Mr. Dickinson's Second VINDICATION OF GOD's Sovereign Free GRACE.


A Second VINDICATION OF GOD's sovereign free GRACE.

AGAINST The Exceptions made to a former Vindication, by Mr. JOHN BEACH in his Discourse, intitled, GOD'S Sovereignty and his universal Love to the Souls of Men, reconciled.

In a LETTER to that Gentleman.

By JONATHAN DICKINSON, A. M. Late Minister of the Gospel at Elizabeth-Town, and President of the College of New-Jersey.

WITH Some brief Reflections on Dr. SAMUEL JOHNSON'S DEFENCE of Aristocles Letter to Authades, concerning the Sovereignty and Promises of GOD.

Begun in a LETTER to the Author, from the said Mr. Dickinson, left unfinish'd. And on Occasion of his Decease, Continued in a LETTER to the Dr. from MOSES DICKINSON, A. M. Pastor of the first Church in Norwalk.

Angliae WHITAKERUM invideo: Adversarius quidem est, sed Doctus, sed Modestus.Bellarm.
Utinam quot Obtrectatores, tot essent CALVINI Imitatores!Arrowsm.

BOSTON, N. E. Printed and Sold by ROGERS and FOWLE in Queen-Street. MDCCXLVIII.


CONTENTS of the Answer to Mr. BEACH.

  • ANIMADVERSIONS on some Instances of Mr. Beach's [...] Citations, Misrepresentations, and personal Invectives Page 10—13
  • Answers to his Imputations of false and frightful Doctrines in 7 Particulars P. 13—26
  • An Examination of his pretended Transcript of 5 Articles of the Synod of DORT, by their own Acts, the Original cited, and faithfully trans­lated P. 27,—31
  • The Doctrines of the Pelagians represented in their own Words, and compared with Mr. Beach's, in several Instances P. 31—35
  • Mr. Beach's Doctrines compar'd with the Articles of the Church of England P. 35—39
  • Mr. Beach's Attempts to reconcile his Doctrines with those of the Church of England in her publick Formula's, considered P. 39—44
  • Mr. Beach's Objections against the Synod of Dort, refuted P. 44—46
  • A Summary of the Doctrines of the famous AUGUSTAN Confession, in the Original Words; shewing the Agreement of the foreign Churches, as well as domestick, in the Calvinian Points under Debate P. 46—49
  • Mr. Beach's Pretence of Self-Contradictions in the VINDICATION refuted P. 49, 50
  • Mr. Beach's Doctrine of UNIVERSAL REDEMPTION, examined P. 50—60
  • His Doctrine of ELECTION, examin'd P. 61—68
  • His Reflections on the Doctrine of ORIGINAL SIN, touch'd upon P. 69—71
  • His Doctrine of the SUFFICIENCY of COMMON GRACE, examined P. 71—82
  • His Doctrine of Justification by WORKS, consider'd P. 83—90
  • His Suggestions of no Danger by his Error, if Calvinism be right, but of shocking Consequences in Case of his turning Calvinist, considered P. 90—93
  • Concluding Reflections by Way of serious Address to the Reader P. 92—95

CONTENTS of the Answer to Dr. JOHNSON.

  • HIS two Complaints against the Vindication, as to the Manner of ma­naging this Controversy, answered P. 97—103
  • His Definition of the Term Necessary, as used in this Controversy, ex­amined P. 103—105
  • His Reasonings to prove co [...]rcive or fatal Necessity a Consequence of the Calvinist Doctrine of the divine Sovereignty, refuted P. 106—113
  • His Reflections on the Argument for a divine Decree's necessarily fol­lowing from God's Fore-knowledge, consider'd P. 114—116
  • His Charge of Fatalism retorted P. 116—118
  • His Imputations on Dr. Twisse consider'd P. 118—120
  • His Thoughts on Original Sin, examin'd Pag. 122, &c.
  • His Reflections on the Assembly of Divines Notion of it, groundless and abusive P. 124—126
  • His Insinuation of the Church of England's being more moderate in this Point, answered P. 127—129
  • His Imputations on the English Translation of the Bible, and its Au­thors, considered P. 129—131
  • His Concession, that the Controversy about divine Sovereignty turns on the Proof of God's bestowing such a Grace, as Calvinists call spe­cial, improved against him, by evidencing the Fact P. 131—135
  • His 5 plain Questions (particularly touching Judas) with a View to support the Notion of a Promise of converting Grace to Sinners, distinctly answer'd P. 135—140
  • His Reflections on the Calvinistic Doctrine as destroying the Covenant of Grace, retorted P. 140—142
  • His Notion of sincere Endeavours giving Men a Right to plead the Promises, while yet under the Dominion and Guilt of Sin; and his Notion of the Covenant of Grace extending to the Heathen, incon­sistent with the Scriptures, and with his own Church-Articles P. 142, &c.


PAGE 10. line 26. read, this 11th—P. 11. l. 41. r. spoken by—P. 27. l. 39. r. celebrated Synod—P. 38. l. 8. for p. 28. r. [...]. p. 26—P. 47. Marg. l. 6. r. Viribus—P [...] 58. l. 18. dele as—P. 69. l. 8, 9. r. too evidently—P. 84. l. 15. r. this Explanation—P. 103. l. 23. r. to set—P. 120. l. 34. r. Establishment—P. 127. l. 37. r. that this—P. 128. l. 31, 32. r. Adam sell


To the READER.

THough the Scriptures declare, It is good to be zealously affected always in a good Thing, and charge it as a Duty, as well on Christians in common, as on Ministers in special, to hold fast the faithful Word, and to contend earnestly for the Faith of the Gos­pel: yet at the same Time we are thus admonished, The Servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle unto all Men, apt to teach, patient, in Meek­ness of Wisdom encountring Opposition.—And religious Debates, under a just Regulation, are subservient Means to the Defence and Confirmation of the Gospel; having a Tendency to clear up perplex'd and difficult Points of Doctrine, to assist serious Inquirers in forming an exact Judgment, and to guard such as are weak in the Faith against Delusions, as well as to reclaim those who have erred from the Truth, and to convince or at least to silence Gainsayers.—Indeed the Servants of God are not all equal in point of Gifts or Graces, in a Talent for Controversy, or a Staidness of Temper and Discretion to manage it; so have not an e [...]al Call to engage in it.

However prejudic'd some may be against Polemical Divinity, because of the petulant Humours, sophistical Arguings, personal Reflections, and angry Invectives, that too frequently appear in controversial Writings; I per­suade my self, they will find none of these Reasons of their Aversion take Place in the following Papers; nor can any be in Danger of catching a false Heat, from the Fire of christian Love, which here all along warms and enforces the Argument.—But I design not an Encomium on this Perfor­mance: to such as were acquainted with the Author's eminent Character, there needs no Recommendation; and others perhaps would construe it an unfair Endeavour to preposse [...]s and bias their Judgment.

Yet, I must be allow'd to drop a Tear over my deceased Friend, endear'd to me by a long Acquaintance, and on the most valuable Accounts, as a Scholar, a Christian, and a Divine, of the first Rank in these Parts of the World.—His Reasonableness of Christianity, his Scripture-Bishop, his Scripture-Doctrine, his Familiar [...], shine among his [...] praise him in the Gates, and [...] Memory.—He had a [...] for Inquiry and Penetration, accurate [...], and disinterested Attach­ment to Truth. With a natural Turn for Controversy, he had a happy Government of his Passions, and abhor'd the perverse Disputings, so common to Men of corrupt Minds: nor did he (as is too customary with those of an argumentative Genius) suffer the Eagerness of Contention to extinguish the Fervours of Devotion, or of brotherly Love.—In his Example he was truly a Credit to his Profession; by good Works adorning the Doctrine of Grace, he was so zealous an Advocate for.—Tho' he had generous Senti­ments, with regard to Freedom of Inquiry and private Judgment in Mat­ters of Conscience and Salvation, detesting all Persecution, and Impositions in Religion, nor approving of Subscription to human Tests of Orthodoxy: Yet nevertheless, as one set for the Defence of the Gospel, he boldly con­fronted what he took to be Error, and kn [...]w not how to sit an idle Spec­tator, [Page] when he apprehended an Assault made on the Christian Faith. He cou'd not bear the Thought of being found either a Traitor to the Cause of Christ, or a Coward in it. Whenever he saw it openly invaded, or secretly undermined, he stood ready to appear in its Defence, without consult­ing his Ease or his Credit. As Bigotry, and Party-Rage, Malev [...]lence, Calumny, and Censure, too frequently mingling with religious Disputes, were his Abhorrence; so was he an Enemy totemporising Dissimulation, blind Charity, politick Silence, and that false Moderation, which sacrifices Divine Revelations to human Friendships, and under Colour of Peace and Candour gives up important Points of Gospel-Doctrine to every Opposer, but still is consistent with discovering a Malignity towards others that appear warm Defenders and constant Asserters of those Evangelical Tr [...]ths [...]

As to his Opponents in the present Debate, he could not but think with that celebrated Episcopal Divine, Dr. Edwards: All unprejudiced and unbias'd Persons must needs be surpriz'd at their Conduct, when they observe how zealously they cry up the Church of England, and yet trample upon her received Doctrines, and [constructively] vilify the Memory of our ancient Prelates, Doctors, and Divines; when they observe how they disparage that excellent Servant of God, the renowned Calvin, whom those Prelates admir'd, and heap'd large Encomiums upon; and when they take Notice how they dote on the upstart Opinions of Arminius and Epi [...]copius, who, tho' Men of Worth and Learning, have led Men into Errors of a very dangerous and pernicious Nature.

As Mr. Dickinson was pleas'd usually to transmit his Papers to the Press thro' my Hands, he sent me his Letter to Mr. Beach some time in September last; intending his other to Dr. Johnson should quickly follow.—But while I was expecting this from him, came the sorrowful News of his Death; which has carry'd him out of the Noise of Controversy, and I doubt not, translated him to the Regions of Peace and Harmony in the upper World.—Being thus prevented finishing his Answer to Dr. Johnson, Mr. Dickinson of Norwalk, as it became him, undertook a Continu­ation; and I must confess my self greatly pleased to find so much of the excellent Spirit, that distinguish'd my deceased Friend, breathing in this his surviving Brother.

May the Blessing of Heaven attend this Vindication of sovereign Grace, that it may serve to promote the Belief of the Truth, which the Author found so much Benefit and Comfort from, both living and dying. And may the same good Spirit, which rested on him, descend and fill us who are left behind him; that we being Followers of him, even as he also was of Christ, may be like Blessings to the Church of God in our several Places, burning and shining Lights in the World, and in the End Heirs of Salvation with eternal Glory. Amen!


A Second VINDICATION OF GOD's Sovereign Free Grace.
In a LETTER to Mr. John Beach.


HAD I been guilty, in my Remark upon your Sermon, of wilful fals [...] Citations of your Words, that I might set them in a wrong View; had I been chargeable with Mutilations and false Representations of Passages in your Discourse, to make them speak quite another Language than you intended; had I spoken abusively and contemptuously of you, and stuffed my Discourse with bitter personal Invectives, you might well complain of Injury, and I should not have wondred at the pathetick Admonition you give me, p. 16. ‘I intreat you, Sir, for your own Soul's Sake to have a little more Regard to Truth and Justice, while you pour out your bitter Words and reproachful Speeches. Remember that every idle Word that Men shall speak, they shall give an Account thereof in the Day of Judgment. Mat. xii. 36. Much more, for every false and injuri­ous Word. And though it be contrary to your Doctrine, viz. that we are not saved in a Way of Obedience: Yet Christ the Judge has said it, By thy Words thou shalt be justified; and by thy Words thou shalt [...] condemned. Know you not, that Revilers shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? 1 Cor. vi. 10.’ &c.

Whether I am guilty of these Crimes laid to my Charge, will be considered in the following Pages, as I shall be led in Course to some Reflections upon your particular Accusations.—But were it so in Fact, Had I indeed poured out my bitter Words and reproachful Speeches, ac­cording to your reiterated Accusations, one would have imagin'd that you would not have written after so bad a Copy: But would yourself have [Page 10] remembred the awful Texts of Scripture, you have so warmly reminded me of.—But I am necessitated to complain, that you have taken a direct contrary Course to that which might reasonably have been expected, after such loud Exclamations against the above-mentioned Faults; and have in such a Degree as I have never before seen, come into the Mis­conduct that you so loudly complain of, and so severely censure.—And I cannot but think, that I am obliged in Justice to myself and to the Cause I'm endeavouring to vindicate, to represent the Matter of my Complaint, by transcribing some of your many false Citations from the Book you animadvert upon, with some few of the many Muti­lations of Passages in that Book, which you been pleased to make, to the utter Subversion of my Meaning: And some few of those many bitter personal Reproaches, you are pleased to lade me with.

I begin with a Representation of some of those false Citations from my Vindication of sovereign Grace, which call for your careful Review.—In the fifth Page of your Book, are these remarkable Words: ‘The Controversy betwixt us is not whether our Salvation be owing to the free rich and sovereign Grace of God; but whether God does re­quire any Thing at all of us, in Order to our Salvation, or as a Con­dition of our entring into Heaven: This you d [...]ny, P. 47.’ In the 10th Page are these Words. ‘You deny, that Vertue is in any Sense or Degree the Fruit of our own Choice and Pains, even when we are assisted by the Holy Ghost.’ In p. 11th you say of me, ‘You vehemently deny repeatedly, that our Vertues, viz. the Holiness and gracious Habits of the Soul, do in any Sense fit it to appear in Heaven. P. 47.’ Again in this 11th Page you say to me, ‘But this will not satisfy you, you deny our Faith and Repentance, Love of God and our Neighbour, to be so much as a Condition or ne­cessary Qualification for Heaven. So, p. 31st. ‘For you deny, that God requires any Thing of Man as a Condition of Salvation. In p. 37th you say to me, ‘For you now have asserted universal Sal­vation; and that every Man that ever lives on Earth, shall go to Heaven, as much as Tongue can express any Thing.’ In p. 39 are these Words, ‘For he (Christ) never purchased, you say, any Salva­tion for them; but only upon a Condition, which he knew was ab­solutely impossible for them to perform.’ In p. 59th are these Words, ‘You affirm, that Grace does not save us in a Way of Gospel-Obedi­ence.—In P. 60th you say to me, ‘Here I don't overstrain your Notions, or use the least Violence with your Expressions, if your Doctrine be true, that Grace don't save us in a Way of Gospel-Obe­dience.—In p. 62, are these Words, ‘For my eternal State, you say, was fixed from Eternity, without Regard to all my Doings or Opinions.’

[Page 11]Now Sir, since none of these Things, which you've charg'd upon me, are to be found in the Book which you oppose, and from whence you pretend to cite them: but the direct contrary to every one of them is there most plainly and intelligibly exprest, it certainly concerns you to consider, that there is some Justice due from you, to me, to the World, and to the Truth itself. This therefore I recommend to your serious Reflection.—You may perhaps pretend, that these are Con­sequences, deducible from what I have written. But what Authority have you to cite your own Consequences; and to tell the World in Print, that I say, that I affirm, that I vehemently deny, what is no more than a Consequence of your own framing: and a Consequence too, which you cannot but know, is what I renounce and abhor?—Can you with Truth and Justice quote Passages as spoken by me, put them in dif­ferent Characters as my Words, and direct to the Pages where they may be found, because you would willingly draw such Consequences from what I have said?—This indeed is a likely Means to bring an Odium upon me and my Principles: But Truth wants no such Arts in its Defence.

I proceed now to take Notice of some of those Mutilations, and Misrepresentations of Passages, in my Vindication of sovereign Grace; by which they are made to speak a Language very foreign to their In­tent and Design.—Thus you affirm p. 11. that ‘I say, that Faith, Repentance, Charity, and other Fruits of the Spirit (as they are Works of our own) are excluded from being any Manner of pro­curing Cause of our Salvation; or bearing a Part. P. 47.’—What I say in the cited Page is, Certainly he (the Apostle) did mean to exclude all these, as they are Works of our own (though not from being necessary to; yet) from being any Manner of procuring Cause of our Salvation; or bearing a Part (as Works of ours) in justifying and entitling us to Life eternal.—Now Sir, what Motive had you to leave out these Words, Though not from being necessary to; and these Words (as Works of ours) from justifying and entitling us to Life eternal? Unless it was, that in­serting them would quite have spoiled your Opportunity of Triumph, in saying, ‘So that you have excluded Faith and Repentance, and e­very good Work of ours, both external and internal, from being one Step taken towards Heaven.’—Every Eye can see, that without this Mutilation there would not have been the least Shadow of such a Consequence.—Thus again p. 12. you assert, that ‘I deny, that God allows all Men necessary Means to turn and live; and to confirm it, you tell me, I ask why they don't turn and live, if God wills it? P [...] 41.’—Whereas the Words you refer to, as spoken by me, are tha [...] ex­pressed (VIND. p. 41,42.) The Question therefore is, Whether [...] in Fa [...] will THESE necessary Means, in Order to the Conversion of all Sinners, [Page 12] without Distinction? That is, the internal Means there mentioned, viz. CHRIST's making them willing in the Day of his Power; the Exercise of the exceeding Greatness of GOD'S Power, and the Working of his mighty Power; GOD's working in them both to will and to do of his good Pleasure; GOD'S giving a new Heart and a new Spirit, taking away the Heart of Stone out of their Flesh, and giving them an Heart of Flesh. These, and these only, I asserted to be sufficient for the Conversion of Sinners to God. These were the Means expresly referred to in the Place cited by you; and the Question was, whether God does use these necessary Means indifferently with all? Why then did you thus change both the Words and Sense? Why did you indefinitely put necessary Means for these necessary Means; and why did you wholly overlook the Occasion of the Question, and what it referred to? Unless it were because in a just View of the Case, you could have found no Matter of Objection, but must have missed the Sport of raising from my Words this Doctrine, that "God is not willing, Sinners should turn and live." P. 12.—Thus again, p. 8. you have these Expressions, ‘And if Man has not the Power of chusing and refusing, as you affirm, then he is no moral Agent.’ But where did I affirm any such Thing? I did indeed in the Place referred to, observe, that if the tenth Article of the Church of England, was true, your Doctrine could not be true, that ‘there is in every one a Power of self-determining, of chusing or refusing, by which a Man can comply with, or reject the Suggestions of the Holy Spirit; and that Man has this self moving Principle in his Constitution. And why, I beseech you, could you not represent the true State of the Ca [...]e? How could you say, that I affirmed (i. e. loosely, without any Guard or Limitation, at all) that a Man has not the Power of chusing and refusing; when you knew, that I neither af­firmed nor denied any Thing about it absolutely, but in Opposition only to that Doctrine of yours abovecited?—It's true indeed, that if you had given this just Representation of the Case, you had lost your Opportunity of Mirth and Banter; and of fixing upon me the Opini­on, that Man is no moral Agent.

I might proceed to enumerate many other Instances of the like Kind: but what has been said may serve for a Specimen of the Me­thods repeatedly used by you, to introduce an Occasion of Triumph and Insult.

I must now further intreat your Patience, while I represent to you a few of those Multitudes of personal Invectives and R [...]proaches, you are pleased to load me with.—For Instance, you say to me, p. 6. ‘I can without the Spirit of Prophecy foresee, that in your Rejoinder you will bitterly complain, that I have accused you with Forging and Fraud; and even Blasph [...]my against our blessed Saviour. And to [Page 13] save you that Trouble, I confess it beforehand.’ And in p. 17. ‘It is exceeding manifest, that how defective soever you are in such mo­ral Virtues as Hon [...]sty and Veracity: Yet you have the Faith of As­surance to Perfection.’—To the like Purpose is that in p. 28. ‘Re­ally were it any Body else, but only Mr. Dickinson, who should with so much Confidence be guilty of such egregious Blunders (as you tell Mr. Can [...]r) I should be surprized at it: But I have been so long accustomed to your Modesty and Veracity, that Nothing you can say, how distant soever from Truth, can excite Admiration in me.’—Thus likewise, p. 29. ‘Who can defend his Writings a­gainst your old Romi [...]h Art of pious Fraud and Forgery?—Much Good may your Craft do you. I don't envy you the Glory you gain by such fly Tricks, when You and I are so near the Day, which will bring to Light all the secret Things of Dishonesty.—Again, p. 39. ‘You use an Idiom that is peculiar to Mr. Dickinson, who has the Prerogative to affirm, and deny at Pleasure, without any Regard to Matter of Fact.—I might enumerate many more Instances of the like Kind: But what has been said may be sufficient to shew, with how good a Grace you appear in the solemn Admonition above recited, and to excite you seriously to consider, how far you are concerned in those awful Texts of Scripture cited by yourself against such Conduct as has now been represented.

I shall now conclude this Subject with an Admonition transcribed from Dr. Johnson's Letter to me; and leave it to the World to judge, to whom it is best adapted. "I would observe (says he) that this Method of yours in raising an Odium, is a very antiquated and unpolite Way of managing a Controversy.—It was the Fashion about the Middle of the last Century; and followed by some gruff Sort of People since, but has of late been entirely disused, even in disputing with the Infidels themselves, by all honest and polite Writers, who attend to Nothing but the real Merits of the Cause: And that for this good scriptural Reason, that the Wrath of Man worketh not the Righteousness of God."—Let this Garment be worn by him it fits best.

Not to trouble you any further with these personal Matters, I shall now proceed to consider what Exceptions, of an argumentive Aspect, you have offer'd against that Discourse of mine, which has been so very provoking and displeasing to you.—And I shall first take some Notice of those Doctrines, you charge upon me, as contain'd in some Assertions of mine, and taught by me.

The first Doctrine is, that "Man is no moral Agent."—This Doctrine you pretend to deduce from my Opposition to a Paragraph in your Sermon, thus expressed. ‘There is in every one a Power of self determining, of chusing or refusing, by which a Man can com­ply [Page 14] with, or reject the Suggestions of the Holy Spirit; and were it not for this self-moving Principle in his Constitution, he would be no moral Agent.’

This deserves some particular Consideration, it being the principal Argument used by you to establish your Hypothesis, and a Thread of Reasoning, that runs through your whole Discourse.—I would therefore endeavour to set this Affair in a proper Light. In order to which it is necessary to remind you, that the Subject you were endea­vouring to illustrate and confirm in your Sermon by that Paragraph, was this, that ‘God who is the compassionate Father of Spirits, lends us all his helping Hand; and his Holy Spirit in an insensible Man­ner, accompanies the Administrations of the Gospel: And the Rea­son why any are not converted and saved, is because they don't concur and co-operate with divine Grace. For when God works in us, he don't work irresistably, for in that Case we could not for­bear to work out our Salvation: But the Holy Ghost works so in us, that we may chuse whether we will work with him or against him.’ P. 19, 20.—This you further endeavour to confirm, by the above-cited Paragraph, that there is in every one a Power of self-deter­mining &c.—The Question therefore is, Whether there be in every Man such a Power of self-determining, and whether every Man has such a self-moving Principle in his Constitution, that ‘he can at the same Time, either quench or cherish the Spirit, either resist or com­ply with the Holy Ghost; and that according as he does either of these, he shall be saved or damned,’ and whether the Denial of this, is to teach, that "Man is no moral Agent."—You can't find fault with this State of the Question, it being proposed in your own Words.—The Sum of the Matter therefore according to you is this;—That either every Man can by a self-determining Power, and a self­moving Principle in his Constitution, so improve those Assistances of the Holy Spirit, which are common to all Men, as to bring himself into a State of eternal Salvation; or else Man cannot be a moral Agent.

I am now to attend upon the Evidence you bring, in Support of this main Pillar of your Fabrick.

You first argue, that ‘if a Man has not the Power of chusing o [...] refusing, as I affirm, then he is no moral Agent: for he who cannot chuse or refuse, can't commit Sin, or act vertuously; for to make an Ac­tion vertuous, or vicious, there must be a Choice or Consent of the Will. P. 8, 9.

To this I answer, Where (I beseech you) did I ever affirm, that a Man has not the Power of chusing or refusing?—I have already shewn how very injurious the Charge is. And I need only add, that as I neither ever thought or affirm'd any such Thing, so I am certain that [Page 15] neither you, nor any Man else, can make it appear to be a just Con­sequence of any Thing I have said.—The Point therefore in View is, whether your Way of Reasoning will be found conclusive against what I indeed have said; and what has been said by all who have written upon this Controversy, on my Side of the Question.

How does it appear, that "a Man has not the Power to chuse or refuse," unless he has a self-determining Power, and a self-moving Prin­ciple, to beget in himself (and to live in) the Exercise of special saving Grace?—How does it appear, that a Man is no moral Agent, but a mere Machine, unless he can create himself anew in Christ Jesus unto good Works; or unless his renewed Nature be his own Workmanship, created by his own Choice unto good Works, which he himself hath fore­ordain'd, that he should walk in them?—Can a Man have no Power to chuse or refuse, unless he can chuse and exercise the mighty Power of God? Unless he can determine himself to the Exercise of that Grace, which is the exceeding Greatness of God's Power towards them that be­lieve; and the Working of his mighty Power?—And unless he can assume the divine Prerogative, and work in himself both to will and to do, of his own good Pleasure?—What should hinder a natural Man, from using his natural Power of chusing and refusing, from natural Principles and natural Motives, even while he receiveth not the Things of the Spirit of God; for they are Foolishness to him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned? (1 Cor. ii. 14.)—Indeed, Sir, you must form a new Bible and a new Philosophy, which the World hitherto has known nothing of, before you can make these Consequences good.

How does it appear, that "a Man can't commit Sin, nor act ver­tuously," unless he can by his self-determining Power, without any other Assistance of the Spirit than is common to all Men, bring himself into a State of Salvation; that he shall be either saved or damned, accord­ing as he improves that Power?—This you should know to be the State of the Question, as I have shewn already. Let us then consider this Case.—And (1) How does it appear, that a Man cannot commit Sin, without a self-determining Power to the Exercise of saving Grace? I thought, that all the World had allow'd to unrenewed Nature a full Freedom for the Commission of Sin. Certainly, if a Man has not a self-determining Power to free himself from the Dominion of Sin, he must have a Power to commit Sin. And (2) How does it appear, that a Man cannot act vertuously, without such a self-determining Power to the Exercise of special Grace? Do you hold, there is no Virtue, short of the Exercise of saving Grace? Did not the young Man in the Gospel act virtuously, in an Observance of the moral Law, so that it's said, our blessed Saviour loved him; while yet one Thing, the great Thing [Page 16] of all, true saving Grace, was lacking in him? Mark x. 17, 21.—Did not the Apostle Paul, while a Pharisee, act virtuously, by being as touching the Righteousness which is in the Law blameless, when yet he wanted the chief Thing of all, the Excellency of the Knowledge of Christ Jesus his Lord? Phil. iii. 6, 8.—Do you hold, there is no Virtue in such external Conformity to the moral Law, as unregenerate Men are capable of, while they fall short of any truly gracious Habits or Ac­tions!—Indeed, Sir, these Things deserve your further Consideration.

You further object against this, that ‘if Man has not a Power to determine himself [you should have added, so as savingly to comply with, or reject the Suggestions and Influences of the HOLY SPIRIT] then the Actions which he seems to do, are not his, but the Actions of that superiour Being, who determines and moves him to do them.’ p. 9.—This must imply, if it be at all to your Purpose, that if God works in any Man new gracious Principles, and such spiritual Views as powerfully influence his Conduct, the Actions which he seems to do, are not his, but the Actions of that superior Being, who determines and moves him to do them: and ‘that Man, in whatever he seems to do, is not an Agent, but a Patient, and GOD who determines his Choice, is the Doer of it,’ as you Express it in the same Page;—That is, if Christ quickens me, when dead in Trespasses and Sins, my Believing and Repenting are not my Act, but his: If he anoints my Eyes with Eye­Salve, my Beholding the Glory of the Lord in the Face of Jesus Christ, is not my Act, but his: If he draws me, and makes me willing to fol­low him, my Running after him is not my Act, but his. Is this to argue!

Let us first see how this will agree with your own Doctrine, in your Discourse upon this Subject. SERM. p. 15, 16. ‘We have now as much Need of the Holy Ghost to sanctify us, as we had of Christ to redeem us. If we could of our selves, without the gra­cious Influences of the Holy Ghost, become good Men, it would be very impertinent to put up such Petitions to God, as often occur in the holy Scripture.—Every moral Virtue in us is the Fruit of the Spirit; and every good Thought, Word, and Work is the Effect of the divine Grace.—I would here inquire; Does the Holy Ghost sanctify us by so inclining us to, as shall determine our Choice of, a Life of Holiness, or not? If not, we may be so inclined as to have our Choice determined to a Life of Holiness (or in other Words, we may be sanctified) without the Influences of the Holy Ghost; and then the Doctrine now cited from your Sermon, has nothing in it, but empty insignificant Words.—But if the Holy Ghost does sanctify us by so in­clining us to, as shall determine our Choice of, a Life of Holiness, it will follow, according to your Doctrine now under Consideration, that [Page 17] in a Life of Holiness a Man is not an Agent, but a Patient; and that God, who determines his Choice, is the Doer of his holy Actions.

I would here again inquire, why we can't become good Men without the gracious Influences of the Holy Ghost?—If we can by an innate Principle move and influence our selves, so as to determine our Choice of Holiness, we can become good Men, without the gracious Influences of the Holy Ghost. If we cannot so move and influence our selves, as to determine our Choice of Holiness, then according to your Doctrine now in View, the Holy Ghost who moves and influences us [...] and by his Grace determines our Choice, is the Doer of all the Good we do; and we are not Agents, but Patients.

Once more, if ‘every moral Virtue in us be the Fruit of the Spirit, and every good Thought, Word, and Work, be the Effect of the divine Grace, I would here inquire, whether a Man can determine his Choice of Holiness, so as to live in the Exercise of saving Grace, without one good Thought, Word or Work? If so, then he can have moral Virtues in him, that are not the Fruit of the Spirit. But if not, then those good Thoughts, by which he is determined to the Choice of moral Virtue, are the Effect of the Spirit; and therefore according to you, he is no moral Agent: He is not an Agent, but a Patient; and the Holy Spirit, who is the Cause of his good Thoughts and there­by determines his Choice, is the Doer of all his moral virtuous Acti­ons.—You have indeed (Sir) no Way left, but either boldly and openly to declare, that no Man stands in Need of the divine Influences, to de­termine his Choice of Holiness, and to bring him into a State of saving Grace; or else to give up all these false Consequences, you have been pretending to deduce from my Principles. You must speak out plainly, and tell us, that you mean no more by the Influences of the Spirit, than what you mention in your Sermon (p. 21.) ‘Men and Angels he go­verns by Laws, to which he has annexed Rewards and Punishments, and by these he influences their Wills,’ if you would make this Rea­soning pertinent.—Let it be try'd in all the Ways possible, and your Consequences will every whit as much follow, from the Supposition of the Necessity of the common Influences of the Spirit, as from the Supposition of the Necessity of the special Influences of the Spirit, to determine us to the Exercise of a Life of saving Grace and true Ho­liness; unless the Passage now cited from you, be taken for an Expli­cation of your Meaning, which I am very loth to suppose, tho' your Words so plainly imply it.

But I return to consider what Foundation there is in the Nature of Things, for these Consequences, which you endeavour to draw from my Principles.—I have particularly shewn you in my Vindication, that the Method by which God determines our Wills, and makes us [Page 18] willing in the Day of his Power, is by the special illuminating Influ­ences of the Holy Spirit, whereby we have an effectual Discovery of our own Sin and Misery; and of the glorious Nature, Way and Au­thor of the Salvation revealed in the Gospel, whereby with open Face we behold as in a Glass, the Glory of the Lord; and are thereby chang­ed into the same Image, from Glory to Glory. (2 Cor. iii. 18.) and where­by God who commanded the Light to shine out of Darkness, shines into our Hearts, to give the Light of the Knowledge of the Glory of God, in the Face of Jesus Christ. 2 Cor. iv. 6.—This Discovery of our Necessity of a Saviour, and of his infinite Excellency, Sufficiency and Readiness to accept and save us, determines our Wills (as they are always in e­very Case determined) to the Choice of what appears most eligible and desirable.—Whilst without this Discovery, by the Influences of the Holy Spirit, of our Necessity of Christ, and of his Excellency, we have not a self-determining Power, to the Choice of Christ Jesus and his saving Graces and Benefits; because without such a Discovery, they don't appear eligible and desirable to us; and we cannot chuse what don't appear to us worthy of our Choice. When we have this Dis­covery, by the Influences of the blessed Spirit, we cannot help but chuse (if we act as reasonable Creatures) what appears to us infinitely desirable, and worthy of our Choice. Herein, and herein only, a Man acts as it becomes a moral Agent to do; in that his Will is determined by what appears to his Understanding the most worthy Object of his Choice. When the human Will is therefore determined by these bless­ed Influences of the Holy Spirit, the Man acts from the clearest Light and in the highest Exercise of Reason, from the most rational Con­viction and the noblest Motives. He acts from the clearest View of Things, pursues his best Interest, and makes the best and wisest Choice. And is this to be no Agent, but a Patient! to be no moral Agent, and to be uncapable to act virtuously!—Let us now turn the Tables, and take a View of the other Side of the Question. Suppose a Sinner, while he could not receive the Things of the Spirit of God, but they ap­peared Foolishness to him, while his Affections were placed upon his Lusts and Pleasures, and these appeared much the most desirable to him, could determine his Will to the Choice of these gracious Habits and Exercises, which were his highest Aversion, and in which he could see nothing de­sirable and eligible: Would this render him a moral Agent? Would he be a moral Agent, by chusing not only without any sensible Motive in View, but even contrary to the Motives he had in View; and by preferring and chusing what appear'd no Ways desirable and worthy of his Choice? I think, Sir, this is too glaring an Absurdity to be espoused by you: And yet this is the Case of every unconverted Sinner, until illuminated by the renewing Influences of the Holy Spirit, and thereby enabled [Page 19] to behold as in a Glass the Glory of the Lord. Every unregenerate Sin­ner is under the Power of Darkness. (Col. i. 13.) And in a State of Enmity to God. (Rom. viii. 7.) The Preaching of the Cross, while in this perishing Condition, appears unto them Foolishness. (1 Cor. i. 18.) The God of this World has blinded the Eyes of them who believe not, left the Light of the glorious Gospel of Christ should shine unto them. (2 Cor. iv. 4.)

But you inquire, ‘Is not this a making God the Author of Sin, in the fullest Sense?’—I confess, Sir, I am utterly uncapable to ima­gine, how God's determining our Wills, by his renewing Influences, to the Exercise of Grace, should make him the Author of Sin. I free­ly acknowledge, that it makes him the Author of Grace or Holiness. But you, Sir, should have remembred, that the Debate was not whether Man has a self-determining Power, to the Commission of Sin. This is allowed on all Hands; and too much confirm'd by Experience. All your Discourse therefore about our free and voluntary Commission of Sin, is altogether foreign and impertinent. The Debate between us is, whether Man has a self-determining Power to the Exercise of saving Grace or true Holiness. Let this Question be kept in View; and it will easily appear to every one, whether your Triumphs upon this Head were well founded.

I now proceed to see what Grounds you had to propose your second Doctrine, as a Consequence flowing from: [...] Thing of mine in the Book you wrote against.—What have I said, which you could raise this Doctrine from? That the more Grace any Man has, the fewer good Works he does; and on the other Hand, the more Works a Man does, the less Grace he has. P. 10.—In Support of your Charge of this Doctrine upon me, you pretend to cite that Expression, Grace and Works are directly contrary one to the other. But did you indeed find these Words, or any others like them, with Reference to inherent Grace in us, or to "that Grace that a Man has," as you express it? If not, how comes your pretended Doctrine to follow from that Ex­pression, which you could not but know, was spoken of, and referred to, quite another Thing?—The Truth of the Matter is, I was prov­ing that we could not be justified and saved by our Obedience, for this Reason among others, that Grace and Works are directly contrary one to the other, according to Rom. xi. 6. That is, our being justified and saved by the mere Grace of God, and our being justified and saved by our own Works, are put in direct Opposition one to the other by the Apos­tle, Rom. xi. 6. That this is Fact, every Man must own, who reads the Text. And where then do these Banters terminate? Upon me! No, but upon the Apostle Paul, to whom I referred as my Voucher?—You must, Sir, allow me freely to tell you, that I cannot envy you the [Page 20] Reputation you may expect to gain by thus artfully changing the Ques­tion; and insinuating to your Readers, that I had asserted a Contrariety between the Grace a Man has, or the gracious Habits and Disposi­tions of our Souls, and good Works; when what I had said, had no Re­lation at all to our own Graces, but merely to the free Grace of God in our Justification and eternal Salvation. Your Mer [...]ent, Triumph and Insult, so often repeated upon this Occasion, do therefore rather deserve Contempt, than Imitation.

Another Doctrine, which you pretend to raise from some Words of mine, is, That good Christians don't chuse or endeavour to be good: or if they do chuse and take Pains for it, yet it is of no Advantage towards their being good. You tell me (p. 10.) ‘This is certainly my Doctrine; for that I deny Virtue to be in any Sense or Degree the Fruit of our own Choice and P [...]ins, even when we are assisted by the Holy Ghost; and affirm it to be the sole Result of sovereign Grace.—But where Sir, I beseech you, in all my Book, do you meet with those Propositions, either the Negative, or the Affirmative, that carry the odious Face which you have put upon my Doctrine? Where have I expresly, or so much as implicitly denied, that Virtue, as practis'd by good Christians (for of such only you make me speak in the Doctrine you have framed for me) is in any Sense or in any Degree the Fruit of their own Choice and Pains, even when they are assisted by the Holy Ghost? Or, where have I affirm'd, that the good Christian's Practice of Virtue is the sole Result of sovereign Grace; exclusive of their own Choice and Endeavour, either in Fact, or in point of Advantage towards the End? Verily, Sir, you might with as plausible an Appearance of Truth and Justice have charg'd me with any the wi [...]dest and most licentious Opi­nion whatever, as with those which you here place to my Account. The Passages in my Book, which I conjecture you had in your Eye, and which stand at a wide Distance from one another, will, I doubt not, when rescu'd from the false and injurious Representation you have made of them, appear to have given you no Grounds at all for your horrid In­sinuations respecting my Doctrine. In one Passage (VIND. p. 18) I say, only in Way of Antit [...]esis to the Doctrine of your Sermon, That Faith and every other Virtue are not the EFFECT of our own Choice and Pains, and that every Man has not a Power of SELF-DETERMINING, appears most evident, &c.—Where, had you given the least Attention to the plain Scope of the Passage, you could not but have seen, it includes no such Doctrine, as that you have been pleas'd to father upon me. It neither speaks the Language, nor breathes the Spirit of such Doctrine. For it neither says, nor implies, that good Christians don't chuse or endea­vour to be good: Nor does it say, or imply, that if they chuse and take Pains for it, yet it's of no Advantage towards their being good. Nor [Page 21] indeed was the good Christian (already form'd) the Subject of the Debate between you and me in that Place; but quite the Reverse, it was Man in his natural State, "a weak fallen Creature," as you describe him, and as you expresly put the Case, not converted and saved. (SERM. p. 20, 21.) And with reference to the Conversion of fallen Man, your Doctrine there (in your own Words) is, that when God works in us, he does not work irresistibly,—But the Holy Ghost works so in us, that we may chuse whether we will work with Him, or against Him.—Faith, and every other Virtue, is the Gift of God; yet so as at the same Time to be the EFFECT of our own Choice and Pains too.—Though Man is a fallen weak Creature, yet (say you) there is in every one (i. e. as I understand you, every one remaining in the natural State of a fallen weak Creature, or not con­verted and saved; in every such an one you say, there is) a Power of SELF DETERMINING, of chusing OR refusing; by which a Man can comply with, OR reject the Suggestions of the HOLY SPIRIT.’—It seems then, according to you, these fallen Creatures, weak as they are, have yet such a Self-determining Power (or as you afterwards call it, a Self moving Principle in the Cons [...]itution of Man) as that they can work either with the HOLY GHOST, or against him, which they please; the human Will being left indifferent or undetermin'd, after all that the Holy Ghost works in Conversion: And therefore can, with an uncon­troulable Liberty, either chuse or refuse to be converted and saved; be­ing above all Necessity, if not beyond all Possibility, of an efficacious Divine Influence on their Will, in their Choice, as well as in their Re­fusal. This seems to be the true Import of your Doctrine, above re­peated.—Now it was in Way of Opposition to this strange Doctrine of yours, that I wrote the Passage in my Vindication, which you have ex­cepted against: And taking my Words in their relative View, as de­sign'd by Way of Antithesis to your Doctrine, or taking the whole Passage together in the Connexion and Dependance of its Parts, I think it must appear to every impartial judicious Reader (however it may to you) that I have therein advanced no such licentious Opinion as you have palm'd on the World for mine. In short, what have I said, more than this, That Faith and every other Virtue are the free Gift of God to us in Conversion, and are not the EFFECT of our own previous Choice and Pains, so as to imply or suppose a Self moving Principle in the Con­stitution of Man, a Self-determining Power in the fallen weak Creature; such as supersedes all Occasion for the renewing Operations of Divine Grace on his Heart, to determine the human Will in its Choice of Life and Salvation?—Make any Thing worse of my Words, Sir, if you can [...] consistent with the Character of a fair Writer in Controversy.

