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throned by superstitious fancy: And all the works of the former were well nigh choked by the thorns that sprang from the latter. The zealous Reformer, with his sharp scythe, justly cut thein down through a considerable part of Germany. His terribly successful weapou, which had already done some execution in the Netherlands, France, and Italy, might have reached Rome itself, if the effects of his unguarded preaching had not dreadfully broke out around him in the North.

There the balance of the evangelical precepts was lost. Solifidians openly prevailed. Our Lord's Sermon upon the Mount, and St. James's Epistle, were either explained away, or wished out of the Bible. The amiable, practicable law of Christ was perpetually confounded with the terrible impracticable law of innocence; and the avoidable penalties of the former were injudiciously represented as one with the dreadful curse of the latter, or with the abrogated ceremonies of the Mosaic dispensation. Then the law was publicly wedded to the devil, and poor Protestant Solifidians were taught to bid equal defiance to both.

The effects soon answered the cause. Lawless believers, known under the name of Anabaptists, arose in Germany. They fancied themselves the dear, the elect people of God; they were complete in Christ; their election was absolutely made sure ; all things were theirs; and they went about in religious mobs to deliver people from legal bondage, and bring them into gospel liberty, which, in their opinion, was a liberty to despise all laws divine and human, and to do, every one, what was right in his own es. Luther was shocked, and cried out: But the mischief was done, and the Reformation disgraced : Nor did he perseveringly apply the proper remedy pointed out in the Mi. nutes, “ salvation not by the merit of works, but by the works of faith as a condition."

Nevertheless, he was wise enough to give up the root of the mischief in the Lutheran Articles of Religion, presented to the Emperor Charles the 5th at Augsburg, whence they were called The Augsburg Confession. In the XIIth of those Articles, which treats of repentance, we find these remarkable words : “ We teach, touching repentance, that those who have sinned after baptism, may obtain the forgiveness of their sins as often as they are converted,” &c. Again, “ We condemn the Anabaptists, who say, that those who have been once justified can no more lose the Holy Spirit."

This doctrine clearly opened, and frequently en. forced, might have stopped the progress of Antinomianism. But, alas ! Luther did not often insist upon it, and sometimes he seemed even to coutradict it. in the mean time Calvin came up; and though I must do him the justice to acknowledge, that he seldom went the length of modern Calvinists in speculative Antino mianism, yet he made the matter worse by advancing many unguarded propositions about absolute decrees and the necessary, tinal perseverance of backsliding believers.

This doctrine, which, together with its appendages, so nicely reconciles Baal and Free Grace; a little, or (if the backslider is so minded) a good deal of the world, and heaven; this flesh-pleasing doctrine, which slily parts faith and works, while it decently unites Christ and Belial, could not but be acceptable to injudicious and carnal Protestants : And to make it pass with others, it was pompously decorated with the name of the doctrine of grace; and free grace preachers, as they call themselves, insinuated that St. James's doctrine of “faith being dead without works,' was a doctrine of wrath, an uncomfortable anti-christian doctrine, which none but “proud justiciaries” and rank Papists could maintain. Time would fail to mention all the books that were indirectly written against it ; or to relate all the abuse that was indirectly thrown upon these two propositions of St. Paul, “Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap,' and ' If ye live after the flesh ye shall die.'

Let it suffice to observe, that by these means the hellish sower of Antinomian tares prevailed. Thou. sands of good men were carried away by the stream. And, what is more surprising still, not a few of the wise and learned, favoured, embraced, and defended the Antinomian delusion.

Thus what Luther's Solifidian zeal had begun, and what Calvin's Predestinarian mistakes had carried on, was readily completed by the Synod of Dort; and the Antinomianism of many Protestants was not less con.. firmed by that assembly of Calvinistic divines ; than the Pharisaism of many Papists had been before by the council of Trent.

