there is a proper place for the exercise of mercy; and that such propitiation shall supply, in some degree, the imperfections of our obedience, and the efficacy of our repentance; for obedience and repentance, such as we can perform, are still necessary. Our Saviour has told us, that he did not come to destroy the law, but to fulfil: to fulfil the typical law, by the performance of what those types had foreshewn; and the moral law, by precepts of greater purity and higher exaltation. .." The peculiar doctrine of Christianity is that of an universal sacrifice, and perpetual propitiation. Other prophets only proclaimed the will and the threatenings of God. Christ satisfied his
* Dr. Ogden, in his second Sermon 'On the Articles of the Christian Faith,' with admirable acuteness thus addresses the opposers of that Doctrine, which accounts for the confusion, sin, and misery, which we find in this life: “It would be severe in God, you think, to degrade us to such a sad state as this for the offence of our first parents; but you can allow him to place us in it without any inducement. Are our calamities lessened for not being ascribed to Adam? If your condition be unhappy, is it not
He said at another time, that the holidays observed by our church were of great use in religion.
It was told Johnson, that Goldsmith had said that he had come too late into the world, for that Pope and other poets had taken up the places in the Temple of Fame; so that as but a few at any period could possess poetical reputation, a man of genius could now hardly acquire it. “ That (said Johnson) is one of the most sensible things I have ever heard of Goldsmith. It is difficult to get literary fame, and it is every day growing more difficult. Ah, Sir, that should make a man think of securing happiness in another world, which all who try sincerely for it may 'attain. In comparison of that, how little are all other things! The belief of immortality is impressed upon all men, and all men act under an impression of it, however they may talk, and though perhaps they may be scarcely sensible of it.”
When Johnson paid a visit at Oxford, he surprized the company not a little, by acknowledging, with a look of horror, that he was much oppressed by the fear of death. The amiable Dr.
still unhappy, whatever was the occasion ? with the aggravation of this reflection, that if it was as good as it was at first designed, there seems to be somewhat the less reason to look for its amendmeni."
Adams suggested that God was infinitely good.Johnson. " That he is infinitely good, as far as the perfection of his nature will allow, I certainly believe; but it is necessary for good upon the whole, that individuals should be punished. As to an individual therefore he is not infinitely good; and as I cannot be sure that I have ful. filled the conditions on which salvation is granted, I am afraid I may be one of those who shall be damned.”-DR. ADAMS. 66 What do you mean by damned?”—J. (passionately and loudly) “ Sent to Hell, Sir, and punished everlastingly.” Dr. A. " I don't believe that doctrine.”—J. “Hold, Sir; do you believe that some will be punished at all?”—Dr. A. “ Being excluded from Heaven will be a punishment; yet there may be no great positive suffering.”— J. “ Well, Sir; but if you admit any degree of punishment, there is an end of your argument for infinite goodness simply considered; for infinite goodness would inflict no punishment whatever. There is not infinite goodness physically considered; morally there is.”—Boswell. “ But may not a man attain to such a degree of hope as not to be uneasy from the fear of death?” -J. “A man may have such a degree of hope as to keep him quiet. You see I am not quiet, from the vehemence with which I talk; but I do not despair.”_MRs. ADAMS, " You seem, Sir,
to forget the merits of our Redeemer.". "Madam, I do not forget the merits of my Redeemer; but my Redeemer has said, that he will set some on his right hand and some on his left.” He was in gloomy agitation, and said, “ I'll have no more on't." If what has now been stated should be urged by the enemies of Christianity, as if its influence on the mind were not benignant, let it be remembered, that Johnson's temperament was melancholy, of which such direful apprehensions of futurity are often a common effect. When he approached nearer to his awful change, we have seen that his mind became tranquil, and he exhibited as much fortitude as becomes a thinking man in that situation.
From the subject of death they passed to discourse of life, whether it was upon the whole more happy or miserable. Johnson was decidedly for the balance of misery.
They then talked of the recent expulsion of six students from the University at Oxford, who were methodists, and would not desist from publickly praying and exhorting. Johnson said, “Sir, that expulsion was extremely just and proper. What have they to do at an University who are not willing to be taught, but will presume to teach? Where is religion to be learnt but at an University? Sir, they were examined, and
found to be mighty ignorant fellows."-Bos
“ But was it not hard, Sir, to expel them, for I am told they were good beings?”_ Johnson. “Sir, I believe they might be good beings; but they were not fit to be in the Uni. versity of Oxford. A cow is a very good animal in the field; but we turn her out of a garden.” This was an uncommonly happy illustration.
Of preaching, and of the great success which those called Methodists have, Jobnson said, “It is owing to their expressing themselves in a plain and familiar manner, which is the only way to do good to the common people, and which clergymen of genius and learning ought to do from a principle of duty, when it is suited to their congregations; a practice for which they will be praised by men of sense. To insist against drunkenness as a crime, because it debases Reason, the noblest faculty of man, would be of no service to the common people; but to tell them that they may die in a fit of drunkenness, and shew them how dreadful that would be, cannot fail to make a deep impression. When the Scotch clergy shall give up their homely manner, religion will soon decay in that country.”
He at another time repeated, that the established Clergy in general did not preach plain