The Reality and Efficacy of Divine Grace

LETTER I.

My dear Friend,

I HAVE lately been engaged in a religious controversy, in which my original design was directed against what I considered as an abuse of the doctrines of discriminating grace ; but, in executing this design, I have sustained an attack from an opposite quarter. At this I am not much surprised; as the principles which I maintain are equally repugnant to Arminianism as to Pseudo-Calvinism.

Having carefully attended to this controversy in all its. parts, I must confess myself still of opinion, that, in the main I have engaged on the side of truth ; and that the arguments which I have advanced have not yet been solidly answered.

Mr. Dan Taylor, who, under the signature of Philanthropes, animadverted on my first publication, and to whose animadversions I have written a Reply, has taken up his pen again. In addition to his first Nine Letters, he has written Thirteen more upon the subject; yet it appears, to me, that he has not answered my main arguments, but, in fact, has, in various cases, sufficiently refuted himself.

Mr. T. appears to have been hurt by what I said concerning. his want of reverence, and the resemblance of his objection to that made against the apostle, in Romans ix. He submits it " to the judgment of those who are accustomed to think deliberately, how far any part of this was just; whether I did not arrogate a great deal more to myself than I ought to have done ; whether I ought not, prior to these charges, to have proved myself possessed of apostolical authority, powers, and infallibility, and to have proved, by apostolical methods, that the particular, sentiments against which he there objected, came from heaven." (XIII. 135.) Now, I hope not to be deemed arrogant, if I profess to have thought at least with some degree of " deliberation" upon the subject; and I declare I cannot see the propriety of any thing Mr. T. here alleges. I did not compare him to those who blasphemously opposed the apostle's doctrine: the comparison respected barely his mode of reasoning,' and not his person or character. Nor does what I have alleged require that I should prove myself possessed of apostolical infallibility. The whole of what is said amounts to no more than this, that the resemblance of his objection (IX. 50.) to that made by the adversaries of the apostle, in Romans ix. 19. ought to make him suspect, whether the sentiments he maintains are not too near akin to theirs ; and whether the sentiments he opposes are not of the same stamp with those of the Apostle : otherwise, how is it that they should be liable to have the same objections made against them ?*

As to what I said concerning reverence, I observe that, in one place, (XIII. 6.) he thanks me for it, and hopes he " shall profit by it;" but, presently after, talks of fiardoning me, and, before he has done, charges it to a want of candour or justice; (XIII.135.) and, all through his piece, frequently glances at it in a manner that shows him to have been quite displeased. Now, what can any one make of all this, put together ? There was either occasion for what I wrote, or there was not. If there was, why talk of fiardoning me ? and why charge me with a want of candour or justice? If there was not, and Mr. T. thinks so, why does he thank me for it ? How are we to reconcile these things ? Does the one express the state of mind Mr. T. would be thought to possess, and the otherjLhat he actually feels ?

* It is a good mode of reasoning-, to argue from the similarity of the opposition made to any doctrine in the days of the apostles, with that which is made to a doctrine in the present day. Mr. Caleb Evans has thus, I think, solidly and excellently defended the doctrine of the atonement, in four Sermons on 1 Cor. ii. 23, 24.

or did he set out in a mild and amiwvttpirit, but, before he had done, lose his temper, and n»ot Ww how to conceal it ?

I would not wish, however, to spend much time ing out the defects of my opponent's temper. Wei ticularly when engaged in controversy, need to take t to our spirits. And, perhaps, few can be long emi so difficult an affair, without affording their antagona portunity to say, Ye know not what manner of spiri of. If this does not provoke retaliation, it may be of^ the person reproved, but it is of very littie consequerfcee to the public, especially after the first dispute is over. Lecltus waive this subjeGt in future, and pass on to such things as arl of more general importance.

I do not intend minutely to particularize every article of debate between myself and Mr. T., though, if I were, I am persuaded the far greater part of his observations might be proved to be destitute of propriety. I would only notice, in this Letter, one or two, which seem to fall under the class of general remarks, and then proceed to the consideration of the main subjects wherein we differ.

It is a matter of " wonder" to Mr. T. that I should be "unable to pronounce to what degree, or extent, a poor sinner must believe the truth of the gospel, in order to be happy ; or to what degree of holiness a man must arrive, in order to see the Lord." (XIII. 7.) It should seem, then, to be no difficulty with Aim. Well: how does he solve it ? why, by acknowledging, THAT IT IS NOT ANY DEGREE OF FAITH IN THE GOSPEL WHICH IS NECESSARY TO SALVATION ; NOll ANY DEGREE OF HOLINESS, ANY MORE THAN FAITH; but THE REALITY of it, without which no man shall see the Lord! 1. ' Mr. T. has a mind, surely, to make other people wonder, as well as himself!

Again : I was thronged with opponents. I did not, therefore, think it necessary to make a formal reply to every single argument; such a plan must have swelled the publication to an enormous size : I, therefore, only selected the main subjects in debate, and attempted a fair discussion of them, with the arguments adduced in support of them. Mr. T. seems t^ confcla,n °F this my systematical way of treating the subject, aS /<r rrtalls it; (XIII. 8.) and sometimes singles out aparticularirgu wnrient of his, of which I have taken no notice, and insinuates r»as if it was because I felt it unanswerable. (XIII. 14.) But *s it'^i1"101 wonderful that he should complain of me, and, at the sam^^ time, be guilty of the same thing himself? He has omitted .xjrnaking any reply to nearly as much in mine, as I have in 1 ais; and to things also of considerable force. My reasonnve^s in pp. 32—34.* he has entirely passed over ; as also my <• 'argument on the non-publication of the gospel, pp. 105 1 07. Note.f If Mr. T. looked upon me as obliged to answer o>every particular argument, notwithstanding the number of jf tny opponents, what can be said for his oivn omissions, who ' had only one to oppose ?

In my next, I will begin to attend to the main subjects on X which we differ ; viz. the work of the Sfiiritthe excusable, ness of sinners on the non-provision of gracethe extent of the moral lawand the design of Christ's death. At present, I remain,

Yours, Sec.

AGNOSTOS.

• Pages 266—268 of this volume.
t Pages 328, 329 of this volume.

LETTER II.

Dear Sir,

I WOULD now proceed to the first of the four main sub-
jects in debate between myself and Mr. Taylor—The Work
Of The Spirit. There has been pretty much said between
us on the order of regeneration and faith, and the instrumen-
tality of the word in regeneration. I did not wish to contest that
matter, be it which way it might, provided the agency of the
Holy Spirit was but acknowledged. Mr. T. however, chooses to dwell upon this subject; yet it seems rather extraordinary that, in all his replies, he has taken no notice of what I advanced in pp. 7,8.*

Mr. T. seems to think that regeneration includes the whole change that is brought about upon a person in order to his being denominated a true Christian; and not merely the Jirst beginning-of it (XIII. 11.) I think, in this I may agree with him, so far, at least, as to allow that the term is to be understood in such a large sense in some places in the New Testament ; and, if that is the case, I feel no difficulty in concurring with him, that regeneration is by the word of truth. But this, perhaps, may not satisfy my opponent, after all. He deBies that men are enlightened previously to their believing the gospel; (XIII. 12.) and yet one would think that a person must understand any thing before he believes it; and, if so, his mind cannot be said to be illuminated by faith. But still it is by the-word: here Mr. T. will allow of no difficulties -, or, if I will talk of difficulties, he will impute it to my forsaking mf Bible. (XIII. 12.) Well: have but patience with him, in twelve pages farther, when he begins to feel difficulties him. self, we shall find him atoning for this severity by commending me for the same thing upon which he here puts so heavy a construction^ (XIII. 2ft.)

J.. • Pages 245, 246, of this volume.

f Whatever Mr T. thinks, some have thought that considerable difficulties would attend our supposing all divir<» illumination to be by the word ; nor are these objections drawn from " metaphysical speculations," but from the word itself. Thus they reason : 1. It is a fact that evil propensity in the heart has a strange tendency to blind the mind. Ephes. iv, 18. 2. It is promised by the Holy Spirit, J will give them a heart to know me, Jer. xxiv. 7. But a heart to know God must be prior to that knowledge, and cannot, therefore, be produced by means of it. 3. T/ie natural man is said not to receive the things of the Spirit of God, neither can he krum them. because they are Spiritually discerned. But, if a spiritual discernment is necessary in order to knowing spiritual things,that discernment cannot be produced by those spiritual things, unless the consequent can produce its antecedent. I wished not, however, to dispute about the order of things, but, rather, to attend to what is of far greater importance.

I attempted to prove that Mr. T.'s sentiments leave out the agency of the Holy Spirit in the act itself of believing; or; that, " if there is any divine agency in the matter, it is only a sort of grace given to men in common; which, therefore, can be no reason why any man, rather than another, believes m Christ." Thus I stated it in p. 9.* Mr. T. in reply, complains that I have wronged him in representing him as leaving out the agency of the Holy Spirit in the act itself of believing ; and informs us that he distinguishes between " the operations and indwelling of the Holy Spirit." (XIII. 27.) But wherein have I wronged him ? I have allowed him to maintain a sort of divine agency, or grace, which is given to me« in common: but this, certainly, can be no cause why one man, rather than another, believes in Christ. And with this Mr. T.'s own account, (XIII. 13.) so far as I can understand him, perfectly agrees.

I maintain that it is owing to divine agency, and to that alone, that one sinner, rather than another, believes in Christ. I must confess that Mr. T. writes, on this subject, in a confused and contradictory manner: (XIII. 23.) and well he may; his system will not admit it, and yet his heart knows not how to deny it. First, he goes about to qualify my question: "If by the term alone" says he, "be meant, that n» sinner would believe in Christ, without divine operations, I freely grant it." True, he might; but that is not all I plead for, nor what my words evidently intend: and this he knows Very well, and ought not, therefore, to have made such aa evasion. What he allows may be held, without admitting that it is owing to the Holy Spirit, that one sinner, rather than another, believes in Christ. He adds, " But, if he mean that men are passive in this matter, when the Spirit, by the word operates on the mind: that I do not believe." This is another evasion. My words do not imply that men are passive in believing in Christ. I conceive that men become active, when the Spirit operates upon their minds, though they were passive in that operation. The very idea of operation upon a subject implies that subject to be passive in such operation. The immediate effect may be activity. But to suppose that the subject on whom the operation is performed, is not passive in being the subject of the operation, is to suppose that he himself, and not the Spirit, puts forth that operation bj which grace is produced.

* Page 248 of this volume.

That the mind, in receiving Christ, is active, I allow; but this is no way inconsistent with the Holy Spirit being the proper, sole, efficient cause of such activity. There was no dispute whether " man was the subject of faith and unbelief," as his answer seems to represent ; (XIII. 24.) but whether the Blessed Spirit was the sole, efJicient, and proper cause of our believing.

After all that Mr. T. says, in order to get over this difficulty, (XIII. 24, 25.) what does it amount to ? " If the Spirit, by the word, bring me to believe, and not another, whatever is the cause, or the obstruction; that is, in a general sense done for me, which is not done for another, and demands everlasting grateful acknowledgments." Of this general sense, or meaning, I can make no meaning at all. It certainly does not ascribe the difference between one sinner and another to God, but to the creature; and this is the very spirit and tendency of his whole system, which ought to sink it in the esteem of every humble, considerate mind. But the Holy Spirit " does that for those who do not believe, which is sufficient for the purpose, and which would bring them to faith and happiness, if they were not to abuse it." (XIII. 25.) So far as relates to objective evidence being presented, (and which is sufficient to render men who are in possession of their natural faculties inexcusable,) we are, in this matter, agreed. But, in reference to the work of the Spirit itself, if its success does indeed depend upon the pliability of the subject, then, so far, salvation is not of grace; for the very turning point of the whole affair is owing to the creature, and to his own good improvement of what was given to him in common with others. To speak of that being done which is sufficient, if not abused, is saying nothing at all. For how, if the human heart should be so depraved, as that it will be sure to abuse every word and work of God, short of that which is omnipotent? That men resist the Holy Spirit, and abuse the grace of the gospel, is true: but the question is, not whether (his their abuse is their wickedness, but, how came Mr. T.

cr any other man, to be so pliable and well-disposed, as not to resist it ?*

" I cannot prove," says Mr. T." that the Holy Spirit doe* not do as much, or more, in this (general) sense, for some who do not repent and believe, as for some who do. Truth itself informs us, that what was done, without effect, for Chorazin, Bcthsaida, and Capernaum, would have been effectual for Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom." (XIII. 25.) Truth, indeed, does inform us of something being done for those cities; but it makes no mention of the work of the Spirit in or upon them, but merely of the mighty works (or miracles) which were wrought among them. These ought to have led them to repentance, though they did not. * But did not Christ speak, as if Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom would have repented; had they enjoyed the same means -.' Yes, he did ; and so did God speak concerning his people Israel: Surely they are my people, children that will not lie : so he became their Saviour. Again : J looked that my -vineyard should have brought forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. Again: Thou art not sent unto a people of a strange speech, and of an hard language, but to the house of Israel; surely, had I sent thee to them, they would have hearkened unto thee.—Last of ally he sent hi. son, saying, They will reverence my son.f But do these speeches prove that God really thought things would be so ? Rather, are they not evidently to be understood of God's speaking, after the manner of men, of what might have been expected, according to human appearance i

• In page 23 of his Thirteen Letters, Mr. T. gpeaking of believing hi Christ, says, he does "not apprehend that any man has any will or power, or any concern about the matter, till the Holy Spirit work, awaken, and produce these in the mind." But the Holy Spirit, he thinks, operates sufficiently in all men; fie does that for those who do not believe, which is sufficient for the purpose : yea, he supposes he does as much, or more, in this sense, for some who do not repent and believe, as for some who do. (p. 25.) Mr. T. must allow, that no man can ever do what he has neither -aill nor power to perform. The mind must be either active or passive in the production of the will and power of which he speaks. If passive, his whole system is overthrown : if active, the supposed prior activity is while they have neither will aor power to act; which is absurd.

f Isa. tnii. 8. v. 2. Erek. iii. 5, 6. Matt. xxi. 3T.

" I do not remember," says Mr. T. u that the scripture ever ascribes the final misery of sinners to the want of divine influences," &c. (XIII. 27.) True: nor do my sentiments suppose that to be the cause of final misery. His reasoning on this subject (XIII. 32.) is extravagant. It is sin, and sin alone, which is the cause of any man's ruin. He might as well say, that a man is brought into misery, because he is not brought out of it. The destruction of fallen angels is no more ascribed to the want of divine mercy, than that of fallen men.

Mr. T. thinks the cases of wicked men being restrained from wickedness, godly men growing in grace, &c. may illustrate the subject in question; (XIII. 30.) I think so too. I also think with him concerning men's obligations to these things; that much more might be dome than what is done; but that, if they are done, it is to be ascribed to God, because it is he who works all our works in us; I think the same of faith in Christ. These are not things wherein we differ; but the question is, though, in words, Mr. T. ascribes these things, as well as faith, to God, whether his system does not ascribe them to the creature. This it certainly does; and he as good as acknowledges it, (XIII. 52.) where (in contradiction to what he here asserts) he pleads for men's being able, independent of the grace of the gospel, to abstain from gross abominations. Mr. T. has not thought proper to controvert my arguments in pp. 9—19;* for a special and effectual influence of the Holy Spirit; but thinks that these may be admitted, without destroying his sentiments; only observing, that, if he were ^o follow me through those reasonings, he " should question the propriety of the turn I give to a few passages of scripture." (XIII. 26.) It will be time enough to reply, when we know what he has to object against my sense of those passages. But how is it that Mr. T. would have it thought that his sentiments are unaffected by those arguments ? Had he but admitted the sentiment established by those arguments, it would have saved him much trouble, which he has taken, in trying to account for God's doing the same for one man as for another, and yet making men to differ.

* Pages 248—256 of this volume.

If God works effectually on some, that is more than he will pretend that he does upon all; and this will perfectly account for a difference between one sinner and another. And if this way of God's making men to differ be admitted in some instances, it must in all, seeing one believer, as much as another, is taught to ascribe the difference between him and others to God alone*. But Mr. T. does not believe an effectual influence; such an influence, admitted, would be destructive of his whole system. He supposes an effectual influence would be destructive of free agency and moral government. (XIII. 129.) Thai it would be destructive of either, according to the scriptural account of them, has not yet been proved; but that it would destroy his notions concerning them, is admitted; and this proves that an effectual influence is inconsistent with his sentiments.

If Mr. T.'s rctLcnnings (XIII. 33.) prove any thing, they prove that God will furnisii every man in the world with the means of salvation ; but so far is this from corresponding with fact, that the gospel was never preached to the far greater part of mankind who have hitherto lived ; and some of whom, Mr. T. supposes, would have really believed and been saved, had they but heard it. (XIII. 25.)

I shall close my remarks on this part of the debate with a few observations on the resistibleness or irresistibleness of the Holy Spirit. I apprehend he is both resistible and irresistible, in different respects. The following observations are submitted to the reader's attention : 1. God has so constituted the human mind, that words, whether spoken or written, shall have an effect upon it. 2. The Holy Spirit speaks to men in his word : he has written to them the great things of his law. 3. It would be strange, if God's word should not have some effect upon people's minds, as well as the words and writings of men. It would be very strange, if neither the warnings nor expostulations, the threatenings nor the promises of God, should have any effect upon the mind ; whereas the same things, among men, are constantly known to inspire them with various feelings. 4. The influence of the word upon the mind, seeing that word is indited by the Holy Spirit, may be called, in an indirect and figurative sense, the influence of the Holy Spirit.

• Rom. iii. 9. 1 Cor. xv. 10. John xiv. 22. 1 Cor, iv. 7.

It was with this kind of influence that he strove with the antediluvians in the ministry of Noah, &c. (Gen. vi. 3.) and was resisted by the Israelites. That is, they resisted the messages which the Holy Spirit sent unto them by Moses and the prophets; and their successors did the same by the messages sent them by Christ and his apostles. (Acts vii. 51.) And thus the admonitions of parents, the events of providence, and the alarms of conscience, as well as the word preached and written, may each, in an indirect sense, be said to be the strivings of the Holy Spirit. This influence ought to suffice to bring us to repent of sin, and believe in Christ, and were it not for the resistance that is made to it, would have such an effect; but, through the perverseness of the human heart, it never has. It is a great sin to resist and overcome it; but it is such a sin as every man, while unregenerate, is guilty of. 5. Besides this, it has been allowed, by many of the most steady and able defenders of the doctrine of efficacious grace, that the Holy Spirit may, by his immediate, but more common influence, impress the minds of unregenerate men, and assist reason and natural conscience to perform their office more fully; so that, notwithstanding the bias of the will is still bent in favour of sin, yet they are made sensible of many truths contained in the word of God, and feel somewhat of that alarming apprehension of their danger, and of the power of the divine anger, &c. which all impenitent sinners will experience in a much superior degree at the day of judgment. But sinners, under these common awakenings only, continue destitute of that realizing sense of the excellence of divine things, which is peculiar to those who are effectually renewed in the spirit of their minds; and to which the power of sin has entirely blinded the minds of the unregenerate. 6. From the depravity or perverseness of the human heart arises the necessity of a special and effectual influence of the Holy Spirit. The influence before mentioned may move the soul; but it will not bring it home to God. When souls are effectually turned to God, it is spoken of as the result of a special exertion of almighty power. God who Commanded the light to shine out

of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jestct Christ.Thy fieople Shall be willing in the day of thy PowEr.—J Will put my law in their inward part, and write it on their hearts ; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.—Who hath believed our report; and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed ?*

These observations may account for several things which Mr. T. has remarked, (particularly in XIII. 28, 29.) without supposing that the special operations of the Holy Spirit are ever finally overcome.