It is true, that as some good men in the Church of Rome have boldly withstood Pharisaical errors, and openly pleaded for salvation by grace through faith ; so some good mem in the Protestant churches have also steadily resisted Antinomian delusions and publicly defended the doctrine of salvation, not by the proper merit of works, but by the works of faith as a condition. But alas! As the Popes of Rome crushed or excommunicated the former, almost as fast as they arose; so have petty Protestant Popes blackened or silenced the latter. The true Quakers, from their first appearance, have made as firm a stand against the Antinomians, as the Valdenses against the Papists ; and it is well known that the Antinomians, who weit from England to America with many pious Puritans, whipt the Quakers, men and women, cut off their ears, made against them a law of hanishment upon pain of death, and upon that tyrannical law hanged four of their preachers, three men and one woman,t in the last century, for preaching up the Christian perfection of faith and obedience, and so disturbing the peace of the elect, who were 'at ease in Sion,' or rather in Babel.

I need not mention the title of heretic, with which that learned and good man, Arminius, is to this day dignified, for having made a firm and noble stand

| Their names were William Leddra, Marmaduke Stephenson, William Robinson, and Mary Dyer. See The History of the Quakers by Sewell; and New England judged, by George Bishop.

against wanton Free Grace. The banishment or deprivation of Grotius, Episcopius, and other Dutch divines, is no secret. And it is well known that in England Mr. Baxter, Mr. Wesley, and Mr. Sellon, are to this day an abhorrence to all Antinomiun flesh.'

I am sorry to say, that, all things considered, these good men have been treated with as much severity by Protestant Antinomians, as ever Luther, Melancthon, and Calvin were by Popish Pharisees : The Antinomnian and Pharisaic spirit run as much into one, as the two arms of a river that embraces an island. If they divide for a time, it is only to meet again, and increase their mutual rapidity. I beg leave to speak my whole mind. It is equally clear froin scripture and reason, that we must believe, in order to be saved consistently with God's mercy; and that we must obey, in order to be saved consistently with his holiness. These propositions are the immovable basis of the two gospel axioms. Now if I reject either of them, it little matters which. If I blow my brains out, what signifies it, whether I do it by clapping the mouth of a pistol to my right or to any left temple ?

Error moves in a circle : Extremes meet in one. A warm, Popish Pharisee, and a zealous, Protestant Antinomian, are nearer each other than they imagine. The one will tell you, that by going to mass and confession, he can get a fresh absolution from the priest for any sin that he shall commit: The other, whose mistake is still more pleasing to flesh aud blond, assures you that he has already got an eternal absolution, so that “ under every state and circumstance he can possibly be in, he is justified from all things, his sins are for ever and for ever cancelled.”

But if they differ a little in the idea of their imaginary privileges, they have the honour of agreeing in the maiu point. For, although the one makes a great noise about Faith and Free Grace, and the other about works and true charity, they exactly meet in narrow grace and despairing uncharitableness. The Pharisee in Jerusalem asserts, that “ out of the Jewish church

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there can be no salvation," and his companions in self-clection heartily say, Amen! The Pharisee in Rome declares, that “ There is no salvation out of the apostolic, Romish church,” and all the Catholic elect set their seal to the Antichristian decree. And the Antinomian in London insinuates, (for he is ashamed to speak quite out in a Protestant country,) that there is no salvatio! out of the Calvinistic Predestinarian church. Hence, if you oppose his principles in ever so rational and scriptural a manner, he supposes that you are quite dark," that all your holiness is “ self-made,” and all your

" righteous ness a cobweb spun by a poor spider out of its own bowels." And if he allows you a chance for your salvation, it is only upon a supposition, that you may yet repent of your opposition to his errors, and turn Calvinist before you die. But might not an inquisitor be as charitable ? Might he not hope that the poor heretic, whom he has coudem ned to the flames, may yet be saved if he cordially kiss a crucifix, and say, Ave, Maria !" at the stake ?

And now, candid reader, look around, and see what these seemingly opposite errors have done for Christ's church. Before the reformation, Christendom was overspread with superstition and fanaticism ; and since, with lukewarmness and infidelity. But let us descend to particulars.

What has Pharisaism done for the Church of Rome ? It has publicly rent from her all the Protestant kiugdoms, and secretly turned against her an innumerable multitude of Deists : For while bigots continue ridiculous bigots still ; men of wit, headed by ingenious infidels, continually pour undeserved contempt upou Christianity, throrigh the deserved wounds which they give to Popery. They represent Christ's rational aud liumaue religion as one of the worst in the world, unjustly chargiug it with the persecuting spirit, and horrible massacres of those Catholics so called, who, mangling the trail, and running away with one lialf of the body of Christian divinity, disgrace the whole

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