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took to refute; and that he has, in many important points, maintained doctrines and opinions no less contrary to the declarations of Scripture, than to the tenets of the Church of England. Much as it is to be regretted, that errors and misrepresentations of this serious nature should have proceeded from such high authority as that of the Bishop of Lincoln, we cannot, however, but agree with the sentiment expressed by Mr. Scott in his preface, that “nothing is so unfavourable to the progress of genuine Christianity, among mankind in general, nay, among the bulk of nominal Christians, as a dead calm.” Discussions, like those to which the “Refutation of Calvinism,” and we may add, the “Inquiry” of Dr. Marsh, have given rise, though attended with many evils, cannot but be eventually productive of more extensive good. Truth, of whatever kind, will ultimately prevail; and the severity of the trials which it may have to encounter will only render it more pure, and more prevalent. In stating the general objects of his work, Mr. Scott candidly admits it to be his own opinion, that the several doctrines brought under consideration in the Refutation, have, in reality, a very intimate connection, or concatenation; while he at the same time declares, that numbers do not allow or perceive this, who yet hold the grand outline of the doctrine, there called Calvinistic, very decidedly and practically; either silently excluding personal election and final perseverance from their creed, or directly disavowing them. But, besides the attempt to refute several doctrines which are not generally considered as Calvinistic, but rather as parts of the apostolic and primitive faith, Mr. Scott asserts that the Refutation contains many statements, even of the Calvinistic doctrine, which are erroneous and disavowed by Calvinists; and some that are so incongruous with others, as to be altogether incompatible. A reply, therefore, to such charges, was
absolutely required; and as the author of the “Remarks” had for more than thirty-two years been diligently employed in preparing and publishing works on religious subjects, grounded upon those very principles which the Bishop of Lincoln has undertaken to refute, he felt himself compelled to come forward in their defence. Mr. Scott thought, also, and justly, that his advanced years might tend to qualify him for conducting such discussions, in a more moderate and Christian spirit than is commonly found in younger writers. In noticing the objection which might be made, as to any indecorum in answering a superior in the church, and his own diocesan, he 'observes, that the substance of the Refutation was first delivered in Charges to the clergy of the diocese of Lincoln, whom the Bishop must be supposed to have had particular# in view; but trusts, that, in his emarks, he has not forgotten his Lordship's ecclesiastical dignity; that he has, therefore, frequently spoken as an apologist, where, under other circumstances, he would have taken a higher ground; and that he has uniformly paid as much respectful deference to the author of the Refutation, as he could, consistently with faithfulness to Divine truth. It is so customary with controversial writers to make professions of candour and moderation, and then, unhappily, to forget them, that we feel peculiar pleasure in being able to bear a decided testimony to their fulfilment in this case. Mr. Scott has certainly, throughout his work, manifested a truly Christian spirit. He has written, indeed, with firmness and force; but he has given “a reason of the hope that is in him with meekness and fear; ” and we are persuaded, that the piety and charity which he has displayed will produce a no less favourable impression on his readers in general, than the arguments with which he has supported his views of evangelical truth. The plan of Mr. Scott's publica3 A 2
tion is to follow that of his diocesan from page to page. commenting on those passages which appear to him to be erroneous, and as freely praising those which coincide with his own sentiments. This plan, though simple, and therefore in some respects easy, is yet both a fair and laborious one. To those who will patiently pursue it with the author, a complete view of the two systems in detail will at length be presented; and the effect of so minute an examination will probably be strong and lasting. The generality of readers would doubtless have preferred something more compact and perspicuous; and few, therefore, comparatively, will reap the benefit of Mr. Scott's labours. He has, however, at the conclusion of his preface, given abrief, but clear and comprehensive, sketch of the general argument pursued in each chapter of his work, by which the doctrines he has undertaken to support may be readily understood; and of this we shall avail ourselves in our subsequent observations. It cannot be expected that we should present our readers with any thing like an adequate view of the mass of valuable matter contained in these bulky volumes: all that our limits will allow us to undertake, is to contrast the statements of the Bishop and Mr. Scott on the most important points at issue, and to offer some remarks on the evidence by which they are supported; more especially from Scripture, and from the liturgy, articles, and homilies of our .
