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fore purposely omitted the epistolary writings of We shall conclude our account of this part of the apostles, because they are fraught with other the controversy with the following passage from fundamental doctrines besides the one he argues the “ First Vindication.” The list of materials for. He then enumerates these fundamental ar- for his creed-for the articles are not yet formed ticles, viz.: 1. The corruption and degeneracy of —Mr. Edwards closes with these words :- These human nature, with the true origin of it—the de- are the matters of faith contained in the episfection of our first parents. 2. The propagation tles, and they are essential and integral parts of of sin and mortality. 3. Our restoration and re- the gospel itself.' What, just these? Neither conciliation by Christ's blood. 4. The eminency more nor less? If you are sure of it, pray let us and excellency of his priesthood. 5. The efficacy have them speedily, for the reconciling of differof his death. 6. The full satisfaction made thereby ences in the Christian church, which has been so to divine justice. 7. His being an all-sufficient cruelly torn about the articles of the Christian sacrifice for sin. 8. Christ's righteousness. 9. faith, to the great reproach of Christian charity, Our justification by it. 10. Election. 11. Adop- and scandal of our true religion." tion. 12. Sanctification. 13. Saving faith. 14. At length Mr. Edwards, setting aside all minor The nature of the gospel. 15. The new covenant. considerations, comes at once to the doctrine of 16. The riches of God's mercy in the way of sal- the Trinity, and affirms that, because this doctrine vation by Jesus Christ. 17. The certainty of the is discoverable in them, they were passed over resurrection of our bodies, and of the future glory. with contempt by Locke. His words are :-"He
In his “First Vindication" Locke replies seri- doth this,—that is, pass by the epistles with conously, and at length, to the accusation of his ad- tempt-because he knew that there are so many versary; and inquires whether every one of these and frequent, and those so illustrious and eminent “fundamental doctrines" is required to be believed attestations to the doctrine of the ever-to-beto make a man a Christian, and such as without adored Trinity, in these epistles.” He adds, that the actual belief thereof, he cannot be saved. If Locke expounds John, xiv. 9., &c., after the anti80, small indeed would be the number of the elect; trinitarian mode; and makes Christ and Adam to no ignorant man could possibly be saved; for none be sons of God in the same sense, and by their but learned theologists could even comprehend birth. Stillingfleet, who also urged this point of the terms of the several propositions ; and no man, the Trinity, in his controversy with our philosoperhaps, could form, on all these points, an opinion pher, received no answer; but, in a letter to his that should be perfectly free from error. But let relation, afterwards Lord Chancellor King, he him explain his own views :—“If they are not ne- says :-"If those gentlemen think that the bishop cessary, every one of them, you may call them hath the advantage by not making good one of fundamental doctrines as much as you please, they those many propositions in debate between us, but are not of those doctrines of faith I was speaking by asking a question, a personal question, nothing of, which are only such as are required to be ac- to the purpose, I shall not envy him such a victotually believed to make a man a Christian. If you ry. In the meantime, if this be all they have to say, some of them are such necessary points of say, the world, that sees not with their eyes, will faith, and others not, you, by this specious list of see what disputants for truth those are, who make well sounding, but unexplained terms, arbitrarily to themselves occasions of calumny, and think that collected, only make good what I have said, viz. : a triumph. The Bishop is to prove, that my book that the necessary articles of faith are in the epis- has something in it that is inconsistent with the tles promiscuously delivered with other truths, and doctrine of the Trinity; and all that upon exatherefore they cann?t be distinguished but by some mination he does, is to ask me whether I believe other mark than being barely found in the epistles. the doctrine of the Trinity as it has been received If you say that they are all of them necessary in the Christian church? A worthy proof!” articles of faith, I shall then desire you to reduce This is all we have observed in his works bearthem to so many plain doctrines, and then prove ing directly upon this point. With respect to the them required to be believed by every Christian man sense in which he supposes the phrase, “Son of to make him a member of the Christian church.” God,” to be employed in the Scriptures, he is suf
In the “Second Vindication” he thus pursues ficiently explicit. In his “ First Vindication," he the same argument :-“Can there be any thing says :-"If the sense wherein I understand those more absurd than to say there are several funda- texts (John, xiv. 9, &c.) be a mistake, I shall be mental articles, each of which every man must ex- beholden to you if you will set me right. But plicitly believe, upon pain of damnation, and yet they are not popular authorities, or frightful names, not be able to say which they be? The Unmasker whereby I judge of truth or falsehood. You will has set down no small number; but yet dares not now, no doubt, applaud your conjectures: the point say, “These are all.' On the contrary, he has is gained, and I am openly a Socinian, since I will plainly confessed there are more; but will not, that not disown that I think the Son of God' was a is, cannot tell what they are that remain behind; phrase that among the Jews in our Saviour's time nay, has given a general description of his funda- was used for the Messiah,' though the Socinians mental articles, by which it is not evident but there understand it in the same sense; and therefore I may be ten times as many as those he has named; must certainly be of their persuasion in every and amongst them, if he durst or could name them, thing else. admire the acuteness, force, and probably several
, that many a good Christian, who fairness of your reasoning, and so I leave you to died in the faith, and is now in heaven, never once triumph in your conjectures. Only I must desire thought of; and others, which many, of as good you to take notice, that that ornament of our authority as he, would, from their different sys- church, and every way eminent prelate, the late tems, certainly deny and contradict."
