Sivut kuvina
[ocr errors]

6 is mentioned ;' that divine grace is never con

sidered as irresistible or indefectible; that good ' works are never represented as unnecessary to • salvation ;' that sudden conversions and sen

sible operations of the Spirit are no where ac' knowledged.' But, if all this were undeniable, , the conclusion would only be, that these appendages

of the doctrines called Calvinistic (some of which are, and some are not, found in Calvin, and to some of which Calvin would strongly object,) form no part of the doctrine of our church.

As‘ sertions being of a negative nature admit not of ' a regular proof;' and therefore men are more prompt to venture such assertions: because it is not expected that they should prove them; but multitudes implicitly believe them on their ipse dixit ; especially if they are men of rank, talents, authority, or influence. These assertions, however, though they do not admit of a regular proof, may admit of a very regular confutation, if they be not well grounded. And, with a confidence equal to that of his Lordship, I maintain that I have already disproved by far the most material things contained in the assertion; and so disproved them, that I have no expectation of any fair and adequate answer being given to my arguments from scripture, and from our authorized books.

[It has already been repeatedly admitted that not every thing held by Calvin is to be found in our Liturgy and Articles : but it would lead to a needless repetition if I should formally attempt to prove, that every where in our Liturgy, as well as in our Articles, the doctrine of original sin, and of man's total depravity by nature, is inculcated

in us,

[ocr errors]


in the most decisive language. “There is no health

• We are by nature born in sin and the children of wrath.' • Forasmuch as all men are conceived and born in sin,' 'Grant that the old Adam in this child may be so buried that the 'new man may be raised up in him.' These expressions alone, expounded by the ninth Article, are sufficient for our purpose.—It is equally needless to undertake a formal proof, that special preventing grace, putting into our hearts good

desires, and continual help enabling us to bring 'the same to good effect,' is constantly implied in every part of our worship. The inclining of the will, the rectifying of the judgment, the beginning of the work, as well as assistance to the willing, is every where ascribed to God; and the liturgy is framed in perfect consistency with the tenth Article, concerning free will.—Regeneration by the Holy Spirit, as well as by water, and daily renewal by the same Spirit, constantly meet our attention, especially in those baptismal services which are supposed to limit regeneration to the act of baptizing. This I must think has been fully proved in the remarks on the second chapter.-It could not be expected that the several particulars concerning justification by faith, some of which require distinctions and explanations more suited to didactic discussions than to the breathings of devotion, should be particularly expressed in the Liturgy. The doctrine is clearly stated in the eleventh Article, and the two following Articles, with a reference to the Homily on justification ; in which it is copiously and most ably explained and defended, and guarded against misapplica;

He was

[ocr errors]

tion. Now every thing in the liturgy accords with these. All our confessions of sin, all our cries for mercy, all our intreaties that God would not deal with us after our sins, neither reward us according to our iniquities; and, especially, our constantly presenting our prayers, intercessions, praises, and thanksgivings, in the name, and through the mediation, and for the merits of Jesus Christ our Mediator and Advocate for what are his merits, but his righteousness, in becoming obedient to the law for man? “ made sin for us, who knew no sin, that we

might be made the righteousness of God in “ him.” In being taught always to approach the Father, not in our own name, but disclaiming our own righteousness, and pleading the name and merits of the Son, our Advocate and Mediator, we are constantly reminded of justification by grace, in Christ, and through faith, as far as the nature of devotional exercises requires, or even with propriety admits.-Every thing, which so confesses our total depravity by nature, as to ascribe · all holy desires, all good counsels, and * all just works 'to God alone; and to give him all the glory of inclining our hearts unto him, implies the doctrine of personal election. The doctrine is found, so to speak, in the lump, in the seventeenth Article ; but it cannot be expected that we should find it thus in the liturgy, at least not frequently. The liturgy is a kind of infusion ; and every part of it sufficiently tastes of that which constitutes a main ingredient in that infusion.• They through grace obey the calling; they bé ' justified freely; they be made the sons of God


" by adoption ; they be made like to the image of ' his only begotten Son Jesus Christ; they walk

religiously in good works ; and at length, by 'God's mercy, they attain to everlasting felicity.' Here, if words have any decisive meaning, it is stated, that all, 'who are called, according to * God's purpose, by his Spirit,' (that is, all the elect) both obey the calling, and persevere, so as finally to attain to everlasting ‘ felicity.' Not a hint is given of any exception; nay, the words admit of no exception. This also is sufficiently infused into the liturgy for every useful purpose. 'Doubt

ye not therefore, but earnestly believe, that he ' will likewise favourably receive this present in

that he will embrace him with the arms of * his mercy; and that he will give him the bles* sing of eternal life, and make him partaker of ' his everlasting kingdom.'' Now, whatever engagements of scripture are deemed sufficient to exclude our doubting concerning Christ's favourably receiving the infant presented for baptism, must, according to this statement, be likewise sufficient to exclude doubting concerning his final salvation.--As to the non-elect, by whatever name we call them ; why should any thing be introduced concerning them into our public devotions? Instead of further enlarging on these things, I only request the reader to consider this publication, all together, as an answer to his Lordship's


supporters of Calvinism, to produce a passage from our Common Prayer Book, the

plain and obvious sense of which is decidedly · Calvinistic.'?]

Baptismal Service. * See B. I. c. ii. $ 10: On Prayer for ourselves and others.

[ocr errors]

call upon



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

* This negative argument is still stronger with respect to the Homilies, to which so confident an appeal has lately been made by certain writers, ' that I request the particular attention of my ' readers to the facts I am going to state. Not

one of the peculiar doctrines of Calvin is men* tioned in either of the two books of Homilies : ' the word predestination does not occur from the

beginning to the end of the Homilies: the word * election occurs upon one occasion only, and then • it is used in its true scriptural signification, a signification very different from that in which it is used by Calvinists: the word reprobation does ‘not occur at all: nothing is said of absolute de

crees, partial redemption, perseverance, or irre'sistible grace. The former of these books was published in the reign of Edward the Sixth, and the latter in the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's ‘ reign, and both are pronounced by our 35th · Article to contain a godly and wholesome doc'trine, and necessary for these times ;' that is, ' for the times in which they were published. If 'our great reformers, the authors of these Homi‘lies, Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer, and Jewell, had ' themselves, as is sometimes pretended, held Cal“vinistic opinions, is it to be believed that they 'would have composed a set of sermons to be * used by the parochial clergy in their respective

churches, for the avowed purpose of establishing • their congregations in a sound faith and a right * practice, without even mentioning in them any one of these points And let it be remembered, that the subjects of many of the Homilies are 'immediately connected with the Calvinistic system, such as, original sin, the salvation of man

« EdellinenJatka »