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" I have often heard of Calvinism and Calvinistic churches,” said Israel with much simplicity of manner; “but I never exactly knew what were the articles of that faith ; I have heard that the vital points might be summed up under the names of predestination, particular redemption, total depravity, effectual calling, and final perseverance. I confess that I do not understand the full import of these formidable names.”

“Nor do I,” said Mr. O'Hara, drily; “ that is to say, I do not understand them as John Calvin did. You have heard of the “Five Points' of Calvinism? Let me repeat them to you, verbatim.

“ Had we not better give this young man some explanation of these terms in theology, in order to prepare his mind for the reception of truth which, otherwise, might be objectionable?” now asked Mr. Ingersoll, with a slight loss of his usual poise.

“I object to any private interpretations of a public creed,” said Mr. O'Hara; “if the creed is sound and kind, as we say of a good family horse, it will carry us through to the better country, safely and surely; but if not, why then let it fall to the place where it belongs, which is under the bridge.”

“But then," persisted Mr. Ingersoll, moving uneasily, 66 there is a difference in the manner of expressing the same truth.”

" Here you have it,” said Mr. O'Hara, beginning with the first word of the “Five Points,” and not stopping till he came to the last. It was, in abbreviation, like this:

I. " That God hath chosen a certain number of the fallen race of Adam, in Christ, before the foundation

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of the world, unto eternal glory, according to His immutable purpose, and of His free grace and love, without the least foresight of faith, good works, or any conditions performed by the creature, and that the rest of mankind He was pleased to pass by, and ordain to dishonor and wrath, for their sins, to the praise of His vindictive justice.

II. “ That though the death of Christ be a most perfect sacrifice and satisfaction for sins of infinite value, and abundantly sufficient to expiate the sins of the whole world, and though, on this ground, the Gospel is to be preached to all mankind indiscriminately; yet it was the will of God, that Christ, by the blood of the cross, should efficaciously redeem all those, and those only, who were from eternity elected to salvation and given to him by the Father.

III. “That mankind are totally depraved in consequence of the fall of the first man, who, being their public head, his sins involved the corruption of all his posterity; and which corruption extends over the whole soul, and renders it unable to turn to God, or to do anything truly good, and exposes it to His righteous displeasure, both in this world and that which is to


IV. “That all whom God hath predestinated unto eternal life, He is pleased in his appointed time effectually to call by his word and spirit out of that state of sin and death in which they were by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ.

V. “That those whom God has effectually called and sanctified by His spirit, shall never finally fall from a state of grace. That true believers may fall


partially, and would fall totally and finally, but for the mercy and faithfulness of God, who helpeth the feet of His saints; also, that he who bestoweth the grace of perseverance, bestoweth it by means of reading and hearing the word, meditation, exhortations, threatenings and promises ; but that none of these things imply the possibility of a believer's falling from a state of justification."

“Calvin likewise taught the doctrine of the Trinity," said Mr. Ingersoll ; "the three equal persons in the Godhead, in one nature, and that Jesus Christ had two natures.”

“Also," said Mr. O'Hara, emphatically, “that the happiness of the righteous and the misery of the impenitent commenced directly at death, and was endless."

“ Is this, then, the belief of what are called Calvinistic churches, including Baptists?” asked Israel.

“Substantially," answered Mr. Ingersoll, "and there is Scripture, varied and sufficient in proof of all these periods of belief.”

"We do not all interpret Scripture alike," said Mr. O'Hara. “I am the pastor of an Evangelical Congregational church, so called; but our creed is so worded, that, while we are "guilty of all’ these doctrines, we • offend in none, I believe.”

“The offence of the Cross hath not yet ceased among those who are faithful to its doctrines,” here spoke Mr. Ingersoll, very gravely.

Israel now rose to leave. He thanked both the clergymen for their instruction. Mr. O'Hara said, “ If you make up your mind that you must be im




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mersed, and yet wish for a more liberal scope of church membership than the Baptist, you can come to me and I will willingly do it.”

“I would not do it,” said Mr. Ingersoll, “for I do not believe it is necessary.”

“ Neither do I,” said Mr. O'Hara, laughing, “but then, 'conscience not of thine own, but of the other.' If we are liberal, we must show our liberality, and not be so narrow-souled as the Baptists. I declare it is truly laughable," he went on, “to see them so calm in their sublime egotism, as though God made the universe on purpose for them, all except hell, which is for their enemies. They make one think of the Congoes, who say that all the world was made by hands of angels, except their own country, which was constructed by the Supreme himself, who took great pains to make them very black, and was pleased with the model man, that he smoothed him over the face, and therefrom his nose and that of all his posterity became flat!”

“I do not comprehend your figure," said Mr. Ingersoll.

“Never mind,” said Mr. O'Hara, "perhaps I do not comprehend it myself.”

On retiring from this conference, Israel had many thoughts. Of one thing he was sure - that he could not join a church with a Calvinistic creed, until he had, at least, examined farther.

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