I am yours, &c.

• 2 Cor. iv. 6. Psa. ex. 3. Jer. xxxi. 33. Isa. liii. t.

LETTER III.

Dear Sir,

1 HE second general subject in debate respects the Mature of that inability of which mankind are the subjects, in respect of compliance with the will of God; or, more particularly, original sin, human depravity, and the grace of God. On these subjects Mr. T. has written his Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Letters. He sets out with an observation on free agency, which discovers, in my opinion, the ground of a great -many other of his mistakes. He supposes that a moral, as well as natural ability to comply with the commands of God, is necessary to render us free agents. Hence, he does not seem to consider man as a free agent in respect to keeping, or not keeping, the law, but barely " with regard to those objects •which God in his gospel presents to him, as a fallen creature, to recover him from his fallen state." (XIII. 36.) And yet he speaks, in the same page, of his thus being a " subject of God's moral government." Strange, indeed, that he should not be a free agent in respect of the moral law, and yet that he should be a subject of God's moral government; yea, and that the moral law should, notwithstanding, be to him « a rule of life." (XIII. 61.) If we are not free agents in respect of the moral law, we cannot be the subjects of God's moral government, but, rather, of some supposed evangelical government.

A free agent is an intelligent being who is at liberty to act according to hie choice, without compulsion or restraint. And has not man this liberty in respect of the law, as well as of ihegosfiel ? Does he, in any instance, break the law by compulsion, or against his will ? Surely not. It is impossible the law should be broken in such a way ; for where any thing i» done without, or against volition, no equitable law, human or divine, will ever blame or condemn. Mr. T.'s great mistake in these matters lies in considering a bias of mind as destructive of free agency. If a bias of mind to evil, be it ever so deep-rooted and confirmed, tends to destroy free agency, then the devil can be no free agent; and so is not accountable for all his enmity against God. The same may be said of those who are, as Mr. T. expresses it, become " unimpressible," (XIII. 28.) and cannot cease from sin. It is not sufficient to say, that " they had power to receive the word till they wilfully resisted, and rejected the truth;" if Mr. T.'s notion of free agency be just, they ought to have had power at the time, or else not to have been accountable. Mr. T. constantly reasons from natural to moral impoten6y, and, in these cases, admits of no difference between them; but he knows, that, in respect of the former, if a man is unable to perform any thing that is required of him at the. time, he is, to all intents and purposes, excusable ; yea, though he may have brought his impotency upon himself by his own crimes. Suppose, for example, a man destroys both health and reason by mere debauchery and wickedness, so as to besome a poor ghastly ideot, can any one suppose that, in that state of mind, it is just to require him to perform the business of a man, or to punish him for his omission, under the pretence that he once had reason and strength, but, by his wickedness, had lost them. No: far be it from either God or man to proceed in this manner! If, then, there is no difference. between natural and moral impotency, those who ara become.

" unimpressible," and are given up of God to sin, (as were Judas, and the murderers of our Lord,) are not free agents, and so are not accountable beings.

Farther: If a bias of mind to evil, be it ever so confirmed, tends to destroy the free agency of the subject, the same would hold true of a bias to goods which Mr. T. indeed seems to allow ; for he asks, " Are not free agents capable of sinning ?" (XIII. 51.) As if it was essential to free agency, to be capable of doing wrong. But has Mr. T. forgot, that neither God, nor Christ, (even when upon earth,) nor saints in glory, are capable of doing wrong ? The bias of their minds is so invariably fixed to holiness, that it i3 impossible they should, in any instance, deviate from it: and yet will he deny them to be the subjects of free agency ?

Mr. T.'s ideas of free agency have probably led him into some others, respecting the nature of that sin which men commit as the effect of Adam's transgression. (XIII. 52.) His language on that subject, all along, implies, that all the sin which men commit as the effect of Adam's transgression, must be involuntary ; as though it was something that operated within them, entirely against, or at least without, their consent. If this supposition were true, I should not wonder at his pleading for its innocence. If men were under such a necessity as this of sinning, I should coincide with Mr. T. ia denying that they were accountable for that part of their conduct. But, the truth is, there is no such sin in existence. Sins of ignorance, under the law, were not opposed to voluntori/, but to presumfituous sins (Numb. xv. 27—31.) There are many sins that men commit, which are not presumptuous, but none which are, in every sense, involuntary. Mr. T. perhaps, will allege the apostle's assertions in Rom. vii. that what he would not, that he did. He makes much ado (XIII. 43.) about this, and my supposed inconsistency, but all he there says was, I think, sufficiently obviated in my first treatise. After all, Mr. T. does not really think there are any sins, besides what are voluntary. Though he talks of believers being guilty of such sins, and of Christ's dying to atone for them; (XIII. 52.) yet he would not allow it to be just for any man, in his own person, either to be blamed or punished for them; no; he contends that it is the concurrence Hf our wills that denominates us blameworthy; (XIII. 41.) which is undoubtedly true, in respect of all personal blame.

When Mr. T. reviewed my first publication, he spake much in praise of the distinction between natural and moral inability, and of the perspicuity of the manner of stating it. {IX. 9. 63, 64.) Surely he must not, at that time, have understood what he applauded; and having since discovered this sword to have two edges, the one equally adapted to cut up Arminianism, as the other is to destroy Antinomianism, he has now changed his mind, and is striving to prevent its efficacy by giving another meaning to the terms, and thus involving the subject in darkness and confusion.*

By natural power, Mr. T. now understands a power that is barely adapted to the performance of natural things ; and by moral power a power for moral things. (Letter VI.) But natural power as I, and all others who have heretofore written upon the subject, have used it, is as much conversant with spiritual as with natural things ; yea, and as much with wicked things as with either of them. It requires the same members, faculties, and opportunities, to do good as to do evil; to perform spiritual, as to perform natural actions. To pretend, therefore, to distinguish the use of these terms by the objects with which they are conversant, can answer no end but to perplex the subject.

But is natural power sufficient for the performance of moral and spiritual actions ? Mr. T. says, No; and so say I, in one respect.

* Had these terms, or the distinction they are used to specify, been a new invention of my own, there would have been less room to have complained of this treatment; but it appears, to me, a strange, unwarrantable freedom, when we reflect that both had been used in exactly the same sense, by a great number of respectable theological writers. Whereas Mr.T.'snew sense of them is entirely unprecedented; though, no doubt, the most rash and ignorant of the Pseudo-Calvinists would find it suited to subserve their denial of all obligation upon natural men to perform any thing spiritually good. But let men, as they value their •ouls, be first well assured, such an evasive distinction will be admitted at the day of judgment, before they dare to apply it to this sin-extenuating purpose. I do not charge Mr. T. with intending to put weapons into the hands of deluded Antinomians ; but I beseech him to consider how readily they would make their advantage of such a dis. tinction, if once admitted.

But he concludes, therefore, that if God require any thing of a moral or spiritual nature of any man, it is but right that he should- furnish him with moral power for the performance of it. Thus he, all along, represents moral ability as if it were some distinct faculty, formed by the Creator for the performance of moral actions, while natural power is given for the performance of natural actions; and thus the reader is led to imagine, that God is as much obliged to furnish sinful men with the one, as with the other, in order to render them accountable beings. Whereas moral power is not power, strictly speaking, but a heart to use the power God has given us in a right manner. It is natural power, and that only, that is properly so called, and which is" necessary to render men accountable beings. To constitute me an accountable being, it is not necessary that I should be actually disposed to holy actions, (which is the same thing as possessing a moral ability,) butr barely, that J could do such actions, if J were disposed. Indeed, notwithstanding' all that Mr. T. has written to the contrary, and by whatever names he calls this power, natural or moral, he himself means nothing more. He does not mean to plead for its being necessary that men should be actually possessed of holiness, is order to their being free agents; but, merely, that they might possess it, if they would. He only pleads, in fact, for what I allow ; and yet he thinks he pleads for something else, and so goes on, and loses himself and his reader in a maze of confusion. It is not enough for Mr. T. that I allow men. may return to God, if they will; they must have the power of being willing, if they will: (XIII. 57.) but this, as we shall soon see, is no more than having the power of being What they are ! I represented this matter in as forcible a manner as I could in my Reply; (p. 49.*) and it is a poor answer that Mr. T. makes to it; (XIII. 38.) as though I Were out of my province in'writing about the meaning of W opponent. Surely it is a lamentable thing, if the meaning of an author cannot be come at by all he writes upon a Subject. If what I imputed to him was not his meaning, why did he not give it in his next performance? " Is it uncandid to conclude he had no other meaning to give ?"

I am, &c

* Page .280 of this volume.

LETTER IV.

Dear Sir,

WHEN I affirmed natural power to be sufficient to render men accountable beings, Mr. T. puts me upon proof; (XIII. 56.) and, what.is more, supposes that I have acknowledged the contrary in my former treatise. Whether I have not proved this matter already; whether Mr. T. has not allowed me to have proved it; and, whether what I say elsewhere is not in perfect consistency with it; shall be examined. Meanwhile, let us follow Mr. T. in his three-fold argument for the supposed innocence of moral impotence : " If men could never avoid it, cannot deliver themselves from it, and the blessed God will not deliver them, surely they ought not to be punished for it, or for any of its necessary effects."* Mr. T. complains heavily of my treating these subjects separately, which he wished to have considered conjointly. Well: there was an answer, though short, in p. 29 of my Reply,t to the whole conjointly considered ; and If he would solidly have answered that only, he might have been excused from all the rest.

But farther : I can see no justice whatever in his complaint. If three things, all together, constitute a moral inability blameless, it must be on account of some tendency that each of those three things has to such an end, separately considered. What Mr. T. has said of man's being composed of body, poul, and spirit, (XIII. 38.) does not prove the contrary to this; because, though body does not constitute a man, nor soul, nor spirit separately considered ; yet they each form a component part of human nature.

• This, the reader will observe, is Mr. T.'s own way of stating it^ (XIII. 37.) who always chooses to represent moral inability in terms which are properly applicable to natural inability only j and hereby it is that his positions wear the face of plausibility,

J Pages 264, 265, of this volume,

If it could be proved, that body, soul, and spirit had neither of them any part of human nature, separately considered; that would prove, that, all together, they could not constitute a man. Suppose A. owes B. thirty pounds, and proposes to pay him in three different articles. Accordingly, A. lays down ten pounds in cash, ten pounds in bills, and ten pounds in grain. B. refuses each of these articles in payment: ' for,' says he, ' your cash is all counterfeit, your bills are forged, and your grain is damaged to such a degree as to be worth nothing.' A. replies, not by admitting, that, unless each article can be proved to be of value, separately considered, he cannot, in justice, desire the whole to be accepted; but, by complaining of B.'s unwarrantable manner of separating the articles, and examining them apart: as if he should say, ' Though the cash may be counterfeit, the bills forged, and the grain worthless, separately considered, yet, all together, they make up the value of thirty pounds!'

Farther: though all these three things are, in one filace, mentioned together, yet Mr. T. did not, all along, consider them conjointly, nor has he done so now. There need not be a greater proof of his understanding these subjects distinctly, than his attempting to defend them so; which he has done in what follows:

First: he undertakes to prove, that the circumstance of men being born impure, or inheriting their propensities from their first parent, does excuse them in being the subjects of those propensities. (XIII. 39.) Original sin, to be sure, is a mysterious subject. There is a difficulty attending the existence of evil in the souls of all mankind, upon every hypothesis ; but it becomes us, as Mr. T. observes, to hearken to " scripture evidence," and to admit it as decisive : and, after all, I believe the scriptural account of the matter will be found to have the fewest difficulties of any. Some, with Pelagius, deny the thing itself, and maintain that human depravity comes entirely by imitation. Others admit the fact, that we " are depraved by Adam's transgression," but deny the guilt of such depravity, on that account: this appears to. be the case with Mr. T. Others admit both the fact and the guilt of our depravity, notwithstanding: this is my sentiment. Though Mr. T. admits that men are born "impure," and that this impurity is their " depravity," a depravity which David, in Psa. li. 5. " confessed and lamented;" yet he maintains all this to be blameless ;* and, all along, seems to claim it as a matter of justice, either to stand upon his own ground, or to receive the grace of the gospel, as an equivalent for it. The depravity of our nature, then, is not the fault, but the -misfortune of it. It is, however, allowed to be that which is " our ruin, in that it deprives us of happiness, and exposes us to misery :" (XIII. 41.) that is, to undeserved misery ; for such it must be, " be the misery what it may," if it be inflicted without blameworthiness in the subject. Surely such a constitution must have been very unrighteous, and men must have been very much injured, after all, to be ruined by that in the guilt of which they have no concern, either personal or relative. Mr. T. may well represent it as an inducement for God to give his Son to die for them, (XIII. 810 if it were only to make them amends for such an injury ; and especially as he considers God himself as the author of our native depravity, in constituting the union between Adam and his offspring. (XIII. 62.) To be sure, his scheme is so far consistent. There is only this difficulty remains, how shall we reconcile all this with the scriptures ; and with either the justice of the Lawgiver, or the grace of the Saviour ? For it seems, to me, that both law and gospel must surely be overthrown by such an hypothesis.

• By the way, is it not rather extraordinary, that Mr. T. after distinguishing between impurity and sin, impure propensities and evil dispositions, depravity and blameworthiness, confessing iniquity and taking shame and blame to ourselves on account of it, should exclaim against dealing in metaphysics ? Verily, a man had need be endued with something more than metaphysical skill to make distinctions where there is no difference. "I do not understand relative blame," says Mr. T. Then, obviating an objection of mine) he asks, " But how then can they be said to be born in sin?" and answers, " If I use the expression, I mean they are born impure." (XUI. 40.) Beit so; what does David mean ? He did not say, ' I was born impure,' but, I-aat shapen in wtiWitt, and in siir did my mother conceive me.

The scriptures represent God as a just being, who will by no means inflict punishment where there is no guilt. He doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men. To crush* under feet all the prisoners of the earth—to subvert a man in his cause, Jehovah approveth not.Surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment." Surely, then, we might conclude, even though an apostle had never told us so, that death would not have passed upon all men, by one man's sin, if in that sin, some how or other, all had not sinned. Surely death would not have reigned in the world, over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, if sin had not thus been in the worlds as its procuring cause. This argument (from Rom. v. 13,14.) was urged before : why did not Mr. T. reply to it ? " Is it nncandid to conclude it was because no reply could be made ?"

Farther: the scriptures represent the whole world as guilty before God—as void of every claim, except it be that of shame and confusion of face. Jehovah speaks of himself as being at perfect liberty to save, or not to save, men; and as being determined to exercise it too: I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

Once more: the scriptures represent the gift of Christ as being of mere grace, and the greatest instance of love that ever was displayed ; and that, because it was altogether contrary to our deserts. Christ is nowhere represented as dying for us out of pity for the injury that we had received from the first covenant, but, on the contrary, as being actuated by mere self-moved goodness: Herein is love, Not That We Loved God, but that God loved us, and gave his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.Christ died for the Ungodly, -For scarcely for a righteous man will one die : yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God com-mendeth his love tdwards us, in that while we were yet SinNers, Christ died for us.\ So also the whole of our salvation is always represented, not as making us amends for an injury, but as of mere grace, which God might, without any blemish on his character, have for ever withheld.

* Lam. iii. 33—36. Job xxxiv. 12. t 1 John iv. 10. Bom. v. 6—&

The whole Epistle to the Romans is written with the very design to cut off all claim, to prove that all are under sin; and, therefore, that justification and salvation are altogether of sovereign grace. The Epistle to the Ephesians is written in much the same strain, especially the Second Chapter, wherein the apostle rises in gradation from what they were by practice, to what they were by nature, namely, children of wrath, even as. ethers:* and all this to prove what he immediately asserts,. that by Grace we are saved. Yes, the whole tenour of scripture breathes this language : i" wrought for my name's sake

Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord Jehovah, be

it known unto you !

' But do not " the children of traitors" frequently suffer for their father's crimes, even though they were no way concerned in their guilt ?' (XIII. 40.) Answer, It is not just, fop the children of a traitor to suffer the loss of any natural rights or to be exposed to death, or any punishment, for that in the guilt of which they have no concern ; neither do they, where they are under just laws. (Deut. xxiv. 16.) There is no such union subsisting between a parent and a child, as betweea Adam and his posterity. They are not one in law ; the one therefore, cannot justly suffer punishment for the other's crimes. No one pretends that it is right to punish them with death, or any corporal punishment. God, to be sure, has a right to inflict death where he pleases; as upon the children of Achan ; and that, because all men have forfeited their lives to him: and such an instance of displeasure upon a man's family might tend to deter others from the like wickedness : but the children of a traitor have not forfeited their lives to a civil government, and, therefore, they cannot justly be taken away.

* But " the words by nature" says Mr. T. " relate not to our birth, but to the state in which we lived in s.n, before our conversion." (XIII. 42.) Let the render look at the passage, (Ephes. ii. 3.) and judge if it is not a gradation, from what we are by practice, to what we are by nature. But, suppose it to relate, in a general way, to our unconverted state, the question is. How came that state to be celled a state of nature, but because it is not accidentally acquired by mere imitation, but is the state in which we are born into the world?

