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A sect of Christians in Syria and Mesopotamia;
so called, either from Jacob, a Syrian, who lived in the reign of the emperor
Mauritius, or from one Jacob, a monk, who flourished in the year 550.
The Jacobites are of two sects, some following the rites of the Latin church, and others continuing separated from the church of Rome. There is also a division among the latter, who have two rival patriarchs. As to their belief, they hold but one nature in Jesus Christ with respect to purgatory, and prayers for the dead, they are of the same opinion with the Greeks and other eastern Christians. They consecrate unleavened bread at the eucharist, and are against confession, believing that it is not of divine institution.
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A sect of the Roman Catholics in France who
followed the opinions of Jansenius (bishop of Ypres, and doctor of divinity of
the universities of Louvain and Douay,) in relation to grace and
In the year 1640, the two universities just mentioned, and particularly father Molina and father Leonard Celsus, thought fit to condemn the opinions of the Jesuits on grace and free will. This having set the controversy on foot, Jansenius opposed to the doctrine of the Jesuits the sentiments of St. Augustine, and wrote a treatise on grace which he entitled Augustinus. This treatise was attacked by the Jesuits, who accused Jansenius of maintaining dangerous and heretical opinions; and afterwards in 1642, obtained of Pope Urban VIII. a formal condemnation of the treatise wrote by Jansenius; when the partisans of Janenius gave out that this bull was spurious, and composed by a person entirely devoted to the Jesuits. After the death of Urban VIII. the affair of Jansenism began to be more warmly controverted, and gave birth to a great number of polemical writings concerning grace; and what occasioned some mirth, were the titles which each party gave to their writings: one writer published the Torch of St. Augustine; another found Snuffers of St. Augustine's Torch; and father Veron formed A Gag for the Jansenists, &c. In the year 1650, sixty-eight bishops of France subscribed a letter to pope Innocent X. to obtain an inquiry into and condemnation of the five following propositions, extracted from Jansenius's Augustinus: 1. Some of God's commandments are impossible to be observed by the righteous, even though they endeavour with all their power to accomplish them.--2. In the state of corrupted nature, we are incapable of resisting inward grace.--3. Merit and demerit, in a state of corrupted nature, do not depend on a liberty which excludes necessity, but on a liberty which excludes constraint.--4. The Semi-pelagians admitted the necessity of an inward preventing grace for the performance of each particular act, even for the beginning of faith; but they were heretics in maintaining that this grace was of such a nature that the will of man was able either to resist or obey it.--5. It is Semi-pelagianism to say, that Jesus Christ died, or shed his blood, for all mankind in general.
In the year 1652, the pope appointed a congregation for examining into the dispute relative to grace. In this congregation Jansenius was condemned; and the bull of condemnation published in May, 1653, pope Alexander VII. issued out another bull, in which he condemned the five propositions of Jansenius. However, the Jansenists affirmed that these propositions were not to be found in this book; but that some of his enemies having caused them to be printed on a sheet, inserted them in the book, and thereby deceived the pope. At last Clement XI. put an end to the dispute by his constitution of July 17, 1705, in which, after having recited the constitutions of the predecessors in relation of this affair, he declared. "That, in order to pay a proper obedience to the papal constitutions concerning the present question, it is necessary to receive them with a respectful silence." The clergy of Paris, the same year, approved and accepted this bull, and none dared to oppose it. This is the famous bull Unigenitus, so called from its beginning with the words, Unigenitus Dei Filius, &c. which has occasioned so much confusion in France.
It was not only on account of their embracing the doctrines of Augustine, that the Jesuits were so imbittered against them; but that which offended the Jesuits, and the other creatures of the Roman pontiff, was, their strict piety, and severe moral discipline. The Jansenists cried out against the corruptions of the church of Rome, and complained that neither its doctrines nor morals retained any traces of their former purity. They reproached the clergy with an universal depravation of sentiments and manners, and an entire forgetfulness of the dignity of their character and the duties of their vocation; they censured the licentiousness of the monastic orders, and insisted upon the necessity of reforming their discipline according to the rules of sanctity, abstinence, and self-denial, that were originally prescribed by their respective founders. They maintained, also, that the people ought to be carefully instructed in all the doctrines and precepts of Christianity; and that, for this purpose, the Holy Scriptures and public liturgies should be offered to their perusal in their mother tongue; and, finally, they looked upon it as a matter of the highest moment to persuade all Christians that true piety did not consist in the observance of pompous rites, or in the performance of external acts of devotion, but in inward holiness and divine love.
Notwithstanding the above-mentioned sentiments, the Jansenists have been accused of superstition and fanaticism; and, on account of their severe discipline and practice, have been denominated Rigourists. It is said, that they made repentance consist chiefly in those voluntary sufferings which the transgressor inflicted upon himself, in proportion to the nature of his crimes and the degree of his guilt. They tortured and macerated their bodies by painful labour, excessive abstinence, continual prayer, and contemplation: nay, they carried these austerities, it is said, to so high a pitch, as to place merit in them, and to consider those as the sacred victims of repentance who had gradually put an end to their days by their excessive abstinence and labour. Dr. Haweis, however, in his Church History, (vol. iii. p. 46.) seems to form a more favourable opinion of them. "I do not," says he, "readily receive the accusations that Papists or Protestants have objected to them, as over rigorous and fanatic in their devotion; but I will admit many things might be blameable: a tincture of popery might drive them to push monkish austerities too far, and secretly to place some merit in mortification, which they in general disclaimed; yet, with all that can be said, surely the root of the matter was in them. When I read Jansenius, or his disciples Pascal or Quesnel, I bow before such distinguished excellencies, and confess them my brethren; shall I say my fathers? Their principles are pure and evangelical; their morals formed upon the apostles and prophets; and their zeal to amend and convert, blessed with eminent success."
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Is that particular uneasiness which arises from the fear that some rival may rob us of the affection of one whom we greatly love, or suspicion that he has already done it. The first sort of jealousy is inseparable from love, before it is in possession of its object; the latter is unjust, generally mischievous, and always troublesome.
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One of the Scripture names of God, and peculiar to him, signifying the Being who is self-existent, and gives existence to others. The name is also given to Christ, Is. xl. 3. and is a proof of his godhead, Matt. iii. 3. Is. vi. John xii. 41. the Jews had so great a veneration for this name, that they left off the custom of pronouncing it, whereby its true pronunciation was forgotten. They believe that whosoever knows the true pronunciation of it cannot fail to be heard of God.
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Or the Society of Jesus; a famous religious
order of the Romish Church, founded by Ignatius Loyola, a Spanish knight, in
the sixteenth century. The plan which this fanatic formed of its constitution
and laws, was suggested, as he gave out, by the immediate inspiration of
Heaven. But, notwithstanding this high pretension, his design met at first with
violent opposition. The pope, to whom Loyola had applied for the sanction of
his authority to confirm the institution, referred his petition to a committee
of cardinals. they represented the establishment to be unnecessary as well as
dangerous, and Paul refused to grant his approbation of it. At last, Loyola
removed all his scruples, by an offer which it was impossible for any pope to
resist. He proposed, that besides the three vows of poverty, of chastity, and
of monastic obedience, which are common to all the orders of regulars, the
members of his society should take a fourth vow of obedience to the pope, binding
themselves to go whithersoever he should command for the service of religion,
and without requiring any thing from the holy see for their support. At a time
when the papal authority had received such a shock by the revolt of so many
nations from the Romish church, at a time when every part of the popish system
was attacked with so much violence and success, the acquisition of a body of
men, thus peculiarly devoted to the see of Rome, and whom it might set in
opposition to all its enemies, was an object of the highest consequence. Paul,
instantly perceiving this, confirmed the institution of the Jesuits by his
bull; granted the most ample privileges to the members of the society, and
appointed Loyola to be the first general of the other. The event fully justified
Paul's discernment in expecting such beneficial consequences to the see of Rome
from this institution. In less than half a century the society obtained
establishment in every country that adhered to the Roman Catholic church; its
power and wealth increased amazingly; the number of its members became great;
their character as well as accomplishments were still greater; and the Jesuits
were celebrated by the friends and dreaded by the enemies of the Romish faith,
as the most able and enterprising order in the church.
2. Jesuits, object of the order of.--The primary object of almost all the monastic orders is to separate men from the world, and from any concern in its affairs. In the solitude and silence of the cloister, the monk is called to work out his salvation by extraordinary acts of mortification and piety. He is dead to the world, and ought not to mingle in its transactions. He can be of no benefit to mankind but by his example and by his prayers. On the contrary, the Jesuits are taught to consider themselves as formed for action. They are chosen soldiers, bound to exert themselves continually in the service of God, and of the pope, his vicar on earth. Whatever tends to instruct the ignorant, whatever can be of use to reclaim or oppose the enemies of the holy see, is their proper object. That they may have full leisure for this active service, they are totally exempted from those functions, the performance of which is the chief business of other monks. They appear in no processions; they practise no rigorous austerities; they do not consume one half of their time in the repetition of tedious offices; but they are required to attend to all the transactions of the world on account of the influence which these may have upon religion: they are directed to study the dispositions of persons in high rank, and to cultivate their friendship; and, by the very constitution and genius of the order, a spirit of action and intrigue is infused into all its members.
3. Jesuits, peculiarities of their policy and government.--Other orders are to be considered as voluntary associations, in which, whatever affects the whole body, is regulated by the common suffrage of all its members. But Loyola, full of the ideas of implicit obedience, which he had derived from his military profession, appointed that the government of his order should be surely monarchical. A general chosen for life, by deputies from the several provinces, possessed power that was supreme and independent, extending to every person and to every case. To his commands they were required to yield not only outward obedience, but to resign up to him the inclinations of their own wills, and the sentiments of their own understandings. Such a singular form of policy could not fail to impress its character on all its members of the order, and to give a peculiar force to all its operations. There has not been, perhaps, in the annals of mankind, any example of such a perfect despotism exercised, not over monks shut up in the cells of a convent, but over men dispersed among all the nations of the earth. As the constitutions of the order vest in the general such absolute dominion over all its members, they carefully provide for his being perfectly informed with respect to the character and abilities of his subjects. Every novice who offers himself as a candidate for entering into the order, is obliged to manifest his conscience to the superior, or a person appointed by him; and is required to confess not only his sins and defects, but to discover the inclinations, the passions, and the bent of the soul. This manifestation must be renewed every six months. Each member is directed to observe the words and actions of the novices, and are bound to disclose every thing of importance concerning them to the superior. In order that this scrutiny into their character may be as complete as possible, a long novitiate must expire, during which they pass through the several gradations of rank in the society; and they must have attained the full age of thirty-three years before they can be admitted to take the final vows by which they become professed members. By these various methods, the superiors under whose immediate inspection the novices are placed, acquire a thorough knowledge of their dispositions and talents; and the general, by examining the registers kept for this purpose, is enable to choose the instruments which his absolute power can employ in any service for which he thinks meet to destine them.
4. Jesuits, progress of the power and influence of.--As it was the professed intention of this order to labour with unwearied zeal in promoting the salvation of men, this engaged them, of course, in many active functions. From their first institution, they considered the education of youth as their peculiar province: they aimed at being spiritual guides and confessors; they preached frequently in order to instruct the people; they set out as missionaries to convert unbelieving nations. Before the expiration of the sixteenth century, they had obtained the chief direction of the education of youth in every Catholic country in Europe. they had become the confessors of almost all its monarchs' a function of no small importance in and reign, but, under a weak prince, superior to that of minister. They were the spiritual guides of almost every person eminent for rank or power; they possessed the highest degree of confidence and interest with the papal court, as the most zealous and able champions for its authority; they possessed, at different periods, the direction of the most considerable courts in Europe; they mingled in all affairs, and took part in every intrigue and revolution. But while they thus advanced in power, they increased also in wealth; various expedients were devised for eluding the obligation of the vow of poverty. Besides the sources of wealth common to all the regular clergy, the Jesuits possessed one which was peculiar to themselves.--Under the pretext of promoting the success of their missions, and of facilitating the support of their missionaries, they obtained a special license from the court of Rome, to trade with the nations which they laboured to convert: in consequence of this, they engaged in an extensive and lucrative commerce, both in the East and West Indies; they opened warehouses in different parts of Europe, in which they vended their commodities. Not satisfied with trade alone, they imitated the example of other commercial societies, and aimed at obtaining settlements. They acquired possession, accordingly, of the large and fertile province of Paraguay, which stretches across the southern continent of America, from the bottom of the mountains of Potosi to the confines of the Spanish and Portuguese settlements on the banks of the river De la Plata. Here, indeed, it must be confessed, they were of service: the found the inhabitants in a state little different from that which takes place among men when the first begin to unite together; stangers to the arts; subsisting precariously by hunting or fishing; and hardly acquainted with the first principles of subordination and government.--The Jesuits set themselves to instruct and civilize these savages: they taught them to cultivate the ground, build houses, and brought them to live together in villages, &c. They made them taste the sweets of society, and trained them to arts and manufactures. Such was their power over them, that a few Jesuits presided over some hundred thousand Indians. But even in this meritorious effort of the Jesuits for the good of mankind, the genius and spirit of their order was discernible: they plainly aimed at establishing in Paraguay an independent empire, subject to the society alone, and which, by the superior excellence of its constitution and police, could scarcely have failed to extend its dominion over all the southern continent of America. With this view, in order to prevent the Spaniards or Portuguese in the adjacent settlements from acquiring any dangerous influence over the people within the limits of the province subject to the society, the Jesuits endeavoured to inspire the Indians with hatred and contempt of these nations: they cut off all intercourse between their subjects and the Spanish or Portuguese settlements. When they were obliged to admit any person in a public character from the neighbouring governments, they did not permit him to have any conversation with their subjects; and no Indian was allowed even to enter the house where these strangers resided, unless in the presence of a Jesuit. In order to render any communication between them as difficult as possible, they industriously avoided giving the Indians any knowledge of the Spanish or of any other European language; but encouraged the different tribes which they had civilized to acquire a certain dialect of the Indian tongue, and laboured to make that the universal language throughout their dominions. As all these precautions, without military force, would have been insufficient to have rendered their empire secure and permanent, they instructed their subjects in the European art of war, and formed them into bodies completely armed, and well disciplined.
