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ral vessels filled with the grace of God, and reflecting the light of divine truth. Now if we can be saved any other way but by grace thro' obedient faith, i. e. by freely receiving the grace and light of God, thro' the practical belief of the truth propofed to us :- if we are in any degree saved by our proper merit thro' faithless works; we may indulge pharifaic boasting. But, God does not so give his glory to human worms : therefore such a boasting is excluded by the law of faith; and the apostle wisely observes, that salvation is of FAITH, that it might be by GRACE; the juftifying faith of finners always implying a cordial acknowledgment of their fin and misery, and an hearty recourse to the tender mercy of our God whereby the dayspring from on high has visited us t more or less clearly, according to the dispensation we are under.

(10) The

+ To establish the doctrine of the gospel-dispensations, to show that saving truth, in its various manifestations, is the object of saving f'aith, I need only prové, that a man, in order to his salvation, is bound to believe at one time, what he was not bound to believe at all other. Take one instance out of many. If St. Peter had died just after he had been pronounced blessed" for acknowledging, that our Lord was the Son of God, he could not have been cursed with a Depart from me," &c. he would have been saved : and, in that cafe, he would have obtained falvation without believing one tittle about our Lord's refurrection ; [ might I not all.

, say, about his crucifixion ? See note 13, p. 43] and nevertheless St. Paul, a few years after, juftly represented ibat article as effential to the salvation of those, to whom it is revealed : IF thou shalt BELIEVE with tby beart, that God harb RAISED the Lord Jesus from tbe dead, thou shalt be SAVED, Rom. X. 9. -- Few people, I think, can read the acts of the apostles, without seeing, that the numerous conversions wrought by St. Peter's preaching, were wrought by the force of this truth, “ God bas raised up tbat Fefus, whom you bave crucified :" A victorious truth this, which would have been a grofs untruth three months before the day of pentecost.–Nay, what is at one time an article of saving faith, may at an other time become an article of the most confirmed unbelief: Thus, the expectation of the Messiah, which was a capital article of the faith of the ancient Ifraelites, is now the buttress of the babel of modern Jews. The property of faith is then to make our hearts bow to the truth, as is manifefted to us; it being evident, that God never blamed the children of men, for aot believing what was never revealed to them.

MEMO

(10) The manner in which faith and its works ex. sluile boasting, may be illustrated by a comparison. A beggar lies dying at your door, you offer him a cordial, he takes it, revives, and works. A deferter is going to be hot, you bring him a pardon from the king, if he will receive it with grateful humility, he does so, joins his regiment, and fights with such cou. rage that he is promoted. Now in these cases it is evident, that pharifaic + boasting is excluded. If the beggar lives ever so long, and works ever so hard-if the deserter fighes ever lo manfully and is raised ever so high ; yet, they can never say, that their doings have procured them the life, which they enjoy ; for, before they did such works, that life was graciously given, or restored to them, upon the easy terms of confidently taking a remedy, and humbly accepting a pardon offered. The application is easy : By our fallen nature we are.conceived in fin, and children of wrath : God freely gives us the light of life in Jesus Christ ; faith without neceffity bumbly receives it, and works by it; the believer therefore, can never be so unrealonable, and ungrateful, as to suppose, that his working merited him the light of life, by which he began to work righteousness : so long as he deserves the name of a believer, he knows, he feels, chat his faith is in the FIRST.place a mere receiver. What haft thou, that thou risaic boast.

haft

MEMORANDUM.] At the bottom of page 162, I have said, that " The genuine seed of the word is always good, always full of divine energy.' I desire the candid reader to read the following lines as more particularly-expressive of my meaning.

The word is Truth; and Truth, like the sun, is always efficacious where its light penetrates. But I would by no means infinuate, that the truth may not, like the fun, shine more brightly and powerfully at one time, than at another ; The word of truth, however, always performs (tho' more or less fenfibly) that whereunto God sends it; being always a favour of life unto life to them, that believe, or of death unto death to wilful unbelievers, according to the grand decree of conditional election and reprobation, He that believeth, &c. shall be saved, and he that believetb not shall be damned, † There is an evangelical boafling, which St. Paul recommends to

others, and indulges himself : See the note, page 117.

haft not received, roars like thunder in the ears of a lively faith, and like lightning strikes dead the pha

