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The Almighty, foreseeing the tendency of comes not from God,-is unheavenly in its the innate atheism of the human heart, di origin and tendeth only to perdition. More. rected his apostle to write, “That all Scrip- over, God being the author of scripture-it ture is given by inspiration of God, and is cannot teach contrary doctrine-while it proprofitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correc. pounds a variety of doctrines in detail ; yet tion, for instruction in righteousness.” Had the whole is an harmonious one-none 'clash not such a passage been written, we can hard- against each other—each have their distincly calculate what would have been the resul- tive connections in one essential whole. God tive consequences—what heresies and schisms, abhoreth sin and cannot look upon it-yet bewhat heterodoxy of sentiment, and confusion fore the mountains were, his delight was with of creeds, would have desolated the world, the sons of men. It was declared the soul human thought is inadequate to estimate. In that sinned that soul should die-yet dies not this, as in all God has done, is there infinite the sinner-angels waft thousands to the throne mercy and transcendant wisdom displayed : of our heavenly Father. No man can see God He foresaw, and forknew, what feebleness and live, such said God himself, yet his bethere was in man-how weak his faculties- loved Son, our Jesus, said, whoso hath seen how diminutive the powers of his intellect, and me, hath seen the Father; again it is said, how unable to meet the assaults of the great “Nothing that is unclean shall inherit the adversary-he knew, that if in revealing his kingdom of God-yet God looked down from will-if, with that oracle of his word, he per- heaven upon the children of men, and they mitted ought that was tinged by creatureship were altogether gone out of the way, thero or emanated from man, to be united there was none which did good, no not one-and with, and become the textuary or base of doo- still heaven is the habitation of a countless trine, or for instruction or edification, how in- throng, as the sands of the sea shore, numberstantly such circumstance would have been less. Again, it is said, “ Cursed is every one laid hold of by man, to doubt the authority of which continueth not in all things written in the whole, by the unwitnessed and unattest- the book of the law to do them; and yet it ted fact, of which was God's and which was also says, “ By the deeds of the law shall no man's—therefore infinite wisdom and unfa- man be justified :" and so might we multiply thomable mercy, did our God display, when quotations ad infinitum, to shew that to arrivo in revealing his will through the agency of at truth and discover the meaning of passages, man, and him only as his amanuensis-he for we must not take them esparte, but receive ever (through dignifying him, as a medium) them as an whole, knowing that apparent shut him out from all participation of that contradictory, passages, such as
we have word and will—he placed it beyond the breath quoted, require others, the light from which of doubt when he declared “All Scripture is shews that there exists a beautiful harmony by inspiration of God.” This is enough for us in the body. And though the Alpha of a
-do we doubt it? Then we rank ourselves on doctrine or a truth be taught in Genesis, wo the side of the foeman at once. As it is, we will not call it less glorious, less divine, or must receive scripture as a whole or not at less complete, because its Omega be in Reveall. Almighty wisdom has chained us to this lation. It is in the Bible; it came from God; alternative-it will not permit us to say this that is enough for us. “ All Scripture is passage was inspired, and that was not-this given by, inspiration of God;" and cannot came from God, and that from man-this as clash against itself. the authority of the King, that of the subject. Let an hundred men strive to sever it in an For such to have been our condition-the on- hundred shreds, and weave therefrom an hun. ly standard of revelation, would have been dred doctrines ; we say, “To the Word and man's own darkened mind, and cloudy percep- to the testimony" let us go; and if they and tions--and each then would have stamped as theirs will not come with us, it is because divine, those parts only apparently harmo- they have wove that which is human with nizing most in accordance with the concep- theirs, and the truth is not in them. tions of his prejudices. But since God him- But beyond all, is it of infinite value to self has declared, " All Scripture is given by know the truth-though Scripture is truth, inspiration,” be it ours,' to fall in prostrated as God is truth ; yet does not God reveal himhomage and worshipping adoration, at a mer- self to all ; so neither does he reveal his cy so great-a gift so precious—and at the Scripture to all, and as by innate nature no bestowal of so costly a treasure.
