Duty Faith

We maintain that it is the right for a minister of Jesus Christ to preach the gospel in the hearing of all that hear him; and what we find fault with is not preaching the gospel to all that hear but men pretending that they are authorised to offer the gospel to all that hear them. We consider that to preach the gospel is one thing, and to offer the gospel is quite another thing. Hence when a man gets up into a pulpit, and says, “In God’s name I offer Christ, and pardon, and salvation, to every soul of you present; if you reject this offer, you may never have another; therefore come now and take Christ and salvation, while you have the opportunity; today is the time, tomorrow may be too late, and recollect that it is your own fault that you are not saved for I have this day offered you Christ.” Now, we consider that this is no more like preaching the gospel than a poor deluded Papist, counting his beads, is like the true worship of God. To preach or proclaim God’s will is one thing; but to offer…

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Having already, in passing, briefly illustrated these points of our teaching concerning merit in their connection with the atonement of Christ, it will be unnecessary, by any direct reference, to illustrate them any further while pursuing our inquiry about, and advancing our opinions upon, justice rewarding the merit of Jesus Christ.

If it is the province of justice to give to the meritorious his due, it will follow that if Jesus Christ, regarded as a Surety, is dealt with justly, he will receive the full due of his merit. To withhold from him anything which he justly merited, under any possible consideration of his meritoriousness estimated by the rule of justice, would be, precisely to the extent of the withholding, to deal unjustly towards him; just as to reward him beyond what, according to rule, he really merited, would be to extend favour to him.

All that have considered this subject will feel that we are necessitated by these remarks to confront a question which has given rise to, and which continues to be the cause of, considerable vexation to enquiring minds…

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Position 9.—Notwithstanding God’s predestination is most certain and unalterable, so that no elect person can perish nor any reprobate be saved, yet it does not follow from thence that all precepts, reproofs and exhortations on the part of God, or prayers on the part of man, are useless, vain and insignificant.

(1) These are not useless with regard to the elect, for they are necessary means of bringing them to the knowledge of the truth at first, afterwards of stirring up their pure minds by way of remembrance, and of…

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