תמונות בעמוד

ness, but to us who are saved it is ing, and of danger. But in opthe power of God." The word is posing incorrect expressions on one the same as is employed respecting side, we need not run, as I think the inhabitants of the new Jeru- B. W. has done, into equally incor. salem (Rev. xxi. 24): “ The nations rect ones on the other; for it certainly of them which are saved shall walk seems to me as unscriptural to say in the light of it.” There are se- that salvation is all future, as to say veral other passages in which the that it is “ all accomplished." same Apostle makes use of the pre- The motive which has influsent tense in a way not very con,' enced many in adopting those opisistent with the position of B. W.; nions which I have endeavoured to " that the sacred Scriptures never combat, is a dread of the consespeak of salvation as already ob- quences which may possibly follow tained, but simply as an object of where the idea of a present salhope and future expectation.' But vation has been taken up by men I will pass by these, to notice the who were seeking something which language employed by St. Paul, in might quiet their fears without comthe second chapter of his Epistle pelling them to part with their sins. to the Ephesians. He begins by But may not this danger be more reminding “

" the saints at Ephesus,“ effectually obviated, by shewing the that they had been “ dead in tres- "real nature of salvation, than by passes and sins ;” “ walking ac- advancing statements which can cording to the course of this world, hardly, if at all, be reconciled, with according to the prince of the power 80 many passages of Scripture ? of the air, the spirit that worketh Salvation, as now possessed, in part in the children of disobedience;" consists in deliverance from the that they were “ by nature the fearful anticipations of the wrath children of wrath ; that they had of God, which we are conscious we been without Christ, without hope, have deserved by our transgression; and without God in the world ; but but it equally comprehends a dethey were now quickened," made liverance from the dominion of sin, alive, “ raised up together with and the overwhelming influence of Christ,” made to “ sit in heavenly this present evil world, with all its places with him; ” were God's pomps and vanities and covetous workmanship “ created in Christ desire. These are inseparable, while Jesus unto good works ;" or, to both are equally necessary to the sum up all in one word, “ they Christian's comfort in the present had been saved by grace ;xaploi eote state ; though the unholy heart DEOWO LEVOL. Certainly this language would gladly separate them, and must mean something “ already claim the former as its portion, obtained,” and not " siinply an oba while it rejected the latter as burject of hope and future expectation.densome and legal. It appears to

I am perfectly of B. W.'s opinion me that the true method of ob. on the impropriety of such expres. viating the danger of abuse, is thus sions as he quotes from M. Malan : to exhibit the doctrine as it is set “ It is finished," “all is accom- forth in the Scripture. plished," and that common one This view of the subject serves finished salvation." Redemption was also to shew the impropriety of the finished so soon as the Saviour's expression from the Conventicle of sufferings were ended, for “he Rolle which B. W. has objected to; hath redeemed us to God with his “ no works in order to salvation." blood ;” but salvation will not be Those works which the man who is finished, till the true believer, having seeking to justify himself would been " kept by the power of God put in the place of that righteousthrough faith,” shall be finally placed ness that is of God by faith, not beyond the reach of sin, of suffer- being done as God willeth and commandeth they should be done, can says,

" the transfer of our sin and effect nothing in the accomplish-guilt to Christ is not scriptural ; ment of our salvation, but rather and when he intimates that nothing are they offensive to God, as is but the good intentions of the stated in the Thirteenth Article of writer he combats saves it from our Church. And the good works being blasphemous." of the Christian, which follow after an ordinary reader of his Bible be justification, are “ the fruits of the quite confounded, when, after peSpirit ;” and as such are rather rusing such a passage as this, he a part, an essential part, of our found Isaiah saying, The Lord salvation, than the meritorious cause hath laid upon him the iniquity of of it. Such seems the Apostle's us all ?" Or when he found st. argument (Ephes. ii. 8—10): “By Paul asserting that God had made grace are ye saved, through faith: Him, who knew no sin, to be sin for not of works, lest any man should us, that we might be made the boast ; for we are his workmanship, righteousness of God in bim?" To created in Christ Jesus unto good a plain student, there certainly in works,” &c. Where good works, as these texts appears to be the idea the fruit of the Spirit, and the con- of a mutual transfer. If any one sequence

