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which truth so discerned and relished becomes the cause of holy feeling and action. Doubtless the heart is the immediate subject of divine influence: that influence is immediately from the Spirit of God, not by the intervention of means; the effect is a new moral nature or disposition. When to a mind thus prepared for its reception, divine truth is presented, it is perceived and felt in its true nature and glory, and the mind that so perceives and feels it cannot bnt believe, love, repent, obey, rejoice, as varied portions of the word it receives are respectively adapted to produce those gracious, holy exercises of mind. In regeneration there is a new nature imparted to the soul. The nature of a thing is that quality, not acquired but inherent, which causes it to work uniformly in a certain course to certain results. It is always subtle, and can neither be traced, nor defined, nor separated from its subject. We find it every where in minerals, and vegetables, and animals, but every where it eludes our search, and is known and proved only in its results. The great Maker alone can impart, or alter, or discern it. It excites our amazement by its vast power and steady operation, by its endless diversity and untraceable subtlety. Why various plants extract from the same soil such different odours, colours, tastes, qualities, can receive no other explanation than that such is the nature of each; but that nature cannot be detected or developed. Now, in moral agents disposition is the nature. The force of disposition is unconquerable; no reason, no truth, no consequences will overcome or alter it. It rules the will, influences the understanding, determines the pleasures of its possessor. Means cannot reach it, human power cannot alter it. To impart a new disposition or nature to the soul is the work of God. This by a creative energy he performs in the soul he would regenerate; and this accomplished, to that soul all things become new : all things are seen in a new light, all things produce a new effect upon the mind, correspondent with its altered nature, for it is the disposition of a man which determines how he will regard truth, and how it will affect him.
But we shall have much greater pleasure in introducing Dr. Payne to speak for himself, than in pursuing disquisitions of our own. The Doctor has argued in a most conclusive and convincing manner in favour of the doctrine of the eternal, personal election of some men to grace and glory. He most ably refutes the objections of Pelagian and Arminian divines against this great mystery of our faith, and thus concludes his reply to their favourite notion of the bestowment of sufficient and equal grace on all men.
“ Or the argument may be stated in a somewhat different manner. Since some men believe the gospel, and others reject it, the faith of the former must be ascribed to themselves or to God. If Pelagians ascribe it to the former, they rescue themselves, indeed, from any difficulty which may be supposed to be involved in the opinion, that faith is the gift of God; but they leave an occasion of boasting to the believer. If, on the contrary, they ascribe it to God, then it must be the result of an influence common to all, or special to some. The latter supposition draws after it the doctrine of eternal and personal election. They seem, therefore, driven to the necessity of resorting to the former supposition. But if a common and equal assertion, or gift of the Spirit, leads to the existence of faith in the case of some, and not in the case of others, it must surely be
because the former are less averse to believe, or more disposed to improve the means of grace than the latter : i. e. they are less depraved, and so require less assistance from the Spirit of God to work out their own salvation. And yet, by supposition, they receive as much assistance as those who are more depraved: i. e. those who stand in the greatest need of moral help, receive no more than those who have the least need of it; in opposition to the axiom of Bishop Tomline, that God has equally enabled every man to work out his own salvation. There is an ambiguity in this assertion which, it is probable, never struck the mind of his lordship. An equal measure of aid in working out our salvation, (which we are assured all men possess) may mean a measure equal in itself; i. e. equal in all cases, in degree; or a measure equally proportioned to the need of those who receive it. His lordship appears to me, therefore, to be involved in the following inextricable dilemma: Either that gift of the Spirit, which to preserve even the appearance of ascribing the praise of man's salvation to God, he is constrained to acknowledge is vouchsafed to all men, is bestowed in the first sense of the term equal, i.e. in an equal degree upon all men: in which case those who, being more obdurate, reject the gospel, are less favourably dealt with than others, inasmuch as the aid they receive is not equally adapted to meet their moral wants, (a supposition which would cause all the arrows shot by the Arminian to recoil upon himself.) Or the supposed gift is bestowed in a degree which renders it equally proportioned to the moral need of those who receive it; in which case it must effect the salvation of all, or the salvation of none. It is impossible to conceive that a measure of influence, equally adapted to subdue the depravity of two human beings, should succeed in the case of one, and fail in the case of the other. A power equal to a hundred would as certainly remove an obstruction amounting only to eighty, as a power of fifty would remove an obstruction of forty. That both should succeed is perfectly possible, and, indeed, absolutely certain ; but that the hundred should fail, while the fifty succeeds, or vice versa, is utterly incredible and inconceivable.”—Pp. 67, 68.
