Page images
[ocr errors]

him the iniquity of us all. He was the fulness of our righteousness ; for it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one, Rom. ii 10.

“But now the righteousness of God without the law is manis fested, being witnessed by the law, and the prophets; even the righteousness of God by faith of Jesus Christ unto all, and upon all them that believe ; for there is no difference.” Romans iii. 21, 22. “ We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags.” Isaiah lxiv. 6. Therefore, " in the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified.” Isaiah xlv. 25. " And this is his name whereby he shall be called, the Lord our righteousness." Jeremiah xxiii. 6.

Thus, when we determine to know nothing but Christ, and himi crucified, we know every thing which the scriptures can teach us. For in the scriptures we find “the fulness of him that filleth alf in all.” Ephesians i. 23. “But Christ is all, and in all.” Colossians iii. 11.

Is it not plain that without our divine Master we can do nothing ? How much are those to be pitied, who are ever labouring to prove from the scripture, what the scripture every where reprobates ; and how supremely blessed are those, who know that joyful sound, which, in the scriptures, is gone out into the whole earth. Happy, indeed, are those individuals who are made wise unto salvation. They go on from strength to strength, in the faithful persuasion, that their lives are hid with Christ in God, and although in this world they have tribulation, they know that in Jesus they shall have peace. It is true that in this world they may, as their divine Master was, be looked upon as the offscouring of all things, yet they are well persuaded, when he who is their life shall appear, they also shall appear with him in glory; for while they are sensible that in them, that is, in their flesh, dwells no good thing, they are fully satisfied that in Christ Jesus they have all spiritual blessings, and although living in this world, they feel that they are of the earth, earthy, though they experience a war in their members warring against the law of their minds; though they know by woful experience, that when they would do good, evil is present with them, so that the good they would do, they do not, and the evil they would not do, that they do. Yet in the midst of all these discouraging circumstances, they have an answer of a good conscience towards God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, in whom they know, and are assured, they are complete. For living by faith, they live Godly in Christ Jesus, who is the only never-failing object of their faith, as believers, and the author and finisher of their faith, as their complete Saviour.

Those who are enabled thus to think are Christians. They are of the true circumcision who worship God in the spirit, rejoicing in Christ Jesus, and having no confidence in the flesh; and such will have peace and joy in believing.

I think you once asked me if the attainment of such a state might not be termed regeneration ? But this cannot be, for our nature created anew in Christ Jesus was the true regeneration ; that is, obviously, the generation generated over again. But do our sentiments exclude the work of the spirit? God forbid. Nay, they establish the work of the spirit, because no man can know the things of God, but by the spirit of God. you ere I writing to an individual, unacquainted with the work csethe Spirit, that divine Comforter, who, taking of the things of Jesus, makes them manifest to the soul, giving peace and joy in believing, I would spend some time in answering objections, but I know you have learned of the Father, and have received from the Holy One, that sacred unction, that will teach you all those things which are needful for you to know. That God, who hath begun a good work in your heart, will carry it on to perfection.

May you be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Go on, my friend, and under the banners of the Captain of our salvation, fight the good fight of faith.

Like a true disciple of Christ Jesus take up your cross, and follow him, through evil, and through good report, for we shall most assuredly see the end of our faith, the salvation of our souls. Yet a little while, and we shall hear a voice saying unto us, Come up hither. 'I trust, that God, unsealing your lips, will give you to shew forth his most worthy praise. Wherever two or three are gathered together in the name of our Emmanuel, he will be with them.

Give my kindest regards to all who love our Saviour; I hope to see you in the course of the approaching summer; and, in the mean time, I pray you let me hear from you.

I am ever your affectionate friend, and faithful servant, VOL. II. 43


To a Writer.


Some time since being on a visit to B, and having some business to transact with your printer, he put into my hands a narrative of the proceedings of the Baptist church against you, and in looking over some of your concluding remarks thereon, I was astonished to perceive you had fallen into the popular error, respecting the attempts made by me to illustrate the doctrinsthe great and finished salvation. But as you appear to be a ni of sense and principle, and of course, capable of feeling pain from a misrepresentation of your own sentiments, I am persuaded you will hold yourself obliged to me for setting you right in the pare ticular to which you advert in the twenty-eighth page of your pamphlet. Thus you word a paragraph respecting me: “I confess these notions appear like the notion of Mr. Murray, respect, ing the punishment of sin, separate from the agent who commits it."

