« PreviousContinue »
After a short intermission, it now came to my turn to question him.
Mr. Kean's answers were generally exceedingly lengthy ; especially, when a question was put, the plain answer to which would prepare the
way for the next, to involve him in absurdity. Then his answer was so lengthy and obscure, that all sight of the question was lost. In this way he would destroy the effect of the next question, and keep the absurdity of his scheme out of sight. Besides, by this method he would consume the time, so that there could not be so many questions put.
His answers will speak for themselves. Al. though we would again observe to the reader, that we have only a small portion of what was often said in answer to questions, because the clerks considered it as having so little relation to them, that they did not record it. But they have recorded enough to give the reader a general idea of the nature of his answers. For the help of the reader, he will understand, that when there were desultory observations, of which the clerks took no notice, and which had no bearing upon the question, I bave marked them thus, (&c.) and when they were very long, I have doubled the mark, thus, (&c. &c.) Questions put to Mr. L. Kean by S. Pelton, and
his answers. Q. 1st. Do you suppose that God is omniscient?
A. As far as is not prejudicial to his other attributes, God is universal, God is powerful, God is holy, God is good, &c. &c. The knowledge of God has nothing more to do with his Deity, than it has to do with his justice and mercy. As for instance, we can illustrate it by metal.. Take a certain quantity of gold, and silver, and copper; and let those three metals be smelted and thoroughly wrought together, and let the fusion and suffusion of them run through each other; and certainly the gold will have as much to do with the silver, as the silver has to do with the gold ; and the silver has as much to do with the gold, as the gold has to do with the silver. So that the omniscience of God has as much to do with his Deity, as it has to do with his justice and mercy. And he is just as omnipotent, as he has the power of doing all things ; and just, as the power of doing all things is bounded by his mercy.*
* I have demanded a plain answer, of either yes or no, so that we could understand him. But he gave me an answer almost similar to the other. It was not material to my mind, which of the two sides he took, whether to own or deny the foreknowledge of God; if he would only act the plain, honest part in a matter of such moment. It' was equally easy to involve him in absurdity. I was not yet aware that he was about to answer all my questions in the same roundabout, unintelligible manner. I did not then know that Mr. Kean had ever written in favour of the Roman Catholics; although I had a suspicion of that kind. If I had previously known it to a certainty, I should have taken care to shut him out of these. dark corners; because I had read in history, that tha:
you belong to the Methodists? A. Yes, sir. Q. Do you all hold to one system of doctrine?
A. We do. Turn to the third section and eleventh paragraph of the Methodist discipline. [He turns to the other, and asks if that is the right book ? The other Methodists tell him it is. ]
Q. [The doctrine is read.] « The scriptures tell us plainly, what predestination is ; it is God's foreappointing obedient believers to salvation, not without, but according to his foreknowledge of all their wicked works from the foundation of the world.” Do you believe this?
A. Yes, sir, &c. [a long story was added ; we do not remember what it was.]
Q. Has God in his word declared any thing that has, or will take place ?
A. God has declared things that have, and things that have not taken place. He has de.' clared that Ninevah should be overthrown ; but be heard their prayers and repentance, notwithstanding his foreknowledge and decree, &c. &c. (together, with a long story about Isaiah, Elijah, and the fowls ; which the clerks have just noted, but not recorded. It is of little consequence.
Q. Did God know that the Ninevites would repent ?
$vas a trick practised in debate by the Freewillers against the protestants in the days of the reformation, in order to prevent the truth frem coming to light.