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constant experience, which is the distinctions and mollifications? highest kind of knowledge, that Does he deny the fact? Does he in God never does compel them to sin, part only? Does he enter into any and that their only plausible objec particulars ? Does he remove any tion against his hardening their equivocations in the words? Nothhearts is absolutely groundless. ing of all this. He only alleges
Now, if God can both soften and the sovereign power of God, and harden the hearts of men, without the supreme right which the Creacompulsion, or the least obstruction tor has to dispose of his creatures as to their moral agency; then there it seems good to him, Nay, but O is no room for the supposition of a man, who art thou that repliest aself-determining power in moral a gainst God? Shall the thing formgents, which Arminians maintain, ed say to him that formed it, Why and upon which they build their hast thou made me thus ? AI whole system. This observation Christians ought to receive a definmay be illustrated and confirmed itive sentence here ; a judgment fiby the remarks of Monsieur Bayle, nal and without appeal, in the disone of the most ingenious and learn- pute about grace; or rather they ed men that France ever produced. ought to learn by this conduct of In his life of Arminius, speaking of St. Paul, never to dispute about his controversy with the Calvinists, predestination, and at the first mohe observes, “ It were to wished tion to oppose it in bar against all that he had ma:le a better use of his subtilties of human wit, whether knowleuge.” To this he subjoins they offer of themselves, while they the following note, which is ex are meditating on that great subtremely luminous.
ject, or whether another suggests “ I mean, that he had governed them. The best and shortest way himself by St Paul's rule. That is, to oppose this strong bank begreat apostle, inspired by God, and times against the inundations of arimmediately directed by the Holy guments, and consider the definite Ghost in all his writings, raised to sentence of St. Paul, as those imhinself the objection which natural moveable rocks, whose foundation light forms against the doctrine of is in the midst of the sea, against absolute predestination ; he appre- which the proudest billows cannot hended all the force of the objec- prevail, but turn to froth, and dash tion ; he proposes it without weak and break themselves upon them in ening it in the least. God hath vain. If ever it be safe, to give the mercy on whom he will have mercy, mind some exercise on points of and whom he will he hardeneth. this kind, at least we ought to This is St. Paul's doctrine, and see sound a retreat betimes and retire here the difficulty which he starts behind the bank I spoke of. Had
6. Thou wilt say then un Arminius acted thus, as often as to me, Why doth he yet find fault? his reason suggested to him difficulFor who hath resisted his will?" ties against the hypothesis of the This objection cannot be pushed reformers, or at all times when he further. Twenty pages of the subt found himself called to answer any ilest Molinist could add nothing to disputants, he would have taken a it. What could they infer from it perfectly wise and apostolick course, more than that in Calvin's hypothe- and made use of the lights of his sis, God will have men to sin? Now understanding just as he ought to this is what St. Paul knew could have done. Arminius was no way be objected against him. But what pressed to oppose the common doc does he answer? Does he seek for trine; he did not believe that an
one run the hazard of salvation by begin with it, since he was doomed following the hypothesis of Calvin.
to come to it soon or late ? He is Let us see another circumstance by mistaken who imagines, that after which he rendered himself inexcusa having entered the lists with a great ble. To a system full of great dif- disputant, he will be allowed to trificulties, he substituted anothersys- umph only because he had gained tem, which, to speak truly, draws some advantage over him at beginafter it no less difficulties than the
ning. A wrestler, who should outformer. One may say of this doc run his adversary three parts or trine, what I have said of the inno more of the race, does not win the vations of Saumer. It is more ve crown, unless he perseveres his adhement and less constrained, than vantage to the end of the course. the opinion of Mr. Amyraut, but af- It is the same in controversies ; it ter all, it is no better than a pallia- is not sufficient to parry the first tive remedy ; for the Arminians thrusts. The replies and the rehave soon answered some objections joinders must all be satisfied, till which, as they pretend, cannot be every doubt is perfectly cleared. refuted on Calvin's system ; but Nor this is what the hypothesis of they find themselves exposed to Arminius, nor that of the Molinists, other difficulties, which they can nor that of the Socinians, is able to not get clear of but by a sincere ac do. The system of the Arminians knowledgment of the infirmity of is only fit to obtain some advantagthe human mind, and the considera es in those preludes of the combat tion of the incomprehensible infinity in which the forlorn hope is detachof God. And was it worth while to ed to skirmish ; but when it comes contradict Calvin for this? Ought to a general and decisive battle, it he to have been so very delicate in is forced to retire, as well as to rest the beginning, seeing in the end he behind the incomprehensible mysmust have recourse to such an asy- tery."
