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FIRST CHECK TO ANTINOMIANISM;
REV. MR. WESLEY'S MINUTES
PUBLIC CONFERENCE, HELD IN LONDON, AUGUST 7, 1770;
A CIRCULAR LETTER
PRINCIPAL PERSONS, BOTH CLERGY AND LAITY,
AS WELL OF THE DISSENTERS AS OF THE ESTABLISHED CHURCH,
WHO DISAPPROVED OF THOSE MINUTES,
TO OPPOSE THEM IN A BODY, AS A DREADFUL HERESY;
AND DESIGNED TO REMOVE PREJUDICE, CHECK RASHNESS,
DEFEND THE CHARACTER OF AN EMINENT MINISTER OF CHRIST,
AND PREVENT SOME IMPORTANT SCRIPTURAL TRUTHS FROM
BEING HASTILY BRANDED AS HERETICAL.
IN FIVE LETTERS,
TO THE HON. AND REV. AUTHOR OF THE CIRCULAR LETTER.
BY A LOVER OF QUIETNESS AND LIBERTY OF CONSCIENCE.
CONTENTS OF VOLUME I.
I. FIRST CHECK TO ANTINOMIANISM.
(Page numbers are from the printed books)
Copy of the Circular Letter, &c, -- Page 7
Extracts from the Minutes of the conference of 1770, -- 8
LETTER I. A general view of Mr. Wesley's doctrine, -- 11
II. The commendable design of the Minutes, -- 19
III. The three first propositions considered, -- 27
IV. The remaining propositions examined, -- 38
V Expostulation with Mr. Shirley, -- 60
II. SECOND CHECK TO ANTINOMIANISM.
PREFACE. The publication of the First Check justified, -- 67
LETTER I. The doctrine of a second justification by works defended, -- 71
II. On Mr. Shirley's recantation of his sermons, and free will, -- 89
III. The prevalence and evil consequences of Antinomianism, -- 99
III. THIRD CHECK TO ANTINOMIANISM.
INTRODUCTION. The use of controversy properly managed, -- 135
Remarks on Mr. Hill's five letters, -- 135
LETTER I. On man's faithfulness, -- 135
II. On working for life, -- 136
III. On the word merit, and the rewardableness of' good works, -- 172
IV. On men's sins displeasing God, but not their persons, -- 176
V. Finished salvationDr. Crisp and the Rev. W. Sellon, -- 191
CONCLUSION. The present state of the controversy, -- 193
IV. FOURTH CHECK TO ANTINOMIANISM.
IN A SERIES OF LETTERS TO MESSRS. RICHARD AND ROWLAND HILL.
LETTER I. The doctrine of justification by works is Scriptural, -- 209
II. Established by the liturgy, articles, &c, of the Church, -- 215
III. Maintained by the sober Puritan divines, -- 222
IV. Flavel and other Puritan writers condemn Dr. Crisp's doctrine, -- 228
V. The Minutes and St. James' "pure religion" established on Mr. Hill's concessions, -- 235
VI. The doctrine of finished salvation and imputed righteousness overthrown, -- 241
VII. Mr. Hill's arguments answered, -- 248
VIII. Good works not termed "filthy rags," &c, in Scripture, -- 263
IX. Mr. Rowland Hill answered -- 273
X. Messrs. Richard and Rowland Hill's remarks on the Third Check answered, -- 283
XI. Final justification by works, consistent with present justification by faith, -- 295
XII. How far the Calvinists and Remonstrants agree, -- 303
XIII. The present state of the controversy, -- 321
POSTSCRIPT. The author's reasons for making a stand against his opponents, -- 329
VI. FIFTH CHECK. PART FIRST.
An answer to Mr. Richard Hill's Finishing Stroke, -- 337
Remarks on the creed of an Antinomian, -- 350
APPENDIX.--The remaining difference between Calvinists and anti-Calvinists respecting final justification by works, -- 358
VI. FIFTH CHECK. PART SECOND.
SECTION I. Sincere obedience defended, -- 369
II. The evangelical law of liberty, -- 372
III. The conditionality of perseverance, -- 376
IV. Unconditional reprobation and finished salvation false doctrines, -- 384
V. Improper concession to the Antinomians, -- 388
CONCLUSION, -- 391
VII. THE FICTITIOUS AND GENUINE CREED,
VIII. AN EQUAL CHECK TO PHARISAISM AND ANTINOMIANISM.
PREFACE.The design of the work, and the reasons of its publication, -- 427
I. An Historical Essay on the importance and harmony of the two Gospel precepts, BELIEVE and OBEY, and the fatal consequences of parting them, -- 431
II. A discourse preached at Madeley, April 18 and May 9, 1773, on the two covenants, that of works, and that of grace; showing that salvation is only by the latter, -- 447
III. A Scriptural Essay on the Rewardableness of the Works of true Faith, according to the covenant of grace, -- 497
IV. An Essay on Truth: or a Rational Vindication of the Doctrine of Salvation by Faith; displaying the nature and saving power of religious truth, when cordially embraced by faith, and the various aorta and degrees thereof; with addresses to different descriptions of persons, -- 517
A SCRIPTURAL ESSAY ON THE ASTONISHING REWARDABLENESS OF WORKS #1
A SCRIPTURAL ESSAY ON THE ASTONISHING REWARDABLENESS OF WORKS #2
A COPY OF THE CIRCULAR LETTER,
WHICH GAVE OCCASION TO THIS VINDICATION,
TO WHICH IS ANNEXED
A COPY OF THE REV. MR. WESLEY'S MINUTES.
