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we obrough patience and comfort of the fcriptures might bave bope". The Jewish and Christian church are loved with the same love; saints under the gospel-dispen

fation are not less loved, than under the legal one ; if the Jewish church was 'loved with an everlasting love, then much more the Christian church, and

believers in it, since their privileges are greater ; and if the blessings of goodness bestowed on the Jewish church, by which the Lord drew and engaged them to himfelf, were evidences of his everlasting love to them; then lurely the blessings of the new covenant besowed upon saints under the present difpenfation, and particularly, the Lord's drawing them by powerful and efficacious

grace in conversion to himself, and to his Son, must be evidences of his everlafting love to them; and therefore, they cannot everlaftingly perish, because from his love they can never be teparated; for I am persuaded, says the apostle', that neither dearb, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor beigbt, nor depib, nor any other creature fball be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jefus our Lord: which words do not merely declare the apostle's full persuasion of his own perseverance at that time, as our author suggests * ; for he does not fay, shall not separate me, but us, and expresses his full persuasion of the perseverance of all faints, whether they themselves had the full assurance of faith, or no; even of all the elect of God, against whom no charge can be laid, because God has justified them, and on whom no condemnation can come, because Christ has died for them, and whose salvation is sure and certain, because he ever lives to make intercession for them, and had made them more than conquerors over all their enemies; and therefore, nothing can obstruct their eternal happiness, or che bringing of them safe to glory, Rom. viii. 33–37.

Thirdly, This doctrine of the saints final perseverance, may be established from the counsels, purposes, and decrees of God; particularly the decree of election, which stands fure, not upon the foot of works, but upon the will of bim that calletb', which is unalterable and irreversible. I take it for granted, that there is such a decree, by which God has chosen and appointed some men to everlasting salvation by Jesus Chrift; this writer may dispute it with me if he pleases. My argument upon it is this, if God has chosen some mento eternal life by Christ, and any of these should everlastingly perish, then the purpose of God according to election concerning them, would not stand; but his counsel shall ftand, and he will do all his pleasure”; for who, or what, can disannul his purpose? as he bas thougbt, fo fall it come to pass, and, as he has purposed, so mall it standa; and therefore, they shall not perish. Divine predestination to life, and eternal glorification are inseparably connected together; the former infallibly secures the latter, and all the intermediate grace and means leading to it; whom he did predestinate, them be also called, and wbom be called, them be also justified, and whom he justified, them be also glorifiedo.

purposed, 1 Rom. viii. 38, 39.

* Serious Thoughts, P. 12... į Rom, ix, il

e lla. xlvi, 10.

b Rom. XV. 4.

Fourthly, This truth will receive further strength, from the consideration of the covenant of grace, made with the elect in Christ, before the world began ; which is ordered in all things, with all blessings and promises, as well to provide for, and secure the certain perseverance, and eternal salvation of the persons in it, , as to promote the glory of God; and it is sure, all the blessings and promises of it, and the salvation in it, are sure to all the seed, to all the covenant-ones; it is a covenant of peace, that can never be removed; sooner may rocks, hills, and mountains be removed than that; it has the oath of God annexed to it, and the faithfulness of God is engaged to fulfil it; who says !, I will not suffer my faithfulness to fail, my covenant will

. I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips; once bave I sworn by my boliness, that I will not lie unto David. Which covenant does not relate wholly to David and his family, literally understood, but to our Lord Jesus Christ, the son and antitype of David, and who is fometimes called David himself; this is he, whom the Lord found in his infinite wisdom to be a proper Saviour of lost finners ; this is the mighty one, on whom he laid the help of his people; this is he, whom he chose out from among them, and anointed to be, and invested with the office of, the Mediator, to whom he promised all help and assistance as man; this is his first-born, he has made higher than the kings of the earth, and whose fpiritual seed and offspring shall endure for ever ; all which can never be said of David and his family, in a literal sense. Nor was this covenant a conditional one'; there is no condition either implied or expressed, on the failure of which God failed David, altered the thing that had gone out of his mouth, and broke the covenant of his servant; all which is without truth affirmed 9: sooner may the covenant with day and night be broken, than this covenant with David. Indeed, in the latter part of the psalm, some objections are made to the everlasting love of God to his Son, to the immutability of his covenant, and the certain performance of ir, taken from the sufferings and death of Christ, and his continuance under the power of the grave; when the faith and hope of his people were almost sunk and gone, fee Luke xxiv. 21. and when it seemed to them, being under the prevalence of unbelief, that the covenant made with

