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we had ever desired them to agree with us, any farther than the plain letter of scripture, and the loud dic. tates of conscience, invite them so to do! But such prepossessed judges will not be hurt by our controversy, though they should pretend they are : For they have their stumbling-block in their own breast. They would not have wanted pretences to ridicule religion, if our controversy had vever been set ou foot ; nor would they entertain more farourable thoughts of it, if we ciropped it without coming to a proper eclaircissement.
But these, however numerous, are not all the world. There are, in our universities, and throughout the kingdom, hundreds, and we hope thousands, of judicious and candid men, who truly fear God, and sincerely desire to love him. These, we apprehend, are offended at the first gospel-axiom, and driven farther and farther from it by the mixture of “ Antinomian dotages," which renders it ridiculous. They are tempted to throw away the marrow of the gospel, on account of the luscions, fulsome additions made to it, to make it richer. And to these, we flatter ourselves, that our controversy will prove useful, as well as to our candid brethren.
We hope it will open to the view of these Gamaliels and Obadiahs, the confused heap of truth and error, at which they so justly stumble ; and help them precisely to separate the precious from the vile ; that while they * abhor that which is evil, they may cleave to that which is good.' This is not all : When they shall see, that some of those men, whom they accounted wild enthu. siaste, candidly take their part, where they are in the right; and fight their battles in a rational aud scriptural manner, their prejudices will be softened, the light will imperceptibly steal in upon them, and, by divine grace, convivce them, that they go as far out of the way to the left hand, as our opponents do to the right.
The truth, which we maintain, lies between all extremes ; or rather it enibraces and connects them all. The Calvinists fairly receive only the first gospel-axiom,
and the Moralists the second. If I may compare the gospel-truth to the child contended for in the days of Solomon ; both parties, while they divide, inadvertently destroy it. We, like the true mother, are for no division. Standing upon the middle scriptural line, we embrace and hold fast both gospel axioms. With the Calvinists, we give God in Christ all the glory of our salvation ; and with the Moralists, we take care not to give him in Adam any of the shame of our damnation : We have need of patience with both, for they both highly blame because we follow the poet's direction,
Inter utrumque tene, medio tutissimus ibis :
Both think hardly of us, because we do not so maintain the particular gospel-axiom which they have justly espoused, as to exclude that which they rashly explode. But if we can use, with meekness of wisdom, the
armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,' and give our opposite adversaries, on every side, a scriptural and rational account of the hope that is in us,' moderate Calvinists and evangelical Moralists will at last kindly 'give us the right hand of fellowship.' Discovering that the advantages of both their doctrines join in ours, they will acknowledge, that the faith working by love,' which we preach, iucludes all the privileges of Solifidianism and Morality ; that we do justice to the gospel, without making void the law through faith ; that we establish the Law,' without superseding free grace; and that we extol our High Priest's cross,
without pouring contempt upon his throne. In a word, they will perceive, that we perfectly reconcile St. Paul with St. James, aud both with reason, conscience, and all the oracles of God.
Thus shall all good men of all denominations agree at last among themselves, and bend all their collected force against Pharisaic unbelief, which continually attacks the first gospel-axiom ; and against Antinomian contempt of good works, which perpetually militates against the second. The Father of lights grant, that
FOURTH CHECK TO ANTINOMIANISM.
this may be the happy effect of our controversy! So shall we bless the hour when a variety of singular circumstances obliged us to come to a full eclaircissement ; and to lay, by that mean, the foundation of a solid union, not only with each other, but also with all good and judicious men, both in the religious and in the moral world.
THE FIRST PART
Fifth Check to Antinomianism :
AN ANSWER TO
“THE FINISHING STROKE"
RICHARD HILL, ESQ.
In which some Remarks, upon Mr. Fulsome's Antinomian Creed
published by the Rev. Mr. Berridge, are occasionally introduced.
WITH AN APPENDIX,
Upon the remaining Difference between the Calvinists and the Anti
Calvinists, with respect to our Lord's Doctrine of Justification by Words, and "St. James's Doctrine of Justification by Works and not by Faith only.
“As deceivers and yet true."-"In meekness instructing them that
oppose themselves." --2 Cor. vi. 18. 2 Tim. il. 25.