An Earnest Appeal to Men of Reason and Religion ...... 1
A Farther Appeal to Men of Reason, &c. PART I. 46
PAaT. II. 136
PART III. 201
A plain Account of the People called Methodists ......... 248
The Nature, Design, and General Rules of the United
Societies in London, Bristol, Kingswood, &c.......... 269
Rules of the Band Societies ............................... 272
Minutes of some late Conversations between the Rev.
Mr. Wesleys and others, in 1744 ....................... 275
Minutes of Several Conversations between the Rev. Mr.
Wesley and others, from the year 1744, to 1789...... 299
The Character of a Methodist ................. ............... 339
A Short History of Methodism ............................. 347
Advice to the Peole called Methodist .................... 351
Advice to the People called Methodists ................... 351
The Principles of a Methodist.. .............................. 359
An Answer to the Rev. Mr. Church's Remarks on the
Rev. Mr. John Wesley's last Journal: In a Letter
to that Gentleman...... ......................... 375
The Principles of a Methodist farther explained: Occa-
sioned by the Rev. Mr. Church's Second Letter to
SMr. Wesley: In a Second Letter to that Gen-
tlem an .................................................... 414
A Letter to the Bishop of London: Occasioned by his
Lordship's late Charge td his Clergy ................. 481
A Letter to a Clergyman ..................................... 496
A Letter to the Rev. Dr. Free ................... ......... 500
A Second Letter to the Rev. Dr. Free........................ 504
A Letter to the Author of The Craftsman," concerning
real Christianity, disparaged under the name of
Methodism ............... ...... ......... 512
An Answer to a Letter published in the Bath Journal ... 514
MEN OF REASON AND RELIGION.
Doth our law judge any man, before it hear him, and know what he doeth?
I John vii. 51.
TO MEN OF REASON AND RELIGION.
1. ALTHOUGH it is with us a very small thing to be judged
of you or of man's judgment," seeing we know God will make
our innocency as clear as the light, and our just dealing as the
noon-day; yet are we ready to give any that are willing to
hear a plain account, both of our principles and actions; as
having "renounced the hidden things of shame," and desiring
nothing more. than by manifestation of the truth to commend
ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God."
2. We see (and who does not ?) the numberless follies and
miseries of our fellow-creatures. We see, on every side, either
men- of no religion at all, or men of a lifeless, formal religion.
We are grieved at the sight; and should greatly rejoice, if by
any means we might convince some that there is a better reli-
gion to be attained,-a religion worthy of God that gave it.
And this we conceive to be no other than love; the love of
God and of all mankind; the loving God with all our heart, and
soul, and strength, as having first loved us, as the fountain of
all the good we have received, and of all we ever hope to
enjoy; and the loving every soul which God hath made, every
man on earth, as our own soul.
3. This love we believe to be the medicine of life, the never-
failing remedy for all the evils of a disordered world, for all the
miseries and vices of men. Wherever this is, there are virtue
and happiness going hand in hand. There is humbleness of
mind, gentleness, long-suffering, the whole image of God; and
at the same time a peace that passeth all understanding, and
joy unspeakable and full of glory.
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind;
Each prayer accepted, and each wish resigned;
Desires composed, affections ever even,
Tears that delight, and sighs that waft to heaven.
4. This religion we long to see established in the world, a
religion of love, and joy, and peace, having its seat in the
AN EARNEST APPEAL TO MEN
inmost soul, but ever showing itself by its fruits, continually
springing forth, not only in all innocence, (for love worketh
no ill to his neighbour,) but likewise in every kind of bene-
ficence, spreading virtue and happiness all around it.
5. This religion have we been following after for many
years, as many know, if they would testify: But all this time,
seeking wisdom, we found it not; we were spending our
strength in vain. And being now under full conviction of this,
we declare it to all mankind; for we desire not that others
should wander out of the way as we have done before them:
But rather that they may profit by our loss, that they may go
(though we did not, having then no man to guide us) the
straight way to the religion of love, even by faith.
6. Now, faith (supposing the Scripture to be of God) is 7rpay-
JLarcov eXeyXo ov 3Xe7roopevwv, the demonstrative evidence of
things unseen," the supernatural evidence of things invisible,
not perceivable by eyes of flesh, or by any of our natural senses
or faculties. Faith is that divine evidence whereby the spiritual
man discerneth God, and the things of God. It is with regard,
to the spiritual world, what sense is with regard to the natural.
It is the spiritual sensation of every soul that is born of God.
7. Perhaps you have not considered it in this view. I will,
then, explain it a little further.
Faith, according to the scriptural account, is the eye of the
new-born soul. Hereby every true believer in God seeth
him who is invisible." Hereby (in a more particular manner,
since life and immortality have been brought to light by the
gospel) he seeth the light of the glory of God in the face of
Jesus Christ;" and beholdeth what manner of love it is
which the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we," who are
born of the Spirit, should be called the sons of God."
It is the ear of the soul, whereby a sinner hears the voice
of the Son of God, and lives;" even that voice which alone
wakes the dead, Son, thy sins are forgiven thee."
It is (if I may be allowed the expression) the palate of the
soul; for hereby a believer "tastes the good word, and the
powers of the world to come; and "hereby he both tastes and
sees that God is gracious," yea, "and merciful to him a sinner."
It is the feeling of the soul, whereby a believer perceives,
through the "power of the Highest overshadowing him," both
the existence and the presence of Him in whom he lives,
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
moves, and has his being;" and indeed the whole invisible
world, the entire system of things eternal. And hereby, in
particular, he feels the love of God shed abroad in his heart."
8. By this faith we are saved from all uneasiness of mind,
from the anguish of a wounded spirit, from discontent, from
fear and sorrow of heart, and from that inexpressible listless-
ness and weariness, both of the world and of ourselves, which
we had so helplessly laboured under for many years; especially
when we were out of the hurry of the world, 4nd sunk into
calm reflection. In this we find that love of God, and of all
mankind, which we had elsewhere sought in vain. This we
know and feel, and therefore cannot but declare, saves every
one that partakes of it, both from sin and misery, from every
unhappy and every unholy temper.
Soft peace she brings, wherever she arrives;
She builds our quiet, as she forms our lives;
Lays the rough paths of peevish nature even,
And opens in each breast a little heaven.
9. If you ask, Why then have not all men this faith? all,
,at least, who conceive it to be so happy a thing? Why do
they not believe immediately? "
We answer, (on the Scripture hypothesis,) It is the gift
of God." No man is able to work it in himself. It is a
work of omnipotence. It requires no less power thus to
quicken a dead soul, than to raise a body that lies in the grave.
It is a new creation; and none can create a soul anew, but
He who at first created the heavens and the earth.
10. May not your own experience teach you this ? Can you
give yourself this faith ? Is it now in your power to see, or hear.
or taste, or feel God ? Have you already, or can you raise
in yourself, any perception of God, or of an invisible world?
I suppose you do not deny that there is an invisible world;
you will not charge it in poor old Hesiod to Christian pre-
judice of education, when he says, in those well-known words,
"Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth
Unseen, whether we wake, or if we sleep."
Now, is there any power in your soul whereby you discern
either these, or Him that created them ? Or, can all your wis-
dom and strength open an intercourse between yourself and the
world of spirits ? Is it in your power to burst the veil that is
AN EARNEST APPEAL TO MEN
on your heart, and let in the light of eternity ? You know it
is not. You not only do not, but cannot, by your own
strength, thus believe. The more you labour so to do, the
more you will be convinced it is the gift of God."
11. It is the free gift of God, which he bestows, not on those
who are worthy of his favour, not on such as are previously
holy, and so fit to be crowned with all the blessings of his
goodness; but on the ungodly and unholy; on those who till
that hour were fit only for everlasting destruction; those in
whom was no good thing, and whose only plea was, God be
merciful to me, a sinner !" No merit, no goodness in man
precedes the forgiving love of God. His pardoning mercy
supposes nothing in us but a sense of mere sin and misery;
and to all who see, and feel, and own their wants, and their
utter inability to remove them, God freely gives faith, for the
sake of Him in whom he is always well pleased."
12. This is a short, rude sketch of the doctrine we teach.
These are our fundamental principles; and we spend our lives
in confirming others herein, and in a behaviour suitable to them.
Now, if you are a reasonable man, although you do not
believe the Christian system to be of God, lay your hand upon
your breast, and calmly consider what it is that you can here
condemn? What evil have we done to you, that you should join
the common cry against us? Why should you say, Away with
such fellows from the earth ; it is not fit that they should live? "
13. It is true, your judgment does not fall in with ours.
We believe the Scripture to be of God. This you do not
believe. And how do you defend yourselves against them who
urge you with the guilt of unbelief? Do you not say, Every
man must judge according to the light he has," and that if
he be true to this, he ought not to be condemned? Keep
then to this, and turn the tables. Must not we also judge
according to the light we have ? You can in nowise condemn
us without involving yourselves in the same condemnation.
According to the light we have, we cannot but believe the
Scripture is of God; and while we believe this, we dare not
turn aside from it, to the right hand or to the left.
14. Let us consider this point a little farther. You yourself
believe there is a God. You have the witness of this in your
own breast. Perhaps sometimes you tremble before him. You
believe there is such a thing as right and wrong; that there is
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
a difference between moral good and evil. Of consequence you
must allow, there is such a thing as conscience : I mean, that
every person, capable of reflection, is conscious to himself, when
he looks back on anything he has done, whether it be good or
evil. You must likewise allow, that every man is to be guided
by his own conscience, not another's. Thus far, doubtless,
you may go, without any danger of being a volunteer in faith.
15. Now then, be consistent with yourself. If there be a
God, who, being just and good, (attributes inseparable from
the very idea of God,) is a rewarder of them that diligently
seek him," ought we not to do whatever we believe will be
acceptable to so good a Master ? Observe: If we believe, if
we are fully persuaded of this in our mind, ought we not thus
to seek him, and that with all diligence ? Else, how should
we expect any reward at his hands?
16. Again: Ought we not to do what we believe is morally
good, and to abstain from what we judge is evil? By good I
mean, conducive to the good of mankind, tending to advance
peace and good-will among men, promotive of the happiness
of our fellow-creatures; and by evil, what is contrary thereto.
Then surely you cannot condemn our endeavouring, after our
power, to make mankind happy; (I now speak only with
regard to the present world;) our striving, as we can, to
lessen their sorrows, and to teach them, in whatsoever state
they are, therewith to be content.
17'. Yet again: are we to be guided by our own conscience,
or by that of other men ? You surely will not say that any
man's conscience can preclude mine. You, at least, will not
plead for robbing us of what you so strongly claim for your-
selves: I mean, the right of private judgment, which is
indeed unalienable from reasonable creatures. You well
know, that, unless we faithfully follow the dictates of our
own mind, we cannot have a conscience void of offence to-
ward God and toward man.
18. Upon your own principles, therefore, you must allow us
to be, at least, innocent. Do you find any difficulty in this ?
You speak much of prepossession and prejudice; beware you
are not entangled therein yourselves! Are you not pre-
judiced against us, because we believe and strenuously defend
that system of doctrines which you oppose? Are you not
enemies to us, because you take it for granted we are so to
AN EARNEST APPEAL TO MEN
you ? Nay, God forbid I once saw one, who, from a plen-
tiful fortune, was reduced to the lowest extremity. He was
lying on a sick bed, in violent pain, without even conveni-
ent food, or one friend to comfort him: So that when his
merciful landlord, to complete all, sent one to take his bed from
under him, I was not surprised at his attempt to put an end to
so miserable a life. Now, when I saw that poor man weltering
in his blood, could I be angry at him ? Surely, no. No more
can I at you. I can no more hate than I can envy you. I can
only lift up my heart to God for you, (as I did then for him,)
and, with silent tears, beseech the Father of Mercies, that he
would look on you in your blood, and say unto you, Live."
19. "Sir," said that unhappy man, at my first interview
with him, I scorn to deceive you or any man. You must
not tell me of your Bible; for I do not believe one word of
it. I know there is a God; and believe he is all in all, the
Anima mundi,* the
3Mens agitans molem, et magno se corpore miscens.t
But farther than this I believe not: All is dark; my thought is
lost. But I hear," added he, "you preach to a great number
of people every night and morning. Pray, what would you do
with them ? Whither would you lead them? What religion
do you preach? What is it good for?" I replied, "I do
preach to as many as desire to hear, every night and morning.
You ask, what I would do with them: I would make them
virtuous and happy, easy in themselves, and useful to others.
Whither would I lead them ? To heaven; to God the Judge,
the lover of all, and to Jesus the Mediator of the new cove-
nant. What religion do I preach? The religion of love; the
law of kindness brought to light by the gospel. What is
this good for? To make all who receive it enjoy God and
themselves: To make them like God; lovers of all; contented
in their lives; and crying out at their death, in calm assu-
rance, O grave, where is thy victory Thanks be unto God,
who giveth me the victory, through my Lord Jesus Christ.'"
20. Will you object to such a religion as this, that it is not
reasonable? Is it not reasonable then to love God? Hath
he not given you life, and breath, and all things? Does he
The soul of the world.
+ The all-informing soul,
Which spreads through the vast mass, and moves the whole.
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
not continue his love to you, filling your heart with food and
gladness? What have you which you have not received of
him? And does not love demand a return of love? Whether,
therefore, you do love God or no, you cannot but own it is
reasonable so to do; nay, seeing he is the Parent of all good,
to love him with all your heart.
21. Is it not reasonable also to love our neighbour, every
man whom God hath made? Are we not brethren, the
children of one Father? Ought we not, then, to love one
another? And should we only love them that love us? Is
that acting like our Father which is in heaven ? He causeth
his sun to shine on the evil and on the good, and sendeth
rain on the just and on the unjust. And can there be a more
equitable rule than this: "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as
thyself?" You will plead for the reasonableness of this; as
also for that golden rule, (the only adequate measure of bro-
therly love, in all our words and actions,) Whatsoever ye
would that men should do unto you, even so do unto them ? "
22. Is it not reasonable, then, that, as we have opportunity,
we should do good unto all men; not only friends, but
enemies; not only to the deserving, but likewise to the evil and
unthankful? Is it not right that all our life should be one con-
tinued labour of love? If a day passes without doing good, may
one not well say, with Titus, Amici, diem perdidi! And is it
enough, to feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to visit those
who are sick or in prison ? Should we have no pity for those
Who sigh beneath guilt's horrid stain,
The worst confinement, and the heaviest chain ? *
Should we shut up our compassion toward those who are of all
men most miserable, because they are miserable by their own
fault ? If we have found a medicine to heal even that sick-
ness, should we not, as we have freely received it, freely give ?
Should we not pluck them as brands out of the fire ? the fire
of lust, anger, malice, revenge? Your inmost soul answers,
" It should be done; it is reasonable in the highest degree."
Well, this is the sum of our preaching, and of our lives, our
enemies themselves being the judges. If therefore you allow,
that it is reasonable to love God, to love mankind, and to do
good to all men, you cannot but allow that religion which we
preach and live to be agreeable to the highest reason.
My friends, I have lost a day.
AN EARNEST APPEAL TO MEN
23. Perhaps, all this you can bear. It is tolerable enough;
and if we spoke only of being saved by love, you should have
no great objection: But you do not comprehend what we say
of being saved by faith. I know you do not. You do not in
any degree comprehend what we mean by that expression:
Have patience then, and I will tell you yet again. By those
words, '"We are saved by faith," we mean, that the moment a
man receives that faith which is above described, he is saved
from doubt and fear, and sorrow ofheart,bya peace that passes
all understanding; from the heaviness of a wounded spirit, by
joy unspeakable; and from his sins, of whatsoever kind they were,
from hisvicious desires, as well as words and actions, by the love
of God, and of all mankind, then shed abroad in his heart.
24. We grant, nothing is moreunreasonable, than to imagine
that such mighty effects as these can be wrought by that poor,
empty, insignificant thing, which the world calls faith, and you
among them. But supposing there be such a faith on the
earth as that which the Apostle speaks of, such an intercourse
between God and the soul, what is too hard for such a faith ?
You yourselves may conceive that all things are possible to
him that" thus believeth; to him that thus walks with
God," that is now a citizen of heaven, an inhabitant of eternity.
If therefore you will contend with us, you must change the
ground of your attack. You must flatly deny there is any faith
upon earth: But perhaps this you might think too large a step.
You cannot do this without a secret condemnation in your
own breast. O that you would at length cry to God for that
heavenly gift! whereby alone this truly reasonable religion, this
beneficent love of God and man, can be planted in your heart.
25. If you say, But those that profess this faith are the
most unreasonable of all men; I ask, Who are those that
profess this faith ? Perhaps you do not personally know such
a man in the world. Who are they that so much as profess
to have this "evidence of things not seen?" that profess to
" see Him that is invisible," to hear the voice of God, and to
have his Spirit ever witnessing with their spirits, that they
are the children of God? I fear you will find few that even
profess this faith, among the large numbers of those who are
26. However, there are enough that profess themselves
Christians." Yea, too many, God knoweth; too many that
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
confute their vain professions by the whole tenor of their lives.
I will allow all you can say on this head, and perhaps more than
all. It is now some years since I was engaged unawares in a
conversation with a strong reasoner, who at first urged the
wickedness of the American Indians, as a bar to our hope of
converting them to Christianity. But when I mentioned their
temperance, justice, and veracity, (according to the accounts
I had then received,) it was asked, Why, if those Heathens
are such men as these, what will they gain by being made
Christians ? What would they gain by being such Christians
as we see everywhere round about us ? I could not deny
they would lose, not gain, by such a Christianity as this. Upon
which she added, Why, what else do you mean by Christian-
ity ?" My plain answer was, What do you apprehend to be
more valuable than good sense, good nature, and good man-
ners ? All these are contained, and that in the highest degree,
in what I mean by Christianity. Good sense (so called) is but a
poor, dim shadow of what Christians call faith. Good nature
is only a faint, distant resemblance of Christian charity.
And good manners, if of the most finished kind that nature,
assisted by art, can attain to, is but a dead picture of that
holiness of conversation which is the image of God visibly
expressed. All these, put together by the art of God, I call
Christianity." "Sir, if this be Christianity," said my
opponent in amaze, I never saw a Christian in my life."
27. Perhaps it is the same case with you. If so, I am grieved
for you, and can only wish, till you do see a living proof of this,
that you would not say you see a Christian. For this is scrip-
tural Christianity, and this alone. Whenever, therefore, you
see an unreasonable man, you see one who perhaps calls him-
self by that name, but is no more a Christian than he is an
angel. So far as he departs from true, genuine reason, so far
he departs from Christianity. Do not say, "This is only
asserted, not proved." It is undeniably proved by the original
charter of Christianity. We appeal to this, to the written word.
If any man's temper, or words, or actions, are contradictory to
right reason, it is evident to a demonstration, they are contra-
dictory to this. Produce any possible or conceivable instance,
and you will find the fact is so. The lives, therefore, of those
who are called Christians, is no just objection to Christianity.
28. We join with you then in desiring a religion founded on
AN EARNEST APPEAL TO MEN
reason, and every way agreeable thereto. But one question still
remains to be asked, What do you mean by reason ? I sup-
pose you mean the eternal reason, or the nature of things; the
nature of God, and the nature of mai, with the relations neces-
sarily subsisting between them. Why, this is the very religion
we preach; a religion evidently founded on, and every way
agreeable to, eternal reason, to the essential nature of things.
Its foundation stands on the nature of God and the nature of
man, together with their mutual relations. And it is every way
suitable thereto ; to the nature of God; for it begins in know-
ing him: And where, but in the true knowledge of God, can
you conceive true religion to begin? It goes on ih loving
him and all mankind; for you cannot but imitate whom you
love: It ends in serving him; in doing his will; in obeying
him who-m we know and love.
29. It is every way suited to the nature of man; for it
Begins in a man's knowing himself; knowing himself to be
What he really is,-foolish, vicious, miserable. It goes on to
Point out the remedy for this, to make him truly wise, vir-
tuous, and happy; as every thinking mind (perhaps from some
implicit remembrance of what it originally was) longs to be.
It finishes all, by restoring the due relations between God
and man ; by uniting for ever the tender Father, and the grate-
ful, obedient son; the great Lord of all, and the faithful ser-
vant; doing not his own will, but the will of Him that sent him
30. But perhaps by reason you mean the faculty of reason-
ing, of inferring one thing from another.
There are many, it is confessed, (particularly those who are
styled Mystic Divines,) that utterly decry the use of reason,
thus understood, in religion; nay, that condemn all reasoning
concerning the things of God, as utterly destructive of true
But we can in nowise agree with this. We find no author-
ity for it in holy writ. So far from it, that we find there both
our Lord and his Apostles continually reasoning with their
opposers. Neither do we know, in all the productions of ancient
and modern times, such a chain of reasoning or argumentation,
so close, so solid, so regularly connected, as the Epistle to the
Hebrews. And the strongest reasoner whom we have ever
observed (excepting only Jesus of Nazareth) was that Paul of
Tarsus; the same who has left that plain direction for all Chris-
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
tians: -' In malice," or wickedness, "be ye children; but in
understanding," or reason, be ye men."
31. We therefore not only allow, but earnestly exhort, all?
who seek after true religion, to use all the reason which God
hath given them, in searching out the things of God. But
your reasoning justly, not only on this, but on any subject
whatsoever, pre-supposes true judgments already formed,
whereon to ground your argumentation. Else, you know,
you will stumble at every step; because exfalso non sequitur
verum, it is impossible, if your premises are false, to infer
from them true conclusions."
32. You know, likewise, that before it is possible for you to
formga true judgmentof them, it is absolutely necessary that
you have a clear apprehension of the things of God, and that
yourideas thereof be all fixed, distinct, and determinatS. (And
seeing our ideas are not innate, but must all originally come
from our senses,,it is certainly necessary that you have senses
capable of discerning objects of this kind: Not those only
which are called natural senses, which in this respect profit
nothing, as being altogether incapable of discerning objects of
a spiritual kind; but spiritual senses, exercised to discern
spiritual good and evil./ It is necessary that you have the hear-
ing ear, and the seeing eye, emphatically so called; that you
have a new class of senses opened in your soul, not depending
on organs of flesh and blood, to be the evidence of things not
seen," as your bodily senses are of visible things; to be the
avenues to the invisible world, to discern spiritual objects,
and to furnish you with ideas of what t-Tlf eoutward eye hath/
not seen, neither the ear heard."
33. And till you have these internal senses, till the eyes of
your understanding are opened, you can have no apprehension ,
of divine things, no idea of them at all. Nor, consequently,
till then, can you either judge truly, or reason justly, concern-
ing them; seeing your reason has no ground whereon to.
stand, no materials to work upon.
34. To use the trite instance: As you cannot reason con-
cerning colours, if you have no natural sight, because all the
ideas received by your other senses are of a different kind; so
that neither your hearing, nor any other sense, can supply your
want of sight, or furnish your reason in this respect with matter
toworkupon: Soyou cannotreason concerning spiritual things,
AN EARNEST APPEAL TO MEN
if you have no spiritual sight; because all your ideas received
by your outward senses are of a different kind; yea, far more
different from those received by faith or internal sensation, than
the idea of colour from that of sound. These are only different
species of one genus, namely, sensible ideas, received by exter-
nal sensation ; whereas the ideas of faith differ toto genere from
those of external sensation. So that it is not conceivable, that
external sensation should supply the want of internal senses; or
furnish your reason in this respect with matter to work upon.
