Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

AND

OTHERS.

HOPKINS, « II. Saving faith, in a num- According to the 11th Serber of places, is represented— mon of Dr. Emmons, love is as consisting in the exercise of the essence of obedience, which the heart, and choice of the will; is first created in the heart, and this being essential to it, and in- comprehends in its own nature cluding the whole."

all the christian graces.

66 If Of this description are the we turn our attention inwardly passages, which speak of re- and examine the operations of ceiving Christ, coming to him, ourown minds, we shall be coneating his flesh and drinking, his vinced that love is something blood, calling upon his name, very different from either perlooking unto him, trusting inception, reason, or conscience. him and seeking him. “ There. These are natural faculties, fore a saving belief of the truth which do their office independof the gospel, supposes and im- ently of the will.* It depends plies right exercises of heart, upon our perception, not upon in tasting and relishing moral our will, whether an object beauty, and embracing it as shall appear either white or good and excellent.”

black. It depends upon our The gospel is an exhibition reason, not upon our will, wheof “the sum of all the moral ther a proposition shall appear beauty and excellence that is either good or evil. But it to be seen by created intelli- depends entirely upon gences, in the whole universe.” choice, whether we shall love He who has a true discerning either a white or a black object, of this beauty, and has a renew. either a true or false proposied heart which loves Christ, the tion, either a good or an evil central sun of all this moral action. Hence we intuitively

a

[ocr errors]

our

1 Thess. üj. 5." Inst. B. 4. ch. 1. sec. 6. “ In the mean time, the Father of lights cannot be forbidden, but as he enlighteneth the bodily eyes with the beams of the sun, so he may enlighten our minds with sacraments, as with a brightness set mean between. Which property the Lord taught was in his outward word, when in the parable he calleth it seed. Mat. xiii. 4. * As we say that from seed corn both springeth, increaseth and groweth up to ripeness; why may we not say that faith taketh from the word of God both beginning, increase, and perfection?"

Institution, B. 4. ch. 14., sec, 10, 11. * See Note C. at the end of this chapter.

AND

a

[ocr errors]

CALVIN,

OTHERS. itself howsoever it be convey- 6 True faith is not only a ed to us, is like a mirror where certain knowledge, whereby I faith may behold God. Whe- hold for truth all that God has ther God doth therein use the revealed to us in his word,but alservice of man, or work it by so an assured confidence which his own only power, yet he doth the Holy Ghost works by the always show himself by his gospel, in my heart; that not word unto those, whom his will only to others, but to me also, is to draw unto him: wherefore remission of sin, everlasting Paul defineth faith to be an obe- righteousness, and salvation, dience that is given to the gos. are freely given by God, merepel. Rom. i. 5."

ly of grace, only for the sake Inst. B. 3. ch. 2. sec. 6. of Christ's merits."

Heidelbergh Catechism, Q.

21. 16 We deny not in the mean 66 The first coming unto time that it is the office of faith God, good Christian people, is to agree to the truth of God, through faith, wereby (as it is how oftsover, whatsoever, and declared in the last sermon) we in what sort soever it speaketh: be justified before God.” It but now our question is only, is to be observed, * First, that what faith findeth in the word this faith does not lie dead in of the Lord to lean and rest up- the heart, but is lively and

When our conscience be- fruitful in bringing forth good holdeth only indignation and works. Secondly, that without vengeance, how can it but trem- it can no good works be done, ble and quake for fear? And that shall be acceptable and how should it but flee God, pleasant to God.” of whom it is afraid? But faith Homilies of the Church of ought to seek God, and not to England, B. 1. Art. 4. part 1. fee from him. It is plain there- Without faith “can no good fore that we have not yet a full work be done, acceptable and definition of faith, because it is pleasant unto God; for as not to be accounted for faith to branch cannot bear fruit of itknow the will of God, of what self, saith our Saviour Christ, sort soever it be : but what if except it abide in the vine ; 80 in the place of will, whereof cannot ye, except ye abide in many times the message is sor- I am the vine, and ye are rowful and the declaration the branches : he that abideth

on.

me.

[blocks in formation]

AND

OTHERS.

a

a

HOPKINS, glory, has saving faith. “There- know, that love is a free, volunfore men must have an obedi- tary affection, which is entirely ent, holy disposition of heart, distinct from every natural fain order to exercise saving faith. culty of the mind. It is neither It is with such a renewed heart a power nor principle of action, that men believe unto right- but rather an act, or exercise eousness."

