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NEW EVANGELICAL MAGAZINE,
MEMOIR OF THE LATE REV. DAN TAYLOR.
[Concluded from page 37.] HAVING already furnished our | Several of his productions are readers with some account of Mr. nevertheless considerably elaboTaylor's personal history to the rated, and ought not to be overperiod of his removal to the metro- looked in a Memoir of their author. polis, and of the steps which led We formerly remarked (p. 33.) to that event, we now resume the that there have been few contronarrative, which must, however, in versies in our days, among the a great measure, be restricted to a dissenters, in which we cannot trace review of his writings : and of the pen of Mr. Dan Taylor, and it these, our limits will permit us to may be worth while, before we pronotice only a few of the more im- ceed further, to particularise some portant productions of his pen. of these. Thus for instance, beWe have before us, a list of his fore he removed from Yorkshire, publications, extending to thirty he published a Shilling pamphlet, seven distinct articles, several of entitled “ The Scriptural account which have been reprinted, and of the way of Salvation,”-in reone in particular, viz. “A Cate-futation of a Sermon, by the Rev. chism, or Instructions for Chil- W. Graham, M. A. entitled “Redren and Youth, in the funda- pentance the only condition of mental doctrines of Christianity,” final acceptance." Not long after has gone through ninė editions. his settlement in London, he pubHis “Compendious View of the lished “ An Essay on Christian nature and importance of Christian Baptism, in which the meaning of Baptism," has also gone through the original word, the customs of seven editions. In our opinion, the Jews, and the sentiments of they are both of them very useful the ancient Fathers respecting that tracts and well merit the extensive ordinance are impartially considercirculation which they have met ed-with two Letters to Dr. with. It can scarcely be necessary, Addington on the subject and however, for us to remark, that a mode of Baptism." large proportion of our author's phlet was evidently occasioned by pieces are small tracts, such as, one then recently published by Dr. Single Sermons occasioned by the Addington under the title of "The death of a friend, or some signal Christian Minister's reasons for event in Providence of which it baptizing infants"-a piece which was thought expedient to attempt was also ably answered by the an improvement; and fugitive late Dr. Samuel Stennett of Little pieces excited by local controversy. Wild Street. In the controversy
on Free Communion, Mr. Taylor revised and enlarged them, and took up his pen in opposition to published them under the title of that practice and laid his thoughts - The Reality and Efficacy of before the public in a small piece, Divine Grace, with the certain entitled “ Candidus examined with success of Christ's sufferings, on candour, on Free Communion.”- behalf of all who are finally saved : The writer whom, in this in- Considered in a Series of Letters stance, he animadverted, was pro. to the Rev. Andrew Fuller, conbably Mr. D. Turner, of Abing- taining Remarks upon the Obserdon, near Oxford. We next trace vations of the Rev. Dan Taylor, on him, defending the practice of Mr. Fuller's Reply to Philan
Singing in the public worship of thropos.” BY AGNostos. Our God,” in opposition to the Rev. author terminated this protracted Gilbert Boyce, who had issued controversy by a small piece under from the press a tract of impugning the title of “ The Friendly Con. that delightful exercise. Mr. Tay- clusion occasioned by the Letters lor's defence was entitled, "A of Agnostos to the Rev. Andrew Dissertation on Singing in the Fuller, respecting the extent of our worship of God, &c,” which was Saviour's Death, and other subfollowed by “ A Second Disserta- jects connected with that doctrine, tion, &c. in defence of the for- In four Letters to a friend.” mer." But waving any further This controversy led the dispu. account of these slighter skirmishes tants to discuss the chief points in his polemical warfare, we are which are at issue between the now brought to notice