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besore I gave out this doctrine ; and then to have addressed the * same to them only? or ought I not, at least, to have spoken • hypothetically and said; if you are of the number of the ele&t, you have full warrant and ground to believe to salvation.
Otherwise there is no foundation laid for your faith ; but, on • the contrary, you will make God a liar in so believing, as you • will believe what he knows is not true, viz. that every foul • that hears the gospel has a foundation for his saving faith, laid • in Christ.'* We again see how Dr. H. has mistaken the nature and extent of the atonement, as well as the calvinistic principles relative to it. This will hereafter be considered.
As the above leads us to expect, Dr. H. fupposes the gospel cannot be preached with propriety, if only a part of the human race is saved. The more I have thought on these things,' he says, the more I am convinced of the utter inconsistency of the
general preaching of protestant divines, on any other ground • than this All mankind are alike included in the most glori
ous and merciful covenant of redemption.'t It is a fixed principle with the Doctor, that if part of mankind be chosen to eternal life, and the remainder marked out for eternal death, it is then nothing but contradiction and abfurdity to make offers of free grace to every creature. A consistent scheme of free grace, as he pretends, and the pffer of free grace to all men, must presuppose the salvation of all men.
But the Doctor holds to predestination, election and reprobation, in his sense of them, as strongly as can be expressed by words. He considers the fore-knowledge of God to be found• ed in his own infinitely wise choice, and unalterable determi. nation or decree:'—including every thought, volition or in
clination of all moral agents, that should ever come into being. '1 * And every thing moral and natural,' says he, 'every being and * mode of being, every circumstance, and connection and con• fequence throughout the whole system of being, did originally,
ablolutely depend on the choice, election, decree, or predesti. * nation of the eternal, immutable Jehovah. And all things, in • actual being, have now the same entire, absolute dependance, and ever will bave to all eternity. I can conceive of no God at all but in the above view. If I recede in the least, from this • idea, I fall into complete atheism.'s
Under the head of particular election and reprobation, he re. marks upon the great distinction God makes between one man and another, and between bodies of men. As in these words :
• Elcction, * P. 3; 10.
+ P. 14
• Ele&tion, or predestination hath sometimes special regard to ' some particular men, in distinction from others; and is always ' sovereign, and becoming God, who never can foresee any díl. • tinctions among creatures, but what, from all eternity, he was
determined himself to make. Thus, he elected Abraham to be • a favorite of his, the father of his covenant people, rather than • Nahor. Thus, for wife and holy ends, he chose that Pharaoh ' should be an example of great obstinancy, rather than Moses.
Thus, he elected Jacob, rather than Esau; David, rather than • Shimei ;--Paul to know and enjoy the consolations of the gos
pel, rather than Pilate.-Thus the Jews were elected to enjoy 'the special privileges of divine revelation, for a long season, ' in distinction from all their fellow men beside. Also, a few among them were elected to know and enjoy inward saving consolation, in this world, in distinction from the great major‘ity of that nation.'* .Thus far his account of those who had the oracles of God, before Christ's time.
And the whole body of christians, from Christ's time to the present, or the gentiles who have had the gofpel, he has given a character not preferable, certainly, to that he has given the Jews. See in Let. V. Part I. Therefore, but few among them, as he argues, have been elected to know and enjoy inward saving • consolation, in this world, in distinction from the great ma. ‘jority.'
Of the pagan world in general Dr. H. gives us this account. Satan hath long led away most of the nations after images, and
into various kinds of idolatry.'t In connection with this, Sa. tan and the Mediator he represents as two opposite parties, car.
rying on a long war, or a long obstinate battle.'I The point · Satan aimed at,' he adds, 'was to involve us all in death, tem. 'poral, spiritual, and eternal.". . Satan thall not finally have • his will in the least part, or degree ; though for a season he inay
be gratified.') Although Satan, as the Doctor here asserts, will be completely defeated in the final issue; yet for a long season he will be gratified, by involving men in death, temporal, and spiritual. And this is what we understand by the above expression. “Satan hath long led away most of the nations after images,' &c. Again, keeping up the connection, our author says, ' For divine wisdom and goodness have ordained, that there • shall be a long contention, and the war not foon over.' "The • prize in contest may be divided for a time; and Satan may [cem to have the greatest share of it. It has indeed been so
ever * P. 75, 76.
+ P. 216.,
• & P. 209, 214.
' ever since the fall, to this day, and may be so, to the end of this present world."* Thus, according to Dr. H, Satan is likely to fhare the greatest part of the prize, and to lead away most of the nations after images, as he has already done ; holding them under the power of spiritual death, to the end of this prefent world.
Furthermore, under the head of election Dr. H. says, Not only all particular persons that are wise and virtuous, holy and 'good, in this life ; but also all churches or holy communities,
that, as such, sustain the character now mentioned, enjoy also ' all the privileges and comforts connected with such a charac, 'ter, in this life, in consequence of the eternal election, or free ' sovereign choice of God. And they are, in this proper and
very important sense, the ele&t; in contradiftin&tion from those that live in blindness, and are tormented by the cruel power of unsanctified nature, and distressed with the awful Navery of sin.'t.si
In this manner we have the Doctor's account of the state of mankind, from the beginning to the end of time. The great body of the nations led away wholly by Satan, or held in pagan darkness. Where revelation is, but few who arc, in this important sense, the ele&, in contradistinction from the great * majority' that are tormented by the cruel power of unsancti. fied nature.....!
