« AnteriorContinuar »
a personal title, by which God strong argument against bis De. the Father is distinguished from ity. But if we consider that he the other persons of the Blessed appeared in the human nature as Trinity; who are also distin. the minister of God the Father, guished from each other, and speaking and acting according from the Father by peculiar to his commandment, we may personal titles and attributes. see the propriety of his distin. But they all have those titles and guishing himself in this capacity, attributes, which are truly divine. from him by whose commission
III. Objection. Christ ac. he acted. And his meaning in knowledges another as God, this expression is “ He shall and his God. “My God, why know whether the doctrine, which hast thou forsaken me. I ascend I teach, be conformable to in. to my God, and your God. My structions received from God the Father is greater than I,” &c. Father, or whether I speak of
Answer. We grant that there myself, as in a private capacity, is another person, distinct from unauthorized and uninstructed Christ, who is God. The Father by God. is a distinct person, but not Upon the whole we grant another God. The distinct per. Christ Jesus is, in respect of his sons in the Godhead are one manhood and office, the servant of God, having the same divine God the Father, and does nothing nature or essence. It is only of himself. The Father is great. begging the question, taking er than he. But the fulness of for granted the point to be prov. the Godhead dwells in him, as ed, to conclude that a plurality the eternal Son of God. He has of persons in the Godhead, is those divine perfections by which inconsistent with the unity of he made and governs the world, God.
but he exercises them in all things Christ, as Man and Mediator, according to the commandment is by voluntary condescension of the Father. We should not subject and inferior to the Father, take advantage from his wonder. acknowledged him to be his God, ful condescension for our sakes, did him homage, prayed to him, to degrade the Son of God from was obedient and submissive in his divine dignity, to the rank of all things; yea he was the crea. a mere creature. He is not less ture of God in respect of his worthy to be owned, honored, manhood and office, but not in and worshipped by us as our respect of his divine nature. The Lord, and our God, for having Father made him Christ, but did stooped so low, and emptied him. not create him God. This is to self for our sakes. be borne in mind, in order to our A Christian of the Old School. rightly understanding many pas. sages in the Scriptures, and re.
(To be continued.) conciling seeming contradictions. So when Christ distinguishes
ENCE. himself from God (he shall know of the doctrine whether it is of One of the most important God, or whether I speak of my truths revealed in the word of self) this has been urged as a God is the absolute necessity of
NECESSITY OF DIVINE INFLU.
the influence of the Holy Ghost clearly preached it to his invete. in the renovation of the heart rate enemies, who went about to It has also an intimate relation kill him. When they were of. to all the leading principles con. fended at his faithful instructained in the Holy Scriptures. tions, he intimated that the Were it not true that man had ground of their hatred of him and fallen from the primitive recti. his doctrine, consisted in an 10. tude of his nature, this renewing regenerate heart. "Murmur operation would be unnecessary. not,” said he, "among your. Were it not true that nothing selves. No man can come unto, short of divine influence could me, except the Father, which hath produce holiness in the heart, it sent me, draw him.” And again, would be needless that the Spirit “If God were your Father, ye should effect it. And if sin were would love me ; for I proceeded not infinitely evil and hateful in forth and came from God.” And its nature, polluting all the pow. whilst be taught them their de. ers of the soul, debasing the pravity, and the necessity of di. creature and dishonoring God; vine influence, he also shewed Immanuel would not have de. them that this was no new docscended from heaven to earth, trine, but a principle recognized and taken human nature into in their Scriptures, and publishunion with his divine; that the ed by their own ancestors. “It moral law might be magnified, is written in the prophets, And and this regenerating, work com, they shall be all taught of God. pleted in a way honorary to all Every man, therefore, that hath the divine perfections.
heard and hath learned of the A very fruitful source of op. Father, cometh unto me.”' position to this work of the So entirely depraved is man, Spirit is the pride of man. Ex. that the Scriptures declare the alted in self-conceit, and shel. carnal mind to be enmity against tered behind the blinding clouds God. It is also said of sinners, of carnal reason, sinners set their that they do not like to retain mouths against the heavens, and God in their knowledge. If, reply against God. All their in. therefore, this enmity reigns in vention is exerted to prove them. the heart, the sinner is not desira selves independent of him, and ous of its removal, and facts that they have in their own pow. evince that no created power can er the means of obtaining real subdue it. Neither will the af. enjoyment. But this disposition fictions of life, nor its blessings, demonstrates the depravity which effect any moral change for the they deny, and, unless repent. better without divine influence. ance prevent, out of their own Thus spake the Lord to ancient mouths will they be finally con. Israel, and his reproof to them demned.
