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Should not the multitude of words be answered ? And should a man full of
talk be justified ? Should thy lies make men hold their peace? And when thou mockest, shall no man make thee ashamed? For thou hast said, My doctrine is pure, and I am clean in thine eyes. But that God would speak, and open his lips against thee! Job xi. 2-5.
(PREFIXED TO THE SECOND EDITION.)
To the Congregrational Churches of Christ among whom
I labour at Providence Chapel; at Monkwell-Street Chapel; and at Richmond in Surrey; Peace be mul. tiplied.
DEAR BRETHREN AND SISTERS IN FAITH,
LEARNING or eloquence you know I have none, but such as I have give I you. I here present you with the Arminian Skeleton, together with an account of the anatomising of Arminius, which I hope God will own and bless to you. I am well aware of all the envenomed artillery which malice is likely to discharge from her quiver: I sat down, and counted the cost before I began to build; and found, upon a proper computation, that it amounts to no more than this, “That which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” “, The Lord is on my side, I will not fear: What can man do unto me?”
I have written what I believe in my conscience to be the truth; and the lip of truth shall be established in the earth, though ten thousand set themselves against it. And a lying tongue is but for a moment, though all the world support it. I have endeavoured, in some things, to imitate young Elihu with Job; that is, not to accept any man's person, nor give flattering titles to man, lest my Maker should take me away. Job xxxii. 21, 22.
I know some of you, who are simple souls, but rather near-sighted, would like it better if there were more smooth things, a softer language, and less fiery zeal in it. To which I answer, Though some upright men may be astonished at this, yet the innocent is to stir up himself against the hypocrite.
8. I ought not to aim at men-pleasing; Christ alone is my master; it is to him I look for my wages, and to him I must stand or fall. The divinity and the language I got on my knees, in answer to prayer, and by the mere dint of hard study; and, when you have read it through, I am ready to appeal to your conscience, whether the doctrine and experience be from heaven or of men. If it be of men, the Arminians will love it, though it is sure to come to nought; but, if it be of God, they will hate it, though it cannot be overthrown.
This I am sure of; the doctrines which I have here written are not after man; for I learned them not of man, neither was I taught them, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ, Gal. i. 12. For I had been some months in the glorious liberty of