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love. “ If ye, being evil, know how to give
good gifts to your children, how much “ more shall your heavenly Father give
good things,” even “ the Holy Spirit, to 66 them that ask him." It is also 6 because
ye are sons, that God hath sent forth “ into your hearts the Spirit of his Son, “ not the spirit of fear or of bondage, but “ the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, “ Abba, Father."
Such expressions, and more might be recited, suffer us not to acquiesce in silence, when Calvinists”, with less ambiguity and
4 Matt. vii. 11. Luke xi. 13. r Rom. viii, 14. 15. Galat. iv. 6.
* This is the language of Calvinists: the meaning which it is intended to convey requires explanation. Dr. Williams, in commenting upon the position of Bishop Tomline, that faith" is a gift not bestowed arbitrarily, “capriciously, or irrespectively,” observes : “ That the “infinitely wise God should bestow a favour or do any
thing else capriciously without reason, or irrespective
ly without a wise reference to a worthy end, is out of “ the question : for his Lordship must be too equitable “ to impute to Calvinists a sentiment which they utterly “ abhor. But they do avow the sentiment,” &c. as in the text. Mr. Scott says: “The words arbitrarily and capriciously,” in connection with the Lord's decrees or
reserve, adopting the language of their
opponents, “ avow the sentiment, that his
gifts, as distinguished from rewards, are “ bestowed arbitrarily, or according to his “ sovereign pleasure ;” and that “it is the
prerogative of benevolence, grace, and mercy, to overlook worthiness in their
objects ; and the measure of their exer“ cise is adequately found in supreme wis“ domu. It is also maintained, that to the question, “ Why should we suppose that
dispensations, are used exclusively by the opponents “ of Calvinism, and are not found in the writings of “ Calvinists." Vol. ii. p. 122. sec. 166. “ Arbitrary will, « in the common use of words, means the will of one « who is determined to have his own way, being pos“sessed of power to enforce his decisions. This in ge“ neral is unreasonable, capricious, tyrannical : often in “ direct opposition to wisdom, justice, truth, goodness, “or mercy. Such thoughts of God's sovereignty were “ far removed from Calvin's views of the subject, and so " they are from ours.” Vol. ii. p. 4. See p. 89. 170. 653. “ Indeed the word 'right' is wholly improper to the sub“ject... it is unmeaning to speak of a right to do wbat “ it is impossible should ever be done." Vol. ii. 168.
i Williams, p. 151. u Ibid. p. 152. 188. Scott, vol. i. p. 104. vol. ii. p. 623.
6 God does more in the way of preventing « internal grace for some than for others, «« while all in themselves are equally un" deserving? the true answer is, Because « his favours are his own, and he has a " sovereign prerogative to do what he will " with his ownv;” “a sovereign or arbitra
ry right to confer his favours on whom “he pleases, when all alike are destitute “ of just claim w;" and that the influence of this indefectible principle “is no more so claimable by the creature than any
other favour which is not in fact granted 66 himx.”
Claim we have none, and none we urge, but through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom both Jews and Gentiles “have access by one Spirit unto the Faor thery.” It is on the authority of the Scriptures that we believe that God, so far from overlooking worthiness in the objects of his mercy,
“ resisteth the proud, and
Williams, p. 498. 503. Scott, vol. ii. p. 3. 35. 36. 543. w Williams, p. 180. Scott, vol. i. p. 105.
Williams, p. 257. Eph. ii. 18.
"giveth grace unto the humblez;" that his eyes " are over the righteous, and his “ ears are open to their prayers, but” that his face " is against them that do evila.” If any man love Christ, he will keep his words, and the “Father will love him," and, with the Son, “ will come unto him," and make his “ abode with him b." So it is written, that God dwelleth with him “ that is of a contrite and humble spirit, “ to revive the spirit of the humble, and " to revive the heart of the contrite onesc;" that he looketh" to him that is
and “ of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at his “ word d.” The same truth is conveyed in the history and character of many who have been the especial objects of divine mercy, and is worthy to be received without limitation or restriction; for it is the declared will of God, that no man should perish, but that “ all should come to re“ pentance,” and “ to the knowledge of “ the truth," and " be savede.”
2 1 Pet. v, 5. a 1 Pet. iii. 12. b John xiv. 23. c Isaiah lvii. 15. d Isaiah lxvi. 2. e Ezek. xviii. 23. 32. xxxiii. 11. 1 Tim. ii. 4. 2 Pet. iii. 9.
3. Grace, in the language of Calvinists, is called special,
66 because that which is displayed in the Gospel objectively, which bringeth the tidings of salvation through
Christ, has appeared to all men, is alike “ common to the converted and uncon
verted, to numbers who perish, as well
as to those who are eventually saved. “ Consequently, that grace which causes - the difference of result, must be subject“ ive, or internal and specialf.” It would be easy to enlarge on the apparent subtlety and real confusion in this distinction of the grace
of God, as it is shewn in the publication of the word, and the renewal of the heart. The doctrine of special grace is sufficiently declared in those texts, in which it is said, that “the manifestation of the
Spirit is given to every man to profit “ with%;" that “ grace is given to every “ one of us, according to the measure of " the gift of Christ ";" and that we have “ gifts differing according to the grace
that “ is given to us,” and “ according to the
f Williams, p. 29. & 1 Cor. xii. 7. h Ephes. iv. 7.