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the Vindication ?-0 ye candid Calvinists, partial as your system is, can you possibly approve of such glaring partiality ?
4. Is it right in Mr. Hill to take his leave of me in this abrupt manner, (p. 39, 40,)
“ The unfair quotations you hare made, and the shocking misrepresentations and calumnies you have been guilty of, will for the future prevent me from looking into any of your books, if you should write a thousand volumes :" And this especially under pretence, that I have “shamefully perverted and misrepresented the doc. trines of Anthony Burgess," when I have simply produced a quotation from him, in which there is not a shadow of misrepresentation, as the reader will see by comparing Fourth Check, (vol. i. p. 569,) with the last paragraph of the XIIth Sermon of Mr. Burgess on Grace and Assurance ?
Sect. XIII. This perpetual noise about “ gross misrepresentations, shameful perversions, interpolations, base forgeries,” &c., becomes Mr. Hill as little as any man ; his own inaccuracy in quotation equalling that of the most inattentive writer I am acquainted with. Our readers have seen, on what a slender basis he rests his charge of “ base forgeries :" I beg leave to show them now, on what solid ground I rest my charge of uncommon inaccuracy; and not to intride too long upon their patience, I shall just produce a few ipstances only out of his Finishing Stroke.*
• To produce such instances out of the “ Review,” would be almost endless. One, however, Mr. Hill forces me to touch upon a second time. This is the case. The sword of the Spirit, which Mr. Wesley ases, is two-edged. When he defends the first gospel axiom against the Pharisees, he preaches “ Salvation, not by the merit of works, but by believing in Christ :” And when he defends the second gospel axiom against the Antinomians, he preaches " Salvation, not by the merit of works, but by works as a condition.” No sooner did the Calvinists see this last proposition at full length in the Minutes, than they took the alarm, fondly imagining that Mr. Wesley wanted to overthrow the Protestant doctrine of salvation by faith. To convince them of their mistake, i appealed to Mr. Wesley's works in general, and to the Minutes in
1. That performance does not do my sermon justice, for, p. 51, Mr. Hill quotes me so: “They[good works] are declarative of our free justification;" whereas my
particular, two sentences of which evidently shew, that he had not the least intention of setting aside faith in Christ, in order to make way for the Anti-Christian merit of works. Accordingly I laid those sentences before my readers, taking special care to shew by commas, that I produced two different parts of the Minutes, thus: “ Not by the merit of works,” but by believing in Christ.” Here is not a shadow of disingenuity ; either as to the quotations, for they are fairly taken from the Minutes; or as to the sense of the whole sentences : For fifty volumes, and myriads of hearers can testify, that it perfectly agrees with Mr. W.'s well-known doctrine. But what does Mr. Hill? Biassed by his system, he tampers with my quotations ; he takes off the two commas after the word works; he overlooks the two commas before the word believing ! he (inadvertently, I hope) throws my two distinct quotations into one; and by that means adds to them the words“ but by," which I had particularly excluded. When he has thus turned my two just quotations into one that is false, he is pleased to put me into the Geneva pillory for his own mistake ; and as his doctrines of grace teach him to kill two birds with one stone, he involves Mr. Wesley in my gratuitous disgrace, 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." (" Review," p. 27.)
Upon the remonstrance I made about this strange way of proceeding, (see note, “ Fourth Check, vol. ii. p. 3,) I hoped that Mr. Hill would have hanged down his head a moment, and dropped the point for ever. But no: He must give a Finishing Stroke, and drive home the nail of his rash accusation, by calling my remarks upon his mistakes, “ Attempts to vindicate that most shameful false quotation, he [Mr. Fletcher) has twice made from the Minutes." (Log. Wes). p. 35.)
And to prove that my attempts have been unsuccessful, he produces passages out of a newspaper, which represent “ His majesty,"_“ stealing bread,"
" Her majesty," "committed to the house of correction.” . To this ( answer, that if such unconnected quotations (of which I only give here the substance) were properly distinguished by commas ; if they were separated by intervening words; and if they did not in the least misrepresent the author's sense; it would be great injustice to call them either “a most shameful false quotation," or a “ forgery."
Now these three particulars meet in my two quotations from the Minutes : (1.) They are both properly distinguished with commas: (2.) They are parted by intervening words ; And (3.) They do not in the least misrepresent Mr. Wesley's meaning; Whereas, (to say nothing more of my
manuscript runs thus : “ They are the declarative cause of our free justification,” viz, in the day of trial and of judgment. The word “cause" here is of the utmost importance to my doctrine, powerfully guarding the Minutes and undefiled religion. Whether it is left out, hecause it shews at once the absurdity of pretending that my old sermon “is the best confutation of Mr. Wesley's Minutes ; or because Mr. Hill's copier omitted it first, is best known to Mr Hill himself.
2. I say, in the Fourth Check, (p. 108,) " To vindicate what I beg leave to call God's honesty, permit ine to observe first, that I had rather believe, Joseph told once a gross untruth,' than to suppose that God perpetually equivocates." For undoubtedly of two evils I would choose the least, if a cogent dilemma obliged me to choose either. But this is not the case here ; the dilemma is not forcible ; for in the next lines I show, that Joseph, iustead of “ telling a gross untruth,” only spake the language of brotherly kindness. However,
commas expunged in the Review,) no word intervenes between Mr. Hill's supposed quotations out of the papers; and they form a shameful misrepresentation of the publisher's meaning.
