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nitaries, and Divines of the Church, tin towards the end of James the First's reign. Some excellent men, such as Usher, Whitgift, &c. carried the doctrine of absolate decrees much higher, and embraced the whole system of Calvin. The same moderate system was received by the most eminent of the Dissenters; by Baxter, by Watts, by Doddridge; and, if Dr. Williams's sentiments may be considered as a fair specimen of the modern Calvinism that circulates among the present Dissenters, it is of the same temperate kind. In the Church, as well as among Dissentients, an individual or two may sometimes be found, who has adopted a more rigid and a sterner creed. Of this kind was Mr. Toplady, whom Dr. Priestley in his Essay on Philosophical Necessity, claims as his asso. ciate in his labours to establish that doctrine. Even the great Edwards is also mentioned by the Doctor, as having adopted the same principles. From the Restoration to our times, the number of those who have been reckoned Calvinists has not been great. Bishop Beveridge is the most eminent, and is supposed to have been the last divine of such sentiments, that was raised to the Episcopal bench. Dr. South, though a clergyman of High Church principles, has left incontestible evidence, in his sermons, of his having adopted sentiments called Calvinistical. Within these thirty years their number has rapidly increased. Their fervent piety,* their exemplary conduct and moderation, their unwearied labours in the cause of religion, in gene
• The fervent piety of some Ministers of Calvinistic sentiments has, some times, forcibly struck those whose opinions were decidedly hostile to Calvinism; and even to all the Evangelical doctrines. Such was the Poet Burns, who latterly attended upon the ministry of a pious and excellent Minister of Cala vinistic sentiments, the Rev. William Inglis, Dumfries,
ral, and the patience with which they have borne many privations and hardships, are supposed greatly to have contributed to their increase. The violence and illiberality of attack, which seem now to have deserted this party and to have passed over to those who call themselves Arminians, the confounding of the vital doctrines of Christianity with the peculiarities of Calvinism, and the attempts to prove the Articles of the Church to be AntiCalvinistic, have all greatly added to their numbers. The Bishop of Lincoln allows the attachment of some of them to the Church, to be firm and resolute.-Mr. Scott insinuates, that some of the Bishops have refused ordination to some young men, who had been regularly educated at the Universities; for no other reason, than their supposed belief in the doctrine of absolute election. But there must surely have been some other reason for such refusals. No Bishop, surely, would deliberately provide men of piety and popular talents and furnished with the advantages of literature, to figure in the ranks of Dissent, or of Method. ism. There have been instances of men possessed of such qualifications as have carried hundreds, and even thousands with them into the lines of hostility to the Church. That general who thins his own ranks that he may fill those of the enemy, with whom he may one day. come to a decisive engagement, is in some danger of returning from the field, without the palm of victory.
Of the Evangelical Clergy who are disciples of the Arminian school, there are men of tried piety, of distinguished abilities, and who are equally sedulous, as those from whom they differ, in promoting the best interests of men. Their own views of those disputed su bjects, they generally prosecute with calm and unruffled minds, and instead of converting the pulpit into a stage for the trial of polemi
cal skill, they unite the doctrines of grace and peace. A moderate Calvinist would seldom be able to decide, from their discourses, that they had adopted a system different from his own. Man is still considered as a creature fallen and guilty, who can be restored to the image of his Maker, only by the influence of the Holy Spirit, and who can approach to his Creator only when he comes through the mediation of the Son of God, and receives the gift of righteousness by faith. In the habits of Christian friendship, which are mutually cultivated by Evangelical clergymen, who embrace the different sides of this question, mutual conciliation, and the spirit of mutual forbearance are carefully prosecuted. It was not so about half a century ago, when the same controversy came to be agitated between the two different parties, both in and out of the Church. The subject was debated with all the acrimony of envenomed passions. Pamphlet was heaped upon pamphlet, and volume piled upon volume, mutually to embitter the tempers of the parties, and to blow up the sparks of contention. The men of the world stood spectators of the combat, while the friends of Evangelical religion, like gladiators, exhibited for their diversion feats of chivalry, and dealt mutual wounds. “It is just,” said they, “as we would have it. We have only to look on till they drench the sand with their own blood, and expire in their own wars.” Profane wits beheld with scorn the scene that was presented before them, while they exclaimed in the language of the poet
THE CHARACTERS AND QUALIFICATIONS OF
THE EVANGELICAL CLERGY.
In every Church, and in every party in every Church, learning is an object of high importance. In the first Christian Church, inspiration supplied, in many of her Ministers, the want of learning. What they had not deri. ved from human culture and study, God miraculously communicated. But even in that early period of the Church, he who had taken care that Moses should be instructed in all the learning of the Egyptians, preparatory to the important office in which he had destined him to act, also prepared the Apostle Paul, by sending him not only to the schools of the Prophets, but also by providing that he should be well imbued with the learning of the Gentile world, who was afterwards to be the Apostle of the Gentiles. To the labours of this learned Apostle, more, perhaps, than to those of all the others united, is the Christian Church indebted. In our times, where learning is wanting, there is no such thing as inspiration to supply its place. The Ministers of Christianity are therefore obliged to seek, in the ordinary way of discipline and study, that information which is necessary to the proper discharge of their office. Indeed, with respect to all the Apostles, it is a certain fact that they were well skilled in languages ; the only difference between them and learned men of these times is, in the manner of acquiring that knowledge. Many of the Evangelical Clergy have been, and many of them still are, men of deep and general learning, and well known both 'for the correctness and elegance of their literature. The names of Dr. Milner and Dr. Jowett, the last of whom was what the other continues to be, an honour to that body, are well known, and are only two out of many that might be mentioned. In one of the Universities particularly, many students of Evangelical principles have stood among the first, and have often carried away the highest honours. With respect to gepius and transcendent abilities, they are flowers that blossom but rarely, eren in the ample field of the world, and are sometimes so wild and so luxurious in their growth, that they refuse to submit to those retrenchments, which the culture of religion requires. But even of these, Evangelical Religion has no reason to complain that she has wanted her share. Men of moderate accomplishments, in religion as well as in civil society, are the persons to whom the offices of religion, as well as the management of business must chiefly be committed, and of these the Evangelical Clergy are chiefly composed. Among them too, some persons of weak intellects and contracted sentiments may be found, whose minds are too flimsy to admit of a high polish ; but in no greater proportion to their numbers, than the state of other parties, political or religious, exhibits.
Of the qualifications of a Clergyman, unfeigned piety is certainly the primary one, and is indispensably neces. sary, both to his own fitness for the work, and to his hopes of success in it. If a Clergyman is not pious, he is among the worst of men. If his love to God and to the souls of men is not ardent, his official employment must render his whole life one scene of disgusting hypocrisy. It is impossible for a man always to act under a mask. The cover will sometimes drop, and the man of