The only thing that befals them is loss: and as to that, they may miss of what would have been their social privileges, such as honours and property, had their father died in possession of them ; but, as they were never theirs, properly speaking, they could not be deprived of them. They had no natural right to them, nor any right at all, but by their relation to their parent; and the parent, having deprived himself of them, could not convey them to his posterity.*

* Perhaps as near a resemblance as any, to that of the divine conduct, which relates to Adam and his posterity, will be found in God's treatment of a nation, or body politic. God, in his providence, deals with a nation as if it was one person. Thus God covenanted with Israel, not merely with those who existed at the time, but with their unborn posterity. Deut. xxix. 14, 15. And thus the crimes of a nation often accumulate from generation to generation, like those of an individual from youth to age. Moab, or the nation of the Moabites, is said to have been at ease from his youth, and to be settled upon his lees, &c. that is, from his first beginning to be a nation. Jer. xlviii. 2. At last, divine vengeance falls upon someone generation, like as a judgment befalling a man, in his old age, for the crimes of his whole life. Individuals, in such sea« sons, may be comparatively innocent; but yet, being members of a society, which, as such, is deeply involved in sin, they partake of a kind of relative guilt. Considered as individuals, they are only answerable for their own personal faults, but, as members of society, it is otherwise. Thus the returning captives confessed their national guilt, saying, Ws have done wickedly, and all this is come upon us because of ovn sins. Neh. xi. 33. 37. Both Ezra and Nehemiah, no doubt, joined in this confession, though we have no reason to think that their conduct, as individuals, had been such as to draw down the vengeance of God upon their country. God speaks of the whole human race, in relation to their first head, as he would speak of a nation. Speaking to Israel, he says, / had planted thee a noble vine, -wholly a right seed, how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me ? And thus of the whole human race, God hath made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions. Eccles. vii. 29. This is, undoubtedly, spoken of the whole species; but it cannot be said, of the whole species, that they were made upright, any otherwise than as having a kind of existence in their first parent. Mr. T. himself, when he can get out of a difficulty no other way, will acknowledge such a union between Adam and his posterity, as that what was possessed by him was possessed by them. He talks of God originally giving man power to keep the law; and of this making man's condemnation, for the breach of it, a matter of justice. (XIH. 130.)

But it is suggested, that we might as well be " commended for what Christ did," and for the effects of our constituted union with him, as blamed for what Adam did, and the effects of our constituted union with him. (XIII. 39.) This objection has been thought as plausible as any thing Mr. T. has advanced ; and yet, if I am not greatly mistaken, there is one part of it, at least, that will entirely overthrow his own hypothesis. Admitting that we, in no sense, are praiseworthy on account of what Christ has done, I question if it will follow, that we are in no sense blameworthy for what Adam did. It does not appear, to me, a just conclusion, that, because favours may be conferred without merit; therefore punishment may be inflicted without demerit. But, suppose this did follow, and that we are, in no sense, blameworthy for the sin of Adam; yet it does not follow, that we are not blameworthy for any of its effects. The case from which Mr. T. argues, will prove the very reverse of this. He supposes, that we are not praiseworthy for the effects of our union with Christ, (XIII. 39.) than which there can hardly be a greater mistake. Is not all heart-holiness, and, indeed, every thing in us that is truly commendable and firaiseioorthy, the effect of our union with Christ ? I hope Mr. T. will not deny this, though he so strangely overlooked it. Now, if holiness of heart may be, and is commendable, notwithstanding its being the effect of our union with Christ; then, according to his own reasoning, unholiness of heart may be blameworthy, notwithstanding its being the effect of our union with Adam.

It ought to be observed too, that this is the very question in debate between us in this place. The point that I endeavoured to prove, was, not that we are to blame for Adam's transgression ; (this was only a question that occurred incidentally;) but that a moral inability, or evil profiensity of heart, in an intelligent creature, is blameworthy, Notwithstanding his having been born the subject of it. So I had stated it in my Reply, (p. 33.*) and this, I hope, has been fully proved ; and that, from Mr. T.'s own premises.

• r»ge 263 of this volume.

It may be farther remarked, upon this subject, that, though the holiness of believers is the necessary, or certain effect of their union with Christ, yet they are not the subjects of it by compulsion, or any kind of natural necessity ; but what they are, they freely choose to be;—and will it not hold equally true concerning the unholiness of sinners, that, though it may be the effect of Adam's fall, yet, as they freely choose'to be what they are, it is improper to represent it as that which they possess by a natural necessity ?

But, whether the words natural necessity, or inability, be retained, or given up, in this matter, Mr. T. insists upon it, that our depravity comes upon us according to the nature of things; that is, if I understand him, according to the established law, or settled order of things; and this he thinks equivalent to a natural necessity, and must, therefore, denominate it blameless. (XIII. 62.) But if Mr. T. can thus prove our native depravity blameless; I think I can, by the same mode of reasoning, prove all the fruits of it to be blameless too. Is there not a settled order, or an established law, of some sort, for the operations of the human mind, and, indeed, for all human actions ? Is it not according to the laws of nature, according to the nature of things, that a man always chooses that which, all things considered, appears, in the view of his own mind, the most agreeable ; and pursues, if he have opportunity, that which, all things considered, is the object of his choice ? It is impossible that a man should choose, jn any instance, that which, at the same time, and in the same respects, all things considered, appears, in the view of his mind, disagreeable ; and refuse that which is agreeable. And it is equally impossible, that he should act in contradiction to his prevailing choice. An evil tree, according to the -nature of things, will bring forth evil fruit; and a good tree will bring forth good fruit; and, no less certainly, will " wickedness proceed from the wicked," according to the proverb of the ancients and the manifest implication of our Lord's words, (Matt. xii. 33, 34.) But does it thence follow, that the evil fruit produced by a bad heart, comes by a natural necessity, and is blameless ? Which way will Mr. T. take ? Will he deny an established order in the human mind, and maintain that we choose totally at random, without any respect to what is agreeable or disagreeable in the view of the mind; that we act without any necessary connexion with our prevailing choice ; and that we must do so, in order to be free agents ? Or will he admit of such a connexion in the operations of the mind; and, instead of placing all blame in actions, and none in the state of the mind, as he seems to have done all along, hitherto; will he now exculpate from blame all those acts which necessarily arise from choice, and all those volitions which necessarily arise from the view of the mind, and throw all the blame upon the state of the mind itself? He must either do this, or else allow, that what comes to pass according to established laws, may, nevertheless, be blameworthy.

Mr. T, imputes our pollution by the sin of Adam to the « direction of the all-wise Creator, who constituted the union between Adam and his offspring " (XIII. 62.) This, to be sure, is the way to prove it innocent; for God cannot be the author of confusion in the uerse, any more than in the churches. But let us beware, lest we charge God foolishly. That God was the author of the union referred to, is admitted; but that he is the author of whatever that union may be the occasion of, is not true. May not God be the author of an established connexion between the understanding, will, affections, and actions, without being the) author of the depravity of any action that takes place through the medium of that connexion ?

I affirmed, that love to God with all the heart must, of necessity, imply the absence of all evil propensity to rebel againsthim. This Mr. T. denies ; telling us that I have not proved it, and that he apprehends I am not capable of proving it. (XIII. 42.) That is, of proving that a perfect degree of love implies the absence of all aversion ! This reminds me of what is said elsewhere, that I hav e " taken it for granted, that regeneration Alludes to that law of nature wherein life precedes motion ; but Mr. T. does " not think it will be easy to prove it." (XIII. 15.) It is very true, nothing is more difficult of proof than that which is self-evident.

The Apostle Paul declared, that to be carnally-minded is deathbecause the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they who are in the flesh, adds he, cannot please God. But to be carnally-minded, according to Mr. T. does not der serve death; and the very reason which the Apostle gives for its being death, serves, according to his opinion, to prove it innocent; and if so, (unless God be a hard master,) why should not they be able to please him ? Paul meant to deny that the carnal mind is subject to the law of God in fact; but Mr. T.'s reasoning tends to a denial of its being subject to it in right. Paul considered unconverted sinners as incapable of pleasing God, on account of their carnality ; Mr. T.'s argumentation implies that God is, on that account, incapable of being displeased with them.

When I reasoned thus, " If blame does not lie in being the subject of an evil disposition, (or impure propensity, if Mr. T. can tell the difference,) because, as individuals, we could not avoid it; then, for the same reason, it cannot lie in the exercise of that disposition, unless that also can be avoided):" Mr. T. replies, that, to indulge, denotes the concurrence of our wills ; but our wills had nothing to do with the state in which we were born. (XIII. 41.) But this is no answer to the argument. I was not combating any argument of his arising from the concurrence or non-concurrence of our wills, but from what he calls the want of power. Men, by his own confession, have not power to go through life free from every degree of the indulgence of their propensities; for that, according to his ideas, would be to keep the law perfectly : but he does not pretend that men can do this; no, not even by the grace of God. (XIII. 61.) But, if the want of power excuses in the one case, it does in the other; for he maintains, that " no man is to blame for what he could never avoid." (XIII. 48.) And so the exercise of an evil propensity may be as blameless as the propensity itself. But, passing this,

Mr. T. thinks, it seems, that, if the will concur with an evil propensity, then it becomes blameworthy. I wish that he would abide by this doctrine. If I could depend upon that, I would ask him, Whether he can conceive of an evil propensity in his own mind, any otherwise than as the very state and bias of his will towards evil ? To talk of an involuntary propensity in the mind of a rational being, is to talk without meaning, and in direct contradiction to the plainest dictates of common sense. If, then, the concurrence of the will denominates a thing blameworthy, we need have no more dispute, whether an evil disposition in a rational being, be, in itself, blameworthy; seeing the concurrence of the will is included in the very nature of a propensity. Whatever may be said about our propensities at the time we were born, of which we can form but little idea, the question between us is whether an impure propensity, in a rational being, may not be blameworthy, notwithstanding its being received by derivation ? and Mr. T. seems to think, that whatever impurity obtains, the concurrence of the will is criminal. But this is no more than may be said of all propensity in a rational being; the thing itself being expressive of the bias of the will.

Here I expect Mr. T. will not be satisfied. Yet why should he not ? Because he has a notion in his mind, that it is necessary not only that we should be voluntary in a propensity, but that we should choose to be of such a propensity before we are so, in order to denominate us blameworthy. It is a leading principle with Mr. T. that men might have a moral ability to do good, if they would; and that, if this were not the case, they could not be blameworthy: that is, they might have a good disposition, if they were but well disposed ! " I confess," says Mr. T. " it appears, to me, as equitable to condemn a porter because he does not calculate eclipses by the strength of his body, or a feeble philosopher because he does not perform the business of a porter by his refined understanding, as to condemn a man who has only natural ability, and never had, and never Could Have any other, because he does not perform moral and spiritual duties." (XIII. 56.) To this also the Monthly Reviewers bear their testimony of applause.*

* The Monthly Reviewers having pronounced Mr. T.'s cause to be good, and particularly applauded the above passage, add, " Here is a distinction between what is called a moral and a natural power, with which these writers perplex themselves. Perhaps, if they introduced the term rational, which separates man from the brute, it might assist them a little in the contest." Review for Sept. 1788.—I cannot tell what use the Reviewers wish to have made of the term rational, nor whether they are serious, or not, in their advice; but, if these gentlemen mean to suggest, that the term rational would do to supersede the terms natural and moral, by answering all their purposes, I cannot, for my part, acquiesce in their opinion.

I am not inclined to think the Monthly Reviewers destitute of ration' al powers ; and yet it is pretty evident they are, somehow or other, ««able to do justice to Calvinistic writings ; or so much as to read them with impartial attention. Let any unprejudiced person look over their Review, and he will see, that, if any thing controversial is written in favour of Arminianism, or Antitrinitarianism, it is generally much applauded ; but if any thing comes out in favour of Trinitarianisni, or Calvinism, either its weaknesses are exposed, or cold water is thrown upon the subject. See the review of Hampton's Lectures, and Border's pamphlet, Sept. 1788. Were I to look over other numbers of the Review, I might soon add many instances of similar conduct; though, perhaps, few more illiberal than their treatment of Mr. Newton's Cardiphonia, Sept. 1781. Vol. LXV. p. 202.

Indeed, one need go no farther in proof of this than to their review of this controversy. In the review of Mr. Taylor's Nine Letters, (July, 1787, p. 85.) they say, " This pamphlet may be of some use in enlarging the conceptions of those narrow minded Christians, who think the kingdom of heaven no larger than the synagogue of their own little flock." Astonishing! When the matter of debate between myself and Mr. T. was not, in the least, about the extent of the kingdom of heaven. It did not, in the least, respect either the character or number of those that are good men here, or that shall be saved hereafter; but the Cause of their salvation. Is it possible for gentlemen, of only common sense and erudition, to write in this manner upon any subject, except religion I No ,• mere rational powers would there have taught them better. But here, prejudice and supercilious contempt get the better of their understandings, and impel them to write in such a manner as must, in the end, cause their censures to rebound to their own dishonour.

Though the above critique f if it may be so called) displays the grossest ignorance of the subject; yet I really do not think it was for want of rational powers. The reviewers are, generally speaking, men of very good abilities ; but religion is not their province, nor are they able to treat the subject with impartiality. Now, as they unite with Mr. T. in thinking, that, if a man has no moral power, that is, no disposition to do right, and cannot find in his heart so much as to use means that he may have such a disposition, then he cannot justly be blamed; they might, one should think, consider the above as a kind apology on their behalf. Should they reply, hy maintaining, either that they have a moralability, or disposition, to do justice to Calvinistic writings, or, at least, might have, if they would use the means; I should answer, As to the first, facts contradict it; and as to the last, if they know of any means that persons, utterly void of an inclination, may use, in order to give themselves such inclination, I should be glad if they would begin, and make the experiment.

If, in future, we should see, in the Monthly Review, such manifest partiality against Calvinistic writings as we have seen heretofore, we shall then conclude, that the Monthly Reviewers cannot find in their heart to do justice ; nor so much as to use the means that they may have a disposition to do justice; and, if so, then, according to the reasonings which they so highly applaud, we must bring- them in guiltless!

And elsewhere Mr. T. says, " It is to very little purpose to allege, that Pharaoh and others could have complied, if they would; if they could never will to comply, they could not justly be punished." (XIII. 57.) So, then, the blame does not lie in the choice of any evil, but in the choice of that choice. Pharaoh's evil, it seems, did not lie in refusing the divine message, but in that, though he could have had a pliable disposition, yet he would not, he was not disposed to be of a good disposition. But still an objection returns : That indisposition, by which he refused to be of a good disposition, could not be blameworthy, unless he could have chosen to be of a better. But whither will this way of reasoning lead us ? If a choice, or propensity, cannot be blameworthy, unless it be governed by a previous act of choice, neither can that act of choice be blameworthy, unless it is governed by another, and that by another, and so on, in an infinite series. This is metaphysical indeed, or rather hyper-metaphysical. A little while ago, it was thought sufficient if an exercise had but the concurrence of the will, that is, if we had but the power of doing what we please ; but now, it seems, that is a matter that " is very little to the purpose," unless we have also the power ef choosing what we please.

" Pharaoh," Mr. T. maintains, " could have willed to comely with the messages that were sent him, or he was not blameworthy." If no more were meant by this, than that he was possessed of the faculty, or power of choice, which faculty, were it not for the evil bias with which it is polluted, is equal to the choice of any object that might be presented, I should have no objection to it. But this is not Mr. T.'s meaning: natural power to choose is nothing with him ; he is here pleading the necessity of a moral power, in order to our being accountable beings. Here, then, I must infer, that Mr. T. does not understand the meaning of his own expressions, no, nor the Monthly Reviewers either; or rather, that the expressions have no meaning at all. What does Mr. T. maintain? that Pharaoh could find in his heart, at the time, to will a compliance ? No, he will not say so ; for that were the same as doing willing: but that would contradict fact; for we know he was not willing. What, then, does Mr. T. mean ? He must mean this, if any thing ; that he could have been willing if he would; that is, he could have willed, if he had willed: but this is no meaning at all, being a mere identical proposition.

It is possible Mr. T. may here exclaim against such a method of reasoning, and appeal to common sense and common equity, " that no person is blameworthy for the emission of what he could not perform." It is granted to be a dictate of common sense and common equity, that no person should be blamed for the omission of that which he could not do, if he would ; but not that he should be excused for the neglect of that which he could not Will, if he would: for there is no such thing in being. So far is this from being a dictate of common sense, there is no sense in it, nor do they that talk of it understand what they mean.*

" When people puzzle themselves upon this subject," says a judicious writer, " and insist we are not accountable, and cannot be blamed, any farther than we have a moral as well as a natural power to do otherways than we do, what their minds run upon is only natural power, after all. They may say they know what we mean by moral power, viz. that disposition to do a thing which is necessary in order to our doing it; and they mean the same. But, however, when they get into the dispute, they get bewildered, and lose sight of the distinction. They do not suppose an impenitent sinner, going on still in his trespasses, has a present, actual disposition, and a sufficiently strong one, to hearken to, and obey the gospel. But something like this seems to be in the bottom of their minds, viz. that he must be able to be disposed ; or he must have such a disposition as would be sufficient if he was disposed to make a good use of it. Now, this is only to

• The reader may consult, on this subject, President Edwards On the Wills particularly Part IV. Sect. III. IV. XIII. In that piece he will find this notion, with many others upon which Mr. T.'s system rests, thoroughly refuted.

use the word disposition improperly, and to conceive of it as a mere natural power; a price in our hands, which may be used well or ill, and which will turn to our benefit or condemnation, accordingly as we are disposed to improve it. The disposition they think of is not in the least degree virtuous, nor anyways necessarily connected with virtuous conduct. But it may lie still, or go wrong, and will do so, unless a man is disposed, and exerts himself to make it act, and keep it right. The sinner is not helped out of his difficulty in the least by having such a disposition as this. Yea, should we go farther, and say, the impenitent sinner might have a heart to embrace the gospel, if he would take proper pains in order to it; and he might do this, if he was so disposed ; and he might be so disposed, if he would try; and he could try, if he had a mind for h. Yet If, after all, he has not a mind to try, to be disposed, to take any proper pains, to get a heart to embrace the gospel, or do any thing that is good; he is still in as bad a situation as any body supposes him to be in- There is no more hope of his coming to good, so long as this is the case with him, no more possibility of it, nor do we say any thing more in his favour, than if we had only said, as the scripture does of the fool, There is a price in his hand to get wisdom; but he has No Heart To It. Pushing the sinner's moral depravity and impotence back in this manner, may get it out of sight of those who cannot see above ir,o or three steps: but this is all the good it can do. There i still a defect in him somewhere ; and such a one as will prove his everlasting ruin, unless removed by such grace as he never yet has experienced."*

I am yours, &c.

* Smalley on the Inability of the Sinner to comply with the Gospel, &c. pp. 20, 21.

LETTER V.

