Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

side of the question, at the present day. There have been and are Antinomian Calvinists; and at least as many, in proportion, Antinomian opposers of Calvinism. But Calvinists in general, abhor Antinomianism, as much, at least, as Anticalvinists do. The pride of good works, and all dependence on them, we renounce: but the duty and necessity, of being “ zealous of good works,” and abounding in them, we decidedly enforce: and we scruple not to fix the stigma of hypocrisy on any man, who calls himself a Calvinist, and habitually lives in known violation of the divine law, or neglect of known duty.

P. DXIV. Note. I insert below, the Latin notes concerning the abominable licentiousness of these Valentinians, in which it must be supposed the Calvinists resemble them; else why is it quoted ? To which it suffices to say,

“ Thou shalt not bear false“ witness against thy neighbour."

P. dxiv. I. 20. Subdividing souls themselves, they say, that some are by nature good, and some

by nature bad.' It would have greatly tended to render this part of the Refutation more convincing ; if any quotations had been brought, from the writ. inps of those, who have held the doctrines now called Calvinistick, either in ancient or in modern

[ocr errors]

Sine omni reverentiâ et pudore, stupris se, incestui, adulteriis, • & fædissimis quibusque libidinibus (Valentiniani) dediderunt; • quia licentiam vitæ, et turpes voluptates, quibus abundant, non

excutere crediderunt gratiam Dei et salutem. Quapropter et • libere eos omnia agere consuevisse, nullum in nullo timorem

babentes. Cent. Magd. p. 88. Cent. 2.'

times, coincident with this quotation. Such a sentiment I at least never met with, in a Calvinist's writings, or sermons, or conversation, to this present day: and indeed it seems the reverse of our tenets, who maintain, that all men are by nature as far as possible, (quam longissime) gone from original righteousness; and that some are restored by special grace.

P. DXv. 1. 2. 'He' (Irenæus) says, &c."! Those, • who trust in him and his Helena, they are saved

according to his grace.' That is, the grace of Simon Magus: for this is the only masculine antecedent, and he is clearly meant. It is next to incredible, that any man should utter such blasphemies: but it is perhaps almost equally incredible, that any one should invent them, if he did not. However this may be ; if there is any truth in this report, Simon

! He says, that one of the doctrines of Simon Magus was, • that those who trust in him and bis Helena, should have no • further care, and that they are free to do what they like; for, • that men are saved according to his grace, but not according to just works. P. 99.'

2. This man (Simon) was glorified by many as God; and taught, • that it was he himself, who indeed appeared among the Jews,

as the Son; but in Samaria, he descended as the Father; and • he should come to the other nations as the Holy Spirit. But that • he was the sublimest virtue, that is the Father, who is above all

things; and he endured to be called, whatever men call him, (or, God.) This person led about with him a certain woman

called Helena; one who hired out herself for gain, (quæstuga riam) whom be himself had redeemed from Tyre, a city of

Phænicia; saying, that she was the first conception of bis mind, the mother of all, by whom, in the beginning, he bad 'conceived in his rnind to make aogels and archangels.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Magus placed himself, and his infamous Helena, at the lowest estimation, in the stead of our one Mediator Jesus Christ: and faith in him and his Helena was sufficient to salvation ; that they who trust in ' him and in his Helena, should have no further

care, and that they are free to do what they like. * For that men are saved according to his graces

(that is, the grace of Simon Magus,) and not ao 'cording to just works.' Even if Calvinists were so absurd, or blasphemous, aš to speak of being saved by the

grace of Calvin, or of Augustine, (who, their enemies being judges, were certainly holy and eminent persons,) it would be but a very faint shade of resemblance, to the insane rantings of Simon Magus, who made himself the whole Trinity, as well as himself and his Helena, the Saviours of the world. Nay, if the faith of Calvinists in Augustine, or Calvin, were supposed to set them free from any further care; and allowed them to do what they chose, without restraint, it would come short of this blasphemous claim of Simon Magus.--If this be not Irenæus's meaning ; let it be shewn what else is intended. If Simon Magus taught, that by 'trust

ing in him and his Helena, men trusted in the Lord Jesus, " that their faith and hope might be in “ God;" let this be clearly proved. If saved as

.cording to his grace, and not according to just • works,' mean, the grace of God, through the righteousness, atonement, and intercession of the Lord Jesus Christ; let it be established. Till then, there will appear no other shade of resemblance, between the disciples of Simon Magus, and Calvinists; than this, that both disclaim dependence on their own works: but the Calvinists avow reliance on the merits of Christ alone; the disciples of Simon Magus, on him and his Helena alone :' that the Calvinists hope to be saved by the grace of God, ' through faith, not of works, lest any man should ( boast;' and the disciples of Simon Magus, expected to be saved by the grace of their blasphemous teacher, and his merits, with those of his

paramour: and finally that the Calvinists avow, that true believers

are created in Christ Jesus unto good works," and « are zealous of them:" but Simon's deluded votaries expected to be saved wholly without good works. But I must impose restraint on my pen, on this occasion, and leave the reader to make his own reflections.

P. Dxv. I. 7. 'He, &c.'' · Tertullian also says, that Saturninus maintained, that man was created by { angels. (Note.) But do Calvinists maintain this? • The Saviour came to destroy bad men and demons, but to save good men.' What trace of resemblance is there between Saturninus's sentiments and the tenets of Calvinisın? We hold that Jesus “ did “ not come to call the righteous, but sinners to

repentance:" and our interpretation of this important text, as meaning, that Christ came to save none but sinners, is objected to by our opponents.?

• He (Saturninus) first asserted, that there are two sorts of

men formed by ibe angels, the one good, the olher bad. And, « because demons assist the worst men, that the Saviour came to destroy bad men and demons, but to save good meo, P.201. * Refutatiani, p. 12, 13,

We aver, that “ He came to seek and save that “ which was lost," and we use the apostle's language: “ It is a faithful saying and worthy of all

acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world ?" to save sinners;" not excluding “ the chief of i «s sinners." That “ God sent not his Son to con

“ demn the world, but that the world through hiin *“ might be saved." It is true some Calvinists have

explained the world, in this text, in a sense, which, with Anticalvinists, I should consider as unwarranted: but this does not affect their sentiments, concern

ing the grand end and design of the Saviour, in i coming into the world; which was 'the salvation

of sinners,' and not judgment, or destruction : that - he came, not to select, and call together, 'good men,

but to reconcile enemies, to pardon and justify !! rebels, and to new create the unholy, and form 1 them by his grace, a peculiar people, zealous of 9 “ good works." They hold indeed, that he will coine - a second time to complete the salvation of his peo#ple, and to destroy bad men, that is, all, who con

tinue unbelieving and impenitent to the end; saying • to them, “ Depart from me, ye cursed, into ever: “ lasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels :"

and thus they shall be destroyed, as well as the demuns, to whose cause they adhered, and whose obstinate wickedness they imitated.

P. Dxv. l. 13. They, &c.' What shade of : resemblance is there between this sentiment, and

They (the Valentinians) say, that some men are good by nature, and some bad. P. 124.'

« ElőzőTovább »