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which are deposited in this fa- August, 1806, page 107, comvoured land, as the goodly heri- menced some remarks, under tage of you and your children. the signature of J. C. on the And he waits to see what in- difficulties supposed by the wrifluence all these arguments will ter to be involved in the doctrine lave upon you, and what return of saints' perseverance. Subyou will make for all this display joined to these are some obserof goodness., Will you, then, vations by another hand,* avowwith an unfeeling heart, see him edly in reply to the former, and robbed of his majesty and glory, designed to elucidate the docand his cause basely betrayed ? trine, and remove the difficulties Will you consider it, as a matter suggested. The writer of the of indifference, whether his min- former remarks has no wish, isters preach, or his churches nor design, to enter into & receive the distinguishing truths public discussion of the doctrine of his word? Can you, without in question.' The difficulties emotion, see the dangers which proposed were obvious. It was beset unwary souls, and the ap- certainly desirable, that, if capaproaching ruin of this declining ble of a Satisfactory explanation, age? Churches of New England, they should receive it. These once comely and glorious, arise observations explain the motives from your bed of sloth. Cast of his first publication. He is off the lukewarmness, which is about again to trespass on the 50 hated of God. Show your- patience of the public; and they selves on the Redeemer's side. may again demand his reasons. Sacrifice all other interests, They will be found in what folhowever dear, to the interest of lows. truth ; all other passions, how- He acknowledges, with pleasever strong, to the cause of ure, the spirit of candour, which Zion, and all other persons, how- apparently dictated the observaever great and honourable, to tions of LUTHER. He acknowlthe honour of Christ. Behold edges, likewise, the force and the grace of your exalted Sa- pertinency of many of þis obser viour, and hear that voice of vations. If we are to view the mingled love and terror, which arguments of LUTHER as inonce warned the lapsed Eple- tended to defend this doctrine sian church, and
upon the ancient, Calvinistic' you ; Remember, therefore, from ground, it is readily conceded, whence thou art fallen, and 12- that many of them are by no pent, and do thy first works ; or means destitute of force and in. else I will come unto thee quickly, genuity. But were they intendand will remove thy candlestick ed to defend it on this ground ? out of its place, except thou re- We certainly conceive they were pent.
PASTOR, not. We may have mistakes
the design of the writer. If so,
we assure him the mistake is in. ON THE DOCTRINE OF PERSE- voluntary. The opinion of an
cient Calvinists was, that the reThe reader doubtless recol. lects, that in the Panoplist for
generate do ever, and at all On supposition that J. C. atimes, retain some moral qual greed with the Methodists, as to ities, which distinguish them the final defectibility of saints, from the unregenerate ; that, in what would Luther have him the language of the apostle, they do? Would he have him believe, cannot sin, unto death, because with Calvinists, that those who their seed remaineth in them. But are born of God are always disthis opinion, to our apprehen. tinguished, by the temper of sion, is not the foundation, on their hearts, from the unrenewswhich Luther's arguments rest.
ed ? No: he would have him For, in answer to the question of believe no such thing. He is to İ.C. What would have become of meet the common opinion of Devid, had he died in the midst Calvinists only half way; he must of his crimes ? LUTHER replies, embrace their belief of the final u If he had died impenitent, he salvation of the regenerate, but would have been lost.” Here, it reject their belief that the regen. is conceived, the author fairly erate always continue possessed concedes, that, in his opinion, of a holy principle. David did totally apostatize from If these be indeed the sentiGod and holiness; that he fell, ments of LUTHER, it is impossifor a time, into precisely the ble for us to perceive the pertisame moral state, in which he nency or propriety of his rewas previously to his conver- marks. On the ground, which sion. What LUTHER believes he occupies, unless we have misconcerning David, he doubtless taken that ground, we conceive believes concerning other good it impossible to defend the docmen. He believes, that they are trine which he advocates. This sometimes entirely holy, and is the reason of our again resometimes entirely sinful. He questing the attention of LuDot only believes, witin the disci- Ther and the public to our reples of Mr. WESLEY, that there marks ; because his arguments, are some instances, in which however clear and forcibie, in saints fall from holiness; but, themselves, yet, resting, as we that they frequently do this ; conceive, on an unstable foundaindeed, that the life of every tion, have no tendency to obviate Christian is little else, than an the difficulties we before suggestalternate rising into holiness, ed. Consistently enough with and sinking into sin. But though his scheme, God may be said to be agrees with the disciples of persevere in his determination WESLEY, in believing that saints to glorify the saints; but with fall from boliness, he does not no propriety can the saints be believe, with them, that any re- said to persevere, unless persegenerale person will finally per- vering, and not persevering, are ish. He supposes, that the cor- terms of the same import. enant of grace, though it does Nor is it true, according to not prevent those who embrace this theory, that God perseveres it from becoming just as sinful in his love to saints. If they be, as they were before, does, how- at times, destitute of every moral ever, secure them from eternal quality to distinguish them from perdition.
