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[ 54 ) 5 out of enmity; wisdom out of ignorance; fruit out “ of barrenness, &c. &c. &c, as look for any one
good work or thought from a foul who is not” (in some degree) “ quickened by the Holy Ghost, and " who has not yet found favor with God :" so far at least as to be blessed with a day of faluation, and to be a partaker of the free gift which is come upon all men.
But, I pray, who is guilty of these absurdities? who expe&ts living actions from a dead corpfe, &c. &c.? you or we? You who believe that the greateft part of mankind are left as graceless as devils, as helpless as corpses; and yet gravely go and preach to them repentance and faith, threatening them with an aga gravated damnation if they do not turn? Or we who believe that Christ by the grace of God tasted death for every man ; and that his saving, quickening grace hath appeared unto all men ? Who puts foolish speeches in the mouth of the only wise God? You, who make him expoftulate with souls as dead as corpses, and say ye will not come unto me that yé might have life? Or we, who assert upon the testimony of the Holy Ghost, that God, by working in us both to will and to do, puts us again in a capacity of working out our salvation with fear and trembling? Will not our impartial readers see that the absurdity which you try to fix upon us, falls at your own door; and, if your do&rine is true, at the door of the fanctuary itself?
VII. You pursue: “it is most clear that every soul " who works in the strength of Christ, and by the
power of the Holy Ghost, is already, a pardoned. " and justified soul; he already has everlasting life.” Here is some truth and fome error; let us endeavour to separate them, Every foul who works in the strength of Christ's preventing grace, and by his. Spirit convincing the world of fin, is undoubtedly interested in the first degree of justification: he is juftified from the guilt of original fin, and from the guilt of his own actual fins; and it is absurd to suppose he is justified in the day of judgments. When that day.is
not yet come. He hath a feed of life, or else he could not work; but it is a doubt if this seed will take root; and in case it does, the heavenly plant of righteousness
be choaked by the cares of the world, the deceitfulness of riches, or the desire of other things, and by that means become unfruitful.
As many barbarous mothers destroy the fruit of their womb, either before or after it comes to the birth; so many obstinate finners obstruct the growth of the spiritual feed that bruises the serpent's head; and many flagrant apoftates, in whose heart Christ was once formed, crucify him afresh, and quench the spirit of his grace: Hence the many miscarriages and apostacies, for which Elisha Coles is obliged to account thus. There are
monsters in spirituals, in whom there is something begotten in their wills, by the common “ strivings and enlightenings of the Spirit, which at6 tains to a kind of formality, but proves in the end a
lump of dead flesh.” Surely that great Calvinian divine was brought to a strait when he thus fathered formality and dead flejh upon the Holy Ghost.
VIIÍ. I follow you: " therefore all talk of working for life, and in order to find favor with God, is not less absurd, than if you were to suppose, thac a
man could at the same moment be both condemned 66 and absolved.” What, Sir! may not a man be justly condemned, and yet graciously reprieved ? Nay, may not the judge give him an opportunity to make the best of his reprieve, in order to get a full pardon and a place at court ? At Geneva we think that the absure dity does not consist in afferting, but in denying it. " Awake and asleep.” What, Sir, is it an absurdity to think that a man may be in the same moment awake in one respect, and asleep in another ? Does not St. Paul say, let us awake out of sleep? But this is not all, even in Geneva people can be drowsy, that is, half awake and half asleep.". Dead and alive." I hope you will not fix the charge of absurdity upon Chrift, far.Sanging thatia certain man was left: HALF DEAD, anda
of course half alive ; and for 'exhorting the people of Sardis who were dead, to strengthen the things that 1 mained and were ready to die: nor yet upon St. Paul, for saying that the dead body of Abraham begat Ifaac, and for speaking of a woman who was dead while she lived.
IX. You go on and say, that “it is as absurd to talk "of working for life, as to assert that we can be at the “ fame time loved and hated of God.” But you for. get, Sir, that there are a thousand degrees of love and : hatred; and that, in the scripture language, loving less is called hating: Jacob have I loved, and Efau have I hated. Except a man hate his father, &c. he cannot be my difciple. 'Yea, and we can without absurdity say, that we love the same person in one respect, and hate her in another. I may love a woman as a neighbour, and yet loath her if I consider her in the capacity of a wife. And what absurdity is there in asserting, that while the day of grace lasts, God loves, and yet hates an impenitent finner? He loves him as his redeemed creature, yet hates him as his rebellious creature : or, in other terms, he loves him with a love of benevoLence; but has no more love of complacence for him, than for the devil himself.
