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REVIEW OF RELIGIOUS PUBLICATIONS.
A Refutation of Calvinism, &c.- Ghost, and heirs of eternal happiBy George [Prettyman] Tom
ness.' page 83. -- An enemy to line, D. D). F. R. S. Lord Bishop of Christianity could scarcely have a Lincoln, &c.
higher gratification to his malevo
lence, than to see this notion held [Concluded from p. 468.)
forth as the doctrine of the gospel. By a strange confusion of the Could any thing be devised more renovating influences of the Holy absurd, more childish, more insultSpirit, and his miraculous opera- ing to the common understanding tions in the apostolic age, the of men, than the ascription of the Bishop endeavours to establish that inost stupendous meniul and mothe primitive converts to Chris. ral effects to the action of a little tianity expressed their faith in water upon the skin ? We acknowChrist before the Iloly Ghost was ledge that larguage of this kind, to poured upon them; and that the a certain extent, may be found in Spirit was never communicated to the writings of the Christian faihers. those who refused to believe;' that They applied the terms teAsyysvegia, is, as the whole tenor of his argu- 'arayevors, 'ayaxaivions (Rig 'neramentation shews his meaning to be, tion, Bring born unin, Benetea!) to persons who had not previously be- baptism ; -- but it is not difficult to lieved of their own accord. "The perceive that the origin of this Scriptures of the New Testament, phraseology was froin a figure natuon the contrary, plainly declare ral, and, perhaps, excusable in the that, in the first great instances of circumstances of the early Christhe Gentile conversions, it was God tians. The sacrifices and 'bazırds who. purified their hearts by faith ;' in assuming a profession of faith that to them it was given, ou the in Jesus, rendered the real connecpart of Christ, to believe on him ;' tion of the outward siga and the and that the faith by which they inward grace, a matter of very were saved, was the gift of God.' fair and reasonable presumptiou; A more direct contradiction than and occasioned the terms which are the Bishop's doctrine could not properly expressive of the latter, readily be imagined to the declara- to be applied to the former.tion of the article above cited; Neither was this application unithat works done before – the in- form *, though it exteaded itself spiration of the Spirit of Christ, - very widely, and became the occado not make men incet to receive sion of lamentable errors and supergrace.
stitions in the declining ages of the lle devotes a whole chapter to church ;-but we acknowledge net the subject of REGENERATion; in 'the fathers as our standard in either which he maintains the ancient, sentiments or expressions. If we though gross error, that the term except Clemens of Rome, Polydenotes a change of state effected carp, Ignatius (whose epistles, failed by the external baptism of water. genuine, are much interpolated)and, • Those who are baptized,' says he, to a remarkable degrec, considering
are immediately translated from his time, Cyprian, they all exiubita the curse of Adain to the grace of rapid and growing departure from Christ; the original guilt which the purity of scriptural truth, and they brought into the world is mysti- the simplicity of apostolical Jancally washed away, --- and they re guage. Abundant evidence of this ceive forgiveness of the actual sins melancholy fact inay be perceived, which they may themselves have even by the unlearned render, in pecommitted; they become recon rusing the late excellent Mr. Milner's ciled to God, partakers of the Holy Ecclesiastical History, vol. I. and 2.
* See Suicer's admirable and useful work, Thesaurus Ecclesiasticus, upon the words ; also Dr. Doddridge's Prelace to his Sermons on Regeneratiou.