5. Jesuits, pernicious effects of this order in civil society.--Though it must be confessed that the Jesuits cultivated the study of ancient literature, and contributed much towards the progress of polite learning; though they have produced eminent masters in every branch of science, and can boast of a number of ingenious authors; yet, unhappily for mankind, their vast influence has been often exerted with the most fatal effects. Such was the tendency of that discipline observed by the society in forming its members, and such the fundamental maxims in its constitution, that every Jesuit was taught to regard the interest of the order as the capital object to which every consideration was to be sacrificed. As the prosperity of the order was intimately connected with the preservation of the papal authority, the Jesuits, influenced by the same principle of attachment to the interest of their society, have been the most zealous patrons of those doctrines which tend to exalt ecclesiastical power on the ruins of civil government. They have attributed to the court of Rome a jurisdiction as extensive and absolute as was claimed by the most presumptuous pontiffs in the dark ages. They have contended for the entire independence of ecclesiastics on the civil magistrates. They have published such tenets concerning the duty of opposing princes who were enemies of the Catholic faith, as countenanced the most atrocious crimes, and tended to dissolve all the ties which connect subjects with their rulers. As the order derived both reputation and authority from the zeal with which it stood forth in defence of the Romish church against the attacks of the reformers, its members, proud of this distinction, have considered it as their peculiar function to combat the opinions, and to check the progress of the Protestants. They have made use of every art, and have employed every weapon against them. They have set themselves in opposition to every gentle or tolerating measure in their favour. They have incessantly stirred up against them all the rage of ecclesiastical and civil persecution. Whoever recollects the events which have happened in Europe during two centuries, will find that the Jesuits may justly be considered as responsible for most of the pernicious effects arising from that corrupt and dangerous casuistry, from those extravagant tenets concerning ecclesiastical power, and from that intolerant spirit which have been the disgrace of the church of Rome throughout that period, and which have brought so many calamities upon society.
6. Jesuits, downfall in Europe.--Such were the laws, the policy, and the genius of this formidable order; of which, however, a perfect knowledge has only been attainable of late. Europe had observed, for two centuries, the ambition and power of the order; but while it felt many fatal effects of these, it could not fully discern the causes to which they were to be imputed. It was unacquainted with many of the singular regulations in the political constitution or government of the Jesuits, which formed the enterprising spirit of intrigue that distinguished its members, and elevated the body itself to such a height of power. It was a fundamental maxim with the Jesuits, from their first institution, not to publish the rules of their order: these they kept concealed as an impenetrable mystery. They never communicated them to strangers, nor even to the greater part of their own members: they refused to produce them when required by courts of justice; and by a strange solecism in policy, the civil power in different countries authorized or connived at the establishment of an order of men, whose constitution and laws were concealed with a solicitude which alone was a good reason for having excluded them. During the prosecutions which have been carried on against them in Portugal and France, the Jesuits have been so inconsiderate as to produce the mysterious volumes of their institute. By the aid of these authentic records, the principles of their government may be delineated, and the sources of their power investigated, with a degree of certainty and precision which, previous to that event, it was impossible to attain.
The pernicious effects of the spirit and constitution of this order rendered it early obnoxious to some of the principal powers in Europe, and gradually brought on its downfall. There is a remarkable passage in a sermon preached at Dublin by Archbishop Brown, so long ago as the year 1551, and which may be considered almost as prophetic. It is as follows:
"But there are a new
"fraternity of late sprung up who call
"themselves Jesuits, which will deceive
"many, much after the Scribes and
"Pharisees' manner. Amongst the
"Jews they shall strive to abolish the
"truth, and shall come very near to do
"it. For these sorts will turn them-
"selves into several forms; with the
"heathen, a heathenist; with the atheist
"an atheist; with the Jews, a Jew;
"with the reformers, a reformade, pur-
"posely to know your intentions, your
"minds, your hearts, and your inclina-
"tions, and thereby bring you, at last, to
"be like the fool that said in his heart,
"there was no god. These shall be
"spread over the whole world, shall be
"admitted into the councils of princes,
"and they never the wiser; charming
"of them, yea, making your princes
"reveal their hearts, and the secrets
"therein, and yet they not perceive it;
"which will happen from falling from
"the law of God, by neglect of fulfil-
"ling the law of God, and by winking
"at their sins; yet, in the end, God, to
"justify his law, shall suddenly cut off
"this society, even by the hands of
"those who have most succoured them,
"and made use of them; so that at the
"end they shall become odious to all
"nations. They shall be worse than
"Jews, having no resting place upon
"earth; and then shall a Jew have
"more favour than a Jesuit." This singular passage seems to be accomplished. The emperor Charles V. saw it expedient to check their progress in his dominion: they were expelled England by proclamation 2 James I. in 1604; Venice in 1606; Portugal in 1759; France in 1764; Spain and Sicilly in 1767; and totally suppressed and abolished by Pope Clement XIV. in 1773. Enc. Brit. Mosheim's Ecc. Hist. Harlesian Misc. vol. v. p. 566; Broughton's Dict.
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The Lord and Saviour of mankind. He is called
Christ (anointed,) because he is anointed, furnished, and sent by God to
execute his mediatorial office; and Jesus (Saviour,) because he came to save
his people from their sins. For an account of his nativity, offices, death,
resurrection, &c. the reader is referred to those articles in this work. We
shall here more particularly consider his divinity, humanity, and character.
The divinity of Jesus Christ seems evident, if we consider, 1. The language of
the New Testament, and compare it with the state of the Pagan world at the time
of its publication. If Jesus Christ were not God, the writers of the New
Testament discovered great injudiciousness in the choice of their words, and
adopted a very incautions and dangerous style. The whole world, except the
small kingdom of Judea, worshipped idols at the time of Jesus Christ's
appearance. Jesus Christ; the evangelists, who wrote his history; and the
apostles, who wrote epistles to various classes of men, proposed to destroy
idolatry, and to establish the worship of one only living and true God. To
effect this purpose, it was absolutely necessary for these founders of
Christianity to avoid confusion and obscurity of language, and to express their
ideas in a cool and cautious style. The least expression that would tend to
deify a creature, or countenance idolatry, would have been a source of the
greatest error. Hence Paul and Barnabas rent their clothes at the very idea of the
multitude's confounding the creature with the Creator, Acts xiv. The writers of
the New Testament knew that in speaking of Jesus Christ, extraordinary caution
was necessary; yet, when we take up the New Testament, we find such expressions
as these: "The word was God, John i. 1. God was manifest in the flesh, 1
Tim. iii. 16. God with us, Matt. i. 23. The Jews crucified the Lord of glory, 1
Cor. ii. 8. Jesus Christ is Lord of all, Acts x. 36. Christ is over all; God
blessed for ever, Rom.ix. 5." These are a few of many propositions, which
the New Testament writers lay down relative to Jesus Christ. If the writers
intended to affirm the divinity of Jesus Christ, these are words of truth and
soberness; if not, the language is incautious and unwarrantable; and to address
it to men prone to idolatry, for the purpose of destroying idolatry, is a
strong presumption against their inspiration. It is remarkable, also, that the
richest words in the Greek language are made use of to describe Jesus Christ.
This language, which is very copious, would have afforded lower terms to
express an inferior nature; but it could have afforded none higher to express
the nature of the Supreme God. It is worthy of observation, too, that these
writers addressed their writings not to philosophers and scholars, but to the
common people, and consequently used words in their plain popular
signification. The common people, it seems, understood the words in our sense
of them; for in the Dioclesian persecution, when the Roman soldiers burnt a Phrygian
city inhabited by Christians; men, women, and children submitted to their fate,
calling upon Christ, THE GOD OVER ALL.--2. Compare the style of the New
Testament with the state of the Jews at the time of its publication. In the
time of Jesus Christ, the Jews were zealous defenders of the unity of God, and
of that idea of his perfections which the Scriptures excited. Jesus Christ and
his apostles professed the highest regard for the Jewish Scriptures; yet the
writers of the New Testament described Jesus Christ by the very names and
titles by which the writers of the Old Testament had described the Supreme God.
Compare Exod. iii. 14. with John viii. 58. Is. xliv. 6. with Rev. i. 11,17.
Deut. x. 17. with Rev. xvii. 14. Ps. xxiv. 10. with 1 Cor. ii. 8. Hos. i. 7.
with Luke ii. 11. Dan. v. 23. with 1 Cor. xv. 47. 1 Chron. xxix. 11. with Col.
ii. 10. If they who described Jesus Christ to the Jews by these sacred names
and titles intended to convey an idea of his deity, the description is just and
the application safe; but if they intended to describe a mere man, they were
surely of all men the most preposterous. They chose a method of recommending
Jesus to the Jews the most likely to alarm and enrage them. Whatever they
meant, the Jews understood them in our sense, and took Jesus for a blasphemer,
John x. 33.--3. Compare the perfections which are ascribed to Jesus Christ in
the Scriptures, with those which are ascribed to God. Jesus Christ declares,
"All things that the Father hath are mine," John xvi. 15. a very
dangerous proposition, if he were not God. The writers of revelation ascribe to
him the same perfections which they ascribe to God. Compare Jer. x. 10. with
Isa. ix. 6. Exod. xv. 13. with Heb. i. 8. Jer. xxxii. 19. with Is. ix. 6. Ps.
cii. 24,27. with Heb. xiii. 8. Jer. xxiii. 24. with Eph. i. 20,23. 1 Sam. ii.
5. with John xiv. 30. If Jesus Christ be God, the ascription of the perfections
of God to him is proper; if he be not, the apostles are chargeable with
weakness or wickedness, and either would destroy their claim of
inspiration.--4. Consider the works that are ascribed to Jesus Christ, and
compare them with the claims of Jehovah. Is creation a work of God? "By
Jesus Christ were all things created," Col. i. 16. Is preservation a work
of God? "Jesus Christ upholds all things by the word of his power,"
Heb. i. 3. Is the mission of the prophets a work of God? Jesus Christ is the
Lord God of the holy prophets; and it was the Spirit of Christ which testified
to them beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow,
Neh. ix. 30. Rev. xxii. 6,16. 1 Pet. i. 11. Is the salvation of sinners a work
of God? Christ is the Saviour of all that believe, John iv. 42. Heb. v. 9. Is
the forgiveness of sin a work of God? The Son of Man hath power to forgive
sins, Matt. ix. 6. The same might be said of the illumination of the mind; the
sanctification of the heart; the resurrection of the dead: the judging of the
world; the glorification of the righteous; the eternal punishment of the
wicked; all which works, in one part of Scripture, are ascribed to God; and all
which, in another part of Scripture, are ascribed to Jesus Christ. Now, if
Jesus Christ be not God, into what contradictions these writers must fall! They
contradict one another: they contradict themselves. Either Jesus Christ is God,
or their conduct is unaccountable.--5. Consider that divine worship which
Scriptures claim for Jesus Christ. It is a command of God, "Thou shalt
worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve," Matt. iv. 20.
yet the Scriptures command "all the angels of God to worship Christ,"
Heb. i.6. Twenty times, in the New Testament, grace, mercy, and peace, are
implored of Christ, together with the Father. Baptism is an act of worship
performed in his name, Matt. xxviii. 19. Swearing is an act of worship; a
solemn appeal in important cases to the omniscient God; and this appeal is made
to Christ, Rom. ix. 1. The committing to the soul to God at death is a sacred
act of worship: in the performance of this act, Stephen died, saying, Lord
Jesus, receive my spirit, Acts. vii. 59. The whole host of heaven worship him
that sitteth upon the throne, and the Lamb, for ever and ever, Rev. v.
