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tice and equity, according to our low, and scanty notions thereof. It was answered, if I granted that mankind had any true notion of justice, and equity, though but in the smallest degree, then what is contrary to this, must be much more so to God, whose justice and truth, is infinite, pure, and eternal. urged other matters, to as little purpose, and though I confidently continued in my former assertion, yet I was forced to abate much of my self-importance, and very often afterwards, was greatly disturbed in my mind, on account of these things. As far as my capacity would admit, I applied myself to reading; and read a great many books, treating of redemption by Jesus Christ; and found them all run in one channel, viz. that man being a debtor, and transgressor, and unable to save himself, Je. sus Christ became his surety under an engage. ment to pay his debts, and to hear his punishment: The equity of which, is generally resolved into the sovereignty of God, or accounted for, from the willingness of Christ (as an independent divine person) to suffer, in the sinner's stead: whilst others satisfy themselves, with the bare positive assertion, that it is equitable, for one person to be surety for another, not only in case of debt; but even in capital offences. Those resolutions, I read over and over, but rather more perplexed, than satisfied thereby. In vain it was, that the most pious, and orthodox writers, and preachers, explained the matter thus: I was constrained to despise all human authority, in things of this nature; especially where there was not the shadow of reason, and equity. I applied myself more carefully, to the reading and study of the scriptures; as without notes, or expositions: submitting in spirit, unto him, who at first dictated, and hath taken it upon him to make us understand them. And thence it was, I discerned according to that scanty measure I have attained, what, I conceive to be the harmony of divine truth, viz. the union of Christ and the Church; and how clear the equity of redemption, by the blood of Jesus, appears in this truth, the following treatise I have attempted to show. And, because I have thereby found a retreat in Jesus, from the face of the enemy, and all his dangerous insinuations, whereby he would have shaken the foundations, I publish it to others, that if there should be amongst my readers, such who are tried, with trials of like nature, they may possibly have instruction sealed, to their peace, and consolation. It is also probable, that such may read, whom either prejudice, or lack of opportunity, will not permit to hear. -There are generally but few, amongst the great multitude, who inquire into the merits of the cause they engage in Tradition, received from their Fathers, zeal and affection for their leaders, spirit them on to persuasion beyond scruple, that they are in the truth. It is very probable, there are others, who simply crediting the scripture testimony, that Jesus Christ died for our sins, and rose again for our justification, are happy in that truth; without ace inquiring into the equity thereof, or ever

thinking it necessary so to do. The reality of their peace, I will not pretend to deny, as they believe the facts, which the gospel relates, and proposes, as the joy and peace of mankind. But yet, the necessity of examining the equity thereof, remains; as it is eviIdent, first from the scriptures treating so plentifully of it: to deny the necessity of attending to which teaching, would be the highest arrogance. Again, though they may hitherto have escaped the temptation within, and the argument of such without, who walk enemies to the cross of Christ; yet it proves not, that they shall always escape: therefore it is necessary, they should, from the faithful apprehension of their union with Christ, be so rooted, and grounded in love, that their joy may abide, and no man take it from them. Again, it is necessary that knowing God, they may glorify him as God, who, being infinitely glorious, and exalted, in all the perfections of his nature, hath in this gracious plan, most wonderfully exhibited that divine harmony, which to man, is so rich a proof of his unity.