: “Original sin, free-will, and the operation of the Holy Spirit,” naturally form the first subjects of discussion in this controversy. On these fundamental points, three statements are to be noticed, with reference to the “Refutation” and its present re. ply; viz, the Bishop of Lincoln's representation of the Calvinistic doctrimes, his own opinions, and those of Mr. Scott. We have before observed, in our account of the “ Refutation” itself, that the representation of what the Bishop calls the Cal
vinistic doctrine concerning the na" ture and essects of the fall, is such as no Calvinist that ever lived would allow to be a just one. It exhibits, in fact, as in every other part of the Refutation, a caricature of the Calvinistic view of the subject; being equally at variance with common sense and experience, with Scripture, and with all that any reasonable—we had almost said, unreasonable—man, has written on that side of the question. Who ever maintained, except the imaginary Calvinists of the Bishop of Lincoln, that man is irrecoverably sunk in sin and wickedness; that all idea of right and wrong is utterly obliterated from the human mind, and every good affection towards man eradicated from the human heart; that the moral sense is annihilated; and that no acts of human virtue are recorded in profane history : Certainly there is nothing like this in the Bishop's quotations. from the works of Calvin (the only writings of this description from which he has thought proper to make any extracts upon the subject); and we will venture to say, that there is nothing fairly resembling such opinions in any other authors with whom we are at all concerned. Yet this is the picture which is drawn, in “the Refutation,” of the Calvimistic doctrine of original sin. The Bishop himself states, that he holds a middle course, upon this subject, between the extremes of Socinianism on the one hand, and of Calvinism on the other; maintaining, that though a considerable change took place in our first parents after the fall, and a propensity to evil and wickedness, universal in extent, and powerful in its effects, was thus transmitted to mankind; yet that this corruption was not entire, that every good affection towards God was not totally extinguished, but that there is some goodness naturally remaining in the heart of man, and that he is capable of himself of making some efforts towards piety and virtue. This is evidently the deliberate opinion of the Bishop; though,
with happy- inconsistency, when pressed by the unaccomodating language of our Articles, he is sometimes obliged to make concessions of a more extensive nature. Agreeably to his representation of the Calvinistic doctrine of original sin, the Bishop of Lincoln describes those whom he is opposing, whoever they may be, as asserting, that, in consequence of the fall, the moral powers of man are so completely destroyed as to render him a mere passive machine in the hands of God; and that by the compulsory and irresistible influence of the Holy Spirit man is recovered to repentance, faith, and holy obedience, without any exercise of the understanding and will, or any effort which can properly be called his own. Equally without proof from the writings of Calvinists is this representation of their doctrine, as in the former instance; nor is it at all necessary to refute, what perhaps, except by a few ancient heretics, or modern enthusiasts, has never been maintained. On the other hand, as far as we can understand the sentiments of the Bishop, he appears to think, that, notwithstanding the fall, man still possesses an independent natural power of exerting himself in acts of piety and virtue; that he can begin, and make some progress, in the work of his salvation ; and that he is, at all events, by his own natural disposition, able to avail himself of that Divine assistance which is offered to all. Here, however, as in every other part of his work, the Bishop of Lincoln is inconsistent with himself, distinctly acknowledging, in more than one passage, “that man has not the disposition, and consequently not the ability, to do what in the sight of God is good, till he is influenced by the Spirit of God *.” In opposition to this general view of the subject, but in perfect agreement, so far as it goes, with this latter acknowledgment, Mr. Scott endeavours to prove + that original sin * Resutation, p.61, and pp. 53, 54. t Preface, p. 9.
