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said, that "the Lord weigheth the spirits?" As such, did he not see that Judas offended of malicious wickedness and calm deliberation; and that Peter would offend merely through fear and surprise? Supposing, therefore, he had made a difference between them, would it be right to account for it by Calvinian election and reprobation, when the difference might so naturally be accounted for from the different state of their hearts, and nature of their falls? Was it not highly agreeable to the notions we have of justice, and the declarations we read in the Scripture, that our Lord should reprobate, or give up Judas, when he saw him immovably fixed in his apostasy, and found that the last hour of his day of grace was now expired?

From all these circumstances, I hope I may conclude, that Judas was not always a hypocrite; that he may be properly ranked among apostates, that is, among those who truly fall from God, and therefore were once truly in him; and that our Lord spoke no untruth, when he called the Spirit of God the Spirit of Judas' Father, without making any difference between him and the other disciples.

If you ask, How he fell? I reply, That, overlooking an important part of our Lord's pastoral charge to him, " He that endureth unto the end the same shall be saved," he dallied with worldly temptations till the evil spirit, which was gone out of him, entered in again, with seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and took possession of his heart, which was once swept from reigning sin, and garnished with the graces which adorn the Christian in his infant state. Thus, like Hymeneus, Philetus, Demas, and other apostates, "by putting away a good conscience, concerning faith he made shipwreck," and evidenced the truth of God's declaration: "When the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, all his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned in his sin that he hath sinned he shall die."

"Nay, Judas kept his Master's money, and was a thief; therefore he was always a hypocrite, an absolute reprobate."

To show the weakness of this objection, I need only retort it thus: David set his heart upon his neighbour's wife, as Judas did upon his Master's money, and like him betrayed innocent blood; therefore he was always a hypocrite, an absolute reprobate. If the inference is just in one case, it is undoubtedly so in the other.

"But David repented, and did his first works."

I thank my objector for this important concession. Did Judas perish? It was then because he did not do his first works, though he repented. And is David saved? It is because he not only repented, but did also his first works; or, to use your own expressions, because he recovered "justifying faith, which cannot be without good works." Thus, when he had recovered justifying faith before God, he could again be justified by the evidence of works, both before his fellow mortals, and that God who "judges the world in righteousness," and who sentences every man according to his own works, and not merely according to works done by another near 6000 or 1800 years before they were born. Thus the royal adulterer, who died a justified, chaste penitent, can, through the merits of Christ, stand before the throne in a better and more substantial righteousness than the fantastic robe in which you imagine he was clothed, when his eyes were full of adul

tery, and his hands full of blood: an airy, loose, flimsy robe this, cut out at Geneva and Dort, not at Jerusalem or Antioch; a wretched contrivance, the chief use of which is to cover the iron-clay feet of the Calvinian Diana, and afford a safe asylum, a decent canopy to "the pleasant children," while they debauch their neighbours' wives, and hypocritically murder them out of the way.

O ye good men, how long will ye inadvertently represent our God, who is glorious in holiness, as the pander of vice? and Christ's immaculate righteousness as the unseemly cloak of such wickedness as is not so much as named among the Gentiles? "O that salvation, from this evil, were given unto Israel out of Sion!" O that the Lord would deliver his people from this preposterous error! O that the blast of Divine indignation, and the sighs of thousands of good men, lighting at once on the great image, might tear away the loose robe of righteousness which Calvin put upon her in a "winter season!" Then could all the world read the mark of the beast and the fiend, which she wears on her naked breast: "Free adultery, free murder, free incest, any length of sin for the pleasant children, the little flock of the elect: free wrath, free vengeance, free damnation for the immense herd of the reprobates!"

But to return to Judas, the first of all Christian apostates: waiving the consideration of his justification in his infancy, I observe, that as he had once true faith, he undoubtedly "believed to righteousness," and consequently "it was imputed to him for righteousness." Now, if this mean that God put upon him a loose robe of righteousness, which for ever screened him from condemnation, and under which he could conceal a bag of stolen money, as easily as you suppose David hid the ewe lamb which he conveyed away from Uriah's pasture, it follows, upon your scheme, that "justification being one single immutable act, in which works have no place," Judas is still completely justified before God by Calvinian imputation of righteousness; although Christians have hitherto believed works have so important a place in justification, that the apostate is no less condemned before God, than before men and angels, by his avarice and treason.