man can find out the "Almighty to perfecSuch are the spontaneous thoughts, which tion,” so neither can he find out his Scripture arise upon the threshold of a subject, at once unto perfection. To do either-however impregnant with interests—full of consolation, perfectly, or in part—is of God, who giveth as well as vital in its consequences. Scrip- according to the good pleasure of his will." ture, as the revealed mind of God-being the May it be our blessed privilege, as it is our basis of all true doctrine, must be its first evi- fervent prayer, to be led into truth, while endence as well as its last appeal-and ought of deavoring to point to where the source of its doctrine, creed, or faith which cannot bring beauty lies, and from whence much of its it as the one, and rests not on it as the other, glory is radiated; and may also all who pro
Vol. XII.--No. 133.
fess to love the truth, be not satisfied, as ter their prejudices, and administer to the many are with it, as the bold negation of dominant biases of their minds, and then pass error, but rather burn with a fervoured zeal away and leave it all. The place which knew to value it as a positive life-springing channel, them knows them no more. They leave a through which flows all that can give happi- blank, which, scarcely have their absence ness here and eternal glory hereafter. This made a vacated and solitary spot, than another we pray, in the name and for the sake of steps in and fills, unknown and uncared for Jesus; who has said, “Whatsoever ye ask in by them. The same desires, emotions, affecmy name, that will I do." John xiv, 13.
tions, and prejudices, in like manner, actuate Having made these prefatory remarks, we their lives also, until they in turn also pass at once enter upon our subject-viz., that of away too. the doctrine of Calvinism. We want to shew This is the common lot and heritage of all : they are the doctrines of Scripture; that death is the doom passed upon all.
All men they come from God and are of God. Our know it : every child learns it as soon as con. early remarks will be principally on the doc- sciousness dawns : it is the confessed fact, trine of reprobation, as flowing out of election written on the brow of every ereature : thé the crowning glory of God's infinite love. passing, wind breathes it; the lightning Let us, then, begin by observing, that we Aashes it; it is spoken in the thunder, and know of no doctrine by man's name. If we spelt in the waves. All nature is its alphaattach any creature naine to any doctrine, it bet, and all creation its response. is rather from motives of expediency than But yet, though death surrounds us, and from principle; only to be understood our latter end is preached from every quarter not by way of subscription. If, then, we -though man feels it, is certain of it, is conwrite under such an heading as begins these scious that, in a few years, he too will sleep thoughts, we do not wish it to be implied the long sleep of death, how does he act the that we believe that Calvin discovered or teaching lesson of his innate consciousness? taught any new doctrine, in anything biassed How does he apply his heart to wisdom ? by his mind, or colored by his faculties. On Does he profit by it? As his days draw out, tắe contrary, we maintain and subscribe to and his term wears out, is he the more fitted nothing but Christianity; the Christianity of in the desires of his heart, in the sympathies the Bible, and the Christianity of Christ. of his soul, to enjoy the bliss, and realise the We know no canon but revelation; and no glories of that hereafter condition of perfect creed but that of the inspired Word. But peace and happiness ? Nay, it is not so. while in principle we call no man lord or mas. Despite the thousand lessons, the myriadter, (for One is our Head, who is in heaven), tongued voice of warning that meet him at yet we are willing to be Pauline, so as to be every point, he learns not from the one, and understood; and so ranking under the banner sets at nought the other. He chooses rather of the sturdy reformer of Geneva, we are to float on the rippling tide of pleasure, down willing to contend-which we mean by God's the glassy stream of earthly joy and sensual grace to do-for “the faith once delivered gratification, so long as the ocean into which to the saints;" and with the Word of God in that stream rushes, is far, far beyond the ken our hands, we do say that Word declares of eye. So long as it is unvisioned by its disGod's everlasting love in the particular choice tance, heedlessly will they float, and joyously of his people; their calling in time and glori- sail. If you tell them of their danger, speak fication in eternity ; in contradistinction to to them of the future, “they will have none the assertion that God had from all eternity of your counsel.” They consider the pleasures thoughts of love unto all the sons of men ; of the to-day more worthy of thought than and that he sent his beloved Son Jesus, who the realities of the to-morrow, Herein is died for the chosen, for they had forfeited their folly; folly which is bound up in all; all innocence by the transgression of Adam, and which thoughts are of the earth, earthy." became amenable to eternal death thereby ; This unvărnished picture of the condition that Jesus dying for all such, the Holy Spirit of mankind attests his general and complete imparts grace sufficient unto them, so as to depravity and fall. It speaks in unequivocal enable them to accept and lay hold of the language, with noon-day light, the appalling sacrificial benefits arising from the death of truth that man is altogether become corrupt; Christ.
