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duced by a forgetfulness, of those pas- tion, is an unusual use, if not an abuse, sages which represent Christ as giving of terms. his life for the sheep, as loving the And if all other Divine influence of church and giving himself for it. And, which they speak, be moral influence, resting upon too narrow a basis, they i.e., the tendency of the gospel to endo not meet and explain all the facts lighten and to sanctify, then this tenof the case. A special purpose must dency being, of course, a fixed, not draw after it, and does so of necessity, a variable quantity and power, the a special act; in other words, the ac- question arises,“ How comes it to complishment of the purpose. Election operate so differently-working faith in secures and requires calling, not the some and not in others ?" Their views general call of the gospel merely, but of universal atonement have misled especial calling, effectual calling, as it them here. As the atonement is uniis usually denominated, or God's coun- versal, so are the Spirit's influences; cil might fail, and he might not do all and the latter they seem to think must his pleasure. General Divine influence, be universal, or God would be a "reif it be proper to call it such, will not specter of persons.” They forget that account for the actual salvation of the though God, in his rectoral character elect.
and relation, cannot be such, yet that, Thirdly. This view of the influence as a sovereign, he not only may be, but of the Holy Spirit virtually ascribes absolutely is, such ; or how can innuthe praise of man's salvation to him- merable facts in providence, as well as self. After having stated that Divine in grace, be explained? The Pelainfluence is exclusively moral in its gianism of Bishop Tomline teaches nature ; that, in employing it, God is that God must do, or that he would be not a “respecter of persons," (i.e., is a "respecter of persons," as much for putting it forth upon all men, at least to the salvation of one person as of anwhom the gospel comes, they add, " It other. Now, if no special influence of is manifest, from all that has been said, the Spirit be exerted to bring an in. that it is entirely in consequence of dividual to the knowledge and faith of the Holy Spirit's influences that any the gospel, this may be true ; or, at sinners do believe it." Few things, I least, the assertion may be a greater apprehend, can be less manifest than approximation to the truth. But, if a this, unless they restrict the Holy special influence be exerted, then God Spirit's influence to that which secured does more for the salvation of one than a faithful record of the great propitia- of another, i.e., in the sense of bestowtion. If this, i.e., inspiration, may be ing a higher measure of good (not atproperly included under the phrase tracted by any thing in the recipient) Divine influence, perhaps it may be upon one than another. God, in this said, that the faith and entire salvation sense, in his character of sovereign beof a sinner is the result of the Holy nefactor, is a "respecter of persons ;" Spirit's influences; for,“ how shall and if there be no special operation they believe in himn of whom they have of the Spirit of God in conversion ; in not heard ?” &c. But, then, this is other words, for the meaning is the not the general sense attached to the same, if the Holy Spirit's influences phrase ; nor, indeed, is it the correct are moral, and exclusively so in their sense. The province of inspiration is character, the faith of the man who reto cause the true light of truth to shine ceives the gospel must be ascribed to abroad in the world of the Spirit's in- himself, or to accident. It is, as Sanfluence, to secure its shining into the deman represents it, an "empirical disheart. The former gives objective covery, like that of the polarity of the light; the latter subjective. To ascribe needle, or the virtue of the Jesuit's faith and salvation to the Holy Spirit's bark." influence, if by that be meant inspira- Having urged these objections against their views of Divine influence, I would such influence extinguish or rather now offer a few remarks upon the as- prevent any desire of the thing?" I sertions contained in “the Statement," see no reason why it should do this, that “ God equally desires the salva in the case of God, more than in the tion of all men,”—and that, in the case case of man. In the latter case, we of every man, he uses all the influence know it does not. The perceived inthat his circumstances will admit of to expedience of extending pardon to a bring him to believe. The first assertion criminal may prevent the desire of a is, that God equally desires the salva: judge to do it from growing into a tion of all men. It may be well to determination, but it does not extininquire into the meaning of the ex- guish it. It cannot but appear to the pression. A difficulty is apt to strike judge a desirable thing, for the sake of the mind of most persons when they the family, that the man should be hear it for the first time. “ If God pardoned; but it does not appear to desire the salvation of all men, espe- him desirable to pronounce the sencially if he equally desire it, how tence of pardon. comes it to pass that all men are not The same remarks are true, as it saved ?" To understand this we must appears to me, in the case of God. recollect that the salvation of any man How can it be doubted that to the is the result of a Divine act or influ- God of love the salvation of all men ence upon his mind,—that special in- must be an object of desire ? It may fluence of the Holy Spirit, of which we not, however, be his purpose or deterhave been speaking; and, further, that mination to save all men, or rather to action, in the case of God as well as in exert that influence which might secure that of man, is the result not of desire, the salvation of all, and the consebut of purpose, will, or determination. quence is that, as the salvation of any A judge may desire to pardon a crimi. man results from God's purpose to be. nal, for the sake of his family, &c.; stow converting and confirming grace, but until the desire creates a purpose all men will not be saved. to pardon, which it may or may not Some writers would explain the matter do, it is inoperative ; no pardon flows differently. They would say that God, from it. If there were a purpose, on as the Supreme Ruler, desires the sal. the part of God, to save all men, all vation of all men, but not as a sore. men would be saved; for, “ His pur- reign benefactor, or why are not all pose must stand, and he will do all men saved ? The preceding statements his pleasure ;" but desire may be fruit appear to me to afford a better solution less, inactive in the case of God as of the facts of the case. I have no well as in the case of man. It may hesitation in saying, with “the Statebe inquired, however, “ Will not the ment,” that God desires the salvation desire, in the case of God, invariably of all men. Whether their mode of produce purpose ?" With man, indeed, explaining the assertion accords with it may not, and does not, because man mine, I know not, is ignorant and weak ; but God is wise “ The Statement" goes on to affirm and powerful. I answer, that in some that, “in the case of every man, God cases it does ; but that, in others, it uses all the influence that his circundoes not. When the thing desired stances will admit of to bring him to cannot be secured without the putting believe.” The argument is that, were forth of power or influence by God, it he not to do this, " he would not be may not, on various accounts, appear infinitely benevolent.” I confess this desirable to him to put forth that in- bald and bold assertion, in reference to fluence, and then the desire does not what God can and cannot do, grates grow into a purpose. Still, it may be harshly upon my ears. It evinces, I further said, “ But will not the per- cannot but think, somewhat less than ceived inexpedience of putting forth the caution of the admirable “ Butler."
