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light upon his subject, &c. No sin, he said, can hurt me. I have had a call, and my election is safe. Satan may pound me, if he please : but Jesus must replevy me. What care I for drunkenness or whoredom, for cheating, or a little lying ? These sins may hurt another, but they cannot hurt me. Let me wander where I will from God, Jesus Christ inust fetch me back again. I may fall a thousand times, but I shall rise again : yes, I may fall exceeding foully. And so he did, for instantly he pitched with his head upon the floor, and the tankard in his hand.” (Christian World Unmasked. 2d ed. p. 191.)

Thus fell the Antinomian champion of Calvinistic perseverance. “ The tankard (adds Mr. Berridge) was recovered, but no one thought it worth his while to lift up Mr. Fulsome.” And what does Mr. Fulsome care for it, is Jesus Christ himself is absolutely engaged to raise him up, though he had spilt not only some of my

landlord's ale, but all my landlord's blood? Let Mr. Fulsome take a peaceful nap upon the floor, till he can call for another tankard; it will never hurt him, for Mr. Hill declares that “ the covenant of grace standeth sure in behalf of the elect under every trial, state, and circumstance they can possibly be in : and that God overrules sin for their good.” (Finishing Stroke, pp. 6, and 55.)

Upon the principles of Calvinism, no logician in the world can, I think, find a flaw in the following arguments of Mr. Fulsome :-If I am unconditionally eiected, irresistible grace will certainly save me at last ; nay, my salvation is already finished: and for this tankard and twenty more, I shall only sing " louder” in heaven the praises of free, distinguishing, restoring grace, which, passing by thousands, viewed me with unchangeable love, and determined to save me with an everlasting salvation, without any regard to that “ Jack o’lantern, sincere obedience.” If, on the other hand, I am unconditionally reprobated, I shall absolutely be damned. Again: supposing Christ never died for me, not only all my faith, but also all my endeavours and works, (were they as many as those of Mr. J. W.) like a “ Jack o'lantern," will only dance before me to the pit of hell. Once more: if I am absolutely justified, it is not all the tankards and harlots in the world that can blot my name out of the book of life. And if I am in the black book, my damnation is as good as finished. My sincere obedience will never reverse a personal, absolute decree, older and firmer than the pillars of heaven. Nay, it may be the readiest way to hell: for our vicar, who is one of the first Gospel ministers in the kingdom, tells us, that “ the devil was surely the author of the condition of sincere obedience,” and that “ thousands have been lost by following after it.” Landlord, bring in another tankard. Here is the health of all who do not legalize the Gospel !

Mr. Berridge is too good a logician to attempt proving that Mr. Fulsome's creed is not quite rational, upon the principles of Calvinism. He only says, (p. 192,) “ Such scandalous professors are found at all times, in our day, and in St. Paul's day, yet St. Paul will not renounce the doctrine of perseverance.” True ; he will not renounce his own doctrine of conditional perseverance, because it is the very reverse of the doctrine of absolute, or Calvinistic perseverance, from which Mri Fulsome draws his horrible, and yet just inferences.

But, says Mr. B., (p. 178,) “A believer's new nature makes him hunger for implanted righteousness;" insinuating that a believer's holy nature puts him upon such spontaneous obedience to his “ rules of life, that he needs not the help of a law, as a rule of rewards and punishments, to encourage him in the path of duty, and to keep him from the broad way of disobedience. As this is one of the grand arguments by which pious Calvinists defend the Antinomian Babel, I shall answer it first as an anti-Calvinist, and Mr. Fulsome next as a Calvinist.

1. Experience shows, that to secure the creature's obedience, or the Creator's honour, the curb of a law is necessary for all free agents who are yet in a state of probation; and that so long as we are surrounded with so many temptations to faint in duty, and to leave the thorny way of the cross for the flowery paths of sin, the spur

and bridle of a promising and threatening law are needful, even with respect to those duties which natural or supernatural inclination renders in general delightful; such as for mothers to take care of their own children, and believers to do good to their own neighbour. Now as the civil law, that condemns murderers to death, does not except mothers who destroy the fruit of their womb, because natural affection makes them in general glad to preserve it; so the penal law of Christ makes no exception in favour of believers who fall into adultery and murder, under the Calvinistic pretence that their new nature makes them in general hunger after purity and love. See 1 Cor. vi, 8, 9. Again : all sophisms flee before matter of fact. Fallen angels and our first parents once naturally hungered after righteousness, more than most believers do ; and yet they grossly apostatized. And if you object to these instances, I produce David and the incestuous Corinthian: both had a “new nature” as believers; and yet as fallen believers, the one could thirst after Uriah’s blood, and the other hunger after his father's wife, far more than after - implanted righteousness. But,

2. Mr. Fulsome may answer Mr. Berridge as a Calvinist thus:-My new nature will make me hunger for implanted righteousness “ in the day of God's power :” God will do his own work : in the meantime I am “ in a winter season :” “I am carnal and sold under sin,” as well as St. Paul, and I thirst after my tankard as David did after Bathsheba’s beauty, and Uriah's blood : thus the Antinomian gap remains as wide

as ever.

