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only ones who are brought forward as partakers of it. Here is not a single word respecting the wicked, who, as we cannot suppose by an omission with no significance, are left to be understood as no parties concerned in it. This was the resurrection which the same Apostle expressed himself as so desirous of attaining (Phil. iii. 10, 11.) He, of course, 'knew that there was a resurrection which he, in common with all men, was sure to attain; but this he could not mean: there would be nothing peculiar, no special privilege in this. But there was another resurrection in his eye, the subjects of which should alone attain to that higher condition of honour and glory to which he aspired -the resurrection by emphasis ; that resurrection of which he himself had given so glowing a description to the Corinthians.
“Having traced the correspondence intimated, and, I trust, established the connection required, between the resurrection-saints of Rev. xx. and the elect saints of prior revelation, we pass over the events of the thousand years to arrive at the great concluding scene—the general resurrection. And here the first thing to be remarked is, that whereas in the former resurrection nothing is said about the wicked, here nothing is said about the saints; and the next is, that whereas in the first resurrection all are raised to one and the same destiny,- eternal life and a royal priesthood,-here, the congregated dead of all the races of mankind since the Fall are divided into two opposite classes, of very different destiny. The third, and most important thing to be noticed is—that here too is a BOOK OF LIFE, and with this remarkable distinction, that the names of those found therein are not said to have been written in it BEFORE THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD.
“ I have omitted to include amongst these distinguishing marks, the statement respecting the subjects of this resurrection- that they shall be judged according to their works; as the same is said of all in a manner which must include even the elect saints. Taking, however, this judgment according to works, twice stated in conjunction with the post-millennial book of life, here is much to engage us.
“So far as appears, no man's name is found in this book, but as the result of the things written in those other books in which has been kept an exact register of his character and conduct during life. Or rather, perhaps, none will be found to be omitted but the reprobate--the finally obdurate and impenitent; those without any meetness for the heavenly society, or totally disqualified' for it. Here, then, we have standing before us, at their final account, all those of the ransomed from eternal death, to whom, as to free agents, the general invitations and promises of the Gospel were made ; who had closed with the one, and now receive the other; and of whom we have no contemporaneous evidence to show that all this, as with the elect, had been foreordained and fixed before the foundation of the world.”(pp. 21–24.)
Thus, according to Mr. Mansford's plan, the first resurrection may be called the Calvinistic resurrection ; for it will consist of “ those who are specially marked out by sovereign grace in the “ eternal counsels of the Godhead, and in due time, as they seve“ rally appeared in the successive ages of the world, gathered from “amongst the crowd of human beings by the same special grace, " as the first-fruits unto Christ, are characterized by such terms " and descriptions as his 'brethren ;' as God's elect;' as the “ church of the first-born;' as 'fashioned like the glorious body “of Christ ;' as 'reigning with him ;' as 'kings and priests " unto God;' as being the same as 'the angels of God in heaven;' " as judges of the world' and of 'angels. "--(p. 27.)
While the second, or Arminian resurrection, follows at a distance of 1000 years :
“ Nothing of the kind being said of the saved of the second resurrection, all that can be predicated respecting them is—that their names being found in the book of life, they are delivered from the second death, and will share in the immortality of those who had been raised from the dead before them; and that they will have a place, though a subordinate one, appointed their in the new kingdom. And it is scarcely stepping beyond what is revealed to us, to conclude, that the difference between the two will, in some way, be of the nature of princes and subjects."-(pp. 27, 28.)
