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low Scotus and Baxter singing, Chrif hath the righteoufnefs fupply'd by which we MERIT heaven.

If you say, True, but it is of God's own meer favour, rich grace,

and undiferved bounty in his dear Son ; I an{wer, We are agreed, and before-hand I fubscribe an hundred such clauses, being fully persuaded of the truth of Mr. W's. proposition when explained according to the analogy of faith, 6 There is no original merit but in the blood and obedience of Christ; and no derived merit, or (if you dislike that word out of the Lock-chapel) no derived rewardablenefs, but that which we are supplied with thro' the Spirit of Christ and the blood of his cross :" If Mr. W. meant any more by the faying you have quoted, he will permit me to use his own words, and say that he“ leaned too much toward Calvinism,"

I cannot better close the subject of merit, and requite your quotation from Dr. Willet, than by transcribing a third passage from the pious and judicious Mr. Baxter.

• We are agreed on the negative: (1.) That no man or angel can merit of God in proper commu. ! tative justice, giving him fomewhat for his benefits

thát shall profit him, or to which he had no abso• lute, right. (2.) No man can merit any thing of God

upon the terms of the law of innocency, (but punishment) (3.) Nor can he merit any thing of • God by the law of grace, unless it be supposed first to be a free-gift and merited by Christ.'

• And affirmatively we are, I think, agreed (1.) ' That God governs us by a law of grace which hath • a promise, and gives by way of reward. (2.)That God ' calls it his juflice to reward men according to his • law of grace, Heb. xi. 6. 2 Tim. iv. 8. (3.) That ' this supposes, that such works as God rewards have

a moral aptitude for that reward, which chiefly con• fifts in these things, that they spring from the Spi• rit of God, that their faultiness is pardoned thro'

the blood and merits of Christ, that they are done

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in love and to the glory of God, and that they are presented to God by Jeius Christ. (4.) That this moral aptitude is called in scripture ațs, that is wor

thiness or merit ; so that thus far worthinefs.or merit is . a scripture phrase. And (5.) that this worthinefs or merit is only in point of paternal, governing justice,

according to the law of grace, ordering that which • in itself is a free gift merited by Christ.'

6 All orthodox Christians hold the fore-defcribed • doctrine of merit in fenfe, tho' not in words: for

they that deny merit, confess the rewardableness of

our obedience, and acknowledge that the feripture • useth the term worthy, and that atroç and tice may

be translated meriting and merit, as well as worthy and worthiness. This is the same thing, in other

words, which the ancient Christians mcant by merit. When godly persons earnestly extol holiness, • saying that the righteous is more excellent than his neighbour, and yet deny all merit, reviling all that assert

it, they do but shew that they understand not the 136 word, and think others also misunderstand it: and s so we are reproaching one another, where we are agreed and know it not : like the woman who turn. away her servant

upon the controversy, Whe. ther the house should be swept with a befom or with: a broom.' • The partial teachers are the cause of this, while

instead of opening the do&trine, and shewing in 6 what sense we have or have not any worthiness or 16

merit, they without distinction cry down merit, and " reproach those that do otherwise.

And if they . do but say “ Such a man, speaks for merit and free * will," that they fufficiently rendered him odious to 6 their followers, when yet all sober Christians in all

ages have been for merit and free-will in a found s sense, And is not this to be adversaries to truth, s and love, and

?" I formerly thought, that tho we agree in the is thing, it is best to omit the name, because the Papifts


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have abused it: and I think f ftill in such compa 6 nies, where the use of it not understood will scan.

dalize men, and do more harm than good. But in other cases, I now think it better to keep the word (1.) left we seem to the ignorant to be of another

religion than + all the ancient churches were.' (2.) · Left we harden the Papists, Grecks and others, by

denying sound doctrine in terms, which they will think we deny in fenfe. And (3.) Because our pe. nury of words is fuch, that for my part I remember no other word so fit to substitute instead of merit,

defert or worthiness. The word rewarılableness is long 6. and harsh. But it is nothing else that we incan. Baxter's end of donar al controversies, page 294.

