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shew yourselves the genuine children of him, who
is loving to every man, and whose mercy is over all his works :' So shall your mistakes no longer straiten your minds, sour your tempers, and shut your hearts against your “ non-elected” neighbours.
And supposing you are of the happy few, in whose souls the impartial grace of God over-rules the ordinary consequences of your partial doctrines :-Supposing you are loving to every man,' and have more bowels of mercy than the God whom you extol :-Supposing you are true to all men, and surpass in sincerity the God whom you recommend, who calls all men every where to repent,' and all the day long stretches out his hands in token of his compassionate love to people, on whom he absolutely fixed his immortal hatred before the foundation of the world :-Supposing, I say, you have the happiness of being so much better than your principles, so much holier than the god of your OPINIONS : [Note : I say not “ the God of your SALVATION :"]—Yet, by renouncing those opinions, you will no longer countenance Antinomianism, deceive the simple, contradict yourselves, shock moralists, aud render Christianity contemptible in the eyes of all, that confound it with your doctrines of forcible grace to hundreds, and of forcible wrath to thousands.
Should you countenance your Jewish notions* by saying, “ We are Christians : We have nothing to do with the Heathens ;" I answer : (1.) You have far too much to do with them, when, by the “ doctrine of grace,” which you so zealously inculcate, you indirectly send them, one and all, to the pit ; uuless they are brought under the Christian dispevsation.-(2.) You renounce the Church of England, if you disregard them: For on Good-Friday, (the day
* Should the persons whom I now address, say, that I falsify my subscriptions to the 18th article of our church, by asserting that even the Heathens, who fear God and work righteousness by the general light of Christ's grace, are accepted through Christ's unknown merits; I refer them to the Vindication of Mr. Wesley's Minutes, Vol. i, p. 268, 269, where that objection is answered.
on which Christ tasted death for every man,') she enjoins us to pray thus for them : “O merciful God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made, nor wouldest the death of a sinner, but RATHER that he should be converted and live, have mercy upon all Jews, Turks, Infidels, and Heretics.”—(3.) You indirectly sacri. fice the feelings of humanity, and the honour of God's perfections, to your unscriptural doctrine of grace, when you embrace the horrid idea of the ensured damnation of the Heathens, for the injudicious plea. sure of saying, “Why me! Why me!," and of teaching the “ poor reprobated creatures," while they sink into the bottomless pit, to say, Why me! Why me !"A dreadful Why me this, which is not less offensive to God's Justice, Impartiality, Goodness, and Truth; thau your Why me is odious to his Wisdom, Equity, Veracity, and Holiness.-(4.) If Cain was culpable for intimating, that he had nothing to do with his brother, when he had just knocked him on the head ; are they praiseworthy, who enjoy with peculiar delight, and recommend with uncommon glee, “ doctrines of grace,” so called, which absolutely fix the unavoidable damnation of perhaps as many millious of their unborn fellow.creatures, as Abel had hairs upon his head ? And do they mend the matter, when, to vindicate their severe opinions, they calmly wipe their mouth, and say, “ We hare nothing to do with the Heathens ?" That is, in plain English, “ Our orthodoxy demands, that they should inevitably perish, if they do not explicitly believe in Christ crucified, of whom they never heard : Nor do we care what becomes of them. Let them sivk, provided our doctrines of grace stand !"
O my dear brethren, my heart is enlarged towards you, though yours is straitened towards the Heatheus, and those who do not engross the light of the Sun of Righteousness.' Suffer the word of expostulation one moment more. Do not you detest the character of a stiff Pharisee? I know you do, in the circumcised pro. geny: And why should you admire it in the baptized race?. lam persuaded, that you abhor the damnatory Bull of those self-elected men of old, who, from the height of their conceited orthodoxy, looked down upon their neighbours and said, “This people who know not (what we call] the law, are cursed.' And will you exemplify their uncharitable positiveness by indirectly saying, 'This people [these myriads of men] who know not (what we call] the gospel, are cursed ?' Will ye become Christianized Pharisees, to countenance abandoned Antinomians.-No; the spark of candour in your breast is stirred, and almost sets fire to your prejudices. You are staggered, you are ready to yield to the force of truth! Some of you would do it even now, if you were not afraid that our doctrine of Free Grace obscures the Christian dispensation, and encourages the pernicious delusion of Anti-christian Moralists. To convince you, that your fear is groundless, permit me! to expostulate with them before you.
