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infant holiness, to that numerous part of mankind who die in their infancy. Nay, it absolutely ensures a seed of redeeming, sanctifying grace to all mankind, so long as the day of grace or initial salvation lasts; for we maintain, as well as St. Panl, that 'the free gift is come upou all men to justification of life :' (Rom. v. 18:) And we assert, as well as our Lord, that of such [of infants] is the kingdom of heaven,' and therefore some capacity to enjoy it, which capacity we believe to be inseparably connected with a seed of holiness. Add to this, that our gospel, as well as Calvinism, ensures eternal salvation to all the adult who are 'faithful unto death. According to our doctrine, 'these sheep shall never perish ;' To these elect of Justice, who make their election of grace sure' by obedience, Christ 'gives eternal life' in the fullest sense of the word : Aud
none shall pluck them out of his hand.' If Mr. T. had placed our gospel in this true light, his objection would have appeared as just as the rhodomontade of Goliah, when he was going to dispatch David.
ARG. LXVIII. (p. 94.)-Mr. T. tries to make up the Antinomian gap, by doing that which borders upon giving up Calvinism. “No man (says he) according to our system, has a right to look upon himself as elected, till sanctifying grace has converted him to faith and good works.”
This flimsy salvo has quieted the fears of many godly Calvinists, when the Antinomianism of their system stared them in the face. To shew the absurdity of this evasion, I need only ask, Has not every man a right to believe truth? If I am absolutely elected to eternal life, while I commit adultery and murder, while I defile my father's wife, and deny my Saviour with oaths and curses; why may not I believe it? Is there one senténce of scripture which commands me to believe a lie, or forbids me to believe the truth?_“Oh, but you have no right to believe yourself elected, till sanctifying grace has converted you to faith and good works." Then it follows, that, as an adult sinner, I am not elected to the reward of the inheritance, or to eternal life in glory, till I believe and do good works ; or it follows that I have no right to believe the truth. If Mr. T. affirm, that I have no right to believe the truth, he makes himself ridiculous before all the world : And if he say, that I am not absolutely elected, till I am converted to faith and good works ; it follows that every time I am perverted from fuith and good works, I forfeit my election of Justice. Thus, under the guidance of Mr. T. himself, I escape the fatal rock of Calviniau Election, and find myself in the safe harbour of old, practical Christianity: ' Ye know that no whore. monger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God : Let no man deceive you with vain words. For if I have no right to believe myself an heir of God, and a joint heir with Christ, while I turn whoremonger ; it is evident that whoredom deprives me of my right ;much more adultery and murder. Hence it appears, that Mr. T. cannot prop up the Calvinian ark, but by flatly contradictivg St. Paul, which is a piece of impiety; and by asserting that elect whoremongers have no right to believe the truth while they commit whorer dom, which is a glaring absurdity.
ARG. LXIX. (p. 95.) -After having made up the Antinomian gap, by giving up either Calvinian Election, or the incontestable right which every man has to believe the truth, Mr. Toplady tries to retort the charge of Antinomianism upon our doctrines of grace ; and he does it by producing one “Thomson, who, when he was in a fit of intemperance, if any one reminded him of the wrath of God, threatened against such courses, wonld answer, I am a child of the devil to-day; but I have Free Will; and to-morrow I will make myself a child of God.”
To this I answer, (1.) The man spoke like a person “in a fit of intens perance," and there is no reasoning with such, any more than with mad men. But Dr. Crisp, whey he was sober, and in the pulpit too, coul VOL. IV.
say, “ A believer may be assured of pardon as : he commits any sin, even adultery and murder. are but scare-crows and bug-bears to frighten ig children, but men of understanding see they are terfeit things :” And indeed it must be so, if, as M tells us, Whatever is, is right, and necessarily E from the predestinating will of him who does all th well.
2. This Thomson (as appears by his speech) v a rigid free-willer; one, who discarded the first gospe axiom, and the doctrine of Free Grace; and there fore, his error does not affect our gospel. Nay, we oppose such free-willers, as much as we do the rigid bound-willers who discard the second gospel-axiom, and the necessity of sincere obedience in order to our judicial justification, and eterual salvation.
3. If Thomson had been sober and reasonable, Mr. Wesley might easily have made up the pretended Antinomian gap of Arminianism five different ways :-(1.) By shewing him, that, although Free Will may reject a good motion, yet it cannot raise oue without Free Grace; and therefore, to say, “ T'o-inorrow I will make myself a child of God," is as absurd in a man, as it would be in a woman, to say, “ To-morrow / will conceive alone :”—It is as impious as to say, “Tomorrow I will absolutely command God, and he shall obey me.”—(2.) By shewing him his imminent dauger, and the horror of his present state, which he himselt acknowledged when he said, “I am a child of the devil to day.”—(3.) By arguing the uncertain length of the day of salvation. Grace gives us no room to depend upon to-morrow; its constant language being, Now is the accepted time.'-(4.) By pressing the hardening nature of presumptuous sin.--Avd (5.) By displaying the terrors of just wrath, which frequently says, “ Take
en met not to be the talent from him.-Because ye refused, I will be
San ansa avenged. I give thee up to thy own heart's lasts, to a reprobate mind. Thou fool! this right shall thy soul be required of thee.'
These are five rational and scriptural ways of making
la master was a Fau aleging that he
pate no less destined
up the supposed Antinomian gap of our gospel. But if Mr. Thomson had been a Calvinist, and had said, like Mr. Fulsome, “ I have had a call, and my election is safe : As my good works can add nothing to my Finished Salvation, so my bad words can take nothing from it. Satan may pound me, if he pleases ; but Jesus must replevy me.
Let me wander where I will from God, Christ must fetch me back again. The covenant is unconditionally ordered in all things and sure. All things work for good to the elect."'--" And if all things,” says Mr. Hill, “ then their very sins and corruptions are included in the royal promise.”“Whoredom and drunkenness may hurt another, but they cannot hurt me. God will over-rule sin for my good, and his glory. Whatsoever is, is right: For God worketh all things in all men, even wickedness in the wicked, and how much more in his elect, who are his chosen instruments !”-If Mr. Thomson, I say, had been a Calvinist, and had thus stood his ground in the Antinomiau gap which Calvin, Dr. Crisp, Mr. Fulsome, Mr. Hill, and Mr. Toplady have made ; who could reasonably have beaten him off? Do not all his conclusions flow from the doctrine of Absolute Election and Finished Salvation, as unavoidably as four is the result of two and two ?
ARG. LXX. (p. 97.) Mr. T. attempts again to stop up the Antinomian gap, which Fatalism and Calvinian Predestination make in practical religion. Calling to his assistance Zeno, the founder of the Stoics, or rigid predestinarians among the Heathens, he says,“ Zeno one day thrashed his servant for pilfering. The fellow, knowing his master was a Fatalist, thought to bring himself off by alleging that he was destined to steal, and therefore ought not to be beat for it.—You are destined to steal, are you?' answered the philosopher; ' Then you are no less destined to be thrashed for it : And laid on some hearty blows extraordinary.”—I do not wonder that Mr. Hill, in his Finishing Stroke, calls Mr. Toplady's arguments
most masterly ;" for
this argument of Zeno is yet more masterly than his own : “ I shall not take the least notice of him, any more than, if I were travelling on the road, I would stop to lash, or even to order my footman to lash every little impertinent quadruped in a village, that should come out and bark at me." Mr. Toplady, in the Advertisement placed at the head of his Pamphlet, represents some of us as “ unworthy of even being pilloried in a Preface, or flogged at a Pamphlet's tail :" We are now arrived at the tail of his Pamphlet, in the body of which he has thought Mr. Wesley so highly worthy of his rod, as to “ flog" him with the gratuity, absoluteness, mercy, and justice, which are peculiar to the Reprobation defended through the whole perform
Jf seriousness did not become us, when we vindicate the injured attributes of the Judge of all the earth,' I might be tempted to ask with a smile, has Mr. T. so worn out his rod in making “ More Work for Mr. Wesley," that he is now obliged to borrow Zeno's stick to finish the execution “ at the Pamphlet's tail ?” For my part, as I have no idea of rivetting orthodoxy upon my readers with a stick, and of solving the rational objections my opponents by “ laying on some hearty blows,” and so “ thrashing" them into conviction, or into silence, I own that Logica Zenonis and Logica Genevensis being of a piece, either of them can easily beat me out of the field. Arguments a lapide are laughable; but I flee before arguments a baculo. However, in my retreat, I will venture to present Mr. T. with the following queries :
If Zeno, in vindicating Fatalisin, could say to a thief, that he was absolutely predestinated to steal, and to be thrashed for stealing ; is it not more than Mr. Toplady can say in vindication of Calvinism ? For, upon his scheme, may not a man be absolutely predestinated not only to steal, but also to escape thrashing, and to obtain salvation by stealing : Mr. Toplady is Mr. Hill's second : And Mr. Hill, in his Fourth Letter, (where he shews the happy effects of sin,) teils the public and me, “ Onesimus robbed Philemon his
er; and fleeing from justice, was brought under