23 June 2006

Nettleton Slam-dunks It

Nettleton from MonergismoWe went over Asahel Nettleton in class the other day, and I thought this quote was irresistible. He is defending the Reformed (read: Christian) doctrine of depravity against Pelagian Taylorites (e.g. Charles G. Finney).

“There are many who think they see a great inconsistency in the preaching of ministers. ‘Ministers,’ they say, ‘contradict themselves—they say and unsay—they tell us to do, and then tell us we cannot do—they call upon sinners to believe and repent, and then tell them that faith and repentance are the gift of God—they call on them to come to Christ, and then tell them that they cannot come.’

That some do preach in this manner, cannot be denied. I well recollect an instance. A celebrated preacher, in one of his discourses used this language: ‘Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.’ In another discourse, this same preacher said: ‘No man can come unto me except the Father which hath sent me draw him.’ Now, what think you, my hearers, of such preaching, and of such a preacher? What would you have said had you been present and heard Him? Would you have charged Him with contradicting himself? This preacher, you will remember, was none other than the Lord Jesus Christ! And, I have no doubt, that many ministers have followed his example, and been guilty of the same self-contradiction, if you call it such” (Bennet Tyler, Nettleton and His Labours, 216-17).

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