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faith, so are all the worthies mentioned in the Hebrews; and he assures us, Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. Remember believer, he who spake it with a voice from heaven, bas never bro. ken his word to one of his dying children, nor will he to you; trust then in him, and be not afraid.
Everton, Oct. 26, 1788.
comes. How ever, for once I will fix ny time, namely, the 2nd of March, and wait upon Mr. Wilberforce afterwards. I begin to be weary of London, gossipping visitors weigh me down. Everton suits me best, where I can be alone with the word of God for my compan. ion, and leisure enough for musing and prayer, never am I well, but when at home with Jesus. May he draw me nearer, and keep me closer with him. Yesterday, Dr. Ford was ordained, and it seemed a good season. Captain Scott is here, a truly spiritual man. The Lord give you all you can desire, much grace in your own heart, and much in your children. Jesus's grace be ever with you.
AFTER I left St. Jame's place, I spent the afternoon with Mrs. Peckwell, a precious woman, and a living instance of what grace can do. Some little gloom hung upon her countenance, but a cheerfulness appeared in her speech and temper, she treated with indignation the slander, propagated against her husband immediately after his departure, which basely originated from a preacher in connexion with him. She spoke of Dr. Peckwell with the greatest tenderness and affection; the daughter is the very image of the father, and the son pleased me very much. At five he came from school, and I asked him whether he had learned to swear. He answered, No. I asked further, Has no one tried to make you swear? Yes, be said, many bad tried, and once he was offered a guinea make him swear, but would not. What nurseries of vice are public schools, and the next nursery is an University! If you can be of any service to Ann Street, you will do an act of kindness to a blind Christian woman. On Tuesday sen’night I purpose to return to Everton, when I shall be released from gossipping visitors, and have leisure for the word of God, and prayer. I am weary of my wretched self, and weary too of prattling visitors. No rest can I find but in God, in musing of him, or in converse with him. All things else are an aching void, promising something, but bringing in nothing. The Lord Jesus fill you with his heavenly treasures, and make your seed an holy offspring. Much grace be with you, dear Sir, and with your truly effectionate servant.
To the Editors of the Gospel Magazine. REMARKS OF A PASTORAL LETTER, CHIEFLY RESPECTING WHAT
IS DEEMED A RULE FOR SANCTIFICATION, Messrs. EDITORS, A PROFESSED Minister of the Gospel has lately published his own Pastoral Letter to a Baptist Minister on the subject of his ordination, * and, among some Divine Truths, has stated many errors, and on essential points. The true and real feature of a Gospel Writer is to use a form of sound words with the greatest simplicity and plainness of speech, so as the spiritual reader in his perusing may at once understand, and not stand still, or go backward instead of going forward. This writer's favourite doctrine is the pre-existence of the human soul of Christ, involving a denial of that Essential Article of the Christian's faith, viz., that Christ is the EVERLASTING SON OF THE Father.
It appears to be his bobby-horse and idol, to which he sacrifices the Eternal Sonship of the Lord Jesus Christ, who, on Simon Barjonas declaring him to be such, stated that flesh and blood had not revealed it to him, but bis Father who was in Heaven. In all the writings of pre-existerians, I have found such mistification, with new-fangled names and phrases, that I have been so lost and entangled in the mazes of the writer, as with some difficulty to get out again; the result was, that I had no clear understanding of the writer's statements, and left them with disgust—and I have heard the same from others who had perused the same writings. Whenever there is a retrogade movement, or a departure from the Truth, it cannot be supported or justified, consequently recourse must be had to dark sayings, a mystifying of words, unintelligible jargon, false names and phrases, and a raising of a cloud of dust to put out the spiritual eyes, but which, however, are too strong and clear-sighted to be blighted or blinded by words of man's invention or his natural reasonings. Now, the present writer, under our consideration, is one of this cast, and his writings on the above subject has exposed him to be roughly and rigorously, though deservedly and justly, handled ; inasmuch as it is a solemn truth, which has Christ's attestation, that he that is not for him is and must be against him.
