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He adds, · But still there is a more glorious discovery than this behind, and that is, the glorious end whereunto sin is appointed and ordained (I suppose he means by God), is discovered in Christ, viz. for the demonstration of God's vindictive justice, in measuring out to it a meet recompense of reward, and for the praise of God's glorious grace in the pardon and forgiveness of it; that is, that it could not be known how just and severe God is, but by punishing sin, nor how good and gracious God is, but by pardoning of it; and therefore, lest his justice and mercy should never be known to the world, he appoints and ordains sin to this end ; that is, decrees that men shall sin that he may make some of them the vessels of his wrath and the examples of his fierce vengeance and displeasure, and others the vessels of his mercy, to the praise and glory of his free grace in Christ. This indeed is such a discovery, as nature and revelation could not make;' p. 51. which in the next page he calls God's 'truckling and bartering with sin and the devil for his glory.'

Although there is nothing in the words here reported as mine, which is not capable of a fair defence, seeing it is expressly affirmed that God set forth his Son to be a propitiation to declare his righteousness, yet I know not how it came to pass that I had a mind to turn unto the passage itself in my discourse, which I had not done before on any occasion, as not supposing that he would falsify my words, with whom it was so easy to pervert my meaning at any time, and to reproach what he could not confute. . But that I

may give a specimen of this man's honesty and ingenuity, I shall transcribe the passage which he excepts against, because I confessit gave me some surprisal upon its first perusal. My words are these;. There is a glorious end whereunto sin is appointed and ordained, discovered in Christ, that others are unacquainted withal. Sin in its own nature tends merely to the dishonour of God, the debasement of his majesty, and the ruin of the creature in whom it is. Hell itself is but the filling of wretched creatures with the fruit of their own devices. The comminations and threats of God in the law do manifest one other end of it, even the demonstration of the vindictive justice of God in measuring out unto it a meet recompense of reward ; but here the law stays, and with it

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all other light, and discovers no other use or end of it at all. In the Lord Jesus Christ there is the manifestation of another and more glorious end, to wit, the praise of God's glorious grace in the pardon and forgiveness of it; God having taken order in Christ, that that thing which tended merely to his dishonour, should be managed to his infinite glory, and that which of all things he desireth to exalt, even that he may be known and believed to be a God pardoning iniquity, transgression, and sin.' Such was my ignorance, that I did not think that any Christian, unless he were a professed Socinian, would ever have made exceptions against any thing in this discourse, the whole of it being openly proclaimed in the gospel, and confirmed in the particulars by sundry texts of Scripture, quoted in the margin of my book, which this man took no notice of. For the advantage he would make from the expression about the end whereunto sin is appointed and ordained, it is childish and ridiculous ; for every one who is not wilfully blind, must see, that by

ordained,' I intended not any ordination as to the futurition of sin, but to the disposal of sin to its proper end being committed, or to ordain it unto its end upon a supposition of its being, which quite spoils this author's ensuing harangue. But my judgment in this matter is better expressed by another than I am able to do it myself, and therefore in his words I shall represent it. It is Augustine : saith he, saluberrime confitemur quod rectissime credimus, Deum Dominumque rerum omnium qui creavit omnia bona valde, et mala ex bonis exortura esse præscivit, et scivit magis ad suam omnipotentissimam bonitatem pertinere, etiam de malis benefacere, quam mala esse non sinere ; sic ordinasse angelorum et hominum vitam, ut in ea prius ostenderet quid posset eorum liberum arbitrium, deinde quid posset suæ gratiæ beneficium justitiæque judicium.'

This our author would have to be God's bartering with sin and the devil for his glory; the bold impiety of which expression among many others, for whose necessary expression I crave pardon, manifests with what frame of spirit, with what reverence of God himself and all holy things, this discourse is managed.

But it seems, I add, 'that the demonstration of God's


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justice in measuring out unto sin a meet recompense of reward is discovered in Christ, as this author says. Let him read again, the comminations and threatenings of God in the law,' &c. If this man were acquainted with Christ, he could not but learn somewhat more of truth and modesty unless he be wilfully stupid. But what is the crime of this paragraph ? That which it teacheth is, that sin in its own nature hath no end, but the dishonour of God, and the eternal ruin of the sinner ; that by the sentence and curse of the law God hath manifested that he will glorify his justice in the punishing of it, as also that in and through Jesus Christ he will glorify grace and mercy in its pardon on the terms of the gospel. What would he be at ? If he have a mind to quarrel with the Bible, and to conflict the fundamental principles of Christianity, to what purpose doth he cavil at my obscure discourses, when the proper object of his displeasure lies plainly before him.

