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They admit that the Holy Spirit, as calling men by the ministry of the Gospel, may be resisted ; and that where this is the case, “ the fault is not in the Gospel, nor in Christ offered by the Gospel, nor in God calling by the Gospel, and also conferring various gifts upon them ; but in the called themselves. They contend, however, that where men come at the divine call, and are converted, it is not to be ascribed to themselves, as though by their own free will they made themselves to differ, but merely to him who delivers them from the power of darkness, and translates them into the kingdom of bis dear Son, and whose regenerating influence is certain and efficacious."
In proof of this doctrine the Calvinists allege, among others, the following Scripture passages : “Whom he did predestinate, them he also called ; and whom he called, them he also glorified. That ye may know what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of bis mighty power, which he wrought in Christ when le raised him from the dead. Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good works. God, that coinmanded the light to shine out of darkness, bath shined into our hearts, &c. I will take away the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them hearts of flesh.” Rom. viii. 29. Eph. i. 19, 20. ij. 9, 10. 2 Cor. iv. 6. Ezek. xxxvi. 26.
5. Lastly : They maintain that those whom God has effectually called, and sanctified by his Spirit, shall never finally fall from a state of grace. They admit that true believers may fall partially, and would fall totally and finally but for the mercy and faithfulnes of God, who keepeth the feet of his saints ; also, that he who bestoweth the grace of perseverance, bestoweth it by means of reading and hearing the word, meditation, exhortations, threatenings, and promises ; but that none of these things imply the possibility of a believer's falling from a state of justification.
In proof of this doctrine they allege the following among other Scripture passages : “ I will put my fear in their hearts, and they shall not depart from me. He ihat believeth, and is baptized, shall be saved. Tlie water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. This is the Father's will, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing. This is life eternal, to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin, for his seed remaineth in hiin; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. They went out from us, but they were not of us ; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever, Amen." Jer. xxxii. 49.
Mark, xvi. 16. John, iv. 14. vi. 40. xvii. 3. 1 John, iji. 9. ii. 19. Jade, 24, 25.
Such irere the doctrines of the old Calvinists, and such in substance are those of the present times. In this, however, as in every other denomination, there are considerable shades of difference.
Some think Calvin, though right in the main, yet carried things too far ; these are commonly known by the name of Moderate Calvinists. Others think that he did not go far enough ; and these are known by the name of High Caloinists.
It is proper to add, that the Calvinistic system includes in it the doctrine of three co-ordinate persons in the Godhead, in one nature, and of two natures in Jesus Christ, forming one person. Jastification by faith alone, or justification by the imputed righteousness of Christ, forms also an essential part of this system. They suppose that on the one hand our sins are imputed to Christ, and on the other, that we are justified by the imputation of Christ's righteousness to us ; that is, Christ the innocent was treated by God as if he were guilty, that we, the guilty, might out of regard to what he did and suffered, be treated as if we were innocent and righteous.
Calvinism originally subsisted in its greatest purity in the city of Geneva ; from which place it was first propagated into Germany, France, the United Provinces, and Britain. In France it was abolished by the revocation of the edict of Nantz. It has been the prevailing religion in the United Provinces ever since 1571. The theological system of Calvin was adopted and made the public rule of faith in England under the reign of Edward VI. The church of Scotland also was modelled by John Knox, agreeably to the doctrine, rites and forin of ecclesiastical government established at Geneva. In England, Calvinism had been on the decline from the time of queen Elizabeth until about sixty years ago, when it was again revived, and has been on the increase ever since. The major part of the clergy, indeed, are not Calvinists, though the articles of the Church of England are Calvinistical.
Calvin considered every church as a separate and independent body, invested with the power of legislation for itself. He proposed that it should be governed by presbyteries and synods composed of clergy and laity, without bishops, or any clerical subordination ; and maintained that the province of the civil magistrate extended only to its protection and outward accommodation.
The Arminians derive their name from James Arminius, a disciple of Beza, and an eminent professor of divinity at Ley
den, about 1600, who is said to have attracted the esteem and applause of his very enemies by his acknowledged candour, penetration and piety.
The principal tenets of the Arminians are comprehended in the five following articles.
1. That God has not fixed the future state of men by an absolute unconditional decree ; but determined from all eternity to bestow salvation on those who persevere unto the end in their faith in Jesus Christ ; and to inflict everlasting punishments on those who continue in their unbelief, and resist unto the end his divine succours.
2. That Christ, by his sufferings, made an atonement for the sins of all mankind in general, and of every individual in particular ; and that his death hath put a!t men in a capacity of being justified and pardoned, on condition of their faith, repentance, and sincere obedience to the laws of the new covenant. John ii. 2. iij. 16, 17. Heb. ii. 9. Isa. i. 19, 20. 1 Cor. viii. 11.
3. That mankind are not totally depraved ; and that the sin of our first parents is not imputed to us, nor shall we be hereafter punished for any but our own personal transgressions. Jer. xxxi. 29, 30.
4. That there is a measure of grace given to every man to profit withal, which is neither irresistible nor irrevocable, but is the foundation of all exhortations to repentance, faith, &c. Isaiah i. 16. Deut. X. 16. Eph. iv. 22.
5. That true believers may fall from their faith, and forfeit finally their state of grace ; and they conceive that all commands to persevere and stand fast in the faith, shew that there is a possibility of believers falling away. See Heb. vi. 4, 5, 6. 2 Pet. ii. 20, 21. Luke xxi. 35.
