Obrazy na stronie

vinistic, from their conformity to offer salvation to the sinners to the Calvinistic confessions of faith, whom they are revealed, they express he can affirm as truly as Dr. G. that no offers to those who have never the gospel which he preaches he heard these gracious declarations. neither received of man, neither was It is true, that these passages contaught it, as he thinks, but by the tain two commands to all sinners written revelation of Jesus Christ. who hear them; which they are Yet we widely differ on several bound upon the authority of God to important points, on which both

obey. All who hear are commandcannot be right. Our author's un ed to believe and to come to Christ. reasonable hue and cry against sys These duties would be binding on tems, metaphysics, philosophy, and them were no promises of salvation confessions of faith, are trivial annexed. These commands are to things, when compared with several be uttered in the name of God, by errors which are inculcated in this his ministers, indiscriminately to volume, and which, while they do all to whom they have the opportụnot, in our judgment, prove the nity of preaching the gospel. Every writer of them to be unrenewed, and man who is made acquainted with unworthy of the Christian ministry, the divine testimony ought to bewould, if received and followed to lieve each and every proposition their legitimate consequences, ba contained in it; and every man nish justice and Christianity from who hears the voice of the Son of the world.

man ought to come to him, in the For mastery it is not in our heart exercise of faith, love, submission to strive, on the present occasion, and universal obedience, because but we would wish to rectify the he is the lawful sovereign of manjudgment of the author, and expose kind, and Lord of the universe, his errors to those who


be fas Our obligations to obey him, depend cinated by his style, while they not on his mediatorial character,

seem to be struck with a certain office, or promises, but upon his undefined apprehensiveness of con right as the mighty God, and God sequences,” lest they should be with us, to command us, as the “led into conclusions injurious to creatures of his power, and the evangelical truth.” p. 4.

active, voluntary, intelligent subCommencing his arguments in jects of his moral government. As military style, our author deter the true God, Christ is entitled to mines to secure to himself in the that belief of every statement of his beginning some " central. point, revelation which he requires; and post and citadel in the Christian he would be entitled to our faith in field," p. 20. That the mediatorial his testimony on every subject, had Son of God offers salvation to sin. he never provided salvation for any ners, and commands them to accept

of our fallen race. of it, he deems such a central po

But to the cominands, believe and sition. “ This I say is the first come unto me, Christ has graciousprinciple of gospel truth known to ly annexed promises; which all man! Till I know this, I know no should duly consider. He promises thing." p. 25.

Where now to save ALL WHO BELIEVE; and to the words of God to support this give rest to ALL WHO COME UNTO position ? Believe on the Lord Jesus Now we seriously ask, Do Christ, and thou shalt be saved: these two passages contain an unCome unto me, and I will give you conditional offer to save every indirest. These are his proofs : but in vidual of the human race? In our our judgment they do not establish view, and we should think, in the his citadel. The word offers is not judgment of every candid examiner contained in them; and even if they of the scriptures, they contain sim



ply commands, to all who hear or ners, impenitent, unbelieving, and read them, to believe and come to hell-deserving, are invited, comChrist, and promises to save and manded, and even entreated by the give rest to all those, and those mediatorial Sovereign of the unionly, who obey the preceding com verse to repent, believe, come to mands. This, then, is the central him, seek him, and be reconciled to post afforded by these passages of God. They are at the same time, the Bible: that Christ as a king, as warned, that there is no other way God, the lawgiver of men, com of being saved from sin and hell, mands all men to whom his word and that they shall be damned if comes to believe whatever he states, they do not believe, come to Christ, and to come to him, in the way

of seek him, become reconciled to duty prescribed in his word ; pro God, and so obtain eternal life. On mising at the same time to give sal the other hand, the eternal purpose, vation and everlasting rest to all and the recorded promise of God, who obey him. This agrees with to save so many of these persons, the divine assertion in Hebrews v. commanded to obey, as shall be9, that Christ being made perfect, | lieve, are to be promulgated as exbecame the author of eternal salva tensively as the command to betion unto all them that obey him. lieve, and the threatening of damThat he has provided full and com nation to all who remain in unbeplete salvation for all other


lief. who do not obey him, in the exer Our author sometimes leaves his cise of faith, or with any kind of broad assertion, that the gospel is imperfect, but sincere obedience, an unconditional offer of Christ, to is the doctrine of the book under

save every

individual of mankind, review. It teaches, that the gospel and comes to such a restriction as consists in a general, unqualified that of all who hear the gospel.' offer of Christ to save every indi p. 30. “So far as your opportunividual of the human race.

To this ties reach, preach the gospel to we reply, that the gospel, whatever every

creature of them.”


