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is never acted on. The nature of STATE OF RELIGION our government precludes the
IN ICELAND, 1814. possibility of it. Accordingly we have seen every successive admi
In regard to sentiment and nistration that chose to go to war, style of preaching, the Icelandic by means of its journalists and agents, appealing to the people classes; those of the old, and
clergy may be divided into two on the justice and necessity of such as are of the new school. the war, and using arguments to The former professes to receive convince them of both.
the Bible as an authoritative and I fear X. Y, Z. has been in the school of a late prelate, more dis- of God, and bow with reverence
obligatory revelation of the will tinguished by his theological acu- to its decisions. They do not men than by his constitutional exalt human reason to be the politics ; for this seems to be, in arbiter of what ought, and what another form, the maxim, that " the people have nothing to do ought not, to be embraced as with the laws, but to obey them:" of their ignorance and proneness
dogmas of faith; but, conscious a maxim rejected with abhorrence by all who maintain those prin-their duty and their privilege, to
to error, they consider it at once ciples which seated the reigning believe whatever God has been family on the throne. X. Y. Z. remarks, “ this pro- word.
pleased to communicate in his
Accordingly, in their ject, it would appear, was origin- sermons, they insist on the grand ally of American growth; it may distinguishing doctrines of Chrishave been administered with a tianity: the total depravity and view of weakening the popular helplessness of man; the eternal delusion, or war fever, which at divinity, and vicarious atonement that time prevailed.” Did this of the Son of God; the persondisease never prevail any where ality and saving operations of the else? Is the case so rare, that the remedy can never be needed Holy Spirit; the necessity of re
generation, and holiness of life; in any other country? To its
and the eternity of future punishbeing applied to America, in ment. I had an opportunity of whatever risks it may, according meeting with many of these men to the theory of X. Y. Z. involve in the course of my travels; and, the government, he does not ap- some of them, whom I heard pear to object. But it seems we from the pulpit, convinced me, do not need such advice ; let us that they were themselves deeply pause and ask ourselves, whether the inhabitants of any country importance of those truths which
penetrated with a sense of the can lay their hands on their
they were engaged in preaching hearts, and deliberately and so to others; that they had entered lemnly declare, that on this sub- the ministry from no worldly moject they have uniformly acted on tive, but were actuated by a sin. Christian principles. and with
cere desire to advance the spiChristian spirit ? The answer ritual reign of their divine Master, which conscience must suggest, and promote the best interests of will shew the propriety of making their fellow-men; and that they this topic the subject of calm en
were living under a habitual im quiry, and dispassionate examina-pression of that solemn account tion,
PACIFICUS. which all, who have taken upon
them the charge of souls, will In their general habits and dis : have to give to the chief Shep-positions, the Icelanders are a herd at the day of final decision. very moral and religious people. They are men who are dead to They are carefully instructed in the world, and devoted in heart the principles of Christianity, at and life to the service of their an early period of life, and
reguRedeemer. Their private walk larly attend to the public and exhibits the genuine tendency of private exercises of devotion. the holy doctrines they teach ; | Instances of immorality are in a and their public discourses are great measure confined to such earnest, energetic, animated, as frequent the fishing places, pointed, and faithful.
where they are often idle for Such of the clergy as are of days together; and where such the new school, the number of as have made proficiency in whom is happily not very great, wickedness, use every effort to treat divine things in quite a dif- ensnare and corrupt their young ferent manner. Instead of draw and inexperienced companions. ing the matter of their sermons In passsing through the island, from the scriptures, they gather my stay at any particular place it from the writings of heathen was too short to admit of my asphilosophers; and the morality certaining the true state of vital found in these authors, which, and practical religion among its at the best, is but dry and in- inhabitants; yet making every sipid, absolutely freezes when allowance for the proneness of transplanted into Iceland. The men to content themselves with divine inspiration of the Bible is a mere external form of godlidiscarded, and all the cardinal ness, and granting that there is and fundamental points of the often a correct moral deportment, Christian faith are either entirely without a single particle of love omitted, or, when they are to God in the heart, I cannot brought forward, it is only with but indulge the conviction, that a view to turn them into ridicule. in a country where the princiThe influence of such Socinian ples of revealed truth are and semi-deistical principles on clearly and so generally known, the individuals who propagate and where the tone of morals is them, is abundantly manifest. so high, there must be many They are entirely men of the whose minds have been savingly world. The awful realities of an impressed with divine things, and approaching eternity have made who have experienced the gospel no suitable impression on their to be the “ power of God unto minds; and levity, callousness, salvation.” The greatest number and indifference, mark the whole of these individuals are, in all proof their conduct. Nor are the bability, known only to God, haveffects resulting from the disse-ing little or no intercourse with mination of their tenets, on such each other; and their situation as imbibe them, less visible and may not untitly be compared to injurious. Their minds become that of the generality of real imbued with scepticism and infi- Christians in Scotland, about 30 delity; every vestige of religion or 40 years ago, where none of disappears, and immorality of those institutions existed which pne description or another gene- now. draw them together, make rally occupies its place. them acquainted with each other,
and stimulate them to greater THE PESTILENCE zeal and diligence in the service
THAT WALKETH IN DARKNESS. of their blessed Redeemer.
