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saved, it must be in some way of if himself had fulfilled the whole unmerited mercy and grace, though law? I must take heed what I say; I did not clearly understand in what but the apostle saith, God made way till long after. Immediately, Him to be sin for us, who knew no therefore, I took for my next text, sin, that we might be made the righteGal. iii. 22: "But the Scripture hath ousness of God in him.' Such we are concluded all under sin, that the in the sight of God the Father, as promise, by faith of Jesus Christ, is the very Son of God himself. might be given to them that be- Let it be counted folly, or frenzy, lieve." And I preached from it or fury, whatsoever, it is our comaccording to Hooker's doctrine; fort, and our wisdom; we care for expressing, as strongly as I could, no knowledge in the world but this, the defilements of our best actions, that man hath sinned, and God hath and our need of mercy in every suffered; that God hath made himthing we do; in order the more self the Son of man, and that men evidently to show that "salvation are made the righteousness of God." is of grace, through faith ;-not of Equally determinate and expresworks, lest any man should boast." sive are these words (page 500):
I had not, however, as yet at-" As for such as hold, with the tained to a knowledge of the fulness Church of Rome, that we cannot of that fountain, whence all these be saved by Christ alone without polluted streams flow forth so plen- works, they do, not only by a circle tifully into our lives and conversa-of consequence, but directly, deny tion.-Neither was I then able the foundation of faith; they hold to receive the following nervous it not, no not so much as by a passage concerning justification, thread." If the Judicious Hooker's (Hooker, page 495): "The righte-judgment may in this important ousness wherein we must be found, concern be depended upon (and I if we will be justified, is not our suppose it will not easily be proved own; therefore we cannot be justi- erroneous), I fear the foundation of fied by any inherent quality. Christ faith is held by only a small part of hath merited righteousness for as that Church which has honoured many as are found in him. In him her champion with this distinction. God findeth us, if we be faithful; Pages 508 and 509, he thus defor by faith we are incorporated fends his doctrine against the objecinto Christ. Then, although in our-tions of the Pupists (for at that time selves we be altogether sinful and none but the Papists openly objected unrighteous, yet even the man to it). It is a childish cavil wherewhich is impious in himself, full with, in the matter of justification, of iniquity, full of sin; him, being our adversaries do so greatly please found in Christ through faith, and themselves, exclaiming that we having his sin remitted through re-tread all Christian virtues under pentance, him God beholdeth with our feet, and require nothing of a gracious eye, putteth away his Christians but faith; because we sin by not imputing it; taketh quite teach that faith alone justifieth. away the punishment due thereunto Whereas, by this speech, we never by pardoning it; and accepteth him meant to exclude either hope, or in Jesus Christ as perfectly righte- charity, from being always joined, ous, as if he had fulfilled all that as inseparable mates with faith in was commanded in the law. Shall the man that is justified; or works more perfectly righteous than from being added, as necessary
duties, required at the hands of after many objections and doubts, every justified man: but to show and much examination of the word that faith is the only hand which of God, in a few months I began to putteth on Christ unto justification; accede to Mr. Hooker's sentiments. and Christ the only garment, which, And at the present, my opinion, in being so put on, covereth the shame this respect, as far as I know, coinof our defiled natures, hideth the cides with these passages of this imperfections of our works, pre-eminent author, and is supported serveth us blameless in the sight of and vindicated by the same arguGod; before whom, otherwise, the ments: he, therefore, who would weakness of our faith were cause prove our doctrine of justification sufficient to make us culpable; yea, by faith alone to be an error, will to shut us out from the kingdom of do well to answer in the first place heaven, where nothing that is not these quotations from Mr. Hooker. absolute can enter.' Indeed, as far as I can understand Had I at this time met with such him, there is scarcely any doctrine passages in the writings of the Dis- which, with no inconsiderable ofsenters, or in any of those modern fence, 1 now preach, that is not publications which, under the brand evidently contained in his writings of methodistical, are condemned as in my sermons. Witness partiwithout reading, or perused with cularly his " Sermon of the certainty invincible prejudice, I should not and perpetuity of faith in the elect ;” have thought them worth regard, in which the doctrine of the final but should have rejected them as perseverance of true believers is wild enthusiasm. But I knew that expressly taught and scripturally Hooker was deemed perfectly or- maintained: and he closes it with thodox, and a standard writer, by this noble triumph of full assurance, the prelates of the church in his as resulting from that comfortable own days. I learned from his dis-doctrine in the hearts of confirmed pute with Mr. Travers, that he was and experienced Christians: put upon his defence, for making know in whom I have believed;" concessions in this matter to the "I am not ignorant whose precious Church of Rome, which the zealous blood has been shed for me; I have Protestants did not think warrant-a Shepherd full of kindness, full of able; and that he was judged by care, and full of power: unto him the more rigid too lax in his doc- I commit myself. His own finger trine, by none too rigid. I had hath engraven this sentence on the never heard it insinuated that he tables of heart: my Satan hath
was tinctured with enthusiasm; and desired to winnow thee as wheat, but the solidity of his judgment, and I have prayed that thy faith fail the acuteness of his reasoning facul-not.' Therefore the assurance of ties, need no voucher to the atten- my hope I will labour to keep as a tive reader. His opinion therefore jewel unto the end, and by labour, carried great weight with it; made through the gracious mediation of me suspect the truth of my former his prayer, I shall keep it.” (page sentiments; and put me upon seri- 532).-With such words in my ous inquiries and deep meditation mouth, and such assurance in my on this subject, accompanied with heart, I wish to live and hope to die. earnest prayers for the teaching and The insertion of these quotations direction of the Lord on this im- from this old author will, I hope, portant point. The result was, that need no apology. Many have not
