« AnteriorContinuar »
EVANGELICAL DOCTRINES STATED AND DEFENDED
RIGHT REV. THE LORD BISHOP OF WINCHESTERS
'REFUTATION OF CALVINISM.'
"Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketb yon a reason of the hope ** that is in yon, with meekness and fear."—1 Pet. iii. IS.
'Take special care, before yon aim your shafts at Calvinism, that yon know what is 'Calvinism, and what is not : that in that mass of doctrine, which it is of late become the 'fashion to abuse under the name of Calvinism, you can distinguish with certainty, between * that part which is nothing better than Calvinism, and that which belongs to our common 'Christianity, and the faith of the Reformed Churches/—Bp. Horsley.
'Accasatio crimen desiderat, rem ut deflniat, hominem at aotct, argnmento probut, teste 'confirmct'—Cicero pro Ccelio.
VOL. VIII. B
The reader may be here properly referred to the Advertisment prefixed to the preceding Volume. It is in the following part of the Answer to the Refutation of Calvinism, that the additional passages from the former edition are principally introduced, included between brackets.—J. S.
'REFUTATION OF CALVINISM.'
ON UNIVERSAL REDEMPTION, ELECTION, AND
In entering on this part of the general controversy, I feel one difficulty, arising from this, that a considerable number of that body, whose cause I have in some degree advocated in the preceding books, do not coincide with me in judgment on the subjects on which we now enter; and perhaps would rather that I should be silent respecting them. Yet as they form in my view a part, and a highly important part of divine truth; and as they are lamentably misunderstood or misrepresented, I consider it incumbent on me, to make remarks on this as well as on the preceding parts of the Refutation. Whether our doctrines be true, or not, we have a right to fair and impartial treatment; and certainly ought not to be misrepresented. Indeed if our opinions be openly avowed in clear and intelligible language they ought not to be misunderstood. No one can without manifestly and inexcusably violating the golden rule, "What"soever ye would that men should do unto you, "do ye even so unto them," write against us, till he has carefully perused our works, and does indeed know what we do hold, and what we do not. Though, for reasons which will afterwards appear, I do not willingly assume, or even receive the name of Calvinist; yet I fully avow, that I believe and maintain the leading doctrines which are generally, though inaccurately, called Calvinistical. But the nature of the subjects here to be discussed, and the state of the public mind respecting them, induce me to vary the plan adopted in the preceding books; and to let my sentiments open on the reader gradually, along with the explanations and arguments which belong to them.
It seems to be the decided opinion of his Lordship, that the evangelical clergy, especially such of them as believe the doctrine of personal election, hold what is called particular redemption; whereas in fact very few of them adopt it. The author of these remarks, urged by local circumstances rather than by choice, above thirty years since, avowed his dissent from the doctrine of particular redemption, as held by many professed Calvinists, especially among the dissenters.1 In this he has since been surprised, and rather amused, to find that his Lordship deduces nearly the same conclusions, from many of the same premises, which he before had done. Indeed 'general redemption,' as distinguished from particular redemption, is the phrase which he uses in preference to universal. The latter word might be understood to include other intelligent beings, not of Adam's race; and it seems to lead to dangerous notions of universal salvation.
"God so loved the world that he gave his only "begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him "should not perish, but have everlasting fife."2 "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away "the sin of the world." 3 "The Propitiation, for "our sins ; and not for our's only, but for the sins
1 Sermon on Election, &c. 2 John iii. 16. 'John i. 29.