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his Lordship suppose that we wish them to continue obstinate and refractory, or remain like blocks until they 'are spiritually animated ? Again : ““He speaks of the inexpressible bless‘ings of those who received him, and briefly comprehends them in these words, saying, " As many as received him, he gave them power to • become the sons of God.”. Whether they be
slaves, whether they be free; whether they be * Greeks, Barbarians, or Scythians, whether * they be unwise "or wise; whether they be : women, or men; whether they be young or • old; whether they be ignoble or noble; whe
ther they be rich or poor; whether they be governors, or whether they be governed; he says, all are thought worthy of the same s honour. This passage clearly proves with what latitude CHRYSOSTOM, in common with the other Greek Fathers, used the term (a $105) worthy. “ All are thought worthy,” that is, suitable objects, to whom the gospel, the universal favour, should be proclaimed'; the inequality of their conditions, whether external or internal, forming no bar of exception. And when they by “ faitli, and the grace of the Spirit,” as he afterwards adds, receive the proffered blessing, they have " stamped upon them one royal character.” ; Thus, in both respects, they are alike “ worthy.")
* Refut. p. 489.
§ 17. In a similar latitude of meaning the sacred scriptures use not only the terms worthy and unworthy, but also clean and unclean, holy and unholy, with many others. Thus it was revealed to Peter, that the Gentiles ought not to be regarded any longer unclean, unholy, or unworthy of the gospel message, in the view of a merciful God. By the mediatorial work of Christ, “the middle wall of partition” was pulled down, and in this respect all nations were thought equally worthy” of the benefit. “What God hath cleansed, call not thou common or unclean.” If God regard the vilest of characters “ worthy,” in this relative sense,' of having salvation by Christ proclaimed to them, so should we: and hence our exertions to send missionaries to idolaters, and the most abandoned of human characters among the Heathen. But who would infer thence, that they are worthy in a moral sense, before a change in them is effected? When, indeed, any of them become new creatures in Christ Jesus, and manifest by repentance, faith, and new obedience, that they have “the grace of the Spirit,” they are thought “worthy” of Christian fellowship. And when, às professing Christians, they shew the reality of their faith and profession of godliness by their works --walking in the holy ways of Christ, exemplifying the peculiar spirit of Christianity, and persevering therein unto the end of life,—we are bound in charity, judging according to the
testimony of God's word, that they are “ worthy to walk with the Lamb in white;" that is, are suitable subjects to receive such favour.
§ 18. We sometimes speak of the insufficiency of the powers of reason for answering certain
purposes in religion; and therefore we are confronted with the following language of Justin Martyr: ““ Our original existence was ' not owing to ourselves; but to follow those
things which are pleasing to him, through the powers of reason with which he has endowed
us, this persuades us and leads us to faith." But what Calvinist opposes the use of reason for this purpose? Reason is the faculty by which we compare ideas, and draw conclusions. By this faculty we are enabled to investigate the evidences of revealed religion, to compare the claims of a pretended revelation with the true,
to compare scripture with scripture, and one dispensation of religion with another. By this faculty we examine the divine testimony concerning the person, the work, and character of Jesus Christ, and conclude that he not only claims, but also deserves our hearts and lives; and thus," through the powers of reason” we are led to believe. In this respect, reason“ persuades us, and leads
* Refut. p. 291.
us to faith,” and this is evidently Justin's meaning
§ 19. Because the modern Calvinists advocate the cause of a necessity of consequence, in opposition to absolute contingence or mere chance, the Bishop has produced many quotations from the Fathers, in order to shew that their sentiments and ours are opposed to each other. Justin MARTYR: "“ But lest any one
should imagine that I am asserting that things . happen according to the necessity of fate, • because I have said that things are foreknown, 'I proceed to refute that opinion also.-And, . again, if mankind had not the power, by free
will, to avoid what is disgraceful, and to choose • what is good, they would not be responsible
for their actions." ? * We also, as well as JUSTIN, dený a fatal necessity of persons and actions. Fate, or the doctrine of fate, declares, that persons and actions are necessary in such a sense, that they could not have been otherwise ; now this we reject, because we believe that there is neither a person nor an action which might not have been otherwise, had it been the good pleasure of God, Supposing, however, persons placed hypothetically, in certain circumstances, notwithstanding any conceivable
* Refut, pp. 291, 292,
freedom of will, nothing is contingent to the view of God. He knows what he will do, and he knuws what we will do. If he pleases, we shall do well; but if left to our own defectibility, and its negative cause, he knows we will not do well; though every thing which it becomes him as a righteous governor to grant, should continue the same. The positive cause of all our good is from him, but the negative cause of all our evil is from ourselves exclusively; freewill in both cases remaining the same, as before proved. It is a manifest absurdity to talk of a free action, when past, as having no ground of its existence, either in God or in the creature, before it took place. Every action had some cause, either efficient or deficient, else it never could have taken place; and this cause, be it what it may, must be known to God no less before than after the act. To omniscience therefore the act must appear certainly future, if that foreknown cause be not prevented by him who alone is adequate to prevent it: and this certain futurition of all events which actually take place, we properly denominate hypothetical necessity, and sometimes a necessity of consequence. These distinctions we are constrained to make in polemic discussions, though we think it unsuitable and needless to impose them on unlearned auditories.
§ 20. The subsequent passages are of similar