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REVEREND ROWLAND HILL,
MINISTER OF THE GOSPEL AT SURREY CHAPEL.
Having been repeatedly informed of the many public cautions and warnings that you have given to various congregations against me and my doctrine, which have all been drawn from the Fifth Chapter of Matthew's Gospel; I have therefore presumed to shew mine opinion of every text in that chapter which you have either opened, brought forth, or mentioned: and, having published them, I send the first Copy for your perufal, and the rest to the Church at large, that our brethren may judge betwixt us, Gen. xxxi. 37.
The Sermon that you delivered against me at Deptford, I have got in my hand, and have deliberately considered it. I did not treat it with that
a 3 contempt contempt with which you treated a book of mine* "which you took up with a pair of tongs, and or"dered your servant to take it down stairs, and do c* what she would with it." A testimony of divine truth is not fit suel for fire.
No small degree of anger has burnt in your heart against me, for the space of almost seven years, ever since I published my Tidings from Wallingfordi which so exasperated you in the company of Mr. Carnal at IVooburn, that you faid, "You cared nor "what I might have faid or wrote against you, but "the great offence was writing against your friend." They are the best friends, Sir, who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity and truth. The gentleman whom I oppofed, either does preach the doctrines of the Church of England, (which he subscribed) or he does not. If he does, why do you not vindicate his doctrine? But, if he does not, and my Tidings are true, "why am I become your enemy for telling "you the truth?" Gal. iv. i6. Are we not commanded by God himself "to stop the mouths of "subverters?" (Tit. i. it.)—Certainly we are.
Your warning your Society almost three years, (I will not fay day and night with tears, Acts xx.3i.) "not to read my books, or even to hear me preach," was'needless; for I have no desire to "take one "sheep out of your fold, or he-goat out of your « stall."
Your digging into all the follies of my yduth, and bringing them forth at your church-meeting before; an hundred people; concerning my Name, Child* &c &c. which I had published to the world ac large, can riever be called fulfilling the Royal Law, James, ii; 8. Yea, yourself had some doubts whether this would bear the light, because you enforced a Roman edict, and enjoined secresy; but, alas! "as it was in the beginning) is now—the more you ft charged them) the more they spread it abroad." If God sends his ministers to plead against (his own children) their reproach, (Job) xix. 5.) much might have" been faid against Moses's killing the Egyptian; against Paul, for persecution and bloodshed; and against Peter, ** for excess of wine, revelling, ban"queting, and abominable idolatries," i Pet. iv. 3. But they left this branch of the work to the accuser of the brethren) and preached the Gofpel; and it would be no grief of heart to you, Sir, in a dying hour, is you were to go and do likewise^
Furthermore, if you were kept entirely free and pure from every vice throughout your childhood and youth) all the better: glory in this. I neither envy nor covet either your purity or happiness, any Vriorc than the "Prodigal Son, in his ring and robe, ** envied his elder brother, who had never at any ■* time transgressed the commandment." Luke, Xvj
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"But you would never preach in Greenwich Ta"bernatle while I was permitted to speak there." Be it so, I took no offence at that; nor will I fay that you are without a precedent in so doing: other pious souls, as well as you, have faid—" Stand by "thyself; come not near to me, for I am holier "than thou." IJai. lxv. 5. And far be it from me to make you less holy than you are. When your absencei Sir, and other holy brethren's dislike, had procured my dismission from Greenwich, I took it patiently without gainfaying; and I thought that, when I had opened a place for myself in another parish, the offence would have ceased—but no: for although you would never appear in Greenwich pulpit while I was admitted there, yet you have never appeared there once since, and left me out of it. I must not go in, yet you carry me in; and, though I may not speak for myself, you are sure always to speak of me.
"Your charge to the people to read the fifth "chapter of Matthew's Gofpel before they came to f* hear me," I have considered; and, lest they should not be obedient to you in all things, and to let you know that I am not asraid to read that chapter, I have published an explanation of thofe texts that you referred them to, and beg of you to refute me, if you think I am wrong.
At Mr. T- d's meeting, you informed them
thar, "if you shoulJ fay the Law is not a Rule
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".of Lise, you should expect horns to grow out of your head, and your feet to be cloven." Then, Sir, what must Paul be, who tells us that the believer is not under the Law, but under Graces and that the righteousness of the Law is fulfilled in them that believe; and that the Grace of God teaches men to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and to live' soberly, righteously, and godly, in the world?
You quoted a pasidge out of my Arminian Skeleton in B Fields; and faid, " Before a man
"got into the pulpit, and advanced such things, "he should put on a fool's cap." Does asserting that " God is our Father, and the Church our "Mother," entitle a man to such an ornament? Can you prove the faying to be either false or foolish? If you can, it lies upon you to do it, and « upon me to defend it. If you can disprove any doctrine that I hold—you know they are published to the world—do it; and if you cannot, or will not, then leave off calling me "Antinomian, Bad Spirit, "that Fellow, and Spiritual Bl—kg—d." That first word is fadly matched; for the fifth chapter of Matthew's Gofpel gives no licence for such hard speeches, especially against a servant of Christ, whofe doctrines you cannot overthrow, whofe usefulness you cannot deny, and whose life you cannot censure. But I am informed, by one of your own people, that " you have long wished that I would take up "my pen against you, that you might profecute me