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been “made alive together with Christ," and “ created in Christ Jesus unto good works :” and much more is spoken, characterizing them in such a manner as completely to exclude all those who were not true and justified believers. Whether true believers do ever finally apostatize and perish, is a question to be hereafter discussed : but undeniably they “ have been saved by grace," and are “ the saved ones."
“No one will contend, that every baptized person is actually saved, or certain of salvation.'1
This is spoken with reference to the words of St. Paul to Titus : “He hath saved us by the wash“ ing of regeneration.” The passage, as taken together, implies much more than baptism : for, if “ the washing of regeneration” be simply baptism, (a subject for future discussion,) the renewing“ of “ the Holy Ghost,” and “ being justified by his
grace,” and “ made heirs according to the hope “ of eternal life,” must signify further benefits ; even “ things accompanying salvation :” éxóueva owinpiás. 2_ Grant, that we being regenerate, and • made thy children by adoption and grace, may * daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit.'3
Calvinists indeed think, that true believers will certainly “ be kept by the power of God through « faith unto salvation,” but not that all true believers are certain in their own minds, of salvation : for they may be in doubt whether their faith be living and genuine; or they may not be Calvinists,
" Ref. 39.
? Heb. vi. 9.--See Rom. xii. 2. Eph. iv. 23.
* Collect, Christmas.
and so not hold the doctrine of perseverance. At any rate, we must attain “ the full assurance of
hope" by diligence in every good work and every means of grace ; and we must preserve it in the same manner.
The same remarks apply to what is observed on the words of Peter: “The like figure whereunto
even baptism, doth now save us.” As the apostle takes care to warn us, that it is “ not the “putting away the filth of the flesh, but the an“ swer of a good conscience towards God,” ? he plainly shews, that he does not mean any salvation which is inseparably connected with outward baptism, even when rightly administered, (as in the case of Simon Magus ;) but that which is connected with the sincere and upright profession of faith in baptism, as in the Ethiopian treasurer.3
' The persons spoken of 4 were not actually and completely saved ; but, being reconciled to God by the death of his Son, they had now the means of salvation, of which they could not fail but through their own neglect.'5
Can any to whom the gospel is preached, or made known in whatever way, fail of salvation, except by their own neglect?' Have not all the inhabitants of this favoured land the means of
salvation?' but can it be said of them all, “ If “ when they were enemies they were reconciled “ to God by the death of his Son, much more, “ being reconciled, they will be saved by his
See Section on Assurance.
? 1 Pet. iii. 21. * Acts viii. 13, 37-39. * Rom. viii. 24. 1 Cor. i. 18. 2 Tim.i. 9.
5 Ref. 39, 40. VOL. VII.
“ life?" · Being now justified by his blood,
they will be saved from wrath through him? and that “they have now received the atone" ment
or reconciliation ? (xaladrario:) that they rejoice in the hope of the glory of God ?” that
they glory in God through Christ ? ”I “ that the “ preaching of the cross is to them the power of “God?” 2 that they are “called with a holy calling,
according to the purpose and grace of God?" If these things may be said of all who have the
means of salvation, how shall we distinguish between those who have profited by those means, and those who still neglect or pervert them? Was there indeed nothing different in the case of Paul and Timothy, from that of the unbelieving Jews ? or in that of the Christians at Rome, from that of their persecutors; who yet had the means for salvation ?
Before the deluge came, all those who saw or heard of the ark had the means of deliverance :' but, when Noah entered into the ark with his family, “ God shut him in," and he shut others out. All to whom the gospel is sent have the means of salvation ;' but, when any
“ believe in “ their hearts unto righteousness, and make con“ fession with their mouth unto salvation,” they enter, not merely the outward church, but “the “ church of the first-born, whose names are written “in heaven.” Noah, while shut up in the ark, had perils, hardships, and privations; and, except his faith was very strong, alarms also : yet he was safe, being secured by the sure promise, and the omni
Rom. v. 3-11.
1 Cor. i. 18,
potence of God.
He was not actually and completely saved; but he was “kept by the power of « God through faith unto salvation." He was “ saved in hope ;” and we, if true believers, are the same : Téatid éoulmuer.! Hope anticipates the promised salvation, and gives us in a measure a present enjoyment of it.
They who believe have “passed from death unto « life :” 2 but numbers who have the same means of salvation put the word preached from them, " and judge themselves unworthy of everlasting “ life."3 Is there no sense in which the former are saved, and the latter not? It must surely strike any impartial man as extraordinary, that so many passages of scripture relating to this subject are put in the present or the past tenses, when in the judgment of our opponents the future would have been much more suitable.4_“ He that hath “ the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son “ of God hath not life.” “ These things have I “ written unto you, that ye may know that ye “ have eternal life.” 5
The whole of our salvation is “ by grace,” and by grace alone. “Grace and truth came by Jesus * Christ.” In infinite mercy and grace, the only wise God formed the glorious design of ruined man's salvation. Grace promised the Saviour to our first parents when fallen ; Grace fulfilled that promise ; Grace delivered up the Saviour a willing sacrifice for our sins; Grace accepted that sacrifice in our behalf, and released the Surety by his
i Rom. viii. 24. ? John v. 24. 1 John iii. 14. Acts xiii. 46. John üi. 36. v. 24. vi. 54. X. 28. 1 John iii. 14.
• 1 John v. 12, 13.'
resurrection, and exalted him, as our Advocate and Mediator, to the right hand of God. Grace sent us“ the word of salvation," and the means of salvation; and thus the Lord beseeches us “ not “ to receive his grace in vain," “ but to be recon“ ciled to God.” Grace “
Grace “ quickens the dead in « sin."
“ We are justified freely by his grace." Grace sanctifies and purifies the soul; and “ the “ free gift (rò xdporuce) of God is eternal life through “ Jesus Christ.” Thus," as sin reigned unto “ death, so grace reigns unto eternal life, through “ Jesus Christ our Lord.” Grace lays the foundation, carries on the work, and perfects it; and, when “ the head-stone shall be brought forth, it “ shall be with shoutings, Grace, Grace, unto it.” 1
In which of these particulars may our merits, or our efforts, be admitted as competitors with divine grace? Shall we name repentance? “ God hath “ exalted his Son Jesus to be a Prince and a Sa
viour, to give repentance unto Israel.” 2 “Then “ hath God also to the gentiles granted (x8wxev) re“pentance unto life."3
“ I will pour out upon “ them the Spirit of grace and of supplications, “ and they shall look on me whom they have
pierced and mourn." 4-Shall we mention faith? “ He helped them greatly, who had believed “ through grace.”5 “ The grace of our Lord was “exceeding abundant, with faith and love, which " is in Christ Jesus." 6
By the grace of God, I “ am what I am." 7 “By grace are ye saved,
through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is
Zech, iv. 7.
· Acts v. 31.
> Acts xi. 18. 61 Tim. i. 14.