1.1.1. CHAP. I. Remarks on the Skeleton, which treat on Univerſal-Charity, being purſued, taken, examined, tried, caſt and condemned.‘"Univerſal Charity purſued, and taken."’ ‘"N. B. Beware of Counterfeits."’
Theſe words ought to be underſtood thus: Jacob have I loved, but Eſau have I, or comparatively hated. For there are many paſſages in ſcripture that muſt be thus underſtood: as Luke xiv. 26, "If any man come to me, and hate not his father and mother, and wife and children, and brethren and ſiſters, yea and his own life alſo, he cannot be my diſciple." And thoſe words of our Lord muſt be thus taken, or they will contradict what St. Paul ſays, Eph. v. 25, "Huſbands love your wives, even as Chriſt alſo loved the Church, and gave himſelf for it."
[Page 2] Page 2. Mr.H. ſays of Univerſal Charity, "This unſcriptural love appeared in Jezebel the queen. She fed four hundred prophets of Satan at her own table but would not ſuffer a ſound prophet of God to live. When the judgments of God fell on her favourites. Satan's offspring, ſhe would expoſe her ſoul to all the vengeance of heaven, in avenging their blood.—The gods do ſo to me and more alſo, if the life of Elijah (the Calviniſt) be not as one of them by to-morrow about this time."
Page 3.—"It appears to me, both her title, with all her religion, came from hell; and ſhe ſeems in ſcripture, the queen of a rebellious Iſrael, the miſtreſs of witchcraft, the nurſe of wizards, a murderer of ſaints, an enemy to Chriſt, a banquet for dogs, and a portion for devils."
This is certainly a juſt character of that wicked and bloody queen, and deſcriptive of her juſt puniſhment: but that Univerſal Charity appeared in her muſt be a miſtake, for ſhe was filled with partial charity, in favour of her idol Baal, and his wicked prieſts. Again.
I anſwer. To ſuppoſe that God has decreed the far greateſt part of mankind to eternal damnation, without any poſſibility of their eſcaping it, is one of thoſe operations that help to beget hard thoughts of Chriſt: and to make him appear a leſs valuable Saviour than he is declared to be in the word of God ſo that according to Mr. H. they muſt both come from hell becauſe they leſſen our eſteem of Chriſt, who is the Saviour of all men; eſpecially of th [...]e that believe. 1 Tim. iv. 10.
The author ſpeaking of David, page 8, ſays, when ſeventy thouſand of the people were deſtroyed in three days by the peſtilence; "At the fight of this, Univerſal Charity ſteps into the heart [Page 3] of David, and aſks an irreverent queſtion. However, when David got a little more into his right mind, he ſeems to drop his affection for idolatry, and let them centre on their proper object." "Do not I hate them that hate thee? I hate them with a perfect hatred; I count them mine enemies."
It ſeems more proper to ſay, David returned thanks to God for the removal of the peſtilence, than to expreſs his hatred againſt any perſons at that time. Nor do we know that David was ever charged with idolatry, though Mr. H. ſays, he had an affection for it.
The apoſtle could not with himſelf ſo accurſed from Chriſt, as to be cut off from him and all his benefits; but rather, that he could wiſh himſelf crucified as Chriſt was, if that would be of any avail in behalf of his brethren, according to the fleſh; for it is written, Curſed is every one that hangeth on a tree.
"It appears to me. ſays Mr. H. that Moſes was for a time taken in this ſnare, when in the wilderneſs, Iſrael had made a calf, danced round it, and worſhipped it; and they muſt all be pardoned to a man, in anſwer to a petition put up by Univerſal Charity; and Moſes returned unto the Lord, and ſaid, O theſe people have ſinned a great ſin: yet now if thou will forgive their sin, if not, blot me I pray thee out of thy book which thou haſt written."
This petition of Moſes was put up for the people, the next day after they had danced before the calf; for Moſes was ſo angry with them on that day, that he bid the ſons of Levi ſtay every man his brother, &c. Accordingly there fell of the people that day, three thouſand men: ſo that they muſt all be pardoned to a man, is quite a wrong account of the matter. Nor doth it appear, that Moſes meant any other, by being blotted [Page 4] out of God's book, than being taken out of this life, as appears by the Lord's anſwer: "Whoſoever hath ſinned againſt me, him will I blot out of my book," which accordingly came to paſs; for they all died in the wilderneſs, as did Moſes afterwards for his ſinning. Abraham, the father of the faithful, petitioned for Sodom and Gomorrah, and was not blamed for ſo doing; nor does the Lord here blame Moſes for praying in behalf of the people, though his petition was not granted.
"I believe, ſays Mr. H. that petition in the Common-prayer-book to come from the ſame quarter; That it may pleaſe thee to have mercy upon all men. Chriſt prayed not for the world, but for them that his Father had given him out of the world."
St. Paul ſays, 1 Tim. ii. 1, I exhort, that firſt of all, ſupplications, prayers, and interceſſions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men. It is therefore plain, that we are to pray for all men. As for Chriſt not praying for the world, at the time, it may be proper to obſerve, that he was then praying for his apoſtles and diſciples, and therefore he did not then include the unbelieving world in his petitions. But if we conſider, that he had commanded his diſciples to pray for their enemies, and prayed himſelf for his perſecutors, that his Father would forgive them, what can be more abſurd than to ſay that Chriſt ſhould taſte death for every man, Heb. ii. 9, and give himſelf a ranſom for all, 1 Tim. ii. 6. And yet never to pray for them?
Page 7.—"It appears to me. ſays Mr. H. that this Univerſal Charity was the door by which the whole troop of hypocrites crept into the primitive Church. Thou ſeeſt brother Saul, how many Jews believe, and are all zealous of the law. Thou muſt ſay the four men with thee have a vow on them, then purify thyſelf with them. This is to eſtabliſh what Chriſt came to aboliſh. This is reconciling the world and the elect together."
[Page 5] Note, It was St. James, and the elders with him. who adviſed St. Paul to puriſy himſelf with the four men; ſee Acts xxi. Certainly then the apoſtle and elders knew what was ſit to be done, without eſtabliſhing what Chriſt came to deſtroy, or reconciling the world and the elect together, contrary to the truth, full as well as Mr. H.
St. Paul was ſhewn what he was to ſuffer at Jeruſalem, by the prophet Agabus. Acts xxi. 10, 11. And if it was by the decrees of God, that he ſhould do as he did, and ſuffer for it, who can help it? Is it not wrong, to find fault with the children of God, for doing what he has predetermined they ſhould do?
Again, "God ſhews us in his word, ſays Mr. H. the unalterable doctrines of his ſervants; and among all the temptations with which they ſcem to be tried, this to Univerſal Charity was none of the leaſt. I had an experience of this temptation myſelf, for five and twenty years at leaſt; and for two years I ſeldom was free one minute. I was tempted to believe Satan made the world: I was tempted alſo to pray to Satan. Having been long tempted with ſuch things as theſe, to drown myſelf in the Thames, and many more too baſe to mention."
I believe he cannot find in the ſcripture, that any complained of being tempted to Univerſal Charity, and that it was a temptation to ſin. That he might be tempted as above I do not deny. But is it not ſtrange to ſuppoſe, that ſuch temptations were the fruits of Univerſal Charity? Particularly to be tempted to believe that Satan made the world, &c.
"Being at laſt chaſed from all confidence in myſelf, I was at laſt obliged to throw away my Whole Duty of Man, and my Common-prayer-book alſo: and to betake myſelf to calling on Chriſt alone; though my prayer was with words [Page 6] of one deſperate, yet Chriſt delivered me. My ſin, guilt, &c. took their ſlight at once, and Satan with them. Chriſt with all his ſalvation, beauty, grace, and glory came into my ſoul in a minute."
This was a wonderful change indeed. But why he threw away his Whole Duty of Man, and his Common-prayer-book, he has not told us. He might think they would reprove him. by ſhewing, that it was no part of the Whole Duty of Man, nor agreeable to the Common-prayer, to rail at, or revile, and ſlander others.
At this time, ſaid he, I had never heard the goſpel. nor did for ſome months after. I now law my eternal election ſure; Satan now could not invade me as an aſſailant: but he came as a viſitor, to endeavour to ſpoil this bright work, by turning me into an Arminian."
It is a wonder how this author can pretend to be a preacher of righteouſneſs. when he is guilty of ſuch untruths; what, did he never hear the ſcripture read at Church, or elſewhere, before the time he ſpeaks of? If he did, then his aſſertions are falſe. As for his eternal election being ſure, that will be beſt known at the great day of accounts. But Satan's endeavouring to turn him into an Arminian, ſeems to be the product of his own fancy, and as ablurd, as his eſteeming thoſe to be temptations to Univerſal Charity, when he was tempted to pray to Satan, and to drown himſelf. If Satan could not ſpced in attempting to turn him into an Arminian (if that was Satan's work.) yet we doubt he has ſped full as well another way, by leading him into a party ſpirit, and unchriſtian zeal.
Page 10. he ſays, "He firſt ſet me to look at the whole troop of phariſees who attended tho Church: eſpecially the communicants: I converted with ſeveral of them; but found them all blind. Having ſhed ſome thouſands of tears over them, I was tempted to view the profane, the heathens, and the blacks, and then it was ſuggeſſed unto me, What doſt thou think of election [Page 7] now? Here I began to wage war againſt the ſovereignty of my Maker, and wept for thoſe which I never ſaw,"
So here he was tempted, as he calls it, to Univerſal Charity, and he might have wept, pitied and prayed for the phariſees, the profane, the heathens, and blacks, without being blamed for ſo doing, whether they were ſaved or not. As we are exhorted to pray for all men, God would not have been angry with him for this kind of charity; for there is no paſſage in the Bible that forbids any perſons from praying for ſuch, nor yet that forbids them to weep for, or pity them. If he waged war againſt the diſpenſations of his Maker, reſpecting his creatures, this was a great crime; and far from Univerſal Charity, which acquieſces in God's appointments, and doth not think that any perſons are loſt for want of grace, according to the ſeveral diſpenſations in which God has been pleaſed to place them; but for the final abuſe thereof, by continuing to ſin againſt the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world, John i. 9. How God gives his grace and Holy Spirit to thoſe perſons who have never heard the goſpel, we cannot ſee at preſent; yet we ought to judge, not according to appearance, but judge righteous judgment. John vii. 24. And as there have been perſons ſaved before either the goſpel or the law was proclaimed in the world, we have juſt cauſe to believe that the ſame divine power worketh now as it did then, among thoſe who had never heard either of them. Mr.H. ſays, "Chriſt, with all his ſalvation, beauty, grace and glory, came into my ſoul in a minute. At this time I had never heard the goſpel, nor did I for ſome months after." If ſo, why may not the heathens, &c. receive Chriſt and his ſalvation in the ſame manner?
He goes on, "After this the hard ſtate of beaſts was repreſented to me, how hard they fared, and yet were never to be ſaved. And I thought I had more mercy than even God himſelf. I felt a [Page 8] heart riſing with malice againſt God, Chriſt, his ſovereign grace, his elect, and all that held election. Long did I carry on this dreadful rebellion againſt God, and yet mourned and wept over beaſts, creeping things and inſects; but no feeling for a ſuffering Saviour."
He then acted as wrong againſt the Calviniſts in his mind, as he does now openly againſt the Arminians; but he moſtly actſ on the extreme either way, or he would not have wrote in ſuch a manner as he has done againſt the children of God, contrary to our Lord's words, Therefore all things whatſoever ye would that men ſhould do to you, do ye even ſo to them; for this is the law and the prophets, Matt. vii. 12.
"The next ſtep I took, ſays he, in this wonderful progreſs, was to conſider the fallen angels, who, I knew, were excluded from all hope in God, and that for ever." Page 11. —"Soon my bowels began to yearn for them, and I was now pitying the infernal adverſary of God and man; and fighting againſt my God. I went ſo far in this ſnare, as to determine to caſt off all hope in God, ſuppoſing eternal damnation to be my doom: this is the very root of Arminianiſm, and I know what fruit it bears."
Here again he runs into an extreme by pitying the fallen angels; and into deſpair of God's mercy. But the pitying of devils, and the caſting off all hopes in God, and fighting againſt him, he ſays, "is the very root of Arminianiſm." If this is the root, the fruit muſt be very bad. But we will conſider this a little farther, and ſee if it be ſo or not.
The Arminians believe that Chriſt taſted death for every man, then they need not deſpair of God's mercy, nor caſt off all hope in him; nor need they ſuppoſe eternal damnation to be their doom, except they continue in ſin and unbelief; for they believe, that God willeth not that any ſhould periſh; but that the wicked turn from his evil ways and live; ſo that to deſpair of God's [Page 9] mercy in Chriſt is no root of Arminianiſm. As for their having pity for devils, this charge ſeems to be wrong, becauſe they believe that all the fallen angels, and all mankind, who finally reject the grace of God, deſerve no pity; for they think, that if the devils, and all mankind who ſin away their day of grace, did not juſtly deſerve eternal puniſhment, God would not puniſh them with it. If fighting againſt God. by ſin, is accounted the root of Arminianiſm; this the Arminians condemn, as well as himſelf, and affirm, that this evil root, as it ſprang from Adam, is the root of all evil, and the fruit thereof is very bad in all, until they are renewed by grace.
"However, ſays he, God in anſwer to prayer delivered me, and I went back to my dear maſter, wept over him, loved him as a friend, and left heathens, brutes, and devils to ſhift for themſelves." Now he runs into another extreme; for brutes may periſh, and the heathens fall into deſtruction with the devils for any pity or care he ſeems to have for them. Though he may let the brutes and devils alone unpitied, yet ſurely the poor heathens might have ſome part in his pity and prayers, without a crime; but his ſpirit ſeems quite far from that, and from what our Lord's was, when he wept over Jeruſalem.
Page 12. —"It is from this root of Univerſal Charity that thoſe compaſſionate words flow, in behalf of Cain, Judas, Saul, Ahab, and Pharoah, declaring Chriſt died for them who are in hell already. When we hear from a pulpit thoſe bowels of Univerſal Charity ſounding in all their pity and love, for rebels, &c. we may ſoon gueſs who is the preacher. They ought to be an offence to us."
The ſcriptures have informed us, that Chriſt gave himſelf a ranſom for all, and that he is the propitiation for the ſins of the whole world, ſee 1 Tim. ii. 6. and l John ii. 2. From theſe, and other paſſages, we declare that Chriſt died for all mankind, whether they are in hell or not: and except Mr. H. can ſhew us a paſſage in the Bible, [Page 10] that ſaith Chriſt did not die for all. or that he only died for the elect, and not for thoſe already in hell; without ſuch a proof, we muſt ſtill declare that Chriſt died for Cain. Judas. &c. although they were rebels: and who for their wilful, rejecting the efficacy of the blood ſhed for them are now in hell, And though Mr. H. may gueſſ who the preachers are that declare this doctrine, ſo offenſive to him. is not this in effect to ſay, that the Bible is an eſſence to him which has ſuch paſſages in it? But ought it not rather to be an offence to us. when we hear any preacher ſay, Chriſt; did not die for all, did not taſte death for every man?
"All the enemies this Univerſal Charity has, appears to be only God's ſovereign, electing love to his choſen; Chriſt's particular redemption of his people, and the Holy Ghoſt's ſovereign and diſcriminating operations of the called of God." Page 13. —"All the Arminians I ever converſed with. ſeemed to be in love with all, but theſe ſovereign acts of grace, and the choſen of God; but theſe they oppoſe."
We do not believe that God is a partial being; but that all his ways are equal. It is men that are partial; not God. As for Chriſt's particular redemption, that remains to be proved; but as the ſcripture ſaith. He taſted death for every man, then univerſal redemption muſt ſtand of courſe. As for the ſovereign operations of the Holy Ghoſt, on the called of God, we obſerve, with reſpect to thoſe ſervants, who had each of them one pound of their lord, and who ſaid to them, Occupy till I come, that there was a manifeſt difference made between them, according as each had improved his lord's money; but he that refuſed to make uſe thereof. was condemned for not occupying it as he might have done. or elſe his Lord would not have condemned him. Thus God, by his Holy Spirit, will make a difference, Between the righteous and the wicked, between him that ſerveth Him, and him that ſerveth him not, Mal. iii. 18.
[Page 11] I believe each Arminian who is endued with divine grace, does highly approve of, and loves all God's acts of grace, and the choſen of God; but he does not believe that God's acts of grace are like the acts of a tyrant, commanding things to be done that he knows are impoſible, and then ſend them to hell for not doing them. Can it be juſt in God to ſend any perſon to hell for not flying up to heaven? For this is no more impoſſible than thoſe other things are. As for the choſen of God, the renewed Arminian knoweth, that all who are renewed and born again of the Spirit of God, and who perſevere to the end, are the choſen of God; and them he loves as his brethren, let them be of what denomination they will; or he could not with propriety be called a univerſal lover, or a perſon of univerſal charity.
Mr. H. adds, "A woman told me, that a certain preacher threw the gates of heaven wide open: I then told her ſhe ought to be damned if ſhe boaſted of power to enter in, and yet ſtaid out. Another told me. I barred the gates of heaven; but Mr. Univerſal Charity opened them to all. I told her if he did, there was none let in but God's elect; for all that are there, are called, and choſen, and faithful." Rev. xvii. 14.
If Univerſal Charity opens the gates of heaven to all, then he acts according to our Lord's commiſſion, Go ye into all the world, and preach the goſpel to every creature. Mark xvi. 15. But if Mr. H. thinks otherwiſe, let him fear leſt he falls under the condemnation mentioned in Matt. xxiii. 13. Of ſhutting the kingdom of heaven againſt men. But he ſays, all who are in heaven, "Are called, and choſen, and faithful." According to this, theſe elect are firſt called, before they are choſen, and they are faithful, not continuing in ſin that grace may abound; but faithful unto death, that they may obtain the crown of life. In the author's 14th, and following pages, he ſpeaks of a man who "appeared to walk like an angel, &e." This man, he ſays ſo offended him, [Page 12] as to cauſe him to be "ſo ſevere againſt that doctrine," "the Arminian labyrinth," as he calls it.
Page 17. —"Being one day at Ewell, in Surry, and reaſoning that it was God's grace alone which beg [...]n. and would carry on this work; the anſwer [...] mind was, no: I had improved the day of [...]ace myſelf. and falling away was a truth, ſo [...] was already fallen. This cut me ſo deep, that I curſed the day I ever ſaw that wretch."
Though this man appeared to walk like an angel; vet he repreſents him as dealing with his conſcience as a thief, and labouring to bring his ſo il from Chriſt, and expounding to him the way of the god of this world. How this was I cannot tell: but I think we muſt not be too forward to give credit to this author in what he ſays concerning any controverſy he is engaged in.
Here let us obſerve the oddneſs of his notions in ſaying, "I had improved the day of grace myſelf, and falling away was a truth; for I was already fallen." Did he think, that not to improve the day of grace is the beſt way to keep us from falling? If ſo his thoughts are contrary to 2 Pet. i. 10. where we are taught to Give all diligence to make our calling and election ſure: bccauſe if we do theſe things we ſhall never fall.
I anſwer, The Bible tells us that many reſist the Holy Ghoſt, by whoſe influence they might come to God. It alſo ſays, They will not come unto Chriſt that they may have life. It is true, we have not power of ourſelves to come unto him: but by his power given unto us we may do it. But does God give this power unto any who reject his grace, or does he not? If he does, then their condemnation is juſt; if not they cannot abuſe the grace they never had. I believe it never was proved that God refuſed this grace to [Page 13] any; but offers it freely unto all. But who are the perſons whom God denies his grace and mercy to! If they cannot be found, is it not blaſphemous to declare, that God is not loving to all and that his tender mercies are not over all his works?
Again, "God has an undeniable right to ſet this impoſſible taſk, to put away their evil, make themſelves a new heart, learn to do well, make themſelves clean, &c. and as a juſt God, damn them for not performing that taſk."
God has no where ſaid, that he has any ſuch right over mankind; nor hath he told us, that it is juſt in him, to damn any perſon for not performing an impoſſible taſk. For he will not lay upon man more than right, job xxxiv. 23. Nor do I believe that God commands that of men, which he doth not give power to perform.
Page 18. —"Chriſt gives them a new heart, a new ſpirit, and promiſes that they ſhall never depart from him." Ezck. xxxvi. 27. In all this chapter there are no ſuch words, as, they ſhall never depart from him. "This was the privilege of a ſon, the other the taſk of a ſervant; and the ſon is to abide in the houſe for ever: but the ſervant is to be kicked out of doors."
This is a falſe quotation: the words are, "Caſt out the bond-woman and her ſon." And ſo far is God from kicking his ſervants out of doors, that he has declared quite the contrary concerning them; ſo Rev. vii. 3. Till we have ſealed the ſervants of God in their forehead, and xix. 2. 5. And hath avenged the blood of his ſervants, praiſe our God, all ye his ſervants. And Chriſt faith, If any man ſerve me. let him follow me, and where I am, there ſhall my ſervant be; if any man ſerve me, him will my Father honour, John xii. 26.
"Theſe things ſaith Mr. H. made the ſcale of Arminianiſm move up; but eternal Election came down full weight. This brought me out of the [Page 14] Arminian fog, and truth ſhined in my heart like a comet."
Mr. H. ſaying, that truth ſhined in his heart like a comet, is a very fit compariſon; for a comet, is ſuppoſed to ſhed abroad baleful and malignant influences where it comes; it is alſo ſuppoſed to be a world on fire, and though it carries a long gilt train with it, yet it blazes but for a little while, it being ſoon over and gone: and though it is looked upon with wonder by the gazing world, yet it does no good to any, that we know of. Such ſeems to be the nature of thoſe fancies that Mr. H. ſaid ſhined in his heart.
Again, Page 19. —"From that moment I waged war with Arminianiſm. and if God ſpares my life a hundred years longer, I hope he will employ me in this battle, and let me die in this fight: and I am fully perſuaded I ſhall never doubt of its being the battle of the Lord."
So he hopes to be employed if he lives one hundred years in this battle, and die in the fight, of hatred, ill-will, and malice againſt all thoſe who diſſer from him, as if his opinions alone were infallibly true, and all others undoubtedly falſe. Is this "following peace with all men!" If he thinks it is the battle of the Lord's, and that his opinions are according to truth, yet, in deſending them, he ought to proceed in the ſpirit of meekneſs, ſeeing the wrath of man, worketh not the righteouſneſs of God."
Of thoſe perſons who had diſputed with him, he ſays, "I have often been enabled to ſtop their mouths, when they have been contending for good works in point of merit, by ſetting my works againſt theirs." They did nothing "but eavil, and yet boaſted of merit; and I have ſometimes told them. my works would weigh down the works of fifty of theſe Arminian Trunk-makers."
