Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

ness.

in us.

How shall I regain my orbit of peace ledge and for our love. This manifestation and of glory? The answer to this ques harmonizes with the suggestions of reason tion would evidently contain in it the and conscience on the subject: nay more, whole philosophy of astronomy, as far as it gathers them up, as they lie before the the order of its system was concerned. In mind in detached fragments; it supplies like manner, the answer to the inquiry af their deficiencies, and unites them all in ter spiritual and permanent happiness, one glorious fabric of perfect symmetry embraces all the principles of the divine and beauty. It meets the heart of man, in government as far as man is concerned. all its capacities and affections; its appeal

“ The answer to the planet would con is exactly shaped for the elementary printain a description of its proper curve: But ciples of our nature. The glorious truth this is not enough,-the method of regain which it reveals is adapted to every mind; ing it and continuing in it must be also it is intelligible to a child, and yet will diexplained. We may suppose it to be thus late the understanding of an angel. As the addressed,—Keep your eye and your understanding enlarges, this truth still thoughts fixed on that bright luminary to grows upon it, and must for ever grow whose generous influences you owe so upon it, because it is the image of the inmany blessings. Your order, your splen finite God. Yet, great as it is, it is fitted dour, your fertility, all proceed from your to produce its effect, wherever it is rerelation to him. When that relation is in ceived, however limited the capacity into fringed, these blessings disappear. Your which it enters. The principle of the experience tells you this. Retrace, then, wedge operates as fully at the first stroke your steps, by recalling to your grateful as at any subsequent one, although the efremembrance his rich and liberal kind fect is not so great.

This grateful and dependent affec “I have endeavoured, in the course of tion is the golden chain which binds you these remarks, to give an idea of the mode to your orbit of peace and of glory.' which seems to me best fitted for illus

«« To man's inquiry after permanent hap trating the harmony which subsists bepiness, an answer is given to the same pur tween the Christian system and the mass of pose, but much fuller and more constrain moral facts which lie without us and with. ing in its circumstances. "God so loved

I have endeavoured to explain the the world, that he gave his only begotten greatness of its object, and its natural fitSon, that whosoever believeth in him ness for the accomplishment of that object. should not perish, but have everlasting He who has not given his earnest attention life' or joy.

to these things, may call himself an infidel, “And any one who humbly and candidly or a believer, but he has yet to learn what considers the Divine character of love and that doctrine is which he rejects or admits.' of holiness which is developed in the his

E. S. E. tory of Jesus Christ, will discover in it the true centre of moral gravitation—the Sun of Righteousness, set in the heavens to drive darkness and chaos from our spiritual Review of Dr. Gray on The Mesystem, and by its sweet and powerful in DIATORIAL REIGN OF THE SON OF fluence to attract the wandering affections God." of men into an orbit appointed by the will and illumined by the favour of God. Ac

(Continued from page 323.) cording to this sys m, a grateful and humble affection towards God, founded on a

CHAPTER III. asserts the truth, knowledge of his true character, is the prin that the mediatorial reign of Jesus ciple of order and of happiness in the moral Christ embraces all mankind. “ All world. The confusion and the restless

power is given unto me in heaven ness which we see in the world, and which we often experience in our own breasts,

and in earth,” said one who fully give abundant testimony to the truth of this

understood his own person and ofproposition in its negative form. Ignorance

ficial character; and because his auand indifference about the character of thority extends to the whole human God generally prevail; we love the crea

family, he commanded his ministers, ture more than the Creator-the gifts more than the giver-our own inclinations more

'go ye therefore and teach all nathan his will. And is it not evident to rea

tions." From this we may undoubtson, that an entire conformity to the Ruling edly infer, that so far as their opWill of the universe, is only another name portunities reach, ministers of the for order and happiness? and can this conformity be produced in any rational being,

gospel are in duty bound to preach except by a knowledge and a love of that

the gospel to every individual of will? The character of God is manifested

mankind. in the history of Jesus Christ, for our know

In the most unequivocal manner

66

we teach, with our author, “ that the sovereign grace, and sovereign authority, gospel is to be preached to all man

of the Lord our Redeemer, should ever

have been acquiesced in by any of our kind; that the gospel in all its riches

race. I do not insult over any, it would and fulness, with all its

grace
and

not become me, 'Haud ignarus mali miseris authority, in its totality and in its succurrere disco.' But I do pity the undetails, the whole gospel of Jesus happy man, who is doomed to grapple Christ, is to be preached to every

with the prince of darkness, while there is sinner without exception; and to

such a sophism as this in his creed.” p. 47. every

sinner in the same fulness and In the conclusion of the volume, freedom," so far as the opportunity the author insists frequently on the of the ministers of Christ shall obligations of ministers to read and reach. p. 41.

