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leads each to pursue a private interest of his own, which has no subordination to the divine glory, nor connection with the general good. Hence, no man can be found, who loves God with all his heart, or his neighbour as himself, except those who have been renewed in the spirit of their minds. Some seek their highest gratification in the lusts of the flesh, and others in the lusts of the mind; but all have strayed like lost sheep, they have turned aside every one to his own way. And now, though a glorious method of salvation is revealed in the gospel, worthy of God, and worthy of all acceptation, yet sinners hold fast deceit and refuse to return. Though it suits their circumstances most exactly, yet it does not suit their mental taste; it is too humiliating in its import, and too holy in its tendency, for them to relish it: because it excludes all boasting and self-righteousness, and it forbids all sinful self-indulgence; and therefore sinners reject the counsel of God against themselves. It is a very hard thing to convince them of their danger, but much harder to convince them of their guilt, that they really deserve the wrath of a holy God, and need to be saved from it, by the great propitiation. They are unwilling to own, that there was a necessity of Christ's dying for them, because they were all under a just sentence of death; and they are unwilling to yield to his claim, that all who admit this humiliating truth, should consider themselves as the property of their Saviour; being not their own, but bought with a price befond all computation, and thereore bound to live not to themselves, but to him who died and rose again. It is possible some may be found, who would give up many sinful indulgences, especially of the grosser sort, and attend strictly to many

outward duties, if they might but establish their own righteousness, and have at least a share in meriting eternal life: while others would give up the idea of merit, and allow salvation to be of grace, if they might be excused from the trouble of obedience, and the necessity of crucifying the flesh with the affections and lusts thereof. But a thorough return to God, a cordial reception of Christ in all his offices, and that for all the purposes for which he is revealed in the gospel, is more than can be effected by mere human agency, and what will never be the result of the sinner's own free-will. We will join the most zealous Arminians, in asserting the justice of God's commands, and the reasonableness of obeying them; and in

proclaiming the sufficiency of Christ's

Atonement, and the free and indefinite invitations of the gospel; we will labour, knowing the terrors of the Lord, to persuade men to flee from the wrath to come; and knowing the ability and willingness of Christ to save, we will beseech sinners to return to God in the name of the blessed Mediator; but we must confess we should utterly despair of success, if we had nothing to depend upon, but moral suasion on our part, and the pliability of the will, on the part of our hearers.

This leads to the fourth point of Calvinism. We are impious enough to believe that God can operate effectually on the human heart. He can give a new bias to the will, he

can renew a sinner in the spirit of

his mind. He can take away the heart of stone, and give an heart of flesh. We cannot believe that he has shut himself out, by any supposed law of nature, that in case of the most unnatural disaffection, rebellion, and disorder, breaking forth among rational creatures, he will never interpose immediately for its removal. It might, indeed, be suspected that the guilt of sinners would be an impediment to his gracious operations on their hearts, to restore them to his holy image; but his infinite wisdom having provided for the removal of guilt, by the atonement of his incarnate Son, is it wonderful that he should also interfere for the removal of depravity, by the efficacious influence of his Holy Spirit? Would it not be a strange, if not an impious supposition, that after all which the Saviour had done and suffered, he should leave it to contingency or to the will of sinners, whether his gospel should have any success, or whether it should be universally rejected 2 But if God can thus effectually work on the mind of a sinner, is he bound to exert this influence in every case alike, or may he operate on just whom he pleases? Is it impious for us to suppose that he who converted Manasseh, could have converted Ahaz; that he who humbled Nebuchadnezzar, could have humbled Pharaoh; that he who changed the heart of Saul of Tarsus, could have changed that of his candid tutor Gamaliel ? Yet while those whom God turned to himself are under infinite obligations to distinguishing grace, those whom he left to go on frowardly in the way of their hearts have no excuse for their sin, nor ground of complaint against God. Did any faithful minister ever preach the gospel to a large congregation, where there were any hearers whose hearts he that hath the keys of David could not have opened as he did the heart of Lydia? In such a congregation, is the Most High bound to look out the richest, the handsomest, the most sensible, the most pliable, or those that already possess the greatest semblance of virtue; and make the word effectual to their conversion? or, may he


not, if he please, take the most mean, the most illiterate, the most profligate, the most obdurate; and shew the power of his grace in their thorough conversion? May he not, on such an occasion, take whom he pleases, and leave whom he pleases, to follow their own choice? If he may choose, whom he will convert to-day, might he not determine upon doing so yesterday, or even from eternity? What impiety would there be in asserting that he might, and did thus determine? What pious man will rather choose to say with Grevinchovius, “I made myself to differ, who might have chosen to resist God's predetermination, but did not;" than with Paul to acknowledge, “By the grace of God, I am what I am?”

