« AnteriorContinuar »
longer exists: so during the pref | the members, denominates the man, ence of a finful exercise, there can he concludes, that it was not prop: be no:hing to oppose that, for there erly he who did that which he can no contrary exercise coexist would not, but fin that dwelt in with it, and when it ceases to be, him. Here it is evident that the opposition to it comes too late, and new man gave denomination to is utterly impossible. Both exer Paul's person ; and in that view cises, while they exist, hold an of it, it was not he who dick entire and uncontroled dominion ; l. wrong, but in the old man or but this is utterly inconsistent with the body of fin within him. And a war between them. No war can in the fame sense St. John says, exist between them unless they ac- “ He that is born of God doch tually conflict and struggle with not commit fin, for his feed reeach other, as Jacob and Esau did | maineth in him, and he cannot while in their mother's womb ;. fin, because he is born of God." but this is impossible, for there is But if the new. principle called the no moment in which they coexift. new man or the new.creature de.
That two opposite exercises of nominates the person of every the will should coexist, I admit is Saint, then certainly is always eximpossible, but I do not think it ists, and there is a vital feed in impossible for two opposite laws or the heart that never dies. He is principles of action to coexist, and not therefore perfectly holy and that they actually do fo is, I think, perfectly finful, by turns, but he demonstrated by the Apostle Paul, / is always a Saint, or a holy perin his discourse on that subject, in fon. The same is proved by the the 7th Chapter of his Epiftle to whole of the Apostle's discourse. the Romans. He plainly speaks He says, “ For what I do, I alof two opposite laws, the law in low not,” that is, at the instant I his members, and the law of his do evil, I allow it not, “ for what mind; by which, I think, he must I would, that do I not ; but what mean two opposite principles of I hate that do I.” That is, opaction. Distinct, independent ex- posite propenfities, at the famę ercises cannot properly be called a moment, exert themselves in op. law ; but that within us, whatever posite directions. “For to will it may be, that lays a foundation that is, a propenhty to do good, is for a train of exercises of a cera prefent with me," he must mean cain kind, may be so called, wheth. always present, for it is asserted, er it be taste, propensity, inclina. without limitation, “ but how to zion, or other divine constitution perform that which is good I find whatever. The feat of these op not.” Further he says, “ I find, posite laws, according to the apos. | then, a law, that when I would tle's figurative representation, is do good, evil is present with me." not the fame ; one is in the mem | That is, present at the time, when, bers, the other in the mind; still, | he would do good. To will, that it is evident, he speaks of them as is a disposition to do good, then, coexisting. And as he would do is always present, and evil is al. good uniformly and constantly, ways prefent when he would do obeying the impulse of the law of good, or which is the same thing, his mind, were he nor dragged the they always coexist. The conother way by the law in his mem stant struggle there is between the bers; and as the mind, rather than 'two principles, or between the old
the man and the new man, constitutes | corn in the ear, Again he repre
the spiritual warfare which exists sents the kingdom of God as it in every true Chriftian. “ The was to exist in the world, and also Hesh lusteth against the spirit, and in the soul of the believer, * in its
the spirit against the flesh, and progress towards perfection, by a ore these are contrary the one to the grain of mustard seed, which a other."
man took and lowed in his field. As the holy scriptures are ev- | This.parable, in addition to what ery where full to the same purpose, was represented by the good feed, I will select a number of passages further shows, that from small bewhich, I think, will place the gionings the kingdom will become matter in a still clearer light. In immensely great and glorious.
