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Do this [thou finless man] and live: The [innocent man that does these things, Jhall live by them, Rom. x. j. That is, “ If thou [who art now a guiltlels, holy and

perfe&t creature] yieldett a conftant, universal, and “ perfect obedience to the moral law,” now summed

up it is, that God will give some, namely impenitent murderers, blood to drink, for they are wortby, they PROPERLY deserve it ; while others, namely, penitent believers, shall walk with Christ in white, for they are worthy, they IMPROPERLY merit it. Rev. xvi. 6. and iii. 4.

An illustration taken from a leaden pipe full of water, may show how it is poflible, that unworthy man should become worthy, thro' the righteoufness which Chrift fupplies believers with. Strictly speaking, water does not belong to a pipe, any more than merit or worthiness to a believer : for a pipe is only a number of dry sheets of lead soldered together : But if that dry, leaden pipe really receives some of the water, which a river supplies; I make myself ridiculous by arferting, that the man who hints, there is water in the pipe, confounds the elements, seeks to dry up the river, and is guilty of a dreadful philosophical heresy.

However, if our prepofseffed brethren feel an invincible aversion to our Lord’s word [agros) meriting, we are willing to become all things to them for his fake. If it may be a means of restoring tranquillity to their minds, we chearfully consent to use only the word of our translators wortby; and here I give full leave to my readers, whenever they meet the noun merit or the verb to merit in my Checks, to read worthiness instead of the one, and to be wortby instead of the other. It may indeed puzzle unbiassed persons to find a difference beZween those expressions ; but no matter. If others will expose their prejudice, we ought' not only to maintain the truth, but to show our condescenfion. The word Merit is absolutely nothing to Mr. Wesley and me; but the doctrine of faithful obedience in Christ, and of the gracious rewards with which it shall be crowned for his fake, contains all our duty on earth, and draws after it all our bliss in heaven. Therefore, only grant us truly the second gospel-axiom :- - grant us, that God has not appointed his creatures to endless punishments and heavenly rewards out of mere caprice :-grant us, that, while the wicked shall PROPERLY and LEGALLY DISERVE their own and not Adam's) place in hell, the righteous shall improperly and evangelically BE WORTHY TO OBTAIN THAT WORLD, where they shall be equal to ibe angels, Luke xx. 35:- grant us that man is in a state of probation, and shall be recompensed for, and according to what he has done in the body, whether it be good or bad:- In a word, grant us the capital doctrine of a day of retribution, in which God fhail judge the world in wisdom and rightecusness, not in solemn folly or satanical hypocrisy; and we ask no more. This note is a key to all the doctrines, which we maintain in the Minutes, and explain in t'ie Checks.

up in the ten commandments, “ thou shalt be reward" ed with glory and heaven. But if thou failest in

any one particular, whether it be in thought, word,

or deed, thou shalt surely die, Gen. ii. 17, for the foul that finneth it shall die, Ez. xviii. 4. The wages of

fin is death, Rom. vi. 23. And cursed is every one, " that continueth not in all things, written in the book of the law to do them,Gal. iii. 10.

Nor does this covenant make any allowance for deficiencies, or pass by one transgression great or little, without pronouncing the threatened curfe ; [for it made no provision for repentance, neither did it offer finners the help of a sacrificing priest, or interceding mediator.] Whether therefore the sin be murder and adultery, or only eating some forbidden fruit, its language is, † Whosoever fall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all, James ii. 10. That is, All the curses denounced against those, who break the covenant of works, hang upon his guilty head, (and will fall upon him in a degree proportionable to the aggravations of his fin.]

This first covenant we have all broken in our first parents, for [in Adam all die] - By one man fin entered into the world, and death by lin; and so death palled upon all men, for that all have finned, Rom. v, 12. We are then all born (or conceived] in fin; Psalm li. 5; and consequently we are ly nature children of wrath, Eph. ji. 3. But this is not all: this root of original fin, produces in every man many actual iniquities, whereby, as we imitate Adam's rebellion, so we make the guilt of it our own, and fasten the curse attending that guilt upon our own souls. Rom. vii. 24.

Therefore, while we remain in our natural state, [or, to fpeak more intelligibly, while we continue in

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(6) + Whoever reads the scriptures without prejudice, will be of Mr. Burgess's mind concerning this awful text. (see IVth Check, P. 42.] It was evidently spoken with reference to Cbriff's law of liberty, as well as some of the passages quoted in the preceding para. graph : and if they guard even that law; how much more the law of innocence, which, tho' it cånnot be holier in its precepts, is yet much more peremptory in its curses !

sin, guilt, and total impenitency; we not only tram. ple the covenant of grace under foot, but] we stand upon the [broken) covenant of works; and consequently lie under the dreadful curse, which is already denounced against every transgreffor of the law, Gal. 3, 10, (as well as against every despiser of the gospel, Heb. x. 27.)

