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* Which shews, that this, influence determines, the matter, ... whether it shall be or not.” Otherwise innumerable expressions of scripture are exceedingly improper, and waltogether orwithout a meaning, “ . . . o or no * 2°o to is is reds or “ , ”o or on . . . . . .'; - o no 2.' S 22, Dr. Whitby's notion of the assistance of the Spirit, is of the same sort with inspiration. Whereas that which H i suppose is the true notion, is entirely different. Consequentłcly their notion is much more enthusiastical, does much better agree with, and much more expose to pernicious enthusiasm, than ours. Hence we find that the grossest enthusiasts, bosuthras Quakers and others, are generally Arminians in the odoctrines of free will, &c.; a to e--, - e.g. o. o a j. To -ois on to o, o, o ; ; ; ; ; ; , , , , ori's " " . . . . . to * ... $23:... Scripture expressions are every where contrary to 13the Arminian scheme, according to all use of language in the * world in these days. But then they have their refuge here. * They say, the ancient figures of speech are exceedingly dioverse from ours; and that we in this distantage cannot judge at all of the true sense of expression used so long ago, but by f a skill in antiquity, and being versed in ancient history; and critically skilled in the ancient languages; not considering, - that the scriptures were written for usin these ages bn whom to the ends of the world are come; yea, were designed chiefly for the latter age of the world, in which they shall have their or chief, and comparatively, almost all their effect. They were written for God’s people in those ages, of whom at least ninetynine in an hundred must be supposed incapable bf such knowledge, by their circumstances and education; and nine to hundred and ninetynine in a thousand of God’s people, that hitherto have been saved by the scriptures, It is easy, by certain methods of interpretation, to refine and criticise any obook to a sense most foreign to the mind of the author.
* * * * * : *, *, * : * :, its 3 . . . . . . . . . .” - . . , ) to .
a or $ 24. If God be truly unwilling that there should be any to moral evil in the world, why does not he cause less moral evil - to exist than really does?" If it be answered, as is usual to “stich kind of objections, that though God is unwilling there should be moral evil, yet he will not infringe on man's liber. ty, or destroy his moral agency to prevent it; then I asky if this be all, why does God cause so much less to exist at some certain times; on the contrary, causes virtue “gloridusly to prevail? Other times are spoken of and promised, wherein it shall prevail yet vastly niore. And this is spoken of as of God’s effecting, and is abundantly so spoken of and protaised, as what God would do, and none ..o. &c. owe to * The Arminian principles, ...t. efficacious, determining grace of God, as the cause of men's virtue and piety, are wholly inconsistent with the promises and prophecies of the future flourishing of religion and virtue in the world, and never can be made consistent therewith. This flourishing of religion is spoken of as what God will effect; and is made the matter of his abundant promise; is spoken of as his glorious work, the work of his almighty power; what he will effect, and none shall hinder; what he will effect against all opposition, removing and overcoming the wickedness o men, &c. o “...o is " ... . . . . . . . o. i. ee of . , I toos, . . . " . . . .” - “... ' ' ' ' ' ' ". one of 1. $25. Dr. Stebbing says, page 104. “So much grace as is necessary to lead us to that obedience which is indispensably required in order to salvation, God will give to every one, who humbly and devoutly prays to him for it; for this is the condition, and the only condition prescribed by our Saviour, Luke ii. 9....13. “And I say unto you, ask, and it shall be given you ; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth ; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened. If then, ye, being evil, know how to give ood gifts unto your children ; how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him ...where the promise of the Spirit is made.” Here humility and devotion are mentioned as the condition of that obedi'ence which is indispensably required in order to salvation. By that obedience which is required in order to salvation must be meant, cither, 1. That sort of virtue and obedience that is requisite, or, 2. Perseverance in it. If he means that sort of virtue which is requisite in order to salva. tion; then I would ask, what sort of humility and devotion is that, to which God has promised the grace, which is necessary to their obtaining that virtue which is the condition of sal: vation? Must it not be real, sincere humility and devotion ? Surely if God has promised so great a gift to any humility and devotion, it must be to that which is sincere and upright, Because that which is not sincere, is nothing; it is hypocritical; a mere shew of that which is really wanting. ...And it would be very unreasonable to suppose that God promises such infinite rewards to hypocrisy, which he has often declared to be abominable to him, and which only provokes whim the more. “But if it be true, sincere, upright humility and devotion, it is, unreasonable to suppose that God makes this the condition of that grace which is necessary to his obtaining that kind of virtue which is requisite to salvation. Because he, who has this humility and devotion, has that kind of virtue already. The Scripture every where speaks of uprightness and sincerity of heart, as that virtue that is saying. He that sincerely asks for grace to obey, has that sincerity and uprightness of heart that is exercised in sincere obedience; for he that sincerely asks this, is sincerely willing to obey, or sincerely desirous of obeying. Or, 2. If the Doctor, by that obedience that is indispensably required in order to salvation, means perseverance in sincere virtue, and this be promised to devoutly and sincerely asking it; then hereby must be meant, either devoutly and sincerely asking it once, or final perseverance in this sincere asking, or a certain limited continuance in that asking. If a final perseverance in asking be the condition of grace to lead us to persevere, saving virtue is, as said before, the condition of itself. For persevering sincerity is the condition of obtaining persevering sinocerity. If it be only once asking, or asking a limited number of times, or a limited continuance in asking, this is contrary to the Arminian doctrine about perseverance. For it supposes a person in this life, on a past condition, to be already, before the end of the day of his probation, so confirmed in obedience that it is impossible for him to fall away. . . . . . ."