It is true also that Mr. Berridge says, (p. 173,) “ Cheats will arise : and how must we deal with them? Deal with them, sir! why, hang them, when detected; as Jesus hanged Judas.” I thought that Judas, and not Jesus, was the hangman. But I let that pass, to observe, that Mr. Fulsome may justly ask, Why will you hang me? Does not our Lord, speaking of his elect, say, “ He that touches you, touches the apple of mine eye?" If Mr. Berridge answers, You are no elect; you are a hypocrite; you never had grace: Mr. Fulsome may justly reply, upon the plan of the Calvinistic doctrines of grace, “ I have had a call

, and my election is safe. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? Whom he called, them he also justified: yea, they are justified from all things. You have no more right to condemn me as a hypocrite, because you see me with a tankard in my hand, than to pass a sentence of hypocrisy upon all backsliders. Ilow will you provo

that I have not as much right to toss my tankard, as David to write a sanguinary letter; Solomon to worship devils; and the incestuous Corinthian to invade the rights of his father's bed? I will maintain the privileges of God's children against all the legalists and the Wesleys in the world: I will fight for free grace to the last drop in my

tankard : my service to you !"

If Mr. Fulsome's arguments are conclusive, as well as Calvinistical, how can he be brought to give up his Antinomian creed? Undoubtedly, by being brought to give up Calvinism. Till then it is evident that he will still hold his doctrines of grace in theory, or in practice : indirectly and with mental reserves, as all pious Calvinists do; or openly and without shufiling, as he does in his confession of faith. Thus has Mr. Berridge presented the world with an Antinomian creed as horrid as that which I have composed with the unguarded principles of your fourth letter. And by acknowledging that “ such scandalous professors as Mr. Fulsome are found at all times,” he has confirmed the necessity of my Checks, shown they are really Checks to Antinomianism, and not “Checks to the Gospel,” silenced those who have accused me of misrepresentation, and helped me to give the world a just idea of Calvinistic principles. I say principles, because many, very many Calvinists, like Mr. Berridge, are too moral not to reject in their practice, and not to explode as detestable in their discourse, the immoral inferences consistent Antinomians justly draw from their doctrines of grace.

Sec. v. Having thus complied with your request, sir, by producing a quotation” from an eminent Calvinist divine, to show that I do not fight against a shadow when I oppose Mr. Fulsome; and having described a rational “convert” to your doctrines of grace,

I return to the Finishing Stroke, where, to ward off the blow given to your system by the orthodoxy and bad conduct of the Fulsomes,

Page 9. You offer to show me sa long black list of deluded creatures, (some of whom have been principal leaders in Mr. Wesley's classes, &c,) who have been carrying on abominations, and wicked practices under the mask of religion.” And you tell us they are “ some of the fruits which the doctrines” of Mr. Wesley “ have produced." But

you have forgot the proof, unless you think that your bare assertion is quite sufficient. Suppose that one out of twelve of Mr. Wesley's class leaders had actually turned out a “temporary monster," what could you infer from it against Mr. Wesley's doctrine, but what the Pharisees could, with equal truth, or rather with equal justice, have inferred against the doctrine of our Lord ?

By what plain and easy consequence, or by what Scriptural argument will you make it appear that even the most abhorred of all Mr. Wesley's doctrines, that of Christian perfection, (or, which is all one, that of believing in Christ with a penitential faith, till we love God with all our heart, and our neighbour as ourselves,) has any more tendency to turn his hearers into 6 temporary monsters,” than our Lord's sermon zupon the mount had to turn his apostles into covetous traitors ? But how can you free your doctrine from the dangerous consequences which fiow from it as naturally as a river does from its source ? Have I not just proved, I hope to the satisfaction of judicious readers,

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that Mr. Fulsome's practice perfectly agrees with your Calvinistic principles? O sir, that vapourer, in favour of your perseverance, fairly and consistently builds upon what your brother calls “ the foundation of the Calvinists,” that is, unconditional election and finished salvation : he is a wise master builder. Apply the most exact plummet of reason to the walls of his Antinomian Babel, and you will find them straight. They do not project a hair's breadth from

your

doctrines of grace, which are the foundations laid in some our celebrated pulpits for him and all the clan of the Fulsomes to build upon. He is a judicious monster; he has reason and your orthodoxy on his side. But the monsters of your long black list (supposing it to be a true one) are barefaced hypocrites, equally condemned by their reason and protession : for, so far as they adhere to Mr. Wesley's doctrine, their principles are diametrically opposed to their practice, and therefore he is no more accountable for their 66 abominations” than our Lord was for Judas' treason.

