Abbildungen der Seite
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

marriage ; which is a transaction which implies the mutual
consent of both parties. And therefore, on this scheme, the
marriage anion, as it takes place among mankind, could not
be used, with any propriety, to represent our union to Christ
by faith. For if the soul is married to Christ at all, the con-
sent of our hearts must be implied. Or to use Mr. Stoddard's
words, when the soul marries to Christ, he doth it with a
spirit of love ; this act of faith doth include all other graces.
It is virtually all grace.' Nature of conversion, p. 19-24.
See Rom. vii. 4. Cor. xi. 2. Eph. v. 19. So. John xvi.
27. But can we be married to Christ by an act of sin ? But
if justifying faith is the act of an unregenerate heart, dead in
sin, totally depraved, then it is an act of sin. For as is the
tree, such is the fruit; as is the fountain, such are the streams;
as is the beart, such are its acts. Besides,

If justifying faith is the act of an unregenerate sinner, then
it is the act of an impenitent sinner. And then pardon is, in
order of nature,


And so it is not neces-
sary, that we repent of our sins, in order to our being forgiv-
en. Which is contrary to the whole tenour of Scripture, and
to the plainest and most express declarations of Almighty
God. Pray reader, stop a minute, take your bible, and turn
to, and read, Lev. xxvi. 40, 41, 42. i Kings viii. 47-50.
Ps. xxxii. 3, 4, 5. Prov. xxviii. 13. Isai. Iv. 7. Jer. iv. 4.
Ezek. xviii. 30, 31, 32. Luke iii. S. and v. 31, 30. and xi.
5. and xxiv. 47. Acts ii. 37, 38. and iii. 19. and v. sl. and
X. 21. And then lay your hand on your heart, and say,
does God offer to pardon impenitent sinners while such?
Did the Son of God die that pardon might be granted to im-
penitent sinners, as such? Or can God, consistent with the
Gospel, forgive the impenitent, while such, and as such, any
more than if Christ never had died? If


doctrine tends to delude sinners, it is this, that they may expect pardon without repentance. They have no heart to repent; they wish to escape punishment; they hope they shall escape: if they can believe that they shall escape, it will give thein joy. This doctrine is suited to give joy to an impenitent heart. But to teach impenitent sinners, that they may expect pardon, withont repentance toward Gud, is as contrary to Scripture,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

as it is to teach them, that they expect pardon without faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ. This doctrine of pardon befure repentance, had been taught; yea, it had spread far and wide. This occasioned the assembly of divines at Westminster expressly to assent the contrary. Confession of faith, chap. xv. “Repentance is of such necessity to all sitners, that none inay expect pardon without it.' In fine,

If the first act of justifying faith is an unregenerate, graceless, sinful act, so are all succeeding acts of the same faith. And if so, then to live a life of faith on the Son of God, as the holy apostle Paul says he did, (Gal ii. 20.) is to live a life of unregenerate, graceless, sinful acts. For it is an agreed point, that the first act, and the succeeding acts of justifying faith, are of the same nature and kind. And so a life of faith is a life of sin ; a course of unregenerate graceless acts. And this graceless faith will bring forth selfish graceless fruits. All our love and joy will arise merely from self-love; in a belief that our sins are pardoned, and that God loves us. The holiness, justice, and goodness of the divine nature, exhibited in that law which is holy, just, and good, (Rom. vii. 19.) which Christ loved and honoured, living and dying ; instead of appearing perfect in beauty, without a blemish, in our eyes, can never be thought of with pleasure. We never can say with Darid, O, how love I thy law! It is my meditation all the day. Ps: cxix. 97. In a word, as our faith is of' tlie Antinomian kind so our whole hearts will be all over Antinomian. No wonder, ‘ninety-nine in a hundred' of such converts are in the dark about their good estate ; and feel as much need of an external, graceless covenant, as though they nerer had been converted.

A late writer, in order to prove, fide nos regenerari, that we are regenerated by faith,' quotes Gal. iii. 26. Ye are all the children of God by faith in Jesus Christ. But this text speaks not of regeneration, but of adoption. Again he refers 10 John vi. 53. Except ye eat of the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Just as if eating and drinking were acts of the dead, and not of the living. Just as if the deud might eat and drink while they are dead, and by so doing be made alive. However, this

3. chan forna



goo waith,


on i

I belie


That is

Get to


aity is OVE G

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

is certain, that that is a dead corpse, and not a living man, which neither eats nor drinks. He who does not live, a life of faith in Christ, is dead in sin. Yet still repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, are acts of spiritual life, and not of spiritual death.