Thus, finally, Mr. Mansford's general conclusion is as follows:“ I am constrained to believe that the general invitations of the gospel are sincere, and that all who come within their sound must be in some way capable of accepting them. On the other hand, I am also constrained to believe that man, as the consequence of his natural depravity, and the opposition of his spiritual foes, is incapable of doing even this without divine assistance. I cannot refuse my belief to the one, without impeaching the sincerity and the veracity of God. I cannot disbelieve the other, without unhinging the whole scheme of mercy, and separating that which God has joined together. To whatever people the gospel is sent, and faithfully preached, that people are thenceforward amongst the called ; and, whether they listen to the message or not, will be accounted with as those who have been called. It may also, perhaps, be assumed, that wherever the gospel is thus faithfully presented, there are amongst the rest some of the chosen, whe, whatever becomes of the others, will be gathered out and secured. These the Spirit will take care of as his special charge. And has He no care for the rest?' According to the rigid predestinarian, He has not: the message was not sent to them, and He has nothing to do with them. Backed by the me taphysical theologian, he not only insists that such is the Scripture doctrine, but that man, by the necessities of his mental and moral constitution, is incapable of receiving it: being destitute of the freedom of the will upon which its reception must depend, and being equally destitute of that special influence of the Spirit (vouchsafed only to the predestinated) which can bring him to receive it. That man is naturally averse to the things of God, and will never of himself think them of sufficient value to seek them, and that be is so blind to his condition that the gospel has no charms for him, are melancholy truths with which the Bible is replete. But if his case be such as the metaphysical predestinarian requires, then Scripture language is vague and nugatory, and it will be impossible for us to be certain that we receive rightly any portion of divine truth ;-the promises are vain, the threatenings bugbears, and the invitations a mockery; and the whole of them, for any certainty attached to their meaning, may as well be read backwards.
“Here, then, in opposition to the dogmas of a narrow theology, and the subtilties of metaphysics, is the ground on which the Christian philosopher may take his stand. The gospel is never sent to any without such a measure of grace, that is, in this instance, such a measure of the influence of the Holy Spirit accompanying it, as shall effectually counterbalance the natural inditference or hostility of the heart, together with every physical or satanic hindrance, and place the persons addressed, as to the freedom of the will, in at least as favourable a situation as though they were not the inheritors of a fallen nature. To suppose otherwise is, on the one hand, to make man morally sound as well as free; or, on the other, to charge God with deceiving him.
“ Thus it is, that some must, and all may. The called everywhere have both the freedom and the power to accept the offered salvation. But within every such body is a lesser body of the chosen, who are the subjects of a more
special and determining grace, by which they are sealed unto the day of redemption. Take the state of the called and the chosen in this view, and all is intelligible and harmonious; reject it, and all is perplexed and conflicting: the parts of the gospel scheme stand self-repelled and wide asunder, and in the gulph between them fall charity, peace, and truth."-(pp. 44-46.)
“ Intelligible and harmonious !” Is this so? According to Mr. Mansford's view, the human race is divided into four classes ;
1. The chosen :-those who by sovereign, irresistible, electing grace, are taken out of this ungodly world, and saved, not from any regard to their own works or deservings, but of God's free grace and mercy. These are to be raised at the commencement of the millennium ; and are to reign with Christ as kings and priests.
2. The called who have obeyed the call. Those, as Mr. Mansford speaks,“ to whom, as free agents, the general invitations “ and promises of the Gospel were made ; who had closed with the “ one, and now receive the other; and of whom we have no con« temporaneous evidence to show that all this, as with the elect, “ had been foreordained and fixed before the foundation of the “ world.”—(p. 24.) “Here, in this impartial judgment, the ways " and the justice of God will be fully vindicated. While the “ ransomed child of Adam hears with rapture his name read from “ the book of life, and after the solemnity of his own judgment, “ which must nevertheless be passed through, is welcomed, still “ professing his own unworthiness, into the joy of his Lord—it “ will, at the same time, be made apparent to all, even to the sinner “ himself, that if his name is not found written in that book, he “ will have only himself to blame.”—(p. 25.)
3. The called who have not obeyed the call. These, having had, according to Mr. Mansford's view, “ only such a measure of “ grace as may assist without controlling their determination,” have fallen, as Adam fell, the tempter having succeeded to their destruction.
