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THE LOVELYS, THE WORTHYS, MR. LOVEGOOD, AND
ON THE DOCTRINE OF JUSTIFICATION, AND ON DR. OR
DERLY'S SENTIMENTS ON THAT POINT.
FTER the Lovelys had continued above a week
at Mr. Merryman's, they returned to BrookfieldHall, and were again received with the accustomed hospitality of the house. It is with some regret, that for the sake of brevity, the conversation of Mr. Merryman, Dr. Orderly, and the Lovelys, while at Sandover, must be omitted ; though from a certain congeniality of mind subsisting between Mr. Lovely and Mr. Merryman, it might have proved entertain- ing and good. The substance however, of what then passed, will be found in the conversation which took place at Brookfield-Hall, on the return of the Lovelys from Sandover.
On the next evening they retired to the menagery. for their tea, where a variety of the feathered tribe came around them, giving a sweet resemblance of the fearless state of creation, before the human race themselves, with other creatures, became ferocious by the fall. Mr. Lovegood, and the family of the Considerates, from Mapleton, were also of the party.
Wor. [To Mr. Lovely.] I am very happy Sir, to see Mrs. Lovely look so much better, and that she appears so cheerful after her excursion to Sandover.
Lov. Sir, it is impossible to be otherwise than happy with Mr. Merryman: he is to be sure a most pleasant and engaging creature : and he is almost adored among his neighbours, though he tells us, he
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was very dissipated, [to Mr. Lovegood] till after he was reformed by your preaching Sir.
Loveg. Ob Sir! had it been merely by my preach ing, others who heard the same, might have been reformed as well as Mr. Merryman; but a work of that sort could never have been accomplished, had even “ Paul planted, and Apollos watered, unless God bad given the increase.”
Lov. Yes Sir, but I suppose there must have been within him some of the native powers of inherent virtue, which were in a measure buried by depraved habits, and bad examples, and which were afterwards excited in him by your zealous preaching ; whereby through the grace of God, in conjunction with his good resolutions, he was enabled to reform.
Loveg. Surely Sir, you have not imported these strange, dark, mixed notions of human goodness and Divine Grace from Sandover?
Lov. Oh no Sir, but Mr. Merryman, (and I greatly admire his liberal and candid disposition,) when I told him that I and my wife should like to have an interview with Dr. Orderly, gave us a letter of recommendation to him : and I can assure you Sir, we met with very different treatment at the Doctor's, from what I received from Mr. Dolittle.
Loveg. O Sir, the Doctor is a most excellent character; there are few like him in the present day. It seems some years ago, there were many others of the same family scattered up and down the country, but there has been a sad mortality among them; and the present generation is very thin.
Wor. Were not Mr. Regular, and Mr. Decent, and old Dr. Decorum of the same family?
Lov. Yes Sir, I have heard the Doctor mention the names of those divines; but he says of the present generation who have succeeded them, though they are very anxious to keep up the family names, are but a spurious breed, and not worthy to be compared to the former. Now Sir, I hope you cannot be surprised that I should be influenced by the religion of so good a man. I think you are going too far one way, and I was going too much the other ; and the good Doctor has told me of a middle way, and I seem to like that best.
that too many
Wor. Ah Sir! I travelled that middle way once, till I found it no way at all. In short, when I was in it I was bewildered as in a labyrinth, and I thought I should never have got out of it.
Lov. Really Sir, I think the Doctor intermixed faith and works together in a very judicious manner.
Loveg. I am afraid while the Doctor was making up his mixture, he sadly contradicted the language of St. Paul: “If by grace, then it is no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace: but if it be of works, then it is no more grace; otherwise work is no more work.” So that it should appear, as though the Apostle was not quite so fond of mixtures as the Doctor.
Lov. But Sir, before you find fault with the Doctor's notions, give me leave to state them to the best of my recollection. Now I remember he said, that God had made two covenants with man, the covenant of works and the covenant of grace; that nian by the fall broke the covenant of works; that afterwards God entered into another covenant with man, called the covenant of grace : now I think Sir, as far as this, the Doctor agrees with you and Mr. Merryman.
Loveg. Not altogether Sir, if the Doctor supposes God entered into covenant with man in his fallen state. It never can be admitted, that God, the eternal Sovereign, could enter into such a covenant with a set of rebels. The covenant was not made between God and fallen man, but between God the Father, and God the Son, even the man Christ Jesus, who became the substitute for our sinful race; or, to give it you directly in Bible language, he became the Surety of a better testameni,” or, the “ Mediator of a better covenant, established upon better promises." Thus " he suffered the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God."