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Reply to the arguments advanced by the Rev. Thomas Cleland, author of the familiar dialogue between Calvin and Arminius ... ; to which is added, a comprehensive view of that system of divinity which Mr. Cleland so warmly opposes / by Jesse Heaead.
Reply to the arguments advanced by the Rev. Thomas Cleland, author of the familiar dialogue between Calvin and Arminius ... ; to which is added, a comprehensive view of that system of divinity which Mr. Cleland so warmly opposes / by Jesse Heaead. Head, Jesse, 1768-1843. 400dpi TIFF G4 page images University of Kentucky, Electronic Information Access & Management Center Lexington, Kentucky 2002 b92-102-27766059 Electronic reproduction. 2002. (Beyond the shelf, serving historic Kentuckiana through virtual access (IMLS LG-03-02-0012-02) ; These pages may be freely searched and displayed. Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically. Reply to the arguments advanced by the Rev. Thomas Cleland, author of the familiar dialogue between Calvin and Arminius ... ; to which is added, a comprehensive view of that system of divinity which Mr. Cleland so warmly opposes / by Jesse Heaead. Head, Jesse, 1768-1843. J. Charless, Lexington, K[y]. : 1805. 60 p. ; 23 cm. Coleman Photocopy. Microfilm. Atlanta, Ga. : SOLINET, 1993. 1 microfilm reel ; 35 mm. (SOLINET/ASERL Cooperative Microfilming Project (NEH PS-20317) ; SOL MN03021.02 KUK) Printing Master B92-102. IMLS This electronic text file was created by Optical Character Recognition (OCR). No corrections have been made to the OCR-ed text and no editing has been done to the content of the original document. Encoding has been done through an automated process using the recommendations for Level 1 of the TEI in Libraries Guidelines. Digital page images are linked to the text file. Methodist Church Doctrinal and controversial works.Cleland, Thomas, 1778-1858. A REPLY TO THE ARGUMENTS ADVANCED BY THE REr-' THOMAS CLELAND, AUTUOR OF Til FAMILIAR DIALOGUZ BETWEEN CALVIN AND ARMINIUtS: 7WE LATTER EINCG 1O LONGER UNDER THE INFLUENCE Or THE WORMER, BUT ENJOYING THE HAPPY PRtVILEGE OF STATING AND DEFENDING )ItS OWN DOCTRINFE. TO Wu IC IS ADDED, A COMPREIIENSIVE VIEW or TILIT SYSTATTOF r ZATr2. WHICKH MR. CLELAND SO WAfAILYL OPPOS-S. BY JESSE HEAD. Blame not the bowels of the Deity,- Man shall be blest, as far as Man permits. Not Man alone-all Rationals Heav'n Arms, with an illustr'ous, but tremendous pow'r To counteract its own most gracious ends; And this of strict necessity, not choice.- Docvox YoUrNG. The beginning of strife, is as when one letteth out water. SOLOMON. Troubles must needs come; but woe unto that man by whom they come. CHRISv. I also will shew mine opinion. ELItr . LEXINGTON, K. PRAThZD BY JOSEPH CHJRLESS 1805. This page in the original text is blank. TO THE READER. YOU are lhere presented with a reply to the arguments, advanced by the Rev. THOMSAS CLELAND, in the familiar Dia- logue between Calvin and Arminius flow far the author has succeeded in answering those ar'guments, he leaves you to judge. One thing he would here remind you of; that to ex- pect a display of learning or ab lities, the author does not pre- tend to either. Yet, he flatters himself, that the arguments hie has advanced, is intitled to some weiglht; and that those amongst his realers, who think and rcad for themselves, rill find the arguments of his opponent answered, and the truths5 of then Gospel more clearly manifested. In attempting these remarks, the author has felt no small degree of solicitude. ro act the faithful part of an honest phy- sician, in probing the wound of his patient ; and yet, in doing this, to be te1'perate, while detecting and expasing the au- thor's errors, he has found to be a difficulty, not easily over- come. Had the author never felt any personal attachment to his opponent, as well as many (thers who equally embrace the same error3, the difficulty would not have Leen so grcat.- Or, had the author of the Dialogue, announced his own opini. ons, without attempting fix a 6rand of infanmy on the church, of which I have the happy privilege of being a member, the public would never have been troubled with this little trait.- But to see Mr. Cleland represnnting the MNETHODISTS, ISf. as a designing set of men; 2d. as prostititing the ordinances of God; 3d. as forming agrand scheme to overturn the Pass- BYTERIAN church ; 4th. as holding out friendship for sinis- ter motives; 5th. giving to the public untrue statements of the doctrine held by us-I say, such a conduct is so insutin- to the feeling, and make such a dcep impression of injilry, th2t mv conflict has been to strik-e the medium between too soft a tenderness, and the rtsenttment which such a co:iduct would naturally exci e ir the mind. From Mr. Cleland, as vcll as my readers, I be- forgivc- ness, if in some instances I have appeared to use too much sc- verity ; fur though I have with plainness unrcservedly stated his errors, and their awful consequences and tendencies, I have not wilfully ,Nournded his feelings. And I would here beg leave to observe, that I amn aware I have touched the doc- tritie hAd by many, whose piety I highly esteem, and whose real friendship I hope iever to to-,e. I assure them, that r.c- thing bt.t a regard for the cause of truth, which I hrpc I shall This page in the original text is blank. IT ever esteem dearer than life, could havse moved me to enter upon any point of doctrine that would tend to wound the feel- ings of any of my fellow creatures. And in order as much as possible to avoid giving pain to those of other denominations, who may differ from me on those points, I have principally confined my defence to the arguments advanced by Mr. Cle- land, in his illiberal attack on us, as a Body. I am aware that some expected my reply would be against the Presbyterians as a body: but this would have been (in my opinion) highly im. proper. 'r1e Boby never ought to be blamed for the acts of an individual or two; and I still retail my respect and esteem fir that church as abody, and entertain no doubt, that, should I be so happy as to be counted worthy to enter the New Jeru- salem,I sha!l there meet with many of my Calvinistic brethren, whose holy lives and godly conversatton has often refreshed my soul here, and have manifested a happy inconsistency be- tween their practices and principles. My readers will no doubt discover many defects in compol sition, punctuation3 c. c. Blut these will not lessen the wreight of the arguments in tLe minds of judicious enclui- rers after truth ; especially when the author lays no claim to such a eegree of learning as would e.iablc him to prevent these defects. Add to this, that lie Las been under the necessity of stealing, as it were, an hour or two at a time from his or. dinary calling, to compleat the work. With these obaerva. tions, he submits it into the hands of his readers, praying, that that light "which lighteth every man that cometh into the world," may so shine upon their minds, as to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, that they may know how to choose the good and refuse the evil. JESSE HEAD. Springfield, Scptcmbcr 6, 1805. TO candjd Enqi ]!t't) after trith. u ENTLE.irRA; AN anonymous pamph 'et, intitled -,A F amiliar Diu- loguebetween Calvin and Aminuius," whfich is prefacedJ, or introduced, by a statemcnt of ditlL;rences, said to exist btvtwe-Uitt the Presbytcrians and Mcthodists; and an attack.; made hb the author oil the Methodist Government and Administ:.ition, Ila- induced me to address you in this mamnwir. By th-e ibeivwiii letters you will find that thi Rev. Thontua ChJiandis tlatX at.- thor o, said Dialogue; I hlte ther-l(re niad'k us_ of his :!a::n as such, throughout the foll'awing sheets. Mr. Cleland introdaces tlt; ao3ve;-'iintee-at diInrenc:s, i tefms which go to involve the abovei-tlititioned rtspectatle communities in a controversy of a vcry singuia;: alid atid. rec- able nature. The part Mr. Cleland has acted for sonic time past, has no doub' rendered him uneasy in his situatie.', and he has availed himself of this improper stVp to "1crcr'i ol adt," and gratify his reselnment. He thinks that the clause of dai;: - nion between the Presbyterians and Methodists, may be le;:rui- ed fromi the author of the piece intitled the ".L'h-A Bro.iwr. food ;" and iH confirmation of this otllon, pr odue=3 the f.L- lowing as a quotation from that atonymoutis p.iph!et. Ht says, "he cannot remember the Particular 'vords; but the. substanec- is this: The Methodists thought, from their warmth, zca, and noise, that they had all the religion that was gaing ia the worlci; and othcr denomninations, cs-eciasly ours, were tlhei Witter o p:sers. But when tke revival began amtonst us, and we male more noise, if possible, than tahe:nstevcs, thev began to think the Presbyterians were al! going to turn Mlethodists, Iat1td with the idea, and big with t'he expectation, they came forwa dto rective us, when they tlino r-mit t was time to seu their expectations fulfilled, and their (Lsires gratified: hut, to their great disappointnint, found us l'resbyttrians stll, and the grsctest number ot co.-verts ui c. juiiiing us dai'v. licrce arsec jealwUsy, then shyness, next coolness, atsd at last, eow.rn- right contempt. This, in-substance, is the adcourit Mr. '1-. gives ofthe matter; who e word I have no right to dIspute, especially a3 he must know best, bring, as I suppose, onle of thc main hands concerned in thu grand scheme." page 6. Upon this 3is authority, Mr. Cleland undertakes to say ma- ay unfriendly things of the MIcthodists, to wvhom he has lately professed much real friendshiip. I lowcver, not long after the pamphlet alluded to, made its appcarance, it was coge.tly rccommtendd tc tum by MIr. Cle!and iho was kind enough to A o L ] fur.ais!a m:. vith a co,)y. Arter turaiin'" it once over, I let it go Out of iny hanmis, and have not seel it since ; so that I ani incapable of saying how far the accuracy of the a'bove quota- tion does justice to the authlor. At present I remember no- thing of the passage. But supposing, for argument sake, the writer did make use of the vcery words Mi. Cleland has assign- ed to hiin: does not every unbiassed reader se-, tlhat his ob- ject was, to ridicule the ignorance and bigotry of a certain de- scription of professors, which may be found, I suppose, a- mrngst all the different denominations Had he, and others, as Mr. Cleland insinuates, conc cited a " Grand Scherie," to take advantage of the apparent chistian friendship of thtir Presbyterian brethren, in order, if possible, to subvert that church, or hinder as far as they could its pros. perity; would he, would any man, under such circumstance s, lhavc published immediately to the world, his shameful artifice and mortifying disappointment It is unnecessary to say more. The early stage of the revival, at which the Mlethod- ist ministers associated with the Presbyterians at sacramental solemnities, and other occasions; and their doing so (often, perhaps for the most part) in compliance with the earnest and affectionate solicitations from their Presbyterian brethren; preclude adl suspicion of any such combination: a suspicion, which probably never was cherished in any mind, but that of the Rev. Mr. Cleland. Here I would observe: if the account which Mr. Cleland says Mr. T-r. gives of the matter, be correct and well found. ed, I acknowledge that the Methodists justly deserve rcproba- tion. But, if it is incorrect; if this charge be not true; then what does not the man deserve, who will falsely expose an in. nocent people to the public Having lately conversed with a friend who has read Mr. T-r's. pamphlet, with an eye to Mr. Cleland's statement; he assures me that his statement cannot be found therein; and to (do justice, I may say it is not in the book. That part which is most like it, may be found in the Utlh page. But what mr. T -r. there says, is evidently by way of blaming a few of the injudicious, and will by no means api) ly to the Body. And what is still worse for -Mr. Cleland, those words which he puts in Italics, and that of "The M ethodists supposing they had all the religion that was going in the world," is not to be found in the book. How shamefully guilty then, must Mr. Clelancd be of palming his slander of the Me- thodists on Mr. T-r. by falsely misrepresenting him. No wonder he should usher in his quotation, or reprcsentation, with "sI cannot remember the iarticitlar word.-," when in fact the book, did not contain such words as Mr. Cleland- chose to I r I make use of. WVhat a pity a man shofild seek such a refuge, and then make a pre:tetofthe sLane, for an illiberal attack and if Mr. Cleland his madc such a capital blunder in his first setting out, may we not fear that the tempest that has driven him in this instance, will land himn, before hIe get, throug his book, far beyond the shores of truth. How has Mr. Cleland committed himself in this case !. He first cogently recommended Mr. T-r.'s pamphlet as an ex- cellent performance; was (I believe) the only perion that 601d thiem in the county where he resides; and after having extol- led and circulated it, he at last finds out that his excellent book contains in its bowels, i "6 Grand achenic" to overturn his church, and has held out what he says is the substance of. it,. to the public. But, unfortunately for Mr. Cleland, neither the thing nor the substance is-to be found in the same. But admitting 4iis statement correct: I am fully authorized to as- sure the public that, that pamphlet never had thc sanction of the Methodists as a body. About three or four years ago, 'Mr. Cleland came amongst us as a speaker, was very affablc, f.ituiliar, and zealous; and. so strenuously preached salvation for all mn;n, that many of his own members denied that he believed in the doctrine of eternal election and reprobation. At this time he made high professions of a Catholic spirit; and seemed cry desir- ous of having union and fellowship with the Methodists. Ac- cordingly, we met his wish. Not by a "6concertedscchsenze," to receive their members, as he insinuates. No: But to enjoy tile comforts of social religion. WVe needed no such scheme as he supposes; for Catholicism is interwoven in our consti- tution. We had, therefore, nothing to do, but to accept Mr. Cleland, when his bigotry gave way to propriety. The Me- thodists were pleased with what appeared to themi a truly chris- tian temper; and Mr. Clelan.1 soon obtained the confidence of many. But alas 1 'Men of observation soon found that he was privately trying to disafct our members toward their own churc ; persuading them to join him: yea, held up the El- der's office in his church, to tumpt a private member. And wvhen the member told him tliat he was afraid if he left the Me- thodist church, he would wournde the feelings of a great Xnany pious people; Mr. Cleland replied, "A4ever mind that." This conduct iii Mr. Cleland, accompanied with professions of friend- ship, did not fail to depreciate himn in the estimation of some of our church. This view of his conduct led one to observe, "1 Mr. Cleland need not take underhand measures to obtain an Elder from us: Thme Presbyterians in Cumnberland have Me- Ltodist Elders by cornsent of patties, vr!en convenicike calls w 8 I for it." In this state of aft-airs, our preachers steadily preach- ed, and maintained the doztrinc, which Mr. Clelanid aecmcd to preach : and more and mare convinced our people of the dan- ger of bing carried alaut with every windi of doctrine. At length, when our meibers perceived that their professed friend was playing an underhand gaine, ihey began to treat him more cooly; at which SIr. Cleland began to complain; and added tiat our preachXr .i )ieacled controversy, c. c. Hay- ing an opportunity, I Liform-d one of our ruling Elders cf Mlr. Cleland's dissatisfaction; and . ve him to understand that his preaching had given oOAnce. He advised rne to go and visit Air. Cleland; to take proper measures to adjust differen- eel; and assured mn if it werz neces3ary, he would meet MLtr. Cleland on Gosp l prizicile'.-.. This t was forward to do; and accordingly vis:tcd lr. CQtland; let him know that I had understood that hk had. !)e.xen hurt by the Methodists. I in- formed hiin, that from the intimacy that had existed between Us, as well as my reli-ious proftssi6n, I felt it my duty to come and see him en the occasion; that I had free access to tull my brethren; that if any orth-enz had acted improperly to- ward him, tbhy should be accourIntaule ta hhm. I therefore dq'sired-him to ttell me, and that 1ree W, wherein lhe was hurt by the AMethodists: and after coaversing freely on both aides for sevcral hours, when I was about to take my leave of Mr. Cleland, I wished to knowv of him on what terms we parted; was it peace or wir lie informed me that Calvinism would triumph ; that he should coniu out on his principles. I re- plied, that, that should never break friendship between him and me; that he, as we!.' ai many other Presbyterian minis- ters, had frequently preachtd in ay iJcuse; that he should still be welcome to do so; that I was forld of honest preachers that he should be as Yvecome to preach his priuziples in my house, as any Methodist minister, provided he would suffer me to preach what I believed to be the truth, without com- plaining: and at the sane time acknowledged to Mr. Cleland, that he had the advantage or me; tIhat if he did not suffer me to preach to the people, what I blelieved to be the truth, I had not learning enough (nnuch less inclination) to enable me to preach one thing and believe another. Notwithstanding I sOOnh found that my attempt to appcase or satisfy Mr. Cleland was all in vain; that the decree haI already gone forth aai st us, (nrtfro;n all eterniy,) that the Methodists should bbranded in the forehead, as they had lcn on the back; and that he was then preparing the scourge br them. And t3is, gentlemen, is the Mr. Cleland, that now comes forward with such heavy complaints, founded, as lhc pretends, .o Gt.e authority of T-r. the author of the "Black Brother- hood ;" but a brotherhood nearer at hand is the real author of the trouble. And now mr. C. who professed so much sorrow that the union was likely to be dissolved, instead of coming forward to adjust differences and restore peace, when sought unto, substitutes this patched up evasion; and then makes a public attack on our church. But, Gentlemen, unpromising as the prospect of an ami- cable adjustuient of differences with mr. C. was: yet I could not forbear making one effort more; r membering that the wise man had said, "In the morning sow thy seed, and in the eviening withhold not thine hand," kc. Therefore, in two or three days after Mr. Cleland's Dialogue fell into my hands, I addressed to him the following letter, and received the annex- ed answer. RErEI2ENID SIR, A FEW days ago, a pamphlet, intitled, " A familiar dialogue between Calvin and Arminius," fell into mny hands. I have read it with attention ; and opposed several objections. The author makes the dissatisfactions respecting union between the Methodists and Prebyterians, to have originated in design, on the side of the Methodists; and seems determined to in- volve the communities in a controversy of a peculiar and dis- agreeable nature. He then, as an individual, attacks our go- vernment. I think both these parts ought to be.placed in a local point of view; and that some remarks ought to be made, on the doctrine advanced in that pamphlet. I have resolved so to do. And now, sir, I take the liberty, to inform you that I judge you to be the author of that piece ; that, in my reply, I shall place the subject in a local point of view-That I shall introduce your name, (unless you inform me I am mis- taien as to who the author is.) In doing this, I may be under the necessity of laying some things before the publick, that will be. painful to you. Therefore, I invite you to a private, friendly interview on the subject ; in order that (tho' our con- fidence may be weakened in each other) we may strive to re- move improper impressions, (if there is any) that may lavc been made on our minds; and thus do honour to our pro- fessions: while, at the same time, we may honestly and plainly oppose, what we judge wrong in each others practice, and doctrine. To satisfy you I do not belong to a designing party, if you comply with this request, I ptofler you a view of my manuscript,. so soon as it is prepared for tne press. Accept, sir, these lines as an expression of my carnest dcsire ( go I lor your pzace anI hapan2;ss: whi.