Antinomian Heresy exploded: IN AN APPEAL TO THE CHRISTIAN WORLD; Against the Unscriptural DOCTRINES, and Licentious TENETS of Mr. JAMES RELLY: Advanced in His TREATISE of UNION, &c.

There must be Heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest. 1 Cor. xi. 19.

By W. MASON.

LONDON: Printed and Sold by M. LEWIS, in Paternoster-row; also Sold by G. KEITH, in Gracechurch-street; E. DILLY, in the Poultry; and M. WITHERS, in Fleet-street. (Price Six-pence.)

[Page] Antinomian Heresy exploded: IN AN APPEAL, &c.

THE Doctrine of a Sinner's Justification in the Sight of God, whether by Faith or good Works, is a Point that has often exercised the Pen of Controver­sy; but, except at this present Time, scarcely, if ever, was it known, that any Author or Preacher departed so far from the Truth, as to run into such loose, unscriptural and licentious Principles, as to maintain that either, much less both Faith and good Works, are excluded by the Christian Doctrine, as unnecessary to eternal Life and Salvation. Methinks, one should be tender of entertaining so bad an Opinion of the Prin­ciples of any Professor of Christianity, and exceedingly cautious of fixing such a gross and unchristian Charge upon any one who takes upon himself to be a Preacher of the Gospel of Holiness: Yet such is the peculiar Heresy of this Day: For that such Doctrine, is openly in the Face of the Sun, avowed, preached and published, we have too many unhappy Instances to prove; both the Pulpit and Press send forth these wild, extravagant and antichristian Notions; than which nothing is more contrary to the Doctrines of the Gospel, more subver­sive of the Truths of GOD, and more naturally leads to Presumption, vain Confidence and Delusion of Soul; tends to harden Men i [...] a State of Sinfulness, and to cherish and establish the Practice of Profaneness, [...]n utter contempt of GOD's Word and Ordinances, and a total neg­ [...]ect of the Means of Grace. Therefore, never was that Caution of [...]ur Saviour more needful to be observed by Professors, than in this [...]ur Day, Take h [...]ed what you hear, Mark iv. 24.

[Page 4] To shew how far Mr. Relly is concerned in, and answerable for the Observations I have made, is my present Design. In his Treatise entitled UNION, This Gentleman's erroneous Principles, and the licentious Doc­trines he maintains, are very plain and evident. In the Preface to this Tract, the Author says, he is ‘"Not afraid to tread the most unfre­quented Path, and walk therein undisturbed, notwithstanding the cla­morous Accusations of Singularity, Novelty and Heresy."’ I would by no Means, attempt to disturb him in his Reveries: But as I am in­clined to animadvert upon, to enter my Protest against, and by Scrip­ture to detect and confute some erroneous Positions, delusive Assertions, and unscriptural Doctrines he has been pleased to make and advance; I would therefore rather choose to submit an Appeal to the Christian World, than disturb the Author himself with an Address thereon. For when Error and Falsehood is advanced to the World, for the Truths of the Gospel, and the Doctrines of Christianity; I hope a Zeal for the Truth, consistent with the Spirit of Meekness, will justify my At­tempt to point out such Principles, try them by the Standard of GOD's Word, shew their Inconsistency with the Oracles of Truth, and the dangerous Effects and licentious Consequences they are pregnant with, and which they must naturally bring forth. Happy shall I think myself, if hereby, I may be the Means of deterring others, from stepping aside into the same unfrequented Path of Singularity, No­velty and Heresy, which this Author has unhappily strayed into, and is so far blinded as to mistake the broad Road of Error, for the nar­row Path of Truth, though he is bold enough to declare he is ‘"not afraid to walk in it."’

CHAPTER. I.

The glorious Oeconomy of Salvation displayed, in the Grace of the Holy Trinity. The Father's Love in the Gift of his Son for his People. The Love of Jesus in their Redemption and Justification, and the Spirit's Energy on their Hearts, producing Repentance, Faith and Holiness, laid down as consistent with the Scripture, illustrated from Nature, and the Fruits and Effects demonstrable in Opposi­tion to the present Antinomian unscriptural Tenets.

THE only meritorious and procuring Cause of the Justifica­tion, Pardon, and Salvation of Sinners, is the Life and Death atoning Blood, and spotless Righteousness of the GOD-man Jesus Christ▪ [Page] This is the peculiar and distinguishing Doctrine of the Gospel of the Grace of GOD. Therefore it has been received and gloried in as such, by the People of GOD in every Age of the Christian Church. But that it follows from hence, that Sinners are made Partakers of Glory, Hap­piness and eternal Life, without Repentance, Faith and Holiness, is abso­lutely denied, it being contrary to the Purpose and Will of GOD, as it is clearly revealed and fully expressed in the sacred Pages: For, the very End and Design of our Lord's coming in the Flesh, was to purchase and pro­cure for his People, the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit, under whose divine Energy and sovereign Influences upon their Hearts, they are enabled to repent, believe and become obedient to the Gospel of their Saviour Jesus Christ. Repentance, Faith and Holiness, are the Graces and Blessings of the new Covenant. Every Member of Jesus is made a Partaker of them. His Blood and Righteousness entitles them to the Kingdom of Glory, and by these Graces their Souls are qualified and prepared for the Enjoyment of it: And it is exceeding plain and ob­vious from the Tenor of Scripture, that the Love and Grace of GOD the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, is magnified, manifested, and displayed, by and thro' the Holy Spirit's Agency, in quickning, regenerating and sanctifying the Souls of the Elect, as fully and as truly, as the Love of the Father is displayed by the Gift of his Son, or the Grace of our blessed Saviour in giving himself a Sacrifice for their Sins, and re­deeming them to GOD by his precious Blood.

Indeed, the Gift of Jesus Christ for lost Sinners, is the Result of that Love, which dwelt in the Breast of GOD the Father from all Eter­nity to his People. And the Gift of the Holy Spirit to enlighten their Minds and sanctify their Souls, is in Consequence of Christ having undertook and finished the Work of their Redemption. Jesus being now gone to the Father, according to his most true Promise, sends the Comforter. Jesus being glorified as the Head, the Spirit descends on his Members, to accomplish and produce such spiritual Blessings upon the Heart, and in the Life of the Heirs of Promise, which Mr. Relly is pleased entirely to explode and deny, to treat with the utmost con­tempt, and to stigmatize, as the Marks of the false Christ, and the Workings of the Spirit of Antichrist.

Without this inward Work upon the Heart, under the sovereign and vital Operations of the Holy Spirit; it is plain from GOD's Word, and the Condition of Mankind in its Fallen State; as also from the Experience and Testimony of the People of GOD, in every Age of the Church, from Adam to Meses, from Moses to Christ, and from Christ to this Day, that no Man is able of himself to turn to GOD, [Page] by true Repentance, to believe with his Heart unto Righteous­ness, or to bring forth Fruit unto Holiness, unto eternal Life. And if the Soul is destitute of these Graces, Profession is vain and insigni­ficant. Notions and Opinions are lighter than Vanity. Knowledge is but pompous Ignorance, and, as yet, the Gospel preached, has affec­ted such a Professor no more than outward Sound. For, except ye re­pent, ye shall perish, Luke xiii. 3. He that believeth not shall be damned, Mark xvi. 16. And without Holiness no Man shall see the Lord, Heb. xii. 14. These Declarations from our Saviour himself, and from the Spirit of Truth, will be an eternal Bar to the Salvation and Glory of every Soul that dies in an impenitent, unbelieving, unholy State, notwithstanding all the soft Casuistry, and artful Sophistry of liber­tine Deceivers.

From GOD's first creating that great Luminary the Sun, its power­ful Shining, invigorating Rays, enlightening and enlivening Influ­ences, have shed a genial Warmth and prolific Energy upon the whole Creation, whereby all Nature appears with Chearfulness, and is enriched with Fruitfulness: And, no sooner did the Glory of the Sun of Righteousness begin to dawn, after the Darkness and Misery of the Fall of Man, but with spiritual and heavenly Rays, Jesus enlightened, quickened, animated and refreshed the Hearts of his People, producing Chearfulness and Joy in their Soul, and Fruitful­ness of the heavenly Graces in their Life and Practice. By Virtue of their Union with Christ as the Source of Life, and Fountain of In­fluence, Believers receive out of his Fulness Grace for Grace: But more especially under the Gospel Dispensation, the Power and In­fluence of the Holy Spirit, is manifested with superior Energy and meridian Brightness; hence is the Gospel emphatically stiled the Ministration of the Spirit, 2 Cor. iii. 8.

Now to allow of the Power and Influence which the Sun hath upon the Earth, and yet to deny that Life and Fruitfulness are communi­cated to the natural World by his impregnating Rays, is contrary both to Reason and Observation in natural Things. So in spiritual Matters, to contend for the Union of the Soul with Jesus, the Sun of Righteousness, and yet deny that spiritual Life and Fruitfulness, is thereby communicated to his Members, is repugnant both to Scripture and Experience. And yet, however absurd and irrational this Notion is, such is Mr. Relly's avowed Tenet. Yea, it is plain and obvious from the whole Drift of this Author's Treatise, that he denies and explodes what the Scripture maintains, namely, that the Mem­bers of Jesus, are influenced to personal Holiness, or, (to use Scrip­ture [Page 7] Language) that they ever do or can, bring forth the Fruits of Righteousness, Phil. i. 11. Fruit unto Holiness, Rom. vi. 22. Fruit unto GOD, chap. vii. 4. in themselves.

