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SECT. II.

Instances of the second thing mentioned as exceptionable in Mr. W.‘s method of managing this controversy; viz. His misrepresenting what is said in the writings of others, that he supposes favour his opinion.

Perhaps instances enough of this have already been taken notice of; yet I would now mention some others.

In what he says in reply to my answer to the eighth objection, he says, (p. 108.) “Mr. Stoddard does not say, If sanctifying Grace be necessary to a person’s lawful partaking of the Lord’s supper, then God would have given some certain rule, whereby those who are to admit them, may know whether they have such grace or not.” Mr. W. there intimates (as the reader may see) as if Mr. S. spake so, that it is to be understood disjunctively, meaning, he would either have given some certain rule to the church who admit them, or else to the persons themselves: so that by one means or other, the Lord’s supper might be restrained to converted men. And he exclaims against me for representing as though Mr. Stoddard’s argument were concerning a certain rule, whereby those who are to admit them, may know whether they have grace, (see the foregoing page,) and speaks of it as nothing akin to Mr. S.‘s argument. Now let the reader take notice of Mr. S.‘s words, and see whether his argument be not something akin to this. He says expressly, (Appeal, p. 75.) “God does not bind his church to impossibilities. If he had made such an ordinance, he would give gifts to his church, to distinguish sincere men from hypocrites, whereby the ordinance might have been attended.—The minor is also evident: he has given no such rule to his church, whereby it may be restrained to converted men. This appears, because by the rule that they are to go by, they are allowed to give the Lord’s supper to many unconverted men. For all visible signs are common to men converted, and unconverted.” So that Mr. S. in fact does say, If sanctifying grace be necessary to a person’s lawful partaking of the Lord’s supper, then God would have given some certain rule, whereby the church [those who are to admit them] may know,” whether they have grace, or not. Though Mr. W. denies it, and says, this is nothing akin to Mr. S.‘s argument; contrary to the plainest fact.

In p. 99. Mr. W. replying to my answer to the sixth objection, misrepresents Mr. Hudson, in the following passage. “This, (i. e. baptism,) says Mr. Hudson, makes them members of the body of Christ. And as for a particular explicit covenant, besides the general imposed on churches, I find no mention of it, no example, nor warrant for it, in all the Scripture.”—Here Mr. W. is still manifestly endeavouring to discredit my doctrine of an explicit owning the covenant of grace; and he so manages and alters Mr. Hudson’s words, as naturally leads the reader to suppose, that Mr. Hudson speaks against this: whereas, he says not a word about it. What Mr. H. speaks of, is not an explicit owning the covenant of grace, or baptismal covenant; but a particular church-covenant, by which a particular society bind themselves explicitly, one to another, jointly to carry on the public worship. Mr. Hudson’s words are, (p. 19.) “I dare not make a particular explicit holy covenant to be the form of a particular church, as this description seemeth to do; because I find no mention of any such covenant, besides the general imposed on churches, nor example, nor warrant for it, in all the Scripture.” And then afterwards Mr. Hudson says, “but it is the general covenant sealed by baptism, and not this, that makes them members of the body of Christ.”—Mr. W. by citing distant passages in Mr. Hudson, and joining them, in his own way, by particles and conjunctions, which Mr. Hudson does not use, and leading out these words—To be the form of a particular church, as this description seemeth to do,—quite blinds the mind of his reader, as to Mr. Hudson’s true sense, which is nothing to Mr. W.‘s purpose.—Mr. Hudson says not a word here against, or about an express or explicit covenanting, or owning the covenant in my sense: but in other places, in the same book, he speaks of it, and for it., as necessary for all Christians. Thus, (p. 69. b. c.) “There is one individual express, eternal covenant; not only on God’s part,—but also it is one external, visible covenant, on men’s part; which all Christians, as Christians, enter into, by their professed acceptance, and express restipulation, and promised subjection and obedience; though not altogether in one place, or at one time.” He speaks again to the same purpose, p. 100.

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