Billeder på siden
[ocr errors]

such gross apprehensions of God, as he did before in expecting to see him with bodily eyes. And this relates to the old heresy of the Anthropomorphites or mouks in the deserts of Egypt, as also to that of the present Mugletonians, who imagine God to be a personal or bodily existence circumscribed as to place, denying him to be an infinite Spirit. Yet thus far I will admit of his simile, by a reason of the contrary, that as the natural created sun immediately sends forth its beams or rays which are natural, and which influence the earth with the virtue of the sun; so the eternal increated Spirit or Word, doth shine and show forth its own immediate, increated, Divine light and virtue in the hearts and souls of mankind. As the sun is natural and created, so is its light or shining; and as God the eternal Word is increated and supernatural, so is his immediate shining or light in the hearts and souls of mankind. And as a man's eye is directly set towards the sun, in the least beam thereof, shining through any crevice into any dungeon, cell, or other obscure place, it sees directly the sun itself; so the eye of the soul being directed towards God by the least appearance of his Divine and immediate shining or illumination, therein it hath a sight of God, and the soul thereby comes to feel his virtue and power in waiting upon him. And for this man to conclude, that this light of the eternal Word "cannot teach and reveal to man the Lord Jesus Christ," (p. 50.) is to deny Jesus Christ to be the Word, or that true light that enlighteneth every man, whereas his illumination directs man immediately to himself as it is eyed and minded.

He also is as narrow, shallow, and partial, in concluding the light will not reveal to man his Saviour without the help of the scriptures." p. 50. This is a strange undervaluing of the light of Christ. What then did the scriptures proceed from? Was it not the light? And what shall become of all those nations and people that have not the scriptures, if this be true?

It is none of our assertion, that Christ in his death and sufferings, was only a pattern or example of that which must be wrought over again in us." For though we own him to have left an example, yet he was more than an example, and he not only ended the types, but was a sacrifice and offering for mankind, and opened the new and living way, giving testimony of God's free love towards all, and making way for the enforcing of the new testament, or covenant of life. But yet that either all or any men are cleansed, or justified, or saved, merely by the outward sufferings, crucifixion, death, or blood-shed of Christ, the scripture proves not, but by Christ himself, and his blood, life, spirit, and power, nor yet that men are acquitted or saved by their outward application thereof. And this man to his own confutation confesses to the power of Christ's Spirit being risen

in us, for our sanctification and renovation, as well as Christ was raised from the dead for our justification. p. 54. Then all is not fully done by his death without them, but both the end and mystery of the cross, sufferings, and death of Christ without, must be known and fulfilled within. See Philip iii. 10. Although this man seems not willing to hear of Christ's being a pattern or example of that which must be wrought over again in us, (p. 50.) yet in contradiction to this he saith, "the Lord Jesus Christ hath wrought redemption and salvation for me, and revealed this by his Word and Spirit, and worked it in me." p. 52. It is well that in any measure he is made to acknowledge to this inward work of Christ.


He pleads for their shadowy and carnal ordinances to continue, under this notion, viz. "Under his shadow I have with the spouse sat down, and his fruit is and hath been sweet unto my taste." p. 53. This is a very impertinent instance, and altogether improper, to reckon bread, wine, and water-baptism, that shadow of the soul's beloved, to wit, Christ, that the spouse sat under; seeing the Lord himself saith, I will be a shadow from the heat, and a refuge from the storm. And we are so far from believing these carnal ordinances to be the direct shadow of the soul's beloved, in that near sense that we looked upon him to be, that he is yet to prove them appointments, institutions, and ordinances of Christ, or of necessity to continue in the church notwithstanding his spiritual coming and revelation, which he hath not done, much less that they are spiritual or of a "spiritualness," as he saith, (p. 59 and 60,) which he hath manifestly contradicted, in granting, "they are but the sign, the shadow, the shell, and Christ the substance." p. 53, 54. For my part, I do not look upon either John's baptism, or the supper of Christ and his disciples, at which they ate the passover, to be institutions and ordinances originally appointed by Christ, or enjoined to all that should succeed in the gospel and true church. But rather, though they were not directly enjoined by the law of Moses, as we say, modo & forma; yet that they did more naturally relate to that former dispensation of shadows, than to that of the gospel and new covenant. And John's baptism was rather for a consummation of the Jews' divers sprinklings and washings under the law, comprehending them in order to end them, and Christ's eating the passover and drinking with his disciples, (Luke 22,) was as a consummation of the Jews' feasts under the law, viz. that of the passover and others, according to the relation given at large concerning the ecclesiastical rites of the ancient Hebrews, by T. Goodwin in