35. What then will your reason do here ? How will it pass
from things natural to spiritual; from the things that are seen
to those that are not seen; from the visible to the invisible
world ? What a gulf is here By what art will reason get
over the immense chasm ? This cannot be till the Almighty
come in to your succour, and give you that faith you have
hitherto despised. Then upborne, as it were, on eagles' wings,
you shall soar away into the regions of eternity; and your
enlightened reason shall explore even "the deep things of
God; God himself "revealing them to you by his Spirit."
36. I expected to have received much light on this head,
from a treatise lately published, and earnestly recommended to
me;'I mean, Christianity not founded on Argument." But on
a careful perusal of that piece, notwithstanding my prejudice in
its favour, I could not but perceive, that the great design uni-
formly pursued throughout the work was, to render the whole
of the Christian Institution both odious and contemptible. In
orderto this, the author gleans up, with great care and diligence,
the most plausibleof those many objections that have been raised
against it by late writers, and proposes them with the utmost
strength of which he was capable. To do this with the more
effect, he personates a Christian : He makes a show of defend-
ing an avoweddoctrine of Christianity, namely, the supernatural
influence of the Spirit of God; and often, for several sentences
together, (indeed, in the beginning of almost every paragraph,)
speaks so like a Christian, that not a few have received him
according to his wish. Meanwhile,with all possible art and show
of reason, and in the most laboured language, he pursues his
point throughout, which is to prove, that Christianity is con-
trary to reason;" or, that "no man acting according to the
principles of reason can possibly be a Christian."
37. It is a wonderful proof of the power that smooth words
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
may have even on serious minds, that so many have mistook
such a writer as this for a friend of Christianity; since almost
every page of his tract is filled with gross falsehood and broad
blasphemy; and these supported by such exploded fallacies, and
common-place sophistry, that a person of two or three years'
standing in the university might give them a sufficient answer,
and make the author appear as irrational and contemptible as
he labours to make Christ and his Apostles.
38. 1 have hitherto spoken to those chiefly, who do not
receive the Christian system as of God. I would add a few
words to another sort of men;-though not so much with
regard to our principles or practice, as with regard to their
own: To you who do receive it, who believe the Scripture, but
yet do not take upon you the character of religious men. I
am therefore obliged to address myself to you likewise under
the character of men of reason.
39. I would only ask, Are you such indeed ? Do you answer
the character under which you appear? If so, you are consistent
with yourselves; your principles and practice agree together.
Let us try whether this is so or not. Do you not take the
name of God in vain ? Do you remember the Sabbath-day, to
keep it holy? Do you not speak evil of the ruler of your people?
Are you not a drunkard, or a glutton, faring as sumptuously as
you can every day; making a god of your belly ? Do you not
avenge yourself? Are you not a whoremonger or adulterer?
Answer plainly to your own heart, before God the Judge of all.
Why then do you say you believe the Scripture? If the
Scripture is true, you are lost. You are in the broad way
that leadeth to destruction. Your damnation slumbereth not.
You are heaping up to yourself wrath against the day of
wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.
Doubtless, if the Scripture is true, and you remain thus, it
had been good for you if you had never been born.
40. Howis it that you call yourselves men of reason? Is reason
inconsistent with itself? You are the farthest of all men under
the sun from any pretenceto that character. A common swearer,
a Sabbath-breaker, a whoremonger, a drunkard, who says he
believes the Scripture is of God, is a monster upon earth, the
greatest contradiction to his own, as well as to the reason of all
mankind. In the name of God, (that worthy name whereby
you are called, and which you daily cause to be blasphemed,)
AN EARNEST APPEAL TO MEN
turn either to the right hand or to the left. Either profess
you are an infidel, or be a Christian. Halt no longer thus
between two opinions. Either cast off the Bible, or your sins.
And, in the mean time, if you have any spark of your boasted
reason left, do not "count us your enemies," (as I fear you
have done hitherto, and as thousands do wherever we have
declared, "They who do such things shall not inherit eternal
life,") because we tell you the truth; seeing these are not
our words, but the words of Him that sent us; yea, though,
in doing this, we use "great plainness of speech," as becomes
the ministry we have received. "For we are not as many
who corrupt" (cauponize, soften, and thereby adulterate,
"the word of God. But as of sincerity, but as of God, in
the sight of God speak we in Christ."
41. But, it may be, you are none of these. You abstain from
all such things. You have an unspotted reputation. You are
a man of honour, or a woman of virtue. You scorn to do an
unhandsome thing, and are of an unblamable life and conver-
sation. You are harmless (if I understand you right) and use-
less from morning to night. You do no hurt,-and no good to
any one, no more than a straw floating upon the water. Your
life glides smoothly on from year to year; and from one season
to another, having no occasion to work,
You waste away
In gentle inactivity the day.
42. I will not now shock the easiness of your temper by
talking about a future state; but suffer me to ask you a
question about present things: Are you now happy?
I have seen a large company of reasonable creatures, called
Indians, sitting in a row on the side of a river, looking some-
times at one another, sometimes at the sky, and sometimes at
the bubbles on the water. And so they sat, (unless in the time
of war,) for a great part of the year, from morning to night.
These were, doubtless, much at ease. But can you think they
were happy? And how little happier are you than they?
43. You eat, and drink, and sleep, and dress, and dance, and
sit down to play. You are carried abroad. You are at the
masquerade, the theatre, the opera-house, the park, the levee,
the drawing-room. What do you do there? Why, sometimes
you talk; sometimes you look at one another. And what are
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
you to do to-morrow, the next day, the next week, the next
year? You are to eat, and drink, and sleep, and dance, and
dress, and play again. And you are to be carried abroad
again, that you may again look at one another! And is this
all ? Alas, how little more happiness have you in this, than
the Indians in looking at the sky or water !
Ah, poor, dull round I do not wonder that Colonel M-
(or any man of reflection) should prefer death itself, even in
the midst of his years, to such a life as this; and should
frankly declare that he chose to go out of the world, because
he found nothing in it worth living for.
41. Yet it is certain there is business to be done : And many
we find in all places (not to speak of the vulgar, the drudges of
the earth) who are continually employed therein. Are you of
that number? Are you engaged in trade, or some other repu-
table employment ? I suppose, profitable too; for you would
not spend your time and labour and thought for nothing.
You are then making your fortune; you are getting money.
True; but money is not your ultimate end. The treasuring
up gold and silver, for its own sake, all men own, is as foolish
and absurd, as grossly unreasonable, as the treasuring up
spiders, or the wings of butterflies. You consider this but as
a means to some farther end. And what is that? Why, the
enjoying yourself, the being at ease, the taking your pleasure,
the living like a gentleman ; that is, plainly, either the whole
or some part of the happiness above described.
Supposing then your end to be actually attained; suppose
you have your wish before you drop into eternity: Go
and sit down with Thleeanowhee and his companions on
the river side.-After you have toiled for fifty years, you
are just as happy as they.
45. Are you, can you, or any reasonable man, be satisfied
with this ? You are not. It is not possible you should. But
what else can you do? You would have something better to
employ your time; but you know not where to find it upon
And, indeed, it is obvious that the earth, as it is now consti-
tuted, even with the help of all European arts, does not afford
sufficient employment to take up half the waking hours of
half its inhabitants.
What then can you do ? How can you employ the time
VOL. VIII. C
AN EARNEST APPEAL TO MEN
that lies so heavy upon your hands ? This very thing which
you seek declare we unto you. The thing you want is the
religion we preach. That alone leaves no time upon our
hands. It fills up all the blank spaces of life. It exactly
takes up all the time we have to spare, be it more or less; so
that "he that hath much hath nothing over; and he that has
little has no lack."
46. Once more: Can you, or any man of reason, think you
was made for the life you now lead ? You cannot possibly think
so; at least, not till you tread the Bible under foot. The ora-
cles of God bear thee witness inevery page, (and thineown heart
agreeth thereto,) that thou wast made in the image of God, an
incorruptible picture of the God of glory. And what art thou,
even in thy present state ? An everlasting spirit, going to God.
For what end then did he create thee, but to dwell with him,
above this perishable world, to know hin, to love him, to do his
will, to enjoy him for ever and ever ? O look more deeply into
thyself! and into that Scripture, which thou professest to
receive as the word of God, as "right concerning all things."
There thou wilt find a nobler, happier state described, than it
ever yet entered into thy heart to conceive. But God hath now
revealed it to all those who "rejoice evermore, and pray without
ceasing, andineverything give thanks," and do his" will on earth
as it is done in heaven." For this thou wast made. Hereunto
also thou art called. O be not disobedient to the heavenly call-
ing At least be not angry with those who would fain bring
thee to be a living witness of that religion, whose ways are"
indeed "ways of pleasantness, and all her paths peace."
47. Do you say in your heart ?-" I know all this already.
I am not barely a man of reason. I am a religious man; for
I not only avoid evil and do good, but use all the means of
grace. I am constantly at church, and at the sacrament too.
I say my prayers every day. I read many good books. I
fast- every thirtieth of January, and Good-Friday." Do
you indeed ? Do you do all this ? This you may do, you may
go thus far, and yet have no religion at all; no such religion
as avails before God : Nay, much farther than this; than you
have ever gone yet, or so much as thought of going. For you
may "give all your goods to feed the poor," yea, "your body
to be burned," and yet very possibly, if St. Paul be a judge,
have no charity," no true religion.
48. This religion, which alone is of value before God, is the
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
very thing you want. You want (and in wanting this, you want
all) the religion of love. You do not love your neighbour as
yourself, no more than you love God with all your heart. Ask
your own heart now if it be not so. It is plain you do not love
God. If you did, you would be happy in him. But you know
you are not happy. Your formal religion no more makes you
happy, than your neighbour's gay religion does him. O how
much have you suffered for want of plain dealing! Can you
now bear to hear the naked truth ? You have the form of
godliness, but not the power." You are a mere whited wall.
Before the Lord your God, I ask you, Are you not ? Too sure;
for your "inward parts are very wickedness." You love "the
creature more than the Creator." You are a lover of pleasure
more than a lover of God." A lover of God! You do not love
God at all, no more than you love a stone. You love the
world; therefore the love of the Father is not in you.
49. You are on the brink of the pit, ready to be plunged into
everlasting perdition. Indeed you have a zeal for God; but
not according to knowledge. O how terribly have you been
deceived posting to hell, and fancying it was heaven. See,
at length, that outward religion, without inward, is nothing; is
far worse than nothing, being, indeed, no other than a solemn
mockery of God. And inward religion you have not. You
have not the faijh that worketh by love." Your faith (so
called) is no living, saving principle. It is not the Apostle's
faith, "the substance," or subsistence, "of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen." So far from it, that this faith
is the very thing which you call enthusiasm. You are not con-
tent with being without it, unless you blaspheme it too. You
even revile that life which'is hid with Christ in God;" all
seeing, tasting, hearing, feeling God. These things are foolish-
ness unto you. No marvel; "for they are spiritually discerned."
50. O no longer shut your eyes against the light! Know, you
have a name that you live, but are dead. Your soul is utterly
dead in sin; dead in pride, in vanity, in self-will, in sensuality,
in love of the world. You are utterly dead to God. There is
no intercourse between your soul and God. You have neither
seen him," (by faith, as our Lord witnessed against them of old
time,) nor heard his voice at any time." You have no spirit-
ual senses exercised to discern spiritual good and evil.'' You
are angry at infidels, and are all the while as mere an infidel
AN EARNEST APPEAL TO MEN
before God as they. You have "eyes that see not, and ears
that hear not." You have a callous, unfeeling heart.
51. Bear with me a little longer: My soul is distressed for
you. "The god of this world hath blinded your eyes," and
you are seeking death in the error of your life." Because
you do not commit gross sin, because you give alms, and go to
the church and sacrament, you imagine that you are serving
God : Yet, in very deed, you are serving the devil; for you are
doing still your own will, not the will of God your Saviour.
You are pleasing yourself in all you do. Pride, vanity, and
self-will (the genuine fruits of an earthly, sensual, devilish
heart) pollute all your words and actions. You are in dark-
ness, in the shadow of death. O that God would say to you
in thunder, "Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the
dead, and Christ shall give thee light !"
52. But, blessed be God, he hath not yet left himself with-
All are not lost! There be, who faith prefer,
Though few, and piety to God !
who know the power of faith, and are no strangers to that
inward, vital religion, "the mind that was in Christ; right-
eousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost." Of you
who have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of
the world to come," I would be glad to learn if we have
erred from the faith," or walked contrary to the truth as
it is in Jesus." Let the righteous smite me friendly, and
reprove me ;" if haply that which is amiss may be done away,
and what is wanting supplied, till we all come to the measure
of the stature of the fulness of Christ.
53. Perhaps the first thing that now occurs to your mind
relates to the doctrine which we teach. You have heard that
we say, Men may live without sin." And have you not heard
that the Scripture says the same;-we mean, withoutcommitting
sin ? Does not St. Paul say plainly, that those who believe do
not continue in sin," that they cannot" live any longer therein?"
(Rom. vi. 1, 2.) Does not St. Peter say, He that hath suf-
fered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that he no longer should
live to the desires of men, but to the will of God?" (1 Peter iv.
1, 2.) And does not St. John say expressly, He that com-
mitteth sin is of the devil ? For this purpose the Son of God
was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed
remaineth in him: And he cannot sin, because he is born
of God." (1 John iii. 8, &c.) And again: We know that
whosoever is born of God sinneth not." (v. 18.)
54. You see then it is not we that say this, but the Lord.
These are not our words, but his. And who is he that replieth
against God ? Who is able to make God a liar? Surely lie
will be justified in his saying, and clear when he is judged !
Can you deny it ? Have you not often felt a secret check when
you was contradicting this great truth ? And how often have
you wished for what you was taught to deny ? Nay, can you
help wishing for it this moment ? Do you not now earnestly
desire to cease from sin ? to commit it no more ? Does not
your soul pant after this glorious liberty of the sons of God ?
And what strong reason have you to expect it! Have you
not had a foretaste of it already ? Do you not remember the
time when God first lifted up the light of his countenance
upon you ? Can it ever be forgotten ? the day when the candle
of the Lord first shone upon your head ?
Batter and honey did you eat;
And, lifted up on high,
You saw the cloud beneath your feet,
And rode upon the sky.
Far, far above all earthly things
Triumphantly you rode;
You soar'd to heaven on eagles' wings,
And found, ar.l talk'd with God.
You then had power not to commit sin. You found the
Apostle's words strictly true, He that is begotten of God
keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not." But
those whore you took to be experienced Christians telling you,
this wa -,nly the time of your espousals, this could not last
always, you must come down from the mount, and the like,
shook your faith. You looked at men more than God, and so be-
came weak, and like another man. Whereas, had you then had
any to guide you according to the truth of God, had you then
heard the doctrine which now you blame, you had never fallen
from your steadfastness; but had found, that, in this sense
also, the gifts and calling of God are without repentance."
55. Have you not another objection nearly allied to this,
namely, that we preach perfection ? True; but what perfec-
tion ? The term you cannot object to; because it is scriptural.
AN EARNEST APPEAL TO MEN
All the difficulty is, to fix the meaning of it according to the
word of God. And this we have done again and again, de-
claring to all the world, that Christian perfection does not imply
an exemption from ignorance, or mistake, or infirmities, or
temptations; but that it does imply the being so crucified with
Christ, as to be able to testify, "I live not, but Christ liveth
in me," (Gal. ii. 20,) and hath purified my heart by faith."
(Acts xv. 9.) It does imply the casting down every high
thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and
bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of
Christ." It does imply the being holy, as he that hath called
us is holy, in all manner of conversation;" (2 Cor. x. 5;
1 Peter i. 15;) and, in a word, the loving the Lord our God
with all our heart, and serving him with all our strength."
56. Now, is it possible for any who believe the Scripture to
deny one tittle of this? You cannot. You dare not. You would
not for the world. You know it is the pure word of God. And
this is the whole of what we preach; this is the height and depth
of what we (with St. Paul) call perfection ;-a state of soul
devoutly to be wished by all who have tasted of the love of
God. O pray for it without ceasing It is the one thing you
want. Come with boldness to the throne of grace; and be
assured that when you ask this of God, you shall have the
petition you ask of him. We know indeed that to man, to
the natural man, this is impossible. But we know also, that
as no word is impossible with God, so all things arepossible
to him that believeth."
57. For we are saved by faith." But have you not heard
this urged as another objection against us, that we preach
salvation by faith alone ? And does not St. Paul do the same
thing? "By grace," saith he, "ye are saved through faith."
Can any words be more express? And elsewhere, Believe in
the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved." (Acts xvi. 31.)
What we mean by this(ifit has not been sufficientlyexplained
already) is, that we are saved from our sins,onlybya confidence
in the love of God. As soon as we behold what manner of love
it is which the Father hath bestowed uponus.we love him," (as
the Apostle observes,) "because he first loved us." And then is
that commandment written in our heart, That he who loveth
God love his brother also ; from which love of God and man,
meekness, humbleness of mind, and all holy tempers, spring.
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
Now, these are the very essence of salvation, of Christian
salvation, salvation from sin; and from these outward salva-
tion flows, that is, holiness of life and conversation. Well,
and are not these things so? If you know in whom you
have believed, you need no further witnesses.
58. But perhaps you doubt whether that faith whereby we
are thus saved implies such a trust and confidence in God as
we describe. You cannot think faith implies assurance; an
assurance of the love of God to our souls, of his being now
reconciled to us, and having forgiven all our sins. And this we
freely confess, that, if number of voices is to decide the ques-
tion, we must give it up at once: For you have on your side,
not only some who desire to be Christians indeed; but all
nominal Christians in every place; and the Romish Church,
one and all. Nay, these last are so vehement in your defence,
that, in the famed Council of Trent, they have decreed, If
any man hold (fiduciam) trust, confidence, or assurance of
pardon, to be essential to faitlt let him be accursed."
59. Thus does that Council anathematize the Church of Eng-
land; for she is convicted hereof by her own confession. The
very words in the Homily on Salvation are, Even the devils
believe that Christ was born of a virgin ; that he wrought all
kind of miracles, declaring himself very God; that for our sakes
he suffered a most painful death, to redeem us from death ever-
lasting. These articles of our faith the devils believe; and so
they believe all that is written in the Old and New Testament.
And yet, for all this faith, they be but devils. They remain still
in their damnable estate, lacking the very true, Christian faith.
"The right and true Christian faith is, not only to believe
the Holy Scriptures, and the articles of our faith, are true;
but also to have a sure trust and confidence, to be saved from
everlasting damnation through Christ." Or, (as it is ex-
pressed a little after,) a sure trust and confidence which a
man hath in God, that by the merits of Christ his sins are
forgiven, and he reconciled to the favour of God."
60. Indeed, the Bishop of Rome saith, "If any man hold this,
let him be an Anathema Maranatha." But it is to be hoped,
Papal anathemas do not move you. You are a member of the
Church of England. Are you? Then the controversyis at an
end. Then hear the Church: "Faith is a sure trust which a
man hath in God, that his sins are forgiven." Or,if you are not,
AN EARNEST APPEAL TO MEN
whether you hear our Church or no, at least hear the Scrip-
tures. Hear believing Job, declaring his faith, I know that
my Redeemer liveth." Hear Thomas (when having seen, he
believed) crying out, "My Lord and my God! Hear St.
Paul clearly describing the nature of his faith, The life I now
live, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave
himself for me." Hear (to mention no more) all the believers
who were with Paul when he wrote to the Colossians, bearing
witness, We give thanks unto the Father, who hath delivered
us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into
the kingdom of his dear Son; in whom we have redemption
through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins." (i. 12, 13, 14.)
61. But what need have we of distant witnesses? You have
a witness in your own breast. For am I not speaking to one
that loves God ? How came you then to love him at first?
Was it not because you knew that he loved you ? Did you,
could you, love God at all, till you tasted and saw that he
was gracious; that he was merciful to you a sinner? What
avails then controversy, or strife of words ? Out of thy own
mouth You own you had no love to God till you was sensi-
ble of his love to you. And whatever expressions any sinner
who loves God uses, to denote God's love to him, you will
always upon examination find, that they directly or indirectly
imply forgiveness. Pardoning love is still at the root of all.
He who was offended is now reconciled. The new song which
God puts in every mouth is always to that effect: 0 Lord, 1
will praise thee; though thou wast angry with me, thine anger
is turned away. Behold, God is my salvation. I will trust,
and not be afraid: For the Lord Jehovah is my strength and
my song; he is also become my salvation." (Isaiah xii. 1, 2.)
62. A confidence then in a pardoning God is essential to
saving faith. The forgiveness of sins is one of the first of those
unseen things whereof faith is the evidence. And if you are
sensible of this, will you quarrel with us concerning an indiffer-
ent circumstance of it ? Will you think it an important objec-
tion, that we assert that this faith is usually given in a moment?
First, let me entreat you to read over that authentic account of
God's dealings with men, the Acts of the Apostles. In this
treatise you will find how he wrought from the beginning on
those who received remission of sins by faith. And can you
find one of these (except, perhaps, St. Paul) who did not receive
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
it in a moment? But abundance you find of those who did,
besides Cornelius and the three thousand. (Acts ii. 41.) And
to this also agrees the experience of those who now receive the
heavenly gift. Three or four exceptions only have I found in the
course of several years;-perhaps you yourself may he added
to that number, and one or two more whom you have known.
But all the rest of those who trom time to time among us have
believed in the Lord Jesus were in a moment brought from
darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God.
63. And why should it seem a thing incredible to you, who
have known the power of God unto salvation, (whether he hath
wrought thus in your soul or no; for there are diversities of
operations, but the same Spirit,") that "the dead should hear
the voice of the Son of God," and in that moment live? Thus
he useth to act, to show that when he willeth, to do is present
with him. Let there be light," said God; and there was
light. He spoke the word, and it was done. Thus the heavens
and the earth were created, and all the hosts of them." And
this manner of acting in the present case highly suits both his
power and love. There is therefore no hinderance on God's
part; since as his majesty is, so is his mercy." And what-
ever hinderance there is on the part of man, when God speaketh,
it is not. Only ask then, O sinner, and it shall be given
thee," even the faith that brings salvation: And that without
any merit or good work of thine; for it is not of works, lest
any man should boast." No; it is of grace, of grace alone. For
"unto him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifi-
eth the ungodly, his faith is counted to him for righteousness."
64. But by talking thus you encourage sinners." I do
encourage them-to repent; and do not you ? Do not you
know how many heap sin upon sin, purely for want of such
encouragement; because they think they can never be forgiven,
there is no place for repentance left ? Does not your heart also
bleed for them ? What would you think too dear to part with?
