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am aware of one and only one use, or rather perversion, which has been made of my Father's Life, that gives me any concern. It has been adduced, by writers not very correct, indeed, or careful in what they advance, as furnishing proof positive of the immoral tendency of evangelical or Calvinistic doctrines, (for the terms seem now to be used promiscuously,) and of the antinomian character, generally, of those who are called professors of evangelical religion. “We have here," it has been said, “the testimony of the greatest saint in tlieir calendar against themselves.” And it may be the more proper briefly to notice the subject in this place, because the present work may perhaps be considered as adding to that testimony.

That my Father was of opinion that much antinomian practice, in a sense which was with some care explained in his Life,* and many sentiments tending to antinomianism, were found among the evangelical body, is readily admitted and openly avowed. But, to avail for the purpose desired, this charge, thus professedly brought on his authority, ought to mean, that this description of persons is more antinomian than other classes of professed Christians; and in fact that their antinomianism arises from the legitimate use, and not from the abuse, of what are called evangelical doctrines, properly stated. But neither of these positions is supported by his evidence. That the latter of them is directly contrary to the truth, it was the employment of his life to demonstrate. And that the former was by no means his intention, was sufficiently pointed out in the Life itself, for the satisfaction of the candid and

* See pp. 145, 441, 442.

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careful reader. “His complaint,” it was there expressly observed, “was not that persons embracing these doctrines were worse than others, but that many of them were found by no means so much better than others, as he was convinced their principles ought to have made them.'

In short it may be justly said that he had respect to the rule implied in the interrogatories of the Apostle, What have I to do to judge them that are without? Do not ye judge them that are within ? He spoke openly and honestly of the faults of those with whom he was more immediately connected, in Christian charity seeking their improvement: and in this particular view he concerned not himself with others. If, therefore, we would ascertain the comparative character of that class of persons, and the tendency and effect of their principles upon the whole, according to his judgment, we should inquire, in connexion with what he has written concerning them, How would such a man-one of so high and boly views, and of such keen discernment of error-of its causes and its consequences—have spoken, had he been called to report on the state of the anti-evangelical world ?—that part of it, I especially mean, which brings such charges as we are considering. And I cannot hesitate to answer, that he would have said, “ Ye have utterly taken away the key of knowledge—of the just knowledge of God's holinessof man's real condition--and of what is required of him. Ye have made the law of God of none effect through your relaxed interpretations. Ye have removed the true standard of duty, and substituted for it an infinitely lower and looser rule. Ye are to be nume bered therefore among the abbettors of the most widespread, though least suspected, of all species of antipomianism." That these would have corresponded with his actual sentiments will appear from a few extracts which I shall subjoin, in which he declares what he really thought of the evangelical body as compared with other professed Christians: whereas, in the passages of which advantage has been taken, he was speaking of them as compared with the purity of genuine Christianity in principle and practice.

* Life, p. 145.

In a quotation, inserted in the Life,* from probably the most studied of all his printed sermons, he says, “Perhaps speculating antinomians abound most among professed Calvinists, but antinomians whose sentiments influence their practice, are innumerable among Arminians. Does the reader doubt this ? Let him ask any of those multitudes who trample on God's commandments, what they think of" Calvinistic doctrines, " and he will find that this is undeniably true: for all these, in various ways, take occasion from the mercy of God to encourage themselves in impenitent wickedness"which is the very essence of antiņomianism.

The following passages are from bis answer to the “ Refutation of Calvinism."

" In populous places, where in this land, preachers of every kind are at present found, there will, no doubt, be men who adopt the wildest notions, and disgrace the truths which they profess, with the vilest condact. They who pay sufficient attention to the subject will find that this is the grief and distress of numbers, and especially of ministers, who, agreeing in some points of doctrine with these enthusiasts and antinomians, (for we cannot give up the truth, because professed and perverted by wicked men,) are by superficial observers, and such as only behold the company from a distance, classed with the very persons whom they mourn over, and protest against, and oppose by every scriptural method in their power. But, after every deduction, it may confidently be averred, that the stated congregations, and especially the communicants, at those churches or chapels in which the evangelical clergy officiate, are by far the most strictly moral part of the established church, in respect of exemption from gross vices; and, further, that they exert themselves in ende ing to relieve the distresses of the poor, to instruct their cbildren, and to forward every good work, with more decided diligence, earnestness, and liberality, than are generally manifested among their opponents. And I appeal to every candid observer, who differs from me in religious sentiments, but who has carefully compared our parishes and congregations with other parishes and congregations, whether this be not true and indisputable !"

* Page 145.

Again: “What a lamentable thing is it, that in every age there should be great numbers to whom this description* in some sense may be applied! They assent to the truth of Christianity in general, and to many of its doctrines: they are not infidels ; they have a notional faith, but they are wicked men ; that is, they live in the habitual practice of sin, and neglect of their duty to God and man, and are worldly, ungodly, and

* The wicked who have faith : fidelium iniquorum.” Augustine.

selfish, in their whole conduct. There are, no doubt, many of this description among Calvinists; but there is at least as large a proportion among Anticalvinists; and especially among those who oppose the doctrine of justification by faith, and salvation by grace alone. They profess to depend on good works, yet neglect to practise them; as if the very scarcity of them would enhance their value! Yet they encourage themselves in this strange inconsistent course of life, by a presumptuous reliance on the mercy of God; and soothe their consciences by the idea, that, as professed Christians, they shall not be judged by the strict and holy law of God, but by some milder and more pliable rule! What millions of these antinomian professors of Christianity are there at this day in the visible church.”

These, be it observed, are antinomians not upon an evangelical foundation. He shortly after adds, on the words,

“ Presume not on the mercy of God to sin" &c. : “I may be bold to say, that Great-Britain produces no set of men who more decidedly, particularly, and constantly testify against this perversion of the gospel, and every variety of it, by sermons, and publications of various kinds, than the evangelical clergy. It would be easy to prove this by quotations : but the appeal is made to our printed works in general."

May 6, 1824,

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