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vant of God, and a faithful minis- ample to all, of Christian conter of Jesus Christ, he devoted duct ; and his death was a proof all these talents, natural and ac- of the efficacy of the salvation for quired, all his time, and all his which he hoped, in the full posstrength, to him from whom he session of which he now rejoices received them. His life was a in the presence of the Lord. continued act of labour to him Reader, whatever be thy talself, but of service to the church, ents, thy condition, thy occupaof exertion for the glory of God tion, or thy enjoyments; if thou and the honour of the Saviour, wouldst die like Calvin, animaand of benevolence and zeal for ted with the hope of glory, thou the salvation of men. Like must build on the same foundaPaul, he counted not his life tion, and, like him, transfuse the dear, that he might finish his precepts of the gospel into thy course with joy, and the minis- temper and conduct. Be theretry which he received of the fore a follower of them, who, Lord Jesus to testify the gospel though faith and patience in heof the grace of God. Now herit the promises. rests from his labours, and his works do follow him. His wri
N. B. In the preceding narrative, tings are a treasure of theologi- mentioned, Beza's life of Calvin, pre
where particular authorities are not cal discussion ; his life was an fixed to his works, furnishes the state. illustration of the doctrines ment of facts. which he preached, and an ex
THE ACCOUNTABILITY OF MEN FOR THEIR FAITH.
By those, who acknowledge vocated, from which it is to be the gospel to be a divine revela- feared, that many practise both tion, it will be adınitted, that on themselves and others danthis revelation contains great gerous and fatal deceptions. . and interesting truths respect. How often is it said to be very ing a dispensation of grace to immaterial what a man believes mankind in their fallen state ; concerning one doctrine or anthe provision of a Saviour, and other; and a liberality of sentithe appointment of a method for ment towards those, who differ their obtaining salvation. Here from us in doctrinal matters is, then a question arises, Are men by some, considered as one of at liberiy to believe or disbelieve the fairest traits in a Christian these truths? To receive or re character. It will readily be ject them? This might be conceded, that one man has no thought a singular question, right to prescribe to another; were tnure not evident occasion that, as it regards his fellow. given for it by sentiments, which creatures, every man has a right we often hear expressed and ad to think and judge for himself;
and that liberality and charity to is most unbecoming and crimia certain extent are to be exer- nal? On supposition, that men cised toward those, whose senti are at liberty to disbelieve a part ments differ from
of the truths contained in divine But, when the question is asked, revelation, it may be asked, what Are men at liberty to believe or part ? Are they not all parts of disbelieve the truths contained one great system, and sanctioned in divine revelation ; the inquiry by the same authority? Is it not is, have they such liberty from then the duty of men, are they the Author of this revelation ? not under solemn obligations to When God has made known cer- attend to them, and to receive tain truths respecting the person them as a whole; indiscriminatewhom he has appointed to be the ly, as thus sanctioned ? It must Saviour of mankind, the method indeed be acknowledged, that all by which salvation was procured, men are not equally capable of and the way in which sinners understanding and receiving evemay obtain salvation ; has he at ry revealed truth; but according the same time given men liberty, to their capacity must be their to believe, or not to believe these obligation. With regard to the truths ? Surely it will not be great, essential, and most impretended, ibat men are at liber, portant truths of revelation ; ty to disbelieve the whole of those truths, on a cordial belief those truths. This would en of which our salvation depends; tirely frustrate the design of re- with such plainness and perspivelation, which can be no other, cuity are these truths exhibited than that the truths which God and declared, that, is men do not has made known to men, be re- receive them, it cannot be owing ceived and regarded according to to wait of capacity ; it must be their meaning and intention ; from some other cause; from a and if men are at liberty to dis- temfer of heart, which will renbelieve the whole of the truths der them objects of just concontained in divine revelation, demnation. they are not to be blamed for But let us consider the acusing this liberiy; they may do countability of men for their it with impunity.