But well would it be for this Author, and for all those who oppose the plain Truths of GOD, in this Point, did they but consider this scriptural Distinction, though Believers bring forth Fruit unto GOD, in themselves, yet not of and from themselves. Their Sufficiency to every good Word and Work is of GOD. Being united to the Lord Jesus, they receive, Life, Strength and Power out of his Fulness. They are taught by his Word, influenced by his Spirit, to live to the Glory of GOD. They partake of Holiness in and from the Lord Jesus, whereby, they are enabled to produce the Fruits of Holiness and good Works in their Lives and Conversations. Though the Fruits which they bear and bring forth, do not make them holy, or are the Cause of their Holiness, any more than the Grapes which grow on the Vine, make or constitute it a Vine, or are the Source and Cause of its Fruitfulness; yet, such Fruits, which are agreeable to the Word of GOD, and produced in and by them, thro' the Grace and Assistance of the Spirit of GOD, prove and evidence, that they are new Creatures in Christ Jesus: That their Souls are born again of the Spirit of GOD: That they live in the Spirit, are led by the Spirit, and bring forth the Fruits of the Spirit. Yea, being made good Trees, they bring forth good Fruit; and so answer our Lord's Description, By their Fruits ye [...]all know them, Matt. viii. 20. But, I shall have Occasion to speak more fully to this Point as I proceed.

CHAP. II.

Mr. Relly's absurd Notion of Universal Salvation exploded, as un­scriptural; false Quotation, and corrupt Gloss put upon Scripture to maintain it, detected.

I Shall here present my Reader, with a Quotation from Mr. Relly's Treatise of Union, &c. page 125, and 126. a very striking one indeed! It contains (I think) the most unparallelled Absurdity, shock­ing Perversion of the Meaning, and the most licentious Comment that ever was put upon the Words of Scripture: ‘"The Apostle saith (according to Mr. Relly's Quotation) that GOD hath given to us eter­nal Life, and that this Life is in his Son; and that he who believeth not [...]is Record hath made GOD a Liar."’ From whence, saith Mr. Relly, [Page 8] ‘"it is plain, that he who believeth not, hath eternal Life given him in the Son of GOD, as fully as him who believeth."’ It is plain! Just as plain, as that these Words inform us, Mr. Relly is an Irish Bishop. Reader, I appeal to your Judgment. Does any Thing like it appear from the Words of the Apostle? Is not this Conclusion the most forced and unnatural; an Inference or Deduction quite Foreign to the Sense of the Apostle? For the beloved Disciple in the very next Verse asserts, he that hath not the Son, hath not Life: Therefore, so far from its being plain, that there is not the least Shadow of common Sense or Reason to support this Gloss; but it is as contrary to the Apostle's Meaning, as Light is to Darkness, and Error to Truth. Amazing, that any Author should attempt to palm such glaring Absurdity, such palpable Falshood upon Mankind, for the Truths of Christianity!

But to what End or Purpose is this false Gloss put upon these Words? It is to propagate a Notion which has no Foundation in the Word of GOD, but is utterly repugnant to it; viz. A Union of Sentiment, with the Author of a sophistical, unscriptural Tract, entitled, Heaven open to all Men: or, a Theological Treatise, proving that all Men shall be saved, and made finally happy. This Author's Theology, and Mr. Relly's Notion in his Treatise of Union, &c. are quite similar. For the whole World consists but of two Sorts of Persons, Believers and Unbelievers. Now that Believers in Christ have eternal Life, is clear from the Word of GOD: And Mr. Relly asserts, he that believeth not, hath eternal Life, as fully as him who believeth; there­fore according to Mr. Relly, all Mankind, Believers and Unbelievers, shall be saved and made finally happy. Here lies the very Sinew of this Person's Delusion: Universal Salvation is the grand Basis upon which his Figment of UNION is founded. But this Path of Doctrine is unfrequented by any of the Saints of GOD: Never de­scribed in the Word of GOD, therefore is truly, the Path of Singu­larity, Novelty, and Heresy. In the Sincerity of my Heart, I pray this Author may want Company, and enjoy Solitude and Retire­ment.

Let us have Recourse to the sacred Oracles of Truth, and shew the Inconsistency of this Notion with GOD's revealed Will, and then we will rescue this Text from the false and corrupt Opinion which it is brought to establish. When our blessed Lord gave that extensive Commission to his Apostles, to preach the Gospel to every Creature, he passes this Declaration as the certain Effect and Consequence, He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned, Mark xvi. 16. Now will not Mr. Relly upon his [Page 9] Hypothesis tell us, he that is damned, hath nevertheless everlasting Life in Christ as fully as he that is saved? Again, our Saviour told the Jews, If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your Sins. John viii. 24. Which Sentence stands forth against Unbelievers ha­ving eternal Life to this Day. But will Mr. Relly explain away our Lord's Meaning, and inform us, that those who die in their Sins, yet have eternal Life in Christ? But our Lord in the same Chapter plain­ly asserts the contrary of such Persons, whither I go, ye cannot come. And the same Spirit who spake by Jesus, hath by St. Paul, described the awful State of some, to whom the Gospel is a Savour of Death unto Death, and of others who are lost, to whom the Gospel is hid; and assigns this Reason for it, that the God of this World blinds the Minds of those who believe not. And again he declares that the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from Heaven with his mighty Angels in flaming Fire, taking Vengeance on them that know not GOD, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall be punished with everlasting Destruc­tion from the Presence of the Lord, and from the Glory of his Power, 2 Thes. i. 7, 8, 9. And once for all; for there is no End of quoting Passages of Scripture to consute this impious and heretical Position. Christ himself declares, he that believeth not, is condemned already.—He that believeth not the Son, shall not see Life, but the Wrath of GOD abideth on him, John iii. 18. 30.

How can we reconcile a State of Wrath and Condemnation, with Possessing GOD's Love and Favour; a lost State, and not seeing Life, with having eternal Life; being punished with everlasting Destruction from GOD, and yet enjoying Salvation as his Gift fully given? The Bible hath no such Inconsistency: Nor in any Part of it doth it declare that Unbelievers have eternal Life, but quite the reverse; nor doth it teach us to suppose with the Author of Union, that all those who shall have their Portion with Unbelievers, to whom the Lord will denounce the awful Doom, depart ye Cursed, &c. yet have eternal Life as fully given them in Christ, as those who believe to the saving their Souls, and on whom our Saviour will pronounce the joyful Sentence, come ye Blessed of my Father, &c. Surely before a Person can advance such Absurdity, he must be given up to a strong Delusion to believe a Lie, &c. and to wrest the Scriptures to his own Destruction. It is no small Degree of Art and Sophistry which this Author affects, so as to explain away the true Sense and Mean­ing of the Scripture Language, and to dress it up in a false Garb, and to give such a Turn to Scripture Phrases, as best suits a vitiated [Page 10] Mind, and corrupt Principles: And it is readily owned, his Pupils and Admirers [...]oon attain the same Skill.

I here give the World a Specimen of their expert Knack of ex­plaining Scripture. Upon this Assertion of our Saviour's, except a Man be born ag in he cannot see the Kingdom of GOD. Hear and Wonder. They tell us the Text mentions a Man, therefore Christ is the Man, he was born again; the Necessity of which he is here urging. Again, strait is the Gate, and narrow is the Way which leadeth unto Life, and few there be that find it. Surprizing Comment! ‘"There never was but one, say they, who sound the Way, that is Christ."’ So Christ is the few here mentioned. Did Grammar and Sense ever meet with such a [...]owed Enemies before? Again, to St. James's Assertion, I will shew thee my Faith by my Works. The Antinomian Answer is, ‘"I shew you Christ's Works, that is the Apostle's Meaning."’ And when our Lord exhorts his Disciples to let their Light shine before Men that they may see your good Works, &c. ‘"We are to let Christ shine, and shew Men his good Works."’ Once more, to support the Antinomian En­mi [...]y against the Scripture Doctrine of growing in Grace, this Text has been urged, divers Weights and Measures, are an Abomination to the Lord. And lastly, The Prophet's Interrogation, Isa. xxxiii. 14. Who among us shall dwell with devouring Fire? Who amongst us shall dwell with [...]verlasting Burnings? This is spoken of Christ, say they. Now this Method of explaining the Word, is, I suppose, what this Author calls ‘"reading the S [...]riptures in Christ. Nor have (says he) all the Masters in Israel for these 1700 Years (though there have been always those who have attempted it) been able to point out a Reconciliation and Harmony out of him."’ page 86. But what hath not Master R [...]ly done? Inimitable, wonderful Man! Sure he is the Man, and Wisdom will die with him! Take him for all in all, we ne'er shall see his like again.