As to my talking so much of Christ, his person and excellencies, my continual endeavour to point him out as the way, the truth, and the life; I hope, even such who would be thought the guardians of true godliness, will bear with me a little, when I give them my reasons for so doing. First, I am under very great obligations to him, which coming to light every day, more and more, constrains me to speak of him, and to esteem him very precious. Again, I may be excused a little, because testimonies of this nature are very rare: whilst Moses, hath them who preach him, every Sabbath day, in every synagogue. And whilst most of the publications on divinity, are now entitled practical; as the daily advertisements bear witness, (than which, there is nothing according to my apprehension, more fully proves the decline of real christianity) I hope so insignificant a person as I, may be indulged with saying somewhat of Jesus Christ. The phrase practical, when applied to divinity, seems to be made use of, in direct opposition to Christ; and that, which immediately treats of him: as though he was dry theory, a fable or an idle speculation only. Will it be answered, that the wickedness of the age is such, as renders it needful to write and preach practically as called. Is not this giving up the cause to the enemy, and a tacit acknowledgment that the article Christ is insufficient? Yea, that this article rather tends to corrupt mankind, and promote bad morals, or indeed to say thus: fain would we reform the world, we have used all means to do them good, we have tried Christ, we have preached and wrote of him, but he would not do; he only made all things worse, how can he be of God whose disciples break the Sabbath day? &c. we are therefore obliged to lay him aside, and betake ourselves to the law of Moses, with other good rules which pious men have plan ned; and by insisting upon their living up to those (promising salvation unto such who do:

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and threatening all that do not, with eternal damnation) we hope to stem the torrent of vice, and turn mankind into the paths of virtue and piety.

Have your inventions answered the end intended; are they more reformed than they were in the days of the Apostles, who made it their business to preach a crucified Jesus? where is the Church, or society of Christians now, who attain to this character, "The multitude of them that believed, were of one heart, and of one soul, neither said any of them, that aught of the things which he possessed, was his own, but they had all things common?" Acts iv. 32. This was effected by the simple testimony of Jesus, his death, and resurrection; the people were then taught, that they were the body of Christ in particular, and members one of another. Whereas, the more modern doctrines, have taught mankind to respect each other as aliens, each esteeming of himself better than another; imagining he has property, distinct from his brother, yea, even in spirituals; he looks on his own things, and not on the things of another. Thus, the modern doctrines, and traditions of men, are calculated to promote self-swer, I am far from being an ememy to good love, spiritual pride, bigotry, and hatred of each works: that which is truly good, when maniother, instead of love. Therefore it is, that fest, always commands my respect: nor can the morals of mankind are as bad as ever, I conceive, how any man, when convinced of notwithstanding the necessity, and benefit of the good, should hate it for being so. I do holiness, and good works, is daily sounded not mean to deny, that the truly good, is at in their ears. And even amongst the reform- any time the object of man's hatred; but then ed, as they would be thought, is there not en- we always suspect that of evil, which we alvying, strife, contention, backbiting, evil-low ourselves to hate; and if from the corspeaking uncharitableness, the putting forth ruption of nature, we hate the good, because of the finger, revenge, inhumanity, with every it forbids us the gratification of the sensual evil work and disposition? And indeed, this is appetites, yet even that hatred, doth not totalthe genuine fruit of the doctrines of the age; ly exclude from the bosom, a secret approbafor where people are taught to distinguish tion of the good. But, as weakness, and igbetween saints and sinners, and to think norance, are (accidentally) properties of human themselves holier than their neighbours, it is nature, we are not always capable of distinnot strange that they use them ill. As this guishing, perfectly, between good and evil. I is so general, I suppose it will not greatly ir- am not, cannot, possibly be an enemy to good ritate, that a few worthless men, without works; but then, I must have some more incharacter, or popularity, should make Christ contestable proof of goodness, before I become their subject, and be ever preaching or an admirer, than ignorant roarings, the clawriting of him. It is to be feared that being mours, and important airs of vain pretenders. merely orthodox, in point of works, with a When I consider good works, as mentioned desire at times of doing, and at other times, a in the scriptures, I would distinguish between sigh and sorrow for not doing, with a zeal for them, as spiritually and morally good; the propagating the doctrine, is that which soothes former, which merits the divine complacency, and keeps in peace, the consciences of many, mankind are incapable of performing at any who otherwise are very sensible of their de- time; as I could easily prove, was there occaficiency in this particular: And to talk of sion. The latter, which respects beneficence practice, and know nothing more of it; yea, one towards another, as reasonable beings, in short, to talk of it without keeping the as fellow-creatures, or if you please, from a whole law, is such a deception, where scripture higher consideration, as the body of Christ in authority is admitted, (yea or even what rea- particular, and members one of another, is son suggests of the nature of the Divine what the apostle recommends, in that oft Being) as cannot be accounted for, but by the cited passage; "That they which have bepride, bewitchery, and madness, which we lieved in God, may be careful to maintain are naturally involved in. Persons of this good works, these things are good and profita cast, please themselves, like the kings of ble unto men. ." Tit. iii. 8. And again verse Bedlam, who imagine their rags a purple robe, 14. let ours also learn to maintain good works, and their heap of straw, a throne; and are for necessary uses. That bread is profitable very angry with all, who will not humour to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, clothes their vain conceit. to the naked, and honesty in all your dealings, unto such whom you are concerned with; I