"SIR,Whereas Mr. Wesley's conference is to be held at Bristol, on Tuesday, the 6th of August next, it is proposed by Lady Huntingdon, and many other Christian friends, (real Protestants,) to have a meeting at Bristol, at the same time, of such principal persons, both clergy and laity, who disapprove of the under written Minutes: and as the same are thought injurious to the very fundamental principles of Christianity, it is farther proposed that they go in a body to the said conference, and insist upon a formal recantation of the said Minutes; and in case of a refusal, that they sign and publish their protest against them. Your presence, sir, on this occasion, is particularly requested. But if it should not suit your convenience to be there, it is desired that you will transmit your sentiments on the subject to such persons as you think proper to produce them. It is submitted to you, whether it would not be right, in the opposition to be made to such a dreadful heresy, to recommend it to as many of your Christian friends, as well of the dissenters as of the established Church, as you can prevail on, to be there, the cause being of so public a nature.
"I am, sir, your obedient servant,
"P. S. Your answer is desired, directed to the countess of Huntingdon, or the Rev. Mr. Shirley, or John Lloyd, Esq. in Bath; or Mr. James Ireland, merchant, Bristol; or to Thomas Powis, Esq. at Berwick, near Shrewsbury; or to Richard Hill, Esq. at Hawkstone, near Whitchurch, Shropshire. Lodgings will be provided. Inquire at Mr. Ireland's, Bristol."
EXTRACTS FROM THE MINUTES
OF SOME LATE CONVERSATIONS
BETWEEN THE REV. MR. WESLEY AND OTHERS,
AT A PUBLIC CONFERENCE, HELD IN LONDON, AUGUST 7, 1770,
AND PRINTED BY W. PINE, IN BRISTOL
"Take heed to your doctrine."
"WE said in 1744, 'We have leaned too much toward Calvinism.' Wherein?
"1. With regard to man's faithfulness. Our Lord himself taught us to use the expression. And we ought never to be ashamed of it. We ought steadily to assert, on his authority, that if a man is not 'faithful in the unrighteous mammon,' God will not 'give him the true riches.'
"2. With regard to working for life. This also our Lord has expressly commanded us. 'Labour,' Ergazesqe, literally, 'work for the meat that endureth to everlasting life.' And in fact every believer, till he comes to glory, works for, as well as from Life.
"3. We have received it as a maxim, that 'a man is to do nothing in order to justification.' Nothing can be more false. Whoever desires to find favour with God, should 'cease from evil, and learn to do well.' Whoever repents, should do 'works meet for repentance.'
And if this is not in order to find favour, what does he do them for?
"Review the whole affair.
"1. Who of us is now accepted of God?
"He that now believes in Christ, with a loving, obedient heart.
"2. But who among those who never heard of Christ?
"He that feareth God, and worketh righteousness according to the light he has.
"3. Is this the same with 'be that is sincere?'
"Nearly, if not quite.
"4. Is not this 'salvation by works ?'
"Not by the merit of works, but by works as a condition.
5 What have we then been disputing about for these thirty years?
"I am afraid, about words.
"6. As to merit itself, of which we have been so dreadfully afraid:
we are rewarded, according to our works, yea, because of our works. How does this differ from, for the sake of our works? And how differs this from secundum merita operum, 'as our works deserve?' Can you split this hair? I doubt, I cannot.
"7. The grand objection to one of the preceding propositions is drawn from matter of fact. God does in fact justify those who by their own confession, 'neither feared God nor wrought righteousness.' Is this an exception to the general rule?
"It is a doubt whether God makes any exception at all. But how are we sure that the person in question never did 'fear God and work righteousness?' His own saying so is not proof: for we know how all that are convinced of sin undervalue themselves in every respect.
"8. Does not talking of a justified or sanctified state tend to mislead men? almost naturally leading them to trust in what was done in one moment? Whereas we are every hour and every moment pleasing or displeasing to God, according to our works: according to the whole of our inward tempers and our outward behaviour."
ZELOTES AND HONESTUS RECONCILED:
THE SECOND PART
AN EQUAL CHECK
PHARISAISM AND ANTINOMIANISM:
BEING THE FIRST PART
TO WEIGH THE GOLD OF GOSPEL TRUTH,
TO BALANCE A MULTITUDE OF OPPOSITE SCRIPTURES,
TO PROVE THE GOSPEL MARRIAGE OF FREE GRACE AND FREE WILL,
AND RESTORE PRIMITIVE HARMONY TO THE GOSPEL OF THE DAY.
WITH A PREFACE, CONTAINING SOME STRICTURES
UPON THE THREE LETTERS OF RICHARD HILL, ESQ.,
WHICH HAVE BEEN LATELY PUBLISHED.
BY A LOVER OF THE WHOLE TRUTH AS IT IS IN JESUS.
How is the most fine gold changed! Take heed that ye be not deceived; for many shall come in my name, saying, "I am Christ," doctrinal: "I am Christ," moral: but, "to the law, and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this, word, it is because there is no light in them, (or at least because their wine is mixed with water, and their silver is [partly] become dross."Bible.
Si non est Dei gratia, quomodo salvat mundum? Sii non est liberum arbitrim, quomodo judicat mundum ?Aug.
I. SCRIPTURE SCALES, TO WEIGH THE GOLD OF GOSPEL TRUTH,PART FIRST,BEING THE SECOND PART OF AN EQUAL, CHECK TO PHARISAISM AND ANTINOMIANISM.
