« PreviousContinue »
not such a faith, as is dead, or The gospel requires faith in alone. The faith that will save a Christ, as the condition of pardon, man, is more than a bare specula- not because faith is meritorious; tive belief of the truths of the gos- for it is not. It is the reasonable pel, or a persuasion, which one service of all, on whom the light may have imbibed, that Christ is of the gospel shines, to receive his friend and will save him; ei-Christ, cordially, as their Prophet, ther of which may be possessed by Priest, and King: and, those, who those, whose hearts are full of sin do not thus receive him, are conand at enmity with God. The demned for their unbelief. Believfaith required as the condition of ers are as deserving of punishment salvation, is not a passive recep- for their sins, as unbelievers. But, tion of the doctrines, which exhi- faith is required in the gospel, for bit the character and work of two reasons: first, because it would Christ, as true; but a voluntary be dishonourable to the character and cordial reception of them, as of God, to pardon persevering good, and altogether worthy of transgressors of his law, and desGod." With the heart man be- pisers and rejectors of his Son. lieveth unto righteousness-Faith And secondly, because unbelievers worketh by love." Hence, be- are unqualified for heaven; as they lieving on Christ, is called, receiv- could neither join in the employing him and coming to him. Be- ments, nor partake of the enjoyfore men can exercise such faith, ments of that holy and happy place. they must become reconciled to God has made the terms of salvathe character, law and government tion in the gospel, as low, as it of God, and love him, as his law was morally possible He should. requires. Hence, faith in Christ, It would have sullied the purity of includes repentance for sin. Those his holiness, made Christ the min- . who love God and his law, must ister of sin, and filled heaven with condemn and loathe themselves discord and misery, had God parfor their transgressions. From doned and saved unsanctified, imlove to God, naturally flows that penitent, and unbelieving sinners. godly sorrow for sin, which work- With the terms of the gospel, eth repentance, and which consists all, who enjoy its light, are able not in being sorry, all things con- to comply. When Christ is known, sidered, that sin, as an event, has nothing prevents faith in Him, but taken place, in the Providence of an evil heart of unbelief. As soon God, but in being sorry for one's as men understand the peculiar own hateful and criminal exercises truths of the gospel, which exhibit of selfishness and enmity against the true character of the Saviour, God, in themselves considered. they are as well able to love Christ, The true penitent abhors and hum- as to hate Him; and can as easily bles himself, and accepts the pun- receive the truth, as reject it. ishment of his iniquities. And They need no new faculty or powhe, who does this, will cordially er, to enable them to believe unto receive the truth as it is in Je- salvation. It depends upon their sus, as soon as it is made known i will, whether to come to Christ to him. The order of gracious ex- and have life, or to reject the counercises, though not always percep- sel of God against themselves.tible, is yet always the same; ac- Hence, it is said, “ Whosoever cording to which, love precedes will, let him take of the water of repentance, and repentance pre
There is no necessity, therefore,
of directing sinners to do any thing, men are rational creatures, they before they repent and believe the must, necessarily, know God, begospel ; nor is there any warrant fore they can love Him, and have in scripture to do it. All that men some just views of the character of do, with a selfish, impenitent, un
n- | Christ, before they can believe in believing heart, is sinful, and, in- Him. Christ prayed, that his peostead of recommending them to the ple might be sanctified through the favour of God, only renders them truth, or the word of God; and the more deserving of his wrath. James, speaking of believers,
But, though the terms of thegos writes, “Of his own will begat He pel are so reasonable and low,and us, with the word of truth.”. men are well able to comply with When the truths of the gospel are them ; yet, none do comply, until read or heard, it is the Holy Spirit, they are born of the spirit.'— that awakens attention to them, "Faith is the gift of God-As and causes holy affectious and ex, many as received Him (Christ) to ercises, in view of them. It is of them gave
power to become the great importance, therefore, that sons of God; even to them that the peculiar and essential truths believe on his name; who were of the gospel, be plainly exhibited, born, not of blood, nor of the will and that men constantly come to of the flesh, nor of the will of hear them preached ; since they man, but of God.” Which leads are the means, in the hands of the me to state the views, which Hop- Holy Spirit, of renewing the heart, kinsians entertain, of
and saving the soul from sin and The work of the Holy Spirit, in death. “ It pleases God, by the regeneration and sanctification. foolishness of preaching, to save It is the peculiar office of the thein that believe.” This is the
" Holy Spirit, in the economy of re- mean, which He has appointed, demption, to enlighten the minds for the conviction and conversion and purify the hearts of men, and of men; and we have no evidence, to incline them to do, what they are that He will use any other? The always able, but naturally unwil- case, therefore, of those who do ling to do, i. e. their duty towards not hear the gospel, is hopeless.. God, their fellow creatures, and The nature of regeneration being themselves.
