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D. Williams' Gospel Truth Vindicated might be confirmed by numberless quotations from Puritan authors, who directly or indirectly assert a second justification by works. Take one instance out of a thousand-Anthony Burgess, fellow of Emmanuel college in Cambridge, (I think one of the ejected ministers,) speaking in his twelfth sermon of obedience as a sign of grace, concludes his discourse by this truly anti-Crispian paragraph:

"Art thou universal in thy obedience? Then thou mayest take comfort. Otherwise, know if thou hast not respect to all the ways and duties required by God, thou wilt be confounded. Though with Ahab and Herod thou do many things, yet if not all things, confusion will be upon thee. O then how few are there who may claim a right to grace !* Many men have an external obedience only, and no internal; but most have a partial, and not entire, complete obedience; therefore it is that 'many are called, but few chosen.' Consider that terrible expression of St. James ii, 10, 11, where the apostle informs believers that if they are guilty but of that one sin, accepting of persons,' they are the transgressors of the law in general, which he farther urgeth by this assertion, He that keepeth all, and offendeth in one, is guilty of all ;' not with the guilt of every particular sin, but in respect of the authority of the Lawgiver, according to that, Cursed is every one that continueth not in every thing commanded by the law.' Seeing, therefore, God in regeneration does write his law in our hearts, which does seminally contain the exercise of all holy actions, so that there cannot be an instance of any godly duty of which God does not infuse a principle in us and seeing glorification will be universal of soul and body, in all parts and faculties, how necessary is it that sanctification should be universal! Take heed therefore that the works of grace in thee be not abortive or monstrous, wanting essential and necessary parts. Let not thy ship be drowned by any one leak."


From this alarming quotation it appears holy Calvinist ministers saw, a hundred years ago, that if believers did not secure St. James' justification by universal obedience, the works of grace in them would prove abortive, their hopes would perish, their ship would sink, though by one leak only; and consequently they would be condemned as Hymeneus and Philetus in the day of judgment. And let nore complain of the legality of this doctrine; for our Lord himself fully preached it, when he said, "Except a man forsake all, he cannot be my disciple."

Take another instance of a later date. The Rev. Mr. Haweis, that has distinguished himself among the zealous ministers of our Church who have espoused Calvin's sentiments, speaks thus to the point, in his comment on Matt. xii, 37: "Not an idle word passes without the Divine notice, but we must answer for it at the day of judgment. With what circumspection then should we keep the door of our lips, when our eternal state is to be determined thereby, and our words must all be produced at the bar of God as evidences of our justification or condemnation, and sentence proceed accordingly !” If this is not maintaining, at least indirectly, justification by works in the day of judgment, my reason fails, and I can no more understand how two and two make four.

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* Some of the Puritans understood by grace a state of justification and sanctifi cation,

The Rev. Mr. Madan himself, if I am not mistaken, grants what I contend for, in the very title of the sermon quoted in my motto, Justification by WORKS reconciled with Justification by FAITH, &c, but much more in the following passages, which I extract from it :

"In every person that is justified, three particulars concur, (1.) The meritorious cause of our justification, which is Christ. (2.) The instrumental cause, which is faith. And then the justification in the text. [Ye see how by works a man is justified, and not by faith only,] which is to be understood in a declarative sense-no person being justified in Paul's sense, that is not also in the sense of our text," that is, in the sense of St. James.

The truth contained in this last sentence is the rampart of practical Christianity, and the ground of the Minutes. If Mr. Madan considers what his proposition necessarily implies, I am persuaded he will not only side with Mr. Wesley against the Benedictine monk, but also give up Calvinism, with which his assertion is no more reconcilable, than it is with what you, sir, call "a winter (and I beg leave to name an Antinomian) state," in which we are supposed to be justified in Paul's sense, while we fly in the face of St. James by the commission of adultery and murder.


The same eminent minister asks, in the same discourse, "What does it profit though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him? [Can faith save David in Uriah's bed? Can it save Solomon worshipping Ashtaroth, perhaps with his seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines?] that is, such a faith as has not works, as is not productive of the fruit of the Spirit in the heart and life? Is this saving faith? Certainly not; for such a faith wants the evidence of its being true and real, and nothing but true faith can save. If my faith does not produce the proper fruits, it is no better than the devil's faith. We have no Scripture testimony of our being any other than the devil's children, unless we evidence the truth of our faith by showing forth the genuine fruits and works of faith. All this the apostle confirms, v, 20, 26; Faith without works is dead. As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.""

