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its nature is the same. For there is but one kind of true holiness in the universe. For the holiness of Christ is of the same nature with the holiness of God the Father. Christ is the express image of his father, and of bis fulness we receive, and grace for grace. In regeneration, therefore, we are restored anew to that image of God, in which Adam was created. So that this principle of grace'is that whereby we are inclined to a disinterested supreme regard to the Deity, an infinitely worthy Being; and so disposed to love that character of himn exhibited, in his law in which his infinite dignity is asserted, in the threatening of an infinite punishment for sin. Even as self-love is 'ibat principle' whereby a fallen creature is inclined to a supreme regard to himself, and to his own honour and interest, separate from, independent of, and unsubordinate to, God and his glory. Which self-love is in kind, different from that love of happiness which is essential to every holy being. The one is contrary to the holiness of the divine nature, and the source of all our enmity against the Deity. The other is in perfect harmony with the divine nature, and consistent with the perfect love of the holiness and justice of God, as exhibited in his law.
Mr. M. says, (p. 48.) . But if this be true, that there must be a gracious principle implanted in the heart of a sinner, before he is capable of any gracious acts; then for the same reason, there must be a corrupt principle implanted in the heart of a holy creature, (Adam, for instance,) before be is capable of any sinful acts.' The Scripture teaches us, that God created man in his own image, whereby he was prepared to holy acts and exercises : but the Scripture does not teach us, that God afterwards created man in the image of the devil,
the priority of nature, than of time, the nature and order of the work requiring it to be so; a vital principle must, in order of nature, be infused, before a vital act can be exerted. First make the tree good, and then the fruit good : And admit we should grant some priority in time also to this quickening principle, before actual faith ; yet the absurdity mentioned would be no way consequent upon this concession ; for as the vital act of faith quickly follows the regenerate ing principle, so the soul is abundantly secured against the danger objected ; God never beginning any special work of grace upon the soul, and then leaving it, and the soul with it, in hazard; but preserves both to the finishing and completing of his gracious design. Mr. Flavel's method of grace, Sermon 5.
to render himn capable of sinful acts. And therefore, if we would acquiesce in the plain Scripture account of these things, we should readily allow,' that it was needful, in order to prepare Adam for holy acts, that he should be created in the image of God; yet it was not necessary for the same reason, that there should be a corrupt principle implanted in his heart, before he was capable of any sinful act.' For sin begins in that which is merely negative; i. e. it begins in not loving God with all the heart; in ceasing to exercise that regard to the Deity which is bis due. Or in not having such a sense of his worthiness of love and regard, as ought to take place in the heart. But a sense of God's infinite worthiness, of supreme love and perfect obedience, may cease to fill and govern the whole soul, without a previous implantation of a corrupt principle. It did so in Adam. For had he remained under the entire government of supremne love to God, he would not have eaten the forbidden fruit; and as supreme love to God ceased, supreme self-love took place of course : but it never was in Adam's heart before. He now, for the first time, began to have a frame of heart answerable to satan's words, Ye shall be as Gods; ye shall not surely die. And so he took and eat. In consequence of which, this principle of supreme self-love became a confirmed habit, and his whole heart was disposed to justify himself in it. And thus Adam became totally depraved.
Remark 1. Holiness, as it originally took place in human nature, had God for its author : and it was produced by a creating power ; in the image of God, CREATED he him. So it is restored by the same power. Eph. ii. 10. We are his work. manship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works. But that wbich is God's gift, (Ezek. xxxvi. 26.) A new heart will I give you ; is also ibe sinner's duty. Ezek. xvii. 31. Make you a nero heart. For total depravity and moral agency are consistent: otherwise those words, (Eph. ii. 1.) Drad in sin, would be an express contradiction. To say that the doctrine of created holiness is absurd, is to say that the bible is not the word of God : for this is one of the first doctrines taught in that book. In the image of God created he him.
Rem. 2. As Adam, while in the image of God, viewed the divine character exhibited in the moral law, in the same glorious point of light in which God himself did, in which view the image of God in Adam partly consisted, and which view he totally lost by the fall; so this view of the divine character is restored, when the image of God is renewed in regeneration. As it is written, (Col. iii. 10.) The new man is renewed in knowledge, after the image of him that created him :i. e. that view of divine things, which is like that view which God hath of them, and which is the image of his knowledge, and which was originally in man before the fall, and was lost by the fall, is renewed, is caused to exist anew, by the same power by which it at first existed, when God created man in his own imuge. 2 Cor. iv. 6. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, (saying, Gen. i. 3. Let there bc light, and there was light) by the same creating power, hath shined into our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Rem. 3. Habitually to view things as God does, and to
3 be affected, and act accordingly, (i. e. comprising both habit and act,) is the whole of that image of God, to which saints are recovered by the power of the Holy Ghost, imperfectly in this world, and perfectly in the world to come. And this image of God is the same in kind, with that which Adam lost. For the essential rectitude of the divine nature is the original standard. The moral law is a trauscript of this original. This law was written on Adam's heart. The mediatorial righteousness of Christ is the law perfectly fulfilled. So Christ is the express image of his Father. And saints are the express image of Christ. And so there is but one kind of true holiness in the universe. And this is that which will lay the foundation for the perfect and eternal union, which will take place among all holy Beings, in the kingdom of heaven-God on the throne, and every creature there in his proper place, by universal consent, all of the same spirit.
