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are the streams only, not the fountain. They are the fruits of free grace, and not the root. They are not the cause, but the effects of it. Whatever good is in man, or done by man, God is the author and doer of it. Thus is bis grace free in all, that is, no way depending on any power or merit in man, but on God alone, who freely gave us his own Son, and with him freely giveth us all things."
These are the words of the General Confer. ence ; and the reflecting reader may judge for himself how well they may be able to plaster the Clay doctrines of the freewill scheme upon this Iron, and make them stick together. Besides, they have said much more to the same effect.
If we were disposed to follow both them and Mr. Wesley through his discipline, and his notes on the New Testament, we could fill pages with such contradictions. If any historian, or writer of a novel, or witness in court, had contradicted themselves as plainly as we have shown that Mr. Wesley has done in a multitude of instances, their story would be at once condemned for an untruth, by every man of common sense. But, alas ! here is another proof of that awful blindness which by nature rests upon the children of men. So much do they love the instruction that causeth to err, that they had rather swallow any absurdity, or contradiction, than to admit the idea that the Lord is the master and controller of all things, and all events, and disposes of all his creatures as he pleases.
We have seen no system of religion which contradicts itself as much as this does. The Roman Catholics have made their system (as far as we understand it,) to consist altogether of freewill, or of works; and although they talk as much about grace as the Methodists do, yet they go strait along with their scheme, and it joins together. But Mr. Wesley hath attempted to mix the freewill and the free
grace schemes of salvation, and we have shown the reader a specimen of their union. To us they appear to be like Nebuchadnezzar's image, which was partly of iron, and partly of clay : they are made of different materials, and will not unite, but the one breaks the other in pieces.
Why Mr. Wesley should have undertaken to mix two schemes of religion so entirely opposite to each other, is sometbing which the day of judgment must declare. But at present, it appears to us, that the one of these two plans he must have had in view : he either meant to form a scheme of religion which would suit both the freewill and the free-grace parties, and the doctrines of which would not be so offensive to the unregenerate ; therefore it would become popular among men, and he would thereby perpetuate his name on the earth. Or, he might have been a good man, and might have thought it desirable to devise a scheme of religion which would suit both the Roman Catholics and the Protestants, who had been so long contending about the doctrines of freewill and free
grace. In this the devil might have gained an advantage over him, as he has often done over good
Satan knew that the doctrines of freewill had been the snare with which he had taken millions of souls under the light of the gospel; that is, according to the word of God. He knew at the same time, that since the days of the reformation from Popery, these doctrines had become odious among the Protestants, and especially those of them whose fathers had fled here to America from the burning stake of the freewillers. Satan knew, we presume, that he could never propagate the doctrines of freewill among American protestants, to any great effect, except he gave them a different name, and covered the snare with something like protestantism. We do not pretend to know the secret minds of either men or devils ; but we appeal to every man who is in the least acquainted with history, if this does not look like some of the arts which the adversary appears to have practised heretofore against the church of God. And for that reason we wish to uncover this snare before the unwary traveller who is measuring his steps for eternity. Good men are sometimes liable to be deceived, and to believe, and do, things which they would not do, if they knew the consequence. In or
der to undeceive such, we have shown the candid reader, that the Methodist scheme, as it now stands, boldly contradicts the word of God. 2dly. That it is contrary to reason, and plain facts. And 3dly, that it contradicts itself: that is, if we are to seek for the meaning of men by their words.
Further : from the view we have taken of this compounded scheme of salvation, we can perceive why there are a number of true Christians
the Methodists, because some of them have been educated by protestant parents, and ministers, before they became proselyted, and are in a good degree founded or built
these iron doctrines ; consequently, if they only knew it, they are still good Calvinists, or protestants. These hold on their way, and are an ornament to their church ; while the others are founded upon the clay doctrines, and are always crumbling to pieces. And if their Christian profession should stand until death, their religion is but clay, which will melt before the heart-searching God; for it requires more than a noisy zeal to constitute a true believer in Christ.
Again : there are two leading principles, which are important positions in each of the two systems, one of which must be admitted.
1. We suppose that the Lord hath supreme power over the prince of darkness, and over all the creatures He hath made. And that he knew every thing they would do before he
made them, was continually present with them, and could either prevent or permit wbatever evil he saw fit. He has power to accomplish whatever good he designs ; and has the hearts of all men in his hand, and can find means to make them have a desire to do what he pleases.
Thus we view the Lord as supreme in the government of the universe, and having all creatures under his control.
2. If this is denied, we must suppose, on the contrary, that Satan, and wicked men, whom Christ calls children of the devil, are sharers with the Almighty in the government; and that the adversary has taken the advantage of the Watchman of Israel : in some unguarded moment, when the Lord was not aware of him, he entered the garden, tempted man to sin, and has ever since been leading the children of men captive at his pleasure, keeping them willing to go with him. And we must further suppose, that since Satan had made this inroad among these creatures which the Lord hath made, that the king of Zion was now going about weeping and grieving in great distress, because he could not deliver the prey from the mighty, or divide the spoil with the strong. * He would be glad to convert and save all mnen, if it were in his power, but he cannot accomplish it.