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the proper meaning of the term motiveless. Again. If men have their wills given to them by God, it was not at their own option to have them or not. They had no will to have or reject those wills.Again. Men can in every sense, or in no sense at all, have wills different from what the Almighty is determined they shall have; for natural power is all the power they have to have wills; and therefore, there is but one sense in which they can have them. And in this one they cannot have them, if God irresistibly causes those natural powers to produce a different one. Once more. If God causes men to choose as they do, and moral necessity causes him thus to cause them, then virtually, does resistless fate cause them to choose. And if, notwithstanding this, they can of themselves choose differently, and if their choosing of themselves would involve the absurdity of choosing to choose; then does Hopkinsianism teach, that a being, choosing as resistless fate causes, can perform the impossibilities of choosing to choose differently; and of choosing to choose so at the same time that resistless fate is forcing them to choose otherwise! And again. If the lack of our inclination to will in a certain way, is an inability to will in that way, and involves the absurdity of an effect without a correspondent cause to have a man will of himself without it; then a being cannot in any sense will of himself, without first having the very will to will another similar will with. But this is an absurdity; and were God himself to cause men to will, he would not do it by giving them a will to will, but by means of motives, just as one man induces another to will. Motives induce men, and even God himself, to will as they do. We need look no further for the cause of volition, either human or Divine. Again, if what Hopkinsians mean by moral inability to will, is not the lack of the will to will, what do they mean by it? And lastly. If God is the efficient cause of all things, and if an efficient cause is irresistible, why is not every thing unavoidable?—every thing right?

If I, dear Sir, am a semi-Arminian, because I do not believe in the foregoing absurdities and contradictions, be it so. With regard to granting, that scripture means as it says, I will freely do it in relation to those parts of it that are literal-but to those alone.

But I must close; and though my opponent will have the opportunity Editorial, of speaking last, yet, so utterly repugnant to reason is the sentiment, that God punishes men for what he irresistibly causes them to be, that I am very far from being strenuous for the last word, believing that the good sense of the community in general, will be able to detect the flaws in any new ideas that may be advanced, in favour of so absurd a sentiment.



To the Methodist in Ireland, and a Vindication of the same, by John Walker, late Fellow of Trinity College, Dublin.

But I would think that I departed from the character of a minister of Christ, if I did not at the same time declare to them the revealed character of the true God, as " a just God and a Saviour"-" just and the justifier of the ungodly;"-if I did not at the same time declare to them that "glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ," in the knowl, edge and faith of which alone sinners can really turn to the true GOD, and can serve him with acceptance. I would think that I departed from the character of a minister of Christ, to that of an agent of Antichrist, if, according to your principles, I put them upon doing any

thing "in order to obtain God's grace and mercy;" if I forbore to preach Christ to them as the Saviour of sinners, till they had taken a preliminary step of some infidel repentance that they might be “prepared for the spiritual blessings of the Messiah's kingdom," or prepared to believe in him: if I did not proclaim to them the exceeding riches of the grace of GoD, and the effectual working of his power, and his complete salvation, including present acceptance in the beloved and an inheritance among all them that are sanctified, as free unto all, (without any difference,) who should believe the joyful tidings. I would think that I departed from the character of a minister of Christ, and dealt treacherously with their souls, if I gave them to understand that any of them could truly repent or turn to God, while they continued to disbelieve this glorious Gospel ;—that any unbelieving sorrow for sm, or alarm of conscience, or solicitude about eternal things, brought them one step nearer to its blessings ;—or that all its blessings were not immediately sure to every one among them who should really believe the faithful record,-to those whom you would represent as most unprepared for believing it, just as much as to those whom you would think most prepared from having been under the longest preliminary training. The man who believes the doctrine which you oppose-will be saved; and the man who to the end believes the doctrine which you assert -will be damned. This is a charge-not to be advanced lightly; and it is with mature consideration and deep solemnity that I advance it,— and am ready to maintain it from the word of God, against all who shall be offended at the charge.

