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The most of what follows is about the grace of Christ, which, having destroyed what in him lies his person, he doth also openly reject; and in the first place begins with the foundation, his making satisfaction to God for our sins, all our sins, past, present, and to come, which also, under sundry other expressions, he doth afterward condemn. God is a God of “ purer eyes than to behold evil,” and it is “his judgment that they which commit sin are worthy of death ;” yea, “it is a righteous thing with him to render tribulation” to offenders;' and seeing we have “all sinned and come short of the glory of God,” doubtless it will be a righteous thing with him to leave them to answer for their own sins who so proudly and contemptuously reject the satisfaction which he himself hath appointed and the ransom he hath found out.” But Mr B. is not the first who hath “erred, not knowing the Scriptures” nor the justice of God. The Holy Ghost acquainting us that “the LORD made to meet upon him the iniquity of us all; that he was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, and that the chasiisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed; that he gave his life a ransom for us, and was made sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him; that he was for us made under the law and underwent the curse of it; that he bare our sins in his body on the tree; and that by his blood we are redeemed, washed, and saved," -we doubt not to speak as we believe, namely, that Christ underwent the punishment due to our sins, and made satisfaction to the justice of God for them; and Mr B., who it seems is otherwise persuaded, we leave to stand or fall to his own account.
Most of the following instances of the doctrines he rejects belong to and
may be reduced to the head last mentioned, and therefore I shall but touch upon them. Seeing that “he that will enter into life must keep the commandments, and this of ourselves we cannot do, for in many things we offend all, and he that breaks one commandment is guilty of the breach of the whole law," God having sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of children; and that which was impossible to us by the law, through the weakness of the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us; and so we are saved by his life, being justified by his blood, he being made unto us of God righteousness, and we are by faith found in him, having on not our own righteousness, which is by the law, but that which is by Jesus Christ, the righteousness of God by faith;"5. - we do affirm that Christ fulfilled the law for us, not only undergoing the penalty of it, but for us submitting to the obedience of it, and performing all that righteousness which of us it requires, that we might have a complete righteousness wherewith to appear before God. And this is that which is intended by the active and passive righteousness of Christ, after mentioned ; all which is rejected, name and thing.
Of Christ's being punished by God, which he rejects in the next place, and, to multiply his instances of our false doctrines, insists on it again under the terms of Christ's enduring the wrath of God and the pains of a damned man, the same account is to be given as before of his satisfaction. That God “bruised him, put him to grief, laid the chastisement of
1 Hab. i. 13; Rom. i. 32; 2 Thess. i. 6. : Job xxxiii. 24. a Isa. liii. 5, 6, 10, 11; 1 Pet. ii. 24; Matt. XX. 28; 1 Tim. ii. 6; 2 Cor. v. 21; Gal. iii. 13; 1 Pet. i.'18, ii. 24; Eph. i. 7; Rev. i. 5, etc. • Matt xix. 17; 1 John i. 8; James ii. 10.
8 Gal. iv. 4,5; Rom. viii. 3, 4, v. 9, 2 4; 1 Cor. i. 30; Phil. iii. 8-10.
our peace on him;' that for us he underwent death, the curse of the law,
The false doctrine of the merit of Christ, and his purchasing for us the
That Christ rose from the dead by his own power seems to us to be true, not only because he affirmed that he “had power so to do, even to lay down his life and to take it again,” John x. 18, but also because he said he would do so when he bade them "destroy the temple,” and told them that “in three days he would raise it again.” It is true that this work of raising Christ from the dead is also ascribed to the Father and to the Spirit (as in the work of his oblation, his Father“ made his soul an offering for sin," and he “ offered up himself through the eternal Spirit"), yet this hinders not but that he was raised by his own power, his Father and he being one, and what work his Father doth he doing the same.
And this is the account which this “mere Christian” giveth us concerning his faith in Christ, his person, and his grace: He is a mere man, that neither satisfied for our sins nor procured grace or heaven for us; and how much this tends to the honour of Christ and the good of souls, all that love him in sincerity will judge and determine.
His next attempt is upon the way whereby the Scripture affirms that we come to be made partakers of the good things which Christ hath donc and wrought for us; and in the first place he falls foul upon that of apprehending and applying Christ's righteousness to ourselves by faith, that so there may no weighty point of the doctrine of the cross renain not condemned by this wise man) of folly. This, then, goes also, name and thing: Christ is “ of God made unto us righteousness” (that is, “to them that believe on him,” or “receive" or“ apprehend” him, John i. 12), God “having set him forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the forgiveness of sins," and declaring that every one who “ believeth in him is justified from all things from which he could not be justified by the law,” God imputing righteousness to them that so believe; those who are so justified by faith having peace with God. It being the great thing we have to aim at, namely, that.“we may know Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of his sufferings, and the power of his resurrection, and be found in him, not having our own righteousness, which is of the
1 Isa, liii. 5, 6, etc. ; Heb. ii. 9, 14, x. 10; 2 Cor. v. 21; Luke xxii. 41-44. & 1 Cor. vi. 20; 1 Pet. i. 18; Gal. i. 4, iii. 13; Titus ii. 14; Eph. V. 26, 27; Rev. i. 5, 6; Heb. ix. 12–14; Eph. i. 3; Phil. i. 29.
law, but the righteousness which is by the faith of Christ, Christ being the end of the law to every one that believeth,”?_we say it is the duty of every one who is called, to apprehend Christ by faith, and apply his righteousness to him; that is, to believe on him as “made the righteousness of God to him," unto justification and peace. And if Mr B. reject this doctrine, name and thing, I pray God give him repentance before it be too late, to the acknowledgment of the truth.
