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there is ground for encouragement for exertion, when the event is unalterably certain, and entirely dependent on the pleasure of God, is a doctrine which every man in practice believes.” Not every man; for there are not a few, who, to this day, continue to assert the Calvinistic doctrine, as the chief ground of their discouragement. For, say they, we are taught that our eternal happiness or misery is “unalterably" fixed. Now if God has destined us to everlasting happiness, he will see that the end is accomplished in some way or oth

And if we are doomed to endless torments, it is not possible for us ever to be saved, unless we can break an unalterable decree. And although we are taught by the same persons, that we have “natural ability to comply with the terms of life,” (and of course to break God's decree of reprobation) yet we do not believe it ; nor shall we, till we can believe the most palpable contradictions. Therefore, say they, we are discouraged, and think it of no use to exert our. selves in the least. And indeed we are considerably encour. aged to live as we do; for we are also taught by the same persons, that, bad as our lives are, our wickedness was all decreed by God, and is for his glory, and the greatest possible good of the universe ! That these are legitimate consequences from the system we oppose, the testimonies of thou. sands confirn). This however, it is possible Mr. H. will say, is the “virulence of the natural heart." But


these are some of the plainest dictates of common sense ; and

grow out of the system which we say “ discourages exertions in the use of means."

Again he says-“Upon what other principle does the husbandman cultivate his fields p” Upon what other principle! Why, upon the principle that it is so far from being “unalterably cerlain' that he shall have a crop, unless he uses the means, and that faith. fully, too, he will have none at all.

This doctrine of our op


ponents, would wrest from every minister of Christ, those arguments drawn from the terrors of the law. Upon their principle, we should have no other incentive to piety but the hope of gaining something ; whereas it is by no menns the only consideration.

A firm belief that our success, under the blessing of God, depends entirely on our own exertions ; as the condition gives life and animation to all our efforts in the pursuit of heavenly and divine things. Another consideration in the mind of every true christian, is the glory of God. But what encouragement can a man have to do works of righteousness, who believes that David glorified God as much when committing adultery and covering it with murder, as he did when writing the Psalms ? Again he remarks "What encourages the sick man to seek a remedy, when he believes he has an appointed time on earth ?” I answer-a most happy inconsistency !

For if such a man should act consistently with such a faith, he would never seek at all.When a man believes that God has unalterably fixed the mos ment of his departure out of this world, and the means by which it is to be effected, though he should be murdered by a fellow creature, and yet seeks a remedy when sick, acts in. consistent with his faith. Suppose, however, for argument's sake that the appointed time is nearly arrived, in which God has unalterably decreed that a good man shall die. This man, from the hope that he shall recover, seeks a remedy, but all to no purpose—he dies. Now does not this man, by his exertions, in the use of means, fight against the decree of God? But this, too, was decreed, so that it is all right!But says he, “ The man that would plead the certainty of events, or his dependence on God, as an excuse for neglecting his health or his property, would be considered either an object of pity or of contempt." p. 79. I know not that any one pleads their “dependance on Godas an excuse for

neglecting their duty. But it is a notorious fact, that thousands do plead the unalterable decrees, as a sufficient excuse for neglecting the health and true interests of the soul. And the happy inconsistency above mentioned, has saved thousands more of the believers in Calvinistic decrees from the same neglect : yea, and perhaps from both pity and contempt. If God has unalterably decreed that a man shall go to hell, can he go to heaven? Again, if he has unalterably decreed that a man shall go to heaven, can he go to hell ?-Once more-has not God, on the principle of Mr. H. unalterably destined all mankind to one or the other of these places ? Pray where now is there any encouragement for ex. ertions in the use of means ? Indeed, the man would be considered at least an object of pity, who, while he believes the above sentiments to contain the true doctrine, still supposes there is encouragement for exertion in the use of means !

We now come to the general conclusion under this head. It runs thus :— Finally, we see not how God can be infinite in wisdomn, power and benevolence, nor how the Bible can be true—we see not how nien can be free, and have any encouragement to act; and more than all, we see not how God can be true to the interests of the universe, nor how any confidence can be placed in his government, if his purposes do not extend to every event."

As the main point in debate, on the whole, is whether God has decreed the existence of sin, we shall make a few remarks more upon this point, before we close this chapter. First, then, our author cannot see how God can be infinite in wisdom, power and benevolence, if he has not decreed the existence of sin. On supposition that God has decreed the existence of sin, where is the wisdom or benevolence of the act? Is not one soul worth worlds like this ?-And will not thousands of them finally perish? Pray what general

good has been, or ever can be done, by the introduction of moral evil into the universe, to compensate for the loss of so many immortal beings ?

Sin is the fruitful parent of all our woes and miseries.Thers is not a being that walks or crawls upon the earth, or that flies through the heavens, or that lashes the mighty deep, but that feels the direful effects of sin ! The struggling agonies of millions of these beings, send up a continual cry into the ears of the God that made them, as they make their ingress into life. And who that takes a rural walk in autumn, but hears the expiring cries of thousands of “the busy tribes of flesh and blood,” making their exit out of time? But ah! view the woes and miseries which are entailed upon our fallen species, from the moment we come crying into life, to the hour of nature's dissolution ! Yea, go and stand on the shore of that “ lake which burneth with fire and brimstone,” and hear the groans, and behold the convulsive agonies of the damned, and add Eternity to this weight of wo, and then say if benevolence decreed all this.

Again, he sees not how the Bible can be true, unless his views of divine purposes are just. It is a given point that sin has come to pass; but I do not recollect a single passage which states that God has“ producedsin. I believe there is no such text; and therefore consider that the Bible is true, though our author's doctrine be not so.

But what is equally singular, he cannot see how men can be free, and have any encouragement to act, unless his doctrine of unalterable purposes is true,

We are short sighted beings to be sure, but as God is infinite in wisdom," and the Bible true, and every where teaches that men are free, and every where holds out the greatest encouragement to act, and no where teaches that God has decreed the existence of sin, we believe men are free, and have abundant encouragement to act, while we be

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lieve the Calvinistic system to be erroneous. We also think that it has been shewn, in the course of this examination, that if the doctrine of our opponents were true,

there is no free

agency in men, or encouragement to act. Lastly, and more than all, he sees not how God can be true to the interests of the universe, nor how any confidence can be placed in his government, if his unalterable purposes do extend to every event.

Now that the Judge of all the earth will do right, we can easily discover, from a view of his divine attributes; hence, we know that he cannot but be true to the interests of the universe ; and, of course, the utmost confi. dence can be placed in his government. . But how can this be if God has not unchangibly foreordained whatever comes to pass ? 0, very well; for, 1. God is infinite in wisdom.2. He governs free agents with a moral government, and not by irresistible decrees. 3. All mankind may come and be saved, 4. God will finally Judge and reward all men according to the deeds done in the body.

To close our remarks upon this section we would observe, 1. We consider it to contain a mixture of truth and error. The doctrine of God's overruling providence consistent with the free agency and accountability of man, is a most important truth of the Bible. But the other doctrines, interwoven with it, and the one which Mr. H. labours especially to prove, we conceive to be a dangerous error, and fraught with most dangerous consequences, to the christian religion. 2. Without doubt it was the design of the author, to prove, that God has decreed the existence of sin, yet he has not come out as frankly and openly as the nature of the subject, or the understandings of common readers, require.

By "purposes of God” in this section, it is presumed nothing more nor less, is meant, than decrees of God. If so, why this ambiguity of language ? Every person who

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