his Antiquities of the Jews, called Moses and Aaron, p. 86, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, and forward. And that saying, "as often as you do this," is not a command, and " this do in remembrance of me," and "ye show the Lord's death till he come," limit a time for its discontinuance. For "till he come" must either respect his next coming, or render not only his coming after he was risen, but his spiritual coming and revelation in his saints, no coming, which were absurd and anti-christian; and there was a time to show forth his life as well as his death.

His saying, "The sign and thing signified God hath joined together," (p. 54.) is again contradicted by his granting “a person may find a shell and have no kernel in it." p. 54. To which I add, that God hath joined the sign, or shadow, and the substance together, so to continue, I deny, or that the scripture any where so saith. But as for these Baptists' shells, husks, and shadows, they are both dry and empty, and the Lord is departed from them, so that neither life nor substance is to be found in them, but a dark spirit of enmity and opposition against the true power and life, is centered in them: yea, the same spirit which walketh in dry places. I wish they were truly sensible of it.


Upon 2 Cor. v. 16. "Though I have known Christ after the flesh, yet from henceforth know I him so no more," H. G.'s exposition is, "that the word know here, doth hold forth to esteem, regard, allow, or to approve by way of preference.” p. 58.

Now if we read his exposition herein upon the text, it runs thus, viz. Though I have known, or esteemed, regarded, or approved Christ after the flesh, by way of preference, yet from henceforth do I esteem, regard, or approve of him so no more; and then how must I regard and prefer him, but after the spirit, and in his spiritual manifestation, as I know him in me to be my hope, life and stay. But how does this agree with his deseription of Jesus Christ, as the alone Saviour, "as consisting of a human body of flesh and bone," as before, (p. 31 and 55,) and with his saying that "the Spirit or blessed Comforter cannot be the Saviour and Mediator." p. 46. But this he has also eminently contradicted, in confessing that "the power of Christ's spirit risen in us, is for our sanctification and renovation," p. 54. To which I add, that the apostle witnessed that the ingrafted Word is able to save your souls, or the Word that is grafted in you, as some have it. Jam. i. 21. And see 1 Pet. i. 23. The spirit is life, giveth life, quickeneth, sanctifieth, itself maketh intercession. And "if ye through the spirit mor

tify the deeds of the flesh ye shall live." Rom. viii. 13. Therefore the Word and Spirit, (which are one,) do save the obedient.

H. G. says, some of those gazers and waiters (viz. that look for Christ's personal reign) were Paul, Peter and John, yea, all the primitive saints, though Christ was come in spirit to them as gloriously," &c. p. 60.

I deny that they were any such gazers, after Christ's ascension and glorious spiritual appearance and revelation in them. He hath herein aspersed Paul, Peter, and John, and all the primitive saints, with gazing for Christ's personal reign, which he reckons his second coming to salvation; wherein he hath not only rendered all the saints and former witnesses of Christ to be such uncertain gazers abroad, but their hope, expectation, and faith, ineffectual and fruitless as to such a coming, and they to be disappointed of salvation. For such a personal coming and reign of Christ as this man speaks of, they attained not in their days, neither is it yet,, nor are Baptists like to see such a personal reign, though he has rendered all the primitive saints gazers and waiters for it; whereas Christ said to his disciples,

Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom," Mat. (xvi. 28.) or "till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power.” Mark ix. 1.

