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and Christ shall give thee light." I hate this fastidious nonsense. What have we known nothing of divine truth throughout the land, till a few juvenile upstarts have lately appeared to instruct us?
Mal. Sir, I had better go home, you seem to be much displeased.
Loveg. Not personally at you Sir, but at the sentiments you' have advanced, whereby the world is confirmed in all their objections against divine truth, that "we may continue in sin, that grace may abound.” In vain we cry,“ may God forbid,” while they will be happy to fly to such a testimony against us. And though we have not the least apprehension of any truly serious, and sober minded christians being moved away from the purifying truths of the Gospel, by such daring expressions, and impure doctrines, yet all this cannot but bring upon us a day of rebuke and blasphemy, which will be severely felt. Could any infidel upon earth, have wished a better opportunity, for the exercise of his profane ridicule on the sacred doctrine of our election in Christ, and so directly contrary to the word of God, in which the cause and the effect, are so solemnly united with each other; that
we are elect according to the foreknowledge of God through sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience;" that we are saved and called with an holy calling. What can be more explicit than St. Paul's declaration, that “ we are predestinated to be conformed to the image of his d'ear Son?" and that he hath chosen us that we may
“ be holy and without blame before him in love?" Ja there one single instance through out the Bible, where election is mentioned, unconnected with personal sanctification, as producing the invariable fruits and effects of righteousness upon the hcart and life?
Mal. Oh Sir, I shall be too late if I don't go directly to Mr. John Crispin's with the indentures, which must be signed this day by twelve o'clock. He has a deal of work, and is going to take another apprentice.
Mir. Malapert retires, and thus the conversation ended. The reader may suppose, how much Mr. Merryman and his company, were disgusted at the daring things they had heard, and should any persons ignorantly assert, that such sentiments can be founded on what is called calvinism, they know not what calvinism means; for in no one instance are they correct; and which may be best known by their direct opposition to each other. The propriety therefore of the expression of Hypercalvinism is, what I cannot an derstand, as though a real lie was lurking under the disguise of truth. Is it to be supposed, that a person who cultivates a very scrupulous attention to integrity, is advancing nearer to knavery, or that such as are aiming at the highest degree of purity in their deportment, are advancing thereby into all that is filthy and impure? Do we get nearer to a point, by advancing further from it? how then is it possible that a high degree of any thing that deserves the name of truth, should lead into the contrary error ; will an extreme sense of our total depravity lead us to any thing hut extreme humiliation, and self-abasement before God? Can an extreme feeling of our utter inability to help ourselves, and that all our help must come aone from the agency of the Divine Spirit, lead us to any thing, but a more solemn and entire dependance agency,
for the communications of all that is holy and good? Will an extreme attention to the eternal obligations we are and must be under, to obey the law, create in us any thing but a most holy and circumspect obedience to its precepts. Assuredly it will, and must be so; and such are the principles that Calvinism, however misrepresented and caricatured, most solemnly avows, while it shall be left to others to vindicate that lax law of obedience, which some have imagined to exist that we are to do as well as we can, or that a certain something is still left to the freedom of the will: that a man may give
turn to the scale of the divine favor, whenever he
thousands are found most presumptuously to depend, and thereby are tempted most awfully to neglect their immortal concerns, and though all are by no means equally presumptuous, yet such is the antinomianism that arminianism still suggests, while Antinomianism of a grosser kind, speaks without disguise, a language that is peculiarly profane, and grossly bad. Let the doctrines of grace be allowed to speak their own language, and then let it be asked, if the high commanding banner against Antinomianism under every disguise, is not best established in thase hands, who from this tower of divine truth, neither allow the sinner to be his own savior, nor yet can admit a salvation from the damnation that sin deserves, but not from the dominion that sin baz usurped.
BETWEEN MR. AND MRS. WORTHY, AND DR. SKILLMAN
TIDINGS FROM SANDOVER, OCCASIONED BY THE
WHERE was a time when I thought that the
former dialogues might have concluded these dramatic efforts ; I conceived a better finish could not have been devised, than to lower the claims of sectarian bigotry, so detrimental to that brotherly love, notwithstanding minor differences, which the genuine spirit of vital christianity, will most assuredly inspire. To this however, another was added, in order to shew the evils which must result, where marriage connexions, (on which so much depends) are rashly formed, when both the courters, and the courted, blinded by a fond partiality, deceive each other, and lay a foundation of misery for themselves, which tollows them through life, till followed to the grave.
But we live in a world, chequered with an abundance of misery, because of our sinfulness before God; yet still most graciously blended, with rich displays of mercy, among those to whom the promise belongs; that “all things shall work together for good to them that love God, and are the called according to his purpose." No doubt but that my pious readers, must be highly delighted with the character of Mr. Merryman, so pleasant in his temper, so cheerful in his disposition, so lively, and so lovely in all his manners, and withal, so truly devoted to
God, and beneficial as a Minister to the souls of
Can my Readers be prepared to bid adieu to the character of one so dear? Is patience, and resignation, to the sovereign will of God, to be so sharply tried, should he be called to hear, that the delightful Merryman is now no more ? What strength of holy submission must have been needed to possess the minds of his relatives, in order to part with such kindred blood, and still to say, thy will be done ! and how could the people of Sandover, bring their minds under the deprivation of such a Minister, to say,
“ the Lord gave, the Lord hath taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord ;” and what must even his very enemies have felt under the departure of such a man, while blessed with the holy art of disarming the most inveterate of them, by an affectionate, and delightful simplicity of disposition, as must have made them sometimes wonder at themselves, how they could hate a man like him. But who can prevent the fatal hand of disease, from falling upon the best beloved of the human race? or who can trace the dispensations of Providence, that takes away the most desirable, and shining characters, in the midst of their usefulness, and in the prime of life? while the wicked, and the worthless are permitted to live, and seemingly for no other purpose, than by their vile example to spread contagion and death? 'Still he is a Sovereign. He has a right to do what he will ; while as a holy Sovereign, whatever he does, must be right, and though it is the highest wickedness to call the Almighty to the bar of our judgment, by profanely asking, “ what doest thou ?" yet surely it must be acknowledged, that while the righteous are the greatest blessing the earth can enjoy, by our sinfulness we forfeit our mercies, and in judgment he deprives us of them ; while the wicked who are our greatest curse, in deserved wrath, as an evil blight, he permits still to exist.
But before we relate the painful tidings of the de