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SECTION III.

OF THE EXTENT OF THE BENEFIT.

The word "gospel" signifies "good tidings:" agreeably to which, it is also announced as "glad tidings of great joy to all people."* Accordingly, when it is said to have been "preached to every creature under heaven;"; it must have been preached to all as a subject, which ought to be perceived to offer a benefit to all. But according to the opposite theory, it was not such to the mass of them: or rather, it was a mean of aggravating their condemnation. These are circumstances, which ought to bear down all systems deduced from curious reasonings concerning the nature and the ways of God; and even make us suspicious of our constructions of passages of scripture, when representing them in contrariety to the principal design of it.

There are passages, which directly affirm the universality of the benefit of the death of Christ: as "The bread which I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world:" "He" [Christ] "is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world:" "Who gave him. self a ransom for all:"|| And St. Peter introduces cer, tain heretical teachers, "denying the Lord that bought them," and yet bringing on themselves swift destruction " The following passages also are particularly worthy of attention-John iii. 16.... 1 Cor. viii. 11; xv. 22....1 Tim. ii. 4; iv. 10.--. Tit. ii. 11, taken according to the marginal reading.

With the above, there may be mentioned from the Old Testament-.-Deut. xi. 26.-Fzek. xviii. 32; xxxiii. 31; and both from the Old Testament and the New, all texts of general invitation, and those of expos

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Luke ii. 10. † Col. i. 23. John vi. 51. § 1 John ii. 2 1 Tim. ii. 6. ¶ 2 ii, 1.

tulation, such as Matt. xi. 28.-Micah. vi. 3.-Is. i. 18.-John, v. 40.-Matt. xxiii. 37. But to enumerate all of this description, would be tedious. The passages which speak of the strivings of the Holy Spirit of God in the human heart, are to the same effect.

Such are the scriptural authorities, on which the Church, in her Catechism, grounds her doctrine; when she puts in the mouth of her catecumens concerning God the Son-" Who redeemed me and all mankind:" and thus, while she holds redemption to be of grace only; she ascribes its inefficiency, where this is found, to perverse rejection of the benefit.

It would be to little purpose, to cite authorities from the very early fathers, in proof of the universality of Christ's redemption; because a partiality of redemption not being in their days affirmed by any, the subject is usually expressed in the same general terms with those in the Scriptures, which are interpreted on the other side by the principle -all sorts of men, and the like. But there is something worthy of remark, in the shape in which the contrary sentiment began to show itself, in the latter end of the fourth and the beginning of the fifth century. On St. Austin's publishing of some no. velties concerning election, his opinions gave offence to many eminently religious persons in the south of Gaul. They opposed him vigorously; and his principal defender in that country, was a learned and pious layman, known in the Roman calendar by the name of St. Prosper. It had been made one of the objections to the theory of Austin, that according to it, "our Lord Jesus Christ did not die for the salvation and redemption of all mankind." That he did so die, was assumed as a point, not denied by any: and the errour of the theory in question, was thought an unavoidable inference. On the other side, Prosper did not venture to deny the received doctrine of the universality of redemption,

but essayed the difficult task of reconciling it with the opinion of his favourite doctor. He showed the same treatment to other inferences drawn from it, and depending on the same principle.

On this point, the inquiry should be not only into the sense of scripture, but into that of the Episcopal Church. For although this seems sufficiently clear in the terms of the Catechism-"Who redeemed me and all mankind;" yet some have affirmed the Church to be in a system, directly opposite to the obvious sense of the position.

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The Article of the Thirty-nine the most to the purpose, is the Thirty-first; which says-" The offering of Christ once made, is that perfect redemption, propitiation and satisfaction for all the sins of the whole world, both original and actual." The confessions and the systems alien from the senti ment here sustained, use expressions denoting, that the said offering of Christ was for a part only of mankind.

The Seventeenth Article, entitled "Of Predestination and Election," has been set up as containing the contrary doctrine. Now it is a reasonable maxim, that in the interpreting of an instrument, where one part throws light on another, advantage should be taken of that circumstance. In relation to the Seventeenth Article, it is worthy of notice, that when theological systems and writers, going beyond the obvious use of the terms "Predestination" and "Election," as occurring in the New Testament-which apply to the divine design of a covenant state common to Jewish and to Gentile converts-treat of the same subject as existing eternally in the mind of God, relatively to the conditions of individuals in a future state; there is a material point of difference among those systems and those authors. Some of them define predestination to life, to be founded on the foresight of faith and works: while others of them deem it to be independent on that circumstance, and to be

simply for the illustrating of the mercy of God in some of a race of intelligent beings to be created; and his justice, in the damnation of others of them. There is nothing in the Article, deciding on the merits of this point of difference. Accordingly, as the latter opinion here stated cannot possibly be brought into an agreement with the Thirty first Article, while it may be held in alliance with the other; this is the sense to be annexed to what is affirmed concerning predestination and election in the Seventeenth Article. As to reprobation, there is nothing concerning it in any of the Articles.

The construction here given will the more appear, on having recourse to the Homilies. There is indeed no Homily on predestination or on election: and this is a proof; that the sense of the compilers was not in unison with those confessions and systems, which enjoin and maintain the propriety of preaching on this point. But in the Homilies, there are passages confirmatory of the sense of the Thirtyfirst Article. The passages especially contemplated, and which shall only be referred to, are in the Homily for good Friday, and in that on the Sacra

ment.

But the principle pervades the prayers also. There is that in the communion service, which speaks of the Redeemer as having made on the cross" a full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world." In the same service, the minister, delivering the bread and the wine to the communicants, says to each of them-"The body and the blood of Christ, which was given for thee:" although he cannot be supposed to know what proportion of them are fit recipients. Still in the same service, in an address made to those who live in the manifest delinquency or neglect of the Holy Ordinance, the minister says" And as the Son of God did vouchsafe to yield up his soul on the cross for your redemption; so it is your duty to receive the commu

nion, in remembrance of the sacrifice of his death, as he himself hath commanded."

There might be made many other extracts from the different services; some bearing directly, and others incidentally on the subject. But it is thought, that the above are suficient. Nothing can be more evidently to the purpose, than sundry passages in the Catechism: accordingly, they have been noticed in the lecture.

SECTION IV.

CONCERNING "AN IMPROVED VERSION" (SO CALLED) "OF THE NEW TESTAMENT.”

The work is further defined to be " Upon the basis of Archbishop Newcome's New Translation; with a corrected text, and notes critical and explanatory."

The remarks to be made will be arranged under certain positions, to be given in the progress. And the contemplated limits, falling far short of a full examination of the book, will allow of no more than such suggestions, as may prove a clue to the detection of the most conspicuous of its errours.

In regard to the first two sections of this dissertation, to which the present section is supplementary, the author takes occasion to remark, that being desirous of doing justice to the opposite theory referred to, he found a difficulty in this particular. He knows of no two subjects, on which opposition has so often changed its ground, as on those of the divinity and the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ. It was desirable to advert to such explanations of texts, as were the most modern: and it was thought, that no work had such fair pretensions to notice-it being an esteemed standard on the other side-as the book now proposed to be in part reviewed. Accordingly, he had regard to it principally, in the stating of objections.

But the more he attended to that work, the more

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