Give me leave to assure you, Sir, it never entered into my head or heart, that sin could be punished in an abstract point of view, nor do I know, that an idea so absurd, so justly rejected by common sense, as irrational and unscriptural, was ever propagated by any individual professing the Christian, or any other religion.

Sir, I am so far from thinking that sin could be punished with, out an agent, that without an agent, I view sin as nothing at all. Condemnation is not punishment, at least, it is not the punishment of the thing condemned, but of the person to whom that thing appertained. On grace's door (says the celebrated Mr. Erskine) this motto's gray’d, Let sin be damn'd, the sinner sav'd.

Yet Mr. Erskine never supposed sin, separate from the sinner, susceptible of suffering. A performance may be damned by the public voice, but yet it is not the performance, but its author who is thus reduced to a state of suffering. Articles of property are sometimes damned or condemned as useless, but it is not the property, but the proprietor, who is in such cases the sufferer.

I confess I am rather surprised, that a gentleman in your cir cumstances, yourself smarting under the lash of ignorance and prejudice, should step forward to calumniate a character, with which you have no acquaintance, and of whose person you have no knowl. edge.

Sir, this was not doing as you would be done by, and I am persuaded when you reflect upon the impropriety of publishing a person's name 'at full length, united to a falsehood, you will, if you are possessed of that spirit which your remarks would induce us to believe, endeavour to spread a refutation of this mistake as wide as the pamphlet in which it is contained ; and you will thus, as far as you are able, wipe off a false and ridiculous idea, which misrepre. sentation has annexed to the principles of your, &c. &c.


To a melancholy Christian.

I AM happy, my dear brother, that your health, and the health of your family, is at length established, and I have an additional satisfaction, in being told that your pecuniary circumstances are ameliorated. We are indebted to divine goodness for every mercy we enjoy; how great then our ingratitude, that while he is thus following us with kindness and tender mercies, all our days, we should yet proclaim ourselves unhappy.

Just so it was with our first parents, every evidence of divine favour was bestowed upon them; paternal Deity was satisfied with them, and pronounced them very good, and they ought to have been satisfied with themselves, and with the condition in which infinite wisdom and goodness, had placed them. And indeed they would have been contented to live a life of gratitude and praise; they would have been happy, had not they been rendered unhappy by



the arch deciever, who, in language expressive of his character, taught them to aspire to a nearer resemblance of their Maker.

They were created, all that their wise and gracious Creator saw proper to render them, and had the infernal foe of God, and his new formed offspring, appeared in his own character, and informed these dwellers in paradise, that his design was to make them wretched, by teaching them to be dissatisfied with the situation in which they enjoyed so much, they would unquestionably have proved superior to every attack ; but when he came as a friend, assuring them that they should be as Gods, knowing good from evil, who from such a teacher, could suspect injury, from such a speaker, who could calculate upon fraud ? But they were miserably beguiled.

I believe the best service we can render to God, is the service of a grateful heart, and sure we have abundant cause for gratitude. We were created for the pleasure of him who made us, so that the chief end of our formation was, that we may glorify God, and enjoy him forever. Thus, the design of God in creation was beneficent, and who is he, or what the event, which can counteract the designs of Omnipotence ?

As a God of providence, every day's experience beareth witness to the wisdom and goodness of his arrangements ; at no time doth he deal with us according to our deserts; but for his own sake he continueth to do us good, and that not only when his benevolent purposes are apparent, but when we are exercised by severe afflictions; for he who is love and goodness, in the abstract, will not fail to educe from every seeming evil, perfect good, and, assuredly, sooner or later, every child of Adam, every individual of God's offspring, will be constrained to say, “It was good for me that I was afflicted.” But how much are all the blessings of creation and providence exceeded by the superabounding blessings of grace. He gave us in creation, a body, a soul, and a spirit. His providence supports us, but his abundant grace hath bestowed upon us his blessed Son. That is, he hath given us himself, for the word which was made flesh, and dwelt among us, was God, and continues to be the only wise God, and our Saviour. God so loved the world, as to give them this Son, this only wise God, this Saviour, and in him all spiritual blessings, according to the ever blessed gospel, which the faithful and true God preached unto Abraham, when he assured him, that in his seed, all the families of the earth should be blessed. In this seed, God hath given us life, everlasting life. The wages of sin is death,

« PreviousContinue »