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HE reader is desired to turn to the end of the
A K E Y
Just published, price Six-pence,
Hill, Esq; to which is opposed A Creed for those who believe that Christ tasted death for every man. By the Author of the Checks to Antinomianism.
London : Printed by R. Hawes, (No. 34.) in Lamb
Atreet, near Spital-Square, 1775.
Ready for the Press, by the same Author,
An ESS AY on the Twin-Doctrines of Christian
Imperfection and a Death Purgatory;
P R E F A CE.
THE Reconciler invites the contending parties to end
the controversy ; and, in order to this, he beseeches them not to involve the question in clouds of evasive cavils, or personal reflections ; but to come to the point, and break, if they can, either the one or the other of his Scripture-Scales; And, if they cannot, to admit them both, and, by that means, to give glory to God and the Truth, and be reconcilit to all the Gospel, and to one another.
EING fully perfuaded that christianity fuffers
greatly by the opposite mistakes of the merc Solifidians, and of the mere Moralifts; we embrace the truths and reject the errors, which are maintained by these contrary parties. For, by equally admitting the doctrines of grace, and the doctrines of justice; -by equally contending for faith and for morality, we adopt what is truly excellent in each system ; we reconcile Zelotes and Honeflus'; we bear our testimony. against their contentious partiality; and, to the best of our knowledge, we maintain the whole truth as it is in Jesus. If we are mistaken, we shall be thankful to those who will set us right. Plain scriptures, close arguments, and friendly expoftulations, are the weapons we chuse. We humbly hope, that the unprejudiced reader, will find no other in these pages : And to engåge our opponents to use such only, we present to them the following Petition.
For Candor's fake;- for Truth's sake;- for Peace's fake ;--for the Reader's fake ;-and, above all, for the sake of Christ, and the honour of christianity ; whoever ye are, that shall next enter che lifts against us, do not wiredraw the controversy by uncharitably attacking our persons, and abfurdly judging our spigits, instead of weighing our arguments, and conSidering the scriptures which we produce. Nor pass
over fifty folid reasons, and an hundred plain paffages, to cavil about non-essentials, and to lay the fress of your answer apon mistakes, which do not affect the Arength of the cause, and which we are ready to correct, as soon as they shall be pointed out.
Keep close to the question : do not divert the reae der's mind, by starting from the point in hand upon the most frivolous occasions; nor raise duft to obscure what is to be cleared up. An example will illustrate my meaning. Mr. Sellon, in vindicating the Church of England from the charge of Calvinism, observes, that her catechism is quite anti-calvinistic, and that we ought to judge of her do&rine by lier own cate. chism, and not by Ponet's Calvinian catechism, which poor young king Edward was prevailed upon to recommend fome time after the establithment of our church. Mar. Toplady, in bis Historic Proof, instead of considering the queflion, which is, whether it is not fitter 10 gather the doctrine of our cliurch from her own antiCalvinian catechism, than from Ponet's Calvinian ca. techism; Mr. Toplady, I say, in his answer to Mr. Sallon, faitens upon the phrase poor young king Edward, and works it to such a degree, that be raises from it clouds of shining duft, and pillars of black smoke ; : filling, if I remember right, a whole section with the praites of King Edward, and with reflections upon Mr. Sellon : And in this bright cloud of praise, and vask cloud of difpraise, the question is so entirely lost, that I doubt it one in an hundred of his readers has the least idea of it, after reading two or three of the many pages, which he has written on this head. By fich means as this, it is, that he has made a ten or twelve Stilling book, in which the church of England is condemned to wear the badge of the church of Geneva. And the Calvinifts conclude, Mr. Toplady has proved, that she is bound to wear it; for they have paid dear for the Proof.