Archbishop of Canterbury, understood that phrase
nearer to none.
in the same sense that I do, without being a So- his apostles preached, and admitted men into the cinian. You may read what he says concerning church for believing, is not all that is absolutely reNathaniel, in his first sermon, 'Of Sincerity,' pub- quired to make a man a Christian ; or, that the lished this year. His words are these :- And believing him to be the Messiah was not the only being satisfied that he—our Saviour-was the article they insisted on, to those who acknowledged Messiah, he presently owned him for such, calling one God; and upon the belief whereof they adhim the Son of God, and the King of Israel." mitted converts into the church, in any one of
Locke afterwards found in Patrick, Bishop of those many places quoted by me out of the history Ely's “ Witnesses to Christianity," several pas- of the New Testament.' He then proceeds to sages in support of his interpretation of the show that if those admitted into the church by phrase, “Son of God.” If, therefore, Mr. Ed our Saviour and his apostles, were admitted with wards persisted in calling him a Socinian, to be out having any other article explicitly laid before consistent, he must bestow the same epithet on them, the belief of no other article is necessary. Bishop Patrick, who says, “To be the Son of "Unless," says he, "you will say that our Saviour God, and to be Christ, being but different expres- and his apostles admitted men into the church that sions of the same thing;" and, “It is the very were not qualified with such a faith as was absosame thing to believe that Jesus is the Christ, and lutely necessary to make a man a Christian; to believe that Jesus is the Son of God, express which is as much as to say, that they allowed and it how you please. This alone is the faith which pronounced men to be Christians, who were not can regenerate a man, and put a divine spirit into Christians. For he that wants what is necessary him; that is, make him a conqueror over the world, to make a man a Christian, can no more be a as Jesus was."*
Christian than he that wants what is necessary This leads us to the principal subject of the con- to make him a man can be a man.” troversy. Locke having laid down, as the great In the “Reasonableness of Christianity” Locke basis of Christianity, the belief that Jesus of Na- is methodical, clear, concise. He encumbers not zareth was the Messiah, to prove which is the his argument with unnecessary illustrations, nor object of his whole treatise on the Christian reli- does he carry forward his analysis beyond the gion, Mr. Edwards accuses him of reducing limits which a severe judgment may approve. In Christianity to one article, in order to bring it the "Second Vindication" the reverse of all this
This might, at the first blush, is true. He appears to have ill digested his plan; have caused it to appear that Locke desired to not to have considered where he should begin, or exclude the belief in the existence of a God, where end; he pauses, and exhausts his own inwhich was manifestly untrue. To excuse himself, genuity, and the reader's patience, in refuting therefore, for dwelling so jocularly on the “one some pitiful cavil, in repelling scorn with scorn; article," the Unmasker says :- When I told him and loses himself in a maze of endless repetitions. of this one article, he knew well enough that I It must, moreover, be acknowledged, that through did not exclude the article of the Deity, for that many a dreary page we look in vain for any trace is a principle of natural religion.” To this the of that superior mind which gave birth to the “Esphilosopher answers:—“ How should I know it? say on the Human Understanding,” the “ Letters He never told me so, either in his book or other on Toleration,” and the “Treatise on Governwise. This I know, that he said I contended for ment ;" and though some striking passages do
one article, with the exclusion of all the rest.' occur, they are few, and hardly compensate for If then the belief of the Deity be an article of the drudgery which must lead to their discovery. faith, and be not the article of Jesus being the The following outline, however, of the whole Messiah, it is one of the rest;' and if all the scheme of natural and revealed religion is worthy rest were excluded, certainly that being one of of being preserved. all the rest, must be excluded. How then he “As men," he observes, “we have God for our could say, I knew that he excluded it not,--that King, and are under the law of reason : is, meant not that I excluded it when he posi- Christians, we have Jesus the Messiah for our tively says I did exclude it, I cannot tell, unless King, and are under the law revealed by him in he thought that I knew him so well, that when he the gospel. And though every Christian, both as said one thing, I knew that he meant another, and a Deist and a Christian, be obliged to study both that the quite contrary.”