Empty boaſt! But his ſaying they contended for good works in point of merit, I believe to be abſolutely falſe; for it has been often obſerved, when any perſon inſiſted, that faith without good [Page 15] works was nothing worth; they of Mr. H's party would charge them with contending for the merits of works, when they only meant that good works were neceſſary in point of obedience, and as a proof of the truth of our faith, according to Titus ii. and James ii. &c.
It is ſufficient that the Scripture hath forewarned us againſt, final apoſtacy, as Ezek. xxxiii. 13. 18. Heb. 4. 1. Rom. xi. 20, 21, 22. Theſe paſſages Mr. H. declares, to believe them, is not the gift of God, nor the faith of God's elect!
"According to their faith, be it unto them, I believed I never ſhould," (fall away) "and according to my faith, it would be unto me. God is not bound to keep them, on in his ſtrength who reject his omnipotent arm."
Here let Mr. H. conſider, The fooliſh virgins believed they ſhould have been admitted, when they ſaid, Lord, Lord, open to us, Matt. xxv. ii. But they were diſappointed; though they might fancy, that according to their faith it would be done to them. Likewiſe in Matt, vii. 22. Many will ſay to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not propheſied in thy name? and in thy name caſt out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? Theſe no doubt, may fancy it will be done to them according to their faith: but they will be miſtaken, as our Lord has ſhewed, ver. 23, for they will then be rejected contrary to their faith. There are many that believe, they ſhall go to heaven, (although they continue in ſin,) as well as thoſe who reprove them for their wicked lives, and of this they ſay, there is not the leaſt doubt; for God is merciful. Yet we know it will not be done to them according to this their faith; for except they are born again, they will certainly periſh. St. Paul ſaith, 2 Cor. xiii. 2. Though I have faith, ſo that I could remove [Page 16] mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. Does not this militate againſt Mr. H. who boaſts of faith; but appears to have but little, or [...]o charity, which is the bond of perfectneſs? As "God is not bound to keep them, who reject his omnipotent arm." So he is not bound to prevent their falling, who dare aſſert that it is impoſſible to fall finally from grace, and yet go on in ſin; as thoſe perſons do, who ſlander and viliſy others, for holding different opinions from them. I think ſuch are fallen already, and are acting contrary to our Lord's words, Thou ſhalt not tempt the Lord thy God: who nevertheleſs are tempting him by uncharitable cenſures, under a notion of it being impoſſible to fall finally away.
Page 21. —" He ſays, pray Mr. Charity, what is your Chriſtian name? Anſwer, Univerſal. Pray who gave you that name? Who were your godfathers and god-mothers, and what did they promiſe to do for you? Did they promiſe you ſhould live in charity with all men? Yes. So indeed you do with all men in the fleſh."
This is compleat nonſenſe, to aſk Mr. Charity what is your Chriſtian name? when in his book he has repreſented him to be no Chriſtian, but worſe than a murderer, thieſ, ſodomite, &c. If Univerſal Charity, does live in charity with all men. what fault is there in this? Is it right to fall out with him for it? For all men muſt include all the Saints of God, of every denomination, as well as others, not excepting the Author of the Skeleton. See Rom. xiii. 8, 9, 10.
The Author proceeds, "How came you to lift up your hand againſt the Lord's anointed? I mean, holy fathers, old honeſt Calvin, &c." Whether he here means, Popiſh fathers or not, he has not told us. How honeſt Calvin was employed in the affair of M [...]h. Servetus, in procuring him to be burnt at Genevo, for his religion, let any one judge; I think there does not appear much honeſty in this caſe nor did he ſhew much charity, or love, nor did he do in this, as he would be done by.
[Page 17] "If thy name, ſays Mr. H. is Univerſal, how cameſt thou to call the ſovereign Monarch of heaven and earth, a tyrant God?" This charge, I think, lies at the door of thoſe who declare, that the tender mercies of God are not over all his works; that he is not loving to every man; and who repreſent him, as decreeing the greateſt part of mankind to eternal miſery, without giving them grace whereby they may be ſaved.
He goes on, "And how cameſt thou to call the King of Zion to an account about the choſen ſubjects of his kingdom?" Pray Mr. Inquiſitor, who calls him to an account more than yourſelf, by laying a bar in the way againſt the univerſal efficacy of his moſt precious blood? by denying that it was ſhed for the ſins of the whole world? and by diſputing his teſtimony of taſting death for every man?
Page 22. —"Doſt thou want to condemn the chief Shepherd, and call him to an account about his particular fold?" By adhering to the apoſtles words, 1 Tim. iv. 9, 10, 11. This is a faithful ſaying, and worthy of all acceptation; for therefore we both labour, and ſuffer reproach, becauſe we truſt in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, eſpecially of thoſe that believe. Theſe things command and teach, we are accuſed, as wanting to condemn the chief Shepherd, becauſe we believe, that he is the Saviour of all men, &c. "Doſt thou want to alter his Regiſter book, and blot out the names of his ſheep, and interline it with the name of goats?" I do not know any one who has altered it more than Mr. H. h s, in various places of his book, by falſe quotations.
Page 23. —"Oh thou full of all ſubtilty, in wreſting the word of God; thou full of all miſchief, in ſowing diſcord among brethren, thou child of the devil by birth and practice." Theſe words, are ſo deſcriptive of the Author, that he could not well have found words more proper to ſet forth his own malignant ſpirit, and contentious conduct.
"I Adjure thee to inform me, what thy occupation is, from whence thou cameſt, of what country, and people thou art? Anſwer. My father is God, and I teach according to his law; thou ſhalt love thy neighbour as thyſelf. If God were thy Father thou wouldſt own his ſovereignty and love Jacob: but inſtead of that, thou hateſt Jacob, and contendeſt for Eſau."
As for the charge Mr. H. brings, of hating Jacob, and contending for Eſau, he has not ſaid, who the perſons are that he aims at. But we may ſuppoſe he means Chriſt, as being of Jacob's ſeed, which whoever hates, does it at his peril. As for Eſau, the Scripture calleth him a profane perſon: yet we find Heb. xi. 20. By faith Iſaac bleſſed Jacob and Eſau. concerning things to come. Nor do I think that Eſau was ſo wicked, as ſome repreſent him to be. His deſpiſing his birth-right was certainly a profane act; yet he might repent of it afterwards. And as one proof of it, he was quite reconciled to his brother after he came from Padan-aram; and we are told, Gen. xxxv. 29. And Iſaac gave up the ghoſt and died, and his ſons Eſau and Jacob buried him. By which we ſee that brotherly love ſubſiſted between them, for they jointly performed the laſt kind office, to their deceaſed father: and as Eſau was now reconciled to his brother, how do we know, but that he was reconciled to God alſo.
Page 26. —"Thou haſt caviled againſt the teſtimony of all them who ſpake as they were moved by the Holy Ghoſt, thou art at war with all the [Page 19] burning and ſhining lights in the land of the living." Thoſe who contended for the doctrine of the abſolute decrees, did not ſpeak as they were moved by the Holy Ghoſt; for the Bible, in many places, teaches otherwiſe. If declaring and defending the truth of God's word, reſpecting the Univerſal Redemption of mankind by Jeſus Chriſt, and of God's being willing that all men ſhould come to the knowledge of the truth and be ſaved; and that he willeth not the death of a ſinner, but rather that he be converted and live: if defending theſe doctrines, &c is to be at war with Mr. H's burning and ſhining lights, I hope God will proſper us: for I doubt not, but it is the Lord's truth that we de [...]end. And it is at the peril of our ſouls that we decline it; we are earneſtly to contend for the faith once delivered unto the Saints, though ſome of our brethren who differ from us in opinions, may be angry with us for ſo doing.
Mr. H. mentions an Author, who ſays, "The bleſſing of the doctrine of election, riſes in value proportionably to the fewneſs of its objects." If ſo, then were but one or two of mankind ſaved, the value thereof would riſe far beyond what it does now. Oh! what a valuable doctrine is this! But would not ſome perſons ſhudder to think, that the infinite value of the precious blood of Chriſt, ſhed for the ſins of the whole world, would riſe in value proportionate to the fewneſs of the perſons it hath purchaſed, and that the fewer there were ſaved, the greater is the bleſſedneſs thereof!
Page 27. —"But thou having engroſſed all wiſdom to thyſelf, haſt made thy pupil a ſecond Pope, ſet up another infallible head." What a pity is it, he did not confer this honourable title on Mr. H. whoſe ſpirit ſeems very fit for it, for to himſelf he appears quite infallible, and his words, he requires to be received for evident truths, without any diſpute againſt their validity, as much as any Pope does.
[Page 20] Page 30. —"Thou teacheſt blind guides to preach contradictions, and to ſet the dead to perform impoſſibilities." Whatever contradictions, and impoſſibilities, others may preach, they cannot be more abſurd, and inconſiſtent therein, than thoſe are, who repreſent God as calling all ſinners to repent and turn to him, and at the ſame time give it as their opinion, that he does not deſign that many of them ſhall turn to him at all; but has bound them up ſo faſt by his eternal decrees, that it would be as poſſible for them to pull the ſun from his place, as to turn to God and live; and that this God, whoſe tender mercies are over all his works, will, nevertheleſs, ſend them to a far more dreadful puniſhment in hell, for not obeying his calls. But as God willeth not that any ſhould periſh, I believe, that he calls all by his providence and grace, and giveth to every one ſufficient help to obey his call, which, if they refuſe to do, this will be the cauſe of their damnation.
"To the dead they ſay, up and be doing, and to the leper make ye clean." Would Mr. H. have us ſay to the lepers, be filthy ſtill, till ye drop into hell? by no means; for we are taught to ſay, "Waſh ye, make ye clean, put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes, ceaſe to do evil. Learn to do well."
"Telling the proud inſenſible hypocrite, that he is perfect; telling them they are perfect in the fleſh, even as God is perfect, making God fleſh and blood as they are. He that ſays to a wicked man thou art righteous, him ſhall the people curſe."
I aſk, can Mr. H. find the perſons, who profeſs to be religious, that ever gave it as their opinion, that God is fleſh and blood as they are? If not, his accuſations are falſe. God ſent his Son into the world to take upon him human nature, and united it to the Divine nature in one perſon; but ſtill the Divine nature is the ſame as before, without fleſh and blood. I ſuppoſe he here aims at the perſons who teach the doctrine of Chriſtian [Page 21] perfection: but theſe declare, that the greater their experience is, the leſs they appear in their own eyes; and that they ſtand in need every moment of the conſtant ſupplies of God's grace.
Page 32. —"Thou wouldſt do as Chriſt did; he gave them ſtrong meat firſt; rejoice that your names are written in heaven." Luke x. 20. I anſwer, Paul ſays, 1 Cer. iii. 2. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither y [...] are ye able: and St. Peter ſays, As new-born bab [...] deſire the ſincere milk of the word, that ye may [...]ow thereby. See Heb. v. 12, 13, 14. and xiii. 9. Our Lord's ſermon on the Mount gives a plain account of his religion, but not of his diſciples' names being written in heaven, which no paſſage in Scripture calls ſtrong meat. Nor was this our Lord's firſt doctrine; for in Matt. iv. 17. it is ſaid, From that time Jeſus began to preach, and to ſay, repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Then according to this, Repentance was his firſt doctrine.
Page 33. —"Thou haſt taught ſouls to ſtagger at the arm of the Lord, by denying the final perſeverance of God's elect." In anſwer to this, I ſhall point out ſeveral paſſages of Scripture, that ſpeak of what is called final perſeverance; and then ſome other paſſages, that ſhew the poſſibility of falling away; that the reader may judge for himſelf.
And firſt, Rom. viii. 28, &c. We know that all things work together for good to them that love God. They are thoſe who keep his commandments, as 1 John v. 3. For this is the love of God that we keep his commandments. Such are called of God according to his purpoſe, whoſe purpoſe is to call all men from their ſins, unto himſelf. Ver. 29, For whom he did foreknow, he alſo did predeſtinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, &c. Here the decree of predeſtination is, that we ſhould be conformed to the image of Chriſt, in whom was no ſin: to walk as He walked in righteouſneſs and true holineſs all our [Page 22] days. Verſe 30, "Moreover whom he did predeſtinate, them he alſo called, &c." This is the method God uſes in bringing ſinners to himſelf, for whom he foreknew would obey his call, them he predeſtinated to be conformed to the image of his Son. The Spirit of God firſt calls ſinners; in the next place they obey the call, and then they are juſtified by faith; and on their enduring to the end, are glorified. From the remaining part of the chapter, the reader may ſee, that not the power of any creature, either in earth or hell, nor any trials of our faith, that God ſuffereth to befal us, ſhall be able to ſeparate us from the love of God, which is in Chriſt Jeſus our Lord. Here is moſt bleſſed encouragement, for every tempted ſoul, when buffeted by Satan, and tried by cruel mockings, ſcourgings, bonds, impriſonments, &c. all theſe things will prevail nothing, as long as he reſiſts the devil, and ſtrives againſt ſin; for ſin only can ſeparate us from the love of God. See Iſa. lix. 1, 2, 3.
In Heb. xiii. 5. it is ſaid, "I will never leave thee nor forſake thee." See Joſhua i. 5. This promiſe we may ſafely reſt upon, if we do not leave, nor forſake God, of which Moſes cautions the children of Iſrael, Deut. iv. There are many other places in holy writ that ſhew forth the loving kindneſs of the Lord to thoſe who continue to ſerve him. But if we, like the children of Iſrael, turn aſide from ſerving the Lord, and continue in ſin as many of them did, then he will remember our ſins againſt us, for he hateth all the workers of iniquity.
I ſhall next point out ſome paſſages that ſhew the poſſibility of falling away. As Ezek. xxxiii. 13. When I ſhall ſay to the righteous, that he ſhall ſurely live; if he truſt to his own righteouſneſs, and commit iniquity; all his righteouſneſs ſhall not be remembered: but for his iniquity that he hath committed, he ſhall die for it, and verſe 18. When the righteous turneth from his righteouſneſs, and committeth iniquity, he ſhall [Page 23] even die thereby. Theſe texts ſhew plainly that when the Lord hath ſaid to the righteous, (ſuch as he himſelf here calls righteous) that he ſhall ſurely live, if even ſuch a perſon commits iniquity, he ſhall die thereby.
It is ſaid of him, that turneth from his iniquities; Ezek. xviii. 22. All his tranſgreſſions that he hath committed, they ſhall not be mentioned unto him; in his righteouſneſs that he hath done, he ſhall live. Here it is called his righteouſneſs in which he ſhall live, as was the above righteouſneſs from which he might fall; ſo that the righteouſneſs mentioned in each place is the ſame.
In 2 Chron. xv. 2. Hear ye me, Aſa, and all Juda. and Benjamin. The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye ſeek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forſake him, he will forſake you. This paſſage ſhews, that though the Lord ſaith, I will never leave thee nor forſake thee, that it is to be underſtood, if we do not leave, nor forſake him: which if we do, we have no cauſe to ſay, he will not forſake us. 2 Tim. ii. 12, 13. If we ſuffer we ſhall alſo reign with him; if we deny him, he will deny us: if we believe not, yet he abideth faithful, he cannot deny himſelf.
Rom. xi. 20, 22. Concerning the goodneſs and ſeverity of God, Towards thee goodneſs, if thou continue in his goodneſs, otherwiſe thou alſo ſhalt be cut off. St. Paul faith, 1 Cor. ix. 27. I keep under my body, and bring it into ſubjection, leaſt that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myſelf ſhould be a caſt-away. This ſheweth, that his being a caſt-away is poſſible, accordingly he provide againſt it, by keeping his body in ſubjection to the will of God. St. Peter alſo giveth warning thereof in his ſecond Epiſtle, ii. 20, 21. For after they have eſcaped the pollutions of the world, through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jeſus Chriſt: they are again intangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worſe with them than the beginning. For it had [Page 24] been better for them not to have known the way of righteouſneſs, than after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. And in 2 Pet. chap. i. ver. 4—10, which the reader may ſee, are given a catalogue of divine graces: and the apoſtle faith, "If theſe things be in you and abound, they make you that ve ſhall be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jeſus Chriſt; but he that lacketh theſe things is blind, and cannot ſee afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old ſins, wherefore the rather, brethren, give all diligence to make your calling and el [...]ct [...]on ſure, for if ye do theſe things, ye ſhall never fall."
The author to the Hebrews ſpeaks in very expreſs terms of falling away, and periſhing, ſee chap. iv. 1: and vi.4. —8: and x. 26. —29: and 38th verſes. In Matt. xviii. 23. &c. Our Lord likens the kingdom of heaven, to a certain king, who would take an account of his ſervants. One of which owed him ten thouſand talents: but as he had not to pay, his Lord commanded him to be ſold, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The ſervant therefore fell down and worſhipped him, ſaying lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all: then the lord moved with compaſſion, forgave him the debt. We here ſee that the ſervant was fully and freely forgiven. But though he was forgiven, he falls from that ſtate of grace, and demands of his fellow-ſervants a ſmall debt of an hundred pence, who fell down at his feet, and beſought him, in the ſame words he himſelf had uſed before to his lord; but he would not forgive him, but caſt him into priſon. Then the king was wroth with him, and ſaid unto him, O thou wicked ſervant. I forgave thee all that debt becauſe thou deſiredſt me: ſhouldſt not thou alſo have had compaſſion on thy fellowſervant, even as I had pity on thee. And his lord delivered him to the tormenters, till he ſhould pay all that was due unto him.
[Page 25] It is remarkable, that the promiſes, given to the ſeven Churches of Aſia, are to them that overcome, See Rev. ii. and iiid chapters. In the iiid chapter and 5th verſe it is ſaid, He that overcometh, the ſame ſhall be clothed in white raiment, and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life. From which it appears poſſible to have our names blotted out of the book of life; and if none but the elect have their names written therein, now even the elect may have their names blotted out of the book of life. We are farther warned in the xxiid chapter, verſe 18, 19, that if any man ſhall add unto theſe things. God ſhall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book, and if any man ſhall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God ſhall take away his part out of the book of life.
But Mr. H. ſays, "Thou haſt thruſt ſore at this arm of God, that they might fall, by telling ſouls they might ſtand to-day, and fall into hell tomorrow. Surely this muſt weaken confidence in the omnipotence of God.—This proves thee a Preacher of damnation." It muſt firſt be proved, that thoſe who are juſtified cannot commit ſin: which Mr. H. will not undertake to do. For he ſays, the Scripture declare, that a juſt man ſinneth ſeven times a day. Solomon only ſaith, Prov. xxiv. 16. A juſt man falleth ſeven times, and riſeth again; but the wicked ſhall fall into miſchief." In this paſſage we find neither the words day, nor ſinneth.
If a juſtified perſon may fall into ſin, then hear what St. John ſays, "He that committeth ſin is of the devil," 1 John iii. 8. and in verſe 15, "Whoſoever hateth his brother is a murderer; and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." The apoſtle doth not ſay, that ſuch a one never had eternal life; but that he hath it not abiding in him.
The ſervant to whom the king forgave ten thouſand talents, is a proof of this truth, though the king has forgiven him that vaſt debt, yet as [Page 26] he had caſt his fellow-ſervant into priſon for the finall ſum of one hundred pence, the king caſt him in alſo till he ſhould pay all that he owed him, and ſo likewiſe ſaith our Saviour to his diſciples, "Shall my heavenly Father do alſo unto you, if ye from your heart forgive not every one his brother their treſpaſſes," Matt. xviii. 25. Nor does this doctrine weaken confidence in the omnipotence of God, for he can and will certainly ſave. and deliver all thoſe who continue to put their truſt in him. But it weakens the vain confidence of our being the children of God while we are living in ſin: "Verily, verily. I ſay unto you, whoſoever committeth ſin, is the ſervant of ſin." John viii. 34. And, "Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourſelves ſervants to obey. his ſervants ye are to whom ye obey: whether of ſin unto death. or of obedience unto righteouſneſs," Rom. vi. 16.
Nor is this preaching damnation, or encouraging unbelief; for he that affirms, that a perſon is ſtill a dear child of God, though he continue in ſin, is a teacher of error, and lead perſons into ſuch a belief as will of conſequence unſure their condemnation, if their works are according to ſuch a faith; for God hateth all the workers of iniquity.
Page 3 [...].—"Thou preacheſt down the ſovereignty of our Elect head, and Elect foundation Chriſt Jeſus, by denying election; and thou preacheſt down the everlaſting rightcouſneſs of God. by denying its imputation, and thou preacheſt down the omnipotence of God, by denying our perſeverance therein, and then thou crieſt out, lo! here is Chriſt."
We neither preach down the ſovereignty of Chriſt. nor his elect foundation, when we ſay, that all thoſe who are renewed and born again of his Spirit, and endure to the end, are they who are called the Elect of God, and that Jeſus Chriſt is their Sovereign and Elect foundation, and as he foreknoweth who they are, they by him are [Page 27] called his ſheep, and they follow him. Nor do we preach down the everlaſting righteouſneſs of God, nor deny its imputation, but contend for its merits being imputed to all that believe.
Neither do we deny our perſeverance in God's omnipotence, for we know that we cannot ſtand one moment againſt our ſpiritual enemy, but by his omnipotent arm. Nor do we more than Mr. H. cry out, "Lo! here is Chriſt;" for we ſay that Chriſt is only to be found in a believing heart.
Page 35. — "Thou art too proud to beg, but not too honeſt to ſteal, thou regardeſt devils, rebels, hypocrites, and brutes, but haſt no more mercy for the honeſt ſaints of God, than his unmerciful Holineſs of Rome, &c." If the author thinks himſelf one of the honeſt ſaints of God, this paſſage is but a poor proof of his being ſo.
Page 36. —"Ever ſince, he has been rejected of all the imperfect ſociety of univerſal lovers, becauſe he by the Spirit is made perfect, even as his heavenly Father is perfect." What he ſays about Brown, &c. we ſhall give but little credit to, till we ſee a little more of a charitable ſpirit in this author, who affirms in this place, all the whole doctrine of chriſtian perfection that we contend for.
"If univerſal charity holds univerſal redemption, and ſays Chriſt died for all, why not for them who are born again of the Holy Ghoſt, as well as for Cain and Eſau." Moſt certainly Chriſt for all, and they who are born again of the Holy Ghoſt, are more particularly included in the benefits of his univerſal redemption, "Who is the Saviour of all men, eſpecially of thoſe that believe." 1 Tim. iv. 10.
Page 38. —"Though he has done nothing amiſs, yet one part ſhall be to deliver him up into the [Page 28] king's hand." Saul ſaid, "Ye bleſſed Traitors, and Doeg the murderer, are my beſt friends. But David is one of the Elect. I hate him, yet the Lord God has choſen him, and by his faith he is more righteous than I."
Page 39. —"Univerſal charity was partial in nature then as well as now. This pitiful principle, had ſhewed itſelf before in the ſalvation of Agag, but Samuel that ſevere Calviniſt, being void of Univerſal Charity, chopped him to pieces before the Lord."
