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To the Children of God, at Providence Chapel,
at Monkwell Street, at Jewin Street, at Riclimond in Surry, and to all Lovers of the Truth in the Kingdom of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, 8c.
Dearly Beloved in the Lord, Grace and Peace be multi
plied, through the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I am now at Wallingford, in Berkshire, with the little flock that was lately scattered into corners, by the sudden inundation of Arminianism, by a certain Vicar: but, blessed be God, his truth stands fast to his own Elect; for though some cleave to the church of God by flatteries, yet “ the people that do know their God, shall be strong and do exploits,” Dan. xi. 32.
Here are a few souls sweetly united together; these have had their feet kept in the path of truth, and are blessed with a circumcised ear, and seem to observe the Lord's caution, “ Take heed what ye hear.” It is true, their peace has been much disturbed, their comforts scattered, and their judoments confused: but they have neither lost their
legs nor their ears; for they run away from the Arminian, and hear others; as it is written, “ Thus saith the Lord, as the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear, so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in [mongrel] Samaria, in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch,” Amos. ii. 12.
I must confess I am much surprised to hear that the Reverend Gentleman should so often in his pulpit utter the words, Under this holy roof,' meaning the church; and, after all his consecration, defile the same by an absolute denial of her doctrinal articles, which himself must have subscribed by oath, as well as a renunciation of the supremacy of the Pope.
About twelve months ago, the Rev. Mr. P. told his audience, that he saw a heavy cloud hang over Wallingford, and desired them to pray for him. This prediction is really verified, and himself appears to be the cloud, as saith the wise man, " Whoso boasteth himself of a false gift, is like clouds and wind without rain,” Prov. xxv. 14.
Thus the prediction is more than fulfilled, for there is a dry wind as well as an empty cloud; but I trust both will be of use under the management of infinite wisdom ; the wind seems to sever the claff from the wheat, and the empty cloud drives them to the fountain of living waters, where they are sure of a supply; as it is written, “ when
they are sure of a supply, as it is written, .when the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them,” Isaiah xli. 17. The shaking of this apparent column has filled many with filial fear; it has brought others to self-examination, and some few to the work of digging deep to find the rock which God has laid, in order to build a gospel hope for themselves.
As for the doctrines that have been lately advanced by this reverend divine, they go by various names; which, as I am not a master of arts, it is not in my power to explain; nor do I believe there is a doctor of divinity in all the world that can make these following assertions harmonize.
The Vicar styles them. The doctrines of grace, with some improvements;' but what improvement the carnal wisdom of blind, fallen and corrupt nature can make on the grace of God, is a mystery too profound for an illiterate coalheaver to fathom; therefore I am constrained to leave this with the learned.
From a text in Matthew, chap. viii, personal purity was forcibly insisted on, from which discourse Jesus Christ and faith in his blood were wholly excluded, and yet his audience were commanded never to set themselves down as Christians till every precept was fulfilled, and every command obeyed. If this is a true son of the Church of England, how comes he to differ só