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actually liable by their sins. The pondering of this aright wonld silence such objectors. Temporal strokes, the effects of God's fatherly displeasure, are not confined to strokes upon our bodies, or crosses in our outward estate ; though indeed sicknesses of several sorts, poverty, losses, &c. yea and death, are not very light things, but such, as the prospect of them may make a stout heart to stagger.

But these strokes reach the soul likewise ; and strokes upon the soul are very heavy. They may all come under the general name of desertion ; which spreads itself into innumerable branches, such as, want of communion with God, a wounded spirit, yea the arrows of the Almighty driven into the soul, and their poison drinking up the spirit, &c. I add, the Lord's suffering men to fall into one sin, and that sometimes a very gross sin or sins, for a correction of them because of former miscarriages; as David's security was punished with his being suffered to fall into murder and adultery ; Peter's self-confidence, with denying his master. All these the godly make themselves actually liable to by unrepented of sin. And it is well worth our noticing, that here is something in the obligation to temporary wrath, that is more to be feared than hell, if so be that sin be the greatest evil; which I hope no serious soul will deny. I thus think, and thus will ever preach. It is more bitter to sin against Christ, than to suffer the torments of hell, said Chrysostom.* Anselm said, that if on the one side were presented unto him the evil of sin, and on the other side, the torments of hell, he would rather choose to fall into hell, than to fall into sin. Now, I refer it to the judgment of any godly, if, these and the like things considered, the doctrine we maintain be chargeable justly with opening a gap to licentiousness? I shall not dispute here, whether or not the temporary wrath which is inflicted on the godly, be the same essentially with that which is poured out upon the damned. But sure I am David calls those strokes that had been upon him, “the pains of hell," Psal cxvi. 3. Job speaks very terribly of them, Job vi. 4. “For the arrows of the Almighty are within me,” &c. Heman gives the same name to what was upon him that the Psalmist gives to what comes on reprobates, Psal. lxxxviii. 16. compared with Psal. lviii. 9. The word in both places is Charon ;t only the godly man Heman hath it in the plural number. Lastly, We say this doctrine gives true gospel liberty; which perhaps the contrary doth not; and it is our duty to “stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free ;" which if we will hear Zacharias in his song, Luke i. 74. is, “that we, being delivered from all our ene

Citante Bolton, Dead saint speaking, p. 10.

† From Charah, erarsit.

mies, might serve him without fear. And if we would know what enemies we are delivered from, the apostle tells us, the law is one of them, as it curseth and condemneth the sinner, Gal. iii. 13. And as we answer Arminians, Papists, and other enemies of Christian assurance, when they object, That it is a pillar of security; so I positively affirm, that this doctrine is so far from being justly chargeable therewith, that it is a most strong inducement to gospelobedience, and a strick walk with God; I mean, to a gospel spirit. So that I fear not to say with Dr Preston,* he that hath the strongest faith, he that believeth in the greatest degree the promise of pardon and remission of sins, hath the holiest heart and the holiest life. And I think it is worthy of our observation, that Paul never groaned more deeply under the body of death, than in the midst of the discourse of a believer's being dead to the aw, and freed from condemnation : Rom. vii. 24. compared with chap. vii. 1, &c. and viii. 1. The scripture is very plain in teaching us, that it was Christ's design in bringing his people from under the law, that they might be employed in new obedience, Rom vii. 4, 6. And surely it doth not fail. Nothing hath greater influence on gospel obedience than love; love is a strong cord to draw souls to a holy walk, 2 Cor. v. 14. “ For the love of Christ (whether ye understand it subjectively or objectively, it is all one to the purpose] constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead ;”+ i. e. legally dead, as is clear from the antithesis. Yet it cannot be meant of the actual execution of the sentence upon us; therefore only of this actual liableness to death. And indeed this is the very force of the Apostle's argument, how can that love but constrain us, seeing by him we have been freed from the obligation to eternal wrath, in which respect we were dead ? dead juridically, says Mr. Pool.1 We were all as dead condemned persons, because he died in our stead. But more of this afterwards. I shall conclude with that saying of Mr. Merriton|| in his sermon of Christ's humiliation, “Sin is done away by this blood [of Christ), as it binds over to wrath and punishment. Sin may remain, but it shall not condemn, if the channel of Christ's blood runs through thy soul, thou hast shut the gulf as to condemnation."

• New cov. p. 144. Alludit ad vatum furorem. Beza.

| Morning exercise 1659 p. 347. Il p. 302.

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QUEST. II.

WHETHER OR NOT ALL SINS, PAST, PRESENT, AND

PARDONED TOGETHER AND AT ONCE ?

TO COME, ARE

This question hath much affinity with the former ; and what is already said, may contribute to clear our way in answer to this. I mind not here to consider the doctrine of the deluded Antinomians, who assert, that men are justified and actually pardoned from all eternity; and so not only before they believe, but before they are born; not distinguishing between active and passive justification. The former, being an imminent act in God, and a constant will to pardon such persons as he hath chosen to everlasting life, is no doubt from eternity, and complete from that date. But the latter a transient act, exercised not only about, but terminated on the creature living and believing, whereby he is actually pardoned, and judicially declared righteous, while he stands trembling before the tribunal of God; and so cannot be from eternity.