14,15.--6. Observe the application of Old Testament passages which belong to
Jehovah, to Jesus in the New Testament, and try whether you can acquit the
writers of the New Testament of misrepresentation, on supposition that Jesus is
not God. St. Paul says, "We shall all stand before the judgment-seat of
Christ." That we shall all be judged, we allow; but how do you prove that
Christ shall be our Judge? Because, adds the apostle, it is written, "As I
live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall
confess to God," Rom. xiv. 10,11, with Is. xlv. 20, &c. What sort of
reasoning is this? How does this apply to Christ, if Christ be not God? And how
dare a man quote one of the most guarded passages in the Old Testament for such
a purpose? John the Baptist is he who was spoken of by the prophet Esaias,
saying, Prepare ye the way, Matt. iii. 1,3. Isaiah saith, Prepare ye the way of
THE LORD; make straight a highway for OUR GOD, Is. xl. 3, &c. But what has
John the Baptist to do with all this description if Jesus Christ be only a
messenger of Jehovah, and not Jehovah himself? for Isaiah saith, Prepare ye the
way of Jehovah. Compare also Zech. xii. 10. with John xix. 34,37. Is. vi. with
John xii. 39. Is. viii. 13,14. with 1 Pet. ii. 8. Allow Jesus Christ to be God,
and all these applications are proper. If we deny it, the New Testament, we
must own is one of the most unaccountable compositions in the world, calculated
to make easy things hard to be understood.--7. Examine whether events have
justified that notion of Christianity which the prophets gave their countrymen
of it, if Jesus Christ be not God. The calling of the Gentiles from the worship
of idols to the worship of the one living and true God, is one event, which,
the prophets said, the coming of the Messiah should bring to pass. If Jesus
Christ be God, the event answers the prophecy; if not, the event is not come to
pass, for Christians in general worship Jesus, which is idolatry, if he be not
God, Isaiah ii. iii. and iv. Zeph. ii. 11. Zech. xiv. 9. the primitive
Christians certainly worshipped Him as God. Pliny, who was appointed governor
of the province of Bithynia by the emperor Trajan, in the year 103, examined
and punished several Christians for their non-conformity to the established
religion of the empire. In a letter to the emperor, giving an account of his
conduct, he declares, "they affirmed the whole of their guilt, or their
error, was that they met on a certain slated day, before it was light, and
addressed themselves in a form of prayer to Christ as to some God." Thus
Pliny meant to inform the emperor that Christians worshipped Christ. Justin
Martyr, who lived about 150 years after Christ, asserts, that the Christians
worshipped the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. Besides his testimony, there
are numberless passages in the fathers that attest the truth in question; especially
in Tertullian, Hippolytus, Felix, &c. Mahomet, who lived in the sixth
century, considers Christians in the light of infidels and idolaters throughout
the Koran; and indeed, had not Christians worshipped Christ, he could have had
no shadow of a pretence to reform their religion, and to bring them back to the
worship of one God. That the far greater part of Christians have continued to
worship Jesus, will not be doubted; now, if Christ be not God, then the
Christians have been guilty of idolatry; and if they have been guilty of
idolatry, then it must appear remarkable that the apostles, who foretold the
corruptions of Christianity, 2 Tim. iii. should never have foreseen nor warned
us against worshiping Christ. In no part of the Scripture is there the least
intimation of Christians falling into idolatry in this respect. Surely if this
had been an error which was so universally to prevail, those Scriptures which
are able to make us wise unto salvation, would have left us warning on so
important a topic. Lastly, consider what numberless passages of Scripture have
no sense, or a very absurd one, if Jesus Christ be a mere man. See Rom. i. 3. 1
Tim. iii. 16. John xiv. 9. xvii. 5. Phil. ii. 6. Ps. cx. 1,4. 1 Tim. i. 2. Acts
xxii. 12. and ix. 17.
But though Jesus Christ be God, yet for our sakes, and for our salvation, he took upon him human nature; this is therefore called his humanity. Marcion, Apelles, Valentinus, and many other heretics, denied Christ's humanity, as some have done since. But that Christ had a true human body, and not a mere human shape, or a body that was not real flesh, is very evident from the sacred Scriptures, Is. vii. 12. Luke xxiv. 39. Heb. ii. 14. Luke i. 42. Phil. ii. 7,8. John i. 14. Besides, he ate, drank, slept, walked, worked, and was weary, He groaned, bled, and died, upon the cross. It was necessary that he should thus be human, in order to fulfil the divine designs and prophecies respecting the shedding of his blood for our salvation, which could not have been done had he not possessed a real body. It is also as evident that he assumed our whole nature, soul as well as body. If he had not, he could not have been capable of that sore amazement and sorrow unto death, and all those other acts of grieving, feeling, rejoicing, &c. ascribed to him. It was not, however, our sinful nature he assumed, but the likeness of it, Rom. viii. 2. for he was without sin, and did no iniquity. His human nature must not be confounded with his divine; for though there be an union of natures in Christ, yet there is not a mixture or confusion of them or their properties. His humanity is not changed into his deity, nor his deity into humanity; but the two natures are distinct in one person. How this union exists is above our comprehension; and, indeed, if we cannot explain how our own bodies and souls are united, it is not to be supposed we can explain this astonishing mystery of God manifest in the flesh. See MEDIATOR.
We now proceed to the character of Jesus Christ, which, while it affords us the most pleasing subject for meditation., exhibits to us an example of the most perfect and delightful kind.
"Here," as an elegant writer observes "every grace that can recommend religion, and every virtue that can adorn humanity, are so blended, as to excite our admiration, and engage our love. In abstaining from licentious pleasures, he was equally free from ostentatious singularity and churlish sullenness. When he complied with the established ceremonies of his countrymen, that compliance was not accompanied by any marks of bigotry or superstition: when he opposed their rooted prepossessions, his opposition was perfectly exempt from the captious petulance of a controversialist, and the undistinguishing zeal of an innovator. His courage was active in encountering the dangers to which he was exposed, and passive under the aggravated calamities which the malice of his foes heaped upon him: his fortitude was remote from every appearance of rashness, and his patience was equally exempt from abject pusillanimity: he was firm without obstinacy, and humble without meanness.--Though possessed of the most unbounded power, we behold him living continually in a state of voluntary humiliation and poverty; we see him daily exposed to almost every species of want and distress; afflicted without a comforter, persecuted without a protector; and wandering about, according to his own pathetic complaint, because he had not where to lay his head. Though regardless of the pleasures, and sometimes destitute of the comforts of life, he never provokes our disgust by the sourness of the misanthrope, or our contempt by the inactivity of the recluse. His attention to the welfare of mankind was evidenced not only by his salutary injunctions, but by his readiness to embrace every opportunity of relieving their distress and administering to their wants. In every period and circumstance of his life, we behold dignity and elevation blended with love and pity; something, which, though it awakens our admiration, yet attracts our confidence. We see power; but it is power which is rather our security than our dread; a poser softened with tenderness, and soothing while it awes. With all the gentleness of a meek and lowly mind, we behold an heroic firmness, which no terrors could restrain. In the private scenes of life, and in the public occupation of his ministry; whether the object of admiration or ridicule, of love or of persecution; whether welcomed with hosannas, or insulted with anathemas, we still see him pursuing with unwearied constancy the same end, and preserving the same integrity of life and manners." White's Sermons, ser. 5.
Considering him as a Moral Teacher, we must be struck with the greatest admiration. As Dr. Paley observes, "he preferred solid to popular virtues, a character which is commonly despised, to a character universally extolled, he placed, in our licentious vices, the check in the right place, viz. upon the thoughts; he collected human duty into two well-devised rules; he repeated these rules, and laid great stress upon them, and thereby fixed the sentiments of his followers; he excluded all regard to reputation in our devotion and alms, and, by parity of reason, in our other virtues; his instructions were delivered in a form calculated for impression; they were illustrated by parables, the choice and structure of which would have been admired in any composition whatever: he was free from the usual symptoms of enthusiasm, heat, and vehemence in devotion, austerity in institutions, and a wild particularity in the description of a future state; he was free also from the depravities of his age and country; without superstition among the most superstitious of men, yet not decrying positive distinctions or external observances, but soberly recalling them to the principle of their establishment, and to their place in the scale of human duties; there was nothing of sophistry or trifling, though amidst teachers, remarkable for nothing so much as frivolous subtilties and quibbling expositions: he was candid and liberal in his judgment of the rest of mankind, although belonging to a people who affected a separate claim to divine favour, and, in consequence of that opinion, prone to uncharitableness, partiality, and restriction; in his religion there was no scheme of building up a hierarchy, or of ministering to the views of human governments; in a word, there was every thing so grand in doctrine, and so delightful in manner, that the people might well exclaim--Surely, never man spake like this man!"
As to his example, bishop Newcome observes, "it was of the most perfect piety to God, and of the most extensive benevolence and the most tender compassion to men. He does not merely exhibit a life of strict justice, but of overflowing benignity. His temperance has not the dark shades of austerity; his meekness does not degenerate into apathy; his humility is signal, amidst a splendour of qualities more than human; his fortitude is eminent and exemplary in enduring the most formidable external evils, and the sharpest actual sufferings. His patience is invincible; his resignation entire and absolute. Truth and sincerity shine throughout his whole conduct. Though of heavenly descent, he shows obedience and affection to his earthly parents; he approves, loves, and attaches himself to amiable qualities in the human race; he respects authority, religious and civil; and he evidences regard for his country, by promoting its most essential good in a painful ministry dedicated to its service, by deploring its calamities, and by laying down his life for its benefit. Every one of his eminent virtues is regulated by consummate prudence: and he both wins the love of his friends, and extorts the approbation and wonder of his enemies. Never was a character at the same time so commanding and natural, so resplendent and pleasing, so amiable and venerable. There is a peculiar contrast in it between an awful greatness, dignity, and majesty, and the most conciliating loveliness, tenderness, and softness. He now converses with prophets, lawgivers, and angels; and the next instant he meekly endures the dulness of his disciples, and the blasphemies and rage of the multitude. He now calls himself greater than Solomon; one who can command legions of angels; and giver of life to whomsoever he pleaseth; the Son of God, who shall sit on his glorious throne to judge the world: at other times we find him embracing young children; not lifting up his voice in the streets, nor quenching the smoking flax; calling his disciples not servants, but friends and brethren, and comforting them with an exuberant and parental affection. Let us pause an instant, and fill our minds with the idea of one who knew all things, heavenly and earthly; searched and laid open the inmost recesses of the heart; rectified every prejudice, and removed every mistake of a moral and religious kind; by a word exercised a sovereignty over all nature, penetrated the hidden events of futurity, gave promises of admission into a happy immortality, had the keys of life and death, claimed an union with the Father; and yet was pious, mild, gentle, humble, affable, social, benevolent, friendly, and affectionate. Such a character is fairer than the morning star. Each separate virtue is made stronger by opposition and contrast: and the union of so many virtues forms a brightness which fitly represents the glory of that God 'who inhabiteth light inaccessible.'" See Robinson's Plea for the Divinity of Christ, from which many of the above remarks are taken; Bishop Bull's Judgment of the Catholic Church; Abbadie, Waterland, Hawker, and Hey, on the Divinity of Christ; Reader, Stackhouse, and Doyley's Lives of Christ; Dr. Jamieson's View of the Doctrine of Scripture, and the Primitive Faith concerning the Deity of Christ; Owen on the Glory of Christ's Person; Hurrion's Christ Crucified; Bishop Newcome's Observation on our Lord's Conduct; and Paley's Evidences of Christianity.
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A name derived from the patriarch Judah, and
given to the descendants of Abraham by his eldest son Isaac. We shall here
present the reader with as comprehensive a view of this singular people as we
1. Jews, history of the.--The Almighty promised Abraham that he would render his seed extremely numerous: this promise began to be fulfilled in Jacob's twelve sons. In about two hundred and fifteen years they increased in Egypt from seventeen to between two and three millions, men, women, and children. While Joseph lived, they were kindly used by the Egyptian monarchs; but soon after, from a suspicion that they would become too strong for the natives, they were condemned to slavery; but the more they were oppressed, the more they grew. The midwives, and others, were therefore ordered to murder every male infant at the time of its birth; but they, shifting the horrible task, every body was then ordered to destroy the male children wherever they found them. After they had been thus oppressed for about one hundred years, and on the very day that finished the four hundred and thirtieth year from God's first promise of a seed to Abraham, and about four hundred years after the birth of Isaac, God, by terrible plagues on the Egyptians, obliged them to liberate the Hebrews under the direction of Moses and Aaron. Pharaoh pursued them with a mighty army; but the Lord opened a passage for them through the Red Sea; and the Egyptians, in attempting to follow them, were drowned. After this, we find them in a dry and barren desert, without any provision for their journey; but God supplied them with water from a rock, and manna and quails from heaven. A little after, they routed the Amalekites, who fell on their rear. In the wilderness God delivered them the law, and confirmed the authority of Moses. Three thousand of them were cut off for worshipping the golden calf; and for loathing the manna, they were punished with a month's eating of flesh, till a plague brake out among them; and for their rash belief of the ten wicked spies, and their contempt of the promised land, God had entirely destroyed them, had not Moses's prayers prevented. They were condemned, however, to wander in the desert till the end of forty years, till that whole generation, except Caleb and Joshua, should be cut off by death. Here they were often punished for their rebellion, idolatry, whoredom, &c. God's marvellous favours, however were still continued in conducting and supplying them with meat; and the streams issuing from the rock Meribah, followed their camp about thirty-nine years, and their clothes never waxed old. On their entrance into Canaan, God ordered them to cut off every idolatrous Canaanite; but they spared vast numbers of them, who enticed them to wickedness, and were sometimes God's rod to punish them. For many ages they had enjoyed little prosperity, and often relapsed into awful idolatry, worshipping Baalim, Ashtaroth. Micah and the Danites introduced it not long after Joshua's death. About this time the lewdness of the men of Gibeah occasioned a war of the eleven tribes against their brethren of Benjamin: they were twice routed by the Benjamites, and forty thousand of them were slain. In the third, however, all the Benjamites were slain, except six hundred. Vexed for the loss of a tribe, the other Hebrews provided wives for these six hundred, at the expense of slaying most of the inhabitants of Jabesh Gilead. There relapses into idolatry also brought on them repeated turns of slavery from the heathen among or around them. See books of Judges and Samuel. Having been governed by judges for about three hundred and forty years, after the death of Joshua they took a fancy to have a king. Saul was their first sovereign, under whose reign they had perpetual struggles with the Ammonites, Moabites, and Philistines. After about seven years' struggling between the eleven tribes that clave to Ishbosheth, the son of Saul, and the tribe of Judah, which erected themselves into a kingdom under David, David became sole monarch. Under him they subdued their neighbours, the Philistines, Edomites, and others; and took possession of the whole dominion which had been promised them, from the border of Egypt to the banks of the Euphrates. Under Solomon they had little war: when he died, ten of the Hebrew tribes formed a kingdom of Israel, or Ephraim, for themselves, under Jeroboam, the son of Nebat, in opposition to the kingdom of Judah and Benjamin, ruled by the family of David. The kingdom of Israel, Ephraim, or the ten tribes, had never so much as one pious king: idolatry was always their established religion. The kingdom of Judah had pious and wicked sovereigns by turns, though they often relapsed into idolatry, which brought great distress upon them. See books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles. Not only the kingdom of Israel, but that of Judah, was brought to the very brink of ruin after the death of Jehoshaphat. After various changes, sometimes for the better, and sometimes for the worse, the kingdom of Israel was ruined, two hundred and fifty-four years after its erection, by So, king of Egypt, and Halmanaser, king of Assyria, who invaded it, and destroyed most of the people. Judah was invaded by Sennacherib; but Hezekiah's piety, and Isaiah's prayer, were the means of their preservation: but under Manasseh, the Jews abandoned themselves to horrid impiety: for which they were punished by Esarhaddon, king of Assyria, who invaded and reduced the kingdom, and carried Manasseh prisoner to Babylon. Manasseh repented, and the Lord brought him back to his kingdom where he promoted the reformation; but his son Amon defaced all. Josiah, however, again promoted it, and carried it to a higher pitch than in the reigns of David and Solomon. After Josiah was slain by Pharaoh Necho, king of Egypt, the people returned to idolatry, and God gave them up to servitude to the Egyptians and the Chaldeans. The fate of their kings Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jechoiachin, and Zedekiah, was unhappy. Provoked by Zedekiah's treachery, Nebuchadnezzar invaded the kingdom, murdered vast numbers, and reduced them to captivity. Thus the kingdom of Judah was ruined, A. M. 3416, about three hundred and eighty-eight years after its division from that of the ten tribes. In the seventieth year from the begun captivity, the Jews, according to the edict of Cyrus, king of Persia, who had overturned the empire of Chaldea, returned to their own country. See Nehemiah, Ezra. Vast numbers of them, who had agreeable settlements, remained in Babylon. After their return they rebuilt the temple and city of Jerusalem, put away their strange wives, and renewed their covenant with God.
