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sions, and offences, contrary to the doctrine they had received, and to avoid them;" notwithstanding such may attempt, even with “ good words, and fair speeches, to deceive the hearts of the simple.”
He further illustrated, how strongly the Apostle noticed the danger of such a spirit, from the advice he gave to Timothy, where after having given the same directions to him, as are to be found in all his other epistles ; to attend to social and relative duties, he thus remarks, “ If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the doctrine which is according to godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but doating about questions, and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness ;"* and no wonder that he should further say, “ from such withdraw thyself.”
After a few observations further on this head, he next exhorted his beloved son in the gospel ; by no means to fear a full, and explicit avowal of those most glorious truths whereby the free justification and acceptance of the ruined sinner, are at once secured, through the imputed righteousness, and finished salvation of our Redeemer, without any previous terms, conditions, qualifications, or prerequisites to be performed by us ; and especially as from these principles, he might best maintain the creed of our personal sanctification, which must be effectually accomplished in all those who believe whereby alone the omnipotent agency of that divine Spirit, is restored to us, so as to make us “ dead unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ !" He lastly gave a promise, that within a fortnight, he should come over to Sandover, in order
Though the latter charge is by no means equally true against all, yet many of that stamp, in modern times, may be mentioned, and was most remarkably exemplified in a certain coal-heaver, who during his life time, could ride about the country in a coach and four, with two out riders to attend hiin
to assist in correcting that profane disputatious spirit, which some of corrupted minds, were striving to introduce.
Immediately as Mr. Merryman knew the grace of God in truth, he established a week-day evening lecture. Mr. Lovegood naturally chose to be with him at that time, that he might avail himself of that opportunity, to deliver his sentiments on this important subject. Men that have itching ears, though they cannot endure sound doctrine, yet cannot altogether keep away from hearing it. For it seems that most of the little party were then present, when Mr. Lovegood preached an admirable sermon on this text,
Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you, will perform it until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil. i. 6. Most forcibly did he shew, that all the good work which is to be accomplished in us, is in consequence of that great work of redemption, which Christ has already accomplished for us, that we do not entitle ourselves to justification, or add to it, by what we are, or what we do; but that we are entitled to sanctification, through wbat Christ is for us ; and that the plain, and evident meaning of the text is, that the sanctification of the elect, is a progressive work, and that it manifested the true unadulterated meaning, of the perseverance of the saints, by such saints being enabled to persevere in the ways of holiness unto the end, for that " he that persevereth to the end, shall be saved” not for the sake of this perseverance, but because they do persevere, as an evidence that their hearts are right with God. That he should be ashamed to suppose, such a self-evident proposition, could need what is called proof, yet as some bad gone so far, as to deny a growth in sanctification, or rather to deny the need of it altogether ; he asked, how it could be possible to deny the need of a growth, when we were according to John, to grow from being little children, to be young men ; and afterwards, fathers in God? or further as Peter expresses himself,
as new born
babes desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby,” or when the growth of a christian, is compared to the growth of vegitation, like corn, first in the blade, then the ear, and then the full corn in the ear, and again, that we should grow as the lily, and the vine, and as calves in the stall; and if some might attempt to evade the force of such expressions, supposing that they may refer to the growth of the Kingdom of Christ. at large, like the growth of the grain of mustard seed, the absurdity of this is refuted, by asking the question ; how is it possible for a forest to grow, if each tree of the forest does not also
grow; while all this is further evidenced when every individual believer, is directed to grow in every individual grace. That our Lord once reproved his disciples on this subject, “ye of little faith, wherefore did ye doubt;" and if they had not felt the justice of the reproof, they had not prayed, “Lord increase our faith.” So likewise, the Apostle mentions the faith of the Thessalonians, which at first might have been similar to that of others, yet now says he, “ your faith groweth exceedingly.” Just so also, respecting the grace of love, the same Apostle prays ; " the Lord make you to increase in love," and further, “ and this I pray, that your love
may abound yet more and more ;" and for this purpose, “ that ye may be filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the praise and glory of God." Then again respecting hope,"
that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.” Nor are these things mentioned respecting these three leading graces of faith, hope, and love, as belonging to the christian character only; but that the whole assemblage of them, should be divinely enlarged, for that “God is able to make all grace abound in us,” that “ these things may be in us, and abound :” that as there were some who brought forth thirty fold, there were others that brought forth sixty, and others a hundred fold, and that the same was to be understood, when our Lord said, herein is my father glorified, that ye bear much
fruit. That the same idea of abounding, increasing and growing in sanctification, and personal holiness, was evidently held forth, when we are directed to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ;" yea, that we should grow up into him in all things. And that as the Church at large, “ groweth into a holy temple in the Lord,” so also all spiritual believers," as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood ;" and such was the happy tate of those, when “ grace abounded," and when
great grace was upon them” all. And that it was very horrid to damp the expectations of the children of God, in their hopes of that good, which was so copiously promised to the elect of God, before whom alone,“ the path of the just was placed,” which was “ to shine more and more, unto the perfect day.”
Here Mr. Lovegood became, contrary to his usual swavity, exceedingly warm, acknowledging that while every page in the sacred volume, refuted the de-. testable heresy, he bad dwelt too long in exposing a daring attack, upon' a self-evident proposition, blasphemously contradicting that most solemn command, * be ye holy, for I am holy.”
After this excellent sermon, young Mr. Malapert who was just articled to a Lawyer, and was once a great admirer of Mr. Merryman, but lately perverted by these new seseders, wentout of the Church in a terrible rage; and immediately wrote to Mr. Merryman, blaming him that he should allow such a doctrine, as progressive sanctification, to be preached in his pulpit; and that he was ready to vindicate the doctrine of imputed sanctification, before all its opponents, against such legal mixtures as Mr. Lovegood had advanced. Mr. Merryman well knew, that though Mr. Malapert was a good hand at prating, and at prating only ; yet he did not refuse the challenge, sest it should be misconstrued into a sort of victory ; and though he might very safely have entered into the contest single handed, with sach a vain, self conVOL. II.
ceited antagonist; he was not sorry that Mr. Lovegood was at hand, to speak for himself.
The young man accordingly came the next morning, where at the same time, he happened to meet a very good old man, Mr. Savory and his cousin Mr. John, who had been driven from the Baptist con gregation, by the dangerous, and crude doctrines, that had lately been more especially retailed among them.--The Dialogue thus commenced.
Malapert. Well gentleman, I hope you are all well. You must think me a bold young fellow, to attack two such great divines at one stroke. But little David was not afraid, even of a great Goliath, because he knew that he had God on his side. I have been living on milk for babes long enough, and I begin to want some strong meat ; and now the Lord has sent it to us. I have lately had a vew light into some passages of scripture, which I never understood before. [To Mr. Lovegood.] And when you sir, understand the gospel better, you will not give us such Jong harangues on the need of personal sanctification, or a growth in grace, as we had from you last night, but all this, must be expected, from such as deny imputed sanctification, and you know what the Apostle says on that subject, that “ Christ is made unto us sanctification.”
Loveg. If we poor babes, may speak for ourselves, some things may be made ours by imputation, other things can alone be made ours by impartation. It shali be most fully admitted, that our criminality was made over to him who“suffered the just for the unjust;" and that the whole of his obedience, and sufferings unto death, are made over to us, for our justification unto life, but can I impute my wisdom, to make another wise; as I can impute my money to pay another's debts; is it possible to make knaves honest, by im