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never yet has been, and never will be successful. Such attempts begin and end in darkness, uncertainty, and confusion. They have given rise to that Babel of prophetical expositions by which the religious world is now distracted. God's word increasingly understood, as the glorified mind of Jesus is increasingly bestowed on the members of His Church, will lead necessarily to the increased understanding of prophecy; and when God's word is understood completely, by means of the perfect bestowment of Christ's mind on His believing ones, then, but not till then, will the veil that previously overhangs prophecy more or less, be completely and for ever drawn aside.

Let not Mr. Biden think that in what precedes we have dealt with him harshly and groundlessly. So far from our feelings towards him being unkind, we love him dearly for the measure of Divine truth which appears to be in him. And almost certain we are, that should he live for ten years more, and continue during the interim to grow in the knowledge of the Scriptures, no man will then more sincerely concur with us in censuring his own errors than he himself will. In the meshes of an unscriptural system he is at present entangled. Out of it, our desire and fervent prayer are, that he may, as soon as possible, make his escape.

TRUTHS MAINTAINED.

A NEW EDITION, IN THE PRESS.

By JAMES BIDEN. Price 8s. Demy 8vo., cloth, lettered.

OPINIONS OF THE PRESS.

From the *

This is a collection of religious tracts, on points of doctrine and discipline, published with a view of improving religious opinions and feelings. The author is obviously impressed with a conviction of the necessity for his work, and writes with earnestness "to hasten forward a second and more complete reformation."

From "The Bucks Chronicle."

"Truths Maintained" is a volume consisting of some well-written articles on important subjects of a theological character. The author may entertain some peculiar notions-as what author does not? Nevertheless, his volume contains deep truths, which it is necessary for man to know. We have been much struck with his article on "Baptism," that "vexed question," on which so many books have been written, and very frequently to no purpose. The volume has our hearty commendation.

From "The British Banner."

This volume consists of a series of tracts on a variety of subjects, all more or less of an important character; among these are,-The Church of the Earth, the Kingdom of Heaven, the Priesthood, the Keys of the Kingdoin, Baptism, the Eucharist, Life and Death, and the Reformation. These several publications are pervaded by a good spirit, exhibiting strong common sense, a profound regard for the word of God, and an

earnest desire to know the truth. On such subjects there will, of course, be a variety of sentiment; but, if we mistake not, every enlightened and candid reader will concur with us in the general opinion thus pronounced.

From "The Era."

This volume contains nine tracts, bound up and offered in their aggregate form. The subject of these tracts is not very inviting to the general reader at the present time, being polemical theology. "Antichrist" is summarily declared to be neither more nor less than a false ecclesiastical system. "The Church on Earth," and "Kingdom of Heaven," are duly defined in pamphlets 2 and 3. "The Priesthood," and "The Keys," occupy pamphlets 4 and 5. "Baptism" and "The Eucharist" are explained in the two succeeding tracts; and, in No. 8, "Life" is described as union with God, and "Death" as separation from God, which is very much after the manner of Professor Maurice. In the last tract a new Reformation is proposed, some details of which we will append to this notice. Mr. Biden is an earnest man, and writes as if he was sure of his anticipations being fulfilled, they leading him to announce a coming restoration of peace to Christendom, when all our present ecclesiastical differences shall be smoothed down, like a newly-ironed shirt-front. Has our author forgotten that Voltaire described us as a nation with one sauce and a hundred religions? We may have since then multiplied our sauces a little, but our religious separations remain as numerous and hostile as ever. In the late religious census thirty-five recognised "denominations" are set down, and the "wheels within wheels," the sub-divisions of each party, are infinitesimal. Mr. Biden's arguments will never hush the strife of these divisions, nor bring to one level the abounding inequalities of "Church-parties;" but he is sanguine, and we respect his faith.

NO ETERNAL PUNISHMENT.

"The non-elect, and all who have not given their heart's affections to God, are dead-are under the dominion of death and hell. Death and hell are relative and synonymous terms, and signify a condition of the soul separated from God. This condition is limited to earth. The living God is the Saviour of all men, especially of those who believe.' The believers are saved here, and the non-believers hereafter. As the compound-being, man, is subject to sin and death, so that 'all in Adam die;' so when the union of the two natures are (sic!) determined, the spotted garment of the flesh is cast off, and the spirit returned to God who gave it, then it lives; and thus all in Christ or God shall be made alive.' When the animal ceases to be, the carnal ceases to reign; when humanity is changed for pure angelic life, the affections can be no longer divorced from God; and thus God will be all in all.' (1 Cor. xv. 28.) 'God is love.' His government on earth is based on love. The everlasting fire decreed against the wicked is a fire of inextinguishable love," &c.

