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the law can never be fulfilled, in any correct sense, unless by its adaptation to the relations that God hath caused. The law does not say to the victualler, Thou shalt not kill thy sheep. Neither does the law say to any man, Thou shalt do this, or thou halt refrain from doing that certain thing, on penalty of punishment after the death of the body, and in a future state or world. Neither does the law say, If you will do this, you shall be rewarded in another world or future state. No truth can be more obvious to an unprejudiced mind, than the fact, that no possible relation exists between reward and punishment for obeying, or for violating a law in the present state of man's existence, and being rewarded or punished in a future state of existence in another world. The duty of the Farmer, is to cultivate his farm in this world, that he may provide sustenance for himself and family. It would be very strange if the Farmer, who should refuse or neglect to perform this important duty, should escape all consequences of his folly here; should find his fields ripe for the harvest, when no seed had been sown; and be punished in another world, for refusing to provide for his family in the present world. And the orthodox clergy, if they were compelled to wait for their reward for preaching until their wicked hearers shall be punished for their sins, in another world, instead of receiving their reward in the shape of salaries, in quarterly payments, there would be but a few preachers of future reward and punishment. The doctrine of the Scripture is, Sow and reap. And the argument has great force, because the assurance is, that whatsoever a man soweth, that also shall he reap. never yet heard of a man sowing endless misery, or endless felicity. If this seed were sown in this world, reason teaches us, that our seasons would prove too short, to give assurance of so much as a single crop! It is therefore obvious, that orthodox notions are at war with all the relations of things.
The doctrine of reward and punishment, is seen in its true light, by a reference to our text. The retribution of hypocrites is called a reward. It is precisely according to their works. They pray in public to be seen of men. They are rewarded according to their deserts. They have, in the present tense, their reward, not shall have it in another world. But they whose sole motive is to commune in secret, with their Heavenly Father who is in secret, and who seeth in secret, have a different object.
They do not desire to be seen of men. It is unnecessary to give publicity to their devotions. They are only desirous that their Father, who is in secret, unseen by mortal eyes, should see them; for it is from Him alone that they desire and expect any thing, or any blessing. Here the relation speaks for itself. Men cannot reward them. But their reward is from God, and it is to them satisfactory; being, as the phrase imports, openly, or to them apparent and certain, not doubtful. But the relation, what does that purport? Ans. Every thing. They pray to their Father. And the declaration of Jesus to evil men, "If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?" is a perfect comment. The children of evil men obtain bread from their fathers, by asking for it--but the children of God, obtain from their FATHER, righteousness, peace, and joy in His Holy Spirit. AMEN.
PAUL'S DOCTRINE AND ARGUMENT.
"For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead." 2 COR. v. 14.
WHEN a man is constrained, that is, forced or compelled, a powerful cause operates; and the compulsion is an effect of the cause specified. And when moral causes, as opposed, or contradistinguished from physical causes, operate, the effect must be considered in a strict relation to the cause that has produced it. It is necessarily characterized, and mistake is impossible, unless the blind shall be the judges. Now it strikes me that the Calvinist is as blind as a bat, when he decides on the effect that Paul has exhibited as the necessary deduction from his premises. What, in the name of Heaven, constrained John Calvin, when he judged that Christ died only for a part, or a few, instead of for all, as affirmed by Paul? Not the love of Christ; for the overwhelming reason, that the love of Christ, operating as a cause, could never constrain Paul to judge that Christ died for all, and Calvin, that Christ died only for a part! The same cause must always produce the same effect; as certainly as the law of gravity, that constrained water to run downhill in Paul's day, produ ced the same effect when Calvin vented his philippics at Geneva.
I take my stand on this rock, this truth, and challenge the whole Presbyterian phalanx to move me an inch from my position, without shoving Paul off with me; and pul ling down the whole fabric of Christ's Gospel into the bargain. This is not all; for if the love of Christ constrained Paul, when he thus judged, and Calvin judged differently from Paul, it follows, that, instead of being constrained by the love of Christ, as Paul was moved, he must have been constrained or moved by the hatred of the Devil. Reader, there is an unqualified falsehood between Paul and Calvin. Now I judge, that Paul spoke the truth, when he affirmed that Christ died for all,
and that Calvin affirmed a falsehood when he contradicted Paul, and declared the contrary. Calvin, therefore, is of the father of lies, the Devil, who is a liar from the beginning. If this offends, let it offend. If the truth, as taught by Paul and the Lord Jesus Christ, displeases men, let them be displeased! And Paul has gone even farther than I have: "Let him be accursed," says Paul. (Gal. i.) Reader, if Calvin be true, follow him-but if Christ's Apostle Paul, be true, follow him. You cannot accept both, the testimony of Paul, and the testimony of Calvin, which contradicts Paul in the most barefaced manner imaginable.
