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mand and offspring of the times, because there is arising in the religious mind of evangelical Christendorn generally, a strong desire to know more of that form of holiness, or phase of religious experience, which was defended and exemplified with so much benignity, and illustrated by the radiance of so pure and useful a life as that of Madame Guyon. The thanks of the church are due to Professor Upham, for putting fairly within its reach, in other volumes by way of discussion and evolution, and in these by correspondence and exemplification, the most orderly and philosophical development of what he is pleased to call the Principles of Interior Life and the Life of Faith, which the world has perhaps ever yet known.
These Principles are by no means the natural cause of, or identical with, Antinomian Perfectionism; although we are well aware that the wide-spread but erroneous imputation of their consanguinity is a mill-stone which many, ignorantly perhaps, would like to hang upon the neck of truth, in order to drown it and its adherents in the depths of the sea. This, however, need not prevent one's attempting what we are impelled to as a simple offering of gratitude, juvenca votiva, for the benefit derived from the recent perusal of these volumes; which, though like every human work, they be far from perfect, or the character they exhibit a faultless one, we can on the whole heartily commend, and, as the Italians say, con amore, that is, with the earnest and particular good-will which we dare say many others will feel who shall be attracted to read the same.
Nor is this work only to be read, but it should be re-read and studied for two reasons, either as containing a fund of practical truth not found in “such a questionable shape,” in our common theological and religious writings; which it is highly important, therefore, for the public teacher and private Christian to be in possession of,—or it is to be most carefully examined and subjected to unequivocal tests, as containing subtle and recondite but attractive errors, that, in their inculcation, will be widely disastrous to the church and to the highest interests of humanity as involved in the church. In either view it is of very great consequence that the important truths wrapped up in Mysticism, Quietism, Pure Love, or Perfectionism so called, should be carefully unfolded, and the fossil remains and leaves of error taken away that have been laid between and around them, like the larminæ of strange matter often found interposed between geological strata.
It is but fair that the church should be having all the benefit both of the new light and the old light that has been struck out of the Rock of Truth, by the flint of experience upon religious doctrines and duties. Nor need we be frightened by the old bugbear howl of heresy from looking into quarters that seem suspicious in our search after truth. Nor because a doc
trine has gathered the damp moss of age and become a little musty, are we therefore to reject it, any more than we are another, simply because it looks novel, uncouth and raw. Nor because a good truth has got a bad name by having been sometimes in bad company are we therefore to be afraid of espousing it, any more than we are to be slavishly prone to adopt another truth merely on the ground of its having illustrious defenders. The proverb has a slavish and ill grace that says, "I would rather be wrong with a Prince or a Solomon, than right with a peasant or a fool." Yet such is practically the servile unreflecting deference to authorities, even in theology, that there are many who will not even give a hearing to truth, unless it come under the auspices of some acknowledged leader of a religious school, or nestling under the wing of one of the great champions of orthodoxy, or in the shade of some clarum et venerabile nomen of antiquity.
But the words of the satirist hold good, and they constitute a good motto for independent minds.
The truth is truth, though private men declare it,
And falsehood's falsehood, though a council swear it.
We hold it just as possible now as ever, for new ideas to be started in theology, and original views of religious experience; and that, too, away from the schools, and without the cognizance of the Rabbis. It is as true at this day as it was in the time of the noble Puritan who said it," the Lord has more truth yet to break forth out of His holy Word ;" and a truth is no more a truth nor any better, for being born into the world by the aid of doctors and midwives, than if brought forth alone, and left so long to get its growth in the wild woods, that it has become shaggy.
It is these plebeian-born notions, in the hairy strength and rude dressings of nature, untrammeled by the schools, that have come up out of the wilderness from age to age and broke prison, for the human mind chained by the dogmas of false priests and philosophers, and started it on its grand cycles of improvement. The ideas that have revolutionized the church and world, have generally originated in the cells of obscure enthusiasts, or the necessity-sharpened wits of hard-pushed sons of labor, not in the cushioned and ottomaned studies of prime-ministers and Prelates, or Professors in Divinity schools. And Coleridge says, "It would not be difficult, by an unbroken chain of historic facts, to demonstrate that the most important changes in the commercial relations of the world had their origin in the closets and lonely walks of uninterested theorists;-that the mighty epochs of commerce, that have changed the face of empires; nay, the most important of those discoveries and improvements in the mechanic Statesman's Manual,
arts, which have numerically increased our population beyond what the wisest statesmen of Elizabeth's reign deemed possible, and again doubled this population virtually; had their origin not in the cabinets of statesmen, or in the practical insight of men of business, but in the closets of uninterested theorists, in the visions of recluse genius.”
