Ebenezer Erskine on neonomians


When grace and works are mixed, believers look at their walk, witness and works and say “I am such a poor, worthless, useless creature, that I am afraid I am none of them [a vessel in the house of God].”

Ebeneezer Erskine answers the doubts of poor neonomians (those who mix grace and works) in several ways:

It is the nature of all vessels of mercy in the house of God, yea, of the great flagons, to esteem themselves worthless, and among the least, yea, less than the least of all the vessels of the house…And the lower they sink in their own eyes, the higher do they rise in the esteem of the great Lord of the house.

Others will say “I am so broken and tossed with worldly trials, that I am ready to think I am none of the offspring or vessels of this house.”

Christ himself suffered before he entered into his glory, and so have all the cloud of witnesses (Heb 11). And therefore, it is a false conclusion to think you do not belong to the Lord, because of multiplied roots of affliction.

Others will say “I am such a vile polluted creature, that I cannot think I am one of his offspring by regeneration…”

God will not cast away his gold and silver vessels, because of the dross and alloy of sin and corruption about them. …If God will not cast off forever, do not you cast off yourself.

But, “I am so harassed by Satan and his fiery darts, that I am afraid I am none of God’s children.”

Christ himself was tempted in all things as we are, that he might be a merciful high priest, to sympathize with them that are tempted. Again, consider, for thy encouragement, that usually the devil gives the sorest pulls and pushes at the offspring of God’s house.

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