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26. “ But does not God say to every one that lives by faith, “ I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee?”
The whole sentence runs thus, “Let your conversation be without covetousness, and be content with such things as ye have; for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee,” Heb. xiii. 5. True ; provided “ your con'versation be without covetousness, and ye be content with such things as ye have.” Then you may boldly say, “ The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto ine."
Do you not see, 1. That this promise, as here recited, relates wholly to temporal things ? 2. That even thus taken, it is not absolute but conditional: and, 3. That the condition is expressly mentioned in the very same sentence ?
VIII. 27. Eighthly, Those who are sanctified by the blood of the covenant, may so fall from God as to perish everlastingly.
For thus again saith the apostle, “ If we sin wilfully, after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sin, but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses. Of how much sorer punishment shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing,” Heb. x. 26–29.
It is undeniably plain, 1. That the person mentioned, here, was once sanctified by the blood of the covenant. 2. That he afterwards, by known, wilful sin, trod under foot'the Son of God: and, 3. That he hereby incurred a sorer punishment than death, namely, death everlasting.
Therefore, those who are sanctified by the blood of the covenant, may yet so fall as to perish everlastingly.
28. What! Can the blood of Christ burn in hell? Or can the purchase of the blood of Christ
I answer, 1. The blood of Christ cannot burn in hell, no more than it can be spilt on the earth. The heavens must contain both his flesh and blood, until the restitution of all things. But,
2. If the oracles of God are true; one who was purchased by the blood of Christ may go thither. For he who was sanctified by the blood of Christ, was purchased by the blood of Christ. But one who was sanctified by the blood of Christ, may nevertheless go to hell; may fall under that fiery indignation, which shall for ever devour the adversaries.
29. 6 Can a child of God then go to hell? Or can a man be a child of God to-day, and a child of the devil tomorrow? If God is our Father once, is he not our Father always?" I answer,
1. A child of God, that is, a true believer, (for he that believeth is born of God,) while he continues a true believer, cannot go to hell. But, 2. If a believer makes shipwreck of the faith, he is no longer a child of God. And then he may go to hell, yea, and certainly will, if he continue in unbelief. 3. If a believer may make shipwreck of the faith, then a man who believes now, may be an unbe- . liever some time hence; yea, very possibly, to-morrow: but if so, he who is a child of God to-day, may be a child of the devil to-morrow. For, 4. God is the Father of them who believe, so long as they believe. But the devil is the father of them that believe not, whether they did once believe or not.
30. The sum of all is this. If the Scriptures are true, those who are holy or righteous in the judgment of God himself: those who' are endued with the faith that purifies the heart, that produces a good conscience: those who are grafted into the good Olive tree, the spiritual, invisible church; those who are branches of the true Vine, of whom Christ says, I am the Vine, ye are the branches : those who so effectually know Christ, as by that knowledge to have escaped the pollutions of the world: those who see the light of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ,
and who bave been made partakers of the Holy Ghost; of the witness and of the fruits of the Spirit: those who live by faith in the Son of God: those who are sanctified by the blood of the covenant; may nevertbeless so fall from God, as to perish everlastingly.
Therefore, “Let him who standeth, take heed lest he fall.”
1. A TRACT has lately been published in my name, concerning The Imputed Righteousness of Christ. This calls me to explain myself upon that head'; which I will do with all the clearness I can. But I quarrel with no man for thinking or speaking otherwise than I do: I blame none for using those expressions which he believes to be scriptural. If he quarrels with me for not using them, at least, not so frequently as himself, I can only pity him, and wish him more of the Mind which was in Christ.'
2. The Righteousness of Christ is an expression which I do not find in the Bible. The Righteousness of God is an expression which I do find there. I believe this means, first, The Mercy of God, as 2 Pet. i. 1 : “ Them that have obtained like precious faith with us, through the righteousness of God.” How does it appear, that the righteousness of God here, means either more or less than his mercy ? Psalm lxxi. 15, &c. “My mouth shall shew forth thy righteousness and thy salvation :" thy mercy in delivering
“I will make mention of thy righteousness only." “ Thy righteousness, O God, is very high.” Here the righteousness of God is expressly mentioned. But I will
not take upon me to say, that it means the righteousness or mercy of the Son, any more than of the Holy Ghost.
3. I believe this expression means, Secondly, God's method of justifying sinners. So Rom. i. 17: “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for therein is the righteousness of God, (his way of justifying sinners,) revealed.” Chap. iii. 21. &c. “Now the righteousness of God is manifested: even the righteousness of God which is by faith:” (unless righteousness here also means mercy.)
« Jesus Christ, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood; to declare his righteousness, for the remission of sins that are past: that he might be just, and yet the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus.” Chap. x. 3. “ They being ignorant of God's righteousness," his method of justifying sinners," and going about to establish their own righteousness,” a method of their own, opposite to his, “ have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God."
4. Perhaps it has a peculiar ineaning in 2 Cor. v. 21.;
He made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God, in or through him:" that we might be justified and sanctified, might re. ceive the whole blessing of God through bim.
5. And is not this the most natural meaning of Phil. iii. 8,9?: “ That I may win Christ, and be found in him,” grafted into the true Vine, “not having my own righteousness," the method of justification which I so long chose for myself
, “which is of the law, but the righteousness which is of God," the method of justification which God hath chosen, “ by faith.”
6. “But is not. Christ termed, our Righteousness ?" He is, Jer. xxiii. 6: “ This is the name whereby he shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness.” And is not the plain, indisputable meaning of this scripture, He shall be what, be is called, the sole purchaser, the sole meritorious cause, both of our justification and sanctification :
7. Nearly related to this is the following text: I Cor. i. $0, “ Jesus Christ is made of God unto us wisdom, and