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And by this means you may have sufficient ground and warrant to say, (in the matter of reconciliation with God, at any time, whensoever you are disputing with yourself, how God is to be found, that justifies and saves sinners) I know no other God, neither will I know any other God, besides this God, that came down from heaven and clothed himself with my flesh, y unto “ whom all power is given, both in heaven and in earth,” who is my judge ; "for the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son,” John v. 22. So that Christ may do with me whatsoever he liketh, and determine of me according to his own mind: and I am sure he hath said, “ he came not to judge the world, but to save the world,” John xii. 47. And therefore I do believe that he will save me. 2 iv. 16, compared with Eph. iii. 17. And whosoever owns Jesus Christ to be one with the Father, must needs grant this, or else deny believers to be united to Christ. 'This derogates nothing from the prerogative of our Lord Jesus, who is one with the Father ; for he is one with him, as the Holy Ghost also is, by the adorable substantial union ; but believers are so only by mystical union. Neither does it intrench upon God's supremacy, more than their confessed union with Christ does; who notwithstanding of believers' union with him, remains to be, with the Father and Holy Spirit, the only supreme, and most high God.

" Whosoever therefore cleaveth to Christ through faith, he abideth in the favour of God, he also shall be made beloved and acceptable as Christ is, and shall have fellowship with the father and the Son.”—Luther's Chosen Sermons, Sermon of the appearing of Christ, p. 23. “ Here I will abide in the arms of Christ, cleaving inse. parably about his neck, and creeping into his bosom, whatsoever the law shall say, and my heart shall feel." Ibid. Sermon of the lost sheep, p. 81. “ Seeing therefore that Christ the beloved Son, being in so great favour with God in all things that he does, is thine,—without doubt, thou art in the same favour and love of God that Christ himself is in.” And again, “the favour and love of God are insinuated to thee as deeply as to Cbrist, that now God, together with his beloved Son, does wholly possess thee, and thou hast bim again wholly; that so God, Christ, and thou, do become as one certain thing,—that they may be one in us, as thou and I are one, John xvii.”Ibid. Sermon of the appearing of Christ, p. 25.

y Luther from whom this is taken in the place quoted by our author, confirms it thus : " For be that is a searcher of God's majesty, shall be overwhelmed of his glory, I know (adds he) by experience, what I say. But these vain spirits, which so deal with God, that they exclude the Mediator, do not believe me.” And on Psal. cxxx. he has these remarkable words, “Ego sæpe, et libenter hoc inculco, ut extra Christum, oculus et aures claudatis, et dicatis nullum vos scire Deum nisi qui fuit in gremio Mariae, et suxit ubera ejus :" that is, “Often and willingly do 1 inculcate this, that you should shut your eyes and your ears, and say, you know no God out of Christ, none but he that was in the lap of Mary, aod suckled her breasts." He means none out of him.—Burroughs on Hos. iii. 5. (p. 729.)

z This is the conclusion of that which one, “ by faith cleaving unto Christ, and and hanging about his neck," bas by that means warrant to say, according to our author. Whether or not there is sufficient warrant for it, according to the Scripture, let the reader judge: what shadow of the doctrine of universal atonement, or universal pardon, is in it, I see not.


Neo. Indeed, sir, if I were so holy and so righteous as some men are, and had such power over my sins and corruptions as some men have, then I could easily believe it; but alas ! I am so sinful and so unworthy a wretch, that I dare not presume to believe that Christ will accept of me, so as to justify and save me.

Evan. Alas! man, in thus saying, you seem to contradict and gainsay both the apostle Paul, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself; and that against your own soul : for whereas the apostle Paul says, “that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,” (1 Tim. i. 15.) and doth justify the ungodly, (Rom. iv. 5.) why, you seem to hold, and do in effect say, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save the righteous, and to justify the godly. And whereas our Saviour says, the whole need not a physician, but the sick; and that he came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance, (Matth. ix. 12.); why, you seem to hold, and do in effect say, that the sick need not a physician, but the whole : and that he came not to call sinners but the righteous to repentance. And indeed, in so saying, you seem to conceive, that Christ's spouse must be purified, washed, and cleansed from all ber filthiness, and adorned with a rich robe of righteousness, before lie will accept of her; whereas he himself said unto her, Ezek. xvi. 4-8, “ As for thy nativity, in the day that thou wast born, thy navel was not cut, neither wast thon washed with water to supple thee; thou wast not swaddled at all, nor salted at all. No eye pitied thee to do any of these things unto thee; but when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold thy time was a time of love. And I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness; yea, and I sware unto thee, and entered into covenant with thee, and thou becamest mine." Hos. ii. 19, “ And I will marry thee unto me for ever; yea, I will marry thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in mercy, and compassion."

