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and W. Weir, Elders, and Kev. Reply to Rev. H. Montgomery's
Rev; A. Wilson, Liver- putation from Scotland) 288
Rev.Wm. D. Stewart, Scripture Evidence for the Tri.
396 nity, (review of).......... 280
Personal Religion, No. I. Self- Stumbling of John the Baptist. 141
37 Sunday School Jubilee... 391
in England, (meeting of).. 107
pravity of Human Nature.... 146
Course of a Christian... 253
- Annual Meeting
-No. IX. Judg- (memoir of)....
-No XI. Heaven 397 | The late Dr. Andrew Thomson,
N. B.--The numbering of the first twelve pages of this volume was, by
THE ORTHODOX PRESBYTERIAN. BELOVED FRIENDS,
Many of our pages, during the past year, have been devoted to controversy. The great and fundamental truths, connected with the Divinity and atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, have been assailed with such violence that we have been obliged to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints. You are not, however, to conclude from this, that controversy is the most pleasing employment to us, or the most edifying to you, or the most likely to continue to engross our pages. It has only been the necessity of the case that has impelled us to devote so much of our time to an employment which must always be disagreeable to a peaceful mind. We are convinced that a plain and faithful statement of the doctrines and privileges of the Gospel, with their practical tendency, is most calculated to promote your spiritual good, and we have longed for that leisure from polemical divinity which would enable us deeply and extensively to imbue our little work with such pious reflections as might tend directly to reach the hearts of our numerous readers. We trust that time is now nearly come, and that your minds have been so fully confirmed in the doctrine of the Trinity, as a Scriptural truth, together with the other fundamental truths necessarily connected with it, that the out works of our spiritual temple may be said to be secured, and we may now enter into the interior, and exhibit its beauties to your admiring eyes. And that you may have a prospective view of what we intend to exhibit before
you, we shall specify some of the interesting topics which, we trust, will have a prominent part in the future Numbers of The Orthodox Presbyterian, and, through the blessing of God, promote the spiritual interests of its readers.
I. A call to the examination of your state in the sight of God. There is an awful possibility that worldly avocations may divert you from an inquiry, how you stand in the sight of that God that searcheth all hearts, and will one day bring to light the hidden things of darkness, disclose the secrets of the soul, and render to every man according to his deeds. Nay, there is a possibility, that in the discussion of doctrinal questions in a general way, you should contend for the truth, and triumph in its having the victory, and yet never feel the force of that truth, nor apply it to yourselves as a personal concern. To guard against this evil, we shall call upon you to turn inwards, and the motto to what we intend on this subject might be, “Exa. mine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves." --2 Cor. xiii. 5.
II. The nature and necessity of repentance toward God. There is scarcely any thing, we conceive, in which the modern profession of Christianity is more defective than in that godly sorrow that worketh repentance to salvation, not to be repented of. Destitute of any deep conviction of their sin and misery, and of consequent anxiety, on the great question, "What must I do to be saved ?" men take up a superficial profession of Christ when they have not cordially fled to Him as all their salvation and all their desire. They are in their own estimation the “whole that have not felt their need of a Physician.” They would need to be disciplined a little with the ministry of John the Baptist; and a motto suitable for what we intend for their instruction is, “Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”—Luke xiii. 3.
III. Faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. The views of men are exceedingly vague with regard to the nature of saving faith. One man thinks it consists in a general belief of the truth of Christianity as a system; and finding evidence sufficient to command his assent to the authen. ticity of the Bible, he rests satisfied in the state of Simon · Magus, without having part or lot in the matter. Acts viii. 13.
Others taking a more intimate view of the leading doctrines of Christianity, generally known by the name of evangelical, and being convinced that they are founded on the word of God, embrace them as the confession of their faith, without having ever sought or found the influence of them on their hearts, or being at all affected by them in their life, so as to produce any peculiar dedica. tion to God. This barren Orthodoxy they substitute for faith unfeigned; and always by their spirit, and often by their ungodly practice, do they cause the way of truth to he evil spoken of. To bring such persons to feel that their faith without works is dead-that they must receive and rest upon Christ for salvation as a personal concern, from deep consciousness of their need of him; and to lead them to know that if they believe not thus, they shall die in their 'sins, the wrath of God abiding on them, shall be our object.–Our motto here may be, “With the heart man believeth unto righteousness.”-Rom. x. 10.
IV. The depravity of human nature. Without an humbling conviction of this truth, man knows not his disease. Some of our New Light teachers delight in exhibiting man as coming into the world like a clean sheet of paper, susceptible alike of good or bad impressions. Nothing can more fearfully show the ignorance of their own hearts, and of the word of God. It is not strange that with such ideas of man's purity, they should not care whether there be an Holy Ghost, and should represent him merely as an ideal Being or a divine attribute. We shall endeavour then to exhibit the Scripture representation of human nature-to excite those who admit human depravity to feel their wretchedness while under its influence and to lead them to pray: create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew within me a right spirit. “That which is born of the flesh is flesh,” may stand at the head of this article. John iii. 6.
V. Regeneration by the Holy Spirit. The necessity of regeneration has been doubted by many, and denied by not a few. To 'some it has even been the subject of profane raillery, notwithstanding the solemn manner in which our Lord urges its importance in the 3d chapter of the Gospel by John. Even many who hold forth the doctrine of the atonement, give almost no prominence to the subject of the new birth. In opposition to all these, we shall hold forth with peculiar emphasis the declarations of our Lord, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”—John iii. 5.
VI. The consolations of the people of God. This people are often charged with choosing a course which, however promising for eternity, is truly melancholy in the present world But the word of God declares, there is no peace
to the wicked, and that wisdom's ways are ways of pleasantness. We shall endeavour in this point to exhibit the truth of the divine testimony; and our motto here may be, “ Happy art thou, O Israel, who is like unto thee." Deut. xxxiii. 29.
VII. The course of a Christian as not conformed to the world. Many professors of piety conceive themselves at liberty to follow the customs and fashions of this world, and speak of singularity as a subject of reprobation. But if God put another spirit into his people, as he promises to do, it may be expected that their ways shall be after another fashion. We shall direct the attention of such persons to the Apostolic injunction, “Be not conformed to this world.” — Rom. xii. 2.
VIII. Death, in the contrast between a saint and a sinner, at that solemn period. Death is an awful subject, and the consideration of it is likely to have a powerful influence on all our ways. Hence the pious wish of the servant of God,—"O that they were wise, that they un. derstood this, that they would consider their latter end." In pressing this serious subject, we may avail ourselves of the wish of Balaam, “Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.” Num. xxiii. 10.
IX. Judgment. How little do men keep in view the momentous day when every one of us must give an account of himself to God. Then will a separation be made between the righteous and the wicked. We wish that every man should feel his solemn responsibility to God, and prepare to render up his account. We would lead men to consider the text, “We shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ.” – Rom xiv. 10.
X. Hell. The name is terrific, and yet it is Scriptural; it is expressive of a reality; and those who will not fear it, must feel its dreadful nature. Happy for men were they so warned, as to Hy from that place of torment. To rouse them to do so, we shall bring before them,
« The worm that shall not die, and the fire that shall not be quenched.”-Mark ix. 44.
XI. Heaven. This is the last and highest object of pursuit with every one truly wise. It is a glory indeed worthy of our'anxious and active exertions. Would that we could allure men to labour, that they might enter into that rest. We shall make an humble effort to this end, by directing their views to that happy place where " the