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Sis , J < m . 6 , 1825 . Xl |^ PYE SMI 5 PH , in his repl ^ to JLJ < Wv * Bakevreli , thus expresses himself : " Yet I solemnly remonstrate with Mr . B . for representing my statements as if they had referred to personal holiness 9 and the unchangeable
obligations of universal virtue , when they are in the plainest manner restricted to the single point of the j ustification of a sinner in the sight of God . If he is so unacquainted with the doctrines of religion as not to be aware of this broad distinction , if none of the books of his excellent ancestors
hive descended to him , which miglit have giv ^ n lain the information , and if he choose hot to take the trouble of a little research , he must exejise rny reminding him that the paragraphs from vvhich he has garbled his extracts , sufficiently declared it . " [ Mon . Repos . XIX . 738 . 1
This broad distinction in the doctrines of Dp " * Smith's religion is not so palpable to me as the learned gentlemari ' s expressions indicate it ought to be ; and I would request the favour of him to reply to the following four questions . These I have so worded
as to jjive him the least possible trouble ; indeed a simple affirmative or negative may suffice * The correspondence of Dr , Smith having been public , I hope this request from oiie \ tfho is personall y unknown to him is not a breach of established decorum : —
1 . Is the justification of a sinner in the sight off God determined by the unchangeable obligations of universal virtue ?
2 # Will those persons who most habitually attend to the obligations of universal virtue , and who acquire most personal holiness , be the justified before God ?
3 . Will any such persons be excluded from the justification before God ? 4 , Will those persons who have less habitually attended to the obligations , of universal virtue , and who Uave less personal holiness , be preferred and equallv justified before God ? * THOMAS GIBSON . ¦¦
] conduct ' , but -. ' . witii pleasurable ideas . Ajiejifotional spirit , when joined to a \ sound mind and cultivated understanding , is the source of such pure enjoy- * meat , that it may well ; be regarded as v one of the first and best of blessings . ]
Yet all religious fathers and mothers will allow that , in this department of education , the difficulties and the chances of failure are peculiarly great . What with enthusiasm . on the one - hand , and indifference on the other ;
and what between the opposite dangers of false refinement and revolting familiarity , and tobmjich or too little regard to the respective offices of reason and of the feelings in matters <> f } faith , a serious parent may well ^ be anxious respecting the event of a reli- ,
gums education . Meantime , it } s a blessing to be assured that an influence of this kind , if exerted with but a tolerable degree of rational earnestness , can hardly fail of having some
good effect upon the character . If it does not make a religious , it may a moral , being ; and reverence for the consistent example of a Christian parent may produce some portion of that effect on the heart and life which
we could wish owed its origin to a yet higher motive ^ Few sincere Christians , however , will like the idea of resting here . The grace and beauty of early character , which genuine personal religion alone can give , is too [ valuable a thing to be readily conceded ; nor can the most unsullied
renown make up for the want of that inheritance within , which will support the spirit of a man when the voice of applause is no more to him than the least murmur of the passing wind . , How earnestly then is it to be wished that parents had oftener the pleasure of seeing their children ' s minds not
only strengthened by just views and principles , but beautified by the presence of devotion ! Surely , if there be parents who think lightly of the , latter , pro \/ ided the former be secured , it should be enough to ask whether they are content with a kind of obedience from their own children which
is purely the offspring of a sense of duty , and has in it nothing grateful , nothing affectionate , nothing cheerful ? Do they not love to see the ardent mind and active hand evidently put ia action by the eager h < Jart ? If they do , then with what consistency can
Questions to Dr . J . Pye Smith . \ j
^— Thoughts on Religious Education . EVEJRY Christian parent must wish that religion should furnish his clnldt-en not merely with a rule of
VOL . XX , D
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1825, page 17, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2532/page/17/