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THESIS 20

The presentation of this doctrine is especially necessary, if it is treated skillfully, soberly, and reverently, that is, that not any thing else be treated, not otherwise, not to another end than as the Holy Scriptures teach, both in explanation and in application, according to the advice of St. Paul: "not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly." Rom. xii. 3.

That, which is taught, and inculcated in the Holy Scriptures, can not but be esteemed useful and necessary for salvation, though there may be different degrees of necessity. But the doctrine of predestination, and its opposite, that of reprobation, is taught and inculcated in the Scriptures; it is, therefore, also necessary. It should, however, be considered what that predestination is, and what is its character, which is discussed in the Scriptures as necessary, and which is called the foundation of our salvation. Your admonition is altogether proper and necessary, by which you enjoin that the doctrine should be set forth entirely in accordance with the Scriptures—"not any thing else, not otherwise, not to another end than as the Holy Scriptures teach." But there is a practical difficulty in this matter, because each one desires to appear to present his own doctrines according to the Scripture. I am satisfied that, in your discussion of this doctrine, you are not, in every case, sustained by the Scripture, but in some parts you err, and I have treated this more fully in the discussion held between us.

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