« EdellinenJatka »
learning; but that he held the first place in theological questions.'_'What an excessive compliment,' says Jortin, 'is here paid to a man who, ' in reality, had not a sufficient quantity of erudition ‘ and of judgment, to entitle him to this character, 'or to any thing like it!'? Jortin does not deny that Augustine had learning, though not equal to what Cave had stated : and, as to Augustine's * judgment, it could not be supposed that Jortin would concede it, for Augustine and Jortin were of opposite opinions on these subjects :
Grant me discernment, I allow it you.' The reputation and authority of Augustine, during all succeeding ages till the reformation, and the peculiar attention paid to his writings by the reformers in every country, have so established his character as a theologian, that he needs neither vindication nor panegyric from any modern ; nor will the contrary to panegyric greatly alter the opinion of such pious persons as have attentively studied any part of his works. Yet the doctrines now called Calvinistic are not derived from Augustine, but from the scriptures of truth; and the public verdict concerning him will be of no great consequence, if it does not draw men aside from the sure testimony of God.
4 The note referred to contains a quotation from Augustine, which I shall attempt to translate.
Therefore I now write books, in which I have ' undertaken to retract my own little works : that 'I may shew that I have not followed even myself
in all things.'-On this most ingenuous and honest confession his Lordship observes, ' I know
1 Cave. Jortin. Cowper. Note, Ref. 574, 575.
of no author, ancient or modern, in whose works there are so many contradictions and inconsis'tencies, as in those of Augustine.' Of this, however, no proof is brought, except that Augustine's earlier writings do not support the tenets now called Calvinistic. But has he not publicly retracted his earlier writings ? I pray God to illuminate all who now oppose the truth with the true know• ledge and understanding of his holy word; and · that he would be pleased to bring into the way
of truth all such as have erred and are deceived,' and to give them honesty and humility to imitate the example of Augustine.—The charge of in' consistency, though in a less degree, may be
urged against Calvin also. And indeed there is ‘no class of writers, in whom we find so many 'inconsistencies, as in those who maintain Cal'vinistic opinions. Calvinists are apt to assert exactly the same concerning Anticalvinists : but assertion is not proof.
The controversy soon subsided, and the sub‘ject was scarcely discussed in the next four hundred years.'
2 It does not appear that much controversy was excited by Augustine's works, except from the followers of Pelagius : in general, even they who had not previously appeared favourable to his sentiments either in part at least acceded to them, or were silent. But, during the four centuries which succeeded the death of Augustine, and for more than four centuries, was a term of most awful darkness ; the progress was, in the opinion of i Ref. 576.
? Ref. 576, 577.
competent judges, from bad to worse; and the writers of history were so incompetent, that it is scarcely possible to know what opinions were maintained.
* About the middle of the ninth century, Gote“ schalc brought the opinions of Augustine again ' into public notice, and by his vehement support of them, gave so much offence that he was degraded from the priesthood, publicly whipped in the presence of Charles the Bald, king of France, and committed to prison, where he remained the rest of his life. His doctrines ! were condemned in two councils, the one sum*moned by Raban, Archbishop of Mentz, the
other by Hincmar, Archbishop of Rheims. The ‘proceedings against him were by no means jus' tifiable; but they prove what were the senti'ments of the church at this period.'!
Was the public whipping and the cruel persecution of Goteschalc any proof that his doctrines were false? “ Beware of men; for they will deli
ver you up to the councils, and they will scourge
you in their synagogues; and ye shall be “ brought before governors and kings for my " name's sake.” 2 It seems that the third Council of Valence made some decrees against his opinions. It was a provincial council, and its decrees were; probably, little noticed: but this shews, that Goteschalc's opinions made such progress, that they became formidable to the opponents of those days.
[“Soon after the great business of the ReforI Ref. 577.
· Matt. x. 17, 18.
'mation was accomplished, some of our Divines, • who had taken refuge at Geneva during Queen ‘Mary's persecution, began to avow and maintain 'the doctrines of Calvin, which they had there 'imbibed ; and to urge the necessity of a change ' in our public formularies.' 1
From this statement the reader might be led to suppose that the Calvinistic doctrines were unknown or unnoticed in England previously to the return of these refugees from Geneva; where they had imbibed them. To assist the reader in judging how far this was the case, a few quotations from the works of our reformers prior to the reign of Mary will be given in the Appendix, No. I.
• It was not long that Queen Mary sat upon the throne, and yet, as short a time as it was, it gave 'not only a strong interruption for the present in the proceedings of the church, but an occa
sion of great discord and dissension in it for the ? time to come. For many of our divines, who
had fled beyond the sea to avoid the hurry of her * reign, though otherwise men of good abilities ' in most parts of learning, returned so altered in “their principles as to points of doctrine, so dis? affected to the government forms of worship
here by law established, that they seemed not to 'be the same men at their coming home as they ' had been at their going hence: yet such was the ' necessity which the church was under, of filling
up the vacant places and preferments, which had 'been made void either by the voluntary discession, or positive deprivation of the popish clergy,
' that they were fain to take in all of any condition, 'which were able to do the public service, with‘out relation to their private opinions in doctrine ‘or discipline, nothing so much regarded in the
choice of men for bishoprics, deaneries, dignities, ‘in cathedral churches, the richest benefices in • the country, and places of most command and
trust in the universities, as their known zeal against the Papists, together with such a sufficiency of learning as might enable them for writing and preaching against the popish supremacy, the carnal
the carnal presence of Christ in the blessed sacrament, the superstitions of the mass, the ‘half communion, the celebrating of divine ser'vice in a tongue not known unto the people, the
enforced single life of priests, the worshipping of 'images, and other the like points of popery, ' which had given most offence, and were the principal causes of that separation.''
The historian who wrote this concerning the venerable compilers of our liturgy and articles, and the framers of the second book of our Homilies, could have no very cordial veneration for the doctrine contained in these books. If these eminent men were ' so altered in their principles, as "to points of doctrine ;' how comes it to pass, that so very little alteration was made in King Edward's articles, and in the liturgy ?-certainly none more leaning to the high points of Calvinism. How was it that the Homilies before extant were retained; and that the new ones did not vary from them? How was it that the church did not at all assume a more Calvinistic form, than in Edward's
Heylin's Quinquarticular History, in Ref. 582, 583.