41. that may be, has not been preached We thankfully acknowledge, that to every child of Adam; for it is a Christ has commanded his disciples notorious truth, that millions never according to their ability, to teach heard of Jesus and his salvation. all nations the truths of divine reBesides, we read, that he who be velation, and if they are ministers lieveth and is baptized shall be saved. of the word, to preach the gospel, Mark xvi. 16. This we can clearly so far as they have opportunity, to discern to be an offer, and a pro every creature; assuring each, that mise moreover, to save every one Christ promises to save all who bewho believeth, and who as an ex lieve, all who come to him with a pression of the practical nature of desire to be saved from sin and its his faith, is baptized; but it wears punishment; and that whosoever nothing of the appearance of an will, may come, with certainty that unconditional offer to save all man the gift of perfect salvation will not kind; and we have not found in the be withheld from him. Him that Bible


offer of Christ to save cometh unto me, I will in nowise any man while he continues in un cast out. But this is no offer of belief. He authorizes the terms of Christ to save men whether they salvation to be published to all men; come to him or not; it is no offer of and if this is the meaning of our salvation to whosoever will not author in saying, that Christ OFFERS come, that he may have life. to save all mankind, we shall have have eternal salvation freely offerno further controversy. It is cer ed to me,” (p. 26,) it is true; but tain, that sinners, considered as sin then it is on the condition of my

[ocr errors]

accepting it. Christ says he will cally, what are some of his eternal save me, if I am willing to be saved purposes, and what works he will by him. This is enough of an offer accomplish. Such, for instance, are of salvation. He tells me, that he the declarations, “thy people shall will save me, if I will come to him, be willing, in the day of thy power ; look to him, believe on him, trust in a new spirit will I put within thee; him ; and a more gracious offer than a new heart will I give thee; I will this cannot be desired by any rea write my law in their heart; and, all sonable being. Even the wicked which the Father giveth me, shall cannot say that they wish Christ to come to me;" but when any offer save them against their will, and of salvation is made, it always conbefore they consent to look to him, sists of some general command, with intention of being saved by which the authority of the Alhis merits. The very warning which mighty renders obligatory on all we utter, that he who believeth not men to whom it is made known, and shall be damned, is evidence that of some promise following the salvation is offered to sinners on the command, in which God binds himterms of faith and repentance. self to bestow salvation on all who

It would be well to ascertain the sustain a described character, or meaning of the term offers. If it comply with the terms of offered means the same as promises, then life. The passages just cited verify Christ promises to save none but be this remark. To sinners, Jesus lievers, : but if it means a proposi saith, believe, come ye to the wation of the terms of salvation, in ters, incline your ear, hear, seek this connexion, then, the gospel the Lord, forsake


wicked makes a public exhibition of those ways, return unto the Lord, repent, terms, which all men ought to un and be baptized. If they do these derstand, in such words as these : things, he assures them that they “ believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, shall be pardoned, accepted, sancand thou shalt be saved : look tified and glorified, through the unto me, and be ye saved, all the righteousness of Jesus, and the ends of the earth : ho, every one cious operations of his Spirit. If that thirsteth, come ye to the wa they do these things, he reminds ters: incline your ear and .come them, moreover, that it is because unto me: hear, and your soul shall the Holy Spirit has worked in them live ; and I will make an everlast to will and to do, so that they being covenant with you, even the came willing, in the day of his sure mercies of David: seek


power; and if they have been thus Lord while he may be found, call regenerated, it is because they were ye upon him while he is near: let ransomed from the curse by the the wicked forsake his


and the obedience and sufferings of Christ unrighteous man his thoughts: and for them; and if Christ thus relet him return unto the Lord, and deemed them, and gave them his he will have mercy upon him; and Holy Spirit, it was for this ultimate to our God, for he will abundantly reason, that God the Father, in his pardon: repent, and be baptized electing love, gave them to his every one of you, in the name of elected Messiah, that he might fulJesus Christ for the remission of fil his covenant engagements, in sins, and ye shall receive the gift delivering them from all the miseof the Holy Ghost." These terms rable consequences of the apostacy, of salvation Jesus offers to, or brings to the glory of the eternal Godhead. before, all sinners, to whom his gos If sinners obey not the gospel, pel is published.

they are assured that all their moThere are passages in the Bible ral actions proceed from themin which God declares, unequivo- selves; that they are regulated by VOL. I.


their own choice; that they have ners, if you persist in unbelief, and resisted the strivings of God's do despite for ever to the Spirit of Spirit against their sinful propen grace:" but such offers of salvation sities; and that they shall abide are not to be found in the holy scripunder that wrath of God, which tures. will make them finally as miserable Chapter II. teaches, that after as they shall be individually crimi Christ had finished his atonement he nal.

