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so much engaged to protect them by his onnipotent arm, that none shall be able to pluck them out of his hand.
Is it not fairly presumable that the Methodists have omitted to quote, to avoid the necessity of being obliged to join with the Calvinists in affirming that shantas anthrohous, in Greek, and all men, in English, does not mean all men, but only a few individuals, who had been partially elected 2 For the Partialists wish not to relinquish this favour. ite doctrine of eternal damnation, by which means they can,
With heaven’s own thunders shake the world below, And play the God an engine on the foe. Pore.
And as they profess to believe, that the final fate of every individual is immutably fixed and determined by the decrees, or absolute fore-know. ledge of God, they probably conclude, that al. though this doctrine cannot alter the destined fate of any person, it might operate greatly in favour of the elect, by restraining the reprobates from many acts of enormity, by which the saints might be molested. For certainly they cannot seriously believe, that their preaching and pray. ing can, or will induce the Deity to alter or reVerse anything that has been fixed and deter
mined upon, in the councils of Heaven, long before man was created. But as some respect is due to the moral character of the Deity, ought they not to pause and re-examine this hypothesis, and ask themselves this serious question, viz. Would not any man be called a blasphemer who should assert, that the Deity was almost constantly employed in creating human souls on purpose for the devil? It is in vain to evade or quibble....God certainly had some design in creating them, which, if he acts agreeably to his own nature, must be a good, just, and merciful design, which never could have induced him to create even one soul on purpose for the devil. But if it is denied, that he has created any for this purpose, I ask, how, then, does it happen, that the devil captivates and retains so many souls contrary to the purpose of the Deity?
Answer, Because they would not believe in Christ, and thereby qualify themselves for fit inhabitants of Heaven; they live and die in an unregenerated state; it is therefore just to send them to the prison of hell eternally.
Question, Whether is regeneration the proper work of God or man : Or, in other words, whether it is the operation of the spirit of God act.
ing upon the soul of man, or the operation of the soul of man acting upon itself?
.A. It is clearly the operation of the spirit of God acting upon the soul of man; but man should be aiding and assisting in the operation, to the utmost of his ability.
Q. I presume you mean, that he should add a little of his goodness and flower to the infinite goodness and almighty power of God, without which the work cannot be compleated But where is he to obtain this wisdom and power which you call his 2 Is not God the source and fountain of all wisdom, goodness, and power There is no other source from whence they can be derived ; and if he does not communicate wisdom, goodness, and power to his creatures, how or where are they to acquire it? Or for what are they accountable And if these gifts are bestowed in such a penurious manner as not to answer the purpose, can those who are supposed to be completely divested of every moral qualification make up the deficiency If, then, the means are denied that would be indispensably necessary to enable them to put themselves into a salvable state, or to make up the deficiency of God's grace, how can they, with justice, be eternally damned :
Mr. Wesley plainly perceiving the palpable absurdity of supposing it possible that a God of infinite goodness, justice, and mercy, should sentence millions of beings which he had determined to create at some future period to endless misery, by an eternal, immutable decree of reprobation, and ardently wishing to defend the moral character of the Deity against such an injurious imputation, he has endeavoured to qualify the doctrine, by alledging, that although God infallibly knew all those who should be finally happy, and all those who would be finally miserable, if created, yet he neither elected any one to eternal life, nor sentenced any one to eternal damnation, by a decree of reprobation, until, in time, when they became actual believers or unbelievers. This hypothesis has apparently more the semblance of justice than the other; but when critically examined, it wilf be found equally fallacious.
It is certain, that no human being can possibly, by the energy of their own unassisted powers, avoid or escape from a fate, which the Deity infallibly knew would be their everlasting portion, nor can we suppose it either probable or possible, that God would employ any effectual means to convince, convert, and reclaim any person whom he infallibly knew would finally be
eternally damned. If not, could it be either
just or merciful, to drag them into existence to inflict upon them the worst curse possible, even the curse of eternal damnation, before it was possible for them to offend him? And it certainly requires no logical arguments to prove, that Ionentity could neither transgress any law, nor. offend any rational being.
Is it not therefore evident, that the Partialists of every denomination, who inculcate the doctrine of eternal damnation, charge God with a premeditated act of injustice and cruelty :
. If this horrid doctrine be true, I can perceive no possible way by which the moral character of God can be vindicated, but by proving that he is deficient either in wisdom or power, or both ; for, to alledge that he is deficient in good will towards the beings whom he hath created, would be fixing a stigma, instead of framing an
As it is impossible that the human species, or any individual of them, could have offended the Deity before they existed, and as he has brought them into being without their knowledge or consent, in a state of extreme ignorance and imbecility, subjected to innumerable