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Churches, but also at war with the philosophy of the human mind, with common sense, and with the word of the living God. Such sentiments, in whatever connexion they may be taught, by whatever names they may be recommended, ought to be exposed and reprobaled in the most decided manner.
“ GEORGE FAITOUTE," A. M. Pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Jamaica L. I. and nine others. " The public attention has been lately drawn to what is commonly called, THE NEW DIVINITY ;' or, by a name still more popular, · HOPKINSIANISM,' which professes to improve the received system of Calvinistic doctrine. As truth is eternal, and the way of salvation but one, the very pretence of great im. provements' in the body of Christian theology, is a legitimate cause of suspicion, and ought to put Christians on their guard. For the 'new light' which men are apt to boast, not unfrequently proves to be merely a new edition of old darkness. The first approaches of Error, silent, subtle, and insidious, rarely excite alarm; and when her progress is felt, her power has become great, and may be fatal. Therefore, they, who, are set for the defence of the Gospel,' ought to watch her steps, expose her designs, and not wait till, of her own accord, she throw off her mask. This is, pre-em. inently their duty, at the present hour, in the city of New-York. No place on the continent has been so long happy in doctrinal concord among all denominations termed evangelical. This, their auspicious unity, has been recently invaded; and invaded by no other means than the introduction of • Hopkinsian' principles, or what are generally recognised as such. it is, therefore, of importance, that Christians should know what these principles are, and how far they agree or disagree with the faith once delivered to the saints. Their inquiries will be facilitated by the perusal of a short work, entitled, "A Contrast between Calvinism and Hopkinsianism,” by the Rev. Ezra Stiles Ely. The author bas brought within a small compass, and arranged in parallel columns, the outlines of both systems, as taken, on the one hand, from Calvin and the confessions of Protestant Churches; and on the other, from Dr. Hopkins bimself, and some of his most celebrated followers. As the quotations are in the words of the writers, and give, so far as we have been able to examine, a fair representation of their sentiments, no reasonable objection can be offered to the mode of comparison. For only he that doeth evil hateth the light; neither cometh to the light, lest bis deeds should be reproved; whereas, he that doeth truth, cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God. The doctrines of Calvinism, in other words, the good Nero Series-vol. IV.
old doctrines of the Reformation and of the Bible, dread no er. amination, comparison, or contrast. We think, therefore, that Mr. Ely has performed a valuable service to Christians of plain sense and pure conscience, by enabling them to understand, with little trouble, what • Hopkinsianism' is. And we nothing doubt that, upon sober research, they will find it to be, in some very material points, “another Gospel' indeed; and that neither hade they so learned, nor do they wish so to learn, Jesus Christ."
« JOHN M, MASON,” D. D. S. T. P. Minister of the third Associate-Reformed Church in New-York, and three others. 6 Dear Sir,
“ By professing the Christian faith, the Gnostics came into the bosorn of the primitive church, and for the space of three centuries disturbed her tranquillity, and obstructed the progress of the Gospel. They combined the oriental science with the Platonic system of being in general,' of abstract beauty ;' • disinterested love ;' and the best of all possible worlds ;' of which they had not any correct idea themselves; and attempted to blend their heterogeneous principles with revealed religion, and accommodate the pure, simple, and sublime doctrines of the Son of God, to the te. pets of their contemptible philosophy. They spoke of the Most High with a familiar and disgusting irreverence; and deduced consequences from the premises they had adopted, which were shocking and impious, and which tended not only to render the scriptures unintelligible, but Christianity itself incredible and detestable,
“In the course of the last century, the system of the best world was revived and polished in Germany, with all the advantages that genius and erudition could afford, by the celebrated Leibnitz and Baron Wolf. Their mundus optimus, with its collateral inferences, was received and applauded through all the protestant churches of continental Europe. It was considered as the test of true science, and the highest improvement of the intellectual system. But what is the result? What has been the consequence! By that very philosophy the public mind became imperceptibly alienated from the authority of Scripture and the simplicity of the Gospel ; and that system has evidently.co-operated in opening • passage for the flood of infidelity, which, at this day, has overwhelmed those European Churches. There is no new thing under the sun.
The same causes will every where produce the same effects. Errors are insidious and subtle: slow and silent, at first, in their progress, but sure of success, if undetected. They always eat, as doth a canker.
"To what philosophy, instead of the Bible, they bave submit. ted, or to what family they are related, whose doctrines you have exhibited in your CONTRAST, I do not know. But you have eg. tablished the fact, that by whatever name or title they may be distinguished, they certainly are not Calvinists. They have departed, in many points, from the Confessions of Faith, and the form of sound words, adopted by the Reformed Churches; and it is time they were known, and a line of distinction drawn.
“If it be the duty of all the Lord's people to contend earnestly for the faith, and to be jealous lest their minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ; it is especially incumbent upon those, who are set for the defence of the Gospel, and stand as watchmen upon the walls of Zion, to descry approaching danger, and give a speedy warning; and should an an. gel from heaven preach any other Gospel, to denounce and resist bim.