We return to his lordship of Lia- Holy Spirit represented by the very coln. He lays stress upon the expressive figure of water, as the phrases, "Born of water and of instrument of washing exsy defilethe Spirit ; begotten again unto a ment. See Isaiah lii. 15; Ezek. lively hope ; dead in sins, and xxxvi. 26; John vii. 38 ; alss Groquickened together with Christ; tins's note on John jj. 5. This buried with Christ in baptism; circumstance furnishes the key to born again, not of corruptible the obvious and rational interpreseed, out of incorruptible : sed tation of the expressions, from by the washing of regeneration ; which the bishop and those whom baptism doth now save us, by the he submits to follow, drar ene'resurrection of Jesus Christ.' p. 84. clusions so injurious to the bonoer It is well for ibe cause of truth that of divine revelation, and so danget. the bishop has thus presented ihese ous to the everlasting interests of passages, as no alicntive and im- men. partial reader, who will consuli the The Fourth and longest Chaplet connection of each can easily avoid is entitled, Of Unirersal Redesbeing struck with the manifest per- tion, Eleciion, ond Reprobation. version from their true meaning. this the author uses thc utmost exWhy, for example, did the bishop ertions to vilify and discredit the not quoie 1 Pet. 11. 21, with the system which he calls Calvinisa. explication which the inspired We say, which he calls (alvikissa: writer himself subjoins? Baptisin for, so far as we can make out the -- not the putting away of the filth object of his viluperation by prio of the flesh, but the answer of a ting together the ineinbers of his good conscience towards God.' scattered descriptions, we will sei. Did he not feel that to have cited ture to assure him that the archethe passage fully, would have de type of those descriptious has no stroyed lus argumenti The con- cxistence but in his own braia, or clusion, with regard to the stale of in the perverted imaginations of bis mind, is so awful, that we would Arminians and Antinomians. Vei. gladly suppose that he acted under ther Calvin nor any reputable (althe force of blind prejudice, ra- vinistic author could be add: eed ther ihan from a wilful design to sanctioning the representations misrepresent. A man inust be which the Bishop of Liscuinta Very criminal indeed, said a late thought proper to make. E. distinguished writer, who was a Cal- 'God, by an antecedeni decree had vinist, ' who can maintain what he, rendered [the fall] inevitable : at ihe same time, belicves to be ill. That he gave a commandment to founded ! There are very few, I Adam, which by his original forhope, so much abandoned; - but mation he was absolutely wz.ble to there may be a great degree of obey: That he made the possession guilt short of this ;--for the dispo- of paradise, and the continuance of sition may be so vitiated by a his innocence and happines, to de wrong bias, that the most frivolous pend upona condition which it was reasons shall appear to have the physically impossible for him to force of demonstration, when a fa- fulfil: That God should, of hisoen vourite hypothesis is concerned; good picasure, without any respect and arguments, in theniselves the to their conduct, irreversibly premost perfectly conclusive, shall ap- destinate one part of mankind to pear to bare no weight at all when eternal happiness, and the other urged against it.'
part to everlasting misery : That a We do not, however, deny that just and merciful God created soue in John ii. 5, and Titus jii. 5, there men for the purpose of being etermay be reference to the baptismal nally miserable, without giving ordinance : but the allusion is to them the capacity of avoidiug that SIGNIFICANCY of the rite, and not misery.' p. 245–250. merely to its eternal form. It was From these specimens, our readfainiliar with the Jewish nation to ers may form some idea of the cos have the purifying intiuences of the troversial injustice, the ignorant and
vulgar misrepresentation, to which agents, is as difficult to be conthis writer has recourse. Argument ceived as a cerlain determinution of is null, and all honourable and use them : yet the former is admitted ful discussion is at an end, when by the bishop, while he loads the such methods as these are resorted latter with studied opprobrium. to. Had the writer affirmed that, The doctrine of divine prescience, to his apprehension, the propositions however, severed from that of a advanced appeared the unavoidable delerminate counsel, presents the result of the Calvinistic doctrine of gross incongruity of a futurition the divine decrees, all Calvinists without reason, - a certain forewoold have admitted that he was knowledge without any ground of acting fairly; and they would have certainty ! been at issue with him on the legi. What, after all, is this Calvinistic timacy of his inferences ; -- but doctrine of divine predestination when he roundly asserts those posi- which the bishop' of Lincoln and tions to be Calvinism, against which some others have thought proper he has the ample means of knowing to exhibit in such dire and frightful that all well-informed Calvinists colours? Is it any other than the solemnly protest ; and when he doctrine which attributes to the builds his opposition upon such al- Deity the causality and EFFICIlegations, he pays no trifling ac. ENCY of all the good in the unis knowledgment to the gooduess of verse ; while it ascribes all sin and the cause which he assumes, and evil to the freedom of human betrays, in no slight degree, the agency, under a confessedly inweakness of his own.