of this new creation, are states the doctrine so as to import not found, there is no present, and that moral criminality belonged to consequently no just, expectation of our Saviour when he took our place, future salvation. But while I agree and bare our sins in his own body in the general doctrine of B. W., on the tree, then I join with B. W. the same motive which induced me in his strongest terms of animadfirst to take up my pen, leads me version; for in this sense he was a's to ask him whether he has not been holy, harmless, and undefiled, and rather too much led by the sound, separate from sinners, while enin selecting the texts by which he gaged in his work of expiation, as supports his opinion. I allude more when in the bosom of the Father particularly, though not exclusively, before his incarnation. But the to the application of the exhortation transfer which seems to me implied of St. Paul to the Philippians,“Work in these texts does not go to this out your own salvation with fear point; nor do I perceive that M. and trembling Were a man, in- Malan's language implies it. By quiring what he must do to be being surety for some immoral saved, to ask B. W. how he might spendthrift and profligate, all his 6 work out his salvation," I have debts may be transferred to me, no doubt his answer would shew and I may be brought to ruin by that he attached a much more ex- putting myself in his place, while tended idea to the words, than that he is completely freed from all the which is implied when it is adduced demands of his creditors ; but still to shew the inseparable connexion I incur no moral imputation. Such between good works and salvation. was the transfer of our sin and It would be made at least to com- guilt to the Redeemer, when “the prise the same Apostle's answer to Lord laid on him the iniquity of us ihe jailor, who was probably one all," and then “ made him to be of the company to whom the epistle sin," or a sin-offering, “for us, that was addressed : “ Believe in the we might be made the righteousness Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt of God in him."

IGNOTUS. be saved.” An inconclusive reference frequently destroys all the effect it was intended to produce, May I be allowed once more to

FAMILY SERMONS.—No. CCXXI. ask your correspondent whether he 1 Cor. xv. 53, 54.- For this corbe not a little too decided, when he ruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on a living body; it must exchange immortality ; so when this corrup- warmth and action, and cheerfultible shall have put on incorrup- ness and loveliness, for all that is tion, and this mortat shall have most painful and revolting to the put on immortality: then shall be natural senses and perceptions. The brought to pass the saying that soul in the mean time, disentangled is written, Death is swallowed up from the flesh, has winged its flight in victory.

