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bring forth no fruit unto perfection. Matt. xiii, 20, 21, 22, and Luke viii, 13, 14.—Because of unbelief they were broken off. Rom. xi, 20, 21, 22.-Ye did run well: Ye are fallen from grace. Gal. v, 4, 7.-Holding faith and a good conscience, which some having put away, concerning faith have made shipwreck. 1 Tim. i, 18, 19:—Some shall depart from the faith. iv, 1.- Some are already turned aside after Satan. Having damnation, because they have cast off their first love. v, 12, 15. -See 1 Tim. vi, 10; 2 Tim. i, 15; ii, 17, 18; Gen, iii, 6, 24.
“ True believers may fall into sins which cannot stand with juslifying faith," 8c.] They allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them, who live in error.-- It hath happened unto them according to the true proverb: The dog is turned to his own vomit again, and the sow, that was washed, to her wallowing in the mire. 2 Pet. ii, 18. See verse 1, &c.-Then began Peter to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the mun. Matt. xxvi, 70, 72, 74.David, a man of great faith and integrity; (1 Kings xv, 5;) yet he committed adultery and murder. 2 Sam. xi, 4, 15; xii, 9.
- And Solomon was beloved of the Lord; (2 Sam. xii, 25; 1 Kings iii, 10;) yet, through the love of strange women, his heart was turned from the Lord God of Israel, which had appeared unto him twice, and went after other gods. 1 Kings xi, 1–10.-And that these sins of adultery, murder, and idolatry, are inconsistent with true justifying faith, see Gal. v, 19, 20; 1 Cor. vi, 9, 10; Rev. xxi, 8; xxii, 15.-Demas, one of St. Paul's fellow-labourers, (Philem. 24; Col. iv, 14, [was one of those) whose names were written in the book of life; Phil. iv, 3; yet he embraced this present world. 2 Tim. iv, 10.How great a sin that is, in a person so engaged, (2 Tim. ii, 3, 4,) see James iv, 4; 2 Pet. ii, 20 ; 1 John ii, 15.—My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me the fountain of living water, &c. Jer. ii, 13.-Jezebel seduced my servants to commit fornication, and eat things sacrificed to idols—and they commit adultery with her. Rev. ii, 20, 22.-When the unclean spirit is gone ont of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest: and, finding none, he saith, I will return unio mi house whence I came out. And when he cometh, he findeth it swept and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh to him seven other spirits, more wicked than himself, and they enter in, and dwell there. Luke xi, 24.
They hold, that true believers may, through their own default, fall into crimes and heinous offences, continue and die in them, and so finally fall away and perish.
PROOFS OUT OF HOLY SCRIPTURE. If thou forsake him, He will cast thee off for ever. 1 Chron. xxviii, 9.-Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he taketh away ;—and it is withered, and men gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. John xv, 2, 6.-When the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doth, shall he live? all his righteousness that he hath done, shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. Ezek. xviii, 24. See verse 26; and xxxiii, 12, 13, 18.Then his Lord said unto him, Othou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow-servant, even as I had pity on thee? And his Lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors. Matt. xvi, 26, ad finem.—See the reason of the Second and following Negatives, and the proofs of the Second Affirmative, pages 147 and 139.
They hold, that true believers, though they fall sometimes into grievous sins, and [into] such as waste the conscience, yet fall not from all hope of repentance ; but that God, according to the multitude of his mercies, can and often DOTH bring them back again, by his grace, unto repentance ; although they cannot certainly be assured, that this shall certainly and undoubtedly be done. *
PROOFS OUT OF HOLY SCRIPTURE. “ Believers who sometimes fall into sins, fall not from all hope of repentance.") Repent and turn yourselves from all your
This Tenet, and the two which succeed it, are directed against the Calvinistic perversion of the doctrine of the Assurance of SALVATION. “ Instead of allowing it to remain the scriptural criterion of a believer's actual enjoyment of God, the Calvinists overcharged it with their own inventions :
They no longer applied it to the present experience of the people of God, but to a very different and unhallowing purpose,—to the creation of a presumptuous confidence, that, whether in the way to the kingdom, or hy the • way-side, they should never fall totally and finally from grace. In the spirit of their Creed, they did not make it helpful in ascertaining the con. scious growth of their Christian graces, the perceptible elevation of their religious character, or their actual standing in the Divine Favour; but they employed it to work themselves up to a persuasion
their individual or personal election, (which, according to their doctrine, was determined at first in the Divine Mind, without any regard to faith or holiness in the particular subjects of it,) and consequently to a comPLETE CERTAINTY of their FINAL PERSEVERANCE." For a curious history of the variations of this doc. trine, especially among the rigid Predestinarians, see the Works of ARMINIUS, Vol. I, page 603.EDITOR.
transgressions: 80 iniquity shall not be your ruin. Ezek xviii, 30.—Thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again unto me, saith the Lord. Turn, O backsliding children : I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you; for I am merciful: I will not keep anger for ever: For I am married unto you. Jer. iii, 1, 12, 14. See Rev. ii, 4; ïïi, 3; Psalm li, 17.I will heal their backsliding, I will love them freely. Hos. xiv, 4.-Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he a pleasant child ? For, since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him: I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord. Jer. xxxi, 19, 20. — Therefore I will look unto the Lord : I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise : Mic. vii, 7, 8, 9.How oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him ? Jesus saith, Until seventy times seven. Matt. xviii, 21, 22.-As your Father which is in heaven, is merciful. Luke vi, 36.Aaron makes a calf and provokes the Lord, Exod. xxxii, 2—10, - yet, he is consecrated to the Priest's office. xl, 13.-Hezekiah humbled himself, the wrath of God was removed from him. 2 Chron. xxxvi, 26.—Peter weeps bitterly. Matt. xxvi 75.David's sin is put away. 2 Sam. xii, 13.— The incestuous Corinthian finds indulgence. 2 Cor. ii, 7, 10.-A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Psalm li, 17.
