« ForrigeFortsett »
Holy Spirit, in the hope of present practical conformity. A true faith obedience and of final acceptance. will also produce a corresponding Mr. Carlile, in the practical im- confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ, provement of the doctrine, warns his and will be tried and proved in the hearers of the dangerous delusions earnest hope and expectation of the of committing sin with the intention promises which he has delivered. of repentance; of entertaining false Sermon VI. Connexion between views of repentance, and of trusting Faith and Repentance. to the woeful hazards of a death bed repentance,-a repentance of
“ In entering on this part of the discus.
sion, let me beg of you to mark particn. which no opportunity may be al- larly the difference between repentance lowed, of which the operation is and faith, else you will never understand most painful because the issue is clearly their connexion. Repentance most uncertain.
towards God consists in a consciousness Sermon III. IV. On the Nature of some defect in our conduct or state of of Faith. The reader needs not 10
mind in respect to God, grief on account be reminded of the masterly dis- endeavour to relinquish it, and adopt a
of it, with an ardent desire and honest cussion of Bishop Pearson on the
more worthy conduct. All these ingrewords of the Creed, I believe. Mr. dients enter into the very nature of repentCarlile shews that faith generally ance towards God, and when any of thera consists in belief of facts, and in is wanting, there is no true repentance. confidence in persons founded on
Consciousness of sin without grief on acthat belief, which cannot however
count of it is no repentance: genuine grief be elevated into a Christian virtue linquish it is impossible, and a real desire
on account of sin, without a desire to rewithout a belief of the being and without an honest endeavour is equally imattributes of God, and of the truth possible. Faith, on the other hand, consists and genuineness of the Christian in an acquaintance with Scripture doctrine revelation. Hence Mr. Carlile
and a belief of it; and founded on that beceeds to the nature of belief in lief a trust or reliance on Jesus Christ, corChrist, as it implies confidence in responding to what is revealed concerning
him." P. 114. him as the only mediator, corresponding with the other offices which Faith and repentance, thus dis, he executes, and especially as he is tinguished, are connected and uniGod over ail: faith is also exer- ted, as want of faith is itself sin, cised in contemplating the fulfilment which it is the office of repentance of his promises, as they have been to remove; as faith provides the gradually revealed, and are still the means of repentance and return to object of hope. It is also shewn, God; suggests the prevailing motive, that faith in the same manner as and illumines the path of duty. The repentance is the gift of God, and transports which some profess to the work of his Spirit; that in all feel in the exercise of repentance ages it has been the same unvarying, and faith, and in the absence of unaltered principle, and the great which others are tempted to desmeans of re-upiting the soul with pondence and dismay, are no necesGod, and of renewing religious af- sary effect of a consciousness of fections in the heart.
true repentance, which produces Sermon V. On the practical in- rather the settled calmness of peace fluence of Faith. 'True faith is seen than the momentary raptures of in believing the veracity of God, enthusiastic exultation. The jusand in acknowledging the doctrines tice of the following observations which are revealed on the authority will not be disputed : and although of that veracity, and which are of they possess no claim to originality, such a nature that they cannot be are worthy of attention, and may truly believed without enforcing a contribute to abate the tumults and .
allay the apprehensions of many a abound, holy and temperate joy will be spirit perplexed and troubled with the necessary result.” P. 147. fanatical illusions.