that his desires are vitiated; his tastes deOur present point is to prove, that God hath praved; his mind darkened; his faculties, not elected all to eternal life; nor yet given all he is and has, sunken and degraded ; " and unto all the means of obtaining that eternal in hiin dwelleth no good thing.” life. And whether we take the existing con- Arrived at this point-the fallen state of dition and practical character of mankind mankind by nature, from a survey of his exhere on earth, or his ultimate state hereafter, isting condition, from his life, walk and either is ample in illustration, for bearing on character, we are now prepared to take anoour subject. By which we mean that man ther step, and endeavor to realise his ultimate does prove in his life, walk and character, the destiny; and though we have not brought in truth of non-election, and also that his final | the aid of revelation, to shew his present state attest it. What is the condition of man-existing condition here
- such being apkind? The world with its peopled crowds, parent to all, even to the sceptic and unbeits teeming myriads, its vast populations, only liever - yet must we have resort to that inhabit it for a few brief years, accumulate a blessed Word, as a testimony of evidence for few small possessions, and surround them- what we are now about to adduce; for wo selves with friends; gratify their tastes, flat- | desire above all things to make plain every
inch of our ground. Though the lantern of thoughtless of hereafter, so sensual, so debasthe human diffuses some light, yet there is ed, so feeble, so earthly and time serving ? nothing like the lantern of the Divine to dis- Why shall his destiny be the “darkness of sipate darkness, whose beams ever shed celes- blackness for ever," where there is weeping, tial light.
wailing, and gnashing of teeth? Is he re
sponsible for all these sins, all this negligence, Then to the Word and to the testimony, as all this depravity? In short, is he responsible an unerring
guide, do we resort, to learn what for his condition here, and his destiny herewill be the condition of the world's destiny after ? For on this hangs the whole question hereafter. Revelation speaketh thus—“And this is the centre of all that has ever been death and hell delivered up the dead which said or written upon the subject from the days were in them: and they were judged every of Augustine to our own. We freely and fearman according to his works ; and death and lessly admit that darkness surrounds
the subxx. 13, 14. “Then shall he say unto them ject, that it is curtained in mystery, and canon the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed; tion pours much light on it. Undoubtedly
opied by secrecy; yet, nevertheless, revelainto everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels."
man is a responsible being-otherwise, his Matt. xxv, 41. "The rich being, as he is, the subject of punishment, man also died and was buried; and in hell he would be an injustice he is a free agent in lift up his eyes, being in torment.” Luke some points, or criminality could not be laid xvi. 22, 23. ** The Son of Man shall send to his charge: he has conscience in him forth his angels; and they shall gather out of sufficient to make him amenable to the law, his kingdom all things that offend, and them otherwise the justice of God could not be which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a vindicated in punishing him for the violation furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and of that law. But then the position of man is Gnashing of teeth.” Matt. xiii. 41, 42. “And double-while, on the one hand he is a rethey shall go forth and look upon the carcases sponsible being, he is also, on the other hand, of the men that have transgressed against
an irresponsible being; while a free agent, me; for their worm shall not die, neither yet he hath not power to lift up his hand to shall their fire be quenched; and they shall heaven, or his thoughts to the Most High. In be an abhorring unto all filesh.” Isa. Ixv. 6. all things he is sustained by infinite power
, “Wide is the gate, and broad is the way, and upheld by merciful interposition: he has that leadeth to destruction, and many there not innate strength in himself to perform the be which go therein." Matt. vii. 13. “And feeblest act; all which he has is derived from he opened the bottomless pit, and there arose the Giver of every good and perfect gift. Ana great smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of alogy bears out this: he cannot control the a great furnace—and the sun and the air was circumstances of his birth, his being, or his darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.” condition-inheriting a fallen condition by Rev. ix. 3. “Wandering stars, to whom is federal relation to Adam, he had no control reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.'
