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De odious; if all conformity to the ho-cestors. There have been many innoy 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 men of equal rational and bodily ca- the other first reformers, just emerging pacities; 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 chapthat they may love God in sincerity, ter of Daniel, after dark predictions of 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 no need of believing that the moral up the words and seal the book, even imperfection of good men must conto the time of the end many shall

run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." And whether the com

sist merely in the inconstancy of their holy exercises. Indeed, all the admirable late advan-mencement of that time is yet seen or ees 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 1 canone new discovery, that there can be not but think there has been considerno 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 enrightly 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 boldits 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 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 ty, in order to account for our native || era. Hence such warnings and caudepravity. And to this alone is evi-tions were then given, as that to the 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 carrithis strange notion, that in an unholyed about with divers and strange docdisposition, and in deficiency or falling rines." 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 tennation, for the imperfection of their best performances.

dency, as they have now been repre sented, many who do not fall in with them, will doubtless be very unwilling

It has doubtless been perceived, by every attentive reader, that the sentito believe. And against believing it, ments remarked upon, are not object ed against merely, if at all, because of their being innovations; there may be danger, no doubt, of holding over tenaciously the traditions of the elders, as well as of departing too hastily from the long received opinions of our anVOL. 2. LL

several plausible reasons will readily occur. It may be said, the outlines of this new theory were first given, by some of our greatest and best divines. It may be said, these sentiments have had a considerable run, with very little opposition. That they are adopted,

several of them at least, by numbers || matter of mere metaphysical speci of our ministers, who are in high re-tion: hard to be refuted or understoo 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 think with unanimity, by those who do not is altogether just. That it seems hard embrace them. Were they materially to be refuted, may be only becaus erroneous, and very dangerous doc-it is always difficult to disprove whe trines, it may be asked, How could these things be?

is self-evidently erroneous, or by sobe reasoning, to make self-evident absur dities, appear more absurd. Hence the grave prophets, Elijah and Isaiah, when contending with the priests of Baal and the worshippers of a log, could or

But nei

We answer: All strange things, are no new things under the sun; nor are any of these things altogether unaccountable, supposing they ought not so 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, "Great men are not always the utility of what they contend for, if wise;" and men eminently good, as supported, easily be seen. well as great, may sometimes err. It ther of these things can be said, with is also to be observed, that they are the least appearance of reason, re liable to do so most of all, in deep pecting the points disputed by them.and fundamental matters. Aiming 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 evievery thing. By calling in question dent,and most essential articles of faith. first principles, which are self evident, and admit of no proof, out of clear light, they plunge into Egyptian darkness, even darkness which may be felt." Thus weak man is many times, as the poet says;


"Alike in ignorance, his reason such,
"Whether he think too little, or too much."

Is it hard to understand, or to believe, that holiness, or the whole duty of man, may comprehend something || besides unprincipled actions? That a good heart may be something distinct from, prior to, and the cause of, godd works, good words, good thoughts, good volitions or affections? Is it hard to understand, or to believe, that į there may be sin, in something besides positive exercises? That ill nature may be in itself sinful? mere want of conformity in heart, to the holy and righteous law of God;or merely an unbenevolent, unmerci

That even

With respect to the run which these dark sentiments have had, and their being adopted by some of the most competent judges; to this it may be replied, men of sense and learning, as well as the illiterate and weaker sort, are sometimes surprisingly captivated with new things, and things marvel-ful disposition, in a rational creature, lous.

That this novel system, is rather countenanced than much opposed, by such as do not embrace it, may be because it has not been much canvassed. Taking it for certain, that such inen as the writers in support of it, would not maintain any dangerous er rors, it seems to be considered as a

may be sin? Or that there may be sins of omission, as well as of commis sion? Is it hard to understand, or to believe, that God, who cannot be tempted, so as to do evil himself, will never tempt any man, or directly influence him to commit iniquity, or create any one unto evil works?

And why should these things "be

ought unimportant? Why should it || contradict their avowed peculiarities, e thought of little serious conse- as well as the above supposed conseuence, whether they are true or false? quences of them. And hence some Whether believed or not? How can of our very good ministers, I undersinner ever know the plague of his stand, are so charitable as to hope that wn heart, so long as he does not know their real meaning may be nearly or think, that he has any heart at all?right; or at least, that their wrong iHow can a man think himself requir-deas will do little or no hurt. But eid, or feel under any obligation, to lorify God, or do any good to men, while persuaded that in his never dong either, there is no sin ? Or how ould we know what to fear or hope or from God, or have any dependance pon his word, did we believe that he vas as much the author of all kinds of vil, as of good? as positively and mmediately the cause of darkness, leceit and lies, as of light and truth? Were this to be believed, and if those places of scripture where he is spoken of, and speaks of himself, as deceiving men, and even good men, were to be understood in a literal and strict sense as though he immediately inspired their delusions, or inwardly caused their deceit, how could it be known but that Moses and the prophets, the evangelists and apostles, were deceiv-der than their heads. But even in ed or meant to deceive, in all that they have written?


ther of these hopes, I must needs apprehend, is extending charity beyond the bounds of reason. In being thus inconsistent, it may be asked, What do they more than others? Do not all heritics do the same? It is an old proverbial saying, "Error is fated to run crooked." It doubtless does so, many times, designedly that unpopular opinions may be introduced and spread, with less suspicion. The propagators of false doctrines, may commonly thus contradict themselves thro' mere inadvertence; because of their having formerly been accustomed to || the language of orthodoxy; or because every man's conscience is on the side of truth. In some instances, such inconsistencies may give good reason to hope, that the hearts of men are soun

that case, it cannot rationally be hoped, that their inconsistently propagatThus important, in my apprehen- ing dangerous errors, will have no persion, on our side of the question, is the nicious effects. They may lead the controversy. Thus evidently, it ap-blind into the ditch and not be able, pears to me,do these deep metaphysics strike at the root, and undermine the foundation, of what man is to believe concerning God, and of all the duty which God requires of man. Of what the scriptures principally teach, and even of the truth of the scriptures themselves.

