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** sword os a free grace Gospel, through Jesus Christ, ** So that I si:r.piy astc you to look at the meaning os my text., "Except vour righteousness shall exceed the righteousness '* of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no cafe enter K into the kingdom of heaven."
Amsw. I do not rightly comprehend this, Sir. You fay, at one place, that the text mean"s Sanftificati'on. idly, You fay your text hath a meaning, and it must be a solemn one. ^dly, To be made righteous by the Spirit internally, is the meaning of the text. And, 4-thly, The S word of a Free-grace Gospel is the meaning of it—which you go on to confirm,
Quot. "I preached from this text not long ago before: '* and I was saying to one, a worthy, pood minister, I often "wondered why people are so unobserving, not to know « the meaning of that text, "Why," says he, « I confess, •* to my shame, when reading it so a little while ago, I "was so grieved to think I should fancy that word could "mean any thing but Regeneration: "Except your righte«* ousnesi exceeds the righteousness of the Scribes," Sec. Sec.
Answ. This, Sir, is all the explanation that you have given of the text; and it hath left me sull as dark as the good minister himself. However, I will be bold to fay, that the Law is by no means, nor in any sense, established by this Discourse; not one truth made plain, nor one doctrine that I hold either disproved or touched. And you may call me Anti
nomian, nomian, Dev^l, an Encourager of Sin, a Fellow, aB—kg—d, or what you please; your tongue is your own, and you may depend upon it that I shall •never sue you for damages—but I declare before God, that I would not be found standing up in God's name, and thus darkening counsel by words without knowledge, for a million worlds.
Quot. "Why does it not strike you as being horrid, "that a man fliould make out a licence to commit fin?"
Answ. Yes, Sir; this is enough to strike any good man with horror. And was I to stand up in a congregation, as you did, and throw out such reproachful hints as these against a servant of God, who I knew in my conscience exceeded me in experience, power, knowledge, usefulness, and converfation, I stiould have thought that I had "made "out a licence to commit sin," with a witness. For in the fifth chapter of Matthew's Gofpel, this is called "breaking the commandments, and teaching "men so." It is "hating a brother without a cause, "which is murder." And Christ fays, the man that thus reprobates the just is in danger of hell-fire. And I will leave you to judge who the man is that does these things. I have been in the ministry almost nineteen years, and you can prove no charge of evil against my life or doctrine; nor could you overthrow, by the Scriptures of truth, one doctrine that
1 hold, I hold, if you was to preach or write a thoufand years. Nor was I ever once so left of God in the whole course of my ministry, as to deliver so inconsistent? a Discourse as this. If you will lay aside your prejudice, and controvert the point, I will undertake to prove to your face, that there is not one page consistent with the oracles of God in it.
Quot: "Don't you think that man preaches like a devil"sent minister, that teaches men that they may break "God's commandments, that breaks God's command** ments himself, and teaches men the fame?".
Answ. These are the charges, but I desy him to bring one proof. This is the good man that keepeth the Law, that threatens men with prosecution for a libel! Who shall vindicate their character and doctrine, and prove a false accuser to be what he really is? This is an heavier charge than was brought againstPaul; whofe accusers faid, "We have found "this man a pestilent fellow, and a mover of sedition "among all the Jews throughout the world, and a "ringleader of the sect of the Nazarenes; who also "hath gone about to propbane the Temple: whom "we would have judged [or prosecuted for a libel] ** according to ottr law; but Captain Lyfias took ** him out of our hands." Acts, xxiv. 5, 6.— But you go on—
Quot. "We have no ground for repentance, but under (* a sense os our sins, and a feeling that our fins are detest"able, damnable, and abominable.—Then a man will ** repent"
Answ. Repentance is not of the will of man, Sir; nor of the will of the flesh, but of God. Judas felt his sins detestable and damnable, and he repented himself, and banged himself. Repentance is the grant of the Father, and the gift of the Son; and is produced, under the operations of pardoning love, by the Spirit; and it is reflecting with inward contrition on the long forbearance of God, that leads to it. Pardon must be sealed, love selt, God must appear pacified, (Ezek. xxxvi. 3i.) and the sinner raised to hope, before any evangelical repentance, such as needs not to be repented of, can take place. When God appeared to Job, in order to turn his captivity, "he abhorred himself, and repented." When God "turned Ephraim, and called him his dear son," Ephraim repented: and when the prodigal got the kiss, the ring, and the robe, then he repented. Man is not driven to repentance by a sense of sin, but drawn to it by a sense of pardon. When man's misery and God's mercy meet together on the foul; when the self-despairing child and the loving parent meet; there is repentance indeed.
Quot. "If God has cleansed our hearts by his Holy ** Spirit, we shall feel an abhorrence of -thofe: sins that are "** near to us; nay, the nearer they are to us, the more we "abhor them."
Answ. What proof do you give, Sir, of this doctrine being practised by you? "Is going to Green"wich, Uxbridge, Bristol, &c. &c. telling the people "that, if ever they admitted me into their pulpit, ft you would never appear there any more," doing the work of a peace-maker? or is this abhorring evil? Doth not envy, hatred, and malice, against me, lie near to you, and that without cause? And can casting the vilest names—such as you have cast upon me—be any proof of an inward abhorrence of evil? or can such a discourse as this be called the produce of Divine Inspiration?
Quot. "Our Lord talks—It does not signify, he ** preached the Gospel. I do believe he preached a great ** deal about holiness—" Think not that I am come to de** stroy the Law or the Prophets." Nobody will cunt tt da * that but the Devil."
Answ. I cannot think that the Devil would wish to destroy the Law which God has given to men, if he had it in his power j for, had there been no Law in Paradise, Satan could not have tempted our parents to a transgression of it; for where there is no Law, there can be no transgression. He took an advantage of the Law, and tempted to a breach of it; at which breach Sin and Satan came in, and took possession of the disobedient; and they have worked in the children of disobedience ever since. It is the" Law, Sir, that delivers the sinner to the Judge, and
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