Chapter XV

The Hopkinsian Controversy

The intimate relations existing between the Presbyterian churches and those of New England, precluded the possibility that the former could fail to be more or less affected by the radical changes which were taking place in the doctrinal principles of the other. The earliest indications of the coming troubles, occurred in New York. In that city, several ministers from New England, were settled, in connection with the Presby terian Church. These brethren, generally, held some phase of the Edwardean, or Hopkinsian theology. Several individuals, of similar sentiments, belonged to the Presbytery of Philadelphia. None of these brethren could have gained admission into the Presbyterian Church, but for the relaxation, which the beginning of the present century witnessed in the strictness of its principles—a relaxation of which the Plan of Union was the principal phenomenon. It was embarrassing and impracticable, after the adoption of that Plan, consistently to reject ministers from the East, on account of the peculiar doctrines which began by degrees, to be there prevalent. A footing was thus, for the first time, gained for “the substance of doctrine,”—the handmaiden of defection, always.

The propagation of the New England theology, in the churches of the two chief cities of the nation, excited much uneasiness. This was greatly increased, in 1811, by the publication of Ely’s Contrast. The author, the Rev. Ezra Stiles Ely, a native of New England, and a recent. convert from the Hopkinsian system, was, at the time of this publication stated preacher to the hospital and almshouse in New York; a useful and indefatigable laborer among the poor and vicious in the city. At the suggestion of several of his brethren, he, in this work, exhibited, in opposite columns, the doctrines of Calvin, and the orthodox standards, in contrast with the teachings of Hopkins and his school.

The publication of the Contrast excited a hostility against the author, among the Hopkinsians of the two cities; which his vanity and imprudence did not tend to conciliate. Calls being addressed to him, from churches in each city, the Hopkinsian members of the Presbyteries made pertinacious opposition to his settlement. They proceeded to the length of a prosecution for falsehood, conducted in the Presbytery of New York, with great violence and zeal. The case, however, broke down, in the midst. The members, by whom it had been urged, were indebted to the magnanimity of Mr. Ely, for exemption from the just consequences of their rashness and violence. And he was, at length, settled in Philadelphia, where he was destined, at a later day, to take so conspicuous a part in forwarding the plans of the very party, from whose early hostility he had so hardly escaped.

The uneasiness, in New York, of which the case of Mr. Ely was an incident, broke out into open controversy and division, in 1816, in the committee room of the Young Men’s Missionary Society of New York. This society was devoted to the prosecution of domestic missions, and was composed of members of the Presbyterian, Associate Reformed, and Reformed Dutch Churches. Its constitution embodied a Calvinistic creed, in conformity with which the sentiments of its missionaries were required to be.

In November, 1816, the Rev. Samuel H. Cox, a licentiate of the Presbytery of New York; was proposed to the Board of Directors, as a missionary under its care. His doctrinal views were questionable; and the committee on missions refused to report him to the Board of Directors, without further evidence of his soundness. The Rev. Gardiner Spring was Mr. Cox’s theological instructor, and was chairman of the committee. He refused to allow an examination of the candidate, but offered himself as a substitute. The committee, at length, consented to this curious arrangement. Three hours were spent in the vicarious examination of Mr. Cox, in the person of Mr. Spring. The result was unsatisfactory. The committee, therefore, declined to recommend Mr. Cox to the Directors.

An attempt was then made, in the Board, to have the candidate appointed, notwithstanding the unfavorable report of the committee. The motion was rejected, by a vote of six to twelve. The annual meeting was at hand. The conflict was transferred to that field. The Hopkinsian party attempted, unsuccessfully to displace the Calvinistic Directors and fill their places with others, of more congenial sentiments. Failing in this, an attempt was next made to obtain such action from the society as would prevent the exclusion of future candidates, upon the ground of Hopkinsian sentiments. The discussion was protracted through several evenings. The merits of the Hopkinsian theology were largely discussed; and as the result, the society, by a vote of one hundred and eighty-two to ninety-one, sustained the Directors, and refused to modify the policy adopted. The minority immediately withdrew, and organized the New York Evangelical Missionary Society of Young Men.