scrutable, but assuredly wise and These stale calumnies have been righteous, permission from God? often and long ago refuted by a The true Calvinist is not insensible variety of authors, both of the of the difficulties which attend his Church of England and of other systein; but he thinks its evidence reformed churches. We might greater and its difficulties fewer, particularly specify the Works of than those of any other scheme. Charnock and of President Edwards, The knot which he cannot untie, lie with the Theologia Polemica of Stap- does not attempt presumptuously ferus: works with which it is little to cut; but leaves ils solution to to the literary or religious credit that adorable Power whichi, he is of a Protestant bishop to be unac. fully persuaded, is rightevns in all quainted.
its ways, and holy in all its works.' Weak and limited mortals have The multiplicity ofevidence from not, probably, in the present state, Scripture and reason in favour of the materials for conceiving fully, this doctrine, the limits and the doand reconciling clear'y, the origin sign of a Review would not permit and continuance of moral evil with us to sketch; but we recommend, the acknowledged perfections of as plain and popular works for statthe Deity, and the freedom of man ing the proots of the doctrine, and as a moral agent with the sovereign for guarding it against misunderdominion of God. But, if we have standing and perversion, the Transsatisfactory evidence that these po- atlantic divine, Cooper's Treatise sitions are TRUE, we may rest as on Predestination unto Life, and sured that there is no real contra Mr. Scott's Sermon on Election and diction between them; and that Final Perseverance. The latter their apparent opposition, like the gentleman is adding to the obligaretrograde motions of the heavenly tions which the Christian world albodies, is only an illusion of our ready owes him, a professed defence En l'ery imperfect and confined con of the doctrines of the Reformation ceptions. The same difficulties, or against the book before us. We others equally great, and, as Calvin are glad that the bishop has excited ists suppose, much greuter, lie upon so able a respondent; and we conthe Arminian system. A certain fidently expect froin him a work prescience in the eternal mind, of distinguished by impartial sound the dispositions and actions of free discussion, and Christian caudour:
Bishop Tomline is willing to sa- of his most holy and secret will, crifice his reputation as a classical whereby some of his creatures might scholar, and submit to be a copyist stand and keep their state, others of certain scribblers who never might possibly fall and be restored, drank Ausonian springs, rather than and others might fall and not be forego an opportunity of abusing restored to their estate, but yet reCalvinism. Aner an assumption of main in being, though under wrath Calvin (which we may, in passing, and corruption; all with respect to observe that few of his followers the Mediator, which is the great will admil, lierum qurro, &c. lost mystery and perfect centre of all III. xxiii. 7.) that great Divine goes God's ways with his creatures, and on to say, Decretum quidem horri unto which all his other works do bile, falenr: - this the bishop is but serve and refer. He chose, acpleased to translate, I confess cording to his good pleasure, man ihat it is indeed a horrible decree, to be that crcature, to whose ikap. 541. Could this writer really ture the Person of the eternal Son think that the English word horrible of God should be united : and, is a just translation of the Latin amongst the generations of men, epithet? Calvin was an admirable elected a small flock, in whom, by scholar, and possessed a fine Latin the participation of himself, he style, which he had formed by the purposed to express the riches of assiduous study of Cicero. Now bis glory.' Bacon's Works, folio, all who are acquainted with the vol. ii. p. 21. elegancies of the Roman tongue Few instances of hardihood can are aware that horren, and its de- be more extraordinary thin the rivatives horrendus, horribilis, &c. Bishop's resolute denial that the are not necessarily nor principally public formularies of the Church of used in a bad sense,—but to denvie England are Calvinistic! – Either the quality of soieinn, venerable, or he must be ignorant of facts to 20 awful. So Virgil paints the ancient astonishing degree, or a Jerry palace of the amiable and friendly charge of another kind must lie Latinus, Horrendum silvis etreligiine upon him. It is a fact, proved by parentum. En. vii. 161. — Ciccro the most legitimate and incontroexpresses the agreeable sensations vertible docuinents, that Calvin was which a man of taste feels in sur. publicly reverenced and honoured veying very ancient works of art, by the Reformers and Fathers of by saying, Illo ipso horrido, obso- the English Church; that his adletoque teneamur. De Or. iii. lle vice was requested, and marked makes Antony, describing the losty deference paid to his judgment in and dignified eloquence of Crassus, various points of the constitutions say, Horrere soleo. ibid. ii. — We and offices of our church; and thal should be ashamed of a Calvinist Calvinism continued to be the gene who should adopt such low and uu- ral profession of our bishops and just methods of opposing Sociojans dignitaries till the unwortby polior Arminians.
