« PrécédentContinuer »
have some sight, though not so clear and full, time after time, for scores of years before his conversion.
10. The grace of God's Spirit is not only a precious oil with which Christ anoints the believer by giving it to him, but the believer anoints Christ with it, by exercising it towards him; which seems to be represented by the precious ointment Mary poured on Christ's head. Herein it seems to me, that Mary is a type of Christ's church, and of every believing soul. And if so, doubtless the thing in hich she typifies the church, has in it something peculiar to the church. There would not be a type ordered on purpose to represent only something that is common to the church and others. Therefore unbelievers pour none of that sweet and precious ointment on Christ.
11. That unbelievers have no degree of that grace that the saints have, is evident, because they have no communion with Christ. If unbelievers partook of any of that Spirit, those holy inclinations, affections, and actings that the godly have from the Spirit of Christ, then they would have communion with Christ. The communion of saints with Christ, does certainly consist in receiving of his fulness, and partaking of his grace, which is spoken of, John i. 16. “Of his fulness have we all received, and grace for grace." And the partaking of that Spirit which God gives not by measure unto him, the partaking of Christ's holiness and grace, his nature inclinations, tendencies, affections, love, desires, must be a part of communion with him. Yea, a believer's communion with God and Christ, does mainly consist in partaking of the Holy Spirit, as is evident by 2 Cor. xj. 14. But that unbelievers have no communion or fellowship with Christ, appears, 1st. Because they are not united to Christ, they are not in Christ.
Those that are not in Christ, or are not united to him, can have no degree of communion with him ; for union with Christ, or a being in Christ, is the foundation of all communion with him. The union of the members with the head, is the foundation of all their communion or partaking with the head; and so the union of the branch with the vine, is the foundation of all the communion it has with the vine, of partaking of any degree of its sap or life, or influence. So the union of the wife to the busband, is the foundation of her communion in his goods. But no natural man is united to Christ; because all that are in Christ shall be saved; 1 Cor. xv. 22. “ As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive;" i. e. all that are in Christ; for this speaks only of the glorious resurrection and eternal life. Phil. iii. 8, 9, “ Yea, doubtless. I count al} things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having on my own righteousness," &c. 2 Cor. v. 17. “Now, if any man be in Christ, he is a new crea
ture ; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 1 John ii. 5. " Hereby know we that we are in him.” Chap. ii. 24. “ And he that keepeth his commandments, dwelleth in him, and he in him, and hereby we know that he abideth in us," &c. and iv. 13. Hereby we know that we dwell in him, and he in us."
2d. The scripture does more directly teach, that it is only true saints that have communion with Christ ; as, particularly, this is most evidently spoken of as what belongs to the saints, and to them only, in 1 John i. 3–7. “That which we have seen and heard, declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. If we say we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another; and the blood of Jesus Christ, bis Son, cleanseth us from all sin." And 1 Cor. i. 8, 9. “Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” By this it appears that those who have fellowship with Christ are those that cannot fall away, whom God's faithfulness is bound to confirm to the end, that they may be blameless in the day of Jesus Christ.
§ 93. Ezekiel's vision of the dry bones is a confirmation, that however natural men may be the subjects of great and wonderful influences and operations of God's great power and Spirit; yet they do not properly partake at all of the Spirit before conversion. In all that is wrought in them, in every respect fitting and preparing them for grace, so that nothing shall be wanting but divine life; yet as long they are without this, they have nothing of the Spirit
. Which confirms the distinctions I have elsewhere made, of the Spirit of God influencing the minds of natural men under common illuminations and convictions, and yet not communicating himself in his own proper nature to them, before conversion ; and that saving grace differs from common grace, not only in degree, but also in nature and kind. It is said, Rev. iii. s, of the church at Philadelphia, which is commended above all other churches. Thou hast a little strength-certainly implying, that ungodly men have none at all.
$ 94. That there is no good work before conversion and actual union with Christ, is manifest from that, Rom. vii. 4. “ Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law, by the body of Christ, that ye should be married unto another, even to him who is raised from the dead; that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” Hence we may argue, that there is no lawful child brought forth before that marriage. Seeming virtues and good works before, are not so indeed. They are a spurious brood, being bastards, and not children.
$95. That those that prove aposiates, never have the same kind of faith with true saints, is confirmed by what Christ said of Judas, before his apostacy, John vi. 64. " But there are some of you, who believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.” By this it is evident, that Judas, who afterwards proved an apostate, (and is doubtless set forth as an example for all apostates,) though he had a kind of faith in Christ, yet did not believe in Christ with a true faith, and was at that time, before his apostacy, destitute of that kind of faith which the true disciples had ; and that he had all along, even from the beginning, been destitue of that faith. And by the 70th, and 71st verses of the same chapter, it is evident that he was not only destitute of that degree of goodness that the rest had, but totally destitute of Christian piety, and wholly under the dominion of wickedness; being in this respect like a devil, notwithstanding all the faith and temporary regard to Christ that he had. “Jesus answered them, Have I not chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. For he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.”
CONCERNING THE NECESSITY AND REASONABLENESS OF THE
CHRISTIAN DOCTRINE OF SATISFACTION FOR SIN.
