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conded at this time, by the introduction into Scotland of some writings on the subject, admirable for brevity and perspicuity, which had not been hitherto known there. The principal of these were Trail's Works, Marshall's Gospel Mystery of Sanctification, and the Marrow of Modern Divinity, which had been published in London about the year 1646, and had already gone through ten editions, being, in addition to its uncommon merit, recommended by several of the most eminent members of the Westminster Assembly. The Auchterarder proposition had been defended in the assembly by Mr. Thomas Boston, so well known to every lover of gospel truth, by his Fourfold State and other writings, and Mr. James Hog, minister at Carnock, shortly after, wrote a tract explaining and defending it. Mr. Hog, about the same time, having fallen in with a copy of the Marrow, published it, with a recommendatory preface, as an admirable antidote against the prevailing heresy.
The republication of the Marrow, which was widely circulated, created such a bustle among the legal preachers, that Mr. Hog found himself called upon to publish, in the beginning of the year 1719, two pamphlets, the one entitled, A Vindication of the Doctrine of Grace from the charge of licentiousness—the other, An Explication of passages excepted against in the Marrow, which, though they contributed to the conviction of some, and to the confirmation and comfort of many, tended rather to enrage the leaders of the legal party, some of whom, it has been confidently stated, indulged a personal, as well as a political or theological hostility to Mr. Hog.* Among those leaders, the most distinguished was principal Haddow of St. Andrews, who, in a sermon that year, before the synod of Fife, made a most violent attack upon Marshall's Gospel Mystery of Sanctification, and especially upon the Marrow of Modern Divinity. At the request of the synod, this sermon was published under the title of, “ The Record of God, and the duty of Faith required therein.” He also published soon after, The Antinomianism of the Marrow
* Pamphlets of the Times. Life of Boston. Memoirs of the Public Life of James Hog, &c. &c.
detected. Both of these productions were gravely and solidly answered, by some who had become publicly engaged on the side of the Marrow, and from another quarter, the Rev. principal received a most severe castigation, in a pamphlet, entitled, “The Political Disputant.” In consequence of this literary and theological warfare, the assembly, 1719, appointed their commission to inquire into the publication and circulation of books and pamphlets tending to the spread of the condemned proposition from Auchterarder; and the commission appointed a committee of their number—nearly the same, especially in its leading members, as that which had condemned the presbytery of Auchterarder-to take under their cognizance the Marrow of Modern Divinity, as a book of the above description, and bring an overture respecting it before the assembly, 1720. This committee called before them, and examined severally, and apart, Messrs. James Hog of Carnock, Alexander Hamilton of Airth, James Brisbane of Stirling, and John Warden of Gargunnock, after which, they made up a most unfair and garbled representation, which, under the name of an overture, they laid before the General Assembly. Upon this representation, the assembly proceeded to condemn the book, and passed an act, prohibiting ministers to recommend, or private christians to read the same.* An act against
• Edinburgh, May 20, 1720. Session 9. The General Assembly having had under their consideration the book, entitled “The Marrow of Modern Divinity,” reprinted at Edinburgh anno 1718, with an ample recommendation prefixed thereto, which they found was dispersed, and come into the hands of many of the people; and having had laid before them the following passages, collected out of said book, by a committee for preserving the purity of doctrine in this Church, appointed by the Com mission of the late General Assembly: The tenor whereof follows :
Concerning the Nature of Faith. Page 118. “ There is no more for him to do, but only to know and believe that Jesus Christ hath done all for him.” Page 119. " This, then, is perfect righteousness, only to know and believe, That Jesus Christ is now gone to the Father, and sitteth at his right hand, not as a Judge, but as made to you of God, wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption; wherefore, as Paul and Silas said to the jailor, so say I unto you,“ Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.' That is, be verily persuaded in your heart that Jesus Christ is yours, and that you shall have life and salva
popery, and an act anent preaching catechetical doctrine, of the same import as that against the Marrow, followed, and the next meeting of assembly was appointed for the eleventh day of May following. *
tion by him; that whatsoever Christ did for the redemption of mankind, he did it for you.” Page 120. “ For as much as the holy scripture speaketh to all in general, none of us ought to distrust himself, but believe that it doth belong particularly to himself.” The same is asserted, pages 121, 122, 123, 124, 131, 136, 137, 175, 176, 177, and in many other places in the book. This notion of saving faith appears contrary to scriptures, Isa. l. 10. Rom. viii. 16. 1 John v. 13. and to Confess. cap. 18, § 1, 3, 4. and to Larger Catechism, Quest. 81, 172. All which passages shew, that assurance is not of the essence of faith, whereas the passages cited from the Marrow, &c. appear to assert the contrary, making that saving faith commanded in the gospel, a man's persuasion that Christ is his, and died for him, and that whoever hath not this persuasion or assurance hath not answered the gospel call, nor is a true believer.
