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a faith so long as you abhor the winter faith that saves the Solifidians in their own conceit: while they commit adultery, murder, and incest, if they choose to carry Antinomianism to such a dreadful length; so long as you are afraid to maintain either directly or indirectly, that the evidence and comfort of justifying faith may indeed be suspended by sin; but that the righteousness of faith, and the justification which it instrumentally procures, can never be lost, no not by the most enormous and complicated crimes; whatever diversity there may be between your ladyship's sentiments and mine, it can never be fundamental. I preach salvation by a faith that actually works by obedient love and your ladyship witnesses salvation by an actually operative faith. Nor can I, to this day, see any material difference between those phrases: for if I profess a faith that is actually operative, I cannot with propriety find fault with a faith that actually operates: I cannot with decency sacrifice its works to "Antinomian dotages."*

Permit me also to observe, that the grand questions debated between my opponents and me are not (as I fear your ladyship apprehends) whether Pharisaic merit shall eclipse the Redeemer's worthiness; or whether the doctrine of salvation by a lively faith shall be given up to mere moralists. I no more plead either for the one or for the other, than I do for placing the pretender upon the British throne, and for sacrificing the great charter to arbitrary power. No, my lady. What we contend about is: (1.) Whether Christ's law is not perfectly consistent with his blood. (2.) Whether we are to set him at naught as a Prophet, a King, and a Judge, under pretence of exalting him as a Priest, an Advocate, and a "Surety of the better covenant," that threatens fallen believers with a "sorer punishment" than that which was inflicted upon the despisers of the Mosaic covenant. (3.) Whether the evangelical worthiness, which a true believer really derives from Christ, is not absolutely necessary to salvation. (4.) Whether such a worthiness is not as consistent with Christ's original and paramount merit, as the light that shines in your apartment is consistent with the original and transcendent brightness of the sun. (5.) Whether that faith is living, which evidences itself by gross immoralities. (6.) Whether it is not rather the "dead faith" that St. James exclaims against. And (7.) Whether the Solifidians do not set up the "abomination of desolation in the holy place," when they directly or indirectly teach that all believers may go any length in sin, without losing their heavenly thrones, or the Divine favour: that a man may have the justifying, saving, operative faith which your ladyship pleads for, while he adds idolatry to incontinence, murder to adultery, and curses to the repeated denial of Jesus Christ: that fallen believers, who have returned to their sins "as a sow that is washed does to her wallowing in the mire," stand immaculate before God in a robe of imputed righteousness, even while they "turn God's grace into lasciviousness, and commit all uncleanness with greediness:" that they shall all infallibly sing in heaven in consequence of their most grievous falls on earth; and that a kind of hypocritical; lying free grace is to be preached to all sinners, which

The name which Flavel gives to Dr. Crisp's modish tenets.

+Mr. Hill has done it "directly" in the fourth of the Five Letters which he has inscribed to me, and all the Solifidians do it "indirectly."

necessarily shuts up most of them under the absolute free wrath of a God ever merciless toward the majority of mankind.

Now, my lady, as I am persuaded that you do not admire such an immoral and narrow Gospel: as I believe that if at any time it creeps into your chapels, it is without your approbation, under the mask of decency, and only by the means of the specious phrases of free Gospel, electing, everlasting love, finished salvation, and free distinguishing grace, which, according to the analogy of the modish faith, sweetly make way for the inseparable and bitter doctrines of a confined Gospel of everlasting hate, reprobating unmercifulness, finished damnation, and free, distinguishing wrath; and as I do your ladyship the justice to acknowledge, that your most earnest desire is to support what appears to you a free and holy Gospel, at the expense of your fortune, life, and character; I beg, my lady, you will also do me the justice to believe that if I oppose the Solifidian Gospel of the day, it is only because it appears to me a confined and unholy Gospel, calculated to foster the Antinomianism of Laodicean believers, and to render Christ's undefiled religion contemptible to the RATIONAL, and execrable to the MORAL world. If you grant me this request, I shall only trouble you with one more, which is, to believe that, notwithstanding the part I have taken in the present controversy, I remain, with my former respect and devotedness, my lady, your ladyship's most obliged and obedient servant in the Gospel,


MADELEY, March 12, 1774.



