Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

through populous nations, sanctified by the Holy Ghost? If not, how can it be supposed, that they are here called the elect people of God? Have mercy ! on all Jews, Turks, infidels, and hereticks; and

take away from them all ignorance, 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.'? This “ remnant of the true Israel,' is “ the elect people of God,” among professed christians; even “ a remnant according to the election of

grace." - That this child may receive the fulness of thy grace, and ever remain in the number of • thy faithful and elect children." Here elect is joined with 'fulness of grace,' with being · faithful,' or believing; and with being 'the children of God.' And surely more is meant, than continuance in the outward profession of christianity !

The nature of the primitive churches, and their great dissimilarity to the state of things among professed christians, at present, has been repeatedly noticed : and surely no one, after serious consideration, can think, that the apostles would, if now living on earth, address the whole body of nominal christians, belonging to our established church, as saints, as " holy brethren;" as “ chosen in Christ, that they “ should be holy, and without blame before him in “ love;" as " holy and beloved!” Much less then would he so address the aggregate multitude, belonging to the Greek church, or the church of Rome, in this language. Yet the argument equally includes all, who are called christians. The word 'descrip'tion,' is ambiguous ; if it mean any thing except character, the proposition may be maintained; but both promises and threatenings are made to men, as bearing certain characters, and not independent of those characters. The condition of the law is perfect obedience; and “ Cursed is every one, who continueth not in all things written in the book of "the law to do them.” The gospel requires

• Third Col. for Good Friday.

2 Baptism of Infants.

« faith “ which worketh by love," and which is accompanied by repentance, and manifested by habitual unreserved obedience. These things form the character, or the description' of men, to whom the promises are made, which promises certainly and infallibly ensure salvation to those, who are interested in them. But as the wicked may turn from his wickedness, and escape the threatened punishment, which yet will be certainly and infallibly inflicted on those who die in their sins: so, on the other hand, the only question is, whether they who repent, believe in Christ, love God, and man, and are partakers of the Spirit of sanctification, do ever turn finally from their righteousness, and come short of the blessings, which are secured to those who love God.

All the hope and salvation of the Israelites was derived, properly speaking, from the gospel; of which their ceremonies were types, or prefigurative sacraments: and the holy moral law is established by the gospel, and is as obligatory on christians, as it ever was on Israelites. The national covenant, with Israel, indeed is not made with christians as a colthrough populous nations, sanctified by the Holy Ghost? If not, how can it be supposed, that they are here called the elect people of God? Have mercy ! on all Jews, Turks, infidels, and hereticks; and take away from them all ignorance, 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."? This “ remnant of the true Israel,' is “ the elect peopie of God," among professed christians; even “a remnant according to the election of

grace.”—That this child may receive the fulness of thy grace, and ever remain in the number of

thy faithful and elect children." Here elect is joined with 'fulness of grace,' with being · faithful, or believing; and with being the children of God.' And surely more is meant, than continuance in the outward profession of christianity!

The nature of the primitive churches, and their great dissimilarity to the state of things among professed christians, at present, has been repeatedly noticed : and surely no one, after serious consideration, can think, that the apostles would, if now living on earth, address the whole body of nominal christians, belonging to our established church, as saints, as “ holy brethren;" as “ chosen in Christ, that they “ should be holy, and without blame before him in “ love ;” as “ holy and beloved!” Much less then would he so address the aggregate multitude, belonging to the Greek church, or the church of Rome,

: Third Col. for Good Friday.

2

Baptism of Infants.

in this language. Yet the argument equally includes all, who are called christians.--The word 'descrip' tion,' is ambiguous ; if it 'inean any thing except character, the proposition may be maintained; but both promises and threatenings are made to men, as bearing certain characters, and not independent of those characters. The condition of the law is perfect obedience; and “ Cursed is every one, who “continueth not in all things written in the book of « the law to do them.” The gospel requires

us faith “ which worketh by love," and which is accompanied by repentance, and manifested by habitual unreserved obedience. These things form the character, or the description' of men, to whom the promises are made, which promises certainly and infallibly ensure salvation to those, who are interested in them. But as the wicked may turn from his wickedness, and escape the threatened punishment, which yet will be certainly and infallibly inflicted on those who die in their sins: so, on the other hand, the only question is, whether they who repent, believe in Christ, love God, and man, and are partakers of the Spirit of sanctification, do ever turn finally from their righteousness, and come short of the blessings, which are secured to those who love God.

All the hope and salvation of the Israelites was derived, properly speaking, from the gospel ; of which their ceremonies were types, or prefigurative sacraments: and the holy moral law is established by the gospel, and is as obligatory on christians, as it ever was on Israelites. The national covenant, with Israel, indeed is not made with christians as a collective body, and the Mosaick dispensation is changed for the christian : but true religion is, for substance the same, as it was from the first promise of a Sa. viour; and the case of nations professing christianity very much resembles that of Israel as a nation. But “ the true Israel,” always was " a remnant according “ to the election of grace.”

P. ccxxvi. Note. "The very, &c.” The covenant made with Noah and his posterity, that God would no more destroy mankind with a deluge, could not imply any conditions : if it did, what were these conditions? Yet God has expressly said, that the covenant made with the true church, is “ like the “ waters of Noah unto him." “ This is as the “ waters of Noah unto me; for as I have sworn, " that the waters of Noah shall no more go over " the earth ; so have I sworn, that I would not be

wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. For the moun. "tains shall depart, and the hills be removed: but my " kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall " the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the “ LORD that hath mercy on thee.”3 What were the conditions, expressed or implied, in the covenant here spoken of, and in the other texts referred to?

1

'The very idea of covenant is inconsistent with the Calvinistic system. Covenant implies conditions ; absolute decrees reject all conditions. A covenant says, yon shall have such or such a reward, if you act in the manner stipulated ; absolute

decrees say, that it is irreversibly determined by the arbitrary * will of God, that you shall or shall not be saved, without any respect to your conduct,' 2 Gen. ix. 9-17.

3 Is, liv. 9, 10.

See also Jer. xxx 31---8+. xxxii. 37-41. Ez, xyi. 60-63. Heb. yii, 8-12

« VorigeDoorgaan »