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J. Whetham, No. 142, Chesnut Stueet.


Entered, according to the act of Congress,


in the Clerk's office of the District Court for the Eastern District

of Pennsylvania.



That an age, claiming distinction above most M'hich
have preceded it, for benevolent enterprise in dissemi-
nating the Bible and Christianity, should, notwithstand-
ing, be characterized by indistinct views of the great
doctrines of religion, may at first seem contradictory.
Such, however, it appears to me, is the true state of the
christian world at present. A general laxness prevails
as to doctrinal opinions. Indeed, not unfrequently, in-
difference is deemed a virtue ; and a man felicitates
himself upon his liberality, because he feels no peculiar
attachment to any particular religious creed. Opinions
in politics are of great consequence— opinions in law, in
medicine, in science, in the arts ; every where but in re-
ligion, to be without any fixed opinions, is deemed dis-
honourable and unworthy of a noble and generous spirit.
There is no illiberality in every other department of
thought and enterprise, in a man's holding and defend-
ing a series of fixed doctrines ; but by a strange incon-
sistency, this age denounces as bigotry and narrowness
of spirit, the steadfast maintainance of the revealed sys-
tem of religious truth. This feature of the age — which
may be correctly designated the bigotry of liberalism —
may be traced in indistinct lines on the fair countenance
of the daughter of Zion, and rudely defines the measure
of her conformity to this world. Hence the diminished
attention to doctrines. Hence tlie singular fact, that in
a land teeming with Bibles, and Bible Societies, and
Bible Classes, and helps to Bible interpretation, Bible
exposition is nearly banished from all their pulpits.
What pastor ever thinks of expounding the sacred books
in any continuous series of exercises ? What congrega-
tion would endure an uninterrupted course of lectures on
any portion of scripture ? What preacher would ven-
ture to suspend his reputation on the delivery of fifty-two


lectures in the year on the Epistle to the Romans, or
that to the Hebrews ? My field of observation is very
limited ; but my impression is, that this most profitable
description of pulpit labour has sunk into general ne-
glect : and hence the deficiency of doctrinal knowledge:
and hence the laxness of opinion : and hence the dis-
tractions and disputations in the church. With the an^
cient practice of lecturing continuously on some book of
scripture, has fallen into disuse the reading of the old
standard doctrinal writers. Books are so easily made,
and so much under the dominion of fashion, that a lea-
ther cover, enclosing 400 pages, is opened reluctantly
and soon closed, lest its musty odor should become of-
fensive. We are hence obliged, though at some risk,
to put the old wine into new bottles. Hence the pre-
sent publication. Could Boston and Owen, and Wither-
spoon and Edwards, find studious readers, it were un-
necessary to press this little work upon public attention.
The author, apprehensive that the subject on which he
treats is much misunderstood — that it is of prime im-
portance — that ignorance of it leads to serious conse-
quencs — and that a new book, from almost any source,
will, be more likely to be read than the more weighty
and laboured productions of by-gone days, has conceived
the present plan, and now oflers it to the christian pub-

There is no new doctrine in these pages. There is
very little new illustration. There is, he hopes, some
novelty in the modes of argumentation, and perhaps of
exposition. He also supposes that the ■plan of the dis-
cussion has some claims to originality ; whether this be
so, and whether it be an advantage, the reader must
judge. As to method, the scheme of the treatise is syn-
thetic, as will be perceived by the scholar, upon a mere
inspection of the contents. It begins with the simple
elements of truth, and ascends to the highest doctrines of
the moral system.

If there is any thing peculiar in the general design of
the work, distinguishing it from other treatises on Justi-
fication, it will be found in the identification — or at least
the attempt to identify the great principles of God's co-


venants with the first Adam and the second, and their
use, in man's justification, with the fundamental princi-
pies of moral rule, whose application in human govern-
ment must and will secure the highest measure of human
freedom and happiness. I have laboured, with what
success the reader will judge, to make it appear that the
doctrines of the Bible, embraced in my subject, contain
the very essence of all morality, and form the substra-
tum of all sound, social, civil and political government—
that there are not two systems of morality ; one for the
christian and one for the citizen ; one for iieaven and
the visible church, its vestibule, and another for earth
and the powers of this world. But, on the con-
trary, that the moral being, man, is a unity ; and all the
laws that can bind his conscience, are found in the Bi-
ble : and their application to him as a member of civil
society, constitutes government. Thus, it appears to
me, much gain must accrue to the cause of truth, by
forcing away from man the delusion of a two-fold sys-
tem of morals, wholly or largely dissociate from each
other : and shutting them up to the conviction, that the
same identical doctrines which constitute the substratum
of republican government and social order, are embraced
in Christianity, and by them all men will be judged in
the great day.

