« AnteriorContinuar »
vleceive you ; no not those good men, Dr. Crisp and The author of Pietas Oxoniensis: for because of thefe Things the wrath of God cometh upon the children of difobedience.---Impoflible ! say those orthodox Protestants; you may be children of disobedience, not only unto whoredom and covevoufnofs, but unto adultery and murder without fearing that the wrath of God will come upon you for those things: No, no, you will be “plefánt children still.” See Vind. page 89.
II. You proceed: “ Shall I believe that because David was ungrateful, God (whose “ gifts and callings are without repentance) was unfaithful ?” And ihall I believe, that God is not as faithful when he accomplishes his threatnings, as when he fulfils his promises? You'reply, “God's gifts and callings are without repentance." And does this prove that God's warnings are without meaning, and his threatnings without truth? St Paul spoke those words of the election of the Jews; and it is certain God does not repent that he formerly called them, and gave them the land of Canaan; any more than he repents his having now rejected them, and taken from them the good land which he gave their fathers : for as lie had once sufficient reasons to do the one, fo he has now to do the other
But if you will make this passage mean, that the divine favour and blessings can never be forfeited through any fall into fin; I beg you will answer these queries. Had not God given all angels a place
in his favor and glory? And did not many of them lofe it by their fall ? Was not innocent Adam inte. rested in the divine favor and image? And did he not 1 lose both, together with paradise, when he fell into fin? Did not king Saul forget the crown which God had given him, and the throne to which he had : called him? Were not Judas's calling and apostleship
forfeited by his unfaithfulness, as well as one of the twelve thrones which Christ had promised him? Wlrat will you say of the unprofitable servant, from
whom his lord took the talent unimproved ? Lost he not a blessing given, and his calling to occupy with it? And can you alfert, that the man who took his fellow-servant by the throat did not lose the forgiveness of a debt of ten thousand talents? Or that those apof tates, who tread under foot the blood of the covenant wherewith they were SANCTIFIED, do not forfeit their SANCTIFICATION by doing despite to the spirit of grace ? Is it right thus to set the author of the cpistle to the Romans against the author of the epistle to the Hebrews ?
III. Your bringing in backsliding EPHRAIM the pleasant child, as a witness of the truth of
doctrine, is a most unhappy proof, Rejoice not, o Ifrael, as other people, says the Lord, Hof. ix. 1, for thore haft gone a whoring from thy God. This whoring Ilrael is called Ephraim ver. 13. Ephraim, the pleasant child, is planted as a pleafant plant. Notwithstanding, Ephraim shall bring forth his children for the murderer. All their wickedness is in Gilgal; for there I HATED them.
For the wickednefs of their doings, I will drive them out of mine house; I will love them NO MORE. · Hence the prophet observes imrnediately after, Ephraim is fitter, my God will cast them away, because they did not hearken unto himn.
IV. However, my lionored friend still affirms, that " David, notwithAtanding his horrible backslidings, 6 did not lose the character of the man after God's own heart
But he will permit me to believe the contrary, (1.) Upon the testimony of the Psalinit: himself, who says in your favorite psalm, thou hast cast off and obhorred, thou has been very wroth with • thine anointed: thou hafi mace'void the covenant of thy fervant; thou hast prophaned his crown by cafting it to the ground. Pf. lxxxix. 38.
(2.) Where is David called the man after God's own heart, while he continued an impenitent adulterer? How much more guarded is the scripture than your letters! David did that which was right in
the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside, save only in the matter of Uriah, 1 Kings xv. 5a.
see The immoral parenthesis of ten months spent in adultery and murder, exprefly pointed at, and excepted by the Holy Ghoft.
(3.) David himself, far from thinking that fin could never separate between God and a juft man who draws back into wiekedness, speaks thus in the last charge which he gave to Solomon; and thou Solomon my fon, know the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfeet heart. If thou fick him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forfake him he will caft thee of fore
1 Chr. xxviii. 9. Hence it appears that the God of Solomon's father is very different from the picture which Dr. Crisp draws of David's God. The former can be fo displealed at an impenitent backslider as to cajt him off for ever; while the latter acccunts him a pleafunt child ftill. But let us come to. maiter of fa&t.
