The Works of Augustus Toplady — Vol. 5.









VOL 5.


Page 3. Church of England ... Vindicated ... from the Charge of Arminianism.

posted 1 Aug 2014, 09:41 by Stephen OldPaths   [ updated 1 Aug 2014, 09:50 ]




Reverend Sir,

Happening to call on a friend of mine, in Westminster, yesterday evening, December 28th, I found him reading your late letter to the author of Pietas Oxoniensis. Curiosity naturally induced me to look into your pamphlet: and grieved I was, to find, that a person in your eminent station, and of your distinguished abilities, should so far lose sight of the duty you owe to that excellent church which you would seem to defend, as to brand, for methodistical tenets, some of those capital truths, which were the avowed doctrines of our reformers; and which, at this very day, make so distinguished a figure in the unrepealed standards of our national faith.

To vindicate the best of visible churches, from the false charge of Anninianism, fastened on her by you, and to prove, that the principles commonly (although, perhaps, not so properly) termed Calvinistic, are plainly and repeatedly delivered in the authentic declarations of her belief, were the reasons that chiefly induced me to resolve on the present undertaking. In consequence of which resolution, I took home your pamphlet with me, and have it now before me.

I would premise, that the two grand questions, on which I shall join issue with you, are, 1st. Not so much whether the Calvinistic doctrines are right or wrong in themselves; as, whether they are, or are not, the doctrines of the church of England: and, 2. Whether, on proof of their actually being the doctrines of our church, Arminians can, with a safe [[@Page:4]] conscience, and bona fide, subscribe to those doctrines ex animo.

As to the affair of the expulsion, I shall enter very little into the merits of that; as not directly falling in with my main design. The injustice, whether real or supposed, shown to those young men, is of very little consequence, when set in competition with the open attack, which you, sir, under the habit of a friend, have ventured to make on the church herself. If it he true, that the persons expelled, were so treated merely for incapacity, and for holding what either the law or the university statutes deem illicit conventicles; it would indeed follow, that the hardship, so generally complained of, was not so great, as it might seem at first view. Every society, as such, have, no doubt, an intrinsic right to agree upon such reasonable and lawful rules, as they may deem necessary for their own interior government and regulation. And, by virtue of that same right, they may expel such of their members, as refuse to adjust their conduct by the rules so enacted. Yet as excommunication [1] is the dernier recourse of a church, and takes place, not until all milder expedients for the reformation of the offending party, have been tried without effect; so should expulsion from any other society. How far this equitable rule was observed lately at Oxford, is a circumstance not yet cleared up by the assessors: and, until it is, the public are certainly at liberty to form what judgment they can from appearances.

It has been affirmed by sonic who ought to know, that the pretence of illiteracy and irregularity, in the parties expelled, was only adopted by way of easting a mist before the eyes of the world: while, in fact, the true reason of their expulsion was, their attachment to the doctrines of predestination unto [[@Page:5]] life, regeneration by the Spirit of God, and justification by faith alone. If this was the real cause of that transaction, the young men were persecuted, to all intents and purposes; and are to be equally pitied and respected: pitied, for the oppressive treatment they met with; respected, for their firmness in adhering to doctrines which they believe to be true, and which, whether true or not, are the undoubted doctrines of the church established.—Add to this, that, if some persons, equally or more illiterate, and irregular in a much worse sense, continue still unmolested members of this very university, all unprejudiced spectators will cry out,

Dat veniam corvis, vexat censura columbas. I am not certain, much less dare I to affirm, that the public have hit upon the true cause of this remarkable expulsion. If they have (and even the account given by yourself, seems to justify the general belief), we may now, with the utmost truth, adopt the old cry of “the church is in danger[2].” Since, for a considerable number of the most eminent persons belonging to one of the most respectable universities in Europe, to sit in judgment on six of their own body, and pass sentence of condemnation upon them, for believing and asserting the leading truths of that very church with which the expellers, no less than the expelled, profess to agree; is, mutatis mutandis, as if a Romish council should anathematize six papists for holding transubstantiation; or a Scotch synod should excommunicate six presbyterians, for maintaining a parity among the clergy to be more apostolical than episcopacy. For, gratuitous predestination, justification by faith only, and the efficacy of divine grace in regeneration, are as palpably asserted by the church of England; as transubstantiation is by the church of Rome, or parity of ministers by the church of Scotland.

[[@Page:7]] Before I enter on the proof of this, I must clear my way, by first considering what you, sir, allege on the other side. In doing which, I shall endeavour to preserve, not only the decency, but the respect, to which your merits, both as a scholar and as a writer, justly entitle you. Though fame is mistaken, if you have not condescended to act as a secretary, on this, as well as a preceding occasion. However this be, I cannot help wishing, that so worthy and considerable a person had drawn his pen, rather in attempting to heal, than widen, the unhappy breaches among us; and had undertaken to vindicate, instead of seeking to confute, the doctrines of the church he professes to revere. But, alas! every day's experience proves the truth of the old adage; “All is not wise, that wise men say; nor all good, that good men do.”

Now, sir, to the point. With regard to the doctrines in debate between Calvinists and Arminians, you ingenuously confess, that they are matters, which “wise and good men have always differed about,” page 69. I applaud your justice, in granting that Calvinists, no less than Arminians, may be “wise and good men:” but I cannot say, I admire the want of precision, with which you express yourself. Wise and good men did not always differ about those points. There is, on the contrary, the utmost reason to believe, that the main body of the Christian church (in which I do not include the Arians of those times) were unanimous believers of the doctrines now termed Calvinistic, for the four first centuries: until, at the opening of the fifth, a Welsh monk, known by the assumed name of Pelagius, struck out a new path of his own, and laid out the foundations of that mystery of iniquity, which has, more or less, been working ever since.

I am aware, that some Arminian writers, both English and foreign, have had the assurance (somewhat like the papists on another occasion) to ask, [[@Page:7]] Where was the doctrine of predestination before St. Austin?” To which I answer in my turn, where was not the doctrine of predestination before Pelagius? That his opinions concerning the slight effects of original sin, the power of man's free will, and the possibility of human merit, were novel and unheard of until then, appears, among other circumstances, from the surprise and horror with which they were received by the universal church. A valuable historian of our own, tells us truly, that “To recount the learned works of fathers written; their pious sermons preached; passionate [i. e. pathetic] epistles sent; private conferences entertained; public disputations held; provincial synods summoned; general councils called; wholesome canons made, to confute and condemn these opinions, under the name of Pelagius, or his scholar Cclestius; would amount to a volume fitter for a porter's back to bear, than a scholar's brains to peruse.” [Fuller, Church Hist. cent. v. p. 28.]

The learned Dr. Cave, whom no one will suspect of being a factor for Calvinism, tells us plainly, that Pelagius “Hreresin novam condidit,” was the founder of a new heresy, [Hist. Lit. tom. i. aim. 405.] which is as good as to say, that the Christian church were, until that time, in undisturbed possession of the doctrines of grace. The same great man lets us know what the substance of this new heresy was. “Peccatum originale funditus sustulit; docens, Adami peccatum soboli ejus non imputari. Homines, plerosque saltem, non gratiæ divinæ benefici, sedpropter operum suorum merita, justificari, et ad vitam æternam prædestinari, contendit:” He [i. c. Pelagius] took away original sin from its very foundations, by asserting that Adam's transgression is not imputed to his posterity: and insisted that men, or however, the greater part of them, are justified and predestinated to eternal life, not by the favour of divine grace, but  for the worthiness of their own works. Now if the [[@Page:8]] non-imputation of Adam's offence, and the doctrines of justification and predestination as founded on, and resulting from human worthiness, were parts of the new heresy, it follows, that the opposite doctrines of Adam's transgression imputed to his offspring, and justification and predestination by grace alone, must have been branches of the old faith universally held by the church, for the first 400 years after Christ.

That consummate scholar and historian, Spanhemius the son, treating of Pelagius and his tenets, observes, that this arch heretic asserted, “Causam pre-destinationis ad gratiam et gloriam esse prrevisionem bonorum operum, et perseverantiam in illis, ex recto liberi arbitrii usu, exceptatamen gratia apostolatus. Prsedestinationem ad mortem nullam dari; solam dari prrescientiam peccatorum.” [Introd. ad Hist. & Antiq. Sacr. p. 454.] i. e. that “The cause of predestination to grace and glory was the foresight of good work's, and of perseverance therein, resulting from a right use of our free-will: and that there is no such tiling as predestination unto death; but only a foreknowledge of what sins men would commit[3].” That these are the doctrines of the Arminians now, as they were of Pelagius then, needs no proof. An Arminian laughs at the imputation of Adam's [[@Page:9]] offence, in order to elude the necessity of the Messiah's imputed righteousness: he affirms, that we are not justified without works of our own; and that, if there be any such thing as predestination at all, it is founded on the divine foresight of certain conditions and qualifications in the persons predestinated: that man's will has the casting vote in the affair of regeneration: and that as he may, to-day, consent to be a child of God; so, to-morrow, he may, by virtue of the same omnipotent free-will, undo all, and commence a child of the devil again. Who sees not, that Arminianism is the old Pelagian trump turned up anew? and that the doctrines of conditional grace and precarious salvation, which now go down so glib with many, are the very things, which, at their first appearance, frightened the primitive churches, more than a general persecution would have done? It may further be asked; would an Arminian have drawn up the XVIIlh article?

You yourself, sir, seem to have been aware of your mistake, in asserting so peremptorily, that predestination and its concomitant doctrines are points concerning which “wise and good men have always differed:” since you presently add, that they “have been disputed in almost all ages of the Christian church.” During the four first ages of it, they were undisputed, for ought appears to the contrary: but, from the time Pelagius first broke the ice, quite down to the reformation, they certainly were frequent subjects of controversy. The reformers, and reformed churches, both here and abroad, were universally on the side of absolute grace, in contradiction, both to the pretended merits, and the boasted free agency of man. Witness the authentic and valuable collection of articles and confessions of faith, published by Gasper Laurentius, in 1612. With regard to our own reformers in particular, bishop Burnet, though far enough from warping to Calvinism, is yet so honest as to allow, that, “In [[@Page:10]] England the first reformers were generally in the Sublapsarian way[4]:” plainly enough intimating, that all our first reformers were doctrinal Calvinists, though with some slight variation; the major part of them being Sublapsarians, or holding that God, in the decree of predestination, considered mankind as fallen: the rest of the first reformers having been Supralapsarians, who suppose that men were in that decree, considered neither as fallen nor as unfallen, but simply as men, in puris naturalibus. A metaphysical disquisition, which still obtains among the anti-Arminians; but which affects not the main question, and concerning which they ever did and do still agree.

I shall, at present, sir, trouble you with but one more citation from Burnet: a short one indeed it is, but full to the point. You will find it in that learned and worthy prelate's abridgment of his History of the Reformation, sub ann. 1549. His words are these: “Another sort of people was much complained of, who built so much on the received opinion of predestination, that they thought they might live as they pleased.” Whether or no these people really drew this consequence from the doctrine (as there is nothing so holy as to be exempt from all possibility of abuse); or whether, as is most probable, it was a slander fastened on them by the disguised papists of that time; affects not the present argument. The passage proves what I quote for: namely, that at the settlement of the reformation, and when the church of England was in her primitive purity, predestination was the received opinion. Nor, indeed, need the bishop have told us so. The articles of religion, published about a year and a half after the time he speaks of, put the point beyond all doubt. Thus stood this matter in the reign of king Edward. We shall come to that of queen Elizabeth by and by. In the mean while,

[[@Page:11]] From England, sir, I follow you to the continent. You are pleased to tell us, p. 60, 70. that these doctrines have been disputed “among the papists, between the Thomists and the Scotists; the Dominicans and the Franciscans:” to which you might also have added, “and between the Jansenists and Jesuits.” I grant it all. And these points not only have been, but arc disputed among them, with abundance of acrimony, to this very day. A most pregnant proof, by the by, of” the infallibility and Catholic unity, which that most depraved and most impudent of all churches affects to value herself upon. Had you stopped here, you had done well: but you add, that the doctrines in debate between yourself and the author of Pietas Oxoniensis, were likewise disputed “among the protestants, from the first beginning of the reformation, between the Lutherans and the Calvinists.” Here, I apprehend, you have shot beyond the mark. The sera, or first beginning of the reformation, is universally, and very justly assigned to the year 1517, when Luther first publicly opposed the sale of the pope's indulgences at Wittenberg. At this time, Calvin could have had no followers; for he himself was then a boy of but eight years old; being [5] born July 10, 1509. Neither was he settled to purpose at Geneva, until the year 1541, i. e. five years before the death of Luther: by which time the reformation had spread wide and taken deep root on the continent. Hence it is evident, that there were and could have been no disputes concerning the decrees of God, “between the Lutherans and Calvinists, from the first beginning of the reformation:” for the reformation was begun in Calvin's childhood, long enough before he was brought on the stage of public observation.

The plain truth is, Luther himself was an absolute predestinarian; and was as able and as resolute a [[@Page:12]] defender of God's eternal, irrespective decrees, as Calvin or any other. So that even had these two great men been as strictly co-ætanei, as they were contemporaries, there would have been no room for dissension between them on that subject. Bishop Burnet, with all his bias to Arminianism, was too well read, not to know, and too honest, not to acknowledge the Calvinism (if it must be called by that name) of Luther: though the bishop's aversion to these doctrines made him, very disingenuously, insinuate as if that eminent reformer adopted them, partly to serve a turn, and partly without due examination. “When Luther,” says he, “began to form his opinions into a body, lie clearly saw that nothing did so plainly destroy the doctrine of merit, and justification by work's, as St. Austin's opinions. He found also in Ids works very express authorities against most of the corruptions of the Roman church: and being of an order that carried his name, and, by consequence, accustomed to read and reverence his works; it was no wonder, if he, without a strict examining of the matter, espoused all his [Austin's] opinions.” [on Art. 17. p. 194]. However, not to rest on mere testimony, which, at best, is but evidence at second hand; as a solid and indisputable proof that I go on sure grounds in averring Luther to have held absolute predestination, I appeal to the memorable controversy between him and Erasmus. The latter had, at the importunate and repeated requests of king Henry VIII. and cardinal Wolsey, published a treatise in favour of free-will, wherein Luther was severely reflected on for holding the opposite doctrine. To this Luther published a copious answer, drawn up in a very nervous manner, and with a vast compass of argument; entitling it, De Servo Arbitrio, or, The Human Will a Slave. If any person, after having read a single chapter in that masterly performance, has the assurance to pronounce Luther an enemy to what is now known by [[@Page:13]] the name of Doctrinal Calvinism[6]; he may, when his hand is in, call Baronius a protestant, or affirm Calvin himself to have been an Arminian. It was chiefly from this book of Luther's, on the Servitude of the Will, that those six positions against free agency were picked out, which twenty years afterwards, made such a bustle in the council of Trent, and were agitated with so much heat and division by the infallible church: some siding with Luther, and declaring that he had asserted no more than Austin had done before him; others anathematising the positions, as the very quintessence of heresy, and of most dangerous consequence to the Catholic faith. The latter party carried their point: and accordingly the fourth, fifth, and sixth canons, passed in the sixth session of that infamous council, are directly pointed against the decisions of Luther respecting the inability of man's will[7].

The followers of Luther and Calvin, since [8] the deaths of those great reformers (for I cannot find that they did it before), have, if you please, not only differed, but fallen out, with relation to some (and only some) of the points you speak of: but not those reformers themselves. Had they agreed as well about the nature of the Lord's Supper, as they did about predestination, justification, and perseverance; the two denominations of Lutherans and Calvinists, had been in fact, one and the same; so far at least as matters of doctrine are concerned.

Page 70, you put this question to the author of Pietas; “What pretence have you to call your own notions the principles of the reformation?” Because they are so. Open the liturgy where you will, [[@Page:14]] Calvinism stares you in the face. And can the doctrines of grace enter into the very basis of a reformed church, yet not he principles of the reformation? You ask likewise, why he calls “the contrary opinions, the avowed tenets of the church of Rome?” Because the very letter of scripture bids us render to all their dues. The Arminian tenets belong to the church of Rome. Hers they are, and to her they should he returned. From her they came, and to her they lead. It matters not, that there were a few such persons, as Marinier, De Vega, and Catanca, in the council of Trent; nor that there are still some individuals within the Romish pale (the Jansenists, for instance), who believed the doctrines of predestination and invincible grace, as taught by St. Paul and St. Austin; and, from these, by Calvin and the reformed churches.

Quid te exempta juvat spinis de pluribus una?

The point is, how goes the stream? quite in the contrary channel. Witness the Tridentine decisions, and the more recent constitution Unigenitus. Let a man peruse these, and then doubt, if he can, whether Arminianism docs not cordially coincide with popery.

But you urge, that the Arminian doctrines “have been maintained by many of the brightest ornaments of our church: such as Laud, Hammond, Bull, &c.” I except against Laud. I cannot allow him, upon the whole, to have been any ornament to us at all: much less can I put him at the head of our brightest ornaments. If lie had any brightness belonging to him, it was the brightness of a fire-brand, which at the long run, set both church and state in a flame. Learned as he was (or, rather an encourager of learning in others, so they were not Calvinists,) he was, at best, but a mongrel protestant; and would have but acted consistently with himself, had he accepted the cardinal's hat, which was offered him from Rome.

[[@Page:15]] So declared an enemy was your bright ornament, to all liberty, both civil and religious, that I make no scruple to call him a disgrace to his order, to his country, and to human nature. Illegal and unwarrantable in itself, as his execution was; yet his life, written by his creature Heylin, on purpose to exculpate this cyprianus anglicanus; proves to a demonstration, that this hot-headed prelate, was not slandered, in being charged with a design to carry over the church of England to that of Rome: or, as Heylin himself expresses it, “to make an atonement between the two churches,” i. e. to set them at one again: atonement being a word used at that time, to signify a reconciliation and reunion. For which reason, among a thousand others, I must beg leave to strike out Laud from the list of our brightest ecclesiastical ornaments; and dismiss him with that just observation of bishop Burnet, who remarks, that while Laud's enemies “did really magnify him by their inhuman prosecution; his friends, Heylin and Wharton, have as much lessened him: the one, by writing his life; and the other, by publishing his vindication of himself.” [Summary of Ref. before the Restor. p. 68. 8vo. edit.]

As for Hammond, Bull, Tillotson, Sharp, and Stillingfleet, they are names not to be mentioned without honour. Yet it does not follow that Arminianism is either right in itself, or the doctrine of our church, because adopted by these otherwise eminent and worthy persons. Nor do the greatness of their names, and the brightness of their talents, sanctify the errors they might happen to patronize, or one jot mitigate the crime of subscribing to articles they did not believe. Let them have been ever so great ornaments to our church in other respects: this, surely, is no ornamental pail of their characters. Dross does not cease to be dross, because some gold may chance to be blended with it: nor error cease to be such, because adopted by men of merit.—[[@Page:16]] However, I think, when your hand had been in, you might have reminded us of some more persons, who were, in every respect, ornamental to our church; and true, consistent sons of it, by believing and maintaining her fundamental doctrines: such as Abbot, Grindal, Usher, Williams, Davenant, Downham, Carlton, Hall, Barlow (of Lincoln), Beveridge, Hopkins, &c. &c. all of whom were bishops, and (for which reason you threw them into shades) predestinarians. After all, truth does not depend on names. The doctrines of the church are to he learned from the articles and homilies of the church herself; not from the private opinions of some individuals who lay hold on the skirt of her garment, call themselves by her name, and live by her revenues.

You proceed. “Our articles have been vindicated from the charge of Calvinism, by bishop Bull, Dr. Waterland, and several other religious and learned men.” You should rather have said, “They have laboured hard to do it, but were not able.” Like some disciples of old, they toiled all the day, but could take nothing. When Dr. Bull was strongly pressed with his subscription, by the famous Dr. Tully (who was then principal of that very hall from whence the six religious students were lately expelled; and afterwards dean and chancellor of Carlisle;) Bull, in his answer, only huddles the matter up, and slides over it, as well as he can, in this slight equivocating manner: “Quæ deineeps, in hoc capite, sequuntur, à D. Tullio, declamatorio more effusa, de regiâ declaratione articulis nostris prafixa; do canone ecclesire; de snbscriptionibus et juramentis nostris” totics rcpetitis; ea turn demùm ad nos pertinere fatchimur, cum evicorit ille, quiequain nos docuisse unquam, quod claræ alicui ecclesiæ nostræ definition! adversetur[9]:” i.e. “I shall then [[@Page:17]] acknowledge myself to be affected by what Dr. Tully subjoins in his declamatory way, concerning the king's declaration prefixed to our articles; the canon he refers to; and my so often repeated oaths and subscriptions; when he shall have demonstrated that I ever affirmed any tiling contrary to any clear determination of our church.” But the misfortune was, this had actually been demonstrated before: whence Dr. Tully took occasion to press the matter home to Bull's conscience; justly upbraiding him, not for espousing those doctrines which he took for true, but  for swearing and setting his hand to articles, which, if his own system was right, were and must be erroneous and false. This home-thrust the Arminian doctor endeavoured to parry off, by insinuating, that the determinations of the church, in behalf of the Calvinistic principles, are not sufficiently clear, but dark and ambiguous. As if she had not clearly determined that “predestination is the everlasting purpose of God,” and that we are “justified by faith only!” After this rate, any unbelieving subscriber whatever, when taxed with dishonesty and prevarication, need only cry out, with bishop Bull, “The determinations of our church are not clear:” and he slips his neck out of the collar very cleverly. But, a determination which is not clear, is in reality no determination at all: and either the church has absolutely determined nothing, and is a church without any fixed principles; or her determinations arc clear and peremptory: and, of course, the integrity of such persons as subscribe to those determinations without believing them, is not very conspicuous.

One of the most furious Arminians now living (the John Goodwin of the present age) seems to have refined upon bishop Bull in this particular. This Arminian is Mr. John Wesley; who, like many others, endeavouring to leap over the 17th article of the church of England, very gravely tells us, that that article, which treats of predestination, “only [[@Page:18]] defines the term,” but  does not affirm the doc-trine. By this new rule, all our positive articles are only so many definitions of terms: the 1st, for instance, defines the meaning of the word Trinity; the 9th defines original sin; the 97th is a definition of baptism; and the 39th defines an oath. So the church is founded, not upon doctrines, but on bare definitions; and is not a teacher, but a definer. Is there a Jew, a Turk, or a papist, who would scruple to subscribe our articles, considered simply as definitions of certain terms and phrases? or is there a protectant in the world, but might safely set his hand to pope Pius's Creed, upon a similar supposition? I leave to the consideration of Dr. Nowell, and of the public, who are to be deemed Methodists and Sectarians? They, who believe the doctrines of the church, as they stand in her articles, without sophistication and disguise? or, they who with Mr. Wesley and some others, subscribe the articles, not as articles of faith, but either as ecclesiastical definitions of terms, or at most as determinations which are not clear? By this loose, shaggling way of evading the force of church decisions, and weakening the sacred ties of solemn and repeated subscriptions, the spiritual fence of our establishment is broken down and trod under foot: and the church, like a city without walls, or a house stript of its doors, lies open to the entrance of every comer, whether friend or foe, who has opportunity of getting in. Such I fear, is in great measure, the present condition of our once admirable church. I can only for my own part, he faithful to her myself; pour out my soul for her, in secret, at the throne of grace; and, until God pours down a spirit of reformation on many of her pretended sons, cry over her, saying, alas! my mother! Her gates are sunk into the ground; he hath destroyed and broken her bars; the law is no more; her 'prophets also find no vision from the Lord. What thing shall I liken to thee, O daughter of [[@Page:19]] Jerusalem? what shall I equal to thee, that I may comfort thee, O virgin daughter of Sion? for thy breach is great, like the sea; who can heal thee? Lam. iii.

As to Dr. Waterland, on whose attempts, to weed out Calvinism from our articles you lay so great stress; I grant, that, like the prelate last mentioned, he fought through thick and thin, and strained every nerve, in order if possible, to Arminianize the church. But his success was very far from being equal to his toil. This learned and excellent person never lost himself more visibly, nor was never pinched more sensibly, than when his own artillery was turned upon him by Sykes. The inference, urged by the latter, is too glaring to be denied: viz. That, if Avian subscription to Trinitarian articles is palpably dishonest; then, by all the rules of argument in the world, Arminian subscription to articles, that are Calvinistic, must and can be no less criminal. This was the Gordian knot, which Dr. Waterland, with all his straining, could never untie. Therefore this great man, finding himself wedged fast between the horns of this unavoidable dilemma; namely, either to give up the point, and own subscribing Arminians to be as inexcusable as subscribing Arians; or, that, if those might subscribe, salva conscientia, so might these, since what is lawful for the raven is as lawful for the crow;—the doctor, to free himself as well as he could, from this embarrassment, resolved to cut the knot at once, by roundly denying that our articles are Calvinistical. But every struggle he made, and every argument he brought in support of his palpable falsehood (which he adopted only pro re natâ, and to help himself out at a dead lift), only plunged him in deeper difficulties, by giving his Avian adversaries this advantage against him, that, upon the doctor's own principles, and by virtue of his own example, they were as much at liberty, mutatis mutandis, to put their own sense upon the 1st, 2d, 5th, and 8th articles; as [[@Page:20]] Waterland was to put his sense upon the 9th, 10th, 11th, and 17th: since the very letter of these articles is no less determinate, in favour of original sin, the utter impotence of free-will in spirituals, gratuitous justification without works, and eternal, absolute predestination, than those are, in favour of the Trinity, the godhead of Christ, the godhead of the Holy Ghost, and the orthodoxy of the three creeds.

And, indeed, the case speaks for itself. For, if one sort of men may fairly claim the privilege of clipping, mincing, and wire-drawing some articles, as a salvo for subscription; why may not another sort of men be allowed to take the same liberty with the rest? Let not then the subscribing Arminian (though he may happen to be a Trinitarian) exclaim against the subscribing Arian, the subscribing Socinian, or even the subscribing Deist. Only grant it lawful to wrench the articles one way; and it is as lawful to wrench them any way, or every way. If an Arminian may stretch the 17th article into conditional predestination, and universal redemption; an Arian has just as much right to lop short the 2d article, so far as it stands in his way. By the same rule that our articles are drawn aside from any one part of their plain grammatical import; they may he frothed into no meaning whatever, and bandied about towards every point of the compass. If a subscriber is really at liberty to pick and choose which of them, and which part of them, he will believe, and which he shall reject; which to subscribe sincerely, and which with secret provisos of his own; subscription is no longer a fence against error, but becomes a mere stalking horse, and the articles themselves a nose of wax. St. Paul's words, with a slight variation, may be accommodated to the case in hand. Thou art inexcusable [O subscribing Arminian,] whoever thou art, that judgest [the subscribing Arian]; for, wherein thou judgest [him,] thou condemiiest thyself: for thou that [[@Page:21]] judgest, doest the same thing [in another way,] Rom. ii. 1.

Thus, the gap of prevaricating subscription being once obeyed, “we may,” to use Dr. Waterland's own words, “hid adieu to principles;” and between one subscriber and another, the church of England will have no settled doctrines left: or, at most, they will exist no where but in ink and paper, between the leaves of her liturgy and homilies, and in the forgotten writings of her old divines.-

Foreign comedians, a spruce band, arrive; And push her from the scene, or hiss her there.

Should matters go on for half a century longer, as they have done for many years back, the most respectable church in the world will be reduced, by some of those who call themselves her children, to the sauie condition that the man in the fable was, by his two wives:

Ambæ videri dum volunt illi pares,

Capillos homini legere cæpêre invicem.

Quum se putârat pingi curâ mulierum,

Calvus repentè factus est: nam funditus

Canos puella, nigros anus, evellerat.

I pray God, that the Delilahs, who make it their business to shear the church of its locks, by robbing it gradually of its doctrines, may not, at the long-run, deliver it quite up into the hands of the Philistines.

Bishop Burnet went to work in a much more plausible manner, than cither bishop Bull or Dr. Waterland. He contributed as much, in fact, towards opening a door to prevaricating subscription, as they; but did it with more decency, and with a better regard to appearances. He does not drive so furiously as those Jehu writers, nor insult the common reason of mankind, by fiercely insisting that our articles are not Calvinistic: but hit on a more [[@Page:22]] trimming expedient, and would gently insinuate, that they are worded with, what he calls, such moderation and latitude, that Calvinists and Arminians too may mutually testify their assent by subscription. I mean not to depreciate that truly great and good prelate's Exposition of the articles: which is, in general, a very masterly and valuable performance. [10] I am not entirely of Dr. South's mind, who you know, sir, being asked, soon after its publication, what he thought of it? replied, in his smart way, “Think of it? I think, that, in his Exposition of our 39 articles, his lordship has given the church forty stripes save one.” That the bishop has given the church three or four stripes, I think can hardly be denied: and unhappy is the mother, who receives such usage at the hands of the sons she has nourished and brought up. Thus much is certain: that Burnet plays fast and loose, whenever Calvinism and subscription fall in his way. Hence those two contradictory positions of his; “Subscription does import an assent to the article: and—an article being conceived in such general words, that it can admit of different literal and grammatical senses; even when the senses given are plainly contrary one to another, yet both may subscribe the article with a good conscience, and without any equivocation.” [Introd. to Exp. Art. p. 10.] As if there could be more literal senses of a proposition than one! and those numerous senses could be plainly contrary one to another, and yet be all literally and grammatically the sense of that proposition! An Arian, a papist, or a Deist, may with a good conscience, and, without any equivocation, subscribe those very articles, which, literally and grammatically, conclude point blank against Arianism, popery, and Deism!