general, all those texts which prove Again, he represents it by leaven, : that the faved pass through the which a woman took, and hid in i new-birth, or are born of God, three measures of meal, till the
equally prove the perpetuity of a whole was leavened. Now this
principle of spiritual life. The again shows the unceasing progress i most prominent idea in birth is of the kingdom, in both the senses
the commencement of life, and the mentioned, towards perfection ; most prominent idea in the new. not by intermitted steps, but in a birch is the commencement of fpir. gradual advance ; for the nature of itual life. A new creature is for leaven is to produce a fermentation med. “That which is born of in the meal duly prepared, which the flesh is flesh, and that which will never cease to operate, till the is born of the spirit is fpirit.” whole mass 'is fermented, and Here the queltion will be, does changed into its own nature. this new creature ever die ? Or, is | The Apostles, following the the vital principle ever extinét? Now steps of the great teacher who if all holiness and fan lie in exer- came from God, frequently recise, and that exercise, in the re- present spiritual life in the foal, igenerate, isalternately perfectly ho- under the same emblem of feed ly and perfe&tly sinful; then the fown. The Apostle Peter lays, Spiritual life produced in the news 1“ being born again, not of corbirth, which is holinefs, is often ruptible seed but of incorruptible, extinct, or the new creature often by the word of God which liveth dies; indeed, what is called the and abideth forever.” The seed, old man and the new man die and according to our Lord's explanarevive as often as the opposite tion, is the word of God in the exercises alternate. But, this heart, or what elsewhere is called seems not to be the truth. On the engrafted word or the word mixa the contrary, Spiritual life in the ed with faith ; this is expressly foul is the commencement of a faid to be incorruptible, and which life which never ends, or eternal liveth and abideth for ever. St. life. In the 13th chapter of Mat- Paul says this same word of God thew Christ represents it, by feed is quick or living, and powerful, fown in good ground, which does sharper than any two-edged sword, not die in the earth, but germi- piercing, &c. and is a discerner of nates, and progresses forward, till the thoughts and intents of the it brings forth fruit to perfection. heart. . It is, when mixed with 3Its progress is marked, first the blade, then the ear, then the full * Luke xvij. 21. Romans xiv. 17o faith, and fo become the engrafted therefore eternal. Our Saviour word, an immortal principle of life says, “ This is life eternal that in the soul. St. John, in his first they might know thee, the only Epistle says, “ Whosoever is born true God, and Jesus Christ whom of God doth not commit sin, for thou hast fent ;" but every believer his feed remaineth in him,” &c. has the true knowledge of God if the seed, or spiritual life remain and of Jesus Christ, he has there eth, it is never intermitted. A- fore eternal life. gain he says, “ I have written un. Again, the divine writers com. to you young men, because ye are pare this principle of grace in the
strong, and the word of God abid- heart to living waters, than which yeth in you," &c. On which nothing has a niore uncealing ener
the same remark may be niade. gy and motion. Solomon says, He adds, " But the anointing “ Keep thy heart with all diliwhich ye have received of him ;" | gence, for out of it are the issues or the sanctifying influences of the of life. The mouth of the rightespirit of God, “abideth in you, ous man is a well of life. The law &c. and as the same anointing of the wise is a fountain of life. hath taught you, ye hall abide in Understanding is a well-spring of him.” Here is not only their ac life unto him that hath it." Our tual state, abiding in Chrift, but a Lord addressing the woman of Sapromise of their continuing fo to maria, says, “ If thou knewest do, we mall abide in him. Again, the gift of God, and who it is, “ We know that we have pas that faith unto thee, give me to sed from death to life because we drink, thou wouldest have asked love the brethren. He that lov- of him, and he would have given eth not his brother, abideth in thee living water. Whosoever death. Whosoever hateth his drinketh of the water that I shall brother, is a murderer, and ye give him, shall never thirst ; but know, that no murderer hath eter- the water that I shall give him, nal life abiding in him." Here, shall be in him a well of water he who loves, and he who hates Springing up into everlasting life.” his brother, are contrasted ; the Again, “ He that believeth on one hath life the other hath not me, as the scripture hath said, eternal life abiding in him ; to make out of his belly foall Aow rivers of the antithesis complete, the life living water.” No image in nawhich he who loves his brother ture could more fully illustrate the hath, is eternal life ; for if neither vital energy and perpetuity of grace of them have eternal life, he who in the heart. hates his brother is not distin- The same truth is evident by guished from him, who loves his what Christ says of himself, “ I brother, by saying, he hath not I am the living bread which came eternal life abiding in him; the con- | down from heaven, if any man fequence is, he who loves his | Thall eat of this bread he hall brother, hath eternal life abiding in live forever. Except ye eat the him ; but eternal life is an inde- Aeth of the Son of man, and fectible principle. Conformably drink his blood, ye have no life to this idea, St. Paul, in his first in you. Whoso cateth my Aesh letter to the Corinthians, says ex- and drinketh my blood, hath eter pressly, charity or love to God nal life.” And much more of and man, never faileth ; it is like import, in the same passage.
Every true believer, in the sense thou Father art in me and I in of this passage,. eats the Aesh and thee, that they may be one in us, drinks the blood of Christ. It is that the world may know that an act of faith, and is necessarily thou hast sent me. And the glo. involved in the general notion of ry which thou gavest me, I have saving faith ; every true believ given them, that they may be one, er, then, hath eternal life ; and he even as we are one, I in them and hath it in presenti, in the very ad thou in me, that they may be of feeding upon Christ ; which made perfect in one." In virtue eternal life will of course continue of this prayer, all who believe, through the present state, and will become One Body, informed and be perfected in heaven.
