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hope of finding in himself some self-wrought beauty,-he starts when he discovers that he is a complete monster. His eyes now turned inward, and enlightened by the Spirit of glory, discover the deep and ingrained spots of pollution which defile his soul. “ From the sole of his foot even unto his head, there is no soundness in him, but wounds, and bruises, and putrefying sores.” (Isai. c. i. v. 16.) He perceives that every day of bis life he, a guilty worm, has been trampling upon the royal law of the King of kings. Agonizing and deeply humiliating as the confession is, he now regards himself as an apostate and a traitor; and the Being from whom he has a postatized is the Everlasting Father, who of his own unprompted love gifted him with life; and the Sovereign against whom he has rebelled is the great Jehovah, who sitteth upon his eternal throne in sight-consuming glory, and waveth bis infinite sceptre in uncontrolled dominion over the universe. Informed by an insight into the spirit of the law of the iniquity of his holiest services, he acknowledges with the prophet Isaiah," that all bis righteousnesses ate as filthy rags ;” and if this be the true description of his best deeds, how indescribably great must be the iniquity of his direct transgressions !

The unutterable depravily of the natural man, must be insisted upon with no common emphasis. Until this is brought home to the conscience of each individual, the duty of a reformer is but imperfectly discharged. Our first parents fell by unbelief, but it was an unbelief that was prompted by self-love and pride. “Ye shall be as Gods.” (Gen. c. iii. v. 5.) They loved themselves better than their heavenly Father, and wished to be as Gods unto themselves, and therefore they disbelieved his word. Hence the seminal principle of human apostacy is self-love; this is the very essence of the original sin which we inherit from Adam, and every system of religion which does not aim at the extirpation of this fatal malady, this spiritual gangrene, is radically defective. The rottenness at the core of Pharisaism consisted in this, that their observance of the law fostered, instead of destroying their self-love. In this consisted the great iniquity of their holy things, that they glorified the apostates instead of glorifying the God from whom they had apostatized. This, again, is the taint of Romanism, which maketh it accursed in the sight of heaven. This it is, moreover, which vitiates the system of those nominal Protestants, who preach a mock gospel, compounded of faith and works, in other words of the inconceivable atonement and righteousness of Christ, and the filthy rags of the sinner, a gospel which rendereth every sacrifice and service of those who adopt it, unacceptable in the sight of God. The true disciple of the Lord will strive in the power of the Spirit to substitute selfabhorrence for self-love; humility and prostration of soul for pride ; he will strike with the hammer of the word upon the stony heart of man; he will strike and he will not spare. He will not be content with mutilation, he will not only cleave in twain, but he will grind to impalpable dust the idol self, and he will make the sinner drink it down with his tears of repentance, even as Moses constrained the

Israelites to drink down the golden calf of their idolatry. It is, then, and then only, that Christ can be received in all bis fulness, and it is then only that God, who will admit of no rival, can consistently with his own glory establish lis throne in the sinner's heart. “ The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;, a broken and a contrite heart, O Lord, thou wilt not despise." (Psalm li. v. 17.) That the picture which I have just given of human corruption is not too highly charged, is unequivocally testified by Scripture. It is written in the book of Genesis (c. vi. v. 5), " And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." It is written again (Jer. c. xvii. v. 9), “ The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” Daniel, a righteous man if any of the children of men could have been righteous, exclaims (c. ix. v. 7), " O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces.' The patriarch Job, as has been already stated, abhorred bimself in dust and ashes. Isaiah repudiated all bis righteousness as filthy rags. St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Ephesians (c. ii. v. 1), describes himself as being by nature a child of wrath, even as others. Of the Ephesians he says, “ You hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins." Thus it is declared by God himself that the heart of man is wicked beyond all human conception.“ Who can know it?" We find the greatest saints substituting self-abhorrence for self-love, and turning with disgust from their best works. We find St. Paul speaking of himself and all others as children of wrath, that is to say, as inheritors by nature of the wrath of the Almighty, of which the lake of fire presents us only with a feeble notion. Of the Ephesians, be broadly states that they were spiritually dead; and it was said by our blessed Saviour of the Pharisees and Sadducees, the self-righteous among the Jews, “ Within ye are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.” Now these are not expressions of doubtful import. There are no degrees of existence in death; among the inhabitants of the grave all are equally inanimate and lifeless. The figure employed by the inspired apostle brings to mind eyeless skeletons, stinking dust, rotten bones, putrescent carcases. Are these legitimate objects of admiration and love ?

But blessed be God there is hope for the most guilty. All that is required is, that the heart, which is a charnel-house of corruption, should loathe itself, and turn to the living God, and huinble itself to the receiving of salvation as the free and unmerited gift of God. Inveterate as is the malady of innate and contracted evil, there is a certain cure. “ With his stripes we are healed.” (Isa. c. liii. v. 5.) Foul as is the stain of pollution, there is a fountain in which the soul can be cleansed. « The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin." " Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow.”

Adamantine as is the heart of man, the power of the Spirit can soften it. “I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh.” (Ezek. c. xi. v. 19.) Deep as is the sleep of spiritual death, in Christ there is life.

" For as the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom he will." (Joho c. v. v. 21.)