[[@Page:23]] That learned and able divine, Dr. Edwards of Cambridge, published, in the life time of bishop Burnet, some strictures on that prelate's way of treating the articles. “I can by no means,” says he, “approve of this learned prelate's extravagant attempt, when he takes a great deal of pains to persuade his readers, that these thirty-nine articles, or most of them, are so dark and ambiguous, that the true sense of them is not to be found out: and therefore that we may make what construction of them we please. Surely, his lordship's memory is none of the best: any man must needs think that he had forgot what he had asserted and given as his judgment, namely, That these are articles of downright belief, and therefore must not be dallied and played with. It is such a strange perverting of the articles, as cannot but raise admiration in indifferent persons, and such as are not led by prejudice. For, 1st, This new-found exposition fosters dissimulation. It seems to teach our clergymen to equivocate. For, though the learned and reverend author acknowledges, once and again, that the compilers of those articles were Calvinistically disposed, and accordingly formed some of the articles so as they arc to he understood in favour of Calvin's opinions; yet he proposes them to the clergy, to be taken in an ambiguous sense. They are taught, in the whole, to trim; to turn about as they please; to dissemble with God and man; to subscribe to that which they know most assuredly, is, in the plain meaning of it, against their persuasion. Therefore I say that this new-coined explication of the articles, is inconsistent with the integrity of our church, and the sincerity of its ministers who are to subscribe to them. It will be hard to reconcile this with the doing it with a good conscience, as is required in the 5th canon; and ex animo, and avoiding ail ambiguities, as the 36th canon enjoins. [2.] After this rate, it can never he known, from our [[@Page:24]] professions and subscriptions, what our mind is, what our belief and sentiments are. Though we openly acknowledge, under our hands, such doctrines to be agreeable to God's word; yet we may not think one article of them to be true: yea, we may think and profess the quite contrary. And of this our author [Burnet] gives us an instance in himself: telling us [in his preface, to the Expos, of the Art.] that in the point of predestination, he follows the Greek church, from which St. Austin departed, and formed a new system: and yet he publicly declares, that our church's article of predestination may be interpreted and understood in favour of the Calvinists, who follow St. Augustin. I remember this learned writer, in the account he gives us of his travels, makes this reflection on Geneva, that there is want of sincerity there. May we not, from what has been represented under this particular, fear, that there is the same want somewhere else?” [Veritas Red. p. 521, 522.]

But I return to Doctor Nowell. Another part of your address to the author of Pietas Oxoniensis runs thus: “Supposing that they and we,” namely, the Arminians of past and present times, “are mistaken, in the sense we put upon our articles; yet, surely, unless you can see cur hearts, you cannot censure us for subscribing to what wo believe not a word of.” You do well, sir, to suppose yourself and your Arminian friends mistaken. I hope, your next step will be, to retract your mistakes. And you have fallen into not a few, in the very paragraph last cited. 1st. You seem to take for granted, that you have a right to put your own sense on the .articles to which you subscribe. But this is by no means the case. Our articles, like the prophecies, are not of private interpretation. You, and I, and every subscriber, are, by express declaration of authority, pinned down to the plain, literal and grammatical meaning of each article. The legislature, duly [[@Page:25]] weighing the importance and solemn nature of ecclesiastical subscription, have taken almost every precaution human wisdom could suggest, or the energy of language furnish, to preclude evasion, and preserve the doctrines of the church inviolate. Let part of the royal declaration, usually prefixed to the articles themselves, and which, having never been revoked, still stands in full force, serve by the way of specimen: “We have upon mature deliberation, and with the advice of so many of our bishops as might conveniently he called together, thought fit to make this declaration following: That the articles of the church of England do contain the true doctrine of the church of England, agreeable to God's word: which we do therefore ratify and confirm, prohibiting the least difference from the said articles;——from which we will not endure any varying or departing in the least degree:—And that no man hereafter, shall either print or preach, to draw the article aside any way, but shall submit to it in the plain and full meaning thereof; and shall not put his own sense, or comment, to he the meaning of the article, but shall take it in the literal and grammatical sense.” Hence it is as evident, as demonstration can snake it, that Calvinists are the only fair subscribers; and that Arminians, as such, are virtually excluded from subscription: because, the articles are to be subscribed, not with qualifying glosses, diluting comments, tacit limitations, and mental exceptions (for this would defeat the very end for which subscription is required:) but we are to subscribe, as every subscriber professes to do, ex animo; with unfeigned assent and consent; without drawing aside the articles any way, or varying or departing from them in the least degree: moreover, without putting the subscriber's own sense on what lie subscribes unto, but  honestly and bona fide, taking the articles in their literal and grammatical meaning, simply as they stand.

[[@Page:26]] 2dly, You would insinuate, that we cannot charge the Arminians with subscribing to what they do not believe, “except we could look into their hearts.” But there is no occasion for our looking quite so deep as that: since, out of the abundance of their hearts, their hands write and their mouths speak. I think, that I myself, without pretending to dive into hearts, may form a judgment, for instance, of Dr. Nowell and his subscriptions. You, sir, have subscribed to our articles and homilies, over and over again. These articles and homilies are [11] Calvinistic: and you are a professed Arminian. Either, therefore, you was not an Arminian when you subscribed; or you subscribed to what you disbelieved. And, by the same rule that we form an estimate of you, we are qualified to judge of others of your sect.

3dly, I discern not a little chicanery in the latter clause of your paragraph; “you cannot censure us for subscribing to what we believe not a word of.” This is brought in, by way of a trap-door, to escape at, in case you should happen to be hard pressed. You may believe a word, and many words, even in the 17th article itself; without believing the substance of the article, or assenting to the doctrine it asserts. There are not a few detached words, even in the decrees of Trent, to which any protestant in the world might safely testify his assent: and yet no [[@Page:27]] truly conscientious protestant would look upon that as a sufficient warrant for setting his hand to those execrable decisions. And by parity of argument, I greatly question, whether any truly honest and conscientious Arminian would venture to rest upon this, as a plea for subscription, “though I abhor, detest, and abjure, as impious and Calvinistical, the doctrines contained in the 10th, 11th, and 17th articles of the church of England; yet as a subscriber to those articles, I make myself easy, because I cannot say, that I believe not a word in them; for there are some words, here and there interspersed, which are of innocent tendency: and for the sake of these, I have swallowed the whole.” Instead of shifting, and mincing, and trimming, in this despicable manner, would it not be more to the credit of such clergymen as are Arminians, to make a push for an alteration, and boldly cry out, with the monthly reviewers, “Our established doctrines are not such as might be wished, and ought to he re-modelled?Let them act like men of courage and principle; and, instead of doubling and winding, and putting our articles on the rack, “to find out meanings never meant,” say of them, and of the 17th in particular (as archbishop Tillotson did of the Athanasian Creed), “I heartily wish we were well rid of it.” This would be treading in the steps of their elder brethren, the Dutch Arminians; and would make them remonstrants in act, as well as in principles. It would not, indeed, vindicate them from the glaring dishonesty of solemnly subscribing to articles thus professedly disbelieved: but it would save them the ridiculous and fruitless trouble of endeavouring to twist and torture Calvinistic articles into a sense they are incapable of bearing. The reverend and dignified author of the Confessional, is a saint, when set in competition with such divines as would put out our eyes, by daring to tell us that the 10th article does not overturn free-will; that the 11th does [[@Page:28]] not assert justification by faith only; and that the 17th does not teach everlasting, absolute, gratuitous predestination.

How am I grieved to hear such gentlemen, as the writers of the Independent Whig, triumph over us in such strains as these! “At one time, predestination is of high consequence, and made an article of faith, and all free-willers should be banished the land, or locked up in dungeons, like wild beasts; which was the judgments of the bishops, in James the 1st's days[12], concerning the Arminians. At a different season, when preferments ran high on the other side, as in king Charles the Ist's reign, and ever since; Arminianism not only recovers credit but grows modish, and consequently, orthodox: whilst predestination becomes an old fashioned piece of faith, and a sure sign of fanaticism, and yet it continues one of the XXXIX articles; and yet it must not [[@Page:29]] be believed; and yet it must be signed and assented to with a sincere assent.” [Ind. Wh. vol. ii. p. 9.] I am perfectly shocked, that the same writers should have any shadow of ground for addressing some of our body in the following style: “Is there one of you, that conforms to the genuine sense, or even to the words of the articles? Are not those articles Calvinistical? Were they not composed by Calvinists? And are you not now, and have been long, Arrni-nians? And do you not write and preach against [those] who defend predestination, which is one of your own articles? Will you say that articles, will you say that oaths, are to be taken in a sense different from the words, different from the meaning, of those who composed them? If you do, then you maintain that papists, nay, Mahometans, may subscribe our protestant articles, and be still Mahometans and papists: and that Jacobites may take the state oaths, and be still Jacobites. What subscriptions or declarations, or, indeed, what other ties,

can bind men who———subscribe the direct contrary

to what they believe? Subscribe the doctrines of Calvin, yet remain antagonists to Calvin? Is this practice, this solemn assertion of a falsehood, for the honour of religion, or of churchmen? or is it not the direct method to harden men against truth and conscience, and to turn holy things into contempt? yet you still go on to subscribe those articles; still to disbelieve and contradict them.” [Ibid. vol. iii. p. 403, 404.]

Object not, that these quotations are brought from men whose attachment to our church, and indeed to Christianity in general, was liable to suspicion. I grant it was. Yet,

Fas est, et ah hoste doceri.

And truth is truth, let it come from what quarter it will. The question ought not to be, “Were these men our enemies?” but, “Arc these things so?”

[[@Page:30]] If they be, such writers as Dr. Nowell ought to turn their eyes inward, and recollect that themselves are the persons, who give the friends of our excellent church reason to lament, and open the mouths of her enemies to blaspheme.

But, if the expostulations of the independent whig be repudiated, as coining from a suspected quarter; permit me to remind you, sir, of three very remarkable passages, the same in substance with the preceding, though written by persons of your oven principles: I mean Dr. Heylin, bishop Burnet, and Dr. Water-land. The introducing them here, is indeed an anticipation which reverses in some measure, the plan I proposed at first setting out: but as I am on the subject of Arminian subscription, I will dispatch it once for all. Dr. Peter Heylin, who was chaplain to archbishop Laud and king Charles the First, and was both a Laudrean and a Carolite in grain; an author, whom you closely follow, and whose Quinquarticular History seems to have furnished you with a considerable part of that book: you lately offered to the public, does, in that very history, Arminian as he was, express himself thus: “The composers of the articles of the church of England had not so little in them of the dove, or so much of the serpent, as to make the articles of the church like an upright shoe, which may be worn on either foot; or like to Theramenes' shoe, as the adage hath it, fit for the foot of every man that was pleased to wear it. And therefore we may say, of our first reformers, in reference to the present book of articles, that those reverend and learned men intended not to deceive any, by ambiguous terms. The first reformers did not so compose the articles, as to leave any liberty to dissenting judgments; but did bind men to the literal and grammatical sense: they had not otherwise attained to the end they aimed at, which was ad tollendam opinionuin dissentionem, et consensuin in vera [[@Page:31]] religione firmandum: i. e. To take away diversity of opinions, and to establish an agreement in the true religion. Which end could never be effected, if men were left unto the liberty of dissenting, or might have leave to put their own sense upon the articles, as they list themselves. For, where there is a purpose of permitting men to their own opinions, there is no need of definitions and determinations in a national church: no more than is of making laws to bind the subjects in an unsettled commonwealth, with an intent to leave them in their former liberty, either of keeping or not keeping them, as themselves best pleased.” [Hist. Quinq. part ii. chap. 8. sect. 12.] Bishop Burnet's testimony is as follows: “I come, in the next place, to consider what the clergy are bound to by their subscriptions. The meaning of every subscription is to be taken from the design of the imposer, and from the words of the subscription itself. The title of the articles, bears, that they were ‘agreed upon in convocation, for the avoiding of diversities of opinions, and for the stablishing consent touching true religion.' Where it is evident, that a consent in opinion is designed. If we, in the next place, consider the declaration that the church has made in the canons, that though, by the fifth canon, which relates to the whole body of the people, such only arc declared to be excommunicated ipso facto, who shall affirm any of the articles to be erroneous, or such as he may not with a good conscience subscribe to; yet the thirty-sixth canon is express for the clergy, requiring them to subscribe willingly and ex animo, and acknowledge all and every article to be agreeable to the word of God: upon which canon it is, that the form of the subscription runs in those words; which seem expressly to declare a man's own opinion, and not a bare consent to an article of peace, or an engagement to silence and submission. The statute of the 18th of queen Elizabeth, cap. 12. which gives the legal [[@Page:32]] authority to our requiring subscriptions in order to a man's being capable of a benefice; requires, that every clergyman should read the articles in the church, and that with a declaration of his unfeigned assent to them. These things make it appear very plain, that the subscriptions of the clergy, must be considered as a declaration of their own opinion, and not as a bare obligation to silence.” [Introd. to Exp. of the Art. p. 9.]

Dr. Waterland shall close the rear. In his Preface to his First Defence of some Queries, page 4th, he informs his readers, that Dr. Clarke had lately published a second edition of his scripture doctrine of the Trinity; on which Waterland has this remark: “One thing I must observe for the Doctor [Clarke's] honour, that, in his new edition, he has loft out these words of his former introduction. ‘It is plain, that every person may reasonably agree to such forms, whenever he can, in any sense at all, reconcile them with scripture.' I hope, none hereafter will pretend to make use of the Doctor's authority, for subscribing to forms which they believe not according to the true and proper sense of the words, and the known intent of the imposers and compilers. Such prevarication is in itself a bad thing, and would, in time, have a very ill influence on the morals of a nation[13]. If either state oaths on one hand, or church subscriptions on the other, once come to be made light of, and subtiltics be invented to defend or palliate such gross insincerity, we may bid farewel to principles, and religion will he little else but disguised atheism.”— Awful, pertinent, striking words! Happy would it have been, had Heylin, Burnet, and Waterland but  stood throughout to their own principles! Instead of which, each of the learned triumvirate openly [[@Page:33]] disavowed, in his own practice, upon some certain occasions, what he had so solidly established with his pen. But though these great men, whenever the Calvinistic doctrines of the church came in their way, turned themselves back, like Ephraim, and were as frightened at Calvin's positions (though subscribed to by themselves) as they could have been at his apparition; thus, Penelope like, unraveling the very web they had taken such pains to weave; yet their remarks themselves are not the less true. The plain case was this: when these persons had to deal with an antagonist who happened to espouse any particular opinion that did not tally with their own, they presently knocked him down with the authority of the church articles: but when this same authority was, in other particulars urged against themselves; they paid no more regard to articles and subscriptions, than other people. Like some tyrants, of whom it is recorded, that they would allow none but themselves to trample on the laws with impunity; or like the man who could, upon occasion, drub his wife soundly, but would suffer nobody else to lift a finger against her[14].         

Only admit the three preceding citations to be just, reasonable and true, and the consequence is undeniable: namely, That Arminian subscription is absolutely unjustifiable, Arminians themselves being judges. Were the same insincerity and prevarications allowed of, in the secular affairs of common life, which too often obtain in religious transactions, all social connections would quickly be at end, and every band, by which mankind are tied to each other, must vanish as a wreath of smoke.


[[@Page:34]] It is impossible, on this occasion, not to recollect the stigma of infamy, universally, and deservedly, fastened on Eusebius of Nicoinede, for subscribing the Nicene Creed, whilst he disbelieved it in his heart: and on Arius himself, for presenting a sham confession of his faith to the emperor Constantino, and ratifying it with Ins oath; when, at the same time, he really meant no such thing, but endeavoured to patch up matters with conscience, by mentally referring the oath he had taken, not to the declaration he had just made, but to a summary of his opinions, previously written, and which he had then privately about him, concealed in his clothes. I would not be misunderstood, as if I meant to put all Arminians on a par with Arians: I only draw the parallel, or rather point out the similitude, so far as prevaricating subscriptions and false declarations of assent arc concerned.

In the process of your answer to the author of Pietas Oxoniensis, you would fain press those two venerable prelates and martyrs, Cramner and Ridley, into the service of Arminius: and, to prove your point, very pompously refer us, page 71, to a motley, ungainly volume, published 1.51-3, by order of Henry VIII. and entitled, “The necessary Erudition of a Christian Man.” Since you think fit, sir, to lay such mighty stress on this mongrel production, I will enlarge a little, in giving some account of it: only premising, that it had been for the credit both of yourself and of your tenets, had you let this popish boo]-, wholly alone. You introduce it thus: “Wind their opinions were,” i. e. the opinions of Cranmer and Ridley, “with regard to the doctrines of free-agency, &c. may be seen in the hook called Pia et Catholica Institutio, or Erudition of a Christian Man, published 1513, by the king's authority, and authorized by the bishops, with archbishop Cranmer at the head of them.” The exact title of your favourite book was this: “A necessary Doctrine and [[@Page:35]] Erudition for any Christen Man, set furthe by the Kynge's Majestie of England, &c. London. By Thomas Barthelet, 1543.[15]” Henry was vehemently bent on the publication of this work; and even took the pains to correct it throughout, while in manuscript, with his own hand. No wonder, therefore, that a prince of Henry's self-opinion, and known attachment to the doctrinal parts of popery (which continued with him to the last), should suffer little or nothing to stand in it, but what comported with his own notions. These (his own notions), however crude, ridiculous and irrational, he was ever resolved, by fair means or foul, to ram down the throats of all his subjects. Witness the unheard of execution of protestants and papists, in one and the same day: the-former for not being papists, in matters of doctrine; the latter, for being papists in the article of the pope's supremacy. The book, which you so devotedly admire, and to which you so often appeal, very much resembles that promiscuous execution: being such a jumble of errors and contradictions, as was perhaps never before obtruded on a nation. It should be remembered, that the statute of the six articles (passed into a law four years before, and not repealed until the first year of the following reign) was in full force, at the very time [16] of this [[@Page:36]] publication; therefore it need not seem strange, that this book, whose authority you so greatly magnify, and on whose contents (sorry am I for it) you set so high a value, should harmonize with those detestable and bloody articles in the doctrine of transubstantiation and other points relative to the mass. It also gives a paraphrase on the Ave Maria; admits of burning incense to images, and of kneeling before them; asserts the mediation of departed saints in behalf of the living, and that we may lawfully pray to them for an interest in their intercession; that the sacraments are seven in number; and that the fourth commandment, respecting the observation of the sabbath, was purely ceremonial; that it is charitable and commendable to pray for the dead: with much more of the same popish trumpery. All these particulars show, how little hand Cranmer and Ridley had, in composing this book. And, if the book itself can be seriously thought, by you, or by any reasonable man, really to contain the genuine sentiments of our reformers; it must be owned, that such a reformation left popery much as it found it, and that the reformers themselves wanted reforming. Good God! what shall we come to at last! A protestant; a protestant divine; a protestant divine of the church of England; dares, in the face of the sun, to rake into the sink of an antiquated popish book, in order to throw up mud, with which to spatter the doctrines of that reformed church whose bread he eats, and whose raiment ho wears! Rather than not carry his point, he who lives on the banks of the Isis, is not ashamed to dip his pen in the Tiber! But, at all events, Delenda est Carthago: down with Geneva; though Rome itself flourish on its ruins.

[[@Page:37]] Think' not, sir, that I am too warm. I only, as a protestant, and as a churchman, feel a becoming indignation at this part of your conduct: an indignation, which candour warrants, and justice demands.

“On such a theme it were impious to be calm.”

Surely, on a review, and at your cooler moments of recollection, you will blush, that you should ever have attempted to subvert protestant doctrines, by arguments borrowed from Home! you will, for decency's sake, forhear, in future, to call in such an ally, to your assistance, as the Pia et Catholica Institutio!

However, from this arsenal, you have at present thought proper (I hope, for the last time) to fetch some of your weapons; which you brandish, in ([notations, more than once, for whole pages together. Nor are your quotations altogether foreign to the purpose. But, supposing them to be ever so peremptory against the Calvinistic doctrines of your church and mine; whether it he for the honour of the Arminian notions, to be propped up by citations taken from such a treatise, drawn up by such bishops as then generally filled the bench, revised by such a king as then occupied the throne, and published at such a period of Anti-christian darkness; must be submitted to your consideration, and that of my other protestant readers.

Nevertheless, bad as the hook is, there are some things in it, particularly under the head of free-will, which you prudently forbore to quote; conscious, that they look a little like Calvinism. These, for my own part, I disdain to cite. The ark of protestant truth needs no such leprous hands, no such rotten props, for its support. The doctrinal articles of our own truly evangelical church, happily established since, neither want assistance from so corrupt a quarter; nor can suffer the least detriment from [[@Page:38]] the despicable, feeble, inconsistent cavils of a popish medley, in which the print of Gardiner's cloven foot appears throughout. I will only observe farther, that the then Pelagian, now (since the starting up of Pelagius the second, I mean James Van Harmin, about fifty years after the publishing of the book in question) Arminian doctrines, are, most of them, to be found in that wretched piece: such as these, that justifying faith includes obedience to all the law of God; that the scriptures say nothing in favour of personal assurance, or from whence it may be gathered that men may in this life be certain of their election, much less of their perseverance in grace to the end; that the divine promises, respecting grace and salvation, are suspended on conditions of man's performing; that there is a double justification, primary and final; that though we are justified by works, yet that very justification is, in some sense, by grace, because good works are clone by God's assistance; that works, done by justified persons, are meritorious towards the attainment of life eternal: and such like.[17] “With which I take my leave of this contemptible, unprotestant performance.

You have just been dabbling in muddy water; but now the stream

“Works itself clear, and, as it runs, refines:

Your next appeal [18] being to the Reformatio legum ecclesiasticarum; a protestant codex, drawn up in the protestant reign of Edward VI. But from hence, as if you liked neither the book, nor the reign in which it was written, you bring only two short quotations; and those not very happily chosen: for [[@Page:39]] neither of them clashes with the doctrines of election and final perseverance, but  on the contrary, by evident implication, plainly suppose them to be true. The first passage you render thus: “Wherefore all are to be admonished hy us, that, in their undertakings and actions, they are not to refer themselves to the decrees of predestination; since, in the holy scriptures, wo see promises to good actions, and threats to bad ones, proposed in general terms.” This visibly implies, that there are, in fact, decrees of predestination; but  that these decrees, being unknown to us, cannot for that very reason, he the rule by which men are to square their actions and undertakings. What Calvinist ever denied this? I never knew one that did. We all hold, that God's revealed, not his secret will, is the rule of human action: and that we, are not to descend from the decree to events; hut, on the contrary, should ascend from events, to the decree[19]. God's hidden will of determination is and can be the rule of his own conduct only, because he only is acquainted with his own purposes in their full extent: but the grand, unerring chart of direction to men, and on which they should constantly fix their eyes, is God's declared will of command, set forth in the written word. So our church determines, article seventeenth, “In our doings, that will of God is to be followed, which we have expressly declared unto us in the word of God.”

It is equally true, that, “In the holy scriptures, we see promises To good actions, and threats to had ones, proposed in general terms:” i. e. It is declared in scripture, that such and such causes shall generally be productive of such and such effects. Which is a proposition, not only granted, but insisted upon, by myself and by every Calvinist I ever [[@Page:40]] yet read or met with. So much, sir, for your first citation. I go on to the other: “Etiam illi de justificatis perversè sentiunt, qui credunt illos, postquam justi simul facti sunt, in peccatum non posse incidere aut si fortè quicquam eorum faciunt, quæ Dei legibus prohibentur, ea Deum pro peccatis non accipere.” I have given the Latin, that my readers may judge of your translation, which runs thus: “They form very perverse notions of the justified, who believe, that, after they are once made just, they cannot fall into sin: or if, by chance, they should do any thing prohibited by the laws of God, that God does not impute it as sin.” On reading this, I instantly turned to the table of errata, at the end of your pamphlet; but found no correction. What, sir! does accipio properly signify to impute and charge a thing home? Surely both the genius of the Latin tongue, and the sense of the passage under consideration, require us to render accipcre, in this place, by regard, consider, or look upon. The whole paragraph stands thus: “They judge very mistakenly of justified persons, who believe that such cannot fall into sin, after they arc once made just: or, if they should happen to commit any of those things which are forbidden by God's law, that God does not look upon those things as sins.” To talk (as you would fain make the passage do) of God's actually imputing sin to justified persons, would be a contradiction in terms: since the negative part of justification itself lies, essentially, in the non-imputation of any sin whatever, Psalm xxxii. 1, 2. And the man, to whom any one sin is imputed by God, is and must be, ipso facto, an unjustified person. All then that can be inferred from the passage, is, 1. That justified men are not impeccable; the doctrine of sinless perfection in this life, even after grace received, being false, fanatical, and presumptuous. 2. That, consequently, even justified persons may, and too frequently do, fall into sin: and, 3. That, whenever they do so, God, whose [[@Page:41]] judgment is necessarily according to truth, considers such falling as sinful; sin being sin, as much when committed by a child of God, as when committed by any other: the state of the offending person not being able to reverse the nature of things. Nay, sin is, if possible, more exceeding sinful in a regenerate man, than if he was not so. But what has all this to do with your novel, Arminian doctrine of totally and finally falling from grace? It rather makes for the opposite doctrine of final perseverance: since the “reformatio legum,” by only declaring that the justified may fall into sin (which nobody denies, but enthusiasts) and that sin is sin, let who will commit it (which every man in his senses allows); Cranmer and his brother-commissioners, by going no farther, but letting the matter rest here, tacitly set their seal to the “perpetuity of a regenerate man's estate:” according to the known axiom, that exceptio probat regulam in non exceptis.

With regard to what you advance from Latimer, [page 7-5], from Hooper [page 76], and from Ridley, [page 78], it helps not your cause a jot. I had, in my rough draught of these papers, prepared a vindication of these venerable prelates and reformers from the slander of Arminianism, which you have so unjustly laboured to fasten upon them; together with a refutation of the forced, unnatural inferences, deduced by you from the few mangled citations you bring. I find, however, that the insertion of this would swell the present publication beyond the size I intend; and shall therefore postpone submitting that part of my work to the world, until I sec whether you still have the hardiness to persist in charging those protestant worthies with opinions they detested. If I might take the liberty of advising you, I would recommend to you at least silence upon that head, in time to come. I am clear, that you endeavoured to cull out the most unguarded passages you could, from the writings of the above excellent [[@Page:42]] men: in order, if possible, to set a grace upon your new doctrines, by the sanction of their venerable names. In doing this, you have no more than followed the precedent set you by Dr. Peter Heylin[20], [[@Page:43]] an absolute creature of archbishop Laud, and an obsequious tool in the persecuting; hand of arbitrary power. His Quinquarticular History is the most [[@Page:44]] laboured effort, ever yet made, to farther Arminianism on the church of England: but all his [[@Page:45]] attempts are like throwing straw against a fort, or playing water against a rock. The Calvinism, both of our reformers, and of our church, stands unimpeached, for any thing that either yon, sir, or your Heylin, have proved to the contrary. However, supposing (not granting) that you even had so far made good your point, as to have evinced that some of our reformers were not altogether such consistent Calvinists, as yet their works prove them to have been; still this argument would not have been decisive. Not the sermons and private writings even of our reformers themselves, are to be taken for authentic tests of our established doctrines as a church: but  those stubborn things, called articles and homilies, which have received the sanction of law, and the stamp of public authority. These stubborn things (for such they are) still remain, blessed be God, to stare some certain folks in the face, and to demonstrate the glaring apostasy of such as say they are Jews, and are not, but  are found liars. To these stubborn things we are to appeal: by these every subscriber is bound, and from these our doctrines must be learnt.

