« السابقةمتابعة »
those seasons, love the one more coverably, it is impossible to than he loves the other. If it recover ;" which would be true be said that he loves them be- indeed, but not much in the aposcause he designs to render them tle's way of writing. Did any holy, and save them ; it is obvi- person need to be informed, that ous to reply, he had these de- if he remained impenitent till signs when they were unrenew- death, he could not be renewed, ed; and yet he had, then, no by repentance, before death? more complacency in them, than Pray what defection was it, ain any other persons of the same gainst which these Hebrews were moral character, not compre- so solemnly warned? Did the hended in his designs of salva- apostle mean to convey this sention. Heb. vi. 4, 5, 6. It is im- timent; “ If you are once expossible for those, who were once cluded from the covenant of enlightened, and have tasted of the grace, it will be impossible to heavenly gift, and have been made introduce you into it again"? partakers of ihe Holy Ghost, and How could they be excluded have tasted the good word of God, from this covenant ? Not in conand the powers of the world to sequence of total aprostasy, accome, if they shall fall away, to cording to LUTHER's doctrine ; renew them again to repentance. for David is supposed, by him, LUTHER tells us, that these to have been in the same moral words relate to real saints, and state, during his fall, as Paul, or not, as some have supposed, to John before his conversion. If, awakened sinners, partially re- therefore, apostasy could have formed. Between these two excluded him, he would have opinions we make no decision ; been excluded. but would ask how this sense of LUTHER very justly observes, the text coincides with the doc- that “it is the method of inspitrine under consideration? The ration, to shew saints, on the one apostle, if speaking to re- hand, the crown of righteousness newed persons, tells them what which awaits the faithful; on the would be the consequence other, the certain ruin which will should they
It overtake them, if they turn again would be impossible to renew to folly.” But do not they turn them again repentance. again to folly, who lose every This is LUTHER's explanation particle of holiness, and become of the passage : but he still be- perfectly sinful ? Yet he does licves, that David did fall away, not suppose, that certain ruin and that every regenerate per. awaits such. Nay, he supposes son frequently falls away, and that many such will certainly be yet is renewed again to repen- saved. We are told again, that tance. How is this? Somebody “ the doctrine of perseverance must be wrong. Will it be said, ought never to be viewed in such that by falling arvay, the apostle a light, as to render persevering did not mean simply falling away, diligence in well doing less nehowever complete, but an irre- cessary, than it would be, if the coverable falling away? Then doctrine were not true." the text will amount precisely to are by no means disposed to this: “ Those, who fall irre- controvert this : But does not
what LUTBER would have us him, consistently with his princonsider as the doctrine of per ciples, “ Every belierer freseverance render this less neces. quently becomes divested of all sary, than it would be, if the his holiness; and therefore your doctrine were not true? The finding yourself destitute of holiArminian says, “ If there is in ness, at present, is no proaf of myself nothing of holiness, I am your being unregenerate." The in a state of condemnation.” one makes perseverance in well The Calvinist says the same. doing necessary to salvation ; the Whereas the doctrine in question other does not." asserts, that David, when abso- The writer assures the publutely destitute of holiness, was, lic, that the above remarks are nevertheless, in the covenant of by no means intended directly or grace; and, of course, that a indirectly to operate against the person's finding in himself, at doctrine of saints' perseverance, present, no exertion nor princi- but against an attempt to defend ple of piety, proves nothing a that doctrine on grounds, that he gainst his being in the covenant cannot but consider as unscripof grace, nothing against his be- tural.
J. C. ing an heir of glory. The Calvinist tells a professor, “ If you entirely lose holiness, you are larly considered by a writer in the
See this doctrine more particuJost.” * The abetter of the new Panoplist for December last, page doctrine tells him, or may tell 299.
