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Mr. T. has told us, (p. 45,) that “fallen men are involuntary beings ;" and in this page he tells us, that they sin voluntarily. Now we, who never learned Mr. T.'s logic, cannot understand how “involuntary beings" can sin voluntarily. But, letting this contradiction pass, and granting that sinvers offend voluntarily, I ask, Is their will at liberty to choose otherwise than it does, or is it not? If you say, it is at liberty to choose otherwise than it does, you renounce Necessitating Predestination, and you will allow the doctrine of free will, which is the bulwark of the second gospel-axiom, and the scripture-engine which batters down Calvinian Reprobation; and, upon this scriptural plan, it is most certain that God can' judge the world in righteousness, that is, in a manner which reflects praise upon his essential justice and wisdom. But if you insinuate that the will of sinners is absolutely bound by “ the efficacious purposes of heaven," and by the “ effective decrees” of Him who “ worketh all things in all men, and even wickedness in the wicked ;"if you say, that God's decree concerning every man is irreversible, whether it be a decree of Absolute Election to life, or of Absolute Reprobation to death, “because God's own decree secures the means as well as the end, and accomplishes the end by the means;" (p. 17;)-or, which comes to the same thing, if you assert, that the reprobate always sin necessarily, having no power, no liberty to will righteousness ;--you answer like a consistent Calvinist, and pour your shame, folly, and unrighteousness upon the tribunal where Christ will judge the world in righteousness.
A just illustration will convince the unprejudiced reader, that this is really the case. By the king's “ efficacions permission," a certain strong man, called Adam, binds the hands of a thousand children behind their backs with a chain of brass, and a strong lock, of which the king himself keeps the key. When the children are thus chained, the king commands them all, upon pain of death, to put their hands upon their
breasts, and promises ample rewards to those who will do it. Now, as the king is absolute, he passes by 700 of the bound children, and as he passes them by, he hangs about their necks a black stone, with this inscription, “ Unconditional Reprobation to Death :" But being merciful too, he graciously fixes his love upon the rest of the children, just 300 in number, and he ordains them to finished salvation by hanging about their necks a white stone, with this inscription, “ Unconditional Election to Life." And, that they may not miss their reward by non-performance of the abovementioned condition, he gives the key of the locks to another strong man named Christ, who, in a day of irresistible power, looses the hands of the 300 elect children, and chains them upon their breasts, as strongly as they were before chained behind their backs. When all the elect are properly bound, agreeably to orders, the king proceeds to judge the children according to their works, that is, according to their having put their hands behind their backs, or upon their breasts. In the mean time, a question arises in the court : Can the king judge the children concerning the position of their hands, without rendering himself ridiculous ? Can he wisely reward the elect favourites with life according to their works, when he has absolutely done the rewardable work for them by the stronger man ? And can he justly punish the reprobate with eternal death, for not putting their hands upon their breasts ; when the strong man has, according to a royal decree, absolutely bound them behind their backs ?-“Yes, he can;" says a counsellor, who has learned logic in mystic Geneva; “ for the children have hands, not“ withstanding the inevitable accomplishment of the “ king's effective and permissive decrees : Now, “children who have hands, and do not place them as
they are bid, are accountable, and accountable “ children are judicable; and if judicable, they are " punishable.” This argument would be excellent, if the couusellor did not speak of hands which are absolutely tied. But it is not barely the having hands, but
the having hands free, which makes us accountable for pot placing them properly.
Apply this plain observation to the case in hand, and you will see, (1.) That it is not barely the having a will, but the having free will, which constitutes us accountable, judicable, and punishable.—(2.) That, of consequence, Mr. Toplady's grand argument is as inconclusive as that of the counsellor.-(3.) That both argnments are as contrary to good sense, as the state of hands at liberty is contrary to the state of hands absolutely tied ;
;-as contrary to reason, as free will is contrary to a will, absolutely bound.-And (4.) That, of consequence, the doctrine of the day of judgment is as incompatible with Calvinian Predestination, as sense with nonsense, and Christ with Belial.
