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to which two meanings may be annexed, and if for one there is equal authority as for the other, yet if one meaning should destroy all the most glorious attributes of the Supreme Being, and the other should preserve them as recognised in the other parts of the Scripture, they think they are bound to receive that, which favours the justice, mercy, and wisdom of God, rather than that, which makes him appear both unjust and cruel.

They believe, again, that some Christians have misunderstood the texts, which they quote in favour of the doctrine of Election and Reprobation, for the following reasons ::

First, because, if God had from all eternity.predestinated some to eternal happiness, and the rest to eternal misery, the mission of Jesus Christ upon earth became unnecessary, and his mediation ineffectual.

If this, again, had been a fundamental doctrine of Christianity, it never could have been overlooked (considering that it is of more importance to men than any other) by the Founder of that religion. But he never delivered any words in the course of his ministry, from whence any reasonable conclusion could be drawn, that such a doctrine formed any part of the creed, which he in. tended to establish among men.


His doctrine was that of Mercy, Tenderness, and Love, in which he inculcated the power and efficacy of repentance, and declared there was more joy in heaven over one sinner that repented, than over ninety-nine just persons who needed no repentance. By the parable of the Sower, which the Quakers consider to relate wholly to the word or Spirit of God, it appears that persons of all descriptions were visited equally for their salvation; and that their salvation depended much upon themselves, and that, where obstacles arose, they arose from themselves also, by allowing temptations, persecutions, and the cares of the world, to overcome them. In short, they believe that the doctrine of Election and Reprobation is contrary to the whole tenour of the doctrines promulgated by Jesus Christ.

They conceive, also, that this doctrine is contrary to the doctrines promulgated by the Evangelists and Apostles, and particularly contrary to those of St. Paul himself, from whom it is principally taken. To make this apostle contradict himself they dare not.


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And they must therefore conclude, either
that no person has rightly understood it,
and that it has hitherto been kept in mys-
tery; or, if it be intelligible to the human
understanding, it must be explained by com-
paring it with other texts of the same apostle,
as well as with those of others, and always
in connection with the general doctrines of
Christianity, and the character and attri-
butes of God. Now the apostle Paul, who
is considered to intimate that God predesti-
nated some to eternal salvation, and the rest
to eternal misery*, says, that “God made
of one blood all nations of men to dwell on
all the face of the eartht;" that in the
Gospel-dispensation " there is neither Greek
nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision,
Barbarian nor Scythian, bond nor free 1."
He desires also Timothy “to make prayers
and supplications and intercessions for all
men $;" which the Quakers conceive he
could not have done, if he had not believed it
to be possible that all might be saved. “For
this is acceptable,” says he, “ in the sight
of our Saviour, who will have all men to
* Rom. chap. ix. I Coloss. iii. 11.
Acts xvii. 26. § 1 Tim. ii. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.


be saved; for there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all.” Again : he says, “ that Jesus Christ tasted death for every man*.”

And in another place he says, “ The grace of God, which bringeth salvation, has appeared unto all men t.” But if this grace has appeared to all, none can have been without it; and if its object be salvation, then all must have had sufficient of it to save them, if obedient to its saving operations.

If the doctrine also of Election and Reprobation be true, then the recommendations of Jesus Christ and of his Apostles, and particularly of Paul himself, can be of no avail, and ought never to have been given. Prayer is inculcated by these as an acceptable duty. But why should men pray, if they are condemned beforehand, and if their destiny is inevitable? If the doctrine, again, be true, then all the exhortations to repentance, which are to be found in the Scriptures, must be unnecessary. For why should men repent, except for a little temporary happiness in this

* Heb.ii.g.

+ Titus ii. il.


world, if they cannot be saved in a future? This doctrine is considered by the Quakers as making the precepts of the Apostles unnecessary; as setting aside the hopes and encouragements of the Gospel; and as standing in the way of repentance or holiness of life.

This doctrine, again, they consider as objectionable, inasmuch as it obliges men to sin, and charges them with the commission of it. It makes also the fountain of all purity the fountain of all sin; and the Author of all good the fountain of all evil. to the Supreme being a malevolence, that is not to be found in the character of the most inalevolent of his creatures. It makes him more cruel than the most cruel oppressor ever recorded of the human race. It makes him to have deliberately made millions of men, for no other purpose than to stand by and delight in their misery and destruction. But is it possible, the Quakers say, for this to be true of him, who is thus described by St. John," God is love?"

It gives


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