Some of this writer's errors in the Pastoral Letter alluded to, are couched in the following passage, viz.:
“ Take heed also to distinguish between the law as a rule of justification by works, and the law as a rule of sanctification through faith in Christ. In the former sense, law belongs to all men by
* See this Pastoral Letter of advice to Mr. Cyprian Rust, on his becoming or• dained, by John Stephens. Vol. IV.No, I.
nature; in the latter sense it belongs to spiritual men by grace. * For I delight in the law of God, (saith Paul) after the inward man: so then with the wind, I myself serve the law of God; being not without law to God but under the law to Christ. Bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ.' Now, inwardly to delight in the law of God- not to be without it, but to be under it to Christ—and to encourage other Saints to fulfil it, by mutually helping another, is surely language which no rational being would seriously make use of who considered that the law of God had nothing to do with him nor he with it. Either the Apostle niust have been in a state of insanity when he thus wrote or be must have reckoned, when in his right mind, that true believers were willingly subject to the authority of the law of God as a rule of obedience, enforced on them by their Lord and Saviour. And unless this be admitted, it seems impossible to account for his conduct in so very expressly enforcing the law upon the Saints at Rome, and in Galatia, and also at Ephesus (Rom. 13, 8, 10; Gal. 5, 14, 6, 2; Eph. 6, 2). Weigh this subject soberly and consider what a reception of the contrary notion would require you to embrace and defend to be at all consistent with youiself.”
Pastoral Letter, pp. 10, 11. At the conclusion of this passage, there is reference to a hook published by the same author, entitled “ Doctrinal Antinomianism Refuted,”—but he omits to refer to an answer by Mr. Gadsby. Now the writer of the above passage evidently meant it as a slap to those whom he dubs Antinomians*— because they have taken up and used their spiritual weapons to dissect him and his anti-scriptural notions, and bring big and them to the touchstone of God's Word-for this as a fire shalltry every man's work of what sort it ist Let us see if the present work will stand the fire.
* It is very remarkable, that the characiers stigmatised by our Arminians and Self Justiciries, as Antinomians, have been eminently singular in their chaste, moral character, as also their devotions to God, their enemies being judges. Witness for instance, such men as Dr. Gill, Servey, Romaine, Toplady, and the late Dr. Hawker, it may be truly said of each of them, they were Angels embodied in clay tenemenis. And it is very peculiar, God put a highly distinguished honour upon them, he fixed them on the pedestal of truth, and bestowed on them natural and acquired endowmenis, so that they proclaimed the Gospel of Christ in its purity, unmixed with any deleterous alloy, the whole accompanied with the im. perious powers of eloquence, and the eharms of persuasion ; sheir work was a work of unwearied activity, which was crowned with tho bivine blessing to multitudes who will be their trophies on the day of the Lord's appearance.-EDITOR.
+ It has always been a maxim with us, whenever we have heard the term Antinomian 'used from the pulpit, or the press, to view it as a scare-crow, to frighten the imbecile, or rather to hide the clover, feet of imposture, under the specious garb of sanctity, and too often as a lure to propogate error, in order to disparage the glorious truths of the Gospel. Thus Satan and his instruments work as angels of light, and persecute and harrass the True Ambassadors of Christ – EDITOR.
In the passage quoted, the writer would enforce the law on all men by nature as a rule of justification by works—and on the spiritual man as a rule of sanctification through faith in Christand he exhorts the Minister to whom his Pastoral Letter is ad. dressed to take heed to distinguish between the two ; but as they are both nonentities, and neither one rule or the other, as is stated, has any existence, it must be difficult to distinguish them. They are two phantoins of this writer's own creation, which the ordained Minister or any one else can never give a being or substance toinasmuch as the Word of God has put an extinguisher on both.
