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and discontent ; and by that self. tred, malignity, and an overbears accusation, which arises from a ling, self-grasping spirit, and destitemper and conduct that is contra. tute of friendship, confidence and ry to reason, to their own best love, through the whole body! good, and to the revealed will of This must constitute a state of woe God. They afflict each other by and punishment, far exceeding selfishness, avarice, pride, ma what we have seen here on earth lignity and the works of conten- at any time. I might go much fartion.—These are the fruits of sin. ther on this subject, and point out Wherever sin is found, these are various other natural sources for a found ; for the curse goes as far as fulfilment of all the awful predicthe transgression. Wherever the tions against the ungodly. Nature curse extends the effect will be is filled with evidence to confirm conspicuous. This is witnessed by Revelation, but, at present, I shall the history of a whole world, in proceed no farther, leaving the all ages, from the beginning down reader to his own observation and to the present ; and it will be wit experience to suggest other sources nessed through eternity. Eternity of unhappiness to the finally imwill give higher evidence of the penitent which shall fulfil the ho. awful effects of fin in society, than Jy word “the end of these things can poffibly be experienced in this is death.” world. To make finners misera- If there be in nature these fourble to a very extreme degree in a- ces of unhappiness to those who nother state, the Almighty, who transgress the law of God and live upholds and governs the universe, in fin, we must then believe with will only have to uphold their ex- the Apostle “ that the wages of istence and the universe which they fin is death” and that there can be inhabit, and to place them in a no escape for us, but by a gracious ftuation where they can mutually renovation and forgiveness thro' act on each other, and they will to the mercy and by the spirit of a great degree execute the penalty of the lawon each other. Pride and

: MINORIS. selfishness in disposition and practice, under the direction of a com FOR THE CONNECTICUT EVANmon created intellect, with no GELICAL MAGAZINB. greater means than are afforded in

The difference between the penalties this world, will constitute a hell of torment. How often do men

of the law), and the threatening's make this for themselves in this

of the gospel. world ! Look on an earth filled

ed Ovef. T ID God explicitly with sorrow, and woe! Look on

U threaten Adam, that the myriads of finful minds in the in case of disobedience, he should sufeternal world, and see how it must fer the penalty of the divine law, probably be there. Conceive these whatever that was ? If so, and minds, by some laws of existing yet God could, and did difpenfe with and acting on each other, with it, have we sure evidence, that God which we are now probably unac- cannot, and will not in some future quainted, brought into connexion, period, dispense also with the threatwith a power of mutually aff Eting, enings of the gospel, again such as as a linful temper disposes finners die in unbelief? se do !-All filled with pride, ha- ! The question divides itself into

God.

two. The first enquiry is,' Whe, er oblige God, in point of veraci. ther God explicitly threatened A. ty, to see it executed. Had it dam, that in case of disobedience, done this, there could have been he should suffer the penalty of the no room left for a dispensation of divine law?

grace,consistently with divine truth, Answer. 1. The language, in and God could not have extended which the penalty of the law was mercy to him, on any terms whatexpressed to Adam, was explicit. ever, or in virtue of any atone* Thou shalt surely die," or as ment, without a fatal wound to translated in the margin, Dying | his own glory, and without shą. thou shalt die. In this penalty, an- king the foundation of the confi. nexed to the command, there was I dence of all his creatures in bis no ambiguity. No penalty affix word. Divine truth is too facred ed to any law was ever given in to admit of any commutation. If more unequivocal terms. In this it should appear that in one instance refpect it was as explicit as poslible. God had forfeited his word, there

2. This penalty gave no encou- could no longer remain any real ragement to Adam to hope for a security, that he would execute dispensation of grace, or that he any of his threatenings, or fulfil his 1hould by any means escape the promises : Therefore God, in proevil denounced. But he had just viding a way of mercy, must be reason to conclude, in case of dif- considered, as having informed us, obedience, that he should suffer the that he had not pledged his word punishment. For there was no to execute the penalty, or we can. unreasonable severity, either in the not reconcile his conduct, in this prohibition or the penalty, nor any instance, with any grounds of fuintimations of grace made by reve- ture confidence in his truth. lation, or the light of nature, or That it may be manifest, that to be inferred from any former dif- God had not bound himself, by his pensation of mercy to finners, word, to inflict the penalty of his which might fuggelt the idea to law on the transgressor, it will be Adam, that God might, perhaps, useful to consider the obvious disdispense with the penalty of his tinction, between a positive threatlaw. Therefore, when he be-ening, given as a prediction, that came a transgressor, he had suffi-| | in the cafe described, the punishcient reason to consider his case ment shall be inflicted, and a penhopeless.

