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from hence, that Nature does mean the same as GOD, in this argument! None have a right to deem themselves the elect seed, except those who shew their effectual calling by their holy lives: and this many Calvinists fail to do. But to all who do, whether Calvinists or not, we may say, "Ye are a "chosen generation, &c." Elect persons, who
'could not sin.' His Lordship has lately spoken of Calvinists, as persons, who cherish the persuasion, "that the infallible guidance of the Spirit, will ultimately lead them to heaven, though they may occasionally sin." And just before, he has sanctioned, by quoting, a passage from Heylin, which implies, that encouragement to the most abominable licentiousness is a fair inference from Calvinism, either supralapsarian or sublapsarian: yet here the Calvinists resemble the Manichæans, who said, that elect persons could not sin! inconsistency is not peculiar to Calvinists.
Works are of no avail
P. DLXXII. 1. 5. Note. 'to salvation, but that it depends solely on the ; 'knowledge of things above;'—that is, merely on barren speculation. We hold, "that nothing avail"eth in Christ Jesus but a new creation;"" but "faith which worketh by love;""but keeping the "commandments of God." "For this is the love "of God, that we keep his commandments, and his "commandments are not grievous: for whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is "the vietory which overcometh the world, even our
"faith. Who is he that overcometh the world; "but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of "God." But enough has been said on our contrariety to these ancient hereticks."
P. DLXXIII. 1. 5. 'The peace, &c.3 In this "Historical Account of what are now called Calvin'istic doctrines;' the whole Scripture is passed over: but if the doctrines in question are not contained "in the oracles of God;" they ought to be expunged from our creed, at whatever time they were introduced. Holy Scripture containeth all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the faith, or be thought requisite or
1 Cor. vii. 19. Gal. v. 6. vi. 15. 1 John v. 3—5.
2 Remarks on book vi, Refutation.
The peace of the church seems to have been very little disturbed by any dissension upon these points during the first four 'centuries; and as a proof of this, it may be observed, that there is nothing of a controversial spirit in the exposition the fathers have given of the texts in Scripture, which have since ⚫ been the subject of so much dispute. They explained not only 'the true sense of these passages, but the sense which was ⚫ admitted and understood to be the true one by all the members <of the catholic church. The principal object of their writings was, to establish the divine origin and superior excellence of the gospel-dispensation; and to enforce the duty and necessity of lively faith and practical obedience. The universality of ⚫ the redemption purchased by the death of Christ, the assistance of divine grace vouchsafed to every sincere believer of the gospel, the freedoin of the human will, and the possibility of every christian working out his salvation, are treated in the passages I have quoted, as fundamental and undisputed truths."
' necessary to salvation." If this be so, it is of no manner of consequence, whether the doctrines, called Calvinistick, were broached, in the first, second, third, or fourth century; or not till the days of Calvin; or even, not till the synod of Dort. If they are not found in the Scripture, they have no authority; and if they are, from thence they derive all their authority.-As far as the New Testament is concerned, the question has been fairly met and debated: but, in introducing my remarks on this chapter, I must take the liberty of going back, in the date of the history, to times preceding those of the evangelists and apostles themselves.
It is not to be supposed, that any exact or full proof can here be adduced, concerning the history of those doctrines, which are now called Calvinistick, from the Old Testament; especially in the close of this work. But do we hear no report of them? Nothing suited to excite the expectation of a more full enunciation of them, in the days of the Messiah, the Fulfilment of all the prophecies, and the Substance of all the types and shadows of the old dispensation?-His Lordship has included, in those tenets of Calvinism, which he undertook to refute, several doctrines, that are not generally regarded as Calvinistical: and this will rather increase the labour of what is here intended. Some sub=jects, however, treated of separately, appear to be coincident, as far as our argument is concerned.
I shall advert, 1. To the doctrine of original sin.
2. Free-will, special grace, or regeneration. 3. Justification by faith. 4. Election, or the decrees of God. 5. Final perseverance. If any notices are given us, on these subjects, favourable to the Calvinistical doctrines; we must of course date the history of these doctrines, very far back, in the annals of the church, and assign them a very remote antiquity.
1. Original sin, or the entire depravity of human nature, as engendered of Adam's fallen race. "God "saw that the wickedness of man was great in the
earth; and that every imagination of the thoughts "of his heart was only evil continually."" And "God looked upon the earth; and behold it was "corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upan "the earth." "The imaginations of man's heart is "Devil from his youth." "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one." "What is "man that he should be clean? And he that is born દ "of a woman, that he should be righteous? Behold "he putteth no trust in his saints? yea the heavens "are not clean in his sight. How much more abo"minable and filthy is man, who drinketh iniquity "like water!" "How can man be justified with "God? Or how can he be clean, who is born of a "woman?" The LORD looked down from heaven 86 upon the children of men," (or of Adam,) "to see, if there were any that did understand, and "seek after God. They are all gone aside, they are "altogether become filthy, there is none that doeth
Gen. vi. 6, 12. vii, 21. *Job xiv. 4. xv. 14-16. xxv. 4.
good, no not one." "Behold, I was shapen in "wickedness, and in sin did my mother conceive "me."1 "Lo, this have I found, that God hath "made man upright; but he hath found out many "inventions."* "He that trusteth in his own heart,
"is a fool."3 "The heart is deceitful above all "things, and desperately wicked: who can know " it."4 Is there no intimation in these texts of man's depravity of any material alteration, since God created him in his own image, and pronounced him very good? Is there no preparation made, for the full declaration of the doctrine, by the apostle:
By one man sin entered into the world, and death "by sin, and so death passed upon all men; because "all have sinned" " By one man's disobedience
many became sinners? &c." Can stronger and more unqualified language, on the subject, be used by Calvinists? And, if this doctrine belong to the tenets of Calvinism, in giving an historical account of these tenets, ought this most important part of the history, to have been wholly kept out of sight?
2. Free-will, special grace, or regeneration.. "The "LORD thy God will circumcise thy heart, and the "heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God, with "all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou "mayest live. Compare this with what had been before spoken; "The LORD hath not given you an "heart to perceive, and eyes to see, and ears to "hear unto this day."" "That he may incline our
2. Prov. xxviii. 26.
Ps. xiv. 2, 3. li. 5. Ec. vii. 29. Rom. iii. 9-20. 5 Deut. xxix. 4, xxx. 6.
Jer. xvii. 9.