“ Although they cannot certainly be assured, that they shall be brought again by Gods grace to repentance.”] In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves, if God PERADVENTURE will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil. 2 Tim. ii, 25.-WHO KNOWETH if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him? Joel ii, 14. See Jonah iii, 9.–For it is a people of no understanding: therefore he that made them, will not have mercy on them; and he that formed them, will shew them no favour. Isai. xxvii, 11.—Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer: they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me. Prov. i, 28.-They rose up early in the morning, saying, We will go up unto the place which the Lord hath promised : for we have sinned (viz. in refusing to go up at his command 7: And Moses said, It shall not prosper. But they presumed to go up, and were discomfitted. Numb. xiv, 40, &c. See 1 Cor. x, 6, 11; Heb. iii, 18; iv, 11.-Afterward when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected; for he found no place of repentance, (in his
Father, who had passed away the blessing from him, though he sought it carefully with tears. Heb. xii, 17.
If these places do not make a saving repentance, especially after grievous sins (see Acts viii, 22.) and after an obstinate continue ance in them, somewhat doubtful, yet doubtless they imply a difficulty,—and the more difficult the more doubtful. So do the places following :--He taketh seven other spirits more wicked ihan himself, and they enter in and dwell there. And the last state of that man is worse than the first. Matt. xii, 43–45.-For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world, through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 2 Peter ii, 20; compare this with verse 1, 8c.-For it is impossible, (that is, very difficult, as Luke xvii, 1, or xviii, 27.) if they fall away, to renew them again unto repentance. Heb. vi, 4–6. See the last Negative precedent. Concerning propitiation, be not without fear to add sin unto sin. Ecclesiasticus v, 5.—Despisest thou the riches, fc. Rom. ii, 4,5. Strive to enter in at the strait gate ; for many, I say unto you, will strive to enter in and shall not be able. Luke xiii, 24.
They hold, that the true believer may FOR THE PRESENT be assured of the integrity of his faith and conscience, and FOR THAT TIME may and ought to be assured of his salvation and the saving love of God towards him.*
PROOFS OUT OF SCRIPTURE. If we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth
* In his DECLARATION before the States of Holland, Arminius says, “ My opinion is, that it is possible for him who believes in Jesus Christ io be certain and persuaded, and, if his heart condemn him not, he is now in reality assured, that he is a Son of God, and stands in the grace of Jesus Christ. Such an assurance is wrought in the mind, as well by the action of the Holy Spirit inwardly actuating the believers and by the fruits of faith,-as from his own conscience and the testimony of God's Spirit witnessing together with his conscience. I also believe, that it is possible for such a person, with an assured confidence in the grace of God and his mercy in Christ, to depart out of this lite, and to appear before the throne of grace, without any auxious fear or terrific dread : And yet this persou should constantly pray,
O Lord, enter not into judgment with thy servant !'-—But I dare not place this certainty on an equality with that by which we know there is a God, and that Christ is the Saviour of the world."-See, in page 155, another extract from Arminius, wbich is further illustrative of bis sentiments.
Such were tbe holy and practical views of that great man on this important subject; and corresponding with them are those of Bishop Womack aud the Remonstrants, in this and the next Article.- Editor.
us from all our sin. 1 Johni, 7.--And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. ii, 3.-We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. iii, 14.-By this we know, that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep his commandments,and his commandments are not grievous. v, 2, 3.—But let every man prove his own works and then shall he have rejoicing in himself. Gal. vi, 4.-If our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence towards God. 1 John iii, 21.-Our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God we have had our conversation in the world. 2 Cor. i, 12.—Therefore, being justified by faith, we have peace with God, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And hope maketh not ashamed, because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans v, 1, 2,5.—Hereby know we, that we dwell in him and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 1 John iv, 13.—The Spirit itself beareth witness with our Spirit, that we are the children of God: Rom. viii, 16-For if
ye live after the flesh, ye shall die; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shail live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. verses 13, 14.–And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance for everIsa. xxxii, 17.
They hold, that the true believer may and ought to be assured, FOR THE TIME TO COME, that, in the use of watching and prayer and other holy exercises, he may persevere in faith, and that God's GRACE shall never be wanting thereto. But how he
be assured, FOR THE TIME TO COME, that HE HIMSELF shall not be wanting to do his duty, but that " he shall, in the actions of faith, piety and charity, as be“ seems the faithful, persevere in this school of Christian 6 soarfare,"—they see not, nor think it necessary that a believer should be ASSURED THEREOF.
PROOFS OUT OF HOLY SCRIPTURE. « In the use of watching and prayer a believer may persevere in faith, &c.] Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil, and, having done all, to stand. Ephes. vi, 11, 13–19.Pray without ceasing. 1 Thess. V, 17.-Watch and pray. Matt. xxvi, 41 ; xxiv, 13, 42.-Let your