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"wicked which forsake thy law."1 "wicked he shall rain a horrible tempest."2 "is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the "living God."3 This might with equal propriety have been rendered, "It is a horrible thing, &c. ;" if precisely the same idea be annexed to the word horrible, as to horribilis. Both the Vulgate and Beza translate it horrendum. The same word is translated by Beza horrendum, and by the Vulgate terribile, in another place, "Reverend is his "name:" pobepoy, Sept. There can, therefore, be no doubt that Calvin, or any other learned man, not used to that association of ideas which the frequent use of the English word horrible has occasioned, would without hesitation call the sentence to be denounced against the wicked at the day of judgment, " Depart from me, ye cursed, "into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and "his angels," horribile judicium or decretum: a sentence to be contemplated with solemn awe, with holy reverence, yea, with horror of mind; and not to be thought of, as involving the eternal doom of unnumbered millions, without the soul shrinking back from the tremendous idea which it is suited to excite. This, it is presumed, most learned readers will allow, was Calvin's meaning in using the words horribile decretum. Is it not 'wonderful,' (would he who denies the doctrine of everlasting punishment, exclaim,) that any 'one should ascribe to the God of all mercy,' and

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2 Ps. xi. 6.

Ps. cxix. 53. Heb. x. 31. pobepòs, terrificus, terribilis, horribilis, formidolosus. (Hederic.) Horrendus.


Heb. xii. 21. terribilis. (Leigh.)

to the most loving Saviour, a sentence to be pronounced at the day of judgment, which he him'self confesses to be horrible? Yet' many persons ' of piety, and of considerable talent and attainIment' have done this. To what 'absurdities ' and inconsistencies will not the human mind be 'carried by a blind attachment to system.'-It is, however, gratifying to hear his Lordship allow Calvin to have been a man of piety:' but'a 'man of piety' could never intend to ascribe to the glorious God a decree which he considered as horrible in a moral view, and implying any thing contrary to perfect justice and goodness. And it is much easier to say that Calvin's attachment to his system was blind, than to refute that system. Probably Calvin spent more years in studying the scriptures, with constant prayer for the promised teaching of the Holy Spirit, than many who exclaim against him and his doctrine have done months, nay, weeks. To select passages, in a measure exceptionable, from such copious works as those of Calvin, may not be very difficult: but to follow him in his train of argument, from one end to the other, even of one of his books, and satisfactorily to answer him, Hoc opus, hic labor est!

I shall here very briefly state in what particulars, as it appears to me, Calvin varied in his doctrine from that of our articles and liturgy; I mean, as to election and reprobation: for in other particulars I discern no variation.

1. He frequently uses the terms reprobate and reprobation, which are carefully avoided in our articles and liturgy.

2. He dwells much more frequently and copiously on the subject of reprobation, and on the reprobate, than any of our authorized books do, and also far more than the holy scriptures do.

3. He sometimes speaks, or seems to speak, of reprobation, as being the absolute decree of God, independent of man's foreseen wickedness, and gratuitous even as the decree of election.1

4. In resolving this into the absolute sovereignty of God, he does not, with any thing like sufficient explicitness, shew this sovereignty to be that of infinite wisdom, justice, truth, and love: and he often reasons as if whatever he supposes God decreed or did was right, because he decreed it, or did it instead of maintaining that God can decree, or do nothing, on account of his absolutely perfect unchangeable holiness, which is not, in itself, perfectly just and holy. Of these sentiments, I see no trace in our authorized books.

The distinction between gratuitous mercy, without regard to human worth,' in respect of the elect; and the 'just and irreprehensible, but incomprehensible judgment' of God, in respect of the non-elect; marks a decided difference, in the writer's (Calvin's) mind, between the source of election and that of preterition. Yet I cannot but lament that it was not more directly said, because 'he foreknew, that they would justly deserve it.' This would have given a clear view of the subject, and also have precluded objections. Mercy, and the decree of mercy, are gratuitous: repentance, faith, and all things pertaining to salvation, being the effects of special grace, which God purposed to give to "the vessels of mercy, whom he afore "prepareth unto glory." But condemnation, whether as decreed or denounced, is not gratuitous, but the just punishment of wickedness, either as foreseen, or as actually committed. [Remark, in the first edition, on a passage of Calvin quoted Ref. p. 538. J.S.]

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5. To render his system consistent, as he supposes, he occasionally intrudes into things not revealed; and speaks of God's decree concerning the fall of man, and other things connected with that awful event, as strongly, as if he could produce scriptural proof of every particular position. And consistently with this, he sometimes speaks, or seems to speak, of election and reprobation as relating to men as creatures and not as fallen


6. He on some occasions so labours the argument about all good in man being from God's electing love, as to lose sight of the effects of that grace which God imparts, as the fruit of his electing love, by which his chosen people, through ' grace obey his calling;' and strive, and labour, and "work out their salvation with fear and trem"bling;" and become diligent and "fruitful in

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every good work." Not that Calvin was in the slightest degree tinctured with antinomianism, for he was a most practical divine. But, as many others do, in the earnestness of controversy, he lost sight of one part of Christianity in contending for another; and put it in the power of his opponents to select detached passages from his works, which are capable of being misunderstood, misrepresented, or perverted to bad purposes. Now I see nothing of this kind in any of our authorized books and just as far as they differ from Calvin, so far do I; and, I am confident, so far do likewise most of my brethren.-But that man who will take the pains to read Calvin's writings, or any considerable part of them, and not judge from a selection of the most exceptionable pas


sages, disjointed from their connexion, and from the argument insisted on, will form, even though a decided Anticalvinist, a far different judgment of him, as an able and a very practical theologian, than those who have not read him can do. For the impression made by the extracts which his Lordship has adduced of the most exceptionable passages collected together, and that made by reading his works, are widely different, as such passages, even when disapproved, seem to the reader of his works lost among other matter, in abundance, of a superior order of genuine excellency.

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[The allusion to the case of "a potter, and his power over the clay, of the same lump to make 66 one vessel unto honour and another to dis"honour," refers to the sovereign authority and right of God to manage the concerns of the world as he sees good; even as the potter disposes of his clay according to his 'pleasure. By skill and labour he forms elegant and beautiful vessels; and he employs the rest of the same lump for such mean purposes as it is in itself fit for, without bestowing pains to prepare it for more honourable uses. But Calvin, Beza, and many others consider the "one lump" as the human race, the creatures of God, independently of the fall of Adam: they consider the fall of Adam as positively decreed; and this decree as inseparably connected with all the other decrees of God concerning individuals; and thus they seem to make both the destruction of the reprobate, and the salvation of the elect, alike gratuitous; resolving the whole into the sovereign right (cia) of God to deal with his creatures as he sees good; nay, to create them in

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