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to represent the peculiarities of the Doctor, as loose Antinomian tenets; and if any inan can prove them. either legal or evangelical, I shall gladly recant those epithets, which I have sometimes given, not to the good Doctor, but to his unscriptural notions.

In the mean time, permit me to observe, that if any one judges of my letters by the 36th page of your book, he will readily say of them what you say of the Rev. Mr. Sellon's Works : “ I have vever read them, and from the accounts I hear of the abusive, unchristian spirit with which they are written, I believe I shall never give myself that trouble.” Now, Sir, I have read Mr. Sellon's books, and have therefore more right than you, who never read them, to give them a public character. You tell us,

you have heard of the imbecility of the performance,” &c., I and I assure my readers, I have found it a masterly mixture of the skill belonging to the sensible scholar, the good logician, and the sound Anti-Crispian divine.

He is blunt, I confess, and sometimes to an excess. “ Really," says he in a private letter, “I canuot set my razor; there is a roughness about me, I cannot get rid of. If honest truth will not excuse me, I must bear the blame of those whom nothing will please but smooth things.” But sharp, (you would say abusive,) as he is, permit me to tell you, that my much-admired countryman, Calvin, was much more so.

For my part, though I would no more plead for abuse than for adultery and murder, yet, like a true Suisse, I love blunt honesty; and to give you a proof of it, I shall take the liberty to observe, It is much easier to say, a book is full of hard names, and heavy censures, written in an abusive, unchristian spirit ; and to insinuate it is “ dangerous, or not worth reading ;' than it is fairly to avswer one single page of it. And how

Some of the Rev. Mr. Sellon's Works are, Arguments against the Doctrine of General Redemption considered ; a Defence of God's Sovereignty; and the Church of England vindicated

from the Charge of Calvinism. All these are well worth the reading of every pious and sensible man.

far a late publication proves the truth of this observa. tion, I leare our candid readers to decide.

Page 38, you “ assure me upon honour, that Mr. W.'s pieces against election and perseverance, (Why did you forget reprobation?) have greatly teuded to establish your belief in those most comfortable doctrives.” Hence you conclude, that “ Mr. W.'s pen has done much service to the Calvinistic cause;" and add, that “ some very experienced Christians hope he will write again upon that subject, or publish a new edition of his former Tracts."

You are too much acquainted with the world, dear Sir, not to know that most Deists declare, they were established in their sentiments by reading the Old and New Testament. But would you argue conclusively, if you inferred from thence, that the sacred writers have done infidelity much service ? And if some confident infidels expressed their hopes, that our Bishops would reprint the Bible to propagate Deism ; would you not see through their empty boast, and pity their deistical flourish? Permit me, honoured Sir, to expose by a simile the similar wish of the persons you mention, who, if they were“ very experienced Christians," will hardly pass for very modest logicians.

The gentleman of fortune you mention, never read all Mr. Wesley's Tracts, nor one of Mr. Sellon's on the Crispian orthodoxy : Aud I am no more surprised to see you both dissent from those divines, than I should he to find you both mistaken upon the bench, if you passed a decisive sentence before you had so much as heard one witness out. The clergymau you refer to has probably been as precipitate as the two pious magistrates ; therefore, you will permit me to doubt whether he, any more than my honoured opponent, “ has had courage enough to see for himself.”

CONCLUSION. Having so long animadverted upon your letters, it is time to consider the present state of our controversy. Mr. W. privately advances, among his own friends,

some propositions, designed to keep them from running into the fashionable errors of Dr. Crisp. These propositions are secretly procured, and publicly exposed through the three kingdoms, as dreadfully heretical, and subversive of the Protestant doctrine of justification by faith. In Mr. W.'s absence, a friend writes in defence of his propositions. The Rev. Mr. Shirley, instead of trying to defend his mistakes by argument, publicly recants his circular letter and his volume of sermons by the lump. Some of the honest souls, who had been carried away by the stream of fashionable error, begin to look about them, and ask, whether narratives and recantations are to pass for scriptures and arguments ? The author of Pietas Oxoniensis, to quiet them, enters the lists, and makes a stand against the Anti-Crispian propositions; but what a stand !

1. “ Man's faithfulness,” says he, “I have no objection to, in a sober, gospel sense of the word.”-So Mr. W.'s first proposition, by my opponent's confession, bears a sober, gospel sense.