About 3490, or 3546, they escaped the ruin designed them by Haman. About 3653, Darius Ochus, king of Persia, ravaged part of Judea, and carried off a great many prisoners. When Alexander was in Canaan, about 3670, he confirmed to them all their privileges; and, having built Alexandria, he settled vast numbers of them there. About fourteen years after, Ptolemy Lagus, the Greek king of Egypt, ravaged Judea, and carried one hundred thousand prisoners to Egypt, but used them kindly, and assigned them many places of trust. About eight years after, he transported another multitude of Jews to Egypt, and gave them considerable privileges. About the same time, Seleucus Nicator, having built about thirty new cities in Asia, settled in them as many Jews as he could; and Ptolemy Philadelphus, of Egypt, about 3720, bought the freedom of all the Jew slaves in Egypt. Antiochus Epiphanes, about 3834, enraged with them for rejoicing at the report of his death, and for the peculiar form of their worship, in his return from Egypt, forced his way into Jerusalem, and murdered forty thousand of them; and about two years after he ordered his troops to pillage the cities of Judea, and murder the men, and sell the women and children for slaves. Multitudes were killed, and ten thousand prisoners carried off; the temple was dedicated to Olympius, an idol of Greece, and the Jews exposed to the basest treatment. Mattathias, the priest, with his sons, chiefly Judas, Jonathan, and Simon, who were called Maccabees, bravely fought for their religion and liberties. Judas, who succeeded his father about 3840 gave Nicanor and the king's troops a terrible defeat, regained the temple, and dedicated it anew, restored the daily worship, and repaired Jerusalem, which was almost in a ruinous heap. After his death, Jonathan and Simon, his brethren, successively succeeded him; and both wisely and bravely promoted the welfare of the church and state. Simon was succeeded by his son Hircanus, who subdued Idumea, and reduced the Samaritans. In 3899 he was succeeded by his son Janneus, who reduced the Philistines, the country of Moab, Ammon, Gilead, and part of Arabia. Under these three reigns alone the Jewish nation was independent after the captivity. After the death of the widow of Jameus, who governed nine years, the nation was almost ruined with civil broils. In 3939, Aristobulus invited the Romans to assist him against Hircanus, his elder brother. The country was quickly reduced, and Jerusalem took by force; and Pompey, and a number of his officers, pushed their way into the sanctuary, if not into the Holy of Holies, to view the furniture thereof. Nine years after, Crassus the Roman general, pillaged the temple of its valuables. After Judea had for more than thirty years been a scene of ravage and blood, and twenty-four of which had been oppressed by Herod the Great, Herod got himself installed in the kingdom. About twenty years before our Saviour's birth, he, with the Jews' consent began to build the temple. About this time the Jews had hopes of the Messiah; and about A. M. 4000, Christ actually came, whom Herod (instigated by the fear of losing his throne) sought to murder. The Jews, however, a few excepted, rejected the Messiah, and put him to death. The sceptre was now wholly departed from Judah; and Judea, about twenty-seven years before, reduced to a province. The Jews since that time, have been scattered, contemned, persecuted, and enslaved among all nations, not mixed with any in the common manner, but have remained as a body distinct by themselves.
2. Jews, sentiments of. The Jews commonly reckon but thirteen articles of their faith. Maimonides, a famous Jewish rabbi, reduced them to this number when he drew up their confession about the end of the eleventh century, and it was generally received. All the Jews are obliged to live and die in the profession of these thirteen articles, which are as follow:--1. That God is the creator of all things; that he guides and supports all creatures: that he has done every thing; and that he still acts, and shall act during the whole eternity.--2. That God is one: there is no unity like his. He alone hath been, is, and shall be eternally our God.--3. That God is incorporeal, and cannot have any material properties; and no corporeal essence can be compared with him.--4. That God is the beginning and end of all things, and shall eternally subsist.--5. That God alone ought to be worshipped, and none beside him is to be adored.--6. That whatever has been taught by the prophets is true.--7. That Moses is the head and father of all contemporary doctors, of those who lived before or shall live after him.--8. That the law was given by Moses.--9. That the law shall never be altered, and that God will give no other.--10. That God knows all the thoughts and actions of men.--11. That God will regard the works of all those who have performed what he commands, and punish those who have transgressed his laws.--12. That the Messiah is to come, though he tarry a long time.--13. That there shall be a resurrection of the dead when God shall think fit.
The modern Jews adhere still as closely to the Mosaic dispensation, as their dispersed and despised condition will permit them. Their service consists chiefly in reading the law in their synagogues, together with a variety of prayers. They use no sacrifices since the destruction of the temple. They repeat blessings and particular praises to God, not only in their prayers, but on all accidental occasions, and in almost all their actions. They go to prayers three times a day in their synagogues. Their sermons are not made in Hebrew, which few of them now perfectly understand, but in the language of the country where they reside. They are forbidden all vain swearing, and pronouncing any of the names of God without necessity. They abstain from meats prohibited by the Levitical law; for which reason, whatever they eat must be dressed by Jews, and after a manner peculiar to themselves. As soon as a child can speak, they teach him to read and translate the Bible into the language of the country where they live. In general they observe the same ceremonies which were practised by their ancestors in the celebration of the passover. They acknowledge a two-fold law of God, a written and an unwritten one; the former is contained in the Pentateuch, or five books of Moses; the latter they pretend, was delivered by God to Moses, and handed down from him by oral tradition, and now to be received as of equal authority with the former. They assert the perpetuity of their law, together with its perfection. They deny the accomplishment of the prophecies in the person of Christ; alleging that the Messiah is not yet come, and that he will make his appearance with the greatest worldly pomp and grandeur, subduing all nations before him, and subjecting them to the house of Judah. Since the prophets have predicted his mean condition and sufferings, they confidently talk of two Messiahs; one Ben-Ephraim, whom they grant to be a person of a mean and afflicted condition in this world; and the other Ben-David, who shall be a victorious and powerful prince.
The Jews pray for the souls of the dead, because they suppose there is a paradise for the souls of good men, where they enjoy glory in the presence of God. They believe that the souls of the wicked are tormented in hell with fire and other punishments; that some are condemned to be punished in this manner for ever, while others continue only for a limited time; and this they call purgatory, which is not different from hell in respect of the place, but of the duration. They suppose no Jew, unless guilty of heresy, or certain crimes specified by the rabbins, shall continue in purgatory above a twelvemonth; and that there are but few who suffer eternal punishment.
Almost all the modern Jews are Pharisees, and are as much attached to tradition as their ancestors were; and assert that whoever rejects the oral law deserves death. Hence they entertain an implacable hatred to the Caraites, who adhere to the text of Moses, rejecting the rabbinistical interpretation. See CARAITES.
There are still some of the Sadducees in Africa, and in several other places; but they are few in number: at least there are but very few who declare openly for these opinions.
There are to this day some remains of the ancient sect of the Samaritans, who are zealous for the law of Moses, but are despised by the Jews, because they receive only the Pentateuch, and observe different ceremonies from theirs. They declare they are no Sadducees, but acknowledge the spirituality and immortality of the soul. There are numbers of this sect at Gaza, Damascus, Grand Cairo, and in some other places of the east; but especially at Sichem, now called Naplouse, which is risen out of the ruins of the ancient Samaria, where they sacrificed not many years ago, having a place for this purpose on Mount Genzim.
David Levi, a learned Jew, who in 1796 published "Dissertations on the Phrophecies of the Old Testament," observes in that work, that deism and infidelity have made such large strides in the world, that they have at length reached even to the Jewish nation; many of whom are at this time so greatly infected with scepticism, by reading Bolingbroke, Hume, Voltaire, &c. that they scarcely believe in a revelation; much less have they any hope in their future restoration.
3. Jews, calamities of.--All history cannot furnish us with a parallel to the calamities and miseries of the Jews; rapine and murder, famine and pestilence, within; fire and sword, and all the terrors of war, without. Our Saviour wept at the foresight of these calamities; and it is almost impossible for persons of any humanity to read the account without being affected. The predictions concerning them were remarkable, and the calamities that came upon them were the greatest the world ever saw. Deut. xxviii. xxix. Matt. xxiv. Now, what heinous sin was it that could be the cause of such heavy judgments? Can any other be assigned than what the Scripture assigns? 1 Thess. ii. 15,16. "They both killed the Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and persecuted the apostles: and so filled up their sins, and wrath came upon them to the uttermost." It is hardly possible to consider the nature and extent of their sufferings, and not conclude the Jews' own imprecation to be singularly fulfilled upon them, Matt. xxvii. 25. "His blood be on us and our children." At Cesarea twenty thousand of the Jews were killed. At Damascus ten thousand unarmed Jews were killed: and at Bethshan the Heathen inhabitants caused their Jewish neighbours to assist them against their brethren, and then murdered thirteen thousand of these inhabitants. At Alexandria the Jews murdered multitudes of the Heathens, and were murdered in their turn to about fifty thousand. The Romans under Vespasian invaded the country, and took the cities of Galilee, Chorazen, Bethsaida, Capernaum, &c. where Christ had been especially rejected, and murdered numbers of the inhabitants. At Jerusalem the scene was most wretched of all. At the passover, when there might be two or three millions of people in the city, the Romans surrounded it with troops, trenches, and walls, that none might escape. The three different factions within murdered one another. Titus, one of the most merciful generals that ever breathed, did all in his power to persuade them to an advantageous surrender, but they scorned every proposal. The multitudes of unburied carcases corrupted the air, and produced a pestilence. The people fed on one another; and even ladies, it is said, broiled their sucking infants, and ate them. After a siege of six months, the city was taken. They murdered almost every Jew they met with. Titus was bent to save the temple, but could not: there were six thousand Jews who had taken shelter in it, all burnt or murdered! The outcries of the Jews, when they saw it, were most dreadful: the whole city, except three towers and a small part of the wall, was razed to the ground, and the foundations of the temple and other places were ploughed up. Soon after the forts of Herodian and Macheron were taken the garrison of Massada murdered themselves rather than surrender. At Jerusalem alone, it is said, one million one hundred thousand perished by sword, famine, and pestilence. In other places we hear of two hundred and fifty thousand that were cut off, besides vast numbers sent into Egypt to labour as slaves. About fifty years after, the Jews murdered about five hundred thousand of the Roman subjects, for which they were severely punished by Trajan. About 130, one Barocaba pretended that he was the Messiah, and raised a Jewish army of two hundred thousand, who murdered all the Heathens and Christians who came in their way; but he was defeated by Adrian's forces. In this war, it is said, about sixty thousand Jews were slain, and perished. Adrian built a city on Mount Calvary, and erected a marble statue of swine over the gate that led to Bethlehem. No Jew was allowed to enter the city, or to look to it at a distance, under pain of death. In 360 they began to rebuild their city and temple; but a terrible earthquake and flames of fire issuing from the earth, killed the workmen, and scattered their materials. Nor till the seventh century durst they so much as creep over the rubbish to bewail it, without bribing the guards. In the third, fourth, and fifth centuries, there were many of them furiously harassed and murdered. In the sixth century twenty thousand of them were slain, and as many taken and sold for slaves. In 602 they were severly punished for their horrible massacre of the Christians at Antioch. In Spain, in 700, they were ordered to be enslaved. In the eighth and ninth centuries they were greatly derided and abused; in some places they were made to wear leathern girdles, and ride without stirrups on asses and mules. In France and Spain they were much insulted. In the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth centuries, their miseries rather increased: they were greatly persecuted in Egypt. Besides what they suffered in the East by the Turkish and sacred war, it is shocking to think what multitudes of them the eight croisades murdered in Germany, Hungary, Lesser Asia, and elsewhere. In France multitudes were burnt.--In England, in 1020, they were banished; and at the coronation of Richard I. the mob fell upon them, and murdered a great many of them. About one thousand five hundred of them were burnt in the palace in the city of York, which they set fire to, themselves, after killing their wives and children. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries their condition was no better. In Egypt, Canaan, and Syria, the croisaders still harassed them. Provoked with their mad running after pretended Messiahs, Califf Nasser scarce left any of them alive in his dominions of Mesopotamia. In Persia, the Tartars murdered them in multitudes. In Spain, Ferdinand persecuted them furiously. About 1349, the terrible massacre of them at Toledo forced many of them to murder themselves, or change their religion. About 1253, many were murdered, and others banished from France, but in 1275 recalled. In 1320 and 1330, the croisades of the fanatic shepherds, who wasted the south of France, massacred them; besides fifteen hundred that were murdered on another occasion. In 1358 they were totally banished from France, since which few of them have entered that country. In 1291 king Edward expelled them from England, to the number of one hundred and sixty thousand. In the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries, their misery continued. In Persia they have been terribly used: from 1663 to 1666, the murder of them was so universal, that but a few escaped to Turkey. In Portugal and Spain they have been miserably handled. About 1392, six or eight hundred thousand were banished from Spain. Some were drowned in their passage to Africa; some by hard usage; and many of their carcasses lay in the fields till the wild beasts devoured them. In Germany they have endured many hardships. They have been banished from Bohemia, Bavaria, Cologne, Nuremberg, Augsburg, and Vienna: they have been terribly massacred in Moravia, and plundered in Bonn and Bamberg. Except in Portugal and Spain, their present condition is generally tolerable. In Holland, Poland, and at Frankfort and Hamburgh they have their liberty. They have repeatedly, but in vain, attempted to obtain a naturalization in England, and other nations among whom they are scattered.