Of Christ's being our surety, of Christ's paying our debt, of our sins imputed to Christ, of Christ's righteousness imputed to us, of Christ's dying to appease the wrath of God and reconcile him to us, enough hath been spoken already to clear the meaning of them who use these expressions, and to manifest the truth of that which they intend by them, so that I shall not need again to consider them as they lie in this disorderly, confused heap which we have here gathered together.
Our justification by Christ being cashiered, he falls upon our sanctification in the next place, that he may leave us as little of Christians as he hath done our Saviour of the true Messiah. Infused grace is first assaulted. The various acceptations of the word "grace" in the Scripture this is no place to insist upon. By “grace infused” we mean grace really bestowed upon us, and abiding in us, from the Spirit of God. That a new spiritual life or principle, enabling men to live to God,—that new, gracious, heavenly qualities and endowments, as light, love, joy, faith, etc., bestowed on men, are called “grace" and "graces of the Spirit,”? I suppose will not be denied. These we call“ infused grace" and "graces;” that is, we say God works these things in us by his Spirit, giving us a new heart and a new spirit, putting his law into our hearts, quickening us who were dead in trespasses and sins, making us light who were darkness, filling us with the fruits of the Spirit in joy, meekness, faith, which are not of ourselves but the gifts of God.”: Mr B. having before disclaimed all original sin, or the depravation of our nature by sin, in deadness, darkness, obstinacy, etc., thought it also incumbent on him to disown and disallow all reparation of it by grace; and all this under the name of a mere Christian," not knowing that he discovereth a frame of spirit utterly unacquainted with the main things of Christianity. Free grace
is next doomed to rejection. That all the grace, mercy, goodness of God, in our election, redemption, calling, sanctification, pardon, and salvation, is free, not deserved, not merited, nor by us any way procured,—that God doth all that he doth for us bountifully, fully, freely, of his own love and grace,—is affirmed in this expression, and intended thereby. And is this found neither name nor thing in the Scriptures ? Is there no mention of “ God's loving us freely; of his blotting out our sins for his own sake, for his name's sake; of his giving his Son for us from his own love; of faith being not of ourselves, being the gift of God; of his saving us, not according to the works of righteousness which we have done, but of his own mercy; of his justifying us by his grace, begetting us of his own will, having mercy on whom he will have mercy; of a covenant not like the old, wherein he hath promised to be merciful to our unrighteousness,” etc.?' or is it possible that a man assuming to himself the name of a Christian should be ignorant of the doctrine of the free grace of God, or oppose it and yet profess not to reject the gospel as a
* Rom. iii. 25; Acts xiii. 38, 39; Rom. iv. 5, 8, v.1; Phil. iii. 9, 10; Rom. x. 3, 4. ? Eph. ii. 1, 2; Gal. v. 23-25. Phil. i. 6, ií. 13; Jer. xxxi. 33, xxxii. 39; Ezek. xi. 19. xxxvi. 26, 27; Heb. viii. 10. Eph. i. 4; John iii. 16; 1 John iv, 8, 10; Rom. v. 8; Eph. ii. 8; Tit. iii. 3-7; James i. 18; Rom. ix. 18; Heb. viii. 10–12.
fable? But this was, and ever will be, the condemnation of some, that "light
About the next expression, of the world of the elect, I shall not con-
Of the irresistible working of the Spirit, in bringing men to believe, the condition is otherwise. About the term “irresistible” I know none that care much to strive. That “faith is the gift of God, not of ourselves, that it is wrought in us by the exceeding greatness of the power of God; that in bestowing it upon us by his Spirit (that is, in our conversion), God effectually creates a new heart in us, makes us new creatures, quickens us, raises us from the dead, working in us to will and to do of his own good pleasure; as he commanded light to shine out of darkness, so shining into our hearts, to give us the knowledge of his glory;' begetting us anew of his own will,” so irresistibly causing us to believe, because he effectually works faith in us,-is the sum of what Mr B. here rejecteth, that he might be sure, as before, to leave nothing of weight in Christian religion uncondemned. But these trifles and falsities being renounced, he complains of the abuse of his darling, that it is called carnal reason; which being the only interpreter of Scripture which he allows of, he cannot but take it amiss that it should be so grossly slandered as to be called “carnal.” The Scripture, indeed, tells us of a “ natural man, that cannot discern the things which are of God, and that they are foolishness to him; of a carnal mind, that is enmity to God, and not like to have any reasons or reasonings but what are carnal; of a wisdom that is carnal, sensual, and devilish ;' of a wisdom that God will destroy and confound;” and that such is the best of the wisdom and reason of all unregenerate persons ;-but why the reason of a man in such a state, with such a mind about the things of God, should be called “ carnal,” Mr B. can see no reason; and some men, perhaps, will be apt to think that it is because all his reason is still carnal. When a man is “renewed after the image of him that created him” he is made "spiritual, light in the Lord,” every thought and imagination that sets up itself in his heart in opposition to God being led captive to the obedience of the gospel. We acknowledge a sanctified reason in such an one of that use in the dijudication of the things of God as shall afterward be declared.