What would you not do, what would you not suffer, to bring
one such sinner to repentance ? Could not your love "endure
all things" for them ? Yes,-if you believed it would do them
good; if you had any hope that they would be better. Why
do you not believe it would do them good ? Why have you not
a hope that they will be better ? Plainly, because you do not
love them enough; because you have not that charity which
AN EARNEST APPEAL TO MEN
not only endureth, but at the same time believeth and hopeth,
65. But that you may see the whole strength of this objection, I
will show you, without any disguise or reserve, how I encourage
the chief of sinners. My usual language to them runs thus:-
O ye that deny the Lord that bought you, yet hear the word
of the Lord! You seek rest, but find none. Evenin laughter
your heart is in heaviness. How long spend ye your labour for
that which is not bread, and your strength for that which satis-
fieth not? You know your soul is not satisfied. It is still an
aching void. Sometimes you find, in spite of your principles,
a sense of guilt, an awakened conscience. That grisly phan-
tom, religion, (so you describe her,) will now and then haunt
you still. Righteousness looking down from heaven is indeed
to us no unpleasing sight. But how does it appear to you?
Horribili super aspect mortalibus instans ? *
How often are you in fear of the very things you deny?
How often in racking suspense? What, if there be an
hereafter, a judgment to come, an unhappy eternity? Do
you not start at the thought? Can you be content to be
always thus? Shall it be said of you also?-
"Here lies a dicer, long in doubt
If death could kill the soul, or not;
Here ends his doubtfulness ; at last
Convinced: But, 0. the die is cast I"
Or, are you already convinced there is no hereafter ? What a
poor state then are you in now ? taking a few more dull turns
upon earth, and then dropping into nothing What kind of
spirit must you be of, if you can sustain yourself under the
thought! under the expectation of being in a few moments
swept away by the stream of time, and then for ever
swallow'd up, and lost
In the wide womb of uncreated night I
But neither indeed are you certain of this; nor of anything
else. It may be so; it may not. A vast scene is behind:
The following is Dr. Mason Good's translation of this quotation from
Lucretius, and of the lines connected with it:-
Them long the tyrant power
Of SUPERST[TION sway'd, uplifting proud
Her head to heaven, and with horrific limbo
Brooding o'er earth."-EDIT.
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
But clouds and darkness rest upon it. All is doubt and uncer.
tainty. You are continually tossed to and fro, and have no
firm ground for the sole of your foot. O let not the poor wis-
dom of man any longer exalt itself against the wisdom of God!
You have fled from him long enough; at length, suffer your
eyes to be opened by Him that made them. You want rest to
your soul. Ask it of Him who giveth to all men liberally, and
upbraideth not You are now a mere riddle to yourself, and
your condition full of darkness and perplexity. You are one
among many restless inhabitants of a miserable, disordered
world, walking in a vain shadow, and disquieting yourself in
vain." But the light of God will speedily disperse the anxiety
of your vain conjectures. By adding heaven to earth, and eter-
nity to time, it will open such a glorious view of things as will
lead you, even in the present world, to a peace which passeth
66. O ye gross, vile, scandalous sinners, hear ye the word.
of the Lord. "Turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; so
iniquity shall not be your ruin. As I live, saith the Lord, I
have no pleasure in the death of a sinner, but rather that he
should turn and live." O make haste; delay not the time !
" Come, and let us reason together: Though your sins be as
scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they be red
as crimson, they shall be as wool. Who is this that cometh
from Edom, with dyed garments, red in his apparel?" It is
He on whom the Lord "hath laid the iniquities of us all !"
Behold, behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away thy sins!
See the only-begotten Son of the Father, "full of grace and
truth !" He loveth thee. He gave himself for thee. Now his
bowels of compassion yearn over thee! 0 believe in the Lord
Jesus, and thou shalt be saved Go in peace, sin no more !"
67. Now, cannot youjoin in all this ? Is it not the very lan-
guage of your heart? O when will you take knowledge, that our
whole concern, our constant labour, is, to bring all the world
to the religion which you feel; to solid, inward, vital religion!
What power isit then that keeps us asunder? "Is thine heart
right, as my heart is with thy heart? If it be, give me thy
hand. Come with me, and see," and rejoice in, "my zeal for the
Lord." No difference between us (if thou art a child of God)
can be so considerable as our agreement is. If we differ in
smaller things, we agree in that which is greatest of all. How
AN EARNEST APPEAL TO MEN
is it possible then that you should be induced to think or speak
evil of us? How could it ever come into your mind to oppose
us, or weaken our hands? How long shall we complain of the
wounds which we receive in the house of our friends ? Surely
the children of this world are still wiser in their generation
than the children of light." Satan is not divided against him-
self: Why are they who are on the Lord's side? How is it
that wisdom is not justified of her own children ?
68. Is it because you have heard that we only make religion
a cloak for covetousness; and because you have heard abun-
dance of particulars alleged in support of that general charge ?
It is probable you may also have heard how much we have
gained by preaching already; and, to crown all, that we are
only Papists in disguise, who are undermining and destroying
69. You have heard this. Well; and can you believe it?
Have you then never heard the fifth chapter of St. Matthew ?
I would to God you could believe it. What is written there ?
How readest thou ? Blessed are ye, when men shall revile
you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you
falsely, for myname's sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad: For
great is your reward in heaven: For so persecuted they the
Prophets that were before you;" namely, by "reviling them,
and saying all manner of evil of them falsely." Do not you
know that this, as well as all other scriptures, must needs be
fulfilled ? If so, take knowledge that this day also it is fulfilled
in your ears. For our Lord's sake, and for the sake of his
gospel which we preach, men do revile us and persecute us,
and (blessed be God, who giveth us to rejoice therein) say
all manner of evil of us falsely." And how can it be otherwise ?
The disciple is not above his Master. It is en-ou'gh for the
disciple, that he be as his Master, and the servant as his Lord.
If they have called the Master of the house Beelzebub, how
much more shall they call them of his household ?"
( 70. This only we confess, that we preach inward salvation,
now attainable by faith;; And for preaching this (for no other
crime was then so much as pretended) we were forbid to preach
any more in those churches, where, till then, we were gladly
received. This is a notorious fact. Being thus hindered from
preaching in the places we should first have chosen, we now
declare the "grace of God which bringeth salvation," in all
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
places of his dominion ; as well knowing, that God dwelleth
not onlyin temples made with hands. This is the real, and it is
the only real, ground of complaint against us. And this we
avow before all mankind, we do preach this salvation by faith.
And not being suffered to preach it in the usual places, we
declare it wherever a door is opened, either on a mountain, or
a plain, or by a river side, (for all which we conceive we have
sufficient precedent,) or in prison, or, as it were, in the house
of Justus, or the school of one Tyrannus. Nor dare we refrain.
"A dispensation of the gospel is committed to me, and woe
is me, if I preach not the gospel."
71. Here we allow the fact, but deny the guilt. But in every
other point alleged, we deny the fact, and call upon the world
to prove it, if they can. More especially, we call upon those
who for many years saw our manner of life at Oxford. These
well know that after the straitest sect of our religion we
lived Pharisees;" and that the grand objection to us for all
tho;e years was, the being righteous overmuch; the reading,
fasting, praying, denying ourselves,-the going to church, and
to the Lord's table,-the relieving the poor, visiting those that
were sick and in prison,instructing the ignorant, and labouring
to reclaim the wicked,-more than was necessary for salvation.
These were our open, flagrant crimes, from the year 1729 to
the year 1737; touching which our Lord shall judge in thatday.
72. But, waving the things that are past, which of you now
convinceth us of sin ? Which of you (I here more especially
appeal to my brethren, the Clergy) can personally convict us
of any ungodliness or unholiness of conversation ? Ye know in
your own hearts, (all that are candid men, all thatarenot utterly
blinded with prejudice,) that we "labour to have a conscience
void of offence both toward God and toward man." Brethren,
I would to God that in this ye were even as we. But indeed
(with grief I speak it) ye are not. There are among yourselves
ungodly and unholy men; openly, undeniably such; drunkards,
gluttons, returners of evil for evil, liars, swearers, profaners of
the day of the Lord. Proof hereof is not wanting, if ye require
it. Where then is your zeal against these? A Clergyman, so
drunk he can scarce stand or speak, may, in the presence of a
thousand people,* set upon another Clergyman of the same
At Epworth, in Lincolnshire.
AN EARNEST APPEAL TO MEN
Church, both with abusive words and open violence. And what
follows? Why, the one is still allowed to dispense the sacred
signs of the body and blood of Christ: But the other is not
allowed to receive them,-because he is a field Preacher.
73. O ye pillars and fathers of the Church, are these things
well-pleasing to Him who hath made you Overseers over that
flock which he hath purchased with his own blood? O that ye
would suffer me to boast myself a little Is there not a
cause? Have ye not compelled me ? Which of your Clergy are
more unspotted in their lives, which more unwearied in their
labours, than those whose names ye cast out as evil," whom
ye count "as the filth and off-scouring of the world?" Which
of them is more zealous to spend and be spent, for the lost
sheep of the house of Israel ? Or who among them is more
ready to be offered up for their flock upon the sacrifice and
service of their faith?"
74. Will ye say, (as the historian of Catiline,) Si sicpro
patrid If this were done in defence of the Church, and not
in order to undermine and destroy it !" That is the very pro-
position I undertake to prove,-that we are now defending the
Church, even the Church of England, in opposition to all
those who either secretly undermine or more openly attempt
to destroy it.
75. That we are Papists, (we who are daily and hourly preach-
ing that very doctrine which is so solemnly anathematized by
the whole Church of Rome,) is such a charge that I dare not
waste my time in industriously confuting it. Let any man of
common sense only look on the title-pages of the sermons we
have lately preached at Oxford, and he will need nothing more to
show him the weight of this senseless, shameless accusation;-
unless he can suppose the Governors both of Christ Church and
Lincoln College, nay, and all the University, to be Papists too.
76. You yourself can easily acquit us of this; but not of
the other part of the charge. You still think we are secretly
undermining, if not openly destroying, the Church.
What do you mean by the Church ? A visible Church (as
our article defines it) is a company of faithful or believing
people ;--ccetus credentium. This is the essence of a Church;
andthepropertiesthereofare, (asthey are described inthe words
that follow,) "among whom the pure word of God is preached,
and the sacraments duly administered." Now then, (according
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
to this authentic account,) what is the Church of England ?
What is it indeed, but the faithful people, the true believers in
England ? It is true, if these are scattered abroad, they come
under another consideration: But when they are visibly
joined, by assembling together to hear the pure word of God
preached, and to eat of one bread, and drink of one cup, they
are then properly the visible Church of England.
77. It were well if this were a little more considered by those
who so vehemently cry out, The Church! the Church (as
those of old, "The temple of the Lord the temple of the
Lord!") not knowing what they speak, nor whereof they affirm.
A provincial or national Church, according to our article, is the
true believers of that province or nation. If these are dispersed
up and down, they are only a part of the invisible Church of
Christ. But if they are visibly joined by assembling together
to hear his word and partake of his supper, they are then visible
Church, such as the Church of England, France, or any other.
78. This being premised, I ask, How do we undermine or
destroy the Church,-the provincial, visible Church of Eng-
land? The article mentions three things as essential to a
visible Church. First: Living faith; without which, indeed,
there can be no Church at all, neither visible nor invisible. Se-
condly: Preaching, and consequently hearing, the pure word of
God, else that faith would languish and die. And, Thirdly,a due
administration of the sacraments,-the ordinary means whereby
God increaseth faith. Now come close to the question: In
which of these points do we undermine or destroy the Church?
Do we shut the door of faith ? Do we lessen the number of
believing people in England ? Only remember what faith is,
according to our Homilies, viz., "a sure trust and confidence
in God, that through the merits of Christ my sins are for-
given, and I reconciled to the favour of God." And we
appeal to all mankind, Do we destroy this faith, which is the
life and soul of the Church ? Is there, in fact, less of this
faith in England, than there was before we went forth? I
think this is an assertion which the father of lies himself will
scarce dare to utter or maintain.
With regard then to this First point, it is undeniable we
neither undermine nor destroy the Church. The Second thing
is the preaching and hearing the pure word of God. And do we
hinder this? Do we hinder any Minister from preaching the
AN EARNEST APPEAL TO MEN
purewordof God? If any preach not at all, or not the pure word
of God, is the hinderance in us, or in themselves? or do we
lessen the number of those that hear the pure word of God ?
Are then the hearers thereof (whether read or preached) fewer
than they were in times past? Are the usual places of pub-
lic worship less frequented by means of our preaching?
Wheresoever our lot has been cast for any time, are the
churches emptier than they were before ? Surely, none that
has any regard left either for truth or modesty will say that
in this point we are enemies to, or destroyers of, the Church.
The Third thing requisite (if not to the being, at least) to
the well-being of a Church, is the due administration of the
sacraments, particularly that of the Lord's supper. And are we,
in this respect, underminers or destroyers of the Church? Do
we, either by our example or advice, draw men away from the
Lord's table? Where we have laboured most, are there the
fewest communicants ? How does the fact stand in London,
Bristol, Newcastle? O that you would no longer shut your eyes
against the broad light which encompasses you on every side !
79. I believe you are sensible, by this time, not only how
weak this objection is, but likewise how easy it would be
terribly to retort every branch of it upon most of those that
make it; whether we speak of true living faith, of preaching
the pure word of God, or of the due administration of the
sacraments, both of baptism and the Lord's supper. But I
spare you. It sufficeth that our God knoweth, and will make
manifest in that day, whether it be by reason of us or you
that men abhor the offering of the Lord."
80. Others object that we do not observe the laws of the
Church, and thereby undermine it. What laws ? the Rubrics
or Canons ? In every parish where I have been Curate yet, I
have observed the Rubrics with a scrupulous exactness, not for
wrath, but for conscience' sake. And this, so far as belongs to
an unbeneficed Minister, or to a private member of the Church,
I do now. I will just mention a few of them, and leave you to
consider which of us has observed, or does observe, them most.
(1.) Days of fasting or abstinence to be observed:
The forty days of Lent;
The Ember days at the four seasons;
The three Rogation days;
All Fridays in the year, except Christmas-day.
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
(2.) "So many as intend to be partakers of the holy com-
munion shall signify their names to the Curate, at least some
time the day before:
And if any of these be an open and notorious evil liver,
the Curate shall advertise him, that in anywise he presume
not to come to the Lord's table, until he hath openly declared
himself to have truly repented.
(3.) "Then (after the Nicene Creed) the Curate shall
declare unto the people what holidays or fasting-days are in
the week following to be observed.
(4.) "The Minister shall first receive the communion in
both kinds himself, and then proceed to deliver the same to
the Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, in like manner, if any be
present, and after that, to the people.
(5.) "In cathedral and collegiate churches, and colleges,
where there are many Priests and Deacons, they shall all receive
the communion with the Priest every Sunday at the least.
(6.) The children to be baptized must be ready at the
font immediately after the last Lesson.
(7.) "The Curates of every parish shall warn the people,
that without great necessity they procure not their children
to be baptized at home in their houses.
(8.) The Curate of every parish shall diligently upon Sun-
days and holidays, after the Second Lesson at Evening Prayer,
openly in the church, instruct and examine so many children
as he shall think convenient, in some part of the Catechism.
(9.) "Whensoever the Bishop shall give notice for children to
be brought unto him for their confirmation, the Curate of every
parish shall either bring or send in writing, with his hand
subscribed thereunto, the names of all such persons within his
parish, as he shall think fit to be presented to the Bishop."
81. Now, the question is not whether these Rubrics ought
to be observed, (you take this for granted in making the objec-
tion,) but whether in fact they have been observed by you, or
me, most. Many can witness I have observed them punctu-
ally, yea, sometimes at the hazard of my life; and as many, I
fear, that you have not observed them at all, and that several
of them you never pretended to observe. And is it you that
are accusing me for not observing the Rubrics of the Church ?
What grimace is this 1 0 tell it not in Gath Publish it
not in the streets of Askelon "
VOL. VIII. D
AN EARNEST APPEAL TO MEN
82. With regard to the Canons, I would, in the first place,
desire you to consider two or three plain questions:
First. Have you ever read them over ?
Secondly. How can these be called the Canons of the Church
of England, seeing they were never legally established by the
Church, never regularly confirmed in any full Convocation?
Thirdly. By what right am I required to observe such
Canons as were never legally established ?
And then I will join issue with you on one question more,
viz., Whether you or I have observed them most.
To instance only in a few:
"Canon 29.-No person shall be admitted godfather or
godmother to any child, before the said person hath received
the holy communion.
"Can. 59.-Every Parson, Vicar, or Curate, upon every
Sunday and holiday, before Evening Prayer, shall, for half
an hour, or more, examine and instruct the youth and igno-
rant persons of his parish.
"Can. 6-.-Every Parson, Vicar, or Curate, shall declare
to the people every Sunday, whether there be any holidays or
fasting-days the week following.
Can. 68.-No Minister shall refuse or delay to christen
any child that is brought to the church to him upon Sundays
or holidays to be christened, or to bury any corpse that is
brought to the church or church-yard."
(N.B. Inability to pay fees does not alter the case.)
Can. 75.-No ecclesiastical persons shall spend their time
idly, by day or by night, playing at dice, cards, or tables."
Now, let the Clergyman who has observed only these five
Canons for one year last past, and who has read over all the
Canons in his congregation; (as the King's ratification straitly
enjoins him to do once every year;) let him, I say, cast the
first stone at us, for not observing the Canons (so called) of
the Church of England.
83. However, we cannot be," it is said, friends to the
Church, because we do not obey the Governors of it, and sub-
mit ourselves (as at our ordination we promised to do) to all their
godlyadmonitions and injunctions."* I answer, In every indi-
The author of a tract just published at Newcastle, entitled, The Notions of
the Methodists fully disproved, in a Letter to the Rev. Mr. Johu Wesley," much
insists upon this objection. 1 have read, and believe it quite needless to take any
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
vidual point of an indifferent nature, we do and will, by the
grace of God, obey the Governors of the Church. But the
testifying the gospel of the grace of God is not a point of an
indifferent nature. "The ministry which we have received
of the Lord Jesus," we are at all hazards to fulfil. It is the
burden of the Lord which is laid upon us here; and we are
" to obey God rather than man." Nor yet do we in any ways
violate the promise which each of us made, when it was said
unto him, "Take thou authority to preach the word of God,
in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy
ghost." We then promised to submit (mark the words) to the
Godly admonitions and injunctions of our Ordinary. But
we did not, could not, promise to obey such injunctions as we
know are contrary to the word of God.
84. But why then," say some, do you leave the Church ?"
Loave the Church What can you mean? Do we leave so
much as the Church walls ? Your own eyes tell you we do not.
Do we leave the ordinances of the Church ? You daily sec
and know the contrary. Do we leave the fundamental doctrine
of the Church, namely, salvation by faith ? It is our constant
theme, in public, in private, in writing, in conversation. Do
we leave the practice of the Church, the standard whereof are
the ten commandments? which are so essentially in-wrought
in her constitution, (as little as yoh may apprehend it,) that
whosoever breaks one of the least of these is no member of the
Church of England. I believe you do not care to put the
cause on this issue. Neither do you mean this by leaving the
Church. In truth, I cannot conceive what you mean. I doubt
you cannot conceive yourself. You have retailed a sentence
from somebody else, which you no more understand than he.
And no marvel; for it is a true observation,
Nonsense is never to be understood.
85. Nearly related to this is that other objection, that we
divide the Church. Remember, the Church is the faithful peo-
ple, or true believers. Now, how do we divide these ? Why,
by our societies." Very good. Now the case is plain. "We
further notice of, this performance; the writer being so utterly unacquainted
with the merits of the cause; and showing himself so perfectly a stranger, both to
my life, preaching, and writing, and to the word of God, and to the Articles and
Homilies of the Church of England.
AN EARNEST APPEAL TO MEN
divide them," you say, "by uniting them together." Truly,
a very uncommon way of dividing. 0, but we divide those
who are thus united with each other, from the rest of the
Church!" By no means. Many of them were before joined
to all their brethren of the Church of England (and many were
not, until they knew us) by "assembling themselves together,"
to hear the word of God, and to eat of one bread, and drink of
one cup. And do they now forsake that assembling themselves
together? You cannot, you dare not, say it. You know they
are more diligent therein than ever; it being one of the fixed
rules of our societies, that every member attend the ordinances
of God; that is, do not divide from the Church. And if any
member of the Church does thus divide from or leave it, he
hath no more place among us.
86. I have considered this objection the more at large,
because it is of most weight with sincere minds. And to all
these, if they have fairly and impartially weighed the answer as
well as the objection, I believe it clearly appears, that we are
neither undermining nor destroying, neither dividing nor leav-
ing, the Church. So far from it, that we have great heaviness
on her account, yea, continual sorrow in our hearts. And our
prayer to God is, that he would repair the breaches of Zion, and
build the walls of Jerusalem; that this our desolate Church
may flourish again, and be the praise of the whole earth.
87. But perhaps you have heard that we in truth regard no
Church at all; that gain is the true spring of all our actions;
that I, in particular, am well paid for my work, having thirteen
hundred pounds a year (as a reverend author accurately com-
putes it) at the Foundery alone, over and above what I receive
from Bristol, Kingswood, Newcastle, and other places; and
that whoever survives me will see I have made good use of
my time; for I shall not die a beggar.
88. I freely own this is one of the best-devised objections
which has ever yet been made; because it not only puts us upon
roving a negative, (which is seldom an easy task,) but also one
f such a kind as scarce admits of any demonstrative proof at
all. But for such proof as the nature of the thing allows, I
appeal to my manner of life which hath been from the begin-
ning. Ye who have seen it (and not with a friendly eye) for
these twelve or fourteen years last past, or for any part of that
time, have ye ever seen anything like the love of gain therein ?
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
Did I not continually remember the words of the Lord Jesus,
" It is more blessed to give than to receive ?". Ye of Oxford,
do ye not know these things are so? What gain did I seek
among you? Of whom did I take anything ? From whom did
I covet silver, or gold, or apparel? To whom did I deny any-
thing which I had, even to the hour that I departed from you ?
Ye of Epworth and Wroote, among whom I ministered for
nearly the space of three years, what gain did I seek among
you? Or of whom did I take or covet anything? Ye of Savannah
and Frederica, among whom God afterwards proved me, and
showed me what was in my heart, what gain did I seek among
you ? Of whom did I take anything ? Or whose food or apparel
did I covet, (for silver or gold had ye none, no more than I
myself for many months,) even when I was in hunger and
nakedness ? Ye yourselves, and the God and Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ, know that I lie not.
89. "But," it is said, things are fairly altered now. Now
I cannot complain of wanting anything; having the yearly
income of a Bishop of London, over and above what I gain at
other places." At what other places, my friend ? Inform your-
self-a little better, and you will find that both at Newcastle,
Bristol, and Kingswood, and all other places, where any collec-
tion is made, the money collected is both received and
expended by the stewards of those several societies, and'
never comes into my hands at all,-neither first nor last.
And you, or any who desire it, shall read over the accounts
kept by any of those stewards, and see with your own eyes,
that by all these societies I gain just as much as you do.