However, if Mr. T. cannot carry his point by reason, he will do it by scripture ; and therefore he raises such an argument as this :-We often read in the Bible, that there will be a day of judgment; we often meet also in the Bible with the words“ must” and “ necessity;" and therefore, according to the Bible, the doctrine of a day of judgment is consistent with the doctrine of the Absolute Necessity of human actions : Just as if, in a thousand cases, a decree of necessity, or a must, were not as different from absolute neces. sity, as the want of an apartment in the king's palace is different from the absolute wunt of a room in any house in the kingdom. The absurdity of this argument will be better understood by considering the passages which Mr. T. produces to prove, that when men do good or evil, God's absolute decree of Predestination necessitates them to it.
ARG. XLVIII. (P. 60.)—" It must needs be that offences come.—There must be heresies among you.— Such things, [wars, &c.,] must needs be."- When Mr. T.builds Calvinian Necessity upon these scriptures, he is as much mistaken as if he fancied that Mr. Wesley and I were Fatalists, because we say,
“ Consider. “ įng the course and wickedness of the world, it cannot but be Christendom will be distracted by heresies, law-suits, wars, and murders : For so
long as men will follow worldly maxims, rather than “evangelical precepts, such things must come to pass." -Again, would not the reader think that I trifled, if I attempted to prove Absolute Necessity from such scriptural expressions as these ?, “Seven days ye must eat unleavened bread.--New wine must be put into uew bottles -He must needs go through Samaria.- I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it.-How can I sin against God ?--I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.The multitude must needs come together (to mob Paul.] (Acts. xxi. 22.) A bishop must be blameless.--Ye must needs be subject [to rulers] not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.'
Once more: Who does not see, that there is what the poverty of language obliges me to call, (1.) A necessity of duty: “I must pay my debts :-I must preach next Sunday.”—(2.) A necessity of civility: “I must pay such a visit."-(3.) A necessity of circumstance ; “In going from Jerusalem to Galilee, I must needs pass through Samaria,' because the high way lies directly through Samaria."-(4.) A necessity of convenience : “I am tired with writing, I must leave off.”-(5.) A necessityof decency: “I must not go naked.” -(6.) A necessity of prudence : “I must look before 1 leap," &c. Now, all these sorts of Necessity, and an hundred more of the like stamp, do not amount to one single grain of Calvinian, absolute, insuperable necessity. However, a rigid predestinarian (such is the force of prejudice !.sees his imaginary Necessity in almost every must; just as a jealous man sees adultery, in almost every look which bis virtuous wife casts upon the man whom he faucies to be his rival.
ABG. XLIX. (P. 61.)-" Absolute "Necessity, then, is perfectly consistent with willingness and freedom in good agency, no less than in bad. For it is a true maxim, Ubi voluntas, ibi Libertas" _That is, where os When you
there is a will, there is liberty. This maxim, which has led many good men into Calvinism, I have already exposed; see Scales, vol. iii. p. 292. To what is there advanced, I add the following remark : As there way be liberty, where there is not a will, so there may be a willwhere there is not liberty. The first idle schoolboy whom you meet will convince you of it. I ask him, “When you are at school, and have a will, or (as you call it,) a mind to go and play, have you liberty, or freedom to do it ?" He answers, “ No." Here is then a will without liberty. I ask him again, are at school where you have freedom or liberty to ply your book, have you a will to do it?" He honestly answers “No" again. Here is then liberty without a will. How false therefore is this proposition, that “ where there is a will there is liberty !” Did judicious Calvinista consider this, they would no more say, “ If all men were redeemed, they " would all come out of the dungeon of sin.” For there may be a freedom to come out consequent upon redemption, where there is no will exercised." Oh, but God makes us willing in the day of his power." True: In the day of salvation he restores to us the faculty of choosing moral good with some degree of ease; and, from time to time, he peculiarly helps us to make acts of willingness. But to suppose that he absolutely wills for us, is as absurd as to say, that when, after a quinsy, his gracious providence restores us a degree of liberty to swallow, he necessitates us to eat and drink, or actually swallows for us.
ARG. L. (P. 61.)--In his refusal to dismiss the Israelites, &c. “ he [Pharaoh] could will no otherwise than he did, Ex. vii. 3, 4."-Is not this a mistake ? When Pharaoh considered, did he not alter his mind ? Did he not say to Moses, ‘Be gone, and bless me also ?' If Omnipotence had absolutely hardened him, could he have complied at last? Do the unchangeable decrees change as the will of Pharaoh changed ?