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be odious ; if all conformity to the ho- cestors. There have been many innopily law of God is right, and all want of vations in christian theology, which conformity to it wrong, in a rational were doubtless real improvements:

creature; and if there may be different|Calvin himself was a great innovator degrees of conformity, or of non-con- in his day; and it cannot reasonably, formity to the law, in heart and life, in be supposed, that either he, or any of fomen of equal rational and bodily ca. the other first reformers, just emerging spacities; then there is no difficulty in from the thick darkness of popery,

understanding that men may be sanc-had all the light which was ever to tified in part, while but imperfectly : come into the world. In the last chap

that they may love God in sincerity, ter of Daniel, after dark predictions of da while not with all the heart and soul, far distant events, we read of its being

mind and strength : And there will be said to the prophet by an angel; “Shut ap po need of believing that the moral up the words and seal the hook, even imperfection of good men must conto the time of the end! many shall sist merely in the inconstancy of their run to and fro, and knowledge shall holy exercises.

be increased.” And whether the comIndeed, all the admirable late advan-mencement of that time is yet seen or ces in theological science, so called, it not, it is certainly now a remarkable appears to me, rest entirely upon this time of running to and fro : and I can

one new discovery, that there can be not but think there has been considerard

no sin in negatives; in a man's not able increase of important knowledge

loving God, or his neighbor, not being of late years, even in this before en,2745 rightly disposed, and never doing any lightened land. But in such revolu

duty. That is, upon nothing. From tionary times, when there is an uncomthis arises all the difficulty in account.mon breaking loose from the fetters of ing for the origin of moral evil, with-education, it cannot otherwise well be

out supposing God the author of it, or expected, than that some of the bolde let its immediate efficient cause. From est and foremost, will run too fast and

this arises all the necessity of thinking too far. There was danger of this, it me that God must work in unborn infants, seems, among the followers of Christ,

exciting them to will and do iniqui- even at the beginning of the christian cipt ty, in order to account for our native era. Hence such warnings and cau

depravity. And to this alone is evi- tions were then given, as that to the ines dently owing the supposed impossibil-Collossians; “Beware lest any man

ity of a man's being partly, while im- spoil you through philosophy.” And

perfectly sanctified. Were it not for that to the Hebrews ; " Be not carri15 this strange notion, that in an unholyed about with divers and strange doctipi disposition, and in deficiency or falling rines." be short of one's plain duty, there can be

But that the new doctrines in quesnothing sinful, there would be no diffi- tion, are so strange, so obviously abculty in seeing, that the holiest of men surd, so plainly contrary to scripture, may have just cause of self-condem- and evidently of such dangerous ten

nation, for the imperfection of their dency, as they have now been repre of a best performances.

sented, many who do not fall in with It has doubtless been perceived, by them, will doubtless be very unwilling every attentive reader, that the sentito believe.. And against believing it, ments remarked upon, are not object several plausible reasons will readily ed against merely, if at all, because of|occur. It may be said, the outlines of their being innovations; there may be this new theory were first giten, by danger, no doubt, of holding over te- some of our greatest and best divines. paciously the traditions of the elders, It may be said, these sentiments have

as well as of departing too bastily from had a considerable run, with very little pere the long received opinions of our an- opposition. That they are adopted,

VOL. 2.


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several of them at least, by numbers || matter of mere metaphysical specah of our ministers, who are in high re- tion: hard to be refuted or underston putation both for talents and ortho- and of little or no serious consequence doxy: and that they are virtually ap- whether true or false. proved, and a currency is given them, But such an idea of it, Icannot thin with unanimity, by those who do not is altogether just. That it seems hari embrace them. Were they materially to be refuted, may be only becaus erroneous, and very dangerous doc- it is always difficult to disprove what trines, it may be asked, How could is self-evidently erroneous, or by sobe these things be?

