« ForrigeFortsæt »
glorified.' Indeed, Sir, the apostle no more meant to insinuate by these words, that David was justified and glorified, when he wallowed in the filth of adultery and murder, that that Judas was condemned and damned, when he left all to follow Christ. He only lays before us an account of the method, which God follows in the eterual salvation of obedient, persevering believers : Who are the persons that, as such, be predestinated to life, “ according to his fore-knowledge, and the counsel of his holy will.' These he called,' but not these alone. When they made their calling sure, by believing in the light of their dispensation, these “ he also justified.' And when they made their justification sure, by adding to their faith virtue,' &c., these 'ne also glorified ;' for the souls of departed saints are actually glorified in Abraham's bosom; and living saints are not only called and justified, but also in part glorified; fur, by the Spirit of glory and of God, which rests upon them, they are changed into the divine image from glory to glory;' yea, they are already all glorious within.'
How much more reasonable and scriptural is this sense of the apostle's words, than that which you fix upon them, by which you would make us believe, that, on the one hand, Solomon's salvation (including his justification and glorification) was finished, “ in the full extent of the expression,” when he worshipped the aboipiuation of the Zidonians, and gloried in his shame : While, ou the other hand, Demas's damnation was finished, when he was St. Paul's zealous companion in the kivgdom and patience of Jesus Christ!' Sir, have you not here also inadvertently used the 'sword of the Spirit,' to oppose the 'mind of the Spirit,' and make way for barefaced Antinomianism? You proceed,
IV, P. 63. “ The same apostle, in his Epistle to the Ephesians, speaking to believers, addresses them as already (virtually) ‘seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.' Hence you infer, that their salvation was finished, “in the full extent of the expression."
But your conclusion is not just; for the apostle, instead of supposing their salvation finished, exhorts them
not to steal, not to be drunk with wine, and not to give place to the devil,' by fornication, uncleanness, filthiness, or covetousness; for this ye know,' adds he,' that no unclean person, &c., hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ ;' so far is he from being “ already virtually seated in heavenly places in Christ, Jesus."
What need is there of darkening counsel by a word without knowledge ?' By the dark word “ virtually ?" While the Ephesiaus kept the faith, did they not 'set their affections on things above ?' Were not their hearts in heaven with Christ agreeably to our Lord's doctrine, "Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also ?' And by a lively faith, which is, the substance of things hoped for,' did they not already share the glory of their exalted Head? Will you still endeavour to persuade the world, that when David defiled his neighbour's bed, he was seated in heavenly places in Christ?' Is it not evident, that these, and the like expressions of St. Paul, must not be understood of idle Antinomian speculations; but of such a real change, as our church mentions in her collect for Ascension day? : “ Grant, that as Christ ascended into the heavens; so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and continually dwell.” Such powerful exertions of faith, hope, and love, as are described in the 77th hymn of the Rev. Mr. Madan's collection?
By faith we are come
To our permanent home;
By love we still rise,
And look down on the skies-
* But this is not all: If the elect, whether they be drunk or sober, chaste or unclean, “are already virtually seated in heavenly places in Christ,” according
to the doctrine of Finished Salvation ; are not poor reprobates, whether they pray or curse, repent or sin, already virtually seated in hellish places in the devil, according to the doctrine of Finished Damnation ? O Sir, when you use the sword of the Spirit to storm the New Jerusalem, and cut the way through law and gospel before an adulterer in flagrante delicto, that he may virtually (that is, I fear, comfortably and securely] ' sit in heavenly places in Christ,' do you not dreadfully prostitute God's holy word ? Inadvertently fight the battle of the rankest Antinomians, and secure the foundation of Mr. Sandiman's as well as Dr. Crisp's increasing errors? But you have an excuse ready:
V. P. 63. “ Christ has purchased the Spirit, to work mortification of sin, &c., in the hearts of his children: And in this respect their sanctification is really as much finished as their justification.”-I reply, (1.) If their justification by works is not finished, before the day of judgment, as our Lord informs us, (Matt. xii. 37,) your observation proves just nothing. -(2.) The scriptures, in direct oppositiou to your scheme, declare, that the Spirit strives with, and consequently was purchased for all; those who' quench' it, and sin against the Holy Ghost, not excepted. Therefore, neither the sanctification nor salvation of sinners, is absolutely secured by the purchase you mention. If it' were, all the world would be saved. But alas ! many 'deny the Lord that bought them,' and by . doing despite to the Spirit of grace' purchased for them,' bring upon themselves swift destruction,' instead of finished salvation. Here, then, the sword which you wield, flies again to pieces, by clashing with the real sword of the Spirit, brandished by St. Peter and St. Paul.
