« السابقةمتابعة »
ON THE PRAYER OF FAITH.
tent. A sence of guilt and danger their sins are forgiven of God for may lead one to cry to God for his name's sake. mercy, while he loves sin in itself, Let sinners repent and pray for and neither laments that he has dis- pardon. There is no reason why honoured, nor feels the least desire you should any longer refuse God to glorify God.
the supreme affections of your 7. There is a good reason why hearts. Immediate repentance is true penitents should be pardoned. your reasonable service. While It is not because they are less sin- you remain "lovers of your own pers, than others; for this is not selves,” and withhold from God the the fact. Nor is it because they glory due unto his name, you renare deserving of forgiveness ; for der your salvation morally impossitheir repentance is their reasonable ble. But if you will give God your service, and merits nothing ; or if hearts, and sincerely adopt the it did, would just so far reinore prayer of penitent David ; neither their need of forgiveness
the number, nor the greatness of But, penitent sidners may be your iniquities, will prevent your pardoned, because they are qualifi- forgiveness : for “the blood of Jeed to receive pardon. They have sus Christ cleanseth from all sin," renounced their opposition to God and He, who is "rich in mercy” and his government; and hence, will "abundantly pardon." on the ground of the Atonement of Christ, God can pardon them, with From the Utica Christian Repository. out dishonouring his character ; yea, can make their pardon redound to the everlasting glory of
[Continued from page 298.] his name.
The different views taken of the 8. Impenitent sinners are unfit prayer of faith, by me and my for pardon. They justify them- neighbour, appear to me necesselves and persist in their rebellion sarily to lead us to different views Should he pardon
of the moral character of God. He spe
ks of it as infinitely holy; them, He would condemn himself and dishonour his law and govern- ans Antinomians, Universalists, So
and so do I. And so do Arminiment. They prefer their own interest to the glory of God: His cinians, Deists, Mahometans, and glory, therefore, requires their
Jews. And perhaps we should all condign punishment. They have agree too that holiness and goodness the spirit of the fallen angels, and are the same. But what is goodness! are fit only for the same place.
Perhaps we should agree in saying Now, let all, who hope for the
that the goodness of God is a disforgiveness of God, faithfully exam- and best. And perhaps we should
position to do that which is wisest ine themselves, and see whether they have that godly sorrow for sin, God to make his own glory the ob
agree that it is wisest and best for which worketh repentance, or only
Perthat sorrow of the world, which ject of his supreme regard. worketh death.
haps I and my neighbour should
agree thus far; and perhaps all Let saints more constantly feel that profess to believe in one God the spirit and bring forth the fruits would do the same. And perhaps of true repentance; and thus have if we never entered into any fur.and exhibit more evidence that ther explanations, no one would
ever perceive that there was any sion of a sinner, as well as for evdifference between us on the sub- erything else, with submission, ject. But explanations must some- saying, if it be for thy will, if it times be made; and they need to be for thy glory, if it seem good in be made often, to prevent mistakes. thy sight, and the like. I have
I believe that the glory of God no means of knowing whether it is consists in the most perfect exer best that that individual sinner cise and display of all his attributes; should be converted or not. I and that the system of events now know not but that he may be one in operation, was arranged, by in- of those whom the most perfect exfinite wisdoın, from eternity, in the ercise and display of the divine jusbest manner, to accomplish that tice requires to have lost. I know end. I believe that some men are not, but that if I could save him, to be saved, through Christ, that by my prayer (though I do not think mercy may be exercised in them; I can) and should do it, I should and that as many are to be thus find at last, that beauty of the saved as are necessary to the most divine justice was by that means perfect exercise and display of that partly hid under a cloud, and divine attribute. And I believe that his destruction was want. that some men are to be lost, and ing in order to its most perfect distreated forever according to their play. I have no informotion by deserts, that justice may be exer- which I can decide. I know that cised in them; and that as many his individual happiness is highly are to be thus lost as are necessary desirable in itself, and that I ought to the most perfect exercise and to regard it highly, and desire it display of that divine attribute. earnestly, and pray for it perseverAnd I believe that the individuals ingly, and do all I can to secure it, to compose each class were decided as long as God allows me so to do. by the divine sovereignty, in such But I know also that the glory of nianner as was necessary to the God's justice is a greater good than most perfect exercise and display the happiness of this sinner, and of that divine attribute. I suppose that I ought to regard it more, that whatever comes to pass was and desire it more earnestly, and decreed from eternity, because it choose, that if one or the other was most for the glory of God, must be given up, it should be that in the sense explained, that every which is of the least importance.event should come to pass just as And here is the place for the exit does. Having this view of the ercise of my faith in God. I must glory of God, and believing it commit him into God's hands, in wisest and best that God should be the full confidence that God will most perfectly glorified, and that make that disposition of him which infinite goodness requires it, and his own glory requires, and choose that it is God's determination so that he should. to order all events as to secure the But it appears to me that the most perfect exercise and display theory of my neighbour must lead of all his perfections, I feel bound him far away from me, in these to pray, in all cases, with an ulti- things. He believes that he is mate reference to this, and with a bound to pray for the conversion of supreme desire that this may be every singer, believing that it will done. And this is the reason why be done. And this must lead him I feel bound to pray for the conver- to take the ground which Armini
