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All the law is fulfilled in one word, namely, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. That the righteousness of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit, Rom. viii. 4. Whosoever looketh into the perfect Law of liberty, and continuerh therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a DOER of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed, Jam. i. 25. Blessed are they that do his COMMANDMENTS, that they may have a right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city, Rev. xxii. 14. Do not these texts of holy scripture incontestibly prove both the necessity and possibility of having the righteousness of the law fulfilled in us, of our continuing in the law of liberty, and of doing the commandments of God, that we may enter into life ? No art of sophistry can possibly set aside such plain and pointed testimony. Permit me to add one more witness. It is John, chap. ii. 4. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. What an enemy to sin was this holy apostle! How pointedly does he rebuke the Gnostics of his day, whose doctrines were, (according to the opinion of some respectable Presbyterian ministers in New-York,) like the sentiments of the Hopkinsians, productive of infidelity: * Hear the
* To prove the above assertion, I will insert the following extracts from some letters to the Rev. Ezra Stiles Ely, de. signed as recommendations of his book, entitled, “Contrast between Calvinism and Hopkinsianisın."
same apostle once more in chap. iii. 22. whatsoever we ask we receive of him, because we
“ The basis of their argumentation is the same with that of the necessitarian philosophers in France and Germany.And I am persuaded that these profound divines are preparing the way for a more extensive diffusion of infidel principles, and even of atheism in our country. I wish your book-might be generally and seriously read, and the sentiments it exposes duly appreciated.” The letter from which this extract is taken, is subscribed by “ Samuel S. Smith,” d. D. L. L. D, &c.
-"He has arranged, under the term Hopkinsianism, cer. tain sentiments, which appear to us, not only inconsistent with the standards of the Presbyterian churches, but also at war with the philosophy of the human mind, with common sense, and with the word of the living God. Such sentiments, in whatever connexion they may be taught, by whatever names they may be recommended, ought to be exposed and reproba'ted in the most decided manner." This is signed by no less than ten ministers of the Presbyterian, and Dutch Reformed orders.
“ Dear Sir, “ By professing the Christian faith, the Gnostics came into the bosom of the primitive church, and for the space of three centuries disturbed her tranquility, and obstructed the progress of the gospel. They combined the oriental science with the Platonic system of “being in general,” of “abstract beauty;" "disinterested love;" and the “best of all possible worlds;" of which they had not any correct idea themselves ; and attempted to blend their heterogenious principles with revealed religion, and accommodated the pure, simple, and sublime doctrines of the Son of God, to the tenets of their contemptible philosophy They spoke of the Most High with a familiar and disgusting irreverence; and deduced consequences from the premises they had adopted, which were shocking and impious, and which tended not only to render the scriptures un intelligible, but Christianity itself incredible and detestable.
keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.” If you will allow the testi
“ In the course of the last century, the system of the best world was revived and polished in Germany, with all the ad. vantages that genius and erudition could afford, by the cele. brated Leibnitz and Baron Wolf. Their mundus oplimus" (best world) “with its collateral inferences, was received and applauded through all the protestant churches of continental Europe. It was considered as the test of true science, and the highest improvement of the intellectual system.But what is the result? What has been the consequence !By that very philosophy, the public mind became imper. ceptibly alienated from the authority of scripture, and the simplicity of the gospel ; and that system has evidently co-operated in opening a passage for the flood of infidelity, which, at this day has overwhelmed those European churches. There is no new thing under the sun. The same causes will every where produce the same effects. Errors are insiduous and subtle ; slow and silent, at first, in their progress, but sure of success if undetected. They always eat as doth a canker.
" To what philosophy, instead of the Bible, they have submitted, or to what family they are related, whose doctrines you have exhibited in your contRAST, I do not know”.
“ If it be the duty of all the Lord's people to contend earn. estly for the faith, and to be jealous lest their minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ ; it is especially incumbent upon those who are set for the defence of the gospel, and stand as watchmen upon the walls of Zion, to descry approaching danger, and give a speerly warning; and should an angel from heaven preach any other gospel, to de. nounce and resist him." This is subscribed by “ J. H. Liv. ivgston,” D. d. and s. T. P.
Infidelity looks with contempt upon the scriptures. It declares them useless; and professes to frown upon them because they are contradictory. Does not Hopkinsianism su
mony of scripture sufficient to put any controverted point at rest, I think the question in debate is fully decided in the affirmative.
persede the necessity of the sacred Scripture, by asserting that all things are produced by God himself. If man be gov. erned by a secret, irresistible influence, in all his words and actions, according to the Hopkinsian dogmas, the directions contained in the Bible are totally useless. If the President of the United States had such controlling influence over the souls and bodies of all its citizens as to turn them, according to his own pleasure; and if he determined to execute his invisible authority in all cases; what necessity is there of convening Congress, to establish laws and regulations ; why appoint magistrates to execute them? This would be only a sham, a mere external show to impose upon the ignorant multitude. And if Almighty God govern mankind in this secret way, why publish laws to regulate their conduct? Is not this imputing a “holy simulation" to God. And if the human mind can be so infatuated by the illusions of error, as to form such an idea of God's sacred character, of that Being, which the scriptures unfold, as the object of our worship, it will require but one step more to leap into all the horrors of atheism. For who would not choose to believe in no God, rather than to acknowledge one who deceives the creatures he has made, who impels them to sin, while he makes them believe they are free-who ordains all the sins of their lives, and then sends them to hell for those identical acts, which are perfectly pleasing to him? Who forbids what he decrees, and decrees what he forbids! Who abhors what he has decreed, and is pleased with what he abhors ! These absurdities and contra. dictions are legitimate offsprings of Hopkinsianism-not remotely deduced from its premises, but explicitly declared by Mr. Williston himself. See Letter 1st and 3d.
“ All the sins in the universe were decreed," p. 18. ** The Supreme Being”-is not "an approver of sin," p. 23. “Nothing could be more abhorrent to his nature, or farther from his
8. Do you ask for examples ? I will produce a few. " And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, O that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And GOD GRANTED him that which he REQUESTED," 1 Chron. iv. 10. On these words we notice, 1. That Jabez prayed that God would keep him from evil. 2. God granted him his request. Here then is one person who was kept, even in this life, from evil. Hear the testimony which the Lord gives of Abraham; “For I know him, that he will command his children, and his
usehold after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment,” Gen. xviii. 19. God also testifies respecting Zachariah and Elizabeth, that “ They were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless." You intimate that it is impossible for any one to be blametess. Which shall we believe, you sir, or St. Luke, who wrote
thoaghts,” than to cause the Jews to make their children to pass through the fire to Moloch, p. 22.
“God brings every thing to pass which is brought to pass,” p. 1. “ God is the efficient cause of sin," p. 23. “ The divine constitution” se. cures sin in the hearts of believers as long as they live, p. 90. “ It is undoubtedly the duty of all creatures to be free from sin, and that without the least delay," p. 96. It is our duty therefore to oppose the divine constitution! “ The purpose of God"_“most evidently, contrary to his command," p. 7.
May such contradictory assertions be exposed to the ablrorring of all flesh