The other Passage of mine which you refer to in your horrible In­sinuations, [Page 22] is thus expressed (VIND. p. 46.) Let them judge who know what vital Piety means, and have had a blessed Experience of the Power of the Holy Ghost in calling them to Christ, whether they are not under unspeakable Obligations to acknowledge, that the Salvation begun in their Souls is the sole Result of sovereign Grace.&c,—Now dare even you your self deny, that the Exercise of the Power of the Holy Ghost in calling Sinners to Christ, and thereby beginning Salvation in their Souls, is the sole Re­sult of God's sovereign Grace? Nay, don't you your self expresly grant what is equivalent? (Serm. p. 15.) ‘Our Conversion from a State of Wickedness to a Life of Holiness, is the Gift of God; and the Ef­fect of his gracious Operations on our Souls.’ And dare you go on to banter, at the Rate you have here done, what no sober Christi­an dare to deny?

Another Doctrine you undertake to raise from some of my Words, is, that Holiness is not the Way to Heaven, that Faith, Repentance, Charity and every christian Virtue, will not bring a Person one Inch nearer to Salvation. Nay, a Man may go to Heaven as well without such Trifles as with them; for they are no conditional Cause, no Qualifica­tion for eternal Life. This, you tell me, ‘I can't disown; for I have expressed it in the strongest, though not in the same Terms.’—You tell me, ‘I say, that Faith, Repentance, Charity, and other Fruits of the Spirit, as they are Works of our own, are excluded from being any Manner of procuring Cause of Salvation; or bear­ing a Part. P. 47.’—The old Sport still! Have I in Truth any where said as you here represent it? What I said was this. Certainly he (the Apostle) did mean to exclude all these, as they are Works of our own (though not from being necessary to, yet) from being any Manner of pro­curing Cause of our Salvation, or bearing a Part (as Works of ours) in justifying, and intitling us to Life eternal.—I have before taken some Notice of your great Injustice, in leaving out so much of this Para­graph in your Citation of it. I shall now therefore pass that over, and consider, whether there be any Foundation at all for the Consequences you would draw from it.—In Order to which, there are three Things the Matter of our present Enquiry. The first is, whether Faith, Re­pentance and other Fruits of the Spirit, as they are Works of ours, are indeed the procuring Cause of our Salvation? The second is, whether as Works of ours they bear a Part in justifying us, and intitling us to eternal Life? The third is, whether if these Questions are answered in the Negative, it will follow, that a Man may go to Heaven as well without such Trifles, as with them?

We are first then to consider, whether Faith, Repentance and other Fruits of the Spirit, as they are Works of ours, are the procuring Cause of our Salvation.—And in Order to this, it is proper to consider, in [Page 23] what Sense you esteem the Exercises of Grace, as Works of ours, to be the procuring Cause of our Salvation?—Are they the efficient Cause of our Salvation? This you yourself deny. For you tell us (Sermon, p. 5.) that ‘Our Salvation is begun, continued and ended, by the infinite Mercy and free Grace of God.’ And certainly what begins, continues and ends any Effect whatsoever, must be the sole Ef­ficient Cause of it.—Well then, are the Exercises of Grace, as they are Works of ours, the meritorious Cause of our Salvation? This you also deny; and tell us (Reply, p. 11.) ‘I readily grant, that the gracious Ha­bits of our Souls are not the meritorious Cause of our Salvation; that Honour is ascribed only to Christ's Righteousness.’—What procur­ing Cause then, I beseech you, can they be, if neither the Efficient, nor meritorious Cause? For my own Part, I freely confess, I know of no other procuring Cause.—You indeed tell us, that ‘a necessary Quali­fication and Condition are both of them in some Sort procuring Cau­ses.’ (Ibid.) But I believe, you are the first Man that ever under­stood either of these to be procuring Causes. There can be no procur­ing Cause, but what does by its own Agency produce the Effect, or at least concur in the Production of it.—Whereas Qualifications or Con­ditions can be no more than exciting or suspending M [...]tives to the prin­cipal Agent or Efficient. And to talk of a procuring Cause, which has no Agency in producing the Effect, is a downright Solecism.—However, were your Logick allowed, it belongs to you nevertheless to inform us, what Sort of procuring Cause our gracious Exercises, as Works of ours, can be, when you yourself tell us, that ‘all we do towards our Salvation, is to accept of the Grace of God, when offered: And if we do accept it, we shall be saved; but if we do not we shall pe­rish.’ (Serm. p. 25.) And did ever any Body imagine, that the Acceptance of a free Gift was the procuring Cause of it?—May I not here justly retort your own Words upon you, with a little Variation. ‘Thus, if you tell a Beggar, only reach hither thy Hand, and take it, and I will bestow upon thee a Thousand Pounds; if the poor Man does but make that Motion, and reach forth his Hand only, that single Motion alters the Nature of the Thousand Pounds, so that it is no longer a Bounty, or Gift.—The Beggar may boast, and say, I have merited this Thousand Pounds of you, my reaching out my Hand is the procuring Cause of it. What think you; Sir, is not this contrary to common Sense?’ P. 31.

But I return to consider whether our gracious Exercises, as they are Works of ours, bear a Part in justifying us, and intitling us to Life eter­nal.—Our Justification before God always implies an Acquittance from Guilt, and the Acceptation of our Persons as righteous in the Sight of God unto eternal Life. And can you yourself, Sir, pretend, that our [Page 24] Works bear so much as any Part in procuring either of these? Can they make any Atonement for our Sins; and thereby free us from Guilt? Can they do any Thing towards purchasing the divine Fa­vour, or the eternal Inheritance for us?—Do not the Scriptures, in the strongest and plainest Terms, deny any Works of ours to be the pro­curing Cause of our Salvation; or to bear any Part in justifying us, and intitling us to Life eternal? Not by Works of Righteousness which we have done, but according to his Mercy he saved us. Tit. iii. 5.—Now to him that worketh, is the Reward not reckon'd of Grace, but of Debt: But to him that worketh not, but b [...]lieveth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his Faith is counted for Righteousness. Rom. iv. 4. 5.—Therefore we conclude, that a Man is justified by Faith, without the D [...]eds of the Law. Rom. iii. 28—When you have made as many Glosses upon these Words as the Wit of Man can devise, yet it will remain an eternal Truth that we are saved not by Works of Righteousness, which we have done; and therefore, our Works of Righteousness are not the procuring Cause of our Salvation. We are justified by Faith, without Works; without the Deeds of the Law; and therefore our gracious Exercises, as Works of ours, however necessary to our final Salvation, do yet bear no Part at all in the Justification of Life, unless we are justified without them and by them too.—There is nothing more cer­tain, than that the Scriptures do repeatedly assure us, that the whole im­pulsive Cause of our Salvation is the free Grace of God in Christ; and, that the sole Price of our Justification is the Righteousness of Christ, distinct from any Works of our own. This the Apostle asserts, in as strong Terms as I have done, or possibly can do. The Doctrine therefore which you pretend to raise from my Words, is every Whit as much a Consequence from the Apostle's Words, as from mine; and your virulent Reflections bear full as hard upon him, as upon me.

Let us next consider, Whether it will follow from what has been said, that Men may go to Heaven as well without such Trifles, as the Graces of the Spirit, and a Life of good Works, as with them.—Why, Sir! Can't the Obedience of Faith be the Path of Life, with­out being our justifying Righteousness? Can't having our Fruit unto Holiness be a necessary Qualification for eternal Life, without being the proc [...]ring Cause of it? Can't good Works be perform'd in Obedience to God; from a Principle of Love to him, and as the necessary Fruit of our renewed Nature and of our vital Union to Christ, without bear­ing a Part in our Justification, or in giving us a Title to Heaven [...] Can't it be a faithful Saying, and worthy to be affirmed constantly, that they which have believed in God, should be careful to maintain good Works, though it be not by Works of Righteousness which we have done, but according to his Mercy he saved us. Ti [...]. iii. 5, 8.—Indeed, Sir, [Page 25] you ought to consider, that this is an important Point, our eternal All depends upon a just and impressive View of this Case, that we may neither neglect a Life of Obedience, as the Path-Way of Salvation, and a necessary Qualification for Heaven; Nor yet depend upon it as the procuring Cause of our Salvation, or as what bears any Part in our Justification in the Sight of God.

I'm now prepar'd to attend upon the fifth Doctrine, which you are pleased to lay to my Charge, which is, that God Almighty rejoices in and is pleased with Men's wicked Unbelief and Damnation. You tell me, that ‘this horrible Doctrine, which you tremble to repeat, is mine, without all Controversy. For I say, that Christ thanked his heavenly Father for HIDING the Benefits of his Redemption from some.’ p. 11.—To this I answer, all the tragical Outcry you here make, is founded only upon these Words: (Vind. p. 25.) IF Christ thanks his heavenly Father, for hiding the Benefits of his Redemption from some, and revealing them to others, then it's certain, that he did not design his Redemption for every one equally and alike.—And yet he thanks his heaven­ly Father for revealing his Salvation to some, and not to others [...] Matth. xi. 25, 26. I thank thee, O Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, be­cause thou hast hid these Things from the wise and prudent; and revealed them unto Babes: Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy Sight. [...] Now the Question is, Have I not cited the Words of our blessed Sa­viour right? Did he not in Fact thank his heavenly Father, because he had hid these Things from some, and revealed them unto others? Whence then these dreadful Consequences, not to be repeated without Horror, from the very Words of our blessed Lord himself! How then have I (as you say, I have) represented ‘that mighty Lover of Souls—as being of the same malicious Spirit and Temper with the infernal Spirits, who rejoice in Men's Wickedness and Damnation’ (p. 12) when I have represented him no otherwise than in his own Words?—But you tell us (p. 37.) ‘It was not for that Reason, or because the Benefits of his Redemption were hid from the Wise and Prudent, but because they were revealed unto Babes, that Christ rejoiced in Spirit and gave Thanks.’—Well! suppose this were so, what fol­lows? Did I say any Thing contrary to this? Or did my Argument re­quire, that I should say any Thing contrary to this?—In this View of the Case, does it not evidently appear, that Christ did not design his Re­demption for every one equally and alike, since he does thank his hea­venly Father for making this Distinction between some and others; which Side soever of the Distinction was the special Cause and Matter of his Thanksgiving?—Indeed, Sir, how mean and vile soever you are pleased to represent me, yet surely the Words of our blessed SAVIOUR [Page 26] ought to be treated with more Respect, than so much as to seem to be charged with such horrid and amazing Consequences.

The 6th Doctrine you impute to me, is, that God is not willing that Sinners should turn and live.‘This (you tell me) I will not deny to be mine: For I deny, that God allows all Men necessary Means to turn and live.’ P. 12.—But I must again demand, where have I deny'd any such Thing? I have already observed, how very unjust and injurious a Misrepresentation of my Words this is.—I need therefore say no more under this Head, 'till you can prove, that God does in Fact will these necessary Means, which follow, for the Conver­sion of all Sinners without Distinction; viz. Christ's making them will­ing in the Day of his Power; the Exercise of the exceeding Greatness of God's Power; and the Working of his mighty Power; God's working in them both to will and to do of his good Pleasure; and his giving a new Heart and a new Spirit, taking away the Heart of Stone out of their Flesh, and giving them a Heart of Flesh. For it was expresly of these, and only these necessary Means, I spake, in the Place referred to.

The seventh and last Doctrine imputed to me, is, that Those who are not elected, can no more be saved than the Devils.‘This like­wise (you tell me) I won't disown; for I affirm, that God does not give them sufficient Grace. P. 12.—I must still demand, where have I said any Thing about God's giving, or not giving sufficient Grace to those who are not elected?—I have indeed said, that it ap­pears from a Variety of Scriptures, which I cited to that Purpose, that God does not give all Men Grace sufficient for their eternal Salvation. And I must continue to say so, until you can give some reasonable So­lution of the Arguments brought, and the Scriptures cited in Proof of what I said; and until you can shew the Reason, why all Men are not eternally saved, if they have Grace sufficient for it. For I can't see what should hinder the eternal Salvation of those, who have Grace sufficient for it.—But why are those who are not elected, particularly mentioned by you; unless it be, to insinuate to your Readers, that I have taught, that there are no Terms of Salvation proposed to the Non-Elect, which they might, if they were indeed willing, comply with to their eternal Advantage? Whereas you cannot but know, that I have fully declared my self to the contrary of this Insinuation.

Thus, Sir, I have distinctly consider'd what Grounds you had to impute these several Doctrines to me; and have been the more parti­cular in removing the Odium you have endeavoured to bring upon me, and upon the Truth I undertook the Defence of, as well as in vindi­cating the important Articles of Religion by you opposed, that I may once for all obviate these Objections; and not have Occasion to stop to consider them, every Time they occur in your subsequent Pages.

[Page 27]Lest your Readers should suspect, that the strange and frightful Doc­trines, imputed to me, are peculiar to my self, you are willing to convince them, that these dangerous Doctrines are common to all who are call­ed Calvinists. To which Purpose, you undertake to cite several Pas­sages from Calvin, which (as represented by you) do some of them sound ill enough.—I have taken the Pains to look for those Passages in Calvin's Institutions. Some of them I have found, and some of them I have not found, in the Chapters by you referred to. As to those Passages which I do find there, they would not appear with such a frightful Countenance, if his large and particular Explication of his Meaning were attended to.—But what is it to the Purpose between You and Me, whether Calvin expressed himself safely and cautiously upon some of these Points, or not?—"He was the Father of our Sect," you say.—No, Sir, by no Means! We own no Father or Master of our Sect, but CHRIST. However we are called Calvinists. Well, and you are called Armini­ans. You would nevertheless greatly resent it, if I should impute to you all the Mistakes of Arminius, or the Errors that were proved upon some of the Arminians, at the Synod of Dort; * and accordingly should charge you with denying the eternal Deity of Christ, with ques­tioning whether God be properly an eternal God, whether the Holy Spirit be a Subsistence, who is wise, and hath a Will; and with question­ing the Resurrection of the Body, &c. &c. &c.—You know, Sir, we have publick Formula's, wherein our Sentiments are openly and plainly declared. There are the Catechisms and Confessions of Faith of the Assembly of Divines at Westminster, acknowledged by those of our Pro­fession: And if you would justly represent our Sentiments upon these Points, you should do it from Authorities, which we acknowledge; and not by citing Passages which we disclaim, or do not receive.

‘But because it may cast more Light yet upon the Subject in De­bate, you desire Leave to transcribe the five Articles agreed upon by our celebrated Synod of Dort, the grandest Council that was ever held by Calvinists. p. 13.—Well! Sir, Have you verily transcribed those Articles from the Synod of Dort? Or have you borrow'd your Copy from an Enemy of the Synod, pretending to make a true Abstract of them? Or have you done by that venerable Synod as you have all a­long done by me, written what you were willing to have them say, tho' never so opposite to what they have indeed said? This will best be seen by comparing what you call the five Articles agreed upon by that incomparable Synod (not one of which is to be found in the Acts of the Synod itself) with the very Words of the Synod, faithfully translated, and transcribed from their own Acts.

[Page 28]Your first Article is, ‘That God by an absolute Decree hath elect­ed to Salvation a very small Number of Men, without any Regard to their Faith or Obedience whatsoever; and secluded from saving Grace all the Rest of Mankind, and appointed them by the same Decree to eternal Damnation, without any Regard to their Infidelity, or Im­pe [...]itency.

Do that Synod indeed teach, that God hath elected Men to Salvation, without any Regard to their Faith or Obedience whatsoever? That is (as I suppose you design it should be understood) that they are elect­ed to be saved, whether they have any Faith and Obedience, or not. Are there any such Expressions in the Acts of that Synod? Do they not in express Terms declare the direct contrary? That this same Electi­on is—unto Faith and the Obedience of Faith, Holiness &c. And therefore Election is the Fountain of all salutary Good, from whence Faith, Holiness and the other saving Gifts, lastly Life eternal itself, do flow, as the Fruits and Effects thereof. *

Do that Synod teach, that God has secluded from saving Grace all the Rest of Mankind, by the same Decree?—So far from it, that they expresly declare, that the reformed Churches not only don't acknow­ledge, but even with their whole Heart detest the Doctrine, That it would not profit the Reprobate to their Salvation though they should truly do even all the Works of Saints. —And they also expre [...]y declare in this very Article of Predestination, that whoever do not believe the Gos­pel, the Wrath of God abides on them: but they who do receive it, and embrace Jesus the Saviour, with a true and living Faith, they are thro' him delivered from the Wrath of God, and from Destruction, and have eternal Life confer'd on them. The Cause, or Fault, of Unbelief, as also of all other Sins, is not in any wise in God, but in Man.

[Page 29]Do that Synod teach, that God has by the same Decree appointed all the Rest of Mankind to eternal Damnation, without any Regard to their Infidelity or Impenitency? Nay, but on the contrary, they expresly declare, that the reformed Churches not only don't acknowledge, but even with their whole Heart detest this Doctrine, That God by the absolute and meer Pleasure of his Will, without all Respect or View to any Sin, hath pre­destinated and created the greatest Part of the World for eternal Dam­nation.

Your second Article is, ‘That Jesus Christ hath not suffered Death for any other, but for those Elect only; having neither any Intent, nor Commandment of his Father, to make Satisfaction for the Sins of the whole World.’

There is nothing like this Article any where to be found in the Acts of the Synod of Dort: But the direct contrary to it is fully and plainly declared by them, in these Words; This Death of the Son of God, is the only and a most perfect Sacrifice for Sins; and a Satisfaction of infinite Virtue and Value, abundantly sufficient to expiate the Sins of the whole World.—But that many, called by the Gospel, don't repent, nor believe in Christ, but perish in Unbelief, comes not to pass through the Defect or Insufficiency of the Sacrifice of Christ offered on the Cross, but by their own Fault. *

Your third Article is, ‘That by Adam's Fall his Posterity lost their Free-Will, being put to an unavoidable Necessity to do, or not to do, whatsoever they do, or do not, whether it be good or evil, being thereunto predestinated, by the eternal and effectual secret Decree of God.’

Here again you have taught a new Doctrine, not only different from, but directly contrary to the Synod of Dort, as one of their Articles. For they, in direct Opposition to this Article of yours, express themselves upon the Point in View, in the following Words: Yet surely as by the Fall Man hath not ceased to be Man, endued with Understanding and Will; nor hath Sin, which has spread through the universal human Race, taken [Page 30] away the Nature of the human Kind:—So likewise this divine Grace of Regeneration doth not act upon Men as though they were Stocks and Stumps, nor doth take away the Will and its Properties, or violently force it against its Inclination.

Your fourth Article is, ‘That God to save his Elect from the cor­rupt Mass, doth beget Faith in them, by a Power equal to that whereby he created the World and raised up the Dead; insomuch as those to whom he gives that Grace, cannot reject it; and the rest being reprobate, cannot accept it.’

What was just now cited, is so directly repugnant to what you here would doubtless insinuate by this Article, that I shall again repeat the latter Part of it, with the following Words of the same Paragraph. So also this divine Grace of Regeneration does not act on Men as if they were Stocks and Stumps; nor doth take away the Will and its Properties, or violently compel it, being unwilling; but spiritually enlivens, heals, cor­rects, both sweetly and powerfully bends it; so that where, before this, Rebel­lion and Resistance of the Flesh fully reigned, now a ready and sincere Obe­dience to the Spirit begins to be predominant; in which Effect the true and spiritual Renewing of our Will, and Liberty consists.

Your fifth Article is, ‘That such as have once received that Grace by Faith, can never fall from it, finally or totally, notwithstanding the most enormous Sins they can commit.’

In Opposition to what you here insinuate, the Synod declare, That by Reason of those Remains of indwelling Sin, and moreover of the Temp­tations of the World and of Satan, the Converted could not persist in that Grace, if they were left to their own Strength. *—And they also de­clare [Page 31] their utter Abhorrence of the Opinion, that by the orthodox Doctrine Men may be persuaded, that the Salvation of the Elect, howsoever they live, is not hindred; and therefore, that they may securely perpetrate any the most atrocious Crimes whatever.

Thus, Sir, I have briefly considered with what Justice and Truth you have imputed those Articles to the Synod of Dort; which are so far from being found in their Acts or Canons, as to be directly repugnant to their declared Sentiments.—And it belongs to you to consider, what are proper Reflections for you to make, upon a Review of this Affair. And you are now publickly called upon, either to shew where those Articles are to be found in that Synod, or to make an honest Retractation.

I am in the next Place led to consider your heavy Complaint, that I charged you with these scandalous Expressions,‘As to the Bulk of Mankind, He (God) having given them such a wicked and diabo­lical Nature, that they can no more cease to sin, than to breathe.’ And here you complain, that ‘I constantly represent these and such like vile blasphemous Notions, which you mention'd with a Design to confute them, as if they were your own Tenets and Assertions.’ p. 15. To which it's sufficient Answer, that I represented these Expressions, in the Place referred to by you, as sarcastic Flouts upon the Doctrine which you opposed. But I then did, and still do think it scandalous, to venture upon such horrible Imputations to the glorious GOD, as do in the most astonishing Manner frequently occur in your Discourses, upon the Condition that you mistake in your Sentiments. And this, I think, must be allowed by every one, who has a due Reverence to the third Commandment in the sacred Decalogue.

You proceed to complain, with great Heat and Anger, of my charging you with being a Pelagian.

To which I answer, that your Complaint is groundless. I have not stiled you (personally) a Pelagian; tho' I have stiled those Doc­trines, which I wrote against, Pelagian Doctrines: Which single Ex­pression is all that gave you the Alarm.—This, I acknowledge, would have been too much, and I should in Conscience be obliged to ask your Pardon for it, had it not been a known Truth. And if it don't appear upon Trial, that these very Doctrines published in your Ser­mon, are such as were charged with Heresy in the Pelagians, by the primitive Writers against Pelagianism, I hereby acknowledge the In­justice [Page 32] of the Imputation.—Let this then be brought to the Trial. Let the Doctrines which I opposed in your Sermon, and the Doctrines charged with Heresy in the Pelagians, be compared; and then you your self, Sir, may be Judge, and the World will judge, whether the Charge be just, or not.

Mr. Beach. ‘And to say that we lost our Power in Adam, does not help the Matter, because we could not prevent his Fall.’ (Serm. p. 19.)

Pelagius. How could he be charged of God with the Guilt of that Sin, which he knew was not his own? For it is not his own, if it is necessary. Or if it be his own, it is voluntary: And if it is voluntary, it can be avoided. *

Mr. Beach. ‘And could we have had our Choice when Adam was created, I am persuaded that no Man, who had a just Regard to his own Interest, would willingly have reposed such a vast Trust in the Hands of Adam, or indeed of the best Angel in Heaven.’—(Ibid.)

Pelagius. It can by no Means be granted, that God who forgives a Man's own Sins, should impute others Sins. Because he was created by him unwitting, neither also hath [...]e willingly derived other Men's Sins, from those Parents to whom they were remitted.

Mr. Beach.‘Than to teach [...]hat—as to the Bulk of Man­kind, he having given them [...] a wicked and diabolical Nature, they can no more cease to [...] to breathe.—These were un­done by Adam's Sin, to which [...] never consented: Yet for this Sin, or the necessary and unavoidable Effects of it, they must be tormented to all Eternity.’ (Serm. P. 25, 26.)

Pelagius. Who, when they ought [...] blame the human Will for their Sins, rather accusing the Nature of Man, do by that endeavour to excuse themselves.—Mankind falsly complain of their Nature.—Every Good and Evil Thing, by which we are either Praise-worthy or Blame-worthy, is not born with us; but is acted by us. For we are born capable, not full, of either. And as we are born without Virtue, so without Vice. [Page 33] And before the Action of our own Will, that only is in Man, which God hath made.

Julian the Pelagian. The Nature of Things don't allow it, that God should at the same Time be both so merciful, as to forgive their own Sins to every one that confesseth them; and so cruel too, as to impute the Sins of others to an innocent Person.—If he pardons the Guilty, he does not falsly accuse the Innocent: If he falsly accuses the Innocent, he never spares the Guilty. *

Mr. Beach. ‘There is in every one a Power of Self-determining, of Chusing or Refusing; by which a Man can comply with or re­ject the Suggestions of the Holy Spirit. And were it not for this self-moving Principle in the Constitution of Man, he would be no moral Agent; but a mere Engine, which cannot move, but only as it is moved.’ (Serm. p. 21.)

Pelagius. We have a Possibility of either Part, planted in us by God, like a certain fruitful and pregnant Root, as I may so say, which by the Will of Man generates and brings forth Things different: And which can at the Pleasure of its own Dresser, either shine with the Flower of Vertues, or grow savage with the Briars of Vices.—All Men are govern'd by their own Will. *

Mr. Beach. ‘But Men and Angels he governs by Laws, to which he has annexed Rewards and Punishments; and by these he influences their Wills. (Serm. p. 21, 22.)

[Page 34]Pelagius. God helps us to this only by his Law and Doctrine, that we may learn what Things we ought to do, and what to hope.

Mr. Beach. ‘And the Reason why any are not converted and saved, is because they don't concur and co-operate with divine Grace.—We can at the same Time either quench, or cherish the Spirit; we can either resist, or comply with the Holy Ghost.’ (Serm. p. 20.)

Pelagius. That we can think, speak, do every good Thing, is of God; who hath given us this Power, who helps this Power. But that we do act or think or speak well, this is of our selves, because we can also turn all these Things unto Evil.

I might proceed to shew the Similitude between the Pelagian Doc­trines and yours, in many more Instances: But what I have said is sufficient, to acquit me from your heavy Charge.

However, you tell us, that Pelagius's Heresy lay in his asserting, that a Man by his own natural Strength, without God's Grace, was able to convert himself, and arrive at eternal Happiness [...] [...]nd you tell me, I know that your whole Sermon asserts the Necessity of divine Grace.’ (Reply,p. 16.)—You are indeed (Sir) in a Mistake. Pelagius acknowledged the Necessity of divine Grace, in as strong Terms (and, for ought I know, in the same Sense) as you do; though both he and you deny the Necessity of special and distinguishing Grace. And where he strongly denies the Necessity of God's Grace, it must be understood of his special Grace. Hear his own Words.—‘God (says he) helps us by his Doctrine and Revelation, while he opens the Eyes of our Heart, while he shews us future Things lest we should be taken up with the present, whilst he lays open the Snares of Satan, whilst he illuminates us with the manifold and unspeakable Gift of heavenly Grace—whilst by the Revelation of Wisdom he raises up our stunned Will to the Desire of God, whilst he puts us upon all that is good.’ *—These (Sir) are his own Words; and [Page 35] have you any where used stronger Expressions than these, to assert the Necessity of divine Grace? The Difference therefore between him and you, in the Doctrines under Consideration, can't be very easily found, from any Thing in your Sermon, or in your Defence of it.—But that this Affair may be put in a yet clearer Light, suffer me to set before you, the Sum of the Pelagian Heresy, in the Words of that fa­mous Antiquary, Gerard. Joh. Vossius.Pelagius (says he) believed, that our Will either can by its own Strength chuse what Good it will; or if it wants the divine Help, he thought that this, by the Law which God had at once appointed to himself and to Na­ture, is to all and at all Times equally ready, so that the divine Concurse is wholly in our own Power.*—How agreeable these his Sentiments are to your Sermon and Reply, the World must judge.

Thus I have offered just Matter to quiet your angry Resentments; though I have now done something more, than call these Doctrines Pelagian.—And it certainly concerns you, and your Adherents, to con­sider, what Censure the famous Fathers, and numerous Councils of the Catholick Church, have put upon these Doctrines, which I have cited from the Pelagians, and which are also found in your Sermon and Reply.

Now then the Way is prepared to consider, how well these Doc­trines of yours agree with the Articles of the Church of England.—Let us begin with the 17th Article.

Article 17. Predestination so Life is the everlasting Purpose of God, whereby he has constantly decreed by his Counsel secret to us, to deliver from Cur [...]e and Damnation, those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of Mankind.

Mr. Beach. ‘Every one of us Christians belong to the Election of God's free Grace: Yet notwithstanding WE SHALL PERISH, if we don't walk worthy of God's electing Love.’ (Serm. p. 14.) Art. 17. And to bring them by Christ to eternal Salvation.

[Page 36]Mr. Beach. ‘We Gentiles now succeed in their (the Jews) Place; and are all of us elect with Regard to the rest of the World: Yet are we as liable as they, to fall from this Election of Grace. (Reply, p. 41.)

Art. 17. As Vessels made to Honour.

Mr. Beach. ‘All Christians are the Elect, the Election of Grace, and Vessels of Mercy. (Serm. p. 12.) We Christians, by receiving the Grace of God in vain, may cease to be Vessels of Mercy.—(Reply p. 46.)

Art. 17. Wherefore they who be endued with so excellent a Benefit, are called according to God's Purpose, by his Spirit working in them in due Season, they through Grace obey the Calling.

Mr. Beach. ‘Many are called, who never love God.—Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called; that is, these faithful Souls God in due Time called forth to Suffering. (Reply p. 47.)

Art. 17. They be made Sons of God by Adoption.

Mr. Beach. ‘Most certainly all Christians (i. e. by Profession and Privilege) are God's adopted Children. (Reply. p. 45.)

Art. 17. They be made like to the Image of his only begotten Son Jesus Christ.

Mr. Beach. ‘These are predestinated to be conformed to the Image of his Son; that is, to be like Christ in suffering. For it is of suffering Persecution he is here speaking.’ (Rep. P. 47.)

Art. 17. They walk religiously in good Works.

Mr. Beach. ‘When we walk not worthy of our christian Privileges, but live in Wickedness,—we then lose the End of our Calling and Election. (Serm. P. 15.)

Art. 17. And at Length by God's Mercy, they attain to everlasting Felicity.

Mr. Beach. ‘When we walk not worthy of our christian Privileges, we then lose the End of our Calling and Election; and forf [...]t our Birth-Right as Christians.’ (Ibid.)

Art. 17. The Consideration of our Predestination and Election in Christ, is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable Comfort to GODLY PERSONS:—because it doth greatly establish their Faith of eternal Salvation.

Mr. Beach. ‘It does not appear, that there is any Foundation in the Holy Bible for absolute personal Predestination. (Reply, P. 49.) Election here does not signity an absolute Decree of God, that we shall be saved; for, if that were the Case, we could not make it sure. (Ibid. P. 44.)

Thus Sir, I have compared the 17th Article of the Church of England with your Doctrine of Predestination. For all the Words [Page 37] cited from you were spoken with a Reference to that Subject. Shall I now set the whole before you in one connected View, by reciting this Article with a Paraphrase upon it in your own Words!—Pre­destination to Life is the everlasting Purpose of God, whereby [...]e has con­stantly decreed to deliver from CURSE AND DAMNATION, ("though they may yet notwithstanding perish") those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of MANKIND (that is, out of the Jews; for ‘we Gentiles are all of us elect with Regard to the rest of the World’) And to bring them by Christ to EVERLASTING SAL­VATION, (‘though we are all liable to fall from this Election of Grace’) As Vessels made to Honour (who ‘may cease to be Vessels of Mercy.’) Wherefore they are called by God's Spirit working in them in due Season, they through Grace obey the Calling (‘though many of these called never love God; they are only called forth to suffering’) They be made Sons of God by Adoption (as ‘all pro­fessing Christians are God's adopted Children.’) They be made like to the Image of his only b [...]gotten Son Jesus Christ (that is, ‘they are like Christ in suffering.’) They walk religiously in good Works (‘but live in Wickedness’) And at Length by God's Mercy they attain to everlast­ing Felicity (and "forfeit their Birth-Right as Christians.") The Con­sideration of Predestination and our Election in Christ is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable Comfort to GODLY PERSONS:—because it doth greatly establish their Faith of eternal Salvation. (For ‘there is no Foundation in the holy Bible for absolute personal Predestina­tion; nor can we make such a personal Election sure.’)

And now, Sir, what do you think of this Mongrel Creed! You must certainly honour and esteem it: For both Parts of it are your own. The Article you have declared to be your own by your Subscription: The Paraphrase is in your own Words. And you assure us from Bi­shop Maddox, that ‘no one Proposition in all the Doctrines of the Church of England concerning Predestination, is contradicted by the Arminians. (Reply, p. 23.)

Let us next consider the ninth Article, in the like comparative View.

Art. 9. Original Sin standeth not in the following of Adam: but in the Fault or Corruption of the Nature of every Man, that naturally is eng [...]ndred of the Offspring of Adam.

Mr. Beach. ‘No Man, who had a just Regard to his own Interest, would willingly have reposed such a vast Trust in the Hands of Adam, or indeed of the best Angel in Heaven, as to be obliged to be eternally happy or miserable, according to the Choice he should make.’ (Serm. p. 19.)

Art. 9. Whereby Man is far gone from Original Righteousness.

Mr. Beach. ‘To teach, that—as to the Bulk of Mankind, he [Page 38] (God) has given them such a wicked and diabolical Nature, that they can no more cease to sin than to breathe.’ (Serm. p. 25, 26.)

Art. 9. And therefore in every Person born into the World, it deserves God's Wrath and Damnation.

Mr. Beach. ‘Original Sin, according to the Church, will never damn any one Person. (Rep. p. 24.) While these were undone by Adam's Sin, to which they never consented.’ (p. 26.) [...]

This then is the Sum of the Matter view'd in a comparative Light. Original Sin standeth in the Fault or Corruption of the Nature of every Man, that is naturally engendred of the Offspring of Adam. This how­ever, is so unjust that ‘no Man who had a just Regard to his own Interest, would willingly have reposed such a vast Trust in [...] Hands of Adam.Whereby Man is far gone from Original Righteousness, which we could not have "lost in Adam; because we could not pre­vent his Fall."—And is of his own Nature inclined to Evil. For how could God "give him such a wicked and diabolical Nature, that he can no more cease to sin than to breathe?"—And therefore to every Person born into the World, it deserveth God's Wrath and Damnation. ‘For Original Sin will never damn any one Person. How can they be undone by Adam's Sin, to which they never consented?’

This, Sir, is another Article of your mis-shapen Creed. And if there be not such an harmonious Agreement between the several Parts of it, you are bound to reconcile them. For, I think, no Man in the World can do it, if you can't.

If I should proceed to consider the tenth Article of the Church of England, we should find the same harmonious Agreement between Free­Will and Free-Grace, as we have already found between the two Ar­ticles above consider'd, and your Descant upon the [...]—By such a Pa­raphrase, these contrary Doctrines must be your Creed.

Art. 10. The Condition of Man after the Fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself by his own natural Strength and good Works, to Faith and Calling upon God.

Mr. Beach. ‘Suppose two Men of the same natural Abilities, and under the same Advantages and Operations of the Holy Ghost, the one may improve his Power of Consideration, so as to become a wise and happy Man, and an eternal Companion of the blessed An­gels; while the other by neglecting his Reason, and abandoning himself to his fleshly Appetites, may make himself so vile a Mon­ster, as to be fit for nothing but the Portion of Devils. (Serm. p. 28.)—‘And were it not for this self-moving Principle in the Constitution of Man, he would be no moral Agent. (Serm. p. 24.)

[Page 39]Art. 10. Wherefore we have no Power to do good Works acceptable to God, without the Grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good Will.

Mr. Beach. ‘All wicked Men are Self-Murderers; because God has put it in their Power to turn and live.—(Serm. p. 18.)

Art. 10. And working with them, when they have that good Will.

Mr. Beach. ‘Men and Angels he governs by Laws, to which he has annexed Rewards and Punishments; and by these he influences their Wills. (Serm. p. 21.)

Hear then the Sum of the Matter.—The Condition of Man after the Fall of Adam is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself to Faith and Calling upon God, by his own natural Strength and good Works. And yet he has this ‘self [...]moving Principle in his Constitution: He may by the same natural Abilities, and the same Advantages and Operations of the Holy Ghost, that [a final Impenitent] has, improve his Power of Consideration so as to become a wise and happy Man, and an eternal Companion to the blessed Angels.’We have no Power to do good Works acceptable to God, without the Grace of Christ preventing us, that we may have a good Will; and yet ‘God has put it in the Power of all wicked Men to turn and live.’We have no Power to do good Works acceptable to God, without his Grace working with us when we have a good Will. For ‘he governs us by Laws, to which he has annex'd Rewards and Punishments; and by these he influences our Wills.

The like sort of Harmonious Agreement might be represented, be­tween your Doctrines and the xi, xiii, and xviiith Articles of the Church of England: but I think what has been already offered as a Specimen, is sufficient to convince every unprejudiced Person, of the Vanity of every Attempt to reconcile such apparent Inconsistences and Contradictions.—'Tis however fit, that you should be heard.

Your first Method of Reasoning is from some Things in your pub­lick Formula's, to ‘prove, that the Church of England teaches Doc­trines utterly inconsistent with absolute Predestination. P. 17. And what then? If your Church teaches some Things inconsistent with her declared Articles of Faith, I know of nothing that will follow from thence, but a Charge of Self-Repugnancy. It will no Ways prove, that her Articles are not to be understood in the obvious and literal Sense; nor will it any Ways make it appear, that you was not to understand those Art [...]les, when you subscribed them, in their plain and literal Meaning.—For Example, you won't allow it to be good Reasoning, that all, but Self-Murderers, who die in her Communion, certainly go to Heaven, because she orders her Priests to declare at the Funeral of every one besides, that He or She is committed to the Dust [Page 40] in sure and certain Hope of the Resurrection to eternal Life; and to thank God for taking to himself the Soul of our dear Brother or Sister.

B [...]t what are these Doctrines you refer to?—They are such as fol­low. ‘Thus in the Catechism, the Child is taught to believe in GOD the HOLY GHOST, who sanctifieth me and all the elect People of God. (P. 17.)—‘In the Office for Baptism, we beseech God, that the Child to be baptized may ever remain among the Number of God's elect Children. (P. 18.)—‘In the Catechism, every Child is taught to believe in GOD the SON, who hath rede [...]med me and all Mankind. In the Communion Office, we say, JESUS CHRIST has made (by his one Oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient Sa­crifice, Oblation and Satisfaction for the Sins of the whole World. (Ibid.)—The tenth Article ‘asserts, that by God's Grace we have a good Will, that is, a free Will to Good.’ (P. 19.)—‘The 31st Article runs thus, The Offering Christ once made is that perfect Red [...]mp­tion, Propitiation and Satisfaction for all the Sins of the whole World, both original and actual. (P. 22.)—‘The 16th Article asserts a Possibility of falling from Grace, in these Words: After we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from Grace given. (Ibid.) ‘The Catechism teaches, that by Baptism we are made Members of Christ, Children of God, and Inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven. (P. 21.)

Now, I know Nothing you can prove from all this, that is at all to your Purpose: Since it is only what (in a sound Sense) is ac­knowledged by every Calvinist Church in Europe.—They all of them acknowledge, that the Holy Ghost must sanctify us all (if we ever are sanctified) and that in Fact he sanctifies all the elect People of God.—They all of them can (according to their Principles) pray for all their Children, that they may ever remain among the Number of God's elect Children; that they may obtain Grace with the Elect here, and reign with them forever hereafter.—They all of them acknowledge, that the Lord Jesus Christ has so redeemed all Mankind, as that he has made a full, perfect, and sufficient Sacrifice, Oblation, and Satis­faction for the Sins of the whole World.—They all of them acknow­ledge, that by God's Grace (by the renewing Influences of his Spirit) we may have a good Will.—They all of them acknowledge, that the Offering Christ once made, is that perfect Redemption, Propitiation and Satisfaction for all the Sins of the whole World, both original and actual.—They all of them acknowledge, that after we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from (the Exercise of) Grace given.—They all of them acknowledge, that baptized Children are visibly by external Covenant Members of Christ, Children of God, and Inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven; which in Scripture very frequently in­tends [Page 41] the Kingdom of Grace.—Your Reasoning therefore can amount to no more than this: The Church in her Articles and Formula's speaks the Language of all the Calvinist Churches; and therefore she cannot be understood in a Calvinist Sense.—However, it must be confessed, that some of these Passages, especially the last of them, are not so cau­tiously expressed. But as they are constantly interpreted by your own best Divines, it is impossible to force upon them an Arminian Sense; and therefore they can be nothing to your Purpose.

Besides the Instances already mention'd, you further alledge from the Rubrick in the Office of Baptism, ‘It's certain by God's Word, that Children, which are baptized, dying before they commit actual Sin, are undoubtedly saved. P. 21. Well! and what then? Whether this Doctrine be, or be not, certain from the Word of God: Yet it is certainly true, if God never designed, and will therefore never per­mit, any but what are of the Elect to die in Infancy. If so (and it may be so, for ought I know) then all that die in Infancy, will un­doubtedly be saved, without any Prejudice to the Doctrine of Perse­verance.

