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Father and the Son would concur in the redemption of man. Fourth, * According to the counsel of his will, that is, in the way or method he had chosen. Therefore neither any of these texts, nor all of them, prove what they were brought to prove. They do by no means prove, that there ever was any such covenant made between the Father and the Son.
“ The conditions of the covenant are recorded : Lo, I come to do thy will.” Nay, here is no mention of any covenant, nor any thing from which it can be inferred.-" The recompense stipulated in this glorious treaty." But I see not one word of the treaty itself. Nor can I possibly allow the existence of it without far other proof than this." Another copy of this grand treaty is recorded Isaiah xlix. from the first to the sixth verse.' I have read them, but cannot find a word about it in all these verses. They contain neither more nor less than a prediction of the salvation of the Gentiles.
6. By the covenant of works, man was bound to obey in his own person.” And so he is under the covenant of grace, though not in order to his justification.-" The obedience of our Surety is accepted instead of our own.” This is neither a safe nor a scriptural way of speaking. I would simply say, · We are accepted through the
Beloved. We have redemption through his blood.'
• The second covenant was not made with Adam or any of his posterity, but with Christ, in those words, The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head.” For any authority you have from these words, you might as well have said, It was made with the Holy Ghost. These words were not spoken to Christ, but of him, and give not the least intimation of any such covenant as you plead for. They manifestly contain, if not a covenant made with, a promise made to Adam and all his posterity.
“ Christ, we see, undertook to execute the conditions." We see no such thing in this text. We see here only a promise of a Saviour, made by God to man.
66 It is true, I cannot fulfil the conditions.". It is not true: The conditions of the new covenant are, repent and believe; and these you can fulfil, through Christ strengthening you.—“ It is equally true, this is not required at my hands.” It is equally true, that
, is, absolutely false, and most dangerously false. If we allow this, Antinomianism comes in with a full tide.--" Christ has performed all that was conditionary for me.” Has he repented and believed for you? You endeavour to evade this by saying,
performed all that was conditionary in the covenant of works:" This is nothing to the purpose; for we are not talking of that, but of the covenant of grace. Now he did not perform all that was conditionary in this covenant, unless he repented and believed. “But he did unspeakably more.” It may be so. But he did not do this.
“ But if Christ's perfect obedience be ours, we have no more need of pardon than Christ himself.” The consequence is good. You have started an objection which you cannot answer. You say indeed, 66 Yes, we do need pardon; for in many things we offend all.” What then? If his obedience be ours, we still perfectly obey in him.
“ Both the branches of the law, the preceptive and the penal, in the case of guilt contracted, must be satisfied.”
• Christ by his death alone (so our church teaches) fully satisfied for the sins of the whole world. The same great truth is manifestly taught in the 31st article. Is it therefore fair, is it honest, for any one to plead the articles of our church in defence of absolute predestination? Seeing the 17th article barely defines the terms, without either affirming or denying the thing: whereas the 31st totally overthrows and razes it from the foundation.
66 Believers who are notorious transgressors in themselves, have a sinless obedience in Christ.” O siren song! Pleasing sound, to James Wheatley ! Thomas Williams ! James Reily !
I know not one sentence in the eleventh Dialogue
Not so ;
which is liable to exception : But that grand doctrine of Christianity, original sin, is therein proved by irrefragable arguments.
The twelfth likewise is unexceptionable, and contains such an illustration of the wisdom of God, in the structure of the human body, as, I believe, cannot be paralleled in either ancient or modern writers.
The former part of the thirteenth Dialogue is ad- , mirable. To the latter I have some objection.
“ Elijah failed in his resignation, and even Moses spake unadvisedly with his lips.” It is true: But if
: you could likewise fix some blot upon venerable Samuel and beloved Daniel, it would prove nothing: For no Scripture teaches, that the holiness of Christians is to be measured by that of any Jew.