The name of Calviniſt was quite unknown, either to the Ziphites, David, &c. But here is a ſtrange piece of ſtuff huddled together in Mr. H's account of Saul, &c. which we paſs by, with only obſerving his calling Samuel that ſevere Calviniſt, being void of Univerſal Charity; and hence we need not wonder at his being void of it himſelf, when according to his notions of Samuel, he has ſo good an example to follow for his imitation.
Page 40. —"I once laid hold of ſome hymns wrote by a perfect man, who is a great champion for Univerſal Love: in this piece of poetry all goſpel Miniſters, who declare the whole counſel of God, are ſtyled children of the devil, in theſe words,"
"Hear the helliſh monſter roar,For you Chriſt died, and not one more;His children liſten to his call,And ſhout, Chriſt did not die for all."
"Embaſſadors of peace are here called the children of the devil: and becauſe Chriſt ſaid, he did not pray for the world, nor die for the goats, we, adhering to this in the Bible, are called liſteners to Satan, and ſhouting for the devil."
All goſpel Miniſters who declare the whole revealed counſel of God, not his ſecret decrees, ought, with the Bible, to declare, Chriſt died for all, &c. See Heb. ii. 9: 1 John ii. 2: 1 Tim. ii. 6. Now, if any one deny theſe paſſages, and ſay, [Page 29] Chriſt did not die for all, and declare that Chriſt ſaid, he did not die for the goats, meaning all wicked perſons, is teaching lies. "Though this man will not allow of God's reprobating ſinners for their wickedneſs, yet he will reprobate them that preach the truth."
Mr. H. ſhould remember what his own opinions are, that God reprobated the greateſt part of mankind, before they had any being, much leſs committed ſin. But the man he here ſpeaks of, is falſely repreſented; for he holds that God reprobates ſinners for their wickedneſs only.
Page 41. —"This wonderful Charity inſiſts upon it, that man has a power to do good, to come to Chriſt, and to improve that talent they brought into the world with them." From the parable of the talents, we learn that the perſon there meant, called his ſervants, and gave to them the talents, therefore the talent which was improved by one of them, was not what he brought into the world with him; but it was not what his Lord gave him after he had called him. And as it was taken away from him for non-improvement thereof, and given to another; it was not then what he had by nature, but by grace, or it would not have been of any value to him who had ten talents already; it is plain that his talennts was the ſame as the others were, or his Lord would not have condemned him for not improving it.
It is declared that Chriſt's invitation for ſinners to come to him, implies they have a power to come, or Chriſt mocks them with a fruitleſs call." Does not Mr. H. think that they are mocked with a fruitleſs call, when Chriſt calls them by the preaching of the goſpel, and yet with-holds from them the only power by which they can come unto him?
Page 42. —"Free-will, what has it done for your ſouls? why it has rejected Chriſt; whom will ye that I releaſe unto you? Free-will ſays Barabbas, what ſhall I do with Chriſt? Free-will has delivered him out of envy, and deſires a murderer [Page 30] to be granted unto them." Chriſt was delivered by the determinate counſel and foreknowledge of God. and by wicked hands crucified and ſlain, Acts ii. 8. And as they were governed by the ſpirit of envy and malice, contrary to the word of God; ſo their will was bound by ſin, and therefore not free, and as God foreknew the deſperate wickedneſs of their hearts, he gave them the awful opportunity of betraying and crucifying his Son, the Lord of life and glory.
Page 43. —"Iſrael of old told Joſhua, all that the Lord hath ſaid we will do: but Joſhua ſays, ye cannot, Joſhua xxiv. 19. and ſo they found it." In the ſame chapter, it is ſaid, "And Iſrael ſerved the Lord all the days of Joſhua, and all the days of the Elders that over-lived Joſhua, and which had known all the works of the Lord, that he had done for Iſrael." As for natural free-agency, or free-will, without divine grace if ſuch a thing is Contended for by any, as ſufficient to enable them to do the will of God, let thoſe perſons defend it who will; for we know, that without Chriſt, we can do nothing acceptable to God. Yet we believe that every one hath a day and time of grace given to them of God, and power to come and obey the heavenly call, and as they yield thereto or reject the power, ſo it will fare with them for ever, according to Rom. vi. 16.
Page 44. —"Scripture informs us, all they that were invited to the ſupper, begged to be excuſed; not a ſoul comes in till a compulſion is ſent out, Go compel them to come in, and bring them alſo." It was the ſervants that was ſent to compel them to come in, and to bring them alſo; not by abſolute force, but by ſtrong and powerful perſuaſions; for we never read of our Lord ever compelling men to become his diſciples; but thoſe whom the ſervants found willing, through grace, theſe they were to bring with them, to partake of the goſpel feaſt: pardon, holineſs, and heaven.
[Page 31] "Pray what right haſt thou to ſend poor ſouls that feel their need of Chriſt, to the Church of England, I mean ſuch of them, as have nothing but blind guides in them?" It is no wonder this Author ſhould be againſt the Church of England, who teaches, as we are informed, that perſons ought not to uſe the Lord's prayer, and his reaſon for it ſeems to be; that he cannot forgive Univerſal Charity, or his Arminian pupils, and therefore to uſe the Lord's prayer would be to pray againſt himſelf, which he takes care to avoid.
Before he can prove it not right, to join in the worſhip of the Church of England, he muſt prove it idolatry ſo to do, which many of the Calviniſt Miniſters will not allow, but contend for the worſhip thereof. But he objects againſt blind guides in the Church: if they are more blind than himſelf, they muſt be blind indeed. If ſome of them are blind in ſpiritual things, he is as blind with reſpect to divine Charity which is the bond of perfectneſs, and without which we are as founding braſs, or as a tinkling cymbal. As for the Church of England, its eſtabliſhment is agreeable to the truth, held by the ancient Martyrs and primitive Fathers, and conſonant with the holy Scriptures, and the experience of holy men. Then is it not a ſhame for Mr. H. to take on him to cenſure thoſe perſons, who adviſe us to continue faithful members thereof. Our Lord, and his apoſtles ſet us the example, by going into the Jewiſh Synagogues, though there might be blind guides in them, and the apoſtles continued the ſame practice, after our Lord's aſcenſion.
Page 45. —"Univerſal Charity ſeems to be nothing elſe but reconciling Chriſt and Satan, truth and error, ſaints and ſinners together." If Univerſal Charity ſtrives to reconcile Chriſt and Satan, truth and error together, his labour is in vain, being like waſhing the Ethiopian white; but if he ſtrives to reconcile ſaints and ſinners together, he is then doing as he ought; for this end Chriſt came into the world to reconcile ſinners to [Page 32] God, and conſequently ſaints and ſinners together, that they who are ſinners, might become ſaints.
Page 46. —"God's gulphs are fixed, and no free-willer ſhall ever croſs that unfathomable gulph." How came the ſaints of old to croſs it? Did they croſs it contrary to their will? If they did, then they could not be a willing people in the day of God's power; but if they were made willing by the grace of God, then they were ſaved according to their free-will, ſo that the aſſertion of no free-willers falls to the ground.
"The Deiſts diſcover the ſame enmity againſt the Sovereign God of the Univerſe and his revealed word, as Arminians and Papiſts do." The Deiſts acknowledge a God, and that all things were made by him: but deny a divine revelation, and conſequently the redemption of the world by Jeſus Chriſt our Lord: they alſo contend, that the excellency of man's nature is ſufficient to enable him to ſerve God, ſo that he needs not a divine revelation.
The Arminians proſeſs the doctrines contained in the Holy Scriptures, which were believed and taught by Arminus, who was a learned and pious Miniſter, elected profeſſor of Divinity at Leyden. He taught the doctrines of Univerſal Redemption, &c. For,
2. He taught, and maintained Original Sin, namely, that all mankind fell in Adam. and ſtood in need of an infinite atonement to reſtore them to God's favour, and that therefore Chriſt taſted death for every man; according to the 31ſt Article of our Church.
3. He taught, that we receive no benefit by Chriſt's death, unleſs we repent, believe, and obey the goſpel; ſtill maintaining, that grace is the ſource, faith the condition of ſalvation, and that all was the gift of God, and freely given to all.
Theſe are the doctrines taught by Arminus. What enmity the Deiſts or Papiſts may have againſt the Sovereign God of the Univerſe, and his revealed word, by denying it, or adding thereto, cannot be juſtly charged on the Arminians, who contend for the truths of God's word, and ſovereign power over his creatures: but they do not think that God ſets them impoſſible taſks, and then ſends them to hell for not performing them.
Page 49. —"I believe Herod was not deſtitute of Univerſal Charity. But in the matter of John (the Calviniſt,) he was rather ſevere, as it generally happens to Univerſal Lovers." Herod was very far from Univerſal Charity, or he would not have put John the Baptiſt, (not John the Calviniſt) to death. "I am told, many in Play-houſes, will ſit quite diſſolved at the tragic ſcene of Hector, dragged round the walls of Troy."
Page 50. —"Theſe tender ſpirits can hear of a Saviour's groans, temptations, perſecutions, and bloody ſweat, and yet ſhew no more ſigns of compunction than a ſlint."—If Chriſt did not die for all mankind, what uſe is it of to them, for whom he did not die, to weep for a Saviour's agony and bloody ſweat, if neither his ſufferings, nor his blood, was ever intended to be of any avail in their behalf; but to augment their condemnation? According to Mr. H's notions, none but the Elect have any intereſt in the blood of Chriſt. Were reprobates to weep for him, might he not ſay to them. Weep not for me, but for yourſelves and others, for whom I did not die? for I am none of your Saviour, it is abſurd for you to call me ſo; nor did I ever ſhed one drop of blood for you: [Page 34] and as there is no redemption for you, to hell you muſt go where you will have weeping enough.
Page 51. —"Some are taught to reject many eſſential truths of the Bible, and believe contrary to the ſenſe of others." Has Mr. H. here an eye to himſelf; for he rejects Chriſt's being a ranſom for all. and believes contrary to Rom. xi. &c. "The man who denies the ſovereignty of the Almighty, and calls his abſolute decrees horrible, acts worſe than the thouſands of Babylon." He that does this is a wicked perſon; for none of God's decrees are horrible. But thoſe decrees that men ſometimes father upon God, ſuch as that he has decreed the far greateſt part of mankind to be damned, by a reprobating power, which they cannot evade or reſiſt, theſe decrees we believe to be horrible, and not of God, but of the devil, though they are defended by ſome good men.
Page 53. —"That man who declares our ſtanding in God's favour, to conſiſt in our being faithful to grace received, plainly contradicts the Saviour." Will unfaithfulneſs to grace received do better, for men than their being faithful? If ſo, then the wicked ſerve him beſt by being unfaithful. But our Lord teaches otherwiſe. Rev. ii. 20, "Be thou faithful, unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life." See Rev. ii. 4.-11.
Page 56. —"If a building of hay and ſtubble, conſiſting of—Traitors in rebellion againſt God, carried up in a myſtery of iniquity, boaſting of infalibility, and ſinleſs perfection, defended by lies, hypocriſy, deceit and errors repugnant to all the truths of God's revealed will: I ſay, if ſuch a myſtical fabric, and fabricator, do not ſink in eternal [...] together, we have good grounds to hope that Whores, rebels, murderers, thieves, and ſo [...], will ſafely attain eternal glory. For [...] is murder, perfecution thieving, adultery, and ſodomy. together with all other abominable works of the fleſh. when compared to the above miſtery of ſpiritual wickedneſs in heavenly things."
[Page 35] Whom theſe bitter revilings, and uncharitable cenſures are pointed at is beſt known to himſelf; but if they ſhould be againſt any of the ſervants of God, it will be to his peril; for he that touches them, may juſtly expect puniſhments for the ſame. For the day is coming when there is nothing ſo ſecret but it will be revealed, and declared upon the houſe top, then his conſcience will ſpeak, and roar upon him like a lion: it will then be known againſt them whom he has been prating with malicious words, and againſt whom he wrote his uncharitable reflections and unchriſtian ſpeeches.
One John Child, who lived in Spitalſields, wrote a Book, in a reviling and uncharitable ſpirit, againſt others who diſſered from him in ſentiments; at laſt he fell into deſpair on that account, and cried out, that helliſh Book would ruin him both in body and ſoul. At length, being wearied out with fear, horror, torment, and deſpair of God's mercy, he hanged himſelf, Oct. 15, 1684. This ought to be a warning to Mr. H.
Page 58. —" Teaching men to deny the final perſeverance of a ſaint in the ſtrength of the Lord, becauſe of his infirmities, is weakening confidence in ſufficient grace, and the long-ſuffering of God. This doctrine is an enemy to faith, a nurſe to unbelief, and a handmaid to the devil." He that denies the perſeverance of the ſaints in the ſtrength of the Lord, becauſe of their infirmities, is very wrong; but if ſaints extend their infirmities, to willing, wilful and actual ſins. then we muſt ſay with the apoſtle; " Now the juſt ſhall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my ſoul ſhall have no pleaſure in him." Heb. x. 38. " That man that denies any plain truth, rejects the counſel of God." Here the Author ſeems to ſpeak againſt himſelf: for he denies, and rejects Chriſt's taſting death for every man, which is one plain truth.
Page 59. —" They talk about faith▪ but finding them deny the doctrine of Election, we readily conclude theirs is not the faith of God's Elect, [Page 36] and ſome honeſtly affirm that their faith makes them children of God to-day, but they may be children of the devil to-morrow." He alſo ſhould have added, and that they might be children of God again afterwards; for we are aſſured that God can and will, according to his promiſe, heal our backſlidings, forgive us graciouſly, and love us freely, when through grace we repent and turn to him again.
Page 60. —" We know this is not the faith which leads from death to life, becauſe ſuch believers are never to come into condemnation; they have everlaſting life." He that now believeth with a loving, obedient heart, hath everlaſting life, and ſhall not come into condemnation, while he thus believes; but if he makes ſhipwreck of faith and a good conſcience, will ſuch a faith ſave him? If he falls into, and committeth ſin, is he not of the devil, if he continueth therein? Does he not then fall under this condemnation? 1 John iii. 8. He that committeth ſin is of the devil, and in Gal. v. 21. They which do ſuch things, ſhall not inherit the kingdom of God. Again, he who believeth is one that keepeth himſelf by faith through God's grace from ſin; but if any perſon yields himſelf up to commit ſin, his faith is then made void, and he is brought under condemnation, until he repents, is renewed again, and forgiven, as was the caſe of David in the matter of Uriah.
" If they talk of repentance, they are ſure to ſet the cart before the horſe; repentance ſuch as it is, comes firſt, and faith creeps along afterwards to help this poor lame dog over the ſtile." As our Lord taught repentance firſt, we do not intend to be bullied out of the truth by any perſon who takes upon him to teach our Lord, by ſtriving to correct his method of preaching. For thus faith, Matt. chap. iv. ver. 17. From that time Jeſus began to preach and ſay, Repent; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. and Mark i. 15. See Acts xx. 21: and John the Baptiſt ſays, Matt. iii. 3. " Repent [Page 37] ye for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Theſe paſſages we think are ſufficient to expoſe Mr. H's folly in this reſpect.
" However we know faith comes firſt: ſpiritual convictions next; faith in an imputed righteouſneſs next; pardon and peace, the ſanctifying and comforting influences of the Holy Ghoſt, and then Evangelical repentance ſlows in to bring up the rear."
As this method of ſhewing how the work of grace is begun and carried on in the ſoul, is contrary to the above quoted text, it muſt be wrong; and not only the Scripture, but experience alſo teaches, that there is a deep repentance wrought in the ſoul, before it is juſtified, through faith in the merits of Chriſt.
Repentance comes before a living faith, ariſing from conviction of ſin, and fear of eternal puniſhment, as in Acts ii. 37, 38. and xvi. 30, 31. It is true, under the ſweet influences of the Holy Ghoſt the ſoul is often from a ſenſe of gratitude, made to cry out, O ! that I ſhould ever offend ſo good and ſo gracious a God, who hath loved me, and given himſelf for me, who am ſo unworthy of his love.
Page 61. —" If they talk of patience, it is only patience in ſuffering to eſtabliſh their own righteouſneſſ; it is not patience under ſuffering for the truth. But patience to bear up under juſt and godly rebukes, is the patience of Satan.—Page 62. —" If they talk of love, it is not that love which delights in the excellent of the earth, and in ſuch as excel in virtue,"
If Arminian-patience is to eſtabliſh their own righteouſneſs, then it is wrong founded; but this charge is falſe. Nor do we think, that lying, falſe invectives, are juſt and godly rebukes. If the excellent of the earth are ſuch as this Author, then there will be no great inducement to cauſe perſons to delight in them for their railing ſpirit. And if this Author thinks himſelf to be one of thoſe excellent ones of the earth, and ought to be [Page 38] delighted in, my opinion is, that he does not belong to them, except excellency conſiſts in viliſving others, and to excel in virtue is to encourage the ſpirit of uncharitableneſs.
Page 64, —" The hope of Arminianiſm ſeems to me to differ much from the hope of the goſpel; becauſe it allows that Chriſt died for all. But Chriſt declares the gates that lead to deſtruction receive the greateſt number of them; if this be true, ſome are in hell for whom Chriſt died."
Then the hope of the goſpel, according to this good Author, is, that Chriſt did not die for all men, although it declareth, " that he by the grace of God. ſhould taſte death for every man." And though many are in hell, yet Mr. H. cannot prove that Chriſt did not die for them, or that he ſaid, there were none of the human race in hell for whom Chriſt died, or that he did not die for any that go to hell. We ſhall therefore believe what the Scripture faith in this matter, and remark 2 Pet. ii. 1. " But there were falſe prophets alſo among the people, even as there ſhall be falſe teachers among you, who privily ſhall bring in damnable hereſies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themſelves ſwift deſtruction." And no doubt, but that they taught the ſame hereſy to others, and thoſe who teach that Chriſt did not die for all men, help to confirm ſuch falſe teachers in their errors, by attempting to prove, that Chriſt hath not bought thoſe perſons, who bring upon themſelves ſwift deſtruction.
" In which caſe, there muſt have been a deficiency in the price the ſurety paid, or it reflects on his wiſdom, and ſuppoſes him out-witted by the ſerpent, who through his ſubtilty, has got legions in hiS poſſeſſion which was the Saviour's own by purchaſe. It reflectson his power alſo, who could not hold them committed to him, becauſe the gates of hell have prevailed, and many are plucked out of his hands,"
[Page 39] This argument is no proof of Chriſt's not dying for all mankind; but a ſubtle evaſion ot the truth. To which I anſwer, The price paid was of infinite value, ſufficient to have purchaſed, not only the whole race of mankind, but to have purchaſed the redemption of the Univerſe, the whole creation of God, if ſo required. Therefore to ſay, the blood of Chriſt was not ſhed for every man, is repreſenting it not of value ſufficient to purchaſe the whole of Adam's race, but only a few in comparison of the. reſt, who are left to periſh for want of ſuch a ranſom. But who would give an infinite price for a few, when the whole might have been equally purchaſed thereby?
Does it not reflect on the wiſdom of Chriſt, to pay an infinite price for man's redemption? and on God to demand ſuch a price, and but few of our race to be purchaſed therewith? The Scripture affirmeth that Chriſt gave himſelf a ranſom for all; a propitiation for the ſins of the whole world. See 1 Tim. ii. 1.—6; and John ii. 2. Therefore to ſay, his blood did not ſlow for all men, is ſuch a diſhonour to the Saviour's merits, and the word of truth; that one would think, that none would affirm it. The. ſubtilty of the ſerpent cannot out-wit our Lord ; but as he outwitted Adam and Eve in Paradiſe, ſo he doth many of thoſe who think they have eſcaped his wiles. The author of the Skeleton I fear is one. The old ſerpent the devil having got many into hell who were our Saviour's own by purchaſe; is, as our Lord ſays to ſuch, Becauſe ye will not come unto me, that ye may have life; for, he that cometh unto me, I will in no wiſe caſt out.
How often would I have gathered you together as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not. And theſe mine enemies that would not that I ſhould reign over them, bring them and ſlay them before me. Our Lord does not once ſay, that he never ſhed his blood for them that periſh; nor is there any ſuch paſſage in the Bible. Nor does this reflect on his power, as [Page 40] if he could not hold them that are committed unto him. For all power is given him both in heaven and earth, ſo that whoever committeth his ſoul into his hands, as into the hands of a faithful Creator and Redeemer, ſhall be kept through faith unto ſalvation, againſt ſuch the gates of hell cannot prevail, while they continue faithful to the grace given them; for " the juſt ſhall live by faith, but if any man draw back, my ſoul ſhall have no pleaſure in him." Heb. x. 38, They who draw back from the faith, or make ſhipwreck of faith and a good conſcience, againſt ſuch the gates of hell do prevail, though not againſt Chriſt; nor are they plucked out of his hands, for that Satan could not affect, but they themſelves leave their Shepherd, and wander again in the wilderneſs of ſin, following a ſtranger inſtead of their Lord, and are again entangled, caſt down, and overcome by Satan's wiles, ſuch as thoſe, who leave the rock of their ſalvation, fall a prey to the enemy of their ſouls.
Therefore the folly of perſons falling ſhort of ſalvation, muſt be imputed to themſelves, (who refuſe to be led by the Spirit of Chriſt, and ſo forſake him; or finally neglect his great ſalvation.) and not to our bleſſed Saviour, either in point of his willingneſs to ſave them; or to his wiſdom, purchaſe, or power.
Page 65. —" It ſeems likewiſe to reflect cruelly on the juſtice of God, who drew his ſword, and ſheathed it. in the great Shepherd, and ſpared ſum not in the leaſt, or abated one mite of the debt." It rather reflects cruelly on God, to ſay, he demanded an infinite price to be paid for the redemption of a few of Adam's race only.
" If Arminian-hope is fixed, on a mutable Saviour, and has no law, but ſuch as demands a debt twice, firſt of the ſurety, and then of the debtor, firſt ſending them out of the priſon of ſin on the [...]rety's account, or make them ſons of God to-day▪ and after all this, let them fall away▪ and lock them up in hell to all eternity, until [Page 41] they can pay the utmoſt mite of what was paid long ago.—However we have many who are hardened enough to advance ſuch lies in the name of the Lord, and father them upon him."
The hope of an Arminian is not fixed on a mutable Saviour, but on Him who is the rock of ages; nor doth he believe that God demands the ſame debt twice, firſt of the ſurety and then of the debtor; but believes, if, like the perſon to whom his Lord forgave ten thouſand talents, he ſhould run again into wilful ſins, and not ſhew mercy to his fellow-ſervants. Matt, xviii. Or beat the men ſervants, and the maidens, and eat and drink with the drunken, and became a worker of iniquity; that his Lord will caſt him into priſon, if not for the debt that was. forgiven, yet he will for the new debt, in ſinning wilfully againſt his mercy and grace.