his contro- General and the Particular Bapa versy with the late Mr. Fuller, tists; and though to enter upon a respecting the extent of the death Review of it in this place would of Christ, on which he published oblige us to extend the article to three separate pamphlets the an inconvenient length, yet, con. first was entitled “Observations sidering it was the most imporon Mr. Fuller's-Gospel worthy tant controversy in which Mr. of all acceptation; in nine Letters Taylor was ever engaged, we canto a Friend.” By Philanthropos. not in justice to his memory disThis was very ably answered by miss it without subjoining a few the late Secretary to the Baptist remarks upon it which we remenMission, in " A Defence of a Trea- | ber to have met with from the
pen tise entitled, The Gospel of Christ of a cotemporary writer. worthy of all acceptation: con- - " It must be acknowledged, says taining a Reply to Mr. Button's the writer referred to, that, conRemarks and the OBSERVATIONS trary to the spirit of most contro-' of PHILANTHROPos.” In answer versialists, who seek to widen the to this, Mr. Taylor published breach rather than to heal it, there “Observations on the Rev. Andrew was a disposition on both sides to Fuller's Reply - to Philanthropos, approximate, and to sink the minor &c. in thirteen Letters to a friend.” differences between them. Mr. This second pamphlet gave rise to Taylor had no wish to controvert another on the part of Mr. Fuller, the doctrine of election, of divine though he thought it expedient in decrees, or of final perseverance, this instance not to appear in pro- nor even to deny the speciality of pria persona! We learn from Dr. design in the death of Christ, with Ryland's Life of Fuller, lately pub- respect to those who are finally lished, that the latter drew up a saved; provided his opponent series of Remarks on Mr. Taylor's would admit that provision was second pamphlet and transmitted made for all, and that no insuper. them to the Doctor, who probably able impediment arising from moral
impotence should be placed in the tained on these subjects, which way of man's salvation. Mr. ought to obstruct the most cordial Fuller on his part was also willing affection and harmony among real to concede the universality of the Christians.” death of Christ, the general indi- Besides the controversies to rect influences of the Holy Spirit, which we have already adverted, and regeneration by the word; there were others in which the provided his opponent would ad subject of this Memoir took a mit of divine agency, and that the part. At the time when the Unidifference made in the state of a versal restoration scheme was the sinner by his conversion is to be object of general discussion, he ascribed to free and effectual grace. preached and published a Sermon This reciprocal disposition is highly on the Eternity of future punishamiable; and discovers, not an ment, which drew forth a Reply undervaluation, but a just discri- from Mr. Winchester; but Mr. mination of the comparative im- Taylor defended his former pamportance of Christian principles. phlet in “ Six Letters to the Rev. Among the temperate and well in G. B.” by whom he appears to formed, who are fully aware of the have been stimulated to the underdifficulties attending each hypo- taking. “ You have thought it thesis, there can scarcely be a proper” says Mr. T. to his friend, moment's hesitation in admitting, in his first letter,“ strongly to ex that the points in which these two press your wishes, that I would good men were agreed are of infi- write a reply to Mr. Winchester, nitely higher moment than those and to ask 'Why won't you? On in which they differ, whatever be this occasion I am not unwilling to their supposed magnitude; and open my mind, and to speak freely. that upon either system, the foun- I have not much leisure, and my dation of human hope remains disinclination to controversy is unshaken. Nor is there any thing very great. My heart is too ready in the contrariety of views enter- to grow barren without the dry
* Morris's Memoirs of Mr. Andrew Fuller, p. 239. On this quotation, though agreeing in much that it contains, we are tempted to offer a remark or two.
