Obrazy na stronie

the word, and, anon, with joy re uncharitable, and presumptuous, to ceiveth it; yet hath he not root in claim the title of the gospel of Jesus himself, but dureth for a while : for Christ exclusively for any one of when tribulation or persecution them. It must, however, be evident ariseth because of the word, by and to every candid inquirer, that many by, he is offended."

of these schemes of doctrine are diaBut such unhappy instances, metrically opposed to each other ; while they admonish him that think and if one is right, the opposite to eth he standeth, to take heed lest he it is wrong. If one is the gospel fall, furnish no solid objection to plan of salvation, any other, which the work, as being, upon the whole, is fundamentally repugnant to it, a work of God, for which he is cannot be the doctrine of Jesus greatly to be praised, in the assem Christ. blies of his saints.

It would give us pleasure to be If these observations be just, then deemed candid and liberal; but we a revival of religion ought to be re adyocate Christian liberality alone; garded by every Christian congre and that we may have a conscience gation, as one of the richest of hea void of offence towards God and ven's blessings. The power of the man, we must clearly state, what Holy Ghost should be sought, by we apprehend to be the fundamenprayer and supplication, as the only tal doctrines of the only evangelical effectual agency, in the resuscita system; and what course of contion of souls that are dead in tres duct ought to be pursued in relation passes and sins. “Come from the

to all persons who publicly preach four winds, O breath of the Lord, any other gospel, in the name of and breathe upon the slain, that Christ. they may live!

In conformity with this arrange“ Thy ministers are sent in vain

ment, we shall, in the first place, To prophesy upon the slain;

show what the apostle John, speakIn vain they call, in vain they cry,

ing by divine authority, intended Till thine Almighty aid is nigh.

by this doctrine. He was a servant “But if thy Spirit deign to breathe,

of Jesus Christ, an apostle by his Life spreads through all the realms of commission, and a public minister death:

of his religion. By this doctrine, in Dry bones obey thy powerful voice; the words quoted, he evidently inThey move, they waken, they rejoice."

tended, the system of theology which W. N.

he preached, in conjunction with all his holy brethren in the ministerial

office. If there come unto you, the BRIEF DISCOURSES. NO. I.

elect lady and her children, any

preacher, professing to be a minisChristian Liberality.

ter of the religion of Jesus, and “If there come any unto you, and bring

bring not this doctrine, which I not this doctrine, receive him not into

write, and which I have preached, your house, neither bid him God speed: under the guidance of the Holy for he that biddeth him God speed, is par Ghost, receive him not. taker of his evil deeds.”-2 John, 10, 11. 1. It is an essential doctrine of

In the present day, there is a the gospel which John proclaimed, strong disposition, in many profess that there exists one God, the Faing Christians, to abandon the faith ther, Son, and Holy Ghost; and that once delivered to the saints, and he is a rewarder of them who diliadopt a universal fellowship in all gently seek him.

“ For there are theological systems; under the plea, three that bear record in heaven, that every man believes his own the Father, the Word, and the Holy theory to be correct; and that it is Ghost: and these three are one.”


If we say

“ You

1 John, v. 7. “ He that cometh to the truth is not in us. God must believe that he is, and that we have not sinned, we make that he is a rewarder of them that him a liar." 1 John, i. 8, 10. "There diligently seek him.” Heb. xi. 6. is none righteous, no, not one;":The Deity is one Mind, one un " therefore by the deeds of the law reated substance, in the essence of there shall no flesh be justified in which, there is a foundation for all his sight:"_" for all have sinned those tripersonal relations, opera and come short of the glory of God.” tions, and manifestations, of which Rom. ii. 10, 20, 23. we read in the holy scriptures. were dead in trespasses and sins; This God, from whose immutable wherein in time past ye walked acnature emanated the mediatorial cording to the course of this world, office, person and work; this God according to the prince of the power of justice, mercy, and redemption, of the air, the spirit that now work. is the only, living and true God, eth in the children of disobedience: who made, governs, and will judge among whom also we all had our mankind. The God of the Deist conversation in times past in the and Socinian, is not our Jehovah, lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the debut the idol of their imaginations. sires of the flesh and of the mind;

