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not consist in a mere submission to authority, but in a perfect confidence in a Father's love, and in a perfect comprehension of and sympathy with a righteous purpose. This then is the only perfect liberty, and it is the liberty which God intends for man, and He has given him the capacity of it, in giving him the gift of the Son. For it was not with a mere outward message that the Father sent the Son into the world; He sent him into the nature, as a fountain of filial spirit, and thus it was, that "to as many as received him, he gave power to become the sons of God"-and thus also it is that the Son still makes those who receive him, free, not in name or in notion,but by participation in the filial spirit.
No lower life than the life of the Son could enable us to enter into the full love and righteousness of the Father's purpose, that we should become His righteous children, by consenting to lay down the life of our own wills;-no lower life therefore could enable us, in the days of prosperity, to resist the current of the natural will, whilst it is greeted by the fulfilment of all its hopes and desires, and even then to shed out its life, by refusing to take our portion in it ;
and in the hours or years of darkness, no lower life could enable us to take joyfully the spoiling of our goods-the breaking up of all which the natural will holds precious, -and to welcome the bereavement, the disappointment, the suffering, the death, which are the lot of man in this world. And thus the love of God in giving us His Son is only rightly understood, when it is seen to be a love which desired that we should be sons, and which accomplished its desire by sending Him into the nature to baptize and to quicken it, with His own filial spirit. And thus also the meaning of the verse, "God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son," (John iii. 16,) is only rightly understood, when it is filled out by the meaning of that other verse, "Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God." (1 John iii. 1.)
The Sonship and the spiritual life are identical with, or necessary conditions of, true liberty, and thus the Gospel, which declares the gift of the Spirit to men, and the purpose of God to make them His Sons through Christ, is most truly the "proclamation of liberty to the captives."
I shall leave the reader to consider the oneness of these things, with the views set forth throughout this whole book, and I shall proceed to say a few words on that idea maintained by the Arminians, of a self-determining power in the will,-in the refutation of which Edwards revels so triumphantly throughout the entire course of his work. As to the inaccuracy of the form in which the idea is expressed, it is possible that Edwards is right; but I can easily suppose a reader, feeling that Edwards, by his argument on that subject, may indeed have removed a logical error, but that he has left the place, where it stood, empty, instead of filling it with a satisfying statement of the truth—and that he has destroyed the will entirely, by attempting to remove from it, something which does not belong to it.
I am conscious that I have within me two principles, the one leading me to make self-gratification my chief object, and to judge of all things according as they affect self, and the other leading me to find my good, not in self-gratification, but in that which is right, and to judge of all things according to that which is right. These are
two distinct wills within me, each of which is at every step of my life, continually soliciting me and urging me by the motive peculiar to it, to yield myself up to be guided by it. I am also conscious, that although I am connected with both these wills, yet I am distinct from them both; that is, that I am neither the one nor the other of them, and that though they are within the limits of my nature, they are separate from, and external to my individual personality, evidently coming to me from two opposite sources, the great fountains of good and evil.
Thus, besides those two wills which I have been describing, I am conscious that I have another, more closely connected with my own personality, namely, the power of deciding to which of those two I shall give myself up,-a will more inward and more my own than either of them.
And I am conscious, that in exercising this power of deciding between the two wills of good and evil, I am not passive, but active, and that though I never act without a leading, yet I can always choose my leader, that I am not necessarily carried along by a current, but that I often rise forcibly out from one current, and cast myself into
another, and break off from one line, and connect myself with another. I am conscious that I have a power communicated to me from both the good and the evil, but that it rests with myself to determine which I shall use, and that I have motives suggested to me by both, but that I can spontaneously put myself into a condition of seeing, either the one set of motives or the other, to be weightiest. I can choose to stand either in the Spirit or in the flesh, and so to be prepared to form a judgment either on the one side or on the other. I feel that I am not a part of the natural universe, governed and carried forward by fixed laws, but that I can stop and go on, and stand up in the midst of the surrounding machinery, and look to Him who created it, and who set it in motion, and either enter into His purpose, to my own salvation, or resist it to my own destruction.
I believe that this, which appears to me to be the true description of man's condition, and the view which the Bible assumes as the basis of all its instructions, is the very thing which has been aimed at by those, who have maintained (in illogical terms, it may be,) the existence of a self-determining