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2. The loud out-cry which he makes of new divinity, new divinity, is another of the extraordinary methods which he takes to keep himself in countenance. And it is very extraordinary in him, to raise this cry, on this occasion, in answer to me, and that when he himself was writing such an answer. 1. Because I was justifying the old scheme, on which our churches in this country were originally settled, the good old way; and he wrote with a design to bring in a new scheme, called by the name of the external covenant, both name and thing unknown in all the public formulas approv ed by our churches, and absolutely inconsistent with some of the fundamental articles of our confession of faith, and catechisms. 2. Because, in order to justify the good old way, and confute his new scheme, I built my arguments on the good old protestant doctrines of the perfection of the divine law, and total depravity, as held forth in scripture, and in our public formulas, without any one new sentiment; yea, without expressing old sentiments in stronger language than the language of Scripture, and of that confession of faith, which Mr. M. himself professes to believe. While, on the other hand, Mr. M. was writing not only in defence of a new scheme, but endeavouring to justify it by a whole system of new divinity, never before advanced, so far as I know, in New-England. However, it is not entirely new. It was some years ago published in London, by Mr. Cudworth, and an answer to it was printed in Boston, 1762, in An Essay on the nature and glory of the Gospel, before referred to.
3. Another extraordinary method which he takes to keep himself in countenance, is, to impute the most absurd and odious doctrines to those whom he opposes, which neither they, nor any christian writer, ever believed, to be true. Particularly, "That the enmity of the carnal mind against God consists in disinterested malice. That in regeneration new natural faculties are created in us. That the unregenerate, being without these new natural faculties, let their hearts be ever so good, are under a natural impossibility of hearkening to the call of the Gospel. That we must be willing to be damned in order to be prepared for Christ. That Christ has no hand in our reconciliation to God." To be sure, I was ne
ver acquainted with any man, or any book, which held these points. Should it be affirmed concerning a very poor, and very lazy man, that although he is convinced in his conscience, that it is his duty and interest to be industrious; yet the more he thinks of it the more averse he feels to it would this amount to saying, that this lazy man has a disinterested malice against industry? Or should it be affirmed concerning the unregenerate, that God hath not given them eyes to see nor ears to hear; would this amount to saying, that they are destitute of eyes and ears, considered as natural faculties, and so can neither see nor hear; and therefore are not at all to blame for their spiritual blindness and deafness? Or, should a wise and good father, when his impudent haughty child, about to be corrected for a crime, insolently say, well, father, if you do whip me, I shall never love you again as long as I live; should a wise and good father say to such a child, You deserve to be whipped, nor will I ever forgive you until you will own that it is good enough for you, and that it is not a blemish, but a beauty in your father's character, to be disposed to maintain good government in his house,' would that amount to saying, that the child must be willing to be whipped in order to prepare him for a pardon? Or, if by the regenerating influences of the Holy Spirit, communicated through Jesus Christ, the only Mediator, as the fruits of his purchase, the holiness and justice of the divine nature are viewed as a beauty in the divine character, by the true penitent, will it hence follow, that there was no need of Christ to die, or to be exalted, that through him, repentance and remission of sins might be given unto us, consistently with the divine law.' It is true that there is no need of Christ to make us amends for the injury done us in the divine law, and so to reconcile our angry minds to the Deity, and bring us to forgive our Maker. Such a Christ would suit the taste of a carnal heart. But a true penitent, having a new taste, already grants that God and his law are wholly right, perfect in beauty, without a blemish, prior to the consideration of the gift of Christ: and this prepares him to see the wisdom and grace of God, in giving his Son to die upon the cross, in the manner, and for the purpose, set forth in the Gospel. Rom. iii. 25. 1 Cor. i. 18.
