[ocr errors]

book of life. But how may we know that God

hath chosen us? How may we see this Election? • Or, how may we feel it? The apostle says, “ Through sanctification of the Spirit, and the « faith of truth." These are tokens of God's elec' tion.This,' (namely the Holy Spirit,) comforteth

us in all our temptations; and “ beareth witness “ with our spirit that we are the children of God;" " That God hath chosen us, and doth love us, and • hath prepared us unto salvation ; that we are the * heirs of his glory; that God will keep us as the

apple of his eye; that he will defend us, and we • shall not perish.” Such language as this, from that eminent prelate, who at least was the principal person, in compiling the second book of homilies, if not in a great degree the author of it, may shew the reader the cogency of these words. 'great reformers, the authors of these homilies, Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer, and Jewell had themselves, as it is pretended, held Calvinistic opinions,

is it, &c?' That they held those opinions, which are now called Calvinistick, must be put out of all doubt : but they were wise enough, not to inake the deeper doctrines of revelation, the direct or prominent subject of the sermons, which were to be read to a multitude, “ unstable and unlearned,” (in the school of Christ) who,' till more fully instructed, would be liable to “ wrest them, as well

as the other Scriptures to their own destruction.".

[ocr errors]

If our

[merged small][ocr errors]


Bp. Jewell's Exposition of the Epistles to the Thessalonians, p. 143, 144. p. 1611.

P. DLXXXVII. Note. 'Let us,' &c.'?

P. DLXXXVIII. 1. 16. But though, &c.'3 After those passages which have been adduced from the reformers of our church, both before and after Queen Mary's reign, I must leave the reader to make his own remarks on this passage, and to account for it, in the best way that he can. It cannot be supposed, but that his Lordship has carefully studied the writings of the reformers: he could not intend to mistate their sentiments : but whenever the word Calvinistick occurs, it is, I apprehend, associated in his ideas with those tenets of Calvin, which are allowed to be objectionable, and which do not appear in our authorized books, and scarcely in the writings of our reformers. Yet when moderns, who are called Calvinists, are mentioned, many. tenets, not generally considered as peculiar to Calvinism; and which in fact are held by numbers, who abhor the very name of Calvinism, are considered as a part of the system, and as implying, that they who hold them, call Calvin Master, and are answerable for all his sentiments; even if they do not believe them, or, believing them, they are afraid to avow them. But when our venerable reformers, “whose praise is in all the churches,” are spoken of, another mode of judging is inadvertently, or imperceptibly, adopted: and, if they do not esplicitly avow every tenet of Calvin, they are supposed not to hold any of them!

r. Let us by such virtues as ought to spring out of faith, shew pur election to be sure and stable; as St. Peter teacheth, en• deavour yourselves to make your calling and election certain by good works. P. 36. 2 Remarks on Note, p. 205, Refutation. 3. But though the homilies contain neither any discussion in support of the Calvinistic doctrines, nor any direct refutation of

them, there is a great number of incidental passages, as we * bave seen, which plainly shew, that the authors were not Cal. • vinists. The little notice taken of these points, and the uncon

troversial manner in which when noticed they are mentioned, • prove, that when the homilies were written and published, · Calvinistic opinions had made very little progress in England. • For, if they had been generally prevalent, or even if they had • been embraced by any considerable number of persons, the " framers of the homilies would bave thought it ' necessary for • the times' to have entered more fully into these subjects, and

to have offered a confutation of what they manifestly considered

as erroneous doctrines: they would have exposed the new errors • of Calvinism in the same manner as they have exposed the old ? errors of Popery. The truth is, that the introduction of Calvin•ism, or rather its prevalence in any considerable degree, was • subsequent to the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's reign, when • all our public forniularies, our articles, our liturgy, and our • homilies, were settled as they now are, with the exception of ! a few alterations and additions to the liturgy, not in the least

affecting its general spirit and character.'

of them! The incidental passages, 'which plainly shew, that the authors were not

Calvinists,' should have been shewn, or referred to.--I think it has been proved, that it would have been extremely unwise to have • exposed the errors • either of Calvinism,' or Anticalvinisin, “in the same 'manner, as they have exposed the old errors of

popery :' unless Calvinism be indeed as fatal an error as popery, that compound of idolatry, superstition, false doctrine, self-righteous pride, and spiritual tyranny; with “ all the deceivableness of un“ righteousness in them that perish.” And nothing would be easier, than to shew, froin more obscure

writers, who yet were the martyrs of Christ, that the doctrines called Calvinistick, were as much insisted on before Elizabeth's reign, as ever they have since been ;? but perhaps with more judgment and moderation. Enough however, has been already done, in this way; both in respect of the other texts in the Refutation, called Calvinistick, and in respect of election and final perseverance.

P. DLXXXIX. Note. Fox, &c." Most of the quotations, which have been adduced from the reformers, may be found in Fox's Book of Martyrs, and very many more to the same purpose. So that, whatever respect was paid to Calvin personally; the doctrines, now called Calvinistick, were fully attested by the Martyrologist.-Luther and Zuingle were so extremely discordant in some things, especially concerning the presence of Christ in the sacrament; and maintained such eager contests; that one cannot but wonder, how they come here into such near contact. They also differed materially about original sin; and the obedience, in religious matters, due to civil authority. If no special tenet be mentioned, it

[ocr errors]

* The reader may be satisfied of this by consulting the Fathers of the Church of England as lately published in six volumes 8vo.

Fox, in his ' History of the Acts and Monuments of the Church,' 'commonly called 'Fox's Book of Martyrs,' which

was published in 1563, the year after our articles and second ' book of bornilies were published, and four years after our

liturgy was settled, says, that our English reformers, who • suffered in Queen Mary's reign, had adopted the opinions of • Luther and Zuingle; and the little which he says of Calvin, • plainly shews, that Calvin and his doctrines were at that time

very little respected in England'

[ocr errors]

might as well be said, that the evangelical clergy adopt the opinions of Calvin and of Arminians! But election is the tenet in which they are supposed to agree. Now it so happens, that Luther was far nearer to the sentiments of those now called Calvinists, than Zuingle, the founder of the other reformed churches, was. For this conclusion, I must refer the reader to the continuation of the Ecclesiastical History of the Rev. Joseph Milner, by Dr. Isaac Milner, the present Dean of Carlisle.

P. DLxxxix. I. 15. Our reformers, &c.” From the note on this page, it might appear that the reformers adopted the opinions of Luther and Zuingle, though not of Calvin. But, however that may be, I have no objection to his Lordship's conclusion.

But we have no doubt, that Calvin and the insti'tutes themselves, if they could speak, were they

reproached with any human origin, would indig. nantly disclaim the charge, and affirm, that they

were not Lutheran &c, but scriptural.” And the evangelical clergy before God, must continue to say

[ocr errors]

Our reformers followed no human authority--they had recourse to the Scriptures themselves as their sole guide. And 'the consequence has been what might have been expected, • that our articles and liturgy do not exactly correspond with • the sentiments of any of the eminent reformers upon the

Continent, or with the creeds of any of the protestant churches ' which are there established. Our church is not Lutheran• it is not Calvinistic it is not Arminian. - It is scriptural : it ' is built upon the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ bimself being the chief corner-stone.' 2 Chr. Observer, Sep. 1811, p. 593.

« VorigeDoorgaan »