Oh! but as the quotations from the Minutes are linked, they " speak a language directly opposite to the Minutes themselves.” So says Mr. Hill, without producing the shadow of a proof. But, upon
the arguments of the five Checks, I affirm that the two gospel axioms, or my linked quotations and the Minutes, agree as perfectly with each other as those positions of St. Paul, to which they answer : • By grace ye are saved through faith.' - Therefore, • Work out your salvation with fear.'
From this redoubled stroke of Mr. Hill, I am tempted to think, that, like Justice, “ Logica Genevensis” has a covering over her eyes; but, alas! for a very different reason. Like her also she has a balance in her left hand; but it is to weigh out and vend her own assertions as proofs. And, like her, she holds a sword in her right hand; but, alas ! it is often to wound brotherly love, and stab erangelical truth. Bring her into the field of controversy, and she will at once cut down Christ's doctrine as dreadful heresy. Set her in the judgment-seat to pass sentence over good works, and over honest men, that do not bow at her shrine; and without demur she will pronounce, that the former are dung, and that the latter are knaves.
without paying any regard to my vindication of Joseph's speech, Mr. Hill catches at the conditional words, “I had rather believe :” Just as if I had said, I do actually believe, he turns them into a pereniptory declaration of my faith, and three times represents me as asserting what I never said nor believed: Thus, (p. 38,) “ Your wonderful assertion, that Joseph told his brethren a gross untruth :"-Once more, (p. 39,) “ The repeated words of inspiration you venture to call gross untruth." Solomon says, “Who can stand before euvy?' And I ask,
Who can stand before Mr. Hill's inattention?" I am sure, neither I, nor Mr. Wesley. At this rate he can undoubtedly find a blasphemy in every page, and a farrago in every book.
3. Take another instance of the same want of exactness. I say, in the Fourth Check, (vol. I, p.563,) “I never thought Mr. Whitefield was clear in the doctrine of our Lord, 'In the day of judgment by thy words shalt thou be justified;' for if he had seen it in a proper light, he would instantly have renounced Calvinism.”—This passage Mr. Hill quotes thus, in Italics and commas, (p. 23,) “ You never thought him clear in our Lord's doctrine, for if he had, he would have renounced his Calvinism.” The inaccuracy of this quotation consists in omitting those important words of our Lord, 'In the day of judgment,' &c. By this omission that sense of the preceding clause is indefinite, and I am represented as saying, that Mr. Whitefield was not clear in any doctrine of our Lord, vo not in that of the fall, repentance, salvation by faith, the new birth, &c. This one mistake of Mr. Hill is sufficient to make me pass for a mere coxcomb in all the Calvinistic world.
4. It is by the like inattention that Mr. Hill prejadices also against me the friends of Mr. Wesley. In the Fourth Check, after having answered an objec. tion of the Rev. Mr. Hill against Mr. Wesley, I produce that objection again for a fuller answer, and say, " But supposing, that Mr. Wesley had not properly considered, &c., what would you infer from thence? &c.
Weigh your argument,&c.,and you will find it is wanting:” Then I immediately produce Mr. Hill's objection in the form of an argument, thus: “Twenty-three, or, if you please, three years ago, Mr. Wesley wanted clearer light,” &c. Now what I evidently produce as a supposition, and as the Rev. Mr. Hill's own argument unfolded in order to answer it, my opponent fathers upon me thus, “The followiug are your own words,” · Three years ago Mr. Wesley wanted clearer light,' 8C.--True, they are my own words ; but to do me justice, Mr. Hill should have produced them as I do, namely, as a supposition, and as the drift of his brother's objection, in order to shew its frivolousness. This is partly such a mistake as if Mr. Hill said, “The following are David's own words, ' Tush! there is no God.'"
However, he is determined to improve his own oversight, and he does it by asking, (p. 17,) “ What then is become of thousands of Mr. Wesley's followers, who died before this clearer light came ?”—An argument this, by which the most iguorant Papists in my parish perpetually defend their idolatrous superstitions ; “ What is become of all our forefathers,” say they, “ before Luther and Calvin ? Were they all damued ?"-Is it uot surprising, that Mr. Hill, not contented to produce a Popish friar's conversation, should have thus recourse to the argument of every Popish cobler, who attacks the doctrine of the Reformation ? 0 Logica Genevensis ! how dost thou show thyself the genuine sister of Logica Romana !
5. I return to the mistakes, by which Mr. Hill has supported, before the world, his charge of " calumny." I say, in the Second Check, (vol. I, p. 380,) “ How few of our celebrated pulpits are there, where more has not been said at times for sin, than against it?" Mr. Hill, (p. 7,) says, The ministers, who preach in these (our most celebrated pulpits) are condemned without exception, as such pleaders for sin, that they say more for it, than against it.” Here are two capital mistakes (1.) The question, How few ?, &c., evidently leaves