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propositions of Mr. Berridge are to each other, “Our damnation is wholly from ourselves :" and, “ St. Paul plainly shuts out all works of sincere obedience as a condition” of eternal salvation. On the first stand the Minutes and the Checks : on the second, Calvinism and Antinomianism. And as sone of Mr. Berridge's readers cannot receive two incompatible propositions, they desire to know which of them we must give to the winds, with the paper kite of sincere obedience. · I hope that gentleman will not endeavour to screen Calvinism by saying, that the reprobates are damned merely for their personal sins, and therefore " their damnation is wholly from themselves.” An illustration will easily show the fallacy of this argument, by which Calvinism is frequently kept in countenance.

-A monarch, in whose dominions all children are naturally born lame, makes a law, that all who shall not walk straight before a certain day shall be cast into a fiery furnace. The terrible day comes, and myriads of lame culprits. stand before him. His anger smokes against them; and with a stretched-out arm he thunders, Depart from me, ye!cursed, into that place of torment prepared for obstinate offenders ; for when I bid you walk upright, ye persisted to go lame. Go, burn to all eternity, and, as ye burn, clear my justice; and remember, that ..your misery is wholly from yourselves.

" Wholly from ourselves!" they reply with one voice: “Was it ever: in our power not to be born lame; or to walk upright in our crippled condition? Wast not thou acquainted with our natural misfortune, ? When a wonderful man came into thy kingdom to heal the lame, didst thou not order that he should pass us by? If he and his servants have tantalized us with general offers of a free curo, dost thou not know they were complimental, lying offers? Hast thou forgotten, how thou orderedst the loving physician, who wept over us,, never to prepare one drop of his purple tincture for us? And how thy • secret will' bound us with the invisible chains of an efficacious decree of preterition, that we might never come at that precious remedy? In a word, was it not from the beginning thy fixed determination, that, as we were born lame and helpless..subjects to thy crown, so we should remain the lame and remediless victims of thy wrath? If therefore thou wilt. show the boundless extent of thy grim sovereignty, by casting us into that flaming abyss, do it ; for we cannot resist thee ! But do not pretend that we have pulled down thy wrath upon us. Rob, O rob us not of the only alleviation that our deplorable case can admitof, viz. the comfort of thinking that our destruction is not from ourselves. If thou wilt be fierce as a lion, at least be not hypocritical as a crocodile."

.“ Hear,'ye heavens,” replies the absolute monarch, “ give ear, O earth, and judge of the justice of my proceedings against these lame culprits. In consequence of a permissive, efficacious decree of mine, five or six thousand years ago, one of their ancestors brought lameness upon himself and upon them: therefore their necessary lameness, and the fearful destruction with which I am going to punish their lame steps, are wholly from themselves. Are not my ways equal, and theirs unequal? And far from being a crocodile toward them, am I not a Pui. I.

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lamb in whose mouth is no guile? or at least a lion who, like that of the tribe of Judah, use my sovereign power only according to the clearest dictates of justice and equity ?" 66 Out of thine own mouth,” reply the wretched culprits, “ the world of rational beings will condemn thee, thou true king of terrors! Thou acknowledgest that thousands of

years before we were born, one of our ancestors brought upon us the necessary lameness, in consequence of which we must be cast into that fiery furnace, without having ever had it in our power to take one straight step; and yet thou sayest that our destruction is wholly from ourselves! If thou wert not lost to all sense of equity and regard for truth, thou wouldst say that our condemnation is not from ourselves, but wholly from a man whom most of us never heard of; unless thou wast the grand contriver of the fall, which brought on his lameness and ours ; and in that case our destruction is far less from him than from thyself. Beside, thou hast published a decree, in which thou declarest,

They shall say no more, The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge; but every one shall die for his own iniquity. Behold, all souls are mine, as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine. The soul that sinneth it shall die' the death thou designest us. Now iniquity that we could never personally help, an iniquity caused by one of our ancestors can never be our own iniquity, contradistinguished from that of our fathers. If thou didst cast all the asses of thy kingdom into thy fiery furnace, because they do not bray as melodiously as the nightingale sings; or all the ravens, because they are not as white as swans; couldst thou with any truth

say, • Their torments are wholly from themselves ?' And hast thou any more reason to say that our perdition is from ourselves, when thou burnest us merely for our natural, necessary lameness, and for the lame steps that it has naturally and necessarily occasioned?"

