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nature-the absolute decrees of God-particular election-universal divine providence and agency --and the distinguishing doctrines of grace, all treated with great perspicuity and clearness and, supported by a strengh of argument, both from reason and the holy scriptures, which, it is thought, will forever exceed the ability of opposers to answer or overthrow. No human composition, it is apprehended, can be read with greater profit, by students in divinity, than these volumes. From these may be obtained a better and more extensive acquaintance with the doctrines of divine revelation, than from many of the more voluminous writings of ancient, though respectable divines.
To Doctor Hopkins are we indebted for a better understanding of the design and end of what are generally termed the means of grace, and their use and application as they respect impenitent, unconverted finners, than was before had. His discerning mind, in the early part of his public ministry, discovered a manifest inconsistency in the exhortations and directions given to unbelievers by eminent divines, with the doctrines they publicly taught and strenuously maintained. Though the doctrine of the total moral depravity and corruption of the human heart was clearly taught, and forcibly urged by Calvinistic divines; с.
e hered writinys, seemed to arise, rather Torcuar reth of divine truth, than from us aitance de ierived from others—He apare un example of the truth of our Summer's womis - sine eye be fingle, thy seul e sul of light."
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feed and nourish religion. Avoiding, which tend rather to ct the hearer, his serspicuous and scriptural. tolerable attention, ever understanding him. He
and, clear evidence produced from the holy scriptures, that all the exercises of the natural heart--all the doings and services of unregenerate finners, were, not only unacceptable, but hateful in the fight of God; yet to such doings and services did the unregenerate find themselves exhorted and urged ; and this as the appointed way to obtain the favor of God and converting grace. Though the doctrines were just and scriptural, the exhortations naturally operated, rather against, than in favor of the finner's fensible conviction of their truth. By attending to the Doctor's writings on this important subject, it foon became obvious, that, as the holy scriptures require the immediate exercise of godly sorrow and repentance, sinners of no description are ever to be exhorted to any other doings, or supposed duties, than such as imply love to God and holiness.
No uninspired divine, before Doctor Hopkins, had ever set this subject in a proper and scriptural light. And the benefit derived to the christian cause, from his writings on this interesting and important subject, is sufficient to compensate the study and labors of a whole life.
On account of his publications relative to this subject, he was the object of much obloquy and reproach. These he bore with great patience and meekness; supported by a full conviction, that it was in the cause of truth he suffered ; and, by a hope and firm persuasion, that the fentiments he had advanced were truly evangelical, would gain ground and become prevalent among the friends of truth and vital piety, and be blessed to the benefit of the cause of christianity in general. And, through the goodness of God, he was preserved in life to see the sentiments he had advanced on this subject in connexion with other important doctrines of divine revelation, obtain greater spread and prevalence than he had, probably, ever expected would have been in
By people of piety and discernment Doctor Hopkins was esteemed one of the best of preachers. Though his public discourses were less adapted to the passions, than those of many others, they were unusually full of matter and excellent instruction, fitted to reach the conscience, and the heart, and to feed and nourifh the lovers of truth and vital religion. Avoiding, those abftrufe reasonings, which tend rather to confound, than to instruct the hearer, his fermons were clear, perspicuous and fcriptural. Few, who paid any tolerable attention, ever found difficulty in understanding him. He