صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

ESSAYS UPON HOPKINSIANISM.

et feel any opposition to the doc- knowledge and belief of the doctie of which that duty is the trines of the gospel, without perforpractical result. And it is entire-ming its corresponding duties, ly in character for backsliders, self thereby give as decisive evidence deceivers, and hypocrites, to join of being enemies to God and his with the openly irreligious in op- gospel as it is possible for any to posip; those doctrines of the gospel give. For, it is written, “Ile that which enforce duties they have no saith, I know },im, and keepeth not inclination to perform. It appears his commandments, is a liar, and the also, that when we see those who truth is not in him." profess relizion beginning to mani

DISCIPULUS. fest an opposition to any of the doctrines of the gospel, we ought For the Hopkinsian Magazine. to expeci that they will soon manifest the same opposition to the

[Continued from Vol. 1, page 478.] corresponding duties of the gospel,

NO. XI. and proceed on to open immoralities. Lax views of doctrine and Section, 1. The ertent to which lax views of duty have long been the Topkinsian system has been found together, and it is

received.

perfectly natural that they should be Those, who believe this system i inseparable companions.

to be scriptural and true, cannot be 3. This subject shows the de- consistent with themselves, withlusion of those who trust in their out maintaining, that it has, in all practical religion without loving ages, been received as extensively the doctrines of the gospel, and of as revealed religion. True relig, those who trust in their intellectual ion consists in a belief and love of knowledge of the doctrines of the revealed truth, with a correspondgospel without performing its cor- ing practice. The superstitious responding duties. That practic- maxim, that “ignorance is the al religion which does not grow out mother of devotion,” is not more of the doctrines of the gospel does absurd, than the liberal sentiment, grow out of other doctrines of an that it is of little consequence wliat opposite character, and is a differ- one believes, if he has a good heart, ent religion from the religion of and leads a holy life. Who have the gospel. Those who cordially such a heart and lead such a life, reject the doctrines of the gospel, except those who know and reihereby give as decisive evidence ceive the doctrines taught in the of being enemies to God and his sacred scriptures ? It is "through gospel, as it is possible for any to the truth" that the Holy Spirit give. For, it is written, “ He that sactifies men ; and it is by 'obeyis of God heareth God's words, ye ing the truth that men 'purify therefore hear them not because ye their souls.' There are many are not of God.” And it is also worse, but few are better than their written, " W nosoever transgresseth creed. Those who hate the light, and abideth not in the doctrine of are “evil doers ;" and those, Christ, hath not God. He that a- 'who reject the counsel of God bideth in the doctrine of Christ, he against themselves,' are bis enehath both the Father and the Son.” mies, who make Him a liar.' And it is equally true, that those If, then, the Hopkinsian system who trust in their intellectual be true, it is the very system taught

in the Bible; the same, in sub- been called the Hopkinsian sysa stance, with that which the patri- tem. archs and prophets embraced ; & Dr. Hopkins made great advanthe same which was taught by the ces upon his predecessors, in exapostles and believed by the primi- plainia, and contirning the pure tive Christians.

doctrines of revelation especially in That this was the system receive regard to the purposes and provied by the reforners, has been al- dence of God, human depravity, ready suggested and is capable of the doings of the unregenerate, the demonstration. (See Vol. 1, page requirements of the gospel, and 253.) Ali the leading doctrines the nature of holiness. And of the tropkinsian system are though his writings met with much found in the writings of Luther & opposition from various quarters, Caivin. Hopkinsianism is but and especially from nurnbers, who another name for gename, consis- loved to be called Calvinists, but tent Calvinism. The doctrines who had departed from the sentitermed Hopkinsian, are the duc- ments of the Genevan reformer, & trines of grace, and the doctrines run either into Arminianism, on of the reformation. These were the one hand, or Antinomianism the doctrines of the Puritans in on the other ; yet so clear and raEngland, and of their brethren and tional were his illustrations, and descendarts in America.

so scriptural and forcible his reaBut the particular object in view, sonings, that very many of the more at this time, is to shew, how exten- intelligent anıl pious among the sively Hopkinsianism has been re- orthodox, embraced his views.ceived, in this country, since its This is evident from the long and doctrines were revived and elu- respectable list of subscribers to his cidated by Dr. Hopkins and system of divinity, as well as from others.

