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"The Cake of Barley Bread; or Emancipation of the Church of Christ from
Tyndale's "Similitude to describe our Holy Father the Pope
Triumphs of the Powers of Darkness-Nomination of Dr. Strauss to a Pro-
What saith the Scripture ?-ROM. iv. 3.
THE CHURCH OF GOD.
EPHES. iii. 10.
"To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God."
THE works of creation are not sufficient of themselves to explain the attributes of God. They argue, indeed, his "eternal power and godhead," so as to render atheism inexcusable: but the belief in a supereminent and eternal Power, which has by design formed all things, mounts up but one degree towards a knowledge of the divine nature. To abide in the opinion that there has been a First Cause acting with omnipotent wisdom in the production of the universe, is but a melancholy progress in Theology, leaving the mind in a greater degree of perplexity than if it had never assented at all to the creed of Deism. The aspect of the moral world is such as to fill the contemplative deist with despair; for whence, he would enquire, is all this evil? whence this confusion, disorder, and distress? How comes it, that in the mournful succession of centuries, no remedy is discovered for the profound misery which prevails amongst rational creatures, and that time discloses no possible plan for the durable amelioration of the human race? The history of mankind is but an iteration of the same crimes and the same follies, varied a little by the impulses of the passions, as they are directed into new channels by the accidents of evolving events, but always coming round again to join the ancient stream of sorrow and disgrace, which from time immemorial has been rolling on, of the same magnitude, and in the same direction. Can the Creator of the universe have wished that the chief of his creatures should abide in this fallen and deplorable condition, in which he always has been; and, for aught that can be seen to the contrary, ever must be? What can be the principles of moral government by which the contriver of such a system is actuated? Does the Almighty attend at all to moral events? Has he retired from any further consideration of the acts of his rational creatures; and is he contented if only the complicated wheels of the vast material
machine continue in proper action, and proceed according to the original plan, in a fair and harmonious movement? Or is there some other antagonist god? some power of evil, darkness, and obliquity, a successful adversary to goodness, light, and rectitude? Is there indeed a dualism in the divine government, and are the Magi and the Manichæans right in their explanations of the misery and iniquity of mankind?
Inquiries such as these are natural, and indeed almost inevitable, when the prospects of man and the attributes of God are contemplated out of the covenant of grace: for it is in vain, when the designs of the Almighty in his spiritual creation are unheeded, to attempt to explain his goodness, or to describe the nature of his excellency. If man had never been created, and if this earth had been peopled only by the tribes of irrational creatures, which never violate the harmony of the Creator's design, or transgress their prescribed boundaries, the goodness and wisdom of God might have been a subject of unlimited praise and ceaseless admiration: but as man is undeniably the chief and master of all creatures, and as it is with man only that evil is to be found, it follows that there is a striking defect in that which ought to be the most perfect part of the whole plan. And this is continually the difficulty with those who endeavour to solve the problem of the divine government, but who are unacquainted with God as Jehovah, the covenant God of his people. And truly it is no wonder that the difficulty of the problem should, to inquirers so circumstanced, be insuperable; for if, when we behold some fair design marvellously well executed in every part except in that which we should naturally expect to be the most perfect, if, when we see a statue comely in the limbs, but deformed and graceless in the head, or a palace of majestic proportions and noble architecture spoiled by the principal tower or the centre dome of the building,—we then decide that the statuarist or the architect have eminently failed in their object, and more glaringly than if the whole plan had been ill executed; so do we, when we look on man as the chief of the works of God, but marred and ruined by the evil of his nature,—see in him a blot which has disfigured the whole design of the creation, and deteriorated all its excellency. In vain, therefore, is it for sentimentalists and ethnic moralists, or the followers of Socinus, to enlarge on the goodness of that Deity whom Nature preaches unto them; for though the wonders of the starry vault attest an artificer of skill divine; and though the vicissitudes of the seasons, and the wellcontrived fabric of this earth, read to us lectures of heavenly wisdom ; and though the splendour of nature in its vernal wardrobe, and the joy of ten thousand happy animals, might well demand the thanksgiving of