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by the Westminster divines they suggested an alteration of the sixth article, intended to commit the church to some extent to the doctrine of the Westminster Confession. I showed that at the Restoration, in 1662, when the articles were substantially confirmed by the legislature, that alteration was not adopted, and that no similar alteration ever has been adopted. From all that I concluded, first, from the authorities themselves, that these questions were left open; and, secondly, from the writings of eminent divines at the time, that those questions were designedly left


Now let me anticipate an objection which my learned friends will in all probability urge. They will say, You have quoted Hooker, you have quoted Chillingworth, and you have quoted Jeremy Taylor upon these points, but Hooker, and Chillingworth, and Jeremy Taylor themselves, and many other persons of equal, or, if they could be found, of greater eminence, all believed in the infallibility of Scripture, and what do you say to that? My lord, it would be insulting, indeed, in me to suggest to so learned a person as my friend Dr. Phillimore the way in which his own case is to be managed. I shall avoid any such presumption, but I may be allowed for the sake of displaying the nature of the answer which I shall make to that objection if it is urged, to quote one or two authorities on which he would probably rely, and to tell you how I should deal with those authorities, because by that means I should answer not those authorities only, but all other authorities of the same kind.

The first authority which I will quote is one which cannot have escaped the researches of my learned friends, for it lies upon the surface. I refer to the Homilies of the Church of England. In a homily addressed to those who take objections to certain passages of Scripture this passage



occurs* (it is the first homily of the second part):-"For "the whole Scriptures, saith St. Paul, were given by the inspiration of God, and shall we Christian men think to "learn the knowledge of God and of ourselves in any "earthly man's work or writing sooner or better than in "the Holy Scriptures, written by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost? The Scriptures were not brought unto us "by the will of man, but holy men of God, as witnesseth "St. Peter, spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit "of God." Again, there is this passage:† "Consider "that the Scripture, in what strange form soever it be pro"nounced, is the word of the living God; let that always come to your remembrance, which is so oft repeated of "the prophet Esaias: The mouth of the Lord,' saith he, “hath spoken it, the almighty and everlasting God, who "with his only word created heaven and earth, hath "decreed it: the Lord of Hosts, whose ways are in the "seas, whose paths are in the deep waters; that Lord and "God, by whose word all things in heaven and in earth "are created, governed, and preserved, hath so provided. "it. The God of gods, and Lord of all lords, yea, God "that is God alone, incomprehensible, almighty, and ever


lasting, he hath spoken it, it is his word.' It cannot,. "therefore, be but truth, which proceedeth from the God "of all truth; it cannot be but be wisely and prudently "commanded what Almighty God hath devised, how

vainly soever, through want of grace, we miserable "wretches do imagine and judge of his most holy "Word."

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My learned friends would ask, What do you say to that? I answer, I admit-and I wish to make the admission as full and candid as I can-I admit that in general terms the divines of that age, like the divines of this age,

* Pages 326-7.

† Ib. p. 334.

and like the divines of the intermediate age, did profess their belief, not only in the inspiration, but in the infallibility of the Bible; but upon this I must make two observations. First, there is a broad distinction between an opinion and a doctrine. The infallibility of Scripture may have been their opinion, but it was not their doctrine. It was the inference which they drew from the doctrine that the Bible contained all things necessary to salvation; but it was not itself a doctrine which they imposed upon others, and it was a doctrine which they could not impose upon others consistently with their belief that the foundation upon. which the Bible rested was, as I say, mainly historical evidence and individual reason and conscience. My first answer, therefore, to that objection is, that it was an opinion and not a doctrine, an opinion which has widely prevailed since, which I suppose is held now by the vast majority of Christians, but an opinion which is not the doctrine of the church.

I will illustrate this by a precisely parallel case. If there was any subject upon which the divines of that day took a deep interest, that subject was the divine right of kings. If your lordship will look at the homily on Rebellion, you will find the duties of kings and subjects, and the doctrine of the divine right on which those. duties are based, laid down in language so violent that I really hardly like to use the words which it suggests. The way in which they speak of anything like the assertion of constitutional freedom can hardly be excused, and would in these days be considered scandalous.* Is there anything

* Take for example this :-"We shall find in very many, and almost "infinite places, as well of the Old Testament as the New, that kings and "princes, as well the evil as the good, do reign by God's ordinance, and that "subjects are bounden to obey them; that God doth give princes wisdom, "great power, and authority; that God defendeth them against their 66 enemies, and destroyeth their enemies horribly; that the anger and


in the articles about the divine right of kings? Not one word. And why not? Because it was an opinion, and not a doctrine. There is a remarkable circumstance connected with that, to which I will call your attention. This doctrine of the divine right of kings was one to which the subsequent history of the country naturally drew great attention, and in the year 1606 the Convocation of Canterbury considered that they would do a very great service to King James the First by dogmatically asserting that doctrine in the most minute and particular shape. Accordingly they drew up a series of propositions, condemning every argument used on the other side, drawn either from Scripture, or from reason, or from any other source whatever, and used by the Puritans or by the persons who dissented from that view of royal authority. You will find those articles printed in Cardwell;* and it has this postscript:-"The said thirty-six chapters, with the consti"tution made upon them, have passed with one consent "both the Convocation Houses, and are now approved." It is signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury of that day. As a specimen of the sort of legislation which Convocation wished to adopt on this subject, I will read your lordship a very few lines of one of these canons. I think you will see why King James exercised a sound discretion in not allowing this to be made into a doctrine.† "If any man "shall affirm either that Adoniah was ever lawfully King "of the Israelites, because Abiathar, the high priest, had

"displeasure of a prince is as the roaring of a lion, and the very 66 messenger of death, and that the subject that provoketh him to dis"pleasure sinneth against his own soul," &c. (p. 491). "He that nameth "rebellion nameth not a single sin, or one only sin, as is theft, robbery, "murder, and such like, but he nameth the whole puddle and sink of "sins against God and man, against his prince, his country, his country


men, his parents, his children, his kinsfolks, his friends, and against all "men universally."-p. 507.

* 1 Cardwell's Synodalia, pp. 330-51.

† Canon xix. p. 339.

"anointed him; or that King Solomon received from "Zadok, or from the holy oil which he poured upon his "head, any interest to his father's kingly seat, which he "had not before by the ordinance of God and his father's appointment; or that Abiathar might not justly have "been condemned for a traitor, in that he anointed "Adoniah, as is aforesaid; the right of the kingdom being "then in King David, and in him by God's appointment "to be disposed of, and bestowed upon his younger son, "Solomon; or that it had not been a traitorous offence " in Zadok, if being commanded thereunto by King David "to anoint King Solomon, he should have refused so to "have done; or that either Zadok or any other priest, "who afterward, according to their duties, anointed the "kings of Judah, were thereby more exempted from their "subjection and obedience unto them, than were the rest " of the people by their joy and applause, when their kings were newly advanced to their kingdoms; he doth greatly This is a most singular canon. Conceive the state of mind of a man willing to be martyred for the sake of affirming that Zadok ought not, under circumstances which did not happen, to have been punished as a traitor. No one, I think, will accuse King James of having too low a notion of the royal prerogative, but he appears to have been a man of considerable sense in certain ways, and he saw at once, that useful as the opinion of the divine right of kings might be, essential as it was in fact to his government, it would never do to make it into a doctrine, and for this very good reason. He says: "If the "King of Spain should claim his pontifical right to my kingdom, I shall have to seek for others to fight for it, “because I am told by you his authority is God's authority "if it prevail.” And so, although the opinion appeared to him a highly useful and desirable one, it was an opinion






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