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and that they must look at such a character in themselves, and must make such a pretence.
9. Since Mr. Williams abundantly allows that visible Christians, must “ Be believed in charity to be truly pious ; and that they are such as have the moral image of Christ appearing in them, and supposed to be in them, and that they are to be loved on that account:" Therefore very impertinent and inconsistent is the opposition he makes to my ninth argument, from the nature of that brotherly love required towards all visible Christians; which was to shew, that visible Christians by the rule of Christ were to be apprehended to be true Christians.
10. In like manner, vain and to no purpose is the opposition he makes to my tenth argument, from the Nature of sacramental actions, supposed in their intent and signification to be a solemn profession of those things wherein real piety consists, viz. a cordial acceptance of Christ and his benefits ; from thence arguing, that a profession of these things is necessary; and so inferring that those who perform these actions, should suppose themselves truly to accept of Christ : Since both these things are in effect granted, that communicants must judge that they have sanctifying grace, and also that they must profess gospel holiness, a compliance with the call of the gospel, and falling in with the terms of salvation proposed, &c.
11. In vain also is the opposition he makes to my eleventh argument, from 1 Cor. xi. 28.“ Let a man examine himself ; and so let him eat.” Inferring from thence, that a man ought to inquire concerning such a qualification in himself, as grace, in order to know whether he may come to the sacrament of the Lord's supper.
Since Mr. Williams himself plainly supposes this very thing, “ That men ought to look at such a qualification in themselves, as grace, and to inquire whether they have it, in order to determine whether they may present themselves to Christian sacraments."
12. If it be true, according to Mr. Williams's representation of his own scheme, “ That persons may not be admitted to sacraments, but under a notion of their being truly god, iy, and with respect to such a character appearing on them ; And that persons themselves had need to look at such a qualification in themselves, and inquire whether they have it, in order to determine whether they may come to sacraments;" it must be because if they find they have it not, they may not come, or (which is the same thing) it is not lawful for them to come. For it would be ridiculous to say that others must look at such a qualification in them, and must not admit them but from respect to such a character on them ; and that they themselves also must look at such a qualification in themselves, and inquire whether they have it in order to determine whether they may come : When yet they may come whether they have it or no, and have as much of a lawsul right without it, as with it. So that Mr. Williams has in effect determined against himself the grand point, which he himself insists on, as the point in dispute, according to the true state of the question. And therefore,
13. It follows from the foregoing concessions, that Mr. Williams is inconsistent with himself in all his
arguments, that men may come to sacraments without such a qualification or character as that of true piety, “ Because God has give en no certain rule by which sacraments may be restrained to such ;* or Because that otherwise none might come but those that know they have such a character ;t or because the contrary doctrine tends to bring saints into great perplexities in their attendance on sacraments ;ť or from the lawfulness of unregenerate men's attending other duties."|| If there be any force in this arguing from other duties to an attendance on sacraments, then the argument will infer, that men must not be admitted to other duties, but under the notion of their being truly godly, and from respect to such a character appear. ing on them, &c.—as Mr. Williams insists with regard to Christian sacraments. And so if these things which Mr. Williams concedes and asserts, are true, in vain is all arguing from the like tendency in sacraments to convert men,
See Mr. Williams's book p, 106. + Ibid, p. 108. I p. 120. || p. 123.
as in other duties :"S And in vain is it to argue the lawfulness of men's coming without this character, “ from their obliga. lion to perform external covenant duties, and to carry themselves like saints :"** And in vain is all arguing from pretended bad consequences of the contrary doctrine.ft
14. The opposition Mr. Williams makes to my argument from Isa. Ivi. especially those words v. 5, 6. “ The sons of the stranger that join themselves to the Lord, to love the Lord and be his servants....will I bring into my holy mountain”. To prove that none have a right in the sight of God 10 the privileges of the Christian church, but those that love God, and are truly pious ; I say, the opposition Mr. Williams makes to this argument is frivolous, since he in effect grants the same thing (as above) yea, does expressly allow, that they must make pretences of being God's real friends, and loving God more than the world. p. 36.