reasoning, to make self-evident absur We answer: All strange things, are dities, appear more absurd. Hence the no new things under the sun; nor are grave prophets, Elijah and Isaiah, whes any of these things altogether unac- contending with the priests of Baal. countable, supposing they ought not and the worshippers of a log, could on 30 to have been : supposing the doc- ly laugh“at them. trines as erroneous and dangerous as That the speculations of our oppo they have now been supposed. Nei. nents in the present case, are hard to ther the greatness nor the goodness of be understood, is partly true. Their the first publishers of these wonder-arguments, it must be acknowledged ful discoveries is at all disputed. || are extremely unintelligible. Nor can But, “ Greatmen are not always the utility of what they contend for, il wise;" and men eminently good, as supported, easily be seen. But nei well as great, may sometimes err. Itther of these things can be said, will is also to be observed, that they are the least appearance of reason, res liable to do so most of all, in deep pecting the points disputed by them.and fundamental matters. Aining to These they often express in the most go to the very bottom of things, they unequivocal language, and these are easily dive quite below the bottom of some of the most intelligible, most erievery thing. By calling in question dent,and most essential articles of faith. first principles, which are self evident, Is it hard to understand, or to beand admit of no proof, out of clear lieve, that holiness, or the whole duty light, they plunge into Egyptian dark- of man, may comprehend something ness, even darkness which may be besides unprincipled actions ? That a felt.” Thus weak man is many times, good heart may be something distinct as the poet says;

from, prior to, and the cause of, good “Alike in ignorance, his reason such, works, good words, good thoughts, “Whether he think too little, or too much." good volitions or affections? Is it

With respect to the run which these hard to understand, or to believe, that dark sentiments have had, and their there may be sin, in something besides being arlopted by some of the most positive exercises ? That ili nature competent judges; to this it may be may be in itself sinful ? That even replied, men of sense and learning, as mere want of conformity in heart, to well as the illiterate and weaker sort, the holy and righteous law of God ;are sometimes surprisingly captivated or merely an unbenevolent, unmerciwith new things, and things marvel. | ful disposition, in a rational creature, lous.

may be sin ? Or that there may be That this novel system, is rather | sins of omission, as well as of commis. countenanced than much opposed, by sion? Is it hard to understand, or to such as do not embrace it, may be be- || believe, that God, who cannot be cause it has not been much canvass- tempted, so as to do evil himself, will ed. Taking it for certain, that such never tempt any man, or directly ininen as the writers in support of it, fluence him to commit iniquity, er would not maintain any dangerous er- create any one unto evil works? rors, it seems to be considered as a And why should these things "be

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unimportant ? Why should it contradict their avowed peculiarities, ught of little serious conse- as well as the above supposed conse

whether they are true or false? quences of them. And hence some er believed or not? How cau of our very good ministers, I under

ever know the plague of bis stand, are so charitable as to hope that art, so long as he does not know their real meaning may be nearly nk, that he has any heart at all ? || right; or at least, that their wrong ian a man think himself requir- ||deas will do little or no hurt. But ei

feel under any obligation, to ther of these hopes, I must needs ap

God, or do any good to men, prehend, is extending charity beyond persuaded that in his never do- the bounds of reason. In being thus her, there is no sin ? Or how inconsistent, it may be asked, What do we know what to fear or hope they more than others ? Do not all m God, or have any dependance heritics do the same? It is an old his word, did we believe that he proverbial saying, “ Error is fated to 3 much the author of all kinds of run crooked.” It doubtless does so, as of good ? as positively and many times, designedly : that unpopediately the cause of darkness, ular opinions may be introduced and t and lies, as of light and truth ? || spread, with less suspicion. The pro

this to be believed, and if those pagators of false doctrines, may coms of scripture where he is spoken monly thụs contradict themselves thro' nd speaks of himself, as deceiving inere inadvertence; because of their

and even good men, were to be having formerly been accustomed to
erstood in a literal and strict sense the language of orthodoxy; or because
hough he immediately inspired every man's conscience is on the side
1 delusions, or inwardly caused of truth. In some instances, such in.
r deceit, how could it be known consistencies may give good reason to

that Moses and the prophets, the hope, that the hearts of men are soun-
ngelists and apostles, were deceiv- der than their heads. But even in
or meant to deceive, in all that they that case, it cannot rationally be hop-
le written ?