the fact, that in the year 1796, President Edwards and Dr. when he wrote the “Sketches of his Bellamy began the work of purging life,” more than one hundred minisCalvinism from the Arminian and ters, besides a multitude of private Antinomian errors, with which it Christians, embraced his sentihad, in a course of years, became ments. Three years after this, in intermixed and debased. Their 1799, the Massachusetts Missionawritings were pretty extensively ry Society was instituted at Bosread, and opened the eyes of many ton, nearly all the members of to discern the corruption, which had which, were professedly Hopkinbeen gradually introduced into the sians. orthodox creed, and to perceive Since that period, while a nummore clearly the truth respecting ber of those who have received the the law and government of God, Hopkinsian system, has diminishthe character and duty of men, the ed, in some places, it has greatly requirements of the gospel, and the increased, in others. In Newnature of true religion. In the England, at the present time, not. great revival of religion, of which withstanding the prevalence of Edwards and Bellamy were such Socinianism, or Arianism, in some distinguished instruments, very sections, and of a liberal orthodoxy, inany of the converts embraced the verging towards Socinianism, in leading doctrines of what has since others; there is still thought to be

qnte as many, who receive and to appear as their advocates, in the adrocate Hopkinsian sentiments, face of so many men, reputed 25 at any foriner period. In some great, learned and devout, who exof the States west of New-England, plode them, as absurd, and dethere hare within a few years, been nounce them, as licentious. They great accessions to the ranks of are in the condition of certain consistent Calvinists. Hopkinsian rulers, in the days of our Saviour, sentiments are extensively preva- mentioned in John, xii, 42, 43.lent in the state of New-York. It “Among the chief rulers also, is said, that many of the students many believed on him: but because of the theolozical seminary, at of the Pharisees, they did not conAuburn, are strict Calvinists ; and fess him, lest they should be put that one half of the students of out of the synagogue: For they the theological seminary, at Prince- loved the praise of men, more than ton, call themselves Hopkinsians. the praise of God." There are A large proportion, some think many men of talents and learning, almost half of the Presbyterian who read and approve the works ministers in the Unite States, of Hopkins and other eminent adopt the leading sentiments of writers of the same sentiments ; the Hopkinsian system.

but who are unwilling to be known Section, 2. By whom, and how as their admirers, and still more so the Hopkinsian system has been to assume the pen in their defence. defended, and opposed.

There are some ministers, who are It is natural" to suppose, that gratified with a clear and full exhithis, like every other religious sys- bition of Hopkinsian doctrines tem, has found its defenders among from the pulpit, who yet never dare those, who have believed and em- to attempt such an exhibition thembraced it. But, the number of selves. There is no small degree those, wbo have appeared openly of self-denial requisite, to teach and in defence of Hopkinsian doetrines, defend a system, which many is far from being equal to the num- 'great, and noble, and mighty' conber of those, who have been con- demn, because it condemns them, vinced of their truth. These doc- and which is wounding to the pride tribes, being scriptural and true, and selfishness of every unholy and altogether of a holy tendency, heart. are, of course, offensive to men of But still, the number of those, 'corrupt minds and destitute of the who earnestly contend for this sys truth' as all men are by nature. tem which they believe to be the Hence they are unpopular, and faith once delivered to the saints, often expose such as avow them, is not small, or inconsiderable. to no small share of obloquy and Their mode of defence has been reproach. This, it is believed, has chiefly that, which was used by the deterred many, who have been fully chief apostle of the Gentiles, in the convinced of the truth of the Hop- synagogues of the Jews, in defendkinsian system, from coming out ing the same doctrines, eighteen openly and boldly in its defence. centuries ago, viz. “reasoning out They perceive the reasonableness of the scriptures.” This mode of and consistency of Hopkinsian defence has been limited, in a great doctrines, and their accordance

measure, to sermons from the pulwith the language of sacred scrip- pit, and conversation in private cirture, but have not the resolution cles. Little, comparatively, and

much less than might and ought to Finisher of our Faith, and by his have been done, has been attempt- holy apostles. That this system is ed by means of that powerful en- scriptiiral and true, is the very reagine, the press. Serinons, and a son why it receives no quarters few small treatises, have occasion- from any, who do not receive it ; ally, been published; but only a sin- för a system that is true, must, of gle system of divinity, of any mag- course, tend to subvert all the sysnitude, has, to our knowledge, been tems of error invented by men, as produced in this country, by a Hop well as to condemn the practices kinsian. Rarely has a traci, calcu- resulting from them,and to destroy lated to illustrate and enforce the the hopes grounded upon them.distinguishing truths of the Ilop- But between erroneous systems, kinsian system, been put in circu- there is often no material difference lation. But few periodical works asto sentiment, and no di:ference at and those of short continuance, all as to their practical tendency. have been supported, by the alvo- And hence it is, that Antinomians cates of Hopkinsianism. Thus can very well bear with Arminians; while the mode of defending and Arminians with Unitarians, and propagating this system has been Unitarians with Universalists; and unexceptionable; the zeal and in that they are all more averse to dustry of its frien is have not been lopkinsians, than to each other, commensurate either with their or even to Deists and Atheists.ability, or with the importance of They may well say to Hopkinsians the cause.

