Having thus touched on the condition of the Heathen world, it may not be improper to make a few observations on the condition of infants.

And in the first place, it may be remarked, that that Seed of Grace, "which is the purchase of Christ's death," (Barclay's Apol. Prop. 7.) or, in the language of the apostle, "the Free Gift" that has come "upon all men," Rom. v. 18. is an operative and Redeeming Principle. Though, when speaking of moral agents, we press the necessity of obedience, which leads to works of righteousness, as this is always the effect produced in moral agents, when the Principle of Divine Life is not resisted; yet when we trace effects to their causes-when we go back to the first spring of action, as well as cause of salvation, we ascribe all to the Grace of God, and nothing to the will or works of the creature, when considered as such. The parable of the leaven, hid in three measures of meal, is an illustration of this doctrine. The leaven, by its own operation, leavened and brought the meal into its own nature, and into an activity, if we may use the expression, exactly conformable to the properties and action of the leaven. Here the meal, being a fit subject, and also a passive subject, was brought into the oneness. But all the effects produced, were to be ascribed to the active principle thus introduced into it. This exactly applies to us as moral agents.

The Salvation of infants depends on the same principle, and differs from that of persons who have attained to years of religious understanding, in no other respect than what arises from the respective capacities of each individual. We agree that every soul that comes into the world, does need a Saviour. We believe also

that every soul as it comes into the world, is an object of Redeeming Love. And as we inherit the seed of sin, (Vide Original and Present State of Man,) so through Jesus Christ, we are heirs of that Seed of Grace, which is the efficient cause of salvation to all that are saved. If infants therefore receive the one, and we agree that they do, they must also receive the other, as, "the Free Gift," that has come "upon all men to justification.", This Gift or Remedy must be, as the apostle testifies, as extensive as the cause it was designed to remove.

Thus, the Seed of the Kingdom, as a Redeeming Principle, is placed in the heart of every individual, ready to expand with the opening faculties of the soul, and to take the government of it, from the first dawn of intellectual life.

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In maturer age, when these two principles begin to exert their respective powers, the principle of light and life, if not resisted by the individual, will overpower and eradicate the principle or seed of evil. As, in all stages, it is the "stronger," so in this first stage of human life, where it has not been resisted-where it stands just as the gift and means of salvation provided by our Heavenly Father, it must be sufficient for salvation.

Thus, through Jesus Christ, a remedy sufficient for salvation has been provided for every individual soul; and nothing but individual disobedience can deprive us of the offered salvation.

"This is the condemnation, that Light is come into the world," but " men love darkness rather than Light, because their deeds are evil." John iii. 19. Under this condemnation children cannot come, until, attaining to the condition of moral agents, they love darkness rather

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than light. And let it be remembered, that this Redeeming Principle they receive from Christ, and not from their parents, either by nature, or by any promises they can make for them, or any ceremonies they can cause to be performed over them.

The doctrine of the possibility of salvation to all men, is essential, to be consistent with the attributes of the Deity; because He cannot be represented as merci ful, or just, or equal in his ways, if this principle be denied. He cannot be represented as merciful to those to whom He extends no mercy-or just, in punishing those who do his will-or equal, in dispensing happiness

one and misery to another, when both stand in the same relation to Him.

It is not intended to make the present a controversial work; and yet it seems difficult to place the subject in a proper point of view, without noticing the opposite doctrine. This doctrine supposes salvation is not possible to all; but that the final happiness or misery of mankind, and their actions in this life, are fixed by an unchangeable decree from all eternity;* that the will of

* I shall not refer to authors that are out of print; but as Augustus Toplady is a modern writer, and has made numerous quotations from Calvin and other writers of that day, I shall look no further than to his doctrine of Absolute Predestination, &c. "translated in great measure from the Latin of Jerom Zanchius." He says; "Since, as was lately observed, the determining will of God, being omnipotent, cannot be obstructed or made void; it follows, that He never did, nor does He now, will that every individual of mankind should be saved." p. 23. “God, as we have before proved, wills not the salvation of every man; but gave his Son to die for them whose salvation He willed: therefore, his Son did not die for every man." P. 24. laid down it follows, that Austin, Luther, Bucer, the scholastic diviues, and other learned writers, are not to be blamed for asserting that God may, in some sense, be said to will the being and commission of sin." P. 25.