Let us proceed yet a little farther with our aụthor, although I confess myself to be already utterly wearied with the perusal of such vain and frivolous imaginations. Yet thus he goes on, p. 53. Thus much for the knowledge of ourselves with respect to sin, which is hid only in the Lord Christ. But then we learn what our righteousness is, wherewith we must appear before God, from an acquaintance with Christ. We have already learned how unable we are to make atonement for our sins, without which they can never be forgiven, and how unable we are to do any thing that is good; and yet nothing can deliver us from the justice and wrath of God, but a full satisfaction for our sins; and nothing can give us a title to a reward but a perfect and unsinning righteousness. What should we do in this case? How shall we escape hell, or get to heaven, when we can neither expiate for our past sins or do any good for the time to come? Why, here we are relieved again by an acquaintance with Christ. His death expiates former iniquities, and removes the whole guilt of sin. But this is not enough, that we are not guilty, we must also be actually righteous, not only all sin is to be answered for, but all righteousness is to be fulfilled. Now this righteousness we find only in Christ, we are reconciled to God by his death, and saved by his life. That actual obedience he yielded to the whole law of God is that righteousness whereby we are saved; we are innocent by virtue of his sacrifice and expiation, and righteous with his righteousness.'

What is here interposed, that we cannot do any good for the time to come, must be interpreted of ourselves, without the aid or assistance of the grace of God. And the things here reported by this author, are so expressed and represented, to expose them to reproach and scorn, to have them esteemed not only false but ridiculous. But whether he be in his wits or no, or what he intends so to traduce and scoff at the fundamental doctrines of the gospel, I profess I know not. What is it he would deny? What is it he would assert? Are we able to make an atonement for our sins? Can we be forgiven without an atonement? Can we of ourselves do any good without the aid and assistance of grace? Can any thing we do be a full satisfaction for our sins, or deliver us from the wrath of God, that is, the punishment due to our sins? Doth not the death of Christ expiate former iniquities, and remove the whole guilt of sin ? Is the contrary to these things the doctrine of the church of England ? Is this the religion which is authorized to be preached, and are these the opinions that are licenced to be published unto all the world? But as I observed before, these things are other men's concernment more than mine, and with them I leave them. But I have said, as he quotes the place, that we are reconciled to God by the death of Christ, and saved by his life, that actual obedience which he yielded to the whole law of God.' As the former part of these words are expressly the apostle's, Rom. v. 10. and so produced by me; so the next words I add, are these of the same apostle, ' if so be we are found in him, not having on our own righteousness which is of the law, but the righteousness which is of God by faith;' which he may

do well to consider, and answer when he can. Once more and I shall be beholden to this author for a little respite of severity, whilst he diverts to the magisterial reproof of some other persons. Thus then he proceeds, p. 55. The third part of our wisdom is to walk with God, and to that is required agreement, acquaintance, a way, strength, boldness, and aiming at the same end; and all these, with the wisdom of them, are hid in Jesus Christ.' So far are my words, to which he adds; The sum of which in short

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is this; that Christ having expiated our sins, and fulfilled all righteousness for us, though we have no personal righteousness of our own, but are as contrary unto God as darkness is to light, and death to life, and a universal pollution and defilement, to a universal and glorious ļoliness, and hatred to love, yet the righteousness of Christ is a sufficient, nay, the only foundation of our agreement, and upon that of our walking with God; though St. John tells us, 'If we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not the truth; but if we walk in the light, as God is in the light, then have we fellowship one with another, and then the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sins;' 1 John i. 6,7. And our only acquaintance with God, and knowledge of him is hid in Christ, which his word and works could not discover, as you heard above. And he is the only way wherein we must walk with God, and we receive all our strength from him, and he makes us bold and confident too, having removed the guilt of sin, that now we may look justice in the face, and whet our knife at the counter-door, all our debts being discharged by Christ, as these bold acquaintances and familiars of Christ use to speak. And in Christ we design the same end that God doth, which is the advancement of his own glory, that is, I suppose by trusting unto the expiation and righteousness of Christ for salvation, without doing any thing ourselves, we take care that God shall not be wronged of the glory of his free grace, by a competion of any merits and deserts of our own.'

What the author affirms to be the sum of my discourse, in that place which indeed he doth not transcribe, is as to his affirmation of it as contrary to God as darkness is to light, or death to life, or falsehood to the truth, that is, it is flagitiously false. That there is any agreement with God, or walking with God for any men who have no personal righteousness of their own, but are contrary to God, &c. I never thought, I never wrote, nor any thing that should give the least countenance unto a suspicion to that purpose. The necessity of an habitual and actual personal inherent righteousness, of sanctification and holiness, of gospel-obedience, of fruitfulness in good works, unto all who intend to walk with God or come to the enjoyment of him, I have asserted and proved with other manner of arguments than this author

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