In the exposition of scripture, I have followed the
method of induction— referring'' to the parallel texts, and
collating all the passages where a term or phrase occurs ;
and thus enabling the roadar to make scripture the in-
terpreter of scripture. It has been my object, by this
method, to bring down even verbal criticism ; and that
where the originals are concerned, to the comprehension
of the simple English reader. I have thought that such
criticism is ♦not only useful, but may be entertaining and
interesting to such readers. The best evidence of good
preaching is, that it sets all hearers to search the Bible.
The hope is entertained, that such critical examinations
as are interspersed among the following pages, may ope-
rate in this way.

Another feature of the plan, is its philosophical ar-
rangement. The design has been to connect the various


parts together in such manner as will be most easily fol-
lowed up. For this reason, I have endeavoured to ar-
range the matter, according to those laws of mind, by
which the train of thought is regulated : so that every
preceding vehicle, with its treasure, shall have a certain
aptitude to draw after it the one precisely adapted to it,
and which will secure a similar sequence.

From this, and the occasional indulgence in argumen-
tation, and even in metaphysical disquisition and mental
philosophy, it may, perhaps, be thought that the mass
of plain readers will not be accommodated : whereas,
for them chiefly has the book been written. Should
this arise as an odjection, I reply, that sound philosophy
is nothing more than common sense. Let the mental
philosopher and metaphysician keep out technical terms,
or explain them clearly, and the common mind will
comprehend his philosophy. It is moreover undeniable,
that the moral system of the Bible is the most stupen-
dously grand system of philosophy the world has ever
beheld. Christianity is a system of practical and ex-
perimental philosophy. Its doctrines are founded on
its facts, and I never could see any reason why the
christian ministry — the authorised teachers of this
philosophy, should labour to conceal its beauties and
its glory, by presenting only detached parts of the
system, without any well directed efi'orts at combining
part with part, that the whole edifice might rise, in its
beauty and grandeur, before the admiring eyes of those
who are to dwell therein forever.

Besides it is the duty of the ministry to go before the
flock. There ought to be constantly an ascending move-
ment along the scale of intelligence. There is, there-
fore, no just objections to well timed and clear criti-
cism ; nor, occasionally, to the philosojihical arrange-
ment and discussion of such parts of the subject as admit,
and, indeed, require it.

As to style, plainness has been studied, perhaps to a
fault ; and conciseness may sometimes run into obscu-

A scheme of the work is prefixed. It consists of the
simple headings of the chapters and sections, and in a


few instances the sub-sections, with reference for the
chapters to the pages respectively.

Appended is an alphabetical index of subjects which
will be found of considerable practical benefit : and also
a table of texts, which have been incidentally less or
more illustrated and explained.

With these remarks, the author commends this little
performance to the indulgence of his kind readers — en-
treating them to bear in mind, that it has been prepared
in the hurried intervals of a laborious avocation ; and
has been hastened through the press under circumstances
very unfavourable to accuracy. Imperfect as it and all
human productions are, he entrusts it to the guidance of
that gracious Saviour, whose glory it is designed to
promote; hoping, praying and believing, that He will
make it a means of blessing to many who shall be
found, in the great day of final accounts, arrayed with
him in the spotless robes of Immanuel's Righteous-


CHAPTER I.— page 13.
On the moral government of God in general.

Section I. — The Creator absolutely supreme.
Sec. II. The Creature absolutely dependent.

Sec . Ill- The will of God is the foundation of moral obligation.
Sec. IV. The will of God revealed is the rule of duty.

Sec. V. Rational intelligence necessary to moral agency.

Sec. VI. Volition, or choice is necessary to moral agency.