$1. The necessity of satisfaction for sin, and the reasonableness of that Christian doctrine, may appear from the following considerations :
1. Justice requires that sin be punished, because sin deserves punishment. What the demerit of sin calls for, justice calls for; for it is only the same thing in different words. For the notion of a desert of punishment, is the very same as a just connexion with punishment. None will deny but that there is such a thing, in some cases, as the desert or demerit of a crime, its calling for, or requiring punishment. And, to say that the desert of a crime does require punishment, is just the same thing as to say, the reason why it requires it is, that it deserves it. So that the suitableness of the connexion between the crime and the punishment, consists in the desert; and therefore, wherever desert is, there is such suitableness. None will deny that some crimes are so horrid, and so deserving of punishment, that it is requisite that they should not go unpunished, unless something very considerable be done to make up for the crime ; either some answerable repentance, or some other compensation, that in some measure at least balances the desert of punishment, and so, as it were, takes it off, or dis
annuls it: otherwise the desert of punishment remaining, all will allow, that it is fit and becoming, and to be desired, that the crime should be severely punished. And why is it so, but only from the demérit of the crime, or because the crime so much deserves such a punishment? It justly excites so great abhorrence and indignation, that it is requisite there should be a punishment answerable to this abhorrence and indignation that is fitly excited by it. But by this, all is granted that needs to be granted, to show, that desert of punishment carries in it a requisiteness of the punishment deserved. For if greater crimes do very much require punishment, because of their great demerit, lesser crimes will also require punishment, but only in a lesser degree, proportionably to their demerit; because the ground of the requisiteness of the punishment of great crimes, is their demerit. It is requisite that they should be punished, on no other account but because they deserve it.
And besides, if it be allowed that it is requisite that great crimes should be punished with punishment in some measure answerable to the heinousness of the crime, without something to balance them, some answerable repentance or other satisfaction, because of their great demerit, and the great abhorrence and indignation they justly excite: it will follow, that it is requisite that God should punish all sin with infinite punishment; because all sin, as it is against God, is infinitely heinous, and has infinite demerit, is justly infinitely hateful to him, and so stirs up infinite abhorrence and indignation in him. Therefore, by what was before granted, it is requisite that God should punish it, unless there be something in some measure to balance this desert; either some answerable repentance and sorrow for it, or other compensation. Now there can be no repentance of it, or sorrow for it, in any measure answerable or proportionable to the heinousness of the demerit of the crime; because that is infinite, and there can be no infinite sorrow for sin in finite creatures; yea, there can be none but what is infinitely short of it; none that bears any proportion to it. Repentance is as nothing in comparison of it, and therefore can weigh nothing when put in the scales with it, and so does nothing at all towards compensating it, or diminishing the desert or requisiteness of punishment, any more than if there were no repentance. If any ask, why God could not pardon the injury on repentance, without other satisfaction, without any wrong to justice; I ask the same person, why he could not also pardon the injury without repentance ? For the same reason, could he not pardon with repentance without satisfaction ? For all the repentance men are capable of, is no repentance at all, or is as little as none, in comparison with the greatness of the injury; for it bears no proportion to it. And it would be as dishonourable and unfit for God to pardon the injury without any repentance at all, as to do it merely on the account of a repentance that bears no more
proportion to the injury, than none at all. Therefore, we are not forgiven on repentance, because it in any wise compensates, or takes off
, or diminishes the desert or requisiteness of puniskment; but because of the respect that evangelical repentance has to compensation already made.
If sin, therefore, deserves punishment, that is the same thing as to say, that it is fit and proper that it should be punished. If the case be so, that sin deserves punishment from men; in those cases it is proper it should receive punishment from men. A fault cannot be properly said to deserve punishment from any, but those to whom it belongs to inflict punishment when it is deserved. In those cases, therefore, wherein it belongs to men to inflict punishment, it is proper for them to inflict that punishment that is deserved of them.
Again, if sin's desert of punishment be the proper ground of the fitness of its connexion with punishment, or rather be that wherein fitness of the connexion consists; it will thence follow, not only that it is fit that sin that deserves punishment, should be punished, but also that it should be punished as it deserves.
It is meet that a person's state should be agreeable to the quality of his dispositions and voluntary actions. Suffering is suitable and answerable to the quality of sinful dispositions and actions; it is suitable that they that will evil, and do evil, should receive evil in proportion to the evil that they do or will. It is but justice that it should be so; and when sin is punished, it receives but its own, or that which is suitably connected with it. But it is a contradiction to say that it is suitably connected with punishment, or that it is suitable that it should be connected with it, and yet that it is suitable it should not be connected with it. All sin may be resolved into hatred of God and our neighbour; as all our duty may be resolved into love to God and our neighbour. And it is but meet that this spirit of enmity should receive a return in its own kind, that it should receive enmity again. Sin is of such a nature, that it wishes ill, and aims at ill to God and man; but to God especially. It strikes at God; it would, if it could, procure his misery and death. It is but suitable, that with what measure it metes, it should be measured to it again. It is but suitable that men should reap what they sow, and that the rewards of every man's hand should be given him. This is what the consciences of all men do naturally declare. There is nothing that men know sooner, after they come to the exercise of their reason, than that, when they have done wickedness, they deserve punishment. The consciences not only of Christians, and those who have been educated in the principles of divine revelation, but also the consciences of heathens, inform them of this: therefore, unless conscience has been stupified by frequent violations when men have done wickedness, there remains a sense of guilt upon their minds; a sense of an obliga