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of created existence of any kind, if that expression be more acceptable,) without previous demerit. If any one of the human race be disposed to go to heaven, on the declaration and assurance of God's general love to the world of mankind, I am fully satisfied that there neither is, nor can be, any decree of God to prevent him. Jesus Christ has "opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers," nor is there any decree to prevent any one from believing in Christ as the way to the kingdom. But God, foreseeing that none will believe, repent, obey, or fall in with his general love and proclamation of mercy, if left to themselves, will ensure a "seed to serve him," both on earth and in heaven.

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Finally, his Lordship insists, that election is not confined to those who will actually be saved. The word [elect] is applied gene

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rally to collective bodies of Christians, to all 'who in one or more cities or countries professed Christianity, without any discrimination; and it is not confined to individuals who must ' necessarily be saved, or who were predestinated by God to certain salvation; or even to those 'who will actually be saved.'* Now, admitting all this, what is the fair inference, but that the

*Refut. p. 206.

word "elect," in common with many others, admits of different significations. There is an election to gospel privileges, to church fellowship and a participation of sacraments, &c.; but this is no argument against an election to partake of special grace and future glory. A choice made of collective bodies, does not exclude another more special choice of individuals among them, who were "redeemed from among men," and from that collective body, to partake of a divine principle, a lively saving faith, to "walk in white," and "by patient continuance in well-doing," to inherit eternal life and glory. -These are his Lordship's principal objections, and virtually the whole of his objections, as far as I can perceive. The reader will judge whether they have been fairly answered.

CHAP. IV.

SOME THINGS ARE ASCRIBED BY HIS LORDSHIP, TO CALVINISTS, WHICH ARE NOT APPLICABLE TO THEM.

SECT. I.

Some things are imputed to Calvinists, which belong to NO EXISTING SECT of Christians.

§ 1, 2. That the Calvinists seem to trust in the grace of Simon Magus; and 3. To maintain that matter is incapable of salvation. § 4. That there are two sorts of men formed by Angels. 5. That some men are good and others bad by Nature. 6. That men have earthly, spiritual, and middle natures. § 7. That some are autho❤ rized to sin because of their perfection-examined,

§ 1. THE Calvinistic reader will probably be surprised to learn from the Bishop of Lincoln, that he is charged with believing in the grace of Simon Magus! His Lordship quotes a great number of Opinions of earliest Heretics 'greatly resembling the peculiar tenets of Cal'vinism;' and from the writings of IRENEUS this is one notable proof of it. "He says, 'that one of the doctrines of Simon Magus was, 'that those who trust in him [i. e. Simon Magus] and his Helena, should have no further care, and that they are free to do what they like; for that men are saved according to his { graçe, [i. e. Simon Magus's grace] but not

according to just works.'

'The assertion of

Simon Magus, who is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, and called by ecclesiastical historians the first Christian heretic, that 'men are saved according to his [i. e. Simon's] grace, ' and not according to just works,' contains in it 'the essence of Calvinism; and it clearly appears

that IRENEUS considered this as an heretical 'opinion.' Now, I ask the reader, is there any existing sect, is there any individual on the face of the globe, who holds, or is ever likely to hold, this heretical opinion? Does any one professing Christianity in the present day." trust in Simon Magus and his Helena,” — and that men are saved according to "Simon's grace," and not according to just works? Is there any reader of the Refutation so credulous as to believe, that this heretical, monstrous opinion, contains in it the essence of Calvinism!' Calvinists indeed believe and profess, that "we are saved by grace," that is, the grace of God, "through faith;" and that all true Christians are "newcreated unto good works," in which it is divinely "ordained that we should walk;" and that Jesus Christ is become "the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him."

2. Perhaps his Lordship thought that Cal

* Refut. p. 515.

+ Ib. p. 571.

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