ed, that their inconsistently propagat-
Thus important, in my apprehen-ing dangerous errors, will have no per-
n, on our side of the question, is the nicious effects. They may lead the

ntroversy. Thus evidently, it ap-blind into the ditch : and not be able,
* Pars to me,do these deep metaphysics if willing, to help them out. Many

ike at the root, and undermine the may follow them readily while they
"indation, of what man is to believe go wrong, and not be so ready to turn
ncerning God, and of all the duty | about with them, when they seem to
bich God requires of man. Of what get right. However far the preacher's
e scriptures principally teach, and or writer's heart may be from accord-

ven of the truth of the scriptures ing with the erroneous speculations

delivered, they may be perfectly a Not that the preachers of such | greeable to the wishes of many of his trange doctrines are supposed to be hearers and readers. And I know of tall apprehensive of these necessary no doctrines concerning which this is 15, onsequences. Perhaps the most of inore likely to be the case, than the hem may not believe, that they will first principles in the foregoing exfollow, when it is told them. They tracts.; even if the forementioned conno doubt, believe the scriptures as sequences should be believed inevita

firmly as their brethren, and as much bly to follow. To those who are of og er 3 tinculcate the duties enjoined, and ma- that carnal mind which is not subject

iny of the doctrines ta.ght in them, as to the law of God, neither can be, what Mpe und er any others. I am told and have seen

can be more well pleasing than to tell ** ves savoid as it is true, that they often expressly lcbem that their total want of conform

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ity to it is po sin ? Nor will it please men, or never enter into disputes wil them less, should they thence con- any, that we may offend none, an clude that po subjection to this im- may please all. possible law is required of them. Tel- But the important doctrines of chris ling notorious evil doers, that they tianity we must contend for, by whor have no evil disposition ; and that all soever they may be opposed, and who their ungodlyand unrighteous thoughts, ever may be displeased or offended words and deeds....all their evil affec. or we cannot be the faithful servant tions and volitions, are from God's of Christ. Plain and repeated are the working in them, will surely not be of declarations and injunctions to the fensive. And should they see, or be- purpose. See 2 Timothy ii. 23, 24,21. lieve, that if all deceivableness of un- ||“ But foolish and unlearned question righteousness in men, and all the de-avoid, knowing that they do gender ceptions in good men, are thus from strises. And the servant of the Lord the influence and inspiration of God, must not strive, but be gentle upto al it cannot be known that there is any men, apt to teach, patient; in meek. truth in the Bible, neither would this ness instructing those that opposi offend them. They hate the Bible, themselves.” Titus i. 7-11. “ Fora and wish it might not be true; for it bishop must be blarneless, as the ster. nerer prophesyeth good unto them, ard of God, &c. Holding fast the faithbut always evil.

ful word, as he hath been taught; that With respect to contending for the he may be able by sound doctrine to true faith, as in regard to almost eve-convince the gainsayers. For there ry other duty, there is danger of erring are many whose mouths must be stop on the right hand and on the left; of ped; who subvert whole houses, teach being too forward, as well as too re-ing things which they ought not." See luctant, to engage in theological con-|| also the solemn admonition of the atroversies. It is a wise counsel of Sol-postle Jude, designed chiefly, I couomon, applicable to religious as well clude, for the pastors of churcbes. as temporal matters, “ Leave off con- Beloved, when I gave diligence to tention before it be meddled with.” write unto you of the common salva. But among the crying provocations of tion, it was needful for me to write un God's ancient covenant people, on ac- to you and exhort you