As to the zealous promoters of the doctrine

of works, in opposition to the complete salvation of Jesus Christ our Lord, we know what he says of them: That they lay heavy burdens upon men's shoulders, which they themselves will not touch, with one of their fingers and the apostle says, neither they themselves keep the law, but desire to have you circumcised, that they may glory in your flesh. Thus, we are not always to judge of men by their sounds, or to imagine a man greatly pious, because he talks of works, or writes practical treatises; nay, it is certainly reasonable, and just, for us to withhold our credit, and shut our ears, until his tempers, and actions speak: and of such, I have no need to be afraid, however zealous they may be, for as mercy, compassion, and charity, are none of the least prevalent, in the composition of true piety, their precious balms, can never break my head.

Nothing is more probable, than that it will be objected: I am an enemy to good works, or, that convinced by the holy practice of some particulars, amongst the professors of religion, I pine with envy; affecting to despise what I cannot attain unto. To which I an

a thorn hedge." Micah, vii. 4. "For every brother will utterly supplant, and every neighbour will walk with slanders." Jer. ix. 4. Thus saith the Lord, and thus I think: and therefore cannot behold any man upon earth, with an envious or evil eye, on the account of his dazzling perfections; nor is it possible I should ever despise good works, on this account. But, whenever I have spo ken slightly of human goodness, it is because I am convinced it is not good; but a false shew, and lying vanity; and therefore as a falsehood, always to be opposed. Another reason is, because these vain prentensions gaining ground amongst mankind, tends greatly to the dishonour of Jesus Christ, and his gospel; and to make void the grace of God. Again, it tends to distress the soul, who is convinced of the weakness of human nature, according to the scriptures; and to keep him from the rest that remaineth for the people of God; nor can any one rejoice in it but the deceived, who know not themselves, nor the scriptures, nor the power of God.

Again, it encourages to party: its warmest advocates being of the number of those who separute themselves. And yet, nothing more fully establishes that exploded maxim, Let us do evil that good may come. It is this which allows, yea even authorizes, one man to think himself holier than another, and consequently to say in his heart, stand by, come not near me, I am holier than thou. From hence, instead of loving his brother, he takes an occasion to judge him, despise and hate him: yea, from this very principle, proceeds all the animosity, pride, backbitings, whisperings, contentions, &c. which abound, amongst all the various sects of religious people: yea, such is their zeal for the good as considered in the creature, that (least they should turn from it) they will not scruple to break any, yea every commandment in the book of God; and to run a tilt against the whole of the perfect example which the holy Jesus hath exhibited; only to keep their votaries steady to their favoured plan. And, lest you should think my assertion too strong, you need only for your conviction, put your head into some of those places, where human goodness, or inward holiness, or, that work of the Spirit upon the heart, which opposes the free salvation of mankind by the blood of Jesus, is the chief or continual subject: for though the terms are different, the matter is the same:

