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Rufhes. They could not bear to think, that all their Duties, Services, and Performances of the Law, should be utterly fet at nought. Should have no Influence at all, in turning the Scale-But does the Apostle approve their Saying? No; He declares, this their Way was their Folly.
You are pleased to mention Fanaticism. A Word, which I do not thoroughly understand. Neither is it of much Significancy, to enter upon the Disquifition of an obnoxious Term. I would only maintain; That, on Us unworthy Sinners, whatever is bestowed by the righteous GOD; is beftowed, not as a Debt * to our Works, but as the Donation of pure Grace. And if this be Fanaticism, I plead guilty to the Charge. I glory in my Shame.
Ther. I think, it is fufficiently of Grace; if We acknowledge good Works, to be wrought by the Affiftance of the Divine SPIRIT; and then admitted, together with our SAVIOUR's Merits, as a Recommendation to the divine Favour.
Afp. The Pharifee could make his Acknowledgements, for the divine Affiftance. GOD, I thank Thee, was his Language. Yet, this did not exempt Him from the Charge of Pride, nor fecure Him from the Sin of Boafting.-Befides; if good Works are wrought by the Operation of the Divine SPIRIT, they draw a Bill upon our Gratitude, not upon the Bank of Heaven. They render Us the obliged, not the deferving Party. To think or teach otherwise, is
Beftowed as a Debt, is, I must allow, fomewhat like Jargon. But, perhaps, Jargon rd Inconfiftency, may not be without their Propriety in this Place. As they tend to fhew the Genius of that Doctrine which would connect fuch contradictory Ideas.
errant Popery, however it may lurk under a Veil of Proteftantifm.
You bring to my Mind a memorable Story.-Two Perfons were traveling together, in the Defarts of Arabia. The one utterly unarmed; the Other wore a Sword, and carried a Mufket. As the Place was exceedingly dangerous, the latter, folicitous for the Safety of his Companion, makes Him a Present of his Fire-arms.-Which was no fooner done, than a Lion espies them, and advances fiercely towards them. The foremost discharges his Piece, and wounds their horrid Aggreffor. The Wound, neither killing, nor disabling, only enrages the Monfter. He feizes the unfortunate Markfman, and is upon the Point to tear Him Limb from Limb. His Fellow-traveler flies to his Succour; fnatches up the Carbine, which dropt from the other's Hand; and fells the ravenous Beast to the Ground. Then, drawing his Sword, ftabs him to the Heart, and refcues his Friend.
The Lion thus flain, they take off the Skin. Which, He who flew the lordly Savage, claims as his own. "No, fays his grateful Friend, as You "did Part of the Execution with my Weapon, I "infift upon Half of the fhaggy Spoil. I expect "Satisfaction likewife for the Lofs of my Piece, " which You broke in the Encounter.”—To obtain
* Good Works, fays a Champion for the Church of Rome, are Mercatura Regni cœleftis, the Price We pay, or the Commodity We barter, for the Kingdom of Heaven.Another Zealot of the fame Communion declares; Colum gratis non accipiam, It shall never be faid, that I receive Eternal Life, merely as a Matter of Alms.So fpeaks He! But, bleffed be GOD, We have not fo learned CHRIST.
tain both, He commences a Law-fuit against that generous Affociate, who not only gave Him the Weapon, but faved the Profecutor from the very Jaws of Deftruction.
Ther. Truly, if I had been Judge, I should, without any Hefitation, have determined fuch a Cause. Inftead of Cofts and Damages for my Plaintiff, I fhould have tranfmitted the difingenuous, fhamelefs Wretch to the Pillory.
Afp. I believe, all the World would applaud your Sentence. Only be pleased to remember, that the Procedure, on which You so justly animadvert, is the very Picture of our exceffive Unreasonableness; If We prefume to write ourselves Creditors, and the Divine BEING Debtor; because, He has delivered Us from the Bondage of Corruption, and enabled Us to perform the Duties of Godlinefs *.
Theron paufed; as fomewhat ftruck by the Reprefentation. After a fhort Interval, Afpafio refumed the Difcourfe.
