« AnteriorContinuar »
, so Sois. Ephesians ii.” “By grace are ye saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves': It is the gift of God.” Mr. Béach observes,” “this text does not mean that their faith is so God's gift, as not to be of themselves, as is most evident to any who reads the original.” This is certainly a great mistake. What I suppose he means, is, that the relative that, being of the neuter gender, and the word work of the feminine, they do not agree together. But if he would translate the Greek relative that thing, viz. the thing last spoken of all the difficulty vanishes. Vid. Beza in Loe. Such scriptures as these, 1 Cor. xv. 10. “Not I, but the grace of God that was with me;” Gal. ii. 20. “ Not I, but Christ livethin me;” prove efficacious grace. The virtuous actions of men that are rewardable, are not left to men's indifferencey, without divine ordering and efficacy, so as to be possible to fail. They are often in the scripture the matter of God's promises; How often does God promise reformations? How often does God promise that great revival of religion in the latter days? Dr. Whitby seems to deny any physical influence at all of the Spirit of God on the will; and allows an influence by moral suasion and moral causes only, p. 344. This is to deny that the Spirit of God does any thing at all, except inspiring the prophets, and giving the means of grace, with God’s ordinatica of this in his providence. If God do any thing physically, what he does must be efficacious and irresistible...or a ... ...Such an assistance Dr. Whitby maintains, and, concerning it, says the following things....p. 221, 222. ' - * * 1st, “Then I say it must be granted, that into raising an idea in my brain by the Holy Spirit, and the impression made upon it there, the action is truly physical. 2d, That in those actions I am wholly passive; that is, I myself do nothing formally, to produce those ideas; but the good Spirit, without my operation, doth produce them in me. , 3d, That these operations must be irresistible in their production, be-, cause they are immediately produced in us without our knowledge of them, and without our will, and so without those face.
ulties by which we are enabled to act.” . . . . . . . . . . . o. 3.... . . ... * * * : *** *** * *- : * * * *
* * * To r
Though it should be allowed that God assists man with a physical assistance, and yet by an obliged and promised assistance only ; then God does not do, or effect or give the thing assisted to, any more than if he operated and assisted men only according to the established laws of nature; and men may as properly be said to do it of themselves, and of their own Power. The doing of the thing, is in the same manner in their Power. The assistance by which God assists a drunkard that goes to the tavern, and there drinks excessively, or by which he assists an adulterer or pirate in their actions, is, that he upholds, the laws of nature, the laws of the nature of the human soul, whereby it is able to perform such and such acts in such order and dependence ; and the laws of the union of soul and body; and moves the body in such a stated manner in consequence of such acts of the soul, and upholds the laws of motion, and causes that there shall be such and such effects in corporeal things, and also of men's minds in consequence of such motions. All the difference is, that the assistance which he grants in the duties of religion, is according to a newer establishment than the other, according to a method established a little later ; and also, that the method of assistance, in the one case, is written and revealed by way of promise or covenant, and not in the other. o
But if it be said, that though God has promised assistance, yet he has not promised the exact degree, as, notwithstanding his promise, he has left himself at liberty to assist some, much more than others, in consequence of the very same endeavor....I answer, that this will prove a giving up of their whole scheme, and will infallibly bring in the Calvinistical notion of sovereign and arbitrary grace; whereby some, with the very same sincerity of endeavor, with the same degree of endeavor, and the same use of means, nay, although all things are exactly equal in both cases, both as to their persons and behavior; yet one has that success by sovereign grace and God's arbitrary pleasure, that is denied another. If God has left himself no liberty of sovereign grace in giving success to man's endeavores but his consequent assistance be always tied to such endeavors precisely, then man's success is just as
VoI. V. 3 G
Thuch in his own power, and is in the same way the fruit of his own doings, as the effect and fulfilment of his endeavors to commit adultery or murder; and indeed much more... Ror his success in those endeavors, is not tied to such endeavors, but may be providentially disappointed. Although particular motions follow such and such acts of will, in such as state of body, exactly according to certain laws of nature; yet a man's success in such wickedness, is not at all tied to his endeavors by any divine establishment, as the Arminians suppose success is to man's endeavors after conversion... xm, as II, ori. For the Spirit of God, by assisting in the alleged manner, becomes not the efficient cause of those things, as the scriptures do certainly orepresent him.” If God be not the proper bestower, author, and efficient cause of virtue, then the greatest benefits flow not from him; are not, owing to his goodness; nor have we him to thank for them. * Christ upbraids the cities wherein, most of his mighty works were done, that they were worse than Sodom, &c. and the Jews of that generation, that they were worse than the then of Nineveh; and the Pharisees, that the Publicans and harlots went into the kingdom of God before them. But why did he do this, if the only reason was, that the one was brought to repent by effectual grace, and the other not *h (See Whitby, p. 169, 170,171.) I answer, the unbelief and impenitence *of those cities,” of that generation, and of those Pharisees, when, on the contrary, the Publicans and Nineveh repented, ‘and the men of Sodom would have repented, was an argument that they were worse, more perverse and hardhearted than theya Because, though repentance is owing to special, efficacious assistance, yet, in his ordinary methods of proceeding with men, God is wont much more rarely to bestow it on those that are more perverse, hardhearted, and ropted in cvil,
