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will be answered. I am not weak different from each other. One enough to suppose that such argu- may think he has injured him, and mentation will fasten any of these be opposed from personal resentconclusions upon the friends of the ment. Another may think he has new measures, my object is to show personal advantages to expect them the fallacy of the reasoning by from the elevation of his comwbich the conclusions of the sermon petitor. Another may think his are attempted to be fastened upon competitor will pursue measures others.
more for the interest of the partiBut the foundation of the author's cular section of the nation in which argument must be examined. It is he resides. Another may think the assumed that the reasons why min- candidate is incompetent in point isters and Christians oppose the new of talent and experience. Another measures, are the same as the rea may be displeased with some visons why the impenitent oppose
cious habits he believes him to inthem. He says, “ their objections dulge. And a Christian may be opare the same, they find fault with posed because he thinks him a man the same things, and use the same void of religious principles, and not argument in support of their objec. having the fear of God before his tions." “ It is the fire, and the eyes. Many other reasons might spirit, that disturbs their frosty be mentioned, by which those nuhearts. For the time being, they merous individuals are influenced walk together, for, in feeling, they to unite in their opposition to the are agreed.”-So important a part same candidate. The fact, then, of the argument as this, and one on that they agree in opposing the same which the conclusions so essential- candidate, is no proof of any likely depend, should not have been ness of character between them, untaken for granted, nor have been less they are opposed for the same left to depend upon the naked assertion of any man. It should have Are the impenitent, then, and been proved, beyond the possibility many ministers and Christians, opof doubt, that the objections of Chris- posed to the new measures for protians, and the objections of the im-moting revivals, for the same reapenitent, are precisely the same, sons ? This is asserted; and they and are not only supported by the have been abundantly classed tosame arguments ostensibly, but gether, by the friends of the new must and do arise from the same measures, on this very ground. It state of heart. Ministers and Chris should not be concluded that the tians should not have been thus fact, if it were a fact, of their using classed with the openly irreligious," the same arguments in support of while there is any room to suppose their objections,” is a sufficient they may have different reasons for proof that the reasons why they their opposition; or while the im- are opposed are the same; nor, if penitent may have any good rea some of them are the same, that sons for theirs.
they are all the same. They may It should not be thought that the have more reasons, in their own single fact, if it were a fact, of their minds, than they think it necessary being opposed to the same things, to give, on every occasion. For inis sufficient proof. Men are often stance, an impenitent sinner may opposed to the same things, for dif- feel opposed in heart to the docferent reasons. A man may be a trine of total depravity. That candidate for the office of chief doctrine 'may be exhibited to him magistrate of our nation, and have in a manner that is peculiarly and great numbers of individuals op- unnecessarily offensive. He is disposed to him, for reasons widely pleased at the doctrine itself, and
he is displeased also at the offensive them to their children; that such manner in which it was presented. treatment is adapted to alienate He may not choose to complain of the affections of children from the doctrine itself, but only of the their parents, break up families, manner. A Christian who heard and teach children to disregard it, though he cordially receives the the fifth commandment, which redoctrine, might think the manner quires children to love and honour highly improper, and make the their parents. And if a Christian same complaint. Does the fact, who should hear all this, should in this case, of their making the make the same objections, would same objection, prove a likeness of it prove him to be of the same chacharacter between them? Such a racter as the impenitent sinner? conclusion would certainly be un- If an impenitent sinner should be founded. It ought first to be proved prayed for by name, at a publick that the manner was right, or that meeting, and the occasion should the Christian was as really offended be embraced to hold him up to with the doctrine itself, as the sin- publick notice, as an uncommonly ner was, before such a conclusion odious and abandoned character, can be drawn. Suppose a sinner is and to tell God and the world conversed with, who assents to the all the bad things that have been truth of all the doctrines of the gos- known or thought about him, it pel, but acknowledges himself an would probably give offence to him impenitent sinner; and he is told, and his friends. And what objeche is as orthodox as the devil," but tions would they state? They “his character is as black as hell,” would probably say, that such and “if he does not repent to-day he treatment was abusive and defawill be in hell to-morrow;" he will matory, and not adapted to do the probably be displeased, and make individual any good. And if a objections to this treatment. And Christian, should happen to feel, what objections will he state?