You proceed to consider the 17th Article, and attempt to press it into your Service. ‘I believe (say you) as firmly as any Man living, that God has predestinated some Men to Salvation. But then you Calvinists assert, that God made this Decree without any REGARD to their Faith and good Works. Whereas I believe,—those whom GOD foreknew would comply with his Grace, and per­severe in Well-Doing, he elected and predestinated to Salvation.’ (P. 22 [...])

Here then is represented the Faith of the Calvinists, and your own Faith, with Respect to Divine Predestination.

As to the first, you tell us, that we Calvinists believe, God made this Decree without any REGARD to their Faith or Good Works."—But how are we to understand this? Did ever any Calvinists profess their Belief, that God elected any to eternal Salvation without Faith and Obe­dience; o [...] left any to Perdition but for their final Unbelief and Impe­nitence? Don't all their publick Formula's teach a Doctrine directly con­trary to this? Don't all the Calvinists teach, and don't the Scriptures teach, that God has chosen [...]s to Salvation thro' Sanctification of the Spirit and Belief of the Truth? Do they ever separate between the Means and the End? Don't they always teach, that the Elect were chosen unto Holiness, as the Path to Happiness; that they are chosen, that they may be holy and without Blame [...] and that Holiness and Happiness are necessarily connected, as well in the Decree of God, as in the Nature of Things: And that Sin and Misery are linked together, as well in the Divine Counsel, as by the Justice of God?—Your repeated Insi­nuations therefore to the contrary of this, are very injurious and abusive.

[Page 42]Now let us consider your own Faith, as to this Article; which is, that ‘Those whom GOD foreknew would comply with his Grace and persevere in Well Doing, he elected and predestinated to Salva­tion.’ Well! and don't every Body, who acknowledges an ab­solute personal Decree, believe the same Thing?—It is certain, such must own that all the Elect will comply with God's Grace and persevere in Well-Doing; they must therefore acknowledge it also certain, that GOD foreknew they would do so. Whence it follows (according to the Calvinist Sentiments) that those, and none but those, who GOD foreknew would comply with his Grace and persevere in Well-Doing, are predestinated to Salvation. In this View the Apostle does accord­ingly represent the Case. For whom he did foreknow, he also did pre­destinate—Rom. viii. 29.—It is indeed probable, that you have ano­ther Meaning couch'd under those your Expressions: But it's Time enough to consider that, when I shall find you more openly declaring your self. Here under this Head, you did not seem to think it a proper Place for so doing, left you should too apparently oppose this Article, which you are now endeavouring to reconcile to your Scheme.

You also have (P. 19.) cited some Paragraphs from a Book, intitled. A necessary Doctrine and Erudition for all Christian Men; which are so plain and full on my Side of the Question, that there needs no De­scants to be made. I chearfully leave it to the Reader to judge be­tween us, and to determine which Side has the best Claim.—The Calvinists have always hitherto understood that Book to be on their Side of the Question: Which your Citation from Mr. Neal confirms.

You likewise further observe, that Bishop Latimer says, ‘Christ shed as much Blood for Judas, as for Peter. Bishop Hooper says, that Cain was no more excluded from the Promise of Christ, till he excluded himself, than Abel; Saul, than David [...] Judas, than Peter; Esau, than Jacob. (p. 22.)—And don't every Calvinist-Church, and every Calvinist-Divine acknowledge, that CHRIST'S Blood was all shed for every Sinner under Heaven, so far as that none [...] miss the Benefit of it, who will accept it? And that none under the Gospel are excluded from the Promise of Christ, but who exclude themselves by neglecting so great Salvation? What therefore is this to your Purpose? You might have interpreted Latimer's loose Expression by Hooper's more exact Language; and you would have seen, even that would not serve your Turn.

Upon the whole then, (as I have before observ'd) the Sum of what you have hitherto offer'd, in Order to [...] that the Articles of the Church of England are to be understood in an Arminian (which is much the same with the Pelagian) Sense, is this:—The Church in her Formula's and Articles, and some eminent Fathers of the Church, [Page 43] have taught such Doctrines as are agreable to the Calvinist Principles, and are acknowledged by the Calvinist Churches and Divines; and therefore ought to be understood in an Arminian (or as I say, a Pela­gian) Sense.—That this is all which your Reasoning concludes, must (I think) be acknowledged by every one, who is not carried away by the mere Sound of Words, and who duely considers the Subject in Debate.

You may perhaps complain, if I take no Notice of what you say upon the Article of Original Sin. But I am necessitated to defer the Consideration of your Sentiments upon that Doctrine, 'till you are pleased to explain your self, and let me know what they be. ‘God forbid (you say) that I should burlesque that Doctrine of Original Sin, which is taught in the holy Scriptures and in the Church of England. (P. 23.)—But what Doctrine is that? What is that Doctrine of Original Sin, which you will own? This can be learned from you, only in Negatives. It is not our being guilty of Adam's Sin, or losing our Power in Adam. (Serm. P. 19.)—It is not deriving a sinful and polluted Nature from Adam. For God would not give us such a wicked and diabolical Nature. (Serm. P. 25.)—It is not our being undone by Adam's Sin, to which we never consented. (Serm. p. 26.) Again, It is not what will ever damn any one Person. (Reply, p. 24.)—But, I pray, what then is it? If I look through both your Sermon and Reply, I can find no direct Answer to this Inquiry, tho' it was reasonable that you should be explicit on a Head so important. There is therefore no Room here to make further Remarks upon what you offer on this Subject. I have already shewn how harmoniously these Negatives agree with the ninth Article of the Church of England; and I may probably before I have done, take Occasion to confirm the Truth of the Doctrine, as commonly received by the Protestant Church­es, from Scripture and Experience. I shall therefore dismiss this Point for the present.

I proceed next to consider how well you reconcile your Doctrines to the eleventh Article of your Church. ‘There is not (you say P. 25.) the least Opposition, betwixt your Saying, that Grace saves us in NO OTHER WAY than by our obeying the Gospel, and our being accounted right [...]ous before God only for the Merits of Christ [You should have added, according to the ARTICLE,] by Faith, and not for our own Works, or Deservings: Wherefore that we are justified by Faith only, is a most wholsome Doctrine. Is then, for the Merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by Faith, no other Way than by our personal Obedience? Are we justified by Faith only; and saved by Obedience only? But you tell us ‘Our Obedience to the Gospel is our Preparation for Heaven. (Ibid.)—What! is there NO [Page 44] OTHER WAY of Preparation for Heaven? No Espousal to Christ by Faith, no Washing from our Sins with the Blood of Atonement, no Interest in CHRIST'S Righteousness, no converting, sanctifying and quic­kening Influences of the blessed Spirit, needful to prepare us for Hea­ven? Does the eleventh Article of the Church teach us no other need­ful Preparative for Heaven, but our personal Obedience; and this ef­fected by that self-determining Power, which you contend for!

I might here also enquire, why the other Doctrines of yours, which I placed in Opposition to this Article, were not also taken Notice of by you. You found it easier, no Doubt, to pass these over, than to shew the harmonious Agreement of having ‘the Happiness of a rati­onal Creature founded in moral and christian Vertues, and having it founded only in the Righteousness of Christ by Faith; Also of ha­ving ‘a Temper of Mind and Life agreeable to the Gospel, a Wedding-Garment to the Soul, that makes it fit to appear before God,’ and having Christ's Righteousness the only Wedding-Garment to the Soul, that will justify it in the Sight of God, make it fit to appear be­fore God, and to stand in the Judgment.

And now I leave it to the World to judge, whether (in your own Phraseology) you may not as soon bring the North and South Poles to­gether, as reconcile your Doctrines with the Articles of the Church of England. It is indeed surprising to me, that Gentlemen of your Prin­ciples can solemnly subscribe to Articles, so literally and expresly re­pugnant to their avowed Sentiments. And it is yet more surprising, to see any of you gravely attempt to reconcile, what must remain utter­ly inconsistent and repugnant, as long as there are any known stated Ideas annexed to Words.

In my former Vindication I set before you the Articles of LAM­BETH, framed by the supreme Ecclesiastical Governors of the Church of England, as a sufficient Declaration of the Sense in which that Church commonly understood these Articles at that Day. And why did you not also endeavour to reconcile these to your Doctrines? These "new Calvinistic Articles," as you call them, are really, Sir, equal­ly reconcilable to your Scheme of Principles, as what you call "the standing Articles," and suppose judged then to be not Calvinistic.

I likewise set before you the united Suffrages of a great Part of the Protestant Churches, conven'd by their Delegates at the Synod of DORT. These you seem also to give up, as irreconcilable with your Princi­ples, though they also admit of the same Sort of pretended Reconcili­ation, as the Articles already considered. Against this Synod indeed you have some Objections.—You object, ‘That the Synod of Dort was no more a Representative of all Protestants, than the Council of [Page 45] Trent was a true Representative of all Christendom.—The greater Part by far of that Synod were Dutchm [...]n, a few others being added for Fashion Sake.’ (P. 26.)—Had you forgot, Sir, that you had told us but a few Pages before, that ‘the Synod of DORT is to be conceived to have delivered the genuine Sense of all the Parties, as being a Representative of all the Calvinian Churches in Europe (ex­cept those of France) some few Divines in England being added to them.’ (P. 14.)—A little Pains, methinks, is needful, to make out the harmonious Agreement of these two short Pieces of History; and to shew us, how a Number of Dutchmen, with a few others added, are a Representative of all the Calvinian Churches in Europe.—There is also some Difficulty to understand what you mean by some few Divines in England being added to them;—and what by being added for Fashion­Sake.

Were not the English Divines sent to the Synod, as a Representative of the Church of England? Did not the Church of England well ac­cept and approve of their Suffrages and Conduct in that Synod; that they were never faulted by the Church, or complained of for either?—There was indeed a certain Scribler, that attack'd them from the Press. In Answer to whom, they signed and published a joint Attestation, de­claring that their Suffrages were not only warrantable from the holy Scripture; but also conformable to the received Doctrine of their venera­ble Mother (the Church of England) which they were ready to maintain and justify, against all Gainsayers. *—I dare say, that your harmonious Agreement of the Church of England Formula's with Arminianism was never once dreamt of at that Time. No! but on the contrary, the English Ambassador, Sir Dudley Carlton, when solliciting the Conven­tion of the Synod of Dort, declared in his Speech to the States of Hol­land, that the Doctrine contended against by Arminius, was the true and ancient Doctrine, received and authorized by the common Consent of all the reformed Churches. In fine, that Synod was conven'd upon the Solli­citations of the KING of England : The Church of England was therein represented, by a Number of as excellent Divines as she has ever bred: And the Church of England was therefore more concern­ed in that Synod, than any Church in Europe, the Dutch united Pro­vinces only excepted.—How well then does it become a Minister of the Church of England, to speak of that Synod in such Terms of Slight and Contempt! Or how, probable does the Harmony you plead for, ap­pear, between your Doctrines, and the Articles of the Church of [Page 46] England, as well as of all the other Protestant Churches of Eu­rope!

I had before observed, that all the Protestant Churches without Ex­ception, agreed with the Church of England in the same doctrinal Articles of Religion, and teach as the Church of England does, the Contra [...]i [...]ty of Free-Will and Free-Grace (in your Sense of them) and do contradict the very Scheme of Principles laid down by you in your Sermon. (Vind. p. 6.)—For this I am treated with very great Roughness; to say no worse of it.—You ask me, whether ‘I can be so ignorant as to believe it my self, or so weak as to imagine any Body else can believe me?’ (Reply, p. 27.)—You tell me, ‘That if it were any Body else but only Mr. Dickinson, who should with so much Confidence be guilty of such egregious Blunders, you should be surprized at it: But you have been so long accustomed to my Modesty and Veracity, that nothing I can say, how distant soever from Truth, can excite Admi­ration in you.’ (P. 28.)—These, Sir, are very strong Expressions; and must put your Reader in Expectation of some very substantial Do­cuments, in Contradiction to what I have said.—But what have you offered in Refutation of these "Falshoods," and "egr [...]gious Blunders?"

‘All the Lutheran Churches on Earth (you say) agree in the famous Augustin Confession, Part of which I here give you.’ (P. 27.)

In Answer to which I must observe, that I charitably conclude, you have never seen the famous Augustin Confession, as you call it, from which you pretend to take your Citations; but must have borrowed your Citations from some very unfaithful Hand. For there is not to be found in the Augustan Confession, so much as any one of the Titles of those Articles you cite from it; and yet I dare not speak of you, as you do of me in the above-cited Expressions, nor publickly represent you, in the Manner you do me, as being "defective in such moral Virtues, as Honesty and Veracity." (P. 17.)

I freely acknowledge, that if you could have found any one of the Protestant Churches, whose avow'd publick Formula's had been on your Side of the Question, I should have been bound in Conscience to have made Satisfaction before the World, for asserting the contrary.—And won't the same Debt be due from you before the World, if the Au­gustan Confession (the only one you pretend to cite in your Favour) should notwithstanding all your pointed Assertions to the contrary, turn out strongly against you.—Let it then be brought to the Trial.

ART. ii. Of Original Sin.

‘That after the Fall of Adam, all Men, propagated according to Nature, are born with Sin; that is, without the Fear of God, without Faith towards God, and with Concupiscence: And that [Page 47] this Disease or Fault of our Birth is truly a damning Sin; and now also bringing eternal Death on those who are not born again, through Baptism and the Holy Spirit.’ *

ART. iv. Of Justification.

‘That Men cannot be justified before God, by their own Powers, Merits, or Works: but are justified freely for Christ's Sake, through Faith. When they believe they are received into Favour and have their Sins forgiven for Christ's Sake, who hath satis­fied for our Sins by his Death, God imputes this Faith for Righte­ousness before him.’

ART. vi. Of New Obedience.

‘That Faith ought to bring forth good Fruits; and that we ought to do good Works commanded of God, for the Sake of the Will of God. Not that we may trust, by these Works, to deserve Justification before God. For the Remission of Sins and Justifica­tion is laid Hold upon by Faith.—That he who believeth in Christ, may be saved, freely receiving Remission of Sins, by Faith only, without Works.’

ART. xviii. Of Free Will.

‘That the human Will hath some Liberty, to work civil Righteousness, and to chuse Things subject to Reason: But it hath not Power, without the Holy Spirit, to work the Righteousness of God, or spiritual Righteousness; because the natural Man receiveth [Page 48] not the Things of the Spirit of God; but this is effected in our Hearts, when the Holy Spirit is received through the Word.’

ART. xx. Of Good Works.

‘That it is necessary to do good Works; not that we may trust by them to merit Grace, but for the Sake of the Will of God. The Remission of Sins and Grace, is apprehended only by Faith: And because the Holy Spirit is received by Faith, now our Hearts are renewed, and put on new Affections, that they can bring forth good Works.—Hence it easily appears, that this Doctrine is not to be accused, as if it prohibited good Works: but much rather to be praised, that it shews us how we may perform good Works.’

Thus, Sir, you have a brief Summary of the Doctrines contain'd in the famous Augustan Confession, upon the Subjects under Conside­ration: And it is now left to the World to judge, tó whom it belongs to make a publick Retractation. And the World will also judge; whether your Principles in these Things are not opposite to all the Pro­testant Churches in the World, whether Calvinist or Lutheran.

That this is Fact, I think, you can now no longer dispute: And it is an Affair that certainly deserves your Attention. Are we not bid to be Followers of those who through Faith and Patience inherit the Promises? And would not even common Modesty oblige you to suspect [...] that you are going wrong in these important Points of Doctrine, when you find the whole Reformation founded upon contrary Doc­trines, and the Footsteps of the Flock leading quite a contrary Way?

Before I dismiss this Point, there is one Thing more that demands Consideration. You tell us, (p. 28.) ‘Whoever will read the Augustin Confession, must immediately be convinced, that thi [...] above all modern and human Composures, was the Pattern the Church of England had in View, when they composed their Articles.’—To which I answer, if so, I'm sure then, every Reader must be convinced, that the Church [Page 49] of England Articles cannot be understood in the Sense which you pre­tend to force upon them. For, I think, you your self can hardly pre­tend to reconcile the Augustan Confession with your Scheme of Divinity, when you have taken the Pains to read it, and view it in a comparative Light.

You proceed to challenge me with some Warmth, for endeavouring to fasten Self-Contradictions upon you.—But I think, there needs no other Replication to what you say on that Head, than to desire the Rea­der, after he has considered all you have advanc'd in your Reply, to review what is offered in my Vindication, as being of it self a sufficient Answer to it. This Affair then may safely rest as it is. There's no Need of swelling these Remarks, by a particular Examination of what you have said on an Affair that lies so very open to every one's View.

As to the Self-Contradictions you attempt to fasten upon me, and i [...] which you profess to "return my Kindness without Fraud" (P. 33.)—there needs no more than a just Citation of the Passages themselves, which you pretend to take from my Vindication, in Order to remove all Appearance of Inconsistency with my self. For what Appearance of a Contradiction is it, to say, That Christ has died for all Men, in such a Sense, as that every Individual of the human Race may, by Vertue of the Ransom paid by him, obtain eternal Life, UPON FAITH IN HIS BLOOD; and yet to say, that IF Christ thanks his heavenly Father, for hiding the Benefits of his Redemption from some, and revealing them to others, then it's certain that he did not design his Redemption for every one, equally and alike?—But you was forced to suppress those Words [Upon Faith in his Blood] so that there might appear something like a Contradiction. Was this done without Fraud!—Is there any Repug­nance between these Assertions, That Christ has wrought out a Redemp­tion for all that believe in him, and, That God is nevertheless sove­reign in bestowing that Faith, by which we must be Partakers of the Redemption wrought out for us?—If there be a Contradiction, one Part must be false: For both Parts of a Contradiction cannot be true. Now, Sir, I intreat you to tell me, which Part of the pretended Con­tradiction is false. For, is it not true, that Christ has so died for all Men, that all who believe in him may have eternal Life? And is it not true, that Christ thanks his heavenly Father, That he had hid the Benefits of his Redemption from some, and revealed them to others; That he had hid these Things from the wise and prudent, and revealed them to Babes? Matth. xi. 25.—Where then is there so much as the Shadow of a Contradiction?—Again, What Appearance of a Contradiction is it, to say, That this general Red [...]mption puts all Men under a Capacity of Salvation, UPON FAITH IN CHRIST; And yet to say, That none can be eternally saved, [...]ut by Vertue of a [Page 50] special Redemption, not common to all Men? i. e. to Believers and Un­believers.—But here also you were forced to leave out those important Words (upon Faith in Christ) that so you might make some Shew of a Contradiction, which otherwise there is no Appearance of. For all Men have not Faith, (2 Thess. iii. 2.) nor can have it of themselves, it is the Gift of God. (Eph. ii. 8.) Was your Substraction here with­out any Fraud!—Again, What Appearance of a Contradiction is it, to say, ‘Who ever supposed, that our own Endeavours neither hinder nor promote our Salvation!’ And yet to say, That ‘they who have had a blessed Experience of the Power of the Holy Ghost in calling them to Christ, are under unspeakable Obligations to acknow­ledge, that the Salvation begun in their Souls is the sole Result of sovereign Grace, owing to no other Cause but God's meer good Pleasure, excited by no other Motive but because it seemed good in his Sight!—Now Sir, which Part of this imaginary Contradiction will you say is false? You must own, that our Endeavours in the Way of Sin, will hinder our Salvation; and that our Endeavours in the Way of Duty (by which we are found in the Way of a Blessing) are Means to promote it.—And you must also own, (for it would be no less than Blasphemy, to deny it) that a blessed Experience of the Power of the Holy Ghost, in effectually calling us to Christ, and beginning Salvation in our Souls, is the sole Result of sovereign Grace, owing to no other Cause but God's mere good Pleasure. Where then is the Contradiction? What Shadow of a Contradiction is it, that Means duly used tend to promote Salvation; and yet that a blessed Experience of the Power of the Holy Ghost, in making those Means effectual, and actually be­ginning Salvation in us, is the sole Result of sovereign Grace?—You have indeed undesignedly given a high Commendation of the Consis­tency of my Discourse, in that when taking so much Pains to fish for Contradictions, you could find no Instances but these, scarce so much as seeming Contradictions, to compose your two opposite Columns, between which you are pleased to divide my Name, for the greater Merriment and Sport to your Reader.

I now proceed more directly to the Merits of the Cause, to exa­mine the Doctrines, which you have advanced; and to consider whe­ther they be agreeable to the Word of God, and the christian Instituti­on.—And I am first to examine your Doctrine.

Of Universal REDEMPTION.

This Doctrine is asserted by you in the following Words. Having spoken of our Redemption by Jesus Christ, as the Gift and Effect of [Page 51] God's Mercy, you presently remark,—‘And this redeeming Grace is so free, that it is not confined nor restrained to an elect Number; but comprehends the whole Race of Adam. (Serm. p. 6.)—If Christ has not by his Death procured for the Non-Elect a Power to believe, though he has purchased all the Joys of Heaven for them on Con­dition of their believing; yet it is no Favour or Privilege at all to them, nor have they any Reason to thank him for it.’ (Rep. p. 35.)—Now in Order to a just View of this Case, it may be proper, something particularly to explain the Question lying between us, that we may not contest in the Dark.

The Question then is not, whether the Lord Jesus Christ has paid a Ransom sufficient for the whole World of Mankind, even for each In­dividual of the human Race, without any Exception?—This is allow­ed and agreed upon on both Sides; and abundantly confirmed in the Scriptures. He is the Propitiation for the Sins of the whole World. 1 Joh. ii. 2.—Nor is the Question, whether every individual Person under the Gospel hath a Warrant (one equally as another) to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ; and so, believing, to expect with humble Confi­dence, and depend upon him for Justification and eternal Salvation? For the Gospel certainly makes a free Pr [...]posal and Promise of Justifi­cation and Salvation by Jesus Christ, to every one that will accept it at his Hands.—Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out. Joh. vi. 37. If any Man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. Joh. vii. 37.—Once more, Nor is it the Question, whether any Man, how sinful and guilty soever, who is sincerely willing to embrace the Saviour upon Gospel Terms, will fail of eternal Life, for Want of Ability to com­ply with the Treaty of Peace in the Gospel? For whosoever will, let him take of the Waters of Life freely. Rev. xxii. 17. And there is no more demanded of one or another, in Order to an Interest in Christ, and his saving Benefits, than an hearty Receiving of him, and Accep­tance of them, as propounded in the Gospel. As many as received him, to them gave he Power to become the Sons of God. Joh. i. 12.—But then, to speak now affirmatively,

The true Question is, Whether our blessed Saviour, who has wrought out such a sufficient Redemption for all the World, and makes a free Promise of this Redemption to all Mankind without Exception, who are truly willing to accept it, has not designed a distinguishing Applica­tion of this Redemption to some, in effectual Calling, beyond what he has designed for others: And whether he has not undertaken, not only to purchase for these the Privilege, that they shall be saved in Case they believe, but also to purchase for them and to bestow upon them the Spirit of Grace, to put within them the Principle of Faith, whereby they certainly will believe and be saved?—Or in other Words, whe­ther [Page 52] ther he has not undertaken efficaciously to bestow special Grace upon the Elect of God, whereby they shall be united to him, be justified and sanctified through Faith in him, be enabled to live a Life of Ho­liness; and thereby be qualified for future Salvation, and be finally possessed of eternal Glory?—And whether the blessed Redeemer has undertaken to bestow these Benefits and Privileges upon all the Rest of Mankind, in the same Manner as upon the Elect of God?—This is the true State of the Question: And this I before endeavoured to confirm (the former Part, in the Affirmative; and the latter in the Negative) by a Variety of Arguments; which you have not been pleased to take any particular Notice of.

Let us first review what the Scripture faith upon this Head; and consider, Whether we don't find it plainly evident from those sacred Oracles, that the blessed Redeemer has undertaken, not only to purchase sufficient Redemption, but also to procure and bring about a special and saving Application of the purchased Redemption, to a chosen Number of Mankind.—This manifestly appears from the following Texts, as well as from many others that might be cited to that Purpose. ‘All that the Father giveth me, shall come to me; and him that cometh to me, I will in no wi [...]e ca [...]t out. This is the Father's Will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose no­thing, but should raise it up again at the last Day. Joh. vi. 37, 39. As thou hast given him Power over all Flesh, that he should give eternal Life to as many as thou hast given him. Joh. xvii. 2.—You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth Fruit, and that your Fruit should remain.’ Joh. xv. 16.—‘In Hopes of eternal Life, which God that cannot lie, promised before the World began. Tit. i. 2.—Act. xx. 28. The Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own Blood.—Eph. v. 25, 26. Christ loved the Church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it,’ &c.—Multitudes of other Texts might be produced to the same Purpose, but these are cer­tainly sufficient to determine the Case. Our blessed Lord himself, who certainly best knew the End and Design of his Undertaking, has as­sured us, that there is a certain Number given him by his Father, who shall come to him, and in no wise be cast out: That it is his Father's Will, that none of these be lost, but all raised up at the last Day; That all who are thus given him, shall have [...]: And that the Reason of this is, not because they had [...] him, but because he had chosen them: And the Apostle assures us, that this eternal Life which Christ would give to these, was promised before the World be­gan: That Christ loved the Church, purchased it, and gave himself for it, that he might cleanse and sanctify it.—Does it not appear from [Page 53] hence, as plain as Words can make any Thing appear, that our Lord Jesus Christ has undertaken to make a special Application of his saving Benefits, to a chosen Number of Mankind?—And how then shall we venture to dispute such Facts, as are so strongly asserted by our blessed Lord himself, in Language beyond the Power of Elusion!

If this be true, which we have now heard spoken by Truth itself, it will also necessarily follow, that our Lord has not, in like Manner, undertaken to apply his saving Benefits to all the rest of the World.—For if he had undertaken for all the World, that they should come to him, that they should not be cast out nor lost, but be raised up at the last Day, and have eternal Life, he would certainly accomplish his Undertaking; they would all bring forth Fruit, and their Fruit would remain; they would all be sanctified here, and glorified hereafter; and eternal Life, promised before the World began, would eventually be the happy Portion of every Individual of the human Race.—This may be further evidenced, from many other express Texts of Scripture. See Joh. xv. 19. ‘Ye are not of the World: But I have chosen you out of the World.’Joh. xvii. 6. ‘I have manifested thy Name to the Men which thou gavest me out of the World.’Joh. x. 15, 26, 27. ‘I lay down my Life for the Sheep.—Ye believe not, be­cause ye are not of my Sheep: my Sheep hear my Voice; and I know them; and they follow me; and I give unto them eternal Life; and they shall never perish.’Joh. vi. 65. ‘No Man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.’Mat. xiii. 11. ‘Because it is given unto you, to know the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven: but unto them it is not given.’—From these and from many other such like Texts of Scripture, the Point in View is most evident. If our blessed Lord has chosen some out of the World, and his heavenly Father has given him some out of the World, that his Name might be manifested unto them; then the rest of the World are not in like Manner chosen by him, are not in like Manner given to him by the Father, nor have in like Manner his Name manifested to them.—If Christ has laid down his Life for his Sheep, if all that are Christ's Sheep do hear his Voice, follow him, and obtain eternal Life, while others do not believe, because they are not of his Sheep; then Christ did not undertake to make such an Application of his Redemption to some, whereby the Subjects of it are made willing to be his, brought to believe in him, to hear his Voice, follow him, and obtain eternal Life, as he does to others.—If no Man can come to the Son, unless it be given him of the Father; and the Father does not give to all Men such a Knowledge of the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, that they can come to the Son; it is then certain, that the Application of Christ's Redemption was [Page 54] not design'd by our blessed Saviour for all Men alike.—It cannot be true, that Christ has chosen some, and that the Father hath given him some out of the World; and yet be also true, that he has chosen all the World, and that the Father has given him all the World alike, in the same Manner, in the same Sense, and to the same Purposes.—It cannot be true, that those who do not believe, because they are not of his Sheep, were designed by him to be equal Partakers of his special saving Benefits, with those for whom he gave his Life, who all hear him, all follow him, all have eternal Life, and never perish.—It can't be true, that those who cannot come to the Son, because it is not given them of the Father to know the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Hea­ven, were designed by Christ to be equal Partakers of his saving Be­nefits, with those to whom it is given to know the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, and who are thereby enabled to come to the Son.—From hence then the Conclusion must necessarily follow, that our blessed Saviour has not in like Manner undertaken to apply his sav­ing Benefits to all the World of Mankind, as to the Elect. Which was the Thing to be proved.—This is most evident, if the Word of our blessed Lord himself may be taken for Evidence. Whatever Ob­jections, whatever plausible Arguments may be offered against this Doctrine, it is the Doctrine of the Gospel, it is the Doctrine taught by our Lord Jesus Christ himself; and therefore to be acknowledged by all who profess his Name, notwithstanding any Difficulties that may arise in their Minds about it. If we reject every Thing, which is accompanied with Difficulties, though at present insuperable to our weak Understandings, we must reject every Thing that we are most acquainted with, either in the Kingdom of Nature or Grace.—I am confident, I can raise as many unanswerable Objections against the Possibility of the Union of your Soul and Body, as you can possibly do against the Doctrine of a special Redemption.—However let us hear what you have to offer.—

You say, ‘I understand you: you mean, that Christ's Death was sufficient for all Mankind; but only that he never intended it for any but the Elect. And if this be the Case, Christ died no more for the reprobate, than he died for the Devils: For his Blood was of suffi­cient Value for all the Devils in Hell; but only neither God nor Christ intended it for them.—If Christ has not procured for the Non-Elect a Power to believe, though he has purchased all the Joys of Heaven for them on Condition of their believing: Yet it is no Favour, or Privilege at all to them; nor have they any Reason at all to thank him for it.’ (P. 35.)

Though I had given a particular Answer to this Objection before, you did not see Cause to take any Notice of it. I shall therefore add [Page 55] [...] few Words, to what was then offer'd upon this Head.—And I would first inquire, what you mean by ‘CHRIST'S never intending his Re­demption for any but the Elect.—Did he not originally intend his Redemption just in the same Latitude and Extent with the actual Application of it? Now we have seen, that however our blessed Lord is said to have given himself a Ransom for all, yet he does in Fact make a special and distinguishing Application of this Redemption to some: And did he not intend to do as he has actually done?—You won't venture to suppose, that he has chang'd his Designs, or fail'd of Success in his Intentions. For he is the same Yesterday, to Day, and for ever.—Pray, Sir, speak out full and plain to the Purpose. Did our blessed Saviour, in undertaking the Work of Redemption, intend and expect that all Mankind (without Exception) should come to him, and not [...]e cast out; that every Individual should hear his Voice, follow him, have eternal Life, and never perish?—He himself assures us that he did ex­pect and intend all this with Regard to some, Joh. vi. 37. and Joh. x. 27. And the Question is, Whether in the Sense of these Scriptures he equally intended and expected this for every Individual of the hu­man Race? If so, then every Person whatever must be eventually sa­ved. For Christ is neither liable to Change, nor [...].—But if not so, then he did expect and intend that for some, which he did not intend for others.—You perhaps can't see into the Reason of this. But you and I should remember, that the great Redeemer of the World has not subjected his Administration and Conduct to the Com­prehension of our short-sighted Understanding.

I would again inquire, what you mean by ‘CHRIST'S not having pro­cured for the Non-Elect a Power to believe.—Does any Man in the World want Power, to come to Christ and obtain eternal Life thro' him, that is in the Account of Scripture willing to receive him? Whosoever will, let him take of the Waters of Life freely.—The Promise of Sal­vation is sincerely made to all (without distinguishing between Elect and Non-Elect) that are willing to embrace and accept it. And all that are willing to accept of the Gospel-Offer, upon the Gospel-Terms, have actually a Power to believe; or rather are already Believers, and are thus Partakers of the Benefit. It is true indeed, that without a special Application of Christ's Redemption none are willing to embrace the Gospel-Promise. Nevertheless, it is also true, that there is no Compul­sion or efficacious Obstruction in the Case, but from their own corrupt and sinful Nature, which so prompts them to the Pursuit of their un­godly Lusts and Idols, that they will not come unto Christ, that they might have Life.—You object, from Dr. Whitby, ‘What is only done upon an impossible Supposition, is not done at all.’—Well [...] Sir, don't this Objection as much militate against your Principles, as [Page 56] against mine? Don't you yourself tell us, that ‘altho' Jesus Christ offers eternal Salvation to all who will obey him; yet no Man will ever come to him and accept of this kind Offer, unless the Father draw him, and it be given him from above; and that we cannot without the gracious Influences of the Holy Ghost, become good Men’! (Serm. p. 15, 16.)—Now is it in fact given from above to every Man, to come to Christ, and be willing to obey him? Have all Men actually these Drawings of the Father, these gracious Influen­ces of the Holy Ghost, so as to become good Men? If so, every Man is actually interested in Christ, and has actually a Title to Heaven. For every one that comes to Christ and is willing to obey him, has the Waters of Life freely bestowed upon him; and every good Man is an Heir of Salvation.—But if it be not given from above to every Man, to come to Christ, and be willing to obey him, then there are some for whom (according to your own Scheme) Christ has not procured such a Power to believe, or such a divine Drawing and Influence, as makes them actually willing to obey and come to Christ.—From whence it will follow, according to this Reasoning of yours, ‘That if he had pur­chased all the Joys of Heaven for them, on Condition of their be­lieving, yet it is no Favour or Privilege at all to them, nor have they any Reason to thank him for it. For what is done upon an impossible Supposition, is not done at all.’—Whatever consistent Answer you now give to this, you will destroy thereby your own Ob­jection.—If you allow Christ to be in any [...]ound Sense the Author and Fi [...]isher of Faith to the true Christian, your Reasoning will conclude as strongly against your self, as against me.

I shall further observe, that every Man living under Gospel-Light has Reason to thank GOD for this common Salvation; because every one has an equal Offer of this Salvation, upon the same condescending Terms; equal Assurance of an Interest in it, upon being sincerely willing to accept it; equal Directions given in the Scriptures, and equal Grounds to hope for the Influences of the blessed Spirit, upon being found in the Way of the Blessing. The secret Purpose of God can have no Influence, to animate one Man more than another; or to discourage one Man more than another. None can complain, that they have been seeking at the Footstool of sovereign Grace in vain; and therefore none has Reason to despond, who is willing to obtain Mercy, to find the strait Gate, and walk in the narrow Way. Now sure­ly this is enough to silence all the Objections and Cavils of poor guilty Malefactors; and to excite in every Man a Concern to accept the tendred Saviour, and to give Diligence to make his own Calling and E­lec [...]ion sure. And it will prove enough, in an Estate of eternal Mise­ry, to bring poor Sinners under the dreadful Lashes of their own guilty [Page 57] Consciences, for their inexcusable voluntary Rejection of an offered Saviour.

In my Vindication I presented you with several other Texts of Scrip­ture, in Confirmation of the Truth before us.—I observed to you, that our Lord Jesus Christ is the Saviour of Believers, in such a Way, and in such Respects, as he is not the Saviour of others; and there­fore that all Men are not equally and alike redeemed by him: to prove which, I alledg'd that Text, 1 Tim. iv. 10. Who is the Saviour of all Men, especially of those that believe.—To which you say nothing, but that ‘God who is a bountiful Benefactor to Mankind, will take a peculiar Care of those that trust in him.’—But what this is to the present Purpose, I know not. It yet remains certain from the Text, that Christ does make (and therefore that he undertook to make) a special Application of his Redemption to some; and does in an especial Manner save some Souls, in Distinction from others. Which was the Thing to be proved.

I observ'd to you, that there is a Number given to Christ by the Father, who shall eventually come to him, and actually obtain eternal Life, which is not true of all Mankind: and took my Proof from John vi. 37. All that the Father giv [...]th me, shall come to me; and him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out; and from John xvii. 2. Thou hast given him Power over all Flesh, that he should give eternal Life to as many as thou hast given him. And to the same Purpose, Chap. vi. 39. Chap. x. 28, 29. To which you have said nothing at all, that I can find.

I have proved to you, that our blessed Lord thanked his heavenly Father, for hiding these Things (the Benefits of his Redemption) from the wise and prudent, and revealing them unto Babes; because it so seem­ed good in his Sight. Matth. xi. 25, 26.—The Sum of your Answer to which is a vehement Exclamation against me, for citing the Words of our blessed LORD; as I have before consider'd. But you should have remembred, that tragical Outcries and Accusations are not Ar­guments; nor has it a very favourable Aspect upon the Cause you would defend, that you are forced [...]o substitute these for Arguments.—It is Fact (exclaim still as much as you please) that our blessed Lord did thank his heavenly Father on this Account, because he had hid these Things from some, and revealed them to others: It is therefore cer­tainly Fact, that his heavenly Father did hide these Things from the Wise and Prudent, while he reveal'd them unto Babes; and that he did do this in a Way of Sovereignty, because it so seemed good in his Sight: That consequently he did not, in so doing, defeat the Design of Christ's Redemption: and therefore it is necessarily true, that our blessed Lord did not undertake to procure for all in common an [Page 58] equal Application of Redemption. Which is the Thing to be proved.

I have proved to you, that our blessed Saviour has by his Redemp­tion purchased Faith, and the actual Communication of all sanctifying Grace, for every one who shall be eternally saved; but that he has not purchased, nor does he apply all sanctifying Grace to all Men in­differently; from Joh. xvii. 16, 17, 19. ‘They are not of the World, even as I am not of the World. Sanctify them through thy Truth, thy Word is Truth.—And for their sakes I sanctify my self, that they also might be sanctified through the Truth.’ So likewise from Isa. liii. 10. Rom. ix. 23. Eph. v. 25, 26.—To which might be added, Joh. xv. 16. ‘I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth Fruit.’ 2 Tim. i. 9. ‘Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy Calling, not according to our Works, but according to his own Purpose and Grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the World began.’ From which Texts, and many others that might be cited to the same Purpose, it is most evident, that [...] Christ has by his Redemption procured for some, that they should sanctified and bring forth Fruit, so as he has not procured the same for all the World: And that this holy Calling and Grace which is given to such, is not according to their Works, but according to God's Purpose. It is what was given them in Christ Jesus before the World began.—And does it not then unavoidably follow, that Christ has not undertaken to procure an Application of his Redemption to all, equally and alike. Which was [...]e Thing to be proved.—But to this Reasoning I don't find you have made any Reply.

I have also shewn you, it is an undisputed Fact, that our blessed Saviour does not dispense external Privileges to all alike. Some are favoured with Gospel-Privileges and the Means of Grace and Life, while others (and they the greatest Part of the World too) sit in Dark­ness and see no Light, but are without any Knowledge of a Saviour, or even of a Possibility of Salvation. And how shall these believe in him, of whom they have not heard? Rom. x. 14.—Did the Lord Jesus Christ design for these the Application of his Redemption, in the same Extent, and in the same Manner, as to true Believers under the Gos­pel?—If so, Then ‘what Advantage hath the Christian; and what Profit have we from the Oracles of God?’—But if not, then it follows, that Christ hath not designed the Application of his Redemp­tion to all alike!—Your Reply to this does not at all affect the Case. For were it as you say, ‘That the Heathen are not left under a Ne­cessity of being eternally miserable,’ (p. 38.) still you your self acknowledge, that Christians are separated from, and preferred be­fore [Page 59] the Rest of Mankind, to enjoy the unsearchable Riches of God's Grace by Jesus Christ.’ (Serm. p. 13.) And as you describe the Case of the Pagan World, ‘they are left destitute of the Know­ledge of the true God, and are worshipping Devils; being by these filthy Daemons led into all abominable Vices.’ (Ibid. p. 9.)—If there­fore it be suppos'd possible, that some of these (we know not how) may obtain Salvation, yet are not Christians put under better Advan­tages, and more hopeful Circumstances for the Application of Salvation than the Heathen; and accordingly in all Probability will not more of them actually obtain eternal Life? If so, then does it not appear in Fact from the present Dispensations of Providence, that Christ did not design the Application of his Redemption for all alike?—And is there any Reasoning against the most obvious and known Facts? Can there be any Consequences allowed, or supposed to carry the least Force of Argument, against what we all know to be Fact, certainly and undoubtedly true, even as we know the Reality of our own Existence?

Thus, Sir, I think, I have fully proved, that Christ intended and undertook to procure a sufficient Redemption, and to make a special Application of that Redemption to a select Number of Mankind: But that he did not undertake or intend, in the same Manner, to re­veal and apply his saving Benefits to all the World without Distinction.—These Things have been evidenced by a Variety of Scripture-Argu­ments, as well as from the present undisputed Dispensations of Provi­dence: And I have particularly obviated your several Objections against my Reasonings to the same Purpose formerly offered.

