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Tbe term reprobation is the opposite of election. As ibe elect are predestinated unto lise, renewed and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, so, on the other hand, the reprobate are predestinated to death, blinded and hardened under the means that are used with them, and finally cut off in their iniquities and consigned to everlasting punishment, as the due reward of their deeds. That Judas was one of this unhappy number, is the point now to be proved. This is plainly suggested in the text. It is here asserted, that he was lost, and that he was the son of perdition; which implies that he was a reprobate. But, to make this fully appear, I would observe,
1. That Judas was appointed to destruction. This appears from its having been foretold that he should conduct as he did and be lost. It is said, in the words following the text, that he was lost, that the scripture might be fulfilled.
This prediction is found in Psalms xl. and cix. “ Mine owa familiar friend, in whom I trusted, who did eat of my bread, hatli lift up his beel against me-When he shall be judged let bim be condemned, and let his prayer become sin. Let his days be few, and let another talie his office.” That this Divine prediction had reference to Judas, is evident from its being quoted and applied to the traitor by Peter, after the resurrection of Christ; when he proposed to the disciples to elect another apostle in his room. This prophecy, like every other, was grounded on the purpose of God. That the character and conduct of Judas were predetermined, appears from the repeated declarations of Christ concerning him. He said, while Judas was in good standing in his visible family, “that one of the twelve should betray him--that one of them, meaning Judas, was a devil-that the Son of man goeth as it was determined." Judas is said, by Peter, to have gone, at death, to his “own place;" which can mean no less, than that he went to the place to which he was destined, and for which he was prepared. Again, it is said in the Acts, that Christ was delivered, (i. e. betrayed,) by “the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God." These passages clearly imply, that there was a Divine decree, respecting the character and fate of Judas-that, as he was not chosen to salvation, so he was appointed to wrath.
2. Judas was actually fitted to destruction, as well as appointed to wrath. The scripture was fulfilled. That which was written, concerning him, came to pass. God raised him
up at the appointed time, made him a rational, free, moral agent, and placed him in a situation to form such a character and to do such deeds as were predetermined in his infinitely wise and good counsel. God brought him upon the stage of life at the precise time when the Saviour was manifested to Israel; in the country where he was born and performed his public ministry ; introduced him to an intimate acquaintance with the Holy Child Jesus; placed him in his visible family and under his immediate instruction; gave him opportunity to hear his gracious words and see his mighty works. But, under all these means and advantages, Judas continued to love the world, and the things that are in the world. Instead of denying himself and taking up the cross, he sought only his own things. While he professed friendship to the glorious Redeemer, to answer his worldly ends, he really hated him without a cause, The very means which softened and purified the hearts of his fellow disciples, and transformed them into the image of Christ, served only to harden and corrupt his heart, and make him more and more a child of the devil. And while the patience of God bare with his hypocrisy and secret iniquity, his heart was fully set in him to do evil. His mind was blinded, his conscience seared, and he listened to the temptations of the adversary, who finally put it into his willing heart most ungratefully and cruelly to betray his Lord, and bring upon his soul the guilt of innocent blood. In all this scene of unbelief, hypocrisy and iniquity, Judas acted freely and voluntarily; treasuring up to himself wrath against the day of wrath. But while he acted freely and voluntarily, he acted under a Divine influence, and was made to fulfil the Divine purpose concerning him. Instend of changing, God hardened his heart; instead of drawing him to Christ hy the renewing influences of his Holy Spirit, he turned his heart to hate the Saviour and to plot liis death. It was, in this respect, with Judas, as with the other blinded and hardened Jews, ar we read in John xii. 39, 40. They could not believe, because He (God) blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, that they should not see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and be converted.” God fulfils his purposes with his own hand.
Hence the apos. tles said, as we read Acts iv., that the Gentiles and Jews, of whom Judas was one, did to Christ what God's “ hand as well as his counsel determined to be done.” God “ worketh all things after the counsel of his own will." " Whom he will he
hardeneth.” It was needful that such a character as that of Judas' should be formed, and that such offences as his should be committed. The Son of man went, as it was determined ; or, as Peter said, Acts iii. 18—“Those things which God be. fore had showed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.” Thus Judas, that child of wrath and son of perdition, was fitted for destruction. It must be added,
3. That as Judas was appointed to destruction and fitted for it, so he was actually destroyed. When he had “ filled up the measure of his iniquities, wrath came upon him to the uttermost."
The words of our text plainly imply, that he was lost. “ Those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition." He died in the voluntary act of self-murder, and “no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” The apostle Peter says, that “ he went to his cies place,” which could be no other than the place to which he was appointed, and for which he was fitted. But the words of Christ put the matter beyond all question, and make it certain that Judas, at death, went to hell, the place of complete and endless destruction. Matt. xxvi. 24. “The Son of man goeth as it is written of him ; but wo unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed ! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.” When Christ spake these words, he must have known that it was the purpose of God that Judas-should be lost; for upon any other supposition, his assertion would pot have been true. If Judas be not lost forever; if his place be not in hell, where their worm dieth not and their fire is not quenched, where their torment will never end; it would be good for bim that he was born. He would be an infinite gainer by existence, if, after ages of ages of punishment, he should at length, be liberated from prison, and be made forever happy. Judas, then, is lost. He is in the place of endless perdition, for which he was fitted, and to which he was originally appointed. Judas was the son of perdition. Judas was a rep robate.