Hence it is that, by the deeds of the law, i.e. by the [unsprinkled] good works commanded in the law [of innocence ; or by the ceremonies prescribed in the law of Moses,] shall no flesh living (no finner] be juftified: for as many as are of the works of the law, [ as it stands opposed to the gospel ; yea, as many also as reft, like the impenitent pharisees, in the letter of the Mosaic law,] are under the curse; the scripture having concluded all under sin, [i. e. teftified that all are finners by conception and practice) and confequently under the curse [of the first covenant, ! that every mouth may be ftopped, and all the world may

become guilty [i. e. may humbly confess their fallen and lost eitate] before God, (and gladly accept his offers of mercy

in the second covenant.] Rom. 3, 19, 27. In this deplorable fate of guilt and danger, we (generally} remain careless and insensible, (when we have once taken to the ways of vanity making what we call “ the mercy of God” a pack-horse [if I may use so coarse an expression) to carry us and our fins to heaven, upon the filthy rags t of our own [pharisaic] righteousness. Here we continue, till divine grace awakeas us, by the preaching of the gospel, or by some other means. Eph. v. 14. Being then roused to a serious confideration of our fallen state in Adam, and to a sensibility of the curse which we lie under, thro' our numerous breaches of [the second, as well as of] the first covenant; after

fruitless attempts to remove that curse, by fulfilling the law [of innocence ;] after many [faithless] endeavours to save ourselves by our own (anti-evangelical] works, and righteousness, we despair at last of getting to heaE

many

ven, (7) † Here that expression is used in the scriptural sense,

ven, by building a babel with the antempered mortar of our own [fancied] sincerity, and the bricks of our wretched good works, (or rather of our fplendid fins.] And leaving the impaffable road of the covenant of works, we begin to seek (as condemned criminals] the way, which God's free mercy has opened for loft finners in Jesus Christ. Acts ii. 37. Phil. iii. 6. &c.

This new and living way [for I may call it by the name which the apostle emphatically gives to the last dispensation of the gospel] Heb. X. 19, 20, is the new covenant, the covenant of grace (in its various editions or difpenfations. For, if the Christian edition is called new in opposition to the Jewish, all the editions together may well be called new, in oppofition to the old covenant, the covenant of works (made with Adam before the fall.] It is also termed golpel, that is, glad tidings, because [ + with different degrees of evidence] it brings comfortable news of free salvation in Chriit, to all that see they are undone in themselves.

The

(8) † This, and the preceding clauses are added, to guard the doctrine of the gospel-difpenfations, of which I had but

very

confused views eleven years ago. See third Check, p. 10, &c. Leaning then too much towards Calvinism, I fancied, at times at least, that the gospel was confined within the narrow channel of its last dispensation ; which was as abfurd as if I had conceited, that the fwell of our rivers at high water, is all the ocean. But turning to my bible, and “re, siewing the whole affair,"' I clearly fee, that the Jewith and Christian gospel are not the everlasting gospel, but only two of its brightest dispensations. Should the reader ask me what I mean by the everlasting gospel, when I consider it in its full latitude : ! answer, that I mean with St. Paul, The riches of God's goodness, forbearance, and long Juffering, leading men to repentance for Christ's fake, who in all ages is the Saviour of the world. — Yea, and the severe strokes of his gra, cious providence driving them to it. I dare not insinuate, that Jonah, one of the most successful preachers in the world, was not a gospelpreacker, when he stirred up all the people of Niniveh to repentance, by the fear of impending destruction; and that St. John the diving was a franger to true divinity, when he gave us the following account of the manner, in which a celestial Evangelist preached the everlasting gospel. I farw an other angel having the EVERLASTING GOSPEL 50 preach unto them that dwell on tbe earth, and to every nation, and

kindred,

E 2

7 The second covenant then, or the gospel, is a difpenfation of free grace and mercy (not only to lit.. tie children, of whom is the kingdom of heaven, but also) to poor, loft, helpless finners, who, feeing and feeling themselves condemned by the law (of innocence,) and utterly unable to obtain justification upon the terms of the FIRST covenant, come to (a merciful God thro'] Jesus Christ (the light of men, according to the helps afforded them in the difpensation, which they are under, ) to seek in him (and from him those merits and) that righteousness, which they have not in themselves. For the Son of God, being both God and man in one person; and by the invaluable facrifice of himself upon the cross, having suffered the punishment due to all our breaches of the law (of works ;] and by his most holy life having answered all the demands of the + PIRST covenant, God can be

just, kindred, and tongue, and people, (Here is free grace !) saying with a lased voice : Fear God, and give glory to bim, for the bour of his judgment, as well as of his mercy, is come: and worship bim rhai mare beaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. Here is, if I am not mistaken, the gospel according to which many fhall come from ibe east and from the west, and shall fit down at the heavenly feast with the Father of the faithful, when the unloving Pharisees Mall be thrust out, notwithstanding their great ado about absolute ele£tion. This note will probably touch the apple of my seader's eye, if he is a rigid predestinarian. But if he is offended, I intreat him to consider, whether his love does not bear some resemblance to the charity of those strong predestinarians of old, those monopolizers of God's election, who despised poor finners of the Gextiles. How violent was their prejudice ! They vastly admired our Lord's sermon at Nazareth, till he touched the fore that festered in their strait-laced breast. But no sooner did he insinuate, that their election was not yet made sure, and that the poor Pagan widow of Sarepta, and Naaman the Syrian were not absolute reprobates ; than obey were filled quith wrath, and rose up, and thrust bim out of the city, and led him to the brow of the bill, ibat ibey might caft bim down beadlong. He had touched their great Diana, and therefore, to be sure, he had committed the unpardonable fin; he had spoken treason, herefy, blafphemy. Sec Luke iv, 28.

(9) + Altho' there were fame very unguarded passages in my original sermon, yet, what was unguarded in one place, was in a great degree guarded in another. Thus cven in this paragraph, which is the first that Mr. Hill produces in his extract, by saying that Cbriff

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