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HE Author of the Checks has promised to his readers an answer to the Rev. Mr. To
Top piece, entitled, More Work for Mr. Wesley. His reafon for postponing the finishing of that part of his Logica Genevenfis, was the importance of the Equal Check, which closes the controversy with Mr. Hill. He saw life so uncertain, that, of two things which he was obliged to do, he thought it his duty to set about that which appeared to him the more useful. He considered also, that it was proper to have quite done with Mr. Hill, before he faced so able a writer a's Mr. Toplady, And he hoped, that to lay before the judicious a complete system of truth, which, like the sun, recommends itself by its own lustre, was perhaps the best method to prove that error, which shines only as a meteor, is nothing but a mock-fun: However he fully designs to perform his engagement in a short time, if his life is fparede
Madeley, Nov. 12,
Containing fome remarks upon the distinguishing character
of true Proteftants, and upon the contrary disposition.True Prateftants are chosen judges of the Doctrines advanced in this book.– A sketch of the Author's Plan.Observations upon the manner in which it is exccuted. -General directions to the Reader.-True Protestants are encouraged to protest against religious absurdities, and unscriptural impositions: The Author enters a double protest against the ANTINOMIAN and PHARISAIC gospels of the day—and continues to express his love and
eftecm for the good men, who, thro' the force of proju• dice, spouse and defend those partial gospels.
BRETHREN AND. FATHERS,
errors at the time of the reformation. They pleaded, that antiquity, fynods, councils, Fathers, canons, tradition, and the church were on their side: And they so obfcured the truth by urginy scripturemeraphors, and by quoting unguarded paffages from the writings of the Fathers, that thousands of fimple souls knew not which of the contending parties had the Truth on its side. The great question debated in those days was, wbether the holi, that is, the bread consecrated by the prieit in the Lord s fupper, was to be worshipped as the identical body of our Lord. The Romanilts produced Christ's own words, Take and eat, THIS is My bedy :-THIS is My blood ;; drink of it. a 3
life in you:
Except you eat my flesh and drink my blood, ye have no
The Reformers answered that, thofe exa preffions being figurative, it was absurd to take them in a literal sense; and they proved their assertion by appeals to reason, and to the scriptures, where the consecrated bread is plainly called bread. The Romanists replied, that in matters of faith we must set aside reason : And some of them actually decried it as the greatest enemy to faith ; while others continued to produce crude quotations from all the injudicious, inconsistent, over-doing Fathers. The Reformers seeing that, at this rate, there would be no end of the controversy, protested three things in general : (1) That right reason has an important place in matters of faith: (2) That all matters of faith may, and must be decided by scripture understood reasonably, and consistently with the context: And (3) That antiquity and Fathers, traditions and councils, canons and the church, lose their authority, when they depart from sober reason and plain scripture. These three general protests are the very ground of our religion, when it is contradirtinguished from popery. They who stand to them deferve, in my humble opinion, the title of true. Protestants; They are at least the only persons, to whom this epistle is inscribed.
If the preceding account is just, true Protestants are all candid; christian candor being nothing but a readiness to hear right Reason and plain Scripture. Sincerely desirous to prove all things, io hold fast that which is good, and to approve things which are excellent, Protestants are then never afraid to bring their creed to a reasonahle and scriptural test. And, conscious that the mines of natural and revealed religion are not yet: exhausted, they think with the apostle, that if
any man supposes, he has learned all that he should know, be is vainly puffed up in his fleshly mind, and knows nothing yet as be ought to know.
Hence it is, that of all the tempers which true Protestants abhor, none seems to them more detestable than that of those gnosticks--those pretenders to fuperior illumination, who under the cominon pretence
ers, Jose 101
of orthodoxy or infallibility, shut their eyes against the ex light, think plain fcripture beneath their notice, enter
their protest against reason, steel their breasts against n by conviction, and are fo rooted in blind obftinacy, that
they had rather hug Error in an old fantastic dress,
chan embrace the naked Truth, newly emerging from slide
under the streams of prejudice:-impetuous streams the these, which the dragon caffs out of his mouth, that he 100 may cause the celestial virgin to be carried away by the
food, Rev. xii. 15. Alas! how many profeflors are eing there, who like St. Stephen's opponents, judges, and
executioners, are neither able to refiit, nor willing to
admit the truth; who make their defence by stopping Eib: their ears, and crying out, the temple of the Lord, the temaded ple of the Lord are we; who thrust the supposed heretic ady
out of their fanhedrim; who from the press, the pulpit
, or the dictator's chair, fend vollies of hard infinua. tions or soft affertions, in hope that they will pass for solid arguments ; and who, when they have no more stones or snow-balls to throw at the supposed Philifa tine, prudently avoid drawing the sword of the Spirit, retire behind the walls of their fancy'd orthodoxy, raise a rampart of flanderous contempt against the truth that besieges them, and obfinately refuse either candidly to give up, or manfully to contend for, the un." scriptural tenets which they will impose upon others as pure gofpel.
Whether fome of my opponents, good men as they are, have not inclined a little to the error of those fons of prejudice, I leave the candid reader to decide. They have neither answered, nor yielded to the argument of my Checks. They are shut up in their own city. Strong and high are thy walls, O mystical Jericho : thy battlements reach unto the clouds; but truth, the spiritual ark of God, is stronger, and shall
prevail. The bearing of it patiently around thy ram3
parts, and the blowing of rams horns in the name of the Lord, will yet shake the very foundation of thy towers. O that I had the honour of successfully mix." ing my feeble voice with the blasts of the champions
who encompass the devoted city! O that the irresistible shour, Reason and Scripture. —Christ and the Truth, was universal ! If this were the case, how soon would Jericho and Babylon-antinomianism and pharisailm, fall together!
Those two antichristian fortresses are equally attacked in the following pages ; and to you, true protestanrs, I submit the inspection of the attack. Direct me where I am wrong, allist me where I am right, nor refuse to support my feebleness by your ardent prayers; for, next to the captain of our salvation, I look to you for help and comfort.
My opponents and I equally pretend to proteftantism, and who shall judge between us ? Shall it be the men of the worldNo: for St. Paul says, I speak to your Name : Is it so, that there is not a WISE MAN among you? No, not one that Mall be able to jurige aming his brethren? There are wise men in our deipised camp, able to judge between us; and ye are the men, honoured brechren; for ye are all willing to hear reason, and ready to weigh firipture: Therefore, on my part, I. fincerely chule you as judges of the present dispute.
And that you may not bok upon this office as one worthy of your acceptance, permit me to tell you, that: our controversy is one of the most important which was ever set on foot. To convince
To convince you of it, I need only remind you, that the GRAND enquiry, What , Joail I do to be saved? is entirely suspended on this GREATER question, Have I any thing to do, to be eter.. nally saved ? A queition
question this, which admits of three answers: (1) That of the mere Solifidian, who says, if we are elect, we have nothing to do in order to etere. nal salvation, unless it be to believe that Christ has. done all for us, and then to sing finished saivation : and. if we are not elect, whether we do not hing, little, or much, eternal ruin is our inevitable portion.- (2) That of the more Moralift, who is as great a stranger to the doctrine of free-grace, as to that of free-wrath ; and tells you, that there is no free, initial salvation tor us; and that we must work ourselves into a state