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persons called by his name? Can this mode of proceeding be justified by his lordship’s bare assertion, that “ Calvinism will not admit of
par" tial adoption; and that if you embrace one of " its tenets you must embrace all ?” The absurdity as well as disingenuousness of this polemical artifice is too evident to need further animadversion.
The comparison in the sixth chapter between the Calvinists and some of the earliest heretics must not be passed over entirely unnoticed. Without estimating Dr. Tomline's capacity of discernment far below the common standard, it is impossible to attribute to any conceivable motive of fair or candid controversy the plentiful shower of absurdities and impieties discharged in that chapter against the devoted objects of his lordship’s theological hostility ; like so many Indian arrows, barbed in order to lacerate where they enter, and dipped in poison to insure the mortality of their wounds. The whole compass of language furnishes no terms too severe to be employed in the reprobation of such weapons of episcopal warfare. But veneration for the mitre forbids the use of any language against a prelate, that could express half the indignation which the perusał of that chapter must necessarily excite in every ingenuous mind. It is most devoutly to be wished, that every theologian would study that “ charity” which “ rejoiceth in the truth.”
While the modern preachers, writers, and pri
vate Christians, whom his lordship is opposing, do not coincide in all the sentiments contained in the writings of Calvin, and while they disclaim the reception of any principles of religion on his authority, or that of any uninspired man; they do not in general refuse the name of Calvinists, as a term of distinction, easily understood, and superseding the necessity of those tedious circumlocutions which must otherwise be frequently employed. The propriety of the term they consider as sufficiently supported by their agreement with the leading principles adopted by that eminently great and good man, notwithstanding their rejection of some tenets which he thought necessary appendages, but which they consider as unnecessary incumbrances of the general system.
Dr. Tomline asserts, that the Church of England is ANTI-CALVINISTIC. Perhaps the shortest method of overturning his lordship's position is by establishing an opposite one. To effect this scarcely any thing will be requisite but a selection and comparison of extracts from different writings.
I shall therefore proceed, without further introduction, to adduce passages from Calvin's Institutes of the Christian Religion, which contain his sentiments on Original Sin, Free Will, Regeneration and Sanctification by the Holy Spirit, Justification, Faith, Good Works, Predestination and Election; and which, I apprehend,
also express the sentiments of Calvinists in general on these important subjects. In comparison with these will be exhibited extracts from the Formularies of the Church of England. And in contrast to the extracts from both these sources, especially the latter, I shall make some quotations from his lordship, accompanied with a few observations.
CHURCH OF ENGLAND,
CALVIN. ORIGINAL sin standeth Original sin is an heredinot in the following of Adam tary pravity and corruption of (as the Pelagians do vainly our nature, diffused through talk;) but it is the fault and all the faculties of the soul; corruption of the nature of rendering us obnoxious to every man, that naturally is the wrath of God, and proingendered of the offspring ducing in us those works of Adam, whereby man is which the Scripture calls very far gone from original works of the flesh. righteousness, and is of his These two things should own nature inclined to evil, be distinctly observed: first, so that the flesh lusteth al- that our nature being so enways contrary to the spirit; tirely vitiated and depraved, and therefore in every person
we are, on account of ibis born into this world, it de- very corruption, considered serveth God's wrath and as convicted and justly condamnation.- Art. 9. demned in the sight of God,
We be, of ourselves, of to whom nothing is acceptsuch earth as can bring forth able but righteousness, innothing but weeds, nettles, nocence, and purity. brambles, briars, cockles, and The other thing to be redarnel. Our fruits be de- marked is, that this depravity clared in the 5th chapter to never ceases in us, but is the Galatians. We have perpetually producing new peither faith, charity, hope, fruits, those works of the
CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
CALVIN. patience; chastity, nor any
fiesh which we have already thing else that good is, but described, like the emission of God : and therefore these of flame and sparks from a virtues be called there, the heated furnace, or like the fruits of the Holy Ghost and
streams of water from an not the fruits of man.--2 unfailing spring. WhereHom. on the misery of man, fore, those who have defined
original sin as a privation of Man of his own nature is original righteousness, which -only given to evil thoughts we ought to possess, though and wicked deeds.—Hom. they comprise the whole of Whitsun,
the subject, yet have not
The ninth article is so very explicit, that it seems scarcely possible to misapprehend any part of its meaning. For two hundred and fifty years it has been understood to assert the total loss of original integrity, and the entire corruption of human nature by the fall of Adam. It was reserved for Dr. Tomline to discover that this expression “ man is very far gone from original righteousness” implies that original righteousness is not entirely lost,” (p. 50.) In another work his lordship states, that when the 39 articles were compiled and subscribed in 1562, they “ were drawn up
in Latin only; but in 1571 they were subscribed by the members of both houses, both in Latin and English, and therefore the Latin and English copies are to be considered as equally authentic." Consequently, we should avail ourselves of both, in order to ascertain the meaning with the utmost possible precision. The clause in the English article is so evidently at variance with the implication advanced by his lordship, that it is difficult to conceive the possibility of such an inference being deduced from it by any one not previously interested in warping it from its real meaning. But the expression in the Latin is still more conclusive against him.
• Ab originali justitia quam longissime distet”—which, with all due submission, I venture to translate, “man is gone to the farthest possible di. stance from original righteousness." But what degree of righteousness can be possessed by those who are gone to the farthest possible distance from it, remains for his lordship to ascertain. If, after reading the foregoing implication, a person could feel surprise at any thing advanced by his lordship, it would be at his assertion, that this is the plain and obvious sense of the, passage.”—The Bishop tells us, that " the Assembly of Divines in the reign of Charles the First proposed to omit the words ! man is
far froin original righteousness, and to substitute for them, ‘man is wholly deprived of original righteousness.!--And it is curious to observe, that he imputes this proposal to an attachment “ to the peculiar tenets of Calvin," and a wish to reform our articles according to the Calvinistic Creed.” But the above ex. tract shows that Calvin did not altogether approve of