« VorigeDoorgaan »
and the Universalist, what we must believe, and they will all tell you, and tell you very truly, too, and in the language of Scripture, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Ask them if our simply believing that there was such a person as Jesus Christ will be sufficient, and they will all tell you no. And they will assign as a reason for this, that a man may believe that there was such a person, and at the same time believe him to have been an impostor. So far, then, these three classes of Christians, embracing all who profess the Christian name, are perfectly agreed. And if you ask, What then must we believe about Jesus Christ? they will tell you that every man is required to believe that Jesus Christ is his Saviour. But if you push your inquiries a little further, and ask, as an individual, Is Jesus Christ my Saviour? you have now arrived to a point on which the Calvinist will differ from the Arminian, the Arminian from the Calvinist, and the Universalist from both. If you put the question to the Calvinist, Is Jesus my Saviour? if he answers in consistency with his creed, he must tell you Yes, if you are one of the elect. Before you can believe that Jesus is your Saviour, then, you must believe something anterior to this, and that is, that you are one of the elect. But what evidence can be presented to the mind of the sinner which will enable him to believe that he is one of the elect? No man but a Pharisee can possibly believe this. That man's organ of self-esteem must reach nigh unto heaven, who can believe that he is selected, out of the great mass of mankind, as one of God's chosen favorites. Hence, upon the principles of Calvinism, there are no grounds of belief. All belief which is worthy of the name, is regulated by evidence. But, in this case, no evidence can possibly be presented to the mind of any rational man, which will enable him to believe. Besides, if the individual is one of the elect, he will be saved whether he believes Christ is his Saviour or not; and if he is not elect, if he believes he is his Saviour, he believes a lie. in this case, his faith cannot save him. If he was reprobated to damnation before the foundation of the world, of course he will not be damned for not believing that Jesus is his Saviour.
one of the
If you ask the Arminian, Is Jesus Christ my Saviour? he must tell you No, not unless you believe that he is. Hence, he requires you to make truth as you go along. Jesus, he tells you, is not your Saviour now, but, by believing that he is, you can convert him
into your Saviour. But if Jesus is not your Saviour, why should you be required to believe that he is? If he is not your Saviour, why should you be damned for believing that he is not? If he is not your Saviour, how can your believing that he is make him so? If he is your Saviour, and you believe he is not, you believe a lie. B. If he is your Saviour, and you believe he is not, you believe the truth. According to this theory, then, we are required to believe that which is false, in order to be saved; and, by believing that falsehood, we convert it into truth. Again, according to this theory, God saves us for believing a lie, and damns us for believing the truth.
If you ask the Universalist what you must believe in order to be saved, he will tell you to believe the Gospel. In the verse immediately preceding the text, our Lord says to his disciples, "Go ye into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature." Then Jas follows the text, "He that believeth," &c. He that believeth what? Evidently the Gospel, which the disciples were commissioned to preach to every creature. But he that truly believes in Jesus will course believe his Gospel. Hence, the Universalist will tell you to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the propitiation "for the sins of the whole world; " who "tasted death for every man ;" and "who gave himself ransom for all." He will tell you to believe in Jesus, who is the Saviour of the world; and to believe in God, "who is the Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe." He will tell you to believe that Jesus Christ is your Saviour; and to believe it, because it is true.
2. What is the nature of the salvation promised to the believer? We have already shown that it is a salvation from ignorance, darkness, unbelief and sin. Well, where is it to be experienced? Answer, in the place where, and at the time when, faith is exercised. This is abundantly proved in our remarks on salvation, and requires no further proof here.
3. What is the nature of the damnation threatened to the unbeliever? It is a sense of conscious condemnation, to be involved in ignorance of God's character; to be in the gall of bitterness, and in the bonds of iniquity; to be involved in moral death, to be dead in trespasses and sins, and to be without hope and without God in the world. Well, where is this damnation to be experienced? Like the salvation of the believer, the damnation of the unbeliever must
to the ai Bas Whether b
YOU, IS A Avert
be experienced in the place where, and at the time when, mankind are unbelievers. Again, how long must this damnation be experi enced? Answer, just as long as the unbelief continues, and no longer. Perhaps one-half or more of the believers in Christ now were once unbelievers. Paul himself was once a noted unbeliever, and while he was so he was damned. This is sufficiently evident from the feelings and disposition which he manifested. No man can possess the Pharisaic, bigoted and murderous disposition of Saul of Tarsus, without being damned. That man is sufficiently damned who can harbor such feelings in his bosom. While Paul was an unbeliever, therefore, he was damned; but the moment he exercised faith in the Gospel, that moment his damnation ceased. Now, as we have shown that God's will is that all men shall be saved, and come unto the knowledge of the truth; when that will is accomplished, there will be no unbelievers among men, for all shall know God from the least unto the greatest. Unbelief, which is the cause of damnation, will be removed; and damnation, which is the effect, will cease with the cause that produced it. Dr. Campbell says on this text, that the word damned "is not a just version of the Greek word. The term damned, with us (he says), relates solely to the doom which shall be pronounced upon the wicked at the last day. This cannot be affirmed, in truth, of the Greek katakrino, which corresponds exactly to the English word condemn." To the same import is the testimony of Horne, Cappe, and others.
ON THE CASE OF JUDAS.
Those passages which show the case of Judas.
Acts 1: 16-20. Men and brethren, this scripture must needs hav been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost, by the mouth of David, spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. For he was numbered with us, and hath obtained part of this ministry. Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and, falling headlong, he And it was burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem, insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue Aceldama, that is to say, the field of blood. For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein; and his bishopric let another take.
Ps. 41: 9. Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.
John 13: 18. I speak not of you all; I know whom I have chosen : but that the scripture may be fulfilled, he that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.
Matt. 26: 24. The Son of Man goeth, as it is written of him; but woe unto that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! it had been good for that man if he had not been born.
Mark 14: 21. The Son of Man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born.
John 17: 12. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition; that the Scripture might be fulfilled.
Acts 1:25. That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. John 6: 70. Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?
Matt. 26: 14-16. Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, what will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? and they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
Verses 47-50. And while he yet spake, lo, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and with him a great multitude, with swords and staves, from the chief priests and elders of the people. Now he that betrayed him gave them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; hold him fast. And forthwith he came to Jesus, and said, Hail, Master; and kissed him. And Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? Then came they and laid hands on Jesus, and took him.
John 13: 2. And supper being ended [the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him].
Verses 26, 27. Jesus answered, He it is to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop, Satan entered into him, Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.
Closing Remarks, and a Statement of Facts concerning Judas
People who have been trained to a belief in the doctrine of endless misery are in the habit of referring to the case of Judas to prove the truth of their doctrine. But we ask them candidly to consider, first, the object and end of Christ's mission on earth; the object of which is universally acknowledged to be the salvation of man from sin and death. Could Christ have accomplished that end, without yielding up his life, in sacrifice, on the cross? And could he have been delivered up and crucified, without the proper means to effect it? Certainly not. And if God purposed to save man by the death of his Son, did he not also determine the means by which his death should be brought about? See Acts 4: 26-28. "The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against his Christ. For of a truth, against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together
Matt. 27: 3-5. Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned, in that it of I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.