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his wrath, which burns to Hell, is a branch and exercise of his impartial and universal goodness, which will cause saints and angels. to sing, 'Alleluia,' while the smoke of the torment of the finally impenitent, shall ascend forever and ever. Aben.
From the Massachusetts Missionary Magazines
PLAIN REASONS FOR BEING A THOROUGH CALVINIST. Though, in my younger days, I lived under the instructions of a pious, able Calvinistic divine ; yet I had frequent opportunities of bearing his doctrines called in question by those, who believed and wished to propagate the opposite scheme of sentiments. This led me to examine the arguments for and against the Calvinistic system with peculiar attention: and after a long and laborious investigation of the subject, I am become a thorough Calvinist, and, among others, for the following reasons..
1. I find the Prophets, Christ, and the Apostles unanimously agree in teaching the doctrine of the divine decrees, the doctrine of the total depravity of the human heart, the doctrine of the irressistible grace of God in the conversion of sinners, the doctrine of justification through the mere atonement of Cbrist, and the doctrine of persevering holiness and final salvation of all true believ
These first principles of Calvinism I find not only in a few detached passages of Scripture, but through the whole sacred volume. 1 bave, therefore, as firm a belief that the Calvinistic scheme of doctrines in contained in the Bible, as I have that the Bible is. the word of God.
2. I find these Calvinistic sentiments to be entirely agreeable to the perfections of God and the nature of man. If God be the first supreme cause of all things, he must bave fore-ordained whatsjever comes to pass. As an infinitely wise agent, he must have formed in his own mind a complele plan of operation, before he began to operate.
As an infinitely good being, he must have formed in his own mind not only a complete, but an absolutely perfect plan of operation, or a plan which would produce the highest possible degree of holiness and happiness in the intellectual system. As an immutable being, he must adhere to every part of his own plan, without the least deviation in a single instance. As an omniscient. Being, he must know, not merely his own perfections and operations, but the natures, the designs, and the operations of all his creatures, which necessarily supposes that he has decreed all future events. — For it is impossible, that he should foreknow all things from eterternity without evidence; and it is impossible, that he should have evidence of any future event, from any other source than his own previous determination to bring it to pass. While, therefore, I ad
mit the natural and moral perfections of the Deity, I cannot help drawing the conclusion, that he has absolutely decreed and fixed the certain futurition of all events that ever shall exist.
His general decrees appear to be inseparably connected with his particular decrees of Election and Reprobation. While I believe, that he has decreed all things, I must believe, that he has decreed the number and character of those who shall be finally saved; and the number and character of those who shall be finally lost
The final perseverance of saints is a plain and necessary consequence of the doctrine of personal election to eternal life. as I believe this doctrine, I must believe, that all, whom God bas elected, he will eventually conduct to heaven, through the sanctification of the Spirit, and the belief of the truth.
That it belongs to God, to work in men both to will and to do in all cases, I can no more doubt, than I can doubt whether men are dependent creatures, who live, and move, and have their being in their great Creator. Hence I conclude, that if any of the buman race are ever turned from sin to holiness, and inade meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light, they must be subjects of special grace, or the sanctifying influences of the divine Spirit. Thus it appears to
that there is one connected chain running through the whole system of Calvinism; and that all the doctrines, which compose it, necessarily result from the perfections of God, and from the character and nature of totally sinful and absolutely dependent creatures.
3. I find no objections against this scheme of sentiments but what appear capable of a fair and full refutation. Though some have reasoned very ingeniously against the doctrine of divine decrees, and the other doctrines inseparably connected with it: yet all their reasonings appear to be built upon the absurd hypothesis of a self-determining power:
I never could so much as form a distinct and consistent idea of this supposed power in man, any more than I could form a clear and distinct conception of a being who is, at one and the same time, absolutely dependent and absolutely independent. If men are the creatures of God, they must be absolutely dependent; and if they are absolutely dependent, they cannot possess a power of originating their own volitions, which is totall inconsistent with absolute dependence. Besides, the very supposition of their having a self-determining power involves a plain absurdity. It necessarily implies, that their moral agency is founded in a power to choose, to begin to choose, or to have a choice before the first choice. The acutest metaphysician cannot account for the first volition in any series of volitions, upon the principle of such a self-determining power, because the very supposition implies, that the first volition must be without any motive. Now, if a self-determining power, or a power to act without motive, cannot be found in the human mind, nor so much as conceived to be there; then all the reasonings built upon that ground must be entirely sophistical and inconclusive. Let any person, while he is reading Locke, Clarke, and Whitby, only carry in his mind, that men are destitute of a self-determining power, and he will clearly perceive the fallacy of all their objections against the Calvinistic system. I am much convinced of the truth of this observation, by the late outcry against Metaphysics. Ever since a Jate learned and ingenious Divine of our own, demonstrated the absurdity of a self-determining power in man, the Anti-Calvinistic and Semi-Calvinistic divines have raised a loud outcry against Metapbsics, which plainly indicates, that in their apprehension, Metaphysics have done them much evil, or that fair and forcible reasonings bave taken away the sole foundation of their whole scheme.
