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Through this influence the celebrated schools of Italy and Flanders flourished, and those most beautiful productions of them which remain to us, testify the richness of the encouragement lavished on them by the Catholic worship.

From the natural course of things, it cannot be doubted that the reformation was unfavorable to the fine arts, and laid a considerable. restraint upon the exercise of them. It broke the bond which united them to religion, which rendered them sacred, and secured them a share in the veneration of the people. The liturgy of the Lutherans, and still more that of the Calvinists, is simple and strict. A stone, a cloth, form the altar; a pulpit and benches are all the decoration necessary to the temple. Here nothing is thought of but the Gospel, and some Divine songs on morality and the Christian duties, sung by the congregation. All is devoid of ornament, pomp, and elegance. The priest is clothed in a modest black garment; no veneration of a saint or an angel, and still less of their images, is recommended to pious souls. It might be said that this worship is melancholy and dry, in comparison with that of the Catholics; if, however, an assembly of persons collected to worship in common, can really correspond with the idea of melancholy. Nevertheless it is certain, that this worship which can elevate the soul, tends to disenchant the imagination ; it renders superb churches, and statues, and paintings superfluous; it depopulates the arts, and deprives them of one of their most powerful

resources.

Beside this general disposition peculiar to a worship which keeps so rigidly close to the pure spirit of the primitive Church, and which does not admit of any coquetry with the senses, the particular disposition of the nations which have embraced the reform must be considered. The greater part of them inhabit the severest climate of Europe. They are colder, more phlegmatic, more thoughtful than those of the south ; they have not nature before their eyes in so beautiful a form; they do not respire that voluptuous, soft, intoxicating air of the Italian atmosphere. Independent of the reformation, therefore, they are not so well placed, so well constituted for the practice of the arts, as the Italians for example. Without doubt they have had, and still have esteemed artists, but not such as to excel those of Italy, or even to counterbalance them. Their real merit in the arts, and which arises from their reflecting, scrutinizing spirit, is that of treating the theory with more penetration; of observing and investigating the principles which, unknown to them, direct the great artists; of tracing the course of the imagination and the understanding in their productions ; of discovering the connections between the ideal nature of the arts, and real nature; in a word, of developing the principles and philosophy of the arts. The Italian feels and produces; Hemsterhuys, Kant, Burke, Goethe, think, analyze the production, and the faculty of producing. The one has the instinct of art; the other the intelligence. The one creates; the other judges of the creation, and calculates its laws. These two functions equally presuppose genius. The first displays it externally, in visible forms; the second, in the depths of the understanding. This may be named the legislative power; that the executive power of the fine arts.'

In conclusion, we may here remind the reader of a thought which suggested itself in the commencement of this review; and that is, that our author does not appear to dive deep enough into the sea of religious truth, of experimental and practical godliness, to commend his book to the favorable reception of a thorough-going Christian, such as we wish all our readers to be. Hence the causes which were at work for the production of the reformation upon the belief, the experience, and practice of mankind, are considered too much in the light of merely human agencies; while the great efficient Agent is left out of sight. But, of our views in relation to this point, enough has been already said. That the Lord God omnipotent reigneth,' is sufficient to make the heart of the devout Christian to rejoice in Him amid all the events of life, whether they be prosperous or adverse. Notwithstanding this apparent defect in the book before us, it must, so far as it is attentively read in the country where it originated, have. a benign influence in opening the eyes of the people to the salutary effects of the Protestant system of religion, and thus weaken their belief in the infallibility of popery. So far as general science is concerned, and a knowledge of the historical details of the times about which he writes, Mr. Villers appears to have been amply furnished to give an impartial judgment. He might, indeed, have brought his investigations and inferences down to a much later date, by marking the happy results of the reformation as they have been developing themselves within the period of the last century, and as they are even now spreading themselves over the four quarters of the globe.

The present successful efforts to drive error and vice from among men, by the several denominations of Protestant Christians, are but the effect, traced out to be sure through a number of intermediate causes, each in its turn becoming an effect, of that mighty impulse which was given to the human mind, when God said, Let Luther be, and Luther was.' And we humbly trust that the work will continue to go forward until the whole earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord.