Before we quit the reign of king Edward, I must advert to what you deliver (page 89), concerning bishop Ponet's catechism: which you find yourself under the necessity of confessing to have been “set [[@Page:46]] forth by the command of king Edward VI.” This Dr. Ponet, or rather Poynct, was in 1550, translated from the see of Rochester, to Winchester, upon the deprivation of that ecclesiastical butcher, Stephen Gardiner. In the year 1553 came out, cum privilegio, two editions, one in Latin, the other in English, of this excellent prelate's catechism: in which form of sound words (clearly exhibiting the sense both of the church and legislature), those doctrines, which you have presumed to brand for Calvinistie and Methodistical, arc asserted, explained, and enforced. You indeed tell us, that “the free-agency of man is not there denied.” The word free-agency is not mentioned: but the thing is denied peremptorily, in the Arrninian sense of it: for thus runs part of the catechism: “From the same spirit also cometh our sanctifiea-tiori, the love of God and of our neighbour, justice and uprightness of life. Finally, to say all in summe, whatever is in us, or may be done of us, honest, true, pure, and good; that altogether springeth out of this most pleasant rock, from this most plenteous fountain, the goodness, love, choice and unchangeable purpose of God: he is the cause; the rest are the fruits and effects.” You add, that, in this catechism “universal redemption is not denied.” Nor is the baptism of bells. Were we to go by your negative rule of interpretation, there would be no end to chicanery, absurdities, and mistakes. Tins I know, and this you know, if you ever cast your eye on the performance now under consideration, that, in it, eternal, personal, gratuitous and irreversible election is asserted: from whence a limited redemption necessarily follows: unless you will suppose, that, in the judgment of the church, the will of God the Father, and the will of God the Redeemer, were discordant; and that the latter exceeded his commission, by dying for more than the former gave him in charge to save. But, on the contrary, the catechism before us evidently restrains [[@Page:47]] redemption to the elect of God (whether rightly, or wrongly, is not the present question: I am only proving a fact), who are thus described: “Immortality and blessed life God hath provided for his chosen, before the foundations of the world were laid.” And again, that, through the alone benefit of Christ's sacrifice and cross, “All the sins of all believers, from the beginning of the world, are pardoned, by the sole mercy of God.” The grace by which men are made true believers, and which is the very root of all real sanctification, is farther represented as the special gift and work of the Holy Ghost: “The Holy Ghost is called holy, not only for his own holiness, but  because the elect of God and the members of Christ are made holy by him.” Now, if they only, who should believe, were redeemed by Christ's sacrifice; and if their belief itself he a part of that sanctification which is wrought by the Holy Ghost; and if this sanctification is peculiar to the elect of God; then, according to this catechism, only the elect of God were redeemed by Christ. ———You tell us, moreover, referring to this valuable monument of good old church-doctrine, “Nor is the indefectibility of the elect asserted.” Indeed but it is, in terms tantamount. The witnessing spirit of Christ, in the hearts of those who are there styled “The fore-chosen, predestinate, and appointed to everlasting life before the world was made,” is expressly termed the “author, earnest, and unfailable pledge of their faith.” But, was that faith either totally or finally amissible, the pledge, by which it is ascertained, could not he called unfailable: for, that faith itself must necessarily he unfailable, which has an unfailable pledge. Besides, God the holy Spirit could not, with any sort of truth or propriety, he the earnest of their inheritance, if the inheritance itself was precarious, and suspended on conditions, of uncertain performance. An earnest is actually a part of payment, and so much of the inheritance advanced beforehand, and which [[@Page:48]] ensures the remainder: otherwise, it would be no earnest at all. An argument, in favour of the saint's final perseverance, which I defy all the excuti-fidians in the world (as bishop Hall, no less justly, than smartly, terms them) to answer.

You say too little, when you tell us, that this catechism “speaks in pretty high terms of election and predestination.” It speaks of those doctrines in terms the highest and the strongest: as also of original sin; the utter impotence of man's will, by nature, in spiritual things; the eternity and immutability of God's decrees; the absolute freeness of justification; and the efficaciousness of divine grace, by which (as the very words are) “we are made to do those good works, which God had appointed for us to walk in.” I shall only add one or two very remarkable particulars, concerning this excellent catechism. 1. It was published the very next year after the framing and setting forth our church articles; and therefore may he considered as a pro fessed explication and enlargement of them. 2. I have good reason to believe, that, during the short remainder of king Edward's reign, it was usually prefixed to and bound up with those articles. 3. It was prefaced by the king himself, with an authoritative epistle of recommendation, strictly enjoining and commanding, “All schoolmasters whatsoever with in his dominions, as they did reverence his authority, and would avoid his royal displeasure, to teach this catechism, diligently and carefully, in all and every their schools, that so the youth of the kingdom might be settled in the grounds of true religion, and furthered in God's worship.” ————I think, it is sufficiently plain, that Arminianism had no footing in the church of England, while headed by our English Josiah. Which, I presume, was the chief reason that made your beloved Peter Heylin impudently term this excellent young monarch (the first protestant king we ever had) ill principled.[[@Page:49]] Come we now to the reign of queen Elizabeth. Under this great princess, the church of England raised its head again, and matters went happily on in the old protestant Calvinistic channel. Of this, many and ample proofs might be given. J shall offer a very decisive one, upon the authority of the worthy and laborious Mr, Strype: an historian, whose attachment to our church was indisputable, and whose faithfulness in relating facts, even when those facts make against his own favourite opinions (for he appears to have been an Arminian), is equally remarkable and praise-worthy. “We are to know,” says this respectable annalist, “that, among those who now professed the gospel, there were considerable numbers, differing from the rest, that followed some foreign divines, of great name, in the point of predestination; denying the doctrine of God's being any cause of the sins of men, and thereby of their damnation. One of these was Thomas Talbot, parson of St. Mary Magdalen, Milk-street, London. Those of this persuasion were mightily cried out against, by the other, as Frce-willers, Pelagians, Papists, Anabaptists, and the like: but they took their opportunity to address the bishops; plainly declaring their opinions, and their sufferings, as well as others, for the gospel; and desiring therefore the favour of some act of parliament, to enjoy the liberty of their consciences, without restraint or punishment (which some threatened), as others of the queen's protestant subjects did. “I meet” [adds Mr. Strype] “with such a petition to the church, the exact time whereof does not appear: but it being evident, it was near the beginning of the queen's reign, and while a parliament was sitting, I venture to place it here” [i. e. under the year 1,402, the very year that our articles of religion were revised and re-established, as we now have them.] The petition, says Mr. Strype, “was exhibited by the foresaid Talbot.” After which, lie gives the petition itself, at full length (see Strypo's Annals of the first twelve years of Q. [[@Page:50]] Eliz. chap, xxviii. p. £93—296). The petition represents, that the grand point, wherein the petitioners differed from the other protestants, was their holding “that God does foreknow, and predestinate all good and goodness, but doth only foreknow, and not predestinate any evil, wickedness, or sin, in any behalf.” For thus thinking, they complained, that they were “Esteemed and taken of their brethren the protestants, for fautors of false religion; and are constrained hitherto, to sustain at their hands daily, the shameful reproach and infamy of Free-will-men, Pelagians, Papists, Epicures, Anabaptists, and enemies to God's holy predestination and providence; with other such like, opprobrious words; and threatenings of such like, or as great punishments and corrections, as upon any of the aforesaid errors and sects is meet and due to be executed.”—Then the petitioners entreat, that they may enjoy their opinion, of God's not being the predestinator of evil, “Without any prejudice or suspicion, to be had towards them, of the opprobrious infamy of such heretical names above-named:” And, that none of these corrections, punishments, and executions, which the clergy hath in their authority already, and hereafter, by the authority of this present parliament, from henceforth shall have in their authority, to exercise upon any of the aforesaid errors and sects, or any other; shall in no wise extend to be executed upon any manner of person or persons, as do hold of predestination as is above declared: except it be duly proved, that the same person or persons, do, by their express words or writings, affirm or maintain that man, of his own natural power, is able to think, will, or work, of himself, any thing that should in any case, help or serve towards his own salvation, or any part thereof. From all which, I conclude as follows: 1. That, on the accession of one-en Elizabeth, the church of England was re-established upon the old Calvinistic bottom, on which king Edward had left it. 2. That [[@Page:51]] our protestant bishops and clergy were then more highly Calvinistic, than perhaps the scriptures will warrant: as holding, that God was the author both of man's sin and damnation. 3. That nevertheless, those persons, who did not hold this, were looked upon as differing from the rest of our protestant churchmen. 4. That our English divines did, in genera], carry their notions of God's decrees to this great length: parson Talbot and his followers being expressly said to have imbibed their qualified notions of predestination from foreign divines. That part, therefore, of the present fashionable system, which would exempt moral and penal evil from falling under God's decree, is not of English, but of foreign growth. 5. Those who held this opinion, of God's not being any cause of sin and damnation, were, at that time, mightily cried out against, by the main body of our reformed church, as fautors of false religion. G. That Free-will-men, were ranked among Pelagians, Papists, Epicures, Anabaptists, and the enemies to God's holy predestination and providence. 7. That to be called a Free-will-man, was looked upon as a shameful reproach and opprobrious infamy: yea, that a person, so termed, was deemed heretical, and that the doctrine and abettors of freewill, were numbered among those errors and sects, which called for the correction of the civil magistrate. 8. That the opposers of predestination were then a good deal more modest, than they are at present. The parson of Milk-street, who was agent for the rest, only requested an act of toleration, for himself and his brethren: which demonstrated a consciousness of their differing from the church established. 9. As those sort of people were then more modest, so they were much more orthodox, than the modern Arminians. The semi-pelagians of queen Elizabeth's reign, were, as we have seen, very ready to consent, that any ecclesiastical or civil penalty should be levied on those who should, “By [[@Page:52]] their express words, or writings, affirm, and maintain, that man, of his own natural power, is able to think, will, or work of himself, any thing that should in any case help or serve towards his own salvation; or any part thereof.” Where is the Ar-minian now, who would make such a concession as this? Nay, Where is now the Anninian, who does not stilly maintain the very reverse? From whence I infer, that our new anti-Calvinists are as much degenerated from their forefathers; as those forefathers degenerated from the purity of the protestant faith in general, and from that of our own national church in particular.

Every man, who has eyes to read, must see, that, at the restoration of the church of England, under queen Elizabeth, the church was Calvinistic, as to doctrinals. Else, where had been either the necessity, or the propriety, of presenting such a petition as this, craving liberty and indulgence to those, who differed from the heads of the church, only in not believing the absolute predestination of evil? Nothing can be more evident, than the bishops and clergy, to whom that petition was addressed, believed the predestination of all actions and events whatever, evil as well as good; otherwise, the petitioners would never have thought themselves in danger for not believing it.

Page 79, you enter on an academical transaction, of a very different kind from that in which you have been recently concerned. I mean, the expulsion (for such it virtually was) of the reverend Mr. William Barrett, fellow of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, from that university, in the year 1595, for not being a Calvinist. This gentleman, in a sermon, preached at St. Mary's, for his degree of batchelor in divinity, had the courage to deny the doctrines of assurance of salvation; the certainty of a true believer's final perseverance; and the eternity and unconditionalily of reprobation: interlarding [[@Page:53]] his harangue, with fierce invectives against Calvin, Beza, Zanchy, and other great lights of the protestant church. This sermon was preached April 29.[21] On the 5th of May following, Barrett was summoned before the consistory of doctors, where a solemn recantation was enjoined him; which he read publicly, in the same pulpit of St. Mary's, May 10.— For this, you tell us, “We have the authority of that loyal and godly author, Mr. Prynne.” Whether Mr. Prynne was really a godly man, or only such in pretence (which your irony seems to insinuate), must be left to the decision of the Judge who cannot err. But, as to Mr. Prynne's loyalty, suffer me to remind you, sir, that true loyalty extends to one's country, as well as to the prince: and that to oppose tyranny, is no breach of loyalty, but an essential branch of it. Loyalty (as the very word imports) is such an attachment to the king and people, as is founded on the laws: and a hair's breadth beyond law, true loyalty does not go. So allegiance is obedience, ad legem, according to law. Whenever, therefore (as was eminently the case in Mr. Prynne's time), a prince over steps law, loyalty itself obliges a loyal people to say to such a prince, as the Almighty to the sea, “Hitherto shalt thou come, and no further[22].”—With regard to the authority of Mr. Prynne's anti-Arminianism, the treatise wherein Barrett's recantation of his Arminian errors is recorded, please to remember, that the treatise was published, little more than thirty years after the [[@Page:54]] affair happened: and, had a tittle of Mr. Prynne's account been untrue, there were enough living, who both remembered the fact, and could very easily have refuted our loyal and godly author[23].—However, the matter is very far from depending entirely on Mr. Prynne's testimony. He refers his reader [anti-Arm. p. 66.] to bishop Carlton's “Examination of Montague's Appeal;” and to Brown's Appendix to the “Life of Queen Elizabeth.” He moreover gives us the recantation, in Latin, as it was delivered; transcribed from the original copy, in Barrett's own hand writing; which Latin copy, he tells us, differs from his English translation of it, only in this one respect; namely, that so much of our 17th article, as relates immediately to predestination, and is but mentioned in the English, was inserted in Barrett's own copy, and recited by him at full length, when he was forced to unravel his web at St. Mary's.—The industrious Mr. Fuller, in his History of Cambridge, gives the same account, in all material points, with Mr. Prynne, of Barrett's recantation; which having set down at large, he thus concludes: “This recantation was, by the doctors, peremptorily enjoined him; that on the Saturday following, immediately after the clerum, he should go up into the pulpit of St. Mary's (where he had published these errors), and there openly, and in the face of the university, read and make this recantation; which by him was done accordingly, but not with that remorse and humility, as was expected: for, after the reading thereof, he concluded thus, hæc dixi; as if all had been oral, rather than cordial[24]. Yea, soon after, he departed the university; got beyond sea; turned papist; returned into England; where he led a layman's life until the day of his death.” [Hist. Cambr. p. 161.] But I have [[@Page:55]] yet another authority to allege. The great and famous Dr. John Edwards, who flourished in the reigns of king William and queen Anne, and was both a member of the university of Cambridge, and one of its brightest ornaments informs us, that there is a manuscript preserved in the library of Trinity college, Cambridge, which puts the certainty of Barrett's recantation beyond all doubt. The doctor's words are; “More of this nature, relating to Mr. Barrett's case, may be seen in that valuable manuscript, which is kept in Trinity college library, which MS. Mr. Strype, in his Life of Whitgift, very often appeals to. And” [adds the doctor] “from this excellent collection, may be confuted that groundless suggestion and conceit of Heylin, in Quinqu. Hist, that Barrett did not recant: for here it is recorded at length; and several copies of his own” [i. e. Barrett's] “Letters, do expressly own as much.” Veritas Redux, p. 535.

For my own part, I cannot say, that I approve the method of obliging any person to make a forced, pretended recantation of what he really believes to be true. It is a very high species of persecution; and calculated, not to work conviction, but to make men hypocrites. Besides, as a writer of the first abilities, observes, “The arbitrary imposition of opinions naturally creates a reluctance to the reception of then]: and as in the collision of bodies, so of minds, the repelling force is equal to that which impels.” But still, the fact proves the university to have been Calvinists in judgment: otherwise, they would never have inflicted censures on one of their own body, purely for broaching Arminian doctrines. Part of the very letter, which you yourself quote (written, on this occasion, by the Cambridge divines, to archbishop Whitgift), renders my assertion indubitable: wherein the university observe to that prelate, that Barrett had advanced untruths “Against the religion of our church, publicly [[@Page:56]] received, and always held in her majesty's reign, and maintained in all sermons, disputations, and lectures.”—I own, sir, it must be peculiarly grating to you, to be confronted with such an academical act as this: but, I suppose, you comfort yourself with

Tempora mutantur, nos et mutamur in illis.

Yet remember, that, though men and fashions may vary, truth does not: and what was church of England doctrine, in queen Elizabeth's reign, is so still. You need not be informed who it is that says, Veritati nemo præscribere potest: non spatia temporum; non patrocinia personarum; non privilegium regionum.”

Next come the celebrated Lambeth articles. These you labour with ail your might to depreciate: and good reason why; because the testimony they bear, to the avowed Calvinism of the prelates, and other eminent clergymen, who agreed upon them, is too glaring and full to the point. I shall give some account of these famous articles, in the words of an historian already referred to, whose signal opportunities of information, and, above all, whose transparent integrity, entitle him to the esteem of all parties. “Now also began some opinions about predestination, free-will, perseverance, &c. much to trouble both the schools and pulpit:” [i. e. in the year 1595.] “whereupon, archbishop Whitgift, out of his Christian care to propagate the truth, and suppress the opposite errors, caused a solemn meeting of many grave and learned divines, at Lambeth: where, besides the archbishop, Richard Bancroft, bishop of Loudon; Richard Vaughan, bishop elect of Bangor; Humphrey Tindal, dean of Ely; doctor Whitaker, queen's professor in Cambridge, and others, were assembled. These, after a serious [[@Page:57]] debate, and mature deliberation, resolved at last, on the now following articles:

“1. Deus, ab reterno pnedestinavit quosclam ad vitam: quosdam reprobavit ad mortem.

God, from eternity, hath predestinated certain men unto life: certain men he hath reprobated unto death.

“2. Causa movens, aut efficiens, prædestinationis ad vitam, non est prsevisio fidei, perseverantire, aut bonorum operiun; aut ullius rei, qiue insitin pcrsonis prædestinatis: sed sola voluntas beneplaciti Dei.

The moving, or efficient cause of predestination unto life, is not the foresight of faith, or of perseverance, or of good works, or of any thing that is in the persons predestinated: but only the good will and pleasure of God.

“3. Prædestinatorum prrefinitus et certus est numerus; qui nee augeri, nee minui potest.

There is pre-determined a certain number of the predestinate, which can neither be augmented, nor diminished.

“4. Qui non sunt prcedestinati ad salutem, necessario, propter peceata sua, damnabuntur.

Those who are not predestinated to salvation, shall necessarily be damned for their sins.

5. Vera, viva, et justiflcans fides, et spiritus De: justifieantis, non extinguitur, non excidit, non evanescit, in electis, aut finaliter, aut totaliter.

A true, living, and justifying faith, and the Spirit of God justifying, is not extinguished, falleth not away, vanisheth not away in the elect, either finally or totally.

“6. Homo verè fidelis, id est, fide justificanle praditus, certus est, plerophoria fidei, de remissione peccatorum suorum, et salute sempiternh sua per Christum.

A man truly faithful, that is, such an one who is endued with justifying faith, is certain with the full assurance of faith, of the remission of his sins, rut? of his everlasting salvation by Christ.

[[@Page:58]] “7. Gratia salutaris non tribuitur, non communicatur, non conceditur universis hominibus, qua servari possint si velint.

Saving grace is not given, is not communicated, is not granted to all men, by which they may be saved if they will.

“8. Nemo potest venire ad Christum, nisi datum ci fuerit, et nisi Pater cum traxcrit: et omncs homines non trahuntur a Patre, ut veniant ad Filium.

No man can come unto Christ, except it shall be given unto him, and unless the Father shall draw him: and all men are not drawn by the Father, that they may come to the Son.

“9. Non est positum in arbitrio, aut potestate unius cujusque hominis servari.

It is not in the will or power of every one to be saved.” Fuller's Church Hist. b. ix. p. 299.

After which, our historian gives us the letter, sent by Dr. Matthew Hutton, archbishop of York, to his brother of Canterbury, testifying his concurrence with, aud approbation of the above articles.

Your grand, fundamental objection, sir, to these articles, is, your hatred of the doctrines they contain. This is the worm, that lies at the root of your exceptions. 1. You tell us, (page S2.) that “They arc no part of our faith.” You should have said, of your own faith. I am sorry for it. I am sure they ought. 2. They were never “Established by any legal authority.” I answer, with Fuller, “That, as medals of gold and silver, though they will not pass in payment for current coin, yet will go with goldsmiths, for as much as they arc in weight; so, though these articles” are not, as that historian observes,-” Provincial acts, yet will they be readily received, of orthodox Christians, as far as their own purity bears conformity to God's word:— and will be taken as witnesses beyond exception; whose testimony is an infallible evidence, what was the general and received doctrine of England, in [[@Page:59]] that age, about the fore-named controversies.” (Fuller, ib. p. 232.) ———3. You add, “They are urged against us by the author of the Confessional.” What if they arc? Does that in the least impair their value? I am only concerned, that any, who now call themselves members of our church, should by deserting her principles, lay themselves open to the scoffs of such authors. ———4. “They gave great of fence, not only in the university, but at court.” Of fence they could not give to the university; except only to a few heterodox individuals, whose innovating tenets were in danger of public suppression, by counter decisions so clear and peremptory.—Whether or no they gave any real offence at court is questionable. But, if they even did, it can be no matter of wonder to those who consider the character of queen Elizabeth, and how tenderly jealous [25] she was of her own supremacy in ecclesiastical matters. The articles had been transmitted to Cam bridge, without her leave: which alone had been enough to displease a monarch of less haughtiness than Elizabeth; who was too much her father's own daughter, and too tenacious of her prerogative, to smile on any measures that had not received the previous sanction of her approbation. For the same reason, that archbishop Whitgift is said to have resented [26] the university proceedings against Barrett (observe he did not resent their condemnation of Barrett's tenets, for of these the archbishop openly avowed his detestation, (see Strype, p. 447-) as much as they; but their presuming to proceed judicially agaiust that innovator, by virtue of their own sole [[@Page:60]] authority and without first consulting with their metropolitan[27]. For the same reason mutatis mutandis), Elizabeth herself resented, if it be true that she did resent, the subsequent proceedings of Whitgift. At all events this is certain, that her extreme affection for that prelate, did not suffer her resentment to proceed far, or to continue long[28]. One Corvinus, a noted Dutch Arminian, in a book of his, published beyond sea, seems to have been at the first who made public mention of the queen's displeasure at this supposed invasion of her prerogative. Concerning the degree of credit due to this foreign writer, who affected to know more of the English affairs, than the English themselves, let us hear the candid and judicious historian last cited: “As for [[@Page:61]] Corvinus, as we know not whence he had this intelligence, so we find no just ground for what he report-eth, [viz.] That archbishop Whitgift, for his pains incurred the queen's displeasure, and a præmunire. We presume this foreigner better acquainted with the imperial law, and local customs of Holland, than with our municipal statutes, and the nature of a præmunire. Indeed, there goes a tradition, that the queen should in merriment, say jesting to the archbishop, ‘My Lord, I now shall want no money; for I am informed, all your goods are forfeited to me, by your calling a council without my consent;' but how much of truth herein, God knows. And be it referred to our learned in the law, whether, without danger of such a censure, the two archbishops, by virtue of their place, bad not an implicit leave from the queen, to assemble divines, for the clearing, declaring, and asserting of difficult truths, provided they innovate or alter nothing in matters of religion.” Fuller, p. 232.[29]

As to lord Burleigh's supposed disapprobation of the articles, I apprehend it is nothing to the purpose, even admitting it to be true[30]. That great person was certainly a very able statesman; but it does not therefore follow that he was a good divine. The famous Mr. Wilkes, is, in the opinion of very many, a passable politician; yet I question whether you yourself (though, like you, he is far enough from being a Calvinist) would venture to pronounce that gentleman a consummate theologist.

In consequence of these articles, approved of at Lambeth, and from thence sent to Cambridge, Peter Baroe, D. D. and Margaret-professor, chose rather to quit the university, than either to relinquish his [[@Page:62]] Arminianism, or profess himself a Calvinist when he was not so. The matter is thus related by Fuller: “The end of Dr. Peter Baroe's triennial lectures began to draw near. Now, though custom had made such courtesy almost become a due, to continue the same professor, where no urgent reasons to the contrary were alleged; yet the university intended not to re-elect him for the place: meaning fairly to cut him off at the just joint (which would be the less pain and shame unto him), when his three years should be expired, lie himself was sensible thereof: and besides, he saw the articles of Lambeth, lately sent to the university, and foresaw, that subscription thereunto should be expected from, yea, imposed on him; to which he could not condescend, and therefore chose to quit his place. So that, Ins departure was not his free act, out of voluntary election; but that whereunto his will was necessarily determined: witness his own return, to a friend enquiring of him the cause of his withdrawing; “Fugio,” said he, “ne fugarer;” I fly for fear of being driven away. Some conceive this, hard measure, to one of Dr. Baroe's qualifications: for, 1. He was a foreigner, a Frenchman: 2. He was a great scholar, &e. Others alleged, that, in such cases of conscience, there lies no plea for courtesy; and that Baroe, as he was a stranger, had brought in strange doctrines, to the infecting the university, the fountain of learning and religion; and therefore archbishop Whitgift designed the removing,” [or, as Dr. Nowell would have termed it, the Amotion] “of him from his place.” [Hist, of Canib. sect. vii. p. 21, 22.].[31]

I shall subjoin the account given by Dr. Edwards, of these celebrated Lambeth articles: who, after [[@Page:63]] setting them down, as I have cited them above, adds: “The archbishop of Canterbury, in the let-tor to the vice-chancellor of the university, when he sent Dr. Tindal and Dr. Whitaker back from Lambeth with these articles, professed that he thought them to be true, and correspondent to the doctrine professed in the church of England, and established by the laws of the land. And again, in his letter to Dr. Nevil, master of Trinity college, he asserts the propositions to be undoubtedly true, and not to be denied of any sound divine. Matthew Hutton, archbishop of York, in the close of his letter to archbishop Whitgift, adds these words, ‘Hæ theses ex sacris literis, vel apertè colligi, vel necessarià consecutione deduci possint, et ex scriptis Augustini.' i.e. These positions may plainly be gathered out of the sacred Scriptures, or by necessary consequence may be deduced out of them and St. Augustine's writings[32]. John [Young], bishop of Rochester, in a letter to the archbishop of Canterbury, allowed of all the articles but one: ‘I am something doubtful,' saith he, ‘of the fourth proposition, because I do not perfectly understand it: for the rest, I have no manner of scruple.' The determination of Dr. Launcelot Andrews, concerning these articles, is also set down in the Trinity college manuscript, whence I had the foregoing informations. He [bishop Andrews] agrees with the archbishop, as to the main; and submits his judgment to the censure of that prelate. There likewise we have Dr. Bisse's opinion of the propositions; wherein he fully gives his suffrage in their behalf, and distinctly sets it down according to the order of the propositions. This, and the other particular testimonies, may be seen in that fore-mentioned manuscript; which is a standing confutation of those false things that are told by Dr. Heylin, concerning the articles of Lambeth: and, [[@Page:64]] particularly, of that calumny, which another of the same genius hath had the confidence to publish to the world, namely, [33] that archbishop Whitgift did not in the least approve of the theses, but yet subscribed to them out of facility and fear of discord[34]. The contrary manifestly appears from that choice collection of papers which I have made use of, and which was compiled hy the archbishop himself, or by his order; so as it may be looked upon as his: which I gather from the manuscript itself; it being bound up in a leather cover, on which are the arms belonging to the archbishop's see. From the whole, we may conclude what was the judgment of the prelates and other divines of the church of England, in queen Elizabeth's time, concerning those high points. Yea, indeed, the conclusion is made to our hand; for the force of truth hath drawn this acknowledgment from one of our chief adversaries, that, in those times, ‘Predestination, and the points depending thereupon, were received as the established doctrines of the church of England:' [Heylin's Life of Laud, p. 51.] And again, ‘The books of Calvin were the rule, by which all men were to square their writings; his only word, like the ipse dixit of Pythagoras, was admitted for the sole canon to which they were to frame and conform their judgments.' He adds, s It was safer for any man in those times, to have been looked upon as a heathen or publican, than an anti-Calvinist[35]: [ibid. p. 52.]” Veritas Redux, p. 537, 538.

It will appear, sir, even to yourself, how greatly mistaken you are, in asserting so confidently, that the Lambeth articles gave offence in the university; when you consider the letter sent by the university, to their chancellor, the lord Burleigh, within four [[@Page:65]] months after those articles had been agreed upon at Lambeth. We have it at length, in Heylin's Quinquarticular History, part iii. chap. xxii. and, I dare believe, this writer has been very careful not to give it in stronger terms than it was written: an historian, of his bigotted complexion, is more likely to have castrated such a monument of Cambridge Calvinism, than added to its vigour. However, in this letter, even as preserved by him, I find the following pas sages: “The peace of this university and church being brought into peril, by the late reviving of new opinions and troublesome controversies among us, hath urged us, in regard of the places we here sustain, not only to be careful for the suppressing the same, to our power; but also to give your lordship further information hereof. About a year past (among divers others, who have attempted to preach new and strange opinions in religion), one Mr. Barrett, more bold than the rest, did preach divers popish errors in St. Mary's; with whose fact and opinions, your lordship was made acquainted by Dr. Some, the deputy vice-chancellor. Hereby offence and division growing; as after, by Dr. Baroe's public lectures and determinations in the schools, contrary to Dr. Whitaker's and the sound received truth ever since her majesty's reign, we sent up to London, by common consent, in November last, Dr. Tyndal and Dr. Whitaker (men especially chosen for that purpose) for conference with my lord of Canterbury, and other principal divines there: that the controversies being examined, and the truth by their consents confirmed; the contrary errors and contentions thereabouts might the rather cease. By whose good travel, with sound consent in truth, such advice and care was taken, by certain propositions” [i. e. the Lambeth articles], “containing certain substantial points of religion taught and received in this university and church, during the time of her majesty's reign, and consented unto, and published by the [[@Page:66]] best approved divines both at home and abroad; for the maintaining of the truth and peace of the church; as thereby we enjoyed here great and comfortable quiet, until Dr. Baroe (in January last, in his sermon ad clerum, in St. Mary's, contrary to restraint and commandment from the vice-chancellor and the heads), by renewing again these opinions, disturbed our peace; whereby his adherents and disciples were and are too much emboldened to maintain false doctrine, to the corrupting and disturbing of this university, and the church, if it be not in time effectually prevented. Now, unless we should be careless of maintaining the truth of religion established, we cannot (being resolved and confirmed in the truth of the long professed and received doctrine) but continue to use all good means, and seek at your lordship's hands some effectual remedy hereof; lest, by permitting passage to these errors, the whole body of popery should, by little and little, break in upon us, to the overthrow of our religion. As we find, by late experience, it hath dangerously began.” Such were the ideas, which the university then entertained, of those Arminian errors, which have since grown so rampant among us[36]!

