Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

St. John and St. Paul, is · Christ in us, the hope of glory.' John i. 5, 9. Col. i. 27. Eph. iii. 27, and

1. 14.

ishop Cowper

, & potwithstandine a thief's esperiences Jost his select election, 114

6. Nor can you now justly refuse to clear Mr. Wesley of the charge of heresy, because he says, Salvation is not by the merit of works, but by works as a condition : For in the present case, where is the difference between the word evidence, which you use, with Dr. Guise, Mr. Wesley, and me; and the word condition, which Mr. Wesley uses, and our church, and most of the Puritan divines ? An example will enforce my appeal to your candour : You sit upon the bench as a magistrate, and a prisoner stands at the bar : You say to him, “You are charged with calumny, forgery, and gross perversions ; but you shall be acquitted, on condition that some of your reputable neighbours give you a good character.” A lawyer checks you for using the treasonable word condition, insisting you must say, that the prisoner shall be acquitted or condemned, according to the evidence which his creditable neighbours will give of his good bebaviour. You turn to the bar, and say, “ Prisoner, did you understand me?"-"Yes, Sir,” replies he, “as

y faith, is hy

James's onde

afnir

. ! : in Chris cepted at

and roc! hat jos

itboot

it not Pes.

120 ed

who preach Christ in us, and Christ the Light of the world, (as you intimate in your Five Letters,) I affirm, that St. Paul and St. John are two of the greatest Mystics in the world. And when I intimated, that Solomon's Song is a mystical book, and that the Rev. Mr. Romaine has given a mystical, and in general edifying explanation of the 107th Psalın , I no more insulted those good men than our church reflects upon our Lord, when she says, that “matrimony represents o us the mystical union between Christ and his church.” If Mr. Vesley has spoken against Mysticism, it is undoubtedly against that hich is wild and unscriptural ; for he has shown us his approbation

rational and scriptural Mysticism, by publishing very edifying racts from the works of the great German and English Mystics, mpis and Mr. Law. Permit me to recommend to you, what Mr. tley, a clergyman whom you have quoted with honour, has ten in defence of the Mystics; and to remind you, that, abroad, ? who go a little deeper into inward Christianity than the geno

of their neigbours, are called Pietists, or Mystics, as commonly ey are called Methodists in England: On the preceding accounts se, that when Mr. Wesley, or Mr. Shirley, shall again condemn icism, they will particularly observe, that it is only unscriptural rrational Mysticism, which they explode.

[ocr errors]

well as the gentleman who stops your honour.". “ That is enough,” say you,

“let us not dispute about words ; I am persuaded, the court understands, we all mean,

that the acquittal or condemnation of the prisoner will entirely turn upon the deposition of pro.. per witnesses."

7. With regard to the word Merit, I hope our con. troversy is at an end : For Mr. Wesley and I, or to speak your own language, old Mordecai and young Ignorance, freely grant what Bishop Hopkins and you assert, (Review, p. 42,) namely, that “in all proper merit, there must be an equivalence, or at least a proportion of worth between the work and the reward ;and that the obedience we perform cannot be said, without a grand impropriety, to merit any reward from God.” But you must also grant us, that if our. Lord, speaking after the manner of men, by a grand catechresis, I a very condescending impropriety, frequently uses the word meriting or deserving, we may without heresy use it after him.

Should you ask me, how I can prove that our Lord ever used it; I reply, that if he used again and again words answering to it, as face answers to face iņ a glass, it is just as if he had used the English word merit, or Mr. Wesley's Latin word meritum : And to prove that he did so, I appeal to the first Greek lexicon you will meet with. I suppose it is that of Schrevelius, because it is the most common all Europe over. Look for mereor, (to merit or deserve) and you will ind that the correspondent Greek is μισθον φερειν, , literally to carry a reward, and ašlos elvat, to be worthy; Atia answers to merituin, merit; and ažuws to merito, deservedly, or according to one's merit.

To prove, therefore, that our Lord did not scruple to use the word merit in an improper sense, I need orly prove that he did not scruple applying the words ulosos and ačios, to man. Take some instances of both :

* A figure of speech, which consists in using a word in an improper sense ; As when unfaithful ministers are called dogs that cannot bark.

1 honour, "

not dispute understands, patiou of the

-ion of pro

our couI, or to

and you

proper

[ocr errors]

1. Matt. xx. 8, ‘Give them tov Mio Sov, their hire, or reward.'—And again Matt. ver. 12, “Your reward (uodos) is great in heaven,' &c.—Hence the apostle calls God (Mo dapodotns) the Rewarder; and Moses is said to look to (Motarodoslav) the recompence of reward,'Heb. xi. 6, 26. And the word ulogatododia, the bestowing of a reward, as much auswers to the

word uio Sopopia, the carrying of a reward, or merit, Young

as the relative words which necessarily suppose one another. He, therefore, that uses the former without

scruple, makes himself quite ridiculous before unpre3 PTO

judiced people, if he scruples using the latter; much -d;

