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which the prophets took up their cross, to serve God and their generation. When St. Paul enumerates the works of Moses, he traces them back to their noble principle, faith working by a well ordered self love: (a love this which is inseparable from the love of God and man; the law of liberty binding us to love our neighbour as ourselves, and God above ourselves.) "He chose," says the apostle, "to suffer affliction with the people of God, rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin," &c. But why? Because he was above looking at the prize? Just the reverse: Because he had respect to the recompense of reward," Heb. xi, 26.
10. In the next chapter the apostle bids us to take Christ himself for our pattern in the very thing which our Gospel refiners call mercenary and base: "Looking to Jesus," says he, "who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." The noble reward this, with which his mediatorial obedience was crowned, as appears from these words: "He became obedient unto death; wherefore God also hath highly exalted him." If the scheme of those who refine the ancient Gospel appears to me in a peculiarly unfavourable light, it is when I see them impose upon the injudicious admirers of unscriptural humility, and make the simple believe that they do God service when they indirectly represent Christ's obedience unto death as imperfect, and him as mercenary, actuated by a motive unworthy of a child of God. He says, 66 Every one that is perfect shall be as his master:" but we (such is our consistency!) loudly decry perfection, and yet pretend to a higher degree of it than our Lord and Master; for he was not above "enduring the cross [for the joy of] sitting down at the right hand of the throne of God:" but we are so exquisitely perfect, that we will work gratis. It is mercenary, it is beneath us to work for glory!
11. I fear this contempt is by some indirectly poured upon the Lord of glory, to extol the spurious free grace which is sister to free wrath; and to persuade the simple that "works have nothing to do with our final justification and eternal salvation before God." A dogma this, which is as contrary to reason as it is to Scripture and morality; it being a monstrous imposition upon the credulity of Protestants to assert that works, which God himself will reward with final justification and eternal salvation, have nothing to do with that justification and that salvation before him: just as if the thing rewarded had nothing to do with its reward before the rewarder!
12. The most rigid Calvinists allow that St. Paul is truly evangelical but which of the sacred writers ever spoke greater things of the rewardableness of works than he? What can be plainer, what stronger than these words, which I must quote till they are minded: "Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, &c, knowing [i. e. considering] that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance. But he that doth wrong, shall receive for the wrong which he hath done; for there is no respect of persons," Col. iii, 23, &c. Again: "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap: for he that soweth to his flesh, shall of the flesh reap perdition; but he that soweth to the Spirit, shall of the Spirit reap everlasting life," Gal. vi, 7, 8.
From those scriptures it is evident that doing good or bad works is like sowing good or bad seed; and that going to heaven or hell is like gathering what we have sown. Now, as it is the madness of unbelievers to sow wickedness, and to expect a crop of happiness and glory; so it is the wisdom of believers to sow righteousness, expecting to " reap in due time if they faint not." Nor do we act reasonably, if we do not sow more or less with an eye to reaping: for if reaping be quite out of the question with Protestants, they may as wisely sow chaff on a fallow, as corn in a ploughed field. Hence I conclude that a believer may obey, and that, if he be judicious, he will obey, looking both to Jesus and to the rewards of obedience; and that the more we can fix the eye of his faith upon his "exceeding great reward, and his great recompense of reward," the more he will "abound in the work of faith, the patience of hope, and the labour of love."
13. St. Paul's conduct with respect to rewards was perfectly consistent with his doctrine. I have already observed, he wrote to the Corinthians, that he so "ran and so fought as to obtain an incorruptible crown ;" and it is well known that in the Olympic games, to which he alludes, all ran or fought with an eye to a prize, a reward, or a crown. But in his Epistle to the Philippians he goes still farther; for he represents his running for a crown of life, his pressing after rewards of grace and glory, as the whole of his business. His words are remarkable: "This one thing I do; forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." And when he had just run his race out, he wrote to Timothy, "I have finished my course; henceforth there is laid up for me [as for a conqueror] a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day"--the great day of retribution. As for St. John, when he was perfected in love, we find him as "mercenary" as St. Paul; for he writes to the elect lady, and to her believing children: "Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward."
14. When I read such scriptures, I wonder at those who are so wrapt up in the pernicious notion that we ought not to work* for a life of glory, as to overlook even the "crown of life," with which God will reward those who are "faithful unto death." And I am astonished
Truth is so great that it sometimes prevails over those that are prejudiced against it. I have observed that Dr. Crisp himself, in a happy moment, bore a noble testimony to undefiled religion. Take another instance of it. In the volume of the Rev. Mr. Whitefield's sermons, taken in short hand, and published by Gurney, (p. 119,) that great preacher says: "FIRST, we must work FOR spiritual life, AFTERWARD FROM it." And (pages 153, 154) he declares: "There are numbers of poor that are ready to perish; and if you drop something to them in love, God will take care to repay you when you come to judgment." I find but one fault with this doctrine. The first of those propositions does not guard free grace so well as Mr. Wesley's Minutes do. We should always intimate that there is no working FOR a life of glory, or FOR а MORE ABUNDANT LIFE of grace, but FROM an initial life of grace, FREELY given to us in Christ BEFORE any working of our own. This I mention, not to prejudice the reader against Mr. Whitefield, but to show that I am not so prejudiced in favour of works, as not to see when even a Whitefield, in an unguarded expression, leans toward them to the dispa. ragement of free grace.
