by Nathaniel S McFetridge
THIS little book is made up of six Lectures which were delivered in the Wakefield Presbyterian Church, Germantown, and of whose publication I had, at the time, no thought. The Lectures were the result of my leisure reading on the subject during several years of a busy pastorate. On leaving the theological school at Allegheny, I hardly knew whether I was a Calvinist or an Arminian, or a nameless compound of both, although I had had the benefit of Dr. A. A. Hodge's matchless teaching, which I now regard as one of the greatest blessings of my life. In that very uncomfortable—yet very natural—state of mind I set myself to a course of reading, doctrinal and historical, as opportunity offered. One of the results of that reading was these Lectures. My main object in these discourses was to look into the workings of the system of doctrines called "Calvinistic," and by its effects upon those who most heartily adopted it to form some definite estimate of its character. Therefore it is that I have brought forward the testimony of a large number of accepted authorities, many of whom are not Calvinists, and consequently not prejudiced in favor of Calvinism.
One difficulty with which I constantly met in writing these Lectures was that of getting so large a subject within limits so narrow. And although I have gone over the ground enthusiastically, I have endeavored to examine the subject honestly, my own peculiar state of mind precluding all controversial designs. Certainly, I can say that not one unfair statement has been intended; and I trust that the cast of the language employed will not lead any one to infer the opposite.
Hoping, then, that this little book, which to me has been a labor of love, will be of some use, and that it may speak a word in favor of a system of doctrine which, however regarded, is based on the truths of God's word and the facts of human experience, I send it forth into the great world of letters.
N. S. McFETRIDGE.
Jan. 2, 1882.
Table of Contents
TO THE READER
I: CALVINISM AS A POLITICAL FORCE
II: CALVINISM AS A POLITICAL FORCE IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES
III: CALVINISM AS A MORAL FORCE
IV: CALVINISM AS AN EVANGELIZING FORCE