say, that it is profitable thus mutually to bless each other, is not to be doubted pofitable to the receiver and profitable to the giver, as it entitles him to the respect, and esteem of his fellow-creatures. Hence may the beneficent and benefited, both be said to profit thereby; and therefore are the works called good, and said to be profitable unto men, yea, of necessary use, thus, "Thy wickedness may hurt a man as thou art, and thy righteousness may profit the son of man," Job xxxv. 8. But let us not mistake the apostle's meaning, and imagine them profitable unto us, with God; to our salvation and acceptance with Him; this would be to renounce the Lord who bought us, to pretend that we have, whereof we may boast, even before God: and thus believing a lie, fall into the strong delusion. As a friend to benevolence, equity, and peace amongst mankind, I should be glad to see those good works abound: and from a right principle, would encourage them with all my power. But, when men begin to speak of these things, and consider them as spiritual good, as well-pleasing, and acceptable with God, as righteousness, holiness, or fruitfulness before Him; or, when making this their sanctification, they go about to prove their faith thereby, inwardly respecting those motions as proofs and marks of their grace and Christianity: I say, when this is the case, with ardent zeal, tenfold more burning than they can ever show for the works of their own hands, we will prove all their righteousness to be filthy rags dross and dung, exposing the pride, vain glory, hypocrisy, covetousness, self-love, &c. of all their works, words, and thoughts, protesting with all our souls, against bringing the blind and lame into the house of the Lord: for as much as we conceive, that the honour of Jesus Christ, and the real happiness of mankind, is greatly concerned here. And, if for this, I am deemed an enemy unto good works, so be it. I will remember the word of the Lord, who said, "The world cannot hate you, but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil," John vii. 7. And, as to my conviction, received from the most upright amongst men, from their holy example, &c., the God, and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, before whom I stand, knoweth that I lie not when I declare, that there is but one man, (the man Christ Jesus,) amongst all the individuals of Adam's race, whose example I admire and can perfectly approve of: by his example, I say, put but your head into any of those I confess I am deeply convinced, not to en-places, and you will hear be convinced vy, but to the most profound admiration! soon, if you are impartial, of the truth whereAnd, though I see that in him, unto which I of I affirm. You may there hear a person in cannot attain, nay, it would be the highest defence of inward holiness, (and as he prearrogance in me, or any other mortal, to seek tends, with a pure zeal to promote the same) or expect, by works of righteousness, imita- raving with all the energy and eloquence of tions, &c., to expect to attain unto his perfec- pride, censoriousness, slander, cruelty, and tion; yet, I cannot despise, but must for ever ignorance; against such, whose names are reverence, admire, and wonder before Him. not in his legend, bespattering them with the When I except this man, I believe that word epithets of dogs, swine, devils, heretics, &c. of the Lord applicable unto all the others, threatening them with eternal destruction, where he says, "The best of thein is as a warning the people against them, as the pest brier, the most upright is sharper than and plague of the earth; withal, giving such

descriptions of them that their disciples knowing them, may learn to hate them, and copy their pastor's example, in speaking all manner of evil of them. This is not only Satan rebuking sin, but Satan propagating holiness also, a doing evil, that good may come. But, if it shall be objected, that our Saviour and the apostles used these epithets, when speaking of unbelievers, I answer when they used them, it was, (by showing mankind what they naturally were) to enhance the grace whereby they were saved: and were commonly given to such, who trusting in themselves that they were righteous, despised others. Besides, our Saviour and his apostles, had power, when they applied those characters to any individual, to demonstrate by undeniable signs, the truth of what they spake: and that they were not revilers. As for instance, when Saul, who is called Paul, set his eyes upon Elymas, the sorcerer, and called him a child of the devil, an enemy to all righteousness, &c. he proved the truth of what he said, by striking him blind. God, thus bearing witness unto his accusation. As with Peter also, in the case of Ananias and Sapphira. But, where any, who would be thought infallible now, are for ever filling their mouths with the apostolic censures, and anathemas, without being able to show the like proof of their infallibility; they are to be respected as proud, arrogant, conceited; and rather railing, reviling accusers of their brethren, than apostles of Christ: yea, as the of ferers of strange fire before the Lord, and not the fire which fell from God upon the altar, when Moses and Aaron blessed the people. How ridiculous must it be! to read, or hear a man writing, or preaching up holiness; which is the love of God and his neighbour; in such a spirit, and terms, as (rendering the Divine Being so implacable, and difficult of access, and his neighbours so much worse than himself) hath certainly a more powerful tendency to promote enmity, hatred, and contempt, than love. Thus men preach and write of goodness, until love entirely ceaseth. And of faith, until it dwindle as small as a grain of mustard seed; until all hope, and charity for their neighbours, is wholly lost. Nothing is more common, than for men to preach, and dispute, for holiness; yea, for its being in themselves, until quarrelling with the opponent, there appear nothing in them, but the most unholy tempers and dispositions. And yet, they must be thought holy, and that in themselves, though our every sense testify the contrary. Sure man is scarcely a rea-jangling, perverse disputings, and contentions sonable creature, to be thus imposed upon, with each other, to the subverting of the mind, or what is worse; he is a most bewitched as many have vainly imagined: feeding, and and infatuated creature. O! Thou great ar- pleasing themselves, with the fond conceit of chetype of true holiness, Jesus Christ: thou eminence in faith, and knowledge; because only art holy, thou only art the Lord; and they were better versed in argument than their thou knowest wherefore I thus speak. It opponents, or could run them down by the is because mankind would rob thee, by as- mere dint of positiveness, and much speaking. suming what belongs to thee only; it is because the principle of self is such that they would found a dominion in grace; from a supposition of superior holiness, use their fellow-creatures ill.

