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verly, not to the perfon, especially of my friendly neighbour Neither would I have appeared thus publicly against him, if differences could have been accommodated, and the evil prevented, in a more private way; in order thereunto, I have punctually obferved and kept the rules and measures of friend-·· thip.
It is poffible fome may judge my ftile against him to be too fharp; but if they please to read the conclusion of his Call, and my Anfwer, I presume they will find enough to make, atonement for that fault, if it be a fault. It is from the nature of the matter before me, not from defect of charity to the perfon or party, that I am forced to be fo plain and pungent as I am.
To conclude, I fufpect this very preface may be alfo cenfured for its plainnefs and tedioufnefs. I confefs, when times are bufy we should be brief; and I am perfuaded a fufficient preface may be contraded into four words, ανην προεμίων και παθών without preface or paffions. However, I have a little eased my own heart, by discharging my duty to my differing brethren, and pleafed myself, if not them.
The God of peace create peace in all the borders of Sion, beat our words into plow-fhares, and our fpears into pruningbooks; I mean, our polemicals into practicals; that Jerufa-, lem may once more be a city compact, and no more terrible to herfelf, but only to her enemies, as an army with banners. This, brethren, is the prayer, and fhall ever be the endeavour of,
Your friend and Jervant in Christ,
EFORE we enter into the main controverfy, it will be neceffary to acquaint the reader, why I begin with the middle of the book; and it is because I there find these thrée principles or pofitions, on which the other parts of his difcourfe are fuperftructed; and thefe being deftroyed, his other difcourses are but arena, fine calce. I properly therefore begin with the foundation,
Next I fhall fhew how far we are agreed in the matters here controverted, and where it is in each of thefe that the controverfy indeed lies betwixt us.
And as to
I. Pofition, viz.
That the Sinai law is the fame with Adam's covenant of works, made in paradije:
The difference betwixt us here is not (1.) Whether both thefe be called covenants in Scripture? Nor (2.) Whether there was no grace at all in both, or either of them; for we are agreed, it is grace in God to enter into covenant with man, whatever that covenant be. Nor (3.) Whether the Sinai law be not a covenant of works to fome men, by their own fault and occafi on? Nor (4.) Whether the fcriptures do not many times fpeak of it in that very fenfe and notion wherein carnal jufticiaries apprehend and take it; and by rejecting Chrift, make it fo to themselves? Nor (5.) Whether the very matter of the law of nature be not revived and reprefented in the Sinai law? Thefe are not the points we contend about. But the question is, Whether the Sinai law do in its own nature, and according to God's purpofe and design in the promulgation of it, revive the law of nature, to the fame ends and ufes it ferved to in Adam's covenant; and fo be properly, and truly a covenant of works? Or whether God had not gracious and evangelical ends and purposes, viz. By fuch a dreadful reprefentation of the fevere and impracticable terms of the firft covenant, instead of obliging them to the perfonal and punctual obfervance of them for righteoufnefs and life, he did not rather defign to convince them of the impoffibility of legal righteoufnefs, humble proud nature, and fhew them the neceflity of betaking themfelves to Chrift, now exhibited in the new covenant, as the only refuge to fallen finners. The latter I defend according to the Scriptures, the former Mr. Cary feems to affert and vehemently argue for.
2dly, In this controverfy about the Sinai law, I do not find Mr. Cary diftinguith (as he ought) betwixt the law considered more largely and complexly, as containing both the moral and ceremonial law, for both which it is often taken in Scripture, and more strictly for the moral law only, as it is fometimes ufed in Scripture. Thefe two he makes one and the fame Covenant of works; though there be fome that doubt whether the mere moral law may not be a covenant of works; yet I never met with any man before, that durst affirm the ceremonial law, which is fo full of Chrift, to be fo; and to this law it is that circumcifion appertains.
3dly, The moral law, ftrictly taken for the ten commandments, is not by him diftinguished (as it ought to be, and as the Scripture frequently doth) according to God's intention'
Tab del pads 10. 254
and deûgn in the promulgation or it, which was to add it as an appendix to the promife, Gal. iii. 19. and not to fet it up as an oppofite covenant, Gal. iii. 21. as the carnal Jews, mistak ing and perverting the ufe and end of the law, and making it to themselves a covenant of works, by making it the very rule and reafon of their juftification before God, Rom. ix. 32, 33. Rom. x. 3. These things ought carefully to have beendiftinguifhed, forafmuch as the whole controverfy depends on this double fenfe and intention of the law; yea, the very denomination of that law depends hereon: for I affirm, it ought not to be denominated from the abused and mistaken end of it amongst carnal men, but from the true fcope, defign and end for which God published it after the fall: and though we find fuch expreffions as thefe in Scripture, "The man that doth them fhall live in them ;" and, "Curfed is every one "that continueth not in all things," &c. yet thefe refpecting the law, not according to God's intention, but man's corruption and abuse of it, the law is not thereby to be'denominated a covenant of works. God's end was not to justify them, but to try them by that terrible difpenfation, Exod. xx. 20. whether they would ftill hanker after that natural way of felf-righteoufnefs; for this end God propounded the terms of the firfl covemant to them on Sinai, not to open the way of felf-justification to them, but to convince them, and fhut them up to Chrift; juft as our Saviour, Matth. xix. 17. puts the young man upon keeping the commandments, not to drive him from, but neceffitate him to himself in the way of faith.