And as Mr. H. ſays in his 20th page, " God is not bound to keep them on in his ſtrength who reject his omnipotent arm." Then certainly he, may let them fall away, who thus reject him, and, lock them up in hell, until they can pay the utmoſt farthing.
However there may be ſome hardened to advance lies in the name of the Lord, &c. And ſay peace, peace, to thoſe who drink in iniquity like water, and encourage them to believe that they are children of God, though they live in actual ſin. Yet what has this hope to do with the goſpel. This is the goſpel-hope, " Every one that hath this hope in him, purifieth himſelf even as he is pure." 1 John iii. 3. Therefore he does not continue in ſin ; for his hope is founded on the promiſes of God. See 2 Pet. i. 5. —10. and he alſo knoweth, that the promiſe is, " To them who by patient continuing in well-doing, ſeek for glory and honour, and immortality; eternal life." Rom. ii. 7. Now if the promiſe is only to them who [Page 42] continue in well-doing, then thoſe perſons muſt be excluded, who do not continue therein.
Page 68. —" Theſe univerſal lovers call the decrees of God horrible." If they are only ſuch perſons profeſſing godlineſs, who call God's decrees horrible, why did not Mr.H. point them out? I believe that all God's decrees are like himſelf. both righteous, merciful and good.
Page 70. —" The Church of England tells me in her Catechiſm, that I am wholly unable to come to Chriſt. though he commands me. or to love God, though I am bidden, or to ſerve him though it is for my life."
He has now taken up his Common-prayer book again, and tells us therefrom, that we can do nothing of ourſelves: but who among us denies this? We contend for it. and conſtantly declare, that without the grace of God we can do nothing acceptable in his ſight; and this Mr.H. knoweth is what the Arminian holds, though he falſely accuſeth them for holding the contrary.
We do not believe that Chriſt is ſuch an auſtere Maſter, as to expect to reap where he has not ſowed, and to gather where he has not ſtrawed. It will be time enough to think ſo of him when we have found him ſuch a one. But we believe, that he giveth of his grace and Holy Spirit to every man to profit withal; and that the perſons themſelves render his gracious calls fruitleſs, by reſiſting the Holy Ghoſt. as did the Jews of old; with which St.Stephen charged them. Acts vii.51,
Page 71. —"Univerſal Charity teaches me, to call Chriſt's righteouſneſs imputed nenſenſe. and to boaſt of perfection in myſelf, and then warns me never to forſake the Church of England." "No man perfect in himſelf has any right there, but ſuch as are heartily ſorry for their ſins, &c."
[Page 43] Univerſal Charity muſt be much to blame, to teach Mr. H. to call Chriſt's righteouſneſs, imputed nonſenſe; if this be true, we cannot take his part. But to teach him to boaſt of perfection in himſelf, is the thing he hates, as he does the Church of England. As this Author ſhews ſach diſlike againſt the doctrine of Chriſtian Perfection, I ſhall here point out what we underſtand by it. It appears to me to mean nothing more or leſs, than what theſe following Scriptures contain, Matt. v. 48. " Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect," Sec 1 Pet. i. 15, and Ezck. xxxvi. 25. —29: where it is ſaid, " I will alſo ſave you from your uncleanneſſes." St.Paul ſaith, 1 Theſſ, v. 23, 24: " And the very God of peace ſanctify you wholly: and I pray God your whole ſpirit, and ſoul, and body, be preſerved blameleſs unto the coming of our Lord Jeſus Chriſt. Faithful is he that calleth you, who alſo will do it." See St.John 1ſt Epiſtle i. 7. to the end, and chap. v. ver. 18. If theſe paſſages do not mean a being cleanſed from all ſin. by perfecting holineſs in the fear of God, what can they mean? The holy men of old were called perfect, in their generations: as Noah, Gen. vi. 9. and Abraham, Gen. xvii. 1. and Job i. 1. It then appears, ſince life and immortality are brought to light by the goſpel, that there is a perfect deliverance from ſin promiſed to the children of God; called in other words, perfect love; to love God with all our heart, and mind, ſoul and ſtrength.
We know that all unrighteouſneſs is ſin; but God is faithful and juſt to forgive us our ſins, and to cleanſe us from all unrighteouſneſs; then of courſe, we muſt be cleanſed from all ſin, when God fulfilleth that promiſe.
This work of being cleanſed from all ſin, is wrought in the ſoul by the Holy Ghoſt, without which no man could be holy, harmleſs, and undefiled, without ſpot, or blemiſh, as the Church [Page 44] of Chriſt is ſaid to be, " A glorious Church, not having ſpot or wrinkle, or any ſuch thing; but that it ſhould be holy, and without blemiſh." Eph. v. 27.
How abſurd is it to ſay, that the blood of Chriſt cleanſeth us from all ſin, and that God is faithful and juſt to forgive us our ſins, and to cleanſe us from all unrighteouſneſs; and yet that we muſt neceſſarily ſin as long as we live.
Is not contending for ſin's continuance with us as long as we live, a reflection on the power, goodneſs, mercy, and truth of God? On his power: as if he could not finally deliver or ſave his people from their ſins, until death comes and helps his omnipotent arm to do the work? On his goodneſs; who always hateth ſin, and is angry not only with the wicked, but with his own children alſo, for their ſinning againſt him, and yet will not deliver them as long as they live? Does not this repreſent God, as if he delighted in their ſins, though he has promiſed to cleanſe them from all their filthincſs, and from all their idols, when nevertheleſs, he will not do it? It reflects alſo on his mercy, to ſay that he never will deliver his children from their ſins, until they at death can ſin no longer: ſo that, poor ſouls! they muſt not only be bowed down by the remembrance of their former ſins; but muſt alſo feel the burden of them, intolerable as long as they live. Certainly this is not that great deliverance which God has promiſed in his holy word. The apoſtle faith. " Rejoice in the Lord always, and again, I ſay rejoice." Phil. iv. 4: and in 1 Theſſ. v. 16, 17, and 18th verſes, " Rejoice evermore, pray without ceaſing. in every thing give thanks; for this is the will of God in Chriſt Jeſus concerning you." Surely we may not rejoice and give thanks, for our continuing in ſin, as long as we live, [Page 45] when we by the renewing grace of God. deſire ſo much to be delivered therefrom. It alſo reſlects on the truth of God, who has promiſed to deliver us, and yet will not do it.
"He that is taught to deny election, is inſtructed to deny the Church Catechiſin, which teaches, I believe in God the Holy Ghoſt, who hath ſanctified me, and all the elect people of God." And it teaches, I believe in God the Son, who hath redeemed me and all mankind: which Mr. H. refuſes to inſert, becauſe it is contrary to his doctrine of particular redemption. And the part he has quoted makes againſt his opinions alſo: for it teaches every member of the Church to ſay, that the Holy Ghoſt ſanctifieth him.
If a man teach otherwiſe than Mr. H. holds, and is a means of turning many ſinners from darkneſs to light, and from the power of Satan unto God: that man I fear, would be envied enough by Mr. H. becauſe he followed not after him.
Does Charity then vaunt itſelf about improving an unnatural talent? of its good works being "ſufficient to weigh down the works of fifty Arminian Trunk-makers?" or of being faithful to grace received? "Doth not behave itſelf unſeemly," in crying down every Preacher's reputation, [Page 46] as Mr. H. does thoſe who differ in opinion from him.
Page 75. —"Rejoices when eternal election is revealed to a poor ſinner."—"Rejoiceth in the enjoyment of an imputed righteouſneſs." Charity like the angels in heaven, rejoiceth over one ſinner that repenteth, whether Arminian or Calviniſt. And the Scriptures teach us to "Rejoice in hope of the glory of God." Rom. v. 2. and to "Rejoice in the Lord, and rejoice in Chriſt Jeſus." Phil. iii. 1. 3. But we are not bidden to rejoice in eternal election, revealed to a ſinner; nor in an imputed righteouſneſs, neither of which expreſſions are found in the Bible.
Charity is certainly a bleſſed gift of God, and the bond of perfectneſs, and like its heavenly founder, hateth nothing that he hath made. It muſt not then be expected that we ſhall give up one grain of God's truth to the Doctor, who made the Skeleton; for God's truth teaches, that Chriſt taſted death for every man, &c. and that he willeth not that any ſhould periſh, &c. Such truths as theſe we do not intend to give up, becauſe they are written in the word of God. Nor have we any need to call God to an account about his decrees; for we believe them to be holy, juſt, and good; therefore we ſhould be quite inexcuſable to contradict, or oppoſe them.
"Never arraigns God at the bar of carnal reaſon." Carnal reaſon is but a falſe guide, to diſcern ſpiritual things by, and every man that hath received the grace of God, knows that nothing but the word of truth, and the revelation of Chriſt by his Spirit, can enable any one to know and underſtand divine things; as the apoſtle ſaith, 1 Cor. ii. 14. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are [Page 47] fooliſhneſs unto him; neither can he know them; becauſe they are ſpiritually diſcerned."
"Crediteth the doctrine of election, and its oppoſite, reprobation, believes the elect ſhall all attain to the righteouſneſs of faith, and that all the reſt ſhall not attain it, all the elect ſhall be taught of God, and all the reſt ſhall ever be learning, but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."
This Charity is contrary to the word and truth of God, that declareth, He is no reſpecter of perſons, and his tender mercies are over all his works. That God does abſolutely elect ſome few out of mankind to be ſaved, by irreſiſtible grace, and all others are paſſed by, and left to periſh, without grace, ſufficient to bring them to Chriſt; how this doctrine will ſtand at the bar of eternal juſtice, we will not abſolutely determine. But ſure we are, that it is contrary to what the angel proclaimed to the ſhepherds, Luke ii. 10, 11. "Behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which ſhall be to all people, &c." For it is impoſſible that this doctrine can any ways be good tidings of great joy to thoſe whom God hath reprobated, and who can never come to the knowledge of the truth.
Page 77. —"Divine Charity believes every truth in the book of God, but knows nothing of the new manufactured doctrines of Popery, Arminianiſm, and Mahometaniſm, —but calls them the doctrines of devils."
How theſe came to be new manufactured doctrines more than Calviniſm, &c. we do not know; for it is well known, that the Papiſts, and Mahometans hold the doctrines of the abſolute decrees of predeſtination, taught by Calvin, who learned them in the Popiſh ſchools, which doctrines, the Arminians think, are falſe, if not the doctrines of devils.
[Page 48] "Charity endureth all things, rather than caſt away her confidence for that helliſh principle of falling away from grace: yea, will cry and pray day and night, as all the elect do, rather than part with her daily dependance on God by faith and prayer, or change it for that independent, ſelfexalting and ſleſh-eaſing doctrine of ſinleſs perfection."
Whether the poſſibility of finally falling away from grace be a helliſh principle or not, we ſhall let God decide; but if we cry and pray to Him day and night, as Mr.H. ſays, all the elect do, then there will be but little cauſe to fear our finally falling away, if we thus continue faithful: ſo that in this caſe we are agreed. As for ſinleſs perfection, if he thinks that he can be ſaved from ſin, and yet continue therein; can be holy in heart and life, and yet be ſinful: can be cleanſed from all unrighteouſneſs, and ſtill be unrighteous; he may keep that doctrine to himſelf: for we believe if we are not cleanſed and ſaved from all ſin, by the blood of Chriſt, we never ſhall enter the kingdom of heaven: ſeeing nothing unholy can enter there.
Charity is a divine principle, fixed on Chriſt and his ſheep, who follow him. But we aſk, is it fixed on them who turn from the holy commandments delivered unto them? Is it fixed on them who once ran well, but are now turned as the dog to his vomit, or the ſow that was waſhed, to her wallowing in the mire? Is it fixed on them, who begin in the ſpirit and end in the ſleſh, who forſake the good Shepherd, and wander again in the ways of ſin, and think they are ſtill of Chriſt's fold, although they act contrary to the character he giveth of his ſheep? Do not ſuch perſons as theſe, ſhew themſelves to be void of Divine [Page 49] Charity? Are they not of the number of thoſe, who are twice dead, plucked up by the roots? Being firſt dead in treſpaſſes and ſins, and ſecondly, by falling away from grace.
The children of Iſrael were as confident, as Mr. H. is, of God's promiſes never failing them; yet they found by their ſinning againſt him, that his promiſes did not ſtand in ſuch an abſolute, unconditional ſenſe as they imagined; for they underſtood that the Lord would abſolutely bring them into the land of promiſe, which he ſware to their fathers, and declared again unto Moſes. See Exod. iii. 7, 8, 16, and 17th verſes; and ibid. vi. 6, 7, 8. Theſe promiſes, to bring them out of Egypt, into the land of Canaan, are abſolute; and ſo they underſtood them; but when the Lord had delivered them out of Egypt, he gave them ſtatutes and judgments to obſerve, and threatened not to forgive them, if they ſinned againſt him. See Exod. xxiii. 20, 21. In the xxxiid chapter, verſe 34. "Therefore now go, lead the people unto the place of which I have ſpoken unto thee: behold mine angel ſhall go before thee." This the Lord ſaid unto Moſes to ſhew that he was not willing to deſtroy his people. See xxxiiid chapter 1, 2, 3, and 14th verſes. But in Numbers xiv. 11, 12. We find the promiſe reverſed; for the Lord ſays, I will ſmite them with the peſtilence, and diſinherit them. And ſays in 22d and 23d verſes, "Surely they ſhall not ſee the land which I ſware unto their fathers, neither ſhall any of them that provoked me ſee it," of which ſee more in verſe 27, to 35. in which the Lord confirms his threatnings againſt the people, and ſays in verſe 34, "And ye ſhall know my breach of promiſe."
After this, in Numb. xxxii. 10, 11, 12. and Deut. i. 31.—37. Moſes tells the people quite a different thing from what he was commanded to ſay unto them in Egypt; there he told them of God's promiſes to deliver them, and bring them into the land of Canaan; but here he tells them of the Lord's oath to the contrary, and all theſe [Page 50] things happened unto them, becauſe they wilfully ſinned againſt him.
Nor does God break his promiſes herein, with reference to himſelf, though to them who receive his promiſes in an abſolute ſenſe, it may appear as if he does: but God makes no promiſes to thoſe who break his commandments, which gives them a right to the benefits of the promiſes: for were God's promiſes to ſtand, contrary to his commandments. they would then be to each other quite inconſiſtent.
If we receive the promiſes of God in ſuch wiſe as are contrary to his commands, we cannot but expect, if we continue in ſin, that we ſhall find his breach of promiſe, with reſpect to our apprehenſions of them; but not with reſpect to what God himſelf intended, who always intended, that his laws, ſtatutes, precepts, and commandments, together with his mercies, promiſes, threatnings, and judgments, ſhould coincide, and harmonize; ſo that, whoever diſobeys the one part, muſt needs loſe the benefit of the other; for he that continueth to break God's laws and commandments, under any pretence whatever, forfeits all right to his mercies and promiſes; however he may think or imagine to the contrary. See Rev. xxii. 14, 15. and Rom. ii. 6.
With reſpect to the unchangeable love of God, we may obſerve, that David ſaith, Pſalm v. 5. "Thou hates all the workers of iniquity." We therefore ſhould conſider, whether of the two will prove that God is unchangeable, his continuing to love the perſon for ever, whom he has once loved, although, that perſon becometh a worker of iniquity, or God's ſtanding to this declaration of the pſalmiſt, of hating all the workers of iniquity. For firſt, a perſon who turneth from the ways of God, and works iniquity, is taught to believe that God loves him with an unchangeable or everlaſting love, for was God to hate him, he would be a changeable God.
[Page 51] In the next place, God muſt change from theſe words, of hating all the workers of iniquity, or be counted a changeable God; judge ye then whether of the twain is true. It may be objected that God keeps us from finally falling away, or we ſhould fall away from him every moment: this is true, while we truſt in him through faith, and oppoſe ſin by the power of his grace; but if we turn from his holy ways, and follow ſin, making ſhipwreck of faith and a good conſeience, as ſome have done, then we are liable to fall ſinally away.
If this Author's unhappy lot ſhould be to deſcend into the infernal regions, he then may ſearch thoſe annals, (if there be any ſuch.) to ſatisfy himſelf. But we have a more ſure word of propheſy, whereunto we ought to take heed, as unto a light ſhining in a dark place; in which we find, that Judas was, "the perſon who." betrayed our Lord, and hanged himſelf; the time of his death was, "the period when," and his crime was "the crime, for which one ſingle ſoul choſen," one of the twelve apoſtles "of God in Chriſt from all eternity," according to the foreknowledge, and determinate counſel of God, and redeemed by the blood of Jehovah the Saviour." who taſted death for every man, "and internally, called and ſealed by the Holy Ghoſt," for one or the twelve apoſtles; for he had received part of that miniſtry, with power to work miracles, and caſt out devils; who afterward fell by tranſgreſſion, "and dropped into hell, as an heir of wrath." Therefore let him that thinketh he ſtandeth, take heed, leſt he fall.
St. Paul ſaith to Timothy, "This charge I commit unto thee, holding faith and a good conſcience; which ſome having put away concerring faith, have made ſhipwreck: of whom is [Page 52] Hymeneus and Alexander," 1 Tim. i. 18.-20, we here find that ſome perſons had put away the ſame faith that Timothy was charged to hold faſt. Then this faith and good conſciencc are eſſential to ſalvation, or Paul would not have charged Timothy as above: and yet this may be made ſhipwreck of. If ſo, where is the impoſſibility of falling finally from grace? We therefore defy the Author of the Skeleton to prove, that none, beſide, by making ſhipwreck of faith and a good conſcience, ever drew back to perdition, as Judas did; or after ſetting their hands to the plough, looked back, and made themſelves unfit for the kingdom of heaven; or who forſook not the fountain of living water, and hewed out to themſelves broken ciſterns, that could hold no water.
Page 80. —"They are thoſe perſons who awake to imputed righteouſneſs, and they only, of whom it may with propriety be ſaid, they ſin not." If it may be ſaid of thoſe who receive that imputed righteouſneſs, they ſin not, then this quite overthrows what the Author ſays, concerning the juſt man that ſinneth ſeven times a day.
Page 85. —"The Bible ſoon ſhewed me what free-thinkers thought of Chriſt. The Arminians think he is a changeable being; others think he as an angel of the higheſt order; the Turks think he is a footſtool; the Jews think he is ah impoſtor: the Arians think he is a creature; and the Deiſts think he is nothing."
And he ſhould have ſaid, that ſome others think. or at leaſt repreſent Cod to be an Almighty Tyrant, who ſays one thing, and means another; who ſay, that he willeth not the death of them that dieth, and yet decreeth that they ſhall infallibly die and periſh for ever; and ſays, ye will not come unto me that ye may have life; and yet with-holds that grace from them, by which they alone can come unto him; and condemns them or refuſing that grace, he never deſigned ſhould be given them. Calvin ſaith, "That God in calling ſinners, puts on a double perſon." Donteclock [Page 53] ſaith: "God calls ſome of the reprobates to ſalvation, but he wills not that any of theſe ſhould be ſaved; becauſe he hath by an immutable decree deſtined them to deſtruction." So, Piſ [...]ator: "God doth many times confeſs one thing with his mouth, and intends another. But though he ſpeaks one thing and wills another, yet he is not deſiled with hypocriſy."
This is their method of repreſenting the ever bleſſed God, as dealing thus with his creatures, and under pretence of ſhewing his love to them, ſecretly decrees their eternal deſtruction without ever giving them the leaſt power to eſcapc it.
That the Arminians think God a changeable being, is falſe, and what Mr. H. can never prove; but becauſe they ſay with the Scriptures, that God hateth all the workers of iniquity; though they might have once been in a ſtate of grace, and that he who committeth ſin is of the devil; as St. John ſays; this being contrary to the Authors tenets, he with all the ſophiſtry of a Jeſuit would perſuade men that the Arminians make God to be a changeable being; when they always charge that change upon thoſe perſons who turn from God unto ſin; and not on God, who is the ſame yeſterday to-day and for ever, who always hateth ſin, and all thoſe who continue therein, let their pretenſions to the contrary be what they will.
And as Jews, Arians, and Deiſts, think contrary to the word of God, and the teſtimony of his Spirit, ſo do thoſe, who think that Chriſt did not die for all; and they, in that, and ſeveral other points, think as freely as any others. And Mr.H. who teaches men to deny the Lord that bought them, to deny that Chriſt is the propitiation for the ſins of the whole world, thinks as freely, if not as falſely, as any of them all.
Some of the bleſſed Martyrs in Queen Mary's days, thought and affirmed, that, "If they muſt be damned, the fault is not in God, but in themſelves; for it is written, God would have all men to be ſaved: but they themſelves procure [Page 54] their own damnation." See Lahonet's Sermon Septu. p. 213. again, "Chriſt ſhed as much blood for Judas as for Peter." Ibid. again, "we learn that the preaching of the goſpel is univerſal. Now ſeeing that the goſpel is univerſal, it appeareth that he would have all mankind to be ſaved; that the fault is not in him if they are damned." Ibid. Again. "Such men are the cauſe of their own damnation: for God would have them ſaved, but they refuſed it; like Judas the traitor, whom Chriſt would have had to be ſaved, but he refuſed his ſalvation." Ibid. John Bradford ſaith. "I believe that Chriſt did oppoſe himſelf to the judgment of God, as a Mediator, paying the ranſom and price of redemption for Adam and his whole poſterity." See Acts and Monu. p. 1505. again, "Our own wilfulneſs, fin, and contemning of Chriſt, are the cauſe of reprobation." See a Diſcourſe entitled the Sum of the Doctrine of Predeſtination and Reprobation. Biſhop Hooper ſaith, "Cain was no more excluded from the promiſes of Chriſt, till he excluded himſelf, than Abel; Saul than David; Judas than Peter; Eſau than Jacob." See preface to his Expoſition of the Ten Commandments, again, "It is not a Chriſtian man's part, to make God the author of ill and damnation with the Manichee; nor yet to ſay, that God hath written fatal laws, and with neceſſity of deſtiny, violently pulleth the one by the hair into heaven, and thruſteth the other headlong into hell." Ibid.
Page 87. —"If a man receives righteouſneſs from the God of his ſalvation, it is God's line has reached to him; and if mercy and peace be upon him. he is an Iſraelite indeed, and enjoys his bleſſings only while he walks by God's rule; and woo be to that man, who breaks through God's bounds."
[Page 55] Page 91. —"I have known ſouls go to carnal Prieſts under their convictions for advice, and have received very ſtrange conſolations, for a troubled conſcience, ſome have adviſed them to read Novels, in order to ſtifle an awakened mind. I have known others, who ordered the Bible to be taken from them." "I have known other blind guides recommend wine to heal a troubled ſpirit; others I have known recommending ſouls to Phyſicians for a bliſter to put on the head, a very ſtrange remedy to draw the ſting of eternal death out of the conſcience."