commissioned his ministers, to go, Every sinner may learn from the and teach all nations, &c. Matt. gospel, that if he will accept of xxviii. 18—20. Very true. It also Christ as his prophet, priest' and states, “as Jesus asserts that all king, God will give him “the un power in heaven and in earth was speakable gift;" If he is willing to given to him by his Father, so it was be saved, with the scriptural sal given to him as his mediatorial revation, he shall be saved; if he will ward for having satisfied for human come to Christ, with consent to be

transgression, and as a mediatorial his, Christ will for no consideration means of administering his grace.” of guilt, misery, rebellion, or any p. 32. " It is then the plain revealthing else, cast him out. What more ed doctrine of the scriptures, that can the vilest sinner need to know, in consequence of the satisfaction in order that he

may exclaim, - this which he rendered to the divine is the gospel?” “ This is good news. law, the Son of God is inaugurated And it is the only news to me, which by his Father to the moral lieutemerits the name of good. This is nancy, the mediatorial sovereignty, the very gospel.-If I come to Jesus of heaven and earth.” p. 33. If it and by faith place myself under his was intended, that all power in heaauthority, God pardons all my sins, ven and earth was not given to and I begin a new life of holiness Christ to be exercised in his mediaand new obedience leading to im torial character as king of saints, mortality; none shall ever pluck me until “after he had accomplished out of his hand, but he will raise the work which the Father had given me up at the last day and fill me him to do,” we deny the doctrine, with all the fulness of God. But for he “was set up, or appointed if I should neglect or despise the to the mediatorial sovereignty over offer, and disobey the command the universe, “from everlasting, which bade me be happy, then this from the beginning;" and so set up will be Jehovah's vindication of his that he could say, even before a own moral government at the last body was prepared for him, “by me day, that I voluntarily and with my kings reign, and princes decree juseyes open chose death rather than

tice. By me princes rule, and nolife.”


bles, even all the judges of the earth. To have proved any thing to his I lead in the way of righteousness, purpose, in Chap. I. Dr. Gray should in the midst of the paths of judghave shown, from the Bible, that ment; that I may cause those that Christ offers to bestow redemption, love me to inherit substance." Prov. regeneration, justification, adoption, viii. 15-23. As Mediator he made sanctification, and glorification, (for the world, and without him was not all these are parts of the scriptural any thing made that was made. salvation, on all those persons who John i. 3. Before the world was, never will believe, repent, come to in the counsels of eternity, this was him, and consent to accept of life the decree, “ Thou art my Son, this everlasting through the merits of day have I begotten thee:"-"yet the atonement by Jesus Christ. He have I set my king upon my holy ought to have cited some such words hill of Zion. Psal. ii. throughout. as these; “I offer to save you, sin From everlasting, he was " the

brightness of the Father's glory, || ture, and by covenant, in his official and the express image of his person, character as Saviour of his people,

- upholding all things by the word King of kings, and Lord of lords; of his power.” But he humbled God over all, blessed for ever. himself, for a season, and when he The nature of the reign of Meshad purged our sins, he returned to siah is adapted to the subjects of it, his original mediatorial glory, from and his designs concerning them. the scene of his mediatorial humili He must reign, till he has subdued ation, and sat down on the right all enemies, either by his sceptre of hand of the majesty on high love, or his iron rod. He reigns crowned with glory and honour, over the rebel angels to their dehighly exalted with a name which struction; and the holy angels for is above every name, and so much the perpetuation of their holiness more exalted in his state than the and bliss. “Even the damned will angels, as he hath by inheritance ob not be able to say that they were tained a more excellent name than unjustly or too severely dealt with.” they. Philip. ii. 8, Heb. i. 3, and ii. 9. To this assertion we most cordially This mediatorial glory was origin- assent; and invite the serious atally conferred in consideration of tention of all who deny the deity the consent of the Son to the cove of Christ, to the closing paragraph nant of redemption, saying, Lo! I of this chapter. “Unquestionably come: I delight to do thy will. The there are many who are deceiving Lord hath opened mine ear, and I themselves with the fond opinion, was not rebellious, neither turned that as they believe in God and away back. I gave my back to the Providence, in the distinction besmiters, and my cheeks to them that tween virtue and vice, and in a fuplucked off the hair: I hid not my ture state of rewards and punishface from shame and spitting. Isa. ments, they have religion enough, 1. 5,6. It was a REWARD, by antici and are in as fair a road to heaven pation, even as his present exalta as any men.

But if it shall appear tion as governor and judge in his that the actual government of this character of God-man, is a reward world is in the hands of Jesus Christ; for having actually become “ obedi

that it is with him that men have to ent unto death, even the death of do, and to him that they will have the cross." In the same manner

to account; it will follow that the the ancient saints were saved in unbeliever in Christ might as well consideration of the atonement,

be an Atheist.”

E. S. E. which Christ had covenanted to

(To be continued.) make; as we, who now believe, are saved by a retrospective view of a work completed.

NO FICTION : This mediatorial reign of the Son of God extends, since the bringing A Narrative founded on recent and in of everlasting righteousness, to interesting Facts. In 2 vols. 12mo. holy angels, to Satan and his fallen First American, from the third angels, and to every individual of London edition. Boston-publishthe human family. So teaches the

ed by S. T. Armstrong, and present chapter, and we add, that Crocker &. Brewster. it always did and always will, ex We have reason to congratulate tend to all creatures, in all worlds; our readers and the Christian pubfor ever since Christ was set up lic generally, on the appearance, in the divine counsels as medi from the American press, of the ator, he has been, and will be, head above interesting little volumes. over all things, to his church. He They are deservedly held in high is essentially, in his own divine na estimation, by our transatlantic

« PoprzedniaDalej »