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sistent; but we deny it. In order to prove our conduct absurd, it should be proved to be inconsistent with some allowed principle, and not barely with the principles of our opponents.
6OME SERIOUS CONSIDERATIONS RECOMMENDED TO
MR. B. AND THE READER.
THERE is great danger in all disputes of running to extremes. Mr. B. thinks my sentiments “ the high road to Arminianism, (100.) and perhaps to something worse. (2). I am not convinced at present of their having any such tendency. However, it becomes me to watch against every thing that might lead me aside from the simplicity of the gospel, be that what it may; and I hope I shall so far take Mr. B.'s advice. I hope also, in my turn, I may be allowed, without offence, to suggest a few serious hints to the same end. Mr. B. seems to think all the danger of erring to lie on one side; (p. 1,2, pref.) it is allowed there is danger on that side, but not on that side only. In general, then, I wish Mr. B. to consider whether his principles do not tend to lead him farther than he seriously intends to go? particularly,
If, in the course of his ministry, he avöids giving the carnal part of his auditory to understand that God requires any thing of titem which is spiritually good,
whether it will not be natural for them so to underz stand it as to reckon themselves not at all obliged to love God, to be truly holy, to be the subjects of any internal religion whatever; and whether they do not in fact so understand it? Whatever difference there is between these things in the opinion of the preacher, I incline to think not one hearer in a hundred makes any account of it. They understand it of every thing which concerns the heart. The generali-ty of those who would be offended with us for en joining spiritual obedience upon our carnal auditors, would, I apprehend, be equally offended with Mr. B. were he to signify that they ought to worship God in spirit and in truth, or to love him with their whole heart. Were any thing of this sort delivered, and nothing added to explain it away, it is likely the preacher would be interrogated in some such manner as this.-“ How can unregenerate sinners love God, or worship him in spirit and in truth? You might as well call to the dead to come forth, or bid people take wings and fly to heaven. Their business is tó attend the means, and if God please to give them a heart to love him, well and good, but if not, to what purpose are all your harangues about what people ought to do? Cease this legal business, preach the doctrines of the gospel, and leave the Holy Spirit to do liis own work."
In the above, no respect t hatever is had in a per Sonid way to Mr. D. or any of his friends. What is written, is founded upon such tacts as have fallen under my own obstrvation; and I suppose that the same causes are usually productive of the same effects in ont place as in another,
Fartner, I may be well for Mr. B. to consider, while he professes to allzu tnat men 02ght to do what ever wus in the poruer of nian in a state of innocence, whether his stntinents do not insensibly lead him to excuse men fron every thing but what nay ve done by a wicked rund, without any irue love to God, or regard for his griory? czema. Mr. B. when asked in controversy, whether any internal religion is now required of men üwards Goi!, or no? answers in the affirmative. (72) Eut is it a matter which his views of hirss would ever, of their own accord, lead him to awtli upen? Ian glad to see the frankness with which he expresses himself concerning the law of Go being exceedras broad. "If the principles I ha vauvanced, says he, contradict this truth, let them icriver be discarded: (95) Mr. Bi's meaning in this ingenuous sentence cannot be supposed to 'amount to less strani ihis, that if the perceived his present senti. muts to clash with the spirituality of the law, he woului disown them; and if he found then to have such a tendency, he would at least suspect them, NOW I desire to this matter to be determined by facts, and by facts that cannot fairly be disputed. I ask, then, In what manner do Mr. Bi's sentiments lead him to EXPOUND SCRIPTURER? How has he ex
pounded the second psalm, and the sixth of Jeremiah? What has he made these passages to require more than external obedience? Is it not the tendency of all he says concerning the addresses of Christ and his apostles to their carnal auditors, to reduce them to the capacity, not of a right spirit, such as man possessed in a state of innocence, but of an apostate mind. Are they not all along made to mean no more than what may be done without any real love to God, or regard for his glory? Is not such a sense put upon Isai. xlii. 18. Look, ye blind, &c. as that its requirements shall be "
WITHIN THE COMPASS OF NATURAL MEN, WHO ARE INTERNALLY DEAF AND BLIND?" (103)
This is certainly a serious matter, and I hope Mr. B. will seriously consider it. If he does indeed believe the law to be spiritual, and to require internal religion, it is hoped he will on all proper occasions acknowledge it, and not attempt to bring down the precepts of the bible to the dispositions of an apostate creature; otherwise, people may be ready to say, he holds the spirituality of the law as some others do the doctrines of grace, who never think proper to mention them, except when an occasion offers to explain them away.
If any thing in the preceding pages should be thought unkind, or exceeding the liberty we are allowed to use with a christian brother, I hope for Mr. B.'s forgiveness. I can truly say, if there is, it is unknown to me. It has been my endeavour all along to make him feel nothing except it be the force of truth.
Before I conclude, I would beg leave to recominend a few serious hints to the reader. Whoever he is, and whatever his opinion may be in refcrence to this controversy, let me intreat him to put one serie cus question to his own soul; Dost Thou believe on the Son of God? Let him remember, that nothing less than his eternal salvation or destruction hangs upon the answer that the question must be answered sooner or later that there is no mediuin between being Christ's friend and his enemy-and that it is not taking this or the other side of a dispute that will denominate any man a christian. Neither let him evade the question by answering, that he has already been acknowledged as a believer in Christ-is a member of a christian church, perhaps a preacher of the gospel, and has long been in the habit of taking this matter for granted, and of sitting in judgment upon other men, and other things--All this may be irue, and yet things may issue in a dreadful disappointment.
But supposing the reader a real christian; still there is great reason for
prayer and watchfulness. Read. ing controversies may be advantageous, or it may be hurtful; and that according to the spirit with which it is attended to. Every man had need to read with some degree of judgment of his own; and yet if he set out with a determination to receive nothing but whatshall accord with his own present views of things, he is likely to derive no real good, and perhaps much harm. He may meet with what confirms him in his scntiments, and those sentiments may be on the side