So it is with those ideas of fraternity, association, and organization of labor, that are now agitating France and all Europe, and that are yet to be more thoroughly but peacefully discussed in the United States. They did not spring from the schools of philosophy, neither were they first believed in and thrust out upon their mission, by the chief priests and rulers. But it was in knots and clubs of common men and despised bands of associationists, whose rallying words are “Organization of Labor, " “ Liberty with and through Order," that their life began. In like manner the views of religious experience, and the Life of Faith, and sanctification by faith, which are now, or should be, under discussion in the church, although as old, if they be true, as the Word of God, and properly originating there, yet did by no means commence in Divinity schools and under the auspices of Doctors, but in the thoughts and experience of common men and women meditating upon the Word and following the clue of their own fervent desires and realizings. It was not within the walls of renowned Oxfords and Sorbonnes, and the Harvards, that they first sprang to lite, although, to be sure, they have gone there to be matured and reduced to system. Have they not rather begun, like almost every thing good in the world, with “not many wise, not many mighty, not many noble," but in the conscious wants, and longings, and fulfilled aspirations of every day Christians. It is a very true remark that we have somewhere met with, that it seems to be a law of Providence that in society knowledge descends, but faith ascends, and is it not indeed so, as matter of fact, derivable frora history? While science, doubts, opinions, all ideas of the mere understanding, gravitate from the few to the many, on the other hand, affections, convictions, truths of the conscience and heart, the sentiments and principles of liberty, rise from the many to the few. Truths so derived from the many or the experienced among the many, having been first subjectively realized in the spirit's life of an individual or a community of individuals, are always mighty. And they are contagious, too, they spread, they contain what Lord Bacon calls an endless faculty of semination. Such truths become dear as life to a man; he will die for them, and he propagates them with an earnestness and enthusiasm, a self-impressing energy, that always puts life into and kindles others, and they again set fire to others, till the flame at length widens and rises like a conflagration through autumnal woods. So may it be, so will it be,
with all the truth in these volumes, that is Heaven-approved and consonant with the nature and wants of regenerated humanity.
It is very natural to remark at the outset that this book will affect different minds quite differently, according as they be of the sentimental and romantic cast, or of the discriminative reasoning kind, or of the merely impulsive sort, or the noble few that are steadily hungering and thirsting after righteousness, and calmly availing themselves of every avenue, and hint, and help to personal holiness. Some, doubtless, will derive great benefit from its perusal; others, it may be, injury. The pastor, we think, may learn from it that there are heights of Christian experience to which he ought to be leading the way for his people, that are very seldom climbed. Ministers in America are very good for bringing sinners to Christ, for clearing the way of obstructions to the atoning Saviour, and urging repentance, submission, and justifying faith ; none, perhaps, are better. But there we too commonly leave the church, or Christians once housed in it. Generally speaking, we give them little help afterward, but let them grope their way on alone, if they can, into green pastures of Christian experience and beside stili waters, and up the sides of the Delectable Mountains, sometimes, alas, into dry places, seeking rest but finding none, and cavernous dark mountains of sin. But this ought not so to be. Our ministries ought to be more edifying as well as awakening. They ought to result not merely in periodical conquests from the world, but in a richer experience and a riper holiness to the church. And for this there must be, on the part of the leaders of God's elect, a more intimate acquaintance with Christ as a sanctifying Saviour, a fuller appreciation of His power by faith, as the soul's wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, so that they could say subjectively with the apostle, For the Life was manifested, and we have known it, and bear witness, and show unto
that Eternal Life which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us. That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us. We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen of the good word of God, and the powers of the world to
It is, however, by no means dignified or a duty when a man has, suddenly or after long study and prayer, obtained some, to him, new and very precious subjective view of religious truth, forth with to blazon it to the world as a great discovery, and at once organize it into a system or an ism, as if the church had never been in possession of it before. It were certainly better, and more like the modesty of true genius,
to test it again and again by the Word of God and the analogy of faith in prayer, and thus to bathe one's self over and over in what may seem to the soul like the light of a new revelation, and then gradually to infuse it into one's preaching and writing, and impregnate with it all one says and does. This were like Calvin, like Edwards, like Chalmers, like all truly great yet innately modest and unconscious men of genius and men of God.
This book, we doubt not, will serve in its way like a pockettelescope to help many a Christian to new and clearer subjective views of Bible truth, especially that of sanctification by faith. It furnishes a very rare and most delightful instance to the praise of God's sovereign grace, of His taking one of “ His hidden ones” in the apostate church of Rome, and conducting her, through the discipline of faith in remarkable ways, to a height of holiness very rarely attained, and all the while permitting her to remain in the same corrupt communion. Now it is not Madame Guyon, or any theological system, Quietism, or what not, gathered out of her experience, that is to be so commended and held up for adoption, but it is the signal grace of Christ that is therein to be praised, who in a great variety of ways doth cut out and polish His jewels, that they may reflect His glory, not illustrate themselves. No one can safely take this case as a guide, but from its contemplation we may gather much instruction concerning the ways of God with man, and the nature and power of evangelical faith; always remembering the danger, which, perhaps, the editor of these volumes and almost every one that reads them approvingly is not sufficiently aware of, the danger of glorying in man rather than in God, and of forgetting that “there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are diversities of operations ; but it is the same God who worketh all and in all. For to one is given, by the Spirit, the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge, by the same Spirit; to another faith, by the same Spirit ; to another the gifts of healing, by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues. But all these worketh that one and the self same Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. And the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.”
Now, while the attempt to imitate, or seek after, or even to inculcate directly the phase of religion herein exhibited as natural gift of the severally dividing Spirit, will almost unavoidably lead to sentimentality, affectedness, and spiritual pride, on the other hand the seeking after Christ, like Madame Guyon, and a constant resort to Him as a sanctifying Saviour, is always safe, and will always be rewarded with grace and strength in the.