- I coaclude inyielf yours in the bonds of a:i'a and impalirtial go'pel. JESSE HEAD. Rcv, Thzmas Cicvand. June 24th 1805. Judg 5th, 185e. Ri'RSJD Sift, YOUR letter came safe to hand, and now lies before me. You :uniile the words general, individual, local and fJer, aona'so much to,,ether, that I have in some degree to guesS at your nmeaning. You say I come forward, as an individual, toattack your government. True it was an individual that wrote; that is tost certain: but he wrote, if you observe, in the preface, under the general name of Calvin. You say these points ought to be placed in a local point of view. I wish I understood you fairly; but if you mean they ou-ht to havc a particular reference to you or me onjy, I am far from think- ing so: because there is nothing oppbsedto.your govememnt, but that part which appears to be unscriptural, and without found;,tion, a3 I have endeavoured to make appeuir ; and of course efficts hundreds more than you and 1. You say you judge me to be the author of the " Familiar Dialogue." Sir, I am, at lcast in part. However, it was not fcar nor shame ;Zr stopped me from adding my name, which is at your ser- vice ; but be careful how you use it: yea, I say be careful! You say you expect to lay soene things beofwe the public that will be painful to ine. I suppose tIleR it ia timet for me to begin to tremble. Piniful ! you astonish me ! You certainTy must know that I have read the newspapers too often to-expect any pain from what yoa can do. Painful to e e! Wonderful ! ! Dill you ever read the fable of the gnat on the wx's horn I have. Truty I expect to be pained for you, and so do others. You invite m: to a friendly intercourse. Any time you please, Sir, only nct on the Sabbath day, again, and without calling witnesses, unless you are still afraid that I shall lie or equi- v-cate afterovard9.l3ut, sir, gs on to write ; but I again intreat thee be' careful, for if your answer is no: drawn from first principles, it will not be noticed ; and if vyou should be incor- rzct as to stattmentA or arguments w.orth noticing; you may be sure to see an answer; as also olne to Dow's open links,-ei- theur by m) selt or a better hand. As to your Lbcal, individual, i; 1 care not lir them. 11 I write agnin, I shall write as it suits :ne; I shall b" waitin; in the posture of expectation -and i 11 ] anxiety till I see the wonderful things, that is to give me so much pain. I would just inform you that my piece was not written immediittly at you; for it was on the way before you were at my house all night. I said in my preface that Dow's piece was not seen till I had writt.i: my meaning was, that it had not come to hand; but I (lidsee a part of it when I was at Lexington last, at the time of its printing. I had Rot resolved on writing before then: neither was I anxious for opposing that piece, or I had waie(l till it was finished; but I wished the public to see a chain on our side, as well as yours. Pray don't talk about attacking governments, after you have heard Dow at Springfield, and when you look at the notes of your sermon you preached in this neighbourrhood the other day; when you insinuated to the people that we were worse than high-way -high-wvay-_what is it ptvhaw ! you know. I hate to write it: But, sir, as I had not the or- portunity of correcting the press, and as yot: intend a fire, I think it my duty to save you some unnecessary trouble, per- haps by, pointin g out to you typographical errors in the fol- lowing: [But to return to the letter- mr. Cleland says,] "I am not anxious whether you answer -this letter or not " From my acquaintance with your disposition, and froin past observation, I believe you are fond of what children call " last tag ;" or, as an eminent servant of Jesus Christ said not long ago, " you were like a man holding his wife while another beat her, while her h usband tells her not to complain, but beir it all patiently ;" A 1000 copies of Dow's horrid stuffs and misrepresentations, can be printed and circulated in Kentucky, besides other pamphlets before that, together with the gene. ral hue and cry of all your circuit-riders, and we must be si- lent: And because a little vindication has appeared, you are up in arms about it and it must have an answer. 1 see you are not for"' turn about fair play," as the old saying is. But pray go on, sir, and do what you have amind: I shall endea. vour to be prepaired, come what will come. I shall write no more by way of letter. Accept of my earnest well wishee for the temporal and eternal welfare of yourself and family. THOMAS CLELAND. I. Head. AS to ty/iograp-thcdz errors, sir, tJto need not trouble your. acef; they nill not stand in my waty; and I think it unnecesnary to wet illy Meete by giaring thial:rt of your ltter to the iub- NC. C 12 ; IN a second letter I received from mr. Cleland, dated Julv 1 1th, 1805, he wrote me as follows; although he had assured me he would write no more: 'Dear Sir, THE dialogue is approven of c. tc. commended too, by the following ministers of our body, to my own knowledge, viz. Camron, Campbell, Finley, Robertson, and Wilson; but an answer is expected by you, and if worthy of notice, or the cause of truth requires it, you may be sure of a reply. Ar- rangements are now making, Ick. c. "It is expected by both your and my friends, that your at- tempt will be virulent and sarcastic, and chiefly personal; but however degrading this may be, little or no notice will be taken of it if a reply should be made, but to vindicate truth and expose errors, will be the main object, c." In this letter mr. Cleland tells me his pamphlet is approven of, and recommended by five of the ministers of his Body. I would here observe that I really doubt this assertion of mr. Cleland's at least in part. Nay I have good reason to believe that it was not the case at the time mr. Cleland dated his let- ters. I shall only remark on mr. Cleland's answer to miine, that his words no doubt speak the very language of his soul; and go at once to disclose the man, and place him in that point of light, in which he may not be willing to be seen. In the meantime, lest I should seem to treat with neglect the in structions, which he has vouchsafed to give us on the subject of church government, ordinances, c. let us take a view of the several particulars, on which, he has shed such a blaze ef light. The first thing in our economy, for which he tells us, page 7, there is neither scriptural precept, nor exan/Ile, is re. ceiving unconverted adults into the church. p. 8th. This mr. Cleland thinks highly dangerous to the subjects of that recep- tion themselves; and adds, with a repugnancy bordering up- on honor, these persons arc called brethren. 1 would here ask, what does mr. Cleland call unconverted, and even unawakened persons, now grown to years of discre- tion, who were received into the church in their infancy Is he not at a less to know what appellation to give them Whe- ther he be at a loss, or not, he assures us in the same page, that persons may go great lengths, and have a great anxiety to par:ake qf the children's bread, aud yet have no right to church membership. And pray, sir, what of those who are already in the church, of which they were made members in infancy; but who neither do nor ever did mnifcst a " great desire ta ( 13 3 eat of the ch'Llren'- bread " Have they no right to church mv.nbcrb up AnJ do you alwys treat thent accordinuly 1)' you refuse to biptizU their chdkiren 4ir instarce, did ) ou n - ver baptize a chlkt, aid afterwards say tLat you did not be liavt: tlht either o; its Parents had rLligioii 1s therc itot at least as much danger, that such persons will b_' FHtttreld by claurca niernmbrhip, to rst without a ti irouLiL knowlcdge ot the new tirth, and the evil nature of Site;" as tiat those will, who already enquire with anxious sulicitude wkast shall we doto he sawvd 7 For it is not the avowed practice of the Methodists, to re- ceive into their church unconverted adulis, i. e. adults not turned from their evil ways; or, as mr. Cleland expresses it, p 9, to 'cpea the gates of the. kingdom to all pr omisculously." Ii taiut -entle:nina gill take the trcuble to cast his eye upon the 133 p. of oatr book of D:sciphrne, tenth edition, printed iji Philadtlxhia, 1798, hle will thcre leirn that . ds.re lo/ee from the wrath to cone ; and to be saved from thir sins, Lhlot in then] is a condition previously required of all, who apply for a'lnsusion into these 8ooietie.a. And they art also required to evince the-sincet ity of this desire, in a probation of at least six months MIr. Cleland tOuinks that none can be admitted to church membership, - In deceucy and in order, uatil, like Paul and the E' licomuati Eunuch, they profess their faith in J sus Christ." I do not remember to have read of any profession, that St. Patti made, previously to his Baptism ; other than. calling Christ Jesus, Lord, and prayiing to him. And the same histori- an informs us, Acts viii. 37 that the Eunuch's profession of fUith was male in these words, I believe tiat Jesua Christ is theain of Goad. And do we receive ilto the church any who do not p;otess this Faith You will tell me the Eunuch's faith was operdtive: it led him to apply tor baptism, c And i3 not that taith operative hith leads a man to bre-ak off his iniquities by r penta:nce, to come out frorn amongst the wick- ed, and in thle seriouS and devout usc of all the means of grace, to wan to stC the Lord's Salvation As to whhat nmr. Cleland sitvs. p. 9. namely, " the principic thing intended in the right f ci cunicisioa; waa, to initiate the chiillren of th: fjitIul, into th: Jewishii Churct, so the chiei design of bapfism, now ii. to admit the children of suchl a, profess themnseIves christiaies into the church oCt Christ." WViihout spcnding tine, I would ask mr. Clelalid, if, under the le wish dispensation, a proselite of tI:e gate, is ho worshiped one God, b)ut was not circumcised, had olfered his child for ciroumcision; if that right would Id. have bern With held from B [ 14 1 Lim and if not, has not the children of those parents, whvo profess their belief of the christian religion, as undoubted a right to the ordinance of baptism Once mote, do believing parents alwayshave elrct children If not, by what authority does mr. Cleland baptize a little reprobate in the name of Christ, and constitlute the greater number of Christ's Church Again, mr. Cleland says, p. 9, " the chief design of baptism is to admit the children of such as profess themselves chris- tians, into the church of Christ. Isil indeed, sir v well licre you have unconverted members in the church of Christ, and in p. 8, you heavily exclaim a- gaiiest us for receiving unconverted adults. One more of mr. Cleland's inconsistencies, p 8, he says" While they [uncon- verted souls] are debared on account of their unrenewedi state, it is most likely to alarm and convince them." But when lie gets into the humor of finding fault, hie argues, " that for them all to come in and see, is the most likely to give con- Viction," p. 14. Pray, gentlemen, do not such arguments prove, that every body is wrong, when they do not as mr. C. says. But " if all creatures and al their actions were decreed from eternity," at mr. Cleland says, p. 17; I ask, how can the Methodists help doing as they do have they any power to forbear, or, would he ask them to break the decree. to please him ' Is it right for' sucli a poor Junmp of clay to find fault, or say to the divine father, why didst thou raise up such a people as the Methodists to torment us. 1 le third thing which mr. Cleland condemns as a practice of our church, which has no foundation in the Holy Scriptures, is, the seclusion of the communicants in approaching the I.ord's Table. Mr. Cleland says, he "unever could see the propr ety of closing doors on this most solran occasion." p. 13. And therefore (it certainly follows) there can be no propriety in it ! That none of his readers might hesitate in adcpting this fair and legitimate conclusion, from a recollection of the example of our Lord and his disciples, he as ures us in so many words, "iItappears to me evident that he [Christ) did it not for future example. Christ at that time only aimed at and intended the iustitution of this ordinance." ibid. Are you sure, sir, that lhe meant nothing more That he did not even aben at or intend the comfort and edification of those first paitakers of that ho- ly sacrament, at its ever memorable institution One great end which, in our opinion. is promoted by the Lord's Supper, is, the comfort and establishment of those who eat oft hiu Brad and dritlnk ofthis C'u,i in Faith. Nowv when wet judge that this end can be most effectually [ i5 3 ansvere.1 by retivin-1'from th promiscuous multiutude, to cc- lerate and ,njY this ioly solemlnlitY, wlhere Is tb- incunsisten- cy of appzalhn-', in vindication ef our doing so, to the exam- ple of our Lord tnd his dis ip!es, aithoghi we do not fruitles-.1 enldeavour to ascertain nrecisely thle liur, at which the sa- cra;mental Bread and r!.ne were fi.st distributed: Ini other words, although aaer their example, we fix upon the hour in the 24, w'iich we are all oroninion is most convenient and best suited to the end intended. However that be, Mr. Cleland is positive, that direful con- sequences attend the practicc utidcr considera:ion "T' hose," says be, "who are without, are chagrined, movtified and dis- appointed," and he knows, he says, "from former excperience and obaerva'ion, that at such a time there hgs been more sin committed in one hllf hour (iwhen the duors were s6hA) than, iii two, when their eyes and ears wtere gratified " p. 14. Pray Mr. Ckleland; how Te they disappointd when thev know be- fore they a-swilb;le, that it is tfle-ordinait y custom of thle Me- thodists to aldmlnister the Lord's Sup)elr with closed doors, where their hoits.s will admit of it And why should they be cha-rined Do not men of all (descriptions withdraw at plea- sure, for social purposes, into rooms more or less private 7 And no weh-bred man takes it into his head either to intrude upon them, or to carpitt them., And why should any man be displeased because the Methodists use, at their discretion, the common privilege of adl citizens When mr. Cleland wvrites again, I Lopc lhe will acquaint his readers, with the secret art, by which he dttermines r'zik uch ubsolute certainty, the quantum of sin iii whole congrea- tions. rhe -passage quoted above, from the 14th page, wmith ma- ny others that might be selected from mr. Cluland's book, may lead u- to believe, that he either possesses a f'cufty of discern.- ment far beyondvwbat most men pretend to, or that he some- times aseerts 'vith a temerity which would be better avoided. An instance ofthis nature, if I conceive of it rightly, occurs in the 7th page, where he -says, "WVe (i. e. Presbyterians) have fewer disorderly-members and less squabling and turn- ing out, than you (i. e. -Methoadists) have." This may be true, for atight I know, though I should not have thoughtso, if he had not told mre; but I am naturally led to enquirc how he knwws it His pamplhlet strikes at the lIethodists, not barely in his own neighbourhood, or county, (vhere he has commonly resided, I believe, ever since he was a boy) but throughout the western country, at least. Accord- cordingly, in page 6, le reprcsents the reputfed author ot an [ 16 1 anonymous pamphlet, ixr. T-r. (the Rev. C. J. Taylor, who lives in Flerming or Mason county) as a principal memhcr of a secret combination, who had formed a gra'nd echente agnst the Pretbyterian church. And again, in page Goth, he tx. claims, " I'his is the tone of preachers and pamphlets all round your circuits. Your wh('le force is levelled entirely at pro. fessors of other denominations." I would here ask, is mr. C. acqaainted with all the Mcthlo. list societies all rcwzd 6zir circufs Does hie know ho". mi any disorderly mmnbers they contain l Has lL an intimate kno'v. ledge of all the Prcsbyteri in congregations in the counties through which those circuits extend. Mr. Taylsr lives at least 100 miles, if not more, from that gentleman. If then we make mr. Cleland's p'ace of residence the centre of a cir- cle of 200 miles diameter, does he know how many members o-the iPresbyterian chulrch, will be included, to whom the epi. thet-disordLrty may with propriety be applied If then, lie does not know the number of discrderly mernbera, tither in the one church, or the otheer; by what maglt has lie found out which has more, or fewer' Before I dismiss this subject, I cannot forbear taking some notice of the curious excuse, which mr . C. makes Arminius over, in order to extenuate what it seems he had no longer the audacity to de-fnd. Poor Arminius, having all along to to depend on the masterly dictative taletits of mr. C. and bc. ing much cramped, is brought to fall, as it were, like an hum. ble suppliant before his!powerful antagonist, and crave, as a boon, this last resort: "I hope, sir, you will make some al- lowan-c for the people called Methodists-They have -been persecuted more than any other society ; and in reality Were forced to this method of administering the ordinance, in. for- mer timzs, for fear of tdieir enemies; and havin- a great res- pect for our fathers and leaders in those times, have never d!: viated from this rule." p. 1 i. Thus you see, gentlemen, Arminius has stooped to the de- grading character of a cringing suppliant, anzil yct can get nio quarters. Mr. Cleland is not yet softenec ,: the least, by the palliative to which his attention is pravedl. IHe mingles his reply with reproaches: "rhaive often,'; says lic, "heard thia reason urZed i behalfof thec.rac:ke; and I had rather not h2ve Arard it, a. earing to we more l ke arrogating nmerit, in8ftrad q provang the Irfagiy o,,f ie .raefice. Proving- the legality of the practice! Is it necessary in argunienltation to prov thie the tegaliry of a practice, hen no law of Ccdl or n:cn is pro:!u- :ed, which it is even -.relend-d is violated by it If Lhm. author has produced one in the instance before u1s, t 17 I have net been able to see it. Is mr. Clkland really igno. rant, that the custom under consideration.. is a usage of the church ot England The Methodists were formerly soci- cties chiefly belonging to that church, unitdcl under cerLtain rc. gulatiolus. After the auspicious revolution, wiiich severed the Unitcd States from Great Britain, viz. about the enrd of the year 1784, the Methodists in America, became aii independent church; and they continued this usage of the church, to which they had belonged, because they approved of it ; not for fear of the violence of their 6eremies, from which the lUws of their country would havc protected them. N'or from ary superstitiotus veneration forfathers or lecders. Tlhis part ot mr- Cleland's book shews how accurately lhe is informed, respecting the past transactions of the religious community, which he lhs thought proper to assail. And no doubt, those amongst his readers, 'who have the most inti- mate, and extensive knowledge of ,hat community, rand prar ticularly their ministers; who know tl eir doctrine, manner of life, long-suffering, charity, patience, persecutions, afflictions, [2 Tim. iii. 10, l1.] willbe of opinion, that mr. Cleland has either relied on incorrect infoj'mation, relative