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by love to God's commandments. Next to Christ then, to speak the language of some injudicious divines,] Faith alone, when it works by love, takes us to heavep: [Or rather to avoid au apparent contradiction, Faith and its works are the way to heaven :] But as there are stars of different magnitude in the material heaven, so also in the spiritual. Some who, like St. Paul, have eminently shined by the works of faith, the patience of hope, and the labour of love,' shall shine like the brightest stars, [or the sun :] And others, who, like the dying thief and infants, have had [little * or] no time to shew their faith (or holiness] by their works, shall enjoy a less degree of glorious bliss : But all shall ascribe the whole of their salvation only to the mercy of God, the merits of Christ, and the efficacy of his blood and Spirit, à according to St. John's vision : 'I beheld, and lo a great multitude of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, with palms in their hands, clothed with robes that they had washed, and made white in the blood of the Lamb : And' (while our Lord said to them by his gracious looks, according to the doctrine of secondary, instruinental causes, 'Walk with me in white, for you are worthy, and inherit the kingdom prepared for you, for I was hungry and ye gave me meat,' &c.] they cried [according to the doctrine of
(45.) * Here Mr. H. triumphs in his Finishing Stroke, p. 50% last note, through my omission of those two words. But without having recourse to “ magical power,” or even to “ Logica Helvetica,” to reconcile my Sermon with my Checks, I desire unprejudiced Calvinists to mention any one besides the dying thief, that ever evidenced his faith by confessing Christ when his very apostles denied or forsook him; by openly praying to him, when the multitude reviled him ; by humbly pleading guilty before thousands; by publicly defend. ing injured innocence; by boldly reproving blasphemy; by kindly admonishing his fellow malefactor ; apd by fully acknowledging Christ's kingly office, when he was crowned with thorns, and hanging on the cross ? Did St. John, did Mary Magdalen, did even the Virgin Mary show their faith by such glorious works, under such unfavourable circumstances ? O ye Sollfidians, where is your attention !
primary and properly meritorious causes) not“ Salvation to our endeavours and good works;” but “Salvation to our God, who sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.'
[Thus, by the rules of celestial courtesy, to which our Lord vouchsafes to submit in glory; while the saints justly draw a veil over their works of faith, to extol only their Saviour's merits : He kindly passes over his own blood and righteousness, to make 'mention only of their works and obedience. They, setting their seal to the first gospel axiom, shout with great truth, Salvation to God and the Lamb:' And He, setting his seal to the second gospel. axiom, leplies with great condescension, Salvation to them that are worthy! Eternal Salvation to all that obey nie.' (Rer. iii. 4. Heb. v. 9.)
[Therefore, notwithstanding the perpetual assaults of proud Pharisees, and of self-humbled Antinomians: the two gospel axioms stand unshaken upon the two fundamental, inseparable doctrines of faith and works -of proper merit in Christ, and derived worthiness in his members. · Penitent believers freely receive all from the God of grace and mercy, through Christ; and humble workers freely return all to the God of holiness and glory, through the same adorable Mediator. Thus God has all the honour of freely bestowing upon us a crown of righteousness, in a way of judicious mercy, and distributive justice ; while we, through grace, have* all the honour of freely receiving it, in a way of penitential faith and obedient gratitude. To him therefore, one eternal Jehovah in Father, So
(46.) * OBJECTION. “We have all the honour through grace ! (says a friend of voluntary humility) What honour can you possibly ascribe to man when you have already ascribed all honour to God? But one who begins his sermon by pleading for merit, may well conclude it by taking from God part of his honour, dominion, and praise."
ANSWER, I plead only for an interest in Christ's merits through faith and the works of faith. This interest I call derived worthiness, which would be as dishonour ble to and Holy Ghost be ascribed all the merit, honour, praise, and dominion, worthy of a God, for erer and ever.]
Christ, as it is honourable to believers. I confess also, that I aspire at the honour of shouting in heaven, ‘Allelujah to God and the Lamb l' In the mean time, I hope, that I may pay an inferior honour to all men, ascribe derived dominion to the king, bestow deserved praise upon my pious opponents, and claim the honour of being their obedient servant in Christ, without robbing the Lamb of his peculiar worthiness, and God of his proper honour, and dominion, and praise.
I FLATTER myself that the preceding discourse shews, (1.) That it is very possible to preach free grace, without directly or indirectly preaching Calvinism and free wrath : And (2.) That those who charge Mr. Wesley and me with subverting the articles of our church, which guard the doctrine of grace, do us great wrong. Should God spare me, I shall also bear my testimony to the truth of the doctrine of conditional Predestination and Election, maintained in the Seventeenth Arti cle, to which I have not had an opportunity of setting my seal in this work.
As I have honestly laid my Helvetic bluntness, and Antinomian mistakes, before the public in my notes : I am not conscious of having misrepresented my old sermon in my enlarged discourse. Should however the keener eyes of my opponents discover any real mistake in my additions, &c., upon information, I shall be glad to acknowledge and rectify it. Two or three sentences I have left out, merely because they formed vain repetitions, without adding any thing to the sense. But whenever I have, for conscience sake, made any alteration, that affects, or seems to affect the doctrine ; I have informed the reader of it, and of my reason for it in a note; that he may judge whether I was right twelve years ago, or whether I am now: And where there is no such note at the bottom of the page, there is an addition in the context, directing to the fifth note, where the alteration is acknowledged, and accounted for according to the reasonable condition, which I have made in the preface.
I particularly recommend the perusal of that note,
of the first, and of the twenty-first, to those, who do not yet see their way through the straits of Pharisaism and Antinomianism, through which I have been obliged to steer my course in handling a text, which, of all others, seems at first sight best calculated to countenance the mistakes of my opponents.
Sharp-sighted readers will see by my sermon, that nothing is more difficult than rightly to divide the word of God. The ways of truth and error lie close together, though they never coincide. When some preachers say, that, “ The road to heaven passes very near the mouth of hell," they do not mean, that the road to heaven and the road to hell are one and the
If I assert, that the way of truth runs parallel to the ditch of error, I by no means intend to con. found them. Let error therefore come, in some things, ever so near to truth, yet it can no more be the truth, than a filthy ditch, that runs parallel to a good road, can be the road.
You wonder at the athletic strength of Milo, that brawny man, who stands like an anvil under the bruising tist of his antagonist : Through the flowery paths of youth and childhood, trace him back to his cradle ; and, if you please, consider him unborn : He is Milo still. Nay, view him just conceived or quickened, and though your naked eye scarcely discovers the punctum saliens, by which he differs from a non-entity or a lifeless thing ; yet even then the difference between him and a non-entity is not only real, but prodigions ; for it is the vast difference between something and uothing, between life and no life.- In like manner trace back truth to its first stamina ; investigate it till you find its punctun saliens, its first difference from error; and even then, you will see an essential, a capital difference between them, though your shortsighted or inattentive neighbour can perceive none.
It is often a thing little in appearance, that turns the scale of truth; nevertheless, the difference between a scile turned or not turned, is as real as a difference between a just and a false weight, between right and