I allow it is very improper for any one to ſend perſons deeply aftlicted in conſcience, and wounded in ſpirit by the terrors of the Lord, and ſinking under the weight and burden of their ſins, to ſuch ſort of remedies, as he ſays, he has known perſons adviſed to; ſuch as to read Novels, drink wine, &c. Such perſons know not the diſeaſe, nor the remedy, and giving ſuch fort of advice to troubled conſciences, is quite contrary to our Lord's words, "Come unto me all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you reſt." Such perſons as theſe cannot get a remedy for, nor proper deliverance from their troubles, but from the fountain opened for ſin and uncleanneſs, from the hands of our gracious and merciful Saviour, who only can heal the broken-hearted, and ſet the priſoner free, and whiſper peace to the troubled ſoul, and ſay, with a ſtill ſmall voice, Son or Daughter, be of good chear, thy ſins be forgiven thee, go in peace.
The Author here gives an account of a poor woman, "who had never heard the goſpel," (as he ſays,) She "was ſorely wounded in ſpirit, and carried her grievous complaints to a blind Prieſt, when ſhe returned, ſhe threw herſelf into a well, but was got out without much hurt. Soon after ſhe went to another blind guide of the ſame family, and then went home and cut her throat. I went to the houſe, and told her moſt of the trouble of her heart. She ſaid it was ſo indeed, [Page 56] and ſeemed very glad to hear of a Saviour." However the woman was Tent to St. Luke's, and Mr.H. went to ſee her, but could not get admittance, what counſel or advice he intended to give her we know not: but, as he "believes all the clect ſhall be taught of God, and all the reſt ſhall be ever learning, but never be able to come to the knowledge of the truth," his advice ſhould have been to the following purpoſe, You muſt know there are two ſorts of people upon earth, the Elect, and the Reprobates, the Elect have got a gracious Saviour who died for them, and will lave them by irreſiſtible grace, he having ſhed his precious blood for them, to that end, and they ſhall all be certainly ſaved, for God has ſo decreed. But the Reprobates he hath paſſed by and will not ſave them, for he never ſhed his blood for them, therefore they muſt periſh do what they can or will.
If you are one of the Elect your name is written in heaven, and as none can know to the contrary, then you have no cauſe to fear, for all things ſhall work for your good both in time and in eternity; for the Saviour is gracious to all his Elect, and thty ſhall never periſh. for he loveth them with an everlaſting love. But if you are one of the Reprobates there is no help for you, yet do not perplex yourſelf with what cannot be altered, nor torment yourſelf before the time; for then you will have torment enough. But as I would not leave you comfortleſs, I adviſe you to believe in, and pray to the Saviour Jeſus Chriſt, for mercy and pardon, and if you are one of the Elect he will hear, and ſave you; for he has delivered thouſands, that were ſeemingly in as bad a condition as you are, and who knows, but peradventure, he may have mercy on you, and deliver you: but if not, you are never the farther off, your prayers can do you no hurt in point of ſalvation, if they do you no good.
Page 93. —"The ſpirit of Univerſal Charity is they ſay, to judge favourably of all, and to preach [Page 57] and exelaim againſt none. If a man holds a falſe faith, we are to think the beſt of it, though God tells us, carneſtly to contend for the faith once delivered to the ſaints. If a man holds any error, we ought not to level any threatenings at him, it is uncharitable; nor to preach againſt him, though he refuſes inſtruction; if a profeſſor does not come up in life to the ſtricteſt of our ſect, yet we muſt think the beſt, though God ſays, Mark that man, and have no fellowſhip with him."
When we contend for the faith, it ſhould be in meekneſs and love not in an imperious, ſelf-conceited ſpirit, condemning thoſe perſons who do not embrace our opinions in all things; it would be the higheſt arrogancy in us to declare, that our opinions are the only ſtandard of truth; for Charity would hope, the man who declareth, he has received the knowledge of ſalvation by the remiſſion of his ſins, and the Spirit of God doth bear witneſs with his ſpirit, that he is a child of God, and is led by the Spirit of God to walk in the ways of holineſs, righteouſneſs, and truth, abſtaining from all evil, and the appearance thereof, that ſuch a one as this, is a child of God, let his opinions in non-eſſential points be what they will. Nor ought we to think it right, to vilify, traduce, or condemn ſuch perſons under the pretence of earneſtly contending for the faith; this would be both ſinful and abominable in the ſight of God: and the authors of ſuch contentions will receive the juſt reward of their works. Such as theſe we ought to mark, and have no fellowſhip with. But thoſe perſons who differ in their opinions from us, we have no right over them on that account, any farther than to ſhew them their errors, where they are repugnant to the word of God, and then leave them to their great Maſter, to whom they muſt either ſtand or fall. If they do well, ſhall not they be accepted? but if not, ſin lieth at their door. And as the apoſtle ſays, What have I to do to judge them that are without? If we reprove and condemn others for their opinions only, while [Page 58] their lives, for what we know, may be agreeable to the goſpel. We then by our example give them the ſame right to reprove and condemn us for the ſame thing; in ſuch a caſe all order would be confounded, and every one would be ready to think, he has a right to cenſure all others who hold not his opinions, as perſons who hold not the true faith, and thus we ſhould become barbarians one to another, inſtead of forbearing one another in love.
"So Mr. Zeal-for-God, aſked him; Well Mr. Univerſal Charity, who do you appeal to? Anſwer, I appeal to Unbiaſſed-Reaſon, and ſhould like to be tried in the honourable Court of Conſcience. As for Unbiaſſed-Reaſon, there is no ſuch perſon; it is only a phantom countenanced by knaves, and admired by fools. And the Court of Conſcience is the Court of Heathens."
Mr. H. having nothing to do with Unbiaſſed-Reaſon, he might well ſet him aſide, as not dwelling in him: and the honourable Court of Conſcience he might well reject, for he has but little to do with it in his Book. But to proceed.
PAGE 100. —"The jury being impannelled, by Mr. Spiritual the ſheriff, and the witneſſes ſworn, a command was ſent to Mr. Election, the [Page 59] gaoler, to bring Mr. Univerſal Charity, the priſoner to the bar, and preſent him before my Lord Diſcerning-of-Spirits, the deputy Judge."
"Then the jury were called over, whoſe names were: 1. Paul, 2. John. 3. Peter. 4. Luke, 5. Matthew, 6. Jude, 7. Mark, 8. Iſaiah, 9. Jeremiah. 10. Job, 11. Moſes, and 12. David. Then ſaid the Clerk; Mr. Univerſal Charity hold up your hand."—The indictment was then read, and the priſoner was aſked by the Judge, "Art thou guilty or not?" who anſwered, "Not guilty, my Lord."
Judge. "Well ſaid. He ſtands here indicted by the name of Univerſal Charity; for diſturbing the peace of the celcſtial realm, counterfeiting the ſpirit of the great King, teaching rebellion againſt his ſovereign laws, withſtanding his royal decrees, alienating the affections of his ſubjects, invading his royal prerogative, and teaching others to do the ſame. What ſay you, the King's witneſs to this; is he guilty or not?"
Penetration here gives an account of the priſoner's pedigree, and repreſents him as building of Jericho, and learning to build with untempered mortar at Babylon, and ſome were fond of him for his cheap way of building, and called him Charity, and as he built with any materials, they called him Univerſal. By the compound of theſe two words, "He has been called Univerſal Charity, but his name is, Love-Self; and he anſwers that name very well, for every body that knows him, is aſſured that he hated all but thoſe that love and revere him."
Wiſe-Maſter-Builder. "Yes, my Lord, I know the man, and have ſuffered much by him; many have employed me to build for them: I digged deep for a good foundation on a rock, but this man has told them, there was no call to dig ſo deep, and ſaid that rock has failed many, and it was no ſafer foundation than the ſand. He has in the dark tried to peck away the foundation, and take away my materials, and thruſt in others, ſuch as clay, which was fit for nothing."
The Queen, as Mr. H. calls her, came next.— "The Judge aſked her. if ſhe knew the priſoner at the bar?" She anſwered, "Yes; he once appeared in the Chapel to do duty. I did not much like his diſcourſe, but as he was an old eccleſiaſtic. I ſaid nothing againſt it till after dinner: then I ſpake freely to him of the love of my King, and the ſweet proiniſe I met with from his lips, I hate putting away. Moſes allowed of a divorce; but I allow of none."
Page 113. —"I ſhewed him my imputed robe or wedding garment. He told me, my King loved concubines, harlots, ſervants, and rebels, as well as me: and as for my wedding robe it was imputed nonſenſe; he ſaid, I have known him divorce many after he had cloathed and wedded them. yea, and ſtripped them too. He told me in plain words, I might loſe all my dignity, periſh for ever, and be damned after all. He ſaid there were many in hell for whom he died. And that my marriage covenant and my King's diſcriminating love were nothing but a horrible decree."
This is a ſalſe way of repreſenting things, and is as if we ſaid. God would forſake perſons, without a cauſe; though we ſay with 2 Pet. ii. 21, [Page 61] "For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteouſneſs, than after they had known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them." See Heb. x. 38. So that this charge does not accuſe Chriſt the King of unfaithfulneſs; but the ſubjects who tranſgreſs his holy commandments delivered unto them; as was the caſe of the Churches of Aſia, where our Lord threatened to remove their candleſtick, and fight againſt them with the ſword of his mouth, &c. Rev. ii. and iii. chapters. If we forſake him, he will forſake us; ſee 1 Chron. xxviii. 9. 2 Chron. xv. 2. and Iſaiah i. 28. And if we behave ourſelves froward in his covenant, and walk contrary to him, he will walk contrary to us. See Levit. xxvi. 23-28. And if we caſt him off, and his holy ways, he will caſt us off for ever. Let Mr. H. ſay what he will to the contrary.
"I doubted the faithfulneſs and love of my Lord the King: for I knew if he made my marriage void he would break through two covenants; appear falſe to me, and a deceiver; and if he divorced me, and married another, he would commit adultery: and if he loved all as well as me, he was no huſband at all in heart, and if he married more than one, he would be a polygamiſt."
This is a moſt infamous repreſentation of our bleſſed Lord; and is ſuch as Mr. H. ought to be aſhamed of. He then gives us more of his fancies about the Queen's evidence, and repreſents the King as ſaying to her, page 116. —"I have threeſcore queens, and fourſcore concubines, and virgins without number."
Is not this quite inconſiſtent with the words before ſpoken? Where the Queen ſays, If he married more than one he would be a polygamiſt. We here obſerve, not one word is ſaid in this Queen's evidence, that ſhe might be unfaithful, or forſake the King, all the unfaithfulneſs muſt be on the King's ſide; it is he that breaketh the covenant, if it is broken, not the Queen: ſhe may turn harlot, and play the whore with many [Page 62] lovers, and commit all manner of ſins, and yet be the only object of the King's love; his only Queen.
Freeman. "Many things. I was once ſpeaking to him of the amazing grace of our Sovereign Lord the King, I told him what a dreadful debt I had contracted with his Majeſty, and my inability to pay one mite."
Page 118. —"And of my long impriſonment for it, and of the juſt ſentence paſſed on me, being found guilty, I petitioned his Majeſty with many tears, to be propitious to me. And he cried, thy God is able to deliver thee: this word reached my heart." &c.
Page 122. —"Having mentioned theſe things to the priſoner, he told me, I might fall from this free grace, and favour of my King, be cut aſunder as an unprofitable ſervant, be impriſoned again till I could pay the uttermoſt mite. I told the King that his promiſe failed. I was overcome by Univerſal Charity's arguments, and brought into bondage, or falſe impriſonment, where I lay till my King ſent a reprieve the ſecond time, and ſaid Univerſal Charity had ſpoken lies in his name, but I ſent him not."
Adoption, "Yes my Lord, his name is Love-Self, but ſome call him Univerſal Charity. My father was heir to a vaſt eſtate that was given him by divine donation, but he was to hold it on condition of honeſty, he being led by his wife, who had been deceived by an old out lawed Dragon; this evil one led my father to rob the garden of his bountiful benefactor; this he did to his coſt; I being one of this thief's children, wandered near thirty years in a vaſt howling wilderneſs. At laſt I was informed that the Son and heir of my father's Lord, was appointed to diſpenſe life and favour in his father's name to ſome (why not to all) of the family of my poor diſhoneſt parents; and I was determined to make my caſe known to him by a petition."
Page 126. —"As ſoon as the gracious Lord had left me, there came a man by me, with his hair oiled and parted on the crown, with words ſmoother than oil. I ſhewed him the Kid I had received, and enquired for the Shepherd's tents to feed it at. He told me of one Shepherd; ſo I followed him, when the old Shepherd appeared, I ſhewed him my Kid, I told him I was come to water and feed it at his tent."
This witneſs then gives an account of his ſeeing the river of life glide by as clear as cryſtal, and this Shepherd, he lays, "Sent one of his ſervants to the river to fetch water, and he jumped into the river and fouled the water with his feet, and then gave it to the Kid, thick and muddy as it [Page 64] was, and be trampled upon the green paſture, before he gave the Kid any. I aſked if my Lord's keys were committed to his care, if he had the key of the Larder, and Wine-cellar? He anſwered yes, and of every thing elſe; I aſked him to give me a little wine that was ſtrong; not new, but old."
Page 128. —"He went to the Cellar, but he had loſt the key of knowledge, ſo he could not go in, he brought me a little drop of mixture, and gave it me, but not ſufficient to make me forget my poverty, nor my miſery."
This witneſs ſeemingly wanted to get drunk; for when people are [...]o, they often forget their poverty and miſery alſo. However he goes on with more of his whims, and aſks for food, ſuch as the Scripture calls good, but he had nothing but huſks; very fit for ſwine, and all his food muſt be paid for, either in caſh or labour, that is, perform certain conditions, nothing to be had without money, or price.
Judge. "You are ſure you ſaw him foul the water, and mix or adulterate the wine? Yes my Lord, and my Lord and King told me it was mixed: and I am too good a judge of that ſort of Liquor to be deceived."
Predeſtination. "Yes my Lord, my anceſtors were people that belonged to the Seas, they were natives of Paradiſe, a land not far from Meſopotamia [Page 65] the firſt trading voyage they made was from the Cape of Good-Hope, to the City of Deſtruction, in the land of Shinar; but they met with a contrary wind, and were caſt away not far from the Fair-havens, many of the family on board were irrecoverably loſt."
This witneſs then ſpeaks of his trying to ſwim, and eſpying a mountain, called the Ancient Mountain, and thought he ſaw a Rock over-hang it, and private ſtairs to aſcend it: and having got one foot on the firſt, he looked about him, and ſaw ſome hundreds of his family ſtanding with Univerſal Charity, the priſoner at the bar, who beckoned to him. He then ſaw on the top of the mountain a beautiful man with a cord in his hand let down to him; he took hold of the cord, and had not got above three ſteps up the ſtairs, when Univerſal Charity got hold of his ſkirts, ſo faſt that he could not ſhake him off. He was forced to drag him up near to the top of this lofty hill; but when within three or four ſteps of the top, he cried, Lord ſave, or I periſh, then Univerſal Charity let go his ſkirts. He then gives account of various other viſionary fancies, about wiſdom, &c. and of being intoxicated with wine, that he forgot, father, mother, wife, children, &c. He then brings in Under ſtanding, who ſhews to him another hill, and ſhe ſays to him,
Page 137. —"This on which we ſtand is eternal election, or abſolute predeſtination: called by Moſes an Ancient Mountain, becauſe it was caſt up and eſtabliſhed from everlaſting, and that high hill, with its ſhining top, is Glorification, which he calls a laſting hill, becauſe it endures for ever. And the feaſt which thou haſt been entertained with, he calls the chief things of the Ancient Mountains, and is an earneſt of the precious things of the laſting hills." Deut. xxxiii. 15, &c.
[Page 66] This Author does almoſt every where fill his Reader's head, with the vain fancies, of his ſelfconceited brain, and ſundry falſe repreſentation of things. He here tells us that Moſes, as quoted above, called eternal election, or abſolute predeſtination, an ancient mountain, and glorification a laſting hill; which is falſe; for Moſes has no ſuch word as eternal election, or glorification in all the chapter. The words are, verſes 13. —16. And of joſeph he ſaid, "Bleſſed of the Lord be his land, for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath. And for the precious ſruits brought forth by the ſun, and for the precious things, put forth by the moon. And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of the laſting hills, and for the precious things of the earth, &c." Moſes ſpeaks here of the temporal bleſſings of joſeph's race, and not of eternal bleſſings in ſpiritual things. She then ſpeaks to him of the Deiſts, and Atheiſts, and ſays,
The Arians are ſpoken of next. "They are thoſe who trample on the atoning blood of Chriſt; and by exclaiming againſt the Lord's divinity, they render it in effectual to heal them; for the efficacy of the human blood ariſes from its union with the God-head; ſo they making him a creature only exclude themſelves from redemption."
This is quite amazing, for Mr. H. to allow, that the Arians, by denying, and exclaiming againſt the divinity of Chriſt, ſhould render it ineffectual to heal them; if ſo, it is not becauſe his blood was not ſhed for them. But they, by denying his God-head, exclude themſelves from his redemption. If it be they themſelves, that do all this by [Page 67] their own faults, then they could not be excluded by an eternal decree; but in conſequence of their own fault. Here the Author for once lets the truth ſlip from him unawares, and acknowledges with the Arminians, that men may make the efficacy of the blood of Chriſt ineſſectual, with reſpect to them, and exclude themſelves from his redemption.
" Do you not ſee a company of men at the foot of the mount, ſome dwell in little booths, others in holes in the earth, and ſome ſtand at the mouth of the caves with bows in their hands? They are archers. There are various troops of them, but each carries a bow: the Antinomian levels his arrows at the experience of the heart; the Arminian levels at the judgment; others at the reputation, of thoſe who aſcend the mount. I muſt now take my leave."
It is a wonder Underſtanding did not tell him who he levelled his arrows at; for ſhe might have ſaid, you level your bow and ſhoot your arrows at others, with reſpect to their experience in their hearts; and at their judgments as falſe and a their reputation alſo; as may be ſeen in the Skeleton.
After this, poor Predeſtination came down from the mountain, and went with a woman, in the attire of an harlot, into a booth, where they ſtripped, wounded, and robbed him, and took away his vail from him. And we may ſuppoſe [Page 68] left him half dead; for one of them drew a bow at a venture, and wounded him in the head, and then caſt him into a pit, out of which he got at laſt, and ſaid, "Thus I was robbed, and almoſt killed."
It does not appear that Univerſal Charity was among this bad company: for this witneſs does not mention any thing of him, after he had got rid of him, when he was got almoſt to the top of the mountain.
Page 149. —"The Judge then makes his ſpeech to the Jury, and ſpeaks of the ſecret decrees of the Moſt High, and of an imputed righteouſneſs, and ſays. "the ſpirit of Univerſal Charity will not be found in all the elect angels; nor in all the redeemed of the Lord, when filled with all the fulneſs of God."
It is ſomething wonderful how theſe ſecret decrees came to be known; for if they are ſecret who can know them? But a writer of Mr. H's ſtamp ſays, that nothing can come to paſs, but what the Sovereign Jehovah has determined ſhall come to paſs, then of courſe, there is none that can act contrary to his ſecret decrees; but muſt do his will, be it good or bad; for he that commits murder, adultery, or any other crime, if he acts by an irreſiſtible decree of God, does his will in ſuch a caſe, as much as he doth that feeds the hungry, or clothes the naked. Therefore, is it right for God to ſend ſuch faithful ſervants to eternal damnation, who thus do his will, by acting according to his decrees? In the Judge's ſpeech, Chriſt is repreſented as having a natural affection as a man, when he wept over Jeruſalem; but as God he will be quite the reverſe, ſo that his actions as a man are repreſented as contradictory to himſelf as God, but as he came to do, in his manhood, the whole will of God, then it was God's will that he ſhould weep over Jeruſalem.
Page 153. —"Here begins the Jury's conſultation: and in his 157th page, begins the Judges ſentence. Who condemns the priſoner to be cut [Page 69] into pieces, and boiled in a pot, and then the bones put together, and the Skeleton to be hanged on the tree of knowledge, of good and evil, where four ways meet, &c.
1.2.1. CHAP. IV. On an Arreſt of Judgment by an appeal; and a rule of Court granted for a freſh trial of Univerſal Charity, in which trial he is honourably acquitted.
MR. Univerſal Charity, being had back according to his ſentence to the place from whence he came, to the gaol, of Mr. Election, and put under his care and cuſtody, to be kept ſafe until the day of his execution; he there began to think how unfairly and unjuſtly the trial had been carried on againſt him, and how he had not been permitted to ſpeak in his own defence, nor any friend allowed to ſpeak in his behalf. Though he was conſcious in himſelf that he had juſtly deſerved puniſhment with reſpect to his manifold offences in the ſight of God; and that his natural diſpoſition, as well as that of all men, was evil and that continually, until renewed by the grace of his King, and that he had done many evil things, that deſerved death, and was a child of wrath even as others, and while he continued in this ſtate, he might properly be called LoveSelf, for then he loved none but thoſe who were like himſelf, companions in iniquity; yet as he had now received mercy of the Lord by being renewed, and born again of his Spirit, and had received of him a pardon, for his manifold offences, and had been reconciled unto him, through faith in his blood, and ſanctified by his Spirit; and led [Page 70] thereby to love all men for his ſake, even his enemies, and the enemies of God as his own ſoul, and praying with ſervent deſnes that all men might come to the knowledge of the truth and be ſaved. It was from this love, that he had for all men, which he received of his heavenly Father, for he had no ſuch diſpoſition in him before by nature, but quite the reverſe, that made his enemies, and his proſecutor, call him Univerſal Charity. His proſecutor was quite of another ſpirit and temper retaining ſtill the old leaven of malice and partial love, which we have by nature, and from hence it was that he determined to proſecute him unto death, as wicked Cain did his righteous brother. When Mr. Election had received him again into his care, he aſked him, what was the reaſon of his being ſent back to him again? For all thoſe who are under the condemnation of the Law of the King of Kings, are kept in the cuſtody of Mr. Reprobation until they are delivered by a free pardon out of his hands, or executed according to the law. If ſuch perſons repent of their manifold ſins, and are pardoned through faith in the blood, of Chriſt our King, they are then delivered into my hands, not as priſoners, but as the Lord's freemen; I therefore ſhould be glad to know, if you are one of them or not?
Mr. Univerſal Charity replied, The late Court, at which I was tried; condemned me for crimes laid to my charge, ſuch as I knew not, and for holding opinions contrary to the notions of my proſecutor, Mr. Uncharitable: but to clear my character I ſhould be much obliged to you, to permit ſome of my friends to viſit me, as I ſhall be glad of their good company, to counſel me in what I have to impart to them, and to receive ſome ſpiritual conſolation from them, and communion with them; for I want ſuch as fear and love God to viſit me, if I can obtain this requeſt!