We have only to examine the jifth point of Calvinism, and see if there be any impiety in that; viz. in the doctrine of perseverance. We do believe, that whom the Lord loveth, he loveth to the end. That he who hath begun a good work in the human heart, will carry it on, till the day of Christ; that believers are kept by the power of God, through faith, unto salvation. Is there any impiety in this belief? Please to observe, it is a perseverance in holiness for which we plead. Can this tend to licentiousness? Nor does the doctrine of perseverance clash with the duty of persevering. It is through faith, an habitual realizing of things invisible, a constant dependance on divine aid and all-sufficiency, and especially a reliance on the grace of the Redeemer, on whom we depend for strength as well as righteousness, that we persevere. We maintain not the perseverance of every plausible professor, nor every one who thinks himself converted, or presumes that he is elected, but of true believers, of real saints. God forbid that we should tack together a beginning and an end, and leave the devil to fill up the middle. (I use strong language to show how strenuously we oppose those who would abuse our principles.) Our doctrine is as old as the days of Job. “The righteous shall hold on his way,” not that he shall get to the end let him go which way he will; “and he that hath clean hands shall grow stronger and stronger.” Can this be an encouragement to turn aside from God's way, and to defile our hands with iniquity? It is acknowledged, that true believers have turned aside, for a time, and some eminent saints have even fallen into gross sin; but in this case they lost “the joys of God's salvation,” and fell under his fatherly correction, who hath promised to “visit their transgression with a rod, and their iniquity with stripes;” but has added, “Nevertheless my loving kindness will I not utterly o: away from him, nor suffer my faithfulness to fail.” Though a real Christian may possibly, after his conversion, fall into sin of a more heinous nature than any he committed in his unregenerate state, yet he cannot continue in a course of sin; nor can he have any wellfounded comfort till he is renewed unto repentance. There is always ground for the assurance of faith, that there is forgiveness with God, though exercised in such a way as to increase our reverence and godly fear, seeing it is granted only through the mediation and vicarious sufferings of the Son of God; but even a backsliding Christian has not always ground for the assurance of hope, or for a confidence of his personal interest in Christ's salvation. We must show diligence in the work and labour of love, or this assurance will be lost. Our best divines stre. nuously insist on this. “It is as impossible, in the nature of things, that a holy and Christian hope

should be kept alive, (when believers are in a dead and carnal frame, and have no sensible experience of the exercises of grace, but on the contrary, are very much under the prevalence of their lusts, and an unchristian spirit,) as it is to keep the light in the room, when the candle is put out; or to maintain the bright sunshine in the air, when the sun is gone down. Distant experiences, when darkened by present prevailing lust and corruption, will never keep alive a gracious confidence and assurance; but that sickens and decays upon it, as necessarily as a little child by repeated blows on the head with a hammer. Nor is it at all to be lamented, that persons doubt of their state in such circumstances; but on the contrary, it is desirable and every way best that they should.” See much more to the same purpose, in Edwards's Treatise on religious Affections. P. 82, 83. Dr. Owen often expresses himself in the same strain. “Some would very desirously have evangelical joy, peace, and assurance, to countenance them in their evil frames and careless walking. And some have attempted to reconcile these things, unto the ruin of their souls. But it will not be. Without the diligent exercise, of the grace of obedience, we shall never enjoy the grace of consolation.” Owen's Meditations on the Glory of Christ. P.168. “Peace in a spiritually decaying condition, is a soul-ruining security; better be under terror on the account of surprisal into some sin, than be in peace under evident decays of spiritual life.” P. 216. In his treatise on spiritual mindedness, Dr. Owen thus writes: “This I say, under an habitual declension, or decay of grace in the spirituality of our affections, no man can keep or maintain a gracious


