Imágenes de páginas

in a moment disclose the utter wilhout the deeds of the law, is the worthlessness of all that the world ad-doctrine of Scripture; but, at the mires and idolizes. The prince and same time, it must strenuously be the scholar here stand on the same maintained, that pardon is never ground as the humblest peasant. granted to a transgressor indepenThey have precisely the same wants, dently of repentance and a sincere they need the same supports, and purpose of obedience. Hence our must be cheered with the same pro- Saviour began his public ministry mises. They feel alike, and they with the solemn injunction, Repent express themselves alike. They both and believe the Gospel. St. Paul need forgiveness; and the prayer also informs the church of Ephesus, which befits both alike is, “God be I have kept back nothing that was merciful to me a sinner!” They both profitable unto you, but have shewed. stand on the verge of the same you, and havctaught you publicly, and world, and both must cry, " Save, from house to house, testifying both Lord, or I perish." They both want to the Jews and also to the Greeks, the same omnipotent support, and repentance toward God, and faith both must lay hold of the same “hope toward our Lord Jesus Christ. Úpon set before them in the Gospel.

the exercise of this repentance and That hope this lamented individual, faith, we are justified before God, had truly obtained, and is now ex. discharged from the obligation to periencing its blessedness, in a world punishment, pardoned, accepted as where hope is lost in enjoyment, and righteous, admitted to a state of refaith is swallowed up in the un- conciliation, adopted into the family clouded visions of eternal glory. of heaven, and entitled to the hope

of glory. Faith is an act of the heart, believing the record that God

hath given of his Son, receiving and Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.

submitting to him as our Lord and

Saviour, our Prophet, Priest, and In reconsidering my “Friendly Re- King. From this happy period, the marks" on M. Malan's Conventicle penitent believer is passed from death of Rolle, in your Number for Feb- unto life, and, continuing in that ruary, page 73, to which a reply has state, shall not come into condemappeared in your last Number; I nation, but shall have everlasting see nó position, which is not, as I life. He is now a new creature ; a conceive, authorised or positively moral, spiritual, and relative change asserted in the supreme standard bas taken place in him. He is not of faith and practice the sacred under the law, as a covenant of Scriptures. I therefore repeat the works, but as a rule of life. He is assertion, that M. Malan's propo- more than ever obliged to new obesition, “ No works in order to sal- dience; he is under the law to Christ. vation," is incorrect, and dangerous The eternal Law, and the everlasting in the extreme. Your correspon- Gospel, combine their respective dent F. observes, that “M. Malan claims of duty in the hands of the evidently means, that our good exalted Redeemer ; and by these works have no part in procuring our holy commandments we shall be salvation.” I must observe, in reply, judged at the last great day. We that I impute no heterodox inten- must all appear before the judgment tion to that pious and amiable seat of Christ, that every one may pastor; I give him full credit for receive the things done in his body, integrity and zeal ; but, as the sen- according to that he hath done, whetiments appeared to me to be un- ther it be good or bad. (2 Cor. iii. 10.) guarded and injurious, I wrote the Our repentance and faith will then be "friendly remarks."

tried, and also our dispositions, our That we are justified by faith: motives, our words, and our actions. · CHRIST, Obsery. No. 304.