the law of nature and the revealed law, that in Having given a list, which has already been them he may know the will of God, and of Jesus cited, of fundamental truths, Mr. Edwards ob- Christ whom he hath sent; yet in neither of these serves : “From what I have said, it is evident, laws is there to be found a select set of fundathat the Vindicator is grossly mistaken, when he mentals, distinct from the rest, which are to make saith, Whatever doctrine the apostles required a Deist or a Christian. But he that believes one to be believed to make a man a Christian,' are to eternal invisible God, his Lord and King, ceases be found in those places of Scripture which he thereby to be an Atheist ; and he that believes has quoted in his book. I think I have sufficiently Jesus to be the Messiah, his King, ordained by proved that there are other doctrines besides that, God, thereby becomes a Christian, is delivered which are required to be believed to make a man from the power of darkness, and is translated into a Christian."
the kingdom of the Son of God, is actually within In answer to this, Locke insists that all his ad- the covenant of grace, and has that faith which versary might advance would signify nothing, un- shall be imputed to him for righteousness; and if less he could prove that what our Saviour and he continue in his allegiance to this his king, shall
receive the reward-eternal life.” * Witnesses to Christianity, p. 10, 14.
He then deprecates the practice, too common
among theologians, of erecting individual views | illiterate people cannot understand, be required to of religion into systems, and endeavoring to force be believed to make them Christians, the greatest them upon mankind; nearly every proposition in part of mankind are shut out from being Chris. the Scriptures, with every deduction that may be tians.” drawn from it, having been, by some one To this, by anticipation, Mr. Edwards ananother, advanced as a necessary article of faith. swers :-" There is a difficulty in the doctrine of “ 'Tis no wonder, therefore,” he observes, “there the Trinity, and several truths of the gospel, as have been such fierce contests, and such cruel to the exact manner of the things themselves, havoc made amongst Christians, about funda- which we shall never be able to comprehend, at mentals; whilst every one would set up his sys- least on this side heaven : but there is no diffitem, upon pain of fire and faggot in this, and hell culty as to the reality and certainty of them, befire in the other world: though at the same time, cause we know they are revealed to us by God whilst he is exercising the utmost barbarities in the Holy Scriptures.” “Which answer," says against others, to prove himself a true Christian, Locke, " of difficulty in the manner, and no diffihe professes himself so ignorant that he cannot culty in the reality, having the appearance of a tell, or so uncharitable that he will not tell
, what distinction, looks like learning; but when it comes articles are absolutely necessary and sufficient to to be applied to the case in hand, will scarce afmake a man a Christian. If there be any such ford us sense. The question is about a proposifundamentals, as it is certain there are, it is as tion to be believed, which must first necessarily certain they must be very plain."
be understood. For a man cannot possibly give Against the idea of Christianity's being plain, his assent to any affirmation or negation, unless and reasonable, and intelligible, Mr. Edwards he understand the terms as they are joined in that takes violent exception. He thinks it absurd proposition, and has a conception of the thing afthat the vulgar should be supposed capable of firmed or denied; and also a conception of the comprehending all the truths of their religion ; thing concerning which it is affirmed or denied, though, at the same time, he insists there is as they are there put together. But let the pronothing in the Scriptures not necessary to be be- position be what it will, there is no more to be lieved; and, as it seems somewhat harsh to re- understood than is expressed in the terms of that quire a man to believe that of which he can form proposition. If it be a proposition concerning a no idea, he, upon second thoughts, but without matter of fact, it is enough to conceive, and beperceiving he is conceding a point to Locke, ad- lieve the matter of fact. If it be a proposition mits that the truths of the gospel as clear as concerning the manner of the fact, the manner clearness can make them.
