صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors]

in offering salvation to the non- to hear, that God has chosen some elect; so he is equally consistent to salvation ; and are even pleased in punishing them forever, for with the doctrine of personal etheir free, voluntary refusal lection to eternal life, if it be

, of his gracious and sincere offers. preached separately and This many call inconsistent, insin- connected with any other doctrine. cere and unjust. Since the good They are not so well pleased to ness of God in offering them salva- hear, that God has passed by, or tion on the easiest and best terms, reprobated some of the human does not lead them to repentance, race; though they can bear to but to impenitence and unbelief, hear even the doctrine of reprothey justly deserve to be punished bation, if it be preached separatefor all their sine, and especial. ly and unconnected with any othly for their sins of impenitence er doctrine. But they cannot and unbelief. They have as fair very patiently endure to hear both an opportunity to embrace the the doctrine of election and of rep. gospel and secure the salvation of robation brought into view at once their souls, as the elect have ; but in connection with the sincerity of they reject the offers, which the God in his offers of salvation to all. elect embrace; and why should This they say is puzzling preachthey complain if God treats them ing. But it is not my design to according to their own free, volun- puzzle, but to instruct, in this distary conduct? The truth is, God course. Christ taught that 66 many is consistent, but they are incon- are called, but few are chosen," sisteut. God's ways are equal, though he knew that his declarabut their ways are unequal. - tion would puzzle some. then, and They abuse the goodness, pa- tea thousand more in time to come tience, and forbearance of God, & Why ihen did he make the declaratreasure up to themselves wrath tion? It was because he knew against the day of wrath, and that God had called some whom righteous judgment of God. he had not chosen ; because he

5. If God be consistent in offer. knew that he was as sincere in inz salvation not only to the elec', calling those whom he had not but to the non-elect; then it is of chosen, as in calling those whom great importance, that all men he had chosen; because he knew, should see this consistency in the that men might see the consistendivine conduct. It is found to be cy of his calling those whom he very hard to make men see this had not chosen, and because he consistency; not because they are knew that it was of vast imporincapable of seeing ii, but because tance, that men should see the they are naturally extremely un. consistency of these most interest.' willing to see it.. Tbey can bearing truths. But there is ground

and safe.

to suppose, that some are pleased ing those whom he has not electwith the doctrine of election be- ed. Hence it is of vast importance cause they think they are elected that preachers should clearly

Some are displeased prove lhe doctrines of election and with the doctrine of election, be- reprobation, and clearly illustrate cause they doubt whether they their consistency with each other, are elected. And others dread the and with the siocerity of God in doctrine of reprobation, because offering salvation to all; though they fear that they are reprobated. he has chosen but a part of manNone of these selfish persons wish kind. Those who understand and to see the consistency of the doc- love these two doctrines in their trine of election and the doctrine harmony and connection, are preof reprobation with one another, pared to understand and embrace and with the divine sincerity in all the other doctrines of the gos. offering salvation to all. Those pel, and to praise; and glorify, and who are pleased with the doctrine enjoy God in the kingdom of heayof election, merely because they en, where those doctrines will be think it secures their salvation, a permanent source of gratitude are not at all concerned to knew and joy to all that are redeemed whether God is consistent in choos. from among men. ing them and passing by others,

6: the gospel of the grace because they value iheir own good of God, which bringeth salvation, more than the good of all other teaches us that “ many are called men & all other beings. And those but few are chosen ;" then it who hate the doctrine of reproba- places those who enjoy it in a tion, merely because they fear that very critical and interesting situ. they are reprobated, are not at all ation. If men believe and love concerned to see the consistency both these doctrines, the gospel of God in calling them, when he will save them ; but if they dis. has reprobated them ; for they believe and hate both these dochad rather all the elect should be trines, the gospel will destroy destroyed, than that they them- them. They cannot believe one selves should be finally lost. But without believing the

other ; neither those who love, por those and they cannot disbelieve one who hate the doctrines of election without disbelieving the other.-and reprobation in their real and If they believe, that some are inseparable connection, can cor- chosen, they must believe, that dially embrace the gospel which some are not chosen. If they becontains these two doctrines, and lieve soine are chosen, they must requires men to approve of both, belicve, that some will be saved. as consistent with each other and If they believe, that none are chowith the sincerity of God, in call- scn, they must believe, that none

will be saved. If they cordially worthy of insertion in your Magapprove of God's saving the elect azine, it is at your service. It is and destroying the non-elect, they an account of a conversion wbich cordially approve of the gospel, took place several years ago, and w bich must save them. But if the facts are stated from personal they heartily disapprove of God's knowledge. saving the elect, and destroying A. B. now Mrs. C. was a young the non-elect, they heartily dis

woman of respectable connections approve of the gospel, which

in common life, cheerful in her must destroy them,

There can

disposition, of vigorous health, unbe no neutrality in this case.-

commonly active, and agreeably Every one must believe, or dis.


among her relatives and believe the gospel. Every one friends. She was

warm in her must love, or hate the gospel.-- friendship; and, though the farThe kingdom of heaven is come thest possible from an unworthy acnigh you, and you must enter in, tion, she loved the company of her or refuse to enter in. You know

young companions, and was fond that many are called, but few are

of an occasional hour of gaiety chosen. It is vain to hope that

and mirth in their society. you can enter into the kingdom of God, without believing and