more, if he thinks the doing it is a dreadful heresy. aid,

2. As for the other word (ažios) meriting, deserving, ard or worthy, it is as scriptural as any word in the Bible.

You find it used both in a proper, and in an improper d sense in the following scriptures : (1.) In a PROPER

sense : "The labourer is worthy of, or merits, his hire, Luke x. 7. Worthy, or deserving, stripes, Luke xii. 48. Worthy of, or meriting death, Acts xxi. 11. They bave shed the blood of thy saints, and thou hast given them blood to drink, for they are worthy :' That is, they merit, they deserve it, Rev. xvi. 6.—(2.) In an IMPROPER sense, which you represent as heretical. "They shall walk with me white, for they are worthy, Rev. iii. 4.-Inquire who is worthy, Matt. x. 11. Worthy of me, Matt. x. 37.—They that were bidden were not worthy, Matt. xxii. 8.-Worthy to escape these things, Luke xxi. 36.-Worthy to obtain that world, Luke xx. 35, &c. &c.

In all these passages the original word is ačios, worly, meriting, or deserving. Bishop Cowper, therefore, hom you quote in your Five Letters, p. 26, spoke th uncommon rashuess when he said, “ No man led the Spirit of Jesus, did ever use this word of merit, e. ažLos elval] as applying to man : It is the proud ?ch of Antichrist. Search the scriptures, and ye I see that none of all those who speak by divine iration, did ever use it : Yea, the godly Fathers uys abhorred it." What ! the sacred writers “never

[ocr errors]

used the word aĚLOS Elva!!” “ The godly fathers always abhorred” an expression which the Holy Ghost so frequently makes use of! Christ himselfs spoke by the proud spirit of Antichrist !" When I see such camels obtruded upon the church, and swallowed down by thousands as glib truth, I am cut to the heart, and, in a paug of sorrow and shame, groan, “From such divinity, good Lord, deliver me, my worthy opponent, and all real Protestants !"

To this, Mr. Rowland Hill answers beforehand, in his Friendly Remarks, p. 28: This is a bad criticism upon the word ačios, which more properly means meet or fit.Now, Sir, to your bare assertion I oppose, (1.) All the Greek lexicons.—(2.) The testimony of Beza, Calvin's successor, who speaking of the word ačios, says, It is properly used of that which is of equal weight and importance.—(3.) The testimony of Leigh, another learned Calvinist, who, in his Critica Sacra, says,

ačios has its name from ayelv, a trahendo : Que preponderant luncem attrahunt; and is a metaphor taken from balances, when one scale doth counterpoise another.” And speaking of ačlow, a word de rived from ačios, he adds, “ It signifieth when either reward or punishment is given according to the proportion of merit.And this he proves, by 1 Tim. v. 17,

Let the elders that rule well, be counted worthy of · double honour : For the scripture says, the labourer is worthy of his reward.'

When I see the learned Calvinists forced to grant all we contend for, I wish that no Protestant may any longer expose his prejudice, in denying what is absolutely undeniable, viz., That Christ and his apostles assert, some men merit, or are worthy of rewards. Taking care, therefore, never to fix to those scriptural words the idea of proper worthiness, or merit of condig. nity, let us no longer fight against Christ, by saying, they are in no sense worthy, whom Christ himself makes, accounts, and calls WORTHY ; yea, whom he gloriously rewards as such.

8. As for this modest proposition of the Minutes,

y fathers altar Ty Ghost so fre

spoke by the e such camels red down by

art, and, in

such diti. ment, and

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

)

" It is a doubt, if God justifies any one that wever did fear him, and work righteousness," it stands now established by your concessions, not as matter of doubt, but as a matter of fact, if we speak of justification in the hour of conversion, or in the day of judgment. For, with respect to the former, you justly observe, (p. 12,) that "the faith whereby we are sared," and consequentlyjustified,"cannot be withont good wouis:" And with regard to the latter, you say, (p.149,) “What need is there of making our justification, by the evidence of works in the day of judgment, a matter of controversy at all? We are quite agreed, that a sinner

is declaratively justified by works.” Now, honoured Beza,

Sir, if he is justified by works, it is undoubtedly by los, works of righteousness ; unless it could be proved, that bi he may he justified by works of unrighteousness, by

adultery and murder.

9. It is likewise evident from your own concessions, that talking of a justified, or a sanctified scate," withont paying a due regard to good works, tends to mislead men, and actually misleads thousands. If Judas, for instance, when he neglected good works, which ate the mark of our first, and the instrument of our second justification, trusted to what was done in the monent, in which he was effectually called to leave all, and follow Jesus, he grossly deceived himself : Or if he Pepended upon imputed righteousness, when he negected personal holiness, he built upon the loosest nd, The seasonableness of Mr. Wesley's caution in this Dect, will strike you, honoured Sir, if you cast your, - upon the numbers of fallen believers, who once, obedient Judas, left all to follow Christ; but having med their besetting sin, like the apostolic traitor, sell their Saviour and election, perhaps for a less ble consideration than he did. However, this y

once in a justified and sanctified state, and Mr. ells them, that " in the act of justification good s have no place,” and insinuates, that adulterers vurderers may be in the winter season of a sancti1. II.

B

« ForrigeFortsæt »