to more recent occurrences, or that he has wilfully misrepresented that com- munity: That whatever mr. Cleland may have known, or thought he knev, concerning individuals, neither the preach- ing, nor the conduct of the body is of the complexion, which he has held out, or evinsive of the sinister, the dat k and ma- lignant designs, he has ascribed to them. To touch upon one more instance of mr. C!eiarid's ignot ance of our doctrine, or. manifest desi,-n to misrepresent us: I would call thu attention of my readers, to what lie makes Ar- minius say, respecting original sin, or in other words, what he himself says in p. 17, is our oiwn language, ViL "I That a.' children rarne into the 'wrId, Cke a clan, whikel/iece of paJlcr.' Is this, sir, the doctrine of the 'Methodists Do they really deny original sin Does any of their writings sanction such an assertion No, sir: and to detect you in your excentric roving, and shew your w.ant of reading, or base design, to misrepresent, I will refee our readers to mr. Wesley's S.crmon on original sin, his Sermon on the new Birth, and mr. Fletcher's appeal, together with any, or all the authors of our church, that have written on the subject; andshould these be thought insufficient, I viii here quote the 7th article of our faith, on original, or birth sin, which the readcr wilt find in our for n of Discipline, sixth edition, p. 54. viz. " original sin statideth not in the fal of Adam. (as the Palaghin's do vainly talk; but in the corruption, of the nature of -cvry R 2 ( is ]I man, that natura'ly is cngendered of the of oflfspring of Adam, wher...by man is vxry far gene fPcin orignial righteousnts, and of his own nature iiclined. to evil, and that contiiiudlMy." Pia.tv, mr. Cleland, look at this, and blush, that you have been capable of telling to the world, that which is so far from truth, and have not even the .A-adow of a foundation for the same. And when your disposition shall prompt you to write again, let me entreat you, to impel that fertile imagination of yours, to confine itself within the linmits of truth'sfirmn bounds. As I shall perhaps find it necessary to call the attention of my readers to other improper, (not to say untrue] statements ill mr- Cleland's pamphlet; I shall drop this part cf the subject, for the present, and proceed to take notice of the doctrinal part- of his book His, did I say Nay, it ought to be considered rather, as the ashes of ancient authors, who long since are quietly resting in their silent graves. And it may not be improper to inform my readers, that if they can procure the Rev. I lenery Pathlo-s Sermon's, printed by James Adams, for the author, in the year 1788, theyt will at once see that mr. Cleland is a mere transcriber ; and that there is very few, (if any) new arguments started in his firct.trn production; except that one in p. 38, where he makes out to get the man bgrn agan, and then as in a triumph deman0ds, '4 V/Wlre is the a r.:/ture, or reason, tMat aays he cain be unborn " Suffer me here to retort, by observing that the scripture informs us, that Cod made man in his own image; WeU now we have gotten th/c man made, and I demand, where is the cri/iture, or reaasoi that -ays he can be uwmimde again .' Lame as this argument is, yet I think it fully equal tomnr. Cleland's, and as applicable in the one case, as the other: However if mr. Cleland wants to know how a branch that is grafted into the true vine, and has partaken of the nature, of the true ofive tree, may be again severed therefrom-] would Teplyin the words of the Apostle to the Romans, Chap. xi. 20, 21, 22, because of unbecef, they were broken (9. And if any stand, it is by filth, [not by an cternal decree,] therefore, be not high- ninded, but fear; for if God spared not the natural branches, take h.td, least lie, also spate not thee. Behold therefoure, the goodness, and severity of God, onthem which fL11. S;verity; but toward thee goolness ; it thou continue in his goodness; otherwise, thou also shalt be cut off. The same doctrine was taught bv our Lord: A'bw yt are clean, abide in me; see John xv. 3, i, 6. "; If a man abide liot in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burrned." And lest these should not satisfy mr. Cleland, I will call ills at. i 19 ] tcnLtiofln tcV. ii. Chap. where otc If,)rd it:'!, us oCf Sonle, that Lad left thtir first love-ve a, .lrd of belicf; as mr. CSc- land appears to be, yet; Christ tells us fhcqi arc fallc;u and commands them to re;. ent. To do tiwir f'rst ,:oyks; and threatens them if thqv do not, that Le T`il crPmr u'to th m 4virk. ly, and remove t/,ir candl.otick 6:dt of h, I lece;, except they repent. Whether mr. Cleland will cali this bzcorning untorn again, or not; we believe that our Lord teally nmeant wvhat he said ; and infer a possibility of " forgeti.g th-At we were pur- ged from our old sinls," 2 Pet. of so abusing the grace of God as that He may "' sweat in his wrath. that -e shall ne- ver enter into hlis rest." Iclb iii. 2. Whlierefore we cry to our fellow sinners, with Paul, " let us labour therefore to en- tev into that rest, lest any man.fal after the same examhple of unbelief." ileb. iv. I l. Among the number of things in our administration, and government, that mr. Cleland cannot aj:robate-hecauwse they aplear to him ftunded an neither aecipture, /;recelit, nor example, (sec p. 7, and 8.) is our lovufear. fie just brings it into view, and instantly drops it as tnworthy of his notice. WVell, sir, as you appear to be ignorant. indeed, as to what the scriptures set forth, as the printitive practice among the a-.- cient christians, for your better instruction, I vwould direct your attention to the e;:istle of Jude, 12, verse; you will there find that leve'feast, are of no monler.a date, and when you write again, you m-.y tell us thait yot lhave at least found scriptural examnple for that prudntiai institution. And suffer me to tell you, sir, if your reading had been very extensive, you imight have seen in Watson's a,;'obogyffr Cl/riaianity ; see P. 76, and that love fasts, were a primitive practice among christians, until about the fuurth, or fifth ce;tufy-when they were put down by civil authority. Previous to my etitering upor mr. Clland's fir.1 propofition, viz. Predeftinatloa, Elealion, Fore-K;nowlege and Ecern ii Love, Iwill enquire what he means by Fore-Knowlzdae, Eter- nal Iove, Decrees, c. Hefays, (page 19) W'ba:e'eer oljwction can be imagined against an absolute decree, t6e same ea;s vitj the same force ana upon tbe same grounds, be urged against a certain and abso!ute fore. Anowvledge, 'c. Again, (p. 20) If it were certain, i. e. known to God, that some rould Lelie'e, this certainty must arisefrom tbe purpose, i. e. Decree, of God, fcr nothingfuture canbe a6olu;ely certain i. e. known to God, upon any otherfoundation. Again, (p. 2,) rocar objeetiou milytates against Gnd's pre- science as we'll as his eternal purpose which, is fvunded thereon, ij tbere be any distinction. What, fir, after afferting a2aill and aguin, tbat the fore- t20 J knoowledpe arid decrees of God is one and tac sanze tbin, your trembling diffii-nce r.d mndrsyty have drivell you to an IF. If there be ainy distincti.'.. Admit there is fir, and you cannot fave your precious doctrine fronm perdition ; and to aftert, (as you have done) that ticy are one anid the same tir., is to aitume a Lnowledge too high, and bordering on prefunption. 1 would afk, if a man mult not be pcrfecalv acquainted with the conflitution, before he can determine with certaintv, the conftitutionality of the Lhw. And I would further afll, if mr. Cleland muft not pcrfediy unccrfland fore-knwledge or infinite wifdom, before he can, with certainty, determ-nine what is and what is tot confiftent vith fore-knowledge. Should mr.Cle- land tell me, according to rule3 of logic. it isfo; I ant'Iwer, the rules of logic were formed by man to diret fuch poor creatures as we are to the propofcd end, and they anafver that purpofe. But will he affirm, that they will ftriday apply to God Can his limited ken grasp tbe inffinite ; and tell us with certainty, hat is, and what is not confiflentwit infinite perftetion lf not, mr. Cleland's fyftem is as a man at fea on a planuk ;- whe. ther it will come to a fafe harbor, who can tell For informa- tion, I would afk how does God forefee what man will do Is it becaufe he has decreed what they flall do or is it becaufe he fees they choote to do fo, when they might do otherwife If mnr. Cleland fhould approve of the latter, then he ruins his sweet scbeme of elcaion and reprobation. If he afferts the former, as he has indicatod,thlen the horrid conrequence of charging the fin and damnation of millions of cieatures on God, is unavoida- ble : a confequence this, which in my opinion, is too blafphe- mous to be believed. But how or where does my. Cleland found his principle of reafoning From fore-knowledge in God-lhe cannot, for this ocean is too profoundly deep. In man he can- not, for he poTeffes no fore-knowledge to reafon from. That God does forefee future events, 1 am willing to admrit ; but the manner in which he knows them, is beyond the limited know. ledge of angels or men, but he certainly cannot know them in oppoGition to his nature, or his law, which is founded on his na. ture; for illiance, God tureknew David would commit murder and adultery, yet he as certainly knew he might have avoided it, and therefore forbade it,but if lDavid wUs imnpclled to commit fuch aaions, becaufe it was fore-known, it follows that he was obliged to do what the divine law exprefAy prohibited; then if this law be founded on the divine nature, which confills of love, purity, gopdnefs,mercy, juflice, holinefs, c. it follows that thc fore-knowledge of Gotl which mr. Cleland declares is the fame as hLs decree,iis the caule of adultery, murder, kc. while th" na- ture and law of God, are both anainft it. Oh ! horrible dohrine ! WVell niight mr. Calvin himlelf ffile it "shorrible dccrecum," that is, the horrihle decree. Again. This view of the fore- knowledge of God not only fets up an eternal wvarfare in thc nature t deity, but it fets afide univerrtl cosnfcioufnefs ; for how ca couforcience accufe or excufc the heathen) when every [ 3t 3 action, good or evil, is t1le refult of fixed dkcrees wvhat pro . prity is there in accufirng a manl, or in a man's accufing hirnfel F for wt.at isunavoidable Certainly confcience 'vould as readily excufe a man for a bad adion as a good one, if both are the ef- fect of an eternial decree, or fore-knowledge. Moreover, fir, your doctrine firikes at the whole nature of God; for if divine avifdom brings to pafi the evil of injuflice, how can joffice in God require juflice of hic creatures, or conimand us to do juf- tice, love mercy and walk humbly, pound;cc. while lie decreed the contrary. Who dioes not fee that this doctrine tends to weakea every motive to do jallice,both in church and tate Again It equally nuflitates againft the love of God, by fuppofing it was not ,ieriently large to extend to the whole hunman race, art6 that 1 1onrequently. fixed on but a few. If a man loves God, lie loves every creature that has uot patfed the limits of the day of grace. This- accounts for minifters of.ering falva- tion to all wvhen they feel the Nive of God, and man : and their preaching the contrarydoatrines, ivhen they h3ve not tdiefegra- cious feeniogs. T tus darirue of your's is oppcfed to the trutr. of God, who declares he has no pleafute in the death of a finner, and being unbhangable he never had; but your doeltine fup- pores be always had pirafure in the death of the reprobate, be- Caufe be forefaw they muft and would pclfh. And fo it nmight be fiewn, your fkhemc is equally contrary toall the divine perfec- tions. When I Rand on original ground, and look at tour dodtine in the blaze of the divine nature, it calls to mind that fl;onstrum-borrundam tuitb nre'r an erve in its head, Once more. Such a view of infinite fore-knowledge as your doatrine fuggefts, is calculated to difgrdce the divine impartial. ity in oppohtion to the exprefs declaration of feripture, which fays, he [God] is no refieer of perfons. Place this text upon original ground, and let mnr. ;'. .iit out the period before the world was, when the tinchangable God did respect the perfons of the etect, and reject the perfons of the reproate-s if he can. If it: cannot do this, I thall infer that the forte-knowledge of Go! is perfeatly totflitent wvith his nature in wiiling that all without refecCt of peuiblus, fliould havc an opportunity of efcapirg the wrath to cone. Further : while I fland on original ground, 1 cannot w!th all my efforts, ree that 6dach spot in the glorious fun orf righteoufiefs, or Lhat kypocriticalprmncip'e that offers whatis calkled common grace to met), While it recretly configis them to perdition, becau!-c it wvas fore.kno xi, the ' tjoi ity of maukind wCAIV cloof, evil, thourbl equdlly fore-known they could have avoided it; and as I have bten unacmufloumed to 1isVw the divine being tlmrout'gl tter Rrecm glafs of nr. C's. lirtjudice, I ftilt view that prir uiple ct ilict rit) in God, whlich was in hiii bt fore the wvorld vas, and in his !On wale) li tiept ovel j. lulfdle'n aned (le. clared he "6 wotlr hiv.-e g lthrlrEl thm in as a hen gatlirrcd her chickens urnder her vwit:s. al ad tke.Y tozkV 1not." Air. Clev1',.d'. ftlitnl).C hi:,ds i;) equ'tl oppna-i.ion to divine powers for iLfore-An, wkd-c tx the fam:me as a decree, Ainigl.try t 22 I power has in cvery ag becti counteraming its decrees: for in. IlIce, the wifdom of God foresaw tbc filt of Angels and men, and thc fins of the whole World: And it cannot be denied that infinite powerhas been opofiuig tin, the work of Satan, in every aoe In fuch a mauncr as not to contraditt thr other perfeations ofUQd: but if fore-kn wlede and divine decrees are the fame in point of timeand fbftb1tcL, with what proprie:y could the power of God oppofe what lAis iflom auId decree have tixed. From mt. Clelaud'; idva ot the fore-knowkvdge of Gol, it feems as though It is blended in his opinion with the decrees of God, ard that they are one and lie faart thing. But if. this be fo,41 would here atk mr. Cirlanid it he is not riting up in rebrl. lion againft the Moll Hgh: for inftince, God from all eternity faw all the finful alions that have been comditted by all the people amongft Whom yOU l4bor. Now if all thufe fioful ac- tions as forecken by God, have comc to pafs, to ule your own expretiionsl "I at the time, in the manner, and by the inftru- ments appointed from eternity ;' as fir as you condemn your hea.ers for their paft anions, a t yu otr condemning the very decrees o God, which exteiads to 'all creatu-c and all their actions, a,-dll ewents," as you have tiold us [page 17) and that without a sbadow.af exception ' Thlis. hIr, is wvhat I cannot blieve, becaufe it at once makes God the author of all the fin that ever was or ever wi:. he committed in the world. For I btlieve that it is a inaxim that will hold good in all cafes; to wit : that the cautfe of the caufe, is the caufe of the effed, and that the caure of the elTA is the cauf; of all the efrCts flowing frem-the caufe. ro iltultrate this I will ftate this cafe. A sun finhth lells arms to an unturpeeted. perfon, with which he immediatcly conmmits murder. The gun fmith is not accoisita. ble for the action, becaute he knewnot the particularlntention: Butif he knows the applicant's defign, and aids lMin by furnifhf ing arms, though he Cells them, he is guilty, and maj be juilly punifhfd. For in action is imputable when the agent may be realonably looked upon as the real author of it, Whether he i; liretaly or indirealy the aethor. Thus then, is God the real author of fln, if his fore-know- ledge and decrees are fo blended together as to render evcry adion that man performs abfolutely neceffary. One. nmore. Mr. Cleland rays that nothing future can be known upon any other foundaticn, th.n that of an abfulute decree. Hence the decrees of God are prior to his knowledge, and if his knowlrdge be from eternity, the decrecs are older tban his knowledge, cotfequently older than eternity. Mr. Cleland's tri nd, mr. R. Mack, is preciely of his fentinient; for he tells us [p;.gC i4th) " No one in heaven or earth can know an acd u ill couxte to lafs, unlers they have abflute power and will to effect it, and alfo knows that his mind will not change." According to the opinion of thole gentlemen, God's forec Anowlv4e iz taker. awvay ; ard k: cannot know any thing, per t 13 J fon, aaion ot event, without his havinri pre outy decreed the thing, perfon, aaion or event; and alfl dtcrecd that his mind flall itot change. We come now to take notice of th- propofition which mr. Cleland calls ptmdestination, election, y a, lie calls it, fore- Anovvledge or eternal leve; (P. 243 as if he could feei no differ- ence between kno'wledge aind love, or by confounding things lIo different, he meant to infinuate that God eternally loves the Devil and all the fin and wickedo-Ifs iii the world, becaufe he: forefaw itwould bc. But this is the care-.-mr. Cleland is an advocate for eterudl elealion and reprobation--a fubjed that cannort'caintain its-ground in a plain drefs, and therefore it mutt -have an artificial garb of f'ft words and fair pound;peeches. Th1hefe gnay deceive the unguarded. But I mull obfervc'to you, gentle- mnen, thatthe controverted point between mr. Cleland and mne, is not whether predeflination, eltkaon, reprob.ation, r. are fcrip- tural phrafes, or that God decreed that Chrift lhoil!d be the Sd- vior, or fixed the phyflcJ l4wi by a divine decree, imor yet whether lie decreed to create angels and men, as he ihifinuated, p. 17. But the diWpu:ed point is this; did tLe all-wife God from eternity decree the damnation of a certain number of mcii, and did he decree the means as well as the end, that i3, did l1e decree that Adan fliould fll and thereby bri:ng all his pofterity into a Rlate of fin, and-by that means qualify the reprobate for averlafting dcftruction In a word, did Gtx1 make one part of the human tamily for falvaticn and the other for damuntion.-- "We are consantly branded." says Mr. Cleland, p. 16, "with holding that God made onc part of mankind for salvation, an4I the other part for damnation. But what an uncandid charfge is this." Again, p 40, he says, " Brut th.s is generally the first'dasls we get from your side of the house; and there is .scarcely a member in your societies, from the highest to the most illiterate, who has not this argument in his mouth, as soon as lie is enlisted tinder the standard of Methodlism." No wonder, when the thing is so plain, that every one must see it, as soon as the scalcs of Calviiiism fall from his cyes. Andi to lay the sin and damnation of men upon God, is suechl an in- equivocal mark of false doctrine, thatA I do not wl ,ndlr ' Mr. Cleland should start, and try to extricate hinis lf fnom the charge. Yet, this very charge I tincieritake from hii own book, to fixupon him. W ith rvspect to the danimnation of men, Mr. Cleland says, (page 2T) "i-le (Godl certainly foreknew from all eternity, that among the fallen race of Adam, lie would certainly save somc, and danmn otkers; but I would ask, whe- ther he foreknvw this, without dcsigning to dlo it." Again, p. 21 : The decrevs of Election nmcessarily implics that God hath, Witout any condhinmns, in his will atcl coun- cil, chnsen a certain number to grace, low and glory hcreaf- ter." I woull chrre teply, that by atu ,void.ldd cor'scjtuiectt t 24 ) he has rejroT'G`Z tle ior-TIe-t t P rn( e i-re, to arrfntion hereafter. "For, says Mr. (. p.'23. ,it -.c ad;..it ilite is anr elect, we must udinit of a non-rlctl is, iti l ain Lt.