Let us now consider the plain Sense, and full Import of the Apo­stles Meaning in that Passage, which has been so grossly perverted, and shockingly corrupted, to support Falshood and Heresy. Far, very far from a fair and honest Quotation hath this Author given. He has transposed the Words o [...] the Apostle. I suspect his Design hereby. It is the better to accommodate the Words, to support his Tenets. Else, why should he not give his Readers the Words in the Order they are placed? Why has he exhibited them in a mangled, disjointed Form? My Reasons for Suspicion of Mr. Relly's Method of quoting S [...]ripture, will, I think, be fully justified presently.

The Apostles Words, 1 John v. 10. He that believeth on the Son of GOD hath the Witness in himself, are plain; even the Witness of eternal [Page 11] Life, in and through the Lord Jesus Christ. And again, He that believeth not GOD, hath made him a Liar, because he believeth not the Record which GOD hath given of his Son: i. e. that Sinners are saved through Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ only. It is good to compare Scripture with Scripture: And we have a Declaration from our Lord's own Mouth, which runs parallel with this, GOD so loved the World, as to give his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him, should not perish, but have everlasting Life, John iii. 16. Now on the contrary, he that believeth not, he denieth, opposeth, and rejecteth the Way of eternal Life and Salvation through Jesus Christ, and seeks for, and expects to find Righteousness in some other Way and Method, contrary to the Gospel of the Grace of GOD: and thus he gives the Lie to the Record of Truth, the Report of the everlasting Gospel, yea to the GOD of Truth himself; than which nothing doth more enhance and aggravate the Sin of Unbelief. And therefore so far from Unbe­lievers having eternal Life, they can in no Scripture Sense be said to have Part or Lot in the Matter; perhaps never may; nay, we are assured never will, if they die in Unbelief. For as many as are Or­dained to eternal Life, BELIEVE. In Verse 11. the Apostle goes on, this is the Record that GOD hath given to US, eternal Life. To us! To whom? to all Mankind? No such thing, as appears very clear, if we consider to whom the Apostle is addressing himself. These Things write I unto you that believe on the Name of the Son of GOD, that ye may know that ye have eternal Life. Hence it is very plain and obvious, the Apostle was not writing to, nor speaking of Un­believers at all, nor of all Mankind in General; for he afterwards fully declares the contrary, Verse 13. we know, (we who believe) that we are of GOD, and that the whole World lieth in Wickedness. Agree­able hereto, he says, he that hath the Son hath Life; spiritual Life: He is quickened by Jesus: Hath an experimental Knowledge of Christ by Faith: He hath the Earnest of eternal Life: He dwells in Christ, and Christ in him: He is one with Christ, and Christ with him: (blessed Union! not notional, but scriptural:) He shall en­joy the Life of eternal Glory.—But he that hath not the Son of GOD, hath not Life; he is dead, dead in Trespasses and Sins, destitute of the Life of GOD in his Soul: He is ignorant of the Love of the Father: Hath no Knowledge of Christ's Love, and being destitute of Faith in his Blood and Righteousness, has no right to eternal Life, nor any Mectness for it, but is under the second Death; if he abide in Unbelief, he shall not see Life. So that nothing is more plain, than that, without Faith in Jesus, no Sinner can be saved; and that eternal Salvation is connected with Faith.

[Page 12] Such is the full Import, such the obvious Sense of the Apostle in this Passage. How unjustly it is brought to support the present Anti­nomian Dream, and Antichristian Delusion, that all Mankind shall be saved, or that any Sinner hath eternal Life, without Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ; let the Christian World judge. To them I ap­peal and submit the following Consideration.

When the Children of Israel had been bitten by Serpents, the Lord said to Moses, make a fiery Serpent, and set it upon a Pole; and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live, Numb. xxi. 8. Now if after Moses had done this, he had told all the People, ‘"GOD hath provided an Antidote; therefore your Cure is effected, without looking to the Remedy."’ Would not such a Procedure, (as much as in him lay) counteract the Design of GOD, prevent the Cure, and cause the Death and Destruction of the People? This Type our Lord refers to himself, John iii. 14, 15. As Moses lifted up the Serpent in the Wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting Life. But if Preachers, instead of shewing the Necessity of Sinners looking to Christ, and believing on Him, that they might not perish, but have everlasting Life; should tell Mankind, that they are all saved by Christ, and though they do not believe, have nevertheless eternal Life given them in Christ; do they not hereby oppose GOD's Method of Salvation, and act contrary to the Apostle's Practice? whose Advice to a sensible, convicted Sinner was, Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, Acts xvi. 31. and thus, as much as in them lies, do they cause the People to err, to deceive their own Souls, so as to fancy themselves to be in a State of Salvation, when they are in a State of Wrath, and under Condemnation.

CHAP. III.

The Antinomian Heresy of Christ's Faith being counted for Righteous­ness, refuted. The Scripture Doctrine of Justification by Faith, explained and desended. The Nature and Effects of a true Gosp [...] Faith in the Heart and Life of Christ's Members, proved from Scripture, in Opposition to loose and licentious Principles and Pro [...] ­tices.

HAving in the last Chapter considered, and I hope refuted, th [...] unscriptural Position, that Unbelievers have eternal Life give [...] them in Christ, as fully as those who believe. I would lay before m [...] [Page 13] Reader another of this Author's Tenets, equally as absurd, ridiculous, [...]d unscriptural. Page 124, he asserts, that Believers are not ju­ [...]ified by Faith wrought in them, but by Christ's believing for them. Thus he says ‘"this Text, Rom. iv. 5. to him who worketh not, but be­ [...]veth on him that justifieth the Ungodly, his Faith is counted for Righ­ [...]usness; "shews us, that Christ's Faith is counted for Righteousness, to all such, who working not, believeth on him as justifying the Ungodly."’ Amazing Discovery indeed! Singular and unparallelled this Observation! According to this Gloss, here are two Believers in­tended by the Apostle, Christ and the Sinner, and Christ's Faith in­stead of Christ's Righteousness, counted for Justification. But can any Man of common Sense and Understanding, rather can any Christian who has been taught the Truth as it is in Jesus, receive and admit such strange and extravagant Flights of Fancy, for solid Scripture Truths? Surely not.

Christ's Faith counted for Righteousness! no more than the Crown of Thorns or purple Robe which was put on Jesus in the Day of his Humiliation and Suffering, is counted for Righteousness. Who is it that justifieth the Ungodly? it is GOD, saith St. Paul. What is the procuring Cause of Justification? the perfect Righteousness, and spotless Obedience of Jesus, who is the Surety for Sinners, and in their Nature, and on their Account, hath fulfilled all Righteousness, and yielded full Satisfaction to divine Justice, and this is reckoned, counted, and imputed to every convinced Sinner who believeth on Jesus with his Heart unto Righteousness, as the Scriptures testify, Rom. x. 10. Hence GOD is said to be just, and the Justifier (of whom?) of him who believes in Jesus, Rom. iii. 26. This is the plain Sense and Meaning of this Text. That the Phrase, his Faith, hath no other Antecedent, but him, of whom the Apostle saith, He worketh not, but believeth, is clear. And therefore this can have no Relation to Christ, but to him who believes, and works not to obtain Life: For this I appeal to every one who hath common Understanding to read.

This Author is pleased to tell us next, ‘"that Antichrist says you are justified by your own Faith, which will produce Righteousness in you to evidence it."’ This is a bold Assertion indeed! A severe, if not a blasphemous Censure, not only levelled against the Writings of the inspired Penmen, but also falls upon the Person and Doctrine of the Lamb of GOD himself, who spake as never Man spake, who taught the Doctrines of Repentance, Faith and Holiness, as absolutely necessary to eternal Glory. Now Faith is spoken of and described in Scripture, not as any Work of Man, but as the Gift of GOD, [Page 14] wrought in the Heart of a Sinner by the Grace and Power of his Spirit. And therefore, as the Sinner is the Subject who possesses it, and as the Heart is the Seat of it, so in this Sense, it may be called our own Faith: As any Gift, which is freely bestowed, may pro­perly be called, the [...]ceiver's own, both as to Propriety of Pos­session, as well as in the Use, Comfort and Advantage which arises from it.

