Imágenes de páginas

'vain glory and hypocrisy, and all uncharitable'ness:' 'Grant that all who profess and call them'selves Christians may be led into the way of truth, 'and hold the faith in unity of the Spirit, in the 'bond of peace, and in righteousness of life:' 'Have, mercy on all Jews, Turks, infidels, and 'heretics; take from them all hardness of heart, 'and contempt of thy word; and so fetch them 'home, blessed Lord, to thy flock, that they may 'be saved among the remnant of the true Israel'ites ; 'That so thy way may be known upon earth, 'thy saving health unto all nations;' 'Grant this, 'O Lord, for the honour, and through the merits, 'of our only Advocate and Mediator, Jesus Christ.* Amen.


N° I.


(From the first edition of this work, near the beginning of B. V. c. iv.)

IT is not to be supposed that any exact or full proof can here be adduced, concerning the history of those doctrines which are now called Calvinistic, from the Old Testament; especially in the close of this work. But do we hear no report of them? nothing suited to excite the expectation of a more full enunciation of them in the days of the Messiah, who is the fulfilment of all the prophecies, and the substance of all the types and shadows of the old dispensation ?— His Lordship has included, among those tenets of Calvinism which he undertook to refute, several doctrines that are not generally regarded as Calvinistical: and this will rather increase the labour of what is here intended. Some subjects, however, treated of separately, appear to be coincident as far as our argument is concerned. I shall advert to, 1. The doctrine of original sin. 2. Free will, special grace, or regeneration. 3. Justification by faith. 4. Election, or . the decrees of God. 5. Final perseverance. If any notices are given us on these subjects, favourable to the Calvinistical doctrines, we must of course date the history of these doctrines very far back in the annals of the church and assign them a very remote antiquity.

1. Original sin or the entire depravity of human nature as engendered of Adam's fallen race. " God saw that the wickedness of "man was great in the earth; and that every imagination of "the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." "And "God looked upon the earth and behold it was corrupt; for "all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth." "The imagi"nation of man's heart is evil from his youth."' "Who can "bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one." "What is "man that he should be clean? And he that is born of a woman, "that he should be righteous? Behold he putteth no trust in his "saints; yea the heavens are not clean in his sight. How much "more abominable and filthy is man, who drinketh iniquity "like water!" '.' How can man be justified with God? or how "can he be clean, who is born of a woman ?"e "The Lord "looked down from heaven upon the children of men," (or of Adam, " to see if there were any that did understand, and seek "after God. They are all gone aside, they are altogether become "filthy, there is none that doethgood, no not one," " Behold, I "was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me."' "Lo, this have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they "have sought out many inventions."4 "He that trusteth in his "own heart is a fool."5 " The heart is deceitful above all things, "and desperately wicked; who can know it ?"c Is there no intimation in these texts of man's depravity ? of any material alteration since God created him in his own image, and pronounced him very good? Is there no preparation made for the full declaration of the doctrine by the apostle, " By one man sin entered into the "world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for "that all have sinned:" " By one man's disobedience many became "sinners? &c."7 Can stronger and more unqualified language on the subject be used by Calvinists? And, if this doctrine belong to the tenets of Calvinism, in giving an historical account of these tenets, ought this most important part of the history to have been wholly kept out of sight?

2. Free will, special grace, or regeneration. "The Lord thy "God will circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed, to "love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy •" soul, that thou mayest live." Compare this with what had been before spoken; "The Lord hath not given you a heart "to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to hear unto this "day."' "That he may incline our hearts unto him to walk in

1 Gen. vi. 6, 12, viii. 21. * Job xiv. 4. xv. 14—16. xxv. 4.

a Ps. xiv. 2, 3. li. 5. < Prov. xxviii. 26.

* Ec. vii. 29. Rom. iii. 9—20. 6 Jcr. xvii. 9.

7 Rom. v. * Deut. xxix. 4. xxx. 6.

'* his ways, and to keep his commandments."1 "The Lord hath "heard the desire of the humble; thou wilt prepare their heart "thou wilt cause thine ear to hear." "Create in me a clean heart, "and renew a right spirit within me."' " I will put my law in "their inward parts, and write it in their hearts." "I will give "them one heart and one way that they may fear me for ever.* I ".will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them; "and I will take away the stony heart out of their flesh, and give "them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in my statutes, and •* keep mine ordinances and do them." * "I will sprinkle clean "water upon you, and ye shall be clean; from all your filthiness "and from all your idols will I cleanse you: a new heart also "will I give you, and a new Spirit will I put within you; and I "will take away the heart of stone out of your flesh, and I will "give you a heart of flesh ; and I will put my Spirit within you, "and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my "judgments and do them." " I will pour out upon the house of '' David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of •' grace and of supplications : and they shall look to me whom they "have pierced, and they shall mourn."'—Is there no intimation, in these scriptures, of special new-creating grace taking the lead in the change of character predicted or promised? Is there nothing on which our Lord might properly ground this question to Nicodemus, concerning regeneration, "Art thou a teacher of "Israel, and knowest not these things ?" Is there nothing parallel to the apostle's declaration ?" It is God that worketh in us both "to will and to do, of his good pleasure V And ought this wholly to be passed over in the history of the doctrines now called Calvinistic?

3. Justification by faith. Abraham " believed in the Lord, "and he counted it to him for righteousness." * "Blessed is he "whose transgression is forgiven, and whose sin is covered: "blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity."' "If thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquity, O Lord who shall stand? "But there is forgiveness with thee." "Enter not into judg"ment with thy servant; for in thy sight shall no man living be "justified." • "Surely shall one say, In the Lord, have I righte

1 I Kings vii. 5, 8. 'Ps. x. 17. li. 10.

'Jer. xxxi.33. xxxii. 39. » Ez. xi. 19, 20.

* Ez.xxxvi.25.—27. Zech. xii. 10—14. 6 Gen. xv. 6. John viii. 56. Rom.iv, 1—5. 9—25.Gal.iii. 6—29.—18xi.S—17 Jam. li. 23. 'Ps. xxxii. 1, 2. Rom iv.6—8. • Ps. cxxx. 3, 4. cxliii. 2.

« AnteriorContinuar »