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of the established church, which I have undertaken to plead. And let our opponents prove, if they can, that one in ten or twenty of those who have committed themselves, by publishing their sentiments, holds that God decreed to consign any portion of mankind to everlasting misery, without regard to their foreseen conduct as deserving it. This, at least, I avow, and a large majority of my brethren will join with me, that I wholly disclaim all such nominal Calvinists as deliberately maintain that sentiment. The Lambeth Articles, though very open to objection, say, 'Those who are not predestinated to salvation 'shall be necessarily damned for their sins.' But supposing that even Calvin, and other eminent persons, clogged their doctrines with sentiments which we avowedly consider as unscriptural; are these same sentiments, overcharged and distorted, to be imputed to those very persons who disavow them; merely because, in the grand outline of their creed, they coincide with these eminent men? I must own I cannot see either 'justice 'or mercy,' in this way of exposing us to public odium and contempt. In respect of the concluding part of this quotation-'So inconsistent ' with the attributes of infinite justice and infinite

mercy, that I cannot bring myself to believe it' -I have already shewn how essentially the doctrine intended differs from our sentiments: but we all have our difficulties, and some things meet us in the scriptures, which we cannot reconcile with our ideas of the divine perfections. Few have experienced this more than I have done.

1 See Remarks on Ref. 243.

But shall we, on this ground, reject any revealed truth Shall we hesitate about crediting the "sure "testimony of God?" We may indeed carefully and humbly examine the language of inspiration, that we may be satisfied of its real import; but, that being ascertained, we must bow our understanding to the declaration and testimony of God. I am a fool, a child, a rebel: I am too partial in my own cause, to be a competent judge how it behoves the Sovereign of the world to deal with rebels: I must sit at the feet of him who is THE TRUTH, to learn the first principles of heavenly wisdom; and especially I must learn to adore the depths which I cannot fathom.

'This is not a difficulty in the dispensations of 'God towards men, which relates to this world only, and may be corrected in that which is to 'come; it comprehends both worlds, both states ' of human existence, present and future; it is a 'decree extending to all eternity, absolute and 'irreversible. Nor is it a system partially and 'imperfectly described, in which we may be at present deceived, but which may hereafter appear 'wise, just, and merciful, when completely revealed, and fully understood-an irrevocable 'sentence of everlasting torment is of itself a whole, and open to no misconception-endless ' and irremediable pain, known by the sufferers to 'be such, admits of no palliative, no consolation, ' no hope.'1

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If God has decreed the eternal damnation of any, who will be found at the day of judgment

1 Ref. 250.

not to have deserved it, this pathetic representation will appear to be founded on truth and fact. But, if this will not be the case, it must of course fall to the ground. The concluding part, as detached from the preceding statement concerning the decrees of God, might serve the purpose of one who believed the doctrine of universal salvation. An irrevocable sentence of everlasting torment ' is itself a whole, and open to no misconception : ' endless irremediable pain, known by the suf'ferers to be such, admits of no palliative, no 'consolation, no hope.' Now suppose this spoken, not concerning an eternal decree, but concerning the sentence of the Judge at the last day, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, "prepared for the Devil and his angels;" in order to excite men's passions against the sentence and the Judge, or to induce them to conclude, that it will never be pronounced and inflicted; how would an Anticalvinist, who firmly believed that the sentence will be both pronounced and inflicted, answer such a pathetic declaimer? Would he not say, The only question is, Whether the wicked deserve their doom: if they do "their "mouths must be stopped," and they must "be "silent in darkness." Now, will any more crimes be proved against the wicked at the day of judgment, when "God shall bring to light the hidden

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things of darkness, and manifest the counsels of "all hearts," than he foreknew that they would commit, when he decreed to leave them to the consequences and punishment of their sins? And in what respect is the decree more liable to objection, as grounded on this foreknowledge, than the

sentence will be, as at length pronounced and executed by the Judge himself?

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'As God from eternity foreknows all things 'which shall actually take place; and therefore 'knows that this man would believe in Christ unto 'the end, but that man would not so believe; it is 'certain that God decreed to this man, thus considered, life, to that eternal death. For whatsoever he doeth in time, that he decreed to do 'from eternity: but in time he saveth this man 'who believes, and damns that man who believes 'not. Therefore, to speak with Fulgentius, he 'predestinated those unto punishment, who, he foreknew, would depart from him by the fault ' of a wicked will; and he predestinated to the kingdom those who, he foreknew, by the help of his preventing mercy, would believe, and, by the ' aid of his following mercy, would remain in him. 'And this decree of saving individual persons,

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through faith foreseen, but not on account of 'faith foreseen, all the catholic writers understood 'by the name of predestination, before the times ' of Augustine.'1

This note, from such a man as Grotius, is of great importance; for we are quite sure, that he would not concede more, on our side of the argument, than he was constrained by unanswerable argument to concede. Yet he here expressly allows that predestination to life,' nay, predestination to death eternal, is personal and individual; and not that of nations, or collective bodies as maintained in the preceding pages of the Refuta

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'Translation of Latin Note from Grotius, Ref. 251, 252.

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tion that predestination, as he here explains it, was known to all the Catholic fathers, before the 'times of Augustine:' that the 'preventing mercy of God concurred in producing that faith, and 'his 'subsequent mercy,' that continuance in the faith which were foreseen in those, predestinated to life:' and that though it was 'through faith fore'seen,' yet not on account of foreseen faith,' that they were thus predestinated. Surely Grotius, in this passage, approximates to a Calvinistic creed ! -It may be asked, indeed, in what does he differ from the Calvinists? at least from modern Calvinists In nothing that I can perceive, but in speaking of 'preventing mercy,' instead of 'spe'cial and efficacious regenerating grace.' He also means to establish that co-operation of man with God, in the first instance, in producing the willing mind to believe in Christ, which has already been fully considered. As to the rest, we are of opinion that the non-elect are decreed to destruction, on account of their foreseen wickedness, impenitence, and unbelief; and that God in decreeing the 'eternal salvation of the elect, decreed also, by his grace to render them penitent, believing, and holy. Had he left them without his special grace, they too would have lived and died impenitent, unbelieving and unholy.

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I reject the Calvinistic doctrine of predestination, not because it is incomprehensible, but 'because I think it irreconcilable with the justice ' and goodness of God. I do not reject the doctrine of the prescience of God, though I profess 'myself incapable of comprehending how it con

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