4. Jews, preservation of.--"The preservation of the Jews," says Basnage, "in the midst of the miseries which they have undergone during 1700 years, is the greatest prodigy that can be imagined. Religions depend on temporal prosperity; they triumph under the protection of a conqueror: they languish and sink with sinking monarchies. Paganism which once covered the earth, is extinct. The Christian church, glorious in its martyrs, yet was considerably diminished by the persecutions to which it was exposed; nor was it easy to repair the breaches in it made by those acts of violence. But here we behold a church hated and persecuted for 1700 years, and yet sustaining itself, and widely extended. Kings have often employed the severity of edicts and the hand of executioners to ruin it. The seditious multitudes, by murders and massacres, have committed outrages against it still more violent and tragical. Princes and people, Pagans, Mahometans, Christians, disagreeing in so many things, have united in the design of exterminating it, and have not been able to succeed. The bush of Moses, surrounded with flames, ever burnt, and is never consumed. The Jews have been expelled, in different times, from every part of the world, which hath only served to spread them in all regions. From age to age they have been exposed to misery and persecution; yet still they subsist, in spite of the ignominy and the hatred which hath pursued them in all places, whilst the greatest monarchies are fallen, and nothing remains of them besides the name.
"The judgments which God has exercised upon this people are terrible, extending to the men, the religion, and the very land in which they dwelt. The ceremonies essential to their religion can no more be observed: the ritual law, which cast a splendour on the national worship, and struck the Pagans so much that they sent their presents and their victims to Jerusalem, is absolutely fallen, for they have no temple, no altar, no sacrifices. Their land itself seems to lie under a never-ceasing curse. Pagans, Christians, Mohammedians, in a word, almost all nations have by turns seized and held Jerusalem. To the Jew only hath God refused the possession of this small tract of ground, so supremely necessary for him, since he ought to worship on this mountain. A Jewish writer hath affirmed, that it is long since any Jew has been settled near Jerusalem: scarcely can they purchase there six feet of land for a burying-place.
"In all this there is no exaggeration: I am only pointing out known facts: and, far from having the least design to raise an odium against the nation from its miseries, I conclude that it ought to be looked upon as one of those prodigies which we admire without comprehending: since, in spite of evils so durable, and a patience so long exercised, it is preserved by a particular providence. The Jew ought to be weary of expecting a Messiah, who so unkindly disappoints his vain hopes: and the Christian ought to have his attention and his regard excited towards men whom God preserves, for so great a length of time, under calamities which would have been the total ruin of any other people."
5. Jews, number and dispersion of--They are looked upon to be as numerous at present as they were formerly in the land of Canaan. Some have rated them at three millions, and others more than double that number. Their dispersion is a remarkable particular in this people. They swarm all over the east, and are settled, it is said, in the remotest parts of China. The Turkish empire abounds with them. There are more of them at Constantinople and Salonichi than in any other place: they are spread through most of the nations of Europe and Africa, and many families of them are estabished in the West Indies; not to mention whole nations bordering on Prester John's country, and some discovered in the inner parts of America, if we may give any credit to their own writers. Their being always in rebellions (as Addison observes) while they had the Holy Temple in view, has excited most nations to banish them. Besides, the whole people are now a race of such merchants as are wanderers by profession; and at the same time are in most, if not in all places, incapable of either lands or offices, that might engage them to make any part of the world their home. In addition to this, we may consider what providential reasons may be assigned for their numbers and dispersion. Their firm adherence to their religion, and being dispersed all over the earth, has furnished every age and every nation with the strongest arguments for the Christian faith; not only as these very particulars are foretold of them, but as they themselves are the depositories of these and all other prophecies which tend to their own confusion and the establishment of Christianity. Their number furnishes us with a sufficient cloud of witnesses that attest the truth of the Bible, and their dispersion spreads these witnesses through all parts of the world.
6. Jews, restoration of.--From the declarations of Scripture we have reason to suppose the Jews shall be called to a participation of the blessings of the Gospel, Rom. xi. 2 Cor. iii. 16. Hos. i. 11, and some suppose shall return to their own land, Hos. iii. 5. Is. lxv. 17,&c. Ezek. xxxvi. As to the time, some think about 1866 or 2016; but this, perhaps, is not so easy to determine altogether, though it is probable it will not be before the fall of Antichrist and the Ottoman empire. Let us, however, avoid putting stumbling-blocks in their way. If we attempt any thing for their conversion, let it be with peace and love. Let us, says one, propose Christianity to them as Christ proposed it to them. Let us lay before them their own prophecies. Let us show them their accomplishment in Jesus. Let us applaud their hatred of idolatry. Let us show them the morality of Jesus in our lives and tempers. Let us never abridge their civil liberty, nor ever try to force their consciences. Josephus's History of the Jews; Spect. No. 495. vol. iv.; Levi's Ceremonies of the Jewish Religion; Buxtorf de Synagoga Judiaca; Spencer de Legibus Heb. Rit.; Newton on Proph.; Warburton's Address to the Jews, in the Dedication of the 2d vol. of his Legation; Sermons preached to the Jews at Berry-street, by Dr. Haweis and others; Basnage's and Orckley's Hist. of the Jews; Shaw's Philosophy of Judiasm; Hartley on Man, vol. ii. prop. 8. vol. iii. p. 455, 487; Bicheno's Restoration of the Jews; Jortin's Rem. on Ecc. Hist. vol. iii. p. 427, 447; Dr. H. Jackson's works, vol. i. p. 153; Neale's History of the Jews; Pirie's Posth. Works, vol. i.; Fuller's Serm. on the Messiah.
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The disciples of Joachim, abbot of Flora, in
Calabria. Joachim was a Cistercian monk, and a great pretender to inspiration.
He relates of himself, that, being very young, he went to Jerusalem in the
dress of a hermit to visit the holy places: and that, while he was in prayer to
God in the church of that city, God communicated to him, by infusion, the
knowledge of divine mysteries, and of the Holy Scriptures. He wrote against
Lombard, the master of the sentences, who had maintained that there was but one
essence in God, though there were three persons; and he pretended, that, since
there were three persons there must be three essences. This dispute was in the
year 1195. Joachim's writings were condemned by the fourth Lateran council.
His followers, the Joachimites, were particularly fond of certain ternaries. The Father they said operated from the beginning until the coming of the Son: the Son from that time to theirs, viz. the year 1260; and the Holy Spirit then took it up, and was to operate in his turn. They likewise divided every thing relating to men, doctrine, and manner of living, into three classes, according to the three persons of the Trinity. The first ternary was that of men; of whom, the first class was that of married men, which had lasted during the whole period of the Father; the second was that of clerks, which lasted during the time of the Son; and the last was that of monks, wherein was to be an uncommon effusion of grace by the Holy Spirit. The second ternary was that of doctrine, viz. the Old Testament, the New, and the everlasting Gospel; the first they ascribed to the Father, the second to the Son, and the third to the Holy Spirit. A third ternary consisted in the manner of living, viz. under the Father, men lived according to the flesh; under the Son, they lived according to the flesh and the spirit; and under the Holy Ghost, they were to live according to the spirit only.
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Christians of. See CHRISTIANS.
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A delight of the mind arising from the consideration of a present for assured approaching possession of a future good. When it is moderate, it is called gladness; when raised on a sudden to the highest degree, it is then exultation or transport; when we limit our desires by our possessions, it is contentment; when our desires are raised high, and yet accomplished, this is called satisfaction; when our joy is derived from some comical occasion or amusement, it is mirth; if it arise from considerable opposition that is vanquished in the pursuit of the good we desire, it is then called triumph; when joy has so long possessed the mind that it is settled into a temper, we call it cheerfulness; when we rejoice upon the account of any good which others obtain, it may be called sympathy or congratulation. This is natural joy; but there is,--2. A moral joy, which is a self-approbation, or that which arises from the performance of any good actions; this is called peace, or serenity of conscience: if the action be honourable, and the joy rise high, it may be called glory.--3. There is also a spiritual joy, which the Scripture calls a "fruit of the Spirit," Gal. v. 22. "the joy of faith." Phil. i. 25. and "the rejoicing of hope," Heb. iii. 6. The objects of it are, 1. God himself, Ps. xliii. 4. Is. xli. 10.--2. Christ, Phil. iii. 3. 1 Pet. i. 8.--3. The promises, Ps. cxix. 162.--4. The administration of the Gospel, and Gospel ordinances, Ps. lxxxix. 15.--5. The prosperity of the interest of Christ, Acts xv.3. Rev. xi. 15,17.--6. The happiness of a future state, Rom. v. 2. Matt. xxv. The nature and properties of this joy: 1. It is or should be constant, Phil. iv. 4.--2. It is unknown to the men of the world, 1 Cor. ii. 14.--3. It is unspeakable, 1 Pet. i. 8.--4. It is permanent, John xvi.22. Watts on the Pass. sect. 11; Gill's Body of Div. p. 111.3d. vol. 8vo. edit.; Grove's Mor. Phil. vol. i. p. 356.
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Relates, 1. To the delight and complacency he has in himself, his own nature, and perfections.--2. He rejoices in his own works, Ps. civ. 31.--3. In his Son Christ Jesus, Matt. iii. 17.--4. In the work of redemption, John iii. 15.--5. In the subjects of his grace, Ps. cxlvii. 11. Zeph. iii. 17. Ps. cxlix. 4.
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A public festivity.--Among the Jews it was held every 49th or 50th year. It was proclaimed with the sound of rams' horns: no servile work was done on it; the land lay untilled; what grew of itself belonged to the poor and needy; whatever debts the Hebrews owed to one another were wholly remitted; hired as well as bond-servants of the Hebrew race obtained their liberty; inheritances reverted to their original proprietors. See 25th chap. Leviticus. Jubilee, in a more modern sense, denotes a grand church solemnity or ceremony, celebrated at Rome, wherein the pope grants a plenary indulgence to all sinners; at least to as many as visit the churches of St. Peter and St. Paul, at Rome. The jubilee was first established by Boniface VII. in 1300, which was only to return every hundred years; but the first celebration brought in such store of wealth, that Clement VI. in 1343, reduced it to the period of fifty years. Urban VI. in 1389, appointed it to be held every thirty-five years, that being the age of our Saviour; and Paul II. and Sixtus IV. in 1475, brought it down to every twenty-five, that every person might have the benefit of it once in his life. Boniface IX. granted the privilege of holding jubilees to several princes and monasteries; for instance, to the monks of Canterbury, who had a jubilee every fifty years, when people flocked from all parts to visit the tomb of Thomas-a-Becket. Afterwards jubilees became more frequent: there is generally one at the inauguration of a new pope; and the pope grants them as often as the church or himself have occasion for them. To be entitled to the privileges of the jubilee, the bull enjoins fasting, alms, and prayers. It gives the priests a full power to absolve in all cases, even those otherwise reserved to the pope; to make commutations of vows, &c. in which it differs from a plenary indulgence. During the time of jubilee, all other indulgences are suspended. One of our kings, viz. Edward III. caused his birth-day to be observed in the manner of a jubilee, when he became fifty years of age in 1362, but never before nor after. This he did by releasing prisoners, pardoning all offences, except treason, making good laws, and granting many privileges to the people. In 1640, the Jesuits celebrated a solemn jubilee at Rome, that being the centenary, or hundredth year from their institution; and the same ceremony was observed in all their houses throughout the world.