I am glad that my honored opponent, in the beginning of his

FOURTH L E T T E R, does Mr. W. the juftice to admit of the explanation I have “ given of” that misunderstood assertion, 66 All who are convinced of fin undervalue themselves." Had you done otherwise, Sir, you would have shewn judgment without mercy. Nevertheless, you still think that explanation forced; while many believe it not only natural, and agreeable to Mr. W's. whole plan of doctrine, but fo folid that no argu. ments can overthrow it. If you turn to the second check, page 4'4, you will see more clearly, that you

do Mr. W. no favor in “ dismilling this article of Els of the minutes.'s

But you prepare to attack the next with the utmost vigor. A part of the minutes which you esteem moft contrary to found doctrine is, say you, that íó We are

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+ It is a great advantage to the Papists, says our judicious author, that many Protestants wholly disclaim the word merit, and simply deny the merit of gospel-obedience. For hereupon the teachers shew their scholars, that all the fathers speak for merit, and to tell thein, that the Protefiant doctrine is now and heretical, as being contrary to all the ancient doctors: and when their scholars see it with th H eyes, no wonder if they believe in, to our dihonor.

every hour and every moment pleasing or displeasing to God according to the whole of our inward tempers and outward behaviour, &c.” And it is, I own, diametrically opposite to the favorite sentiment which you thus express, 66 Tho' I believe that David's sin “ displeased the Lord, must I therefore believe that " David's PERSON was under the curse of the law pu: I suppose you mean under God's displeasure, for of this Mr. W. spcaks, nor does he mention the curse of the law in all the minutes) You boldly answer, “ Surely " no.--Like Ephraim he was still a pleasant child " tho' he went on frowardly" in adultery and inurder,

he did not lose the character of the man after God's own heart.” My dear Sir, you might as well have advanced at once that unguarded proposition of Dr. Crisp, “ God does no longer stand displeased, tho' a si believer do sin often: no sin can poslibly do him

any hurt.” Is this what you call “ sound doctrine ?" And is that the worst part of the minutes, which opposes such a dangerous tenet? Then how excellent mult the other parts be! Indeed, Sir, their vindicator could fay nothing stronger to demonstrate their foundness, seasonableness and importance. But let us consider your arguments; and that with such care, as the importance of the subject requires.

1. David's sin difpleafed the Lord,” but not PERSON." This is what


must mean if you oppose Mr. W's. propofition. I like your shifting the terms; it is a sign that you are little ashamed the world should see the good Doctor's scheme without fome covering. Erubuifti, falva res eft. (1.) Your intimation that the Lord was not displeased at David's PERSON, bears hard upon the equity and veracity of God. David commits adultery and murder in Jerufalem, and Claudius in Rome. God lees them, and fays agreeably to your scheme. They are both guil.

ty of the same crimes, and both impenitent: but • David is a Jew, an elect, a sheep, and therefore, " tho' he fins against ten times more light than the

66 his

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other, I am not at all displeased at him. But Claa* dius is an Heathen, a reprobate, a goat, and my - anger smokes against him; he shall surely die.' If this is God's method, how can he make the fola dowing appeal ! O house of Ifrael are not my ways equal? Are not your ways unequal ? -The foul that finneth it shall die : wherefore turn ye, Why will ye die, O house of Ifrael? See Ez. xviii. and 2d check, page 69.

(2.) Your distinction is overthrown by scripture; for we read Gen. xxxviii. 10. that The thing which Onan did difpleased the Lord. " True, might you say upon your scheme, this is the very thing I assert; this mode of speech shews that God was angry at Onan's fin, and not at his perfon."-But this would be a great mistake, honored Sir; for the sacred hiftorian adds immediately, Wherefore God flew him alfo : He shewed his heavy displeasure at his perfon by punishing him with death, as well as his brother Er, who was wicked in the

fight of the Lord. (3.) But if you will not believe Mr. W. when he declares that God is displeased at the perfons of the righteous, the moment they do those things which -displease him, believe at least the oracles of God. God's anger was kindled against Mofes, Ex. iv. 14. The Lord was very angry against Aaron, Deut. ix. 20, and with all Israel, witness those awful words, let me alone, that I may consume them in a moment. Ifaiah, whom


allow to be an elect, says, thou wast angry

God himself says, Il. xlvii. 6, I was angry with my people ; and David, who frequently deprecates God's wrath in his penitential psalms, observes that his anger fmokes against the fheep of his pasture when they go astray. Pr. lxxiv. 1.

(4.) The new testament inculcates this doctrine as well as the old. St Paul having reminded the believers of Ephesus, that no whoremonger or covetous perfon hath an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God, fubjoins this seasonable caution: let no man



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