- and express the same opinion of He will probably object, that such it, would that be a conclusive language is harsh, unkind, not ex- proof that he is of the same chapressive of benevolent feeling, and racter with the impenitent? If a savouring of profaneness; and that, minister of the gospel should hapin the prediction, the man is tell. pen to be such an one as Paul reing more than he knows. And if quires all to be, having “a good rea Christian, who should hear it, port of them which are without," should make the same objections, and one that, by a long life of uniwould it prove him to be of the form piety, had commanded the resame character as the impenitent spect and confidence, even of the sinner? If I should tell a child, unconverted part of his congrega"not to follow his ungodly parents, tion; and he should be publickly who were leading him to hell; not prayed for, by some stranger, as to listen to their instructions, which • an old grey headed apostate, who will destroy his soul; that his pa- was leading souls to hell,” or as rents are so wicked, he had better "the head Achan in the camp of leave them, and live with me, and the Lord;” it is probable some of I will take him with me to heaven;" the unconverted would be offended the parents would probably be dis- at it, as well as some of the church; pleased, and make objections to and that both would complain that such treatment. And what objec- their aged pastor should be treated tions would they state? They with such' indignity; and if it would probably object, that it should happen, that “their objecwould be more proper to tell pa- tions should be the same," and rents their own faults, than to tell that they should “use the same
arguments in support of them," there is some likeness of character would it certainly prove that they between them. were all alike in their moral cha. But I am disposed to question racter? If a preacher should, in the fact, that the objections which a publick assembly, in the presence ministers and Christians make to of ministers and others, exhort the the new measures, are, in general, females to lead in prayer, and re- the same as those which the impresent them as grieving the Spirit penitent make. To many of them, by refusing; and not prevailing by I have no doubt, they are, in part, arguments should drop on his knees the same. For wherever the imand tell the Lord how proud they penitent discover any thing in prowere because they would not com- fessors of religion which is really ply, and then repeat his exhorta- wrong, they can, if they please, tions; and if the fear of resisting bring solid objections against it, the Spirit, or of being thought and support them by sound arguproud, should prevail with some ments, both from reason and scripto comply; the whole transaction ture. Some of the unconverted are would probably be objected to, by men of good sense, and have suffitheir impenitent friends. And cient acquaintance with the scripwhat would they say? They would tures to form a pretty accurate be likely to quote the apostolick judgment, whether the conduct of prohibition, “Let your women Christians is consistent with their keep silence in the churches; profession or not. And some of for it is not permitted unto them them are men of good breeding, to speak.” And if it should so hap: are disgusted with whatever viopen that some Christians too should lates the common rules of prothink the practice was forbidden, priety, wherever they see it. If, and should quote the same direc. therefore, in some things, their tion of the apostle, would it cer- judgment should accord with that tainly prove that they were of the of ministers and Christians, it is same moral character with those no sufficient reason why reproaches impenitent friends?
should be cast upon either. İt is evident then, that if minis. A brief statement of the most ters and Christians did “find fault common objections which I have with the same things, and use the heard made, by both classes, against same arguments in support of their the new measures, will show how objections” that the impenitent do, far they agree. Those out of the it would not be sufficient to prove church have complained of harsh a likeness of character between and uncivil treatment in converthem, unless it were first proved sation, being called by hard names, that the things objected to are and provoking epithets, and adright, and that all the reasons why dressed with coarseness and vulboth classes objected were the same. garity, and in a manner which they Let it first be shown that the mea- deemed insolent, overbearing, and sures objected to are right, and that insulting. They have complained there can be none but sinful objec. of being spoken of to others, in tions made against them; and then terms which they consider delalet it be shown that the objections matory and abusive. They have which ministers and Christians complained that their children make are the same in all respects, were unreasonably frightened, by not only as those which the im- being threatened with immediate penitent avow, but as those which and inevitable damnation, and told they inwardly feel; and something that there was no help for them.will be done towards laying à They have complained that their foundation for the conclusion that children should be told such things
about their parents as were adapt- and gentleness, and kindness, and ed to alienate their affections, and forbearance towards them, which is lead them to be disrespectful to- required in the sermon on the wards their parents. They have Mount, and elsewhere? The fact found fault with the personality of that such objections are made by publick preaching, by which the at the impenitent against the new tention of the congregation was di- measures, more than against the rected to particular individuals, as measures previously in use, will persons of an uncommonly odious not be allowed to be, of itself, a character. They have complained sufficient proof that the new meaof being prayed for by name, in a sures are the nearest right. manner which they considered But it is not my present purpose slanderous and abusive. Some to show that these complaints are, have taken offence at what they or are not, made on good grounds. considered an irreverent use of the It is simply to show that the comname of God; and a familiar use plaints of the unconverted and of the words devil, hell, cursed, those of Christians and ministers, damned, and the like, in a manner have not been all the