the unregenerate, he cannot, at Vol. II. No. 5.
those seasons, love the one more coverably, it is impossible to than he loves the other. If it recover ;" which would be true be said that he loves them be- indeed, but not much in the aposcause he designs to render them tle's way of writing. Did any holy, and save them ; it is obvi- person need to be informed, that ous to reply, he had these de- if he remained impenitent till signs when they were unrenew- death, he could not be renewed, ed; and yet he had, then, no by repentance, before death? more complacency in them, than Pray what defection was it, ain any other persons of the same gainst which these Hebrews were moral character, not compre- so solemnly warned? Did the hended in his designs of salva- apostle mean to convey this sention. Heb. vi. 4, 5, 6. It is im- timent; “ If you are once expossible for those, who were once cluded from the covenant of enlightened, and have tasted of the grace, it will be impossible to heavenly gift, and have been made introduce you into it again"? partakers of ihe Holy Ghost, and How could they be excluded have tasted the good word of God, from this covenant ? Not in conand the powers of the world to sequence of total aprostasy, accome, if they shall fall away, to cording to LUTHER's doctrine ; renew them again to repentance. for David is supposed, by him, LUTHER tells us, that these to have been in the same moral words relate to real saints, and state, during his fall, as Paul, or not, as some have supposed, to John before his conversion. If, awakened sinners, partially re- therefore, apostasy could have formed. Between these two excluded him, he would have opinions we make no decision ; been excluded. but would ask how this sense of LUTHER very justly observes, the text coincides with the doc- that “it is the method of inspitrine under consideration? The ration, to shew saints, on the one apostle, if speaking to re- hand, the crown of righteousness newed persons, tells them what which awaits the faithful; on the would be the consequence other, the certain ruin which will should they
It overtake them, if they turn again would be impossible to renew to folly.” But do not they turn them again repentance. again to folly, who lose every This is LUTHER's explanation particle of holiness, and become of the passage : but he still be- perfectly sinful ? Yet he does licves, that David did fall away, not suppose, that certain ruin and that every regenerate per. awaits such. Nay, he supposes son frequently falls away, and that many such will certainly be yet is renewed again to repen- saved. We are told again, that tance. How is this? Somebody “ the doctrine of perseverance must be wrong. Will it be said, ought never to be viewed in such that by falling arvay, the apostle a light, as to render persevering did not mean simply falling away, diligence in well doing less nehowever complete, but an irre- cessary, than it would be, if the coverable falling away? Then doctrine were not true." the text will amount precisely to are by no means disposed to this: “ Those, who fall irre- controvert this : But does not
what LUTBER would have us him, consistently with his princonsider as the doctrine of per ciples, “ Every belierer freseverance render this less neces. quently becomes divested of all sary, than it would be, if the his holiness; and therefore your doctrine were not true? The finding yourself destitute of holiArminian says, “ If there is in ness, at present, is no proaf of myself nothing of holiness, I am your being unregenerate." The in a state of condemnation.” one makes perseverance in well The Calvinist says the same. doing necessary to salvation ; the Whereas the doctrine in question other does not." asserts, that David, when abso- The writer assures the publutely destitute of holiness, was, lic, that the above remarks are nevertheless, in the covenant of by no means intended directly or grace; and, of course, that a indirectly to operate against the person's finding in himself, at doctrine of saints' perseverance, present, no exertion nor princi- but against an attempt to defend ple of piety, proves nothing a that doctrine on grounds, that he gainst his being in the covenant cannot but consider as unscripof grace, nothing against his be- tural.