90. The case in London stands thus :-In Nove-mber, 1739,
two gentlemen, then unknown to me, (Mr. Ball and Mr. Wat-
kins,) came and desired me, once and again, to preach in a place
called the Foundery, near Moorfields. With much reluctance
I at length complied. I was soon after pressed to take that
place into my own hands. Those who were most earnest therein
lent me the purchase-money, which was one hundred and fif-
teen pounds. Mr. Watkins and Mr. Ball then delivered me
the names of several subscribers, who offered to pay, some four
or six, some ten shillings a year towards the repayment of the
purchase-money, and the putting the buildings into repair.
This amounted one year to near two hundred pounds, the
second to about one hundred and forty pounds, and so the last.
AN EARNEST APPEAL TO MEN
91. The united society began a little after, whose weekly
contribution for the poor is received and expended by the stew-
ards, and comes not into my hands at all. But there is also a
quarterly subscription of many of the society, which is nearly
equal to that above mentioned.
92. The uses to which these subscriptions have been hitherto
applied, are, First, the payment of that one hundred and fifteen
pounds: Secondly, the repairing (I might almost say, rebuild-
ing) that vast, uncouth heap of ruins, the Foundery: Thirdly,
the building galleries both for men and women: Fourthly, the
enlarging the society-room to near thrice its first bigness. All
taxes and occasional expenses are likewise defrayed out of this
fund. And it has been hitherto so far from yielding any over-
plus, that it has never sufficed for these purposes. So far from
it, that I am still in debt, on these accounts, near three hun-
dred pounds. So much have I hitherto gained by preaching
the gospel! besides a debt of one hundred and fifty pounds,
still remaining on account of the school built at Bristol; and
another of above two hundred pounds, on account of that now
building at Newcastle. I desire any reasonable man would
now sit down and lay these things together, and let him see,
whether, allowing me a grain of common sense, if not of
common honesty, he can possibly conceive, that a view of
gain would induce me to act in this manner.
93. You can never reconcile it with any degree of common
sense, that a man who wants nothing, who has already all the
necessaries, all the conveniences, nay, and many of the super-
fluities, of life, and these not only independent on any one, but
less liable to contingencies than even a gentleman's freehold
estate; that such an one should calmly and deliberately throw
up his ease, most of his friends, his reputation, and that way
of life which of all others is most agreeable both to his natural
temper and education; that he should toil day and night,
spend all his time and strength, knowingly destroy a firm con-
stitution, and hasten into weakness, pain, diseases, death,-to
gain a debt of six or seven hundred pounds !
94. But suppose the balance on the other side, let me ask
you one plain question: For whatgain (setting conscience aside)
will you be obliged to act thus ? to live exactly as I do ? For
what price will you preach (and that with all your might, not
in an easy, indolent,fashionable way) eighteen ornineteen times
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
every week ; and this throughout the year ? What shall I give
you to travel seven or eight hundred miles, in all weathers,
every two or three months ? For what salary will you abstain
from all other diversions, than the doing good, and the praising
God? I am mistaken if you would not prefer strangling to
such a life, even with thousands of gold and silver.
95. And what is the comfort you have found out for me in
these circumstances ? Why, that I shall not die a beggar. So
now I am supposed to be heaping up riches, that I may leave
them behind me. Leave them behind me! For whom ? my
wife and children? Who are they? They are yet unborn.
Unless thou meanest the children of faith whom God hath given
me. But my heavenly Father feedeth them. Indeed, if I lay
up riches at all, it must be to leave behind me; seeing my Fel-
lowship is a provision for life. But I cannot understand this.
What comfort would it beto my soul,now launched into eternity,
that I had left behind me gold as the dust, and silver as the sand
of the sea? Will it follow me over the great gulf? or can I go
back to it ? Thou that liftest up thy eyes in hell, what do thy
riches profit thee now ? Will all thou once hadst under the sun
gain thee a drop of water to cool thy tongue ? O the comfort of
riches left behind to one who is tormented in that flame You
put me in mind of those celebrated lines, (which I once exceed-
ing admired,) addressed by way of consolation to the soul of a
Yet shall thy grave with rising flowers be dressed,
And the green turf lie light upon thy breast 1
Here shall the year its earliest beauties show :
Here the first roses of the spring shall blow:
While angels with their silver wings o'ershade
The place now sacred by thy relics made.
96. I will now simply tell you my sense of these matters,
whether you will hear, or whether you will forbear. Food and
raiment I have; such food as I choose to eat, and such raiment
as I choose to put on. I have a place where to lay my head.
I have what is needful for life and godliness. And I appre-
hend this is all the world can afford. The kings of the earth
can give me no more. For as to gold and silver, I count it
dung and dross; I trample it under my feet. I (yet not I,
but the grace of God that is in me) esteem it just as the mire
in the streets. I desire it not; I seek it not; I only fear lest
AN EARNEST APPEAL TO MEN
any of it should cleave to me, and I should not be able to shake
it off before my spirit returns to God. It must indeed pass
through my hands; but I will take care (God being my helper)
that the mammon of unrighteousness shall only pass through;
it shall not rest there. None of the accursed thing shall be
found in my tents when the Lord calleth me hence. And hear
ye this, all you who have discovered the treasures which I amto
leave behind me: If I leave behind me ten pounds, (above my
debts, and my books, or what may happen to be due on account
of them,) you and all mankind bear witness against me, that I
lived and died a thief and a robber.
97. Before I conclude, I cannot but entreat you who know
God to review the whole matter from the foundation. Call to
mind what the state of religion was in our nation a few years
since. In whom did you find the holy tempers that were in
Christ ? bowels of mercies, lowliness, meekness, gentleness,
contempt of the world, patience, temperance, long-suffering?
a burning love to God, rejoicing evermore, and in everything
giving thanks; and a tender love to all mankind, covering,
believing, hoping, enduring all things ? Perhaps you did not
know one such man in the world. But how many that had all
unholy tempers ? What vanity and pride, what stubbornness
and self-will, what anger, fretfulness, discontent, what suspicion
and resentment, what inordinate affections, what irregular pas-
sions, what foolish and hurtful desires, might you find in those
who were called the best of men, in those who made the strict-
est profession of religion ? And how few did you know who
went so far as the profession of religion, who had even the "form
of godliness! Did you not frequently bewail, wherever your
lot was cast, the general want of even outward religion ? How
few were seen at the public worship of God how much fewer
at the Lord's table And was even this little flock zealous of
good works, careful, as they had time, to do good to all men ?
On the other hand, did you not with grief observe outward
irreligion in every place? Where could you be for one week
without being an eye or an ear witness of cursing, swearing, or
profaneness, of sabbath-breakingor drunkenness, of quarrelling
or brawling, of revenge or obscenity ? Were these things done
in a corner ? Did not gross iniquity of all kinds overspread our
land as a flood ? yea, and daily increase, in spite of all the oppo-
sition which the children of God did or could make against it ?
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
98. If you had been then told that the jealous God would
soon arise and maintain his own cause; that he would pour down
his Spirit from on high, and renew the face of the earth; that
he would shed abroad his love in the hearts of the outcasts of
men, producing all holy and heavenly tempers, expelling anger,
and pride, and evil desire, and all unholy and earthly tempers;
causing outward religion, the work of faith, the patience of hope,
the labour of love, to flourish and abound; and, wherever it
spread, abolishing outward irreligio n, destroying all the worksof
the devil: If you had been told that this living knowledge of
the Lord would in a short space of time overspread our land;
yea, and daily increase, in spite of all the opposition which the
devil and his children did or could make against it; would you
not have vehemently desired to see that day, that you might
bless God and rejoice therein?
99. Behold,the dayof the Lord is come! He is again visiting
and redeeming his people. Having eyes, see ye not ? Having
ears, do ye not hear, neither understand with your hearts ? At
this hour the Lord is rolling away our reproach. Already his
standard is set up. His Spirit is poured forth on the outcastsof
men, and his love shed abroad in their hearts. Love of all man-
kind, meekness, gentleness, humbleness of mind, holyand hea-
venly affections, do take place of hate, anger, pride, revenge, and
vile or vain affections. Hence, wherever the power of the Lord
spreads, springs outward religion in all its forms. The houses
of God are filled; the table of the Lord is thronged on every
side. And those who thus show their love of God, show they
love their neighbour also, by being careful to maintain good
works, by doing all manner of good, as they have time, to all
men. They are likewise careful to abstain from all evil. Curs-
ing, sabbath-breaking, drunkenness, with all other (however
fashionable) works of the devil, are not once named among
them. All this is plain, demonstrable fact. For this also is not
done in a corner. Now, do you acknowledge the day of your
visitation ? Do you bless God and rejoice therein ?
100. What hinders ? Is it this,-that men say all manner
of evil of those whom God is pleased to use as instruments in
his work? 0 ye fools, did ye suppose the devil was dead ? or
that he would not fight for his kingdom ? And what weapons
shall he fight with, if not with lies ? Is he not a liar, and the
father of it ? Suffer ye then thus far. Let the devil and his
AN EARNEST APPEAL TO MEN
children say all manner of evil of us. And let them go on
deceiving each other, and being deceived. But ye need not be
deceived also; or if you are, if you will believe all they say, be
it so,-that we are weak, silly, wicked men; without sense,
without learning, without even a desire or design of doing good;
yet I insist upon the fact: Christ is preached, and sinners are
converted to God. This none but a madman can deny. We
are ready to prove it by a cloud of witnesses. Neither, there-
fore, can the inference be denied, that God is now visiting his
people. O that all men may know, in this their day, the
things that make for their peace !
101. Upon the whole,to men of the world I would still recom-
mend the known advice of Gamaliel: Refrain from these men,
and let them alone: For if this work be of men, it will come to
nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply
ye be found even to fight against God." But unto you whom
God hath chosen out of the world, I say, Ye are our brethren,
and of our father' s house; it behoveth you, in whatsoever man-
ner ye are able, to strengthen our hands in God." And this
ye are all able to do; to wish us good luck in the name of the
Lord, and to pray continually that none of these things may
move us," and that we may not count our lives dear unto
ourselves, so that we may finish our course with joy, and the
ministry which we have received of the Lord Jesus "
Written in the year 1744.
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
HAPPY the souls who first believed,
To Jesus and each other cleaved,
Join'd by the unction from above,
In mystic fellowship of love !
Meek, simple followers of the Lamb,
They lived and spake and thought the same;
Brake the commemorative bread,
And drank the Spirit of their Head.
On God they cast their every care:
Wrestling with God in mighty prayer,
They claim'd the grace, through Jesus given;
By prayer they shut and open'd heaven.
To Jesus they performed their vows:
A little Church in every house,
They joyfully conspired to raise
'heir ceaseless sacrifice of praise.
Propriety was there unknown,
None called what he possessed his own;
Where all the common blessings share,
No selfish happiness was there.
With grace abundantly ended,
A pure, believing multitude I
They all were of one heart and soul,
And only love inspired the whole.
O what an age of golden days I
O what a choice, peculiar race I
Wash'd in the Lamb's all-cleansing blond,
Anointed kings and priests to God.
Where shall I wander now to find
The successors they left behind ?
The faithful whom I seek in vain,
Are finishedd from the sons of men.
Ye different sects, who all declare,
"Lo, here is Christ I" or, Christ is there I
Your stronger proofs divinely give,
And show me where the Christians live.
AN EARNEST APPEAL TO MEN
Your claim, alas I ye cannot prove,
Ye want the genuine mark of love:
Thou only, Lord, thine own caust show;
For sure thou hast a Church below.
The gates of hell cannot prevail,
The Church on earth can never fail:
Ah I join me to thy secret ones !
Ah! gather all thy living stones!
Scatter'd o'er all the earth they lie,
Till thou collect them with thine eye,
Draw by the music of thy name,
And charm into a beauteous frame.
For this the pleading Spirit groans,
And cries in all thy banish'd ones:
Greatest of gifts, thy love, impart,
And make us of one mind and heart I
Join every soul that looks to thee
In bonds of perfect charity:
Now, Lord, the glorious fulness give.
And all in all for ever live I
JESUS, from whom all blessings flow,
Great Builder of thy Church below,
If now thy Spirit moves my breast,
Hear, and fulfil thy own request I
The few that truly call thee Lord,
And wait thy sanctifying word,
And thee their utmost Saviour own,
Unite, and perfect them in one.
Gather them in on every side,
And in thy tabernacle hide;
Give them a resting-place to find,
A covert from the storm and wind.
O find them out some calm recess,
Some unfrequented wilderness I
Thou, Lord, the secret place prepare,
And hide and feed the woman there
Thither collect thy little flock,
Under the shadow of their Rock:
The holy seed, the royal race,
The standing monuments of thy gracr
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
O let them all thy mind express,
Stand forth thy chosen witnesses I
Thy power unto salvation show,
And perfect holiness below :
The fulness of thy grace receive,
And simply to thy glory live;
Strongly reflect the light divine,
And in a land of darkness shine.
In them let all mankind behold
How Christians lived in days of old;
Mighty their envious 4es to move,
A proverb of reproach-and love.
O make them of one soul and heart,
The all-conforming trind impart;
Spirit of peace and unity,
The sinless mind that was ia thee.
Call them into thy wondrous light,
Worthy to walk with thee in white;
Make up thy jewels, Lord, and show
The glorious, spotless Church below.
From every sinful wrinkle free,
Redeem'd from all iniquity;
The fellowship of saints make known;
And O, my God, might I be one!
O might my lot be cast with these,
The least of Jesu's witnesses I
( that my Lord would count me meet
To wash his dear disciples' feet I
This only thing do I require,
Thou know'st 'tis all my heart's desire,
Freely what I receive to give,
The servant of thy Church to live:
After my lowly Lord to go,
And wait upon the saints below;
Enjoy the grace to angels given,
And serve the royal heirs of heaven.
Lord, if I now thy drawings feel,
And ask according to thy will,
Confirm the prayer, the seal impart,
And speak the answer to my heart I
Tell me, or thou shalt never go,
" Thy prayer is heard, it shall be so:"-
The word hath passed thy lips,-and I-
Shall with thy people live and die.
A FARTHER APPEAL
MEN OF REASON AND RELIGION.
Let the righteous smite me friendly, and reprove me. Psalm cxli. 5.
IN a former treatise I declared, in the plainest manner I
could, both my principles and practice; and answered some of
the most important, as well as the most common, objections
to each. But I have not yet delivered my own soul. I believe
it is still incumbent upon me to answer other objections, par-
ticularly such as have been urged by those who are esteemed
religious or reasonable men.
These partly relate to the doctrines I teach, partly to my
-manner of teaching them,and partlyto theeffects which are sup-
posed to follow from teaching these doctrines in this manner.
I. 1. I will briefly mention what those doctrines are, before
I consider the objections against them. Now, all I teach
respects either the nature and condition of justification, the
nature and condition of salvation, the nature of justifying
and saving faith, or the Author of faith and salvation.
2. First: The nature of justification. It sometimes means
our acquittal at the last day. (Matt. xii. 37.) But this is alto-
gether out of the present question; that justification whereof
our Articles and Homilies speak, meaning present forgiveness,
pardon of sins, and, consequently, acceptance with God; who
therein declares his righteousness" (or mercy, by or) for
the remission of the sins that are past;" saying, "I will be
A FARTHER APPEAL.
merciful to thy unrighteousness, and thine iniquities I will
remember no more." (Rom. iii. 25 ; Heb. viii. 12.)
I believe the condition of this is faith : (Rom. iv. 5, &c.:) I
mean, not only, that without faith we cannot be justified; but,
also, that as soon as any one has true faith, in that moment he
Good works follow this faith, but cannot go before it: (Luke
vi. 43:) Much less can sanctification, which implies a con-
tinued course of good works, springing from holiness of heart.
But it is allowed, that entire sanctification goes before our
justification at the last day. (Heb. xii. 14.)
It is allowed, also, that repentance, and "fruits meet for
repentance," go before faith. (Mark i. 15; Matthew iii. 8.)
Repentance absolutely must go before faith; fruits meet for
it, if there be opportunity. By repentance, I mean conviction
of sin, producing real desires and sincere resolutions of amend-
ment; and by fruits meet for repentance," forgiving our bro-
ther; (Matt. vi. 14, 15 ;) ceasing from evil, doing good; (Luke
iii. 3, 4, 9, &c.;) using the ordinances of God, and in general
obeying him according to the measure of grace which we have
received. (Matt. vii. 7; xxv. 29.) But these I cannot as yet
term good works; because they do not spring from faith and
the love of God.
3. By salvation I mean, not barely, according to the vulgar
notion, deliverance from hell, or going to heaven; but a
present deliverance from sin, a restoration of the soul to its
primitive health, its original purity; a recovery of the divine
nature; the renewal of our souls after the image of God, in
righteousness and true holiness, in justice, mercy, and truth.
This implies all holy and heavenly tempers, and, by conse-
quence, all holiness of conversation.
Now, if by salvation we mean a present salvation from sin,
we cannot say, holiness is the condition of it; for it is the
thing itself. Salvation, in this sense, and holiness, are
synonymous terms. We must therefore say, "We are saved
by faith." Faith is the sole condition of this salvation. For
without faith we cannot be thus saved. But whosoever
believeth is saved already.
Without faith we cannot be thus saved; for we cannot
lightly serve God unless we love him. And we cannot love
:im unless we know him; neither can we know God unless by
A FARTHER APPEAL TO MEN
faith. Therefore, salvation by faith is only, in other words,
the love of God by the knowledge of God; or, the recovery of
the image of God, by a true, spiritual acquaintance with him.
4. Faith, in general, is a divine, supernatural eXeyXov of
things not seen, not discoverable by our bodily senses, as being
either past, future, or spiritual. Justifying faith implies, not
only a divine eX-YXov, that God was in Christ, reconciling
the world unto himself," but a sure trust and confidence that
Christ died for my sins, that he loved me, and gave himself for
me. And the moment a penitent sinner believes this, God
pardons and absolves him.
And as soon as his pardon or justification is witnessed to
him by the Holy Ghost, he is saved. He loves God and all
mankind. He has the mind that was in Christ," and power
to walk as he also walked." From that time (unless he
make shipwreck of the faith) salvation gradually increases in
his soul. For so is the kingdom of God, as if a man should
cast seed into the ground; and it springeth up, first the blade,
then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear."
5. The first sowing of this seed I cannot conceive to be
other than instantaneous; whether I consider experience, or
the word of God, or the very nature of the thing;-however,
I contend not for a circumstance, but the substance: If you
can attain it another way, do. Only see that you do attain it;
for if you fall short, you perish everlastingly.
This beginning of that vast, inward change, is usually termed,
the new birth. Baptism is the outward sign of this inward
grace, which is supposed by our Church to be given with and
through that sign to all infants, and to those of riper years, if
they repent and believe the gospel. But how extremely idle are
the common disputes on this head I tell a sinner, "You must
be born again." "No," say you: "He was born again in bap-
tism. Therefore he cannot be born again-now." Alas, what
trifling is this! What, if he was then a child of God ? He is
now manifestly achildof the devil; for the worksof his fatherhe
doeth. Therefore, do not play upon words. He must go through
an entire change of heart. In one not yet baptized, you yourself
would call that change, the new birth. In him, call it what you
will; but remember, meantime, that if either he or you die
Evidence, or conviction.
OP REASON AND RELIGION.
without it, your baptism will be so far from profiting you,
that it will greatly increase your damnation.
6. The author of faith and salvation is God alone. It is
he that works in us both to will and to do. He is the sole
Giver of every good gift, and the sole Author of every good
work. There is no more of power than of merit in man;
but as all merit is in the Son of God, in what he has done
and suffered for us, so all power is in the Spirit of God. And
therefore every man, in order to believe unto salvation, must
receive the Holy Ghost. This is essentially necessary to every
Christian, not in order to his working miracles, but in order
to faith, peace, joy, and love,-the ordinary fruits of the Spirit.
Although no man on earth can explain the particular
manner wherein the Spirit of God works on the soul, yet
whosoever has these fruits, cannot but know and feel that
God has wrought them in his heart.
Sometimes He acts more particularly on the understanding,
opening or enlightening it, (as the Scripture speaks,) and re-
vealing, unveiling, discovering to us the deep things of God."
Sometimes He acts on the wills and affections of men;
withdrawing them from evil, inclining them to good, inspiring
(breathing, as it were) good thoughts into them : So it has
frequently been expressed, by an easy, natural metaphor,
strictly analogous to rn, -rvevua, spiritus, and the words
used iu most modern tongues also, to denote the third person
in the ever-blessed Trinity. But however it be expressed,
it is certain all true faith, and the whole work of salvation,
every good thought, word, and work, is altogether by the
operation of the Spirit of God.
II. 1. I come now to consider the principal objections
which have lately been made against these doctrines.
I know nothing material which has been objected as to the
nature of justification; but many persons seem to be very
confused in their thoughts concerning it, and speak as if they
had never heard of any justification antecedent to that of
the last day. To clear up this, there needs only a closer
inspection of our Articleg and Homilies; wherein justifica-
tion is always taken for the present remission of our sins.
But many are the objections which have been warmly urged
against the condition of justification, faith alone ; particularly
in two treatises, the former entitled, The Notions of the
VOL. VIII. E
A FARTHER APPEAL TO MEN
Methodists fully disproved;" the second, "The Notions of the
Methodists farther disproved:" In both of which it is vehe-
mently affirmed, (1.) That this is not a scriptural doctrine;
(2.) That it is not the doctrine of the Church of England.
It will not be needful to name the former of these any more;
seeing there is neither one text produced therein to prove this
doctrine unscriptural, nor one sentence from the Articles or
Homilies to prove it contrary to the doctrine of the Church.
But so much of the latter as relates to the merits of the cause,
I will endeavour to consider calmly. As to what is personal,
I leave it as it is. "God be merciful to me, a sinner! "
2. To prove this doctrine unscriptural,-That faith alone
is the condition of justification,-you allege, that sanctifi-
cation, according to Scripture, must go before it:" To evince
which, you quote the following texts, which I leave as I find
them: Go, disciple all nations,-teaching them to observe
all things, whatsoever I have commanded you." (Matt. xxviii.
19, 20.) He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved."
(Mark xvi. 16.) Preach repentance and remission of sins."
(Luke xxiv. 47.) "Repent, and be baptized every one of
you, for the remission of sins." (Acts ii. 38.) Repent and
be converted, that your sins may be blotted out." (iii. 19.)
" By one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are
sanctified." (Heb. x. 14.) You add, St. Paul taught 're-
pentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus
Christ;' (Acts xx. 21;) and calls 'repentance from dead
works, and faith toward God,' first principles. (Heb. vi. 1.)"
You subjoin: "But 'ye are washed,' says he, 'but ye are
sanctified, but ye are justified.' By 'washed,' is meant their
baptism; and by their baptism is meant, first, their sanctifi-
cation, and then their justification." This is a flat begging
the question; you take for granted the very point which you
ought to prove. "St. Peter also," you say, affirms that
baptism doth save us,' or justify us." Again you beg the
question; you take for granted what I utterly deny, viz., that
save and justify are here synonymous terms. Till this is
proved, you can draw no inference at all; for you have no
foundation whereon to build.
I conceive these and all the scriptures which can be quoted
to prove sanctification antecedent to justification, (if they do
not relate to our final justification,) prove only, (what I have
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
never denied,) that repentance, or conviction of sin, and
fruits meet for repentance, precede that faith whereby we are
justified: But by no means, that the love of God, or any
branch of true holiness, must or can precede faith.