What now remains under this Head, is just to take a cursory View of that tragical Exclamation of yours (P. 37.) ‘What are you come to! Much Disputing has turned your Brains; and you know not what you are doing. For you have now asserted universal Salvation, and that every Man that ever lives on Earth, shall go to Heaven, as much as Tongue can express any Thing.’—Why, Sir, what's the Matter now? What's the Occasion of this Outcry? Where have I asserted any Thing like what you charge me with? Why, all that has thus heated your Imagination, is no more than this: I allow, that the Scriptures do assert, that Christ has died for all Men, in such a Sense, that every Individual of the human Race may, by Virtue of the Ran­som paid by him, obtain eternal Life, upon their truly believing in him.—But then I also proved, that the Scriptures do in Fact assert the Application of this Redemption to all the World, in the same indefinite Manner of Expression, and in the same universal Ter [...], as they assert the Impetration of it.—That God was reconciling the World to himself [...] (2 Cor. v. 19.) That he has made Peace—to reconcile all Things to [Page 60] himself (Col. i. 20.) That he giveth Life unto the World (1 Joh. vi. 33.) That the free Gift came upon all Men to Justification of Life. (Rom. v. 18.) That the Lamb of God taketh away the Sin of the World (Joh. i. 29.) And that Christ will draw all Men unto him. (Joh. xii. 32.) And thence I inferred, that since these and such like Texts of Scripture must have a limited Construction, notwithstanding their universal Language, it belongs to you to give a Reason, why the Texts cited by you (on the Head of Impetration) are not to be un­derstood with the same Limitations.—And what Reason have you given? Do you think, when you have nothing else to answer, that such vehement Exclamations as you have made, will always serve the Turn, and alarm your Readers Passions, to the utter Loss of all their intellectual Powers?—You indeed tell me, that "these Texts only prove universal Redemption." But why you say so, you either could not, or would not give any Account: And a bare reading the Texts is enough to answer this Insinuation.

Upon the whole then, by comparing those Texts of Scripture, which speak of Christ's dying for all, his tasting Death for every Man; and his being the Propitiation for the Sins of the whole World, with those Texts of Scripture, which speak of ‘God's reconciling the World to himself by Jesus Christ, and not imputing their Trespasses, of reconciling all Things to himself, of Christ's giving Life unto the World, of his giving unto all Men Justification of Life, taking away the Sins of the World, and drawing all Men to him,’ and the like; it plainly appears, that Christ died for ALL, just in the same Sense, and in the same Extent, that he actually saves ALL.—He died, that all the World, whether Jews or Gentiles, who are willing to re­ceive him, should partake of the Benefits of his Redemption: And he actually saves all such.—He died, that whosoever believes in him, might not perish: and none such do perish, but actually have everlasting Life—He died, that he might make a free, sincere, and universal Pro­mise of his Salvation to all that will accept it: And he actually saves all, who embrace the Promise.—He died to procure the most easy and honourable Terms of Salvation for every Man: These Terms he has actually in the Gospel proposed to every Man: These Terms so freely and universally proposed, are stiled in Scripture the great Sal­vation: Every one who complies with the Gospel-Call, is actually and eternally saved:—And if any perish from under the Gospel, it is because they have neglected so great Salvation, and wilfully indulg'd Unbelief and Impenitence.

And now I'm prepared to consider the second Subject of De­bate; and to take some brief Notice of your Reasoning upon the great and important Doctrine—

[Page 61]


The Question between us upon this Subject is, whether ‘the dis­tinguishing Mercy of being translated out of the Kingdom of Satan into the Kingdom of Christ, and enjoying the Privileges of the Gos­pel, is that Election, which so often occurs in the New-Testament?—So that according to the Language of the Holy Scripture, every one of us Christians belong to the Election of God's free Grace: Yet notwithstanding, we shall perish, if we don't walk worthy of God's electing Love. (Serm. P. 12, 14.)—And there are two Things here to be considered. The first is, ‘Whether enjoying the Privi­leges of the Gospel is all the Election of Grace, which so often occurs in the New-Testament.’—The second is, ‘Whether those who belong to the Election of God's free Grace, may walk unworthy of God's electing Love, and perish.—By disproving the former, I shall also disprove the latter, and shew, that God's Counsel is eternal and immutable, and that the Vessels of Mercy are also the Heirs of Glory.

Let us then consider, whether the enjoying the Privileges of the Gospel is all the Election of Grace, which so often occurs in the New-Testament.

You loudly complain of me, as saying, "The Reasons why you thus understood the Doctrine of Election, you see fit to keep all to yourself; and tell me, ‘It's an Idiom, that is peculiar to Mr. Dickinson, who has the Prerogative to affirm and deny at Pleasure, without any Re­gard to Matter of Fact. (Reply, P. 39.)—But it's proper here to consider, who has had the least Regard to Matter of Fact.—For what I said was, that the Reasons why you thus understood the Doc­trine of Election, you see fit to keep to your self, UNLESS the men­tioning some Texts of Scripture, without any proper Illustration or Evi­dence of their Pertinency to your Purpose, was esteemed by you sufficient Evidence to prove the Point. Why then did you represent me as saying absolutely, that "you kept all the Reasons to your self?" (ibid.) Why did you not take Notice of the Exception or Restriction, with which I used those Words?—Why did you leave out all those Expres­sions, by which my Meaning was represented; and which being re­stored, the Words complain'd of convey only undoubted Truth and Fact? Why did you o [...]it them, but that you might with some Co­lour, though without any Foundation at all, take Occasion to represent me as a Man of no Truth and Sincerity? Indeed, Sir, these are not the most desirable Methods of searching after Truth: Nor becoming a Writer, who professes to ‘use no Deceit in this Affair, nor to use the [Page 62] least Violence with my Expressions.’ (P. 32, 60.)—But to return to the Subject under Consideration.

It does not at all affect the Merits of the Cause, to enquire into the ‘different Senses, in which the Words Elect and Chosen, Election and Choice, to elect and chuse, are used in the holy Bible.’ And there­fore though there are many Things in your Discourse upon this Sub­ject, which are manifestly wrong, and sundry Texts of Scripture cited by you, which will by no Means bear the Interpretation you give of them, but are evidently against your Scheme: Yet I would not tire my Reader with unnecessary Digressions from the Subject in Debate. I must therefore, to avoid Prolixity, overlook your Argumentations from some of these Texts; and consider those only which will serve fully and effectually to determine the Case.

I begin with ROM. viii. 29, 30. ‘Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the Image of his Son.—More­over whom he did predestinate, them he also called; and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified.’—Certain it is, that all professed Christians are not conformed to the Image of God's Son, are not ef­fectually called and justified, have not Glorification begun in them here, nor will be finally and eternally glorified hereafter. And yet it is equally certain from the Text, that all this is done for every one who (in the Sense of the Apostle) is predestinated, according to the Foreknowledge of God. Whence it follows, with utmost Certainty, that enjoying the Privileges of the Gospel is not the Election of Grace, here spoken of. Which is the Thing to be proved.

Your Descant upon this Text is, that ‘Those whom God fore­knew, are such whom he foresaw would be Christ's faithful Fol­lowers; and these he predestinated to be conformed to the Image of God's Son, that is, to be like Christ in Suffering. For it is of suffer­ing Persecution, he is here speaking.’—To which I answer, If this be the Meaning, then it cannot be the Meaning of this Text, that en­joying the Privileges of the Gospel is the Election of Grace, or the Predestination, that so often occurs in the New-Testament: which is what you should have proved. This Paraphrase therefore is wholly inconsistent with your Scheme, and plainly refutes what you should have established.—But how does it appear, that the Apostle is here speak­ing of Persecution? Is there any Thing at all spoken about Persecution, in all the f [...]egoing Context? Or have you given any Manner of Rea­son but your bare Word, why it should be thus understood? None at all! But on the contrary, there is this unanswerable Reason why Per­secution cannot be here intended, because Persecution is not the Image of God's Son. For Men may give their Bodies to be burned, and yet [Page 63] want Charity, or Love, which is the Image of God's Son; and so their Persecution may profit them nothing. 1 Cor. xiii. 3.—To which this further Evidence may be added, that all whom God foreknew and calls and justifies and glorifies, do not suffer Persecution; and yet all such are conformed to the Image God's Son. It is therefore necessarily true, that all whom God did foreknow, do put on the new Man, which is after the Image of him that created them.

You tell us, that ‘All whom God foreknew; he foresaw would be Christ's faithful Followers.’—If so, then all professing Christians do not belong to the Election of Grace; for all professing Christians are not Christ's faithful Followers. And therefore according to your own Interpretation, this Text utterly subverts your Scheme; and refutes what you should have proved.

You likewise say, that Predestination is founded upon God's Fore­knowledge. (Ibid.) By which I suppose you mean, that God's Foreknowledge is, in Order of Nature, prior to the Counsel of his Will concerning the Event. But the Text says nothing like this. It teaches us no more, than that his Foreknowledge and Counsel are of the same Extent. The Doctrine is wholly your own, without any scriptural Foundation. And I would therefore inquire of you, whether you suppose, that God foreknew any Thing before it was future; and if not, what it was, besides the Counsel and Will of God, that eternally made any Thing future; and thereby made it an Object of the Divine Knowledge.—It is impossible for you to think of any Thing else, that could eternally give Futurition to any Being, natural or moral, but either the Counsel of God's Will, or an eternal necessary Fate, independent of God himself. I think, you won't assume the latter; and therefore you must allow the former; and allow, that the Apostle represents this Matter right, when he tells us, that ‘we are predestinated according to the Purpose of him, who worketh all Things after the Counsel of his own Will.’ But I need not insist upon this, since I shall have further Occasion to consider it, and since it does not affect the main Debate between us.—Be this how it will, all whom God has predestinated, are called, justified, and glorified. There is an inseparable Connection between Predestination and eternal Glory; and therefore, Enjoying the Privileges of the Gospel cannot be the Election of Grace spoken of in the new Testament; unless there be also an inseparable Connection between Enjoying the Priviledges of the Gospel, and eternal Glory.

I proceed to consider EPH. 1. 4, 5. ‘According as he hath chosen us in him, before the Foundation of the World, that we should be holy and without Blame before him in Love; having predestinated us unto the Adoption of Children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to [Page 64] the good Pleasure of his Will.’—It is evident, that this (as I ob­served before) cannot refer to all professing Christians; because those spoken of here, are ‘chosen that they might be holy and without Blame before him in Love,’ they are ‘predestinated to the Adoption of Children:’ and they are "made accepted in the Beloved" (Ver. 6.) They have ‘the Forgiveness of Sins, according to the Riches of his Grace’ (Ver. 7.) ‘In the Fulness of Times, these Elect will all be gathered together in one, whether they are in Heaven or in Earth, even in Christ’ (Ver. 10.) ‘In whom they have obtained an Inheritance.’ (Ver. 11.) And they are here in this World all "blessed with all spiritual Blessings in heavenly Things, in Christ." (Ver. 3.)—Speak out therefore, Sir, Is this indeed the Case of all professed Christians? Do all professing Christians enjoy all Supplies of Grace, Forgiveness of Sins, and Acceptance with God here, and Glory hereafter, as is here by the Apostle predicated of all the Elect?—If not, all professing Christians are not the Election of Grace, here spoken of. Which is the Thing to be proved.

I shall next consider 1 PET. i. 1, 2. Peter an Apostle of Jesus Christ, to the Strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, and Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the Fore­knowledge of God, through Sanctification of the Spirit unto Obe­dience, and Sprinkling of the Blood of Christ.’—It is remarkable, that these were elected through Sanctification of the Spirit unto Obe­dience and Sprinkling of the Blood of Jesus Christ. And have all professing Christians in general the Sanctification of the Spirit unto Obedi­ence? Or are they all sprinkled with the Blood of Christ?—To this you answer Yes, without all Doubt, all Christians in general have the Spirit to sanctify them, unless they have quenched the Spirit; and received the Grace of God in vain.’ (P. 15.)—Well! were this granted you, it must also be observed, that these Elect ‘are begotten again to a lively Hope, by the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the Dead.’ (ver. 3.) These ‘are begotten to an Inheritance incor­ruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in Hea­ven for them. (ver. 4.) These are kept by the Power of God, through Faith unto Salvation, ready to be revealed in the last Times. (v. 5.) These love the Lord Jesus Christ, whom they have not seen; and believing, rejoice with Joy unspeakable and full of Glory. (ver. 8.) These are receiving the End of their Faith, the Salvation of their Souls.’ (ver. 9.) Now what say you? Are all these Things also applicable to all professing Christians in general? Are they all begotten to a lively Hope? Are they all begotten to an Inheritance in Heaven? Are they all kept by the Power of God to eternal Salvation? Do they all love the Lord Jesus Christ? Do they [Page 65] all believe in him, and rejoice with Joy unspeakable and full of Glo­ry? Are they all receiving the End of their Faith, the Salvation of their Souls?—This is what you cannot pretend to.—It is evident then, that the Word Elect here could not be applied to Infidels, as you sug­gest. It is certain from the Context (as you have now seen) that it was applied to none but those, whom the Apostle consider'd as being Heirs of Salvation with eternal Glory. And since all professing Chri­stians are not such, it is certain, they do not all belong to the Election of Grace. Which was the Thing to be proved.

I proceed to take Notice of 2 THESS. ii. 13, 14. ‘God hath from the Beginning chosen you to Salvation, through Sanctification of the Spirit; and Belief of the Truth; whereunto he called you by our Gospel, to the obtaining of the Glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.’—The Elect here spoken of, were chosen to Salvation. They were cho­sen to be brought to this Salvation, through Sanctification of the Spirit and Belief of the Truth, as the Means preparatory that glorious End. They were already called by the Gospel, to an actual obtaining (or into an Acquisition, according to the Notation of the original Words) of the Glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.—Now then, unless all professing Chri­stians are chosen unto eternal Salvation; unless they all have the Sanc­tification of the Spirit, and the Belief of the Truth; unless they are all called by the Gospel, to an actual Obtaining the Glory of the Lord Jesus Christ; and are changed from Glory to Glory (as it's expressed in 2Cor. iii. 18.) all professing Christians cannot be the Election of Grace here spoken of. Which was the Thing to be proved.

I might here enumerate many other Texts of Scripture to the same Purpose; but these already review'd are sufficient to determine the Point, beyond all reasonable Debate.—I therefore proceed to con­sider your Objections against some of my Reasonings in Proof of per­sonal Election.

I observed in my Vindication, that the divine Omniscience must cer­tainly have all Futurities in View at once.—Impossible it is, that God should know all Events with respect to rational Agents, if they were not future, or certainly to be; and equally impossible, that they could be future, or foreknown by God as Futurities, if not according to the Counsel of his Will.—Hence it necessarily follows, that the eternal State of each single Person, with all the Means conducing to it, is what God's Counsel had determined before.—And is not this necessarily true? Is not this a Truth plainly taught in the Scriptures? Are we not ‘pre­destinated according to the Purpose of him, who worketh ALL THINGS after the Counsel of his own Will?’ (Eph. i. 11.) Are not all Events, moral as well as natural, and even sinful Actions them­selves, represented in Scripture as the Object of the divine Counsel? [Page 66] Was not the glorious Son of God himself delivered by the determinate Counsel and Foreknowledge of God, to be taken, and with wicked Hands crucified and slain? (Acts ii. 23.) Was not that most execrable Mur­der what God's Hand and Counsel had determined before to be done? (Acts iv. 28.)—Is there then any Room for those vehement and hi­deous Exclamations made by you, for my using the very Words of the Apostles, in this last quoted Text, with Reference to the future State of Mankind?—Was the most atrocious Wickedness, that ever was committed, what God's Hand and Counsel had determined before? And mayn't the same be said of other Events likewise?

You reply to this, ‘What God did before by his Counsel deter­mine, he wills and was pleased with; otherwise he would not have appointed it. So that according to you, God wills and chuses all the Wickedness committed by Men and Devils. And you make him the necessitating Cause or Author of it. For you say, it could not be future, if not according to the Counsel of his Will. (P. 49.) These Things require some distinct Consideration.

First then, is it true, that ‘what God did before by his Counsel de­termine, he wills and was pleased with?’ It will then follow, that he will'd and was pleased with what Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles did to our blessed LORD, when with wicked Hands they cruci­fied and slew him: For this is what God did by his Counsel determine before to be done. (Acts iv. 28.)—Now, Sir, answer this consistently if you can.

Again, do "I make GOD the necessitating Cause or Author of all the Wickedness committed by Men or Devils?" Then the Apostles too did so, in the forecited Expressions. For the Expressions of mine, which you contend with, are their own Words, cited from them in the very Terms.—It concerns you therefore to cool a little; and to consi­der against whom you are drawing all these dreadful Consequences, and making your hideous Outcries.

But let us something consider the Case, and see whether these Con­sequences you draw, will any Way follow, from the Doctrine before us.—May not the glorious God determine an Event, without decre [...] ­ing the Sin, that mingles with and adheres to it? May not his Coun­sel determine to permit Sin, and to over-rule it to his own Glory, with­out being the necessitating Cause and Author of it? And don't the Scriptures very often represent this to be the Case in Fact, whatever Objections you are pleased to make against it? Was not this actually the Case, in the Instance but now assigned?—It is certain, that God by his Hand and Counsel did determine the most execrable Crucifixion of his own inca [...]ate Son; and yet it is certain, that Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, did with wicked Hands crucify and slay him.[Page 67] It is certain, that the Son of Man went (to be betrayed by Judas,&c.) as was determined; and yet it is also certain, that he pronounced a Wo against that Man by whom he was betrayed, (Luk. xxii. 22.) and it had been good for that Man, that he had never been born.—It is certain, that there are such as stumble at the Word, being disobedient, whereunto also they were appointed. (1 Pet. ii. 8.) And yet it is also certain (the divine Appointment notwithstanding) that their Stumbling and Disobedience was wholly their own Fault.—From all which Texts, and many more of the like Kind, it appears, that God in his Counsel determined the Event; and consequently determined to per­mit the Sin, which accompanied the Means conducing to it: But this no Ways makes him the necessitating Cause or Author of Sin. God's Decree to permit, and to over-rule to his own Glory, the sinful Acti­ons of Men, is wholly unknown to the Sinner, and has no Sort of ef­ficacious Influence upon his Conduct; but leaves him at as much Li­berty in all his Actions, as if there had been no Decree at all, and therefore cannot be the necessitating Cause of his Sins, which are free­ly and voluntarily committed.—Your Consequence therefore cannot follow from the Doctrine under Consideration, until you can prove, that if there be personal and unconditional Decrees, they must have a compulsive Energy upon the Creature, influencing his Conduct, and so necessitating the Event; which, I am sure, you can never prove.

You subjoin, ‘God cannot foreknow the Actions of Men and An­gels, unless they are according to the Counsel of his own Will. Pre­sumptuous Man! How do you know this to be the Case?’ (P. 49.) To which I answer,

How am I more presumptuous, in saying this, than you, in saying on the contrary, that ‘it is plain, that Predestination is founded upon God's Foreknowledge? (P. 47.) For is not this as much as to say, that God cannot predestinate but after his Foreknowledge? Have I not then as much Reason to challenge you with the same Warmth, and demand of you, whether ‘you will measure the infinite Mind by your shallow Capacities?’—But more directly to answer your Question, I'll tell you how I know this.

I know it (first) by the Word of God, which teaches me (as I be­fore observed) that we are predestinated according to the Purpose of him, who worketh all Things after the Counsel of his own Will. (Eph. i. 11.) From whence it follows, that if we are predestinated according to the Purpose of God, then it was the Purpose of God, that gave Futurity to all Events, which we are predestinated to. And if God worketh all Things after the Counsel of his own Will, then it was the Counsel of his own Will, which gave Futurity to all Things and made them the Objects of his Knowledge.—Moreover, if we are predestinated [Page 68] according to the Purpose of God, and after the Counsel of his own Will, then God's Foreknowledge is according to [...] Purpose, and after the Counsel of his own Will. Which was the Thing to be proved.—I think, you won't pretend in this Case to separate God's Foreknow­ledge from his Predestination; and therefore you must own, this Text fully comes up to the Design of my Argument.

And I know this (secondly) from the glorious Perfections of God, and from the Nature of Things.—I know, that God is an infinitely perfect Being; and consequently there cannot be any Succession of Powers or Faculties, or any Change of Mind in him, but he is eter­nally of one Mind; and hence there could be no Foreknowledge of Futurities previous to the Counsel of his Will. For the Counsel of his Will was eternal; and there could be nothing prior to Eternity. His Foreknowledge therefore must be according to the Counsel of his Will, as well as the Counsel of his Will according to his Foreknowledge. Neither of these could be prior, or posterior, in an infinite Mind.—I know this also from the Nature of Things. God's Knowledge is in­finite, and therefore always perfectly right, and agreeable to Truth: He could not therefore eternally foreknow Things to be future, that were not eternally so.—Now there are but two Ways, in which it is possible, that any Thing should be from Eternity future (as I observed before) The one is the Counsel of God, the other is a fatal Necessity, independent of God. Be pleased therefore, Sir, [...]ther to assign some third Way, in which it is possible, that any Thing should be future from Eternity, and so the Object of God's eternal Foreknowledge; or else assume which of these you please. If you assume the former, you grant what I plead for [...] If the latter, you know "what Com­pany you keep."—Indeed, Sir, I know no Way to steer clear of Fatalism, but to acknowledge, according to Scripture, that Predes­tination (and so the Foreknowledge of God) is according to his Purpose, and after the Counsel of his own Will.

I am aware, that if we give our selves Leave curiously to pry into the Mystery of the divine Counsel, there may inscrutable Difficulties a­rise in our Minds. But does it not become a humble and modest Christian, to submit his Judgment to the holy Scriptures, and to adore the Depth of the Riches, both of the Wisdom and Knowledge of God, since his Judgments are unsearchable, and his Ways past finding out; rather than to dispute against God, and reject what he has revealed of him­self, only because we can't fully understand it?—Besides, you must be very unstudy'd in this Controversy, or very sanguine, if you sup­pose the Difficulties are all or chiefly on my Side of the Question: The Case is indeed quite the Reverse.—There are certailny Difficul­ties enough on either Side, to teach us both, that we ca [...]not by search­ing [Page 69] find out God, we cannot find out the Almighty to Perfection.—And now I am ready to consider what you have to say upon the Doctrine


I have before observed, that you give us no Account of any determi­nate Ideas or settled Sentiments you have of Original Sin: Though, in Terms strong enough, you discover your Aversion to that Doctrine, as generally received by the Protestant Churches; and in particular too, evidently reject with Abhorrence the Imputation of the Guilt of Adam's Transgression to his Posterity, in Consequence of God's Covenant with Adam, which you pronounce ‘a Cob-Web spun out of my own Brains, having no more Truth in it than the Alcoran of Mahomet, or the Legends of Rome. (P. 24.) All therefore that seems to be now be­fore me, is briefly to explain and prove the Doctrine of Original Sin, as taught in the Scriptures, confessed in all the publick Formula's of the Protestant Churches, and confirm'd by Experience.

It has been universally received by the Protestant Churches, that Adam was appointed by God, in the great Instance of his Probation, to stand or fall for his Posterity, as well as for himself: That had he stood, they had stood in him: But he having fallen, they have fallen in him, and his Guilt and Corruption descend to all his natural Posterity.—There's a Harmony of their Confessions on this Head: as, I think, might be easily made appear. Nor is there one Exception that I know of.

I have shewn in my Vindication, that we have no less Certainty from constant and universal Experience, that we are fallen Creatures, than we have of our own Existence. No Man can impartially reflect on himself, and not find the dreadful Defection of his whole Nature, his Understanding naturally dark, his Affections irregular, his Appetites and Passions exorbitant, his Will perverse, his Conscience defiled; his whole Soul running out after the Creature, more than the Creator; and dreadfully distant from a Conformity to and Delight in the glo­rious Perfections of God.—No Man can look abroad and view the World about him, but he must behold the whole in a degenerate State. He must see, that Wickedness covers the Face of the Earth; and that the natural Disposition of Mankind in common, from Generation to Generation, is evil, only evil, and that continually.—Now, whence did this flow? It is certain, from the divine Perfections, that Man could not come thus polluted out of the Hands of God, at his first Creation: nor could the blessed God be the Author and Spring of this Pollution of human Nature; and therefore, there must be some other Source of our Depravity.—I have often reflected upon this, as one of the [Page 70] most sensible Evidences of the Truth and divine Original of the Scrip­tures. We feel our apostate Condition to be as the Scriptures repre­sent it. We feel our spiritual Impotence, and Inability to recover our selves out of this deplorable State; and hence, we feel our Necessity of that Way of Salvation, which the Gospel reveals:—I have also pro­ved from plain and express Texts of Scripture, the Truth of what we all experience in ourselves; and have obviated your Objections against the Doctrine.—And what Answer have you given to all this? You say, "To which I need return no other Reply, than in the Words of St. Paul, Neither give Heed to Fables." (p. 24.)—A short Answer truly! But are not our own Experiences in this Case, just now represented, such Re­alities as can't be disputed? And is not the Doctrine fully and plainly confirmed in Scripture? How then are these Things Fabulous? Horrid Perversion of the Apostle's wise Caveat, to apply it thus to a Doctrine even of his own teaching, and which is included in his immediately foregoing Words, Charge some that they teach no other Doctrine! (1 Tim. i [...] 3, 4.)

It is clearly and abundantly revealed in Scripture, that we are natu­rally in a State of Sin and Guilt. What can be plainer than such Texts as these? ‘Behold, I was shapen in Iniquity, and in Sin did my Mother conceive me. Psal. li. 5.—There is not a just Man upon Earth, that doeth Good, and sinneth not. Eccl. vii. 30.—We have before proved, both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under Sin. There is none righteous [...] no, not one. Rom. iii. 9, 10.—For all have sinned, and come short of the Glory of God. Rom. iii. 23.—The carnal Mind is Enmity against God: For it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be. Rom. viii. 7. And were by Nature Children of Wrath, even as others. Eph. ii. 3.—Then were all dead.’ 2 Cor. v. 14.—With many other Texts to the like Purpose.

It is also clearly revealed in Scripture, that this Sin and Guilt, this Defection and Corruption of our Nature, first befel Adam, and derived from him to us. ‘For since by Man came Death.—For as in Adam all die. 1 Cor. [...]v [...] 21, 22.—Wherefore as by one Man Sin entred into the World, and Death by Sin; and so Death passed upon all Men, for that all have sinned. Rom. v. 12.—If thro' the Offence of one many be dead. ver. 15.—For the Judgment was by one to Condemnation. (ver. 16.)—By one Man's Offence, Death reigned by one. (ver. 17.)—Therefore as by the Offence of one, Judgment came upon all Men to Condemnation. (ver. 18.)—By one Man's Disobedience, many were made Sinners. (ver. 19.)—And Sin hath reigned unto Death.’ (ver. [...].)—Nothing can be more plainly ex­pressed by human Words, than that we all died in Adam, for that all have [Page 71] sinned; that by his Offence, Judgment is come upon all to Condemna­tion; and by his Disobedience we are become Sinners, so that Sin hath reigned unto Death.—And is not this sufficient Scripture-Evidence of the Imputation of Adam's Sin to his whole natural Progeny? If not, I despair of ever seeing any Thing made evident. And there­fore, whether we can see into the Reasons of the divine Conduct, or not, we should humbly submit to the divine Testimony; acknowledg­ing, that the Judge of all the Earth cannot but do right.—Indeed, Sir, if you own Mankind born in a morally polluted depraved and misera­ble Condition, I cannot see how you will be able to clear up the Justice of God in this, without supposing it brought upon them by Adam's Fall, and supposing them under an Obligation to Punishment in Con­sequence of his Sin; and how you can account for this, but by suppo­sing a Covenant made with Adam, including his Posterity, I am equally at a Loss.

As for your several Queries under this Head, I deem them, at best, but impertinent to the great Question in Debate between us; that it would be a Mispence of my own and my Reader's Time, to answer them. The Doctrine of Original Sin, as opposed by you, and as de­fended by me, is, I think, by what has been said, sufficiently confirm­ed: And it is your Business distinctly to examine, and if you can, to refute this Evidence; not to evade it by captious Queries, or turn aside to vain Jangling.—I now proceed to consider, what you have to say for your Doctrine

Of the SUFFICIENCY of COMMON Grace to Salvation.

The Question here between you and me, is this: Whether God has universally and indifferently given to all Men Grace sufficient for their eternal Salvation; or whether we can obtain eternal Life, by Vir­tue of our Improvement of those Aids of Divine Grace, which are given to Mankind in general, at least under the Gospel, without other special and distinguishing Influences of the Spirit of God?—This you hold in the Affirmative; I in the Negative.—The Question is not about the Sufficiency of external Means under the Gospel, consider'd in their Place and Order; but about inherent Grace, or internal Help of the Spirit, whether all Men in common have what is sufficient to Salvation?

In your Reply to my Vindication, you have overlook'd the Sub­stance of my Reasoning upon this Head, and the Scriptures brought in Confirmation of it. You have only taken hold of some Fragments of my Discourse; or of some particular Passages, which you seem to have supposed, would afford you the best Occasion of a plausible Ha­rangue and Exclamation. This makes it necessary, in order to set [Page 72] the Case in a true and proper Light, that some of those Evidences brought on my Side of the Question, be recollected; and then that there be some Notice taken of your Reasonings in Favour of your own Hypothesis.

I shall first give you a brief View of some scriptural Evidences (a few, out of the Multitude that might be produced) to prove, that God has not universally and indifferently given to all Men Grace suffi­cient for their eternal Salvation, without the special and distinguishing Influences of his Holy Spirit.

If it be true, that all who are Partakers of Salvation, are made to differ from others in the Communication of Christ's special Benefits, then it is also true, that God has no [...] universally and indifferently giv­en to all Men Grace sufficient for their eternal Salvation.—This is e­vident, in that he does actually bestow upon some a peculiar and dis­tinguishing Grace, in order to their eternal Salvation; which others, who remain in an unrenewed State, have not received.—And that this is the Case in Fact, is abundantly confirmed by the Oracles of God. Thus, 1 Cor. iv. 7. ‘For who maketh thee to differ from another [...] and what hast thou, that thou did [...]t not receive?—Matth. xiii. 11.—Because it is given to you, to know the Mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven; but unto them it is not given.—So Chap. xi. 25, 26. At that Time Jesus answered, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, because thou hast hid these Things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed th [...]m unto Babes [...] Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in thy Sight.’—And, Rom. xi. 7. ‘The Election have obtained it, and the rest were blinded.’

If being brought into a State of Salvation be a New Creation, and the Display of the mighty Power of God, whereby we morally diffe [...] from what we were before, and are in all spiritual Respects New Crea­tures; it then follows, that God has not universally and indifferently given to all Men inherent Grace, sufficient for their eternal Salvation: Because all Men are not created again by God's mighty Power, nor become new Creatures in all spiritual Respects. And yet the Scrip­tures do give us abundant Evidence, that this is the Case in Fact.—Thus, Eph. ii. 10. ‘For we are his Workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good Works, which God hath foreordained that we should walk in them.—Eph. i. 18, 19, 20. The Eyes of your Understanding being enlightned, that ye may know what is the Hope of his Calling; and what the Riches of the Glory of his Inheri­tance in the Saints, and what is the exceeding Greatness of his Power to us-ward, who believe, according to the Working of his mighty Power.—Col. iii. 10. And have put on the new Man, which is re­newed [Page 73] in Knowledge, after the Image of him that created him.—2 Cor. v. 17. Therefore if any Man be in Christ, he is a new Crea­ture: Old Things are passed away; behold, all Things are become new.’ The old Faculties of human Nature remain still; but hav­ing new spiritual and moral Qualities introduc'd in Regeneration, we are said to put on the new Man, to be renewed in the Spirit of our Mind, &c.

If all Men do not discern, or receive, and understand the Things of the Spirit of God, and therefore cannot come to Christ by a saving Faith; then God has not, universally and indifferently, given Grace to all Men sufficient for their eternal Salvation. And that this is the Case in Fact, is abundantly evident from the Scripture. 1 Cor. ii. 14. ‘The natural Man receiveth not the Things of the Spirit of God: For they are Foolishness unto him; neither can he know them; be­cause they are spiritually discerned.—Joh. vi. 65. No Man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.—Phil. ii. [...]3. For it is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do, of his good Pleasure.—Joh. iii. 27. A Man can receive nothing, except it be given him from Heaven.’

If all Men are naturally in such a State of spiritual Death, and En­mity to GOD, that their carnal Minds are not subject to the Law of God, nor can be; so that they cannot please God, before they are di­vinely quickened; then God has not given to all Men, universally and indifferently, Grace sufficient for their eternal Salvation: Unless God's Enemies, who are dead in Sins, who are not and cannot be sub­ject to his Law, and cannot please him, are qualified for eternal Salva­tion.—And that this is the Case in Fact, with Respect to all Men in a natural and carnal State, is confirmed by a Variety of Scriptures.—Thus, Rom. viii. 7, 8. ‘Because the carnal Mind is Enmity against God. For it is not subject to the Law of God; nor indeed can be. So then, they that are in the Flesh, cannot please God.—Rom. iii. 9, 10, 20. For we have before proved, both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under Sin. There is none righteous; no, not one. There is none that understandeth, There is none that seek­eth after God.—For all have sinned, and come short of the Glory of God.—Eph. ii. 1, 5. You hath he quickned, who were dead in Trespasses and Sins.—Even when we were dead in Sins, hath quickned us.’

Once more, If all who are in a State of Grace, and have Grace suf­ficient for them, do persevere in Faith and Holiness, and are finally ac­tual Partakers of eternal Salvation; then God does not universally and indifferently give to Mankind Grace Sufficient for their eternal Salvation: Unless every one will, universally and indifferently, [Page 74] be in the End eternally saved.—And that that is the Case with every true Saint, is repeatedly, in the strongest and plainest Terms, asserted in the Word of God.—Thus, Rom. viii. 30. ‘Whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified.—1 Pet. i. 5. Who are kept by the Power of God, thro' Faith unto Salvation.—Joh. vi. 37, 40. Him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.—And this is the Will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son and believeth on him, may have everlasting Life; and I will raise him up at the last Day.—Joh. x. 27, 28. And my Sheep hear my Voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give unto them eternal Life, and they shall never perish; neither shall any pluck them out of my Hand.—Rom. xi. 26. For the Gifts and Calling of God are without Repentance.’

From these Scriptures then it is most evident and certain, that God does not give to every one, universally and indifferently, Grace suf­ficient for their eternal Salvation; Unless he makes some to differ from others in the Communications of his Grace, without making any Dif­ference at all between them: Unless all Men, universally and indif­ferently, are created anew in Christ Jesus, and are by the mighty Power of God, made new Creatures in all spiritual Respects: Unless natural Men are both Darkness and Light, do understand and do not understand the Things of the Spirit, can come to Christ and cannot come to him, at the same Time: Unless God's Enemies, who are not and cannot be subject to his Law, and cannot please God, who are under Sin, dead in Trespasses and Sins, and do not seek after God, are nevertheless qualified for eternal Salvation: And unless all Men, univer­sally and without Difference, are in the End, eternally saved.—The Truth in this Case is revealed in such full, strong, and intelligible Ex­pressions, and in such a Multiplicity of Texts thro' [...] the sacred Oracles, that it certainly becomes us, to bow our Reason to the Testimony of God, subscribe to the divine Veracity, and fall down at the Foot of Divine Sovereignty, without Murmuring or Disputing.

To this I may add, as an accessory Evidence, the Experience of those, who have felt the Power of the divine Life, and have duely ob­served the Methods of the divine Operations upon their own Souls.—These by Reflection may remember, how impotent were their Resolu­tions and Purposes of Reformation and of a new Life; how [...]light and transient their Impressions under the Means of Grace; how dark and corrupt their Notions of spiritual Things; how obstinate their Wills; how impetuous their Lusts; and how utterly uncapable they were to come to Christ, as Sinners, poor, and wretched, and blind, and naked, and from a View of infinite Fulness in him, to trust all their eternal [Page 75] Interests in his Hands alone.—Such may also remember what a mighty Difference they have found in these Respects, since they had their Understanding opened to behold as in a Glass the Glory of the Lord; and were thereby c [...]anged into the same Image. They have since seen divine Things in such a new and spiritual Light, as they never saw them before. They have since experienced new Affections and Dis­positions, new Desires and Delights, new Faith and Hope, new Love to God and Man, and indeed all Things new. And tho' they yet struggle with many Imperfections, with much Deadness and Formali­ty at some special Seasons, which by all their Endeavours they can­not remedy, this is but a further Confirmation of the Truth before us; in that it [...]hews us, we depend on special Grace, as well to carry on, as to begin the divine Life in us, nor can we run the Race set be­fore us, unless the Love of Christ constrain us, and the Spirit of Christ help our Infirmities.—Thus the Experience of the Children of God, in all Ages, has answered the Scripture [...]Account of this Matter, even as Face answers to Face in a Glass.—I would hope, Sir, that you have this Witness in your self, that GOD is true: I am sure, it is infinitely necessary, that you should have it, before you die.

I proceed now to consider the Evidence which you bring in Con­firmation of your Doctrine: passing over such Protestations as that (P. 50.) I would not for ten thousand Worlds teach your Doctrine of Original Sin, and God's restraining sufficient Grace to the Elect,’ &c.—

You first cite Hos. xiii. 9. O Israel, thou hast destroyed thy self. From whence you thus argue: ‘If in the first Moment I existed, my Nature was so corrupt and sinful, that I was under a Necessity of being wicked, and God never gives me Grace sufficient to change this Nature, then I never had Opportunity to destroy my self; but was ruined and undone that very Instant, in which God formed my Spirit. So that according to your Doctrine, it was not I, but GOD who undid me; and my Destruction is not of my self, but of God.’ (P. 50.)

Sir, It would have been proper for you to have consider'd, before you had ventured upon these bold and daring Consequences, how it came to pass, that you was corrupt and sinful the first Moment that you existed. It is as true of you, as of David, I doubt not, that you was shapen in Iniquity, and in Sin did your Mother conceive you. (Psal. li. v.) But then was GOD the Efficient or Author of this Depravity and Pollution? No, Sir, verily at first God made Man upright. But he soon lost his Rec [...]itude: and fallen Adam begat Children in his own Likeness, after his Image, as a depraved Creature. (Gen. v. iii.) His very First-born was a Servant of Corruption: a lamentable Presage [Page 76] of what his Race would be by Nature.—And after all your Invectives against this Doctrine, it is awfully true, that you was a Child of Wrath by Nature even as others; under Sin, in point of Corruption and Condemnation; by a just and righteous Imputation of Adam's first Transgression, as well as by a Communication of his depraved Na­ture; for by one Man's Disobedience many were made Sinners; as before observ'd. And I must needs say, that there is more Reverence due from sinful Worms, to the glorious Majesty of Heaven and Earth, than so much as to surmise, that this original Defection and moral Depravation of human Nature, so evident from our own Experience, and so plainly taught in the Word of God, should (if supposed a Reali­ty) be owing to GOD, and not to themselves.—But alas! Vain Man would be wise, tho' Man be born like the wild Ass's Colt. How apt are poor Worms to arraign the divine Conduct, at the Tribunal of their own Reason; and to reject or explain away divine Truths, evidently revealed, because attended with some Difficulties, which they cannot fully account for!—God will nevertheless certainly vindicate his glo­rious Perfections, against all these unworthy Imputations. He will certainly let the World see, that he is justified when he speaks; and clear when he judges.—He therefore that reproveth God, let him ans­wer it.—Behold, God is greater than Man. Why dost thou strive a­gainst him? for he giveth not account of any of his Matters.

But, Sir, what do you mean by your being under a Necessity of being wicked, on the Supposition that God does not give you Grace sufficient to change this Nature?—Has not God made such a Provision for our Recovery from the Ruins of the Fall, as fills Heaven itself with eternal Admiration and Praise? Does he not make a free Tender of this Saviour and all his Benefits, to every one who are willing to receive him?—Are Gospel-Sinners under any other Necessity of being wic­ked, but their own Obstinacy in rejecting a Saviour, and resisting the gracious Motions of his Spirit? Will not therefore the final Neglect­ers of so great Salvation, be inexcusable and eternally self-condemn­ed? Won't their Consciences silence all Pleas, when they reflect upon their voluntary and obstinate Rejection of Mercy freely offered, and their wilful Choice of Darkness, rather than Light? And won't this convince them, beyond all Room for Wrangling or Cavil, that they have finally destroyed themselves?—To all which I may add, Does not God make a rich Display of his glorious free Grace, in that he is pleased to bow the Wills of some of this obstinate Race of fallen Men, to a cheerful Compliance with the Offers of the Gospel; and works in them both to will and to do of his good Pleasure, when he might justly have left them all to the eternal Fruits of their own Contumacy?—Does God owe to any of us his saving Mercy, or [Page 77] any Favour at all? If indeed we have first given to him, it shall be recompensed to us again. But if he owes us nothing, we must allow him to be sovereign in the Distribution of his own Favours:—And we have Reason to adore the Riches of his Grace, for his making a special Communication of his saving Benefits, and imparting the Knowledge of the Glory of the Lord, in the Face of Jesus Christ, to so many of the apostate Race of Mankind, whereby they have been bro't to chuse Life, and come to Christ that they might have Life.—But I almost forget I am speaking to one that denies God's determining the human Will in its Choice of Life and Salvation, and claims for Man the Prerogative of a self-determining Power in this Affair.—For you tell us (P. 32.) "Though without God's Assistance we can't come to Christ, [...]et God's Grace does not [take away the Freedom of Man's Will, or] determine his Choice." In this main turning Point then every Man, it seems, is ultimately to thank himself for his own Salvation!

