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whó is an industrious tępant of yours, must work of break; and if, in order to make him break, according to your decree of the end, you make a decree of the meansman efficucious decree, that his cattle shall die, that his plough shall be stolen, that he shall fall sick, and that nobody shall help him ; I boldly say, You are “ the author of that man's poverty :"}-And if, when you have reduced him to sordid want, and have, by this means, clothed his numerous family with filthy rags, you make another efficacious absolute decree, that a majority of his children shall never have a good garment, and that at whatsoever time the constable shall tind them with the only ragged coat which their bank. rupt father could afford to give them, they shall all be sent to the House of Correction, and sererely whipt there, merely for not having on a certain coat, which you took care they should never have; and for wearing the filthy rags, which you decreed they should neces. sarily wear, you shew yourself as merciless to the poor man's children, as you shewed yourself ill-natured to the poor man himself.—To prove, that this is a just state of the case, if the doctrine of absolute predestination be true, I refer the reader to Sectiou II, where he will find Calvinism“ on its legs."
Upon the whole, if I mistake not, it is evident that the arguments by which Mr. Toplady endeavours to reconcile Calvinian reprobation with Divine Mercy, are as inconclusive as those, by which he tries to reconcile it with Divine JUSTICE; both sorts of arguinents drawing all their plausibility from the skill with which Logica Genevensis tucks up the left leg of Calvinism, or covers it with deceitful buskins, which are called by a variety of delusive names, such as by, not electing, not owing salvation, limiting the display of goodness, not extending mercy infinitely, not enriching,” &c., just as if all these phrases together conveyed one just idea of Calvinian reprobation, which is an absolute unconditional dooming of myriads of unborn creatures, to live and die in necessary, remediless wickedness, and then to depart into everlasting fire,' merely because Adam according to dirine predestination
necessarily sinned; obediently fulfilling God's absolute, irreversible, and efficacious decree of the means (sin :) Au Autinomiau decree this, by which, if Calvinism be true, God secured and accomplished the decree of the end, that is, the remediless sin and eternal damnation of the reprobate: For, says Mr. T., (p. 17,) “ God's own decree secures the means as well as the end, and accomplishes the end by the means.
And now, candid reader, say if Mr. T. did not act with a degree of partiality, when he called his book “ A Vindication of God's Decrees, &c., from the defamations of Mr. Wesley;"-and if he could not, with greater propriety, have called it, “An Unscriptural and Illogical Vindication of the Horrible Decree, from the 'scriptural and rational exceptions '
made against it by Mr. Wesley.".
SECTION VI. A View of the SCRIPTURE-PROOFS by which Mr. T. attempts to demonstrate the Truth of Calvinian Reprobation .. THAT the Old and New Testament hold forth a PARTIAL REPROBATION of distinguishing grace, and an IMPARTIAL REPROBATION of retributive justice, is a capital truth of the gospel. One of the leading errors of the Calvinists consists in confoundiog these two Feprobations, and the electionis which they draw after thein. By the impetuous blast of prejudice, and the fire of a heated imagination, modero Aarons melt the partial election of Grace, and the impartial election of - Justice ; avd, casting them in the mould of coufusion, they make their one partial election of unscriptutal, necessitating, Antinomian FREE GRACE, to which they are obliged to oppose their one partial reprobation of necessitating, Manichean FREE WRATH. Now, as the scriptures frequently speak of the barmless Reproblation of Grace, and of the awful Reprobation of Justice; it would being
'surprising indeed, if out of so large a book as the Bible, Logica Genevensis c
could not ex tract a few' passages, which, by being wrested from the context, and misapplied according to’art, seem to
favour Calvinian Reprobation. Such passages are pro duced in the following pages :
ARG. XXXIX. (P. 19.) After transcribiug Rom. ix. 20--23, Mr. Toplady: :says, "Now are these the words of scripture, or are they not? If not, sprove the forgery. If they be, you cannot fight against Reprebation, without fighting against God.!_Far from fighting against scripture-reprobation, we maintain, as St. Pauh does in Rom. is :-(1.) That God has an absolute right gratuitously to call whom he pleases to either of his two grand covenants of peculiarity, (Judaism and Christianity,) and gratuitously to reprobate whom he will, from the blessings peculiar to these covenants; leaving as many nations and individuals as he thinks fit, under the general blessings of the gracious covenants which he made with reprieved Adam, and with spared Noah.—(2.) We assert, that God has an indubitable right judicially to reprobate obstinate unbelievers under all the dispensations of his grace, and to appoint, that, (as stubborn unbelievers) they shall be
vessels of wrath fitted for destruction' by their own unbelief, and not by God's free wrath. This is all the reprobation which St. Paul contends for iu Rom, ix. (See Scales, Vol./iii. Sect. xi, where Mr. T.'s olijection is answered at large.) Therefore, with one hand, we defend scripture reprobation is and with the other, we attack Calvinian reprobation; maintaining that the scripture reprobation of grace, and of justice, are as different from Calvinian, damning 'reprobation, r as appointing a soldier to continue a soldier and to be a captain, or a wilful deserter to be shot, is different from appointing a soldier necessarily to desert, that he may be unavoidably shot for desertion, un
Having thus vindicated the godly reprobation maintained by St. Paul, from the nuisappréhensions of Mr. Toplady, we point at all the passages which we have produced in the Scripture Scales, in defence of the Doctrines of Justice, the CONDITIONALITY of the reward of the inheritance, and the freedom of the will; and, retorting Mr. T.'s argument, we say,
these the words of scripture, or are they not? If not, prove the forgery. If they be, you cannot fight against [the conditional] reprobation, (which we defend,] without fighting against God.” You cannot fight for Calvinian reprobation without fighting for free wrath and the evil-principled deity worshipped by the Manichees.