Wherefore, I beseech you, revoke this your erroneous opinion, and contradict the word of truth no longer : but conclude for a certainty, that it is not the righteous and godly man, but the sinful and ungodly man a that Christ came to call, justify, and save; so that if you were a righteous and godly man, you were neither capable of calling, justifying, or saving by Christ: but being a sinful and ungodly man, I will be bold to say unto you, as the people said unto blind Bartimeus, Mark x. 49, “Be of good comfort; arise, he calleth thee,” and will justify and save thee. b Go then unto him,

a That is, such as are really so, and not in their own opinion, only respectively.

6 As the people, observing Christ's call to Bartimeus, bid him be of good comfort, (or be coofident) and arise ; intimating, that upon his going so unto Christ, he would

I beseech you; and if he come and meet thee (as his inanner is) then do not you unadvisedly say, with Peter, “ Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord !” Luke v. 8; but say, in plain terms, 0 come nnto me! for I am a sinful man, O Lord! Yea, go on further, and say, as Luther bids you, Most gracious Jesus and sweet Christ, I am a miserable poor sinner, and therefore do judge myself unworthy of thy grace; but yet I, having learned from thy word that thy salvation belongs unto such a one, therefore do I come unto thee, to claim that right which, through thy gracious promise belongs unto me. c Assure yourself, man, that Jesus Christ requires no portion with his spouse ; no, verily, he requires nothing with her but mere poverty : “the rich he sends empty away,” Luke i. 53; but the poor are by him enriched. And indeed, says Luther," the more miserable, sinful, and distressed a man doth feel himself, and judge himself to be, the more willing is Christ to receive him and relieve him.” So that, says he, in judging thyself unworthy, thou dost thereby become truly worthy; and so indeed hast gotten a greater occasion of coming to him. Wherefore, then, in the words of the apostle, I do exhort and beseech you to come boldly unto the throne of grace, that you may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need,” Heb. iv. 16.

Neo. But, truly, sir, my heart, as it were, trembles within me, to think of coming to Christ after such a bold manner; and surely, sir, if I should so come unto him, it would argue much pride and presumption in me.

Evan. Indeed, if you should be encouraged to come unto Christ, and to speak thus unto him, because of any godliness, righteousness, or worthiness, that yon conceive to be in yon; that, I confess, were proud presumption in yon. But to come to Christ, by believing that he will accept of you, justify and save you freely by his grace, according to his gracious promise, this is neither pride nor presumption:d for Christ having tendered and offered it to you freely, believe it, it is true humility of heart to take what Christ offers you.

Nom. But, by your favour, sir, I pray you give me leave to speak cure him ; 80 one, observing the gospel call, may with all boldness bid a sinner comply with it confidently; assuring him that thereupon Christ will justify and save him. a word by the way. I know my neighbour Neophitus, it may be, better than you do; yet I do not intend to charge him with any sin, otherwise than by way of supposition (as thus :) suppose he has been guilty of the committing of gross and grievous sins, will Christ accept of him, and justify and save him for all that?

c See the note on the Definition of faith, fig. 1.

d It is to believe the offer of the gospel, with particular application; to embrace it, and therein to receive Christ. And no man can ever receive and rest on Christ for salvation, without believing, in greater or lesser measure, that Christ will accept of him to justification and salvation. Remove that gospel-truth, that Christ will accept of him, and his faith has no ground left to stand upon. See the more on the Definition of Faith, votes u, v.

Evan. Yes, indeed; for there is no limitation of God's grace in Jesus Christ, except the sin against the Holy Ghost. e Christ

stands at the door and knocks,” Rev. iii. 20. And if any murdering Manasseh, or any persecuting and blaspheming Saul, (1 Tim. i. 13,) or any adulterous Mary Magdalene, “ will open unto him, he will come in,” and bring comfort with him, “and will sup with him." * Seek from the one end of the heavens to the other,” says Hooker ; "turn all the Bible over, and see if the words of Christ be not true, ' Him that cometh unto me, I will in no ways cast out,'' John vi. 37.

