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if this, and many other Duties are equally neceflary (as we shall fee hereafter) it is against common Sense to fay, that Charity fuppofes all Men fav'd, who have common Juftice or moral Honesty in regard to others. Charity defires the Salvation of all Men; but it does not think that all are fav'd; or that that all are fav'd, who comply with one Duty necessary to Salvation. For the divine Revelation and common Sense are the only Rules, by which true Charity judges of the Salvation of Men. To thefe falfe Charity bas no Regard; and therefore fhe difpenfes her imaginary Favours with a more liberal Hand. But Hell and the Fool's Paradife are the very fame Place, and differ only in Name.
SECOND VULGAR ERROR.
6. It is alfo a vulgar Error, that the infinite Goodness of God will not fuffer the greatest Part of Mankind to perish. No one perishes, who fears and loves God above all Things. But that the greatest Part of Mankind are indued with this Fear and Love, is a great Mistake. For nothing is plainer in the Scripture, than that, in regard to those who perish, few are fav'd. (7) Many are call'd, fays our bleffed Saviour, but few are chofen. And, (8) Enter, says he, at the ftrait Gate: For wide is the Gate, and broad is the Way, which leads to Destruction, and many enter at it. How ftrait is the Gate, and narrow the Way, which leads to Life,
(7) S. Matth. Ch. xx. v. 16. Ch. xxii. v. 14. (8) S. Matth. vii. v. 13, 14.
and few they are who find it! Few therefore comply with the Conditions, on which Heaven is promis'd. Few are faithful in the Discharge of all Duties neceffary to Salvation. Few fear and love God above all Things. Few are either fo innocent, as never to have fall'n into a State of Sin, or fo truly penitent, that they abhor nothing fo much as their past Disorders.
7. But did God make the greatest Part of Mankind, to be for ever miferable? No. He neither made the greatest, nor any Part of Mankind, for fo ignoble an End. He made us to be happy for ever in the Enjoyment of himself. For this we were all defign'd by bis Mercy. And this merciful Design (which nothing but Sin could binder from having its full Effect) has peopled Heaven with innumerable Saints, a glorious Army of Conquerors gather'd from all Nations under the Sun. For tho' the Number of Saints is fmall and inconfiderable, if compar'd with the reft of Mankind; yet it is very great in it felf. For the Catholick Church, which is the Communion of Saints, has been, or will be, in all the Parts of the Earth. And S. John faw in Heaven (9) a great Multitude, which no Man could number, of all Nations, and Kindreds, and Peoples, and Tongues. But if the greatest Part of Mankind will not obferve the Conditions, on which Heaven is promis'd; if they will abufe their Liberty, and rebel against God, if they will fight against their own Confcience, and against the Almighty, under the Banners of Lucifer and
(9) Apoc. vii. v. 9.
bis wicked Affociates; if neither Allegiance, nor Faith, nor Reafon, nor Confcience, nor Benefits, nor Threats, nor the Paffion of the Son of God, nor endless Torments, nor infinite Rewards can binder them from engaging in a War against their Maker, their best and only Benefactor, without Repentance, and without a Poffibility of Success in this most villanous, and most outragious Attempt; they must fuffer, as their Folly and their Crime deferves, that is, eternally. For there is no middle State for ever. And every deliberate mortal Sin, if weigh'd by the offended Majefty of God in the Weights of the Sanctuary, is High Treafon against the King of Kings, and of infinite Malice in his Sight. And when by divine Justice the Sinner is cut off without Repentance: As the Guilt of his Sin remains for ever, fo muft the juft Punifhment of it remain without End:
THIRD VULGAR ERROR.
8. It is a vulgar Errer, that it is Charity to believe, that Jews and Turks are fav'd. For the Chriftian Revelation gives us no Affurance, that any one of riper Years is fav'd, without Faith in Chrift. S. Paul every where reprefents him as our (10) Propitiation by Faith. And S. Peter tells us, that (11) there is no other Name under Heaven given to Men, whereby we must be fav'd.
(10) Rom. iii. v. 25. Gal. ii. v. 16, &c. (13) Acts iv. v. 12.
FOURTH VULGAR ERROR.
9. It is a vulgar Error, that if I judge more favourably of the Salvation of another, than he does of mine; I am the more charitable of the two. This, I fay, is a vulgar Error. For a charitable Fudgment, and a favourable Judgment, are quite different Things.
A favourable Judgment is a Judgment in your Favour, be it right or wrong. A charitable Judgment is that which is grounded on Truth, and which proceeds from the Love of God above all Things. So that a charitable Judgment may be very unfavourable, and a favourable Judgment may be very uncharitable. As will manifestly appear by these Inftances.
If fober Men Jay with S. (12) Paul, that Drunkards cannot be fav'd; this Judgment is both charitable and neceffary, tho' not favourable to the fottifh Friends of the Bottle, whom it condemns. But are Drunkards more charitable than fober Men, because they judge more favourably of their Salvation, I mean, that fober Men may be fav'd, tho' Drunkards cannot? Again, if fober Men Should think that Drunkards are in a State of Salvation: this Opinion, how much foever in their Favour, would be highly uncharitable, by encouraging them in their Wickedness. Another Inftance is this: High-way Men fay, that honeft
(12) 1 Cor. vi. v. 19. Gal. v. 19, 21.
Men may be fav'd; and honeft Men say, that High-way Men cannot. Whether then is an boneft Man, or a High-way Man the more charitable? If the High-way Man is not the more charitable of the two, it is a vulgar Error, that, If I judge more favourably of the Salvation of another, than he does of mine, I am the more charitable of the two.
FIFTH VULGAR ERROR.
10. It is therefore a vulgar and great Error, that, fetting all other Confiderations apart, if Proteftants judge more favourably of the Salvation of Catholicks, than Catholicks do of theirs, Proteftants are the more charitable Side. For is it not a great Error, which would make Drunkards more charitable than fuch as are fober; and High-way Men, or any other Villains, more charitable than thofe who are boneft? Yet this is manifeftly the Cafe. See, how it stands betwixt them and S. Paul. For it is only in his Senfe, that I take the Word Hereticks. We Adulterers, Drunkards, Idolaters, Hereticks, and High-way Men grant, that S. Paul is fav'd He affirms, (13) that we cannot : Therefore we are more charitable than St. Paul.
Whether any Proteftant Writer or Preacher of Note was ever so far overseen, as to flip into this wretched Fallacy, I shall not trouble my felf
(13) Gal. v. v. 19, 20, 21.