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if righteousness came by the law, that Christ died is vain, therefore he dares not frustrate the grace tf God, Gal. ii 2i; but looks to the Saviour for justification (knowing it cannot be obtained by the law of Mofes), and he finds Christ to be the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believetb, Rom. x. 4. The believer fees that the main binge of the law is love; this binge turns towards two objcils, God and the neighbour; on these two comnandments bang all the law and the prophets, Mat. xxiL 40. He having got the obedience of the Saviour imputed to his faith, Rom. iv. 24, and the love of God shed abroad in bis heart; the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in him, Rom. viii. 4, while be walks not after the flesb, but after the Spirit, Rom. viii. i. That foul that has received Christ Jesus the Lord, and walks in him, and walks by faith, and not by fight, as he is commanded to do, and walks in love as Christ has loved him, Eph. v. 2, may truly be faid to walk in the spirit; and while he thus walks by faith, and in love, he produces more pure spiritual and evangelical obedience to the law of God, than all the legal workmongers in the world, put them all together. For God declares, that whatsoever is not of faith is sin; and if a man hath not the love of God in his heart, he is but founding brass, and a tinkling cymbal, 1 Cor. xiv. 1.
The weighty matters of the law are judgment, mercy, and faith; and when God has pronounced the sen7 tence tence of justification upon a soul, his judgment is past (the Saviour fays), be is passed from death unto life, and /ball never come into condemnation. The believer sees, that it was in mercy that God justified him as an ungodly sinner; and by faith in Jesus was he justified; therefore he has got the weighty matters of the law in his heart, and the lesser matters, such as tything mint, rue, amis, and cummin, will follow of course. The man that will contradict: these truths of God, never knew the demands of the law, nor the blessed discharge of the gofpel. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness, be is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions, and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil-surmifings, i Tim. vi. 3, 4. Paul sent Timothy to Ephesus, to charge some that they taught no other doctrine, and told him that the great end of the law was answered when the sinner was brought to love God out of a pure heart and a purged conscience, and that those teachers that contradicted these truths knew not what they were about. Now the end of the commandment is charity [or love] out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned: From Which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain Jangling; desiring to le teachers of the law; understanding neither what they, fay, nor whereof they affirm. | Tim. i, 5, 6, 7.
I am informed, that a real Antinomian is a person that talks about faith, and the word of God; and yet unites with the world, and lives as the world does. All that I can fay to such men is, that all preaching to them bath been in •vain, their faith is also vain, and they are yet in their sins, i Cor. xv. 14. i7. A faith that has no fruits is not gofpel faith, it is only the presumption of a hardened hypocrite, and such are destitute of the grace of God. And thofe that think to extract a crop of spiritual fruits from Useless sinners, by preaching the ministration of death, are as far from the spiritual knowledge of the law as the other is from the power of the gospel: both these are Antinomians, for they make void both the law and the gofpel; the former daringly presumes on the mercy of God without an evidence; and the latter (as Paul fays) is alive without the law, in its spiritual meaning. The Lord deliver his own children from the dreadful delusions of them both!
I am informed of what the Rev. Gentleman reproached me with to his society about my name, &c.—If this is any part of the ministry that he has received from the Lord to fulfil, he should not have stopped there, but he should have brought in Abraham, Moses, David, Solomon, Paul, and many more, for the crimes of their natural state were as bad as mine. When the Lord converted Paul to the faith the church glorified God in him; but
my my conversion has given such an offence, that many have dishonoured God in me: but it is a comfort to me, that my friends are obliged to rake into my unconverted state for matter of reproach; and is (I think) a demonstrable proof to the world, that they are at a lofs to sind any scandal in my life since I have known the Lord.
It is true what the good man affirms about none of the ministers giving me the right-hand of fellow/hip; but ic is no great grief to me, nor would their right-hand be an infallible testimony of my being approved of God, either as a believer, or a preacher. The witness of God's Spirit is sufficient to prove me a believer, and God setting his seal to my doctrine, is a sufficient proof of my being a preacher sent of God. And I can see that some who refuse the right-hand of sellowship to me (whom Christ has received) will give their righthand to them that never knew what sellowship with the Saviour meant. This God has loudly proclaimed to the world, by suffering many, aster they have received the right-hand of sellowship, to wander out of the way of understanding, and to remain t» this day in the congregation of the dead, Prov. xxi. i6. Indeed, Sir, I see that various connexions and the right-hand of sellowship have been fatal to many young preachers; and I trust I shall be enabled by grace to see that it was good for me to stand alone. God has promised to withhold no good thing from them that walk uprightly; therefore, if the right-hand of B 3 followship fellowship was essential to my falvation, or essential to my usefulness in the church of God, he would favour me with it; but as I see it has lifted many fouls up into pride and errors, I shall remain contented without it.
As to the rest of the reproach that he cast upon me, it is a scandal to him as a man, much more so as a gendeman, a scholar, and a Christian; therefore I (hall pass it by; he may think better of it by and by. He is not like those whom I have contended with; he has only levelled a litde artillery personally at me: he is not like the others, who have blasphemed the word of God; therefore I would willingly believe that he did not speak as he meant; and this appears plain by his charging the whole society to keep it all a secret, which, if the word of God and his own conscience had justified him, there had been No call for such a charge; for whatever the Lord fays unto us in secret, we may warrantably proclaim on the house-top.
I hope God will give me a heart to love him, and to pray for him; and it is the earnest desire of my foul to Almighty God, that he may keep him from being seduced from the purity and simplicity of the gospel.
I doubt my dear Father Carnal will be weary of this long epistle, but your own importunity has set the cruse a springing, and I am determined not to stop till the oil is stayed. I hope these alarming circumstances of apostasy will rouse