« EelmineJätka »
room for some exceptions; but Mr. Hill represents me, as condemuing our most celebrated pulpits “ without exception."-(2.) This is not all: To mitigate the question, I add, “at times," words by which I give my readers to understand, that sin is in general attacked in our celebrated pulpits, and that it is only at times, that is, on some particular occasion, or in some part of a sermon, that the ministers alluded to say more for sin than against it. Now, Mr. Hill leaves out of his quotation the words, at times, and by that means effectually represents me as “a calumniator of God's people :" For what is true with the limitation that I use, becomes a falsehood when it is produced without. This omis. sion of Mr. Hill is the more singular, as my putting the words, at times, in Italics, indicates that I want my readers to lay a peculiar stress upon it on account of its importance. One more instance of Mr. Hill's inac. curacy, and I have done.
6.-P.7, 8. He presents his readers with a long paragraph, produced as a quotation from the Second Check. It is made up of some detached sentences picked here and there from that piece, and put together with as much wisdom as the patches which niake up a a fool's coat. And among these sentences he has introduced this, which is not mine in sense, any more than in expression, “ They [celebrated ministers] handle no texts of scripture without distorting them," for 1 insinuate just the contrary, in the Second Check.
7. But the greatest fault I find with that paragraph of Mr. Hill's book, is the conclusion, which ruus thus,
They [celebrated ministers] do the devil's work, till they and their congregations all go to hell together. Second Check, (p. 97, 103.)”--Now in neither of the pages quoted by Mr. Hill, nor indeed auy where else, did I ever say so wild and wicked a thing. Nothing could engage my pious opponent to father such a horrid assertion upon me, but the great and severe Diana, that engages him to father absolute reprobation upon God.
It is true, lowever, that, alluding to the words of our Lord, (Matt. xxv,) I say, in the Second Check, (vol. i. p. 413,) “ If (these shall go into everlasting punishment,” &c. But who are these ? All celebrated ministers, with all their congregations ! So says Mr. Hill; but, happily for me, my heart starts from the thought with the greatest detestation, and my pen has testified, that these condemned wretches are in general “ obstinate workers of iviquity,” and in particular,
unrenewed anti-Calvinists, and impenitent Nicolaitans.” Page 408, vol. i, (the very page which Mr. Hill quotes,) I describe che unrenewed auti-Calvinists thus, “ Stubborn sous of Belial, saying, Lord, thy Father is merciful ; and if thou didst die for all, why not for us ?-Obstinate Pharisees, who plead the good they did in their own name to supersede the Redeemer's merits.”—Impenitent Nicolaitans, or Antinomians, I describe thus, (p. 412, 413, 424,) "Ob. stinate violators of God's law—who scorned personal holiness-rejected Christ's word of command-have gone on still in their wickedness--have continued in doing esil- have been unfaithful unto death-aud have defiled their garments to the last.”—Is it possible that Mr. Hill should take this for a description of all celehrated ministers, and of all their congregations ; and thai, upon so glaring a mistake, he should représent me as making thein“ all go to hell together?”
Sect. XIV. () ye pious Calvinists, whether ye fill our celebrated pulpits, or attend upon them that do, far from sending “ you all to hell together," as you are told I do, I exult in the hope of meeting you all together in heaven: I lie not: I speak the truth in him that shall justify us by our words; even now I enjoy a forecaste of heaveu in lying at your feet in spirit; and my conscience bears me witness, that though I try to detect and oppose your mistakes, I sincerely love and honour your persons. My regard for you, as zealous defer:ders of the first gospel-axiom, is uralterable. Though your mistaken zeal should prompt you to think cr say all manner of evil against Vo! IT,
me, because I help Mr. Wesley to defend the second ; I am determined to offer you still the right hand of fellowship. And if any of you should honour me so far as to accept it, I shall think myself peculiarly happy; for, next to Jesus and Truth, the esteem and love of good men is what I consider as the most invaluable blessing. A desire to recover the interest I once had in the brotherly kindness of some of you, has in part engaged me to clear myself from the mistaken charges of calumny and forgery, by which my hasty opponent has prejudiced you against me and my Checks. If you find that he has defended your cause with carnal weapons, hope with me, that precipitation, and too warm a zeal for your doctrines, have misled him, and not malice or disingenuity.