You proceed to argue from EZEK. xxiv. 13. Because I have purged thee, and thou wast not purg'd, therefore thou shalt not be purged any more. ‘Which (you say) evidently implies, that God had done all that was necessary on his Part, to purge them from their Sins, and to make them pure and holy. But through their Neglect and Re­sistance, God's Grace was received in vain, and they still remained in their Sins.’ (P. 51.)—I answer, The true State of the Case referred to here, was this. God's professing People were gui [...]ty of abominable Idolatry. They were likewise guilty of horrible and un­natural Murder, as well as Idolatry in sacrificing their Children to their Idols, that their Hands were full of Blood. And all sorts of Im­piety abounded among them, that they were ripe for Ruin.—God had used various Methods with them, both by his Ordinances and Pro­vidences, in which he had been striving with them by his Spirit, to reclaim and reform them: But all proved in vain, they grew worse and worse. He now therefore determines to try them no longer: but to burn up their City in the Fire of his Jealousy.—That this is a just Representation of the Case, will appear to every one who will read the Context, including the preceeding Chapter.—Now, Sir, how does it appear from this View of the Case, that they had all of them receiv­ed Grace sufficient for their eternal Salvation? Could they not, by the Powers of Nature, and the common Influences of the Holy Spirit, have so far regarded the divine Admonitions, and the repeated Warn­ings given them, as to reform these Heaven daring Abominations, without special saving Grace?—It is certain, they might have done it, and therefore certain, that this Text is altogether impertinent to the Purpose for which you have cited it.—You indeed insinuate, that God had done enough, yea, all that was necessary on his Part, to make [...] [Page 78] pure and holy: and to have brought them to the Exercise of gracious Sincerity: But doth the Text say any Thing like it? No, Nothing at all! Nor can any such Consequence be drawn from the Text, till you can prove, that a Reformation of grosser Impieties necessarily implies the Exercise of saving Grace; Which is what I think you won't at­tempt to do: or else, that it's none of God's Part to give this.

You argue, that ‘all the common Grace in the World, according to me, will not make a Man any Thing more than an Hypocrite. (ibid.) And you insinuate, that ‘it will enable them to do no more than act the Part of Hypocrites.—To which I answer,—

Though no Attainment, short of saving Faith, or vital and true Ho­liness, will enable a Man to act from right Principles and christian Mo­tives: Yet a Man may by the Assistance of common Grace, do that which is materially good and agreeable to the Will of God. He may externally perform the Duties of Religion [...] he may attend upon all the Means of Grace; [...]go great Lengths in the Reformation of his sinful Life; and may endeavour after, and pray for gracious Since­rity in all this.—And these Things (as far as they go) are always a­greeable to the Will of God, though such still fail of a renewed Na­ture, and a Meetness for eternal Glory.—Now did the Isr [...]elites in the Text do all this, or indeed any Part of it? Did they not grow more and more impious and wicked, under all the Means that God used with them? Had not God therefore Cause to complain (whether he had given them saving Grace, or not) that he had purged them, and they were not purged? That they had not improved the Mean [...], which he had used with them, according to the Ability he had given them, and according to his reasonable Expectations from them: But instead thereof, had revolted yet more and more?—Upon the whole then it must be observed, that your Arguing from this Text don't at all affect the Cause in Debate; unless you make it appear, that God had given Grace sufficient for eternal Salvation, to all this impiously revolting and wicked People. And whether your Reasoning carries any such Evidence with it, the Reader must judge.—You have proved in­deed, that if the Means which God had used with this People, and the common Influences of his Spirit, which accompanied them, in Order to reclaim them from their horrid Wickedness, was sufficient, not only for that Purpose, but even for their eternal Salvation, then he had given them Grace sufficient for their eternal Salvation: That is, that common Grace is sufficient for Salvation, because it is so.—This is the whole Amount of what you have proved; and all that can ever be proved, from this Text.

You urge that Text, ISA [...]. lviii. 2. They seek me daily; and delight to know my Ways, to prove, that this People did use my Sort of [Page 79] common Grace, and perform'd external Duties; but had no gracious Sincerity, as I style it; This was the Fault, for which God com­plain'd: and surely he would not have been angry with them for it, if he had not put it in their Power to obtain gracious Sincerity. (p. 52.)—To which I answer, Did this People go as far as they could by the Help of common Grace, in the Instance now before us?—Could they not, without saving Grace, have refrained from those during Sins, for which they are upbraided, Ver. 1? Could they not have known, without saving Grace, that Fasting would not sanctify their Wickedness; but that it would provoke God more and more, when they fasted for that End, that they might smi [...]e with the Fist of Wickedness? Could they not, without saving Grace, keep from exacting all their Labours on a Fast-Day? Could they not, with­out saving Grace, have left off their cruel Oppressions, so frequently com­plained of throughout the Chapter? Could they not, without saving Grace, have concluded, that such a profane Attendance as theirs upon religious Exercises, would not have brought God in Debt to them, and given them Occasion to complain, Wherefore have we fasted, and thou s [...]st not? Wherefore have we afflicted our Soul, and thou takest no Know­ledge?—This, Sir, was all the seeking God daily, and delighting to know his Ways, of which this Text speaks. And unless this be going as far as any can go by the Help of common Grace, the Citation of this Text is altogether impertinent to the Debate before us.

You proceed to argue from EZEK. xxxiii. 11. As I live [...]aith the Lord God, I have no Pleasure in the Death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his Way and live.‘The least (you say) that can be meant by these Expressions is, that God chuses, or had rather, that Men should turn and be happy, than that they should continue wicked and perish. But if we suppose, that God gives Men such a Nature, that they can't help but be wicked, and then denies them Grace sufficient to change that Nature, how can it be true, that he wills, or had rather, they should turn and live?—I reply, What if we should change this Reasoning a little; and argue, that since God can, if he pleases, without any Pains or Expence, work effectually in every Man, both to will and to do, so as to make every one actually meet to be a Partaker of the heavenly Inheritance, then if he does not thus actually renew them, and make them fit for Heaven, how can it be true, that he wills, or had rather, that they should turn and live?—You must own, that God can do this, without Cost or Pains, for every Man, when he pleases. You must own too, that he has done this for Multitudes of poor Sinners, as appears from 1 Cor. vi. 11. Col. i. 12. Eph. ii. 10. and many other Texts. And why does he not do this for all, if he chuses, and had rather, that all should turn and live? Pray, [Page 80] Sir, what do you think of this Reasoning? Is it good? Is it conclusive? If not, how can yours be so, since it is founded upon the same Hypo­thesis?—It is therefore plain, that if your Argument proves any Thing, it proves a great deal too much. It proves universal Salvation, or nothing at all. For if it be true, that God chuses (in your Sense of the Word) and had rather, that every Individual of Mankind turn and live, what can hinder their Salvation? For that which his Soul desireth, even that he doeth. Job. xxiii. 13. And he will do all his Pleasure. Isai. xlvi. 10.—You may try what Methods of Reasoning you please, to deduce your Consequence from this Text, and the same Methods of Reasoning, be they what they will, must conclude with the same Force for the final Salvation of all Men, as for the Purchase and Do­nation of saving Grace to all Men.—Should you argue, as you some­times do, that he who wills the Event, must will the necessary and effectual Means to the Production of that Event; You your self must acknowledge, that the common Grace, which you speak of, does not eventually prove effectual to the very much greater Part of the gos­pelized World. How then, according to your Way of Reasoning, can God be said to will the Event, when he does not will this necessary Means, an Application of Christ's Redemption in effectual Calling?—If you answer, as in p. 53, that ‘what God does absolutely will, does always come to pass.—But with Regard to moral Agents, God doth not what he can, or all that is within the Compass of the ex­ceeding Greatness of his Power, to accomplish his own Will: But his Will may be, and often, alas too often, is resisted; a Reply is natural and easy.—Does what God absolutely wills, always come to pass? It then follows, that God do's not absolutely will, that all Men should turn and live. For it is plain in Fact, that this does not always come to pass. And then what becomes of your Arguments from God's willing, chusing, and having rather, that all Men should turn and be happy; when you implicitly acknowledge, that if the Words be ta­ken absolutely, or in Strictness of Speech, there is no such Thing—Does God, with Regard to moral Agents, not do what he can, or what is within the Compass of the exceeding Greatness of his Power, to accomplish his Will, but his Will is often resisted; How then does he will the necessary Measures to accomplish the Event, when it's certain, as well by your own Concession, as by undeniable Fact, that effectual Means are not used [...] and the Event (tho' most easy to God) is not accomplished, with Respect to vastly the greatest Part of Mankind, in the Ages hitherto?—Hence then it necessarily follows, that your Gloss upon this Text is not, cannot be right. Even by your own Concessions, as well as by evident incontestible Fact, the Words can mean no more, than that the Repentance and Conversion of Sinners is [Page 81] agreeable to the compassionate and merciful Nature of God; this is an Event according to the good Pleasure of his Goodness. The Text says nothing at all of God's chusing, or having rather, as you express it, that all should turn and live; much less does it say any Thing of his giving Grace sufficient for the Salvation of all Men. Your Reasoning from the Text does (as I have shewn) prove nothing; or else proves a great deal too much. And therefore you must produce some other Evidence than such Reasoning as this, to make it credible, that all the Hottentots in the Bay of Soldonia (who know nothing of either doctri­nal or practical Religion, nor so much as believe the Being of a God) with many other such like barbarous Salvages, have all of them Grace sufficient for their eternal Salvation; because God chuses and would rather have them all saved; and therefore has used the necessary Means to that End.

You go on to cite ISAI. v. 3, 4. Now O Inhabitants of Jerusalem and Men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my Vineyard. What could I have done more to my Vineyard, that I have not done in it? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth Grapes, brought it forth wild Grapes?—Whence you have argued, that ‘if God had denied to these Men that Grace, without which they could not yield him an acceptable Obedience, how could be challenge them to tell, what he could have done more for them than he had done? (P. 54.)—But why, Sir, did you not extend your Reasoning from this Text a little further? You might have argued every whit as per­tinently, in proof of universal Salvation, as of the Donation of suf­ficient Grace to all Men. You may as justly argue, that if God had not actually bestowed upon these Men that effectual Grace, by which they would be truly holy here and eternally happy hereafter. "How could be challenge them to tell, what he could have done more for them than he had done?"—You might have gone on to argue (as in your Sermon. p. 23.) ‘They could have easily answered, that he had not done the main Thing for them, without which all the Rest was as nothing.’ For he had not taken away the Heart of Stone out of their Flesh; and given them a Heart of Flesh: He had not put his Fear in their Hearts; and caused them to walk in his Statutes, and keep his Judgments and do them: He had not created them anew in Christ Jesus unto good Works, that they might walk in them.—He had actually done all this for many others; and if he had actually done it for them, they had brought forth Grapes, in your Sense of the Phrase. But without doing this for them, "he had no more put it in their Power to bring forth Grapes, than to create a new World." For, separate from Christ, they could bear none; and God alone can work in them both to will and to do of his good Pleasure.—I appeal to the World, and even to yourself, if this Reason­ing [Page 82] be not as pertinent and as forceable as yours; with this Advantage too attending it, that our blessed Lord assures us, As the Branch cannot bear Fruit of itself, except it abide in the Vine, no more can we, except we abide in him. Joh. xv. 4.—Now Sir, be pleased to give your Opinion of this Reasoning. Does it conclude? or does it not? If not, you must own, that your Argument has nothing in it. Or if it does con­clude, it proves a great deal too much for your Purpose.—Thus it ap­pears, that I have a new Occasion to observe, that it's sad to consider, how triflingly and impertinently Men will argue, to serve an Hypothesis they are fond of.—Does not the Context plainly shew, what it was that God had done for his Vineyard? He had fenced it, gathered out the Stones thereof, planted it with the choicest Vine, built a Tower in the Midst thereof, and also made a Wine-Press therein. (Ver. 2.) That is, he had separated this People from the Rest of the World, given them a pleasant and fruitful Land, with all the Ordinances of his House, having all the Sufficiency of external Means.—What Mention, what Hint is there, of their having received inherent Grace sufficient for Salvation? Or what is there in the Text, that makes it necessary to suppose it?—Had not God Reason to expect from what they had received, that they should have brought forth better Fruit, than the wild Grapes, of Oppression, Fraud, and Injustice, complained of Vet. 7, 8? Than the Drunkenness and Excess of Riot, with a stupid Disregard of all God's providential Dispensations, complained of Ver. 11, 12 [...] Than their bold and daring Wickedness in challenging the glorious God himself, to do his worst, and to hasten his threatned Judgments, com­plain'd of Ver. 18, 19? Than their justifying the Wicked for Reward, and taking away the Righteousness of the Righteous from him, complained of Ver. 23?—Surely they had enough done for them, and indeed all that was necessary to be done for them, to enable them to bring forth other than such wildGrapes, as these, whether they had Grace sufficient for Salvation, or not.—They had enough done for them, to have excited them to reform their Abominations, to confess and seek Pardon of their numerous aggravated Sins, carefully to attend the Duties of religious Worship, externally to conform to the Laws of Kindness and Justice towards one another; yea, enough to put them upon seeking and endeavouring af­ter the gracious renewing Influences of the Holy Spirit.—These Grapes God might therefore justly expect from them. And if instead of these, they produced only such as made them the Scandal of human Nature, even worse than the very Heathen round about them, he might justly complain, that when he looked for Grapes, they brought forth wild Grapes.—And now I proceed to consider, what you offer in Favour

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The Substance of your Reasoning upon this Head has been already considered: some brief Hints will therefore be sufficient here, to set this Case in a proper View.

You teach us (Serm.p. 33.) that ‘Grace saves us IN NO OTHER WAY, than by our obeying the Gospel.’—To which it is sufficient Answer, that if this (taken in the Latitude of the Expression) be true, then it cannot be true, that we are justified freely by God's Grace through the Redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Rom. iii. 24. For this is some other Way, than our obeying the Gospel: And to be saved no other Way, and to be saved some other Way, is a flat Contradiction, that all the Talk in the World will never be able to reconcile. But of this before.

You say (Serm. p. 31.) ‘This Wedding-Garment is a Temper of Mind and Life agreeable to the Gospel, which like an Ornament or Wedding-Garment to the Soul, makes it fit to appear before God, &c. So likewise (p. 37.) ‘Let us labour to excell in all moral and christian Virtues, in which is founded the eternal Happi­ness of a rational Creature.’—I must therefore (as before) observe, that if CHRIST JESUS be the Lord our Righteousness, if his Righteous­ness alone will justify us in the Sight of God, and make us fit to appear before God—And if our eternal Happiness be founded in him, who is made of God unto us Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification, and Redemp­tion; then our Temper of Mind and Life agreeable to the Gospel cannot be this Wedding-Garment, that will make us fit to appear before God; nor can our eternal Happiness be founded in our moral and christian Virtues.—1 Pet. ii. 6. Wherefore also it is contained in the Scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief Corner-stone, elect, precious: And he that believeth on him, shall not be confounded.

You have indeed now put a Gloss upon your Words, which seems to be found and agreeing to the Doctrines of the Gospel; representing your Meaning to be only, that these Things are ‘necessary Qualifi­cations and Dispositions for Heaven, without which we shall never see Life.’ (Reply, p. 58.)—If you meant no more than this, it's well; though indeed your Expressions carry with them a very different Coun­tenance, and appear exceptionable.—However, I am willing to accept your own Explanation; and hope you will stand to it.

As to your repeated loud Complaints, and hideous Outcries, that I represented you as saying, that our eternal Happiness is founded UPON our Virtues, instead of being founded IN them, I have this Apology to make, that I have cited this Passage of yours with a Literal Exact­ness two or three Times, and it was wholly without Design, and a [Page 84] mere Inadvertency, when I substituted one Particle instead of another. Indeed I did not perceive any Difference in the Sense of those Words, from the Use of the Particle in, or upon; saving that the latter seems more agreeable to our common Mode of speaking.. Accordingly, where you say "Predestination is founded upon God's Foreknowledge," what would have been the Difference, if here you had us'd the Parti­cle, IN? It's plain, you your self apply the Words promisc [...]ously and indifferently. Why then do you blame me for doing the same Thing!—I can't but think, that the Fate of the House must be one and the same, in the awful [...]ying Tempest, whether it be founded in the Sand, or on the Sand. And if I should here for the Particle [on] use that of [upon] I know not that there would be any mighty Improvement of the Sense.—After all, if you only meant (as by reading on in your Reply, I find you seem to suggest, p. 60.) that ‘our eternal Happi­ness is begun in Virtue,’ I also consent to accept of this Expression, taken in a sound Sense; meaning Faith, which worketh by Love.

That you may have no Handle for further Complaint of my Mis­representation of your Opinion, I would make some very brief Re­flections upon your Explication of the Doctrine of Justification in this your Reply; where you seem to have purposely endeavour'd to set your own Sense of the Doctrine in a full and open Light.

Your View of the Case is represented in the following Passages.—‘It is surprizing, that any Man of common Sense should imagine, that a Preacher contradic [...]s himself, when he says, that God does freely justify us for Christ's Sake; and yet that we can never obtain this free Justification, unless we obey the Gospel.—When St. Paul says, that God justifies the Ungodly, he does not mean that God justifies them while they remain ungodly; but when they forsake their Un­godliness. (P. 58.)—Such Works of Perfection, whereby Man can demand Justification as a Debt, do exclude the Necessity of Grace in Order to Justification: But Gospel-Obedience is not contrary to Grace; nor can we by it expect Justification, without Grace. (p. 59) If God justifies the Ungodly before they repent, then no Matter how ungodly a Man is.’ (P. 60.

By all which, I suppose your Meaning must be, that our Lord Jesus Christ has purchased for Sinners this Privilege, that their sincere (tho' imperfect) Obedience is the Condition of their Justification before God and Acceptance with him: That their Justification is therefore fr [...]e, because a Privilege purchased for them by Christ upon this easy Con­dition: But still not obtain'd by us, till we have comply'd with the Condition, i. e. truly repented of our Sins, and lived a Life of Obe­dience to the Gospel.—If this be your Meaning, as your Words ne­cessitate [Page 85] me to conclude it is, I must take Liberty to complain of it, as what I apprehend to be very erroneous and dangerous Doctrine, re­pugnant to the Gospel-Scheme, directly tending to lead Men off from the true Foundation of their Hope; and consequently to leave them disappointed in the Day of Trial. And this I trust, I may do with­out Breach of Charity, while I only tax your Opinion, without judg­ing your Person.—Suffer me to argue this Point a little with you.—

Though sincere Obedience be a necessary Qualification for Heaven, and without Holiness no Man can see the Lord: Yet it is no antecedent Condition of the Pardon of Sin, and has no Hand at all in our Justi­fication before God.—Our Justification before God is wholly upon the Account of Christ's Obedience unto the Death; and not at all upon the Score of our own Works. It is what Christ has done and suffered for us, and not any Thing that we can do or suffer for him, that must be our Righteousness, to justify us, and render us accepted with God.

You indeed vehemently cry out against this Doctrine, as though it open'd a Door to Licentiousness: But the Case is directly the Reverse. There can be no true Holiness, but upon this Foundation only; there can be no true Practice of Holiness; there can be no true Love to and Delight in Holiness; there can be no true Gospel Motive unto Holiness, but what results from an Union to Christ by Faith, and Justification before God, by the Imputation of his Righteousness.—I shall therefore take the Liberty, notwithstanding all your Exclamati­ons, to offer some plain and full Scripture-Evidences, against this Doc­trine of yours.

And I must first observe to you, that the Scripture does in as plain and expressive Language as can be spoken, assure us, that we are justified by Faith only, without Works. Thus, Rom. iii. 28. Therefore we conclude, that a Man is justified by Faith without the Deeds of the Law.—Rom. iv. 5, 6. But to him that worketh not; but believeth on him that justifieth the Ungodly, his Faith is counted for Righteousness; even as David also describeth the Blessedness of the Man, unto whom God imputeth Righteousness without Works.—By which Texts it's plain, if Words can make any Thing plain, that how necessary soever our good Works are, as belonging to the Way which leadeth unto Life, and as a Qualification for Heaven: Yet as we can do no Works truly holy before Faith, so we must do no Works with any Dependence upon them to procure our Justification before God. But we must only look to be justified by believing on him, who justifieth the Ungodly, and who imputeth Righteousness without Works.—Let Men wrangle as much as they will with this Doctrine [...] it is the constant Tenor of the Gospel, that no Man is justified by the [Page 86] Law in the Sight of God, but we live by the Faith of the Son of God; that Righteousness is imputed to him that worketh not, nor can work any Works of Righteousness to justify him before God. And every one must be practically subjected to these Terms of Justifi­cation and Life, that ever obtains Salvation.—But having spoken something to this before, I need not insist upon it now.

Again, the Scriptures abundantly assure us, that the Righteousness by which we are justified, is the Righteousness of Christ. Thus, Jer [...] xxiii. 6. This is the Name whereby he shall be called, The Lord our Righ­teousness.—Rom. iii. 25. Whom God hath set forth to be a Propitiation, through Faith in his Blood, to declare his Righteousness for the Remission of Sins.—Rom. i. 17. The Righteousness of God i [...] revealed, from Faith to Faith.—2 Cor. v. 21. We are made the Righteousness of God in him.—Phil. iii. 9. And he found in him, not having my own Righteous­ness, which is of the Law; but the Righteousness, which is of God by Faith.

Again, the Righteousness by which we are justified, must answer all the Demands of the moral Law. The Law is a Transcript of the moral Perfections of God, he will therefore magnify the Law and make it honourable. He cannot, consistent with his own Justice and Holiness, justify those whom the Law condemns; nor acquit those who have not a Righteousness, which fully satisfies both the penal and preceptive De­mands of the moral Law. For s [...]oner shall Heaven and Earth pass away, than one Jot or one Tittle of the Law shall fail.—From whence it is evident, that our own inherent Righteousness can no Ways, in no Respect, fulfil either the Penalty or Precept of the moral Law. It can­not but infinitely fall short of both. Whence we are told, Gal. iii. 21. If there had been a Law given, which could have given Life, verily Righ­teousness would have been by the Law. But as this was not the Case, God sending his own Son in the Likeness of sinful Flesh, and for Sin, con­demned Sin in the Flesh, that the Righteousness of the Law might be ful­filled in us. Rom. viii. 3, 4.—By which it appears, that we can't be made Righteous, and therefore cannot be justified, but by an Interest in that Righteousness, which fully answers all the Demands of the moral Law. And consequently our personal Obedience can have no Hand in our Justification.

To this I add, that there can be no such Thing as a Course of sincere Gospel-Obedience, before we are justified; and consequently, our Gospel-Obedience cannot be the Condition of our Justification. Our Lord assures us, that we cannot bring forth the Fruit of acceptable Obedience, till we are united to him. Joh. xv. 4, 5. Abide in me, and I in you. As the Branch cannot bear Fruit of it self, except it abid [...] in the Vine, so no more can ye, except ye abide in me. He that abid [...]th in [Page 87] me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much Fruit. For without me ye can do Nothing; Or as it may be rendred, severed from me ye can bear none.—And accordingly, Christ Jesus is made of God unto us Wis­dom and Righteousness, and in Consequence thereof, Sanctification and eternal Redemption. There cannot be the Interval of one Moment of Time between our Faith, and our Justification. The Righteousness of God is by Faith of Jesus Christ, unto all, and upon all them that believe. Rom. iii. 22. And therefore, there cannot be one Moment of Time for Faith to bring forth the Fruit of Gospel-Obedience, before our Justification. Whence it follows, that if Gospel-Obedience be the Consequence of our Justification and Union to Christ it cannot in any proper Sense be the Condition of it.

Moreover, if we are justified and have Power to become the Sons of God, immediately upon receiving the Lord Jesus Christ and his Righteousness by Faith, we cannot in any Sense be justified by our Gos­pel Obedience. But the former is the Doctrine of Scripture; and therefore the latter. Thus, Rom. v. 11. We joy in God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the Atonement.—Joh. i. 12. To as many as received him, to them gave he Power to become the Sons of God, even to them who believe in his Name. Gal. iii. 7,9. Know ye therefore, that they which are of Faith, the same are the Children of Abraham—blessed with faithful Abraham.

Again, we must either have a perfect Justification, and consequent­ly a perfect Righteousness to justify us; or no Justification at all.—There can be no middle Way, between Justification and Condemnati­on. We are, every one of us, either justified or condemned. We are either guilty, or righteous, in the Sight of God; either really and perfectly reconciled, or in a State of real Distance from and Enmity with him. Whence it follows, that as our Gospel-Obedience is not, nor ever will be perfect in this Life, it can never justify us in this Life; God cannot on the Score of any Works of Righteousness which we have done, accept us as perfectly righteous, when we are not so; For his Judgment is ever according to Truth. We must therefore be justified by a more perfect Righteousness, than our Gospel-Obedience, or live and die in an unjustified State; and consequently remain so for ever. For there will be no Place after Death for a Reconciliation to God.—We cannot be justified, but by a Righteousness that perfectly covers our Guilt, and silences the Challenges of Law and Justice. But notwithstanding all Pleas from our personal Obedience, every Mouth must be stopped, and all the World become guilty before God. Rom. iii. 19.—We cannot be justified, but by a Righteousness that purchases the heavenly Inheritance for us, and gives us a Title to the purchased Possession. Consequently we can never be justified by our personal [Page 88] Obedience, the Defects whereof run us daily further and further in Debt to Justice, and can do nothing at all towards the Purchase of Heaven for us.

Furthermore, if we are made righteous by the Obedience of Christ, (Rom. v. 19.) and justified by the Blood of Christ, (Rom. v. 9.) we then cannot be justified, either in Whole or in Part, or in any Respect, by our own Works of Obedience, unless our own personal Obedience be the Obedience of Christ and the Blood of Christ; or at least be the Medium of their Application; but this is the sole Property of Faith. For with the Heart Man believeth unto Righteousness. Rom [...] x. 10.

I will only add, that if in this Affair of our Justification before God, the Scriptures do contradistinguish Grace and Works, as Oppo­sites, utterly inconsistent with one another in this Business, and do as­sure us, that we are all justified by Grace and not by Works, then our Works of Obedience can have no Hand at all in our Justification. Now, that the Scriptures do in as strong and express Terms as can be used, oppose Grace and Works in the Affair of our Justification, as contrary one to another, appears from the following Texts—Rom. xi. 6. And if by Grace, then it is no more of Works; otherwise Grace is no more Grace. But if it be of Works, then it is no more Grace; o­therwise Works is no more Works.—Eph. ii. 8, 9. By Grace are ye sav­ed through Faith;—Not of Works, le [...]t any Man should b [...]ast.—Rom. iv. 4, 5. Now to him that worketh, is the Reward not reckoned of Grace, but of Debt; but to him that worketh not, his Faith is counted for Righteousness.—By which Texts it appears, as plainly as any Thing can appear by Words, that we are justified in a Way directly contrary to that of Works; that we are justified by Grace through Faith only, and not by Works of Righteousness, which we have done; but that all our Works are wholly excluded from any Manner of Concern in the Justification of Life.—If you are yet pleased, as before, to banter this Doctrine, and insult me on the Account of it, [...]ay, even to call in the profane, licentious World to join in the Insult, as you have done in a most indecent and even shocking Manner, that you might make me the Song of the Drunkard, (P. 59, 60.) yet nevertheless it is the Doctrine of the Gospel, I verily believe, and a Doctrine accord­ing to Godliness, which, I doubt not, will be owned by our Judge, at his Appearing and Kingdom.

You object against this, that ‘if our willing [...]ver so earnestly, and striving ever so vigorously, is no procuring Cause of our Salvation, and bears no Part, but it depends wholly upon God's Mercy in Op­position and Contradistinction to our Choice or Pains, then he is a Fool or a Madman, that will strive for the Kingdom of Heaven, [Page 89] and they are the only wise Men, who never trouble their Heads about their Salvation, which God has not at all put in their own Power. (P. 60, 61.)

There needs some Explication of that Clause, ‘Our Salvation de­pends wholly upon God's Mercy, in Opposition and Contradistinc­tion to our Choice and Pains.’—If you understand it to mean, and would prove by it that I hold, as you seem to insinuate, that we are most in the Way of God's Mercy, while living in the Neglect of Duty and of the Means of Grace, there would be an Appearance of Reason in your Manner of Arguing. But then, your Reasoning would be altogether impertinent, and you would (in that View of the Case) but contend with your own Shadow.—For where, I beseech you, have I taught any such Doctrine, as that our Choice and Pains, or that our sincere Diligence in the Practice of the Duties of Religion, are opposite or contrary to our obtaining Mercy from God unto Salva­tion?—Have I not in the Book you write against, plainly declared? That the Duties of Religion (external, as well as internal) belong to the Way or Method God has appointed, in Order to seeking special Grace, that we must seek it in a diligent Attendance on divine Ap­pointments; and that we have no Reason or Encouragement ever to expect the special Influences of the Spirit, in the Way of [...]arnal Sloth and Negligence: That although God be sovereign in giving a new Heart and a new Spirit, and in causing us to walk in his Statutes, and keep his Judgments, and do them; and does not this for our Sakes, but for his own Name's Sake: Yet he will be inquired of by the House of Israel to do this for them. Ezek. xxxvi. 25, 26, 32, 37.

But if you mean by this (as you should mean, if you speak any Thing at all to the Purpose) that supposing we are justified by the mere Grace of God, without any Works of ours, previous to or having any Hand at all in our Justification, and if our Justification by Works and our Justification by the mere Grace of God are directly opposite and contrary one to the other, that in this Case he is a Fool or a Madman [...] who will strive for the Kingdom of Heaven upon such Terms;—if this be your Meaning, I say, then your Reasoning is not only directly contrary to the plainest and strongest Expressions of the holy Scriptures, as I have already shown; but also in itself most trifling and inconclusive.—Have I not before observ'd to you, that if we lie at Mercy, we should the more earnestly implore it? That if God only can help us, we should the more dilligently seek Help from Him? That if we are Bankrupts, and depend upon Alms for our Subsistence, we should therefore seek, that we may obtain? That if we are condemned Malefactors, and none but the Prince can forgive us, we should the more earnestly petition him for a Pardon?—How do you think King GEORGE would accept [Page 90] it at the Hands of the late Rebels, if they should reason at the Rate that you do; and tell him, that since their obtaining Pardon de­pends wholly upon his mere Mercy, and not at all upon their own Desires and Pains in seeking for it; and that since their having a Claim to Pardon from his mere Mercy, and their having a Claim to Pardon on Account of their Petitioning for it, are opposite and contrary one to another; therefore they should be Fools or Madm [...]n, if they should ask any Favour at his Hands, or trouble their Heads about their Pardon, which he has not at all put in their own Power?—How (Sir) would you your self resent such Sort of Reasoning from a rebellious Slave, or from a poor starving Beggar? Would it not be justly offensive and very provoking? Would it not be much more reasonable, and more agreeable to you, that they should humbly petition for the Exercise of that Mercy, upon which alone all their Claim and Hope can be founded, than to stand upon Terms with you, and to plead their own Petition and Pains, as what, if it don't give them a Title to your Favour, yet is a Qualification fitting them for it?—The Application of all this is very easy in the Case before us; and I have just Occasion to repeat what I before observed, that if Men will run into those desperate Con­clusions, which you insinuate, that you would, upon the Supposition of the Truth of the Calvinist Doctrine, and as you think with good Reason, they may then expect, that the righteous God will leave them to the dire Effects of their Pride and Contumacy. He will finally con­vince them of his Sovereignty, as well as Justice, whether they will now submit to it, or no: And will convince them, that they were Fools and Madmen indeed.

I am now prepared to attend to your concluding Reflections upon the Subject.—You say to me,

First, if you are right, then I am in no Danger of missing of Salvation by my Error: for my eternal State, you say, was fixed from Eternity, without Regard to my Doings or Opinions, (P. 62.) In Answer to which, I must take the Liberty to tell you, This is a mere Fiction (to say no worse of it.) For I have never said any such Thing; nor any Thing that might so much as give you a fair Handle to impute such a Doctrine to me.—If you now "wipe your Mouth." and say, This is a Consequence you draw from you Words, I must tell you in the Language of a witty Writer of your own, It's a Con­sequence drawn, sure enough! for it does not follow, but as you drag and force it.

You add, ‘Now if I am elected, irresistable Grace in due Season will convert me; and my Error will be no Bar to it. But if I am reprobated, my being a Calvinist will be no Defence against the irre­spective and irrevocable Doom, past upon me infinite Ages before [Page 91] I was born.’ (Ibid.)—To this it is sufficient Answer, that these and such like Consequences are equally deducible, in just the same Manner, and with the same Force, from your own Doctrine, as from mine.—You (Sir) allow God's eternal Knowledge of all future Events. I sup­pose a Concurrence of his Counsel with his Knowledge, in Respect to every Event. And the infallible Certainty of the Event is equally supposed and implied both by you and me.—If according to your Scheme, God eternally foreknew all future Events, he foreknew them as they do or will come to pass. His Knowledge must have been ac­cording to Truth. And if he foreknew all Events as they will come to pass, then they will certainly and infallibly come to pass, as he fore­knew they would.—And why then will not your frightful Conse­quences follow as well from your own Doctrine, as from mine? What should prevent your arguing after this parallel Manner? If God eter­nally foreknew that I shall be saved, his Grace will certainly in due Season convert me, and nothing can be any Bar; but if he eternally foreknew that I shall finally perish, there is nothing I can do, that will be a Defence against the immutable Foreknowledge of God, which ren­dred the Futurity of the Event infallibly certain, infinite Ages before I was born.—I pray, Sir, Why is not this Reasoning as just, and as for­ceable as the other which you have offered, since it is founded upon the very same Bottom, the infallible Futurity of the Event? My Doctrine (Sir) implies no more than this, and yours necessarily implies so much. Let it be tried by all possible Methods of Argumentation: And the same Conclusion will follow from the one Scheme, as from the other.—Hence it appears, that this Reasoning will no Way serve your Turn, nor save you from the dreadful Consequences of your dangerous Er­ror, in these fundamental Articles of your Faith and Hope.—To this I may also add, that I have taught nothing of any such Decree, nor do the Scriptures teach any Thing of such a Decree, as will secure Salvation to any [...] whose Faith and Practice are not agreeable to the Gospel of Christ: Or that is an irrevocable Doom to Perdition, past upon any that has ever been a true Believer. We are chosen to Sal­vation, through Sanctification of the Spirit and Belief of the Truth. 2 The [...]. ii. 13. There is therefore no Decree, to save any Man, but by a true Faith in Christ [...] with true Holiness. And such who live in the Exercise of a true Faith and Holiness, can have no latent Decree against them; but by that Means may make their Calling and Election sure [...] 2 Pet. i. 10.

You tell us further, ‘If I should embrace Calvinism,—I must fill my own Soul, and the Souls of my Hearers, with such horrible, [...] Ideas of the ever blessed God, that I tremble to speak them.’ (Ibid.)—A large Catalogue of which you reckon up, to the [Page 92] Amount of 18 in Number, blackning 3 or 4 Pages together, with the odious and tremendous Consequences of your turning a Calvinist Preacher.

To all which I answer, This is impossible from the Nature of the Thing. For the Calvinisis neither teach nor believe any such Doc­trines, but abhor and renounce them as much as you can do. No sooner does any entertain those Ideas of the ever-blessed God, but he ceases to be a Calvinist.—Besides, I have already proved, that these Consequences cannot by any just Reasoning be deduced from the Doctrines, which I am pleading for; but are groundless Cavillings, and vain Contendings against the plain and important Doctrines of the Gospel. Your Reasoning therefore here, what is the Purport and Upshot of it all? Unless it be this, That if you were a Calvinist, you believe you should turn the Grace of God into Wantonness; should pro­fane the Attributes of the glorious God, and blaspheme that worthy Name whereby you are called! And that you dare not therefore pro­fess the Truth, left you should abuse it, and pervert the Gospel of Christ to your own Destruction!

Thus I have distinctly considered your Arguments; and I think, have sufficiently answered them all: And shall now take the Liberty by Way of Digression, to offer a short Address to all my Readers, since their eternal Interests are immediately concern'd in the Doctrines under Consideration.

It was for your Sakes, my Brethren! it was that your precious Souls might not be endangered, and that you might not, by the Errors that are [...]o openly propagated among us, be led away, and fall from your own Stedfastness, that I have taken the Pains to vindicate these important Articles of our holy Faith, against the dangerous Attacks made upon them.—Has it not been evidenced to you, that the Doctrines, which I am here vindicating, are most clearly and abun­dantly revealed in the Word of GOD? Sure I am, they are every where inculcated and insisted upon by the inspired Writers, as of the utmost Importance to be known and believed, in Order to our eternal Safety.—They are also evidently deducible from the Nature of Things [...] The Supposal of a GOD makes it necessary to suppose the Eternity, the infinite Extent, and the Immutability of his Counsels.—The Ex­perience of our natural Estrangement from God, and of the Corruption and Depravity of our Nature, fully confirms the Truth of the Scrip­ture-Doctrine of Original Sin, the Fall of Adam, and our Ruin there­by. The Supposal of an Atonement and Redemption by JESUS CHRIST makes it necessary to suppose, that the Application of the great Salva­tion to our Souls must be (as the Purchase of it has been) a Transac­tion of sovereign, free Grace, and that God will have the whole [Page 93] Glory of such an amazing Dispensation of Love, from those who are eternally saved.—And can there be any Danger, my Brethren, in believing on the Lord Jesus, that we may be justify'd by Faith; or in coming to Christ, as poor guilty Sinners, and submitting to his Righ­teousness, as the alone Foundation of our Hope of Pardon and Ac­ceptance with God? Can there be any Danger in depending upon Christ, in a Way of active Diligence, for Sanctification? Can there be any Danger in looking to the free, rich and sovereign Grace of God in Christ, to have a good Work begun, carried on, and perfected in your Souls? Can there be any Danger of your doing too much Honour to the free Grace of God; and of being too low and hum­ble in your own Sight? Or any Danger of your trusting too much in Christ, and too little in your selves? Can there be any Danger in looking for the Mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal Life, if while you se [...]k to be justify'd by Christ, you are as solicitous that you may be sanctify'd through Faith which is in him?—These, my Brethren, are, in general, the Doctrines I am pleading for. You have seen, that Mr. Beach's Representation of the Case in Dispute between him and me, in the Beginning of his Dialogue, is injurious and abusive. You have seen, that there is no Manner of Foundation for those dread­ful Consequences, he would extort from these Doctrines; those wild Opinions he palms upon me, have no Connexion with my Principles, and are what I am as abhorrent to, as he; nor are they in any wise the just Construction of any Expressions I have used.—On this Side therefore there can be no Danger, unless it be of Perversion and A­buse.—But now, if we turn our Eyes toward the other Side of the Question, and view it impartially; is there not Danger here, of your compassing yourselves about with Sparks of your own Kindling? Is there not Danger of your trusting in your own Hearts? Is there not Dan­ger of your laying that infinite Weight upon your own suppos'd At­tainments in moral and Christian Virtues, that nothing but the sure Foundation laid in Zion is able to bear?—You may imagine, you do Honour enough to the great Redeemer, if you acknowledge him, in general, to be the meritorious Cause of Salvation, while you are (some of you) nevertheless really trusting in your own Obedience to the Go­spel, as the new Law of Grace, for your Justification before God. But what if it should be found in the great Day of Trial, that you have not attain'd to the Law of Righteousness, because you sought it not by Faith but as it were by the Works of the Law!—You may (some of you) imagine, that you are safe enough in your pre­tended Endeavours to do what you can, under the Restraints and Aids of meer common Grace. which God gives to every Man, with­out ever humbly and earnestly and diligently seeking after the [Page 94] special renewing Influences of the Holy Spirit, to work Faith in you, to will and to do the Things that please God. But what if it should be found in the Day of Christ, that you have failed of the Grace of God; and never been regenerated, or created anew in Christ Jesus!—Verily, you cannot conceive how dreadful the Disappointment must be, if this should be the Event.—It will then be too late to say, Alas, I was mistaken!—You must in eternal Despair lament the fatal Error, if by a proud Opi­nion of your native Free-Will and self-determining Power, with Re­gard to Conversion and Salvation, you should in the End be found to have miss'd hereof.