There are other fond questions, “ There are some, who learning from Scripture, that glorying or rejoicing in the incidental to the connexion between Lord is not only the privilege of believers repentance and faith, as whether but their duty; that they are exhorted to repentance has the precedence of rejoice always, and that joy is mentioned faith, or faith of repentance, and in expressly as one of the fruits of tire Spirit; which does, the spiritual life origi. yet not experiencing any of those high ex
nate, of which it is rightly pro. tatic feelings, which they hear others describe, are disturbed, imagining that they
inced, that they are such as there do not possess proper evidence that they
are neither means nor occasion to are in a state of grace. But if, instead resolve. of consulting the feelings of others, they Sermon VII. On the present imwould consult the Scripture, they would perfection of the knowledge of be. find that the joy described there and ex
lievers, when compared with what hibited in the history of Christ and the it shall be. The true occasion of Saints, is rather the sedate, calm satisfac- surprize is, not that men have no tion prodaced by a sense of the mercy and grace of God than any rapturons feel perfect knowledge, but that they ings; that this' joy may be mingled with have any conception of the great trembling ; that it may be felt by one who truths of religion, of those truths is yet a man of sorrows and acquainted wbich no reason can discover, of with grief; and that it is a joy which mani- which the tumult of the passions fests itself rather by prayer, and expres- prevents the adequate apprehension, sions of gratitude to God, and hearty ac
which flesh and blood can neither quiescence in bis will, as it did in Jesus when he rejoiced, than by any strong effect inherit nor perceive. These spirion the spirits. I do not intend to cast tual truths are conveyed to us by disrespect on the most rapturous and ex. means of sensible material objects, tatic feelings. I am sure there are com- indicating to us something of the munications made in the Scripture, that spiritual world, but indistinctly, not might well fill us with the most enthusi: indeed seen through a glass of imastic joy: all tbat I would say, is, that such raptnres are not essential to the joy perfect construction, as Mr. Carlile required in the word of God, and are not explains the text; but according to to be regarded as evidence of a state of the exposition of Parkhurst, in a grace.
mirror, which was antiently made of “ But further, some being dissatisfied metal, and liable to rust and spots, with themselves for the want of that joy and in which the reflection of the and rapture which they are hastily led to image was often therefore imper believe are the proper feelings of a Chris. fect. The great method of religious tian, endeavour to attain them by direct means, trying all schemes to work them- instruction is, however, through the selves up to a kind of enthusiasm, and revelation of the Scriptures, of which fancy that they are not in a proper devo- the difficulties and obscurities are tional frame, till a strong effect is pro- necessary to the very nature of a duced on their animal spirits. Here again communication addressed by God they err, not knowing the Scriptures, whose wisdom is infinite to man We find no such process recommended there. To attain to joy, the word of God whose faculties are limited : and directs us, to seek those things which are they are also consistent, as is shewn necessary to the production of it, such as by Mr. Carlile, with our present evidence of an interest in Christ, a con- probationary state, and requisite stant and conscientious obedience, a holy for the trial of our faith and subframe of spirit, a perfect confidence in the mission to divine testimony, which grace and promises of God, and well regu- implies on our parts a voluntary exlated affections: for without these attainments, and such as these, there can be no
ertion. There are other things betrue joy; and where these things are and side the mysteries of religion, which
can now be seen only in part, and plicit and entire obedience to the of which the imperfect knowledge divine instructions. escites no doubt or offence: such Sermon VIII. Effects of the
perare especially the operations of pro- fect vision of God and spiritual vidence; the divine dispensations things on the characters of the re. to ourselves, and the effect of our deemed in heaven. The substance conversation in the world.
of this Sermon is thus briefly reca
pitulated : “We are equally ignorant of the effects of our conduct on other persons. Our
“ Such then is the nature of that image actions and our language frequently sink
of God which the soul of man is capable deeper into the breast of others than we of exhibiting-a resemblance of his inteláre aware of. We know not, often, when lectual attributes and of his moral affec. a foolish act, which we have carelessly tions, an imitation of whatever is inimidone, has become a lasting temptation in
table in his character, and such an impresthe bosom of some one who witnessed it, sion or effect resulting from his attribntes or when an unguarded expression has
and acts as is sufficient to afford some just wounded the feelings of our brother, or has conception of them to creatures acquaintproved a soare or temptation to him, and ed with the feelings of the soul, sufficient contioues, like a fiery dart, to rankle in his also to impart to the sonl inconceivable soul long after we have forgotten it, O beanty and splendour." P. 173. my friends, it is a solemn and awful
The impression which the conthonght, that we have, perhaps, by our evil example, by the incautious expression will produce in the mind, may in
templation of the divine perfections of unscriptural sentiments, or by acts or words which have stirred up bad feelings
some degree be reflected upon and passions in the hearts of those who others, upon children, and upon ser. bave been exposed to them, contributed vants, who, while they are most in, more to the ruin of souls than the most different to direct and positive inspiritual, and diligent, and pains-taking struction, are silently and jealously among us have ever contributed to their watching the character and conduct salvation. Whenever we have violated
of those whom they suppose to be the Law of God, in any respect, we have been shooting arrows in the dark, when
under the influence of the great we have wounded some and pierced the
truths of religion. The earnestness hearts of others, while we like madmen of Mr. Carlile on this topic is worhave been saying, “ Is it not in sport?' thy of the deep and solemn interest
And, ou the other hand, we know not of the occasion. what effect any, even imperfect endeavour to promote the glory of God, may « Nôr have we far to go to find creathrough his blessing produce on others. tures precisely in such circunistances We know not bow a word dropped, it creatures that have immortal souls that may be without definite - intention or any may be saved or perish for ever; to whom expectation of its producing any striking it is therefore of the utmost consequence effect, may take root in some heart, and to obtain just conceptions of the great spring up to everlasting life : nor how an God with whom they have to do; who example of faithfulness in duty may con are incapable of forming such conceptions firm and strengthen the faith of some, who of him from his works or from his word, were not in our thoughts when we exhi but who could leam much respecting him bited it." P. 150.