Presently after giving us the public letter, from whence I have extracted the above passages, this very Heylin has the impudence to call Arminianism, the genuine doctrine of the Church. And yet he dates the rise of this genuine doctrine, from the time he there treats of, viz. the year 1595; and acknowledges, in effect, that Calvinism was the doctrine universally received in our church, until then. His words are, “Such was the condition of affairs at Cambridge, at the expiring of the year 1595; the genuine doctrine of the church” [by which he [[@Page:67]] means Arminianism, propagated by Barrett, Baroe, and Harsnet] “beginning then to break through the clouds of Calvinism, wherewith it was before obscured.” Yet he seems to lament, that Arminianism made so slow a progress at that time; for he adds, that there were some still left of the old predestination leaven.” Strange, that the church of England should be without her genuine doctrines, for the first fifty years after her establishment! I should rather have thought, that the Arminian doctrines, which, by the confession of Heylin himself, did not begin to break through the clouds of Calvinism until the church was half a century old, must, for that very reason, be looked upon as new and adventitious; and that, on the other hand, the old predestination leaven, which met with no considerable opposition until the year 1595, was and must have been the truly genuine doctrine of our English church.

You next advert to the ever memorable synod of Dort, held in the reign of James I. [37], which renowned assembly, and its decisions, have always been as great an eye-sore to Arminians, as ever the council and creed of Nice were to the Arians, or Geneva to his holiness of Rome. That the decrees, past in this synod, are not binding in England, is what I never knew so much as questioned. All that we refer to it for, is, to prove, that our national church was not then Arminianized: as appears from the character and principles of those English clergymen, who, as representatives of the church of England, were sent over to Holland, to assist the foreign churches in the solemn condemnation and proscription of the Arminian doctrines.—This important convention was at Dort, where the synod (composed of the (lower of the reformed churches) was opened, [[@Page:68]] Nov. 13, 1618. Of all the councils that ever sat, since the apostles' days, this was, perhaps, taking every thing into the account, by far the most respectable. Scarce ever, I believe, did the Christian world, before or since, see such a number of evangelical divines, so learned, so pious, so discreet, so candid, assembled together under one roof.——— The English divines, who made so eminent a figure in this synod, and whose orthodoxy, learning, and great abilities reflected so much honour on our church and nation, were, George Carlton, D. D. then lord bishop of Landaff, afterwards of Chichester; Joseph Hall, D. D. then dean of Worcester; afterwards, successively, bishop of Exeter, and Norwich; John Davenant, D. D. then Margaret professor, and master of Queen's College, Cambridge; afterwards bishop of Salisbury; and Samuel Ward, D. D. then master of Sidney College, Cambridge, and archdeacon of Taunton. To these was soon after added, as representative of the church of Scotland, George Balcanquall, B. D. and fellow of Pembroke Hall. Dr. Hall, after about two month's stay in Holland, was forced, by want of health, to return to England (having first taken a most respectful and tenderly affectionate leave of the synod, in a pious and elegant speech, still extant:) and was replaced by Thomas Goade, D. D. chaplain to the archbishop of Canterbury. That these great divines, who represented our church with such fidelity and ability, were, every one of them, doctrinal Calvinists, the reader may see for himself, by consulting the acts and memorials of the synod, published at Dort, A. D. 1G20, where the determinations of our English divines, their speeches, and their subscriptions, stand on record, and prove how deeply and how inexcusably, we, in the present day, arc revolted from our first love, and degenerated from our first faith.

[[@Page:69]] I will not call the Arminian writers (as bishop Bull, not very politely, did the Arians) “mendacissimum genus hominum,” a most lying set of men; but I cannot, without doing violence to truth, acquit them, in general, of artifice and wilful misrepresentation, hardly compatible with heathen honesty, and still less with Christian integrity, when they treat of doctrines and transactions relative to Calvinism. Even you, sir, do not seem to have quite escaped the ungenerous infection. Hence you venture to assure the world, page 92. that, “It was indeed in great measure owing to the heats and violence with which matters were carried in that synod, and the great severity of the horrible decrees” [a phrase you have apparently borrowed from Mr. John Wesley] “here framed, that our English divines, who attended that synod, begun to have less reverence for the doctrines of Calvin.” If ever there was a mistake in the world, this is one. I, as an individual of that public to whom you have submitted your pamphlet, have a right to call upon you for proof of this confident assertion. Bring forth your strong reasons, or the world will be at full liberty to draw conclusions not to your advantage[38].

Never were debates, of such intricacy and importance, carried on with more decency, solemnity, and unanimity, than in this synod. The Arminians (who were cited to answer for themselves, as corrupters of the church and disturbers of the state), did, indeed, endeavour all they could, to embarrass and throw matters into confusion; and never did chicanery and insolence of the remonstrant sect more palpably appear, than at that period. These mushroom schismatics were in hopes, by raising a dust, to elude the censures they justly dreaded; and to catch some advantage to themselves, by [[@Page:70]] striving to occasion divisions in the synod: thus exactly treading in the steps of their good friends and cousin-germans, the papists; who, ever since the first dawn of the reformation, have acted on the same plan, and with the same views. But the venerable Dordracene fathers saw the drift of the Arminian faction; and happily defeated its wishes, by standing together like a chain of rocks, which neither fraud nor force could shake or sever. Nor were the divines of England staggered in their judgments, upon their return hither from Dort, concerning either the justice and moderation of the synod's proceedings, or the orthodoxy of its decisions; as may, if need require, be easily and largely demonstrated from the writings of Hall, Carlton, Davenant, &c. published long enough afterwards. I therefore call once more on Dr. Nowell, as he is a clergyman and a man of honour, either to prove, or to retract, what he has (I would hope, unadvisedly) advanced.

Nor can I wholly pretermit your next paragraph; wherein you assure us, that the learned Mr. Hales went to Dort “a rigid Calvinist; but there I bid John Calvin good night, said he to his friend Mr. Faringdon.” The learned Mr. Hales both was, and continued a Calvinist: as appeal's from that very book, to which Mr. Faringdon's letter is prefixed. Yet, if lie had changed his judgment ever so greatly (which, by the bye, lie never did, if his [39] own subsequent writings are allowed to have the casting vote); still, that would not affect the church of England. He did not go to Dort, invested with any public commission or character from this kingdom, but merely as a private person[40]. However, since you affect to lay so much weight on the pretended [[@Page:71]] change of this learned man, I will subjoin what the famous Dr. Edwards delivers on the subject: “The sentiments of Mr. Hales, of Eton college, who was present at the synod of Dort, may be here inserted; for though some tell us, that, when Episcopius urged, John iii. 16. this Mr. Hales ‘bid John Calvin good night,' yet it is likely he was reconciled to him next morning: for his writings, that are since extant, give us the best account of his opinions. He expressly acknowledges the purpose of God's election, and the purpose of God's reprobation, in a sermon on Matt. xxvi. 75. And, in another sermon, on Rom. xiv. 1. he tells us, That some with favourable countenance of scripture, make the cause of reprobation, only the will of God, determining freely of his own work, as himself pleases, without respect to any second cause whatsoever. He owns, that this doctrine may be profitably taught and heard, and that matter of singular exhortation may be drawn from it. And he adds, It is a noble resolution, so to humble ourselves, under the hand of almighty God, as that we can with patience hear, yea, think it an honour, that so base creatures as ourselves, should become the instruments of the glory of so great a majesty, whether it be by eternal life, or by eternal death; though for no other reason, but for God's good-will and pleasure's sake. This is very high, and more than I have ventured to say: but thence we may gather what kindness this great man had for Calvin's opinions; yea, for that which is the most exceptionable of all; and how averse he was to Arminius' system of divinity[41]. “And it is to be observed, that Mr. Hales' book, wherein these passages are, is commended to the reader by two excellent divines of our church; Dr. Pearson (afterwards bishop of Chester), and Mr. [[@Page:72]] Faringdon; who were well skilled in these points. Which puts me in mind [N. B.] of what the former of these learned men told me when he was pleased to admit me to some discourse with him: namely, that ‘when he [bishop Pearson] was a young master of arts, he thought there was no difficulty in these grand articles [of predestination, &e.]; that he was able to determine any of them with ease, especially on the Arminians' side; hut, since, he found it was otherwise; and he disapproved of men's rash censuring and condemning the other side; and, indeed, we may guess this to he his inclination, by his approving of Mr. Hales' remains.” Verit. Red. p. 542, 546”. Of all the English clergymen, who assisted in the synod of Dort, the great and good bishop Hall was the longest survivor. The Arminian fanatic, John Goodwin (in his libel on the protestant doctrines, entitled, “Redemption Redeemed,” published during the usurpation) slandered the synod with the blackest calumny his malice could invent; thinking, that he might safely vend his falsehoods, at a time when the far greater part of the persons, who composed that apostolical assembly, were gathered home to the church triumphant. It was a happiness, that we had, however, one excellent man living, who was able upon his own knowledge, to wipe of the aspersions of this bigotted miscreant. The pious, the aged bishop Hall, upon the coming out of Goodwin's book, wrote a pretty long letter to Fuller, which that historian published at full length, in his Church History, b. x. p. 85. I wish I had room to transcribe the whole; but it concludes thus: “Since I have lived to see so foul an aspersion cast upon the memory of those worthy and eminent divines; I bless God, that I yet live to vindicate them, by this my knowing, clear and assured attestation; which I am ready to second with the solemnest oath, if I shall be thereto required.

“Your most devoted friend, &c.

“JOS. HALL. B, N.”


Aug. 30, 1654.

[[@Page:73]] Almost two years after, the same incomparable prelate wrote another letter to the learned Mr. George Kendall[42], upon the same subject. The [[@Page:74]] reader may see the whole of it, in Mr. Kendall's Saucti Sanciti, published in the bishop's life time. The latter part of it is as follows: “My unhappy sickness called me off, before the full conclusion of that work” [viz. the formal condemnation of the Arminians (called in Holland, Remonstrants), by the synod of Dort]: “But I stayed so long as any public session, or appearance of the remonstrants continued. Thus much, in effect, I have formerly, upon the motion of my worthy successor at Waltham, Mr. Fuller, signified to him; as one who cannot but think, it was one end of this unexpected protraction of my days, after all the rest of my fellows, that I might do this right to that godly reverend learned assembly. With the intimation whereof, I bid you farewel in the Lord; and do heartily commend your studies to the divine benediction; professing myself,

“Your loving and

“much devoted friend,



July 25, 1653.

When arguments fall short, it is too common with controversial writers to call names, and fling dirt; in hopes of casting an odium, on what they find themselves unable to confute. I could wish, sir, that you had not stooped to this illiberal recourse, your following expostulation had then been spared; page 93. “Consider what faction it was, which then” [i. e. in the time of Charles I.] “prevailed towards the overthrow of the church. Was it not that of the puritans? And were not the doctrines of Calvinism their leading principles?” Permit me, sir, to ask, Were all the disturbers of those times Calvinists? Were Charles and his French queen; were Laud and Buckingham, Calvinists? These were the primary disturbers, whose evil [[@Page:75]] counsels, and whose arbitrary measures, laid the sad foundation of those disturbances, which issued in the overthrow of the church. The confusions of that unhappy reign, and the miseries that followed, arc to he radically charged, not on those who repressed the haughty strides of despotism; but on the despots themselves, whose violent proceedings rendered that opposition absolutely necessary. Matters at last were wound up to that fatal height, that both sides found themselves reduced to the dismal necessity of going to much greater lengths, than cither of them foresaw at first setting out. On one hand, there was a court equally despotic and corrupt, and (as the event proved) no less feeble, than proud and unyielding. On the other there was patriotic zeal, gradually enflamed into party rage, by a long series of repeated insults and unrelenting oppressions. No wonder, therefore, that, under the confluence of such circumstances, the constitution received that eventual subversion, which you, either through forgetfulness of history, or by disingenuous misrepresentations, would untruly, and ridiculously, charge on the Calvinism of that age.

As Charles [43] and his court were far enough from inclining to the Geneva doctrines; so likewise were [[@Page:76]] some, who, though they agreed with that unfortunate prince, as an Arminian, yet detested and resisted his measures, as a tyrant, and even publicly justified the putting him to death. Witness John Goodwin[44], that virulent anti-Calvinist, who wrote an elaborate treatise, in professed vindication of Charles' murder, under the title of “A Defence of the Sentence, passed on the late King, by the High Court of Justice.” This was the same John Goodwin, who, about the same time, published his Redemption Redeemed; that infamous libel on the doctrines of the reformation: wherein he endeavours, throughout, to prove Calvin, and all the reformed churches, in the wrong, and asserts universal redemption, free-will, justification by works, and falling from grace, not quite so smoothly, but altogether as tenaciously, as you yourself have done, or as the authors of your admired popish book, the Pia et Catholica Institntio. —Add to this (and deny it if you can), that those execrable enthusiasts, who were the chief authors of Charles' execution, were not Calvinistic divines [45] (for these were so far from approving of the king's murder, that they offered a petition against it), but a rabble army; composed of the dregs of almost every sect, and particularly of papists in disguise[46]. —With” regard to the puritans, properly so called, many of whom had previously made a stand against the despotism, arrogated by that misguided king and [[@Page:77]] his delinquent ministers; these (the puritans), to their credit be it said, joined with those of the episcopalians who were undissembling lovers of the church and of their country, in warding off the slavery, which it was the endeavour of an infatuated court to obtrude: whence all, whether churchmen or dissenters, who were engaged in this noblest of causes, were lumpt together, and stigmatized, indiscriminately, with the name of state puritans. The friends of liberty and the constitution stood up in defence of both, not merely as Calvinists, but as Englishmen. What concern for instance, had the doctrines of efficacious grace and final perseverance, in the just opposition that was made to ship-money, star-chamber prosecutions, and ten thousand other intolerable grievances? Let me request you, sir, as you tender your own credit, to think before you write, and weigh matters with some degree of care. Had you done this lately, you had not attempted to palm such absurdities on the public.—I must add, That the history of Charles' and the two preceding reigns, makes it undeniable, that those of the puritans, who were non-conformists, did not dissent from our church in doctrinal matters, but solely in the matter of rites and ceremonies. And what had this partial dissent to do with the doctrine of predestination, in which the main body, both of conformists and non-conformists, were reciprocally agreed? It is notorious, that the latter had their name, not for disbelieving our doctrinal articles (which was never, that I can find, so much as laid to their charge), but for not conforming to our modes of worship[47]. If a Calvinist, and a non-conformist, were, as you [[@Page:78]] would unjustly insinuate, convertible names; it would follow, that we must unchurch our own church, for the first hundred years after the Reformation, and date its genuine commencement from the introduction of Arminianism under archbishop Laud. That innovating, hot-headed prelate, if your premises are admitted, is to be considered as the father and founder of the church of England; whereas he was in reality its corrupter, and its eventual destroyer: for he drove so rapidly towards Rome, that he overset the church, of which he unhappily held the reins; and was not a little accessary to the concomitant fall of the state likewise, which, rushing precipitant, entombed both his sovereign and himself in its ruins. I will only observe farther, that, even in the present century, we have had some Calvinistic bishops. Bishop Beveridge, and bishop Hopkins, for instance. And will you call these truly bright ornaments of our church, sectarists, puritans, and methodists, because they were professed Calvinists?

The farther I advance in your pamphlet, the more my surprise and concern increase. In order to prove, what you call, the moderation of our articles, you are not content with distilling away and forcing off the sense and spirit of the doctrinal ones; but would even insinuate, that the necessity of episcopal ordination itself is not determined in our articles. Treating of article 23, you say (page 93.) “The compilers were not willing to condemn or [[@Page:79]] unchurch the reformed churches abroad, where episcopacy was not established; and therefore prudently avoided determining the question, whether episcopal ordination is necessary. Those who hold, and those who deny the necessity of episcopal ordination, may both subscribe to this article: those only are condemned by it, who hold that a man may preach without any lawful vocation. The same moderation the compilers of our articles have observed in the points before us,” i. e. in the Calvinistic ones. I can hardly believe my own eyes. So rather than not expunge predestination from our articles, you would expunge with it the necessity of episcopal ordination! This is sweeping the church clean indeed. Though the respect, I bear you, forbids me to treat your paragraph and your insinuation in the manner they deserve; yet the still greater respect, which I bear to the church, constrains me to hang out the detached paragraph to open view, and leave it to the public indignation. Whoever can persuade himself, that our episcopal church does not insist on the necessity of episcopal ordination, may well enough believe, when his hand is in, that our Calvinistic church has not determined in favour of the Calvinian doctrines.———Nor does it follow, that the church of England, in believing for herself, the necessity of episcopal ordination; does thereby unchurch those of the reformed churches abroad, which have no bishops, any more than that those churches unchurch us for retaining our excellent and primitive mode of ecclesiastical government. National churches that are independent on each other, have respectively, an internal right to establish such forms of regimen, as to them seem most scriptural and expedient. And this indefeasible right may pass into execution, without any violation of that Christian charity and neighbourly affection, which ought to subsist between churches that agree in the common faith of the gospel.——I cannot, however, forbear to repeat [[@Page:80]] the astonishment I feel, that a clergyman of this church, should, through zeal against the Geneva doctrines, make such an unwarrantable concession in favour of the Geneva discipline. Who could ever have thought, that an Oxford divine, should, and that from the Clarendon press, rather let go the hierarchy, than give up free-will? Oh, tell it not in Glasgow! publish it not in the streets of Edinburgh! lest the Presbyterians rejoice, and the daughters of the kirk triumph.

No wonder, sir, that after this, you should assert as follows, concerning grace and free agency. You indeed give us to understand, that you do not wholly explode all influences of the holy Spirit, “But the supernatural, extraordinary, and irresistible influences of the holy Spirit,” page 98.———If, by supernatural, extraordinary, and irresistible, you mean the miraculous gifts and influences of that adorable person; Calvinists as much disclaim all pretension to these, as you can do. We believe, that the end of their vouch-safement, in the primitive ages, being fully answered by the confirmation of the gospel; the gifts themselves are long since ceased: and that no man, who now makes this claim (if any such mad-man is to be found), can expect to he credited, unless he actually has miraculous powers to prove it by.———Yet there is, certainly, a sober sense in which all the gracious influences of the Spirit may, and ought to be termed, supernatural; or superior to the powers and read) of nature. You will not surely assert, that the influences of the Spirit are natural to fallen man: for that would besetting aside the essential difference, which scripture and reason are so careful to maintain, between nature and grace. Constant experience also, and daily observation, confirm the apostle's decision, that “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; neither can he” even “know,” much less receive “them, because they are [[@Page:81]] spiritually discerned:” and until the natural man is renewed by grace, he has no spiritual eyes to discern them by.——In exact conformity to tins certain truth, the first exhortation, in our baptismal office, hath these words: “Forasmuch as all men are conceived and horn in sin, and that our Saviour Christ saith, none can enter into the kingdom of God, except lie he regenerate and born anew of water and of the Holy Ghost; I beseech you to call upon God the Father, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that, of his bounteous mercy, he will grant to this child that thing” [namely, regeneration] “which, by nature, he cannot have.” If, then, the new birth, and the renovating influences of the Spirit, are not natural to man; they must he supernaturally conferred.—The same influences may, in some sense, be safely enough termed extraordinary; inasmuch as they are extra ordinem, or out of the common course: for all men have them not. But I lay no manner of stress on this remark. Tims much, however, it proves; that the word, so carefully explained, may be used in a rational, harmless sense. Though, for my own part, I always choose to abstain, as much as possible, from the use of such terms as are liable to misapprehension, and require a tedious circuit of explanation. As a great man observes, Quid hoc malæ vei est, ità exdestinato consilio loqui, ut mox prolixâ explicatione indigeas, apud auditores simplices et candidos; et apologia apud minùs faventes ac snspicaces? I have, therefore, always acquiesced in the usual distinction of the Spirit's influence, into ordinary and extraordinary: and understand, by the former, his supernatural agency in a way of saving grace; by the latter, his agency formerly exerted in the' collation of miraculous gifts.

But I see not so much reason for absolutely cashiering the epithet irresistible: though I could wish, that the term invincible (which more exactly conveys our true meaning) wore always substituted in its room. Irresistible may seem (though we intend [[@Page:82]] no such thing) to imply some compulsive force on the will of man, in regeneration: whereas, we neither assert, nor believe, that the will is violently compelled, but  only that it is effectually changed for the better, without any violation of its natural freedom. An elect sinner is not made good, against his will; but is, by grace, made willing to be good: according to that of the psalmist, “Thy people shall be willing, in the day of thy power,” Psal. cx. 3. We apprehend this to be effected, as St. Augustin expresses it, suavi omnipotentiâ et omnipotenti suavitate: so that, though the effect of the holy Spirit's operation is infallibly secured and cannot but issue in conversion (for he does nothing in vain;) yet is this blessed effect accomplished, in a way suitable to the natural powers wherewith man is endued. By irresistible, therefore, if you understand grace that is efficacious, invincible, and certainly victorious; we are authorized, both by scripture, reason, and the strictest maxims of philosophy, to term converting grace irresistible; since, where God really designs to renew a sinner unto righteousness and true holiness, we think it incompatible with every notion of Deity, to suppose, that the intent of an all-wise Being should be eventually defeated, and his plan disconcerted; or that the measures made use of by an Almighty agent, should be baffled and issue in nothing. Neither can we apprehend, that a deity, of this infinite wisdom and infinite power, who is “excellent in counsel, and mighty in working,” can ever find himself at a loss how to carry his immutable purposes, whether of grace or providence, into execution; or be unable to operate effectually on the wills of men; without trespassing on that freedom, of which he himself is the author and giver. Surely, he who, without our consent, made us reasonable beings, can, by virtue of his own omnipotently transforming grace, make us holy beings I and that without making us mere machines. He [[@Page:83]] that planted the ear, shall lie not hear? He that made the eye, shall he not sec? He that endued my will with natural freedom, cannot he renew this will of mine, without infringement of the freedom he gave?—Time was when the Christian world did not entertain such low thoughts of God, and such lofty thoughts of man, as now too generally prevail. How beautiful, how just, how nervous is that petition, which Grotius [48] informs us, was a part of the public devotions of some ancient churches! “Ad te nostras etiam rebelles compelle propitius voluntates:” In mercy, force over even our obstreperous wills to thy blessed self. That fine prayer of the ascetic Raymond Jordanus[49], is animated with the same heavenly spirit of internal humiliation, and absolute submission to sovereign grace: “Per violentiam tui dulcissimiamoris, compelle rebellem animum meum ad te amandum;” By the overpowering virtue of thy sweetest love, constrain my rebellious soul to the love of thee. O that God would put such a cry into the heart of the person to whom I am writing! You would then, sir, never more draw your pen against the doctrines of grace; but, if reduced to the alternative, you would rather, with Cranmer, hold your hand in the flames, until it was consumed from your arm.—I must observe, however, that the holy persons, above quoted, are not to be understood, as if they imagined, that God, in his operations of grace, offered violence (properly so called) to the human will; or compelled his people to love him, whether they would or no, as an ox was dragged to sacrifice: but the meaning of their supplications was, that he would effectually incline and attach their wills to himself; and that the omnipotence of his constraining love would reduce and master their natural obstinacy and perverseness. However, the strong and nervous manner, in which their petitions were [[@Page:84]] expressed, show what ideas these ancient Christians entertained of the stubbornness, rebellion, and depravity of man's will, by nature; and the almighty exertion of divine grace, which is requisite to subdue it. The invincibility of converting grace, and, at the same time, the immunity of the will from all forcible, involuntary compulsion, arc very happily expressed in the 10th of those articles of religion[50], set forth by king Edward VI. “The grace of Christ, or the Holy Ghost which is given by him, doth take from man the heart of stone, and giveth him an heart of flesh. And though it rendereth us willing to do these good works, which, before, we were unwilling to do; and unwilling to do those evil works, which, before, we did; yet is no violence offered by it to the will of man: so that no man, when he hath sinned, can excuse himself, as if he had sinned against his will, or upon constraint, and therefore that he ought not to be accused or condemned upon that account.”

As for the passages of scripture, which you have accumulated, as making for your own notions of free-will, conditional grace, &c. and which, having wrenched and detached from their contexts, you would fain torture into a sense which, it is demonstrable, the inspired writers never thought of; you will find all those perverted passages, and many others which are no less impertinently pressed into these controversies by the partisans of Arminius, restored to their primitive and obvious meaning in Dr. Edwards' Veritas Redux, or in Dr. Gill's Cause of God and Truth. As to the forms of these valuable books, I cannot find that it was ever attempted to be answered. And, for the latter, it has stood unanswered for, I believe, near thirty years; and you, sir, or any other expert Arminian, would do well to try your skill upon it, if you are able, while [[@Page:85]] the learned and judicious author is detained from Abraham's bosom. But, surely, so long as such capital books as those remain in full possession of the field, it is idle, to the last degree, for the gentlemen of your side of the question, to amuse themselves, and trifle with the public, by letting off pop-guns, and throwing paltry squibs, at what they call Calvinism.

Speaking of the doctrines of election and reprobation, you justly observe, that you are “pressed with the authority of the l7th article,” p. 103. Indeed you arc, and pressed hard too; else you would never have added, as you do in the next page, “The article speaks of a predestination, decreed by God's counsel, secret to us; and to be discerned only by the working of the Spirit of Christ mortifying the works of the flesh: and directs us to receive God's promises in such wise, as they he generally set forth to us in the holy scripture.” Is it possible that these truly Calvinistic sentences should drop from the pen of a Dr. Nowel? O vis veritatis, invitis etiam pectoribus erumpeutis! What a concession is here! You have granted as much as any Calvinistic writer could have granted, or a Calvinistic reader can desire. You are got into the very midst of Geneva, before you are aware: a place where I no more expected to have met you, than the Normans did, at one time, think of seeing the great lord Clarendon at Roan.

Nor is your concession weakened a jot, by what you immediately subjoin; “But there” [i. e. in scripture], “we shall find all these promises conditional.” For, 1. All the divine promises are not conditional; witness that famous one, in which every other spiritual promise is virtually comprised, “I will he their God, and they shall be my people.” 2. It does not follow, because some promises seem to run conditionally, i. e. hypothetically, that therefore the performance of the conditions themselves is [[@Page:86]] suspended on the free-agency of man. In the distribution of the blessings promised to the elect, a certain order and æconomy are observed. Grace is first given, then glory. Thus we believe and say, with the apostle, that, without holiness, no man shall see the Lord: or, that a man must be sanctified, before be can be finally glorified. God does not eventually save an elect person, until be has previously regenerated that person. Hence final salvation is frequently, in scripture, held forth to the view of his people, not only under the character of elect, but likewise under every other character they sustain; such as penitents, believers, saints, and workers of righteousness; because, in consequence of their predestination to life, they arc endued with the graces of repentance, faith, and sanctification, in order to their meetness for and enjoyment of that eternal life which they were predestinated to. Regeneration must, and always does, come between the decree of election, and the ultimate accomplishment of that decree; the means and the end being inseparably linked together, both in God's own purpose, and his execution of it. Yet, means arc one thing; conditions are another. And I challenge any one Arminian to point out any one spiritual qualification, represented in the Bible, as previously requisite to everlasting life; which qualification, is not, in the same Bible, declared to be the gift of God, and the work of his own grace in every one that shall be saved. So much for the scriptures. Next, for our liturgy. You assert, page 106. that, “The sentences of scripture, with which the morning and evening prayer are appointed to begin, fully declare the free-will of man.” They declare neither more nor less than this, that persons, possessed of such and such graces, have an evidential right to such and such privileges, by virtue of God's free promises. You add, “In the absolution, the priest declares, that almighty God [[@Page:87]] desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he may return from his wickedness, and live.” Granted. But what sort of sinner is here meant? Let the absolution itself decide. It is such a sinner as belongeth to “his people,” the people of almighty God; who are farther described under the visible characters of “them that truly repent, and unfeignedly believe his holy gospel.” But are all sinners partakers of this true repentance and unfeigned faith? And can you really persuade yourself, that God actually wills the salvation of those, in whom these graces are not finally wrought? This would be opening a door to licentiousness indeed: nay, it would be a most tremendous misrepresentation of the Deity himself, as if it was possible for him to love the wicked as wicked. Surely you will never offer to father such horrid doctrine upon the church of England! Did all sinners truly repent and unfeignedly believe, they would come under the opposite denomination of saints. The plain meaning, then, of this declarative absolution, is, that, until repentance and faith (the two grand constituents of regeneration) are wrought in us, and show forth themselves by the peaceable fruits of righteousness, we have no right to look upon ourselves as pardoned and absolved: but that, when these are wrought in us, we have in the judgment of our church, a safe and scriptural warrant to conclude that we are in a pardoned state. Our reconciliation unto God by the death of his Son, being to be inferred from and proved by (though in no sense founded upon), the grace he hath given us, and the good works he enables us to do. And, that the faith and repentance, which the absolution mentions, were, in the intention of the compilers, considered as the effects of God's free grace, and not of man's free-will, appears incontestibly from a subsequent part of the absolution itself; which runs thus: “Wherefore let us beseech him to grant us true repentance and [[@Page:88]] his holy Spirit; that those things may please him, which we do at this present, and that the rest of our life hereafter may be pure and holy.” But, upon your principles, in vain we do pray for these blessings; since, if your hypothesis be right, we had them in our own power before. Were Arminian free-willers to act consistently with their darling tenet, they would never pray at all.