We may now, my dear Friend, see how Dr. H. labours to establish the same things, in kind, which he charges upon his opponents. Which things are very exceptionable in his view. As,
i. That only a very small part of mankind is elected, as to this life ; and that the great majority' is reprobated, or given up to the dominion of fin, until the day of their death, At death, he pretends, all men are made holy. See in Let. III. Part. I.
2. That the depravity of man is total. This is implied in the words, Distressed with the awful slavery of sin.' And he as. serts this doctrine in emphatical terins, and dwells upon it, and says, ' Fallen'man (or men] became as bad in a moral view, as fallen angels, at their first apostacy, according to their infe. rior natural capacity: 'I ,
3. He holds to the same way as to the application of divine grace, or the
power of divine grace, on the hearts of men, and their recovery from fin, as the limitarians do. Which is wholly by the creative and sanctifying agency of the Spirit, and application of the word. This is clearly implied in what he says on
the divine decrees and election, as we have seen. Andre * differ not a single attom,' says he, ' as to the way and manner * of application of divine grace to men] ; but only in this, I
extend the glorious work of God, and every good influence of *it, much further than they do,'* meaning his opponents.
4. Dr. H, holds to man's activity and free agency; and that every one is under sacred obligation to believe and obey the gospel immediately, or as foon as he hears it. His idea of this we thall presently fee.
5. We lrave had Dr. H's sense of the divine decrees, and of our entire dependance on God : 'All things, in actual being, • have now the same entire, absolute dependance, and ever will • have to all eternity.'
His fore complaint against the limitarians, as cited above, may row be turned against himself. This complaint the Doctor keeps up, throughout his book. That, in their plan, “Many finners,
many alas ! are left out of the covenant of redemption; many ' for whom Christ never died. A part only are comprehended, 'a very few in comparison, as we have reason to belicve, or at • least to fear.' The Doctor, in his plan, has comprehended but very few, in comparison. Many finners, many alas ! has he left out of the covenant of redemption ; or but
very to be brought in, so as to become the elect, until the day of their death. His scheme is more limited, makes the death of Christ lcfs efficacious, and gives to Chrift not so many fruits of his glorious death, certainly with relation to this present life, as can be found among the writings of general esteem, published during the last century. For if Satan be likely to share the greatest part of the prize until the end of the world, notwithstanding the glorious state of prosperity and universal holiness among men, for a thousand years yet to come ; to the present day, it appears, he has kept nearly the whole, or more than an hundred to one, in a state of damnation, as Dr. H. fays, tormenting them by the cruel power of unfanctified nature.
And, in our author's language, it is by the fixed decree of God, that the great body of fallen men are involved in this dolcful flate of in and damnation, and to continue in it till the day or moment of their death. At the dissolution of soul and body, he pretends, all men are to have repentance, and every qualification requisite to their eternal falvation. But, an exceeding small number only is to enjoy the saving blefimgs of Chrift's righteousness, hçre in time, or before death cominences'.
* P. 338.
All this, as Dr. H argues, absolutely depends on the choice, • election, or decree, of the immutable Jehovah.' This at once turns his own words, 'with some alteration, against himself. . God will certainly make such as are elected to holiness in this ' life, or to believe in time, by his own almighty power and grace, thus to believe. And he will most certainly leave all the relt in a state of unbelief and damnation, until the end of
their days. For they never were comprehended in the decree • of God or the covenant of redemption and salvation, so as to • be brought in before their death.' Between Dr. H. and his opponents we see a wide difference relative to the coming world; but as to the present state there is no difference, unless it be in favour of the latter. He extends the glorious work of God, and the covenant of his grace, so as to take in all at death, and to eternity; but, during this life, nearly the whole of mankind are left out, and by the immutable decree of Jehovah, as he argues.
The Doctor has, therefore, fallen into the same thing, in the nature of it, the fame error of the first magnitude, as he calls it ; and that which he every where imputes to the limitarians. It is the same, in kind, to be dependant on our Maker alone for deliverance from the power of fin, and for every spiritual good, relative to time, as it is with relation to eternity, or time and eternity. In the nature of things, it is the same for God to decree that men shall be ohedient and holy, so long as they live, or for an age, as it is for him to decree that men shall be obe. dient and holy to interminable ages. That God should choose • Pharaoh to be an example of great obstinacy, rather than Mo. "ses,' either for a certain period of time, or without end, is the same, in the nature of things. It is also the same, in kind, it has the same fort of influence upon us as to moral obligation, and lays the same foundation for our faith, for us to know God has predestinated us to holiness and happiness, or to know he has predeftinated us to fin and misery, for one day, as if it were for two days ; for two days, as for four days; and so on without end. Again, it has the same kind of influence upon us, and lays the same foundation for our faith, for us not to know, for the matter to be wholly a secret to us, whether God has either predestinated us to holy obedience or the oppofite, for one day, as if it were for two days; for two days, as if it were for four days, ten days, and so on to eternity. These things are so plain no one can deny them. Therefore, in order for us to have a proper foundation laid for our faith, in order for us to believe