Nothing can be more determinate was faith made perfect. He conthan the solemn declaration of our fessed Christ; he rebuked his blasJudge: Not every one that saith unto pheming fellow-sufferer; he acknowme Lord, Lord, shall enter into the ledged his own desert of death. kingdom of heaven'; but he that do- Behold him on his cross; he fears eth the will of my Father which is God; be quits the society of the in heaven. (Matt. vii. 21.) Again, ungodly; he bears his testimony By thy words thou shalt be justified, against sin; he gazes on the expirand by thy words thou shalt be con- ing humanity, yet he believes in the demned. (Matt. xii. 37.) So also in Divinity, of the Saviour,--thus acthat sublime passage, I am Alpha knowledging the great mystery of and Omega, the beginning and the godliness, God manifest in the filesh. end, the first and the last. Blessed He beholds the Son of man crowned are they that do his commandments, with thorns, his visage marred, that they may have right to the tree wounded, smitten, stricken; in the of life, and may enter in through the depth of ignominy, in expiring ago. gates into the city. I ask then, is nies: still he acknowledges him to it possible to read these divine and be the Saviour of the world; he holy decisions of the word of God, asks life at his hands, when in his and not shudder at the proposition, lowest degradation; he prays to him “No works in order to salvation ?" as an object of adoration; be bas · I am convinced, however, that all no other wish than to be rememwhich the pious author of the tract bered in his kingdom; and he apintended, and in which I fully con- pears ready to enter an invisible cur with him, was, that our works world, relying on his grace and prohave no meritorious efficacy in pro- tection. Thus, while no works, in curing either our justification, or order to justification, merited or enour salvation: both were obtained titled him to pardon, as atransgressor for lost man, by the obedience unto of the law of God; at the same time, death of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jus- in the few hours, perhaps even less, tification is an act of Divine grace, of his short Christian pilgrimage, a blessing granted to a transgressor, he performed works in order to salupon his repentance and faith. In vation, namely, those works of faith this sense, no works are required and labours of love, the good works in order to justification ; but the which God hath ordained that the repentance by which we return to heirs of glory should walk in them; God, brings forth fruit meet for re- those works which constitute the pentance, and the faith, by which evidence and integral parts of that we receive the atonement, involves a holiness without which no man shall seminal principle and purpose of see the Lord. He entered paradise Bew obedience. For, with the heart as the trophy of the dying victory man believeth untorighteousness, and of the crucified Immanuel ; and the with the mouth confession is made choir of heaven, without doubt, unto salvation. The thief upon the received him with acclamations of cross repented, believed in the ex- congratulation, with shouts of the piring Saviour, and was justified by triumphs of Divine grace, and ascripfaith; he made his petition in faith, tions of glory to God in the highest. and he received a promise, an assur To adopt the words of your corance of salvation : To-day thou shalt respondent, I therefore maintain be with me in paradise. He did not that we are, at our admission to a live many hours after he believed; state of grace, justified irrespecbut he lived long enough to certify tively of good works.” Our justifihis repentance, to confess his faith, cation is a free, a gratuitous, act and to evidence his love to his of majestic mercy; but I deny that Saviour. Seest thou how faith we are evidently saved “ irrespecwrought with his works, and byworks tively of good works:" so far from it, good works proceed from the di- spel are of a general, and also an in vine principles of faith, love, grati- dividual, application." Your corretude, and a sense of duty; they oc- spondentobserves, that “this passage cupy the intermediate space be- certainly involves a contradiction, tween the first act of saving faith, But surely this cannot possibly be the and receiving the end of our faith, case. The character of general and quen the salvation of our soul. Good individual, or particular, pervades works are the evidences and fruits the whole scheme of creation, proviof faith ; they complete the Chris- dence, and redemption. Is there tian character, they adorn the not a general, and also a particular Gospel, they silence the slander of providence? Are not all general the enemy, and, by bearing much providences composed of particular fruit, they glorify God. Nor this providences ? and is there not a alone; they are, as time and oppor- general promise in the redemption tunity admit, essentially, absolute- of the Gospel, and also an indivily, indispensably requisite, in order dual application? Let the testito salvation. Good works are not mony of St. Paul decide the point. only necessary, as F. admits, “ to If one, that is Christ, died for all, justify, or prove our faith genuine then were all dead; and he died for before man,” who can investigate all, that they which live should not and judge the conduct ; but they live unto themselves, but unto him are also necessary, as being required which died for them, and rose again. of God in order to salvation; as (2 Cor, v, 14, 15.) constituting a part of our meetness This testimony distinctly states the for the heavenly inheritance; and general promise embodied in the geas being the preparatives for that neral redemption, He died for all ; solemn day, when we shall be and it also states the individual apjudged according to our works, in plication, distinct from the general the presence of that God by whom object, they who live. It associates actions are weighed, who not only also the evidence of this spiritual judgeth the conduct but knoweth renovation of life; they live hencethe heart.

