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;Liis covenant includes blessings for his seed, (i. e. for those who believe in- him,) and that it isamong the bless!ug« promised, that they shall be made to endure forever ;—and if the covenant is particular in this, (hat their transgressions shall be chastised, but shall not prevail to disinherit them, and prevent theYn from continuing to receive expressions of his loving kindness, through the medium of their holy Advocate; the inference is very surely drawn; That true believers will not any of them fall away and perish. See Psal. lxxxix. Ifthe Son has declared that his covenant engagements to ;he Father are such, that of all the Father hath Riven, he should lose nothing, the inference is not far-fetched, That no believer vrill ever be lost. See John vi. sr—40.
If in the covenant of rich grace, which the God of Israel makes with those who return to him, not feignediy, but with all the heart, he confirms the covenant in Ciiriot ;* if they are now made one with Christ so as to be considered members of his body, of his flesh, and
of his bones ;t if he is made of God unto them
wisdom, righteousness, sancfificacion, and redemption
if their life is bid with Christ in God, and he has
become tbeir t'Je,§ so us to say to them, Because I live,
ye shall.live nlso ;|l if he promises, that his grace
shall be sufficient for them, and his strength made perfect in their weakness ;H if he promises to succor
them when they are tempted, and always make a way
for their escape ;** if he keepeth the feet of his
saints,ft so that none of their steps shall slide —if he promises to restore their souls, and lead them in paths of righteousness for his name's sake ;§§—if he promises to put his fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from him ;|||| and to woik in them both to will and to do, of his good pleasifre,*!1F even that which is
well pleasing in his sight,*** is there no certainty
of their perseverance in faith and well doing? Docs all this amount only to inferential proof of the impossibility of their being left to fall away and perish? What
• Gal. Hi. 17. + Eph. v. 30. * 1 Cor. i. 30. $ Col. iii. 3, 4. (JJohnxiv. 19. % 2 Cor. iii. 9. "1 Cor. x. 13. ff 1 Sam. ii. 9. n Psal. xxxvii. 31. §§ Psal. xxiii. 3. MJer. xxxii. 40. HIT Phil. ii. 13. »•' Hcb. xiii.21.
can be more direct proof of this impossibility, than the promises of God, to keep them by his power, through their faith unto salvation X*
We have seen how perfectly reconcileable with our views of this doctrine, are those if's, which my antagonist seems to consider as foundation enough to support their views of the doctrine. The conditions on which God promises heaven to his people j the caveats, and the many pressing exhortations which are addressed to them, spurring them on to duty, are all perfectly harmonious with the doctrine of a certain and infallible connexion "between the beginning, and perfection of grace in their hearts. But their views of the doctrine, are totally irreconcileable with those promises in the covenants of redemption, and of grace, which provide for the perpetuity ofholiness in the hearts of believers. Their views of the doctrine may be reconciled with the promises of eternal life, made to those who are faithful to the death ; but they cannot be reconciled with those promises, which engage that grace* which shall insure this faithfulness unto death. All the promises in God's word, which belong to this class, (and there are many such,) do not harmonize with their scheme of doctrine. But the other class of promises, is not atall at variance with the scheme which we advocate. Our views of this particular article of christian doctrine, are now before the reader. Let him compare what he has read with the standard, and then judgs.
* 1 Pet. i. 5.
Remarks On Satan's Transformation Into An AnGel OF LIGHT, AND'ALSO ON THE TRANSFORMATION OF HIS MINISTERS INTO THE APOSTLES OF CHRIST; BEING MADE IN VttWOF WHAT IS FOUND ON THESS SUBJECTS IN MR. BANGS' SIXTH LETTER.