from the reflection of his character, or the
character of those with whom they assoThe practical lesson to be learned
ciate. Those to whom I allude are chil. from this imperfection of our pre dren. They have immortal spirits that sent knowledge, is an earnest atten. must be saved or lost, and it is of the very tion to the revelation of spiritual last importance that they be trained up truth: a faithful acknowledgment of with just impressions of the character of the importance of the divine care
the holy Lord God. It is not easy to imand protection ; a willing and thank- part to them proper conceptions of him
by instruction. Much of the language in ful submission to the dispensation of which such instructions must be conveyed the divine providence, and an imó is unintelligible to them. But they under.
derstand the meaning of love and joy, and is of free Grace. This is a propofear and reverence, when they see them sition which few men will dispute; in exercise ; and if you exhibit before and it would indeed be a solecism to them the genuine expressions of those af- maintain, that justification, in its fections, and tell them that they are excited by the character of God, and by proper sense of pardon of sin, acwhat he has done for you, they will better quittal of guilt, and admission to understand the excellency and dignity of favour, is not an act of grace, to his character, and the value of bis benefits, which the person justified can prethan they probably would from all the in- fer no claim. This justification is struction you could give them. So im. portant to your children is this kind of always described to be by faith, and image or reflection of God upon your spi- not by works, and to lay the person rit and conduct, that they will certainly justified under new obligations of take their views of God from that source, duty and responsibility. Divines of rather than from your instructions. If you the highest eminence have distintreat the characters or laws of God guished between primary justificawith levity, you may discourse to them of tion, which they ascribe on the part diis majesty, his goodness, and his power, of man to faith only (agreeably to or of heaven and hell, in vain; they will certainly treat him with levity also, unless the divine institution commonly prothey come under the teaching of another fessed in baptism, when the person and better instructor; and, if you would is regenerated) and final justificatrain up your children with just concep- tion in the last judgment, of which tions of the majesty of God, always treat works as well as faith are the condi. his name and his book, aud' every thing tion, without which there is no adthat is his, with reverence; if you would impress upon them a just sense of his autho- mission to the heavenly glory. With rity, pay implicit deference to it your- what justice this distinction has been selves; if you would convey to them some pronounced unscriptural; the reader adequate conception of his ordinances, will determine. This distinction is shew that yon value them above every not noticed by Mr. Carlile, who di. worldly thing; and, if you would teach rects his attention rather to the disthem that there is a delight in communion tinction between justification by with bim, shew them that you delight in praying to bim, and reading his word, and grace, and justification by works, as meditating on bim. Thus your mind and if justification in both cases were character will become as a mirror, in the same, and admitted to the same which the infant mind will see reflected state; and considering faith, the somewhat of the greatness and goodness of means of justification to be in its God." P. 170.
