Page images
PDF
EPUB

can confute them; or they contrive some plan to slip the knots, or absurdities, brought into view by these questions, out of sight, without untying them, or even letting the most of the people know that they were there. Besides, if they should even attempt to reconcile these absurdities, there are different ways of doing it. It has been a common saying among some Protestants, that a Jesuit, (a certain class of Freewillers,) can reconcile any thing. This they can do by a long round-about discourse, as near the subject as may be, until the reader, or hearer, has lost sight of the point of difficulty contained in it. Lawyers often practice in this way, when they have a bad cause to defend.

We do not accuse all the freewillers of practising such sophistry, in the important things of eternity. But it is done : and the honest man who is unskilled in the arts of logic, ought not to be thus defrauded out of his immortal soul. It is for this reason that we mention these facts, that the honest reader, who values his salvation, may be on his guard. If he is not a reasoner, he has the word of the Lord, let him attend to that; it is plain, especially on these points. In order to get over that, some may tell you, dear reader, that this text does not apply, and that has no meaning ; but let us remember, that one day, both you and I shall find, that the Lord always meant what he said, and intended every sentence of his word to apply as it was spoken ; and at the same time no where contradict itself.

SECTION IV.

In this section we shall notice some of the contradictions contained in the Methodist doctrine. We shall not be able to notice them all, because it would swell our book beyond its intended size. We have already observed, that the freewill and free-grace systems, may be compared to two fountains, from which almost all other Christian denominations proceed. But they are exactly opposite to each other, and are made of different materials, which will not unite, any more than Nebuchadnezzar's image, which was partly of iron, and partly of clay. Hence, says the apostle, “ If by grace, then it is no more of works; otherwise grace is no more grace.

But if it be of works, then it is no more of grace : otherwise work is no more work.' This ought to be well considered by all serious minds; and ought to induce them to examine the question with the utmost care ; remembering, that on whatever scheme they make their stand, there they fix their foundation for eternity : if that should fall, they must be buried in its ruins,

"*

* Rom. xi. 6.

However opposite these two systems may appear to be, yet for some design or other, Mr. Wesley and his followers have attempted to mix them. We will place the different expressions beside each other, that the reader may judge for himself how well they unite. And in order that he may know what doctrines belong to each scheme, we will call the truth, (or the doctrines of free grace,) iron; and the error, (or the doctrines of freewill,) we will call clay.

The extracts we shall make, will be taken from Mr. Wesley's Discipline, his notes on the New Testament, and some few from the standard book of doctrinal tracts published by the order of the General Conference. And the reader will remember that the Discipline is the same that was used on the day of debate, and acknowledged by themselves to be the right book.

The Methodists tell us, that all which I am now going to record is true, and their people must believe it; for their standard writers teach all these doctrines, viz.

Clay. 1st. Wesley, and the General Conference, both say, “ We believe, that in the moment Adam fell, he had no freedom of will left ; but that God, when of his own free grace he gave the promise of a Saviour to him and his posterity, graciously restored to mankind a liberty and power to accept of proffered salva

tion.'*

Discipline, section 3, par. 27, and Tract I, p. 22.

Iron. They both also say, “ I do not hold that any man has any will or power to do any thing that is good; but, by the grace of God he may do all things.”* Again, Wesley says, in his Notes on the New Testament, « No man can believe except Christ give him power. He draws us first by good desires." He says farther, “ Behold your calling, what manner of men they are whom God calls; that not many wise men after the flesh,” &c. See his notes on 1 Cor. i. 26, also on John vi. 41.

[ocr errors]

Clay. The General Conference say, " It is possible for all men to repent and believe,”again, “neither doth God require of any man that which is impossible for him to do.”+

Iron. Wesley says, that unbelievers are, “not only diseased, but dead, absolutely void of all spiritual life, and as incapable of quickening themselves, as persons literally dead.”I

Clay. The General Conference say, “I only assert that there is a measure of freewill supernaturally restored to every man, together with the supernatural light which lightens every

* Discipline, sec. 3, par. 26, and to Tract 1, page 21.Remark.--By the grace or gift of God, who quickens or creates him anew in Christ Jesus, and gives him a will and power, he may truly do all things. + Tract 4, p. 63.

See his note on Ephes. ií. 1.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

man that cometh into the world;" for this end he hath given to every man a measure of light and grace.And they say, also, " that every man has a measure of light and saving grace.

Iron. Wesley says of the Jews, and other unbelievers, " The same veil remaineth on their understandings unremoved, not so much as folded back, (so the word implies,) so as to admit the least glimmering light on the public reading of the Old Testament. The veil is not now on the face of Moses, or his writings, but on the reading of them; and on the hearts of all them that believe not.Again, he says

of Satan, “ He is indeed the god of all them that believe not, and works in them with inconceivable energy, hath blinded, not only veiled, the eyes of their understanding."

both say,

Clay. Wesley, and the General Conference

“On this authority, I believe, a saint may fall away : that one who is holy or righteous in the judgment of God himself, may nevertheless so fall from God, as to perish everlastingly.

Iron. Wesley tells us, that Christ virtually says, “ This is the will of Him that sent me,

* See Doctrinal Tracts, pages 144, 68, and 80.

† See his notes on 2 Cor. ii. 14, 15, also on 2 Cor. iv. 3, 4.- -1 Discipline, sec. 4, par. 5, also Tract 5, p. 84.

M

« PreviousContinue »