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lan and their
“ vilify the moral law, and make it contemptible,
These, Sir, are the exact colors in which Madely meekness, and Helvetic bluntness have painted all the eminent gospel ministers of the day; therefore if the pictures resemble the originals they may with much greater propriety be called your impious than your pious Calvinist brethren. But though I have begged you so earnestly in my Review to point out by name who these wretches are, and have told you that without this the charge of Nander must for ever
 lie at your door ; still neither they nor their converts áre produced, no nor one quotation from their fermons or writings in order to prove these black charges upon them. Can you wonder then, Sir, that we look upon you as a spiritual calumniator, and that we accuse you of vile falfhood and gross perversion[B]? Let me beseech you for a moment to break through the cloud of party prejudice and candidly to consider the manner in which you have always been treated by those very ministers you now so rafhly inveigh against ;
[B] Though I hope that the conduct of the assertors of free grace is very opposite to the representation given of it by Mr. Fletcher; vet if he have a mind to see some of the fruits which the doctrines of free will, universal redemption, denial of imputed righteousness and finless perfection have produced; I can and will shew him a long black list of deluded creatures, (some of whom have been principal leaders in Mr. Wesley's classes, if they are not at present) and will also produce their names and places of abode, who have truly verified Mr.Whitefield's words, by turning out “ temporary monsters.” And I can bring such persons to their faces, as shall prove the abominations and wicked practices upon them, which they have been carrying on under the mask of religion. This I say I both can do and will do if required. Not for any pleasure I take in exposing these things, but because I hope it may be a means of wiping off some of those unhappy prejudices which Mr. Fletcher has conceived in favor of those perTons and of their principles.
And if we come to the positive part of a Christian's duty which is certainly to abound in every good work, we have already seen by a letter quoted in the Review,from Mr. Wesley's last journal,p. 108. that " if he puts out of his societies all, who neglect to feed the “ hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, &c. that there would “ be scarcely persons enough left in them to carry his body to the “ grave." · The Lord God knows that I do not mention these things in a way of ill-natured triumph, but in order to sew the unreasonableness of your uncharitable exclamations against those men and doctrines which from the time of Edward the Vith, till the late inundation of Arianism, Socinianism, Pelagianism, and Arminianism, have ever been most highly esteemed among real Christians. And though you are kind enough to bear a much more honorable testimony of my conduct in all your checks than it really deserves, yet I confess I feel a sort of reluctance at being sugared over by so many appellations of dear Sir, and honor'd Sir, &c. &c. when those very principles on which I build my everlasting hopes, and those persons who I'am persuaded are among the excellent, of the earth, are made the subject of reproach, satire and ridicule. B 3
they reverenced your character, they admitted you with pleasure to their pulpits, and they rejoiced in your labors for the good of souls. · But alas ! alas ! what returns have you made to their brotherly love? When for no other reason than because they testified their disapprobation of such tenets as ftruck at the very root of protestantism, and fuch as you yourself only a few years ago declared an equal abhorrence of, you brand them as abertors of that most wicked and diabolical heresy “making Christ the minister of sin.” " I know, Sir, that it was a warm attachment to your friend, which occasioned you to run the lengths you have done. But dear as that friend is to you, truth ought to be dearer still, yet the maxim which you seem all along to pursue, is, that Mr. Wesley must be vindicated, yea, though all the ministers in the kingdom, yourself not excepted, should fall to the ground.' :But what makes us still more sensibly feel the power of your pen is, that our tenets are most Thamefully (would I could say unintentionally) misrepresented, in order to prejudice the world against us, and to make them believe we hold fentiments, which from our inmost souls we most cordially detest; particularly with regard to the doctrines of election and perseverance, which you have made to stand upon a pillory as high as Haman's gallows, dressed up in a frightful garb of your own invention, and then pelted them till all your mud and dirt was exhausted.
For the better carrying on of your design, you.. have recourse to illustrations; but however these may strike weak minds, which cannot sift them to the bottom; you are generally very unhappy in the choice of them; to instance only in the following.
" An illustration will, I hope, expose the empti“ ness of the pleas, which fome urge in favor of “ unconditional reprobation, or if you please, non“ ele&tion.-A mother conceives an unaccountable « antipathy for her fucking child. She goes to the “ brink of a precipice, bends herself over it with the
& paflive infánt in her bofom, and withdrawing her * arms from under him, drops him upon the craggy
fide of a rock, and thus he rolls down from rock * to rock, till he lies at the bottom, beaten to " pieces, a bloody instance of finished destruction.
The judge asks the murderer what she has got
to say in her own defence. The child was mine, 36 replies she, and I have a right to do what I please
with my own. Befides, I did neither throw him to down nör murder him. I only withdrew my arms « from under hins, and he fell of his own accord. * In mystic Geneva, she is honorably acquitted; “ but in England the executioner is ordered to rid * the earth of the cruel monster. So may God give
us commission to rid the church of your Diana,
who teaches that the Father of mercies, does by es millions of his passive children, what the barbarous
mother did by one of her's : affirming that he une conditionally withholds grace from them; and that * by absolutely refusing to be the author and finisher “ of their faith, he is the absolute author and finisher “ of their unbelief, and consequently of their lima 16 and damnation !" · Now this illustration as you call it, is totally foreign to the purpose ; and the least that can be said against it, is that it proves the writer of it to be strongly tainted with the Pelagian leaven: for you go all along upon the supposition that fallen guilty man who is by nature a child of wrath and born under the curse, has no more forfeited all right and title to the favor of God, by his fall in Adam, than a young fucking infant has forfeited all right and title to its mother's care. And to prove that this is not an hasty conclufion against you, we have the very fame idea adopted, p. 148, where you mention the doctrines of limited grace and UNPROVOKED WRATH. What then is there nothing provoking to the God of infinite purity in sin? Has the tranfgreflion of our first parent entailed no condemnation upon his postesity? If you believe it has not, why did you subscribe to the gth article of our church, which says that in
* by abraially withholdots: affirmino
Every man born into the world it deserves God's wrath and damnation? As therefore we choose rather to abide by the oracles of truth, and by the plain declarations of the church of England, than by the novel chimeras of the fourth Check, we must beg to dismiss both your illustration and your doctrine; together with all the poor sneers at Geneva logic, with which they are decorated. And as you are pleased to cry out “ Mame on the man who first called ours the dočtrines
of grace," we in return, must cry Name on the man · who tbus grossly misrepresents them. .
with all the pated. And as you led ours the doct
11:, AS to the doctrine of a twofold justification, I shall
say but little more on that head : however I will give you in few words my own sentiments, and if as you would insinuate, there is no difference between us, then pray let there be an end of the dispute.
Firs.---I believe that every one who comes weary and heavy laden to Christ, is freely justified by faith only, as the hand or instrument whereby Christ is received.
Secondly.--That this faith (when genuine) will always manifest its reality by bringing forth good works and all the fruits of an holy life and conversation. · I hirdly.—That these works and fruits are evidential before men here, and will be evidential before afsembled men and angels at the day of judgment, of a true conversion of the heart to God.
Fourthly, I believe that there is no new act of justification passes at the great day, upon the person of him who is once interested in the blood and righteousness of Christ. ,
Fifthly. I detest the notion of the works even of a believer being meritorious. And I declare that if God is pleased to reward them, it is owing wholly to his own free rich grace and undeserved favor. And therefore to affirm there is no difference between reward and merit is a very great error; and the confounding of these two, must necessarily open the door for the doctrine of works of supererogation.