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each party to suspect, that those of the other party deceive themselves: but it would be more salutary to suspect ourselves, and to pray earnestly to God to preserve us from the fatal effects of our disposition to "trust in our own hearts," "which are deceitful above "all things, and desperately wicked." It is equally natural to charge one another" with pride and self"complacency:" but God alone is able to determine on which side pride and self-preference most predominate; and with him we leave our cause.-If some of us have not a complete view of our own system: it must be owing either to natural incapacity, or to some judgment of God in leaving us to be blinded. The author, for one, has studied theological subjects, and the Scriptures especially, (he trusts he may say without arrogance,) most indefatigably, and to almost the entire exclusion of all other subjects and pursuits, for more than thirtyfive years: He has endeavoured to view each part, minutely, separately, and in connexion with every other part and he who searches the heart knows, that in all his studies, his prayer has constantly been offered to the Giver of all wisdom, to free and purify his intellectual eye, from all the darkening effects of prejudices and corrupt passions; and to make him of good understanding in the way of godliness."
A just and merciful God cannot consign any part, either greater or sinaller, of his rational creatures to inevitable and eternal torment,' or to the least degree of punishment, except they deserve it by their sins: and, if they do, he might
justly consign the whole to eternal misery; indeed nothing but mercy and grace rescues any of them from it. Provided we use the appointed means, we = may expect that our conduct will be guided and governed by divine grace, though it be denied to others, who do not use the appointed means. But if the special preventing grace of God, which inclined us to use these means, should incline others also, the same divine guidance and assistance will be equally vouchsafed to them. As no sinner has any claim to the favour of his Maker, but "God "has mercy on whom he will have mercy." If ' none are guided to heaven, who sin occasionally:' the apostles, who acknowledged, that "in many things we offend all," have not been guided thither, (I suppose, however, it is meant, who take occasion to sin, encouraged by their principles,) and none, who sin habitually, and impenitently, will reach the mansions of blessedness, whether Calvinists or Anticalvinists.
I have already produced some extracts from one of our bishops, who lived in the seventeenth century; shewing, that he thought some things tenable, and others untenable, in the system commonly called Calvinism: and I shall conclude these remarks on this chapter, by some quotations from a more modern bishop, to the same effect. If ever you should be provoked to take a part in these disputes, of all things I entreat you to avoid, what is now become very common, acrimonious abuse of Cal• vinism and of Calvin. Remember, I beseech you that some tenderness is due to the errors and ex
travagancies of a man, eminent as he was in his day, for his piety, his wisdom, and his learning; and to whom the reformation, in its beginning, is so much indebted. At least, take especial care, 'before you aim your shafts at Calvinisın, that you f know what is Calvinism, and what is not; that, in that mass of doctrine, which it is of late become the fashion to abuse under the name of Calvinism, you can distinguish, with certainty, between that part of it, which is nothing better than Calvinism, and that which belongs to our common Christianity, and the general faith of the reformed churches: lest, when you mean only to fall foul of Calvinism, you should unwarily attack something more sacred, and of a higher origin. I I must say, that I have found a great want of this f discrimination in some late controversial writings, on the side of the Church, as they were meant to be, against the Methodists: the authours of which ⚫ have acquired much applause and reputation, but with so little real knowledge of their subject; that, give me the principles upon which these writers argue, and I will undertake to convict, I will not say Arminians only, and Archbishop Laud; but, upon these principles, I will undertake to convict the 'fathers of the Council of Trent of Calvinism. So
closely is a great part of that which is now igno
rantly called Calvinism, interwoven with the very
* rudiments of Christianity. Better were it for the Church, if such apologists would withhold their
• Non tali auxilio, nec defensoribus istis.—
But the true lesson to be drawn from the failure of such disputants, is, that it is not for every one, who may possess somewhat more than the ordinary share of learning, to meddle with these difficult subjects."
1 Bp. Horseley's last charge to the clergy of the diocese of t. Asaph.
CONTAINING A BRIEF HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF WHAT ARE NOW CALLED CALVINISTIC DOCTRINES.
P. DLXXI. 1. 1. The quotations, &c."1
The quotations which have been produced in the three preceding chapters, from the writings of the antient fathers, and from the works of Calvin, not only prove that the peculiar ⚫tenets of Calvinism are in direct opposition to the doctrines 'maintained in the primitive church of Christ, but they also
shew that there is a great similiarity between the Calvinistic system and the earliest heresies. The assertion of Simon Magus, who is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, and ⚫ called by ecclesiastical historians the first Christian heretic, that "" men are saved according to his grace, and not according to "just works," contains in it the essence of Calvinism; and it 'clearly appears that Irenæus considered this as an heretical 'opinion. We also trace Calvinism in the tenets of the Basili
dians, who considered faith as a gift of Nature, not as the ⚫ rational consent of a mind endowed with free-will, or as in ' any degree acquired by human exertion; and who represented faith and election as confined to their own sect, and conveying an assurance of salvation.' The Valentinians, like the Cal'vinists of later days, affirmed, that one part of mankind is certain of salvation, and another incapable of attaining it; that some men are naturally good, and some men naturally 'bad; some ordained by nature to be saved, others to perish; ⚫ and they called themselves the elect seed, pre-ordained to salvation. The Manichæans denied the freedom of the human 'will; spoke of the elect as persons who could not sin, or fail