Mr. Election ſaid, he is one of my intimate friends, and one whom I highly eſteem. I will therefore ſend my ſervant for him immediately, which he did, and he came as ſoon as ſent for, and was directly introduced to the priſoner, who acquainted him with what the Court had done, and ſaid he thought the proceedings againſt him were not right.
Mr. Love-Truth ſaid, I think ſo too, and if you pleaſe I will acquaint Mr. Divine Reaſon, a Counſellor of great note and experience, with your caſe, and lay a copy of your trial before him, and doubt not but that he will take your affair into conſideration, and get a Rule of Court granted for a freſh Trial, by which you may not only be diſcharged from the condemnation lately paſſed on you; but may alſo be declared to be one of the Lord's freemen.
Mr. Univerſal Charity, ſaid, I am very much obliged to you for this kind and brotherly offer, and ſhould be glad for you to do as you have propoſed. Mr. Love-Truth, then took his leave, and went to Mr. Divine Reaſon's houſe and laid the affair before him. Who ſaid, I know the whole affair, for I was in the Court all the time of the trial; but was not permitted to ſpeak, becauſe not retained as a Counſellor in the affair. But I know there was a great deal of undue influence made uſe of by Mr. Uncharitable throughout the whole proceedings. I have already made the caſe known to my Lord Divine Experience, who ſaid, if the priſoner applied to him he would uſe his influence to obtain a Rule of Court for a freſh trial, in which caſe he thinks with me, that Mr. Univerſal Charity will be acquitted; therefore call on me to-morrow morning and I [Page 72] will go with you, and ſpeak to Mr. Univerſal Charity, on his caſe. Mr. Love-Truth called the next morning accordingly, and they went both of them together. As ſoon as they came to Mr. Election's houſe, he led them into his parlour, and brought the priſoner to them, and in his hearing, Mr. Divine Reaſon aſked Univerſal Charity, various queſtions concerning his Trial, and the many things laid to his charge by his proſecutor, and the witneſſes, and what his opinions and practices were, and what doctrines he taught, "as he was an old Eccleſiaſtic?" To which he gave very ſatisfactory anſwers, and ſaid, he could bring perſons of good repute and ſpiritual diſpoſions to clear his character from any ſlagrant acts of injuſtice or wickedneſs; and ſpoke of the ſeveral Chriſtian experiences he had received of the Lord by his holy Spirit; ſuch as his convictions of ſin; and his being held for ſome conſiderable time in ſpiritual bondage through unbelief; how he was at laſt delivered therefrom by the grace of God, through faith in Chriſt, who gave to him the knowledge of ſalvation by the remiſſion of his ſins, and revealed himſelf to him with power in his heart; and ſaid, I ſhall never forget that bleſſed day in which the Lord was pleaſed to reveal himſelf to me, nor the ſweetneſs of that intercourſe between the Lord and me, ſuch as paſſes all underſtanding, which occaſioned a joy unſpeakable and full of glory: and many other ſweet and precious viſits have I received of the Lord ſince that time, ſuch as no man knows, but him that receiveth them.
Mr. Divine Reaſon ſaid, I am very glad to hear ſuch an account as this from you, and ſhall acquaint my Lord Divine Experience with your affair, and you may depend on my doing you all the ſervice I can conſiſtent with my duty. Mr. Univerſal Charity then thanked him for his kindneſs. Mr. Election then ſaid, I am glad to hear this account of the Trial, and Mr. Univerſal Charity's experience, it gives me a great [Page 73] deal of pleaſure and ſatisfaction: and I am fully perſuaded that he is of the truth and of the elect of God, and though he differeth from me in ſome things, yet I believe him to be a child of God; for his experiences ſhews him to be ſuch, which makes me think the proceedings againſt him hitherto have been very wrong and unjuſt; but I hope it will not be long before he will be acquitted of the charge laid againſt him, of which I ſhall be very glad, and be always willing to have his good company; for I account him one of my Brethren in the faith of the Goſpel. They then joined in prayer together for a bleſſing on themſelves, and their preſent undertaking, not forgetting all thoſe who are of the houſehold of faith of every denomination: and then Mr. Divine Reaſon, and Love-Truth, returned home.
Mr. Divine Reaſon then went into his Study, and wrote out in fair characters, the whole of Mr. Univerſal Charity's account of himſelf, and all other neceſſary remarks on his caſe, and then waited On my Lord Divine Experience, and laid the whole affair before him, who ſaid, It will be proper to prefer an Appeal, by a writ of error, in an Arreſt of Judgment, in order to obtain a freſh Trial, in which I make no doubt, but Mr. Univerſal Charity will be acquitted. We will to-morrow wait on my Lord Spiritual-Man, who, no doubt will go with us to my Lord Diſcerning-of-Spirits, and there appoint a day to examine the Appeal, in order to obtain a Rule of Court for a freſh Trial, which if denied, we muſt appeal to the King of Kings.
The next day they waited on the Lord SpiritualMan, who ſoon agreed to go with them to my Lord Diſcerning-of-Spirits, where after ſome diſpute, they concluded to call a Court on the affair, which was accordingly done. And after much debate on the buſineſs, it was agreed on, to bring the matter to a final iſſue by another Trial, of Univerval Charity; which is as follows.
THE Commiſſion being given to my Lord Diſcerning-of-Spirits: the Court opened, the former Jury impannelled, and the former witneſſes there ready to give in their evidences as before: the Judge then took his ſeat in order to try the priſoner again, aſſiſted by my Lord Divine-Experience, and my Lord Spiritual-Man. Mr. Univerſal Charity was then brought forth to his Trial, and the Jury as before were ſworn; the priſoner was then commanded to hold up his hand, and his former indictment was read. There was at that time in the Court, a certain Orator, who informed the Judge againſt the priſoner, and ſaid, We have found this man a peſtilent fellow, and a mover of ſedition, a teacher of hereby, and a ring-leader of the ſect of the Nazarenes. And many of the people who were for the proſecution of Univerſal Charity, aſſented, ſaying, that theſe things were ſo.
To which the priſoner being permitted, made anſwer, My Lord, if I have done any thing worthy of death, I refuſe not to die; but if they cannot prove thoſe things whereof they accuſe me, then ought I to be acquitted. But this I confeſs, that after the way which they call hereſy, ſo worſhip I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written, both in the Old and New Teſtament. But not to trouble the Court any longer, I declare myſelf not guilty of the things charged againſt me,
Mr. Divine Reaſon, the Counſel for the priſoner, then aſked him, pray, of what was the untempered mortar made, with which he learned to build? and what is your meaning, that you ſaid he would build with any materials? We expect you to explain this to the Court.
Mr. Penetration. He learned to build with mortar that was not good: for he taught that Chriſt died for all men, and that if a perſon were once in grace, he might fall from it; he alſo exploded faith without good works, as dead and deviliſh; he alſo contended againſt the word Imputed Rightcouſneſs as not right, becauſe it cannot be found in the Bible; he taught that no man could know God's ſecret decrees, and that we muſt improve the grace given to us or fall ſhort of glory, and that we muſt be clothed with a renewed righteouſneſs in the heart, as well as have the merits of Chriſt's righteouſneſs imputed to us, and to be made holy and cleanſed from all unrighteouſneſs; this was his untempered mortar, and the materials he built with.
Mr. Divine Reaſon, Did he not declare, that all ſpiritual things muſt be done and wrought in us, by the operation of the Holy Ghoſt, through faith in the blood of Chriſt, who is the only foundation of a ſinners hope, and who worketh in us both to will and to do of his good pleaſure?
Mr. Divine Reaſon. You talk of a foundation on which you built, and ſay it was on a rock; but you have not told us what rock you mean. If your rock was any other than Chriſt Jeſus, it could not be a right foundation, and as Mr. Univerſal Charity always contends, that there is no [Page 76] other foundation for a ſinner's hope, but Jeſus Chriſt, if he then ſaid that all other foundations were wrong he ſpoke the truth; and if he either in the dark or light pecked away all other foundations he was to be commended. As for his thruſting in clay, as you ſay he did, I ſuppoſe you mean, that your foundation being on abſolute election, and different from his, that he ſtrove to remove your building thereon, and endeavoured to make you build only on Chriſt, "For other foundation can no man lay, than that is laid, which is Jeſus Chriſt," 1 Cor. iii. 11. Nor may we allow of any other; for this foundation of God ſtandeth ſure, and this alone. See Eph. ii. co.
Mr. Divine Reaſon then aſked her, after you had told Mr. Univerſal Charity concerning your dignity and grandeur, and the love of your King to you, did not the priſoner ſay, that the King might caſt you off, if you were unfaithful to him, and went and played the harlot with many lovers, and committed ſpiritual adultery, againſt him? that in ſuch a caſe he would caſt you off, as he had done others, witneſs the ſeven Churches in Aſia, and the Churches of Jeruſalem and Rome, which were once his delight and his ſpouſe, but now are cut off? Did he not forewarn you in the words of St. Paul, Rom. xi. 20, 21, 22. "Be not high-minded, but fear; for if God ſpared not the natural branches"(the Jews) "take heed leſt he ſpare not thee. Behold therefore the goodneſs and ſeverity of God; on them that fell ſeverity; but towards thee goodneſs, if thou continue in his goodneſs; otherwiſe thou alſo ſhalt be cut off?"
Queen. This I cannot deny; but I am taught to believe, that the King will never caſt me off: he may viſit me with ſtripes, and ſcourges; but his loving kindneſs he will never take from me, nor cauſe his faithfulneſs to fail.
[Page 77] Mr. Divine Reaſon, My Lord, you hear that if this Queen be guilty of many great and grievous offences againſt her King, yet ſhe is taught that he will only viſit her offences with ſtripes, and her iniquities with a ſcourge, but will never take away his loving kindneſs from her; whereas this promiſe is given to David, and his ſeed, that if his children forſook the Law of God, and walked not in his judgments, &c. the Lord would then viſit their iniquities, but his loving kindneſs he would not take from David, nor ſuffer his faithfulneſs to fail; but would fulfil his promiſe, that the Meſſiah ſhould come of his loins and be King over the houſe of Iſrael for ever.
But ſuppoſe the priſoner did warn the Queen on wrong grounds, it does not appear any other than an honeſt miſtake; what harm could there be in his advice? we are exhorted to be faithful unto death, and thoſe perſons who improved the talents, were called good and faithful ſervants; but this Queen makes it out, as if the priſoner ſaid, the King would forſake her without cauſe.
Mr. Divine Reaſon. Did not the priſoner tell you, that if you left off to watch and pray, and begin to beat the men ſervants and the maidens, and to eat and drink and be drunken, that in ſuch a caſe your Lord would cut you aſunder.
Mr. Freeman. This I cannot deny; but as I cannot keep myſelf, I expect that the King himſelf ſhould be faithful by keeping me from thoſe things, or if he permit me to fall thus from him, that he will nevertheleſs ſtill pardon me, though I ſhould thus ſin againſt him.
[Page 78] Mr. Divine Reaſon. This Shepherd the witneſs, met by his deſcription of him, was a Nazarite, a glorious name; but in telling us of giving the Kid drink, &c. he repreſents the ſervant of this Shepherd, as jumping in and fouling the water before he gave it to the Kid, and trampling down the graſs before he let the Kid eat, which was to be ſure very wrong; but why ſhould this act of his be brought in againſt the priſoner? If this witneſs did not like the good wine of the Kingdom that was given him, he might go elſewhere, and as he ſays, he was too good a judge of that liquor, to be deceived, then I preſume he has frequently roſe up early in the morning to drink ſtrong drink, and continued until night, till wine inflamed him, on ſuch is pronounced a woe, See Iſa. v. 11. But ſuppoſe the priſoner to have committed a fault in this caſe, yet to have him boiled and made a Skeleton of, about a Kid, and a little wine, is quite out of character, and ſhews what a revengeful ſpirit his proſecutor is of.
Mr. Divine Reaſon obſerved, that what he charged Mr. Univerſal Charity with, was his wanting to get up to the top of the mountain with him; but as he did not like any ſhould get up but himſelf, I ſuppoſe (ſaid he) that he puſhed the poor man down again; but be that as it will, he was forced to let go his hold, and fell almoſt from the top to the bottom, and he might have broke his neck for what this witneſs cared, ſo that he, the priſoner, had the greateſt cauſe to complain. This witneſs farther ſays, that Underſtanding told him, the hill he was upon was called Eternal Election: but there is no ſuch hill as this mentioned in the Bible: therefore this cannot be a right place to build a good foundation upon. I ſhall but juſt mention one thing more, when this witneſs came down from this mountain he talks of, he met with an harlot and went along with [Page 79] her; the more ſhame for him, and ſhe led him into a booth, where he was robbed, wounded, and almoſt killed, which I do not wonder at, when he got into ſuch bad company, but it does not appear, that the priſoner was among this wicked company. Yet it is laid at his door. The Court then called ſome few perſons of good repute, in vindication of the priſoner's character; the firſt was, Mr. Love-Truth, who ſaid, My Lord, I have known this man of a long time, and can ſay, that I have heard him many times declare the great love which the King of Kings hath to all his creatures, eſpecially to fallen men. I have often heard him declare how much it grieved him to ſee how many unhappy perſons there are, who wilfully rejeſt the counſel of God againſt their own ſouls, and he has often exhorted them to flee from the wrath to come, and to lay hold on eternal life, through faith in Chriſt. He has often told them of the willingneſs of God to ſave them, and would not that any ſhould periſh, but rather that they ſhould be converted and live. He has told them that Chriſt died to ſave them, and gave himſelf a ranſom for all, and counſelled them to taſte and ſee how good and gracious the Lord is.
Mr. Love-Truth. Yes, my Lord, and as a proof thereof, he always declared, that whoſoever did not live the life of faith in humble obedience to the word and will of God, they were none of his, let their pretenſions be what they will; for he ſaith with St. Paul, "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, are the Sons of God," and, "If any man have not the Spirit of Chriſt he is none of his." "If ye live after the fleſh ye ſhall die; but if ye through the Spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body ye ſhall live." Theſe and ſuch like obſervations he conſtantly preſſed home upon his hearers, and on thoſe with whom he converſed, which your Lordſhip may find to be true from [Page 80] ſeveral others, who were eye and ear-witneſſes of his life and converſation, as well as me.
Mr. Free-Grace was then called, who ſaid, My Lord, I have had long acquaintance with the priſoner at the bar, who before he was acquainted with me, went by the name of Love-Self, and he has often acknowledged, that it was his proper name, and very deſcriptive of his natural diſpoſition; but as it had pleaſed God to reveal his Son in him, he ſaid, he could not but admire, and bleſs the unmerited love and goodneſs of God in his free grace given unto him, who was totally unworthy thereof on any pretence whatever, and as he had found it written in the Bible, "I have no pleaſure in the death of him that dieth, ſaith the Lord God." Ezek. xviii. 32. And as Chriſt taſted death for every man, and gave himſelf a ranſom for all: he therefore thought, that the free grace of God given unto him, was not denied to others, and as God commanded that we ſhould pray for all men, he therefore thought that he ought to love all men, and from thence he did conſtantly affirm that all men ought to love one another, eſpecially as our Lord had given commandment, to love not only one another, but our enemies alſo; for which reaſon he is called Univerſal Charity, or an Univerſal lover. It is true that he differs in his judgment in ſeveral things, from ſome other good men, who confine the free grace of God to ſuch only as they call the Elect: but he believes it is not only free for the Elect, but alſo, for every Son and Daughter of Adam.
Mr. Follow-Peace, was next called, and ſaid, My Lord, I have been long acquainted with the priſoner, and have obſerved, that he has been often, grieved, that all the children and ſervants of God did not ſtrive more to follow peace with all men, and holineſs, without which no man ſhall ſee the Lord; and has ſaid, he would have all Chriſtians, eſpecially thoſe who had received any degree of divine experience, to ſhew forth [Page 81] good will to all men, and not to be ſo bitter in defending their own opinions, and condemning others. And with reſpect to thoſe who walk contrary to the will of God, he ſaid, that all thoſe who knew the Lord, ſhould act in a friendly manner towards them, by kind and friendly reproofs, tempered with ſharpneſs, mixed with love to their perſons; but with the utmoſt diſapprobation and diſlike of their ſinful lives and vain converſation, abſtaining at the ſame time from all appearance of evil, and not have any fellowſhip with the unfruitful works of darkneſs; but rather reprove them. Many more ſuch kind exhortations, and preſſing arguments would he make uſe of, both in public, and private, and endeavoured to follow the ſame himſelf, at all times and in all places, ſaying, we ought to do all things to the glory of God.
Mr. Godly-Unity was then called, who ſaid, My Lord, I have known the priſoner a long time. He has propoſed many times, to thoſe who were of a different opinion in religious matters, to Unity one with another, and to let controverſy drop; eſpecially ſuch as engendered ſtrife and contention between thoſe Chriſtians who had received the evidence of things not ſeen; and ſaid it was a great pity that ſuch ſhould fall into hot and angry diſputes about ſuch things, as were uneſſential, who had far greater things to mind, ſuch as the obtaining of a fuller manifeſtation of the love of God; and brighter evidences of their growth in grace, which are often obſtructed, by contentious and obſtinate diſputes: he alſo would have all experienced Chriſtians to join in love to each other, for though they might not diſcern all things in the ſame light, yet they might agree in love and Chriſtian fellowſhip, and good-will to each other, and unite together to the pulling down of ſin, and the ſtrong holds of Satan, and build each other up in love and good works, and through the grace of God, turn from darkneſs to light, and from the power of Satan unto God. [Page 82] For though, ſays he, ſome of my Brethren differ from me in opinions, and think my judgment wrong in various points as I do theirs, yet they agree with me that Chriſt is the only foundation of a ſinner's hope, and that none can be ſaved, but by the grace and power of God alone: that Chriſt is all in all to every one that believeth, and that without the power of his Holy Spirit we can do nothing. So that our ſalvation is wholly of God's free-grace in Chriſt from firſt to laſt. And though ſome of them believe it impoſſible for a perſon once in grace, to fall finally away and periſh, yet they alſo allow, that ſuch ſhould glorify God in their lives and converſations, which if they do not, they will doubt if they were ever in a ſtate of grace; for, ſay they, the love of God ſhed abroad in their hearts, would conſtrain them to live the life of the Goſpel. So that, ſaid he, they agree with me, that men muſt firſt be holy, before they can be happy, and that they muſt be led by the Spirit of God, or they could be none of his. Thus my Lord, I have told you how willing he is to unite with the children of God of every denomination, being willing to become all things, conſiſtent with the word of God, to all men, if that by any means he may be an inſtrument in the hands of God of ſaving ſome, and of building others up in their moſt holy faith.
Mr. Fervent-Zeal was next called, who ſaid, My Lord, with reſpect to the priſoner, I have heard him ſay, and maintain that we all fell in Adam, and that it is impoſſible any of us ſhould recover ourſelves from this fall, and that without Chriſt, we can do nothing acceptable unto God. With St. John he ſaith, That Jeſus Chriſt is the propitiation for our ſins, and alſo for the ſins of the whole world; and with St. Paul. That Chriſt gave himſelf a ranſom for all; and, "As by the offence of one, judgment came upon all men to condemnation, even ſo by the righteouſneſs of one, the free gift came upon all men unto juſtification [Page 83] of life." Rom. v. 18. And ſaid with David, The Lord is good to all, and his tender mercies are over all his works, and with Peter and Paul, That God is no reſpecter of perſons. In ſhort, he always declared, That we ſhould give all diligence to make our calling and election ſure; and to fear leſt a promiſe being left us of entering into his reſt, we ſhould fall ſhort of it; declaring how the Lord cut off the children of Iſrael in the wilderneſs, and how Moſes told them from the Lord, That they ſhould know his breach of promiſe; and many other ſuch exhortations he gave to caution us not to fall away through unbelief; for he that endureth to the end he ſaid, ſhould be ſaved.
Mr. Election, who ſaid, My Lord, ever ſince Mr. Univerſal Charity has been committed to my charge, he has behaved himſelf as one of the elect of God, by walking in all his commandments, and renouncing all ſelf-dependance, and ſelf-righteouſneſs, declaring that we have no righteouſneſs that will ſtand us in any ſtead, but the righteouſneſs of Chriſt: nor have we any real righteouſneſs in ourſelves, but what is given to us, and wrought in us by the operation ot God's holy Spirit; and as he contendeth for the neceſſity of theſe truths, ſo did his life, converſation and his experience, teſtify the ſame thing, of which he has given me a very clear account ſuch as his conviction of ſin, and being held for ſome time in ſpiritual bondage through unbelief, and how God was pleaſed to deliver him, by the pardon of his ſins, and by his Spirit bearing witneſs with his Spirit that he was a child of God.
Theſe and many other things he hath declared to me to be his experience, which has often filled him with wonder, love, and praiſe: ſo that I think, he ought not to be condemned, ſince the Lord by his holy Spirit hath ſet him free from [Page 84] the law of ſin and death; for there is no condemation to them that are in Chriſt Jeſus, who walk not after the fleſh but after the ſpirit. He frequently ſaid, that we ought to love all men, and alſo pray for them. This he proved from Matt. v. 43, 44. and 1 Tim. ii. 1. And that we muſt love all the children and ſervants of God, who are renewed in his image, with a love of complacency, or delight; although they may differ from us in many things, relating to the great myſteries of godlineſs. And as for all others, we ought to love them with a love of benevolence, or good will, while living here on earth; but when they are departed hence, we muſt leave them to God, and know of a certainty, that he will ſend none to everlaſting deſtruction, except they juſtly deſerve it; for the judge of all the earth will do right. Thus, my Lord, I have given you a true and juſt account of the priſoner's character, which in duty and juſtice I am bound to give.
We may obſerve, that God is love, and all his rational, or intelligent creatures ought to be ſo likewiſe. It is the want of this, that make ſo much ſpite, malice, and ill-will in the world as we daily ſee: but were the whole world filled with Univerſal Charity, or Love, it would in a great meaſure be what it ought, and what we wiſh it to be; free from contentious ſtrife. If Univerſal Charity had but had a full poſſeſſion of all men's hearts in former days, we ſhould not have heard of ſo much bloodſhed, deſtruction, and ruin, as we have heard of in the world. Had Univerſal Charity led the van, we ſhould not have heard of the bloody perſecutions of ſo many thouſands of poor innocent children and perſons put to death by cruel and bloody tyrants. If the love which our Lord and Saviour [Page 85] Jeſus Chriſt, and his apoſtles, and diſcinles preached in the world, had met with no other enemy than Univerſal Charity, I am perſuaded there would not have been ſuch bloody perſecutions carried on againſt them as there were under the Roman Emperors. Nor would the Church of Rome have perſecuted the Proteſtants in ſuch a mercileſs manner, if Univerſal Charity had taken poſſeſſion of their hearts. If they had been Univerſal lovers, they would not have been engaged in ſuch inhuman work: nor ſhould we have ever heard of the bloody butchery acted in the Maſſacre of Paris, nor the infamous Maſſacre in Ireland, in 1641. In ſhort, had Univerſal Charity reigned in the hearts of all men, the numberleſs villainies of all kinds would never have been acted. But when the knowledge of the Lord ſhall cover the earth, as the waters do the ſea; when each one ſhall ſit contented under his own vine, and under his own fig-tree, none making him afraid, then Univerſal Charity will be God's Vicegerent, and dwell in the hearts of all mankind, and God himſelf will reign in the hearts of all men without a rival.