(11) I say, that faith is in the first place a mere receiver : this deferves attention. If we consider faith as a conduit-pipe, which at one end receives the truth and power of God, and at the other end refunds those living streams to water the garden of the Lord; we may with propriety compare that mother-grace to the pipe of a watering pot, which, at the internal, unseen opening receives the water that is in the pot; and at the external, visible perforations returns it, and forms artificial showers over the drooping plants. According to the doctrine of grace, maintained by the Solifidians, faith does nothing but receive the grace of God thro' Chrift; and according to the doctrine of works, maintained by the moralifts, faith is a mere bepower : but, according to the gospel of Chrift, which embraces and connects the two extremes of truth, Faith is first an humble, passive receiver, and then a chearful active bestower : It receives grace and truth, and returns love and good works. In that respect it resembles the heart, which continually receives the blood from the veins, and returns it into the arteries, If the heart ceases either to receive, or to return the blood (no matter which) its motion and our animal life are soon at an end : and if faith ceases either to receive grace, or to return good works, its motion and its life soon terminate in spiritual death, according to the doctrine of St. James. If the Solifidians and moralists candidly looked at faith in this rational and scriptural light, they would soon embrace the whole gospel, and one another. By considering fuith as a Receiver [ according to the first gospel axiom ] Honeftus would avoid the pharifaic extreme ; and by viewing it as a BESTOWER, [according to the second gospel-axiom] Zelotes would avoid the antinomian delufion ; and both would jointly recommend the humble, chearful, consistent passiveness and activity of bible-believers.

(12) If (12) If we receive the witness of men, says St. John, the witness of God is greater : for, under the christian dispensation, this is the witness of God, which he hath testified of his Son :. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the testimony in himself : but he that believeth not God, hath MADE HIM A LIAR, because he believeth not the record, that God gave of his Son. Upon these awful words. I raise the following argument. If a state of absolute doubt is quite unnatural : * if it is almost impossible to keep the balance of our judgment unturned for one hour, with respect to all saving truths and damning lies :--if the itream of life, which hurries us along, calls us every moment to action : if we continually do good or bad works if good works certainly {pring from faving faith, and bad works from deftructive unbelief: if skepticks are only fo in imagination, theory, and profeffion :-if our daily conduct demonstrates whether our heart inclines most to the lies of Satan, or to the truths of God :- - and jf the moment we practically reject God's truths, we embrace the lies of the God of this world, and by that ineans take him for our God :-if, I say, this is the cale,i what reafonable man can be surprized to hear the-mild Jesus say, He that believeth not shall be damna ed fr Can there be a greater fin a sin more productive vf, all iniquity, and more horrid, than to make the iying Devit a god, and the true God a liar ? Nevertheless, dreadful to fay! this double crime is actually committed by all, that make an act of wilful, practical unbelief; and the commission of it is indirectly recommended by all those, who decry the doctrine of salvation by faith.

Laftly : If our first parents fell by BELIEVING the grois lies told them by the Serpent; is God unreasonable to raise us by making us BELIEVE the great truths peculiar to our dispensation, that the divine leaven of fincerity and truth may counterwork, and at last expel the satanic leaven of malice and wickedness ? Who ever thought it absurd in a physician to proportion the remedy to the disease ; the antidote to the poison ?

S

And

And why nould even the incarnation of the Son of God, appear a means too wonderful for an end so important? If Apollyon, the Prince of darkness, had malice enough to incarnate himself, and assume the form of a ferpent to deceive man ; why hould not the Saviour of the world, the healing antitype of the brazen-ferpent, incarnate himself allo, and affume the form of a man conatone for undeceive, andi settore mankind ? Why hould not the living Truth, the Seed of the woman, bruise the proud, lying Serpent's head with his celestial club, the humble, bloody cross? In a word, Why should it be thought incredible, that the Son of God, who, as our Creator, is far more nearly related to us than our natural parents, should have graciouíly, stooped as low as the human nature to redeem yes when Satan wantónly stooped as low as the beasily natyrę to tempt us ! On the contrary, is it not absurd to suppose, that hellit, wanton malice has done more to dellroy, than heavenly, creating love to save the children of men ? And is it not highly seasonable to believe, that an operative faith in divine truths, iszas powerful a means of obedience and falvation, as an operative faith in fatanic lies-is of difobedieoce and damnation ?: For my part, the more I compare the genpine gospel with the nature of things, the more I admire their barmony ; wondering equally at the prejudices of those hatty profeffors, who pour perpetual contempt upon reason, to keep their irrational opinions in countenance; and at the unreafonableness of those pretended votaries of reason, who fuppose, that the doctrine of falvation by faith is incompatible with good sense.

“ But-[says an objector) if unfeigned faith in the light-if a cordial belief of the truth instrumentally turns us from the power of Satan to God; why have you published polemical tracts against the Solifidi

ans, whose favourite doctrine is, Believe :- he that believeth hath everlasting life ??."

Ans. By the preceding pages it is evident, that we de not differ from the Solifidians when they preach

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