2. He attacks the doctrine of working for life, by proposing some of the very objections answered in the Vindication, without taking the least notice of the answers; by producing scriptures quite foreign to the question, and keeping out of sight those which have been advanced ;-by passing over in silence a variety of rational arguments ;-jumbling all the degrees of spiritual life and death, acceptance and justification, mentioned in the sacred oracles ;-confounding all the dispensations of divine grace towards man;—and levelling at Mr. W. a witticism which wounds Jesus Christ hinda self.

3. He acknowledges the truth of the doctrine that we must do something in order to attain justification ; and after this candid concession, fairly gives up the fundamental Protestant doctrine of justification by faith : the very doctrine which Luther called Articulus stantis vel cadentis Ecclesiæ, and which our church so strongly maintains in her Articles aud Homilies. The Rev. Mr. Shirley throws his sermon on Justification by faith overboard : His second comes up to mend the matter, and does it so unfortunately, as to throw the handle after the axe. He renounces the doctrine itself. “ I maintain," says he,“ that believing cannot be previous to justification, that is, to complete justification." As dangerous a proposition as was ever advanced by Crisp, and refuted by all the sober Calvinists of the last century!

4. He opposes St. Peter's, Mr. Henry's, and Mr. Wn's doctrine, that “ Cornelius was accepted of God in consequence of his fearing God and working righteousness," aud insinuates that Cornelius was completely accepted before he feared God and worked righteousness. C'pop this scheme, the words of St. Peter, ‘He that feareth God, and worketh righteousness, is accepted of him,' may mean, He that dareth God, and worketh unrighteousness, is completely accepted of him !

5. He represents Mr. W. as a Papist, for having privately observed among his friends, that we have been too much afraid of the word merit, while he allows real Protestants, the Countess of Huntingdon and the Rer, Mr. Shirley, to publish and sing, We MERIT heaven by the righteousness which Christ has supplied. Nay, he sings the same bold words at the Lock-Chapel. The Rev. Mr. Madan's “ we merit" passes for gospel ; his hymns are every where recommended as evangelical : But “ Popery is about midway between Protestantism and Mr. Wesley !" What strange prejudice! And yet, surprising !, my honoured correspondent accuses me of betraying “ no small degree of chicanery” upon the article of merit !

6. He attempts to “ split the hair," which the Rev. Mr. Shirley is wise enough not to attempt. But how? Without ceremony, he cuts off the middle term between being“ rewarded according to our works,” and “as our works deserve;" he throws out of the question this proposition, that we are rewarded BECAUSE of our works, though it is supported by the plainest scriptures.

7. Notwithstanding this unwarrantable liberty, when he confidently soars upon the wings of orthodoxy, to find his broad passage betweeu “East and West,” he directly falls into Mr. W.'s sentiment about the rewardableness

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of works; and, before he is aware, shakes hands with the good Papist Scotus, and the good Protestant Baxter,

8. The last proposition which he attacks, is, that we are continually pleasing or displeasing to God, according to the whole of our inward and outward behaviour.” And what does he advance against it? Assertions and distinctions, contradicted by the general tenor of the Bible :--Scriptures detached from the context, and set at variance with the clearest declarations of God, and loudest dictates of conscience :--And, what is worse than all, dangerous enumerations of the good that falling into adultery, murder, perjury, and incest, does to them that love God !

And now, honoured Sir, let the Christian world judge, whether you have been able to fix the mark of error upon one of the propositions so loudly decried as heretical; and whether the letters you have honoured me with, do not expose the cause which you have attempted to defend, and demonstrate the absolute neeessity of erecting and defending such a seasonable rampart as the Minutes, to check the rapid progress of Dr. Crisp's gospel.

Permit me, honoured and dear Sir, to conclude by assuring you, that although I have thought myself obliged publicly to shew the mistakes in the five letters which you have publicly directed to me, I gladly do you the justice to acknowledge, that your principles have not that effect upon your conduct, which they naturally have upon the conversation of hundreds who are consistent Antinomians. See Second Check, page 383.

If I have addressed my Three Checks to the Rev. Mr. Shirley and yourself, God is my witness, that it was not to reflect upon two of the most eminent characters in the circle of my religious acquaintance. Forcible cir. cumstances have over-ruled my inclination. Decipimur specie recti.—Thinking to attack error, you have attacked the very truth which Providence calls me to defend; and the attack appears to me so much the more dangerous, as your laborious zeal and eminent piety are more worthy of public regard, than the boisterous rant

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