Christ alla. xiv. 24, 27.

o Rom. viii. 30.

P Pfalm.lxxxix. 33–35. & Serious Thoughts, p. 6.

them;

Christ was made void : but shall the unbelief of men Take the faith of God of none effect? whom shall we believe, God that says, my covenant I will not break; or his people in unbelieving frames, saying, Thou hast made void the covenant of thy servant? not the latter, but the former. Besides, these persons whom the Pfalmift represents, emerged out of their temptation, darkness, and unbelief, when they saw the Lord risen from the dead, and triumphing over death, and the powers of darkness, having obtained eternal redemption for

wherefore the psalm is closed with expressions of joy and thankfulness ; blessed be the Lord for evermore, amen, and amen. Since therefore the covenant of grace can never be broken and made void, those who are interested in it can never perish everlastingly; sooner may the beavens above be measured, and the foundations of the earth be searched, than that all, or any of the spiritual feed of Israel, and of the antitypical David be cast off, so as to perish, and be lost eternally Fiftbly

, This may be further concluded from the special and particular promises made in this covenant, and which stand on divine record, relating to the perseverance of the saints ; and these are so many, that to name them all, would be to transcribe great part of the scriptures; as that the Lord will establish and keep his people from evil; will confirm them to the end, and preserve them safe to his kingdom and glory ; that he will uphold them with the right hand of his righteousness, that they shall not be utterly cast downt; that the righteous shall hold on their way, and shall grow stronger"; that he will put his fear into their hearts, and they shall never depart from him"; with a multitude of others of the same import, which are all yea, and amen, in Christ Jesus; and these promises are absolute and unconditional: it is indeed faid", that in many the condition is expressed, and in others implied; but let it be named what the condition is, that is either expressed or implied in the above promises; and let the condition be what it will, it will be no difficult thing to prove that it is either elsewhere absolutely promised by the Lord, or undertook by Christ, or will be performed by the Spirit of God, in, and upon the Lord's people; fo that their perseverance is not at all affected with it: That famous promise, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee, applied to New Testament believers, Heb. xiii. 5. which, as it is an instance of a promise made to a particular perfon, belonging to all the saints in common, and of one being made to a saint under the Old Testament, Joshua, belonging to those under the New Testament, so it is not a conditional one, as is asserted » ; so far is any condition

from Jer. xxxi. 35-37. and xxxiii. 20, 21.

i Cor. i. 8. 1 Thess. iii, 2. 2 Tim. iv, 18, Psalm xxxvii, 23, 24.

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# Job xvii. 9.

Jer. xxxii. 40. * Serious Thoughts, p. 12.

» Ibid. p. 22.

i Isa. xli, 10.

from being expressly mentioned in it, or along with it, that that which is said to be fo, is strongly enforced by this absolute and unconditional promise ; and though it is recited to encourage in things temporal, yet also may be, and is accommodated to things spiritual ; and is of use with respect to such things, as appears from the inference deduced from it; so that we may boldly say, the Lord is our belper, and I will not fear what man fall do unto me; no, nor devils neither : and, if God will never leave his people in time nor eternity, as the phrase takes in both, then they cannot perish everlastingly: now, seeing the promises of God to his people are free, absolute, and unconditional, and he is able to perform them, and his faithfulness is engaged to do it, there is all the reason in the world, to believe he will; and, if he will, and does make good these promises to them, it is impossible they should so fall, as, to perish everlastingly.

