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Clapton , . Sir , -Tune 11 , 1823 . HAVE met , accidentally , with " A I Sermon delivered , at New Salters '
Hall , on Thursday , December 5 , 1822 , at a Monthly Meeting of Ministers and Churches . By John Boutet Innes . Printed at the request of the Ministers ^ nd Congregation . " This Sermon , entitled " The Doctrines of
Grace conducive to eminent Holiness , " is designed to rescue Calvinistn from the imputation of an Antinomian tendency . In pursuance of his design the preacher professes ( p . 26 ) to describe
two systems . " One /* he says , " represents sin as a trivial evil , a mere human frailty , " and ** represents God as conniving at that frailty , " and * ' eternal judgment as a bugbear . "
The other , which is evidently the preacher ' s system , comprehends "the doctrines of grace , " according to Calvin ; how worthy to represent the scriptural if grace of God which bringeth salvation to all , " I leave to the
decision of your readers . The preacher appears on this occasion to have practised no uncommon theological policy ; for , like the painter , he " casts discretely into shade " what might have been offensive in his picture . Thus he is profoundly silent pn that obvious and , indeed ,
undisputed result of his system , the creation , by the Almighty Parent of mankind , of a very large part , if not a large majQiity of his offspring for no purpose , but to advance his glory by their endless guilt and endless misery , or , ia the language of President Edwards , by " leaving them eternally to
perish and be everlastingly tormented in hell ; " which to the gentleness of his youth " used , to appear like a horrible doctrine , " till at length thid acute metaphysical Calvinist , his heart probably steeled by his scholastic theology , but to his own apprehension his mind
enlightened by an " extraordinary influence of God ' s spirit , " discovered that the once " horrible doctrine " was : ** exceeding pleasant , bright and sweet . " This writer , of whose talents
jaud character orthodox Nonconformists are justly proud , adopted the system of Calvin in all its horrible consistency , as I had occasion to observe in another place , and his imagi-
nation would often luxuriate oil the dreadful possibilities of hell-torments . Thus in his * ' Dissertation concerning the End for which God created the World , " * he represents " God ' s judgments on the wicked in this world
and also their eternal damnation in the world to come , ** as serving to increase in the elect " a relish of their own enjoyments : " and , in one of his sermons he says , that " however the saints in heaven may have loved the damned while here , especially those of them who were near and dear to
them in this world , they will have no love to them hereafter , " but their sufferings " will be an occasion of their rejoicing , as the glory of God will appear in it . " ( See his Works by Dr . Hopkins , ( 1806 , ) Mem . p . 29 y 1 . 513 ,
514 ; IV . 509 . ) " The ministers and congregation " were , however , now left to forget that hapless portion of their race , the victims of their Almighty Father s /> r
tention or reprobation , and thus , without the consciousness of inhumanity , they might indulge some self-gratulation on the preference with which they had been favoured , for the Calvini 9 ts are ,
probably , few ( and the case of those few is most justly pitiable ) who scruple to class themselves in the number of the elect . There must , indeed , have been some danger that an auditor of the preacher would have been prepared to say to one who could not
receive " the doctrines of grace" according to the version of Calvin , " stand b y thyself , I am holier than thou . " The following note , at least , is too well adapted to the encouragement of such an assumption . 4
< It may appear to some unaccountable , but it is a fact by no means unprecedented , that those who have embraced Antinomianism , sometimes adopt , as their ultimatum , a creed very similar to that which was taught by Socinus . Surprise , however , will
cease , when we remember that the two systems are built on principles common to both . Unscriptural and inadequate views of sin are the foundation on which they each rest . Both destroy the very principles of morality , by their attack on the . divine law . The one . represents sin as altogether venial , the other as vernal in a certain ciasa - The one intimates that God does not
326 Mr , Rutfs Strictures on Mr . Innes ' s Sermon .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), June 2, 1823, page 326, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1785/page/14/