* Ye have taken away our gods, and But, on the other hand, the oppo- what have we left? If liopkinsiune sition to Hopkinsian sentiments, ism be true, it follows, that all othhas been made by greater numbers, er scheines of doctrines are false; carried on in more various ways and as this system iacuicates disand pushed with greater activity interested benevolence,it condemos and ardour. Wherever these sen- all other systems, which are recontiments have been advanced, either cilable with selfishness, whether from the pulpit, or the press, they gross or refined. have met with more or less opposi It is rare, that the opposers of tion from all classes of men, except ILopkinsianism, presume to meet those who have either cordially em- its defenders in the open field of braced them, or become rationally argument, for here they are sure to convinced of their truth. These be defeated, unless the defence hapare the only sentiments, that re- pens to fall into the hands of such ceive no toleration from any quar- as are either unskilful, or afraid ter. Other sentiments are often to be consistent with themselves. treated with forbearance, if not A very common, and very sucwith indifference by such as disbe- cessful mode of opposition, is to lieve and discard them; while all misrepresent the doctrines of the who disbeliere the doctrines of the systein. The misrepresentations, Hopkinsian system, join in open resorted to, are various, and often opposition to them. This mark, inconsistent with each other. At set upon Hopkinsianism is pre- one time, these doctrincs are repsumptive evidence of its truth; for resented, as leaving men nothing such was the reception given to the to do; and another time, as requirsystem of doctrine taught by the an- ing them to do more than they cient prophets, by the Author and can or ought. Sometimes they are

was

represented as taking all blame crimes, and their virtues depreciatfrut men ; and at other times, as ed to mere pretence and show.making them to blame both for The slanders of their enemies are what they have a right to do, and circulated as biographical truths.what they cannot help. At one If the opposers of the system, suctime, we have these doctrines rep- ceed in destroying the character resented as mere abstruse metaphy- of its advocates, they gain their obsical speculations; and at another ject, which is, to excite such an time as having a gressly immoral odium against them, as to prevent practical tendency

their being heard; which is a Another mode of opposing the much easier way to prevent the reHopkinsian system, is, to exclude ception of their sentiments, than 6 silence those, who teach and ad- to attempt to answer their argusccaie it. Various arts are used menis. This is an ancient, as well and nuch pains taken, to keep, or as a common and successful mode put, from the pulpits, such minis- of getting rid of the truth. The ters, as believe and preach this sys- prophets were vilified and driven tem, to exclude them from cons; ic. out, as disturbers of Israel. The uus and intluential stations, and apostles were slanderously reportto keep them silent on public and ed, and made the filth of the earth important occasions.

and off-scouring of all things.'-Another inethod of opposing And even the · Teacher sent from Hopkinsianisin, is, the extensive heaven,' was represented as 'a distribution of books, whether lar- friend of publicans and sinners, ger or smaller, periodical or occa charged with blasphemy, sional, which if they do not direct- was convicted on the testimony of ly attıck Hopkinsian sentiments, two false witnesses, and was finally bare them out and thus, indirectly crucified between two thieves. prepossess the minds of their readers

A HOPKINSIAN. with the idea that such sentiments are needless and extravagant, and that we may believe and have rebgion enough without them.

For the llopkinsian Magazine. But the most common and most

CONCERNING MELCHISEDEC. successful method of opposing the Mr. Editor-in the rumber of your Hopkinsian system, is, to blacken Magazine for August, 1824, page 190, the character and sink the reputa- the following question is asked by Netion of its advocates. This is done pios, Who was Melchisedec.? and in the

number for February 1825, page 324, in various ways; no matter how

an extract from the Theological Magainconsistent with each other, or ab- zine is inserted for an answer. This surd in themselves. Sometimes extract does by no means appear to they are represented as weak and answer the question. I have, therefore, saperstitious; at other times they sent you a few oberrations, which i are represented as presumptuously

should be pleased to have you publish.

1. We must hear in mind, that Melmetaphysical and abstruse. Their chisedec is a finite being ; and when regard to truth, is termed bigotry; Christie compared to him, there can be their unwillingness to relinquish only such a resemblance, as may exist their creed, is termed obstinacy ;

between an inanite and finite being., and their rejection of error, is pro- tore, that he was called Noah, or by

2. We have no evidence from scripDounced uncharitableness. Their

any other name, than Melchisedec. imperfections are magnified to Honce we must consider him a person

« السابقةمتابعة »