“I am not a Calvinist by choice, but because I cannot help it.”
To me, Calvinism means the placing of the eternal God at the head of all things.
The doctrines of original sin, election, effectual calling, final perseverance, and all those great truths which are called Calvinism—though Calvin was not the author of them, but simply an able writer and preacher upon the subject—are, I believe, the essential doctrines of the Gospel that is in Jesus Christ.
Now, I do not ask you whether you believe all this—it is possible you may not; but I believe you will before you enter heaven. I am persuaded, that as God may have washed your hearts, he will wash your brains before you enter heaven.
Speaking of Arminians, Whitfield said, “We are all born Arminians.” It is grace that turns us into Calvinists, grace that makes Christians of us, grace that makes us free, and makes us know our standing in Christ Jesus.
That doctrine which is called “Calvinism” did not spring from Calvin; we believe that it sprang from the great founder of all truth.
Now, there are certain doctrines commonly called Calvinistic (but which ought never to have been called by such a name, for they are simply Christian doctrines) which I think commend themselves to the minds of all thoughtful persons, for this reason mainly, that they do ascribe to God everything.
I am not a Calvinist by choice, but because I cannot help it.
I believe nothing merely because Calvin taught it, but because I have found his teaching in the Word of God.
Some seem to believe in a kind of free agency which virtually dethrones God, while others run to the opposite extreme by believing in a sort of fatalism which practically exonerates man from all blame. Both of these views are utterly false, and I scarcely know which of the two is the more to be deprecated. We are bound to believe both sides of the truth revealed in the Scriptures, so I admit that, when a Calvinist says that all things happen according to the predestination of God, he speaks the truth, and I am willing to be called a Calvinist; but when an Arminian says that, when a man sins, the sin is his own, and that, if he continues in sin, and perishes, his eternal damnation will lie entirely at his own door, I believe that he also speaks the truth, although I am not willing to be called an Arminian. The fact is, there is some truth in both these systems of theology.
Have you ever noticed, in the great summary of doctrines, that, as surely as you believe one, you must believe the rest? One doctrine so leans upon the others that, if you deny one, you must deny the rest. Some think that they can believe four out of the five points, and reject the last. It is impossible; God’s truths are all joined together like links in a chain.
They are all Calvinists there, every soul of them. They may have been Arminians on earth; thousands and millions of them were; but they are not after they get there, for here is their song, “Salvation unto our God, which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.”