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sense of the love of God, or of peace with him.” P.278. And again, “Nothing would be so ruinous to our profession, as once to suppose it is an easy matter, a thing of course, to maintain our peace with God. God forbid but that our utmost diligence and continued endeavours to thrive in every grace, should be required thereunto.” Ibid. I add one more specimen of Calvinistic impiety on this point, from Richard Aileine's Windiciae Pietatis,” Part III. p. 299. “Look not that your Lord would so far countenance your declinings to a more fleshly careless state, as to smile upon you in such a frame. God will not be an abettor to sin. Count upon it, that your grace and peace, your duty and comfort, will rise and fall Suspect those comforts that accompany you into the tents of wickedness, and that forsake you not, when you forsake your God.” I can scarcely forbear remarking, that I never saw such expressions of incautious confidence in any Calvinistic hymn book, and that even in respect of the future, as well as the present, as in Mr. Wesley's. At the same time I may add, that endeavouring to judge impartially as to the state of religion in his connection, many of whose followers and ministers I highly esteem; it seems to me, that the greatest danger to which persons are exposed among them, is that of their being led to indulge a groundless confidence of safety, too often founded on impressions on the imagination, suggesting to the mind, “Now you are justified, or sanctified, or made perfect in love.’ And I confess, I have been induced to apprehend, that the doctrine of falling from grace, does an essential

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injury among many people of that denomination, in this way. It prevents them from learning wisdom from experience. If they believed that all true converts would persevere, they must be induced to be more cautious in determining who is converted, by finding that so many of whom they hoped well do not persevere. But when they have decided that a man has received grace, their notion of falling from grace solves the difficulty, and too many areas ready to pronounce a man safe, upon superficial evidence, as they were before they met with such disappointments. Connecting the doctrine of general Redemption, or the idea that the Saviour in laying down his life a ransom for many, had no more intention of saving one than another; with that motion of faith, which, one hundred and fifty years ago, was considered an essential branch of Antinomianism, viz. That Christ died for me, which he must have done, if he died equally for every man; they assume that this person is safe; he now has grace, though he may fall from it to-morrow. Very many Arminians, I am satisfied, would utterly reprobate the impiety of Mr. Thompson, one of the first partisans of Arminianism in England, who would sometimes indulge himself in criminal excesses, and then say, ‘It is true, I am a child of the devil to-day, but I have free-will, and can make myself a child of God to-morrow.” For such a man we would by no means make pious Arminians accountable; nor are we answerable for those miserable men who pervert what are called Calvinistic principles; but God is our witness that we are therefore attached to what we call the doctrines of grace, because we believe and feel that they are doctrines according to godliness. Oh that Bishop Watson had given

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IN looking upon the punishments which are inflicted upon our fellowcreatures for the commission of crime, we have different feelings according to the different degrees of malignity which we conceive to be attached to the crimes of which they have been guilty. If, for instance, a person suffers greatly for a crime which is not aggravated in its nature and circumstances, we feel for him commiseration; whereas, when an individual has committed a crime of greatiniquity, we acquiesce in his punishment as just, and in some cases we cannot think of the criminal without disgust and horror; conceiving that the perpetration of crimes for which he suffers, indicates a more than common degree of mental obduracy and of desperate depravity. It is with such feelings that we think of Judas, his crime exhibits such a degree of finished impiety, that we cannot think of it without indignation and fear; these, indeed, seem to have been the general feelings respecting him in the days of the apostles: hence we find, that the evangelists seldom mention his name without adverting to his sin; three of them enumerating the names of those disciples of the Saviour who were called apostles, add, when they mention Judas, “which also was the traitor,”—they thus express their detestation of his transgression, and his unworthiness of

being numbered amongst them. The sin, for the commission of which Judas is distinguished, consisted in betraying his Lord. It will here be necessary to make a few preliminary remarks, which, though generally known, will be required in order to place the subject in a proper point of view. The Jews, it is generally known, had long expected the Messiah, they were encouraged in this expectation by the promises and the prophecies of their law, and about the time of Christ's incarnation, a general expectation prevailed that he would soon present himself. Jesus at length appeared claiming that character—when he entered upon his public ministry he chose twelve persons, whom he named apostles, to accompany him in his labours, and to assist him in his work. Judas was one of these apostles, he was chosen to this office by Christ, and appears, from his being intrusted with the office of treasurer to the rest, to have been considered as not one of the least. It is, moreover, well known, that the claims and preaching of the Saviour highly of. fended the scribes and pharisees, and rulers of the Jews, who would willingly have put an end to his preaching, by putting an end to his life; but they feared the people. The common people, who heard him without prejudice, and who saw the miracles which he did, heard him gladly, and looked upon him as a great prophet, if not as indeed the Christ. In proportion as they were confirmed in their regard to Christ, the enmity of the scribes and pharisees increased; but they knew not how to accomplish their diaboli. cal purpose: they watched him, they had recourse to stratagem, trying to lay hold of something in his conversation which might have been construed into treason, seeking to entangle him in his talk; but it was

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