count of which, we read of its being earnestly contend for the faith which
said by the prophet Jeremiah, “Oh, was once delivered unto the saints."
that my bead were waters, and mine For these reasons, if any one should
eyes a fountain of tears;" this is one,|| be able and willing to show, by argu-
s. They are not valiant for the truth.”||ments which the aged can understand,
And in the New Testament, many ad- so speedily that they may see them,
monitions, directions and examples either that the sentiments in the fore-
are given, guarding against these op- going extracts are not erroneous, or
posite extremes. One apostle ex-are such immaterial errors, that their
horts, “ Follow peace with all men." ||promulgation may be rather couple-
But another apostle says, The wis- | nanced than opposed, consistently
dom which is from above, is first pure, with having a conscience void of of
then peaceable." And the same apos- | fence, he might do a great kindness to
tle who says to the Corinthians, "Give several others, as well as to the writer
pone offence;-Even as I please all of these rernarks.
men in all things," writes to the Gala-
tiaps, " If I yet pleased men, I should

ADDRESS. not be the servant of Christ.” In in- To the temperate and well disposed In different matters, or things in them- habitants of the County of Madison. selves lawful to be done or omitted, Fellow.citizens! We should become all things to all!! As the standing Committee of the

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y Moral Society, it be- || And as the committee are deeply imy to address you on the pressed with the importance of purity >D; on subjects the most of character, being considered a nele well being of the com-cessary pre-reqnsite to promotion, they idividual peace and hap- feel confident that the society will, at as good of the rising gen-||a future meeting, instruct them to se

corruption of our age|lect out of the candidates offered for eis long been a subject of choice at the ensuing election for sen

regret to the pious andators and assemblymen, such men, t of society, and has at whose strict morality and respect for ko such an alarmning height religion, whose honesty, firmness and them to action in various discernment shall afford a valuable ex

country, so that this at- ample to our youth, and inspire us is county, is but the fruits with confidence that they will pursue on cause, which we hope the best interests of the communiiy, tally unite every member without regard to party or private inmunity in the promotion of terest, and recommend them for your

and benevolence that will suffrages, and also to point out some onsolation from the testimo- alternative provided such men are not chteousness exalteth a nation found in nomination. And we feel it a reproach to any people.- incumbent on us, earnestly to recomrience of other nations proves mend to each town in the county, to Equivocally, that virtue is the form branch societies that they may is on which republican gov- more effectually promote the contems and institutions can rest ;-plated object in their own vicinity, 1 whenever this ceases to char-|| and appoint a committee to corres

the motives of citizens, they | pond with us, and communicate all se for the ambitious grasp of the information in their possession, aspiring demagogue, who will calculated to enable us to execute upon them the iron bands of the design of our appointment. And ism. We believe, that “pure as we confidently hope the exertions un, and undefiled,” is that which of this society will be crowned with lone secure our individual liappi-success, so far as to secure some imboth for time and eternity ; and || portant advantage to our country, we in proportion as this prevails in hope that similar societies inay be connation, that pation is blessed and stituted in other counties. And as we py. Morality is the outward fruit are persuaded that party, as it exists eligion, and commends itself to all in this nation, is a very principal evil, n as immediately calculated to pro- as it is made subservient to the purte the good of society in the most pose of aspiring individuals, we feel portant sense, and to foster ap-in duty bound to declare, that we beinted means of religious instruction. lieve the difference in sentiment, exiş. The object of this institution is to ting in the community, is produced iscountenance every vicious practice, more by the misrepresentations of invhether in private individuals, judicial,||terested men than from any real difegislative or executive officers, in the ference of opinion on measures calcuappointment of which the members of|lated to proinote the public good : and this society may have any influence we feel it our duty to promote the or opportunity of control, feeling it peace of our country by discountenantheir duty to bear testimony against cing party acrimony. As this society immorality, whether practised in a pri- is composed of persons of various senvate corner, or reflected with more timents, both in respect of religion and Jaring atrocity and mischievous ten- politics, we hope that the friends of ency from places of power and trust. I piety and virtue will upite, and make

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