Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

ings, who in this respect is justified by Christ's righteousmess alone. By both this and the fifth head it appears that all boasting is excluded, and we are saved by free grace.— (7.) Faith alone receives the Lord Jesus and his righteousness; and the subject of this faith is a convinced, penitent soul: hence we are justified by faith alone, and yet the impenitent are not forgiven.— (8.) God has freely promised that all whom he predestinated to salvation shall not only savingly believe, but that he by his power shall preserve them from a total, or a final apostasy. —(9.) Yet the believer, whilst he lives in this world, is to pass the time of his sojourning here with fear, because his warfare is not accomplished; and that it is true that if he draw back, God will have no pleasure in him. Which with the like cautions God blesseth as means to the saints' perseverance, and these by ministers should be so urged.—(10.) The law of innocency, or noral law, is so in force still, as that every precept thereof

constitutes duty, even to the

believer; every breach thereof is a sin deserving of death; this law binds death by its curse on every unbeliever: and the righteousness for, or by

s Gospel Truth, pp. 312, 313.

[blocks in formation]

# condition, that “ Christ un

dertook that those who were to be taken into this covenant should receive grace enabling them to comply with the terms of it, fulfil its conditions, and yield the obedience which God required therein.t

On this subject Dr. Williams further says, “ The question is not whether the first, (viz. regenerating) grace, by which we are enabled to perform the condition, be absolutely given. This I affirm, though that he dispensed ordimarily in a due use of means, and in a way discountenancing

[ocr errors]

idleness, and fit encouragement given to the use of means.” The following objection among others was made by several ministers in 1692 against Dr. William's Gospel Truth Stated, &c. “To supply the room of Jhe moral law, vacated by him, he turns the gospel into a new law, in keeping of which we shall be justified for the sake of Christ's righteousness;t making qualifications and acts of ours a disposing subordinate righteousness, whereby we become capable of being justified by Christ's righteousness.f To this, among other things, he answers, “The difference is not (i.) Whether the gospel be a new law in the Socinian, Popish, or Arminian sense This I deny. Nor, (2.) Is faith, or any other grace or act of ours, any atonement for sin, satisfaction to justice, meriting qualification, or any part of that righteousness for which we are justified at God our Creator's bar This I deny in places innumerable. Nor (3.) Whether the gospel be a law more new than is implied in the first promise to fallen Adam, proposed to Cain, and obeyed by Abel, to the differencing him from his

unbelieving brother This I deny. (4.) Nor whether the gospel be a law that allows sin, when it accepts such graces as true, though short of perfection, to be the conditions of our personal interest in the benefits purchased by Christ 2 This I deny. (5.) Nor whethe gospel be a law, the promises whereof entitle the performers of its conditions to the benefits as of debt 2 This *I deny. “The difference is:—(1.) Is the gospel a law in this sense; viz. God in Christ thereby commandeth sinners to repent of sin, and receive Christ by a true operative faith, promising that thereupon they shall be united to him, justified by his righteousness, pardoned, and adopted ; and that, persevering in faith and true holiness, they shall be finally saved : also threatening that if any shall die impenitent, unbelieving, ungodly, rejecters of his grace, they shall perish without relief, and endure sorer punishments than if these offers had not been made to them — (2.) Hath the gospel a sanction ; i. e. doth Christ therein enforce his commands of faith, repentance, and perseverance, by the foresaid promises and threatenings, as motives to our obedience? Both these I affirm, and they deny ; saying the gospel in the largest sense is an absolute promise, without precepts and conditions, and a gospel threat is a bull.—(4.) Do the gospel promises of benefits to certain graces, and its threats that those benefits shall be withheld, and the contrary evils inflicted for the neglect of such graces, render those graces the condition of our personal title to those benefits This they deny, and I affirm, &c.” It does not appear to have been a question in this controversy, whether God in his word commands sinners to repent and believe in Christ, nor whether he promises life to believers, and threatens death to

* Some would have said, that God in blessing the means of grace to the conversion of sinners honours his own ordinances, rather than rewards the

tise of them.

* Gospel Truth, p. 61. f Gospel Truth, pp. 44–210.

# Ibid, pp. 54–143,

unbelievers; but whether it be

the gospel under the form of a new law that thus commands or threatens, or the moral law on its behalf; and whether its promises to believing render such believing a condition of the things promised.—In another controversy, however,

which arose about forty-years afterwards amongst the same descriptions of people, it became a question whether God did by his word (call it law or gospel) command unregenerate sinners to repent and believe in Christ, or do any thing else which is spiritually good. Of those who took the affirmative side of this question, one party attempted to maintain it on the ground of the gospel being a new law, consisting of commands, promises, and threatenings, the terms or conditions of which were repentance, faith, and sincere obedience. But those who first engaged in the controversy, though they allowed the encouragement to repent and believe to arise merely from the grace of the gospel, yet considered the formal obligation to do so as arising from the moral law, which, requiring supreme love to God, requires acquiescence in any revelation which he shall at any time make known.t] NESTORIANS, a denomination which arose in the

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

# Williams's Gospel Truth Stated and Windicated. Chauncey's Neonomianism Unmasked. Maurice's Modern Question Affirmed and Proved.

