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[132] of acute and earnest minds, roused up from the incurious ease and passive indifference of nominal orthodoxy. Without intending it, it broke down some of the barriers which separated Arminianism and Calvinism; its product, Hopkinsianism, while it pushed the doctrine of the Genevan reformer on the subject of the Divine decrees and agency to that extreme point where it wellnigh loses itself in Pantheism, held at the same time that guilt could not be hereditary; that man, being responsible for his sinful acts, and not for his sinful nature, can only be justified by a personal holiness, consisting not so much in legal obedience as in that disinterested benevolence which prefers the glory of God and the welfare of universal being above the happiness of self. It had the merit, whatever it may be, of reducing the doctrines of the Reformation to an ingenious and scholastic form of theology; of bringing them boldly to the test of reason and philosophy. Its leading advocates were not mere heartless reasoners and closet speculators. They taught that sin was selfishness, and holiness self-denying benevolence, and they endeavored to practise accordingly. Their lives recommended their doctrines. They were bold and faithful in the discharge of what they regarded as duty. In the midst of slaveholders, and in an age of comparative darkness on the subject of human rights, Hopkins and the younger Edwards lifted up their voices for the slave. And twelve years ago, when Abolitionism was everywhere spoken against, and the whole land was convulsed with mobs to suppress it, the venerable Emmons, burdened

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Samuel Hopkins (1)
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