3. It is objected, Secondly, that justification by faith alone
is not the doctrine of the Church of England.
"You believe," says the writer above-mentioned, "that no
good work can be previous to justification, nor, consequently,
a condition of it. But, God be praised, our Church has
nowhere delivered such abominable doctrine." (Page 14.)
"The Clergy contend for inward holiness, as previous to
the first justification ;-this is the doctrine they universally
inculcate, and which you cannot oppose without contradict-
ing the doctrine of our Church." (Page 26.)
"All your strongest persuasives to the love of God will
not blanch over the deformity of that doctrine, that men
may be justified by faith alone;-unless you publicly recant
this horrid doctrine, your faith is vain." (Page 27.)
If you will vouchsafe to purge out this venomous part of
your principles, in which the wide, essential, fundamental,
irreconcilable difference, as you very justly term it, mainly
consists, then there will be found, so far, no disagreement be-
tween you and the Clergy of the Church of England." (Ibid.)
4. In order to be clearly and fully satisfied what the doctrine
of the Church of England is, (as it stands opposite to the doc-
trine of the Antinomians, on the one hand, and to that ofjusti-
fication by works, on the other,) I will simply set down what oc-
curs on thishead,either in her Liturgy, Articles, or Homilies:-
Spare thou them, O God, which confess their faults:
Restore thou them that are penitent, according to thy pro-
mises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesu our Lord."
He pardoneth and absolveth all them that truly repent,
and unfeignedly believe his holy gospel."
Almighty God, who dost forgive the sins of them that are
penitent, create and makeinusnewandcontrite hearts; thatwe,
worthily lamenting our sins, and acknowledging our wretched-
ness, may obtain of thee perfect remission and forgiveness,
through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Collectfor Ash-Wednesday.)
"Almighty God-hath promised forgiveness of sins to all
them that with hearty repentance and true faith turn unto
him." (Communion Ofice.)
A FARTHER APPEAL TO MEN
"Our Lord Jesus Christ hath left power to absolve all sinners
who truly repent and believe in him." (Visitation of the Sick.)
Give him unfeigned repentance and steadfast faith, that
his sins may be blotted out." (Ibid.)
He is a merciful receiver of all true penitent sinners, and
is ready to pardon us, if we come unto him with faithful
repentance." (Commination Office.)
Infants, indeed, our Church supposes to be justified in
baptism, although they cannot then either believe or repent.
But she expressly requires both repentance and faith in those
who come to be baptized when they are of riper years.
As earnestly, therefore, as our Church inculcates justifi-
cation by faith alone, she nevertheless supposes repentance to
be previous to faith, and fruits meet for repentance; yea,
and universal holiness to be previous to final justification, as
evidently appears from the following words:-
Let us beseech him-that the rest of our life may be
pure and holy, so that at the last we may come to his eternal
"May we seriously apply our hearts to that holy and hea-
venly wisdom here, which may in the end bring us to life
everlasting." (Visitation of the Sick.)
Raise us from the death of sin unto the life of righteous-
ness,-that at the last day we may be found acceptable in thy
sight." (Burial Office.)
If we from henceforth walk in his ways,-seeking always
his glory, Christ will set us on his right hand." (Commina-
5. We come next to the Articles of our Church: The
former part of the Ninth runs thus:-
OF ORIGINAL OR BIRTH-SIN.
"Original sin-is the fault and corruption of the nature of
every man,-whereby man is very far gone from original
righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil, so
that the flesh lusteth always contrary to the spirit; and
therefore in every person born into this world, it deserveth
God's wrath and damnation."
ARTICLE X.-OF FREE-WILL.
"The condition of man after the fall of Adam is such, that
he cannot turn and prepare himself by his own natural strength
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
and good works to faith and calling upon God. Wherefore
we have no power to do good works, pleasant and acceptable
to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us,
that we may have a good-will, and working with us when we
have that good-will."
ARTICLE XI.-OF THE JUSTIFICATION OF MAN.
We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by faith, and not for our
own works or deservings. Wherefore that we are justified by
faith only, is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of com-
fort,as most largely is expressed in the Homilyof Justification,"
I believe this Article relates to the meritorious cause of jus-
tification, rather than to the r.ondtion of it. On this, therefore,
I do not build anything concerning it, but on those that follow.
ARTICLE XII.-OF GOOD WORKS.
"Albeit, that good works, which are the fruits of faith and
follow after justification, cannot put away our sins ; yet are
they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do spring
out necessarily of a true and lively faith : Insomuch that by
them a lively faith may be as evidently known as a tree may
be known by the fruit."
We are taught here, (1.) That good works in general
follow after justification. (2.) That they spring out of a
true and lively faith, that faith whereby we are justified.
(3.) That true, justifying faith may be as evidently known by
them as a tree discerned by the fruit.
Does it not follow, that the supposing any good work to go
before justification is full as absurd as the supposing an apple,
or any other fruit, to grow before the tree ?
But let us hear the Church, speaking yet more plainly:-
ARTICLE XIII.-OF WORKS DONE BEFORE JUSTIFICATION.
Works done before the grace of Christ, and the inspiration
of his Spirit," (that is, before justification, as the title expresses
it,) are not pleasant to God, forasmuch as they spring not
of faith in Jesu Christ. Yea, rather, for that they are not
done as God hath willed and commanded them to be done, we
doubt not they have the nature of sin."
Now, if all works done before justification have the nature of
sin, (both because they spring not of faith in Christ, and because
A FARTH ER APPEAL TO MEN
they are not done as God hath willed and commanded them
to be done,) what becomes of sanctification previous to justi-
fication ? It is utterly excluded ; seeing whatever is previous
to justification is not good or holy, but evil and sinful.
Although, therefore, our Church does frequently assert that
we ought to repent,and bring forth fruits meet for repentance,if
ever we would attain to that faith whereby alone we are justified;
yet she never asserts (and here the hinge of the question turns)
that these are good works, so long as they are previous to justi-
fication. Nay, she expressly asserts the direct contrary, viz.,
that they have all the nature of sin. So that this "horrid,
scandalous, wicked, abominable, venomous, blasphemous doc-
trine," is nevertheless the doctrine of the Church of England.
6. It remains to consider what occurs in the Homilies, first
with regard to the meritorious cause of-our justification, agree-
able to the eleventh; and then with regard to the condition
of it, agreeable to the twelfth and thirteenth Articles:-
"These things must go together in our justification;-upon
God's part, his great mercy and grace; upon Christ's part,
the satisfaction of God's justice; and upon our part, true and
lively faith in the merits of Jesus Christ." (Homily on Salva-
tion. Part I.)
So that the grace of God doth not shut out the justice
(or righteousness) of God in our justification; but only shutteth
out the righteousness of man,-as to deserving our justification.
"And therefore St. Paul declareth nothing on the behalf of
man, concerning his justification, but only a true faith.
"And yet that faith doth not shut out repentance, hope,
love, to be joined with faith (that is, afterwards; see below) in
every man that is justified : Neither doth faith shut out the
righteousness of our good works, necessarily to be done after-
wards. But it excludeth them so that we may not do them to
this intent,-to be made just (or, to be justified) by doing them.
That we are justified by faith alone, is spoken to take away
clearly all merit of our works, and wholly to ascribe the merit
and deserving of our justification unto Christ only." (Tbid.
"The true meaning of this saying, We be justified by
faith only,' is this, We be justified by the merits of Christ
only, and not of our own works.'" (Ibid. Part III.)
7. Thus far touching the meritorious cause of our justifica-
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
tion; referred to in the Eleventh Article. The Twelfth and
Thirteenth are a summary of what now follows, with regard
to the condition of it:-
"Of justifying, true faith, three things are specially to be
noted: First, that it bringeth forth good works: Secondly,
that without it can no good works be done: Thirdly, what good
works it doth bring forth." (Sermon on Faith. Part I.)
"Without faith can no good work be done, accepted and
pleasant unto God. For 'as a branch cannot bear fruit of
itself,' saith our Saviour Christ, 'except it abide in the vine,
so cannot you, except you abide in me.' Faith giveth life to
the soul; and they be as much dead to God that lack faith, as
they be to the world whose bodies lack souls. Without faith
all that is done of us is but dead before God. Even as a picture
is but a dead representation of the thing itself, so be the works
of all unfaithful (unbelieving) persons before God. They be
but shadows of lively and good things, and not good things
indeed. For true faith doth give life to the works, and without
faith no work is good before God." (Ibid. Part III.)
"We must set no good works before faith, nor think that
before faith a man may do any good works. For such works
are as the course of an horse that runneth out of the way,
which taketh great labour, but to no purpose." (Ibid.)
"Without faith we have no virtues, but only the shadows
of them. All the life of them that lack the true faith is sin."
As men first have life, and after be nourished, so must our
faith go before, and after be nourished with, good works. And
life may be without nourishment, but nourishment cannot be
without life." (Homily of Works annexed to Faith. Part I.)
"I can show a man that by faith without works lived and
came to heaven. But without faith never man had life. The
thief on the cross only believed, and the most merciful God
justified him. Truth it is, if he had lived and not regarded
faith and the works thereof, he should have lost his salvation
again. But this I say, faith by itself saved him. But works
by themselves never justified any man.
Good works go not before in him which shall afterwards
be justified. But good works do follow after when a man is
first justified." (Homily on Fasting. Part I.)
8. From the whole tenor then of her Liturgy, Articles, and
A FARTHER APPEAL TO MEN
Homilies, the doctrine of the Church of England appears to
(1.) That no good work, properly so called, can go before
(2.) That no degree of true sanctification can be previous to it.
(3.) That as the meritorious cause of justification is the life
and death of Christ, so the condition of it is faith, faith alone.
(4.) That both inward and outward holiness are consequent
on this faith, and are the ordinary, stated condition of final
9. And what more can you desire, who have hitherto opposed
justification by faith alone, merely upon a principle of conscience;
because you was zealous for holiness and good works ? Do I
not effectuallysecure these from contempt at the same time that
I defend the doctrines of the Church ? I not only allow, but
vehemently contend,that none shall ever enter into glory whois
not holy on earth, as well in heart, as "in all manner of conver-
sation." I cry aloud, Let all that have believed, be careful to
maintain good works; and, "Let every one that nameth the
name of Christ, depart from all iniquity." I exhort even those
who are conscious they do not believe: "Cease to do evil, learn
to do well: The kingdom of heaven is at hand; therefore,
" repent, and bring forth fruits meet for repentance." Are not
these directions the very same in substance which you yourself
would giveto persons so circumstanced? What means thenthis
endless strife of words ? Or what doth your arguing prove ?
10. Manyofthosewho are perhaps as zealous of goodworks as
you, think I have allowed you too much. Nay, my brethren, but
how can we help allowing it, if we allow the Scriptures to be from
God? For is it not written, and do not you yourselves believe,
" Without holiness no man shall see the Lord ?" And how then,
without fighting about words, can we deny that holiness is a con-
dition of final acceptance ? And as to the first acceptance or
pardon, does not all experience, as well as Scripture, prove that
no man ever yet truly believed the gospel who did not first
repent ? that none was ever yet truly "convinced of righteous-
ness," whowasnot first"convincedof sin? Repentance, there-
fore, in this sense, we cannot deny to be necessarily previous to
faith. Is it not equally undeniable, that the running back into
known, wilful sin, (suppose it were drunkenness or uncleanness,)
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
stifles that repentance or conviction ? And can that repentance
come to any good issue in his soul, who resolves not to forgive
his brother; or who obstinately refrains from what God con-
vinces him is -'rht, whether it be prayer or hearing his word ?
Would you scruple yourself to tell one of these, "Why, if
you will thus drink away all conviction, how should you ever
truly know your want of Christ; or, consequently, believe in
him? If you will not forgive your brother his trespasses,
neither will your heavenly Father forgive you your trespasses.
If you will not ask, how can you expect to receive? If you
will not hear, how can faith come by hearing ?' It is plain
you grieve the Spirit of God ;' you will not have him to reign
over you. Take care that he does not utterly depart from you.
For'unto him that hath shall be given; but from him that
hath not,' that is, uses it not, shall be taken away, even that
which he hath.' Would you scruple, on a proper occasion,
to say this? You could not scruple it if you believe the
Bible. But in saying this, you allow all which I have said,
viz., that previous to justifying faith, there must be repentance,
and, if opportunity permit, fruits meet for repentance."
11. And yet I allow you this, that although both repent-
ance and the fruits thereof are in some sense necessary be-
fore justification, yet neither the one nor the other is neces-
sary in the same sense, or in the same degree, with faith.
Not in the same degree; for in whatever moment a man
believes (in the Christian sense of the word) he is justified,
his sins are blotted out, "his faith is counted to him for right-
eousness." But it is not so at whatever moment he repents,
or brings forth any or all the fruits of repentance. Faith
alone, therefore, justifies; which repentance alone does not,
much less any outward work. And, consequently, none of these
are necessary to justification, in the same degree with faith.
Nor in the same sense. For none of these has so direct,
immediate a relation to justification as faith. This is proxi-
mately necessary thereto; repentance, remotely, as it is neces-
sary to the increase or continuance of faith. And even in this
sense these are only necessary on supposition,-if there be time
and opportunity for them ; for in many instances there is not;
but God cuts short his work, and faith prevents the fruits of
repentance. So that the general proposition is not overthrown,
but clearly established by these concessions; and we conclude
A FARTHER APPEAL TO MEN
still, both on the authority of Scripture and the Church, that
faith alone is the proximate condition of justification.
III. 1. Iwasonceinclined to believe that none would openly
object against what I had anywhere said of the nature of salva-
tion. How greatly then was I surprised some months ago,
when I was shown a kind of circular letter, which one of those
whom "the Holy Ghost hath made overseers" of his Church,*
I was informed, had sent to all the Clergy of his diocese!
Part of it ran (nearly, if not exactly) thus :-
There is great indiscretion in preaching up a sort of
religion, as the true and only Christianity, which, in their
own account of it, consists in an enthusiastic ardour, to be
understood or attained by very few, and not to be practised
without breaking in upon the common duties of life."
O, my Lord, what manner of words are these Supposing
candour and love out of the question, are they the words of
truth ? I dare stake my life upon it, there is not one true
clause in all this paragraph.
The propositions contained therein are these:--
(1.) That the religion I preach consists in enthusiastic ardour.
(2.) That it can be attained by very few.
(3.) That it can be understood by very few.
(4.) That it cannot be practised without breaking in upon
the common duties of life.
(5.) And that all this maybe proved by my own account of it.
I earnestly entreat your Grace to review my own account
of it, as it stands in any of my former writings; or to consider
the short account which is given in this; and if you can thence
make good any one of those propositions, I do hereby pro-
mise, before God and the world, that I will never preach more.
At present I do not well understand what your Grace means
by "an enthusiastic ardour." Surely you do not mean the
love of God No, not though a poor,, pardoned sinner should
carry it so far as to love the Lord his God with all his heart,
and with all his soul, and with all his strength I But this
alone is the ardour which I preach up as the foundation of the
true and only Christianity. I pray God so to fill your whole
heart therewith, that you may praise him for ever and ever.
But why should your Grace believe that the love of God can
be attained by very few ; or, that it can be understood by very
The (then) Archbishop of York.
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
few? All who attain it understand it well. And did not He
who is loving to every man design that every man should
attain true love? 0 that all would know, in this their day,
the things that make for their peace "
And cannot the love both of God and our neighbour be
practised, without breaking in upon the common duties of
life ? Nay, can any of the common duties of life be rightly
practised without them ? I apprehend not. I apprehend I
am then laying the true, the only foundation for all those
duties, when I preach, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and thy neighbour as thyself."
2. With this letter was sent (I believe to every Clergyman in
the diocese) the pamphlet, entitled, "Observations on the Con-
duct and Behaviour of a certain Sect, usually distinguished by
the name of Methodists." It has been generally supposed to be
wrote by a person who is every way my superior. Perhaps one
reason why he did not inscribe his name was, that his greatness
might not make me afraid; and that I might have liberty to
stand as it were on even ground, while I answer for myself.
In considering, therefore, such parts of these "Observations"
as fall in my way, I will take that method which I believe the
author desires, using no ceremony at all; but speaking as to
an equal, that it may the more easily be discerned where the
The first query relating to doctrine is this:-
"Whether notions in religion may not be heightened to such
extremes, as to lead some into a disregard of religion itself,
through despair of attaining such exalted heights: And whe-
ther others who have imbibed those notions may not be led by
them into a disregard and disesteem of the common duties and
offices of life; to such a degree, at least, as is inconsistent with
that attention to them, and that diligence in them,which Provi-
dence has made necessary to the well-being of private families
and public societies, and which Christianity does not only
require in all stations, and in all conditions, but declares at
the same time, that the performance even of the lowest offices
in life, as unto God, (whose providence has placed people in
their several stations,) is truly a serving of Christ, and will
not fail of its reward in the next world."
You have interwoven so many particulars in this general
question, that I must divide and answer them one by one.
A FARTHER APPEAL TO MEN
Query 1. Whether notions in religion may not be heightened
to such extremes, as to lead some into a disregard of religion
Answer. They may. But that I have so heightened them,
it lies upon you to prove.
Q. 2. Whether others may not be led into a disregard of
religion, through despair of attaining such exalted heights.
A. What heights ? the loving God with all our heart ? I
believe this is the most exalted height in man or angel. But
I have not heard that any have been led into a disregard of
religion through despair of attaining this.
Q. 3. Whether others who have imbibed these notions may
not be led by them into a disregard and disesteem of the com-
mon duties and offices of life.
A. My notions are, True religiofi is the loving God with all
our heart, and our neighbour as ourselves; and in that love
abstaining from all evil, and doing all possible good to all men.
Now, it is not possible, in the nature of things, that any should
be led by these notions into either a disregard or disesteem
of the common duties and offices of life.
Q. 4. But may they not be led by them into such a degree,
at least, of disregard for the common duties of life as is incon-
sistent with that attention to them, and diligence in them,
which Providence has made necessary ?
A. No; quite the reverse. They lead men to discharge
all those duties with the strictest diligence and closest atten-
Q. 5. Does not Christianity require this attention and dili-
gence in all stations and in all conditions ?
Q. 6. Does it not declare that the performance even of the
lowest offices of life, as unto God, is truly "a serving of Christ;"
and will not fail of its reward in the next world ?
A. It does. But whom are you confuting? Not me; for
this is the doctrine I preach continually.
3. Query the Second :-" Whether the enemy of Christi-
anity may not find his account in carrying Christianity, which
was designed for a rule to all stations and all conditions, to such
heights as make it practicable by a very few, in comparison,
or rather, by none."
I answer, (1.) The height to which we carry Christianity (as
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
was but now observed) is this: Thou shalt love the Lord
thy God with all thy heart, and thy neighbour as thyself."
(2.) The enemy of Christianity cannot find his account in our
carrying it to this height. (3.) You will not say, on reflection,
that Christianity, even in this height, is practicable by very
few, or rather, by none : You yourself will confess this is a rule
(as God designed it should) for all stations and all conditions.
Query the Third :-" Whether, in particular, the carrying
the doctrine of justification by faith alone to such a height as
not to allowthat a sincere and carefulobservance of moral duties
is so much as a condition of our acceptance with God, and of our
being justified in his sight: Whether this, I say, does not natu-
rally lead people to a disregard of thoseduties, and a low esteem of
them; or, rather, to think them no part of the Christianreligion."
I trust justification by faith alone has been so explained
above, as to secure not only a high esteem but also a careful
and sincere observance of all moral duties.
4. Query the Fourth:-" Whether a due and regular
attendance on the public offices of religion, paid by good men
in a serious and composed way, does not answer the true ends
of devotion, and is not a better evidence of the co-operation
of the Holy Spirit, than those sudden agonies, roarings,
screaming, tremblings, droppings down, ravings, and mad-
nesses, into which their hearers have been cast."
I must answer this query likewise part by part.
Query 1. Whether a due and regular attendance on the
public offices of religion, paid in a serious and composed
way, by good (that is, well-meaning) men, does not answer
the true ends of devotion.
Answer. I suppose, by devotion, you mean public worship;
by the true ends of it, the love of God and man; and by a due
andregular attendance on the public offices of religion, paid in a
serious and composed way, the going as often as we have oppor-
tunity to our parish church, and tothe sacrament there adminis-
tered. If so, the question is, whether this attendance on those
offices does not produce the love of God and man. I answer,
Sometimes it does; and sometimes it does not. I myself thus
attended them for many years; and yet am conscious to myself
that during that whole time I had no more of the love of God
than a stone. And I know many hundreds, perhaps thousands,
of serious persons, who are ready to testify the same thing.
A FARTHER APPEAL TO MEN
Q. 2. But is not this a better evidence of the co-operation
of the Holy Spirit, than those sudden agonies?
A. All these persons, as well as I, can testify also that this
is no evidence at all of the co-operation of the Holy Spirit.
For some years I attended these public offices, because I
would not be punished for non-attendance. And many of
these attended them, because their parents did before them,
or because they would not lose their character: Many more,
because they confounded the means with the end, and fancied
this opus operatum would bring them to heaven. How many.
thousands are now under this strong delusion 1 Beware, you
bring not their blood on your own head !
Q. 3. However, does not this attendance better answer
those ends, than those roarings, screaming ? &c.
A. I suppose you mean, better than an attendance on
that preaching, which has often been accompanied with these.
I answer, (1.) There is no manner of need to set the one in
opposition to the other; seeing we continually exhort all who
attend on our preaching to attend the offices of the Church.
And they do pay a more regular attendance there than ever
they did before. (2.) Their attending the Church did not, in
fact, answer those ends at all till they attended this preaching
also. (3.) It is the preaching of remission of sins through
Jesus Christ, which alone answers the true ends of devotion.
And this will always be accompanied with the co-operation of
the Holy Spirit; though not always with sudden agonies,
roarings, screaming, tremblings, or droppings down. Indeed,
if God is pleased at any time to permit any of these, I cannot
hinder it. Neither can this hinder the work of his Spirit in
the soul; which may be carried on either with or without
them. But, (4.) I cannot apprehend it to be any reasonable
proof, that "this is not the work of God," that a convinced
sinner should fall into an extreme agony, both of body and
soul;" (Journal III., p. 26 ;) that another should "roar for the
disquietness of her heart; (p. 40;) that others should scream
or "cry with a loud and bitter cry, 'What must we do to be
saved ?'" (p. 50;) that others should exceedingly tremble and
quake; (p. 58;) and others, in a deep sense of the majesty
of God, "should fall prostrate upon the ground." (P. 59.)
Indeed, by picking out one single word from a sentence, and
then putting together what you had gleaned in sixty or seventy
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
pages, you have drawn a terrible group for them who look no
farther than those two lines in the Observations." But the
bare addition of half a line to each word, just as it stands in
the place from which you quoted it, reconciles all both to
Scripture and reason; and the spectre-form vanishes away.
You have taken into your account ravingsand madnesses too.
As instances of the former, you refer to the case of John Hay-
don, (p. 44,) and of Thomas Maxfield. (P. 50.) I wish you
would calmly consider his reasoning on that head, who is not
prejudiced in my favour: What influence sudden and sharp
awakenings may have upon the body, I pretend not to explain.