Dear Siry

JL HE second thing which Mr. T. defends, is what he had written on men's inability to deliver themselves from an in ability: he conceives it must furnish them with an excuse, " if they cannot deliver themselves from it." This takes up the former part of his Fifth Letter. To be sure, we are now got into the regions of metaphysics, if not beyond them; but it ought to be remembered, that these modes of speaking are of Mr. T.'s own invention. I had before urged the consequences of Mr. T.Js opinion on this subject, as a sufficient refutation of it; but he replies by resuming his old complaint, that I consider those subjects separately, which ought to have been considered conjointly. This is all that he has advanced in answer to what I have written from p. 37 to 41.*

It should seem, that, in certain circumstances, Mr. T. will admit a moral inability, though real and total, to be blameworthy. That is, 1. Where a person brings it upon himself by his own personal wickedness. (XIII. 28.) 2. Where grace is offered to deliver him from it, and he refuses it. In these cases, it seems, Mr. T. will not become the sinner's advocate, but admit him to be guilty. (XIII. 47.) But let it be closely considered, if the thing itse{fi& A\ot blameworthy, let us come by it in what manner we may, and though grace should, or should not, be provided to deliver us from it, whether either of the above circumstances will make it so. We may blame a man for his conduct in bringing his mind into such an " unimpressible" state; but the state of the mind itself is not thereby made culpable. Mr. T. often appeals to common equity among men, whether it is right to punish a man for the omission of what was never within the compass of his power; but it is as plain a dictate of common equity, that a man is not to blame for the omission of what he has not the power to perform at the time, as that he is not to blame for what never -was in his power. If once he had power, he was then to blame, but not since he lost it; for, as Mr. T. says, " what a man cannot do, he cannot do." Samson was to blame for losing his hair, and thereby his strength ; but not for being unable, when he had lost it, to repel the enemy, and preserve his eyes. Neither does the possibility of having our moral impotency removed, make any alteration as to the thing itself.

f Pages 271—2T4i of this volume.

If our opposition of heart to God, in itself considered,i not blameworthy, the circumstance of our having grace offered to deliver us from it, cannot make it so. Suppose a man to be fallen into some deep pit, and that he is weak, and incapable of getting out, but some kind friend offers him his hand; now, says Mr. T. the man is to blame, if he does not get out. I answer, He is to blame for rejecting help; but that does not prove him to blame for his own personal inability. Thus, by shifting the argument from one to the other of these three subjects, and dwelling upon none, Mr. T. shuts out blameworthiness frem all moral impotence, in itself considered, and so no man is to blame for the enmity of his heart to God, be it ever so great. Though the carnal mind is enmity against God, and is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be: though their ear is uncircumcised, -and they cannot hearken; though they, being evil, cannot speak good things; though they have eyes full of adultery, and cannot cease from sin; and though, upon this account, it be impossible but that offences will come : yet there is no harm in all this, nothing for which God should speak in such a tone of displeasure; the whole of their blameworthiness consists either in their getting into such a. state of mind, or in neglecting to use the means of getting -out ! And thus my argument, after all, stands its ground, that, according to Mr. T.'s principles, men are excusable in proportion to the strength of their evil propensities.

Let us next follow Mr. T. in his defence of the third branch of his position concerning the non-provision of grace. The reader will remember, that the question here is, not whether grace is, or is Not provided : but whether, supposing it is not, men are excusable in their non-compliance with the gospel. Mr. T.'s views upon this subject are as a millstone about the neck of his system, that must needs sink it in the esteem of all who understand the argument, and expect to be saved by grace alone. He talks much of grace, of free grace, and of salvation by grace ; and yet it is not more evident that the sun shines at noon-day, than that he makes the whole of our salvation a debt, a debt which God, of his " uersal benevolence," is excited to pay, from the consideration that " we did not bring everlasting misery upon ourselves, nor was it ever in our power to avoid it." (XIII. 81.)

It is pity that we should cover our ideas by improper words. It is evident, Mr. T,. means to appeal to the divine justice ; only he has not courage sufficient to say so, and, therefore, uses the term benevolence. Yet if this be the truth, that men are pitiable creatures, much injured by the fall, but no way concerned in the guilt of it, nor in any of its certain effects; and if this be a consideration with the great Jehovah to save them ; what a gospel have we sent us at last, and what a representation of the divine character ! The Father sends his Son to atone for men's guilt, and deliver them from everlasting misery, from the consideration that there was nothing in that guilt, antecedently to his sending his Son, and offering them grace, that properly deserved such misery, or indeed any misery at all! The covenant which God originally made with man is so severe, that, if he abide by it, he must deal cruelly with his rational offspring; so severe, that he cannot stand to it throughout ; but is induced, with a view to make the sons of Adam amends for the injury done them by their father's fall, to send them a Saviour, and to offer them assistance, that they may make their escape ! Surely, all this is but th« just picture of the divine character and conduct, according to Mr. T.'s scheme. But is this the real character and conduct of God ? Is mercy indeed built up upon the ruins of equity; or does the grace of the second covenant imply a reflection upon the justice of the first ? Is this the character of that God who declares that men who never heard the gospel of grace are without excuse ? ^-that all the world are become guilty before Him ;—that salvation is altogether of grace ;—that he is not only at liberty to have mercy on whom he will have mercy, but will exercise that liberty, and will have compassion on whom he will have compassion ?

I urged these consequences in my Reply, that, according to Mr. T.'s scheme, " making this supposed grace the only thing which constitutes men accountable beings, was making it Debt, rather than Grace." And what has Mr. T. said, in answer to this objection? (XIII. 49.) " 1. When I speak of grace," says he, " I wish to speak of real, not supposed, grace." That may be, and I hope it is so; but the question is, will his hypothesis coincide with the wishes of his heart on this subject ? " 2. Suppose," says Mr. T. to his friend, " we excuse Mr. F.'s play on the word grace, which is not in the sentence to which he is making this laboured reply, and his change of punished for accountable ; yet still, the position to which he refers, does not s>peak of grace as the only thing which renders men accountable. You remember, Sir, the position is, 'If men could not avoid it,' Sec." Mr. T. seems, all along' to wish to represent me as having bestowed great pains to unravel one poor little period; whereas what I have written about grace is not merely in reply to that single period, (as was declared in my Reply, p. 29.») but to the whole of what Mr. T. had written upon the subject, which in that period happens to be nearly expressed. But he denies, that he has represented grace as the only thing which renders men accountable; how he can make this denial good, is more than I can conceive. He advances three things which, together, would make men not accountable. The first two of these he admits actually to exist; (IX. 44. 57. 59.) the last, therefore, must be the only thing left, which can render men accountable, or, if he likes it better, punishable. But where is the answer, after all to my objection ? Has he proved his notion of grace to be any more than debt? Not at all, nor so much as attempted it. " Is it uncandid to conclude, that it was because he felt the attempt would have been in vain ?" It was farther objected, that, according to Mr. TVs scheme, there was no need for Christ to have died at all; and that, if the Divine being had but let men alone, and had not provided any grace for them, they had been all very innocent; and, if justice had but been done them, very happy. To this Mr. T. replies, by asking, 1. Whether I can prove that, without the bestowment of grace, there would ever have been any men to be free from criminality? "Can he prove," says he, "that Adam would not have died immediately, according to the threatening, if grace had not been given in the promise." (XIII. 50.)-^ According to the threatening," that is begging the question. The question is, whether that threatening implied in it the immediate and actual execution of corporal death ? If what Mr. T. say» elsewhere is true, namely, that Adam's posterity were, by his fall," exposed to misery, whatever that misery be," (XIII. 41.) it could not; for non-existences could never be exposed to misery of any kind.

* Page 264 of this volume.

If in Adam all died; if by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed -upon all men, for that all have sinned; this must imply the existence of all men ; for death cannot pass upon non-entities. But it is asked, 2. " Suppose Adam had not died, can Mr. F. prove that Adam's posterity would have been sent to hell for their father's sin, or for any of its necessary consequences I" Suppose they had not, and ought not, then it only tends to confirm my reasoning, rather than to refute it; which was to prove, that, if things are as Mr. T. represents, men might have been innocent and happy, if Jesus had never died ; and so, that the gift of Christ and the gospel was no real benefit, but rather a curse upon the world, as it is this only that has rendered men capable of sinning, so as to become everlastingly miserable.

The remaining questions (XIII. 52.) have, for the subStance of them, been already discussed. [Reply, 4649.*) Neither are they in point to the present subject in debate. They contain a question of fact ; but that which is now in discussion is a question of right. Were I to admit the uersal extent of Christ's death as a. fact, and the utmost advantages as resulting from it; still I should reprobate, with all the powers of my soul, the principles upon which Mr. T. pleads for it, as destructive of the grace of the gospel, and hostile to the throne of God.

Mr. T. had maintained (IX. 57. 59.) 1. That man was s» reduced by the fall, as to be totally unable to do any thing really good: 2. That, if he had been left in this condition, he would not have been to blame for not doing it, but that his inability would have been his excuse; yea, let his practices have been as -vile as they might, upon the supposition of grace not being provided, he declares, that he would have been excusable, and that all real good whatever might be denied to be the duty of the unprincipled mind." From hence I concluded, that, if it were so, then Christ did not die for the sins of any man; because, antecedently to the consideration of his death, and of grace being given in him, there was no sin, or blameworthiness, to atone for.

• Pages 278—281 of this Volume.

What a bustle does Mr. T. make concerning this conclusion; calling it " a wonderful passage," and the reasonings " mere parade ;" imputing it to the " imbecility of the human mind, and to the disadvantageous situation to which the most upright disputant may be reduced," &c. (XIII. 52.) I smile at this friendly apology; but must own it appears, to me, more adapted to himself than his opponent. I before wrote in the language of diffidence : the consequences of Mr. T.'s sentiments appeared so eversive of the whole gospel, that I could hardly help suspecting I must have mistaken him, somehow or other. Accordingly, I gave him a fair opportunity to clear himself, if he could. But it is now time for that language to be laid aside. He has tried to defend his hypothesis, but it is absolutely indefensible.

What has Mr. T. said in answer to my reasoning ? Why he has, as usual, asked a number of questions* " Suppose Christ had never come, and no grace had been provided, does not Mr. F." he asks, " allow that man is a free agent, and therefore, might have sinned voluntarily ?" (XIII. 51.) Yes, I do: I suppose the devil to be a free agent, though his heart is, and ever will be, invariably set in him to do evil; but the question here is, not what / allow, but what Mr. T. allows. Though J allow man to be a free agent, independent of the grace of the gospel, he does not: he considers moral as well as natural necessity as inconsistent with free agency; that, if no grace were provided, " let a man's practice be as -vile as they might, he would be excusable." And it was from his supposition, and not from mine, that I was reasoning.

But he asks farther, " Is nothing done wrong in this world but what is the necessary and unavoidable effect of Adam's transgression ? Are not all our voluntary sins justly chargeable upon us ?" (XIII. 52.) I answer, I know of no such necessity that impels men to sin involuntarily; and as to the evils that are now done in the world, or not done, they are nothing at all to the point; nor whether they are done in consequence of Adam's transgression or not.

• Mr. T. it seems, expected to bf answered in a way of direct reply. But it would fill a volume of no small size, only to give a direct answef to all his and Mr. Martin's questions.

Suppose they are done'simply in consequence of men's own free agency; will Mr. T. allow that they would have had that free agency, and have been accountable beings, without the death of Christ and the grace of the gospel ? If he will not, the consequence still remains unmoved, that, according to him,' Christ did not come into the world to save men from sin, but, rather, to put them into a capacity of sinning ; as it is in consequence of his death, and that alone, that guilt becomes chargeable upon them.' But if, on the other hand, he will allow this, he must, in so doing, disallow of the substance of all his former reasonings. Particularly, he must disown that extravagant language, that, " if my principles are true, let a man's practices be as vile as they may, he may excuse himself from blame."

" Mr. F. justly observes," says Mr. T. " that I suppose fallen man really and totally unable to do good; and I explained my meaning, by saying spiritually good : but is there no medium between doing what is spiritually good, and going to the utmost lengths of wickedness ? Are men under the necessity of working all abominations, because they cannot, without divine grace, serve God spiritually ? Do not men work these abominations? Did not Christ die to atone for them? Did he not then die for OUR SINS i" (XIII. 52.) Now Mr. T. thinks he has escaped the charge. But let it be observed, though, in one place, he had used the term spiritual; yet, in another, he extended blamelessness to " Practices be they As Vile as they May, if my sentiments were true;" that is, if grace were not provided. Now, whatever medium there may be, between not doing things spiritually good and working all abominations, there is none, I should think, between vile practices and abominations. Mr. T. therefore, is as far off as ever from removing the shocking consequences of his sentiments.

I am, &c.

LETTER VI.

Dear Sir,

PERHAPS Mr. T. will again complain, that too much is made of the Ratio ex concessis and the Reductio ad absurdum. (XIII. 53.) Well, it is not my wish to bear too hard upon him ; though, after all, it would have discovered a commendable frankness, consonant to his own profession, (XIII. 15.) to have confessed that he had said rather too much, instead of complaining of me for having improved it against him. But let us take it as he has now stated it, that, without the grace of God, men cannot do any thing really or spiritually good; but they may do some things otherwise good, or, at least, refrain from gross immoralities ; and this is all they are obliged to do, antecedently to the bestowment of grace; and, consequently, the whole of their sin consists in the contrary of this; and these are all the sins for which there was any need for Christ to atone. Now, will Mr. T. stand to this hypothesis ? It is the only ground left him to stand upon, in supporting the body of his system. And, in order to possess this, he must retract his extravagant sentence in p. 59 of his Nine Letters ; and, perhaps, much more. Let him soberly consider, whether he can stand his ground, even here, without giving up at least the three.following sentiments, each of which he has hitherto avowed, and for one of them most strenuously contended.

1. That the moral law is spiritual, and requires love to God with all the heart; and that this law is the rule of life to fallen men, antecedent to, and independent of, the consideration of the bestowment of grace. If nothing but an abstinence from gross abominations is incumbent on men, antecedent to the bestowment of grace ; then either the moral law does not require the heart, or men are not under it as the rule of life.

2. That, if unconverted sinners are preserved from the greatest lengths of wickedness, it is to be ascribed to the preventing and restraining grace of God. This Mr- T, has hith« erto avowed. (XIII. SO.) But, if he will maintain the above hypothesis, this also must be given up. The whole of Mr. T.'-s argument (XIII. 52.) goes upon the supposition, that, if grace had never been bestowed or provided, yet men might have refrained from gross abominations ; for it is brought to prove, that men would not have been utterly blameless without the provision of grace ; and so that there were some sins for Christ to die for, antecedently to the consideration of his death and the grace of the gospel. But, if so, their being preserved from gross wickedness is not, and ought not to be, ascribed to the grace of God.

3. That Christ died for the sins of the whole world. I need not prove to the reader, that Mr. T. maintains this sentiment; but, if he will abide by the above hypothesis, this (all-important as he accounts it) must be given up. It is well known, that the far greater part of the world die in infancy ; but dying infants, according to the above hypothesis, (and, indeed, according to all that he has written,) can have no sin, in any sense whatever, for which Christ could have to atone. He could not, therefore, die for them ; and, as they make the greatest part of the human race, it must follow, that Christ did not die for the sins of one half of the world, after all. Thus Mr. T. by his notion of men being excusable on account of their moral inability, is driven to a most painful dilemma : he is driven to maintain, Either that men, antecedently to the death of Christ and the grace of the gospel, are not free agents at all; are not accountable beings, no, not for even " the -vilest of practices ;" (as he did in his Nine Letters;) and then it follows, that Christ did not die to atone for the sins of any man, but only for Adam's first transgression, there being no sins for which he could have to atone ; and that his death, and the grace of the gospel, must be a curse to the world rather than a blessing ; as it is in consequence of this, and this alone, that guilt becomes chargeable on men : or Else, according to what he has advanced in his last performance, that men, without the grace ot the gospel, would have been free agents in part; that they would have been capable of performing the externals of religion, and refraining from gross abominations; that they, as fallen creatures, are accountable for the contrary of these, and for that only; and that it is for sins of this description only that Christ could have to atone ;* and then it follows, that the law, as a rule of life to fallen men, is not spiritual; that, if men are preserved from gross abominations, it is not to be ascribed to preventing grace; and that Christ did not die for the sins of all mankind.

Mr. T. it has been observed, has hitherto allowed that the moral law is spiritual, and, as such, is the rule of life to fallen men; (XIII. 60.) but his other sentiments will not suffer him, consistently, to abide by this. To be consistent with them, he must either deny the spirituality of the law, or else its justice and goodness; that is, he must deny that it is fit to be a rule of life to fallen men. Mr. T. admits the law, at present, to be spiritual; it must not, however, take cognizance of the state of the heart, or mind; the mind may be the subject of an evil propensity, and yet be innocent; (XIII. 42.) so then, the carnal mind, which is enmity against God, is, nevertheless, in that respect blameless. All that is forbidden is "the indulgence of evil propensity, and the neglect of grace by which he might be delivered from it." Nor are these all the subtractions that Mr. T.'s scheme requires. Even here, it is not just that it should require any more than men can, some way or other, find in their hearts to give; for he lays this down as a maxim, that no man ought to be punished for what he cannot avoid. (XIII. 53.) But if it is not right that the law should require any more than men can, in every sense, perform, or punish them for their defects, then it must follow, that either men can now perform all the law requires of them; or else, that the law is unreasonable, and so can be neither Jus* nor good, nor fit to be a rule of life to fallen men. Which way will Mr. T. turn himself in this case? Will he affirm, that men now can, in every sense, perform all that the law requires ? Sometimes, he seems as if he would ; for he speaks of the law, as forbidding only the indulgence of sin; and of grace, as being provided to deliver us from that. (XIII. 41.) Here, if his words have any meaning, they must mean, that men may, through the grace of God, comply with all the law requires.

• It is true, Mr. T. talks of Christ having to atone for sins of other descriptions; but, surely, it is quite absurd to speak of his dying to atone for sins, for which we were never blameworthy or accountable.

And yet, in other places, he allows that no man, since the fall, possesses an ability, either naturally or by the grace of God, perfectly to keep the law. (XIII. 60, 61.) But what in and out work is here ! One of these positions must be retracted ; and Mr. T. is welcome to retract which of them he pleases. He may choose his ground. Neither will support him, without giving up the spirituality, justice, and goodness of the law, as a rule of life to fallen men.

