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THE
FINISHING STROKE:

CONTAINING
SOME STRICTURES

!".

ON THE......
Rev. MR. FLETCHER'S PAMPHLETE,

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Nothing so much abates the Courage of a Christian, as to call
... his brother Adversary

Bishop HALL

BY Ř I C HARD HILL, EsQs

EIAN LIGA

SRAIL

BODLA

(°( 29 JAN 8,3
I ON DO Nile
Printed for Edward and Charles Dilly, in the Rat FORUM

W. HARRIS, N° 70, in St. Paul's Church-Yard; and
:. J. MATTHEWs, in the Strand, near Hungerford-Market,

MDCCLXXIII.

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ADVERTISEMENT.

Immediately after reading Mr. Fletcher's Logica Genevenfis, perceiving that necessity, as well as friends, called upon me to take some notice of that pamphlet, (notwithstanding the resolution I had formed of being silent). I thought to write to him in a fee rious expoftulatory way, but upon a second perusal of that part of his book where he pleads in such powerful terms for the use of mild irony, I thought it was better to parley with him now and then with his own weapons, which must plead my excuse to the pious, but more phlegmatic reader for any little strokes of satire, which may appear throughout my

piece.

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Reverend Sit

January 2, 1773. TIHEN I have been travelling, I have often

seen the following words written upon a board, and stuck upon a sign-poft, “ GOOD ENTERTAINMENT FOR MAN AND HORSE.” And yet it is a general observation that the board promises, what the house seldom furnishes>A poor pilgrim is tras velling Zion-ward , he jogs on; he casts an eye over your table of contents, and your prefatorial address to all Calvinists to walk in and refresh themselves. He says to himself surely I shall here find every thing which I can with or desire, after all these professions of love and candor; and no doubt but each letter I read will fully answer the contents which are prefixed to it. Being fadly wearied, and perhaps heavy laden into the bargain, in he goes, expecting good meat, drink and lodging, but is much disappointed to find that there is nothing for him to feed upon but cold frozen meat, and a few dry crusts; nothing to drink but muddled water; and nothing to rest on but an hard matrass without a covering. And if he wants any thing for his horse, the poor beast must e’en be contented with bay and stubble.

But not io dwell any longer on allegories, I proceed to inform you that last Saturday and not before, I received your Logica Genevenis, or fourth check to Antinomianism; and am truly sorry to find, that neither the spirit of the piece, nor the doctrine it contains, are a jot better than what appeared in the former checks. Still all who hold and preach the protestant doctrines of election and perseverance, finished salvation, and imputed righteoufness, are held forth as storming the new Jerufalem, as cutting the way through law and gospel, before an adulterer, in fla

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[6] gtante delicto, as prostituting God's holy word, fighting the battles of the rankest antinomians, and doing the the devii's work. And why this ? Truly because we firmly believe, and unanimously assert that the blood of Jesus Christ cleansetb from all fin, and that if any man fin we have an advocate with the Father Jesus Christ the righteous; and that this advocacy prevails, and that the covenant af grace standeth lure in behalf of the elect,, under every trial, state, and circumstance they can possibly be in: and because we cannot admit the contrary doctrine without at once undermining both law and gospel. For the law is certainly undermined by supposing that any breach of it whatever is not attended with the curse of God, according to those words of the apostle cursed is every: one that continueth not in all things which are written in tbe book of the law to do them. And the gospel is. certainly undermined by supposing that there is provision made in it for fame sins, and not for others. But because some few extraordinary instances of the foul falls and backslidings of God's children are recorded in fcripture by way of encouragement to the lifting up of the fallen, and by way of caution and warning to thofe who stand, do therefore the Calvinistic doctrines as held by our reformers neceffarily lead to ungodliness? Or is the experience of David, Lot and Solomon,, that of all those who abide by thofe doctrines ? On the contrary, I believe this is not the case with one in ten thousand. And yet if I saw any such poor wanderer brought to a sense of his backslidings, I would without scruple tell him that the good shepherd was still as ready to receive him as if he had never departed from him, and that his merciful high priest ever liveth to make intercession for him.

But why so many mangled quotations from Flavet and others upon the necessity of personal holiness ? Why do you again and again bring up the old ftale objections of all the unconverted clergy who are continually making a noise about works, works, and

perhaps

perhaps doing nothing all the while but the works of darkness. You know well, Sir, that these idle cavils were brought against our Lord and his apostles by. the scribes and pharisees; that : they were brought against the reformers by the papists, and that they were often brought against you when you preached more like a minister of the church of England than you do at present. You know in your own conscience that we detest and abhor that damnable doctrine and position of real antinomians let us sin that grace may abound, and that we constantly affirm that all . who live and die in the practice of any one allowed : sin, and who do not follow after inward holiness and conformity to the image of Christ, shall assuredly be damned for ever, whatever their doctrinal notions or opinions may be. Therefore for the Lord's sake," Sir, (as you will not for ours) think of the characters you have injured, and let the laborious, exemplary lives of hundreds who now smart under your lash, move you to recall the fevere and unkind things you have said of them. But methinks I hear you again, repeat that - You do not mean to level any of your words against your pious Calvinistic brethren.” But who are these? Certainly they do not occupy any of “ OUR MOST CELEBRATED PULPITS,” since the ministers who preach in these, are condemned without exception as such pleaders for fin, that they say more «s for it than against it, and handle no texts of scrip“ ture without distorting and violating them to make “ them grateful to the antinomian palates of their

hearers, yea they sing the fyren song of finished “ salvation, rock the cradle of carnal security, make " their hearers afraid of the practice of good works 6. lest they should work out their damnation instead w of their salvation. These celebrated ministers (if " your description of them be a true one,) tell their

congregations that Mofes, that superannuated lega« lift is buried, and that they have nothing to do w with the law, that God's commandments are need56 leis, impracticable sanctions; and therefore they

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