Thus in Scripture, this Phrase, justified by Faith, frequently occurs, Rom. v. 1. Being justified by Faith, &c. chap. iii. 28. we conclude, a Man is justified by Faith, &c. Now I can't suppose my Reader to be so void of common Understanding, as to imagine that in these, or Scrip [...]ures of like Import, the Writers ever meant any Faith but what the Sinner partakes of, and possesses in his own Heart. O [...] when we are said to be justified by Faith, it is meant, that we are justified for Faith, as though it was the meritorious or procuring Cause of Justification in the Sight of GOD. No, that is effected by the perfect Righteousness, Sacrifice and Blood-shedding of the Lord Jesus only: And this being revealed, published, and declared by the Gospel, as the only Refuge for lost and perishing Sinners to fly to. That ungodly Sinner, who is convinced of Sin, and is en­abled to have Recourse to this Method, who trusts in, relies upon, and by Faith receives, applies, and appropriates Jesus Christ to his Soul, is thereby enriched with all the Privileges of the Gospel; viz. Justification, Pardon, Peace, Holiness, and Salvation: just as a Person is enriched by receiving any valuable Gift. So this Gift of Righteousness, which is by Jesus Christ, is apprehended and received by Faith, and is unto all, and upon all them who believe: They are delivered from the Guilt of Sin, freed from the Condemnation of the Law, and Righteousness is imputed to them through Faith: And thus in a sound, Scripture Sense, Christ's People are actually justified by Faith, as respecting, looking to, and receiving the Righteousness of Christ Jesus. But every Soul who is destitute of this Faith in Jesus, is in a State of Wrath, and under the Sentence of Condemnation by the just and holy Law of GOD. And surely, that Soul who is possessed of this precious Faith, 2 Pet. i. 1. This Faith of GOD's Elect, can­not, will not, dare not depreciate or despise it, lest he should there­by only lightly esteem the Gift, and do Despite to the Author and Finisher of Faith, which is Jesus. But no Wonder, that through the Blindness of the Understanding, and the Hardness and Impenitence of the Heart; those who are Strangers to this heavenly Gift, should deny its Existence, and explode the holy and blessed Effects which [Page 15] as the Scripture abundantly testify do flow from it. None but such Persons would dare to assert that ‘"Antichrist says, you are justi­fied by your own Faith, which will produce Righteousness in you to evidence it."’ Sure I am, from the Word of GOD; that Faith which doth not produce any Fruits of Righteousness, and true Holi­ [...]s to evidence it, is not only an Antinomian Fancy, but an antichri­ [...]an Delusion, begotten by Ignorance and Error, nourished and sup­ported by vain Confidence and Delusion, at the expence of Truth, [...] perventing the Word of GOD. Wilt thou know, O vain Man, that Faith without Works is dead? James ii. 20.

Faith is described by St. Paul, as the Substance of Things hoped for, [...] Evidence of Things not seen, Heb. ii. 1. for it gives Subsistence to, [...] Reality in the Minds of Believers, of those Things which Unbe­ [...]vers know nothing of: It is the Evidence to the Souls of the Faith­ful, of those Blessings and Comforts which he who believeth not, [...] no Conception of: Such as the Pardon of Sin, the Love of GOD [...] abroad in the Heart, Peace of Conscience, Joy in the Holy Ghost, &c. As the Love of GOD the Father is evidenced in the Gospel, by the Gift of his Son Jesus Christ, for the Salvation of lost S [...]ers; so the Evidence that any Sinner hath of this Love to his own Soul, is by Faith. Therefore it is said by St. Peter, to you who be­ [...]ve, Christ is precious, 1 Pet. ii. 7. For though Jesus is described [...] the Word, as altogether lovely in his Person, desirable in his Offices, and precious in his Work of Salvation; yet it is by Faith he is known and received, so as to be esteemed, loved and admired to the Saints Comfort, Justification and eternal Salvation. Hence, to as [...]ny as received him (saith St. John) to them gave he Power to become [...]e Sons of GOD, even to them who believe on his Name, John i. 12. [...]nd that Sinners might believe in him, and receive Justification and [...]ife through him, he again testifies, John xx. 31. These Things are [...]itten, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of GOD, [...]d that believing, ye might have Life through his Name. And our [...]ord asserts, he that believeth, is passed from Death unto Life.

I have cited these few Passages from holy Writ, to shew the happy [...]te, and rich Privileges which Sinners are brought into, and invested [...]ith through Faith. They are passed from Death to Life, enjoy the [...]ower or Privilege of being the Sons of GOD, and receive Life from [...]sus. Whereas, before they have obtained precious Faith, and know [...]e Truth, their State is described by the Apostle, as being without [...]rist, Aliens from the Common-wealth of Israel, having no Hope, and [...]out GOD in the World, Eph. ii. 12. And why is it that GOD's [Page 16] People are thus highly favoured? but, because GOD, of his sove­reign Grace hath been pleased to connect their Holiness and Hap­piness with his own Glory: and it is through Faith these inestimable Blessings are communicated to the Soul; and therefore all those who are the Children of GOD by Faith in Christ Jesus, are called to serve GOD without Fear, in Holiness and Righteousness before him all the Days of their Life. They are concerned to glorify GOD in their Body and Spirit: And it is the Command of their Saviour that they should let their Light so shine before Men, that they may see their good Works and glorify their Father who is in Heaven, Matt. v. 16. Hope and Love are inseparable from true Faith. Who can love GOD, but those who believe the Love of GOD toward them in Christ Jesus [...] We love GOD because he first loved us, 1 John iv. 19. And this is the Love of GOD, that we keep his Commandments, chap. v. iii. From Faith in Jesus springs Hope, the Hope of seeing and enjoying GOD, which hath a cleansing Efficacy: For, every one who hath this Hope in him, purifieth himself even as he is pure, 1 John iii. 3. Thus there is a sweet Connection between the Work of Faith, the Labour of Love, and the Patience of Hope. The Members of Jesus find it so. To him who believeth, all Things are possible. To him that loveth, all Things are easy, for GOD's Commandments are not grievous: A [...]d Hope is as an Anchor to the Soul, both sure and stedfast, whereby it is saved from splitting on the Rocks of unchristian Libertinism, pre­served from being swallowed up by the Quicksands of Antinomian Licentiousness; and by patient continuing in Well-doing, is look­ing for the Mercy of our Lord Jesus, unto eternal Life.

Such are the natural Fruits, such the genuine Effects, such the certain Evidence of a vital, operative, victorious Faith in Christ. Say ye Happy, because believing Members of Christ; ye, who rely on the Atonement of his Blood, for the Pardon of your Sins, and con­side in the Righteousness of Jesus for your Justification, say, doth not this Belief excite the most irreconcileable Abhorrence of all Un­godliness? Doth not this Faith most powerfully incite to evangelical Obedience, to all Holiness of Life and Practice?—As in the la [...] Days Scoffers will come, saith the Apostle, walking after their own Lusts, I would stir up your pure Minds by way of Remembrance; for Beloved,

Hath GOD from the Beginning chosen you to Salvation? it i [...] through Sanctification of the Spirit and Belief of the Truth, 2 Thes ii. 13.

[Page 17] Are ye called in Time? it is with a holy Calling, that as he which hath called you is holy, so should ye be holy in all Manner of Conversation, 1 Pet. i. 15.

Hath Christ given himself for you? it was that he might redeem you from all Iniquity, and also purify you unto himself a peculiar People zealous of good Works, Titus ii. 14. that ye being dead to Sin, should live unto Righteousness.

Are you GOD's Workmanship, created anew in Christ Jesus? it is unto good Works, which GOD hath before ordained that you should walk in them, Eph. ii. 10.

Do you know the Gospel of the Grace of GOD in Truth? it teacheth you to deny all Ungodliness and worldly Lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present World, Titus. ii. 12.

Hath GOD given unto you exceeding great and precious Promises? it is, that you should c [...]a [...]se yourselves from all Fil [...]hiness of Flesh and Spirit, perfecting Holiness in the Fear of GOD, 2 Cor. vii. 1.

Are you united to Jesus, and become one with him as the Branch is with the Vine? herein is your heavenly Father glorified, that ye bear much Fruit, John xv. 8.

Do you abide in Christ as Members of his mystical Body? He that saith he abideth in him, ought himself also so to walk even as Christ also walked, 1 John ii. 6. The Head, JESUS, hath left his Members an Example that they should follow his Steps.

Are you become dead to the Law by the Body of Christ, and are you married to Jesus by Faith? it is to this very End that ye should bring forth Fruit unto GOD, Rom. vii. 4. Fruits of Righteousness which are by Jesus Christ; Fruit unto Holiness, and your End shall be everlasting Life.

Thus is Jesus glorified in his believing Members. His Gospel is adorned by them. Gratitude to GOD for his Grace, is expressed. fellow Creatures and fellow Christians are profited. And thus, a holy, precious Faith in the Hearts of GOD's Elect, is proved to be an operative Grace, is attended with the Fruits of Righteousness, evi­denced by good Works, and made perfect b [...] them, James ii. 22. in Contradistinction to unfruitful Notions in the Head; meer carnal and unscriptural Ideas of Union, the Creature of Fancy, or the Whim of the Imagination, which leaves its Professors in the Possession of a Dead Faith, productive of no Fruit to the Glory of GOD, no Good [...]o Man, nor to those who rest in it is it of any avail, unless to [...]ar the Conscience, and lull it into a fatal Security; nor can it [...] attended with any Advantage, but, with an awful Disappoint­ment [Page 18] to such who are satisfied with it, in that Day when GOD shall judge the Secrets of all Hearts by Jesus Christ.—But there is not wanting a Cloud of Witnesses, as an incontestible Proof of the Nature and Evidences of a true Faith, and that by it, the Worthies of Old wrought Righteousness, &c. their Names and their Works stand on Record in the eleventh Chapter to the Hebrews, as a stimulating Example to all succeeding Believers, and as a Contrast to all carnal, dissolute and licentious Professors of the Religion of the Bible.