LUTHER'S LETTER TO ERASMUS. To the life of Luther, already published, it is thought proper to subjoin the following extract of his letter to Erasmus, which is here introduced, with some of the remarks which accompany it in Dr. Haweis' Church History. , ;
" It has been often suggested, plicity of the testimony of Lux that the Reformers themselves iher, exhibited in the following were at variance on the most extract, I have produced it as important doctrines of the gos- the most conclusive proof of the pel; and that Luther and Calvin sentiments of this great rediffered greatly in the funda- former. mental articles of their creed. “ It is among our deepest misWhereas, except in the matter eries, and the proof of our sad of Christ's presence in the Eu- declensions, that we, of latter charist, all the eminent men a. times, have departed from “ the mong the reformers of that day, faith once delivered unto the concurred in the same funda- saints ;" revived in that day in mental truths. As I have been all its primitive glory : and, charmed myself (says Dr. Haw- thanks be to God, after long obeis) with the plainness and sim- scurity, again rising in its bright, ness in the present generation. alas ! are your fear and revere May its great Revealer manifest ence of the Deity, when you his own almighty influence, and roundly declare, that this branch cause the word of truth to run of truth, which he has revealed and have free course, and be from heaven, is at best useless, glorified throughout the world. and unnecessary to be known?
“ Erasmus had attacked Lu Wliat! shall the glorious Creather on the doctrines of predes. tor be taught by you his creature, tination and grace ; and accord, what is fit to be preached, and ing to the present cant of ob- what to be suppressed? Is the jectors, he urged, " What can be adorable God so very defective more useless than to publish this in wisdom, and prudence, as not paradox to the world? namely, to know, till you instruct him, that whatever we do, is done, not what would be useful and what by virtue of our own free will, but pernicious ? Or could not HE, in a way of necessity, &c. What whose understanding is infinite, a wide gap does the publication foresee, previous to his revela: of this tenet open among men, tion of this doctrine, what would for the commission of all ungod- be the consequences of his re: liness? What wicked person vealing it, till those consequences will reform his life? Who will were pointed out by you? You dare to believe himself a favou. cannot, you dare not, say this. rite of Heaven ? Who will fight If then it was the divine pleaagainst his own corrupt inclina- sure to make known these things tions ? Therefore, where is ei- in his word; and to bid his ther the need or the utility of messengers publish them abroad, spreading these notions from and to leave the consequences of whence so many evils seem to their so doing to the wisdom and flow ?"
providence of him in whose “ To this Luther triumphantly name they speak, and whose replies, “ If, my Erasmus, you messages they declare ; who art consider these paradoxes (as you thou, o · Erasmus, that thou term them) to be no more than shouldest reply against God, and the inventions of men, why are say to the Almighty, what doest you so extraordinarily heated on thou? St. Paul, discoursing of the occasion ? In that case your God, declared peremptorily, arguments affect not me ; for whom he will he hardeneth: and there is no person now ving in again, God willing 10 shew his the world, who is a more avowed wrath, &c. And the apostle did enemy to the doctrines of men not write this to have it stifled than myself.
among a few persons, and buri. But, if you believe the doctrines ed in a corner; but wrote it to in debate between us to be, (as the Christians at Rome : which indeed they are) the doctrines of was, in effect, bringing this doc. God; you must have bid adieu trine upon the stage of the wi.ole to all sense of shame and decen“ world ; stamping an universal cy, thus to oppose them. I will imprimatur uponit: and publishnot ask, whither is the modesty ing it to believers at large, of Erasmus fled ? but, which is throughout the 'earth. What much more important, where, can sound harsher in the un
circumcised ears of carnal men, lie open to all : and thus genuine than those words of Christ, many humility, and the practical fear are called, bu! few are chosen ? of God, would be kicked out of and elsewhere, I know whom I doors. This would be a pretty have chosen. Now these, and way indeed of stopping up the similar assertions of Christ and gap Erasmus complains of! In, his apostles, are the very posi- stead of closing up the dcor of tions which you, V Erasmus, licentiousness, as is falsely prebrand as useless and hurtful. tended, it would be in fact You object, if these things are so, opening a gulph into the nether: who will amend his life? I an. most heli.