thereon; God's justice could not, therefore, Jude 13. “If any man worship the beast and reprobate him for any such; no man is his image, and receive his mark in his fore- eternally shut out from God's presence, and head, the same shall drink of the wine of the doomed to eternal perdition on account of sins wrath of God, which is poured out without which are not his own : such is neither scripmixture into the cup of his indignation, and ture or reason, and if any man says that such he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone, is Calvinism, we reply, that it is the
Calvinin the presence of the holy angels and in the ism of his own imagination--the perverted presence of the Lamb; and the smoke of their doctrine of a misunderstood and much abused torment ascended up for ever and ever, and creed. Christianity teaches, and teaches abthey have no rest day, nor night.”. Rev. xiv. solutely and clearly, that hell will be peopled 9-11. “Bind him hand and foot, and take by the guilty, be inhabited by the workers of him away, and cast him into outer darkness, iniquity-mark these words, workers of there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'
iniquity,” implying that it is those who have Matt. xxii. 13. Such are the testimonial been the individual, identical workers of sin, evidence of inspiration on the ultimate desting they who have pampered to their lust, cultiof apostate man; the bare realities of an hell vated a depraved nature, and fostered debased of intence penal infliction, infinite agony and habits in the face of warnings and the adunmitigated suffering, portrayed in living monition of conscience ; these are the sinners words on the inspired page, would be enough who are the workers of iniquity, to such is to rack the strongest mind, and palsy the reserved the blackness of darkness for ever. most powerful heart. The fear of enduring It no where says in Scripture, that men are pain so exquisite, torments so intense, and eternally doomed for a mother's sin, or a despair so poignant, would be enough to de- father's vice-but it does say, " the soul which stroy reason and annihilate understanding. sinneth it shall die." It does say, every But it is not so. Man sentinels the avenues
man shall be judged according to his works." of time, that eternity shall not vision itself to It does say, that every idle word that men his mind, or disturb his thoughts. He culti- shall speak, they shall give account thereof at vates the solicitudes of earth, chaunts her the day of judgment; for by thy words shalt glory, and sings hosannas to her praise; thou be justified, and by thy words shalt thou while eternity, mantling itself around him, be condemned.” has not a thought, an anxiety, or a care. This is the only Scriptural doctrine of re
But whence is this? Why is man so probation, and it is clearly a reprobation of evil works. It is not a reprobation of individ- | the wicked; but if there were no wicked, it is uals---abstractedly considered.
clear there would have been no necessity for Also, yet further, it is again said, “That law, as indeed there would not have been. thu wages of sin is death ;" clearly inferring,
But sin being in the world, man having that death or eternal damnation is the allotted derived contamination therefrom, pollution punishment—the merited and deserved award having passed on the whole species, be is of sin. That the sinner is being punished for unable to perform ought which is perfect, his sing, is but receiving the remunerative right or good in an essential sense; his best award thereof; which is the idea brought out works, works of duty and conscience, are by the term “wages;" a correlative receipt marred and stained by a sinful and a lapsed for a corresponding labour or deed. Had God and fallen condition of being; hence he is have reprobated the sinner apart from his sins, unable to perform absolute good. God does he would indeed have had cause to upbraid not demand thatį from him, knowing he can. his Maker with injustice and partiality ; but not render it. And when Christ said to his when he stands eharged with crime-as on disciples, “ Be ye perfect, even as your Father him, the guilt of sin— he cannot but confess in heaven is perfect,” he never intended to that punishment is his reward, and damnation teach that they should be absolutely as perfect the just sentence of outraged virtue.
