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bestowed on us, that we should be kindred, and people, and tongue, and called the sons of God.” I presume nation,” clearly indicates universality it must be clear, from these passages, as it regards character, clime, and that the love of God is not bestowed nation, but particularly as it regards on all. But John iii, 16 is quoted as individuals. proving the reverse : “God so loved In reference to the expression which the world as to send his only begotten,” has particularly caught J. D.'s atten&c. Now, the word world here may tion, viz. “Our sins, it is true, deserve be understood as referring to charac- punishment, but not after atonement ter, or persons. He so loved the is made,” I need only say that, if it world—the ungodly: he so loved ihe is admitted that justice is satisfied, world—not Jews only, but Gentiles; and the atonement made accepted as not that he loved all mankind, for infinitely sufficient, then the atone-4000 years had rolled away before he ment must “ demand pardon and sent his son, and previously the great justification :" if not, what does ? bulk of mankind were ignorant of a Certainly not mercy; for if justice Saviour; but that God does not love remains unsatisfied, then mercy cries the Jew merely, or give his son for in vain. True, "our sins deserve the redemption of a certain class punishment, considered in themboasting on their descent from Abra- selves, and irrespective of the worth ham and external privileges (a blow of Christ's offering and obedience; evidently aimed at the ideas of Nico- but when the Father has accepted demus as as Jew); but he loves men the suretyship, engagements, and obeof the worst character, and of every dience of his son, even unto death, nation, that whosoever, whatever may “he is well pleased for his righteousbe the depth of misery and sin in ness' sake,” and consequently it is no which he is sunk, believeth on him, longer “a question of grace whether should not perish, but have everlast- the pardon or acquittal of the sinner ing life.
shall be granted,” seeing that the Perv. 34, 35, and 36, I have barely question has been already settled by space to glance at. With regard to the acceptance of Christ's sacrifice. the first, John xii. if Christ prayed J. D. appears to think that the writers not for the world, but for those who of the pamphlet do their judgment had been given him, then those who and understandings injury by supbelieved on him through the Apostle's posing that the idea that the atonewords must have been given him, ment does not do away with liability since he prays for these. On 2 Cor. to punishment, leads directly to Pov. 18-20, I need only say that the pery; and tells us, that " a person reconciled need often to be reconciled who has truly believed in Christ," to God in their conduct and state of &c. is little likely to fall into this mind, &c. This was the case with error. Certainly not; but if he does the Corinthians, whom the Apostle not see the worth of Christ's sacrifice, exhorts not to receive the grace of as that alone which takes away his God in vain. With regard to Tim. sin, if he does not adopt Popery, he ii. 6, it is easy to see, when compared may adopt something not much better. with J. D.'s observations about a For if we inquire into the character “metaphor mixture,” of how much of Popery and its origin in the church, value his universal ransom would be we shall find it sprung from a setting as it regards actually redeeming men aside the great truth of Christ's vicafrom sin. The passage, however, rious satisfaction, or sacrifice, for the when compared with Rev. v. 9, sins of his church. Thus penances, “ Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed masses, and purgatorial fires, are only us to God by thy blood, out of every so many doctrines aimed at the sufficiency of Christ's blood to expiate I NOTE. It would be unnecessary sin. ,
| and improper for us to make any forIt would, perhaps, be considered a mal reply to G. R. D. seeing that great omission not to notice perversion our friend J. D. is so capable of re29, which has escaped me in the pre- plying for himself. We cannot, howvious remarks, Isaiah lv. 10. J. D. ever, refrain from remarking, that intimates it is plain from these words G. R. D. either greatly misunderthat the word is always sent to do stands, or apparently perverts, the argood. The prophet, however, declares guments embodied in J. D.'s two last it is sent to accomplish Jehovah's articles. Besides, we object to the pleasure, and prospers in that. Is it length of the article : six pages of the Divine purpose that all mankind such prosing theology are too much shall be saved? Why, then, does not to insert in one number of the Harthe word "prosper” in accomplishing binger. Articles of this character, it? The passage clearly shows a which can neither correct error nor Divine purpose ; and if this is “fa- enlighten the mind, should be few talism,” be it so. Rom. ii. 8–10 and far between. But, we are sorry show that the word of God may to say, such articles are too much in mysteriously only aggravate a na- accordance with the pulpit teaching tion's guilt: thus it was with Israel. of the present day. “Onward and God did not in their case make his upward” is the motto in all the arts word effectual to increase their infi- and sciences : the antiquated theology delity and sin, and thus it only wit- of sectarian Christianity is an excepnessed against them, and brought on tion—it remains stationary, leaving desolating judgments.