expound the holy scriptures. In What then were the apostles to doing this it is impossible they teach all nations ? What must their should not teach mankind many successors in the ministerial office, things relative to the divine províuntil the end of the world, teach dence and purposes, which are not their fellow men? “ It must have comprehended under the duties and been,” asserts this chapter, “ either privileges of unrenewed men. How their DUTY, or their PRIVILEGES, or could he scout the inculcation of something that was neither their

any thing besides the duty and priprivilege nor duty. This enumera vilege of sinners, who has written, tion exhausts the subject.” p. 43. “ I am well convinced, that the 'The apostles were to teach whatso church must be reformed, at last, ever Jesus Christ commanded them, by the reading and expounding of even all the truths recorded in the

the holy scriptures; and that there Bible, so far as they knew them, and is no other effectual means of reforhad ability to do it. The same other mation?" ministers must teach: and many things are to be inculcated, which “An intelligent commentator, cannot be are neither the duty, nor the privi

a bad divine. Preparation for the weekly

exposition of scripture, compels a minister lege of sinners; for we must main to be a diligent student. It keeps him hatain, that he who believeth not shall bitually engaged over the whole field of be damned, and it is neither the du literature, languages, criticism, history, ty nor the privilege of any one to be

chronology, laws, antiquities, every thing. damned. We must teach that God

A good expositor of scripture must be

come a learned divine, according to the will judge the world in righteous measure of his faculties. Who enjoys the ness, and this is neither the duty benefit? Himself first, and next the nor the privilege of sinners. Yet

church." when our author comes to the third

“ The minister who has conquered the

difficulties of a commentator, I mean he part of his “trilemma,” to inquire who can, with reasonable industry, exwhether. Jesus commissioned his pound a chapter, or half a chapter, of the apostles to teaeh all nations any Bible, on the Sabbath, has, in reality, conthing else, besides their duty and

quered all the most formidable difficulties

of his office. Sermons cost such a man alprivilege, he turns on his heel with,

most nothing. Saturday is divested of all “I am tired of such foolish, thoughtless, its terrors. He never trembles about a impious suppositions. The reader who few leaves of manuscript. He can check has not the understanding to scout at once for thousands, and is not afraid of failing the above supposition, is incapable of in for small change. If his heart be only right struction. His mind is either naturally with God, he can hardly ever be unpredestitute of moral intuition; or it is totally pared for preaching the gospel. Thus, be. spoiled “with philosophy and vain deceit,' fore he has reached the meridian of life, so that no human ratiocination has any he finds himself a man; and carries his serchance to cure it. If I may judge the mo mons in his heart, not in his pocket. ral pulsations of my own heart, I feel no “In all that has been said respecting the sensations but those of profound, over importance of preaching the gospel, in the whelming, and almost annihilating sorrow, way of formal exposition of the scriptures, to think that such conclusions against the I do not think that there is any thing; in

the slightest degree, hyperbolical or over far as they could, universally, to all strained. I do indeed, believe, that this is

men, that they have the PRIVILEGE the very means ordained by God, to effect that harmony in the faith and profession of

of coming to Christ for salvation, Christianity, for which we are praying, of obtaining pardon through his and which we believe to be predicted and blood, ---of coming to a throne of promised in the Bible.”

grace to ask mercy and

grace to “Arise, commentators, furbish the spear,

help them in time of need,- of reanoint the shield; the voice of your commander rings in your ears.

