« PoprzedniaDalej »
desire and wish of Jesus Christ that salvation of all. It is true also, all should obey him ?” Dr. G. evi that he commands the obedience dently thinks it is; and “if not," of all, without willing to take the it is implied that he knows not by requisite measures for ensuring the what moral principle Christ issues obedience of all. Why then may this law. We may free ourselves he not desire the obedience and salfrom this difficulty, supposing an
vation of all sinners, as being in affirmative answer to be the true themselves very proper objects of one, by demanding, if Christ is holy desire, without desiring, or anxious that all should obey him, thinking it best for him to secure and be saved, upon what moral prin the obedience and salvation of all ? ciple is it, that he has not elected Chapters IV. V. and VI. are de- , all unto sanctification of the spirit, signed to enter more fully into the belief of the truth, and salvation? inquiry, what IT IS TO PREACH THE It will be as difficult for Dr. G. to GOSPEL. The controversy in which reconcile the non-election of some the volume is enlisted hinges very to obedience, with Christ's anxious much on this point. Our author has desire and wish that all should obey cited many passages of scripture on him and be saved, as for us to re this subject; and they all show, that concile his commanding them to God has never promised to save any obey, with his not anxiously desiring but those who seek him, turn to him, and wishing to take measures to repent, believe, come to him, or are make them obey him, and be saved. willing to be saved. He teaches,
We have certainly one instance the worst, that if they will come to in which Jehovah for wise reasons him,' take hold of his covenant, accommanded Abraham to do, what cede to his proposals, be willing, he did not anxiously desire him to become obedient, ask, knock, he do; and what he did not permit him will bestow on them everlasting to perform, in relation to the sacri life; but, that if they hear not his ficing of his son Isaac.
voice and do none of these things, A more general reply which satis or if they become not the disciples fies our mind is this: the scriptures of Jesus, they shall die in their sins. have not told us that Christ is anx This ought to be good news to every ious to save those whom he has not human being. "The Spirit and the determined to save; nor have they Bride say,” to rebels, considered represented him as having any anx as such, and in their worst state, ious desire about the obedience of “ come. And let him that heareth those who will never obey him: but
And let him that is they do teach us, that as sovereign
And whosoever will, Lord of all, from regard to his own
let him take the water of life freecharacter and glory, and from his ly,” for it flows copiously as “a love of righteousness, he does com pure river of water of life, clear mand all men every where to obey as crystal, proceeding out of the him and keep his commandments. throne of God and the Lamb." This Moral agents, now in a sinful state, is one of the most free and full ofmay reasonably be commanded to fers made to sinners in the Bible; obey a holy, just, and good law, in
contains comfuture, even if their moral
governor mands, and promises the water of had no intention of pardoning their life only to him who is athirst, and past offences, and saving them from comes to God for it. punishment.
These chapters contain little It is true, that Christ has no plea which has not been fully answered sure in the death of the sinner; and already in this review, except the equally true, that he has not chosen statement of two hypothetical proto effect by his almighty energy the positions, viz. “ If all men were to Vol. I.
continue in unbelief, they would all say, that he who believeth shall be be lost;" and, “ If they were all to saved; because faith of the operation believe, they would all be saved.” of the Holy Ghost, is evidence of his p. 62. But, it is certain, that all actual election, redemption, renowill not continue in unbelief, that vation, and every thing else which all will not believe, and that all is essential to a title to eternal life. will not be lost, and that all will “ The value of that theory, which reprenot be saved. What then do these sents the righteousness of Jesus incapahypotheses prove, when every part
ble of saving any but the elect, will in
due time be examined as a piece of philoof them is false? Our author asserts,
sophical speculation; and its merits in that " that hypothetical propositions have point of view ascertained with absolute as absolute a truth, as those which impartiality, and with whatever powers are categorical.” Agreed, but then of judgment we can bring to the tribunal.
