decreed for them, whether I pray or not. And if God has not decreed to give it unto them, all my praying can never change the decree.
I find a love to poor perishing sinners in some town or village, and I go to persuade them to be reconciled to God: Many of them use me ill, not only with reviling language, but even with sticks, or stones, or clods, or rotten eggs. Why, what a fool was I to expose myself on any such account! If they are decreed to be saved, they shall be saved; or lost, they shall be lost: So that my suffering and preaching are entirely in vain.--See that pert young man, he has just left his loom or his plough, and he is going to hammer at a bit of Latin; by and by, he becomes a mighty smatterer: With his little sense, little grace, and next to no learning, he harangues famously about a decree and a covenant, and puffs and parades, and shouts out amain, "O the sweetness of God's electing love!" Having by this time acquired a pretty good stock of assurance, he looks out for a shop, that
Though Christian groups mostly adhere to the same dogma, the basic fundamentals of the Christian paradigm, there is difference of opinion in doctrine which fleshes out how one lives the dogma.
In the Protestant church, there are basically two main camps:
1. Calvinism (sometimes known as Reformed theology) which follows the writings of John Calvin today's most well-known adherents being Baptists and Reformed Presbyterians.
2. Arminianism that follows the teachings of Jacobus Arminius and John Wesley (the latter adherents sometimes called Wesleyans). Today's Arminians are found in the Mennonite, Brethren, and United Methodist churches.
The two camps are often viewed as rivals within Evangelicalism because of their disagreement over details of the doctrines of divine predestination and salvation and this argument has proceeded at various levels of intensity for the last 400 years.
This work is an open letter to John Wesley from a Thomas Taylor who composes ten arguments against the Calvinist position of unconditional election. These arguments have been bandied about ever since and will probably be debated for another 400 years. Nonetheless, for readers interested in Christian doctrine, the pamphlet sums up in clear and succinct points, the classic arguments of Arminianism against the theologically enforced caste system of Calvinism.