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blind, stupid, and depriving them of the faculty of hearing his word, to any possible advantage
“ Such are the prominent doctrines of Calvinism, strictly so called, with which it is necessary the reader should be acquainted, previously to his entering on the subject brought before him in the present chapter, that he may be qualified to judge, how far the Church of England is answerable for their propagation. The reader will find the authority for the above shocking and unscriptural doctrines in the marginal references to Calvin's writings. Indeed, whoever would read Calvin's com. mentary on the Romans, and his Institutes of the Christian religion, par. ticularly the 24th chapter of the 3d book, would not, it is presumed, be very ambitious of being considered a disciple of a master, who maintained, that, with respect to the elect, neither faith nor good works had any thing to do with their election; and as for the reprobate, “that God directs his voice to them, but for the purpose of their being made more deaf; that he sets his light before them, but in order that they may be rendered more blind ; that he holds forth doctrine to them, but that they may be rendered more stupid by it; that he applies a remedy, but for the purpose of their not being healed.” ii Vocem ad eos dirigit, (Deus) sed ut magis olisurdescant; lucem accendit, sed ut reddantur ceciores; doctrinam profert, sed quâ magis obstupescant; remedium adhibet, sed ne sanentur.
Mr. D. proceeds to observe how ill this chapter of Mr. O.'s work corresponds to its title:
“ From the title prefixed to this chapter, the reader is led to expect, that the articles of our Church, and the different forms of our service, were to be brought together for the mutual illustration and explanation of each other. And this, it must be confessed, appears to be the most obvious, as well as expeditious, method of determining the point in question. But Mr. 0. holds out an expectation to his reader in the title, which the chapter itself is not calculated to fulfil. He gives him to understand, that in the chapter on which he is entering, “the true interpretation of the Articles is sought from our different forms, as they illustrate and explain each other;" at the same time he takes care not to seek such interpretation, by avoiding the comparison proposed to be made for the purpose. As Mr. 0. did not think proper to fulfil this important engagement with his reader, which ivould, in a manner, have brought the subject into a nutshell, and saved Mrio. the trouble of writing many pages; it is to be expected, that he should be desirous of getting off this ground, with as much expedition as possible. In place of that proof, therefore, which the reader had been taught to expect on this occasion, Mr. O. substitutes assertion; the admission or non-admission of which remains to be determined by the sense it is intended to convey-" The Articles, Homilies, and Liturgy of our Church, (says Mr. o.) are three different species of writings. They were composed at different times, and in some respects, for different prixposes. And yet, in point of doctrine, they uniformly breathe the same spirit, and express themselves with the same degree of force.
“Quemadmodum suze erga electos vocationis efficacia salutem, ad quam eos æterno consilio destinarat, perficit Deus; ita sua habet adversus reprobos judicia, quibus consilium de illis suum exequatur, Quos ergo in vilæ contumeliam et mortis exitium creavit, ut iræ suæ organa forent, et severitatis exempla, eos, ut in finem suum perueniunt, nunc audiendi verbi sui facultate privat, nunc ejus przdicatione magis excæcat et obstupefacit.” Inst.l. ii. c. 24. 12.
No one of them contracts the ideas, or by any means lessens the im. port of the rest ; but when compared with honesty, and understood according to the common rules of interpreting written compositions, each mutually illustrates and confirms the full and natural sense of the others.” p. 45
“ The exact harmony subsisting between the Articles, Homilies, and Liturgy of the Church of England is what was to be expected, and, as a general position, must be admitted on all hands. It constituted the very ground of the argument brought forward in p. 211 of the Appendix to the Guide, where I say, " that our reformers, if we give them credit for sound sense and consistency of character, did not mean, in the system of divinity which they laid down in our Articles and Liturgy, to contradict themselves; and that our Church, consequently, in the sub. scription to her articles, does not require a profession of faith from her Clergy, different from that which they are taught to preach, in the use of the established Liturgy.” In conformity with which reasoning, no one should take upon him so to expound an article, as either to make it con. tradict itself, or be incompatible with any other of the articles; or so as to make the Church be inconsistent with herself, in requiring us either to act or declare any thing contrary to what we subscribe.
“ In the general position brought forward on this occasion, both Mr. O. and myself are perfectly agreed. But how far this acknowledged position tends to establish the conclusion, to which each of us as writers designed that it should lead, is the point to be proved. For this purpose, considering that the establishment of the Calvinistic sense of our Articles was one object of Mr. O.'s publication, the comparison here proposed to have been instituted between the Articles and the different forms of our Church service, should by him have been carried into effect, with an eye to that relation. The deficiency, however, of Mr. O.'s publication in this respect, on which my reader is left to forin his own opinion, has been amply supplied by a late publication, under the title of “ the Articles of the Church of England proved not to be Calvinistic,”*by the Rev. the Dean of PETERBOROUGH; who, professing to meet Mr. O., and all Calvinistic writers, on the ground laid down in the opening of the chapter before us, relative to the harmony subsisting between the Articles and services of our Church, has proved to demonstration, by the only method by which such a point is to be proved, namely, by a regular and systematic comparison of the respective compositions in question with the peculiar tenets of J. CALVIN; that the Articles of our Church, so far from being Calvinistic, do, in many of their prominent features, most decidedly militate against those tenets, to which the epithet Calvinistic is strictly appropriated."
Mr. D. then produces several passages from our inestimable Liturgy, which, as he very justly observes, are utterly incompatible with Calvin's doctrine of predestination. It will be sufficient to give a specimen:
“ The prayer of St. Chrysostem, concludes thus, · Granting us in this world, knowledge of thy truth, and in the world to come life everlasting.' But, according to the Calvinistic system, there are but two classes of persons in the world, the elect and the reprobate į and the condition of every individual of each class, has been absolutely and irreversibly determined. This prayer, consequently, in a Calvinistic point of view, is totally useless. The eléct have no occasion to make use of it; and the reprobate have nothing to hope from it. The former cannot but bę saved, and the latter cannot but be lost," Kk 2
Mr. D. next enters into the history of the declaration aborę referred to, which is so interesting, that we shall give it at length.
“ LAUD, from his first appearance in any public character in his profession, 'had distinguished himself as a decided Anti-Calvinist. When President of St. John's college, he brought on himself the charge of Popery from the then Vice-Chancellor, for declaring himself against Calvinism; a charge to which the puritan party always had recourse, as calculated to place the opposers of their Calvinistic principles in the most obnoxious point of view. Puritanism and Calvinism had long been travelling on hand in hand together, till, at the death of KING JAMES, they were nearly arrived at that zenith of power, which terminated in the complete destruction of the established constitution of this country. LAUD saw the danger that was approaching, and used every means that his judgment suggested to stop or divert its course. Such was the object he had in view, in bringing forward the decla. ration in question, which was designed chiefly, says Dr. WATERLAND, to bridle the Calvinist, by laying a restraint on that controversial style of preaching, in which the Calvinistic Ministers particularly indulged ; which, whilst it spread and kept alive dissentions on reli. gious subjects, was also industriously employed to minister fuel to that lurking fire of faction, which was at this time on the point of breaking forth into a flame. The immediate cause which gave rise to this declaration, must be traced back to the publication of a book by Mountague, afterwards bishop of Chichester, intitled “ An Answer 10 the Gagger;” in which many Articles peculiar to Puritanism were set aside ; and among others the five Predestinarion Articles, as settled at Dort, were formally disclaimed, as not constituting any part of the doctrines of the Church of England. This book, as it might be supposed, gave great offence to the Calvinistic party, and caused an information against its author to be laid before Parliament. MOUNTAGUE appealed to the King, who approved the book in question, and thought his diss tinguishing the doctrines of Calvin from those of the Church of England sufficiently defensible. MOUNTAGUE's “ Appeal 10 Cæsar," as it was entitled, the King ordered to be published. It was accord. ingly licensed by Dr. White, dean of Carlisle, with this approbation prefixed : “ That there was nothing contained in the same, but what was agreeable to the public faith, doctrine, and discipline, established in the Church of England." ' The rejection, therefore, of the Calvinistic tenets, aš not constituting any part of the established doctrine of the Church of England, was thus publicly confirmed. King JAMES, how. ever, dying before this appeal was quite printed off, it was addressed to King CHARLES.
« The first Parliament that met in the reign of CHARLES, manifesting an intention of proceeding against MOUNTAGUE, by committing him to the custody of the Serjeant, and obliging him to give security for his appearance; 10 divert the impending prosecution, LAUD, and some other bishops, wrote in his behalf to the duke of BuckINGHAM, remon. strating against the bold and unwarrantable step about to be taken by the Commons. In their leiter they observe, that “ all the opinions contained in MOUNTAGUE's book, had been seen and approved by the late King, which certainly they would not liave been, had they crossed with truth and the Church of England." The bishops then proceed thus; “We must be bold to say, mat we cannot conceive what use there can be of civil government in the commonwealth, or of preaching, and external ministry in the Church, if such fatal opinions (alluding to the predestinarian tenets) as some, which are opposite and contrary to
those delivered by Mr. M. shall be publicly taught and maintained. We are certain,” continue the bishops, “ that all or most of the contrary opinions were treated of at Lambeth, and ready to be published : buit then Queen ELIZABETH, of famous memory, upon notice given how little they agreed with the practice of piety and obedience to all government, caused them to be suppressed ; and so they have continued ever șince, till of late some of them have received countenance at the Synod of Dort.”
