Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

ment and defraying the expen-walking in craftiness, nor handses necessary for the general | ling the word of God deceitfully; welfare of the community, state, but, by munifesting of the truth, or nation--and to indulge and commending themselves to evegratify several of the strong in- ry man's conscience in the sight clinations, lusts and passions of of God. Again, . the body and the mind. If the 2. It may hence appear, that sound doctrine of the word of it is a great privilege to a people God, in regard to both faith and to sit under that ministry, by practice, was well understood which sound doctrine is plainly and conscientiously regarded, it preached, clearly exhibited, and would readily be seen that these suitably inculcated and enforced. and numerous such like things, And on the other hand, That which some allow and justify, it is a great calamity to sit unare utterly unjustifiable, contra- der the ministry, by which the ry to the will of God, and ex- sound doctrine of the gospel is pose to his wrath. And what neglected or kept out of sight, indeed can be plainer, than that or artfully undermined and suba clear understanding of the verted, and erroneous opinions, wholesome docérine of sacred or a corrupt system substituted writ, is indispensibly necessary, in its stead. Hence, on the to enable us to see and deter-whole, mine“ with certainty, how we 3. We may see the great and ought to worship and serve the unspeakable privilege of having Lord our God; and what things the holy scriptures in our hands, «we ought to and may warranta- and the vast importance of readbly do ; and what we ought to ing and searching them with refrain from and avoid ? Hence, care and diligence, and of bringtherefore, it appears to be highly ing every doctrine to the test of important, that sound doctrine these divinely inspired writings. should be clearly preached and | And let us so heedfully regard faithfully inculcated.

| them, and give them such a corThese observations will now that, through the attending pow

dial reception and entertainment, be closed with a few brief infer-ler of the Holy Spirit, we may ences, naturally resulting from find them able to make us wise the whole that has been said. Ito salvation through faith which

.1. It may hence appear that is in Christ Jesus, and to fuxa large share of a gospel-minis-nish us thoroughly unto every ter's business, in point of preach- good work. ing, is to state and explain, ex

PAREPIDEMOS. hibit and inculcate the doctrine contained in the scriptures ; and to distinguish it clearly from the unsound, corrupt and false On Justification. principles and opinions, which tend to obscure, pervert or un- ' DELIEVERS are subjects of dermine.itAll preachers of D justification, and at the day the gospel should copy the apos- of retribution they will be opentolic example, by renouncing thelly acquitted in the presence of hidden things of dishonesty, not the assembled universe, and pro

Bounced blessed. God will jus- j'pel justification ; to which will tify them from motives of perfect be added several inferences. . benevolence; and infinite wisdom, The several things by which inflexible justice, and unbounded believers are said in the scripmercy will be equally maintain-tures to be justified are, ed by his holy decision. But

1. The grace of God. . several things are: necessary to Being justified by his grace render believers proper subjects we should be made heirs accordfor justification, and by these sev-ling to the hope of eternal life.” eral things they are in a sense jus

cjus 2. The blood of Christ. tified, as these will all vindicate 4 Being justified by his blood the ways of Jehovah before the we shall be saved from wrath intelligent universe, in that day through him when the secrets of all hearts will be revealed. Although the

1 3. Faith in Christ.

3. Faith in Çhi scriptures plainly declare that: “ A man is justified by faith.” believers are justified by several | . 4. ¡Gracious words. things, yet it must not be under--. “For by thy words thou shalt stood that they are justified by be justified.". each of those things in the same 5. Good works. sense, yet there must be a sense “ Ye see how that by works a in which they are really justified man is justified.”, i by each of them, in order to dis-, Gospel justification stands opplay the harmony of the scrip- posed to condemnation, and suptures and the beauty of the di- poses the demands of the law vine government. It is proper satisfied in order to vindicate the to notice here that nothing is Judge in pronouncing justificadesigned to be understood in tion upon the ill deserving ; what follows, to exclude all from “ for grace reigns through rightknal justification, who have not eousness.”. Behevers are justiarrived to years of understand- fied first by the grace of God, ing or that remain in heathen- for, says the apostle, “ being jusish ignorance ; for God who tified by his grace, we should be commanded the light to shine made heirs according to the hope out of darkness cap shine into of eternal life.” A gracious act, their hearts as he did into Cor- is favor shown to the ill deservnelius' while speculatively igno- ing. Believers are therefore ill rant of the way of salvation, and deserving as they are justified by the same almighty power freely by the grace of God. babes may be sanctified like Je- When man had violated the law, remiah, from their mother's of his God, and stood justly exwomb, and of such may be the posed to the threatened penalty, kingdom of heaven. But of which was eternal condemnation, those to whom much is given having no created eye that could much will be required.