4. Those who have not received the gospel-call in any wise.
Such is Mr. Mansford's scheme. To him it appears to offer an entire and easy solution of all difficulties. To us it rather seems to combine all the “ hard questions” of all other schemes, without replying to any of them. The “harmony and intelligibility” of it is not perceptible to us. All that arbitrariness which the carnal heart dislikes, in the doctrine of sovereign, distinguishing grace, is left unremoved. There would still be, on this system, those who would be saved because it was God's eternal purpose to save them, and those who would be not saved,—He having no such eternal purpose of saving them. The offensive part of the Calvinistic scheme is left unmitigated. 1846.
mention than the plan, a farfalves, and these God has
But if the old stumbling-block is not removed, a new one is created, at which we confess ourselves to be greatly aggrieved. Two classes of saved ones are to fill heaven's courts,—the first, having been saved, irrespective of any merits of their own, but solely “ by the good pleasure of His grace,” are to be exalted to sovereign dignity. But there is a second class, to whom God has merely granted the power to save themselves, and these, having, according to Mr. Mansford's plan, a far larger share in the work of their redemption than the former class, are to be “ rewarded” by being allowed to sit at the feet of the favoured few, as subjects and servants! These, when asked, “ Who hath made you to differ?”—may answer, “ Our own energies, efforts, and faithfulness to the grace given." Yet these, instead of being raised above those who were saved by mere sovereign grace, are actually placed very far indeed below them!
It is impossible to help wondering at the temerity of such systemmakers as Mr. Mansford ! Here is a vast and incomprehensible question, which has baffled the intellects of the mightiest minds for centuries, and respecting which their greatest wisdom has been to confess, that it was “ higher than heaven, what canst thou know ? deeper than hell, what canst thou do ?”—and yet, a new and almost unknown writer starts up, at this time of day, and offers, in a pamphlet of 72 pages, to make the doctrine of Election "intel. ligible and harmonious."
Intelligible and harmonious, indeed, we are well assured that it is, to those higher intelligences whose mind can grasp its limits and trace its foundations. But we have no expectation that, after such men as Calvin and Jonathan Edwards have left it still a matter of faith,-it will be given to any pamphleteer of our day to make it a matter of sight!
THE DIVINE WARNING OF THE CHURCH ; of our Enemies, Dangers, and Duties; and as to our future Prospects. By the Rev. EDWARD BICKERSTETA. Fourth Edition, much enlarged. Foolscap 8vo. pp. 418. London: Seeleys. 1846.
This greatly enlarged edition of a most important and useful tract, comes forth very opportunely. Its subject is, the advances making by Popery; and surely the present is a moment at which it is most needful for us to cast an eye behind and before, and to seek to know whither we are going.
Of the Sermon which formed the basis of the present work, nine thousand copies were quickly sold. But the topic deserved a fuller consideration than could be given in a tract, or even in a small volume. In the work now before us it is fully developed, and will furnish matter for many an hour of painful ponderings, to those “ who sigh for the iniquities of their times."
Mr. Bickersteth has also been driven,-like most other thoughtful men,—to inquire whether, amidst the dangers that surround us, there may not be a call of duty to try once more to heal the breaches of Zion, and to bring together the scattered bands which are, alas, as often turning their arms against each other, as against the enemies of the Church of Christ. Hence he has added a distinct section, on the duty of Union among real Christians. He opens the subject in the following terms :
“It is a solemn warning given by St. Paul, Gal. v. 15, If ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.' Christians have suffered much from the neglect of this warning. Our Lord has plainly and strongly charged us; 'A new commandment I give you, that ye love another: as I have loved you, that ye also love one another; and he has assured us, "By this shall all men know that iye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.'
“ It is an affecting truth that Rome stands chiefly by the divisions of Protestants. She ever points to our disagreements, though they be about minor things and outward forms, and we agree in the great and vital essentials of Gospel truth; and glories in her unity, though it be merely a formal agreement in outward things, and a bare profession of Catholic truths, joined with most anti-scriptural and fatal errors.
"The Church will not always be thus disunited. The prophecies are clear. * There shall be one Lord, and his name one-I will give them one heart and one way, Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim." To wait on God, in the way of duty, effort, and prayer, for the accomplishing of these blessed prophecies, is our happy privilege at this time.
" It has appeared to me exceedingly desirable, in the present earnest struggle for great principles, to direct the attention of the members of the Church of Christ, and especially of my own Church, to the great duty of cultivating Christian union with all who truly love our Saviour. Would that I and my readers might attain one of the last beatitudes, ‘Blessed are the peace-makers.'