forth not to themselves, but to In a word, whoever will be saved Him, their compassionate Lord and must possess a two-fold righteous- Saviour, who died for them and rose ness: in the first place, a righteous, again. In proportion as they are ness imputed, when he is justified by conscious of this evidence, they have faith without the deeds of the laws a right to believe that the promises in the second, righteousness, im- are made to them individually; they parted by Divine grace in principle, may humbly conclude, that their and expressed in conduct. These faith in Jesus Christ is the true being united, as a sinner he will, faith, which will justify them in this like Abraham, be justified by faith world, and will be found to glory, in the promised Seed; and as a dis- honour, and immortality at the apciple of Christ, professing his holy pearance of Christ Jesus, religion, he, like Abraham our fa- In reference to your corresponther, will be justified by works. Let dent's third paragraph, I would reno man deceive you ; he that doeth mark,thatwhen St. Paul asserts(2Tim. righteousness, righteous even as i. 9), God hath saved us, the meanhe is righteous. (1 John ii. 7.) In ing I conceive is, that He has saved the words then of the judicious us from the dominion of sin, and Hooker, the meritorious dignity of admitted us to a state of salvation, good works we renounce, the dụti- The quotation given by your ful necessity we maintain.

correspondent from the Song of But to pass on to your correspon- Zacharias, does not seem to me in dent's second paragraph--I had as- any way applicable to the subject. serted, that “the promises of the Go- Every faithful minister of the

Gospel of Christ endeavours, like licentiousness; as if they were wiser St. John, to give knowledge of sal. than God, and knew better how to vation ; that is, to exhibit the only deal with our fallen race than he Name given under heaven whereby does ? God forbid.” I give the wrimen can be saved, and also the means ter credit, that this sentence is dicof its accomplishment, by redemp- tated by a zealous concern for the ition, through the blood of Christ, honour of our Redeemer, and an even the forgiveness of sins, accord- apprehension that the use of the ing to the riches of his grace. All term condition infringes on the who by faith truly receive this holy glory of Christ, the freeness of his doctrine, are passed from a state of infinite salvation, and that it implies spiritual death to a state of spiritual too much of power in the creature. life. They are now the sons of God. Your correspondent must however But, as they value their final salva- bear with me, when I assert, that, tion, let them not presume to regard while faith and repentance, holiness it but as a salvation already begun, and obedience, are free gifts of Dia salvation to be wrought out with vine grace, they are at the same fear and trembling; let them re- time required of man in the form of member that the end of our faith is conditions. Faith and repentance, the salvation of our souls.

are the conditions on our part of jusSt. Paul affirms, there is no con- tification ; perseverance in holiness demnation to them that are in Christ and obedience is the condition of Jesus. This is the present privilege final salvation, and of our degree of of the Christian. He then describes glorification. We shall also be there the character of these true believers : by judged at the bar of God. I am they walk not after the flesh, but not tenacious of the term condition, after the spirit. But, so far is the nor do I frequently use it ; nor would Apostle from exciting to confident I contend for any term that is not boasting, or to say, in the words of strictly scriptural; but I see no obM. Malan's tract, “ I am then jection to it: only let it be observed, saved," that he adds at the 12th that the idea of meritorious condition verse, to these very brethren; if ye is totally discarded ; and all I conlive after the flesh, ye shall die; but tend for is, that there are duties if ye through the Spirit mortify the binding on all men, required both deeds of the body, ye shall live. The by the Law and the Gospel, the conreal truth is well expressed in the stituted order in which God as GoChurch Catechism: “Our heavenly vernor of the world and the church Father hath called us to a state communicates his favours, causa of salvation;" therefore, as thou sine quibus non, the dispositions and standest by faith, be not high-minded, duties, the component parts of the but fear; take heed lest ye fall short; holiness without which no man shall and daily “pray unto God to give see the Lord. you his

grace that you may continue Ministers of great spiritual attaini in the same to your life's end." ments and knowledge of the mysa

