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“ John i. 12. must needs suppose an emptiness in “ the soul before."

My good bishop Beveridge is of the same opinion. In the eighth article of his private thoughts he has these words,

“ It is a matter of admiration to me, how any one, that pretends to the use of his reason, can imagine, that he shall be accepted before

God, for what comes from himself! for how is “ it possible, that I should be justified by good “ works, when I can do no good works at all be“fore I be justified ? My works cannot be ac

cepted as good, until my person be so, nor can my person be accepted by God, till first en

grafted into Christ; before which engrafting “ into the true vine, it is impossible I should

bring forth good fruit, for the plowing of the “ wicked is sin, says Solomon, Prov. xxi. 4. “ Yea the sacrifices of the wicked are an abomi. “ nation to the Lord, chap. xv. 8. and if both “ the civil and spiritual actions of the wicked be “ sin, which of all their actions shall have the “ honour to justify them before God? I know not “ how it is with others; but for my own part I “ do not remember, neither do I believe, that I “ ever prayed in all my life time with that rever“ ence, or heard with that attention, or received “ the sacrament with that faith, or did any other “ work whatsoever with that pure heart and

single eye, as I ought to have done. Insomuch “ that I look upon all iny righteousnesses but as

filthy rags, and it is in the robes only of the “ righteousness of the Son of God, that I dare

appear before the majesty of heaven.”

I leave the reader to make his own remarks upon these authorities; for if he should deny the truth of the doctrine, which they maintain, yet he cannot possibly deny, that they do maintain it, and therefore if we are enthusiasts for insisting upon the free and full redemption of mankind through Jesus Christ by whom we are justified from all the miseries of the fall, then our articles, and homilies, and the most pious and learned of our bishops, have not only led the way into this enthusiasm, but have also compelled us to walk in it; and therefore the hard name should fall upon them, and not upon us.

There is another doctrine, which is mightily ridiculed at present, and that is the necessity of the grace of the Holy Spirit to change and renew our corrupt nature in order to dispose us to receive the benefits of Christ's redemption, and to enable us to live a holy and a Christian life. This is at present the very touchstone of enthusiasm. If you seem but to favour this opinion, you are immediately suspected of being a little brainsick, and the moment you speak out, you are supposed to be fit for Bedlam. And sober moralists, nay, large, solemn divines, give you over for a ruined man, and your very friends begin to be afraid, that you will lose your useful

This treatment is unaccountable, and I believe will appear so to the candid reader, if he will but impartially consider the tenth article of our church.

“ The condition of man after the fall is such, " that he cannot turn and prepare himself by his "own natural strength and good works to faith

And grave,


" and calling upon God, without the grace of “God by Christ preventing us, that we may have

a good will and working with us, when we have “ that good will.”

The first part of the homily for Whitsunday has these words,

“ It is the Holy Ghost, and no other thing, “ that doth quicken the minds of men, stirring

up good and godly motions in their hearts, “ which are agreeable to the will and command“ment of God, such as otherwise of their own “crooked and perverse nature they should never “ have. That which is born of the Spirit is

Spirit; as who should say, man of his own “nature is fleshly and carnal, corrupt and naught, " sinful and disobedient to God, without any

spark of goodness in him, without any virtuous

or godly motion, only given to evil thoughts " and wicked deeds. As for the works of the

Spirit, the fruits of faith, charitable and godly

motions, if he have any at all in him, they pro“ ceed only of the Holy Ghost, who is the “ ONLY worker of our sanctification, and

maketh us new men in Christ Jesus.”

To the same effect bishop Reynolds in his sinfulness of sin, p. 140.

Look into your hearts, and you shall find a very hell of uncleanness, full of deep and un“ searchable deceit and wickedness, full of hard

ness: no sins, no judgments, no mercies, no “ allurements, no hopes, no fears, no promises,

no instructions, able to startle, to awaken, to “ melt or shape it to a better image, without the “ immediate omnipotency of that God which

“ melts the mountains, and turns stones into sons “ of Abraham."

In the same strain bishop Beveridge, whom I admire so much, because he was as great an enthusiast as myself, says,

Resolution III. “ I am resolved, that as I am not able to think or do any thing that is good, without the in“ fluence of the divine grace; so I will not pre“ tend to merit any favour from God, upon ac"count of any thing I do for his glory and ser

66 vice.”

“ And indeed I may very well put this resolu“ tion among the rest, for should I resolve to

perform my resolutions by mine own strength, I might as well resolve never to perform them

at all: for truth itself, and mine own woful “ experience hath convinced me, that I am not “able of myself so much as to think a good

thought: and how then shall I be able of my“ self, to resolve upon rules of holiness, ac“ cording to the word of God, or to order my “conversation according to these resolutions,

without the concurrence of the divine grace.”

If the reader will weigh these authorities carefully and impartially, I am very certain, that he will acquit me of the charge of enthusiasm : for upon their evidence every minister of the church of England is bound to believe, that all men fell in Adam, and that free and full redemption is offered to all men in Jesus Christ, by whose good Spirit our fallen nature is to be restored, and we may have grace and power to live a holy and a Christian life. This is my faith. In this I hope to live and die. And if our court brethren reckon me an enthusiast for embracing it, are they not dissenters for rejecting it? For do they not dissent from the articles and homilies of their own church, and from their own subscriptions ? And an enthusiast, dress him up in ever so ridiculous a light, is a more amiable character, than a dissenter of this stamp, who sets his hand to one thing, and his heart to another, who subscribes to what he does not believe, and who has most solemnly engaged before God to build up those very doctrines, which he is trying to preach down. An enthusiast, with all his mistakes, may be an honest man, but such persons are—what shall I call them? Surely not honest men. . Reader, give them their proper name. Suppose the church of England had forced us to subscribe to enthusiastic doctrines, and we were enthusiasts enough to believe them, certainly we are less blameable than these persons who do not believe them, and yet do subscribe to them, rather than not be candidates for the high honours and revenues of the church. If they despise me, I shall not envy them. Let me be poor with a good conscience, and let them be rich. Let me be a despised enthusiast, and let them be highly honoured. May God make me thankful for what I hope for in the other world, and let them enjoy as much as they can get in this.

And now reader, let me ask thee one plain question, and I beg of thee to answer it įmpartially. After what has been said, dost thou really take me to be an enthusiast? if thou dost,

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