« PreviousContinue »
1 out what their Opinions really were-but he
is sure, he has taken what Care he could to understand them, and that he has not in any Thing wilfully misinterpreted or misrepresent
ed them.' In his Misrepresentations, which we find to be many,
if he be not wilful, he must be at least mistaken; nor is it strange that he should mistake the Quakers, who so far mistakes himself, as to think, that, he has shew'd • himself a fair Adversary, in not concealing,
but fairly proposing and answering their chief
Arguments.' Whereas he has neither brought out their principal Arguments, nor fairly answered those he has pretended to produce : Nor are many of his Questions juftly deduced from the Words of the Authors he pretends to cite. This we shall undertake in the subsequent Pages to demonstrate, and in so doing, shall follow him in his own Order of Sections.
Of Christian Morality. His first Section begins with the following Question,
• Whether every Man that lives a moral good Life, and is a sober, honeft, jujt Man, is not a good Christian
For this he cites William Penn's Address to Protestants, 2d. Edit. p. 18, 19. (we suppole mistaken for 118, 119.) whose Words are, ? Let
us but soberly consider what Christ is, and we • shall the better know whether moral Men are 5 to be reckon'd Christians. What is Christ but
Meekness, Justice, Mercy, Patience, Charity, " and Virtue in Perfection ? Can we then deny a
< meek Man to be a Christian, a juft, mer ciful,
patient and virtuous Man to be like Christ'?
Had this Author pleas’d, he might have put down these Queries in W. P's own Terms, together with his preceding Definition of Morality.
By Morality, says he, I understand Virtuous living, Purity of Manners, that Justice, Tem
perance, Truth, Charity, and Blamelesness of · Conversation, out of Conscience and Duty to · God and Man, which may well denominate < the Man that lives that Life, a Man just, vir
tuous and pious : In short, one that does unto • all Men, as he would have all Men do unto • him. This, says W. P. is my Moral Man.
The Man thus described, who fears God and works Righteousness, W. P. says, is in some Degree concern'd in the Character of a true Christian, for which he produces found Reasoning and good Authorities, all which this Author overlooks or omits.
Besides, W. P. is in that Place professedly opposing a Set of Men guilty of such Extravagancy, as that, upon hearing a sober Man com* mended, that was not of any great visible Pro· fession, they would take upon them to cast him • off with this Sentence, Tush, he is but a moral
Man, he knows nothing of Saving Grace, he " may be damn'd for all his Morality. Nay, • fome, says he, have gone so far, as to say and
preach, if not print, that there are Thousands c of Moral Men in Hell.' 'Twas the making such a dreadful Distinction as that between a Moral Man and a Christian, that W. P.elsewhere calli, a deadly Poison, that these latter Ages have been infected with. We suppose, this Author will
not maintain such an harsh and uncharitable Distinction, since he allows, p. 7. that the Duties of the Law of Nature are an essential Part of Christianity; if so, they who' live up to those Duties are so far Christians.
HAVING faid this in Vindication of William Penn, and his moral Man, we shall next 'endeavour from the Holy Scriptures to convince our Opponent, that the Moralist, even of his own describing, has some Title to the Christian Name: He allows him to be a Just Man. Let him then consider, that Christ himself is eminently distinguished by the Character of the Just One, Acts vii. 52. And they have sain them
which Mewed before of the Coming of the Just One, · [Tš Arxaíx] Acts xxii. 14. And see that Just One,
[tov sixanov] That the Scepter of his Kingdom is call'd a Scepter of Righteousness, or Justice. That the Love of Righteousness or justice, is expressed as the Cause of his Unētion. Heb. i9. Thou haft loved Righteousness, [dixanot uvnr) and hated Iniquity, therefore God, even thy God hath anointed i hee with the Oyl of Gladness above thy Fellows. He is the Origin and Fountain, whence all Justice or Righteousness is deriv’d, so that no Man can properly be stiled Just or Righteous, but as he partakes of that Justice or Righteousness, which Hows from him, and has such Relation to him as the Stream has to the Fountain.
AGAIN, a Just Man is in some Degree sanctified: Now the Author to the Hebrews says, He that fanétifieth, and they that are sanEtified, are all of one, for which Cause be is not ashamed to call them Brethren. Heb. ii. II, A Just Man then has some. what of Union with Christ. He is taught to live justly by Christ, the Grace of God which brings Salvation, Tit. ii. 11. And is consequently a Partaker
of that Salvation from Sin, which was the very End and Purpose of his Mission and Manifestation. God, faith the Apostle Peter, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his Iniquities. Acts iü. 26. For this Purposé, says the beloved Disciple, the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the Works of the Devil, i John iii. 8. Thou shalt call his Name Jesus, for be fall save his people from their Sins, Mat. i. 21. It were easy to enlarge on this Head, but, we think enough is said to shew, that this Author in representing a just Man, under the contemptuous Character of a meer moral Heathen, makes not the Scripture his Rule.
His Distinction between a True Christian Life, and that of a Temperate, Sober, Honest and Just Man, whom he miscalls Heathen, is of litile Weight; since all Virtue is undoubtedly Christian, and, wheresoever it is acceptable to God, who, the Scripture assures us, without Respect of Persons, judgeth according to every Man's Work. 1 Pet. i. 17. And that, In every Nation, be that feareth him and worketh Righteousness, is accepted with him. Acts x. 34, 35. Now Acceptance with God is through Christ alone, He bath made us, faith the Apostle, accepted in the Beloved, Eph. i. 6. Are not they Christians, who are accepted with God through Christ? Are not they Christians who are of the pure and undefiled Religion? The Apostle James expresly says, Pure Religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the Fatherless and Widows in their Affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the World, James i. 27. If our Opponent will affert a Distinction, between a State of Acceptance with God through Christ, and a
State of Christianity, let him do it in express Terms, and prove wherein it consists from plain Scripture: Till then, he may with equal Justice reflect his Charges of Deifm and Natural Religion upon the Apostles James and Peter, as upon the Quakers. Nor will that great Apologist for the Christian Religion, Justin Martyr, escape his Censure, who says, (c) Christ was in Part • known unto Socrates.' And again, (d) We « have taught that Christ is the First born of . God, and we have shewn before that he is the
Word, of which all Men are made Partakers ; " and that they who have lived according to it o are Christians. Such among the Greeks were • Socrates and Heraclitus, and the like.
PAGE 4. he says,
« The Historical Faith ' and Knowledge of Christ's outward Birth, 6 and Death, and Sufferings in the Flesh, is a * neceffary and effential Part of Christianity, s without which it cannot subsist.
AND, page 5. having recited, what he calls the peculiar Articles of the Christian Faith, afserts, That such a Faith is as essential to Chri
ftianity as a good Life.'
He has here utter'd his own Opinion, but neither rightly shewn wherein the Quakers differ from him, nor produc'd their Reasons for so do, ing: We must therefore do both.
The Quakers do as firmly believe every
Part of the History of Christ declared in the Holy Scripture, as himself or any other Professor of
(c) Apol. sg p: 48. Edit. Coniæ, 1686. (d) Apol. 3. p. 83.