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It is however upon the principle here avowed, that the conduct of the moderate Calvinist appears to be regulated. He endeavours perhaps to close his eyes on those parts of the system, which are too “ horrible” (I use the epithet of its framer *) to be ftedfastly beheld by any other than an eye of uncommon firmness; and he endeavours to withdraw them from the foreground of the picture, and to throw them into shade, left their deformity should shock and appal his weaker brethren. Still, with whatever caution these horrors may be concealed, they constitute an essential part of the system.
66 Where there is an election “ of fome,” remarked the last cited author, " there must be a rejection of others':” and it was laid down by the Calvinistic Founder of Methodism, that “ without doubt the doctrine “ of election and reprobation must stand or fall together."
“ No medium can be assigned," faid Bishop Davenant, who was one of our divines that assisted at the Synod of Dort, “ either on God's part, betwixt the decrees of
predestinating some men and not predestinating others; or on man's part, betwixt men absolutely predestinated to the attainment of « life eternal, and absolutely permitted and “ left infallibly to fail of the obtainment of “ eternal life; which we call abfolute Repro66 bation"." If
* Decretum quidem horribile fateor. Calo. Inftit. lib. iii. cap. xxiii. fесt. 7.
"Toplady, p. 106.
any one disputes these positions, which are laid down by Calvinistic writers, let him satisfactorily explain, with what consistency he infers the absolute election of individuals from the declaration in Scripture, that “ God “ will have mercy on whom he will have
mercy,” but denies the inference in fupport of the absolute reprobation of individuals, deduced from its counterpart, “ whom he will, " he hardeneth." Or waving the appeal to such detached passages, deprived of which however Calvinism will dwindle into a name, let him furvey the question abstractedly, and fairly meet and repel the argument of Calvin, one of those“ fundamental principles on which “ his system refts,” and one which I adopt the epithet of the moderate Calvinist in describing as “ incontrovertible." “ You are greatly de“ ceived,” faid he to a friend, “ if you think “ the everlasting counsel of God can be fo “ mutilated, as for some to have been chosen “ by him to salvation, no one to have been
See Whitby on the Five Points, Disc. I. p. 1.
6 destined to destruction. For if he hath cho- . “ fen fome, it certainly follows, that all have
not been chosen. And what is to be said of " these, but that they are left in order to perish. " There musl therefore be a mutal relation be“ tween the reprobate and the electo.” And again, to the fame effect, in words which efpecially merit the attention of the moderate Calvinist: “ Many persons indeed, as if they “ wished to acquit God of blame, acknowledge “ election in such a way, as to deny that any
one is reprobated : but with extreme abfura “ dity and childish weakness ; seeing that elec46 tion itself could not ftand, unless it were op" posed to reprobation. God is said to separate " those, whom he adopts for salvation to " affirm that others obtain by chance, or ac
quire by their own exertions, what election “ alone confers upon a few, were worse than 66 a foolish affertion. WHOM THEREFORE GOD
PASSES BY, I E REPROBATES: and that for. no other cause, than that he chooses to exclude
• Tu vero, mi Christophore, longe falleris, fi æternum Dei consilium ita poffe difcerpi putas, ut quosdam elegerit in falutem, neminem exitio destinarit. Nam fi aliquos elegit, certe sequitur non omnes esse electos. Porro quid de his dicendum erit, nifi eos relinqui ut pereant ? Mutua igitur inter reprobos et electos relatio fit oportet. Calv. Christophoro Liberteto, Col, 142.
6 them from the inheritance, which he pre", destinates to his sons P."
Let me not be understood as insinuating by these remarks, that the moderate Calvinist does really entertain opinions, which he disavows. Charity forbids the insinuation ; neither is it my wish to accuse but to defend. But, for my own part, agreeing in this respect with the framer of the system, and regarding election and reprobation as inseparably connected, I am induced to state that connection as a reason, why the milder, as well as the more rigid, system is beheld by us with aversion ; and why by the same arguments, which condemn the rigours of the Calvinistic system, we feel ourselves constrained to renounce, and justified in renouncing, the Calvinistic doctrines altogether.
Looking upon these doctrines then, however fpecioully they may sometimes be disguised, as
P Multi quidem, ac fi invidiam a Deo repellere vellent, electionem fatentur, ut negent quenquam reprobari : fed inscite nimis et pueriliter; quando ipsa electio nisi reprobationi oppofita non ftaret. Dicitur fegregare Deus quos adoptet in falutem ; fortuito alios adipisci, vel fua induftria acquirere, quod fola electio paucis confert, plufquam infulfe dicetur. Quos ergo Deus præterit, reprobat : neque
alia de causa; nifi quod ab hæreditate, quam filiis fuis prædeftinat, illos vult excludere. Inft. lib. iii. cap. xxiii. fect. 1.
really and substantially the same, I proceed to affirm, and I trust I shall not be deemed
pre: fumptuous for affirming, that they are not the Gospel preached by Christ and his Apostles, and especially by St. Paul, on whom their ad, vocates would willingly fasten them. The affertion needs not to be contradicted, that
every one, who has read St. Paul's epiftles • knows that they teem with predeftination “ from beginning to end?;" the question is, what is the predestination with which they teem, and on that question turn the solution of the whole controversy between us. Nor needs it to be denied, that the fyftem of Calt vinistic predestination may appear to be countenanced by some insulated paffages in the writings of that Apostle, as well as in fome other parts of holy writ. With respeở to such passages however, some remarks thrown out in my firft discourse, and some examples then adduced in illustration, render a particular notice of them again unneceffary. It may fuffice therefore briefly to call to mind, that of the insulated paffages which may seem to fa: your the Calvinistic tenets, fome derive their colour from being understood in a literal, ini Itead of their idiomatical sense ; fome from the English expression, in its present fignifica
Toplady on Predestination, p. 134.