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farance of salvation is a very high ground, that it can have the evil attainment in religion, which is tendency alledged. It cannot not to be expected, in ordinary have it, on the suppofition that cafes, without time sufficient to ail saints infallibly know their have bro't forth much fruit. As election of God, if governed in religion is liable to be counterfeit- their lives by difinterested and ed, and as the counterfeit very holy motives. But the fact is, strikingly resembles the reality, it their highest motive, and that by must be tried, and thence proved, which they are fupremely influenbefore the subjects of it can have ced to hold on their way, is their warrant for any high degree of supreme and disinterested love to assurance. That from which men God, the Redeemer, and his cause. apoftatize when tried, is thence It is not founded in an apprehenproved not to have been genuine. fion of God's love to them in parAccordingly, whatever ground of ticular, and the prospectoftheirown affured confidence there is, that happiness. They delight in God's all, who have once been made ho- law, after the inward man; and ly, will persevere in holiness, and that because it is holy, just and good. finally be saved, still a great pro- It is therefore their meat and portion of real faints have not the drink to do his will. They would same confidence respecting them- prefer a life of holiness, from the selves. Nay, they may, at times, delight which they take, in pleafhave the most serious doubts, ing and honoring their God and whether they belong to the house. Saviour, were there no object of hold of faith. Hence the certain either hope or fear, beyond the perfeverance and falvation of all, grave. But if such be their govwho have once been fanctified in erning motive, its influence canChrist, has no tendency to make not be destroyed, or even lessened, them loiter, in the race set before by any certainty, that all saints them ;-it affords no consolation will continue to act under such or hope, respecting themfelves, influence, and thence to persevere any farther than they continue in in well doing. the way of holiness, and thereby It hence appears, that those, furnish the proper evidence, that who urge the objection here contheir names are written in heaven. fidered, mistake both the nature -The evidence, that the saints and the essential evidence of true will endure to the end and be religion. They neceffarily found faved, is of one fort, and that their love to God, on an apprewhich proves men to be faints, of henfion of his love to them, and another. The former is found in not on his supreme and infinite the promise and faithfulness of loveliness. Hence they make it God, and the latter, in the holy the same in essence with the love experiences and lives of the saints. which finners have towards those
Again, the second thing taken who love them. It is accordingfor granted, in the objection of ly true, that those whose religion unholy tendency, to the doctrine is founded in fupreme selffness, of perseverance, is not true ; viz. and who thence love God, under That the governing motive with a mistaken apprehenfion that he faints to persevere is a supreme re. loves them, do often, in the time gard to their own happiness. It of temptation, fall away from the is, in a fort, exclufvely on this religion which they seem to have.
Nor is this at all surprising. Such ing wholly to the working of his persons have no root in them mighty power. Therefore, faith which should be expected to bring the apostle, Tou hath he quickened, forth fruit, when put to the teft. who were dead in trespaljes and firs. A religion of such sort may But God, who is rich in mercy, for doubtless be loft. Yea, it is what the great love wherewith be loved we are taught to expect, not only us, even when we were dead in fins, from the nature of it, but from hath quickened us together with the express declaration of Christ ; Christ. Not by works of righteouso Every plant which my heavenly nessa which we had done, but acfather hath not planted, shall be cording to his mercy be saved us, plucked up
by the washing of regeneration and It is natural here to notice, the renewing of the Holy Gbofl. that those generally who deny the Who, therefore, bath made thee to certain perseverance of saints, de differ from another ? The anfwer ny also the special and diftingush- must be in the words of the apofing grace of God, in renewing tle, by the grace of God I am what and fanctifying the human heart. I am. Therefore bath be mercy on They infilt, that God does no whom he will have mercy : and, more for one than another ; that he, who hath begun a good work in the spirit is given to all, in the them, will carry it on, until the day fame incafure. They accordingly of the Lord Jesus. He batb faid, hold, that when any become holy, I will never leave thee, nor forsake it is because they do more than thee. Hence, tho' the righteous others, in the improvement of fall, he shall not be utterly cast down, that grace which is common to for the Lord upholdeth him with all ; and hence, that they make his hand. Agreeably to all this themselves to differ. Nor is it faith the God of