to the presence of God. Though

hitherto known only in connexion All men are naturally appalled at with its mortal habitation, it is not the thought of death. They see dependent upon it; it can exist disin it an enemy who lurks about embodied; it survives, either a happy their path by night and by day, to spirit before the throne of God, or a rob them of all they account valu- condemned spirit in the world of able; to deprive them of their pos- darkness and despair. sessions, their honours, their plea- But shall this disunion last for sures, their very earthly being itself. ever? In the world of blessedness is Still more are they appalled, when only the soul redeemed and safely they look beyond it, and remember, housed, beyond the reach of earthly that after death comes judgment; storms; and in the world of misery, that not only is every earthly tie is the body, which was the compabroken, but that they must enter nion of the soul in sin, exempt from into a new and eternal state of ex- its share of punishment? The word istence for which they feel them- of God alone can answer this inquiry. selves unprepared, and which, when Multitudes of the heathen, perhaps they review their transgressions the large majority, can be scarcely against their Creator, they cannot said to have any intelligible persuabut fear will be a state of the bitter- sion of the resurrection either of the est misery. But the true believer body or the soul; and, of those who views this last enemy in a very dif- acknowledge the latter, very few seem ferent light. He considers death, to have any fixed opinion respect. though a part of the original curse ing the former ; so that, even by the pronounced against sin, as having Athenians themselves, St. Paul was lost its sting to all who die in Christ. accounted a babbler, for preaching Hethinks of dying, or wishes to think the resurrection of the body. The soul of it, not with its original terrors; they could perhaps more easily think but as one link in the golden chain by of as incorruptible, and heir to a fuwhich all the privileges of this world ture existence; but the body, being and that which is to come are bound corruptible, being actually seen in a together. Without death he can- state of dissolution, they could not not enter upon a blissful eternity; look beyond its present degraded he must continue in a world of condition, to contemplate its resurchange and trial, of sin and tempta- rection. Yet the youngest child tion, of sorrow and bereavement; who has been instructed in the a world which is not his home, and Holy Scriptures, has learned this is incapable of making him really surprisingly interesting and momenhappy. To be happy therefore, un- tous truth. Our belief in the resurspeakably happy, eternally happy, he rection of the body is expressed in must die. Yet still death is awful; the the very same creeds, and with the body and soul, which in the present same certainty, as even our belief state of being have been constant in a God. And with the revelation companions, must be separated: the of our Creator in our hands, well former must become senseless, mo- may it be so expressed. For it tionless, breathless; it must decay; was disclosed in the early stages of jt must mix with its native dust ; it that revelation; so that the patrimust lose all that distinguished it as arch Job knew that, though worms should destroy his earthly dwelling, for “now is Christ risen from the yet that, in the latter day, he should dead, and become the first fruits of in his flesh see God. But we need them that slept.” So far as res. not go back to dates so ancient; pects the ability of God, if evidence for we live under a dispensation were necessary on such a point, we in which life and immortality are thus have evidence the strongest and more visibly brought to light, exactly applicable to the case : we through Christ Jesus; we are not have not only our own miraculous left to doubt whether these mortal creation and preservation from day bodies, which, frail and sinful as to day, but we have the resurrection they are, are still endeared to us by of Christ, the pledge, the proof, the innumerable sympathies and tender pattern of our own. God therefore associations, by our attachments can raise the dead; and he who is and friendships towards those whom thus able is equally faithful to his we have known and loved in the promise or his threatening; therefore present life, shall be preserved and God will raise the dead. glorified, so as to become fit dwel. The second inquiry the Apostle lings for our immortal spirits. The considers more at length, yet still certainty of this truth is revealed to without attempting to administer to us in Scripture beyond any possibi- the gratification of a vain and uselity of mistake; it shall so be; "this less curiosity. "With what body corruptible," as the Apostle Paul do they come?" Is it a body like, or declares in our text, “must put on unlike, the present? What are its incorruption, and this mortal must qualities? What is its appearance? put on immortality.”

What are its offices ? Is it capable of The Apostle, when he penned this the same pains and pleasures? Will declaration, was replying to a two- it be recognized by those who had fold inquiry, or objection, which shared its joys and sorrows upon might be brought respecting the earth? To no such inquiry is any doctrine of the resurrection. “But reply given; yet all is disclosed to some man will say, How are the dead us on the subject that it was necesraised up, and with what body dosary for us to know, or that perhaps they come?"

