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Christian doctrine, or by their more animated, but equally unprofitable comments on Methodists, Dissenters, and Gospel ministers”. The editor has favoured us with the testimony of two unodern prelates, the late Bishop of St. David's and the present Bishop of Lincoln, in favour of the Homilies. Speaking of the doctrines of grace, justification by faith, &c. the former says, “ These doctrines are delivered with admirable perspicuity and precision in the Homilies of our church on these subjects; The Misery of all Mankind; the Salvation of Mankind by Christ ; the true, lively, and Christian Faith; and good Works annexed to Faith. These discourses I would earnestly recommend to your frequent study, as an unexceptionable summary of doctrine upon these important points, and an excellent model for popular instruction.” In this eulogium, we most entirely concur with this departed prelate. We are still more anxious, however, to avail ourselves of the favourable testimony of the present Bishop of Lincoln, to these “very extraordinary compositions,” as he calls them, “when compared with the age in which they were written.” The bishop, it is true, a little qualifies his commendation, (we do not blame him for so doing); “perhaps every argument and expression in them is not to be approved.” But he adds, “whosoever will peruse them with candour and attention, will be convinced that they contain a godly and wholesome doctrinet.” Our solicitude in this instance arises from * Lest the objects of this remark should be mistaken by our readers, we think it right to advertise them, that the persons we have in view, are such writers as those who were engaged in a work lately deceased, called the Orthodox Churchman's Magazine; or who are engaged in another work which still continues to subsist, called the Antijacobin Review;-such sermonizers, also, as Sydney Smith, Dr. Bidlake, Dr. Gleig, &c.; and such pamphleteers as Mr. Spry, Mr. Sykes, &c. &c. f Elements of Christian Theology, vol. ii. p. 536.
the entire conviction which we feel, that in these oracular writings of our church, a very powerful antidote is provided, to what we must, with all due deference, consider as unscriptural, and therefore as pernicious, in the productions of the Bishop himself. In thus setting the Homilies in opposition to the Bishop of Lincoln, we are not to be understood as meaning to affirm, or even to insinuate, that the Homilies are Calvinistic. On the contrary, we have no hesitation in saying, that we cannot discover, in any part of these writings, a single expression which can be regarded as exclusively Calvinistic. There are even one or two passages which appear to have an opposite leaning; though even these are of doubtful import, as affecting the questions at issue between Calvinists and Arminians. With such admirable wisdom and moderation, have these popular formularies of Christian instruction been framed, that all, who take the Scripture for their guide, may meet together to be built up by them in their most holy faith, however they may differ from each other on the abstruse and unessential questions which the consideration of predestination involves; and will find the edification they are in quest of, without having their minds, for one moment, disturbed by controversial niceties or unprofitable speculations. But if we do not regard the Homilies as Calvinistic, which we certainly do not, how is it, it may be asked, that we should set them in opposition to the Bishop of Lincoln, whose last work, at least, is a professed refutation of Calvinism To this we reply, as we have already done, that had the Bishop confined himself to the prosecution of his professed object, we should have had comparatively, little to say respecting his labours. 13ut the Bishop's misfortune, and ours too, (for we are really concerned to appear as the antagonists of his lordship), is this, that he has con
founded with the peculiarities of Calvin what appear to us, and, as he will find, to many excellent persons, as well Arminians as Calvinists, to be the essential peculiarities of the Christian faith. Our difference with him is neither more nor less than this. And in maintaining our own opinions against so powerful an opponent, we cannot but rejoice in calling to our aid those writings of our venerable church, respecting which every bishop, and every priest, and every deacon of that church, has solemnly declared his belief, that they contain “a godly and wholesome doctrine.” Whoever has read our review of the Bishop of Lincoln's book, in our last number, will be at no loss to recollect what the points are on which we conceive that he and the Homilies are at issue. They are those of original sin, or human depravity; the influences of the Holy Spirit; justification; faith and good works. We do not mean to say, that the Bishop denies, in terms, any of these doctrines; but we think that he has so stated them, as to produce, on the whole, a view of their import, and of their practical bearings, very dissimilar to that which is given in the sermons now under review. Our extracts from these sermons, therefore, while they will be directed to the instruction and edification of our readers, will also have an especial reference to the contrariety which we have asserted to exist between the Bishop and the Church of England. As the subject is highly important, our readers will excuse the length of those extracts. Considering, however, the source from which they are taken, they ought to require no apology with any member of the Church of England. Our first extracts will be on the subject of the sinfulness of man.