Sixtbly, This may be further argued from several acts of God's grace towards his people, which are of such a nature, as ascertain their sure and everlasting salvation ; and, besides his acts of election of them, and making a fure covenant with his Son on their account, before-mentioned, and the putting of them into the hands of his Son, with all grace and glory for them, of which more hereafter, the following ones may be observed :

1. The adoption of them into his family. Predestination to it is according to the good pleasure of God's will, and does not arise from, or depend upon any merit, motive, or condition, in the adopted; the covenant in which God takes men into this relation is absolute and unconditional; it runs thus, I will be a father to you, and ye hall be my fons and daughters?: all obstructions are removed, and way is made for the reception of this blessing through th redemption of Christ; the power and privilege of iç is a gift of his, and his Spirit bears witness to it, hence called the Spirit of adoption; and such who thus become the children of God, always remain so; they that are of the boushold of God, are no more strangers and foreigners, they abide in his bouse and family for ever, and are never cast out; if fons, no more servants, but beirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ, and shall enjoy the eternal inheritance" reserved for them”; and, therefore, cannot perish everlastingly. To say as our author does', that “ he who is a child of God to-day, may be a child of “ the devil co-morrow,” is a most vile expression, and reflects great dishonour on that manner of love, the Father bas bestowed on men, that they foould be called the fons of God'; his reason for it is weak and groundless : “ That a believer

“to-day, • Eph. ii. 19. John vür. 35. Gal. iv.7 Serious Thoughts, p. 23, 24.

ei John iii, ..

2

2

Cor. vi. 18.

“ to-day, may be an unbeliever to-morrow, seeing he may make ihipwreck of “ faith, and so no longer a child of God ;” but what, though a blaspheming heretic may make shipwreck of the doctrine of faith, which is all that can be proved from the instance referred to, does it follow that a true believer can make shipwreck of the grace of faith ? no, he cannot : besides, adoption does not depend upon faith ; it is not faith that makes men the children of God, but is what makes them manifest, or makes them appear to be so; it is the free. fovereign grace of God, which puts them into this relation, and keeps them there, and therefore, they shall never perish.

2. The justification of them by the righteousness of Christ. Such who are justified, can never be unjustified, or be removed from the state of justification, in which they are, into a state of condemnation, but always remain righteous persons through the righteousness of Christ, imputed to them; the righteous, ness by which they are justified is an everlasting one; the sentence of justification passed upon them, can never be reversed by man or devil; if God justifies, who can bring a charge of any avail ? who or what can condemn ? there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ, and are clothed with his righteousness; they are passed into justification of life, and shall never enter into condemnation; they have a right to eternal glory, through the justifying righteousness of Christ, and shall enjoy it; between their justification and glorification there is an inseparable connection: Whom be justified, them be also glorified, Rom. viii. 30, 33, 34. Wherefore, those that are righteous in the judgment of God himself, as all such are whom he justifies by the righteousness of Chrift, cannot possibly fo fall, as to perish everlastingly.

3. The pardon of their fins by the blood of Christ. Those for whom Christ has shed his blood, for whose fins he has made satisfaction by his facrifice; these God pardons for Christ's fake; and these he forgives all trespasses ; he heals all their diseases, and forgives all their iniquities"; not one sin of theirs is left unsatisfied for by Christ, or unpardoned by the Lord ; and if so, then all the fins they ever fall into, or are guilty of, are pardoned ; and consequently, never so fall, as to perish everlastingly: for, is it possible for a man to go to hell, and perish eternally, with the pardon of all fins ? it is impossible; what should he, what can he perish for, when all his fins are satisfied for and forgiven?

Seventbly, This truth may be proved by the love of Christ to his faints, his care of them, what he has done and does for them, their interest in him, and relation to him. Vol. III.

Kk. • Col, ü. 13. Psalm ciii. 3.

1. The

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