[To be concluded]
From the Vermont Chronicle.
Messrs. EDITORS,One Sabbath in May last, I was in the sity of New York, and enjoyed the privilege of listening to a
discourse delivered by one of the most celebrated preachers in the Presbyterian church. I had for years been hearing of his eminent talents, bis peculiar devotedness to the cause of Christ, and uncommon success in the ministry of reconciliation; and had become strongly prejudiced in his favor. I think I can truly say, there was no preacher on earth whom I more desired to hear. The place of worship was very spacious; it might coutain over two thousand persons, and was filled to overflowing. Ministers from various parts of the country were there; and the occasion was to me, if not to all, one of unusual interest. The appearance of the preacher, the simplicity of his manner, the ease and Auency with which he spoke, the bolduess with which he declared his sentiments and denounced every thing contrary to them, corresponded perfectly with what report had previously given me reason to expect. But the sentiments themselves were not what I had expected to hear from a Presbyterian, or from any preacher denominated orthodox. I therefore listened with the greater attention, and took notes of the discourse, which are now before me. On retiring from the house, a Unitarian friend, a lawyer of that city, who had politely accompacied me, asked with a smile, “Do you call that orthodoxy ?” I supposed at the time, and do still suppose, that the discourse was designed to set forth the fundamental principles of what some call the New Divinity ; and on this account I have been the more inclined to furnish you with some account of it for the Chronicle.
The words of the text were these : “Be ye holy, for I am holy.” In the moruing the preacher dwelt, as I was told, on the latter clause of this passage, and endeavored to show in what manner or sense God is hoiy. In the afternoon, when I heard him, he confined himself to the words, “ Be ye holy ;" and discoursed of the nature and duty of holiness in men. To prepare the way for what he was wishing to establish, he thought it necessary to make some preliminary observations respecting the state in which man was created, or the original character of Adam. God, he said, gave to Adani natural attributes; he made him capable of understanding his duty, of choosing and doing right, but did not make him a holy being; did not give him any moral character ; but left him to form one for himself. Adam chose to love and serve God, and thus made himself holy.
From this state of holiness Adam fell ; but all his posterity come into the world in essentially the same state as he came from the hand of God. They have natural capacities, but no moral character. There is nothing of the nature of holiness or of sin belonging to them. They are as free from all native depravity, from all criminal bias to evil, as our first rogenitor was in his original state. He admitted that all the posterity of Adam, when they begin to choose and act, do go wrong; but for this assigned no cause. After these preliminary remarks, the preacher proposed to show,
1. What holiness is not. It is not, he said, taste, or dispose tion, or any thing constitutional,
II. What holiness is. The amount of his remarks here, were, that holiness is nothing but voluntary obedience to God. The Spirit of God presents reasons to the minds of men why they should become holy; and they do become so only by moral suasion. The Divine Spirit does not by any direct agency or influence create within them any such thing as a holy disposition. Created holiness, was, in the preacher's estimation, absurd and impossible. As Adam was created without any moral character, and made bimself holy; su must his posterity, who come into the world as he came from the hand of God, make themselves holy. Having, as he supposed, established these points, the preacher proceeded to show,
III. It is right for God to require men to be holy; and
IV. It is right for him to send them to hell if they are not holy.
The discourse contained some valuable thoughts. The great object of the preacher appeared to be good. It was, to persuade his hearers to become holy. But still, the fundamental principles which he attempted to establish, did then, and do still, appear to me to be both false and dangerous. It was all an effort to build a valuable edifice on a rotten foundation.
Let us see. Certainly the doctrine that God did not create or make Adam a boly being is false, because it is unscriptural, The scripture affirms, Gen. i. 27, that “God created man in his own image; in the image of God created he him.' This text, the preacher was aware, would be considered against him, but readily dashed it away by saying it referred only to the natural attributes of man, to his understanding and conscience, but had no respect to a boly disposiion or character. This he felt obliged to say, or to give up the new divinity ; for according to that, created holiness is an absurdity. But in support of his interpretation of this passage, the preacher brought no scriptural proof, and gave us no authority but his own. That the passage implies that man was made an intelligent being, there can be no doubt ; but that it teaches more than that, even that man was made an upright and holy being, is evident from such parallel passages as these : Eph. iv. 23, 24. “ Be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and put on the new man, which, after God, is created in righteousness and true holiness." Col.iii. 10. “ Ye have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of him who created him.” The apostle Paul evidently alludes in these passages to the original state of man, and teaches us that to be created after God, or after the image of God, is to be created in righteousness and true holiness. A fair investigation of the scriptures on this subject, inust bring us to say with Solomon, “ Lo tbis only have I found, that God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions."
Again, the doctrine that all the posterity of Adam come in