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improvement of their arguments; but a fimple inquiry into the nature of the things treated of, as revealed in the Scripture, and as evidencing themselves in their power and efficacy on the minds of believers. The practical direction of the confciences of men in their application to God by Jefus Chrift, for deliverance from the curfe of the law and peace with him, together with the influence of the truth. in univerfal evangelical obedience, is the fingle object to be aimed at in handling this doctrine: and therefore, whoever would treat of it in a proper manner, should weigh whatever he afferts, in his own mind and experience; and not dare to propose that to others, which he doth not himself abide by, in the most intimate receffes of his mind; in his nearest approaches to God; in his furprifals with danger; in deep afflictions; in his preparations for death; and moft humble contemplations of the infinite diftance between God and himfelf. Other notions and difputations about the doctrine of Juftification, not feafoned with thefe ingredients, however fuited to the palates of fome, by fkill and language, are infipid, and useless, immediately degenerating into an unprofitable ftrife of words.

3. I am aware that the doctrine for which we plead, is charged, by many, with an unfriendly afpect towards the neceffity of holiness and good works; yea, utterly deftructive of it. So it was, at the first clear re velation of it, by the Apoftle Paul, as he frequent

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ly declares.

But it is fufficiently evinced by him, to be the chief principle of, and motive to, all acceptable obedience. It is admitted, that the ob jective grace of the Gospel, in the doctrine of it, is liable to abuse, where there is nothing of the subjective grace of it in the heart. So it was charged by the Papifts, at the Reformation: Yet, as it gave occafion to the Reformation itself, fo was it that by which the fouls of men being liberated from innumerable fuperftitious fears and observances, and directed into the way of peace with God, were made fruitful in real holiness, abounding in all those bleffed effects of the life of God, which were never found among their adverfaries.

The fame charge was afterwards renewed by the Socinians, who ftill continue to make it. But I suppose that wife and impartial men will not lay much stress on their accufations, until they have manifefted the efficacy of their contrary perfuafion by better effects than they have hitherto produced *.

Whereas, therefore, the whole Gospel is "the truth which is after godliness," declaring and exhibiting that "grace of God, which teacheth us to deny all ungodlinefs and wordly lufts, and to live foberly, and righteously, and godly, in this world;"

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* The comparative tendency of Calvinistic and Socinian fentiments, has lately been confidered in a masterly manner, by the Rev. Andrew Fuller, in a feries of Letters addreffed to the Friends of vital and practical Religion, entitled, The Calviniftic and Socinian Syftems examined and compared. Sold by Button and Mathews, London. (Edit.)

we being fallen into thofe times, wherein, under great contests about opinions and practices in religion, there is a horrible decay of true gospel purity, and holinefs of life, I fhall readily grant that, retaining a due regard to the only ftandard of truth, a fecondary trial of doctrines may, and ought to be made, by the walk and converfation of those who receive and profefs them. And though we admit, that the doctrine we maintain is liable to abuse, as is the whole doctrine of the grace of God; and though the way and means of its influence into univerfal obedience, be not difcernible without fome beams of fpiritual light; yet, if it cannot preferve its ftation in the Church by this rule, of its ufeful tendency to the promotion of godlinefs, I fhall be content that it be exploded. Every thing else, which I conceive to be neceffary to the right underftanding and due improvement of the truth pleaded, for, will be comprifed in the following General Confiderations.

MAY 30, 1677.

J. O.

CON

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ENERAL confiderations, previously neceffary to
the explanation of the doctrine of Juftification

page 1-28.
1. What is the proper relief of the confcience of a
finner, burdened with the guilt of fin

1.

2. A due consideration of Him, with whom we have
to do, in this matter
2-6.
3. A clear apprehenfion, and due fenfe, of the great-
nefs of our apoftasy from God; the depravity of
our nature; the power and guilt of fin, &c. 6.
4. The oppofition which the Scripture makes be-
tween grace and works
8-14.

5. The commutation between Chrift and believers,
as to fin and righteoufnefs, as represented in the
Scripture
14-16.
6. The introduction of grace, by Jesus Christ, into
the whole of our relation to God
17-21.
7. General prejudices, against the imputation of the
righteoufnefs of Chrift, noticed
21-25.
8. The weight that was laid on this doctrine, at the
Reformation, and the influence which it had on
the whole of that great work

25-28.

CHAP.

CHAP. I.

Justifying faith; the caufes, object, and nature of it
29-42.

CHAP. II.

The nature of juftifying faith, more particularly confi-
42-49-

dered

CHAP. III.

The ufe of faith in Juftification; in what sense it is the
inftrument of it
49-53-

CHAP. IV.

The fignification of the words, Juftification, and, to
juftify, in the original languages
53-58.

CHAP. V.

The diftinction of a first and second Juftification, exa-
mined-The continuation of Juftification; on what
it depends
58-67.

CHAP. VI.

Evangelical, perfonal righteoufnefs, confidered-Sen-
tential Juftification, or final judgment, and its re-
fpect to Juftification
67-72.

CHAP. VII.

Imputation, the nature of it; with the imputation of
the righteoufnefs of Chrift in particular 72-80.

CHAP. VIII.

Imputation of the fins of the church unto Chrift. The
grounds of it. The nature of his furetifhip. Cau-
fes of the new covenant. Chrift and the church one
myftical perfon. Confequences thereof

81-90.

CHAP. IX.,

The formal cause of Juftification. Various objections
anfwered

91-99

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