The last topic I shall advert to, tery of Christ, and I may even add is your correspondent's concluding high in the school of Calvinism, have paragraph. He says: “Since it is used and contended for the word impossible that men can be saved condition. A volume might be easibut by the free, unconditional gift of sily filled with quotations. Thus the this grace in Christ Jesus (uncon- learned and pious Archbishop Usher, ditional, I say; for faith and repent- in his Body of Divinity (page 59, ance are not conditions on our part, fol. ed.) inquires, “What is the but fruits of this grace bestowed on condition (of the Covenant of us), shall the ministers of Christ hide Grace) on man's part?"and answers, its freeness and fulness from the “The gift being most free on God's world, lest they should turn it to part, nothing is required on man's

[ocr errors]

part but the receiving of grace offer in favour of his acceptance, further ed, by faith in Christ. (John i. 12, than he is conscious of repentance 14, 15.)” So also Bishop Hopkins, in towards God, and faith in our Lord his Doctrine of the two Covenants, Jesus Christ.”. (p. 77, of the edition, published in The above quotations I have de, 1809, by Rev. Josiah Pratt,) ob- signedly selected from Calvinistic serves, “The covenant of grace is authors (for even Baxter was partly a conditional covenant. Life and such). I could abundantly multiply salvation are promised upon the the list; but I conclude this long es terms, and conditions of faith and say with a quotation from the excel obedience; and therefore it is called lent Bishop Hall: “The way

not to a conditional covenant, because these presume upon salvation, is an humble conditions must be fulfilled on our modesty, to content ourselves with part...yet these conditions are them- the revealed will of our Maker, ndt selves as much the free gift of God, prying into his counsels, but attenda as the salvation itself.” The learn- ing his commands. What have we ed and devout Richard Baxter, in to do to be rifling the hidden coun: his commentary, James ii., ob- sels of the Most High? Let us look serves at the close; “Faith accepting to our own ways. We have his words Christ, and consenting to obey him for this, that if we truly repent, beas the Author of eternal salvation, lieve, obey, persevere, we shall be is the condition of our first entering saved: if we heartily desire and effecinto a state of life, and justifica- tually endeavour, in the careful use tion; so our performance of that con- of his appointed means, to attain unsent by sincere obedience and perse- to these saving dispositions of the verance is the condition of our justi- soul, we shall not fail of success, fication, as continued and consum- what need we to look further than mated at judgment, and so of our conscionably and cheerfully to do final salvation.” Imay add, that when what we are enjoined, and faithfulabout the year 1805, I published“A ly and comfortably to expect what concise Statement of the two Cove he hath promised.” pants," and objections by respecta I perceive by the Christian Obed friends were made to some ex- server for March, that several other pressions which I had used, I request- anwsers to B. W. have been receiva ed the opinion of my excellent and ed, the chief of which you purpose judicious friend, the Rev. Thomas to insert ; perhaps the present reScott, on the subject. In his reply, marks may anticipate a reply to lately printed in his “Letters and some of them; if not, as the subject Papers,” page 261, he observes, is of great importance, I may per“I see nothing in your pamphlet haps trouble you with a few more which does not accord with my observations upon it.—Permit me to views, though, in speaking on repent. state, that I have ever since its first ance and faith, I seldom call them publication in 1800, regarded the conditions or terms...But I have no Christian Observer as a truly valuat doubt of these things being in a sober ble, orthodox, and evangelical pube sense conditions ; that is, sine qua lication; a bulwark set for the denons." The Rev. Dr. Williams also, fence of the Gospel, equally guarding in his admirable treatise on. Modern against formality,antinomianism,and Calvinism," adopts the same expres- fanaticism. I am happy in the opporsion: “ The condition of the new cove- tunity of informing you, that I know nant proposed to us, is to believe with of various exemplary clergymen, as the heart unto righteousness ; and the well as laymen, who have derived condition of continuance in justifi- great benefit from perusing it; and I cation, is the continuance of that doubt not 'that others of your read which first put us into a justifieders in their respective circles have state: none has a right to conclude had similar experience. I have fre

« AnteriorContinuar »