Rem. 4. The false kinds of holiness, exhibited in all false schemes of religion, differ in kind from the holiness of heaven, which implies love to that character of God which is exhibited in the moral law, to which all unholy beings are
in a state of total opposition. For graceless men, who are pacified merely in a belief that they are safe, are in any other view, of the same temper toward the Deity, with the damned. For supreme self-love governs every apostate creature, who is totally destitute of true love, of disinterested benevolence to the most high God, the Creator and Lord of heaven and earth.
Mat. xxviii. 19. Baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
THE CHRISTIAN CREED; THE ARMINIAN CREED; MR.
M.'S CREED. REMARKS ON EACH.
THAT which is commonly called The Apostles' creed, although not compiled by the apostles, yet is confessedly of very ancient date. And the three principal articles of it are these : ). I believe in God the Father, almighty maker of heaven and earth. 2. I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son. 8. I believe in the Holy Ghost. Which doubtless had reference to the form of baptism appointed by our blessed Saviour. He therefore, who believes aright, and in a right manner, concerning Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, has the true Christian faith, and is himself a true Christian ; and so is
; qualified to be active in offering up himself and his seed to God in Christian baptism. But some of the chief things, which in the inspired writings we are taught to believe concerning the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, are these, which may be expressed in the following articles, in contrast with the Arminian creed, and with Mr. M.'s.
The Christian Creed.
The Arminian Creed.
Mr. Mather's Creed.
1. Concerning God the | 1. Concerning God the | 1. Concerning God the Father. Father.
Father. I BELIEVE that the I BELIEVE that it I BELIEVE that the. moral character of God would have been unjust | moral character of God, exhibited in the moral | in God to have held man- exhibited in the moral law, is perfect in beauty, kind after the fall bound law, is not to us an objeet without a blemish. And by the moral law, with- of love; and that it is
The Christian Creed.
The Arminian Creed.
Mr. Mather's Creed.
that our disaffection to out any abatement. And not a duty, but a sin, for the Deity is absolutely in that therefore, some relief us to love it : even conexcusable and infinitely was in justice due to a fal- trary to the law of God. criminal; and justly de- len world. And therefore, Because, to love it is the serves the penalty threat- the relief granted is not same thing as to love our ened, infinitely dreadful wholly of grace ; own misery However, as it is. In which view, ought it be acknowledged God has given his Son to the divine law is holy, as such by us.
fulfil this law, and to vinjust, and good ; worthy of
dicate and maintain the the highest honour ; and
honour and dignity of his the salvation of the Gos
character exhibited in it; pel from step to step,
that sinners might be parfrom beginning to end, is
doned while at enmity of mere grace.
against it. p. 28. 41, 42, 43.
2. Concerning God the 2. Concerning God the 2. Concerning God the Son, Son.
Son. I BELIEVE that Je- I BELIEVE that I BELIEVE that the sus Christ, in character Christ died to purchase character of God exhibitof Mediator between God an abatement of this un- ed in the Gospel, is so acand man, loved the mo. just law; and to procure commodated to the state ral character of his Fa- salvation for us on terms and temper of our hearts, ther, exhibited in the which are able to that we shall love it as moral law, and lived and comply with, by his as- soon as known, without died to do it honour ; sistance.
any new principle of that through him peni
grace ; and even while tent believers might be
we are at enmity against saved, consistently with
that character of God exthe divine justice, and to
hibited in the law. p. 22. the glory of divine graee.
41-48. And in this view Christ crucified is the wisdom of God, and the power of God.
3. Concerning God the 3. Concerning God the 3. Concerning God the Holy Ghost. Holy Ghost.
Holy Ghost. I BELIEVE that fal. I BELIEVE that all I BELIEVE that all len man is so disaffected to men have sufficient assist- needful assistance of the the character of the Fa- ance to comply with the holy Spirit is promised to ther and the Son, that po terms of salvation, as it all baptised persons, to
whatsoever would be unjust to re- render external sufficient to reconcile us quire more than we can effectual to salvation. to God, without the re- do, without granting But light is all that is generating influences of needful assistance to en- needful. For no kind of the Holy Ghost. So that able us to do it. And regeneration will bring except we are born again, thus the injury done to the human heart to love we cannot see the king us by the law is made up that character of God dom of God. But in con- by the Gospel. And in which is exhibited in the sequence of the regene- this view the divine char- law: and the character rating influences of the acter appears amiable in of God exhibited in the Holy Ghost, by which the our eyes. And all man- Gospel, will naturally be veil is taken off from our kind might love it, did loved, as soon as known, hearts, we behold the glo- they but know it, without by everyone, without ry of the Lord, and every any new principle of any new principle of answerable affection is grace.
See Dr. Steba grace. But not loved excited io us. And Godbins, on the Operations very much ; for I believe,