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4. Resolved, That we view with regret and sorrow, the ground taken on this subject by the Theological Professors at Oberlin.

5. Resolved, That we hail with joy every improvement in human opinion that conforms to the Bible and promises, in its practical tendency, to decrease the sios or increase the moral purity of the church.

6. Resolved, That ihe above statement and resolutions be signed by the Moderator and Stated Clerk, and published in the New York Evangelist, New York Observer, the Christian Observer, and the Presbyterian. 9. Fayette Shipherd requested that his dissent from the above report of the Committee be appended to it, entered on the records of the Presbytery, and published with it. All the other members present voted iu the affirmative.

THOMAS J. HASWELL, Moderator,

N. S.'S. BEMAX, Saied Clerli. Troy, June 29, 1841.

To the Troy [N. Y.] Presbytery.

DEAR BRETHREN :

Permit me to make a few remarks upon your report on the subject of Christian perfection. I have read with attention inost that has conie to hand upon the subject of your report, and have thought it of little use to reply, until some opponent of our views should throw his objections into a more tangible form than any oue had hitherto done. Your report embraces, in a condensed torn, almost all that has been said in opposition to our views. For this reason, as well as for the reason that I have a high respect and servent love for those of your number with whom I am acquainted, I beg leave to be heard in reply. ! What I have said was prepared for, and should have been published in the New York Evangelist. I wrote to the editor, making the request to be heard through his columos; to which he made no reply. I still hope he will not fail to do me, yourselves, and the church the justice to give this article a place in his columns. The truth demands

For no other reason, I am sure, than to subserve the interests of truth, would I say one word. Without further preface. I quote your statement of the real point at issue.--You say : 14. " That there is soine issue, admits of no doubt. What is it? It is not, whether by the requiremenis of the moral law, or the injunctions of the gospel, men are commanded to be perfectly holy; not whether men are under obligations to be thus holy; not whether as moral agents, such a state is to them a possible state; not whether the gospel systrın is competent to secure acrual periection in holiness, if its entire resources be applied; not whether it is the duty and privilege of the church to rise much higher in holy living, than it has ever yet done in this world. To join the issue on any, or all of these points, is to make a false issue; it is to have the appearance of a question without its reality. Some, or all of these points, for a part of the schere os * Christian Perfection;" but certainly they do not invest it w th any peculiar character, for they involve no new sentineat differing from the ground taken by the great body of orthodox Christians in every age. It cannot be supposed that their advocacy has led to the va

rious and fearful solicitudes of learned and pious men in regard to the truth and tendency of this system. It must therefore be fraught with some other element. What is that element? The assertion that Christian men do obtain in some cases, during the present life, to a state of perfect holiness, excluding sin' in every form, and that for an indefiuite period they remain in this state."

Upon this I remark:
I. Ymne have made a false issue. Proof:

1. What our position is. It is, and always has been, that entire sana tification is allainable in this life, in such a sense as to render its attainment a rational object of pursuit, with the expeclation of allaining il.

This proposition, it would seem, you admit; but on account of the various and fearful solicitudes of learned and pious men," you take it for granted, there must be a heresy somewhere, and accordingly proceed to take issue with us, upon one of the arguments we have used in support of our proposition; and reply to our other arguments, as if they had been adduced by us in support of the proposition, upon which you have erroneously made up the issue.

2. Some of the arguments by which we have attempted to establish this proposition are (1.) That men are naturally able to obey all the commandments of God. (2.) That this obedience is unqualifiedly demanded of men in this life.

(3.) That the gospel proffers sufficient grace to secure their entire sanctification io this life; and that nothing is wanting but “ appropriative acts," on the part of Christians, to realize this result.

(4.) That the entire sanctification of Christiaos in this life was made the subject of prayer by inspired men, and also that Christ taught his disciples to pray for it.

(5.) That this state has actually been attained. These are among our arguments: and as they are the only ones to which you have professed to reply, I will mention to others.