as God himself was: this were impossible. But if it be objected that even this view Relative perfection is what is meant; perfecmakes God unjust, in not giving to all men tion as commensurate as the condition (fallen the means of repentance, and facilities of es. as it is) of man would permit: this is taught cape from the wrath to come, as to those who all through Scripture (men gather not figs are intended in the covenant of election-we from a thistle, nor does a corrupt fountain answer, all men are given sufficient light to send forth pure water): this is all the require. know right from wrong; all men have a sense ment of God from the unregenerate, accord. of duty; all are cognisant of the demands ing to their abilities and talents does God which virtue and right have upon them: demand of them- Whero much is given even heathens have such-(see Rom. ü. 14, 15). much is required :” he that hath one talent, Conscience is implanted in them for this pur- of him is required one talent; he that hath pose; it is the monarch faculty of the mind, two, of him is required two, and so forth. wbich sits in judgment on what is right and The unregenerate inheriting a sinful nature, a what is wrong. Its privilege is as lofty as its nature by which they never can by any posresponsibility is grave. If it sever from its sibility perform absolute good works, works instinctive functions, and permit the mind to pleasing to God, or that can or shall effect sin, that is often for punishment and retribu- their eternal salvation : hence they are not tion. God has implanted sufficient light in condemned, for this their incapacity-for not man for him to judge what is his duty, and to being saved-for inheriting such a nature; enable him to do it. But if he choose the but for not putting out the one talent compaths of open sin, to walk therein, do not let mitted to their charge to usury, and rendering him be so mean or ungenerous as to charge the due that as a natural subject they owed to God with his sin, or say it was his fault to per- their Lord. Here, then, is responsibility and mit these paths to be there at all, or to have irresponsibility. If any man doubts it, let allurements, whereby he might be tempted. him read Scripture; and, if guided by the Rather let him speak the honest dictates of Spirit, he will see it marked on every page. conscience, and lay the charge to himself. True and scriptural, which is the only real Man is responsible for sin! Scripture teaches Calvinism, knows nothing of that cold and it; reason attests it, and God declares it. heartless dogma, that God reprobated man But while accountability is the law of his being, abstractedly. He reprobated sin; and if and the capon of his existence in reference to men are clothed in sin-if wilful sin become sin, and acting guilt pertaining to the individ- part of their nature, and as punished will be ual yet, in reference to that sinful condition their sins, they also must necessarily be punby inherent relationship and generic associa- ished with them, they having become part tion to Adam-that fallen, lapsed, and pecca- and parcel of their very being. If a man ble nature; all men receive and are born into steeps his clothes in inflammable matter and the world in, in no way is man eternally res- then fastens them on him so as to be unable ponsible for. Had he no such nature, perfec- ! to take them off, it is a law of sequence, that tion of works must necessarily be the result of should they become ignited, he also must perfection of being—inasmuch as a perfect perish with them. being must produce perfect works. And
Depend upon it, God's justice is only mainthence, he would have bad no need of a Sar- tained and his equity vindicated, by this iour, an atonement or a justification; which scriptural view of the reprobation of sin. would have impugned the Office-character, of God hates nothing which he has made; but Second Person of the ever-blessed and Holy sin being his opposite, and he not being the Trinity. “ Nor does that text, “ By the author of it, he can, as he does, hate it, with works of the law shall no flesh living be justi. an infinite and eternal hatred : while it is fied,”, at all militate against this view; and quite true, that God in his sovereignty has that because no law would ever have been not chose or seen fit to exonerate all men from given, seeing no sin existed. Restraining law the effects of sin by Christ becoming their subis an adjunct associated only with guilt, and stitute, or by electing them to be among that is not necessary in a state of innocence, being glorious number, called “a remnant according incorruptible therewith. Law is a terror to to the election of grace;” “a peculiar people ;"
" Fessels of honor," and so forth. It was the kingdom they come, and are very, very hum. right of God to choose who be would ; and in ble; and to work they go, gathering in all electing some sinners, so long as he punished the grapes they can; and some of these their sins, he was just. This he did in the gather the promises very fast, and soon posPerson of his dear Son. It was also equally sess them all, and make them all their own. just of him to leave the others to work out No doubting; no fearing; no calling in ques. their own reprobation. That reprobation, tion but that they are gathering the right based on their own responsibility of action; grapes at the right time, and in the right way; God not requiring or demanding perfection of Such is the character of the mere natural works from them.
