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ance in the covenant of grace experience as many conversions, even at those seasons, when his as they have terms of sinning. exercises are perfectly sinful, Every time they sin, their exers still by this extraordinary use of cises, in which it is said that sin the term, the force of many pas- and holiness consist, are perfectsages of scripture hitherto used ly sinful. They become preciseto prove the perseverance of ly the kind of men they were saints would, as it respects this previously to conversion : it cerobject, be entirely destroyed. tainly follows, that on recovery Jer. xxxij. 40. And they shall not they experience the same depart from me. But the doc- change, as they did experience trine under consideration asserts, at conversion. It is to be prethat the saints do in the highest sumed likewise, that subsequent sense depart from God. Mat. conversions, being precisely the xxiv. 24. If it were possible they same change, will be equally obs shall deceive the very elect. The vious with the first. elect are not only deceived, ac- 5. The doctrine under considcording to this doctrine, but are eration accords very ill with brought into the same moral those passages of scripture, state, as the unregenerate. I which represent the believer as John iii. 9. Whosoever is born of engaged in a warfare. If all God doch not commit sin, for his holiness consists in exercises, seed remaineth in him. What and a Christian's exercises are seed remaineth in him? And perfectly holy, what internal en. how is it true that he cannot sin, emy is there, against whoin this who actually does sin precisely holy Christian can maintain war ? as he did before conversion ? Again; when the Christian's 1 John ii. 19. They went out from exercises are perfectly sinful, us, but were not of us ; for if they what internal enemy can there had been of us, they doubtless be, against whom this sinful would have remained with us. Christian can maintain war? A Whatever this proves against the combatant cannot fight with an remonstrants, it proves against enemy which does not exist ; the new doctrine.

and it would, at least, be as diffi3. If the doctrine in question cult for an enemy not in existbe true, no present iniquity of ence to fight with a combatant life can be sufficient evidence, that does exist. that a man is not regenerate. It avails nothing to say, that For if a converted person may these opposite exercises follow be perfectly sinful for a time, each other in rapid succession. why may he not, during that If a thing can either oppose, or time, commit as great sin, as he be opposed, one moment before did previously to conversion ? If its existence, it may oppose or he have the same wickedness of be opposed a thousand years beheart, as before conversion, whyfore its existence. I can no may he not in the same way and more fight this moment with a by the same actions express that man that will begin to exist the wickedness?

next, than I can fight with a 4. It would be a consequence man who will not exist till after of the doctrine, that Christians' a thousand years, Yet St. Paul

to his father ; but if he should it, of persons after conversion become disobedient and his fa- falling into the same state of carther should still love him, no per- nality as before, though he will son would express this, I sup- not pretend that these instances pose, by saying, that the son per are very frequent. The advosevered in his father's love, nor cate for the new doctrine says, would it be said of a sleeping in that this falling from holiness fant tenderly guarded by a mothie happens frequently to every reer, that it persevered in its moth- newed person ; in short, that the er's attention.

life of a saint is nothing but a Under the title of “the doc- succession of perfectly holy extrine of the saints'perseverance,ercises and perfectly sinful ones. ideas have lately been exhibited, With very high respect for which do by no means corres- the talents and piety of some, pond with those which this term who entertain this belief, I beg has usually conveyed. We are leave to suggest the following . now told that regenerate persons thoughts,

do frequently, very frequently, 1. That it appears very much lose all those moral qualities, like abuse of language to call which they first received in re- this “the doctrine of saints' per: generation, and which distinguish severance.” According to this them from the unrenewed; but theory, in what do the saints perthat, notwithstanding such loss, severe ? To persevere is to perthe love of God towards them is sist in an attempt, not to give continued ; or, in other words, over, not to quit a design. Be. they still retain their interest in cause God continues to love the covenant of grace.

