Page images
PDF
EPUB

one.'

of the law.” The law requires thing—that the heart of the sons supreme love to God and self- of men is full of evil—that every measured love to one's fellow- imagination of the thoughts of man's creatures, i. e. the constant exer- heart is only evil continually—that cise of good will, benevolent affec- men are, by nature, dead in trestion, or disinterested love. The passes and sins—and that there is transgression of the law, therefore, none that doeth good, no, not which is the opposite of such love, must be supreme self-love, or self- 5. Mankind are the subjects of ishness. In this, then, all sin, all moral depravity from their birth. moral depravity, essentially con- As they come into the world with sists. This is the carnal mind, all the faculties, which they ever which is enmity against God: this possess, and are men and women is the evil heart, from which pro- in miniature ; go they are free, ceed evil thoughts, murders, and moral agents, and have voluntary all other crimes and vices Such exercises, as soon as they have rais the representation of scripture: tional souls. These exercises must

all seek their own-being lovers be either holy or sinful. If their of pleasure-lovers of their own first moral exercises were holy, selves.'

they would not need to be born 3. All mankind are subjects of again, nor would it be possible to moral depravity. This is evident account for the fact, that they all from experience and observation, exhibit, in their external conduct,

and is expressly asserted in sacred the fruits of a depraved heart, as į scripture. •

. All have sinned- soon as they become capable of they are all gone out of the way-making known their feelings. there is none that doeth good The

scriptures assert, that manboth Jews and Gentiles are under kind are depraved from their birth.

66 Man is born as the wild ass's 4. The moral depravity of man-colt-The wicked are estranged kind is total. The meaning of this from the womb; they go astray as terin cannot be mistaken, after soon as they be born, speaking what has been stated above. It lies—The imagination of man's obviously does not mean, that any heart is evil from his youth—That, thing belonging to man, is deprava which is born of the flesh, is flesh ed, except his heart. It does not Death hath passed upon all men, mean, that one has as much de- for that all have sinned." pravity, as another. Men have 6. Mankind come into the world different capacities; and, there in a state of moral depravity, in fore, whilst all, in their natural consequence of the fall of Adlam. state, are totally depraved, some Though Adam was not the federal have more depravity, and are much head of his posterity, as they nevgreater sinners, than others. But, er chose him for their representathe term does mean, that all the tive; and though no one, but bimvoluntary exercises of mankind, in self, is guilty of his sin, or can an uprenewed state, are selfish, justly be punished for it; yet his and, consequently, that all their fall, by a Divine constitution, moral actions are sinful. That

which God had a sovereign right mankind are thus depraved, is the

to make, rendered it cerlain, that uniforin doctrine of the sacred all his posterity would be sinners writers, who assert, that "they have froin their birth. This is believed not the love of God in thein-that to be the meaning of the apostle, in the flesh, there dwelleth no good when he says, in Rom. v. that

sin.'

“ by one man's disobedience, the human and Divine natures, in many were made (constituted) sin- the One Person of the Lord Jesus ners-and that by the offence Christ. They believe, that, wbilst of one, judgment caine upon all he was really a man, possessing men to condemnation."

• a true body and a rational soul,' The sin of Adam, in eating the he was also God over all, blessed forbidden fruit, may be called forever. It is now, I apprehend, original sin, not because it was the prevailing sentiment of Hopthe first sin coinmi t:0; for the kinsians, that Christ is called the woman was first in transgression; Son of God, in reference to his but because it was that sin, which, human nature only, and on ac. in a certain sense, originated, i. e. count of his miraculous conception according to the Divine determin- by the power of the Holy Ghost. ation, 'rendered certain the sinful- Christ, as man, being made ness of all mankind.

under the law,' was bound to be, 7. As mankind commence their what he was, perfectly holy, and existence, as rational, accountable obedient, in all things, to the will creatures, in a state of total mor- of his heavenly Father. By his al depravity, so they are under obedience, therefore, he did not condemnation by the law of God, merit any thing, either for himself, and are di serving of its penalty, or others. It was not his obedience, which is endless punishment. but his sufferings and death on the *** The wages of sin is death.”. cross, that made atonement for the Being by nature, or from their sins of men. Accordingly, the birth, dead in trespasses and sins, scriptures represent the sufferings men are children of wrath. Sin of the Saviour, his death, his blood, and desert of punishment are in- as opening the way for the pardon separable. All mankind deserve of sin. Though the sins of men punishment, greater or less in de- could not be transferred or imputgree, according to the number and ed to Christ, so that he should bemagnitude of their transgressions, come guilty of them, or be punishand will deserve it, so long as it ed for them; yet his sufferings in shall remain true, that they have the human nature, and as Mediator sinned. Neither the atonement between God and men, as fully of Christ, nor the forgiveness of manifested God's hatred of sin God, nor the misery of hell, ever and regard to the honour of his did, or ever can render any child law, as they would have been of Adam innocent, or undeserving manifested by the condign punishof punishment.

ment of all mankind. Hence it Such is the depraved, guilty, and was predicted by Isaiah, “ He deplorable state of all mankind; will magnify the law, and make in which they must have remained it honourable;" and the apostle and perished, had it not been for states, that God hath set forth the interposition of the Son of God. Christ to be a propitiation through Which leads me to state the sen- faith in his blood, to declare his timents of Hopkinsians, respect righteousness for the remission of ing

sins, that he might be just, and the The Character and Work of the justifier of him that believeth in Redeemer.