It is proverbially more easy to ask than to answer questions; and on this subject many questions might be more easily put than replied to. As for example, where in Scripture is the bestowment of this universal sufficient grace asserted ? Does it consist in imparting a disposition to believe the gospel, or does it only strengthen the natural powers supposed to be impaired by the fall ? At what period is it imparted? Do all men enjoy it equally, those who are favoured with the gospel and those who never hear the glad tidings? Calvinism has this great advantage over the Pelagian and Arminian systems, that it rests on what seems, at least, and professes to be an interpretation of Scripture; and the main difficulty of its adversaries is to force a different meaning upon the texts pleaded in its support; whereas the main foundation of these systems is gratuitous assertion ; reason forming its plan, which revelation must be made to agree with and support, as best it may.
In the following passage, extracted from pp. 100 and 101, Dr. Payne is repelling the objection that sovereign election is inconsistent with the justice of God, and uses with great skill the important distinction between the rectoral and paternal character of the Supreme.
« What, then, they will be disposed to reply, is it not true that, on your principles, God decreed to deliver some from the ruins of the fall, and did not, even on the most moderate statement of your views, decree to save others? And is it not further true, that, on the Calvinistic system, he exerts an influence upon the former to secure their salvation, which he does not exert upon the
VOL. I. N. S.
latter? No, I reply, it is not true that he does either the one or the other as the moral governor of the world. On the contrary, though, in his character as sovereign, great disparity may be observed in his conduct towards men, yet, as a moral governor, he acts with the most exact equality and uniformity.
“ Nor let this distinction between what some have ventured to call the private and the public character of Jehovah, i. e. between the relation sustained by him to mankind as sovereign and as moral governor, be stigmatized as a fiction got up for the occasion, for it is frequently recognized among men; and we admit, without the slightest hesitation, that an individual may do many things, as a man, which he cannot, and ought not to do, as a ruler or a judge. If two persons should present themselves in a court of justice, suing for the recovery of what they considered just debts, the judge sitting on the bench must only grant what the law awards to them. Should they fail to make good in law their claim to what they demand, no upright judge could award them any thing as judge, not even a penny. But if, compassionating their situation, he, as an individual, were to present them with a sum equal to what the hard decision of the law had just placed beyond the reach of their hopes, who could consider this conduct a just subject of complaint? Or if, as an individual, he chose to befriend one, and not the other, would the latter be entitled to represent himself as unjustly dealt with? Surely not. The justice which, as moral governor, he dispenses, is the property of the community; every one has a claim to an equal measure of it. But the wealth which enables him to administer to the necessities of the rejected suitor is his own; and every one feels that he has a right to do what he will with his own.”
No distinction can be more just and necessary than this. It is founded in the truth and nature of things; and without it we want the true mode of solving many difficulties connected with the dispensations of God towards our race in its peculiar position as guilty, yet partaking of divine mercy. From God, as moral ruler and judge, we receive nothing but justice, both in the giving and execution of the divine law. From God, as sovereign, we receive nothing but good-bounty as creatures, mercy as sinners. The rules by which these several relations in which God stands to men are guided are quite different. If, therefore, we mingle and confuse these things together, if we ascribe to God's sovereignty what emanates from his justice, or judge of his sovereign grace by the rules of justice, we cannot but dishonour him, and darken and confound our own understandings. We might as well employ the laws of mechanics to illustrate the changes of chemistry.
The following passage gives the author's luminous view of imputation and substitution in his own clear and accurate manner.
" To impute sin to an offender, or to lay it to his charge, is, then, to treat him as a guilty person, and is not merely a previous step to his being so treated, Not to impute sin, or not to lay it to his charge, is not to treat him as if he were guilty. To impute or count the sin of Adam to us, is to treat us as if we had committed it. To impute our sins to Christ, is to inflict upon him the punishment due to them. To impute his righteousness to us, is to treat us as if we possessed it. God counted sin to Christ by making him a sin offering; for the offering of the bullock for a sin offering, is said to be, the words being literally rendered, making it sin.' (Num. viii. 12.) God counts righteousness to us, or the righteousness of Christ to us, by giving us pardon and eternal life, in consequence or in reward of it. When it is said, that faith is counted to the believer for righteousness, the meaning is not that God reckons his faith as if it were righteousness; or that it is reckoned unto his receiving righteousness, (as Mr. Haldane says, for the words convey no meaning) but simply that he is treated as a righteous person; and consequently, the three forms of expression, to be justified by faith, to have Christ's righteousness imputed to us, and to have faith counted to us unto righteousness or justification, mean precisely the same thing, viz. to enjoy the blessings which God bestows upon men, in reward of that work of his Son, which he never contemplates but with ineffable delight; and which constitutes a moral basis for the extension of holy benevolence on a most widely extended scale, to such as in themselves were both wretched and worthless.'