The judicious reader will enter into this illustration without being presented with a key of my own making ; and, trusting his candour and good sense with that business, I draw the following inferences from the second Gospel axiom, which Mr. Berridge has explicitly granted. (1.) God does not prevaricate, but speaks a melancholy truth, when he says, “ O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself.” (2.) Every reprobate is his own destroyer, not only because he has wilfully sinned away the justification mentioned Rom. v, 18, by which all infants are entitled to the kingdom of heaven, but also because he wilfully rejects the salvation really prepared for, and sincerely offered to him in Christ. (3.) According to the second covenant, we are never in a state of personal damnation till we have personally buried the talent of that “grace which bringeth salvation, and hath appeared to all men.” (4.) Calvinism, which teaches the reprobates fully to exculpate themselves, and justly to charge God with shuffling, lying, injustice, cruelty, and hypocrisy, is a system that does the reprobates infinite honour, and the Divine perfections unspeakable injury. And, (5.) When Mr. Berridge maintains that “our damnation is wholly from ourselves,” he maintains indirectly that the Minutes and Checks, which necessarily stand or fall with that Gospel axiom, are truly Scriptural. Thus, like other pious Calvinists,* he gives us an excellent dose of antidote to

* The warm author of a pamphlet, entitled, “ Dr. Crisp's Ghost, or a Check

expel Antinomian poison. But who shall recommend it to the Calvinistic world? Mr. Wesley they will not hear. My Checks they will upon Checks, being a Bridle for Antinomian, and a Whip for Pelagian and Armi. nian Methodists,” with this motto, “ Without are dogs, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie;” designed, it seems, to whip the Arminian dogs, and to prove that Flavel, Baxter, Williams, and I, make a lie, when we represent Dr. Crisp as an abettor of " Antinomian dotages.” This warm author, I say, informs us, that even Dr. Crisp, overcome by the glaring evidence of truth, once said, “I must read the fearful doom of all who have not learned this lesson (denying ungodliness,) and are not yet taught it of God, &c. They are yet in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity, and have not their part in this matter. I say, as yet, this is their fearful doom; and if they continue thus untaught their lesson, there can be no salvation by grace for them. Not every one that says, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father, which is in heaven,' &c. Some licentious, ungodly wretches I know reply, though to their own ruin, &c, that Christ justifies the ungodly, and we are saved by faith without works. But, alas! they observe not how cunningly the devil equivocates to lull them asleep in their ungodly practices. It is true indeed that Christ justifies the ungodly; that is, he finds them ungodly when he imputes his righteousness to them: but he does not leave them ungodly after he has inspired them; he teacheth them to deny ungodliness. He affords no cloak to perseverance in ungodliness; but will come in flaming fire, with his mighty angels, to render vengeance unto such. He that denies not ungodliness, him will Christ deny before his Father which is in heaven. Why, then, wilt thou be deluded with gross sophistry in so clear a sunshine of the Gospel ? Is not the light so bright that thine own heart checks thee ? And if thine heart condemns thee, God is greater, and searches all things."

Hail: Crisp. Far from checking my Checks, and whipping the Arminian dog, in a happy moment thou manfully fightest St. James' battle. Thou callest the doctrine of the Checks “sunshine ;” and whippest thine own speculative error out of the Church as “gross sophistry.

Dr. Crisp (as quoted by his opponent,) almost discovered once the important difference between the salvation of a sinner previous to works; and the salva. tion of a believer consequent upon works.

