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OTHERS.

a

CALVIN, saints are of use to promote against the Spirit, and the Spithe growth of grace in them. rit against the flesh. In which

B. I. ch. 10. et passim. war, although the remaining No exercise of the believer corruption for a time may much in this life is perfectly holy.

prevail, yet, through the conB. 3. ch. 14. sec. 9,&c. tinual supply of strength from

8c “ The godly heart therefore the sanctifying spirit of Christ, feeleth a division in itself, the regenerate part doth overwhich is partly delighted with come, and so the saints grow in sweetness by acknowledging grace, perfecting holiness in the goodness of God, and part- the fear of God.”

Con C. Scot. Con. P. C. U. S.

c. u. s ly grieved with bitterness by feeling of his own misery; Say. Plat. ch. 13. partly resteth on the promise of And as it hath pleased God the gospel, and partly trem- by the preaching of the gospel, bleth by reason of the testimo- to begin this work of grace in nies of his own wickedness; us, so he preserves, continues, partly rejoiceth with conceiv• and perfects it by the hearing ing of life, and partly quaketh and reading of his word, by mefor fear of death. Which va- ditation thereon, and by the ex. riations cometh by imperfec- hortations threatenings and protion of faith.” “ Hereup- mises thereof, as well as by the on proceed those battles, when use of the sacraments." the distrustfulness that abideth Con. R. D. C. Canons, Head in the remnants of the flesh, 5. Art. 14. riseth up to assail the faith that The

doctrines is inwardly conceived.""* taught by all the ancient con

Inst. B. 3. ch. 2. sec. 18, 19, fessions of the reformed church20.

Same

are

es.

* Dr. Hopkins does not much differ from Calvin on this subject, if we might judge from some sentences, disregarding others.

He says,

“ The apostle John decides this point, in most express terms. if we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. He does not mean, if we say we never did sin, because this is contrary to his express words, which are in the present time, if we say we have no sing now, at this present time. According to this no man can with truth say, at any time of his life, I have no sin, or I am without sin and perfectly holy

Syst. Vol. 2. p. 210.

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OTHERS.

HOPKINS, “ The perseverance of be- The utterly unsanctified are lievers is consistent with their constantly sinful; while the being sanctified but in part; partially sanctified are but in. and guilty of much sin; and constantly good. The alternaeven by surprise and great tion of holy and unholy feelings temptation, of particular gross constitutes that warfare of outward acts of sin. But they which Paul speaks, when he never become totally corrupt says, “ what I would, that do I and sinful, as they were before, not." « Saints do have some and as all the unregenerate are; perfectly good affections;" and and they do not sin with their “it is no less evident, that they whole heart: they being born have some affections altogether of God do not commit sin in unholy and sinful.” 66 There this sense, and as others do ; is nothing else which prevents for his seed remaineth in them: their being as perfectly holy and they cannot thus sin be- and free from sin, as the saints cause they are born of God.” and angels in heaven.” When

Vol. 2. p. 131, 132. God shall cease from the proThere are different degrees duction of sinful exercises, and of holiness in believers; and shall produce constantly holy some of their holy exercises ones, their sanctification will be may be stronger while others completed. are weaker.

Emmons, p. 431-483. Vol. 2. p. 150-156.*

6

In this part of the System, Dr. Hopkins is not so consistent with himself as the ingenious Dr. Emmons. This latter divine does not hesitate to say, that no part of a believer's imperfection consists in the weakness of his exercises, for he either loves God with his whole heart, or with his whole heart, as the impenitent do, hates God. After what Dr. Hopkins had before said of holy and sinful volitions, he should have gone, to have been thorough, the full length of his own system. But the good man was probably startled, by a glimpse at the consequences of his own theory; and therefore attempted to compound two opposite doctrines. Consequently, upon the subject of sanctification he is sometimes with Calvin and sometimes with Emmons.

“ This same apostle represents all christians, as in a state of warfare, by reason of evil inclinations and lust in their hearts, which oppose that which is the fruit of the Spirit, in them, and prevents their doing what they would

NOTE A.

'ON THE IMPERFECTION OF GOOD MEN.

The three divines whose discussion was lately reported, were again convened, by the concerns of the church, in one of the monthly clerical associations.

During the transaction of business, when any dispute was agitated, they could not avoid the discovery, by a few friendly allusions, that they were rival metaphysicians, and that one was a Calvinist, another a Hopkinsian, and a third an Arminian.

The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh : and these are contrary the one to the other ; so that ye cannot do the things that

ye would.” Here, he speaks like a Calvinist, of two opposite princi. ples, existing and opposing each other, in the renewed sinner at the same time. But he adds, “ To will was present. When they looked forward, they wished actually to do, and be all that christianity dictates, and of which they could have any idea ; but when they came to act, they always fell short, and sinful inclinations prevented their doingras they desired.” This is the modern Hopkinsian doctrine ; that at one time the believer wills that which is good; but at a subsequent time, wills something directly opposite : so that one exercise is perfectly good, and a subsequent one, directly the opposite. The warfare consists in one volition's succeeding another !.

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The same divine, however, concludes by giving the Calvinistic sentiment, (by way of alternation) that sinful inclinations “ defile their best'exercises.Syst. Vol. 2..p. 194. Dr. Hopkins, therefore, was almost as much inclined to the “ taste or principle theory," as to the “exercise scheme." By inclination he must have intended something different from exercise, and something prior to it; for he would not say, after declaring every exercise to be distinct, and either benevolent or selfish, that one exercise, for ever past, could defile one future, with which it had no connexion. May not, then, an evil disposition exist, which excites to a wicked act? And may not the doctrine of Witsius and his teacher, Calvin, be true, that "holiness de. notes that purity of a man in his nature, inclinations and actions, which consists in an imitation and expression of the divine purity ?"

Witsius' Econ. B. 3. ch. 12. sec, 10.

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The churches, of which they were bishops, had no common confession of faith ; and it is not a matter of surprise, therefore, that the clerical conventions should contain a heterogeneous mass of sentiment.

After the business of the day was over, and their younger brethren had generally retired for the night, to several of the neighbouring houses, the three fathers cominenced another nocturnal discussion.

Calvinist. In your sermon before the association to-day, brother H. you very boldly advocated your own sentiments ; but give me leave to say, I think you was very heretical in your doca

I trine concerning the imperfection of the saints.

Hopkinsian. Well, Doctor C. we must attempt to settle that matter. I have prepared a dissertation on that subject. What if I should read it; and allow you two, eager critics, to tear me into pieces?

Cal O produce it : produce it. It will have this good tendency, if no other; to keep us to some point, and preclude va* grant reasonings.

Arminian. I shall be glad to hear it, if I can keep myself awake ; but if not, I will tell you what I think of it, when you have done.

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Hop. That is to say, you will judge me, as your hearers, rubbing their eyes at the sound of your Amen, judge your dis

eourses.

All this was spoken in very good nature ; so that after a little persuasion, the portable desk was unlocked, and forth came

THE DISSERTATION

The Hopkinsian reads. “ There are three kinds of moral characters in existence. The first is holy ; the second, unholy : and the third, mixed ; or a combination of the two first. As

cend into heaven, survey all the inhabitants, and it will be found, that from Jehovah on his throne, to the weakest believer, who last arrived at the gate of paradise, all are perfectly holy. However God and his creatures, which are spirits made perfect, differ in other things, in freedom from all sin they are alike : and to be free from sin is to be perfect in holiness."

Cal. Hold, hold! The stones of the street, the trees of the forest, and the beasts of the field, are free from all sin, but are not perfect in holiness.

Arm. I think he is right upon my plan, that man is in him-. self good ; that sin is something adventitious; for when this superinduced sin is taken away, man is what he was before ; that is, holy, just and good, as a man. Pray, go on Doctor.

Hon. “ The glorified saints have the image of God, which they once lost, entirely restored; the temples, which were once in ruins, God has rebuilt ; and the whole man is formed after the divine pattern, Jesus Christ.

The second character we find displayed in two worlds. It is to be seen on earth, and in the prison of despair. If we descend into the dark abode, with the lighted lamp of revelation in our hand, we shall see that all the damned spirits are of one character. They are all unholy. Here is one wretched being, who once inhabited heaven; and here another, who was born on earth; but this makes no difference in their moral image, for one is now the Devil; and the other, the child of the Devil. There is a family likeness between the father and the son. Not one inhabitant of hell has

any

love to God. Devils and accursed men love the same objects. Their dispositions and actions are of the same description. It may be thought difficult to prove, that any persons, who are still in our world, are of the same class with the unholy in the bottomless pit : but is there a greater difference between Satan and an impenitent sinner, than between God and his glorified saints ? Verily, the wicked must be included in the denomination of unholy beings; for “God is not in all their thoughts;" “ there is no fear of God before their eyes;" they are “children of wrath ;" and God declares, that they are not

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