« السابقةمتابعة »
not suffice for the purpose of render offences against him the displaying the growing depravi- more inexcusable, of his omnity of manners, the decay of presence and omniscience which morals, churches and states.-- baflle all attempts to hide transStill we do not despair; He gression, and of liis almighty who has called us is faithful, power which renders it imposand our cause is his own. The sible for offenders to escape or gates of hell shall not prevail resist him, must necessarily against his church : on the con
make sin appear
“ exceeding trary,
sinful,” and convince men of the As long as Jesus Lord remains,
guilt and malignity of those ofEach day new rising glories gains; fences, which before they could It was, it is, and will be so, justify, palliate or conceal. The With his church militant below. latent wickedness of their hearts
will then be discovered to them;
as a sun-beam shining into a From the Christian Observer. room displays every grain and
speck of dust, which before was Job xlii. 5, 6. I have heard of imperceptible. They will then
thee by the hearing of, the ear, be ready to cry out with Job, but now mine eye seeth thee ; “ I have heard of thee by the wherefore I abhor myself, and hearing of the ear, but now reflent in dust and ashes.
mine eye seeth thee; whereELF-ignorance is the neces
fore I abhor, &c.”—with Isaiah, sary consequence of igno
on a like discovery, “Woe is rance of God. While men hearof
me! for I am a man of unclean him only by the hearing of the lips, and I dwell in the midst of ear, and have no spiritual discove- a people of unclean lips, for ry made of him to the eye of their
mine eyes have seen the King understanding, they will be apt
the Lord of hosts.” Happy are to plead strongly for the merit they, who are thus humbled in of human actions, look upon
the dust and stript of every selfsome sins as slight and excusa
righteous plea ; and thankful ble, and persuade themselves ought they to be for the meththat God will not be extreme to
ods, however painful, which mark what is done amiss. But
have been employed to produce as light is most evident when
this disposition in them; for all contrasted vith darkness, and
the promises in the gospel bebeauty with deformity, so a clear long to the poor in spirit and discovery of the holiness of God contrite in heart, and its grand which will not suffer him to en
maxim is, that “he that humdure iniquity, of his justice bleth himself shall be exaltwhich obliges him to punish it,
ed." his goodness and mercy which
God justifies none who are desti- ment of Christ needs no additute of personal holiness. tion, from any righteousness in
the sinner, that it may be a sufPERSONAL holiness im- ficient foundation for the con
plies holiness of heart ; sistent exercise of pardoning this is a necessary preparation grace, even to the chief of sinfor every duty. Repentance, ners. He is the only name, faith, obedience, submission and given under heaven, among dependence, are so many ex- men, whereby we must be savpressions of holiness. Impen- ed. And he is able to save itence, unbelief, disobedience them to the uttermost, that and rebellion, are acts of iniqui- come unto God by him. Justy, and evidences of a perverse tification by Christ alone is a spirit. Tho' indwelling holi- leading feature of the gospel, so ness is necessary to salvation, that all who are united to Christ yet this is not the meritorious are saved, and all who believe ground of the sinner's pardon not shall be damned. But if and acceptance with God. The Christ be the only ground of redemption of Christ is the only pardon and acceptance, and no satisfaction for sin, Men are holiness be required of us, as the not justified at all for their holi- matter on account of which we ness, as that which conciliates are to be justified, an inquiry the faror of God; for by the will very naturally arise in a receeds of the law shall no flesh flecting mind, of what advanbe justified in his sight. Christ tage then is the personal holiis the end of the law for righ-ness of sinners, in the affair of icousness, to all them that be justification ; and why may they lieve. This is a truth support not be accepted without holied by the whole tenor of the If men, who have no hogospel. Christ came to be a liness, were justified, an objecpropitiation for our sins; and tor would say, then it would depardon is offered us on account cidedly appear that they were of his redemption. The atone- | justified for the sake of Christ
Vol. V. No. 6.
alone, and so he would have the serves the wrath of God can whole glory of their salvation have any claim in justice to his without any scruple. And there favor. To say that a sinner deare some among us, who pro- serves to be pardoned is absurd; fess to believe, that no qualifica- | it is the same as to say, that he tions in the sinner, during his deserves better than to be treatcontinuance in this life, are ne- ed as he deserves. cessary, in any sense, to his sal- Since, as has been stated, it vation, and that the sufficiency is a matter of pure grace in of Christ's atonement secures God, to extend pardoning mer- the salvation of all mankind, and cy to sinners, then it is his un
eren obliges the Father to par- questionable prerogative to apdon and receiye-all into favor. | point all the circumstances of But it is the design of this paper this salvation as he pleases, and to shew, that according to the
to determine, among
other gospel, no man can be saved, things, whether he will limit unless he has real holiness of the application of the atoneheart.
ment of Christ, to those who It will be acknowledged; by have personal holiness. We all who believe any thing of the must then inquire, whether gospel, that all mankind are God has ever signified his pleasinners, for otherwise there sure on this subject, and this could be no propriety in provid- must decide whether holiness is ing any
atonement, as the necessary to justification with ground of their acceptance with God; for it must be a matter of God. If Christ died for all, revelation. And if God has dethen were all dead. If men are clared it his pleasure to receive not sinners, why is there any only those, who have personal mention of a pardon? Where | holiness, this should be esteemthere is no offence, the offer of ed sufficient evidence to us, that a pardon is abuse.
