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partly believe this doctrine, and some simply considered,* that one should who profess fully to believe it; yet be happy as another. And this is all seem to imagine it is very mysterious. that is ever implied in a sincere offer. And it is a common saying that no A man is always sincere in his offer, preacher ever undertook to explain when he is really willing, simply con and prove it, but he left it darker and [] sidered, that the person to whom it is more mysterious than he found it. made should accept it. God desires But from what has been said, it is evi- the salvation of the non-elect as much dent there is no more mystery in the as the salvation of the elect. And in doctrine of election than in any other offering salvation to the non-elect, he doctrine. For this doctrine is clearly expresses the real desires of his heart revealed. It is carried into execution, respecting their salvation, simply conlike every other divine purpose. It is sidered. Hence the general offers of the as consistent with men's activity and gospel will answer an important pur moral agency as the execution of any pose with respect to those who are lost. other purpose of God. The reason of it is as plain and as satisfactory, as the reason for God's doing any thing in the work of creation and providence. If it be said it is mysterious, because we do not know who are elected; to this it may be said, that the same mystery attends the providence of God every day. Though it be known that God decrees every event, yet it is never known by us what events will take place from day to day, until they are unfolded in the volume of divine providence,

Finally, No religious affections are genuine, which disapprove of the doctrine of election. If this doctrine be opposed, it is opposed by a spirit of selfishness, Con. Evan. Mag.


[Inserted by particular desire.]

ARMINIANS. They derive their name from James Arminius, who was born in Holland in the year 1560, He was the first pastor at Amsterdam; afterwards professor of divinity at Ley2. Since God has ordained a part den, and attracted the esteem and apof mankind to eternal life, with an ulti plause of his very enemies, by his acmate view to promote the highest knowledged candour, penetration, and good of the universe, the doctrine of piety. They received also the deelection gives the highest display of nomination of Remonstrants, from an the divine glory. The decree of elec-humble petition, entitled, their Remontion is no blemish in the divine char-strances, which they addressed, in the acter; but the greatest beauty. It year 1610, to the States of Holland. purposes and secures the most benev- The principal tenets of the Arminiolent end. Hence the apostle says to ans are comprehended in five articles, the elect among the Thessalonians-to which are added a few of the argu"We are bound to give thanks always ments they make use of in defence of to God for you,-because God hath their sentiments. from the beginning chosen you to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth,"

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1. That the Deity has not fixed the future state of mankind by an absolute unconditional decree; but determined from all eternity, to bestow salvation on those, who he foresaw would persevere unto the end in their faith in Jesus Christ: and to inflict everlasting punishments on those, who should continue in their unbelief, and resist unto the end his divine succours.

For, as the Deity is just, holy, and merciful, wise in all his counsels, and

true in all his declarations to the sons of men, it is inconsistent with his attributes, by an antecedent decree, to fix our commission of so many sins, in such a manner, that there is no possibility for us to avoid them. And he represents God dishonourably, who believes, that by his revealed will, he hath declared he would have all men to be saved; and yet, by an antecedent secret will, he would have the greatest part of them to perish. That he hath imposed a law upon them, which he requires them to obey, on penalty of his eternal displeasure, though he knows they cannot do it without his irresistible grace; and yet is absolutely determined to withhold this grace from them, and then punish them eternally for what they could not do without his divine assistance.

Now that he died for such, the scrip ture says expressly, in ist Cor. viii. 11. And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died. Hence it is evident, Christ died for those who perish, and for those who do not perish therefore he died for all men.

III. That mankind are not totally depraved, and that depravity does not come upon them by virtue of Adam's being their public head; but that mortality and natural evil only are the direct consequences of his sin to his posterity.

For, if all men are utterly disabled to all good, and continually inclined to all manner of wickedness, it follows, that they are not moral agents. For how are we capable of performing duty, or of regulating our actions by a law, commanding good and forbidding evil, if our minds are bent to nothing but what is evil? Then sin must be natural to us; and if natural, then necessary, with regard to us; and if né

11. That Jesus Christ, by his death and sufferings made an atonement for the sins of all mankind in general, and of every individual in particular: that, however, none but those who be-cessary, then no sin. For what is nat lieve in him, can be partakers of their divine benefit.

That is, the death of Christ put all men in a capacity of being justified and pardoned, upon condition of their faith, repentance, and sincere obedience to the laws of the new covenant,

ural to us, as hunger, thirst, &c. we can by no means hinder; and what we can by no means hinder, is not our sin. Therefore mankind are not totally depraved.

That the sin of our first parents is not imputed to us, is evident; because, For the scriptures declare, in a vari- as the evil action they committed was ety of places, that Christ died for the personal, so must their guilt bé personwhole world. John iii. 16, 17, God al, and belong only to themselves. And so loved the world that he gave his on- we cannot, in the eye of justice and ely begotten Son, that whosoever believ-quity, be punishable for their transgreseth on him, might not perish, but have sion. everlasting life, &c. 1st John ii. 2, He IV. That there is no such thing as is the propitiation, not only for our irresistible grace, in the conversion of sins, but for the sins of the whole world. sinners." And the apostle expresses the same idea in Heb. ii. 9, when he says, Christ tasted death for every man. Here is no limitation of that comprehensive phrase.

