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doned, &c. "Faith shall be imputed to us for righteousness, if we believe on him who raised up Jesus.-Being therefore justified by faith, we have peace with God. Without faith it is impossible to please God. He that believeth not,' far from being justified, as is insinuated,

shall be damned; the wrath of God abideth on him, he is condemned already.' (John iii. 18.) Light cannot be more opposite to darkness, than this doctrine of Christ to that which my honoured friend thinks it his duty to patronise.


XVIII. When you have ineffectualy endeavoured to defend your sentiment from scripture, you attempt to do it from reason. “ Faith (say you) can no “ subsist without its object, than there can be a mar“ riage without a husbaud.”

This is as proper an argument as you could advance, had you intended to disprove the doctrine you seem studious to defend; for it is evident that a woman must be married, before she can have a husband. So sure, then as marriage is previous to having an husband, faith is previous to receiving Christ : For we receive him by faith. (John i. 12.) However, from this extraordinary argument, you conclude that“ the doctrine of believing before justification is not less contrary to reason than it is to scripture ;" but I flatter myself that my judicious readers will draw a couclusion diametrically opposite.

XIX. A quotation from St. Augustin appears next, and secures the ruiu of your scheme. For if faith be compared to a lantern, and Christ to the light in the lantern, common sense tells us, we must have the lantern before we can receive the candle which is to give us light. Or, in other words, we must have faith before we can receive Christ: For you very justly observe, that “faith receiveth Christ, who is the true Light."

XX. St. Augustin's lantern makes way for the witticism with which you conclude your second epistle,


were sent

“No letters,” says my honoured friend, “ through the various provinces against old Mordecai, “ for supposing that the woman, Luke xv, lights a “ candle, &c. in order to find her lost piece ; but be

cause he insists upon it, that the piece lights the “ candle, sweeps the house, and searches diligently in " order to find the woman.”

Permit me to ask, Whether your wit here has not for a moment got the start of your judgment? I introduced the woman seeking the piece she had lost, merely to show that it is neither an heresy nor an absurdity to “seek something in order to find it ;" and that instance proved my point, full as well as if I had fixed upon Saul seeking his father's asses, or Joseph seeking his brethren in Dothan.

If it be as great an absurdity to say, that sinners are to seek the Lord,' as it is to say, that “ a piece sceks the woman that has lost it;" let me tell you, that Mr. W. has the good fortune to be countevanced in his folly, First, By yourself, who tell us, page 7, that the knowledge of Christ, and our interest in him, “ is certainly to be sought in the use of all the appointed means :" And Secondly, By Isaiah, who says, Seek ye the Lord while he may be found:' By St. Paul, who tells the Athenians, that · All nations of men are to seek the Lord ; And by Christ himself, who says, • They that seek me early shall find me ;-seek that you may find,' &c.

I leave you to judge, whether it was worth your while to impeach Mr. W.'s good sense, not only by reflecting upon your own, but by inevitably involving Isaiah, St. Paul, and our Lord himself, in the ridicule cast upon my vindicated friend! For the same sinner, who is represented by the lost piece, is, a few verses before, represented by the lost son; and, you know, Jesus Christ tells us, that he came from far to seek his father's pardon and assistance.

REMARKS ON THE THIRD LETTER. You begin this letter by saying, " How God may deal with the Heathen world, is not for us to pry into." But we may believe what God has revealed. If the Holy Ghost declares, that in every nation he that feareth God, and worketh righteousness, is accepted of hin,' we may credit what he says, without being 'wise above what is written.'

If you cannot set aside that apostolic part of the Minutes, you try, however, to press it into the service of your doctrine. “There is (say you) a material difference between saying, “He that feareth God and worketh righteousness is accepted, and shall be accepted;' ” and because “the verb is in the present teuse," you conclude, there is no need of fearing God, or working righteonsness, in order to find acceptance. This is exactly such another argument as that which I just now refuted, “ we need not believe in order to be justified, because it is said, ' all that believe are justi. fied, and not shall be justified.'” You can no more prove by the one, that Cornelius provoking God and working uurighteousness, was accepted of him; than, by the other, that unbelievers are justified, because it is said that believers are so.

