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CAREFUL AND STRICT
I N QUIR Y
FREEDOM OF WILL,
WHICH IS SUPPOSED TO BE ESSENTIAL To MORAL AGENCY, VIRTUE AND VICE, REWARD
AND PUNISHMENT, PRAISE AND BLAME.
- MAwY find much fault with the calling firofessing £hristians, that differ one from another in some matters of of in
ion, by distinct names; especially calling them by the names of .
farticular men, who have distinguished themselves as maintainers and fromoters of those oftinions ; as the calling some frofessing Christians Arminians, from Arminius ; others Arians, from Ariws ; others Socinians, from Socinus, and the like. They think it wnjust in itself; as it seems to suftflose and suggest, that the fiersons marked out by these names, received those doctrines which they entertain, out of regard to, and reliance on, those men after
whom they are named ; as though they made them their rule ; .
in the same manner, as the followers of Christ are called Christians; after his name, whom they regard and defend usion, as their great Head and Rule. Whereas, this is an unjust and groundless imputation on those that go under the forementioned denominations. Thus (say they) there is not the least ground to suftflose that the chief Divines, who embrace the scheme of doctrine which is, by many, called Arminianism, believe it the more, because Arminius believed it ; and that there is no reason to think any other, than that they sincerely and imsiartially study the holy Scrifitures, and inquire after the mind of Christ, with as much judgment and sincerity, as any of those that call them by these names ; that they seek after truth, and are not careful whether they think exactly as Mrminius did ; yea, that, in some things, they actually differ from him. This firdctice is also esteemed acturlly injurious on this account, that it is suffiosed maturally to lead the multitude to imagine the difference between fiersons thus named and others, to be greater than it is ; yea, as though it were so great, that they must be, as it were, another shecies of beings. And they object against it as arising from an uncharitable, narrow, contracted sfirit ; which, they say, commonly inclines fiersons to confine all that is good to themselves, and their own farty, and to make a wide distinction between themselves and others, and stigmatize those that differ from them, with odious names. They say, moreover, that the keefling use such a distinction of names has a direct tendency to usihold distance and disaffection, and keef, alive mutual hatred among Christians, who ought all to be united in friendshift and charity, *2:vever they cannot, in all things, think alike.