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graceless sinners may do all this, without making any profession of godliness. Yea, they may do all this, and yet in all profess that they have no grace, no love to God in their hearts, but are dead in sin.

You insinuate, that the doctrines which I preached tend to licentiousness. I appeal to facts. Look from the reformation down to this day; look through England, Scotland, and Ireland; look through the British colonies in America, and through our West-India islands: and put the question; when and where, and among whom, has there been, or is there now the greatest strictness maintained, and the most constant, diligent, and painful attendance on means? Either, among Calvinists, who heartily agree with the Westminster confession of faith and catechisms, and where these doctrines are taught privately, and preached publicly? or, among Pelagians, Arminians, and Semi-Arminians, who are constantly teaching and preaching in another strain? While the assembly of divines sat at Westminster, composing the formulas, which I am now vindicating, London, that great city, was full of sermons, and prayers, and strictness: but since these doctrines have been laid aside, and contrary doctrines introduced, they are become very licentious and debauched. The more you flatter the sinner, the further will he run from God and all good. But tell him the truth, pierce him to the heart, and he will begin to cry, What shall I do to be saved?

P. But can an unconverted sinner say the Lord's prayer, and speak true? i. e. can he profess to God, that he hath all those holy and pious affections in his heart, which our Saviour designed those words to express? p. 12.

M. I also will ask you one question; answer me; and then I will answer you. Is not the man, who thus says the Lord's prayer, entitled to pardon and eternal life?

P. No doubt he is. For, our Saviour says, If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly father will also forgive you, with a design to explain in what sense he meant that petition should be made, forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And besides, in the same sermon, he expressly declares, that every one that asketh, receiveth.

M. It therefore follows, that no unconverted man ever

said that prayer, in that sense, unless you will own, what seems to be a necessary consequence of the scheme you are pleading for, that some unconverted men are entitled to pardon and eternal life; which is so contrary to the most plain and express declarations of Scripture, (John iii. 18. 36. Gal. iii. 10.) that as yet, you have not ventured to own it.

Thousands, no doubt, have after a sort said the Lord's prayer, who have fallen short of eternal life. For the papists say the Lord's prayer oftener than protestants do, ten to one, and for every Pater-Noster they count a bead And while sinners are secure in sin, such kind of praying, i. e. using words without any meaning, will quiet their consciences. For they now think they have done their duty. For without the law sin was dead and so I was alive without the law once. But no sooner do they fall under deep convictions, but that they find something else to do. Pray read Mr. Brainerd's life, and there you may see how an awakened sinner feels, and how he prays.


P. Thus far, sir, I have acted the part of a disputant. I have passed over nothing in the New-Haven letter that is new and to the purpose. For this letter-writer has not said one word for my old beloved scheme, the half-way. Now therefore, I beg leave to assume the friendly, honest character, which I sustained in my first visit. For let others do as they will, I am resolved to be an honest man. Wherefore, to sum up the whole,

1. I believe, that there is but one covenant, of which baptism and the Lord's supper are seals. And that he that is qualified to offer his children in baptism, is equally qualified for the Lord's table. And therefore, that the half-way practice is not according to Scripture.

2. I believe, that any man who seals any covenant doth, in and by the act of sealing, declare his compliance with that covenant which he seals: because this is the import of the act of sealing.

3. I believe, that it is of the nature of lying, to seal a covenant, with which I do not now, and never did, comply in my heart; but rather habitually and constantly reject. Therefore, 56


4. I believe, that a man who knows he has no grace, cannot seal the covenant of grace, honestly and with a good conscience.

5. I believe, that the only point which needs to be settled, in order to settle the whole controversy, is this, viz. Are baptism and the Lord's supper seals of the covenant of grace, or of a graceless covenant?

6. I believe, that there are but two covenants between God and man, called in Scripture language, the law of works and the law of faith, but commonly called the covenant of works, and the covenant of grace. And that the doctrine of an external covenant, distinct from the covenant of grace, is not from heaven, but of men. Thus, sir, you have my creed.

M. Sir, I hope the time will soon come, when you and all my other parishioners, through the country, will well understand the controversy, and be able to judge for yourselves what is truth and what is not so. In the mean time, remember, my friend, that he that knoweth his master's will and doth it not, shall be beaten with many stripes. Behold, now is the accepted time, and now is the day of salvation; therefore to-day, if you will hear his voice, harden not your heart. Every moment in which you continue practically to renounce your baptism, by rejecting Christ Jesus and his Gospel, you hang over hell, ready to sink under the curse of the divine law, into eternal burnings. For he that believeth not is condemned already. Wherefore, repent and believe the Gospel.

