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Mr. Romaine's edifying paraphrase of the 10th Pfalm.

You urge also, “ Your sermons favour too much of free will." Alas! Sir, can you recant free will? Was not your will as free when you recanted your sermons as when you composed them? Is there not as much free will expressed in this one line of the gospel as in all your sermons, I would have ga. thered


and would not ? Do not free will offerings with an boly worship delight the Lord more than forced, and if I may be allowed the expreffion, bound-'will services is not the free will with which the martyrs went to the stake as worthy of our highest admiration, as the mysticism of the Canticles is of our deepest attention? If all that strongly “ favours of free will must be “ burned," Ye heavens! what Smithfield work will there be in your lucid plains ! Wo to Saints! Wo to Angels! for they are all free-willing Beings, all full of free will : Nor can you deny it, unless you suppose they are bound by irréfinible decrees, as The Heathens fancied their Deities were bampered with the adamantine chains of an imaginary fomething they called Fate; witness their Fata vetant, and Fata jubent, and ineluttabile Fatum.

Pardon, Rev. Sir, the oddity of these exclama. tions. I am fo grieved at the great advantage we give infidels against the gospel, by making it ridiculous, that I could try even the method of Horace, to bring my friends back from the fashionable refinements of Crisp, to the plain truth as it is in Jesus.

Ridiculum acri
Fortius ac melius ftultas plerumque secat res.

Nor is this the only bad tendency of your new do&trine: for by exploding the freedom of the will, you rob us of free agency; you afford the wicked, who determine to continue in fin, the best excuse in the world to do it without either shame or remorse ; you make us mere machines, and indirectly reflect upon the wisdom of our Lord! for saying to a set of Jewish machines, I would and ye would not. But what is ftill more deplorable, you inadvertently represent it an unwise thing in God to judge the world in righteousness; and your new glass thews his vindi&ive justice in the fame unfavourable light, in which England saw two years ago the behaviour of a great monarch, who was exposed in the public papers for unmercifully cutting with a whip, and tearing with spurs, the horses worked in the tapeftry of his royal apartment, because they did not prance and gallop at his nod.

morse ;

j each refinements,

If a commendable, but immoderate fear of Pelagius's doctrine drove you into that of St. Auguftine, the oracle of all the Dominicans, Thomists, Jansenists, and all other Roman catholic predestinarians, you need not go so far beyond him as to recant all your sermons, because you mention perhaps three or four times, the freedoin of our will in the whole volume. "Let no one, says judicious Melancthon, be offended at the word free will, (liberum arbitrium) for St. Augustine himself uses it in many volumes, and that almost in every page, even to the surfeit of the reader.'

The most ingenious Calvinist that ever wrote against free will, is, I think, Mr. Edwards of New England. And his fine system turns upon a comparison by which it may be overturned, and the freedom of the will demonstrated.

The will, says he, (if I remember right) is like an even balance which can never turn without a weight, and must necessarily turn with one. But whence comes the weight that necessarily turns it! From the understanding, answers he; the lait dictate of the undertlanding necesarily turns the will. ---And is ihe undertanding alto neceffarily determined? Yes, by the effect which the objects around us necesarily have upon us, and by the circumftances in which we necessarily find ourselves; so that from firit to lait our tempers, words and actions necessarily follow

each other, and the circumitances that give them birth, was the 2d, 3d, and 4th links of a chain follow the first, when it is drawn along. Hence the eternal, infallible, irresistible, universal concatenacion

of events, both in the moral and material world. This is, if I miflake not, the scheme of that great divine, and he spends no less than 4!- large pages in trying to establish it.

I would just observe upon it, that it makes the first Cause, or first Mover, the only free Agent in the world; all others being neceffarily bound with the chain of his decrees, drawn along by the irresistible motion of his arm, or, which is the fame, intangled in forcible circumstances unalterably fixed by his immutable counsel.

And yet, even upon this scheme you needed not, Sir, be so afraid of free will; for if the will is like an even balance, it is free in itself, though it is only with what I beg leave to call a mechanical freedom; for an even balance, you know, is free to turn either way.