Her conversion took place as I loving both these truths. You have said, several years ago.have heard them from the mouth She had been at her uncle's to of the only Saviour, and you can pass an evening, with some friends. not forget them. They will She went with rather more meet you in health and in sick. flection than usual, though nothness, in life and in death, in time ing particular lay on hér mind; and etercity, and determine your

and she spent the time much as final and eternal destination.-- she had often spent an evening, God is now sincerely calling all,

in nothing which would commonand it is as much as the soul is ly be thought improper indeed, worth, for anyone to reject, or but yet in that light and trifling make light of the call, or attempt manner which is but too characto excuse himself. The door of teristic of youth in general. mercy is open, and all things are She was living, at the time, dow ready for your reception ; with her sister who was married and how can you escape, if ye and settled in the neighbourhood. neglect so great salvation. In returning home she must nec

essarily pass a certain street up For the Christian Magazine. which she always went in going to Messrs Editors,

the house of God. She had passIf you shall judge the following


[ocr errors]

ed it in a similar way an hundred led to the thought of her guilt times before perbaps, and always and God's holiness, and to all the with as little reflection as she had deep revolvings of solicitude, passed any oiher street. But now which are wont to fill a truly the Lord's time had come, and she wounded spirit.' felt impressions to which, till now, Her sister and brother-in-law she had been a stranger. The were professors of religion ; but slight seriousness which had hung convictions like those of A. B. about her mind through the even- were strange things in their famiing was now suddenly changed ly. They neither knew them in into most awful solemnity. Eter- themselves nor in their acquaintnity seemed but

a step from ances. The appearance of A. B. ber.

therefore, was the more observed A. B. had been in general ra. --and impressive. On meeting a ligiously educated ; and formerly member of the family in the morn. she had received many lessons of ing to whom she was particularly religious instruction from an em, attached, she said - after a considinently pious man, then no more. erable time before she could say Her sister too and family had any thing - will you forgive me?' great regard for religion. But it was spoken with a flood of tears. A. B. now felt, for i he first time, Utterance was denied to a lasting conviction of entire de- and she remained in silence. pravity.

Similar, at first, was her address The particolar thought which to almost all her friends, though the Holy Spirit was p'rased to they, like this one knew of nottemploy as a medium of conviction, ing in which she had injured them was this—it was as she passed the to which she could refer, and street above mentioned--- Per- could only understand her in refbaps I shall never pass that street erence to what she felt in general again ;


where I have for having so long neglected
so often been to the house of Christ.
prayer, perhaps I shall go do In this state of mind she contia-
more.” This was the thought, ved several days, perhaps two or
nor could she dislodge it from three weeks, during which she
her mind. It followed her home, found no rest and no peace. The
and caused her a sleepless nigbt. impressions on her mind, though

Nor did the night pass with on- variable in degree, were, in genely this thought in mind. It was ral, pungent and powerful, and, at the rallying point for others, and times, exceedingly. so. a multitude that came like armed peared to apprehend spiritual men and overwhelmed her in things almost as sensible as matrouble for her soul. She was terial things are apprehended.



She ap


The purity and holiness of God; was noticable from the first. She the odiousness of sio ; her desert of was now also abundant in reading punishment on account of sin, and the bible and in prayer. And especially her deliement with it; thus she continued to live while God's readiness to pardon were I knew her, ten years, and till ashe only peoitent and believing in bout the time of her marriage, Christ; the tender compassion of when a removal to a distant part the Redeemer; and yet her awful of the country prevented my furexposure wbile continuing as she ther particular acquaintance with was :-these, and similar thoughts her case. From occasional opporseemed present to her mind as liv- tunities of seeing her still, and esing, sensible realities. And it was pecially from the high estimation striking to observe, how, from her in which fknow her to be held appearance, there grew insensibly as a christian by all who know her in every beholder a conviction of best, I feel warranted in giving the truth and importance of re- assurance that sbe adorns the docligion. After a considerable time, trine of God our Savior. a gradual composure and peace But wbat I have in view is somesucceeded to pungent conviction thing further. And what I wish and deep distress.

particularly here is, to call the The.change in A. B. was very attention of christian readers to manifest to all. She had no instan- what, from this, we see may be the taneous consciousness of it herself, importance of even a single conand the moment of release was version in common life. Judging not so sensibly marked by her as from the effects of this, it may be it is wont to be by many. But to immense. all her acquaintances the change

As has been suggested already, was unquestionable. With occa- the family in which A. B. lived sional interruptions from doubts though respectful towarde religion whether her experience was gen- and themselves, the united head vide, her state was now that of being professors, was not acquaintuniform quietness and peace.- ed with experimental religion. There was also much of joy and And tho' they always, with scarce. happiness. All was calm. She ly a single failure, attended public was modest and ratber reserved worship on the Sabbath, and kept as to herself. But her tone of it strict at home, yet they not unsentiment and moral feeling was frequently complained, if the docbighly evangelical and decided, trine of our depravity, or of regenand her apparent bappiness in eration, or of the election of grace thoughts of God, and Christ, and was discussed. They believed heaven, and glory, was marked these things, they would say. No by all. Her anxiety for others doubt they are true. But they

« السابقةمتابعة »