If he retract theirs*, and allow that men cannot, even with the grace of the gospel, keep the law perfectly; then, he must either maintain the law to be unreasonable, or give up all his former reasonings, and allow that it is right that God should require men to do that which they are, and always were, and always will be, in this life, morally unable to do. If he choose to retract his other position, (XIII. 61.) and maintain, that, by the grace of God, men are now able to comply with all that the law requires, and to avoid all that it forbids, still he is never the nearer. This sentiment is as hostile to the native justice and goodness of the law, as any position Mr. T. has advanced. For as to what men are able to do by the grace of God, that is nothing to the purpose. In order to justify the Jaw, it is necessary that we should, in some sense, be able to obey it, prior to, and independently of, the provisions of the gospel. To introduce the bestowment of grace, in order to vindicate the equity of the law, is injurious to both law and gospel: to the first, as supposing it, in itself, unjust; to the last, as rendering it not grace, but debt. Suppose the king and parliament of Great Britain should enact a law, requiring the inhabitants of any particular town to pay one thousand pounds annually, by way of tax. At the time of the law being enacted, those inhabitants were well able to pay it, and afterwards became poor, and entirely unable. The government, however, still continue the law in force, notwithstanding their pecuniary inability. But the Prince of Wales, with the concurrence of the king and parliament, graciously remits, or offers to remit, to these poor inhabitants, what shall be sufficient for the payment of the tax. Quere, 1. Does this remittance render the law which continued to require a thousand pounds, when the inhabitants were unable to pay it, in itself, just or good ? 2. Is it to the honour of the prince, any more than of the king and parliament, to call such a remittance by the name of grate, when its only purpose is to screen the government from the charge of injustice? I am persuaded that such a piece of conduct as Mr. TVs system ascribes to the great God, is what the honourable characters beforementioned would scorn to be engaged in. Such a law, undoubtedly, ought to be repealed. Should it be urged, for its continuance, that it should stand as it was, for the purpose of convincing the inhabitants of their sin in not complying with it, (XIII. 130.) they would reply, 'Convince us of sin? no, that it can never do, but rather convince us of its own cruelty and its makers' tyranny.' ' But, perhaps, you have not done so much towards complying with it, as you might have done.' ' Be it so: this can be no proper mean of convincing us of sin; let us have a law equal to our capacity, and then, so far as we fall short of it, that will be a proper mean of conviction, but no other.'

The reader will not suppose that I am pleading for the repeal of God's law; I suppose men's natural abilities are still equal to its demands: but my design is barely to show, that, according to the tendency of Mr. T.'s principles, the law cannot be either just or good, and the gospel is not grace, but debt.

Mr. T. often talks of his opponent taking his threefold argument, and answering it conjointly. When an author advances contrary positions, it is very difficult to know what are his real sentiments ; otherwise Mr. T. has sufficiently answered himself. 1. He allows that men are unable to keep God's law perfectly. (XIII. 60.) 2. He will not pretend to say, that they ever could so keep it, since they were intelligent beings. (XIII. 60.) And 3. What is more, he does not profess to hold that grace is provided sufficient to enable them to keep it. (XIII. 61.) Here, then, all the three members of Mr. T.'s position concur, respecting men's inability to keep the law perfectly. " They could never avoid it, cannot deliver themselves from it, and the blessed God has not made such provision as is necessary to deliver them :" and yet Mr. T. allows that they ought to keep it, notwithstanding; (XIII. 60.) and, it should seem, their not keeping it is their sin, of which the law is a proper mean to convince them. (XIII. 130.) The reader is here left to make his own reflections.

But "is it right for a man to be eternally punished for what he could never possibly avoid ? This is the question," says Mr. T. " to which I think Mr. F. with all his ingenious labour, has not attempted to give a direct answer. Yet nothing is done, till a direct answer be given." (XIII. 51.) I reply, 1. If there be any weight in Mr. T.'s reasoning, it must affect all punishment, as well as eternal punishment :* and if so, the sentence of corporal death, which, in consequence of Adam's transgression, has passed upon all men, and is executed upon millions who have never actually sinned, must be an unrighteous sentence: 2. If man, as a fallen, polluted creature, is blameless, he must, if justice be done him, as such, be unexposed to punishment, either here or hereafter, and consequently must, as such, need no saviour at all.

• My good opinion of Mr. T.'s integrity and piety makes me utterly at a loss how to account for the insinuation, that it has been generally acknowledged by the " unhappy men" who deny the eternity of future punishment, and hold with " uersal salvation, that, before a man can be of their sentiments, he must be a Calvinist." To be sure, we cannot be certain, that no one person who embraced the general-restitution scheme, was weak or wicked enough to drop such an expression; though I never heard of such an instance. But, to justify the manner in which this inuendo is brought in, it ought, at least, to have been a common, repeated acknowledgment, made by some of the most eminent patrons of that system. Surely the late Bishop of Bristol was never led into it bv hie Calvinism: n»r have I ever heard of Dr. Priestley or Dr. Chauncey, as suggesting that this was the effect of their former Calvinism. It is very evident that they were first far from Calvinism, before they espoused that notion. I wish Mr. T. (if this paragraph could indeed be his writing, and was not added to his manuscript by some unknown person, devoid of conscience, to blacken Calvinism at any rate;) would favour us with the names of " these unhappy men who have so frequent. ly said" it. Were it needful, I could name a member of Mr. T.'s own church, who has pleaded for uersal salvation, without being led into it by any previous Calvinism.

But the Monthly lievie-a, for July, 1789, has afforded an opportunity of appealing to Mr. T.'s conscience still more forcibly on this article. Does Mr. T. believe that the gentleman by whom he himself is there abused for his " sulphureous discourse" on the eternity of future punithment, could never have treated a scriptural doctrine with so much contempt, if the reviewer had not once been a Calvinist? ! .' f MontFtly Jteviev), p. 95.

To speak, therefore, of the fall as rendering a saviour necessary, as Mr. T. himself seems to do, (XIII. 140. 142.) or to say, with the Apostle, that, as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners : so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous, must be altogether improper. But perhaps Mr. T. will still complain of the want of a direct answer. Well, if another form will please him better, let it stand thus:

The fall and its necessary effects are what Mr. T. calls unavoidable by us: Christ, by laying down his life, delivered us from the fall and its necessary effects :* Christ died, therefore, to deliver us from what Mr. T. calls unavoidable. But Christ would not have died to deliver us from a punishment which we never deserved. I do conclude, therefore, that we deserve everlasting misery for that which, in Mr. T.'s sense of the word, is unavoidable.

I am yours, &c.

» Rom. v. 15—21. 1 Cor. xv. 22. 1 Thes. i. 10.

LETTER VII.

Dear Sir,

THERE is one question more which Mr. T. holds up in his Sixth Letter, the solution of which goes a great way towards the deciding of the controversy between us: this is, -Whether natural power is, to all intents and purposes, sufficient to render us accountable beings in respect of moral or spiritual exercises ?

This question I promised to discuss before we had done;. Previously, however, to entering upon it, let it be observed, that, if natural power is sufficient for the above purpose; and that, antecedent to, and independent of, the bestowment of grace; then five parts out of six, at least, of Mr. T.'s Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Letters are to no purpose. All his exclamations against men being required to perform what they have nopower to accomplish; blamed for their omission of it, &c.

Vol. i. 3 e

&c. entirely rest upon the supposition that natural powef is not power; or, however, not such power as to render men ac-> countable for omitting moral and spiritual exercises. All Mr. T.'s exclamations likewise, in his Nine Letters, upon the. cruelty of punishing men more severely, rest upon this supposition, that natural poiver is of no account; for the cruelty against which he there exclaims, consists in punishing men " for not doing what it never was in their power to do." (XIII. 58.) Now, if the contrary of this can be proved, the body of Mr. T.'s system will be overturned.

When I affirm, that " natural power is, to all intents and -purposes, sufficient to render men accountable beings," Mr. T. calls for proof; (XIII. 56.) yea, and suggests that I have acknowledged the contrary in my first treatise. Whether I have not proved this matter already, and whether Mr. T. has not allowed me to have proved it, we will now inquire.

1. I have proved that natural strength is the measure of men's obligation to love God; being that rule according- to which we are required to love him : Thou shall love Jehovah thy God with All Thy Strhngth. To this Mr. T. has made no reply : but, on the contrary, has allowed my reasoning t» be " very conclusive." (IX. 67.)

2. I have proved, that men are obliged to the performance of all duty, and are inexcusable for their omission of it, antecedent to, and independent of the bestowment of grace. (Reply, p. 50.*) To this also Mr. T. has made no reply; but, on the contrary, has told us, that he " wishes to oppose nothing contained in it, so far as the present subject is concerned." (XIII. 59.) Mr. T. therefore, has fully allowed me t» have proved my point, and, consequently, to have proved that the body of his own reasonings is fallacious. Surely Mr. T. must have engaged in a controversy which he does not sufficiently understand; how else could he allow of these sentiments, and, at the same time, maintain their opposites ?

To the above arguments might be added, the uersal silence of scrifiture in respect of the internal operations of grace being necessary to render men accountable beings, as to moral and spiritual exercises.

* Pages 281, 282 of this volume.

The scripture is not silent upon what it is that renders us moral agents; but never, that I remember, gives us the least hint of grace, or the Spirit's operations, being necessary to that end. Whenever God speaks of men in a way of complaint, or censure, he urges their enjoy« ment of natural powers, outward advantages, means, and opportunities, as what rendered it fit and reasonable for better things to have been expected at their hands. Rehearsing what he had done for Israel, and complaining of their ungrateful returns, he says, What was there more to be done to my vine* yard,* that I have not done in it ? Wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, broMght it forth wild grapes ? Isa. v. 1—7. It is plain, here, that God reckoned himself to have done enough for them, to warrant an expectation, speaking after the manner of men, of better returns; and yet here is no mention of any thing but external privileges, means, and opportunities, which were bestowed upon them. It is true, God is said to have given his good Spirit, to instruct them; but the meaning of that is, he inspired his servants the prophets, and sent them with repeated messages of instruction; or, as it is explained in the same place, He testified against them by his Spirit in the prophets. Neh. ix, 20. 30. These messages and messengers were what Stephen accused them with having always resisted. Which of the prophets, said he, have not your fathers persecuted? and this he justly calls a resistance of the Holy Spirit. Acts vii. 51, 52, When Christ complained of Chorazin and Bethsaida, he made no mention of the internal operations of his grace, as the ground of his just expectations, but barely of ihcmighty worka which he had wrought among them. Matt. xi. 20—.24. So, when the apostle pronounces the heathen to be without excuse, and informs us wherefore they were so, he makes no mention of grace which they either had, or might have had, but of th* evidence afforded to them by the visible creation, by which, he intimates, that the invisible power and Godhead of its Creator might have been known, had they been but of a right temper of mind. Rom. i. 19. 26.t

But Mr. T. thinks I have contradicted all this, by asserting, that " natural ability is not, of itself, sufficient for the performance of good." Cannot Mr. T. then, discern the difference between what is sufficient to render us accountable beings, and what is sufficient for the actual performance of good I If a man is possessed of reason and conscience, he has that, which, to all intents and purposes, renders him an accountable being ; and any court upon earth would treat him as responsible for any trust which migh be reposed in his hands; but, if he is not possessed of integrity, he has not that in him which is sufficient wr the security of his master's property, or any service which is truly virtuous.

* 'Oia1? my imvhnn See Trueman's Discourse of Natural and ,Moral Impotence, p. 179. -J- See Bellamy's True Religion Delineated, pp. 121—J27.

I am, &c.

LETTER VIII.

Dear Sir,

ANOTHER question in debate between myself and Mr. T. is, Whether faith in Christ be a requirement of the moral law ? On this subject Mr. T. has written his Seventh and Eighth Letters. If I understand the force of this question in the present controversy, it is this; that it involves the doctrine of a provision of grace, in order to make it equitable. Mr. T. considers faith as an additional obligation to those required by the mora Haw, and, therefore, thinks it a hard and inequitable requirement, if grace is not provided to enable us to comply. (IX. 46.)

On this subject Mr. T. admits, that " the moral law—demands, that whatever is revealed in the gospel, or any other dispensation, be received by all rational creatures to whom that revelation is made." (XIII. 69.) This is all that I have pleaded for. I do not suppose the moral law expressly, but radically, or remotely, to require faith in Christ. I only contend, that that love which the moral law expressly requires, would lead a person possessed of it, to embrace the gospel. And herein, it seems, we are agreed.

But Mr. T. seems to think it very improper on this account, to say, that faith in Christ is a requirement of the moral law ; as improper as to say, that circumcision, baptism, and the Lord's supper, are requirements of that law, on account of their being remotely required by it. (XIII. 70.) In short, he seems to consider faith in Christ as a part of positive law, and therefore not, strictly speaking, moral. To which it is replied,

Supposing faith in Christ to be a part of positive law, yet, if compliance with it is justly " demanded by the moral law," which Mr. T. says it is, then it would not follow, that it is such an additional obligation on men, as to require additional grace in order to render it equitable. But farther,

If I understand the nature of positive law, as distinguished from moral, it is that which arises, not from the nature of things, but from the mere will of the lawgiver. I am not acquainted with any one positive law, the opposite of which might not have been enjoined, in equal consistency with the moral character of God. But it is not so with respect to moral obligations: they are such as it would be contrary to the moral character of God not to require, or to require their epposites. Now, surely, the requirement of faith in Christ, where the gospel is proclaimed, has this property attending at. It would be inconsistent with the. perfections of God to allow men to reject the gospel of his Son, or to feel indifferent towards it.

Surely Mr. T. is much mistaken, in supposing, that whatever is strictly moral is uersally and alike binding in all times, places, and circumstances. (XIII. 71.) Obedience to parents, and love to children, with many other duties of the moral law, are binding on persons who have parents to obey, and children to love ; but not on those who have none.

Mr. T. in the beginning of his Seventh Letter, takes pains to reconcile his admitting the law to be " an infallible test of right and wrong," and, at the same time, affirming, that " final misery is not brought upon sinners by their transgression of the law, but by their rejection of the overtures of mercy." (XIII. 65—68.) In the first of these sentiments we are both agreed. As to the last, I admit that the rejection of mercy aggravates men's destruction, and, therefore, is a cause of it; which the scriptures he has cited undoubtedly prove: but that sinners perish merely for rejecting the gospel, and not for transgressing the law, wants proof. Perhaps it might be much easier proved, that men will not be punished for rejecting the gospel, any farther than as such rejection involves in it a transgression of the law. Mr. T. complains (XIII. 77.) of my supposing, that he makes the gospel a new system of government, taking place of the moral law, and is persuaded I had no authority for such a supposition. And yet, without this supposition, I do not see the force of what he labours to illustrate and establish, as above. If Mr. T. here means any thing different from what I admit, it must be to maintain, that the death of Christ has, in such sort, atoned for the sins of the whole world, as that no man shall be finally condemned for his breaking the moral law, but merely for the sin of unbelief. If this is not his meaning, I ask his pardon for misunderstanding him. If it is, this is, to all intents and purposes, making the gospel a new system of government, taking place of the moral law.

It may, in a sense, be said of a rebel, who refuses to lay down his arms and submit to mercy, (which is a case more in point than that of a condemned criminal in the hands of justice,) that, when he comes to be punished, he will die because he refused the king's pardon ; but it is easy to see, that the word because is, in this connexion, used improperly. It does not mean, that the refusal of mercy is the crime, and the only crime, for which he suffers ; no, this is not the direct or procuring, so much as the occasional, cause of his punishment. Rebellion is that for which he suffers; and his refusal of mercy is no farther a procuring cause of it, than as it is a perseverance in rebellion, and, as it were, the completion of it,

I am, &c.

LETTER IX.

Dear Sir,

A HE last article in debate between myself and Mr. Taylor; concerns the extent of Christ's death. On this subject I stated my own views by way of explanation; offered evidence thaf Christ, in his vicarious sufferings and death, had an absoluK determination to save some of the human race; noticed Mn T.'s arguments; endeavoured to show the consistency of a limitation of design in the death of Christ with the indefinite call of the gospel, &c. and concluded with some general reflections upon the whole. On these subjects Mr. T. has followed me; and I shall attempt to follow him, with a few additional remarks.

In stating my sense of the limited extent of Christ's death, I admitted that the sufferings of Christ were sufficient for the salvation of the whole world, had the race of mankind, or the multitude of their offences, been a thousand times more numerous than they are, if it had pleased God to render them effectual to that end. I do not consider the necessity of an atonement as arising from the number of sins, but from the nature of them. As the same sun which is necessary to enlighten the present inhabitants of the earth, is sufficient to enlighten many millions more; and as the same perfect obedience of Christ, which was necessary for the justification of one sinner, is sufficient to justify the millions that are saved; so, I apprehend, the same infinite atonement would have been necessary for the salvation of one soul, consistently with justice, as for the salvation of a world.

I admit that " the death of Christ has opened a way whereby God can forgive any sinner whatever, who returns to him by Jesus Christ;" and that, in perfect consistency with the honour of the supreme Lawgiver, and the general good of his extensive empire. " If we were to suppose, for argument's sake, that all the inhabitants of the globe should thus return," I do not conceive that " one soul need be sent away for want of a sufficiency in the death of Christ to render their pardon

«

and acceptance consistent with the rights of justice." (Refily, p. 64.*) All the limitation I maintain in the death of Christ arises from pure sovereignty: it is a limitation of design.

Now, seeing the above is conceded, whence arises the propriety of all those arguments in Mr. T.'s piece, which proceed upon the supposition of the contrary ? The latter part of his Ninth letter, which is taken up in exposing the consequences of maintaining an indefinite invitation without a uersal provision, overlooks the above concessions. I have admitted the necessity of a uersal provision, as a ground of invitation; and that, in two respects:—1. A provision of pardon in behalf of all those who shall believe in Christ; 2. A provision of means and motives to induce them to believe. And if no more than this were meant by the term provisiont I should not object to it. And if by Christ's dying for the whole world were meant no more than this, I should not wish to have any dispute about it. Now, if Mr. T. had been disposed to attend to things, and not merely to words, and to keep to the point in hand, he should have proved, that this provision, which / admitted, was insufficient to render the invitations of the gospel consistent, and should have pointed out> wherein the provision for which he pleads has the advantage of it. Mr. T. was reminded of this in my Reply, pp. 101a 102. f but I do not recollect that he has taken any notice of it.

I do not see, I confess, but that the parable of the marriage feast, Matt. xxii. 4, 5. is as consistent with my hypothesis, as with that of Mr. T. (XIII. 134.) I never supposed but that all things were ready; or that even those who made light of it, if they had come in God's way, would have been disappointed. All I suppose is, that provision was not made effectually to persuade every one to embrace it; and that without such effectual persuasion, no one ever did, or will, embrace God's way of salvation.

Mr. T. proceeds to draw some conclusions which he thinks very unfavourable to my sentiments. " We have no authority," says he, " on this scheme, to ascribe the limitation to any cause but want of love."

• Page 294 of this volume.

t Pages 324, 325 of this volume.