But with respect to our ingenious author's afiertion, that the will cannot turn without a weight, because an even balance cannot; I must consider it as a mere begging the question, if not as an absurdity. What is a balance, but lifeless matter? And what is the will, but the living active foul, Springing up in its willing capacity, and self-exerting, selfdetermining porver? O how tottering is the mighty fabric railed, I shall not say upon such a fine-fpun metaphysical speculation, but upon so weak a foundation as a comparison, which supposes that two things fo widely different as spirit and matter, a living foul and a lifeless balance, are exactly alike with the reference to self-determination! Juit as if a Spirit made after the image of the living, free and powerful God, was no more capable of determining itself, than an horizontal beam supporting two equal copper bowls by fix filken strings.

I am sorry, Sir, to dissent from such a respectable Divine as yourseli, but as I have no talte for new refinements, and cannot even conceive how our adions can be morally good or evil, any farther than our free will is concerned in them; I muft follow the univerfal experience of mankind; and fide with the author of the sermons against the author of the Narrative, concerning the freedom of the will.

Nor is this freedor derogatory to free grace; for as it was free grace that gave an upright free will to Adam at his creation, so whenever his fallen children think or act aright, it is because their free will is mercifully prevented, touched, and so far rectified by free grace,

However, it must be granted that fashionable professors, and the large book of Mr. Edwards are in general for you; but when you maintained the freedom of the will, Jesus Christ and the Gospel were on your fide. , To the end of the world this plain, peremptory affertion of our Lord, I would and ye would not, will alone throw down the sophisms, and filence the objections of the most subtle philosophers against free will. When I confider. what it implies, far from supposing the will is like a lifeless pair of scales, necessarily turned by the least weight; I see it is such a ítrong, self-determining power, that it can resist the effe&ť of the most amazing weights ; keep itself inflexible under all the warnings, threatnings, miracles, promises, entreaties and tears of the Son of God; and remain obftinately unmoved under all the strivings of his holy Spirit. Yes, put in one scale the moit ftupendous weights, for inftance, the hopes of heavenly joys, and the dread of hellish tora. ments; and only the gaudy feather of honor, or the breaking bubble of worldly joy in the other ; if the Will cafts itself into the light scale, the feather or bubble will inftantly preponderate. Nor is the power of the rectified Will lefs wonderful; for though you should put all the kingdoms of the world and their glory in one fcale, and nothing but the reproach of Christ in the other; yet if the


Will freely leaps into the infamous scale, a crowa of thorns easily outweighs a thousand golden crowns, and a devouring flame makes ten thousand thrones kick the beam.

Thus it appears the will can be persuaded, never forced. You may bend it by moral suasions, but if you do it farther than it freely gives way, you break, you absolutely defroy it. A Will forced is no more a Will, it is mere compulsion ; freedom is not less eflential to it, than moral agency to

Nor do I go, in these observations upon the freedom of the will, one step farther than honest John Bunyan, whom all the Calvinists fo deservedly admire. In his Holy War he tells us there is but one Lord Will be will in the town of Man's soul: whether he serves Diabolus or Shaddai, he is Lord Will-be-will still, a man of great litrength, resolution, and courage, whom in his occasion no one can turn,if he does not freely turn or yield to be turned.

I hope, Sir, these hints upon the harmlessness of mysticism, and the important doctrine of our free-agency will convince you, and the purchasers of your sermons, that you have been too precipitate in publicly recanting them in the face of the quhole werld, especially the ninth.

If you ask why I particularly interest myself in the behalf of that one discourse, I will let you into the mystery.

At the first reading I liked and adopted it; I cut it out of the volume in which it was bound, put it in my fermon-case, and preached it in my church. The title of it is, you know, Fuftification by Faith, and among several striking things on the subject, you quote twice this excellent passage out of our liomilies, “ Justification by faith implies a sure trust and confidence a man hath in God, that by the merits of Christ his fins are forgiven, and he is reconciled to the favour of God. O Sir, why did you not except it in your recantation, both for the honour of our Church and your own


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