ARG. XL. (P. 51.)-Mr. T. supports absolute reprobation by quoting 1 Sam. ii. 25 : 'They (the sons of Eli] hearkened not to the voice of their father, because the Lord would slay them.' (1 Sans. ii. 25.)--Here we are given to understand, that by the decree of the means, the Lord secured the disobedience of these wicked men, in order to accomplish his decree of the end, that is, their absolute destruction.
To this truly Calvivian insinuation we answer, (1.) The sons of Eli, who had turned the tabernacle into a house of ill fame, and a den of thieves, had personally deserved a judicial reprobation ; God therefore could justly give them up to a reprobate mind, in consequence of their personal, avoidable, repeated and aggravated crimes.-(2.) The word “killing” does not here necessarily imply eternal damnation. The Lord killed, by a lion, the man of God from Judah, for having stopped in Bethel :-He killed Nadab and Abihu for offering strauge fire :-He killed the child of David and Bathsheba :—He killed many of the Corinthians, for their irreverent partaking of the Lord's Supper :--But the sin unto [bodily] death' is not the sin unto eternal death. For St. Paul informs us, that the body is some. times "given up to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.' (1 Cor. v. 5.)-(3.) The Hebrew particle », which is rendered in our translation because,' means also“ therefore ;” And so our translators themselves have rendered it after St. Paul, and the Septuagint, (Ps.cxvi.10,) ' I believed, ?, and therefore will I speak: See 2 Cor. iv. 13. If they had done their part as well in translating the verse quoted by Mr. Toplady, the doctrines of free wrath would have gone propless';
and we should have had these edifying words : "T
ore and meir
ARG. XLI. (P.51.)--Mr. T. tries to prove absok nite reprobation by quoting these words of our Lo
rd, • Thou Capernaum, which art exalted to heaven, st
Dalt be brought down to hell; for if the mighty wor
ks; which have been done in thee, had been done in dom, it would (or might] have remained unto this da ay'
This passage, if I am not mistaken, is nothing buta strong expostulatiou and reproof, admirably calculated to shame the unbelief, and alarm the fears of the Capernaites. Suppose I had an enemy, whose obstivate hatred had resisted for years the constant tokens of my love ; and suppose I said to him, “ Your obduracy is astonishing ; if I had shewn to the fiercest tyger the kindness which I have shewn you, I could have melted the savage beast into love ;" would it be right, from such a figurative supposition, to conclude that I absolutely believed I could have tamed the fiercest tiger ?
But this passage, taken in a literal sense, far from proving the absolute reprobation of Sodom, demonstrates that Sodom was never reprobated in the Calvinian sense of the word : For if it had been absolutely reprobated from all eternity, no works done in her by Christ and his apostles, could have overcome her unbelief. But our Lord observes, that her strong un. belief could have been overcome by the extraordinary meaps of faith, which could not conquer the unbelief of Capernaum. Mr. T. goes on :
ARG. XLII. (ibid.)—“But though God knew, the citizens of Sodom would for might] have reformed their conduct, had his providence made use of effectual [Mr. T. should say of every effectual] means to that end; still these effectual [Mr. T. should say, all these