Nom. Why then, sir, it seems you hold, that the vilest sinner in the world ought not to be discouraged from coming unto Christ, and believing in him, by reason of his sins.

Evan. Surely, if “Christ came into the world to seek, and call, and save sinners, and to justify the angodly,” as you have heard ; and if the more sinful, miserable, and distressed a man judge himself to be, the more willing Christ is to receive him and relieve him; then I see no reason why the vilest sinner should be discouraged from believing on the name of Jesus Christ by reason of his sins. Nay, let me say more; the greater any man's sins are, either in number or nature, the more baste he should make to come unto Christ, and to say with David, “ For thy name's sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity, for it is great; Psalm xxv. 11.

Ant. Surely, sir, if my friend Neophitus did rightly cousider these things, and were assuredly persuaded of the truth of them, methinks he should not be so backward from coming to Christ, by believing on his name, as he is; for if the greatness of his sins should be so far from hindering his coming to Christ, that they should further his coming, then I know not what should hinder him.

el doubt if the sin against the Holy Ghost can justly be said to be a limitation of God's grace in Jesus Christ. For in the original authentic gospel-offer, in which is the proper place for such a limitation (if there was any) that grace is so laid open to all men without exception, that no man is excluded ; but there is free access to it for every man in the way of believing, John iii. 15, 16; Rev. xxii, 17 ; and this offer is sometime intimated to these reprobates who fall into that sin, else they should not be capable of it. It is true, that sin is a bar in the way of the guilty, so as they can never partake of the grace of God in Christ ; for it shall never be forgiven, Mattb. xii. 31; Mark iii. 29; and any further ministerial application of the offer to them seems to cease to be lawful or warranted, I John v. 16. But all this arises from their own wilful, obstinate, despiteful, and malicious rejecting of the offer and fighting against the Holy Ghost, wbose office it is to apply the grace of Christ; and not from ang limitation or exclusive clause in the offer, for still it remains true, “ Whosoever shall believe, shall not perish.".

Evan. You speak very truly indeed. And therefore, I beseech you, neighbour Neophitus, consider seriously of it; and neither let your own accusing conscience, nor Satan the accuser of the brethren, hinder you any longer from Christ. For what though they should accuse you of pride, infidelity, covetousness, lust, anger, envy, and hypocrisy ? yea, what though they should accuse you of whoredom, theft, drunkenness, and such like ? yea, do what they can, they can make no worse a man of you than a sinner, or the chief of sinners, or an ungodly person; and so, consequently, such an one Christ came to justify and save; so that in very deed, if you do rightly consider of it, they do you more good than hurt by their accusations. f And therefore, I beseech you, in all such cases or conflicts, take the counsel of Luther, who, on the Galatians, (p 20,) says, “When thy conscience is thorougly afraid with the remembrance of thy sins past, and the devil assaileth thee with great violence, going abont to overwhelm thee with heaps, floods, and whole seas of sins to terrify thee, and to draw thee from Christ; then arm thyself with such sentences as these :-Christ the Son of God was given, not for the holy, righteous, worthy, and such as were his friends; but for the wicked sinners, for the unworthy, and for his enemies. Wherefore, if the devil say, Thou art a sinner, and therefore must be damned, then answer thou, and say, Because thou sayest I am a sinner, therefore will I be righteous and saved. And if he reply, Nay, sinners must be damned; then answer thou and say, No, for I flee to Christ, who hath given himself for my sins; and therefore, Satan, in that thou sayest I am a sinner, thon givest me armour and weapons against thyself, that with thine own sword I may cut thy throat, and tread thee under my feet.”g And thus you see it is the counsel of Luther, that your sins should rather drive you to Christ than keep you from him.

Nom. But, sir, suppose he hath not as yet truly “repented of his f Which may put you in mind that you are one of that sort which “ Christ Jesus came into the world to save," 1 Tim. i. 15, and in pleading for mercy, may furnish you with such an argument as David used, Psalm xxv. 11, and the woman of Canaan, Matt. xv. 27. yet the dogs eat of the crumbs," &c.

g He adds, in the place quoted, these weighty words, I say not this for nought, for I have oftentimes proved by experience, and I daily find what an hard matter it is, to believe (especially in the conflict of conscience) that Christ was given, not for the boly, righteous, worthy, and such as were his friends ; but for wicked sinners, for the unworthy, and for his enemies."

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