ADVERTISEMENT, -- Page 9
PREFATORY EPISTLE. Description of a true ProtestantThe author's three protests, -- 11
SECTION I. The cause of the misunderstanding of pious ProtestantsView of the Gospel axioms or weights of the sanctuary, -- 23
II. General observations on God's free grace, and man's free willSalvation originally of the former, and damnation of the latter, -- 25
III. The golden beam of the Scripture scalesThe chains by which they are suspended, and a rational account of the origin of evil, -- 31
IV. Remarks on the terms of the two covenantsSalvation and damnation have two causesThe glory of Christ, and original merit, balanced with the importance of obedience and derived worthiness, -- 34
V. The importance of faith balanced by that of works, -- 39
VI. The moral law of Christ, and that of Moses, one and the same; and the Sinai covenant an edition of the covenant of grace, -- 41
VII. The doctrine of the preceding section weighed in the Scripture Scales, -- 53
VIII. What is God's work, and what our ownThe two are balanced, -- 57
IX. The most wonderful work of free grace, the redemption of the world balanced with the most wonderful work of free will, the obstinate neglect of that redemption, -- 63
X. Time doctrine of' free grace, and that of free will, farther maintained, -- 76
XI. A rational and Scriptural view of the ninth chapter to the Romans, -- 88
XII. Of an unconditional election of sovereign grace, and a conditional election of impartial justice, -- 109
XIII. A view of St. Paul's doctrine in the first chapter to the Ephesians, -- 119
II. SCRIPTURE SCALES.PART SECOND.
PREFACE.An invitation to the contending parties to end the controversy, -- 129
Explanation of some terms used in this work, -- 134
SECTION I. The Scripture doctrine of the perseverance of the saints, -- 137
II. The doctrine farther weighed in the Scripture Scales, -- 146
III. The declaration of our Lord and his apostles concerning fallen believers, -- 153
IV. A. double declaration proposed to guard the doctrines of free grace and lieu obedience, -- 159
V. The doctrines of free grace and free will farther maintained by Scriptural arguments, -- 170
VI. How prescience is consistent with liberty, -- 176
VII. President Edwards and Voltaire's doctrine of necessity considered and refitted, -- 184
VIII. The doctrines of free grace and free will, here maintained, are the very doctrines of the primitive Church, and Church of England, -- 199
IX. The earliest listeners held the doctrine of the Scripture Scales, -- 219
X. The marriage of free. grace and free will reflects no dishonour on God's sovereignty, -- 226
XI. The Scriptures hold forth first and second causes, and primary and subordinate motives, -- 238
XII. The author sums up the opposite errors of Zelotes and Honestus, and invites them to a speedy reconciliation, -- 247
III. THE DOCTRINE OF GRACE AND JUSTICE.
SECTION I. A plain account of the Gospel, and its various dispensations--It holds forth the doctrines of justice as well as those of grace, -- 261
II. Remarks on the two Gospel axioms upon which the doctrines of grace and justice are founded, -- 268
III. By whom chiefly the Gospel axioms were systematically parted, -- 271
IV. Luther and Calvin did not restore the balance of the Gospel axioms; but Cranmer did, -- 273
V. The two modern Gospels, and their dreadful consequences, -- 277
IV. THE RECONCILIATION; OR, AN EASY METHOD TO UNITE THE PEOPLE OF GOD.
SECTION I. The sad consequences of the division of those who make a peculiar profession of faith in Christ, -- 285
II. Moderate Calvinists and Arminians may be easily reconciled to each other, -- 290
III. Eight pair of opposite propositions on which the opposite doctrines of grace and justice are founded, -- 296
IV. Bible Calvinism and Bible Arminianism stated in two essays, -- 299
V. Inferences from the two essays, -- 336
VII. Directions how to secure the blessings of peace and brotherly love, -- 350
VIII. Farther motives to a speedy reconciliation, -- 357
V. REMARKS ON MR. TOPLADY'D SCHEME OF CHRISTIAN AND PHILOSOPHICAL NECESSITY.
INTRODUCTION, -- 367
SECTION I. A view of Mr. Toplady's scheme--It represents God as the first cause of all sin and damnation, -- 369
II. His error is overthrown by fourteen arguments, -- 367
III. Twelve keys to open the passages of Scripture on which he founds his scheme, -- 386
IV. The capital objections of the necessitarians to the doctrine of liberty answered, -- 402
V. The doctrine of necessity is the capital error of the Calvinists, and the foundation of the most wretched schemes of philosophy and divinity, -- 408
VI. ANSWER TO MR. TOPLADY'S VINDICATION OF THE DECREES.
INTRODUCTION, -- 415
SECTION I. The Calvinian scheme evidently implies that some men shall be saved, do what they will; and others damned, do what they can, -- 417
II. Calvinism upon its legs: or a full view of the arguments by which Mr. Toplady attempts to reconcile Calvinism with God's holiness, -- 420
III. Mr. Toplady appeals in vain to Scripture and reason to support the absoluteness and holiness of the Calvinian decrees, -- 429
IV. Calvinian reprobation cannot be reconciled with Divine justice, -- 432
V. Much less can it be reconciled with Divine mercy, -- 443
VI. A view of the manner in which Mr. Toplady attempts to prove Calvinian reprobation from the Scriptures, -- 447
VII. The arguments answered by which Mr. Toplady tries to reconcile Calvinism with a future judgment, and absolute necessity with moral agency, -- 451
VIII. Mr. Toplady's arguments from God's prescience answered, -- 462
IX. An answer to the charges of robbing the trinity, and encouraging Deism, -- 467
X. Mr. Toplady attempts in vain to retort the charges of Antinomianism, and to show that Calvinism is more conducive to holiness, than the opposite doctrine, -- 469
XI. A caution against the tenet, "Whatever is, is right," -- 473
XII. Some encouragements for those who, from a principle of conscience, bear testimony against absolute election and reprobation, -- 480