“The Scripture shutteth up all under sin, that the promise by the faith of Jesus Christ should be given unto them that believe. 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 of ourselves.” Homily on the Misery of Man, p. 25. “So doth blessed St. John the evangelist, in the name of himself, and of all other holy men, (be they never so just), make this open confession: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us: if we acknowledge our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us." Wherefore the wise man, in the book called Ecclesiastes, maketh this true and general confession, “There is not one just man upon the earth that doeth good and sinneth not.” Homily on the Misery of Man, . 26. p “Our Saviour Christ saith, “ There is none good but God: ' and that we can de nothing that is good without him, nor can “any man come to the Father but by him. He cominandeth us also to say, that “we be unprofitable servants, when we have date all that we can do.'" Homily on the Misery of Man, p. 26. “For of ourselves we be crab trees, that can bring forth no apples. We be of ourselves of such earth, as can but bring farth weeds, nettles, brambles, briers, cockle, snd darnel. Our fruits be declared in the fifth 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. Let us therefore acknowledge ourselves before God (as we be indeed) miserable and wretched sinners. And let us earnestly repent, and humble ourselves heartily, and cry to God for mercy. Let us all confess with mouth and heart that we be full of imperfections: 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 works." Homily on the Misery of Man, pp. 27, 28. “Thus we have heard how evil we be of ourselves; how of ourselves, and by ourselves, we have no goodness, help, or sakition, but contrariwise, sin, damnatien and death everlasting: which if we deeply weigh and consider, we shall the better understand the great mercy of God, and bew our salvation coneth only by Christ. For in eurselves (as of ourselves) we find nothing whereby we may be delivered from this
miserable captivity, into the which we are cast, through the envy of the devil, by breaking of God's commandment in our first parent Adam. We are all become unclean;' but we all are not able to cleanse ourselves, nor to make one another 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 own power come again to the sheepfold, so great is our in periection and weakness. In ourselves, therefore, may we not glory, which of ourselves, are nothing but sinful: neither may we rejoice in any works that we do, all which be so imperfect and impure, that they are not able to stand before the righteous judgment-seat of God, as the holy prophet David saith, ‘Enter not into judgment with thy servant, O Lord! for no man that liveth shall be found righteous in thy sight.’ To God, therefore, must we flee, or else shall we never find peace, rest, and quietness of conscience in our hearts. For he is “the Father of inercies, and God of all consolation.' He is the Lord, with whom is “plenteous redemption:" he is the God, which of his own mercy saveth us,’ and setteth out his charity and exceeding love towards us, in that of his own voluntary goodness, when we were perishing, he saved us, and provided an everlasting kingdom for us. And all these heavenly treasures are given us, not for our own deserts, merits, or good deeds (which of ourselves we have none), but of his mere mercy freely. And for whose sake? Truly for Jesus Christ's sake, that pure and undefiled Lamb of God. He is that dearly beloved Son, for whose sake God is fully pacified, satisfied, and set at one with man. He is the “Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world’” Homily on the Misery of Man, pp. 28–30. “Hitherto we have heard what we are of ourselves: very sinful, wretched, and damnable. Again, we have heard how that of ourselves, and by ourselves, we are not able either to think a good thought, or work a good deed; so that we can find in ourselves as hope of salvation, but rather whatsoever maketh unto our destruction. Again, we have heard the tender kindness and great mercy of God the Father towards us, and how beneficial he is to us for Christ's sake, without our merits or deserts, even of his own mere mercy and tender goodness.”— Homily on the Misery of Man, pp. 30, 31. “Let us also acknowledge the exceeding mercy of God towards us, and confess, that as of ourselves cometh all evil and damnation; Chaist. Observ. No. 1 18.
so likewise of him cometh all goodness and salvation, as God himself saith by the prophet Hosea, “O Israel, thy destruction cometh of thyself: but in me is thy help and comfort.” Homily on the Misery of Man, p. 31. “Among all the creatures that God made in the beginning of the world, most excellent and wonderful in their kind, there was none, as the Scripture beareth witness, to be compared almost in any point unto man, who, as well in body as soul, exceeded all other, no less than the sun in brightness and light exceedeth every small and little star in the firmament. He was made according to the image and similitude of God, he was endued with all kind of heavenly gifts, he had no spot of uncleanness in him, he was sound and perfect in all parts, both outwardly and inwardly, his reason was uncorrupt, his understanuing was pure and good, his will was obedient and godly : he was made altogether like unto God in righteousness, and holiness, in wisdom, in truth; to be short, in all kind of persection." Homily an the Nativity, pp. 142, 143. “But as the common nature of all men is, in time of prosperity and wealth, to forget not only themselves, but God; even so did this first man Adam, who having but one commandment at God's land, namely, that he should not eat of the fruit of knowledge of good and ill, did notwithstanding, most unmindfully, or rather most wilfully break it, in forgetting the strait charge of his Maker, and giving ear to the crafty suggestion of that wicked serpent, the devil. Whereby it came to pass, that as before he was blessed, so now he was accursed; as before he was loved, so now lie was abhorred; as before he was most beautiful and precious, so now he was most vile and wretched in the sight of his Lord and Maker: instead of the image of God, he was now become the image of the devil; instead of the citizen of heaven, he was become the bond-slave of hell, having in himself no one part of his former purity and cleanness, but being altogether spotted and defiled; insomuch, that now he seemed to be nothing else but a lump of sin, and therefore, by the just judgment of God was condemned to everlasting death. This so great and miserable a plague, if it had only rested on Adam, who first offended, it had been so much the easier, and might the better have been borne. But it fell not only on him, but also on his posterity and children for ever, so that the whole brood of Adam's flesh should sustain the self-same fall and punishment, which their forefather by his offence most justly had deserved.” —Homily on the Nativity, pp. 143, 144. 4 O
The next series of extracts shall refer to the subject of Divine influences, on which the Homilies are equally full and explicit.
“Where the Holy Ghost worketh, there nothing is impossible, as may further also apPearby the nu'ard regeneration and sanctification of mankind. When Christ said to Nicodemus, “Unless a man be born anew, of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the •kingdom of God, he was greatly amazed in his mind, and began to reason with Christ, demanding how a man might be born which was old 2 Can he enter, saith he, ‘into his mother's womb again, and so be born anew.” 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 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 workelh 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. For as there are three several and sundry persons in the Deity; so have they three several and sundry offices proper unto each of them:—the Father to create, the Son to redeen, the Holy Ghost to sanctify and regenerate. Whereof the last, the more it is hid from our under. standing, the more it ought to move all men to wonder at the secret and mighty working of God's Holy Spirit, which is within us. For it is the Holy Ghost, and no other thing, that doth quicken the minds of men, stirring up good and godly motions in their hearts, which are agreeable to the will and commandment of God, such as otherwise of their own crooked and perverse nature they should never have. ‘That which is born of the flesh, saith Christ, “is flesh, and that which is, born of the Spirit is spirit"—As who should say, man of his own nature is fleshly and carnal, corrupt and naughty, 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 he have uny 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. Did not God's Holy Spirit miraculously work in the child David, when of a poor shepherd he became a princely prophet? Did not God's Holy Spirit miraculously work in Mat
thew, “sitting at the receipt of custom' when
of a proud publican he became an hum.
ble and lowly evangelist? And who can
choose but marvel to consider, that Peter
should become of a simple fisher a clief and
mighty apostle? Paul of a cruel and bloody
persecutor, a faithful disciple of Christ, to
teach the Gentiles? 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 sns.
ficient inwardly to work the spiritual and
new birth of man, unless he do also dwell and abide in him. ‘Know ye not, saith St.
