Page images
PDF
EPUB

this produced a godly sorrow, and a'renunciation of those evils which rendered repentance necessary ? Have we been led by faith to Jesus Christ, as our only refuge in the day of trouble? Do we now feel that we have peace with God; and are pressing forward after higher attainments of Christian knowledge, and experience ? Can we demonstrate to the world the truth and reality of our religion, by our sober, faithful, holy, and upright lives, by an honest attention to all our lawful avocations? Does the purity and excellence of religion thus shine forth in our daily walk and conversation ?

It is good to have our judgments accurately informed respecting divine truth ; but unless this truth influence our hearts, we shall be none the better for it at last. 66 With the heart man believeth unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” If this publication should so stir up the flame of controversy, as to extinguish love to God and man, I should repent of my labour, and miss the main object of writing. Let us hold "fast the form of sound words, earnestly contend for the pure system of truth; but let us do it with meekness and respect, confirming our love, even towards those who may differ from us in some speculative points, which are deemed of importance. But that which is the most important, is a full deliverance from sin, and a perfect conformity to the divine image of righteousness and true holiness. May we so speak and so do, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty. Amen.

CONTENTS.

LETTER J.

ON FOREORDINATION.

Reasons for writing, 13-General examination of Mr. Williston's text, and his comment, 15--The doctrine of foreordination militates 1. against the justice of God, 18-2. against his wisdoni, 21—3. his holiness, 26–4. his goodness, ib. -5. his truth, 28-and 6. against his immutability, 30. An examination of those scriptures quoted by Mr. W. to prove his doctrine of foreordination, 31-Positive scripture proof against that doctrine, 51-The doctrine of particular providence not peculiar to Hopkinsianism : God governs the world in wisdom and goodness, 54-Sin not for the greatest good of the universe, 58--God is pleased with his work, but not with sin, 63-Hopkinsianism not of divine origin, 64.

LETTER II.

ON TOTAL DEPRAVITY.

The author presumes the question misstated, 67- The true point in debate stated, 71-Scriptural arguments tending to prove that sinners are not totally depraved until justified, 73-Remark on Mr. W's interpretation of Rom. v. 18. 84 He gives up the point, 88– An examination of his text, with his comment; the doctrine of total depravity not deducible from that text, according to his view of the subject, and from his ideas of regeneration, 90—Methodist sentiments on the doctrine of human depravity, 93.

LETTER III.

ON ELECTION.

Election does not depend on works as its cause, 97-The principal design of the Apostle in his epistle to the Romans, 98-Shocking idea of Mr. W.'s respecting Esau, 105–He beats the air, 108— Explanation of the word reprobate, 110Reasons why sinners are damned, 111-A remark on his modesty, 113—He is mistaken respecting Paul's having obtained mercy because of the greatness of bis sin, 114– An interpretation of those scriptures brought by Mr. W. to prove his doctrine of election, 115—Consequences of his doctrine ; it destroys accountability, 132–Hopkinsian views of an indisposition to do good unscriptural, irrational, and contrary to experience, 134-In what free-agency consists, 136–His doctrine puts a reasonable complaint into the mouth of all infidels and sinners, 137– It makes God appear partial, 139-It en. courages sin, and a neglect of the means of grace, 143-and therefore it cannot be a bible doctrine, 152.

LETTER IV.

ON CHRISTIAN PERFECTION.

Mr. W. misrepresents the Methodist doctrine of perfece tion; this proved by quotations from their Discipline, 153Those scriptures brought by him to support his doctrine of “sinful imperfection,” explained and harmonized with other passages, and a particular examination of the 7th of Romans, 158_The doctrine of Christian perfection stated and proved, 183—Mr. W. gives up the point in his interpretation of 1 John iii. 9. 187--Christians must keep the commandments, 188Hopkinsianism productive of infidelity, 189—The doctrine of perfection proved from examples, 193–From the consideration that God's work is perfect, 195—Mr. W's arguments by which he attempts to shew the utility of sin in the hearts of believers, examined and shewn unscriptural and inconclusive, 197–

Inference retorted, 209_Unlimited perfection, not scriptural, 211–His doctrine self-contradictory, one part being subver. sive of the other, ibid.The candid reader invited to deter. mine for himself, 212.

LETTER V.

ON THE POSSIBILITY OF FALLING FROM GRACE.

The author chooses to confine himself principally to scripture testimony for the proof of this point, 215—In the first place, however, Mr. W.'s ideas on the covenant of redemption, are examined, and shewn erroneous, 216–His misapplied scriptures explained, 217—'Those passages which speak on the subject of redemption considered, 220—The atonement is the work of redemption, 225-An objection answered, 228-Perseverance conditional, 229,-proved from a text Mr. W. quoted to prove it unconditional, 231—The possibility of a saint's fallingi established from explicit testimony of scripture, 232–Mr. W. acknowledges that salvation is conditional, and therefore gives up the point in debate, 235-A christian may not only fall from a profession, but also from real godliness, 236_Objection answered, 237–Farther proof that a Christian may fall from real godliness, 239—Unhappy tendency of Mr. W's doctrine, 244–Comfortless, 215-Dangerous, 247 --It renders useless a great part of the bible, 249– His misapplicatian of scripture, 251--An objection answered--252.

LETTER VI.

ANIMADVERSIONS ON MR. W.'s SERMON RESPECTING

THE MINISTERS OF SATAN, &c.

His contradictory assertions, 257-A sample of Satan's doc. trine, 258-His religion suited to the aste of depraved sinners, 260;—and has a deceptive influence, 261-Satan will

« PreviousContinue »