is an illustration of this truth That regeneration is absolute. “Why should ye be stricken any Jy necessary to present peace of more ?. Ye will revolt more and conscience and future glory, is more." The reason is assigned very plainly revealed. Our di. in what follows-“The whole vine Savior not only taught this head is sick, and the whole heart truth to Nicodemus, but he also faint. From the sole of the foot,
even into the head, there is no creation, which constantly elude souadaess in it.” So powerful his research; the moralist may is this reigning enmity, that the extol his visionary theories re. singer, if left to follow the choice specting human merit; but it is of his heart while yoregenerate, the gospel alone which can raise would for ever endeavor to hide a guilty creature from moral de. himself from God, instead of gradation, and fix his affections seeking his favor. How glori. on heavenly objects ; it is the ous, then, is God, in the grace gospel only that reveals a par. which he manifests to creatures don, and brings to view an al. 50 guilty.
mighty influence, which can de. The necessity of this divine stroy the enmity of the carpal teaching is readily acknowledged heart, and make the rebel an by all those who have any right obedient subject. views of God and of them. Wealth, honor, and worldly selves; but the delusive calm of pleasures, though generally pur. impenitent sioners is founded in sued as the supreme good, have 2 wilful ignorance of God, and never failed to disappoint their of their obligation to love and pursuers; and thousands have obey him. Sinful pursuits never left their testimony, that these produce real satisfaction; but they things have, through their abuse have a tendency to blind the un. of them, given additional keen. derstanding, to harden the heart, ness to the reproaches of con. and to silence the remonstrances science, at the hour of death. of conscience. But when these But the religion of Jesus pre. external means of sinful gratifi. sents a good suited to the capa. cation shall cease, and conscience cious powers of the immortal shall be left faithfully to dis. soul. It lays the axe to the root charge its office in the world of of depravity, and discovers to wo; then all deceptive appear. man, that the native bias of his ances will vanish, and unceasing heart is wrong, because it dis. self-accusation will complete the poses him to seek that in the misery of the impenitent. creature, which is alone to be en.
That it is solely the work of joyed in the Creator. This divine the Holy Ghost to communicate religion, while it points out the to the heart a spiritual taste, is path to glory and immortality, proved from the fact, that in all does not leave its friends in those plans of happiness, which darkness, as to the means of at. have been devised by wicked men, taining it, nor abandon them to no soul-satisfying good is pre- merely human efforts. It ex. sented as the mark at which they hibits Jesus as the way, the aim. Their systems do not con. truth, and the life, enabling template the production of holi. them to rest in the immutability ness in the heart, but merely ren of the oath and promise of God, spect the external conduct, as it and in a dependence on the com. relates to this world.
munications of grace by his Spirit. The vain philosopher may These thoughts furnish an in. boast of his abstruse speculations; centive to watchfulness and pray. the mere naturalist may amuse er. 6 Watch and pray," said his mind with the wonders of our Lord, "that ye enter not into temptation.” It is no less ject, many complain that they do true, that those who have been not understand it, that the sub. renewed by the Holy Spirit are ject is not handled with sufficient constantly dependent on his gra. Plainness to satisfy their anxious cious operation, than it is that the feelings and inquiries. They wish unregenerate, while destitute of to know, distinctly, what was this influence, will remain in the requisite, after his fall, for man's native blindness of an unbeliev. justification before God; whether ing heart. "Without me,” said Christ has, and how he has an. Jesus to his disciples, 66 ye can swered the demands of the divine do nothing." The experience law on man, and finally admit. of believers has taught them this ting that Christ as Mediator, has fact in numberless instances ; attained to the righteousness of and it has had the happy tenden. the law, how does that righteous. cy of humbling their hearts, and ness apply to us unto justificaof convincing them of their own tion of life. These and similar insufficiency. It has also led inquiries have occasioned the folthem to admire the exceeding lowing essay. riches of God's grace in his Son, Justification is a juridical that notwithstanding their un term, expressive of a person's in. worthiness and guilt, the Holy nocence and freedom from guilt, Spirit repeatedly visits their souls, according to some appointed and enlightens their minds, and raises decisive rule of judging. It im. their affections to heavenly things. plies or supposes a law of obes
The necessity of this renewing dience, and, that a man's actions operation on the unregenerate are, by proper authority, brought also furnishes a motive to believ. up to, and compared with that ers earnestly to look unto Him. law, and found perfectly con. with whom is the residue of the formable to it. If his actions run Spirit, that he would pour out exactly parallel to the demands his influence in copious showers, of the law, he is justified ; the and cause the lofty looks of man law finds no fault. And a deto be humbled, and the haughti. claration on judgment, is his le. ness of men to be bowed down, gal justification. that the Lord alone may be ex. Such is the plain and simple alted.