Paul, that ye are the temple of God, and
that his Spirit dwelleth in you? Know ye not that your bodies are the temples of the Holy Ghost, which is within you ? Again he saith, “You are not in the fiesh, but in the Spirit. For why? The Spirit of God dwelleth in you.' To this agreeth the doctrine of St. John, writing on this wise: “The anointing which ye have received (he meaneth the Holy Ghost) dwelleth in you.' And the doctrine of Peter saith the same, who hath these words: “The Spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you. O what comfort is this to the heart of a true Christian, to think that the Holy Ghost dwelleth within him ' ' If God be with us,’ as the apostle saith,' who can be against us?” Obut how shall I know that the Holy Ghost is within me? some man perchance will say. Forsooth, as the tree is known by his fruit, so is also the Holy Ghost.’ ‘The fruits of the Holy Ghost (according to the mind of St. Paul) are these : love, joy, peace, long-susfering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, temperance, &c. Contrariwise, the deeds of the flesh are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, wantonness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, debate, emulation, wrath, contention, sedition, heresy, envy, murder, drunkenness, gluttony, and such like.” Sermon for Whitsunday, pp. 187—189.
After mentioning some scriptural instances of the power of the Holy Ghost, the Homily thus proceeds:
“Eusebius in his Ecclesiastical History telleth a strange story of a certain learned and subtile philosopher, who being an extreme adversary to Christ and his doctrine, could by no kind of learning be converted to the faith, but was able to withstand all the argoments that could be brought against him, with little or no labour. At length there started up a poor simple man, of small witsnd less knowledge, one that was reputed among the learned as an ideot ; and he in God's name would needs take in hand to dispute with this proud philosopher. The bishops and other learned men standing by were marvellously abashed at the matter, thinking that by his doing they should be all confounded and put to open shame. He notwithstanding goeth on, and beginning in the name of the Lord Jesus, brought the philosopher to such point in the und, contrary to all men's expectation, that he could not choose but acknowledge the power of God in his words, and to give place to the truth. Was not this a miraculous work, that one silly soul, of no learning, should do that which many bishops of great knowledge and understanding were never able to bring to pass? So true is the saying of Bede: ‘Where the Holy Ghost doth instruct and teach, there is he delay at all in learning.” Sermon for Whitsunday, pp. 190, 191. “Let us (as we are most bound) give hearty thanks to God the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ, for sending down his Comforter into the world, humbly beseeching him so to work in our hearts by the power of this Holy Spirit, that we being regenerate and newly born againin all goodness, righteousness, *briety, and truth, may in the end be made partakers of everlasting life in his heavenly kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.” Sermon for Whitsunday, p. 191.
The following Homily invokes all the glorified saints in heaven, as witnesses to the power and efficacy of the Divine influence.
* If these were asked, who should be thanked for their regeneration, for their justification, and for their salvatiou? whether their deserts, or God's goodness only 2 although in this point every one contess sufficiently the truth of this inatter in his own person; yet 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 sake.' If we should ask again, from whence came their glorious works and deeds, which they wrought in their lives, where with 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 Isaiah 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 inatter, against all justiciaries and hypocrites, which rob Almighty God of his honour, and ascribe it to themselves, St. Paul bringeuh in his
belief: "We be not,” saith he, “sufficient of ourselves, as of ourselves, once to think any thing: but all our ableness is of God's goodness. For he it is, in whom we have all our being, our 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 confess 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? Is it meet to think that all spiritual goodness coineth from God above only; and that other good things, either of nature or of fortune (as we call them) come of any other cause: Doth God of his goodness adorn the soul with all the powers thereof as it is; aud come the gifts of the body, wherewith it is endued, from any other 2 If he doth the more, cannot he do the less? ‘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 male.' We must needs agree, that whatsoever good thing is in us, of grace, of nature, or of fortune, is of God only, as the only author and worker.” 1.0mily for Rogation Week, pp. 203-205. Again: “I promised to you to declare that all spiritual gifts and graces come especially from God. Let us consider the truth of this matter, and hear what is testified first of the gift of faith, the first entry into a Christian life, without the which no man can please God. For St. Paul confesseth it plainly to be God's gift, saying, “faith is the gift of God.' And 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. It is veily God's work in us, the charity wherewith we love our brethren. If after our fail, we repont, it is by him that we repent, wilich reacheth forth his merciful hand to raise us up. If we have any will to rise, it is he that preventeth our will and disposeth us thereto. If after contrition, we feel our consciences at peace with God, through remission of our sin, and so be reconciled again to his favour, and hope to be his children, and inheritors of everlasting life, who worketh these great niracles in us? our worthiness, our deservings, and endeavours, our wits,