Ist. -The law is said to be a rule of justification, by works for all men by nature. Now the Spirit by Paul has declared that, " by the deeds of the law shall no man he justified in his sight.”— Rom. 3, 20. But now the righteousness of God without the law is inanifested, which righteousness is by faith of Jesus Christ21, 22, v. The Apostle well knew, that as no man by nature could perform the law, therefore no man could be justified by any deed he could do,-a sound gospel Minister has written to the effect, that the law was given, not that men might be justified by their obedience to it, but that they might be accountable for their transgressions.” If any natural man could obey the law, which be cannot, then he might be justified by his obedience to it, but as the law is holy, and all Adam's posterity by and since the fall, are carnal, sold under sin, and every imagination of the heart, evil, only evil, and that continually, and he that breaks only one commandment is declared guilty of a breach of the whole, I would ask what justification is any min by nature to seek or expect from the law, every commandinent of which he has broken, and cannot otherwise than break from the body of sin indwelling in hin? There is no justification for any man by the works of the law, for as no man can come up to its commands, it is a law of condemnation to every one. I suspect the writer in question, at the bottom of his heart, considers that all men are in a saveable state, and that if they do their best they will be justified so far, and according to their strivings to obey it, or be would not hold out the law as a rule of justification to the natural man. It is a sentence of condem. nation to the non elect who are all under its curse, and cannot escape from it. How, therefore, can this old law justify any who have broke it, and more particularly those who are and remain under its curse? It is a rule of judgment and condemnation and not of justification, and the whole tenor of Scripture accords with this view of it. We, who are terined by Arminians, Antonomians, are not against the law, but We are against the abuse of it, and against the said writer, because in his said letter he abuzes it, and would make it justify where it condemns; but the law is inflexible in its acquirements and will show no lenity—the Gospel of the grace of God only reveals mercy and pardon and righteousness through an almighty Saviour, and which are realised by faith in his name.
2nd. -The law is said, in the letter, to be a rule of sanctification, through faith in Christ, to the spiritual man.
This statement surprises me as coming deliberately from a Minister, who,
I suppose, has had at least 40 years standing in the professed Churchi of Christ and study of the Scriptures. The law is not of faith, nor is faith of the law-nor does it reveal Christ or salvation by him, nor can the law sanctify, nor is there any sanctiâcation by it or from it. The Holy Spirit is the author of sanctification, and it is bis essential office to take of the things of Christ and shew them to his people. He is the author of regeneration and of all spiritual life. Christ gave a new commandment which is the law of faith and love, and this new law is the Gift of the Holy Spirit who writes it in the inner man or new nature given in regeneration, and he who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ had everlasting life abiding in him. Instead of the law being a rule of sanctification to the Believer, We affirin that Christ is the rule, and without Christ, or where he is not, there is no rule of sanctification. The Holy Spirit works by this rule, and he was sent by the Everlasting Father, and the Everlasting Son of the Father to testify of Christ and his Salvation to the hearts of his redeemed people, in every one of whom the Eternal and Divine Sonship of Christ, as God, is received and confessed to the Glory of the Father and the Son- and this revelation of God cannot be reasoned upon or rejected by any in whom the Holy Spirit has his indwelling. Has God revealed any mystery concerning himself, and it shows his wonderful condescension in so doing, and shall any one of his creatures dare reason upon or dispute it ?—and yet we find many wise men in the things of this world, and even many
who are called Giants in the knowledge of Divine Truth, lift up the proud arm of rebellious reason against the Divine revelation, and do maintain that the Sonship of Christ has reference to bis human nature only-and that the revelation of the Father, Son, and Spirit, as having entered into a Covenant for the salvation of the Election of Grace, are only Covenant names that will hereafter be laid aside. This is speculating to some purpose—an invention which we hope will not result in the eternal confusion of the writer. But to return to the subject under consideration.
We further affirm that the new nature in the believer, which is under the reign and guidance of the Holy Spirit, is also the rule for the walk and life of the spiritual man—so Paul says, and whosoever walks according to the rule of the new man-peace be on him. It is formed in the image of Christ, a new creation, and formed to be inhabited, and the Holy Spirit may be safely trusted in bis indwelling, for he will surely fulfill all the purposes of the Divine ordination touching his new creation : there can be no failure with him; there would be a failure with us if any thing were left us to do. Ancient Israel had not only the pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night, both of which were under God's