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ed to the saints." Their inquiries will be facilitated by the pe rusal of a short work, entitled, "A Contrast between Calvinism and Hopkinsianism," by the Rev. EZRA STILES ELY. The author has brought within a small compass, and arranged in parallel columns, the outlines of both systems, as taken, on the one hand, from Calvin and the confessions of Protestant Churches; and on the other, from Dr. Hopkins himself, and some of his most cele brated followers. As the quotations are in the words of the writers, and give, so far as we have been able to examine, a fair representation of their sentiments, no reasonable objection can be offered to the mode of comparison. For only he that doeth evil hateth the light; neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved; whereas, he that doeth truth, cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest that they are wrought in God. The doctrines of Calvinism, in other words, the good old doctrines of the Reformation and of the Bible, dread no examination, comparison, or contrast. We think, therefore, that Mr. Ely has performed a valuable service to Christians of plain sense and pure conscience, by enabling them to understand, with little trouble, what "Hopkinsianism" is. And we nothing doubt that, upon sober research, they will find it to be, in some very material points, "another Gospel" indeed; and that neither have they so learned, nor do they wish so to learn, JESUS CHRIST."
"JOHN M. MASON," D. D. S. T. P. Minister of the third Associate-Reformed Church in New-York. "JACOB BRODHEAD," A. M.
One of the Pastors of the Reformed Dutch Church in New-York. "JAMES M. MATHEWS," A. M. Assistant Professor in the Theological Seminary of the Associate Reformed Church.
"JOHN X. CLARKE,” A. M. Pastor of the Second Associate Reformed Church in New-York.
Copy of a Letter from J. H. LIVINGSTON, D. D. s. 7. r. President
"By professing the Christian faith, the Gnosties came into the bosom of the primitive church, and for the space of three centuries disturbed her tranquillity, and obstructed the progress of the Gospel. They combined the oriental science with the Platonic system of "being in general,” of “abstract beauty;" "disinterested love," and "the best of all possible worlds;" of which they had not any correct idea themselves; sud attempted to blend their heterogeneous principles with revealed religion, and accommodate the pure, simple, and sublime doctrines of the Son of God, to the tenets of their contemptible philosophy. They spoke of the Most
High with a familiar aud disgusting irreverence; and deduced consequences from the premises they had adopted, which were shocking and impious, and which tended not only to render the scriptures unintelligible, but Christianity itself incredible and de
"In the course of the last century, the system of the best world was revived and polished in Germany, with all the advantages that genius and erudition could afford, by the celebrated Leibnitz and Baron Wolf. Their mundus optimus, with its collateral inferences, was received and applauded through all the protestant churches of continental Europe. It was considered as the test of true science, and the highest improvement of the intellectual system. But what is the result? What has been the consequence? By that very philosophy the public mind became imperceptibly alienated from the authority of Scripture and the simplicity of the Gospel; and that system has evidently co-operated in opening a passage for the flood of infidelity, which, at this day, has overwhelmed those European Churches. There is no new thing under the sun. The same causes will every where produce the same effects. Errors are insidious and subtle: slow and silent, at first, in their progress, but sure of success, if undetected. They always eat, as doth a canker.
"To what philosophy, instead of the Bible, they have submitted, or to what family they are related, whose doctrines you have exhibited in your CONTRAST, I do not know. But you have established the fact, that by whatever name or title they may be distinguished, they certainly are not Calvinists. They have departed, in many points, from the Confessions of Faith, and the form of sound words, adopted by the Reformed Churches; and it is time they were known, and a line of distinction drawn.
"If it be the duty of all the Lord's people to contend earnestly for the faith, and to be jealous lest their minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ; it is especially incumbent upon those, who are set for the defence of the Gospel, and stand as watchmen upon the walls of Zion, to desery approaching danger, and give a speedy warning; and should an angel from heaven preach any other Gospel, to denounce and resist him.
"Your publication is seasonable. It will undoubtedly be productive of much good; and be well received by all those, who call no man father, but sit humbly at the feet of the meek and lowly Jesus, to seek the law at his blessed mouth. Be assured of the affection and respect with which I am, &c.
"J. H. LIVINGSTON," D. D. and S. T. P.
With one or two exceptions the letters are supported by the names of clergymen; and among them are some of the most distinguished and able men in the several denominations of
of Presbyterians in our country. Those under the jurisdiction of the General Assembly are connected, by mutual representa tion and by official intercourse, with the principal ecclesiastical bodies in New England. If it be not thought expedient, as it appears not to have been, by the managers of what are called the orthodox periodical publications, among the Congregationalists, to take notice of the "Contrast" on the Rev. Ezra Stiles Ely's own account, still the powerful names of those who recommend the work, and who have thus identified it with the interests of the three great classes of Presbyterians in the middle and southern, especially in the middle states, claim and ought to recieve their attention. To pass over the work, and particularly its Recommendations, in silence, looks too much like wishing to be thought to despise an enemy which they are unwilling to meet, or argues a fear to have the people made acquainted with the divisions and dissensions between the parties.
