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TO ALG CANDID
CALVINISTS in the Church of "Engandi.
Honored and dear Brethren,
takes the liberty of dedicating to you these Strictures on Geneva-logic, which were written both for the better information of your candid judgment, and to obtain tolerable terms of peace from his worthy Opponents.
Sone, who mistake blunt truth for (neering infplence, and mild ironies for bitter farcasms, will probably dissuade you from looking into this fourth Check to Antinomianism. They will tell you, that Logica-Genevenfis is a very háč book,"" full of " calumny, forgeritss vil fanders, acrimonious freers, and horrid misrepresentations.". But candor, which condemns no one before he is leard, which weighs both sides of the queition in an inpartial balance, will soon convince you, that if every irony proceeds from Alzen and acrimony of spirit, there is as much of both in thefe four words of my honored Opponent, Pietar, Oxonienfis, and. Goliah sain, * as in all the four Checks: and that I have not exceeded the apostolic direction of my inotto, Rebuke them fharply, or rather anolopesyo cuttingly, but let brotherly love continue,
The ironical titles of two -books written by my Oppo. nent, co expose the proceedings of the University of Oxford respecting, the expulfion of lex Students belonging to Edmund Hill.
I do not deny that some points of do&trine, which many hold in great veneration, excite pity or laughter in my Checks. But how can I help it? If a painter, who knows not how to fatter, draws to the life an object excessively ridiculous in it felf, must it not appear excellively ridiculous in his picture? Is it right to exclaim against his pencil as nalicious, and his colours as unfair, because he impartially ufes thein according to the rules of his art? And can any unprejudiced person expect that he should draw the picture of the night, without using any black Aades at all ?
If the charge of “bitterness" does not entirely set you again it this book, they will try to frighten you from reading it, by protesting, that I throw down the foundation of Christianity, and help Mr. Wesley to place works and merit on the Redeemer's throne. To this dreadful charge I answer, (1) That I had rather my right hand should lose its cunning to all eternity, than use it a moment to detract from the Saviour's real glory, to whom I am more indebted than any other man in the world; (2) Thai the arongest pleas I produce for holidels and good giorks, are quotations from the Homiljes of our own. Church, as well as from the Puritan divines, whom I cite preferably to others, because they held what you are taught to call the doetrines. of. Tace ::(3) That what I have faid of those doctrines recommends itself, to every unprejudiced person's reason and conscience : (4) That my capital arguments in favour of practical Christianity, are founded upon our second justification by the evidence of works in the great day; a doctrine, which my Opponent himYelf cannot help afsenting to: (6) That from first to last, when the meritorious cause of our justification is considered, we set works aside ; praying God not to enter into judgment with us, or weigh our merits, but to pardon our offences for Christ's fake; and gladly ascribing the whole of our falvation to his alone merits, as much as Calvin
or Dr. Crisp does: (6) That when the word meriting, deferuing, or WORTHY, which our Lord himself uses again and again, it is applied to good works or good men, we mean absolutely nothing but rewardablė, or qualified for the reception of a
gracious reward. And (7. that even this improper merit or rewardableness of good works, is entirely derived from Christ's proper merit, who works. what is good in us; and from the gracious promise of God, who has freely engaged himself to recompense the fruits of righteousness, which his own grace:enables us to produce.
I hope; honored brethren, that these hints will fo far break the waves of prejudice which beat against your candor, as to prevail upon you not to reject: this little means of inforination. If you condefcend to peruse it, I trust it will minister to your cdification, by enlarging your vicws of Christ's prophetic and kingly office; by heighteneing your ideas of that practical religion, which the Scriptures perpetually enforce; by lessening your regard for some well meant mistakes, on which good men have too hastily put the stamp: of orthodoxy; and by giving you a more favourable opinion of the sentiments of your remonstrant brethren, who would rejoice to live at peace with you in the kingdom of grace, and walk in love with you to the kingdom of glory. But, whether you consent to give them the right hand of fellowship or not, nobody, I think, can be more glad to offer it you, than he, who with undissembled refpe&, remains,
T* s. L E T T E R I.
TO RICHARD Hill, Efq; Introduktion.-The doĉtrire of justifcation by works
in the last day is truly fcriptural.-It is essentially different from justification by faith in the day of converfion.-Mr. Hill fully grants, and yet warmly opposes such a justification.
L E T T E R
To RICHARD Hill, Esq; Fuftification by the evidence of works, and St. James's
undefiled religion, are establifhed upon the authority of the liturgy, articles, and homilies of the Church of England.
L E T T E R III.
To RICHARD HILL, Esq; The fober Puritan Divines directly or indiretly
maintain the doctrine of justification by works in the great day, which Dr. Owen himself, and num-bers of other Calvinist Ministers, do not fcruple calling an evangelical justification by our own personal obedience.
L E T T E R IV.
To RICHARD Hill, Efq; Flavel, and many other Puritan artthors, were of
fended at Dr. Crisp's doétrine. An important ex: tract from Flauel's Treatise upon-Antinomianifir.
L E T T E R V.
To Richard Hill, Esq; Mr. Wesley's Minutes, and St. James's pure religion,
are established an Mr. Hill's important concefion, that " we shall be juftifed by the evidence of works in that great day."
L E T.