Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

the sins of the whole world, whatever were the nature and character of those sins. In either case the effects of Christ's obedience are commensurate with those of Adam's disobedience. Thus, the case of infants and ideots, who are incapable of actual sins, of individual guilt, is clearly consistent with the justice and goodness of God, though considered, as by nature, liable to punishment.” Bishop Pretyman on the Articles.

" It is sufficiently evident that the doctrines contained in the 17th Article are by no means conformable to the principles of Calvin, who contended for absolute unconditional decrees of God and irresistible grace, and asserted that God, in predestinating, from all eternity, one part of mankind to everlasting happiness and another to endless misery, was led to make this distinction solely by his own good pleasure and free will.” Idem on the Articles.

Archbishop Whitgift, with some of the bishops, having been hastily led to subscribe to the Lambeth Articles, which were designed to bind the University of Cambridge to the rigours of Calvtism, was compelled, by Elizabeth's orders, to suppress them. Dr Reynalds proposed them at Hampton-Court, but was as unsuccessful as in many other points." Gray's Bampton Sermon, p. 264, note.

“ As both the Arminian and Calvinistical parties claim the Articles on these doubtful points, (of free will, prescience, &c.) we must admit, at least, that they are framed with comprehensive latitude. It is remarkable that the church of Rome did not decide on the fire points canvassed at the Synod of Dort.” Id. p. 265, nole.

" But the composers of the Articles of the Church of England had not so little in them of the dove, nor so much of the serpent, as to make the Articles of the Church like an upright shoe, which may be worn on either foot; and therefore we may say of our first reformers, in reference to the present book of Articles, as was affirmed of them by Dr Buncroft, then Bishop of London, (in 1603,) in relation to the Rubric, in private baptism; that is to say, that those reverend and learned men intended not to deceive any by ambiguous terms, and that they did not so compose the Articles as to leave any liberty to dissenting judgements; they had not otherwise attained to the end they aimed at, which was ad tollendam opinionum dissensionem et consensum in vera religione firmandum. Which end could never be effected if men were left to the liberty of dissenting, dr might have leave to put their own sense on the Articles, as they list themselves.” Heylin's Historia Quinqu’ Articularis, part ii. c. viii. sect. 12.

“ If it should be asked on whom, or on whose judgement, the first reformers most relied in the weighty business, (of framing the Articles,) I answer negatively, first, that they had no respect to Calvin, no more than to the judgement of Wickliffe, Tyndall, Barnes, or Frith, whose offered assistance they refused when they went about it; of which he sensibly complained to some of his friends, as appears by one of his epistles. I answer next affirmatively, in the words of an act of

parliament, parliament, second and third of Edward VI. that they had an eye, in the first place, to the pure and sincere Christian religion taught in the Scriptures, and, in the next place, to the usage of the primitire church.Being satisfied in both these ways, they had, thirdly, a more particular respect to the Lutheran platforms, the English confession, or book of Articles, being taken in many places, word for word, out of that of Augsburg Fourthly, in reference to the points disputed, they ascribed much to the authority of Melancthon, and made use of his writings for their direction in such points of doctrine, in which they thought it necessary for the Church to declare her judgement.” Id. p. 2, chap. viii. sect. ii.

“ The doctrines which the words of the Articles of the Church of England naturally import are clearly Calvinistic. The Articles, Ilomilies, and Liturgy, of the Church are three distinct species of writing. They were composed at different times, and in some respects for different purposes. And yet, in point of doctrine, they uniformly breathe the same spirit, and express themselves with the same degree of force. — The doctrines of the Articles are woven with much industry into the Church's forms of public worship, and this circumstance must materially assist us in discovering the original sense and intention of the whole.” Overton's True Churchman ascertained, 8v0, 1801. See, also, the Church of England vindicated, 8vo, 1801.

“Of all those writers, who have lately taken up their pens, as they pretend, to demonstrate that the Liturgy and Articles of the Church of England are Calvinistic, though they have quoted and referred to nearly fifty different authors, no one has even once quoted Calvin for this purpose. This silence is the effect not of ignorance but of design. Those writers are well aware that the tenets peculiar to Calvinism are both hideous in themselves and diametrically opposite to the doctrines of the Church of England. In the 10th Article it is said, “ we have no power to do good works, pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God by Christ preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us when we have that good will.” No words can be more pointedly directed against Calvin's system than these are. What he positively denied, that this grace, in any stage of it, co-operates only with man, this Article positively affirms. — The Article immediately following this (of the justification of man) has been dragged into the present controversy, as a Calvinistic Article, without rhyme or reason. It is neither Calvinistic nor anti-Calvinistic, but anti-papal. As the 10th Article was intended to prevent every Calvinist, so was this Uith designed to prevent every Papist, from becoming a minister of the Church of England. In the 12th Article it is expressly said, that good works are the fruits of faith; but Calvin says expressly, Instit. lib. ii. c. iii. sect. 13, that good works are the fruits of grace. In this article, therefore, the founders of our Church have flatly contradicted Calvin; which is a plain proof that they were anti-Calvinists, and that this is an anti-Calvinistic Article. A Church-of-England man's faith is productive, a Calvinist's is barren. In the 16th Article it is said, that, “after we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace given, and fall into sin; and that, by the grace of God, we may rise again." Calvin, on the contrary, maintains that this is impossible, " eternal life is certain to all the elect: - no one can fall from it: - their salvation depends upon

the

the invincible power of God.” In the 17th Article the reprobates of Calvin are in no manner or degree alluded to; (the number of whom, in his opinion, to that of the elect, is in the proportion of four to one. Instit. lib.iii. C. xxiv. sect. 11.) Consequently the elect, whom the framers of our 39 Articles have defined or described in this 17th Article, are different from Calvin's elect; and, of course, the predestination. See p. 322. “ According to Caltin, the whole human race, in consequence of Adam's fall, became a mass of corruption; that this: effect of original sin abideth upon the reprobates for ever, neither are their actual sins ever remiited; they being created for, and born to, certain and everlasting perdition. But what saith the Church of England concerning this most important doctrine? In her 31st Article are these words; “ The offering of Christ, once made, is that perfect redemption; propitiation, and satisfaction, for all the sins of the whole world, both originul and urinal.When, therefore, these evangelical preachers, Messrs Orerton and Presbyter, assert that the founders of the Church of England, when they were preparing materials for the edifice, were Calvinists in sentiment, they either deny that those venerable divines were men of veracity, or proclaim to the world a want of veracity in themselves. - Seeing, then, that the doctrines of our Church are set forth in its Articles ; that in matters of doctrine there is not the least discord between the liturgy of our Church and these Articles; that, therefore, if its Liturgy be at variance with Calvin's doctrines, its doctrinal parts niust also be at variance with them; and, since between this Liturgy and Calvin's doctrines there is almost every where a very material difference, it follows that the doctrinal árticles of our Church cannot be in correspondence with Calvinism, nor were intended to be subscribed in a Calvinistic sense.” Kipling on the Articles.

« Our Church, therefore, when she requires our assent to these Articles, either doth hold the doctrine of absolute predestination, or she doth not; but, on the contrary, doth supp se men capable of conforming voluntarily to the articles of religion. If she doth hold the doctrine of predestination, she might as well spare all the rest of her Articles; for as much as it would not be in any man's own power either to grant or withhold his assent, but in the power of the predestinating director. And, if she doth suppose men at liberty to consent, or not, to these Articles, which can only make them proposals of any sense to intelligent rational creatures, then she cannot understand the doctrine of predestination in the way in which some would interpret it.” Dr Parker's Sermon on Rom. viii. 30, p. 46.

" What shall we say about our reformers? If they designed that the famous Article on which all Calvinists build so much should be understood in the Caleinistic sense, they must be condemned, out of their own mouths, as the most inconsistent of men; and, as such, very unqualified for the important office they undertook, that of reforming and new modelling our national Church. For, if our reformers meant that the doctrine of our Church should be received in the Calrinistic sense, and at the same time made use of a paraphrase (Erasmus's) calculated to convey a different sense to her members, they were in fact pulling down, with one hand, what they professed to be building up with the other; and, consequently, the sense which Calvinists have annexed to our Church Articles is not the sense in which they were originally composed.” Daubeny's Appendix, letter 4, p. 209, 211, 217, &c.

“ The fact is, that the introduction of Calvinism, or rather its prevalence, in any considerable degree, was subsequent to the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's reign, when all our public formularies, our Articles, our Liturgy, and our Homilies, were settled as they now are, with the exception of a few alterations and additions to the Liturgy, not in the least affecting its general spirit and character. Our reformers followed no human authority; they had recourse to the Scriptures as their sole guide, and the consequence has been what might have been expected, that our Articles and Liturgy do not exactly correspond with the sentiments of any of the eminent reformers upon the continent, or with the creeds of any of the Protestant churches which are there established. Our Church is not Lutheran, — it is not Calvinistic, – it is not Arminian; - it is Scriptural. It is built upon the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner-stone.” Bp of Lincoln's Charge, May, 1805.

THE END.

Printed dy C. and W. Galabin, Ingram-court, London

« PoprzedniaDalej »