Let me therefore intreat you, my Brethren, for Christ's Sake, and for your own Soul's Sake, to consider, That if any Man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Rom. viii. 9.—That except a Man be born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God. Joh. iii. 3.—Except ye be converted and become as little Children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Mat. xviii. 3.—He that is in Christ, is a new Crea­ture, old Things are passed away, behold, all Things are become now. 2 Cor. v. 17.—And that this Change is wrought by the exceeding Greatness of God's Power; by the working of his might Power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the Dead. Eph. i. 19, 20. And therefore humbly ly at the Foot of almighty Power and Grace, begging and waiting, for the Production of this glorious Change. Never rest, till you sensibly feel the Renovation of your Hearts, and the Operation of the divine Life in your Souls; Repentance toward God, and Faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, even Faith in his Blood.

Let me intreat you to consider, that you must be holy both in Soul and Body, if you would be eternally happy. For without Holiness no Man shall see the Lord.—And how shall this Holiness be obtain'd? Can you conquer your Temptations and subdue your Corruptions, by your own Purposes, Resolutions and Endeavours?—Can you sprinkle your selves with clean Water, and make your selves clean from all your Filthiness and from all your Abominations?—Can you give your selves a new Heart and a new Spirit? Can you create your selves anew in Christ Jesus?—Who can bring a clean Thing out of an unclean? Not one!—Is it not constantly Observable, that true Holiness prevails, in Proportion as the Doctrines of special Grace are cordially received? And that they who having believed in God, and renounced all Dependance on their best Works for Justification, are in Proportion to the Strength of their Faith, most careful to maintain good Works, in Obedience and Gratitude to God, and as Fruits and Evidences of a justified State, and the Path way to Heaven, in which the Saints walk by Faith.—How [Page 95] much safer is it then (in a Way of humble diligent Duty) to look to Christ by Faith for his sanctifying special Grace, than to trust to the Efforts of your own Free-Will, or any Endeavours of your own? If you believe in him, out of your Belly shall flow Rivers of living Water, Joh. vii. 38. And if Christ dwell in your Heart by Faith, you'll have a constant Source of holy Dispositions, and of holy Conduct; while he that trusts in his own Heart, is a Fool, and all his Holiness will be but as Streams without a Fountain, which will wear away almost as quick as the Showers that cause them; and his Goodness like Ephraim's, will be but a Morning-Cloud, and an early Dew, at the best.—Upon the whole then, it is certain, that you cannot make the less Progress in the divine Life, by your walking by Faith, and looking to Jesus, with a humble Dependance upon him, to work in you, both to will and to do, of his good Pleasure: While otherwise at the best, that you can suppose, you may notwithstanding any Endeavours of your own, be sadly convinc'd in the Conclusion, that you have built upon the Sand, if Christ Jesus be not to you the Hope of Glory.

In Fine, Let me intreat you to be concern'd, that you may take the safest Side, and build your eternal Interest upon a sure Foundation; that therefore you depend only upon the imputed Righteousness of Christ for Justification, while yet you are also careful, that you experience the sanctifying Influences of the free Spirit of God, renewing your Understanding and Will, your Affections, and your Conversations: That you may finally be saved by Grace through Faith; and that not of your selves; but by the Gift of God; and that you may spend a happy Eternity in delightfully adoring and magnifying the Riches of God's in­finite free Grace; and in ascribing ‘Glory and Dominion for ever and ever, to him that has loved you and washed you from your Sins in his own Blood, and made you Kings and Priests unto God and his Father.’ Amen.

And now, Sir, I return from this Digression, to take my Leave of you: And that I may conclude with that Kindness and Charity, which becomes a Christian, I assure you, that I heartily forgive all those ungenerous Reflections and Abuses you have heaped upon me; I have prayed, and will still pray to God, that he will for Christ's Sake freely forgive them all, and display the same rich and sovereign Grace to You, which I seek and desire for my own Soul.—That the Lord Jesus Christ may be with your and my Spirit, and that you and I may finally [Page 96] meet, where all Differences and Debates, will be swallowed up in eternal LOVE, is the sincere Wish of,

Your faithful Friend, and humble Servant, Jonathan Dickinson.
[Page 97]

Some brief REFLECTIONS ON Dr. Samuel Johnson's DEFENCE OF Aristocles Letter to Authades, Concerning The Sovereignty and Promises of GOD.
In a LETTER to the Author.


AFTER all the specious Professions and plausible Pretences made on either Side, the World will judge, who of us have written in the present Debate, most agreeably to the "Genius of our holy Religion;" and who has shewn most ‘Humility, Meekness, Benevolence, and Charity, together with Truth, Integrity, Candour, and Well-meaning,’ whether my Opponents, or I. There needs therefore no further Re­mark upon those serious and solemn Admonitions by your self and your Brother Beach, against all unjust and injurious Treatment, than in the Language of the Apostle, Rom. ii. 21. Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thy self!—Pity it is, that both of you so very soon lost Sight of those important and affecting Considerations, which you so pathetically press upon me. 'Tis however my Inclination and Purpose to follow your Advice, tho' I am therein oblig'd to deviate from your Example.

You begin with objecting to my Manner of managing this Contro­versy with you and your Brethren, and have two Articles of Complaint against me. ‘One is, that my first Care seems to be, to beget in the Minds of my inconsiderate Readers as great an Odium as ever I can.’ And the other is, that ‘when I am brought to the Pinch of the Ar­gument, [Page 98] I artf [...]lly disguise the Ca [...]e, and many Times ask you what you mean, by this or that, and then contrive a Meaning which you never dream'd of [...](p. 7.)—The former of these Complaints you en­deavour to support by alledging several Instances. The latter you might imagine did not need Exemplification; for I don't find any more said about it.

Your first Representation of my Care to raise an Odium in the Minds of my Readers, is in these Words. ‘Thus, with Regard to the first In­stance of your Way of Writing:—My Brother Caner is a blind Guide of the Blind.—My Brother Beach, is, 1. No true Churchman. 2. No true Protestant. 3. No true Christian. 4. A mere Mad­man, and besides himself, or one that knows not how to talk con­sistently with himself.’ (Ibid.)—Well, Sir, we have now a Specimen of your Manner of managing a Controversy! And do you here give us an Example of that Truth, Integrity, and Candor, which you profess, and which you so strongly recommend to me?—Have I any where spoken these Things of those two Gentlemen, by Way of Personal Cha­racter, which you here charge to my Account? Or do you represent me in this Light on Purpose to "beget an Odium in the Minds of your inconsiderate Readers?"—If so, does it not appear that you your­self have some Concern in those Reproofs, which you so liberally, but causelesly administer to me?—I can't but conclude, that the more sober and intelligent Part of Mankind must join with me in what I said of Mr. Caner, viz. IF he himself (in his instructing us in the true Method of Preaching) has mistaken his Way, our Saviour's Observation (Matth. xv. 14.) must take Place, If the Blind lead the Blind, both shall fall into the Ditch.—Now the Question is, has Mr. Caner mista­ken his Way, or has he not? If not, then I have no where so much as implicitly called him a blind Guide of the Blind; and consequently your Charge against me, is altogether groundless. But if he has mis­taken his Way, then our blessed LORD himself calls him so: And it concerns you as a Minister of Christ, not only to acknowledge the Justice of the Imputation, but also out of Love to our blessed Saviour, to your wandring Brother, and to the Souls of the People under his Charge, to endeavour to reduce him into the Path of Truth and Safety.—Now Sir, here is a fair Occasion to call upon you for the Exercise of that Benevolence and Charity, Humility and Meekness, with Candor and Integrity, which you so strenuously and justly inculcate.—If your Brother Caner has not mistaken his Way, be candid, and ac­knowledge that you have unjustly laid this Charge against me.—If your Brother Caner has indeed mistaken his Way, still be candid, and acknowledge that you had really no Cause of Complaint against me, since I used no other Words than what were used by our blessed LORD himself in the like Case.

[Page 99]As to what you so plentifully charge upon me with Relation to your Brother Beach, I must protest against the whole of it as Misrepresentation and Abuse. For I have no where said any Thing like one or other of your four Articles, before mentioned—I have indeed endeavour­ed to represent his Sermon, as being in some Points inconsistent with the Doctrines of the Church of England, and of all the Protestant Churches, and with the Oracles of God, as well as self repugnant. But I never undertook to determine his State, or personal Character, nor stiled him "a meer Madman, and besides himself," nor any Thing like it.—This your Representation [...] for an Appeal to the Passions of your Readers; but it [...] commend your "Integrity, Candor, and Will-Meaning" to our Imitation.

You proceed to interrogate me: ‘Now Sir, are you really in Sport in all this? Or have you truly this Opinion of these Gentlemen your self?’

To which I answer: Indeed Sir, I was in most serious Earnest, in what I said of those Gentlemen's two Sermons. I truly esteemed them a dangerous Attack upon some of the most important Doctrines and very Vitals of Christianity; and thought it my Duty to represent them to the World in their proper Light.—As to Mr. Caner's Ser­mon, it was a pretended Representation of Matters of Fact, and of such Matters of Fact too as lay open to the Enquiry of every one that could read the Bible: And every capable and diligent Enquirer could therefore have the same Assurance, that the Scripture-Account of the Facts referred to, was directly contrary to his Representation of them, as they could have that they ever saw his Sermon, or ever read the New-Testament.—And if giving the Characters I did of Mr. Beach's Sermon be esteemed vile, I have been yet more vile, in proving the whole of them, and (if I mistake not) confirming them by such Do­cuments and Authorities, as are clear, full, and incontestible.

Another of your Remonstrances against me, under the Head of en­deavouring to raise an Odium, respects yourself, and is thus expressed: ‘The first Thing I would take Notice of, is your charging me with misunderstanding and misrepresenting the Question between Mr. Cooke and me. Mr. Cooke, you say, considers fallen Man only as the Object of God's Sovereignty, and I, his Creatures, as such.—Now to this I answer, It is nothing to the Purpose of the Argu­ment, whether Mr. Cooke or I were the Persons immediately con­cerned in the Controversy, or whether I had exactly represented his particular Notions, or not.’ (p. 8.)

To which I reply, If you demand the Privilege of managing a Controversy without "exactly representing the particular Notions" of the Author you write against, I don't know who can deny it to you. [Page 100] But I hope, you will own, when you get off from the Question in Debate, and discourse quite foreign to the Purpose, that you then speak impertinently, and (to use your own Phrascology) "are really fighting with nothing [...] a Dust of your own raising." But you tell me, that ‘I very well know, that whether Adam should stand or fall, depended (according to Calvin and the Synod of Dort, which is your and his Doctrine) as merely upon the Sovereignty of God, as whether he or any of his Posterity should ever be recovered. Whether Man be consider'd as standing or fallen, alters not the Case.’(Ibid.)—To which I reply, It seems then that in writing an Answer to Mr. Cooke, your Business was not to consider what was said by him, but what was said by Calvin and the Synod of Dort. Indeed, Sir, this appears to me a new and odd Way of managing a Contro­versy!—But had Mr. Cooke himself, in his Sermon, against which you wrote, considered Adam as the Object of God's Sovereignty, [...]e must have consider'd him as a fallen Creature. For the Sovereignty of God in our Redemption and Salvation is the only Subject of the De­bate, as handled in that Sermon which gave Occasion to your writing; and therefore must respect a fallen Creature, in want of Recovery from Ruin, as much with relation to Adam, as any of his De [...]cendants.—The whole Matter of Complaint you had against me in the present Case, is therefore no more than this; that I have endeavoured to represent the true State of the Question, and to shew how you had mistaken it. I represented it right, as it was stated by Mr. Cooke, and as it is stated by the Divines who write upon our Side of the Question. Your con­sidering it therefore as you did, was saying Nothing to the Purpose: It was only endeavouring to raise an Odium, and amusing your Reader with an Apprehension of Principles maintain'd by your Adversaries, which they never asserted. And if my Conduct in this be so very dis­obliging, I know not how to help it. I foresee, I shall be constrain'd to add new Provocations, of the same kind, before I finish this Letter.

A further Article of Complaint is my enquiring whether ‘you treat the dreadful Majesty of Heaven and Earth with a Reverence becoming your holy Profession and Character, when you speak of God's having a form'd Design of laying the greatest Number of his Creatures under a necessity of being miserable, and of his being acted by a most selfish View, and of his manifest double Dealing, &c.’—Unto which you answer, ‘Now I humbly trust, my Brother Jona­than, that I have as great a Reverence for the dreadful Majesty of Heaven and Earth, as you can be supposed to have.’—And you tell me, that you ‘meant those Expressions only as evident Consequences of Mr. Cooke's and my Doctrine.’ (p. 9.)—Upon this, Sir, you must give me Liberty to observe, that the Doctrines which you are [Page 101] pleased to oppose, are not only Mr. Cooke's and mine, but they are the Doctrines of the whole Reformation: And that they have been espoused by some Divines, Episcopal, as well as Presbyterian, to say the least, as capable to look into these Things, as you can modestly suppose your self to be; and by Men who have as much disclaimed and abhor'd your imaginary Consequences, as you can possibly do. For you there­fore (so much as in Case only) to impeach the glorious [...]fec [...]ions of the eternal GOD, in Language not fit to be repeated, upon the Suppo­sition that you can be wrong in your Opposition to the Confessions of all the reformed Churches, is, I still think, greatly unworthy of your Profession and Character.—Suppose, Sir, (for it is not an improbable Spposition) that all the Protestant Churches should be in the Right, and you in the Wrong, in these contested Points, and that no such dreadful Consequences do follow from the Doctrines you oppose; What Cha­racter then do's such a hypothetical or conditional Impeachment of the divine Perfections deserve! I cannot but repeat to you, what I have before observ'd to your Brother Beach, that every one who has a due Regard to the third Commandment, must justify my earnest Remon­strance against such shocking (though but hypothetical or conditional) Imputations of Cruelty. Insincerity, and Unrighteousness, to the ever­blessed and glorious GOD. For my ownPart, I desire always so to fear the great and fearful Name of the Lord my GOD, as not to think of it, much less to mention it, without an awful and reverential Regard. For Holy and Reverend is his Name.

Your last Complaint of me for endeavouring to raise an Odium, is on Account of these Words of mine: I am surprized, to find a Gentle­man of the Doctor's Capacity talk at this Rate. Does he indeed think, there is any Thing contingent with Respect to GOD?—Upon this you observe, that ‘by Contingent I mean Uncertain, though you plainly meant Events depending upon the free Actions of the Creature. (p. 10.)—I an­swer, You must allow me, Sir, to tell you, that your Explication of the Word, Contingent, is altogether novel, and conveys a very different Idea from its genuine Meaning, and from the Acceptation of it, which has constantly obtain'd in the learned World. And therefore if you used the Word in the Sense you mention, you not only assumed an Authority, you have no Claim to, in stamping a new Signification upon the Word, so very different from that which has always been received; but as it happen'd, you have also talk'd quite wide of the Point before us, and got intirely away from the Subject in Debate.—The Word Contingent, as well by its native Signification, as by its constant Use, intends what isCasual, or what for ought we know may happen to be, or may not happen to be: And a contingent Event is accordingly such an Event as we have no natural Means to come at any Certainty about. [Page 102] Whence it is evident, that there can be no Events contingent with Respect to GOD. All Futurities are and ever have been the Objects of his per­fect Knowledge: and it is impossible, that they should be contingent with Respect to him, before whom they have been eternally present, and in im­mediate Intuition.—Let it however be supposed, that the Word Contin­gent in the present Case signifies, as you are pleased to define it, ‘an Event depending on the free Actions of the Creature. I think, you will allow, that when these free Actions of the Creatures are accom­plished, the Event can be no longer contingent in any Sense. It can no longer be uncertain, even to the Creature: nor can it any longer depend upon his free Agency. Now the Question is, whether all future Events, as thus accomplished, were not known by God from all eternity, and present to his all seeing Eye. If this was the Case how could these Event. be contingent (even according to your own Explication of the Word) with Respect to GOD? Could he be ignorant, how his Crea­tures would use their Power of free Agency, or what would be the Effect or Consequence of their free Actions? If all the free Actions of his rational Creatures, with all their Consequences and Events, tho' ever so incidental, were before him in one eternal View, then it is certain, they could none of them be contingent, with Respect to an omniscient GOD, accept the Word contingent in what Sense you please.

You proceed: ‘But why then, my Brother Jonathan, and with what Conscience, could you break out in this pretended, this awful Surprize, unless it were to set People a gaping at me as a strange unaccountable Mortal?’ (Ibid)—To this I answer: Indeed my Bro­ther Samuel, what you have offered upon this Head, is so far from re­moving or extenuating my Surprize, that really it appears still more sur­prizing to me, that a Gentleman of your Capacity should attempt to vindicate those strange unaccountable Expressions, by such an odd Ex­plication of the Word Contingent, as was perhaps never heard nor thought of before; and that you should also shew such Resentment at my Endeavours to correct your Mistake, and to give the Reader a just View of the Case.

But you enquire ‘whether I my self don't think, as well as you, that GOD, to whom nothing is uncertain, does not know all Things that are contingent (as well as necessary) with Regard to us, AS BEING SUCH?’—I answer, God certainly knows that all Futurities are contingent with Regard to us; those only excepted, which he has given us Assurance of in his Word, or by the established Laws of Nature, and the steady Course of his Providence. That is, God knows, we are such ignorant and impotent Creatures, that we can't without Reve­lation know Futurities, but as Contingencies. And what then? Does it therefore follow, that God can't know them otherwise than as Contin­gencies, [Page 103] because we are so imperfect in our Knowledge and Power, as to be incapable of any other Knowledge of them?—There is nothing in the Nature of any future Events, which makes one more contingent than another, either with Regard to God or Man.—Not with Regard to GOD, who knows all Things, of every Kind, and all Events past, present and future, with one infinite eternal View—Not with Regard to Man, who knows no Futurity, but what is revealed to him by God in his Word and Works. How trifling therefore and inconclusive mu [...] all your Reasonings be upon this Subject!

Having thus offered what, I trust, an impartial Reader will vote suf­fcient, in answer to the first Article of your Charge against me, I might now take Notice of the second Accusation; That ‘when I am bro't to the Pinch of the Argument, I artfully disguise the Case, and many Times ask you 'what you mean' by this or that, and then contrive a Meaning, which you never dreamed of.’—But, Sir, it is probable, you your self might suppose there was no great matter in this Accusation, as you have barely proposed it, without any Ex [...]mplifications. A brief Answer therefore may suffice.—It is enough, that I frankly observe to you, I never saw any Thing like a Pinch either in your or Mr. Beach's Arguments, but what flowed from the Ambiguity of your Expressions, or a Misrepresentation of the Question in Debate; and therefore supposed I might without a Crime disrobe your Arguments of their Ambiguity, and represent the true State of the Question, to set Things in a proper Light. If this be a Crime, it is, I confess, a reiterated Crime: for I have been forc'd upon the same Methods again.—It is possible, I have assigned a Meaning to some of your Words, which you never dream'd of. But if so, according to the best View of the Case, that I am possibly capable of, it is because you never dreamed of the just and right Meaning of your Expressions, but through the Ambiguity of Words, and Phrases of an undetermin'd Sense, have been contesting in the dark.

I am next led to take some brief Notice of your undertaking ‘for the Sake of common Readers, to define the Term Necessary. Now Events (you tell me) are then said to be necessary to us, when they derive from the settled Course of Nature, the Laws of which are established by the free Will and invariably executed by the Al­mighty Power of GOD, having no Dependance on our Will, nor have we at all any Power over them,’ &c. (P. 10.)—If this be an exact Definition of the Term necessary, it must then be supposed to contain in it the whole Meaning of that Term, and nothing can be supposed necessary, but what agrees with this Definition. How then shall I come at the true Meaning of this Word, when within five Pages of this your Definition, I find you giving a very different Ac­count of its Signification? Thus (p. 15) You tell me, ‘If I must [Page 104] yet be to seek what you mean by Necessity, you would let me know what every Man of plain common Sense means by it, viz. a State or Condition of Being, in which a Man is so placed, that however freely he may be supposed to act, it is absolutely out of his Power by any Means that are allowed him, to think or act otherwise than he does.’—By Necessary then we must understand that "which has no Dependance on our Will," and yet that wherein "we may be sup­posed to act freely." Do you then conclude, that we can act free­ly, without the Exercise of our Will; or in Affairs that have no De­pendance on our Will? How shall I reconcile this Difficulty, and get a right Notion of the Meaning of this Term by your Definitions of it? Must I understand your Meaning to be, that "we may be sup­posed to act freely" in those Affairs which have "not their Dependance on our Will," in that the Will may be invincibly influenced, and there­by efficaciously prompted to free and voluntary Actions? This is the only Method of reconciling these two Definitions of this Term, to pre­serve any the least Appearance of Consistency, that I can possibly think of. But alas! this won't do neither: For you yourself utterly dis­claim it, and treat it with Disdain. ‘Do you mean, (say you) that a Man can be invincibly wrought upon without Force, or be neces­sitated to act freely, or to act both necessarily and freely in the same Act; i. e. That it is possible for a Thing to be, and not to be at the same Time!’ (P. 17.)—Hitherto then I am left in the Dark, after your several Explications of the Word Necessary. How then shall I come at your Sense of it? Shall I consider how you your self apply the Word, and take your Sense of it from your own Use of it? I suspect that neither will this Method answer the End: For I find you (p. 13.) using the Word Necessary in Opposition to Freedom, when you inquire of me whether my Doctrine ‘does not unavoidably make God a necessary Agent?’ And whether God must not necessarily will, &c. and necessarily act—by exerting his Almighty Will? And you speak of ‘every Action in every Creature being ne­cessarily what it is.’ And thence consider this Necessity as ‘a Doc­trine of Fate, which is Atheism. Sometimes you intend a Phi­losophical Necessity, by the Use of this Word: And sometimes a Lo­gical Necessity. You sometimes consider the Word as only a natural Consequence from foregoing Premisses: Thus with Relation to my Doctrine you demand, ‘Pray, tell me if it (your foremention'd Con­quence) does not necessarily follow from it, and is not necessarily implied in it?’ (p. 12.)—I find, you again use the Word Necessa­ry, for what is highly important, or very expedient. So (p. 20.) ‘I think it necessary, in order to speak intelligibly of the divine Sove­reignty, to distinguish,’ &c. You further use the Word Necessary [Page 105] to denote a Condition or Medium indispensably requisite to a particular End. Thus you inquire, (p. 26.) ‘Whether an explicit Knowledge of Christ be absolutely necessary, in Order to enjoy the Benefit of that Redemption, which he hath purchased?’ Your more common Use of the Word Necessary rather seems to be in a Physical Sense for Force or Constraint. Thus (p. 17.) "Invincibly wrought upon without Force," "Necessitated to act freely?"—And besides all these Uses of the Word Necessary, which occur in this brief Letter of yours, the Word fre­quently occurs where it signifies no more than Certain. Thus (p. 22.) ‘Every Sinner that is destitute of this invincible Grace, must necessa­rily continue such.’ That is, he must certainly continue such: For other Necessity, in that Case, no Man can justly pretend.

I don't set before you all these your various Acceptations of the Word Necessary, to charge you with "a Deal of metaphysical Chi­cane," but partly to convince you, ex Ore tu [...], that the Word may with Propriety be used in a great Variety of Senses or Acceptations; and therefore that your Attempt to limit it to one particular Meaning, is to impose both upon your self and your Readers.—But what I more especially aim at, is, to convince you, that neither of your contradic­tory Definitions of this Word will answer your End. For it is necessa­rily true from your own Use of the Word, that neither of your Defi­nitions contain the whole Meaning of it: And it is not from the Con­fusion of my own Ideas, as you represent it, but from a Confusion somewhere else [...] that I am put under a Necessity of inquiring what you mean by the Word necessary in this Debate.

It is also necessary to observe, that neither your Definitions of this Word, nor your very different Uses of it, nor yet the Similitudes by which you would explain it, are at all pertinent to the present Purpose. There is no more to be understood by Necessary or by Necessity (with Respect to us) in the present Debate, than that Things cannot fall out otherwise than they do. [...] Necessity is commonly distinguished by Divines into a Necessity [...] or Force, and [...] of Infal­libility or of [...] In the former Sense, [...] bound in Chains, and shat up in a [...]ungeon, is under a Necessity of being there; that is, while violently detained there, he must be where he is, how unwilling soever.—In the latter Sens [...], a condemned Rebel under the free Offer of a Pardon, upon his Submission to the King, is under a Necessity to be executed upon his refusing to submit, though he is left to his Option, and in this Respect the Event is wholly in his own Power.—Amongst all the Distinctions of Necessary, or of Necessity, which either are or can be made, these two are all that immediately affect the present Debate. If there does follow from the Doctrine of God's Sovereignty, as I have stated it, such a Necessity as puts any [Page 106] proper Force or Coaction upon the Creature, that takes away his moral Liberty, and compels him, without his Will, nay, against his Will, to be good or bad, and consequently to be happy or miserable for ever; I then acknowledge, my Doctrine cannot be true.—But if on the other [...]and there can be no other Necessity deduced from my Doctrine, but a Necessity of Infallibility or of Consequence, which puts no Force upon the Creature, which no Way infringes his Liberty, or compels him against his Will, to be either good or bad, and to be either hap­py or miserable in the future World, but in accomplishing the Event takes the Concurrence of his own Will and voluntary Choice; then you must acknowledge, that all your Arguments from Necessity are al­together impertinent.—In this latter Sense you your self must con­fess, that the divine Omniscience makes all Events that ever happen, to be absolutely certain, i. e. necessarily what they are. For his eternal Knowledge of all Futurities was infallible; and the Events must cor­respond to the infallible Prospect. On the other Hand, it is impossible for you, or any Man else, to prove any other Necessity of Men's pre­sent Conduct or future State, to be a Consequence of my Doctrine a­bout God's Sovereignty.—Let it then be immediately brought to the Trial; and let all the Instances of Necessity, by you insisted on, be particularly considered, in Order to a fair Decision of this Point.

Your first Endeavour to prove, that a Coercive Necessity follows from my Doctrine of the Divine Sovereignty, is by a Similitude of "an arbitrary and capricious PRINCE offering Pardon and Preferment to a Number of condemned Malefactors, upon Condition of their listing a Weight of 10,000 Pounds, and heaving it to the Distance of a Mile; some of whom he leaves to their own Impotence and Ruin, while others he pushes on, in Spite of their Teeth, to the Use of certain Engines in his Power, which do the Business for them."—You ask me, ‘Whe­ther these Instances are not just Resemblances of my Doctrine?’ (P. 15, 16.)

I answer, No, Sir, by no Means! I teach no such Doctrine as God's enjoining upon Men, "for the Fancy of the Thing, or purely to please a capricious Humour of his," impossible Conditions of Pardon and Salvation.—According to the Doctrine which I teach, God as a sovereign Prince promises Peace and Pardon freely and sincerely, to every one who is willing to accept of Christ and his saving Benefits: and every one has a full Warrant to accept the Offer; and so doing, is secure of the Grant. There is nothing to hinder the Salvation of any Sinner in the whole World, who is truly willing to receive this free Gift.—I teach no such Doctrine, as God's "pushing on any Cri­minals in Spite of their Teeth," to a Compliance with the Terms of Salvation. I have told you before (Vind. p. 43.) that there is no real [Page 107] Force in the Case; that when the Mind of the Sinner is illuminated and renewed by the Holy Spirit, he invincibly perswades and influences the Will, so that the Sinner is necessarily, though freely and willingly drawn to Christ, is sweetly constrain'd by the Love of Christ, and un­der this blessed Influence, he cannot he will not, forbear to work out his own Salvation.—This your Simile therefore carries in it no Appearance of proving a coercive Necessity to be what I teach: But is at best only a crude Banter on the common Protestant Doctrine of Divine Sovereignty in Man's Salvation.

You proceed to ‘ask me, in the Name of plain common Sense, what I mean, when I say,— [...], with Regard to the Bad, P. 39. He that necessarily continues a wicked Creature, must necessarily, by that very Means, be the faulty Cause of his own Destruction? (p 16.)—To which I answer: I think, what I meant by this Passage was so very plainly expressed in the Place cited by you, that there was no Cause of this Question, unless it be me [...] to raise an Odium, and represent me to your Readers as holding some very extravagant Opinion. You can't but know, Sir, that those Words were spoken in Answer to Mr. Beach's Demand, ‘How can a Sinner's Destruction be of himself, if God had never put it in his Power to be any Thing else but a wicked and miserable Creature?’ To which I answer'd, If this be supposed(tho' I largely proved it to be inconsistent and absurd, to suppose it) the Sinner must necessarily be the faulty Cause of his own Destruc­tion, upon that Account. For Wickedness is always faulty, and always by its natural and moral Efficacy the Cause of Destruction: And there­fore he that necessarily continues a wicked Creature, must necessarily, by that very Means, be the faulty Cause of his own Destruction. That is, since Wickedness is always faulty [...] and since God cannot be the faulty Cause of it, there can be no such Necessity, supposed, as is inconsistent with the Guilt of Sin lying at the Sinner's Door. Why then (Sir) do you go on gravely to reason against this Supposition of a Sinner's being necessarily a wicked Creature, as though it was what I myself pro­posed and approved of as a just and rational Supposition; when you knew it to be what I not only rejected with the strongest Marks of Abhorrence, but particularly and largely disproved!—Can you there­fore imagine, that this Attempt of yours is consistent with the solemn Introduction, with which you began your Letter to me?

You go on to inquire, ‘2dly, when I say with Respect to the Good, P. 43. 'Though there be no Force in the Case, yet the Holy Spirit invincibly influences the Will, so that the Sinner is necessarily, tho' freely, drawn to Christ'; whether I mean, that a Man can be in­vincibly wrought upon without Force? or be necessitated to act freely, or to act both necessarily and freely in the same Act? i. e. That it [Page 108] is possible for the same Thing to be and not to be in the same Time?’ (p. 17.)—To which I answer, This Matter also was sufficiently explain'd in my Vindication, that there was really no Room at all for this Question; at least there could be no Justice in proposing it, until you had answered what I there offered in Proof and Illustra­tion of it. However, you might perhaps suppose, that all your Readers would not take the Trouble to peruse and consider what I had written about it, but would be liable to have their Imagination fir'd and their Passions kindled by this your fantastick Representation of it.—However, since you must have the same Thing repeated and explain'd, I answer, that a Man can be invincibly wrought upon without Force, or be necessitated to act freely, or act both necessarily and freely in the same Act: And this is always the Case, when a Man is inwardly persuaded and influenced to act by a most agreeable and convincing Light.—To exemplify this, I would propose to you the Maxim you refer to; that it's impossible for the same Thing to be and not to be at the same Time. Now are you not necessitated to assent to the Truth of it? And yet don't you freely assent to the Truth of it at the same Time? Again, The Whole is greater than a Part: Three and two make five: Five is a lesser Number than five Hundred &c. Now are you not also here necessitated to assent to these Truths? And yet is there any Force or Violence offered to your Understanding, in necessitating your Assent?—Are you not always necessitated to agree to the Truth of Mathematical Demonstrations, well understood? Yet with­out any Force, but merely from the convincing and satisfying Evidence before you.—Thus likewise a consistent Criminal, condemned and upon the Gallows, is necessitated to consent to a Reprieve, when offered; and a drowning Man, in his Senses, to consent to Deliverance, when it presents: and yet this with the greatest Freedom, that they ever exer­cised in their Lives.—Just thus in the Case in View, when the Spirit of Grace illuminates the Sinner's Understanding, and gives him an impressive Discovery of his own Misery, and of the glorious Way of Salvation freely propos'd in the Gospel, bringing him to behold as in a Glass the Glory of the Lord, this supernatural Light necessitates his free Consent to the Gospel Call. He cannot but freely concur with what appears to him infinitely reasonable, and most desirable, and worthy of his Choice. But what Force, I beseech you, is there in the Man's be­ing feelingly apprehensive of his past Folly and Madness, and power­fully convinced of the Excellency of the Way of Salvation proposed in the Gospel, and thereby invincibly perswad [...]d to act worthy of himself, from the most reasonable Motives, and to the most noble and desira­ble End?—The great Mistake, that runs thro' all your Reasoning on this Subject, seems to be, that you indifferently oppose Freedom to all [Page 109] Sorts of Necessity: Whereas it should be opposed only to Coaction, or Force. A Necessity of Infallibility or of Consequence (as the Learned distinguish) is no Ways inconsistent with the greatest Freedom of Agency. There are Multitudes of Instances, wherein Men are influenced with such a Necessity, and yet act most freely. A hungry Man, that necessa­rily eats his Food, yet eats most freely and with Delight. We all, so long as Nature performs its proper Functions, breathe necessarily, yet most freely and willingly. Parents love their desirable and to­wardly Children necessarily, and yet they love them most freely and willingly. Even so Believers, who have a feeling Sense of the Love­liness and Love of our Lord Jesus Christ, love him necessarily, and yet most freely and with Complacence.—Here then you again fail of proving a co [...]ctive Necessity, upon my Doctrine of God's Sovereignty.

Another Argument to establish this Notion of coercive Necessity, I find thus proposed. ‘Can you seriously lay it down for Doctrine, that every wicked Man that lives and dies in Sin, is necessarily wick­ed, and consequently miserable?—This indeed must be the Case, unless (as we maintain) God has in Christ absolutely given to every Man a Measure of Grace to profit withal.’ (p. 22.)

Pardon me, Sir, if I think my self oblig'd again to inquire, what you mean by such a "Man's being necessarily wicked?" Does my Doctrine of God's Sovereignty suppose, that the glorious God puts such a Person under any coercive Necessity to be wicked? That he uses any Motives or Incentives to induce him to be wicked? or that he se­cretly influences him, by his Spirit or by his Providence, to be wicked?—Does my Doctrine make the Sinner, from any extrinsick Force upon him, necessarily wicked? What Necessity, I beseech you, can you possi­bly imagine in this Case, but what results from his own obstinate volun­tary Choice of Wickedness, and his natural Delight in it? It is true, that his Wickedness is necessary (though free) as long as he so loves it that he won't part with it, and chuses rather to venture upon eternal Damnation, than to forsake his Sins. But then the Necessity is from himself, from his own guilty Choice, and not at all from any Infusion or Influence of the blessed God.

You must still allow me to inquire a little further, what you mean by ‘God's having in Christ absolutely given to every Man a Measure of Grace to profit withal?’—If you mean no more by it than this, that God gives to every Man the common Gifts of Nature and Pro­vidence; that he gives to the Christian World the Means of Grace and Ordinances of Salvation; that he gives to every one of these like Encouragements to a careful Improvement, according to their Ability, of those Means of Life; that Multitudes in the active Improvem [...]t of these have obtain'd the renewing and saving Influences of the Holy [Page 110] Spirit; and that every one have the same Grounds and Reasons to hope for it, if indeed they are not wanting to themselves; that every one of these, being sincerely willing to accept of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the Gospel-Offer, shall certainly partake of his saving Benefits; and that there is no secret Counsel or Purpose of God, that will any Way efficaciously hinder their Improvement of the Means, or Compli­ance with the Offers of Grace, and so prevent their obtaining Salva­tion: If this (I say) be what you mean, All this is readily granted, if not also urged as strongly by us, as by you. And surely these Con­siderations are enough to animate every one who has a just Value for his immortal Interests, to active Diligence in the Duties of Religion; since there are such glorious Encouragements in this Way, and none in any other, to hope for the obtaining of eternal Salvation.—But if, on the other Hand, you mean by this, that God has absolutely given to every Man (without any other, special, and renewing Influences of the Spirit) Grace [...]ficient for his eternal Salvation, I must enter my Dissent against this Doctrine; for this Reason, among many others, that All Men have not Faith (2 Thess. iii. 2.) And he that believeth not, shall be damned. (Mark xvi. 16.) Whence it follows, that all Men have not such Grace as will intitle them to Salvation, by any Improve­ments whatever within their own Power. For they can't be saved without Faith; and they can't exercise or improve Faith, while they have it not.—No Man is qualified for eternal Salvation, but by expe­riencing the exceeding Greatness of God's Power, even the Working of his mighty Power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the Dead. (Eph. i. 19, 20.) No Man is qualified for Salvation, till he is God's Workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good Works (Eph. ii. 10.) till he be renewed in the Spirit of his Mind, and has put on the new Man, which after God is created in Righteousness and true Holiness, (Eph. iv. 23, 24.) till he is a new Creature, so that old Things are past away, and all Things are become new. (2 Cor. iv. 17.) Until he is quickned and recover'd from his Death in Trespasses and Sins. (Eph. ii. 1.)—Now it is a Fact, which admits of no Dispute, that this is not the Case, that these are not the Characters, of every Man; nor are these the Effects of our own Improvement, but the immediate O­perations and arbitrary Results of the divine Power and Grace. Unto every one of us (the Children of God) is given Grace according to the Measure of the Gift of Christ. (Eph. iv. 7.) It follows then with the greatest Certainty, that all Men have not such Grace given them, as will, even by the highest and best Improvement, intitle them to Sal­vation, or assure them of it.

You add, ‘If therefore God has absolutely resolved never to help him, he must necessarily die in his Sins.’ (Ibid.)—To which I reply,

[Page 111]Ha'n't I already shewn, that God does actually help them all, by their natural Powers and by his providential Dispensations; that he actually helps some by the instituted Means of Grace, and by the in­ternal Restraints, Suggestions, and common Motions of his Spirit; en­courages them to se [...]k for more special Help, and prompts them to hope for it, by Examples of Success, in the Way of a diligent Use of the Means [...] and thereby repairing to the Riches of his Grace in Christ; and in short, that he has promised to bestow upon them all effectual saving Help, as soon as they are sincerely willing to receive it at the Hand of sovereign Grace? What then can you mean, by ‘God's abso­lutely resolving not to help them’? Unless it be understood of his not resolving to bestow effectual saving Grace upon them? Now is it not a Fact [...] notoriously observable, that a great Part of the World actually have not effectual saving Grace? And shall we poor Worms venture to contend with our Maker! on Account of Facts, that are most incontestibly true; and most certainly just, because they are certainly true. For there is no Unrighteousness with God.—Just and True are thy Ways, thou King of Saints!

You subjoin, ‘But, according to my Doctrine, he cannot be willing, without a sovereign invincible Grace. And then, if he be not wil­ling, it is merely because God does not think fit to bestow it.—Accord­ing to me, (you say) He can no more will to accept, than he can create a World.—Can this be any thing else but tantalizing com­mon Sense!’ (p. 23, 24.)—To which I answer, and will ascribe Righteousness to my Maker. Surely the real Cause of Sinners not being willing to accept offered Mercy, is not God's not seeing fit to bestow it; but the Depravation of their own Affections, and their Enmity to God and Godliness.—It is true, they can no more be willing to accept of Christ and his Salvation, than they can create a World, as long as the Service of Satan, the World, and their own deceitful Lusts appear so much more desirable and eligible to them, than the Lord Jesus Christ, his Service and saving Benefits. 'Tis morally impossible for any Man in the World, in any Case whatsoever, to will or chuse what actually appears to him every Way undesirable, and unworthy of his Choice, as their Lusts represent Christ to be.—It is also true, that God can, if he pleases, give to every Man in the World such a convincing and im­pressive View of the Glory of the Lord, as shall change them into the same Image, and make them all instantly and perpetually willing to accept of Christ Jesus, his Graces and Benefits. But is he obliged to do this? or does he do this in Fact? (Indeed, Sir, there is no disputing against Facts.) We see the contrary to this verified before our Eyes, in thousands of Instances every Day.—And whoso dare reprove God, or challenge the Almighty upon this his Conduct, let him answer it!

[Page 112]You have one Argument more against what you call my necessitating Doctrine; which is, ‘that there can scarcely be a more mischievous Doctrine advanced among Mankind; for it tends at once to destroy all Religion and Morality, and all civil and Family-Government, and render them unmeaning and ridiculous Things.’ (P. 22.)—I answer, This (Sir) is a high Charge indeed, and if it can be justified, it is sufficient to enkindle your Zeal against such pernicious Doctrine.—But if this be so, be pleased to assign some Reason why this Doctrine ever has had a direct contrary Effect, to what you say is its Tendency. If the Case be look'd into, thro' the whole Christian World, it will ap­pear, that Religion, Civility and Morality flourish most where these Doctrines are cordially receiv'd, and pursued according to their genuine Tendency. If we look even among the Papists, are not the Jans [...]nists and Dominicans confess'd to be the most religious and moral Men of any of their Orders?—If we look among all the Protestant Churches, from the Reformation to this Day, don't this appear an indisputable Fact? Even in the Church of England, I appeal to your own Con­science, Sir, whether you don't think, there was incomparably more of solid Virtue, practical Godliness, and pure Religion among the first Reformers, Clergy and Laity, that you must confess were in general Calvinist in point of Doctrine, than is to be found among her Sons at this Day, that are of the contrary Part? Is it not always seen, that a Degeneracy of Manners attends a Departure from those Doctrines; and that a Revival of Religion is ever attended with a Zeal for them, in Proportion? But how, Sir, can this be accounted for, upon your Notion of Things? This Event, if your Remarks are just, is indeed mysterious and very surprizing!—That for so long a Tract of Time, and so universally through the whole World, the Effect should be so di­rectly contrary to the Tendency of its Cause, is what I think can in no other Instance be exemplified.