is a total, not a partial, defect, derived from fallen Adam, of all that is spiritually good, or good in the sight of God; though not of all which is naturally good in respect of men:— that man is indeed a free agent, in the fullest sense, being under no necessity, or external restraint, or compulsion, whatever; but that the evil dispositions and inclinations of the heart induce a slavery into the will", rendering it incapable of choosing what the heart cannot love, even what is good in the sight of God, till liberated from this bondage by the special grace of God in Christ. In outward things, man chooses most freely; in evil things, he chooses most freely; and in things spiritually good, nothing hinders him from doing the same, but a total want of love to them. The special preventing grace of the Holy Spirit must therefore first produce this love, these desires, this willingness, before there can be any thing to co-operate with his further gracious influences. This is the doctrine which Mr. Scott maintains in his observations on the first chapter of the Bishop of Lincoln's work, which, as we have just remarked, , is in a great measure admitted to be true by the Bishop himself, and which we have no hesitation in saying, is, in the main, abundantly confirmed by Mr. Scott, by appeals to Scripture and to the authorised writings of the Church of England. We have, in the course of our labours, so frequently had occasion to discuss this subject, and have so lately expressed our opinion upon it, that it cannot be necessary to repeat
* It is quite absurd to speak of this doctrine as being exclusively Calvinistic; when it is well known that no uan contended more strongly for the absolute servitude of the human will, and the total inability of man to do any good action, or to bear any part in his own conversion, than Luther. See Mosheim's Eccl. Hist. vol. iv. p. 330, and the Dean of Carlisle's Continuation of Mr. Milner's Church History, vol. v. p. 837, on Luther's Treatise de Servo Arbitrio.
it at much length. We must content ourselves with referring to the testimonies which have been so often brought forward from Scripture; more particularly from the early chapters of the book of Genesis, which speak of the original formation, and the subsequent fall and corruption of man; and of which, as of almost every other important passage bearing upon this subject, an able, and on the whole a just, exposition is given in Mr. Scott's Remarks. To these might be added very numerous quotations from the prayers in our Liturgy, the 9th and 10th Articles, and the Homilies on the Misery of Man, on the Nativity, and on Whitsunday, which may be found both in our own pages and in Mr. Scott's ; and which we certainly regard as quite decisive of the general question between the Bishop of Lincoln, and those whom he has stigmatised as Calvinists. We cannot, however, onit to notice the very remarkable inadvertence, to say the least of it, of which the Bishop is convicted by Mr. Scott, in attributing to “ modern Calvinists” the assertion, that “ of our own nature we are without any spark of goodness in us,” which is actually to be found in so many words in a well known passage in the first part of the Homily for Whitsunday. The calm and dignified manner in which Mr. Scott notices this important error is so highly to be commended, and yet so powerfully impressive in favour of his own argument, that we shall imitate his example, in forbearing to press it more strongly on the Right Reverend author. The passage, however, itself, is perfectly unanswerable, and we trust that it will have its due weight with his Lordship. In following the course of Mr. Scott's remarks on this first chapter of the “Refutation,” two points continually strike the attentive reader, as those on which the controversy chiefly turns:—the one is, as to the nature of the concurrence or co-operation of the grace of God with the
will of man in the work of his salvation; and the other, as to the manner in which Divine grace thus operates, and the degree of efficacy which is to be attributed to it. The Bishop of Lincoln uniformly writes, as if the Calvinists asserted that man has nothing whatever to do in this important concern; while he himself maintains, that God and man cooperate as distinct and independent agents, the grace of the one concurring with the natural disposition and free-will of the other, and each contributing its respective share in the work of salvation. The first part of this representation Mr. Scott utterly disclaims as applicable to himself and the great body of modern Calvinists, or evangelical clergymen, as they appear to be indifferently called; and declares, in opposition to the latter part of it, that the preventing grace of God must first incline the will, and bestow the disposition, to that which is spiritually good, before the Divine influence can co-operate with . the human will in the progressive work of sanctification and redemption. This is one of the hinges of the inportant question under consideration; and it requires, we think, but little knowledge of Scripture, of the doctrines of our Church, and of experience in religion, to determine on which side the truth is to be found. The following brief argument will, perhaps, place this subject in a convincing point of view. The Bishop of Lincoln, in support of his own opinion, observes (p. 60), that “the words of the Latin copy of the Articles are “dum volumus,’ ‘while we will;’ which still more clearly shew that the grace of God and the will of man act together at the same moment.” To which Mr. Scott decisively, though shortly, replies”, by quoting the preceding part of the sentence in the 10th Article. “Gratiá quae per Christum est nos praveniente ut velinus, et cooperante dum volumus. ' Here the co-operation is most manifestly con* Vol. i. pp. 120, 1.