- glish, a r-troba'r] for tie on.: sujp. oics thlc other. it UdO I C- cunsary therefore, to be deternua.rd how miatv and whe in partcu'ar should b- intere-tt.l 1 in tis wondcrlulv work, ann s- ved by it." And if w: ask when this choicc was u114de, nir. C. wsiwers, p. 25 "It must be from ettrnity." Froin thes: quotations, it Us cle;.r, I thinki, b yonci a pnssil)i. lity of doubt, thtt, according to this scheme, God from :t(r-i- ty, without any condition i-i his witl and council, (iecreed to save some of mankind, atid danin the res, ; and that it was "deterninei d how many, and wlo iI) pPaILiCtiia " arid ttu:S Mr. C. Iays the cilare of damnAtion at tGo(o's feet1. I enquire in thienextl place, if consistent vith mr. Cleland's scheme, they c n be damiined for their own bad works For "1by thl decrees of God," says mr C. '1- understauid his pur- pose and determination concei ning all men and all things." p. IS. 'I'lie object oIthnse divine delcreet or purlpos5s, it is evi- dent are strictly and prop)eir'y universal ; so much so, indeed, as not to admiiit of any exception, or shad :w of exception-al cieatures, and _ 1; th eir actoios, atA all t vents." p. 17. Hei'e tUICI J:. tuiiian actious, Tvithout exzeprion, or ahadow of exce/ption, art: decreed, and cannot be other, i3e than they ae e; of course, the fall of Adam, and the consequent efficts on his posterity, were decreed fron all eteriiiy. For, say mr. C. "-Oriiinal sin and actual tranSgression, are the only two tbings that will keep us out of Hf;Yven one is the fountain or soui ce fr sin whence the other flows.' p. 11. Heice God decrCed that the fountain, i. c. original sin, should be opened when the fallen race of Adam anid tliat of his posterity, should lhave no more power to step sinining, thati the stream has to stop the fountain. Yea, fartler,, that "a!l the actions of each individu- al without the shadlow of exception, were decreed from, all eternity." If so-then so sure as he that wills and aids another to com- mit murder, is guilty of miirdur ; just so sure i;s God ltie au- thor, the pro'icr auwLor of all the sin in the world, wvhch idea is absolutely enou-0i to terrify the imagination I .nd yet it ,does not dt:viate one hair's brzadth from nmr. Cleland'sprecious schenie. I will now introducc Wi- Golden C'.ain, wvith its five/ireciowu links; opiosite to whtich you shall ha'e its inseparable coUl- terpart, an Iron (ihamn, -o'nposed of jost as neany links You. will pease tO read the ch::in. a litnk at a time ; fist a link of the Coldun chain is Na. 1. and then a link Qf the Iron Chain, t 25 1 or No. 2.; which is the infallible counterpart. I siippose this Iron chain to be rusty, from the little use which mr. Cleland makes of it: lhe just contrives it, fastens it otl the non-elecr, and then leaves them in the prison of reprobation, consigned over to eternal damnation, while hl diverts his readers with the golden chain dangling about the favoured elect. But I be; for a full view of all the Parts-and lo I here it is: GOLDEN CHAIV. IRON CHAIN. 1 J 5 15 1 FORKNOW- LORIFI FOREKNOW- LtTY.RNAL 1 -DGE. CATION LEDGE. Lkinalanfs - 0 2!- zi i!FIKEC I'.AL EFFEVkCTUAL CA. L 1. I ';. It EJ FCT ION. IC Ttese finks," says 'Mr. Cleland, " are made and wclded by Him, who) works with fire and hammer. Cast your eyes on thc 29th a',d 30th verses of the 8th chapter of Paul to the Ro- mans : he informs us in the 28th verse, that they who love God, arecalled according to his purpose; then begins the the chain :1'or whom le did foreknow he also did predestinate, kc. Here are the two first links; the other three are easily made out of the 29th verse: moreovcr whom he did predesti- nate them he also called. This is the third link ; and whoin, he called them lhe also justified. Here is the tourth linkl: and whom he justified, he also glorified. 'This is the fifth or last link,"in the Golden Chain. Now let us follow this chain a little for our information, taking the counterpart along with it:- Golden Chla.". Iron Chain. No. 1. No. 2. And here we have in the From wlhence we may infer, first place God's forknow. in the second place, God's ledge, or eternal love" to his foreknowledge or eternal ha- IS FOREKNYOWLEDCs and L9'SR.4JL L4 onc and tlhe ame ding 7 If eo, the objccts of foreknowIedge nauot be equally the C [ 26 3 children in Christ. I. That God's decree of elec- tion, is founded on his fore- Inowledge or eternal love, we have agaia asserted Pet. i. 2. Whoozz he did foreknot' he d'd /zredet.inate: You add (or foreappoint) "and this not to future happiness, without regard to the way of holiness: Neither because he foresaw they would do so or so; but because he himself did pre- destinate them to be conform- able to the inuage of his son. p. 22. tred to all his children out of Christ. 2. That God's decree of repro. bation, or eternal hatred to the non elect, may again be infer. ed from your notion, is evi- dent; but ycu cannot suppoit it from St. Peter's epistie. Whom lie did foreknow he also did predestinate; I in- fer, or fore-appoint; and this not to future punisbsrnent, without regard to the way of sin and Avickedness ; neither because lie foresaw that they -would do so or so; but because lie himself did predestinate them to be conformablc to the imaze of the devil. roi. they are called by those means he appointed ini his eternal council; they shall have the call at the time, in the manner, and by She instrument appointed from tetrnity. p. 24. t s But I observe you always And I observc you always leave out this part of the 29th leave out the countelrpart of verse, when you go to charge your doctrine, when you han- our .octrinewith such horrid die the go!den chain, prtach consequences, as Fatalism or Christ to ALL, threaten to pLx Universalism. p. 22. nish them for not coming, and charge us for being upifricndly for befieving your system charges God with making one part of mankind fer salvation, andthc other for damnation. I "We thc-..Fore say that the number of the elect could not be indefinite and undetermin- ed, unless vt: attribute doubt- fulncss And uncertainty to Cod. It-wvas therefore neces- sary to be cktermined how 2 Andliinfer that it vas equal. ly necessary to determine thc number of the reprobate, and who in )articular were fore-or- dained from all eternity to bw uninterested in that wonderful work, and damncd by it. And 01jecta of eternal ;Gove. But all the v'nful actions (f nen and dnt4a cre the objects of fbreknowledge, cisesqucntly nuet be objects Qfeternal love. This short drduction wiU at or-ce shcsv th/ fallacj of Mr. Cleland', arguments, rcqicctingSfrckZO-r.icd,'c and dcrees. L 27 3 many anrd vho ini particular, thus your aJeet schene char' should he interested in this ges God with inmking one par. ,wonderful work, aid saved by for heaven a:nd the rest for it :and thus the two first linko hiell, with a witness; or elsc in the chain are established." your system must not only be p. 23. charged with doubtfulness, but falls to the ground like Dazon l)efore the Ark: and thus by establishing your two first links; yom have fixed upion God the sin and damnation ef all that ire lost. ", In order that thli; may be done [the elect made con- formabie to his son] he lets (!own the middle of the chain to them, for they were called by those means, he appointed in his eternal cA!ncil. They shall have tde call at the time, in tlhe manner, and by the in. strumrerts aV'ix;tetc1 frurn. e- triliity." I _2 And in order to complete the counterpart [that the reprobates may be made coii- formable tr) the image of thic devil] he v;ould not let down the nmi(!dle of the chain to them; but enticed them by tlhose means he appointed in his eternal council: for they Ishall have the temptation to commit those actiona, at the time, in the manner, and by the instruments appointed fiCom eternity. I confess the lot of the poor reprobates is intolerable; for one dccree to secure Adanm's fall, by which a fountain of sin is opened, sufficient to damn a world; and for this fountain by the same decree to impel its diablxical contents, like streams, through all the reprobates, w hose actions are tile objects of those decrets; while not one particle of the grace of the Ho. ly Spirit, which alone could dry up the fountain, is afforded, and then damnel forevter for not tulning from their evi; ways: I say, car.not be a decree cf tlhe Ccd of goodness and love._ This is no other than Callvin's decrce. Therefore liVt up thy head, 0 Sinner. i The holy Spirit in the mean- time performing his part in the work of salvation, apply- ing the grace of God to his people : for lhe shal! take the gospel salvation, and clearly mnaniftst it to the under- standin-. and br'ing it home m ith sai ig pcwv r to th e sculs of my peop)le. p. 24. 2 But in this blessed work the unfoitunate reprobate has no part: the holy Spirit ap- plies no grace to his soul, but leaves him in the state sherc Adlam, by the decree of God, put him. : anrd therefore he slhall hide: the gosc.l salvation from himn, by making ro a:-. plication to his heart. and soul; because he is fore-appointed to destruction. 1 28 I 1 .4 many as were ordained to etrnal life beleved. They believed because they were ordained, and not or- dained because they believed. These word' stare you so boldly in the face, and sptuak so plainly, that you cannot get over them, only by telling us they might be translated to the reverse. p. 24. You must plead guilty to the c I While the blessed spirit is convincing the soul of sin, righteousness and judginent, and as a heavenly gale is blow-j ing upon them in regenera- tion, the glorious Mediator is interceding for them aboie He there pleads his whole ac- tive and passive obedience for them, and they are thereby justified; are made righte- ous by the perfect righteous- ness of Christ imputed, or made over to them, by an act of grace. And now we: close the last link. I I And consequently all the rest did not believe, because they were reprobated, and not reprobated because thcy did not believe. This inference stares you so boldly in the face, and shews the hateful part of )cur system s6 plain, that you cannot gc;5-clear by denying that God made one part of mankind for salvation, and the other part for damnation..- Iargc, or give up your schemes 2 While the blessed spirit passes tby the reprobate; con-, vinces the soul neither of sin righteousness, nor judgment: and while the decrees of God secures their practical sin, the the glorious Mlediator is in- terceding against them above. He there pleads Adam's BvholA active and passive disobedi- ence against them, and they are thereby condemned; are made unrighteous by the per- fcct unrighteousness of A- dam ; which is the fiuntain or original sin p 11. imputed or made over to them by an ungracious act. And now, sir, by following you step by step, we close the fifth or last link, of the horrid Iron Chaini-the unavoidable countei part of your /rectous doctrine, which is so 6,1ucct to your immortal aoul-a doctrine tLis, X hich charges infinite good- ness, first, with an eternal design of damnirig a part of his cre- tures; secondly, with decreeing all the actions of mer, where. by he secured Adaims fall, or original sin; ithich is the fountain fromn which all sinful Actions, which are bvt the streams, do flow: Yea. and to complete your horrible plan, in- sinuates, thai all those sinful actions, without a shadows ofer- celition, are dtcretd and brought about, at the time, in 4he manner, and by the instruments appointed fiom eternity. And froil this, your/irecious dxctrine, I pray Cod to delivur an thle people. 29 ] To impartial enquirers after truth, I appeal; and now,, g`iI- tlemen, that you may clearly understand us, and thereby see that I have not misrepresented Mr. Clelandi in the least, but have only held forth the inseparable counter-1art of his doc- trine, with its dreadful consequtences; I beg you, to attend to a few questions and answers 1st. 1 ask, what are tle objects of God's dlecrecs Mr. Cleland answers,--" By the decrees of God-, I understand his purpose and determination, concerning all persons and things," p. 18. 2d. But how are all persons, and things secured by the de- crees of Got J1ns. " The decrees of elections -an(nd cotscqutntly re- probation,) for one eupiposes the other, (p. 23.) 0' alway' and in- variably include all the means and instrumnents by which his gracious (and consequently wrathful) purposes Were to be ac- complished," p. :3-. 3d. Pray let me understtnd: are all the instruments and second causes to human actions unalterably decreed Ans. "They," Ithe elect, and consequently the reprobate] "are calked by those means appointed in his eternal council. They shall have the call at the time, ixi the manner, and ly the instruments appointed from eternity." p. 24. 1 beg lemao to repeat my first question. What are the objects of God's decrees. .ln8. "' The objects of those divine decrees, or purposes are strictly and properly univet sa!. So much so indeed, as not to -admit of any exception, or shadow of exception-al creatures, and all their-actions, anJl all events." p. 17.-what, s:r, not c- ven a shadow of exocption no, not a ahadow of exelt/ion ! Gentlemen, most certainly I am now at liberty to concludc, that all the blasphemy, treache y, robbery, adultery and mur- der, that ever was, or ever will be committed, sac dccrccd, anti accomplished, by those means, " in the manner, and by the instruments appointed from eternity,"-which I confess is inexpressibly shocking I For if this be the case, I see no way in the world, but to charge (Gd, not only with making some men for damnation, but witb all the sin that ever was, or ever will be committed. To this inferenc!, m r. Cleland objects' and he ought to be heard. "This," says he, p. 48," is generally the first dash we get from your side of the hcouse.-I hlere is scarnly a ineir.- ber in your broad connexion, from the highest to the most illiterate, who has not this argurnent in his mouth as soor4 as enlisted under the standard of Methodismi-again, we are con- stantly branded with ho!lin6 that God madc cne part cf ma2- C 2 C 30 ] kind for salvation and anothLr for damnation ; but what an un- candid char-e is this. p. 16. If mr. ('leland can wipe off the charge, let him do it ; but I hope he will stiffer us to think, that lie believes the doctrine be is striving to establish. Again, Mnr. Cieland says, p. 5t, 5, "4 NQW, altholgh God has decreed all things and actions, yet hle is not the author of sin, because sin is not an essential part of any action or thing, being a want of perfection arising from the evil disposition of the moral agent, in the performaiice of an action, on account of which the action is justly termed etil or simple; it is a transgression of the law as well as the want of conformity to it." What a happy thought here mr. Cleland " thinks he has got a little hole to crce/t out at." p. 39. But if I am not nlis- taken it will squeeze him into the consequence, which he struggles to shun, and which cannot fait to ruin his system. For if God decreed all creaturee and all their actions; then he decreed the actions by which the Angels fell from their ori- ginal holiness and happiness. Now if sin was no part of this action, but a want of perfection arising from the evil disposi- tion, did God put it there, or did sin If God, then he is the author of the evil disposition itself, from which mr. Cleland makes all sin flow. If the latter, then by mr. Cleland's mode of arguing, it "ill follow, the evil disposition produccs sin, and sin produces the evif disposition. Anrd now, candid reader; I think you must acknowledge, if mr. Cleland squeeze out Qfthia little hole, he niust be equeC. xed to death. Again, If God decrees " all creatures, and all their actions," thern lie decreed the action by which Adam fell from paradisi. cal inno:ence, and involved his posterity in original sin. Now, if sin was no part of this being, or action, but' from an evil disposition in Adam ;` I ask, from whence that evil disposition Was it from God, or the tempting devil If the former, God must be the author of the sin, which the evil disposition pro. duces ; and if the latter, then God decreed this act of the devil. Therefore it comaes to the same thing. Once more," if all creaturers and all their actions, and all events without a shadow of exception, were decreed,"--Then it was decreed that David should commit adultery with Uriah's wife, and afterwards murder her husband. Now, if sin were no part of these actions, " but a want of perfection arising from the evil disposition of the moral agent," I wish to know if David, as a moral agent, could not have refrained from those actions If he could, then) in that case the decree would L 31 ] not have I)cn broken ; but if le could not, sceiinn theyi were decreed-then how could he olkey the decree, which is the will of God, (for a decree is the act of the will) without cow- mitting sin, seeing the acts of adii!tei y and nmurder, are pos- itively forbidden by Gcd. And if he could not commit a- dultery and murdler, without committing sin ; and if God dL- creed that those actions should come to /ass at the time, int th e fnannl r, and by the instruments all/ opnted fromt etetrnity, p. 24. I ask in the name of common sense, if God is not the author, the proper author of those horrible sins And what is here said of David, may be urged in respect to all the sinners in the world. But who can firmly believe that the all-good, all-wise, un- changeable God, should firmly decree the fall of man; and then forbid the act, by which Adam was to fulfil the decree that be should forbid adultery, murder, c. under pain of eternal damnation ; if from all eternity, he had decreed all the acts of adultery, murder, Uc. that ever should be com- mitted in the world. If any can believe i', I confess I cannot; and therefore I consider the connexion between the foreknowledge of God, and the voluntary actions of moral agents, very differently from what mr. Cleland does. Once more, I beg the attention of my readers, while I fol- low mr. Cleland into the inextricable dilemma in which he now stands. Gentlemen, you have seen by plain declarations, or unavoid- able consequences that mr Cleland's scheme of divinity, charges the acts, the sin, and the damnation of all that are lost, upon the gracious Lord of saints; at this I am sure your well meaning hearts feel a degree of abhorence; but if you will indulge me with a patient hearing, I will present you with mr. Cleland's efforts. to reconcile eternal election and reprobation, with the moral agency of man ; where he gets so involved in difficulties, that I venture to say I will make him preach Calvin's funeral sermon (/i58 frecioup doctrine sweet to his imortal soul) by as fair cousequenccs. as any candid judges, could reasonably ask tor. Be it known to the world (says mr. Cleland p. 37) Idto maintain that no man, consistent Sith ocwrif;ture and reason, can hold the one (that is. the unconditional perseverance of the saints) without the other (eternal election and reprobation) and ff Az renounces the one, so must he the other also. Now if mr. Cleland affords sufficient ground to believe, that there is a possibility of fslling from grace ; then election and reprobation, will fall according to the above declaration. Gen- [ 32 ] tlemen, shoul N I be able to slew (not only from the word of eternal truth) but fronm mr. Cleland's book, that the persever- ance of the saints is fallible, you cannot hesitate a moment,'to determine in conformity to the foregoing declaration, that Calvinism, unconditional election, and reprobation, have fall like Dagon before the Ark. 1 ask then, for what end did God make man, was it for happiness or misery if the former, how came he miserable Mr. Cleland answersr." WVe constantly affirm and believe for his own glory. Was he made upright who made him sinful did God make him happy who made him miserable did he make him after his own image whounmade him did he make him for damnation or did suan make himself the latter no doubt. p. 16. So sure then, as God made man upright, in his: own image, happy, and designed for his own glory-i. c. the honor and praise of God, voio is infinite in goodness and wisdom-there wasnorie, no, not