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"ABOUT forty years ago," said Dr. Hopkins, in 1796; "there were but few, perhaps not more than four or five, who espoused the sentiments, which have since been called Edwardean, and new divinity, and since, after some improvement was made upon them, Hopkintonian and Hopkinsian sentiments. But these sentiments have so spread since that time among ministers, especially those who have since come on the stage, that there are now more than one hundred in the ministry who espouse the same sentiments in the United States of America. And the number appears to be fast increasing, and these sentiments appear to be coming more and more into credit, and are better understood, and the odium which was cast on them and those who preached them, is greatly subsided."

"Thus I am become the head of a denomination, who have since greatly increased, and in which thousands are included, and a large number of ministers, who, I believe are the most sound, consistent and thorough Calvinists; and who in general sustain as good a character, as to their morality, preaching and personal religion, as any set of clergymen whatever: and are most popu lar where there appears to be most attention to religion: and at the same time, are most hated, opposed and spoken against, by Arminians, Deists, and persons who appear to have no religion. And I believe, though this denomination or name originated from no such design, that it has proved an advantage to truth and true religion, as it has given opportunity and been the occasion of collecting those who embrace the scheme of Christianity exhibited in the forementioned publications, [the works of President Edwards, Dr. Bellamy, and Dr. West of Stockbridge.] and ranking them under one standard. It has excited the attention

and promoted inquiry into the principles and doctrines which are embraced and held by those of this denomination, by which light and conviction have been spread and propagated."

Life of Hopkins, p. 102, 103, 97, 98.

In this manner Dr. Hopkins congratulated himself on the use of his name, which was first intended for reproach; but which is now deemed by many more honourable than any other of human invention. Let it not be imagined, therefore, that the author of the following Contrast designs any opprobrium, when he uses the word Hopkinsianism, to denote that system of doctrine whose foundation was laid by President Edwards, whose superstructure was principally reared by Dr. Samuel Hopkins of Newport in Rhode-Island; and whose last stone has been carried up by a multitude, shouting, "grace, grace, unto it." President Edwards, however, never once imagined, that such a fabric as Hopkinsianism now is, would be reared upon his corner stone of "love to being in general." Neither did Dr. Bellamy conceive of the system, which has been builded on the foundation which he assisted to lay. That gentleman and scholar, Dr. West, now venerable for age as well as piety, has lived to witness the improvements made by his learned friends Dr. Samuel Spring of Newburyport, Dr. Nathanael Emmons of Franklin in Massachusetts, and many younger divines. He has lived to assist, with his own hand, in the consummation.

It has often been demanded, "what is Hopkinsianism? What is Calvinism?" Many think them the same thing. Dr. Hopkins calls his system strict Calvinism ;* Dr. Emmons affirms that his refinements are Calvinism;† and Dr. Spring, the Rev. Thomas Williams of Providence, with many other Hopkinsians, believe, that their sentiments are the most thrifty and prolific sprouts of Calvinism.

"It is evident that Hopkinsian sentiments are only the genuine, flourishing, and fruitful branches of the Calvinistic tree." "There is no more difference between Calvinists and Hopkin

Hop. 21 Ser. p. 362, 364

† Emmons' Ser. p. 374.

sians, than there is between a tree and its branches, or between first principles and their consequences. The broad foundation which supports our ample superstructure was long since deeply and most firmly laid in the first principles of Calvinism." "I challenge him, (Dr. Tappan,) to fetch a single article from the first principles of Calvinism, which clashes with my theory.*

Within the bounds of the Presbyterian Church of the United States, there are also many, who support either wholly or partially, the system of Hopkins, and who call themselves Calvinists.

If, however, there is no important difference of sentiment, between the persons, who are called by these two names, why should there be any distinction of appellation? If the two systems harmonize, all should be called after the REV. JOHN CalVIN, or after SAMUEL HOPKINS, D. D. his American successor in the chair of theology. The teachers of religion should also use the same language, on all important and disputable subjects; that "the hearers of the word" may not imagine a difference of opinion, where the theory is the same.

What, then, is the difference between Calvinism and Hopkinsianism? With a desire of being able to answer this question, and of assisting the candid inquirer in his researches after truth, the author of this work has arranged the peculiarities of each system over against those of the other.

When stating the opinions of others, the writer has made use of their language, as nearly as possible, either by quoting them


Spring's Diquisitions, p. 47, 48. It is not the design of the author to accept this challenge, in behalf of the amiable Dr. Tappan, whose memory is precious to those who knew him best; but the above passage was introduced to show how sincerely and firmly one, who stands second, if not first on the list of able and pious Hopkinsians, could assert the Calvinism of his theory. It will not even be insinuated, that Dr. Tappan was or was not a Calvinist. He considered himself one; but, in relation to the main doctrine of his controversy concerning the means of grace, most Calvinists will allow that Dr. Spring had the right side, and proved himself the strongest in argument.

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