Not that the preachers of such strange doctrines are supposed to be at all apprehensive of these necessary consequences. Perhaps the most of them may not believe, that they will follow, when it is told them. They no doubt, believe the scriptures as firmly as their brethren, and as much inculcate the duties enjoined, and many of the doctrines taught in them, as any others. I am told and have seen it is true, that they often expressly

if willing, to help them out. Many may follow them readily while they go wrong, and not be so ready to turn about with them, when they seem to get right. However far the preacher's or writer's heart may be from according with the erroneous speculations delivered, they may be perfectly agreeable to the wishes of many of his hearers and readers. And I know of no doctrines concerning which this is more likely to be the case, than the first principles in the foregoing extracts; even if the forementioned consequences should be believed inevitably to follow. To those who are of that carnal mind which is not subject to the law of God, neither can be, what can be more well pleasing than to tell them that their total want of conform

Ity to it is no sin? Nor will it please men, or never enter into disputes wi them less, should they thence con-any, that we may offend none, an clude that no 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 whom have no evil disposition; and that all soever they may be opposed, and who their ungodly and 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, 24,25. 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 strifes. And the servant of the Lord the influence and inspiration of God, must not strive, but be gentle unto 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 oppos offend them. They hate the Bible, themselves." Titus i. 7-11. “Forts and wish it might not be true; for it bishop must be blameless, as the stew never prophesyeth good unto them, ard of God, &c. Holding fast the faith but 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 stopi 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 a troversies. It is a wise counsel of Sol-postle Jude, designed chiefly, I cou omon, applicable to religious as well clude, for the pastors of churches. 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 unGod's ancient covenant people, on ac- to you and exhort you that ye should 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 head 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 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 foreare 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 counte 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 none offence ;-Even as I please all of these remarks. men in all things," writes to the Galatians, "If I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ." In indifferent matters, or things in themselves lawful to be done or omitted,FELLOW CITIZENS! we should become all things to all

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To the temperate and well disposed In habitants of the County of Madison.

As the standing Committee of the

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Madison County Moral Society, it be- || And as the committee are deeply imcomes our duty to address you on the pressed with the importance of purity resent occasion; on subjects the most of character, being considered a nemportant to the well being of the com-cessary pre-requsite to promotion, they munity, our individual peace and hap-feel confident that the society will, at piness and the good of the rising gen- a future meeting, instruct them to seeration. The corruption of our agelect out of the candidates offered for and nation, has long been a subject of choice at the ensuing election for senconcern and regret to the pious and ators and assemblymen, such men, virtuous part of society, and has at whose strict morality and respect for、 ength risen to such an alarming height ||religion, whose honesty, firmness and as to excite them to action in various discernment shall afford a valuable exparts of our country, so that this at- ample to our youth, and inspire us tempt in this county, is but the fruits with confidence that they will pursue of a common cause, which we hope the best interests of the community, will eventually unite every member without regard to party or private inof the community in the promotion ofterest, and recommend them for your that virtue and benevolence that will suffrages, and also to point out some afford us consolation from the testimo-alternative provided such men are not ny, that righteousness exalteth a nation || found in nomination. And we feel it but sin is a reproach to any people.-incumbent on us, earnestly to recomThe experience of other nations proves mend to each town in the county, to to us unequivocally, that virtue is the form branch societies that they may only basis on which republican gov-more effectually promote the contemernments and institutions can rest ;-plated object in their own vicinity, and that whenever this ceases to char- and appoint a committee to corresacterise the motives of citizens, they pond with us, and communicate all are ripe for the ambitious grasp of the information in their possession, some aspiring demagogue, who will calculated to enable us to execute fasten upon them the iron bands of the design of our appointment. And despotism. We believe, that "pure as we confidently hope the exertions religion, and undefiled," is that which of this society will be crowned with can alone secure our individual happi-success, so far as to secure some imness, both for time and eternity; and portant advantage to our country, we that in proportion as this prevails in hope that similar societies may be conany nation, that nation is blessed and stituted in other counties. And as we happy. Morality is the outward fruit are persuaded that party, as it exists of religion, and commends itself to all in this nation, is a very principal evil, men as immediately calculated to pro-as it is made subservient to the purmote the good of society in the most pose of aspiring individuals, we feel important sense, and to foster ap-in duty bound to declare, that we bepointed means of religious instruction.lieve the difference in sentiment, exisThe object of this institution is to ting in the community, is produced discountenance every vicious practice, more by the misrepresentations of inwhether in private individuals, judicial,terested men than from any real dif legislative or executive officers, in the ference of opinion on measures calcuappointment of which the members of lated to promote 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 glaring atrocity and mischievous ten-politics, we hope that the friends of dency from places of power and trust. || piety and virtue will unite, and make

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