his works, and these extracts are not be. We ourselves are like those
the thirty-nine articles. This weak-1 of a bettter instructor, they were a ened my prejudice, though it did considerable time before they arnot prove the doctrine true. rived at establishment in the faith;
About this time a new and unex-yet some of them, having their pected effect was produced by my minds less leavened with prejudice preaching. I had hitherto been and the pride of reasoning, were satisfied to see people regularly more apt scholars in the school of frequent the church, listen atten Christ than I was, and got the start tively to what was discoursed, and of me in the knowledge both of doclead moral decent lives. The way trine and duty; and in their turns in which I had been led was so became, without intending it, in smooth, and the progress I had some respects monitors to me, and made so gradual; I had lately ex-I derived important advantage from perienced so little distressing con- them. cern for my own soul, and had so
This singular circumstance, of belittle acquaintance with persons ing an instrument in bringing others conversant in these matters, that, earnestly and successfully to inwhile I declared the strictness, spi-quire after salvation, while I so rituality, and sanction of the law of little understood the true Gospel of God in an alarming manner, it never Jesus Christ, very much increased occurred to me that my hearers my perplexity. I became doubly might not proceed in the same easy earnest to know the truth, lest I gradual way. But I had scarcely should mislead those who confided begun this new method of preach- their precious souls to me as their ing, when application was made to spiritual instructor. This added to me by persons in great distress my diligence in reading and mediabout their souls; for, their consci- tating on the word of God; and ences being awakened to a sense of made me more fervent in prayer to their lost condition by nature and be guided to the knowledge of the practice, they were anxious in in- truth. And under every difficulty, I quiring what they must do to be constantly had recourse unto the saved. I knew not well what to say to them, my views being greatly clouded, and my sentiments concerning justification very much perplexed: but being willing to give them the best counsel I could, I About this time I established a exhorted them in a general way to weekly Lecture for expounding the believe in the Lord Jesus Christ; Scriptures in my other parish, by though I was incapable of instruct- which I obtained further acquainting them either concerning the true ance with the various parts of the nature of faith, or in what manner word of God. It was my general they were to seek it. However, I practice, in penning these Lectures, better understood my own meaning, to search out all the texts referred when I advised them to the study to in the margin of the Bible, with of the Scriptures, accompanied with such as I could recollect upon the prayer to God to be enabled rightly subject, and to make use of them in to understand them, and when I explaining each other. This method inculcated amendment of life. In enabled me to store my memory this manner the Lord slowly brought with the language of Scripture, and them forward; and though, for want made way for a greater exactness
Lord, to preserve me from ignorance and error, and to enable me to distinguish between the doctrines of his word, and the inventions and traditions of men.
in discussing doctrinal subjects, than love of Christ, and affection for I had hitherto been acquainted souls, which eminently shine forth in many parts of his works. In
In the course of the winter, 1777, deed, I received considerable inI was engaged in deep meditation struction from him; but especially upon Luke, xi. 9-13, concerning his sermon on the real satisfaction the Holy Spirit being given in an- made by the death of Christ for swer to prayer. And at length, the sins of believers, was the blessed having made a collection of all the means of clearing up my views, and Scriptures I could meet with, which confirming my faith, respecting that related to that important doctrine, fundamental doctrine of Christidiligently comparing them together, anity. On Good Friday, 1777, I and meditating upon them, and preached a sermon upon that subearnestly beseeching the Lord to ject, from Isaiah, liii. 6. "All we fulfil the promise to my soul, I like sheep have gone astray; we wrote two sermons upon the sub- have turned every one to his own ject-one from Luke, xi. 13," If way, and the Lord hath laid [hath ye then, being evil, know how to caused to meet] on him the iniquigive good gifts unto your children, ties of us all." I endeavoured to how much more shall your heavenly prove (what has ever since been Father give the Holy Spirit to them the sole foundation of all my hopes) that ask him." The other from that Christ indeed bore the sins of James, i. 16, 17, " Do not err, my all who should ever truly believe, beloved brethren, every good gift, in all their guilt, condemnation, and and every perfect gift is from above, deserved punishment, in his own and cometh down from the Father body on the tree. I explicitly avowed of lights." By this, my views of a my belief, that Christ, as our Surety Christian's privileges and duties in and Bondsman, stood in our lawthis respect, were much enlarged, place, to answer all our obligations, and my requests were made known and to satisfy divine justice and the unto the Lord in a more full, exact, demands of the law for our offences: and believing manner, than before. and I publicly renounced, as erroThough I still remained very igno-neous and grievous perversions of rant in many important matters Scripture, all my former explanarespecting the person, offices, and tions and interpretations of these work of the Holy Spirit, yet I had subjects.
discovered more of what was pro- This was the first doctrine in mised concerning him, and there- which I was clearly and fully fore knew better what to ask. brought to acknowledge the truth; My obligations to Bishop Beve- though I had, with no little earnestridge must here be acknowledged. ness, for two years been inquiring When I first began to peruse his about it :-to so astonishing a desermons, I conceived a mean opinion gree was my blinded understanding of him; and it was some time before filled with prejudice against the I could prevail with myself to exa-doctrines of the word of God! mine any further into his writings: Hitherto they had been foolishness but being now more advanced in to me; but now, under the divine my inquiry after truth, those sin- teaching, I began, though very gularities which at first offended dimly, to discern the wisdom of me became tolerable, and I began God in them.
to relish the simplicity, spirituality,
I say dimly; for I was still under