Page images
PDF
EPUB

so far it is wrong,

tabe : It reverences

mistake!

Father of his Sovereignty.”—This is a mistake ; Armi. nianism dares not attribute to Him the grim sovereignty ofa Nero; but if it does not humbly allow him all the sovereig uty which scripture and reason ascribe to him, Arminia nism as well as Manichean Calvinism.-It

and so far we oppose Pelagiau 56 robs the Father of his Decrees :"_This is a mis

all his righteous, scriptural decrees; though it shudders at the thought of imputing to him abusrd than the decrees of Nebuchadnezzar and Darius. unscriptural, Calvivian decrees, more wicked and -It “ robs the Father of his Providence :"-Another author of sin, and to lead men to the Pagan error of

Our doctrine only refuses to make God the Fatalisın, or to the Manichean error of a two-principled showman works all things in his puppets ; fixing his god, who absolutely works all things in all men, as a Necessary Virtue on the good, and Necessary Wickedness on the wicked, to the subversion of all the Divine Perfections, and to the entire overthrow of the second gospel axiom, of Christ's Tribunal, and of the Wisdom and Justice, which the scriptures ascribe to God, as ' Judge of

whole earth.' Son of his efficacy

(Ibid.)“ It [Arminianism) robs the

as a Saviour."—Another mistake! It only dares not pour upon him the shame of being the Absolute Reprowater of myriads of unboru creatures, whose nature he assumed with a gracious design to be their eternal Saviour upon gospel-terms : And, accord.

temporary Saviour ; promising to prove ingly, he suves all mankind with a temporary salvation; and those The EFFICACY of his blood is then complete, so far as

obey him, with an eternal salvation. he absolutely designed it should be.

the

ARG. LXIV.

absolutely their

who

ARG. LXV.

Spirit of his

(ibid.)" It (Arminianism] robs the

efficacy as a Sanctifier.”—By no mean's ; light of Christ, enlightens every man that comes into for it maintains, that the Spirit, which is the grace and the world, and leads the worst of men to some temporary good, or at least restrains them from the com. mission of a thousand crimes. So far the Spirit's grace is efficacious in all; and, if it is not completely and eternally efficacious in those who 'harden their hearts, and by their wilful hardness treasure up unto themselves wrath against the day of wrath—it is because s the day of wrath,' for which the wicked were* secondarily made, is to be the day of the Righteous Judgment of God, who will render to every man according to his deeds,' (Rom. ii. 5, 6 ;) and not the day of the unrighteous Judgment of Calvin, who (doctrinally) renders to every man according to a Finished Salvation in Christ, productive of Necessary Goodness; and according to a Finished Damnation in Adam, productive of Remediless Wickedness, and all its dreadful consequences.

Arg. LXVI. (p. 92.)—Mr. Toplady produces a long quotation from Mr. Sloss, which, being divested of the verbose dress in which error generally appears, amounts to this plain abridged argument: “ If the doctrine of Calvinian Election be false, because all mankind are not the objects of that Election, and because all men have an equal right to the Divine favour; it follows, that Infidels are right when they say, that the Jewish and the Christian revelations are false : For all man. kind are not elected to the favour of having the Old and New Testament; and therefore Arminianism encourages Infidelity.”

This argument is good to convince Pelagian levellers that God is partial in the distribution of his talent, and that he indulges Jews and Christians with an holy peculiar Election and Calling, of which those who

* All angels and men were PRIMARILY made to enjoy an o accepted time,' and a temporary day of salvation. Those angels and men, who know and improve their day of salvation, were SECONDARILY made for the day of remunerative love, and for a kindom prepared for them from the beginning of the world. But those angels and men, who do not know and improve their day of salvation, were SECONDARILY made for the day of retributive wrath,' and for the fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'

we because it

says, that,

In

never heard of the Bible, are utterly deprived. I have myselfmade 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

strongly assert, as well as the Calvinists ;) but unjust to all the rest of mankind. to some men, as to be ABSOLUTELY MERCILESS and

supposes that God is so peculiaRLY gracious 2. That very Revelation, which Mr. Sloss thinks we betray to the Deists, informs us, that though all men 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. Hence St. Peter

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 restothe promise] the things contained in the law, and are a ration through the seed of life given to fallen Adam in written in their hearts. Therefore, though there is a law unto themselves; shewing the work of the law, Reprobation from the blessings peculiar to Judaism and gratuitous Election, which draws after it a gratuitous draws after it a gratuitous reprobation from all saving

there is no Calvinian election, which grace,

necessarily involves the greatest part of

unavoidable damnation. Hence, if I miswith having contributed to the prevailing Deism of the

appears that when Mr. Sloss charges us Revelatiou with arguments against Christianity,' he, present time, by furnishing the adversaries of Divine (as well as Mr. Toplady,) gratuitously imputes to our doctrine, what really belongs to Calvinism. For there

and

mankind in take not, it

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.

SECTION X

An Answer to the Arguments by which Mr. Toplady

attempts to retort the Charge of Antinomiunism, 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, hy 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 Holinėss, Mr. Toplady informs us in the following argument :

ARG. LXVI. (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, cternal 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 :-Aud 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 cousequence 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.

« PreviousContinue »