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Institutes! I forget the words, nor are they material, but this is the sentiment delivered in an Episcopal Charge, and now constantly referred to by semi-demi-Calvinists, too commonly the most bitter and unchristian in spirit — and certainly the most appalling in physiognomy, of all modern nominal Christians ! *
I answer — there are also fine moral passages, and sublime conceptions, in a work called the Koran, or the “Institutions” of Mahomet! together with something of the same predestination, and the “ black drop” of the human heart; but, when I speak of Calvinism, I speak only of its peculiar and distinguishing dogmas.
As to what this rigid Reformer teaches in other respects, and with whatever eloquence and learning he may enforce them, who, among Christians, need care a rush, when the sentiments are those of a man who, in his distinguishing creed, seems to speak from the Gehenna of his own heart, if we may judge of that heart by his conduct?
If it be said his persecuting cruelty was the consequence of the times, this might be pleaded for Cranmer- or even for Bonner. If it be said the other Reformers of Switzerland, and Melancthon himself, thought the publication of some opinions ought to be punished by death — did they lie in wait for
* Compare the interesting countenance of Ken with those visages which appall us in every bookseller's window, of the Rev. Thomas Scott and John Newton !!
blood, like a crouching tiger? - when the unfortunate Servetus passed in his journey through Geneva, did they exclaim, “We will take care he shall not escape alive!” — and, when he was condemned to the horrible torture, did they write in cold blood, yet with sanctimonious rapture, “Servetus,” after his condemnation, “only roared, with the stupidity of a beast-MERCY! MERCY!"*
Let us hear no more of an English Bishop talking of the holiness or morals in this man's writings; rather, he ought to have said — (as it is written, “What concord has Christ with Belial?") -“What concord has Christ with Moloch?”
As I have given the reader a specimen of the “real piety” of that Prince of Puritans, who complained that the great Chillingworth was so “obstinate" he could not “ convince him," and who after his death insulted his remains so inhumanly, I shall conclude with a passage from that great and insulted writer:
“ The BIBLE - the BIBLE-the BIBLE IS THE RELIGION OF PROTESTANTS.” And we may repeat,
“ The BIBLE — the BIBLE-the BIBLE IS THE RELIGION OF THE PROTESTANT EPISCOPAL CHURCH OF CHRIST IN ENGLAND.”
* « Tantùm reboaret belluina stupiditate, MISERICORDIA ! MISERICORDIA !"-Calvin's Letter to Farell. See “ Banwellhill.”
AFTER so much has been said of the lives and characters of the Protestant Episcopal Clergy, of the Church of England, particularly after the Restoration, the Christian reader I hope will forgive my concluding the whole in the following lines, suggested on seeing a few plants in the windows of Seth Ward's College, endowed for widows of clergymen at Salisbury.
There is but one stage more, in Life's long way!
Remember you of children and of friends
Yet one stage more,
lov'd. Oh! pray
to God, that each may “rest in Hope!”
March 18, 1830.
* Seth WARD, Bishop of Salisbury, built and endowed at Salisbury, Collegium Matronarum — the College of Matrons, Widows of Clergymen. They are entertained by each Canon during his residence. This was written when they were the guests of the Author.
In the course of this work, we have shewn the effects of all HUMAN INFALLIBILITY, whether Papal, Presbyterian, or Independent,—that of the Pope, the Synod, or the private Spirit, - and we have adduced these examples to shew, from proof the most incontrovertible, that there is no other basis of Christian charity than that on which the Church of England rests—the INFALLIBILITY OF THE WORD of Gov.
As one poor victim to this terrific HUMAN INFALLIBILITY was of the sect of Quakers, before the tribunal of the tolerant Cromwellian Puritans, I shall refer, not, as I might do, to the acknowledged works of the most eloquent writers of the communion which reposes “INFALLIBILITY” on its only sure and safe ground, but adduce the testimony of one of those benevolent brethren in Christ, who, having once suffered so much, now dwell in love and peace with a Church which, whilst it reads the texts of the Scripture in a different sense, renounces all infallibility, save in the Word to which both appeal,—“holding firmly” that which they are “persuaded in their own mind” is the Truth, walking in Charity, and leaving the result, in humble Hope, to that period when we “shall no longer see through a glass darkly.”
Now the testimony I adduce is that of Penn, the