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tice of preaching extempore, and others of a similar
P. clxxvi. Note. Dangerous, &c.'* As Grotius
that I consider him, as one of the most able, and plausible, yet most decided enemies, of genuine christianity, that modern times have produced.
P. clxxvii. !. 18. ! And is not, &c?'I Whether
Dangerous things follow incautious speeches, For most men, reading these things, hearing these things, (namely, that we are justified by faith ! alone, without any works,) while they live in sins, neither amend them
selves, yet promise themselves salvation; truly because, as they speak, they
applying to themselves by faith, the righteousness of Christ, which is most
tion to a state of possible salvation; together with a gracious provision of
this passage, quoted by Mr. Overton, from Daubeny, do consist with the doctrines of Scripture, and of our articles, I shall not at present inquire. I certainly think with Mr. Overton, that they are wholly incompatible. But I only adduce them, as introductory to that which follows.
P. clxxvii. 1. 20. “My object, &c.'* Supposing the quotation adduced, to contain contemptuous language, (which I can not perceive it does; unless to suppose a fallible fellow mortal to be mistaken, be contemptuous language;) what has this to do, with the evangelical clergy in general? Mr. Overton has had to bear censures enough, from those who are considered as belonging to the same company as himself, to make him painfully sensible, that they do not consider themselves responsible for his statements, or manner. Quotations, amounting in all, to about a page, or two at most, from one book, are brought forward against a
of actual salvation to the believing Party, must depend upon the use made of the means vouchsafed for that purpose. Again, having observed that *Christ has only placed man in a salvable condition, the clergy, he says, feel
themselves called upon to enforce obcdience to the moral law, as necessary to • the accomplishment of the christian scheme; necessary to bring fallen
man into a state of acceptance with God, by qualifying him for the salvation \ which has been purchased. Works, he says again, should be pressed upon
christians at all times, as the condition upon which they are taught to look · for salvation; and, on another occasion, they (that is, works) will be consi. derations on account of which God will be pleased to accept a fallen, con. demned, though at the same time repentant and obedient sinner, for the sake of what an all-gracious Saviour has done and suffered for him.'
• My object in making this quotation, is not so much to defend Mr. Daubeny, who has fully and unanswerably vindicated himself against the "attacks of this writer, as to show the contemptuous manner in which tho evangelical clergy speak of their brethren of the establishment, who • feel themselves called upon to enforce obedience to the moral law, as necessary to the accomplishment of the christian scheme," and who teach their congregations that “works are the condition of salvation;" and that they will be considerations on account of which God will be pleased to accept a * fallen, condemned, though at the same time repentant and obedient sinner, i for the sake of what an all.gracious Saviour has done and suffered for him."
body of men, amounting to many hundreds, as evidence sufficient for the condemnation, not only of the author, but of the whole company, whether they approve of his publication in toto, or in any part of it, or not. What would our truly venerable judges say to such an ex parte evidence, if brought before them in any court of justice? Undoubtedly they would at once quash the indictment. Our books are numerous, and some of them widely circulated: from them our sentiments may be known; if our opponents choose to know them, before they attempt to refute them. Probably not ten of our whole body saw Mr. Overton's book before it was published: and no great number so much as knew, that it was to be published. Whether his doctrine and manner, or Mr. Daubeny's, be most scriptural; is another question: but certainly the evangelical clergy are no more to be involved in Mr. Overton's condemnation, (if condemned,) than all the rest of the clergy, in Mr. Daubeny's. Some will think that the one, and some that the other, has the best of the argument; and it is as naturally to be expected, that I should say,
Mr. • Overton has never been fairly answered;' as that his Lordship should aver, that Mr. Daubeny has fully and unanswerably vindicated himself against the attacks of this writer. But we are both fallible; and God must judge, which of us is mistaken.- Whether the concluding language of this quotation be scriptural, or according to the doctrine of our articles and homilies, the reader must judge. Works the condition of salva' tion,’ is not the language of the Scriptures, the PrayerBook, the homilies, and the writings of our reformers: much less do we there meet with the following sentiment: They,' (works,) 'will be considerations, on
account of which God will be pleased to accept a • fallen condemned, though at the same timne a repentant
- and obedient sinner, for the sake of what an all gracious Saviour has done and suffered for him.'-If these works be done before the grace of Christ, and
the inspiration of his Spirit, they are not acceptable to • God, but have the nature of sin:' if afterwards, they come too late, they follow justification, are the fruits of faith, and evidence it to be living; but cannot do any thing as to justification itself. For · We are accounted
righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by faith, and not for our own works and deservings: wherefore that we are jus'tified by faith only is a most wholesome doctrine, and
very full of comfort."* Now by what rule of judgment, is that charged on any man, as' contemptuous
language, which, without any reproachful, or contemptuous words, simply observes, that a clergyman, of superior station in the establishment, states the sub. ject, in a manner, that is wholly inconsistent with the doctrine of the articles, which he has so repeatedly subscribed?--As I have vindicated Mr. Overton, I must be content, in this particular, to be acquitted or condemned with him; but by what rule of equity are all other evangelical clergymen to be involved in the same charge, when scarcely any of them have committed themselves in the same manner?
P. clxxix. 1. 15. St. Paul,t &c.'! If the Corin. thians had only a dead faith, it is evident, they had believed in vain.' But I apprehend, this was not the apostle's meaning. Some at Corinth denied the doc
• Art. xi.
f 1 Cor. xv. 1, 2. St. Paul therefore tells his christian converts, that their faith might, or * might not be the means of their salvation; and consequently it only placed "them in a state of possible salvation,' in a 'salvable condition;" and whe. 'ther this state of possible salvation should become a state of actual salvation, depended upon their “keeping in memory what the apostlo had “ preached unto them."
trine of the resurrection, as literally understood: this, according to the apostle, was equivalent to a denial of Christ's resurrection; but if Christ were not risen, his atonement was not accepted: and, consequently, the preaching of even the apostles was in vain, and the faith even of true believers was in vain.* Whether this interpretation be admitted or no; it still remains wonderful, that christian divines can not express their meaning, without devising unscriptural terms. For where is a state of possible salvation,' or, “a salvable condi• tion,' found in Scripture, or in our authorized wri. tings? And is there any human being, that can be excluded, while living on the earth from the former? or any one, who hears the preaching of the gospel, or has access to the Bible, from the latter? We have no objection to the apostolick exhortation;t and indeed, there are few sermons in which many of us do not introduce it. But let it be observed, that it is not, in order to be preserved in a salvable condition,' or even, in order to have some further hope of salvation: but “ knowing, “ that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”—The other scriptures, which are adduced in the next page, f also are constantly brought forward by the evangelical clergy in general, in their instructions and exhortations. Good works are doubtless necessary: the controversy is not concerning this, which both parties allow; but merely, concerning the rank, which they are to hold; the of. fice which they are to perform, or sustain, whether of recommending us to God; or, as proving the sincerity of our professed faith and love, as the genuine expressions of our gratitude, and our zeal; as those things in which the true christian delights, and desires to abound; as glo
• 1 Cor. xv. 14-17. t 1 Cor. xv. 58.
# Matt. xvi. 27. John v. 28, 29. Acts x. 35. Rom. ii. 6. xiv. 12. 1 Cor. fi. 8. Phil. ii. 12. Jam, i. 25. 1 John iii. 7.