Sec. VII. A moral sense is necessary to a moral agent.
Sec. VIII. Self-love, or the desire of happiness implied in

moral government.
Sec. IX. Rewards and punishments are addressed to the

principle of self-love and are essential to the idea

of moral government
Sec. X. A brief summary.

CHAPTER 11.— p. 37.

On the particular modifications of moral government^

as it tvas extended over man in his primitive

condition ; or the Covenant of works.

Sec. I. The primeval state of man, anterior to the formation

of the covenant, considered intellectually, mor-
ally and legally.

Sec. II. Of a covenant in general.

Sec. III. Of God's covenant with Adam.



On the extent of the Covenant ; or the representative
Character of Adam.

Skc. I. The general doctrine of representation.

Sec. II. This doctrine of Representation is taught in the laws

of nature and is essential to man's social ex-

Sec. III. Adam acted in the covenant as the representative

of all human persons — he was the moral head of
the race.

Sec. IV The mode of constituting the representative relation.

Sec. V. The moral relation of Adam to his posterity ; viz :

as head of the covenant — is principal ; and his
natural relation is subservient thereto ; and not
vice versa.

CHAPTER IV.— p. 72.

7%e definition of leading terms Just, Righteous, Right-
eousness, Justify and Justification.

CHAPTER v.— p. 82.

The requisites to Adam"* s justification by the Covenant
of works.

Sec. I. Innocence.

Sec. II. On the positive requirements of the covenant.

Sec. III. The limit of probation.

Sec. IV. Righteousness the grand requisite.

CHAPTER VI.— p 87.

On the breach of the covenant and the consequent ad-
ditional requisite to Adani s justification.

Sec. I. God's condescension calculated to secure man's


Sec. II. The mysterious fact — man's fall, occasioned through

false views in the mind.

Sec. hi. a loss of confidence in God, led to the fall.

Sec. IV. The effects of sin upon the legal relations and liabil-
ities of Adam.



On the consequences of Adam's sin, to himself and to

his posterity, physically, intellectually and


Sec. I. The physical constitution of the whole race is de*

ranged, injured and enfeebled by sin.

Sec. II. Adam and all his children have suffered in their in-

tellectual powers by the fall.

Sec. III. The moral affections of Adam and his posterity be-
came depraved by his sin.


On Original Sin.

Sec. I. The r^efinition of the terms.

Sec. II. The definition of the thing.

Sec. III. Of Imputation.
Sec. IV. Of Condemnation.
Sec. V. Of Guilt.

Sec. VI. The sin of Adam is rightfully imputed to his poster-
ity. (1) The acts of one are imputed to another.

(2) Objection — not until that other acts himself.

(3) The a posteriori argument. (4) Objections —
infants sin before birth, (5) Infant sufferings are

CHAPTER IX.— p 127.

Original Sin — Argument — an exposition of Romans
V. 12—21.

CHAPTER X.— p 139.

Original Sin — proved from the salvation of those that
die in infancy.

Skc. I. Infants go to heaven.

Sec. II. These infants come to eternal happiness through

Jesus Christ our Lord — they are saved and are
indebted to Jesus for their salvation.


Sec. III. Only sinners can be saved.

Sec. IV. Infiints are guilty, condemned, polluted and sinful


CHAPTER XL— p 153.

The utter inability of man in his fallen slate, to meet

the requirements of law, and thereby to restore

himself to the favour of God,

Sec. I. The general notion of ability and inability.

Sec. II. The common distinction of natural and moral ina-

bility stated.

Sac. III. Objections to the natural ability and moral inability

Ssc. lY. Man's i.iability as taught in the Bible.


The gospel reveals the only effectual remedy for the
evils of the broken Covenant,

8«c. I. The gospel a remedial law.

Sec, II. The gospel, like every remedial law, establishes the

principle of the original institute.

Sec. IV. It must remedy the failure — must make amends for
the positive evils under the original institute.

SjEc. V. The two preceeding grand requisites in the remedial

law, must be secured on the principle of the
original institute ; viz : by a covenant represen-


The Covenant of Grace.

Src. I. The parties are two, viz : the Father, and Jesus

Christ, his Son.
Sec II. This covenant is gracious, because eternal.