15. If it be true as Mr. Williams allows and abundantly asserts, “ That in order to persons' being admitted to holy communion in special ordinances, the scripture has determined, that there must be an open profession and declaration of a PERSON's believing, or of a personal believing, in Christ (which is the same thing) and of an hearty consent to the terms of the covenant of grace,* and that therein must be a profession of gospel holiness ;" then avails nothing to the contrary that great argument of his, taken from the state of baptized infants, That “ They are already in the church, and in covenant, and are members in complete standing," &c. And that therefore no owning the covenant or professing godliness can be de. inanded of them :f And in vain is all that he has said to prove this in his discourse on the Wheat and Tares. I
16. To what purpose is it, to object from the parable now mentioned, That the church ought not to go about to make a distinction between wheat and tares, in their admission of members, by pretending to discern the difference? When it
p. 126. 1
128. ** p. 131. ++ p. 131. * See how Mr. Williams expresses himself p. 5. + See especially, p. a. # p. 99, 100.
is so apparent, that there is no pretence to any proper discerniog in the case, nor any other distinction pleaded, than what is made by a judgment of charity. And when, according to Mr. Williams's own scheme, churches are obliged to make a distinction, in the rational judgment they pass, and to admit none but what they judge to be true saints; so that those who are wheat, in the eye of their judgment, only are to be admitted, and such as are tares, in the eye of their judgment, are to be excluded.
17. What is said by Mr. Williams of the visible church's being the school of Christ, and men's being admitted into it as « Disciples or scholars, some of them in order to attain grace,” (p. 81, and 83) is nothing to the purpose, if it be as Mr. Williams allows and asserts, that in order to be admitted into this school, they must be supposed in a reasonable judge ment, to have this attainment already, and make a pretence to it, and a solemn profession of it, and must give moral evidence that they have it, and must be admitted into the school under no other notion than that of their being already possessed of it.
18. If it be as Mr. Williams expressly says, “ That persons are not visible saints without a credible profession, visibility and moral evidence, not only of moral sincerity, but true holiness,” (p. 139.) then all is wholly insignificant and vain, that is said to prove, that the children of Israel were visible saints without any evidence of such holiness, by reason of the idolatry and gross and open wickedness of vast multitudes of them who are yet called God's people : And so likewise, all that is said to prove that the members of the primitive Church had no other visibility of saintship than they, because they are grafted into the same olive : And also all that Mr. Williams has said to prove, that many of the members of the primitive churches were as grossly wicked as they.
19. Since according to Mr. Williams the terms of admission to the Jewish ordinances, were « the same as to Christian erdinances, the like profession and the same visibility of saintship required and no other ;" as he strenuously asserts, p. 57, 61, 65; it will therefore follow from his foregoing concessions
and assertions, That none were by God's appointment, té come to the passover, and to have their children circumcised, but “ such as openly professed and declared tbat they were convinced of the truth of God's word, and believed it with all their hearts ; and professed a hearty consent to the terms of the covenant of grace : Such as covenanted with God with iheir whole hearts, and gave up all their hearts and lives to Christ, such as subjected themselves to Christ with their whole hearts, and gave up themselves to him to be ruled, taught, and led by him; such as with all their hearts cast themselves on the mercy of God to enable them to keep covenant ; such as professed to love God above the world, and professed more than common faith and moral sincerity, even true holiness, real piety ; and who gave moral evidence, that they had such a qualification; and were received to the passover, &c. under that notion, and with respect to such a character appearing in them, and apprehended to be in them.” And if these things are so, what is become of the argument from the passover and circumcision against the necessity of the qualifications ! have insisted on !
20. To what purpose does Mr. Williams insist (p. 98) " That we read not a word in scripture about John the Baptist's making any inquiry, whether the people he baptized made a credible profession of true picty?” When he himself insists that in order to admission to Christian sacraments, “ Men must make a credible profession of true piety.” And why does he urge (p. 96, 97) That the profession the people made which John baptized, did not imply that they had saving repentance, but only an engagement to repent, hereafter? When he himself holds, that in order to admission to sacraments, men must profess'something more than common grace, and not only promise it hereafter.
21. It makes nothing to any point in controversy between Mr. Williams and me, whether Judas partook of the Lord's supper or no, since according to Mr. Williams's own forementioned principles, as well as mine, he could not be admitted there “ under any other notion than that of being truly pious, and from respect to such a character appearing on him,