If Christ died for those who perish, and for those who do not perish, he died for all. That he died for those who do not perish, is confessed by all; and if he died for any who may or shall perish, there is the same reason to afrm that he died for all who perish.

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For, if conversion be wrought only by the unfrustrable operation of God, and man is purely passive in it, vain are all the commands and exhortations to wicked men, to turn from their evil ways, Isa. i. 16; to cease to do evil, and learn to do well, Deut. x, 16; to put off the old man, and put on the new, Eph. iv. 22; and divers other texts to the same purpose. Were an irresistible power necessary to the conversion of sinners, no man could be


converted sooner than he is; because,| Dr. Clarke defines liberty to be a before this irresitible action came up-power of se.f motion, or-self-determinon him, he could not be converted; ation* This definition is embraced and when it came upon him, he could by all this denomination, and implies, not resist its operations; and therefore that in our volitions we are not acted no man could reasonably be blamed, upon. Activity, and being acted upon, that he lived so long in an unconverted are incompatible with oneanother. state; and it could not be praise-wor-In whatever instances, therefore, it is thy in any person who was converted, truly said of us, that we act, in those since no man can resist an unfrustra-instances we cannot he acted upon. ble operation. A being, in receiving a change of its V. That those, who are united to state from the exertion of an adequate Christ by faith, may fall from their force, is not an agent. Man, therefore, faith, and forfeit finally their state of could not be an agent, were all his vograce. For the doctrine of a possibilty litions derived from any force, or the of the final departure of true believers effects of any mechanical causes, from the faith, is expressed in Heb. vi. this case, it would be no more true, 4, 5, 6, It is impossible for those, who that he ever acts, than it is true of a were once enlightened, &c. if they shall ball, that it acts when struck by another fall away, to renew them again to re-ball. To prove, that a self-determining pentance; seeing they crucify to them-power belongs to the will, it is urged, selves the Son of God afresh, and put that we ourselves are conscious of poshim to open shame. See also 2d Pet.sessing such liberty. We blame and ii. 18, 20, 21, 22, and divers other pas- condemn ourselves for our actions, sages of scripture to the same puose. have an inward sense of guilt, shame, All commands to persevere and and remorse of conscience; which stand fast in the faith, shew, that there feelings are inconsistent with the is a possibility that believers may not scheme of necessity. stand fast and persevere unto the end. We universally agree, that some acAll cautions to Christians not to falltions deserve praise, and others blame; from grace, are evidences and suppo- for which their would be no foundation, sitions that they may fall. For what if we were invincibly determined in evwe have just reason to caution any ery volition. Approbation and blame person against, must be something are consequent upon free actions only. which may come to pass, and be hurt- It is an article in the Christian faith, ful to him. Now such caution Christ that God will render rewards and pungives his disciples, Luke xxi. 34, 36.ishments to men for their actions in To them, who had like precious faith this life. We cannot maintain his juswith the apostles, St. Peter saith, Be-tice in this particular, if men's actions ware, lest being led away by the error of the wicked, you fall from your own steadfastness, 2d Pet. iii. 17. Therefore he did not look upon this as a thing impossible and the doctrine of perseverance renders those exhortations and motives insignificant, which are so often to be found in scripture.

In these five points, which are considered as fundamental articles in the Arminian system, the doctrine of the will's having a self-determining power is included. Perhaps some may wish to see a sketch of the arguments adduced to support this opinion.

are necessary, either in their own nature, or by divine decrees and influx.

Activity and self-determining powers are the foundation of all morality, all dignity of nature and character, and the greatest possible happiness. It was therefore necessary, that such powers should be communicated to us, and that scope, within certain limits, should be allowed for the exercise of them.

*The liberty thus defined, is supposed to be consistent with acting with a regard to motives. Supposing a power of self-determinshould be exerted without regard to any end ation to exist, it is by no means necessary, it

or rule.

For the Utica Christian Magazine. MR. EDITOR,

IN the third and fourth numbers of the present volume of the Magazine, the following question is stated, and answered in the negative; viz. "Is it the duty of christians to pray for immediate perfection in holiness?"

I now send you an affirmative answer to the same question.

mit, also, that it is not the divine pur pose to sanctify christians wholly in this life. Yet the argument is defective. It proves too much, and therefore, proves nothing.

That it proves too much, appears from this consideration, that the principle which it assumes will equally prove that it is not the duty of christians to be immediately perfect in hoThat it is the duty of christians to liness. For, should they become impray for immediate perfection in homediately perfect in holiness, they liness, appears from the consideration would defeat the divine purpose. that they are required, and conse- And all attempts to attain sinless perquently that it is their duty, immedi- fection, are attempts to defeat the purately to be perfect. pose of God. Which upon the princi ple that christians ought not to pray for any event which they know to be contrary to the divine purpose, must be wrong.

