« PoprzedniaDalej »
over his creatures, to pass by and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath for their sin, to the praise of his glorious justice."*
** On the subject of effectual calling, the Confession of Faith des clares, that it is not from any thing foreseen in man, who is altogethe er passive therein." Chap. x. sec. 2.
« The third section of this chapter declares, that “ Elect infants dying in infancy, are regenerated and saved by Christ through the spirit-so also are other elect persons, who are incapable of being outwardly called by the ministry of the word.” ** Let the reader consider well the fourth section of this chapter. > Others not clected, although they may be called by the ministry of the word, and may have some common operations of the spirit, yet they never truly come to Christ, and therefore cannot be saved." Here appears the reason why those finally perish who never truly come to Christ, and therefore cannot be saved ;" they are not elected." That none but the elect can be saved, is expressly declared in the sixth section of the third chapter, quoted above. And that those elected are not elected in consequence of God's foreseeing that they would improve the means of grace, accept the offers of salvation, and persevere unto the end, is evident from the section above quoted, which explicitly declares that the elect are chosen, “ without any foresight of their faith or good works, or perseverance in either of them, or any other thing in the creature as conditions, or causes moving thereunto." The elect, therefore, are arbitrarily and unconditionally elected. The first section of the seventeenth chapter declares, that the elect 6.can neither totally nor finally fall away from the state of grace; but shall certainly persevere therein to the end, and be eternally saved.” ." The author of Miscellanies has been pleased to observe, in one of his numbers, that he believed Episcopalians in general were igno. rant that the tenets of Episcopacy were so seriously and solemnly propagated. Perhaps it may with equal truth be asserted, that the great body of Presbyterians are not aware that the tenets of election and reprobation are thus explicitly and solemnly set forth in the Confession of Faith of their Church. *** Now that the articles of the Church of England, and of the Protestant Episcopal Church in America, maintain these peculiar tenets of Calvinism, is absolutely and positively denied. "
« The fifteenth article of the Church declares, that “ Christ, by the sacrifice of himself took away the sins of the world.” The sixteenth article declares, that “after we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace given, and fall into sin, and, by the grace of God, we may arise and amend our lives.” The thirty-first article
Calvin says, “Quos Deus preterit, reprobat”_" whom God passes by, he reprobutes.” “ Ac multi quidem, ac si invidiam a Deo repellere vellent, e. lectionem ita fatentur ut negent quenquam reprobari ; sed inscite nimis et pueriliter ; quando ipsa electio nisi reprobationi opposita non staret.” “ And many indeed as though they would drive away the malice from God, do so grant election, as to deny that any man is reprobated; but this too ignoranil, and childishly forasinuch as election itself would not stand unless it were set $02trary to reprobation Cal. Inst. lib. iii. chap. 23. 1.
declares, that “ the offering of Christ once made is that perfect te demption, propitiation, and satisfaction for all the eins of the whole world, both original and actual; and there is none other satisfaction for sin, but that alone." In perfect conformity with these declarations are her liturgy, offices, and homilies; all which contain numerous declarations absolutely irreconcileable with the peculiar tenets of Calvinism. There are none of the articles of the Church of Eng. land which contain language er sentiments similar to those contained in the Confessions of Faith of the Calvinistic Churches, Pied
“ The only article that can be adduced in proof of the Calvinism of the Church of England is the seventeenth article.
« Now, let it be remembered, that this article is entirely silent on the tenet of reprobation. It says nothing in respect to those among mankind, whom God « hath passed by, and ordained to dishonour and wrath." This is an important doctrine of Calvinism, to which the Church of England is utterly, a stranger. And when the author of Miscellanies talks of “ the article of the Church which respects election and reprobation," he talks of an article which has no exist. ence. The part of the article which respects predestination and election," is as follows:- Predestination to life is the everlasting pur. pose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he hath constantly decreed, by his counsel, secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation, those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels inade to honour. Wherefore they, which he endued with so excellent a benefit of God, be called according to God's purpose by his Spirit working in due season : they through grace obey the calling : they be justified'freely : they be made Sons of God by adoption : they be made like the image of his only begotten Son Jesus Christ : they walk religiously in good works, and, at length, by God's mercy, they attain to everlasting felicity.