The latter I would always shun, as contrary to Christ: but in the former I would be found, hurting no man, but earnestly contending for the faith; unto the edification of al. whose servant I am, for Christ's sake.

I have thus spoken, thou knowest; because I apprehended what I have spoken against to be utterly false; a grand deception, and yet the idol of mankind. Thou art my standard, and everlasting pattern of true goodness; and I always conclude that whoso gathereth not with thee, scattereth: nor can I ever believe that to be holy or good which is contrary to thee: unto thy grace and keeping, I commit my all; and that thou shouldest bless what I have written, unto the glory, and praise of thy venerable name: and respecting my readers, unto their conviction, even to that eternal life, which is in thee, I pray. It may easily be seen, that I aim only at illustrating that grand capital proposition of the saviour's: I am the truth.

To do which, I am not afraid to tread the most unfrequented path, and walk therein undisturbed, notwithstanding the clamorous accusations of singularity, novelty, and heresy. Affectation of being singular, from selfish views, I hold abominable: and as an equal abomination, the attempt to shun the cross, when standing in the path of truth.

Respecting the matter and scope of the following treatise, I am above uncertainty therein: nor can the piddling pedant, who feeds on garbage, the detection of errors in grammar, the obsoleteness and impropriety of words; exclaiming at want of literature in authors: neither the orthodox precise, who sits in the infallible chair, and condemns as heresy, whatsoever squares not with his dogma; supported by creeds, confessions of faith, and the positive determinations of the most sound and pious expositors: I say, neither the one nor the other, will be able to shake my confidence, respecting the truth I aim at illustrating: which is, that Jesus Christ our Lord, is ascended far above all heavens, that he might fill all things, and that in the "new man there is neither Greek, nor Jew, circumcision, nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond, nor free, but Christ is all, and in all." As to my defects as an Author, I hope I have by confessing my insufficiency, and renouncing all pretensions to any such abilities, anticipated my examiners in their censures: but if time should shew the contrary, I have an infallible remedy in silence, as there is nothing appears to me worth contending about, besides the faith once delivered to the saints, which contention is spiritual, and manifest through the whole of the Christian life; against all without and within that would pervert, and draw the mind from Christ: and consists not in vain

UNION.

THE doctrine of Union between Christ and his Church renders the system of man's redemption by his blood, beautifully consistent, and worthy its glorious Author.

It explains the harmony of the divine perfections, and reveals God, acting according to the principles of his nature, in the salvation of mankind by Jesus Christ our Lord.

