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THE SECOND PART
FIFTH CHECK TO ANTINOMIANISM:
DEFENCE OF “ JACK O’LANTERN," AND " THE PAPER KITE," 1. £. SINCERE OBEDIENCE ;
OF THE COBWEB," 1. E. THE EVANGELICAL LAW OF LIBERTY ;--AND OF THE “VAL IANT SERGEANT if," 1. E. THE CONDITIONALITY OF PERSEVERANCE, ATTACKED BY THE REV. MR. BERRIDGE, M. A., VICAR OF EVERTON, AND LATE FELLOW OF CLARE HALL, CAMBRIDGE, IN HIS BOOK CALLED THE CHRISTIAN WORLD UNMASKED."
Quandoque bonus dormitat Hu103: U9.-HOR.
SECOND PART OF THE FIFTH CHECK.
INTRODUCTION. Mr. Berridge's uncommon piety and zeal give an uncommon sanction to his dan.
gerous, though well-meant mistakes.
SECTION I. Mr. Berridge advances the capital error of the Antinomians, when he says, that
faith must UTTERLY exclude all justification by works ;" and when he represents “the passport of obedience” as a paper kite.
SECTION II. A view of the doctrine of the Solifidians with respect to the Gospel law, or tho
law of liberty, which Mr. Berridge indirectly calls a “cobweb,” and with respect to sincere obedience, which he directly calls “a Jack o'lantern :" with two notes, showing that Mr. Berridge holds the doctrine of merit of congruity, as much as Thomas Aquinas, and that Bellarmine held absolute reprobation as much as Mr. Toplady.
SECTION III, An'answer to the dangerous arguments of Mr. Berridge against sincere obedience,
in which it is proved that Christ is not “at the head of the Antinomian preach. ers” for making our duty feasible as redeemed sinners; and that Mr. Berridge's rash pleas against obedience, as the condition of eternal salvation, totally subvert faith itself, which he calls “the total term of all salvation.”
SECTION IV. When Mr. Berridge grants that “our damnation is wholly from ourselves," he
grants that our salvation is suspended upon some term which through grace we have power to fulfil; and in this case, unconditional reprobation, absolute election, and finished salvation, are false doctrines; and Calvin’s whole system stands upon a sandy foundation : with a note upon a damphlet called “ A Check
Mr. Berridge candidly grants the conditionality of perseverance, and consequently
of election, by showing much respect to “Sergeant IF,” who “guards the camp of Jesus :" but soon picking a quarrel with the valiant sergeant, oddly discharges him as a Jew, opens the camp to the Antinomians, by opposing to them only a sham sentinel, and shows the foundation of Calvinism in a most striking light.
CONCLUSION, In which the author expresses again his brotherly love for Mr. Berridge, makes
an apology for the mistakes of his pious antagonist, and accounts for the oddity of his own style in answering him.
Having animadverted on Mr. Hill's Finishing Stroke, I proceed to ward off the first blow which the Rev. Mr. Berridge has given to practical religion. But before I mention his mistakes, I must do justice to his person. It is by no means my design to represent him as a divine who either leads a loose life, or intends to hurt the Redeemer's interest. His conduct as a Christian is exemplary ; his labours as a minister are great ; and I am persuaded that the wrong touches which he gives to the ark of godliness are not only undesigned, but intended to do God service.
There are so many things commendable in the pious vicar of Everton, and so much truth in his Christian World Unmasked, that I find it a hardship to expose the unguarded parts of that performance. But the cause of this hardship is the ground of my apology. Mr. Berridge is a good, an excellent man, therefore the Antinomian errors, which go abroad into the world with his letters of recommendation, which speak in his evangelical strain, and are armed with the poignancy of his wit, cannot be too soon pointed out, and too carefully guarded against. I flatter myself that this consideration will procure me his pardon for taking the liberty of despatching his valiant “ sergeant,” with some doses of rational and Scriptural antidotes for those who have drunk into the pleasing mistakes of his book, and want his piety to hinder them from carrying speculative into practical Antinomianism
ONE of my opponents has justly observed, that "the principal cause of controversy among us" is the doctrine of our justification by the works of faith in the day of judgment. At this rampart of practical godliness Mr. Berridge levels such propositions as these, in his Christian World Unmasked: (second edition, pp. 170, 171 :) - Final justification by faith is the capital doctrine of the Gospel. Faith being the term of salvation, &c, must utterly exclude all justification by works.” And, (p. 26,) we read of " an absolute impossibility of being justified in any manner by our works.”
If these positions are true, say, reader, if St. James, St. Paul, and Jesus Christ, did not advance great untruths when they said : • By works a man is justified, and not by faith only," James ii, 24. not the hearers of the law [of Christ] are just before God, but the doers shall be justified, &c, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ,” Rom. ii, 13, 16. For (adds our Lord, when speaking of the day of judgment) by thy words tion shalt be jastified," &c, Matt. xii, 37. Christian reader, say, who is mistaken, Christ and his apostles, or the late fellow of Clare Hall ? VOL. I.