Thus in full Contradiction to this Author's whimsieal Notion of Union, the Scriptures abundantly shew and declare, what is the Nature of a real, vital Union of Christ with Believers, by the Fruits and Ef­fects which result from it. And thereby fully refute the hardned impious Assertions of those, who count it Antichristian to insist on the Fruits of Faith. And surely, before any Person can imbibe this Author's Principles, he must attain some of his jesuitical Cunning, in cor­rupting the plain Sense of Scripture, in wresting and perverting the obvious Meaning of the Word of GOD, in order to support un­scriptural and unchristian Positions; and to the encouraging Licen­tiousness of Life and Conversation. St. Paul describes such Persons, as those who walk in the Vanity of their Minds, having the Under­standing darkened, being alienated from the Life of GOD, through the Ignorance that is in them, because of the Blindness of their Hearts; who being past Feeling, have given themselves over to work all Uncleanness with Greediness, Eph. iv. 18, 19. But of the real Members of Christ, true Believers, the Apostle gives a very different Description. But ye have not so learned Christ, if so be ye that have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the Truth is in Jesus; that ye put off, concerning the former Conversation, the old Man, which is corrupt according to the de­ceitful Lusts; and be renewed in the Spirit of your Mind; and that ye put on the new Man which after GOD is created in Righteousness and true Holiness. ver. 20, &c.

CHAP. IV.

In Contradistinction to Mr. Relly's Tenets, a Change of State and Practice shewed to be necessary to eternal Glory. That this is effected upon the Members of Jesus, to his Glory and their pre­sent Happiness and Holiness, by the Power and Agency of the divine Spirit upon their Souls, whereby they are prepared and made meet for the heavenly Inheritance.

IN the last Chapter we have seen the Effects of a truly Christian Faith rejected, in this we shall see the Cause denied by thi [...] Author, viz. that spiritual and supernatural Change which passeth upon the Heart and State of Believers under the Agency and Influence of the Holy Spirit, producing Repentance unto Life, Faith unto Justifica­tion, and Sanctification unto Holiness of Heart and Life. Now Jesus is truly glorified by these divine Effects appearing in his Members; whereby, the Understanding, which is naturally dark, is enlightened: The Will which is stubborn and contrary to the Will of GOD, is bowed and brought into Subjection; and the Affections which are alienated from GOD and his Truths, are brought to love and esteem Jesus, and the Way of Salvation by him.

Though to save Appearance of not totally denying the Work of the Spirit, Mr. Relly is pleased to tell us, p. 108, he ‘"would not be un­derstood of speaking lightly of the Spirit of Truth, or of his Opera­tions upon the Heart of Man, according to the Scripture Account thereof, which is there undeniably made, to consist in receiving the Things which are his (viz. Christ,) and in shewing them to us; that Jesus alone might be glorified."’

But I would ask, and appeal to Scripture, is this the only Work and Office of the Holy Spirit? Is there no Work wrought by his divine Energy in and upon the Heart of GOD's People? The Scrip­tures fully prove there is; and the People of GOD in every Age, have, from real Experience testified of it. For by Nature they are Children of Wrath, dead in Trespasses and Sins: and Enemies in their Minds to GOD by wicked Works. Therefore a Change both of State and Practice is absolutely necessary to eternal Glory: Nor could they be meet to par­take of it, unless the Holy Spirit effected this; which he doth accor­ding to the Word of Truth, by quickening and regenerating their Souls; they are made to partake of a new Birth, into a new State and [Page 20] Kingdom; they are delivered from the Power of Darkness, and translated into the Kingdom of GOD's dear Son, Col. i. 13. By the Holy Ghost they are enlightened, convinced of Sin; Faith is wrought in their Hearts by his Power; Repentance unto Salvation is granted unto them; they are sanctified, and led by the Spirit; and through the Spirit are enabled to mortify the Deeds of the Body, Rom. viii. 13. GOD's Spirit bears Witness with their Spirits, that they are the Children of GOD, chap. viii. 16. And seals them unto the Day of eternal Redemption, Eph. iv. 30. Thus doth the Scripture of Truth testify of the Work of the Spirit, on the Hearts of the Members of Jesus, producing these holy and happy Effects. But in direct Opposition to all this, Hear Mr. Relly's Declaration, ‘"the Spirit of Error pretends to shew Mankind other Excellencies than what are found in Jesus. Such as Reforma­tion, Changes, pious Motions and Desires in themselves.—Antr­christ, or the false Christ, seeks not the Glory of Jesus, but speaks of himself, of its own Operations; of Joys; Sorrows, Hatred to Evil, languishing after Goodness by him wrought in the Heart,"’ &c.— ‘"This is that Spirit which I have set my Face against, and of which I speak where ever I have through my Book ranked this Phrase, the Work of the Spirit on the Hear [...], among the cant Terms, of Judaism blended with Heathenism.

After the Recital of this, it must be granted, where the Conscience is hardned through the Deceitfulness of Sin; and seared as with an hot Iron, against all Sense of Sin; Persons in such a State, are quite free from any Sense of Sorrow, Hatred of Evil, languishing after Goodness, Reformation, Changes, pious Motions and Desires in themselves, &c. And consequently, they may account all this as Judaism, with blended Hea­thenism, or give it any other cant Term, which their corrupt Imagination can coin: But I appeal to every one who has been taught the Truth as it is in Jesus, and have experienced the in-wrought Principles of Light and Life, Grace and Holiness communicated from Jesus by the Power of the Spirit; whether a Sight and Sense of Sin, Sorrow and Remorse for it, Humiliation under it, Hatred of it, pious Motions and Desires after Goodness, &c. is not the very Temper and Disposition of Hea­ven-born Souls? Is it not consistent, perfectly consistent with the Purity of the Doctrine and Genius of the Gospel, and flows from the Work of the Spirit of Truth on the Heart? And as to Joys, if there be any Conso­lation, it is in Christ Jesus, and flows from him as the Head, to the Hearts of his Members, through the Power of the Holy Spirit: Hence a Fruit of the Spirit is called Joy; and Joy in the Holy Ghost, Rom. xiv. 17. is of the Essence of the Kingdom of Jesus; and it is an apostolia [Page 21] Prayer for Saints, that GOD would fill them not only with Peace, but all Joy in believing, chap. xv. 13. Is not this then, the Work of the Spirit of Truth upon the Heart? Doth he not hereby glorify Jesus in Truth and Reality in his Members? Thus it is true, it is the Office of the Spirit of Truth, to take of the Things of Christ and shew them unto us. To us! to whom? What! to dead, blind Sin­ners, who have neither Eyes to see, nor Life, spiritual Life to receive Comfort and Consolation therefrom? For it is an adjudged C [...]se of our Lord, except a Man is born again of the Spirit, he cannot see the Kingdom of GOD, John iii. 3. agreeable to which, St. Paul testifies, the natural Man receiveth not the Things of the Spirit, they are Foolishness [...] him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned, 1 Cor. ii. 14. Hence nothing can be more clear and plain, than that spiritual Illumination, and a real and spiritual Change, is wrought upon the Souls of GOD's People.

As to this Author's declaring his Enmity to, and setting his Face against i [...], is only a farther Proof, that the Scripture is not the Rule of his Faith; and that it is to be feared, he is ignorant of this Work of the Spirit upon his own Heart, and so joins the Enemies of Truth, to speak against those Things he knows not of. If he did, he would in Reality attempt what he talks much about, viz. to glorify Jesus in Truth.

For herein is the Saviour glorified indeed, when a Sinner is awa­ [...]ned to a Sight of his Misery, quickened to feel his Wants, made s [...]nsible of his Condemnation by the Law, convicted of his own Vile­ [...]ss and Guilt, and the Insufficiency of his own Righteousness, and [...] to Jesus as the only City of Refuge; looks to the Lamb of GOD [...] TAKETH away the Sin of the World, John i. 29. to have Guilt [...]emoved from his Conscience through his precious Blood alone, and has Recourse to his Righteousness only for Justification, yea, to his whole [...]ished Work on Earth, as the only and alone Ground and Founda­tion of his Acceptance with GOD, also to the Mediation and Inter­ [...]ssion of Christ, to be kept through Faith unto Salvation, in a Way of Holiness, unto eternal Glory. Thus, the Holy Spirit leads a Sinner [...] all Truth, into the Knowledge of his own State, the Law and [...]stice of GOD, the Sacrifice and Satisfaction of Jesus, his magnifying [...] Law, fulfilling all Righteousness, and purchasing Salvation for him, [...] he might be Partaker of his Holiness unto Life eternal—Surely [...] we behold the sovereign Display of the eternal Love of Jehovah, [...] Grace of our precious Redeemer, and the divine Energy of the Holy [...]rit. Thus is the Father honoured, the Son glorified, and the Spi­rit [Page 22] magnified; and thus the glorious, and eternal Three, bear Record on Earth, in the Salvation of Sinners. This may draw a Sneer from the antiscriptural De [...]st, may meet with Contempt from the Abettors of the Sabellian Heresy, and have the Appearance of Madness to the mee [...] formal Professors of Christianity: But true Christians, who have learned of the Father to come to Jesus, through the Power of the Spirit, know this to be sc [...]iptural and experimental Christianity, and the Ground of their Hope, the Stay of their Confidence, the Refuge of their Souls, the Stability of their Comfort, and the Joy of their Heart, is a crucified Saviour, a risen Lord; Jesus dying for their Sins, and rising again for their Justification. Nor can they turn from his Blood and Righte­ousness, to advert to any other Matter or Object, for Hope or Salva­tion. And why is this? but because they know Jesus hath done all for them by his Obedience and Death; he hath wrought all in them by hi [...] Holy Spirit, whereby they know his Love, apply and appropriate Je­sus Christ to their Souls by Faith, find and feel they are Partakers of the divine Nature; are animated by Love, and strengthened by Grace, to all Obedience and Holiness in their Lives and Conversation.