such as has been represented, it is The Holy Spirit is the author of evident, that, when men experiregeneration, which consists, not ence this change, though dependin the implantation of any new ant, they are yet active: the Holy power or faculty of the mind, nor Spirit does not love, and repent in the restoration of any
and believe for them, but causes er or faculty, lost by the fall; but, them to love, repent and believe: simply in turning the heart or will and hence, they are not conscious from sin to holiness, from opposi- of his agency, but of their own tion to submission, from selfishness exercises only. “ The wind blow
, to disinterested benevolence.
eth where it listeth, and thou hearIn performing this Divine and rst the sound thereof, but canst gracious work, the Holy Spirit not tell whence it cometh, or whimakes use of the truths of the
ther it goeth ; so is every one, pel, as the means of communicat- that is born of the Spirit." Men ing to the understanding, that are as active, at the moment of knowledge of God and of Christ, regeneration, as at any other time, which are necessary to the exercise when God works in them to will of love, repentance, and faith. As and to do of his good pleasure.,
If there be a distinction made, I!
I may now close my brief sketch between regeneration and conver- of the sentiments of Hopkinsians, sion, it consists in this; that re- with a few words respecting generation expresses the
of The present justification and futthe Holy Spirit, and conversion ure reward of true balievers. the agency of the creature, in the The word justification does not moral change which takes place, imply, that believers are deliverwhen one begins to exercise that ed from guilt, or that they have holy love, which is the essence of done, either by themselves, or by every Christian grace.
a substitute, all that the Divine law The term sanctification expres- requires. Neither of these is adses that train of holy exercises, missible: for, guilt is indelible, which follows regeneration, and and righteousness is personal. To which is produced by the Divine be justified, is to be pronounced Spirit, in the minds of believers, free from the penalty of the law. unto the end of their lives. Justification, therefore, is synoniWherever He begins this good mous with forgiveness, or pardon. work, He carries it on, until the As soon as men believe in Christ, day of Jesus Christ.' As preserv- their past sins are forgiven, for ution is creation.continued; so sanc- bis sake, or through the redemptification is regeneration coniinued. tion that is in Him. When justiBanctification is imperfect in this fied freely by Divine Grace, men life, not on account of any imper- are prepared to be treated as if fection there is in holy exercises, they had never sinned. And. which are all comprised in that when their justification is comlove, which the apostle calls per- pleted as that of believers is, at fect; but on account of the incon- death, then the way is open for stanoy of holy exercises, which are them to be rewarded for all the more or less interrupted by sinful good deeds they have done in this ones, in all believers, so long as life, in the same manner, and on they remain in this world." There the same ground, as the Angels is not a just man upon earth, that are rewarded for all their acts pf doeth good and sinneth not.”- obedience and love. AccordingHence the ground of a warfare, in ly, our Lord assures them, that the breasts of saints, between their even for giving a cup of water to holy and sinful affections; and his disciples, from sincere respect hence their constant need of re- to Hiin, they shall not lose their pentance, watchfulness, and pray reward.
ON REVIVALS OF RELIGION. | if they doubted whether any means No. VII.
ought to be used for this purpose. . One topic of discussion proposed | They say, it is the work of God, in my first number was, what and therefore it must be wrong
for things ought to be done to promote us to attempt to take it out of his a revival of religion. But before hands. They think, that where I enter upon the discussion of this, he intends to carry on a work of I ought, perhaps, to make a few this kind, he is fully able to do it, remarks on the propriety of using without any assistance of ours.means to promote a revival. Many And they say they have no.confi. speak and act on this subject, as dence in those revivals which are
the work of man. And for these he think it necessary to resort to reasons, they think it wrong to use a system of means, and why doen means to promote a revival: and he expect success no further than that those who do so, cannot have he uses them faithfully? Will it be a proper sense of their dependence said, that means are necessary upon God. And if, at any time, produce effects in the natura they see men deliberately concert- world, but not in the moral? Whina ing a plan and entering upon a is the proof? Will it be said, uze systematic course of operations, the means which are used for a with a view to produce a revival, production of effects in the natur they consider them as virtually world are more uniformly succes denying their dependence, and ful, than those which are used assuming the prerogatives of God; the production of effects in and they dare not lend their aid moral world; and that God in promoting a scheme of this kind, thus, by his providence, indien which appears to them, if not abso- our duty? This may be though lutely impious, yet as the result of some. But it needs better pr very erroneous views.