2. The deity and humanity of the and were by nature the children of mediatorial


Jesus Christ, is wrath.” Eph. ii. 1, 2, 3. an essential part of this doctrine, 4. It is another essential article which John inculcated. A consi of the gospel, that Jesus Christ was, derable portion of his writings is by the eternal counsel of the God. specially devoted to this all impor- head, constituted Mediator; and tant tenet. Jesus Christ he calls that in this office he obeyed the prethe Word; and affirms, that “the cepts of the law and suffered its Word was God;" and that “the penalty, in the place of sinners, so Word was made flesh, and dwelt as to complete a perfect righteousamong us, (and we beheld his glory, ness, for the justification, adoption, the glory as of the only begotten of

and ultimate salvation of his peothe Father,) full of grace and truth.” ple. The Redeemer, in the characJohn, i. 1-14. “ And we know that ter of wisdom, says, “ The Lord the Son of God is come, and hath possessed me in the beginning of given us an understanding, that we his way, before his works of old. I may know him that is true; and we was set up (or anointed to office) are in him that is true, even in his from everlasting,"_" and my deSon Jesus Christ. This is the true lights were with the sons of men.” God, and eternal life." 1 John, v. 20. Prov. viii. 22, 31. Hence he became He is at the same time called “ the “the Lord our righteousness," by man Christ Jesus." . 1 Tim. 2, 5. giving himself the just for the unRom. v. 15. His “goings forth have just, and bearing the sins of many. been from of old, from everlasting." Being now justified by his blood, Micah, v. 2.

we shall be saved from wrath 3. It is another position in this through him." “ Christ died for doctrine of John, that all moral God “hath made him to be agents, of the human race, have ac sin for us who knew no sin; that tually sinned, are depraved in their we might be made the righteousness nature; are unable to obtain justifi

of God in him.”

« Of him are ye cation by their own actions; and in Christ Jesus, who of God is made are, in their natural state, under a unto us wisdom, righteousness, and sentence of legal, spiritual, and eter- sanctification, and redemption.” nal death. “If we say that we have “ Neither is there'salvation in any no sin we deceive ourselves, and

other." Vol. I.



5. It is an equally essential doc also so to walk, even as he walktrine, that the agency of the Holy ed.” Without holiness no man shall Spirit, operating ordinarily through see the Lord. the instrumentality of the means of 7. Every truly sanctified person, grace, and especially through the

and only such a person, may

know, word of truth, is requisite for the that God elected him, before the conversion of a sinner; so that he foundation of the world, to everlastmay by faith receive Jesus Christ,

ing life, and he shall, after death, in his mediatorial office, for his Sa be received in spirit, and after the viour; and in the moment of rege resurrection, in body and in spirit neration be adopted and justified, both, into heaven, where he shall according to the harmony of the be perfectly blessed in the full enmercy and justice of Jehovah. “Ye joyment of God to all eternity: but must be born again.” “Except a every person who departs this life man be born again he cannot see without having been regenerated, the kingdom of heaven.” « Of his adopted, justified, and sanctified in own will begat he us with the word part, shall, after death, become perof truth." Being born again, not fectly miserable in spirit; and after of corruptible seed, but of incorrup the resurrection and general judgtible, by the word of God, which ment, in body and in spirit both, liveth and abideth for ever.” “Sanc shall be cast into hell, where the tify them through thy truth; thy worm dieth not and the fire is not word is truth." - Whosoever be quenched. These are fundamental lieveth that Jesus is the Christ is doctrines of Christianity. “He hath born of God.” “ He that hath the chosen us in him before the foundaSon hath life." "I will never for tion of the world, that we should be get thy precepts: for with them holy:

-having predestinated us unto thou hast quickened me." Psalm the adoption of children by Jesus cxix. 93. Men must experience re Christ to himself, according to the generating influence, so as to be con good pleasure of his will :-in whom verted, have new hearts, become new also we have obtained an inhericreatures, pass from spiritual death tance, being predestinated accordto spiritual life, and be made par- ing to the purpose of him who worktakers of the divine nature.

eth all things according to the coun6. Sanctification, or holiness of sel of his own will.” Eph. i. 4—11. soul and life, is the only sufficient Hereby know we that we dwell in proof of any person's being saving-him, and he in us, because he hath

united to Jesus Christ for eternal given us of his Spirit.” 1 John, iv. life. “He that doeth good is of 13. “ The Son quickeneth whom God." * Every one that doeth he will :-he that heareth

my word, righteousness is born of him.” and believeth on him that sent me, “Every man that hath this hope in hath everlasting life, and shall not him purifieth himself, even as he is come into condemnation ; but is pure.”

“ Whosoever doeth not passed from death unto life.” “ The righteousness is not of God, neither hour is coming, and now is, when he that loveth not his brother.” “If the dead shall hear the voice of the any man be in Christ Jesus he is a Son of God: and they that hear shall new creature.'

“ He that saith, I live.” “I am the resurrection and know him, and keepeth not his com the life: he that believeth in me, mandments, is a liar, and the truth though he were dead, yet shall he is not in him. But whoso keepeth live; and whosoever liveth and behis word, in him verily is the love lieveth in me shall never die.” of God perfected: hereby know we To-day shalt thou be with me in that we are in him. He that saith Paradise.” « To die is gain.” “I he abideth in him, ought himself am in a strait betwixt two, having a

desire to depart, and to be with to be his heralds, nor invested them Christ; which is far better.” “ The with the ministry of reconciliation. Lord Jesus shall be revealed from

2. We ought to maintain, that heaven with his mighty angels, in their ministrations of the ordinances flaming fire, taking vengeance on of the New Testament, when they them that know not God, and that are publicly known to preach anoobey not the gospel of our Lord Je ther gospel, are all invalid. No one sus Christ; who shall be punished but a minister of Christ has any with everlasting destruction from right to dispense the sacraments of the presence of the Lord, and from baptism and the Lord's supper; and the glory of his power; when he these teachers are not ministers of shall come to be glorified in his Christ. If those who are not to be saints, and to be admired in all publicly owned as gospel ministhem that believe.” “ The wicked

ters, attempt to do any ministerial shall be turned into hell.” “ These act in the name of Christ, we should shall go away into everlasting pun account the rites which they perishment: but the righteous into life form to be idle ceremonies. eternal.”

3. No Christian, who believes Every public preacher who does that

any man is a public teacher of not bring this scheme of doctrine, another system of doctrine than the must preach something else. one which the apostles held, ought

We now inquire, SECONDLY, what to hear such an one preach; for that is the duty of Christians in relation is calculated to encourage him. It to those PUBLIC INSTRUCTERS who is bidding him God speed; unless inculcate any other system, under it be distinctly understood, and pretence that it is the gospel. We nerally known, that we deny his must treat them in the manner in ministerial character, and hear him which John required the elect lady with an intention to refute his erand her children to treat all such

To receive him as a minister “deceivers ;" who confess not the of the gospel, exposes our fellow true Messiah, and abide not in the men to delusion, and renders us doctrine of Christ. We have a ge- partakers of his evil deeds. If we neral instruction, not to receive should wait on his ministering, it such persons into our house; and would naturally be inferred, by all not to say to them, by way of en who did not know our sentiments, couragement, “God speed you.” that we received him as a teacher It is in the character of ministers of of righteousness. Men who do not the gospel, that we are forbidden to know what the gospel of Christ is, receive them into our house; for if have the excuse of ignorance, for our enemy, and the enemy of Christ hearing Deistical, Socinian, and Anhunger, we may feed him, and show titrinitarian preachers; but profess

kind civility as a man. ing Christians, and especially ChrisThis is the spirit of the text. No tian ministers, should be careful not Christian ought to receive any man to sin against the injunction conas a minister of Christ, or to wish tained in the text. him success, through a divine bless In conclusion, we remark, 1st, ing on his labours, who teaches any That it is a fearful thing to preach other doctrinal system than the one a false system as the gospel ; 2dly, which the apostles inculcated. That every one who is now unde

