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thus: "[Beloved, I am jealous of you with an holy jealousy,"
may abound. For the preventing of which dangerous mif"carriage, which hath been the dangerous lot of many thousands, "I thought good to ftep in with this text, which I am perfuaded "will prove a feasonable warning to fome at leaft."] And this pious caution of the author herein, left he fhould be mifuo, derftood, gives us fome grounds to believe, that he intended them not in the more exceptionable fenfe. 'Tis beft, if an unwary reader receive hurt. that he receives his healing alfo from the fame hand. And whereas a paper was printed upon this occafion foon after the publication of the doctor's works, we willingly adopt fo much of it as is requifite to our prefent pur pole; which is to this effect:
Some who fubfcribed this certificate, faw only the paper itfelt, to which fubfcription was defired; never having peruled the works of Dr. Crifp. The certificate only concerned the fon, not the father; and certified only concerning the fon, That they who should fubfcribe it, believed him in this to deal truly; that he was not a Falfarius; that he would not « fay that was his father's, which was not fo; a paper so sober, fo modeft, was (taken by itself) fcarce refutable by a friend.
• The fon's preface, fome that fubfcribed this certificate saw not, nor had any notice, or the leaft imagination of its contents; otherwife, the part of a friend had certainly been done, as well in advifing against much of the preface, as in fubfcribing the certificate.
For the works of this reverend perfon themselves, as it no way concerned the fubfcribing this certificate, to know what they were; fo from the opinion that went of the author, among many good men, that he was a learned, pious, good man, it was fuppofed they were likely to have in them many ⚫ good and useful things; to which it was only needful to think them his, not to think them perfect.
We may, in fome refpect, judge of books as of men; i.
markable failings, yet that, upon the whole, 'tis better they have lived, and been known in the world, than that they 'fhould not have lived, or have lived obfcure.
The truth is (which we have often confidered) that though 'the great doctrines of the Christian religion do make a most coherent, comely fcheme, which every one fhould labour to comprehend and digeft in his mind; yet when the gospel first 'becomes effectual for the changing mens hearts, it is by God's bleffing this or that paffage which drops: The most difcern not the feries and connection of truths at first, and too little ⚫ afterwards.
• Upon that view of Dr. Crifp's writings we have had fince the publication, we find, there are many things faid in them, with that good favour, quickness, and fpirit, as to be very apt 'to make good impreffions upon men's hearts; and do judge, that being greatly affected with the grace of God to finners himself, his fermons did thereupon run much in that ftrain. • All our minds are little and incomprehenfive; we cannot re'ceive the weight and impreffion of all neceffary things at once, but with fome inequality; fo that when the feal goes deeper ' in fome part, it is fhallower in fome others.
If fome parts of Dr. Crifp's works be more liable to exception, the danger of hurt thereby feems, in fome measure, ob'viated in fome other: As when he fays, Pag. 46. Vol. I. • Sanctification of life, is an infeparable companion with the jufti*fication of a perfon by the free grace of Chrift. And Vol. IV. 'P. 93. That in respect of the rules of righteoufnefs, or the matter of obedience, we are under the law fills or else we are lawless, to ' live every man as Jeems good in his own eyes, which I know no 'true Chriftian does fo much as think.
'In like manner, whereas, in Vol. II. Serm. 15. and perhaps elsewhere. the doctor feems to be against evidencing our juftificati
on and union to Chrift, by our fanctification and new obedience; 'we have the truth of God in this matter plainly delivered by him,
Vol. IV. p. 36. when he teacheth, that our obedience is a comfortable evidence of our being in Chrift; and on that, as well as 'en many accounts, necessary.
'The difference between him, and other good men, seems to 'lie not fo much in the things which the one or other of them believe, as about their order and reference to one another; 'where, it is true, there may be very material difference: But we reckon, that notwithstanding what is more controverfible in thefe writings, there are much more material things, wherein they cannot but agree, and would have come much nearer
each other, even in these things, if they did take fome words or terms which come into ufe on the one or the other hand, in the fame fenfe; but when one uses a word in one fenfe, another ufes the fame word (or understands it, being used) in 'quite another fenje, here seems a vaft difagreement, which proves, at length, to be verbal only, and really none at all: As let by condition, be meant a deferving caufe, (in which cafe it is well known civilians are not wont to take it) and the one • fide would never ufe it, concerning any good act that can be done by us, or good habit that is wrought in us, in order to ⚫our prefent acceptance with God, or final falvation. Let be • meant by it fomewhat, that, by the conftitution of the gospel'covenant, and in the nature of the thing, is requifite to our prefent and eternal well-being, without the leaft notion of 'defert, but utmost abhorrence of any such notion in this cafe; and the other fide would as little refufe it. But what need is there for contending at all about a law-term, about the proper or prefent ufe whereof, there is fo little agreement between them it feems best to serve, and them it offends. Let it go, and they will well enough understand one another. Again, let juftification be taken for that which is complete, entire, and full, as it refults at laft from all its caufes and concurrents;
⚫ and, on the one hand, it would never be denied, that Christ's righteoufnefs juftifies us at the bar of God in the day of judgment, as the only deferving caufe; or affirmed, that our faith, repentance, fincerity, do justify us there, as any cause at all. 'Let justification be meant only of being juftified in this or that particular refpect; as for inftance, against this particular accufation, of never having been a believer: And the honeft • mistaken prefacer would never have faid, O horrid ! upon its being faid, Chrift's righteousness doth not justify us in this cafe: For he very well knows, Chri's righteousness will juftify no man that never was a believer. But that which muft ' immediately justify him against this particular accusation, must be proving, that he did fincerely believe; which fhews his 'intereft in Chrift's righteoufnefs, which then is the only de'ferving cause of his full and entire justification.
