Monday, December 22, 2008

WHO THE US-WARD ARE

We will inquire who the "us-ward" are to whom the Lord is said to be long-suffering. They are undoubtedly the persons to whom Peter writes his epistles, including himself. Let us turn, then, to the first epistle, and see to whom he wrote: "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia;" and he then gives them the honored appellation of "Elect, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father."

In the second chapter of this epistle, he calls them "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that they should show forth the praises of him who hath called them out of darkness into his marvelous light."

It is worthy of remark, that the pronouns us and we, so often used by the apostles, in their epistles, are no other than the Lord's chosen people, to whom the precious truths contained in those epistles belong. As a confirmation of this fact, let me refer you to the following texts, in which these two terms, us and we, are often used: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ, according as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love, having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will."

(Ephesians 1:3-5)

"But let us who are of the day be sober, for God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ."
(1 Thessalonians 5:8-9)

"Who hath saved us and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began."
(2 Timothy 1:9)

You see, my friends, from these passages, and many more that might be produced, that the "us-ward" in our text are the objects of God's everlasting, electing love; and that their election is not founded upon any foreseen worth or worthiness in the creature, as the procuring cause of it, will be seen from the characters unto whom the Lord has been long-suffering.

By John Kershaw

THE HOPE OF ARMINIANISM

The hope of Arminianism seems to me to differ much from the hope of the gospel, because it allows that Christ died for all men. But Christ declares that the gates which lead to destruction receive the greatest number, (Matthew 7:13). Therefore, if the former be true, some are in hell for whom Christ died; in which case there must have been a deficiency in the price the Surety paid, or else it reflects on his wisdom, and supposes him outwitted by the serpent, who, through his subtlety, has got legions in his possession, which were the Savior's own by purchase. It does not reflect on his wisdom only, but on his power also, who could not hold them that were committed unto him; because the gates of hell have prevailed, and many are plucked out of his hand, (John, 10:28).

It seems likewise to reflect cruelly on the justice of God, who drew his sword, and sheathed it in the great Shepherd, (Zechariah 8:7); and spared him not in the least, nor abated one mite of the debt, (Romans 8:32). And it is plain that Justice promised, by the blood of his covenant, to send "forth the prisoners out of the pit in which there was no water," (Zechariah. 9:11); and further, to be "faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness," (1 John 1:9).


But alas! this is all overthrown if Arminianism be true.

If Arminian hope be fixed on a surety that hath not paid, or cannot pay the debt; or, if it be fixed on a mutable Savior, having no laws to encourage it but such as demand a debt twice; first of the surety, and then of the debtor; first sending them out of the prison of sin on the surety's account, or, in their own words, making them sons of God by grace to-day, and after all this letting them fall away, and locking them up in hell to all eternity, until they can pay the utmost mite of what was paid long ago; what establishment is there for hope?


I answer, a hope founded on such doctrines is just as stable as a feather in a whirlwind.

By William Huntington