« PreviousContinue »
6. Above all, while we expostulate with our brethren for going to one extreme, let us not go to another, Mans in the last century so preached what Christ did for us in the days of his flesh, as to overlook what he does in us in the days of his Spirit. The Quakers saw their error; but while they exposed it, they ran into the opposite. They so extolled Christ living in us as to say ba: little of Christ dying for us. At this time, many hearing our salvation is so finished by Christ, that we need not 'work it out with fear and trembling,' are justly shocked; and thiukiug they cannot fly too far from so wild a notion, they run headlong into Pelagianism, Soci. nianism, or gross Infidelity. Let us, my brethren, learn wisdom by their contrary mistakes. While some run full East, and others full West, keep we under the bright meridian liue of evangelical truth, at an equal distance from their dangerous extremes. By cordial faith let as daily “receive the atonement;' and making our perpetual boast of Christ crucified, let us recommend his inestimable merits to all convinced sinners, cheerfully commending our souls to him 'in well-doing,' and growing in his knowledge, till we experience that he is all and in all.' So shall we 'adorn the gospel of God our Saviour in all things ;' nor will our opponents have any occasion to reprove us for Pharisaic unbelief, when we reprove them for Autinomian faith.
OF MR. RICHARD AND MR. ROWLAND HILL.
In a Series of Letters to those Gentlemen.
BY JOHN FLETCHER, A.M.,
VICAR OF MADELEY.
Reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and (scriptural)
doctrine ; for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine.
2 Tim. iv. 2, 3. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.
But let brotherly love continue. Tit. i. 13. Heb. xiii. 1.
CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
HONOURED AND DEAR BRETHREN,
A STUDENT from Geneva, who has had the honour of being admitted a minister of your Church, takes the liberty of dedicating to you these Strictures on Geneva Logrc, which were written both for the better information of your candid judgment, and to obtain tolerable terms of peace from his worthy opponents.
Some, who mistake blunt truth for sneering insolence, and mild ironies for bitter sarcasms, will probably dissuade you from looking into this FOURTH
TO ANTINOMIANISM. They will tell you that “ Logica Genevensis is a very bad book," full of “ calumny, forgeries, vile slanders, acrimonious sneers, and horrid misrepresentations." But candour, which condemns no one before he is heard, which weighs both sides of the question in an impartial balance, will soon convince you, that, if every irony proceeds from spleen and acrimony of spirit, there is as much of both in
these four words of my honoured opponent, Pietas Oxonien sis and Goliah Slain, * as in all the Four Checks; and that I have not exceeded the apostolic direction of my motto, • rebuke them sharply,' or rather ATOTOLOOS, cuttingly, but ‘let brotherly love continue.'
I do not deny, that some points of doctrine, which many hold in great veneration, excite pity or laughter in my Checks. But how can I help it? If a painter, who knows not how to flatter, draws to the life an object excessively ridiculous in itself, must it not appear excessively ridiculous in his picture? Is it right to exclaim against his pencil as malicious, and his colours as unfair, because he impartially uses them according to the rules of his art? And can any unprejudiced person expect, that he should draw the picture of the night, without using any black shades at all?
If the charge of “bitterness” do not entirely set you against this book, they will try to frighten you from reading it, by protesting, that I throw down the foundation of Christianity, and help Mr. Wesley to place works and merit on the Redeemer's throne. To this dreadful charge I answer, (1.) That I had rather my right hand should lose its cunning to all eternity, than use it a moment
f The ironical titles of two books written by my opponent, to expose the proceedings of the University of Oxford respecting the expulsion of six students belonging to Edmund Hall.