Whilst these proceedings were in progress, the public excitement was aggravated, by the publication of a series of articles, under the designation of “The Triangle.” These appeared in successive numbers, in pamphlet form, over the signature of “Investigator.” They were composed of caricatures of the leading doctrines of the Confession, especially on Original Sin, Inability, and the Atonement, the three points of the Calvinistic Triangle; together with violent philippics against the friends of orthodoxy, and pleas for “tolerance,” and “free inquiry,” on doctrinal subjects. “Orthodoxy” was held up to utter contempt, whilst Hopkinsianism was exhibited as peculiarly congenial to the spirit of revivals, and the dissemination of the gospel. The writer held a racy pen; and his pieces were admirably calculated to catch the popular ear, to which and all its prejudices he directly addressed himself. The author was the Rev. Samuel Whelpley, then residing with his son, the Rev. Philip M. Whelpley, the successor of Doctor Miller, in the First Church, New York.

“The sentiments,” says this writer, “usually denominated Hopkinsian, were never considered as heresy, by the founders of the Presbyterian Church in America, nor by the wisest and ablest divines who differed with them, in any subsequent period, in Europe or America. Nothing was ever further from their thoughts than any idea of making them at all a breaking point, in church communion and fellowship. Candidates for the ministry were never impeded in their progress, or censured, for holding them. Ordination or licensure was never refused to a man who professed them; nor was any bar laid in the way of his acceding to any vacant church, which had given him a call.”

Addressing himself to certain Hopkinsian Doctors in New Jersey, he tells them, “That. truth,” by which he means Hopkinsianisin, “has made progress in this country, is as evident as it is that God has poured out his Spirit on his churches, is as evident as it is that religious freedom and toleration have here first showered their blessings on mankind. The same spirit is opposed to both, and is equally free and bold to declare the latter profane licentiousness, and the former error and delusion and a departure from ‘the form of sound words.’ The sun, from a cloudless meridian, is not more visible; than, that. a powerful diversion is making, in opposition to both; and is beginning to arm itself, not with evidence, argument, or moral suasion, not by addressing the understandings and consciences of men, but with varied forms of personal influence, extensive interests, and ecclesiastical censures, with pecuniary funds, establishments, and institutions. And this incessant harping on the Reformers, and doctrines of the Reformation, this leaning toward the established churches in Europe, [he means the Church of Scotland,] which are no models for us, but .bringing round a sweep of influence, and setting up, as a mark, a kind of ‘unity of the faith,’ which is for ever to exterminate all freedom of opinion and inquiry, and eventually all liberty of conscience…And, gentlemen, may Heaven long defend us from the yoke of the faith worn by the Protestant churches of Europe, even the best of them.”

In closing, he appeals to his correspondents,” Your talents, your long experience, your conspicuous stations, your standing in the public confidence, and your correct sentiments, are pledges which the Church holds, that your exertions in the cause of truth will be equally distinguished and decided.”

The parties here addressed appear to have been the Rev. Drs. Richards and Griffin. They were not heed less of the admonition that. the advocates of adherence to “the form of sound words” were “arming themselves with the means and influences of institutions;” as the subsequent history will show.

Whilst New York was agitated with this discussion other sections of the Church began to feel the groundswell of the coming storm. In the Synod of Philadelphia, at its meeting, in the fall of 1816, a pastoral letter, written by Mr. Ely, was adopted. In this paper, it was stated that “all the Presbyteries are more than commonly alive to the importance of contending earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints, and of resisting the introduction of Arian, Socinian, Arminian, and Hopkinsian heresies, which are some of the means by which the enemy of souls would, if possible, deceive the very elect.” A warning was uttered against “the disposition of many good men to cry, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace.” Presbyteries were admonished “to be strict in the examination of candidates for licensure or ordination, upon the subject of those delusions of the present age, which seem to be a combination of most of the innovations, made upon Christian doctrine, in former times. May the time never come, in which our ecclesiastical courts shall determine that Hopkinsianism and the doctrines of the Confession of Faith are the same thing.” The elders were particularly exhorted to beware of those who have made such “pretended discoveries in Christian theology, as require an abandonment of the ‘form of sound words,’ contained in our excellent Confession.”

The Pastoral also touched upon another topic : Three or four of our churches have experienced what is commonly called, a revival of religion; and, to them, accessions of communicants have been numerous. But, in many other congregations, a gradual, but almost constant, multiplication of the professed friends of Zion, reminds us, that, if the thunder‑storm in summer excites the most. attention, it is the continued blessing from the clouds which replenishes the springs, and makes glad the harvest of the husbandman. For the many, who are united in a short time, and for many who are gradually gathered to Christ, not by the great and strong wind, that rends the mountains, nor by the earthquake, but by the still small voice, which cometh not with observation, we would give our Redeemer thanks; and desire the churches to bless him, no less, for the daily dew, than for the latter and the early rain.”