But you argue, ‘To what Purpose should we pray to God, or use the Means of Grace, if our Fate be beforehand so immutably fix'd, that if it should be already bad, these Means can only make us worse? (P. 22, 23.)—I answer, Sir, Why do you again appeal to the Passions of your Readers, and endeavour thus to raise an Odium without any Foundation at all? For, Do I teach any such Doctrine of immutable Fate? Or does my Doctrine any more imply it than your own?—My Doctrine of the divine Decrees does indeed im­ply an infallible Certainty of the Event, and no more. You have try'd your Skill, and can prove no other Necessity from it. And your Doctrine of the Divine Pr [...]science necessarily implies just as much. If God did eternally foreknow all future Events, his Knowledge was according to Truth, and therefore certain and infallible: And [Page 113] the Event must accordingly be certain and infallible, just such as he knew it would be. Here can be no Difference possibly proved in this Case. There is no Force, no coercive Influence at all upon the Actions of moral Agents, supposable from our Doctrine of the Divine De­crees, any more than from yours of the divine Foreknowledge. And therefore all the Consequences you can possibly fasten upon our Doc­trine, are at the same Time easily retorted, and by the same Argu­ments, equally fastened upon yours also.—And I have this further to add, that we are certain, from much better Reasoning, than yours or mine, that the Argument from the divine Sovereignty should be direct­ly the Reverse of what you offer. For thus the Apostle reasons from the Doctrine before us, in Phil. ii. 12, 13. Work out your own Salva­tion with Fear and Trembling; FOR it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good Pleasure. Now if God only can help us, surely we ought the more earnestly to seek Help from him. If he be sovereign in the Donation of his Grace, we should be the more humble and the more importunate in Prayer, lying at his Foot to ob­tain it. We have as much Encouragement as any Body in the World ever had, to seek for Grace at the Hands of a sovereign Benefactor. This and no other is the Method, in which to make our Calling and Election sure.—If therefore we act a reasonable and consistent Part, the divine Sovereignty will animate our Diligence, instead of encou­raging our Sloth and Negligence. This is always found true in all other Instances. The Beggar is the more importunate for an Alms, and the condemned Malefactor for a Pardon, because they both know they depend upon a sovereign and arbitrary Benefactor, who can ei­ther grant or deny their Request, just as he pleases.

Thus, Sir, I have briefly considered what you have said to prove, that a coercive Necessity is the Consequence of my Doctrine of the di­vine Sovereignty. I find you frequently asserting this Necessity to be my Tenet, and in order to amuse and prejudice your Readers, ex­claiming against a "fatal Necessity" a ‘mischievous necessitating Doctrine’ &c. But have you made so much as the least Appearance towards any Proof, that our Doctrine is such as you represent it; unless it be by placing those ill-favour'd Opinions to our Account, which you ought to know that we abhor, as much as you can do?—I shall con­clude this Head with a fair Proposal: Do you do your best Endeavour, by what Arguments you think sit, to prove this coercive or fatal Ne­cessity to be my Tenet, or rationally deducible from any Doctrines, that I have expresly asserted or avowed in this Debate with you and Mr. Beach, and if I don't with the same Arguments prove the same Necessity deducible, with the same Evidence, from such Doctrines as you your selves have expresly allowed in this Debate with Mr. C [...]oke [Page 114] and me; I will then acknowledge my Mistake as publickly as you shall require.

Having thus traced you through your whole Course of Reasoning against my imaginary "necessitating Doctrine," that your Discourse upon that Subject might be kept in one connected View, I must now return to the Consideration of one or two Things, which I have pur­posely past over, that I might not break this Thread of Argument, but follow it to the End.

The first is a heavy Complaint of this Paragraph in my Vindication (a little Part of which you cite, p. 12.) "If there be a GOD, he must be omniscient, and must know not only in general the future States of the Righteous and the Wicked, but the State of each individual Person. He must number the very Hairs of our Head. He must foresee, or rather see every Thing certainly, AS BEING WHAT IT IS; and therefore every Event must certainly be according as he eternally knew it would be. This Knowledge of his (as I before observ'd) must agree with all his other Perfections, and therefore must agree with his Will; unless we should blasphemously suppose a Discord and Jar among the divine Attributes. Hence a divine Decree, with Respect to each individual Person, necessarily follows from the Foreknowledge, or from the infinite eternal Knowledge of God." (VIND. p. 76, 77.)—These, Sir, you know, were my Words, and this, the Argument you should have answered: An Argument this, as I verily think, which falls nothing short of Demonstration. But what Answer have you given to it? Truly not one Word! You have done here, as almost every where else; instead of answering the Ar­gument, you have set yourself upon amusing and astonishing your Rea­der, and raising an Odium in his Mind, by Endeavours to fix some imaginary, ridiculous or terrible Consequences upon the Doctrine.—You demand of me, whether this be my Doctrine, That ‘because God knew Adam would disobey, therefore he must necessarily have willed his Disobedience?’—That ‘because he knew Judas would reject and betray Christ, therefore he must necessarily have willed his A­postacy and Treachery?’ (Ibid.)

To which I answer, Our blessed Lord himself assures us (Luk. xxii. 22.) Truly the Son of Man goeth (to be betrayed by Judas, &c.) as it was determined: But wo unto that Man by whom he is betrayed.—The Apostles assure us, that both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the People of Israel, were gathered together to do whatso­ever God's Hand and his Counsel determined before to be done. (Acts iv. 27, 28.)—Now then, here is a full and a plain Answer from the Mouth of Our LORD himself and his Apostles to your Demand with Respect to the Apostacy and Treachery of Judas, as well as with Respect to the greatest Wickedness that ever was perpetrated, in the Crucifixion of [Page 115] our blessed Saviour. These Things were determined: They were fore-determin'd to be done. And have I said any more than this?—Whatever frightful Consequences therefore can possibly be deduced from my Doctrine, must with the same Propriety and Force follow from this Scripture. Doctrine now before us. For it is exactly the same. And expound these Texts how you please, those-Expressions of mine, which you contend against, will with equal Justice admit of the same Exposition.

You ‘beg Leave to ask further, Whether God does not always approve and take Pleasure in every Thing that he wills? —I an­swer, By every Thing that he wills, you must mean (if you speak per­tinently) every Thing which he decrees: for that was the Word used by me. It is therefore proper to retort the Question: Do you think, Sir, that God approv'd and took Pleasure in the Treason of Judas, and in the Cruelty and horrid Murder committed by Herod, Pilate, and the Gentiles, with the People of Israel; though the Scripture assures you, that he fore-determined these Events?—I conclude, you'll answer in the Negative; and thereby also give a negative Answer to your own Question, as it refers to the same Doctrine taught by me.—Probably you would tell me, that God might fore-determine to permit a sinful Event, and to over rule that Event to his own Glory, without an Approbation of the Sinfulness that accompany's that Event; and with­out any active Influence in the Production of it. And who don't see that this Interpretation would at once destroy all those frightful Conse­quence [...], with which you have been amusing your Readers, or attempting to scare them into "an awful Surprize, and set them a gaping at me as a strange unaccountable Mortal."

You ask me, ‘How can it be but they must be necessary Consequences of this your Doctrine?’ (Ibid.) I answer, How can it be that these should be necessary Consequences of this my Doctrine, since my Doctrine is the very same with the Doctrine of our LORD himself and his Apostles?—However, let us more distinctly consider the very worst and most frightful Consequence, which you would fasten upon this Doctrine, and which you represent in the following Manner.

‘Give me leave, Sir, upon this Occasion, to suggest my Fears, whether this Doctrine, as you express it, does not unavoidably make the Almighty a necessary Agent (which is indeed a mere Contradic­tion in Terms:) for if God's Decrees necessarily follow from his Foreknowledge, must he not necessarily will or decree every Thing that he knows will be, and if so must he not necessarily act in every Thing that is?’ (p. 13.)

I can't see so much as the least Appearance of Argument here, but merely from the Ambiguity of the Expression [necessarily follows.] [Page 116] The true Construction of the Words, as I used and intended them, is, that the Supposition of a divine Decree is a necessary Consequence upon the Supposition of God's eternal Foreknowledge. Whereas, What you must mean by those Words, if you speak to any Purpose at all, must be, that whatever God foreknows, the same he does by Virtue of that Foreknowledge necessarily will, and can do no otherwise. But why, good Sir, are you thus continually playing with the Ambiguity and mere Sound of Words, and by a forc'd Construction, quite foreign to my obvious Meaning, taking Advantage to raise an Odium by pretended horrible and frightful Consequences?—My Expressions, for ought I can learn, were intelligible enough to others. But since you either cannot, or else will not, understand me, I will first endeavour to explain my self, and will afterwards consider whose "Notions are most nearly connected with the Doctrine of Fate, which is Atheism," yours or mine.

My Meaning then is, that it is necessary to suppose the glorious GOD as possessed of all infinite Perf [...]ctions and adorable Attributes, which do all of them always concur in all the divine Operations, and all of them are from Eternity to Eternity without Variation or Shadow of Change. From whence it follows, that the eternal Knowledge and Counsel of God, each of which is a Perfection or Attribute of the divine Nature, have always concurred in the Operations of his infinite Mind.—This, Sir, is what you charge with Fatalism, and with making the Almighty a necessary Agent.—But it's certain, from this Exhibition or Representation of the divine Being, that God cannot be (in your Sense of the Words) a necessary Agent. For Actions flowing from in­finite Knowledge, in full Concurrence with infinite Counsel, are the very highest Acts of Freedom, or moral Liberty, that can be conceived. The Freedom of all rational Actions, for ought I can see, consists in Nothing else but acting knowingly and voluntarily. You have therefore laid the Charge of Fatalism against the very Description of the highest Freedom.—I may therefore yet venture, after all your tragical Excla­mations, to say with the Apostle, Whom he did foreknow, he also did pred [...]stinate.—But now let us turn the Tables, and see whether the Charge of Fatalism can't be laid some where else, with a more plau­sible Appearance of Truth and Equity.

You say (p. 12.) ‘I or my Pa [...]t, I can't but be of Opinion, that GOD must know a thousand Things with Respect to the free volun­tary Actions of each Individual, which it was impossible for him to will or decree in any [...]—Well! [...] this be [...]o, that God eternally forekn [...]w thousands of Things, which it was impossible for him to will or decree IN ANY SENSE, not so much as to permit them or to glorify himself by directing and over ruling them, it must either be because he foreknew them without any Counsel and Will at all about them, or [Page 117] because he foreknew them contrary to his Counsel and Will about them, or else because he first foreknew the Events, and came to a De­termination about them afterward. These, I think, are all the Suppo­sitions, that it's possible to make in this Case. And either of these ne­cessarily imply's the Fatalism you justly exclaim against.

If in the first Place the glorious God must be supposed to have fore­known Events without any Counsel, any Will, or Decree, IN ANY SENSE, about them, without Determining how he would serve his own Purposes, or advance his own Glory by them, he must then be supposed to have thrown the Government out of his own Hands, and to have left the Events to Fate or Destiny.

Or, If God be supposed to have foreknown these Events, contrary to his Counsel and Will about them, then it must be also supposed, that some fatal Destiny, independent of God and Man, has counteracted his Purposes, and produced those Events, which he would not have permitted. His Couns [...]l would else have stood, and he would have done all his Pleasure.

Or lastly, If God be supposed first to foreknow the Events and come to a Determination about them afterward, then how could these Events possibly have been the Objects of his Foreknowledge? If he had not willed, at least, to permit them, they could never have been; and con­sequently could not be foreknown as future, unless they had their Fu­turity from some other Source, independent of his Will; that is, unless they owed their Futurity to an eternal Fate, independent even of God himself.—Upon the whole, it must be true, that if God did eternally forekn [...]w all future Events, the Futurity, of all Events was from Eter­nity certain; that is, those Events must certainly be just as God eter­nally foreknew they would be: otherwise God's Knowledge would not be perfect and according to Truth. Now it's a Contradiction, to sup­pose that God could eternally forekn [...]w any Thing to be certainly future before it was so: And if the Futurity of Events was eternally certain, it must be so either from the divine Counsel, or from some other eternal Source, which can be nothing else but a fatal Necessity. And this I acknowledge to be right down Atheism.—It appears to me as certain and evident as any Demonstration in Euclid, That the Idea of a God or a Being of infinite and eternal Wisdom, Counsel, and Knowledge, does [...] imply in it the Supposition of an eternal Purpose or De­cree concerning all future Events. By which Decree or Purpose I mean an eternal Determination to promote some Events by his Providence, to permit others, and to over-rule each individual so as to advance his own Glory and subserve his own holy and glorious Designs.—And on the other Hand, it appears to me nothing short of Demonstration, that to deny an eternal Decree, in the Sense but now expressed, is to deny [Page 118] the Being of GOD, and to put all Things into the Hands of a blind Chance and unactive Fate. ‘The God of Israel and the God of Chri­stians,’ is wonderful in Counsel and excellent in working. He is a God of Knowledge, by whom Actions are weighed; whence it is that we are predestinated according to the Purpose of him, who worketh all Things according to the Counsel of his own Will. (Eph. i. 11.)—But I am weary of such frequent Repetitions, and must therefore refer you to my Answer to your Brother Beach upon the same Subject for further Satisfaction.

You proceed to a compassionate Address in the following Words.‘I am really grieved, my Brother Jonathan, that you should be found in such unhappy Company, and that any of your Notions should be so nearly connected with their Doctrine of Fate, which is Atheism. (p. 14.)—To this I answer, I know not which Way, my Brother Johnson, I can better testify my Gratitude to you for this your Compassion, than by exercising the like Sympathy towards you, intreating you to look well into this Matter, to consider what Company you are fallen into before you were aware of it, and to consider what infinite Dishonour your Doctrine reflects upon the Perfections of the glorious GOD, and how instead of asserting the Freedom of the Divine Will, you have in Effect deny'd GOD'S exercising any Counsel, any Will at all, in ANY SENSE, concerning Multitudes of his Creatures Actions, and thereby set up the fatal Necessity, which you so zealously decry.—In short, the main Difficulties you have objected against the common Doctrine of the Decrees, seem as justly and as plausibly applicable against the com­mon Doctrine of a particular Provid [...]nce: And the one perhaps, is as hard to be reconcil'd with the Liberty of moral Agents, as the other. Be consistent; and I think, you must own them both.

But pray, Sir, tell me what candid View you could have in upbraid­ing me again with Dr. Twisse's endeavouring to vindicate, against the Reproaches of Arminius, that Saying of Cameracensis, That God could without any Injustice or Cruelty eternally afflict an innocent Creature. Though I am far from justifying this Opinion, at least accord­ing to the Construction you put upon it; and therefore passed it be­fore without any Notice, as being what I am no Ways concern'd with: Yet now it's thrown in my Way again, probably on Purpose to raise an Odium, I shall therefore just offer a Remark or two upon this strange Piece of foreign News, that you are pleased to acquaint your Reader with; for its here to be consider'd in no other View, being in the whole really nothing to the Purpose.—My first Remark is, It seems you han't attentively read Dr. Twisse's Vindiciae, else you could not represent one of the greatest and most learned Men of the Age, in which he lived, in such a disadvantageous and contemptuous Light, [Page 119] and even call "the Soundness of his Intellect" into Question. I would therefore advise you, Sir, to read him deliberately without Prejudice; and if that don't convince you of the Justice of all his Sentiments, it can hardly fail of convincing you of the Danger of many of your own.—My second Remark is, You are very unjust to Dr. Twisse, in say­ing, ‘He had Sense enough to see that they (those two Principles re­ferred to by you) were fundamental to his Scheme;’ when (as you must needs know) he repeatedly tells you the direct contrary; * and when in Truth he had so effectually beat his Arminian Adversaries out of the Field without the Help of those Arguments.—A third and very necessary Remark is this, You have represented Dr. Twisse's two Principles very unfairly, and cited his Words with no Exactness. For Instance, whereas the Dr. speaks of innocent Creatures indefinitely, you by immediately tacking to your Quotation this Gloss, ‘i. e. such as were never capable of formal and actual Sin, —(this Clause being also put in Italick, conformable to the rest of your pretended Quota­tion) would make your Reader believe that this was the very Language and Sense of the Author; when these descriptive Words are really but your own Comment, and inserted doubtless with the laudable View to "beget an Odium in your inconsiderate Readers," by turning their Thoughts here to the Case of Infants, though the Author himself had no peculiar Respect to them, but principally speaks all along of adult Innocents.—Moreover, whereas Dr. Twisse only speaks of GOD's eternally AFFLICTING any of his Creatures, though innocent, you alter the Phrase, and make him speak of in [...]icting exquisite and eternal MISERY upon them, and make him assert that it's better to be eter­nally miserable, than not to be, which conveys an Idea quite different from that of the Author, and is expresly renounced by him:—And this you've done, notwithstanding he had, even in the Place you refer to, as well as elsewhere, rebuk'd Arminius for making this very Change of the Expression; charging him at the same Time with Self­Inconsistence herein, since he himself had own'd the Condition of an in­nocent, though afflicted Man, to be not so much miserable, as happy (for according to him, Innocence is a greater Good, in Kind, than in­fernal Affliction itself is an Evil) and since he himself had further own'd that God might even annihilate an innocent Creature; which the Dr. thinks to be worse of the two, because innocent Creatures, however af­flicted, are yet in a Condition better than not to be,—or as you sometime express it, "in a Condition, that (every Thing being considered, in the whole of their Nature and Duration) would render Being desirable to them;" and you confess too, that "Every Thing beyond what is just [Page 120] sufficient to render Being desirable, even to a perfect Creature, however so obedient, you take to be Matter of meer sovereign Goodness, in which God may go into what Variety [...]e pleases."—If therefore, in any In­stance, he is pleased to afflict a perfect Creature; how much, or how long soever, what Room could there have been for any Impeachment of his Justice, or his Goodness either, according to this Opinion of yours, which (for ought I can see) differs not very widely from Dr. Twisse's, that you have stigmatiz'd as a "prodigious Absurdity!"—But once more, whereas Dr. Twisse, in the Passage you are so angry at, is speak­ing only of God's absolute and unlimited Power, or what he might have done, meerly as the Creator, or Lord of Life and Death, in Case he had never instituted any such Method of moral Government, as he has establish'd over his Creatures; You on the contrary would make your Readers believe, he is speaking of God's ordinate Power, or what he may do, as a Judge and moral Governor, in the present Course of his Administration, "consistent with his Justice and Goodness," notwith­standing his own settled Rule of Dispensation: When at the same Time you do or ought to know, that Dr. Twisse has guarded his Opi­nion with this Distinction, in Terminis, avowing it only in the former View, but disavowing it in the latter, and expresly again and again warning his Reader against your Construction as abusive : Withal as­signing this as the Foundation of his Opinion, that there's no such Thing in God as Justice, properly so called, respecting his Creatures, whereby he can be under Obligation to them, or they have any De­mands upon him, absolutely ex Merito; but what we term Justice in God, means only his Faithfulness, which presupposes some divine Pro­mise or Constitution. Hence, no Constitution or Covenant suppos'd in Being (says the Dr.) a sovereign God, is at intire Liberty to dispose of his Creatures as he pleases; and acting by his absolute Power, can­not be said to violate Justice, by afflicting any the holiest Creature in the Universe; there being no Place for Justice, with respect to his own Creatures (who are therefore his Property, and at his arbitrary Dis­posal, in regard both of Being, and Well being) antecedent to any Di­vine Establishment, and voluntary bounding of his own Right of Do­minion, as to the Exercise of it over them.—However, Dr. Twisse is peremtory and constant in determining, that there is no such Case in Fact; and that as there is actually a Rule of Government subsisting, which makes Room for the Display of a Justice of Faithfulness, or rectoral Holiness, in his Dispensations to the moral World, the blessed God therefore, for the Honour of his Name, will not eternally punish Man or Angel, but on the Account of SIN. *

[Page 121]

A CONTINUATION Of the REFLECTIONS on Dr. Johnson's LETTER to the late Mr. Dickinson.
In a Letter to the Dr. from his Brother.

Rev. Sir,

DIvine Providence having removed my Brother by Death, before he had finish'd the whole of what he intended by way of Re­mark on your DEFENCE, I trust you will not judge it an unseem­ly Officiousness in me, on his Behalf, to make a few Observations on those Parts of it yet remaining to be reply'd to: Which therefore, without any further Apology or Preface, I shall now attempt.

And as the Connection of Things leads me, I begin with observing on your 18th Page. Where, I must beg Leave, Sir, to say, you either shew your self not sufficiently appriz'd of the true Sentiments of good honest Dr. TWISSE,’ as you stile him, or else have not seen fit on this Occasion to act like him the good honest Part in asserting his S [...]pra­lap [...]arian Scheme (especially with the feign'd Face and dark Colour­ings you had put on his two Principles) to be, ‘the same with Mr. Cooke's and my Brother's;’ when neither the one in his Sermon, nor the other in his Vindication, have made use of any Principles, or advanc'd any Arguments, but what shew them to have been in the Sublapsarian Scheme, and do all along consider Man in his fallen State as the Object of the Divine Sovereignty in this Dispute.—And surely, Sir, notwith­standing your sarca [...]tical Insinuation, as if my Brother had not "Sense enough to see" what you pretend Dr. Twisse saw, or not a Penetration equal to yours, nevertheless you can't deny that he might be quite as honest as either of you, if he "fell to Work" according to his own settled Judgment, following his best Light.—And was it Charity (Sir) in you, to suggest the contrary? Was it Candour and Ingenuity, that led you to tax him with not having Honesty enough to own and pursue his real Scheme! However, by going to Work as he did, it appears he had this Advantage beyond "the good honest Doctor," in maintaining his Cause, that you could find no Colour for imputing to him ‘those two monstrously absurd Conclusions, to which Dr. Twisse is reduced,’ ac­cording [Page 122] to your Account: and he sav'd himself the Trouble of clear­ing up these fundamental Points,’ as you affect to call them; which have no Manner of Connection with that Doctrine of the Sovereignty and Promises of God, oppos'd by you and espous'd by him in the pre­sent Debate.

I proceed now, Sir, to consider what occurs in the next place, your Thoughts on the moral State of Man, as he comes into the World since the Fall.—And I observe, you treat the Consideration of Man's primi­tive State as but a grand Impertinence in the Argument between my Bro­ther and you, on the head of God's Sovereignty in fallen Man's Salva­tion. I have my Eye here particularly to that remarkable Passage of yours (p. 18.) ‘You ask, Did not God when he gave Being to Man at FIRST, put him into a State much better than not to be? I answer, I believe so, Sir, but pray, WHAT IS THIS TO YOU, or TO ME, or TO ANY ONE ELSE? Had we a Being when Adam fell?—Yet it seems, Sir, you yourself on a more calm Reflection could not help be­ing conscious of some Pertinence and Weight in the Consideration of Man's original State: for you have inserted in your Margin some Notes that look a little like Concession [...]to my Brother's Reasoning, and a Re­tractation of your foregoing Answer. And surely, Sir, you must own, it is SOMETHING to you, and to Me and to every one else, if it be as you have granted, That ‘we come into the World in an IMPERFECT, or much less perfect Condition, than we might have done if Adam had not fell, and in a State much SHORT of that original perfect LAW of our NATURE, which is call'd ORIGINAL RIGHTEOUSNESS.’ This you own to be Fact.—Now, Sir, if Original Righteousness, or that mo­ral Rectitude, which took place in the first Man as he came out of the Hand of God, be the very LAW of our NATURE, then must you not own, 'that any Want of Conformity in us to this Law is Sin?—And must you not of Consequence own, that in Proportion as the State we come into World in, falls short of that original perfect Law of our Nature, so far it is a Defection from the Rule God hath given us, and therefore is truly a State of Sin?—And if this be the Condition we are born in, must you not still further own, that in some Respects this is "a Condition, or State of Being, infinitely worse than not to be,"—were it not for the gracious Provision made in CHRIST for our Reco­very? Yea, as to every one that finally neglects the great Salvation, and dies in his Sin, is it not written in Capitals over him, IT WERE GOOD FOR THIS MAN IF HE HAD NEVER BEEN BORN!—On the whole, although, our Nature having sinned in the first Man, his Fall has so far affected his Posterity, that we come into the World in a State of Im­perfection and Unhappiness, yet it is (every thing consider'd) an unex­ceptionable Plea in behalf of God's Sovereignty, and a sufficient Vindica­tion [Page 123] of his Justice and Goodness from all Imputations, That Man had once in Adam a perfect Being given him, in a State of Inno­cence and Happiness.—If (Sir) you should still persist in saying, What is this to you, or to me, or any one else! it must be, I think, because you sup­pose We originally had no moral Connection with Adam, whether standing or falling; and come into the World intirely free of all Re­lation to him as our federal Head, or Representative in the first Cove­nant. But, Sir, I must ask you, how this Hypothesis can consist with what you yourself have "laid down for Doctrine" elsewhere, which you will allow me to remind you of. I mean that Passage in the Let­ter from Aristocles (p. 18, 19.) where you expresly tell us of All baptized Christians being by that Ordinance taken out of the first ADAM, and grafted into the Body of CHRIST, the second Adam. Now, Sir, if we never were IN the first Adam, how can we be said to be taken OUT of him! and how is this Transplantation you speak of, out of the First into the Second Adam, with any Propriety applicable to ALL baptized Christians, as effected by that Ordinance, but only in a federal Sense, or in respect of a visible Covenant Relation? And in Truth, to make this Passage of yours correspond, one part of it to the other, it necessarily imply's, that the first ADAM (out of whom we are taken) as well as the Second Adam (into whom we are grafted) must be sup­pos'd by you to have his Body, whereof he is the moral Head. And it necessarily imply's your supposing in the Case of Infants, as well as Adults, before their Baptism, that they are IN the first Adam; not in the natural Sense only of the Family of Adam, but also of his Body in a federal Sense, corresponding to that in which you say they are by Baptism grafted into the Body of the second Adam, which visibly dis­solves their moral Union with the first Man.—Why then should it be thought a Thing incredible with you, that (before Baptism at least) the Members should share with the Head in all the Guilt and Ruin of his Fall!

You say further, "Did not God make you and me, as well as Adam?"—I answer, Yes, Sir, without Controversy: But then, did God make Adam and us alike, as to the whole Manner and all the Circumstances? No; you must allow a manifest Disparity and a vast Dissimilitude be­tween his Case and ours in many Regards. I leave you to reflect how he was made: and as to us, shall only remind you, that we are born of Blood; and this, tho' originally innocent, yet fallen under a spiritual Attainture. Of one Blood God hat [...] MADE us all.—(Act. 17. 26.) This Blood was as it were poison'd in the first Source by the Creature's Folly: and as the Divine Permission in that Case (I mean, the original contract­ing of this spiritual Infection) was nothing inconsistent with God's moral Attributes; so neither is the Permission in the other Case, the Propagation of that vitiated Blood. For, Sir, tho' with you we assert [Page 124] God to be our Maker, as well as Adam's, yet neither the Author, the Promoter, nor the Approver of the Corruption of our Nature: and while we refer this absolutely to the Creature, as the sole faulty Cause, why may not we consistently thank GOD as ‘the Father of our Spirits, and the Former of our Bodies,’ notwithstanding human Nature has been derived to us thro' a deprav'd Channel and in a degenerate Condition; especially considering the Hope of the Gospel?

You say, "Were we not born just such Creatures as GOD thought fit to MAKE us"?—But, Sir, have you not before own'd, that we come into the World in a morally imperfect State of Being "in a State much short of Original Righteousness, that original perfect Law of our Nature"? And could you mean here to charge GOD as the Author or the Approver of this Event! If God suffer'd Adam to beget a Son in his own Likeness, i. e. in the Image of a fallen and deprav'd Parent; could you possibly think it proper to call this begotten Creature, "just such a Creature as GOD thought fit to MAKE him"! What do you assign as the true Cause of the Creature's moral Imperfection, and being born in a State so dissimilar to that in which Adam was created, so much short of original Righteousness, that universal and standing Law of our NATURE? Surely you won't impute this to GOD, his Maker, as the Efficient? Did "GOD think fit to MAKE" his Nature thus short of its original perfect LAW! Would not this be to charge Him with violating his own Law of Creation! And so indeed to charge God foolishly! Which you justly express your self afraid of: tho' indeed in regard of the Case it self, touching which you so express yourself, it may justly be said, you fear where no Fear is.

You say, ‘For Fear of which, I dare not agree with the Assembly of Divines in their Notion of Original Sin, as expressed in their larger Catechism.—But why so, Sir? Is there any one Notion advanc'd there so exceptionable as that of your own, just now remark'd upon! "We are born in a State much short of Original Righteousness, that perfect Law of our [...]—yet born just such Creatures as GOD saw fit to MAKE us"!—What Part of the Assembly's Description is it you can't concur to? One would have thought, you would have singled out the first Idea suggested there, viz. "the GUILT of Adam's first Sin." But passing that over, as if you had no Exceptions against it, you confine your Reflections to this other, "the Corruption of his Nature." And here I perceive, you can't agree with ‘the Assembly in saying, We are made utterly opposite to all Good, and wholly in­clined to all Evil. (p. 19. Marg.)—And you exclaim upon it, ‘This is shocking indeed! And no Help, no Hope! Who could thank GOD for giving him such a Being!—It is really surprizing, that such a grave Body of Divines should teach such Doctrine.—But stop, [Page 125] Sir, cool a little, and recollect your self. Was you really carry'd away here with "a Number of meer Sounds, not attending to the real Sense of the Words"? Or was you "so far under the Influence of Prejudices" (Faults which you complain of in others) as to use a low Artifice designedly to mislead your inconsiderate Readers, and abuse that venerable Body? I might very fitly return you your own Com­plements to my Brother, in Page 6, 7.—But to the Point—It's obser­vable, Sir, the Ambiguity of a Word, detach'd from the Context, is all the Colour you have for bringing in "the Assembly saying, We are MADE opposite to all Good," &c. On which you cry out of "Unscrip­tural and unnatural Notions of Original Sin"—"Hard and unworthy Thoughts of the Father of Mercies"—It's plain, Sir, you either ima­gine, or would have your Readers imagine, as if the Assembly were in­deed speaking of GOD's making us thus opposite to all Good.—But it's at best only a Fancy or a Fallacy. You might as well (Sir) have turn­ed your Satyr upon the Apostle for saying, Many were MADE Sinners.—Nay, Sir, your pointed Reflections all rebound on your own Head, while you confess we are born much short of the original perfect Law of our Nature, and yet avouch we are born just such Creatures as GOD saw fit to MAKE us! Is there any Thing of so bad an Appearance as this, in the Assembly's Catechism! Dare you (Sir) on a Review of their Words, affirm, that the Assembly so much as lisp one Title of GOD'S making us opposite to all Good! Nay, dare you charge them even with saying, i. e. absolutely, or in a simple Proposition, "We are made opposite to all Good"—! No, Sir, they express themselves with an unexceptionable Caution and Accuracy, and with a singular Exactness of Judgment point out the true Source of this Opposition in us to Good, and Inclination to Evil.—In Contradistinction to all ima­ginable Causes without us (whether GOD, or Satan, or the World, tempting Objects, seducing Example, or the like) they primarily resolve all our unreasonable Appetites and Aversions into the moral Disorder within ourselves, habitual to us from our Birth, and common to human Nature in all the Descendants from fallen Adam. 'Tis "this Original Corruption, WHEREBY (they tell us) Man is utterly in­disposed, disabled, and made opposite to all that is spiritually good"—And here, Sir, why did you represent them as "saying, We are made utterly opposite to all good?" making them thus speak indefinitely and absolutely, when in this place they cautiously describe the Object by a limiting Word, only mentioning "that which is SPIRITUALLY good," as what we are by our Corruption made so opposite to. Did you imagine, or would you have your Readers imagine, that the Assembly had it really in View, to paint fallen Man in such dark Colours, consummately deprav'd from his very Nativity! as in Fact [Page 126] utterly indispos'd and opposite, yea, and utterly disabled too, unto all that is Good, to all that is spiritually such, and to all materially such! Or as in Fact 'wholly inclined to all that is Evil'—"i. e. materially such" (to allude to a Distinction of your own, p. 19.) to all that is morally such, and to all that is spiritually such, or in any respect such!—And that they design'd to represent Man as become thus extreamly vicious by Dint meerly of the Corruption of his own Nature, or (if you will) by Virtue only of "that Condition he was born in"!—And in [...]ine, to represent this as owing to no other Cause but "GOD'S giving him such a Being," or "making him just such a Creature," thus compleatly wicked, a finish'd Sinner from his very Birth!—Can you, Sir, persuade your self, as you have in­sinuated to your Readers, that either the Whole or any Part of this dreadful Representation truly answers to the Assembly's Description in their Catechism!—No; 'tis all intirely aliene from the real Sense and Scope of it; and all may be excluded out of it, without detracting in the least from their full Intention. Every Article may be given up, and yet it may still remain a Truth, in the words of the Assembly's Descrip­tion, that ‘Man is by the Corruption of his Nature made opposite, and is utterly indisposed and disabled, to all that is spiritually good:’ i. e. to that spiritual Perfection required in the moral Law, and to that spiritual Renovation requir'd in the Gospel, to the spiritual Graces of Faith and Repentance, to all spiritual Sacrifices and to all spiritual Good accompanying Salvation,’ as the Assembly have the Expression else­where.—And notwithstanding all those Concessions, it may still remain a Truth also, that by this original Corruption Man is wholly inclined to all Evil; i. e. he is so inclined as of himself, if left absolutely to the Freedom of his own Will, to the Blindness of his own unassisted Reason, and to the Power of his own uncontrouled Lusts; or in short, to meer Nature, without any superadded Advantages from Edu­cation, Gospel-Light, or common Grace.—Or, tho' considering Na­ture as under the Restraints and Helps afforded by those means, why may'nt we understand the Assembly to represent Mankind as all in their various Measures and Ways (tho' none perfectly in the superlative De­gree at present, nor all equally in every Manner and Instance, yet) wholly, with Respect to their whole Nature, Body and Spirit, inclined to all Evil, according to their various Temptations and according as they are variously led by their respective predominant Lusts: so that All Evil, Sin in all its different Forms and Appearances thro' the World, as it is differently practised among Mankind, results from this inherent Corruption, common to all, as it's universal, continual and original Source?—Now, Sir, in all this Description what one Idea is there, that could give you any just Occasion to call it but a Description of De­vils [Page 127] incarnate!’ Where are the hard and unworthy Tho'ts of the Father of Mercies!’ Where the unscriptural and unnatural No­tions of original Sin!’ What Notion of their's so deserves these harsh Epithets, as that of your's,Imperfect Creatures, born just such as GOD saw fit to MAKE them!’

In the next place I observe, you insinuate as if the Church of En­gland differ'd in their Doctrine from the Assembly of Divines, touch­ing this Point of Original Sin.—But impartial Judges have thought otherwise. Even your own Bishop BURNET, in his Exposition of the 39 Articles, observes, ‘It seems reasonable and just to infer, That this Corruption is spread through our whole Nature and Species by the Sin and Disobedience of Adam. And beyond this (says he) a great many among our selves think that they cannot go in assert­ing of Original Sin. But there is a further Step made by all the Disciples of St. Austin, who believe, That a Covenant was made with all Mankind in Adam,—so that if he had obeyed, all his Pos­terity should have been happy, through his Obedience; but by his Disobedience they were all to be esteemed to have sinned in him, &c. This, Sir, you know is but the Calvinist Doctrine.—And the Bishop further observes, ‘This seem'd to have a great Foundation in that large Discourse of St. Paul's, in the 5th of the Romans—So he goes on to give the common Calvinist Explanation of that Chapter; conclud­ing with the following Remark, ‘And this Explication does certainly quadrate more entirely to the Words of the Article, as it is known that this was the Tenet of those who prepared the Articles, it hav­ing been the generally receiv'd Opinion from St. Austin's Days down­ward.’ (BURN. Exp. p. 113, 114.)—However, upon a Compari­son of your Church with the Assembly of Divines, you have this Reflec­tion (p. 19.) ‘How much better then is the Moderation, wherewith our Church hath expressed this Doctrine, in only saying (Artic. 9.) We are very far gone from Original Righteousness, and inclined to Evil?—But what do you mean, Sir, by this your restrictive Lan­guage, "in ONLY saying (Artic. 9.)"—Do you mean, this is all that your Church says upon the Subject any where, in the publick Offices, Homilies, and Articles? Or [...] this is all that is said about it in the Book of Articles? Or, that nothing more is said concerning it in Artic. 9th? Or, that his is the strongest Expression there used? How shall we understand you?—When your 2d Article uses the Phrase "O­riginal GUILT," in Contradistinction to that other Expression, "All actual Sins of Men," does it not evidently import the Im­putation of Adam's Sin to his Posterity, as well as the Corrup­tion of our Nature? And are not both plainly included in A [...]tic. 9th, when it describes Original Sin as "the FAULT," as well as the [Page 128] Corruption of every Man naturally propagated from Adam," and when it says of original Sin, In every Person born into this World, it deserv­eth God's WRATH and DAMNATION?’ Which even your own Ex­positor cou'd soften down to no lower Sense, than the LOSS of the FAVOUR of GOD, the Sentence of Death, the Troubles of Life, and the Corruption of our Faculties—And as to this Corruption, does not the Article call it "the Corruption of the Nature of every Man?" and does it not tell you, that "thereby Man is very far gone (in the Latin, quàm longissime dis [...]t) from Original Righteousness, and is OF HIS OWN NATURE inclined to Evil, so that the Flesh lusteth ALWAYS contrary to the Spirit;—and that Concupiscence and Lust hath of itself the NATURE of SIN?"—And does not your 13th Article tell us, that Works done before the Grace of Christ and the In­spiration of his Spirit, are not pleasing to God;—Yea rather for that they are not done as God hath willed and commanded them to be done, we doubt not but they have the NATURE of SIN.’—Do any Expressions us'd by the Assembly of Divines exceed these, or even equal this last! When they had your Articles, under Revisal, they could not agree in that Expression, Artic. 13. have the Nature of Sin; and al­ter'd it in their own Draught, to a more moderate Sense. (See Neal's Hist. Purit. Vol. iii. Append.)

However, Sir, to suppose a Case, which is not impossible to be Fact,—Supposing Dr. Johnson should on some Occasion deliver a Sermon agreable to the Tenor of this your Letter, on the Subject of Original Sin, and should describe it but faintly in the Terms of "an imperfect, or less perfect" Condition, than we might have been born in, if Adam had not fell; and talk in general of Man's being inclined to Evil, but say nothing about Man's being of his own Nature so inclined; and as to Man's having Being given him at first in a perfect State of Innocence, supposing you should break out with these warm Reflections, "What's that to Me, or to you, or any one else! Had we a Being when Adam created? Did not GOD make us as well as Adam? And were we not born JUST SUCH Creatures as GOD saw fit to MAKE us?—For fear of charging God foolishly, I dare not agree with the Assembly of Divines in their Notion of Original Sin"—as consisting in the Guilt of Adam's first Sin, the Want of Original Righteousness, and the Corruption of his Nature, &c. "This is shocking [...]ndeed! But the Description of De­vils incarnate!—Who can thank GOD for giving him such a Being"! &c. &c. And supposing that by a moving Manner of Address you should sufficiently heat the Passions of your Audience, raise a Cloud on their Understandings, and make them believe that truly the GOD of the Calvinists "is not the God of Israel, nor the GOD of Christians,"—because they entertain such unnatural Notions of Predestination and [Page 129] Original Sin, such [...]ard and unworthy Thoughts of the Father of Mercies. (p. 14, 19.)—And now supposing, that after all this you should proceed to use your Office for the Baptism of Infants, and gravely declare in the Words of that, ‘Dearly Beloved, for as much as all Men are conceived and born in SIN’—And then go on to pray, as in the Form, ‘that the Child may be washed and sanctified with the Holy Ghost, and be delivered from the WRATH of God—That it may receive the REMISSION of Sins, &c.—Now further supposing it the Office for private Baptism that you then used, and that the Child being afterwards (according to your Rule) presented to be publickly receiv'd into the Congregation, you should now further de­clare, in the Words prescribed, ‘I certify you that in this Case all it well done, and according to due Order, concerning this Child; who being born in ORIGINAL SIN and in the WRATH of GOD, is now &c.’—I say, supposing these Things, I pray (Sir) what Kind of a Figure do you imagine you would make in the Eyes of every impartial and se­rious Observer in your Auditory! Does such a solemn Address to God and Man stand for Nothing, but meer Farce, or unmeaning Shew!—And suffer me, Sir, to express my Wonder, how it is you can reconcile it with Christian Simplicity, to use all the Language of one Scheme in your Prayers, and preach up the Principles of a contrary Scheme in your Sermons! Nor can I imagine how it cou'd consist with common Ho­nesty in you to declare your unfeigned Assent and Consent to the Liturgy, to subscribe the Book of Articles, and therein declare your approving the Books of Homilies, all which are full of the Doctrine of Original Sin, asserted and described very much in the Terms of the Assembly of Divine; with whom yet you say you dare not agree in their Notion of Original Sin, for Fear of charging God foolishly! 'Tis mysterious [...] 'tis surprizing!

