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speaks unto those who were unquestionably believers,—whom in the same breath he styles his brethren in Christ, -as being still, in a measure, carnal. He affirms, there was envying, (an evil temper,) occasioning strife among them, and yet does not give the least intimation that they had lost their faith. Nay he manifestly declares they had not; for then they would not have been babes in Christ. And (what is most remarkable of all) he speaks of being carnal, and babes in Christ, as one and the same thing; plainly showing that every believer is (in a degree) carnal, while he is only a babe in Christ.

3. Indeed this grand point, that there are two contrary principles in believers, nature and grace, the flesh and the Spirit, runs through all the epistles of St. Paul, yea, through all the Holy Scriptures; almost all the directions and exhortations therein; are founded on this supposition ; pointing at wrong tempers or practices in those who are, notwithstanding, acknowledged by the inspired writers to be believers. And they are continually exhorted to fight with and conquer these, by the power of the faith which was in them.

4. And who can doubt, but there was faith in the angel of the church of Ephesus, when our Lord said to him, “I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience: thou hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured and hast not fainted," Rev. ii, 2, 3, 4. But was there, mean time, no sin in his heart ? Yea, or Christ would not have added,

Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love." This was a real sin which God saw in his heart; of which, accordingly, he is exhorted to repent: and yet we have no authority to say, that even then he had no faith.

5. Nay, the angel of the church at Pergamos, also, is exhorted to repent, which implies sin, though our Lord expressly says, “ Thou hast not denied my faith,” ver. 13, 16. And to the angel of the church in Sardis, he says, "Strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die.” The good which remained was ready to die ; but was not actually dead, chap. iii, 2. So there was still a spark of faith even in him ; which he is accordingly commanded to hold fast, ver. 3.

6. Once more: when the apost.e exhorts believers to “ cleanse themselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit,” 2 Cor. vii, 1, he plainly teaches, that those believers were not yet cleansed therefrom.

Will you answer, “ He that abstains from all appearance of evil,” does ipso facto “cleanse himself from all filthiness.” Not in any

wise. For instance: à man reviles me: I feel resentment; which is filthiness of spirit : yet I say not a word. Here I “ abstain from all appearance of evil;" but this does not cleanse me from that filthiness of spirit, as I experience to my sorrow.

7. And as this position, there is no sin in a believer, no carnal mind. no bent to backsliding, is thus contrary to the word of God, so it is to the experience of his children. These continually feel a heart bent to backsliding; a natural tendency to evil; a proneness to depart from God, and cleave to the things of earth. They are daily sensible of sin remaining in their heart, pride, self will, unbelief; and of sin cleaving to all they speak and do, even their best actions and holiest duties. Yet at the same time they “ know that they are of God;" they cannot doubt of it for a moment. They feel his Spirit clearly “ witnessing with their spirit, that they are the children of God." They " rejoice in God through Christ



Jesus, by whom they have now received the atonement.” So that they are equally assured, that sin is in them, and that “ Christ is in them the hope of glory."

8. “But can Christ be in the same heart where sin is ?" Undoubtedly he can. Otherwise it never could be saved therefrom. Where the sickness is, there is the physician,

“Carrying on his work within,

Striving till he cast out sin.” Christ indeed cannot reign, where sin reigns; neither will he dwell where any

sin is allowed. But he is and dwells in the heart of every believer, who is fighting against all sin ; although it be not yet purified, according to the purification of the sanctuary.

9. It has been observed before, that the opposite doctrine, that there is no sin in believers, is quite new in the church of Christ; that it was never heard of for seventeen hundred years; never till it was discovered by Count Zinzendorf. I do not remember to have seen the least intimation of it, either in any ancient or modern writer ; unless perhaps in some of the wild, ranting Antinomians. And these likewise say and unsay, acknowledging there is sin in their flesh, although no sin in their heart. But whatever doctrine is new must be wrong ; for the old religion is the only true one; and no doctrine can be right, unless it is the very

which was from the beginning." 10. One argument more against this new, unscriptural doctrine, may be drawn from the dreadful consequences of it. One

says, I felt

anger to day.” Must I reply, “ Then you have no faith ?” Another says, know what you advise is good, but my will is quite averse to it.” Must I tell him, " Then you are an unbeliever, under the wrath and the curse of God ?” What will be the natural consequence of this? Why, if he believe what I say, his soul will not only be grieved and wounded, but perhaps utterly destroyed; inasmuch as he will “cast away” that“ confidence which hath great recompense of reward :" and having cast away his shield, how shall he“ quench the fiery darts of the wicked one ?" How shall he overcome the world ?-seeing “this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” He stands disarmed in the midst of his enemies, open to all their assaults. What wonder then if he be utterly overthrown; if they take him captive at their will; yea, if he fall from one wickedness to another, and never see good any more! I cannot therefore by any means receive this assertion, that there is no sin in a believer from the moment he is justified; first, because it is contrary to the whole tenor of Scripture ;-secondly, because it is contrary to the experience of the children of God ;-thirdly, because it is absolutely new, never heard of in the world till yesterday ;-and, lastly, because it is naturally attended with the most fatal consequences; not only grieving those whom God hath not grieved, but perhaps dragging them into everlasting perdition.