Let those who can split a hair as easily as an eagle can find her passage between east and west, take the chosen apostle, who did not make his election sure by the works of faith, and let them split him asunder: so shall happy Iscariot, the dear elected child of God, wrapped in imputed righteousness, and carried by everlasting love, infallibly go to heaven without works, in consequence of his Calvinian justification before God; while poor reprobated Judas, for accomplishing God's decree, shall infallibly go to his own place, in consequence of his condemnation by the evidence of wicked works.

Thus, honoured sir, by fixing my plain engine, common sense, upon the immovable point which you have granted me, i. e. St. James' justification by works, I hope I have not only removed the rock of offence from off Mr. Wesley's anti-Crispian propositions, but heaved also your great Diana, and her brother Apollo, (I mean unconditional election and absolute reprobation) from off the basis of orthodoxy, on which you suppose they stand firm as the pillars of heaven. May the God of pure, impartial love, whom they have so long indirectly traduced, as a

God of blind dotage to hundreds, and implacable wrath to millions of his creatures, in the very same circumstances,-the God whom those unscriptural doctrines have represented as fond Eli, and grim Apollyon; may he, I say, arise for his name's sake, and touch the Geneva colossus with his own omnipotent finger; so shall it in a moment fall from the amazing height of reverence to which Calvin, the Synod of Dort, and Elisha Coles have raised it; and its undeceived votaries shall perceive, they had no more reason to call Geneva impositions "the doctrines of grace," than good Aaron and the mistaken Israelites to give the tremendous name of JEHOVAH to the ridiculous idol, which they had devoutly set up in the absence of legal Moses; so, giving glory to God, they shall confess that the robe of their image, with which some so officiously cover impenitent adulterers and murderers, is no more like the true wedding garment, than the imaginary appearances of armed men in the clouds are like the multitude of the heavenly host.

While you try to defend this robe, and I to tear it off the back of Antinomian Jezebel, let us not neglect "putting off the old man, putting on Christ Jesus, and walking in him" as St. Paul, or with him as Enoch, "arrayed in fine linen, clean and white, which is the righteousness imparted to the saints, when Christ is formed in their hearts by faith," and imputed to them so long as they walk, in their measure, "as he also walked." That, notwithstanding our warm controversy, we may "walk in love" with each other, and all the people of God, is the prayer of, honoured and dear sir, your obedient and devoted servant, in St. James' Gospel, JOHN FLETCHER.


To Richard Hill, Esq.

HONOURED AND DEAR SIR,-The fourth letter of your Review you produce as "a full and particular answer" to what I have advanced against Dr. Crisp's scheme of finished salvation, and finished damnation. But to my great surprise, you pass in profound silence over my strongest arguments. Had I been in your place, I would have paid some regard to my word, printed in capitals in my title page: I would have tried to prove, that, upon the doctor's scheme, St. Paul might, consistently with wisdom, exhort the Philippians "to work out their [finished] salvation with fear and trembling." And if I could not have made it appear, that our Lord has finished his work, as an interposing Mediator, a teaching Prophet, and a ruling King; I would either have given up the point, or endeavoured to show, that he has finished it at least as a Priest.

But even this you could not do without setting aside two important parts of his priestly office: for the same Jesus, who offered up himself as the true paschal Lamb, is now exalted at the right hand of God, to bless us as our Melchisedec, and "make intercession for us" as our Aaron, saying daily concerning a multitude of barren fig trees in his vineyard," Let them alone this year also, till I shall dig about them;

and if they bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut them down." Now if he daily carries on his own personal work of salvation, not only as a Prophet and a King, but also as a Mediator and a Priest, common sense dictates, that "his personal work" is no more finished than our own; and that the doctrine of finished salvation is founded upon a heap of palpable mistakes, if by that expression you mean any thing more than a finished atonement.

But, overlooking these insurmountable difficulties, you open your "full and particular answer" by saying, pp. 62, 63, “Finished salvation is a grand fortress, against which all your artillery is played, and at which your heavy bombs of bitter sneer and cutting sarcasm are thrown. Yet this very expression, in its full extent, I undertake to vindicate, and in so doing shall fly to the sword of the Spirit; and the Lord enabling me to wield it aright, I doubt not I shall put to flight the armies of the aliens." Let us now see how you manage your sword, put us to flight, and establish finished salvation.

