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offer, without any regard to their principles? And to suffer themselves to be imposed upon in the highest degree, to the great injury of themselves, and of their posterity, only to avoid the bitter resentments of such men as Authades, who will cry out, Imposition ! imposition! Persecution! persecution! if you only insist on your right, as Christians, to know the articles of their belief, and refuse to admit them to communion and into the ministry, unless they appear to be sound in the faith? No, sir, you can, consistent with your own avowed principles, desire no such thing. But rather, as Christ has made it the indispensable dnty of all his followers, openly to profess the doctrines of his holy religion, (Mat. x. 22. 32, 33.) charged them to beware of false prophets, (Mat. vii. 15.) and commended them for trying and detecting false pretenders, (Rev. ii. 2.) and as even common sense teaches, that the disciples of Christ have a natural right to know, and judge of the religious sentiments of those who claim to be their fellowdisciples, and expect to be treated as such; so instead of discountenancing the little concern of Calvinistic churches in the present day, to be consistent with yourself, you, who cannot bear to be thought not a Calvinist, ought rather to blame their too great indifference, and call upon them to awake, stand upon their guard, and watch, lest cunning deceitful men slily creep in, and before we are aware, bring another gospel into our pulpits, and the utmost confusion and discord into our churches. For how can we walk together except we be agreed? (Amos iii. 3.) Or keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, except we have one faith, one Lord, one baptism? (Eph. iv. 3, 4, 5.)

But perhaps you will say, 'The Calvinists are too suspicious already. There are no Arminians, no Arians, no Socinians, &c. among us. The cry is raised by designing men, merely to answer political ends.' 'Oh, my good Scripturista! O, that this were indeed the case! O, that our fears were quite groundless! How soon would I believe it, if you could help me to 'see just reason for it.' But how would the party through New-England, laugh at our credulity in Connecticut, if their friends among us could make us believe all to be safe till they could carry their points here, as they have elsewhere.

In New-Hampshire province, this party have actually, three years ago, got things so ripe, that they have ventured to newmodel our shorter catechism; to alter, or entirely leave out, the doctrines of the Trinity, of the decrees of our first parents being created holy, of original sin, Christ satisfying divine justice, effectual calling, justification, adoption, sanctification, assurance of God's love, perseverance in grace, &c. and to adjust the whole to Dr. Taylor's scheme. And in their preface to this new catechism, they tell the world, that 'The snarling of party bigots will be little regarded.' i. e. if all the Calvinists in the country are disobliged, to see their whole scheme given up, they do not care. They look upon us all, as snarling bigots, not to be regarded. This is honest: now they speak their hearts; and tell the world how they feel! Come from New-Hampshire along to Boston, and see there a celebrated D. D. the head of a large party! He boldly ridicules the doctrine of the trinity, and denies the doctrine of justification by faith alone, in the sight of all the country, in his book of sermons: come nearer home, come to Willingford; see there a young gentleman, bold to settle in the ministry, although opposed as an heretic by near half the town. Observe, and see how he conducts. How backward to let his people know his religious sentiments, while on probation! How resolved, never to be examined by the consociation, let it cost what it would, though charged with heresy, and cited to appear before them! Yea, although his opposers offer to accept him for their minister, if upon examination he should appear to be sound in the faith! And yet under these, even under these circumstances, he could find ministers to ordain him!

And how does this young gentleman conduct since his ordination? Does he convince the town that he is a sound Calvinist; as he might easily do, if he were? No, far from it. Yea, notwithstanding his opposers, (who, before his ordination, had offered to receive him for their minister, if upon examination by their consociation, he should be approved as sound in the faith,) now since his ordination renew the same offer: yea, are willing to leave it to another consociation, (viz. Hartford south,) then convened at Wallingford; and if they approve him, declare they will accept him for their minister:

yet Mr. Dana, refuses to do it! He had rather run the venture of all consequences, than to be examined by them! The town may break, himself be deposed, and non-communion be declared against him and his party: but let it cost what it will, he is resolved he will not be examined by them! But why? He knew the consociation must approve him as orthodox, if he appeared to believe our Confession of Faith. And thus the whole controversy might have been settled in an hour or two; which now is not likely to be settled these many years. And he knew it was no matter whether the consociation had jurisdiction or not, if both he and his opposers would agree to submit the affair to them. But he was resolved not to do it: and why all this, if he was a sound believer, I cannot conceive ".