one, foreordained from all eternity to destruc- tion, for it would be manifest folly, in a common potter, to consign a large majority of his earthen vessels to destruction, just to shew that he had power over a lump of clay; and wvis- dom would pronounce it barbarity and despotism in an Indian, who would make three of his sons lawless favourites, and hanga the other seven up in the flames and roast them alive, just to shew that hle had powver over his children, from 10 years old and under. And then should he issue his proclamation declaring his Unlimited goodness, and sweareth that he will- eth not the death of any ; I think all would readily say from such goodness and wisdom good Lord deliver us. It is therefore of necessity, Gentlemen, that you decide it was Calvin, and not God, who without any condi.,ion in Nus rill and council, chose a certain number to grace here and glory here. cefer; and consequently, foreordaiined a certain number to sin here, anad damnation hereafter. The advocates for eter- nal election and reprobation, under the softer name of final persevei ance ; frequently tell us, mankind were like so- many condemned to die, of whom the, Governor might pardon somc, and leave the rest to die in their sins. True, but if the judge wcre to condemn ore man to be hanged for not doing what he had no power to do, he would be guilty of injustice ; but if he was first to decree that a man's father, that is Adam, should commit murder, and then hang three parts of his children, he could not possibly be clear. I now ask was there any difference in the children of A dam, ofter the fall, to move goodness, to reject some, whild happiness was communicated to others, or that 'would authoe- rize an impartial God to make a difference. [ 33 ] Mr. Cleland answers, p. 20, none in the creature, for a0 mankind 'were vie'wed as in the tame tituation, and on a perfect kvel conusidred in themn.elve.9. When this testinony of mr. Cleland's is considered in re- lationto infinite goodness, Ind we re::einber that Jehovah solenily declares, as I live dith the Lord, I havae no pl/easure in the death qf the w rked. Ezek. xxxiii. chap. I feel coilfident that you must conclude that Jesus Christ by the grace of (;od tast- ed death for every man. IHeb. ii. 9. If so, none arc lost but such as fall from some degree of gi-ace. Consequently, perservance is fallible; for that scheme asserts where grace begins a good work, it will infallibly carry it on ; and if perseverance be fallible, then mr. (:leland may say, farewell sweet -election and reprobation, for he says they must stand or fall together. But to come to the point, I ask, are men moral agents, or are they not I mean, has man by the grace of God, power to will moral good and power or liberty to choose that good, or is he under a fatal necessity to choose evil If he has power to will, and liberty to choose, is not salvation conditional If he has no such power, was he not eternally designed for dam. nation, and that design secured by decreeing Adam's fall. Mr. Cleland answers, p. 18, "The rational exercise of the natural powers of the moral agent, is not abridged, nor the freedom of choice destroyed. It is true indeed there are con- ditions on which the elect themselves shall be saved; such as faith in Christ, and other corresponding graces ; hut observe, these are conditions of the event, and not of the decree." p. 21. And" What I have said, I say again, that by faith in Christ, by a life of holiness, . and by perseverance in both, and in no other way, hle (the elect) shall obtain eternal life." p. 27. and if this does not satisfy you, I will add, "consequently their in- terest in Christ, with all the blessed consequences of it, was decreed to be the object of their own frce choice and earnest pursuit." p. 21. "This much wre know, that the-mci it of Christ is sufficient for ALL." p. 29. Al he free agency of man is ace essential in the divine plan, and rs much the object of the di- vine decrees as any thing else." p. 28. Gentlemen, you will stiffer me to collect the testimony from these evidences, and lay it before you. i." T he merits of Chrift are Fufficient for al! ;" (fays mr. Cleland) and goodnefs will reffraini them from none. a. MNian is a moral agent, endowed with the liberty of choke, i. e. he poffeffes power to will, and power to chufe inoral good. This power was loft by Adatn, but reflored by Chrift to him again, and all his pofterity iii him, of courfe. 3. His intereft in Chrift, and all the bleffed confequences of it, are the object of his free choice. Cud E 4 1 4. His falvation depenJs on a conditional fithi in Chrift, produative ofcorreXponding graces; aud the condition of faith and obedience, niuI ahbolutely be performed on man's part, and perfevered in. Fo- " in no otberivayvthe elect can 0ota n eter- nal life." And now, if a!l this be propofed to his jree cho.ce, wivtliout adding another word, I ajik, if inftead of believing in (Chrifl, rnan may not withhold the confent of his mind, and be d -inned for unbzlief, according to Mark t6. i6. '" Hv that believeth not (hill luedamnned ;- and John 3. 9. "' This is the condetnna- tion, that light is come into the world, and mea love darknefs rather than light." And further, that if there be a condition,if man may nat fail to comply, and be juilly punifihd for his difobedience, without fiuflrating or difappointing God, who " deceed that it mIu)ald be the obje of his fee choice." Again. If man's intereft in Chrifi, and all the oletfed conlre. quences of it, be the obje "of his- free choice," i. e. - I fz: life and death before you, choofe life." Deut. 30. t9. Is it not in man's power, by embracing offered grace, and pardon, to turn from a life of fin and death, to a life of haoll;s'3, and fihg, 0 Lord, I will praife thee, thou h thou waft angry with ineithine anger is turned away, auii thou dofl cotltort mie.. If.t. tA. 4 And then, like David, the incdlejui Go- rinthean, and otpers, by abufing the grace of Gods and doing defpite to the fpurit, turn from a life of holinefs, to comm-t adultery, murder, and all manner of abominations, and "die in them," there is temporal death, and thenr "for his sin tbat he bath sinned, shalt he die," experience eternal death, that is,compk-tely and eternally fall from grace. Reader, left you (hould helitate to give judgment, on account of a doubt arifing from an attachmenit to my opponent. I will call your attention to a paffage or two more from mr. Clelar.d's pamphlet. "I Yn the- fixed plaa of Providence, (fays mr. Cleland, p. 28) there is a real influ nce of fcond ciufes, both natural aiid inoral; ancd I apprehend the connelion oetw.ea c4ufc and effea is iniilar in both cafrs. "He, i. e. St. Paul, knewv tlhathe, as' well as a:hers,muft ure .ie ap2oi ted 'means, in order to prevent it, i. e. beitig a caft away, vrnong which a fear of cautiotn and circumfpeffion, is of the irft importance. p.48. There fore, when we fpeak of perfeverance, we always in- clude progrefi in the ways of holinefs, and uniformly maintain, that thlfe who rell in any paft attainmlents, or experiences, without giving diligence to prefs forward towards the miark, not only are, but cvrr have bieai, frangers to vital Godlinci's.'-- fPage 44. So (ure,thicn, as farmers have liower to plow,. fj. and culti- Vate thuir field:;; w:,ich fecond caufls have a real influence oM Ezxciel iii. Xviii. Xxxiii. [ 35 1 the grain, without wbich they gather no harveft, tlie filft cauft of which i. God, u ho giveth the early and the latter raini ;-. juf fo fure have ;!I moral agents power to comply withthe coll- dition of the Gofpel, to wit, to receive Chrifl, and all the bene- fits confequent tbereon, by faith; all of which are propofed to his free choice. And on the ot.aer hand, juft rO Cure as fa rimers have powe r to negle plowing and cultivating the ground,wlwich fecond caufes may prevent the feed fown from bringing fruit to perfecaion, juft fo fire the believer who neglecls to add to hbs faith, virtue, c. will forget that lie was purged from his old tiiis, will draw back to perdition. : Pet. t. 2. Heb. 'O. 38, 39. Therefore we are direaed to " break up the follow ground'v of the heart. Jeremiah iv. 3. Sow tothe fpit it. Gal. vi. 8. Give diligence to make our calling and rleticn lure, c. ii. Pet. ;. to. For my fpirit flhall not always ftrive with inan, faith the Lord. Gen. iv. 3- Wall, therefore, miight St. PauI know that the ure of the ap. pointed means was of the firit importance. And when David negleltedto ufe the means of grace, and fulfituted the means of adultery and murder, he wascast a ;. fly negleting" the ufe of the means, vhich is of the firat importance," he had caft himfetf entircly out-of thle road to Hleaven, and was thien in the road to Hell. Gentlenien, the eviden e-is full, yet fufler me to give a finiflling flraoke, wbic clinchesnmr. Cleland'3 fentimer.ts, and forever ruins his precious doctrine. " No murderer hath eteinal life abiding in him." John iii. 15 vcrfe. But David was a murderer; confequently, eternal life did not nuide in him. Therefore he had-fallen from grace ; for he had been a mau afterGod's own heart. i. Sam. xlin. 34, I will no longer admit a doubt but you will ackrowledge the per'ever- ance of the faiiits to be fallible, 'then drawn fromi mr. Clfland.i principle, as well as the word of God; confequently the doftrille of eternal election and reprobation, which is fo "precious" to mr. Cleland's i mmortal scut," like Dagon falls prcftrate be- fore the ark of goodnefs, righteoufnefs and truth. But oh ! what confufion does this make in mr. Cirland's fyf- tern! He uniformly maintains, that HIe as unifurl!y maintains, thofe who reft in any paft at- that God ever loves the fame minments or experiences, With- perfon and for tle fame reaton. out glvirg diligence to prets If you aflk what is the reafon, forward-to the maik, (as Da- mr. Cleland ani'wers, None in id did) not only are, but ever the creature. p. 20. Ile, never have been, llrangers to vital changes his purpofes, though lie Godlinefs, (p. 44) and therefore may change his providence, wvhen David for fuch a length o; (as he did towards David) vet time, lay .nder the guil: of un- he never refurns his fpecial vepented-of adultery ard niur- blkfling,rot retracts the fpccial t 36 1 cler, not only was, but ever had catl which he has given. p. 47. bern a Oranger to vital Godli. nefs ;" and yet And, therefore, David was as much afclaild of God when he lay in Uriah's bed, and imbruqd his hands in his blood, as wYhen he was attentive to "the ufe of means by which alonecit eternal life is to be hoped for and obtained . P. 43. By fuch logic mr. Cleland proves, that David inot only bad rot, but never had, vitalGodlinefs, at t;e very fame tiune, and by the very faine argumcnts that proves David wvas ligh in the favor of God. And-.. But, fir, fay3 mr. Cleland the doarine I advocate is fweet and precious to my immortal foul. Conic on. then with your objeions. I am an advocate for the veracity of God. I can meet a holl of arguuments, and if I fail, I do tiot fear but he will maintain his throne in fpite of all the Armenians in the- world who try to tear him off, and place him at their feet. P. 4. 'But tilt 1S generally the firfi datli we get fromn your ride of the houf:, on this article of our faith, and there is fcarcely a member in yourconnexion, from the bigheft to the molt illiter. ate,who has not this argument in his mou:has foon as enlifted under the flandard of M'lethodifm. P. 43. "Noify enemies, that have rifen of late againfi the decrees I narance ind prejudice are up in arms agaiufi eur confailow o Faith, wvlich fo many are baring at of ate. P. L6. " You tantalize us by exciting our attention with fomething of importance. holding out friendfhip in cite hand, till we draw near, and then with the other we have to feel the pointcd dag- ger of controverfy, which, for a while, was concealed for fralf. ter views but havin' failed, now it is drawn again with redou- bled fury, and wieldeJ againft us even by many whole novity, puerility and inexperience, Cpeak for thenirelves. P. 6o. No wonder (that prelbyterians are not like methodills) when we can nowv a days hear of fcarcely any thing from, you but perfection, and falling from grace" P. 7. Prvy mur. Cleland, be calm ! I hope voue will confider., that palIion as ill becomes the miniller, as 'ugly names atid hard fpeeches does the Gufrcl which hie preacbes. Indeed l;r, I have no intention of tearing the adorable King of Saints off his throne, to place him at my infignificant fret. No fir, looner, inuch foaner, would I have iny right arm torn from my body. This, fir, mult be a fit of intenmpcrate zeal, arifing front the danger in which your fchecne is in. You certainly vannot be- lieve we would tear C hi ill off his chrone ; or you could notbe fincere in your profeflions of friendfhip towards us. Anti even if this was your opinioa, you ought to be among the laft to corn- plain. You fay " all creatures and all their actions," were de- creed. If fo, it was decreed for the Methodifts tG act juft as they do. WlVat a pity it is that fuch a poor lump of' clay Ihould find fAult, and by Co doing, indicate a wint of faith iii the caute he advocates. You fty we tantalize you, hold out friendllpl conceal ccutroyerfy, or fni ter mUotivcs, but having, 1 37 3 Sc. , Were I to take fuch liberties, Piu would tempt me to retort them, and fay, "; out of the abundance of the beart :be moutb speaketh." You upbraid u with our ignorance, and re- prefent us as " barking"dogs, for preaching what we call con- troverfy; that is, for preaching to the people what we verily believe to be the plan of falvation. ladeed, fir, if you will not fuffer us to preach as we believe, you muft flop us preaching .altogether; for I confefs thar our learning is not of that calt, as to enable us to believe one thing, and preach another. But I muft do you the juftice, fir, to acknowledge to our im- partial readry, that I did no: dei;gn to make them believe that you held with falvation for all the fallen race ; that this falva- tion was conditional; that man really has liberty of choice,cc. No, 11r, I only meant to fhiew the hard flLifts you' are put to, in drt Ifing up your fentiments, to make them paffable in this en- glih:ned day. But, happy for the truth, your itico!xfiilencics 2 to Ofdblifil tIe oppofite cf your rentiments. In addition to wbat has been already flaid, 1 fli ,1 introduce your oppofition to holinefs, and fhew the ground ' of at oppo- iition, in order to bring out your rea! fentiments. I fiall not take timc nowv to expafe flatements. You may in- dulgeyourfelf here, as in other places, with wrong fltatejaents, if You choofe. I fl(all proceed tv thi.w our different opinions, and then let tie impartial enquirers judge for tleinfelves. I belicve that Chrift is that Light that lighteth everv man tiat.cometh into the world. That "in every zv'tion Le that fteareth God and worketh righteouffers," according to the light of his difpenfation, " is accepted," that he is at-ceptable jull fo f.r as he is inwardly and outwa;div c:'nformnble to this light, or the eivine nature which is thereby man'fflted unto hihn-and that he may fo "walk in -his light," as for God to reckon him a peife man; not by an im:aginary imputation af Chrill's meritoricus righteotiftiefs; but by his c'imriunicated nature, implanted in the foul by the fGith of th G f.;e. PRtient Readcr, I will now proceed to lay before yo' nmy view of the Gofpel. This mr. Clelind requires ire to do on original graunul. Hence he li-sst.;ken the advantage of me. I am not bleffed witlilearning; and he affurcs me, that lto notice will be taken of my performance, unlers it flands ol" 11 original ground." I hope if I flhould f6 far fucceed ;s to be takeii no- tice of, that he will meet me on the ground I take, and not fix on any accidental point, juLt to (hew his abilities ; for it is not abilities I am trying, but a plain enquiry after truth. Mr. Cleland makes (ef-exifltence, independence, unclia-igale. ners, omniii:feence, wifdorn, and juflicc hf God, his original cround, but of gocdnefs not a word in his original ground.-. Fore-knowledge is made the centre on which he railes eternal elecaon and reprobation, by w4hat appears to be undeniable conclullons fromn his prerifis. la confidering God's method of deaiin, with inau, it is pro. D [ 38 ] per to con fder the relation in which man (lands to Goi. Brc the relation in which man flands to God, is that of a rational moral aggnt, who has power to will and power to choofe ; who may, ther4ore, do or not do; and, of courfe, is properly ac- countable for his actiona; and, therefore, God -ill judge the world of moral agents in righteoufnefs; reward the obedient and punifh the difobedient, confiftently with his divine perfec- tions, without decreeing the means and the end of each indivi. dual. That this is the relation in which the human family -Ianc4s to Gird, will appear from a view of man. in relation to goodnefs, wifdom, power, c.in creation, redemption and con- verflon. Gotdnefs in man, is that which makes him eary, happy in bimfelf, ufeful to his fellow creatures, and inftrumental to the glory of God. Goodnefs muil, therefore, be a communicative principle. If fo, wherever real goodnets exifis, it mull bxs a. motive to communicate happinef3 to others. Now God is infi- nitely good.--good in his e !ence and attributes---the fountain and tource of goodnefs ---and as there was a time when no be- ing exifted but God, there was no object for goodnefs to coin- municate happinefs to. It was therefore proper for rational intelligencies to be made. Hence goodnefs moved, wifdom dirread, and power brought forth angels and men, rational in- telligencies, proper recipients of happinefs. And as they came immediately from the fource of goodnefs itfelf, reafon di states that they mull be good ; but not in an abfolute degree, not imn mutably good. Immutability is a perfecion of Deity. Now, Infinite wifdomn mult fee, that fuch a number of mut,. ble creatures would not all act alike. It was neceffarv to make them moral agents, to enjoy good, and be-accoubtable for their aaions. Free to (land, but liable to fall. And thus God. as-a wife fovereign, rewards and punifhes confiftent with goodnefs and juftice. So far, I thinI I I am n original ground. But nan, as well as fome angels, by an abufieof his power, did fdll, not in obedie:lce to an abfolute decree, for Cod did politively forbid him to ill, and therefore man, ar.d not the decree, brought inifery on the human family. Upon this view of the fubjc, I confcfs I cannot underflad in what place or part of this holy happy man, jufi from the fountain of goodtfds, who (hone out in the iinage of God, the fuppofed rel robates were contained ; or how goodrvfs coul. form any for eternal woe. If mifery be the obje6t on which goodnefs fixes. how could goodn fs form any for mifery Nor cam I underfland how wifdom, confifent with truth, could pro- nounce the man, that is, the whole man, conjequently all the parts, very good, if all the reprobates, as fo many bad parti- cles, were then contained in his loins. In the next place, we will view falen man as an object of livine attention, degraded, fallen And expofrd to eternal pun. Munentp wbich the juft demcrit of his voluntary, avoidable [ 3") ] trn gn ref i n dererved. Infi!uite power. abstractilly c.inhtdcred, could. no djub-;, like a fovereign potter, break as wvll as iwii-ke v-Iffes ac pleaiure. A.Ad viewing Adtm in the ab v- defcriibeI fitua:ion, I conclui- thit julice rnlgln Ivlve cut h4ii off. la tl it cafe. the v -4untary tra.lagreft )r w.ukl have f1afhrt'd a con- fciou, puniflinnntjutl y proportioned to his crini:, and the uti. born poilfrity deprived of their exsrlence, but would have had lo inore coaifcioutiels f puniih nir.t than ot guikt. B'it this woutd have defeated the origina! dciO.i of goadl;lel. wfliom, po.verSc. Hence goodnefs nmved, wifloin 'directded a ra;k.Fan is provilkd. 