IV. 1. However, let us give a fair hearing to the chief arguments of those who endeavour to support it. And it is, first, from Scripture they attempt to prove, that there is no sin in a believer. They argue

thus : “The Scripture says, Every believer is born of God, is clean, is holy, is sanctified, is pure in heart, has a new heart, is a temple of the Holy Ghost. Now, as that which is born of the flesh is flesh,' is altogether evil, so that which is born of the Spirit is spirit,' is altogether good. Again; a man cannot be clean, sanctified, holy, and at the same time. unclean, unsanctified, unholy. He cannot be pure and impure, or have a new and an old heart together. Neither can his soul be unholy, while it is a temple of the Holy Ghost.”

I have put this objection as strong as possible, that its full weight may appear. Let us now examine it, part by part. And, 1. “ That which is born of the Spirit is spirit, is altogether good.” I allow the text, but not the comment. For the text affirms this, and no more, That every man who is “ born of the Spirit,” is a spiritual man. He is so. But so he may be, and yet not be altogether spiritual. The Christians at Corinth were spiritual men; else they had been no Christians at all; and yet they were not altogether spiritual : they were still, in part, carnal." But they were fallen from grace.” St. Paul says, no. They were even then babes in Christ. 2. “But a man cannot be clean, sanctified, holy, and at the same time unclean, unsanctified, unholy." Indeed he may. So the Corinthians were. “Ye are washed,” say3 the apostle, "ye are sanctified;" namely, cleansed from " fornication, idolatry, drunkenness," and all other outward sin, 1 Cor. vi, 9, 10, 11; and yet, at the same time, in another sense of the word, they were unsanctified; they were not washed, not inwardly cleansed from envy, evil surmising, partiality.–“But sure they had not a new heart and an old heart together.” It is most sure they had; for at that very time, their hearts were truly, yet not entirely renewed. Their carnal mind was nailed to the cross; yet it was not wholly destroyed." But could they be unholy, while they were 'temples of the Holy Ghost ?!” Yes; that they were temples of the Holy Ghost is certain, 1 Cor. vi, 19; and it is equally certain, they were, in some degree, carnal, that is, unholy.

2. However, there is one scripture more which will put the matter out of question : 'If any man be [a believer] in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things are passed away; behold all things are become new,' 2 Cor. v, 17. Now, certainly, a man cannot be a new creature and an old creature at once. Yes, he may: he may be partly renewed, which was the very case with those at Corinth. They were doubtless “renewed in the spirit of their mind,” or they could not have been so much as babes in Christ;" yet they had not the whole mind which was in Christ, for they envied one another. “ But it is said expressly, Old things are passed away: all things are become new."

But we must not so interpret the apostle's words, as to make him contradict himself. And if we will make him consistent with himself, the plain meaning of the words is this: His old judgment concerning justification, holiness, happiness, indeed concerning the things of God in gene ral, is now passed away: so are his old desires, designs, affections, tempers, and conversation. All these are undeniably become new, greatly changed from what they were. And yet, though they are new, they are not wholly new. Still he feels, to his sorrow and shame, remains of the old man, too manifest taints of his former tempers and affections, though they cannot gain any advantage over him, as long as ne watches unto prayer.

3. This whole argument, “ If he is clean, he is clean;" “ if he is noly, he is holy;" (and twenty more expressions of the same kind may easily be heaped together;) is really no better than playing upon words: it is the fallacy of arguing from a particular to a general; of inferring

A man

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a general conclusion from particular premises. Propose the sentence entire, and it runs thus : “ If he is holy at all, he is holy altogether." That does not follow : every babe in Christ is holy, and yet not altogether so. He is saved from sin; yet not entirely : it remains, though it does not reign. If you think it does not remain, (in babes at least, whatever be the case with young men, or fathers,) you certainly have not considered the height, and depth, and length, and breadth of the law of God; (even the law of love, laid down by St. Paul in the thirteenth of Corinthians ;) and that every (avoula) disconformity to, or deviation from this law, is sin. Now, is there no disconformity to this in the heart or life of a believer? What may be in an adult Christian, is another question; but what a stranger must he be to human nature, who can possibly imagine that this is the case with every babe in Christ!

4. “ But believers walk after the Spirit,* Rom. viii, 1, and the Spirit of God dwells in them; consequently they are delivered from the guilt, the power, or in one word, the being of sin.'