Sec. vi, pp. 12, 13. You leave me in full possession of the scriptures, arguments, and quotations from our homilies and liturgy which I have advanced in the Fourth Check, supposing that when you have called them - the novel chimeras of the Fourth Check,” or a “ mingle mangle ;” and that when you have referred your readers to the faith of Mr. Ignorance,” you have given my sentiments a Finishing Stroke. To such forcible arguments I can make no better and shorter reply than that of my title page, Logica Genevensis ! However,

Page 11. You decide that my illustration of the woman dropping her child down the precipice “ is totally foreign to the purpose,” i. e. does not at all prove that Calvinism fathers “ unprovoked wrath” upon the God of love. But how do

you
make it

appear :? Why, you insinuate that “ man has forfeited all right and title to the favour of God by his fall in Adam ;” and therefore God has been justly provoked to drop the reprobates down the precipice of sin into hell, by an eternal, unconditional, absolute decree of non-election.

The argument is specious, and has deceived thousands of simple souls into Calvinism : but can it bear examination? Who, or what provoked God to make, from all eternity, a decree of absolutely dropping Adam down the precipice of sin, and the reprobated part of his posterity clown the precipice of damnation ? Was it the sin of reprobates ? No: for millions of them are as yet unconceived, and therefore sinless ; for what has not yet a substance cannot yet have a mode ; what does not vet exist cannot yet be sinful. Was it a foresight of their sin? No: for, upon the Calvinistic plan, God certainly foresees what will happen, only because he has absolutely decreed what shall happen. Was it Adam's sin, as you insinuate ? No: for Adam's sin was committed in time, and therefore could not influence an absolute decree of

personal reprobation made before time, yea, from all eternity. But

you add :

66

Pages 11, 12, If

you

believe that the transgression of our first parent entailed no condemnation upon his posterity, why did you subscribe to the ninth article of our Church, which says, that in

every man born into the world it deserves God's wrath and damnation ?" I

apprehend you mistake, sir: that article says no such thing. What it affirms

of a derivation of Adam's corruption, or of “ the fault and corruption of the nature of every man,” you represent as spoken of Adam's personal transgression ; which is absolutely confounding the cause and the effect. Every anti-Calvinist may, and I, for one, do believe, that in every man born into the worlil, and considered according to the first covenant, original corruption (not Adam's transgression) deserves God's wrath and damnation at the hands of a holy and righteous God, without dreaming that any man shall be ever damned for it: seeing that according to God's mercy and goodness displayed in the second covenant, Christ, “ the second Adam,” is come “ to taste death for every man;" and to be “ the Saviour of all inen;" so that for his sake “ the free gist is come upon all men to justification of life.” (See the Fourth Check, p. 283, &c.) Thus, by looking at our Divine compass, the word of God, we sail through the straits of error, keeping at an equal distance from the rocks against which Calvinists run on the right hand, and the Pelagians on the left.

I have warded off the Síroke which you have attempted to give my sentiments with our ninth article ; and now it is but just you should suffer me to return it. If I am not mistaken, that article is repugnant to Calvinism in two respects. (1.) It says not one word about the imputation of the demerits of Adam's first transgression; but makes original sin to consist only in the “infection of our nature ;” which saps the foundation of your imaginary imputation of Adam's personal sin, and consequently ruins its counterpart, namely, your imaginary imputation of Christ's personal good works distinct from some actual participation of his holiness. (2.) It affirms that this infection, in every person born into the world, deserves God's wrath: a strong intimation this that it did not actually deserve that wrath before we were actually defiled by a sinful birth or conception. Now this, if I mistake not, implies, that of all the men now living upon the earth, not one actually deserved God's wrath and damnation two hundred years ago. So that if God absolutely reprobated one man now living, three hundred, much more six thousand years ago, much more from all eternity, he did it according to Calvin's doctrine of rich, free, unprovoked, gratuitous, undeserved wrath. O ye considerate Englishmen, stand to your articles, and you will soon shake off Geneva impositions !

Sec. vii, p. 12. You say in your moral creed about faith and works : " Faith when genuine will always manifest its reality by bringing forth good works, and all ihe fruits of a holy life.” Now, sir, if you stand to this, without secret reserves about “a winter state,” in which a genuine believer (so called) may commit adultery, murder, and incest, for many months, without losing the character of " a man after God's own heart," and his title to heaven ; you make up the Antinomian gap, you set your seal to St. James' Epistle, you ratify the Checks; and consequently you give up your fourth letter, which contains the very marrow of Calvinism : : uniess, by some salvo of Geneva logic, you can reconcile these two propositions, which, upon the rational and moral plan of the Gospel, appear to me utterly irreconcilable. (1.) Faith, when genuine, always brings forth all the fruits of a holy life. (2.) A man's faith may be genuine while he goes any length in sin, and brings forth all the fruits of an unholy life-adultery and murder noi excepted.

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