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sect, involved in undistinguished ruin, and coniv. signed to everlasting destruction.

But, in order to prevent the imputation of merely answering one assertion with another, let us proceed to a more close examination of this popular doctrine.

The system in question maintains, that, provided only we do our best, we shall infallibly be saved. The converse of it, therefore, will be, that provided we do not our best, we shall not be saved.

The premises being thus laid down, let me now ask, Will any man, in his sober senses, be content to risque his all, upon his having constantly done his best, and upon his having universally acted

up

to the power which was given him?-Let him look into his past life, and be his own judge. Has he invariably performed every action in fo excellent a manner, that he cannot conceive it possible, that, with his present limited faculties, he could have performed it better? Has he never been deaf to the call of duty ? Has he never neglected a single opportunity of doing

good?

1.

good? Or, supposing for a moment that CHAP.. he has invariably performed' every duty which offered itself to his notice, has he been diligent in making opportunities of being actively useful? Has he never omitted one good deed, which he is conscious that he might have done? If he has failed in a single practicable point during his whole life, he has certainly not done the best he could, ard therefore by his own principles he stands condemned.

But this is not all; these are only active duties. The grand business of self-regimen remains yet to be considered. Has he then invariably abstained from every evil action, which it was posible that he might have abstained from? Has he never yielded to any temptation, which reason tells him might have been conquered? A fingle transgression, be it ever so minute, which he could have avoided, is alone sufficient to annul his claim to that line of conduct, which was the best that he was able to pursue. To sum

up

the whole; has he in thought, word, and deed, without a single exception, really, heartily, and conscientiously done the very best he could ? Absolute perfection is now out of the question ; the

point

VOL. II.

U

sect. point is simply this ; not whether he has IV. lived a life of sinless obedience, but whe

ther he has done the best be could. Unless he can answer in the affirmative, which probably no man will venture to do, he most undoubtedly is condemned by his own system. “ He that does his best, will be saved; He that does not his best, will not be saved." It is plain, therefore, that upon these principles, a single violation of poffible rèctitude, a single omission of posible duty, is sufficient to plunge the soul into everlasting perdition. Is the most strenuous asserter of this doctrine willing to be tried by his own rule? No; he shrinks with terror from the conclusion, which must be drawn from such a system.

This favourite dogma being found untenable, the second part of the original proposition shall next be taken into confideration.

When Christ came into the world, be gave us a law more easy to obey than that of Moses; for God then relaxed from his ancient ftri&tness, and proposed certain terms of falvation fo moderate, that they may be observed without any very great difficulty.

Behold

1.

Behold here the very essence of Anti- CHAP. nomianism! Joyful news of salvation is preached to the systematically wicked ; and the finner is encouraged to go on in his evil ways, because God, having abated of his strictness, will now be found too merciful to condemn him !

This heterodox notion, like most other corruptions of Christianity, is built only upon the sandy basis of hardy affertion. But let it ever be remembered, that to assert is one thing, and to prove is another. Than the first nothing more easy; than the second nothing frequently more difficult. Is there any mention made in the Gospel of a moral law more easy to obey than the Law of Moses? Is there even a hint given, that God has relaxed from his pristine severity ? Or can a single syllable be found, which pronounces, that a man will infallibly be saved, provided he does the best in his power ?

!

The doctrine of our Lord is the very reverse. « Think not that I am come to de

stroy the Law or the Prophets: I am “ not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For

verily

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SECT.

IV.

verily I say unto you, Till heaven and “ earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in “ no wise pass from the Law, till all be “ fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men fo, be shall be called the least in the kingdom of heavenb." Christ is here manifestly speaking of the two constituent parts of the Law ; the ceremonial, and the moral. The first he accomplished in his own person, being the end of the whole scheme of type and prophecy: the second he solemnly confirms, and, instead of lowering its claims, he takes care effectually to preclude all possibility of evasion. “ Except

your righteousness fall exceed the right« eousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye “ shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.”

The same doctrine is steadily maintained by his Apostle St. James; “Whosoever “ Thall keep the whole Law, and yet of“ fend in one point, 'he is guilty of all. - For he, that said, Do not commit adul

tery, said also, Do not kill. Now, if

Matt. v. 17.

c Matt, v. 20.

" thou

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