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It is confessed that the elect" cannot finally fall, neither shall any pluck them out of God's hand. Their names are written in heaven in the book of God, and shall not be blotted out. But these counsels of God are to us unsearchable, neither has he left us in Scripture any marks or signs by which we may infallibly include ourselves in that happy number whom he has finally chosen. Herein, then, lies the error which we would reprove; that men have pretended to assign certain characters and evidences by which all who are elected may assuredly know themselves to be so, most of which resolve into a strong confident persuasion that they are so, which they presume to be the justifying faith of the elect. A doctrine, indeed, which cannot but gain great attention and reverence to the teachers of it from their followers, who look upon them as men trusted with the secrets of heaven and who know the impression of God's seal; who, in truth, by pretending to declare the evidences of it, do, in effect, assume a power of fixing it on whom they please. But, what advantages soever the teachers of this doctrine may derive to themselves from it, it is to be feared their disciples are, in confi, dence of their skill and authority, often led into conclusions from it of great danger to their souls, who are thereby persuaded to rely with too much presumption on their vigilance, and be less apprehensive of sin than the soldier of Christ ought to be. Sixth Sermon of Rogers's 19 Serm. p. 110. See this observation fully verified in the article Hell, in letter H.,.
'; - Moreover, whom he did predestinate, them he also called, &c. Rom. viii. 30. This may well be called the golden chain of election, as it exhibits the order and connection of the purposes of God concerning our salvation. Only the several steps of divine grace are expressed, but that holiness, which the apostle has been arguing for as essential to our salvation, 'is manifestly understood. The not observing of this has led some Christians into a very great error, as if some men, and indeed all that are to be finally saved, were foreknown, predestinated, called, justified, and glorified, by an abson lute decree, without regard to their moral character. Which is infallibly a very great mistake. Taylor on Rom. *;: in
fi. -- Now as it is true that no contingency or freedom in the creatures can any way deceive or surprise God; so, on the other hand, it is likewise true that the divine Prescience doth not hinder freedom': and a thing may or may not be, notwithstanding that fore-knowledge of it which we ascribe to God. When, therefore, it is alleged, that, if God foresees, I shall be saved, my salvation is infallible, this does not follow because, the fore-knowledge of God is not like man's, which requires necessity in the event, in order to its being certain, but of another nature consistent with contingency. Veneer on 17th Artic. . .
The remonstrants have chosen a better foundation for their opinion in this matter, · Felection) and in the pursuit of it represented God in a more agreeable dress. The Calvinists have strong pretensions to Seripture, but, perhaps, may be mistaken in the interpretation of it. The remonstrants have clearly the advantage as to the opinion of
the anticnt church. But the Calvinists, it must be obrned, have a much nearer con. formity to our own. In such abstruse points each man, I suppose, is left to his own persuasion; for no church, I am satisfied, has authority enough to make men believe and hold what is not agreeable to the doctrine of the Old and New Testament, and to what the catholic fathers and antient bishops gathered from that very doctrine. Stackh. Body of Div.
But our church does not favour Calvinism, as may appear from one of the tracts I published on the Articles, in 1804. See also Remonstrants, in letter R.
ERASMUS. See Cranmer.
The Eucharist is not a federal rite, but only the memorial of a fædus, or couco nant; and, of consequence, there is no reciprocal intercourse between God and man of blessings, graces, &c. as Dr Waterland supposes. And, though I do not deny that in the Eucharist there is a real assistance of God, and a real benefit, which the worthy receiver partakes of; and this benefit may be conveyed to the communicant, not only as a natural effect of an act of religious worship, (which is all that some seem to allow,) but supernaturally too, i. e. he may receive such benefits as flow not from the nature of the action, but from the grace and blessing of God, the giver; yet I say that the Eucharist has these in common with other acts of obedience under the Gospel, which shews that they are not annexed to the Eucharist. The assistance of God's spirit is promised in general to all Christians, and therefore I think that in all acts of religious worship a devout Christian may expect it; but I cannot see that he has a right or reason to expect, that, in the Eucharist, pardon and grace is annexed to the worthy receiving. Pearce's Letters to Waterland.
But, if not in the Eucharist, then why in any other act of religious worship? And, if in any other act of religious worship, why not in the Eucharist?