"From what has been

"REPROBATION denotes....God's eternal PRETERITION of SOME men,

God is properly divided into secret and revealed; and these do not always correspond, or, as it is expressed, "are apparently different." The revealed will, they say,

when He chose others to glory; and his predestination of them to fill up the measure of their iniquities, and then to receive the just punishment of their crimes: even destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power." &c. P. 48.

"We assert, that there is a predestination of some particular persons to LIFE, for the praise of the glory of Divine Grace; and a predestination of other particular persons to death; which death, of punishment, they shall inevitably undergo, and that justly on account of their sins." p. 53.

"We assert, that the number of the elect, and also of the reprobate, is so fixed and determinate, that neither can be augmented or diminished." p. 59. "That the decrees of election and reprobation are immutable and irresistible." P. 60. "Not one of the elect can perish; but they must all necessarily be saved." "Now that is said to be necessary, which cannot be otherwise than it is." p. 55.

"God did, from all eternity, decree to leave some of Adam's fallen posterity in their sins, and to exclude them from participation of Christ and his benefits." p. 70.

"L 'Some men were, from all eternity, not only negatively excepted from a participation of Christ and his salvation: but positively ordained to continue in their natural blindness, hardness of heart, &c. and that by the just judgment of God." "His permission is a positive, determinate act of his will." p. 72. "The non-elect were predestinated, not only to continue in final impenicency, sin, and unbelief; but were, likewise, for such their sins, righteously appointed to infernal death hereafter." P. 73. "God's predestination is most certain and unalterable; so that no elect person can perish, nor any reprobate be saved." pp. 86, 87.

"Although the will of God, considered in itself, is simply one and the same, yet, in condescension to the present capacities of men, the Divine will is very properly distinguished into SECRET and REVEALED. Thus, it was his REVEALED will, that Pharaoh should let the Israelites go: that Abraham should sacrifice his son; and that Peter should not deny Christ: but, as was proved by the events, that it was his SECRET will that Pharaoh should NOT let Israel go, that Abraham should NOT sacrifice Isaac, and that Peter SHOULD deny his Lord." pp. 18, 19.

"God's hidden will is PEREMPTORY and ABSOLUTE; and therefore cannot be hindered from taking effect." p. 21.

"Whatever comes to pass, comes to pass by virtue of this absolute, omnipotent will of God; which is the primary and supreme cause of all things." p. 21.


embraces the Divine commands and precepts. secret will fixes the events beyond the possibility of change or contingency. Thus, when a command, or warning, or invitation, is given to the reprobate, or those who are finally lost, this is called the revealed will of God. But the secret will renders it absolutely impossible for them to do otherwise than to go counter to the revealed will. And this disobedience to the revealed will of God, is called wilful and obstinate; and those who are in it are said to be justly punished for theit wilful disobedience, and obstinate refusal to accept salvation: though the secret will cannot be resisted; and the reprobate are as completely governed by it as the elect themselves.

Perhaps there is no system of opinions received among men, which contains so many paradoxes, as the doctrine of unconditional Election and Reprobation; and none that is more difficult to reconcile with itself, with Scripture, and with reason.

In the first place, we cannot conceive how a man can be said to act voluntarily, when he is urged to what he does by irresistible force and necessity; how he can be said to be obstinate and wilful, in refusing to accept salvation, when it never was in his power to accept it, when he was first introduced into a course of evil, and continued in it, by necessity which he cannot possibly resist and how he can be justly punished for actions thus committed, appears equally opposed to the simplest principles of reason.

In the 32nd chapter of Jeremiah, we have this language of the Almighty; "For the Children of Israel and the Children of Judah have only done evil before Me

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