« AnteriorContinuar »
ruption of our nature is purified, and its weakness strengthened; by his gracious adoption we are admitted to the glorious privilege of his sons; and, however unrighteous, we are accounted righteous only in his sight, only for the merits of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ*.
He that cometh unto Christ, however, must first believe, that He is. The benefit of Christ's passion can only be applied to us by faith.
He that believeth shall be saved. By faith alone is man justified, not for his own works or deservingst. On our entrance into christianity, it is not required of us to have been good, or virtuous, or holy, but to believe in the truth of the gospel of Christ. Christ came to call, not the righteous, but sinners to repentance. The very reason and necessity of Christ's coming was, because the whole world lay in darkness and the shadow of death; from which, whosover believeth in him shall be saved. Though our sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool 1, By Faith then, by our believing in Christ, our nature is changed; we are justified, we are saved, we are reconciled, we are born again, we are regenerate, we are adopted as the soñs of God and heirs of everlasting life. Such are the glorious privileges of the gospel ! Such are the benefits of this new covenant of grace!
“ Has Christ, however, appointed any visible means by which we may entitle ourselves to these benefits? He has. His words are “ He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” § And he has also prescribed the exact ceremonial which we are to pursue ;
ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.”!
Baptism then is that holy sacrament ordained by Christ himself, as the means whereby we receive the gracious privileges of the gospel, and the pledge to assure us thereof. It is not a bare admission into the christian religion, as it is lightly called by some who consider themselves true churchmen ; q but it is the outward and visible sign of an inward aud spiritual grace; it is a death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness; for being by nature born in sin, we are hereby made the children of grace.
*“ Whence being justified will imply that which a person einbracing the gospel doth immediately receive from God in that way of grace and mercy; viz. an absolution from his former crimes, an acquittance from his debts, a state of innocence and guiltlessness in God's sight, an exemption from vengeance and punishment.--Barrow's Works, Vol. II,
+ See the 11th article.
180. ** See the authentic language of our church, concerning the sacrament of baptism, in the church catechism..
“ If we look either into the New Testament or into the antient Fan thers, we shall there find that the sacrament of baptism, considered as a federal rite of transaction between God and inan, is either declared or
After having cleared the scripture sense of justification, the author lays down what he conceives to be the precise meaning of the faith which justifies; and here also we shall quote his own words >
“Our Saviour every where expresses in the most simple terms the nature of the faith which he requires. The scriptures are written, saith St. John, that we may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing we may have life through his name*. Our Lord, before he raised Lazarus from the grave, questioned Martha as to her faith, in these words :Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead yet shall he live, and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? She said unto him, yea Lord, I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world. With this answer our Lord was satisfied, and proceeded accordingly to let her see the glory of God, and restored her brother to
- To believe then in Jesus, is to believe that he is the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world'; to believe that all that is recorded of him, and revealed to mankind by the apostles and evangelists, in his name, and with his authority, is true. In short and general terms, it is to believe in the truth of christianity."
Mr. Headlam examines and states particularly the doc trine of the Church of England on this subject; and he ably and satifactorily, to us at least, vindicates it from the charges and abuses of those who arrogate to themselves the distinction of being the only « true churchmen."
supposed, the ordinary necessary instrument in God's hands of man's justification."- Waterland's Summary View of the Doctrine of Justification, p. 16.
“ The words of St. Austin, Calvin's favourite author, are these, “Ecce enim baptizati sunt homines, omnia illis peccata dimissa sunt, justificati sunt à peccatis.”— Augustin Serm. 158.
“ Enough hath been said to shew that baptism is by divine appointment, the ordinary instrument for conveying the grace of justification. Scripture and antiquity are clear in this matter; and so likewise are our church forms, particularly our baptismal offices, catechisin and confirmation."-Waterland's Summ View, p. 89.
* John xx. 31.
Have wander'd thro' this vale of woe,
Unknown to grief that passeth show. Now the last years of life attain'd,
I forward look with confidence
My being by his Providence.
And my short joys were thought too long,
Still grateful pay my even song. When most dejected, most forlorn,
Religion was my soul's defence, She bade me hope a better morn,
And still confide in Providence.
My lips no impious murmurs pass'd,
The heavy hand resign'd I bore, Braved the wild fury of the blast,
And learnt in sorrow to adore. Firm yet I held, withstood despair,
And bade its black seductions hence, For I had gain'd a friend by pray'r,
And won his Love and Providence.
Experience long hath taught me this,
That without virtue none is blest, That with it private thought is bliss,
For with it thought may be caress'd. 'Tis fear that makes the misery;
But fear molests not Innocence; For ev'n amid her tears we see
The smile of Hope in Providence.
. The righteous ne'er forsaken are,
Ne’er do their seed implore for bread; For God their friend and leading star,
Shows what to do, and where to tread. No bribe allures them to betray,
Or fly their post of eminence, But boldly they pursue their way,
Beneath the wing of Providence.
The gamester gasps with eager thirst
For what when gain'd he not enjoys; In prostituted toil immers’d,
A moment makes him or destroys. If the dice fail and fortune turn,
Chance he accuses ! vain pretence! Be wise, rash Reasoner, and learn,
It is not Chance, but Providence.
Thy steps ʼmid fatal dangers stray,
Ruin will thy advance attend; "Tis Heaven warns thee of thy way,
And by correcting would amend. It is not Chance that gives success,
For what is Chance, but Influence; A Pow'r to punish or to bless,
An ever-active Providence ?
O Thou, that can’st with sceptic mind,
Avow the Potency of Chance;
In disposition fair advance;
The Grand Prime Mover's Influence;
Deny the Pow'r of Providence;
Survey all Nature's various face,
And see, if aught of Chance be there;
Contrivance and design declare.
Glows with divine Intelligence;
An animating Providence.
Why, as the stated hours return,
Gilds the bright Sun the eastern sky? Why hot the Earth revolving burn?
And from his steady axis Ay?
Do Planets hold their eminence ?
What guides the whole but Providence?
Day follows day, year rolls on year,
Seasons in fix'd succession wind;
O potent O potent chance! if such thy care
For man, man falsely terms thee blind.
That aught but vast Omnipotence
This beauteous world but Providence.
O Man, thy reasoning pow’rs command,
Suspicious dispositions shun,
That Fortune, Fate, and Chance are one;
That God is infinite, immense;
An Universal Providence.
[Γενεσω φωςθ, και εγενείο.]
Forth from the womb of darkness sprung
And earth, to view reveal'd, in lovely prospect hung.
Hark! the morning stars aloud,
See! the Seraph Sons of God Striking their golden harps, glad shouts of triumph raise ! “ Hence, hence, ye clouds of darkness, haste away!
But hail to thy all-chearing ray,
Eternal source of joy on.earth,
Mankind shall bless the wonders of thy birth, And hail thee, offspring best of goodness infinite.
“ Those, brightest of those fiery globes that roll
Along the wide extended pole,
To flame amid the front of heaven,
Or lov'st to linger at the close of even,
“Say, whence, O Sun! the never-failing source
That lights thee on thy blazing course? And thou, O silver-streaming globe of night!
i With all thy less refulgent train,
That sparkle mid the blue ethereal plain,