Still you urge, swer, without the Holy Ghost no where is either the necessity or man can amend his life to pur- utility of preaching predestina, pose. Reformation is but var. tion? God himself teaches it, nished hypocrisy, unless it pro- and commands us to teach it : ceed from grace. The elect and and that is answer enough. We truly pious are atended by the are not to arraign the Deity, and Spirit of God: and those of bring the motives of his will to mankind, who are not amended the test of human scrutiny, but by him, will perish. You ask simply to revere both him and it. moreover, who will dare to be. He who alone is all-wise and alllieve himself a favourite of Hea, just, can in rcality (however ven? I answer, it is not in a things appear to us) do wrong to man's own power to believe no man; neither can he do any himself such, upon just grounds, thing unwisely or rushly. And till he is enabled from above. this consideration will suffice to But the elect shall be so enabled: silence all objections of truly rethey shall be enabled to believe ligious persons. However, let themselves to be what indeed us, for argument's sake, go a they are. As for the rest, who step farther. I will venture to are not enducd with faith, they assign, over and above, two very shall perish; raging and blas, important reasons wlry these pheming, as you do now. But, doctrines should be publicly say you, these doctrines open a taught : 1st. For the humiliadoor to ungodliness: 'I answer, tion of our pride, and the manis Whaterer door they may open to festation of divine grace. God the impious and profane, yet hath assuredly promised his fathey open a door of righteous. vours to the truly humble. By Dess to the elect and holy, and the truly humble, I mean those shew them the way to heaven, who are endued with repentance, and the path of access unto God. and desprair of saving themselves : Yet you would have us abstain for a man can never be said to be from the mention of these grand truly penitent and humble, till doctrines, and leave our people he is made to know that his in the dark, as to their election salvation is not suspended, in any of God. The consequence of measure whatever, on his own which would be, that every man strength, machinations, endeawould bolster himself up with a vours, free will, or works: but delusive hope of a share in that entirely depends on the free salvation, which is supposed to pleasure, purpose, determina
tion, and efficiency of another, sarily liable to damnation. Now even of God alone. Whilst a these are some of the unseen man is persuaded that he has it things whereof faith is the evi, in his own power to contribute dence. Whereas, was it in my any thing, be it ever so little, to power to comprehend them, or his own salvation, he remains in clearly to inake out how God is carnal confidence: he is not a both-inviolably just, and infiniteself despairer, and therefore he ly merciful, notwithstanding the is not duly humbled before God; display of wrath, and seeming $o far from it, that he hopes inequality in his dispensations, some favourable juncture or op- respecting the reprobate, faith portunity will offer, when he would have little or nothing to may be able to lend an helping do. But now since these mat. hand to the business of his salva- ters cannot be adequately com: tion. On the contrary, whoever prehended by us, in the present is truly convinced that the whole slate of imperfection, there is work depends singly and abso- room for the exercise of faith. lutely on the will of God, who The truths, therefore, respecting alone is the author and finisher predestination in all its branches of salvation, such a person de- should be taught and published. spairs of self-assistance: he re- They, no less than the other nounces his own will and his mysteries of Christian doctrine, own strength: he waits and being proper objects of faith, on prays for the operation of God: the part of God's people." nor waits and prays in vain. For the elect's sake therefore these doctrines are to be preached : that the chosen of God, be- EXTRACT. OF A LETTER FROM ing humbled by the knowledge DR.' DODDRIDGE, MR. of his truths ; self emptied and PEARSALL, OF TAUNTON, CON sunk into nothing as it were in TAINING A REMARKABLE REhis presence, may be saved in LATION. Christ, with eternal glory. This then is one inducement to the “ There was a German, who publication of the doctrine ; that laid himself out for the converthe penitent may be made ac- sion of the Jews, lately in Lon. quainted with the promise of don, one of the most surprising grace, and plead it in prayer to linguists in the world: he formGod, and receive it as their own. ed a resolution, when but five 2d. The nature of the Chris-. years of age, of learning the tian faith requires it. Faith has languages, in use amongst the to do with things not seen. And Jews, without any reason that this is one of the highest degrees could be assigned; so that the of faith, stedfastly to believe that pure Hebrew, the Rabbinical, God is infinitely merciful, though the lingua Judaica, which differs he saves (comparatively) but from both, and almost all the few, and condemns so many; modern languages of the then and that he is strictly just, European nations, were as fathough of his own will he makes miliar to him as his own native such numbers of mankind neces- tongue. With this furniture,