'There is an expreffion in Vol. I. p. 46. That falvation is 'not the end of any good work we do, which is like that of another; we are to act from life, not for life. Neither of which are to be rigidly taken, as it is likely they were never meant in the frict fenfe. For the former, this reverend author gives
us himself the handle for a gentle interpretation, in what he • presently fubjoins; where he makes the end of our good works
to be the manifestation of our obedience and fubjection; the setting "forth the praife of the glory of the grace of God; which feemto imply, that he meant the foregoing negation in a comparas 'tive, not in an absolute sense; understanding the glory of God to be more principal; and so, that by end, he meant the very 'ultimate end: So for the other, it is likely it was meant, that 'we should not act or work for life only, without aiming and "endeavouring that we might come to work from life also.
'For it is not with any tolerable charity supposable, that one 'would deliberately fay the one or the other of these in the rigid fense of the words; or that he would not, upon confideration, presently unfay it, being calmly reafoned with. For it were, in effect, to abandon human nature, and to fin against a very 'fundamental law of our creation, not to intend our own felicity: it were to make our first and most deeply fundamental " duty, in one great effential branch of it, our fin, viz. To take "the Lord for our God: For to take him for our God most effen *tially, includes our taking him for our fupreme good; which · we all know is included in the notion of the last end; it were to make it unlawful to strive against all fin, and particularly against sinful averfion from God; wherein lies the very death of the foul, or the fum of its mifery; or to strive after perfect 'conformity to God in holiness, and the full fruition of him; ⚫ wherein its final bleffednefs doth principally confist.
It were to teach us to violate the great precepts of the gofpel; Repent that your fins may be blotted out-Strive to enter in at the ftrait gate-Work out your own falvation with fear and trembling: To obliterate the patterns and precedents set be'fore us in the gofpel. We have believed in Jefus Chrift, that "we might be juftified. I bear down my body, left I fhould be a caft-away-That thou mayeft fave thyself, and them that hear
It were to fuppofe us bound to do more for the falvation 'of others, than our own falvation. We are required to fave 'others with fear, plucking them out of the fire. Nay, we 'were not (by this rule ftrictly understood) fo much as to pray ' for our own falvation; (which is a doing of fomewhat) when no doubt, we are to pray for the fuccefs of the gofpel, to this purpose, on behalf of other men.
It were to make all the threatenings of eternal death, and 'promises of eternal life, we find in the gofpel of our bleffed Lord, ufelefs; as motives to fhun the one, and obtain the other for they can be motives no way, but as the escaping
of the former, and the attainment of the other, have, with us, the place and confideration of an end.
It makes what is mentioned in the scripture, as the charac ⚫ter and commendation of the most eminent faints, a fault; as ⚫ of Abraham, Ifaac, and Jacob, &c That they fought the better ⚫ and heavenly country; and declared, plainly, that they did fo; ⚫ which neceffarily implies their making it their end.
But let none be fo harth as to think of any good man, that he intended any thing of all this; if every paffage that falls • from us be stretched and tortured with the utmost severity, we fhall find little to do befides accufing others, and defend ing ourselves, as long as we live.'
A fpirit of meeknefs and love will do more to our common peace, than all the disputations in the world.
Upon the whole, we are fo well affured of the peaceful, healing temper of the prefent author of these treatifes, that we are perfuaded he defigned fuch a course of managing the controverfies wherein he hath concerned himself, as to prevent, on the one hand, injury to the memory of the dead; and, on the other, any hurt or danger to the living.
Nor do we fay thus much of him, as if he fought, or did need any letters of recommendation from us; but as counting this teftimony to truth, and this expreffion of respect to him, a debt; to the spontaneous payment whereof, nothing more was requifite, befides fuch a fair occafion as the providence of God hath now laid before us, inviting us hereunto.
An EPISTLE to the READER.
CENSURE not this treatife of errors, as an error in my prudentials, in fending it forth at fuch an improper time as this. I fhould never fpontaneously have awakened fleeping controverfies, after God's fevere caftigation of his people for them, and in the most proper and hopeful feafon for their re dintegration.
And befide what I have formerly faid, I think fit here to add,