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honouring the minifters of the gofpel for their work's fake, fhews a peculiar fpite against them, and does what he can to bring their character into difcredit; not fo much for any perfonal failings and infirmities that may fometimes attend them, as on account of the office they bear, and the work they are employed in. This, one would. think, is a very prepoftcrous way of thewing his zeal for the truth, and purity of the gofpel: it feems rather to carry the appearance of an un-common degree of enmity against both.

This gentleman is pleafed to tell us, "That if "it be ftill pled that the apoftles made offers, he "will very willingly fay, that they offered evi"dence for all that they teftified; yea that they "not only offered, but freely produced it, let men "make what use of it they would*" Thus far we readily agree with him: but did they never any more than offer the evidence he speaks of; or lay before men the infallible proofs arifing from their own knowledge, and the prophecies of the Old Teftament, That Jefus is the Chrift, or the true Mefsiah; and that he died and rofe again? Did they not, on all occafions, preach unto finners the forgiveness of fins through his name; and declare, that the great defign of all that they teftified concerning his miffion, offices, death, and refurrection, was, that by believing on him, finners might receive the remiffion of fins and everlafting life? Did they not, agreeably to the commiffion and inftructions they received from their divine Mafter, teftify to all their hearers, both Jews and Gentiles, that unto them was the word, or promise, of falvation fent; or, that eternal life, even to them who deferve nothing but death and wrath, is the

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gift of God, through Jefus Christ our Lord? Did they not proclaim to all within hearing of them, whatever their condition and circumftances might be, that they had fufficient warrant to take of the water of life freely * ?

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Should it be refufed, that, the chief fcope of all that the apoftles teftified, or the evangelifts recorded, concerning the death and refurrection of Jefus, was to declare and certify to finners of mankind, both Jews and Gentiles, that they might warrantably believe on Chrift, in the way of making particular application of him and all his benefits to their own fouls, fo as to fay, every one for himself, Surely in the Lord have I righteousness and frength; I confefs I fhould for ever defpair of being able to prove any thing from the Scriptures. This truth is propofed with fuch evidence, and fhines with fo great luftre in all the apoftolic writings, that any one who denies it, may as well deny, that ever there were any fuch men as the apofiles, or that ever they preached the gospel.

After what has been obferved on this head, I think, we have fome reafon to affirm, that what Palamon reproaches, ridicules, and endeavours to undermine and fubvert, under the notion of the popular doctrine, is really the ancient apoftolic gofpel; and that the fcornful cenfures he has thought fit to pafs on those whom he calls the popular preachers, do fall equally upon our bleffed Lord and his apoftles for the fum of what they taught, with regard to the matter under confideration, may be fitly expreffed in these remarkable words, which dropt from the lips of him who is THE TRUTH

* See Acts x. 43. xiii. 26-38. Rom. vi. 23. Rev. iii. 18, 22, 17. Ifai. xlv. 24.

As

As Mofes lifted up the ferpent in the wilderness, even fo must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever, believeth in him, fhould not perish, but have eternal life; or, which comes all to one, That through his name whofoever believeth in him, fhall RECEIVE the remifsion of fins and I need not tell the reader, that this is the fubftance of what the letter-writer condemns, as the popular doctrine, with regard to the promife, or free offer of pardon and falvation through Chrift.'

After what has been faid it may be deemed fuperfluous to obferve, that the fame doctrine was clearly taught, conftantly inculcated, and zealoufly defended, by our most eminent reformers,

+ Acts x. 43.

as

John iii. 14, 15. "The law doth nothing else bat utter fin, terrify and humble, and by this means prepareth us to "juftification, and driveth us to Chrift. For God "hath revealed unto us by his word, that he will

be unto us a merciful father, and without our de"ferts, (feeing we can deferve nothing) will freely "give unto us remiffion of fins, righteousness, and "life everlasting for Chrift his Son's fake. For God "giveth his gifts freely unto all men, and that is the "praife and glory of his divinity.The gofpel "giveth freely, and requireth of us nothing else, but "to hold out our hands, and take that which is of fered.- -The promises of the law are conditional, promifing life not freely, but to fuch as fulfil the "law; and therefore they leave mens confciences "in doubt: for no man fulfilleth the law. But the promises of the New Teftament have no fuch condition joined unto them, nor require any thing of us, nor depend upon any condition of our worthinefs, but bring and give unto us free forgiveness

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as it has been by all found Proteftant divines ever fince the reformation: And though our author, in the height of his pride, is pleased to fhew a fo

"of fins, grace, righteoufnefs, and life everlasting «for Chrift's fake. Luth. Com. on the Epif. to the "Gal old Eng, tranfl. fol. 63, 102, 218.

Lex & promiffiones legis, cum fint conditionales, relinquunt confcientias in dubitatione. Alia eft promiffio Evangelii propria, quæ non habet conditionem Legis, tamquam caufam, hoc eft, non promittit propter impletam Legem, fed gratis propter Chriftum. Hæc eft promiffio remiffionis peccatorum, feu reconciliationis, feu juftificationis de qua concionatur præcipue Evangelium.Eft itaque hæc Evangelica promiffio reconciliationis legalium diffimilis, quia gratis pollicetur propter Chriftum. Ideoque Paulus hanc particulam gratis nobis diligenter & fæpe inculcat: ut Rom. iv. Ideo gratis ex fide, ut firma fit promiffio: Nam hæc particula GRATIS propter Chriftum facit difcrimen Legis & Evangelii. Ergo intendenda mens eft atque oculi in hanc particulam, GRATIS. Ideo enim neceffe eft de hac gratuita promiflione docere, ut res fit certa, ut confcientiis eximatur dubitatio, ut habeant firmam confolationem in veris terroribus, -Sicut ne

ceffe eft fcire, Evangelium effe gratuitam promiffionem : ita neceffe eft fcire, Evangelium PROMISSIONEM UNIVERSALEM effe, b. e. offerri & promitti omnibus hominibus reconciliationem.Quod autem non omnes confequuntur Evangelii promiffa; co fit, quia non omnes credunt. Nam Evangelium, etfi-grat's pro. mittit, tamen requirit fidem; oportet enim promiffionem fide accipi. Ac particula gratis non excludit fidem, fed excludit conditionem noftræ dignitatis, ut fupra dictum eft, & poftulat, ut promiffionem accipiamus; id non poteft fieri aliter nifi fide. lanchthon. Loc. Theolog. p. 204, 205-202, 213.

Me

Firmum igitur & fixum manet proprium & principale objectum fidei juftificantis, cujus refpectu & apprehenfione juftificat, effe gratuitam promiffionem miferciordiæ Dei remittentis peccata adoptantis & acceptantis credentes ad vitam æternam, propter Chriftum Mediatorem. Natura GRATUITE PROMISSIONIS Evangelii requirit, ut fide accipiatur.-Chemnit." in Exam. Decret. Concil. Trident. p. 808-811, 812.

Eft verbum Evangelii illud objectum, quod continet PROMIS SIONES de remiffione peccatorum, fanctificatione Spiritus, & vita æterna, De quo firma extant & perfpicua teftimonia in utroque Teftamento. Henrici. Alting. Expli at. Catechef. Palatin. Quest, 21

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vereign contempt of all the reformed churches, and the most eminent divines, who have appeared for, and zealously defended the truth in former ages; we reckon it the fafeft course, agreeably to the divine command and apoftolic exhortation, to go forth by foot-fteps of the flock; and follow them, who, through faith and patience, inherit the promifes*.

* Cant. i. 8. Heb. vi. 12.

END OF THE FIRST VOLUME.

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