Imatges de pÓgina
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1. The love of Christ to them. They are the objects of his everlasting love, before the world was, his delights were with these sons of men', and have continued ever since; as his incarnation, sufferings, death, and intercession Thew. He loves them as his Father loved him'; and therefore, his love to them must be very great, permanent and lasting, yea everlasting; and indeed, nothing can separate from it?: and therefore, such who are interested in it, can never perish everlastingly; baving loved his own which were in the world, be loved them unto the end". This, the writer I am concerned with', understands of the apostles only, and of Christ's loving them to the end of his life, and not theirs; to which may be replied, that all the apostles were not his own in a special sense, one of them was a devil, and was the devil's, and was not the object of Christ's special love, nor did he love him to the end; and besides, were the apostles the only persons that were bis own ? had he, and has he no special property in others also ? certainly he has ; who are equally the objects of his love as they were ; and are loved by him, not to the end of his life on earth only, but to the end of their lives, even for ever, to all eternity; which is the sense of the phrase used : for to understand it only of Christ's life as man on earth, is a most trifling sense ; it makes the love of Christ to be only an human affection, and to last no longer than he lived; whereas, Christ loves his not merely as a man, but as a divine person, and the Saviour of men; and loves them as much now he is in heaven, as when on earth; as his advocacy, intercession and preparations for them there shew. Moreover, HS TEAOS, which we translate to the end, may be rendered continually, as in Luke xvii. 5. for ever ; in which sense it is used by the Septuagint, in Psalm ix. 6, 18. and xliv. 23. and answers to an Hebrew word, which signifies for ever ; and so the text in John is rendered by the Ethiopic version, be loved them for ever:

2. Those who are the objects of Christ's love, are given unto him by the Father, as his portion and inheritance, and to be kept and preserved by him : and will he lose his portion, his jewels, when it is in his power to keep them? He will not; he will keep them as the apple of his eye ; tbey fall be mine, says he, in the day when I make up my jewels, and I will spare them, as a man spareth his only son that serveth himk : when they were given to him by his Father, it was with such a charge, with such a declaration of his Will, that of all which he gave him, he should lose nothing, but hould raise it up again at the last day'; which Will he perfectly, observed ; those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them.is loft but the son of perdition". It is indeed said, “ the phrase, those that

66 thou Prox. viii. 31.

John xv. 9.
& Rom. viii. 35.

John xiii. 1. i Serious Thoughts, p. 14.

John vi. 39.

m John xvii. 12.

k Mal. iii. 17.

" thou gavest me, signifies here (if not in most other places too) the twelve “ apostles, and them only; and that one of those whom the Father had given « him, did not persevere unto the end, but perished everlastingly";" and so, is rather against than for the doctrine of perseverance : to which I answer, that what in the passage and throughout the chapter is spoken of the apostles, is not said of them purely as such, but as believers in Christ, and the disciples of him, and so in common belongs to all in that character; and, if such a fallacy can take place, once and again observed by our author, that what spiritual things are said of the Jewish church under the Old Testament, and of the apostles in the New, must be restrained to them, and them only, there will be little left for the saints to build their faith and hope upon : besides, it is a moft clear case, that others besides the apostles are meant by this phrase, in that chapter where it is so much used; more are meant by the many the Father had given kim, ver. 2. to more than the apostles had Christ manifested his Father's name, ver. 8. such as are given him by the Father are opposed to the whole world, and distinguished from them; and even all that the Father had are claimed by him as his, by virtue of this gift, and for whom he prays, ver. 9, 10. and it is certain, he prayed for more than the apostles; even for all them that should believe in him through their word, ver. 20. as for Judas, the son of perdition, it does not appear, though he was an apostle, that he was among thole that were given him by the Father; he is distinguished from them in the very paffage, and is opposed to them: for, Il time but, is not exceptive, but adversative; and the sense is, that none of those that were given to Christ in a way of special grace were loft, but the son of perdition, who was not given to him in any such way, he was lost; and so, is no instance of the apostacy of such who were given to Christ; for of every one of these at the great day, he will say, bebold I and the children which God hath given me.

