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therefore, but be rather surprised to find himself, after all, included under the same sweeping censure with those whom, he trusts, he has successfully opposed. I apprehend, that by far the greatest part of modern Calvinists, and especially the evangelical clergy, with not very many exceptions, (oh, that there were no exceptions !) are wholly free from this criminality: and Calvin himself, with Bezą, and all the most eminent writers of that school, are entirely decided against it.— Augustine doth rightly conclude,' (concerning the sentence, “it is not of him that “ willeth, or of him that runneth, but of God that "showeth mercy,") · that it is spoken to this ' meaning, that there is no good will of mæn, unless it be prepared of the Lord: not but that we ought both to will and to run, but because God ' worketh both in us.' _We require nothing of our opponents beyond a fair discrimination. Let them state the censurable tenets, bring evidence against the accused persons, and proceed to conviction and condemnation; but surely it is not candid, not just, to involve, under one general sentence, so large and multifarious a body as those who now are called ' the Calvinists ;' and to render them all obnoxious, and accountable for the faults of comparatively a small and inconsiderable part of the whole number ; though many of them most openly and earnestly protest against the censurable tenets. In fact, it is not merely the want of candour, but also of information.-We publish books on various subjects, but they will
Calv. Inst. B. II c. 5. sect. 17.
not deign to read them: we preach very frequently and publicly, but they disdain to hear us. Here is our disadvantage: we read the books of our opponents, and bestow pains to know what their opinions really are: but we must think that they do not read ours, and so are not acquainted with our tenets, else surely they would never so misstate them!
The orthodox fathers destroyed the books of the ancient heretics; our opponents only consign ours, unexamined, to neglect.—Epiphanius, at the instigation of Theophilus, had condemned Ammonius, and some other learned monks, as guilty of Origenism. Ammonius, therefore, and his brethren paid him a visit ; and being asked by him, Who they were, replied, Father, we are the brethren who are called Longi ; and I beg • the favour of you to tell me, whether you ever conversed with any of our disciples, or perused any of our writings ? No, said Epiphanius. How then, said Ammonius, could you judge those
men to be heretics, of whose sentiments you had no proofs? I have been so informed, replied
Epiphanius. But we, said Ammonius, have done 'the very reverse of all this : for we have fre
quently conversed with your disciples, and have 'read over your works : and, having heard many
persons make free with your character, and ca'lumniate and censure you as a heretic, we have maintained your innocence, and defended you as our father. You should not therefore have condemned us, unseen and unheard, upon reports ' and hearsays ; nor have made so unsuitable a return to us, for our good offices to you.—The
old bishop, who was, in the main, an honest and 'well meaning man, felt the force and reasonable'ness of this civil reprimand, and treated these
monks very courteously.''
God gives to every man, through the means of his grace, a power to perform the conditions of the gospel; a power the efficacy of which depends upon the exertion of the human will.'2
[The means of grace' give us an opportunity of exerting whatever power, or manifesting whatever disposition, we possess ; but do they confer any new powers?] 3 If, indeed, there be such a power conferred [by them], and the efficacy of it depends upon the exertion of the human will, the question recurs again, On what does this exertion of the human will depend – almighty God, who alone canst order the unruly wills and af
fections of sinful men, grant unto thy people ' that they may love the thing which thou com
mandest, and desire that which thou dost promise.'4 The obligation to exertion, voluntary, earnest, persevering exertion, we unreservedly acknowledge.
? This power, though proceeding from an Om
? Ref. 64. 'I apprehend that the author by omitting, as he had done, the word his, before grace in the passage on which he here rèmárks, has mistaken his Lordship's meaning, who ascribes this
"Jortin and Sozomen in Jortin.
power' to ' divine grace,' and not to‘ the means of grace,' or religious ordinances. If so, the words in brackets should be omitted.-J. S.
• Col. 4. after Easter.
nipotent Being, is, as exercised upon men, always finite.'?
The strength imparted to man, and exercised by man, must be finite : ‘but the power exercised
upon man,' is infinite. Is not creation an act of infinite power: “ We are his workmanship, (Toimua, “Rom. i. 20,) created in Christ Jesus unto good “ works." 2 Was not the power, which raised Christ from the dead infinite? “ That ye may “ know what is the exceeding greatness of his “ mighty power, to usward who believe, accor
ding to the working of his mighty power, which “ he wrought in Christ when he raised him from " the dead." 3 " Even when we were dead in sins “ God hath quickened us together with Christ, “ and hath raised us up together.” 4 “Now unto “ him that is able to do exceeding abundantly “ above all that we ask or think, according to the power
that worketh in us.” 5 Creation, and the resurrection of the dead to life, are not the work of finite power: and why should the same expression be employed on this subject by the Holy Spirit, as on the creation of the world, and the resurrection of the dead at the last day, unless there was strict propriety in the language? “We wait “ for his Son from heaven, even Jesus, who shall
change our vile body, that it may be like unto “his glorious body, according to the mighty “working whereby he is able even to subdue all “ things to himself.” 6 Is not this
infinite? And why should it be thought a work of less
i Ref. 65.
Eph. ï. 10.
* Eph. i. 19, 20.
power, to new create our corrupted and depraved souls unto holiness, than to raise our corrupted bodies from the grave? “ With men it is impos“sible, but with God all things are possible.”
Even the strength which God imparts to us, when made“ willing in the day of his power ; ” by which we are enabled to overcome the strongest natural propensities, and most inveterate evil habits; whether infinite or not, must be exceedingly great. “ Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or “ the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do “ good, that are accustomed to do evil.”i «To over
come the world, the flesh, and the devil,' cannot be effected either by a little exertion, or a little assistance. The apostle, speaking of his own trials, says, “Christ said to me, My grace is sufficient for “ thee: for my strength is made perfect in weak
Most gladly, therefore, will I glory in my “ infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon “me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distres
for Christ's sake; for when I am weak then am I “ strong."? Again, “ I can do all things, through “ Christ who strengtheneth me.”3“ Strengthened " with all might, according to his glorious power, “ to all patience and long suffering with joyful
“ Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might." 5
" Ye have overcome them, because greater is he that is in “ he that is in the world.” 6 Did the apostles mean to limit the power, on which the Christian soldier
Jer. xiii. 23. •Col. i. 11.
* 2 Cor. xii. 9, 10.
3 Phil. iv. 13.