Of Universal Atonement and Pardon. Page 108. “ Christ hath taken upon him the sins of all men.” Page 119. “ The Father hath made a deed of gift and grant unto all mankind, That whosoever of them all shall believe in his Son, shall not perish,” &c. i. e. (whosoever believes or is persuaded that Christ is his, for this must be the sense according to the former passages), “ Hence it was, that Christ said to his disciples," Go and preach the gospel to every creature under heaven.” That is, go and tell every man without exception, that here is good news for him, “ Christ is dead for him.” -Even so our good King, the Lord of heaven and earth, hath, for the obedience and desert of our good brother Jesus Christ, pardoned all our sins.” To the same purpose pages 127, 128. Here is asserted an universal redemption as to purchase, contrary to John x, 10, 15, 27, 28, 29, and xv. xiii. xvii. Titus ii. 14. Confess. cap. 3. 6. cap. 8.5 8. Larger Catechism, Quest. 59.
Holiness, not necessary to Salvation. From page 150 to 153. “And if the law say good works must be done, and the commandments must be kept, if thou wilt obtain salvation, then answer you and
say, * I am already saved before thou camest; therefore I have no need of thy presence,
-Christ is my righteousness, my treasure, and my work. I confess, O law! that I am neither godly nor righteous, but this yet I am sure of, that he is godly and righteous for me.'” Page 185. Good works may rather be called a believer's walking in the way of eternal happlness, than the way itself.” This doctrine tends to slacken people's diligence in the study of holiness, contrary to Heb. xii. 14. 2 Thess. ii. 13. Eph. ii. 10. Isa. xxxv. 8. James ii. 20. Confess. cap. 19.9 1. Larger Catechism, Quest. 32. Confess. cap. 15.5 2.
* Printed Acts of Assembly, 1720.
The passing of the above act against the Marrow, was a cause of deep sorrow to many eminent ministers and seriously disposed people. Messrs. Thomas Boston, Gabriel Wilson, and Henry Davidson, brought the subject before
Fear of Punishment, and Hope of Reward, not allowed to be Motives of a
Believer's Obedience. Page 181. “ Would you not have believers to eschew evil, and do good, for fear of hell, or hope of heaven? Answer, No indeed,- for so far forth as they do so, their obedience is but slavish.” A great deal more to this purpose is to be seen, pages 175, 179, 180, 182, 183, 184, and appears contrary to Psal. xlv. 11. Psal. cxix. 4, 6. Exod. xx. 2. James i. 25, and ii. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12.
Tim. iv. 8. Col. iii. 24. Heb. xi. 6, 26. Rev. ii. 10. 2 Cor. v. 9, 10, 11. Heb. xii. 2, 28, 29. 2 Pet. iii. 14. Confess. cap. 16. § 2. and 6.
