Page images

power of

learned Dr. Barrow, " which is opposed to 56 the unanimous consent of all Christendom " for fifteen hundred years " ;" what fall we fay of the arrogance and blafphemous impiety of that declaration, that “ the child of God in 16 the


doth perform every duty “ fo well, that to ask pardon for failing either 66 in matter or in manner is a fin ; that it is 66 unlawful to

pray for forgiveness of fins after " conversion; and that, if he does at any time fall, he can by the



grace carry his “ fin unto the Lord, and say, Here I had it, “ and here I leave it *!" What shall we fay of the flagitious tendency of that assertion," God “ does no longer stand offended nor displeaf

ed, though a believer, after he is a believer, “ do fin often; except he will be offended, " where there is no cause to be offended, “ which is blafphemy to fpeak. It is thought “ that elect persons are in a damnable state, in “ the time they walk in excess of riot : let me

fpeak freely to you, that the Lord has no

more to lay to the charge of an elect per“ fon, yet in the height of iniquity, and in the “ excess of riot, and committing all the abo

· .

Barrow's Works, vol. ii. p. 51. * Fifty Propofitions taken from the Mouth of Mr. J, Brierly, prop. 19. See Grey's Hudibras, part ii. chap, io Ver. 245.


& minations that can be committed y?” Or how can we sufficiently abominate the fanction conferred upon every species of profligacy, in such an affirmation as the following, folemnly delivered, and deliberately repeated and maintained ? “ Let any true faint of God" (faid one of the Puritanical fupporters of Calvinistic election in former times) “ be taken

away in the very act of any known sin, before it is possible for him to repent, I make

no doubt or scruple of it, but that he shall

as surely be saved, as if he had lived to have se repented of it.” " I say that when God 66 doth take away any of the faints in the very $6 act of sin, he doth in that


instant give “ them such a particular and actual repent

ance, as shall save their souls. For he hath “ predestinated them to everlasting life ; there“ fore having predestinated them to the end, ” he doth predestinate to the means to obtain $6 it?.”

Nor is it in the days of ancient Puritanism alone, that the assertion, that “ the elect shall “ be saved, do what they will,” can boast its advocate, charged as it is with the most noxious and pestilential consequences, “ destroying

y Quoted from Crisp iu Fletcher's First Check to Antinomianism, p. 87, 88. be Pryn’s Perpetuity of a Regenerate Man's Estate, pages 339, 941,


" the necessity of all care apd endeavours after " righteousness, and cutting the finews of all “ religion'." Nor is it, in principle at least, if it be avowedly, of such rare occurrence, as a recent writer, in his well-intentioned zeal for religious unity, would persuade us to believe'. I dwell not upon the scandalous as, fertion of certain early preachers of Methodjsm, that " after the elect have received the • Spirit, they cannot fin; and if they commit

any fin, it is only an error in such ; and let " them do whatever they please after their fs adoption, however finful the act, they are ! sure to be saved notwithstanding.” But I rather ask, what is the principle, on which proceeds the language of a late Minister of our Church, that “the falvation of every one of 66 the elect is certain, and can by no means be

prevented;" when taken in connection with another of his positions, that “ the vileft fin

ner may, for aught we can tell, appertain to 6 the election of grace, and be one day wrought

upon by the Spirit of God"." I would ask, wherefore it is affirmed by another, who went out from us, that “ he feared not the falling


Stebbing on the Spirit, chap. xv. sect. 11. • See Zeal without Innovation. p. 58.

See Enthusiasın of Papists and Methodists compared, part iii. pref. p. xxx.

• Toplady on Predestination, p. 53, 105.

poor souls

finally, although he feared he Mould pro“ voke God to let him fall foully ;” and generally, that “ though God's people may fall “ foully, however their poor may

be “ harassed, yet no wicked devil, nor their “ own depraved hearts, thall be able to sepa** rate them from the love of God: God has « loved them, God has fixed his heart

upon " them, and having loved his own, he loves 6 them unto the end." I would ask, on what ground it is maintained by another of our brethren, still living, and still engaged in the active exercise of his profession, that “ every “ idea of moral goodness, as a qualification for “ obtaining pardon, mercy and “ God is done away f:" that “no demerit on “ the part of believers can arise to defeat the “ operation of God's grace & ; that “ the pre“ fent life is not a life of probation and trial ";" and that we have reason to “ hope, that the “ last day will bring forward to the admiring “ view of applauding worlds numberless exam* ples of salvation, where divine grace has “ and impenitence.” I would ask, with what view it is affirmed by a fourth, that the “ will “ of God to do good to his children does not “ depend on their will, or on their faithfulness, " or on any thing in themselves k;" for what reafon he lends his fanction to the doctrine, that “as it was not any loveliness in elect

gloriously triumphed in the conversion of “ finners in their last moments, when the “ whole life has been spent before in hardness

peace from

• Whitefield's Works, vol. i. p. 78. and vol. v. p. 245.

" Hawker's Prop to Despair, p. 11. ; & Hawker's Zion's Pilgrim, p. 60.

Ibid. p. 160. ,

persons which moved God to love them at first, fo neither shall their unlovely back

flidings deprive them of it";" and more especially why he gives currency and authority to the wild position, that “suppose a believer 6 be taken away in his fin, and hath not time " tu repent of it, there was that in him, that “ would have repented, and God reckons of a

man according to that he would do ;" or to the equally dangerous doctrine, that “ though “ a believer be black as hell, polluted with

guilt, defiled with fin, yet in Christ he is all “ fair without spot ; free from sin, as viewed

by God in Christ, fully reconciled to God, “ and standing without trespasses before himm.” Still more particularly I would ask, what in.

· Hawker's Misericordia, p. 116.

k Walk of Faith, by the Reverend William Romaine ; Works, vol. i. p. 258.

i Coles on God's Sovereignty, edited by Romaine, p. 294.

* Mason's Spiritual Treasury, edited and recommended by Romaine, p. 141. and 206.

« PreviousContinue »