fined to the latter clause, and follows relimus.” Q. E. D. See also pp. 102, 3, 4, and 119. The other point on which there is much misrepresentation and misunderstanding on the part of the Bishop of Lincoln in this controversy, relates to the manner in which the grace of God operates on the mind of man, and the degree of power which is to be attributed to it. Here we find the Bishop representing the Calvinists as continual inculcating the “ supernatural,” “ forcing,” “ compulsory,” “ exclusive,” “necessary,” and “irresistible,” power of the Spirit of God in the work of man's salvation; arguing against such an unscriptural, absurd, and dangerous view of the subject, and multiplying quotations from Scripture, and from the writers of our Church, to overwhelm it with shame and confusion. But here again, we are compelled to ask, Quorsum hac * Where is this absurd and unscriptural doctrine to be found 2 Who inculcates it? Who defends it? Certainly not Mr. Scott, and those who are identified with him under the name of Calvinists, or evangelical clergymen. They possess too much good sense, too much sound philosophy, and, what is more than either, though entirely co-incident with both, too much correct scriptural knowledge, to speak or write in so irrational and objectionable a manner. Let us hear the just complaint of Mr. Scott upon this subject. “ In imputing these sentiments to the Calvinists, indiscriminately, it would have been far more satisfactory, if some evidence in proof of the eharge, had been adduced; especially from the writings of modern Calvinists, in the Established Church. It will probably be allowed by most readers, that the author of these remarks has had considerable opportunity of learning the sentimeuts of his brethren: but he can confidently declare, as in the presence of God, that he never heard one of them, or indeed any Calvinist, avowedly profess such tenets as these. It is indeed a serious thing, to advance such accusations against a large body of men, of whom his Lordship allows many
to be pious and diligent ministers, without clear and decisive evidence: and we must be excused, in answering with the apostle, “Neither can they prove the things, whereof they now accuse us.” Vol. i. pp. 91, 92.
In what matter, then, it may be asked, is the point now under discussion represented by Mr. Scott? We will reply in his own words. Admitting the propriety of the Bishop's objection to the word “supernatural,” if it mean miraculous or compulsory, so as to exclude free agency, and voluntary concurrence, he observes, that
“Supernatural properly means what is abore nature, and to which nature, left to its unassisted powers, could not attain: and in this sense of the word we boldly maintain, that no man, in any age or nation, ever believed the Gospel, with a living and saving faith, working by love, without a supernatural power exerted on his mind.” Wol. i. p. 31.
“Certainly the Holy Spirit neither “forces us, nor suspends our powers"; but there is an influence, often mentioned in the Scripture, and in our Liturgy, which is here entirely overlooked: viz. that of inclining the heart, and working in us to will.”—“Were it possible to implant the love of honesty in the heart of a thief, and to “incline his heart' to obey the salutary laws of the land, it would produce an entire change in his character and conduct, without either forcing him, or suspending his own powers; and more effectually teach him to live justly, than any laws, penalties, threats, promises, persuasions, or expectations could do. This, however, “is impossible with man, but with God all things are possible;' and he has promised to do it, and is continually performing that promise.” Vol. i. pp. 61, 62.
It is, however, but just to Mr. Scott, while it may, at the same time, afford a fair specimen both of his doctrine and manner, to give a larger extract from this important part of his work.
In reply to the Bishop of Lincoln's observation, that “irresistible power, actually exerted over the minds of men in the work of salvation, is repugnant to the acknowledged prin