of the fact must also be believed, as it is intelliLet us put all these propositions together in gibly expressed in that proposition: v. g. should Mr. Edwards' own words, to show upon what a this proposition, verpoi iyeipovrai, be offered as an logical system he reasons. Christianity is called article of faith to an illiterate countryman of a mystery. • . All things in Christianity are not England, he could not believe it; because, though plain, and exactly level to every common appre a true proposition, yet it being proposed, in words hension. Every thing in Christianity is whose meaning he understood not, he could not not clear, and intelligible, and comprehensible by give any assent to it. Put it in English, he unthe weakest noddle.” Anon, taking another view derstands what is meant by the dead shall rise.' of the matter, he says :-“Why did the apostles For he can conceive, that the same man who was write these ? was it not that those they wrote to, dead and senseless, should be alive again ; as well might give their assent to m? Why should as he can that the same man who is now in a not every one of these evangelical truths be be- lethargy, should awake again; or the same man lieved and embraced? They are in our Bibles that is now out of his sight, and he knows not for that very purpose.” And, as a reason why whether he be alive or dead, should return and they should be believed, he says they are “intel be with him again; and so he is capable of beligible and plain ;” that there is no “ambiguity lieving it, though he conceives nothing of the and doubtfulness in them; they shine with their manner how a man revives, wakes or moves. own light, and to an unprejudiced eye, are plain, But none of these manners of those actions being evident, and illustrious."
included in those propositions, the proposition conUpon this Locke remarks :-" To draw the cerning the matter of fact-if it imply no contraUnmasker out of the clouds, and prevent his diction in it-may be believed; and so all that is hiding himself in the doubtfulness of his expres- required may be done, whatever difficulty may be sions, I shall desire him to say directly whether as to the exact manner how it is brought about. the articles which are necessary to be believed to “ But where the proposition is about the manmake a man a Christian, and particularly those ner, the belief too must be of the manner ; v. g. he has set down for such, are all plain and intelli- the article is, “the dead shall be raised with spigible, and such as may be understood and compre- ritual bodies ;' and then the belief must be as well hended (I will not say in the Unmasker's ridicu. of this manner of the fact as of the fact itself. So lous way, by the weakest noddles,' but) by every that what is said here by the Unmasker about the illiterate countryman and woman capable of church manner, signifies nothing at all in the case.communion ? if he says yes, then all mysteries What is understood to be expressed in each proare excluded out of his articles necessary to be position, whether it be of the manner, or not of the believed, to make a man a Christian. For that manner, is--by its being a revelation from Godwhich can be comprehended by every day-laboror, to be believed, as far as it is understood : but no every poor spinster, that is a member of the more is required to be believed, concerning any church, cannot be a mystery. And if what such I article, than is contained in that article.
“ What the Unmasker, for the removing of diffi- of the “ Essay on the Human Understanding," culties, adds further, in these words :— But there which appeared during his lifetime, Locke changis no difficulty as to the reality and certainty of ed his opinion on more than one point ; and, like the truths of the gospel, because we know they an honest and independent thinker, he was always are revealed to us by God in the Holy Scriptures,' careful to acknowledge this change. This, among is yet further from signifying any thing to the pur- other things, was the case with the use of syllopose, than the former. The question is about un- gisms. For in book iv. ch. 17, “ I grant,” says derstanding, and, in what sense they are under- he, “that mood and figure is commonly made use stood, believing several propositions, or articles of of in such cases, (in the discovery of fallacies,) as faith, which are to be found in the Scripture. To if the detection of the incoherence of such loose this the Unmasker says, there can be no diffi- discourses were wholly owing to the syllogistical culty at all as to their reality and certainty, be- form; and so I myself formerly thought, till upon cause they are revealed by God.' Which amounts a stricter examination I now find, that laying the to no more than this : that there is no difficulty intermediate ideas naked, in their due order, shows in the understanding and believing this proposi- the incoherence of the argumentation better than tion—that whatever is revealed by God is really syllogism.” His opinions, however, on this point, and certainly true. But is the understanding and were fluctuating; for in his “Second Vindicabelieving this single proposition, the understand- tion," speaking of the fallacies and incoherences ing and believing all the articles of faith necessary of his antagonist, he has these words :-“ Nay, if to be believed ? Is this all the explicit faith a he, or any body, in the 112 pages of his “Soci. Christian need have? If so, then a Christian need nianism Unmasked,' can find but ten arguments explicitly believe no more but this one proposition, that will bear the test of syllogism, the true touchviz. that all the propositions between the two stone of right arguing, I will grant that that treacovers of his Bible, are certainly true. But I ima- tise deserves all those commendations he has begine the Unmasker will not think the believing stowed upon it; though it be made up more of his this one proposition is a sufficient belief of all those own panegyric than a confutation of me." fundamental articles, which he has given us as We have here given a concise view of the connecessary to be believed, to make a man a Chris- troversy, every where employing, as far as possitian. For, if that will serve the turn, I conclude ble, the words of the writers themselves; but, it may
make his set of fundamentals as large and must be confessed, our outline is far from being express to his system as he pleases : Calvinists, complete; it being impossible, perhaps, to conArminians, Anabaptists, Socinians, will all thus dense into so small a space, the matter of so many own the belief of them ; viz. that all that God has bulky volumes. If the reader is desirous of exarevealed in the Scriptures is really and certainly mining the subject at greater length, we must, true.”
therefore, refer him to the original works, where he Between the publication of the several editions I will find more than enough to satisfy his curiosity.