UNORIGINATED DECREES.

For the Methodist Magazine, and Quarterly Review. MR. EDITOR :— The communication which I herewith present you for insertion in the Magazine, owes its origin to the following circumstance :

In the course of a conversation, which occurred between myself and a member of the Theological Seminary in this place, some time last winter, I was requested to write my views for him on the subject of an unoriginated decree. This I hesitated to do for reasons which it is not necessary to mention here. But I finally consented, on condition that he should reply in detail to my communication, and answer the arguments by which my views might be supported. On his engaging to do this, I proposed the following concise hints, which are but a part of the mere outlines of a work, which I have now nearly ready for the press, entitled · An Exegetical Essay on the Scriptural account of God's Foreknowledge and Decrees; or an attempt to show that the notion of an unoriginated certainty concerning all events is not found in the Bible, and that it cannot be defended by the dictates of unperverted reason.'

In this essay the principles, which are barely stated in the following remarks, are explained and argued at length; and the objections are answered also which have been made against them, by the individual mentioned above.

Your readers, I presume, are aware, that the prevailing and pernicious doctrine of universalism owes its support altogether to the notion of an eternal decree; and also that the many changes and refinements in theology, of which we see and hear so much nowa-days, are but so many efforts to keep this notion in countenance among such as have become disgusted with its absurdities.

I trust, therefore, that every judicious attempt to explain and enforce the doctrine taught in the Holy Scriptures against the prevalence of error, however refined or specious its pretences or appearances may be, will meet with the prayerful acceptance of all who love the truth as it is in Jesus. Affectionately yours,

LA ROY SUNDERLAND. Andover, Ms., April 1, 1834.

By the words eternal, absolute, and infinite, is meant, in the following remarks, unoriginated, unbounded, and endless existence. By absolute certainty is meant certainty that will not and cannot fail. By possibility is to be understood mere possibility, such a possibility as that of which absolute certainty cannot be affirmed; and I use the word decree as synonymous with action, volition, determination.

In relation to the decrees of God, the Scriptures speak of one which is originated, unconditional, and unchangeable. This relates to the mission, death, and sufferings of Jesus Christ. To the Scriptural account of this decree we purpose principally to confine our attention in the following remarks.

We say this decree was originated, because it was FORMED, and God alone is unoriginated. It is unconditional, because He did not require the concurrence of any of His created intelligences in forming it; and it is unchangeable, because it is the only plan which He ever will form for the salvation of 'men; it never will be changed for another.

Let us now examine what the Scriptures say concerning this de

1. · And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it (or he] shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel,' Gen. iii, 15. This passage of Scripture is particularly worthy of notice, inasmuch as it may be called the Vol. V.--July, 1834.

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cree.

formation of that unconditional and unchangeable purpose, concerning the salvation of men, to which reference is so frequently made in after ages of the world. It should be remarked also that this purpose was formed and announced to Adam immediately after he sinned, which was very near, or even at the foundation of the world. Remember this.

2. • And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing :-that in blessing I will bless thee, and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed,' Gen. xxii, 16-18. This is the same decree mentioned above: bere God informs Abraham, that in its fulfilment the way of salvation should be opened for the salvation of the whole world. The seed of Abraham is Christ : see 2 Tim. ii, 8; Psa. xxxiii, 11.

3. • Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain,' Acts ïi, 23. That is, Jesus Christ was not an impostor, as some of those Jews, to whom Peter was speaking, supposed, because He was crucified as a malefactor; but He was a man approved of God by miracles, signs, and wonders, which God did by Him; he having come into the world, according to God's previous knowledge of man's need of such a Savior, and His fixed determination that this Jesus should make His appearance among men for the purpose of opening the way for man's salvation.