grace, wonderful, that a religion origin- my laws in their hearts, and in their ating in self and standing in their minds will I write them, and their own strength, should sometimes fins and iniquities will I remember na be lost. It frequently is, in fact. This is one reason why the word It hence appears, from a fcripof God, speaking on this subject, tural view of this subject, that is so often misunderstood. All the objection of unholy tendency this is confiftent with the nature lies fairly against those who deny, of a religion, which is acquired by instead of those who bold the perselfish creatures, and under the in- feverance of saints. Those who fluence of sellish motives. Such imagine they have made thema religion must necessarily be self-selves to differ, that the differin, and therefore in its nature li ence, when made, is in their own able to wax old and vanith away. keeping, and, therefore, may be But true saints have not so learned loit, cannot feel the same obligaChrist. They are taught of God, tion to God, as those, who hold both by his word and spirit, to be with the apostle, tbat it is not of lieve, that men are by nature dead him who willeth, nor of him who in trespasses and lins; that they runneth ; but of God, who beweth never do any thing towards their mercy. Those who believe, that recovery to Ipiritual life; accord the righteous will hold on their ingly, that when made alive unto way to the end, and are such God, thro' Jesus Christ, it is ow.' themselves, mult feel a vast weight
I will p*
of obligation to God, for having pecially of the gospel of Christ. chosen them to falvation in Christ, He is the first, who hath plainly and renewed them by his fpirit ; declared, that all who are in the for carrying on the work of grace graves shall bear the voice of the in their hearts ; and ftill farther, Son of God, and shall come forth ; yea above all, for the two immu- they that have done good, unto the table things of God, his oath and refurre&tion of life ; and they that faithfulness, in which it is impoffi- have done evil, unto the resurrection ble for him to lie, and by which of damnation. This being true; they have strong confolation, with the righteous have cause to re.. · an hope, which is a sure and stead joice ; and the unrighteous to fear fast anchor to their souls. The and tremble. But let it be rewhole tendency of the doctrine, in membered, that this truth rests on this view of it, is to quicken and the idea, that Christ gave his life conftrain them to render unto the a ransom for us that he conquerLORD, according to benefits re- ed death and the grave, and arose ceived ; to run with patience the triumphant.-Nowif Christ benot race set before them, and to do risen, our ransom is not paid-we whatsoever their hand findeth to are yet in our fins : All our do with their might.
preaching--all our attendance on It is hence evident, that the means are vain : All our faith in doctrine of perseverance, when Chrift, all our hopes and expectafairly stated, instead of the con- tions concerning a future world trary, is of a most holy tendency, are vain, and without any rational and must have answerable effect foundation. on all the upright in heart. This The serious attention of the is the only plan, on which the reader is asked, while I attempt to grace of God, as displayed in the bring into view, some of the evifalvation of finners, can be proper- dences of the resurrection of Jesus ly seen and felt. We fee, accord. Christ from the dead. This is a ingly, that the objection here con- subject, in which, it is of infinite fidered, is wholly applicable to the importance to be well established. opposite doctrine ; that the whole On this, depend the use of the tendency of men's thinking they means of salvation, and the resure have made themselves to differ, and rection of the dead. that the difference when effected, The truth of the resurrection of depends on themselves, and not Christ depends, altogether, on on the promise and grace of God, historical facts; and, for the sake is to eradicate a sense of obliga- of brevity, I will confine myself tion to him, and to cherish a self- to the apostolic testimony, which righteous fpirit, which prepares will be abundantly sufficient, if we the way for apostacy and ruin. will allow the same degree of creTROPHIMUS. dit to attach to it, which we give
to common history; and, that On the Refurre&ion of Jesus Chriß. human nature was the fame then,
And this much,.no canHE resurrection of our bo- did infidel will refuse.
dies, and future rewards It will be needless to enter into and punishments according to the particulars, concerning the trial, deeds done in the body, are doc- death and resurrection of Christ, as trines of divine revelation, and es- reported by the evangelists: Every Vol. III. No. 10.