His excellent words run thus: “ It is true, also, we are saved by faith without works; but here also Satan equivõcates as grossly as in the other case: for though faith only saves without works efficiently, yet not consequentially, as I said before ; that is, though faith only saves, yet that faith inust not be alone that saves, but must be attended with its fruits, to wit, denying ungodliness ; else it is so far from saving, that it is but a dead faith ; and he is but a vain man that has no better, as St. James well affirms. The person believing must deny ungodliness, though this denial works not his salvation.” This is very true, if it is understood either of initial salvation, or of the primary cause of eternal salva. tion. “Our Saviour speaks to the same purpose: 'A good tree bringeth forth good fruit.' He does not say, the fruit makes it a good tree; yet the good fruit is inseparable. I speak not of quantities or degrees, &c, but of the truth; to wit, a real and sincere denial of ungodliness." Excellent! To whip the dogs, the Rev. Mr. P-1 need only prove, that when David robbed Uriah of the ewe lamb that lay in his bosom, tried to kill his soul with drunkenness, and treacherously killed his body with the sword of the Ammonites, he “really and sincerely de. nied ungodliness.” And that his faith produced the good fruit, which is INSEP. ARABLE from saving faith. The moment this is done I promise the public to clear the pious Calvinists in general from the charge of speculative Antinomian. ism, Dr. Crisp in particular from that of glaring contradiction, and his zealous second, who accuses me with “ gross falsities,” from Calvinistic rashness.

We can no more exculpate warm Calvinists, when they betray holiness into the hands of practical Antinomians, because they now and then speak honourably of good works, than we can clear Pontius Pilate from the guilt of delivering the Messiah to the Jews, because he once solemnly“ took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I find no fault in this just person : I am in. nocent of his blood : soe ye to it.”

If the author of the Whip for the Armi. nians” considers this, or if he turns to Fourth Check, p. 224, where I produce

not read. Go, then, “ valiant Sergeant IF.” Thou comest from Everton, therefore thou shalt be welcome. Thou knowest the way to the closets of Solifidians : nay, thou art there already with “ The Christian World Unmasked.

SECTION V.

the

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, he discharges him eis a Jew, opens canp

to the Antinomians, by opposing to them only si skan cenlinel, and shows the foundalions of Calvinism in a most siriking light. The pious author of " The Christian World Unmasked,speaking of the Calvinistic doctrine of unconditional perseverance, which he confounds with the evangelical doctrine of conditional perseverance, (p. 194,) says with great truth, provided he had spoken of the latter : It “affords a stable prop to upright minds, yet lends no wanton cloak to corrupt hearts. It brings a cordial to revive the faint, and keeps a guard to check the forward. The guard attending on this doctrine is Sergeant IF ; low in stature, but lofty in significance; a very valiant guard, though a monosyllable. Kind notice has been taken of the sergeant by Jesus Christ and his apostles; and much respect is due unto him, from all the Lord's recruiting officers, and every soldier in his army. Pray listen to the sergeant's speech : «Il ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed,' John viii, 31. “Ir ye do these things, ye shall never fall,' 2 Pet. i, 10. Ir what ye have heard shall abide in you, ye shall continue in the Son and in the Father,' 1 John u, 24. • We are made partakers of Christ, if we hold steadfast unto the end,? Hcb. ii, 14. • Whoso looketh and continueth (that is, if he that looketh doth continue] in the perfect law of liberty, that man shall be blessed in his deed," James i, 25. And again, (p. 194,) “IF backsliders fancy they must all be restored by repentance, because David was restored, and Peter was; they might as well suppose they must all be translated into heaven without dying, * because Enoch and Elijah were.” (Page 199, 1. 17.)

