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finding the law of the system, we frequently destroy the bodies which compose it. That men are free agents, is one scripture doctrine; that the grace of God is infallibly efficacious, is another scripture doctrine; how can these things be, we cry? And in searching after this law of the system, one party finds it convenient to deny free will in order to establish their law-and the other balances the account by denying free grace. The Scripture tells us, that all Adam's descendants are guilty of his sin, and liable to its punishment. How does the sin become theirs, we cry? Now this is a philosophical question-And it has been answered, that it flows down in the blood. Now this assertion, if it were true, is no part of Christianity, it belongs to the philosophy of Christianity. And I have demonstrated, that this is false philosophy. Yet Mr. M'C. brings this false philosophy into his system. What that system may turn out no soul can divine. It is in the egg; but when hatched it will be a serpent, and bite. That Christ's righteousness is imputed to believers, and procures for them eternal life, is the scriptural doctrine. But all demur and ask, how can it be imputed? Now I assert that this question entirely relates to the philosophy of Christianity. The reason why a thing is so, is nothing else than a philosophical question. And if nobody could believe in Jesus Christ, except those who can enter into the fine metaphysical doctrine respecting representation, there would not be one Christian for a thousand that now praise this Redeemer. All your charming babes, boy and girl, who chaunt their Redeemer's praise must be pronounced incapable of believing. Does one of them know any thing about the reason why Christ's righteousness can be imputed to them? O poor babes, the stones in
the street know as much of the matter as they. Yet they believe in Jesus, and his righteousness. The gospel was given, to be preached to the poor, to the illiterate, to lisping babes, but we preach it in a manner that only philosophers can understand and some of us in a manner which philosophers themselves cannot understand.
The answer to this philosophical problem comes up again and fires my blood. It is said his righteousness may be ours because he represented us. I have demonstrated this to be a piece of false philosophy. And I pronounce it one of the most pestilent pieces of false philosophy, with which the chief of the fallen hosts ever corrupted the christian church. It was one of his most masterly strokes of generalship to bring the church on that ground. Against this wicked philosophy I raise the hue and cry. I lift up my voice like a trumpet, and in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ I call on the whole christian church to hunt this wisdom of the devil out of the world. I call on all gospel ministers, upon whom God has conferred the power of accurate discrimination, to bring this philosophy to the test. Whatever they may have heretofore thought, or said, on this subject, I call upon them to test it again. It is a doctrine of the devil and not of God.
If you ask me what is the grand error of the reformation churches, what has produced most schism, most controversy, most malignity, and been worse than any thing else, or all things else; I name this philosophical doctrine, that Christ's righteousness is imputable to men, because he represented them in the covenant of grace. Look back to page 54, &c. and see how many sects, and of what class and character, have
sprung from this doctrine. To these add the numerous other sects that have sprung out of these sects, and then say what ought to be thought of this Satanic philosophy.
I cant say by which one of the reformers this piece of philosophy was introduced into the church. The idea which presents itself to my imagination, concerning the mode of its introduction is this. I conceive one of the old reformers sitting writing on the subject of justification by faith; and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him, whispers the question, how can the righteousness of the Son of God be imputed to a mortal man? And making a hasty reply, perhaps whispered to him, the reformer wrote down in the first glow of approving thought, that Christ's righteousness is imputed to believers because he represented them in the
Be this as it may, thus much is certainly known, that the doctrine of justification by faith in the blood of Christ was the doctrine of the reformation.
Een a politician states this as the doctrine, the the soul, the cause of the reformation: as creating a new society all over Europe; as giving in every kingdom existence to a society, all of which were bound together by this common faith; and felt its influence like the influence of the heart, in the animal system, extending to the remotest members, and even to the slightest excrescences. He represents this principle or doctrine, as giving their societies all the effect of corporate and political organizatio a unity of object, a unity of interest, a unity of affection, a unity of co-operation. Touch this doctrine, in any one nation, and the electric shock was felt, at the same instant, over all the nations of Europe, by every individual of
the same faith. And when that doctrine was attacked, no tie of kindred, or of blood, no tie of allegiance, no tie of patriotism, could bind a member of that society. They felt only for their society: This attacked doctrine was their Palladium, their ark, their all in life, in death, through eternity. It was the cause of God, and of man, and of the universe. These are the views of a politician. But he was a politician whose eye ranged over the whole of human society, through all its various organizations, and its mysterious and interwoven ramifications; and while it ranged over the whole, it penetrated to the centre of each, and perceived, and estimated, the individual momentum, and particular direction of the individual forces, whose united power produces what is called the state of society. It was the opinion of Edmund Burke, but what is most to our purpose is, that it is the truth.
Satan had vanquished the heroes of old, on the field of wordly ambition. I have no doubt, that at that time, he vanquished them by drawing up their own sons against them; youths full of genius, fire, and metal; fond of speaking, and fond of premature influence. To behold the church passing from persecution to protection, from protection to influence, and from influence to power, wealth, honour, titles, dignities, supremacy; must certainly have conveyed to vulgar minds, an idea of a prosperous and flourishing condition. And I don't doubt but when the old father exclaimed in the counsel, "This day I see poison brought into the church," there was a fine, eloquent, ardent youth, who arose, and demonstrated that there was no danger at all in the new reformation. "What! moderator, (would he say) can there be any danger in the new reformation? You have been long complaining of pover
ty, and here is wealth for you: you have been praying to God to deliver you from persecution, and here is more than deliverance, here is political power. It is promised that kings shall be nursing fathers, and queens nursing mothers to the church, and lo the promise fulfilled, they put us to the breast! It is written that the saints shall inherit the earth, and now that it is offered us, shall we refuse it. I greatly venerate, moderator, my very venerable and worthy father, who has just spoken. But, really sir, I much doubt if he be as capable of judging of the state of things, in the present times, as he was fifty years ago. The state of society is vastly altered, all things are improved, and I think it will be prudent, and were I answering to my equal, I should think it no more than justice, for those who are just stepping out of the church, and out of the world, prudently and timeously, and with a good grace, to surrender a little of the direction of both into younger and more vigorous hands."
Well sir, the reformation took place. The fiend triumphed, and left it to the church, with her own hand, to complete a system of tyranny, that left mankind no liberty in the use of any one faculty of soul or body.
But in the true reformation, of which we are speaking, the fiend saw the regeneration of the world. He saw a tremendous sight-the blood of Jesus proclaimed aloud by a thousand tongueshis spirit shed on tens of thousands: the Holy Scriptures their daily study, translated into their own languages; and their own languages the vehicle of their praises and their prayers: and their high, their lofty claim, the liberty of ordering the whole of their conduct according to the prescriptions of that word alone. Could Satan view such a scene without dismay! He