pity, nor created arm that could . We shall now attempt to save, then was a time of God's point out in what sense believers love, for his own almighty arm are justified by each of those wrought salvation. He laid help things mentioned in the gospel, upon one that was mighty to and then notice the reason why save, one who could honor the law they are all necessary for gos- which man had broken, and suf

fer its penalty that he might fits nature and tendency it is live. It was infinite benevolence therefore an infinite evil ;“ sin which moved God to concert is exceeding sinful," exceeding and effect a plan that would ren- all bounds to calculate, or figder him just in justifying the ures to represent it. It deserves believer. If the grace of God from goodness infinite opposihad not been exerted in behalf|tion, that its nature may be exof fallen man, he must have for posed, and its tendency counterever eaten the fruit of his own acted. Justice to the universe doings, and been filled with his requires infinite opposition to own devices; “but where sin sin. To execute justice, and abounded grace did much more display the evil of sin by mani. abound.” Divine love, that won- festing an holy opposition against der into which the angels desire it, were reasons why God proq to look, concerted and effected nounced eternal condemnation the whole plan of gospel justifica- on the sinner ; it was not be tion ; for “ by grace are ye say-cause he delighted in the misery od through faith, and that not of of his creatures, for he delights yourselves, it is the gift of God." (not in the death of him that And in this sense are believers dieth, but on the contrary, bea justified by the grace of God. | cause his tender mercies are

2. Believers are justified by over all his works, he discour. the blood of Christ'; for, says aged rebellion with a penalty the apostle, “ being now justifi. equal to its desert. God's holy ed by his blood we shall be sav- nature is manifested in propor, ed from wrath through him.” |tion to his opposition against What Christ has done and suf- evil. Should he therefore abate, fered is the ground on which in the least degree, the penalty God justifies. The shedding of annexed to transgression, he Christ's blood, " who through would so far abate his infinite the eternal spirit offered him love for holiness, and opposition self without spot to God," made to evil. Hence we see that the an atonement for the sins of the penalty annexed to transgres. world, so that God can be glori-sion was to execute justice, show fied in forgiving the penitent. the evil of sin, and display the In order to get a just idea of the holy attributes of Jehovah. It atonement, it will be here neces- is written, “ By the law is the sary to notice the nature and knowledge of sin ; for without tendency of sin, and the reasons | law sin was dead." why God has threatened eternal We will now attend to what punishment against it ; and then Christ has done and suffered, what Christ has done and suffer which answers the same end in ed, which answers the same end the divine government as the exin the divine government, as the ecution of the penalty upon all execution of the penalty upon transgressors. And, the sinner.

1. He has 'obeyed the law · Sin in its nature and tendency which sinners have broken. But introduces disorder, and spreads this instead of justifying condesolation and misery, and with demns them, for it proves that out controul would annihilate the the law was reasonable, holy, happiness of the universe. In just, and good ; it justifies the