As a proof of the church of England's denial of final perseverance, you gravely inform us (p. 106.) that, “In the Lord's Prayer, we petition God not to lead us into temptation.” A most formidable argument indeed! reduced to some little sort of form, it stands thus:

The church of England hath adopted the Lord's Prayer into her public service.

But, in that prayer, we request to be preserved from temptation.

Ergo, the church believes, that the truly regenerate may totally and finally fall from grace.

Here are premises, without a conclusion; and a conclusion, without premises. For, are temptation, and final apostasy, terms synonymous? If they are, it would follow, that every saint is actually a final apostate; because there is no saint who is not tempted to evil, more or less, every day of his life. If the terms arc not synonymous, then your inference, drawn from this topic, falls to the ground, and vanishes into air.

Enter, now, a proof, no less cogent, in behalf of unlimited redemption. “The hymn, called To Deum, thus celebrates the universal redemption by the incarnation and death of Christ; ‘when thou tookest upon thee to deliver man, thou didst not abhor the Virgin's womb: when thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death, thou didst open the kingdom of heaven to all believers.” (page 107-) The conclusion you would deduce from hence, must he this, if any:

[[@Page:89]] Christ, by the merits of his death, opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

Ergo, he opened the kingdom of heaven to every individual of mankind, that ever did, that now does, or ever shall exist.

I could not have expected such reasoning from the public orator of our English Athens, Indeed, sir, you can never prove, from those two verses of the Te Deum, that our church holds absolutely universal redemption, until yon have previously made good these two points: 1. That all mankind, not a single individual excepted, are believers: and, 2. That faith is not the gift of God. My argument, drawn from this part of that seraphic hymn, stands thus (and I leave to the judgment of the impartial, whether it he not perfectly obvious and unforced):

Our church, in the Te Deum, asserts, That Christ, by his incarnation and death, opened the kingdom of heaven to ail believers:

But the whole of mankind are not believers:

Ergo, our church, in the Te Deum, does not assert, that Christ opened the kingdom of heaven to the whole of mankind.

Nay, I will go a step further. The church, in this place, does evidently limit redemption, to only a part of mankind. For, by saying that Christ opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers; she virtually declares, that be opened heaven to believers only: so that, in the judgment of the church, they alone were intentionally redeemed by Christ, who should finally believe. And what is this but  the very essence of that innocent, yet much dreaded thing, called Calvinism? in running away from which, you plainly run away from the church. Ita fugis, ut præter cusam. Still your ammunition is not exhausted; for, in the same page, you hurl another thunderbolt at John Calvin's head: “The suffrages, offered up by the priest, and all the congregation alternately, are quite inconsistent with the [[@Page:90]] notion of absolute predestination and indefectible assurance—'Grant us thy salvation'—'Take not thy holy Spirit from us.” The suffrages themselves are most excellent; but your inference from them is a mere telum imbelle sine ictu. As if prayer (which is one of the very means, by which the end is decreed to be come at)—as if prayer, on man's part, was incompatible with predestination on God's! So far is this from being true, that the belief of his immutable purposes is the very thing which excites, and warrants, effectual fervent prayer, and puts life and confidence into our approaches to the throne of grace. I shall give two remarkable instances of this; one from scripture, the other from our liturgy. 1. From scripture. David having received some gracious intimations of what good things God had decreed to bestow on his family after him, instead of sitting down idle, and restraining prayer before God, as if human duty was superfluous, on the supposition of divine decrees, the holy monarch breaks forth into supplication for the very mercies which had been so peremptorily promised:—Thou, O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, hast revealed to thy servant, saying I will build thee an house; therefore hath thy servant found in his heart to pray this prayer unto thee, 2 Sam. vii. 27. It is equally plain, 2. That the compilers of our admirable liturgy considered matters in the same view. Those evangelical divines well knew, that God hath determined the times before appointed (Acts xvii. 20.); and that the day of Christ's second corning is, in particular, foreordained and fixed, in God's determinate counsel and foreknowledge (Acts xvii. 31.) “Surely, then,” might an Arminian say, “those compilers have not directed us to pray for the coming of this predestined period.” Indeed but they have; and that on a very solemn occasion, and in these very solemn words: Humbly beseeching thee of thy gracious goodness shortly to accomplish the number of thine [[@Page:91]] elect, and to hasten thy kingdom[51]. Prayer therefore, and the other means of grace, are not superseded, but even rendered needful, by the certainty of God's predestination: for Qui vult finem, vult etiam media ad finem. The manifestation of God's goodness, in the final salvation of his people, being the end designed by him in his gracious decree; must necessarily have been first in the divine intention: but this end, being last in actual execution, certain correlative means must necessarily intervene, in order to carry the divine intention into actual execution, and to connect the decree and the accomplishment of it together. Of these means, prayer is one. Therefore supposing our church bad directed her regenerate members to pray even in express terms, (which, however, I do not recollect she has) for preservation from total and final apostasy; that would not have proved the defectibility of the saints: watchfulness and prayer being means of perseverance, [[@Page:92]] no less decreed than perseverance itself. Thus the apostle, like a wise master-builder in Sion, joins the certainty of perseverance with prayer for it: The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body bo preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. I Thess. v. 23, 2 k

You tell us, p. I07. that some infer the doctrine of election, from that petition in our liturgy, “make thy chosen people joyful.” They do: and not only directly, the doctrine of election; but, indirectly, that of assurance likewise. The petition evidently proceeds on this datum, that God really had a chosen people; and, agreeably to such a belief, beseeches him to make his chosen people joyful: i. e. to rejoice them with the comfortable sense and persuasion of their belonging to that chosen number. But you object (ibid.) that, “The word chosen, or elect, signifies in scripture, cither all Christians in general, or such Christians as walk worthy of the vocation wherewith they are called.” Easily said; but, so far as I have been able to find, never yet proved. Every text appealed to in your references, demonstrates the very reverse to be true. The word εκλεκτος, elect, chosen; is evidently, formed from the participle εκλελεγμενος, which, as every body knows, signifies selected, picked out, and chosen from among others. But I have such an authority to vouch, for this sense of the word, as is infinitely superior even to the natural, proper etymology of the word itself: I mean the authority of no less person than the eternal Son of God; the incarnate Λογος, in whom arc hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. He surely, if any, both perfectly knew, and was able to fix rightly, the meaning of this religious term. And how does ho define the word elect? In Dr. Nowell's vague, jejune manner? Quite the contrary. Consult Mark xiii 20. And [[@Page:93]] except the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should he saved: but for the elects' sakes, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days. According therefore to Christ's own definition, υι εκλεκτος the elect, are ες εξελεξατο, those whom he [the Lord] hath chosen. Consequently, this important word docs not signify, either all professing Christians at large, nor yet such Christians as walk worthy of their vocation. But simply and singly, the objects of God's gracious choice, abstractedly considered as such, without any respect had to aught in them, or done by them, whether actual or foreseen. A cordial profession of Christ, and a walking worthy of their high calling, are after parts of their character; and have no place in the persons chosen, until, in consequence of their election from everlasting, they are regenerated and made new creatures in Christ Jesus, As real conversion is the fruit and result of predestination; so holiness of heart and purity of life, arc the fruits of real conversion: which is the immediate (as election is the remote) cause of all the good, that is wrought in us, and that is done by us. Upon the whole, then, as long as the good old definition of the elect remains on record in the above scripture; so long we obstinate Calvinists must beg leave to reject Dr. Nowell's new fangled, vapid explication, as utterly inconsistent with the plain, obvious import of language, and (which is still worse) as totally counter to the express determination of Christ himself.

Your slashing treatment of scripture phrases and scripture doctrines, which you hack and mangle so unmercifully, when they happen to militate with your own preconceived opinions; unhappily realizes but too well that remark of Dr. Middleton; “We may observe,” says this able writer, “how impossible it is for men, even of the greatest learning and piety, to interpret scripture with success, when they come to it, prepossessed with systems, which they [[@Page:94]] are listed, as it were, to defend. For, instead of searching candidly, the true meaning of the text; they come provided with senses, which they are obliged to ingraft upon it; until, by a practice and habit of wresting the scripture on all occasions, they acquire a dexterity of extracting what doctrines they please out of it.” Miscell. Tracts, p. 12.

The fashion of explaining away the word elect, by saying it only means good Christians, was invented at a pinch, for much the same reason, that people look at the sun through a fumigated glass; namely, to diminish and obscure the native lustre of its beams, by the intervention of a dark, discoloured medium. Thus some artful Arminians, in order to secure a majority, would persuade superficial enquirers (who make up the bulk of mankind) that the word elect does not signify elect, but something very different from its own meaning. By virtue of which artificial fumigation, the meridian truth is clouded; and all who believe election to be election, are set down for Calvinists, Puritans, Methodists, and low churchmen: only because they are so very unmannerly [52] as not to look at scripture through the Arminians dark glass: which glass has just the same effect on gospel truths, as Dr. Hooke's helioscope has on the rays of the sun; which he tells us, will he so weakened, if beheld through that qualifying tube, “as only to strike the eye with a 256th part of their force.”

Still, sir, you harp on the same beloved string; and would fain fumigate our catechism, among the rest. There the church tells us, that the Holy Ghost sanctifies all the elect people of God: that is, say you, (p. 107.) “All Christians, or at least all good Christians, who are ready to comply with his [[@Page:95]] motions.” And can a person of your good sense really believe this to be the meaning of elect? I will not offer you such an affront, as to suppose it. And yet, alas! on the other hand, if you do not believe your own interpretation, what becomes of your integrity? “The Holy Ghost sanctifies all good Christians:” so then men must be good Christians, before they are sanctified; and when they have made themselves good Christians, then the blessed Spirit sanctifies them. A piece of information, for which the poor, ignorant, Calvinistic church of England men are solely indebted to the labours of Dr. Nowell. I really before was so weak as to imagine, with St. Paul, that goodness was a fruit of the Spirit, and a constituent part of sanctification itself: but now I perceive goodness precedes sanctification; and that the office of the Holy Ghost (I tremble to write it, but let them answer for the conclusion, who avow the premises) is only to make such people good as were good before. Hence you revert once more to universal redemption, which you infer from that passage in the catechism, “Who hath redeemed me and all mankind:” on which your comment is, p. 108. “All those, therefore, whom God the Son hath redeemed, God the Holy Ghost sanctifies.” Excellent. You now write indeed like a true minister of the church. Not a Calvinist in the whole world, but would subscribe to this with both hands. But pray, sir, is every individual of mankind sanctified by the Holy Ghost? If the contrary is but  too evident, then it follows, from your own positive premises, that every individual of mankind was not redeemed: since you justly assert redemption and sanctification to be equilateral and commensurate with each other; “All those whom God the Son hath redeemed, God the Holy Ghost sanctifies.” The all mankind, therefore, which our church hath declared to be interested in Christ's redemption, is not to be understood of every individual, but of [[@Page:96]] some of all nations, even those, and those only whom God the Holy Ghost sanctifies. Thus your own explication of the phrase all mankind, exactly comports with the explication of it, which the church herself gives in the very next paragraph, “All the elect people of God.”

I should congratulate you, sir, on your candour and attention to evidence, did you not immediately recant, and build up the things you had just destroyed. Your whole paragraph stands thus: “All those, therefore, whom the Son of God hath redeemed, God the Holy Ghost sanctifies; but both only on condition of their own concurrence and compliance with the terms offered.” The church of England says no such thing. You have clogged redemption and sanctification with dead weights of your own putting on. There is not a word in the catechism, directly or indirectly, about concurrence and compliance. Redemption itself is there represented as a finished, peremptory thing; not as a term or condition tendered to man's acceptance; but as a real price actually paid down for the ransom of mankind. “God the Son who hath redeemed me, &c.” Not who will redeem me, if I am pliable and concurring: but who hath done it, to make me so. Whatever conditional salvation may he, a conditional redemption is a contradiction in terms: for either the ransom price is paid, or it is not; there is no medium, nor room for any qualifying salvo or drawback. The doctrine of the church, as well as of the scriptures, and of plain common sense, is, that Christ hath, “by the one offering of himself, perfected for ever them that are sanctified,” or set apart for God. Nor is the notion of a conditional sanctification less absurd. I must he either sanctified by the Holy Ghost or not. If I am, I comply and concur with him of course, by virtue of that very sanctification which lie imparts: If I am not sanctified by him, I shall neither concur nor comply; [[@Page:97]] because this concurrence and compliance are a part of sanctification itself, and can have no existence without it.———I blame no man for believing ac cording to the best light of his own judgment, let his faith, to me, seem ever so ill-grounded: but I blame any man who dares to palm his own private notions upon the church.

However, by way of canvassing your paragraph as minutely as I am able, and letting it have all the fair play it possibly can, by considering it in every point of view, I will suppose, for once, that both redemption and sanctification are conditional. What will you get by it? You will plunge head foremost, quan-tus quantus es, into the. lake of Geneva, and come out a limited redemptionist.—A very able writer observes, that all violent extremes, how widely remote soever they may seem, have in fact, a common central point, to which they mutually verge, and in which they ultimately coincide. You yourself, sir, (with all due respect I dare to speak it) are an instance of the justice of this remark. “God the Son,” you tell us, “hath redeemed us only on condition of our concurrence and compliance.” We will put the case, that some persons do, eventually, neither concur nor comply. Such persons were, by your own acknowledgment, unredeemed. Therefore, say I, admitting these premises, redemption is not universal: they only (according to Dr. Nowell) being redeemed by Christ, who “concur and comply with the terms offered:” which all do not.

We enter now on a new scene. Prepare thyself, reader, for a fresh discovery: even such an one, as 1, for my own part, should never have dreamt of, but for the assistance of Peter Heylin and Dr. Nowell.— Calvinism, it seems, is downright popery: and popery is orthodox Calvinism. But by what art of transubstantiation is this proved? The proof follows: page 108. “The word elect frequently occurs in the Roman breviary, the papists make use of it in their [[@Page:98]] rituals as well as we:—so that if the use of this word will prove the compilers of our liturgy predestinarians; it will prove the church of Rome so too, and that in this respect it is as orthodox as Calvinism itself.” Not quite so fast, sir. Let us weigh premises, before we jump to conclusions. The sense of the word elect, as it stands in a reformed liturgy, is not to be determined by the sense affixed to it in a Romish breviary. Such an insinuation comes with a very ill grace from the pen of a protestant divine. It would at least have saved appearances, had you referred us, for the sense in which the church of England uses the word elect, to her own 17th article, where she professedly treats of election; instead of sending us back again into Egypt, to eon-suit mass books and breviaries. The spouse of Christ is not to learn the meaning of her husband's language from the mother of abominations. 2. The amount of your observation is this, if I understand it right; “By the word elect, when used by papists, they do not mean God's predestinated children, but  all good catholics: ergo, the same word, when used by protestants, is to be understood as denoting all good Christians.” I deny the consequence. Because papists are perverters of language, scripture, common sense and every thing that is good, it does not follow that protestants should be so too. 3. Neither does it follow, that the church of Rome are predestinarians, because the word elect occurs by chance in their public offices. Popish priests, when they mutter out the word elect, are (like ladies on some occasions) to be understood by contraries: in which too many professing protestants, who ought to know better, are not ashamed to imitate those locusts of the bottomless pit.

In farther opposition to the doctrines of predestination and perseverance, you appeal to our baptismal office. Excellent as that office is, we have had some truly great and good men, who thought it [[@Page:99]] not quite unexceptionable. But, for my own particular part (if I may, without presumption, offer my own judgment,) I know not of one syllable in the whole, which does not harmonize with those doctrines. That part of it, on which you seem to lay the greatest stress, is, where the church appears to take the regeneration of the baptized for granted. From whence Arminians would endeavour to infer, that, since many baptized persons persist finally in sin, and may be supposed to perish at last, therefore the regenerate are not secured from absolute apostasy.— That baptism is a typical regeneration, I grant: as also that it is the ordinance of initiation, whereby a person, whether infant or adult, is incorporated into the visible church, and entered on the list of Christian professors. From the maturest consideration of what our church has delivered concerning the nature and effect of this sacrament it appears to me, that, in her judgment, the administration of baptism is very frequently attended with the true, real, renovating influences of the Holy Ghost: which influences being internal, spiritual, and invisible, and consequently not to be discerned by the baptizer; be is directed to acquaint the bye-standers with the charitable hope of the church, both in his subsequent address to the sponsors, and in his presumptive thanksgiving to Almighty God. Yet, I can no where find, that the church pretends to tie the regenerating grace of the Spirit, to the bare administration of this ordinance: as if that infinitely glorious and absolutely independent person always seconded the good intentions of the church, by invariably crowning that rite with real regeneration. The church [53] of Rome, indeed, bawls out, that every [[@Page:100]] sacrament does, ipso facto, confer grace ex opore operate, and curses them that will not believe it; as also, that baptism impresses I know not what spiritual mark on the soul, even such a mark as can never be effaced: which assertion she likewise arms with a sting in the tail; pronouncing them accursed who deny it. But our own church has nothing like this. On the contrary, she positively defines a sacrament to be “An outward and visible sign of an inward spiritual grace, given unto us, ordained by Christ himself, as a means whereby we receive the same, and a pledge to assure us thereof.” She adds, that “The outward, visible sign, or form in baptism,” is “water, wherein,” or wherewith, “the person is baptized in the name of the Father, &c.” Baptism itself, therefore, is not regeneration, but a sign or type of it: and is then only a proof of regeneration, when accompanied with “the inward and spiritual grace,” which the church does not affirm it always is. And, indeed, I should wonder if she had; since, if all baptized persons were truly regenerate, Christendom would be a much better part of the world than it is. This inward and spiritual grace, of which baptism is the sign and figure, is defined by our church to consist in “A death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness. For, being by nature, horn in sin, and the children of wrath, we are hereby [i. e. by inward and spiritual grace, the last immediate antecedent] “made” [constituted and proved to be] “children of grace.” Exactly coincident with our catechism, is our 27th article: “Baptism is not only a sign of profession, and mark of difference, whereby Christian men are discerned from others that he not christened; but  it is also a sign of regeneration, or new birth, whereby, as by an instrument, they that receive baptism rightly, are grafted into the church, &c.” I conclude from hence, that, in the judgment of the church of England, baptism and internal regeneration (the former [[@Page:101]] being simply considered in itself, only a sign or symbol of the latter) are two distinct things; which, though they sometimes go together (when the holy Spirit pleases to make baptism the channel of his gracious influences), yet do not necessarily nor constantly accompany each other: and therefore the subsequent apostasy of some baptized persons does not in the least (as bishop Burnet would infer, and you from him) shake the doctrine either of immutable predestination on God's part, or of infallible perseverance on the part of the truly regenerate. But you observe, page 109. that, “With regard to infants, the rubrick declares, it is certain by God's word, that children which are baptized, dying before they commit actual sin, are undoubtedly saved.” I firmly believe the same. Nay, I believe more. I am convinced, that the souls of all departed infants whatever, whether baptized or unbaptized, are with God in glory. And I think my belief warranted by an authority winch cannot err, Matt, xviii. 14.——— You have therefore no occasion to lug in children by bead and shoulders, page 110. and to ask, with an air of insult, where then is the “doctrine of absolute, irrespective predestination and reprobation, which would include children as well as adults?” I believe, that, in the decree of predestination to life, God hath included all whom be hath decreed to take away in infancy: and that the decree of reprobation has nothing to do with them.

Now we come to what you and others of your party represent as monstrum, borrendum, informc, ingens, eui lumen ademptum: I mean the doctrine of reprobation. Absolute reprobation you say, “Is no where taught in our articles, nor in the scriptures; but just the contrary.” I, on the other band maintain, that it is plainly implied in our articles, and expressly asserted in the scriptures. Of the latter I shall say little here: but I cannot, in justice to the church, omit a short proof or two respecting the former. In [[@Page:102]] doing this, I must really be so impolite as to hold up the 17th article to you, though I am sensible it is an article you have no great affection for. However, as it has received the sanction of your own solemn subscription, you are bound, both in honour, conscience, and law, to stand or fall by the evidence it brings. “Predestination to life” [which implies, on the other hand, a predestination to death; otherwise the article is lame] “is the everlasting purpose 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 [observe that restrictive word], whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind,” [all mankind therefore were not chosen, but some were passed by: for if there was no decretive distinction in God's election, the elect could not be said to be chosen out of mankind] “and to bring them by Christ” [and not the rest, out of whom they were chosen], “to everlasting salvation as vessels made to honour.” [There are, therefore, some vessels not made unto honour]. In thus asserting everlasting, personal, immutable election; the church, tacitly indeed, but virtually, and by necessary [54] consequence, sets her seal to the opposite doctrine of pretention: since there can be no choice, without a refusal; no election of some, without a rejection of others; no partial admission, without a partial exclusion. The church, indeed, does not expressly say as much: but, from the premises she has laid down, the conclusion follows as unavoidably as if she had: and I defy all the sophistry of man to affirm the premises, without admitting the conclusion. Election, without reprobation, cannot stand: it most have the other leg, or it will tumble down.—But I recur to the article: and shall begin where I left oil. After asserting the decree of predestination unto life, and telling us what it is; the church goes on to affirm, that this [[@Page:103]] decree cannot be frustrated, but shall certainly have its accomplishment, in the salvation of its objects, at the appointed time, and through the appointed means: “Wherefore they which be endued with so excellent a benefit of God” [namely, with the excellent benefit of God's election and predestination to life], “he called” [and that not with a random call, hut] “according to God's purpose, by his Spirit working in due season: [nor with a precarious, ineffectual call; but witli such a spiritual and internal call, as insures the end for which it was vouchsafed; for] “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;” [not only for a while, but to the end of their days; otherwise it would not be added] “and, at length, by God's mercy, they attain to everlasting felicity:” [so that they, who do not eventually attain to everlasting felicity, were never in the number of God's elect[55]] In the next place, this article proceeds, by way of practical improvement, to point out the most obvious uses and abuses of the doctrine of predestination. 1. Its uses. “As the godly consideration of predestination and our election in Christ is [1.] full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to godly persons, and such as feel in themselves the working of the Spirit of Christ, mortifying the works of the flesh and their earthly members, and drawing up their mind to high and heavenly things; as well because [2.] it doth greatly establish and confirm their faith of eternal salvation to he enjoyed through Christ, as because [3.] it doth fervently kindle their love towards God;” [now follow the abuses of it] “So, for curious and carnal persons, lacking the Spirit of God” [i. e. the reprobate, who arc [[@Page:104]] described in scripture, (Jude 19.) under this very character of not having the Spirit], “to have continually before their eyes the sentence of God's predestination, is a most dangerous downfall; whereby the devil doth thrust them either [1.] into desperation, or [2.] into wretchlessness of most unclean living, no less perilous than desperation.” The article, then, plainly speaks of two distinct sorts or persons; the elect, and the non-elect. With regard to the converted elect, the consideration of their predestination in Christ fills them with sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort; it greatly establishes and confirms their faith; and doth fervently kindle their love towards God: which love is the never failing source of all good works. But, with regard to the others, the article expressly declares God's predestination to be a sentence; and a dismal sentence it is to such: the contemplation of which serves to thrust them into desperation and unclean living. Never was any ecclesiastical decision a more exact unison with scripture. Who can read this 17th article, and not he reminded of that passage in the apostle, 1 Pet. ii. 8, 9.?

The article closes with two wise and useful cautions; “furthermore, we must [1.] receive God'.-, promises in such wise, as they he generally set forth in holy scripture: and [2.] in our doings, that will of God is to be followed, which we have expressly declared unto us in the word of God.” Two propositions these, which every Calvinist allows; and the latter of which, by the bye, is evidently formed on the Calvinistic distinction of the divine will into secret and revealed.

But you still wage war against the import of the word elect. Hence, page 112. you serve up the crambe repetita again, and will have it that “the elect and chosen of God are all good Christians.'' You have given us to understand before, that God the Son redeemed, and God the holy Spirit sanctifies, none but  good Christians; as if the effect [[@Page:105]] went before the cause: and now (if your definition has any meaning at all), you would insinuate again, that God the Father does not elect and choose men, until they become good: and then, I suppose, if they lose this goodness (for, upon Arminian principles, it is a very slippery thing), they are presently cashiered and unchose: but, if their free-will should once more yield itself so pliable, as to grow good again, they are re-elected anew: and, perhaps, after they have been, in the course of a few years, elected and unelected, redeemed and unredeemed, sanctified and unsanctified, born again and unborn, some hundreds of times: these “elect and chosen of God, these good Christians,” may (for it is all a chance) perish and go to hell at last. A very suitable representation, this, of the God who changeth not, and of the everlasting covenant which is ordered in all things and sure! “The elect and chosen of God are, all good Christians':” invert the proposition, and you will advance a certain truth: “all good Christians,” those that are renewed, and sanctified in the Spirit of their minds by divine grace, “are the elect and chosen of God;” known and discovered to be his chosen, by the grace which he hath given them. I am sure St. Paul represents sanctification, not as a cause or condition of election, but as a fruit, effect, and one subordinate end of it: according as be hath chosen us in him [in Christ] before the foundation of the world, [not because we were, or be foresaw we would be, “good Christians” but that] we should be holy and without blame before him in love: having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, Eph. i. 4, 5. I wish you would read what bishop Fell observes on this passage: the testimony of that learned and worthy bishop of Oxford might he a means of making you see the absurdity, as well as impiety, of turning the gospel plan upside down, by bottoming [[@Page:106]] God's decrees on any qualification (whether actual or foreseen) in the creature. You go on, (ibid.) “Christ's sheep are they who hear his voice, and follow him, and abound in good works.” We all grant that his sheep, or his elect, “hear his voice” sooner or later, in effectual calling; that they are made to “follow him” in the regeneration, “and abound in good works,” from the genuine principles of faith and love. But then we assert, with the scripture, and conformably to the doctrine of our church, that this sanctification of them is not the cause of their being Ins sheep and his chosen, but  proofs, marks, and evidences of their having been so from everlasting. Our Lord himself, John x. styles the elect his sheep, previously to their hearing his voice: My sheep hear my voice, &c. they do not hear it, in order to their becoming his sheep, but hear it as such, and because they were such. So, verse 16. the elect, even while unregenerate, and who had not yet heard his voice, arc termed his sheep;— And other sheep I have, which are not of this [of the Jewish] fold; them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice: according to what he says, elsewhere, All that the Father giveth me, shall come unto me. He tells the reprobate Jews, chap. x. Ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, i. e. in the number of my elect. But if the word sheep does not signify elect persons, but good Christians; the sense of our Lord's declaration would he this, “Ye are not believers and good Christians, because ye are not believers and good Christians!”

As you will not let the word elect have fair play for itself; the word church must, it seems, come in for a share of the same fate, p. 112. “The church, in scripture, signifies the whole body of Christians, of which Christ is the head.” Do you mean the visible, or the invisible church? If the visible, it does most certainly consist of the whole body of professing Christians, of whom Christ is the [[@Page:107]] acknowledgcd head. But if you mean the invisible church (that church, which Christ loved, and for which he gave himself unto death, Eph. v. 25.) your definition is much too vague and lax: this church being σθνεκλεκτη,, coelect with Christ, and ordained to grace and glory through him; the church of the firstborn, who are enrolled in heaven, Heb. xii. and whose names are, from before the foundation of the world, in the Lamb's book of life, Luke x. 20. Phil. iv. S. Rev. xvii. 8. The constituent members of this invisible church, when brought to the knowledge of Christ by effectual calling, and added to the visible fold, are, in scripture, the true εκκλησια, or the company of men called out of the world, and gathered in from among mankind: so that, during their abode on earth, they are a kingdom within a kingdom, as being not only subjects of the kingdom of Providence (which they were before, in common with the rest), but likewise exalted to he subjects of the kingdom of grace, which all mankind are not.