The law in both these fenfes is excellently defcribed, Gal. iv. in that allegory of Hagar and Sarah, the figures of the two covenants. Hagar in her firft and proper ftation was but a ferviceable handmaid to Sarah, as the law is a fchoolmafter to Chrift; but when Hagar the handmaid is taken into Sarah's bed, and brings forth children that afpire to the inheritance, then faith the Scripture, "Caft out the bond
woman, with her fon." So it is here; take the law in its primary ufe, as God defigned it, as a schoolmaster or handmaid to Chrift and the promise, so it is confiftent with them, and excellently fubfervient to them; but if we marry this hand. maid, and efpoufe it as a covenant of works, then are we bound to it for life, Rom. vii. and must have nothing to do with Chrift. The believers of the Old Teftament had true apprehenfions of the right end and use of the law, which directed them to Chrift, and fo they became children of the free-woman. The carnal Jews trufted to the works of the law for righteouf
nefs, and fo became the children of the bond-woman; but neither could be children of both at once, no more than the fame man can naturally be born of two mothers. This is the difference betwixt us about the firft pofition. And as to the
That Abraham's covenant, Gen. xvii. is an Adam's covenant of works alfo, becaufe circumcifion was annexed to it, which obliged men to keep the whole law. i
The controverfy betwixt us in this point, is not whether circumcifion were an ordinance of God, annexed by him to his covenant with Abraham? Nor (2.) Whether Abraham's ordinary and extraordinary feed ought to be, and actually were figned by it? Nor (3.) Whether it were a feal of the righteouf nefs of faith to any individual perfon, for he allows it to be fo to Abraham? Nor (4.) Whether it pertained to the ceremonial law, and fo muft ceafe at the death of Chrift? But the difference betwixt us is, Whether (1.) It was a feal of the covenant to none but Abraham? And, (2.) Whether in the very nature of the act, or only from the intention of the agent, it did oblige men to keep the whole law, as Adam was obliged to keep it in innocency? (3.) Whether it were utterly, abolished at the death of Chrift, as a condition of the covenant of works? or being a fign of the fame covenant of grace we are now under, it be not fucceeded by the new gofpel-fign, which is baptifm? Mr. Cary affirms, that it was in itself a condition of the covenant of works, and being annexed to God's covenant with Abraham, Gen. xvii. it made that a true Adam's covenant of works also. This I'utterly deny, and fay, Abraham's covenant was a true covenant of grace. (2.) That circumcifion was a seal of righteousness of faith, and therefore could not poffibly belong to the covenant of works. (3.) That as it was applied both to the ordinary and extraordinary infant-feed of Abraham, during that administration of the covenant, so it is the will of Christ that baptism should take its place under the gospel, and be applied now to the infant-feed of all Abraham's spiritual children. Thefe are the things wherein we differ about the fecond pofition. And lastly, as to the
That neither Mofes's law, Exod. xx. nor God's covenant with Abraham, Gen. xvii. can be any other than an Adam's covenant of works, because they have each of them conditions in them on man's part; but the gospel-covenant hath none at all, but is altogether free and abfolute.
The controverfy here betwixt us is not (1.) Whether the
gofpel-covenant requires no duties at all of them that are under it? Nor (2.) Whether it requires any fuch conditions as were in Adam's covenant, namely, perfect, perfonal, and perpetual obedience, under the fevereft penalty of a curfe, and admitting no place of repentance? Nor (3.) Whether any condition required by it on our part, have any thing in its own nature meritorious of the benefits promised? Nor (4.) Whether we be able in our own ftrength, and by the power of our freewill, without the preventing as well as the affifting grace of Ged, to perform any fuch work or duty as we call a condition? In these things we have no controversy; but the only question betwixt us is,
Whether in the new covenant fome act of ours (tho' it have no merit in it, nor can be done in our own single strength) be not required to be performed by us, antecedently to a blessing or privilege confequent by virtue of a promife? And whether fuch an act or duty, being of a fufpending nature to the bleffing promised, it have not the true and proper nature of a goSpel-condition? This I affirm, and he pofitively denies.
These three pofitions being confuted, and the contrary well confirmed, viz. that the law at Sinai was not fet up by God as an Adam's covenant, to open the old way of righteoufnefs and life by works; but was added to the promise, as subservient to Chrift in its defign and use, and confequently can never be a pure Adam's covenant of works. And, fecondly,
That Abraham's covenant, Gen. xvii. is the very fame covenant of grace we are now under ; and, (2dly,) That circumcifion in the nature of the act did not oblige all men to keep the whole law for righteousness. And (3dly,)
That the new covenant is not abfolutely and wholly unconditional, though notwithstanding a most free and gracious covenant; the pillars on which Mr. Cary fets his new structure, fink under it, and the building falls into ruins.
I have not here taken Mr. Cary's two Syllogifms, proving Abraham's covenant to be a covenant of works, because I find myself therein prevented by that ingenious and learned man, Mr. Whifton, in his late anfwer to Mr. Grantham. Neither have I particularly fpoken to his twenty-three arguments to prove the Sinai law to be a pure Adam's covenant, because fruftra fit per plura, quod fieri potest per pauciora: I have overthrown them all together at one blow, by evincing every argument to have four terms in it, and fo proves nothing. But I have spoken to all thofe fcriptures which concern our four pofitions, and fully vindicated them from the injurious fenfes