We willingly admit that there is a difficulty in reconciling the doctrine of particular redemption with the universal calls and invitations of the Gospel-the speciality of design in the death of Christ with the duty of every sinner who hears the gospel to believe it. But the difficulty is not greater than to comprehend how Three distinct personal substances can be one God. The truth is, that though both these things are undeniably taught in scripture, the Spirit of inspiration has not condescended to solve the difficulty in either instance; and to reject the doctrines on that account, is highly presumptuous and criminal. To us it has always appeared that there are two, and only two, points respecting this controversy which are worth contending for. The first regards the character of God~" Is He sovereign in dispensing the blessings of his grace to the fallen race of Adam :"_for, a Deity
divested of sovereignty, is the greatest absurdity conceivable by the human mind! The other point is, “ Do those who are saved, owe their salvation solely to the death of Christ, as its meritorious and procuring cause?” Let these two points be unequivocally admitted in the affirmative and the rest appears to us to be a strife of words. If Christ died alike for all the human race, as many in our days contend, it must then unavoidably follow, either that all mankind will be saved, or that those who inherit eternal life must owe their salvation to something else than Christ's death. Yet the scriptures deny both these positions ; for wbile, on the one hand, they affirm that the wicked shall go away into everlasting punishment,” Matt. xxv. 46, they assert with equal confidence that "Christ gives to his sheep, for whom he died, eternal life, and that they shall never perish,” John x. 15, 28. See also Rom. viii. 32–34. We remember that the founder of Methodism in this country, at one period of his life, appeared to hate the doctrine of divinę Sovereignty most cordially. “He could sooner be a Turk or an Infidel, than he could believe God was capable of giving grace to one and not to another !!! We hope the Arminians of the present day, and especially the General Baptists, very different views of the subject.
work of disputation, even when wards of eighty pages, every one of employed on the most important which is replete with the most im. subjects in the most practical portant admonitions, and persua. Besides, Mr. W.'s Re- sive exhortations to the
dis.. marks on my Discourse concern- charge of the high office with ing the Eternity of future Punish- which the young minister bad been ment, to speak in the softest lan- invested. If this Memoir should guage, appeared to me of such a fall under the inspection of any cast, as not to require a reply. ministers of the word, by whom On these accounts, when I had that admirable Charge has not yet read his remarks, I laid them aside, been perused, we beg leave, with not designing ever to give them a all becoming deference, most ear. second perusal.” Having, how- nestly to recommend it to their ever, yielded " to the judgment of attention; for if they have taken others, whom he considered much up the sacred vocation on scripwiser than himself,” he commences tural grounds, and are animated the task with the following very by the laudable wish of dischargjust observation, which we quote ing the various duties of the office with pleasure from the beginning with credit to themselves, the edifiof the second Letter. • It is cer- cation of others, and the glory of tainly very proper to consider the their great master in heaven, we importance of any subject on venture to affirm, that 'tis imposwhich our thoughts are employed. sible they can read it without profit. That all subjects are not of equal
Towards the close of the same importance will, I think, on all year (1786) in which the preceding bands be allowed. It is the part Charge was delivered, Mr. Taylor of a wise man to consider this; was again called upon to assist at and to proportion bis attention, as the ordination of the Rev. George nearly as may bė, to the weight of Birley, at St. Ives. On this occathe subject to which he attends; sion also he was appointed to dehe will otherwise be in danger of liver the Pastoral Charge, which collecting mere pebbles, and peg- he did from Rom. i. 9. "For God lecting pearls ; or in the language is my witness, whom I serve with of inspiration, he may be unhappy my spirit in the gospel of his Son, enough to sow the wind and that without ceasing, I make menreap the whirlwind.” p. 9. The tion of you always in my prayers." whole of these Letters are written This Charge was also printed, with urbanity and candour, nor together with a Sermon delivered can the praise of perspicuity and to the people by Mr. Robinson, of cogent reasoning be denied them. Cambridge, and though not so
We had occasion, in a preced elaborate a production as the one ing page, (See p. 17.) to mention we have above mentioned, it neveran Ordination Charge delivered by theless clearly indicates the same Mr. Taylor to one of his brethren masterly hand in the composition. in the ministry, (Mr. John Deacon We venture to lay before our reaof Leicester) and spoke of it, as ders an extract from
near the we still think it only deserved, as close of it, as a specimen of the being one of the very best we had ability and stirling good sense ever read. This Charge was con which pervade the whole. Having siderably amplified after it was remarked that if the Christian delivered from the pulpit; and in minister would serve God as the its published state may be regarded great apostle did, he must have his rather as a Dissertation on the spirit continually engaged in the duties of the Christian ministry work, Mr. Taylor thus proceedsthan a Sermon. It extends to up- “ It is true respecting the minis,