Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

support your cause by such arguments, will do it no service.

VII. P. 37. You think to set aside these words of Solomon, ' Keep God's commandments, for this is the whole [duty] of man ; for God shall bring every work into judgment, whether it be good or bad,' by just saying, “ This passage asserts, that we are to be accountable for our actions.” Then it asserts the very thing for which it was produced : For how can those be really accountable for their actions, who can never be justified or condemned by their words, never be rewarded or punished according to their works? Here then again you grant what we contend for.

VIII. P. 38. Circumcision is nothing—but the keeping the commandments of God.' (1 Cor. vii. 19.) “This passage (say you) would equally as well prove the supremacy of the Pope, as your doctrine of a second justification by works.”

I answer, (1.) If you compare this text with Eccl, xii. 13, 14, Rev. xxii, 14, and Matt. xii. 37, you will see it is very much the purpose.—(2.) Love is keeping of the commandments. If I have not love, which is the keeping of the commandments, I am only a tinkling cymbal.' Now Sir, you must prove, that God will justify tinkling cymbals by imputed righteousness in the great day; or acknowledge, that the keeping of the commandments, or which is the same, love, makes more towards our final justification, than towards placing his holiness the Pope in the pretended chair of St. Peter.-(3.) If the doers of the law shall be fiually justified, and none but they ; and if keeping the commandments is the same thing as being a doer of the law ; you boldly hoist the Geneva flag, when yon insinuate, that the keeping of the commandments has no more to do with our final justification, than with the supremacy of the Pope.—Lastly, If keeping the commandments will have nothing to do with our justification in the last day, by a parity of reason, breaking of them will have nothing to do with our condemnation. Thus we are insensibly come to the dreadful counter

part of your comfortable doctrine, that is, absolute reprobation, free-wrath, and finished damnation. And when the apostle says,

'God shall judge the world in righteousness;' should he not rather, according to your plan, have said, in unrighteousness ?

IX. Instead of answering such passages as these, 'Behold I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give to every man as his work shall be :'-He that knoweth the heart, shall render to every man according to his works.-We shall all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the things done in the body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad :—The Father, without respect of persons, judgeth according to every man's work :--The dead were judged out of the things written in the books, according to their works :'- Instead, I say, of answering such passages, you leap over fifty pages of my book, to blame me (p.35) for saying after St. Peter, (Acts ii. 40,) “SAVE YOURSELVES from this untoward generation !'

Granting you, Sir, that the Greek word means literally, ‘Be ye saved;' yet you wrong our translation, when you say, that its language is “ glaringly inconsistent.” The words that immediately precede, “ He exhorted them, saying, Save yourselves,' &c., convinced our translators of the absurdity of exhorting people to be saved, that could absolutely do nothing in order to salvation. And you make Calvinism ridiculous before all Cambridge, when (p. 36) you make owonle, “ Be ye saved ;' or when spoken in a way of exhortation, 'Save yourselves,' to mean, “Know, that ye cannot save yourselves.”

P. 35, you say, “Let the context illustrate this: Thousands were pricked to the heart ;' they ask, 'what they shall do ?' doubtless meaning' to be saved.' The apostle directs them immediately to Jesus for salvation.” What! Without doing duy thing towards it? No such thing. To the overthrow of your criti. cism, and of Calvinism, he sets them immediately upon doing. Their question was, “What shall we do to be

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

save

saved ?' and the immediate answer is, ' Repent' and be baptised.' Just as if he had said, Be ye saved, or save yourselves by repenting and coming to Christ : Or, to use the words of Christ to the people of Capernaum, and those of St. Paul to the jailor of Philippi, ‘Do the work of God,' i. e., the work which God first calls for ; • believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved.'

You add, “This language (* Save yourselres') ill becomes the mouth of inspiration.” I am sorry, Sir, you should be so exceedingly positive. I rather think, that your “ language ill becomes the mouth of " mo. desty. Does not St. Jude say, 'Save some with fear?' Does not St. Paul mention his endeavours to some of his own flesh,' (Rom. xi. 14,) and his ' becoming all things to all men, that he might save some ?' (1 Cor. ix. 22.)