it is perfectly reasonable, beIf men are sinners, as the re- cause it is with him to do as he demption of Christ supposes, pleases with his grace. Proud and the scriptures every where man indeed, is unwilling to assert, then if any of them are place implicit confidence in the justified, it must be matter of decision of God on this subject ; free grace ; for God can be un- not so our blessed Redeemer, der no obligation to the sinner “ I thank thee, O Father, Lord to grant him a pardon. The of heaven and earth, that thou very idea that one deserves hast hid these things from the wrath, proves that it would be wise and prudent, and hast rejust to inflict it; and therefore, vealed them unto babes ; even that justification must be an act so, Father, for so it seemed of pure sovereign grace. It good in thy sight." must therefore, depend on the The holy scriptures have fulmere good pleasure of God, ly explained the will of God, on whether any sinner shall be for- this subject. They teach us given, whether he will save all that he does not justify the imor a part only, and what part, penitent, unbelieving and unand what description of sinners. holy : “Except ye repent, ye For certainly no one who de- ' shall all perish. He that be. lieveth not shall be damned.- us the reasonableness of his conWithout holiness no man shall duct, and he hath, in particular, see the Lord.” We are also done this, in the matter under assured that we shall be judged, consideration. Some of these and have our destiny decided, reasons, why God saves only according to the deeds done such as have real holiness of here in the body, whether they heart, will now be noticed. be good, or whether they be There is a great propriety in evil. God has assured us also, requiring repentance, faith and that those who are holy shall be other holy acts of the soul, as saved. “He that confesseth and necessary pre-requisites to a forsaketh his sins shall find gracious pardon, because those mercy. Blessed are the pure who have these exercises, are in heart, for they shall see prepared to spend their days, God.” To these a multitude and employ their eternity, in his of similar assurances might be service and to his glory. They added from the scriptures. In- | will respect his government, and deed this is the language of all exercise obedience, submission the motives, arising from re- and attachment to Christ and wards and punishments, which his cause. And their holiness are exhibited in the scriptures. also, as it is the effect of the Thus the scriptures acquaint us, transforming power of the Holy that it hath pleased God to jus- Ghost upon their hearts, distify.such, and only such, as have plays the glory and power of personal holiness ; not because divine grace. But if men were their holiness is in the least de- pardoned, who were not, holy, gree the meritorious ground of but under the full dominion of their justification ; but because sin, they would have no inclinait hath seemed good in the sight tion to serve and honor God, of God, to dispense his mercies but would remain in enmity ato such characters.
gainst him. And certainly, We are not, however, to sup- there is a manifest impropriety pose, that the Lord hath made in the pardon of such inveterate holiness necessary to justifica- enemies to God. tion in a mere arbitrary manner;
It was an object with Christ, this would be an unworthy tho't not only to save his people from of him. He never does any wrath, But to save them from thing for no other reason than their sins. This end, is not atmerely because he will do so, tained by pardoning those who but he both wills and performs
are unholy ; they would be sav. all his works because he dised from nothing, but from the covers sufficient reasons why he necessary execution of the holy should do them. Tho' it be- law of God. comes us to place confidence in There is also a propriety in the propriety of all God's ad- confning justification to those ministrations, when the reasons who have personal holiness, bea of them are above our research- cause no others are capable of es, because we have sufficient enjoying the blessings of heavevidence of his wisdom, power
Can the unholy enjoy an and goodness; yet it hath pleas-holy God? Rebels enjoy goved God, in many things, to shew | erninent? The vicious and im
pious enjoy the society of the licensed depravity. This surely holy inhabitants of heaven? A is a sufficient reason to justify discovery of the true God, and God, in refusing the unholy a the character of his saints, would pardon. make the unsanctified and un- Should the most High justify godly shrink away from such a a sinner, persisting in liis sins, God, and from such society, as he would, by so doing, join with criminals shrink away with con- the sinner, in reproaching his scious guilt and baseness, from own law, he would sink the resthe presence of men of probity pectability of his government, and of exemplary excellence.. and would bring a stain on his They would fly from the abodes own moral character ; for who of the blessed. It is impossi- will regard his law if he disreble, in the nature of things, that gards it himself? And who men, without' holiness, should could conceive of infinite purity enjoy heaven, or the things of in one, who should give sinners heaven. What fellowship liath such encouragements in wickrighteousness with unrighteous edness?
And what communion Such unsanctified creatures are hath light with darkness? And not only incapable of the sociewhat concord hath Christ with ty of the holy, but are utterly Belial ?
unfit for it; they would be an And there would be a mani- offence to the holy, if they were fest impropriety in receiving the admitted among them. They unholy into favor, because their would corrupt and embroil heavimpiety and wickedness afford en with their impieties and mathe same reason, why God lignity. These reasons, without should continue to abhor them, going into any further investiand make them the monuments gation of the subject, it is preof his wrath, as if they were not sumed, will be acknowledged supposed to be justified, for they sufficient to settle the matter, are not reformed.
in every serious mind, that tho' If the unholy were pardoned, God does not justify the sinner, remaining in their total depra on the credit of his own repen, vity of heart, it would be attend- tance, faith and obedience, yet, ed with a consequence, which that God justifies such, and would indeed be matter of tri- only such, as by their own perumph to the wicked, but of in- sonal holiness, are made meet consolable affliction to the righ- to be partakers of the inheriteous. Christ would be a min-tance of the saints in lightister of sin, and the gospel, in- meet for the enjoyments, sociestead of being a doctrine accord-ty, service and happiness of ing to godliness, would be the heaven. only thing, which rebels would Therefore, tho? men are not desire, to free them from all justified by virtue of their goodthe restraints of conscience, the ness, yet personal holiness is as terrors of the law, and the ap- indispensably necessary to jusprehensions of the effects of di- tification by grace, as ever it vine justice. They might then was to justification by the works riot without fear, in every impi- of the law. Let the unholy ety and lust, which could please treinble. The gospel is a cloc