« Now the article simply maintains the doctrine of “predestination unto life.” That there is such a predestination, all denominations of Christians acknowledge. The point in dispute between Calvinists and their opponents is in respect to the characteristics or the founda. tion of this predestination. Is it arbitrary and unconditional, or the contrary? Is it founded on the divine foreknowledge of those who would accept tl., means of grace; or is it independent of this fore. knowledge ? Are a certain number predestinated unto life without any foreknowledge of their faith, &c. or are their faith, their good works, wrought through grace, and accepted for the merits of Christ, the conditions of this predestination? This last is the predestination maintained by anti-Calvinists, and expressly disclaimed by Calvinists; who all maintain that this predestination is “ without any foreknowledge of faith, of good works, of perseverance, or any other cause in the creature moving thereunto.” The seventeenth article of the Church makes no such declaration, holds no such sentiment. We are therefore to construe the article in a different sense ; and to be. Sieve with the Apostle, Rom. viii. 28. that those aro « chosen in
Christ," whom God 4 foreknew" would believe and oboy the Gospela These are they who are called, who are justified, &c. .“ In no other article is the subject of election mentioned. But it runs through almost every chapter of the Confession of Faith of the Calvinistic Churches. It is the corner stone of Calvinism. It is the spirit which extends its sullen reign through every part of the gloomy edifice which Calvin verected. The Elect, unconditionally clected, without any “ foreknowledge of their faith, or any other cause in them moving thereunto," are alone the objects of those “good tid, ings," which, it was declared, should be for all mankind. They alone are “ the seed” whom that blessed Saviour, who shed his blood as “a propitiation forathe sins of the world," "redeems, calls, justifies, sanctifies and glorifies." Well might the acute and learned JORTIN characterize Calvinism as a system of “ buman creatures without liberty, faith without reason, and a God without mercy!” This character of the system is justified by its natural and necessary consequences, though it is but justice to acknowledge that these consequences are disclaimed by its advocates. .« The above strictures are dictated by no sentiment of disrespect for those denominations who, in the exercise of an acknowledged right, maintain the tenets of Calvinism. With many individuals of these denominations the writer is in habits of intimate acquaintance and friendship. The strictures are purely defensive. They are imperiously called forth by the charge of the author of Miscellanies, that the articles of the Church of England are Calvinistic; by the charge, assiduously propagated, that, while the articles of this Church, and of the Episcopal Church in America, maintain the tenets of Calvinism, the Clergy of those Churches maintain opposite doctrines, and are, therefore, guilty of opposing the standards of their Churches. This charge, so materially affecting the consistency, the reputation, and the character of the Episcopal Clergy, could in no other way be refuted, than by comparing the Confessions of Faith of the Calvinistic Churches with the articles of the Episcopal Church, and thus asa certaining their dissimilarity and opposition.
« If the articles of the Church of England were Calvinistic, would the Calvinistic Clergy have thought it necessary to substitute others in their place? Now, it is a well known fact, that, in the reign of Elizabeth, the Calvinists were anxious to substitute in the place of these articles, what are called “ the Lambeth Articles,” in which the tenets of Calvinism are couched in nearly the same language in which they are exhibited in the institutes of Calvin and the public confessions of the Churches modelled on his system. In addition to the direct evidence before exhibited, here is strong presumptir'e proof that the articles of the Church of England do not merit the charge of Calvinism.
“ That the Protestant Episcopal Church in America does not consider the articles as sanctioning the peculiar tenets of Calvinism, will not admit of a doubt, Articles were proposed for consideration by the General Convention of that Church, in 1799; but were not acted upon, in consequence of a determination to adopt the articles of the Church of England, as they were, in toto. The Convention of 1801, unanimously adopted these articles; and all the members of this con: vention were decidedly anti-Calvinistic. What stronger proof of the sense in which they received these articles? The Convention possessed full power to model the articles as they pleased. They would have all agreed in opposing the distinguishing tenets of Calvinism. Had they believed that the articles were Calvinistic, it is absurd, and in the highest degree dishonourable to them, to suppose that they would have adopted articles contrary to their sentiments. There could have been no apprehension of opposition from the great body of the Laity. For it is a fact, that a large proportion of the Laity, even of the Calvinistic Churches, do not believe the doctrine of election and reprobation as stated in their Confessions of Faith. Among Episcopalians, these. tenets have scarcely any advocates. Thanks to God, these doctrines, which represent him not as a just and gracious Father, the character in which he delights we should behold him, but as a stern and inexorable Sovereign, are fast hastening into disrepute. No; the Convention believed that the imputation of Cal vinism cast upon the articles was wholly unfounded. And not being disposed to meddle with those who are “ given to change," they a. dopted, without alteration, the articles which they had received from their venerable parent, the Church of England, and which the Reformers of that Church had sealed with their blood.”