Jesus. As Hopkinsians, in common with The atonement of Christ was all the Orthodox, hold to the doc- not designed, either to render God trine of the sacred 'Trinity: so they merciful to men, or to render men believe in the mysterious union of undeserving of punishment. “The

Lord is good to all, and his tender blood of Christ, there could have mercies are over all his works." been no remission of sin at all." -It was a disposition in God, to But, such a manifestation having show mercy to men, consistently been made by the sufferings and with the honour of his law and the death of the Divine Saviour, in the holiness of his character, that led nature of men, and as Mediator him to sacrifice his well-beloved between them and their offended Son. ** God so loved the world, Sovereign; the way is as open, so that he gave his only-begotten far as respects the necessity of an Son, that whosoever believeth in atonement, for the pardon of all him, might not perish, but have men, as of an individual. We everlasting life. As the sins of are, accordingly, taught in scripmen could not be transferred to ture, that. Christ tasted death Christ; so he was not punished for every man,' and that . He is for them ; nor did he suffer as the propitiation for the sins of the much misery as

men deserve. whole world.' But, though the sufferings of Christ The atonement by Christ did were not the penalty of the law, not oblige God, in point of justice nor equal to what men deserve for to men, to pardon any of them; sin; yet, being the sufferings of a but only rendered it consistent Person, who was God as well as and proper for Him to offer pardon man, they as fully manifest God's to all men, upon reasonable terms. hatred of sin, regard to his law, Upon such terms He does offer and respect for his character, as pardon to men in the Gospel. A would the condign punishment of statement of these terms, accordall mankind. Such a manifesta-ing to the views of Hopkinsians, tion was necessary to the consis- will be attempted in my next estent pardon of a single sinner. say.

A HOPKINSIAN. - Without the shedding of the

FOR THE BOPKINSIAX MAGAZINE.

66

much."

“ Prayer,” says a cer

tain writer, moves the hand that MR. EDITOR,

moves the world.” There can be The question, “ Is it the duty no doubt that the eyes and ears of of sinners to pray before they re- God are open to the prayer of the pent?” is a practical question, and righteous: for the scriptures are deserves the careful investigation full of interesting examples to ilof every candidate for eternity.lustrate this point. The prayer of The following answer, you are at Abraham almost averted the ruin liberty to insert, if

you
think
pro-

of, Sodom. Had ten such men per, in the Hopkinsian Magazine. been in that devoted city, it would

not have been destroyed. The " If sin lay cover'd in my heart, efficacy of penitential prayer is so While prayer employ'd my tongue, The Lord had shewn me no regard," &c. manifest, that little need be said

WATTS.

to shew it. Here, let me enquire

if, in answer to the prayers of imPrayer is not only a duty, but a penitent men, “Bitter waters" privilege, and a most powerful in- have been made sweet; (Ex. xv. 25) strument in the hands of the peni- the sun and moon to stand still; tent. 66 The effectual, fervent (Josh. x. 12, 13) the shadow to reprayer of a righteous man availeth I turn backward on a sun-dial;

(II. Kings ii. 11) the dead to rise In praying, we plead for favours. into life; (I. Kings xvii, 21, 22) or What should we think of the man a nation to be rescued from the who should desire a favour of us hand of their enemies? (Ex. ii. 23, at the very moment, when he was xiv. 9, 10, 30.) In the time of seeking to do us an injury? Would Isaiah, God would not hear the it be unreasonable to tell him, that prayers of the wicked.