VII. POLEMICAL ESSAY.
PREFACE.--Reasons of the title given to this tract--The doctrines of the heathens, the Papists, and Calvinists, concerning the purgation of souls, -- 485
SECTION I. The doctrine of Christian perfection placed in Scriptural light, -- 491
II. Pious Calvinists dissent from us chiefly because they confound the law of innocence, and the law of liberty, or Adamic and Christian perfection, -- 495
III. Objections against this doctrine solved merely by considering the nature of Christian perfection
IV. The ninth and fifteenth articles of our Church, properly understood, are not against the doctrines of Christian perfection--That our Church holds it, is proved by thirteen arguments, -- 506
V. St. Peter and St. James declare for Christian perfection, -- 517
VI. St. Paul preached Christian perfection, and professed to have attained it, -- 521
VII. St. Paul was not carnal, and sold under sin--The true meaning of Gal. v, 17, and of Rom. vii, 14, -- 529
VIII. An answer to the arguments by which St. Paul's supposed carnality is generally defended, -- 540
IX. St. Paul presents us with a striking picture of a perfect Christian, by occasionally describing his own spirituality, -- 547
X. St. John is for Christian perfection, and not for a death purgatory, -- 552
XI. Why the privileges of believers under the Gospel cannot be justly measured by the experience of believers under the law of Moses, -- 559
XII. A variety of arguments to prove the absurdity of the twin doctrines of Christian imperfection and a death purgatory, -- 564
XIII. A variety of arguments to prove the mischievousness of the doctrine of Christian imperfection, -- 572
XIV. The arguments answered, by which the imperfectionists support the doctrine of the necessary indwelling of sin till death, -- 579
XV. The doctrine of Christian perfection is truly evangelical--A recapitulation of the Scripture proofs whereby it is maintained, -- 593
XVI. The disctinction between sins and infirmities is truly Scriptural--An answer to Mr. Henry's grand argument for the continuance of indwelling sin, -- 601
XVII. An address to perfect Christian Pharisees, -- 611
XVIII. To prejudiced imperfectionists, -- 616
XIX. To imperfect believers, who embrace the doctrine of Christian perfection, -- 627
XX. Address to perfect Christians, -- 657
IT is the author's desire that the following pages should be considered as written for all those whom they exactly suit. And in order to this, he informs the reader that, in general,
ZELOTES represents any zealous Solifidian, who, through prejudice, looks upon the doctrine of free will as heretical.
HONESTUSany zealous moralist, who, through prejudice also, looks upon the doctrine of free grace as enthusiastical.
LORENZOany man of sense, yet unsettled in his religious principles.
CANDIDUSany unprejudiced inquirer after truth, who hates bigotry, and would be glad to see the differences among Protestants settled upon rational and Scriptural terms.
A SOLIFIDIAN is one who maintains that we are completely and eternally saved [sola fide] by sole faithby faith alone; and who does it in so unscriptural a manner as to make good works unnecessary to eternal salvation; representing the law of Christ as a mere rule of life; and calling all those who consider that law as a rule of judgment, legalist., Pharisees, or heretics.
PORTRATE OF ST. PAUL
THE TRUE MODEL
CHRISTIANS AND PASTORS,
TRANSLATED FROM A FENCH MANUSCRIPT OF THE LATE
REV. JOHN WILLIAM DE LA FLETCHER,
VICAR OF MADELEY.
BY THE REV. JOHN GILPIN.
VICAR OF ROCKWARDINE, IN THE COUNTRY OF SALOP.
CONTENTS OF VOLUME III.