This excellent passage is the demolition of Calvinism, and the very doctrine of the Minutes, if you except the article about the word merit, which I do not read in our pious author's sermon. However, p. 12, I find the word deserve in the following important question:-" How can we, not only escape the penalty threatened, but deserve the rewards promised under the law?" And as I do not understand "splitting a hair," I think that the two expressions, MERITING and DESERVING, when duly considered, are NOT as wide as east is from west; and I fear, that if Mr. Wesley is a heretic for using the former at a conference among friends, the Rev. Mr. Madan is not quite orthodox, for using the latter in St. Vedast's church before friends and enemies. But as this question may turn upon some nicety of the English language, which, as a foreigner, I have not yet observed, I drop it, to obviate an objection.

You will perhaps say, honoured sir, that all the above-mentioned authors, being sound Calvinists, hold your election, and that you could produce passages. out of their writings absolutely irreconcilable with

the preceding quotations. To this I reply, that a volume of such passages, instead of invalidating the doctrine which I maintain, would only prove, that the peculiarities of Calvin are absolutely irreconcilable with St. James' undefiled religion; and that even the most judicious Calvinists cannot make their scheme hang tolerably together.

I hope, honoured sir, the preceding pages will convince my readers that you have spoken unwarily, when you have asserted, "that there is not one of the many hundred Puritan divines, but what abhorred my doctrine as full of rottenness ;" and that the author of Goliah slain has been rather too forward in challenging me "to fix upon one Protestant minister, either Puritan, or of the Church of England, who, to the reign of Charles the Second, held the doctrine I have been contending for."

Your challenge, dear sir, provokes me to imitation; and I conclude this letter by challenging you, in my turn, to fix upon a man who will expose your mistakes more bluntly, and yet esteem and love you more cordially, than, honoured and dear sir, your most obedient servant, in St. James' pure religion. J. FLETCHER.


To Richard Hill, Esq.

HONOURED AND DEAR SIR,-Before I take my leave of the Puritan writers, you will permit me to make some observations upon the fault you find with my quoting one of them. Page 94, you introduce a judicious, worthy, reverend friend, charging me with having "most notoriously perverted the quotation" which I produced out of Flavel, (Vindication, p. 33,) and you stamp with your approbation his exclamation on the subject, "Could you have expected such disingenuity from Madeley?"

Now, dear sir, full of disingenuity as you suppose me to be, I can yet act with frankness. And to convince you of it I publicly stand to my quotation, and charge your worthy friend with-what shall I call it?-a gross mistake. My quotation I had from that judicious Puritan divine, D. Williams, who, far from notoriously perverting the sense of the ministers that drew up Flavel's preface, has weakened it by leaving out some excellent anti-Crispian sentences. Permit me to punish your friend for his hasty charge, by laying the whole passage before my readers; reminding them, that only the sentences enclosed in crotchets, [] are quoted in the Vindication.

A body of seven eminent divines, all friends, it seems, to Dr. Crisp, but enemies to his Antinomian dotages, charitably endeavour to apologize for him, at the same time that they recommend Flavel's treatise on Mental Errors in general, and on Antinomianism in particular, where Dr. Crisp is opposed by name. Having mentioned two similar propositions of his, viz. "Salvation is not the end of any thing we do," and, "We are to act from life, and not for life," they bear this full testimony against the absurdity which they contain:


"[It were in effect to abandon human nature,] and to sin against a

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very fundamental law of our creation, not to intend our own felicity; it were to make our first and most deeply fundamental duty, in one great, essential branch of it, our sin; viz. To take the Lord for our God: for to take him for our God most essentially includes our taking him for our Supreme Good, which we all know is included in the notion of the last end. It were to make it unlawful to strive against all sin, and particularly against sinful aversion from God, wherein lies the very death of the soul, or the sum of its misery; or to strive after perfect conformity to God in holiness, and the full fruition of him, wherein the soul's final blessedness does principally consist.

"[It were to teach us to violate the great precepts of the Gospel:] "Repent, that your sins may be blotted out: strive to enter in at the strait gate work out your own salvation with fear and trembling." To obliterate the patterns and precedents set before us in the Gospel: "We have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified-I keep under my body lest I should be a castaway-that thou mayest save thyself, and them that hear thee."

"[It were to suppose us bound to do more for the salvation of others than our own] salvation. We are required to save others with fear, plucking them out of the fire. Nay, we were not (by this rule strictly understood) so much as to pray for our own salvation, which is a doing somewhat; when, no doubt, we are to pray for the success of the Gospel, to this purpose, on behalf of other men.

"[It were to make all the threatenings of eternal death, and promises of eternal life, we find in the Gospel of our blessed Lord, useless, as motives to shun the one and obtain the other :] for they can be motives no way, but as the escaping of the former, and the attainment of the other, have with us the place and consideration of an end.

"[It makes what is mentioned in the Scripture as the character and commendation of the most eminent saints, a fault,] as of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; that they sought the better and heavenly country;' and plainly declared that they did so, which necessarily implies their making it their end."


