« PoprzedniaDalej »
and intending redemption and salvation for all men in general; secondly, God's commanding to preach, or offer it, to all in general, without exception. On these two mistaken grounds the Quakers, and the other heretics who in this point join with them against the word and churches of Christ, do ignorantly and falsely infer, that the benefit of the second Adam's obedience and righteousness is, in God's imputing and applying it, as extensive as was the disobedience and rebellion of the first, which, say they, was to all the posterity of Adam. The places of scripture from which they draw this their unscriptural inference are those of Paul, Rom. y. 18, “ Therefore, as by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” Heb. ii. 9, “ But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour, that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.”
The ground of these men's losing themselves in this controversy, is their using scriptures without reason, and reason without scripture; the which whoever doth, will be sure to run liimself and his followers into á labyrinth of dark and uncertain interpretations of the most plain text of scripture; whence come, most commonly, chimerical and enthusiastical notions, which are attended as really with a satanical energy, to deceive earthlyminded people, as the true word of God is at
tended with a divine energy and power, to teach and guide God's elect to the saving knowledge of God in Christ.
Here they seem, to the ignorant and unwary reader, to have scripture on their side, when opposing those who assert and defend the doctrine of particular election against these universalists, viz. those scriptures above quoted; in which God seems to have intended the redemption purchased by his Son for every individual son and daughter of Adam, and that because the term set down is universal.
But now, these men inhering in the bare letter of the scriptures, and laying aside the use of reason, the which they should make use of in distinguishing terms, they themselves, and their poor deluded proselytes, lose the true sense of the scriptures, never looking farther than the bare letter, never regarding whether they take the sense of the Spirit with them, yea or not.
And hence it is, that, with such unbridled licentiousness, some men do, with highest confidence, positively affirm, that the salvation of the gospel is purchased and intended for all and singular the posterity of the first Adam; and that an universal offer thereof is, accordingly, made to each man and woman. Whereas, indeed, when the judicious and unprejudiced reader joins scripture and sanctified reason together, accompanied with selfdenial, and sincere and hearty prayer to God's throne of grace, for the obtaining from God the
true sense of the scriptures so much boasted of, he will plainly see how egregiously they are mistaken in both the one and the other; for neither doth God intend the death of his Son for salvation to any of Adam's children, save those whom he elected, and from eternity chose in Christ; neither doth God make such an universal tender of it to all men as the Quakers rashly and boldly affirm he doth.
This lies on me to demonstrate and make good against these boasting universalists; the which, that I might do to the satisfaction of the judicious and unprejudiced reader, I shall propound my argument dilemma-wise, thus: The terms all, any, and every, on which they ground their unscriptural assertion, are to be taken either in an universal sense, intending every individual of mankind; or else they are to be taken in a limited and restrained sense, as intending some of all sorts, ranks, and degrees of men indifferently.
If, by the universal terms above named, some of all sorts, ranks, and degrees of men indifferently be to be understood, then the assertion of the adversaries is manifestly false, and consequently the doctrine of particular election is true.
If by those universal terms all men and women without exception be intended, as the adversaries will have it, then must I be allowed to demand of them, how any of Adam's children come to be damned?
For seeing that God willed that Christ should redeem all the children of Adam who fell by his transgression, I would fain know how any created power can effect the hindering, God of bringing about his own purpose, or frustrate the end and design of Christ in laying down his life; for undoubtedly if God should absolutely will and purpose the salvation of every individual son and daughter of Adam, it is not to be questioned, but that he being the ELSHADDAI, the mighty God, every way perfect and all sufficient, would find out ways and means to effect and bring about his own purpose, seeing that he works all things according to the counsel of his own most holy will, as Paul witnesseth, Ephes. i. 11.
It is in the work of regeneration as it is in the work of the first creation, God cloaths his word with a creating power; so that whenever, and wherever, he sends forth that creating voice of his mighty spirit, neither devil nor self, nor any other enemy or impediment, whether internal or external, shall ever be able to give any stop to his intended work; as the Lord himself tells his church by the prophet Isa. xliii. 13.
“Yea, before the day was, I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?" Whom God in justice and righteousness will damn and sentence to the flames of his deserved wrath for sin, who can rescue and save them? Whom God in sovereign mercy and grace purposeth to save and deliver, who can hinder or prevent him?
John x. 27. “My sheep,” saith the Lord Jesus, “ hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.
And I give unto them eternal life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father which gave them me, is stronger than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one."
Here, it is plain, that, from the invincible power of God and Christ, the certainty of the life, and salvation of the elect is inferred and proved.
That many of Adam's children are already in hell, and that many more will be lodged there, the scriptures affirm, and the Quakers cannot deny. How comes this to pass? seeing God, if we must believe the Quakers, designed a general redemption for all mankind, and that the Son of God laid down his life to ransom them from the curse and wrath of God, due for their sin. To say that God willed their salvation, but that their own obstinacy and wickedness hindered that his will should be accomplished on them, is, in effect, to say, that God did seriously and efficaciously will and purpose that all the children of Adam should be saved; but indeed the greatest part of Adam's posterity fell by the power of satan and their own rebellious will.
Now, whether to think or say, that either the power of the serpent, or the corruption in a sinner's nature can, or ever did, or shall, overturn