I. PORTRAIT OF ST. PAUL
INTRODUCTION, -- Page 7
Author's Preface, -- 8
TRAIT I. His early piety, -- 11
II. His Christian piety, -- 13
III. His intimate union with Christ by faith, -- 18
IV. His extraordinary vocation to the holy ministry, and in what that ministry chiefly consists, -- 19
V. His entire devotion to Jesus Christ, -- 23
VI. His strength and his arms, -- 24
VII. His power to bind, to loose, and to bless in the name of the Lord, -- 26
VIII. The earnestness with which he began and continued to fill up the duties of his vocation, -- 28
IX. The manner in which he divided his time between prayer, preaching, and thanksgiving, -- 29
X. The fidelity with which he announced the severe threatenings and consolitary promises of the Gospel, -- 31
XI. His profound humility, -- 32
XII. The ingenuous manner in which he acknowledged and repaired his errors. -- 35
XIII. His detestation of party spirit and divisions, -- 36
XIV. His rejection of praise, -- 38
XV. His universal love, -- 40
XVI. His particular love to the faithful, -- 41
XVII. His love to those whose faith was wavering, -- 42
XVIII. His love to his countrymen and his enemies, -- 42
XIX. His love to those whom he knew only by report, -- 43
XX. His charity toward the poor in giving, or procuring for them temporal relief, -- 44
XXI. His charity toward sinners in offering them every spiritual assistance, -- 46
XXII. The engaging condescension of his humble charity, -- 48
XXIII. His courage in defence of oppressed truth -- 50
XXIV. His prudence in frustrating the designs of his enemies,. -- 51
XXV. His tenderness toward others, and his severity toward himself, -- 53
XXVI. His love never degenerated into cowardice, but reproved and consoled as occasion required, -- 54
XXVII. His perfect disinterestedness, -- 58
XXVIII. His condescension in labouring at times with his own hands, that he might preach industry by example, as well as by precept,. -- 59
XXIX. The respect he manifested for the holy estate of matrimony, while Christian prudence engaged him to live in a state of celibacy, -- 61
XXX. The candour of his love, -- 64
XXXI. His generous fears and succeeding consolations, -- 65
XXXII. The grand subject of his glorying, and the evangelical manner in which he maintained his superiority over false apostles, -- 67
XXXIII. His patience and fortitude under the severest trials, -- 68
XXXIV. His modest firmness before magistrates, -- 69
XXXV. His courage in consoling his persecuted brethren, -- 70
XXXVI. His humble confidence in producing the seals of his ministry, -- 72
XXXVII. His readiness to seal with his blood, the truths of the Gospel, -- 76
XXXVIII. The sweet suspense of his choke between life and death, -- 76
XXXIX. The constancy of his zeal and diligence to the end of his course, -- 77
XL. His triumph over the evils of life, and the terrors of death, -- 78
II. THE PORTRAIT OF LUKEWARM MINISTERS AND FALSE APOSTLES.
CHAPTER I. The portrait of lukewarm ministers, -- Page 80
II. The portrait of false apostles, -- 82
III. An answer to the first objection which may be made against the portrait of St. Paul,. -- 86
IV. A second objection argued against, -- 89
V. A third objection replied to, -- 91
VI. A fourth objection refuted, -- 93
VII. The same subject continued, -- 93
VIII. A farther reply to the same objection, -- 101
IX. A fifth objection answered, -- 103
XI. A reply to the last objection which may be urged against the portrait of St. Paul, -- 108
III. THE PORTRAIT OF ST. PAUL.--PART SECOND.
The doctrines of an evangelical pastor, -- 111
He preaches true repentance oward God, -- 112
How sin and the necessity f repentance entered into the world, -- 113
This doctrine is maintained by all the Christian Churches, -- 114
Without evangelical repentance, a lively faith in Christ, or regeneration by the Holy Spirit, will appear not only unnecessary but absurd, -- 115
How the faithful pastor lead sinners to repentance, -- 116
How the prophets, Jesus Christ, his forerunner, and his apostles prepared sinners for repentance, -- 118
Observations upon the repentance of worldly men, -- 121
The second point of doctrine, insisted upon by the true minister is a living faith, -- 131
The true minister goes on to announce a lively hope, -- 145
The true minister preaches Christian charity, -- 154
The true minister believes and preaches the three grand promises of God, together with the three great dispensations of grace, -- 166
The true minister studies the different dispensations, in order to qualify himself for the discharge of every part of his duty, -- 170
The different dispensations are produced by that lovely variety with which the Almighty is pleased to distribute his favours, -- 173
The different preachers under these different dispensations, -- 179
The dispensation of the Holy Spirit is now in force, and the minister who preaches this dispensation cannot justly be esteemed an enthusiast, -- 181
The evangelical pastor defends the dispensations of the Spirit against all opposers, -- 184
IV. THE PROTRAIT OF ST. PAUL.--PART THIRD.--AN ESSAY ON THE CONNECTION OF DOCTRINES WITH MORALITY.
PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS, -- 198
CHAPTER I.Philosophers, so called, exalt themselves without reason, against the doctrines of the Gospel, -- 199
II. The doctrines of natural religion and philosophy are insufficient to produce true charity in the heart, -- 202
III. The great influence of the doctrines upon morality, -- 206
IV. How the doctrines of the Gospel come in to the succour of morality, -- 207
V. Reflections on the apostles' creed, -- 209
VI. The connection of morality with the second part of the apostles' creed, -- 211
VII. The connection of morality with the third part of the apostles' creed. -- 213
VIII. Consequences of the foregoing observations, -- 214
IX. An appeal to experience, -- 215
X. An objection answered, which may be drawn from the ill conduct of unholy Christians, to prove the inutility of the doctrines of the Gospel, -- 218
XI. The same subject continued, -- 222
XII. Other reasons given for the little influence which the foregoing doctrines are observed to have on Christians in general, -- 223
XIII. The doctrines of Christianity have an obscure side. Reasons of this obscurity. Errors of some philosophers in this respect, -- 225
XIV. The advantages of redemption are extended in different degrees to all mandkind through every period of the world, -- 230
