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thus we have finished what was at first proposed. And his scheme, in contrast with that of the gross Antinomians, stands thus :
Gross Antinomianism, and refined Antinomianism, agree in asserting, that in justifying faith we believe that our sins are forgiven, and that God is reconciled to us.
Gross Antinomians assert, 1. That the elect are justified before faith. 2. That their justification is manifested to them by the spirit of God. 3. In consequence of which, they believe they are justified. 4. This belief pacifies their consciences, and is the source of every religious affection.
Refined Antinomians, assert, 1. That before faith, the elect as well as others, are under the wrath of God and curse of the law. 2. That yet in faith they believe God loves them, and they are delivered from the curse of the law. 3. And because this is not true before it is believed, therefore they believe it without any evidence of the thing. 4. This belief pacifies the conscience, and is the source of every religious affection. Now,
If the elect are not justified before faith, the gross Antinomian scheme is fundamentally false.-And,
If in justifying faith, we are not to believe that to be true which is not true before we believe it, the refined Antinomian scheme is also fundamentally false.
The fact believed on both schemes is the same, viz. that an impenitent, unconverted, Christless sinner, is justified. And a belief of this fact on both schemes produces the same effects, viz. pacifies the conscience, and is the source of all their religion. And both schemes grant that this fact is not revealed in the bible. But one vindicates his belief by saying, the elect are justified before faith, and have their justification immediately revealed to them by the spirit of God. And the other by saying, we are commanded by God to believe that to be true which is not true before we believe it, and to believe without any evidence of the thing, and God stands obliged that our faith shall not be disappointed.
We have heard how the celebrated Mr. Marshall explains his scheme; and we have considered what Mr. Wilson has to offer in its defence. And the controversy is brought into a
narrow compass, to one single point. viz. whether in justifying faith we believe that to be true which is not true before we believe it. And it is brought down out of the clouds, and made plain and easy to the weakest capacity, and every one is freely left to judge for himself.
If after all, any poor bewildered sinner is still at a loss, let him take his bible in his hand, enter into his closet, fall on his knees, look up to God who has given him the bible to be the only rule of his faith, and say, " O Lord, thou hast given me thy holy word to be the only rule of my faith; and is it safe, great God, for me to venture my soul for eternity in the belief of that which all acknowledge is not revealed in thy holy word? If every truth contained in that sacred book, all which are true before they are believed, join to declare me an unpardoned sinner, O leave me not to quiet my conscience by the belief of that which is not revealed there! O suffer me not to fly from the unerring word of my final Judge, and take refuge in a lie! Rather let me have no peace than a false peace! O lead me out of this bewildered state, and give me an heart to understand and believe thy holy word, and make that the only rule of my faith, of thine infinite mercy through Jesus Christ." Then let him turn to read, and well consider the following texts. Mat. vii. 21—27. Acts iii. 19. Luke xiii. 3. 5. Isai. lv. 7. Prov. xxviii. 13. Acts xx. 21. John iii. 19, 20. 2 Cor. xi. 13, 14. Luke iv. 9, 10, 11. 1 John ii. 4.
THAT THERE IS BUT
BAPTISM AND THE LORD'S SUPPER ARE SEALS;
THE COVENANT OF GRACE,
PROVED FROM THE WORD OF GOD;
AND THE DOCTRINE OF AN
EXTERNAL GRACELESS COVENANT,
LATELY ADVANCED BY THE REV. MR. MOSES MATHER,
IN A PAMPHLET, ENTITLED,
THE VISIBLE CHURCH IN COVENANT WITH GOD, &c.
SHOWN TO BE AN UNSCRIPTURAL DOCTRINE.
But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldst take my covenant in thy mouth? PSALM 1. 16.