TO the five Sermons occasioned by the Debate were added three other Sermons, which were thought to be on important subjects. The first of these was " on the duty of all men to be holy like God." This sermon was founded upon Levit. xix. 2 —S/ieak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel, and iay unto them, Ye shall be holy : for I the Lord your God am holy. The second of these sermons was, "on the difference of character between the unconverted and converted, as consisting in supreme regard to self, and supreme regard to God." The text of this sermon was 2 Cor. v. 15.—. And he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. The last of these three sermons was "on the subject of Satan's transformation into an angel of light." The text was 2 Cor. xi 14.—And no marvel ; for Satan himself is transjormed into an angel of light.
On the first of these sermons, I do not discover that Mr. Bangs has made any remarks. In his last Letter he makes some remarks on the two last sermons. He takes the first notice of the last sermon, namely, the one which treats of Satan's transformation into an angel of light. To this therefore we shall now pay the first attention.
I have long been convinced that we do not pay proper attention to the cautions, which God has mercifully given us, to be on our guard against the miles of the devil. What a caution is this; "Be sober, be vigilant; because ycur adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist steadLst in the faith." 1 Pet. v. 8, 9. Paul exhorts the Corinthians to a certain duty, adding this as a motive, "Lest Satan get an advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices." In the 12th chapter of Revelation, Satan is described as one which deccivcth the whole -world. And the effect of his being bound, is( thdt he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years should be fulfilled. Those who are entangled with error are spoken of as in the snare of the devil.— "In meekness instructing them that oppose themselves ; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil." How forcible is the exhortation of the apostle, Eph. vi. 11, "Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."
As to the sarcastic remarks, whichare contained in this, and indeed in all the Letters, I have nothing to do with them. I have no personal quarrel with my antagonist. If he views me as one of the ministers of Satan, it is his duty to warn his fellow men against being deceived by me. If lie wiews all Calvinistic ministers, as the ministers of Satan, he will no doubt act consistently with his belief, in exposing them, with a view to prevent their destroying the souls of men. Whether the sermon on Satan's being transformed into an angel of light, was an attempt" to slander the ministers of Christ," by " secret stabs under the garb of friendship," will be seen when the secrets of all hearts are disclosed. If it should appear, that in compassion for their souls a faithful warning had been given them, and they have turned a deaf ear to it, their blood will be upon their own heads.
No one will pretend but that Satan has his ministers, who are transformed into the ministers of Christ. And I think it will not be judged as foreign from my subject, that my hearers, in being warned against sat&nic wiles, were warned against his ministers. Some rules were laid down, by which to know his ministers. But previously to these rules being given, it was observed: "No rules can be laid clown, by which the hearers can, with certainty, distinguish between a sanctified, and an Uhtanctified minister." Sermons, p. 195i Mr. B. thinks there is a great contradiction between this observation, and my proceeding to lay down rules, by which to distinguish Satan's ministers. On this I would remark, 1. That an unsanctified minister and a minister of Satan, may not be precisely the same. Judas had a devil; and yet he was not properly the devil's minister. He was called and commissioned by Christ; he cast out devils in Christ's name, and preached his doctrine. Perhaps no one, who preaches the doctrines of truth, and who is regularly introduced into the ministry, is, in the most proper sense, a minister of Satan. If he be an unconverted man, he is in the sight of God a servant of the devil; but his open and visible character, may be that of a minister of Christ. And even if we could know, that his heart was not wit-h Christ ; yet if he preached the very preaching which Chiist bids his ministers preach, it might not be proper to say, that he was one of the devil's preachers or ministers. To say so, would seem to carry the idea, that he preached on tbe same side which the devil would have him. Paul, in his epistle to the Philippians, speaks of some who preached Christ from bad motives, and yet tells us that he rejoiced, that even by their means Christ was preached. It appears from this, that he did not really consider them as the ministers of Satan, so as to warn the churches against them ; as he did against those heretical teachers, whose word did eat like a canker: and yet he most pointedly condemned their character, because their motive was not good. It would seem that corrufition in doctrine, and such corruption as is quite fundamental, is an essential ingredient in the character of a minister of the prince of darkness. To this however we add, that a wicked life is a practical heresy, and such as to stamp a public teacher with the peculiar mark of the kingdom to which he belongs.