But I make no question, Satan, so far as he gets power, may
exert himself on such occasions, partly to hinder the good
work in the persons who are thus touched with the sharp
arrows of conviction, and partly to disparage the work of God,
as if it tended to lead people to distraction."
For instances of madness you refer to pages 88, 90, 91, 92,
93. The words in page 88 are these:-
"I could not but be under some concern, with regard to one
or two persons, who were tormented in an unaccountable man-
ner, and seemed to be indeed lunatic as well as 'sore vexed.'
Soon after I was sent for to one of these, who was so strangely
'torn of the devil,' that I almost wondered her relations did
not say, Much religion 'hath made thee mad.' We prayed
God to bruise Satan under her feet. Immediately 'we had
the petition we asked of him.' She cried out vehemently,
' He is gone he is gone and was filled with the Spirit of
'love, and of a sound mind.' I have seen her many times since
strong in the Lord. When I asked, abruptly, What do you
desire now ?' she answered, Heaven.' I asked, 'What is in
your heart?' She replied, 'God.' I asked, 'But how is your
heart when anything provokes you ? She said, By the grace
of God, I am not provoked at anything. All the things of this
world pass by me as shadows.' Are these the words of one
that is beside herself? Let any man of reason judge !
Your next instance (p. 90) stands thus:-
"About noon I came to Usk, where I preached to a small
company of poor people, on, 'The S u of man is come to save
that which is lost.' One grey-headed man wept and trembled
exceedingly; and another who was there, (I have since heard,)
as well as two or three who were at the Devauden,are gone quite
A FARTHER APPEAL TO MEN
distracted; that is, (my express words, that immediately follow,
specify what it was which some accounted distraction,) 'they
mourn and refuse to be comforted, until they have redemption
through his blood.'"
If you think the case mentioned pp. 92, 93, to be another
instance of madness, I contend not. It was because I did not
understand that uncommon case that I prefaced it with this
reflection : The fact I nakedly relate, and leave every man to
his own judgment upon it." Only be pleased to observe, that
this madness, if such it was, is no more chargeable upon me
than upon you. For the subject of it had no relation to, or
commerce with, me; nor had I ever seen her before that hour.
5. Query the Fifth:-" Whether those exalted strains in
religion, and an imagination of being already in a state of per-
fection, are not apt to lead men to spiritual pride,and to a con-
tempt of their fellow Christians; while they consider them as
only going on in what they call the low and imperfect way,
(that is, as growing in grace and goodness only by degrees,)
even though it appear by the lives of those who are considered
by them as in that low and imperfect way, that they are
persons who are gradually working out their salvation by their
own honest endeavours, and through the ordinary assistance
of God's grace; with an humble reliance upon the merits of
Christ for the pardon of their sins, and the acceptance of
their sincere though imperfect services."
I must divide this query too; but first permit me to ask,
What do you mean by "those exalted strains in religion ? "
I have said again and again, I know of no more exalted strain
than, I will love thee, O Lord my God :" Especially accord-
ing to the propriety of David's expression, rri, ran-i: Ex
intimis visceribus diligam te, Domine.* This premised, let
us go on step by step.
Query 1. Whether the preaching of "loving God from our
inmost bowels," is not apt to lead men to spiritual pride, and
to a contempt of their fellow Christians.
Answer. No: But, so far as it takes place, it will humble
them to the dust.
Q. 2. Whether an imagination of being already in a state
of perfection is not apt to lead men into spiritual pride.
*I will love thee from my inmost bowels.
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
A. (1.) If it be a false imagination, it is spiritual pride. (2.)
But true Christian perfection is no other than humble love.
Q. 3. Do not men who imagine they have attained this despise
others, as only going on in what they account the low and imper-
fect way, that is, as growing in grace and goodness by degrees?
A. (1.) Men who only imagine they have attained this may
probably despise those that are going on in any way. (2.) But
the growing in grace and goodness bydegrees is no mark of a
low and imperfect way. Those who are fathers in Christ grow
in grace by degrees, as well as the new-born babes.
Q. 4. Do they not.despise those who are working out their
salvation with an humble reliance upon the merits of Christ
for the pardon of their sins, and the acceptance of their sincere
though imperfect services?
A. (1.) They who really love God despise no man. But,
(2.) They grieve to hear many talk of thus relying on Christ,
who, though perhaps they are grave, honest, moral men, yet
by their own words appear not to love God at all; whose souls
cleave to the dust; who love the world; who have no part of
the mind that was in Christ.
6. Query the Sixth:-" Whether the same exalted strains
and notions do not tend to weaken the natural and civil relations
among men, by leading the inferiors, into whose heads those
notions are infused, to a disesteem of their superiors; while
they consider them as in a much lower dispensation than
themselves; though those superiors are otherwise sober and
good men, and regular attendants on the ordinances of religion."
I have mentioned before what thoseexaltednotionsare. These
do not tend to weaken either thenatural or civil relations among
men ; or to lead inferiors to a disesteem of their superiors, even
where those superiors are neither good nor sober men.
Query the Seventh :-" Whether a gradual improvement in
grace and goodness is not a better foundation of comfort, and of
an assurance of a gospel new-birth, than that which is founded
on the doctrine of a sudden and instantaneous change; which,
if there be any such thing, is not easily distinguished from
fancy and imagination; the workings whereof we may well sup-
pose to be more strong and powerful, while the person considers
himself in the state of one who is admitted as a candidate for
such a change, and is taught in due time to expect it."
Let us go one step at a time.
VOL. VIII. F
A FARTHER APPEAL TO MEN
Query 1. Whether a gradual improvement in grace and
goodness is not a good foundation of comfort.
Answer. Doubtless it is, if by grace and goodness be meant
the knowledge and love of God through Christ.
Q. 2. Whether it be not a good foundation of an assurance
of a gospel new-birth.
A. If we daily grow in this knowledge and love, it is a
good proof that we are born of the Spirit. But this does in
nowise supersede the previous witness of God's Spirit with
ours, that we are the children of God. And this is properly
the foundation of the assurance of faith.
Q. 3. Whether this improvement is not a better foundation of
comfort, and ofan assurance ofa gospel new-birth, thanthat which
is founded on the doctrine of sudden and instantaneous change.
A. A better foundation than that. That! What ? To what
substantive does this refer? According to the rulesof grammar,
(for all the substantives are in the genitive case, and, conse-
quently, to be considered as only parts of that which governs
them,) you must mean a better foundation than that foundation
which is founded on this doctrine. As soon as I understand
the question, I will endeavour to answer it.
Q. 4. Can that sudden and instantaneous change be easily
distinguished from fancy and imagination ?
A. Just as easily as light from darkness; seeing it brings
with it a peace that passeth all understanding, a joy unspeak-
able, full of glory, the love of God and all mankind filling the
heart, and power over all sin.
Q. 5. May we not well suppose the workings of imagination
to be more strong and powerful in one who is taught to
expect such a change ?
A. Perhaps we may; but still the tree is known by its
fruits. And such fruits as those above-mentioned imagination
was never yet strong enough to produce, nor any power, save
that of the Almighty.
7. There is only one clause in the Eighth Query which
falls under our present inquiry.
"They make it their principal employ, wherever they go,
to instil into people a few favourite tenets of their own; and
this with such diligence and zeal as if the whole of Christianity
depended upon them, and all efforts toward the true Christian
life, without a belief of those tenets, were vain and ineffectual."
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
I plead guilty to this charge. I do make it my principal,
nay,my whole employ, and that wherever I go, to instil into the
people a few favourite tenets;-only, be it observed, they are
not my own, but His that sent me. And it is undoubtedly true
that this I do, (though deeply conscious of my want both of
zeal and diligence,) as if the whole of Christianity depended
upon them, and all efforts without them were void and vain.
I frequently sum them all up in one: ''In Christ Jesus"
(that is,according to his gospel) "neither circumcision availeth
anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love."
But many times I instil them one by one, under these or the
like expressions: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all
thy heart, and with all thy mind, and with all thy soul, and with
all thy strength: Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself;" as
thy own soul; as Christ loved us. God is love; and he that
dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him. Love work-
eth no ill to his neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the
law. While we have time, let us do good unto all men; espe-
ciallyunto them that are of the household of faith. Whatsoever
ye would that men should do unto you, even so do unto them."
These are my favourite tenets, and have been for many years.
O that I could instil them into every soul throughout the land!
Ought they not to be instilled with such diligence and zeal,
as if the whole of Christianity depended upon them ? For
who can deny, that all efforts toward a Christian life, without
more than a bare belief, without a thorough experience and
practice of these, are utterly vain and ineffectual ?
8. Part of your Ninth query is to the same effect:-
A few young heads set up their own schemes as the great
standard of Christianity; and indulge their own notions to such
a degree, as to perplex, unhinge, terrify, and distract the minds
of multitudes of people, who have lived from their infancyunder
a gospel ministry, and in the regular exercise of a gospel wor-'
ship. And all this, by persuading them that they neither are
nor can be true Christians, but by adhering to their doctrines."
What do you mean by their own schemes, their own notions,
their doctrines ? Are they not yours too ? Are they not the
schemes, the notions, the doctrines of Jesus Christ; the
great fundamental truths of his gospel ? Can you deny one
of them without denying the Bible ? It is hard for you to
kick against the pricks!
A FARTHER APPEAL TO MEN
"They persuade," you say, "multitudes of people, that
they cannot be true Christians but by adhering to their doc-
trines." Why, who says they can? Whosoever he be, I will
prove him to be an infidel. Do you say that any man can
be a true Christian without loving God and his neighbour ?
Surely you have not so learned Christ It is your doctrine
as well as mine, and St. Paul's: "Though .I speak with the
tongues of men and angels; though I have all knowledge, and
all faith; though I give all my goods to feed the poor, yea,
my body to be burned, and have not love, I am nothing."
Whatever public worship, therefore, people may have at-
tended, or whatever ministry they have lived under from their
infancy, they must at all hazards be convinced of this, or they
perish for ever; yea, though that conviction at first unhinge
them ever so much; though it should in a manner distract them
for a season. For it is better they should be perplexed and ter.
rifled now, than that they should sleep on and awake in hell.
9. In the Tenth, Twelfth, and Thirteenth queries I am not
concerned. But you include me also when you say, in the
Eleventh, "They absolutely deny that recreations of any kind,
considered as such, are or can be innocent."
I cannot find any such assertion of mine either in the place
you refer to, or any other. But what kinds of recreation are
innocent it is easy to determine by that plain rule: Whether
ye eat or drink, or whatever ye do, do all to the glory of God."
I am now to take my leave of you for the present. But first
I would earnestly entreat you to acquaint yourselfwhat our doc.
trines are, before you make any farther observations upun them.
Surely, touching the nature of salvation we agree,-that "pure
religion and undefiled is this, to visit the fatherless and widows
in their affliction,"-to do all possible good, from a principle ot
love to God and man; and to keep ourselves unspotted from
the world,"-inwardly and outwardly to abstain from all evil.
10. With regard to the condition of salvation, it may be re-
membered that I allow, not only faith, but likewise holiness or
universal obedience, to be the ordinary condition of final salva-
tion; and that when I say, Faith alone is the condition of pre-
sent salvation, what I would assert is this : (1.) That without
faith no man can be saved from his sins; can be either inwardly
or outwardly holy. And, (2.) That at what time soever faith is
given, holiness commences in the soul. For that instant "the
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
love of God" ( which is the source of holiness) "is shed
abroad in the heart."
But it is objected by the author of The Notions of the
Methodists disproved," "St. James says, 'Can faith save him?'"
I answer, Such a faithas is without works cannot "bring a man
to heaven." But this is quite beside the present question.
You object, (2.) St. Paul says that faith made perfect by
love,' St. James, that 'faith made perfect by works,' is the
condition of salvation." You mean final salvation. I say so
too: But this also is beside the question.
You object, (3.) That the belief of the gospel is called the
obedience of faith." (Rom. i. 5.) And, (4.) that what Isaiah
terms believing, St. Paul terms obeying. Suppose I grant
you both the one and the other, what will you infer?
You object, (5.) That in one scripture our Lord is styled,
"The Saviour of them that believe;" and in another, "The
Author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him." (6.)
That to the Galatians St. Paul writes, "Neither circumcision
availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh
by love;" and to the Corinthians, "Circumcision is nothing,
and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping the command-
ments of God." And hence you conclude, There are several
texts of Scripture wherein unbelief and disobedience are
equivalently used." Very true; but can you conclude from
thence that we are not saved by faith alone ? "
11. You proceed to answer some texts which I had quoted.
The first is Ephesians ii. 8: By grace ye are saved through
faith." "But," say you, "faith does not mean here that grace
especially so called, but includes also obedience." But how do
you prove this ? That circumstance you had forgot; and so
run off with a comment upon the context; to which I have no
other objection, than that it is nothing at all to the question.
Indeed, some time after, you add, It is plain then that
good works are always, in St. Paul's judgment, joined with
faith;" (so undoubtedly they are; that is, as an effect isalways
joined with its cause;) "and therefore we are not saved by
faith alone." I cannot possibly allow the consequence.
You afterwards cite two more texts, and add, You see,
mere faith cannot be a condition of justification." You-are
out of your way. We are no more talking now of justification
than of final salvation.
A FARTHER APPEAL TO MEN
In considering Acts xvi. 31. "Believe in the Lord Jesus,
and thou shalt be saved," you say again, Here the word
believe does not signify faith only. Faith necessarily produces
charity and repentance; therefore, these are expressed by the
word believe;" that is, faith necessarily produces holiness;
therefore holiness is a condition of holiness. I want farther
proof. That Paul and Silas spake unto him the word of
the Lord," and that his faith did in the same hour" work
by love, I take to be no proof at all.
You then undertake to show, that confessing our sins is a
condition of justification, and that a confidence in the love of
God is not a condition. Some of your words are: This,
good Sir, give me leave to say, is the greatest nonsense and
contradiction possible. It is impossible you can understand
this jargon yourself; and therefore you labour in vain to make
it intelligible to others. You soar aloft on eagles' wings, and
leave the poor people to gape and stare after you."
This is very pretty, and very lively. But it is nothing to
the purpose. For we are not now speaking of justification;
neither have I said one word of the condition of justification
in the whole tract to which you here refer.
"In the next place," say you, "if we are saved" (finally
you mean) only by a confidence in the love of God." Here
I must stop you again; you are now running beside the
question, on the other hand. The sole position which I here
advance is this: True believers are saved from inward and out-
ward sin by faith. By faith alone the love of God and all man-
kind is shed abroad in their hearts, bringing with it the mind
that was in Christ, and producing all holiness of conversation.
IV. 1. I am now to consider what has been lately objected
with regard to the nature of saving faith.
The author last mentioned cannot understand how those
texts of St. John are at all to the purpose:" "Behold, what
manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we
should be called the sons of God;" (1 John iii. 1;) and, We
love him, because he first loved us." (iv. 19.) I answer, (1.)
These texts were not produced in the Appeal" by way or
proof, but of illustration only. But, (2.) I apprehend they may
be produced as a proof, both that Christian faith implies a con-
fidence in the love of God, and that such a confidence has a
direct tendency to salvation, to holiness both of heart and life.
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed
upon us, that we should be called the sons of God Are not
these words an expression of Christian faith, as direct an one
as can well be conceived? And I appeal to every man, whe-
ther they do not express the strongest confidence of the love of
God. Your own comment puts this beyond dispute: Let us
consider attentively, and with grateful hearts,the great love and
mercy of God in calling us to be his sons, and bestowing on us
the privileges belonging to such." Do you not perceive that
you have given up the cause ? You have yourself taught us
that these words imply a sense of the great love and mercy of
God,in bestowing upon us the privileges belonging to his sons."
The Apostle adds, Beloved, now are we the sons of God;
and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: But we know
that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall
see him as he is."
I suppose no one will say, either that these words are not
expressive of Christian faith; or that they do not imply the
strongest confidence in the love of God. It follows, "And
every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself even
as he is pure."
Hence it appears that this faith is a saving faith, that there
is the closest connexion between this faith and holiness.
This text, therefore, is directly to the purpose, in respect of
both the propositions to be proved.
The other is, "We love him, because he first loved us."
And here also, for fear I should fail in the proof, you have
drawn it up ready to my hands:-
God sent his only Son to redeem us from sin, by purchas-
ing for us grace and salvation. By which grace we, through
faith and repentance, have our sins pardoned; and therefore
we are bound to return the tribute of our love and gratitude,
and to obey him faithfully as long as we live."
Now, that we have our sins pardoned, if we do not know
they are pardoned, cannot bind us either to love or obedience.
But if we do know it, and by that very knowledge or confidence
in the pardoning love of God are both bound and enabled to
love and obey him, this is the whole of what I contend for.
2. You afterwards object against some other texts which I had
cited to illustrate the nature of saving faith. My words were.
"Hear believing Job declaring his faith: 'I know that my
A FARTHER APPEAL TO MEN
Redeemer liveth.'" I here affirm two things : (1.) That Job
was then a believer. (2.) That he declared his faith in these
words. And all I affirm, you allow. Your own words are,
" God was pleased to bestow upon him a strong assurance of
his favour; to inspire him with a prophecy of the resurrection,
and that he should have a share in it."
I went on, Hear Thomas (when having seen he believed)
crying out, 'My Lord and my God."' Hereon you comment
thus: The meaning of which is, that St. Thomas makes a
confession both of his faith and repentance." I agree with
you. But you add, "In St. Thomas's confession there is not
implied an assurance of pardon." You cannot agree with
yourself in this; but immediately subjoin, "If it did imply
such an assurance, he might well have it, since he had an
immediate revelation of it from God himself."
Yet a little before you endeavoured to prove that one who
was not a whit behind the very chief Apostles had not such
an assurance; where, in order to show that faith does not
imply this, you said, St. Paul methinks has fully determined
this point, 'I know nothing by myself,' says he; 'yet am I
not hereby justified.'" (1 Cor. iv. 4.) "And if an Apostle,
so illuminated, does not think himself justified," then I grant,
he has fully determined the point. But before you absolutely
fix upon that conclusion, be pleased to remember your own
comment that follows, on those other words of St. Paul:
"The life I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God, who
loved me and gave himself for me." Your words are, And,
no question, a person endowed with such extraordinary gifts
might arrive at a very eminent degree of assurance." So he
did arrive at a very eminent degree of assurance, though he
did not think himself justified !
I can scarce think you have read over that chapter to the
Colossians; else, surely, you would not assert that those words
on which the stress lies (viz., Who hath delivered us from the
power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of
his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood,
even the forgiveness of sins,") "do not relateto Paul and Timothy
who.wrote the Epistle, but to the Colossians, to whom they
wrote." I need be at no pains to answer this; for presently
after your own words are, "He hath made us," meaning the
Colossians, as well as himself, meet to be inheritors."
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
3. You may easily observe that I quoted the Council of
Trent by memory, not having the book then by me. I own,
and thank you for correcting, my mistake: But in correct-
ing one you make another; for the decrees of the Sixth
Session were not published on the thirteenth of January;
but the Session itself began on that day.
I cannot help reciting your next words, although they are
not exactly to the present question:-
"The words of the Twelfth Canon of the Council of Trent
"' If any man shall say that justifying faith is nothing else
but a confidence in the divine mercy, remitting sins for
Christ's sake, and that this confidence is that alone by which
we are justified, let him be accursed."' You add,-
This, Sir, I am sure is true doctrine, and perfectly agree-
able to the doctrine of our Church. And so you are not only
anathematized by the Council of Trent, but also condemned
by our own Church."
"Our Church holds no such scandalous and disgraceful
opinion." According to our Church, no man can have "the
true faith who has not a, loving heart. Therefore, faith is
not a confidence that any man's sins are actually forgiven,
and he reconciled to God." (What have the premises to do
with the conclusion ?)
4. To decide this, let our Church speak for herself,-
whether she does not suppose and teach, that every parti-
cular believer knows that his sins are forgiven, and he him-
self is reconciled to God.
First, then, our Church supposes and teaches every parti-
cular believer to say concerning himself, "In my baptism I
was made a member of Christ, a child of God, and an inher-
itor of the kingdom of heaven. And I thank God who hath
called me to that state of salvation. And I pray to God that
I may continue in the same to my life's end."
Now, does this person know what he says to be true ? If
not, it is the grossest hypocrisy. But if he does, then he
knows that he in particular is reconciled to God.
The next words I shall quote maybe a comment on these:
May God write them in our hearts !
A true Christian man is not afraid to die, who is the very
member of Christ, the temple of the Holy Ghost, the son of
A FARTHER APPEAL TO MEN
God, and the very inheritor of the everlasting kingdom of
heaven. But plainly contrary, he not only puts away the fear
of death, but wishes, desires, and longs heartily for it." (Ser-
mon against the Fear of Death. Part I.)
Can this be, unless he has a sure confidence that he in
particular is reconciled to God ?
Men commonly fear death, First, because of leaving their
worldly goods and pleasures: Secondly, for fear of the pains
of death: And, Thirdly, for fear of perpetual damnation.
But none of these causes trouble good men, because they
stay themselves by true faith, perfect charity, and sure hope
of endless joy and bliss everlasting." (Ibid. Part II.)
All these therefore have great cause to be full of joy, and
not to fear death nor everlasting damnation. For death can-
not deprive them of Jesus Christ; death cannot take him
from us, nor us from him. Death not only cannot harm us, but
also shall profit us, and join us to God more perfectly. And
thereof a Christian heart may be surely certified. It is God,'
saith St. Paul,' which hath given us an earnest of his Spirit.'
As long as we be in the body we are in a strange country.
But we have a desire rather to be at home with God." (Ibid.)
He that runneth may read in all these words the confidence
which our Church supposes every particular believer to have,
that he himself is reconciled to God.
To proceed: "The only instrument of salvation required
on our parts is faith; that is, a sure trust and confidence that
God both hath and will forgive our sins, that he hath ac-
cepted us again into his favour, for the merits of Christ's
death and passion." (Second Sermon on the Passion.)
But here we must take heed that we do not halt with God
through an unconstant, wavering faith. Peter, coming to
Christ upon the water, because he fainted in faith, was in
danger of drowning. So we, if we begin to waver or doubt, it
is to be feared lest we should sink as Peter did,-not into the
water, but into the bottomless pit of hell-fire. Therefore I say
unto you, that we must apprehend the merits of Christ's death
by faith, and that with a strong and steadfast faith; nothing
doubting but that Christ by his own oblation hath taken away
our sins, and hath restored us again to God's favour." (Ibid.)
5. If it be still said that the Church speaks only of men in
general, but not of the confidence of this or that particular
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
person; even this last poor subterfuge is utterly cut off by
the following words:-
"Thou, O man, hast received the body of Christ which was
once broken, andhis blood which was shed for the remission of thy
sin. Thou hast received his bodyto have within thee the Father,
the Son, and the Holy Ghost, for to endow thee with grace,
and to comfort thee with their presence. Thou hastreceived his
body to endow thee with everlasting righteousness, and to
assure thee of everlasting bliss." (Sermon on the Resurrection.)