3. I will put our arguments in the form of syllogisms in their order.

First Argument. Whatever is attainable in this lise, on the ground of natural ability, may be aimed at with a rational hope of success. A state of entire sanctificaton in this life is attainable on the ground of natural abilliy. Therefore, it may be aimed at with a rational hope of

Men are naturally able to do all their duty, which is to be entirely sanctified. Therefore, they may aim at enlire sanctification with a rational hope of being entirely sanctified.

You admit both the major and minor premises, in these syllogisms. Can the conclusion be avoided ?

Second Argument. Whatever God commands to be done by men in this lise. may be done by them. God commands men to be entirely holy in this life. Therefore a state of entire holioess in this life is possi: ble. You admit both the major and minor premises. Can the conclusion be avoided !

Third Argument. Whatever attainment the gospel proffers sufficient grace to secure in this life, may be made. The gospel proffers sufficient grace, should any one apply its entire resources," to secure a state of entire sapetification in this life. Therefore, this state may be secured, or this attainmeat may be made. Here again, you admit both premises. Can the conclusion be depied?

success.

Fourth Argument. Whatever was made the subject of prayer by the Spirit of inspiration may be granted. The entire sanctification of the sainis in this life was prayed for by the Spirit of inspiration. Therefore, Christians may aim at and pray for this state, with the rational expectation of being entirely sanctified in this life.

Again. What Christ has made it the universal dnty of the church to pray for, may be granted. He has made it the duty of all Christians to pray for the entire sanctification of the saints in this life. Both premises in these syllogisins are admitted. Are not the conclusions inevitable?

Fifth Argument. Whatever men have done, men can do. Men have been entirely sanctified in this life. Therefore they may be so sanctified. The minor premise in this syllogism you deny; and, strange to tell, you affirm, over and over again, that this one argument of ours is the main proposition to be established! And you reply to all our other arguments in support of the main proposition as if they had been adduced to prove this! Now it would have been equally fair, and just as much in point, so far as our argument in support of the main proposi tion is concerned, if you had made an issue with us on any other argument adduced by us in support of that proposition-insisted that ibat was the main question and replied to our arguments as if they had been adduced in support of that. ? You misrepresent our logic. Assuming that the fact of aclual attainment is the main proposition which we are laboring to establish, and in support of which we adduce the fact of actual attainment only as an argument, you misrepresent our reasoning. To put this matter in the clearest light, I will place, side by side, the syllogisms which you put in our mouths, and our own syllogisms.

1

YOUR SYLLOGISMS IMPUTED TO.US.

OUR OWN SYLLOGISMS.

1. • Whatever is attainable in 1. Whatever is attainable in ibis life, is actually attained in this this life may be aimed at, with the life. A state of perfect holiness is rational hope of attaining it; entire attainable in this life; therefore it is sanctification is attainable in this actually attained.”

life; therefore the attainment of this state may be aimed at with a

rational hope of success. 2. “Whatever is possible by the

2. Whatever attainment is pos. provisions of the gospel in this life, sible, by the provisions of the goswill take place in this life; the per pel in this life, may be aimed at by fect sanctification of some believers ihose under the gospel, with a ra is possible by those provisions ;tional hope of attaining it; the pertherefore it will actually take place rect sanctification of believers is in this life.”

possible by these provisions; therefore believers may aim at making this attainment, with a rational hope of success.

1

3 la relation to the com- 3. Whatever the Bible commands, it will be sufficient to say, I mands to be done in this life may

that alıbough ihe Bible does com- be done; the Bible commands mand a state of perfect holiness, in Christians to be perfect in this life; the present life, it does not follow therefore, they may be perfect in that the cominand is in any instance this life. obeyed fully on earıh.

Before we can arrive at this conclusion, we must adopt the following principle: that is, that whatever is commanded Now, brethren, I ask if you will in the Bible is actually performed deny the major premise, the minor by the subjects of that command,” premise, or the conclusion in either

of the above syllogisms?' You The syllogism would stand thus: cannot deny either. I beseeeli

you then, to consider what injustWhatever is commanded by God, ice you have done to yourselves, is actually performed; perfect holi- to us, your brethren, and to the ness is commanded; therefore all cause of truth, by such an evasion men are perfectly holy.

and inisrepresentation of our logic.

