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the same, concerning themselves and their tenets ; till some more conclusive refutation has been made of thein,
And now, at the close of this work, I may perhaps assume a measure of confidence, not uplike what the very title of bis Lordship’s book contains. I am confident, that I have demonstrated the doctrines, commonly called Calvinistick, (though not every tenet of Calvin,) to be that of our liturgy, our articles, and homilies; and of those reformers, both before and after Queen Mary's reign, who compiled them: and I call on the opponents of Calvinism, to disprove this, if they can, by fair quotations and substantial arguments; for assertions must go for nothing. I trust I have also shewn them to be the doctrines of the holy Scriptures, both in the Old and New Testament.-But before I close, I would drop one hint. If indeed, the doctrines in question, are those of our established church; and if its rulers should in general proceed on the plan adopted by some of them; namely, that of discrediting, as much as they can, the most pious, laborious, and competent clergymen, who hold them: If, when one of this description is removed, they should make a point of substituting in his place a man of discordant principles: If they discourage, as to ordination, the most exemplary, regular, and unexceptionable young men, in all other things, even if suspected, by, reason of their connexions, and friendships, of holding these sentiments; and prefer men of far inferior talents, learning, and even moral character: will they not, with their own hands,
endeavour to subvert the establishment? Could a shrewd dissenter, if admitted as an unsuspected privy-counsellor, give them more appropriate advice, in order to accomplish his purpose, of gaining the ascendancy to the dissenting interest? They, who have been used to hear the doctrines called evangelical, in which the question, “ What must 1,” a lost sinner, “ do to be saved ?" is constantly asked and clearly answered ; if they at all pay attention to it, will never after endure another doctrine, in which this question is not answered to their satisfaction. However attached to the establishment, they will at length seek at the meeting, that instruction, which they cannot find at church : and though this at first be the only inducement; yet, becoming acquainted with dissenters, and hearing all their objections; (having at the same time, no person at hand, to answer these objections;) they will gradually imbibe the esprit de corps, and perhaps at length become more zealous dissenters, than they are, to whom they join themselves. Thus hundreds often become dissenters, simply by the removal of an evangelical clergyman, and the substituting of one, of contrary sentiments; who has the mortification of officiating in an almost empty church; while his sole relief consists in declaiming against Calvinists and dissenters, which makes the case still worse. All this would be prevented, if a competent evangelical man were appointed, (if not as rector, yet) as curate to succeed one of his own sentiments; and the person of contrary tenets, were more comfortably provided for elsewhere. And, unless it be
vainly supposed, that authority can crush the whole party, surely this would be the more politick conduct !-Again, a young man, who desires the ministry
a good work;” and longs pro officio, non pro beneficio ; who can without hesitation declare, that ' he thinks himself moved by the Holy Ghost to take
this office upon him ;' will never finally give up his object. If excluded from the church, what he counts ill-usage will weaken his attachment; his objections to the dissenting cause will proportionably abate ; and he will gradually be led to enter the ministry among the dissenters. And as these things, considering what human nature is at the best, cannot but tend to alienate his mind from those, who have been unkind to him, and to attach it to those who are kind; (and the heart has a vast effect on the judgment;) it will not be wonderful, if at length he become a zealous dissenter, and a champion of the party against the church of England. Thus, some of the most pious, able, and even learned of our young men, having received an university.education, in order to be ministers of the establishment; may be thrown into the opposite interest, and spend all their lives and talents, in a manner, unfavourable to her predominance in the nation.Our danger is therefore more from within, than from without, whatever numbers may suppose: far more from our own negligence and impolicy, than from the machinations of
alversaries, And now, 'O God,' before whom we must all soon appear, without respect of persons, to receive our final and eternal doom: thou God of truth, who
knowest on which side in this argument, thy truth is found; * Illuminate all bishops, priests, and deacons, by thy Holy Spirit, in the true knowledge and understanding of thy word.' 'Grant us all by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things:' Bring into the way of truth all such as have erred and are deceived :' " Take
away from us, all blindness of heart, all pride, vain glory and hypocrisy ; and all uncharitableness.' " Grant that all who 5, profess and call themselves christians, may be led into the way of truth, and hold the faith in the unity of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in right
of life.' • Have mercy on all Jews, *Turks, infidels, and hereticks; and take from them
* all hardness of heart, and contempt of thy word; ... and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, to thy E: 'flock, that they may be saved among the remnant
of the true Israelities. “That so thy way may 'known upon earth, “ thy saving health unto all "nations." Grant this, O Lord, for the honour, and through the merits, of our only Advocate and Mediator, Jesus Christ.' Amen.
N.B. The following thoughts, on the doctrine of our church, sespecting the baptism of infants, having been sent to me, (as coming from high authority,) after the remarks on the second chapter was printed, I subjoin them here.
That part of the catechism, which mentions the qualifications for baptism, and then answers the question concerning the admission of infants to it, shews, (referring first to the case of adulta,)
First, That baptism neither is, nor conveys, regeneration; but must be preceded by regeneration; unless repentance and faith exist without regeneration.
Secondly, That baptism is to be administered only upon the profession of faith and repentance; and that all which is said of the baptized must go on the supposition, of the sincerity of this profession.
Thirdly, That all, which is said of infants is spoken conditionally; on the supposition and condition, that when they come to age, they perform the promises, which they have made by their sureties.
! This part of the catechism, on the sacraments, was added in the time of James the First, (drawn up by Bp. Overall;) and may therefore be considered as explanatory of any difficulties, in that part which preceded.