« PreviousContinue »
wise so totally dissimilar from the language and sen. timents of our liturgy, articles, and homilies; that I have no doubt, but the best informed friends of the establishment, among those who are disposed to object to Calvinism, will be rather dissatisfied with them.
P. Div. last line. I hated him, (Esau) because • of the profligacy of his manners; but I loved Jacob, as being an admirer of virtue.' This is the opposite extreme to the statement of some Anticalvinists, who are Esau's advocates, and almost panegyrists, and Jacob's accusers ; and who interpret the passage exclusively of the posterity of the two bro thers. However that may be, the words of the apostle must not be forgotten. “When Rebecca “ also had conceived by one, even by our father “ Isaac; (for the children being not yet born, neither “ having done good or evil; that the purpose of “ God, according to election might stand, not of
works, but of him that calleth ;) it was said unto 66'her, the elder shall serve the younger.
Modern opposers, of personal election to eternal life, seem to have selected a more advantageous ground for the contest, in this instance at least, than Theodoret has done : and few of them will feel very grateful for his clumsy assistance, which tends to subvert their whole system.--God could foresee no good in Jacob, except as the effect of his renewing grace. P. Dv, l. 11.
"The grace, &c.' Provided men's
i Rom. ix. 10–12. 3. The grace of the Holy Spirit, which we received by baptism, has inflamed a desire in us towards God. Yol, iii, p. 40,
hearts be really inflamed with a desire towards God; a desire of his favour above all things, and of living to his glory; we have not the least objection to the supposition that this was communicated at baptism. But it does not appear, that the bulk of baptized persons, in our days at least, experience, or manifest, such an inflamed desire towards God:' nay, a vast majority consider every approach to it, as enthusiasm.
P. dv. 1. 14. · For if, &c." There is a reluctancy, a hesitation, and an indecision, in this acknowledgement of our fall in Adam, which is the .contrast of the open, perspicuous, and decided language of our articles and homilies on the same subject. It seems, this part of the divine conduct could not have been vindicated, unless God had also given us the gospel; which in that case is debt not grace. The conclusion is so incautiously worded, that it seems to favour universal salvation : and indeed several of these ancient fathers, whom the church, or its rulers, when approximating to popery, canonized with the title of saints, manifestly favoured that doctrine, or something very much like it.
P. dv. 1. 19. · Those, &c." "He chose us in Christ, before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy.”— He justified them by bap• tism.' “ Being justified by faith, we have peace ss with God.” “ Being justified freely by his grace,
s. For if it be true, as it is true, that in consequence of Adam's transgression, the whole race received the doom of death, it is manifest that the righteousness of the Saviour procures life for all men. Vol. ïïi.
P: 2 . Those, whose characters he foreknew, he predestinated • from the beginning: having predestinated them, he also called • them; then having called them, he justified them by baptism :
having justified, he glorified them, calling them sons, and giving them the grace of the Holy Spirit.'
through the redemption, that is in Christ Jesus.”
Being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved “ from wrath through him.” “ Ye are washed, ye
are sanctified, ye are justified, in the name of the “ Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”—" If
any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of “ God:” but “justified by baptism,' is not “accord
ing to the oracles of God.” Baptism, in adult believers, is, what circumcision was, “ the seal of the
righteousness of the faith, which they had, yet
being unbaptized.”—A subsequent similitude, comparing the divine prescience to a man's foreseeing, that a high spirited horse, would rush down a precipice with his rider, reduces the whole system of prophecy to a mere probable conjecture, instead of grounding it upon “ the determinate counsel and
foreknowledge of God,” according to the Scrip66 tures.” “ Declaring the end from the beginning, “ and from ancient times the things that are not yet
done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will “ do all my pleasure."! Now that which evidently denies the perfections of God, and runs counter to his word, needs no further answer. P. dvi. l. 19. All being, &c.'
* All being, &c.'? Here is a fair
• Acts ii. 23. Is. xlvi. 10.
''All being subject to the curses of the law, he submitted to • that death which was cursed by the law, that he might free all
statement of man's condition, as under the curse of the law; but it is connected with language, which implies the actual salvation of every human being.
P. Dvii. 1.. Neither, &c. The willingness then to good is from ourselves, and not, in any degree, from the Holy Spirit. This used to be called Pelagianism. The riches of virtue. How different from the language of the Scriptures! • Finding a readiness.' “ The preparations of the “ heart in man-is of the LORD.” « LORD, thou “ hast heard the desire of the humble; thou wilt
prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to “ hear.”? If God should wait, till men made their own hearts ready, to do what is good in his sight, before he gave them grace; their case would be hopeless. Like the river spoken of by the poet, it may be said of the disinclination of fallen men to what is spiritually good ;
· Labitur et labetur in omne volubilis ævum.'
" For it is God that worketh in us both to will and “ to do of his good pleasure.”
men from the curse, and give the promised blessing to all. • Vol. iii. p. 274.' 1. Neither the
grace of the Spirit is sufficient for those who . have not willingness; nor, on the other hand, can willingness, s without this grace, collect the riches of virtue. Vol. iii. p.
328." · Not that he forces those who are unwilling, but that finding a · readiness, he increases it by his grace. “ He called the good “ will of God, his good pleasure.” “ He wills that all men should “ be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth.” Vol. ij.
2 Ps. X, 17.
P. dvii. 1. 12. 'He suffered, &c.” Holy angels have a created nature : Adam had, when made in the image of God; and even the man Christ Jesus had the same. Did these want the same remedy as sinners do? Even the animal tribes, and indeed every being in the universe, has a created nature, God alone excepted. But only rational, responsible agents, who were condemned sinners, and depraved in heart, needed the remedy. A theologian, who writes thus at random, is a very unsuitable person to determine religious controversies; which require peculiar exactness, precision, and perspicuity of language. The general inattention to this, is one grand reason, why controversies are so seldom terminated in a satisfactory manner.
P. dvir. I. 15. • All men, &c.'? Why is it said, 'as it were a ransom?' The Scriptures do not use this hesitation. “ Who gave himself a ransom for “ all.”8-The last clause favours the actual salvation of all men.
P. Dvii. 1. 22. The devil, being created good, 'voluntarily fell into wickedness,' says Theodoret. But was not the case the same with Adam ?
Ву “ one man sin entered into the world, and death by
" 'He suffered for all; for whatever things have a created . nature, stood in need of this remedy. Vol. iii. p. 404.'
3. All men being under the power of death, he not being sab'ject to death, as God, for he has an immortal nature, por as 'man, for he had not committed sin, which causes death, gave • himself as it were a ransom, and freed all, men from its slayery. • Vol. iji. p. 471.'
3 i Tim. ii. 6.