The sinner who believes what you have said of repentance must believe that he is to do something in order to be "prepared for the spiritual blessings of the Messiah's kingdom;" that there must be some good change in him, before he can be warranted to believe the gospel as glad tidings; that he must in some way or another take away or lessen his sin, in order to be fit for coming to Christ. And I will suppose you to have the utmost success with him that you can aim at :-I will suppose that he is excited to the most lively solicitude to perform this task-that he puts forth the most strenuous efforts to become a good and a pious man, "in order to obtain God's grace and mercy;" and that he succeeds in obtaining all the preparation you could wish for— what you call saving faith. And now I say that you have only succeeded, at most, in forming an infidel religionist out of an infidel profligate; that all his works, which you think have brought him so near the kingdom of heaven, have-as works of unbelief-been pointed against the gospel of that kingdom, to the proud rejection of Christ, and in hostile opposition to the true God :-that, instead of being truly awakened, he is asleep in sin; instead of having come to himself, he is beside himself in the delirium of pride and self-righteousness;-instead of seeking the true God, or having any good disposition towards him, he is manifesting the reigning power of that fleshly mind which is

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enmity against him:-instead of being now m a fair way towards heaven, he is still in the high road to hell-though perhaps in a different path from what he before walked in.

I know, Sir, that you would not think all that was necessary yet done, while he had only this infidel repentance;—perhaps you would take great pains to persuade him of the contrary; and I shall suppose him to continue still under your training, and really to believe what you tell him. Now that he is sufficiently prepared, you will call him to believe in Christ;-you will declare to him the gospel, as good tidings for a sinner so qualified;-perhaps you will encourage him much to put his trust now in God's grace and mercy, in the atonement of Christ, and in the aids of his Spirit. I shall suppose you to succced in this also, and to have him what you will call a rejoicing believer-possessed (as he is taught to think) of the spirit of adoption, and the spiritual blessings of the Messiah's kingdom. And supposing all this, I must plainly tell you that he is now-as he was before—in the delirium of sin, and false religion, and infidel opposition to God;-that what he has received as the gospel is not the gospel ;—that the Christ in whom he believes is a false Christ;—and that the spirit, which emboldens him in his approaches to the idol God he has set up in his heart, is the spirit of antichrist;-and that the joy, with which he is filled, is but the presumptuous elation of false confidence. He worships and is zealous for a God, that is neither just nor the justifier of the ungodly: he believes in a Saviour, that is not the Saviour of sinners;-but of the comparatively righteous: he talks of grace-and thinks of the distinguishing circumstances in his own favour, which have qualified him to receive it, and the quantity of preliminary work he has done to obtain it-and however loud he may be in declaring that it is only by the grace of God he expects to be saved, the grace that he talks of is no grace; and however full of love he may be to the imaginary Christ that he thinks is suitable to himself-however explicit and sincere also, in his declarations that he builds on no foundation but that of Christhe is yet full of enmity against the true Christ, and building a high tower of evangelical profession upon the sand. PUBLICANS AND HARLOTS GO INTO THE KINGDOM OF GOD BEFORE SUCH.

If the reader wish to see exemplified that class of men whom I have described above, let him read almost any of the popular religious publications of the day, which go under the name of evangelical. But if he wish to be directed to one, in which he will see this false theology exemplified in its most specious and respectable form, let him read the Christian Observer, a periodical work published monthly in London, and conducted by members of the established church. The great object of these gentlemen appears to be to prove themselves true sons of the church; and to shew that they do not deserve the opprobrious name of Methodists, which some how or another has been attached to them. (The Irish reader may need to be informed that, in England,

the word Methodist, has for some years been employed as the name of reproach, by which the world distinguishes believers of the gospel, or those who are at least supposed to hold the doctrines of grace.) Calvinists and Arminians have made a common cause of it, and formed a friendly coalition in conducting this work. It would be a very interesting and profitable enployment, to examine the religious principles of this and similar publications, which are of very general currency in England: but it would present an awful picture of departure from the Gospel, in a country, which is disposed to boast of the multitudes that profess the Gospel.

