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them, such as, not believing that Jesus is the Son of God, and the Messiah sent by God, but that he was a false prophet, and an impostor; or the not believing that faith is a condition necessary to salvation. All these are acts of unbelief, and that of a very criminal nature, though those who are guilty of them, may never have thought of Christ's dying for them. That faith which Christ so often demands, and for the want of which, he so severely reprehends the Jews, embraces in itself many things, many acts, which must have preceded their belief, that Christ was their Savi. our and Redeemer. This, indeed, was far from the first thing which the Jew was to believe: he could not have believed it at first. He must first have believed that salvation was not to be obtained by the law, either in its ceremonies or legal works--that it was to be sought in that Messiah alone, who is promised in the prophets——that Jesus of Nazareth is that Messiah and that all will be saved who be. lieve in him. All these general acts of faith must have preceded the belief that Christ had died for him. Nor should it be replied, that all these acts are comprehended in the command to believe on Christ, and, above all, the special, appropriating act. As we have said above, though all these are commanded, yet it is in a certain order, and the latter are not commanded in any other way than as preceded by the former; and, on the supposition of the first acts not having been performed, it is impossible for the latter to exist.
Though God, by the preaching of the gospel, offers Christ to sinners, it does not follow, that he must have died for all those to whom he is thus offered, or otherwise, that the offer cannot be sincere. Because the offer is not absolute and completely unconditional, but it is made under the condition of faith and repentance. The gospel offer does nar. rate facts which are true, whether they are believed or not. I confine this to what the gospel says with respect to the sinner. It does not say to the sinner, Christ has died for you, and
you shall be saved on account of this death, whether you believe or not. But, as Camerus speaks, it infor
the sinner, that salvation is procured by the death of Christ for all who believe--that this salvation has been procured by the death of Christ--and that by embracing it in faith, the sinner will find this to be a consolatory truth. From which it is inferrible that there is an indissoluble connection between faith and salvation,--that the hearers are bound to exercise faith, when called in the gospel, and that, if they wish to be saved through faith, this is the only way in which they can attain to it. But from this gospel call, we by no means rightly infer, that God, by his eternal and immutable decree, has destined Christ to be the Saviour of all who are called, or that he intended, that Christ, by his death, should acquire salvation for all men and every man, or even for all those who hear the gospel. The gospel which is preached to those who are called, does not declare that, in the eternal decree of God, it has been ordained, that in Christ, redemption has been procured for all men and every man. It rather announces to sinners a divine command, makes known their duty, and teaches that, through the medium of the performance of this duty, they shall be made partakers of salvation. We must not suppose hence, that such an offer as this is adverse to the divine decree. Because, though it does not answer to the decree of election, yet it answers to the decree respecting the means of saving those who are elected. In the decree of election, God set apart Christ as the Saviour of those whom he elected, and ordained his death to be the price of their redemption; and determined to bestow upon them that faith which should enable them to embrace the salvation procured by this death. To this decree, the internal, saving operations of the Spirit answer-they are its fulfilment and execution. In the decree respecting the means of salvation, God was pleased to connect Christ and faith together, and to offer Christ to the hearers of the gospel. The preaching of the gospel corresponds with, and is the execution of this decree. It is of this decree that Christ speaks, when he says, * " and this is the will of him that
John yi. 40.
sent me, that every one who seeth the Son and believeth on him, may have everlasting life.”. Promises thus conditional, made to those who believe and repent, unfold the connection which God has established between faith and salvation; and make known that those hearers only of the gospel shall be saved who believe and repent. They, however, no more shew that Christ died for all the hearers of the gospel, than that they shall all believe and obtain pardon of sin. From the remission which they obtain who believe and repent, it is proved that Christ died for them; and it would also be true, if others believed and repented, that Christ had died for them. But he who reasons that Christ has died for all, if they will only believe, reasons falsely; from hypothetical premises, he draws an absolute conclusion, contrary to all good rules of reasoning.
THERE are two societies of professed Christians, which have not been noticed in the Historical Sketch, as they at present exist, in the United States—the Swedenburghians and the Roman Catholics. The former of these, have three or four ministers in this country, all of whom are, in a great measure, illiterate. It is believed, that none of them has any pretensions, even to a smattering of classical literature, or physical science. There has been for several years, a society of the disciples of Swedenburgh, organised in the city of Baltimore; and they have lately organised a small one in Philadelphia, and erected a New Jerusalem Temple, as it is pompously announced in the newspapers. There is one preacher in the western part of New York State, and one in Ohio. There are, besides, several small societies in other parts of the union.
The exertions made by these people, to diffuse their prin. ciples, are prodigious, considering their numbers. They have published magazines, pamphlets and books, all of which are stuffed with selections from the works of the founder of the sect. Many of them are distributed gratuitously, among the poorer and middling classes of society. It is said, that several thousand dollars, have been expended in the city of Philadelphia alone, in this way. They have even presented to one of the rival chiefs of Hayti, a considerable number of their books, and contemplate a similar offering to the other. Will the friends of truth awake?
Since the Historical Sketch went to press, the author has been informed, that while Clowes, and many other Swedenburghians of England, remain in the Episcopal church, there is also a separate society formed, consisting of several congregations.