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CALVINISM AND HOPKINSIANISM CONTRASTED, BY COM.
PARING EACH WITH SEVERAL HERESIES.
Many matters of inferior importance, on which a difference of opinion exists, might have been introduced into the Contrast, but it was deemed not expedient. From the fundamental principles, which have been already opposed to each other, the discerning mind can easily imagine how the opponents would reason upon the various ramifications of their respective systems. It is proposed in this chapter to give a summary contrast, by comparing both Calvinisin and Hopkinsianism with several heresies. If we wish to see the difference between any two objects, it is well not only to examine them in relation to each other, but also to compare each with a third object. By pursuing this course in the present case, a double advantange will be gained; for we shall be able more clearly to discern the difference between the two, and at the same time, to judge of the tendency of each.
It will be made evident, that some of the doctrines of Hopkinsianism have originated in a collision between the advocates for a general atonement and the universalists; while others, if they have not sprung from deistical objections, or from a desire of compromise with the enemies of our God, Christ; and from the pride of “philosophy, falsely so called ;" may certainly be traced down in their consequences, through various erroneous systems, to deism, and in some instances from deism to atheistical fatality.
Those persons, who profess to derive their doctrine of universal salvation from the scriptures, said, THE ATONEMENT IS UNIVERSAL. The Hopkinsians said the same.
Then it follows, said the former, that all mankind will be sa. ved, or that Christ will lose some persons for whom he paid the price of redemption. This brought the latter to the necessity either of becoming uinversalists, or of restricting the atonement to the elect, or of denying what the ancient Calvinists deemed the essence of the atonement. They said, therefore, that alt though the atonement was universal, yet it was indefinite, and rather of the nature of an exhibition, than of a real, legal satisó faction by personal substitution.
In like manner, the Hopkinsians said, that moral obligatiori resulted from the right and wrong in the nature of things; and that the distinction between these was independent of the divine will ; which distinction fallen man had natural conscience to discern. “ This clearly proves," said the Deist, “ that the volume of nature is sufficient : and, that a needless revelation cannot be divine, must follow.”
Sin and holiness, said the Hopkinsians, are predicable of nothing but created volitions. “And these volitions," said the Fatalists, "are produced by the First Cause, who could not but act according to the pre-existing nature of things. Therefore the nature of things is eternal, and all beings are governed by fatality.”
That the inquirer may judge for himself in these matters, and that the hasty reader may
refresh his memory,
without much trouble, the summary Contrast of several systems will be presented in the form of a theological chart.
Opinions which most prevail in each denomination will be presented in preference, even to the sentiments of the founder of the system. Thus, under the liead of Socinianism, shall be exhibited the sentiments, not particularly of Socinus, but of those persons in America, who agree with that heresiarch in his fundamental doctrine, that Christ was not so much as a superangelic being, but a prophet of Nazareth. Thus also, the Sabellians will be represented to be Hopkinsians in most points ; for that they are of this denomination, who, in this country, believe that God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, dwell in the humanity
of Jesus, is certainly the fact. In one or two instances, how. ever, I know of a Sabellian who does not oppose the Calvinists, except in relation to the Trinity and the hypostatical union. Under the head of Universalists, the Deists who believe that all will be saved, will not be regarded ; because they belong to the class of infidels. It is to be observed also, that some Universalists are Arians, some Arminians, some Sabellians, and some socinians; but the great body of them hold to most of the doctrines of grace. These last will be principally regarded; because they alone form a distinct denomination. They are in America, the followers of Dr. Huntington and Mr. Murray. The former was the author of a posthumous publication, entitled 51 Calvinism Improved ” It is wonderful that he did not call his system
« Strict Calvinism."
The latter has been a noted declaimer in Boston, who taught, until the palsy silenced him, that a complete atonement was made for every man, which will secure all an escape from all sort of future punishment.
The other Universalists of America, that do not openly reject the scriptures, are the followers of Dr. Chauncey of Boston, whose hell was to last, he did not know for how many ages, until the half-damned mortals were made meet for heaven, by the sa- Jutary punishments of the infernal regions.
It will be found, upon a view of the whole chart, that Hopkinsianism partakes of the fundamental principles of most of the systems; but at the same time disclaims all affinity to the rejection of Christ's divinity, moral suasion, the resuscitated pal hell, and infidelity.
Let the reader, however, while examining what remains of this work, seek for an answer to this question :
Why have not the Universalists, the Arians, Socinians, and Sabellians, multiplied within the bounds of the Presbyterian Church as rapidly as they have in New-England ?
“ I speak as unto wise men ; judge ye what I say."
HOPKINSIANISM. I. There is one God; and 1. There is one God; and but one; who 'is uncreated, but one : who is uncreated, self-existent, eternal, immortal, self-existent, eternal, immortal, invisible, omnipresent, omnis- invisible, omnipresent, omnis cient, omnipotent, immutable cient, omnipotent ; immutable in counsel, without passions, in counsel, but moveable in his incomprehensiblí, holy, just, affections ; incomprehensible true, faithful, gracious, merci. and sovereign, whose moral ful, benevolent, independent, perfections are all compre. sovereign, and perfectly happy hended in the disinterested love in hiinself.*
of being in general, and whose happiness is dependent on the gratification of his benevolent feelings.
II. There are three persons
II. There are three persons in the Godhead; the Father, in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; the Son, and the Holy Ghost; which three are one God, and which are so distinct as to have distinguished only by their per. society together, and a mutual sonal properties.
friendship for each other. III. The divine authority is III. The nature of things the foundation, and God's re- lays the foundation of moral vealed will, the rule of moral obligation. obligation IV. The scriptures are ne
IV. Natural conscience can cessary to teach man his duty, discern the difference between because of the native blindness' right and wrong in the nature of his mind.
of things. V. The scriptures alone can V. The scriptures are indis. give man the assurance of fu- pensable to show man the way ture salvation.
: VI. The Old and New Tes. VI. The Holy Spirit inspi. taments were written under the red every word of the Old and plenary inspiration of the Holy New Testaments. Ghost.
* The reader will please to be guided by the sections, and turn his eye over four pages, before he regards the second article of Calvinism.
ARMINIANISM. 1. There is one God; and I. There is one God; and but one; who is uncreated, but one ; who is uncreated, self-existent, eternal, immortal, self-existent, eternal, immortal, invisible, omnipresent, omnis, invisible, omnipresent; who cient, omnipotent, immutable knows all things but contingenin counsel and affection, incom, cies; who is omnipotent, and prehensible, and sovereign, immutable so far as his counwhose moral perfections are all sel extends, but moveable in Comprehended in love to being his affections; who is incom. in general, and whose happi- prehensible, holy, just, true, ness is dependent on the indul, faithful, gracious, merciful, be, gence of his unbounded love. nevolent, independent, and per
fectly happy in treating his subjects according to their unpre
destinated conduct. II. There are three persons
II. There are three persons in the Godhead, the Father, in the Godhead, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; the Son and the Holy Ghost which three are one God, and which are one mind, and one distinguished only by their per essence. sonal properties.
III The divine authority is III. Moral obligation is the foundation, and God's re- founded on the reason and fit. vealed will, the rule of moral ness of things, and the utility, obligation.
IV. The scriptures are ne. IV. Natural conscience and cessary to teach man his duty, reason are sufficient to teach because of the native blindness fallen man his duty. of his mind.
V. Divine revelation alone V. Reason might render the can assure sinners of eternal salvation of sinners, on repentsalvation.
ance, probable, but revelation alone can make it certain.
VI. The scriptures were VI. Some of the Arminians written by the plenary inspira- advocate a plenary inspiration, tion of the Holy Ghost. and some a general superin,
tendance of the sacred penmen,