Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

warning to me not to hazard an opinion without more adequate information.-As his Lordship introduces the Lambeth Articles by saying ; 'At

Lambeth, on the 10th of November 1595, these 'articles were agreed on in the following words ;' I take it for granted that the annexed articles are, in reality, the Lambeth Articles, or an exact. translation of them; and not merely an abridgment, or compendium. I shall therefore insert them without comment.

1. God from eternity hath predestinated certain men unto life; certain men he hath repro'bated.

2. The moving or efficient cause of predes'tination unto life is not the foresight of faith, or

of perseverance, or of good works, or of any 'thing that is in the person predestinated, but only the good-will and pleasure of God.

*3. There is predetermined a certain number of the predestinate, which can neither be aug'mented nor diminished.

4. Those who are not predestinated to salvation shall be necessarily damned for their sins.

“5. A true living and justifying faith, and the Spirit of God justifying, is not extinguished, falleth not away; it vanisheth not away in the elect, either totally or finally.

6. A man truly faithful, that is, such a one who is endued with a justifying faith, is certain, with the full assurance of faith, of the remission of his sins, and of his everlasting salvation by Christ. *7. Saving grace is not given, is not granted, VOL. VIII.

Y

is not communicated to all men, by which they may be saved if they will.

8. No man can come unto Christ, unless it be ‘given unto him, and unless the Father shall draw him ; and all men are not drawn by the Father, that they inay come to the Son.

69. It is not in the will or power of every one 'to be saved.

I perfectly coincide in opinion with his Lordship, that the persons concerned in passing these articles acted without any legal authority; and the case would have been the same, had both the archbishops, and all the bishops and dignitaries in the nation concurred in the transaction. They would have been authorized to draw up articles, and propose them to the parliament: but, unless sanctioned by King, Lords, and Commons, in parliament assembled, they had no authority to enforce subscription to them; and they were justly deserving of the frown of their sovereign for their presumption. .

It is evident that Anticalvinism began about this time to prevail in the university of Cambridge, and elsewhere in the church of England; and that by a rapid progress it spread so widely, that at length the great body of the clergy seem wholly to have forgotten the doctrinal articles which they were continually subscribing, or requiring others to subscribe. To a zealous Anticalvinist this must

". If they will. This supposes some who are willing to be saved in the way of the gospel, but are not able because of some insurmountable hindrance: which is neither consonant to the scriptures, nor to our articles and liturgy. [Remark in first edit. J. S.]

of course appear as the breaking forth of the 'genuine doctrine of the church, through the 'clouds of Calvinism, wherewith it was before

obscured, and its shining forth again in its true ·lustre.' It is, however, remarkable that his Lordship should date the progress of Calvinism in England, nearly from the same period concerning which his historian Heylin uses these words. This was in the year 1595, and James I. came to the throne in 1603; during whose “ feeble reign,' his Lordship says, “the opinions of Calvin made

considerable progress :'? so that, according to this statement, the revival of Anticalvinism was soon terminated. Yet, in fact, the progress of Arminianism in the church of England may properly be dated from the time which Heylin fixes. As to the Lambeth Articles, which never had any authority, and which few at present so much as wish that they had; I do not see that modern Calvinists, or the evangelical clergy, have any more to do with them, than with the decrees of the council of Trent.

ARTICLES OF THE SYNOD OF DORT. (The reader has been apprised, under the head of the “ Lambeth Articles,' that the Author felt himself to have been very much misled, in the first edition of this work, in treating of the Articles of the Synod of Dort. The fact was this: he found in the Refutation Tilenus's pretended abbreviation of the Articles, copied from Peter Heylin, styled “ The Articles of the Synod of “ Dort,” and with the following sanction (I preRef. 565.

? Ref. 583.

sume, Heylin's,) annexed; - This is the shortest, ' and withal the most favourable summary, which • I have hitherto met with, of the conclusions of

this Synod.' He had also, he tells us, ' met with 'the same abstract of the Articles of the Synod,

in other publications more favourable to Calvinism. Hence he had no suspicion that those adduced by his Lordship were not the real Arti

cles of the Synod, but an abbreviation, yet with • several clauses also added, by avowed opponents.' He therefore 'made remarks on them, as genuine, which he afterwards found to be wholly inappropriate, and such as led him unjustly to censure the venerable theologians who constituted that Synod--for such (he says,) no doubt they were,

though not infallible.'-On obtaining a correct copy of the Articles, he discovered them to be

immensely more discordant with the abbrevia‘tion than he could have previously imagined:Having been thus 'misled by writers on whom he

depended, in many instances unintentionally to 'bear false witness against the Synod,' he felt it “incumbent upon him to make what reparation he

could.—To this end, in the revised edition of this work, he substituted, for what he had previously written upon the subject, a literal translation of the Articles of the Synod, contrasted with Tilenus's abbreviation of them; at the same time intimating an intention of shortly publishing separately a translation of the Articles of the Synod,' with the rejection of errors' subjoined to them;

the preface and conclusions; with remarks, and

references to the scriptures, and to our Articles.' - This publication, he expressed a hope, might

"serve to check Antinomian Calvinism, by shew‘ing how guarded the doctrines of these most

reprobated Calvinists were ; as well as to put to silence those who ignorantly and heedlessly, or 'wilfully and maliciously, bear false testimony ‘against them.

The proposed work he accordingly did publish in the ensuing year; and, as it here stands reprinted in the same volume with this latter part of the answer to the Refutation of Calvinism, it is judged unnecessary to insert in this place a translation of the Articles, which, with the help of the table of contents at the beginning of the volume, the reader may find more to advantage, accompanied with remarks and illustrations, by only turning a few pages forward.-J. S.7

Such is Calvinism ; and it is in its nature so «inconsistent with the attributes of God, so con

trary to the express declarations of scripture, and so repugnant to the feelings of the human ‘mind, that it seems only necessary to state the system simply and fully in all its parts and con

sequences, to ensure its rejection by every un* prejudiced person.'1

If the word such has any antecedent, or relates to any thing preceding, it must refer to the pretended] Articles of the synod of Dort: but such

is not Calvinism,' as contained even in Calvin's writings [but such is an utter distortion and most gross misrepresentation of it.] ..... Even, if the quotations from Calvin, as well as the Lambeth Articles, be added, “ Such is not Calvinism :' for, this must not be judged of from quotations, de

Ref. 568.

« AnteriorContinuar »