" Do not the best of men frequently feel disorder in their affections? do not they often complain, When I would do good, evil is present with me?" I believe not. You and I are only able to answer for ourselves." Do not they say, We groan, being
burdened with the workings of inbred corruption ?" You know this is not the meaning of the text. The whole context shews, the cause of that groaning was their longing to be with Christ.
“ The cure" of sin“ will be perfected in heaven.” Nay, surely, in paradise, if no sooner.-" This is a noble prerogative of the beatific vision.” No: It would then come too late; if sin remains in us till the day of judgment, it will remain for ever.-"Our present blessedness does not consist in being free from sin.” I really think it does. But whether it does or no, if we are not free from sin, we are not Christian believers : For to all these the apostle declares, being made free from sin, ye are become the servants of righteousness,' Rom. vi. 18.
“ If we were perfect in piety (St John's words are perfect in love] Christ's priestly office would be superseded." No; we should still need his Spirit (and consequently his intercession) for the continuance of that love from moment to moment. Besides, we
should still be encompassed with infirmities, and liable to mistakes, from which words or actions might follow, even though the heart was all love, which were not exactly right. Therefore, in all these respects we should still have need of Christ's priestly office: And therefore, as long as he remains in the body, the greatest saint may say,
Every moment, Lord, I need
The merit of thy death. The text cited from Exodus asserts nothing less, than that iniquity cleaves to all our holy things till death.
“ Sin remains, that the righteousness of faith may have its due honour." And will the righteousness of faith have its due honour no longer than sin remains in us ?. Then it must remain, not only on earth and in paradise, but in heaven also." And the sanctification of the Spirit its proper esteem.”
Would it not have more esteem if it were a perfect work?
- It (sin] will make us lowly in our own eyes.” What will pride make us lowly ? Surely the utter destruction of pride would do this more effectually.
-" It will make us compassionate." Would not an entire renewal in the image of God make us much more so ?" It will teach us to admire the riches of grace.” Yea, but a fuller experience of it, by a thorough sanctification of spirit, soul, and body, will make us admire it more. .66 It will reconcile us to death.” Indeed it will not: Nor will any thing do this, like perfect love.
66 It will endear the blood and intercession of Christ.” Nay, these can never be so dear to any, as to those who experience their full virtue, who are filled with the fulness of God. Nor can any feel their continual need of Christ, or rely on him in the manner which these do.
Dialogue 14. 66 The claims of the law are all answered.” If so, Count Zinzendorf is absolutely in the right: Neither God nor man can claim my obedience to it. Is not this Antinomianism without a mask?
“ Your sins are expiated through the death of Christ, and a righteousness given you, by which you have free access to God.” This is not scriptural
. language. I would simply say, “By him we have access to the Father.'
There are many other expressions in this Dialogue, to which I have the same objection, namely, first, That they are unscriptural; second, That they directly lead to Antinomianism.
The first Letter contains some very useful heads of self-examination. In the second,
I read, " There is a righteousness which supplies all that the creature needs. To
this momentous point, is the design of the following sheets.”
I have seen such terrible effects of this unscriptural way of speaking, even on those who had once clean escaped from the pollutions of the world,' that I cannot but earnestly wish you would speak no otherwise than do the oracles of God. Certainly this mode of expression is not momentous : It is always dangerous, often fatal.
Letter 3. “ Where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin had reigned unto death, so might grace [the free love of God] reign through righteousness [through our justification and sanctification) unto eternal life,” Rom. v. 20, 21. This is the plain natural meaning of the words. It does not appear, that one word is spoken here about imputed righteousness : Neither in the passages cited, in the next page, from the Common-Prayer and the Article. In the Homily likewise, that phrase is not found at all; and the main stress is laid on Christ's shedding his blood. Nor is the phrase (concerning the thing there is no question) found in any part of the Homilies.
“ If the fathers are not explicit with regard to the imputation of active righteousness, they abound in passages which evince the substitution of Christ in our stead : passages which disclaim all dependence on any duties of our own, and fix our hopes wholly