These are coupled together, as if they were the same thing. But they are not the same thing. The guilt is one thing, the power another, and the being yet another. That believers are delivered from the guilt and

power of sin we allow; that they are delivered from the being of it we deny. Nor does it in any wise follow from these texts. may have the Spirit of God dwelling in him, and may " walk after the Spirit,” though he still feels “the flesh lusting against the Spirit.”

But the church is the body of Christ, Col. i, 24; this implies, that its mernbers are washed from all filthiness; otherwise it will follow that Christ and Belial are incorporated with each other."

Nay, it will not follow from hence, « Those who are the mystical body of Christ, still feel the flesh lusting against the Spirit,” that Christ has any fellowship with the devil; or with that sin which he enables them to resist and overcome.

6. “But are not Christians 'come to the heavenly Jerusalem,' where 'nothing defiled can enter ?! " Heb. xii, 22. Yes ; " and to an innumerable company of angels, and to the spirits of just men made perfect:" that is, “ Earth and heaven all


All is one great family." And they are likewise holy and undefiled, while they " walk after the Spirit;" although sensible there is another principle in them, and “ these are contrary to each other."

7. “But Christians are reconciled to God. Now this could not be, it any of the carnal mind remained; for this is enmity against God: consequently, no reconciliation can be effected, but by its total destruction."

reconciled to God through the blood of the cross :" and in that moment the ogovnua oagros, the corruption of nature, which is enmity with God, is put under our feet; the flesh has no more dominion over us. But it still exists: and it is still in its nature enmity with God, lusting against his Spirit.

8. But 'they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh, with its affections and lusts,!” Gal. v, 24. They have so; yet it remains in

* What follows for come pages is an answer to a paper published in the Christian Magazine, p. 577–582. I am surprised Mr. Dodd should give such a paper a place in his Magazine, which is directly contrary to our ninth article. Vol. I.


We are

them still, and often struggles to break from the cross. “Nay, but they have put off the old man with his deeds,'” Col. iii, 9. They have; and, in the sense above described, “old things are passed away; all things are become new." A hundred texts may be cited to the same effect; and they will all admit of the same answer.

1.-“But to say all in one word, 'Christ gave himself for the church, that it might be holy, and without blemish,'” Eph. v, 25, 27. And so it will be in the end : but it never was yet, from the beginning to this day.

9. “But let experience speak: all who are justified do at that time find an absolute freedom from all sin.” That I doubt: but, if they do, do they find it ever after ? Else you gain nothing.–“If they do not, it is their own fault.” That remains to be proved.

10. “But in the very nature of things, can a man have pride in him, and not be proud ; anger, and yet not be angry

?!? A man may have pride in him, may think of himself in some particilars above what he ought to think, (and so be proud in that particular,) and yet not be a proud man in his general character. He may have anger in him, yea, and a strong propensity to furious anger, without giving way to it. “ But can anger and pride be in that heart, where only meekness and humility are felt ?" No: but some pride and anger may be in that heart, where there is much humility and meekness.

“ It avails not to say, these tempers are there, but they do not reign: for sin cannot, in any kind or degree, exist where it does not reign; for guilt and power are essential properties of sin. Therefore, where one of them is, all must be.”

Strange indeed!“Sin cannot, in any kind or degree, exist where it does not reign.Absolutely contrary this to all experience, all Scripture, all common sense. Resentment of an affront is sin; it is avojsa, disconformity to the law of love. This has existed in me a thousand times. Yet it did not, and does not reign.-"But guilt and power are essential properties of sin; therefore, where one is, all must be.” No: in the instance before us, if the resentment I feel is not yielded to, even for a moment, there is no guilt at all, no condemnation from God upon that account. And in this case, it has no power : though it“ lusteth against the Spirit,” it cannot prevail. Here, therefore, as in ten thousand instances, there is sin without either guilt or power.

11." But the supposing sin in a believer is pregnant with every thing frightful and discouraging. It implies the contending with a power that has the possession of our strength; maintains his usurpation of our hearts; and there prosecutes the war in defiance of our Redeemer.” Not so: The supposing sin is in us, does not imply that it has the possession of our strength; no more than a man crucified has the possession of those that crucify him. As little does it imply, that“ sin maintains its usurpation of our hearts.” The usurper is dethroned. He remains indeed where he once reigned; but remains in chains. So that he does, in some sense,“ prosecute the war,” yet he grows

weaker and weaker; while the believer goes on from strength to strength, conquering and to conquer.

12. “I am not satisfied yet: he that hath sin in him, is a slave to sin. Therefore, you suppose a man to be justified, while he is a slave to sin. Now if you allow men may be justified while they have pride, anger, or unbelief in them; nay, if you aver, these are (at least for a time) in all

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