(4.) Displeasure, anger, or wrath in God, is not that disturbing boisterous passion fo natural to fallen man; but an invariable disapprobation of fin, and a steady design to punish the finner. Now God severely manifested this righteous displeasure at David's person, when he punished him by not restraining any longer the ambition of his rebellious fon. How remarkably did his dreadful punishments answer his Heinous crimes! He wanted the fruit of his adultery to live, but inflexible justice destroys it. *The crown of righteousness was fallen from his head, and his royal crown is prophaned and cast to the ground.
He had not turned out the way-faring man, the hellish tempter; and he is turned out of his own palace and kingdom. He flies beyond Jordan for his life; and as he flies Shemei throws stones at him vollies of curfes accompany the stones; and the most cutting challenges follow the curses: Come out, thou bloody man, said he, thou man of Belial; the Lord hath delivered thy kingdom into the hand of Abfalom thy fon;
and behold thou art taken in thy mischief, because thou art a.bloody man. To which David could answer nothing, but “ Let him curje; for the Lord, by not reAtraining his wickedness, hath permissively said unto him, Curs David. I see the impartial justice of a finavenging God, through the cruel abuse of this raging
This was not all: He had secretly committed. adultery with Uriah's wife, and his son publickly commits incest with his own wives. And to compleat the horror of his punishment, he leaves the inost dreadful curse upon his pofterity. Thou hajt sain Uriah with the fword of the children of Ammon, says: the Lord, now therefore the sword shall NEVER depart from thy house, and thy own children shall inurder one another. What a terrible punishinent was this! And how strong must be the prejudice of those, who maintain that God was not displeased at David's, perfon !
V. Pafs we now to an argument, which you feem: to consider as one of the main pillars of your doc. trine. “ If one believer sin by an unclean thought,
and another by an unclean act does the 6 former continue in a state of grace, and the other “ forfeit his fonship? Take heed left you should be “: forced to go to Rome for an answer to this query.” Without going even to the convent of the Bensditine monks in Paris, I answer, it is evident from. scripture, that an adulterous thought delighted in is adultery. He that entertains such a thought is an adulterer, one who is absolutely unfit for the presence of an holy God. Be not deceived, says St. Paul neither fornicators nor adulterers shall inherit the kin?, dom of God. Therefore adultery of heart certainly excludes an impenitent backslider ont of heaven;. though it will not fink him into so deep an hell, as if he had drawn another into the commission of his, intended crime. You add,
“ But if David had only had an angry thought, 66. Ire had still been a murderer in the fight of God.”
Not fo; for there is a righteous anger, which is a virtue and not a fin; or else how could Christ have looked round about on the Pharisees with anger, and continued finless? You mean probably, that if David had only hated Uriah in his heart, he would have been a murderer. If so, your observation is very juft, for he that hateth his brother, says St. John, is a MURDERER; 'and you know, adds he, that no murderer, though he were a royal psalmist, hath eternal life abiding in him.
But what do you get by these arguments ? Nothing at all. You only make it easier to prove that your doctrine is erroneous. For if David would have forfeited heaven by looking on Uriah's Wife, to luft after her in his heart; or by intending in his breast to murder her husband; how much more did he forfeit it, when his mental fins fully ripened into outward enormities ! - -Ye are of your father the devil whose works ye do, faid Christ to some of the chosen nation : and if adultery and murder are works of the devil, it follows from those words of our Lord, that while David continued impenitent, he was not a man after God's own heart, as my honored opponent too charitably supposes; but a man after the own heart of him, who abode not in the truth, and is a mur. derer from the beginning.
VÍ. But you add, 6 Sin did not reign in him as a "king, it only for a time ufurped as a tyrant.” Nay Sir, sin is a tyrant wherever he reigns, and he reigns, wherever he ufurps.
66. Where will
you draw the line” between the reign and the tyranny of Sin? Are not both included Tinder the word domi. nion ? Sin says St. Paul, shall not have DOMINION over you that are under grace. Had I made such a diftinction as this, fome protestants would deservedly have called it metaphysical; but as it comes from the orthodox author of Pietas Oxoniensis it will probably pass for evangelical.