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all conformity to the ho-cestors. There have been many inno
is right, and all want of vations in christian theology, which > it wrong, in a rational were doubtless real improvements: d if there may be different | Calvin himself was a great innovator onformity, or of non-con- in his day; and it cannot reasonably e law, in heart and life, in be supposed, that either he, or any of al rational and bodily cathe other first reformers, just emerging jen there is no difficulty in from the thick darkness of popery, ag that men may be sanc-| had all the light which was ever to art, while but imperfectly : | come into the world. In the last chapay love God in sincerity, ter of Daniel, after dark predictions of with all the heart and soul, far distant events, we read of its being strength : And there will be said to the prophet by an angel; “Shut if believing that the moral up the words and seal the book, even on of good men must con- to the time of the end! many shall y in the inconstancy of their run to and fro, and knowledge shall cises.
be increased.” And whether the comi, all the admirable late advan-mencement of that time is yet seen or eological science, so called, it not, it is certainly now a remarkable to me, rest entirely upon this time of running to and fro : and I can
discovery, that there can be not but think there has been considerin negatives; in a man's not able increase of important knowledge God, or his neighbor, not being of late years, even in this before endisposed, and never doing any lightened land. But in such revoluThat is, apon nothing. Fromtionary times, when there is an uncomses all the difficulty in account. | mon breaking loose from the fetters of
the origin of moral evil, with-education, it cannot otherwise well be pposing God the author of it, or expected, than that some of the boldmediate efficient cause. From est and foremost, will run too fast and rises all the necessity of thinking too far. There was danger of this, it God must work in unborn infants, seems, among the followers of Christ, ing them to will and do iniqui- even at the beginning of the christian n order to account for our native era. Hence such warnings and cau. "avity. And to this alone is evi- tions were then given, as that to the
ily owing the supposed impossibil-Collossians; " Beware lest any man ***** of a man's being partly, while im- spoil you through philosophy." And
,fectly sanctified. Were it net for that to the Hebrews ; “Be not carritot een s strange notion, that in an unholyed about with divers and strange doc
position, and in deficiency or falling rines." r. ort of one's plain duty, there can be But that the new doctrines in ques
thing sinful, there would be no diffi- tion, are so strange, so obviously ab
Ity in seeing, that the holiest of mensurd, so plainly contrary to scripture, ** ay have just cause of self-condem- and evidently of such dangerous ten
ation, for the imperfection of their dency, as they have now been repre *- est performances.
sented, many who do not fall in with It has doubtless been perceived, by them, will doubtless be very unwilling rims very 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
inay be said, the outlines of y their being innovations; there may be this new theory were first given, by danger, no doubt, of holding over te- some of our greatest and best divines. naciously the traditions of the elders, It may be said, these sentiments have as well as of cleparting too hastily from had a considerable run,
little - soi and the long received opinions of our an- Wopposition. That they are adopted,
VOL. 2. 2
several of them at least, by numbers | matter of mere metaphysical specu's of our ministers, who are in high re- tion: hard to be refuted or understow 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 hari embrace them. Were they materially to be refuted, may be only becaus erroneous, and very dangerous doc- it is always difficult to disprove whi 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, whe any of these things altogether unac- contending with the priests of Baal. countable, supposing they ought not and the worshippers of a log, could onso to have been : supposing the doc- ly laugh“at them. trines as erroneous and dangerous as That the speculations of our oppotbey have now been supposed. Nei- nents in the present case, are bard to ther the greatness nor the goodness of be understood, is partly true. Their the first publishers of these wonder-arguments, it must be acknowledge, ful discoveries is at all disputed.-are extremely unintelligible. Norean But, « Great
men are not always the utility of what they contend for, if 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, with is also to be observed, that they are the least appearance of reason, tes 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 erievery thing. By calling in question dent,and most essential articles of faith. first principles, which are self evident, Is hard to understand, or to be. and admit of no proof, out of clear lieve, that holiness, or the whole duty Jighs, they plunge into Egyptian dark- of man, may comprehend something ness, even darkness which may be besides unprincipled actions ? Thata , 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 adopted by some of the most positive exercises ? That ill 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 marvelful disposition, in a rational creature, lons,
may be sin ? Or that there may be That this novel system, is rather sins of omission, as well as of commiscountenanced than much opposed, bysion ? 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
e an a
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 her believed or not? How can of our very good ministers, I under
er 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 i
man think himself requir-deas will do little or no hurt. But eifeel under any obligation, to ther of these hopes, I must needs ap2 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
we know what to fear or hope they more than others? Do not all
this to be believed, and if those pagators of false doctrines, may com-
and even good men, were to be having formerly been accustomed to prstood in a literal and strict sense the language of orthodoxy; or because hough he immediately inspired every man's conscience is on the side r 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 sounngelists 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 hople written ?
ed, that their inconsistently propagat7. Thus important, in my apprehen- ing dangerous errors, will have no per
n, on our side of the question, is the picious effects. They may lead the "Introversy. Thus evidently, it ap-blind into the ditch : and not be able, *. Mars to me,do these deep metaphysics if willing, to help them out. Many like at the root, and undermine the may follow them readily while they undation, 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 hich 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 accordven of the truth of the scriptures |ing with the erroneous speculations iemselves.
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
t all apprehensive of these necessary no doctrines concerning which this is bonsequences. Perhaps the most of inore likely to be the case, than the Shem may not believe, that they will first principles in the foregoing exfollow, when it is told them. They tracts.; even if the forementioned conono doubt, believe the scriptures as sequences should be believed inevitafirmly as their brethren, and as much bly to follow. To those who are of s'inculcate the duties enjoined, and ma- that carnal mind which is not subject
lny of the doctrines taught in them, as to the law of God, neither can be, what av mennio chill any others. I am told and have seen can be more well pleasing than to tell ce shelled as it is true, that they often expressly i them that their total want of conform
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 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 wbor 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 questions 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 unto al it cannot be known that there is anymen, apt to teach, patient ; in meek: truth in the Bible, neither would thisness instructing those that oppose offend them. They hate the Bible, themselves.” Titus i, 7.-11. Fora and wish it might not be true; for it bishop must be blameless, as the ster. never 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 stopon the right hand and on the left; of ped; who subvert whole houses, teachbeing 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 wellclude, 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 salya. But
among the crying provocations of|tion, it was needful for me to write paGod'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 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$ 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 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 kiudness 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 Galatiaps, " 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! Ve should become all things to all}| As the standing Committee of the
y Moral Society, it be- | And as the committee are deeply im5 to address you on the pressed with the importance of purity 2n; on subjects the most of character, being considered a nele well being of the com. fcessary pre-requisite to promotion, they dividual peace and hap- feel confident that the society will, at
good of the rising gen- a future meeting, instruct them to seE corruption of our agelect out of the candidates offered for as long heen a subject of choice at the ensuing election for sen
regret to the pious and ators and assemblymen, such men, t of society, and has at whose strict morality and respect for co such an alarming height religion, whose honesty, firmness and them to action in various discernment shall afford a valuable excountry, 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 communiis, rally 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 quivocally, 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 cism. 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 happi-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 ealculated 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, exisThe object of this institution is to ting in the community, is produced iscountenance every vicious practice, more by the misrepresentations of invbether 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 itpeace 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 ency from places of power and trust. I piety and virtue will unite, and make