This concludes my comments on select portions of Robert Sandeman’s Letters On Theron And Aspasio:
“And Paul speaking of the great apostacy, as prefigured by ancient idolatry, called it the mystery of iniquity, and says it comes with all deceivableness [sic] of unrighteousness. And he declares, that it comes as a judgment on them who received not the love of the truth;—but had pleasure in unrighteousness. Thus we have an extensive view of his account of charity, as it rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth” (Sandeman).
Tolerant Calvinists James White and Douglas Wilson are salient examples of those who receive NOT the truth of Christ’s efficacious cross-work, but who take pleasure in the nullified “cross-work” of Arminianism. How so? Very briefly, they believe that those who DENY the dunamis (power) of the cross believe the gospel (1 Corinthians 1:17-31; cf. 2 Corinthians 4:6). Of course MULTITUDES of less popular & influential false religionists would agree with Wilson and White. But I find it more efficient to take aim at Theological Big Birds and Church Nerds.
“As charity, then, always holds pace with the truth, and keeps company with it wherever it goes; so it is very jealous in its behalf, as finding all its joy in it. No injury can be done to the truth, but charity feels the wound. Christian zeal is nothing else but the fervency of charity; and as there are many counterfeits of the truth, so there are likewise of charity. We may easily know, then, what sort of charity any man has, by inquiring what does he hold for truth, or what is his justifying faith” (Sandeman).
The “charity” of the two aforementioned Tolerant Celebrity Calvinists holds for a “truth” that those ignorant of the sole ground of acceptance before God believe the gospel (contra Romans 10:1-4). They who are ignorant of how a sinner is made right with God believe that Jesus Christ died for everyone without exception.
“The spirit of pride, which is the spirit of the world, under the borrowed name of charity, always opposes the truth.— Yea, it can take pleasure in anything but the truth. Among some devout people, it takes the name of catholic charity; among the more fashionable, that of universal benevolence. But whatever name it assumes, it always looks with an evil eye on the truth, as a narrow way of thinking, exceedingly odious to it; and whenever it smells the breath of ancient charity, it is ready to oppose it with the same temper as it did of old, Say we not well, that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil? It always charges ancient charity with some malignant disposition” (Sandeman).
Here is one very popular (despite his claims to the contrary) and fashionable Calvinist whose “charitable temper” is pretty much what Sandeman describes:
“The spirit of love, as it works in them that believe, leads them to a careful jealousy over each other, as well as every one to be, in the first place, jealous over himself. Charity delights in the just living by faith: yet it is ready to join with God, in saying, If he draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. The language of charity to its favourites may be thus summed up: ‘If ye know Christ, as I am bound by your profession to judge ye do, happy are ye if ye obey him.’ Charity regards its favourites only for the truth’s sake dwelling in them, and is grieved at everything about them unbecoming the truth. Hence it is led to rebuke them; and when they repent, so return to the truth, to forgive them; and if they repent not, to reject them as hypocrites and unbelievers. Here I am reminded of some lines in a song, which, after addressing charity as the offspring of God, proceeds thus:
‘True as the object to the glass,
With him yon wake your fire,
Frown when he frowns, hate what he hates,
And what he loves, desire’
Very good rhyme.