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in the Bible. So long as the Spirit dwells in the human heart, the fruits of the Spirit will be produced. But as the Spirit may be quenched,* and grieved,† and, in consequence, provoked to leave his abode; no man can be said to be completely justified, till he shall be finally justified. But upon this head more, perhaps, has been already said than was necessary. I therefore proceed.
In page 60, you say, that, “upon the authority of the royal declaration prefixed to the Articles, we are jointly agreed, that they must be taken in their plain, literal, grammatical sense." Granting your premises, our conclusion will still be different. According to your judgment, the Calvinistic sense of the Articles, is their plain, literal, grammatical sense. But so far from finding this point established by the declaration in question, there is reason to think that no such point was meant to be established by it.‡ In the first place, the declaration was made by King James the First, who did not himself see the seventeenth Article in the Calvinistic sense in which you receive it; therefore that sense was not by him understood to be the plain, literal, grammati cal sense of the Article to which it is prefixed. And should I even admit the justness of the inference drawn by Burnet from this declaration, that the seventeenth Article "is conceived in such general words, that it can admit of different literal, grammatical senses, even when the senses
* 1 Thess. v. 19.
+ Eph. iv. 30. ‡ The reader will see this point fully made out in « Vindicia Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ," chap. ii. sect. 1.
Burnet's Exposition, fol. p. 8.
given are plainly contrary to each other;" I, as
In page 63, speaking of one of God's elect, you
"he walks (as concludes the seventeenth Article) religiously in good works," &c. These words do not constitute the conclusion of the seventeenth Article, but are to be found in the middle of it; and subjoined to them, the article contains matter which challenges most serious consideration. But there are three small words in the beginning of this article, of which you take no notice, and which to me appear to be of essential importance. These words are "secret to us.” Of God's foreknowledge there can be no doubt, though the word itself does not properly apply to the Deity. For that Being to whom all things are present, cannot, strictly speaking, be said to foreknow any thing. But if his purpose to deliver from damnation those whom He hath chosen, "be secret to us," surely it becomes us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, rather than presume to say or think that we are chosen or predestinated to be holy, and without blame, and that our election is sure, as you give the reader to understand in page 62. Permit me to ask, what can be those tokens which can show us what is secret to us? and whether this confidence of salvation, which even the greatest saints have not possessed, does not savour more of spiritual pride, than of that lowliness of mind which mafests itself in an acknowledgment of their own unworthiness, and a continual suing for mercy through the merits, and for the sake of, a crucified Redeemer. The Christian is directed "not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly."
* Rom. xii. 3.
* Page 64.
On what you are pleased to call my novel opinion of a conditional salvation,* I have to add to what has been already said, that this doctrine is at least as old as the world. Adam was placed in a state of conditional salvation in Paradise. A similar plan of conditional salvation, though upon more gracious terms, was adopted under the new covenant... Our Saviour's answer to the young man, who enquired what good thing he should do that he might have eternal life, was this, "if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments."+ St. John, as if for the express purpose of preventing all possible misconception upon this important subject, has placed it before us in a negative as well as positive sense. "If we say that we have fellowship with him," that we are partakers of his spirit, and as such secure of the promises of the Gospel, and yet at the same time "walk in dark. ness," live in wilful sin, "we lie, and do not the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light;" if we are holy, as he is holy, though not in degree, yet in sincerity of desire and imitation; this is, indeed, a certain sign, that “we have fellowship one with another," we with God, by partaking of his spirit, and so God with us; and being thus sanctified by the Holy Spirit to a sincere obedience of the Gospel, we partake of that merciful blessing of the Gospel covenant, promised to us on God's part, namely," the blood of Christ, which cleanseth us from all sin." In a word, Sir, this doctrine, to which you so loudly object, is the doctrine of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelations; 1 John i. 6, 7.
Matt. xix. 17.
in the last chapter of which we are given to understand, that though a man's name shall (to make use of the scripture language) be written in the book of life, its continuance there will depend upon his own conduct. "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."* Were it necessary to add to what has been already said on your favourite position, that the salvation of the elect must be secure, because they cannot finally fall from grace, I might take occasion to enlarge upon the case of Judas, which to me appears strictly in point. He was one of the twelve, elected by God for a very important In that character our Saviour prays for purpose. I pray him, in common with the other Apostles. for them which thou hast given me, for they are thine thine they were, and thou gavest them to me: while I was with them in the world, I kept I them in thy name: those that thou gavest me have kept, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition." The name of Judas brings to my recollection an observation made upon this subject by a very high Calvinist, which affords a striking specimen of the weakness of a cause, which has recourse to such an argument for its support. Speaking of that passage of Latimer, where he says, that Christ shed as much blood for Judas as for Peter, Mr. Toplady observes thus: "Not that Christ actually died for Judas, (whose death was prior to that of Christ himself) but that the Mediator's blood was as much sufficient (so John xvii. 6, 9, 12.
*Rev. xxii. 19.