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men are yet so overpowered by the terror of the Lord therein discovered, and the threats of the wrath to come, as not to dare to run out to the utmost that the desperate thoughts of their own hearts and the temptations of Satan meeting in conjunction would carry them unto, as it hath daily and manifold experiences to evince it, so the examples of men so awed by conviction mentioned in the Scripture do abundantly manifest. Now, what is it, among all the considerations of the account that men are to make and the judgment which they are to undergo, which doth so amaze their souls and fill them with horror and astonishment, so strike off their hands when they are ready to stretch them out to violence and uncleanness, or so frequently make their conception of sin abortive, as this of the eternity of the punishment which impenitent sinners must undergo? Is not this that which makes bitter the otherwise sweet morsels that they roll under their tongues, and is an adamantine chain to coerce and restrain them, when they break all other cords and cast all other bonds behind them? Yea, hath not this been, from the creation of the world, the great engine of the providence of God for the preserving of mankind from the outrageousness and unmeasurableness of iniquity and wickedness, which would utterly ruin all human society, and work a degeneracy in mankind into a very near approximation unto the beasts that perish,-namely, by keeping alive, in the generality of rational creatures, a prevailing conviction of an abiding condition of evil doers in a state of misery?' To undeceive the wretched world, and to set sinful man at liberty from this bondage and thraldom to his own causeless fears, Mr B. comes forth and assures them all that the eternity of torments is a fable, and everlasting punishment a lie. Let them trouble themselves no more; the worst of their misery may be past in a moment. It is but annihilation, or rather perdition of soul and body, and they are for ever freed from the wrath of the Almighty! Will they not say, “Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we shall die?” Down we lie of a season ; God, it seems, will see us once again, and then farewell for ever.
Whether ever there were a more compendious way of serving the design of Satan, or a more expedient engine to cast down and demolish the banks and bounds given to the bottomless lust and corruption of natural men, that they may overflow the world with a deluge of sin and confusion, considering the depraved condition of all men by nature and the rebellion of the most against the love and mercy of the gospel, I much doubt. But who is more fit to encourage wicked men to sin and disobedience than he who labours also to pervert the righteous and obedient from their faith?
1 “Bene et composite Cæsar .... disseruit, falsa, credo, existimans, quæ de infernis memorantur; diverso itinere malos a bonis loca tetra, inculta, foeda atque formidolosa, babere.”—Cato, apud Sallust. Bell. Catilin. 52.
To close this whole discourse, I shall present Mr B.'s catechumens with a shorter catechism than either of his, collected out of their master's questions, with some few inferences naturally flowing from them; and it is as follows:
Ques. 1. What is God?
A. In a certain place in heaven, upon a throne, where a man may see from his right hand to his left.
Q. 3. Doth he ever move out of that place ?
A. I cannot tell what he doth ordinarily, but he hath formerly come down sometimes upon the earth.
Q. 4. What doth he do there in that place ?
A. Sometimes he is afraid, sometimes grieved, sometimes joyful, and sometimes troubled.
Q. 7. What peace and comfort can I have in committing myself to his providence, if he knows not what will befall me to-morrow ?
A. What is that to me? see you to that.
A. No; but he is made a spirit: so that being not God, but man, he was made a god, and being made a god, he is a spirit, and not a man.
Q. 12. What is the Holy Ghost ?
Q. 17. Was Christ the eternal son of God in his bosom, revealing his mind from thence, or was he taken up into heaven, and there taught the truths of God, as Mohammed pretended ?
A. He ascended into heaven, and talked with God before he came and showed himself to the world.
Q. 18. What did Christ do as a prophet ?
Q. 20. Who was it that said of old, “ Thou shalt love thy neighbour and hals thine enemy?”
A. God, in the law of Moses, which Christ corrects.
:Q: 21. 18 Christ to be worshipped because he is God ?
A. No, but because he redeemed us.
Q. 22. May one that is a mere creature be worshipped with divine or religious worship?
Q. 23. How can Christ, being a mere man, and now so far removed from the earth, understand and hear all the prayers and desires of the hearts of men that are put up to him all the world over ?
A. I cannot tell, for God himself doth not know that there are such actions as our free actions are but upon inquiry.
Q. 24. Did Christ give himself for an offering and sacrifice to God in his death?
A. No; for he was not then a priest.
Q. 25. Did Christ by his death make reconciliation for our sins, the sins of his people, and bear their iniquities, that they might have peace with God?
A. No, but only died that they might turn themselves to God.
Q. 26. Did he so undergo the curse of the law, and was he so made sin for us, were our iniquities so laid on him, that he made satisfaction to God for our sins ?