However, we must deal with it in the best way we can. Now, I request the reader to mark the phraseology. The writers have not ventured to say that God uses all the influence he could use, to bring every man to believe, though their argument requires them to say this. Their assertion is, that God uses all the influence that the cir. cumstances of every man will admit of; while they admit, what is no doubt implied in this phraseology, that circumstances permit much more to be done for one man than another. Now, if the argument, borrowed from God's benevolence, be valid to prove that he must do all to bring a man to believe, that can be done in the circumstances in which he is placed, I ask if it does not prove that he must place him in the circumstances in which the most can be done for him. Why should infinite benevolence constrain to the one and not to the other? In regard to the assertion itself, I ask, “ Is it true, in any sense ?" God must be viewed in the double relation of moral Governor and sovereign Benefactor. Now, is it the case that, as a moral Governor, God does for every man all that in the circumstances he could do ? I am not denying this ; but I ask, whether there be not something of rashness in the assertion that superior means of knowledge and conviction could not have been granted to any one,-that more awakening providences might not have been permitted to be. fall him? If it be alleged that then his circumstances would have been different, while they merely say that God does all for him that is possible in his circumstances, I answer that the assertion, thus explained and limited, amounts only to this, that God does for him just what he does.
And, if the assertion be rash in its reference to God as moral Governor, what shall we say of it in reference to him as a sovereign Benefactor? They admit that faith is the gift of God. Now, God has not given faith to all men. The question, then, is, “ Could
he not have done it?” Suppose I should grant that the depravity of some minds is so great that all the resources of moral government will fail to subdue it, I might ask, “ Could not special grace, the omnipotent agency of the Spirit of God, subdue it?” They will scarcely venture to reply in the negative. Either, then, they must deny that any such agency is ever put forth, or that it could be put forth in cases in which men remain unbelievers. They will say, perhaps, that for reasons not revealed to us God did not see it to be expedient to put it forth, and, therefore, could not do it, being unable to do any thing which is not the wisest and the best. Now I admit that, in all cases where God desires the salvation of sinners, (as the words have been explained,) and brings all those means and influences of his moral government, which are adapted to produce faith, to bear upon them, but does not put forth special converting grace, I admit that, in all such cases, he refrains from doing this because it appears to Him most expedient on the whole thus to refrain. But, whether he shall refrain or not is evidently to him a question of expe. diency, not of possibility, or power. The inability to do more than he does to secure faith, which these writers ascribe to God, is not literal but figurative or moral inability. It is the very kind of inability which a wise and good man feels, to do what he does not deem best upon the whole, and which even the writers of “the State. ment” would not allow to be inability at all.
Some American writers of the new school, whose opinions are not always distinguished by perfect wisdom, write much in the same manner respecting the fall. God, they say, or are understood to have said, permitted the fall of man, just because he had not sufficient power to prevent it. I might dwell upon the absurdity involved in the language, for it is somewhat like saying of the lamb, that it permits the tiger to devour it. But I would direct attention to the
needless rashness of the assertion.* and believe, and be saved! What What are the facts of the case ? Man could he have done more, as moral fell. God did not in point of fact up. Governor, for his vineyard, that he has hold him. Was it because he could not done? But visit him with those not uphold, i.e., had not literally power special sovereign influences of the Holy to uphold him ? I cannot see other. Spirit which secure a right understand. wise than that it would be very unwise ing and belief of the gospel, God has not and rash to assert that. It is surely done ; and, therefore, the writers wbo sufficient to say that for infinitely wise have drawn up “the Statement" must reasons, which are not fully revealed, either deny, with the Pelagians, all spe. partly, perhaps, because they might be cial influences of the Spirit ; i.e., deny beyond our comprehension ; it appeared the doctrine of effectual calling, leadbest to the perfect wisdom of God not ing as it will do, to the surrender of the to put forth the power which might doctrine of election, of which they now have held him up. If any one should avow their belief, or modify the statesay that, on this account, he could not ment that God does all he can do to have done it, the assertion, as it ap- secure the salvation of all men. pears to me, would either involve a I perceive, I have omitted to state, denial of God's omnipotence, or land in the body of the letter, what must us in a mere logomachy. .