And I am ſure that the Goſpel is good tidings of great joy to all people, and teaches to follow peace with all men, and to owe no man any thing, but to love one another, and were we univerſally to do this as the Goſpel teaches, there would be no robberies, nor murders committed; no cheating nor defrauding one another. And as we are commanded to love our enemies, it would be quite irrational not to love our neighbours and friends, and therefore of neceſſity we muſt love all men, or break the commandments of God. Much more I might add in behalf of Univerſal Charity, or Univerſal love to all men; but I forbear to trouble the Court any farther.
Gentlemen of the Jury, you have heard wh [...]t the witneſſes have ſaid againſt the priſoner, in [Page 86] which you may remember that they have brought nothing to the purpoſe of conviction, no abſolute charge, or proof againſt him, but what is rather in a way of alluſion to things that are rather fanciful than real, and ſuch as are ſpoken in general terms; ſo that I need not fum up their evidence, eſpecially as you heard the ſame on the former trial: and I ſuppoſe you have made ſuch remarks among yourſelves, as are ſufficient to direct you in your conſultation on the Verdict you are to give on the caſe. Likewiſe you are to conſider what the other perſons have ſaid in the pr [...]ners behalf, as they have ſpoken in a plain and fair manner with reſpect to his judgment and opinions, as well as his character, you may eaſily recollect the ſubſtance of what they have ſaid, without my repeating it. I ſhall therefore diſmiſs you with theſe inſtructions. If you are convinced, that the priſoner is an enemy to God, his word, and people, by wilfully breaking his holy laws, by wicked works, and under the pretence of love to God, and to all men, he has, or does act the hypocrite, by drawing near to God with his mouth while his heart is far from him; or if you are perſuaded that he endeavours to oppoſe God's goodneſs, juſtice, mercy and truth; you are in theſe caſes to bring him in guilty. But if you are convinced that he is of God, by loving and obeying his holy will, and that from a mind renewed by the grace of God, he lives to the praiſe and the glory of his grace, as far as you are able to know from what has been ſaid; you are then to bring him in not guilty, although he may in ſome things differ in his opinions, from ſome good men. I therefore would have you bring in your Verdict as ſoon as you can, and we will ſtay till you return; and may the Lord direct you!
1. Paul ſaid, Were I to bring the priſoner in guilty, I muſt then condemn myſelf; for with me [Page 87] he declareth, that Chriſt gave himſelf a ranſom for all, and taſted death for every man, and that we ſhould pray for all men, 1 Tim. ii. 1.-6. and Heb. ii. 9. and of conſequence we ought to love all thoſe we pray for, as the priſoner ſaith.
2. John ſaid, I agree with Paul in my judgment, that Chriſt is the propitiation, not for our ſins only, but alſo for the ſins of the whole world, 1 John ii. 2. And as God is love, ſo he that loveth is born of God, 1 John iv. 7, 8. and as the priſoner confirms theſe doctrines, both by precept and example, I can but acquit him.
3. Jude ſaid, I alſo agree with you both, and declare with reſpect to the common ſalvation, that he who contends for the faith once delivered unto Saints, is a child of God, let others call him what they will; on this ground then I muſt acquit the priſoner.
4. Luke ſaid, I acquieſce with you, my holy Brethren. And as the Angel ſaid to the Shepherds, behold I bring you good tidings of great joy which ſhall be to all people, Luke ii. 10. And as the priſoner confirms this truth, as tidings of great joy to all men, let us releaſe him.
5. Iſaiah ſaid, I approve of what each of you have ſaid; for God promiſed to our father Abraham, that in his ſeed ſhould all the nations of the earth bo bleſſed, Gen. xv.ii. 18. and xxii. 18. For thus ſaith the Lord, Look unto me and be ye ſaved all the ends of the earth; and ſaith, I will alſo give thee for a light to the Gentiles that thou mayeſt be my ſalvation unto the ends of the earth, Iſa. xlv. 22. and xlix. 6. I then acquit the priſoner, becauſe he holds theſe truths.
6. Mark ſaid, I alſo agree with what each of you have ſaid, and add in the words of our Lord; Thou ſhalt love thy neighbour as thyſelf, and furely the priſoner does not contradict this, as he contendeth that we ſhould love all men as ourſelves; ſo let him go free.
7. Job ſaid, I agree with each of you, and aſk, Why ſhould we proſecute him? Behold the fear [Page 88] of the Lord that is wiſdom, and to depart from evil is underſtanding, which we hear is the diſpoſition, and practice of the priſoner. And was I to eſteem him an Hypocrite, I ſhould act as wrong by him, as my friends did by me, by being a miſerable comforter to him, inſtead of defending his innocency, by acquitting of him.
8. Jeremiah ſaid, I not only agree with you, my well-beloved brethren, concerning Chriſt the Meſſiah dying for ſinners, and that we ſhould love all men for his ſake: but I alſo obſerve, that the priſoner cautions the children of God againſt falling away from him, like as I have declared from the Lord, "My people have committed two evils; they have forſaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out ciſterns, broken ciſterns, that can hold no water." Jer. ii. 13. and complains, "Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right ſeed, how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a ſtrange vine unto me?" Jer. ii. 21. This the Lord aſks concerning them that turned from him, therefore I muſt not condemn the priſoner.
9. Matthew ſaid, Nor I neither; for he defends what my gracious Maſter taught, who came not to deſtroy men's lives, but to ſave them; for he ſaith, what the priſoner contends for, is in my fifth chapter, from verſe 43, to the end, which I need not repeat; "Whoſoever therefore ſhall break one of theſe leaſt commandments, and ſhall teach men ſo, he ſhall be called the leaſt in the kingdom of heaven: but whoſoever ſhall do and teach them, the ſame ſhall he called great in the kingdom of heaven." Matt. v. 19. "Therefore all things whatſoever ye would that men ſhould do to you, do ye even ſo to them; for this is the Law and the Prophets." Chap. vii. ver. 2. And as it is declared that the priſoner doth teach and do them, I therefore acquit him.
10. Peter ſaid, I agree with you all; a man that preaches muſt ſpeak as the oracles of God, and this I find the priſoner doth, by affirming with [Page 89] Brother Paul and me, that God is no reſpecter of perſons. Nor does he bring in damnable hereſies, by teaching men to deny the Lord that bought them; but teaches that Chriſt is, "not willing, that any ſhould periſh, but that all ſhould come to repentance," 2 Pet. iii. 9. And warns men, not to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them, 2 Pet. ii. 20. 21. Therefore let him go free.
11. David ſaid, You have all ſpoken agreeable to the Laws of the Celeſtial Realm; and as the priſoner doth ſet forth the goodneſs and loving kindneſs of the Lord, by affirming that the Lord is good to all. and that his tender mercies are over all his works, Pſalm exlv. 9. which is quite agreeable to what I have learned of the Lord. I do therefore give my conſent, for his releaſe.
12. Moſes ſaid, I am for his being acquitted from the charge brought againſt him; for with me he affirmeth, that in the ſeed of my father Abraham ſhould all nations of the earth be bleſſed, as God had promiſed; and he likewiſe gives warning to all not to forſake the Lord God, as thoſe did in my time, whom I alſo warned againſt falling away from the Lord; but who nevertheleſs provoked the Lord in the wilderneſs, and forſook him; inſomuch that the Lord ſware in his wrath, they ſhould not enter into his reſt; and commanded me to tell them that they ſhould know his breach of promiſe, and that they ſhould bear their iniquities forty years, and die in the wilderneſs; and the Lord was angry even with me for their ſake.
The Jury then being all agreed, came into the Court, and the Judge ſaid, Gentlemen of the Jury, what ſay you, is the priſoner Guilty or not Guilty? To whom Paul their foreman made anſwer, Not Guilty my Lord.
The Judge then ſaid, Mr. Univerſal Charity, you are now honourably acquitted; and then gave orders that he ſhould be diſcharged by public proclamation, which was done accordingly. At which [Page 90] many in the Court rejoiced. The priſoner then returned his moſt grateful, and thankful acknowledgment to the Court, for their candid and impartial enquiry into his affair. And then the Court broke up.
AFTER Mr. Univerſal Charity was diſcharged, many of his friends perſuaded him to proceed in a proſecution againſt Mr. Uncharitable, who had unjuſtly proſecuted him, which he was unwilling to do; for ſaid he, it may be deemed returning evil for evil, and that will not be doing right. But one Mr. Godly-Zeal, an enemy to ſin of every kind, ſaid, that he had a full Commiſſion from the King of Kings to oppoſe ſin in all its forms, and ſaid, as I am in duty bound ſo to do, I am therefore determined that the Law ſhall be put in force againſt Mr. Uncharitable, or Partial Charity, becauſe he is a wicked Spirit, endued with a very ſinful nature.
Mr. Godly-Zeal then went with ſome of his friends, who were great oppoſers of ſin, to Mr. Goſpel-Experience, the Magiſtrate, and having given him an account of various and great evils, that Mr. Partial Charity had done, and was continuing to do by the help of the Devil, againſt the Laws of the King of Kings, his crown and dignity, with an intent to deſtroy all his faithful children, ſervants, and ſubjects, and to ruin his kingdom here on earth, which he had ſet up at ſo great an expence, and which he had purchaſed with his moſt precious blood.
[Page 91] The Magiſtrate having heard the crimes which theſe honeſt men had charged Mr. Uncharitable with, he, upon their oaths, granted a warrant to apprehend him. They then carried the warrant to Mr. Godly-Reſolution, the Conſtable, one that was firm in his purpoſes, and ſteady in his truſt, and alſo a great enemy to ſin. In a little time after, having heard where Mr. Uncharitable was, he called ſome of his faithful neighbours to go along with him, to aſſiſt in taking Uncharitable into cuſtody, which they did, though with ſome difficulty, and put him into the Cage, till they could carry him before the Magiſtrate, of which they gave notice to Mr. Godly-Zeal, and his friends who attended with the priſoner before Mr. Goſpel-Experience; with whom was Mr. Godly-Mind, another Juſtice of the Peace, before whom, the priſoner was examined; and being fully charged with committing many wicked practiſes of long ſtanding, and alſo of later date, his Mittimus was made, when he was ſent to Gaol, and delivered into the Cuſtody of Mr. New-Man, a very faithful and diligent perſon; and Mr. Godly-Zeal was bound over to proſecute him. There was bail offered for him, but refuſed; becauſe all manner of ſin is unbailable, by reaſon of its ungovernable diſpoſition, and the Law ſays, we muſt keep under, and bring into ſubjection, or captivity, the whole body of ſin; ſee Rom. vi. 6. 2 Cor. xx. 5. and Gal. v. 24. of which Partial Charity is one of its chief branches, as will be proved on the trial. As ſoon as Mr. New-Man had him in cuſtody, he found that he had a ſubtle, wicked, and ungovernable priſoner to deal with, and therefore was obliged to watch him with all diligent care, and circumſpection; or he would, one way or other, have got out of priſon, to the great damage of his Majeſty's ſubjects, and to the hurt and diſgrace of Mr. New-Man and his friends.
The time being come for the Trial of Mr. Uncharitable, the Commiſſion was given to my Lord [Page 92] Divine-Experience to try him, aſſiſted by my Lord Spiritual-Man, and my Lord Diſcerning-of-Spirits. The Grand Jury were holy men of God. whoſe real characters and writings are contained in the Old and New Teſtament, whoſe names were, 1. Moſes, 2. Job, 3. David, 4. Solomon, 5. Iſaiah, 6. Jeremiah, 7. Ezekiel, 8. Matthew, 9. Mark. 10. Luke, 11. John, and 12. Paul, who found the bill againſt the priſoner.
The Court then proceeded to try him. having firſt appointed or impannelled the Gentlemen of the Jury, who were men of approved characters, whoſe names were, 1. Enoch, 2. Noah. 3. Abraham, 4. Iſaac, 5. Joſeph, 6. Joſhua, 7. Samuel, 8. Elijah. 9. Eliſha, 10. Daniel, 11. Peter, 12. Jude. Theſe being ſworn, took their places, when the priſoner was brought to the bar, and there holding up his hand, the Indictment was read as follows.
Mr. Uncharitable, alias Partial Charity, you are here indicted by the name of Uncharitable, or Partial Charity, of the Town of Falſe-Love, in the County of Little-Good. For diſturbing the peace of the children and ſervant of the King of Kings, the Sovereign Lord of the Univerſe; by having rebelled againſt his Laws. robbed and plundered his faithful Subjects. and put to death very many of them in a cruel and barbarous manner: and by the help of the devil, haſt put our bleſſed Lord and Saviour to death. Nor has there been any manner of evil committed upon earth, but thou haſt had ſome hand in it, and haſt always been in ſecret or open practices of rebellion with thy wicked conſederates, in all manner of unrighteouſneſs, injuſtice, and wickedneſs, againſt our moſt gracious Sovereign Lord Jeſus Chriſt, his crown and dignity. What ſayeſt thou? Art thou Guilty, or not Guilty?
The priſoner anſwered, Not Guilty, my Lord; and ſo put himſelf upon his defence. The witneſſes were then called. The firſt of theſe was Mr. Tell-Truth, who being ſworn, the Judge aſked him what he had to ſay in behalf of oar Sovereign [Page 93] Lord the King, againſt the priſoner at the bar?
Tell-Truth. My Lord, the priſoner, Mr. Uncharitable, juſtly anſwers his name; his wicked nature quite agreeing thereto. The firſt two brothers ever born into the world, he ſet one againſt the other, and at laſt inſtigated the elder to kill the younger, becauſe his own works were evil and his brother's righteous. He alſo helped to fill the earth with violence, ſo that God brought the flood on the world of the ungodly; but by means of an ark, Noah, and his family, being eight perſons, were ſaved from the flood, while all the reſt were drowned; and pity it was, this priſoner did not periſh with the wicked: but ſome way or other he eſcaped, and made his appearance with Nimrod, the mighty hunter; he after that got into the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, &c. for which, and other wickedneſſes, the Lord overthrew thoſe cities with fire from heaven. He afterwards got into the family of a very good man, named Jacob, and by the help of one of his wicked companions, named Envy, he ſtirred up ten of this man's ſons to ſell their Brother Joſeph into Egypt, for a bond-ſlave. In proceſs of time, this priſoner ſtirred up Pharaoh, King of Egypt, to deal very uncharitably with the children of Iſrael, who were choſen people of God; who commanded them to kill their male children as ſoon as they were born, and laid very heavy burdens on thoſe people of God; oppreſſing them with cruel bondage. But God plagued that wicked King with ten terrible plagues, and brought his people out from among them, and delivered them from their enemies by bringing them ſafely through the Red-Sea on dry ground; and drowned, and overthrew all the hoſt of Pharaoh, King of Egypt, both himſelf, his chariots, and his horſe-men, who purſued the children of Iſrael.
The priſoner alſo ſtirred up the Kings of Canaan, &c. (who were many in number) to war againſt theſe people of God; but the Lord was with them, [Page 94] and deſtroyed their enemies, and gave them their lands for an inheritance. The priſoner alſo moved Ahab, King of Iſrael, and Jezebel his wife, to take away the life and vineyard of Nabeth the Jezereelite, and to deſtroy all the Prophets of the Lord; he having filled his wicked King and Queen with ſo much partial Love, that they had but very little Charity for any but the Prieſts of their Idol Baal. And indeed, my Lord, I had like to have forgotten that this Partial Charity ſo prevailed with David, King of Iſrael, a man after God's own heart, as to cauſe him to commit adultery with Uriah's wife, who afterwards cauſed her huſband to be killed by the enemy, by commanding his General to leave Uriah unſupported in the fore-front of the hotteſt battle, where he was ſlain in defence of that King, who, in this unjuſt manner, procured him to be ſlain. He alſo filled Saul, King of Iſrael, with his uncharitable ſpirit, inſomuch that he gave commandment for the Prieſts of the Lord to be ſlain. And when our bleſſed Saviour was upon the earth, he filled the Chief Prieſts, and Rulers of the Jews, with ſuch uncharitableneſs, that they put to death the Lord of life and glory, and afterwards perſecuted his apoſtles and diſciples. He alſo filled Saul, (afterwards called Paul,) with ſo much partial Charity, that he breathed out threatnings and ſlaughter againſt the diſciples of the Lord, haling forth men and women to priſon, and perſuaded Saul that he ought to do many things againſt the name of Jeſus. The priſoner alſo ſtirred up enemies againſt Paul, after he was converted, and in the end got him put to death. He alſo ſet on foot ten bloody perſecutions againſt the Chriſtians, under the Roman Emperors: and when that Empire became Chriſtians, he in proceſs of time, turned this Church of Chriſt into a Church of perſecution, ſo that thouſands of the children and ſervants of God were put to death in the moſt cruel manner, throughout divers countries and kingdoms, for many ages; many of them were burnt alive, others were driven [Page 95] out from their homes in the depth of winter, to periſh on ice and ſnow, being deſtitute, afflicted, and tormented; many were tortured with the moſt cruel and bloody barbarities, that were poſſible for human beings to contrive. Likewiſe to this priſoner may juſtly be charged, the bloody maſſacre in Paris, and the cruelties exerciſed in England againſt the Proteſtants; and alſo the lriſh maſſacre, in which many thouſands wcre butchered in a very inhuman manner; theſe and many other cruelties too tedious to mention, hath this wicked being, Mr. Uncharitable, been guilty of.
Mr. Divine Charity was then called, and being ſworn, ſaid, My Lord, I have known the priſoner a long time, and could not only witneſs what has been ſaid againſt him already, but can give a farther account of him, though not to his credit. His father is Lucifer, the great enemy of God and man, called Satan the deceiver, or prince of hell; called likewiſe the Devil and Apollyon the deſtroyer; and his Mother's name is Sin. Theſe two have got a numerous progeny that are all wicked to the laſt degree like their parents; and they are ſo linked together, that there is not any evil committed upon the whole earth, but what ſome of theſe, the Devil's offspring have a principal hand in doing it: of which offspring, the priſoner is one of the principal, inſomuch that there is no manner of ſin committed but what he has ſome hand in carrying it on, and is often the firſt aſſailant, and like his father the Devil, and his mother Sin, he is partial in every thing he does. For my Lord, he not only helped to act thoſe bloody ſcenes before ſpoken of, by Mr. Tell-Truth; but has cauſed many unjuſt and bloody wars to be ſet on foot, and by his wicked counſel, and the help of his confederates, his Brethren and Siſters, ſuch as envy, ſpite, malice, hatred, revenge, murder, cruelty. &c. with all manner of unrighteouſneſs, and injuſtice, whereby he has ſo prevailed, that whole countries and kingdoms have been ruined by their means, and many cities, towns, and villages [Page 96] have been depopulated and deſtroyed by them; and the inhabitants put to death by famine, fire, and ſword: and likewiſe all manner of murders, robberies, extortion and oppreſſions have been carried on by him and his confederates. But to be more particular, I ſhall mention a few inſtances of his unrighteous dealings, and that of late date, that the Court may know he is ſtill the ſame evil being as formerly.
In the reign of Queen Elizabeth, he ſtirred up the Spaniards to invade her territories, deſtroy her kingdoms, and put her ſubjects to death in a barbarous manner; they having brought with them, in their invincible Armada, as they called it. a great number of cruel inſtruments of death, which may be ſeen in the Tower of London to this day; from which barbarous intention of the Spaniards, the Lord was pleaſed in mercy to deliver us. He alſo moved Count Tully to deſtroy the City of Magdeburg, who flew the whole inhabitants thereof with the ſword. not ſparing even the women and children, of which that Count often gloried afterward. The dreadful fire of London, and the late riots there, may be juſtly charged to the priſoner, beſide many other things of the like nature. He has alſo cauſed many diviſions between the moſt intimate friends, and often has ſet perſons at variance, who have commenced vexatious law-fuits againſt each other for mere triſles. And to make his wickedneſs the more complete, he has ſet the children of God at variance, one againſt another, under various pretences. For when, through divine grace, I have been inſtrumental in bringing perſons of different opinions in religion to embrace the truth, and ſome of them have received the evidence of things not ſeen, and a manifeſtation of the love of God ſhed abroad in their hearts, and have united together in Chriſtian love and fellowſhip; after awhile this Mr. Partial Charity, would ſtep into their hearts, and influence either party, and ſometimes both, to withdraw their love from each [Page 97] other, under a pretence of one holding the truth in preference to the other; and then he perſuades them that they ought earneſtly to contend for the faith once delivered to the Saints, and under this pretence, he has ſet them to oppoſe each other, and has thus deſtroyed their love and good-will towards each other, till at laſt he obtains his ends, ſo as to make them think uncharitably one of another, and has ſeparated them ſo, that ſome of them ſcarcely allow, that any will be ſaved but thoſe of their own party. And the bigots of ſuch party-diſpute, under the influence of the priſoner, will contend, that their opponents never had Chriſtian experience, let their experiences be what they will; but will repreſent it as falſe, and a deluſion, although their experiences agree with their own. becauſe they ſee things in a different point of view. But were thoſe perſons whom they ſo uncharitably judge, to alter their opinions, and join in thoſe of their opponents, they would then be looked upon by them as real Chriſtians, although they have had no farther experience of a work, of grace than they had before: ſo that ſuch pcrſons Judge according to their opinions, and not according to the experience another may have of a work of grace on his heart. And when at any time the moderate men of each party, would compromiſe the differences between them, in order to unite together in love and chriſtian fellowſhip. and contend only againſt ſin and Satan, and all their adherents, then this priſoner, with his wicked confederates, join together to oppoſe it with all their might; fearing leſt their father's kingdom fhould come to nought: and therefore the priſoner ſtirs up one fiery partyſpirited bigot, or other to oppoſe ſuch an union, either by falſe reports, or miſrepreſentations of thoſe perſons who differ from his opinions; of which, my Lord, we have a recent inſtance in the Author of the Skeleton, who invited the priſoner to aſſiſt him in compiling that Unchriſtian book. If ſo, ſaid the Judge, he ought to be tried with the [Page 96] [...] [Page 97] [...] [Page 98] priſoner for entertaining ſuch a ſpirit of uncharitableneſs as he has done in that book.
