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forgiving, which is most favourable to the Sinner: How admirably also Human Nature is confulted in its lapsed, peccant Condition, its Re pentance and Devotion effectually relieved and comforted in its guilty Fears, and every Thing restor’d, better'd, and exalced by that wonder, ous Dispensation. Consequently, if so entirely suitable to the Nature of God, and Man, it must of Course be so to the Reason, and moral Fitness of Things.
: 1. One Reason he particularly gives in against the received Doctrine and current Sense of Scripcure is, because Merit and Demerit can't be com, municated ; and consequently there can be no such thing as redundant Merit, imputed Rigbleoutness, vicarious Obedience, or meritorious Cause of Man's Redemption. However common and agreeable to the Usage of Human Governments, is the Communicacion both of Merit, and De. merit, with respect to the Heads of Families, who have deserved well or ill of the Publick and its fupreme Governor ; and how much foever the Communication of the latter may be called in Question, as impeaching the Justice of God, and narrowing and pinching upon his Goodness ; ftill as his Goodness rejoices over his Justice, and loves to impart its compassionate Regards to our Race, as far as can confift with the Honour of his Laws, and the Dignity of his Government, why should that glorious Attribute, on which we so much depend, be ftinted of its holy and wise Overtures, or be debard and block'd up by our Author from its reviving Communications that way, to the un. speakable Damage and Discomfort of the World? Is he poffefied with any Melancholy
that disposes him to reyile and disparage the Di-
the Father to accept it, in Commiseration of the unfortunate State of the Descendants of the first Alam?
THER B is therefore a Neceflity of admitting vicarious Obedience, imputed Righteousness, Communication of Merit, meritorious Cause; which may be done with all Honour and Justice, and without any Injury to any Party concerned, Governor or governed, in order to balance, explain, and moderate the Neceflity of an ade. quate unfinning Obedience due from Man; of which, through Misfortune, not personally his own Mismanagement, he does not, cannot acquit himself of, alone. It must consequently be as agreeable to moral Truth and Řečtitude, that there should be redundant Merit * for supplying that way, what Man is incompetent for, as chat it should ever be so, for God to require such Obedience, or, in the Course of Divine Providence, that it should become impracticable for Man to conform co it. How reasonable then in Divine Goodness and Mercy, and upon that Account, credible to Belief is it, That the second Adam should much more exceed in Advantages and adventitious Favours to the Human Race, than the first had it in his power to incommode or postpone us with respect to the Favour of his, and our Maker.
2. ANOTHER Reason why he is fo much lec against the common Opinion of Propitiation, and Atonement is, because, as he imagines, it is “ Supporting, Iniquity with Grace + or as he elsewhere in more Places than one to expresses
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himself, because such a Doctrine is. “ a strong " Hold for Sin and Satan."
But this is a gross Mistake of his own, if not a wilful perverting of the Faith. Is it not very strange, that the strong Expressions of St. Paul in this, and the foregoing Article, should not be able to set bim to rights, especially since he shews so much deference to him, in particular, as to esteem him “ a better Casuist and Expounder of the Docc. trines of Christ, and of the true Nature, “ Genius, and Design of Christianity, than all “the rest put together *?" Yet it is notorious, that he puts the God forbid upon any such subversive Inference, or Supposition of that Kind. If any Christians flatter themselves with the Hopes of Salvation upon easier Terms than they ought, or indeed upon any Terms short of the End and Design of Christianity, teaching them to deny Ungodliness and worldly Lusts, and live poberly, righteously, and godly in this present World, they are certainly mistaken and misinform’d. For the Christian Repentance and Pardon is no man-. ner of Encouragement to Sin; nothing can be plainer than that Pardon is declared, and Satisfaction made for repented Sins, and no other, (though he insinuates the contrary +) and that fupposes time for perfecting the begun Repentance. He allows the “good Effect of Repen
tance, is to lessen the Number of Mens Sins, " and encrease the Weight and Value of their "good Actions in the Day of Account I." Now what is the Use of Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, but to halten and perfect our Repentance tovards God? With respect to Repentance, (I might add also Prayers, both of them being the
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datural Religion of the Means for performing the Law of Nature, the Religion of the End) he says “ all Revelation must suppose Reason, and “' be founded in it, and cannot make any thing “ fit, and reasonable, that was not so before * " Now the Christian Revelation supposes this Duty fit and reasonable, the very Voice and Law of God, Nature, and Reason, yet in Commiseration, that it was dead and perish'd out of the World, the Revelation of Jesus Christ presents itself to the World lying in Wickedness, in Aid of that Duty, for the better quickening and enlivning it, not to connive at any Sin, but to forfake every kind universally, with all haste and hatred, if the Knowledge, or rather some 4surance of God's Readiness to forgive after infinite Provocations from Man, is necessary to his Repentance, and if God's Method of affuring the World of that, by the Death of Christ, has a moral. Tendency, and an influential Power, not only for raising up Repentance from the Dead, bút for animating it with Vigour, and pushing that Vigour on to Production of goodly Fruits mete for it, it must be confeffed that the Knowledge of Jesus Christ füffering and dying for penitênt Sinners, is the greatest Service that can be done to Repentance, as well as the most inestimable Blelling to that part of Mankind, to whom it is revealed. 3 It cannot therefore be an indifferent thing to this Duty, nor to Man, whether Christ had suffered or not, as this Author fuppofestseeing it is in itself, in the
roper and grateful Reflections made thereupon, efficacious in promoting the fame. Not necef: fary in order to enable God, as he falsly argues,