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" Lord over all is rich unto all that call
him. For whosoever shall call upon 66 the name of the Lord shall be saved.” And this assertion of St. Paul's is strongly corroborated and confirmed by our blessed Saviour himself, in these words, at the 16th chapter of St. Mark's Gospel; “Go ye
into “ all the world, and preach the Gospel to
every creature. He that believeth and is
baptized shall be saved ; but he that be66 lieveth not shall be damned.” So that election to the kingdom of God is not restricted or confined to any particular class of men, but is offered indiscriminately to all who are baptized into the Church of Christ, are believers in his divine mission, and obey his commandments*.
Calvin has again grossly misinterpreted
* Every man, without respect of persons, I apprehend to be so far an Elect of God by the act of baptism, that by virtue of this sacrament he becomes a member of Christ, a child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven: and ever continues to be so, if to the best of his power he complies with the stipulated conditions of this rite, which requires him to believe in the divine mission of Jesus Christ, and to lead a virtuous and pious life. But if by a contrary conduct he violates these stipulated condia tions, he ceases to be an Elect of God; because no man who does not love, honour, and obey God, or at least does not heartily set his mind to do so, can pretend to any holiness of character; and without holiness no man shall see God.
St. Paul's meaning, in asserting that man is justified by faith without works. St. Paul means without the works of that ritual or ceremonial law, which was originally prescribed peculiarly to the Jews: but that he never meant to affirin that man could be saved or justified without moral works, is evident beyond all dispute; because in the 13th chapter of his first Epistle to the Corinthians, after most eloquently celebrating the virtue and excellency of moral works, under the general denomination of charity, he concludes by asserting, that the performance of these moral works, and especially of love and philanthropy towards our fellow-creatures, is of more efficacy, and of greater virtue, than even to possess faith. “And now abid“eth faith, hope, charity, these three; but “ the greatest of these is charity.” 66 Zea“ lots in religion,” Lord Bacon observes,
are apt, if a man does not concur with 66 their false and intemperate zeal, to term “ him in derogation, a civil and moral man
only, and compare him to Socrates, or
some heathen philosopher: whereas the “wisdom of the Scriptures teacheth us other“ wise; namely, to judge and denominate men religious, according to their works of
“ the second table, because those of the “ first are often counterfeit, and practised in “ hypocrisy. St. John saith, that a man “ doth vainly boast of loving God, whom “ he hath not seen, if he love not his bro" ther, whom he hath seen: and St. James “ saith, this is true religion and undefiled, " to visit the fatherless and the widow : so
that which is with these zealots but philosophical and moral, is in the Apostles'
phrase true religion and Christianity.” There are too many of these zealots in this nation ; a set of ignorant illiterate men,
of a very different description of character from real respectable Calvinists; and whom, if he were alive, Calvin would never acknowledge as his disciples, though they have the presumption to call themselves Calvinists. These men do infinite mischief, by alienating the minds of the lower classes of the community from their lawful ministers, from the ministers of the Established Church; falsely asserting, that the latter do not preach the Gospel, and that they are not Gospel ministers : a most cruel and unjust assertion, deserving of the most marked and severest reprehension; because it goes to the dreadful length of destroying all spiritual confidence
on the part of the parishioner towards his lawful minister, and thereby renders his best efforts of instruction entirely ineffective and nugatory. I believe all the Clergy of the Established Church preach, that, in consequence of the fall of Adam, such is the natural frailty and corruption of human nature, that, without the aid of the grace of God, and his holy Spirit, it cannot of itself eit er please God, or obey him: likewise they preach, that Jesus Christ descended from heaven, was incarnate by the Holy Ghost, suffered death on the cross for the sins of mankind; that he arose from the dead, and ascended into heaven, and there graciously condescends to be a Mediator and Intercessor with his heavenly Father, to pardon the sins and frailties of mankind: further, that it is only. by the merits of Jesus Christ, his Redeemer, that any man can expect to have his sins pardoned, be justified, or expect admission into the kingdom of heaven : they further preach, that every man at his best state is only an unprofitable servant; and that every good and perfect gift is from above, and its possession entirely derived from the spontaneous goodness of God, and not from any merit in man. This is, I
apprehend, to preach the genuine doctrines of the Gospel with respect to faith. They likewise preach largely, and frequently, earnestly inculcate, and strongly insist on, the observance of the duties of Christian charity and morality: and if it is the great object and peculiar duty of a Gospel minister to imitate, as closely as he can, the conduct of God himself, his Prophets, that of our blessed Saviour, and his Apostles, they are then justified by these great examples in this their present mode of preaching. Are not the Ten Commandments of God, which he addressed and enjoined to the observance of the human ráce, all moral ? And with respect to the whole duty he expressly informs us by his prophet Micah he requires man to perform, two of its members, namely, doing justly and loving mercy, are entirely moral : and if walking humbly with God is not wholly to be classed under this denomination, it is so greatly connected with it, that without morality it is impossible to do so. Is not our Saviour's sermon on the mount entirely on the subject of Christian morality? And do not the Epistles of St. Paul, St. Peter, St. John, and St. James, all of them, with force, frequency, and a divine elo