I could wish, sir, that you had observed some regular plan, in your handling of the points in debate. Instead of this, the method you observe, is as rambling and embarrassed, as the system you have embraced. Your performance had been less intricate and confused, if you had reduced it to some order, and delivered all you had to say on predestination, free-will, and final perseverance, under each of those heads respectively, without running them one into another. For want of this, I am forced to follow you through your various windings, and measure back the ground already trod, by perpetually reverting to the same subjects.—After giving us your definition of the word church, you recur to the doctrine of universal redemption: which you aver to be taught by our homilies. That the church, when treating of Christ's sacrifice and death, does not always, in so many words, expressly limit redemption to the elect only; is no argument of her holding the [[@Page:108]] absurd doctrines of a random salvation, and of redemption without a plan. It is her own stated rule, and a very just one, that “The promises of God are to be received in such wise, as they be generally set forth in holy scripture.” This rule she has generally followed, and in it we follow her too; and assert, pleno ore, that “God so loved the world,” i. e. Gentiles as well as Jews, “that lie gave Ins only begotten Son, to the end that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The question, then, between the Arminians and us,. is not, whether all true believers shall be saved; for we hold that as a certain truth: but, whether saving faith (which always works by love) is of man's acquisition, or of God's operation.

Now, again, for perseverance, p. 118. “The 16th article teaches, that, after we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace given, and fall into sin: and that deadly sin is here meant, appears from the beginning of the article. It follows, that, by the grace of God, we may rise again: which plainly implies, that we also may not rise again.” Pray, sir, let the article speak for itself. The title of it runs thus, “Of sin after baptism:” and the article itself is as follows; “Not every deadly sin, wilfully committed after baptism, is sin against the Holy Ghost, and unpardonable. Wherefore, the grant of repentance is not to be denied to such as fall into sin after baptism. After we have received the Holy Ghost” [i. e. after we have been baptized, as the words, immediately preceding, explain it] “we may depart from grace given,” &c. The conclusions to be inferred from this article, are, 1. That it treats of sins committed, not after spiritual and internal regeneration, but simply, after baptism. 2. That, it is probable, some common, restraining influences of the Spirit may usually be vouchsafed to the recipients of this ordinance: but still, these influences do not, for any thing the article says, amount to [[@Page:109]] real regeneration: consequently, it has nothing to do with the doctrine of final perseverance, which relates to the truly regenerate, and to them only. 3. The departure from grace given, of which the article makes mention, is only simply styled a departure, without declaring that departure to be either total or final: consequently, it does not at all affect the present argument. 4. The whole apparently relates, not to matters of spiritual grace, but to ecclesiastical censures and the exercise of church discipline. If, for example, a member of the church be under excommunication for some atrocious crime committed, or for some public scandal given, after baptism; the church, upon such a person's open repentance, is to accept of his submission, and recall her censures: as appears, not only from the main drift of the article, but, in particular, from those words of it, “The grant of repentance is not to be denied to such as fall into sin after baptism.” Hence, this article, 5. Expressly condemns the severity of the old Novatians; who held, that such baptized persons, as had fallen away in persecuting times, were for ever to be excluded from the communion of the church. 6. It follows, from the article, that they are no less to be condemned, who would set up for sinless perfection; and that, 7. Baptized persons and professing Christians are liable to fall into sin, and may, by grace, recover and rise again. All which is very true, and doubted of by no Calvinist within the sphere of my acquaintance. —Bishop Burnet would gladly enough have caught at this article, in proof of the saints apostasy, bad the article itself looked at all that way. But be saw it did not, and therefore explains it in a manner, very different from the glosses and perversions, with which Dr. Nowell would darken it. Surely, the cause must be very weak, which, in so able a hand as yours, is so feebly and so unfairly supported! Why should you labour so ardently to make [[@Page:110]] the church contradict herself? In the 17th article, as I observed before, the elect are expressly said, to be “Justified, called, conformed to the image of Christ, to walk religiously in good works, and, at length, to attain to everlasting felicity:” but how could they be said to actually attain to everlasting-felicity, if all or any of them might perish by the way?

Nor do our homilies ran counter to our articles. Your citations from the former, only prove these five things; 1. That the regenerate are not, in this life, impeccable. 2. That, without carefulness and circumspection, the most advanced in grace may not only sin, but even sin grievously. 3. That the spiritual life of the soul must be cherished, and kept up, by a diligent and humble attendance on the several means of grace. 4. That good works and holy obedience are the inseparable, effects of true faith; and, 5. That all hope of interest in Christ, and expectation of salvation by him, arc vain and groundless, unless we prove ourselves his children, by walking as be walked.

Lastly, We come to the doctrine of justification by faith. On tins important subject, you deliver your judgment as follows; page 123. “We all hold, that we are justified freely by God's grace: that there is no merit in good works: that we are not to place our dependance, or rest our plea, on any works that we have done or can do; but only on the mercy of God, and the merits of our Redeemer.” And again, page 124. “We hold, as well as yon, that justification is the act of God alone, conferred on us freely, by his grace: that our own good works have no proper efficiency in the act of our justification; have no worth or merit in them: that we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God, and can be justified and saved only by faith,” which faith you immediately define to he, “a reliance on the mercies and merits of Christ.” After giving us such a [[@Page:111]] confession of your faith, who could have imagined that you would almost in the same breath, blow down the whole fabric? by saying, page 123. “On the other hand, I should hope, that all who believe the gospel, would agree, that good works are the necessary condition both of our justification and salvation.” How! justified and saved only by faith, and yet, good works the necessary condition both of our justification and salvation! which soever of these two “propositions is right, one of them must be wrong; because two contradictory assertions cannot be both true. If faith be, as you say it is, neither more nor less than a reliance on the mercies and merits of Christ, and we are justified and saved by faith only; it follows, that good works cannot possibly be the necessary condition of our justification and salvation.

To tell you plainly, sir, the doctrine of the scriptures, and of our church, is, that justification itself consists in God's esteeming and counting us righteous: that he thus esteems and counts us righteous, neither for our faith, nor for our works, nor for both of them together; but solely and entirely on account of Christ's sacrifice and obedience imputed to us freely and fully: that the sacrifice and obedience of Christ, as the alone matter of our justification are to be received, embraced, and rested upon by faith only, which faith is the gift of God: and, that this faith, thus divinely given and wrought in the soul by the Holy Ghost, is lively, active and purifying, having its fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.—Sanctification, then, and good works, are not conditions of, but consequences resulting from, interest in Christ and acceptance with God: not antecedent requisites, a priori, in order to our being justified; but subsequent evidences, a posteriori, of our being so. Hence, our excellent church puts justification before good works, and makes good work's follow justification. In her 11th article, she treats [[@Page:112]] of justification; and then, in the 12th, considers good works.

Article XI.

“Of the justification of man.

“We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord Jesus Christ, by faith, and not for our own works or deservings. Wherefore, that we are justified by faith only, is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort: as more largely is expressed in the homily of justification.”

If works, if all works of our own, of every sort, and in every point of view, are not here totally excluded from having any thing to do with justification, a parte ante; there is no such thing as meaning in language. Yet our reformers, in the next article, speak, if possible, clearer still: and, as if they thought it not enough, simply to exclude works from having the least hand in any part of our justification; go on to acquaint us, that, until men actually are justified, they cannot so much as do a good work: good works being the effect and fruits, of which justification, previously received, is itself the source and cause. And, if justification itself is the cause of good works, then good works cannot possibly be either the cause or condition of justification; because causes and conditions necessarily precede that, which they are the causes and conditions of.

Article XII.

“Of good works.

Albeit, that good works, which are the fruits of faith, and follow after justification, cannot put away our sins, and endure the severity of God's judgment; yet are they pleasing and acceptable to God in Christ, and do spring out, necessarily, of a true and lively faith: insomuch that, by them a lively faith may he as evidently known, as a tree discerned by the fruit.”

Hence I conclude, that, if we are justified, or accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of [[@Page:113]] our Lord Jesus Christ received by faith; and if good works themselves are the fruits of faith, and follow after justification; then good works cannot, in the very nature of things, go before justification, any more than fruit can exist prior to the tree that bears it; or an effect can be wrought, antecedently to the cause that produces it. Has the determination of our own church any weight with her members? If it has, they must and will acknowledge, that good works do not precede justification; and, consequently, cannot be (as Papists and Arminians pretend) a condition, without which God will not justify. The good works, which he has ordained for us to walk in, succeed and follow upon justification ex post facto; as marks and evidences of our being already in a justified state.—But our reformers foresaw, that some would probably ask, “Since justification is not, in any sense whatever, founded upon good works; but, on the contrary, all good works flow from justification; and these flowing from it, can never be the source of that, from which themselves issue as the stream; what are we to think of those works, which are done prior to this justification by faith?” To an enquiry of this sort, the next article returns such an answer, as effectually clinches the nail, and lays the axe to the very root of legal conditional justification: declaring, that no works whatever, done by us before justification, are pleasing to God; and by consequence, that no man can, directly or indirectly, be justified by works of his own. It being of all absurdities, the absurdest, to imagine, that those sinful works, with which God is actually displeased, should be conditions of obtaining his favour, or recommend us to his acceptance.

Article XIII.

Of works done before justification.

“Works done before the grace of Christ, and the inspiration of his Spirit, are not pleasant to God; [[@Page:114]] forasmuch as they spring not of faith in Jesus Christ, &c.”

With these decisions, our homilies are perfect unisons. Witness the following citation, which be-ing extremely important, most judiciously worded, and as pertinent to the subject, as if it had been purposely drawn up against Dr. Nowell; I request the reader to peruse it slowly, and to weigh it with the most careful attention. “These works” [namely, such as are becoming of “new creatures in Christ”] “the apostle calleth good works; saying, we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God hath ordained that wc should walk in them. And yet his meaning is not by these words to induce us to have any affiance, or to put any confidence in our works, as by the merit and deserving of them to purchase to ourselves and others remission of sin, and so consequently everlasting life: for that were mere blasphemy against God's mercy, and great derogation to the blood-shedding of our Saviour Jesus Christ. For it is of the free-grace and mercy of God, by the mediation of the blood of his Son Jesus Christ, without merit or deserving on our part, that we are reconciled and brought again into his favour, and are made heirs of his heavenly kingdom. Grace, saith St. Augustine, belonging to God, who doth call us: and then hath he good works, whosoever received grace. Good works then, bring not forth grace, but are brought forth by grace. The wheel (saith he) turneth round, not to the end that it may be made round; but, because it is first made round, therefore it turneth round. So no man doeth good works to receive grace by his good works, but because he hath first received grace, therefore, consequently, he doeth good works, And in another place, he [St. Austin] saith: good works go not before, in him which shall afterwards be justified; but good works do follow after, when a man is, first, [[@Page:115]] justified[56]. St. Paul therefore teacheth, that we must do good works, for divers respects, 1. To show ourselves obedient children to our heavenly Father, &c. 2. For that they are good declarations and testimonials of our justification. 3. That others, seeing our good works, may the rather by them be stirred up and excited, &c.” Homily of fasting. Part 1.

Good works, therefore, being the effects of justification, cannot be the cause of it: any more than the volubility of a wheel is the cause of its rotundity. A wheel rolls, not in order to be made round, but in consequence of being already so; in like manner men do good works, not in order to be justified; but in

consequence of being justified already.———On this

grand, fundamental church of England principle, the doctrine of conditional justification is the grossest of contradictions. For (suffer me to repeat the important remark) if no good works whatever can be done, before justification; his absolutely impossible that justification should be at all suspended on good works: for then justification would be suspended on a non-entity. How, sir, can those good works be the condition of my justification, not one of which can have any existence until I am justified! Your assertion therefore, page 124. “That good works, though imperfect and worthless, arc yet required by God as necessary terms, qualifications, and conditions, both of our justification and salvation,” is flatly giving the lie, not only to scripture, but to every article and homily of our church upon the subject. Let me likewise observe, by the way, that as, on the one hand, you extol good works too high, in representing them as conditions of justification; so, on the other, you sink them as [[@Page:116]] much too low, in presuming to call them worthless. Works resulting from grace, and wrought with a view to glorify God, deserve a better epithet, than that of worthless. Had a Calvinist styled them so, you would have set him down at once for an Antinomian: and not without reason. Good works, though imperfect, are yet very far from being worthless things. Seeing, as the above homily justly observes, they are proofs of our obedience to God, testimonies of our justification, and conducive to the edification of our fellow Christians. We Calvinists value sanctification and good works, as the writings of our heavenly estate: which, though they have no hand in procuring the estate itself (for that is already done, by the precious merits of the sole Mediator between God and man), yet prove that the estate is ours through the free grace of God and the alone righteousness of Christ.—Good works, therefore, though no part of our dependance, nor any condition of our present or everlasting acceptance, are still by no means worthless, as you have contemptuously, and inconsistently with your own plan, ventured to style them. However worthless you may affect to deem them, woe be to you and me, if we are eventually found without them.

I have now, so far as the church of England is properly concerned, touched on the most material parts of your pamphlet: and am of opinion, for my own part, that your design is not very happily executed, nor your objections very solidly founded. I really think, upon a review of the whole, that you have no great reason to sing Te Deum, for your imaginary triumph over the doctrines of the reformation. Yet is it matter of lamentation, that you should even have attempted to subvert them; and that the church should receive any blow, how slight soever, from so respectable a hand. You have been fighting against those very truths, which, when you received ordination, you, on your knees, was [[@Page:117]] solemnly commissioned to defend; and which, previous to that solemnity, you had ratified as your own belief, by the deliberate subscription of your name. Form to yourself, the idea of an English officer, who, false to the cause and service of his Britannic Majesty, should ungratefully and perfidiously, endeavour to promote the interest of the French king, at the very time that he wears the regimentals, and receives the pay of his own lawful sovereign. Very pertinent to the present argument, is that expostulation of the great Dr. South: “To be impugned from without, and betrayed from within, is certainly the worst condition, that either church or state can fall into: and the best of churches, the church of England, has had experience of both. It had been to he wished, and one would think, might very reasonably have been expected, that, when providence had took the work of destroying the church of England, out of the papists hands, some would have been contented with her preferments, without either attempting to give up her rites and liturgy, or deserting her doctrine: but it has proved much otherwise[57].” It has indeed. How much farther God will suffer us to fall, is best known to him that knows all things. I only wish, that “we may not part with one thing after another, till we have nothing left.” How wide a difference there is, between the doctrine of the church, and that of some churchmen (as Dr. South well distinguishes), will appear yet plainer, by the following extracts from a book, which, I fear, is subscribed by too many who have never read it: I mean, the homilies of our established church. Let these decide, whether Calvinists or Arminians best deserve the name of churchmen.

I. Concerning predestination, as it respects Christ the Mediator, our church delivers herself thus: “When the fulness of time was come, that is, the [[@Page:118]] perfection and course of years appointed from the beginning; then God, according to his former covenant and promise, sent a Messias.” Horn, on the nativity, p. 243. [58]

Again, “Remember that ye be bought from your vain conversation, and that your freedom is purchased neither with gold nor silver, but with the price of the precious blood of that innocent Lamb, Jesus Christ, which was ordained to the same purpose before the world was made.” Horn, on the resurrection, p. 266.

Of predestination, as it respects mankind, I find as follows:

“When God had chosen to himself a peculiar and special people, from amongst all other nations that knew not God,—he gave unto them certain ordinances, &c.” Horn, against idolatry, p. 104. This refers to the ancient Jews. Let us now bear what is said, concerning the Christian church: “The true church is an universal congregation or fellowship of God's faithful and elect people: built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the head corner-stone.” Horn, for Whitsunday, p. 283.

“Let us only trust to be saved by his death and passion, and to have our sins clean washed away through his most precious blood; that in the end of the world, when he shall come again to judge both the quick and the dead, he may receive us into his heavenly kingdom, and place us in the number of his elect and chosen people.” Hom. 2. on the passion, p. 261.

Once more: “God of his mercy and special favour towards them, whom he hath appointed to everlasting salvation, hath so offered his grace especially, and they have so received it fruitfully, that although, by reason of their sinful living [[@Page:119]] outwardly, they seemed before to have been the children of wrath and perdition; yet now, the Spirit of God mightily working in them, they declare, by their outward deeds and life, in the showing of mercy and charity (which cannot come, but of the Spirit of God, and his especial grace) that they are the undoubted children of God, appointed to everlasting life. And so, as by their wickedness and ungodly living, they showed themselves according to the judgment of men, which follow the outward appearance, to be reprobates and cast-aways; so now, by their obedience unto God's holy will, and by their merciful and tender pity (wherein they show themselves to he like unto God, who is the fountain and spring of all mercy) they declare openly and manifestly to the sight of men, that they are the sons of God, and elect of him unto salvation.” Horn. 2. on alms-deeds, p. 235, 203. Hence, it is clearly the doctrine of our church, 1. That there are some persons elect, chosen, and appointed of God to everlasting life. 2. That this his choice of them, and their subsequent regeneration, are founded on his own mercy and special favour towards them. 3. That the elect, even before they are converted and sanctified, are not, in reality, objects of God's hatred, but only seem to be such, in the judgment of men. 4. That the conversion of the elect is wrought by God's especial grace, and by his Spirit mightily working in them. 5. That sanctification and good works are (not the causes and conditions of election, but) the marks, proofs, evidences and consequences of it; whereby the regenerate declare openly and manifestly, that they are the undoubted children of God, appointed to everlasting life, and elect of him unto salvation.

Nor is our church silent as to that other branch of God's decree, commonly called reprobation.— “Christ himself, the prophets before him, the apostles after him, all the true ministers of God's [[@Page:120]] holy word, yea, every word in God's book, is, unto the reprobate, the savor of death unto death.” Hom. 2. on certain places of scripture, p. 228. And, elsewhere, more roundly still: God “will have none in council with him, nor any to ask the reason of his doing: for he may do what liketh him, and none can resist him. For he worketh all things in his secret judgment, to his own pleasure; yea, even the wicked to damnation, saith Solomon.” Rogation, I Hom. p. 289.

Intimately connected with (and indeed solely founded upon) predestination, is the doctrine of absolute providence: concerning which latter, the church thus speaks: “Epicures they be, that imagine, that he” (God) “walketh about the coasts of the heavens, and hath no respect of these inferior things, but that all these things should proceed either by chance, or at adventure, or else by disposition of fortune; and God to have no stroke in them. “What other thing is this to say, than, as the fool supposeth in his heart, there is no God?” Rogation, 2 Horn. p. 293.

II. With regard to the extent of redemption, our church expressly declares, that Christ “Is the high and everlasting priest, who hath offered himself once for all upon the altar of the cross, and with that one oblation, hath made perfect for evermore them that are sanctified.” Horn. 1. of salvation, p. 10. More minutely still: “The end of his coming, was to save and deliver his people.” Horn, on the nativity, p. 247. Again, “Christ put himself between God's deserved wrath and our sin; and rent that obligation, wherein we were in danger to God, and paid our debt. Our debt was a great deal too great for us to have paid; and without payment, God the Father could never he at one with us. Neither was it possible to be loosed from this debt, by our own ability, it pleased him therefore, to be [[@Page:121]] the payer thereof, and to discharge us quite.” Horn. 1. on the passion, p. 249, 250. Hence it appears, that in the opinion of our church, Christ did not lay down his life to put men into a salvable state, and render their salvation barely possible; but, actually and absolutely, secured the discharge of those he redeemed, and indeed it would have been no redemption, without this. Christ is here said to have positively paid our debt, and to have so paid it, as to discharge us quite. Seems it not, therefore, to flow from these premises, that the spiritual debts of those who shall be condemned in the last day, were not paid by him? for, if they were, how can it come to pass, that some of those very persons shall be thrown into prison, and there tormented, whose debts have been really paid to the uttermost farthing? Will not the Judge of the whole earth do right? Is it consistent with out- ideas of justice, that God the Father should demand double payment of the self-same debts, by charging sin first to the surety's account, and then to the sinner's afterwards? Christ, says our homily, discharged us quite: but can such persons be said to be quite discharged, on whom divine justice hath still an unsatisfied claim, and against whom the debt book is yet uncrossed, and for whom penal vengeance is laid up in store? Upon these two correlative suppositions, 1. That the death of Christ was a vicarious punishment; and, 2. that it was a proper, real, adequate atonement for sin (both which are the avowed doctrines of our church); either universal salvation, or a limited redemption, must necessarily follow. But the church does not hold universal salvation; therefore, you must either grant, that she contradicts her own fundamental principles, or, that she believes redemption to be only co-extensive with election.— There is, I apprehend, but  one way to elude the force of this argument; and that is, fairly and above [[@Page:122]] board, to take refuge in [59] Socinianism (as the great Grotius at length unhappily did) by denying that Christ died as our substitute, and in our room and stead. But this refuge is attended with ten thousand times worse consequences, than cither the doctrine of unlimited salvation, or that of partial redemption. The Arminian salvo, that “Christ died for us, only to put us into a capacity of being saved if we are willing to close in with certain terms offered;” leaves the matter every jot as embarrassed as it found it. Since it can never with any colour of reason, be supposed, that he would ascertain the end, without securing the means; for that would be doing just nothing at all. He cannot be said to have purchased salvation for any, for whom he did not likewise obtain those influences of saving grace, without which, final salvation cannot be had; nor am I able to conceive, how a Being of infinite wisdom would actually pay down a price of infinite value, and yet leave it quite uncertain, whether the purchased blessing should be enjoyed by those for whom he bought them. This will still appear more unlikely (or rather impossible), if we take his foreknowledge into the account. Would he (with the deepest reverence be it asked) shed his inestimably precious blood for those persons, who, as himself knew at that very time he did if, would certainly reject the redemption wrought? If he did not foreknow this, what becomes of his deity? If he did foreknow it, and yet died for such, it was, in effect, redeeming them unto greater condemnation: and then, redemption (so far as these persons are concerned) can hardly be considered as an act of mercy. For my own part, these and similar considerations strike me so strongly, that I find myself obliged, by dint both [[@Page:123]] of rational and scripture evidence, to believe, that Christ actually and infallibly secured the salvation of every individual for whom he died: that repentance, faith, and holiness are wrought in those he hath ransomed; and that God giveth grace and glory to all them, for whom he gave his Son.—This train of reasoning is not a little countenanced, by the following passage in another of our homilies. “Now it followeth to have, with this knowledge, a sure and constant faith, not only that the death of Christ is available [60] for the redemption of all the world, for the remission of sins, and reconciliation with God the Father; but also that he hath made upon the cross, a full and sufficient sacrifice for thee, a perfect cleansing of thy sins: So that thou mayest say with the apostle, that he loved thee, and gave himself for thee.” Horn, on the sacrament, p. 272. But, if Christ loved all men, and gave himself for every individual of mankind, he must of course have loved me, and gave himself for me: consequently, this assured faith, of his being my lover, my sacrifice, and my Saviour in particular, could not, upon the principle of universal redemption, he so high and distinguishing a privilege, as the homily here represents it. Upon the whole, when the homilies appear to speak of redemption as general, it seems but  fair to understand them, rather in an indefinite, than in a strictly unlimited sense. Such a declaration, as this that follows, should be looked upon as explanatory of the church's meaning in other places, where the restriction is not so expressly laid down: Christ “was obedient even to the very death, the death of the cross. And this he did, for us all that believe.” First homily on the passion, p. 250.

[[@Page:124]] III. Man's exceeding depravation by nature, and total inability as to spiritual good, are largely and strongly asserted in our homilies. “The Holy Ghost, in writing the holy scriptures, is in nothing more diligent, than to pull down man's vain glory and pride; which of all vices, is most universally grafted in all mankind, even from the first infection of our first father Adam.” First homily on the misery of man, p. 6.

“St. Paul, in many places, painteth us out in our colours, calling us the children of the wrath of God when we be born: saying also, that we cannot think a good thought of ourselves; much less can we say well, or do well ourselves.” Ibid. p. 8.

“We be, of ourselves, of such earth as can bring forth but  weeds, nettles, brambles, briars, cockles, and darnel. Our fruits be declared in the 5th chapter to the Galatians. We have neither faith, charity, hope, patience, chastity, nor any thing else that good is, but of God; and therefore these virtues be called there, the fruits of the Holy Ghost, and not the fruits of man.” Second homily on ditto, p. 9.

“Of ourselves, and by ourselves, we have no goodness, help, nor salvation: hut, contrariwise, sin, damnation, and death everlasting. Which, if we deeply weigh and consider, we shall the better understand the great mercy of God, and how our salvation cometh only by Christ; for, in ourselves (as of ourselves), we find nothing whereby we may be delivered from this miserable captivity, into the which we were cast, through the envy of the devil, by breaking of God's commandment in our first parent Adam. We arc all become unclean, but we all arc not able to cleanse ourselves, nor to make one another of us clean. We are by nature the children of God's wrath, but we are not able to make ourselves the children and inheritors of God's glory. We are sheep that run astray, but we cannot of our [[@Page:125]] own power come again to the sheepfold; so great is our imperfection and weakness.” Ibid. p. 10.

“St. Ambrose concludeth in a few words, saying, he that by nature would withstand vice, either by natural will, or reason, he doth in vain garnish the time of this life, and attaineth not the very true virtues.” First homily on good works, p. 28.

These sentences (good people), unto a natural man, seem mere absurdities, contrary to all reason. For, a natural man, as St. Paul saith, understandeth not the things that belong to God: neither can ho, so long as old Adam dwelleth in him.” Second homily on certain places of scripture, p. 225.

“God therefore, for his mercy's sake, vouchsafe to purify our minds, through faith in his Son Jesus Christ, and to instil the heavenly drops of his grace into our hard stony hearts to supple the same.” Ibid. p. 229.

“Let us, throughout our whole lives, confess all good things to come of God, of what name or nature soever they be: not of these corruptible things only, but much more of all spiritual graces believable for our soul.” Second rogation homily, p. 220.

“If any gift we have, wherewith we may work to the gloiy of God, and profit to our neighbour, all is wrought by his own and self-same Spirit, which maketh his distributions peculiarly to every man as he will.” Third rogation homily, p. 299-

“We have, of our own selves, nothing to present us to God.” First homily on repentance, p. 320.

Such are the ideas inculcated by the church of England, concerning man's free-will, and the powers of nature.

IV. Equally careful she is, to assert the absolute energy, independence, and efficacy of divine grace. “As the good fruit is not the cause that the tree is good, but the tree must first be good, before it can bring forth good fruit; so the good deeds of men are not the cause, that maketh man good, but he is first made good by the Spirit and grace of God, that [[@Page:126]] effectually worketh in him, and afterward he bring-eth forth good fruits.” And, a little lower, we meet with this expression, “The grace of God, which worketh all in all.” Second homily on alms-deeds, p. 236.

“Where the Holy Ghost worketh, there nothing is impossible: as may further also appear by the inward regeneration and sanctification of mankind.” From whence, taking occasion to speak of Nicodemus, the homily adds; “Behold a lively pattern of a fleshly and carnal man. He had little or no intelligence of the Holy Ghost, and therefore he goeth bluntly to work, and asketh how this thing” [namely, inward regeneration by the Spirit of God] “were possible to be true? Whereas otherwise, if he had known the great power of the Holy Ghost in this behalf, that it is he which inwardly worketh the regeneration and new birth of mankind; he would never have marvelled at Christ's words, but would rather take occasion thereby to praise and glorify God.” First homily for Whitsunday, p. 279.

“Man, of his own nature,” is fleshly and carnal, corrupt and naught, sinful and disobedient to God, without any spark of goodness in him, without any virtuous or godly motion, only given to evil thoughts and wicked deeds. As for the works of the Spirit, the fruits of faith, charitable and godly motions; if lie have any at all in him, they proceed only of the Holy Ghost, who is the only worker of our sanctification, and maketh us new men in Christ Jesus. Such is the power of the Holy Ghost to regenerate men, and, as it were, to bring them forth anew, so that they shall be nothing like the men that they were before.” Ibid. p. 280.

“Let them all come together, that be now glorified in heaven, and let us hear what answer they will make in these points before rehearsed, whether their first creation was in God's goodness, or of themselves. Forsooth, David would make answer for them all, and soy, Know ye for surety, even the [[@Page:127]] Lord is God; he hath made us, and not Are ourselves. If they were asked again, who shall he thanked-for their regeneration? for their justification? and for their salvation? Whether their deserts, or God's goodness only? Let David answer by the mouth of them all at this time, who cannot choose but say, Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but  to thy name give all the thanks, for thy loving mercy and for thy truth's sake. If we should ask again, from whence came their glorious works and deeds, which they wrought in their lives, wherewith God was so highly pleased and worshipped by them? Let some other witness be brought in, to testify this matter; that in the mouth of two or three, may the truth be known. Verily, that holy prophet Esay beareth record, and saith, O Lord, it is thou, of thy goodness, that hast wrought all our works in us, not we ourselves. And, to uphold the truth of this matter, against all justiciaries and hypocrites, which rob almighty God of his honour, and ascribe it to themselves, St. Paul, bringeth in his belief: We be not (saith he) sufficient of ourselves, once to think any thing: but  all our ableness is of God's goodness. For he it is, in whom Ave have all our being, and living, and moving. If ye will know, furthermore, where they had their gifts and sacrifices, which they offered continually in their lives to almighty God; they cannot but agree with David, where he saith, Of thy liberal hand, O Lord, we have received that we gave unto thee. If this holy company, therefore, contest so constantly, that all the goods and graces, wherewith they were endued in soul, came of the goodness of God only; what more can be said, to prove, that all that is good cometh from almighty God? To justify a sinner, to new create him from a wicked person to a righteous man, is a greater act (saith St. Augustine), than to make such a new heaven and earth as is already made.” First rogation homily, p. 289, 290.

