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We will now proceed to remark on our fourth proposition, which is holding the absurd doctrine, that salvation in any measure depends on the free-will of creatures, and yet is the absolute free gift of God through grace, depending on his Election. As to the origin of the doctrine of free-will as it is called; some have laid it to Pelagius, some to Arminius, some to one and some to another, but we can trace its date farther back than either of those, for we find as long ago as Paul’s day, that there was a society of forty of them, united together for as good an object, as ever the natural will had, viz: to hinder the spread of the Gospel. But still farther back we see a little know of them around the Sepulchre of Jesus, to prevent the resurrection of our Lord. But O how they shrunk to nothing at the presence of the angel; so does every free-willer, in the presence of a messenger of the Lord. Yet so soon as his back was turned, they went away and hired themselves out to lie, for the accommodation of the Jews. So will the hireling watchmen of these times, for their doctrine denies the resurrection, they teach it for hire, and receive large money of those who say they are Jews and are not. But we have not found their origin yet, for at a still earlier period we see a great congregation of them assembled on the plains of Dura, and their captain testing the validity of his free-will scheme, or three obstinate “Iron-bound” disciples of free-grace, his success every one knows, but he was not the first of the sect, and he represented him, for before this we hear a daughter of Free-will singing “have they not sped, &c.” While the daughter of Free-grace rejoins in note of triumph, “So let all thine enemies perish O Lord.” Another step back and we see the Free-will church arrayed against the Lord’s people on the bank of the Red Sea. The circumstances in which they were last seen, with the breaking up of the camp meeting, ought to be read and remembered by all who hold like pernicious faith. The family of old Jacob had a large majority of this profession in it, at least so far as his sons were his family, they willed to disappoint the Dreamer, but when they fell on their faces before the governor, and heard him say “I am Joseph,” “It was not you, but God that sent me hither.” They found that in the things in which they dealt proudly, God was above them. But speaking after the manner of men, Jacob’s sons came regularly enough into their profession, for their good old Grandfather, Isaac, willed once, and Esau ran. But they learnt, that it was not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God who sheweth mercy. – But time would fail to tell of all this persuasion, whose confusion has been recorded in the Scriptures, we will come to the point at once, and name the first who openly avowed this impious creed, his name is Abaddon, he has proclaimed his will, hear it, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God. I will sit also, upon the Mount of the Congregation, in the sides of north. I will ascend above the heights of the clouds. I will be like the most high.” Here is the whole pith and marrow of the free-will doctrine, here are five resolutions, off hand, all based on self, and all comprising one idea, that is I will be a great christian, I will go to Heaven, &c. &c. Here then is the father of the system, the system itself, and the consummation in the next verse, “Thou shalt go down to Hell, to the sides of the Pit. The Scripture declares the doctrine to be a lie, & Christ says, the Devil is the father of lies, therefore we have found its genealogy. But as we intend to postpone the discussion of the main question till another number, we will now close intending in the mean time to whet up our blade, as we find some complaint of want of edge; in due time we will try it on Elder Petit’s communication, and then possibly he will be better qualified to complain. Yours &c.


Signs of the Times
Volume 1, No. 17
July 17, 1833