A similar instance may convince you of it: ' All run,' says St. Paul, “ but one receiveth the prize.' I who am a stranger to refinements, immediately conclude from those words, that running is previous to the receiving of the prize, and in order to it. “ No," says a friend,“ there is a material difference between saying,

One receiveth the prize,' and 'One shall receive the prize.' The verb is in the present tense, and therefore the plain sense of the passage is, (not that by running he does any thing to receive the prize, but) that he who runs is possessed of the prize, and proves himself to be so." Candid reader, if such an argument proselytes thee to Dr. Crisp's doctrine, I shall suspect there is no small difference between Euglish and Suisse reason.

However, to make up the weight of your argument, you add, “ Cornelius was a chosen vessel.” 'True, for

God hath chosen to himself the man that is godly;' and such was Cornelius; 'a devout man,' says St. Luke,

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and one that feared God with all his house.' But if my honoured opponent speaks of an election, which drays after it the horrors of absolute reprobation, and hangs the mill-stone of unavoidable damnation about the neck of millions of our fellow-creatures, I must call for proof. Till it comes,

I follow you in your observations upon the merit or rewardableness of good works. Most of them are answered, First Check, p. 280, &c, and Second Check, p. 357. The rest I answer thus :

1. If you do not believe Mr. Henry, when he assures us, David speaks of himself, The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness,' &c., (Psalm xviii,) believe at least the sacred historian, who confirms my assertion, 2 Sam. xxii ; and consider the very title of the Psalm, ‘ David spake unto the Lord the words of this song, in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.'

2. But “ when David speaks in his own person, his language is very different." • Enter not into judgment with thy servant,' says he, 'for in thy sight shall no man living be justified.' The Psalmist does not here contradict what he says of the rewardableness of good works, Psalm xviii. He only appeals from the law of innocence to the law of grace, and only disclaims all merit in point of justification and salvation, a thing which Mr. W. takes care to do when he says, even in the Minutes, “ Not by the merit of works,” but by “believing in Christ.”

3. My honoured correspondent asks next, -"Where is the man who has the wituess of having done what God commanded ?" I answer, every one has, who

walks in the light as Gr'is in the light,' and can say with St. John, 'Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence towards God: And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things which are pleasing in his sight.'

4. But Bishop Beveridge spoke just the reverse ; for he said in his Private Thoughts, “ I sin in my best duties," &c. That may be; for he was but a young conrert when he wrote his Private Thoughts. I hope, before he died he enjoyed more gospel liberty. But whether he did or not, we appeal from his Private Thoughts, to the above-mentioned public declaration and evangelical experience of St. John.

5. If many Roman Catholics do not ascribe merit to “mere external perforinances," I have done them * great injustice ;” and, to repair that wrong, I declare uy full approbation of that excellent passage upon merit which you quote in French from the works of the Bishop of Meaux. I say, in French, because your English translation represents him as looking on all opinion of merit as presumptuous, whereas he blames only l'opinion d' un merite presomptueux, “the doctrine of a presumptuous merit,”—of a merit which is not all derived from Christ, and does not termivate in the glory of his grace.

The dying challenge of Alex. Seton is answered in the Second Check, First Letter. As to your quotation from Bishop Cooper, it does as little credit to his learning, as to his charity ; for St Augustine, who had no more “the spirit of Antichrist” than the Bishop hiniself, uses perpetually the word merit, in speaking of man and his works.

Let ns now see how you “ split the hair," that is, fix the difference there is between being rewarded according to our works, BECAUSE of our works, and secundum merita operum, according to the merit or rewardableness which Christ gives to our works.”“The difference,” say you, “ by no means depends upon the splitting of an hair ; those expressions are as wide as East from West.” Are they indeed ? Then it must be the East and West of the map of the world, which meet in one common line upon the globe. This will appear, if we consider the manner in which you untie the Gordian knot.

$ See 1 John iii. 22, and First Check, p. 280, 281. You have no right to throw out this middle term till you have proved that my quotations are false.

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