1. We should not acknowledge cided, ought to ascertain, for the them to be ministers of Christ at guidance of his own conduct, what all; for this would be receiving the true system of theology is; 3dly, them, in an official character, to That indifference to the promulgawhich they have no scriptural claim. tion of false doctrine is criminal and Christ Jesus has neither called them dangerous; and 4thly, That every


him every

. We

one should seriously search his own sirable, that the pious of the preheart, that he may know whether sent


should have the opportuhe has cordially embraced the truth, nity of perusing, at least, the most so as to become interested in the important parts of it. A part of great salvation by the Son of God. what the Rev. William Greenhill If it is so important as has been re wrote in a preface to this work, as presented, not to countenance er applicable to the people of his day, roneous doctrine; it must be more is more pointedly appropriate to the important for every one to realize American churches in 1821. He the being and government of God; says, the deity of Jesus Christ; the de “ In these evil and perilous times, pravity, guilt and misery of man in God hath not left us without some his unrenewed estate; the fulness choice mercies. Our sins abound, and sufficiency of the great atone and his mercies superabound. If ment; the necessity and nature of the bottomless pit be open, and smoke regeneration; the work of sanctifi rise thence, to darken the air and cation

upon his own soul and life; obscure the way of the saints (Rev. and the certainty that heaven or ix. 2.), heaven also is opened (Rev. hell will be his own personal por xi. 19.), and here are lightnings, tion for ever. may

discounte and voices, to enlighten their spinance errorists; we may have a rits, and direct their paths.” It correct theory of religion; and yet, would be as a well in the valley of never apply the truth to our own Baca, to thousands, who love the hearts; never so believe as to feel good old ways of Zion, could we and act aright. 0! let us attend to add, in relation to our generation, this subject, before it is forever too “ Had ever any age such lightlate. Let us neither be lost through nings as we have? Did ever any heresy, nor damned in orthodoxy. speak since Christ and his apos

tles, as men now speak? We may

truly and safely say of our divines Sheppard's Sincere Convert: disco and writers, The voice of God, and

vering the small Number of True not of man; such abundance of the Believers, and the great Difficulty Spirit hath God poured into some of Saving Conversion: abridged. men, that it is not they, but the

Spirit of the Father that speaks in PREFACE TO THIS ABRIDGMENT.

them." The author of the work, which I Mr. Greenhill proceeds to praise design to abridge, was the Rev. the treatises which were published Thomas Sheppard, the faithful pas. in the age of the fathers of New tor of the church of Christ in Cam- England, because they were full of bridge, in Massachusetts. During searching, precious, soul-comforting his lifetime, his name was

as oint

and soul-improving truths, which ment poured forth,” both in Old and discovered and prevented dangerNew England; and the savour of it ous errors, and distinguished “ true continues to this day, among the grace from all seemings.” He then friends of evangelical religion. He asks, wrote the works, entitled, the “ Shall we, that abound in truths, “ Saint's Jewel,” and “ The Sound be penurious in praises ? Consider, Believer," and a commentary on reader, whether spiritual truths be “ The Parable of the Ten Virgins.” not worthy of thy choicest praises.

The Sincere Convert was, I be Every divine truth is one of God's lieve, last published in 1657; and eternal thoughts: it is heaven-born, has, consequently, in the lapse of and bears the image of God. Truth one hundred and sixty-four years, is the glory of the sacred Trinity: become a scarce book. It seems de Hence the Spirit is called truth (1

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