The majority of the men also against whose sentiments the Letters are written, and who are denied the name of Calvinists, are now, or have been when living, among the most able and celebrated divines in those congregational churches, with which the subjects of the General Assembly hold public communion, and with which they officially consult for what they consider the best interests of religion.* Most of the names of
• The names of the persons mentioned in the Contrast as Hopkinsians
Dr. Edwards, his son.
Dr. Strony, of Hartford.
Rev. Mr. Weeks.
•Dead. Vol. III. No. 2.
Dr. West, of Stockbridge.
The two Edwardses are not quoted in the body of the work, but in the introduction.
The author says that he "uses the word Hopkinsianism to denote that system of doctrine whose foundation was laid by President Edwards, whose superstructure was principally raised by Samuel Hopkins of New. port in Rhode Island, and whose last stone has been carried up by a multitude, shouting 'grace, grace, unto it."" Contrast, p. iv.
these new "Gnostics," as Dr. Livingston wishes to have others call them, are rallying points for the inferior clergy. One of them, Dr. Spring, is now a visitor of the Theological Institution at Andover, and was a principal in gaining the funds, and in establishing it, with the co-ordinate, if not chief direction of all its principles and arrangements. With their creed he is well known to be, and for the best reasons, perfectly satisfied.
The writers of the Letters, and those against whom they are written, are men much accustomed to denounce all AntiCalvinists, and to claim for themselves exclusively the titles of evangelical and orthodox. The division therefore is particularly interesting to the cause of truth, since it is the evangelical against the evangelical; orthodoxy against orthodoxy; Calvinists against Calvinists; the General Assembly, the Reformed Dutch Church, and the Associate Reformed Church, all different and reciprocally jealous bodies, against New England, her General Associations, and the Andover College.
The importance of this division, we shall attempt to illustrate in the account we are to give, after we have examined the Letters, of the state of religious parties in our country, with their checks and balances. This subject, both clergymen and civilians, as well as laymen at large, will find to be full of interest and consequence. In examining the Letters, we shall discover much to guide our speculations, in ascertaining the spirit and designs of the leaders of the Calvinistic clergy. We shall take the letters in their order.
1. DR. SMITH.
This Letter we think is an exception from the rest in its ultimate design. What we chiefly note in it is, its equivocal character; not indeed as to the charge of "nonsense and impiety" against the Hopkinsians, but as to any approbation bestowed upon the sentiments of the contrasted party. We do not know that this ambiguity was designed; and if it were, we shall not condemn, although in this we would not imitate Dr. Smith, however much disposed we might be to imitate him in many other respects.
In regard to the appropriate and leading sentiments of both parties, as they appear in the book, with their present connex
ions, the Doctor might very rationally and cordially thank the writer for his "useful assortment of religious errors and absurdities;" and might very honestly wish, as in our hearts we wish, that the "book might be generally and seriously read,” if it can be read seriously, "and the sentiments it exposes duly appreciated." If Dr. Smith views the peculiarities of both sides of the Contrast as we do, and we have some reason to believe that he does in part, he may well wish the book success.
We are more strongly inclined to think the ambiguity of this letter intentional from the suggestion in the following extract, which would be truly unfortunate in this place, provided the writer were not willing to have the "Institution" of Calvin ex. posed, as well as the writings of those Hopkinsians, who have made it the store-house from whence they have drawn their most offensive sentiments and expressions. "The basis of their argumentation is the same with that of the necessitarian philosophers in France and Germany. And I am persuaded that these profound divines are preparing the way for a more extensive diffusion of infidel principles, and even of atheism in our country." Now this is all true, and of the first importance; but it is quite as applicable to Calvin, as to Hopkins and his followers. We think Dr. Spring perfectly safe in asserting, “It is evident that Hopkinsian sentiments are only the genuine, flourishing, and fruitful branches of the Calvinistic tree."-"The broad foundation, which supports our ample superstructure, was long since deeply and most firmly laid in the first principles of Calvinism."
In all but "great regard and respect," we could ourselves subscribe the Letter of Dr. Smith to the Rev. Mr. Ely.
2. WILSON and Mc NIECE.
When our readers shall have seen our remarks upon the great authority for the first column of the Contrast (we mean Calvin), we are tempted to believe they will say with us, that this Letter is exceedingly unfortunate, in calling the doctrines of Hopkins "novel doctrines." Its writers ought not to have told the world how little they are acquainted with their own Master, or how little they understand his instructions.