PHILONOUS lum? Why might he not as well
FOR TRE HOPKIRSIAN MAGAZIXE.
rect and scriptural. That • Adam. MR. EDITOR,
in his primitive state, was a publick In your number for August, p. 469, are person, the constituted head of the Extracts from a Sermon, sent you by A whole race'-thatóby or through MODERATE CALVINIST, which he seems his one offence,' in transgressing to approve, but which he apprehends the positive law, under which he * some may think incorrect' I acknow
was placed, all mankind were conledge myself to be of that cumber; and having waited, with some degree stituted sinners-that death has of impatience, to see objections' to passed through unto all men, besome things advanced in the Extracts, cause all have sinned-that the from an abler pen, I at length, reluc
economy, under which Adam was tantly avail myself of the liberty, which
the plan of your work gives to free placed, was not to decide, ultiand candid discussion," to send you the mately, the eternal state of manfollowing brief
kind, but only to determine the REMARKS
state in which they should come into being—that the benefit of the
Saviour's interposition, is not only There are several things in the the resurrection of all men from Extracts, which are viewed as cor the grave, but the deliverance of
UPON THE EXTRACT FROM A
many from the tremendous penalty festly wjust, as to blame a man -> of their own offences'—these are for being born deaf or blind. - positions, which the scriptures 3. By those, who had not 'sin
warrant, and against which there ned after the similitude of Adam's can be no valid objection.
transgression,' the author of the I But, there are some other things Extracts supposes infants are E. in the Extracts, which are consid meant. But, what authority has i ered as very exceptionable. A he for such a supposition? Accordmong these are the following: ing to his own theory, infants have
1. It is a sentiment advanced in not sinned at all: they may possess • the Extracts, that mankind are in a corrupt nature; but they are not ; a state of sin, and are corrupt in chargeable with having committed nature,
BEFORE they are actual sin. By those, who had not sinsinners. What does the author ned after the similitude of Adam's
mean, by a state of sin, and a cor transgrsssion,' we are not to underEN rupt or sinful nature, distinct from stand such as had not sinned act
actual disobedience, and antecedent ually; for there were no such perto all sinful exercises ? A sinful sons-nor are we to understand
nature, if there were any such such as had not sinned in a publick * thing, must be either voluntary, or capacity; for this was true of all 1 involuntary. If voluntary, it is who lived from Adam to Moses : we
actual; for all action consists in must, therefore, understand, by : free, voluntary exercises. But if those who had not sinned 'after 1 involuntary, it is not of a moral
the similitude of Adam's transgresnature, and can, with no more pro sion,' such as had not sinned $ priety, be called sinful, than a dis against a positive law: and such
ordered intellect, or a diseased were the greater part, who lived
limb. Sin is the transgression at that period. The universality i of the law.” The law requires of death proved that all had sinned. disinterested love to God and man:
" And so death passed upon all the opposite of this, in which every
men, for that all have sinned:" but transgression essentially consists, not only infants, but also, the is selfishness. In selfishness, there greater part of the adults who lived fore, all sin consists.
There is no
between Adam and Moses, sinned such thing as passive, or dormant only against the law of nature, the sin-sin in principle and nature,
• law written in their hearts,' and and not in act and practice. Al not against a positive prohibition, sin is actual, i. e. voluntary.
after the similitude of Adam's 2. It is implied, if not expressly transgression. asserted in the Extracts, that sin is, 4. According to the theory adin some sense, imputed to mankind, vanced in the Extracts, infants before they have actually transgres are punished for the sin of Adam. sed. But, how can sin be imputed The author considers Adam as not to men, before they have any sin ? | only the head, but the represenAnd how is it possible that men tative of the whole race;' so that should have sin, before they actual- his sin, in eating the forbidden ly transgress; if it be true, that all fruit, has been, in some sense,
sin is the transgression of the imputed to infants.' Adam, in his law," and consists in free, volun- capacity of common head, was tary, selfish exercises? To impute arraigned before his Judge, and that to any one, as a crime, in which the sentence was pronounced, he was totally passive, is as mani “ Dust thou art, and unto dust
shalt thou return." This sentence of his son; but, that “the soul of condemnation for thatone offence, that sianeth, it shall die." came upon all inen." True, it is 5. As a natural consequence of ! added, " and for this reason, that the preceding erroneous votions, in consequence of that one man's the author of the sermon maindisobedience, many,even his whole tains, that the death threatened race, were made or constituted to Adam, in the special law given sinners." But then, it must be hin in Paradise, was temporal remembered, that he considers in death only. Having settled it in fants, not as actual sinners, but his mind, that infants are not aconly as having a corrupt nature;' ually sinners-that the sin of Adand so not deserving of punish am is imputed to them and that ment, on their own account. It they, consequently, suffer the is clear, that as this author views same death, which he incurred by temporal death to be the penalty his one offence—the author recoilof the law given to Adam; so he ed from the conclusion, to which thinks it inflicted upon his pos these premises would lead him, in terity, solely on account of his case he should adınit, that the one transgression. He calls tem- penalty, which Adam incurred by poral death, as it is inflicted upon his offences, was eternal death.” all mankind, “the penalty of Ad It seemed too much, that all of am's own offence:” and again he | Adan's offspring, infants not exsays, “ As Adam, in that instance, cepted, should be doomed to eter(his eating the forbidden fruit) | nal death, for his transgression.acted in a publick capacity, the
He therefore concluded, that “ the special penalty of this one offence doom which was passed upon was to be of a publick nature, and Adam and his posterity, for that was to fall not only upon him, but one offence, appears to have been, upon all his race." This surely corporeal death.” He admits, at makes the penalty of Adam's one the same time, that “ sin deserves offence, very large, if it be not something more than temporal "large enough;" but, the unhap- death.” But, it may be asked, piness is, that it makes this penals why should God threaten Adam ty fall, chiefly, upon the posterity with a less penalty, than his ofof Adam, who have not one of fence deserved?-less, infinitely, them transgressed the special law than He intended to inflict, unless which he violated, and which repentance and pardon should prethreatened death not to them, but vent? Would God thus deceive to him: “In the day that THOU Adam? It is not thought to be eatest thereof, Thou shalt surely consistent with the Divine chardie.” But, how is this to be rec acter, ever to annex a greater, or onciled with justice. It is as real a less penalty to any law, than ly unjust to inflict temporal death, the transgressor deserves. (See as eternal death, upon mankind, Dr. Edwards against CHAUNCEY.) for the sin of Adam. With such If the author of the sermon injustice, certain ancient hypo- had purged his Calvinism of the crites charged Jehovah: but he absurd notions of imputed sin, and utterly disclaimed it, and declar sin in principle and nature; he ed by his prophet, that “the son would have found no difficulty in shall not bear the iniquity of his admitting, according to both reafather; por the father, the iniquity / son and scripture, that Adam was
threatened with elernal death, in observed, with equal justice, on case of his disobedience; since it the other hand, that "the general will not from hence follow, either atonement, made by the death of that “the penalty was vastly | Christ, has opened the way for the greater than the offence," or that pardon of all mankind, upon the the eternal destinies of mankind reasonable and low condition of were suspended upon the conduct repentance; and thus,“ by the of Adam. As Adam only com righteousness of one, the free gift. milled, so he, alone, is guilty of came upon all men unto justificaoriginal sin: and though his offence, tion of life." by a Divine purpose or constitu It may be true, as it is said in' tion, rendered certain the sinful the Extracts, that the apostle ness of all his posterity; yet it changes his phraseology, in the neither compels them to sin, nor latter part of the text, froin “ all renders them deserving of punish men to many; because the term, ment. The descendants of Adam all would not apply to both parts sin as freely as he did, and are of his comparison, in this, as in liable to punishment for their own the former part of the text;" for sins only.
while the free gift of Christ, placAs the author of the sermon es all men in a savable state, none justly observes, by the disobe are actually justified and saved, dience of Adam, the native char but the pepitent and believing; acter and condition of the entire sho were, from the beginning, race of men, was decided,' and chosen to salvation, through sancthus, “by the offence of one, tification of the spirit, and belief judgment came upon all men to of the truth. condemnation:" and it may be
A STRICT CALVINIST.
THE DISCRIMINATING PREACHER.
dren of the devil. There is scarce
ly a page, a precept, a promise, a Reasons why ministers ought to preach threatening, a parable, but represo as to exhibit the difference between the righteous and the wicked; being
sents these two classes as distinct an extract from D:. Spring's Sermon
as men can be, whose views, and at the ordination of Rey. Carlos Wilcox. feelings, and pursuits, and princi
ples of action, are diametrically opSuch a method of preaching alone posite. And the providence of accords with facts. Notwithstand God recognises the distinction from ing the righteous and the wicked re the creation to the last day. His semble each other in a multitude of moral government recognises it.particulars; in the great essentials His covenant of grace recognises it. of moral character, there is a capi And the consciences of men, and tal distinction between them. The often in defiance of themselves, are difference is essential, wide and constrained to recognise it, and apeverlasting. The scriptures re prove or condemn, excuse or accuse cognise it from Genesis to Revela them. The day of final account, tion. They every where speak of we know, recognises the distincthis distinction, and discriminate tion, and divides the generations of between men as the children of men into two classes, and “ sepalight and the children of darkness, rates them one from another, as the children of God and the chil the shepherd divideth the sheep