Spiritual desertions are nextly decried. Some poor souls would thank him to make good this discovery. They find mention in the Scripture of “God's hiding his face, withdrawing himself, forsaking, though but for a moment," and of them that on this account “walk in darkness and see no light, that seek him and find him not, but are filled with troubles, terrors, arrows from him," etc. And this, in some measure, they find to be the condition of their own souls. They have not the life, light, power, joy, consolation, sense of God's love, as formerly ; and therefore they think there are spiritual desertions, and that in respect of their souls these dispensations of God are signally and significantly so termed; and they fear that those who deny all desertions never had any enjoyments from or of God.
1 Salus Electorum Sanguis Jesu, or the Death of Death, etc. * Eph. ii. 8, i. 18, 19; 2 Cor. v. 17, etc., iv. 6. 8 1 Cor. ij. 14; Rom. viii. 7; James iii. 15. A Job xiii. 24; Ps. X. 1, xiii. 1, xxvii. 9, XIX. 7, xliv. 24, lv. 1, lxix. 17, cii. 2; Isa. xlv. 15, viii. 17, xlix. 14, liv. 7, 8, lx. 15, 1. 10, etc.
Of spiritual incomes there is the same reason. It is not the phrase of speech, but the thing itself, we contend about. That God who is the Father of mercy and God of all consolation gives mercy, grace, joy, peace, consolation, as to whom, so in what manner or in what degree he pleaseth. The receiving of these from God is by some (and that, perhaps, not inaptly) termed “spiritual incomes,” with regard to God's gracious distributions of his kindness, love, good-will, and the receiving of them. So that it be acknowledged that we do receive grace, mercy, joy, consolation, and peace from God, variously as he pleaseth, we shall not much labour about the significancy of that or any other expression of the like kind. Scriptures mentioning the “goings forth of God,” Micah v. 2, leave no just cause to Mr B. of condemning them who sometimes call any of his works or dispensations his outgoings.
His rehearsal of all these particular instances, in doctrines that are found neither name nor thing in Scripture, Mr B. closeth with an “etc.;" which might be interpreted to comprise as many more, but that there remain not as many more important heads in Christian religion. The nature of God being abased, the deity and grace of Christ denied, the sin of our natures and their renovation by grace in Christ rejected, Mr B.'s remaining religion will be found scarce worth the inquiry after by those whom he undertakes to instruct, there being scarcely any thing left by him from whence we are peculiarly denominated Christians, nor any thing that should support the weight of a sinful soul which approacheth to God for life and salvation.
To prevent the entertainment of such doctrines as these, Mr B. commends the advice of Paul, 2 Tim. i. 13, “Hold fast the form of sound words," etc.; than which we know none more wholesome nor more useful for the safeguarding and defence of those holy and heavenly principles of our religion which Mr B. rejects and tramples on. Nor are we at all concerned in his following discourse of leaving Scripture terms, and using phrases and expressions coined by men; for if we use any word or phrase in the things of God and his worship, and cannot make good the thing signified thereby to be founded on and found in the Scriptures, we will instantly renounce it. But if indeed the words and expressions used by any of the ancients for the explication and confirmation of the faith of the gospel, especially of the doctrine concerning the person of Christ, in the vindication of it from the heretics which in sundry ages bestirred themselves (as Mr B. now doth) in opposition thereunto, be found consonant to Scripture, and to signify nothing but what is written therein with the beams of the sun, perhaps we see more cause to retain them, from the opposition here made to them by Mr B., than formerly we did, considering that his opposition to words and phrases is not for their own sake, but of the things intended by them.
The similitude of "the ship that lost its first matter and substance by the addition of new pieces, in way of supplement to the old decays," having been used by some of our divines to illustrate the Roman apostasy and traditional additionals to the doctrines of the gospel, will not stand Mr B. in the least stead, unless he be able to prove that we have lost, in the religion we profess, any one material part of what it was when given over to the churches by Christ and his apostles, or have added any one particular to what they have provided and furnished us withal in the Scriptures; which until he hath done, by these and the like insinuations he doth but beg the thing in question; which, being a matter of so great consequence and importance as it is, will scarce be granted him on any such terms. I VOL. XII.