It may appear strange, that such a degree of religious know- An Address, to the Youthful Readers ledige should exist in a country of the Baptist Magazine, where, of late years, few have had immediate access to the Holy Seriptures; but it is accounted My dear young friends, for, by the circumstance, that If you were passing through almost every family is in pos- some foreign land, and were on session of a volume of excellent your route to meet with a travel. sermons, written by Bishop Vi: ler, who was to inform you of dalin, of Skalliolt, about the be- many dangers you never anticiginning of last century, which pated when you commenced your contains a great deal of scripture journey; if you believed that iur. illustration, and that numerous dividual to be a person of vera., passages from the sacred writings city, you would listen to his comare produced in proof of the doc-munications with attention. And trines taught in the Icelandic perhaps your attention would be catechism. The scarcity of Bi- the more powerfully arrested, bles was severely felt. Numbers were he to assure you, that some had been using every possible of these dangers were so hidden, exertion, for a long series of and concealed, that, had, he not years, to procure a copy of the suffered from them himself, he sacred volume, but without ef- could not have pointed them out fect. The poverty of the inha- to you. Not doubting bụt that bitants was such, that they could your own good sense will apply. not print a new edition them- these introductory, remarks to the selves; they did not know to following thoughts, I respectfully, what quarter to apply for aid ; beg you to consider, that life is a and many began to apprehend journey; that by reading this that the word of the Lord would paper, you have met with a trabecome extinct among them; and, veller desirous of warning you of especially, that their posterity danger; and who hopes you will would be left destitute of this in- be sufficiently ingenuous to listen estimable boon. But here fo- to his observations. reign benevolence came'most op
God is light, in him is no portunely to their 'aid. The darkness at all. He said, in the plentiful supply of the scriptures beginning, “Let there be light: sent them by the British and Fo- and there was light;" and in re reign Bible Society, and other lation to the moral world, he said, friends to the best interests of Let there be light: and there was humanity, was most joyfully and the light of divine revelation. gratefully received; and while This is the true light, and the the Icelanders are now diligently true light now shineth. But employed in perusing the records this light shineth in darkness, of eternal life, their ardent pray- and the darkness comprehendeth ers are ascending to heaven, for it not.-Gross darkness has cothe present and eternal happiness vered the people, and in this of their spiritual benéfactors. darkness walks the deadly, wide
Henderson's Journal in Iceland. wasting pestilence of immorality;
and in the thickest shades of this féd with considerable human darkness Jurks the snake of pesti- learning, it becomes ten thoulential error, waiting for opportu- sand times more alluring, and nities to spit its dreadful venom consequently 'more dangerous. on the unwary traveller. Attend, And I venture to assert, that to therefore, my dear
young friends, no scheme will these remarks apto the voice which now says to ply with more force, than to the you, Beware of the pestilence Socinian heresy; or, as in this which walketh in darkness. enlightened age it is called, the
If your attentiou' is at all awak Unitarian system of the present ened to the subject; consider, I day. A system which pre-emientreat you, the danger to which nently walks in darkness, for its you are exposed, by immorality machivations are the offspring of on the one hand, and error on darkness; it brings darkness and the other; and especially remem- uncertainty on the mind; it leads ber, that it is noʻsecurity to you, to darkness on the bed of death; that these evils court the darkness and its awful tendencies are toof secrecy: but that the darkness wards the blackuess of darkness and the light are both alike to for ever. God; that all things are fast Say not, this is the language of tending towards a day which will bigotry and party spirit; say not, burn as an oven; and when we it is a violation of the sacred inshall all appear in our true cha- junction, "judge not;" say not, racters, before the eyes of him this is contrary to the benevolent who died, the just for the unjust, genius of Christianity, or a violato bring sinners to God.