Some seem to think that baptism alone makes a man a Christian, and brings him really into the covenant of grace, so as that he is no longer under the covenant of works, as the unbaptised are. But the apostle Paul did not think so. For he, speaking to the baptised Galatians, among whom he feared there were some who were self-righteous, Christless sinners, he says, Gal. iii. 10. As many as are of the works of the law are under the curse, "As many," be they circumcised, and baptised too," as are of the works of the law," as depend on their own works for justification in the sight of God, are under the curse," even they are under the curse; for it is writen, Cursed is every one, &c. But if baptism delivers men from the covenant of works, they cannot any one



For no man is liable to the curse

Besides, in this apostle's true believers to be really

them be under its curse. of a law which he is not under. view of things, it was peculiar to in the covenant of grace, and not under the law as a covenant of works. Rom. vi. 14. For sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under law, but under grace. For, according to this scheme of religion, every soul is either married to the law; and these bring forth fruit unto death; or married to Christ; and these bring forth fruit unto God. (chap. vii.) Wherefore, know assuredly, that your baptism, although it increases your obligations, and so enhances your guilt; yet it alone gives you not the least right to any one of the peculiar blessings of the covenant of grace, so as at all to exempt you from the curse of the law; but you are now, this moment, in fact, as liable to be struck dead and sent to hell, by the divine justice, as any unbaptised sinner in the land. And should you die in the state you are now in, you would most certainly be damned along with the unbaptised heathen: only your hell would be hotter than theirs. Mat. xi. 2024. For if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Rom. ii. 25.-Wherefore I advise you,

First of all, immediately to repent of your sins, and return to God through Jesus Christ, looking only to free grace through him for pardon and eternal life. For I testify unto you, that if you trust in your baptism to recommend you to God, Christ shall profit you nothing. Gal. v. 2. Wherefore, give up this, and all your other self-righteous claims, and apply to the mere, pure free grace of God, through Jesus Christ, as all your hope For, as to acceptance with God, there is no difference between the circumcised Jew and the uncircumcised Greek, or between the baptised nominal Christian and an unbaptised Indian. Rom. iii. 22. If you will thus repent and believe the Gospel, and in this way, not in falsehood, but in truth, "avouch the Lord Jehovah to be your sovereign Lord and supreme good, through Jesus Christ," you shall, in fact, have your choice, that is, have God for your God and portion in time and eternity. This, my dear Parishioner, this is the way to take upon you your baptismal

covenant, and to get delivered from the curse of the covenant of works, and to enter into the covenant of grace, in reality and in truth. This therefore do without delay. And having done this, then make a public profession of religion, and join yourself to God's people, and bring your dear child and dedicate it to the same God to whom you have dedicated yourself. And let it be the business of your life to bring up that, and your other children, in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

And now, as you travel through the country, for I understand you are become a great traveller, and gain admittance into all companies, and among men of all denominations and character, 1 advise you to use your utmost influence to diffuse a friendly spirit every where, among all your acquaintance, in this controversy. Particularly, urge it upon parishioners of your acquaintance, to treat their ministers in a respectful manner, while they apply to them for light and instruction, or when they undertake to dispute these points with them; especially, wherever your influence extends, let no man on our side of the question, treat his minister ill because he is in the opposite scheme. It is not manly, it is not Christianlike, it is not prudent, to do it. For there is no way to promote truth so effectually, as to hold forth light in love; and to treat your opponents in a kind and friendly manner. my part, I have an high esteem for many in the ministry, who differ in their practice in the admission of persons to sealing ordinances for themselves and for their children, from what I think is right. For it is a controversy which has not been attended to, nor is it an easy thing, at once, to get rid of the prejudices of education, and in the face of a frowning world to espouse the true Scripture plan. I have great hopes, however, that ere long we shall think and act nearer alike, when there has been sufficient time to understand one another, to weigh and deliberate, to get rid of the prejudices of education, &c. &c. In the mean time, I most earnestly desire, that the controversy may be carried on, in the most open, fair, honest, cool, calm, friendly manner possible.


Who this letter-writer is, is not known by the public, as he has secreted his name. And whether it was with design,

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