My Lord Spiritual-Man, then aſked the Judge if he had read it? Yes, ſaid he. and I think it ought to be burnt by the hands of the common hangman, for the ſpirit of it: and then made ſome remarks on the Author's calling religious people, Phariſees, Hypocrites, and Nazarites, and repreſenting ſuch, to be worſe than thieves, murderers, ſodomites, &c. becauſe they differ from his opinions, and laying to their charge, the wrong and falſe opinions of others, contrary to their writings, and repeated tcſtimony; which, ſaid the Judge, is both unjuſt and uncharitable, and ſuch as ought not to be countenanced by any perſons, eſpecially not by experienced Chnſtians of any denomination.
Mr. Divine Charity. Yes, my Lord, this wicked priſoner, at the Council of Conſtance ſo prevailed by his bad influence that the Council condemned John Huſs and Jerome of Prague, to be burnt alive for th [...]r holding the truth, which was done accordingly. At the Synod of Dort he procured ſeveral Miniſters to be baniſhed, becauſe they could not in their conſciences agree with what the Synod was pleaſed to decree in all things. And the ſame ſort of work he promoted here in England, in the reign of Queen Mary, by perſecution, and in part the ſame, in the reign of King Charles, when many eminent Miniſters were turned out of the Church, and ſome of them were ſent to priſon for preaching the word of God; thus has this priſoner dealt with good men.
Mr. Godly-Zeal. My Lord, when any perſons have been inſpired with godly zeal, for the honour of God, this priſoner bath endeavoured [Page 99] to turn it into an intemperate and uncharitable zeal, and has very often ſucceeded in his attempts.
In the caſe of Jehu King of Iſrael, who ſhewed forth his zeal in the deſtruction of the houſe of Ahab, and by deſtroying all the Prieſts of Baal, his image, and his houſe, yet after wards, this priſoner perſuaded Jehu to forſake the Lord God, and to worſhip the golden calves. St. Paul was full of zeal for the Lord God of Iſrael; but the priſoner perſuaded him, that he ought to do many things againſt the name of Jeſus, and therefore he made havock of the Church, by committing men and women unto priſon, and putting them to death; and carried his perſecuttons unto ſtrange Cities.
The priſoner has alſo ſet many good men one againſt another, and cauſed needleſs diviſions, and ſeparations in the Church of God upon very ſlight and unneceſſary grounds; from whence have riſen bloody perſections, and uncharitable cenſures one of another, and at other times the ſpirit of railing, backbiting, and ſlandcring of each other. Some he has ſet in public pulpits to vilify and contemn others, and to write books ſubverſive of unity, peace, and concord, as is plainly manifeſt in the Author of the Skeleton. At firſt, when he began to preach, he, in ſome meaſure, carried himſelf lovingly to thoſe whoſe opinions were different from his own. But after awhile he began to give place to, and entertain the priſoner, Mr. Partial Charity, and then he ſet about his dividingwork, not only with the Arminians, but with; many of the Calviniſts alſo; for when a certain Lady would have the ordained Miniſters of her Societies, to make uſe of the Liturgy of the Church of England at R-d, where ſome perſons of her Society had founded a congregation, and where ſeveral of the Arminians had lent their aſſiſtance to form and eſtabliſh the ſame without diſputing about their different opinions; this priſoner ſo prevailed in the heart of the Author of the Skeleton, that he ſaid he would have no form. [Page 100] of prayer there; he alſo preached a diſcourſe on "Separate them," and railed againſt the Arminians, and exhorted them of his own party, to have no fellowſhip with them. Another time he preached on, "Only believe."And faid, "I do not care for Mr. W—y's, nor Mr. W—d's opinions neither."
Another time, when Mr. M—nw—r—g, who had been at great expence to form a congregation at R-d. came with ſeveral others, to ſettle Preachers in connection with the Author of the Skeleton, he, by the inſtigation of the priſoner, would not agree to any thing that was propoſed; but went on with his ſeparating work, till he had not only ſeparated the Arminians from the congregation, but the Calviniſts one from another; and to compleat the whole, the priſoner helped him to compoſe his Skeleton alſo.
The Judge then aſked the priſoner if he had any thing to reply, in anſwer to what theſe witneſſes had ſaid againſt him? Who anſwered, My Lord, I refer that to my Counſel, and hope your Lordſhip will be pleaſed to hear two or three perſons in my behalf, To which the Judge gave conſent.
The firſt was, Mr. Party-Zeal, who ſaid, My Lord. I have known the priſoner a long time, and have often heard him ſay, that it was every man's right to defend his own party, property, or opinionſ, and that he would have all men ſo to do; and to aſſert their own right againſt all perſons who would oppoſe them, or with-hold that from them which they ought to have; but if any perſons went beyond this, it ought to be laid at the door of thoſe who cauſed it ſo to be done; as was the caſe between Joſeph and his brethren. There we find Envy moved them to ſell their brother, and not the priſoner: and whatever maſſacres, murders, wars, &c. have happened, in the [Page 101] world, your Lordſhip knows, that pride, ambition, covetouſneſs, ſpite, malice, envy, &c. ſet the actors to commit ſuch wicked deeds; as in the caſe of Cain and Abel; there malice, envy, and hatred, ſet Cain to work to kill his brother; and the Jews, when they killed the Lord of life and glory, there pride, ambition, and cruelty ſet them to work; as they did the Roman Emperors afterwards in the ten bloody perſecutions carried on againſt the Chriſtians. The ſame may be ſaid of perſecutions and unjuſt wars; all theſe were carried on by the advice and aſſiſtance of thoſe, and ſuch like, that I have named, and this was in defence of their own rights, and authorities. The ſame may be ſaid of religious diſputes, as each perſon has a right to defend his own principles, this made the priſoner aſſiſt in compiling the Skeleton: and he would do the ſame on the other ſide, with any one who would anſwer the Author in the ſame ſpirit; for he would as willingly help them alſo.
My Lord, as the priſoner has been ſet in a very bad light by the witneſſes for the crown, I hope to be able to give a better account of him; for it is but juſt that we ſhould ſpeak of his good deeds, and not accuſe him of things that are bad, when other perſons have done them. For, my Lord, he has helped to do many a good deed. When the children of Iſrael ſmote the Kings of Canaan, &c. he taught them to have no charity for them, becauſe the Lord had commanded that they ſhould be utterly deſtroyed; he taught King Saul to have partial charity for Agag, King of the Amalekites; but as ſoon as he found that the Lord would not have him ſpared, he then perſuaded Samuel to cut Agag to pieces before the Lord. He alſo perſuaded Elijah the Prophet not to ſpare Baal's falſe Prophets; but to deſtroy them all. The ſame he did by Jehu in perſuading him to kill all the worſhippers of Baal: and many other the like, as In the caſe of Paul, who, while he thought the [Page 102] diſciples of Jeſus Chriſt were wrong, he perſuaded him to make havock of them; but as ſoon as Paul was convinced of his miſtake, the priſoner then left off perſuading him. thinking it wrong ſo to do. And with reſpect to the ſubſequent wars, perſecutions, and other things, of which the priſoner ſtands charged, he always adviſed perſons to right thrmſelves when they were aggrieved, and he was for the laws of Kings and Princes, &c. to be obeyed. And if the ſubjects thought they were ill uſed, he adviſed them to deſend themſelves in what they thought was right; but when any of them were convinced they were wrong the priſoner then adviſed them no farther, but left them to do as they pleaſed. He alſo ſtrove to pleaſe all men, by adviſing them to defend themſelves againſt all injuries; and in the caſe of robberies, &c. he only ſaid that no man ought to ſtarve, and therefore adviſed perſons to get their living ſome way or other; but left the way of doing it to themſelves. And if they got it honeſtly, he made no ebjection thereto. But the truth is, when Mr. Partial Charity had given perſons the beſt advice he could, they would call in ambition, covetouſneſs, oppreſſion, revenge, cruelty, &c. to help them to perform the work they choſe to have done: ſo that it was they who did thoſe evil deeds, and not the priſoner.
Mr. Right-Self was then called, and ſaid. My Lord, I have known the priſoner for many ages, and can ſay that he always appeared to me to act in a very right and proper manner; for he always counſelled perſons to take care of, and right themſelve on any perſons who had done them any injury, and adviſed all men in power, not to ſuffer their law; and dignity to be trampled upon, or evaded; not to act like theſe mean ſpirits who would ſuffer themſelves to te trodden down by others: but to ſhew a juſt reſentment againſt all offenders, and not to ſuffer innovations either in Church or State, but to defend the good old way, eſtabliſhed by their forefathers, ſuch as Paganiſm, [Page 103] Judaiſm, or Popery. Now in doing theſe things, the oppoſite parties would cauſe much trouble, ſo that there was no putting an end to thoſe troubles but by violent meaſures, which often brought on perſecutions, &c. from hence came thoſe evils ſo complained of. The ſame may be ſaid of wars and other evils, by one kingdom claiming a right to be obeyed or ſubmitted to by another, in what they ſell out about. And as Mr. Partial Charity often thought that the other parties were oppreſſed too much, he adviſed them to make a noble ſtand againſt their foes who oppreſſed them. He often very juſtly adviſed the Proteſtants to withſtand the Papiſts, when they were oppreſſed by them; and perſuaded all thoſe who were oppreſſed by their neighbours, to defend themſelves, and adviſed nations to go to war with other nations, upon the ſame grounds; and all others of the like nature, he always ſaid, that each party ought to right itſelf. But both ſides would often call in injuſtice and cruelty, to help them to finiſh the work they had begun, and therefore ſuch doings ought not to be charged to the priſoner, but to them. It is true the priſoner was called upon to carry on a proſecution againſt Mr. Univerſal Charity, becauſe if he is ſuffered to dwell in the hearts of all men, there would be nothing for the priſoner to do, to maintain himſelf and family, and then he and they would be quite ſtarved, which is what his proſecutor, and the witneſſes againſt him, want. And though he adviſed and aſſiſted in compiling the Skeleton, yet the Author would alſo employ, envy and ill-will, if not hatred and malice, to do the greateſt part thereof; and the priſoner by nature cannot love all men, eſpecially Univerſal Charity, and thinks that he has an undoubted right to love himſelf and friends above all others, it being his nature ſo to do. I therefore cannot ſee who can blame him for doing as he has done in the whole affair.
Mr. Self-Defence, the priſoner's Counſel then ſaid, My Lord, as Counſel for the priſoner, I hope [Page 104] the Court will permit me to ſpeak a few words in his behalf, who, my Lord, is here charged with many and great evils by him committed. But it ſhould be conſidered, that it chiefly turns on what things he has given his advice in, and not that he did thoſe things himſelf. In the caſe of Cain, he only adviſed him to aſſert his right as the firſt born; but his carrying it ſo far as to kill his brother, was his own fault, by calling in hatred, to aſſiſt him in the murder. The Antediluvians were urged on in their wicked courſes by Mr. Violence, who carried the day at that time. And Nimrod was aſſiſted in his hunting by Mr. Ambition, if he hunted men inſtead of beaſts; if the latter, there could be no harm at all in it. As for Pharaoh, he encouraged hardneſs of heart to aſſiſt him in his oppreſſions. And envy moved the Patriarchs to ſell their brother Joſeph into Egypt. The Jewiſh High-Prieſt, and Elders, by their forefather's laws and cuſtoms, contrary to the law of God, crucified Chriſt, and perſecuted his diſciples; not knowing that he was the Lord of life and glory. The following perſecutions carried on by the Roman Emperors, were cauſed by pride and ambition, and in defence of their gods whom they worſhipped; and that has been the cauſe in all perſecutions, by perſons being led to eſteem their own opinions in preference to others, and encouraging, ſpite, malice, and ill-will againſt all other perſons, for thinking different from them, which is cauſed by one Partial Zeal, a blind bigotted fellow, who often takes right for wrong, and wrong for right. As for unjuſt wars they are moſtly began and carried on, through ambition and thirſt of power, &c. And as for Mr. Partial Charity, each perſon only had advice of him, and then took his own Counſel, and employed whom he pleaſed, in all manner of evil, either in perſecutions, unjuſt wars, or in murders, robberies and the like.
Suppoſe a perſon kept out of his juſt right, goes to a Counſellor for advice, who tells him [Page 105] how to proceed according to Law, he then goes away and plunders or murders the perſon who kept him out of his right; ought his doing ſo to be laid to the Counſellor's charge? who had not adviſed him to rob or murder? Certainly not. As for vexatious Law-ſuits, they are often prolonged by the perſons employed. So that upon the whole I think the priſoner not ſo bad a perſon as he is repreſented to be, and therefore think he ought to be acquitted.
Mr. Divine Reaſon the Counſel for the crown, then replied. My Lord, I obſerve, that neither the perſons in behalf of the priſoner, nor his Counſel, have proved him not guilty of the things charged againſt him; but have ſtrove to ſix the crimes on other perſons. But who ſhould they be? but thoſe very perſons who are in confederacy with him and ready to do any ſort of wicked work; and are all of the family and offſpring of ſin and Satan. And to be ſhort, the priſoner is one who firſt breaks the peace, and then calls his wicked companions to do the reſt of the work, be it ever ſo bad. For were Mr. Divine Charity, or even Mr. Univerſal Cha [...]i [...], to reign and rule in the hearts of all men, and they to love their neighbours as themſelves, and love their enemies alſo, then we ſhould have none of this wicked work carried on in the world; at leaſt, not ſo much of it by far. It is the want of Divine and Univerſal Charity, ruling in the hearts of all men, that gives too much room for Partial Charity to reign there, and to introduce his wicked confederates with him, and when they are once got into the heart of any one; there is no power on earth can caſt them out: none but power from on high, can remove or ſubdue them.
The judge then directed his ſpeech to the Jury, and ſaid: Gentlemen of the Jury, you have heard what the witneſſes have ſaid in proof againſt the priſoner at the bar, in which they have charged him with, aiding, adviſing, and abetting, Various wicked perſons, in murders, perſecutions, &c. [Page 106] And you have heard what his witneſſes have ſaid in his favour. Now, if you are fully perſuaded in your minds that he is a Spirit come from God, and not in connection with the ſpirits of darkneſs, you are in this caſe to acquit him. But if you are perſuaded that he is of Satan, and in league with ſin, and a branch of ſin and Satan's family, you are then to bring him in Guilty. I therefore would have you bring in your Verdict as ſoon as you can.
The priſoner ſaid, My Lord, I hope your Lordſhip will take pity on my very old age, and conſider that what I have done was done according to the dictates of my nature. And your Lordſhip knows, that I cannot do any thing contrary thereto; for nature cannot overcome nature, or renew itſelf. Nothing but grace can do that. Beſide, my Lord, it was others that committed thoſe crimes charged againſt me, and carried matters too far, as the perſons in my behalf have proved. Therefore, in mercy my Lord, be as favourable to me as you can, and conſider that you are acting under the Goſpel of mercy, and in the name of the God of mercy.
Judge. Mr. Uncharitable, alias, Partial Charity, the evidence is clear againſt thee; and as for thy age, in reſpect of which thou craveſt pity, it is a pity that thou haſt lived ſo long, to do ſuch great and general miſchiefs, as theſe good men have witneſſed againſt thee. But the reward of thy deeds is eternal death: this is the King of Kings everlaſting and unchangeable decree, againſt all manner of ſin, and every branch and offspring [Page 107] thereof, of which thou art a principal branch: hear therefore thy ſentence. Thou Mr. Uncharitable, or otherwiſe called Partial Charity, haſt by this name been tried for various outrages, murders, robberies, &c. in confederacy with others; and art found guilty by the beſt of Juries. But as the Goſpel-Law doth not give power to any Spiritual Court, to put any man to death about ſpiritual things; and as it is contrary alſo to the example of the holy apoſtles; I muſt paſs ſentence according to the tenor of the GoſpelLaw, which is, That thou Partial Charity ſhalt be carried back to the priſon from whence thou cameſt, and there be kept cloſe priſoner, under the care and charge of Mr. New-Man, the Gaoler, until all thy members are mortified, and crucified, with every vile affection and luſt, until the whole body of ſin be deſtroyed; and until thou and all thy confederates, being the offspring of ſin and Satan, periſh in the hearts of all thoſe of every denomination who have, or ſhall truly put on Chriſt, and who are, or ſhall be renewed by the ſpirit of his grace.
Therefore Mr. New-Man, take the priſoner, and ſee that the ſentence, through the power and aſſiſtance of divine grace, be fully executed; and when the King of Kings ſhall come to judge the world, then ſhall the priſoner, with every branch and offspring of ſin, and all his confederates and adherents of every kind, together with themſelves, be doomed to dwell in everlaſting burnings; being caſt into the lake of fire and brimſtone, where the ſmoke of their torment ſhall aſcend up for ever and ever. As ſoon as this dreadful ſentence was paſſed on the priſoner the Court broke up.
Note, That not only ſin, which is a ſpiritual evil. both in the fallen angels, and men, will be ſeparated from God; but all the adherents of ſin and unrighteouſneſs, who die in an unpardoned and unrenewed ſtate, will dwell for ever in the regions of endleſs woe; being [Page 108] puniſhed with everlaſting deſtruction, from the preſence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.
There are many more falſe quotations in this Skeleton; many of which ſeem to be made by deſign, to give his opinions the greater appearance of truth, which perſons not obſerving, may think that the Scriptures ſpeak the ſame things he doth. As to his calling Ehjah, Samuel, David, and John the Baptiſt, Calviniſts, the Arminians might with equal propriety call them Arminians, the Papiſts call them Papiſts, and the Antinomians call them Antinomians; and ſo might every other ſect and denomination of Chriſtians. As in ſeveral places he has called the word righteouſneſs, imputed righteouſneſs, others have an equal right to call it, inherent righteouſneſs, others legal righteouſneſs, and others moral righteouſneſs; and thus each would call it by what name they pleaſed, and ſo confound the meaning of the word.
As for the ſpirit in which he has written, few Chriſtians, I think, can approve of it; as it is quite contrary to the meek and loving ſpirit of our bleſſed Saviour, and ſuch as He has no where countenanced, either by precept or example; but rather the reverſe, as Luke ix. 55, 56. But this ſpirit of Univerſal Charity he is highly offended at, and would have it quite baniſhed out of the world, and Partial Charity introduced in its ſtead. In ſuch a caſe we ſhould all have a fair pretence, to ſet at nought, and hate all thoſe who diſſer from our opinions. But to the ſhame and condemnation of ſuch a ſpirit as is carried on in the Skeleton, the Holy Scripture teacheth that we muſt love our enemies, bleſs them that curſe us, and do good to them that hate us, and pray for them that deſpitefully uſe us, and perſecute us; and follow peace with all men: which is as far from the ſpirit of Partial Charity, as heaven is from hell. And the unchriſtian ſpirit he has [Page 111] ſhewn in the letters which he has publiſhed at the end of his Skeleton, on which I ſhall add a few more remarks.
This he ſpeaks concerning a young man who preached in one of his places, and offended him, in ſpeaking about Moſes being learned in all the learning of the Egyplians, which he thought was po'nted at him, as he is quite illiterate. Therefore he calls him, "this advocate for gipſy's wiſdom," and, "this young quack in parſonic robes."
Page 234. "It was the holy reſolution of the apoſtle Paul not to build on another man's foundation. I have obſerved ſome who are very fond of breaking through all bounds into man's labour; and with a party ſpirit, and a fiery zeal, will draw a wonderful train after them, both bad and good; and if they can chain them up in a bigotted ſpirit, and get them to hate the poor paſtor that firſt begat them, then they ſay, we havé eſtabliſhed Church, and if the father of this run-away ſlock exclaim againſt thoſe thieviſh meaſures, then theſe ſcattering gentlemen call it, being perſecuted for righteouſneſs ſake."
In theſe lines, Mr. H. has truly deſcribed his own conduct, in the affair at R-d, before ſpoken of; when he ſeparated the congregation at that place, which was gathered by others before he came there.
Page 237. "The apoſtles themſelves caſt lots to chuſe a Miniſter, in the place of Judas, and the lot fell upon Matthias, thus the lot of man fell on Matthias, but the Saviour's lot fell on Saul of Tarſus."
[Page 113] Page 238. "All thoſe perſons who communicate a narrow contracted ſpirit to a ſlock, or ſix prejudice on the minds of ſimple ſouls, who divide the affecions of a Society, and ſcatter diſcord among them, are ſeeds-men of Satan."
Page 240. "When you ſee ſheep-ſtealers come tumbling over God's hedges, do not act the part of a dumb dog: but bark and bite too; for God makes us ſharp threſhing inſtruments having teeth; as ſlails, we muſt keep beating: and as we have teeth we muſt uſe them; but only with the Wolves, and the Foxes, who come to ſteal the lambs."
Thus the Author ends his Skeleton, in the ſame ſpirit he began it, from which ſpirit may the Lord in mercy deliver the children of God! And that we may learn what ſpirit we ought to be of, and how we ought to treat thoſe who differ from us in things not eſſential, let us conſider the account given in the Goſpel.
When the diſciples forbad one who was caſting out devils in the name of Chriſt, he ſaid unto them, "Forbid him not; for he that is not againſt us is for us;" and when the Samaritans would not receive him, his diſciples aſked leave, to call fire down from heaven to conſume them; but he ſaid, "Ye know not what manner of ſpirit ye are of; for the Son of Man is not come to deſtroy men's lives, but to ſave them. Hence we learn that our Lord would not permit his diſciples to forbid others to do good, though they did not follow him; nor would he inflict judgments on thoſe who would not receive him. To the ſame purpoſe St. Paul ſaith, Why doſt thou judge thy brother? or, Why doſt thou ſet at nought thy brother? for we ſhall all ſtand before the judgment-ſeat of Chriſt. And St. James ſaith, "Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that ſpeaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, ſpeaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law; but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge." From. [Page 114] which paſſages we learn, That the ſpirit and conduct of Mr. H. and of all who are likeminded with him, are diametrically oppoſite to the Goſpel of Chriſt.
As to Mr. H. I dare not reprobate him for his mere opinions, though I totally diſapprove of moſt of them. But I entirely condemn that bitterneſs, and unchriſtian rancour, which he has diſplayed on this, and various other occaſions. Yet the worſt thing I wiſh him is, to be throughly convinced of the great impropriety of indulging that fooliſh, and ridiculous bigotry, and almoſt unparalleled ſcurrility; and that he may ſee, before it be too late, that the wrath of man worketh not the righteouſneſs of God.
In the mean time, let all who wiſh to be followers of the meek and lowly Jeſus, put on, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindneſs, humbleneſs of mind, meekneſs, longſuffering: forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any have a quarrel againſt any about opinions, or any thing elſe; even as Chriſt forgave you, ſo alſo do ye. Thus let us earneſtly, zealouſly, follow peace with all men, and ſtrive to plcaſe our neighbour, every man for his good to edification. For if we do this, we ſhall meet with the approbation of all wiſe and candid men, and have a conſcience void of offence, towards God and towards man, and meet with the high approbation of our Lord, when he cometh in the clouds of heaven.