XV. Reflections on the danger to which modern Deists expose themselves, -- 235
V. APPEAL TO MATTER OF FACT AND COMMON SENSE.
DEDICATION, -- 245
Contents, -- 247
Introduction, -- 249
PART I. The doctrine of man's corrupt estate, stated, -- 251
II. Man considered as an inhabitant of the natural world, -- 257
III. As a citizen of the moral world, -- 276
IV. As belonging to the Christian world, -- 309
V. Inferences form the whole, -- 330
Concluding address to the serious reader, -- 343
Appendix, -- 337
VI. VINDICATION OF THE CATHOLIC FAITH OF THE TRINITY.
PREFACE by the editor, -- 379
INTRODUCTION, showing the occasion of the work, and addressing the reader, -- 287
EXPOSTULATORY letter to the Rev. Dr. Priestley, in four parts, -- 391
CHAPTER I. A general view of the catholic faith, concerning the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, and the subject in debate between Catholics and Deists of every description, -- 398
II. The sources of the popular arguments against the catholic faith, -- 402
III. God the Father has a proper Son, by whom he made, and governs, and will judge the world, -- 407
IV. Our Lord claimed the Divine honour of being the proper Son of God the Father, -- 412
V. The view which the apostles give us of Christ after their most perfect illumination, -- 414
VII. The inspired writers give Christ the names and titles, and ascribe to him the perfections of the true God, -- 431
VIII. The apostles represent Christ as the immediate author of the Divine works, whether of creation or preservation, -- 440
IX. Christ is the Redeemer and Saviour of lost mankind, -- 446
X. Christ is the final and universal Judge, -- 453
XI. Divine worship was paid to him by patriarchs, prophets, and apostles, and is his undoubted right, -- 461
XII. Christ is also very man, -- 475
XIII. Objections answered, -- 483
XIV. The use of the doctrine of Christ's divinity, -- 491
VII. SOCINIANISM UNSCRIPTURAL; OR, THE SECOND PART OF A VINDICATION OF CHRIST'S DIVINITY.
PREFACE by the editor, -- 501
LETTER II. To Dr. Priestly, proving that our first parents expected a Divine Messiah, and that the Divine person who appeared to the patriarchs &c, was Christ in his pre-existent state, -- 507
LETTER III. The subject continued, -- Page 511
IV. The three original promises concerning the Messiah, the foundation of the proofs of his divinity from the writings of the prophets, -- 514
V. All the prophets exhibit Christ as the bruiser of the serpent, and the prosperous king reigning in righteousness, -- 519
VI. The testimony borne by the prophets to the Godhead of Christ, -- 530
VII. The evangelists and apostles attest his divinity, -- 544
VIII. The same subject continued, -- 550
IX. Dr. Priestley is confronted with St. Paul, and our Lord's Divine glory is seen in that apostle's writings, -- 555
VIII. SOCINIANISM UNSCRIPTURAL CONTINUED, IN LETTERS TO THE REV. MR. WESLEY.
LETTER I. The Epistle to the Romans reviewed, and sundry passages of it shown to be irreconcilable with common sense, on supposition that the author livid the doctrine of Christ's mere humanity, -- 563
II. The two Epistles to the Corinthians considered, and many passages of a similar nature pointed out, -- 568
III. The Epistle to the Galatians, and that to the Ephesians, proved to contain a doctrine equally absurd, if Christ be a mere man, -- 573
IV. The Epistle to the Philippians, and that to the Colossians, must be viewed in the same light, -- 577
V. The Epistle to the Thessalonians equally inconsistent with common sense on the same supposition,. -- 582
VI. The Epistles to Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, are also inconsistent therewith, -- 585
VII. The Epistle to the Hebrews affords abundant proof of the absurdity of its doctrine, if Christ be a mere man, -- 589
VIII. The Epistle of St. James, and those of St. Peter, exhibit a doctrine equally absurd, on the same supposition, -- 595
IX. The Epistles of St. John, and that of St. Jude, were written in the same strain of absurdity, if the doctrine of Christ's mere humanity be true, -- 593
X. To carry the doctrine of Christ's mere humanity represents the apostle John as writing without common sense in the Apocalypse, and fathers similar absurdity on John the Baptist, -- 604
XI. It represents Christ himself as uttering declarations absurd, and even blasphemous, and that, as well after his ascension into heaven, as during his abode on earth, -- 610
THE following work was begun and nearly completed in the course of Mr. Fletcher's last residence at Nyon, where it formed a valuable part of his private labours, during a long and painful confinement from public duty. On his return to England he suffered the manuscript to lie by him in a very loose and disordered state, intending, at his leisure, to translate and prepare it for the press. In the meantime he entered upon the arduous task of revising and enlarging a French poem, which he had lately published at Geneva under the title of "La Louange," and which was reprinted at London in the year 1785, under the title of "La Grace et la Nature." The second appearance of this poem was speedily followed by the dissolution of the author. Soon after this melancholy event had taken place, Mrs. Fletcher, in looking over the papers of the deceased, discovered the first part of the Portrait of St. Paul, with the perusal of which she favoured the translator, who finding a work of no common importance, was readily induced to render it into English. From time to time different parts of the work were discovered, and though the manuscript was so incorrect and confused, as frequently to stagger the resolution of the translator, yet a strong persuasion that the work was calculated to produce the most desirable effects, encouraged him to persevere till he had completed his undertaking.
It is scarcely necessary to inform the intelligent reader that the Portrait of St. Paul was originally intended for publication in the author's native country, to which its arguments and quotations apply with peculiar propriety. It may be more necessary to observe, that had the life of Mr. Fletcher been prolonged the traits of St. Paul's moral character would have been rendered abundantly more copious and complete.
MANY celebrated writers have offered excellent treatises to the public, some on the character of a true Christian, and others on the duties of a good pastor. It were to be wished that these two objects might be so closely united as to fall under the same point of view: and to effect such a union is the design of this work, in which may be seen, at one view, what were the primitive Christians and the apostolic pastors; and what they are required to be, who are called to follow them in the progress of piety.
