Andrew Fuller Friday: Fuller on Candor and Religious Principle

“Candour, as it relates to the treatment of an adversary, is that temper of mind which will induce us to treat him openly, fairly, and ingenuously; granting him every thing that can be granted consistently with truth, and entertaining the most favourable opinion of his character and conduct that justice will admit. But what has all this to do with indifference to religious principle, as to matters of salvation? Is there no such thing as treating a person with fairness, openness, and generosity, while we entertain a very ill opinion of his principles, and have the most painful apprehensions as to the danger of his state? Let our opponents name a more candid writer of controversy than President Edwards; yet he considered many of the sentiments against which he wrote as destructive to the souls of men, and those who held them as being in a dangerous situation.
As a great deal of what is called candour and benevolence among Socinians is merely the effect of indifference to religious principle, so a great deal of that in Calvinists, for which they are accused of the want of these virtues, is no other than a serious attachment to what they account Divine truth, and a serious disapprobation of sentiments which they deem subversive of it. Now, surely, neither of these things is inconsistent with either candour or benevolence; if it be, however, Jesus Christ and his apostles are involved in the guilt, equally with the Calvinists. They cultivated such an attachment to religious principle as to be in real earnest in the promotion of it, and constantly represented the knowledge and belief of it as necessary to eternal life, “Ye shall know the truth,” said Christ, “and the truth shall make you free.”—”This is life eternal, to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.”—”He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him.”
Excerpt From “The Calvinistic and Socinian Systems Examined and Compared”, 1802

Fuller, Andrew,  The Works of Andrew Fuller. Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 2007.

By |December 15th, 2017|Categories: Andrew Fuller Friday, Blog|

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