From the language of this last paragraph, occasion was most unjustly taken to stigmatize the opposers of Hopkinsian errors, as enemies of revivals; advocates of “dead orthodoxy.”

In the Synod of New York and New Jersey, at the same date, the subject came up, in a different form. A majority of the congregation of Goodwill, in the Presbytery of Hudson, had voted a call to the Rev. William Gray, a minister of Hopkinsian sentiments; to whom, for that reason, a strong minority were opposed. The Presbytery refused to put the call into his hands; whereupon the congregation appealed to the Synod; and by it the decision of the Presbytery was reversed. Against this decision, Dr. Alexander and others entered a protest, and an appeal was taken, by the Presbytery. These occurrences did not escape the vigilance of the Hopkinsian party, in New York. The relation of Dr. Alexander to the Theological Seminary, and the pro bable attitude of that institution toward their theology, was an occasion of special anxiety and apprehen sion. Whelpley rang out, from his “Triangle,” the shrill notes of alarm. In the letter to Drs. Richards and Griffin, which we have already cited, he entered fully into the subject.

He tells these gentlemen that, “for several years past, there has been, in various places, an increasing opposition to the strain of doctrine and sentiments commonly denominated, Hopkinsian. At the present time, or within a few months, ground has been taken, on that subject, at which all those who generally adhere to that doctrine, are greatly alarmed and shocked. Direct information has been given against several young men, holding these sentiments; with a view to impede their settlement, and prevent their preaching in certain places. One has been informally cited to appear before his Presbytery, though at a great distance; to answer to the charge of preaching heresy. And I need only say, that, the sentiments be preached are such as you, gentlemen, have been preaching and maintaining for many years; and that, with power and success. A whole Synod has made a firm stand, and boldly, and expressly condemned Hopkinsianism, as a heresy, and that whereby ‘the enemy of souls would, if it were possible, deceive the very elect.’ Corresponding with these particular acts, a combined and extensive influence has been used, and is using, to give the public mind a general strain of abhorrence and indignation against that strain of doctrine.

“No, gentlemen, the opposition is aimed at the grand pillars of that noble and imperishable frame of doctrine which you have labored, through all your years, to es tablish and propagate…It is for you, reverend and beloved sirs, to consider, whether the evil has not grown to be of sufficient magnitude, and induced a state of things to require some remedy.”…”Perhaps the arrival and establishment of ministers from these churches, now called heretics, will no longer bethought necessary or consistent with Presbyterian policy. Perhaps it will be said that we now have an established ministerial Seminary; therefore it is time that the streams from that Northern fountain were dried up…”

“Are we, gentlemen, to understand that young men, educated for the Church in that Seminary are to be imbued in this intolerance of spirit, are to be sent forth to preach down Hopkinsian heresy ?” He supposes the triumph in the Church of the “triangular theology,” reducing every minister and licentiate to a “three-square shape;” and then depicts the deplorable consequences; and “as for our Theological Seminary, it will be in the hands of men who will imbue, if possible, every candidate whom they shall instruct and send forth, in a deep abhorrence of the ‘Hopkinsian heresy;’ and every one will go forth under a full impression that he must beat down the odious doctrine of disinterested benevolence, and erect selfishness on its ruins.”

The case of Mr. Gray is then taken up, and its history given, till the decision of the Synod. But “what do we see next? A large body of the Synod, headed by the very man [Dr. Alexander] whom the General Assembly has set at the head of the Theological Seminary, and, what is remarkable, the man who endeavored to distinguish himself as a friend to republican principles and the rights of mankind, rose and entered their solemn protest against this decision of the Synod; and encouraged the Presbytery to appeal to the General Assembly.”

After discussing largely the embarrassments which threaten to encounter licentiates and ministers, of Hopkinsian sentiments, he again returns to the Seminary.