we could understand. The Apostle The former question he passes tells us, in substance, that as our over very shortly. Do you ask, as present body is conformable to the though he said, how this thing can purposes of our earthly existence, be; what power is sufficient for so so the body which shall be raised at mighty, so miraculous, a process? the last day, shall be fitted for its The power of God is sufficient: by new existence in the eternal world. that power the seed sown in the Such a change, he further inground, while it seems to die away forms us, was essentially necessary; and to be for ever lost, is clothed for flesh and blood cannot inherit with new properties, and is made the kingdom of God. Even in the to vegetate with teeming life and natural creation, he argues, there is beauty: “God giveth it a body as a variety of bodies suited to the it hath pleased him, and to every different arrangements which the seed its own body.” Thus we learn, Creator designed them to fulfil; even from the inferior works of his there are bodies celestial and bodies creation, his ability to raise these terrestial : and among these themfeeble and mortal bodies from selves there are differences accordtheir slumber in the grave, and to ing to their natures, all terrestrial clothe them with immortality. But bodies not being alike; for there is far more clearly and convincingly one flesh of men, another of beasts, do we see this power displayed in another of fishes, and another of the resurrection of Christ. Here iɛ birds: and all celestial bodies not a proof that cannot be questioned; being alike, for there is one glory of the sun, and another of the moon, Again ; "it is sown in weakness." and another of the stars; one star Weak indeed, even beyond the differing from another in glory. weakness of earliest infancy; conSo also in the resurrection of the quered by death, and preyed upon by dead there is a change, whatever it worms. Yet how shall it be raised? be, to fit each glorified body to its Shall it be with the weakness with allotted station. So necessary in- which it was laid in the tomb; beardeed is such a change, adds the ing.on it the ravages of time and disApostle, that even in the case of ease, of mutilation and decay, of corthose who are alive at the coming ruption and of death? No; for “ it of Christ, it shall pass upon them : is raised in power." The Almighty they shall be changed, “in a mno- Power that raises it shall endue ment, in the twinkling of an eye at it with energies unknown to it in its the last trump; for the trumpet former condition; with a spirit of shall sound, and the dead shall be life and vigour that shall never beraised incorruptible, and we shall come extinct.

Again ; “ it is sown be changed; for this corruptible a natural body;" it was subject in must put on incorruption, and this its earthly state, to the pains and mortal must put on immortality." sorrows, to the sins and temptations,

In describing this change, the of its mortal and fallen condition : Apostle notices various particulars, it had an animal existence fitted to in which there shall be a great and the place of its temporary abode, glorious, though, to our present im- but wholly unfit for its intended reperfect faculties, incomprehensible sidence among the blessed spirits in renovation. Keeping up the ana- heaven; but it is raised a spiritual logy of seed committed to the body,”—a body freed from all morground, which forcibly represents tal passions, all inlets to danger, all the last rites offered to the mortal incentives to evil. It will not hun. body, he says, “ It is sown in cor, ger or thirst; it will not feel fatigue ruption:" it moulders away; it shews or anguish; it will not be subjected no symptom of returning life; on to the vicissitudes of the seasons, to the contrary, it mixes with its dust, the heat of summer or the cold of and appears no more. But how is winter; it will not need the aid of it raised ? « It is raised in incorrup- sleep or repose, to recruit powers tion;" without any vestige of mor- which can never be exhausted; for tality; and heir to a never-ending it is “a spiritual body.” What a existence. So again, “it is sown in spiritual body is, we cannot fully dishonour;" it has lost its strength, comprehend : it is enough for us to its beauty, its animation; it has be- know that it is a body such as is come offensive to the beholder; it required for its re-union to a spirit is cast away “as a despised and bro- freed from all that is sinful, and desken vessel, in which there is no plea- tined to enjoy for ever the purities sure.” It is a “vile,” because a sin, and felicities of the heavenly world, ful, body. But“it is raised in glory;" Lastly, it was a mortal body. In a glory the nature of which we can- consequence of sin, the seeds of disnot conceive, but which, the Apostle solution were sown within it: no elsewhere tells us, renders it like the sooner was it endued with life than glorious or gloritied body of the ri- it tended towards death, which, but sen Saviour. All that once disho. for the preserving hand of God, noured it shall be for ever unknown; would have subdued it, not after and it shall be invest with the many months or years of existence, dignity due to it as originally formed but in the very first feeble dawn of by the hand of God, as redeemed, its being. This mortal tendency in common with the soul, by the was seen in the pains and disorders blood of Christ, and as the recep- which visited it; in the feebleness of tacle of a blessed and eternal spirit. its infancy, the feverishness of its

« הקודםהמשך »