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to cheer, nor has the future any promise te comfort him. For him the blood of the Saviour of the world has not been shed :- for himu
66 the God of all comfort" extends not the arms of his mercy :—"the dayfpring from on
high” does not visit him with one gleam of hope, to guide his feet into the
of peace :—but he advances through clouds and thick darkness towards the vale of the shadow of death, which he surveys before him, not as a refuge, 66 where the wicked cease
from troubling and the weary be at rest;" not as an avenue to the abode of happiness, where his earthly sufferings are to be recompensed by “ an eternal weight of glory;" but as the passage from a short life of intolerable misery and apprehension, to an interminable existence of far more exceeding horror!
This is not a picture of the imagination: would to God that it were ! The experience, both of earlier and of more recent times, will furnish too many originals ; whilst the fame experience will also warrant an opinion, that the evils, which result from the system to the individual professor, are not redeemed by any benefits, to which it gives rise in his intercourse with fociety,
That Calvinism has a general tendency to create and foster humility and a Christian temper, is an opinion which its adherents may fondly cherish", but which the evidence of history will not substantiate.
If it be so, why did it not restrain the intolerant and persecuting spirit, with which Calvin himself maintained his doctrines, even to the banishment, if not to the death, of one of his unhappy victims *; when, inconsistently with the affertion of a late biographer, that " he never used any “ expressions unworthy of a pious mans," he styled his
opponents “ fools,” and “ impious;" litigating with God;” “forgetful that they were men;" “ virulent dogs, barking and vomiting forth their accusations againft God;"
malignant and impudent calumniators of his * do&rine?:" in a word, accusing them of
See Calv. Inft. lib. i. cap. xxi. sect. 1. and Whitefield's Works, vol. iv. p. 61.
* Sebastian Castalio. See Heylyn's Quinquart. Hift. part i. chap. v. part iii. chap. xvi. Mosheim, cent. xvi. fect. iii. p. 2. 'y Mackenzie's Life of Calvin, p. 140.
Figmenta, quæ ad evertendam prædestinationem commenti sunt ftulti homines. Inf. lib. iii. cap. xxi. fect. 7.
Quæ fpeciofe ad fuggillandam Dei juftitiam prætendit impietas. Ibid.
Hæc quidem piis et modestis abunde fufficerent, et qui se bomines reminiscuntur. Quia tamen non unam fpe. ciem virulenti ifti canes evomunt contra Deum &c. Multis modis cum Deo litigant ftulti homines. Ibid. cap. xxiii, sect. 2.
-divinæ Providentiæ calumniator. Ibid. fe&t. 5. Maligne atque impudenter hanc doctrinam calumniantur alii. Ibid. fect. 13.
every species of depravity, moral as well as intellectual, with such asperity of manner, and such virulençe of language, as provoked the mild Bucer to write to him, that “he regu“ lated his judgment by his passions of love 66 and hatred, and these by his mere will ; and to bestow on him the appellation of “ 국 q “ Fratricide?" If it be fo, why did it not check the arrogance, the turbulence, the Nanders of his early partizans; the Contra-Remonstrants on the continent; and their abet: tors, the Gospellers, as they were termed, among ourselves ? Why did it not mitigate that implacable temper, wherewith the oppos nents of Arminius belied, calumniated, and falsely accused him; and wherewith his colleague Gomarus in particular averred, that “ he should be afraid to die in his principles, “ and appear before the tribunal of God ;" and that, in so uncharitable a manner, as to draw from one, that heard him, the memorable declaration, that “ he had rather die with “ the faith of Arminius, than with the charity " of his accuser b." Why did it not correct Perfidi et impii nebulones. Epist. Col. 142.
quemadmodum protervi isti canes contra nos bla. terant In Ezek. xviii. 32.
* Judicas, prout amas vel odisti; amas autem, vel odisti, prout libet. See the Examination of Tilenus, p. 324.
b See Brandt's History of the Reformation in the Low Counuies, vol, ii. p. 5), 48.
the domineering and tyrannical conduct, the bitterness and evil-speaking, the partiality and duplicity, the frauds, deceits, and equivocations, practised in support of their doctrine by the delegates at Dort, to such an extent as to excite the disgust and animadversion even of their adherents themselves? Why did it not moderate the bigotry, the intolerance, and the factious fpirit of the Scotch Covenanters, who fold their King ; and why did it not purify the hearts and lives of the English regicides, who bought and flew him; instead of giving a fanction to their vices, whilst they lived, and affording them, as was notoriously the cafe with Cromwell", peace and consolation in the
. See Examination of Tilenus, Pref. Epift. p. 253. Brandt's Hift. vol. q. p. 308-12. Hale's and Balcanqual's Letters from the Synod, especially p. 482. and follows ing. Heylyn's Quinquartic. Hift. part i. chap. v.
d « This minds me of a remarkable passage told by Dr. “ Bates, who wrote the Elenchus Motuum Nuperorum in “ Anglia. He, as a phyfician, was called apon to affift “ that night that Oliver proved a true deliverer of his
country. The Protector was in great agonies of mind, “ often started, and alked them, if they faw any thing ? “At length he called for his chaplains ; and the first « question he asked them, was, If there was any falling " from grace? To which being answered in the negative, “Then, said he, I am fafe. For he supposed that some “ time or other in his life he might have had a little
grace. And then his ufurpation, with the murder of " the King, and devastation of three kingdoms, belides
hour of death, from the persuasion, that, whatever were their fins, they could not fall fronr grace, which they had once enjoyed ? Why did it not prevent the Calvinistic champion of Methodism from committing, avowing, and justifying a breach of faith towards bis Are minian antagonist, for the purpose of propagating these very doctrines themselves; and why did it not humble that imperious temper,
imperious” by his own confeffion', which prompted him to ufurp and exercise dominion over the faith of his brethren, yea of his fathers, in Christ; and to pronounce on these controverted points with all the
and fancied infallibility of a Roman Pontiffs ? Finally, why does it not infuse a milder, a more tolerant, and a more Christian fpirit into its advocates of the present day; and incline them to regard us, who are of a different persuasion, with brotherly love," instead of denouncing us, as dangerous heretics and fchifmatics ; as impious hypocrites ; blafphemers ;
« much blood Ahed abroad, aud the overthrow of the “ established Church, could do him no hurt! This is a “ short way of quieting conscience, and to lull men asleep " in their fins ! Thus poor fouls are deluded by these doc4 trines of decrees." Rehearsal, vol. iv,
45. • See Coke's Life of Wesley, p. 214.
. Whitefield's Works, vol. i. p. 195. • Ibid. p. 95, 101, 182, 212, &c. .