“But motives prior to all these will be effectually laid in the way of young men looking toward the ministry. They must go to a Theological Seminary; and, to the honor of that Seminary be it spoken, they have not [been] expelled, as yet, for holding correct sentiments; but, from the appearance of things, in progress, that event is soon to be expected. The principal part, nay, almost all who receive their education there, come out thoroughly and finishedly triangular. They go forth and preach all the points of imputation., contended for by any one;—a limited atonement;—know nothing about moral inability, and count that important distinction, as a most promising young divine of this city lately declared, before the New York Presbytery, nothing but hodge podge;—make all religion to consist in faith, a mystical principle, above all creature perfection or conception;—disinterested benevolence a scarecrow, and a little selfishness a very good thing: that people must, by no means, be willing to be damned, in order that they may be saved; that moral virtue is quite an Old Testament, Jewish economy, Arminian affair, and out of date, metaphysics, ugly things—that people must love Christ, because he is about to save them, and surely, they would be very ungrateful if they did not that the non‑elect will be condemned for not believing that Christ died for them, because they do not know but that he did die for them. They never fail to impress the hearer that he is, in every sense, unable to do his duty; yet will be condemned for not doing it; that he ought to believe in Christ, though faith is a divine principle implanted; and can be given to none but those whose debt to justice Christ has paid; that men are moral agents to do wrong, but not to do right; and in a word, that sinners are not in a state of probation.”

These extracts not only illustrate the doctrinal views of the Hopkinsian party, but indicate the considerations which determined their attitude toward the institutions of our Church.

In the Assembly of 1817, the appeal, in Mr. Gray’s case, came up and was sustained, and the Presbytery vindicated in its refusal to sanction the call.

The same body, however, in its review of the records of the Synod of Philadelphia, took exception to the Pastoral letter. The Rev. Dr. Miller, of Princeton Seminary, was chairman of the committee. He had been pastor of the First Church, in New York, at the time of the publication of Ely’s Contrast. The prince of peace men, he was much displeased with that production, and annoyed at the excitement which it occasioned in that city. He was not disposed, therefore, to regard in a favorable light, the measures of the same person, to enlist so respectable a body as the Synod of Philadelphia, in active resistance to innovation. The threatening attitude of the Hopkinsians respecting the seminary at Princeton had also, no doubt, its influence in determining his position at this time.

He, therefore, reported that the book be approved, “excepting certain parts of a pastoral letter, commencing on page 494, and a resolution on page 493, which enjoins on the several Presbyteries belonging to the Synod to call to an account all such ministers as may be suspected to embrace any of the opinions usually called Hopkinsian. On these parts of the records, the Assembly would remark, that while they commend the zeal of the Synod, in endeavoring to promote a strict conformity to our public standards, a conformity which cannot but be viewed as of vital importance to the purity and prosperity of the Church, the Assembly regret that zeal on this subject should be manifested in such a manner as to be offensive to other denominations; and, especially, to introduce a spirit of jealousy and suspicion against ministers in good standing, which is calculated to disturb the peace and harmony of our ecclesiastical judicatories.

“And whereas a passage in the pastoral letter, above referred to, appears capable of being construed as expressing an opinion unfavorable to revivals of religion, the Assembly would only observe, that they cannot believe that that venerable Synod could have intended to express such an opinion.”

This remarkable minute, very correctly exhibits the policy of the Moderates, who were, for some years, the dominant party in the Church, as policy which had well nigh been her ruin. “Strict conformity to our public standards cannot but be viewed as of vital importance to the purity and prosperity of the Church;” and zeal for it is to be highly commended, provided it expend itself in good wishes. But if any man’s zeal should induce him to do anything to offend those who were destroying this vital concern, he is justly deserving of frowns and censure. (Emphasis mine)

The report was adopted by the Assembly. Against this action, two protests were entered. Thus began, in the General .Assembly, that struggle between the principles of our standards and the schemes of innovators, which terminated after twenty years, in the deliverance of 1837.

It is to be borne in mind, that, in consequence of the unconstitutional and suicidal policy, which had been adopted by the General Assembly, there were at this time present in that body, voting and exercising all the rights of rulers in our church, five delegates from New England, who had no more right to such a prerogative, nor proper interest in the results, than had the bishops of the Methodist or Episcopal Church. Is it surprising, that, with such encouragement, the scheme should have been formed, and obstinately pursued, for nearly twenty years, to bring the Church fully under Congregational control ? At the meeting of the Synod of New York and New Jersey, in October, 1816, a proposition was introduced, to establish a school, to train colored preachers, for the African race. That remarkable servant of God, Samuel J. Wills, was the author of the scheme. A committee was appointed to consider the proposition, upon the report of which, the overture was approved; a system of regulations was adopted, a plan formed for the African School, and a Board of Directors appointed, by whom a school was founded.