The reader will recognise in all this, not exactly the demonstration of a second Luther, but merely a repetition of Professor Maurice's views, which we infinitely prefer in the professor's own language. Mr. Biden is a strong opponent of all dogmatism. No man, however, was ever more dogmatic than himself. How the new Reformation is to be effected is thus given in

MR. BIDEN'S ULTIMATUM.

"That a change must be entered upon is certain. God has decreed the overthrow of the clergy-church, and England is apparently the

G

honoured land to lead the way in this result. The sooner the change be set about, the sooner will Englishmen be walking in the path of duty."

This may be so; but our author is daring in his announcements beyond his depth as a theologian or prophet.

From "The Weekly Times."

The opening words of the author are that his book "claims the distinction of unfolding some of the mysteries of Scripture:" and as there are many things in the Bible shrouded in very figurative language, Mr. Biden, in a most pious spirit, seeks to reveal them to us in eight tracts of greater or less length, concluding with a prophetic paper, headed "Reformation," the effect of which is to hasten forward a religious movement in which Protestant nations, by supplanting absolutism and tyranny by justice and judgment, are to take the lead, and by the aid of increased knowledge, "diffuse a light into the darkest corners of the earth." Of Mr. Biden and his doctrines we know nothing but from the book before us, which shows him to be, if not godless, at least churchless. What the clergy will think of him and his ideas is a difficult matter for us to determine. His first treatise maintains that Antichrist is not, according to orthodox belief, atheistic anarchy, but a "clergy-church;" for if we understand Mr. Biden properly, Antichrist is the perversion of the truths of Christianity to establish claims-that is, claims to a priesthood. In the same boldness of speaking and freedom of thinking he goes through his other treatises. In the second he is against all ecclesiastical ordinances. In the third he interprets the term "kingdom of heaven," and its two meanings, the nominal and the spiritual kingdoms, asserting that the first of these is not, as clerical divines teach us, the Church, but the spiritually baptised. In the fourth he repudiates clergymen altogether, as foreign to Christianity. In the fifth he deprives the ministry of their prerogative-what is called in ecclesiastical language "the keys of the kingdom of heaven." In the sixth he is dialectical, and rather puzzling in his distinctions about baptism. All that we can clearly gather is, that there is no hope of salvation for us, seeing, according to our author, that we were unscripturally baptised as infants, and that having godfathers and a godmother is a fictitious faith. In the seventh he instructs the clergy about the Eucharist, telling them that it is a completed, and not, as they believe, a propitiatory sacrifice. Eighthly, and lastly, reaching a climax of sublimity (or absurdity), he is quite heterodoxical about life, death, and a hereafter,--so much so that, were we to repeat his notions, we might in all likelihood be hauled over the coals in Westminster Hall by Her Majesty's Attorney-General. Such are the outlines of doctrines expounded at length by Mr. Biden, in a thick octavo volume of some 400 pages. Were we to commend his book, as he himself has commended it, to "the calm consideration of all earnest-thinking men," we are inclined to think that the majority of 66 'earnest-thinking men" among our readers would "Pooh! Pooh !" his notions, and reverse the title of his book, which, instead of "Truth Maintained," they would christen "Falsehoods Asserted;" nay, more, becoming for the moment converts to his creed, (as he is averse to infant baptism,) baptise him in his manhood, by changing his patronymic name of "Biden" into "Firebrand."

From "The Primitive Standard."

Some of the views advocated by the author will scarcely bear a rigid investigation-they are not either orthodox or scriptural. But, on the other hand, much that he says is distinguished by sound learning, cool reasoning, and practical purpose. He is not a Puseyite, still less a Papist; but positively to define what he is, is another matter. He encounters a writer in the "Journal of Sacred Literature," who maintains the notion that the Anti-Christ mentioned in the Revelation, is Atheism; and if the demolition of an opponent's arguments necessarily involved the establishment of other opinions, we should admit that our author had proved his positions. That he does pretty fully overthrow the dogma of the writer in the aforesaid journal, we candidly avow; but, nevertheless, he by no means satisfies us that his own theory is true. Like most writers on prophecy, he mounts the Bible as a rostrum, and proceeds at once to pronounce prognostications of his own, very dogmatically. Would that "things hard to be understood" were not still so generally "wrested," by men of all sorts of minds and abilities. Did space permit, we might exhibit specimens of both very good writing, and very doubtful reasoning. On the whole, we may say, the work before us will interest men of leisure, who have a taste for scanning every novel interpretation of Scripture; but its adaptation for extensive practical usefulness, we regret we have to deny.

