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giving them the highest assurances of his readiness to forgive all past offences, aud in the highest sense to be a God to them, if they would walk in his ways indeed, but they would not hear. So that after the experiments of many ages, and a great variety of means contrived and used by infinite wisdom; God was at length obliged to cast them off. But not until be had tried every external means, which, with propriety, could be tried. Not until he could say, what more could have been done to my vineyard, that I have not done in it ? For he sent ünto them all his servants the prophets, rising early and sending; and they stoned one, and killed another. At last he sent to them his only Son, and they slew him. And in them we bave exhibited a true specimen of human nature, in its present fallen state d.

Since the Jews have been cast off, God has sent the Gogpel to the Gentiles, and for seventeen hundred years has been making experiments on them, as of old he did on the Jews : and such bas been their opposition to God and Christ and Christianity in all ages, that agreeable to revelation made to John in the Isle of Patmos, the true Church of Christ bath been in circumstances, eitlier like "a woman in travail, with a great red dragon before her, ready to devour her child as soon as born; or like a woman obliged to flee, as upon eagles' wings, into a wilderness to hide herself from the face of the dragon," Rev. xii.; or like two witnesses prophesying in sackcloth, who are killed from age to age, for the testimony they bear to God and the truth, and in whose sufferings they that dwell upon the carth rejoice, Rev. xi. And now after a course of the most obstinate rebellion, for almost six thousand years,

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d. As face answereth to face in water, so doth the heart of man to man.they were in Cain's cireumstances, and God should suffer them, they would do as he did. If they were in Pharaoh's circumstances, and left of God, they would be as cruel, false, and hard-hearted, as he. If they were in the like circumstan. ces with Doeg, though they condemn him for his lıypocrisy, flattery, and cruelty, they would do every whit as bad as he. If they were in like circumstances as Judlas was, whatever indignation they have against him, they would be as false and impudent, and as very traitors as be. Yea, if they were under the circumstances that the fallen angels are, they would be as very devils as they.--That original sjn that reigns in every natural man is the fountain of every abomination.'

Mr. Stoddard. Nature of Conversion. p. 95, 96. VOL. II.


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it is become a question among us rebels and enemies, whether we are at enmity against God's true and real character, or not! After we have cast off the true God, and set up false gods all over the earth ; after we have stoned the messengers of God, and killed his prophets, and inurdered his Son; and after his followers have, according to his prediction, been hated of all men for his name's sake ; even now, after all these exercises and fruits of enmity, it is become a question, whether we are, or ever were, properly and strictly speaking, enemies to God's true and real character !. So slow of heart are we to understand our own true character and real state. But that the carnal miod is enmity against God's true and real character, may be proved by these arguments, viz.

1. If the carnal mind is enmity against God bimself, then the carnal mind is enmity against God's true and real character. But the carnal mind is enmity against God himself: as is asserted by the inspired apostle. For he says, The carnal mind is enmity against God. But to be enmity against false and mistaken notions of the Deity, is not to be enmity against God. For to bate falsehood is not to hate the truth. To hate false gods, is not to hate the true God. But that being whom Paul called God, was the true God. To deny this, is to give up the whole of divine revelation. To say, that Paul's God was not the true God, is to say that the God of the bible is not the true God.

2. That which is opposite unto a true and real transcript of the moral character of God, is opposite to his true and real character. But the carnal mind is opposite unto the divine law, which is a true and real transcript of the moral character of God. This is the apostle's argument. For in order to prove that the carnal mind is enmity against God, he says, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

3. To be at enmity against false and mistaken notions of God is no sin, and deserves no punishment; but rather is virtuous and praise-worthy : for even God himself hates all false gods, and all mistaken notions about the true God. But if the Scripture account of things be true, that enmity against God and Christ, which mankind have discovered, is the most inexcusable wickedness; for it is spoken of by our blessed

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Saviour as such, Mat. x. 16, 25. and chap. xxiii. 29–36. John xv. 22-25. And, as such, it deserves the wrath of God. Luke xix. 27. But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither and slay them before me. Besides, had not the Pharisees been al enmity against the true and real character of God, and of his Son, and inexcusably to blame on that account, those words of Christ to them had been very abusive, Mat. xx. 33. Ye serpents, ye gen. eration of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell ? But if they were as venomous as serpents, and as spiteful as vipers toward the true God and his Son, the damnation of hell was good enough for them.