“ This letter so far produced effect, that this Parliament proceeded no further against MOUNTAGUE. The second Parliament, which met under CHARLES, returned to the consideration of MOUNTAGUE's book ; which, being referred to a committee, Mr. Pym, one of the leaders of the puritan faction, made his report upon it, which concluded with a prayer for the impeachment of its author. But, though the impeachment did not proceed, nor was any notice taken of the matter in convo. cation, the circumstance, however, led to conferences between the divines of different persuasions, for the purpose of coming to some accommodation upon the points in dispute. And as these conferences produced no good effect, the King, by the advice of his bishops, to prevent the controversy growing warmer, published a proclamation to forbid its continuance; enjoining the Clergy, “that, neither by writing, preaching, printing, conferences, or otherwise, they raise doubts, or publish any singularities, concerning religion : but that, upon arguments of this nature, they keep themselves close to the doctrire and dis. cipline established.” This proclamation had the same object in view with the declaration set forth ; namely, to prevent all curious controversial disquisitions beyond the plain letter of the Articles. In the next Parliament, which met in March 1628, the Commons commenced their proceedings in their usual way, with complaints on the subject of religion; which the Puritans were constantly bringing forward, for the purpose of supporting their party against what they called the Armi. nian faction; which, for the purpose of raising that prejudice against it in the public mind, which might tend to promote the particular object the Puritan party then had in view, they constantly represented as inclining towards and designing to bring in Popery. In the latter end of this year, therefore, as the best expedient for laying the predestinarian disputes at rest, by silencing the controversy between the Calvinists and Arminians, LAUD 'procured the reprinting the Thirtynine Articles of Religion, with the declaration alluded to, prefixed *.”
All that Mr. Overton has said, and indeed all that can be said, on the subject of seeking for an interpretation of the Articles from the known or supposed opinions of the reformers, is sufficiently answered by Mr. Daubeney in the following excellent passage respecting the ļ7th Article. With this, therefore, we should conclude our account of this chapter, were it not necessary to take some notice of tie gross misrepresentation of Bishop Hooper's meaning, and the palpable selfcontradiction, of which Mr. O. has been convicted in the second section of it.
“ It is possible, and to me it appears most probable, that if our Re. formers, when engaged in the construction of this Article, had been called upon for their respective definition of what they understood by predestination, their definitions would not have strictly corresponded, They seem to have considered this subject as not sufficiently revealed in the scriptures, to authorize them to determine on any public and decisive interpretation of it. Each Reformer, on this occasion, seems to have contented himseli with the possession of his own private judgment, in which they would difier from each other in proportion to the greater or less degree of extent, to which their contemplations had carried this subject; whilst, in the standard which they were constructing for public profession, they adopted, in the construction of this particular Article, a plan calculated to leave the subscribers to it in possession of the same private judgment which they assumed to them. selves. This they effected, by suffering scripture to speak solely for itself on this mysterious subject, by a reference to those texts which were considered as bearing upon it; but at the same time without annexing to those texts any particular comment to ascertain their precise meaning; thereby leaving the subject of predestination to stand on the same ground on which it stood in scripture, by saying no more upon it than the plain words of scripture warranted. That such was the idea that prevailed in the minds of our original Reformers, may be collected from the answer given by Ridley to BRADFORD, who seemed to have wished, that the established language of our public confession had been more decisive on this particular subject. " Where you say, (says the Bishop, in answer to a letter received from BRADFORD, complaining of some heresies that had been broạched) that if the request had been heard, things (you think) had been in better case than they be ; know you, that concerning the matter you mean, I have in latin drawn out the places of the scriptures, and upon the same have noted what I can for the time. Sir, in those matters, I am so fearful, that I dare not speak further, yea almost none otherwise than the very text doth (as it were) lead me by the hand." COVERDALE, in the margin of this letter, published by him in 1564, notes thus : " He meaneth the inatter of God's election.” BRADFORD had written a treatise on the subject of God's election, which he had sent for the revisal of our principal Reformers, CRANMER, RIDLEY, and LATIMER, when in prison at Oxford. This treatise, as appears from RIDLEY's letter on the occasion, was not approved; it being considered as carrying the point further, by speaking more decidedly upon it, than the Reformers thought him warranted by the plain letter of scripture; by strict conformity to which they appear to have been guided in their construction of the 17th Article.
* These particulars have been detailed for the purpose of pointing out the close connection subsisting between Puritanism and Calvioism, at the period under consideration.
“ Although, therefore, the private writings of our Reformers do not furnish evidence suficient to determine what was their precise opinion on the subject of predestination ; yet, taken in connection with the article in question, they authorize us to say, what that opinion was not. In a word, it most undoubtedly was not Calvinistic. For the private writings of our Reformers maintain, in most unequivocal language, the doctrine of universal redemption ; and the doctrine of predestination referred to in the Article is to be received in conformity with the promises of God, “ as they are generally set forth in holy scripture." But the Calvinistic doctrine of redemption is totally incompatible with the promises of God, as they are generally set forth in holy scripture ;
viitis not either read therein, nor may be proved thereby;" consequently, it was not the Calvinistic doctrine of predestination, which our Reformers meant to establish as the doctrine of the Church of England." (To be continued.)