Believe me, my dear Friend, Salvation, both in the Root and all its Branches, is entirely of Grace: Or elfe believe me, for the many cogent Teftimonies of Scripture; which most circumftantially afcertain this fundamental Truth.
.. Ther. Pray, let me afk, What is the exact Meaning of Grace?
Afp. The first and principal Meaning, that which I have all along had my Eye upon, in our prefent Conference, is, The Favour and Kindness of GOD; infinitely rich, and infinitely free; entirely detached from all Suppofition of human Worth, and absolutely
Εχ μεν ήδη τας αμοιβας, καταξιωθείες απαλλαγήναι της aas. Chryfoft.
lutely independent on any fuch Thing, as human Goodnefs. This is the great Origin and Bafis of our Salvation. Not like a Fringe of Gold, bordering the Garment; not like an Embroidery of Gold, decorating the Robe; but like the Mercy-Seat of the ancient Tabernacle, which was Gold-pure $ Gold-all Gold throughout.
Election is of Grace: Having predeftinated Us unto the Adoption of Children, not on Account of human - Worthiness, but according to the good Pleafure of his • Will *.-Equally gratuitous is our effectual Voca- tion: GOD hath called Us with an holy Calling, not according to our Works, but according to his Purpose and Grace +-Faith, with all its precious Fruits, is owing to the fame Caufe: He helped them much, who believed through Grace ‡.-From hence fprings Juftification, together with all its attendant Privileges: Being juftified freely by his Grace .-This is : the Origin of Regeneration, and every living Principle of Godliness: Of his own Will begat He Us by the Word of Truth §.-The Confummation of Bliss Y 3
† 2 Tim. i. 9.
Acts xviii. 27.
Eph. i. 5. Rom. iii. 24. Awpear in auls xapil. One of thefe Words might have ferved, to convey the Apoftle's Meaning. But, He doubles his Affertion; in order to give Us the fulleft Conviction of the Truth, and to imprefs Us with a Senfe of its peculiar Importance: FREELY, BY HIS GRACE.
Is it poffible to find out a Form of Speech, that should more abfolutely exclude all Confideration of our own Works and Obedience? Or that should more emphatically afcribe the Whole of our Juftification to free, uninfluenced, fovereign Goodnefs?-To find an Expreffion, more forcible for the Purpofe, will puzzle Invention itself. But this Expreffion We find ufed, again and again, by the facred Writer, H Sape xp, Rom. v. 15. Tns xaplas Της χαρίας Tns Sapeas, Rom. v. 17. § Jam. i. 18.
flows from the fame all-fupplying Source: The Gift of GOD is eternal Life: It is, in every Refpect, a Gift; not only without, but contrary to, all Defert of ours. So that the Foundation is laid in the Riches of Grace: the Superstructure is reared by the Hand of Grace: and when the Top-ftone is brought forth, when our Felicity is completed in the Kingdom of Heaven, the everlasting Acclamation will be, Grace, Grace unto it !
This is that glorious Gofpel, which human Learning could never have difcovered; which carnal Reafon cannot understand; which the Envy of the Devil, and the Pride of Man, will always oppose. But which, to the poor convinced Sinner, is the very Perfection of Wisdom. Efteemed, as the Joy of his Heart; embraced, as the Rock of his Hopes.
Ther. What fay You to the Opinion, which Ouranius so strenuously maintains? That We are justified not by the Merits of CHRIST imputed to Us, but by CHRIST himself formed in our Hearts. And Ouranius is none of your proud or carnal People. His Writings are remarkable for their ftrict Piety, and his Life is as exemplary as his Principles.
Afp. You know, Theron, I have nothing to do with the Perfons of Men, but with the Truths of the Gofpel. Ouranius, though eminently devout, may be mistaken. And, if this is his Way of Thinking, He quite mifapprehends the Doctrine of Grace.
What is written in the Oracles of Scripture? The LORD juftifieth the Ungodly . What is implied
23. Xaproua. Which is a more expreffive Word than Sapna, and conveys the Idea of freeft Favour. + Zech. iv. 7. Rom. iv. 5.