MORAL men, who ridicule the Christian faith ; you suppose, that your honesty counterbalances your sins, which, by a soft name, you call foibles; and for which you hope that God will never punish' you with hell. torments. I do not desire to make the worst of things. I wish you were as good as you fancy yourselves to be. I wish you may have been as exact in all the branches of your duty as you pretend. I would rejoice, if the law of respectful obedience to your superiors, of courteons love to your equals, and of brotherly-kindness to your inferiors, had always been fulfilled in your words and actions, in your looks and tempers. I am ready to congratulate you, if in all cases you have done to your fellow-creatures, exactly as you would be done to; and never plunged once into the gulf of intempe.
rance : But permit me to ask, if you have fellow-crea: tures, have you not a Creator ? And if you have a Creator, do not reason and conscience command you to render him warm gratitude, cheerful praise, humble adoration, and constant obedience ? But have you done this one year, one month, one day, one hour, in all your lives?
Although you are so ready to make us understand, that you are not as other men, adulterers, unjust, uncharitable, hypocrites, &c., are you entirely satisfied with your own goodness ? Nay, if you ever ' looked into the perfect. law of liberty,' and searched your breasts with the candle of the Lord,' cau you say, before the Omniscient Searcher of hearts and spirits, that there is one of the commandments which you never broke in its spiritual meaning ?
If, upon second thoughts, you cannot acquit yourselves;
and if God's Dignity as a Creator, his Veracity as a Lawgiver, his Wisdom az a Governor, his Justice as a Judge, his Holiness as a God, forbid him to hold the guilty guiltless; or to forgive them in a manner inconsistent with any one of his infinite perfections ; are you wise to despise an Advocate with Him,-a divine Prophet-an atoning Mediator ? Is it prudent in you to run from the city of refuge, to which you should flee with unabated swiftness ? Do you act a reasonable part, when you take shelter under the dispensation of the Heathens, from the blessings that pursue, and from the light that surrounds you, in this Christian land ? If I may allude to the mysterious divisions of Solomon's temple ; will ye obstinately remain in the court of the Gentiles,' when you are graciously invited to enter into the holy place,' with true Christians ? Think ye, that because righteous Heathens are saved without the explicit knowledge of Christ, ye may be saved upon their plan ? If ye do, may the following remarks help you to see the unreasonableness of this conclusion !
1. Not to repeat the hints already given to baptized Heathens, I ask: Is not a grain of sincere love to truth, the very beginning of a true conversion? Is that man a sincere lover of light, who runs away from the light of the sun and moon, under pretence that he has the light of a star ? Do those people sincerely love money, who, when they are presented with gold and silver, throw it back to the face of their benefactor, because they have some brass?, And is that moralist a sincere lover of truth, who contemptuously rejects the silver truths of the Jewish dispensation, and the golden truths of the Christian gospel, under pretence that he is an adept in “ the religion of nature,” and has, what I beg leave to call, the brass of Heathenism?
2. You talk much of “ the religion of nature :" But should you not distinguish between the religion natural to mau in his unfallen state, and that which is natural to him in his fallen condition ? Is not the regimen which is natural to the healthy, unnatural and frequently destructive to the sick ? If upright, innocent man needed not a Spiritual Physician, does it follow that depraved, guilty man can do without oue? Does not Heathenism allow the fall' and degeneracy of man ? Have not some of the wisest Pagans seen, though darkly, their need both of a Mediator, and of a propitiatory sacrifice? Do you think it prudent, so to depend upon your selfrighteousness, as to trample under foot the Jewish and Christian revelations, together with the discoveries of considerate Heathens ? Does your wisdom shew itself to advantage, when it thus makes you sink below Heathenism itself ?
3. No adult Heathen was ever saved without the repentance of the contrite Publican, “I am a guilty, helpless sinner, totally undone, if the mercy of Him that made me do not extend itself to me : Great Author of my existence, pity, pardon, and save me for thy mercy's sake.” Now, if you were brought to this genuine repentance, would you despise the light of Revelation, that recommends it, and leads on to far. ther attainments ? Think ye, that those, who sincerely rejoice in the dawn of day, will readily decry morning light? Is it not therefore much to be feared, that Pha