'There was lufficitit power had it been exerted, irrciflfibly anld iif441iblY to have fav_-cl the wilole huniin f4.uilv---but accord- iilg to firlt priiciples, this would deprive the creatu7C of moral agenty, ar.d tl!evei, render him incapable of rewards or pun- ,th'nn Ut3. Oncemnnore. Almihzhty power could have divided tihe poftlr- itv atfA Itin) give,] o.;e part to Jefus Chrift, and the other to the Yevil: fixed everliflumg diffinguif;ng love on the tavored elea, and eternal reprobating hate on tlje non-eleti--anid have fr- c dred the Iv atiozi of the firmerr and d.mnation of the latter, by decreci.ig M.'A113, repe.itance, faith, i:.snitence and uabe- lisf, w'iich ilrulJ le-id wit!, c-rtain:y to th.i rerpe,'Uive eiids. Wit oh, howv vsVu Iness siti.-lders at the idea ! Goodaless fixus o. th: miserable; nor ean juistice punish the repr b)ate. For upon the supposition that Christ did not die for tdem, they ab- siutely could not repent and believe in obedience to the gos- p l. 'lThjrefore, thiis scheme is ii)consiitenlt with original prin- ciples, th_ tenor o' tlie.guopel, and reason. And it is no Wonder, that upon a review of these Calvinistic princip!es, CallVia hirnsjlf should be constrained to call the de- cree horriblv awful. By the grdce of Go-l, the Redeemer was therefore given to the whole huatan fAinly, who were as much ii) the loins of Aciam, wlhe Christ, the secd of the woman, was promised to him, as they wivre whivn he sinned ; and as they lost original rectitude by the- fi: st Adain, so, by thle second Adam, they were all restored to moral 'a-ency by grace-hence lire and dcath are set blfore all-all are commanded to repent-ll invited to the gnipel supper-exhorted to come-warned of the dal- ger of delay; and while the gospel is inviting all, the iaw is levelled agL...st all disobtdience and unrighteo'isness of nmen, who are to be judged by revelation, and receive according as tVicir works shall b-. I therefore con lii'e, Ist, That " God so loved the world," the whole world of sinners, 6 t:iat lie gave his only bzgotten son, that they might believe in him and be sAved." Jol.n iii. 16. 2c. That "1 J.:sus Christ, by the grace of Gol, did actually astc of death for e'very man." Heb. ii 9. [ 40 ] Sd. That tht spirit is sent into the world to reprove or cone. 'ince all the sinners in the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment. John xvi. 4th. That the terms of life and salvation are within the power of all men, and, therefore, it any are lost, " This is the condemnation, that light is come into-the world, and men love darkness rather than light." John iii. 19. Once mare, I call the attention of my respectable judges, to view the converted man in relation to original principles. The object of this view, is to see whether moral agency or power to destroy himself, is taken from inan when he is converted. We have already seen that man must be mutable, or fhe may sin. That he may sin is granted on all hands. Mr. Cleland says he must slin-is so rigid an opposer to living without sin, that he Feuses to attelnd our areclings, because hle must hear so much of living without sin. Now, if the converted man may, and frequently does sin, as David, Sc. then he must be under a law, and if moral agents transgress the law, thehn the unchangeable God of ri-liteous. ness, justice, truth and wisdom, must see them transgressors, as they really are, and deal with them accot dingly, i. en reward thimn as their works shall be. Mat. xxv.. Rev. xx. 12, 13. And to this even Mr. Cleland himself seems to be agreed, notwithstanding all that he has said to the contrary. "i It is true indeed," says he, p. 2!, 27, " thcre are conditions. on which the elect ,themselves shall be saved, such as faith in Christ, and other corresponding graces." " What I have said, I say again, that by faith in Christ, by a life of holiness, and by perseverance in both, and in no other way, lhe (the elect or converted man) shall obtain eternal life. No man can be a true. believer, but one who wills to live it, a holy manner-p. 43. Thus far then, gentlemen, I presume I am on o-iginal ground, and surprising to tell, am blessed with 2Vlr. -Cleland's sanction. Well, Mr. Cleland, in the prcsence of these impartial judges, I must inform you, that your scheme of eternal election and reprobation, on which your pleasing aind much talked of pem;- severance stands, is an erroneous notion, merely farcical, and altogether the invention of a futile imagination ! Do not start, sir, nor interrupt me ; - give meo ltave to proceed. If rio' man can be a true believer, but one who wills to live in a holy man- ner, then David was not a true believer, u htn hie committed adultery and murder, for then he did not will to live in a holy manner, unless you call sl;ow that adultery and murder are hcly living, or that he did will to live in a holy maner clwhile committin- those crimes, and that adu' tery and murder wexec Ef 41 1. not the acts of his will; and if you can do this, I think it will rack your philosophy and divinity too, to showv the tec can bc known by its fruits. This argument might be varied, and apiied to all hack- sliders; but I forl)ear, in order to lay before myr readers. the harmony which subsists between my origintal ground, and the general tenor of the gospel. The gospel informs us, that all mcn are under the law- are called to repentance, With and holiness, are invited to the gospel feast-exholted to conhz-threatened if they reitise- warned of the danger of delay-and finally, are to appear at the judgement scat of Christ, to receive according to the deeds done in the body ; and that distribution is by tle revelation of a righteous judgement. On our original ground and principles, what beauty, pro- priety and harmony, are manifested ! with what majestic au- thority, the commands are ushered forth t what sovereign goodness, in making provision for a ruined world what a flow of tender affection is displayed in the pathetic exliort.- tion ! what a paternal dignity accompanies the solemn warn- ing! and oh ! how sweetly blended are unchangeable good- ness, wisdom, justice, truth and righteousness, in governing a world of moral agents, and rewarding or punishing at the last day. But upon the supposition, that God from all eternity, decreed A-lam's fall, by which all were made sinners ; then etiected- some for happiness, and reprobated the rest to misery, and secured their respective ends, by means andin. atrumen. -appointed fi cm aLd eternity: I say, upon stich a supposition, what cruel tyranny to command the repre- bates to repent and believe ! what sovereign ma'evolence, to push the non.elect into existence, when they are precluded happiness ! what a gtlst of cruel dissimulation accompanies the exhortation to the reprobates ! yea, what paternal part- iality and design, thunder out the solemn wvarmin-gs, to those whose awful fate is. unalterably fixed-and oh! how absurd, what mockery is a d6y of judgement. Patient reader, having laid befiore you, my vicw of the gos- pel, and shewn you that (notwithstanding mr. Cleland's op. position to free and conditional salvation for all men, yet he hinmself has been driven by the insurmountable difficulties, consequent upon his original ground,) lie is at last found, happily found, fighting on the side Xnd in the behalf of those his imprudent zeal led him to oppose. I shall now proceed to take notice of that gentlerran's opposition to the doctrines of Holiness. Wb Most of the controvercics, whirch aris: between men, who D 2 r 4 j 3 fear God, spring from the hurry with which some of them find fault with what they have not examincd, and speak evil of what they do not understand. Why does mr. Cleland attack the doctrine of christian perfection, which we contend for 7 Is it because lie is a sworn enemy to holiness; and a zea ous prohector of iniquity I hope not. The grand rensrnI, next to his Calvinian prejudices, is his inattention to tho question, and to the arguments by which our sentiments are supported. '-Notwithstanding the manner in which that gen- tleman has treated me, and the Mlethodists, as a body, in his controversial untimely heat; I shall entertain this opinion of him, as lo hope (at least) that if lhe understood our doctrine, he would no more pour contempt upon it, than upon the ora- cles of God. I shall thereifore endeavour to rectify his ideas of the glorious. christian liberty, which we press after. If pro- ducing light, is the best method of opposing darkness, setting the doctrine of Christian perfection in a proper point of view, will be the best means of opposing the doctrine of christian imperfcction. We now begin, by taking a view of our Jerusalem, and her perfections; andl when we shall have marked her bulwarks, and cleared the ground between her towers and mr. Cleland's battery, we shall march up to It antd set whether his arguments have the solidity of brass, or only the shadowy appearance of wooden artillery, pointed and maunted like brazen ordnance. Christian p. rfvcrion ! why should the harmless name offend us Perfection ! why shotld that lovely word frighten us . Is it not co nmon and plain . Did not Cicero speak intelligi- bly, when he cal!ed accomplished philosophers, /zerfceto-V liuilrc- 9ihQ., and an excellent orator, Perfectuin oratorum Did Ovid expose his reputation, when lie sail that Chiron perfctccd Achil'8 in murn;c, or taught hima to play upon the lute to perfec- tion And does mr. Cleland think it wrong to observe that fruit grown maturity, is in its perfection WVe, whom that gentleman stigmatizes, use the word perfection exactly in the same sense, giving that name to the maturity of grace, pect- liar to established believers, under their respective dapen- sations- And if this is an error, we are led into it by the sa- cred writers, who use th e word perfection, as well as us. The word predestinate occurs but four times in all the scrip- turcs, and the word predestination not once; and yet M'r Cle- land would justly exclaim against me, were I to call upon-him to slew me the word predestination once in all the bible. Not so with the word perfection ; it ccurs with its derivatives as frequently as most words in the scripture, and not seldom in x very same sense in which we take it. Nevertheless we do not lay an tunde stress upon the cxprc-n!i ; and if t thought that our condescension would answfer any good enrd, I would villingly save mr. Cleland's tender.frelinX,; and give lip that harrmless and significant word. But if it is expedient to re- tain the unscriptural word Trinity, bccause it is a kind of watch-word, by which we frequently discover the secret op- posers of the mysterious distinction of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, in the divine unityn; howv much more proper is it not to renounce the scriptural word perfection, by which the dispiri. ted spies, who bring an evil report upon the goodly land of ho- in.es, are often detected. Add to this, that the following de- clarations of our Lord, backed by an inspired apostle, does not permit us.to renounce either the word or the thing: "Be ye ,perfectW'"Every one that is 'eifict. shall be as his rnaster."_ "If thou wilt be Perfect, go sell that thou hast, and give to the poor." Matt. xix. 21. "If aby man teach other wise, and con- sent not to wholesome words, even the words of our l ord Je- sus Christ, and the doctrine whith is according to godlineas, he is proud." Again. "W trhosoever shall be ashamed of me and of mv words in this sinful generation, of him also shall the son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of the Father." Now these being the words of Christ, we dare no more be ashamed of them, than we dare desire he would be ashamed of us in the great day. Again. Wve call christian perfection the maturity of grace and holiness, which established adult believers attain to under the Christian dispensation ; and by this means we distinguish that maturity of grace, both from the ripepess of grace which belongs to the dispensation of the Jewrs, below us, and fromr the ripeness of glory, which belongs to departed saints. above us. Hence it appears, that by christian perfection 'we mean nothing but the cuister and maturity of the graces, which con- pose the christian character in tile church militant. In other wor(!s, christian perfection is a spiritual constellattion, made up ol'tltese graciouisstars-perfectrepentance. perf-ct faith, per- fect huntility, perfect meekness, perfcct self-dlenial, perfect resignation, perfect hope, perfect charity, for our visible ene- mies as well as for our earthly relations ; and above all, perfect love for our invisible God, thro'ugh the explicit knowlege of our mediator, Jesus Christ. And as this last star is always ac- coinpa;ied by all the others, as Jupiter is by his satellites, e frequently use, as St. John, the phrdse perfect Synce, instead of the word perfection, understanding thereby the puire love of God sied abroad inth: heart of established believers, by the Ho- ly Gho3t, which is abundantly given them, under the fullnss of the chrietian dispensation. r 44 1 Again 'Mr. Cleland's prejudice against the doctrine of per- fection, is, no doubt, increased by his confounding together Adhiiic and Christian pcrfection ; two perfections these, which tire as distinct as the garden of Eden and the christian church. Adamic perfection came from God our creator in Paradise,be- fore any trial of Adarn'i faithful obedience ; and christian per- fection comes from GCd our Redeemrr and Sanctifyer, in the- christian church, after a severe trial of the obedience of faithw Adamic perfection might be lost by doing despite to the pre- senrving love of God otrr creator; and christian perfection iaby be lost by doing despite tb tlih rcdeeming love of God our Sa- viour. Adamic perfection extended to the whole man; his body was perfectly sound in all -its parts, and his soul in all its powers; but christian perfection extends chiefly to the ull, which is the capital noral power of the soul, leaving the un- derstarnding ignorant often Lhousandl things, and the body dead becauae qffiv. Again. To shew that mre Cleland does not understand our doctrine of christian perfection, or willingly misrepresents-us, 1 shall proceed to oppose our definition of christian perfectioa to some ofthe objections wvhich are raised against it. Obj0.ction 1. Your doctrine ofpierfection leads to pzride. Imnsdisible ! if chirstian perfection islierfect hundiitty. Obj. 2. IA et2lta believer-, but it is only to thc state Vf the 'v. n-g/oriott iharisee. Impossible-if our perfection is lierfect kumifita, it maikes us sink deeper into the state of te -humble justified publican. ' Obj. 3. It fills men with- the conceit of their own extcelr lerice, and inakes them say to a weak brother, etm'zd by, lam haoiek thafl thou. Impossible again. We do not preachchari- vaic,lbut chr!st ian perfecdion, v h ich conists in pvtfectfoverty- of s:iriet, and iii that perfect charity, hiliich vaunteth not itsel; Imonours al men, and bears with the infirmities of the weak. Objj- 4. It sct reipentance asiH' Impossible-for it isic.r- feel PrJ;,Mahc-e. 5- hkrxdsl mnake us slight Chr.'st.N-Iore and more improbable. H.w clm ferftctfJita in Christ. make us slight Christ: could it be more abulrd to say that the perfect love of (;od, will nWake us despise Gad " When I turn back and take a retrospective iew of Mr. Cle. land's want of sincerity in lhis professional fricndship-when I ee in him a disposition td anathematize every seiitiment irt others that he is pleased-to reject-I say, when I see the -ab- sence of that charity which never failethi. and of that love th.a-t thiiikz th no evil, - I must confegs I am not su rprised to sed lhim adyoe;tiig thle catuse of sin, opposing atiy attainrment in [' 45 3 religion in others, that he does not feel in himself; and, like the man that never had seen an hundred pounds at one fi:we, would not be pcrsuaded to believe that any ever possessed that sum. But it is, indeed, surprising to see him attempt to press two of the holy apostles into the field of this bad divinity, and intro- duce them as vitncsses against the doctrine of holincss. Nevtr were these hc;ly men set upon a more unholy piece of work. AlethinkF; I hear themn say, let Mr. Cleland rank us with the Gibconites; let him make us hewers of wood and drawers of wvater to the congregation forever, but let him not sct usn to cutting up, root and branch, the lovely tree of christi ua perfec- tion. Happily for that rare tree, Mr. Cleland produaced little more thun the name of the apostolic woodmen, wlhile w:v. pro- duce their axe and lay it at the root of anti omiianlism. M.r r. Cleland introduces Paul as a witness in opposition to the scriptural doctrine of perfection. But I would ask wheze does that holy apostle plead for christian imperfect ion in the heart of believers. Is it when he says, " as lie who has callcd you is holy, so be ye holy in all minner of conversation; seeing you have purifiedl your SOUlS, c. love one another with a pure heart fervently. Christ left us an example, that ye shlould fol- low his steps, who did not sin-who bore our sins, that we, be. ing dead to sin, should live to righteousness. Forasmuch, then, as Christ lath sufr;:rcd for us in the flesh, arm yourselves with the same mind, for he that hath suffered in the flesh lath ceased from sin." 2. If St. Paul, the first of Air. Cleland's witnesses, does not say one word to countenance antinomianism and to recomminned christian imperfection, let us sce if St. John pleads for Baal in the heart. any more than for BaaJ in the life of perr :ct btli,-vcrs. Turn to his epistle: 0 ye that thirst aft-r holiness, to your com- fort you will find that he shews hiinselfa bold asserter of chris. tian perfection. Ile assi-ris his commission thus: "This is the niessa-e which we have received from him (Christ) and declare unto you, that God is light, (bright trainscenlada't puriry,) and in him is no (dl lkness L1no impwu kty] at'all. If ve [!hciever]J say that we h-Ave ftAlovshipvAith him Cthat wV wve-.: unittd to hiun by an actullly livin, faithl] antl wa.i; ia da. kn:ss. [in impurity or sin] we lie atl do not tie trtith; bUt if ivcwalk in tl light, as he it in the li-ht, tif we live up to atir ch"ktian light and do righteousness] we have fe!lows!ii, one with another, and the bWod of Jesus Christ, hits son, cltinnseth us fio:n all siui--For let no man duec-ive you ; he that does uiilitecutisness, is ri-litc. ous, even as he 'Christ] is ri,lteoLus-And in hin i no sin.' Again. I beg Mr. t lelund; a wvll as my readers3 to indulae [ 46 ] iie whill I drap a fe v mnre pas;:s in favour of tbli. glorinus christian liberty. St. Jehn in hit becond chapter says-"W N e know that we kotvo him, if we keep his comminandments, c. WhiioS keepreth his w ;rd, verily in him is the love of God per- fectect. He that abirleth in him, ought hiinself also so to walk, even as he WalKed, c. He ithat loveth his brother, abideth in the litht, (where the blood of Ciist cleanseth from all sin] and the-re is no occasion of stuniaiing in him." 'I'he same doctrine ruas through the next ciiaptce. " Everyr one that hath this hope in him /surtfiuli hhineWf, as he LChrist) is iure. -Vhosoever coinmitteth sin transgresseth :. and ye know that he was mtnniflstcd to take away our sin, [that is to destroy them reot a.utl branch) and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him, sinneth not; whosoever sinnith, does not [pro- perly) see him, neither know him. He that does righteousocss is righteous, even as he (Christ] is rihteous. He that coin. mitteth sin (as appears fr.onm the context; he that, trans. gresseth the law] is of the devil, fir the devil s'rnnctih frorn Lh beginning. For this p.ii'pose Was the s on of (;u1 m-iiA1ifsted, thiat hta mi-ht dstroy thie worki of the d-vil." If Mr. Cleland cries out shocking ! who are those man thiat do not sin I reply, all thiZse who'tn St. Johi speaks of a few verses beto.v. "B :loved, if our heart condemn us, (and it will. condemn us if we sin, b it God much m)re, for] God is gr eater than our heart, kc Bl dved, if our xeart condlemu u.; not, we have confidence toward God, 8c. because we keep his corn- mnandments, and do those things thiat are pleasing in his sig v." I John, 3. 