Hope it also, ye anti-Calvinists, considering that if St. James and St. John, through mere bigotry and impatience of opposition, were once ready to command fire from heaven to come down upon the Samaritans, it is no wonder that Mr. Hill, in an uuguarded moment, should have commanded the fire of his Calvinistic zeal to kindle agaiqst Mr. Wesley and me. As you do not unchristian now the two rash apostles for a sin, of which they immediately repeuted ; let me beseech you to confirm your love towards Mr. Hill, who has probably repented already of the mistakes, into which his peculiar sentiments have betrayed his good nature and good breeding.
Sect. XV. I return to you, honoured Sir, aud beg you would forgive me the liberty I have taken, to lay before the public what I should have been glad to have buried in eternal obliviou : But your Finishing Stroke has been so heavy and desperate, as to make this addition to Logica Genevensis necessary to clear up my doctrine, to vindicate my honesty, to point out the mistaken Author of the Farrago, and give the world a new specimen of the arguments, by which your system must be defended, when reason, conscience, and scripture, (the three most formidable batteries in the world,) begin to play upon its ramparts.
You earnestly entreat” me, in your Postscript, to publish a manuscript sermon on Rom. xi, 5, 6, that I preached about eleven years ago in my church, in defence of the first gospel-axiom. You are pleased to call it three times “ excellent,” and you present the public with an extract from it, made up of some unguarded passages ; detached from those that in a great degree guard them, explain my meaning, confirm the doctrine of the Checks, and sap the foundation of your mistakes. As I am not less willing to defend Free Grace, than to plead for faithful obedience; I shall gladly grant your reqnest, so far at least as to send my old sermon into the world with additions in brackets, just as I preached it again last spring; assuring you that the greatest addition is in favour of Free Grace. By thus complying with your earnest eutreaty,” I shall shew my respect, meet you half way, gratify the curiosity of our readers, and yet give them a specimen of what appears to me a free guarded gospel.
That Discourse will be the principle piece of An Equal Check to Pharisaism und Antinomianism, which I have prepared for the press. Upon the plan of the doctrines it contains, I do not despair to see moderate Calvinists, and unprejudiced Anti-Calvinists, acknowledge their mutual orthodoxy, and embrace one another with mutual forbearance. May you and I, dear Sir, set them the example! In the mean time, may the brotherly love, with which we forgive each other the real or apparent unkindness 'of our publications, continue and increase ! May the charity that is not easily provoked,' and 'hopeth all things,' uniformly influ. ence our hearts ! So shall the words that drop from our lips, or distil from our pens, evidence that we are, or desire to be, the close followers of the meek, gentle, and yet impartial, plain-spoken Lamb of God. For his sake, to whom we are both so greatly indebted, restore me to your former benevolence, and be persuaded, that, notwithstanding the severity of your Finishing Stroke, and the plainness of my answer, I
really think it an honour, and feel it a pleasure, to subscribe myself,
Honoured and dear Sir,
Your affectionate and obedient Servant,
In the Gospel of our common Lord,
MADELEY, Sept. 13th, 1773.
Upon the remaining Difference between the Calvinists
and the Anti-Calvinists, with respect to our Lord's Doctrine of Justification by Words, and St. James's Dootrine of Justification by Works.
To force my dear opponents out of the last entrenchment in which they defend their mistakes, and from behind which they attack the Justification by words and works peculiarly insisted on by our Lord and St. James; I only need to shew how far we agree with respect to that justification ; to state the difference that remains between us; and to prove the unreasonableness of considering us as Papists, because we oppose an unscriptural, and irrational distinction, that leaves Mr. Fulsome in full possession of all his Antinomian dotages.
On both sides we agree to maintain, in opposition to Socinians and Deists, that the grand, the primary, and properly meritorious cause of our justification, from first to last, both in the day of conversion