them, can they be said to persist As this doctrine is not com, in the love which God has for mon in the church of Christ, let them ? Can they be said not to us consider to what it is like. Is give over not to quit that love it like that Calvinistic doctrine which God has for them? In found in the Assembly's Cate. this love which God exercises, chism, and in the serpions of the person has no more activity those, who have been reputed or- than a building has in the mo. thodox divines ? It has one tion of those rays of light which point of coincidence. Both fall upon it. Should we say of agree in this, that the regenerate such a building, that it perse: will never be lost, the love of veres in sunshine ? Should we God being unalterably fixed upsay of a rock lying at the bottom on them. Is this doctrine like of the ocean, that it perseveres that which has generally been in water? The doctrine above held by Arminians, viz. that the stated might indeed be denomiregenerate may fall away from nated the doctrine of divine perholiness and miss of eternal life? severance, but certainly not the With this too it has one point of doctrine of the saints' persevercoincidence. Both allow, that ance. But, men may, and actually do fall 2. Should we use the termi from holiness. The Arminian « saints' perseverance" in so ex. says, that there are instances, traordinary a latitude, as to unand that the scriptures suppose derstand by it, a saint's continu

ance in the covenant of grace experience as many conversions, even at those seasons, when his as they have terms of sinning. exercises are perfectly sinful, Every time they sin, their exerstill by this extraordinary use of cises, in which it is said that sin the term, the force of many pas. and holiness consist, are perfectsages of scripture hitherto used ly sinful. They become preciseto prove the perseverance of ly the kind of men they were saints would, as it respects this previously to conversion : it cerobject, be entirely destroyed. tainly follows, that on recovery Jer. xxxii. 40. And they shall not they experience the same depart from me. But the doc- change, as they did experience trine under consideration asserts, at conversion. It is to be prethat the saints do in the highest sumed likewise, that subsequent sense depart from God. Mat. conversions, being precisely the xxiv. 24. If it were possible they same change, will be equally obshall deceive the very elect. The vious with the first. elect are not only deceived, ac- 5. The doctrine under considcording to this doctrine, but are eration accords very ill with brought into the same moral those passages of scripture, state, as the unregenerate. I which represent the believer as John iii. 9. Whosoever is born of engaged in a warfare. If all God doch not commit sin, for his holiness consists in exercises, seed remaineth in him. What and a Christian's exercises are seed remaineth in him? And perfectly holy, what internal en how is it true that he cannot sin, emy is there, against whoin this who actually does sin precisely holy Christian can maintain war? as he did before conversion ? Again; when the Christian's 1 John ii. 19. They went out from exercises are perfectly sinful, us, but were not of us ; for if they what internal enemy can there had been of us, they doubtless be, against whom this sinful would have remained with us. Christian can maintain war? A Whatever this proves against the combatant cannot fight with an semonstrants, it proves against enemy which does not exist ; the new doctrine.

and it would, at least, be as diffi3. If the doctrine in question cult for an enemy not in existbe true, no present iniquity of ence to fight with a combatant life can be sufficient evidence, that does exist. that a man is not regenerate. It avails nothing to say, that For if a converted person may these opposite exercises follow be perfectly sinful for a time, each other in rapid succession. why may he not, during that If a thing can either oppose, or time, commit as great sin, as he be opposed, one moment before did previously to conversion ? If its existence, it may oppose or he have the same wickedness of be opposed a thousand years beheart, as before conversion, why fore its existence. I can no may he not in the same way and more fight this moment with a by the same actions express that man that will begin to exist the wickedness?

next, than I can fight with a 4. It would be a consequence man who will not exist till after of the doctrine, that Christians' a thousand years, Yet St. Paul

said, “ Ilhen I would do good Should it be said, that had he live evil is present with me :” where- ed, he would have had peras had he designed to speak con- fectly sinful exercises, that is formably to the doctrine under not to the purpose. I only ask, consideration, he would have in what state he was when he said, " When I have left off do- died. Surely it will not be deniing good evil is present with ed, that Adam was in a state of me ;” or else, When I would perfect holiness three minutes pot do good, evil is present with before his apostacy, because at me.

