Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

thus : “ [Beloved, I am jealous of you with an holy jealousy, ** 1 Cor. xi. 2, 3 " Lelt after the sweet wooing of you in Christ's “ game, that ye might be espoused unto him ; I fay, I am jea“ lous, and fear, left as the 'serpent beguiled Eve, through his “ fubtility, namely, bewitching her to a prefumptuous, licenti« ous adventuring on God's gentleness, while the tasted the for“ bidden fruit ; to your minds should be corrupted from the “ fimplicity that is in him, namely, by presuming too much upon “ him and adventuring to continue in Gn, in hope that grace “ may abound. For the preventing of which dangerous mis“ carriage, which hath been the dangerous lot of many thousaods, “ I thought good to step in with this text, which I am persuaded fic will prove a seasonable warning to some at lealt."] fod this pious caution of the author hercin, left he Mhould be mifua derstood, gives us some grounds to believe, that he intended them not in the more exceptionable sepse. 'Tis beft, if an un wary reader receive hurt, that he receives his healing also from the same hand. And whereas a paper was printed upon this occasion. 1oon after the publication of the doctor's works, we willingly adopt so much of it as is requisite to our present pur: pole; which is to this effect:

• Some who subscribed this certificate, law only the paper it& selt, to which Tubscription was desired; never having peruled

the works of Dr. Crifp. The certificate only concerned the © fon, not the father; and certified only concerning the fon, • That they who should subscribe it, believed him in this to ? deal truly ; that he was not a Falsarius; that he would not • say that was his father's, which was not fo; a paper fo fober, • fo modelt, was taken by itself) scarce refulable by a friend.

"The son's preface, some that subscribed this certificate law ! not, nor had any notice, or the least imagination of its con& tents; otherwise, the part ot a friend had certainly been done, • as well in advising against much of the preface, as in sub• fcribing the certificate. : · For the works of this reverend person themselves, as it no • way concerned the subscribing this certificate, to know what • they were ; fo from the opinion that wept of the author, a{ mong many good men, that he was a learned, pious, good • mao, it was supposed they were likely to have in them mapy • good and useful things ; to which it was only needful to think

them his, not to think them perfe&t. 'We may, io some respect, judge of books as of men ; i.ee reckon, that though divers very valuable men have had res

he truchave lived, known on the wih

( 189 ) emarkable failings, yet that,' upon the whole, 'tis better they s have lived, and been known in the world, than that they • should not have lived, or have lived obscure.

"The truth is (which we have often considered) that though the great doctrines of the Christian religion do make a most coherent, comely scheme, which every one should labour to

comprehend and digest in his mind; yet when the gospel first . becomes effectual for the changing meas hearts, it is by God's • blessing this or that passage which drops: The most discern • not the series and connection of truths at first, and too little • afterwards.

• Upon that view of Dr. Crisp's writings we have had since • the publication, we find, there are many things said in them, * with that good favour, quickoess, and spirit, as to be very apt • to make good impressions upon men's hearts; and do judge,

that being greatly affected with the grace of God to fippers • himself, his sermons did thereupon run much in that strain. • All our minds are little and incomprehensive; we cannot re• ceive the weight and impression of all necessary things at once, • but with some inequality; so that when the seal goes deeper in some part, it is shallower io some others.

• If some parts of Dr. Crisp's works be more liable to excep• tion, the danger of hurt thereby seems, in fome measure, ob

viated in some other : As when he says, Pag. 46. Vol. I. • Sanctification of life, is an inseparable companion with the justi

fication of a person by the free grace of Chrift. And Vol. IV. P. 93. That in respect of the rules of righteousness, or the matter

of obedience, we are under the luw Sill; or else we are lawless, to live every man as seems good in his own eyes, which I know no true Christian does so much as think.

In like maoner, whereas, ip Vol. II. Serm. 15. and perhaps elsewhere. the doctor seems to be against evidencing our justificati*on and union to Christ, by our fanctification and new' obedience ; " we have the truth of God in this matter plainly delivered by him, Vol. IV. p. 36. wben he teacheth, that our obedience is a com

fortable evidence of our being in Chrift ; and on that, as well as

on many accounts, necessary. ... The difference between him, and other good men, seems to

lie not so much in the things which the one or other of them . believe, as about their order and reference to one another;

where, it is true, there may be very material difference : Buc .: we reckon, that potwithstanding what is more controversible

! in these writings, there are much more material things, where! in they cannot but agree, and would bave come much Dearer

[ocr errors]