the world to perish under the deadly In closing these remarks, I may weight of its own inconsistencies. notice one statement made by your G.R.D. states that Paul planted the correspondent rather prematurely. word of God at Corinth, and that He says, “ The great doctrine-jus Apollos, of course, must have watertification by faith alone-is quite ed it with the same word. Now this given up without an attempt to sus appears to us to be without meaning. tain it.” Reply, however, appeared Paul planted the Lord's vineyard, to me to be quite unnecessary when house, building, temple ; or, in other there was nothing to reply to. True, words, the church of the living God he makes an allusion to the Apostle at Corinth. He proclaimed the faith James, in which he says he describes and hope of the gospel in Corinth ; justification by faith alone as justifi- he also demonstrated the truth of the cation by a dead faith. Yet I took things he taught by the mighty signs the liberty of pointing out a discre- and wonders, and gifts of the Holy pancy in his statements on this point, Spirit, which were displayed among inasmuch as he first says the doctrine them through his instrumentality. is not so much as named in the Men and women were begotten to a Divine word, and how could James living hope by this truth—they were describe it to be justification by dead immersed into Christ for the remisfaith? To say the least, the burden sion of sins by their own voluntary of proof lay on J. D. to show that act—and were thus espoused to one James was referring to the doctrine husband by the power of the gospel at all. On the contrary, the subject -planted together into the likeness of he propounds is that of those profess- Christ's death. Apollos watered these ing to be justified, showing their faith plants, (Ps. xcii. 13); that is, being by their works.
mighty in the Scriptures, which are the Yours respectfully, G. R. D. sword of the Spirit, his teaching proved Liverpool, June 28, 1848.
efficacious ; he not only helped
those much who had believed through belief that the ingenuity of the little this favour being sent among them ant created the world, or that the instead of the law of Moses, but he power of the huge elephant constructed also, mightily convinced the Jews that the chronometer. Therefore, when Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the any effect is explained in such a living God. Thus Paul planted this manner as to contradict this principle, field, or church, and Apollos watered we may expect, without the hazard, it. By this means God gave the or even the possibility of error, that increase. May we be permitted to it is attributed to a wrong cause. ask G. R. D. if he really understand To apply these principles to the the Apostle Paul to designate the case before us, let us consider, for a Spirit of God the sword of the Spirit ? moment, the nature of the effect in Surely he must know that the Apostles question. What, then, are we to unnever expressed such an idea in any derstand by this conversion ? of their epistles. Paul exhorted the To convert (converto) is a Latin Christian disciples at Ephesus to take word merely anglicised, and when to themselves the word of God, which, translated into English, it means to he adds, is the sword of the Spirit. change. All changes are conversions.
The disciples, and not the Holy Spirit, Hence we speak of the fruitful field were to take this sword with two being converted into a barren waste; edges, one for sinners and the other the sober man converted into a drunkfor saints, (Heb. iv. 12) and with all ard; the trees of the forest converted prayer and supplication, go forth in into a lordly dwelling; a living man the name of the Lord to subdue men converted into a mass of lifeless clay. and women into subjection to His All these are conversions or changes, laws and government who is King of each of its own kind, and each rethe Universe.
J. W. quiring a different cause for its pro
duction. But the conversion of which CONVERSION.
we now speak differs from all these, BY WHAT SORT OF INFLUENCE IS THE
in that it is a change, not of matter, SOUL CONVERTED ?
but of mind. Nor is every change
of mind the conversion which is now This is a most interesting and im- to be considered. Many minds may portant question, though one which
be converted from holiness to sini, as has not been duly considered, and
well as from sin to holiness. The consequently is not understood by the latter conversion, viz. a change from generality of those professing Christi
sin to holiness, is the one at present anity in the present day. The fol
| under consideration. lowing essay is recommended to the
Now, it will not be denied that serious examination of all, but espe
motive gives character to action. cially of Baptist friends, some of whom
Conduct not under the influence of are now engaged in opposing the
motive cannot be pronounced holy; things for which we contend in refe
neither can it be pronounced sinful rence to conversion.
without a gross perversion of terms. It is universally regarded as a first I feel very confident that this position truth, an axiom in philosophy, that is impregnable, and that I can easily every effect must have a cause, and prove it to be such, should it be not merely so, but a cause corres- | assailed. ponding to the nature of the effect. We have already seen that the An irresistible conviction of this truth power applied to effect any change forces itself on every mind, whether must always correspond to the nature savage or civilized. Hence no ra- of the change that is to be effected. tional being could be seduced into the 'The carpenter never attempts to con
vert the trees of the forest into a than through motives) may imagine dwelling by logical arguments. Nei-that, by such reasoning, we rob God ther does the bricklayer attempt to of his glory, and the spirit of his office convert brick and mortar into a in the work of salvation. This constately mansion by moral reasoning, clusion is as far removed from the or mathematical demonstration. No truth as it is possible for it to be. less absurd than either of the preced- No person expects God to convert ing attempts would be that of con- souls by the application of the handverting the mind by the application saw, the gimblet, or the trowel. Why of any other power than the influence not? Simply because the idea of of motives. The lever, the wedge, such a power applied for the producand the screw, are incapable of being tion of such an effect is plainly inapplied to mind for its conversion, congruous and absurd. even if they possessed the power to No man unsophisticated by a false convert it when so applied. Motive and deceitful philosophy can, for a is the only power known to us (or of moment, divest himself of the belief, which we can form any conception) that minds can be changed only by that is capable of influencing, chang- motives. Hence, those that are eming, or converting mind, or of altering ployed in the work of conversion are its affections, desires, and purposes. equipped for that work with motives,
So philosophy decides, and its de- and with motives alone—the bliss of cision is supported by the uniform heaven, the agonies of hell, the love testimony of scripture : “ The law of of God, the constraints of gratitude. the Lord is perfect, converting the The God who made man understands soul.” The Saviour does not pray his organization too well to set about to his Father to sanctify his disciples this work in any other way. The by the direct influences of the Spirit, bare idea of conversion through any or by any other influence than that otherinstrumentality is as incongruous exerted through motive. “ Sanctify as that of building brick houses by them through thy truth: thy word is logical arguments. truth.” The scriptures are every Now, we contend that the truth, in where represented as “ able to make relation to God, and to man, as a men wise unto salvation.” “ Faith creature of God, and dependent upon comes by hearing,” &c.