5than others." So much the more as their hearts are hardenbed, so much the less likely are they, to be brought to repent
ance. “And though there be oftentimes exceptions of particular persons, yet it still holds good as a general rule; and especially with regard to societies, nations, cities and ranks of men: So that Christ might well, from the fact that he men
tions, draw (an argument of the greater, perverseness and stubbornness of those societies and ranks of men that he spbke of n is outs, booi is boo. . . . . . . .”.” o } onto, to setovo do on to so *** ***, * * * *** - 5 diri *Sol 6, 1A: command and a manifestation of will are not the same thing in A command does not always imply a true desire that the 'thing commanded should be done. So much at least is manifest by the instance of Abraham commanded to offer tipo Isaac.o That command was not such an effect of the divine will, as the commands to believe and repent, &c, 2, ... - .*stro ***, *, * to go' - it or . I -qli-Š 17. Fither theostronger the habitual inclination to good is, the more virtuous; and the stronger the disposition to evil, the more vicious; or, if it be otherwise, then indifference or want of inclination, is essential to both virtue and vice. ... To so, anoo or most ow oved to , or: ** S18. Dr. Whitby's inconsistence appears in that one while, when he is disputing against the decree of election, he maintains that the epistles, where the apostle speaks to the elect, are not written to the converted only; because then it suits his furh that the persons addressed should not be converted. But afterwards, when disputing: against efficacious grace, he maintains that where the apostle says, “Godworkethin you both to will and to do,” &c., Philip. ii. 13; he speaks only to them that are converted, p. 288. Again, when it suits the *Doctor's turn, when writing: about perseverance, then: all whom the apostles write to are true saints. As particularly those the apostle Peter writes to, that had frecious faith, p. 399. And the Galatians addressed in Paul's epistle, p. 491, 3402.295 to 19 of so . - * * * **, *, *, *, *. no o wood of . . . . . . ic * * * * * > , to so. ** $19. When the Psalmist prays, “Make me to go in the way" of thy statutes;” is it indeed his meaning, that God would give him the general grace which he gives to all, and which is sufficient for all if they will but improve it? And is this all o' oa o – low oozoo or ---> - **** 1- to of . . . . . . . . . ..., to ot is a , , , o, .
*-** - - - - * * * * * * * - -- - - - - - - ''' ''< * * *-* * * * **** *-* ...... . . . . to co - ...,
to $20. Arminians argue that Godi has obliged himself to bestow a holy and saving disposition, one certain-conditions, and that what is given in regeneration, is given either formatural men's asking, or for the diligent improvement of common grace; because, otherwise, it would not be our fault that ‘we are without it; nor our virtue that we have it. But of this reasoning is just, the holy qualities obtained by theoregenerate, are only the fruits of virtue, not virtues themselves.g. All the virtue lies in asking, and in the diligent improvement of common grace.o. to ozozo soon into so do notos is: ... oud is occo on; oti boo wood of oilo mad!, mes o, o S21. Prov, xxi. 1. no. The heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water; he turneth it whithersoever he will.” This shews that the Arminian notion of liberity of will, is inconsistents withethe scripture motion of God's providence and government of the world.” See also Jer. xxxi. 18. 3. “Turnime, and I shall belturied.” Matth. vii. 1804. A ... good tree cannot bring forth evilifruit; neither can a corrupt a tree bring forth good fruit.” “Let usunderstand this how we will, it destroys the Arminian notion of liberty; and virtue and owice:o:For, if it means only a great difficulty; then so much ...theless liberty, and therefore so much the less virtue or vice. in And the preceding verse would be false, which says, “every w?good tree bringeth forth good fruit,” &c. o'Bom....viii. 6, 7, 8, 11:9. “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritustally minded is life and peace: Because the carnal mindisehlesmity against God; for it is not subject the the flaw of God, foneitherindeed can be.” So then they that are in the fleshcanannot please God.” But we are not in the flesh, but in the Spirto it, is so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you...Now, if any wd man, have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.” The to design of the apostle in this place, overthrows Arminian notions of liberty; virtue, and vice. It appears: from scripture, that God gives such assistance to virtue and virtuous acts, as to to be properly a determining assistance, so as to determine si, the effect; which is inconsistent with the Arminian, notion of o, liberty, The scriptureshews that God's influence in the case o, is such, that he is the cause of the effect; lie causes it to be :