Hence, it appears greatly worthy of our consideration; and in treating thereof, I would observe the following method:

I. Attempt the proof of Union as necessary to the equity of salvation by Jesus.

II. Explain, as far as I may, the nature thereof.

III. Hint its antiquity, and unchangeable duration.

IV. Point out a few of the never-failing springs of consolation, arising therefrom.

The Union of Christ, and his Church, appears to me, a truth of such importance, that I can see no consistency in the doctrine of salvation by Jesus, without it. My present

The method of grace and salvation, according to Union, is not at all contradictory to the sovereignty of God: that being sufficiently manifest, where he hath decreed the honour, and the glory of his Son, as the principal, and leading maxim in all his divine appointments. "He was before all things, and by him all things consist." The creation of man, and his being appointed to obtain salvation, by Jesus Christ, is a farther proof of divine sovereignty; nothing moving the Almighty thereunto, but his own will: Yet this hinders not the method and execution of this grace, its being according to equity, and that such, as we by reason and Revelation may properly conceive of. But when sovereignty is introduced from first, to last; to the utter exclusion of equity, which is of ten done; (as a palliative for man's ignorance in divine things) the consequences attending are dangerous. First, as it depreciates the sacrifice of Christ, and makes death unnecessary since Absoluteness might have remitted the offence without shedding of blood.-Or if it is hinted, that this condition took place and was accepted from mere sovereign pleasure only: Then, of consequence it was not proportionable, as an atonement unto the offence: and its dignity as the blood of God denied: nor (upon such a supposition) was it necessary that our Saviour should be more than man. But, if the scriptures dignify the blood of Jesus, in saying, that God purchased the Church: with his own blood, if he was made a curse for us: if his sufferings as the punishment of sin was equal to the offence; then was it accepted, not from mere absoluteness, but from the harmony, and full consent of mercy, and truth, righteousness, and peace. Again, such an use made of divine sovereignty, would be to reject the testimony of Moses and the prophets; where they declare that God will not hold the sinner guiltless, nor acquit him without the shedding of blood: even the blood of the offender. To throw a light upon which, and to instruct the people in the

design, is to render, with as much plainness of speech as possible, the reasons of my ideas; intending thereby, to prove at once, the necessity, and utility of this grace.

I. I apprehend it necessary to the harmony of the divine perfections. For, as all the hopes, and expectations, of the creature from the Creator, are founded upon the supposition of his goodness; men of every sentiment, will agree to this proposition, God is good.

And, that we may rightly conceive of him under this character, it is as necessary we should see him justice, holiness, and truth; as mercy and love : since all those properties must unite, and act in perfect harmony, to constitute real goodness. Thus considering the almighty, we are verily persuaded, that as a God infinite in goodness, he doth not, will not, act from one attribute, to the dishonour of another. Nor may we expect any exhibition of mercy, and love, but in a way of justice, puri

mystery thereof, they were taught from the union subsisting between themselves, and their sacri. fices, to respect the blood, and death, of their sacrifices as their own: and as such, was the blood taken by the High Priest into the holy presence; where the names of the people engraven on the stones of memorial, were present with the blood: confessing it, and claiming the benefits resulting from the shedding thereof, as a punishment adequate to their sin.-Which blessings, were remission and justification to life. Thus through all the dispensations committed to Moses, the symbols of equity are inseparably connected with the figures of salvation by Jesus.-From all which it appears, that God's sovereign grace, and will to save mankind, hath been executed according to strictest truth, and equity: and such is the wisdom, that God is unspeakably glorious in the honour and glory his Son hath obtained thereby: and mankind infinitely advantaged.-Should it be objected, that the Apostle himself resolves certain queries in the sovereignty of God; saying "who art thou that repliest against God, shall the thing formed, say unto him who formed it, why hast thou made me thus ?" &c. I answer, the Apostle was not speaking here of salvation and the method thereof, but of the people: some of whom, as respecting the Knowledge of the truth, were taken whilst others were left. The wherefore some, believe, and others do not, is not the object of faith; nor does it fall within my line to shew; and should I be inquisitive, the answer is recorded; What is that to thee, follow thou me, such inquiries being more curious than profitable; our Saviour will give no other answer: it be. ing not necessary to our peace and happiness. And as God has not thought fit to reveal himself in that particular, we are constrained through ignorance, to resolve it into his sovereignty, though, it is not to be doubted, but the time will come, when the equity of this, and all his ways with man, will clearly appear. "And ye shall know that I have not done without cause all that I have done in it, saith the Lord God." Ezek. xiv. 23.

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