Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

tached from the context; but either from the argument, as stated at large by Calvin himself; or from a fair and impartial compendium of it, in all its bearings and relations, of the arguments by which it is supported, the manner in which objections are answered, and the practical deductions made by him from his principles. It is no difficult task to collect detached passages from the writings of almost any author, which appear very different from the real doctrine of that author; and to address the passions and to excite the indignation of the readers, by exclaiming, Such is, &c;'- If indeed, the quotations referred to be 'inconsistent ' with the attributes of God, contrary to the express declarations of scripture,..... this is a sufficient reason why these tenets should be rejected; but not that all tenets, however scriptural, to which they bear even a remote relation, should be rejected along with them. But the circumstance of their being so repugnant to the feelings . of the human mind,' is no objection to them. “ The carnal mind is enmity against God.” “The

preaching of the cross is to them that perish " foolishness.” “ After that, in the wisdom of “ God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it “ pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”

« The natural man “ receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, “for they are foolishness unto him; neither can “ he know them, because they are spiritually dis6 cerned.” 1 “ Because I tell you the truth, ye “ believe ine not." 2 As reasonably might the feelings of a malefactor be appealed to, in respect

Rom. vii. 7. I Cor. i. 18-21, ii, 14. John viii. 45.

[ocr errors]

99

of the decision of the impartial jury and the venerable judge, as the feelings of guilty man, against the decrees and decisions of the just and holy God.—The account of the awful result of the last decisive day, as stated in the words of the loving Saviour himself, is 'repugnant to the feelings of

the human mind :' but will that prove the sentence unjust ?--Argument addresses the understanding; oratory the passions : but to which ought the appeal to be made by those who would distinguish truth from error :- If, however, a mere statement of Calvinistic principles, or rather if a full and impartial statement of them, in all their ‘ parts and consequences, were sufficient to ensure • its rejection by every unprejudiced person ;' not only addresses to the passions, but even argument might be spared ; and Calvinism might be re' futed' in a very small volume, provided patience, diligence, meekness, and impartiality met in him who should attempt it. Yet no one seems disposed to put the result on so simple an expedient.

« The modern advocates of this system are ‘indeed so aware of its forbidding aspect, that

they never bring it into open view by a plain ' statement of the doctrines which they really

support; and rarely venture to quote from the ' writings, or appeal to the authority of their master; they shrink from the articles of the Cal'vinistic creed, and virtually allowing them to be 'indefensible, are driven to the necessity of as

serting, that their system of Calvinism is not to 'be judged of by the doctrines of Calvin himself ; ' that they profess a sort of moderate Calvinism ; tached from the context; but either from the argument, as stated at large by Calvin himself; or from a fair and impartial compendium of it, in all its bearings and relations, of the arguments by which it is supported, the manner in which objections are answered, and the practical deductions made by him from his principles. It is no difficult task to collect detached passages from the writings of almost any author, which appear very different from the real doctrine of that author; and to address the passions and to excite the indignation of the readers, by exclaiming, Such is, &c;'- If indeed, the quotations referred to be inconsistent with the attributes of God, contrary to the express declarations of scripture,..... this is a sufficient reason why these tenets should be rejected; but not that all tenets, however scriptural, to which they bear even a remote relation, should be rejected along with them.-But the circumstance of their being so repugnant to the feelings

of the human mind,' is no objection to them. “ The carnal mind is enmity against God.” “The

preaching of the cross is to them that perish “ foolishness." “ After that, in the wisdom of “ God, the world by wisdom knew not God, it

pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”

" The natural man “ receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, “ for they are foolishness unto him; neither can “ he know them, because they are spiritually dis“ cerned.” 1 “ Because I tell you the truth, ye " believe me not.” 2 As reasonably might the feelings of a malefactor be appealed to, in respect

Rom. viü. 7. I Cor. i. 18-21, ü, 14. * John viii. 45.

[ocr errors]

66

[ocr errors]

of the decision of the impartial jury and the venerable judge, as the feelings of guilty man, against the decrees and decisions of the just and holy God.

The account of the awful result of the last decisive day, as stated in the words of the loving Saviour himself, is ‘ repugnant to the feelings of

the human mind :' but will that prove the sentence unjust :- Argument addresses the understanding; oratory the passions : but to which ought the appeal to be made by those who would distinguish truth from error :- If, however, a mere statement of Calvinistic principles, or rather if a full and impartial statement of them, in all their parts and consequences, were sufficient to ensure

its rejection by every unprejudiced person ;' not only addresses to the passions, but even argument might be spared ; and Calvinism 'might be re' futed' in a very small volume, provided patience, diligence, meekness, and impartiality met in him who should attempt it. Yet no one seems disposed to put the result on so simple an expedient.

« The modern advocates of this system are indeed so aware of its forbidding aspect, that

they never bring it into open view by a plain statement of the doctrines which they really

support; and rarely venture to quote from the ' writings, or appeal to the authority of their mas'ter; they shrink from the articles of the Cal

vinistic creed, and virtually allowing them to be ‘indefensible, are driven to the necessity of as

serting, that their system of Calvinism is not to 'be judged of by the doctrines of Calvin himself; that they profess a sort of moderate Calvinism ;

[ocr errors]

· Calvinism reduced and qualified; purged of its 'most offensive tenets, and retaining only those · which are less revolting to reason and common

sense, and less derogatory to the perfections of 'the Deity. But Calvinism, however modified ' and explained, while its characteristic principles ' are preserved, will always be found liable to the most serious objections; and if those principles, by which it is distinguished as a sect of Christianity, be taken away, it is no longer Calvinism.'1

There have been clergymen, not many years since, who brought Calvinism, according to their sentiments concerning it, into open view by a plain statement of the doctrines which they really supported ;2 and who to many of their brethren appeared to be Calvino Calviniores : and, if the ‘ modern advocates for this system' came forward in the same manner, I do not think it would give full satisfaction to their opponents. But, honestly disapproving of many positions in these statements, as either false, or too metaphysical, and thus unscriptural; and, after much reflection, endeavouring to distinguish between the tenable and untenable, the scriptural and the unscriptural ground, in the important and difficult argument; its modern advocates have adopted a more qualified and moderate way of stating what they consider the essential part of the doctrines. This, however, it seems, gives still greater umbrage: and it is not difficult to discover the reason; namely, because it renders the refutation of the system more difficult, or impracticable. But what 1 Ref. 568.

? Toplady on Zanchius especially.

« EdellinenJatka »