20,.c. Now we appre iend all the sophistry in the world will never prove, that, cvanglically speaking, keepin. God's coliinaadm.clmts, and diing wlhat pleases him, is sinnitig. Therefore, when St. John proiessett to kecp Gsd's co:nmand- inents, and to do what was pleawiig ii) his sight, he prjfess--d what Mr. Cleland calls sinless p..rfection, and what we call 4Lhristian perfecti )n. I conclude froln the above, thiat mr. COelanc i very unfor- tmnate in his choice of St. John, as one o'his witnzsscs to establish his system of Christian iniprfection ; for to rcpre. sznt that holy apostle, as an enerny to the doctrine of Chritian perfection, does not appear t m.: less albsu;-d, than to repin- sent satan, as a friend, to complete holiness. Pray. mr. Cleland, bear withr mr (though ign- rait) white I retortvour own advice ; you (re tx/sorted to s.u- y the h-)ty acri/tur. wvithe more attn tndrn. and not deltend altogether on afew passagcs manifrstly distox ted from the conteist; in orderto make the n sp. ak the linguage of tle niotcrn, as well as an- Citut irnlerfectioniists2 and supi)ort your fireci,.4 d9ctrine of E 47 3 eternal election and reprobation; which is so firectous to your inmmsrtal soul t nd which seems to be tottering from its sandy foundation ; and Nvill soon tall before the Ark of gosprI truth. You wili find your beloved friend Calvin, by monopolizing the conversation, not only overheated himself, but actualy talked himself out of argumrent, as well as out of breath; and has fal- len a fatal victim to his intemperate zeal. I hope, sir, his ur.- timely death, will be a warning to young beginners hereafter; and that even yourself will at least so far think of that old say- ing, to wit, "a little philosophy maketh a man mad; " that you will hereafter exort young men to be sober mindeil, to avoid foolish a d unlearaed questions, which gender strA'e, and to follow rig teousness, faith, charity and peace, wit hi thlem ,that call on the Lorrd out of a/;u re heart " I Tim. 2 chap. But to return to my readers, we have sufficient ground to believe it is our privilege to be saved from all sin, to be made partakers of the divine nature. Holiness of heart, or perfect love, which terms are syuonimous, especially when we read the sacred scriptures. For, Ist. it is promised, 2d. it is prayed for, 3d. it is coni- manded, and 4thI. we have examples of them who txceic;nc;;d it. And first, it is promised, as you may read in the following scriptures: Deut 30 chap. " The Lord thy God will circum- cise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart,-and with all thy soil, that thou may- 'est live: and Psalm 13), 8, he shall redetne Israel from all his iniquities, and 2 Cor. 7. 1. having these promises, deat- ly beloved, let us cleanse ourse Ives from all fildtliiness of fvesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of the l.ord-anid the Apostles hold out pronises to the atne Offect I John 1. 9. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all uflrightru4ness. - ead also Eph. 5. 2:, 27. Christ loved his church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctity and rclanse it, and that hc mignht present it to hiniself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle or any such thing ; hut that it might be holy, and 'Without blemish: again, T'it.2 12 I. iho gave himself for us, that he might redeent us fiom all in:W usy and tturify unttO himselfa peculiar people zealous of goad works " Secoauily, it is prayed for by our Lord; see the Lord's plrayer ; dei'.vcr us from evil, and surely sin is the greatest of evils. And John, 17 chap. 17. -0. 23. " Sanctify them tlhrouul thy truth, thy word is truth, anti that they all may hie ore, as thou tfather are in nme, and I in thee, that tihy may be aoue inus:" c. See Ejh. 3, t4-19. " Ibowr :n1y ' ness (Sa St. aul) to tilC 49 3 father of mercies, that he would grant you, that ye being Tooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend-with all saints, what is the breadth, length, dehth and height, and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge. that ye inight be filled -with all the fullness of God-Again, I Thes. v. 23. The very God of peace sanctify you wholly, and I pray God, your whole spirit, soul and body. be preserved bhameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." 'rhiidly, it is commanded, Math. v, 48. "d Be ye therefore pierfect, even as your father which is in heaven, is fterfect " 2 Cor. 13. 11. Be Peifect. be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace," c. I Cor. 1. 10. '; I beseech you. bre- thren, that you beperfcctly joined together in the same mindt," c. and again' I Pet. 1. 22. " Love one another. withlapure heart fervently." Not the comnmands are not to the dead, but to the living, therefore they must be obeyed in this life. Fourthly. We have scripture excainpls of those whoexpe. rienced this christian perfcctfon or haliness of heart in this life. Witness, St. Paul writes to his holy brethren, I Thes. vi. 27, "gWespeak wisdom amongthemthat arepterfect.". Again,, ICor. Hi. 6, pound; Let us, as many as beperfect, be thus minded," c. Again, John iv. 17, "Herein is our levmadefperfect, that-we may have boldness in the day of judgment, because, as he is, so are wve in this world." I Pet. i. 22, " Seeing ye have liur;iAd your soutls in obeying the truth, c. See that ye love one ano- .ther, with a pure heart, fervently." Again, I John iii. 3, " E-vcry man that hath this hope in him, purfidth himself, cven as he is pure." Again. Mat. v. 8, " Blessed are the /Aure in heart, for they shall see 'God." Once more-" When ye 'were the servants of sin, ye were free fron righlorersness, but nowv being made free from sin, and become hervantts of God, ye have your fruit unto h1uincsq, and the end everlasting life"- Horm. vi. 20, s2. So we find from the above scriptures, as well as many moft that might be brought forward if necessary, that we have.suffi. cient promises, p ecepts, and ex-aimples, for chlrstianherfection. If there he any one who refuses, and is capable of despising this holy scriptural doctrine,dfter all thk evidence, together uzith the many living witnesses whose holy liv-.s and Eruit manifest the truth of their proFession ; what think ye-would he be persuadedthauglh one rois fomn the deead But, I beg MIr. Cleland to answer these few follow illg plain questions. 1. Has God any where in scripture comumanded us more than he has promisedt [ 49 J 2. Are the promises of God respecting holiness to be fulfill. ed in this life or in the next ' 3. Is the christian under any other laws than those wvhich God promises to write in his heart Jer xxxi. 33. 4. In what sense is the righteousness of rhe law fulfilled in those who walk, not after tlhe flesh butafterthespivit; Pom. viii. S. Is it impossible, in this life, for any one to love God wvith all the heart. And is a christian under any law which is not fulfilled in this love 6. Does the souls going out of the body effect its "u4rifica- tion fronm indwelling sin 7; If so, is it not something else, not the blood of Christ which cleanseth it from all sin 8. If his blood cleanseth us from all sin, vwhile soul and body are united, is it not in this life 9. If when Lhat union ceases, is it not in the next, and is not this too late . However strongly Ir. Cleland has opposed the doctrine of Christian perfection, yet he condescends to tell us, p .59, ", we always aim to inculcate holiness of heart and life, and contend for it as strongly as you do, and the meanest capacity may un- derstand What -we .way." tie then sums it up in these uords of the apostle-" Follow holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." . Iekb. xii. 14. From this quotation mr. Cleland admits the doctrine of holiness. But I am afraid it is only to save appearances, and that he will not yet give Up pleading for Baal in the hearts of believers; for although the word /erfect and holy, or Peers fiection and h1lincss, are in scripture language synonirrious terms; yet mr. Cleland says that, the sword Perfect, iia0 indei nite term always deliending on its connexion." I would ask mr. Cleland if his favorite word holy or hzormies, is not ane indefinite term also, and more frequently depends on its connexion, than the word perfect or perficuion. Does not the word hgly or hz1ines, more particularly refer to the nature, use and quality of the thing spoken of whereas thie word p-erJfct orplefectoin, more particutlarly refers to the complete- ness or maturity of the thing or person spoken of. I would ask why does mr. Cleland carp at thie words ;eifeet or Perfec- tion. and leave their meaning vague and uniettled ; and indi- cate, at the same time, that notwithstanding believers may be destitute of any inherent holiness, they may be .ad to be pcr- fect, a-x they statad coma deae in having tht /'e'fect rig/s. eoUsness of Jcezss Cbzrist imPuted to them. Adnimjt for a moment, sir, your unscriptural meaning of-the i mprtted righteousness of Christ, to believcrs ; and tlie. I all; you if they (believers) may be said E E 50 ] to be perfect, having Christ's/:erfect rigIteousncssinmputted or made over to them. Is there any imperfection in the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ And if you answer there is not, is this not preaching a higher degree of perfection than any Methodists ever taught This, sir, will go to shew our readers that your phrase, " inlees perjection," is hung out as a mere scare-crow, to frighten the unwary, and answer your design to misrepresent. Patient readet, I think you will conclude with me, that not- vithstanding the "ahue and cril," mr. Cleland raises against the Methodists,for preaching christian perfection: yet he grants that men may, even inm this life, attain a pterfection of a much higher degree; namely, the sinless perfection of the imaculate Lamb of CGod. I know this, mr. Cleland will start at, and deny; and it is well, if in order to ward off this consequence, and extricate himself front so deplorable (in his opinion) a dilemma, as that of being perfect, Ile does not deny that there is or ever was any such thing as perfection in the world. Did I say he would deny it Nay ! lhe has alread!y denied it. P..s 1, he says, but after all you will find when brought to first princi. ples, or a true standard, that there neverhas been one act of per. Ject obedience Performed since the fall of da4dm by any of his posterity in this world. WVhat, sir, not one act No, not one act. Pray mr. Cleland, do not be too positive in your assertion. Remember sir, some of your readers may take it into, their heads to appeal to a highcr authority, and not swallow, as a glib morsel of truth, assertions so contradictory to the word of God, to reason and common sense. Fron; your bold and possitive assertion, we appeal then to the law, and to the tes- timony; and if avy man or set of men, speak contrary to this, it is because there is no light in them. We find that Abraham, the father of the faithful, was com. manded to offer up Isaac, his only son Isaac, in whom his seed was to be blessed. See Gen. xxii. cha. " And he (God) said take now thy sol, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest and get thee into the land-of Moriah, and ofler him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains, which I will tell thee of." Here reader, the above is a positii e command of God; and now observe tl.e fulfilment of it in every part. ", And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clav the wood for a burnt oflering, and rose up, and went to the place of which God had told him-and Abiuham took the wood of the lurnt ofen ing and laid it upon Isaac his son, and he took the fire in his hand, and a knif.-, and they went both of then togcethcr-wid they came to the place which God r 31 ] had told him of, andi Abraham built an altar there, and l.,idl the wood in order, ard bound Isaac his son, ncd laid himi on the altar upon the waod, and A)rahanm stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son ; and God called uinto hinm out of heaven, saying, lay net thine hand upon tha lad, for now I know that thou lovest me,' c. Piay MNr. Cleland, come and peep-see your assertion fly like chafl before the wind. 'Tell me, sir, what part of the good old patriarch's obedience bears the stamp of imperfection through the whole of tl-is transac- tion And if you are not able to point out any defect in this terfcect obedi nce of Abr-aham, will you not have to eat your own words, acknowledge your assertion untrue, and thereby confess that at le.tst one oJ the race of A Uarn /zepf.)racdl one act ofpierfc'ce obedience. Olh, sir! I cannot l)ut sympathise with you. Truth btlushes to hear such ungaurded expressioLni fall from the lips of a messenger of truth. Once more.-IIave you nevcr read of Zachariah and Eliza- betl Lu;ke i. 6, " And they were lboth righteous before God, -walking in all the commiandmients and ordnance of the Lord blameless ;" of Ast, whose "h leart was ierfect all his days " Yes, sir, I could bring scores of such stubborn facts of perfect obedience, but shall forbear, in order to take notice of your ac- knowledgment of a perfcction of 1/arls, p. 54. Ple;i5q tQ 1e me, sir, (for you appear to possess a fund of new-found isnfor. mation), are all the different parts of the manrpefect And if so, is not the whole equal to its parts, and the parts equal to the whole; and if this is good philosophy, if the parts are l)erfect, and all the parts are equal to the wvhole, and this whole is equal to all its perfEct parts, in what part of this perfect whole will you make out to store up your shapeless being-iripcrfection Heretofore M.r. Cleland has pointed out the bad effects of the errors nmaintained by the methodists, chiefly as they re- spect thernse vcs and others who are so unhappy as to lou drawvn amnon;, them; but the doctrine of thristian perfection is, it seems, of so pernicious a cast, that, notwitlistanldinr hie clearly s es the Calicy, yet, sanie howv or other, it comes to pass that hie is not so good a man as he would be, if the metholists were, in this iustanice, as orthodox as himself. " If I know my own heart, says he, I desire nothing so much as to live near to God c.cry day. But I suppose I cannot do thlat, while you are between Him and me. For we were informed by one of your most eminent preachers, not long ago, in his exhortation, that the mctlhodists !ive nearer to God than any cothel. people, and another has said they will shine bri-htltst in hcaven." p. 50. NY hat a happy nack Mr. Cleland hA.s of making the method- ists say whatever suits his purpnse. howeverv, these sayings of his explain what he mcans by our buing betwetn hini and t 52 ] God, viz. That the methodists think they have more 'ital reli- gion than cther denominations. If they do think so, that opi- nion is either true or false. Anwl, upon cither stupposition, it is hard to copceive how it can keel/ Mlr. Cleland. frumti being holy 1' every day." Were it admitted that the purity of morals Le;- fitting the disciples of Christ, tog;ether with a rational and ele- vated ardour of evangelical devotion, are more common amongst us than the presbyttrians, wvuud this hinder Mr. Ckt- land from being holy every day If, on the other hand, we are. the ignorant. and stlf-dcceivcu ostentatious p ople which that gentleman rcpresetits us, eoes; it follokv that lhe nwtist nccessarily be a less descrving character than hle other iie would Lbe- That he cannot b;; holy, or to use his own stvly, that lhe cannot live near to Gnd If our holding the doctrine ofchristian pterfection ba really so injurious to Mr. Cilelad, or if he misLukir.gly thinks so, we may easily excuse the vchenient zcal Avith hliich he attacks it, and account for the obvious plteauire ' hichi he takes in distort- ing it into a " hugc, iormiid, dtfirwed g lonaier !" Eut how shall we vindicate his asserting, p. 5 1, that the. nmethodists call "anger, pride, vanity, neglect of dtuty, woridly- mindedmless, and the like, lkttic t7,-nits," and iii p. 59, that we hrave ineta- morphosed ptide, vanity, ingratitude, ckfccts in duty, into the p1retty oft names of mnistakea, itnfirrnzi:'eq, dfccte, Vc. Lc. and politely tel!s out opponents tViat we will not let them go by that barefaced name sine. In these two passages, scveral cardinal vices are pirticular- i7A:(., and the iuagillation of the reader fattlier dlirected by iatch as -thc like, c. to add to tlhe catalogue ev ry vicious qua- lity that he can think of; for surely there are none which may not be referred to one of the above, either as included or con- genial. And he is told that the Methodists call them lit-tle in. firmnitiea; they deny that they aru sins. Now, if we discard the principle, "Let us do evil that good may come." I ask again, howv shall 'we vindicate mr. Cle- land's character, and save his vcracihv 7 You who frequently attend our pulpits, how does -' lh as- sertions sound in your ears Are you told from tlh acred desk, that ingrafttude, pride, anger, worldly nindcdness, and tie lke, are not sins Pau'e and consider.-So far as cur preach- ing has had any iifluence upon your judgments, has it inclin- ed you to think that such tempers were not sinful Ask your owim hearts for an answer, and pity the man whio is capable of making such an unjust representation. No, Sir, the question is not wbhether pfride, anger, ing,,rati- sude, and such like, togetlher with the odio s fuits wYhich they produce, bc sinls; but whr.thter deeply expetirienced believers, t 53 ] such as the beloved disciple Stiles " Fathers," who are clean. sed from all filthiness of flesh and splirt ;" who have perfected holiness in the fear of the Lord, agreeably to the apostle's ex- hortation, 2 Cer. vii. 1. are: not saved from pride, ingratitude, tc. so that none of these tempers remain in their hearts;- none of the bitter fruits of them are prodi'ced in their lives Thlt this is the point of controversy, I apprehend every rea- der, who has perused with attention, our writings on the skib- ject of Christian perfection, will admit; whether he be of our opinion as to the truthv of the doctrine or not. Why then does Mr. Cleland inake Arminius ask, p. 14. pound;9 Pray what do you mean by corrupt nature in those who are born again. Doth not the apostle say, "s whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin." I John iii 9. Does Mr. Cleland think that the Methodists believe and teach that the wcrds of the apostle, I John, ii. s-A" In him, verily, is the love of God perfected," are applicable to id ery one that is " born aguin," or even every " babe" in Christ. That there are no remains of corrupt nature-no degree of moral depra- vity-no degree of indwelling sin in any of them i If he does think so, he must have read our writings and heard our preach- ing with very little attention, and if he4oes not think so, why arc the interrogatories put into the mouth of a Methodist. Surdly Mr. Cleland does not wish to mislead his readers by in. sinuating to them what he does not believe himself. I say again, the point in controversy is not whether pride, ingratitude, worldly mindedness, and such like tempers, be sinful, " Forto be carnally minded is death," Rom- viii. 6; nor yet whether moral depravity, whether the carnal mind be at once eradicated in all who are bores again, for the apostle Paul applies the word carnal in I Cor. iii. 5, to those whom, in the same verse, he styles " babes in Christ"-but the question is, whether those who are denominated young men and fathers, in the language of the sacred text, t John chap. ii. arc in the same condition-whetther every Christian must necessarily re- main so to his life's end, and, in short, whether there be no balm in Gilead that has efficacy, nor any physician there Haho is able to subdue, completely, this awful majady while we re- main in this world. The AMethlodists believe, that " there is hope in Israel con- cerning this thing." They look up to a merciful and faithful high priest, who is " able to save them to the uttermost that come to God by him," Blel. viii. 23. The very end of whose manifestation wlas " to destroy the works of the devil," I John iii. 8, and who his assured us, in so many words, "every one that is perfect shall be as his master," Luke vi 40. Hience i; 2 [ 5s4;' they encourage such as have "u edemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins." to wait for the Lord's salvation' in hope that the very God of peace will sanctify them wholly," I Thes. v. 23. Agreeable to I John, iv. 17, "y herein is our love made perfect, that we -may have boldness in the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world." : Herein is our love made perfect, saith the apostle. This is the only kind of perfection we hope for on this side the grave; and why should Mr. Cleland, if he believes the Bible, think it presumptuous arrogance to hope for it, so long as it is written, " thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart," c. ' The Lord thy God shall circumcise thy heart and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul," Deut. vi. 5, and xxx. 6. " He that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God and God in him," I John, iv. 16, 18. 