But these Christ-exalting Views, these Sin-mortifying, Holiness producing Operations, are impiously ascribed to the Workings of the Spirit of Antichrist, and deem'd the Marks of the false Christ; and this under a specious Pretence, that to establish these, is to oppose and degrade the true Christ, the Saviour.—This is just as good Reasoning as to say, whoever pretends to feel the comforting Warmth, [...] Influences, enlivening and invigorating Rays of the Sun, doth thereby eclipse his Splendor, rob him of his Glory, and deny the real [...]x­istence of that heavenly Luminary. Or to assert, that if the blind Ma [...] whom our Lord restored to Sight, believed or declared, that he enjoyed Sight in himself, he would thereby detract from the Glory o [...] Jesus, who is the Light of Men. Or that the Leper, who came to Christ, with Lord if thou wilt thou canst make me clean, if he declared he found in himself that he was cleansed from his Leprosy by Jesus he would thereby depreciate the Author of his Cure, and rob Chri [...] of his Glory. Now, who that is not destitute of Reason and Understanding would argue thus? Nor doth it display less Ignorance of th [...] Word of GOD, and the Power of the Gospel of Christ, and the Energy of the Holy Spirit, to assert that it derogates from the Glory of Christ because his Members experience a real and spiritual Change in the Souls, are born again of the Spirit, have their Hearts purified Faith, are passed from their old natural State, to a new, holy State Christ; from a Death in Sin, to a Life of Righteousness; from a can [Page 23] to a spiritual State; and hence they are said to be not in the Flesh, but in the Spirit, Rom. viii. 9. and the Spirit of Jesus dwells in them, by whom they are disposed and influenced to a holy, righteous and spiritual Walk and Conversation: the inward Sanctification of their Souls, shews itself by outward Holiness of Life and Practice: and to the Glory of GOD, there ever was, and now is a Cloud of Wit­ [...]esses, who, from inward Knowledge and Experience, have borne their Testimony to the Truth hereof, in Opposition to all the vain Speculations, unscriptural Assertions, and licentious Tenets of such who profess to know GOD, but in Works deny Him.

CHAP. V.

Christian Obedience and the Practice of good Works; or a walking so as to please GOD, insisted upon and enforced from Gospel Prin­ciples, in Opposition to the licentious Tenets advanced by Mr. Relly; a Text vilely mangled and basely cited by him, to attempt to make Christ a Minister of Sin, and a Discourager of Holiness, Good­ness, Virtue, &c. his Practice herein detected and exposed.

LET us next see how vehemently this Author declaims against good Works, and asserts roundly that ‘"Mankind are incapable of performing Actions spiritually good at any Time; and that when Men begin to consider them as spiritually good, as well-pleasing and acceptable with GOD, as Righteousness, Holiness or Fruitful­ness before him; or when making this their Sanctification, they go about to prove their Faith thereby, inwardly respecting these Motions as Proofs and Marks of their Grace and Christianity, I say, when this is the Case, with ardent Zeal, tenfold more burning than ever they can shew for the Works of their Hands, we will prove all their Righteousness to be filthy Rags."’ p. 25 and 27.

Here is a Spark of Truth and a Blaze of Error. For as to the Works of their own Hands, done in a natural, sinful, unregenerate State, according to the Will of the Flesh, before the Grace of Christ, and the Inspiration of his Spirit, they, (as the 13th Article of the Church of England scripturally teacheth) ‘"are not pleasing to GOD, forasmuch as they spring not of Faith in Jesus Christ,"’ &c. These Works every true Believer has been taught to disclaim. All his own Righteousness which is of the Law, (done from legal Principles, to gain the Favour of GOD and merit Salvation) he looks on as filthy [Page 24] Rags, counts as Dross and Dung, desires to be found in Christ, and will make mention of his Righteousness only for the Acceptance of his Person, in Life, in Death, and a [...] his tremendous Bar. He knows he is not sufficient of himself to any thing that is good, but that his Sufficiency is of GOD, and therefore, with the Church of old will confess, Thou, O Lord, hast wrought all our Works in us, Isa [...] xxvi. 12.

But let this Author's Zeal, his ardent Zeal, his tenfold more burning Zeal, be as raging and as furious as the most violent Eruptions of Aetna or Vesicvius; authorise [...] by divine Authority, supported by inward Experience, we will testify and declare what Jesus hath wrought in us by his Spirit, as a Consequence of what he hath done f [...]r us in his Person, and which we will call spiritually good, be­cause produced by a good and holy Agent: For the Fruits of the Spirit, are Love, Joy, Peace, Lon su [...]ering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness, Temperance, &c. These Things wrought in us by the Holy Ghost, we count spiritually good: And the Apostle proves them to be so: for he says, against such there is noLaw, Gal. v. 22, 23. yea, and we will assert these Things are well-pleasing and acceptable to GOD, for this plain Reason, because it is GOD who worketh in us, both to will and to do of his good Pleasure, Eph. ii. 13. and it is through the Blood of the everlasting Covenant, that the Lord makes us perfect in every good Work, to do his Will, working in us that which is well­pleasing in his Sight, through Jesus Christ, Heb. xiii. 21. For surely, what is GOD's Will and good Pleasure to work in and by his People, must in the Nature of Things be good, well-pleasing and accep­table in his Sight. To say otherwise must be ascribing the grossest Absurdity to GOD, yea, the most shocking Blasphemy against him. Thus are Believers inwardly sanctified through Faith in the Blood of Jesus, and by the Power of his Spirit, unto actual Ho­liness of Heart and Life, to which they are called; and are strengthened by the Spirit in the inner Man, to delight in the Law of GOD, and to Fruitfulness in every good Word and Work. And to confront this Author's Assertion; St. Paul exhorts Believers to do Good and to communicate, expressly asserting, that with such Sacrifices GOD is well-pleased, Heb. xiii. 15.

As in the first Creation, the Almighty Fiat called forth Fruit from the Earth, and it was so: So likewise, in the new Creation, in the Souls of Believers, the same sovereign Voice in his Word, through the Power of his Spirit, calls forth Fruitfulness of the in­ward Graces in the Heart, and the outward Fruits of good Works [Page 25] in the Life of new Creatures, of whom it is said, the Seed of GOD remaineth in them, 1 John iii. 9. And though the Earth is of itself sluggish, inert Matter, incapable of producing Fruits, yet as it is im­pregnated by the influence of the Elements, Vegetation and Fruitful­ness is increased; so in the new Creation, Believers who are in their natural and earthly State, dead and inactive to spiritual Actions, yet under the Influences of GOD's Spirit, through Means he is pleased to own and bless, such as attending the Ordinances, Prayer, Rea­ding, Meditation, the Gospel preached, &c. through Faith in Christ Jesus, the Soul is made Fruitful in Knowledge, Love and Obedi­ence, &c. and increaseth with the Increase of GOD, Col. ii. 19. in such Things as are good, acceptable and well-pleasing to GOD, through Jesus Christ. Thus St. Paul writes to Believers, We beseech you Brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as you have recei­ved of us, how you ought to walk and to PLEASE GOD, so you would ABOUND more and more, 1 Thes. iv. 1. And the beloved Disciple, John iii. 22. testifies, we keep his Commandments, and do those Things which are pleasing in his Sight. Thus doth it appear that Jesus is Sanctification to his Members. Being united to him, they derive Sanctification from him, inwardly in their Souls, which shews itself out­wardly in a holy Walk. And indeed the very End of Believers being dead to the Law, to all Hopes and Expectations of obtaining Salvation for the Sake of their own Works is, that being influenced by evangeli­cal Principles, Faith and Love, they might live unto GOD. Hence, saith he, Sin shall not have the Dominion over you, (that believe) because ye are not under the Law, but under Grace, Rom. vi. 14. Not under Fears of Wrath and Hell, but under a Sense of Love and Salvation. And what Inference doth the Apostle draw from hence? Doth he join with the licentious and horrid Assertion so much used by some in this our Day, ‘"The more Sin you commit, the more Glory you bring to the Merits of Christ"’? No! he detests and abhors such Lan­guage. What then, shall we sin because we are not under the Law, but under Grace? GOD forbid! ver. 15. And every one who is influ­enced by the same Spirit, by whose Teaching Paul wrote, will join him and say, far from it.

