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REVIVAL AND REJECTION
AS HANDED DOWN
" Bebold, ye trust in lying words, that cannot profit. Will ye
JER. vii, 8, 10.
Gal. ii, 17.
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AND ALL BOOKSELLERS.
Much agitation and discord has of late arisen in many of the Dissenting Churches, as well as those of the Establishment, by the revival of an old traditional doctrine, namely, that of God decreeing and working Sio: for the rejection of which doctrine some have been separated from church fellowship; others, on account of the doctrine have resigned membership ; while many others are much bewildered in their minds respecting the subject.
As for my own part I am one of those who reject the doctrine; and as I reject this doctrine, it is represented that I reject every doctrine; and as I do not, in conscience, believe that God decreed Sin, it cannot be admitted that I believe anything sacred.
For the rejection of the doctrine of God decree. ing Sin, I have been publicly denounced an Infidel, separated from church fellowship, and cried down as an awful apostate. Against which misrepresentations I have not been allowed to make a word of defence before the church; but was denied a hearing and ordered out of the meeting, though I had stood a member upwards of twenty years.
My friends having thus disowned me as a sheep, and having dressed me up in goat-skin of the coarsest grain ; and having “ thrust me out of the fold with side and with shoulder ;" I come forward before the public, to declare openly, “as upon the house top,'' that I reject the doctrine of God decreeing Sin; and, also, to tender my reasons for rejecting it. As I have been publicly branded “ Infidel;" I here give the following brief outline of my infidelity, which consists simply in this, viz:- That I do not in heart believe that God is the Author, or cause of Sin : or in other words, I do not believe that God willed the existence of Sin, and the consequent fall of his creatures; or that he decreed the entrance of Sin ; or that he works Sin in the hearts of men. Neither do I in conscience believe that personal Sin works personal good either to the soul or body of any man. I also disregard and reject all speculative, philosophical, or traditional notions as proof in points of Christian doctrine. I regard that only as divinity that can be fairly supported by the word of God; and if this be Infidelity 1 frankly subscribe myself an Infidel.
It has been publicly and generally represented that I have abandoned my profession, that I deny, and attack, all the leading doctrines of the gospel, and especially the sovereignty of God. The assertion is utterly false and without foundation ; as I still hold, believe, revere and vindicate all the doctrines and ordinarices of the Gospel, the same as I have believed and vindicated ever since I became a member of the Church from which I am now separated. I never
did believe the doctrine of God decreeing Sin ; nor did I understand, before a late occurrence turned up. that such a doctrine was held, by either the Church, or the Pastor, with whom I stood in fellowship. I opposed the doctrine as soon as I perceived it, and though peaceably yet decidedly, until the day that I was separated for rejecting it.
As to the denial of God's sovereignty, with which I am charged, it is a palpable and wilful misrepresentation, designedly asserted to prejudice my character, and to invalidate my evidence as to anything that I might advance against the doctrine of the ordination of Sin. Let it therefore be known to all men, that I do not deny the sovereign acts of God, but that I heartily acknowledge them both in providence and grace. I believe God has a sovereign right to punish for Sin, or to save from Sin ; to shew mercy on whom he will, or to execute judgment on whom he will; “For all have sivned and come short of the glory of God." Hence “it is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, and because his compassions fail not." I believe that the elect can truly say, -"Not for works of righteousness which we have done, but of his mercy he saved us.” But can the reprobate, upon the same authority, say, “Not for works of wickedness which we have done, but of his purpose he damns us?” No; the sacred word afforıls him no foundation for any such assertion.
With respect to what I consider as palmed upon the doctrine of God's sovereignty, which things I do not believe, are as follows :-