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to shoot at! and as a bush that must burn in the flames of his jealousy, and never be consumed !”

“Consider, also, that tho God had rather men would accept of Christ and mercy, yet when they persist in rebellion, he will take pleasure in their execution. Woe to the souls whom God rejoiceth to punish! He will laugh at their calamity, he will mock when their fear cometh ; when their fear cometh as desolation and their destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon them. Prov. i. 26, 27. Terrible thing, when none in heaven or earth can help them but God, and he shall rejoice in their calamity! Tho scripture speaks of God's laughing and mocking, not literally, but after the manner of men; yet it is such an act of God in tormenting the sinner, which cannot otherwise be more fitly expressed."

“Those ears which were accustomed to music and songs, shall hear the shrieks and cries of their camoed companions; children crying out against their paFents, that gave them encouragement and example in evil ; husbands and wives, masters and servants, ministers and people, magistrates and subjects, charging their misery, upon one another, for discouraging ia duty, conniving at sin, and being silent, when they should have plainly foretold the danger. Thus will soul and body be companions in woe.

“And now, reader, if thou art one of the people of God, this doctrine will be a comfort to thee, and not a terror. If thou art yet unregenerate, methinks thou should be as fearful to hear of heaven as of bell, except the bare name of heaven or salvation be sufficient.”

Coming to his close on the last page, he says, “Thus I have said enough, if not to stir up the sinner to a serious working out his salvation, yet at least to silence him, and leave him inexcusable at the judgement of God.”

In these extracts, the reader will perceive that hell torments are made a subject of declamation, rather than of argument. The whole medley before us is byt

the bare say and imagination of the writer. He some. times quotes scripture ; but generally in violence to its connexion, and contrary to its obvious meaning. For instance, he says, God will laugh at the calamity of the wicked, but the Bible does not express it, as the reader will find by examining. In Prov. i. 26, 27, Wisdom is represented as laughing, &c. and not God. See Chr. Rep. p. 2, of this volume.

St. Paul says in Heb. ii. 14, 15; "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and deliver them who through fear of death were all their life time subject to bondage.” But this man says, “That Satan and sinners themselves shall be God's executioners. The above passage

teaches that Christ came to destroy the works of the devil: Mr. Baxter teaches that God will laugh at the works of the devil. The Bible teaches that he hath no pleasure in the death of the wicked :* Mr. B. that he will take pleasure in the torments of hell, The Bible affirms that God will have all men to be saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth: Mr. B. that he purposely ordained the torments of hell to glorify his justice. The Bible shows that the Lord is very pitiful and of tender mercy : Mr. B. that the everlasting flames of hell will not be thought too hot for the rebellious. It is astonishing to see a professed christian minister of Gol, represent his divine Master, exulting so highly in the works of the devil. As the devil is the most cunning and powerful minister of the Almighty in the fiery region of dainned spirits, it is easily perceived he will be able to do more justice, according to the foregoing representation, than any other being. Consequently, on a very moderate calculation, he will afford his master, in whose employment he is an "executioner," more "pleasure

Peter iii, 9. * 1 Tim. ij. 4.

Ezek. Xviii. 23, 32. * James v. 11.

than any other of his ministers in the universe. He is purposely engaged to fulfil what is purposely or dained to glorify the justice of God.” When Gou "manifests his justice to be indeed the justice of God," then is Satan, obsequious to his will, made the prine minister of his vengeance. He feeds divine justice with the fuel of almighty wrath.

Respecting men's being set up as a butt for the Almighty to shoot at, if we may be allowed to use à vulgar expression, it seems Mr. B. and his admirers, think eur Maker will be hopping mad! We have heard of savages tying people to the limbs of bent saplinys, which, when suffered to return, extended them in the air; and thus making each of their limbs, an object to try savage skill in sending the hatchet. After considerable torture, they wouldkill the unhappy victions, and so relieve them from their miseries, but Mr. B. thinks the Almighty will always shoot and never kill!