And how it is you get over the Difficulties that lie in your way from many Places of Holy Scripture, that assert the Doctrine of Origi­nal Sin, in the strongest and plainest Language, agreeable to the De­clarations of the Church of England, and of the Assembly of Divines, but in direct Contradiction to your Notion of it; this, I say, is a puz­zling Inquiry.—However, I'm sensible, you have already suggested what I suppose you may think an Answer to this. For I find you say­ing (p. 19, 20.) ‘If there be some Texts, that at first Sight may seem to found harshly, relating either to Original Sin, or Predestination, we must not at all wonder at it; especially in a literal Translation, as ours is (the Translators also, though great and good Men, being somewhat biassed in Favour of preconceived Schemes)’—and so on. But, Sir, I must confess my self at a Loss to see thro' this way of Rea­soning. I believe, it would puzzle any Man alive to account for it, if [Page 130] not how a Translation can justly be stigmatiz'd for being a literal one, or rendring Things Word for Word agreeable to the Original; yet at least why a literal Translation should be liable to Mistakes and Miscon­structions, in Consequence of the Translators Prejudices, any more than a free Translation, where the Sense is minded rather than the Words. Is there not evidently more danger of mingling their own Prejudices, where disregarding grammatical Construction, they are left to their own Judgment on the VeritasLoci, or Intention of the Author, as the great Rule of their Translation?—However, Sir, I can't emulate your Mo­desty in reflecting on the Translators, whom tho' you call good and great Men, yet insinuate as if they either had no very great critical Skill in Hebrew and Greek, or did not take much Care in laying the Texts to­gether, to give a just Account of the Sense, or else were too frequently biass'd by their Prejudices. I'm truly sorry, Sir, you should by these Suggestions take an unhappy Method to stumble the Weak, and lead them to imagine as if their English BIBLE were not the true Scripture, nor a [...]a [...]e Rule of Faith and Practice, especially in these difficult Points not to be depended upon for the Knowledge of the Truth. And how would it gratify a Papist to hear these Things said to the Disparagement of our English Translation and of its Protestant Authors! Indeed, Sir, where's the mighty Difference, with regard to the common People, be­tween having no Translation at all for vulgar Use, as in the Church of Rome, and having only a [...]ranslation that may'nt be trusted to in some of the most important Points of Divine Revelation; as being so false in many Places, thro' [...] Ignorance, or the Carelesness, or the Preju­dices of the Translators!—Do the honourable Society, Sir, from whom you have your Bread, employ you as their Missionary in these foreign Parts, to make such Discoveries to the People of New-England!—I particularly observe, that you say, ‘the Translators, tho' good and great Men, were some what biassed in Favour of preconceiv'd Schemes. Well Sir, I need not ask you, what were these Schemes? Bp. Burnet has told us, The Instruments of the English Reformation were Disciples of St. Austin; and on the Points of Original Sin and Predestination particularly, it appears by his Account (as well as by their own Writ­ings) they were in the Calvinist Scheme. This, Sir, is the preconceiv'd Scheme, you insinuate they were bias'd in Favour of. But now if the Translators of the Bible, those great and good Men, in their Day some of the main Pillars of the Reform'd Interest in England, were in Favour of this Scheme, what becomes of all your Brother Beach's fine Speculations, to prove that the Reformers of your Church never re­ceiv'd the Calvinistic Doctrine! And as to your Authors, Sir, who you say of late Years have given a very satisfactory Account of all the Passages relating to these difficult Subjects, I must confess, they have [Page 131] given a shrewd Turn to some Texts; but on the whole, after the most impartial Judgment I am able to form, I verily think, so far as con­cerns their peculiar Scheme of Divinity, they miserably torture the Scriptures to make them favour it, and often wrest particular Passages to a Sense quite contrary to the general Current of divine Revelation. Nor can I be of Opinion, that any of these your modern Interpreters have excell'd those admirable Reformers, who translated the Bible, and compiled your Homilies, either in Point of superior critical Knowledge in the Tongues, or diligent Care in examining and comparing Texts, or unbias'd Judgment, or in short, as to Capacity and Fidelity to "give a just Account of the Sense of Scripture," especially in all the Passages relating to these difficult Subjects; which, under the Consideration of practical and important Soul-concerning Subjects, as well as difficult, very much exercis'd their most serious Meditations: nor did their Popish Ad­versaries excuse them from Controversy on these Subjects, but were continually giving them new Occasions for further Thought and In­quiry, by their advancing "Interpretations, Notions and Hypotheses" much the same with those in the satisfactory Account given of late Years, which you seem so taken with.

I should now, Sir, according to the Order of Things, as they lie in your Letter, proceed to consider what you say about the Divine Sove­reignty, and your Censure upon the Calvinistic Notion of it, as only the Doctrine of Fate. (P. 21, &c.) But after I had prepar'd a Reply here, finding upon the Review of my Brother's Papers, that he had wrote very sufficiently on this Head in his foregoing Letter to You, as well as in that to Mr. Beach, it therefore appear'd to be beside the Design of the present Letter, and what might be accounted only actum ag [...]re, if I inserted my Reply; so it is omitted.—Only allow me, Sir, to take some Notice of a Concession you make, in the following Words.

"Now I agree, that if GOD does bestow such a Grace" [meaning what my Brother calls special Grace, and describes as a distinguishing, illuminating, invincible Grace] ‘He does it indeed as a sovereign Be­nefactor; and that your Notions of Sovereignty and absolute De­crees are effectually established. For what GOD does, he doubtless decreed to do.—The right Way of forming a just Notion of GOD's Decrees, is, to judge of them by the Facts before our Eyes.’—(P. 21.)

Well, Sir, upon this reasonable Concession of yours, I shall endea­vour to reduce the Controversy now before us to an Issue on the Foot you've put it: And for this Purpose will distinctly consider the Grace here spoken of, under its three Properties before-mention'd, as briefly as I can.—Accordingly,

1. I am to shew, that saving Grace is special and distinguishing: [Page 132] or that God gives to his peculiar People, Grace different in Kind, from all that which others obtain.—According (Sir) to what you have of­fer'd (P. 22.) your Opinion seems to be this, That ‘God has absolute­ly given to every Man a Measure of Grace, even Grace the same in Kind to one as to another, and the same with that which qualifies any for Heaven and eternal Happiness: That the Difference in Point of Grace, between a sincere Penitent and one as yet unconverted, is not specifick, but gradual, or lies only in the Measure of Grace, not in the Nature or Kind of it; and that the Difference of their Growth in Grace is adjusted to the different Use they respectively make of "the Measure of Grace first absolutely given to every one to profit withal."—But we, on the contrary, maintain, that the Grace given in Conversion, whereby the Soul turns to God in Christ as the Centre of its Rest, differs in Kind (not in the Degree only) from the very best moral Qua­lities, and highest religious Attainments, that can possibly consist with an unpardon'd State and unrenewed Nature.—We acknowledge a com­mon Grace (so called) which has its good Fruits and profitable Uses; but still exclusive of that spiritual Good which accompanies Salvation, and specifically differing from that special Grace, which brings forth Fruit to Life eternal.—I might illustrate this, by [...] particularly the Difference between a legal and an evangelical Repentance; be­tween a living Faith, and the dead Belief common to all Christian Pro­fessors; so between spiritual Love to our Neighbour, and carnal self­ish Affection for him; between loving GOD for the Excellencies of his Nature, and loving him only for the Kindnesses of his Provi­dence to us, &c. In all which Cases the Difference is evidently, not a meer gradual, but a specifick Difference.—And what faith the Scripture? Surely we here find the Grace bestowed on the Saved of the Lord, every where represented as a New and Divine Principle of Action put within them. It's variously called, a new Spirit,—a new Heart,—the Divine Nature,—the Law of the Spirit of Life,—eternal Life.—Hence they who believe, are said to have passed from Death to Life, &c.—Natural Life and Death are Opposites, so are spiritual Life and Death. Special Grace is a quickning and renewing us in the Spirit of our Mind. Common Grace is a restraining the Lusts of the Flesh and of the Mind, an exciting and assisting the Remains of natural Rea­son, natural Conscience, moral Sense, &c. Nevertheless, the Soul con­tinuing still estranged from GOD, as the chief End of Man, and disunited to CHRIST, the Believer's Life. So that after all the Reformations and Refinements by common Grace in the Unregenerate, their whole moral Nature-is still under the Law of Sin, and spiritual Death.—There is then a special and distinguishing Grace, which some and not others are the Subjects of. For all Men have not Faith.

[Page 133]2. I shall briefly shew, that God gives special Grace to Men in a Way of spiritual Illumination.—Active Conversion to God is found­ed in this.—The Sanctification of the Spirit and Belief of the Truth are inseparable (2 Thes. ii. 3.) The Image of God is said to be renewed in Knowledge. (Col. iii. 10.) This means, not the powerless dead Notion, that is consistent with reigning Sin; or a meer speculative Knowledge; but a vital, efficacious, practical and experimental Knowledge. This is called eternal Life. (Joh. xvii. 3.)—In regard to this, it's said, they that live in Sin, have not known Christ. (1 Joh. iii. 6.)—We are told, that no Man can come to Christ, but whom the Father draws; and that this Attraction is by a divine Teaching, not external only, but inward and spiritual. (Joh. vi. 34, 45.)—He that commanded the Light to shine out of Darkness at the first Crea­tion, shines into the Hearts of Believers. (2 Cor. iv. 4.)—He opens the Eyes of their Understanding, to behold Him that is invisible—to behold the Lamb of God,—to behold as in a Glass the Glory of the Lord: and by such spiritual Views we have Faith [...]gotten and excited in us, which purifies the Heart, and transforms into the divine Image. (2 Cor. iii. 18.)—So by looking on him whom we have pierced, and thus seeing the Hatefulness of Sin, together with the Goodness of God, we are led to Repentance.—Agreeably, Sir, I find, you frequently offer up the Petition in your Liturgy, that GOD would enlighten your Minds, &c. This is to pray for spiritual Discoveries.—And is not this divine spiritual Illu­mination the same Thing with "the Inspiration of the Spirit of Christ," mentioned in your 13th Article, as necessarily previous to "Works acceptable to God"?

But another Property of this special Grace is,

3. That it is invincible.—And only a fair stating the Question here may suffice, without much arguing the Point. The Question (Sir) is not, whether a Man can refuse Grace, if he will? But, whether one who is made to know the Grace of God in Truth, can be willing to re­fuse it? Willing and Unwilling are Opposites; and when God's Peo­ple are made willing in the Day of his Power, they can't be preva­lently unwilling at the same Time. Conquer'd by the sweet Influ­ence of Divine Light shining in their Hearts, they willingly yield up themselves to the Belief of the Truth, and can't refuse it. Constrain'd by the Love of Christ and charm'd with the View of the Glories of his Person and Offices, and the admirable Excellency of the Gospel-way of Salvation, they chearfully consent to this Method of Wisdom and Grace, willingly accept of the Saviour, and can't find in their Hearts to refuse him; but are stedfastly determin'd to live by Faith and die in Faith. Seeing the infinite Good treasured up in the great and precious Promises of the Word, they chuse it for their Portion, as appearing [Page 134] most eligible above all Things, and can't refuse it. Firmly persuaded of the Faithfulness of God, they feel a lively Hope in his Promises, and cannot but embrace them. Believing his Commandments, that they are holy, just and good, they chuse to obey, and cannot refrain, in the ge­neral Tenor of their Life.—In short, Sir, it is a Contradiction, and it's impossible in the Nature of Things, that a good Man should be willing to be a wicked Man. He that is willing to be Wicked, is so already; and while thus dispos'd, he must and will continue wicked. The good Man has a renew'd Will, which [...]icks to God's Testimonies; and in pro­portion to Grace receiv'd, he cannot but cleave to the Lord with Pur­pose of Heart.—In a word, according as he receives the Supply of the Spirit of Christ, while looking to Jesus by Faith, he makes pro­portionable Advances in the Divine Life; and cannot but persevere, being kept by the Power of God thro' Faith unto Salvation.

But perhaps (Sir) you'l say, Where's free Agency, and Liberty of the Will, all this while!—I answer, This I apprehend does not consist in a blind ignorant irrational chusing or refusing, after a meer arbitrary Manner, without any Consideration or Conduct of the Under­standing. We don't call the Brutes free Agents: nor is this Character applicable to Men, any further than as they have the Powers of Reason, Reflection, and Prospect, in Exercise. The more rational any are in acting, they are in Proportion the more free.—The Service of Christ is our reasonable Service: and then we walk at Liberty, while serving Christ.—Where the Spirit of Christ is, renewing and inclining the Will to his Service, there is Liberty.—If the Son make us free, we are free indeed.—This is the glorious Liberty of the Sons of God.—Lu [...]t enslaves: Grace delivers from this Bondage. The Liberty resulting from the sweet necessitating Constraints of the Love of Christ, resembles that of the Man Christ Jesus himself, in whom is no Sin, nor a Capacity of sinning. Yea, this free Agency, resulting from invincible Grace, carries in it something of the Image of the blessed GOD; who, it's said, cannot deny himself, or cannot will or do any Thing contrary to his own Nature and Perfections.—To suppose, as some have done, that God has a natural Power to will or act contrary to his moral Attributes, is but to suppose he has a natural Power to destroy his own Existence. Absolute moral Perfection is included in the Idea of a GOD. He must cease to be Himself, if he ceases to will or act agreably to the moral Perfection of his Being.

Thus, Sir, having prov'd the Grace by which we are sav'd, to have all the Properties, necessary to its appearing the Gift of a sovereign Be­nefactor (on which you agreed to issue this Controversy) it remains now only to remind you of your Concession; and call you to judge of GOD's Sovereignty and Decrees, by the Facts before our Eyes. For [Page 135] as I have prov'd that GOD bestows a special Grace on some, differing in Kind from that common Grace which others partake of; so you have acknowledged, that if this be the Case in Fact, then God does bestow his Grace as a sovereign Benefactor [...] and so the Calvinistic Notion of his Sovereignty and Decrees is effectually established; for what God does, you grant, he undoubtedly decreed to do.

I proceed now, Sir, to take a short View of that Part of your Defence, which touches on the Question between you and my Brother, re­pecting the Tenor and Extent of the Gospel-Covenant; whether it contains a Promise of effectual Grace to Sinners, securing to them Conversion and spiritual Recovery, on Condition of such Endeavours and Improvements as are in their Power, with the Grace already given them, in their un­converted and unpardon'd State? I think, this is a true State of the Question: which you hold in the Affirmative, and he in the Negative.—But what have you reply'd to his Arguments in this Part of his Vin­dication? You undertook but "a summary Answer [...]" and truly for ought I can see, it might have been more summary still, since it contains Nothing sufficient to invalidate any one of the Arguments bro't against you. However, Sir, since you expect some Reply to your "plain Questions" which doubtless you tho't also very puzzling, I'll attempt a summary Answer to each in their Order.

You first ask Are not they [the Promises] equally made to All, as well to the Bad as the Good, the Reprobate, as the Elect?—I answer, We readily own, there is a merciful Provision made in the Gospel­Revelation, for the preventing of Despair and encouraging of Hope, in every Case (excepting only that of such as have sinned the Sin unto Death) by the most condescending Calls and Invitations, accompany'd with the wisest Directions and Discoveries, suited to every one's Case, as well to the Bad as the Good.—Nevertheless, we are of Opinion, that only Saints in Christ Jesus are the Children of Promise. We believe that They are Christ's, and He is their's; so in and thro' Him all Things are their's: But if any Man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his, nor the Promise his: and as many as are not of Faith, being without Christ, are under the Curse. We look upon none as Heirs of the Blessing, but such as embrace the Promises.—What do you mean, Sir, by "the Promises being equally made to All, as well to the Bad as to the Good?" Is there no Inequality between the Good and the Bad, in Point of actual Interest in the Promises, or present Right to Covenant Blessings? Don't you assert the Promises to be con­ditional? And if so, are they then equally made to All, as well to such in whom the Condition has no Place, as to them in whom it is actually present! Does the Existence or Non-Existence of the assigned Cha­racter in any Promise, by which the Subject is described, and with [Page 136] which the Promise is inseparably connected, make no Difference at all?—I beseech you, Sir, what are the Promises, that you say are equally made to Good and Bad?—Do you refer to the Promises of Pardon and Adoption and future Happiness? And are these equally made to All, to the Bad and the Good indifferently? How (Sir) are they made to bad Christians? Are they made to the Bad in any proper or tolera­ble Sense, equally as to the Good?—True, wherever the Gospel comes, it brings glad Tidings, and publishes Salvation. But then does it not also shew a stated Way of Salvation, and promise Pardon and Happi­ness only to such as receive Christ with Faith unfeigned? Do not the Bad, or false Professors, lie expos'd to the Threatnings, rather than come under the Promises? How then are those Promises equally made to the Bad as to the Good?—But perhaps you refer to that particular Promise, which only is concern'd in the Question before us,—the con­troverted Promise of regenerating Grace, Grace effectual to Recovery from under the Dominion and Guilt of Sin? Yet how, Sir, is this Pro­mise equally made to All, whether Good or Bad?—As to the Good, how are they concern'd in it? Can it properly be said to be directed to them, to be made to them, when they must have already had it actually fulfilled in them, by the Bestowment of the (suppos'd) promised Grace? And as to the Bad, who only are the capable Subjects of such a Pro­mise, it is the very Thing in Dispute, whether there is in Being any such Promise of effectual converting Grace, made in the Gospel Cove­nant to Sinners, and securing this Grace to them on the Condition of such Endeavours, as they are capable of "with the Measure of Grace, already given them to profit withal, and absolutely given to all Men" in common.—On the whole then, I must say, I can see no consistent Meaning in this your first Inquiry, and must wait your Explanation: Or else in the mean while must look on it, at best, but a meer PETITIO PRINCIPII.

Your second Inquiry is, "Was not Judas as much obliged to believe them [the Promises] made to him as Peter?"—The Answer to this, Sir, depends on knowing your Meaning in the former Inquiry. If you speak of the Promises of Pardon, the Divine Favour, &c. and can prove any such Promises were in Fact made to Judas, equally (in the same Sense, and alike in all Respects) as to Peter, then doubtless he was as much obliged, &c. But if Judas had not that unfeigned Faith, and Repentance unto Life, by which the Subjects of these divine Promises are constantly characterised in the Gospel, then in what Sense could the Promises be made to him, or he be oblig'd to believe them made to him, as much as Peter, who was actually qualify'd according to the Description of the Heirs of Promise? In short, if Judas was conscious of his Hypocrisy, and understood the true Tenor of the Promises, how [Page 137] could he consistently believe them made to him in his resolv'd Impeni­tence and Wickedness? Could Judas be as much obliged to believe a Lie, as Peter the Truth?—But, perhaps, Sir, your Aim all this while was at the Point before us, your particular Promise of regenerating Grace. Well, in this View of your Inquiry, I return you some others upon it. On the Presumption of such a Promise in Being,—did you speak of Pe­ter as regenerate, or as not so? If the former, I ask, was there no moral specifick Difference between his Case and that of Judas, that this Pro­mise of converting Grace should equally affect both Cases, or alike re­spect the Good and the Bad? And that the first should be as much o­bliged to believe it made to him, as the other?—Or if the latter, mean­ing Peter in his Unregeneracy, I then ask, What if neither [...]e nor Ju­das knew of any such Promise existent in the Gospel! Was either of them oblig'd to believe a Promise made to him, which never was made? Thus your 2d Inquiry, like the first, resolves it self into a meer begg­ing the Question in Debate.

So I pass to your third, concerning Judas still. But according to your Doctrine, were they ever intended for him?—If your View here is to our Doctrine of the COVENANT of Grace, then I answer, that according to us, the Covenant it self excludes none but such as exclude themselves by Unbelief. The Promises, as they stand in the Divine Revelation, were intended indifferently for the Use and Benefit of all that find a Heart truly to embrace them. And if Judas had ever in Fact done so, he had found it the Saving of his Soul. But for Want of the requisite Characteristicks, with which the Promises of Pardon and Happiness are connected in the Covenant, the Accomplishment of them could not take Place in him: so through his own Default, he perish'd, and was without Excuse.—But it may be, Sir, your Inquiry respects our Doctrine of the DECREE. And taking it in this View, I give you it back, and ask, How was the Case according to your own Doctrine concerning the Divine FOREKNOWLEDGE? According to this, were the Promises intended for Judas, in the same Sense and in all Re­spects equally as for Peter? Was the glorious GOD in the least defeated of his Intention, or disappointed in his Purpose as to any Event, respect­ing the Promises, which he ever purposed in himself, concerning Judas? Or did he ever intend or purpose in himself any Good for Judas, which he foreknew would never come to pass?—Indeed, Sir, is it not plain Fact, that there were ancient Prophecies pointing out the Purposes of God relating to that unhappy Man? The Apostle Peter's Note on his Case is that, Acts i. 16, 20. This Scripture MUST have been ful­filled, which the Holy Ghost by the Mouth of David spake concerning JUDAS—in the Book of Psalms. Now I ask, Sir, Did God ever intend, that this Scripture should eventually be broken?—How would it have [Page 138] consisted with the Fulfilling of the Prophecy, or with that's ever being intended, if the Accomplishment of the Promises had actually taken place in him, or had absolutely been intended for him, as much as for Peter?—Moreover we read, Jesus KNEW from the Beginning WHO it was that should betray him; pronounc'd the Traitor a Devil, and de­clar'd his Doom beforehand, saying, Wo to that Man! GOOD were it for him if he had never been BORN!—Now, Sir, can you suppose, it was ever intended that this Prophecy should fail, and this Knowledge vanish away, without the Event's being accomplish'd! Then perhaps you may next suppose (and with as much Reason) that the blessed GOD intended or purposed in himself more Good for Judas, than He foreknew He ever should do to him!—After all, Sir, if by Promises in­tended for Judas, you only meant your Promise of converting Grace, as indeed you must have meant, if you design'd to speak pertinently to the Question, then I have to say, your 3d Inquiry is still but petere Principium.

Your fourth is, "Was not Judas to Blame for rejecting them?"—I confess, Sir, his Unbelief was wilful, chosen, and obstinate; therefore most culpable and inexcusable. But what's the Consequence in favour of your Hypothesis? Might not Judas entertain an Opinion of his own self [...]determining Power and free Agency in this Case, equal to what is provided and claim'd for him in your Scheme? And tho' it was a false Apprehension of himself, yet might it not justly be apply'd against him, to aggravate his Fault and Doom? as in the Case of the Pharisees, Job. ix. 39.—41.—Judas's rejecting the Gospel-Promises was but the unforced Act of his perverse Will, the voluntary and free Indulgence of his ungodly Lusts. To this Cause our Lord imputed the like Effect in Others. (Joh. v. 40. and viii. 44.) And yet He (consistently enough, I hope) own'd and taught their spiritual Impotence, and Want of true moral Liberty. (Joh. vi. 65.—viii. 43. and xiv. 17.)—However, Sir, tho' you constantly speak of Promises, in the plural, yet if you had your Eye here to your suppos'd Promise of converting Grace, I have in this View of your 4th Inquiry the same Complaint to make, as of the former; and must insist on your first proving the Reality of such a Promise, either to Sinners in general, or at least to Judas in particular, before you can reasonably expect it should be granted you, that he was to Blame for rejecting it.

Your fifth and last Inquiry is, But according to your Tenet, was it ever in his Power, with what Grace was given him, to accept of them?—To accept of what, Sir! Is it your Promise of con­verting Grace, you intend here? Prove it [...]xistent; else at last you do but still beg the Question.—However, supposing the Existence of such a Promise to Sinners, I must desire to be resolved in the following Par­ticulars, [Page 139] before I can understandingly assent to your Opinion. What does the accepting a Promise of converting Grace, include in its Idea [...]—What is the Power necessary to a Man's being immediately capable of this Act of accepting such a Promise?—And what is the Grace re­quisite to put it in his Power to accept? Is the first Measure of Grace sufficient, which you say is in Christ absolutely given to every Man to pro­fit withal? Or is it needful there be some additional Measure of Grace, acquir'd by the right Use of the first?—If you assert the Sufficiency of your original absolutely given Grace, had not any Pagan as much Power by this, as Judas?—Or if you assert the Necessity of some new ac­quir'd Measure of Grace, beyond what is absolutely given to every Man, then I ask, whether you are so inform'd in the Secrets of Judas's Case, as to know he had ever so improv'd his original absolute Grace, as to purchase to himself the additional Measure of Grace, requisite to bring his Duty within the Compass of his Power? Is it not possible, that Judas might never make any right Use of his first absolutely given Grace; and on this Account be rejected of God, as the Son of Perdition and in Truth a very Devil incarnate, long before Christ call'd him so? And supposing this to have been his Case, might he not, all the while he had Opportunity to hear the joyful Sound of the Gospel, have such an in­vincible Aversion of Will, as to put it quite out of his Power to accept your (suppos'd) Promise of converting Grace?—And as to the agreed Promises of the Gospel, the Fact is plain, Sir, and speaks for it self, that Judas, with what Grace was given him, never had it in his Will to ac­cept of them. Unless therefore you will suppose it possible for him to accept of them against his Will, or without his Will, you cannot consistently suppose it ever in his actual present Power, with what Grace soever was given him, to accept, so long a [...] his Will remain'd a­verse. Here, Sir, according to our Tend, lay the secret Source and im­mediate Cause of his fatal Impotence. The un [...]ubdu'd Reluctance of his own corrupt Will made his Duty impracticable to him, with what Grace was given him.—I think, your own Church by the clearest Con­sequence answers your Inquiry in the Negative. Bp. BEVERIDGE in his Exposition of the XXXIX Articles, on that Part of Article Xth, The Condition of Man after the Fall of Adam is such that he CANNOT turn and prepare himself, &c. has the following Gloss in strong Words. ‘He CANNOT repent, he CANNOT believe, he CANNOT turn to God, nay, he CANNOT so much as prepare himself for it: And why CAN he not, but because he WILL not? And certainly if he [...] not, he cannot; it being impossible he should act any Thing [...] to his Will: And therefore if he cannot will it, he cannot [...] This is the Sense of one of your most unbias'd Expositors on the [...]—But perhap [...] Sir, you don't speak of Judas' [...] ever having it [Page 140] actually in his Power at any given Time, but only of its being in his Power ex hypothe [...]i, or in Effect, as with the Grace given him [...] already he was capable, by making a right Use of that, to acquire a new Mea­sure of Grace, and so more still and more, as [...]e used it (according to your Notion, p. 22.) until by Degrees he might have so conquer'd his Aver­sion, as to be able with the full Consent of his Will to embrace the Promises. If this be the Scope of your Inquiry, pray (Sir) take as Answer from your own Church again in the Negative. Your 13th Article "Of WORKS before JUSTIFICATION," has peremptorily determined, that these antecedent Works are not pleasing to God (in the Latin, MINIME Deo grat [...] sunt) forasmuch as they spring not out of Faith in Jesus Christ, NEITHER DO THEY MAKE MEN MEET TO RE­CEIVE GRACE—Yea rather, for that they are not done as God hath willed them to be done, they have the Nature of SIN.’ Upon which, Sir, I ask, and pray "speak out," Did Judas ever possess and exercise this very Faith, which the Article intends, and declares the necessary Spring of all truly good Works? (Compare Joh. vi. 64, 70.—xii. 6.—xiii. 11, 18.—xvii. 12.) And if Judas was always destitute of this Faith, must not even the best Doings he was ever capable of, be such as the Article calls Works BEFORE Justification? And if such, then ac­cording to the Article, were they not so far from PLEASING God, or making the Man MEET to receive GRACE, that rather they had the Nature of SIN?—Well, Sir, and now tell me, how your Hypothesis can possibly be made to quadrate to the Article, when you suppose it in Judas's Power, with what Grace was given him, to accept of the Promises, so as to obtain Recovery and Happiness. The Article (it seems) will not allow, Ju­das's Measure of Grace to be in Regard of Justification and Salvation Gradus in Re, not yet Gradus ad R [...]m.—According to your Method of Grace (laid down p. 22.) it was in the Power of Judas, with what Grace was given him, to answer all reasonable Expectations from him in his Circumstances, so as thereby to secure to himself more and more Grace, 'till it should issue in his Recovery and Happiness: And yet all the while, according to your Article, his Works being before Justification and not springing out of Faith in Christ, nor done as God willed them to be done, were neither p [...]sing to God, nor profitable to himself to make him meet to receive Grace, but rather had the Nature of SIN, the Wages of which is Death! Reconcile these two opposite Schemes, Sir, and you'l almost merit the Trophies of Apollo.

Having ended your plain Questions upon the Case of Judas in par­ticular, you subjoin some general Inquiries. (P. 24.)—In Answer to which, I beg Leave to observe to you, that our Doctrine does not de­stroy the Covenant of Grace, as you insinuate; but only contradicts your Notion of that Covenant, which we think contrary to the Scrip­ture-Idea, [Page 141] and indeed tending to subvert the Gospel of the Grace of God. We don't deny a Connection between Duties and Privileges in the Covenant, but only (with your Article) deny, that Works BEFORE Justification have any Connection, by a Promise, with pleasing of God or with Making Men meet to receive Grace; yet nevertheless (with the Scripture) we affirm constantly, that they which HAVE believed in God, should be careful to maintain good Works.—Nor do we say, the moral Incapacity of Unbelievers excuses them from moral Obli­gations.—We hold, Sir, the Promises of the Gospel are made (and with the most upright Meaning) to that Faith, by which the Just do live, which is the Gift of God, and which no Man has in his Power, with what Grace is given him but in common with all Men: For all Men have not Faith. Did Judas, for Instance, ever obtain such Grace as to believe with a Faith unfeigned? Do you think, God ever intended, that unto him it should be given to believe? Did not God foreknow, the Son of Perdition never would, never could, with what Grace was given him, with the Heart believe unto Righteousness? And yet were not the Promises continually founded in his Ears by the Mouth of his divine Lord and Master? But was this done, will you say, "without any HONEST Meaning"? God forbid!—According to your own Scheme, Sir, the Measure of Grace which every Man first receives, is given ABSOLUTELY: meaning perhaps, given arbitrarily, and uncon­ditionately, or in a Way of uncovenanted Goodness, and without re­spect to an antecedent Promise. Now, is this your universal absolute Grace, in its Nature, true converting renewing Grace? Is it an implant­ing in our Souls the Principles of Holiness, the Seeds of true Virtue, or not?—If so, then as absurd as you suppose it, even you your self hold, that Men are in Fact converted and saved by a Kind of "Grace, which GOD never covenan'ed to bestow"?—Or if not, then say what Kind it is of, and whether the Grace Men are converted by, specifically differs from it. And if it be not true converting renewing Grace, then tell us "what Meaning there can be" in your pretended Promise of Grace, made to such as are (according to you) "under the Dominion of Sin", and all whose "Works, as not springing from Faith in Christ, are (ac­cording to your Article) in no wise pleasing to GOD, but rather as be­ing done otherwise than God hath commanded, have the Nature of SIN".—With regard, Sir, to your Suggestion of what Infidels may say to our Representation of the Covenant Grace, you know, it's their Manner to deride the Wisdom of GOD, as Foolishness: but still we are not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. I am sorry to say it, Sir, you and your Brother Beach have given too much Occasion to remind you of that Admonition from your own Bp. Burnet in his Exposition on the Articles (p. 1 [...]6.) ‘There is a Solemnity and Gravity of Stile, that [Page 142] ought to be most religiously observed, when we poor Mortals take upon us to speak of the Glory or Attributes, the Decrees or Opera­tions of the great GOD of Heaven and Earth: And every Thing relating to this, that is put in a Burlesque-Air, is intolerable.’—And with Regard to your Inquiry, whether all baptized Christians are not in Covenant with God, I need only answer you in the Words of the same Expositor (Ibid. p. 174.) ‘NONE are in the Covenant of Grace, but TRUE Christians; and all are EXCLUDED out of it, to whom it is offered, who do not RECEIVE it, and BELIEVE, and LIVE according to it.—By a visible credible Profession of Christianity, Men have a visible Claim to the Promises of Happiness. But while you coin a new Promise of regenerating Grace, on the Condition of Actings or Endeavours, short of Faith unfeigned, and consistent with being "under the Dominion and Guilt of Sin," you falsi [...]y the Covenant of Grace, and egregiously mistake the Gospel Scheme.—There is just as much Sense, in Persons being said to be in the Covenant, while yet none of its Promises actually belong to them, as there is in your saying, they are in Christ, only in the visible, not in the spiritual invisible Sense.—As to what you suggest (Sir) of Persons being sincere in their Endeavours, though they are not in Christ, in a spiritual invisible Sense, I shall only say, if you speak as a Divine, and not a Philosopher only, the Scripture knows of none but godly Sincerity, unfeigned Faith, and true Holiness. What Sort of Sincerity can you form an Idea of, which excludes the true End, the true Principle, and the true Rule of Action? Can a Man be sincere, and not make God in Christ his chief End, nor have the Word and Spirit of Christ for the governing Rule and Principle of his Life? Can Works or Endeavours be sincere, which do not spring out of Faith, and which are not as to the Manner done as God hath willed, and which conse­quently (according to your Article) have the Nature of SIN? How then can you suppose the Promises of God suspended on the Condition of such Endeavours! Or how can you suppose such Endeavours give Men a Right to plead the Promises of God?—Even your own Articles, Sir, above cited, as well as many Scriptures (Joh. xiv. 6. Rom. iv. 5. Eph. ii. 8, 9. Tit. iii. 5,—7 [...] will, ‘notwithstanding all the Quibbles you may make Use of to elude them, for ever stand good’ against such your Pretences.—If you compare your Speculations on the State of the Heathen, with that Scripture, Rom. x. 13, 14. and with your 18th Article consonant to it, I'm perswaded, you will never be able to re­concile them together.—According to your Notion (P. 26.)of "the Co­venant of Grace being purchased equally for all Mankind, though not favo [...]'d with the explicit Knowledge of it", it seems, not only all baptized Christians, but even all unbaptized Heathen too, are included in that Covenant, and God's Promises of Help to their sincere Endeavours [Page 143] (according to you, p. 25.) are in Christ Yea, and in him Amen, not to those only who are already in Christ, but to all Mankind!—Surely Ar­minionism, however it boasts itself a charitable, is an evil and unthankful Scheme of Divinity. What so great Cause of Thankfulness for the Gospel, if Men may be saved without the Gospel, as well as with it; and if under all the Advantages of the Christian Dispensation we are still but in a little better State (at least) than moral Heathen!—I wish I could say concerning those who espouse the Principles of that Scheme what you are pleas'd to say in Relation to ours (p. 23.) ‘However People, through the Prejudice of Education, or from the Authority of those they have a great Veneration for, think themselves obliged to believe them in Theory, yet from an inward native Sense of Truth and Right, they dare not venture upon them in Practice. But alas! I fear the Case in Fact is otherwise, and that it's too common for Men to adjust their Practice to the false Principles they've imbib'd, and from a prevalent Antipathy to the humbling Truths of the Gos­pel, to walk after their own Lusts, in their Pride and Vanity of Mind, wresting the Scriptures to their own Destruction.

May the SPIRIT of Truth and of Grace be poured from on high, to lead us into all Truth, to enable us to obey the Truth, and to speak the Truth in Love, with one Mind striving together for the Faith of the Gospel.—The Reflection upon this, when call'd to put off these our earthly Tabernacles, as our Lord is shewing us we shortly must do, will contribute to the finishing our Course with Joy.

I am, SIR,
Your sincere Friend, And very humble Servant, M. D.

Page 37. Between the two last Lines, insert these Paragraphs

Mr. Beach. "To say, that we lost our Power in Adam, does not help the Matter; because we could not consent to his Fall." (Serm. P. 19.)

Art. 9. And [...]s of his own Nature [...] to Evil.



THE HISTORY of the MARTYRS, alphabeti­cally epitomiz'd: Being a Cloud of Wit­nesses; Or, the Sufferers Mirrour, made up of the Swan-like Songs, and other choice Passages of a great Number of Martyrs and Confessors to the End of the Sixteenth Century, in their Treatises, Speeches, Letters, Prayers, &c. in their Prisons, or Exiles; at the Bar, or Stake, &c. Collected out of the Ecclesiastical Histories of Eusebi [...]s, Fox, Fuller, Clark, Petrie, Scotland, and Mr. Samuel Ward's Life of Faith in Death, &c. By THOMAS MALL, M. A. In Two Volumes. With a Recommen­datory Preface by Mr. FLAVEL.

PRactical Discourses on the Parable of the TEN VIRGINS. Being a serious Call and Admoni­tion to Watchfulness and Diligence in preparing for Death and Judgment. By BENJAMIN COLMAN, D. D. late Pastor of a Church in Boston, New­England.

THE Imperfection of the Creature, and the Excellency of the Divine Commandment; By JOHN BARNARD, A. M. Pastor of a Church in Marblehead.

THree valuable Pieces, viz. Select Cases [...]esolv'd, First Principles of the Oracles of God, or Sum of Christian Religion; both corrected by four several Editions; and a private Diary; Containing Meditations and Experiences. Never before pub­lished: By THOMAS SHEPARD, M. A. of Ema­nuel College in Cambridge in England; Afterward [Page] Minister of the Church of Cambridge in New Eng­land. With some Account of the Rev. Author.

FRiendship in Death; in twenty Letters from the Dead to the Living. To which is added, Thoughts on Death, translated from the Moral Es­says of Messieurs de PORT ROYAL. By Mrs. ELI­ZABETH ROWE.

THE Life of Mrs. ELIZABETH ROWE. With some Account of Mr. WALTER SINGER, her Father, and Mr. THOMAS ROWE, her Consort.

SERMONS on various Subjects, Divine and Moral. With a sacred Hymn suited to each Subject. Designed for the Use of Christian Fa­milies, as well as for the Hours of devout Retire­ment. By I. WATTS, D. D. Formerly publish'd in Two Volumes, and now reduced into one.

DIscourses on the World to come: Or, The Joys and Sorrows of departed Souls at Death [...] and the Glory and Terror of the Resurrection, Wherein, after some Representations of the Happi­ness of Heaven, and a Preparation for it, there fol­lows a rational and scriptural Account of the Pun­ishments in Hell, and a Proof of their eternal Duration. With a plain Answer to all the most plausible Objections. By I. WATTS, D. D. Formerly publish'd in Two Volumes, and now reduced into One.

CAtechisms or Instructions in the Principles of the Christian Religion, and the History of Scripture, composed for Children and Youth, ac­cording to their different Ages; to which is pre­fix'd a large Discourse on the Way of Instruction by Catechism. By I [...] WATTS, D. D.

[Page]A Present for an Apprentice: Or, a sure Guide to gain both Esteem and Estate. With Rules for his Conduct to his Master, and in the World. More especially, while an Apprentice, his Behavi­our after he is free, Care in setting up, Company with the Ladies, Choice of a Wife, Behaviour in Courtship, and Wedding Day, Complaisance after Marriage, Education of Children, &c. By a late Lord-Mayor of London.

A Present for a Servant-Maid: Or, the sure Means of gaining both Love and Esteem. To which are added, Directions for going to Mar­ket [...] for Dressing any common Dish, whether Flesh or Fowl; and for Washing. The whole calcu­lated for making both the Mistress and the Maid happy.

A Summary Historical and Political; of the first Planting, progressive Improvements, and pre­sent State of the British Settlements in North-Ame­rica; with some transient Accounts of the Border­ing French and Spanish Settlements. By W. D. M. D. To be continued.

THE late Rev. Mr. JONATHAN DICKINSON'S Defence of some of the peculiar and impor­tant Doctrines of the Gospel (Personal Election, Original Sin, Justification by Faith, Special Grace in Conversion, &c.) in a Piece, intitled, A second Vindication of God's sovereign free Grace. Being in Answer to the Exceptions made against his for­mer Vindication, by Me [...]sirs JOHNSON and BEACH.

A Preservative from the Sins and Follies of Childhood and Youth, written in a Way of Question and Answer: To which is added, A large Catalogue of remarkable Scripture Names, collect­ed for the Use of Children, and explained for their better Acquaintance with the Holy Scriptures. By I. WATTS, D. D.

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