faitii, with reference to a particuIt may then be presumed, that lar object : I mean our blessed no one, who is a believer in die Saviour Jesus Christ. Are men vine revelation, will assert a right at liberty here to believe, or disto disbelieve the whole of its believe just as they find themtruths. Are any then at liberty selves disposed; just as their preto disbelieve a part of those dominant inclinations may lead truths ? to make a selection and them ? Are they under no oblito determine, each one íor him- gation as to their receiving or self, such and such truths I ad- rejecting the report of the gosmit, others I reject » Does not pel concerning him ? And will this take away and destroy all they be equally benefitted at last, due reverence for divine revela- whether they do in reality receive tion? Is it not assuming a free. or reject this report? The testidom with the trutlis of God, which mony of the gospel, concerning Vol. III, No. 10. il uh
Jesus Christ is certainly but one. to this momentous concern, is It is not various, as different by consulting the word of God, men, to serve their own favourite by attending to the descriptions schemes and purposes, have rep, given of Jesus Christ, and the resented it. It is but one with representations made concerning respect to his person, to his un. him in the sacred scriptures. dertaking, as the Redeemer of He is there called IMMANUEL, mankind; and as to what he God with us. He is declared suffered, and accomplished in to be the Mediator between God that capacity. If this report and man.
6. There is one God, then is made in a manner suf- and one Mediator between God ficiently clear and intelligible, and man, the man Christ Jesus.” (and who will say it is not ?) are Under these names and characnot men consequently under in- ters, he is represented, as asdispensable obligations to receive suming our nature, and subjectit? To receive it, as by the di- ing himself to the divine law in vine word, in its natural, obvious our behalf, to fulfil its requiremeaning, it is addressed to them. •ments, and as suffering its penal.
Farther, let it be considered, ties for the purpose of our rethat believing in Jesus Christ is demption. He was made of a enjoined upon men by express woman, made under the law, to command. 66 This is his com redeem them, that were under mandment,” says the apostle the law. “ He, who was in the John, “ that ye believe on the form of God, and thought it not name of his Son, Jesus Christ." robbery to be equal with God, This, from numerous passages, took upon him the form of a serand from the whole currentof the vant, and was made in the like. sacred writings, appears to be the ness of men ; and being found in great requisition of the gospel. fashion, as a man, he humbled Men, therefore, who are made ac- himself, and became obedient quainted with the gospel, most unto death, even the death of the assuredly are accountable for cross.” In his mediatorial ca. their believing, or not believing pacity "he fulfilled all righteouson the name of Jesus Christ. ness, and suffered for sin, the And, as the fullest evidence on just for the unjust, that he might this point, let it be observed, this bring us to God. He bore our requisition has annexed to it the sins in his own body on the most solemn sanctions. “ He, tree. He was made sin for us," that believeth on the Son of God, a sacrifice of atonement for sin, hath everlasting life ; and he, " that we might be made the that believeth not the Son, shall righteousness of God in him. not see life ; but the wrath of He made peace by the blood of God abideth on him."
his cross.” So that“ in him we Should not then every one be have redemption through his solicitous to know, what this be- blood, the forgiveness of sins :" lieving is ? What is its true and“ in him God is reconciling meaning and import? The best the world unto himself, not imand only sure way of obtaining puting their trespasses unto the proper information, relative them ;" and sinners are “justi
fied freely by the grace of God, vealed truths of his word ; for through the redemption, that is believing or not believing on the in Christ.”
name of his Son Jesus Christ. If with simplicity of mind, and Under this impression, let hin a real desire to know and un read and study the divine word ; derstand the truth, men would and let his sincere endeavours to attend to these descriptions of know the truth be accompanied Jesus Christ, and the plain rep- with humble supplications for the resentations of the word of God teaching and the enlightening concerning him ; they might, it influences of the Holy Spirit. should seem, fairly satisfy them- None teacheth like him. Let' selves as to what is meant by be- him especially, and above all lieving on his name. That it things, be concerned to know, can intend no other, than believ- what is implied in believing in ing him to be the Son of God in Jesus Christ
, and that there may a sense, in which no creature is, be in his heart a full compliance or can be ; as partaking of the with this requirement. same divine nature with the
CHRISTIANUS. Father ; and in the genuine meaning of the term, as the Saviour of sinners, through whose mediation, humiliation, obedi.