4. I find, by consulting ecclesiastical history, that there has been a succession of pious divines, who have cordially embraced and ably supported the Calvinistic scheme of sentiments, amidst all the heresies and corruptions in the Christian world. This clearly proves, that when Calvin renounced the errors of Popery, he did not strike out a new scheme of doctrines, but only returned back to the old orthodox system, which had been the common faith of the purest part of the church of Christ. Hence the antiquity of Calvinism carries with it a very strong evidence, that it is the very same scheme of sentiments, which the Apostles themselves believed and taught.Accordingly I find I cannot avoid embracing Calvinism, if I mean to tread “ in the footsteps of the flock, and follow the faith, which was at first delivered to the saints.”
5. I can discern no medium between thorough Calvinism, and thorough Arminianism. If I admit what are called the five points in the Calvinistic sense, I must reject them wholly in the Arminian sense; or if I reject them in the Calvinistic sense, I must become a thorough Arminian. The first principles of these two schemes of sentiment are diametrically opposite. And no man, I believe, can adopt some of these first principles, and reject others, without falling into a plain inconsistency and absurdity. As for myself, I can see no balf-way between Calvinism and Arminianism. I can find no reason for being either a moderate Calvinist, or a moderate Arminian. Thorough Arminianism appears to me to be consistent with itself, but not with Scripture. Thorough Calvinism appears to be, not only consistent with itself, but also with Scripture. For tbis reason, I prefer Calvinism to Arminia nism, and to every other scheme of sentiments that ever came to my knowledge.
6. I am a thorough Calvinist, because it appears to me, that Calvinism is the best preservative against the most fatal errors, which have ever been propagated in the Christian world. I never knew a thorough Calvinist, and I never read of a thorough Calvinist, who was either an Arian, or a Socinian, or a Unitarian, or a Universalist. Let Calvinistic principles be carried to their full length and breadth, and they will enable a man to see, and, in his own mind, to refute all the false schemes of religion that can be proposed to his consideration and acceptance. But let a man renounce Calvinisin, and he will lind his way open to every false and dangerous doctrine. This has often been found true by experience. I might mention many instances, but one is sufficient. CHUBB, who was able to reason and to write, with great perspicuity, first became an Arminian, then an Arian, then a Socinian, then a Deist, and finally a complete infidel. If others, who have renounced Calvinism, bave not gone to the same lengths in error, it must have been owing to some other cause, than any consistency in the scheme, which they finally adopted. For, it appears to me, that there is not the least. solid ground for a man to set his foot on between thorough Calvinism and thorough Scepticism. To avoid, therefore, complete infidelity, and every error which leads to it, I am a thorough Calvinist.
BY THE LATE JOHN MASON GOOD.
Life is a sea,-how fair its face,
Its canopy how pure!
Nor leave an hour secure.
Life is a wilderness,-beset
And prowl'd by beasts of prey,
A thousand lead astray.
Life is a warfare,-and alike
The practis'd foe draws nigh.
Than trust his specious lie.
One duty stands confest, -
And leave to God the rest.
'Twas while they watch'd, the shepherd swains
The song of heavenly love;
Or e'er was tun'd above.
'Twas while they watch'd, the sages trac'd
With new and nobler shine:
And gave them light divine.
The bridal pomp descried;
Was clos'd on all beside.
And triumph'd in the strife;
And only cease with life.
From the Mass. Missionary Magazine. ON MINISTERIAL UNFAITHFULNESS. It is doubtless true, that no character will be subjected to a hearier doom, than that of an unfaithful minister of the gospel. In no instance, within our knowledge, has the Divine Being committed to men an interest of such magnitude, as he has committed to the charge of the ministers of religion. In their hands, for a time, he has lodged the great interest of man. It must be confessed, that in the present state of the world, the temptations to ministerial unfaithfulness are many, and some of them powerful. To resist them with firmness, requires, not only christian fortitude, but also a persevering zeal, which will surrender itself to no temporal emoluments. To rise above their influence can be only attained by minds possessing a solemn and affecting sense of divine things. One part of ministerial unfaithfulness consists, in not preaching the whole counsel of God. The truth may be delivered, but not the whole truth; and when a gospel preacher insists upon some revealed truths, but not upon all, he suppresses a part of the system, which God has seen fit to reveal