Now, honoured sir, it lies upon you to prove, that because Mr. Williams and I have not produced all that makes against you, we are guilty of a “most notorious perversion"* of the quotation. If you affirm

Want of argument in a bad cause, which people will defend "at all events," (if I may use the words which Mr. Hill too hastily lends me in his book, but justly claims as his own in the "errata,") obliges them to fly to personal charges. Zelus arma ministrat. Their Diana is in danger. They must raise dust, and make a noise, to divert the attention of the reader from the point. Who knows but she may escape in the hurry? At the end of the above-mentioned quotation I had added three lines, to throw some light upon the last clause, which D. Williams had cut off too short. As I did not enclose them in commas, it never entered into my mind that any body would charge me with presenting them as a quotation, nor do they in the least "misrepresent," much less "pervert" the sense of the author. Upon this, however, my opponent brings me to a trial. But if, at p. 97, he lets me escape, without condemning me point-blank for "forging quotations," he is not so mild, p. 27. I have observed in the Second Check, p. 97, that Mr. Wesley in his Minutes guards the foundation of the Gospel by the two clauses, where he mentions the exclusion of the "merit of works" in point of salvation, and "believing in Christ." The two clauses I present in one point of view, in the very words of the Minutes, although not in the tense of the verb


that the perversion I am charged with, consists in saying, that the divines who wrote Flavel's preface were shocked at Dr. Crisp's doctrine, when they nevertheless apologize for his person; I reply, that their apology confirms my assertion, even more than their arguments; for they say, "It is likely the doctor meant, [just what Mr. Wesley does,] that we shall not work For life ONLY, without aiming at working FROM life ALSO. For it is not tolerable charity to suppose that one would deliberately say, that salvation is not the end of any good work we do, or that we are not to work for life in the rigid sense of the words.” And they profess their hopes, that, "upon consideration, he would presently unsay it, [namely, the absurd proposition, We are not to work FOR life,] being calmly reasoned with."

"believing," thus: "Not by the merit of works," but by "believing in Christ." My opponent is pleased here to overlook the commas, which show, that I produce two different places of the Minutes; and then he improves his own oversight thus: "Forgeries of this kind have long passed for no crime with Mr. Wesley. I did not think you would have followed him in these ungenerous artifices, which must unavoidably sink the writer in our esteem. But I am sorry to say, sir, that this is not the only stratagem of this sort which you have made use of. Instance your bringing in Mr. Whitefield as a maintainer of a second justification by works," &c, &c. The bare mention of such groundless accusations being a suf ficient refutation of them, I shall close this note by observing, that the pure reli gion which I vindicate is too well grounded on Scripture to need the support, either of the pretended forgeries which my opponent contrives for me, or of the blackening charges which he is forced to produce for want of better arguments.

In almost any other but my pious opponent, I should think that this severity proceeded from palpable disingenuity; but my respect for him does not permit me to entertain such a thought. I urge for his excuse the inconceivable strength of prejudice, and the fatal tendency of his favourite system. Yes, O Calvinism, upon thee I charge the mistakes of my worthy antagonist! If at any time his benevolent temper is soured, thy leaven has done it. It is by thy powerful influ ence that he discovers "a forgery," where there is not so much as the printer's omission of a comma to countenance his discovery. It is through the mists which thou raisest that he sees in the works of one of our most correct authors, nothing but "a regular series of inconsistencies, a wheel of contradiction running round and round again." Thou lendest him thy deceitful glass, when he looks at my Second Check, and cries out, Base and shocking slander! Acrimonious, bitter, and low sneers! Horrid misrepresentations, and notorious perversions! Abominable beyond all the rest! A wretched spirit of low sarcasm and slander. ous banter runs through the whole book," which contains "more than a hundred close pages, as totally void of Scriptural argument as they are replete with calumny, gross perversions, equivocations," and a "doctrine full of rottenness and deadly poison, the spurious offspring of the man of sin, begotten out of the scarlet whore."


I beg my readers would not think the worse of my opponent's candour, on account of these severe charges. In one sense they appear to me very moderate; for who can wonder, that a good, mistaken man, who finds Calvin's everlasting, absolute, and unconditional reprobation in the mild oracles of the God of love, should find "forgery, vile slander, calumny, horrid perversions, deadly poison," &c, in my sharp Checks, and perpetual contradictions in Mr. Wesley's works? Are we not treated with remarkable kindness, in comparison of the merciful God whom we serve? Undoubtedly; for neither of us is yet so much as indirectly charged with contriving in cool blood, the murder of "one" man; much less with forming, from all eternity, the evangelical plan to save unconditionally by "free grace" the little flock of the elect, and damn unconditionally by "free wrath" the im. mense herd of the reprobates! and with spending near six thousand years in bring. ing about an irresistible decree, that the one shall absolutely go to heaven, let them do what they please to be damned; and that the other shall absolutely go to hell, and burn there to all eternity, let them do what they can to be saved!

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