[[@Page:128]] “All spiritual gifts and graces come especially from God. Let us consider the troth of this matter, and hear what is testified; first, of the gift of faith, the first entry into the Christian life, without the which, no man can please God. For St. Paul confesses it plainly to he God's gift; saying, Faith is the gift of God. It is verily God's work in us, the charity wherewith we love our brethren.—If any will we have to rise, it is he that prevented] our will, and disposeth us thereto. Who worketh these great miracles in us? our worthiness, our deservings and endeavours, our wits and virtue? Nay verily, St. Paul will not suffer flesh and clay to presume to such arrogancy; and, therefore, saith, All is of God, who hath reconciled us unto himself by Jesus Christ.” Third rogation homily, p. 297.

We must “Beware and take heed, that we do in no wise think in our hearts, imagine, or believe, that we arc able to repent aright, or to turn effectually unto the Lord, by our own might and strength. For this must be verified in all men, Without me ye can do nothing. Again, Of ourselves we are not able as much as to think a good thought. And, in another place, It is God that worketh in us both the will and the deed. For this cause, though Hieremie had said before, Turn unto me, saith the Lord; yet afterwards he saith, Turn thou me, and I shall he turned, for thou art the Lord my God. And therefore that ancient writer, and holy father, Ambrose, doth plainly affirm, that the turning of the heart unto God, is of God; as the Lord himself doth testify by his prophet, saying, And I will give thee a heart to know me, that I am the Lord: and they shall be my people, and I will he their God, for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.” First homily on repentance, p. 330, 331. So far is the church of England from making the grace of God strike to the free-will of his creatures!

[[@Page:129]] Next, for the doctrine of justification.

V. “Let us know our own works, of what imperfection they be, and then we shall not stand foolishly and arrogantly in our own conceits, nor challenge any part of justification by our merits, or work-s.” Second homily on man's misery, p. 9.

“All the good works that we can do, be imperfect; and therefore not able to deserve our justification: but our justification doth come freely, by the mere mercy of God.” First homily of salvation[61], p. 13.

“By grace are ye saved, through faith, and that not of yourselves; for it is the gift of God, and not of works, lest any man should glory. And, to be short, the sum of all Paul's disputation is this: That if justice” [i. e. justification] “come of works, then it cometh not of grace; and, if it come of grace, then it cometh not of works. And to this end tend all the prophets, as St. Peter saith in the 9th of the Acts. Of Christ all the prophets (saith St. Peter) do witness, that, through his name, all they that do believe in him, shall receive the remission of sins. St. Hilary speaketh these words plainly, in the ixth canon upon Matthew, ‘Faith only justifieth.' And St. Basil, a Greek author, writeth thus: “This is a perfect and whole rejoicing in God, when a man advanceth not himself for his own righteousness, but  acknowledgeth himself to lack true justice and [[@Page:130]] righteousness, and to be justified by the only faith in Christ. And Paul (saith he) doth glory in the contempt of his own righteousness, and that he looketh for the righteousness of God by faith. These be the very words of St. Basil. And St. Ambrose, a Latin author, saith these words: This is the ordinance of God, that they, which believe in Christ, should be saved without works, by faith only, freely receiving remission of their sins. Consider diligently” [adds the homily] “these words, without works—by faith only—freely-—we receive remission of our sins. What can be spoken more plainly, than to say, freely, without works, by faith only, we obtain remission of our sins?” Second part of the homily of salvation, p. 14, 15.

“Man cannot make himself righteous by his own works, neither in paid, nor in the whole. For that were the greatest arrogancy and presumption of man, that antichrist could set up against God, to affirm that a man might, by his own works, take away and purge his own sins, and so justify himself. But justification is the office of God only, and is not a thing which we render unto him, but which we receive of him: not which we give to him, but which we take of him, by his free mercy, and by the only merits of his most dearly beloved Son, our only Redeemer, Saviour, and Justifier.” Ibid. p. 15, 16.

“It is of the free grace and mercy of God, by the mediation of the blood of his Son Jesus Christ, without merit or deserving on our part, that our sins are forgiven us, that we are reconciled and brought again into his favour, and are made heirs of his heavenly kingdom.” First homily on fasting, p. 165.

“To fast, with this persuasion of mind, that our fasting and our good works, can make us perfect and just men; and, finally, bring us to heaven: this is a devilish persuasion. Ibid. p. 168.

“It” [namely, the parable of the pharisee and publican] “is spoken to them that trusted in [[@Page:131]] themselves, that they were righteous, and despised others. Now, because the pharisee directeth his works to an evil end, seeking by them justification, which indeed is the proper work of God, without our merits; his fasting twice in the week, and all his other works, though they were never so many, and seemed to the world never so good and holy, yet, in very deed, before God, they are altogether evil and abominable.” Ibid. p. 169.

He must have piercing eyes indeed, who can discover any thing in our homilies, from whence to infer the conditionality of justification. What Armenians call conditions, our church calls gifts of God; and those graces, which are the gifts of his own free favour, can never he the conditions of obtaining it. “Two things,” says the church, “are chiefly to be respected, in every good and godly man's prayer; his own necessity, and the glory of almighty God. Necessity belongeth either outwardly to the body, or inwardly to the soul; which part of man” [i. e. the soul], “because it is much more precious and excellent than the other, therefore we ought, first of all, to crave such things as properly belong to the salvation thereof: as the gift of repentance; the gift of faith; the gift of charity and good works; remission and forgiveness of sins, &c. and such other like fruits of the Spirit.” Third homily on prayer, p. 198.

Some Arminians, of more subtlety and refinement than the rest of their sect, acknowledge indeed, that we are not justified by moral works and performances of our own, but by the Tb credere, or the act of believing: which faith itself, say they, is imputed to the believer, in lieu of that perfect righteousness which the law demands. This opinion is as totally unscriptural, and anti-scriptural as the doctrine of justification by works. It is equally absurd in itself, and derogatory to the merits of Christ. I shall, however, in this place, content myself with [[@Page:132]] proving, that this imaginary imputation of faith for righteousness, is not the doctrine of the church of England. “The true understanding of this doctrine, we be justified freely by faith without works, or that we be justified by faith in Christ only; is not, that this our own act, to believe in Christ, or this our faith in Christ, which is within us, doth justify us and deserve our justification unto us, (for that were to count ourselves to be justified by some act or virtue that is within ourselves).—So that, as St. John the Baptist, although he were never so virtuous and godly a man, yet, in this matter of forgiving sin, he did put the people from him, and appointed them unto Christ, saying thus unto them: Behold, yonder is the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world; even so, as great and as godly a virtue as faith is, yet it putteth us from itself, and remitteth or appointeth us unto Christ, for to have only by him remission of our sins, or justification. So that our faith in Christ (as it were) saith unto us thus: It is not I that take away your sins, but  it is Christ only, and to him only I send you for that purpose; forsaking therein all your good virtues, words, thoughts and works, and only putting your trust in Christ.” Homily of salvation, part II. p. 10.

Once more. “God, of his own mercy, through the only merits and deservings of his Son Jesus Christ, doth justify us. Nevertheless, because faith doth directly send us to Christ, for remission of our sins; and that, by faith, given us of God. We embrace the promise of God's mercy, and of the remission of our sins (which thing none other of our virtues or works properly doth); therefore scripture useth to say, that faith, without works, doth justify. And forasmuch that it is all one sentence in effect, to say, faith without works, and only faith, doth justify us; therefore the old, ancient fathers of the church, from time to time, have uttered our justification with this speech, only [[@Page:133]] faith justifieth us: meaning none other thing than St. Paul meant, when he said, faith without works justifieth us. And because all this is brought to pass, through the only merits and deservings of our Saviour Christ, and not through our merits, or through the merit of any virtue that we have within us, or of any work that cometh from us; therefore, in that respect of merit and deserving, we forsake (as it were) all together again, faith, works, and al! other virtues. For our own imperfection is so great, through the corruption of original sin, that all is imperfect that is within us; faith, charity, hope, dread, thoughts, words and works: and therefore not apt to merit and discern any part of our justification for us. And this form of speaking use we in the humbling of ourselves to God; and to give all the glory to our Saviour Christ, who is best worthy to have it.” Ibid, part III. p. 17.

It is plain from these testimonies, that, according to the judgment of the church, God does not dishonour his law, nor compromise and patch up matters with justice, by accepting of faith, in the room of perfect obedience, and imputing that for righteousness, which is not such: the office of faith, in the affair of justification, being to send us directly, or transmit us through and from itself to Christ: and to embrace God's promises of mercy in him.

It may here he enquired, since neither faith nor works are the matter of justification; what is it, for the sake of which, God does justify? Our church answers with scripture, the righteousness and blood-shedding of Christ alone. “God sent his only Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, into this world, to fulfil the law for us; and, by shedding of his most precious blood, to make a sacrifice and satisfaction, or, (as it may he called) amends to his Father for our sins.” Homily of salvation, part I. p. 12.

“With his endless mercy, he joined his most upright and equal justice. His great mercy he showed [[@Page:134]] unto us, in delivering from our former captivity, without requiring of any ransom to be paid, or amends to be made upon our parts; which thing by us had been impossible to be done. And whereas it lay not in us that to do, he provided a ransom for us, that was the most precious body and blood of his own most dear and best beloved Son Jesus Christ; who, besides this ransom, fulfilled the law for us perfectly. And so the justice of God and his mercy did embrace together, and fulfilled the mystery of our redemption.—Christ is the end of the law unto righteousness, to every one that believeth.” Ibid. p. 13.

“The apostle toucheth three things specially, which must go together in our justification. Upon God's part, his great mercy and grace. Upon Christ's part, justice; that is, the satisfaction of God's justice, or the price of our redemption, by the offering of his body, and the shedding of his blood; together with fulfilling of the law perfectly and thoroughly. And, upon our part, true and lively faith in the merits of Jesus Christ, which yet is not ours, but by God's working in us.” Ibid.

“It pleased our heavenly Father, of his infinite mercy, without any our desert or deserving, to prepare for us the most precious jewels of Christ's body and blood, whereby our ransom might be fully paid, the law fulfilled, and his justice fully satisfied. So that Christ is now the righteousness of all them that truly do believe in him. He for them paid their ransom, by his death. He for them fulfilled the law in his life. So that now, in him, and by him, every true Christian man may be called a fulfiller of the law.” Ibid. p. 14. [62]

[[@Page:135]] VI. I shall now proceed to remind you, sir, of what our church asserts, concerning the influence and indwelling of the holy Spirit.

“In reading of God's word, he most profiteth not always, that is most ready in turning of the book, or in saying of it without the book: but he that is most turned into it; that is most inspired with the Holy Ghost; most in his heart and life altered and changed into the thing which he readeth.” First homily on the knowledge of scripture, p. 3.

“He” [Christ] “speaketh presently unto us in the holy scriptures, to the great and endless comfort of all them that have any feeling of God in them.” First homily on certain places of scripture, p. 280.

“Such is the power of the Holy Ghost to regenerate men, and as it were to bring them forth anew; so that they shall be nothing like the men that they were before. Neither doth he think it sufficient, inwardly to work the spiritual and new birth of man, unless he do also dwell and abide in him.” First homily for Whitsunday, p. 280.

“Unless the Holy Ghost had been always present governing and preserving the church from the beginning; it could never have sustained so many and great brunts of affliction and persecution, with so little damage and harm, as it hath. And the words of Christ are most plain in this behalf, saying, that the Spirit of truth should abide with them for ever; that he would be with them always (he meaneth, by grace, virtue, and power), even to the world's end. Also, in the prayer that he made to his Father, a little before his death, he maketh intercession, not only for himself and his apostles, but indifferently for all them that should believe in him, through their words; that is to wit, for his whole church. Again, St. Paul saith; If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, the same is not his. Also, in the words following, we have received the [[@Page:136]] spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Hereby then, it is evident and plain to all men, that the Holy Ghost was given, not only to the apostles, but also to the whole body of Christ's congregation; although not in like form and majesty as he came down at the feast of Pentecost.” Second homily for Whitsunday, p. '282.

“God give us grace (good people) to know these things, and to feel them in our hearts. This knowledge and feeling is not in ourself. By ourself it is not possible to come by it.-—Let us, therefore, meekly call upon that bountiful Spirit, the Holy Ghost, which proceedeth from our Father of mercy, and from our mediator Christ, that he would assist us, and inspire us with his presence; that in him we may be able to hear the goodness of God declared unto us to our salvation. For, without his lively and secret inspiration, can we not once so much as speak the name of our Mediator, as St. Paul plainly testifieth: no man can once name our Lord Jesus Christ, but  in the Holy Ghost[63].—St. Paul saith, that no man can know what is of God, but  the Spirit of God. As for us, saith he, we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; for this purpose, that we might know the things that be given us by Christ.” This leads me,

VII. To consider the sense of our church, with relation to the doctrine of assurance. She tells us, that “The right and true Christian faith is, not only to believe, that holy scripture, and all the aforesaid articles of our faith are true; but also to have a sure trust and confidence in God's merciful promises, to be saved from everlasting damnation by Christ: whereof doth follow a loving heart to obey [[@Page:137]] his commandments.—For, how can a man have this true faith, this sure trust and confidence in God, that, by the merits of Christ, his sins he forgiven, and he reconciled to the favour of God, and to be partaker of the kingdom of heaven by Christ, when he iiveth ungodly, and denieth Christ in his deeds ?" Third homily of salvation, p. 18.s“A quick, or lively faith—is not only the common belief of the articles of our faith, but it is also a true trust and confidence of the mercy of God through our Lord Jesus Christ, and a stedfast hope of all good things to he received at God's hand.” First homily on faith, p. 20.

“They” [the Old Testament saints] “did not only know God to be the Lord, Maker, and Governor of all men in the world; but also they had a special confidence and trust, that he was, and [64] would be their God, their comforter, aider, helper, maintainor, and defender. This is the Christian faith which these holy men had, and we also ought to have.” Second homily on faith, p. 23.

“Finally he” (St. John) “concludeth and showeth the cause why he wrote this epistle; saying, For this cause have I written unto you, that you may know that you have everlasting life, which do believe in the Son of God.” Ibid. p. 24.

“He that doth consider all these things, and believeth them assuredly, as they are to be believed, even from the bottom of his heart; being established in God in this true faith, having a quiet conscience in Christ, a firm hope, and assured trust in God's mercy, through the merits of Jesus Christ, to [[@Page:138]] obtain this quietness, rest, and everlasting joy; shall not only be without fear of bodily death, &c.” Third homily against fear of death, p. 61, 62.

This is meant by what the church calls, the “effectuous presence of his heavenly grace.” First homily of the right use of the church, p. 91.

“Then we shall be assured after this life, to rest in his holy hill, and to dwell in his tabernacle.” Second homily of the right use of the church, p. 102.

“By this then, you may well perceive that the only mean and instrument of salvation, required of our parts, is faith: that is to say, a sure trust and confidence in the mercies of God, whereby we persuade ourselves that God both hath and will forgive our sins.” Second homily on the passion, p. 260.

“Thou hast received his body, to endow thee with everlasting righteousness; to assure thee of everlasting bliss and life of thy soul.” Homily on the resurrection, p. 265.

“The faithful see, hear, and know the favourable mercies of God sealed, the satisfaction by Christ towards us confirmed, and the remission of sin established. Here they may feel wrought, the tranquillity of conscience; the increase of faith; the strengthening of hope; the large spreading abroad of brotherly kindness; with many other sundry graces of God.—Whence you may perceive and know, both the spiritual food of this costly supper, and the happy trustings and effects, that the same doth bring with it. Now it followeth, to have with this knowledge, a sure and constant faith,—that he hath made upon his cross, a full and sufficient sacrifice for thee; a perfect cleansing of thy sins.”—First homily on the sacrament, p. 271, 272.

“If after contrition, we feel our consciences at peace with God, through remission of our sin, &c.” Third rogation homily, p. 297.

[[@Page:139]] Intimately connected with the privilege of assurance, is,

VIII. The blessing of final perseverance. Noah, Lot, Abraham, Jacob, David, and Solomon, though they committed very flagrant and atrocious offences, things (as the homily expresses it) “plainly forbidden by the law of God, and now repugnant to all public honesty;” yet, the opinion of our church seems to be, that, even under such shocking circumstances as these, those Jewish saints were not totally fallen from grace. Her words are as follow; “We ought then to learn by them this profitable lesson; that, if so godly men, as they were, which otherwise felt inwardly God's holy Spirit inflaming in their hearts with the fear and love of God, could not, by their own strength, keep themselves from committing horrible sin, but did so grievously fall, that, without God's great mercy, they had perished everlastingly; how much more then ought we miserable wretches, who have no feeling of God in us at all, continually to fear, not only that we may fall as they did, but also be overcome and drowned in sin, which they were not?” First homily on certain places of scripture, p. 224, 225.

Perseverance, in another homily, is represented as the gift of God. “Let us, throughout our whole lives, confess all good things to come of God, of what name or nature soever they be; not of these corruptible things only, whereof I have now last spoken, but  much more of all spiritual graces behovable for our soul: without whose goodness no man is called to faith, or stayed therein.” Second rogation horn. p. 293.

Again, “St. Peter saith, it is of God's power that ye be kept through faith to salvation. It is of the goodness of God, that we falter not in our hope unto him.” Third rogation horn. p. 297.

[[@Page:140]] The following passages, I should imagine, seem scarcely reconcilable with the doctrine of the total and final amissibility of real grace. “True faith will show forth itself, and cannot long be idle: for, as it is written, the just man doth live by his faith; he never sleepeth, nor is idle, when he would wake and be well occupied. And God, by his prophet Jeremy, saith, That he is an happy and blessed man, which hath faith and confidence in God: for he is like a tree set by the water side, and spreadeth his roots abroad towards the moisture, and feareth not heat when it cometh: his leaf will be green, and will not cease to bring forth his fruit: even so, faithful men (putting away all fear of adversity) will show forth the fruit of their good works, as occasion is offered to do them.” First homily on faith, p. 21.

“All those, therefore, have great cause to be full of joy, that be joined to Christ with true faith, stedfast hope, and perfect charity; and not to fear death nor everlasting damnation. For death cannot deprive them of Jesus Christ, nor any sin can condemn them that are grafted surely in him, who is their only joy, treasure, and life.” Second homily against fear of death, p. 56.

“The just man falleth seven times, and riseth again. Though the godly do fall, yet they walk not on purposely in sin; they stand not still, to continue and tarry in sin; they sit not down like careless men, without all fear of God's just punishment for sin: but, defying sin, through God's great grace and infinite mercy they rise again, and fight against sin.” Second homily on certain places of scripture, p. 226.

“Christ Jesus, the prophets, the apostles, all and the true ministers of Ins word; yea, every jot and tittle in the holy scripture, have been, is, and shall be for evermore, the savour of life unto eternal [[@Page:141]] life, unto all those whose hearts God hath purified by true faith.” Ibid. p. 228.

“After the loving kindness of God our Saviour appeared towards mankind, not according to the righteousness that we had done, but according to his great mercy, he saved us by the fountain of the new-birth, and by the renewing of the Holy Ghost, which he poured upon us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that we being once justified by his grace, should be heirs of eternal life, through hope and faith in his blood.” Homily on the nativity, p. 247.

“St. Peter thanketh God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for his abundant mercy; because he hath begotten us (saith he) unto a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from death, to enjoy an inheritance immortal, that never shall perish, which is laid up in heaven for them that be kept by the power of God through faith.” Homily on the resurrection, p. 264.

“He hath ransomed sin, overcome the devil, death, and hell, and hath victoriously gotten the better hand of them all, to make us free and safe from them. And knowing that we be, by this benefit of his resurrection, risen with him by our faith, unto life everlasting; being in full surety of our hope, that we shall have our bodies likewise raised from death, to have them glorified in immortality, and joined to his glorious body: having, in the mean while, this holy Spirit within our hearts, as a seal and pledge of our everlasting inheritance. By whose assistance, we be replenished with all righteousness; by whose power we shall be able to subdue all our evil affections, rising against the pleasure of God.” Ibid. p. 265, 266.

“The faithful have their life, their abiding in him, their union, and, as it were, their incorporation with him.” First homily on the sacrament, p. 272.

[[@Page:142]] “Neither doth he,” [the Holy Ghost] “think it sufficient inwardly to work the spiritual and new-birth of a man, unless he do also dwell and abide in him.” First homily for Whitsunday, p. 280.

“Very liberal and gentle is the Spirit of wisdom. In his power shall we have sufficient ability to know our duty to God. In him shall we be comforted and encouraged to walk in our duty. In him shall we be meet vessels to receive the grace of almighty God: for it is he that purgeth and purifieth the mind, by his secret working. And he only is present every where by his invisible power, and containeth all things in his dominion. He lightened) the heart, to conceive worthy thoughts of Almighty God: he sitteth in the tongue of man, to stir him to speak his honour. He only ministereth spiritual strength to the powers of our soul and body. To hold the way which God had prepared for us, to walk rightly in our journey, we must acknowledge that it is in the power of his Spirit, which helpeth our infirmity.” Third homily for rogation week, p. 299.

So speaks the church of England: and so will she ever speak, while her liturgy, her articles, and homilies, stand as they do. These are the doctrines, which she holds; these, the truths, to which all her clergy have subscribed[65]: truths these, which have no more to do with Methodism (properly so called), than they have with Mahametanism. To our departure from the above principles of the Reformation, are chiefly owing, 1. That the church and churchmen are the scorn of infidels. 2. That so great n part of the common people of this land are suol into such deplorable ignorance of divine things as is unparalleled in any other protestant country 3. That our churches are, in many places, so [[@Page:143]] empty; while dissenting meetings are generally as full as they can hold. The plain, but melancholy truth is, that, in various parts of this kingdom, multitudes of persons, who are churchmen upon principle, are forced to go to meeting, in order to hear the doctrines of their own church preached. And, as to the totally ignorant, and openly profane, they care not whether they attend on any public worship or not. To the same deviation from our established doctrines, we may, 4. Impute, in great measure, the vast and still increasing spread of infidelity amongst us. Christianity, shorn of its peculiar and distinguishing principles, and reduced to little more than a dry system of Ethics, can take but small hold of men's hearts, and is itself but a better species of deism. Many graceless persons, are yet men of good sense: and, when such consider the present state of religion in this country, how is it possible for them not to reason in a manner similar to this[66]? “There is a book, called the Bible, in which such and such doctrines are written as with a sunbeam. There is also an establishment, called the church, which teaches the self same doctrines, and is the very echo of that book. This Bible is said, by the clergy, to be of divine authority, and a revelation from God. And, for the church, they tell us, it is the best and purest in the world; and indeed, unless they thought it so, nothing could justify their solemn subscription to its decisions. Yet, how many of them open their mouths, and draw their pens, against those very decisions to which they have set their hands? Can those of them, who do this, really believe the scriptures to be divine, and their church to be in the right? Does it not rather look as if religion was no more than a state-engine, on one hand; and a genteel trade, on the other?” Such I more than fear, is the conclusion, unhappily inferred, [[@Page:144]] by thousands, from the conduct of some, who lift up their heel against the church, while they eat her bread; or as Dr. Young expresses it, “Pluck down the vine, and get drunk with the grapes.” To the same source may be traced the rapid and alarming progress of popery in this kingdom. Would we lay the axe to the root of this evil? Let us forsake our Arminianism, and come back to the doctrines of the Reformation. That these arc Calvinistic, has, I think, been fully proved: and, should these proofs be deemed insufficient, there are more in reserve. A man must draw up a prodigiously large index expurgatorius to our articles, homilies, and liturgy, before he can divest the church of her Calvinism. As long as these, in their present form, remain the standards of her faith; so long will predestination be an eminent part of it. We might more plausibly, with the philosopher of old, deny that there is any such thing as motion, than deny this glaring, palpable, stare-face truth. Whilst the Calvinistic doctrines were the language of our pulpits, as well as of our articles; the Reformation made a swift and extensive progress. But ever since our articles and our pulpits have been at variance, the Reformation has been at a stand. At a stand, did I say? I said too little. Protestantism has ever since been visibly on the decline. Look round England, look round London. Is not popery gaining ground upon us every day? And no wonder. Arminianism is the basis of it. Figuratively speaking, the Arminian points are five of the seven hills, on which the mystic Babylon is built. It gives a true papist less pain to hear of pope Joan, than of predestination. That I do not affirm things at random, in calling Arminianism the very essence of popery, will appear from the following short antithesis, wherein the doctrines of our own church, and those of Rome, respecting some of the articles under de-hale, are contrasted together, in the very words of each church.


Church of England.

Church of Rome.

1. The godly consideration of predestination, and our election in Christ, is full of sweet, pleasant, and unspeakable comfort to godly persons.

Art. XVII.

1. No man, so long as believeth in this mortal life, ought so far to presume concerning the hidden mystery of divine predestination, as positively to conclude that he is actually in the number of the predestinate.

Con. Trid, Sess. 6. c. xii.

II. The condition of man after the fall of Adam, is such, that he cannot turn and prepare himself by his own natural strength and good works, to faith and calling upon God.

Art. X.

II. If any person shall-say, that since the fall of Adam, man's free will is lost and extinct, &c. Let him be accursed.

Ibid. Sess. 6. can. v.


III. We are accounted righteous before God, only for the merit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and not for our own works, or deservings.

Art. XI.

III. If any person shall say, that men arc justified, either by the alone righteousness of Christ, or by a hare forgiveness of sins.— Let him be accursed.

Ibid. can. xi.

IV. That we are justified by faith only, is a most wholesome doctrine, and very full of comfort.

Art. XI.

IV. If any one shall say, that the ungodly is justified by faith only, so as to mean that nothing else is required, &c. Let him be accursed.

Ibid. can. ix.

V. Art. XIII. Of works done before justification. Works done before the grace of Christ, and the inspiration of his Spirit, are not pleasant to God: yea,—we doubt not,

but they have the nature of sin.

V. If any one shall say, that all the works, done before justification, in what way soever they are done, are actually sins, and deserving of God's displeasure, &c. Let him be accursed.

Ibid. can. vii.

VI. Good works, which are the fruits of faith, and follow after justification.

Art. XII.

VI. If any man shall say, that justification [justitiam] received is not preserved, and even increased before God by good works; but that those good works themselves are no more than the fruits and evidences [fructus et signa] of justification already obtained, &c. Let him be accursed.

Even from this slight survey, must not a man be blind, not to discern that Calvinism is the religion of England, and that Arminianism is the heresy of Rome[67]; yet far be it from me to think, that all, among us, who espouse the Arminian tenets, are intentional papists, or have any affection for popery, as such. But this I cannot help believing, that Arminianism is the forerunner which prepares the way for Romanism, and, if not discarded in time, will one day open the door to it.

To close all, our doctrines are the precious depositum, committed, in a particular manner, to the guardianship of us, who have the honour to minister in holy things. How those, who make no scruple to betray this inestimable trust, which they have so solemnly and repeatedly engaged to preserve, can [[@Page:147]] answer it in conscience, must be submitted to God and themselves. For a clergyman to subscribe to our articles in the presence of his bishop, and after his admission to a benefice, to read over those articles in his church, deliberately, and word by word; and there, in the presence of God, and in the hearing of his own parishioners, publicly to testify his unfeigned assent and consent to all and every thing therein contained; while he disbelieves, and it may be, the same day, contradicts in the pulpit, what he had so lately assented to from the desk; is, I believe, a species of guilt, unknown to any protestant nation but this. I fear, such a clergyman, if such a clergyman is to be found, may take home those awful words to himself, Thou hast not only lied unto men, but unto God.

We have had long experience of the sad effects, that have attended that mere ethical way of preaching which has been in fashion ever since the restoration. When that happy event took place, the generality of the clergy ran so fast and so far from puritanism, that they outran the thirty-nine articles[68], and lost sight of the church itself. “Good works, good works,” was the cry of that age, and is the cry of the present. I heartily wish, good works abounded more among us, than they do: but I am certain they never will, until they are enforced on Christian principles; even the doctrines of grace. Under a pretence of magnifying good works, we have almost kicked faith out of doors: whereas they will always stand or fall together. There can be no good works which do not flow from faith; and no true faith but what is productive of good works. I appeal to demonstration, the life of argument. Faith is banished, and good works are posting after it as fast as they can. Contempt of gospel doctrines, and neglect of gospel morals, are insert [[@Page:148]] parable. That morality, which does not result from faith, is, (as Luther says of free-will) no more than titulus et nomen sine re. Faith according to the united determinations of scripture, and our own church, is the root and source of all true obedience. And shall we idly think to render the tree more fruitful, by severing it from its root? or to enlarge the stream by cutting off its communication with the fountain? When the genuine doctrines of the church of England are restored to her sons, then, and not till then, will good works flourish and abound.

