« EdellinenJatka »
The fable of a purgatory, in which, as the Papists feign, the sins of men are cleansed and purged away by fire, is refuted by many considerations, but above all by that of the full satisfaction of Christ. For (besides that there is no mention of any such place in Scripture) if it be true that the blood of Christ has made complete expiation for us, and purified us thoroughly from all stains, it follows that there is nothing left for the fire to purge. To those who understand the fire mentioned in 1 Cor. iii. 13, 15. of a real fire, I reply, that the apostle is not here speaking of the flames of purgatory, but of a metaphorical fire, appointed to try, not mankind in general, but the false teachers, whose doctrine the day, that is, the light of truth, shall declare, whether it was on the one hand disguised and impaired by false ornaments, or whether on the other hand it remained neglected and without cultivation. Like the fiery trial mentioned 1 Pet. iv. 12. it proves us in this world, not purges us in the next. Besides, all retribution, all endurance of good or evil subsequent to this life, is deferred till the day when Christ shall sit in judgement, 2 Cor. v. 10. that every man may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. And if it be true, as shown in a preceding chapter, that the soul as well as the body sleeps till the day of resurrection, no stronger argument can be urged against the existence of a purgatory. Lastly, it is certain that to those who are to be saved there is nothing intervening, except death, between the earthly house of this life, and the house eternal in the heavens, 2 Cor. v. 1. 2 Tim. iv. 8. there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day.
C H A P. XVII.
MAN’s RE Nov ATION,
INCLUDING HIs CALLING.
Having concluded the subject of man's REDEMPTION, his RENovATION is next to be considered.
THE RENov ATION of MAN is that change whereby HE who was BEFORE UNDER THE CURSE, AND OBNOXIOUS TO THE DIVINE WRATH, Is BROUGHT INTO A STATE OF GRACE. Eph. ii. 3, 5, &c. we were by nature the children of wrath ...... by grace ye are saved. i. 3, 5. who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. Col. iii. 10. and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him. Eph. iv. 23, 24. that ye be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 2 Cor. iv. 16. the inward man is renewed day by day. Tit. iii. 5. by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost. Rom. xii. 2. by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Heb. vi. 4, 6, for it is impossible for those who were once enlightened...... if they shall fall away, to renew them again to repentance.
In renovation two things are to be considered; the mode by which man is renewed, and the manifestation of that mode.
The mode by which man is renewed, is either NATURAL or SUPERNATURAL.
By the natural mode, I mean that which influences the natural affections alone. This includes the calling of the natural man, and the consequent change in his character.
THE cALLING of MAN is that natural mode of renovation whereby GoD THE FATHER, AccorDING To His PURPOSE IN CHRIST, INVITEs FALLEN MAN to a KNowledge of the way is which HE is to BE PROPITIATED AND SERVED ; INSOMUCH THAT BELIEVERs, THROUGH HIS GRATUITOUS KINDNESS, ARE CALLED TO SALVATION, AND SUCH AS REFUSE TO BELIEVE ARE LEFT WITHOUT EXCUSE.
WHEREBY GoD THE FATHER. Acts ii. 39. to as many as the Lord our God shall call. 1 Cor. i. 9, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son. 2 Cor. v. 20. as though God did beseech you by us. John vi. 37. all that the Father giveth me. v. 44, except the Father which hath sent me draw him. 2 Thess. ii. 13, 14, the Spirit...... whereunto he called you. 1 Pet. v. 10. the God of all grace, who hath called us. 2 Pet. i. 3. through the knowledge of him that hath called us.
According To HIS PURPOSE. Rom. viii. 28–30. the called according to his purpose. 2 Tim. i. 9. who hath called us with an holy calling - - - - - - according to his own purpose and grace.
IN CHRIST. Gen. iii. 15. it shall bruise thy head. xxii. 18. in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. 1 Cor. i. 9. unto the jellowship of his Son. Gal. i. 6. into the grace of Christ. 1 Pet. v. 10. who hath called us by Christ Jesus.
TO A KNOWLEDGE OF THE WAY IN WHICH HE IS TO BE PROPITIATED AND SERVED. Gen. xvii. 1. walk before me and be thou
THROUGH HIs GRATUITOUs KINDNEss. Isai. lv. 1, &c. come buy wine and milk without money and without price. lxv. 1. I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not : I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my 22(1772e.
BELIEVERS ARE CALLED TO SALVATION. 1 Tim. vi. 12. lay hold on eternal life. I Thess. ii. 12, who hath called you to his kingdom and glory. See also 2 Thess. ii. 14. 1 Pet. ii. 9.. out of darkness into his marvellous light. v. 10. who hath called us unto his eternal glory.
SUCH As REFUSE TO BELIEVE ARE LEFT witHouT Excus E. Prov. i. 24. because I have called, and ye refused...... I also will laugh at your calamity. John xv. 22. if I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin; but now they have no cloke for their sin. Rom. i. 18–20. who hold the truth in unrighteousness : because that which may be known of God is manifest in them ...... Jor the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen ...... so that they are without eacuse. Those therefore who have not been called, are not without excuse. x. 14. how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard?
This calling is either general or special. The general calling is that whereby God invites the whole of mankind, in various ways, but all of them sufficient for the purpose, to the knowledge of the true Deity. John i. 9, that was the true light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. Acts xiv. 17. he left not himself without witness. Rom. i. 19. because that which may be known of God is manifest in them. ii. 15. which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the meanwhile accusing or else earcusing one another.
It may be objected, that all have not known Christ. I answer, that this proves nothing against the doctrine, that all are called in Christ alone; inasmuch as, had he not been given to the world, God would have called no one: and as the ransom he has paid is in itself sufficient for the redemption of all mankind, all are called to partake of its benefits, though all may not be aware of the source from which they flow. For if Job believed that his sacrifice could avail for his sons, who were not present at its offering, and were perhaps thinking of nothing less, i. 5. if the returned Jews believed that their sacrifices could be available for the ten tribes, who were then far distant, and ignorant of what was passing at Jerusalem; how much more ought we to believe that the perfect sacrifice of Christ may be abundantly sufficient even for those who have never heard of the name of Christ, and who believe only in God? This will be treated more at large under the head of faith.
God's special calling is that whereby he, at the time which he thinks proper, invites particular individuals, elect as well as reprobate, more frequently, and with a more marked call than others. .
Particular individuals in preference to others. Thus he called Abraham from his father's house, who probably expected no such call, Gen. xii. 1, &c. and who was even an idolater at the time.” Josh. xxiv. 2, 3. they served other gods, and I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood. So also he called the people of Israel, for his name's sake and for the sake of the promises made to their fathers. Psal. cxlvii. 19, 20. he sheweth his word unto Jacob...... he hath not dealt so with any nation, and as for his judgements, they have not known them. Another reason , is given Matt. ix. 13. I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners. xv. 26. it is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. Acts xvi. 6, 7, they were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia...... they assayed to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit suffered them not. v. 9. a vision appeared to Paul in the night. * Him on this side Euphrates yet residing, Bred up in idol-worship. Paradise Lost, XII. 114. Yet he at length, time to himself best known,
Rememb'ring Abraham, by some wond’rous call