Madison believed in predestination as this blog has previously shown and was taught by Calvinists from grade school to university, but William Livingston takes the cake. However, if you don't do your homework, and limit your material to his work in the Independent Reflector publication of 1752, when Livingston was 27 years old, you won't get the whole story. Later in life, Livingston became a diehard Calvinist, just like his older brother Philip, who was a signer of the declaration of independence.
Here, Livingston defends most of the history of American Calvinism. He defends the Puritans, their doctrine, education, politics, Eleazer Wheelock, Cotton Mather, Jon Eliot and his treatment of the Indians, as well as David Brainerd and his brother, etc.
"BUT in what sense my lord, did those adventurers abandon their native religion? If your lordship means by their native religion, the doctrines of christianity as contained in the thirty-nine articles of your church;. they were so far from abandoning it, that it were to be wished it to be inviolably preserved by those they left behind. These were the very doctrines which they, in their time, universally believed, constantly taught, and warmly inculcated. These are the doctrines which their posterity, to this day, believe, teach, and inculcate. Nay, they believe, teach and inculcate them, in the same scriptural and unadulterated sense, in which they were believed, taught, and inculcated at the time of the reformation. They believe, teach, and inculcate them, without those sophisticating glories, by which they have since, in the mother-country, been wrested to favor the heresy of Arminius."
--A Letter to the Right Reverend Father in God, John, Lord Bishop of Landaff; occasioned by some passages in His Lordship's sermon, on the 20th of February, 1767, in which the American colonies are loaded with great and undeserved reproach. / By William Livingston. New-York: Printed for the author; and to be sold by Garrat Noel, near the coffee-house, MDCCLXVIII. 1768.
Notice, Livingston doesn't qualify the heresy of arminianism. He affirms all arminianism as heresy, attacking the founder of arminianism. Below, Livingston supports the entire current Christian establishment of New England:
In the New-England colonies particularly, they have from their earliest settlement been peculiarly attentive to the most ample provision of a gospel ministry. Their legislative acts, from the commencement of those colonies, abundantly evince this attention. By these, provision is always made for the establishment and support of the gospel ministry in every, new-erected township; and without such establishment, within three years from the settlement, the grants are liable to an absolute forfeiture. In consequence of this provision, with the divine blessing on their pious endeavours, Christianity has not only been supported, but so faithfully preached, and so zealously inculcated, that I will venture to affirm, there is not a more virtuous, not a more religious people upon the face of the earth [bold face mine].Livingston writes Christian establishment, nay reformed Christian establishment has a divine blessing. Roger Sherman never wrote anything this Calvinist. Livingston continues in support of punishing Sabbath breakers:
"Nor have those colonies from their first settlement to this day, been without provincial laws, to enforce an attendance on public worship, and punish the profanation of the sabbath."
Here, Livingston commends a Calvinist leading Indians to communion:
"In the year 1689, the indian church, under the care of Mr. John Mayhew, son of
the above Thomas, consisted of a hundred communicants, walking according to the rule of the scriptures."
Notice, Livingston affirms communion as a rule of the scriptures. It's also interesting Livingston calls Yale, Harvard, William and Mary, Penn, Princeton and King's, as seminaries.
At the end of the letter, Livingston writes, "With this, my lord, I shall humbly take my leave
hoping that for the sake of truth, and the cause of religion, especially remembering how greatly your lordship has been deceived in the present case..."
Contrary to attacking creeds, Livingston defends the thirty-nine articles adhered to by the Puritans. Livingston never rejected the athanasian creed. All he wrote is his creed is easier to understand.