“And now, reader," says our author, “if thou art one of the people of God, this doctrine will be a comfort to thee, and not a terror.”—Here is the test, reader. If you think the Almighty will shoot the sinner eternally, and this gives you comfort, you are, a child of God! Mr. B.'s scheme might introduce into heavela few pirates and a small number of robbers; but among those, who love their neighbors as themselves, it could embrace none for the happy subjects of bliss ;" because, in this doctrine, they have no "comfort." · It is lamentable indeed that talents, learning, and a devout profession, should be united to vilify the character of our Father in heaven. Look, dear reader, whatever may be the denomination to which belong, and see if your feelings accord with the foregoing extracts. Do you pray for the salvation of the wicked, and expect soon to rejoice in their endless damnation? Do you love your enemies now, and expect in heaven to hate them? Does God choose to save them now, and anon will choose to damn them? Think on these things, and may the Lord direct thy spirit.

you

ON THE DIVINE PRESCIENCE AND DECREE.

The divine prescience is a point which very few are disposed to deny, however they may differ in their inferences from this acknowledged position. Knowledge and decree, as they respect the Deity, are by some accounted the same ; or, at least inseparably connected. That the terms naturally convey distinct ideas is evident. Men may bave knowledge of events in which they have no concern; in which they have no hand in performing, or mind in determining. But those things which they determine, or do, in the right use of reason, they are considered to know.

As no being but God could decree all events, it is thought, by some, that he could not know future events, unless he had decreed them. But is not this measuring the divine prescience by the narrow capacity of man? Man may

know what he determines and what he does. And tho man's determinations or decrees may fail ; yet his knowledge of them may approach as near to certainty, as does his ability to perform them. What God has decreed cannot possibly fail of accomplishment. If then the decrees of God embrace all events, and every volition of man, to suppose man able to determine or act otherwise than he does, would be to suppose him able to violate the divine decrees. To suppose him unable to determine or act otherwise that he does, is to account him properly a machine, and not an agent. In agency, it is allowed to be essential to be free, and the freedom must be equal to the extent of the agency. Where there is no freedom, there is no agency. We, therefore, conclude man is a free agent; else he cannot properly be said to have any agency at all. But to maintain the free

of man and the absolute decree of all events, seems impossible. We, therefore, find it necessary to abandon the one or the other. To abandon the doctrine of free agency, is striking at the root of moral principles; and reduces the moral accountability of man to a mere shadow, that leaves nothing more of the principle, than barely.

agency

name. Every law that pronounces a man culpable for evil actions, presupposes the man had it in his power to have done otherwise ; and every law that rewards a man for virtuous actions, presupposes he did them voluntarily; or, in other words, those actions were his own and not another's.

On the side of universal decrees, however unavoidaable the doctrine may appear to some, it is to be noticed, it embraces every evil, as well as every good action of intelligent beings. If it embrace the plan of absolute necessity, as it is generally thought it must, man is governed by impulsion or attraction, in all his actions. Being thus situated, his actions are not his own, but the actions of the impelling or attracting power, or the original cause of that power. The agent, therefore, that constitutes this governing power, seems, on the plan of necessity, to be the direct author of man's trangressions. Nor will it help the matter to say that sin consists in volition and not in action; or, if you please, in mental action and not in outward. If you except volitions from the fixed decrees, you may as well except outward actions, which are the natural consequences of volitions. If God is not acquainted with future events unless he has decreed them, if you except the volitions of man from the law of necessity, and, of course, from his fixed decrees, you, on this principle, except then from God's fore- : knowledge. If, then, you say, there is no such thing as sin in the sight of God, you may be consistent with your system, but the question remains, how the position can be reconciled with divine revelation, that speaks so much of sin. When it is said, Jesus shall save his people from their sins, and that he came not of himself, but the Father sent him, it would follow that the Father sent him to save his people from that which was not in his sight.

Every thing, said to be done, must have a time or period in which it is done.

And when we suppose a time in which any thing began to be, it naturally presupposes there was a time previous to the beginning of

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