him, in all its connections and bearMan never feels right, nor acts ings, furnishes the motives by which right, by the influence of falsehood; the sinner must be converted to God, and he never feels wrong, nor acts if converted at all. When these mowrong, by the influence of truth. tives convert him, the Spirit converts This principle of the influence of him, not, indeed, with the trowel or motives is fully sustained and illus- gimblet, but with the only instrument trated by every system of means put that is applicable in the case, viz. the in operation by the Omniscient for truth. “ Of his own will begat he us the salvation of ruined man. No- by the word of truth.” The truth on where can we find a trace, or even these subjects is the voice of the an intimation, of any attempt to con- Spirit, even among heathen nations vert the sinner, except through the that have not the written word. The influence of the truth, the power of things of God could only be known motives.
by the Spirit of God, and therefore The superficial thinker, who has they must for ever have remained been indoctrinated into an undefined hidden from the world, had not the and unintelligible theory of direct Spirit revealed them. Hence, whenspiritual operation (I mean such as soever and wheresoever, even in are exerted on mind any other way heathen lands, the knowledge of sin
as ruinous to the soul, and hateful in ditional glory-or any glory at allthe sight of God, causes men to repent dishonors him : that it makes the of their sins, and turn from them to death of Christ, and all the machinery the love and practice of piety, we have connected with it, an unnecessary and genuine examples of conversion by unmeaning pageant. the Spirit through the truth; not, | Hear the proof. If sinners can be however, by a direct operation, with-converted by a direct spiritual operaout the intervention of motives, or to tion, there was evidently no necessity make it possible for motives to have for the death of Christ. According effect. Thus “in every nation, he to that hypothesis, they could have that fears God and works righteous | been converted as easily without his ness, is accepted of him.” Such an death as with it. Nay, it does not individual may, with strict propriety, even facilitate the conversion ; for, be said to have been converted by the notwithstanding the death of Christ, Spirit through the truth.
sinners are still as dependant on the Away, then, with the preposterous direct influence of the Spirit for their notion, that those who contend for conversion, as they would have been conversion by direct spiritual opera- , if he had not died, or as they were detion, without the intervention of pendant in the beginning on the power motives, and who maintain that such of God for their creation. And, acconversion is necessary to make it cording to the theory in question, unpossible for motives to have effect, til they are converted by an abstract give God all the glory of salvation, influence, or a direct operation of the but that all others rob him of this Spirit, it is absolutely impossible for glory. It would be just as rational them to be properly affected by that to affirm that it would be more honor- love which was manifested on Calvary. able to God if the scripture read thus: Now if this be so, it is most mani“Of his own will begat he us—by the fest that the death of Christ contrichissel and hammerrather than by butes not a whit to their conversion, “the word of truth.”
| and was wholly unnecessary for that The difference, then, if any, between purpose. Neither could it be conus and other Christians on this sub- sidered necessary for their continuject lies here. We give God's Spirit ance and progress in holiness. It is the whole praise of converting sinners obvious, that direct spiritual influence in a manner both rational and scrip- could more easily preserve and perfect tural, viz. by the truth. Others think them in holiness after their conversion, they give the Spirit greater praise by than convert them from sin in the making him convert sinners in a way first instance. that is neither scriptural, rational, But, it may be said, God's justice nor possible. For, as we have already demanded an expression, and that seen, it is very manifest that such a the death of Christ was necessary to change as we now contemplate can enable the Father to pardon sin conbe effected only by motives ; and sistently with the claims of his viothat no change not influenced by mo | lated law. 1 fully assent to this sentives, could with any propriety be timent, but I contend that it builds called a conversion from sin to holi- up my argument, and completely ness. But there is still a stronger overthrows that of the opposition. objection to that theory of spiritual | What are we to understand by the operations which we oppose than any justice of God? And why is it that which has yet been mentioned. Rea- | the demands of justice made the death der, attend—I affirm, and shall un- of Christ necessary as a propitiation dertake to prove, that the theory in for sin ? question, so far from giving God ad-/ The justice of God, as the moral