itself.” That love which God Syst. Vol. 2. p. 4 to 12. requires, and which fulfils all 6 III. It appears from the the demands of the law, “is striptures that love is implied universal, extending to being in saving faith, and is essential in general, or to God and all to it ; so that where there is no his creatures. 1 The rightholy love there is no true faith.” eous man regardeth the life of « Faith which worketh by love.' his beast.' The primary ob(Gal. v. 6.) The apostle does ject of true benevolence is being not here say, that faith worketh simply considered, or a mere love or produces it, as if faith capacity of enjoying happiness preceded as the cause of love; and suffering pain. It necessaand that love is connected with rily embraces God and all senfaith, and follows it, as the cer- sitive natures.” " It is there. tain consequence and effect of fore, the nature of true benevoit. But he says, faith worketh lence to run parallel with uniBY love, as some machines versal being, whether uncreamove by wind or water, springs ted or created, whether rationor weights. He asserts that al or irrational : whether holy love is the life and active nature or unholy." 6 True love is of saving faith. By this it is a impartial. It regards every loving active faith ; love being proper object of benevolence the life and soul of it.” “ And according to its apparent worth now abideth faith, hope, love, and importance in the scale of these three ; but the greatest being."* « True love is not of these is love. Love is the only universal and impartial, greatest, as faith and hope are but disinterested. Mercenary comprehended in love, as the love can never form a virtuous active nature, life, and essence character. This Cicero de. of them.” Love is the very es- monstrates and all dramatic

[ocr errors]

See Note A. at the end of the chapter.

23

AND

*

CALVIN,

OTHERS. dreadful, we put kindness or in me, and I in him, he bringets mercy ?

forth much fruit : for without Truly, so we shall come me ye can do nothing." « Faith nearer to the nature of faith. giveth life to the soul; and they For we are then allured to seek be as much dead to God that Gud, after that we have learned lack faith, as they to the world that salvation is laid up in store whose bodies lack souls. Withwith him for us “ Therefore out faith, all that is done of us there needeth a promise of is but dead before God." " “ True grace, whereby he may testify faith doth give life to the works, that he is our merciful Fa- and out of such faith come good THER; for that otherwise we works, that be very good works cannot approach unto him, and indeed." upon that alone the heart of Hom. C. England. B. 1. Art. man may safely rest. For this 5. part 1. reason,

commonly, in the All good works spring from Psalms, these two things mer- faith in Christ. cy and truth do cleave together, 12 and 13 Art. C. England. because neither should it any « Moreover, our charitie, (or thing profit us to know that love,) and our workes cannot God is true, unless he did mer- please God if they be done of cifully allure us unto him: nei. such as are not just: wherefore ther were it in our power to we must first be just, before we embrace his mercy, unless he can love or doe any just workes. did with his own mouth offer it. We are made just (as we have Ps. Ix. 11. I have reported said through faith in Christ, by

lx

* Calvin was no advocate for that which is dignified with the title of 66 unconditional submission to the will of God” Submission to the divine will is, indeed, the indispensable duty of every rational being : but it is to be remembered, that we are not required to submit to any imaginary, or hypothetical character of Jehovah. We are to love that God who actually exists, and possesses the character attributed to him in the holy scrip. tures. We are to submit to his will, who has revealed himself, the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in good. ness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity, transgres. sion and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty.” This is a definite character. To this God sinners must yield willing obedience. Did we know nothing of God, but his justice, we might submit, but it would be from fear.

OTHERS

HOPKINS,

AND sence of faith.

“ True faith writers acknowledge." “ This implies a right taste and exer. God himself maintains in his cise of heart, which can be no controversy with Satan, about thing but love ; and the light the sincerity of Job." It is aland discerning which is essential so taught in the 1 Cor. ch. xiii. to faith, implies disinterested where the apostie commends benevolence.”

charity as seeking not her own. Syst Vol. 2. p. 13 to 17.* This true love is the fulfilling “ IV. Repentance comes in- of the law, because it conforms to the nature and essence of the heart to that God, who is

love. When we love perfectly, This is evident, because, we are perfect as our Father, 1. The scriptures represent who is in heaven is perfect; and repentance as necessary in or. God can require no more of der to pardon.

2. Because man. “ forgiveness of sins is promised to repentance.” and 66 3. Because faith is represented in the scripture as the only condition of pardon and salva

faith "

a

* The Calvinists believe that love is implied in faith, as a consequence, or fruit. Instead of considering love as a machine which is to be turned by love, as by wind or water, they compare the union of a sinner with the Lord Jesus Christ, to an ingraftment. The scion must be inserted into the good olive, before it can grow; and then, “contrary to nature,” the fruit must be made to partake of the excellency of the tree, instead of be. ing such as would naturally spring from the nature of the graft. Natu• rally, the fruit is of the description of the bud, with which the vine is inoculated; but contrary to nature, God makes us partake of the vine; and after the spiritual connexion is formed, we have our “fruit unto holiness."

a

† Calvinists use the word, condition, in a different sense. They say that according to the covenant of redemption, the atonement was the only condition of pardon and salvation. Faith is represented as an instrument, or means of uniting us to Christ, instead of a condition of our mystical union with the Saviour. By faith we are made members of Christ's body, and so soon as we are thus connected with the Head, we derive spiritual life, and ability to love and act, as the limbs of the human body are moved by means of the nervous energy of the brain. Before the mystical union is formed, the heart cannot palpitate with one emotion of love.

« AnteriorContinuar »