* Ah ! while he continues to cultivate sinful nation, a people laden with such a disposition, we will not iniquity. When ye spread forth grant his request? Simon Magus your hands I will hide mine eyes was required to repent and pray; from you; when ye multiply pray- if he would expect forgiveness. ers I will not hear.” The prayers Is it a hard thing to require sorrow of the impenitent have in many for sin in one who asks for pardon: instances been answered with re- Then it cannot be the duty of one proofs and threats (Zech. vii. 2, to go with an unfeeling, unrelent14.) The iniquities of the impen- ing heart, and plead for the richest itent have separated between them gift of heaven. The publican did and their God, and their sins have not say, “God be merciful,” with hid his face from them, that he will such a heart. Had he done so, he not hear (Isa. lix. 2.) Is it not would not have gone to his house reasonable, then, to suppose, that justified, rather than the other. repentance should precede their It is written, He that turneth prayers? The Psalmist says, If I away his ear from hearing the law, regard iniquity in my heart, the even his prayer shall be abominaLord will not hear me (Ps. lv. 11) tion (Prov. xxviii. 9.) What then To

pray with iniquity in the heart, shall we think of him, who disreand to pray with an impenitent gards a first principle of the gosheart, are nearly synonimous pel? Will God consider his prayer terms. Surely it cannot be the less abominable? duty of any one to pray with Men may pray forever, and then such a frame of mind as to be will perish forever, except they unheard by the only object of repent: Why then are so many prayer. It is true, that ail men disposed to tell such men, that are required to pray, all men ev- seeking, striving, praying, are duery where; but they must do it, ty; while all is amiss without re“ lifting up holy hands,” and of pentance? course in a penitent manner. Un- It is not telling the whole truth, less they love God, repent of sin, when men are told to pray; beand believe on the Lord Jesus cause, unless the manner of Christ ; their prayers will be ut- ing be pointed out, there is danger terly unavailing. They must draw of their making prayer, and usenear to God with a true heart, in less prayer, too, à meritorious full assurance of faith. Whatever I work, a something preparatory to is not of faith is sin. All things regeneration. whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer,

B - N. believing, ye shall receive." Andover, April 30th, 1824.

pray

-L

[ocr errors]

FOR THE HOPKINSTAX MAGAZINE,

with which I am not perfectly sat

isfied, I am induced to send you MR. EDITOR,

the following. If you think it Having seen in your last num- worthy an insertion, it is at your ber, an exposition of Ex. xxxii. 32, service.

[ocr errors]

ses.

The passage under considera-, for the forgiveness of his own sins, tion, suggests two enquiries. 1. on this occasion, is hardly consisFor what did Moses pray? 2. Can tent with his honesty. He virtuhis prayer be reasonably justified? aily promised to attempt making

1. For what did Moses pray ? an atonement for the people.No one can doubt, that he besought 66 And now I will go up unto the God to forgive his people : but Lord, peradventure I shall make what did Moses mean by saying, an atonement for you. If he did blot me, I pray thee, out of thy not offer to make an atonement, book? Perhaps his meaning may when he went up and presented be ascertained, by attending to the his petition, we have no evidence following observations. 1. That that he was true to his promise. idolatrous generation, for which The occasion of his prayer, renMoses was interceding, was after- ders it still less credible that he wards blotted out of the same book, prayed to be forgiven. The occaout of which he prayed, that him- sion was the idolatry of the peoself might be blotted. Moses said, ple. In this sin Moses took no Blot me out of thy book. God re- part. This was the sin which God plied, Whosoever hath sinned a- had been threatening to punish, gainst me, him will I blot out of and the only sin which would natmy book. Thy and my refer to urally engage the attention of Mothe same being, and agree with the The guilt and danger of his same word, book All mankind people apparently engaged his fixhad sinned; but God here alludes ed attention. Having fasted and to those who were guilty of wor- prayed for them forty days and shipping the golden idol. Them, forty nights, he severely rebuked He said, He would blot out of His their wickedness, and again went book. The declaration was ful&ll- up to the Lord, and renewed his ed. Hence,

request. It is unreasonable to 2. Moses did not, as Mr. Pool suppose, that he forgot his main supposes, pray that he might be and professed object, and abruptly blotted out of God's works, or turned his attention to himself, annihilated. Those idolaters were even before he had completed his not blotted out of God's works. If first sentence. they were not annihilated, God It is difficult to conceive what did not threaten to annihilate them. reason he had to pray for his own If He did not threaten to annihi- forgiveness at thai time. He knew late them, Moses did not pray to

that his own sins were forgiven: be annihilated.

for God had promised to make of 3. Moses did not, as Mr. Fir- him a great nation, and was even min supposes, pray

to be blotted then, showing him a token of peout of the page of history. The culiar favour, by conversing with page of history, is written by man. him face to face. Moses prayed to be blotted out of If Moses prayed to be forgiven, the book which God had written. then God promised to forgive the Besides: The children of Israel people. 6. The Lord answered were not blotted, that we know, Moses and said, “ Whosoever hath out of any literal book. Perhaps, sinned against me, him will I blot

4. Moses did not, as the author out of my book.” If Moses prayof the exposition in the last num- ed that his sins might be blotted ber supposes, pray that his sins out, then God here promised to might be blotted out, or forgiven. blot out the sins of the people.To

suppose that Moses prayed That the people were eventually

« PreviousContinue »