Their doctrine in this is flatly opposite to the Scriptures ; which declare all men ouce and by nature to be children of wrath, and under condemnation, and unpardoned; and truly overturns both law and gospel at one blow; the law, in that the case being so as they pretend, there is no need of it to accuse, convince, condemn, and to stop every mouth, and to make all the world guilty before God. And no better friends are they to the gospel, which proclaims salvation to lost sinners. Yet none greater pretenders to the purity of the gospel than they; none seem to cry up free grace more, which nevertheless in very deed they labour to hide, while they set off the law altogether, without which a man shall never have a right taste of the grace of God. They cry down the law and a legal walk; which is, no doubt, the bane of many professors; but plucking up the law out of the conscience in the matter of justification, and a sinner's acceptance with God, they root it out of the heart in the matter of sanctification. So true is it, Dum vitant stulti vitia, in contraria currunt.

But had more care been taken of preserving pure and entire the doctrine of free grace, it would no doubt have prevented the delusion of many simple and well-meaning people, and cut off the occasion of crying down good works, and the study of holiness, under pretence of sacrificing all to free grace, from others led merely by their own licentious humours. And therefore, if I mistake not, the greatest noise that Antinomianism hath made in the church in these later centuries, hath been after a deluge of superstition; formality, and ignorance of the doctrine of the gospel, had overwhelmed the church, and sermons sounded rather like Seneca's morals, than Paul's doctrine of Christ crucified, and the riches of God's grace. So was it in the time of the reformation from Popery; so in the time of Britain's struggling with and wading ont from Prelacy and Arminianism, &c. How dangerous is it to set up morality instead of the power of godliness, and life of faith? to turn the covenant of grace into a bastard covenant of works; and to mix the law with the gospel, which is indeed accounted by the Spirit of God another gospel, the preacher whereof is devoted to a curse? Gal. i. 6, 8.

And indeed nothing is more incident to men than this; for it is as natural to them to seek to go to heaven by the covenant of works. as it is for fishes to swim, or birds to fly; we being naturally disposed to apprehend God as a great lord and master, and ourselves as his servants, who must work for wages. And so it comes to pass, they consider God absolutely, forgetting Christ the way to the Father; and this while their consciences remain in darkness, without any illumination: for indeed, if the conscience were awakened, the sight of Majesty would dazzle our eyes. Wherefore Luther, * on Psal. cxxx. saith, “Often and willingly do I inculcate this, that you should shut your eyes and your ears, and say, You know no God out of Christ.” On the other hand, until the conscienco is indeed enlightened, and the soul sees what a holy God it hath to do with, how hard is it to attain suitable apprehensions of the riches of his grace? And therefore the woful remains of corruption whereby we are inclined to measure God's ways by our own, start that question, concerning the privileges of the saints, “How can these things be ?” and, with Peter, in a fit cry out, “ Depart from me for I am a sinful man.” But to the question.

In this point the orthodox themselves do not agree; which is the more to be lamented, and the rather to be considered and seriously weighed, that it is not a mere speculation, but a very practical point, and cannot but have great influence on the frame of the spirit, whatsoever way the judgment goes. This may be absolutely said of the wrong side of this controversy, but not without some qualification concerning the right; seeing experience testifieth, that although the truth in its own nature is apt to have influence upon the heart for a holy walk, yet it hath not that actually at all times ; truth known, without the blowings of the Spirit, being as wild-fire, giving light, but not heat. To which part of the controversy do this aptitude to influence the heart to the love of Christ, and the

Cit. Burronghs on Hos. p. 729.

study of a holy walk, belong? The determination thereof were to determine the doubt; which we leave to its proper place.

In those points which are the most weighty in the matter of the pardon of sin, the orthodox do agree : As, 1. That God firmly purposing from all eternity to pardon the sins of the elect, laid them wholly on Jesus Christ. 2. That the Lord Jesus hath fully satisfied the justice of God for all the sins of all his elect, so as he hath left nothing of the price to be paid by them. 3. That, upon these grounds, all the sins of believers are virtually pardoned. 4. That no believer shall ever be damned, that is, sent into the place of torment, for any sin; but shall certainly and infallibly be saved. 5. Lastly, That, upon the soul's union with Christ by faith, when God pardons one sin, he pardons all sins actually which are committed, commonly called all sins past and present. Only they differ in their sentiments touching the pardon of sin yet not committed.

The question then is this, Whether or not all the sins of a believer, past, present, and to come, are actually pardoned upon the soul's first believing on Christ? or, Whether their sins to come are only virtually pardoned, and not actually till such time as they renew their faith and repentance in order to the pardon thereof? Some simply assert the former; others the latter.

According to what hath been said upon the former question, I assert, That all the sins of an elect soul, past, present, and to come, are together and at once pardoned, touching the actual obligation to eternal wrath, upon his first believing in the Lord Jesus, and justification before God; so that in no moment of time there. after he can be supposed to be actually liable to eternal wrath. And in this sense I embrace the opinion of those that stand for pardon of all sins simul et semel. I think I need not insist much in proving this assertion, so long as the arguments before adduced stand in force : for if the sins of believers, even while unrepented of, do not make them actually liable to eternal punishment, this position stands good; unless there be any found to say, that they are pardoned always as soon as committed; or, with the Antinomians, that they are pardoned from all eternity. But I shall adduce these following arguments for proof of what is asserted.

ARGUMENT I. The Lord promiseth not to remember his people's sins, Is. xliii. 25. “I am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for my own sake, and will not remember thy sins.” Now, how are they not remembered, if they be at any time, after they are brought within the covenant, unpardoned, and the poor souls laid under a sentence of eternal death for them? If this be not to remember

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