LETTER - TO THE SAME.
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My dear Friend,
The charge of Spinozism brought against me by Dr. Warburton, has all the folly and weakness, etc., etc., that can well be imagined. For as Spinozism, is nothing else but a gross confounding of God and nature, making them to be only one and the same thing, so the full absurdity, and absolute impossibility of it, can only be fundamentally proved, by that doctrine which can go to the bottom of the matter, and demonstrate the essential, eternal, and absolute distinction, between God and nature; a thing done over and over, from page to page in those books, from which the doctor has extracted Spinozism, just with as much acuteness, as if he had spied rank Warburtonianism, in my letter to the Right Reverend the Bishop of London.
Now although the difference between God and nature, has always been supposed, and believed, yet the true ground of such distinction, or the why, the how, and in what, they are essentially different, and must be so to all eternity, was to be found in no books, till the goodness of God, in a way not less than that of miracle, made a poor illiterate man, in the simplicity of a child, to open and relate the deep mysterious ground of all things; in which is shown the birth and beginning of nature, or the first workings of the inconceivable God, opening and manifesting his hidden, triune deity, in an outward state of glory, in the splendor of united fire, light, and spirit, all kindled, and distinguished, all united and beatified, by the hidden, invisible, inconceivable, supernatural Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, working all the glories in heaven, and every kind of life, and blessing on earth, by visible, and invisible fire, light, and spirit.
This is the wonderful gift of God to these last distracted ages of the world; and as every purpose of God must stand, and sooner or later produce all that, which God intended by it; so the more the wise and the learned in all churches, reject this counsel of God, the more they will promote its success over themselves, and only help it, to come forth with greater strength, and glory to God, by being owned, and proclaimed by the mouths of babes, and sucklings.
April 10, 1757.
P.S. I have read the pamphlet you sent on Divinity Studies. It may be said to be much better, than most of the kind in this and the last century, and infinitely beyond Mr. Wesley’s Babylonish Address to the Clergy; but yet so wrong, as to be worse than no advice at all. We seem to be further from the gospel, in point of spirit, than in distance of time. What shall I say? Babel is not a city, it is the whole Christian world. As to all these directors of divinity-students, no more folly need be laid to their charge, than is done by our Lord in these words, “Without me ye can do nothing; as my Father sent me, so send I you; the Holy Spirit shall guide you into all truth.” To all which the apostle subscribeth in these words, “Who hath made us able ministers, not of the letter, but of the spirit.”
Now, put these words of Christ and his apostles, at the beginning and end of Mr. Wesley’s Address, and then you will see that almost all that is betwixt them, is empty babble, fitter for an old grammarian, that was grown blear-eyed in mending dictionaries, than for one who had tasted the powers of the world to come, and had found the truth as it is in Jesus.