The conductors of the Christian Observer have found out a great many more preliminary steps, that put a sinner in a fair way for obtaining God's grace, than Mr. Knox contends for-(See No. 15, for March 1803, page 192.) They speak of the distinguishing circumstances of a hopeful nature in the case of penitents, who appear to have been "peculiarly atrocious offenders" before their repentance: and I dare say they would be at no loss to discover or to conjecture such, in the case of the thief upon the cross. They think that the smaller sinners are much nearer the kingdom of God than the greater; and the sense in which they employ that expression is clear, from their talking of the probability of a man's repentance being diminished in proportion to various circumstances of greater sinfulness in him;-of the degrees of which it is to be hoped those gentlemen will construct a table. As to "old offenders”—they say they "may in general affirm of THEM, in the language of scripture, Can the Ethiopian change his skin, and the leopard his spots?----They have found out that the Pharisees "were probably far greater sinners than the Publicans;" and that this was the reason why "the Publicans were preferred to the Pharisees by Jesus Christ."

And among the distinguishing circumstances, that now render some sinners much smaller sinners than others, and therefore more likely to be converted and become subjects of what they call-the grace of God, we find them enumerate their having 86 an utter detestation of revolutionary principles"-their being "strongly prejudiced against atheism"-and the being "the son of a clergyman." If we could but get all the men in the world to wear black coats, and to have the hands of a Bishop laid on them, (I mean no disrespect to the Episcopal order,) I suppose the next generation would then stand a fair chance of being all converted. Yet those gentlemen talk of GRACE; and there is much reason to suspect that some of them occasionally talk of ELECTION, though for the sake of peace with their Arminian brethren they drop that subject in the Christian Observer; and to make the stronger head against those who presume to call them Methodists, agree to say that the articles of the church of England are neither Calvinistic nor Arminian.

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And really Dr. Kipling has been very uncivil in refusing them the right hand of fellowship, and attempting to shew that none but Arminians can conscientiously subscribe the articles; when those gentlemen had found such an accommodating way to screen the reputation of both. Nor do I wonder that they should be so angry with him upɔn this subject. But it is to be supposed that he and they will soon understand one another better. For I am sure that the Doctor will not verbally deny the doctrines of grace, when couched in scripture-language; and it is too clear that those divines do but verbally hold them. About what then, are they making so much ado? Ought not the conductors of the Christian Observer to be the first to address the Dean of Peterborough, in that language: "Let there be no strife between us and thee, for we be brethren."

Indeed, although these gentlemen often speak a hard word against Popery, yet in this they are very inconsistent with themselves--for we find them (No. 19, for July, 1803, page 412) sanctioning the piety of popish monks, in the abbey of La Trappe, as "genuine piety:" speaking of them as having retired from the world " from motives of penitence and of zeal for the glory of GoD, feeling in their souls the divine influence of true religion, and delighting in the service of their Maker:" We find them (page 410) holding out the mode in which these monks pass their life (chaunting hymns to the virgin, &c.) as affording laudable example to pious protestants." Truly, if these things be so, the reformation was a very foolish matter. It appears that religious protestants can agree with religious papists, in what constitutes true piety and true religion-and why then should they squabble any longer about matters which cannot be essential to salvation, as not essential to true religion? O for a second LUTHER, to lash the popery of false protestants.

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The gentlemen who conduct the Christian Observer, if these lines should meet their eye, may perhaps complain that I employ a language of severity against them, which does not coincide with the spirit in which I have aimed at maintaining the general controversy. But I do not think it misplaced severity. An open opposer of the truth is to be dealt with much more tenderly than those who contradict and betray it, in the guise of friends. From some of those gentlemen, if I mistake not, there was formerly reason to hope better things. Let them " Let them be less member from whence they are fallen, and repent." solicitous about their reputation, and more "valiant for the truth." "them that honour me I will Let them remember him who hath said, "the honour which cometh from honour;" and, henceforth seeking GOD only," they will find themselves more than recompenced for the reproach that will be cast on them by men.


[To be Concluded.]

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