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times, assume the title of moderate Cala vinifts. As thefe feceders seem rather inclined to dispute with us for words than for things, and are in many respects highly valuable members of Christianity, we are in this instance rather called

upon to lament infirmity, than to reprobate gross error. A desire of being wise above what is written, a contentious spirit, and the absence of clear ideas, are failings which we should seek to remedy in ourfelves, and meekly endeavour to reform in others.

Our ablest logicians affirm, that the phrase moderate Calvinism * is a folecism;

that this system must be adopted

* Some explain moderate Calvinism to mean people who hold the doctrine of absolute predestination themselves, but do not consider such belief to be necessary to salvation, or an effential article of Christian faith. Some explain it to be, only holding parts of that reformer's fingular opinions.

wholly, wholly, or totally rejected ; that without reprobates, no meaning can be assigned to the word elect; and that without human agency, there can be no virtue. I am not equal to these niceties of disputation; it is sufficient for my purpose, that the above appellation is adopted by many, who use it as the sign of their diffent from the great body of the eftablished church, To me it appears a distinction without a difference, or rather, that the disputed points are of such a metaphysical subtile nature, as to elude the research of ordinary understandings.

It is not my wish to lead you into a maze of controversy ; but only to guard you againit all schismatical persuasives, which may come recommended by the imposing names of seriousness and extraordinary piecy, or of more profound gospel knowledge. Instead of profcribing piety and seriousness, our church requires B 2

them well

them from all her members; she has

appointed offices for morning and evening prayer; and the commemorates every festival connected with Christianity, either in relation to its mysteries, or to the example of its primitive worthies. So far from withholding the Scriptures from the congregation, she enjoins the frequent use of them to all her members, and the prays, that they may not only “read,” but “ mark, learn, and inwardly digest “ them.” If, therefore, we really are in search of piety, virtue, and knowledge, we need not wander from her fold.

It is true, our Church rejects all fimilitude to the boaftful merit of the Pharisee, on whatever pretext that merit is supposed to be founded. She admits no positive judging of the religious state of others, further than as their actions speak their hearts; and she encourages us to direct our attention to our own lives as well as principles. She requires great modesty of judgment on abstruse and mysterious points, especially as to what relates to our spiritual condition, or to the manner in which divine grace is conveyed to the soul; and it must be confessed, she expects her members rather to be learners and bearers, than expostulators and expounders ; that they should be clothed with humility, instead of selfsufficiency; and that they should submit themselves to their “ spiritual pastors and “masters," instead of cavilling at those who “ watch over them in the Lord."What passes for spiritual gifts in the eyes of many, she esteems the folly of “ curious and carnal men;" and to the long tautological extemporary effusions of over-weening confidence, the opposes her formularies, conceived « in obedi

ence to the sober counsels of the Royal « Preacher :” Be not “rash with thy

« mouth,

B 3

" mouth, and let not thy heart be hafty " to utter any thing before God."

In another point she is also decided ; I mean as to the independency of her ministers; who, “ being stewards of the “ mysteries of God," derive their commission from him, and certainly ought not to be amenable to che congregation whom they are ordained to instruct, and from whom they are not to withhold what is profitable. The liberty of choosing their own instructors, or, what is tantamount, of deserting their parochial church, if it be occupied by a clergyman whose manner of preaching they disike, is asserted by most moderate Calvinists; who, while they affect respect for the hierarchy, claim a degree of licence for its lay members inconsistent with the regular subordination on which it is founded ; and degrade a spiritual function, by judging it with the

same

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