NEREUS. idea of justification, under all
laws human and divine. Moral
law, that law which subsists be. ON JUSTIFICATION.
tween God and his intelligent
creatures, demands perfect love JUSTIFICATION, freely by and obedien
and obedience: and as it arises grace, through the redemption out of the nature and. that is in Christ Jesus, is a fun. things, it is necessarily abiding damental doctrine of the christian and unalterable, so long, as we religion, which is, and ought to
stand in the relation to God, of be, frequently brought into view his rational creatures. No moral in preaching, in religious public change in us, can abate or change cations, and in our social con. the demands of this law. Our verse. But after all that has indisposedness to love and obey, been said and written on the sub. is no excuse for not loving and
obeying. In order, therefore, does it fulfil any demand of that to justification by the moral law, law, which forbids all occasion our whole heart and life, every of repentance. thought, word, and action, Such is the state of man by throughout the term of our ex. the fall. He is lost and utterly istence, must perfectly conform helpless in himself. Hence arises to the law, in its whole extent and the necessity of a divine Savior, spirituality. The least possible I say DIVINE SAVIOR; because deficiency is sin ; and the judge no created being, however exaltmast declare such deficiency, and ed and however innocent, could so pronounce a legal condemna. do more than his own duty. He tion. Such was the case with could do no more than love and man and angels, respecting justi. serve God with all his heart, and fication by the divine law, while soul, and mind, and strength, in their state of innocence. which, is the present demand of
We are now to consider man law, on every intelligent crea. in his falled state. But it will ture; consequently, he could not be necessary to my present contribute nothing to the restorpurpose to go into a particular ation of man to a state of justi. discussion of the nature of the fication before God. first covenant, the fall of man, This brings us to inquire how and derivative guilt. Let it suf. we are justified through the re. fice to say, that man being a demption that is in Christ Jesus. moral agent, God was pleased to It will be necessary here, that put him upon a trial of his obe. we keep in mind the requisites dience, in order, to establish him of justification in our fallen state: in moral rectitude or defection, viz. perfect conformity to the according to his own free act and law in heart and life, on one choice. The penalty of disobe. hand; and on the other, a fair dience was death; death tempo. discharge from its demands, as a ral and eternal to him and his covenant of life, by paying the posterity. The first man, as forfeiture incurred by the first representative of our nature, Adam. Now, if Christ has an. was disobedient and the threate swered these two points, as the ened penalty took effect. He second Adam, then he is justified had forfeited life and every good, by law in the sight of God; I and could make no reparation to say by law, because justification, the law; nor had he any remain. whether under the law or gospel, ing disposition to obey it in fu. is the same in God's sight. The ture. Having lost God's image, law is unalterable in its demands, he could not even will to do and will have complete satisfaca good. Nor, indeed, had he re- tion from us, both in active and covered to a right disposition, passive obedience, either in our could he have paid the forfeite persons or surety. ure already incurred, because For the sake of brevity, I the highest possible love and shall take it for granted, that obedience are merely present Christ is our surety, that he act. duty, and no reparation for past ed in our stead, and, as God-man, offence. Repentance, however was able and had a right to persincere, is no reparation to, nor