However, it is granted that there is a kind of faith which may be exercised by a graceless, unregenerate, impenitent sinner. For such an one, although he rejects Christ Jesus with his whole heart, yet he may firmly believe that God loves him, and that his sins are forgiven, and be ravished in this belief. But the thing believed is a lie. And all the affections which result from this belief are founded in delusion. And yet, this is the very thing which is sometimes called regeneration by faith, and beholding the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. And it was one chief design of President Edwards' Treatise concerning Religious Affections, to show the difference between true religion and this kind of delusion. But to return :

3. If a belief that God is become our friend, without any change of nature, will reconcile us to God, then satan, trans, formed into an angel of light, is able to do the business. For when the sinner is terrified with the thoughts of death and hell, satan can bring to his mind such texts as these, Son, be of good cheer, thy sins are forgiven thee. O, thou of little faith, wherefore dost thou doubt! And at the same time strike the sinner's imagination with a view of heaven, of God upon a throne, of Christ sitting at his right hand, till every doubt is banished, and until the sinner cries out in transport, I believe, I believe. And,

4. If our enmity against God arises only from conceiving God to be our enemy, then all those graceless deluded sine ners who believe that God loves them, are truly regenerate. That is, the love to God, which they experience in this belief, is true love. For, as the cause of our enmity is believing God to be our enemy; so in every instance where the cause is removed the effect will cease, But in all deluded sinners, who believe that God loves them, the supposed cause of enmity is removed, and accordingly they really think that they love God. Thus gross Socinians, who deny the eternity of


[ocr errors][merged small]


[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

hell-torments, who believe the universal salvation of devils and damned, and in this belief view God as the friend of the whole intelligent system, all made up of love to bis creatures, do in this view of his character, love him, and so are all of them, on this scheme, truly reconciled to God. Rather, these wen, if they were instructed in these principles from their childhood, and believed them, were never totally depraved. For they always loved God. And accordingly we find they universally deny the doctrine of total depravity ; and say, that it is natural for all mankind to love God; and that in fact they all would love him, were his true and real character brought into their view. And so would the devils too, on this scheme, were the divine character what the Socinians suppose it to be. And while Socinians love God, viewed as they view him ; Antinomians, of the grossest sort, whose faith professedly consists in a belief that God loves them, are often full of love to God, in this view of him. And why may not Socinians and Antinomians have charity or each other? For their scheines are not so different in eality as in appearance. For both look upon God as a ovely being; and boih love him ; and both profess to love him, for the transcendent excellency of his perfections. The one does this, because God loves all, and so loves him ; the other, because, although God does not love all, yet be loves him in particular. And why is not the love of the one of as good a kind as the love of the other? And the Pharisees, concerning whom Christ declared, that the love of God was not in them, John v. 42. and who hated and crucified the Son of God, ought also to be received to charity, on this scheme, for they really believed that God was their father and their friend, and in his belief, they experienced this kind of love, of which we are speaking. Yea, our charity ouglit to be more extensive still, for,

5. On this schetne they who are totally depraved, have as much of a principle of grace, as they that are regenerate. That is, sinners are at heart as well disposed to love God, bez fore regeneration, as after. For after regeneration they are disposed to love God, only considered as one that loves them; and before regeveration, they are disposed to love God, con

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]


stan the

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

sidered and viewed in this light. For it is written, sinners love those that love them; and they need no new principle of grace to incline them to it. And so the unregenerate only need light to see that God loves them; and could they but have this light they would love God as much as others.

And, therefore,

6. On this scheme, satau's charge agaiust Job, that he was at heart no better than other men, was trye and just; and the high commendation which God had given of him, that there was none like him in the earth, was without reason. " And the Lord said unto satan, bast thou considered iny servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God and escheweth evil? Then satan answered the Lord, and said, doth Job fear God for naught? Hast thou not made an hedge about him, and about his house, and about all that he hath on every side! Thou hast blessed the work of his hands, and bis substance is increased in the land.” As if he had said, no wonder he loves God, while God is so full of love and kindness to him. And who is there under the like circumstances, chat would not love God as much as he does ?' forth thine hand now, and touch all that he hath, and be will curse thee to thy face ;" just as we fallen spirits have done, ever since we were turned out of heaven. And therefore this Job, who is commended as a none such, bas in reality no more grace in his heart than we have.' And if the eninity of fallen creatures against God arises only from conceiving him to be their enemy, and their love only from conceiving God to be their friend, satan's reasoning was just. All Job's seeming superior goodness was entirely owing to the more abundant tokens of the divine love; and therefore he would have turned to be like the devil, in an instant, if God had only touched all that he had. He would have cursed God to the face.---- Indeed,

7. On this scheme, Adam had no more grace before the fall than he had after; but his different affections toward the Deity were entirely owing to the different external circumstances which he was under. For, on this scheme, before the fall God loved him, and so he lored God; and after the

« But put

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »