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and hath done despite to the spirit of grace. Heb. X. 25, &c. - Many (fallon believers ] walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Chrift; whose end is DESTRUCTION, whose God is their belly — and who mind earthly things. - For all (comparatively speaking] seek their own, and not the things which are Jesus Christ's. Phil. iii. 18.-ii. 21.
The epiitle to the Hebrews is a treatise against apo)tacy, and of consequence against Caluinian perseverance. As a proof of it, I refer the reader to a convincing Discourse on Heb. ii, 3. which Mr. Olivers designs for the press. The whole Epistle of St. Jude, and the second of St. Peter, were particularly written to prevent the falling away of the saints, and to stop the rapid progress of apoftacy. The Ep. of St. Jude, and 2 Pet. ii. agree so perfectly, that one would think the two apostles had compared notes, witness the fol. lowing parallel. St. Peter's description of St. Jude's description of antinomian apoftates. antinomian backsliders.
1. They have FORSA- 2. These be ther, who xen che right way ;-fol- SEPARATE themselves.lowing the way of BALA. They ran gieedily after AM, who loved the wa- the error of BALAAM for GES of unrighteousness. REWARD. Jude, ver. 19, 2. Pet. ii. 15.
14. 1. Spots are they and 2. These are spots in blemishes, sporting them- your feafts of charity, selves with their own de. when they feAsr with ceivings, while they FEAST you ; feeding themselves with you, ver. 13•
without fear. ver. 12. 1. They WALK after 2. Filthy dreamers the flesh in the Lust of WALKING after their own UNCLEANNESS. ver. 10 LUSTS. ver 8, 16.
1. They speak GREAT 2. Their mouth speakSWELLING WORDS of va- eth GREAT SWELLING nity-they promise them
creeping in [whom they allure) liber- unawares [i. e. insinua. ty,
ty, while they themselves ting themselves into rich are the servants of coro widows houses] baving ruption. ver. 18. 19. men's persons in admira..
tion. ver. 4, 16. 1. As natural, brute 2. These SPEAK EVIL beasts, &c. they SPEAK E- of those things which Vil of the things that they they know not (especiallyer understand not (especially of Chrift's law) But what of the perfeet law of li- they know naturally, as. berry) and fall utterly brote beafts in those things perish in their own COR- | they CORRUPT. THEM=; RUPTION, ver. 12.
SELVES. ver. 10. 1. Wells without water, 2. Clouds they are wiclouds that are CARRIED thout water, with a tempest - beguil. | about of winds, trees ing, UNSTABLF. SOULS- whose fruit withereth, &c. to whom the mist of DARK WANDERING' STARS, to :
RESERVED whom is RESERVED the EVER. ver. 14, 17 [How blackness of DARKNESS far was St. Peter from FOR EVER. ver. 12, 13. Soothing any of those back- | (How far was St. JUDE". Jiders by the smooth doctrine from rocking ANY of thote of their necESSARY, IN-l apoftates in the cradle of 18FALLIBLE return!] FALLIBLE perseverance!]
1. (St. Peter indireatly 2. [St. Jude compares compares them to] The An. them to] The Angels who i Gels that sinned, (whom] | KEPT NOT their firft eftate, God spared not, but caft but left their own habita.. down to kell, and deliver- tion, &c. reserved in ever. ed into CHAINS OF DARK-| lafting CHAINS NESS-to be reserved unto DARKNESS, unto the JUDGMENT, ver. 4.. JUDGMENT of the great
1 day. ver. 6, From this remarkable parallel it is evident, that the Apoftates described by St. Peter, and the backsliders painted by St. Jude, were one and the fame kind of people: and by the following words it appears, that all those backsliders, really fell from the GRACE OF God, and denied the Lord that BOUGHT THEM.
1. Even denying the 2. Ungodly men,
BOUGHT | ing THE GRACE OF OUR - THEM, and bring upon God into lasciviousness, themselves
| and DENYING [in work STRUCTION, &c. whose i at least] THE ONLY Lord &c. DAMNATION flum. | God, and our LORDJESUS bereth not. 2 Pet. ii. i. CHRIST, (as Lord, Law.
giver, or judge.] Jud. 4. St. Peter more or less directly describes these backfliders in the same epiftle, as people who have forgotten that they were PURged from their old fins—who do not give all diligence to add to their faith, virtue— who do not make their calling and election fure--who after they have Escaped the pollutions of the world 'THRO? THE · KNOWLEDGE of our Lord Jejus Christ, [i. e. thro' a true and living faith) are again intangled therein, and overcome ; whose latter end is worse than the beginning-who, after they have KNOWN WAY of righteousness, TURN from the holy commandment deliver.
ed unto them, and verify the Proverb, “ The Sow that -was washed, is turned to her wallowing in the mire."
Here is not the least hint about the certain return of any of those backsliders, or about the good that their grievous falls will do either to others or to themselves. On the contrary, he represents them all as people, that were in the high road to DESTRUCTION. And far from giving an antinomian innuendo about the final perseverance of all blood-bought fouls, i. e. of the whole number of the redeemed, he begins his epiftle. by declaring, that those felf.destroyed backsliders denied the Lord that BOUGHT them, and co:cludes it by this seasonable caution : There are in our beloved Brother Paul's epifles things [it seems, about the election of grace, and about justification without the works of the law] which they that are unlearned (or rather, quantes, un-teachable] and unfable, wrejt &c. unto their own destruction : ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, [being thus fairly warned] beware left YE ALSO, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your
own steadfaftness : bat grosv in grace, and in the knows. ledge of our Lord Jesus Christ : which is the beft method not to fall from grace-the only way to inherit the blefiing, with which God will crown the faithfulness and genuine perseverance of the faints.
I read the heart of Zelotes: and seeing the objecrion he is going to ilart, I oppose io it this quotation from Baxter. To say that then their faith (which • works by faithful love] DOES MORE than Christ "did, or God's GRACE, is a putid cavil. Their • faich, &c.is no efficient cause at all of their pardon,
or justification : it is but a necefl'ary, receptive quali'fication ; he that shuts the window caufeth darkness :
but it is sottish to say, that he who opens it, DOES • MORE than the sun to cause light, which he cauf
eth not at all; but removeth the impediment of re
ception; and faith itself is God's gift:'-as all other talents are, whether we improve them or not.
I should lose time, and offer an insult to the reader's understanding, were 1 to comment upon the preceding feriptuses; fo great is their perspicuity and number. But I hope, I shall not insult his candor by proposing to him the following queries (1) Can Zelotes and Honeftus be judicious protestants, I mean confiftent defenders of bible-religion, if the one throws away the weights of the ,'econd scale, whilst the other overlooks those of the firft ? - (2) Is it not evident, that, according to the scriptures, the perseverance of the faints has two causes: the first, free-grace and divine faithfulness; and the second, free-will and human faithfulness produced, excited, allifted, and pourished, but noT NECESSITATED by free-grace ? (3) With respect to the capital doctrine of perseverance also, does not the truth lie exactly between the extremes, into which Zelotes and Honeftus perpetually run ? — And lastly: is it not clear, that if Candidos will hold the truth as it is in Jesus, he most stand upon the line of moderation, call back Zelotes from the east, Honeftus from the west, and make them ordially embrace each other under the scripture-me
ridian. There the kind father falls upon the neck of the returning prodigal, and the heavenly bridegroom meets the wise virgins : There Free-grace merci. fully embraces Free-will, while free-will humbly stoops at the foot-ftool of free.grace : There the sun goes down no more by day, nor the moon by night : that is, the two gospel-axioms, which are the great doctrinal lights of the church, without eclipsing each other thine in perpetual conjunction, and yet in con. tinual opposition: There, their conjugal, mysterious, powerful influence gladdens the new Jerusalem, fertilizes the garden of the Lord, promotes the spiritual vegetation of all the trees of righteousness which line the river of God, and gives a divine relish to the fruits of the spirit which they constantly bear. There, as often as Free-grace smiles upon Free-will it says, Be faithful unto death, and I will give thee the crown of life: And as often as Free-will sees that crown glitter at the end of the race, it shouts, Grace! Free-grace! unto it; a great part of our faithfulness confilting in ascribing to Grace all the honour, that becomes the FIRST CAUSE of all good GINAL of all visible and invisible excellence.
Perseverance must close our race, if ever we receive the prize; let then the scriptural account of it close my scales. But before I lay them by, I must throw in two more grains of scriptural truth; left the reader should think, that I have not made good weight. If I thought that Zelotes is a gross antinomian; and Honestus an immoral moralift ; and that they maliciously tear the oracles of God in pieces ; I would make them full weight by the two following scriptures :
1. The wrath of God, 2. I testify, &c. that is revealed from heaven if any man fhall take against all ungodliness, away from the words of and unrighteousoefs of the book of this prophecy men, who hold the truth [much more if he takes (or a part of it] in uprigh- away from ihe words of teousness. Rom. 1, 18. every book in the old and
new teftament] God shall U