It appears, therefore, that the followers of Arminius believe that God, having an equal regard for all his creatures, sent his Son to die for the sins, not of the elect only, but of the whole world ; that no mortal is rendered finally unhappy by an eternal and invincible decree, but that the misery of those who perish arises from themselves ; and that, in this present imperfect state, believers, if not peculiarly vigilant, may, through the force of temptation, and the influence of Satan, fall from grace, and sink into final perdition.
They found these sentiments on the expressions of our Saviour, respecting his willingness to save all that come unto himn ; especially on his prayer over Jerusalem ; on his Sermon on the Mount; and, above all, on his delineation of the process of the last day, in which the salvation of men is not said to have been obtained by any decree, but because " they have done the will of their Father, who is in heaven.” This last argument they deem decisive. They also say, that the terms respecting election in the Epistle to the Romans, are applicable only to the state of the Jews as a body, and relate not to the religious consideration of individuals, either in this world, or the next,
The religious principles of the Arminians have insinuated themselves more or less into the established church in Holland, and affected the theological system of many of those pastors who are appointed to maintain the doctrine and authority of the synod of Dort. The principles of Arminius were early introduced into various other countries, as Britain, France, Geneva, and many parts of Switzerland ; but their progress is said to have been rather retarded of late, especially in Germany and several parts of Switzerland, by the prevalence of the Leibnitzian and Wolfian philosophy, which is more favourable to Calvinism.
The Church of England dates its origin from the time of the Reformation, when Henry VIII. shook off the Pope's authority and took upon himself the title of “ Head of the Church,” as he had been previously dignified by his Holiness with that of “ Defender of the Faith.” The last of these titles, which are hereditary in the Crown of England, was obtained as a reward for a book the king had written on the Seven Sacraments, against Luther's book, “Of the Captivity of Babylon.” The first title was an assumed one ; but soon obtained legal sanction by the consent of the nation at large ; taken up because the pope refused to sanction Henry's Divorce from Queen Catherine, his affections having been transferred to Anne Boleyn. The Archbishop of Canterbury, who took apon himself to annul the former marriage, was solemnly condemned by the pope ; and Henry, out of revenge, annulled his connexion with, and threw off his obedience to, the papal see. He became supreme head of the church himself, and he may be said to have been the founder of the Church of England. Its principles, however, are grounded on those of the Reformation, having in many respects, a reseinblance to the Lutheran tenets and practice.
The religious tenets or doctrines of this church are to be found in the book of Homilies, consisting of short moral and doctrinal discourses, and in the Thirty-Nine Articles, which, with the three Creeds and Catechism, are inserted in the Book of Com. mon Prayer. Concerning some of the doctrines professed by the Church of England, her members are not agreed : a very great majority of the clergy insisting upon it that the church is not Calvinistic, in regard to the doctrine of predestination, irresistible grace, and the final perseverance of the saints; whilst a very respectable and increasing portion of the clergy and laity inaintain, with great confidence, that the 17th article roundly and plainly asserts the great and important doctrine of predestination, as tought by Calvin and the first reformers. The
svarm, not to say acrimonious, disputes which this difference of construction put upon the articles has occasioned, have tended to increase the number of dissenters, whose interests are greatly promoted by that part of the clergy usually denominated Cal. vinistic, or evangelical.
The great Earl of Chatham said openly in the House of Commons, that we have“ a Popish liturgy, a Calvinistic creed, and an Arminian clergy :" since that time, the clergy are many of them become professors of the Calvinistic doctrines ; and, perhaps, on a rigid examination of the Articles, Homilies, and Prayers, it would be difficult to put any other construction upon many parts of them, particularly of the 17th article.
Leaving this point, respecting the Calvinism or Arminianisma of the Church of England, to be decided amongst the members themselves, we shall lay before the reader an impartial account of her doctrines, worship, rites, and ceremonies, collected, as they ought to bé, from those acknowledged formularies, and standards of faith, the book of Homilies, the book of Common Prayer, including the thirty-nine Articles, the Liturgy, &c. and such other works of authority as are usually referred to on this subject.
It cannot with truth be denied, that the Liturgy abounds with the purest sentiments of devotion, and the genuine principles of the Christian faith. The language breathes the highest spirit of piety, often in a style of the most eloquent and affecting pathos. In it are found some of the very best specimens of our English style of composition.
A committee was appointed to compose this Liturgy, at the head of which was Thomas Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury, who was the chief promoter of the Reformation, and had a principal hand in all the steps made towards it.
This Liturgy, compiled by martyrs and confessors, together with divers other learned bishops and divines ; and being revised and approved by the archbishops, bishops and clergy of both the provinces of Canterbury and York, was then confirmed by the king, A. D. 1548.
About the end of the year 1550, or the beginning of 1551, some exceptions were taken at some things in this book, which were thought to savour too much of superstition; on which account it was again revised and altered, under the inspection, of Bucer and Martyr, two foreign reformers, and again confirmed by Act of Parliament ; but both this and the former Act, made in 1548, were repealed in the first year of Queen Mary. But upon the accession of Queen Elizabeth, the second book of King Edward was again established, with some slight altera. tions and corrections; and in this state the Liturgy continued, without any farther alteration, until the first year of King James the First, when a few small alterations were made ; and thus it remained till the time of Charles the Second, when the whole book was again revised. The commission for this purpose was dated March 25, 1661, and empowered twelve bishops and