There have been many who contend that the Jewish passover was itself no sacrifice, and that the Christian Eucharist, being connected with that rite alone, could not therefore be a sacrificial feast, and ought not to be considered as a federal rite in any degree, but merely as commemorative. — But it is certain that the Paschal Lamb was sacrificed, and they who allow that Christ is our Passover must allow also, in the words of the apostle, that he was sacrificed for us; and, farther, that the communion of his body and blood is, strictly speaking, a feast upon that sacrifice offered once for all, and therefore a federal rite, as such feasts always were. – On this idea all is intelligible and pertinent; but, on the idea of a mere commemoration, so much contended for by some, not only every part of the institution becomes lifeless and unmeaning, but the great and discriminating article of our faith is kept out of sight. — If this idea be retained, it cannot be denied but that we do, in a most lively and efficacious manner, commemorate both our Redeemer and the great act of our redemption; and also fit
and and dispose ourselves to receive the riches of his love. - It is enough to observe, that this institution, when explained according to the legitimate intention of the founder himself, uncorrupted by the additions of the papists, and undiminished by the Socinians, does necessarily imply that the death of Jesus was held forth to the world as a propitiatory sacrifice. Bagot's Discourses on Prophecy, p. 206, &c.
Falsissima est consecutio, nos videri illorum peccatis communicare, quibuscum saeram communionem habemus. Nec enim, ut rite ad cænam accedam, scrutandum est mihi, quâ quisque conscientiâ ad eam mecum accedat, sed de mea ipsius conscientiâ mihi laborandum est. Itaque et cum adulteris, et cum homicidis, et cum sceleratissimis quibusvis, modo nullâ meâ culpâ tales sint, si ad cænam castus et sceleris purus accessero, nihil illorum impuritas mihi nocuerit. Et quod de moribus dico, etiam de doctrina dico. Vide Bezæ clariss. Epist. 2 ad Tiliuin. Vossius de Sac. Symb.
· Aujourd'hui nous recevons trois EDUCATIONS différentes ou contraires; celle de nos pères, celle de nos maîtres, celle du monde. Ce, qu'on nous dit dans la dernière, renverse toutes les idées des premières. Cela vient, en quelque partie, du contraste qu'il y a parmi nous entre les engagemens de la religion et ceux du monde; chose que les anciens ne connoissoient pas. L'Esprit des Loix, liv. iv. c. 4.
Si l'on veut lire l'admirable quvrage de Tacite sur les meurs des Germains, on verra que c'est d'eux que les Anglois ont tiré l'idée de leur gouvernement politique. Ce beau systéme a été trouvé dans les bois. Comme toutes les choses humaines ont une fin, l'état dont nous parlons perdra sa liberté : il périra, lorsque la puissance législative sera plus corrompue que l'exécutrice. L'Esprit des Loix, liv. xi. c. 6.
From the account of the ELEUSINIAN MYSTeries as given by Pausanias, of which the following is Meursius's translation, (vide Græc. Antiq. tom. vii. e. 10,) it may be inferred that one part of them was borrowed from the two tables of stone, on which the divine law was written on Mount Sinai, and delivered to Moses. " Pheneatis autem etiam Cereris est templum Eleusiniæ, et celebrant Deæ initia quæ in Eleusine fiunt, et apud se illa ipsa dicentes constituta. Prope vero Eleusiniæ fanum factum est Petroma, ut vocantur lapides duo, conjuncti invicem, magni. Celebrantes autem quotannis festum, quod initio magna vocant, hos lapides tunc aperiunt, accipientes litteras ex illis, habentes illa quæ ad initia pertinent, et quum legerunt ità ut ex audierint mystæ, deponebant rursus in eadem nocte.” . . .
That these four persons (Enoch, Moses, Elijah, and Christ,'), are not in any place at a distance from the EARTH, may be concluded from the consideration of there being no such thing as any local heaven above the clouds, and from their having, no con
ceivable ceivable relation to any other planet in this system. And, if these persons can subsist, either in the atmosphere or any where else, in an invisible state, without gross food, so, for any thing we know, may the greatest numbers, who may also rise from the dead and exist in the same state, and their interference with the affairs of mortal men may be as little or as insensible.' Priestley's Evidences, vol. ii. p. 234.
But how does this idea of heaven accord with 2 Cor. xii. 2? See King, in Hell.'
That the earth will be destroyed by fire, though supposed by the apostle Peter, is not, I think, certain; since neither any of the prophets, nor our Saviour, nor the apostle Paul, nor John in the Revelation, make any mention of it, though they mention circumstances which must be coincident with it. And, as Peter does not say that he had any particular revelation on the subject, he might have taken the idea from some tradition of no sufficient authority. Priestley's Evidences, vol. č. p. 249.
Bụt does not this assertion invalidate the inspiration of Peter?
