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'elect? It is God .that justifieth, who then shall condemn, '&c."''—The few remains of this most venerable bishop and martyr, are so entirely either letters to friends, or disputations with papists; that it is not wonderful, little should be found in his writings on these subjects: but his intimate friendship with Bradford, and his very high regard for him, sufficiently prove, that there was no material difference of opinion between them: and a few quotations from Bradford will fully satisfy the reader, what those sentiments were.
'As the old man is more stirring, lusty, and strong, than the 'new man; so is the nature of him clean contrary to the nature 'of the new man; as being earthly and corrupt with Satan's 'seed: the nature of the new man being heavenly, and blessed 'with the celestial seed of God. So that one man, inasmuch as 'he is corrupt with the seed of the serpent, is an old man: and 'inasmuch as he is blessed with the seed of God from above, he is 'a new man: and as inasmuch as he is an old man, he is a sinner, 'and an enemy to God; so, inasmuch as he is regenerate, he is 'righteous and holy, and a friend to God: the seed of God pre'serving him from sin, so that he cannot sin: as the seed of the 'serpent, wherewith he is corrupt from his conception, inclineth 'him, yea, enforceth him, to sin; so that the best part in man 'before regeneration, in God's sight, is not only an enemy but 'enmity itself.'a—' I believe, that man, made after the image of 'God, did fall from that blessed state, to the condemnation of 'himself and his posterity. I believe, that Christ, for man be'ing thus fallen, did oppose himself to the justice of God, a 'Mediator, paying the ransom and price of redemption, for Adam 'and his whole posterity, that refuse it not finally., I be'lieve, that all that believe in Christ,—are partakers of Christ, 'and all his merits. I believe that faith,—(I speak of that 'faith which indeed is true faith,)—I say that this faith and 'belief in Christ is the work and gift of God, given to none 'other, than to those, which are the children of God; that is, 'to those, whom God the Father, before the beginning of the 'world, hath predestinated in Christ unto eternal life.' *—The 'canonical books of the Bible do plainly set forth unto us, that
'Ridley. Fathers, 4c. p. 227, 231, Vol. iv.
'God hath of his own mercy and good will, and to the praise of 'his grace and glory in Christ, elected some and not all, whom
* he hath predestinated unto everlasting life, in the same Christ, 'and in his time calleth them, justifieth them, glorifieth them, 'so that they shall never perish, and err to damnation finally.'' 'There is, and always hath been with God, even before the 'world was made, an election in Christ, of all that shall be saved.' 'But lest some men, which are too curious, should hence gather,
* that all things come by fatal necessity, as the Stoics thought, 'or by compulsion or coercion, as others think: (and therefore, 'say they, all God's precepts requiring that which we cannot 'do, are in vain : *) I think it good to speak something hereof.
* First, the Stoic's opinion is to be condemned concerning/ata/
* necessity: for that tieth and bindeth God to second causes.— 'For they did imagine a perpetual connexion and knitting to'gether of causes, by a perpetual order, which is contained in
* nature: whereas we should certainly know, that it is God,
* which is the Ruler and Arbiter of all things, which of his wis'dom hath foreseen and determined all things that he will do.'—. 'Secondly, that all things are done by coaction or compulsion, 'is false, and out of God's providence and predestination cannot
* be gathered, or maintained: for there must be a difference put 'between necessity and restraint.—God is good by necessity: 'but who now will say, that he is so by coaction, or enforced 'thereto? The devil is naught of necessity, but not by coaction. 'Good men do well of necessity, but not by compulsion: wicked 'men do evil by necessity, but not of constraint. A thing that
* is done willingly, is not said to be done by constraint. God is 'good willingly, but not by compulsion: the devil is naught 'willingly, but not by enforcing: wicked men do transgress wil'lingly, but not compelled: so that it is plain, that though all 'things be done of necessity, yet are they not of compulsion and 'enforcement."—' God's foresight is not the cause of sin, or
* excusable necessity to him that sinneth : the damned, therefore, 'have not, nor shall have, any excuse; because God, foreseeing
* their condemnation, through their own sin, did not draw them 'as he doth the elect, unto Christ. But as the elect have cause 'to thank God for ever for his great mercies in Christ; so the
'Fathers, &c. Vol. vi. p. 374.
2 " There is no new thing under the sun, S'c." Ec. i. 8—10.
» Fathers, &c. Vol. vi. p. 385.