In 1818, the Board of Directors of this school, by order of the Synod, made a proposition to the Synods of Philadelphia and Albany to join in the management of the institution. In pursuance of that overture, commissioners from the two Synods met the Board, in May, 1819. The commissioners on behalf of the Synod of Philadelphia had been instructed, by that body, to propose that all persons, employed in giving theological instruction to the pupils in the school, come under the engagement taken by the professors in the Princeton Seminary. That engagement is in the following words, subscribed by the professor, on his induction into office:

“In the presence of God and of the Directors of this seminary, I do, solemnly, and ex animo (from the heart), adopt, receive, and subscribe the Confession of Faith and Catechisms of the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America,, as the confession of my faith; or, as a summary and just exhibition of that system of doctrine and religious belief which is contained in the Holy Scriptures, and therein revealed by God to man for his salvation; and I do solemnly, ex animo, profess to receive the Form of Government of said Church, as agreeable to the inspired oracles. And I do solemnly promise and engage, not to inculcate, teach, or insinuate, anything which shall appear to me to contradict, or contravene, either directly, or impliedly, anything taught in the said Confession of Faith or Catechisms; nor to oppose the fundamental principles of Presbyterian Church Government, while I shall continue a professor in this seminary.”

This provision of the Princeton plan was proposed, as an article in the plan of the African School. Dr. Griffin and Dr. Spring, who were members of the Board, opposed the proposition, “because, as Dr. Griffin, distinctly avowed, they did not assent to the whole of the Presbyterian Confession of Faith, themselves.” The delegation from the Synod of Albany endeavored to mediate between the opposing views. At their suggestion the phrase “anything taught,” was altered to read “any doctrine of faith taught.”

The article, so amended, was adopted, by the commissioners and Board, and upon that basis, a plan of union of the three Synods, in the support and management of the institution, was agreed upon. This plan was then submitted to the Board; which constituted, immediately, for the purpose of acting upon it; and was by it accepted and the union thus consummated. At a subsequent meeting, the Board in violation of the covenant thus made, rescinded their action, respecting the pledge of the professors, and rejected that article; of which action they gave written notice to the Synod of Philadelphia.

The Synod, thereupon, made record of the facts and resolved that, in view of them, “this Synod considers that resolution of the Board as a decided expression of their feelings and views upon the subject, that they neither wish nor expect our co‑operation with them in the direction of the school; and, that, on this account, the Synod do not feel themselves at liberty to act in the case; as being shut out from all co‑operation with them, until further communication be had from that Board.”

At its next sessions, in 1819, the Synod of New York and New Jersey arraigned the conduct of the Board, in this matter. After a warm discussion, final action was postponed until the next year. What was the ultimate decision, we are not aware. The discussion elicited, from the pen of Dr. Griffin, an anonymous pamphlet, entitled “An Appeal, on the Subject of the New Test.” The test, to which reference was had, consisted in the following words, in the Princeton pledge: “I do solemnly promise and engage, not to inculcate, teach or insinuate, anything which shall appear to me to contradict or contravene, either directly or impliedly ANYTHING taught in the Confession of Faith or Catechisms.”

Of the negotiations, between the commissioners of the Synods and the Board of Directors of the school, Dr. Griffin makes the following statement. “Commissioners from the two Synods met the Board, in the city of New York, in May last. Those from the Synod of Philadelphia were instructed to propose the insertion of this article, in the plan of the school. A counterproposition was made, to substitute in the room of ‘anything,’ (printed above in capitals,) ‘any of the great doctrines,’ so as to limit the promise to points really affecting the system of truth. This was not satisfactory. It was then moved to ‘limit the operation of the promise to official instructions, in the school. But it was contended that the sermons of the principal, and his private conversations, (from house to house, was understood to be meant,) might have a serious influence on the pupils, and ought, therefore, to be restrained. This was enough to show the construction put upon the test. The Board exceedingly regretted that they were forced, by conscience, ultimately, to reject the article; and still more regret that such a circumstance should have defeated or suspended the important union proposed.”