the conclusion of that time he 6. From the doctrine it fol. had sinful exercises. Had Adam lows not only that saints may be died three minutes after he be. perfect, but that they actually gan to exist a moral agent, are so : not only that some are would he not have died in a state perfect, but that all are so at the of perfection ? moment of their regeneration. Further : It is allowed by If all holiness consists in exer- those whose opinions we are cises, he who has perfectly holy considering, . that no exercises exercises is perfectly holy. The are in any sense holy, which are believer at the instant of regen; not perfectly so. Now if holy eration has perfectly holy exer- exercises constitute personal ho. cises, saith the doctrine. The liness, for the time being, the inference is undeniable. Should same exercises being perfect, any person observe in reply, must constitute personal perfecthat the doctrine does neither tion for the time being. Beprove nor admit holiness of char- tween the opinion of Mr. Wesacter, he either designs to be ley on saints' perfection, and the ambiguous, or to deny, that the opinion of those on the same doctrine implies the believer's subject, who hold the doctrine, long continuance in a perfect of which we are treating, there state. Now as it is not asserted can be no other difference than in the preceding observations, what relates to the time, for that the believer's long continu. which they imagine perfection ance in a perfect state results endures. Mr. Wesley's opin. from the doctrine, it is not in- ion is, that some saints are withcumbent on the writer of these out sin a good while, he knows remarks to notice this reply, It not how long : The opinion of may be inexpedient however to the other divines is, that all pass it over without some atten- saints are free from sin very fretion.

quently for a little while, they - If a person at conversion be, know not how long. comes perfectly holy in his exer- If the doctrine of sinless per: cises for the time then being, it fection existing even for a time, vill not be denied, I suppase, be true, what a world of self that he may continue so for the loathing and humiliation might space of three or four minutes. have been spared among the Should he die at the conclusion most devout believers, who have of that time, could it possibly lamented the sins and imperfec: be asserted that he did not die tjons of their best moments! in a state of perfect holiness? Mr. Samuel Pearce says, “I know that the Being whom I. Christ is preached when any love best always sees something gospel doctrine is illustrated in me, which he infinitely and enforced ; any Christianr virhates."* Not so, says the more tue inculcated on gospel princienlightened divine. At the first ples and motives ; any vice remoment of your conversion, and proved, by the consideration all the time since, when you that by continuing in sin inen have not been perfectly sinful, trample him under foot. He God has seen nothing in you, is preached when the imitabut perfect holiness.'

tion of his perfect example is Does this doctrine correspond recoinmended; when the gloriwith the feelings of Christians ous dignity of his person, or any in general ? Do they feel, that, part of his mediatorial work, or part of the time, they are per- the nature of his kingdom, or the fectly holy ; that they love God proofs of his religion, or his as much as he deserves their promises, or second and glorilove, and that there is no sinful ous appearance, are properly imperfection, with which they treated. His religion is able to are chargeable ? Surely those make inen wise unto salvation. who feel thus, are, for the time, It is profitable for doctrine, for happy believers indeed. - reproof, for correction, for inA Friend to Old Divinity struction in righteousness : prof

itable to convert wanderers from The foregoing treatise on perse

the truth ; detect the false hope verance is not published with partial feelings. A well written defence of of the nypocrite ; near the brokthe theory, which is here opposed, en-hearted; correct the mistakes, will be treated with equal candour. and chasten the passions and de

Epitors.

clensions of believers unto life ; resolve their doubts, confirm

their faith, and help their joy. ADDRESS TO MINISTERS.

It proclaims salvation to the

chief of sinners, and is mighty Those to whom the minis- to pull down strong holds. The try of reconciliation is commit. command to preach and hear the ted are ambassadors for Christ. gospel proceeds on this ground, An ambassador speaks the lan- Faith cometh by hearing, and guage of the prince who sends hearing by the word of God. him. The King of kings em- There are means of grace. ployeth his servants to teach all They have been ordained in wisthings whatsoever he hath com- domn. A preached gospel is the manded them. They may not power of God to salvation. teach the doctrines and com- All religion, since man's aposmandments of men. Add thou tacy, has turned upon this quesnot unto his words, lest he re- tion, Will God pardon sin? The prove thee, and thou be found a question cannot be determined liar. Take thou not from his but by a revelation. If he hath words, lest thou forfeit a part in said that he will pardon, we may the book of life.

neither object to it, nor assume

to investigate the reasons. “ Our • See Fuller's Life of Pearce. . faith could never be established

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