X. You proceed: - to talk of working for life is not less absurd, than if you were to suppose, that a " man can be at the same moment one' with Christ by “ his spirit dwelling in the heart, and yet not have “ redemption, peace, and reconciliation by the blood " of his cross.” Here is, if I mistake not, the lan
1. You confound the various degrees of redemption. Are not thousands of souls redeemed by the blood of Christ's crofs, who are not yet redeemed by the power of his spirit? May not every rebellious finner out of hell say, God REDE E METH my life from deftruction ? Is it not a degree of redemption to be kept out of the enjoying the good things of this life, and called to fecure the blessings of the next? Did not Cain, Esau, Pharaoh, Saul, and Judas, the five great. reprobates,
guage of Babel.
as some account them, enjoy this degree of redemption for many years ? Have not believers an higher degree of REDEMPTION, even the forgiveness of their fins?. And do not they wait for the highest degree of it, even the REDEMPTION of their body, when the trump of God will found, and wake the dead ? Rom.
2. As you confound all the degrees of redemption, so you do all the degrees of the manifeftation of the Spirit. He visits all, so as to ftrive with and reprove them as he did mankind in the days of Noah: but this is no mark that their peace is made, and a firm reconciliation brought about; witness the deluge, which God sent
those with whom his Spirit had particularly striven 120 years in the days of Noah - Again some have the spirit of bondage unto fear; but this, far from being a sign that they have full reconciliation, is a divine consciousness that they have it not. And others have had the spirit of adoption, and after having begun in him fo grieve or quench him-as to end in the flesh. But in the Cale vinian Babel these scriptural, experimental distinctions are exploded as metaphysical, if not dreadfully heritical.
XI. You proceed: “ you will not assert that a soul " who is quickened together with Christ, and in
whom the spirit of Jesus dwells by his gracious in6 fluences can be in a state of enmity with God.” Still the same confounding of things which should be carefully distinguished! May not a sinner “be quickened' by the seed of life, and yet hold it in unrighteousness. May not a backslider crucify Chrif afresh in « the gracious influences of his spirit ?" And are not such persons in a state of enmity with God ?" But if by a.“ soul quickened together 6 with Christ and in whom the spirit of Jesus dwells," you mean a believer compleatly baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire, in whom he that once visited as a monitor now fully resides as a comforter ;
you are right, the enmity ceases, the carnal mind and body of fin are deitroyed, and God is all in all to that juft man mude perfeet in love.
XII. You add : If a man is not in a state of en“ mity, then he must be in a state of pardon and re“ conciliation.” What, Sir! Is there no medium between these extremes? There is, as surely as the morning daw'n intervenes between midnight and noon-day. If the king says to some rebels, . Lay down your arms, surrender, kiss my son, and you shall he pardoned;' the reconciliation on the king's part is undoubtedly begun. So far was God in Chrift reconciling the world -unto himfelf. But can it be said that the reconciliation is begun on the part of the rebels, who have not yet laid down any of their arms ? Does not the reconciliation gradually take place as they gradually comply with the king's terms ? If they are long in coming to kiss the king's son, is not their full reconciliation suspended till they have fulfilled that last of the king's terms? And tho' the king made theovertures of the reconciliation, is there the least absurdity in saying that they surrender, and kiss the fon, in order to find reconciliation ? Nay is it either sense or truth to assert, that they are absolutely to da nothing towards it?
XIII. What you say about the 13th article of our cliurch is answered beforehand, Vind. page 58.But what follows deserves some notice.
66. Whenever God puts forth his quickning power upon “ a-foul, it is in consequence, of his having already s taken that foul in covenant with himself, and have
ing washed it white in the blood of the Lamb bi fiain." This very true, if you speak of the covenant of grace, which God made with our first parent and representative after, the fall; and of the washing of all mankind white in the blood of the Lamb from the guilt of original fin, so far as to remit the eternal punishment of it. But you are dreadfully mistaken, if you understand it of the three sublé.