EXCEEDINGLY sorry should I be if the testimony which I have borne to the necessity of good works caused any of my readers to do the worst of bad works, that is, to neglect believing, and to depend upon some of the external, faithless performances which conceited Pharisees call "good works ;" and by which they absurdly think to make amends for their sins, to purchase the Divine favour, to set aside God's mercy, and to supersede Christ's atoning blood. Therefore, lest some unwary souls, going from one extreme to the other, should so unfortunately avoid Antinomianism as to run upon the rocks which are rendered famous by the destruction of the Pharisees, I shall once more vindicate the fundamental anti-Pharisaic doctrine of salvation by faith: I say once more, because I have already done it in my guarded sermon. And to the scriptures, articles, and arguments produced in that piece, I shall now add rational and yet Scriptural observations, which, together with appeals to matter of fact, will, I hope, soften the prejudices of judicious moralists against the doctrine of faith, and reconcile considerate Solifidians to the doctrine of works. In order to this, I design in general to prove that true faith is the only plant which can possibly bear good works; that it loses its operative nature, and dies, when it produces them not; and that it as much surpasses good works in importance, as the motion of the heart does all other bodily motions. Inquire we first into the nature and ground of saving faith.


A plain definition of saving faith, how believing is the gift of God, and whether it is in our power to believe.

WHAT is faith? It is believing heartily. What is saving faith? I dare not say that it is "believing heartily, my sins are forgiven me for Christ's sake;" for if I live in sin, that belief is a destructive conceit, and not saving faith. Neither dare I say that "saving faith is only a sure trust and confidence that Christ loved me, and gave himself for me;"* for, if I did, I should damn almost all mankind for four thousand years. Such definitions of saving faith are, I fear, too narrow to be just, and too unguarded to keep out Solifidianism. A com

*When the Church of England and Mr. Wesley give us particular definitions of faith, it is plain that they consider it according to the Christian dispensation; the privileges of which must be principally insisted upon among Christians; and that our Church and Mr. Wesley guard faith against Antinomianism, is evident from their maintaining, as well as St. Paul, that by bad works we lose a good conscience, and "make shipwreck of the faith."



convince my readers of it. If they desired me to define parison may man, and I said, "Man is a rational animal that lives in France in the year 1774;" would they not ask me whether I suppose all the rational animals that lived on this side the English channel in 1773 were brutes? And if you desired to know what I mean by saving faith, and I replied, It is a supernatural belief that Christ has actually atoned for my sins upon the cross: would you not ask me whether Abraham, the father of the faithful, who would have believed a lie if he had believed this, had only damning faith?

To avoid therefore such mistakes; to contradict no scriptures; to put no black mark of damnation upon any man, that in any nation "fears God and works righteousness;" to leave no room for Solifidianism; and to present the reader with a definition of faith adequate to "the everlasting Gospel," I would choose to say, that "justifying or saving faith is believing the saving truth with the heart unto internal, and [as we have opportunity] unto external righteousness, according to To St. Paul's words, Rom. x, 10, I add our light and dispensation." the epithets internal and external, in order to exclude, according to 1 John iii, 7, 8, the filthy imputation under which fallen believers may, if we credit the Antinomians, commit internal and external adultery, mental and bodily murder, without the least reasonable fear of endangering their faith, their interest in God's favour, and their inamissible title to a throne of glory.

But "how is faith the gift of God?" Some persons think that faith is as much out of our power as the lightning that shoots from a distant cloud; they suppose that God drives sinners to the fountain of Christ's blood as irresistibly as the infernal legion drove the herd of swine into the sea of Galilee; and that a man is as passive in the first act of faith, as Jonah was in the act of the fish, which cast him upon the shore. Hence the absurd plea of many who lay fast hold on the horns of the devil's altar, unbelief, and cry out, "We can no more believe than we can make a world."

I call this an absurd plea for several reasons: (1.) It supposes that when "God commands all men every where to repent and to believe the Gospel," he commands them to do what is as impossible to them as the making of a new world. (2.) It supposes that the terms of the covenant of grace are much harder than the terms of the covenant of works. For the old covenant required only perfect human obedience: but the new covenant requires of us the work of an almighty God, i. e. believing; a work this which, upon the scheme I oppose, is as impossible to us as the creation of a world, in which we can never have a hand. (3.) It supposes that the promise of salvation being suspended upon believing, a thing as impracticable to us as the making of a new world, we shall as infallibly be damned if God do not believe for us, as we should be if we were required to make a world on pain of damnation, and God would not make it in our place. (4.) It supposes that believing is a work which belongs to God alone: for no man in his senses can doubt but creating a world, or its tantamount, believing, is a work which none but God can manage. (5.) It supposes that (if he, who believeth not the Divine record, makes God a liar, and shall be damned,) whenever unbelievers are called upon to believe, and God

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