Thus, in every Point of View, we see the Doctrines of Grace are according to Godliness, they have no Tendency to Libertinism and Li­centiousness: Neither discourage the Performance of good Works, nor encourage in Sin, but lead to Holiness in all Manner of Conversation, and to those Things which are spiritually good, well-pleasing and acceptable with GOD. It is true, there were from the Beginning [Page 26] those, who wrested the Scripture to their own Destruction; perverted the Truths of GOD; ungodly Mex, who turned the Grace of GOD, i. e. (the Doctrines of the Gospel of the Grace of GOD) into Lasciviousness. So it is in this our Day. Is not the Author of UNION, &c. acting thus? Do not his Writings fully prove it? For, according to Mr. Relly's Doctrine, neither the Law nor the Gospel, the Fear nor the Love of GOD, ever produce any Effect or Influence in the Life and Conversation of Christians, of a good, holy or righteous Nature. Nay, so far is he from teaching or exhorting Men to this, that he is at the Pains (according to his usual and very ingenuous Method) to mangle a Text, to discourage and reprove, what he deems, such unchristian Practice.

Thus says this Author, p. 126. ‘"Our Saviour reproved the Church of Laodicea in the sharpest Manner, for growing rich and increasing in Goods,’ &c. Here is another glaring Instance of this Writer's handling the Word of GOD deceitfully. It is not sufficient with him to deny and oppose the plain Truths of GOD, but he also takes the Liberty to mutilate the Sense and alter the Meaning thereof. For, there is no such Reproof to be found in all the Book of GOD. On the Contrary, St. Paul exhorts Believers, to do Good and be rich in good Works, 1 Tim. vi. 18. The plain Truth here is, our Saviour's Re­prehension of the Church was, because thou sayest I am rich, &c. (which Words, this Author has omitted, for what Reason he is best able to say, but we have the Liberty to judge) when this was not the Case. She fancied her State to be, what in reality it was not, as the Text, Rev. iii. 17. fully shews. Therefore our Saviour, so far from re­proving the Church of Laodicea for being rich and increased in Goods, in a spiritual Sense, that he gives her Advice in the next Verse how she might become so. I counsel th [...]e to buy of me Gold tried in the Fire, that thou mayest be rich, &c.

Now what a shocking Perversion of our Lord's Meaning is here! If this is not attempting what St. Paul detested with the utmost Abhor­ence, viz. making Christ a Minister of Sin, 'tis hard to say what is. But this is not all. More horrid still is this Author's next Assertion. ‘"Antichrist says you must grow Rich, rich in Wisdom, Knowledge, Holiness, Goodness, Virtue and Experience."’ Daring Impiety! unparalelled Blasphemy! Thus to ascribe the Doctrine of the Amen, the Faithful and true Witness, to the teachings of Antichrist. But charm­ing News! quieting Dose this! pleasing enough, such Doctrine is to those who are hardened through the Deceitfulness of Sin, and commit Iniquity with Greediness, who profess to know GOD, but in Works [Page 27] deny him, being abominable and disobedient, and to every good Work re­probate, Titus i. 16.

To deny Holiness and good Works, as having any Part in the Go­spel System, to explode Wisdom, Goodness, Virtue and Experience, as being contrary to the genius of Christianity; and to strike out a Way of Salvation by Union with Christ, which leaves Men in a sinful State, under the reigning Power, and uncontrouled Dominion of their Sins and Lusts: Such a Creed, will well suit the State and Practice of too many in our Day: And therefore will be readily received, eagerly embraced, and find Votaries enough to subscribe to it. There were such of Old. GOD complains of them by the Mouth of Jer. vii. 8. &c. behold ye trust in lying Words which cannot profit. Will ye steal, murder, and commit Adultery, &c. And say we are delivered to do all these Abominations? But surely before any Christian, can receive and admit such dissolute and licentious Principles, he must give up his Bible, treat the Doctrines of Christianity with the utmost Contempt, despise and re­ject the teachings of Christ himself, and ridicule the inspired Penmen, for so sadly misrepresenting the Nature of true Christianity. For no­thing can be more plain, than that the Purpose, End and Design of the Book of GOD, is to animate and encourage, stir up and exhort those who are united to the Lord Jesus, to depart from all Iniquity, to be holy in all Manner of Conversation, to walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, to be fruitful in every good Work, and to increase in the Know­ledge of GOD, Col. i. 10. and to abound more and more in Holiness, Goodness and Experience, &c. to the Praise of the Glory of his Grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the Beloved, Eph. i. 6.

CHAP. VI.

Mr. Relly's Positions contrasted with the Word of GOD, his Aversion to Scripture Language, and Scripture Doctrine exhibited. A short View of his absurd Figment of UNION, awful Effects of his Tenets, terminating in the most licentious, and detestable Consequences.

AS a farther Specimen of this Author's rejecting and opposing the plain Truths of Scripture, by describing them, as the Marks of [...] the false Christ: for the sake of Brevity, I will now present to the World, in a contrasted View, with this Interrogation, Who is on the Lord's Side, who?

[Page 28]

Thesis.Antithesis.
 Scripture Exhortations to, and Descriptio [...]s of true Christians, real Believers in the Lord Jesus.
Page 105. Mr. Relly says, the false Christ teaches Men to en­quire, Have I Christ?Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the Faith; prove your ownselves. Know ye not your ownselves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be Reprobates? 2 Cor. xiii. 5. He that hath the Son hath Life, 2 John v. 12.
Do I love GOD?The Love of GOD is shed abroad in our Hearts by the Holy Ghost, which is given un [...]o us, Rom. v. 5. We love GOD, because he first loved us, 1 John iv. 19.
Do I hate Iniquity?Abhor that which is evil, cleave to that which is good, Rom. xii. 9. Let every one [...]a [...] nameth the Name of Christ depart from all In­iquity, 2 Tim. ii. 19.
Am I changed?We all with open Face, beholding as in a Glass the Glory of the Lord, are changed into the same Image from Glory to Glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord, 2 Cor. iii. 18.
Am I humble?Be cloathed with Humility, for GOD res [...] ­eth the Proud and giveth Grace to the Humble, 1 Pet. v. 5.
Am I Heavenly-minded?Set your Affections on Things above, Col. iii. 2. To be carnally-minded is Death, but to be spi­ritually-minded is Life and Peace, Rom. viii. 6.
Thirsting to be more holy.At he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of Conversation, 1 Pet. i. 15. Perfecting Holiness in the Fear of GOD, 2 Cor. vii. 1. Without Holiness no Man shall see the Lord, Heb. xii. 14.
Lamenting my Faults.Godly Sorrow worketh Repentance to Salva­tion, not to be repented of, 2 Cor. vii. 10.
Do I increase in Light, Knowledge, and Understanding?Ye were sometimes Darkness, now are y [...] Light in the Lord, walk as Children of th [...] Light, Eph. v. 8. That ye may be filled with the Knowledge of his Will, in all Wisdom and spiritual Understanding, that we may walk wor­thy of the Lord, unto all well pleasing, being fruitful in every good Work, and increasing in the Knowledge of GOD, &c. 1 Col. ix. 10.
[Page 29]The false Christ teaches Men to con­clude, If I do, then I have Christ; this is Christ in me the Hope of Glory.If these Things be in you, and abound, they will make you that ye shall not be barren, nor unfruitful in the Knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 Pet. i. 8. we know that we dwell in Christ, and Christ in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit, John iv. 13.
Again, Page 106. The Disciples of the false Christ cry, who shall condemn?There is no Condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the Flesh, but after the Spirit, Rom viii. 1. If our Hearts condemn us not, then have we Confidence to­wards GOD, 1 John iii. 21.
I am Converted.Except ye be converted, and become as little Cbildren, ye shall in no Case enter into the King­dom of Heaven, Matt. xviii. 3.
I believe.It pleased GOD by the Foolishness of preach­ing, to save them who believe, 1 Cor. i. 21. I have written unto you that believe on the Name of the Son of GOD, that ye might know that ye have eternal Life, John v. 13.
I bear the Fruits of the Spirit.He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much Fruit, John xv. 5. The Fruit of the Spirit is Love, Joy, Peace, Long-suffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meek­ness, Temperance: again [...] suc [...] there is no Law. And they that are Chri [...]'s, have crucified the Flesh, with its Affections and Lusts, Gal. v. 22, 23, 24.
I have the Marks of Grace.By the Grace of GOD I am what I am, 1 Cor. xv. 10.
Who shall lay any thing to the Charge of GOD's Elect?Knowing Brethren beloved, your Election of GOD; for our Gospel came not unto you in Word only, but also in Power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much Assurance, 1 Thes. i. 4.
[Page 30]I am cetainly one, he hath distinguished me from my Neigh­bours.We know that we are of GOD, and the whole World lieth in Wickedness, 1 John v. 19. Be not deceived, neither Fornicators, nor Adul­terers, nor Thieves, nor Drunka [...]ds, shall in­herit the Kingdom of GOD: And such were some of you, but ye are washed, but ye are justi­fied, but ye are sanctified in the Name of our Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our GOD, 1 Cor. vi. 10. 11.
Made me holy as the Elect of GOD.We are bound to give Thanks alway to GOD, Brethren, b [...]loved of GOD, because GOD from the Begining hath chosen you to Sal­vation, through Sanctification of the Spirit, and Belief of the Truth, 2 Thes. ii. 13.
Thanks be to GOD, I have through much Assiduity in all the Ordinances, and by a constant Application unto all the Means of Grace, made my Cal­ling and Election sure.Work out your own Salvation with Fear and Trembling, for it is GOD who w [...]rketh in you, both to will and to do, Phil. ii. 13. Brethren, give all Diligence to make your Cal­ling and Election sure, 2 Pet. i. 10. Shew the same Diligence, unto the full Assurance of Hope unto the End, Heb. vi. 11.
And now how blest, how happy am I? Come Life, come Death, I am ready.I have fought a good Fight, I have finished my Course, I have kept the Faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a Crown of Rightcous­ness, which the Lord the righteous Judge shall give me at that Day, and not to me only, but to all who love his Appearing, 2 Tim. iv. 7. Be ye also ready, Luke xii. 40.
Thus can the false Christ shew Signs and great Wonders.LIE NOT ONE TO ANOTHER, Col. iii. 9. There shall be false Teachers among you, 2 Pet. ii. 1. But, he that is of GOD, heareth GOD's Word, John viii. 47.