at the remains of my own unbelief, which prevent my being always ravished with admiration at the thought of the rewards offered to fire my soul into seraphic obedience. An idle country fellow, who runs at the wakes for a wretched prize, labours harder in his sportive race than, I fear, I do yet in some of my prayers and sermons. A sportsman, for the pitiful honour of coming in at the death of a fox, toils more than most professors do in the pursuit of their corruptions. How ought confusion to cover our faces! Let those that refine the Gospel glory in their shame. Let each of them say, "I thank thee, O God, that I am not like a Papist, or like that Arminian, who looks at the rewards which thou hast promised. I deny myself, and take up my cross, without thinking of the joy and rewards set before me," &c. For my part, I desire to humble myself before God, for having so long overlooked the "exceeding great reward," and the "crown of life," promised to them that obey him; and my thoughts shall be expressed in such words as these::
"Gracious Lord, if he that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall have a prophet's reward;' if our light affliction,' when it is patiently endured, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory:' if thou hast said, Do good and lend, hoping for nothing again [from man,] and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest:' if thou animatest those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, by this promissory exhortation, Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven :' nay, if a cup of cold water only, given in thy name, shall in no wise lose its reward;' and if the least of thy rewards is a smile of approbation; let me be ready to go round the world, shouldst thou call me to it, that I may obtain such a recompense.
"Since thou hast so closely connected holiness and happiness, my duty and thy favours, let no man beguile me of my reward in a voluntary humility,' nor suffer me to be carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men,' and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.' And whatsoever my hand findeth to do, help me to do it with all my might;' not only lest I lose my reward, but also lest I have not a full reward;' lest I lose a beam of the light of thy countenance, or a degree of that peculiar likeness and nearness to thee with which thou wilt recompense those who excel in virtue. So shall I equally avoid the delusion of the Pharisees, who expect heaven through their faithless works; and the error of Antinomians, who hope to enter into thy glory without the passport of the works of faith.
"And now, Lord, if thy servant has found favour in thy sight, permit him to urge another request; so far as thy wisdom, and the laws by which thy free grace works upon free agents will permit, incline the minds of Papists and Protestants to receive the truth as it is in Jesus. Let not especially this plain testimony, borne to the many great promises which thou hast made, and to the astonishing rewards which thou offerest them that work righteousness, be rejected by my Calvinist brethren. Keep them from fighting against thy goodness, and despising their own mercies, under pretence of fighting against Arminian errors,' and despising Pelagian Checks to the Gospel.' And make them sensible that it is absurd to decry in word the pope's pretensions
to infallibility, if by an obstinate refusal to review the whole affair,' and to weigh their supposed orthodoxy in the balances of reason and revelation, they in fact pretend to be infallible themselves; and thus, instead of one Catholic pontiff, set up ten thousand Protestant popes.
"Thou knowest, Lord, that many of them love thee; and that, though they disgrace thy Gospel by their doctrinal peculiarities, they adorn it by their godly conversation. O endue them with more love to their remonstrant brethren! Give them and me that charity which behaveth not itself unseemly,' which rejoiceth not in' a favourite error, but rejoiceth in the truth, even when it is advanced by our opponents. Thou seest, that if they decry true holiness and good works as 'dung and dross,' it is chiefly for fear thy glory should be obscured by our obedience. Error transformed into an angel of light has deceived them, and they think to do thee service by propagating the deception. O gracious God, pardon them this wrong. They do it ignorantly in unbelief;' therefore seal not up their mistake with the seal of thy wrath. Let them yet know the truth,' and let the truth enlarge their hearts, and make them free' from the notion that thou art not loving to every man' during the day of salvation,' and that there is neither mercy nor Saviour for the most of their neighbours, even during the accepted time.'.
"Above all, Lord, if they cannot defend their mistakes, either by argument or by Scripture quoted according to the context, and the obvious tenor of thy sacred oracles, give them more wisdom than to expose any longer the Protestant religion, which they think to defend ; and more piety than to make the men of the world abhor thy Gospel, and blaspheme thy name, as free thinkers are daily tempted to do, when they see that those who pretend to exalt thee' most, are of all Protestants the most ready to disarm thy Gospel of its sanctions; to turn thy judicial sentences into frivolous descriptions; to overlook the dictates of reason and good nature; and to make the press groan under illogical assertions, and personal abuse !
Let thy servant speak once more: thou knowest, O. Lord, that thy power being my helper, I would choose to die rather than wilfully to depreciate that grace, that free grace of thine which has so long kept me out of hell, and daily gives me sweet foretastes of heaven. And now, let not readers of a Pharisaic turn mistake what I have ad-. ,vanced in honour of the works of faith, and by that mean build themselves up in their self-righteous delusion, and destructive contempt of thy merits help them to consider, that if our works are rewardable, it is because thy free grace makes them so; thy Father having mercifully accepted our persons for thy sake, thy Holy Spirit having gently helped our infirmities, thy precious blood having fully atoned for our sins and imperfections, thy incessant intercession still keeping the way to the throne of grace open for us, and our poor performances. Suffer not one of the sons of virtuous pride, into whose hands these sheets may fall, to forget that thou hast annexed the reward of the inheritance' to the assemblage of the works of fai or to patient continuance in well doing,' and not to one or two splendid works of hypocrisy done just to serve a wordly turn, or to bribe a disturbed, clamorous conscience; and enable them so to feel the need of thy pardon for past VOL. I.
transgression, and of thy power for future obedience, that, as the chased hart panteth after the water brooks, so their awakened souls may long after Christ, in whom the penitent find inexhaustible springs of righteousness and strength; and to whom, with thee and thy eternal Spirit, be for ever ascribed praise, honour, and glory, both in heaven and upon earth-praise for the wonders of general redemption, and for the innumerable displays of thy free grace unstained by free wrath-honour for bestowing the gracious reward of a heavenly salvation upon all believers that make their election sure by patient continuance in well doing'-and glory for inflicting the just punishment of infernal damnation upon all that neglect so great salvation, and to the end of the accepted time dare thy vengeance by obstinate continuance in ill doing."