I shall add but one passage more, from the first part of the
"Sermon on the Sacrament :"-
Have a sure and constant faith, not only that the death of
Christ is available for all the world, but that he hath made a
full and sufficient sacrifice for thee, a perfect cleansing of thy
sins, so that thou mayest say with the Apostle, He loved
thee, and gave himself for thee.' For this is to make Christ
thine own, and to apply his merits unto thyself."
Let every reasonable man now judge for himself, what is
the sense of our Church as to the nature of saving faith.
Does it not abundantly appear that the Church of England
supposes every particular believer to have a sure confidence
that his sins are forgiven, and he himself reconciled to God?
Yea, and how can the absolute necessity of this faith, this
unwavering confidence, be more strongly or peremptorily
asserted, than it is in those words : "If we begin to waver
or doubt, it is to be feared lest we sink as Peter did,-not
into the water, but into the bottomless pit of hell-fire ? "
6. I would willingly dismiss this writer here. I had said
in the "Earnest Appeal," (what I am daily more and more
confirmed in,) that this faith is usually given in a moment.
This you greatly dislike. Your argument against it, if put
into form, will run thus:-
"They who first apprehended the meaning of the words
delivered, then gave their assent to them, then had confidence
in the promises to which they assented, and, lastly, loved
God, did not receive faith in a moment.
But the believers mentioned in the Acts first apprehended
the meaning of the words, then gave their assent, then had
confidence in the promises, and, lastly, loved God: Therefore,
The believers mentioned in the Acts did not receive faith
in a moment."
A FARTHER APPEAL TO MEN
I deny the major. They might first apprehend, then assent,
then confide, then love, and yet receive faith in a moment;
in that moment wherein their general confidence became
particular, so that each could say, My Lord and my God "
One paragraph more I will be at the pains to transcribe:
"You insinuate that the sacraments are only requisite to the
well-being of a visible Church: Whereas the Church declares
that the due administration of them is an essential property
thereof. I suppose you hinted this to satisfy your loving dis-
ciples, the Quakers."
This is flat and plain. Here is a fact positively averred; and
a reason also assigned for it. Now, do you take yourself to
be a man of candour, I had almost said, of common honesty ?
My very words in the place referred to, are, A visible Church
is a company of faithful people. This is the essence of it.
And the properties thereof are, that the pure word of God be
preached therein, and the sacraments duly administered."
7. Before I take my leave I cannot but recommend to you
that advice of a wise and good man,-
Be calm in arguing; for fierceness makes
Error a fault, and truth discourtesy."
I am grieved at your extreme warmth: You are in a thorough
ill-humour from the very beginning of your book to the end.
This cannot hurt me; but it may yourself. And it does not
at all help your cause. If you denounce against me all the
curses from Genesis to the Revelation, they will not amount
to one argument. I am willing (so far as I know myself) to
be reproved either by you or any other. But whatever you
do, let it be done in love, in patience, in meekness of wisdom.
V. 1. With regard to the Author of faith and salvation,
abundance of objections have been made; it being a current
opinion, that Christians are not now to receive the Holy Ghost.
Accordingly, whenever we speak of the Spirit of God, of
his operations on the souls of men, of his revealing unto us the
things of God, or inspiring us with good desires or tempers;
whenever we mention the feeling his mighty power work-
ing in us according to his good pleasure; the general answer
we have to expect is, "This is rank enthusiasm. So it was
with the Apostles and first Christians. But only enthusiasts
pretend to this now."
Thus all the Scriptures, abundance of which might be pro-
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
duced, are set aside at one stroke. And whoever cites them, as
belonging to all Christians, is set down for an enthusiast.
The first tract I have seen wrote expressly on this head, is
remarkably entitled, "The Operations of the Holy Spirit im-
perceptible; and how Men may know when they are under the
Guidance and Influence of the Spirit."
You begin: "As we have some among us who pretend to
a more than ordinary guidance by the Spirit," (indeed I do
not; I pretend to no other guidance than is ordinarily given to
all Christians,) "it may not be improper to discourse on the
operations of God's Holy Spirit.
To this end be thou pleased, O gracious Fountain of
Truth, to assist me with thy heavenly direction, in speaking of
Alas, Sir, what need have you to speak any more ? You have
already granted all I desire, viz., that we may all now enjoy, and
know that we do enjoy, the heavenly direction of God's Spirit.
However, you go on, and observe that the extraordinary gifts
of the Holy Ghost were granted to the first Christians only, but
his ordinary graces to all Christians in all ages; both which you
then attempt to enumerate; only suspending your discourse a
little, when some conceited enthusiasts" come in your way.
2. You next inquire, "after what manner these graces are
raised in our souls ;" and answer, How to distinguish these
heavenly motions from the natural operations of our minds, we
have no light to discover; the Scriptures declaring, that the
operations of the Holy Spirit are not subject to any sensible
feelings or perceptions. For what communication can there
be between feelings which are properties peculiar to matter,
and the suggestions of the Spirit? All reasonable Christians
believe that he works his graces in us in an imperceptible
manner; and that there is no sensible difference between his
and the natural operations of our minds."
I conceive this to be the strength of your cause. To support
that conclusion, that the operations of the Spirit are impercep,
tible, you here allege, (1.) "That all reasonable Christians
believe this." So you say; but I want proof. (2.) That
there can be no communications" (Ifearyou mistookthe word)
" between the suggestions of the Spirit, and feelings which are
properties peculiar to matter." How! Are the feelings now in
question properties peculiar to matter ? the feeling of peace,
A FARTHER APPEAL TO MEN
joy, love, or any feelings at all ? I can no more understand the
philosophy than the divinity of this. (3.) That the Scriptures
declare the operations of the Spirit are not subject to any sensi-
ble feelings." You are here disproving, as you suppose, a propo-
sition of mine. But are you sure you understand it ? By feel-
ing, I mean, being inwardly conscious of. By the operations of
the Spirit, I do not mean the manner in which he operates, but
the graces which he operates in a Christian. Now, be pleased
to produce those scriptures which declare that a Christian
cannot feel or perceive these operations.
3. Are you not convinced,,Sir, that you have laid to my
charge things i which I know not ? I do not gravely tell you
(as much an enthusiast as you over and over affirm me to be)
that I sensibly feel (in your sense) the motions of the Holy
Spirit. Much less do I make this, any more than convulsions,
agonies, howlings, roarings, and violent contortions of the
body," either "certain signs of men's being in a state of sal-
vation," or necessary in order thereunto." You might with
equal justice and truth inform the world, and the worshipful
the magistrates of Newcastle, that I make seeing the wind, or
feeling the light, necessary to salvation.
Neither do I confound the extraordinary with the ordinary
operations of the Spirit. And as to your last inquiry, What
is the best proof of our being led by the Spirit ? I have no
exception to that just and scriptural answer which you your-
self have given,-" A thorough change and renovation of mind
and heart, and the leading a new and holy life."
4. That I confound the extraordinary with the ordinary
operations of the Spirit, and therefore am an enthusiast, is also
strongly urged, in a charge delivered to his Clergy, and lately
published, by the Lord Bishop of Lichfield and Coventry.
An extract of the former part of this I subjoin, in his Lord-
I cannot think it improper to obviate the contagion of those
enthusiastical pretensions, that have lately betrayed whole mul-
titudes either into presumption or melancholy. Enthusiasm,
indeed, when detected, is apt to create infidelity ; and infidelity
is so shocking a thing, that many rather run into the other
extreme, and take refuge in enthusiasm. But infidelity and
enthusiasm seem now to act in concert against our established
religion. As infidelity has been sufficiently opposed, I shall
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
now lay before you the weakness of those enthusiastical pre-
tensions." (Pp. 1, 2.)
"Now, to confute effectually, and strike at the root of,
those enthusiastical pretensions,
First, I shall show that it is necessary to lay down some
method for distinguishing real from pretended inspiration."
(Pp. 3, 5.)
"Many expressions occur in the New Testament concerning
the operations of the Holy Spirit. But men of an enthusias-
tical temper have confounded passages of a quite different
nature, and have jumbled together those that relate to the
extraordinary operations of the Spirit, with those that relate
only to his ordinary influences. It is therefore necessary to
use some method for separating those passages relating to the
operations of the Spirit, that have been so misapplied to the
service of enthusiastical pretenders." (Pp. 5-7.)
"I proceed therefore to show,
Secondly, that a distinction is to be made between those
passages of Scripture about the blessed Spirit that peculiarly
belong to the primitive Church, and those that relate to
Christians in all ages." (P. 7.)
The exigences of the apostolical age required the miracu-
lous gifts of the Spirit. But these soon ceased. When there-
fore we meet in the Scripture with an account of those extra-
ordinary gifts, and likewise with an account of his ordinary
operations, we must distinguish the one from the other. And
that, not only for our own satisfaction, but as a means to
stop the growth of enthusiasm." (Pp. 8-10.)
"And such a distinction ought to be made by the best
methods of interpreting the Scriptures; which most certainly
are an attentive consideration of the occasion and scope of
those passages, in concurrence with the general sense of the
,primitive Church." (P. 11.)
I propose, Thirdly, to specify some of the chief passages
of Scripture that are misapplied by modern enthusiasts, and
to show that they are to be interpreted chiefly, if not only, of
the apostolical Church; and that they very little, if at all, relate
to the present state of Christians." (P. 12.)
I begin," says your Lordship, with the original promise
of the Spirit, as made by our Lord a little before he left the
A FARTHER APPEAL TO MEN
I must take the liberty to stop your Lordship on the
threshold. I deny that this is the original promise of the
Spirit. I expect his assistance, in virtue of many promises
some hundred years prior to this.
If you say, However, this is the original or first promise
of the Spirit in the New Testament:" No, my Lord; those
words were spoken long before: "He shall baptize you with
the Holy Ghost, and with fire."
Will you reply ?-" Well, but this is the original promise
made by our Lord." I answer, Not so, neither; for it was before
this Jesus himself stood and cried, If any man thirst, let him
come unto me and drink: He that believeth on me, as the
Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living
water. And this he spake of the Spirit, which they should
receive who believed on him," (Ov efJeXiXov Xaup/avetv ot rtcra-
-revovTre et avTov.) If I mistake not, this may more justly be
termed, our Lord's original promise of the Spirit. And who
will assert that this is to be interpreted chiefly, if not only,
of the apostolical Church ?"
5. Your Lordship proceeds: "It occurs in the fourteenth
and sixteenth chapters of St. John's Gospel; in which he uses
these words." In what verses, my Lord ?* Whyis not this
specified ? unless to furnish your Lordship with an opportu-
nity of doing the very things whereof you before complained,-
of confounding passages of a quite contrary nature, and jum-
bling together those that relate to the extraordinary operations
of the Spirit, with those that relate to his ordinary influences ?"
You cite the words thus : "'When the Spirit of truth is come,
he will guide you into all truth, and he will show you things
to come.' These are nearly the words that occur. (xvi. 13.)
"And again: 'The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost,
whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all
things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever
I have said unto you.' These words occur in the fourteenth
chapter, at the twenty-sixth verse."
But, my Lord,.I want the original promise still; the origi.
nal, I mean, of those made in this very discourse. Indeed your
margin tells us where it is, (xiv. 16,) but the words appear not.
Taken together with the context, they run thus :-
"If ye love me, keep my commandments.
I take it for granted, that the citation of texts in the margin, which is totally
wrong, is a blunder of the printer's.
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
And I will pray the Father, and he will vive you another
Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever :
"Even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive,
because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him." (xiv. 15-17.)
My Lord, suffer me to inquire why you slipped over this
text. Was it not (I appeal to the Searcher of your heart !)
because you was conscious to yourself that it would neces-
sarily drive you to that unhappy dilemma, either to assert
that for ever, et 7rov acova, meant only sixty or seventy years;
or to allow that the text must be interpreted of the ordinary
operations of the Spirit, in all future ages of the Church ?
And indeed that the promise in this text belongs to all
Christians, evidently appears, not only from your Lordship's
own concession, and from the text itself, (for who can deny
that this Comforter, or Paraclete, is now given to all them
that believe ?) but also from the preceding, as well as follow-
ing, words. The preceding are, If ye love me, keep my
commandments. And I will pray the Father." None, surely,
can doubt but these belong to all Christians in all ages. The
following words are, "Even the Spirit of truth, whom the
world cannot receive." True, the world cannot; but all
Christians can and will receive him for ever.
6. The second promise of the Comforter, made in this
chapter, together with its context, stands thus :-
Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that
thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world ?
"Jesus answered, and said unto him, If any man love me,
he will keep my word. And my Father will love him, and
we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
He that loveth me not, keepeth not my word: And the
word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.
"These things have I spoken unto you, being yet with you.
"But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the
Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things,
and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have
said unto you." (Verses 22-26.)
,Now, how does your Lordship prove that this promise
belongs only to the primitive Church ? Why, (1.) you say, It
is very clear from the bare recital of the words." I apprehend
not. But this is the very question, which is not to be begged,
but proved. (2.) You say, "The Spirit's 'bringing all things
VOL. VIII. G
A FARTHER APPEAL TO MEN
to their remembrance, whatsoever he had said unto them,' can-
not possibly be applied to any other persons but the Apostles."
Cannot be applied I This is a flat begging the question again,
which I cannot give up without better reasons. (3.) The gifts
of prophecy and of being guided into all truth, and taught all
things,' can be applied only to the Apostles, and those of that
age who were immediately inspired." Here your Lordship, in
order the more plausibly to beg the question again, "jumbles
together the extraordinary with the ordinary operations of the
Spirit." The gift of prophecy, we know, is one of his extra-
ordinary operations; but there is not a word of it in this text;
nor, therefore, ought it to be confounded with his ordinary
operations," such as the being "guided into all truth," (all
that is necessary to salvation,) and taught all (necessary) things,
in a due use of the means he hath ordained. (Verse 26.)
In the same manner, namely, in a serious and constant use
of proper means, I believe the assistance of the Holy Ghost is
given to all Christians, to "bring all things needful to their
remembrance," whatsoever Christ hath spoken to them in his
word. So that I see no occasion to grant, without some kind
of proof, (especially considering the occasion of this, and the
scope of the preceding verses,) that even this promise cannot
possibly be applied to any other persons but the Apostles."
7. In the same discourse of our Lord we have a third pro-
mise of the Comforter: The whole clause runs thus:-
If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you;
but if I go, I will send him unto you.
"And when he is come, he will reprove," or convince, the
world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
Of sin, because they believe not on me;
"Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see
me no more;
"Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
I have yet many things to say unto you; but ye cannot
bear them now: But when he shall come, the Spirit of truth,
he will guide you into all truth; and he will show you things
to come." (xvi. 7-13.)
There is only one sentence here which has not already
been considered, He will show you things to come."
And this, it is granted, relates to the gift of prophecy, one
of the extraordinary operations of the Spirit.
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
The general conclusion which your Lordship draws is
expressed in these words: Consequently, all pretensions to
the Spirit, in the proper sense of the words of this promise,
(that is, of these several texts of St. John,) are vain and
insignificant, as they are claimed by modern enthusiasts."
And in the end of the same paragraph you add, None but
the ordinary operations of the Spirit are to be now
expected, since those that are of a miraculous (or extraordinary)
kind are not pretended to, even by modern enthusiasts."
My Lord, this is surprising. I read it over and over before
I could credit my own eyes. I verily believe, this one clause,
with unprejudiced persons, will be an answer to the whole book.
You have been vehemently crying out all along against those
enthusiastical pretenders; nay, the very design of your book, as
you openly declare, was to stop the growth of their enthusi-
asm; who have had the assurance" (as you positively affirm,
page 6) "to claim to themselves the extraordinary operations
of the Holy Spirit." And here you as positively affirm that
those extraordinary operations "are not pretended to" by
them at all i
8. Yet your Lordship proceeds :" The next passage of Scrip-
ture I shall mention, as peculiarly belonging to the primitive
times, though misapplied to the present state of Christians by
modern enthusiasts, is what relates to the 'testimony of the
Spirit,' and 'praying by the Spirit,' in the eighth chapterofthe
Epistle to the Romans." (Page 16.)
I believe it incumbent upon me thoroughly to weigh the force
of your Lordship's reasoning on this head. You begin : "After
St. Paul had treated of that spiritual principle in Christians,
which enables them to mortify the deeds of the body,' he says,
' If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.'
This makes the distinction of a true Christian, particularly in
opposition to the Jews." I apprehend it is just here that your
Lordship turns out of the way, when you say, "particularly in
opposition to the Jews." Such a particular opposition I cannot
allow, till some stronger proof is produced, than St. Paul's occa-
sionally mentioning, six verses before, the imperfection of
the Jewish law."
Yet your Lordship's mind is so full of this- that after repeat-
ing the fourteenth and fifteenth verses, "As many as are led by
the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God : For ye have not
received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received
A FARTHER APPEAL TO MEN
the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father you
add," In the former part of this verse, the Apostle shows again
the imperfection of the Jewish law." This also calls for proof;
otherwise it will not be allowed, that he here speaks of the Jew-
ish law at all; not, though we grant that the Jews were sub-
ject to the fear of death, and lived, in consequence of it, in a
state of bondage." For are not all unbelievers, as well as the
Jews, more or less, in the same fear and bondage ?
Your Lordship goes on : In the latter part of the verse he
shows the superiority of the Christian law to that of the
Jews." (P. 18.) Where is the proof, my Lord ? How does it
appear that he is speaking either of the Christian or Jewish
law in those words, "Ye have received the Spirit of adop-
tion, whereby we cry, Abba, Father ?" However, you infer,
" Christians then are the adopted sons of God, in contradistinc-
tion to the Jews, as the former had the gifts of the Holy Ghost,
which none of the latter had at that time; and the body of the
Jews never had." No, nor the body of the Christians neither:
So that, if this be a proof against the Jews, it is the very same
against the Christians.
I must observe farther on the preceding words, (1.) That
your Lordship begins here,to take the word Christians in a new
and peculiar sense, for the whole body of the then Christian
Church. (2.) That it is a bad inference : As (or because) they
had the gifts of the Holy Ghost, therefore they were the sons of
God." On the one hand, if they were the children of God, it
was not because they had those gifts. On the other, a man may
have all those gifts, and yet be a child of the devil.
9. I conceive, not only that your Lordship has provednothing
hitherto, not one point that has any relation to the question, but
that, strictly speaking, you have not attempted to prove any
thing, having taken for granted whatever came in your way. In
the same manner you proceed, The Apostle goes on, 'The
Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the
children of God.' This passage, as it is connected with the pre-
ceding one, relates tothegeneral adoption of Christians, or their
becoming the sons of God instead of the Jews."-" This pas-
sage relates "-How is that proved ? by its connexion with the
preceding ? In nowise, unless it be good arguing to prove
ignotum per ignotius.* It has not yet been proved, that the
preceding passage itself has any relation to this matter.
An unknown proposition by one that is less known.-EDIT.
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
Your Lordship adds, But what was the ground of this prc-
ference that was given to Christians ? It was plainly the mira-
culous gifts of the Spirit, which they had, and which the Jews
had not." This preference given to Christians was just before
expressed by their becoming the sons of God instead of the
Jews. Were the gifts of the Spirit then the ground of this pre-
ference, the ground of their becoming the sons of God ? What
an assertion is this And how little is it mended, though I al-
low that these miraculous gifts of the Spirit were a testimony
that God acknowledged the Christians to be his people, and not
the Jews ;" since the Christians, who worked miracles, did it,
not" by the works of the law," but by the hearing of faith !"
Your Lordship concludes, "From these passages of St.
Paul, compared together, it clearly follows, that the fore-men-
tioned testimony of the Spirit was the public testimony of
miraculous gifts; and, consequently, the witness of the Spirit
that we are the children of God, cannot possibly be applied to
the private testimony of the Spirit given to our own con-
sciences, as is pretended by modern enthusiasts." (P. 20.)
If your conclusion, my Lord, will stand without the pre-
mises, it may; but that it has no manner of connexion with
them, I trust does partly, and will more fully, appear, when we
view the whole passage to which you refer; and I believe that
passage, with very little comment, will prove, in direct oppo-
sition to that conclusion, that the testimony of the Spirit,
there mentioned, is iot the public testimony of miraculous
gifts, but must be applied to the private testimony of the
Spirit, given to our own consciences.
10. St. Paul begins the eighth chapter of his Epistle to the
Romans, with the great privilege of every Christian believer,
(whether Jew or Gentile before,) There is now no con-
demnation for them that are in Christ Jesus," engrafted into
him by faith," who walk not after theflesh, but after the Spirit.
For" now every one of them may truly say, The law," or
power, "of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus," given unto me
for his sake, "hath made me free from the law," or power,
" of sin and death. For that which the law could not do, in
that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son,
in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin," did, when he con-
demned," crucified, put to death, destroyed, "sin in the flesh;
that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who
8U A FARTHER APPEAL TO MIEN
walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that
are after the flesh, mind the things of the flesh ; but they that
are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit." (Verses 1-5.)
Is it not evident, that the Apostle is here describing a true
Christian, a holy believer ?-in opposition, not particularly to
a Jew, much less to the Jewish law, but to every unholy man,
to all, whether Jews or Gentiles, who walk after the flesh? "
He goes on:-
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually
minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity
against God : For it is not subject to the law of God, neither
indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot
please God." (Verses 6-8.)
The opposition between a holy and unholy man is still glar-
ing and undeniable. But can any man discern the least glim-
meringof opposition between the Christian and the Jewish law?
The Apostle goes on: But ye are not in the flesh, but in
the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now
if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but
the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of
Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that
raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal
bodies by his Spirit which dwelleth in you. Therefore, bre-
thren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die : But if ye through
the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the
sons of God." (Verses 9-14.)
Is there one word here, is there any the least intimation, of
miraculous gifts, or of the Jewish law ?
It follows, For ye have not received the Spirit of bondage
again to fear;" such as all sinners have, when they are at
first stirred up to seek God, and begin to serve him from a
slavish fear of punishment; but ye have received the Spirit
of adoption," of free love, "whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
The Spirit itself," which God "hath sent forth into our
hearts, crying, Abba, Father, beareth witness with our spirit,
that we are the children of God." (Verses 15, 16.)
I am now willing to leave it, without farther comment, to
the judgment of every impartial reader, whether it does not
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
appear from the whole scope and tenor of the text and con-
text taken together, that this passage does not refer to the
Jewish law, nor to the public testimony of miracles; neither
of which can be dragged in without putting the utmost force
on the natural meaning of the words. And if so, it will fol-
low, that this witness of the Spirit" is the private testimony
given to our own consciences; which, consequently, all sober
Christians may claim, without any danger of enthusiasm.
11. "But I go on," says your Lordship, "to the considera-
tion of the other passages in the same chapter, relating to our
praying by the Spirit, namely, at verses 26 and 27, which run
thus: 'Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: For
we know not what we should pray for as we ought: But the
Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which
cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth
what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh interces-
sion for the saints according to the will of God.'" (P. 21.)
Here is a circumstance highly needful to be observed, be-
fore we enter upon this question. Your Lordship undertakes
to fix the meaning of an expression used by St. Paul, in the
fourteenth chapter of his first Epistle to the Corinthians. And
in order thereto, you laboriously explain part of the eighth
chapterof the Romans. My Lord, how js this ? Will it be said,
"Why, this is often alleged to prove the wrong sense of that
scripture ?" I conceive, this will not salve the matter at all.