We have seen that in man there is not a spark of hope. His bosom is a defiled sepulchre; the broken law of God uttereth threatenings and curses against hinı; over bis head is suspended the sword of almighty vengeance; beneath his feet yawn the Haming caverns of hell; he can make no atonement for his sins, but every day he treasureth up for himself an accumulation of wrath by his defective obedience; he sighs for eternal glory, but his title to the life of the world to come is utterly lost. Who, then, will present him with a full and free pardon, who will furnish him with a title to eternal life? Behold, light beams in upon his sin-worn soul, the glad tidings of salvation_reach his ear, speechless with joy he turns his weeping eyes to Emmanuel “ mighty to save;" he sees in the atonement made by the incarnate God an infinite ransom for his sins; he recognises in the perfect obedience of Jesus, a robe of righteousness prepared for him, arrayed in which he may boldly appear in the presence of an all-holy God (Heb. c. X. v. 19); his sins are transferred by faith to a crucified Saviour, and nailed to his cross (Col. c. ii. v. 14.) The righteousness of Christ is freely presented io him as a child of God through faith. 6 He hath made him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteous. ness of God in him" (2 Cor. c. vi. v. 21); " And this is his name whereby he shall be called, Jehovah our righteousness." (Jer. c. xxiii. v. 6.) The name of the Bridegroom is even communicated to the bride " And this is the name wherewith she shall be called, Jehovah our righteousness." (Jer. c. xxxiii. v. 16.)

When we contemplate on the one hand the infinite glory of Jesus, the incomprehensible depth of his humiliation, and the indescribable intensity of his sufferings; and when we call to mind, on the other hand, the unutterable depravity of man, we are filled with amazeinent at the inconceivable insanity of those who for an instant would maintain that the redeemed sinner has in the slightest degree merited this stupendous manifestation of the infinite love of God in Christ. In the redemption of the rebel, the apostate, and, but for his impotence, the Deicide, man, are displayed the exhaustless riches of the free grace

of God. The source of human salvation cannot be any beauty capable of fascinating the God of glory, that is discoverable by his all-seeing eye, in that sink of abominations the human heart; it can only be the everlasting love of Jehovah. The scene at Calvary presents us with a more comprehensive view of the ineffable goodness of God, than the visible creation does of his infinite

power and wisdom.

This sublime doctrine is the immovable rock upon which the church of Christ builds that stedfast hope, which is the anchor of the soul. Those who preach any gospel but this, cry peace, peace, where there is no peace. They leave trouble and dismay in the sinner’s heart, and at his dying hour, if bis conscience be awakened, there is dimness of anguish and despair. But the repentant prodigal, who in self-abomination through the power of the Spirit has been nailed to the cross, and entombed with Christ; when the glory of his redemption is faithfully set forth, is enabled to ascend on the wings of faith unto his risen Saviour, fast by the throne of God.

The attention of all Roman Catholics is invariably arrested by the mention of Paul's Epistle to the Church of Rome. It is always therefore expedient to comment upon this at some length. Paul commences his Epistle by drawing a picture of the wickedness both of the gentiles and of the Jews. He admits that if the gentiles had perfectly obeyed by nature the things contained in the law, they would have been saved thereby, and also that the Jews, if they had perfectly obeyed the law of Moses, would have been justified before God; but he most positively affirms that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. There is none righteous, no not one; there is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God, they are all gone out of the way, they are altogether become unprofitable, there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” (Rom. c. iž. v. 10.) “Now we know that what things soever the law saitb" (and Paul had been referring to the moral law), “ it saith to them who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.” (Rom. c. iii. v. 19.) He then preaches salvation by Christ only. « But now the righteousness without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets, even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe, for there is no difference, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, being justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins through the forbearance of God, to declare I say at this time his righteousness, that he might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Christ Jesus.(Rom. c. iii. v. 21.) In his Epistle to the Galatians the language of Paul is not less explicit, and the Epistle to the Ephesians seems to have been penned under the dictation of the Holy Spirit with the express design of condemning and refuting the Popish gospel. “ By grace ye are saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast; for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Eph. c. ii. v. 8.)

The canons of the council of Trent, to which we are most decidedly opposed upon the matter of justification, are the following :

On Justification.

De Justificatione.

Session 6.

Sessio 6.

If

any one shall

say

Canon 24.

Canon 24.

that the Si quis dixerit justitiam acrighteousness received is not pre- ceptam non conservari, atque served and even increased before etiam augeri coram Deo

per

bona God by good works, but that the opera, sed opera ipsa fructus works themselves are only the solùm et signa esse justificationis fruits and signs of the justifica- adeptæ, non autem ipsius augention that has been obtained, and dæ causain : anathema sit. not the cause of its increase, let him be accursed.

Canon 32.

Canon 32. If any one shall say that the Si quis dixerit, hominis justigood works of a man who is jus- ficati bona opera ita esse dona tified, are so far the gifts of God, Dei, ut non sint etiam bona ipthat they are not also the good sius justificati merita ; aut ipsum merits of the justified person justificatum bonis operibus, quæ himself, or that the person justi- ab eo per Dei gratiam, et Jesu fied does not truly deserve by the Christi meritum, cujus vivum good works, which are performed membrum est, fiunt, non verè by bim through the grace of God mereri augmentum gratiæ, vitam and the merit of Christ, an in- æternam, et ipsius vitæ æternæ, .crease of grace, eternal life, and si tamen in gratiâ decesserit, cunthe consequences of eternal life secutionem, atque etiam gloriæ itself, (provided he dies in a state augmentum, anathema sit. -Saof grace,) and an increase of crosancti et Ecumenici Concilii glory, let bim be accursed.- Tridi. Canones et Decreta. (A The Canons and Decrees of the Paris. 1823.) most Holy Council of I'rent. (Printed at Paris, 1823.)

Canon 24 is utterly indefensible. The church of Rome dare not deny that the righteousness of Christ is infinite, and infinitely perfect, and it is absurd to talk of adding to that which is both infinite and infinitely perfect. To couple also imperfection with perfection is to mutilate and disfigure that which in itself is entire and spotless; it is to mix up the sinner's filthy rags with Jehovah's righteousness; and with respect to the making of satisfaction for our own sins, or for the sins of others, by our own works or sufferings, if Christ's atonement be infinite the debt is already discharged. Either then the Romanist

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