Upon this plan of doctrine, we are ready to lay by our controversial pens, and shake hands with our Calvinist brethren. All that we desire of them, in order to a lasting agreement, is, (1.) To consider what is implied in the preceding concessions; and not to gag Sergeant ir, when he honestly speaks the very words of the Captain of our salvation," or those of the apostles, his lieutenant generals. (2) Not to call him D. Williams' observation concerning Dr. Crisp's inconsistency, he will be probably less forward in checking Checks that he has not candidly considered ; and in making whips for the backs of his honest neighbours, lest some of them should tak them from him to lash his mistakes, and chastise his precipitation.

* Here Mr. Berridge, in a fit of legality, far exceeds the limits of the truth which I maintain in the Checks; for he insinuates that the recovery of back. sliders is as improbable as their bodily translation into heaven. For my part, severe as I am represented to backsliders, I believe their return is ten thousand times more probable. than their going to heaven as Enoch and Elijah did.

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a Galatian or'a Papist, when he is found in company with St. James. (3.) Not to enter an action against him, for disturbing the peace

of those backsliders, who, having denied the faith, and lost their first love now quietly hug a bosom sin, or take their Laodicean rest on the pillow of self election. (4.) Not to put him under arrest, for heading a platoon of those whom some of the elect call diabolonians, because they doubt the truth of unconditional election, or election without if; and choose to fire at sin, rather than at their captain. And, (5.) Not to say to him, Hail! sergeant, kissing him as if he were a good Christian, in order to betray him with some decency into the hands of the Antinomians, as a circumcised caitiff.”

Whether my pious opponent has not treated the honest sergeant in that manner, I leave the candid reader to determine. 66 Yet take notice,” says he, (p. 194,) “ that Sergeant it is not of Jewish, but Christian parentage : not sprung from Levi, though a son of Abraham : no centinel of Moses, but watchman for the camp of Jesus.

He wears no dripping beard, like the circumcised race; and is no legal blustering condition to purchase man's salvation, but a modest Gospel evidence to prove the truth of grace. He tells no idle tales.” Enough, Rev. sir : if " he tells no idle tales,” he does not cavil and quibble, much less does he deny his proper name, and well known meaning. Although he no more dreams of " purchasing man's salvation” than you do, yet. he is conditional IF,-Sergeant 1F,--a very valiant guard to the Scriptural doctrine of perseverance, and an irreconcilable enemy to Calvinian election, and " Antinomian dotages."

Oye opposers of the second Gospel axiom, " Pray come and peep!" See Calvinism“ unmaskedby one of your principal leaders, who shows to the world the futile foundation of your doctrine of grace! Thanks be to his humourous honesty, we see now that those famous doctrines stand upon the super-metaphysical difference there is between it and if; between Jewish IF, and Christian IF; legal 1F, and evangelical IF ; IF at Madeley, and if at Everton. When IF,

the culprit, appears in the Foundry pulpit, he tells idle tales, it seems! He slily disguises himself! But when if the orthodox shows himself in the desk at Everton, (for it is to be feared that he seldom appears in the pulpit valiantly to guard Bible perseverance,) he never equivocates! When he says to people that never stood, or to people that can never fall, “ Ir ye

do these things ye shall never fall,” &c, he is not a condition, and yet he never shuffles! These are strange hints indeed!

Patient reader, permit me to try, by the following questions, the solidity of the Calvinistic distinction between if and if, which supports the amazing weight of the great Diana. (1.) When the Gospel said to David, “ Ir thou dost these things thou shalt never fall,” and he fell into adultery; was “ Sergeant if a modest Gospel evidence to prove the truth of his grace ?” And supposing he was such a modest evidence, did he “ lend no wanton cloak to a corrupt heart?” (2.) When our Lord said to the young ruler, “ IF thou wilt be perfect, sell all;" was Sergeant ir of Jewish or Christian parentage ? (3.) How shall I know when the sergeant is “a centinel of Moses,” or when he is a watchman for the camp of Jesus??? Should you answer, “ A Jewish if wears a dripping beard,” you may indeed, by such an argument, convince and

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