Sec III. The terms.

Sec IV. The agreement.


CHAPTER XIV.— p 192.
The fulfilment of the covenant.

Sec. I. Jesus did obey the precepts of the law of God and

thus fulfilled all righteousness.

Skc. II. The obedience of Christ is vicarious; or, in other

words, he, in all this acted for his people —

Sec, III. Jesus did satisfy the penal claims of law for his peo-

ple — or the doctrine of atonement,

Sgc. IV. The doctrine of legal substitution.

Sec. V. This doctrine is embodied in the doctrine of atone-


Skc, VI. This doctrine proved and illustrated by the typical


Sec VII, This doctrine alone, can account for the fact, that
that Jesus suffered, bled and died.

Sec. VIII. The consequences of legal substitutions, 1 To the
substitute. 2 To the principal. 3 To God the
Father, as the executor of law.

CHAPTER X v.— p 219.

The extent of the Atonement.
Sec, I. A recapitulation of principles : with the inference,

that the atonement is as long and as broad as

the salvotion of God.
Sec II. The same proved by scriptural sacrifices.

Sec III. The same proved by the common sense of mankind.

Sec IV. Proof from the meaning of redemption.

CHAPTER, XVI.— p 227.

Objections against a limited and real atonement.

^^■c. I. Universalist's objection — false in fact and no valid


®^'C. II. Theory of indefinite atonement — two-fold : 1 That

Christ died for all men alike. 2 That he died
for no man or set of men at all, but simply to sat-
isfy public justice.

1, The former runs into universalism — or into
the 2d, which is an abandonment of the whole
doctrine of atonement, Remarks, 1 The die-


8kc. II. tinction of Justice into commutative, distributive

and public has no foundation in the word of God.
2, Nor in sound philosophy. 3, Even on the
distinction, the death of Christ would be the
most horrible injustice.

Skc. III. The intrinsic sufficiency of the atonement.

Sbc. IV. But did not Christ die in some sence for all men!

Answer. No.

Sec. V. All men enjoy a respite from death and hell, in con-

sequence of Christ's atonemnt,


Objections founded on particular passages of scrip-
ture, against the doctrine of limited or definite

Ssc. I. Arguments from the general term world.

Sec. II. The argument from the general term all stated ami



T%e objection against strict limited atoiiement founded
upon the general gospel call, stated and refuted.

CHAHTET XIX.— p 27.5.

The Saviour'' s Intercession.

Sec. I. The meaning of the term and thing.

Skc. II. Christ's plea on behalf of his people.

Skc. III. Christ's claim on behalf of his people.

CHAPTER XX.— p 386.

On Saving or Justifying Faith.

Sec. I. Faith as as general principle,

Skc. II, Faith in God is a duty.

Sec. Ill, Faith— saving faith, is a saving grace.

Skc. IV. Difficulties and objections.

(1) If the act of believing be involuntary it
can have no moral character.


(2) Your view of faith, makes it a duty of
the law.

(3) Such faith can scarcely be called even the
instrumental cause of salvation.

Sec. V. On the appropriation of Faith.

Sec. VI. The object of saving failh, or the precise thing to

be believed.
Sec, VII. Is assurance of the essence of faith 1
Sec VIII. How the saved are united actually to Christ,
Sec. IX. The doctrine of imputation applied.


Justification secures its subjects forever.


Good works — their necessity and true position.

Sec. I. The necessity of good works.

Sec. IL The true position of good works.

ojV justification.
chapter i.



The Creator^ Absolutely Supreme.

By an original law of our being-, we are led to infer
causes ffom their effects. Changes are constantly oc-
curring around us. We observe them. We look for
their causes among the events of the past. We look for
their effects among the contingencies of the future. We
reason from the one to the other and the thought rarely
occurs to our minds ; that, perhaps, after all, there is no
such connexion as is implied in tbe terms cause and ef-
fect. The one event indeed follows the other in almost
uniform succession, but who can shew a reason for it?
Who can reveal the chain and display to our view the
links of connexion ? Can the wise men of this world un-
teil the mysteries of nature ? Can Newton, with all his
pliilosophy, tell us why a stone, projected upwards, de-
scends to the earth ? If then human wisdom utterly fails,
in the simplest operations of nature — if man with all his
boasted hnoicledge cannot explain the nature of cause
and effect, and shew in what it lies, what then ? Will
he deny all causation ? Will he refuse to act on the be-
lief, that certain things do always succeed certain other
things ? Will he refuse to reason and thereby to acquire
knowledge ? Because he cannot dive to the bottom and
bring up, from the unfathomable stores of nature, all her
pearls and gold, will he refuse to pick up beauteous peb-
bles on the strand ?