same, and which they thought resembled the made for the same reasons. more vulgar sort of profane swear Ministers and Christians have ing. Some have been disgusted indeed complained of some of the with what appeared to them an things above mentioned. They irreverent boldness and familiarity have complained of a harsh and with God in prayer, which shocked overbearing treatment of the untheir feelings. Some have objected converted, not only because they that the subject of religion should thought it improper, but because be so much urged upon them. And they thought it adapted to harden some have complained that the doc. them, and shut up the way of actrines of Calvinism should be so ve cess to their consciences. They hemently pressed, and especially have not been unwilling to have that of total depravity; and that so children and youth conversed with little charity should be expressed on the subject of religion, and made for other denominations. The prin to see their true state and characcipal reasons they have given why ter; but they have thought a great they objected to these things, have and sudden excitement of their been, that they felt themselves fears, not likely to lead them to unreasonably crowded upon and ill such an attention to the state of treated, that their sense of pro their own hearts, as would be priety was outraged, and that they adapted to do any permanent thought these things improper. good; and especially when it was And it bas been said, “If this is produced by unwarrantable declareligion, I want no such religion.” rations of immediate and inevita
Now, is it certain that these com- ble damnation, which a few days plaints have been made by the un- might suffice to show them were converted, solely from their dislike not true: and they feared that of the religion of the gospel? Has such things would lead them to there been no other foundation for
treat the sober warning of the any of them? Have they been scriptures with contempt. They made solely because the holy, hea. have thought that it was wrong, , venly temper of the gospel has under the colour of performing been so clearly exhibited before any other religious duty, to teach them, in all its native loveliness, children to disregard the fifth comas it appeared in the Lord Jesus mandment. They have been ofChrist, breathing good will to man, fended at an irreverent use of the and expressing all the meckness, Divine name, because they thought
it a breach of the third command- as yet no opportunity, from perment; and have been displeased sonal examination, to know any with the familiar use of other com- thing of the state of their minds. mon terms of profaneness, because They have been grieved that the they thought it must produce some best friends of revivals, as they of 'the same effect that profane have hitherto witnessed them, swearing does. They have been should be denounced as enemies, disgusted with the appearance of because they did not fall in with irreverent boldness, and the affec- the new measures; and that those tation of familiarity with God in whose age and experience had prayer, because they thought it in- given them opportunity to be most consistent with proper feelings of and longest acquainted with rerespect towards him, and that awe vivals, should be put down, by the of the Divine Majesty which holy converts of a few days old, as tobeings express. They have not tally ignorant on the subject. They been afraid that the subject of re- have complained that aged minisligion would be too much urged ters, of tried and approved piety, upon men, if it were only done should be publickly prayed for, by with that kindness of feeling which young men and boys, as old hypowould leave the door open for its crites, or apostates, who were being repeated. They have not “leading souls to hell." complained that the doctrines of Some have objected to female Calvinism were too much or too prayer and exhortation in mixed asclearly preached, nor that too much semblies, because they thought it importance was attached to them, forbidden in the scriptures, and nor that too little charity was ex- adapted to destroy that silent unobpressed for such as understand. trusive influence, which it is so deingly and cordially reject them. sirable that the female members of On the contrary, it has been a the church should exert, and which serious objection with many, that can be best exerted in the sphere in those doctrines have not been which God has placed them. Some preached, so clearly and fully as have objected to the confidence they thought important. They which appeared to be placed in imhave been grieved that those who pulses and impressions, especially did urge them plainly and fully, as connected with the supposed should be charged with hindering prayer of faith, because they thought revivals by preaching them; and it contrary to the scriptures, and that orthodoxy should be made a adapted to open a wide door to the term of reproach. They have ob- delusions of Satan. Some have jected, that people were not suffi- thought the young were put forciently instructed; that the dis- ward, to their own injury, and the tinction between true and false older members of the church, whose experience should be overlooked, age and experience qualified them or little thought of; and that the to lead, were too manifestly put in disposition to make a distinction the back ground; and that old peobetween genuine and spurious re- ple in general were often treated vivals, should be frowned upon, as with great disrespect, in direct vioa mark of being in a cold and stu- lation of the Divine command,“ thou pid state. They have complained shalt rise up before the hoary head, that the most uniform and con- and honour the face of the old man.” sistent Christians should be pro- Some have complained of the disnounced cold, and stupid, and position of those who adopted the dead, because they did not alter new measures, to crowd them into as much as others; and that too, every place, regardless of the diviin many cases, by those who had sions and contentions to which they