1. Page 63, "When the Lord of glory gave up the ghost, he cried, 'It is finished.' And what was finished? Not merely his life, but 'the work which was given him to do.' And what was this work, but the salvation of his people? One would have imagined, that the Lord's own use of this expression might have silenced every cavil."

The Lord's own use of this contested expression, "finished salvation!" Pray, dear sir, where does he use it? Certainly not in the two passages you quote, "I have finished the work thou gavest me to do," previously to my entering on my passion; and "It is finished;" that is, all the prophecies relative to what I was to do, teach, and suffer before my death, are accomplished. These scriptures do not in the least refer to the work of salvation on our part; nor do they even take in the most important branches of salvation's work on Christ's part. To assert it, is to take a bold stride into Socinianism, and maintain, it` was not needful to our salvation that Christ should die, and rise again. For when he said, "I have finished the work thou gavest me to do," he was not yet entered upon his passion: nor had he died for our sins, much less was he yet risen for our justification, when he said upon the cross," It is finished." To suppose, then, that salvation's work on Christ's part was finished, not only before his resurrection, but also before his death, is to set aside some of his most important works, in direct opposition to the Scriptures, which testify, that "he died, the just for the unjust ;" and affirm, that "if he is not raised, our faith is vain, we are yet in our sins." Thus, sir, you have so unhappily begun to "wield your sword," as to cut down, at the first stroke, the two grand articles of the Christian faith-the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

II. Page 33. To mend the matter, you have recourse to the mysterious doctrine of the decrees; and because "all events are present unto God, and were so from eternity to eternity," you affirm that "the glorification of the elect is as much finished as their predestination." By the same rule of Geneva logic, I may say, that because God has decreed the world shall melt with fervent heat, the general conflagration is as much finished as the deluge. Were ever more strange assertions obtruded upon mankind?

If this illustration does not convince you of your mistake, I turn the tables, and make your blood run cold with the dreadful counterpart of your own proposition. The damnation of the non-elect "born or unborn," is as much finished as their predestination. And are these "the good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people?" and is this the comfortable Gospel of free grace, which we are "to preach to every creature?" Alas, my dear sir, you wield your sword so unskilfully, as absolutely to cut down all hopes and possibility of mercy for millions of your fellow creatures; even for all the poor reprobates on the left side of the ship, who, "from eternity to eternity were irresistibly enclosed in the net of finished damnation!"

III. Page 63. To support your unscriptural assertion, you produce Rom. viii, 29, "Whom he did predestinate, them he called: and whom he called, them he also justified; and whom he justified, them he also glorified." Indeed, sir, the apostle no more meant to insinuate by these words, that David was justified and glorified when he wallowed in the filth of adultery and murder, than that Judas was condemned and damned when he left all to follow Christ. He only lays before us an account of the method which God follows in the eternal salvation of obedient, persevering believers; who are the persons that, as such, he predestinated to life," according to his foreknowledge, and the counsel of his holy will." These "he called," but not these alone. When they made their calling sure, by believing in the light of their dispensation, these "he also justified." And when they made their justification sure, by "adding to their faith virtue," &c, these "he also glorified;" for the souls of departed saints are actually glorified in Abraham's bosom; and living saints are not only called and justified, but also in part glorified; for, by "the Spirit of glory and of God, which rests upon them, they are changed into the Divine image from glory to glory;" yea, they are already "all glorious within."

How much more reasonable and Scriptural is this sense of the apostle's words than that which you fix upon them, by which you would make us believe, that, on the one hand, Solomon's salvation (including his justification and glorification) was finished, "in the full extent of the expression," when he worshipped the abomination of the Zidonians, and gloried in his shame: while, on the other hand, Demas' damnation was finished when he was St. Paul's zealous "companion in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ!" O sir, have you not here also inadvertently used the "sword of the Spirit," to oppose the "mind of the Spirit," and make way for barefaced Antinomianism? You proceed:

IV. Page 63. "The same apostle, in his Epistle to the Ephesians, speaking to believers, addresses them as already (virtually) 'seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus."" Hence you infer, that their salvation was finished, "in the full extent of the expression." But your conclusion is not just; for the apostle, instead of supposing their salvation finished, exhorts them "not to steal, not to be drunk with wine, and not to give place to the devil," by fornication, uncleanness, filthiness, or covetousness; "for this ye know," adds he, " that no unclean person, &c, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ;" so far is he from being "already virtually seated in heavenly places in Christ Jesus."

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