than has yet been adduced. I confess, I cannot see why the means which are used in the na use of means to promote a revival ral world, sometimes fail of pa of religion, should be thus consid- ducing the effect desired. A ered, any more than the use of men have tilled their grounde means to accomplish other objects. sown their seed, the harvest so Is it because a revival of religion times fails of coming to maturi is the work of God? We also be. But it ought to be remembere lieve that a revival is the work of that these are not all the me. God, and we rejoice that it is so, which are necessary to the prod and that He is able to carry it on tion of the effect, even if they without any assistance of ours. all which men can use and ti And we also believe, that those the effect never follows from the revivals which are in such a sense means alone. The rain must a the work of man, as to exclude the scend, and the sun must shine, agency of the Holy Spirit, are en- the harvest will not be reape titled to no confidence, but are And these are means, as well spurious and vain.-But we see those before mentioned. In nothing in all this, to exclude the natural world, the Divine oper use of means. It is the work of tions are perfectly uniform. God to cause the earth to yield Where none of the means are war her increase. “ He causeth the ing, the effect never fails. A grass to grow for the cattle, and the only reason men ever fa herb for the service of man.” The when they have done all in the husbandman is as much dependant power, is, that some other mea. upon God for the fruits of the are necessary, over which the earth, as the church is for a revival have no control. On this subje of religion. Why does he not say, men act like rational creatures. it is the work of God to give me a They know they are depende harvest, and it would be wrong upon God. But they know, ale for me to attempt to take it out of that God works by means, his hands? Why does he not sit have learnt by observation, down in idleness, and wait for God He works uniformly. And to accomplish his own work, since are sensible that if they the he is fully able to do it without the faithful applic any assistance of his? Why does per means, they
I use, while m are such
m what he
si sa k partit. there, the mud miru. He marit
e means to is, & 25 air terefies we be espect them 3 stessi t'e
t, than we
al harvest. ped there is the wropn- san ve em now 1testtu.
y to obtain o filteles ens perse Daze u telur
but a part eace And SUCES ily; sa tesit thout
the ears sturende juegen. und mot mutauls up er, we eam there ses L us se reason Depect a
d in which at that the Réserts in sinar marvest. i funt, berte
rumentali teascal word is equals fore, what the manner in which te y me ennast efectual ise means in the norst word. s
are most, besat me efect bajews from abundantly sufficient to account
i can use, as the min vard, without for their partial success, thout bestia de Diree power:- supposing there is av vant of ity. kedsarta fullow from uniformity in the Divine perso les se aria vorld, without tions. And that the sunpostIUM Trist. Repos. terte Devine power.- that they would ever tan. at lainin theseca, cannot be a rea- fully used. is perfectis tatuitous. Ak si se means used in and destitute of proot. Ami more frequently But it is a question. whether Bir song ne desired erect. these remarks wili apie ta the beter do in me satural world: subject of a revival of res. It serwed. in the first i is clear, that a reer PT
s its posse do more frecvent work of God, wissen
from evsaid then it was belinapplicable: erano
it makes that this faire ses set the natural rem free a Funto al trupet | work of senten twee
improv: besized. Beimm á sunt the work we started
ils to exin bang sei vini dua adel- sense from a ws: 2112
not uni me perseverance vun which work sew up
science, te set in de natural world. incanania * . miru inn
unstitute han es tesire in spect to be means in S. uce auaplest
moral in the warai world, they to tyrimas
J. asanstomei Die w the means na uwe. Me » ise them salltanat seringly. But i anera
a efect so be produced immutawe i te mors m. I think thes
the Answer to in sederzi, desire it 40
the question All sor a reially use ait
ners to pray I seans in her power, nor '18
" he quotes the equat ideiity and rem
approbation, 2 Tier nave some tant
the hand, that tits et. and they make
By the word seule stars, and yepyme
is meant, the te secessarbeans. Bat there
which is always tra UE secame ianquier amat
y to his eternal a = sart of the same
signs. means. hue ther not,
this Divine hand, met thee tom offers
How, that prayer pre, 702 ani
co to change his purotn what He otherwise have done : And if so,
انا نفسه عدة