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never heard of the Bible, are utterly deprived. I have myself made this remark in the Essay on the gratuitous Election, and partial Reprobation which St. Paul frequently preaches : But the argument does not affect our Anti-Calvinian gospel. For, 1. We do not say, that the Calvinian Election is false, because it supposes that God is peculiarly gracious to some men; (for this we strongly assert, as well as the Calvinists;) but because supposes that God is so PECULIARLY gracious to some men, as to be ABSOLUTELY MERCILESS and unjust to all the rest of mankind.
Hence St. Peter
2. That very Revelation, which Mr. Sloss thinks we betray to the Deists, informs us, that though all men are not indulged with the peculiar blessings of Judaism and Christianity, yet they are all chosen and called to be righteous, at least, according to the Covenants made with fallen Adam and spared Noah. says, that, In every nation, he that feareth God, and worketh righteousness [according to his light, though it should be only the lowest degree of that light, which enlightens every man that cometh into the world] is accepted of him :' And St. Paul speaks of some 'Gentiles, who though they have not the law of Moses or the Law of Christ, do by nature [in its state of initial restoration through the seed of life given to fallen Adam in the promise] the things contained in the law, and are a law unto themselves; shewing the work of the law, written in their hearts.' Therefore, though there is a gratuitous Election, which draws after it a gratuitous Reprobation from the blessings peculiar to Judaism and Christianity; there is no Calvinian election, which draws after it a gratuitous reprobation from all saving grace, and necessarily involves the greatest part of mankind in unavoidable damnation. Hence, if I mistake not, it appears that when Mr. Sloss charges us with having contributed to the prevailing Deism of the present time, by furnishing the adversaries of Divine Revelation with arguments against Christianity,' he, (as well as Mr. Toplady,) gratuitously imputes to our doctrine, what really belongs to Calvinism. For there
is a perfect agreement between the Absolute Necessity of Events, which is asserted by Calvinian Bound-willers; and that which is maintained by Deistical Fatalists: And it is well known, that the horrors of the Absolute Reprobation which the Calvinists fancy they see in Rom. ix, have tempted many Moralists, who read that chapter with the reprobating glosses of Calvin and his followers, to bid adieu to Revelation; it being impossible that a scheme of doctrine, which represents God as the absolute Reprobater of myriads of unborn infants, should have the Parent of Good, and the God of Love for its author.
An Answer to the Arguments by which Mr. Toplady attempts to retort the Charge of Antinomianism, and to shew that Calvinism is more conducive to Holiness than the opposite Doctrine.
MR. HILL asserts that Mr. T. "retorts all our objections upon us in a most masterly manner." Let us see how he retorts the objection which we make to Absolute Predestination-a doctrine this, by which Necessary Holiness is imposed upon the elect, and Necessary Wickedness upon the Reprobates. How the fixing unavoidable holiness upon a minority, and unavoidable wickedness upon a majority of mankind, is reconcilable with the glory of Divine Holiness, Mr. Toplady informs us in the following argument:
ARG. LXVII. (p. 93, 94.)-Calvinian* "Election ensures holiness to a very great part of mankind:
The Author of A Letter to an Arminian Teacher, (a letter this which I have quoted in a preceding note,) advances the same argument in these words, (p. 5,) "The doctrine of eternal [he means Calvinian] election," for we believe the right, godly, eternal election maintained in the Scriptures, "concludes God more merciful than the Arminian doctrine of supposed universal redemption, because that doctrine, which absolutely ascertains the regeneration, effectually calling, the
Whereas precarious grace, deriving all its efficacy from the caprice of Free Will, could not ensure holiness to any one individual of the whole species."-Had Mr. T. stated the case properly, he would have said, Calvinian Election, which ensures Necessary Holiness to a minority of mankind; and Calvinian Reprobation; which ensures Necessary Wickedness to a majority of mankind, promote human sanctity more than the partial Election of Grace, which formerly afforded the Jews, and now affords the Christians, abundant helps to be peculiarly holy under their dispensations of peculiar grace :-Yea, more than the impartial Election of Justice, which, under all the dispensations of divine grace,chooses the man that is godly' to rewards of grace and glory :-And more than the Reprobation of Justice, which is extended to none but such as bury their talent of grace by wilful unbelief and voluntary disobedience.
