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necessity of perishing. But certainly, my brethren, such tender mercy is cruelty. All the creatures of God. must look up to him as the author of their being, since it was, undoubtedly, in his power to give, or to withhold it, at his pleasure; and, surely, a good and merciful God would have put a stop to the pro. pagation of such a race of creatures, rather than suffer them to be born in such shocking circumítances ; in which he infallibly foresaw, that the greatest part of them must be exposed to, and even actually suffer remediless destruction. As surely as I derive my: being from a just and merciful God, I conclude that the terms on which I came into the world are advantageous to me; and therefore, that it must be my own fault only, if I have not reason to rejoice in it, and to be thankful for it. But; indeed, I can hardly think that any man seriously believes, that the greatest part of his fellow-creatures are born into the world under a predetermined necessity of being for ever miserable. For, in that case, it must appear probable, that any children which he himself may be the means of brirging into the world will be for ever miserable; and surely no man of real goodness or compassion would wish to have children, or be accessary to their being born in such circumstances.

If this doctrine be true, what motive can any man have to endeavour to fiee from the wrath to come ; Matt. iii. 7 wlien, if it is to be his lot at all, nothing that he can do will enable him to escape it; or


what motive can a man have to exert himself to lay hold on eternal life; 1 Tim. vi. 12. when, if he is to enjoy it at all, he cannot possibly miss of it, or of any thing belonging to it, or that is necessary to prepare him for it? What reason had the apostle Paul to exhort christians to take heed left they fhould fall, 1. Cor. X. i 2. when none that ever did stand could possibly fall ? and what reason had he to labour, left after having preached to others, he himself should be a caff-away, 1. Cor. ix. 27. when being certain of his conversion, he must have known that that consequence was impoffible? : This doctrine, of absolute election and reprobation, is certainly a doctrine of licentiousness, and not a doctrine according to godliness; and let divines employ all the ingenuity they are masters of, it is impofsible for them to clear this opinion from being the cause of fatal defpair in some, and as fatal a security in others. If this opinion were true, and men were really aware of their situation, I should think it impossible to prevent their falling into absolute distraction, through terror and anxiety. It would be like a man having his all, his life, nay infinitely more than his life, depending upon the cast of a die; the decree of God being a thing that he has as little power to command. Besides, this doctrine certainly represents the God and Father of us all in such a light, as no man would chufe that he himself should appear in.

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So fatal have the consequences of the fin of Adam been represented, that you have been told that nothing but the blood of God himself could reverse them; and therefore you have been taught to believe, that Jesus Christ, whose proper title is the son of man, as well as the son of God, was not merely man, but very and eternal God himself; without considering that, by thus making more Gods than one, you are guilty of a breach of the first and most important of all the commandments, which says expressly, Thou shalt havé no other Gods before me. Exod. xx. 3. But whatever fuch divines may fay, the apostle Paul says, in direct contradiction to them, that to us there is but one Gode the FATHER, of whom are all things; and one Lords Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him, 1 Cor. viii. 6. And again, after faying that we have one Lord, one faith, one baptism, he adds, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. Eph. iv. 5. 6. The creed of all christians, therefore, ought to be, There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus. 1 Tim. ii. 5. .

The Fatber is frequently stiled God, even with respect to Christ, as well as other beings. The God of our Lord Jesus Chrift, the Father of glory, give unto you, that ye may know the exceeding greatness of his power, which he wrought in Chrift, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand, &c. Eph. i.

17, &c, 17, &c.' Christ himself uses the same language, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father, and unto my God, and your God. John xx. 17. My God, my God, why haft thou forsaken me ? Matt. xxvii. 26. : Christ who was the image of the invisible God, and the first-born (or most excellent) of all his creatures, Col. i. 15. and in whom dwelt all the fulness of the godhead bodily, Col. ii. 9, acknowledged that his father was greater than he. John xiv. 28. and indeed, upon all occafions, and in the clearest terms, he expressed his dependence upon God his father, for all his power and glory; as if he had purposely intended to guard his disciples against forming too high an opinion of the dignity of their master. Verily I say unto you, the Son can do. nothing of himself. John v. 19. I can of mine own self do nothing. · As I hear I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father who fent me. v. 30. The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself, and the Father who dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. xiv. 10. I live by the Father. vi. 57. The Father hath given to the son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to execute judgment. v. 26, 27: All power is given unto me, in heaven and in earth. Matt. xxviii. 18. He even calls his Father the only true God. John xvii. 3. that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. It appears to me not to be in the power of language to exclude the idea of the

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divinity of Christ more expressly than by these folenn words.

Notwithstanding the divine communications with which our Lord was favoured, some things are expressly said to be withheld from him. For he himself, speaking of his second coming, says, Mark xiii. 32. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. In Matthew xxiv. 36. where the fame obsérvation is repeated, it is, but my Father only.

The apostles, notwithstanding their attachment to thieir Lord and master, always preserve the idea of his fubordination to the Father, and confider all his honour and power as derived from him. He received from God the Father, honour and glory, 2 Pet. i. 17. It pleased the Father, that in him should all fulness dwell. Col. i. 19. The revelation of Jefus Chrift, which God gave unto him, Rev. i. 1. Pe are Christ's, and Chrift is God's,. 1 Cor. ir. 23. The head of Chrift is God. 1 Cor. xi. 3.

The reason why Christ was so much distinguided by God the Father, is frequently and fully expressed in the scriptures, viz. his obedience to the will of God, and especially in his submitting to die for the benefit of mankind. Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life. John X. 17. He humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God bath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; that at the


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