This, he apprehends, is highly derogatory to the honour of God; especially as love is his darling attribute. (XIII. 80.) But all this reasoning proceeds upon the supposition that God must be accused of want of love to his rebellious creatures, unless he does, for their salvation, all that he could do consistently with justice. Now, let it be observed, Mr. T. sometimes tells us, that he does. not oppose the doctrine of an absolute determination for the salvation of some of the human race. (XIII. 92.) But, if he admit this as consistent with what he has advanced, then he

must admit that God ivuia have actually saved the whole

world in the same absolute way, and not have suffered any of the human race to perish; and all this, too, in consistency with. justice. And yet he does not. What then ? According to Mr. T. all must be ascribed to want of love. Farther; Mr. T. I should think, will not deny that God could have spread the gospel, and that consistently both with his own justice, and with man's free agency, all over the earth, and at every period of time since the fall of man; and yet he has. not. Yea, before the ceming of his Son, he suffered all nations but one, for many ages, to walk in their own ways; this, according to Mr. T.'s reasonings, must all be ascribed to want of love, and so lie as a reproach upon God's character.*

* An objection much like the above was once urged by Mr. Wesleg against Mr. Hervey.-*-" Will God," said Mr. W. "deny what is necessary for the present comfort and final acceptance of any one soul that he has made ? Would you deny it to any, if it were in your power i"—To which the ingenious Mr. Hervey replied, " To show the error of such a sentiment, and the fallacy of such reasoning, I shall just mention a re* »ent melancholy fact: News is brought, that the Prince George man of war, Admiral Broderick's own ship, is burnt and sunk, and above four hundred souls, that were on board, are perished. Six hours the flames prevailed; while every means were used to preserve the ship and crew i hut all to no purpose. In the mean time, shrieks and groans, bitter moanings and piercing cries, were heard from every quarter. Raving, despair, and even madness, presented themselves in a variety of forms. Some ran to and fro, distracted with terror, not knowing what they did, or what they should do. Others jumped overboard from all parts ; and to avoid the pursuit of one death, leaped into the jaws of another. Those unhappy wretches who could not swim, were obliged to remain upon the wreck, though flakes of fire fell on their bodies. Soon the masts went away, and killed numbers. Those who were not killed thought themselves happy to get upon the floating timber. Nor yet were they safe ; for, the fire having communicated itself to the guns, which were loaded and shotted, they swept multitudes from this their last refuge.—What say you, Sir, to this dismal narrative? Does not your heart bleed ? Would you have stood by, and denied your Succour, if it had been in your power to help > Yet the Lord saw this extreme distress. He heard their piteous moans. He was able to save them, yet withdrew his assistance. Now, because you would gladly have succoured them, if you could, and God Almighty could, but would not send them aid; will you, therefore, conclude that you are above your Lord ? and that your loving-kindness is greater than his ? I will no' offer to charge any such consequence upon you. I am persuaded you abhor the thought." Letters to Mr. Wesley, pp. 288, 289.

Mr.T.'s own scheme, as well as mine, supposes, that Gofl does not do all that for some men which he could, and which is necessary to their salvation. He supposes, that if what was done for Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum without effect, had been done for Tyre, Sidon and Sodom, it would havebeen effectual. (XIII. 25.) And yet this was not done. To what is this to be imputed ? Surely God could have sent the gospel to the one, as well as to the other. I see not what cause Mr. T. will find to impute this to, but what he calls a want of love.

But Mr. T. suggests, that the conduct of our blessed Saviour, according to my scheme, would resemble that of a person, who should invite another to an entertainment, without a design that he should partake of it. (XIII. 84.) But, if a comparison must be made, ought it not rather to be with a person who sincerely invites his neighbours to a plentiful banquet, and never designed any other but that whoever comes shall be entertained with a heany welcome; but did not design, after all fair means were used, and repeated insults received, to do all that, perhaps, he could, to overcome their pride and prejudice, and so bring them to the entertainment. If this would destroy the sincerity of the invitation, so would foreknowledge; and it might as plausibly be objected, How can any being act sincerely in inviting men to partake of that which he knows, at the same time, they never will enjoy ?

Mr. T.'s scheme appears, to him, to have many advantages; particularly he thinks it is consistent with the general tenor of scripture ; clears the conduct of the Father of mer6ies from the appearance of cruelty ; and leaves the obdurate sinner justly condemned. But, admitting, for argument's sake, that the divine conduct is thereby cleared of the appearance of cruelty, the worst is, that this is all. His scheme barely goes to vindicate the Almighty from cruelty. It is justice only ; there is no grace in it, nothing that God had a right to withhold. That which we have hitherto called the grace of the gospel, amounts, then, to no more than this : it bestows a benefit upon intelligent creatures, -without which they could not possibly avoid being everlastingly miserable ; and that upon this consideration, that " they did not bring this misery upon themselves, nor was it ever in their power to avoid it." (XIII. 82.) If the Divine Being will do this, he shall be complimented with the character oi benevolent; (XIII. 80.) but, if not, he must be reproached, " as not loving, but hating a great part of his rational offspring." O, Mr. Taylor ! does any one maintain that men, considered as the offspring of God, are the objects of his hatred ? Do not men sustain a more disagreeable character than this? That Deists and Soeinians should write in this strain, is no wonder ; but how came the language of infidelity to escape your pen ?

You will excuse this apostrophe, as I know you unite with me in a personal respect and esteem for my opponent, though you utterly disapprove of his Arminian tenets, which, under, the plausible pretext of extending the grace of the gospel, enervate, if not annihilate it, and leave little or nothing of Ghace, but the name.

I am yours, &c.

LETTER X.

Dear Sir,

Jmr. T. in his Ninth Letter, remarks on the evidence I offered for an absolute determination in the death of Christ to save some of the human race. " This sentiment," Mr. T. $ays, "whether true or false, he does not wish to oppose." (XIIJ. 92.) He would not dispute, it seems, about Christ'* dying with a view to the certain salvation of some, provided I would admit that, in another respect, he died for all mankind. Here, then, we seem to come nearer together than we sometimes are. The sense in which he pleads for the uersal extent of Christ's death, is only to lay a foundation for this doctrine, that men, in general, may be saved, if they will; and this is what I admit: I ajlow, that the death of Christ hat opened a way, whereby God can, consistently with his justice, forgive any sinner whatever, who returns to him by Jesus Christ; and, if this may be called dying for men, which J shall not dispute, then it is admitted, that Christ died for all mankind. But I say, they will not come to Christ for life; and that, if Christ had died for no other end than to give them this offer, not one of them would have accepted it.

I hold as much as Mr. T. holds to any good purpose. I admit of a way being opened for the salvation of sinners without distinction ; and, what is more, that an effectual provision is made in the death of Christ, that that way shall not be unoccupied ; that he shall see of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied. Without this provision, I suppose no one would ever have been saved ; and the tendency of my reasoning is to prove, that all who are saved, are saved in consequence of it.

Mr. T. I observe, is not disposed to controvert the doctrine of eternal, personal and unconditional election. (XIII. 100.) I am allowed, therefore, to take that doctrine, together with a special design in. the death of Christ for the salvation of the elect, for granted. " This sentiment," Mr. T. says, "whether true or false, he does not wish to oppose." If any thing is necessary to be proved in this place, it is, that None but those whose salvation Christ absolutely designed in his death, are eventually saved; or, in other words, that Whoever are saved, are indebted to sovereign and efficacious grace for their salvation. Now let the reader turn to my Reply to Philanthropes, pp. 73, 74,* and he will perceive, that several of those scriptures which prove the doctrine of election, prove also, that none else are finally saved.

* Page 301 of this volume.

The Apostles addressed all the believing Ephesians, Thessalonians, &c. as having been chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world, that they should be holy; as chosen to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth ; as elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Sfiirit unto obedience; as being saved and called with an holy calling, not according to their works, but according to God's own purpose and grace, given them in Christ before the world began. But, if Some were saved in consequence of such a purpose in their favour, and Others without it, the Apostles had no just ground to write as they did, concerning them all, without distinction. When we are told, that as many as were ordained to eternal life believed, this implies, as strongly as any thing can imply, that no more believed, and were saved, than such as were ordained to eternal life. Christ returned thanks to his Father, that he had hid these things from the wise and prudent, and revealed them unto babes. £ven so, Father, said he, for it seemed good in thy sight. And again, we are assured by the Apostle Paul, The election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.*

To the above passages, I shall only add one more: 1 Cor. i. 26—29. Ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are Called ; but God hath Chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty ; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, and things which are not, to bring to naught things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence. The reasoning of the apostle, in this passage, plainly supposes the following things :—1. That there is a special and effectual vocation, which is peculiar to all Christians. The common call of the gospel extends alike to rich and poor, wise and foolish, noble and ignoble; but the effectual operations of the Holy Spirit do not: it is the latter, therefore, and not the former, which is here meant. 2. That this vocation, common to all true Christians, corresponds, as to the objects of it, with election.

•Ephes. i.4. 2 Thes. ii. 13. 1 Peter i. 9. Acts xiii. 48. Matt. xi. 25. Bom. xj. T.

The same persons, and all of them, said to be called, are, in the same passage, said to be chosen; which agrees with the same Apostle's account of the matter, in Rom. viii. 30. Whom he did predestinate, them he also called. 3. Vocation not only corresponds with election as to the objects of it, but is itself an effect of it. The reason given why the foolish, weak, and despised ones of the world were called, rather than others, is God's sovereign choice of them before others. Some might have supposed, if the apostle had not been so particular in his expressions, that the minds of the weak and illiterate, though under a disadvantage in one respect, yet possessed an advantage in another, in that they were more free from prejudice; and that Paul had meant to ascribe their embracing Christ, before others, to the unprejudiced state of their minds; but such a supposition is entirely precluded by the apostle's language. He does not say, the weak and foolish have chosen God, but God hath chosen them; nor "would the other mode of expression have corresponded with the end assigned, to prove that no Jlesh shall glory in hit presence.

Many worthy men, who have maintained the Calvinistic doctrine of predestination, have, at the same time, admitted, that Christ might be said, in some sense, to have died for the whole world. They distinguished between the sufficiency and efficiency of his death ; and considered the indefinite language of the New Testament, relative to that subject, as expressing the former of these ideas. Thus the English Reformers, who composed the Thirty-nine Articles, appear to have viewed the subject. They fully avowed the doctrine of predestination, and, at the same time, spake of Christ's dying for all mankind. Mr. T. on this ground, affirms, that " the doctrine of the uersality of our Saviour's death both is, and, ever since the Reformation, has been, the doctrine of the Established Church." (XIII. 141.) I believe, in the sense abovementioned, it has been so; and if this was all that Mr. T. pleaded for, he might debate the point with whomsoever he pleased, I should not interest myself in the dispute. But the views of Cranmer, Latimer, Hooper, Usher, and Davenant, were very different from those of Mr. Taylor. They, as well as Fraser of Scotland, and Bellamy of New England, and maoy other anti-episcopalian divines, who have agreed with them in this point, never imagined that any besides the elect would finally be saved. And they considered the salvation of all that are saved, as the effect of predestinating grace, as their works abundantly testify.

Mr. T. may say, The question is, not whether more tha» those whose salvation is absolutely determined, will be eventually saved, but whether they might be. "If," says he, "any such election be maintained, as supposes that all the rest of mankind never enjoyed the possibility of happiness, nor had any provision of happiness made for them, but were necessarily, either from eternity, or from their birth, exposed to eternal misery, such election as this, I deliberately consider -as opposite to the spirit and design of the gospel, and to the tenor of scripture." (XIII. 100.) To this it is replied, All such terms as necessary, cannot, impossible, &c. when applied to these subjects, are used improperly. They always -denote, in strict propriety of speech, an obstruction arising from something distinct from the state of the will. Such terms, in their common acceptation, sufifiose a willingness in us to perform an action, or obtain an end, but that we are hindered by some insurmountable bar from without. Such an idea is always annexed to the use of such terms; and Mr. T. certainly has this idea in his use of the terms necessary and impossible, in this place. His meaning is, to oppose that doctrine which represents a part of mankind as placed in such circumstances, as that, though they should be willing to em-, brace Christ, or, at least, willing to use means that they may be willing to embrace him, yet it would be all in vain. But such a doctrine nobody maintains; at least, I had no such ideas of the subject. I have no such notion of election, or of the limited extent of Christ's death, as that it shall be in vain for any of the sons of men truly to seek after God. If they are willing to be saved in God's way, nothing shall hinder their salvation; and (if there were any meaning in the expression) if they were but truly willing to use means that they might be willing, all would be clear before them. Now, where this is the case, it cannot be said, in strict propriety of speech, that no provision is made for their happiness; or, that any man's sanation is impossible, or his destruction necessary ; seeing the way of salvation is open to him, if he will but walk in it. All that can be said in truth is, that there is a Certainty in these things. It is certain, none will be saved but those who choose to be saved in God's way. It is certain, that no one will choose that which is opposite to the prevailing bias of his heart. Yea, it is certain, that, whatever means there may be, adapted to the turning of his heart, a man who is wholly averse from God will never make use of them with such a design. To make use of a mean, with a view to accomplish an end, must imply the existence of a desire after an end ; but a desire after this end exists not till the end is accomplished. A desire after a change of heart, is, in some degree, the very thing desired. Besides, if, as Mr. T. says, " men have no will nor power, nor any concern about the matter" of believing in Christ, " till the Holy Spirit work, awaken, and produce these in his mind," (XIII. 23.) then it is certain, even from his own premises, that no sinner ever sincerely applied to God for grace before he had it, unless he could be supposed so to apply without will, or power, or any concern about it. These things, I say, are certain, according to the nature and constitution of all intelligent beings; and there are other things equally certain, as consequences of them, which are confirmed by scripture testimony. It is certain, that none are willing to be saved in God's way, but those who are made willing in the day of his power: it is certain, that whenever God makes a sinner willing in the day of his power, he is only working things after the counsel of his own will, executing his own eternal purpose : and hence it is certain, that such, and only such, will eventually be saved.

If Mr. T. objects against the certainty of any man's destruction, and will have it that this amounts to the same thing as necessity and impossibility ; let him consider, that, as he admits the doctrine of divine foreknowledge, he must allow, therefore, that God certainly foreknew the final state of every man. But certain foreknowledge must imply a certainty of the event foreknown. If an event is certainly foreknown, the future existence of that event must be certain. If there was an uncertainty respecting the future existence of an event, there must, in the nature of things, be an equal degree of uncertainty in the foreknowledge of that event. Certain fore»

knowledge, therefore, implies a certainty of the event foreknown.

But foreknowledge, it is alleged, has no causal influence upon the thing foreknown. (XIII. 108.) Be it so: neither has any purpose in God, that I embrace, any influence towards a sinner's destruction, except in a way of punishment for his sin. The scheme which Mr. T. opposes, so far from representing man as " for ever unable to improve one single mercy of God to any good purpose," represents him as not only possessing great advantages, but as able to comply with every thing that God requires at his hand ; and that all his misery arises from his " voluntary" abuse of mercy, and his tvilfulrebellion against God. It is not a want of ability, but of inclination, that proves his ruin.* If Mr. T. had kept these things in view, (which, surely, he ought to have done,) he could not have represented my sentiments in such a light as He has done. (XIII. 108, 108.)

I am, &c.

LETTER XI.

Dear Sir,

.MR. TAYLOR often speaks of the language of scripture, as if its whole current was in his favour; as if his opponent -was engaged in a controversy in which he had forsaken the -word of God. Now, suppose it were allowed, that the language of several passages of scripture, taken in their most literal and plain meaning, proves Christ, in some sense, to

• Though Mr. T. talks of men as having " no will nor power to believe in Christ, nor any concern in the matter," prior to the Spirit's -work; (XIII. 23.) yet that is what I have never affirmed. On the contrary, I maintain, that men have the same power, strictly speaking, before they are wrought upon by the Holy Spirit, as after; and beforeconversion, as after : that the work of the Spirit endows u> wit.. n> new rational powers, or any powers that are necessary to moral agency: and that, so far from our having "no concern in the matter," we were all deeply concerned in rejecting Christ, and the way «f salvation by hira. VOL. I. 3 V.

have died for all mankind ; still, if we will give fair scope to other parts of scrifiture, it appears evident, that in some sense, he died for only a part of mankind. Several of these passages I had produced ; to which Mr. T. has said scarcely any thing that deserves being called an answer.

When I argued from Christ's being said to lay down his life for his sheep;to give himself for his church, that he might sanctify it, 8cc. &c. could Mr. T. think it sufficient to say, " We are nowhere informed that he died for those only; this is no proof tltat he did not die for all mankind : it is certain, that, if Christ died for all, he died for these, because the greater number includes the less, and the whole includes its parts"?* Did not I argue, particularly from Ephes. v. 25,26. that the death of Christ is there represented as the result of his love to the church, in the character of a husband, and which must, therefore, be discriminating; that the church could not here mean actual believers, because they are considered as unsanctified—He died, that he might sanctify them ;— that Christ did not die for believers, as such; he laid down his life for his enemies ; that, therefore, it must mean att the elect of God—all those that are finally saved ? And has Mr. T. answered this reasoning ? No, nor attempted it. If, as he often suggests, my cause has so very slender a share of scriptural evidence to support it, is it not a pity but he had given a fair answer to those scriptures which were adduced ?

I argued farther, from Christ's dying in the character of a surety, that he might bring many sons unto glory; might gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad, &c.

* XIII. 93. Go, preach the gospel, said Christ, to every creature ,• he that believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved. " Believers only," say the Baptists, "you see, are to be baptized." 'No,' say others, 'this is no proof that believers only are to be baptized. It might be the design of Christ that they should baptize all the world, for aught this passage proves. It is certain, if all are to be baptized, believers are, because the greater number always includes the less, and the whole includes its parts.' What would Mr. T. as a Baptist, say to this reasoning ! It is exactly the same as his own. This very answer I made to Mr. T. before, when he called out for express testimony for what I supposed to be & negative truth; which answer, I presume, he totally misunderstood? otherwise, he could not have given a reply so foreign to the argument.

Mr. T.'s answer to this argument is exceedingly trifling and unfair. I did not " take for granted," that Christ absolutely intended the salvation of all for whom he died, but Lrought the argument which he quotes, in order to prove it. Nor did I rest my argument from the passages of scripture there cited upon my " apprehensions," but upon the scriptures themselves which, surely, prove none the less for being introduced in that form. Mr. T.'s remark upon the Jewish sacrifices, (XIII. 94.) shows an uncommon inattention to the argument. I observed, by way of introduction, that " sacrifices were offered on account of those, and those only, on whose behalf they were sanctified, or set apart; that every sacrifice had its special appointment, and was supposed to atone for the sins of those, and those only, on whose behalf it was offered." All this I supposed would be granted by Mr. T. These observations were my data. I then proceeded to apply this reasoning, and to prove who those were for whom Christ was sanctified, or set apart as a sacrifice. For this purpose I quoted John xvii. 19. For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they 'also may be sanctified through the truth :they who were given him of the Father. But Mr. T. instead of answering this argument, never looks at it; but takes up a part of my premises, without touching upon the conclusion, and then charges me with " reasoning in a circle !" Considering Mr. T.'s abilities, and experience in polemical divinity, is it not astonishing, that things so indigested should proceed from his pen ?

