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in the "Prayer for all conditions of men," this is one petition: "More especially we pray for the good estate of the Catholic Church; that it may be so guided and governed by thy good Spirit, that all who profess and call themselves Christians, may be led into the way of truth, and hold the faith in the unity of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life." Again, in the Collect for "the first Sunday in Advent,” this petition is included: "Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light." It would be easy to fill many pages with extracts from the prayers, collects, &c. of the Established Church of the same tendency, in which "preventing grace" and a necessitating influence are clearly implied.

§ 33. Is it not clearly implied, that IF God is pleased to "guide and govern the minds of his servants," the certain effect will be their acting "faithfully and wisely." And IF the Church catholic be " guided and governed by the good spirit of God" in some special manner, the certain effect will be truth, faith, and righteousness. Should it be said, the implication is, that then they "may," if they please, act faithfully and wisely, &c.; this would render the petitions both superfluous and unmeaning. For are not men always at liberty,

If we

if they please, to do every thing that is right and praiseworthy? The design of asking for grace and the Holy Spirit, is to secure the event, to make what we desire certain; and consequently, that these divine aids may prove in us a necessitating cause of the event. have not such meaning in our prayers, when we ask for grace and the Holy Spirit, what meaning can we have? Are they any better than vain repetitions of words without a meaning? When we pray, "Lord have mercy upon us, and incline our hearts to keep this law," does it not imply, that IF God be pleased to do this, we shall keep his law? When we supplicate the Almighty in these words, "Mortify and kill all vices in us; and so strengthen us by thy grace, that by the innocency of our lives, and constancy of our faith even unto death, we may glorify thy holy name," is it not implied, that the certainty of the events depends on that grace which is desired? If any from this doctrine of the church and of the holy scriptures, wrongfully infer, that if grace necessitates in any sense, nothing is left for man to do, they know not "what they say, nor whereof they affirm." They might urge, with equal propriety, because God necessitates our souls and faculties to exist, we have nothing to do with thinking, reasoning, fearing, or loving. Grace in the heart is a living principle, at the sovereign disposal of God, and

the exercise of this principle, when obtained, is as much our duty, as it is to consult the preservation of our lives and of our faculties. And as the existence of our lives and faculties necessitates thoughts and volitions of some kind; so divine grace, existing as a principle in the soul, necessitates the goodness of our thoughts and volitions. But not so, exhibited grace, as an object of choice, which will be received or rejected, improved or abused, according to the state of the mind. These important differences CHRYSOSTOM and THEODORET, and many others of the Christian Fathers, perpetually confound.

§ 34. Though much more might have been said on the quotations from the Fathers, whoever has done me the honour to accompany me through the whole of this chapter will probably think it too long. Considering, however, that his Lordship's chapter on this head is much longer, that many pay undue deference to these writers, and that few English authors have introduced them except as authorities, I thought it might be of some service to the Christian cause to examine their opinions more minutely than otherwise would have been needful. It would not be difficult to produce whole volumes of quotations from the ancient Fathers upon the plan adopted in the Refutation; but to read, mark, and translate, without any arrangement

of the subjects, would but little conduce, I apprehend, either to instruction or edification. By the classification of their sentiments contained in this examination, the reader has a tolerable specimen of what might be expected in a larger collection on controverted subjects. Valuable and edifying extracts, indeed, might be made from their writings, digested under proper heads; but for that purpose the translation should be free, and their inconsistencies excluded. And even such a work, in proportion to the success of its accomplishment, might circulate too high an estimate of their general merit, and lead the injudicious to infer that they are really deserving of all that indiscriminate respect which the ages of superstition have been disposed to confer upon them.




The misapplication of TERMS which are equivocal in their meaning.

1. Inconsistencies in the "Refutation," from a misapplication of the Terms power, ability, being enabled, &c. § 2, 3. Exemplified in his Lordship's account of Cain and Abel; and § 4. In his account of the Sin of Adam and the Merits of Christ.

5. The misapplication of cause for occasion. § 6. Of Salvation for the Means of Salvation. 7, 8. Of being elected to means, for being elected to happiness.

9-11. Inconsistencies arising from the misapplication of the terms denial, preterition, and reprobation.

12. Observations on equivocal and undefined Terms in controversy.

§ 1. I THIN THINK it has been fully shewn, in the preceding parts of this volume, that there are many inconsistencies in the Bishop's own avowed sentiments, as well as in the quotations he has produced from the Fathers. A scheme of thoughts may be, at least in a considerable measure, consistent with itself, without being consistent with the true standard, God's revealed will: but when a systematic view of doctrines fails in self-inconsistency, it must be wrong in

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