That the Believer is not under the Law, as a rule of Life. Page 150. “ As the law is the covenant of works, you are wholly and altogether set free from it.” And page 151. “ You are now set free, both from the commanding and condemning power of the covenant of works.” Page 216. “ You will yield obedience to the law of Christ, not only without respect, either to what the law of works either promiseth or threateneth, but also without having respect to what the law of Christ either promiseth or threateneth. And this is to serve the Lord without fear of any penalty, which either the law of works or the law of Christ threateneth,” Luke i. 74. See also pages 5, 153, 180, 156, 157, 163, 199, 209, 210. contrary to scriptures, Exod. xx. 2. Mat. v. 17, &c. Rom. iii. 21. and xiii. 9. James i, 25. and ii. 8, 10, 11, 12. and Confess. cap. 19. § 5, 6.
The six following Antinomian paradores are sensed and defended, by applying to them
that distinction of the law of works, and law of Christ. Pages 198, 199. lmo, A believer is not under the law, but is altogether delivered from it. 2do, A believer doth not commit sin. 3tio, The Lord can see no sin in a believer. 4to, The Lord is not angry with a believer for his sins. 5to, The Lord doth not chastise a believer for his sins. 6to, A believer hath no cause neither to confess his sins, nor to crave pardon at the hand of God for them, neither to fast, nor mourn, nor humble hinself before the Lord for them.”
Expressions in the Marrow, &c. Page 192. “A minister that dares not persuade sinners to believe their sins are pardoned, before he see their lives reformed, for fear they should take more liberty to sin, is ignorant of the mystery of faith.” And page 27 “ Christ undertook to suffer under the penalty that lay upon man to have undergone." And page 117. “ The covenant of works was twice made; first
man, and a second time God was on both sides.” Page 115. “ The
the presbytery of Selkirk, who laid it before the synod of Merse and Teviotdale, but the synod gave them no redress. Application was then made to Mr. James Hog, the original recommender of the Marrow, proposing that redress should be demanded at the bar of the next assembly. A Representation was accordingly drawn up, and after various consultations, and many prayers, signed by twelve ministers of the church of Scotland, viz. Mr. James Hog, minister at Carnock,
law practised his whole tyranny upon the Son of God, and because it did so horribly and cursedly sin against his God, it is cursed and arraigned, and as a thief and cursed murderer of the Son of God, loseth all his right, and deserveth to be condemned; the law, therefore, is bound, dead, and crucified to me.” Page 126. “ Whosoever is married to Christ, and so in him by faith, he is acceptable to God the Father, as Christ himself.” Page 127. “ And so shall the love and favour of God be as deeply insinuated into you, as it is into Christ himself.” Page 144. “ Whence it must needs follow, that you cannot be damned except Christ be damned with you ; neither can Christ be saved, except ye be saved with him.” Page 145, 146. Say unto Christ with bold confidence, I give to thee, my dear husband, my unbelief, my mistrust, my pride, my arrogancy, my ambition, my wrath and anger, my covetousness, my evil thoughts, affections, and desires : I make one bundle of those, and all my other offences, and give them unto thee, 2 Cor. v. 21. ' And thus was Christ made sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.'” Page 207. “ Nor yet as touching your justification and eternal salvation, will he love you ever a whit the less, though you commit never so many great sins.”
These are collected out of many other exceptionable positions contained in that book, which, for brevity's sake, are omitted.
And the General Assembly having had the said passages, and several others, read to them from the said book, and having compared them with the texts of holy scripture, articles of our Confession of Faith, and of the Larger Catechism of this Church above cited,—The General Assembly found, that the said passages and quotations, which relate to the five several heads of doctrine above mentioned, are contrary to the holy scriptures, our Confession of Faith, and Catechisms; and that the distinction of the law, as it is the law of Christ, as the author applies it, in order to sense and defend the six Antinomian paradoxes above written, is altogether groundless; and that the other expressions above set down, excerpted out of the said book, are exceeding harsh and offensive. And therefore the General Assembly do hereby strictly prohibit and discharge all the ministers of this Church, either by preaching, writing, or printing, to recommend the said book, or in discourse to say any thing in favours of it: But, on the contrary, they are hereby enjoined and required to warn and exhort their people, in whose hands the said book is, or may come, not to read or use the same.