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19. Each student shall have a bed to himfelf, whereever he boards.
20. The ftudents fhall lie on mattreffes, not on feather-beds, because we believe the mattreffes to be more healthy.
21. The mafters fhall ftrictly examine, from time to time, whether thofe who board the ftudents (if they board out of the feminary) comply with thefe rules, as far as they concern them.
22. A fkilful phyfician fhall be engaged to attend the ftudents on every emergency, that the parents may be fully affured that proper care fhall be taken of the health of their children.
23. The bithops fhall examine, by themselves or their delegates, into the progrefs of all the ftudents in learning, every half year, or oftener if poffible.
24. The elders, deacons, and preachers, as often as they vifit the feminaries refpectively, fhall examine the tudents concerning their knowledge of God and religion. 25. The ftudents fhall be divided into proper claffes for that purpofe.
26. A pupil who has a total incapacity to attain learning, fhall, after fufficient trial, be returned to his parents.
27. If a student be convicted of any open fin, he fhall, for the first offence, be reproved in private; for the fecond offence, he fhall be reproved in public; and for the third offence, he fhall be punished at the difcretion of the master.
28. Idlenefs, or any other fault, may be punished with confinement, according to the difcretion of the master. 29. A convenient room fhall be fet apart as a place of confinement.
Of Chriftian Perfection.
ET us ftrongly and explicitly exhort all believ ers to go on to perfection. That we may all
fpeak the fame thing, we ask once for all, Shall we defend this perfection, or give it up? We all agree to defend it, meaning thereby (as we did from the beginning) falvation from all fin, properly fo called, by the love of God and man filling our heart. Some fay, "This cannot be attained till we have been refined by the fire of purgatory." Others, " Nay it will be attained as foon as the foul and body part." But others fay, be attained before we die: A moment after is too late." Is it fo, or not? We are all agreed, we may be faved from all fin before death, i. e. from all finful tempers and defires. The fubftance then is fettled. But as to the circumftances, is the change gradual or inftantane ous? It is both the one and the other. "But fhould we in preaching infift both on one and the other?” Certainly we should infift on the gradual change; and that earnestly and continually. And are there not reafons why we fhould infift on the inftantaneous change? If there be fuch a blessed change before death, should we not encourage all believers to expect it? And the rather, because conftant experience fhews, the more earneftly they expect this, the more fwiftly and fteadily does the gradual work of God go on in their fouls; the more careful are they to grow in grace; the more zealous of good works, and the more punctual in their attendance on all the ordinances of God: (whereas juft the contrary effects are obferved, whenever this expectation ceafes.) They are faved by hope, by this hope of a total change, with a gradually increafing falvation. Destroy this hope, and that falvation stands ftill, or rather de creafes daily. Therefore, whoever would advance the gradual change in believers, should strongly insist on the inftantaneous.
In refpect to the doctrine of christian perfection we must refer the reader to Mr. Welley's excellent treatife on that fubject.
HAT can be done to guard againft
Anfw. 1. Let all the preachers carefully read over Mr. Welley's and Mr. Fletcher's tracts. 2. Let them frequently and explicitly preach the truth, but not in a controverfial way. And let them take care to do it in love and gentlenefs: Not in bitternefs, returning railing for railing. 3. Answer all the objections of our people as occafion offers: But take care to do it in a chriftian temper. (Y
Queft. 2. Wherein lies our danger of it?
Anfw. 1. With regard to man's faithfulness, our Lord himself hath taught us to use the expreffion; therefore we ought never to be ashamed of it. We ought fteadily to affert upon his authority, that if a man is not faithful in the unrighteous mammon, God will not give him the true riches.
2. With regard to working for life, which our Lord exprefsly commands us to do. Labour, (gads) literally, work for the meat that endureth to everlafling life. And in fact every believer till he comes to glory, works for, as well as from, life,
3. We have received it as a maxim, that "A man is to do nothing in order to juftification:" Nothing can be more falfe, Whoever defires to find favour with God, fhould ceafe from evil, and learn to well. So God himself teacheth by the prophet Isaiah, Whoever repents, fhould do works meet for repentance: And if this is not in order to find favour, what does he do them for?
Once more review the whole affair.
1. Who of us is now accepted of God?
He that now believes in Christ with a loving, obedient heart.
But who among those that never heard of Chrift? He that according to the light he has, feareth God and worketh righteousness.
3. Is this the fame with, He that is fincere?
Nearly, if not quite.
4. Is not this falvation by works?
Not by the merit of works, but by works as a condition.
5. The grand objection to one of the preceding propofitions, is drawn from matter of fact. God does in fact justify those who by their own confeffion neither feared God nor wrought righteousness. Is this any exception to the general rule?
It is a doubt whether God makes any exception at all. But how are we fure that the perfon in question never did fear God, and work righteousness ?
His own thinking fo is no proof. For we know how all that are convinced of fin, undervalue themfelves in every respect.
6. Does not talking without proper caution of a juftified or fanctified ftate, tend to mislead men? Almost naturally leading them to truft in what was done in one moment? Whereas we are every moment pleafing or difpleafing God, according to our works; according to the whole of our prefent inward tempers, and outward behaviour.
The fubject of antinomianism has been so fully handled by that great writer, Mr. Fletcher, that we need not enlarge upon it, when it has been fo completely confidered by him.