ans and Universalists take, with their salvation ; but that they do regard to the will of God, and the not express any decision whether glory of God. He says there is no it is best on the whole that they need to say, in praying for spiritual should be saved, or whether he blessings, if it be thy will, if it be does on the whole desire it. And for thy glory, and the like; but they suppose that other parts of “we are to come boldly to the scripture render it abundantly evithrone of grace, with no reservation, dent that it is not best on the whole with no hesitation, for we know that all men should be saved, and the will of God on this subject : that God does not on the whole deHe has expressly said, and with an sire the salvation of every man, but oath, that he has no pleasure in the does on the whole choose not to death of the wicked; but that he save all men, but to destroy some, turn from his way and live.” The for the glory of his justice. This phrases, if it be thy will, if it be for distinction, Arminians and Unithy glory, do, indeed, convey an versalists reject and ridicule, as idea that it is uncertain to us, one which has no foundation; whether it may be, on the whole, though no man lives a day without the will of God, and most for his acting upon it, in the ordinary conglory, to save or destroy that par• cerns of life. My neighbour ap. ticular sinner. His rejection of pears to take the same ground that those phrases, is, doubtless, be- they do, with respect to this discause they express such an uncer- tinction, and with respect to such tainty: and if there is no such un- declarations of scripture. Armincertainty, he must be right in re- ians believe that God does, in them, jecting them. If it is our duty to express what they think he feels, a pray for the conversion of a partic- desire on the whole for the salvation ular sinner, believing that he will of every sinner; which desire is be converted, then it is not duty to dependant for its being carried into believe it is uncertain whether he effect, upon “man's good leave;" will be converted or not. We which some men withhold, and so must believe there is no uncertain- God's desire is disappointed. Unity in the case; for he says, “we versalists have the same view of know the will of God on this sub- God's desire to save all, and believe ject.” And he quotes the oath of that he is able to carry it into efGod that he has no pleasure in the fect, and will carry it into effect, death of the wicked, and the dec- and all will be saved. My neigha jarations of the apostle that God bour also believes that these decti will have all men to be saved,” larations furnish a sufficient warand that he is “not willing that rant to condemn any expressions of any should perish, but that all its being uncertain whether it may should come to repentance," and or may not be the will of God, and similar passages, as a proof that he for the glory of God, to save every is right. It appears, then, that he man; and thinks they furnish subputs the same construction upon ficient ground on which to pray, such declarations of scripture that " with no raservation, with no Arminians and Universalists do. hesitation," for the conversion of Calvinists suppose that they express every sinner, believing that it will God's regard for the good of sin- be done; becanse from them "we ners, in itself considered, and his know the will of God on this subdesire, in itself considered for ject." He must, therefore, I think,
to be consistent, believe with Ar- of sin: and that his goodness, minians and Universalists, that the which constitutes his moral charachighest glory of God requires the ter, leads him to choose, or the salvation of every man, and that whole, that some should be lost, if any one should be lost, there as well as some saved. But his syswould be so much lost from the tem must lead him to think that the glory of God. And he must con- goodness of God requires him to demn, as utterly wrong, the Calvin- choose on the whole that all should istic doctrine that the highest glo- be saved; and requires us to pray ty of God requires that some for it, believing that it will be should be lost, as well as some sav. done. If we both follow our syyed. And it seems to ine, that if he tems where they appear to me inevbelieves that the highest glory of itably to lead us, we cannot, as God requires that every sinner you see, avoid being thus widely should be saved, so that it is his asunder in our views of the duty to pray for it, believing that it moral character of God. will be done, he must believe that Our different views of the prayer it will be done, and be a Universal- of faith appear to me to lead us wideist. He cannot, consistently, take ly asunder, also, in our views of the the Arminian ground, and say that moral character of the Lord Jesus God is on the whole willing, but Christ. I suppose that his charac-, not able to save every simcr, and ter, as a good man, was perfect, that his wishes are disappointed without a single exception; that, through the want of “man's good as a good man, he did his whole duleave;" for, if he does, this is dis- ty. Doubtless we shall both agree, believing that it will be donr.- that, if it is our duty to pray in faith And to ask God to do that which for the conversion of every sinner, he doubts whether he is able to do, it was equally his duty, as a good and thinks it uncertain whether he man, thus to pray. I believe he did will do, he supposes is unbelief, his duty, in this respect, as well as in and a mockery of God. And there- every other; and prayed for the confore, believing that God is both version of every sinner with such able and willing to save every sin- faith as I think right, that is, with ner, and that his greatest glory re- full confidence in the wisdom, powquires him to do it, he must believe er and goodness of God, that he will that it will be done, and be a Uni- save as many as it is on the whole versalist. I see no way for him to best to have saved, and destroy as avoid this conclusion, without give many as it is on the whole best to ing up his whole scheme.