animated by One Spirit, even the The fame is manifest from spirit of God. The God and Christ's words to Peter, juft be- | Father of all, who is above all, fore his deplorable fall. “ And and through all, is in them all. the Lord said, Simon, Simon, Chrift dwells in then, in like behold Satan hath desired to have manner, as the Father dwells in you, that he may fift you as wheat. | him. Just before Christ had said, But I have prayed for thee, that 1“ I will pray the Father, and he thy faith fail not.” He makes shall give you another comforter, the same intercession for all Saints, that he may abide with you forevand we know that the Father hear-er; Even the spirit of truth, eth him always; the faith of the whom the world cannot receive, Saints, therefore, never fails. But because it feeth him not, neither faith workerl: by love, or charity. I knoweth him, but ye know him, Charity, therefore, never fails, for he dwelleth with you, and fall which the apostle Paul says, in so be in you.” Thus it is evident, many words, as we have seen be that the three persons of the ever fore. The love of God and man, | adorable Trinity dwell in the rethen, once inkindled in the heart, deemed, not only collectively, but is a boly flame, which is never | individually, and shall dwell in extinguished, but lives forever. them forever. They are, and each
Again, Christ is formed in the one is, an holy temple of the soul of every Christian, of which, Lord, and a habitation of God. his being formed in the womb of through the spirit. But surely his virgin mother is a scripture em | all this implies a principle of fpif. blem. “ To whom God would itual life, nay of eternal life in makeknown whatistheriches of the | every Saint, and can by no means glory ofthis mysteryamong the Gen- consist with the notion, that the tiles, which is Christin you the hope Saints are perfectly sinful when of glory.” “My little children, they have sinful exercises or vosays the same divine writer, in his | litions, and that at such times they letter to the Galatians, “ of whom have no vital principle of holiness I travail in birth again, until Christ within them, by which they are be formed in you.” Now Chrift, distinguished from the unsanctified. .." Is the true God and eternal life.” | Having said what I purpose, in
Eternal life, then, is formed in proof of the point in question, I the soul of every Christian. Fur will conclude with this reflection, in
ther Christ prays in behalf of all the words of scripture. « That · who believe on him in these words, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, * That they all may be one, as nor have entered into the heart of Vol. I. No. 9.
man the things that God hath pre- | unfavorable to Godliness. If men pared for them that love him.” are justified by faith, and not by
works, and he that believes will The Gospela Do&rine according to certainly be saved, what need have Godlinefs.
we to trouble ourselves about per. (Continued from page 283.) sonal holiness ?-Hence some may NUMBER III.
have thought, the gospel tended
to encourage or countenance the ty. T HE gospel in its requi neglect of practical religion; and
1 fitions, as to the prin to open a door to immorality sad cipal condition of pardon and sal- wickedness. vacion, is a doctrine according to That some have thus pervertid Godliness.
and abused the doctrine of grace will The principle condition of par- not be denied : but that the doctrine don and salvation, is faith in of salvation by grace, through faith, Christ. This will appear by the or any of the doctrines of grace, as following specimen of its declara- stated in the gospel, warrant or af. tions upon this head. “ As Mo- ford just ground for any such conses lifted up the serpent in the wil. clusion, is utterly denied. Allsuchderness, even so must the son of like inferences from the gospel doc. man be lifted up ; that whosoever trine of juftification by faith, or believeth in him should not perish, from the assertion, that he who be. but have eternal life. He that believeth shall be saved, are founded lieveth on him is not condemned : on imperfect, defective, partial, or but he that believeth not is con- erroneous notions of the nature and demned already. He that be- l properties of the faith required in lieveth on the Son hath everlasting the gospel, as being necessary to life. He that believeth, and is and connected with Salvation. baptized, shall be saved ; but he If men think the faith, with that believeth not shall be damned. which the gospel connects falva
Whom God hath set forth to be tion, consists in a bare belief or a propitiation through faith in his convi&tion of the truth, and imblood, to declare his righteousness, plies neither love por repentance, that he might be just, and the justi. nor any other right exercise of fier of him who believeth in Jesus. heart, it is not Itrange, if they -Therefore we conclude, that a think themselves warranted, by man is justified by faith without the gospel, to expect falvation the deeds of the law. Believe without personal holiness, or any on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou real piety ; and of course that the shalt be saved.”
gospel tends to encourage ungodliHence, it is undeniably mani. ness, or opens a door to liceafest, that faith in Christ is the grand ciousness. Suchlike appear to capital condition of pardon, justi. have been the notions of some in fication, and salvation--that this the apostolic age ; who are reproimplies, involves, and is connected ved and confuted, in James ii. with, every thing really necessary | 14--26. to salvation, and will issue in eter- Or if the faith, with which fal. nal life.
vation is, by gospel promise, con. Some, indeed, have seemed to nected, consisted in a firm belief, think, that in this particular, the that we are justified--that our gospel contains a doctrine rather ' fins are forgiven that God is our