Your Lordship had before laid down a particular method, as
the only sure one whereby to distinguish what scriptures
belong to all Christians, and what do not. This method is, the
considering the occasion and scope of those passages, by com-
paring the text and context together. You then propose, by
the use of this method, to show, that several texts have been
misapplied by enthusiasts. One of these is the fifteenth verse
of the fourteenth chapter of the first Epistle to the Corin-
thians. And to show, that enthusiasts have misapplied this,
you comment on the eighth chapter to the Romans !
However, let us weigh the comment itself. The material
part of it begins thus: "Now he adds another proof of the
truth of Christianity: 'Likewise the Spirit helpeth our
infirmities,' or our distresses, for aa Oeverta signifies both."
(P. 22.) I doubt that: I require authority for it. "And then
he mentions, in what instances he does so, viz., in prayers to
A FARTHER APPEAL TO MEN
God about afflictions."-In nothing else, my Lord ? Did he
" help their infirmities" in no other instance than this?
"'We know not,' says he, what we should pray for as we
ought.' That is, whether it be best for us to bear afflictions, or
to be delivered from them. But the Spirit, or the gift of the
Spirit, instructs us how to pray in a manner agreeable to the
will of God." The Spirit, or the gift of the Spirit What
marvellous reasoning is this ? If these are often put for each
other," what then? How is that evinced to be the case here ?
12. The Apostle goes on, 'The Spirit itself maketh inter-
cession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.' That
is, the spiritual or inspired person prayed in that capacity for
the whole assembly." (P. 23.) That is "Nay, that is again
the very point to be proved, else we get not one step farther.
"The Apostle goes on thus, (verse 27,) 'And he that search-
eth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit,' that is,
of the spiritual or inspired person, 'because he maketh interces-
sion for the saints, according to the will of God.' That is, God
knows the intention of the spiritual person, who has the gift of
prayer, which he uses for the benefit of the whole assembly; he,
I say, leaves it entirely to God, whether it be best that they
should suffer afflictions, or be delivered from them." (Pp.24,25.)
My Lord, this is more astonishing than all the rest I
was expecting all along, in reading the preceding pages, (and
so, I suppose, was every thinking reader,) when your Lord-
ship would mention, that the person miraculously inspired for
that intent, and praying, Kara eeov,* either for the support
or deliverance of the people, should have the very petition
which he asked of him. Whereas you intended no such
thing but shut up the whole with that lame and impotent
conclusion, He leaves it to God whether it be best they
should suffer afflictions, or be delivered from them."
Had he then that miraculous gift of God, that he might do
what any common Christian mighthave donewithout it? Why,
any person in the congregation might have prayed thus; nay,
could not pray otherwise, if he had the ordinary grace of God :
" Leaving it to God, whether he should suffer afflictions still, or
be delivered from them." Was it only in the apostolical age,
that the Spirit instructed Christians thus to pray ? Cannot
a man pray thus, either for himself or others, unless he has the
According to [the will of] God.-EmDT.
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
miraculous gift of prayer !-So, according to your Lordship's
judgment, to pray in such a manner, as in the event to leave
the continuance of our sufferings, or our deliverance from
them, with a due submission, to the good pleasure of God,"
is one of those extraordinary operations of the Spirit, which
none now pretend to but modern enthusiasts !
I beseech your Lordship to consider. Can you coolly
maintain, that the praying with a due submission to the will
of God, even in heavy affliction, is a miraculous gift, an
extraordinary operation of the Holy Ghost ? Is this peculiar
to the primitive times? Is it what none but enthusiasts now
pretend to? If not, then your Lordship's own account of pray-
ing by the Spirit indisputably proves, that this is one of the
ordinary privileges of all Christians to the end of the world.
13. I go on," your Lordship adds, to another passage of
Scripture, that has been entirely misapplied by modern enthu-
siasts: 'And myspeech and mypreachingwere notwith enticing
words of man's wisdom, but in the demonstration of the Spirit
and of power; that your faith should not stand in the wisdom
of men, but in the power of God.' (1 Cor. ii. 4, 5.)
It is only necessary to evince, that by 'the demonstration
of the Spirit and of power' is meant the demonstration of the
truth of Christianity, that arises from the prophecies of the Old
Testament, and the miracles of Christ and his Apostles." (Pp.
27, 29.) Yes, it is necessary farther to evince, that these words
have no other meaning. But, First, how will you evince that
they bear this ? In order thereto, your Lordship argues thus:-
The former seems to be the demonstration of the Spirit,
with regard to the prophetical testimonies of Him.-And the
demonstration of power must signify the power of God, exerted
in miracles." (P. 30.) "Must!" Why so? That 8vvalyt often
signifies miraculous power, is allowed,-but what follows? that
it must mean so in this place? That still remains to be proved.
Indeed your Lordship says, this "appears from the following
verse, in which is assigned the reason tor using this method of
proving Christianityto be true,namely, 'That your faith should
not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.' By
the power of God, therefore, must necessarily be understood the
miracles performed by Christ and his Apostles." By the illa-
tive particle, therefore," this proposition should be an infer-
ence from some other: But what other I cannot yet discern.' So
A FARTHER APPEAL TO MEN
that, for the present, I can only look upon it as a fresh
instance of begging the question.
He goes on in the seventh, tenth, and following verses,
to explain this 'demonstration of the Spirit and of power.' "
But he does not say one syllable therein, either of the ancient
prophecies, or of miracles. Nor will it be easily proved, that
he speaks either of one or the other, from the beginning of
the chapter to the end.
After transcribing the thirteenth verse, Which things
also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth,
but which the Holy Ghost teacheth, comparing spiritual
things with spiritual," your Lordship adds, From which last
passage it appears, that the words which the Holy Ghost is
said to teach, must be the prophetical revelations of the Old
Testament, which were discovered to the Apostles by the same
Spirit." I cannot apprehend how this appears. I cannot as yet
sec any connexion at all between the premises and the conclusion.
Upon the whole, I desire any calm and serious man to read
over this whole chapter; and then he will easily judge what is
the natural meaning of the words in question; and whether
(although it be allowed, that they were peculiarly fulfilled in
the Apostles, yet) they do not manifestly belong, in a lower
sense, to every true Minister of Christ. For what can be more
undeniable than this, that our preaching also is vain, unless it
be attended with the power of that Spirit who alone pierceth
the heart? and that your hearing is vain, unless the same power
be present to heal your soul, and to give you a faith which
"standeth not in the wisdom of men, but in the powerof God?"
14. Another passage that," your Lordship thinks, has
been misapplied by enthusiasts, but was really peculiar to the
times of the Apostles, is 1 John ii. 20, 27: 'Ye have an unction
from the HolyOne, and ye know all things.-But the anointing
which ye have received of him abideth in you: And ye need
not that any man teach you, but as the same anointing teacheth
you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie. And even as
it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.' Here the Apostle
arms the true Christians against seducers, by an argument
drawn from 'the unction from the Holy One,' that was in, or
rather, among them; that is, from the immediate inspiration
of some of their Teachers." (Pp. 35, 37.)
Here it rests upon your Lordship to prove, as well as affirm,
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
(1.) That ev should be translated among: (2.) That this
"unction from the Holy One" means the inspiration of
some of their Teachers.
The latter your Lordship attempts to prove thus:-
The inspired Teachers of old were set apart for that office,
by an extraordinary effusion of the Holy Ghost: Therefore,
The unction from the Holy One' here means such an
effusion." (P. 38.) I deny the consequence; so the question
is still to be proved.
Your Lordship's second argument is drawn from the twenty-
sixth verse of the fourteenth chapter of St. John's Gospel.
Proposed in form, it will stand thus:-
If those words, He shall teach you all things,' relate
only to a miraculous gift of the Holy Ghost, then these words,
'The same anointing teacheth you of all things,' relate to the
same miraculous gift:
But those words relate only to a miraculous gift:
"Therefore these relate to the same."
I conceive, it will not be very easy to make good the conse-
quence in the first proposition. But I deny the minor also:
The contradictory whereto, I trust, has appeared to be true.
I grant indeed, that these words were more eminently
fulfilled in the age of the Apostles: But this is altogether
consistent with their belonging, in a lower sense, to all
Christians in all ages; seeing they have all need of an
unction from the Holy One," a supernatural assistance from
the Holy Ghost, that they may know, in the due use of all
proper means, all things needful for their souls' health.
Therefore it is no enthusiasm, to teach that "the unction
from the Holy One" belongs to all Christians in all ages.
15. There is one topic of your Lordship's yet untouched;
that is, authority; one you have very frequently made use of,
and wherein, probably, the generality of readers suppose your
Lordship's great strength lies. And indeed when your Lord-
ship first mentioned (p. 11) "the general sense of the primi-
tive Church," I presumed you would have produced so nume-
rous authorities, that I should not easily be able to consult
them all. But I soon found my mistake; your Lordship
naming only Chrysostom, Jerome, Origen, and Athanasius.
However, though these four can no more be termed the primi-
tive Church, than the Church universal, yet I consent to abide
A FARTHER APPEAL TO MEN
by their suffrage. Nay, I will go a step farther still: If any
two of these affirm, that those seven texts belong only to the
apostolic age, and not to the Christians of succeeding times,
I will give up the whole cause.
But let it be observed, if they should affirm that these pri-
marily belong to the Christians of the apostolic age, that does
not prove the point, because they may, in a secondary sense,
belong to others notwithstanding: Nor does any of them
speak home to the question, unless he maintain, in express
terms, that these texts refer only to the miraculous gifts of
the Spirit, and not at all to the state of ordinary Christians.
16: Concerning those three texts, John xiv. 16, 26, and
John xvi. 13, "I could easily add," says your Lordship, "the
authorities of Chrysostom and the other ancient commen-
tators." (P. 15.) St. Chrysostom's authority I will consider
now, and that of the others when they are produced.
It is granted, that he interprets not only John xvi. 13, but
also both the passages in the fourteenth chapter, as primarily
belonging to the Apostles. Yet part of his comment on the
twenty-sixth verse is as follows:-
Such is that grace," of the Comforter, that if it finds sad-
ness, it takes it away; if evil desire, it consumes it. It casts out
fear, and suffers him that receives it to be a man no longer, but
translates him, as it were, into heaven. Hence 'none of them
counted anything his own, but continued in prayer, with glad-
ness and singleness of heart.' For this chiefly is their need of
the Holy Ghost; for the fruit of the Spirit is joy, peace, faith,
meekness. Indeed spiritual men often grieve; but that grief
is sweeter than joy : For whatever is of the Spirit is the great-
est gain, as whatever is of the world is the greatest loss. Let
us therefore in keeping the commandments," according to our
Lord's exhortation, verse 15, "secure the unconquerable assist-
ance of the Spirit, and we shall be nothing inferior to angels."
St. Chrysostom here, after he had shown that the promise of
the Comforter primarily belonged to the Apostles, (and who
ever questioned it?) undeniably teaches, that, in a secondary
sense, it belongs to all Christians; to all spiritual men, all who
keep the commandments. I appeal, therefore, to all mankind,
whether his authority, touching the promise of our Lord in these
texts, does not overthrow the proposition it was cited to prove ?
Although your Lordship names no other author here, yet
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
you say, The assigned sense of these passages was confirmed
by the authority ot Origen." (P. 42.) It is needful, therefore, to
addwhatoccursinhis Works with regard tothepresentquestion.
He occasionally mentions this promise of our Lord, in four
several places. But it is in one only that he speaks perti-
nently to the point in hand, (vol. ii., p. 403, Edit. Bened.,)
where his words are these :-
'When the Spirit of truth is come, he will guide you
into all truth, and he will teach you all things.' The sum of
all good things consists in this, that a man be found worthy
to receive the grace of the Holy Ghost. Otherwise, nothing
will be accounted perfectinhimwho hath not the Holy Spirit."
Do these words confirm that sense of those passages
which your Lordship had assigned ? Rather do they not
utterly overturn it, and prove (as above) that although this
promise of our Lord primarily belongs to the Apostles, yet,
in the secondary sense, it belongs (according to Origen's
judgment) to all Christians in all ages ?
17. The fourth text mentioned as belonging to the first
Christians only, is Romans viii. 15, 16; and it is said, page
26, This interpretation is confirmed by the authority of the
most eminent fathers." The reader is particularly referred to
Origen and Jerome in locum. But here seems to be a mistake
of the name. Jerome in locum should mean, Jerome upon the
place, upon Romans viii. 15, 16. But I cannot perceive that
there is one word upon that place, in all St. Jerome's Works.
Nor indeed has Origen commented upon it any more than
Jerome. But he occasionally mentions it in these words :-
"He is a babe who is fed with milk; but if he seeks the
things that are above, without doubt he will be of the number
of those who receive not the spirit of bondage again unto
lear, but the Spirit of adoption,' through whom they cry,
'Abba, Father.' (Vol. i., p. 79.)
Again: The fulness of time is come; when they who are
willing receive the adoption, as Paul teaches in these words,
'Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again unto fear;
but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry,
Abba, Father! And it is written in the Gospel according to
St. John, 'To as many as received him, to them gave he
power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe
in his name.' (Vol. i., pp. 231, 232.)
A FARTHER APPEAL TO MEN
Yet again : Every one that is born of God, and doth not
commit sin, by his very actions saith, Our Father which art
in heaven;' 'the Spirit itself bearing witness with their
spirit, that they are the children of God.'" (Ibid.)
According to Origen, therefore, this testimony of the Spirit
is not any public testimony by miracles, peculiar to the first
times, but an inward testimony, belonging in common to all
that are born of God; and consequently the authority of
Origen does not "confirm that interpretation" neither, but
absolutely destroys it.
18. The last authority your Lordship appeals to on this
text is, "that of the great John Chrysostom, who reckons the
testimony of the Spirit of adoption by which we cry, 'Abba,
Father,' among the miraculous gifts of the Spirit." I rather
choose" (your Lordship adds, p. 26) "to refer you to the
words of St. Chrysostom, than to transcribe them here, as
having almost translated them in the present account of the
testimony of the Spirit."
However, I believe it will not be labour lost to transcribe
a few of those words.
It is in his comment on the fourteenth verse, that lie first
mentions St. Paul's comparison between a Jew and a Chris-
tian. How fairly your Lordship has represented this, let
every reader judge :-
"'As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons
of God.'-Whereas the same title had been given of old to
the Jews also, he shows in the sequel, how great a difference
there is between that honour and this. For though, says he,
the titles are the same, yet the things are not. And he plainly
proves it, by comparing both what they had received, and what
they looked for. And first he shows what they had received,
viz., a spirit of bondage.' Therefore he adds, Ye have not
received the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but ye have
received the Spirit of adoption.' What means the spirit of
fear ?-Observetheir whole life, and you will know clearly. For
punishments were at their heels, and much fear was on every
side, and before their face. But with us it is not so. For our
mind and conscience are cleansed, so that we do all things well,
not for fear of present punishment, but through our love of
God, and an habit of virtue. They therefore, though they were
called sons, yet were as slaves; but we, being made free, have
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
received the adoption, and look not for a laid of milk and
honey, but for heaven.
He brings also another proof, that we have the Spirit of
adoption, by which, says he, we cry, Abba, Father.' This
is the first word we utter ttera Tra Oavuao-Ta, wStvav eKxevaq,
Kat TOvy evov Kaib rapaSo ov XoXevUpaTro) voatov; after those
amazing throes, (or birth-pangs,) and that strange and won-
derful manner of bringing forth.
"He brings yet another proof of the superiority of those who
had this Spirit of adoption: 'The Spirit itself beareth witness
with our spirit that we are the children of God.' I prove this,
says he, not only from the voice itself, but also from the cause
whence that voice proceeds: For the Spirit suggests the words
while we thus speak, which he hath elsewhere expressed more
plainly, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into our
hearts, crying, Abba, Father!' But what is, The Spirit
beareth witness with our spirit ? He means, the Paraclete by
the gift given unto us." (But that this was an extraordinary
gift, we have no intimation at all, neither before nor after.)
"And when 'the Spirit beareth witness,' what doubt is left ? If
a man or an angel spake, some might doubt; but when the
Most High beareth witness to us, who can doubt any longer ?"
Now let any reasonable man judge how far your Lordship
has "translated the words of St. Chrysostom; and whether
he reckons the testimony of the Spirit among the miraculous
gifts of the Holy Ghost," or among those ordinary gifts of
the Spirit of Christ which if a man have not he is none of his.
19. The fifth text your Lordship quotes, as describing a
miraculous gift of the Spirit, is 1 Cor. xiv. 15: To prove
which, you comment on the eighth chapter to the Romans,
particularly the twenty-sixth verse; and here again it is said,
that "the interpretation assigned is confirmed by several of
the most eminent fathers, more especially the great John
Chrysostom, as well as by Origen and Jerome upon the place."
I cannot find St. Jerome to have writ one line uponthe place.
And it is obvious, that St. Chrysostom supposes the whole con-
text from the seventeenth to the twenty-fifth verse, torelateto all
Christians in all ages. How this can be said to confirm the
interpretation assigned," Icannot conjecture. Nay,itisremark.
able, that he expounds the former part of the twenty-sixth verse
as describing the ordinary privilege of all Christians. Thus far,
A FARTHER APPEAL TO MEN
therefore, he does not confirm but overthrow, the "interpre-
tation before assigned." But in the middle of the verse he
breaks off, and expounds the latter part, as describing one of
the miraculous gifts.
Yet I must do the justice to this venerable man to observe,
he does not suppose that a miraculous gift was given, only that
the inspired might do what any ordinary Christian might have
done without it; (this interpretation, even of the latter part
of the verse, he does in nowise confirm;) but that he might
ask, in every particular circumstance, the determinate thing
which it was the will of God to give.
20. The third father by whom it is said this interpretation
is confirmed, is Origen. The first passage of his, which
relates to Rom. viii. 26, runs thus:-
"Paul, perceiving how far he was, after all these things, from
knowing to pray for what he ought, as he ought, says, 'We
know not what we should pray for as we ought.' But he adds,
whence, what is wanting may be had by one who indeed does
not know, but labours to be found worthy of having the defect
supplied. For he says, Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our
infirmities. For we know not what we should pray for as we
ought. But the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us, with
groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth
the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit; because
he maketh intercession for the saints, according to the will of
God.' The Spirit which crieth, Abba, Father,' in the hearts
of the saints, knowing well our groanings in this tabernacle,
'maketh intercession for us to God, with groanings which
cannot be uttered.' To the same effect is that Scripture: 'I
will pray with the Spirit, I will pray with the understanding
also.' (1 Cor. xiv. 15. For our understanding (or mind,
o vous) cannot pray, if the Spirit do not pray before it, and
the understanding, as it were, listen to it." (Vol. i., p. 199.)
Again: "I would know how the saints cry to God without a
voice. The Apostle shows,' God hath sent forth the Spirit of
his Son into our hearts, crying, Abba, Father !' and he adds,
'The Spirit itself maketh intercession for us, with groanings
which cannot be uttered.' And again, He that searcheth the
hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because hemaketh
intercession for the saints, according to the will of God.' Thus,
therefore, the Spirit making intercession for us with God, the
cry of the saints is heard without a voice." (Vol. ii., p. 146.)
OF REASON AND RELIGION.
Once more in his Homily on Joshua:-
"Jesus our Lord doth not forsake us; but although when
we would pray, we know not what to pray for as we ought,'
yet 'the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groan-
ings which cannot be uttered. Now the Lord is that Spirit:'
The Spirit assists our prayers, and offers them to God with
groanings which we cannot express in words." (Vol. ii., p. 419.)
I believe all rational men will observe from hence, that
Origen is so far from confirming, that he quite overturns,
your Lordship's interpretation of the sixteenth as well as the
twenty-sixth verse of this chapter; seeing, in his judgment,
both that testimony of the Spirit and this prayer belong to
all Christians in all ages.
21. The sixth scripturewhich your Lordship has undertaken
to show relates only tothe apostolicaltimes," is 1 Cor. ii. 4, 5.
And this interpretation also," it is said, is confirmed by the
authority of Chrysostom, Origen, and other ancient writers."
(P. 33.) With those other ancient writers" I have no con-
cern yet. St. Chrysostom so far confirms this interpretation, as
to explain that whole phrase "the demonstration of the Spirit
and of power," of" the power of the Spirit shown by miracles."
But he says not one word of any "proof of the Christian religion
arising from the types and prophecies of the Old Testament."
Origen has these words:-
"Our word has a certain peculiar demonstration, more
divine than the Grecian logical demonstration. This the
Apostle terms, 'the demonstration of the Spirit and of
power;' of the Spirit, because of the prophecies, sufficient to
convince any one, especially of the things that relate to
Christ; of power, because of the miraculous powers, some
footsteps of which still remain." (Vol. i., p. 321.)
Hence we may doubtless infer, that Origen judged this text
to relate, in its primary sense, to the Apostles; but can we
thence infer, that he did not judge it to belong, in a lower
sense, to all true Ministers of Christ ?
Let us hear him speaking for himself in the same treatise:-
"'And my speech and my preaching were not with entic-
ing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit
and of power; that your faith should not stand in the wisdom
of men, but in the power of God.' Those who hear the word
preached with power are themselves filled with power," (N.B.
VOL. VIII. H
A FARTHER APPEAL TO MEN
not the power of working miracles,) "which they demon-
strate both in their disposition, and in their life, and in their
striving for the truth unto death. But some, although they
profess to believe, have not this power of God in them, but
are empty thereof." (P. 377.)
(Did Origen, then, believe that the power mentioned in this
text belonged only to the apostolical age?)
See the force of the word, conquering believers by a per-
suasiveness attended with the power of God I speak this to
show the meaning of him that said, And my speech and my
preaching were not with the enticing words of man's wisdom,
but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power; that your
faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power
of God.' This divine saying means, that what is spoken is
not sufficient of itself (although it be true, and most worthy to
be believed) to pierce a man's soul, if there be not also a
certain power from God given to the speaker, and grace bloom
upon what is spoken; and this grace cannot be but from God."
After observing that this is the very passage which your
Lordship mentions at the close of the other, but does not cite,
I desire every unprejudiced person to judge, whether Origen
does not clearly determine that the power spoken of in this
text, is in some measure given to all true Ministers in all ages.
22. The last scripture which your Lordship affirms to be
peculiar to the times of the Apostles," is that in the First
Epistle of St. John, concerning the"unction of the Holy One."
To confirm this interpretation, we are referred to the au-
thority of Origen and Chrysostom, on the parallel passages
in St. John's Gospel." (P. 42.)
But it has appeared, that both these fathers suppose those
passages to belong to all Christians; and, consequently, their
authority (if these are parallel passages) stands full against
Your Lordship subjoins, I shall here only add that of the
great Athanasius, who, in his epistle to Serapion, interprets
the unction from the Holy One,' not merely of divine grace,
but of the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit."
Nay, it is enough, if he interprets it at all of ordinary
grace, such as is common to all Christians.
And this your Lordship allows he does. But I cannot allow
that he interprets it of any thing else. I cannot perceive that