1 John, ii. 5, " He that feareth is not made perfect in lQve, because perfect love casteth out fear." " In him," i. e. in the established obedient believer, " verily is the love of God per- -fected ;" and again, chap. iv. 12, " God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us." Mr. Cleland assures us that he desires nothing so much as " to live near to God every day." He surely will excuse others for cherishing and for encourag. ing in each other the same pious wish; and if to this wish, they should join a firm persuasion that " he is faithful who bath called them to cleanse themselves, or be cleansed, from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God," 2 Cor. vii. 1. To " go on to perfection," Heb. vi. 1, and. who hath promised, " 1 will also save you from all your un- .cleanaesses." I say, supposing that under the influence of this persuasion, still galled with the plague of their own hearts, even indwelling sin, they should cry mightily to the Lord Jehovah, " create in me a clean hearts 0 God, and renew a right spirit within me," Psalm li 19. What would Mr. Cleland say to all this But suppose that he should by some means discover that they prayed in faith, and should hear them say, in the language of St. John in his epistle, chap, v. I 5, " WVe know that we have the petitions that we desired of him." WVhy should Mir. Cleland even then join with an irreligious X orld, in representing their professed experience of renovating grace and holy com- munion with God, as the.offispring of ignorance, pride, c. What is it he objects to Their wishing to be filled with the perfect love of God, agreeably to the before cited scriptures that is, we hope, to be holy in heart and life; certainly not; this he professes himself. Would he then find fault with their praying for it If not, what then the exercise of faith in prayer or their believing that the Lord heard and answered [ 55 I Should it be said that mr. Cleland does not oppose suc h perfection as I have contended for, or deny the possibility of being renewed in love, according to the most obvious import of several texts of sacred scripture, which have been produ- ctd, (and many more might have been;) I answer, this will not be said by any who have read the dialogue with careful atten- tion. 'This is the very perfection which he does oppose; wit. ness, his excellent definition, page 5S. "Perfect holiness con- sists (says he) in having the heart wholly possessed by the love of God, without the mixture of any inferior or baser passion." By "mixture of any inferior or baser passion," Mr. Clelandi must mean the mixture of any passion or temper which is mo. rally wrong. He cannot mean simply the love of any object Jess tban the supreme. Does it argue any defect of love to God, that a man loves his wife his brother or sister, whether natural or in Christ his neighbor, his friend,oreven his enemy. Nay, he cannot love God without loving these, with a love that will be promoted in exact pioportion to his growth in grace, i. e. in proportion to the increase of his love to God. Gentle reader, there is no occasion why mr. Cleland should have his temper ruffled, at our attempting to prove that sal- vation is made possible for all men: and I think there are few among the fallen sons of Adam, who will say with him, that the doctrine of eternal election (and consequently reprobation) is saweet to their immortal souls. To rejoice that God has passed by a number of our fellow men, mithout affording them a possibility of obtaining salvation; is in effect, to re- joice in their exclusion from mnercy. I would here subjoit a remark of that excellent man, and great divine, Dr. Watts, as pertinent to the purpose. " The doctrine of reprobation," says that pious man, 4 in the most severe, and absolute sense of it, stands in such a direct contradiction to all our notions of kindness and love to others (in which the blessed God is set forth as our example) that our reason cannot tell how to receive it ; yet if it were ever so true, and ever so plainly revealed in scripture, it would only be a doctrine which might require our humble assent, and silent submission to it; with awful reverence of the majesty, and sovereignty of the great God. But it is by no means a doctrine in which we, as men, could, or should rejoice and glory, or take pleasure in; because it hath so dreadful an aspect on far the greatest part of our fellow creatures, considered as mere creatures. Nor do I think the blessed God would require us, so far to divest ourselves of humanity, as to take a secret satisfaction in the absolute, and eternal appointment of such numbers of our kin- dred in flesh and blood, to everlasting perdition; much less Aould we make the ful, and terrible article, a matter of [ 56 1 public boast and triumph, even if we could prove it to be reverledl; but rather mourn for it--WVhen, therefore, I hear men talking of the doctrine of reprobation, with a special gust and relish, as a favorite article; I cannot but suspect their good temper, and question whether they love their neighbor as they do themselves." I would then beg mr. Cleland to dease his triumph a little, and let his heart dictate an answer to a few interrogatories. Supposing, sir, you were assured it were your own unhappiY case; could you rejoice in it No-If you knew your tans- der parent-your beloved wvife-your dear child-yea, your friend or neighbor were on the black list; could you rejoice therein No-I am persuaded there are but few, so lost to humanity (not to say Christianity) as to be capable of re- joiting in the knowledge, or belief, that God has made a free gift to satan, of even their worst enemy. It is observable that mr. Cleland does not professedly avow the sentiment, that infants are damned, and appeals solicit- otis to exculpate himself from the charge ; yet, that it is his real sentiment, I have no doubt; else why does he bring for- ward in his indirect manner, all the proofs that can be tirged in favour of the doctrine. '[lhe idea of their damnation 'eems to be so, much connected with cruelty, that lie seems loth to assert it: but are the non-2lect, or reprobate, who arrive at maturity, upon any better footing I No; for by nature they are children of wrath; and by the deeds of the law, cannot -be justified. Upon mr. Cleland's principles, Christ never ,shed a drop of blood to ransom them-they have no day of graceand consequently not in a state of probation, but un- der the black seal of an irrevocable decree, and stand devoted to inevitable destruction and misery. Say ye tender mothers, (whose affections for your progeny cannot be doubted) could you, have infall.-ble info.niation. that your sucking children, were thus cut off from all possibility of mt rcy, and you were to consult their interest, would you give them up to sink to pyrdition with only the guilt of original sin upon their heads; or, wyould you rather wish to continue them in life, to treasure up to themselves wrath, against the day of wrath; and to go with the accumulated guilt of sixty or seventy years, tj an una- voiidable, yet vastly increased damnation I already know the answer your feelings must dictate. We see then, that damning ipfants is one of the mildest parts of that doctrine, which is su preciozus to mir. Cktlamid's immnortal cusl. Before I conclude, I would inform my readers, that my reply to nir. Cleland wa delayed sometime, to obtain a sight of a pamphlet lately published in Lexington, by R. Mack. At lngth it has fallen into my hlands;. and although I detest 5 S7 the doctrine advanced by that gentleman, yet I respect him for the honesty with which he advances, and endeavours to main tain his sentiment. Indeed it would seem as though he had made mr. Cleland's pamphlet his text; and li'ke an houtist master builder, has held out, and that without any coluu ring, the awful conseqtienices necessarily flowing firom the doc- trine of cttrrnal election and reprobation. And lest any should deny the just agreemnent in sentiment bLtwecn mr. Clelancrand mr. Mack falthough I Tnust confess tlhe former has eneleavour:d t.) conceals, iliat, the honesty of te latter colmpelled him to advance) I will to-cceed to com1pure the sentiments of t1wi two gcnil::men together. A iirr. Cle'1and'ar9nciplles. le (God) certainly fore- knew, from all etctni'.y, tthat among tie fullen race of A- dam, lhe vou'd certainly tave some and damn otl0;1rs: but I would ask! whether he could foreknow that he would do this, without designing to do it" p. 27. "T he number of the e- lect could not be indefinite and undeterumined, unless we attri'bute doubtfulness and uncertainty to God. And it is ecjually evident, the whole world of mankind could not l)e the objects of electing love; for thei there could be no choice; angl if we admit there is an elect, we must admit a no;-elect, fur the one supposes the'lier2' p. 23. " It was necessary, there fure, to be determined, how many, and who in particular, shoulld be interested in this wonderful work and saved by it." p 2 . I "' The decree of election necessarily implies, that God hat l, Wvitiiout any condition iii his u ill and counsel, chosen a certain unnber to grace Mr. Mla-k'. priZqi,.1e8. ' How woriderlul ii the Iways of the l.ord omnipotent! Ilow complex, and vat how plain in his may of wvork:inge He views the whole race of marbefore h creates themn; he iews at the s-ime time the services for which he cre- ates them, and the several na- tures they must be of to per. form those services. He knows to a grain the weight of the Motives he N ill let on their mind, to rule them with, after lie does make them. He then begins and makes them, and as he goes on in the work of creation, from individual to individual, he keeps his eye constantly fixed on the end he wills each shall answer, and the motives that is to be proposed to his mind; he then forms the mind of such a contexture anl nature, that the motives to be pro- posed, will ex-tctly make that nature fulfil that end. This man he now makes with such a nature, that the motives to be proposed shall make him acL right in every case that comes before him. The neNt [ S8 I Mr. Cletand's /Arinc/hles. Ar. Arack's Principles. here arid glory hereafter." p. 'he makes with such turbulent 21. J passions, that the same mo " The object of divine dc- tives shall be able, in no case, crees or purposes, call them to keep. him from evil. Ano- what you please ; it is evident ther he forms of such a stu- they are strictly and proper- pid nature, that the same mo- ly universal ; so much so in- tives are scarcely any motive deed, as not to admit of any at all to him. So that the exception or shadow of ex- threatnings axnd promisescon- ception-all creatures, and taind in the scriptures have all their actions, and all e- no chance of influencing any vents." p. 17. soul to virtue, but those wvhorn " The decree of election God designed they should at alwaysand invariably include the time lie made themz and all the means and instiu- to whom, therefore, at that ments by which his gracious time, lie gave such a nature, purposes were to be accom- that such motives, would ne- plished." p. 33. cessarily rule to virtue. For " How unreasonable is it, he made those that lie intend- therefore, to quarrel with the ed .or bad actions, wicked doctrine of absulute decrees." in nature, to that degree, that pw 19. the motives to be piroposed to them should not be able to prevent them from committing those actions God's will, had appointed them to at their creation. WVonder not, therefore, that the threatnings and promises, if they are given for mo- tives, do not influence all alike, for they can only move those souls whom God made in such a manner as to admit of their operation. Such has natures prepared and fitted to be moved by such motives; but the rest will be still just, as the farmer's fan blows the chaff where-lie wants it to go, but cannot move the wheat from where he wants it to stay ." p. 39-40. a It is nonsense to say, G od vills the man should not steal; when he is busy in giving the man a naturt, objects, and judg; ment, that he sees wvill end in stealing." P. 11. "T The reason why the vicious man is not virtuous, is, be- cause he is not willing; and the reason why lie is not iwilling, is, because God did not give him the same nature, objects andh judgment-that he did the other; for if God had, he would have been willing too." P. I S. " Should it be denied, that God proposes objects to the mnind of man, that stimulates him to sin, I would ask who does then for they are proposed ! Some may say the devil; but has the devil power to propose them against the will of God Surely not. Now, if they are not pfcposed against tile will of God, tihey are proposed with it, and so are proposed by him, as much 5 L 9 1 as those objects arc, that ministers propose to stimulate men to good actions." P. I l. i When he decrees a man shall be of a ccrtain (say a good) character, he decrees the necessary means that his wisdom sees will effect it; be they what they may." P. 50. What a correct preacher ! How clearly does Mr. Mack's doctrine flow from Mr. Cleland's text ! Yea, they are so closely connected, that they appear like twin sisters; and although we cannot say of them, as David did of Saul and Jonathan, that they were lovely in their life; yet, inltheir death they shall not be divided. But although there is such agreement between them; yet, I must confess it affords a very unhandsome application; for,. by the by, the devil appears to be as much employed by God, as Mr. Cleland; and far more succ ssful in his endeavours to promote God's sovereignty, in his scheme of reprobation. To illustrate the whole, Mr. Mack says, " we may consider duty as the line, mein as ships, the passions and nat iral ten- dencies of men as the sails of those ships differently set-Some so, that should a wind come, they would sail directly to the line, some obliquely thereto, some less inclining, some parallel, and some declining therefrom; and the threatening and pro- misesdf God, we may further consider as that wind blowing upon those ships. Hlence some, by the concurrence of their sails and the wind, steer into the port of virtue; while others with the same Vind, sail obliquely to it, or diversely from it. For the promises and threatenings of God disregarded, makes man worse, in the same way, that their being attended to, inakes him better. Sothat the threatenings and promises of God. an- swers -the double purpose of making man eibher better or worse, according to the previous intention of God." P. 39. So that, according to M1r. Cleland's and Mr. Mlack's senti- ments, if all things have not continued as they. werc from the beginnirng; yet, they continue to progr.ss in that c6rder WvhicIi the Supreme Being intended they should. And if change after change have succeeded, it has only bet;n the result of divine decrees; God having willed it, is careful to continue those means, which will effectually secure the endl he had ii view ; whether it be the salvation of the elect, or damnation of the reprobate. If Mfr. Cleland or Mr. Mack can receive any satis- faction in the belief of such doctrine, I envy them not-U pon their principles, they are perfectly excusable ; for the construc- tion of their minds are such, that they cannot see things in any other point of view. If they think to exculpate thenmselves, by reference had to their original formation, and this their only sanctuary should fail, they ivill feel themselves (lisagleeably situated) before the awfiul tribunal ; when God shall be founu f 60 J true, and every man a liar, who says God decreed botht the end and the means that led to their datniation. I will bid Mr. Cleland aflieu, after askia, a few questions..... 1. If you really believe- the Methodisti a c the desiigning men you have represented them to be, a.d tLhaZt their drctaine is so dangerous, and of so infectious a nature; how can you, con- sistent with a good conscience, and the faithful di'charge of your duty, as a minister of Jusus Christ, call them forward at your meefings, to officiate, either ., rci ii g or otherwise WVhat, sir w will you call in the aid of bat2-m. -r .:- tLhosc solemn occasions Should you rel)ly, there ai e exce ptions ; that you did not mean your-elarge to apply to tihs body in general; I ask, vwhy did you not discriminate in your book, and point reut the good and thr'a47 2. Since your book has been printed and cii-culated, i.a c you not inforaied tklc et:ople at your sa':ra- mental solemnities, thit the door of communion which had been opened in your church to all deno:ninations, was not yet shut f And did you not lroceel to invite the retlLod2ists) without any discrirninatibn Alas, sir ! what are you doinZ Are you willing, not only to comanune with a prostitute, hilt with your own hands lcweak that holy bread, and adaninister that holy ordinance to the very pecple you say are guilty of.pros- tituting the sacred ordinuaaccs of God's house Tell nut !i Gath' I publish it not in the streets of A.slk'lon flest the dan 1.h- term of tle Philistinies rejoice...lest the (lauthters of the uncir- cumcisecl triumph'! ! I assure you, sir, the Methodists do not require th1is at )7 hands. They are not those cringing sycophants, as to con- ceive thems lves honoured by sucli inconsistencies. And if you are by such mcasures seeking popularity, y, ought to knew, sir, th.atx there are thinking and discernin /men of the world, that would spurn at, and condemn the idea of becom- ing popular upon such unbecomi.ng and inconsistent princil)es. 'rhus, sir, you have my thoughts and remnarks upon your pamphlet. Whether they wvill give you no moid /Pain than the GNAT di'l the o., 0 vlwilp sitting on his PORN', is not for me to say: but I may venture to supposc, that, notwithstandin- you are FULL-GnowN as to SIZE ; yet it may be, your nicit- has not attained that degree of hardness that will render it in- cap.able of inipr.ssion or selsibility: and shou!ld the uneas sensation caursed by the buzzing inscCt, move you to drive th- insignificant creature away. ..yoUl may cnce more hfear from, de.u c sir, your fi i'n4 and wull-wisher, in the bonds of a free and Pure Gospel, JESSE HEAU). This page in the original text is blank. This page in the original text is blank. This page in the original text is blank. This page in the original text is blank. This page in the original text is blank. BOXWOOD BINDERY 458 West Third Street Lexington, Kentucky