m a lty, considered only as an expres3. Notwithstanding this, the fion of the demerit of transgrefpenalty of the law was so far dif- fion, and the punishment to which pensed with, that Adam had, thro' the transgressor becomes justly exthe atonement of Christ, an oppor- posed. In the firft cafe, he who tunity given him to escape the evil threatens is bound to execute as denounced. This needs no proof, much as his word can bind him in as it is admitted in the question : any cafe whatever. But in the And if this is insufficient, the other, a mere penalty is not a polwhole word of God, and the de- itive assertion, that the punishment clarations of Christ in particular on shall be inflicted. And I conceive this subject, bring fufficient evi- it may be made manifest, that there dence.

was no positive threatening made to 4. The declaration made in the | Adam, distinct from a penalty, ja penalty of the law did not howey. 'the sense that has now been descrie

Vol. I, No. 7.

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bed. It is true, the penalty of qualified sense of the word was the law was given in the words, explicit. • Thou shalt surely die :' But this! The second part of the question is no more than the ordinary lan-will now be considered. Whether guage of all penalties, divine and l linge God could, and did dispense human. They are always, and with the penalties of the law, we very fitly expressed in this man have sure evidence, that he can. ner ; and according to the known not, and will not, in some future use of language, it means no more, time, dispense also with the threatthan that in the view of the legis. enings of the Gospel, against such lator, the offender deserves the as die in unbelief? The enquiry punishment expressed. When a amounts to this. Whether God man breaks the laws of a state or in dispensing with the penalties of kingdom, to which he belongs, his law, so as to provide a way of and incurs the penalty, no one salvation for finners, does not give supposes, that such state or king room for some uncertainty, whethdom is bound, in point of veraci er he will finally execute the ty, to execute the punishment. threatenings of the Gospel ? To Sucli penalties are not considered this I reply.--1. If God had brok-as engaging its truth. States may en his word in the first case, we be, and usually are bound to ex. might well question whether he ecute the penalties of their laws would regard it in the second, or upon offenders, by confiderations in any thing else that he has enof public safety, and the support gaged to do. of government. But these are 1 2. If the threatenings of the different from the obligations of Gospel are mere penalties, and in veracity. And hence, all govern this respect, of the fame nature as ñents, notwithstanding the penal the penalties of the law, and it ties annexed to their laws, feel appears that God could, and did themselves at perfect liberty to par make such arrangements, that it don offenders, when they conceive was consistent with the fupport of that this will be consistent with the government, and the public wel. public good. And so in the case | fare, that he should dispense with under consideration, Adam could those penalties, then we cannot not have known, or have had any certainly conclude that he may not just reasons to conclude, that the make some such new arrangements general good would not have re. by which it may consist with the quired that he should suffer. He general good, that he should also was satisfied that God was just, dispense with the threatenings of and that the law was righteous, the Gospel, altho' expreffed in both in its precepts and penalties ; | the strongest language. There. and on this account; and not before, cause he supposed that God had 3. If the case of such as die in pledged his word, he had reason unbelief be indeed desperate, the to expect that he should suffer evidence of it to us, must arise without mercy.-Thus the penal. | from a material difference in the ty of the law was explicit, and if nature of the penalties of the one, penalties can properly be called and the threatenings of the other. threatenings, and they certainly afind this I conceive is truly the sume a threatening aspect over the case, and that it is most manifestly Gianer, then the threatening in this revealed to be so in the Gospel.

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The nature of the penalties made It has no penalty of its own, but known to Adam, has beeni already for rejection of Christ, and this is considered. We shall now attend fo circumstanced that it cannot ad. to the threatenings of the Gospel, mit of the smallest doubt whether and shall attempt to show, that it will be executed, for it falls on they are such, that the veracity of such only, as are condemned by God requires him to execute them the law, and excluded from any against all such as incur them, by benefit by Christ, by the limitations living and dying in unbelief; which of the gospel. was not the case with the penalty of the law against the transgressor.

4. Besides, the threatenings of - That the threatenings of the

: the gospel not, only limit the reGofpel are, in this respect, efsen

| leare to fuch as believe, but they

limit the period in which the bentially different from the penalty of

efit of this dispensation may be se. the law, may be conclusively ar

cured, and confine it to this life. gued from the consideration, that

They assure us that such as neglect the penalty of the law had been al

to avail themselves of the present ready revealed, before the Gospel

opportunity, fail suffer the direct was given ; and therefore there

course of law and justice. They could be no need that the penalty mould be repeated in the lame way, I warded according to the deed.

declare that judgment shall be aand if it should seem to any one, that there might be need of this,

done here in the body. All this yet the Gospel does not profess to

proves, that the threatenings of the be a repetition of the law, or of

gospel are properly limitations to its penalties ; but to be a very dif

the extent of its favors, and so are ferent dispensation. It reveals to !!

