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and fortitude; but you, sir, expose them for the purpose of shewing their spots of impurity; and after all you have said, they will forever shine in the page of sacred biography, as saints, who, although some of them at some times" suffered an eclipse of their luminous faith and hope, were, by far the greatest number of their days, eminent examples of the most undeviating constancy in the service of God. What think you also of John the Baptist ? Did he ever tarnish the glory of his character, as one of the greatest of Prophets ? Of James and John ; of Paul after his extraordinary conversion? Have we any account that they “ always ran away from God ?" And although Peter sinned by denying his Lord, and afterward by dissimulation, I think it would be difficult to prove that he always sinned. You have no authority therefore from the example of either the Old or New Testament saints to conclude that every one must live in sin all his life. It ought to be carefully noted that this is the point you are to prove. The moment you acknowledge that a christian may live a day without sin ning, you give up the point. For the same gracious power which keeps a soul one day is able to keep it a year, or twenty years. We acknowledge that some of the saints sometimes sinned ; and that all, the best not excepted, are liable to sin. Liability, however, does not imply necessity.
2. P. 88. “ The present plan is calculated to make the saints eternally more penitent, humble, thankful, and every way meet for their heavenly in
heritance."* P. 89. “ There are two things which are calculated to make creatures feel the reverse of pride and self-sufficiency; or in other words, to feel humble ;” and a few lines above you seem to think humility is greatly promoted by this plan which insures sin in the hearts of saints; and in page 102, you think he makes a " thousand deviations,". “especially as it respects the exercises of his heart." Is it not very extraordinary that pride should promote humility--that hardness of heart, should promote penitence--that self-sufficiency should make us feel our dependence--that unbelief should strengthen faith and that worldly-mindedness should promote spiritual-mindedness ? Is it not much more scriptural and rational to conclude that, when grace has effected a "radical change” in the heart, by which pride, anger, &c. is exterminated, and the heart is filled with perfect love, that the christian will be more likely to be humble, meek, and constant in faith, than if his heart were filled with pride, anger, &c? To shew the absurdity of your unscriptural ideas on this subject, I will reduce them to a sylogistical form. A man must be penitent, humble and meek to be fit for heaven; but pride, anger, and hardness of heart, promotes humility, meekness, and penitence; therefore a man must be proud, angry, and hard-hearted, to be fitted for heaven! On the same mode of reasoning which you have adopted, it might be proved that uncleanness promotes cleanness, that debauchery promotes shastity! Was not then David more 5 meetened for? heaven in the bed of adultery than whilst composing his penitential Psalms ? O christianity! how is thy immaculate purity tarnished, and thy superlative excellence clouded by the systems of errors with which thou art shrouded, by thy mistaken friends!
* P. 111. "The penitent sinner goes to Christ to be saved from all his sins ; to be redeemed from all iniquity; and Christ undertakes as a Saviour and Redeemer to perfect this inost desirable deliverance.” Does he indeed! And yet never accomplishes what he thus undertakes! At least not in this life. And why? Not because the penitent sinner" is not faithful. This, according to your doctrine, has nothing to do in the case. Is it then for want of power or goodness? Is it not a mark of folly or imbecility to undertake what cannot be accomplished? And does not your doctrine attribute this weakness to Jesus Christ?
3. In page 89, you suppose that the “spiritual Canaanites” are a means of shewing us our sinfulness, and of keeping “pride from entering heaven.” What are “ spiritual Canaanites?”? Is not pride one of them ? Must a man harbour pride for the purpose of expelling pride? Are not anger, blindness of mind, and self-will some of them ? And will anger expel anger, blindness of mind make one see himself, and self-will make a person yielding ?If these evil passions will work their own ruin, why do you suppose death necessary to perfect the work? Is not this substituting another name by which we can be saved, in the room of the name of Jesus? If pride will destroy pride, and self-will destroy stubbornness, then there is no necessity for: the Holy Spirit to apply the merits of Christ to effect their destruction ! To what a monstrous absurdity does error conduct us ! Christ said, Learn of me, for I am meelc and lowly of heart. But according to your doctrine, we are to learn of pride to be humble, and of anger to be meek. The Apostle saith, In thy light we see light. You say that the “spiritual Canaanites” will give " a more exquisite sense of their sinfulness;" but it was a view of Jehovah which caused Isaiah to cry out, I am a man of unclean lips, and which made Job abhor himself and repent in dust and ashes.-And it was a sight of Jesus Christ which made Peter say, with deep humiliation, Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord. We know that the less grace a man has, the more blind, self-conceited, and arrogant he is; and nothing short of the energies of the eternal Spirit applying the merits of Christ, can exterminate these “spiritual Canaanites” from the heart. You might as well teach your gardener to take special care not to pluck up the noxious weeds by the roots, but only lop off the branches, that your garden might be clear of weeds, as to tell believers that the root of sin must remain, especially as it respects the exercises of the heart, that thereby humility and meekness may be promoted. The mean of humility, according to your doctrine, is pride ; and from this pride the believer cannot be delivered in this life. Your mean, sir, defeats the end. Is 'not pride and humility directly opposite ? And can a man be humble, and proud at the same
time? Can a man attain to humility. by a vice which is totally subversive of it. Exquisite logic.!
3. Moreover, two parts of your system oppose each other, therefore they must ultimately destroy one another. The new birth, you very justly observe, is a “radical change." I have before observed that the word radical, comes from the Latin, radix-root. The new birth therefore, according to your definition of it, signifies a change at the root, seat, or foundation of the affections; and yet in your defence of sin, you say, p. 102, that the believer, one who has experienced this change at the root,“ sees a thousand deviations from that perfect rule given in the scriptures, especially as it respects the heart.” The heart then, it seems, which has been radically changed by the spirit of holiness, is nevertheless, the root, seat, or foundation of the noxious seeds of sin, from whence sprout pride, hardness, unbelief, and blindness of mind, &c. How diametrically opposite is this doctrine of yours from our Lord's, Luke vi. 45. “A good man, out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart, bringeth forth that which is evil.” If you should be disposed to preach a sermon on these words, you might prove the doctrine contained in them by a parallel text in Matt. vii. 16–20, in one of which verses it is said, in direct opposition to your doctrine, “A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit." But it is not very surprising, that a man who can assert that all things, good and bad, proceed