No : despite of all his pride, he is constrained to rea-


son from effects to causes, and from causes to effects.
Assuming the existence of a connextion, yet ignorant of
what it is and how it operates, he proceeds to reason,
and does reason, as correctly perhaps as if he knew the
whole mystery, and rests in his concUisions with perfect
confidence. On this very process of reasoning depend all
our conclusions in reference to the business of this life.
The farmer sows his grain ; the merchant freights his
ships ; the manufacturer purchases his materials and his
machinery — all because they believe that causes and ef-
fects are connected together and will continue to follow
each other to the end.

Thus it is we trace such effects to their causes and
these again to their causes, and these again to theirs,
and so at last reach the conclusion, that a Great First
Cause there must be "of causes mighty, cause uncaus-
ed" — " whose kingdom ruleth over all" and " is an ev-
erlasting kingdom and his dominion endureth tliroughout
all generations. — The eyes of all wait upon thee ; and
thou givest them tlieir meat in due season." This grand
argument, in proof of the divine existence, depends for
its whole force upon that law of our minds, by which
we are irresistably impelled to believe that every effect
must have a cause. This argument is accounted irre-
fragably conclusive. All men admit its force : to have
stated it clearly has enrolled Bishop Butler among the
benefactors of the human race.

But now, if the argument, which follows up the
depedence of material effects upon their causes, brings
us to such a satisfactory conclusion ; much more, shall
not that which begins with the dependence of mind up-
on mind, lead to results most perfectly satisfactory ?
If matter could not create itself, could spirit ? Ignorant of
a cause adequate to the production of matter, the ancient
heathen philosophers asumed its eternity. How much
more reasonably might the inference be deduced, that
spirit is eternal? Our souls have existed from eter-
nity, or they have been created by ourselves or by some
other being. For the belief of their eternal past exis-
tence we have no evidence. For the belief of their self
creation we have not capacity ; the very thought is ab-


surd. For the belief of their creation by an uncreated
First Cause, we have capacity, and evidence adapted to
it. The belief that spirit is the result of creating power,
is as full and perfect as that matter was created. God
is the father of our spirits, in a sense far higher than that
in which the term is or can be applied to signify our re-
lation to man. He formed us and the same power which
produced us out of nothing, sustains the existence it
commenced. In him we live and move and exist.

Let the reader mark narrowly the emotions of his own
mind, when the question is asked, has God a right of
absolute control over all the creatures of his hand?
What is the result ? Does not your heart revolt at the
thought? — the rights of God. Who is this that talks
about rights? And dares he interrogate the Creator on a
question of boundary ? Can he (without impiety) agitate
the subject of territorial limits ? Will he venture to en-
quire whether God's rights over him and all, are uncon-
trolled and absolute? Has not the potter power over the
clay ? Surely if any truth commends itself, as it were,
intuitively to the heart and conf^cience of man, it is the
absoluteness of the divine right, authority, power, over
all created existence.

Tlie Creature, Absolutely Dependant,

This is but the counter-part of the preceding — a dif-
ferent mode of expressing the same thought. He "that
formeth the spirit of man within him," sustaineth that
spirit and the body which it controls. In reference to
to our bodies we have no self-sustaining power. Is his
hand withdrawn ? We return to dust. Equally depend-
ant upon the sustaining power of God, is the soul of man.
Its immortality is not a matter of physical but only of
moral necessity. It can no more exist without God
than the body can. If any man ask, how God keeps us
in being; the answer must be — we know not. The fact
only is known. Modes of existence are among the se-


cret things that belong unto the Lord our God. And

Online LibraryGeorge JunkinA treatise on justification → online text (page 1 of 28)