'other have cause to lament their own wilfulness, sin, and con'teaming of Christ, which is the cause of their reprobation; and 'wherein we should look upon reprobation: as the goodness 'of God in Christ is the cause of our election and salvation; 'wherein we should look upon God's election.'' The main point, in which I ventured to avow my dissent from Calvin, is here explicitly stated in the manner which 1 prefer. Were I disposed on this subject, to take the name of any master, I should prefer the name of Bradfordian, to that of Calvinist:—' Ah! 'my own dear heart, Christ only, Christ only, and his mercy and 'truth. In him is the cause of your election. This Christ, this 'mercy, this truth, remaineth for ever; is certain for ever, I say, 'for ever. If an angel from heaven should tell you the contrary, 'accursed be he. Your thankfulness and worthiness are fruits 'and effects of your election, they are no causes: these fruits 'and effects shall be so much the more fruitful and effectual, by 'how much you waver not.''—Such words as these from a man, expecting daily and hourly to seal his testimony in the flames, have a peculiar energy.—His creed cannot be doubtful. 'I be'lieve that the first man, through the craft and subtlety of the 'devil, did slide and fall from his excellency, wherein the Lord 'had created him, consenting, through his own free-will, (which 'at that time he had,) unto a subtle suggestion of the serpent, 'whereby he lost the graces that the Lord had given hire ; in 'such sort, that of wise he became foolish, of just unjust, of true 'a liar, of perfect altogether imperfect: having from thenceforth 'a will wholly corrupted, which neither could nor would agree 'with the will of God, but altogether with the will of the devil, 'the world, the flesh, and sin; which could do nothing of himself 'but evil; seeing that he is altogether carnal, bond, captive, 'and sold under sin. This is the free, yea, to say more truly, 'the bond will, that man hath in this present life.'
'I believe that this disorder and corruption of nature, was not 'only in Adam, because of his sin, but is also in all men gener'ally, which come of him; (Jesus Christ only excepted ;) and that 'in such sort, that all men after their own nature are corrupt, un'just, liars, ignorant, unkind, and imperfect in all things; and • have no power of their own nature to do, think, speak, or will 'Fathers, &c. Vol. vi. p. 392. 2 Ibid. p. 104.
'any thing that may please God, until they be regenerated and 'renewed by the Spirit of the Lord.-—I believe, that this corrup'tion of nature, otherwise called original sin, is the fountain and 'root of all sins; for the which all the miseries and adversities, 'that we endure, in this present life, as well in body as soul, 'do come unto us; yea, and in the end double death, that is to 'say, both of body and soul.—These be the fruits and rewards of 'sin. But although the same be due and common to all men 'generally ; nevertheless the Lord, through his mercy, hath re
* served to himself a certain number, (which are known only to 'himself,) the which he hath drawn from this corrupt heap, and 'hath sanctified and cleansed the same in the blood of his Son 'Jesus Christ: and by means of which he hath made them 'vessels of election and honour, apt unto all good works.—I 'believe, that the Father, in Jesus Christ his Son, through the 'Holy Ghost, hath elected and chosen those that are his own, 'according to his good will, before the foundations of the world 'were laid whom he hath predestinated unto eternal life, that 'they might be his children adoptives, over whom he hath, 'without comparison a much greater care, than the best father 'can have over the best children in the world; for he suffereth
* not that any thing should come to pass, either on high in hea'ven, or beneath the earth, which shall not be for their great
* good and profit.''
'As for reprobation, I have nothing to say of it: for St. Paul 'saith," What have we to do with them that are without?"— 'God, for Chist's sake, open our eyes, that we may clearly see 'his truth, and give us hearts meekly to yield to the same.— 'The Lord increase our faith, and true feeling of our election 'and sure certainty of our salvation, in Jesus Christ; to whom
* with the Father, and the Holy Ghost, for our election, voca'tion, justification, and glorification, be all honour, glory, praise, 'thanks, power, rule, and dominion, for ever and ever. Amen.''
If such passages were found in any modern author, whom Anticalvinists would vouchsafe to read, they would no doubt find the tenets of Calvinism in them: and I feel a strong temp
1 Hooper, Bishop .md Martyr, Vol. v. p. 437, 438, Fathers, &c. "Clement's Confession of Faith, Vol. iv. 301, Fathers, &c.
tation to that foolish pride, which is called national, in quoting from my own countrymen, passages (according to my views) so much more scriptural, and satisfactory on the subject than what I meet with even in the writings of the most eminent foreign reformers." And if this proves their sentiments to be any thing other than Calvinism, I am not a Calvinist.
I here close these quotations: though nothing could be more easy, than to add many others, equally decisive, from those holy men of God, who sealed their testimony in the flames, before Elizabeth mounted the throne. 1 shall only subjoin an article, out of those put forth in king Edward's reign, which indeed has already been adduced, but which it seems proper here to annex—' The grace of Christ, or the Holy Ghost by him given, doth 'take away the stony heart, and giveth an heart of flesh: and • although those who have no will to good things, hemaketh them 'to will the same; and those that would evil things, he maketh 'them not to will the same; yet, nevertheless he enforceth not 'the will: and therefore no man when he sinneth, can excuse 'himself as not worthy to be blamed, or condemned, by alledg'ing, that he sinned unwillingly, or by compulsion.''
1 x. Art. King Edward's Articles.