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ceive, as do the dark imputarians of this age, that Abraham's offering personally was not a justifying righteousness, but that God was pleased to account it so; since God never accounts a thing that which it is not; nor was there any imputation of another's righteousness to Abraham, but on the contrary, his personal obedience was the ground of that just imputation; and therefore, that any should be justified from the imputation of another's righteousness, not inherent, or actually possessed by them, is both ridiculous and dangerous-Ridiculous, since it is to say a man is rich to the value of a thousand pounds, whilst he is not really or personally worth a groat, from the imputation of another, who has it all in his possession. Dangerous, because it begets a confident persuasion in many people of their being justified, whilst in captivity to those lusts, whose reward is condemnation; whence came that usual saying amongst many professors of religion, that God looks not on them as they are in themselves, but as they are in Christ;' not considering that none can be in Christ, who are not new creatures, which those cannot be reputed, who have not disrobed themselves of their old garments, but are still inmantled with the corruptions of the old man.
Consequences irreligious and irrational.
1. It makes God guilty of what the scriptures say abomination, to wit, that he justifieth the wicked.
2. It makes him look upon persons as they are not, or with respect, which is unworthy of his most equal nature. 3. He is hereby at peace with the wicked, (if justified whilst sinners) who said "there is no peace to the wicked."
4. It does not only imply communion with them here, in an imperfect state, but so to all eternity, "for whom he justified, them he also glorified." Therefore whom he justified, whilst sinners, them he also glorified, whilst sinners.
5. It only secures from the wages, not the dominion of sin, whereby something that is sinful comes to be justified, and that which defileth, to enter God's kingdom.
6. It renders a man justified and condemned, dead and alive, redeemed and not redeemed, at the same time, the one by an imputative righteousness, the other a personal unrighteousness.
7. It flatters men, whilst subject to the world's lust, with a state of justification, and thereby invalidates the very end of Christ's appearance, which was to destroy the works of the devil, and take away the sins of the world; a quite contrary purpose than what the satisfactionists, and impu
Rom. viii. So.
tarians of our times have imagined, viz. to satisfy for their sins, and by his imputed righteousness, to represent them holy in him, whilst unholy in themselves; therefore since it was to take away sin, and destroy the devil's works, which were not in himself, for that Holy One saw no corruption, consequently in mankind; what can therefore be concluded more evidently true, than that such in whom sin is not taken. away, and the devil's works undestroyed, are strangers (notwithstanding their conceits) to the very end and purpose of Christ's manifestation.
Conclusion, by way of caution.
THUS, reader, have I led thee through those three so generally applauded doctrines, whose confutation I hope, though thou hast run, thou hast read; and now I call the righteous God of heaven to bear me record, that I have herein sought nothing below the defence of his unity, mercy, and purity, against the rude and impetuous assaults of tradition, press and pulpit, from whence I daily hear, what rationally induceth me to believe a conspiracy is held by counter-plots, to obstruct the exaltation of truth, and to betray evangelical doctrines, to idle traditions: but God will rebuke the winds, and destruction shall attend the enemies of his anointed.-Mistake me not, we never have disowned a Father, Word, and Spirit, which are One, but mens inventions: for, 1. Their trinity has not so much as a foundation in the scriptures. 2. Its original was three hundred years after Christianity was in the world. S. It having cost much blood; in the council of Sirmium, anno 355, it was decreed, that thenceforth the controversy should not be remembered, because the scriptures of God made no mention thereof.' Why then should it be mentioned now, with a maranatha on all that will not bow to this abstruse opinion. 4. And it doubtless hath occasioned idolatry, witness the popish images of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. 5. It scandalizeth Turks, Jews, and Infidels, and palpably obstructs their reception of the Christian doctrine.-Nor is there more to be said on the behalf of the other two; for I can boldly challenge any person to give me one scripture phrase which does approach the doctrine of satisfaction, (much less the name) considering to what degree it is stretched; not that we do deny, but really confess, that Jesus Christ, in life, doctrine, and death, fulfilled his Father's will, and offered up a most satisfactory sacrifice, but not to pay God, or help him, (as otherwise being unable) to save men; and for a justification by an imSocrat. Schol. An. 355. Conc. Sirm. cap. xxv. pag. 275.
putative righteousness, whilst not real, it is merely an imagination, not a reality, and therefore rejected; otherwise confessed and known to be justifying before God, because "there is no abiding in Christ's love without keeping his commandments." I therefore caution thee in love, of whatsoever tribe, or family of religion thou mayest be, not longer to deceive thyself, by the over-fond embraces of human apprehensions, for divine mysteries; but rather be informed that God hath bestowed "a measure of his grace on thee and me, to shew us what is good, that we may obey and do it;" which if thou diligently wilt observe, thou shalt be led out of all unrighteousness, and in thy obedience shalt thou "receive power to become a son of God;" in which happy estate God only can be known by men, and they know themselves to be justified before him, whom experimentally to know, by Jesus Christ, is life eternal.