$ 26. One danger of these Arminian notions is, that they, strongly tend to prevent conviction of sin.
§ 27. The vast pretences of Arminians to an accurate and clear view of the scope and design of the sacred penmen, and a critical knowledge of the original, will prove forever vain and insufficient to help them against such clear cvidence as the scripture exhibits concerning efficacious grace. I desire it may be shewn, if it can be, that ever any terms, that are fuller and stronger, are used more frequently, or in greater variety, to signify God's being the author, efficient and bestower of any kind of benefit, than as to the bestowment of true virtue or goodness of heart; whether concerning the deliverance out of Egypt, or the manna that was rained down from heaven, or the bestowment of the blessings of Canaan, or saving Noah and his family in the ark; or the raising any from the dead, or Christ's giving health to the sick, or sight to the blind, or bread to the hungry in the wilderness, or any thing else whatsoever; or the giving being to mankind in their creation ; the giving reason to them, with their other natural faculties; the giving them life and breath ; the giving them the beautiful form of their bodies; the giving them life at the general resurrection; the giving them their glory and happiness in heaven ; the giving prophets, and the word of God by the prophets and others; the giving the means of grace and salvation ; the giving Christ, and providing means of salvation in him. Yea, I know of no one thing in scripture wherein such significant, strong expressions are used, in so great variety, or one half so often, as the bestowment of this benefit of true goodness and piety of heart. But after all, we must be faced down in it with vast confidence, that the scriptures do not imply any more than only exhibiting means of instruction, leaving the determining and proper causing of the effect wholly with man, as the only proper, efficient and determining cause ; and that the current of scripture is all against us; and that it is because we do not understand language, and are bigots and fools for imagining any such thing as that the scriptures say any thing of that nature, and be
... to to so * * Jo — ”o so." ". . . . . . . do not lay the scripture before them, nor mind the scope of scripture, hor consider, the connexion, &c. &c. Perhaps it will be said, at every one of those scriptures, which are broug t to prove efficacious grace, may have another interpretation, found out by careful and critical examination. But, alo P Is that the way of the Most High's instructing mankind, to use such a multitude of expressions, in different langoggs, and various different age. all which, in their natural and mostgommon acceptation in all languages, nationsandages, must undoubtedly be understood in a particular sense; yea, thew iple thread and current of all that God says, according to the use of speech among mankind, tends to lead to such an understanding, and so unavoidably leads his people in all ages into such an understanding; but yet, that he means no such thin 3 int. inding only that the true meaning should not be o root outing mem: "şäe is , o, . 12: o, ... on *** - of o :: * * * *:: **, *.if f : ... to oc . . . . . ; so . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $35, instead of persons being the determining and eff. tient causes of their own virtue and piety, after all the moral, means God uses with man, let us suppose some third person between God and the subject of this gift of virtue, to be in the very same manner the sovereignly determining cause and efficient of virtue ; that he had power to bestow it on us, or cause us to be the subjects of it, just in the same manner as the Arminians suppose we ourselves have power to be the causes of our being the subjects. of virtue; and that it de