Nor is this all for he has, since these things, even introduced a new method of taking persons into full communion with the church. A method, which, however suited to the latitudinarian scheme, yet is entirely subversive of the very foundation on which all our churches in New-England were originally settled. To be sure it appears so to me; and because I would fain know your opinion of it, I will relate the case, and state three questions for you to answer, in your next letter to your friend Paulinus. The case is this; the first church in Wallingford, under the Rev. Mr. Street, their first minister, were formed a Calvinistic church. The doctrines of faith which they drew up, to be used in the admission of members, were strictly Calvinistic. This form has been used, in that church ever since, in the admission of members. Their former ministers, having publicly read it before all the congregation, used to say to the persons to be admitted, these articles of the Christian faith you give your assent unto. Instead of which, Mr. Dana, their present minister, (if he may be so called after deposition,) says, "These articles of the Christian faith you give your assent unto, so far as you think them agreeable to the word of God." My three questions are these.

Quest. I. Does Mr. Dana, or his church, by such a profession as above, know what principles persons pretend to be of, whom they thus admit to special ordinances? Can they,

For the facts above, the reader is referred to Mr. Eell's Remarks, &c.

by such a profession, know, whether they mean to be Papists, or Protestants, Socinians, Arians, Pelagians, Arminians or Antinomians? If they can, pray tell me how? For all these different denominations believe, and may profess to believe, these Calvinistic articles of faith, so far as they think them to be agreeable to the word of God.

But if by this profession you grant Mr. Dana, and his church, cannot form any proper judgment of the principles of those who are thus admitted, whether they are Papists, or Protestants, Socinians, Arians, &c. I would inquire,

Quest. II. Are Papists, Socinians, Arians, &c. all of them orthodox enough to be admited to sealing ordinances? If not

Quest. III. How can Mr. Dana's conduct, in this affair, be vindicated, who receives members upon a profession, which any heretic in the Christian world can make, and still retain all his errors?

And besides, if he

Will it do to say, in his excuse, That some of his church are attached to the Calvinistic scheme in which they have been educated; and will be offended if he lays aside their old doctrines of faith, and makes a new creed of a different stamp and perhaps they may leave him, and join with those who have already rejected him. If he should discover his peculiar principles so plainly, perhaps he would soon have but few hearers. And so this will not do. "And it is right to dissemble a little in so good a cause." himself does not believe their doctrines of faith, it is a hardship, to oblige him to lead his people, from time to time, to profess, in the most public and solemn manner, their belief of them; and to keep back such from special ordinances, who scruple to make such a profession. To prevent all which difficulties, he first reads over their old doctrines of faith, for a blind to the Calvinist part of his church; and then he expresses himself so, as to leave those whom he admits, at full liberty to believe what they please, and yet be quite orthodox enough at the same time to be admitted into the church of Christ, as his true and faithful followers.' But if this be the case, does not one of our former questions need to be reconsidered, viz. Is it of any importance what men's princi

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For if indeed it is of no

ples be, if their lives are but good?' importance, and if pious frauds are justifiable; then we may all do as Mr. Dana does. But if it is of importance, and if we must not dissemble, how can his conduct be justified? Or, how can any orthodox church in New-England safely receive members, by virtue of a recommendation from his church, as being sound in the faith, when it is not known what their faith is?

A speedy and full answer to these questions will greatly oblige,

Sir, your already very much obliged,

and very humble servant,


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