man, when he comes into a profession of the Divine justice is manifested in Divine sove- religion, and yet turns the gospel into a land reizty: God is glorified as much in the pun. of legal bondage and conditional rewards. ishment of the wicked, and the reprobation of But here is another order of people standing sin, as he is in the reward of the righteous, idle, out of whom satan is cast; for when and glorification of the elect. God, as a Sove- satan goes out, he takes the key with him; reign, had a right to make man as he pleased. but when he is cast out, the Lord himself so long as man is only punished for his sins, takes possession of the heart, with, “My son, the non-elect cannot charge God with their give me thine heart.” Satan went out of Judamnation, inasmuch as justice and sove- das, and then Judas wanted religious employ. reignty are the correlative attributes of Je- ment, and he found that employment; but horah.
satan still had the key of his heart, and theroGod willing, we shall again revert to this fore at the suited time could and did ro-enter much misunderstood doctrine of reprobation, the heart of Judas, and thus drive him on to and endeavor to shew the fallacy and hollow- deeds which should hasten his destruction ; ness of the objections to it, and then devote a out of Peter's heart satan was cast, and therepage or two to that ever-glorious and eternally fore could not get back again into his old posblessed doctrine of unconditional election. session, though he did all he could towards it. Jan. 17, 1856.
A STRIPLING, He threw some of his heaviest artillery at Peter,
and Peter staggered and fell; but a fall is not EPISTLES TO THEOPHILUS.
a surrender, although it certainly is the be
ginning of a surrender; and so Peter began to LETTER XX,
anathematize and to swear; but a look from
the Saviour frowned satan away, brought My good Theophilus, I will now try to prove Peter again to his feet, the Saviour still re. to you that many of the expostulations and taining possession of Peter's heart. And exhortations of the Word of Truth are upon this point rested the question, “Simon, founded, not in any ability in the natural man
son of Jonas, lovest thou me p". And the to do that which is spiritual, but are founded truth of the answer laid in the truth of the on the profession they make of the name of Saviour still possessing Peter's heart. the Lord. And this I do from the conviction
So here, in this second order, the Lord said, that you are seeking for heavenly wisdom, as the best of silver, and searching for it as for is right, I will give you." And now comes
Go, work in my vineyard, and whatsoever the best of bid treasures. (Prov. ii. 4). And the test to which these two orders of workmen ii we wish to be right in matters pertaining to
are to be put. The labourers are called to rethis life, how much more may we seek the ceive their bire, beginning with the last, and good and right way of eternal life? And we ending with the first.
Now when the first know that a wrung position in one respect, saw how liberally those who came last into the may make us wrong in all the rest; and I vineyard were dealt with, they began to think shall presently give you proof of this. It is they ought to receive more; for if those who the wisdom of the wise to understand his way; bare done next to nothing are to have a and if we have any grace in our hearts, we whole day's pay, and thus to be dealt with shall be concerned to grow in that grace. not according to the time and amount of their
"Now the (dispensational) kingdom of hea- work, but according to their need; and acven is like unio a man that is an householder, cording to the nature and willing heartedness which went out early in the morning to hire of their work, then what are these all-day labourers into his vineyard, (Matt. xx.), and working, formal, steady-going workmen to finding men standing idle.” Now, take care- have? Why, of course, a great deal more ful notice of this--they were standing idle than these come-late people. Such were (verse 3)—that is, having nothing to do. They their thoughts ; but such were pot the professed to want employment. Here, then, thoughts of the householder. No: the Lord's are people professedly tired of the world. thoughts stand thus : " Let the wicked forsake They have left off working for satan, and they his way.” That is, the wicked shall forsake DOW wish to work for God. But they are as his way. Let, is God's imperative mood; and yet standing idle; the unclean spirit is gone is founded in mediation and purpose eternal, out of them; but the Word of God has not and in power almighty. The sins of all such yet taken hold of them : they are standing were laid upon the Saviour, and he has borno idle. By-and-bye the Word comes along and them away; so that every legal impediment takes hold of them, and directs them to a being removed, God's command puts down all free-grace vineyard, and assures them that rule; and all authority against the sinner; they shall be daily supported: they shall have so that to all the broken principalities of sin, their penny a-day. Well, into the soutward) death and hell, God says, “Let the sinner