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and surely this "one thing needful" is good for them.
In short, all are commanded to seek Christ; and therefore it is the duty, as well as the interest, of all to seek him ; but from too curiously examining texts of the nature of those I have alluded to, and taking the opinions of man for the oracles of God, a scrupulous, weak, and fearful conscience will mostly interpret the matter to its own disquiet and misery; while the confident will do the reverse; for constitutional temparent has a great deal to do in this matter of interpretation, as well as a literal interpretation of particular texts, without a reference to the general spirit or tenor of the Scriptures at large.
That God preordained all the good to heaven and all the wicked to hell there can be no doubt; therefore, all that any rational Christian has to do, without troubling himself with " doubtful dispu tations-" and that this is a doubtful dis
putation cannot be better proved than by considering that mankind are so divided about it, that volumes upon volumes of polemical controversy have been written upon it pro and con, without either side being convinced by the other; and I think it is clear that all which is really essential to salvation is written in such clear text that it can give rise to no controversy of moment-therefore, I say, all a rational Christian has to do is, to try to be good and avoid being wicked; to believe in Christ, and obey his law; and leave those who are fond and proud of diving into mysteries, (a thing Christ has no where commanded us to do, but has directed us not to meddle with " things that are too high for us,") to let such, I say, fight out the battle among themselves; but it is generally observed that such contentions, through the pride of opinion, have always engendered separation, bitterness, and want of charity; whereby, as Addison says
"We have just religion enough to hate, but not sufficient to love each other."
"Why," says the author of the Decay of Piety," do we Christians so fiercely argue against the salvability, (or possibility of being saved) of each other, as if it were our wish that all should be damned but one particular sect?"
POLEMICAL Controversial; Disputative; but the word is used only in relation to religious disputes, or controversies.
SUPEREROGATION-This is a term which implies doing more than is necessary, and is applied by the Roman Catholic Church to good works; but as, according to the Scriptures, no man can do so much as he ought, there is not much likelihood of his doing more; therefore this word may be expunged from the Christian's vocabulary.
OBLATION OF CHRIST-Oblation means
ATONEMENT OF CHRIST-Atonement, expiation, or satisfaction.
MERITS OF CHRIST-Merits, deserts or deservings.
MEDIATION OF CHRIST-Mediation, interposing to reconcile.
As man could not, after offending divine justice by the sin of disobedience, release himself from the penalty of eternal death, without satisfying, or making atonement to that justice; it was necessary, before the mercy of God could be extended to man, that such an oblation should be offered to God as would atone for man's sin, and that oblation Christ offered himself to be; and all the sacrifices or oblations offered by the Jews to God were but types of our Saviour, the great sacrifice, and accepted as such by God, who pardoned the sins which these oblations were made to expiate, through Christ; for, to Christ, or the Messiah, who was to come, did all religious men from the beginning of time, after the promise made to Adam, look for acceptance with God,
and all who have died " in the Lord;" (that is, in faith in the Lord) and are in a state of blessedness were saved by Christ; for there is no other name under heaven that can save but his. Christ having offered himself as an oblation, to make atonement to divine justice for man's sins, became man's mediator, or interposer, to reconcile the divine nature, or being, to man; and thence procured pardon to man from divine mercy; and therefore, man is saved through Christ's merits or deservings alone; because man does not, and could not deserve mercy, which belongs, or is due, only to righteousness; and, man possessing no righteousness of his own, the righteousness of Christ is imputed to him; or, as we may term it, placed to his account: therefore, the oblation, merits, and mediation of Christ will not avail us, unless we believe in him.
HYPOSTATICAL UNION-Means the Trinity, or an union of persons; hypostasis, meaning a person, essence, or being, ex