3. These same persons were put into the hands of Christ for safety and preservation, even as early as the everlasting covenant was made with him; yea be loved the people, all bis Saints are in thy bands P: hence they are said to be preserved in Cbrift Jefus, as the effect of their being fan&tified, or set apart by God the Father in election, and previous to their being called effectually by grace"; so they were preserved through the fall of Adam, though not from it, and in their nature-state, till called to be saints, where they remain safe and secure; they are set as a seal on his heart, and as a seal on his arm; they are engraven on the palms of his bands, and their walls are continually before him; they are a crown of glory, and a royal diadem in his band', and can never be

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Kk 2

removed Serious Thoughts, p. 15.

P Deut. xxxiii. 3, Jude, ver. 1.

Cant. viii, 6. Ira, xlix, 16. and lxii. 3.

o Heb. ii. 13.

"removed from thence; they are called the sheep of his hand', from whence none can pluck them ; I give unto them, says Christ', eternal life; and who or what then can hinder them of it? and they shall never peris; who dare say they may or Thall, when Christ says they shall not ? neither Mall any man pluck them out of my hand; mi, not any one, man or devil, nor they themselves ; nor is there any condition expressed in these words, or in the context, on which the fulfilment of them depends ; bearing Christ's voice and following him, are not conditions of these promises, as is said "; but descriptive of the sheep of Christ in his hand, and are plain marks of their perseverance; which is in the strongest manner insured to them by these words of Christ, and still more confirmed by the following; my Father which gave them me is greater than all, and no man is able to pluck tbem out of my Father's hands. I and my Fatber are one.

4. They that are loved by Christ, given him by his father, and put into his hands, are redeemed by him, and are the purchase of his blood, and therefore, can never perish; should they, it must be either for want of sufficiency in the price paid for them, or of power in Christ to keep them; neither of which can be faid: the price of Christ's blood is a sufficient and effectual price for them; and he is able to keep them, and will; he will never lose the purchase of his blood; should he in any one instance, his death would be so far in vain ; nor could it be said, that the pleasure of the Lord has profpered in bis band, or that he sees of the travail of his soul; and is satisfied": but our author says *, borresco referens, enough to make a man shudder to read it ; “ If the “ oracles of God are true, one who was purchased by the blood of Christ, may

go thither, (that is, to hell ;) for he that was fanctified by the blood of

Christ, was purchased by the blood of Christ, and such an one may never" theless go to hell :” The assertion is bold and shocking, and stands upon a mistaken sense of the passage in Heb. x. 29. as has been shewn before, and is without any foundation in the oracles of God.

5. Those whom Christ loves, were given to him, and for whom he died, for them he ever lives to make intercession; in which he is always heard, and therefore, they cannot perish : in particular he prays for their perseverance ; he

prays for them, that their faith fail not; that God would keep them through his name, that they might be one ; that he would keep them from the evil of the world, and that they might be with him where be is, to behold his glory; and now as he himself says to his Father, I know that thou bearest me always : if he is always heard, and his intercession is prevalent and effectual in all things, for which it is made, then it is impossible that those for whom it is made, should

perish • Psalm xcv. 7. 1 John X. 28, 29.

Serious Thoughts, p. 14. w Isa. liii, 10, II.

* Serious Thoughts, p. 23.

perish everlastingly; and, besides, should they, his preparations of mansions of glory for them in his Fathers's house would be in vain, John xiv. 2, 3.

6. There is a close and inseparable union between Christ and the saints, which effectually secures them from a final and total falling away, or so as to perish everlastingly; he is the head, and they his body; they are members of his body; they are the fulness of him that filleth all in all ' ; and, if any one member, even the least, should perish, they could not be said to be bis fulness : nay, they that are joined to the Lord, are not only one body, but one spirit with him; they have their life from him ; it is bid with him, and secured in him; because he lives, they fall live also; their life is bound up in the bundle of life with bis? : so, that as Luther faid, fi nos ruimus, ruit & Christus, “if we fall, Christ " muft fall too." They are laid on a foundation that is sure; they are built on a rock, against which, the gates of heil can never prevail; and from whence, all the winds and waves and floods of their own corruptions, Satan's temptations, and the world's persecutions can never remove them ‘.

