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Nice, esim sacrerge ad anks as the Paint 6. Tay commandes exceeding bras, " Eater act 13 jatent via ay servant, I Lori. Úr Issire: the deeds of the law, naci no man agbe justised." David, in these views and under these sensations, calls for merry, and says unto God, Thou art my salvation. And when he had apprebended and laid hold of the promised Saviour, he points others to the same refuge, and leaves an eternal benediction on all those who embrace it. " Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile," Psalm xxxii. 1, 2. The above passage I shall presume to gospelize thus: blessed is the man that believes in a Redeemer's blood, and obtains the forgiveness of sins by his faith: blessed is the man whose sin is covered with the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ; and, blessed is the man whose sins were imputed to the Saviour on the cross as the sinner's surety; and unto whom God will never impute sin again: and blessed is that man who is a partaker of the Holy Ghost, and is regenerated by the same; for in his spirit, or new man, there is no guile. If any critic doubts of the validity of this comment, let him read the fourth chapter of Paul to the Romans, and compare it with other parts of the scriptures.
I know the law requires a perfect obedience, and it is by the obedience of one that many shall be made righteous, Rom. v. 19. The law demands love to God, and love to the neighbour, and God has promised to circumcise our hearts to love him, and to reveal it to us by his holy Spirit; “ the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given unto us.” “ The commandment,” says Paul, “ is holy,” Rom. vii. 12. “ The law is spiritual,” Rom. vii. 14. And God has promised to give us of his holy Spirit, Joel ii. 28; and has made Jesus Christ to be sanctification or holiness to us, as well as righteousness, 1 Cor. i. 30. The law requires good works; works from a holy and spiritual root; but how is the natural man to produce these works, when the law is spiritual, but man is carnal, sold under sin, Rom. vii. 14. Can he love God in his carnal state, when the Lord himself declares, that “ The carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be." I know that the law requires good works; and I read that a chosen vessel is pre-ordained to them, though not to be saved by them ;'“ For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them,” Eph. ii. 8–10. Thus the apostle Paul made the Saviour all in all; and acknowledged himself under
no law, but in obedience to his covenant head: I am not without law to God, but under the law to Christ, 1 Cor. ix. 21.
If handling the law in this way, and enforcing liberty from the bondage of the law, by the Holy Ghost, be Antinomianism; and, if the experience of the terrors of the law, and of the liberty of the gospel, be enthusiasm; then I must declare, that the whole bible is full of such things. And the reproach that is cast upon the doctrine, and upon the Spirit's work, falls upon God himself, as well as upon those that preach his truth, and enforce the Spirit's work on the minds of men.
I have often thought, and that with many tears, that God, who is the searcher of hearts and trier of reins, will, when he comes to judgment, call his pure gospel, and the operations of his Spirit, by their proper names, and bring in these infallible gentlemen culpable of blaspheming his holy word and Spirit. That which makes me think so is, because I never heard a man that had felt the bondage of the law, and the liberty of the gospel, that dared to talk at that impious rate. I have published to the world the dealings of God with me in a way both of providence and grace; I have published to the world my sentiments of the law, in its full force and power, against every hardened sinner, and as disarmed of its condemning and commanding power, as a covenant of works, to every believer who is under the law to Christ; and both the religious and the profane world have been
spectators of my life and conversation for fifteen years; therefore they may judge of the tree by the fruit that it bears. We cannot gather grapes of thorns, nor figs of thistles; no more can we expect good works from an unsanctified sinner.
If any thing that I have written can be overthrown, my friends have liberty to do it; but if they cannot, which I believe they cannot, then I am determined to defend the whole of them; nor will I give any of them up, unless they are fairly wrenched out of my hands and heart by the light of truth.
What I understand by Antinomianism, appears to me to be a most wretched doctrine, and quite contrary to the truths that I preach. First, I am informed, that they exclude all doubting, and seem to condemn every weak believer, and exclude him from the household of faith, which is a doctrine that no mortal ever heard drop from my lips. For though doubting is not believing, yet I know that the flesh will lust against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary the one to the other, Gal. v. 17; so that the weak believer finds that when his faith musters up her evidences, unbelief will muster up her doubts to oppose it. He that never felt any thing of this has only a name to live, but is dead in sin; and he that has no unbelief in his heart is a perfect man, and fit for no society but the spirits of just men made perfect. So I take it for granted, that he that never doubted, never believed; for if they
had been warmly engaged in the fight of faith, they would have doubted of victory at times, as well as Paul, when he said, we were pressed beyond measure, and despaired even of life. I shall rank such a faith as this among Agur's comely walkers: “ There be three things which go well : yea, four are comely in going: a lion, which is strongest among beasts, and turneth not away for any; a greyhound; an he-goat also; and a king, against whom there is no rising up:" and I add, a faith that never was tried. Though I know, by happy and blessed experience, that there is such a doctrine as the full assurance of faith; yet I know many of the Lord's people have not attained to it; and he that is weak in faith we are to receive, but not to doubtful disputation, we are not to dispute him out of his interest, because of his doubts and fears.
Another branch of Antinomianism seems to me, to be only hoping on the paper; or, in other words, it seems to be a bare assent to the written word. I own this attends a real faith; but the word of God must be received into the heart, in the light and love of it, before it can be called the gospel of salvation to such a soul. In short, a gospel messenger is a savour of death unto death, except the message be sent home to the heart in power, in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance. A believer has the word of God in his heart, as the Saviour says, he receives the word in an honest and good heart, and brings forth fruit with pa