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which you fear we attack. And should I ever be within 30 miles of the city where you refide, I shall go to submit myself to you, and beg leave to assist you in reading prayers for you, or giving the cup
Thus shall we convince the world that controversy may be constientiously carried on without interruption of brotherly love; and I shall have the peculiar pleasure of testifying to you in person, how sincerely I am,
Honored and dear Sir,
Your submissive and obedient servant
in the bond of a practical gospel,
Hon. and Rev. Sir,
concern for St. James's pure and undefiled religion excites me to take the pen once more, and may account for the readiness with which I have met you in the dangerous field of controversy. You may poslibly think mere partiality to Mr. W. has inspired me with that boldness; and others
be ready to say as Eliab, We know the pride and naugh. tiness of thy heart : Thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle : But may I not answer with David ? Is there not a cause?
Is it not highly necessary to make a stand against Antinomianism? Is not that gigantic Man of Sin a more dangerous enemy to king Jesus, than the champion of the Philistines was to king Saul? Has he not defied more than forty days the armies and arms, the people and truths of the living God? By audaciously daring the thousands in Israel, has he not made all the faint-hearted among them ashamed to stand in the whole armour of God, afraid to defend the important post of Duty? And have not many left it already, openly running away, flying into the dens and caves of earthly-mindedness, putting their light under a bushel, and even burying themselves alive in the noisome grave of profaneness?
itudes indeed still keep the field, still ake an open profession of godliness. But how few of these endure hardship as good soldiers of Jesus Christ!
How many have already cast away the shield of gora pel faith, the faith which works by love! What numbers dread the Cross, the heavenly standard they should steadily bear, or resolutely follow! Whilst in pompous speeches they extol that of Jesus; how do they upon the most frivolous pretence refuse to take up their own! Did the maffy staff of Goliah's spear seem more terrible to the frighted Israelites, than the daily cross to those daftardly followers of the Crucified? What Boanerges can spirit them up, and lead them on from conquering to conquer ? Who can even make them look the enemy in the face? Alas! in their heart they are already gone back to Egypt. Their faces are but half Sion. ward. They give way,—they draw back; -O may ít not be to perdition! May not the King of terrors overtake them in their retreat, and make them as great monuments of God's vengeance against cowardly foldiers, as Lot’s wife was of his indignation against halting racers !
But setting allegory afide, permit me, Sir, to pour my fears into your bofom, and tell
with the utmost plainness my distressing thoughts of the religious world.
For some years I have suspected there is more imaginary than unfeigned faith, in most of those who pass for believers. With a mixture of indignation and grief have I seen them carelessly follow the stream of corrupt nature, against which they should have manfully wreitled : And by the most preposterous miftake, when they should have exclaimed against their + Antinomianism, I have heard them cry out against the Legality of their wicked hearts; which,
† The word Antinomianism is derived from two Greek words anti and nomos, which fignify againf the law; and the word Legal from the Latin legalis, which means agreeable to the w.
I The legality contended for in these letters is not a stumbling at Christ, and a going about to establish our own righteousness by faithless works : This fin, which the scripture calls anbelief, !
they said, still suggested they were to do something in order to salvation.” Glad was I therefore, when I had attentively considered Mr. W.'s Minutes, to find they were levelled at the very errors, which gave rise to an evil I had long lamented in secret, but had wanted courage to resist and attack.
This evil is † Antinomianism; that is, any kind of doctrinal or practical opposition to God's law, which is the perfect rule of right, and the moral picture of the God of love, drawn in miniature by our Lord in these two exquisite precepts, Thou shalt love God with all thy heart, and thy neighbour as thyself.
As the law is good if a man use it lawfully, fo + legality is excellent if it is evangelical. The external respect thewn by pharisees to the law, is but feigned and hypocritical legality, Pharisees are no more truly legal than Antinomians are truly evangelical, Had ye believed Mofes, says Jesus to people of that famp, ye would have believed me: but in your heart you
hate his law, as much as you do my gospel. We see no less gospel in the preface of the ten commandments, I am the Lord thy God, &c. than we do legality in the middle of our Lord's Sermon on the mount, I say whoever looketh on a woman to luft after her, hath already committed adultery in his heart. Nevertheless the latter has in all things the pre eminence over the former, for if the law shortly prefaced by the gospel came by Moses; Grace, the
would no more countenance than murder. The evangelical
gracious, the fall display of the gospel, and Truth, the true explanation and fulfilling of the law, came by Jesus Chrift.
This evangelical law should appear to us fweeter than the honey-comb and more precious than fine gold. We should continually spread the tables of our hearts before our heavenly Lawgiver, beseeching him to write it there with his own finger, the powe erful Spirit of life and love: But alas!, God's commandments are disregarded; they are represented as the needless or impracticable sanctions of that superannuated legalist, Moses; and if we express our veneration for them, we are looked upon as people who were always strangers to the gospel, or are fallen into the Galatian state.
Not so David: he was so great an admirer of God's law, that he declares the godly man doth meditate therein day and night; he expresses his transcendent value for it, under the synonymous expressions of Law, word, statutes, testimonies, precepts and commandments in almost every verse of the ingth Pfalm. And he says of himself, O bow I love thy law! It is my meditation all the day,
St. Paul was as evangelically legal as David; for he knew the law is as much contained in the gospel, as the tables of stone, on which the moral law was written, were contained in the ark.. He therefore assured the Corinthians, that though he had all faith, even that which is most uncommon, and worked the greatelt' wonders, it would profit him nothing, unless it was accompanied by charity, unless it worked by love, which is the fulfilling of the lawu.; the excellency of faith arising from the excellent. end it answers in producing and nourishing love:
Should it be objected, that St. Paul says to the Galatians, I'through the law am dead to the law that? I might live to God, and to the Romans, ré are : become dead to the law by the body of Christ.. I answer: In the Apostle's days that expression the Law : frequently meant the whole Mosaic dispensation and in that sense every believer is dead to it, dead.