In the mean time we go to the law and it is only a hypothetical truth, which
to the testimony, in order to ascertain the may be contrary to the actual state articles of our Christian creed, which we of things. “ If my name was God," are to receive and hold fast in the simplisaid the little son of the writer, city of Christian faith : and we shall go out when about four years old, “ I could
on this errand, under a full impression of make a world.” This was a hypo
that word, “He that seeketh, findeth.'» thetical truth, and worth just as Against that true theory, which much as several pompously record represents Jesus Christ, as having ed in the volume on our table. made specific provision in his active Would it be reasonable to infer, obedience and sufferings for the sal“therefore the boy can make a vation of all those alone whom the world ?" Just as reasonable as our Father hath given him, for whom he author's inference from his hypo covenanted to die, whom he has dethetically true and actually false termined to save, and who will acpropositions. “Therefore there is
tually be saved, our author directs nothing wanting to secure the sal all his ridicule, advices to young vation of all mankind, except faith men, declamation, obsecrations, the in Jesus Christ.” p. 62. He should artillery of his metaphors, and all have made this an hypothesis too ; the fire of his genius. His aim is to and then it might have been a by prove, that Jesus Christ is able, pothetical truth, that were all men willing, and anxiously desirous to believers, nothing would then be
save every individual of Adam's fawanting to secure the salvation of mily, and has done every thing reall. As his conclusion now stands, quisite to his actual salvation of it is not a legitimate inference from
them, except making them believe. any premises which he has record
What is the reason, then, that he ed"; nor is it according to the Bible; does not bestow faith on them? If for there is wanting, to secure the he has done every thing else, would salvation of those who are not be he not assuredly complete his work? lievers, the new birth at least, which If indeed he has done every thing is requisite to the existence of faith;
else, he must have merited for them for Christ says to all unbelievers, the gift of faith, and all other sa“ except a man be born again he ving operations of the Holy Spirit; cannot see the kingdom of God.”. who must be bound by the coveIt is not true, that “the scriptures nant of redemption, to apply the never represent any thing as neces redemption purchased by Christ in sary to the salvation of any man all its parts: and then all mankind, but faith in Jesus Christ.”. p. 62. without the exception of Judas, They represent the election, redemp must be the subjects of complete tion, renovation, adoption and sanc salvation. tification of a man, as needful to his salvation. Still the scriptures ll impartiality,” but intending to be
Without boasting of “ absolute
candid in seeking after and main truth, I assert I have fully demonstrated to taining the truth, and to employ ho be directly and intentionally the meaning nestly “ whatever powers of judg
of the Spirit of God speaking in the scrip
ture. I also assert that every one of these ment we can bring to the tribunal,
eight articles is as clearly taught in the we shall examine the articles of Bible, as any thing else that can be named. the creed professedly drawn from And finally I assert that it is impossible the testimony of God, and by our
for the human mind to conceive how any reverend brother held fast in the
thing possibly could be taught more dis
tinctly and plainly, than all the above prinsimplicity of his faith. From his
ciples are taught in the scriptures.” p. 74. inquiry concerning the nature of evangelical preaching, he gathers
What a happiness it is that we the following conclusions :
live in a land of freedom, in which
people may fill whole books with “I. That all mankind are in a state of assertions! We are thankful for sin and misery, out of which they cannot this privilege, because we love the redeem themselves; but must for ever re didactic style in theology; espemain under the wrath and curse of God, unless some deliverer be found.
cially when it will completely an“ II. That God sent forth his Son made swer our purpose to confront one under the broken law, to redeem them militant phalanx of assertions with that were under the law; and that Jesus
a corps equally numerous, imposing Christ, by his obedience and sufferings, in their attitude, and capable of did perfectly, fully, and finally satisfy Jehovah's justice, of which the Father
self-defence. gave undoubted testimony by raising him We assert then, that of the above up from the dead, thereby declaring that cited articles, which our author has the law had no more to demand.
