« AnteriorContinuar »
require us to receive it as a book of divine inspiration:But whether as the work of John the Apostle and Evangelist, will be the subject of inquiry in the next chapter.
(To be continued.)
R E VIEW.
A full length Portrait of Calvinism. By an old
fashioned Churchman. The second edition, with additions and corrections. New-York, T. & J. Swords, 1809. pp. 55. 12mo.
(Continued from page 212.)
W E have compared the old fashioned Churchman in his attack upon what he calls Calvinism, to the Knight of La Mancha in his attack upon those objects which he thought giants. Before we proceed to the proof of the correctness of the comparison, we wish the reader's attention to be for a moment directed to the prefatory address. After stating that an edition of twelve hundred copies had been sold in a few weeks, and that his friends wished a second edition to be given to the public, he adds, “ Another reason for this impression is, that some have said, they did not believe Calvin is fairly quoted : or, if he is, that a wrong sense of his words is given in the translation. The proper answer to such objections is, Search for yourselves.” He thinks, moreover, that because no one has been at the pains of exposing him before, therefore, “ it may be fairly presumed, that nothing like it can be done." His reasoning on this subject is not unlike that of which the wise man speaks: “ Because sentence against
an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the hearts of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil*,” Delighted with the idea that he has silence ed effectually the advocates of Calvinism by this imaginary Minerva of his brain, he proceeds: “ The author was indeed fully sensible that the knowing ones among the Calvinists would take some short method to prevent the Portrait from making an im. pression upon the minds of those who are disposed, but not quite at liberty, to think for themselves : and no method could have been shorter, than to say, “ Calvin is misquoted or mistranslated.” What the next shift will be, it is not easy to say: perhaps to make the Old fashioned Churchman himself a Cal. vinist, as they have made Porteus, Daubeny, and Rotheram, Calvinists.” P. iv. Who the knowing Calvinists are that have claimed these respectable Arminian Divines as one in sentiment with them, we know not ; nor do we desire to know; for though we might respect them for the qualities of their hearts, we must judge the furniture of their minds to be despicable, But, verily, that Calvinist who would undertake to make the Old fashioned Churchman himself a Calvinist, must be like Hudibras, who
method could erty, to think te who are in
Was in logic a great critic,
As we despair to see such a genius during our days, we do not hesitate to sing a requiem to the apprehensions of our author. Peace to his troubled bosom! We would as soon expect the grand Lama of Thibet, or one of his priests to become Calvinists.Besides the sentiments he avows in this pamphlet, there
Eccles. viii. ll.
are two very powerful reasons why we should demur to claim him as one of us. The one is, the want of correct reasoning which he discovers in his work ; and the other, the unfair manner in which he has quoted writers. We say unfair, as the softest term, but shall be constrained, we fear, to use a harsher phrase before we end. For though such unfairness may be considered as admissible by our Anti-Calvinistic brethren, we Calvinists, according to our old fashioned ideas, consider it dishonest. And as we do not desire to fall under the threatened wo which the pro. phet denounces*, we shall, without ceremony, call evil by its appropriate name, evil. Never having embraced the scheme of morals which a dignitaryt in the Apostolic Church, as it is called, has published, we cannot but think, notwithstanding his opinion to the contrary, that every deviation from truth, where it is designed, is a falsehood ; and, as such, merits exposure.
We proceed to prove, that this portrait, as it is called, is a caricature; and, as such, does not exhibit the Calvinism either of individuals or of churches. We shall arrange our remarks under the three following heads :
1. Quotations from Calvinistic Writers, and Confessions.
2. Quotations from the Scriptures.
3. Quotations from the Liturgy of the Church of England, and assertions concerning some of her chief reformers, and also concerning Melancthon.
We shall not merely examine the correctness of the quotations, but also the correctness of the reasoning which accompanies them.
1. We begin with quotations from Calvinistic Writers and Confessions.
In making them, our author has not acted quite as
scholar-like as his address to the reader would naturally lead us to expect. We shall have cause to complain, in more instances than one, of the utter want of correctness in the references. Nay, many of the quotations are unaccompanied by any references. Search for yourselves,' says the Churchman, but he has given no information where we must search. We have, however, found all the quotations he makes from Calvin, as we happen to be somewhat acquainted with his writings; especially his Institutes. We will therefore direct our readers, who may choose to search for themselves, where they may find the passages, that they may judge between us and “ this uncircumcised Philistine who defieth the armies of the living God.”
The first quotation, to exhibit the Portrait, is professedly taken from the Institutes of Calvin, the third book, and fourth section. We found the chapter to be the twenty-third. The Latin words are correctly given in the note, and correctly translated : but not a little mistake has been committed by the Churchman, by calling these words Calvin's. They are in Calvin's Institutes, it is true ; but they are no more Calvin's words, than the words of the Devil to Eve, ' You shall not die,' which we find in the Scriptures, are the words of an inspired writer. They are the words of those, who, like the Old fashioned Churehman,' are enemies of Calvinism. Can you believe it, reader, that a person who had ever seen Calvin's Institutes, could thus blunder? If our author has seen the work, a disordered fancy, a Calvino-phobia must have made him the exact coun. terpart of that famed Sir Knight, who,
- As occasion sery’d, would quote;
We now quote the whole passage, beginning with section 4th of the 23d chapter, of the 3d book.
destination him*. Isoke his creath the pamphic Con
“ Again, they," i. e. the opposers of Calvin's sentiments, of whom he speaks in the 3d Sect. “ again they except; were they, (i. e. the reprobate,) not predestinated by the decree of God to that corruption which now is alleged as the cause of their damnation? Vhen, therefore, they perish in their corruption, they do nothing but suffer the punishment of that misery, into which, by his, God's.) pre. destination, Adam fell, and drew his posterity head. tong with him*. Is not he, therefore, unjust, who doth so cruelly mock his creatures ?!'_-Å part of this objection is only quoted in the pamphlet and the following inference drawn from it :-" Con. sequently, Adam's eating the forbidden fruit was the necessary, unavoidable effect of the divine deoree; and therefore was not a sin, but pure, formal, commendable obedience." Thus speaketh the Churchman, bringing false accusations against his brethren. Let us now see what the venerable Reformer of Ge. neva says. “ I grant,"' such is his answer immedi. ately following the quotation already given, “ I grant, indeed, that all the children of Adam, by the will of God, have fallen into this state of misery, wherein they are now bound; and this is what I said at the beginning, that we must finally, always return to the determination of the will of God, the cause whereof is hidden in himself. But it does not, therefore follow, that God is subject to this slander," viz. the precedingobjection, a part of which the Churchman has quoted as Calvin's words. He then proceeds to show, that no unrighteousness can be attached to God; that the reason of the righteousness of God is higher than to be measured by the measure of man, or comprehended by the smallness of human ingenuity. In Sect. 5, he shows that it is no part of our duty to ask a reason for God's will; the mere fact of any thing being God's will, making it is righteous. In
* The words in Italics are those quoted by the Churchman.