“ The attention of the reader is particularly directed to the above statement of the specific mode, in which the work of our Lord operated, to permit the divine government to treat the guilty as if they were righteous. It formed a moral ground on which pardon, and all the blessings of salvation, might be imparted to men, in harmony with the claims and safety of moral government. "Man had broken a law, the rectitude, and honour, and efficiency of which it became the moral governor to uphold. Had this been done by the literal execution of its sentence, the whole of the human family must have perished. An expedient, therefore, exhibiting the infinite grace of Jehovah, was resorted to; an expedient designed at once to save the honour and efficiency of the law, the character of the law-giver, and the transgressor. The eternal Word interposed. He consented to do and to suffer all that was necessary to exhibit to the whole of the intelligent universe, in a most impressive and appalling manner, the infinite evil of sin, the complete perfection of the divine law, and the utter fallacy of the hope, that under the government of the great being from whom it emanated, transgression can ever be permitted to pass unpunished; and in this way, to render possible the extension of mercy to the guilty. To accomplish this gracious purpose, it was necessary for him to honour the precepts of the law, by obeying them; and its penalty, by suffering it; and thus to show that the law was righteous in all that it enjoined, as well as in all that it threatened. And it is entirely, as we have said, on the ground of this work, or as the reward of it; as a manifestation of the infinite complacency with which the Father rests in the work of his Son, displaying thereby his paramount regard to righteousness, that any members of the human family, whom nothing, no not even the blood of Christ itself, can preserve from the desert of punishment, though it does preserve from the punishment itself, are treated as righteous, i.e. are justified." pp. 260, 261.
We recommend to the especial and careful attention of our readers the whole of Dr. Payne's most able discussion on the nature of faith, and the manner in which, by divine appointment, it operates to bring its possessor into a state of justification and acceptance with God. We confess that in some of the author's statements and reasonings we felt as if this cardinal and saving grace had hardly that eminent and influential place assigned to it, which is its due, in the holy excellence of its own nature, and in its blessed influence as the parent grace of so lovely a progeny of other graces and virtues, which spring from its prolific energy. We therefore the more gladly select a passage in which the infinite wisdom of God in appointing faith as the sole medium and term of our interest in the redemption of Christ • is spoken of with an ardour so devout and just. Indeed, it is a truly divine feature of the arrangement which constitutes faith the saving grace, that it is equally appropriate and influential to receive the benefits of Christ's work for us, and to work out a sanctifying process in our own nature; that it possesses a double energy analagous to those of the atonement it embraces.
“ The virtues from his sufferings flow,
"It is, however, in the tendency of faith to secure the sanctification of men, that the wisdom of God especially appears in this matter.' (That is, the appointment of faith as the means of justiñcation.) “The human family were condemned. An expedient was devised by which it became morally possible for the moral governor to show mercy according to a certain rule, the establishment of which was required by his rectoral character. The human family was also depraved, as well as condemned. They were the subjects of a disease which required removal, or the pardon would have been of no avail to them. Now the wisdom of God pre-eminently appears in the determination to constitute faith the means of interest in the pardon, because it is in its own nature adapted to secure the cure of the gospel. We are said to be born again by the incorruptible seed of the word. Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth.' * Sanctify them,' said our Lord, through thy truth, thy word is truth.' Thus the blessings of justification and sanctification are, in Christian experience inseparably united; and he whose sins are forgiven is invariably rendered meet for the inheritance of the saints in light.' I find it impossible to conceive of a brighter display of wisdom than is here exhibited. Conceive of a number of prisoners on whom the sentence of death has passed; and who are at the same iime sinking into the tomb through the influence of fatal disease. The sovereign offers them pardon on certain conditions. Now, it will be at once seen that the performance of these conditions, were the persons able and willing to perform them, would not remove the malady under which they labour. Another process would be necessary to effect this. It is not thus, however, in reference to man as a criminal before God. The very same act which is required of him, by the moral governor, in order to his enjoyment of the pardon he needs, is also the means of his obtaining the cure he needs! The belief of the glad tidings, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself,' reconciles his heart to God, and thus prepares him for the full fruition of his presence in the world above.”—Pp. 328, 329.
We take leave of Dr. Payne's work with the highest respect for the author's character as a devout and able divine. His book is a most valuable addition to our contemporary sacred literature, eminently adapted to the present state of knowledge, opinion, and thought on the vitally important subjects of which it treats. It will fully repay what it indispensably requires, that if it be read at all, it should be read with care and thought; for with care and thought it has been written. It has our warmest recommendation : and whoever of our readers is induced by that recommendation to purchase and give it a thoughtful perusal, will, we doubt not, warmly thank us for introducing to his notice a work which cannot be so read without great advantage and pleasure.
Memoir of William Carey, D.D., late Missionary to Bengal,
Professor of Oriental Languages in the College of Fort William, Calcutta. By Eustace Carey. Jackson and Walford, pp. viii. 630.
(Concluded from p. 262.) At Mudnabatty, Mr. Carey studied Sanscrit, the parent of the Indian dialects, as well as Bengali; translated the whole New Testament into the latter language, and a large portion of the Old Testament, and taught a school of native children; but possessed no satisfactory evidence that any Hindoo had been really converted. lle had now resided in India six years.