[NB. The controversy between what a century ago were called the

Neonomians and the Antinomians,

has been very ably and candidly re

viewed by the famous Wits I Us, author of the oeconomy of the covenants,

in his Irenicum.

This work has becn translated from the latin by the late

Mr Thomas Bell, of Glasgow, and is now proposed to be reprinted with

notes by the translator, The volume scription low. We earnestly hope th

, it is said, will be small, and the sube work will be duly encouraged.]

fifth century; so called from Nestorius, bishop of Constantinople. They maintain that the union of Christ's divinity with his humanity, is a union of will, operation, and benevolence ; for the divine Word is perfect in his nature and person. The human nature, united to him is likewise a perfect humanity in its nature and person ; neither of them is changed, or undergoes any alteration. Therefore there are two persons in Jesus Christ, and two natures, united by one operation and will. They supposed that, as there were two distinct natures in Christ, the divine and human, it was only the human nature which suffered. They considered Jesus as having been a mere man, till the Spirit of God came upon him at his baptism; and also that he was a mere man in his suffering and death. Nestorius asserted, that, though the Virgin Mary was the mother of Jesus Christ as a man, yet she was not the mother of God; because no human creature could impart that to another which she did not possess herself.

In the Nestorian controversy, the contending parties seem to have been all of one opinion, as to the doctrine of the trinity, in opposition to the Arians; and to have held the consubstantiality, co-eternity, and natural co-equality of the three divine persons, or hypostases. The generality of the christians in the Levant are called Nestorians.” NEW J E R US ALEM CHURCH, a society who embrace the tenets of Baron Swedenborg, and have lately begun to form themselves inte a separate communion under this name. For an account of their distinguishing sentiments, see Swedenborgeans. NICOLAITANS, a denomination in the first century; so called from Nicolas, one of the first seven deacons of Jerusalem. They made no difference between ordinary meats and those offered to idols, allowed a community of wives, and indulged themselves in all sensual pleasures without restraint.t NOETIANS, a denomination which arose in the third century, followers of Noetus,

* The opinions of Nestorius were early spread through the East, where they still continue to flourish, See Gregory's History of the Christian

Church, vol. i. p. 217.

Priestley's History of Early Opinions, vol. iv. p. 252, Jortin's Remarks on Ecclesiastical History, vol. iv. p. 278. Memoirs of Literature, vol. v.

p. 137. Bailey's Dictionary vol. ii.

t Dupin's Church History, vol. i. p. 30, Broughton's Hist, Lib, vol. ii. p.170, * Mosheim, vol. i. pp. 246, 247. Broughton, vol. ii. p. 172.

who pretended that he was another Moses sent by God, and that his brother was a new Aastin. He affirmed that the supreme God, whom he called the Father, and considered as absolutely indivisible, united himself to the man Christ, whom he called the Son, and was born and crucified with him. From this opinion Noetus and his followers were distinguished by the title of Patripassians , i. e. persons who believe that the supreme Father of the universe, and not any other divine person, had expiated the guilt of the human race.”

NOVATIANS, a denomination in the third century. "They derive their name from their founders Novat and Nowation; the first a priest of the church of Carthage, the other of that of Rome.

This denomination laid it down for a fundamental tenet, that the church of Christ ought to be pure, and free from every stain ; and that the

PHITES, a denomination which appeared in the second century, whose leader was called Euphrates. They derive their name from

sinner who had once failer: into any offence could not again become a member of it, though they did not refuse him the hopes of eternal life. Hence they looked upon every society which re-admitted those to their communion who, after baptism, had fallen into heinous crimes, as trnworthy the title of a chris– tian church. They separated from the church of Rome, because they admitted to communion those who had fallen off in time of persecution, which opinion they founded on Heb. vi. 6. They obliged such as came over to them from the general body of christians to submit to baptism a second time, as a necessary preparation for entering into their society. This denomination also condemned second marriages, and denied communion for ever to such as, after baptism, married a second time. They assumed to themselves the title of Cathari, i. e. the

[ocr errors][merged small]

f Formey's Eccles. Hist, yol. i. p. 64. Mosheim's Eccles. Hist, vol. i. pp. 250, 251. History of Religion, vol. iv, Broughton's Hist, Lib. vol. ii.

p. 173.

t

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »