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in each other's way; the divine law stands in the way of them all; and every species of ungodliness and unrighteousness is the consequence. When men, in religion, sèek eternal salvation merely as deliverance from misery, and the enjoyment of happiness suited to their taste; their selfishness and idolatry remain : but, when they seek the Lord, and return to him, and seek happiness in his favour and service, in renewal to his image, in beholding and adoring his glorious excellencies, and enjoying his love; they are cured of selfishness and idolatry; they love themselves wisely, and in a holy manner; and they never seek their own happiness so entirely, as when they most readily labour, venture, suffer, and deny themselves to glorify God, and do good to his creatures.

5. Self-love, in this case, receives a new direction, and is exercised in a new manner : but it is gratis dictum to assert that it is an opposite principle. Thus it subsists in angels, thus it subsisted in man, created in the image of God. Sin did not destroy this principle, and implant another, but gave it a perverse direction, from which grace recovers it.

6. If we condemn all self-denial for the sake of our own salvation, we inust condemn much of the scriptures; yet proud self-justifying selfdenial, in hope of a carnal heaven, is downright selfishness.

7. If there were a hell in which God and men were loved, and God adored in holiness, grace might lead a man to be willing to go thither for the general good of the universe; but to be willing to be cternally unholy, that is, eternally to hate God and man, is a singular effect of disinterested love of God and man; and the scripture requires it not: Christ exemplified it not. He knew he should be glorified when he submitted to be made a curse for us.

Upon the whole, I think Dr. Hopkins generally strains the bow till it breaks. He represents that which, if attainable at all, must be the summit of created holiness, as possessed by men who doubt whether God be not their enemy; and, in many things his theory is too fine spún, though much of it is radically true and important.

September, 1796.




As to the Theological Magazine, I am apt to say, “ Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy.” The Americans, at least some of them, seem in danger of corrupting Christianity by philosophy, as much as Origen and Clemens Alexandrinus did of old. From some things, perhaps, carried rather too far by Edwards and Bellamy, some of them take occasion to introduce notions subversive of the most important principles of those writers : nay, the negative side of the modern question (respecting faith being a duty,) is evidently implied in some of the papers signed Speculator : and one of them on blame almost equals even Mr. Hume himself, who says the want of honesty, of sense, and of a leg, is equally criminal. Excuse my freedom, and im

pute it to my fear of extremes, and of speculating away the gospel, and running into scepticism or fatalism.

September, 1796.



London, May 18, 1798. Sir, In your Magazine for March and April, 1797, there is a paper entitled “ Dr. Hopkins vindicated,'

. in which I am in some measure concerned. A friend sent me Dr. Hopkins's ' Inquiry into the Nature of True Holiness, and some other American books, desiring me to give him my opinion of them. Accordingly, having as I read marked a few particulars which I felt an objection to, I sat down when I had done, to write a familiar letter on the subject, amidst a hurry of other engagements : and, without stopping or transscribing one line, I filled two sheets with my remarks. I had not the least idea that I was writing for the press; and much less could I have conceived that my hasty thoughts were destined to meet the critical inspection of the acute metaphysical theologians of New England. But I soon learned that some, at least, of my remarks had crossed the Atlantic; and, at length, I was astonished, and rather displeased, at seeing them printed in your Magazine.

The vindicator of Dr. Hopkins has compelled

me to this vindication of myself, by his animadversion on my introductory observation, in which I referred solely to the haste in which I was about to write my sentiments, and not at all to the superficial consideration with which I had formed them. Had the vindicator lamented that men, destitute of the requisite talents, or whose views in these respects biassed their reasonings, would engage in such discussions, I should have held my peace; but superficial investigation, preceding an apparently dictatorial decision, constitutes a criminality of which I do not wish to be suspected by my American brethren.

For considerably more than twenty years I have given up myself to such studies, and have at least been sufficiently addicted to metaphysical speculations. The religious people in Old England look upon me as a New England divine, which is to them, in general, no recommendation : I have been much indebted to Brainerd, Edwards, Bellamy, and others; and I yet regard them with veneration, as writers of deep discernment and eminent piety, though I have some few reserves. Had I been writing to some


my countrymen, I could and should have filled my paper with observations on the excellency of that kind of religion contained in Dr. Hopkins's work, when compared with the laxity of principle too prevalent here; but I had no occasion to do this, for my friend well knew that our sentiments on that head entirely coincided. Yet this circumstance gives my observations rather the appearance of carping and snarling, than of fairly estimating the worth of the work.

I am by no means disposed to enter the lists with the veteran disputants of North America; yet I cannot retract what I have advanced. “What I have written, I have written,” let it shift for itself; though, had it been intended for publication, it would have assumed ferent appearance. I observe, however, that the vindicator, (5th objection,) substitutes the word selfishness for love of one's self; and this gives an erroneous view of my real sentiments. By selfishness I mean foolish, apostate, carnal selflove ; and had Dr. Hopkins used this word only, my trouble would have been spared. But I contend that love of one's self, even as one's self is not radically evil, but existed in man as God at first made him; as indeed it must in every creature, holy or unholy. It is the mere appetite for happiness, and no more morally good or evil than hunger, or thirst, or any other natural appetite : but it becomes holy or unholy accordingly as it seeks its gratification in knowing, loving, glorifying, and enjoying God, and in doing good; or in obtaining and enjoying the creature. In the former direction it cannot be inordinate; in the latter it becomes so immediately, when our own indulgence in the smallest degree interferes with our obedience to God. Self-love, under a holy direction, is distinguishable from love to God, and from love to his creatures : but, like three distinct streams that approach each other till fully united, these holy affections approximate as sanctification advances; and, when that shall be perfected, they shall completely unite in one river flowing on to all eternity. It is indeed said, that man does not now exist as God made him : but surely we may

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