Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

He pro

a

Cal. If you have not, I have. Imagine that some lounger of fifteen has taken up a resolution to be a brave fellow. cures a large box, and fills it with the Indian plant. Repeatedly he reels to and fro, like a drunken man; but finally he loves the bane of his life. According to your plan he is making a new heart. By habit he has acquired a taste for that, which, in its own nature, is poisonous to the constitution! O shame, shame on such divinity! Brethren, let me warn you of the tendency of your doctrines. You open wide the door to infidelity, and every enemy of Christianity.

Arm. I will not suppose, that you are so unfriendly as to intend that sarcasm for me, or for any follower of Arminius.

[blocks in formation]

Arm. Do not the strict Calvinists make the new heart consist in the habit of soul, which is formed by exercise ?

Cal. Those who lay claim to strict Calvinism, in opposition to the standard works of Calvinismi, must answer for themselves.

Hop. I am ready to answer for them, that they do not use the word habit to denote the new heart. They merely say, that no one can form an idea of the heart, in distinction from moral exercises. The man who habitually loves what is morally good has indeed what some call the habit of holiness; for a continued mode of action may be called a habit.

a

Arm. You grant, what I affirm, that to continue the train of good exercises forms a virtuous habit. This HABIT I call the new heart; and those EXERCISES which form the habit, you call the new heart.

Cal. Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the Leopard his spots ?

Here the servant entered with an invitation to supper. By mutual consent the discussion ceased; but it was proposed that each one, at some more convenient season, should resume the vindication of his peculiar doctrines.

CHAPTER XI.

OF THE CHRISTIAN GRACES.*

AND

OTHERS.

a

CALVIN, 66 Now we shall have a per- “ Justifying faith is a saving fect definition of faith, if sve zrace, wrought in the heart of say, that it is a steadfast and as, a sinner by the Spirit and word sured knowledge of God's kind- of God, whereby he, being conness towards us, which being vinced of his sin and misery, grounded upon the truth of the and of the disability in himself free promise in Christ, is both, and all other creatures to rerevealed to our minds, and seal- cover him out of his lost coned in our hearts by the Holy dition, not only assenteth to the Ghost."

truth of the promise of the Institution, B. 3. ch. 2. sec. 3. gospel, but receiveth and rest.

“ The object of faith is not eth upon Christ and his rightbarely God, as the schoolmen eousness, therein held forth, coldly affirm, but God display. for pardon of sin, and for the ing himself in Christ."

accepting and accounting of B. 3. ch. 2. sec. 1.

his

person righteous in the « Faith beholdeth Christ in sight of God for salvation.” no other glass than the gospei.”

Larger Cat. Q. 72. $6 There is a general relation of This faith is the gift of God. faith to the word, and faith can Larger Cat. Q. 71. Con. C. no more be separated from the Scot. Con. P. C. U. S. and Say. word, than the sun-beams from Plat. ch. 11. sec. !. the sun from which they pro

Faith is given only to the ceed. Therefore in Isaiah elect. The manner of giving (lv. 3.) God crieth out; "hear is, by the working of the Holy

not assent.

* The primary Christian Graces, according to all theological writers, are FAITH, REPENTANCE, HOPE, and love. To this order, however all do

Some invert it, either wholly or in part; and others virtually reduce them all to one. These Christian graces are all comprehended under the general phrase, “evangelical obedience ;" because the gospel re. quires them; and the person who believes, repents, has good hope through grace, and loves God and his neighbour, obeys the gospel,

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

AND

a

HOPKINS,

OTHERS. 66 In order to believe on 66 Disinterested affection is Christ, men must be born the tree, which supports repentagain.”

ance and faith and all the other Dr. Hopkins' statement of his branches of Christianity.” own creed, in the Memoirs of Mass. Miss. Magazine, Vol. his life, published by Dr. West, 3. p. 341. p. 205.*

“ I. Saving faith is represented in many passages of scripture as consisting in a belief and assurance of the truth

One of the first and most imand reality of those things which portant duties included in this are revealed and asserted by disinterested love, is uncondiGod in the divine oracles. Or tional submission to God, witha conviction and an assured out any view to his mercy. knowledge, that the gospel is Emmons, p. 29. Hopkins' true; that Jesus Christ is the Syst. Part 2. ch. 4. and HopSon of God, and the Saviour of kins' Sermons, p. 307 and 311. the world ; and they who have this belief, assurance or knowledge, are considered and declared to be in a state of salvation.”

Syst. Vol. 2. p. 2.

* Dr. Hopkins has clearly taught that men must first be born again, and then believe, while Calvin taught, that the communication of the saving grace of faith, was itself the beginning of spiritual life. In the 4th chapter, of the 2nd Part of the System, we find five general observations concerning faith, and then a definition, which is afterwards supported by three general heads, some miscellaneous remarks, and an “improvement.” That the reader may form some idea of the doctrine concerning faith, he is presented with most of the observations, which are connected, (by arithmetical concatenation) in their systematical order.

AND

OTHERS.

CALVIN, me, and your soul shall live.' Spirit, and the manner of workAnd that the same is the foun- ing is ordinarily, through the tain of faith, John sheweth in ministry of the word, persuathese words : (John X. 13.) ding and enabling the sinner

these things are written that to embrace the offered Saviour., ye may believe.' And the pro- Con. C. Scot. Say Plat. Con. phet meaning to exhort the peo- P. C. U. S. ch. 14. sec. | Lar-, ple to believe, saith, (Ps. xcv.8.) ger Cat. Q. 67. and Shorter • this day if ye shall hear his Cat. Q.31. voice.' &c. And to hear is commonly taken for to believe.” 66 Therefore take away the

Saving faith is of such a naword and then there shall re- ture, that it is capable of inmain no faith. We do not here crease and diminution, of being dispute whether the ministry of strengthened and weakened, man be necessary to sow the and of growing up to a full as, word of God that faith

may

be surance. conceived thereby, which ques

Say. Plat. Con. C. Scot. and tion we will elsewhere treat Con. P. C. U. S. ch. 14. Sec. 1. of ; * but we say that the word and 3. and Larger Cat. Q. 80.

* * It was the office of the second Elias, (as Malachi witnesseth, iv. 6.) to enlighten the minds and to turn the hearts of fathers to the children, and unbelievers to the wisdom of the righteous. Christ pronounceth that he sendeth apostles, that they should bring forth fruit of their labour. John xv. 16. But what that fruit is Peter shortly defineth, saying that we are regenerated with incorruptible seed 1 Pet. i. 23. And therefore Paul glo. rieth that he by the gospel begat the Corinthians, and that they were the seal of his apostleship. 1 Cor. iv. 15. Yea, that he was not a literal minister. 1 Cor. ix. 2. such as did only beat the ears with the sound of voice, but that there was given him an effectualness of spirit, that his doctrine should not be unprofitable. 2 Cor. ii. 6. In which meaning also in another place he saith, that his gospel was not in word only, but in power. 1 Cor. ii. 4. He affirmeth also that the Galatians, by hearing received the spirit of faith. Gal. iii. 2. Finally, in many places he maketh himself not only a worker together with God, but also assigneth himself the office of giving salvation. 1 Cor. iii. 9. Truly he never brought forth all these things to this intent, to give unto himself any thing, were it never so little, separately from God; as in another place he briefly declareth, saying, our labour was not unprofitable in the Lord, according to his power, mightily working in me.

« AnteriorContinuar »