I farther argued from the certain effects of Christ's death extending not to all mankind, particularly the effect of redemption. Mr. T.'s answer to this argument is abundantly more worthy of notice than his answers to those that went before. (XIII. 95.) Nor shall I urge it upon him, that his denial of general redemption, while he pleads for the uersal extent of Christ's death, indicates an idea of redemption as novel and unprecedented as my interpretation of the term propitiation, which he endeavours to explode on account of its peculiarity. (XIII. 115, 116.) Yet, after all, there is great reason, from the context, to conclude, that what is spoken, in. Gal. iii. 13. of Christ's having redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us, respects what was effected by the blood of Christ alone, when upon the cross, antecedent to our believing in him. When the Apostle speaks of redemption, he says, he hath Red F.mkd Us, being made a curse for us. When he speaks of blessings resulting from his death, but which do not take place before believing, he immediately changes his manner of speaking, as in verse 14. That the blessing of Abraham Might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we Might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. We are also said to be justified Through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Rom. iii. 24. But would it not be making the Apostle speak very awkwardly, to understand redemption, not of what was obtained by the death of Christ alone, but of what has its existence through faith. Can Mr. T. suppose that the Apostle meant to say, We are justified through the forgiveness of sins ?

I argued, farther, from Christ's bearing the sins of many ; particularly from Isa. liii. 12. and I supposed the meaning of the term many, in verse 12, might be decided by its meaning in verse 11. " There is no reason," I observed, " that Iknow of, to be given, why the many whose sins he bore, should be understood of any other persons than the many who, by his knowledge are justified, and who are not all mankind." To this Mr. T. among other things, replies, " / do not know, is no argument at all. This may be said on any subject. If the truth lie on the side of Mr. F. he must show us that he does know, and how he knows it, by fair and allowed rules of interpretation." (XIII. 97.) This, to be sure, is talking in a high strain; but to what purpose ? I should have thought explaining a term according to its allowed meaning in the context, except some good reason could be given for the contrary, was a fair and allowed rule of interpretation.

Again; I argued from the intercession of Christ, in John xvii. 9. I pray for them, I pray not for the world, &c. which like that of the priests under the law, was in behalf of the* same persons for whom the oblation was offered. Mr. T. here, as usual, calls out for more proof, without attending to what is given. (XIII. 99.) He questions two things ; Jirst, whether this prayer is to be considered as a specimen of Christ's intercession, which he seems to consider as confined to heaven: he means, I suppose, to his state of exaltation. But is not his prayer upon the cross, expressly called in prophecy, making Intercession for the transgressors ? Isa. liii. 12. But, farther, he calls for proof that the death and intereession of Christ are of equal extent (XIII. 99.) The intercession of the priests under the law, being on the behalf of the same persons on whose account they offered the oblation, was mentioned. Whether this be a sufficient grounH to rest the argument upon, or not, one should think it has some weight in it; but of this Mr. T. takes no notice.

Finally; I argued, from Rev. v. 9. xiv. 3,4. where Christians are said to be redeemed, or bought from among men, which should seem to imply, that all men are not redeemed, or bought. Mr. T. here goes about to refute some things upom which I built nothing. (XIII. 101, 102.) Whether the four living creatures, and the four-and-twenty elders, represent the church militant or the church triumphant, or whether the persons in question represent the whole church triumphant or only a part of it, are matters that signify but little, if anything, to the point in hand. If the whole, or a part of the church triumphant, were bought, or redeemed by blood, from amongst men, that is sufficient. Mr. T. deals plentifully, I observe, in such language as, if I had used it, he would have held, up in italics to great advantage; such as " J do not remember—/ think—and J think." I do not mention this as improper language : I only mean to remind him, that he should not have been so severe upon me for using the same. As to what he has said upon this passage, I think, upon the whole, it is as forcible as any thing that can be said on his side the question; though it is certain, that the natural meaning of the word iyc^a-tva**, they were Bought, and its only meaning, that I recollect, in the New Testament, must be utterly cashiered; and, I apprehend, the natural meaning of the whole passage greatly forced, to admit of his interpretation.

I am yours, &c.

P. S. I do not recollect that the whole world, or all, or -all men, are ever said to be purchased, or bought, or redeemed, by the blood of Christ; or that we ever read of Christ's redeeming, buying, or purchasing, any but his church. Mr. T. does not pretend, that all mankind are redeemed; but I think, if we take our notions from the New Testament, it is evident, that buying, or purchasing, when applied to -what Christ has done for us, is as much confined to the church, as redemption. Ay«f«£« and Jteji^oiew, which are used to express the ideas of buying, purchasing, or acquiring by price, are applied to the church of God only ; as well as *.vrgit/vti, to redeem, Luke xxiv. 21. Tit. ii. 14. and Abtjou, transom, Matt. xx. 28. Mark x. 45. In 1 Tirn. ii. 6. Christ is said to give himself a ransom for all, irrlxurgti «*-*{ St^ht*,; but that will be considered in the next letter. It is said of the church of God, that he purchased it with his own blood. ietgnictiiTa.rt h* Toz iSlev <i'{iwn;. Acts xx. 28. The final deliverance of the whole collective body of the saved from all remains of natural and moral evil, is called, i-xoXiTgao-is -ngfirtma-tas, the redemption of the purchased possession, or of the people acquired, or purchased. Ephes. i. 14. On which Calvin remarks, ncgiirc'i;irts, quam latine vertimus acquisitam hereditatem, non est regnum ccelorum, aut beata immortalitas, sed ipsa ecclesia.* Thus in 1 Pet. ii. 9. they are styled, x=ws tfc -x-fpiwolwrti, a people acquired, or purchased to himself in a. peculiar manner; or, A people for a peculiar possession. Paul says, 1 Thess. v. 9. "God hath not appointed us to wrath; but to the mgurainrtt trarti^tti, obtaining, or acquiring of salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that we should live with him." And 2 Thess. ii. 13, 14. he says, " Beloved of the Lord, God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit, and belief of the truth : w hereunto he called you by our gospel, unto xEpimliiTii Jo|ik, the obtaining or acquisition, of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." Let the impartial judge if these passages do not strongly favour the peculiarity of design in Christ's death. And thus it is said of Christians, rifvif yyopK<r$yTe, ye are bought with a prite. 1 Cor. vi. 20. vii. 23. If 2 Pet. ii. 1. should be alleged as an objection, I hope I have given a sufficient reason why that passage is not to be understood of the Saviour's blood, but of God's deliverance in a way of providence, p. 89.* It is such a reason, however, as Mr. T. has not attempted to answer.

* Ilegiireinris, which we render the purchased possession, is not the kingdom of heaven, or a blessed immortality, but the church itself.

LETTER XII.

Dear Sir,

Mr. T. in his Nine Letters, offered arguments for the uersal extent of Christ's death. He argued from the goodness of God over all his works, and from various passages of scripture which speak of the death of Christ in indefinite language. The principal of these passages and arguments I have considered in my Repll/. Mr. T. in the Eleventh Letter of his last publication, defends his former arguments.

Before I enter on a discussion of particulars, I would observe, that although Mr. T. pleads for the uersal extent of Christ's death, yet he pleads for it in no other sense than as laying a foundation for sinners, without distinction, being invited to return home to God by Jesus Christ, with the promise of forgiveness and acceptance on their return. He does not pretend, that there is provision made by the death of Christ for the certain salvation of all men. Now, the thing itself for which he pleads, is no more than I have admitted. It is true I have supposed, that this, being done for men in general, cannot, with propriety, be called dying for them. At the same time, I have allowed, that "many considerable writers, who are far from denying that the salvation of all the saved is owing to an absolute, and consequently limited, design in the death of Christ, have supposed that it might; and that the indefinite language of scripture, concerning the death of Christ, is intended to convey to us this idea." The thing itself I do not controvert; only it appeared, to me, that the terms ransom, propitiation, dying for us, &c. were intended to convey something more than this, and what is true only of the finally saved.

* Page 314, of this volume.

Now, admitting that I am mistaken in my supposition ; admitting that the terms propitiation, ransom, &c. are applicable to mankind in gen* cral, and are designed to express that there is a way opened for sinners, without distinction, to return home to God, and be saved; nothing follows from it, but that I have misunderstood certain passages of scripture, by considering them as conveying an indefinite, but not a uersal idea. In regard to the sentiment itself, I do not see that Mr. T. pleads for more than I have admitted, except in one instance: we agree that a way is opened, by the death of Christ, for the salvation of sinners, without distinction; and that any man may be saved, if he is willing to come to Christ, that he may have life. Here I stop; but Mr. T. goes a step farther, and maintains, that such a provision of grace is made by the death of Christ, that all men have power to be willing, if they viilli but of this I am satisfied no meaning can be made.

I now proceed to particulars, by observing, that, whether my sense of the passages of scripture adduced by Mr. T. be just, or not, it does not appear, to me, that he has invalidated it. He argued, in general, from Psa. cxlv. 9. His tender -mercies are over all his worts. I answered, that the death of Christ was not the criterion of God's goodness; that fallen angels were a part of God's works, as well as fallen men. Mr. T. replies, by observing, that fallen angels were not here intended. (XIII. 106.) Then, it seems, Mr. T. can sometimes discern a restriction in the word all, though a uersal term. Perhaps it may be- sufficient to observe, that, whether the phrase all his works intends all fallen angels, or not, it intends more than that part of God's works for which Christ died. Is it not evident from the context, that it denotes God's providential goodness towards the whole animate creation? Is it not said of them, in verse 16, that their eyes wait on Him; He openeth his hand, and satisjielh the desire of every living thing ?

But Mr. T. contends, that " there is no goodness, no mercy, no tender mercy, exercised toward a person who is placed in such a situation that he could not avoid sinning, and being damned, and whose damnation is necessarily increased by calls and commands to repent, and believe in Christ} when the great God, whose commands these are, has provided no mercy for him, nor intends to give him the least assistance, though he knows the poor sinner cannot, nor ever possibly could, obey these calls and commands, any more than he can fly to the moon." (XIII. 106.) To this shocking representation I have only to say, This is not my hypothesis, nor any thing like it; and if Mr. T. thinks it is, it is time to give over controverting the matter with him. The whole passage is mere declamation, founded on the abuse of the terms cannot, could not, &c. If, instead of " cannot, and never could," he had said, will not, and never would, his account of the poor sinner's case would not have appeared so plausible : and yet this, he knows, is the whole of our meaning. ' Yes, " but if they could never will to comply," says Mr. T. ' that amounts to the same thing:' (XIII. 57.) That is, unless they have the power of being willing, if they will. Of this I shall only say, that, -when Mr. T. can make sense of it, it will be time enough te answer it.

What follows has much more of argument in it. " If the tender mercies of God are over all his works; and if no man can enjoy any mercy, but through Jesus Christ; is it not a natural and reasonable conclusion, that God has given his Son to die for all mankind?" (XIII. 105.) I must observe, however, by the way, that, " if no man can enjoy any mercy, but through Jesus Christ," I cannot but consider this as a full proof, that the whole race were unworthy of all mercy, and that God might, consistently with his justice and essential goodness, have withheld it from them, and treated them as worthy of death; for I have no idea that God needed the death of his Son to induce him to do that, which if he had not done, the omission of it would have exposed him to the charge of cruelty. If Mr. T. had always remembered this consideration, (which, I think, he cannot controvert,) it would have induced him to expunge a great deal of declamation in his letters. Having noted this, I confess I think that much mercy is exercised towards men in general, through Jesus Christ; and, consequently, that his death was productive of effects which terminate on all. Nor do I question, whether the opening of a way for the salvation of all who shall come unto God by him, and for men, without distinction, to be invited thus to come, is owing to the death of Christ; and, if this can be called dying for all mankind, I should admit, without hesitation, that he died for all. All I contend for is, that Christ, in his death, absolutely designed the salvation of all those who are finally saved; and that, besides the objects of such absolute design, such is the uersal depravity of human nature, not one soul will ever believe, and be saved.

I am surprised at Mr. T.'s manner of treating the argument drawn from the objections that might be urged by a denier of God's foreknowledge; asking whether I would seriously avow them ? (XIII. 107.) One would think he need not be told that I seriously disapprove that mode of reasoning, as well as of his; and only meant, through that, to show the tendency of his own. Such a way of arguing is fair and upright, and is used by writers of every description: it, therefore, ought not to have been called a. finesse. Mr. T. in what he has said on this subject, as in many other places, gives sufficient proof of two things: 1. That he is combating a scheme which his opponent does not holdj 2. That to reason with him upon such terms as cannot, unable, of unavoidable, and the like, is to no purpose; for that he either Cannot, or will not, understand our ideas concerning them.

Mr. T. now enters on a defence of his arguments from the terms all men, world, whole world, &c. (XIII. 110.) I apprehend, that, to understand these terms as denoting men -uersally, was contrary to other scriptures—to the scope of the inspired writers in the places where those expressions are found—and involved in it various absurdities. Mr. T. wishes I had given some instances of these contradictions and absurdities. This I certainly attempted in a great deal of what followed; but Mr. IVhas never yet fairly refuted my remarks. '

I pass over some less important matters, and observe what is advanced from 1 Tim. ii. 6. He gave himself a ransom for all. Mr. T. here complains, that I have not answered his reasons for understanding the term all uersally ; and I might as well complain of him, for his not considering my reasons for understanding it otherwise. I remember that he had argued, (IX. 79.) from the use of the term all in the context, and the cogency of the apostle's argument, " Pray for all, because Christ died for all." I cannot but think, with Mr. Robinson, that " this passage ought not to be urged in the Arminian controversy; for a part of this period fixes the sense to ranks, or degrees, of men. Pray for kings, and for all that are in authority. The meaning, then, is, pray for ell ranks and degrees of men ; for God will save some of all orders. Christ gave himself a ransom for persons of all degrees."* The arguments I had advanced in my Reply,\ to prove that this passage could not be understood of men uersally, he has not answered, but runs off into a declamation concerning the secret and revealed will of God, the substance of which I had endeavoured to obviate in my Reply.\

Little more, I think, need be said on 1 John ii. I. What each of us has advanced upon it is before the public. My Sense of the passage, which Mr. T calls a strange notion," (XIII. 15.) surely is not more strange or singular than his notion of redemption. He must produce some better proof for another sense of the passage, than " appealing to the understanding and conscience of his friend."^

It is wonderful that Mr. T. should plead for the uersal spread of the gospel in the times of the apostles, and for the faith of the Romans being celebrated in all parts. (XIII. 116.) In all parts of the Roman empire it might, and in some other nations; but can any man persuade himself that it was spoken of at Mexico or Otaheite ?

Mr. T. thinks, that the whole earth (Isa. liv. 5.) is to be understood uersally, and that God is there called the God of the whole earth, as a creator, supporter, and judge, in distinction from the tender character of a husband. But, as he is called both the maker and the husband of the church there addressed ; so, it seems very evident, he is described towards the whole earth.

* Notes upon Claude, Vol. II. pp. 269, 270.

\ Pages 308, 3u9, of this volume.

+ Pages 319—321, of this volume. Note.

J It may not be inexpedient to inform some readers, that Mr. T.'s letters were written to an old and intimate friend of his own, who entirely agrees with him in sentiment, and at whose request, Mr. T. first commenced this controversy ; though, as that gentleman had some slight acquaintance with Mr. Fuller, Mr. T. all along, speaks to him of Mr. F. as the friend of his correspondent. R.

He who had heretofore been called the Holy One of Israel, shall now be called the God of the whole earth. See Henry's exposition.

The term whole, in Matt. xiii. 33. undoubtedly is to be understood restrictively ; for, though the gospel will spread over all nations, before the end of the world, yet not so as to renew every individual in them, much less every individual that has existed at every period. (XIII. 117.)

Mr. T. is astonished to find me asserting, that he himself does not understand the terms whole world, in 1 John ii. 2. and the same terms, in chap. v. 19. in the same sense, seeing he has declared the contrary. (XIII. 118.) Perhaps I had better have said, Mr. T. cannot, ufion due consideration, understand those terms as parallel; seeing he considers them, in the first, as meaning all the individuals in the world that ever did, or shall, exist, except the persons from whom they are there distinguished ; whereas he cannot pretend that the last mean any more than the world of ungodly men, who at that time existed.

Another passage that has been considered by both of us, is 2 Cor. v. 15. If one died for all, then were all dead, &c (XIII. 118.) Mr. T. here complains, as he does in other places, of my not drawing my conclusions in form. I thought the conclusions I meant to draw were obvious to every attentive reader, and omitted drawing them out at length, for the sake of brevity. I observed, 1. That the context speaks of the Gentiles, as well as the Jews, being interested in Christ. I supposed, therefore, it might he understood of men of all nations, in distinction from its being confined to the Jews. 2. That the apostle meant to affirm, not that Christ died for all that were dead, but that all were dead for whom Christ died. In proof of this, I argued from the apostle's describing the terrors of divine vengeance to which they were subject; and from the phraseology of verse 14 If one died for all, then were They all dead. For this, Mr. T. has corrected me, charging me with misquoting the scripture. The words of the apostle are, i'-ri ti eh ivtg 3-«»t»» «t£<*vo», ago. »'i iraiTtt a.iei(*m. Not having had those advantages for literary improvement which I should have been glad to enjoy, I was not forward, by a formal criticism, to tell my readers.

that I had acquired some small acquaintance with the original language, so as to be able to judge of the propriety of a translation ; but I knew that the article e\ here used, has been thdught, by very competent judges,* to be anaphorical, or relative, and that the passage should be read, If one for all died, then They all, or Those all, were dead. Nothing can be more exact than this translation, unless Mr. T. would insist on having el Karris tt.-xiQix'm rendered The all were dead; and then he must equally complain of our common translators, for rendering el ^umth in the next verse, they who live, instead of The living: But would not Mr. T. be ashamed to insinuate, on this account, to " the inattentive reader," that they have " interlined and abused" the original language of scripture. I am so well assured of Mr. T.'s learning, that I am hardly able to consider his " hope" that I quoted the passage wrong " through mistake," as any other than " a finesse." 3. I observed, on the distributive they who, that my hypothesis, though it supposes that all for whom Christ died shall finally live, yet does not suppose that they all live at present. Here, I think, Mr. T. certainly misunderstands me. His original argument is this: by the language of the text it appears that Christ died for more than actually live. My answer is, that, upon my hypothesis, Christ died for more than actually live at any period of time; part of them being, at every period, in a state of unregeneracy.

I have gone over the passages in debate between us, merely to prove, that, whether my sense of those passages be just, or not, Mr. T. has not invalidated it. At the same time, I cannot forbear repeating, that, even allowing Mr. T. to have proved the uersal extent of Christ's death in the most forcible manner, he has not proved that any thing more is done towards the salvation of men in general, than what I admit, or that renders the salvation of one individual more jirobable.

I have, all along, supposed, that there is that done for them by Christ, which renders their salvation no otherwise impossible, nor their destruction unavoidable, than as it is rendered so by their own temper of mind : no other obstacle could prevent their believing to the saving of their souls, but an evil heart, obstinately persisting in its departure from the living God

* Beza, Piscator, and Gill. Se« Gill's Cause of God and Truth. Part I. No. XXXIX.