VI. P. 64. You bring in “ The immutability of God's counsel confirmed by an oath,” and add, “The will and testament is signed, sealed, and properly attested.—The whole affair is finished. There remains nothing to do but to take possession.” I thank you, dear Sir, for this concession; something then “
mains to do :" We must, at least“ take possession;" and if we neglect doing it, farewell finished salvation : We shall as much fall short of the heavenly, as the Israelites, who perished in the wilderness, because they refused to take possession, fell short of the earthly Canaan.
Again, we grant, that God's “ Will and Testamen is finished, and scaled by Christ's most precious blood :" And that “ the everlasting covenant is ordered in all things, and sure :” But if part of that will and covenant runs thus: Ye are saved by grace through faith :-You are kept by the power of God through faith :- If ye continue in the faith :-Faith without works is dead :-Wherefore work out your own salvation with fear and trembling :--For him that sinpeth, I will blot out of my book :-Sf ye walk contrary to me, I will walk contrary to you :-) will cut my staff, beauty, asunder, that I may break my covenant which I have made with all the people. (Zech. xi. 10.)-And ye shall know my breach of promise. (Numb. xiv. 34.)-I will therefore put you in remem • brance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not :-Although through faith they kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest the destroyer should touch them : Add did all drink the same spiritual drink, (for they drank of that spiritual rock that followed them; and that rock was Christ :)--Now all these things happened to them for examples : And they are written for our admonition. Wherefore let him that thinketh hestandeth, take heed lest he fall :'-If part of God's will and covenant, I say, runs thus; is it not absurd to suppose, that any man's salvation is finished, while he not only does not comply with the gracious terms of God's “ sure covenant," but notoriously incurs the dreadful threatenings recorded in his unalterable “ will and testament ?" Here then, instead of turning to fight the armies of the aliens,' you have given us weapons to beat you out of the field. But you 800n come back again to say,
VH. P. 64. “ Certain it is, that the salvation of every soul given by the Father to the Son, in the eternal covenant of redemption, is as firmly secured, as if those souls were already in glory.” The certainty which you speak of, exists only in your own imagination. Judas was given by the Father to the Son; and yet Judas is lost. If the salvation of some people“ was as firmly secured from the beginning, as if they had already been in glory," all the gospel ministers who have addressed them at any time as children of wrath, have been preachers of lies, and the Holy Spirit witnesses to an untruth, when he testifies to the unregenerate elect, that they are in danger of hell. But this is not all; upon your ,dangerous scheme, the foundations are thrown down; man is no more in a state of trial : The day of judgment will be a mere farce ; and the scriptures are a farrago of the most absurd cautions, and the most scandalous lies : For they perpetually speak to believers, as to persons in danger of ' falling,' and 'being cut off,' if they do not + walk circumspectly ;' and they assert, that some
perish for whom Christ died;' and that others, by • denying the Lord who bought them, bring upon themselves swift destruction.'
But pray, Sir, when you tell us, “ The salvation of every soul given by the Father to the Son, in the eterual covenant of redemption, is as firmly secured, as if those souls were already in glory;" do you not see the cloven foot on which your doctrine stalks along ? Permit me to uncover it a moment, and strike my readers with salutary dread, by holding forth the inseparable counterpart of your dangerous opinion, “ Certain it is, that the damnation of every soul given by the Father to the devil, in the eternal covenant of reprobation, is as firmly secured, as if those souls were already in hell.” Shame on the man that first called such horrid tenets“ the doctrines of grace, and the free gospel of Jesus Christ !” Confusion on the lying spirit, who broke out of the bottomless pit, thus to blaspheme the Father of mercies, delude good men, and sow the