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your side ; but the calling, spoken of in the 17th article, is of the former kind ; that is, of Christian people chosen out of mankind; not of Christians out of Christians : besides, whatever it is, it is such as will consist with the general promises of God, made to all Christians. As such, we hold with it ; and so may all sober people. You blame us and despise us, for not having assurance ; but we have the assurance of faith, and the assurance of hope; and the Scripture teaches no other. But there are many in these days, wlio will be satisfied with nothing but inward revelations, and voices from Heaven.
I have heard you talk much about doctrines of grace ; as if our doctrines were not of grace ; but if we inquire what your doctrines of grace are, we shall find they are doctrines, to which none of the means of grace are necessary : and the promises of God follow the means he has appointed, which means of his cannot be had without his church ; therefore schism has no greater support than in what you falsely call the doctrines of grace. Take away these, and our new church-makers have no ground to stand upon. You say the grace of God is free ; understanding that it can act with the instituted means, or without them. So it can; for God is
not bound by the laws by which he binds us. Grace, with respect to Him, the Giver, is free ; but if we, therefore, think it is free to us, the receivers, we shall introduce that confusion under which grace itself will soon be lost; which is the thing Satan wishes to see.
Extraordinary commissions, and revelations from the spirit of God, are always attended with extraordinary gifts; such as, speaking with tongues, gifts of healing, miracles of various kinds. The man, who pretends to an extraordinary commission, and has it not, is one of the most dangerous men upon earth, whether he succeeds or not. If he succeeds, it is as an impostor ; if he does not, he gives the enemies of the Lord occasion to blaspheme, and makes Christianity the scorn of the wrold, when he is detected. The false miracles of Papists gave advantage to Infidels abroad, till they extirpated the Gospel ; and the pretensions of fanaticism will give the like advantage here, and produce the same effect. Even at this moment we are in a tremendous situation, and have a prospect before us, which cannot be viewed without horror. Without the Church of Christ the religion of Christ will never long subsist; and a Christian is very imperfectly instructed, unless
he understands what perils are to be expected in the latter days; when the Church shall become so degenerate that men shall say, the Church of Christ is not his Church ; it is under such bad regulation as a society, that they can make a better for themselves. They shall make sport with its corruptions and its misfortunes ; over which wise and good men will rather weep and lament (I would to God they all did so !) as Christ shed tears over Jerusalem. In such
tears, there is true brotherly love, which needs i no apology.
With respect to the present moment, in particular, if the doctrines of Calvin are increased of late, as reported, it is to be feared an enemy is at the bottom more than we know of. The Church is so calumniated and exposed on all sides, as if there were some latent design on foot to ruin it. Calvinism is a convenient engine against the government ; perhaps the most convenient of all others; and will be promoted, for that end, even by those who have no religion at all. If our enemies at home or abroad can destroy us, they will not be nice in the choice of the instruments. That which destroyed it once may destroy it again, and will, unless the Church be supported in this critical
time against their assaults. Let us remember what a good man once said, “If the King sup« ports the Church, the Church will support “ the King, and God will support both.” Thus it will be, unless the time be now come, when all are to perish in one common ruin; which may God forbid ! and I trust you will join in this prayer with your Christian friend,
PHILALETHES. February 1800.
SUBJECT OF PRESENT CONCERN.
Under the cloak of W’higgism are concealed factions, which, if
suffered to gain ground, would prove no less dangerous to the House of Hanover than to the Church and Monarchy.
Dr. Jablonski's Letter to the King of Prussia
dated London, March 17th, 1711.
THE situation of our public affairs at this time may have opened the minds of people to receive those friendly informations, which they would have rejected some years ago as the insinuations of an enemy; it is therefore now a