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race, "I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy." He sends his Spirit to renew the hearts of some, and to form them" vessels of mercy prepared unto glory;" and he leaves others to their own choice, who continue to reject the salvation offered, and after their hardness, and impenitent heart, treasure up unto themselves wrath, against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God. Those, on whom God thus has mercy, are the elect. They are "chosen unto salvation, through sanetification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth." But, the election is made, not from among men, viewed merely as transgressors of the law, and under condemnation; but, from among men, viewed as having rejected salvation, when graciously offered. Hence, it is not an election of some, that Christ might die for them in particular, while, in making atonement, others are passed by; but, it is an election of some, from among all, for whom atonement has been made, and who have refused to obey the calls of the gospel, "unto obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ."
But, here, some may inquire, What, then, becomes of eternal election? The answer is easy. "Known unto God are all his works, from the beginning of the world." The election of some unto salvation, therefore, was, "from the beginning." Those, whom God blesses" with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places," or things, "in Christ," he so blesses, "according as he hath chosen” them “in him, before the foundation of the world, that" they "should be holy, and without blame before him in love." But, though they were "chosen before the foundation of the world," the choice was made in view of such circumstances as God foresaw would actually exist. Those, who would have it that some were chosen, not only to salvation, but
that atonement might be made particularly for them, must admit, that, in making the election, God contemplated men as fallen, and under condemnation. What is now contended for is, that he contemplated them, not merely as fallen, and under condemnation; but, as fallen creatures, to whom salvation has been offered, and by whom it has been rejected.
These different views of the subject assign to election different places, in the order of divine purposes. It is true, the purposes of God, being all eternal, are necessarily co-existent. In the order of time, no one purpose could have existence, in his all-comprehensive mind, prior to another. In the order of nature, however, one divine purpose may be considered as preceding another. The purpose to give existence to men, for example, must have been prior, in the order of nature, to the purpose of giving Christ to redeem and save men. According to those, who maintain that some were elected, that Christ might die for them, in particular, the order of nature, in the divine purposes effecting the salvation of men, must be as follows:God determined to create men; foreseeing that they would fall into sin, he determined to give his Son to die for some of them only; and then made his election of the individuals, to whom this favour should be granted. But, as the subject has now been contemplated, the order is this: God determined to create men; foreseeing that they would fall into sin, he determined to give his Son to be a propitiation for the sins of the whole world, and that, through him, salvation should be freely offered, only on condition of repentance and faith in Christ; and, foreseeing that the gracious offer would be, universally, ungratefully rejected, he said, "I will have mercy, on whom I will have mercy," and, accordingly, chose some "unto saf
vation through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth."
The order, first stated, not only leaves no room for any manifestation of grace, in the offer of salvation, to the non-elect; but it gives opposers opportunity to urge against the doctrine of election, arguments drawn from such passages of scripture, as speak of the atonement of Christ as made for the sins of all, and from those, also, in which the invitations of the gospel are addressed to all, with very great effect, if not unanswerably. Besides, it does not well harmonize with the order of events.
Against the order last stated, no such objections can lie. It takes out of the hands of opposers all arguguments drawn from the universality of the atonement, and the general invitations of the gospel, and leaves them, in producing these arguments, to fight, "as one that beateth the air." For, the universality of the atonement, and the general invitations of the gospel notwithstanding, sinners reject the offer of salvation, and, from among those who reject, God has chosen some to salvation; and his purpose, according to election, must stand. It perfectly harmonizes, also, with the order of events. Man was created before he fell; he fell, before salvation was offered, through Christ; salvation was offered, before rejected; and it was rejected, before the Spirit was sent to communicate❝all spiritual blessings," to some, "according as they were chosen in Christ, before the' foundation of the world, that they should be holy." According to this view of the subject, too, there is the same grace manifested to the non-elect, as to the elect, in the gift of a Saviour, in the atonement, which he has made, by his obedience, and sufferings, and death, and in the offer of salvation. But, when all ungratefully re
fuse the salvation offered, God has "mercy on whom he will have mercy;" and it is true, that, in their election to salvation; in the renovation of their hearts; in being enabled to persevere in holiness, and in being brought home to glory, the elect do receive, from the fulness there is in Christ, and "grace upon grace,” in which the non-elect do not share.
From the CHRISTIAN OBSERVER's Review of the Bishop of Lincoln's Charge, Vol. II. p. 544, considered by many respectable persons the most able periodical work ever published.
THE doctrine of universal or general redemption is unquestionably contained in the sacred scriptures, and is taught in the articles, homilies, and liturgy of our church (church of England.) The Irish articles of religion compiled in the reign of James I. are most explicitly Calvinistic, having the Lambeth articles incorporated into them; now it is well known that they were digested and reduced into form principally by the labours of the learned Usher; yet this eminent prelate maintained, most unequivocally, the doctrine of general redemption. The English divines who attended the Synod of Dort, and assented to the tenets of predestination, and the divine decrees, as taught by Calvin, nevertheless contended for the doctrine in
question. And not to multiply authorities on so plain a subject, many of the most learned among the Puritans, who agreed with Calvin in matters of discipline, as well as in the tenets of predestination, were, nevertheless, strenuous advocates for the doctrine of general redemption. Upon this point, we believe his lordship will meet with few opponents among those whom he may call Calvinistic clergymen ; few among the more learned and respectable, who will deny that "Christ made a full satisfaction and complete atonement for the sins of the whole world."
Nay, Calvin himself, in commenting on Rom. v. 18. admits that Christ suffered for the sins of the whole world, and is offered indiscriminately to all men by the goodness of God. And w believe that among our English divines of the present day, who incline to the views of that reformer, there are few who do not adopt the language of our church upon this point. In a sermon now before us, written by the Rev. Thomas Scott, late chaplain of the Lock Hospital, in which he endeavours to prove, that the doctrines of election and final perseverance are scriptural, and that they consist with exhortatory and practical preaching, and conduce to holiness of life, we find the following passage: "But what is the general purport of this commission (viz. Christ's?) Let us hear the word of God: This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners.'
God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life, for God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved.' His blood is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but for the sins of the whole world." He then proceeds to ob