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quent degrees of juftification and salvation which do not take place but as we work them out with fear and trembling, as God works in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
XIV. In theʼnext page you ask some scriptural questions, which I shall fcripturally answer. “ What did the expiring thief do?'. Some hours before he died he obeyed this precept, To day if you will hear his voice harden not your heart; he confessed his sin, and believed in Jesus. - What did Mary Magdalen do?” She forsook her lovers and followed Jesus into Simon's house. 66 What Lydia ?” She worSHIPPED God, and resorted where prayer was wont to be made.4 What the Philippian jailor ?" He ceased from attempting self-murder, and falling at the apostle's feet, enquired what he must do to be faved. 56 What the serpent-bitten Ifraelites p” They looked at the brazen ferpent.-- 166 What Paul himself?” For this cause I obtained merry, says he, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief, 1 Tim. i. 3. But this was not all, for, he continued praying three days and three ni ;hts; and when Ananias came to him, he tarried no longer, but arofe and washed away his fins, calling on the name of the Lord. 6 What did the Corinthians do?” They heard ind believed, Act. viii. 8.- 66 And what the Ephesians ?” They trusted in Chrift after that they heard the word of truth, Eph. i!
3. XV. In the next paragraph (page 6, line 28.) you gravely propose the very objection which í have anfwered, Vind. page 58, without taking the least notice of my answer. And in the next page you advance one of Dr. Crisp's paradoxes:
6 Where ever God puts forth his power upon a foul (and he does so whenever he visits it with even a touch of ing grace) p.irdon and reconciliation are already ohtrined by fuh an one. He shall never come into cond-mnat on.
Young penitents, beware! If yo'ı admit this te. net. you will probably itay in the far country, vain. ly fancying you are in your Father's house, because
you have felt a desire to be there. Upon this scheme of doctrine, Lot's wife might have sat down at the gate of Sodom, concluding that because the angels had taken her by the hand, she was already in Zoar. A dangerous delufion this, against which our Lord himself cautions us by crying aloud, REMEMBER Lor's
I would take the liberty to expoftulate with you, honored Sir, about this paradox, if I had not some hope, that it is rather owing to the printer's mistake than your own. If you wrote in your manuscript, pardon is already obtained for, not by, such an one, we are agreed; for “ Christ made upon the cross a fufficient sacrifice and satisfaction for the fins of the whole world.” But what he procured for us is not obtained by us, till the Holy Ghost makes the applicarion by faith, 66 If I had a mind, said the Rev. Mr. Whitefield, 10 hinder the progress of the gospel, and to establish the kingdom of darkness, I would go about telling people, they might have the Spirit of God and yet not feel it;" or, which is much the same, that the pardon which Christ procured for them, is already obtained by them, whether they enjoy a sense of it or not.
XVI. In the next paragraph, page 7, (who could believe it !) you come fully into Mr. W.'s doctrine of “ doing something, in order to obtain justification.” You was reminded (Vind, page 48.) that “St. “ Paul and Mr. W. generally mean by justification, " that wonderful transaction of the Spirit of God in
a returning prodigal's conscience, by which the “ forgiveness of his
fins is proclaimed to him thro' “ the blood of sprinkling.” Nevertheless, speaking of the fenfe of pardon, and the testifying of it to a fenner's conscience, you grant that this knowledge of our interest in Chrift, (this experienced justification is cer. tainly to be fought in the uf: of all appointed means; we are to feek that we may find, to ask that we may have, to knock that it may be opened unto us. In this fenfe, (the very
senle we generally fix to the word justification) all the texts
you have brought to prove that man is to do somethin, in order to obtain justification and to find favour with God, admit of an EASY SOLUTION.” That is, in plain English, easily demonstrate the truth of Mr. W's. proposition, which has been so loudly exclaimed agaierst as dreadfully heretical,
O prejudice, thou mischievous brother of discord, why didit thou cast thy black vail in June, and the following months, over the past SOLUTION which has been found out in December? And what a pity is it, dear Sir, you did not see this solution before
yol had attempted to expose our grey-headed Elisha, by the publication of that weak and trilling dialogue with the Popish friar at Paris!
XVII. The next page, the 8th, is already answered, Vind. page 59, &c. and the oth page is answera ed in the second check, page 22, in the note upon the Versifier's performance.