As example is more powerful than precept, it was necessary that some person should be singled out, who was both an excellent Christian, and an eminent minister of Jesus Christ. The person we fix upon is St. Paul, in whom these two characters were remarkably united, and a sketch of whose wondrous portrait we endeavour to exhibit in the following pages. When this apostle is considered as a Christian, his diligence in filling up the duties of his vocation, his patience in times of trial, his courage in the midst of dangers, his perseverance in well doing, his faith, his humility, his charity, all sweetly blended together, constitute him an admirable model for every Christian. And when we regard him as a dispenser of the mysteries of God, his inviolable attachment to truth, and his unconquerable zeal, equally distant from fanaticism and indifference, deserve the imitation of every minister of the Gospel.
The Holy Scriptures furnish materials in abundance for the present work; the Acts of the Apostles, from chapter viii, containing little else than a narration of the labours of St. Paul, or an abridgment of his sermons and apologies. The New Testament, beside the Acts, contains twenty-two different books, fourteen of which were composed by this apostle himself, with all the frankness suited to the epistolary style, and all the personal detail into which he was obliged to enter when writing in an uncommon variety of circumstances, to his friends, his brethren, and his spiritual children. It is on such occasions that a man is most likely to discover what he really is; and it is on such occasions that the moral painter may take an author in the most interesting positions, in order to delineate, with accuracy, his sentiments, his circumstances, and his conduct.
Let it not be said that, in proposing this apostle as a model to Christians, we do but cast discouragements in the way of those who are at an immense distance behind him, with respect both to grace and diligence. The masterly skill that Raphael and Rubens have discovered in their pieces, serves not to discourage modern painters, who rather labour to form themselves by such grand models. Poets and orators are not disheartened by those chef d'aeuvres of poetry and eloquence which Homer and Virgil, Demosthenes and Cicero, have transmitted to posterity; why then should we be discouraged by considering the eminent virtues and unwearied labours of this great apostle? The greater the excellence of the pattern proposed, the less likely is the laboured copy to be incomplete.
It is granted that all the faithful are not called to be ministers, and that all ministers are not appointed, like St. Paul, to establish new Churches: but it is maintained, that all Christians, in their different states, are to be filled with the piety of that apostle. If the most inconsiderable trader among us is not allowed to say, "I deal only in trifling articles, and therefore should be indulged with a false balance,"if such a trader is required to be as just in his shop, as a judge on his tribunal; and if the lowest volunteer in an army is called to show as much valour in his humble post, as a general officer in his more exalted station; the same kind of reasoning may be applied to the Christian Church: so that her youngest communicant is not permitted to say, "My youth, or the weakness of my sex, excuses me from exercising the charity, the humility, the diligence, and the zeal which the Scriptures prescribe."
It should be laid down as an incontrovertible truth, that the same zeal which was manifested by St. Paul for the glory of God, and the same charity that he displayed, as an apostle, in the very extensive scene of his labours, a minister is called to exercise, as a pastor, in his parish, and a private person, as father of a family, in his own house. Nay, even every woman, in proportion to her capacity, and as the other duties of her station permit, should feel the same ardour to promote the salvation of her children and domestics, as St. Paul once discovered to Promote that of the ancient Jews and Gentiles. Observe, in the harvest field, how it fares with the labourers, when they are threatened with an impetuous shower. All do not bind and bear the weighty sheaves. Every one is occupied according to their rank, their strength, their age, and their sex; and all are in action, even to the little gleaners. The true Church resembles this field. The faithful of every rank, age, and sex, have but one heart and one mind. According to their state, and the degree of their faith, all are animated to labour in the cause of God, and all are endeavouring to save either communities, families, or individuals, from the wrath to come; as the reapers and gleaners endeavour to secure the rich sheaves, and even the single ears of grain, from the gathering storm.
If, in the course of this work, some truths are proposed which may appear new to the Christian reader, let him candidly appeal, for the validity of them, to the Holy Scriptures, and to the testimony of reason, supported by the most respectable authorities, such as the confessions of faith adopted by the purest Churches, together with the works of the most celebrated pastors and professors who have explained such confessions.
Among other excellent ends proposed in publishing the following sheets, it is hoped that they may bring back bigoted divines to evangelical moderation, and either reconcile, or bring near to one another the orthodox professor, the imperfect Christian, and the sincere deist.
THE FIRST TRAIT
IN THE MORAL CHARACTER OF ST. PAUL.
His early piety.
TILE great apostle of the Gentiles bore no resemblance to those who reject the service of God, till they are rendered incapable of gratifying their unruly passions. lie was mindful of his Creator from his early youth, and as an observer of religious rites outstripped the most exact and rigid professors of his time ; so that the regularity of his conduct, the fervour of his devotion, and the vivacity of his zeal, attracted the attention of his Superiors in every place. Observe the manner iii which he himself speaks on this subject, before the tribunal of Festus : "My manner of life, from my youth, which was at the first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the .Jews, which knew me from the beginning, (if they would testify,) that after the straitest sect of our religion I lived a Pharisee," Acts xxvi, 4, 5. Having occasion afterward to mention the same circumstances, in his Epistle to the Galatians, he writes thus : "Ye have heard of my conversation in time past, how I profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers," Gal. i, 13, 14. And to what an extraordinary pitch of excellence he had carried his morality, may be inferred from the following short, but solemn declaration, which was made in the presence of persons who were very well competent to have convicted him of falsehood, had there been found the least blemish in his outward conduct: " Men and brethren, I have lived iii all good conscience before God unto this day," Acts xxiii, 1. Such was the early piety of St. Paul; and such was the righteousness iii which lie trusted, when, through zeal for the Church and state, of which he was a member, he persecuted Christians as disturbers of the public peace.