lawgiver, but not the transgres- i gressors had suffered to all eteis sor, and manifests the unrea- nity their just deserts. When sonableness of sin, in a greater Christ poured out his blood upon degree, but it does not display the cross, to make expiation for its infinite turpitude. 2. He sin, he approved the penalty who knew no sin neither was threatened to transgressors, guile found in his mouth, volun- manifesting that it did not ex. tarily put himself in the place ceed their desert, and that the of 'transgressors, and suffered law was holy, and the penalty awhile all the malice of earth just and good ; and he brought and hell to rage against him in an everlasting righteousness, without controul. “ He was that magnified the law and made wounded for our transgressions, it honorable. Hence we see that he was bruised for our iniquities, the obedience and sufferings of the chastisement of our peace Christ answered the same end in was upon him ;" so that by his the divine government, as the stripes we might be healed. execution of the penalty upon When the Son of God, who was all transgressors. Both manis the everlasting delight of the Fa- fest the nature of sin, honor the ther, that lamb who was without divine government, and display spot or blemish, became a vic- the holy attributes of Jehovah. tim of envy and malice, those | Although the church of God is offsprings of sin, then its accur- purchased with his own blood, sed nature could be seen, for it which cleanses from all sin, that wounded himn without a cause. I is, from all its evil consequences, Here eternal goodness was des. yet it does not annihilate sin, so pised, infinite love hated, and as to render believers guiltless ; unbounded benevolence perse-for they still remain deserving cuted unto death, even the igno- of punishment; if they do not, minious death of the cross. they are entitled to happiness on What a wonder of love and con- the ground of justice ; but the descension is this, that the sufferings of Christ did not conchurch of God should be pur-sist in receiving the exact perchased with his own blood; for sonal desert of every sinner ; if it was the dignity of the Son of it did, the quantity of evil in the God that gave efficacy to his universe would not have been atonement. It was the divine lessened by his atonement. But nature which gave the blood of it consisted in showing the evil Christ infinité value; for he was nature of sin, honoring the di: God manifest in the flesh. vine law, and displaying the per

When the Prince of life and fections of the Godhead, and glory was brought as a sheep to thus made it consistent with the the slaughter, and crucified as divine government, for God to the vilest malefactor, suffering remain just in punishing, anc all the pain and contempt, which not unjust in forgiving the peni. devils could invent and envious tent. Here justice and mercy man inflict under the reigo of met together, righteousness and . the powers of darkness, then peace embraced each other. the evil nature of sin appeared in Believers have redemption thro' its true colors; it could have his blood, the forgiveness of sins. appeared no greater if all trans- l It is God that justifieth ; but the

blood of Jesus is the meritori- | any thing nor uncircumcision but ous ground on which he justifies, faith which worketh by love." and in this sense believers are | Thus believers are justified by justified by the blood of Christ. exercising gospel faith, as it ful

3. Believers are justified by | fils the gospel requirement; faith ; for, says the apostle,“ we for “ he that believeth shall be conclude that a man is justified | saved." . by faith.” Faith in Christ is the 4. Believers are justified by gospel condition of salvation. gracious words ; for it is writ46 For what saith the scriptures, I ten, “ By thy words thou shalt Abraham believed God, and it be justified.” When believers was accounted to him for right- are justified in the presence of eousness; now to him that work- the assembled universe, it will eth, is the reward not reckoned be necessary for evidence to apof grace, but of debt, but to him pear in their favor, that they that worketh not, but believeth have embraced the gospel terms on him who justifieth the ungod of salvation ; and the scriptures ly, his faith is accounted for require two witnesses to estabrighteousness.” Thus faith is lish a fact. It is written, “ At as necessary for salvation under the mouth of one witness he the gospel, as perfect obedience shall not be put to death ;” but was for the continuance of God's" in the mouth of two or three favor under the law. The ful-witnesses shall every word be filment of the law would have established.” Hence we may preserved harmony and blessed- see the necessity of the believe ness. Genuine gospel faith re-er's evidences. The gracious conciles the sinner to the divine words of believers are evidence government, unites him to all that they have embraced the holy beings, and diffuses order, gospel terms of salvation ; for it beauty, and tranquillity; it is is declared that “ by their words therefore as necessary under the every controversy shall be tried." gospel as perfect obedience was A confession of faith is one eviunder the law. When believers dence of its existence; he that exercise gospel faith, they re confesses Christ before men in ject their own righteousness, the faith of the gospel, him shall humbly feeling their ill desert ; | Christ confess before his Father the very condition supposes they and the holy angels. It is diffifeel unrighteous, and unable to cult to believe that a person exanswer the demands of the law, ercises true repentance, and genotherwise it would not be neces- uine faith, without openly consary to apply and depend on the fessing his sins, and declaring righteousness of Christ as the his dependence on the Saviour's ground of justification in the righteousness; for out of the sight of the law, and for this abundance of the heart the reason repentance and faith are mouth speaketh. But to show coupled together in the gospel. that it is not only proper but ne“ Jesus preached repent ye and cessary for words to express the believe.” Gospel faith is an exercises of the heart, the aposoperative principle and purifies tle declares , that, “ with the the heart ; for “ in Christ Jesus heart man believeth unto right: neither circumcision availeth | eousness, and with the mouth

« VorigeDoorgaan »