Remark I. If the carnal mind is enmity only against mistaken ideas of God, but disposed to love God's true and real character, as soon as known, then nothing more is needful to bring us to love God perfecıly, even with all our hearts, than a right speculative idea of him, commonly called doctrinal knowledge, or head knowledge. For if we are naturally disa posed to love God's true character, then as soon as we know it, we shall love it, just as Jacob loved Rachel, the first time he saw her. And our love will, on this hypothesis, increase in exact proportion to our doctrinal knowledge. And we shall need the regenerating influences of the Holy Spirit, to give us an heart to love God, no more than Jacob did, to give him an heart to love Rachel. An external revelation of God's true character, sufficiently clear and plain, is all that will be needful to beget perfect love to God in our hearts. And then we may be regenerated, and perfectly sanctified by light, without any internal influences of the spirit of God at all. And this is what Pelagians and Socinians really mean.

Rem. 2. If the carnal mind is enmity against God, only as conceiving him to be our enemy, as one who will damn us; then a belief that he is our friend, and will save us, will cause our enmity to cease, and beget love, without any change of nature in us. And then again, we may be regenerated by light. And this is what Antinomians really mean. And were there any evidence from Scripture, sense, or reason, of the fact to be believed, no spirit would be needed in this

But because there is no evidence from Scripture, sense,

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or reason, as the celebrated Mr. Marshall honestly owns, therefore some spirit is needed. But not the spirit of God. For it is not the office of the Spirit of God, to enable us to believe that to be true, which was not true before we believed it. But God is not our reconciled friend while out of Christ. Nor does pardon ever take place before repentance. When the unregenerate impenitent sinner has it discovered to him that God loves him, and is reconciled to him, the thing discovered is a lie; and the father of lies is the author of the discovery. But of this heretofore, in A blow at the ruot of the refined Antinomianism of the present age.

Rem. §. If the carnal mind is enmity against God's true and real character, as exhibited in the moral law, and as honoured with the highest honours on the cross of Christ, notwithstanding the fullest and plainest declarations of God's readiness to be reconciled to us through Christ, if we repent and return to God through him, then the clearest possible speculative idea of this character will not beget love; the greatest possible degree of doctrinal knowledge will pot render God amiable in our eyes. For if the true and real cbaracter of God itself is odious to a carnal heart, the idea of that character will excite, not love, but dislike : if the true and real character of Jesus was odious to the heart of a Pharisee, the idea of that character would excite, in the Pharisee's heart, not love, but dislike. So reason teaches, and so the fact was. They have both seen and hated both me and my Father. The longer Christ lived, the more he preached, the plainer he spake, the more the Pharisees hated him. For his character was perfectly opposite to theirs. But every impenitent, self-righteous sinner, hath the heart of a Pharisee. Therefore Christ's words to Nicodemus are equally true with respect to all mankind in their natural state. John jü. . Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.--For,

Rei. 4. Spiritual life is, according to scripture, communicated by God to the dead soul, to enable it to see and act in a spiritual manner. For, according to scripture, we are dead in sin; as perfectly dead, as the body of Christ was when it lay in the grave.

And the same power


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raised that from the dead, doth raise us from spiritual death, Eph, i, 19-23. and ii. 1--10. And we know, that a dead corpse must be restored to life, in order of nature, before it can see or hear. So the scripture teaches us, that spiritual life is necessary to enable us to see and act in a spiritual manner. For those who are spiritually dead, are spiritually blind, They cannot discern, they cannot know spiritual things, spiritually. I Cor. ii. 14. They are foolishness to them, and a stumbling-block. I Cor. i. 18. 23, 24. As the teil on Moses' face hid the glory of it from the congregation of Israel ; (Exod. xxxiv. 29--35.) so the spiritual glory of God and the things of God are bid from the natural man, by a veil on his heart. 2 Cor. iii. 13—18. For that enmity to divine things, in which spiritual death consists, implies spiritual blindness. Rom. viii. 7. Eph. iv. 18. For an idea of the glory of God is always attended with love to God. 2 Cor. iii. 18. Enmity against God, therefore, implies that we are blind to his glory; yea, that his true and real character, instead of appearing glorious, and giving pleasure to the mind, appears odious, and excites disagreeable and painful sensa tions. Rom. i. 28. John xv. 18~25. It is not the design of the Gospel to accommodate the divine character to the laste of the carnal heart. Rom. iii. 31. But on the contrary, the flesh must die; it must be put to death; it must be crucified. Gal. v. 17-24. And a new, divine, spiritual life, must be communicated to the soul, to enable it to see and act in a spiritual manner. For, John iii. 3. 5. Ercept a man be born again he cannot see, nor enter into the kingdom of God. He must be born again, or he cannot see the glory of Christianity, or cordially embrace it. A man may be a Pharisee, as was Nicodemus ; so a man may be a Socinian, a Pelagian, an Aroiinian, or an Antinomian, without regeneration: but no man can be a Christian, except he be born again. Experience and fact confirm the truth. For when Christ was on earth, he spake as never man spake; and yet the spiritual glory of Christianity was hid from their eyes. Mat. xi. 20.-25. For although he came, not to those who had been bred

pagan darkness, but to his own people, who had received their education under Moses and the prophets ; yet

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