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5. What your logic must be to meet our argument as we have stated it. If you would state in syllogistic form, an argument that shall meet and set aside our reasoning, it must stand thus: That a thing is attainable in this lise, is no proof that it can be attained. This must be assumed as a major premise, by any who would answer our logic. But who does not see, that this amounts to a denial of an identical proposition? The same as 10 say—that a thing being attainable in this life, is no proof ihat it is altainable in this life. But to waive this consideration, and state the argument as it must stand in syllogistic form: to meet and re tute our logic, it must stand thus: • That a thing is atlainable in this life is no proof that it can be attained. Entire sanctification is attainable in this life. Therefore, its attainability is no proof that it can be altained.' Who does not see, that the major premise is false, and that Therefore the conclusion is? Now observe, we admit, that its attaioability is no proof that it will be attained. But we insist, that its attainability is proof that the attainment may be aimed at, with a rational hope of success.

Again, would you meet our second argument with a syllogism, it must stand thus: “That God commands a state of earire sanctificavion in this life, is nu proof that such a state is attainable in this life. God does command a state of entire sanctification in this life. Therefore the command is no proof that such a state is attainable.' Brechl'en, this argument would have the attribute ri logical conclusiveness, if the major premise was not salse. The very same course must be pursued by you, would you meet and set aside our reasoning in respect to our other arguments. This is so manifest, that I need not stale the syllogisms.

II. In respect to our inference in favor of the doctrine of entire sanctification in this life, drawn from the prayers of inspiration, and the tact that all Christians are commanded to pray for the entire sanctification of believers in this life you say as follows:

“Siinilar defécis characterize the arguments drawn from the prayers which the Bible records, as well as, those which it authorizes Christ

ians to make. It is true, that Cbrist prayed for his disciples in language the most elevated : Sanctify them through the truth,' The same may be said of the great Apostle. when he prayed: · And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly.' We are directed to pray that God's will may be done on earth as in heaven; and in general authorized to pray for a perfect victory over all sin at every time. These are the facts. Now, what is the inference? The advocate of. Perfection' responds that some believers are perfectly sanctified in the present life. These and kindred facts we offer, to prove this conclusion. Is there then between the two a certain connection ? If we admit the one must we logically admit the other ? Facts speak a very different language. Were those included in the prayer of Christ, thus sanctified, and that from the moment of its utterance? Was the same true of all the Christians of Thessalonica ? Has the will of God yet been done on earth as perfectly as in heaven? Has every believer, who has bungered and thirsted after righteousness, attained to sinless perfection in this life? Did pot Paul most fervently pray for the salvation of Israel, and have not thousands of Jews since died in their sins? Did he pot pray that the thorn in his flesh might be removed, and was it'removed? The grand mistake in this reasoning is, that it fixes what the pature and terms of prayer do not fix; that is, the time when and the place where, the sought blessing shall be obtained.",

On this I remark :

This appears to me a most remarkable paragraph. Here you quote a part of 1 Thess. 5: 23: “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly, “and then stop, assuming that nothing can be affirmed in respect to the time when the Apostle prayed that this blessing might be granted. Now, beloved brethren, why did you not quote the whole passage ? when it would have been most manifest, ihat the Apostle actually prayed for the blessing to be granted in this life. I will quote it and see if this is not so: "The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

As the sanctification of the “body” as well as the “soul and spirit” is prayed for, and the whole being may be " preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,” how can you say as you doThe grand mistake in this reasoning is, that it fixes what the nature and the terms of prayer do pot fix, that is, the time when and place where the sought blessing shall be obtained.” Does not this prayer contemplate the bestowment of this blessing in this life? Who can reasonably deny it? Again : You say, “We are directed to pray ihat God's will may be done on earth as in heaven, and in general authorized to pray for a victory over all sin at every time,” Now how can you make this admission, and still add the assertion just quoted, that “prayer does not fix the time when this blessing is to be expected?" Certainly, the time when is, in this prayer, limited to this life. In order to meet our argument, based upon the prayer of the Apostles, and the injunction of Christ, to pray for the entire sanctification of beJievers in this life, you must argue as follows. Here again I put the syllogisms into separate columns, that you may see them in contrast.

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