If it is their duty to be immediately perfect in holiness, it is their duty to pray God to make them so. Other wise we must separate the means from the end. That is to say, altho' I will state the argument in due form it be the duty of christians to attain a-It is not the duty of christians to atcertain end, it is not their duty to use tain, or to labor to attain any thing the necessary means. The falsity of which they know to be contrary to the which proposition is self-evident. The purpose of God:-They do know it means and the end must not be put to be contrary to the purpose of God asunder. The only point, therefore, that christians should be perfectly holy which can admit of dispute, is, wheth- in this life. Therefore, it is not their er prayer be an instituted mean of duty to attain, or to labor to attain imattaining this end? or in other words, mediate perfection in holiness. whether it be a mean of grace? But can there be any difficulty in settling this question? Surely, there is not the least room to hesitate, whether prayered,or labored for to the divine purpose, be an instituted mean of grace. It is one of the most important means of grace which christians enjoy. Therefore, if it be their duty to be immediately perfect in holiness, it is their duty to pray for this perfection.

This argument proceeds precisely upon the same principle as the other, viz. the contrariety of the thing attain

Therefore, if this principle is to be retained in that, it must be retained also in this. And then the conclusion will follow, that christians ought not to attain, or to labor to attain immediate perfection in holiness; and so they are, at once, absolved from present ob,

But it will be proper to take notice of the arguments in support of the op-ligation to be sinless. posite theory. The main argument runs thus: "It is not the duty of christians to pray for any event which they know to be contrary to the purpose of God:-They do know it to be contrary to the purpose of God, that chris tians should be perfectly holy in this Life:-Therefore, it is not their duty to pray for immediate perfection in holiness."

But if this cannot be-if we know that this last conclusion is in direct op position to the law of Christ, which says, "Be ye perfect even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect," we must give up the principle which leads to it; and consequently, we must give up the same principle in the other argument. If it be the indispensable duty of christians to be immedi

I admit that this conclusion is cor-tely perfect in holiness, it is their inrectly drawn from the premises. I ad-dispensable duty to pray God to make

them so. For to oblige them to rely the commission of the sin, or else it on their own strength would be very was his duty to watch, and strive, and inconsistent. Who can avoid perceiv-pray, with all his might against it. The first idea no consistent person will allow. Therefore, the last must be the correct one.

ing the absurdity of allowing them the privilege only of praying God to lead them a certain length in the way of holiness, while they are solemnly Possibly it may be said, that he bound to attain the mark of perfection. ought, indeed, to have watched and That it is not the duty of christians strove against this sin; but ought not to pray for some events which they to have prayed against it. Poorman! know to be contrary to the divine pur|brought into a state of dreadful peril, pose, is readily admitted. But the ar- and yet denied the privilege of looking gument before mentioned, excepts no to heaven for aid! He might exert event of any kind whatsoever. In this his own feeble strength to stand; but respect it is defective. For however he might not ask God to help him; clearly the divine purpose may be de- because, (allowing him to have given clared respecting those events which proper credit to Chirst's declaration,) will involve us in criminality, it is this would have been praying for an just as much our duty to pray that they event which he knew to be contrary to may not take place, as it is to keep the divine purpose. Surely, this is makfrom sinning. ing a distinction where there is none. I will advert to the case of Peter. If it would have been wrong for Peter God purposed to leave him to deny his to pray for that which he knew to be Lord. This purpose was made known contrary to the divine purpose, it to him. Christ, whose word was im- would have been wrong for him to mutable truth, said, “Before the cock|| make the least effort to keep from decrow, thou shalt deny me thrice."nying Christ. For to act in opposition What was Peter's duty in this case? to God's purpose, must, certainly he Can there be room to doubt that it as wrong as to pray in opposition to it. was his duty to pray with all his might that he might not be left to do such a horrid deed? This cannot be doubted; unless it be maintained that, seeing it was the divine purpose, he ought to have gone forward willingly, and done the deed;-and, consequent ly, that it is lawful to do evil that good may come. For, if it was Pe'er's duty to watch and strive against this sin, it was equally his duty to pray against it. If, because Christ had declared peremptorily that the event should be, it would have been wrong for him to pray that it should not be, it would have been equally wrong for him to labor in any measure to prevent it.

I might also notice other instan ces, similar to that of Peter. But it is not necessary. It evidently appears that although we know the divine purpose respecting an event, the existence of which will involve us in criminality, it is not wrong but right, to pray that it may not take place. Our blessed Lord seems to have gone further. He prayed for an event to pass from him which involved him in no criminality, notwithstanding it was the divine purpose that it should not: and he knew this; for he came into the world with the express intent of dying for men. He had said repeatedly, that the son of man must suffer. Should it be said, that Peter did not Yet as the dreadful scene came on, believe that he should do such a deed, he prayed thrice, most earnestly, that and therefore, ought to have been upon "if it were possible, the cup might pass his guard; this will not destroy the ar- from him." It is true, he added, "not gument; because he ought to have be- my will, but thine be done." Neverlieved Christ's word. And having theless, this was a proper prayer for done his duty in this respect, he either that particular cup to pass from him. ought to have proceeded willingly t✔ Every prayer should be offered up

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