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them in a naked form, though they had been expressed in the author's own terms, is a direct appeal to prejudice. The obvious design is to deter the reader at the outset, and to dispose him to prejudge the cause before it is heard. To mingle in the course of a controversy insinuations and inuendos which have no other tendency than to impair the impartiality of the reader, is too common an artifice ; but such an open barefaced appeal to popular prejudice is of rare occurrence. It is an expedient to which no man will condescend, who is conscious of possessing superior
To this part of his performance no reply will be expected; for though the author feels himself fully equal to the task of answering his opponent, he confesses himself quite at a loss to answer himself. Like a certain animal in the eastern part of the world, who is reported to be extremely fond of climbing a tree for that purpose, , he merely pelts the author with his own produce.
Another charge, however, is adduced, of more serious import. For presuming to speak of conditions of salvation, he is accused of employing anti-evangelical language, and suspicions of his orthodoxy are pretty broadly insinuated. When the term conditions of salvation, or words of similar import, are employed, he wishes it once for all to be clearly understood that he utterly disclaims the notion of meritorious conditions, and that he intends by that term only what is necessary in
the established order of means, a sine qua non, that without which another thing cannot take place. When thus defined, to deny there are conditions of salvation, is not to approach to antinomianism merely, it is to fall into the gulf. It is nothing less than a repeal of all the sanctions of revelation, of all the principles of moral government. Let the idea of conditional salvation, in the sense already explained, be steadily rejected along with the term, and the patrons of the worst of heresies will have nothing further to demand. That repentance, faith, and their fruits in a holy life, supposing life to be continued, are essential prerequisites to eternal happiness, is a doctrine inscribed, as with a sun-beam, in every page of revelation; and must we, in deference to the propagators of an epidemic pestilence, be doomed to express, by obscure and feeble circumlocutions, a truth which one word will convey, especially when that word, or others of a precisely similar meaning, has been current in the productions of unquestionable orthodoxy and piety, in every age? The author is at a loss to conceive on what principle, or for what reason, dangerous concessions are due to antinomianism; that thick-skinned monster of the ooze and the mire, which no weapon can pierce, no discipline can tame. If it be replied, why adhere to an offensive term, when its meaning may be expressed in other words, or, at least, by a more circuitous mode of expression ? the obvious answer is, that words and ideas are
closely associated; and that, though ideas give birth to terms, appropriate terms become, in their turn, the surest safeguard of ideas, insomuch that a truth, which is never announced but in a circuitous and circumlocutory form, will either have no hold, or a very feeble one, on the public mind. The anxiety with which the precise, the appropriate term is avoided, bespeaks a shrinking, a timidity, a distrust, with relation to the idea conveyed by it, which will be interpreted as equivalent to its disavowal. While antinomianism is making such rapid strides through the land, and has already convulsed and disorganised so many of our churches, it is not the season for half measures; danger is to be repelled by intrepid resistance, by stern defiance, not by compliances and concessions: it is to be opposed, if opposed successfully, by a return to the wholesome dialect of purer
times. Such is the intimate alliance betwixt words and things, that the solicitude with which the term condition, and others of similar import, have been avoided by some excellent men, has contributed, more than a little, to the growth of this wide-spreading pestilence. As almost every age of the church is marked by its appropriate visitation of error, so, little penetration is requisite to perceive that antinomianism is the epidemic malady of the present, and that it is an evil of gigantic size, and deadly malignity. It is qualified for mischief by the very properties which might seem to render it merely an object of contempt,
its vulgarity of conception, its paucity of ideas, its determined hostility to taste, science, and letters. It includes, within a compass which every head can contain, and every tongue can utter, a system which cancels every moral tie, consigns the whole human race to the extremes of presumption or despair, erects religion on the ruins of morality, and imparts to the dregs of stupidity all the powers of the most active poison. The author will ever feel himself honoured by whatever censures he may incur, through his determined opposition to such a system.