have destroyed; and a supreme deI said that our different views of sire that he should do so. But with the prayer of faith appeared to me the view which my neighbour takes necessarily to lead us to different of the prayer of faith, he cannot beviews of the moral character of God. lieve that the Lord Jesus performI think the way in which they do so ed the duty of praying in faith for now appears. I believe the moral the conversion of every sinner. character of God, his holiness, his For if he had thus prayed, accordlove of righteousness and hatred of ing to his theory, every singer iniquity, cannot be supported with must have been converted and sayout the exercise of his justice, the ed; which we all know was not everlasting punishment of some sin- the case in Christ's day, nor since. ners, according to their deserts, to He must, then, to be consistent show his everlasting disapprobation with his theory, come to the conclu
sion, that the Lord Jesus Christ rejoice, and give thanks to God, for neglected this important duty, and hiding these things from a part of is chargeable with the blood of all mankind, and revealing them only the souls that have perished in to a part. In both these ways, our consequence. If my neighbour different views of the prayer of sees any way of avoiding this con- faith lead us inevitably, as appears clusion, without giving up his the- to me, to different views of the mor: ory of the prayer of faith, I wish al character of the Lord Jesus he would point it out. To me, the Christ. conclusion appears inevitable. My And our different systems lead view of the subject also leads me us as widely asunder in our views to suppose that the Lord Jesus of the moral character of the in., felt right, when he "rejoiced inspired penmen of the holy scripspirit and said, I thank thee, O tures, and of the moral character Father, Lord of heaven and earth, of the saints in heaven. While the that thou hast hid these things inspired prophets and apostles lived, from the wise and prudent, and I suppose they sometimes performed hast revealed them unto babes : their duty in praying for their fel. eren so, Father; for so it seemed low men. Moses, while he lived, good in thy sight." He rejoiced, inade many acceptable prayers for and gave thanks to God, for hiding temporal blessings on the people of from some, the things that pertain Israel ; and it appears to me too to salvation, and revealing them to much to believe that he never others, according to his good pleas- once made an acceptable prayer for ure; because it was best or the their conversion and salvation. whole that it should be so, that Samuel did the same ; Daniel did some might remain suitable sub- the same : Isaiah did the same.jects of divine justice forever, The other prophets I cannot bewhile others were made subjects lieve lived in the total neglect of of divine mercy. My view of the this duty. Paul says, “my heart's subject leads me to suppose this desire and prayer to God for Israel was a suitable matter of rejoicing is, that they might be saved.” So and thanksgiving, that these were ardent was his desire for it, that he right feelings in the Lord Jesus says, “ I could wish that myself Christ, and that we ought to feel were accursed from Christ, for my so too. But his view of the sub- brethren, my kinsmen according to ject must lead him, as I think, to the flesh.” These prayers, I becondemņ these feelings as wrong, lieve, were made in faith, such faith both in the Lord Jesus, and in all as I have described, faith in the others. He must think that it can perfections of God, that he would not be matter of rejoicing, in any do what was best, saving some and point of view, that these things are destroying others, according to his hid from any; but must, in every good pleasure. But my neighbour point of view, be matter of regret must conclude, that these holy and sorrow. He must think it des prophets and apostles, whom the sirable on the whole, in every point Spirit of inspiration guided into all of view, that all should come to the truth, always lived in the neglect knowledge of the truth and be sav- of the great duiy of praying in faith ed; and consequently, that it was for the conversion of the Jewish wrong for the Lord Jesus Christ to nation. If only one of them had,