tion of Christian charity : for I In youth, however, as well as will undertake to shew you one in more advanced stages of life, feature of that system, which our propensities to evil vary; and would fully bear me out, were I it is possible that may be a temp- not only to condemn its tendentation, almost irresistible to one, cies, but even to predict with which to another is a thing com- certainty its final overthrow, viz. paratively indifferent; but surely That its declared object and dethere is no youth to be found, sign are in direct opposition to who does not need to be warned the declared object and design of of immorality in some of its forms; that God, in whom we live, and and of the abuse of his reason, in move, and have our being. relation to religious subjects. On I need not inform you, that the the latter of these, in particular, great object of the Socinian sysI trust you will be disposed to tem is to DEGRADE the Lord attend to a few remarks.
Jesus Christ, and to rob him of Natural mencall darkness the glory which is justly bis due. LIGHT. This one thought, well And need I tell you, that the dedigested in your minds, may fur- sign of God is to Exalt his Son nish"you' with many important in the eyes of all intelligent lessons; for I am well aware that beings. Need I remind you, that in every sense light is sweet; and God hath blessed him for ever; that if error is presented to a cul- given him a name, which is above *tivated mind, graced with the every name; declared that he name' of light, or rationality, or will cause bis name to be rememfree'' enquiry; and if defended bered in all generations, and comwith superior intellect, and adorn-manded men and angels to wor
ship him; in short, that unto the much more shall your heavenly Son he saith, “ Thy throne, o Father give the Holy Spirit to God, is for ever and ever. Sure- them that ask him."
B. ly, surely, upon whomsoever this stone shall fall, it will grind them
VINDICATION to powder.” And whence this awful system?
Of DR. ROBERT WALKER. The answer is at hand: From the abuse of human
To the Editors of the Baptist Magazine. reason judge of the external evi- MAY I request you to insert dencies of revelation ; but, when the following observations, if not once satisfied on these points, inconsistent with the plan of
your that moment it becomes reasons publication. I have written twice able that I should bow down to to Mr. Jones on the subject, but the voice of God, and take his have not been favoured with an : revelation as my data ; that, im- answer. Mr. Jones will observe, bued with holy and divine truth, that I have made some alteration my reason may become right on the communication sent to reason. Indeed it might be him, and which I informed him proved, upon the most rational contained the remarks I meant to principles, that the man who calls beg you to print. the Bible a revelation from God, and yet subjects its contents to the
Your most humble servant, test of human reason, is guilty of
WM. BROWN. a very high degree of absurdity, Edinburgh, 46, Hanover-street,
20th May, 1818. and is far more inconsistent than he who rejects it altogether. Mr. William Jones, in an acAnd now, my
count of the life of Mr. Archibald friends, having warned you of M‘Lean, late. elder of the Bapyour danger, permit me to recom- tist church at this place, prefixed mend to your notice the language to a volume of sermons, has introof one who speaketh from hea- duced some few notices of the ven: “ SEARCH THE SCRIP- differences which disturbed that TURES." They contain the mind church in its infancy. He bas of him who is the author of all particularly mentioned the dissenintellectual and moral excellence. sion between the elders respectTurn away from all the jarring ing the sonship of Christ. In the systems of men, and read for account he gives of this matter, yourselves; expect to meet with he has, most unnecessarily in my difficulties, the wisest and best opinion, thrown some aspersions of men have met with them be-/ on the late Dr. Robert Walker. fore
you; do not be surprised, His readers must be led to look that in God's law there should on this gentleman as having been be wondrous things; but from both a very
man, this time forth, when you put uncandid man. Now the truth your hand on the sacred volume, is, that neither of these characand are about to read its interest- ters belonged to him. His talents ing contents, remember one pas- were very respectable, and bis sage, with which I now affection literary and professional acquire ately take my leave of you : “ If ments very considerable. His ye who are evil know how to give candour was unimpeachable, and good gifts to your children, how rendered him incapable of the
and a very