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contrary to the whole tenour of the Bible, and as far from Christianity as the east is from the west. To what purpose then serve good works, which are the fruits of faith, and follow after justification? The 12th article will tell us—“ They (even they) cannot
put away our sins, or endure the severity of God's “ judgement: yet are they pleasing and acceptable “ to God in Christ, and do spring out necessarily of
a true and lively faith, insomuch that by them a
lively faith may be as evidently known, as a tree “is discerned by its fruits.” The fruit receives its goodness from the tree, not the tree from the fruit, which does not make the tree good, but shows it to be so, because men do not gather grapes of thorns : so works receive all their goodness from faith, not faith from works, which do not themselves justify, but show a prior justification of the soul that produces them; as it is written" We know that we have “passed--Meta6867XqwEY-- from death unto life, be“ cause we love the brethren :" i John, iii. 14. The question therefore will be, who is the best husbandman, he who diligently plants the vine and waters it, or he who spends his time in writing essays upon the nature and properties of grapes in general, and wild grapes in particular, till “the vineyard of the
man void of understanding is all grown over with
thorns,” from which, as we observed above, men do not gather grapes ? If the author had a vineyard to let, bis choice of a tenant would soon be determined, though the latter of the two candidates wrote a style like an angel.
But he is pleased to say, p. 7, “ Morality is not
" within our system.” Of the truth of this assertion let the whole university be witnesses, and he himself shall be judge. For he says, p. 40, “ Were the
principles of us all as rational and salutary, as he “ is convinced the lives of some of us are serious " and exemplary, he would most heartily join with " those who should say, We wish you good luck in “ the name of the Lord; and, for his brethren and
companions' sakes, yea, because of the house of “the Lord our God, he would wish our cause, as “ well as ourselves, prosperity." But he should not have marked out the word some "the lives of some “ of us are serious”-because that necessarily slurs the characters of some others, and leaves the world to imagine, we have soine immoral persons among us; when he knows it would puzzle him to show we have one such, in the whole number of those whom he calls Hutchinsonians. And, if the fruits are good, they will plead, I hope, for a little more consideration, before the tree that bears them be cut down and cast into the fire: a sentence be seems to have passed upon us in his own mind, and calls aloud upon our reverend governors to be his execu. tioners of it and the sooner the better. Which lets me into another particular concerning him, viz. that he is a man of moderation.
IV. We are still in the same page.
pretence,” he says, “ of glorifying revelation, we “insult and trample upon reason, which also is the
gift of God.” That reason is the gift of God, no one denies. But, if he would talk like a master of his subject, he should show the use and extent of
reason, and what are the subjects that properly fall under her cognizance. The abuse, not the use of reason, is what we argue against. Reason, we say, was made to learn, not to teach; and, therefore, to set her up for a teacher, when she was never designed for that office, is certainly wrong. What the eye is to the body, reason, or understanding, is to the soul, as says the apostle, Ephes. i. 18. “ Hav“ing the eyes
your understanding” –της διανοιαςthe faculty of discernment—" enlightened.” The eye, then, is framed in such a manner as to be capable of seeing, reason in such a manner as to be capable of knowing. But the eye, though ever so good, cannot see without light; reason, though ever so perfect, cannot know without instruction. The eye, indeed, is that which sees, buť the light is the cause of its seeing; reason is that which knows, but instruction is the cause of its knowing. And it would be as absurd to make the eye give itself light, because it sees by the light, as to make reason instruct itself, because it knows by instruction. The phrase, therefore, light of reason, seems to be an improper one, since reason is not the light, but an organ for the light of instruction to act upon; and a man inay as well take a view of things upon earth, in a dark night, by the light of his own eye, as pretend to discover the things of heaven, in the night of nature, by the light of his own reason. Nor do we any more derogate from the perfection of reason, when we affirm it cannot know without instruction, than we derogate from the perfection of the eye, when we deny it has a power of seeing in the dark. Christ only, who is the Sun of righteousness, has in him the perfection of light, even all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. The perfection of reason is to be able to receive of his fulness, “ to receive the instruc" tion of wisdom :" Prov. i. 3. Without instruction it is impossible for her to do any thing, because reasoning, or induction of inferences, necessarily presupposes her to be furnished with proper data to go upon. And these data, in spiritual things, are only to be had from the word of God; for-" The com“ mandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the “ eyes”—Psal. xix. 8. “ The entrance of thy words
giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple” -cxix. 130. The things which are above cannot be manifested to us, but by the light which is above, where those things are, and corneth down from the Father of lights, by the word of his revelation; the divine original of which was demonstrated with power, by mighty signs and wonders, to the senses of hundreds and thousands; and that demonstration entered in an authentic record, preserved and guarded by an uninterrupted succession, first in the Jewish, and then in the Christian church: all this reason must be taught from without, or else live in ignorance, which is the curse of God upon all who have rejected his word, apostatized from his, faith, or broke from his church; a sin which, indeed, always has been, and always will be, followed by the other two. Reason can no more find out, without the help of revelation, the original state and constitution of man, the changes that have happened in his nature, and the counsels of God that have taken
place in consequence of those changes —points upon which every thing that can be said about religion turns, -reason, I say, can no more find out these, than she can prove metaphysically, that William the Conqueror vanquished Harold at Hastings in Sus. sex; and demonstrate à priori, without the assistance of history, all the revolutions, with their effects, that have happened in the English government from that day to this.
V. Similar to this is another objection often made; " that we decry natural religion.” To be sure we do; because, at the best, it is a religion without the knowledge of God, or the hope of salvation ; which is deism; and, such as it is, it owes its birth, not to nature, but a corrupted tradition ; i. e. in one word, instead of natural religion, it is traditional infidelity. For as a revelation was made to man of the cove. nant of works before the fall, and the covenant of grace after it; and as we are certain that all mankind came from one common stock, it is a plain and evident matter of fact that, from Adam to this day, there never was, or could be, a man left to himself to make a religion of nature. It is, I know, a received notion, that man, by a due and proper use of his rational faculties, may do great things; and so, by a due and proper use of the organs of vision, man may arrive at a knowledge of the objects around him. But still the pinching question returns-- Is it not light that enables him to make a due and proper use of the one, and instruction of the other? Show us the eye that sees without light, and the understanding that reasons upon religion without instruc