* each other, even in these things, if they did take some words ror terms which come into use on the one or the other hand, in the fame fenfe ; but when one uses a word in orte fenje, apo sther uses the same word (or understands it, being used) in

quite another fenje, here seems a vast disagreement, which proves, at length, to be verbal only, and really done at all: • As let by condition, be meant a deserving cause, (in which case . it is well known civilians are not wont to take it) and the one • fide would never use it, concerning any good act that can be . done by us, or good habit that is wrought in us, in order to • our present acceptance with God, or final salvation. Let be s meant by it fomewhat, that, by the constitution of the gospel. * covenant, and in the nature of the thing, is requisite to our

prefent and eternal well-being, without the least notion of • defert, but utmost abhorrence of any such potion in this case; . and the other side would as little refuse it. But what need is

there for contending at all about a law-term, about the pro* per or prefent use whereof, there is so little agreement be* {ween them it seems best to serve, and them it offends. Let it

go, and they will well enough upderstand one another. Again, • let juftification be taken for that which is complete, eptire,

and full, as it relults at last from all its causes and concurrents; *and, on the one hand, it would never be denied, that Christ's "righteousness junifies us at the bar of God in the day of judg. * ment, as the only deserving cause; or affirmed, that our faith, * repentance, fincerity, do justify us there, as any cause at all. • Let justification be meant only of beiog justified in this or * that purticular respect ;'as for iofance, agaiolt this particular * accusation, of never having been a believer : And the honest * mistaken prefacer would never have faid, horrid ! upon its • being said, Christ's righteousness doch not justify us in this • case: For he very well knows, Chria's righteousness will jul. • tify no man that never was a believer. But that which must • immediately justify him against this particular accufation, must

be proving, that he did sincerely believe ; which shews his o interest in Christ's righteousness, which then is the only de• serving cause of his full and entire justification.'

"There is an expression in Vol. I. p. 46. That falvation is not the end of any good work we do, which is like that of ano

ther; we are to act from life, not for life. Neither of which 6 are to be rigidly taken, as it is likely they were never meant in

the strict fenfe. For the former, this reverend author gives • us himself the handle for a gentle interpretation, in what he

presently fobjoins; where he makes the end of our good works

Fola deliberately Fayor that he would loned with.

o to be the manifestation of our obedience and subjection; the fetting forth the praise of the glory of the grace of God; which seen • to imply, that he meant the foregoing negation in a comparas 'tive, not in an absolute feose; understanding the glory of God • to be more principal; and so, that by end, he meant the very ultimate end : So for the other, it is likely it was meant, that

we should not act or work for life only, without aiming and * endeavouring that we might come to work from life also. ... For it is not with any tolerable charity supposable, that one 6 would deliberately say the one or the other of these in the rigid "fense of the words; or that he would not, upon consideration, • presently unsay it, being calmly reasoned with. For it were, • jo effect, to abandon human nature, and to fia against a very .fundamental law of our creation, not to intend our own felici

ty: it were to make our first and most deeply fundamental « duty, in one great esseatial branch of it, our fio, viz. To take the Lord for our God: For to take him for our God most effen. e tially, includes our taking him for our supreme good; which & we all know is included in the notion of the last end; it were • to make it unlawful to strive against all fin, and particularly e against sinful aversion from God; wherein lies the very death ! of the soul, or the sum of its misery; or to strive after perfect i conformity to God in holiness, and the full fruition of him; wherein its final blessedness doth principally consist.

It were to teach us to violate the great precepts of the go• spel; Repent that your fins may be blotted out-Strive to enter in at the strait gate.Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling: To obliterate the patterns and precedents set be• fore us in the gospel. We have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified. I bear down my body, left I should be a

cast-away.--That thou mayest save thyself, and them that hear thee.

It were to suppose us bound to do more for the falvation • of others, than our own salvation. We are required to save • others with fear, plucking them out of the fire. Nay, we

were not (by this rule strictly understood) so much as to pray • for our own salvation ; (which is a doing of somewhat) when . no doubt, we are to pray for the success of the gospel, to this * purpose, on behalf of other men.

It were to make all the threatenings of eternal death, and • promises of eternal life, we find in the gospel of our bleffed .. Lord, uselefs; as motives to shup the one, and obtain the

other : for they can be motives no way, but as the escaping

• of the former, and the attainment of the other, have, with • us, the place and consideration of an end.

• It makes what is meotioned in the scripture, as the charac. • ter and commendation of the most eminent faints, a fault; as • of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, doc That they fought the better and heavenly country; and declared, plainly, that they did fo; • which necessarily implies their making it their end.

• But ler none be so barth as to thiok of any good man, that • he intended any thing of all this; if every passage that falls * from us be stretched and tortured with the utmost severity, • we shall find little to do besides accusing others, and defead• ing ourselves, as long as we live.'

A spirit of meekness and love will do more to our common peace, than all the disputations in the world.

Upon the whole, we are so well assured of the peaceful, heal. ing temper of the present author of these treatises, that we are persuaded he designed such a courle of managing the controversies wherein he hath concerned himself, as to prevent, on the one hand, injury to the memory of the dead; and, on the other, any hurt or danger to the living.

Nor do we fay thus much of him, as if he fought, or did Deed any letters of recommendation from us ; but as counting this testimony to truth, and this expression of respect to him, a debi; to the spontaneous payment whereof, nothing more was requisite, besides such a fair occasion as the providence of God hath now laid before us, inviting us hereunto.

John Howe,
Vin. Alsop,
Nath. Mather,
Increase. Mather,

John Turner,
Rich. Bures,
Tho. Powel.

· An EPISTLE to the READER.

CE Nudentials, I never plevere calhopeful

Candid READER, CENSURE not this treatise of errors, as an error in my

u prudentials, in fending it forth at such an improper time as this. I should never spontaneously have awakened sleeping controversies, after God's severe castigation of his people for them, and in the most proper and hopeful season for their rediotegration.

And beside what I have formerly said, I think fit here to add,

« AnteriorContinuar »