Veneration and affection for the church of England, gave birth to the preceding pages. I have endeavoured to rub off the extraneous varnish, with which you, sir, have disguised her; and to restore her complexion to its native beauty and simplicity. The doctrines which she avows cannot but appear amiable in the eyes of all her genuine sons: and upon a nearer view, Calvinism, I would hope, is not found to be that horrid, hideous thing, which they would make it, who first dress up the dove in raven's plumes, and then cry out, “How black she looks!”

I shall conclude, with apologizing for this freedom: which, however, I should not have taken, had not you first made so free with the church. I have no interest, abstracted from hers, to promote; no resentment, to gratify; no party, to serve. I never had, to my knowledge, the pleasure of so much as seeing the author of Pietas Oxoniensis; nor have 3 the least acquaintance with any one of the expelled students.—So far, at least, as the doctrines of the church are concerned, it seems incumbent on you to retract what you have done. The ablest lawyers, when they find themselves embarked in an absolutely indefensible cause, think it no disparagement, but a point of honour, to throw up their briefs. However, as I am addressing myself to a clergyman, I [[@Page:149]] shall remind you of a very great man, an ornament to his country, as well as to the church, who, after halving long been a zealous Arminian, sacrificed Ids prejudices, submitted to superior evidence, and boldly avowed those Calvinistic doctrines, which once he laboured to destroy. You will readily guess, that I mean the justly famous Dr. South, who, moreover, was, like you, public orator of Oxford. After the mention of such a name, it can be no insult to Dr. Nowcll, to wish, that he may go and do likewise. The doctrines of the church have not been changed, since she happily emerged at the reformation. Religious truths arc not, like lead, or any other fusible metal, to be melted down, and thrown into what form we please: but, like their adorable author, are the same, yesterday, to-day, and for ever. Nor, until the church changes, should we.

You will excuse my not subjoining my name. Where truth is sought, names arc of little account. An arrow from an unknown hand, may do as much execution, as if the contending parties were acquainted. I shall, therefore, only subscribe myself, with undissembled respect,

Rev. Sir,

Your most obedient

And most humble Servant,


Feb, 13, 1769.



[1] By our law, sentence of excommunication is not to lie pronounced, until after public admonition thrice given, with the interval of at least two days between each admonition.

[2] How strangely are times altered in Oxford, since Usher preached there! See the Preface to his Sermons in Quarto.

[3] If the reader has a mind to see a compendious, but very satisfactory account of the first rise and progress of Arminianism in Holland (from whence the contagion spread into England) about the year 1600, he may consult a very valuable treatise, written by the same learned foreigner, entitled, Controversiarum cum Diffideutibus Hodiè Christantis, prolixè et cum Judæis, Elenchus Historico-Theologicus. Which, in the compass of a moderate 12mo, traces hack all the controversies, which now divide the religious world, to their original sources; gives the quintessence of the arguments urged on either side: and, by a judicious mixture of history with divinity, is perhaps the most instructive and entertaining piece of general polemics, hitherto extant. There is brevity, without obscurity; and fulness, without, redundancy: nor could that excellent performance, he cither enlarged or retrenched, with, out detracting from its worth.

[4] On the 17th Art. p. 107. 8vo. edit.

[5] Mulch. Ad. in Vita Calvini, p. 63.

[6] See Heylin's Life of Laud, p. 32.

[7] Of forty-two propositions of Luther, condemned by the pope, A. D. 1521, this is the 37th, “Free-will, after sin, is a thing De Solo Titulo: and while it doth what in it is, it Burneth mortally.” Strype's Eccl. Mem. v. i. 39.

[8] See Tindal, v. 15. 273.

[9] Apol. pro Harm. inter Opera,, p. 660. sect. 12.

[10] The lower House of Convocation, in 1701, severely censured Cornet's Exposition of the Articles. See Tindal, 15. 319.

[11] The Calvinism of these has been acknowledged by very many of the Arminians themselves. One, in particular, recurs this moment to my remembrance. A late dignitary (Dr. II.) of considerable figure, both in the church and in the world, and celebrated among other things, for a learned and sensible work, published under the title of Theological Lectures; being, one day, in company with another dignitary (now living, and from whom I had it), the conversation happened to turn on the thirty-nine articles: against several of which Dr. II. exclaimed with great warmth. My friend asked him, “But have you not subscribed to these, and that ex amnio?” I have. “And do not you hold all your preferments by virtue of that subscription?” I do; and our reformers, who drew up such articles, deserved to he hanged for their pains.

[12] The fact asserted, is undoubtedly true; but there seems to bo an anachronism in assigning the date. I cannot find, that the bishops in James the First's time, advised the government to treat Arminians in this manner. It was in the reign of queen Elizabeth, that this counsel was offered by the bishops. The part of their advice, referred to, did, according to Strype, run verbatim as follows: Item, That incorrigible Arians, Pelagians or Free-will-men, be sent into some one castle in North Wales, or Wallingford; and there to live of their own labour and exercise; and none other be suffered to resort unto them but their keepers: until they be found to repent their errors.” Strype's Annals of the Reformation, &c. during the first twelve years of Q. Eliz. chap. 17. p. 207. I do not quote this mortifying paragraph, from any approbation I entertain of the expedient recommended: for I abhor .every thing that even looks like persecution for principles merely religious. But I cannot help deducing two conclusions from this curious portion of our ecclesiastical history: 1st. That free-will-men were considered, by the church of England, when in her purity, as some of the most dangerous recusants site bad to grapple with; edse, she never would have advised the confining thorn in a remote prison, and prohibiting them from the access of all persons, their keepers only excepted. 2dly, That free-will-men at that time, were very few in number: otherwise, one cæ tle, however spacious, would not have been thought largo enough to contain them. I heartily congratulate our present free-willers, on their living in an age of liberty.

[13] We have lived to see this prediction of Dr. Waterland's too well fulfilled.

[14] So the popish princes' of Europe cry up the authority of the Romish bishop, when that authority is to he made use of as an engine to promote their own designs: but, when that end is answered, the authority of his holiness is enforced no longer; hut treated witli the contempt it deserves, and, like an old tool, thrown by until it is wanted.

[15] It was first written and published in 1510, a year very unfavourable to the interests of the reformation.

Cromwell's fall put the reformation to a stand. Burnet, i. 278.

The mass hooks were prevented to be altered; but stood much as they were, 281.

A severe persecution immediately followed: among them, suffered the Rev. Mr. R. W. among whose heresies, are ranked his denial of merit and free-null. Strypp, vol. i. p. 369.

The protestants were glad to see things were no worse; and the papists, to see them so bad. The former hoped, that, the ice being now broke, popery would gradually melt away; the latter, seeing the leading articles of their superstition ratified and confirmed afresh, hoped it was prelusive to the re-erection of the whole frame.

[16] This year, 1543, was a year of popish triumphs. 1. This book was set forth afresh. 2. A dismal persecution of protestants followed; especially at Windsor. 3. A conspiracy against Cranmer. 4. A league between the king and the emperor, o. Enjoined by act of parliament, that no women, artificers, &c. should read the Bible. G. All spiritual persons, that should leach any thing contrary to the “Erudition,” &c. See Burnet's Ref. vol. i. p. 306-314.

[17] Burnet virtually proves, that Cranmer had no hand in that part, at least, of this hook, which relates to justification. This hook makes works a condition, not to say, a cruise of justification; but Cranmer utterly denied them to be so: as appears from the conclusion of some papers, drawn up by him, about this time, on that important subject; for which see Burnet, Ref. vol. i. 275. See Heylin’s Acknowledgment. Life of Laud, p. 3.

[18] Page 74.

[19] See the bishop of London's (Bancroft) speech to the king in the Hampton court conference, p. 39.

[20] A man of fine natural talents, and great acquired knowledge; but who unhappily prostituted both, to the most execrable of all purposes, the advancement of civil and religious slavery. Long enough before lie wrote the History of the Reformation, and the History of the Presbyterians (which were more properly libels upon both); he gave an early specimen of what was to be expected from him, in the year 1627, when lie publicly maintained, in the Divinity School at Oxford, that the church cannot err, and that the perpetual visibility of the true church, a retro, was to be proved. “Rot from the persecuted Christians dispersed in several places, as the Berengarians in Italy, the Waldenses in France, the Wicklifists in England, and the Hussites in Bohemia; lie rather chose to find out (says the writer of his life, p. 6.) a continual visible cliurch in Asia, Ethiopia, Greece, Italy, yea and Rome itself:” and concluded his disputation with passing some very high compliments on the Romish church, and on Bellarmine in particular: for which the learned [Concerning this excellent person, see the Biogr. Diet.] Dr. Prideaux, who then presided in the divinity chair, had the honesty and courage to call Heylin, publicly and on the spot, Papicola et Bellarminianus. Heylin, who well knew what high designs were then carrying on at court, thought he had now laid the foundation of his fortune: and. flushed with hopes of preferment, posts tip to London, to [See a curious account of the interview, Life of Lund, p. 166, 167.] acquaint Laud, then bishop of Bath and Wells, with the meritorious services he had just done, by openly maintaining popish positions in a protestant university. “The good bishop, (says the aforesaid biographer, page 7.) commended and encouraged Mr. Heylin; saying, that he himself, had, in his younger days, maintained the same positions in a disputation in St. John's college [See two other propositions, maintained by Laud's Life, p. 49.].” Presently after, Heylin is made chaplain to Charles I. and prebendary of Westminster. On the coming out of Mr. Prynne's Histriomastix (written, as the title imports, against plays and stage-players), Heylin is sent for to the council table, where he received the king's commands to read over that hook, and to select such passages from it, as the administration could lay hold of: for, the queen being, it seems (like a true daughter of France), excessively fond of plays and masques, an attempt to prove those diversions unchristian, must needs forsooth, he traitorous and seditions, and an insult on the queen herself. A fortnight's space was allowed our Christian divine, for the performance of this honourable task. But, says his life writer, “he had learned, that diligence in business would qualify him for the service of kings; and therefore lie finished what was required of him, in less than four days; for which be bad his majesty's thanks; as also new commands to revise his papers, and to write down such logical inferences, as might naturally arise from the premises of Mr. Prymie.” ib, p. 10. The plain English of this is, that Mr. Prynne's own positions, as they stood in his book (though, no doubt, the most exceptionable of them had been industriously culled out by the worthy divine), did not amount to a foundation for prosecuting the author: therefore the same reverend hand was to draw out such logical inferences, as might effectually do prynne's business. With this also the court chaplain complied. For did he stop here: for his historian adds, “About this time, and upon this occasion, he wrote a small tract, touching the punishments due by law and in point of practice,'' [a. distinction well suited to the proceedings of that arbitrary reign, when law and practice were two very different things] “unto such offenders as Mr. Prvnne; and this was observable, in the trial of that person, that nothing was urged by the council to aggravate his faults, than what was contained in Mr. Heylin's collection.” A circumstance, to be sure, much to the Rev. Mr. Heylin's credit; who yet, by the bye, bad the modesty to fall foul on the memory of Calvin, for the part that reformer is supposed to have borne in the prosecution of Servetus [Heylin's character of this learned and harmless hook, is very curious. Life of Laud, p. 217.].

About two years before all this bustle, Mr. Prymie had published a learned and masterly performance, entitled anti-Arminianism, proving, that the Armiman doctrines, then almost fresh imported from Holland, [Heylin owns this; Life of Laud, p. 122. The Arminians afraid to trust tile discussion of their doctrines to the Convocation; ibid, 146, 147. The huffs edict therefore was to do the business.] were not the doctrines of the church of England, but novel and exotic. This gravelled Laud: who, not being- able to overthrow that vast chain of proofs brought by Prymie; and yet being resolved by all the allurements of promotion, and (if these failed) by all the terrors of persecution, to new-model the church, by lopping off Calvinism, and grafting Arminianism in its room; greedily laid hold on the subsequent publication of the Histrioinastix: by the help of logical inferences from which the bishop, and his under-strapper Heylin, procured the prosecution of this incorrigible protestant; who was sentenced in the star-chamber to have his book burnt by the hangman.—To be, himself, expelled from Lincoln's Inn; disabled, for ever, to act as a lawyer; degraded from his university degree; set twice on the pillory; have his ears cut off; be imprisoned for life; and fined in £5000 a moiety whereof, very probably, went to Mr. Heylin, for his dexterity in drawing logical inferences, and for his activity in publishing a treatise (before the trial came on), setting forth the punishments which the court expected, should be inflicted on such offenders as Mr. Prynne. But, whether Heylin came in for any of the £5000 or not; the author of his life, immediately after the passage last quoted from him, adds: “For the reward of which, and other good services, that, with wonderful prudence, as well as diligence, he faithfully performed; his majesty was graciously pleased to requite him, by bestowing on him the parsonage of Houghton, in the bishopric of Durham, which afterwards he exchanged with Dr. Marshall, for the parsonage of Alresford in Hampshire, that was about the same value: to which exchange lie was commanded by his majesty, that he might live nearer the court for readiness to do his majesty's service:” [and laudable service it was, if we may judge of the whole by the sample.] “neither was he envied for this, or his other preferments, because every one knew his merits the only cause of his promotion.” ib. And so much for Heylin, and his merits: some of which, I suppose, consisted in being a pandour for popery: several of his books, but especially his History of the Reformation, having been the means, it is believed (says the life writer, p. 24, 25.) of perverting “some persons, and those of the most illustrious quality, from the protestant faith to popery: after which is added the following passage from bishop Burnet, who observes, that Dr. Heylin “delivers many things in such a manner, and so strangely, that one would think he had been secretly set on to it by those of the church of Rome: though I doubt not (says the bishop) but he was a sincere protestant, but violently carried away by some particular conceits.” To which the biographer's answer is this, p. 25. “If it be true that any have embraced the Roman faith, by means of that book, [The duchess of York turned papist by reading it. Echard.] he [Burnet] may conclude them to be very incompetent judges in the matters of religion, that will be prevailed upon to change it, by the perusal of one single history.” A very flimsy vindication from so heavy a charge! See Heylin's Life, prefixed to his Miscellaneous Tracts, in fob 1681. I thought the reader would not be displeased to see a sketch of that man's character, whose name and writings are still so precious in the estimation of high-flown Arminians and Tories. I shall only prolong this large note with one observation more: viz. What can we think of the protestantism of that clergyman, who has left it on record, as his settled opinion, that the death of king Edward VI. (though succeeded by the butcheries of a popish reign) was rather a benefit, than a detriment, to the church of England? yet this says Heylin. His words are, “Scarce had they brought it to this pass, when king Edward died: whose death I cannot reckon for an infelicity to the church of England; for, being ill principled in himself, and easily inclined to embrace such counsels as were offered to him, it is not to be thought, &c.” Hist. Ref. Pref. p. 4. This protestant history was dedicated by the protestant Doctor, to his protestant majesty king Charles the Second: to whom the above-mentioned protestant remark could not fail of being peculiarly pleasing.

Such was the man, whom Dr. Nowell has ventured to commend, and to quote. I fancy, that by this time, the reader will think, with me, that Dr. Nowell (like Charles I. whom he is not ashamed to style The best of kings) is rather unhappy in the choice of his favourites.

[21] For the process against him, see Strype's Life of Whitgift, p. 430.

[22] Besides, Prynne was a loyal man, even in Dr. Howell's sense of the word. He was devotedly attached to the interest of Charles II. and, for that reason, was excluded from the House of Commons in the year 1661. Charles himself, ungrateful as he naturally and generally was, was yet so sensible of his obligations to Mr. Prynne, that on his restoration, he made him keeper of the records in the Tower, a place worth £500 per aim. which he enjoyed till his death, which happened in the year 1669. See the Biographical Dictionary. See also Heylin's Life, of Laud, p. 149.

[23] Strypo himself appeals to Prymne's testimony, as unexceptionable and valid. Life of Whitgift, p. 436.

[24] See Strype, ibid. p. 430, 437 and 141.

[25] See Heylin's Life of Laud, p. 194.

[26] This gave occasion to that excellent letter of apology, sent to the archbishop from Cambridge: for which, see Strype's Whitgift, p. 437. Barrett, had been beforehand with the university, in writing to the archbishop; which artful expedient, did at first prejudice tin; prelate in his favour. See Strype, p. 438. ‘Conscious, however, of the badness of his cause, he begun to trim, and to eat up part of his assertions. See Strype's Appendix to Whitgift, p. 188.

[27] See Strypo, ib. p. 440. And in this, the university certainly acted imprudently; Whitgift being then at the head of the ecclesiastical commission, and also having a peculiar jurisdiction over Cambridge, pro tempore; the see of Ely being then vacant. In short, the dispute between the archbishop and the university, was little else but a mere struggle for power. The heads at Cambridge were at last apprehensive, that in their scuffle with the archbishop concerning the extent of his jurisdiction over them, the truths of religion might eventually suffer; wherefore they present to him a very respectful, hut very nervous, petition: which see in Strype, p. 451.

Soon after, Barrett was by the archbishop's order, strictly examined at Cambridge, upon these eight questions; which, will) lux answers, sec in Strype, p. 452, 453. Then examined again at Lambeth, before the archbishop in person, p. 457; and another form of recantation (more moderate and qualified than that he had before delivered at St. Mary's) was drawn up at Lambeth, with Barrett's consent, and transmitted to Cambridge; but which, however, this prevaricating Pelagian delayed to make, p. 457, 458. The whole affair is summed up by the archbishop himself, as follows: and Is such a proof of this prelate's Calvinism, as must for ever leave it incontestible, p. 458, 453.

Here, properly, come in the Lambeth articles; p. 401. which were sent to Cambridge, accompanied with a letter from the archbishop, which breathes the true spirit of a Christian and a protestant, p. 402: yet was he firmly persuaded of the truth of the doctrine asserted in these articles, p. 403. See Sand. Pax. Evrles. p. 64.

[28] See Strype, p. 401. She was, however, enraged at Baroe's impudence in presuming to preach against the Calvinistic doctrines, as we shall presently see.

[29] A Cambridge divine so low down as 1634, was stopped of his degree, for seeming to nibble at the doctrine of justification by faith only. See Usher's Letters, p. 470.

[30] It is extremely questionable whether he did quite dislike them. See Strype, 104.

[31] The queen was enraged with Baroe, for his impudence and ingratitude, shown in his presuming to preach against the Calvinistical doctrine; Strype, p. 464, 465. and so was the archbishop, who was Mutton, archbishop of York, p. 470. The articles, for which this French semi-pelagian was accused, were chiefly four. Strype, ii 170.

[32] See Hutton's judgment, more fully in Strype, p. 461 and 478.

[33] Strype also vindicates the archbishop from this mean insinuation of Elis', p. 462.

[34] J. Elis Hist. Artic. Lamb.

[35] See another concession of Heylin's. Life of Laud, p. 121.

[36] How the university of Oxford also stood affected as to these points, is evident from the manner in winch they treated Laud. See his Life, p. 50.

[37] James' view [in his share of the business] was, to condemn Arminianism. Heylin's Life of Laud, p, 120.

[38] Here might have been introduced the judgment of these divines at the synod, from the acts of it.

[39] See his Golden Remains, passim.

[40] He went to Holland, in capacity of chaplain to sic Dudley Carlton, James' ambassador to the States. Hence be came to be present at the synod at Dort, bold at that time. Biogr. Diet, vol, vi. p. 279.

[41] The very poets of that and the preceding times, were Calvinists. See Spenser, Shakespeare, Waller, Quarks.

[42] This great man effectually answered John Goodwin's “Redemption Redeemed,” in two separate treatises: the one entitled, Θεοκρατια, or, a Vindication of the Doctrine commonly received in the reformed churches, concerning God's intentions of special (Rare and Favour to his Elect, in the death of Christ; as also concerning his Prerogative, Power, Prescience, Immutability, &c. printed 1053. The other, entitled, Sancti Sanciti, or, the common Doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints vindicated: published in 1654. In these two volumes, the. doctrines of grace are explained, asserted, and defended, with such solidity of nervous argument—such a display of useful learning—such transparent piety—such pleasing perspicuity— and the whole enlivened with such acumen of wit; as few controversial pieces, written in that age at least, can boast. If, after giving my opinion of this most excellent author, I may, without presumption, subjoin the attestation of the truly primitive bishop Hall; I would lay before the render, that most worthy prelate's letter to Mr. Kendall, signifying how greatly he approved, and even admired the first of the above performances, which the author had made him a present of soon after its publication. A testimony from such a hand, will at once enrich this note, give the utmost weight to my recommendation, and both gratify and edify such of my readers, as have not met with it before. The bishop's letter is affixed to Sancti Sanciti, between the dedication and the preface; and runs verbatim, as follows; “Worthy Mr. Kendall,

“I cannot forbear, though with a sick hand, to signify my thankful receipt of your excellent work” (The Θεοκρατια] “part whereof I had eagerly perused, before your welcome present came; and had desired my some to impart unto you my appreciative thoughts concerning it. I easily foresee, how highly you will be tempted with applauses for so acceptable a service. I know I need not, but my tender love of you bids me, desire you, with an humble heart to sing, Non nobis, Doming; but let the whole praise run clear back to that infinite bounty, from whence these precious gifts came. And go on to improve those great parts, to the further honour of the giver.

“With my thankful acceptance of your comfortable letter, and rich present, I take leave; professing myself

“Your heartily devoted friend, Higham,

“and fellow labourer,

“JOS. HALL, C. N.”

March 16th, 1652.     

Is it possible to read such an apostolical letter, without being charmed with the venerable simplicity, improved by the sweet humility, and warmed with experimental piety, which glow and shine in every sentence?

[43] There is indeed, a book extant, published in 1651, entitled, “Certaiuen Religiosum, or a Conference between the late king of England, and the Lord Marquis of Worcester, concerning Religion.” It is written with great poignancy, clearness, and learning: and contains a most excellent defence of the protestant faith; especially of those branches of it, which now go under the name of Calvinism. Could the authenticity of this masterly performance be satisfactorily ascertained, it would effectually overthrow my supposition, of Charles' attachment to Arminianism. If he can he really thought to have borne that part in the conference, which this treatise represents; he did indeed, literally, merit the title of Defensor Fidel; and must have been as sound a protestant, as ever lived; and as strenuous a Calvinist, as any puritan in his whole dominions But the book hears the signatures of a much finer genius, and of far more extensive learning, than Charles seems to have possessed: though his abilities were by no means inconsiderable. It was evidently written, and fathered upon the king, by some learned churchman, who was a well-wisher to his memory. I have great reason to think, its author was archbishop Usher, who certainly was with the king;, at Ragland, at the time the conference is said to have been held. See Parr's Life of Usher.

[44] For some account of this Arminian fanatic, see bishop Burnet's Own Times, vol. i. p. 67. and 163. folio, and Ant. Wood in several places.

[45] Very many Calvinists were on Charles' side: as Usher, Hopkins, Hall, &c.

[46] See bishop Bramhall's letter to archbishop Usher. Usher's Life, p. Oil. See also Calamys Abridgement of Baxter, vol. i. and Voltaire's Universal History. vol. iv.

[47] “Albeit the puritans disquieted our church, about their conceived discipline, yet they never moved any quarrel against the. doctrine of our church. Which is well to he observed: for, if they had embraced any doctrine which the church of England denied, they would assuredly have quarrelled about that, as well as they did about the discipline. But it was then the open confession, both of the bishops and puritans, that both parties embraced a mutual consent in doctrine: only the difference was in matter of inconformity. Then hitherto there was no puritan doctrine, as distinct from that of bishops and clergy known.” Upon which passage, quoted from Bishop Carleton's Examination of Montague's Appeal, Dr. Edwards makes this obvious remark: “Tins is a lull confutation of that idle conceit, taken up by so many in our ago, that the anti-Arminian doctrines were not the doctrines of our church, of our bishops, and of the rest of our clergy, but only of a few disciplinarians and non-conformists.” Veritas Redux, p. 518.

[48] In Luc. xiv. 23.

[49] Long known by the borrowed name of Idiota. For the prayer, referred to, see his Contempt cap. 5. sect. 3.

[50] Sue Heylin's Hist, of Reform. in the Appendix, p. 182.

[51] See the Funeral Office. From the petition cited above, it is undeniable, that, according; to the doctrine of the church of England, there is, 1. A body of elect persons; which elect persons are, 2. chosen and elected of God himself: whence she terms them, thine elect. These elect of God are, 3. a certain determinate number; and this round number will, 4. be accomplished, perfected, and made up; so that not one of the number shall be missing': it being a rule that holds good, no less in divinity, than in metaphysics, sublata quaciuique parte, tollitur totum. Hence, the church, ever consistent with herself, begins one of her collects thus: “0 almighty God, who hast knit together thine elect into one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of thy Son,” &c. And surely those whom God hath knit together, can never be put asunder: for what God doth, it shall be for ever; nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it, Eccles. iii. 14. The above collect is for the festival of All Saints. Now, if all saints are thus divinely knit together, and make up the Mediator's mystical body; it follows, that not one true saint can perish. As not a bone, in Christ's natural body, was suffered to he broken; so neither shall his mystic body be maimed, by the loss of any the meanest member: for the world of the elect, collectively taken, constitute the mystical fulness of him wild filleth all in all, Eph. i. 23. So that, without every one of them, Christ himself (considered relatively, as the head and Saviour of his spiritual body) would not be made perfect.

[52] In like manner Peter, with his triple bat, kicked his two brothers, Martin and Jack, out of doors, because they would insist upon it, that a loaf was a loaf, and could not be a shoulder of mutton. See the Tale of a Tub.

[53] ) Si quis dixorit, per ipsa nova; logis sacramenta ox opere oporato nou conferri gratiam, &c. anathema sit. Con. Trid. Sess. vi. Can. viii.

Si quis dixorit, in tribus sacramentis, baptismo, scilicet, confinnatione, et online, non imprimi characterful in anima, hoc est signma aliquod spirituale et indelibile, &c. anathema sit. lb. Canon ix.

[54] See Heylin's Life of Laud. p. 30. and Canbr. Tracts, 170.

[55] See a most remarkable concession of Heylin's, (Life of Laud, p. 29.)

[56] Hence it appears, that St. Austin's famous adage, bona opera non pnecedunt justificandum, sed sequunter justificatum: is, by its insertion into the above homily, become an article of our faith, which every son of the church professes to hold, and to which every minister of it has subscribed with his own hand.

[57] Preface to his Animadversion on Sherlock, 1603.

[58] My edition of the Homilies, is that printed in 1673.

[59] The alliance between Socinianism and Arianism, is evident from the confession of an Arminian divine; Tindal. Cont. of Rap. vol. xv, p. 237, note (a). Also Biogr. Diet. vol. x. p. 404.

[60] That is, of sufficient value: which it most certainly is. Hut availableness, or intrinsic sufficiency, is one thing; intentional and actual efficacy is another. The argument, a Potcutia ad Actum, concludes nothing.

[61] Mr. Strype has an observation, which deserves to be noticed here. “In the first framing of this homily,” says he, viz. the homily of salvation, “there was a great controversy between archbishop Cranmer, the chief composer thereof, and bishop Gardiner, concerning that branch of it, that asserted justification by faith: as may he seen in the memorials of that great archbishop, under the year 15-17.” (Annals of the reformation) under queen Elizabeth, p. 296.) And well there might: since nothing plunges the dagger deeper into the very heart of popery, than that great, fundamental doctrine of the gospel, free unconditional justification by faith in the imputed righteousness of Christ. This admirable 'homily is itself, a standing demonstration, that, not Gardiner, but Cranmer prevailed.

[62] “Whose mediation,” [i. e. the mediation of Christ] “was so acceptable to God the Father, through Ins absolute and perfect obedience, that he took his act for a full satisfaction of all our disobedience and rebellion: whose righteousness In; took, to weigh against our sins: whose redemption he would have stand against our damnation.” Third rotation homily, p. 297.

[63] I Cor. xii. 3. No man can, for himself in particular, with an assured and appropriating faith, and from a real principle of experimental love, call Jesus his Lord, but by the Holy Ghost; whose, gracious office it is, to bring Christ and the soul together, in a way of spiritual intercourse and communion.

[64] Hence it appears, that, in the judgment of our church, the assurance of faith looks forward to what shall be, as well as regards the present. The saints, even under the Jewish dispensation, had, according to this homily, not only a special confidence and trust, that God was then their God; but likewise that lie would be so still, and be their maintainer in the grace he had given them. But how is this consistent with the new, Arminian doctrine, of finally falling from grace?

[65] Well, therefore, might the House of Commons pass a condemmatory vote concerning Montague's honk, written in favour of Arminianism. See Life of Laud, p. IIS. and ISO. with Laud Anim. p. 181.

[66] See Mr. Sloss on the Trinity; pref. p. 10.

[67] So Heylin expressly owns: Life of Laud, p. 33. After which he adds, impudently, “so near, &c.” p. 30. and wishes for a reconciliation with Rome, ibid.

[68] See Hume's Hist. vol. v.

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