From The Local Preacher's Magazine."

The author calls himself a member of the Church of England. In a former work, published by him under the designation of "The True Church," he says "I am a sincere member of the National Church. From old associations, and from long attendance upon her services, I am truly attached to her. I am not a defender of her faults; I delight in her communion and in her liturgy. Her form of prayer I think stamped with the Divine seal." In the volume before us that connexion is not repudiated.

Truly this "Church of England" must be a great net, including fishes of all kinds, without any discriminating power of selecting the good from the bad, and throwing the latter away. Some of these said fishes are rather of a slippery description, so that it would be difficult to put forth the hand and catch them by the tail, to determine whether they are good or bad.

We think there would be quite as much propriety in G. J. Holyoake and Nicholas Wiseman calling themselves members of the National Church, as the author of "Truths Maintained." Not that we desire to institute any comparison between him and either of those gentlemen; but he as decidedly ignores her doctrines and sets aside her formularies as they do. We are not, however, disposed to battle for the Church, or snatch from her pale one who attempts to prove that "a clergy-church is Antichrist;" that "a separated ministry, as a communicating, mediating, absolving body, is wholly foreign to true Christianity. The law contained in ordinances was abolished by Christ; and all who, through love to God, seek union with God, are kings and priests unto God. To pretend to convey the Holy Ghost, whereby a ghostly power is communicated to others through a ministerial act, is highly sinful and

sacrilegious." On these subjects, as also in reference to his yiews on baptism, and the Lord's Supper, &c., we agree with him in opposition to the creed of the Church of which he professes to be a member; but when he advances into subjects evidently "too high for him," and assumes to be "wise above that which is written," attempting to be more merciful than God, putting out the fires which "never can be quenched," describing Satan as a mere "personification necessarily allied to man's nature as a compound being," we beg to part company with Mr. Biden, and shall stick to the old book, exclaiming with Dr. Watts

"Could all the forms which men devise

Assault my faith with treacherous art,
I'd call them vanity and lies,

And bind the Bible to my heart."

We deeply regret that a mind which has evidently been moving toward the light, and obtaining emancipation from the thraldom of clericism and mere ecclesiastical policy, should be so influenced by the glare of false liberality as to adopt the semi-infidelity of universalists; and yet this is unmistakably the fact in reference to this author. Here is a bold avowal of his opinions, and, after stating them, he has the temerity to say, "Having arrived at these conclusions, which admit of no gainsaying, and they being the opposites of the doctrines taught in Christendom, it becomes imperative that a change be entered upon;". and of course he anticipates their speedy and universal adoption. But we rejoice in the assurance contained in the language of inspiration,— "The foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men," and have no fears as to the result.

From "The Clerical Journal."

Mr. Biden is a layman, who, having taken considerable pains to make himself acquainted with the theological strifes of our time, and conceiving that he may have himself a word to say worth listening to with respect to them, has committed his thoughts to the press in the present volume. The work consists of a series of papers on the following important subjects:-namely, "The Antichrist," "The Church on Earth," "The Kingdom of Heaven," "Priesthood," "The Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven," "Baptism," "The Eucharist," "Life and Death," concluding with a chapter on "Reformation." In his first paper the author undertakes to show, in opposition to a writer in the "Journal of Sacred Literature," that the Antichrist is "not atheistic anarchy, but a false ecclesiastical system." Most Protestants will agree with him in this; and will hasten, as he does, to recognise in the Papacy such false ecclesiastical system. The second paper is intended "to show that the Church on earth is not a body having an ecclesiastical organisation, but is composed of members of Christ's body in spiritual union, irrespective of a clergy order." The author conceives that it is in consequence of wrong notions on this subject being prevalent, especially among High Churchmen, that false views get to be entertained with respect to the person and office of Christ, the sacraments, and other vital points of religion. The subsequent papers are written chiefly from this point of view, and their nature may be sufficiently gathered from the following:-"A separated ministry, as a communicating,

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