But consider

turning from their sins, and walkwhat you are, and what God has made you ing with God in new obedience and to be. These Sampsons carry all their mutual friendship,--of hoping for a might in the hair of their heads; shorn, joyful resurrection as the result of they are as other men. It is only in the

such a conversion -and of eternal divine word that they are invincible; they have for defence, the shield of faith, and

life as the result of the whole. the helmet of the hope of salvation; and for deeds of fearful vengeance against the

* If the apostles preached all these pri

vileges to all the heathen, to all sinners foe, they have the sword of the spirit,

who heard them, I grant, so far as privilege which is the word of God. What madness,

is concerned, that they did preach the I pray you is it, to strip off your own ar

gospel. And is not this the identical thing mour of heavenly temper, and put your. which we mean, when we say that free parselves on a par with metaphysicians !

don of sin and friendship with God, through Wrapped in the cloud of metaphysics,

the blood of Jesus, are offered to all who suppose you were to win a logical battle

hear the gospel; that grace and eternal life from them, what would the church of God

and salvation are freely offered to all? It be the better for it? She sees you not; she knows not where you are; nor what

is the very thing that we mean, and the

very thing that the ministerial commission, you are doing. You may indeed emerge and the whole Bible mean. And if the from your darkness, and come back boast

apostles were not authorized to teach sining a victory-your enemy is already hailed as victor in his camp.”p. 417.

ners these privileges, I can conceive no

other privilege that they could teach them A good commentator will endea -except it be the privilege of going to

hell!” p. 45. vour

to exhibit the meaning which the Spirit of God intended to con We shall not be captious about the vey by each and every portion of use of the term PRIVILEGE; but had the Bible; and he will very readily our author defined the meaning which conclude, that a great portion of his he affixed to so important a word in Jabour relates to a class of truths this controversy, it might have prewhich Dr. Gray'scouts' as philoso vented misapprehension and trouphy and vain deceit. But our au ble. It shall be employed in its thor, surely, had no intention to most obvious sense. Ministers of teach, that a minister should con Christ must teach every sinner, so ceal the doctrines, that God is angry far as they have opportunity, that with the wicked every day, and will he may come to Christ if he will ; turn them into hell, that Christ that it is his duty to will aright, and is the elected Redeemer, that the come without delay; being assured, holy angels are ministering spi that if he actually wills to come, and rits to the heirs of salvation, and then comes willingly, he shall enjoy many other scriptural truths, be complete salvation. If Dr. G. means cause they do not happen to fall un this by saying, it is the privilege of der the two first heads of his classi every sinner,

who hears the gospel, fication of all things to be taught. to come to Christ for salvation, we

The chapter professes to consider assent; but if he means any thing 1st, the privileges, and 2dly, the else, his meaning is. beyond our duties, which the apostles and their ken. Has every sinner of our race successors in the ordinary ministry the privilege of obtaining pardon of the word were divinely commis through the blood of Christ? Dr. sioned to teach all men. They were G. thinks he has. We believe that to teach indiscriminately, and so every singer who wills it, may ob

tain pardon through the blood of resurrection and immortality, withJesus; for God hath not appointed out being converted before his us to wrath, but to obtain salvation, death, he must have an unscriptural through our Lord Jesus Christ, who hope, which shall perish. Liberty, died for us.

But no sinner has the opportunity, disposition, ability to privilege of obtaining pardon in any entertain such a hope, we should other than the appointed way; so hardly deem a privilege, unless it that finally the matter comes to this, be like our author's privilege, "of it is the privilege of those who hear going to hell." the gospel to believe it, if they will; It is readily admitted, that all and the privilege of all who exercise who hear the gospel owe certain saving faith to be pardoned through duties to the Lord Jesus, the mediathe blood of Jesus.

torial sovereign of the world. These That all men, some of whom have are to be urged upon sinners by never heard of Christ, have now ac every minister of mercy, under the tually the privilege of obtaining par most tremendous sanctions. Our don through his blood, before they author asks, "are they to command have ever heard that there is the all mankind to believe in the Lord possibility of their being saved Jesus for salvation ?" Yes: minithrough a Redeemer, is more than sters must require all men so far as the Bible has taught us, and more, they have opportunity, to believe we suspect, than Dr. G. ever learn every article of the testimony of ed from any fair exposition of the God concerning Jesus Christ, for it sacred oracles.

is a reasonable duty to give God All who hear the gospel may credit for veracity, and assent to come, and ought to come, to a throne all his statements who cannot lie. of grace, to ask mercy and

grace

to They ought to believe too, with a dehelp them in time of need; and the sire after salvation by Jesus Christ, worst man among them ought to and with an assurance that if they know, that God is more ready to exercise the faith required they shall grant his Holy Spirit to those who be saved. Let every minister take ask his blessed teachings, and puri- heed, however, that he does not refying influences, than any earthly quire sinners to believe such stateparent to give good things to his ments, concerning Christ and his children. In this sense they have salvation, as the God of truth has the privilege of coming to a throne

never made. of grace. But how have they the “ Are they to teach all sinners to privilege of coming who never knew repent and be baptized P” Yes; that there is a throne of grace, or this is their duty; and although they any mercy with God that he be never would have repented under feared ?