assumed as the elements of his “ III. That Jehovah appeased by the satisfaction made by his Son, has given into
theological system, the first is true his hands all mankind, and all their rela
and scriptural, the second is in tions to the things which are in this, and part false, as it now stands, because to the things which are in other worlds ; it implies, and our Doctor intendthat therefore at present, the Father ed to teach, that Christ,“ did perjudgeth no man, but hath committed all
fectly, fully and finally satisfy Jejudgment into the hands of the Son; and hath commanded all men to obey his Son
hovah's justice,” for the sins of as they ought to obey the Father, saying: every individual of the human race, “THIS IS MY BELOVED SON, HEAR HIM! so that the law has no more to de
“IV. That Jesus Christ assuming the go mand in relation to the sins of any vernment of this world, has commisioned his heralds, to preach the law of his king
man. Justice does demand the dom, which is the gospel, to all his sub
punishment of the sins of all those jects, even the most rebellious of them. wicked ones who shall be turned
“ V. That Jesus Christ did, and does by into hell ; and this it could not do, his commissioned heralds, freely offer to
had justice been perfectly, fully and all who hear the gospel, eternal life, including pardon and peace with God, and
finally satisfied in all its penal dethe eternal enjoyments of heaven.
mands against them. That would “ VI. That Jesus Christ did, and by his be no satisfaction to justice, which commisioned heralds doth, command every should not prevent justice from human creature, who hears the gospel, to
executing the full penalty of the accept pardon, peace, and eternal life, and return to his duty, and to happiness.
law on offenders.
With some very “ VII. That according to the promise of
important amendments, we could Jesus Christ, eternal life shall be enjoyed adopt article second, in the followby all those who accept his free offer by ing words : a living faith. “VIII. That according to the threatening
** II. That God sent forth his Son, of Jesus Christ, he will inflict eternal death made under the broken law, to reupon all those who disobey his command, deem them that were under the law ; by rejecting his offer of life, for this crimé
and that Jesus Christ, by his obefirst and chiefly, that they did not believe in him, and then for all their other sins.
dience and sufferings, did perfectly, “These eight grand principles of gospel fully and finally satisfy Jehovah's
justice for all who shall be finally final judgments of the great day ; saved of Adam's race; of receiving and hath commanded all men to which satisfaction the Father gave obey his Son as they ought to obey undoubted testimony by raising him the Father, saying, This is my beup from the dead, thereby declar loved Son, hear him." ing that the law had no more to It is agreed, as article demand of him as the Redeemer of “IV. That Jesus Christ assuming his people.” This is clearly taught the government of this world, has in the Bible, and has been ideinon commissioned his heralds to preach strated to be directly and inten the law of his kingdom, which is tionally the meaning of the Spirit the gospel, to all his subjects on of God speaking in the scripture,” earth, who are capable of underin hundreds of passages.
standing it, even to the most recalled Jesus, because, he should bellious of them,” so far as they save HIS PEOPLE from their sins. He have opportunity; is the surETY of « the better cove Our fifth and sixth articles would nant," for all those persons who stand thus : are included in that everlasting co “ V. That Jesus Christ did, and venant of life : he is the Saviour of does, by his commissioned heralds, the bride of which he is the hus freely offer, in the hearing of all to band ; and of the body of which he whom the gospel comes, to bestow is the head.