4. Another extraordinary method Mr. M. has taken, is to insinuate, that the sacramental controversy turns on these absurd doctrines. Whereas, in truth, he cannot produce an instance of any one writer, on our side of the question, who ever believed these absurd doctrines, much less ever built his arguments on them. Let him read Mr. Richard Baxter, Dr. Watts, Dr. Guise, Dr. Doddridge, Mr. Henry, Mr. Flavel, and look through the Westminster Confession of Faith and Catechisms, and read over President Edwards, Mr. Green, and others in these parts of the world, who have written on the subject, and he will not find a syllable to countenance him in such an insinuation. Nay, the chief of the arguments used, by writers on our side of the question, are conclusive, to prove that baptism and the Lord's supper are seals of the covenant of grace, and of no other covenant, without entering into any dispute about the perfection of the divine law, total depravity, regeneration, &c. &c. The point is so clear and plain, that Calvinists, Arminians, Neonomians, Arians, &c. have agreed in this, while they have differed in almost every thing else. If we may believe Dr. Increase Mather, it was, in his day, the common doctrine' of protestants in opposition to papists, that it is a justifying faith only which giveth right to baptism before God,' how much soever they differed in other matters. And as to all the orthodox, the celebrated Dr. Van Mastricht, in his Treatise on Regeneration, says, 'As to the baptism of adults, that, if rightly administered, doth by the consent of all the orthodox, certainly presuppose regeneration as already effected.'-But this leads me to observe,
5. Another very extraordinary method Mr. M. takes to keep himself in countenance, is by misrepresenting that plan, unanimously agreed to by the synod at Saybrook, and on which the churches in New-England, in general, were formed at the first settling of the country, which alone I was endeavouring to justify, as a very groundless and unreasonable notion of the Anabaptists, in which Dr. Bellamy and a few others have joined with them.' p. 66. And at the same time claiming the Westminster assembly, Mr. Shepard, Mr. Jonathan Dickinson, and Mr. Peter Clark, as friends to his exter
So that one would think, that scarce any are on our side of the question, but the Anabaptists. Now this is very extraordinary in Mr. M. 1. Because, in his former book he speaks a very different language, well knowing how the matter really stands. (p. 59.)-Shall I then prevail with them, to lay aside all prejudice, all attachment to received maxims, all veneration for great names.' For he had before him the sentiments of the protestant world, collected by the late learned Mr. Foxcroft, in an appendix to president Edwards' Inquiry, &c. And he well knew that received maxims and great names, stood in the way of his new scheme. 2. It is very extraordinary that he should say, that his external cove nant is included in the covenant of grace, described by the assembly of divines at Westminster, (p. 61.) when, as has been before shown, the doctrines of the perfection of the divine law, and of total depravity, as held by that assembly, are inconsistent with the existence of his external covenant. And in their Confession of Faith, (chap. 29.) they, say all ungodly persons, as they are unfit to enjoy communion with him, so are they unworthy of the Lord's table, and cannot, without great sin against Christ, while they continue such, partake of these holy mysteries, or be admitted thereto.' Whereas, the very professed design of his external covenant is to open a door, that ungodly men, as such, should be admitted to partake of these holy mysteries. And, 3. It is equally extraordinary that he should pretend that Mr. Jonathan Dickinson was a friend to his external covenant, when, in his Dialogue on the Divine right of Infant Baptism, he proves that the covenant with Abraham, Gen. xvii. was the covenant of grace itself, in opposition to the Anabaptists, who, with Mr. M. maintain the covenant with Abraham, Gen. xvii. was not the covenant of grace. And, having proved that covenant to be the covenant of grace, then proceeds, on this hypothesis, to prove the divine right of infant baptism. Dr. Gill wrote an answer to this piece of Mr. Dickinson's: Mr. Peter Clark wrote a reply to Dr. Gill, in which he spends above a hundred pages in proving the covenant in Gen. xvii. to be a pure covenant of grace,' in answering Dr. Gill's objections, which are the same for substance with Mr. M.'s Five Arguments, in
his first book, (p. 7, 8.) and in establishing infant baptism on this foundation. And he expressly affirms, (p. 208.) Except a man be born again, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. And if, without regeneration, no man can enter into the kingdom of God, then surely not into covenant with God.' But the unregenerate, as such, can enter into covenant with God, on the plan of Mr. M.'s external covenant. And yet Mr. M. pretends that there is no material difference' between these authors and his scheme. But, 4. It is more extraordinary still, that Mr. M. should bring in Mr. Shepard as a friend to his external covenant, when the piece he refers to, (p. 61.) is not wrote on Mr. M.'s scheme, but on a scheme essentially different; and when Mr. Shepard, in his sermons on the parable of the ten virgins has so plainly declared his mind. These are his very words: attend to them, candid reader, and say, was Mr. Shepard in Mr. M.'s scheme?
'We may see hence one just ground of that diligent and narrow search and trial, churches here do or should make of all those whom they receive to be fellow-members. The Lord Jesus will make a very strict search and examination of wise and foolish, when he comes, and will put a difference between them then. May not men nor churches imitate the Lord Jesus according to their light now? If indeed all the congregation of the baptised were holy, then, as Korah said, they take too much upon them. If Christ at his coming, would make neither examination, nor separation, not only of people baptised at large, but of professors, and glorious professors of his truth and name; if churches were not set to discern between harlots and virgins, foolish virgins and wise, as much as in them lies, that so some of the glory of Christ may be seen in his churches here, as well as at the last day; then the gate might be opened wide, and flung off the hinges too, for all comers; and you might call the churches of Christ the inn and tavern of Christ to receive all strangers, if they will pay for what they call for, and bear scot and lot in the town, and not the house and temple of Christ only to entertain his friends. But, (beloved,) the church hath the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and what they bind and loose, following the example and rule of Christ, is bound and loosed in