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The first rise of this denomination is placed under the reign of Adrian. For when this emperor had at length razed Jerusalem, entirely destroyed its very foundations, and enacted laws of the severest kind against the whole body of the Jewish people, the greatest part of the Christians who lived in Palestine, to prevent their being confounded with the Jews, abandoned entirely the Mosaic rites,and chose a bishop, namely, Mark, a foreigner by nation, and an alien from the commonwealth of Israel. Those who were strongly attached to the Mosaic rites, separated from their brethren, and founded at Pera, a country of Palestine, and in the neighbouring parts, particular assemblies, in which the law of Moses maintained its primitive dignity, authority, and lustre. The body of Judaising Christians, which set Moses and Christ upon an equal footing in point of authority, were afterwards divided into two sects, extremely different both in their rites and opinions, and distinguished by the names of Nazarenes and Ebionites; which see.
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The religious doctrines and rites of the Jews, the descendants of Abraham. Judaism was but a temporary dispensation, and was to give way, at least the ceremonial part of it, at the coming of the Messiah. The principal sects among the Jews were the Pharisees, who placed religion in external ceremony; the Sadducees, who were remarkable for their incredulity; and the Essenes, who were distinguished for their austere sanctity. At present, the Jews have two sects; the Caraites, who admit no rule of religion but the law of Moses; and the Rabbinists, who add to the law the traditions of the Talmud. See those articles, and books recommended under article JEWS, in this work.
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The act of carelessly, precipitately, wantonly, or maliciously censuring others. This is an evil which abounds too much among almost all classes of men. "Not contented with being in the right ourselves, we must find all others in the wrong. We claim an exclusive possession of goodness and wisdom; and from approving warmly of those who join us, we proceed to condemn, with much acrimony, not only the principles, but the characters of those from whom we differ. We rashly extend to every individual the severe opinion which we have unwarrantably conceived of a whole body. This man is of a party whose principles we reckon slavish; and therefore his whole sentiments are corrupted. That man belongs to a religious sect, which we are accustomed to deem bigoted, and therefore he is incapable of any generous and liberal thought. Another is connected with a sect, which we have been taught to account relaxed, and therefore he can have no sanctity. We should do well to consider, 1. That this practice of rash judging is absolutely forbidden in the sacred Scriptures, Matt. vii. 1. --2. We thereby authorize others to requite us in the same kind.--3. It often evidences our pride, envy, and bigotry.--4. It argues a want of charity, the distinguishing feature of the Christian religion.--5. They who are most forward in censuring others are often most defective themselves. Barrow's Works, vol. i. ser. 20; Blair's Ser. ser. 10. vol. ii; Saurin's Ser. ser. 4. vol. v.
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Is that act of the mind whereby one thing is affirmed or denied of another; or that power of the soul which passes sentence on things proposed to its examination, and determines what is right or wrong: and thus it approves or disapproves of an action, or an object considered as true or false, fit or unfit, good or evil. Dr. Watts gives us the following directions to assist us in judging right. 1. We should examine all our old opinions afresh, and enquire what was the ground of them, and whether our assent were built on just evidence; and then we should cast off all those judgments which were formed heretofore without due examination.--2. All our ideas of objects, concerning which we pass judgment, should be clear, distinct, complete, comprehensive, extensive, and orderly.--3. When we have obtained as clear ideas as we can, both of the subject and predicate of a proposition, then we must compare those ideas of the subject and predicate together with the utmost attention, and observe how far they agree, and wherein they differ.--4. We must search for evidence of truth, with diligence and honesty, and be heartily ready to receive evidence, whether for the agreement or disagreement of ideas.--5. We must suspend our judgment, and neither affirm nor deny until this evidence appear.--6. We must judge of every proposition by those proper and peculiar means or mediums, whereby the evidence of it is to be obtained, whether it be sense, consciousness, intelligence, reason, or testimony.--7. It is very useful to have some general principles of truth settled in the mind, whose evidence is great and obvious, that they may be always ready at hand to assist us in judging of the great variety of things which occur.--8. Let the degrees of our assent to every proposition bear an exact proportion to the different degrees of evidence.--9. We should keep our minds always open to receive truth, and never set limits to our own improvements. Watts's Logic, ch. 4. p. 231; Locke on the Understanding, p. 222,256, vol. i. p. 271,278. vol. ii.; Duncan's Logic, p. 145; Reid on the Intellectual Powers, p. 497, &c.
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The sentence that will be passed on our actions
at the last day.
I. The proofs of a general judgment are these: 1. The justice of God requires it; for it is evident that this attribute is not clearly displayed in the dispensation of things in the present state, 2 Thess. i. 6,7. Luke xiv. 26.--2. The accusations of natural conscience are testimonies in favour of this belief, Rom. ii. 15. Dan. v. 5,6. Acts xxiv. 25.--3. It may be concluded from the relation men stand in to God, as creatures to a Creator. He has a right to give them a law, and to make them accountable for the breach of it, Rom. xiv. 12.--4. The resurrection of Christ is a certain proof of it. See Acts xvii. 31. Rom. xiv. 9.--5. The Scripture, in a variety of places, sets it beyond all doubt, Jude 14,15. 2 Cor. v. 10. Matt. xxv. Rom. xiv. 10, 11, 2 Thess. i. 7, 10. 1 Thess. iv. 16,17.
II. As to the Judge: the Bible declares that God will judge the world by Jesus Christ, Acts xvii. 31. The triune God will be the Judge, as to original authority, power, and right of judgment; but, according to the economy settled between the three divine persons, the work is assigned to the Son, Romans xiv. 9. and 10, who will appear in his human nature, John v. 27. Acts xvii. 31. with great power and glory, 1 Thess. iv. 16,17, visible to every eye, Rev. i. 7. penetrating every heart, 1 Cor. iv. 5. Rom. ii. 16. with full authority over all, Matt. xxviii. 18. and acting with strict justice, 2 Tim. iv. 8. As for the concern of others in the judgment; angels will be no otherwise concerned than as attendants, gathering the elect, raising the dead, &c. but not as advising of judging. Saints are said to judge the world; not as co-judgers with Christ, but as approvers of his sentence, and as their holy lives and conversations will rise up in judgment against their wicked neighbours.
III. As to the persons that will be judged; these will be men and devils. The righteous, probably, will be tried first, as represented in Matt. xxv. They will be raised first, though perhaps not a thousand years before the rest, as Dr. Gill supposes; since the resurrection of all the bodies of the saints is spoken of as in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump, in order to their meeting the Lord in the air, and being with him not on earth, but for ever in heaven, 1 Cor. xv. 52. 1 Thess. iv. 16,17.
Here we may take notice of a difficult question which is proposed by some namely, Whether the sins of God's people shall be published in the great day, though it is certain they shall not be alleged against them to their condemnation? "This," says Dr. Ridgley, "is one of the secret things which belong to God, which he has not so fully or clearly revealed to us in his word; and therefore we can say little more than what is matter of conjecture about it. Some have thought that the sins of the godly, though forgiven, shall be made manifest, that so the glory of that grace which has pardoned them may appear more illustrious, and their obligation to God for this farther enhanced. They also think, that the justice of the proceedings of that day requires it, since it is presumed and known by the whole world that they were prone to sin, as well as others; and, before conversion, as great sinners as any, and after it their sins had a peculiar aggravation. Therefore, why should not they be made public, as a glory due to the justice and holiness of God, whose nature is opposite to all sin? And this they farther suppose to be necessary, that so the impartiality of divine justice may appear. Moreover, since God, by recording the sins of his saints in Scripture, has perpetuated the knowledge thereof; and if it is to their honour that the sins there mentioned were repented of, as well as forgiven, why may it not be supposed that the sins of the believers shall be made known in the great day? And, besides, this seems agreeable to those expressions of every word, and every action, as being to be brought into judgment, whether it be good, or whether it be bad.
"But it is supposed by others, that though the making known of sin that is subdued and forgiven, tends to the advancement of divine grace, yet it is sufficient to answer this end, as far as God designs it shall be answered, that the sins which have been subdued and forgiven, should be known to themselves, and thus forgiveness afford matter of praise to God. Again; the expressions of Scripture, whereby forgiveness of sin is set forth, are such as seem to argue that those sins which were forgiven shall not be made manifest: thus they are said to be blotted out, Isa. xliii. 25. covered, Ps. xxxii. 1. subdued and cast into the depths of the sea, Micah vii. 19. and remembered no more, &c. Jer. xxxi. 34. Besides, Christ's being a judge, doth not divest him of the character of an advocate, whose part is rather to conceal the crimes of those whose cause he pleads, than to divulge them; and to this we may add, that the law which requires duty, and forbids the contrary sins, is not the rule by which they who are in Christ are to be proceeded against, for then they could not stand in judgment; but they are dealt with according to the tenor of the Gospel, which forgives and covers all sin. And, farther, it is argued that the public declaring of all their sins before the whole world, notwithstanding their interest in forgiving grace, would fill them with such shame as is hardly consistent with a state of perfect blessedness. And, lastly, the principal argument insisted on is, that our Saviour, in Matt. xxv. in which he gives a particular account of the proceedings of that day, makes no mention of the sins, but only commends the graces of his saints."
As to the wicked, they shall be judged, and all their thoughts, words, and deeds, be brought into judgment, Ecc. xii. 14. The fallen angels, also, are said to be reserved unto the judgment of the great day, Jude 6. They shall receive their final sentence, and be shut up in the prison of hell, Rev. xx. 10. Matt. viii. 29.
IV. As to the rule of judgment; we are informed the books will be opened. Rev. xx. 12.--1. The book of divine omniscience, Mal. iii. 5. or remembrance, Mal. iii. 16.--2. The book of conscience, Rom. i. 15.--3. The book of providence, Rom. ii. 4,5.--4. The book of the Scriptures, Law, and Gospel, John xii. 48. Rom. ii. 16. ii. 12.--5. The book of life, Luke x. 20. Rev. iii. 5. xx. 12,15.
V. As to the time of judgment: the soul will either be happy or miserable immediately after death, but the general judgment will not be till after the resurrection, Heb. ix. 27. There is a day appointed, Acts xvii. 31. but it is unknown to men.
VI. As to the place: this also is uncertain. Some suppose it will be in the air, because the Judge will come in the clouds of heaven, and the living saints will then be changed, and the dead saints raised, and both be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, 1 Thess. iv. 16,17. Others think it will be on the earth, on the new earth, on which they will descend from the air with Christ. The place where, however, is of no consequence, when compared with the state in which we shall appear. And as the Scriptures represent it as certain, Eccl. xi. 9. universal, 2 Cor. v. 11. righteous, Rom. ii. 5. decisive, 1 Cor. xv. 52. and eternal as to its consequences, Heb. vi. 2. let us be concerned for the welfare of our immortal interests, flee to the refuge set before us, improve our precious time, depend on the merits of the Redeemer, and adhere to the dictates of the divine word, that we may be found of him in peace. Bates's Works, p. 449; Bishop Hopkins and Stoddard on the Last Judgment; Gill's Body of Divinity, 467, vol. ii. 8vo. Boston's Fourfold State; Hervey's Works, new edition, p. 72,75, vol. i. 155, vol. iv. 82, 233, vol. iii.
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Are the punishments inflicted by him for
particular crimes. The Scriptures give us many awful instances of the display
of divine justice in the punishment of nations, families, and individuals, for
their iniquities. See Gen. vii. xix. 25. Exod. xv. Judges i. 6,7. Acts xii. 23.
Esther v. 14. with chap. vii. 10. 2 Kings xi. Lev. x. 1,2. Acts v. 1 to 10. Is.
xxx. 1 to 5. 1 Sam. xv. 9. 1 Kings xii. 25,33. It becomes us, however, to be
exceedingly cautious how we interpret the severe and afflictive dispensations
of Providence. Dr. Jortin justly observes, that there is usually much rashness
and presumption in pronouncing that the calamities of sinners are particular
judgments of God; yet, saith he, if from sacred and profane, from ancient and
modern historians, a collection were made of all the cruel persecuting tyrants
who delighted in tormenting their fellow creatures, and who died not the common
death of all men, nor were visited after the visitation of all men, but whose
plagues were horrible and strange, even a sceptic would be moved at the
evidence, and would be apt to suspect that it was the hand of God in it. As Dr.
Jortin was no enthusiast, and one who would not overstrain the point, we shall
here principally follow him in his enumeration of some of the most remarkable
Herod the Great was the first persecutor of Christianity. He attempted to destroy Jesus Christ himself, while he was yet but a child, and for that wicked purpose slew all the male children that were in and about Bethlehem. What was the consequence? Josephus hath told us: he had long and grievous sufferings, a burning fever, a voracious appetite, a difficulty of breathing, swelling of his limbs, loathsome ulcers within and without, breeding vermin, violent torments and convulsions, so that he endeavoured to kill himself, but was restrained by his friends. The Jews thought these evils to be divine judgments upon him for his wickedness. And what is still more remarkable in his case is, he left a numerous family of children and grand-children, though he had put some to death, and yet in about the space of one hundred years the whole family was extinct.
Herod Antipas, who beheaded John the Baptist, and treated Christ contemptuously when he was brought before him, was defeated by Aretas, an Arabian king, and afterwards had his dominions taken from him, and was sent into banishment along with his infamous wife Herodias, by the emperor Caius.
