« PreviousContinue »
to detract from the Saviour's real glory, to whom I am more indebted than
any in the world.-(2.) That the strongest pleas I produce for holiness and good works, are quotations from the homilies of our own church, as well as from the Puritan divines, whom I cite preferably to others, because they held what you are taught to call the Doctrines of Grace.(3.) That what I have said of those doctrines recommends itself to every unprejudiced person's reason and conscience.-(4.) That my capital arguments in favour of practical Christianity, are founded upon our second justification by the evidence of works in the great day; a doctrine which my opponent himself cannot help assenting to.-(5.) That from first to last, when the meritorious cause of our justification is considered, we set works aside; praying God “not to enter into judgment with us," or "weigh our merits, but to pardon our offences” for Christ's sake; and gladly ascribing the whole of our salvation to his alone merits, as much as Calvin or Dr. Crisp does.-(6.) That when the word meriting, deserving, or worthy, which our Lord himself uses again and again, is applied to good works, or good men, we mean absolutely nothing but rewardable, or qualified for the reception of a gracious reward.-And, (7.) That even this improper merit or rewardableness of good works, is entirely derived from Christ's proper merit, who works what is good in us; and from the gracious promise of God, who has freely engaged himself to recompense the fruits of righteousness, which his own grace enables them to produce.
I hope, honoured brethren, these hints will so far break the waves of prejudice which beat against your candour, as to prevail upon you not to reject this little means of information. If you condescend to peruse it, I trust it will minister to your edification, by enlarging your views of Christ's prophetic and kingly office; by heightening your ideas of that practical religion, which the scriptures perpetually enforce; by lessening your regard for some well-ineant mistakes, on which good men have too hastily put the stamp of orthodoxy; and by giving you a more favourable opinion of the sentiments of your Remonstrant brethren, who would rejoice to live at peace with you in the kingdom of grace, and walk in love with you to the kingdom of glory. But whether you consent to give them the right hand of fellowship or not, nobody, I think, can be more glad to offer it to you, than he who, with undissem. bled respect, remains, Honoured and dear Brethren, Your affectionate Brother, And obedient Servant in Christ,
TO RICHARD HILL, ESQ. INTRODUCTION. The doctrine of justification by works
in the last day, is truly scriptural. It is essentially different from justification by faith in the day of conversion. Mr. Hill fully grants, and yet warmly opposes, such a justification.
TO THE SAME. Justification by the evidence of works, and St. James's
undefiled religion, are established upon the liturgy, articles, and homilies of the Church of England.
TO THE SAME. The sober Puritan divines directly or indirectly main.
tain the doctrine of justification by works in the great day, which Dr. Owen himself and numbers of other Calvinistic ministers, do not scruple calling" an evan. gelical justification by our own personal obedience."
TO THE SAME.
Flavel, and many other Puritan authors were offended
at Crisp's doctrine. An important extract from Flavel's Treatise upon Antinomianism.
TO THE SAME. Mr. Wesley's Minutes, and St James's Pure Religion,
are established on Mr. Hill's important concession, that “we shall be justified by the evidence of works in the great day.”
TO THE SAME. If we shall be justified by the evidence of works in the
last day, there is an end of Dr. Crisp's finished salvation, and Calvin's imputed righteousness : Those two main pillars of Antinomianism and Calvinism are fairly broken.
TO THE SAME. Mr. Hill's arguments in defence of Dr. Crisp'8 finished
salvation, are answered.
Mr. Hill is mistaken when he says, “ IDe have scrip-
ture authority lo call good works dung, dross, and
TO MR. ROWLAND HILL.
marks upon the Third Check, in which the scriptural
TO BOTH THE SAME.
Containing a view of the present state of the contro-
versy, especially with regard to Free Will; and a
to make at last a firm stand against our pious oppo.
A FOURTH CHECK TO ANTINOMIANISM.
TO RICHARD HILL, ESQ.
HON. AND DEAR SIR,
My entering the field of controversy to defend St. James's 'pure religion,' procured me your Five Letters, which I compare to a shower of rain gently descending from the placid heaven. But the six which have followed, resemble a storm of hail pouring down from the lowring sky, ushered by some harmless flashes of lightning, and accompanied by the rumbling of distant thunder. If my comparison is just, it is no wonder that when I read them first, I was almost thunderstruck, and began to fear, lest, instead of adding light, I had only added heat, to the hasty zeal which I endeavoured to check.
But at the secoud perusal, my drooping hopes revive : The disburdened clouds begin to break : The air, discharged of the exhalations which rendered it sultry nr hazy, seems clearer or cooler than before ; and the smiling plains of evangelical truth, viewed through that defecated medium, appear more gay after the unexpected storm. Methinks even moderation, the Phenix consumed by our polemic fires, is going to rise out of its ashes : And that, notwithstanding the din of a controversial war, *the voice of the turtle is still heard in our land.'
May the gentle sound approach nearer and nearer, and tune our listening hearts to the melodious accents of