such circumstances, yet it would It is the duty of every one to re have been a reasonable duty to have turn from his sins. All may do it; repented, had God neither provided and when they will, can turn from nor offered à Saviour. The very them, so far as their volitions ex devils ought to change their minds, tend to particulars, and are follow and feel sorrow for their past ened by proper exertions. All who be mity against God, and resolve to sin come truly turned to God, may and no more. Christ, as a king, enjoins can walk with God in new obedi on all to whom his word comes, the ence and mutual friendship. These moral exercise of repentance topersons may hope for a joyful resur wards God. rection, and eternal life. In this To cut the matter short, we acsense they have the privilege of do cord to our author, that every

miniing these things: but if any unre ster ought to require, in the name newed person hopes for a blessed and by the authority of Almighty

may

more,

er.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Christ, everyone to whom he and willing to fulfil every engagepreaches, “ to do whatsoever Christ ment which has been made conhas commanded;" to be perfect in formably to his instructions. What every good work, and to sin no he has offered to bestow uncondiThis is the

very

conclusion tionally, will absolutely be granted. our author wishes us to come to. Thus, all that the Father has given p. 46, and 47. What then? Why, Christ shall come to him; and that it is inferred, “ that Jesus Christ ac they may come, all of them shall be tually has authorized and command made willing in the day of his powed his ministers to offer, in his name, Moreover, that which Christ eternal life to all mankind." p. 48. has offered, or directed his servants Yes, on certain prescribed terms, to offer, in his name, on certain and so far as their “opportunities terms well pleasing to himself, shall, reach.” They are not to say, how on compliance with those terms, ever, God has provided eternal life most assuredly be conferred. He for

every sinner of our race, and of has told his heralds to proclaim, fers to bestow it in all its parts, in that for this purpose the Son of man all its fulness, on every sinner, whe

was lifted

up,

" that whosoever bether he shall believe, consent to re lieveth in him should not perish, but ceive it, and repent or not. This have eternal life. For God so loved would be going beyond their com the world, that he gave his only bemission; for they are instructed to gotten Son, that whosoever believcommand all to believe; and to pro eth in him should not perish, but mise, that whosoever will, may come; have everlasting life.” John iii. 14, that he who cometh shall in nowise 16. He that heareth my word, be rejected; and that he who believ said Jesus himself, when preaching eth and is baptized shall be saved. the gospel, “and believeth on him Again we ask, what then? and

that sent me, hath everlasting life, the chapter proposes “a couple of and shall not come into condemnaquestions;" or as we should think,

tion; but is passed from death unto two couplets of questions.

life.” John v. 24. These sayings, “I. Has Jesus Christ the power to verify

and all others which he has authohis own commission, by bestowing on all

rized, will Jesus actually verify in mankind, that which he has commanded his the dispensations of his providence ministers to offer them?

and grace. He has the power of “ If he has not the power of granting salvation to all-By what moral attribute of

granting salvation to whosoever beDeity can you justify him for offering it to

lieveth in him, and on the Father all?

who sent m; and therefore he of. “Again, since Jesus Christ, as the act fers them salvation, and requires ing sovereign of this world, commands all, that all men be informed of the nato whom his gospel comes, to believe and

ture of this offer. If Jesus had ofto obey the whole, “II. It is the anxious desire and wish of

fered to bestow salvation on whosoJesus Christ that all should obey him, and be ever believeth not, and also on whosaved?

soever believeth, then we should in“If not by what moral principle does fer that he had the power of grantthis sovereign issue this law ?" p. 48.

ing to all mankind, whether believThere can be no difficulty in re ers or unbelievers, everlasting life. plying, in strict adherence to the Had he made unconditional propounerring word, that Jesus has power sals to regenerate, justify, adopt, to do all which he desires, designs, sanctify, and glorify all men, then or promises; for he is in his own na we should infer that he could, and ture God over all, and to him, in his would, bestow salvation on every mediatorial office, all power in hea

individual of the human race. ven and earth is given by the coun Again, “it is,” or rather as the sels of the Godhead. He is able author intended, “is it the anxious

« PoprzedniaDalej »