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other creature shall be able to separate them from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus' (Rom. viii. 39.).
23. How is the danger attending an erroneous view of the doctrine described ?
In the Latin Article, the dangerous tendency of the doctrine of absolute predestination is expressed by the term præcipitium, 'a precipice ;' over which curious and carnal persons may be driven by the devil either into ' desperation' or wretchlessness of unclean living.'
24. Who are meant by curious and sensual persons; and what is the import of the word wretchlessness?
By curious persons are meant those, who, by prying into those inscrutable counsels of the diviné mind which are beyond the reach of man's understanding, are led to entertain unreasonable doubts of their ability, by God's grace, to work out their Salvation, and consequently to despair of attaining it; while the sensual are those, who, regarding their fate as arbitrarily fixed by an unalterable decree, are altogether unconcerned and reckless as to the means of grace, which their view of Election renders useless. This is implied in the term wretchlessness, which the Latin Article expresses by securitas.
25. What is the nature and object of the caution, appended to this Article ?
In order to guard her members against erroneous views on the subject of this Article, the Church directs that God's promises are to be received, not as made to particular individuals, but sic ut nobis in sacris literis generaliter exposite sunt ; i. e. with reference to the whole human race in general. Scripture must not be made to contradict Scripture; which is, in fact, to make God contradict himself: and consequently, ' in our doings that will of God is to be 'followed, that rule of faith and conduct to be observed, 'which we have expressly declared to us in the word of God.'
26. Prove from the New Testament that the offer of Redemption is universal and conditional.
The Scriptures of the New Testament expressly declare that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life' (John iii. 16.); that He will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth' (1 Tim. ii. 4.): and that him that cometh unto • Christ, he will in no wise cast out' (John vi. 37.). As to the conditions of Salvation, they are plainly stated to be ' Repentance toward God and Faith in the Lord Jesus Chrsit.'
27. Shew that the English Liturgy inculcates the same doctrine.
In the Communion Service, it is asserted that ‘Christ made a
perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, for the sins of 'the whole world;' and in the last collect for good Friday, we pray to God, who made all nen, and as hating nothing
that he has made, not willing the death of a sinner, 'but rather that he should be converted and live,' for the galvation of all Jews, Turks, Infidels, and Hereticks. Indeed the Liturgy is composed throughout of the pervading conviction that Christ died for all mankind.
28. Quote passages from the early Fathers, by which they are seen to have regarded Election in a collective and general sense.
Clement of Rome thus commences his Epistle to the Corinthians : The Church of God which is at Rome, to the Church at Corinth, called and sanctified by the will of God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Again in c. 58. May God, who has elected the Lord Jesus Christ, and us through him to be a peculiar people, grant to every soul that calls upon his name, faith, fear, peace, patience, long-suffering, temperance, holiness, and wisdom. Ignatius, ad Ephes. c. 1. Ignatius, to the Church of Ephesus, which is blessed in the fulness of God the Father, and predestinated before the world began unto eternal glory. See also Ignat. ad Trall, c. 1. Just. Mart. A pol. 1. C. 45.
Of obtaining eternal Salva- | De speranda æterna Salute
tion only by the Name of | tantum in Nomine Christi. Christ.
SUNT et illi anathematiThey also are to be had zandi, qui dicere audent accursed that presume to say, unumquemque in Lege aut That every man shall be Secta, quam profitetur, esse saved by the Law or Sect servandum, modo juxta illam which he professeth, so that et lumen naturæ accurate he be diligent to frame his vixerit: cum sacræ literæ life according to that Law tantum Jesu Christi nomen and the light of nature. For prædicent, in quo salvos fieri holy Scripture doth set out | homines oporteat. unto us only the Name of Jesus Christ, whereby men must be saved.
1. Does this Article exclude all who are not Christians from the hope of Salvation ?
It is not asserted in this Article that Salvation will not be extended to any who are not members of the Christian covenant; but, without presuming to enquire how far the divine mercy may be shewn to those who have not embraced the religion of Jesus, either because they have not heard of him, or refused to accept him, our Church simply denounces the plausible assumption, that all religions will find equal favour with God, if men be diligent to frame their lives according to the law which they profess, and the light of nature.
2. With whom did the doctrine condemned by this Article originate; and has it been widely maintained ?
In the fourth Century, after the establishment of Christianity by Constantine as the religion of the Roman empire, the advocates of Paganism pleaded for the toleration of the old religion, on the ground that it was a matter of indifference what faith a man professed, and that the Deity was more highly honoured by the greater variety of the forms of his worship. By a like affectation of liberality Mahomet sought to encrease the number of his followers; and the same principle has never been without advocates even among professing Christians.
3. Upon what grounds, and by whose authority, is this opinion denounced ?
The Article declares, in the words of Scripture, that there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved, but only the name of our Lord • Jesus Christ' (Acts iv. 12.). To the same effect our Lord himself assured Nicodemus, that he that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life ; and he that believeth not, shall not see life : but the wrath of God abideth on him’ (John iii. 36.). Thus also he said to his disciples, 'I am the way, "and the truth, and the life : no man cometh unto the • Father, but by me' (John xiv. 6.); and, in his parting commission to them, he declared, 'He that believeth, and is * baptized, shall be saved ; and he that believeth not shall 'be damned' (Mark xvi. 16.). Hence St. Paul taught that 'the Gospel of Cbrist is the power of God unto Salvation to
every one that believeth' (Rom. i. 16.); and St. John bare record 'that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life
is in his Son : he that hath the Son hath life; and he that ' hath not the Son of God hath not life' (1 John v. 11, 12.).
4. Does not this exclusive belief militate against St. Peter's declaration to Cornelius, that God is no respecter of persons ; but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted of Him (Acts x. 34, 35.)?
No. The Article proceeds upon the supposition that the Gospel has been preached, and rejected. After his conversion Cornelius became at once a member of the covenant of God; and that he was thereby endued with greater privileges is manifest from the commission which Peter received to instruct him in the faith. Having been invited to embrace the Gospel he had no alternative but to do so; for Christ would have died in vain, if men could be saved by any other Law.
5. What then are we directed by our Church to
believe respecting those who have not embraced the Gospel covenant ?
Instead of curiously inquiring either into the manner, or the degree, in which the mercy of God may be exerted towards those among whom Christ has not been preached, it is enough to know that they are not included in his covenanted promises, and cannot therefore be placed upon a level with the Church of Christ. Charity requires us to hope that the benefits of Christ's death and passion, by which alone they can be saved, will be extended to them. On this subject however the Article is silent; merely affirming that they are to be had accursed' who regard the Gospel as useless, by placing it on the same footing with other creeds.
6. Explain the import and origin of the expression, to be had accursed.
To be had accursed is merely a technical term, applied by the primitive Christians to persons excommunicated, or excluded from communion with the Church, either on account of their wicked lives or dangerous opinions. The original form of condemning an error was by denouncing the person who held it, in the words Anathema sit ; or, as in the Latin version of this Article, anathematizandus est : and it seems to have been built upon certain expressions in the Apostolical Epistles. See Rom. ix. 3, 1 Cor. xvi. 22. Gal. i. 8. Those may well be shut out from the privileges of the Church, who undervalue and reject them.
7. What do you mean by the privileges of the Church ; and do the Articles say any thing respecting them ?
It is in the Church only that Christ has chosen to dispense the means of grace, by which those, who hope for Salvation through faith in his name, are enabled to attain to it; so that they who do not become members of the Church, exclude themselves from a participation in the Gospel privileges. Bp. Pearson observes (on the Creed, Art. 9.) that. Christ never appointed two ways to heaven; nor did he build a Church to save some, and make another 'institution for other mens' Salvation. In the Articles, which have been already examined, the doctrines, and