Eightbly, The doctrine of the saints final perseverance, may be concluded from the Spirit's work of grace upon their hearts, from his habitation in thems and from his being the earnest of their inheritance, and the sealer of them unto the day of redemption.

1. From his work of grace upon their hearts. The grace that is wrought in them by him, is a seed which remaineth, and therefore, the man in whom it is, cannot fin, that is, the fin unto death, or fo as to perilh everlastingly; the feed he is born of is incorruptible, immortal, and never dies ; the grace which is put into him, is a well of water springing up into everlasting life ; eternal life is the certain fruit and effect of it; grace and glory are inseparable things; to whomsoever God gives grace he gives glory. The several graces of the Spirit are abiding ones, particularly faith, hope, and love ; and now abidetb faith, bope, chariry, these three": love, though the first ardour of it may be abated, and firft-love may be left, it cannot be loft ; it may wax cold, yet cannot be extinguished; many waters cannot quench it ; nothing can separate from the love of Cbrift"; as not from Chrift's love to his people, so neither from theirs to him, so that it is intirely gone: No, in the worst of times, under whatsoever darkness, desertion, temptation or affliction, a believer is, ftill Christ is the object of his love ; as the cases of the church in Canticles, and of Peter Thew : hope is an ancbor sure and stedfaft, being cast on Christ the foundation, from

whence y Eph, i. 23. * Cor. vi. 17. Col. iii. 3. John xiv, 19.

1 Sam. xxy. 29. · Matt. xvi. 18. and vii. 24, 25.

• 1 John iü.g. Pet. i. 23, John iv. 14. Psalm Ixxxiv. 11. 6 , Cor. xiii. 13•

Cant. viii. 7. Rom, viii. 35.

¢ Cant. ii. 1-3. John xi. 17

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whence it can never be removed'; and faith is that grace, which is much mora precious than gold that perisheth b; and what gives it its superior excellency is, because it does not perish itself: Christ is the autbor and finiffer of it; he

prays for it that it fail not", and performs the work of it with power : falvation is annexed to it, and inseparably connected with it; be that believeth shall be Saved'; nay, it is said, that such an one bath everlasting life ; is entered upon it, does in some sense possess it, has the foretaste, earnest, and pledge of it; and that he is passed from death to life, and all not come unto condemnation*; and therefore, cannot perish everlastingly. But our author says', the plain meaning is, be that believeth, if he continue in the faith, shall be saved. But this is an interlineation of his, and to interline a record is felony; and what crime must that man be guilty of that interlines the record of heaven, the

charter of our salvation, the will and testament of our heavenly Father, confirmed by Christ the teftator ? Beldes, he that believes shall continue in the faith; there, is no if or doubt to be made of it; he is of them that believe, or goes on believing to the saving of the soul, till he receives the end of his faith, even the Salvation of his soul"; or otherwise it could only be said he may be saved : and moreover the phrase, be shall be saved, ascertains his continuance in faith, as well as his falvation. But then it is urged “, that “by all the rules of speech,” the other part of the sentence must mean, “ be that does not believe at this “ moment, shall certainly and inevitably be damned.To which I reply, that there is a great difference between faith and unbelief, or between a believer and an unbeliever at the present moment ; the one is certainly final, the other may not be final : he that truly believes this moment goes on to believe, and shall certainly be saved; he that does not believe this moment may believe hereafter, and so not be damned: or take the answer in other words, more in the language of scripture ; be that believeth bath everlasting life, now, this moment; and according to the tenor of the Gospel, be shall be certainly and inevitably saved : be that believeth not, according to the tenor of the law, shall not see life, but ibe wrath of God abidetb on bim", even now, this moment; and he shall be certainly and inevitably damned, unless God of his grace bestows faith on him; and then he is openly entitled to what is in the other declaration, be that believeth shall be saved. Upon which every individual believer may thus argue, whoever believes shall be saved; I believe, and therefore I shall be saved, and not perish everlastingly.

great

2. In

Heb. vi, 19.

1 Mark xvi. 166 6 1 Pet. i: 7.

> Heb. xii, 2: Luke xxii. 32. John v. 24. 1 Serious Thoughts, P. 9.

- Heb. *. 39. 1 Pet. i. 9. Serious Thoughts, p. 8, 9.

• John üi. 36:

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