I need not pursue the Contrast. What I have adduced is suffi­cient to shew the Difference of this Author's Sentiments with the Word of GOD. Conviction of Sin, Conversion to GOD, Faith, Ho­liness, Heavenly-mindedness, &c. he describes as the Signs and great Wonders which the false Christ can shew. But let the Chri­stian World judge who is Antichristian, and who speaks under the Influence of the Spirit of Faslhood and Error. Though perhaps [Page 31] the Christian Reader, may be at a Loss to account, why this Author should thus display his Talents, in perverting and opposing the plain Declarations of Scripture. I would remind him, all this is done ac­cording to Mr. Relly's System, to glorify Jesus. And sure it must be confessed, that he takes just as an effectual Method to do this, as though a Person should pretend great Love to his present Majesty, and profess all Zeal and Loyalty to his Crown and Government; but [...]hould nevertheless only counterfeit his Coin, encourage his Subjects [...]o Rebellion, advise them to throw off the Yoke of Subjection, and [...]ell them it is Damnably criminal to yield Obedience to his Laws, Proclamations and Edicts: and all this to support and maintain an [...]d Whim or Chimera he had got in his Head of the UNION that subsists between the King and his Subjects: So that every in­dividual Subject constitutes a Part, and the Whole collectively con­ [...]red, makes up the King's natural Body. Hence, each individual Person, being Part of the King, has a Right to do what seems good in his own Eyes. Equally as absurd and ridiculous, neither supported by solid Reason or Scripture Truths, but contrary to, and inconsistent with both, is this Author's Figment of Union: A Notion begot by [...]nal Ideas, and hatched from gross Conceptions, which he attempts to establish, instead of that mystical and spiritual Union which the Scripture declares subsists between Christ and Believers. As a full Proof of this I need only subjoin two Positions from the many which which might be extracted, equally as absurd and unscriptural.

The Author of UNION, &c. in order to supersede the Practice of confessing and forsaking Sin in our own Person, asserts this (till [...]) unheard of Doctrine. P. 82.‘"As the Promise is to such who confess and forsake their Sin, it is fulfilled upon us in Jesus: all the Promises of GOD being in him, Yea, and in him, Amen. There have we (with all the Prayers and Supplications, strong Crying and Tears which Jesus offered in the Days of his Flesh) confessed our Sins unto GOD: and where He having (purged our Sins) appeared the second Time without Sin unto Salvation, we have eternally for­saken them."* Downright Falshood and Nonsense.

[Page 32] Again, Page 83. ‘"He [Christ] in us, and we in him, have fulfilled all Righteousness, fully kept the Commandments of GOD, and suf­fered the Punishment due to our Sins."’ What Heresy and Ab­surdity is this! Need we be surprised if we should hear this Author next assert, this impious, and horrid Blasphemy? Christ in us, and we in Christ, created all Things, and without us, was not any Thing made, which is made. I appeal, Is there not as much Propriety from Scrip­ture, and Reason to say this, as to assert that in any Sense, we suffered the Punishment due to our Sins?

Thus doth this Author by such gross Absurdity, confound the Per­sons of Jesus and the Sinner; the Redeemer and the Redeemed: So as to pervert and destroy the plain Sense and Meaning of Scripture. It is asserted, Christ redeemed us to GOD by his precious Blood: He gave him­self FOR us, the Just FOR the Unjust. Christ hath suffered FOR us, &c. The Scriptures are clear and determinate on this Point: The Sense plain and obvious. But this Author's Treatise abounds with senseless Jargon: [Page 33] and serves to no other Use and Purpose, but to subvert the Christian Doctrine, render the Word of GOD of none Effect, and to establish a Set of Notions in the Minds of Mankind, which are diametrically opposite to the Word of GOD, destructive of the Faith and Practice of Christianity, and tend to steel Men's Minds against Conviction, and sear the Consciences, while they abound in open Profaneness, Sensuality and Ungodliness. Hence we see and hear of many who once seemed to run well in the Ways of Godliness, but Satan has now hin­dered by these pernicious Tenets, and they now glory in their Shame; sporting themselves with the [...]r own Dec [...]ivings; who make a m [...]ck of Sin; ridicule serious Godliness; despise and neglect all the Ordinances of Christianity; make a ba [...]er of Prayer, &c. Exploding all these Things, as proceeding from a legal Spirit, and the Result of a self-right­ [...]ous Disposition; and yet all this while they talk much of, and pretend to glory much in their Notion of Union, their being one with Christ, that they were with Christ in the Manger, and with him on the Cross, &c. and tho' their Faith and Practice, be ever so dissonant with the Gospel of Christ, yet indeed there can be no doubt of their being with Christ on his Throne of Glory; provided only their grand Catholicon, univer­sal Salvation, be true. This Sovereign Remedy, may at present, hush the Fears, silence the Clamours of Conscience, and be called in as the last Resource of Hope, that all will be well at the last, if, as they say, all Mankind are saved, and will be made finally Happy. This Opinion, is at the bottom of this Author's Treatise, which I have,

First, Attempted to refute. And therefore, hav shew'd

Secondly, That Repentence unto Life, Faith unto Justification, Sanc­tification unto personal Holiness of Heart and Life, is intirely rejected by this Author's System. For as a natural Consequence, he denies,

Thirdly, That there is any Change or Alteration wrought in, or pass [...]s upon the Souls of GOD's People, under the Energy and Influ­ence of the Holy Spirit, either respecting their State or Practice; for what is done by them, or wrought in them, under the Grace and Assis­tance of the Holy Spirit, is ascribed by him, to the workings of the Spirit of Antichrist. And therefore,

Fourthly, All Scripture is no longer to be Esteemed, (as poor mis­taken Pa [...]l affirms) 2 Tim. iii. 16, 17. As given by Inspiration of GOD, and profitable for Doctrine, for Repr [...], for Correction, for Instruction in Righteousness: that the Man of GOD may be perfect, throughly fur­nished unto all good Wor [...]. No, [...]r,

Fifthly, A very great Portion of the Word of GOD, according to Mr. Relly's Doctrine, is to no Use, End or Purpose; vain and insigni­ficant [Page 34] are all the Exhortations, Cautions, Counsels and Reproofs, which are directed to Believers from the Prophets and Apostles, yea, and from our Lord's own Mouth also, that the Members of Jesus might watch and pray, strive against Sin, mortify their Lusts, subdue their Corruptions, and grow in Grace, and abound in the Fruits of Holiness. So of Consequence it follows,

Lastly, That in the Sight of GOD, there is no Difference between a Life of no [...]orious Ungodliness, open Profaneness, and Sensuality; and true Believers, being enabled through Grace, to depart from all In­iquity, to deny Ungodliness, and worldly Lusts, and to live soberly, righteously and godly in this present World, so as to adorn the Doc­trine of GOD our Saviour in all Things; living and walking in the Spirit, so as not to fulfil the Lusts of the Flesh: But on the Contrary, that such Practices as the unconverted Corinthians abounded in, of Adultery, Drunkenness, Thieving, Lusts, &c. are equally as well-pleasing to GOD, as after they were washed, sanctified, justified, and become new Creatures in Christ Jesus in Heart and Life.

Now, who that has felt the Comfort and Power of the Gospel of the Grace of GOD, but must detest and abhor such abominable Principles? Who that has any Love to the Truth as it is in Jesus, but must be fired with a holy Indignation against such Tenets? Who that has any Con­cern for the Glory of GOD, the Good of Mankind, and the Benefit of Society, but must be warmed with a Christian Zeal against such Doc­trines? Who that has any Care for his present Peace, any Hope of seeing and enjoying GOD and the Lamb, but will be concerned to exercise a holy Jealousy over himself, lest he be drawn away by the Er­rors of the Wicked, and be corrupted from the Simplicity of the Gospel?—But obnoxious as these Principles are in their Nature, and pernicious in their Consequences, yet as to the Persons who retain them, Christian Love will excite to Pity, and influence to Prayer, if per­adventure GOD will grant them Repentance unto the Acknowledgement of the Truth: And that they may recover themselves out of the Snare of th [...] Devil, who are taken captive by him at his Will.

FINIS

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