[Continued from page 393.] COME we now to the Heathens, or Gentiles, whose singular respect and veneration for the body after dissolution can be proved from a multitude of testimonies, some of which are strongly marked with an utter detestation and abhorrence of all profanation and defile. ment of burying-places ; for they looked upon the care of dead bodies as an act of religion, calling the interment of them no less than a divine institution, and a law of the immortal gods ; insomuch, that the Romans, in particular, had a peculiar deity to preside over this affair, called by the name of Libitina,as is well known to the classical scholar. The Athenians were so strict, that they would not admit any to be magistrates, who had not taken care of their parents' sepulture, and beheaded one of their generals after he had gotten a victory, for throwing the dead bodies of the slain, in a tempest, into the sea. And Plutarch relates, that before they engaged with the Persians, they took a solemn oath, that, if they were conquerors, they would bury their foes; this being a privilege, which even an enemy hath a right to, as being a debt which is owing to humanity. A noble pattern this for Christian generals to imitatc ? Nay, some brutes have been observed, by mere instinct, to bury their dead with wonderful" care. The body, we know, was formed of the dust at first, and therefore it is fit, it should return to the earth as it was : insomuch, that some Heathens have, by the light of reason, called burying in the earth, the being hid in our mother's lap, and the being covered with her skirt.
In a word, all the nations of the earth have always accounted burial one of the chiefest duties of religion, which they denied neither to
friends nor enemies, as we learn of historians; for Vegetius, l. ii. de re milit. cap. 20. tells us, that each legion had a purse in the hands of the ensign-bearer, wherein each soldier put a piece of money, to contribute his portion towards the burial of the soldiers of that legion, who died in war. We see also by the testimonies, both of Tully in the oration for Milo, and of Cornelius Tacitus, l. i. that the generals, who were victorious, allowed their enemies to bury the corps of their dead soldiers, or else buried them themselves.
Lucian, in his treatise of mourning, has made a pleasant and useful description of the ceremonies used about dead persons, some few of which I shall hint at. " After the nearest relation has received a dead person, and closed his eyes, he washes the body with warm water, he perfumes him, crowns him with flowers, and puts on his best clothes. All is accompanied with mourning, tears and sobs, to agree with the master of the ceremony, who orders all matters, and recites with a mournful voice all his former calamities. Then some tear their hair, others beat their breasts. Some rend their clothes, and cast dust upon their heads, or fall down upon the ground, &c. &c. After all this, some treat the company, where the friends comfort you, and desire you to eat. How long, say they, will you lament the dead? You can't recal them to life again, by all your tears," &c.
Let us here examine a little into the sentiments of the facetious Horace, of whom Sir William Temple is pleased to say, that “he was the greatest master of life, and of true sense in the conduct of it.” Lib. i. Od. 28. he introduces Archytas praying, that he may not have the misfortune to lie unburied. And what a curse he thought it to be so, one may learn from the end of epod. 5. His commentator has these remarkable words, “ Amongst the ancients it was deemed the most grievous of evils for one to have his body unburied; because the soul was believed to have no rest, but to wander up and down, until its body was deposited in a grave." · Agreeable to this is that famous passage in Homer, iliad 23. where the ghost of Patroclus is introduced complaining, that his funeral rites had not been performed; ..
..................................“Thus the phantom said,
“ Forbid to pass th'irremeable flood.” Homer makes this a matter of such'importance, that he introdu- . ces Iris as dispatched upon an embassy from the gods to stir up Achilles to fight, and to pay this duty to his dear friend Patroclus. Here Mr. Pope remarks, it was the common opinion of the ancients, : that the souls of the departed were not admitted into the number of: the happy, till the bodies had received the funeral rites. They supposed, those that wanted them, wandered about an hundred years, i before they were wafted over the infernal erier. The emperor's Dioclesian and Maximinian ordered, that thy people should not :