ever be remembered, that the work of And thus, in the case under dispute, the Spirit, in bringing men to the know. it is sufficient to say that God does for ledge and faith of the gospel, is extraevery man to whom the gospel comes neous from, and additional to, God's (for we may confine our statements moral government. That moral governnow at least to them all that he is ment, and even the forın of moral bound to do to secure his salvation. I government established by the gospel, should not have much objection to add, would have been perfect without it. in reference to some cases at least, all Divine influence was not needed to that he can do as a moral governor, lay a ground of accountability for men, for it is here only that his power is for that ground exists in the faculties limited. He bestows upon every man of men, together with the clearness and sufficient means of salvation,-unfolds evidence with which the gospel is prethe gospel objectively in all its simpli- sented to their view. It was intended city, truth, and glory before him, to prevent the failure of the special urges him, by promises and threaten- purposes of the atonement-to render ings of infinite good and evil, to repent, a sufficient atonement, an efficient
one. * Vide on this subject, an incomparable
THE AUTHOR OF “ STRICTURES pamphlet by Dr. Woods, sen., of Andover, entitled, “ Letters to the Rev. Nathaniel W.
UPON DR. MARSHALL ON. Taylor, D.D."
THE IMPORTANCE OF
(Extracted from the writings of the Rev. 0. Winslow.) There is a snare in the world to gress, and dishonoured God. To those which the people of God are exposed. into whose hands this paper may fall, Many have fallen into it, and not a few I would seriously address, and those have, in consequence, greatly embitter- especially who are looking forward with ed their happiness, retarded their pro- joyous hearts to a life of happiness,
and who are anticipating for themselves the living God! How solemn and many seasons of youthful delights, let weighty is this consideration! and shall me speak unto you as from one who he take the temple of God, and unite desires that you may take warning from it with one who is a stranger to his the word of God, and who would in- grace, to his love, to his Son ? Yea, vite you to pursue the way which will whose mind is at enmity against God, lead you seriously to consider the step and whose heart beats not one throb of which you are going to take, ere you love to Jesus? God forbid ! " Know have decided whether it be scriptural ye not," says Paul, “ that the friendor not.
ship of the world is enmity with God ?” The formation of matrimonial alli Then for a believer to form with an ances between the people of God and unbeliever an alliance so close and the unregenerate world, the word of lasting as this, involving interests so God is against such a union, so unholy important and so precious, is to enter and so productive of such evil as this. into a league with the enemies of God. Not a precept authorizes it, not a pre- It is to covenant, and that for life, with cedent encourages it, not a promise the despisers of the Lord Jesus ! sanctions it, not a blessing hallows it! It is no extenuation of this breach of Yea, so far from authorizing, God ex God's command, that the Lord has frepressly forbids it. 2 Cor. xiv. to the quently, in the exercise of his sovereign end," Be ye not unequally yoked to grace, made the believing party instrugether with unbelievers, for what fel mental of conversion to the unbeliev. lowship hath righteousness with un- ing party. He can and often does, righteousness ?" How strong the com- bring good out of evil, order out of conmand, how conclusive the argument, fusion, “making the wrath of man to and how persuasive and touching the praise him," and overruling events that appeal! Could it be more so ? The were designed to thwart his purposes, the command is,—that a believer be not very means of promoting them. But, this yoked with an unbeliever. The argu- is no encouragement to sin, and when ment is, he is a temple of God. The sin is committed, this is but poor conappeal is, God will be a father to such, solation. And, to enter into a compact and they shall be his children, who walk of the nature we are deprecating, with obediently to this command. There a conscience quieted and soothed with are many solemn considerations which the reflection, that " the wife save the seem to urge this step upon the be- husband, or the husband save the wife," liever.
is presumption of the highest kind, a A child of God is not his own. He presumption which God may punish belongs not to himself. “Ye are not with a disappointment as bitter as it is your own." His soul and body are overwhelming. Let no dear child of redeemed by the precious blood of God be allured into an alliance so unChrist, and therefore he is Christ's. holy, by a consideration so specious as He must not, he cannot dispose of him this. Many have fallen into the snare, self. He belongs to the Lord, and has and have covered themselves with no authority to give away, either soul shame and confusion. or body. O that this solemn fact To the believer himself, forming an could be written upon every believer's alliance so contrary to the express inheart, “ Ye are not your own ; ye are junction of God's word, the evils arising bought with a price, therefore glorify from it are many and grievous. To say God in your soul and in your body nothing of the want of what must ever which are his." May the eternal be considered essential to the mutual Spirit engrave it deeply and indelibly happiness of the union, oneness of there ! but more than this, if this were mind, harmony of sentiment, congruity not enough to urge the command upon of spirit—there are lacking the higher a believer. His body is the temple of elements of happiness-the mutual faith