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can must be such from choice; and the same may be said of the commonwealth of our precious Emmanuel. Although he elects or selects his ministers from among his disciples, his disciples must be such from choice, not constraint. How great therefore, must the guilt of those associations be, who will not permit our blessed Saviour thus to choose, or elect his own ministers, in his own way, but infringe his rights, by manufacturing by human ordinances, ministers in a college, chosen out of the synagogue of Satan, full of pride, vanity, and arrogance; and substitute such impostors, for the true ambassadors of the Prince of Peace!
“ Is there not some chosen curse, i Some hidden thunder in the stores of heav'n, Red with uncommon wrath, to blast such men ?"
The injury they do is unutterable, for they will neither enter heaven them. selves, nor (like the Jewish doctors) let their priest-ridden admirers and supporters enter there. They usurp the place of the true ministers* of Christ who would (were it not for their cupidity and usurpation) be a blessing to many millions, who at present are fast asleep in the cradle of carnal security, and are continually rocked there. in by those ungodly preachers, lest they should awake, and recognize the imposition. Hence many never open their intellectual eyes, till they open them in hell!!
Indeed, a true minister of Christ is, and ought to be in his hand, the same as a speaking trumpet in the hand of a captain of a ship. They should, like the apostles, preach when, and no longer than the Spirit (not a piece of written paper) gave them utterance. They should not, like a pedagogue, confine their ministerial labours to a private family or congregation, but rather, like our Saviour and his disciples, go about continually, teaching and doing good by every possible means. They should al
* Is it any wonder therefore, that I am so pointed in iny animadversions, while I am so tremblingly sensible of the terrible consequences of such imposition?
ways, therefore, be united to him by a living faith, like the branch to the vine; and he would be always in their hearts, by the special light and influence of his spirit, that they may always know his will and speak his words. And if they should at any time deviate from the path of moral rectitude, through weakness or unwatchfulness, they should not for one minute, let guilt remain upon their consciences, but come instantly to the fountain of Jesus' blood, and with the towel of faith, wash the stain away; before they presume, upon any account, to be the trumpet, or if you please, the oracle of the living God to dead sinners. How few of the clerical tribe will see as I do, or believe as I do in this respect! and how many of them will laugh at these sentiments as rank enthusiasm! or, with their usual haughtiness, affect to despise, what they cannot controvert. . One sentiment more on election, and we will conclude this department, which is more lengthy than I at first contemplated ; and with the others, is both desultory, imperfect, and untranscribed. Indeed, it is matter of surprise to me, that the work is not more imperfect than it really is; and the reader would be as much surprised, did he but know the great domestic confusion in which it was chiefly composed. The last sentiment on election which I propose to suggest, is this ; yiz. To be selected from all eternity," or “ an eternal election,” to use the phraseology of Calvinism, seems to me to be the quintessence of absurdity. Although I pay great deference to certain calvinistic characters, who rank high in the republic of letters, yet I cannot see how, or wherefore any individual, or association of individuals can be elected eternally, or from all eternity. When an election takes place in political or ecclesiastical bodies, it is a positive proof, there was a time, when no such election had taken place. Now those who assert that election is eternal, indirectly declare, that no such thing exists. The fact is, rank Calvinism is a species of Atheism, with this variation : the first says, election had no beginning, and the last, the world had no beginning. It is certain, that there was a time when election did, and when election did not exist; and it is equally certain, that there was a time when the world did not exist; at which time our glorious Messiah was elected to be the President, or rather the Prince, of all who should in time be elected, or chosen as co-workers with him; he being as the chief corner-stone, and only foundation, or frame of government, or plan of salvation, elected, chosen or determined should be, before the creation of the world. All the choseu, or elected, and believers in Christ, are included in this building, or government, as the apostle Paul says.