Judas, that betrayed our Lord, died, by his own hands, the most ignominious of all deaths.
Pontius Pilate, who condemned our blessed Saviour to death, was not long afterwards deposed from his office, banished from his country, and died by his own hands; the divine vengeance overtaking him soon after his crime.
The high priest Caiaphas, was deposed by Vitellius, three years after the death of Christ. Thus this wicked man, who condemned Christ for fear of disobliging the Romans, was ignominiously turned out of his office by the Roman governor, whom he had sought to oblige.
Ananias, the high-priest, persecuted St. Paul, and insolently ordered the bystanders to smite him on the mouth. Upon which the apostle said, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall. Whether he spake this prophetically or not, may be difficult to say; but certain it is, that sometime after he was slain, together with his brother, by his own son.
Ahamus, the high priest, slew St. James the Less; for which and other outrages he was deposed by king Agrippa the younger, and probably perished in the last destruction of Jerusalem.
Nero, in the year sixty-four, turned his rage upon the Christians, and put to death Peter and Paul, with many others. Four years after, in his great distress, he attempted to kill himself; but being as mean-spirited and dastardly as he was wicked and cruel, he had not the resolution to do that piece of justice to the world, and was forced to beg assistance.
Domitian persecuted the Christians also. It is said he threw St. John into a caldron of boiling oil, and afterwards banished him into the isle of Patmos. In the following year this monster of wickedness was murdered by his own people.
The Jewish nation persecuted, rejected, and crucified the Lord of glory. Within a few years after, their nation was destroyed, and the Lord made their plagues wonderful.
Flaccus was governor of Egypt near the time of our Saviour's death, and a violent persecutor of the Jews. The wrath of God, however, ere long overtook him, and he died by the hands of violence.
Catullus was governor of Libya about the year seventy-three. He was also a cruel persecutor of the Jews, and he died miserably. For though he was only turned out of his office by the Romans, yet he fell into a complicated and incurable disease, being sorely tormented both in body and mind. He was dreadfully terrified, and continually crying out that he was haunted by the ghosts of those whom he had murdered; and, not being able to contain himself, he leaped out of his bed, as if he were tortured with fire and put to the rack. His distemper increased till his entrails were all corrupted, and came out of his body; and thus he perished, as signal an example as ever was known of the divine justice rendering to the wicked according to their deeds.
Caius, the Roman emperor, was a great persecutor of the Jews and Christians, and a blasphemer of the God of heaven. Soon after his atrocities, however, he was murdered by one of his own people.
Severus, emperor of Rome, was a violent and cruel persecutor of the followers of Christ. He also, and all his family, perished miserably, about the year two hundred after our Saviour.
About the same time, Saturnius, governor of Africa, persecuted the Christians and put several of them to death. Soon after, he went blind.
Heliogabalus, the emperor, brought a new god to Rome, and would needs compel all his subjects to worship him. This was sure to have ended in a persecution of the Christians. But, soon after, this vile monster was slain by his own soldiers, about the year two hundred and twenty-two.
Claudius Herminianus was a cruel persecutor of the Christians in the second century, and he was eaten of worms while he lived.
Decius persecuted the church about the year two hundred and fifty: he was soon after killed in battle.
Gallus succeeded, and continued the persecution. He, too, was killed the year following.
Valerian, the emperor, had many good qualities; but yet he was an implacable enemy to the Lord Jesus Christ and his gospel. Some time after he came to the throne, he was taken prisoner by Sapor, king of Persia, and used like a slave and a dog; for the Persian monarch, from time to time, obliged this unhappy emperor to bow himself down, and offer him his back, on which to set his foot, in order to mount his chariot or his horse. He died in this miserable state of captivity.
Aemilian, governor of Egypt, about two hundred and sixty-three, was a virulent persecutor of the church of Christ. He was soon after strangled by order of the emperor.
Aurelian, the emperor, just intending to begin a persecution against the followers of Christ, was killed in the year two hundred and seventy-four.
Maximinus was a persecutor of the church. He reigned only three years, and then fell under the hands of violence.
About the year three hundred was the greatest possible contest between Christ and the Roman emperors, which should have the dominion. These illustrious wretches seemed determined to blot out the Christian race and name from under heaven. The persecution was far more fierce and brutal than it had ever been. It was time, therefore, for the Lord Jesus Christ, the great head of the church, to arise and plead his own cause: and so, indeed, he did. The examples we have mentioned are dreadful: these that follow are not less astonishing, and they are all delivered upon the best authorities.
Dioclesian persecuted the church in three hundred and three. After this nothing ever prospered with him. He underwent many troubles: his senses became impaired; and he quitted the empire.
Severus, another persecuting emperor, was overthrown and put to death in the year three hundred and seven.
About the same time, Urbanus, governor of Palestine, who had signalized himself by tormenting and destroying the disciples of Jesus, met with his due reward; for almost immediately after the cruelties committed, the divine vengeance overtook him. He was unexpectedly degraded and deprived of all his honours; and, dejected, dispirited, and meanly begging for mercy, was put to death by the same hand that raised him.
Firmilianus, another persecuting governor met with the same fate.
Maximianus Herculus, another of the wretched persecuting emperors, was compelled to hang himself, in the year three hundred and ten.
Maximianus Galerius, of all the tyrants of his time the most cruel, was seized with a grievous and horrible disease, and tormented with worms and ulcers to such a degree, that they who were ordered to attend him could not bear the stench. Worms proceeded from his body in a most fearful manner; and several of his physicians were put to death because they could not endure the smell, and others because they could not cure him. This happened in the year of our Lord three hundred and eleven.
Maxentius, another of the inhuman monsters, was overthrown in battle by Constantine; and in his flight he fell into the Tiber, and was drowned in the year three hundred and twelve.
Maximinus put out the eyes of many thousands of Christians. Soon after the commission of his cruelties, a disease arose among his own people, which greatly affected their eyes, and took away their sight. He himself died miserably, and upon the rack, his eyes started out of his head through the violence of his distemper, in the year three hundred and thirteen. All his family likewise were destroyed, his wife and children put to death, together with most of his friends and dependents, who had been the instruments of his cruelty.
A Roman officer, to oblige this Maximinus, greatly oppressed the church at Damascus: not long after, he destroyed himself.
Licinius, the last of these persecuting emperors before Constantine, was conquered and put to death in the year three hundred and twenty-three. He was equally an enemy to religion, liberty, and learning.
Cyril, the deacon, was murdered by some Pagans, at Heliopolis, for his opposition to their images. They ripped open his belly, and ate his liver: the divine vengeance, however, pursued all those who had been guilty of this crime; their teeth came out, their tongues rotted, and they lost their sight.
Valens was made emperor in 364; and though a Christian himself, he is said to have caused fourscore presbyters, who differed from him in opinion, to be put to sea, and burnt alive in the ship. Afterwards, in a battle with the Goths, he was defeated and wounded, and fled to a cottage, where he was burnt alive, as most historians relate: all agree that he perished.
The last Pagan prince, who was a formidable enemy to Christianity, was Radagaisus, a king of the Goths. He invaded the Roman empire with an army of 400,000 men, about the year 405, and vowed to sacrifice all the Romans to his gods. The Romans, however, fought him, and obtained a complete victory, taking him and his sons prisoners, whom they put to death.
Hunneric, the Vandal, though a Christian, was a most cruel persecutor of those who differed from him in opinion, about the year of our Lord 484. He spared not even those of his own persuasion, neither his friends nor his kindred. He reigned, however, not quite eight years, and died with all the marks of divine indignation upon him.
Julian the apostate greatly oppressed the Christians: and he perished soon after, in his rash expedition against the Persians.
Several of those who were employed or permitted by Julian to persecute the Christians, are said to have perished miserably and remarkably. I will here relate the fate of a few of those unhappy wretches in the words of Tillemont, who faithfully collected the account from the ancients. We have observed, says that learned man, that count Julian, with Felix, superintendent of the finances, and Elpidius, treasurer to the emperor, apostates all three, had received orders to go and seize the effects of the church at Antioch, and carry them to the treasury. They did it on the day of the martyrdom of St. Theodoret, and drew up an account of what they had seized. But count Julian was not content with taking away the sacred vessels of the church, and profaning them by his impure hands: carrying to greater lengths the outrage he was doing to Jesus Christ, he overturned and flung them down on the ground, and sat upon them in a most criminal manner; adding to this all the banters and blasphemies that he could devise against Christ, and against the Christians, who, he said, were abandoned to God.
Felix, the superintendent, signalized himself also by another impiety; for as he was in viewing the rich and magnificent vessels which the emperors Constantine and Constantius had given to the church, "Behold" said he, "with what plate the son of Mary is served!" It is said, too, that count Julian and he made it the subject of banter, that God should let them thus profane his temple, without interposing by visible miracles.
But these impieties remained not long unpunished, and Julian had no sooner profaned the sacred utensils, than he felt the effects of divine vengeance. He fell into a grievous and unknown disease; and his inward parts being corrupted, he cast out his liver and his excrements, not from the ordinary passages, but from his miserable mouth, which had uttered so many blasphemies. His secret parts, and all the flesh round about them, corrupted also, and bred worms; and to show that it was a divine punishment, all the art of physicians could give him no relief. In this condition he continued forty days, without speech or sense, preyed on by worms. At length he came to himself again. The imposthumes, however, all over his body, and the worms which gnawed him continually, reduced him to the utmost extremity. He threw them up, without ceasing, the last three days of his life, with a stench which he himself could not bear.
The disease with which God visited Felix was not, so long. He burst suddenly in the middle of his body, and died of an effusion of blood in the course of one day.
Elpidius was stripped of his effects in 365, and shut up in prison, where, after having continued for some time, he died without reputation and honour, cursed of all the world, and surnamed the apostate.
To these instances many more might be added nearer our own times, did our room permit. These, however, are sufficient to show us what a fearful thing it is to fall into the hands of the living God, and how fruitless and awful it is to oppose his designs, and to attempt to stop the progress of his Gospel. "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall have them in derision. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them to pieces as a potter's vessel. Be wise now, therefore, O ye kings; be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling." Ps. ii. Jortin's Remarks on Ecclesiastical History, vol. iii. p. 246, &c. Simpson's Key to the Prophecies, 29; Newton on the Prophecies, dis. 24; Bryant's Observations of the Plagues of Egypt; Tillemont, Histoire des Emp.
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Or Judgment of God, was a term anciently applied to all extraordinary trials of secret crimes; as those by arms and single combat; and the ordeals, or those by fire, or red hot ploughshares, by plunging the arm in boiling water, or the whole body in cold water, in hopes that God would work a miracle, rather than suffer truth and innocence to perish. These customs were a long time kept up even among Christians, and they are still in use in some nations. Trials of this sort were usually held in churches, in the presence of the bishop, priest, and secular judges, after three days fasting, confession, communion, and many adjurations and ceremonies, described at large by Du Cange.
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Persons so called from the practice of jumping during the time allotted for religious worship. This singular practice began, it is said, in the western part of Wales, about the year 1760. It was soon after defended by Mr. William Williams (the Welch poet, as he is sometimes called) in a pamphlet, which was patronized by the abettors of jumping in religious assemblies. Several of the more zealous itinerant preachers encouraged the people to cry out gogoniant (the Welch word for glory,) amen, &c. &c. to put themselves in violent agitations: and, finally, to jump until they were quite exhausted, so as often to be obliged to fall down on the floor or the field, where this kind of worship was held.
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Consists in an exact and scrupulous regard to the rights of others, with a deliberate purpose to preserve them on all occasions sacred and inviolate. It is often divided into commutative and distributive justice. The former consists in an equal exchange of benefits; the latter in an equal distribution of rewards and punishments. Dr. Watts gives the following rules respecting justice.--"1. It is just that we honour, reverence, and respect those who are superiors in any kind, Eph. vi. 1,3. 1 Pet. ii. 17. 1 Tim. v. 17.--2. That we show particular kindness to near relations, Prov. xvii. 17.--3. That we love those who love us, and show gratitude to those who have done us good, Gal. iv. 15.--4. That we pay the full due to those whom we bargain or deal with, Rom. xiii. Deut. xxiv. 14.--5. That we help our fellow-creatures in cases of great necessity, Ex.xxiii. 4.--6. Reparation to those whom we have wilfully injured." Watts's Serm. ser. 24,25, vol. ii. Berry Street Lect. ser. 4. Grove's Mor. Phil. p. 332, vol.ii. Wollaston's Relig. of Nature, p. 137, 141; Jay's Ser. vol. ii. p. 131.