4. • For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, (both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together,) for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done,' Acts iv, 27, 28. God anointed Jesus Christ after he came into the world to do what He determined before (see texts 1, 2, supra,) either Christ or those Jews were born He should do, to open the way for the salvation of sinners; and against Christ, anointed for this purpose, Herod, and Pilate, with the Gentiles and Jews, were gathered together. So the French version of this text:- Car en effet, Herode et Ponce Pilote, avec les Gentils et le peuple d'Israel, se sont assembles contre ton saint Fils Jesus, que tu as oint Pour fair toutes les choses que ta main et ton conseil avoient auparavant determine devoir etre faites.' And this, without doubt, is the true meaning. See Rev. iii, 25.

5. For whom He did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, Rom. viii, 29. To know, in the Scriptures, frequently signifies simply to approve, to be favorably disposed toward one. But he knoweth [approveth] the way that I take,' Job xxiii, 10. For the Lord knoweth (approveth] the way of the righteous,' Psa. i, 6. • Then will I profess unto them, I never knew [approved of] you,' Matt. vii, 23.

Now to understand the meaning of this text, we should observe that the apostle is speaking in this chapter of the whole creation, or Gentile world, together with the Jews ; see verse 22, and chap. ix, 25. These Gentiles were such as the Jews thought God never designed to save, or embrace in the covenant of redemption ; see Acts xi, 2-18.

But the apostle, after showing, as we read in chap. ii, 14, 23, 24, and iïi, 9, 10, 23, that all had sinned, both Jews and Gentiles, comes to the conclusion which we find in chap. iii, 29, and viii, 19, 22, and shows that all stood in the same need of a Savior; and all of them, who were saved, must be justified in one and the same way ; chap. iii, 22. And not only so, but these Gentiles were the very

characters who were known before of God as needing a Savior, and toward whom He was previously disposed to extend His favor in the gift of His Son ; see 2 Cor. v, 14, 15. And this is the mystery so frequently mentioned by this apostle ; see Rom. xvi, 25; Eph. i, 9; Col. i, 26, 27.

Hence those whom God foreknew, in the above sense, He did predestinate, ouppóppous, conformable to the image of His Son; that is, God did determine that such should be brought into a state of salvation—a state in which they might be justified and saved : for without such a' foreknowledge and predetermination on the part of God, though these Gentiles might have existed in this world as they did, yet their salvation could not have been within the bounds of a mere possibility. But according to the ωρισμένη βουλή και προγνώσει του Θεού, predetermined counsel and foreknowledge of God, mentioned in the 1st, 2d, 3d, and 4th texts supra, those very nations were brought into such a relation to the Divine Being as rendered it possible and consistent for them to be called and saved, as well as the Jews ; see Rom. iii, 22. Even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ, unto all and upon all them that believe ; for there is no difference.' • Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles,' Rom. ix, 24. Hence the apostle proceeds from the 29th verse of the viiith chap. to its close, to show the validity of that call, in the acceptance of which the Gentiles were justified, and became the adopted children of God. They were also glorified ; 1 Pet. iv, 14. •For the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you.' Now that the apostle did not design to set forth the Calvinistic idea of the Divine prescience in this text, is most conclusively evident from this consideration alone; namely, he declares that all those whom God foreknew were justified and saved by God's decree. But God's foreknowledge extends equally and alike to all men. If, therefore, all are saved who were the objects of the Divine prescience, then it follows, as an undeniable consequence, that not one of the human family will be lost! Let him receive this saying who can.

I do not think, now, of but one objection, which any one would be likely to bring against the above exegesis ; and that is the sense which Professor Stuart puts on the verb yaváoxw. He, with Professor Tholuck, gives it the sense of volo, constituo mecum-I will, determine with myself; and hence says, it means to ordain, decree. So according to these learned professors the text should read something in this way: - For whom He did decree, He also did predestinate, conformable to His Son.' And Professor Stuart says, the sense of the passage is, • Those whom God determined from everlasting to save, He did at the same time predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son.' But what an unmeaning repetition is here! Could God determine the end, without including the means to secure that end, in the same decree ? Or, could He determine the means, and not include in that same determination the end to which those means should lead ? Observe again, the professor says, “Those whom God determined to save ;'—those whom God determined from everlasting to save,'-well; what of

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