A. No; there is no such thing in the Scripture.
Q. 27. Did he merit or procure eternal life for us by his obedience and suffering?
A. No; this is a fiction of the generality of Christians.
Q. 28. Did he redeem us properly with the price of his blood, that we should be saved from wrath, death, and hell ?
A. No; there is no such use or fruit of his death and blood-shedding.
Q. 29. If he neither suffered in our stead, nor underwent the curse of the luw for us, nor satisfied justice by making reconciliation for our sins, nor redeemed us by the price of his blood, what did he do for us,—on what account is he our saviour
A. He taught us the way to heaven, and died to leave us an example.
Q. 30. How then did he save them, or was he their saviour, who died before his teaching and dying?
A. He did not save them, nor was their saviour, nor did they ask any thing in his name, or receive any thing on his account.
Q. 31. Did Christ raise himself, according as he spake of the temple of his body,
Q. 32. Hath God from eternity loved some even before they did any good, ani elected them to life and salvation, to be obtained by Jesus Christ ?
A. No, but he loved all alike.
Q. 33. Did God in the sending of Christ aim at the salvation of a certain nunber, or his elect?
A. No, but at the salvation of men in general, whether ever any be saved or
Q. 34. Are all those saved for whom Christ died?
Q. 35. Is faith wrought in us by the Spirit of God, or are we converted by the efficacy of his grace?
A. No, but of ourselves we believe and are converted, and then we are made partakers of the Spirit and his grace.
Q. 36. Are all true believers preserved by the power of God unto salvation:
Q. 38. Are we to receive or apprehend Christ and his righteousness by faith, that we may be justified through him?
A. No, but believe on him that raised him from the dead, and without that it suffices.
Q. 39. Are we able to keep all God's commandments :
Q. 40. Perhaps in our sincere endeavours, but can we do it absolutely and perfectly?
A. Yes, we can keep them perfectly.
Q. 41. What need a man then to apprehend Christ's righteousness and apply it to himself by faith
A. None at all, for there is no such thing required.
A. They shall be so consumed, body and soul, as not at all to remain in torments.
OF THE DEATH OF CHRIST, AND OF JUSTIFICATION:
THE DOCTRINE CONCERNING THEM FORMERLY DELIVERED VINDICATED FROM
THE ANIMADVERSIONS OF MR R. B[AXTER.]"
Of this task I would complain if I durst, but I know not how it may be taken, and whether it may not occasion another apology. So are writings of this nature as waves, that thrust on one another. “Books," says one, are like good turns; they must be new covered, or it will rain through.” I was in some hope to have escaped this trouble; but róvos xóveo róvor pépss. And Chrysostom tells us that πολλής γίμει ταραχής η ζωή, και θορύβων μιστός παρών βίος εστίν.3 I desire to be content with my portion, being better yet than that of Livius Drusus, who complained “uni sibi nec puero quidem unquam ferias contigisse.”+ So it be in and about things of real use and advantage to the souls of men, I can be content with any pains that I have strength to answer.
But this is an evil which every one who is not stark blind may see in polemical writings ; almost their constant end is, λογομαχία, τεριαυτολογία, απολογία: whence saith the apostle, Γίνεται φθόνος, έρις, βλασφημίαι, υπόνοιαι πονηραι, παραδιασριβαί. Having, through the providence of God, whether on my part necessarily or wisely I know not (osos oids), engaged in public for the defence of some truths of the gospel (as I believe), I was never so foolish as to expect an escape without opposition. He that puts forth a book sentences his reason to the gantelope: every one will strive to have a lash at it in its course; and he must be content to bear it. It may be said of books of this kind as Menander said of children (things often compared), Tò yíntotas ratipe saídwy, númn, pócos, Ppourís,—“Anxiety, fear, and trouble, attend their authors.” For my own part, as I provoked no man causelessly in any of my writings, defended no other doctrine professedly but the common faith of the protestant churches, of which I found the saints of God in possession when I became first acquainted with them, so I have from the beginning resolved not to persist in any controversy, as to the public debate of it, when once it begins to degenerate into a strife of words and personal reflections. So much the more grievous is it to me to engage in this now in hand; of the necessity whereof I shall give the reader a brief account. That as to the matter of the contest between Mr B. and myself, Mr B. is my witness that I gave not the occasion of it; so as to the manner of its handling, that I carried not on the provocation, I appeal to all that have read my treatise which is now animadverted on. The same person
et initium dedit et modum abstulit.” Some freedom of expression that, perhaps, I might righteously have made use of, to prevent future exacerbations, I designedly forbore. I know that some men must have Βύσσινα ρήματα. Εxpressions concerning them had need be μυροβρεχείς, or like the letters that men print one of another, which are oftentimes answerable to that of Augustus to Mæcenas, “ vale mel gemmeum, Medulliæ ebur ex Hetruria, laser 1 An account of the controversy to which this Appendix
relates will be found in a prefatory note to Owen's treatise “ of the Death of Christ,” in reply to Baxter. See vol. x. p. 430.-ED.
* Sophocles, Aj. 866. 3 Chrysost. Con. i. pi sporoías. 4 Sueton. in Vit. Tib.