eternal life, including pardon and Our author's third “element of peace with God, and the endless enChristian faith” is more defective joyments of heaven, on every one and erroneous than the one which who cordially and practically bewe have just left. It represents lieves the gospel : or, Christ tells Christ's government over all man sinners, and commands his heralds kind as consequent and dependant to tellall nations, that he who believon the satisfaction which he made eth and is baptized shall be saved.” to divine justice. As for appeasing “ VI. That Jesus Christ did, and Jehovah, we do not like the expres by his commissioned heralds doth, sion, and wonder that so great an ad command every human creature, mirer of scriptural phraseology as who hears the gospel, to observe all Dr. G. should have used it. Yet we things whatsoever he has commandshall not make a man an offender ed; and especially to believe the for a word, which may be applied gospel, repent, submit to Christ, and figuratively, without falsehood. We lay hold on eternal life.” have already shown, that the me To the seventh article we have diatorial reign over all men, is not no objection, but we understand it founded on any atonement made, thus : or to be made, by Jesus, for the sins
proof every child of Adam; it will sa mise of Jesus Christ, eternal life tisfy us, therefore, to present a sub shall be enjoyed by all those who by stitute for this article, in the follow exercising a living faith, accept of ing words:
his free offer to save all who be“III. That the eternal Son of lieve, and so come to him for life.” God, being in his own divine na To the eighth article we assent, ture, Lord of all, was by Jehovah and wish that all men would consielected to the office of Redeemer der how awful a sin it is, to treat of God's elected people, for the ex God as if he were a liar, and slight ecution of which office, in the ful the gracious proposals of reconciness of time he became man; and liation which are published in their to him as God-man-mediator, the hearing. The sentence of eternal Deity has committed the entire
death has passed against every man, vernment of all worlds, and the and all but believers will remain
VII. That according
under it for ever. In the present || along his path. If any have been life the operation of it is suspended left to start up since he passed, they in part; but after death, it shall be must be some young ones, which he executed in all its terrors upon the did not think it worth while to crush; despisers of Christ, whose conduct and with the weapons which he has under the preaching of the gospel | furnished us, we may hope to kill will prove their chief crime, and every whelp, which would prevent aggravation of their condemnation. our getting safely through this wil.
To any inference which can be derness in which « travellers have logically deduced from these pre often been lost." mises we are ready to submit; and At any rate we shall make the are confident that they will not con attempt; and here, on starting, we tradict any part of divine revelation. meet, in chap. vii. with “eight ar
Here, perhaps, the reviewer oughtguments, founded on scriptural to cease from his labour; for he principles, to prove that the atonefinds himself solemnly warned by ment or righteousness of Jesus the author to proceed no further, Christ is capable of saving all men; because he cannot assent to all of and three arguments founded on the above propositions, in the sense scriptural principles, to prove that in which they were written.
if the righteousness of Christ is not “And now, reader, if you assent to all
capable of saving all men, the gosthe above propositions, in their plain com.
pel cannot be preached to any mon sense meaning, without explanation,
man." without equivocation --without the least The author of these arguments shadow of a doubt, then come along; and has not defined his use of the term we shall venture to move into the thorny thickets of philosophical argument; into
atonement ; but uses it as synony. thickets where travellers have often been
mous with the righteousness of lost; into jungles, where the lion and the Christ: we shall, therefore, in foltiger, and all beasts of prey, nurse in lowing him, treat of the righteousdarkness their merciless broods. But if
ness of Christ, without any refer-' you have any doubt respecting the univer. sal truth of all the above propositions,
ence to many modern restrictions, then I beseech you follow me no farther.
and refinements, and obscurations Let me leave you safe in your Bible, on the subject of the atonement by searching with prayer for the principles Christ. of your faith. You are not prepared, indeed you are not prepared to attempt
The righteousness of Christ we the difficulties of abstract argumentation
shall take to be, the whole obedion subjects of theology. You have neither ence which Jesus Christ, as Mediachart nor compass ; you have no means of tor, rendered to that law of God ascertaining the fixed and immutable laws
under which he was placed ; wheof those worlds, which roll through the ther it consisted in conformity to ethereal space; and all must soon become with you confusion and disorder and
precept or in the endurance of sufdoubt. Stay behind. I might possibly do fering according to the will of God. you much harm; you cannot possibly do This righteousness, says our aume any good. The very thought of such thor, is capable of, that is, hath a a companion would overwhelm me with dismay.” p. 76.
capacity for, doing what it never
will do; it is capable of saving all It would be strange, if we could men, but it never will save all men. not follow Dr. G. through the Now, what is gained by the knowthorny thickets,” and “jungles" || ledge of all this? We simply learn, “ of philosophical arguments," after that God might do, or might have he has cut his way through before done, with the righteousness of us, left his marks on the trees as Christ, that which he never will do; guides, and strewed the carcases of and which he never saw it to be his slain « lions, tigers, merciless consistent with his wisdom, justice broods, and all beasts of prey," all and goodness to do : which amounts