The True Scripture-Doctrine Concerning
Some Important Points of the
Christian Faith

Boston, 1741

Rev. Jonathan Dickinson

Jonathan Dickinson was the first President of the College at Princeton, New Jersey. In this excerpt, Dickinson states that atheism is pure "stupidity" and "madness." Dickinson's opinion in this regard represented the consensus. Subsequently all of the founders of the United States were certain of the existence of a Deity. On the other hand, Dickinson here emphasizes the doctrine of Predestination, which was the central controversy of the eighteenth century in the Colonies. Colonists' opinions were divided in this regard. Earlier in the century predestination was the majority view, but by the end of the century a belief in "free-will" had become prevalent among many such as Methodists.
That there is a supream and eternal Being, and that he is possess'd of all infinite Perfections, are truths so visible by the Light of Nature; that to call these into Question is not only Weakness and Ignorance; but the height of Stupidity and Madness... We have clear light to discover that he is, and that he is infinite; yet none but his own infinite mind can fully understand what he is or how he exists

Here is set in View the Object of the Decree of Election... And as all the children of God, and none but they, shall inherit eternal Life, so all that shall inherit eternal Life, so all that shall inherit eternal Life, and none but they, were predestined to the Adoption of Children.

...They are chosen in Him; and predestined to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ...

They only Motive (if I may so speak) by which God has acted in the Decree of Election: According to the good Pleasure of his will. He was himself his own motive and End. As there was nothing eternally existing but God; so there could be nothing outside of himself to influence his eternal Counsels... Thus I have given a brief and general View of the Words before us; and shall now endeavor a more distinct consideration of them under these propositions.

1. That God has according to the good pleasure of his Will, from all Eternity, elected some to everlasting life.
2. And those that God has elected, are chosen to Salvation by and through the Lord Jesus Christ.
3. All who are thus chosen to Salvation, shall be sanctified and made meet to partake of it...