Page images
PDF
EPUB

by an irresistible power, and that men may have sufficient grace for conversion, who are not converted, it will be proper not to omit them; their argument from them stands thus ; If the holy Spirit may be refifted when he acts in man, with a purpose and will to convert him, then he does not work conversion by an irresistible power, but the holy Spirit may be resisted, when he acts in man with a purpose and will to convert him. Therefore, &c. But,

I. That the Spirit of God in the operations of his grace upon the heart in converfion, may be resisted, that is, opposed, is allowed ; but that he may be fo refifted as to be overcome, or be hinder'd in, or obli. ged to cease from the work of conversion, so as that it comes to nothing, where he acts with purpose and will to convert, must be denied ; for who bath renfted his will? who, in this sense, can relift ic? No one instance of this kind can ever be produced.

II. It should be proved, that the Spirit of God was in these persons, and was acting in them with a design to convert them; and that they had sufficient

grace

for conversion given them; and that that grace was the fame with that which is given to persons who are only converted: Whereas it does not appear that they had any grace at all, fince

they they are said to be stiff necked, and uncircumcised in beart and ears.

III. Supposing the Spirit of God was acting in them with a purpose and will to convert them, it will be difficult to prove, that they so resisted, and continued to resist him, as that they were 'not hereafter converted by him ; we are sure that one of these persons, namely, Saul, was afterwards realÎy and truly converted; and how many more were so, we know not.

IV. The resistance made by these persons, was not to the Spirit of God in them, of which they were destitute, but to the Spirit of God in his ministers, in his apoftles, and particularly Stephen ; nor to any internal operation of his grace, which does not appear to have been in them, but to the external ministry of the word, and to all that objective · light, knowledge, evidence and conviction, that it gave of Jesus's being the Messiah ; in which sense they are said to reject the counsel of God against themselves, Luke vii. 30. and to put from them the word of God, Acts xiii. 46. Such who refift Christ's ministers, resist him; and such who resist him may be said to resist his holy Spirit

. Once more, The word årlottónlele, signifies a rushing against, and falling upon, in a rude and ho

stile

file manner, and ficly expresses their ill treatment of Christ and his ministers, by falling upon them, and putting them to death; which is che resistance here particularly design'd, as is manifest from the following words, as your fathers did, fo do ye ; which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? And they have sain them which Mewed before of the coming of the just one, of whom ye bave been now the betrayers and murderers.

NUMB. XXXIV. Rom. v. 18. Therefore, as by the offence of one, judgment

came upon all men to condemnation, even fo by the righteoufness of one, the free gift came upon

all men, to justification of life. HESE words stand as a proof of ge

neral redemption; and the sense given of them is', that Christ died for the justification of all men ; and that juftification of life was procured by him for, and is offered unto, all men ; it being apparent that the apoftle is comparing the condemnation which is procured by the fin of Adam, with the free gift of justification procured by the second Adam, as to the extent of persons con

THE

Whitby, p. 113, 117, 113.

cerned

0

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

fication, it was not an offer of it, but the bleffing it self

. These words chen are noc to be understood either of Christ's dying for justification for any, especially for every individual man; lince all men, in this large fense, are not justified, many will be righteoully condemned, and eternally punished ; and consequently his death, respecting them, must be in vain, were this the case; nor of the procuring of justification, still less of the offer of it, but of the application of ic to the persons here mention'd.

II. It is apparent, that the apostle is here comparing the first and the second Adam cogether, as heads and representatives of their respective offspring, and the effects of fin, to the condemnation of those that sprung from the one, with the grace of God io the justification of such that belong to the other, and not the number of persons concerned in these things. His plain meaning is, that as the first Adam convey'd fin, condemnation and death, to all his posterity ; so the see cond Adam communicates grace, righteousness and life, to all his posterity; and herein the latter has the preference to the for-,

and in which lies the abundance of grace here spoken of; that the things communicated by the one are, in their own nature, to be preferred to the other ; and particularly, that the righteousness which Christ gives to

his,

mer,

« PreviousContinue »