" Your publication is seasonable. It will undoubtedly be productive of much good; and be well received by all those, who call no man father, but sit humbly at the feet of the meek and lowly Jesus, to seek the law at his blessed mouth. Be assured of the affection and respect with which I am, &c.
" J. H. LIVINGSTON," D. D. and s. T. P.
Extract from Thuanus's Epistle Dedicatory to his History, which Lord
Mansfield said, he never read without tears. For to those other mischiefs, with which this age, in hostility with virtue, abounds, that fatal discord has joined itself, occasioned by religion, which, for almost this whole century, has turmoild the Christian world with continual wars, and will continue still to vex, unless timely remedies, and other than hitherto have been employed, be carefully applied by those whose chiefest interest it is to manage that affair. For we have learnt by experience, that fire and sword, that exilement and proscriptions, have rather exasperated, than cured the distemper deeply rooted in the mind : and therefore not to be relieved or healed by medicines that only work upon the body, but by sound doctrine, and sedulous instruction, which being gently infused, persuades an easy passage to the mind. All other things are subject to the sanctions of the civil magistrate, and consequently the sovereign prince; Religion only admits not of dominion, and never enters the seat of human judgment, but when rightly prepared by a well grounded opinion of the truth, assisted by the accession of Divine Grace. Torments prevail not to enforce it; they but confirm the obstinate, rather than subdue, or persuade. What the Stoics have so haughtily boasted of their wisdom, much more justly may we assert of religion ; that where people are deeply affected with it, torments and grief are little feared or valued, and all other inconveniences what. ever, are overwhelmed and vanquished by that same fortitude, inspired by zeal and devotion. All the sufferings that mankind is liable to undergo can never terrify them. All the misfortunes and calamities that are dreadful to human frailty, they never complain of enduring. They know their strength, and whether falsely or truly, if once assured of heavenly support, they be. lieve themselves sufficiently able to bear the burthen. Let the executioner stand at their elbow ; let the tormentos appear with his irons and bis kindled fires, it will not shake their perseverance. Nor will they consider what they are to suffer, but what they are to do. The source of their felicity remains within them; and whatever happens from without is but a fly. blow, and only grazes the surface of the skin. If Epicurus, branded among other philosophers for the impurity of his life, had such a high notion of a wise man, that burning in Phalaris's bull, he would cry out, 'Tis pleasant, and concerns not me at all ; can we believe a character less signal due to their courage, who a hundred years since contemned and slighted all manner of torments, all the inventions of cruelty for Religion's sake? Or that they would not be the same again, upon as terrible a prosecution of the same inhumanities? 'Tis worth the while to hear what one among the rest both said and did, wben tied to the stake on purpose to be burnt to death; how first he fell upon his knees and sung a psalm, which the flames and smoke could hardly interrupt; and when the executioner, to mitigate his terror, would have kindled the fire behind his back, come hither, said he, and kindle it before my face: for had I feared a little scorching, I had never been brought to this place, which it was in my power to have avoided. In vain therefore, men by torments labour to suppress the zeal of those that meditate innovations in Religion ; which do but rather harden their minds to sufferings more painful, and more daring undertakings. For when others have sprung up out of the ashes of others, and that their number has increased, their patience turns to fury: no longer suppliants, as before, they then begin to be importunate and troublesome expostulators and demanders; and they who fled from cruelties before, have of their own accords betaken themselves to arms.
FROM HABING ton's castARA.
A HOLY MAN
Is onely Happie ; for infelicity and sinne were borne twiones ; or rather, like some prodigie with two bodies, both draw and expire the same breath. In prosperity he gratefully admires the bounty of the Almighty giver, and useth, not abuseth plenty; but in adversity he remaines unshaken, and like some eminent mountaine hath bis head above the clouds. For bis happinesse is not meteor-like exhaled from the vapors of this world, but shines a fixt starre. Poverty be neither feares nor covets, but cheerefully entertaines, imagining it the fire which tries virtue; por, how tyrannically soever it usurpe on bim, doth he pay to it a sigh or wrinckle : for he who suffers want without reluctancie, may be poore, not miserable. He sees the covelous prosper by usury, yet waxeth not leane with envie ; and when the posterity of the impious flourish, he questiones not the divine justice; for temporall rewards distinguish not ever the merits of men; and who hath beene of councel with the Æternall ? Fame he weighes not, but esteemes a smoake, yet such as carries with it the sweetest odour, and riseth usually from the Sacrifice of our best actions. Pride he disdaines, when he findes it swelling in himselfe, but easily forgiveth it in another: nor can any mans error in life make him sinne in censure, since seldome the folly we condemne is so culpable as the severity of our judgement. He doth not malice the over-spreading growth of his equalls; but pitties, not despiseth, the fall of any man; esteeming yet no storme of fortune dangerous, but what is rais'd through our owne demerit. When he lookes on others vices, be values not bimselfe vertuous by comparison, but examines his owne defects, and findes matter enough at home for reprehension. In conversation, bis carriage is neither plausible to flattery, nor reserv'd to rigor, but so demeanes himselfe as cre