FOR THE UNDERSTANDING OF ST. PAUL'S EPISTLES.
Locke having, in his controversy with Mr. Ed- | dily occur to me. The nature of epistolary wri
wards, had his attention frequently and forcibly tings in general, disposes the writer to pass by the directed to the epistles of St. Paul, which, in his mentioning of many things, as well known to work on Christianity, he was accused of keeping him to whom his letter is addressed, which are purposely out of sight, betook himself
, with re him comprehend what is said : and it not seldom
necessary to be laid open to a stranger, to make newed diligence, to the study of those parts of falls out, that a well-penned letter, which is very Scripture. The result of these studies, under- easy and intelligible to the receiver, is very obtaken in a mature age, and furthered by every scure to a stranger, who hardly knows what to help that learning or philosophy could furnish, make of it. The matters that St. Paul wrote was “A paraphrase and Notes on the Epistles of about, were certainly things well known to those St. Paul to the Galatians, Corinthians, Romans, he wrote to, and which they had some peculiar and Ephesians.” To this work, not published concern in, which made them easily apprehend until after the philosopher's death, was prefixed, his meaning, and see the tendency and force of ""An Essay for the Understanding of St. Paul's his discourse. But we having now, at this disEpistles, by consulting St. Paul himself," written tance, no information of the occasion of his wriin the best manner of its distinguished author. cumstances those he wrote to were in, but what
ting, little or no knowledge of the temper and cirBut, notwithstanding its singular excellences, it is to be gathered out of the epistles themselves, appears to have hitherto attracted comparatively it is not strange that many things in them lie conlittle notice. No collection of religious works, so cealed to us, which no doubt they who were confar as I know, contains it; nor has it ever, I be cerned in the letter understood at first sight. Add Jieve, been detached from the Paraphrase and to this, that in many places it is manifest he anNotes, and published in a separate form. I trust, swers letters sent, and questions proposed to him, however, the reader will quickly perceive its which if we had, would much better clear those great value, not merely as a literary composition, passages that relate to them, than all the learned though in that respect also it be a remarkable notes of critics and commentators, who in after
times fill us with their conjectures; for very often, work; but as showing how earnestly and inces
as to the matter in hand, they are nothing else. santly the poblest minds have labored to master the sense of the Apostle to the Gentiles; thus, by ten are another, and that no small occasion of
The language wherein these epistles are writtheir example, encouraging others to the under their obscurity to us now: the words are Greek, taking, which he who properly enters on will a language dead many ages since; a language of consider no task.--Ed.
a very witty volatile people, seekers after novelty, and abounding with a variety of notions and sects, to which they applied the terms of their common tongue with great liberty and variety; and yet this
makes but one small part of the difficulty in the To go about to explain any of St. Paul's epistles, language of these epistles; there is a peculiarity after so great a train of expositors and commen- in it, that much more obscures and perplexes the tators, might seem an attempt of vanity, censur- meaning of these writings, than what can be occaable for its needlessness, did not the daily and ap- sioned by the looseness and variety of the Greek proved examples of pious and learned men justify tongue. The terms are Greek, but the idiom or it. This may be some excuse for me to the pub- turn of the phrases may be truly said to be Hebrew lic, if ever these following papers should chance or Syriac. The custom and familiarity of which to come abroad: but to myself, for whose use tongues, do sometimes so far influence the expresthis work was undertaken, I need no apology. sions in these epistles, that one may observe the Though I had been conversant in these epistles, force of the Hebrew conjugations, particularly that as well as in other parts of sacred Scripture, yet of Hiphil, given to Greek verbs, in a way unknown I found that I understood them not-I mean the to the Grecians themselves. Nor is this all: the doctrinal and discursive parts of them: though subject treated of in these epistles is so wholly the practical directions, which are usually drop- new, and the doctrines contained in them so per. ped in the latter part of each epistle, appeared fectly remote from the notions that mankind were to me very plain, intelligible, and instructive. acquainted with, that most of the important terms
I did not, when I reflected on it, very much in it have quite another signification from what wonder that this part of sacred Scripture had diffi- they have in other discourses : so that putting all culties in it: many causes of obscurity did rea- I together, we may truly say, that the New Testa.