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especially for informing me that I have not a novice to do with; which is a thought that never entered my mind; for a novice, in scripture, is a young, green, raw, disciple of Christ; or an infant in grace, knowledge, or understanding: from all which charges I am in conscience bound to vindicate and for ever clear my friend Bramah; as I never thought him a disciple either of Christ of of Moses, nor yet instructed in any other wisdom than that of Egypt, or in the rudiments of this world, which are not after Christ, but Mammon.
You offer to give me a reason of your hope. I am fully satisfied about Mr. Bramah's religion without any such reason. In God's elect there must be an internal conversion; which will ever be attended with an external reformation, and a withering to the spirit and riches of this world; and where this inward change is wanting there can be no hope. Therefore I shall never require of Mr. Bramah such an impossible task; and, as he intimates that the gospel I preach is neither the gospel of Christ nor of peace, I think this assertion infers that I am by no means a proper person to judge of the hope he possesses and enjoys; to which I readily agree and subscribe, referring the decision to Samuel Buck.
To Mr. HUNTINGTON.
I expected that your cooler reflections,. with the advice of some of the wisest of your friends, would have produced a handsome and Christian-like apology for the affront you so rashly offered me in your Letter when you returned my draft. And, I assure you, had this been the case, no man on earth would have been more ready to have forgiven what might have been the result of hasty thought or the effect of misinformation. But I am very sorry to find, that you are so far from retracting, that you are making the rent worse by employing the choicest of your satellites in order to justify your bad behaviour, to circulate a report that I am swerved to Arian principles, &c. &c.
To this charge, sir, I know not how to plead, either guilty, or not guilty, being a total stranger to the word, and much more to the tenets of that sect, if there be such a sect. This being the case, I must beg as a particular favour that you will oblige me, previous to my entering into my defence, with a full description of the Arian system; and also your scripture authority for your very strenuous rejection of this doctrine. I will particularly thank you for this information, as it may serve to set me right, and rescue me from such a dangerous and fatal error as you seem to think it.
This, sir, as a lover of souls, I flatter myself you will readily comply with. And I must give you to understand, that I am far from judging myself capable of steering in this important course without a guide; but at the same time hope that my God will never suffer me to be led or driven out of the way of life by any false or blind one: therefore must hear your sentiments on the subject, previous to my drawing any conclusions, for the government of my future conduct.
If you wish to know on what foundation I build, as you say, I am ready to give a reason of the hope that is in me whenever you think proper to write me a letter which will admit of a pertinent answer.
But the incongruity of your present or first one, totally puts it out of my power to give you any specific answer, touching my principles of religion, notwithstanding I am, in my leisure moments, preparing, as you say, such an answer as it calls for.
And that I may be enabled in the attempt to keep under my Pharaoh is the humble prayer of your obedient servant and no enemy,
Piccadilly 27th Nov. 1793,
To Mr. BRAMAH.
I have received your very candid epistle with all its honourable proposals: but must tell you that neither scripture nor conscience will suffer me to accept of them. I find neither precept nor precedent to authorise or compel a servant of Christ to apologize for preaching against a damnable heresy, or for rebuking a scorner in his chair, even though he should get to himself a blot by so do ing. He that has God's word must speak it faithfully; “ What is the chaff to the wheat?" Yea, he must take forth the vile from the precious, or he cannot be as God's mouth, nor speak as his oracles. Neither the wisest counsels nor the coolest reflections are to bring the righteous to fall down before the wicked. This, saith the wise man, is a troubled fountain and a corrupt spring, Prov. xxv. 26.
Your demand, of a handsome and Christianlike apology for sending back your draft, appears to me unreasonable. Every man is at liberty to receive or to refuse a present when offered, especially a believer in Christ, who is taught that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Besides, " The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination, how much more when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?” Abraham made no apology to the king for refusing the spoils of Sodom. He did it to cut off occasion from him that sought occasion, that he might not say, I have made Abraham rich. Nor did Peter make an apology to Simon Magus for refusing his kind offer; for Peter well knew what Gehazi got by making a penny of his master's miracles. That no man upon earth is more ready to forgive than Mr. Bramah, is an assertion I can by no means disprove, though I am too slow of heart to believe one word of it. Besides, sir, I crave no forgiveness, knowing that God has put enmity between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent: between the children of the flesh and the children of God. Nor did Christ come to send peace here, but rather division; yea, a sword and a fire; and what will he do in the end, if it be already kindled? The sinner that God chooses out of the world is to be hated of the world; yea, hated of all men for the Lord's sake. Here can be no real love, no real fellowship, nor union, between these parties. Where God has put enmity, who can make reconciliation? and where he has declared war, who can make peace? It is a truth, found both in scripture and experience, that "an unjust man is an abomination to the just; and he that is upright in the way is abomination to the wicked.”