· Dionysius of Athens, converted at Athens, being at Heliopolis on the day our Saviour suffered, and observing the ECLIPSE, broke out into this expression : "that certainly at that time either God himself suffered, or was much concerned for some body that did.” Univ. Hist.
Whether, therefore, it was an eclipse, as is here supposed, or a miraculous darkness, it is evident that it was not confined to the land of Judea.
ETYMOLOGIES of Heathen Deities. Corybantes, c'est à dire, les sacrificateurs, du mot 7a7p, corban; oblatio, donum. Les prêtres de Crète étoient nommées Corybantes. L'Hist. du Ciel.'
Corybantes, sacrificers, is a plain derivation from the Chald. sanıp, a victim or oblation. The Phænician priests perpetually calling for courebans, the Greeks called them corybantes. Blackwell.
Atlas, among the Phoenicians, seems to have corresponded with the Janus and Vertumnus of the Latins. The pole or axis of heaven turned on his shoulders, and the Arabs call a lever, atalo, to this day. Idem.
Atlas de xan, telaah, et avec emphase en ajoutant l'article Phénicien arbas, atlah, les fatigues, les travaur. C'est de là que vient l'adros des Grecs. L'Hist. du Ciel.
Mercurius, qui nomen et vicem prophetæ tenuit, dictus est Anubis apud Ægyptios, ab Heb. Mas, vel Arab. H'IIN, propheta. Spencer, tom. ii. p. 692.
Vesta in the Chald. signifying fire snwr, among the contemplative priests of the Last, passed for the latent power of fire, and was worshipped among the Persians under the name of Oromasdes, von Dinin, the blessed fire; and under that of Serapis, "DN 70, Sur Api, the Lord' Apis, by the Egyptians. Blackwell.
Ephaistos, le père du feu, de , aph, or eph, le père, et de snWN, Vesta, le feu. L'Hist. du Ciel.
Vulcan I conjecture to have come from a transposition of the vowels of a boa, Bab Kiun, the Lord Kiun, the Eastern idol mentioned by one of the Jewish prophets, and joined with Moloch, whom the rabbins with good reason take to be Saturn. Black
Jackson, in his Chronology, makes Vulcan to be the same person with the TubalCain of Scripture.
Mars, Agns. It is plainly from pory, prædo. Blackwell,
Dione is a formal participle of the Syr. 737, ortus est, eluxit; thence non and Dione. Idem.
Venus signifies the deity of woman, or female nature; and is formed from the Phænician mua, daughters. Idem.
Hercules. The word itself is to be sought for from the East; sprv, ercol, signifying swift or sinewy, being probably the original. Univ. Hist. vol. xvii. p. 204.
Hercules se derivioit de Bio, horim, heroes, illustres, et de op, kele, armatura, et signifioit, les gens d'armes. L'Hist. du Ciel.
Easter so called from Aester, a Saxon goddess, which they sacrificed to in the month of April. Gale's Court of Gent.
Adonis, or mighty. Lord, is derived from 1978, adoni, Dominus meus. No wonder that the loss of the Adoins, or Sun, at whose recess the earth mourns, is loudly lamented in Assyria, in Egypt, or the countries tinctured with their traditions; or that his return to impregnate the world with genial vigour should be welcomed with the highest demonstration of joy. With whom should the susceptive power of generation, the mild Venus, be in love? Whose absence should she mourn, when he goes a hunting through the monsters of the zodiac, and approaching too near the bear? The Egyptians called him Orus, (from 918, lur;) the Phenicians, Beelsamen; the Arabians, Ourotaalt, the supreme light; the Persians, Oromasdes; and the later Persians, Mithras, the most excellent. Blackwell.
The Cabir gods were originally Egyptian, and are the powers and produce of fire impregnating mother-earth in the mysterious work of vegetation; and, in this view, their hard names become of easy derivation. The first, Aari Erez, is from the Chald. 1718, aasi, succendit, calefecit, and rox, terra, the prolific strength or warmth of the earth itself. The second, Aaxi Gherez, from the same word, and ona, gheres, frumentum, the latent strength of grain. The third that genial warmth exerted, Aaxi Ghersa, the feminine of the former. The fourth is the servant or creature of these gods, from the Arab. kadim, famulus, and Ilahoh, Deus; kadmiloe, xadreros, and xaouidos, Mercury. Blackwell. But see Cabiri, under Trinity.
Ario Kersos et Ario Kersa significant, mea possessio (est) ercidium, et sic dictus Pluto. Græc Antiq. tom vii. p. 105.