Mr. T. sums up his evidence, on this subject, in five topics of argument. The silence of scripture on the limited extent of Christ's death ; the willingness of the blessed God that all should turn, and live; those who are not saved being more miserable than if Christ had not died ; the unlimited expressions used concerning the death of Christ; and such passages as distinguish between those for whom he died, and those who are finally saved. (XIII. 120.)

With regard to the first, the Bible is not silent concerning a afiecial design in the death of Christ, as in all the other -works of God, in behalf of all who are finally saved. I hope this has been proved in Letters X. and XI. and in my Refily, pp. 66—76.* It is true, there are no such express words, that I know of, in the Bible; but if the idea is there conveyed, that is sufficient. Mr. T. says, indeed that, "if a doctrine is not mentioned in scripture, there is reason to believe that doctrine is not true: that we admit this on all other subjects, and ought to admit it on this." But so far is this from being fact, that we never find exfiress mention of a divine firovidence, and yet we all allow the scripture to be full of it. Reasoning from positive institutions to doctrines, as Mr. T. has done, (XIII. 109.) is very unfair.

Mr. T.'s second topic of argument is taken from the uersality of divine love to man, and the willingness of the blessed God that all should turn, and live. It is admitted, that God's love to man is, in one sense, uersal. He bears good will towards them, as the work of his hands ; but it does not follow from thence, that he must do all that he could do for their salvation. If God loves all mankind, he must have loved the inhabitants of Tyre, Sidon, and Sodom, as well as those of Chorazin and Bethsaida: but though, as Mr. T. thinks, (XIII. 25.) if the same things which were done for the latter without effect, had been done for the former, they would have been effectual; yet they were not done.

• Pages 295—303 of this volume.

As to God's willingness that all should turn, and live, God's will, as has been observed, sometimes expresses what he approvesf and sometimes what he purposes* God wills, approves, and desires a sinner's turning unto him. It is that which, through the whole Bible, is required of him ; and whosoever thus returns shall live. I may add, God is willing to receive and forgive every sinner that returns to him through Jesus Christ. He desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he would repent, and live. But he has not purposed the salvation of every sinner, or to incline his heart to embrace the salvation exhibited in the gospel. In this sense, the salvation of some is neither desired nor designed : if it were, it would be effected; for his counsel shall stand and he will do all his pleasure.—Whatsoever his soul desireth, even that he doeth. Isa. xlvi. 10. Job xxiii. 13. "But can God," says Mr. T. " will that which he knows to be impossible ? which never was possible ? which none could make possible, besides himself? which he was never willing to make possible ?" (XIII. 120.) If by impossible, Mr. T. means, that which is naturally impossible, it is granted he cannot. But that he wills what is morally impossible, Mr. T. himself must allow. God wills that Christians should be holy, as he himself is holy; and that, in the present life, or he would not have enjoined it upon them. 1 Peter iv. 16. Matt. v. 48. But Mr. T. does not pretend that this is possible, even by the assistance of divine grace. (XIII. 61.)

Mr. T.'s third topic of argument is thus expressed : " All who are not saved will be more miserable than if Christ had never died for sinners. If Christ did not die for them, they cannot, nor ever could, possibly avoid this. This cannot be reconciled to the scripture account of divine justice and goodness." (XIII. 120.) Answer, 1. This can only be said of/ those who have heard the gospel, and rejected it, and not of " all who are not saved," that they will be more miserable than if Christ had never died. Supposing this argument, therefore, to be valid, it will not prove, that Christ, in laying down his life designed the salvation of all men uersally, but merely of those to whom the gospel is exhibited. 2. It is no way inconsistent with the justice or goodness of God to suffer good to be the occasion of evil.

* Pages 319—321 of this volume. Note.

The gospel was preached to the unbelieving Jews, even after it was said of them, Hearing they shall hear, and not understand; and seeing they shall see, and not perceive; and became the occasion of much sin and misery. Matt. xiii. - 14. ' But they might have embraced the gospel when it was first preached to them, if they would.' True : and at last, too; or it had been absurd to have preached it to them. There was nothing that hindered their believing, first or last, but their own wicked hearts. On that account, they could not believe. John xii. 39. yet Christ, at the very time this was declared, exhorted them, while they had light, to believe in the light, that they might be the children of light ; (ver. 36.) and their contempt of his counsel aggravated their misery.

Mr. T.'s fourth topic of argument is taken from the " expressions of scripture, where the extent of Christ's death is directly mentioned, being all uersal and unlimited." Something has been said, in the Reply to Philanthropes,* which accounts for these indefinite modes of speech ; something too, which Mr. T. I think, has not sufficiently answered. But, suppose it were allowed, as has been said before, that the language of scripture, taken in its most literal and plain meaning, proves Christ, in some sense, to have died for all mankind ; still, if we will give fair! scope to other parts of scripture, it is evident, that, in some sense, he died only for a part. These scriptures have been considered in Letter X. and in the Reply to Philanthropos, pp. 66—76.f

Lastly, Mr. T. observes, that " several passages evidently distinguish between those for whom Christ died, and those who will be finally saved. (XIII. 121.) The passages to which he refers are John iii. 16. God so loved The World, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that Whosoever believeth. in him should not perish, but have everlasting life, and Matt. xxii. 1—11. concerning the marriage-feast, and provision being made for those who did not come; with John vi. 32. My Father giveth You the true bread from heaven; which, as he observes, was spoken to the Jews in general, without restriction. (IX. 83.)

* Pages 306, 307 of this volume,
f Pages 295—303 of this volume.

These passages prove, that there is that in the death of Christ which lays a foundation for any sinner to apply to God in his name ; and that, with an assurance of success. But this is no more than I have admitted. In the invitations of the gospel being general, we are both agreed; and also in a provision of pardon and acceptance on behalf of all who believe ; and that, therefore, there is no impossibility in the way of men's salvation, but what consists in the temper of their own minds. But this does not disprove either the reality or necessity of an effectual provision of grace in behalf of all who are finally saved.

I conclude this letter by recommending Mr. T. to consider Whether his scheme is not inconsistent with fact., If I understand him, he supposes, that " final misery'' comes not up6n any of the sons of men " by their original depravity, nor by their transgression of the law, but by their rejection of the overtures of mercy." Hence he supposes, that " all who are not saved will be more miserable than if Christ had not died for sinners." (IX. 86. XIII. 120.) Though the above expressions might be considered as meant only of those sinners who hear the gospel, yet his subsequent reasonings indicate that he viewed it as applicable to all mankind. He speaks, all along, as if our Saviour had not only died for the whole world, but as if the whole world had heard the gosfiel, and as if Hone could perish, consistently with the justice and goodness of God, but for their rejection of it. Thus he goes on, bearing all down before him : " If Christ died tor all, these reasons for their final condemnation and misery are all perfectly clear and easy ; because the provision being made for them, (that is, for all,) And Exhibited To Them, (that is, to all,) they could not perish, unless by rejection of that provision. Difficulty and inconsistency is all removed." (IX. 87.) This is talking at a high rate. Thus many a writer, as well as Mr. T. has sat in his study, and formed a theory, and delighted himself with its excellency. But bring it to experience and fact. Is it Fact, that the provision of the gospel has been, or is, " exhibited to all ?" Mr. T 's system requires that it should ; and he seems to wish to take it for granted that it actually has ; but facts contradict it.

I am, &c.

LETTER XIII.

Hear Sir,

1 HERE is doubtless, an analogy between the works of God. Whatever variety there is in the works of creation, providence, or redemption, there are some general principles wherein they all agree. On this supposition, I argued for the consistency of sinners being exhorted and invited to return home to God by Jesus Christ, though no such provision be made for their return as shall remove their moral inability to comply. Thus, or to this effect, I have expressed it in my Beply.* Mr. T. here complains of the darkness of my reasoning. (XIII. 124.) How far this is just, I shall not decide ; but this is pretty evident, that there must have been darkness somewhere, or there could not have been such answers given, as there are.

I argued, in the first place, from the appointment of God respecting the time of human life. Men are exhorted to use means for prolonging their lives; and yet the time of their life is appointed of God ; and some of them, as king Saul, and Judas, for instance, have been under the dominion of a moral impotency, in regard to preserving life. They were given tip of God to their own wickedness, like those who cannot cease from sin ; and it was the purpose of a just God, for reasons satisfactory to himself, thus to give them up.

But Mr. T. asks, " Supposing God has fixed the duration of every man's life, has he appointed (he should have said, ex-fiortedj men to use means to prolong their lives beyond that duration?" (XIII. 126.) If self-preservation is a duty, and if God, at all times, exhorts us to exercise it; then it undoubtedly was the duty of Saul, Ahithophel, and Judas, to have used means to prolong their lives beyond the period to which they actually lived.

• I did not undertake to prove, as Mr. T. expresses it, " the consistency of gospel invitations, where no provision is made." I admitted a provision, and explained in what sense 1 admitted it. Reply, pp. 89,90.f

t Page 314 of this volume.

The former, and his armour-bearer, ought to have avoided the sword, and the latter the rope. But " has God told us, that we shall certainly die at the time he has appointed, if we do not use the means of prolonging life 1" If I understand this question, it is intended to deny that the time of man's life is appointed of God, any otherwise than on condition of their using means. Doubtless, he that has appointed the end, has appointed the means ; and Mr. T. should remember, that he had just admitted the appointment to be absolute, and professed now to be reasoning upon that supposition. But " has he assured us that all the means we use shall certainly succeed ?" No, he has not; but I do not see, wherein this difference between the case in hand and the call of the gospel affects the argument. But "if we die at the time God has appointed, does he charge that to our account, and say, it was because we did not use means to pro* long our lives ? Certainly, he does not iay his own appointments to our charge ; but he may the time and manner of our death, and punish us for them, so far as they were owing to our sin, even though he has appointed to give us up to that sin. This was true of Saul and Judas, who ought to have used means to live longer than they did, and exposed themselves to future punishment for using the contrary. But " does the great God declare and swear, that he would not have us die naturally, at the time when he has absolutely appointed that we should die ? Does he say, we might live longer if we would? that he has called us to live longer ; and, if we do not, it is because we will not?" Mr. T. should remember, I was not reasoning from the case of those who " die naturally," but from the case of such who, through their own sin, " come to what is called an untimely end," as did Saul and Judas; and, in these instances, each of his questions may be answered in the affirmative. And a similar instance we have in the case of those Jews who died by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence, in consequence of their refusal to submit to the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar, in Jer. xxvii. 13. which case I would recommend to the close attention of the Pseudo-Calvinists, as well as to that of Mr. Taylor.

I argued, in the second place, from the appointments of CiSod respecting our portion in this life. Men are exhorted. and invited to seek after those good things, and to avoid those evil things, which, yet, many of them are morally unable to pursue or to avoid ; and God has appointed to leave them, in this case, to their own negligence and depravity.* Mr. T.'s questions under this head, (XIII. 127.) asunder the former, are not in point. The question is, not whether all troubles arise from indiscretion, or any particular sin, of the party : if any do, that is sufficient for my argument. If there are troubles which might be avoided, if we would, and if it is the revealed will of God that we should avoid them, that is sufficient. Pharaoh and Sihon were exhorted and invited to comply with the messages of peace that were sent them ; and yet they were under the dominion of a moral impotency to comply ; and God had appointed to leave them to the hardness of their hearts, in which they perished, and involved themselves in ruin.

Nor is it in point for Mr. T. to allege, that no directions are given in scripture, with encouragements and promises annexed, which the great God does not give power to practise, and with regard to which he has not provided such a sufficiency, as that the practice invariably answers the ends designed by it, according to the tenor of the directions, and promises or encouragements connected with them." (XIII. 128.) All this is granted, both in respect to the things of this life, and also of that to come, and is no more than what perfectly accords with my views of the gospel. I never supposed but that Pharaoh and Sihon had power, strictly speaking, to comply with the messages that were sent to them, or that there would have been any want of sufficiency, on God's part, to have made good his promises, in case they had complied.

I argued, in the third place, from e-vents which imply the evil actions of men coming under divine appointment. The Jews, in the time of Christ, were exhorted and invited to embrace the gospel; and yet they were under the dominion of a moral impotency to comply; and it appears, from many passages of scripture, that God had determined not to turn their hearts, but to give them over to their own ways, which would certainly issue in the crucifixion of Christ, and in their own destruction.

* Admitting, that, in some sense, Christ is given to the world in general, yet I suppose that it is in the same sense in which the earth is said to be given to the children of men,- (I'sa. cxv. 16 ) in which general gift God still reserves to himself the power of disposing in a way of special providence, of all its particular parts to particular persons, even to such a degree, that every individual has a cup assigned him to drink—a lot, which Providence marks out for him.

As Jehovah had said, long before, to their forefathers, in the days of Jeremiah, Be thou instructed, O Jerusalem, lest my soul depart from thee; while yet the prophet says, immediately after, respecting those very persons, To whom shall I sfieak and give warning, that they may hear? Behold, their ear is uncircumcised, and they Cannot hearken ; so our Lord remarked to his disciples, Unto you it is given to knoio the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all things are done in parables : that seeing they may see, and not perceive, and hearing they may hear, and not understand ; lest at any time they should be converted, and their sins should beforgiven them. Thus, of the same persons to whom the blessed Jesus had said, While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light; it is added immediately, But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him : that the saying of Esaias the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spake, Lord, who hath believed our report? and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Therefore they Could Not believe, because that Esaias said again, He hath blinded their eyes, and hardened their heart; that they should not see with their eyes, nor understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them.*

Perhaps Mr. T. will say, ' But they might have had grace before that time.' Be that as it may, it makes nothing to the argument; seeing they were exhorted and invited, at the time in which it was declared they could not believe.

I suppose God has willed, appointed, or ordained, to permit sin. Mr. T. is not fond of saying that God permits sin. I suppose he would not object to the term suffer, which is applied to the existence of moral evil. Acts xiv. 16.

* Jer. vi. 8. 10. Mark iv. 11, 12. John xii. 36—40.

He suffered all nations to walk in their own ways; and the term permit, as any English dictionary will inform us, conveys thesame idea, "to suffer without authorizing or approving," which is the only sense in which we use it on this subject; though the word is sometimes used in a different signification, as 'to allow by not forbidding,' or even ' to authorize.' Mr. T.'s notions of what is necessary to free agency I have already considered, in the beginning of Letter III.

The next topic of argument is taken from those who had sinned the sin against the Holy Spirit being, notwithstanding, exhorted to embrace the Lord Jesus: from whence I conclude, that such exhortations and invitations were addressed to some men, whom, at the same time, strictly speaking, " it was not the intention of Christ to save." Mr. T.'s answer to this is foreign from the point. He " hopes Mr. F. will not assert, that those who sin against the Holy Spirit do it necessarily, and never were, or could be, able to avoid it, either by our own power, or by the power of divine grace."* How they came to sin that sin, is not the question. I did not argue from what they were before, or at the time, but from their state after having committed that sin. His accounting for the consistency of gospel-invitations being addressed to them, after they had sinned the unpardonable sin, by alleging, that provision had been made for them, though now " they had sinned themselves beyond the reach of it." (XIII. 130.) is equally foreign. To argue that it is consistent to give an exhortation or invitation to-day, because grace might have been obtained yesterday, is absurd. If the gospel and its invitations were addressed to them, when their destruction was certain, then it is not inconsistent to address those invitations even to men who, as it may afterwards prove, were, at the very time, as the just reward of their iniquity, appointed to utter destruction.

* XIII. 129. It is to very little purpose to controvert with Mr. T. so long as he is determined to affix to terms ideas which we utterly disavow. It is plain, that by necessarily he means by compulsion, ur in such sort as they were not able to avoid, let them strive ever so sincerely against it. He need not question my denying, that the sin against the Holy Spirit, or any other sin, could be committed in this way. Our idea of moral necessity is no other than that of certainty, or a certain connexion between evil principles and evil practices, unless prevented by some exterior cause.

The indefinite call of the gospel including them as well as others, and the declaration of our Lord, Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out, holding good in regard to them, as wril as any others; it might be said, with truth, that there was no natural impossibility in the way of their salvation: that, if they had repented, they would have found mercy- But the impossibility respected their being brought to repentance. Heb. vi. 4. 6. They were under the power of a moral impotence ,- or, which is the same thing, of a rooted enmity to Christ; and God had determined to leave them in that state, to perish for their sin.

I argued, in the next place, from the moral impotence of all men to love God with all their hearts, and their neighbour as themselves ; which, yet, we are exhorted to. Deut.' T. 29. Matt. v. 48. " Perhaps," says Mr. T. " these premises might be fairly disputed." (XIII. 130.) That they might be disputed, is true ; but aurely not by Mr. T. He does not profess, that grace is provided sufficient to enable men to keep the law, but barely to comply with the gospel. (XIII. 61.) And surely he cannot dispute our being exhorted to it: what meaning else is there in the above-cited passages ? " But, admitting the premises," says Mr. T. " surely Mr. Fuller will allow, that God originally gave man power sufficient to keep the moral law : otherwise, how could man be justly condemned for breaking it? True: but what has the original power given to man to do with the argument, which concerns men in their present state ? They are now exhorted to love God with all their hearts: and yet they are under a moral inability to comply; and grace is not provided, to enable them to comply. Compare Deut. v. 29. with xxix. 4. These are facts, and facts that are in point, too. The difference between the law and the gospel, on which Mr. T. dwells, makes nothing to his purpose. The above facts will prove, that a moral ability, which men either possess, or might possess, is not necessary to render exhortations consistent.

Mr. T.'s argument, from the power that was given man originally to keep the law, for a power in men to comply with the gospel, is very just, provided it be understood of power, properly so called; namely, a capacity to embrace it, if they would. But if by power he means inclination, (as he must, if it is of any use to him,) that is quite another thing. God is under no obligation to turn men's hearts, in order to free his messages to them from the charge of inconsistency.

Lastly, I argued from the certain perseverance of believers. This subject, if Mr. T. admits it, must contradict his notion of a certain and effectual influence upon the mind being inconsistent with free agency, (XIII. 129.) and will prove, that an absolute purpose in God to accomplish an end, is consistent with the use of means, motives, warnings, counsels, &c. What remains of Mr. T.'s performance has either been occasionally noticed already, or is of such a nature as not to require an answer. He drops several remarks, towards the close of his piece, which are very good ; in which I heartily unite with him. Whatever I may think of his sentiments, my good opinion of Mr. T.'s integrity and piety is not lessened by this controversy. Heartily desiring that every blessing may attend us all, and that we may each he led into the truth as it is in Jesus,

I remain,

Dear Sir,

Affectionately yours,

AGNOSTOS.