If Mr. T. had thus stated the case, according to his real sentiments and ours, every candid reader would have seen that our doctrines of grace are far more conducive to human sanctity than those of Calvin :—(1.) Because Calvinism ensures human sanctity to none of the elect: For a sanctity which is as necessary to a creature, as motion is to a moved puppet, is not the sanctity of a free-agent; and, of consequence, it is not human sanctity: (2.) Because Calvinism ensures remediless wickedness to all the reprobate, and remediless wickedness can never be "human sanctity."
With respect to what Mr. T. says, that our doctrines of grace do "not ensure holiness to any one individual of the whole species;" if by ensured holiness, he means a certain salvation without any work of faith and labour of love, he is greatly mistaken: For our gospel absolutely ensures such a salvation, and of consequence
sanctification, &c. as well as the eternal salvation of an innumerable company, &c., (Rev. vii, 9,) must represent God more merciful than the Arminian scheme, which cannot ascertain the eternal salvation of one man now living," &c. As it is possible to kill two birds with one stone, I hope that my answer to Mr. Toplady will satisfy Mr. M'Gowan.
infant holiness, to that numerous part of mankind who die in their infancy. Nay, it absolutely ensures a seed of redeeming, sanctifying grace to all mankind, so long as the day of grace or initial salvation lasts; for we maintain, as well as St. Panl, that 'the free gift is come upon all men to justification of life :' (Rom. v. 18:) And we assert, as well as our Lord, that of such [of infants] is the kingdom of heaven,' and therefore some capacity to enjoy it, which capacity we believe to be inseparably connected with a seed of holiness. Add to this, that our gospel, as well as Calvinism, ensures eternal salvation to all the adult who are faithful unto death.' According to our doctrine, these sheep shall never perish: To these elect of Justice, who make their election of grace sure' by obedience, Christ 'gives eternal life' in the fullest sense of the word: And 'none shall pluck them out of his hand.' If Mr. T. had placed our gospel in this true light, his objection would have appeared as just as the rhodomontade of Goliah, when he was going to dispatch David.
ARG. LXVIII. (p. 94.)—Mr. T. tries to make up the Antinomian gap, by doing that which borders upon giving up Calvinism. "No man (says he) according to our system, has a right to look upon himself as elected, till sanctifying grace has converted him to faith and good works."
This flimsy salvo has quieted the fears of many godly Calvinists, when the Antinomianism of their system stared them in the face. To shew the absurdity of this evasion, I need only ask, Has not every man a right to believe truth? If I am absolutely elected to eternal life, while I commit adultery and murder, while I defile my father's wife, and deny my Saviour with oaths and curses; why may not I believe it? Is there one sentence of scripture which commands me to believe a lie, or forbids me to believe the truth?" Oh, but you have no right to believe yourself elected, till sanctifying grace has converted you to faith and good works." Then it follows, that, as an adult sinner, I am not
elected to the reward of the inheritance, or to eternal life in glory, till I believe and do good works; or it follows that I have no right to believe the truth. If Mr. T. affirm, that I have no right to believe the truth, he makes himself ridiculous before all the world: And if he say, that I am not absolutely elected, till I am converted to faith and good works; it follows that every time I am perverted from faith and good works, I forfeit my election of Justice. Thus, under the guidance of Mr. T. himself, I escape the fatal rock of Calviniau Election, and find myself in the safe harbour of old, practical Christianity: 'Ye know that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ aud of God: Let no man deceive you with vain words.' For if I have no right to believe myself an heir of God, and a joint heir with Christ, while I turn whoremonger; it is evident that whoredom deprives me of my right;— much more adultery and murder. Hence it appears, that Mr. T. cannot prop up the Calvinian ark, but by flatly contradicting St. Paul, which is a piece of impiety; and by asserting that elect whoremongers have no right to believe the truth while they commit whoredom, which is a glaring absurdity.
ARG. LXIX. (p. 95.)-After having made up the Antinomian gap, by giving up either Calvinian Election, or the incontestable right which every man has to believe the truth, Mr. Toplady tries to retort the charge of Antinomianism upon our doctrines of grace; and he does it by producing one "Thomson, who, when he was in a fit of intemperance, if any one reminded him of the wrath of God, threatened against such courses, would answer, I am a child of the devil to-day; but I have Free Will; and to-morrow I will make myself a child of God."
To this I answer, (1.) The man spoke like a person "in a fit of intemperance," and there is no reasoning with such, any more than with mad men. But Dr. Crisp, when he was sober, and in the pulpit too, VOL. IV.