As for H. G.'s human personal Christ, consisting, or merely made up, of flesh and bone, finite, weak, subject to passion as we are, who, as such, he deems the alone Saviour, with his unscriptural expressions he puts upon him, as "outward existence, personal existence, personal subsistence, human nature, second person of the trinity," &c. (p. 46, 83, 94.) and yet in contradiction he is made to confess him to be the most High God," p. 80. "Jesus of Nazareth truly God, the most High God as is the Father, and of the same substance and essence, yet distinguished from the Father, as touching his personal subsistence;" (p. 83.) I cannot but look upon this relation to be nonsensical, and confusedly intermixed with those unscriptural terms, of which let the ingenuous reader judge, that can distinguish between the body which Christ took upon him, and the Divine being. Thus to represent Jesus Christ as a mere body, "consisting of flesh and bone, human nature, finite, weak," &c. and then to say, "He is the most High God, of the same essence," &c. tends farther to stumble and keep distant both Jews and others. And bis notion that he is only a Saviour after this imaginary, human, or earthly manner, be hath sufficiently confuted by these reasons, wherewith be proves Jesus Christ's Deity, or being God, and as such the Saviour, or he who giveth power unto others to become the sons of God. From, 1. His name"the mighty God," the true God," the only wise God,"

"God blessed for ever." (Isa. ix. 6.—1 John v. 20.-Jude 25, and Rom. ix. 5.) 2. His making and creating the world. (John i. 1, 3.—Col. ii. 16.-Heb. ii. 10.) 3. His upholding and preserving the whole creation. (Heb. i. 3.-Col. i. 17.). His knowing all things. (John xii. 17, and ii. 24, 25.—Psa. cxxxix. and iv. 10.-Job xxxvi. 4. and ch. xxxviii.) 5. His searching the heart. (Jer. xvii.-Rev. ii. 23.) 6. His being the first and the last (Isa. Ixiv. 6, and Ixviii. 12.—Rev. i1. 8, 17.) 7. His having spiritual worship or divine adoration due to him. (Mat. viii. 2. and xxviii. 17.-Luke xxiv. 52.—John viii. 38.-Heb. i. 6-Phil. ii. 10.) 8. His having power to forgive or pardon iniquity. (Mat. ch. ix, and Mark ii. 5.-Luke v. 21.) 9. In that the saints ought to pray to him. (Acts ix. 14.-Rom. x. 9, 10.1 Cor. i. 2.) 10. His having power to give the holy Spirit and saving grace. (Mat. iii. 11.-Mark i. 4.-Eph. iv. 8, 9.) 11. His being equal with God. (Phil. ii. 6, 7.-Zach. xiii. 7.) 12. His having power to lay down his life and to take it up up again. (John ii. 19. and x. 18.) 13. His being the object, author, and finisher of the true believers' faith. (John xiv. 1. and ix. 35.-Heb. xii. 2.)

14. He who can by his own name, proper power and authority, give power unto others to become the sons of God, must needs be God himself. But that Christ doth and can do this is evident, John i. 11, 12. He doth adopt, regenerate, or make others the children of God, by the effectual working of his blessed spirit in the heart, by which they are interested in all the privileges of the covenant of grace, which none can do save God alone. p. 91, 92. Thus far H. G. to his own eminent confutation and contradiction, bath assented to truth in words; and that Jesus Christ is the object of faith, and giver of power to men to become the sons of God; and that he makes them his children by the effectual workings of his blessed Spirit in their hearts, even because he is God eternal, in that none can do those but God alone, according to Isa. xliii. 10, 11, 12. and xlv. 14, and xlix. 26, and Ixiii. 8.-Jer. xiv. 8.-Hos. xiii. 4.— 1 Tim. i. 1, and iv. 10.-Jude xxv. But how doth H. G.'s confession, and these scriptures, agree with the description he gives of Jesus Christ as Saviour, and as the only true Christ, viz."That he consists of a body of flesh and bone, human nature, being finite, weak, subject to passion as we are ?" (p. 94.) Let the reader judge how gross and confused he is in these matters, and whether the true Christ and Saviour doth either consist of an earthly nature or finite being, or was subject to passion as fallen men are ?

The truth is, this man has confessed more to the Deity and divine power of Christ, and so to his ability to save and beget men to himself as God alone, than most of the Baptists that I

« ForrigeFortsæt »