ON THE GENERAL ASSOCIATION. ence, sufferings, and death in his human nature, full atonement When any proposal is made was made for sin ; pardon and for public consideration, it evicomplete salvation were procur- dently concerns those, to whom ed; and also that believing in Je- the proposal is made, to undersus Christ, in its full import, stand the measures contemplatmust intend a receiving, regard- ed, and the probable result. ing, and trusting in him in the It is well known, that many characters he sustains, as he is in respectable ministers of the gosthose characters an object worthy pel, in Massachusetts, have, for of esteem, affection, and confi. some time, been earnestly engag. dence. " As many as received ed to form a General Associahim, to them gave he power to tion ; the object of which is to become the sons of God; even produce union of sentiment and to them, that believe on his of procedure. “In many inname.” If this be the true im- stances,” it is said,“ those Chrisport of believing in Jesus Christ; tian teachers, who are united in if this be that believing on him, the love of divine truth, and which involves a compliance fervently engaged in the cause with the requisitions of the gos- of the Redeemer, are estranged pel; this then is the faith for from each other in affection, and which men are accountable, and filled with mutual prejudices." by which their destiny in anoth Though there is supposed to er world is to be determined. exist a general sameness of be
Let every one inquire for him. lief, and a general union as to the self; and under the impression great object of pursuit, there are of his accountability to God for points of less moment, in theolobelieving or not believing the re gy, in which they differ.
It cannot be denied, that this ly inconsistent with the design, is the true state of things, nor wbich is to produce a coalition can any thing be more desirable, among such as retain evangelical than that greater union should principles. As all, wlio profess exist among those, who highly their belief in revealed religion, value the peculiar doctrines of consider their own sentiments as Christianity ; and that in conse evangelical, by what standard quence of this union, they should shall the discrimination be made? be able more effectually 10 dis- This question admits a ready countenance that lax theology,
They, who laid the which leaves nothing te ween
foundation of the proposed union, the gospel and ethnic niorality, have voted, “that the doctrines but a line extremely indistinct of Christianity, as they are genand ill defined.
erally expressed in the As. An object my be bighly val- sembly's Shorter Catechism, be uable, but the means be ill adapt- admitted as articles of faith, and ed to its accomplishment. That as the basis of union.” It is not this is the case in the present in- supposed, that all, who subscribe stance, the writer would not be to this Catechism, thiok alike on too positive ; he only wishes all subjects of theology. Perfect fairly to propose such objections union of sentiment is not the as occur to his mind.
sine qua non of this coalition. Let it be inquired, whom the As this is not required in order contemplated Association is to to subscription, so neither is it embrace.
required of those, who have subIs it to be confined to men, scribed. It must then be clearwho, on subjects of divinity, per- ly understood, that though we fecily coincide in judgment? No, subscribe to the same catechism, it is to comprehend gospel min we are not bound to explain this isters, who do not perfectly agree catechism in the same manner, in sentiment. It is to consist of nor to understand it in the same those, who, though they may be
I he doctrines of Chris. earnest to defend their own pecu- tianity, as generally expressed in liar sentiments by fair reasoning, the catechism, are to be the bado yet prefer the whole of Chris- sis of union. tianity before a part, and are care What may be comprehended ful not to binder the common under this term, generally, it will cause :-peace makers, who re be difficulty to define ; and while gret and abhor that conceit of this remains undetermined, the unquiet spirits, that the interest language of subscription cannot of religion depends wholly on be understood, i. e. it cannot be those opinions, which distinguish fully understood, wbat a man's 'then from others.
sentiments are, from the circumPerhaps there is not a minister stance of his subscribing to the in this state, who would not pro. catechisin. fcss' to be charmed with this If those gentlemen who are language. But is the General most engaged to promote the Association to comprehend all General Association could themthe Massachusetts clergy? By selves subscribe to the literal and
That would be utter- obvious meaning of the cate