J. C. ing an heir of glory. The Calvinist tells a professor, “ If you entirely lose holiness, you are larly considered by a writer in the
See this doctrine more particuJost.” * The abetter of the new Panoplist for December last, page doctrine tells him, or may tell 299.
LUTHER'S LETTER TO ERASMUS. To the life of Luther, already published, it is thought proper to subjoin the following extract of his letter to Erasmus, which is here introduced, with some of the remarks which accompany it in Dr. Haweis' Church History. , ;
" It has been often suggested, plicity of the testimony of Lux that the Reformers themselves iher, exhibited in the following were at variance on the most extract, I have produced it as important doctrines of the gos- the most conclusive proof of the pel; and that Luther and Calvin sentiments of this great rediffered greatly in the funda- former. mental articles of their creed. “ It is among our deepest misWhereas, except in the matter eries, and the proof of our sad of Christ's presence in the Eu- declensions, that we, of latter charist, all the eminent men a. times, have departed from “ the mong the reformers of that day, faith once delivered unto the concurred in the same funda- saints ;" revived in that day in mental truths. As I have been all its primitive glory : and, charmed myself (says Dr. Haw- thanks be to God, after long obeis) with the plainness and sim- scurity, again rising in its bright, ness in the present generation. alas ! are your fear and revere May its great Revealer manifest ence of the Deity, when you his own almighty influence, and roundly declare, that this branch cause the word of truth to run of truth, which he has revealed and have free course, and be from heaven, is at best useless, glorified throughout the world. and unnecessary to be known?
“ Erasmus had attacked Lu Wliat! shall the glorious Creather on the doctrines of predes. tor be taught by you his creature, tination and grace ; and accord, what is fit to be preached, and ing to the present cant of ob- what to be suppressed? Is the jectors, he urged, " What can be adorable God so very defective more useless than to publish this in wisdom, and prudence, as not paradox to the world? namely, to know, till you instruct him, that whatever we do, is done, not what would be useful and what by virtue of our own free will, but pernicious ? Or could not HE, in a way of necessity, &c. What whose understanding is infinite, a wide gap does the publication foresee, previous to his revela: of this tenet open among men, tion of this doctrine, what would for the commission of all ungod- be the consequences of his re: liness? What wicked person vealing it, till those consequences will reform his life? Who will were pointed out by you? You dare to believe himself a favou. cannot, you dare not, say this. rite of Heaven ? Who will fight If then it was the divine pleaagainst his own corrupt inclina- sure to make known these things tions ? Therefore, where is ei- in his word; and to bid his ther the need or the utility of messengers publish them abroad, spreading these notions from and to leave the consequences of whence so many evils seem to their so doing to the wisdom and flow ?"
providence of him in whose “ To this Luther triumphantly name they speak, and whose replies, “ If, my Erasmus, you messages they declare ; who art consider these paradoxes (as you thou, o · Erasmus, that thou term them) to be no more than shouldest reply against God, and the inventions of men, why are say to the Almighty, what doest you so extraordinarily heated on thou? St. Paul, discoursing of the occasion ? In that case your God, declared peremptorily, arguments affect not me ; for whom he will he hardeneth: and there is no person now ving in again, God willing 10 shew his the world, who is a more avowed wrath, &c. And the apostle did enemy to the doctrines of men not write this to have it stifled than myself.
among a few persons, and buri. But, if you believe the doctrines ed in a corner; but wrote it to in debate between us to be, (as the Christians at Rome : which indeed they are) the doctrines of was, in effect, bringing this doc. God; you must have bid adieu trine upon the stage of the wi.ole to all sense of shame and decen“ world ; stamping an universal cy, thus to oppose them. I will imprimatur uponit: and publishnot ask, whither is the modesty ing it to believers at large, of Erasmus fled ? but, which is throughout the 'earth. What much more important, where, can sound harsher in the un