A postscript of animadversions, upon T. V.'s contradictions, delivered in his sermon from 1 John v. 4. at the evening lecture in Spital-yard; "For whatsoever is born of God, overcometh the world."
"Whatsoever is born of 'There is a twofold vietoGod, overcometh the world." | ry; the first complete, the second incomplete.'
This is as well a contradiction to his text and doctrine, as to common sense; for besides that they neither of them say, He that is born of God, cannot perfectly overcome the world,' but much the contrary, I fain would understand his intention by an incomplete victory: if he means not such a one as is obtained by the slaughter of every individual, but that which only does subdue the force, and lead captive their enemies, yet will the victory prove complete; for if they be so far overcome as to be disarmed of farther power to mischieve, the dispute is properly determined: but whatsoever is incomplete, is but overcoming, or in the way to victory, and victory is the completing of what was before imperfect.
Such overcome as are born again, who are in Christ, that have cast off the old man, and know a change altogether new.
Worldly lusts cannot be extirpated out of God's people in this world.'
If sin must have a place in them, how can they be born of God, and have a place in Christ, or cast off the old man, and know a change altogether new?
God's children cannot
'God's children are greatest conquerors; Alex-perfectly overcome the lusts ander and Cæsar were con- of this world, they somequerors, but these overcome times take them captive.' their lusts.
What strange divinity is this! that God's people should be conquerors, and yet captives; overcome the world, and yet be overcome thereby.
Sin may tyrannize over believers.
Who is so absolutely injurious, and incontroulable, as a tyrant? and notwithstanding that he should have no dominion, but be in captivity, and in chains, at best are Bedlamdistinctions, and consequently unworthy of any man's mouth that has a share of common sense.
"You must kill, or be killed; either you must overcome the world, or the world
If ye fight, ye shall over
'But not have dominion; it is in captivity; it is in chains.'
" Incompletely; he overcomes, when he breaks their force, leads them captive, and puts them into chains; but they are not at all slain, they sometimes take him captive.'
To kill, or be killed, admits no middle way to escape; yet that both sin and God's children should lead one another captive; and that he which fights shall overcome, and yet be in danger of being led captive, because completely a conqueror, to me seems very strange doctrine.
However, he goes on to tell them, 'Whosoever is born of God, overcometh the lusts of the world, and he that overcometh the lusts of the world, overcomes the devils of hell; God's children have to do with a conquered enemy.' Yet he would all this while be understood in an incomplete sense; and to excite all to fight for this incomplete victory, he recommended to their consideration, the excellent rewards of conquerors, that is, " to him that overcometh, will I give to eat of the tree of life, the hidden manna. I will give him a white stone, a new name, power over nations, white raiment: yea, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; he shall go no more out, and I will grant him to sit with me in my throne." Admirable privileges, I acknowledge! but are they promised to incomplete conquerors? I judge not.
Reader, by this thou mayest be able to give a probable conjecture of the rest; and as I have begun with him and his co-disputants, with them I will end; who, notwith
standing all their boasts and calumnies against us, have so evaded those many opportunities we have offered them by letters, verbal messages, and personal visits, that had they any zeal for their principles, love for their reputation, or conscience in their promises, they would have been induced to a more direct and candid treaty.
But as it hath occasioned the publication of this little treatise, so I am credibly informed, through the too busy and malicious inquisition of some concerning it, (which have amounted to no less than positive reports) it is currently discoursed, how that a certain Quaker hath lately espoused the controversy against R. F. and therein has perverted the Christian religion to that degree, as plainly to deny Christ's coming in the flesh; with much more than was fit to be said, or is fit to be answered.
But, reader, I shall ask no other judge to clear me from that most uncharitable accusation; since first, I am altogether unacquainted with R. F. nor ever did design directly such a thing, being unwilling to seek more adversaries than what more nearly seek the overthrow of truth, although I doubt not but this plain and simple treatise may prove some confutation of his sentiments.
And lastly, as concerning Christ; although the slander is not new, yet nevertheless false: for I declare on the behalf of that despised people, vulgarly called Quakers, the grace, of which we testify, hath never taught us to acknowledge another God than he that is the "Father of all things, who fills heaven and earth" neither to confess another Lord Jesus Christ, than he that appeared so many hundred years ago, "made of a virgin, like unto us in all things, sin excepted;" or any other doctrine than was by him declared and practised; therefore let every mouth be stopped from ever opening more, in blasphemy against God's innocent heritage, who in principle, life and death, bear an unanimous testimony for the only true God, true Christ, and heayenly doctrine, which in their vindication is openly attested by
WILLIAM PENN, jun.