object, nature, effect, and origin, Sermon IX. On Justification by the work and giftof God,which under Faith. The corruption of Adam, proper limitations no man will dedy, and the guilt which he incurred, in he therefore ascribes to him alone the character and capacity of head the end to which it conduces. This or representative of mankind, and view assigns to faith more than its which devolves upon his remotest proper office in the work of justifiposterity, is shewn to be a doctrine cation, and almost elevates it from not inconceivable in itself, nor in. a means and instrument to a cause volving any imputation on the juse and condition of that justification, "tice of God; and this doctrine is which in the first instance is necesafterwards applied to illustrate the sarily and in its very nature gratuinature of the redemption which is in tous. It appears also as it were to Christ Jesus. The two doctrines, divide the one satisfaction offered thus connected and combined, will upon the cross into many acts of always throw light upon each other, justification, simultaneous with the and humility will be prescribed, while acts of faith in the persons severally consolation is imparted.
justified: and in accommodation to Sermon X, Justification by grace this representation, mention is made
in this, and in other discourses, of dency. He also condemns the error the sovereign grace of God, and of and presumption of those, who proChrist's dying for his people, thus fess to be offended when they hear superseding the purer and more of the superior holiness of those scriptural expressions, which de- who rest their salvation on their scribe the grace of God as the gift duty, in comparison with that of of a Father, and the death of Christ those who seek only in their faith : as an atouement for every man, and and he argues against the complaint for all men; for the world, and for of some, who are averse from the the whole world.
preaching of duty : a complaint Sermons XI. XII. On the provi- which is not peculiar to the Scots sion made in the plan of redemption Church, and on which some in other by the grace of God, through faith, places may listen to the voice of re. to secure the interests of morality, proof. and to promote holiness of life. It is a common insinuation of the So. “ There is a feeling, sentimental objeceinians, that the doctrine of the tion, that is sometimes made to the urgent atonement weakens the foundation
and frequeut inculcation of duty from the
pulpit, namely, that if ministers can perand principle of religious obedience, suade men to believe in the Lord Jesus not considering that the finest ex Christ, and to love him, they will do their hortations in the Scripture arc de- duty spontaneously; that without this ductions from this indispensable principle of love they never will; and doctrine. The Socinian objection therefore, that instead of preaching duty, is unhappily countenanced by the ministers ought to speak to their hearers vain opinion of some, who pro- awaken in them love to him. Tell me, my
chiefly of the love of Christ, that they may fessing to hold this sacred truth, friends, is the wife to have no steady princonsider themselves exempted from ciple and rule of duty? Is conacience to moral obligations and responsibility. be entirely laid aside? And is she to de. It is in answer to these practical pend upon the impulse of a romantic atapostates from the truth and righte- tachment to her husband, which will make ousness of the Gospel, that Mr. Car- her all assiduity and attention so long as
she is under the influence of strong feellile addresses an able argument, in
ing, but which, when her spirits flag, will which he shews that faith secures mo leave her without either motive to her acrality; 1. by the influence and ope- tivity, or direction for her employments? rative efficacy of true belief: 2. by or shall her love to her husband indnce her the calls of love and gratitude which to adopt and conscientionsly to adhere to ît addresses to mankind; 3. by some well arranged system of activity, uniting the believer with Christ in which, whatever may be her occasional new relations of the most powerful sistent propriety of conduct? When a son
feelings, will maintain in her a regular con'interest and effect; 4. by making is urged to do his father's will, and direclove the principle of duty, a prin. tions are offered to him for that purpose, ciple capable of preserving the shall he be permitted to say, 'Don't talk standard unimpaired : 5. by making to me of duty, it produces a cold legal holiness the great object and test of effect upon my mind; speak to me of the 'faith, and by exhibiting in afflicting goodness of my father, and of what he has
done for me, and perhaps you will suicdispensations the corrective love of ceed in warming and animating me to do 'the heavenly Father. In this state• 'what he requires?" Or shall his respect ‘ment of the moral provisions of the and love, and reverence for his father, in"Gospel,' he justly exposes the in- duce him to study his directions, and to consistency of those who, while they make conscience of abiding by them, 'scruple not to ridicule and revile the whether his occasional feelings may be affected precision and scrupulous
warm or cold?
“ Let the ministers of Jesus Christ righteousness of some of their bre
spurn from them an attempt to silence thren, nevertheless charge them with
their remonstrances and warnings, and to "holding a faith of an immoral ten- paralyze the urgency of their exhortations ;