I predictions, in which God has

pledged his word, that the law us, that upon particular terms, which are there stated, those pen- |

shall be executed on all others.

| They are not mere penalties, but alties can, and shall be dispensed

declarations which engage God, with. And the threatenings of

in point of cruth, to see that they the Gospel are designed to assure us, that thole penalties shall not

are executed be dispensed with, upon any other 5. Moreover, the representation 'terms, than those which it reveals of the day of judgment, given in

These are repentance towards the 25th chapter of Matthew, eviGod, and faith in our Lord Jesus dently appears to be a prediction Christ. Therefore it is declared, of what God is determined shall He that believeth on the Son of take place. It is not given in the God is not condemned, but he that stile of a penalty, but of a plain believeth not is condemned alrea- / prediction. It declares that there dy-He is condemned by the law, will then be two classes of people, and not rescued by the gofpel, and and that one shall be justified, and therefore the wrath of God abid- the other punished. This there. eth on him. All the threatenings fore, and other similar passages in of the gospel, except for the parti- the holy scriptures show, that God, cular fin of unbelief alone, are of to prevent unbelievers from prethis nature, and are manifestly de- suming on his mercy, since it is figned to limit the release which it known that he is a merciful being, proposes from the penalties of the has given his word, that none law, to such as repent and believe. ' shall be benefitted by his mercy.

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except according to the restric- | oally consider, that this gospel, 2tions of the gospel. Again, bove all other things, renders it

6. The law did not say that no evident, that such a hope is in vain! mercy should be exercised towards

- MIKROS. transgressors : But the gospel says explicitly, that no mercy shall be For THE CONNECTICUT Ev'an. extended to any, except according . GELICAL MAGAZINE. to the limitations it contains ; no, THE Apostle says, 1 Cor. 5. not in any future period; but that 1 0 -11. “ I wrote unto all others shall go away into ever 'you in an epistle, not to compa. Jasting fire, and shall be utterly de n y with fornicators. Yet not al. ftroyed. These, and numerous 'together with the fornicators of declarations of the like import af this world, or with the covetous, sure us, in a way which engages 'or extortioners, or with idolathe truth of God, that there will ters ; for then you must needs go be no further exercise of grace. out of the world. But now have The threatenings of the gospel are written unto you, not to keep therefore essentially different from company, if any man that is cal. the penalties of the law. So that led a brother be a fornicator, or the confideration, that God does ' covetous, or an idolater, or a in a special case, carefully describ railer, or a drunkard, or an exed and limited, difpense with the 'tortioner, with such an one, no penalties of the law, in considera. 'not to eat." tion of the atonement of Christ, | All agree that, if a member of does not give any ground of uncer | the Christian church become opentainty, whether he will also dif. ly immoral, he is to be cast out. pense with the threatenings of the But all are not agreed respecting gospel, which are positive assertions, the treatment, which is to be given that the penalties of the law shall him, after the sentence of excomnot be remitted, beyond the limits munication is passed. Some fup. expressed in the gospel. The | pose that Christians are here forbidthreatenings of the gospel are no- den to eat with him at commor thing more nor less, than the ex- meals ; others, only at the Lord's press declarations of God, in ad. / table. dition to the penalties of the law, I The following observations are that he will not dispense with those offered in support of the opinion, penalties, in favor of any, who live that Christians are forbidden to and die in unbelief, with an addi- eat, even at a common table, with tional penalty against finners, who a person, who is excommunicated have the light of the gospel, fos un from the church, viz. belief itself. And fo, instead of 1. The terms, in which the pro. opening a door of hope for such as hibition is expressed, naturally lead die in unbelief, they are designed us to suppose that, when the apol. to make it evident, that their case tle says, with such an one, no not is altogether desperate.

to eat, he meant, at a common meal. Oh that all such as cherish a {e- In the eighth verse, the apostle cret hope, that God will shew them speaks of the facramental supper ; mercy, though they die in unbelief, and there makes use of a term, because he has provided the gospel which he appropriates to this gol. salvation for those who were con pel feat; but which cannot be ap. demned by the law, would seria 'plied to eating, at a common meal,

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