Page 10, After shewing that you confound the atonement with the application of it, the work of Christ with that of the Holy Ghost, you produce
my arguments, (the first you have atiempted to refute.) to prove that we must do something in order to justification; I had asserted that we must believe, faith being previous to justification. You say, I deny the affertion. Do you indeed, honored Sir! Upon what ground ? “ The Holy Ghosi teaches, say you, that all who believe are justified.” And does this prove the point? The king fays to a deserter, Bow to my Son, and thou shalt not be shot. Bow to the prince, adds an officer; all who bow to him are pardoned. Must the foldier conclude from the words ARE pardened, then the pardon is previous to the bow? Again, You are fick, and your physician-says, Tako this medicine; all who take it are cured. Very well, answers
your nurse, you need not then distrefs and * perplex my Master, by making him take your remedy. The taking of it cannot poflibly be previous to bis recovery, for you say, all who take it are cured.
This is just such an other argument as that of my honored friend. O Sir, how tottering is that system, which even such a writer as yourself cannot prop up, without putting so forced a construction upon the apostle's words, all that believe Are justified !
Now we have seen upon what fcriptural ground you maintain, that believing cannot be previous to justification, permit me, honored Sir, to quote fome of the many scriptures which induce us to be. lieve just the reverse. BELIEVE in the Lord Jefus Christ and thou fralt be faved--that is, in the lowest sense of the word, thou shalt be justified; for God juftifies the ungodly that believe in Jesus.---We have BELIEVED in Jesus Christ, that we mi, ht be justify'd by the • FAITH of Christ-Whom he hath set forth to be a propitiation, thro' FAITH in his blood, for the remiffion, of fins that are past.- As Mofes hifted up the ferpent even fa muft the Son of man be lifted up, that whofeever beLIEVETH in him fhould not perish, should be pardoned, &c. - Faith fhall be imputed to us for righteousness, if we BELIEVE on him who raised up Jefus.--Being therefore juflified by Faith we have peace with God. Without FAITH it is impossible to please God. He that beLIEVETII NOT, far from being justified, as is infinuated, shall be danned, the wrath of God abideth on him, he is CONDEMNED ALREADY. John iii. 18. Light can. not be more opposite to darkness, than this doctrine of Christ to that which my honored friend thinks it his duty. to patronize.
XVIII. When you have endeavoured to defend your séntiinent from scripture, you attempt to do it froin reason. Fuith. fay you, can no more fubfift without its objeći, than there can be a marriage without an hufvand. This is as proper an argument as you could advance, had you intended to disprove the doctrine you
seem studious to defend, for it is evident that a woman must be married, before she can have an hulband.' So sure then as marriage is previous to hav.
ing an husband, faith is previous to receiving Christ; for we receive him by faith. John i. 12.
However, from this extraordinary argument, you conclude that the doctrine of believing before juftifcation is not less contrary to reafon than it is to firipture; but I flatter myself that my judicious readers will draw a conclusion diametrically opposite.
XIX. A quotation from St. Augustin appears next, and secures the ruin of your scheme. For if faith is compared to a lantern, and Christ to the light in the lantern, common senfe tells us, we must have the lantern before' we can receive the candle which is to give us Light. Or, in other words, we must have faith before we can receive Christ; for you very juftly observe, that faith receiveth Christ who is the true light.
XX. St. Augustin's lantern makes way for the witticism with which you conclude your second epistle. “ No letters says my honored friend, were sent " thro' the various provinces against old Mordecai “ for fupposing that the woman, Luke 15, lights a ** candle, &c. in order to find her loft piece ; but " because he insists upon it, that the piece lights the 66 candle, sweeps the house, and searches diligently s in order to find the woman.” Permit me to ask dear Sir, whether your wit here has not for a moment got the start of your judgment? I introduced the woman seeking the piece she had lojt, merely to shew that it is neither an heresy, nor an absurdity to < seek something in order to find it ;” and ihat instance froved my point full as well, as if I had fixed upon Saul feeking his father's affes, or Jacob seeking his brethren in Dothan.
If it is as great an abfurdity to say, that finners are 10 seek the Lord, as it is to say that a piece seeks the woman who has lost it; let me tell you,
dear Sir, that Mr. W. has the good fortune to be countenanced in his folly, 'first by yourself, who tell us, page 7, that the knowledge of Christ and our interest in him is certainly to be fought in the use of all the appointed means : F 2