I will examine Paul's doctrine, and Paul's argument, and if clay and iron can amalgamate, then Presbyterianism, or Calvinism, will agree, or amalgamate with the doctrine and argument of Christ's Apostle.
What is Paul's conclusion from his premises?
I answer-That if Christ died for all, "then were all dead." I take this truth, the word of Inspiration, and present it for your consideration, reader. I know very well that it disagrees with human dogmas, the creeds and gospels of men. Well, so much better is it for this reason; for we have an alternative presented, a case strongly marked, an affirmation which sets cavilling at defiance. Paul states a fact-Viz: Jesus Christ died for ALL. And the only conclusion that Paul admits as legitimate, and proceeding from his premises, is, that all were dead. No exception-no room for a doubt-not a solitary point on which to hang an objection, or raise a query.
The orthodox quibble is now driven into a corner, and must remain there for ever. "If you die in your sins, says orthodoxy, "where Christ is you can never come.' And this declaration has been made with all imaginable gravity, notwithstanding the truth is so prominent as to become a trite saying, that no man can go to Jesus, unless the Father shall draw him. It is therefore true to the letter, that no man, whether he die or live in his sins, can come to Christ, or go to the Father, of himself. But the difficulty in the way of orthodoxy is not yet all told. All were dead. How happens this? Have all died in righteousness? Is this, righteousness, the cause of the death of all men? Even orthodoxy, in its most insane condition, has never uttered this absurdity. How, then, came the dead to die? What causes the death affirmed? Paul answers- -"Death hath passed upon all men, for
that all have sinned." Paul has taught, that "God loved men when they were dead in sins." (Ephes. ii. 4, 5.) Now as the Scriptures conclude all men as sinners, and as "the wages of sin is death," it follows, that if all are dead, then all die in their sins; not ut them. And how reasonable, too, is this conclusion! For if one (Jesus Christ) died for all, it is a legitimate conclusion that all were in a like condition. There is but one remedyit follows that there is but one disease, sin. Now the inference is irresistible, that as the condition of all men is one and the same, all being dead; and the death being an effect of one and the same cause, viz: sin, that which shall operate to give life to one, must give life to all.
There is another thing peculiar to Paul's doctrine. Paul represents the patient, the sinner, as dead, and therefore passive. He excludes the bare idea of any condition, which implies an assent, or action, on the part of the sinner; because the dead sinner can neither accept nor refuse a boon-cannot act, neither express, nor exercise any mind or feeling, or will, on the subject of the death he is the victim to, nor of the life that is to reanimate him. How preposterous, wild, and absurd, therefore, are the opinions of modern sectarians, when seen in contrast with the doctrine of the Divinely inspired Paul! Reader, although these things look strange, on reflection it must be admitted, that if "the love of Christ constrained Paul," to judge as he judged, modern sectarians being constrained to their judgment by the falsehood and absurdities of Calvin, Arminius, and Hopkins, etc. must, necessarily, arrive at a conclusion as different from Paul's, as their doctrines are dissimilar and contradictory. Here are cause and effect. No man can dissipate these facts by the power of orthodox logic. I present these truths, from the Scriptures. of Truth, and array them, in their power, opposed, like a wall of adamant, to modern sectarians, and to their vile, absurd, and wicked dogmas.
We have seen that Paul's doctrine affirms that Jesus Christ, the Mediator, died for all. Also, that all are dead in sins. No exception whatever is stated, or admitted as possible, in the condition of men universally. And Paul, varying his phraseology, affirms in his Epistle to the Romans, that Christ died for the ungodly. Here we have a correlative testimony, and a two-edged truth. For it follows, that if Christ died for the ungodly, he necessarily died for all men, because all are so ungodly as to die in