i ne has, or ought to have read and for the truth of them, we them with care and attention. pledge our lives, and our all. And if any still doubt of the truth This is the plain and obvious of the facts, -reported in the gor- teftimony of the apoftles, for the pel, concerning the death and re death and resurrection of Jesus surrection of Chrift, let them re- Chrift, and is directly in point ; peruse them, and they will-better the witnefses are numerous; and, judge of what I shall say. in any court of justice, would
The sum of the evidence of the be deemed sufficient to fubftanti. apofles, for the death and resur- ate the faes which they atteft. rection of Christ, in the form of On this evidence, we ground our -an affidavit, would stand thus, viz. faith in the resurrection of Chrift;
We, the apostles of Jesus Chrift, and no infidel will deny, that it declare, that we saw him crucified, is the true apoftolic teftimony. dead and buried that neither we, Thus far we are agreed. But, to nor any of his disciples have tak- evade the force of this evidence, en him away ; nor could we have the enemies of the cross plead the done it, if we would, for the chief incompetency of the witnesses, as priests and rulers had secured the being, either deceived themselves, doors of the tomb, with the go- or having a design to deceive vernor's seal, and set a guard of others. This we deny. Here foldiers to watch it, hoping to then we are at issue. prevent his rifing on the third It is certain, the apostles could day, as he had predicted. Yet, not be deceived in this case. They early in the morning of the third were of age and knowledge to day, some of us, with others, judge of any facts, which were went to the tomb, and found the to be tested by the bodily senses. guard gone ; and the stone rolled They had been long acquainted away. Two of us, John and with Jesus, and knew him as well, Peter, and two women, went into as any man can know another. the tomb and found it empty of And though illiterate - men, they the body of Jefus: Ther eft of us could judge whether Jesus was heard from those, who were eye-wounded or notwhether he was witnesses. Furthermore, we know dead or alive—whether they faw, his body was not taken away by heard and handled him ; and conothers ; because, we saw it when versed with him for forty days-todead, and afterwards when alive.gether, after they had seen him We saw him, repeatedly, for forty dead and buried. Of such facts, days together, and conversed with they were capable of judging a him, after his resurrection. We well as Pilate himself, and could had been long and intimately ac- not be deceived : All the proof quainted with him, and knew his of Christ's refurrection were tefted person perfectly well. We, also, by the bodily fenfes, and not by handled the body we faw, and reasoning · They could see, hear, know it had flesh and bones.- and feel, as well as the moft acute « We are sure it was the same bo- philofopher ; confequently, they dy which hung upon the cross, were proper judges, and could for we saw the wound in his fide, | not be miftaken in this case of the and the print of the nails in his resurrection of Jesus Christ. hands and feet.” These things Nor could they have any dewe testify before God and man; fign to deceive othe. They
were, to-fay the least, as much what human nature ever has been, concerned to know and speak the we may fafely conclude, in such a truth, as any men on earth ; nor case, their love would have changcould any men have less- motives ed into - hatred ; and that they to misrepresent. Christ had cho would have cursed him, with their fen them for his immediate at bitter curses, for deceiving them, tendants and apostles. He de- | Yet, how different was their conclared himself the true Mefliah duct? Their hearts burned with and Son of God; and wrought love to Jesus and his cause ; and a variety of miracles to prove it.- nothing could stay them from bis He informed them, that he came work. Having received the proto give his life a ransom for the mised comforter, they boldly aflife of the world that he must firmed that Jesus is the Chrift, and be killed by the Jews ; but, was risen from the dead-that should arise the third day, and they had seen and handled him, would meet and converse with and conversed with him, and knew them again ; after which; he he was the very fame whom they should alcend to his God and their had seen crucified. God, to his Father and their Fan To all this, the scribes and ther, to prepare everlasting abodes priests could make no reply, but for them. He constituted them the pitiful tale, “ while the folo his ministers; and promised them diers slept, his disciples came and his holy spirit to direct and aslift itole him away." How filly ! them in all their duty, and to How perverse ! The soldiers were comfort and support them under placed there, by the governor's all their trials, and, through order, to watch the tomb, which them, to spread the gospel and was made fast and sealed. It was build his church through the a case of high importance ; and world, notwithstanding all oppo for the soldiers to fall asleep, subfition.
jected them to death by the law. Now, as the apostles knew But how could they know, what: Christ was put to death by the was done by the disciples, while, Jews, they knew all this account they flept? Had the body been was a grand imposture-a mere so taken away, the priests would farce, unless he arose from the have been the first to demand the dead on the third day. Except execution of the law on the folsthey knew Jesus was alive from diers. This tale is an implicit acthe dead, they knew they were knowledgment, that they believe still in their fins, and without ed the refurrection of Jesus Chrift. kope - towards God, and that Thus far, as in. view of Christ'sthey could have no dependance on pretensions to divinity and the his promises. As apostles, it was Messiahship ; and his promises to their intereft, above all men, to the apostles, they could have had know the truth in this case. And no- motive to deceive ; and had if they knew, or had reason to they not known he' was · rifen, it believe he was not risen, it was per would have been highly their inculiarly their interest to have pub- terest to deny his resurrection. lished their reasons ; it would have Again, had not the apofles settled all difficulties between certain knowledge of the refur- ? them and the chief priests, scribes rection of Christ, they could not; and pharisees. Yea, considering reasonably, have expected any fuc.