tics of James I. prepared the way To such, however, as pay regard for the successful artifices, and the to the persons who believe, as well cruel persecutions of Laud and his as to the evidences of the thing be- faction, in the unhappy reign of lieved, we recommend the con- Charles. Amongst a profusion of sideration of the words recorded as other evidence, noon-day proofs a part of his solemn confession, by exist in the proceedings of the one of the noblest and inost pene- Uuiversity of Cambridge (4. D. trating winds that ever adorned 1595) on the Concia ad Clerum of human nature, --- the champion of Barrett, who impugged the docreason who broke the spell of an- trines of Election, and the Per cient prejudices and food hypo- severance of Believers in Holiness theses, the father and founder of to Salvation, and who afterwards true philosophy, the illustrious became a Papist; and in the Lab Lord Bacon: --. God,' says he, beth Arlicles, drawn up by Drs. * made way unto the dispexsation Whitaker and Tyodal, at the pro
curation of Archbishop Whitgift, derful achievements may not be exand then promulgated by his Grace, pected from an episcopal knight er. in conjunction with other bishops, rant of valour, so rare and chivalos a declaration or explication of rous as to inspire him to say of the the doctrine professed in the 17th Art. that Calvinistic doctrines Church of England, and already of election and reprobation are not ESTABLISHED BY THE LAWS OF THE only not maintained in this article, Land.' The first two of those arti- but that they are disclaimed and cles may suffice as a specimen of condemned in the sirongest terms !" the whole. We must, however, To the bishop's long chapter of observe, that in several of the arti- quotations from the Fathers, we cles expressions occur which, we reply, That many of the passages apprehend, Calvinists in general are not at all opposed to, or incon. would scruple to use, as unguarded sistent with, the tenets of Calvinismı ; and liable to misconception : that, as Bible Protestants, we rest
Art. I. • That God from eternity our belief, not upon the dictaics has predestinated some persons to of writers who, however good and life, and reprobated others tó sincere, exhibit in general a very death.
obscure and deficient view of Art. II. • The moving or efficient Christianity, --but upon the lively cause of predestination to life is not oracles of eternal truth in tha foreseen faith or good works, or HOLY SCBIPTURES. any other commendable quality in the persons predestinated, but the
LITERARY NOTICES. good will and pleasure of God.' The pretended proofs which the
A sixth volume of Mr. Burder's Bishop of Lincoln brings of the Village Sermons will be published Anti-Calvinism of the Church of early in January. England, are passages from the A third volume of Bishop Horse Liturgy and Homilies, the senti- ley's Sermons will appear in a few ments of which every consistent and days. Also, A Selection by Mr. L. intelligent Calvinist would readily Murray, from Bishop Horne's Coinand cordially admil! We could ad. mentary on the Psalins. duce passages of the same import, A new volume of Sermons by the and very similar in phraseology, late Mr. Gunn, with his Life and from the writings of the great Re- Letters, is proposed to be published, former himself; --but what won- by the Rev. 1. Saunders.
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