Having seen the beautiful side of this apostle's early character, let us now consider his defects. As a member of the Jewish Church he was inspired with zeal, but that zeal was rigid and severe; as a member of society, ins manners were probably courteous, but on some occasions his behaviour was tyrannical and inhuman ; in a word, he possessed the whole of religion, except those essential parts of it, humility and charity. Supercilious and impatient, lie would bear no contradiction. Presuming upon his own sufficiency, he gave himself no time to compare his errors with truth : and hence, covering his cruelty with the specious name of zeal, he breathed out "threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord," Acts ix, 1. He himself, speaking of this part of his character, makes the following humiliating confession: "I was a blasphemer and a persecutor, and injurious," 1 Tim. i, 13. "I verily thought with myself that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem
CONTENTS OF VOLUME IV.
On Evangelical Mysticism, -- 7
.Grace and Nature, -- 13
Eulogy on Christian Philosophers, -- 14
Defence of Experimental Religion, -- 21
Natural Aversion of the Human Mind to that which is Good, -- 39
On the Trinity, -- 42.
On the Crucifixion, -- 46
Conversion of Mr. Fletcher, -- 48
A Dreadful Phenomenon Described and Improved, -- 55
A sermon preached on the occasion, from Numbers xvi, -- 30-34,.
DISCOURSE ON THE NEW BIRTH.
INTRODUCTION, -- 97
PART I. To whom and how our Saviour preached regeneration,
II. What is meant by being born again, or regenerated, -- 102
III. Why no man can see the kingdom of God unless he be born again, -- 104
IV. The danger of taking the regularity of our manners for regeneration, -- 107
V Conclusion.By what means a soul may be born again, -- 112
NINE ADDITIONAL SERMONS.
The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned, 1 Cor. ii, 14, -- 118
Awake, thou that sleepest, Eph. v, 14, -- 126
If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, 1 Cor. v, 17, -- 133
Except a man be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God, John iii, 3, -- 139
And thou shalt speak my words unto them, whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear, for they are most rebellious, Ezek. ii, 7, -- 147
O that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would consider their latter end, Dent. xxxii, 29, -- 155
From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him: then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also, go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life, John vi, -- 66-68, .
Ye will not come to me, that ye might have life, John v, 40, -- 172
O Son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; timers. fore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, 0 wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thy hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way, to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul, Ezek. xxxiii, 7-9, -- 181
BRIEF OUTLINES OF THIRTY SERMONS, -- Page 191
General Observations on the Redemption of Mankind by Jesus Christ, -- 222
The Three Principles, -- 230
Thoughts on Fanaticism, -- 233
Letter on the Prophecies, -- 238
On Seriousness, -- 250
On Pleasure, -- 250
On Hypocrisy, -- 251
On Lukewarmness, -- 256
On staying the mind on God, -- 257
On Shadrach, &c, refusing to worship the golden image, -- 259
On the agony of Christ, -- 260
The kingdom of heaven taken by violence, -- 261
Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee, -- 263
The Test of a New Creature: or, Heads of Examination for adult Christians, -- 267
PREFACE by the editor, -- 273
Six Letters on the Spiritual Manifestation of the Son of God, -- 275
Pastoral and Familiar Letters, -- 309
A DIALOGUE BETWEEN A MINISTER AND ONE OF HIS PARISHIONERS.
PREFACE by the editor, -- 411
PART I. Containing an account of the doctrine to be examined, -- 413
II. Wherein the apostasy and misery of man are proved from Scripture, -- 414
III. In which the apostasy and misery of man are proved from reason, -- 425
A VINDICATION OF THE REV. MR. WESLEY'S CALM ADDRESS TO OUR AMERICAN COLONIES.
Notice by the American editor, -- 438
PREFACE, -- 439
LETTER I. The doctrine of taxation maintained in the Calm Address, is rational, Scriptural, and constitutional, -- 441
II. The doctrine of Americanus is highly unconstitutional, -- 448
III. Observations on the origin of power, on the high republican spirit, and its effects in the time of Cromwellon tyranny and slavery, and on the peculiar liberty of the subjects of Great BritainThe author's wishes respecting a reconciliation with the colonists, -- 461
AMERICAN PATRIOTISM FARTHER CONFRONTED WITH REASON, SCRIPTURE, AND THE CONSTITUTION.
PREFACE, -- 481
LETTER I. Mr. Evans' arguments are contrary to reason, Scripture, and the British constitution, -- 483
LETTER II. Mr. Evans' mistake concerning the absoluteness of our property, the nature of slavery, the origin of power, and the proper cause of the war with America, -- 499
III. Pr. Price's politics are as irrational, unscriptural, and unconstitutional, as these of Mr. Evans, -- 508
IV. Observations on Dr. Price's awful argument, taken from our immorality, -- 536
V. A Scriptural plea for the revolted colonies, with some hints Concerning a Christian method of reconciliation between them and the mother country, -- 544
THE BIBLE AND THE SWORD.
The king's proclamation for a general fast, -- 552
Fasting, prayer, and drawing the sword of justice, perfectly consistent with Scripture, -- 553
ALPHABETICAL INDEX, -- 561
Index to Texts, -- 582
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