That very gentleman, if fame is to be credited, has some thoughts of attacking the Checks. If ne favours me with just remarks upon my mistakes (for I have probably made'more than one'; tho' I hope
none is of a capital nature) he thall have my sincere thanks :. But, if he involves the quellion in clouds of personal reflections, and of idle digressions; he will only give me an opportunity of initiating the public more and more into the mysteries of Logica Genevensis. I therefore intreat him, if he thinks me worthy of his notice, to remember that the capital questions—the questions, on which the fall of the Calvinian, or of the anti-Calvinian doctrines of grace turn, are not, Whether I am a fool and a knave; and whether I have made fome mistakes in attacking antinomianisın: but, Whether those mistakes affect the truth of the anti-solific dian and anti-pharisaic gospel, which we defend ; --Whether the two gospel-axioms are not equally true; Whether our second scale is not as scriptural as the firft; -Whether the doctrines of justice and obedience are not as important in their places, as the doétrines of grace and mercy ;-Whether the plan of reconciliaton laid down in Sec. xvii, and the marriage of Free-grace and Free-will, described in Sect, xxiv, are not truly evangelical ;-Whether God can judge the world in righteousness and wisdom, if man is not a free, unneceffitated agent;- Whether the justification of atedient believers by the WORKS OF FAITH, is not as fcriptural as the justification of finners by faith its felf;- Whether the eternal salvation of adults is not of remunerative justice, as well as of free-grace; --Whether that salvation does not SECONDARILY depend on the evangelical, derived worthiness of obedient, persevering believers; as it PRIMARILY depends on the original and proper merits of our atoning and interceding Redeeiner ;-Whether man is in a state of probation ; or, if yoa pleafe, Whether the Calvinian doctrines of finished Jalvation and finished damnation are true; Whether there is not a day of initial sala varion for all mankind, according to various difpenfations of divine grace ;-Whether Christ did not talle death for every man, and purchase a day of initial redemption and falvation for all finners, and a day of eternal redemption and salvation for all persevering believers ;-Whether all the fins of reat apoitates ;
er frail.faler believers fall fo work for their end, that core of them fhall ever be dam.sed for any crime he Inail commit;- Whether they fall all fog louder in beaven for their grea:eft falls on earth ;Whether our absolute, jerjeral reprobation from everDal life, is of God's free-surath thro' the di cred, nie Getary fin of Adam; or of God's juft-wrath throm car own offlinari, avoidable perfeverance in fio;Włether our dearices of ron-necrfEtating zue, and of juil-wrath, do not exalt all the divine pertections ; and Whether the Calvinian doctrines of neceffitating grace and free-wrash, do not pour contempt upon all the attributes of God, his Suvereignty not excepted.
Thele are the important questions, which I have principally debated with the Hon. and Rev, Mr. Shirley, Rich. Hill, Efq; the Rev. Mr. Hill, the Rev. Mr Berridge, and the Rev. Mr. Toplady. Some less effential co lateral, queftiors I have touched upon, such as, Whether Judas was an absolutely-graceless hypocrite, when our Lord raised him to a poitolic honours;-Whether some of the most judicious Calvioits have not, at times, done justice to the doctrine of Freee avill and † co-operation, &c. These and the like questions I call collateral, because they are only occationally brought in ; and because the walls which defend our doctrines of grace fiand firm without them. We hope therefore, that if Mr. Toplady, and the other divines who defend the ramparts of myftical Geneva, Atould ever attack the Checks, they will erect their main batteries against our towers, and not again it some infignificant part of the fcaffolding, which we could entirely take down, without endangering our Jerusalem in the leait. --Should you refuse to grant our reasonable requelt ; nould you take up
+ The Rev. Mr. WHITEFIELD in his answer to the Bishop of London's paftoral letter, says, “ That prayer is NOT the SINGLE “ work of the Spirit, without any co-OPERATION OF OUR OWN, * I readily confefs. Wkoever affirmed, that there was no CO-OPERA.
TION UT OUR OWN MINDS, together with the impulse of the fpirit. ; God?"- Now, that many reft theit of salvation merely by