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Is that perfection whereby he is infinitely righteous and just, both in himself and in all his proceedings with his creatures. Mr. Ryland defines it thus: "The ardent inclination of his will to prescribe equal laws as the supreme governor, and to dispense equal rewards and punishments as the supreme judge." Rev. xvi. 5. Psal. cxlv. 7. Psal. xcvii. 1.--2. It is distinguished into remunerative and punitive justice. Remunerative justice is a distribution of rewards, the rule of which is not the merit of the creature, but his own gracious promise, James i. 12. 2 Tim. iv. 8. Punitive or vindictive justice, is the infliction of punishment for any sin committed by men, 2 Thess. i. 6. That God will not let sin go unpunished is evident, 1. From the word of God, Ex. xxxiv. 6,7. Numb. xiv. 18. Neh. i. 3.--2. From the nature of God, Isa. i. 13,14. Psal. v. 5,6. Heb. xii. 29.--3. From sin being punished in Christ, the surety of his people, 1 Pet. iii. 18.--4. From all the various natural evils which men bear in the present state. The use we should make of this doctrine is this: 1. We should learn the dreadful nature of sin, and the inevitable ruin of impenitent sinners, Ps. ix. 17.--2. We should highly appreciate the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom justice is satisfied. 1 Pet. iii. 18.--3. We should imitate the justice of God, by cherishing an ardent regard to the rights of God, and to the rights of mankind.--4. We should abhor all sin, as it strikes directly at the justice of God.--5. We should derive comfort from the consideration that the Judge of all the earth will do right, as it regards ourselves, the church, and the world at large, Psal. xcvii. 1,2. Ryland's Contem. vol. ii. p. 439; Witsius's Economy, lib. ii. ch. 8. & 11; Dr. Owen on the Justice of God; Gill's Body of Divinity, p. 155, vol. i. 8vo.; Elisha Cole on the Righteousness of God.
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A forensic term, and signifies the declaring or
the pronouncing a person righteous according to law. It stands opposed to
condemnation; and this is the idea of the word whenever it is used in an
evangelical sense, Rom. v. 18. Deut. xxv. 1. Prov. xvii. 15. Matt. xii. 37. It
does not signify to make men holy, but the holding and declaring them so. It is
defined by the assembly thus: "An act of God's free grace, in which he
pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth us as righteous in his sight only for the
righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone."
The doctrine of justification, says Mr. Booth, makes a very distinguished figure in that religion which is from above, and is a capital article of that faith which was once delivered to the saints. Far from being a merely speculative point, it spreads its influence through the whole body of divinity, runs through all Christian experience, and operates in every part of practical godliness. Such is its grand importance, that a mistake about it has a malignant efficacy, and is attended with a long train of dangerous consequences. Nor can this appear strange, when it is considered, that the doctrine of justification is no other than the way of a sinner's acceptance with God. Being of such peculiar moment, it is inseparably connected with many other evangelical truths, the harmony and beauty of which we cannot behold while this is misunderstood. It is, if any thing may be so called, an essential article, and certainly requires our most serious consideration.
Justification, in a theological sense, is either legal or evangelical. If any person could be found that had never broken the divine law, he might be justified by it in a manner strictly legal. But in this way none of the human race can be justified, or stand acquitted before God. For all have sinned; there is none righteous; no, not one, Rom. iii. As sinners, they are under the sentence of death by his righteous law, and excluded from all hope and mercy. That justification, therefore, about which the Scriptures principally treat, and which reaches the case of a sinner, is not by a personal, but an imputed righteousness; a righteousness without the law, Rom. iii. 21. provided by grace, and revealed in the Gospel; for which reason, that obedience by which a sinner is justified, and his justification itself are called evangelical. In this affair there is the most wonderful display of divine justice and boundless grace. Of divine justice, if we regard the meritorious cause and ground on which the Justifier proceeds in absolving the condemned sinner, and in pronouncing him righteous. Of boundless grace, if we consider the state and character of those persons to whom the blessing is granted. Justification may be farther distinguished as being either at the bar of God, and in the court of conscience; or in the sight of the world, and before our fellow-creatures. The former is by mere grace through faith; and the latter is by works.
To justify is evidently a divine prerogative. It is God that justifieth, Rom. vii. 33. That sovereign Being, against whom we have so greatly offended, whose law we have broken by ten thousand acts of rebellion against him, has, in the way of his own appointment, the sole right of acquitting the guilty, and of pronouncing them righteous. He appoints the way, provides the means, and imputes the righteousness; and all in perfect agreement with the demands of his offended law, and the rights of his violated justice. But although this act is in some places of the infallible word more particularly appropriated personally to the Father, yet it is manifest that all the Three Persons are concerned in this grand affair, and each performs a distinct part in this particular, as also in the whole economy of salvation. The eternal Father is represented as appointing the way, and as giving his own Son to perform the conditions of our acceptance before him, Rom. viii. 32: the divine Son as engaged to sustain the curse, and make the atonement; to fulfil the terms, and provide the righteousness by which we are justified, Tit. ii. 14: and the Holy Spirit as revealing to sinners the perfection, suitableness, and freeness of the Saviour's work, enabling them to receive it as exhibited in the Gospel of sovereign grace; and testifying to their consciences complete justification by it in the court of heaven, John xvi. 8, 14.
As to the objects of justification, the Scripture says, they are sinners, and ungodly. For thus runs the divine declaration: To him that worketh is the reward of justification, and of eternal life as connected with it; not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth--whom? the righteous? the holy? the eminently pious? nay, verily, but the ungodly; his faith, or that in which he believes, is counted unto him for righteousness, Rom. iv. 4,5. Gal. ii. 17. Here, then, we learn, that the subjects of justification, considered in themselves, are not only destitute of a perfect righteousness, but have performed no good works at all. They are denominated and considered as the ungodly, when the blessing is bestowed upon them. Not that we are to understand that such remain ungodly. "All," says Dr. Owen, "that are justified, were before ungodly: but al that are justified, are, at the same instant, made godly." That the mere sinner, however, is the subject of justification, appears from hence. The Spirit of God, speaking in the Scripture, repeatedly declares that we are justified by grace. But grace stands in direct opposition to works. Whoever, therefore, is justified by grace, is considered as absolutely unworthy in that very instant when the blessing is vouchsafed to him, Rom. iii. 24. The person, therefore, that is justified, is accepted without any cause in himself. Hence it appears, that if we regard the persons who are justified, and their state prior to the enjoyment of the immensely glorious privilege, divine grace appears, and reigns in all its glory.
As to the way and manner in which sinners are justined, it may be observed that the Divine Being can acquit none without a complete righteousness. Justification, as before observed, is evidently a forensic term, and the thing intended by it a judicial act. So that, were a person to be justified without a righteousness, the judgment would not be according to truth; it would be a false and unrighteous sentence. That righteousness by which we are justified must be equal to the demands of that law according to which the Sovereign Judge proceeds in our justification. Many persons talk of conditions of justification (see article CONDITION;) but the only condition is that of perfect righteousness: this the law requires, nor does the Gospel substitute another. But where shall we find, or how shall we obtain a justifying righteousness? Shall we flee to the law for relief? Shall we apply with diligence and zeal to the performance of duty, in order to attain the desired end? The apostle positively affirms, that there is no acceptance with God by the works of the law; and the reasons are evident. Our righteousness is imperfect, and consequently cannot justify. If justification were by the works of men, it could not be by grace: it would not be a righteousness without works.--There would be no need of the righteousness of Christ; and, lastly, if justification were by the law, then boasting would be encouraged; whereas God's design, in the whole scheme of salvation, is to exclude it, Rom. iii. 27. Eph. ii. 8,9. Nor is faith itself our righteousness, or that for the sake of which we are justified: for, though believers are said to be justified by faith, yet not for faith: faith can only be considered as the instrument, and not the cause. That faith is not our righteousness, is evident from the following considerations: No man's faith is perfect; and, if it were, it would not be equal to the demands of the divine law. It could not, therefore, without an error in judgment, be accounted a complete righteousness. But the judgment of God, as before proved, is according to truth, and according to the rights of his law. That obedience by which a sinner is justified is called the righteousness of faith, righteousness by faith, and is represented as revealed to faith; consequently it cannot be faith itself. Faith, in the business of justification, stands opposed to all works; to him that worketh not, but believeth. Now, if it were our justifying righteousness, to consider it in such a light would be highly improper. For in such a connection it falls under the consideration of a work; a condition, on the performance of which our acceptance with God is manifestly suspended. If faith itself be that on account of which we are accepted, then some believers are justified by a more, and some by a less perfect righteousness, in exact proportion to the strength or weakness of their faith. That which is the end of the law is our righteousness, which certainly is not faith, but the obedience of our exalted substitute, Rom. x. 4. Were faith itself our justifying righteousness, we might depend upon it before God, and rejoice in it. So that according to this hypothesis, not Christ, but faith, is the capital thing; the object to which we must look, which is absurd. When the apostle says, "faith was imputed to him for righteousness," his main design was to prove that the eternal Sovereign justifies freely, without any cause in the creature.
Nor is man's obedience to the Gospel as to a new and milder law the matter of his justification before God. It was a notion that some years ago obtained, that a relaxation of the law, and the severities of it, has been obtained by Christ; and a new law, a remedial law, a law of milder terms, has been introduced by him, which is the Gospel; the terms of which are faith, repentance, and obedience; and though these are imperfect, yet, being sincere, they are accepted of by God in the room of a perfect righteousness. But every part of this scheme is wrong, for the law is not relaxed, nor any of its severities abated; there is no alteration made in it, either with respect to its precepts or penalty: besides, the scheme is absurd, for it supposes that the law which a man is now under requires only an imperfect obedience: but an imperfect righteousness cannot answer its demands; for every law requires perfect obedience to its own precepts and prohibitions.
Nor is a profession of religion, nor sincerity, nor good works, at all the ground of our acceptance with God, for all our righteousness is imperfect, and must therefore be entirely excluded. By grace, saith the apostle, ye are saved, not of works, lest any man should boast, Eph. ii. 8,9. Besides, the works of sanctification and justification are two distinct things: the one is a work of grace within men; the other an act of grace for or towards men: the one is imperfect, the other complete; the one carried on gradually, the other done at once. See SANCTIFICATION.
If, then, we cannot possibly be justified by any of our own performances, nor by faith itself, nor even by the graces of the Holy Spirit, where then shall we find a righteousness by which we can be justified? The Scripture furnishes us with an answer--"By Jesus Christ all that believe are justified from all things from which they could not be justified by the law of Moses," Acts xiii. 38,39. "He was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification," Rom. iv. 25. "Being justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him," Rom. v.9. The spotless obedience, therefore, the bitter sufferings, and the accursed death of our heavenly Surety, constitute that very righteousness by which sinners are justified before God. That this righteousness is imputed to us, and that we are not justified by a personal righteousness, appears from the Scripture with superior evidence. "By the obedience of one shall many be made righteous," Rom. .19. "He hath made him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him," 2 Cor. v. 21. "And he found in him, not having mine own righteousness which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ; the righteousness which is of God by faith," Phil. iii. 8. See also Jer. xxiii. 6. Dan. ix. 24. the whole of the 2nd chapter of Galatians. See articles RECONCILLIATION, RIGHTEOUSNESS.
As to the properties of justification: 1. It is an act of God's free grace, without any merit whatever in the creature, Rom. iii. 24.--2. It is an act of justice as well as grace: the law being perfectly fulfilled in Christ, and divine justice satisfied, Rom. iii. 26. Ps. lxxxv. 10.--3. It is an individual and instantaneous act done at once, admitting of no degrees, John xix. 30.--4. It is irreversible, and an unalterable act, Mal. iii. 6.
As to the time of justification, divines are not agreed. Some have distinguished it into decretive, virtual, and actual 1. Decretive, is God's eternal purpose to justify sinners in time by Jesus Christ.--2. Virtual justification has a reference to the satisfaction made by Christ.--3. Actual, is, when we are enabled to believe in Christ, and by faith are united to him. Others say it is eternal, because his purpose respecting it was from everlasting: and that, as the Almighty viewed his people in Christ, they were, of consequence, justified in his sight. But it appears to me, that the principle on which the advocates for this doctrine have proceeded is wrong. They have confounded the design with the execution; for if this distinction be not kept up, the utmost perplexity will follow the consideration of every subject which relates to the decrees of God; nor shall we be able to form any clear ideas of his moral government whatever. To say, as one does, that the eternal will of God to justify men is the justification of them, is not to the purpose; for, upon the same ground, we might as well say that the eternal will of God to convert and glorify his people is the real conversion and glorification of them. That it was eternally determined that there should be a people who should believe in Christ, and that his righteousness should be imputed to them, is not to be disputed; but to say that these things were really done from eternity (which we must say if we believe eternal justification,) this would be absurd. It is more consistent to believe, that God more consistent to believe, that God from eternity laid the plan of justification; that this plan was executed by the life and death of Christ; and that the blessing is only manifested, received, and enjoyed, when we are regenerated; so that no man can say or has any reason to conclude, he is justified, until he believes in Christ, Rom. v. 1.
The effects or blessings of justification, are, 1. An entire freedom from all penal evils in this life, and that which is to come, 1 Cor. iii. 22.--2. Peace with God, Rom. v. 1.--3. Access to God through Christ, Eph. iii. 12.--4. Acceptance with God, Eph. v. 27.--5. Holy confidence and security under all the difficulties and troubles of the present state, 2 Tim. i. 12.--6. Finally, eternal salvation, Rom. viii. 30. Rom. v. 18.
Thus we have given as comprehensive a view of the doctrine of justification as the nature of this work will admit; a doctrine which is founded upon the sacred Scriptures; and which, so far from leading to licentiousness, as some suppose, is of all others the most replete with motives to love, dependence, and obedience, Rom. vi. 1,2. A doctrine which the primitive Christians held as constituting the very essence of their system; which our reformers considered as the most important point; which our venerable martyrs gloried in, and sealed with their blood; and which, as the church of England observes, is a "very wholesome doctrine, and full of comfort." See Dr. Owen on Justification; Rawlins on Justification; Edwards's Sermon on ditto; Lime Street Aspasio, and Eleven Letters; Witherspoon's Connexion between Justification and Holiness; Gill and Ridgley's Div. but especially Booth's Reign of Grace, to which I am indebted for great part of the above article.
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