In this statement, the writer leaves out some of the essential facts. At the suggestion of the Synod of Albany’s commissioners, the phrase “any doctrine of faith,” was substituted for “anything,” in the pledge. As thus amended, the plan was accepted, by the Philadelphia commissioners, and by the Board, acting on behalf of the Synod of New York and New Jersey. Upon this basis, a covenant of union; for the management of the school, was at once agreed upon; and it was not until afterward, that the Board assumed the right, upon its own sole authority, to abrogate the covenant, thus solemnly closed by it, and reject, not .the test, as described by Dr. Griffin; but the amended pledge as to the “doctrines of faith:’

The real issue, therefore, was not, as the Appeal would have us suppose, upon an attempt to force the ipsissima verba, of the Confession upon the African school. But it was upon the proposition that the professors should not oppose any of the “doctrines of faith,” contained in the Confession.

In the Appeal, Dr. Griffin states that “though the great doctrines of our Confession are so clearly revealed that they may reasonably be considered as settled yet, in regard to many shades of thought and forms of expression, found in our standards, we are still at liberty to search the Scriptures daily, to see if these things are so…If our standards must go so much into detail, some freedom of thought, on smaller matters, ought to be understood to be allowed to those who profess to receive them; or our Church must either be small, or contain many hypocrites.”

Again, he says, ” If , there is a case in which he [a minister] has a right to bind himself to limit his instructions by a human instrument, it is where that instrument contains nothing but the most obvious and leading doctrines of the Gospel. But even this right is questionable. It is safer to stop where our fathers stopped. But it is asked, Do not our ministers bind themselves, by their ordination vows, to believe and teach according to the Confession? Not exactly so. That assent to the Confession, which is prescribed is the Book of Discipline, is declarative, not promissor. and this is all that ever belongs to a subscription creed. We declare our present agreement with it and that is our agreement with it as a ‘system,’) but we do not pledge ourselves for agreement to‑morrow, further than the creed itself shall be found to comport with the Gospel. Look at the form of engagements at ordination. The only promise exacted, respecting articles of faith, is propounded in the following words: ‘Do you promise to be zealous and faithful in maintaining the truths of the Gospel, and the purity and peace of the Church; whatever persecution or opposition may arise on that account?’ In this engagement, we promise to maintain the Confession, so far as it contains the truths of the Gospel, no farther.”

The writer tells the friends of strict subscription, that “It is merely a question whether their views, on certain minor points, shall prevail over the views of their brethren;” and closes with the entreaty that “the test” may be “at least so modified as to respect ‘the great doctrines’ of our standards.”

The reader will observe the subtle significance which. Dr. Griffin attaches to the phrase “system of doctrine,” a significance indicated by marking the word, “system,” with italics and quotations. He was willing to be bound to “the great doctrines” of the standards, but claimed liberty on the “minor points.” But what was to be the criterion of distinction between the greater and the less; and who was to be the judge?

Dr. Griffin’s publication, it will be observed, preceded the famous “Statement” of the Hew Haven professors, some fourteen years. It was the first formal exposition of the ‘system of doctrine” theory of subscription.

In reply to “The New Test,” Dr. Janeway published a pamphlet, also anonymous, entitled; “The Appeal not Sustained.” In this he vindicated the policy of strict subscription, according to the terms of the Princeton pledge. His closing sentences forecast the future, and fixed its responsibilities.

” We proclaim it to the world, that, if the peace and harmony of our Church are to be interrupted, by the propagation, of religious opinions contrary to our adopted standards of doctrines, the blame must be attached to those who introduce such opinions in violation of our constitutional engagements.

“We deny the assertion that the differences in respect to doctrinal points that now exist, always prevailed in our Church; and in support of our denial we appeal to the condemnation of the creed of the Rev. H. B. [Balch] noticed already, in a former part of this discussion, which passed the General Assembly, with so great unanimity. We deny that minister’s, in our connection dared till lately to deny the representative character of Adam and of Christ; to deny the imputation, of the guilt of Adam’s first sin, and of the righteousness of Christ; to assert and maintain that the holy God is the author of sin, and to propagate the doctrine of an indefinite atonement; which represents Christ as suffering, not for the sins of his elect, who were given to him by his Father, to be redeemed; but merely for sin in general, and to make an exhibition of its evil.”

A true warning and testimony, but unheeded.

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