Does he not speak of a husband 'saving his wife,' and of a wife saving her husband?' (1 Cor. vii. 16.) Does he not write to the Philippians, Work out your own salvation ?' And to Timothy, “In doing this thou shalt save thyself, and them that hear thee?' (1 Tim. iv. 16.) You are too good a scholar, Sir, to that OWO ELS Deavlov “ is passive :" And too modest a divine to insinuate, upon second thoughts, that St. Paul speaks like a heretic, and you like an apostle.

X. After opposing our doctrine of justification by the evidence of works in the last day, as warınly as your pious brother ; you give your public assent to it as well as he. P. 34, speaking of the day that shall declare every man's work, and the fire that shall try of what sort it is, you say,

" Who that reads the Bible denies, that every man's works shall be examined as a proof of his faith, and that upon their evidence the Judge will pass sentence?” Undoubtedly you mean, sentence of absolution or condemnation, according to our Lord's words, ‘By thy words shalt thou be justified or condemned.' (Matt. xii. 37.)

Now, Sir, this is the very doctrine which we maintain, -as you may see Second Check, vol.i.p. 338,340,—the very doctrine for which you represent me to the world

say,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

e

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

as a Papist, and fierce enemy to the gospel. Gentle reader, take notice of my capital crime. I have dared

to vindicate a truth, which, my opponent himself being i judge, “no man that reads the Bible denies !” Is this

a dreadful heresy? O Sir, when this shall be known in our Universities, will not Oxford cry to Cambridge, and Cambridge echo back to Oxford, the substance of your book, and the title of mine ? Logica Genevensis !

XI. Now that you have granted the doctrine of justification by the evidence of works in the day of judgment; let us see how you endeavour to keep your system in countenance. P. 34, you say, contrary to your own concession, “ Though works have not the least to do in justifying our persons, yet they will appear to the justifying of that faith, as sound, by which alone we are to be saved.”

To cut you off from this last subterfuge, I observe, (1.) That works will have as much to do in justifying our persons in the last day, as faith in justifying them at our conversion.—(2.) This doctrine, of faith being justified by works in the day of judgment, is irrational : For faith shail then be no more ; and common sense dictates, that Christ, the wisdom of God, will not lose time in justifying or condemning a grace which shall not exist.–(3.) It is quite unscriptural : Our Lord says,

By thy words shalt thou [not by faith] be justified.' St. Paul says, “The doers of the law (not their faith) shall be justified.' And St. James declares, that ^ Rahab [not

her faith) and Abraham (not his faith] were justified by | works,’in the day of trial.-(4.) Your scheme fathers non

sense upon that apostle; for if faith is justified by works, and not a man, it follows, that when St. James says, “Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only,' it is just as if he said, “Ye see then how that by works faith is justified, and not by faith only.”—(5.) If the believer's faith is justified in the last day, and not the believer himself; by a parity of reason, the unbeliever's unbelief will be condemned, and not the unbeliever himself.-- (6.) We have as good ground to assert, that the faith of believers shall be

6

tion ;

saved in the last day, and not their persons; as you to maintain, that the faith of believers shall be justified, and not their persons. Thus, according to your curious doctrine, faith, not believers, shall go to heaven ; and unbelief, not unbelievers, shall depart into hell.Lastly, If “works have not the least to do in justifying our persons” in the great day; it follows, they will not have the least to do in condemning them. Thus are we come again to the doctrine of finished damna

and thus you point-blank contradict your own scriptural concession, “Upon the evidence of works the Judge will pass sentence."

From the preceding pages it appears, if I am not mistaken, that justification by works, i.e., by the works of faith, in the last day, is a solid anvil, which the twelve strokes of your hammer have settled more than ever upon its firm basis, The word of God, that abideth for ever.' To this anvil I shall, by and by, bring Calvinian Antinomianism, and endeavour to work it, in meekness of wisdom, with a hammer, I hope, a little heavier than your own.

Having answered your objections to what you justly call “ the principal cause of controversy among us," I may make one or two observations unpon the friendliness of your Friendly Remarks.

Candid reader, if thou hast read my Checks without prejudice, and attentively compared them with the word of God; wouldst thou ever think, that the following lines contain an extract from the friendly sentence, which my young opponent passes upon them? “ Hard names,Banter,-Sarcasm, Sneer,—Abuse,- Bravado,-Low arts of slander,-Slanderous accusations, —Opprobrious names, — Ill-natured satire,,Odious, deformed, detestable colours,–Uyfair, and ungenerous treatment,—Terms void of truth,—Unmerciful con

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »