Imágenes de páginas

some scriptural proofs and valuable comments. When I had nearly printed the whole of the Tenets, I obtained possession of a copy of Mosheim's History of the Synod of Dort by John Hales, which I had not seen when I wrote the notes to Arminius. The perusal of that very interesting volume offered. me the first excuse for increasing the size of this work. For I found that the learned and amiable ecclesiastical historian had adopted the same mode as I had done, of ascertaining the sentiments and proceedings of the Dort Synodists, by a careful attention to the garbled accounts given in iheir own Acts, and by comparing those accounts with the despatches which Hales and BALCANQUAL transmitted, generally every week, to the English Ambassador at the Hague, and with other Calvinistic, yet tolerably impartial, documents. That there should be a degree of similarity between his deductions and mine, was not wondere: ful, since both had pursued one course; but the points of coincidence with regard to sentiment and language were so numere , ous and striking, as to induce me to translate some of his remarks, which, while they elucidated Bishop Womack's pamphlet, confirmed the view I had given, in the work just cited, of that Calvinistic Convention.

This was the first temptation which I felt to augment the size of the publication. But in translating, for the benefit of the mere English reader, * the Latin Theses of Parker, which Bishop Womack had appended to the conclusion of his pamphlet, and had enriched with his own able annotations, another temptation. presented itself. I had been long acquainted with the secret History of those Theses, and had often smiled at the eulogies bestowed upon them by some Predestinarian writers,t who must have had an uncommon grasp of intellect, if they could collect from Parker's barbarous language the exact opinions which it was his purpose to convey. These Theses constituted in reality an additional futile attempt to modify Calvinism, so as to conceal under the harshest and most recondite terms of scholastic jargon, its objectionable and half-discarded dogmas. In introducing them. to the notice of the reader, the editor, who gives us the initials

* I know, that, by this attempt at translation, I shall be liable to the just remark of Bishop Womack : (page 194:) " The reason why these Theses yet “ remain untranslated, is this,-no man could, in my opinion, render them into - English so as to be grasped by the comprehension of mortals, or could himself « understand them when translated.” If, therefore, the reader cannot understand the translation, the cause of his mental failure must be ascribed to the Theses, and not to himself.

+ RICHARD BAXTER, in his Saints' Rest, (Pt. i, c. 8,) when describing “ the people of God,” speaks in the following fulsome manner of PARKER'S Theses: *They that would see this work of God on the soul handled most “ exactly, judiciously, scholastically, and briefly, let them read Mr. Parker's “excellent Theses de Traductione peccatoris ad Vitam. If you cannot get the

book, it is in the end of Amesius against Greyinchovius, but maimed of fifteen - Thescs left out."

of his name H. S., has extolled them as “ entirely studded with gems," and has described, in the language of hyperbole, the reputed victories achieved by various Calvinistic authors over their supine Arminian adversaries. His mention of these individuals of different denominations, suggested to me the first idea of illustrating the history of Arminianism during the interesting period between 1600 and 1662, by brief memoirs of six or seven of the principal Calvinists whose names are cited in the Preface to PARKER'S Theses, and by elucidatory extracts from their productions, and from those of their learned cotemporaries in various parts of Europe.

In. Appendix A, therefore, I have given some account of MACCOVIUS, who with the younger Parker was joint author of the Theses ; and in B, have corroborated one of the Prefacer's most judicious hints.

In Appendix C, the reader will find a biographical notice of John CAMERO, and a description of the system of religious doctrines of which he was the author, and which is commonly known in England under the term BAXTERIANISM. The extracts which I have given from the letters and pamphlets of Grotius, Cour. celles, Du Moulin, Rivet, Amyraut, Poelenburgh, and others, furnish a fair history of the nature of this system and its progress. A long note, in page 714, affords a still clearer view of its consequences. I have reserved some valuable observations from Episcopius, for insertion in “Womack's Calvinists' Cabinet Uno locked.-As Camero received his death-blow from one of the furious zealots, who, in those days, had begun to manifest a spirit of insubordination in almost every State throughout Europe, in which Calvinistic churches were planted; I have in a summary manner exposed the origin of that spirit, and have traced it from the Genevan Fathers down to the æra immediately previous to the memorable Synod of Dort.

In Appendix D, I have more minutely marked the spread of the same restless and revolutionary spirit, in a biographical 'account of Dr. William Twisse, the famous Moderator of the

Assembly of Divines at Westminster. The contents of that Appendix, which occupies nearly three-fourths of the present volume, (in two parts,) I shall specify in a separate article. But, as the conclusion of Appendix D is inserted in the commencement of the second volume, part of which is already printed off, I proceed to the enumeration of the particulars it embraces. An entire and interesting chapter on Cromwell's “ Triers and Ejectors," from Jackson's Life of Goodwin, occupies the first place in the

second volume, and is succeeded by the Rev. Tobias Conyers's - celebrated dedication, to the Protector, of his English version of

“the Declaration” of Arminius. The state of society and of public morals, at the beginning and the termination of the Civil Wars, is afterwards exhibited from various unexceptionable authorities; and I think I shall have irrefragably proved, to all impartial persons, that, after Calvinism had exerted its influence uncontrolled under almost every varying form among the inhabitants of Great Britain, public morals were in a worse condition a year prior to the Restoration, than they were in 1637.* .

Appendix E will contain a short Life of Thomas Parker, the young man, who, when these Theses were subjects of reprehension in the Synod of Dort, was charged with having been the author of them, and who thus very conveniently removed a great portion of blame from Maccovius.

In Appendix F, I shall expose the ignorance of those who are accustomed to class Arminianism with Socinianism, and shallprove the far more numerous points of agreement between Cal. vinism and Socinianism. Among modern Calvinistic writers, I have met with no one that has so frequently and unjustly preferred this unsupported accusation, as the late Rev. Thomas Scott. I shall therefore present the reader in that place with a few anis. madversions on his inconsiderate expressions.

I shall devote Appendix G to the Life of Robert PARKER, the father of Thomas; and Appendix H to that of Aves and of ROBINSON. These three biographical sketches will afford me an opportunity of communicating some rather novel information on the rise and character of Independency, the very slender grounds of the Puritans' objections against the ceremonies and ritual of the Established Church, and the nature of the persecution which “the unconformable clergy” were compelled to endure.t The

• This is ingenuously confessed by many of the Preachers before the Long Parliament, as will be shewn in a subsequent part of this Introduction.

In WILLIAM BRIDGE's Sermon before the Commons, Nov. 5, 1647, he said: “ And now of late, what bitterness of spirit among professors! What divisions, oppressions instead of justice! What new-fangled prides ? What unwillingness to be reformed ? Time was heretofore when we did call for Truth, and cried aloud for Truth. Oh that we might know the Truth! But now we deal by Truth, as the Friar said the people did by their Holy Water : • Ye call and cry,' said he, "for Holy Water ; but when the Sexton sprinkles it,

ye turn away your faces and it falls on your backs!' So the times were heretofore, that we called and cried out for Truth, Truth! It is now come unto you: We would sprinkle it upon you ; but ye turn away your faces from it, and it falls on your backs.

“ And is there not as much swearing, drunkennesss, profaneness still as before ? I read of a street in Rome, called Vicus Sobrius, the sober street,' because there was never an ale-house to be found in it: And, upon this account, I think, there will be never a sober street in England, or very rare.

“ As for the precious ordinances of Jesus Christ, (they were never so slighted and rejected as now. Nevertheless, the Lord hath saved us : Yea, he hath saved us with a great salvation, I may say, a miraculous salvation !

Thus, when Calvinism, in all its variations, had been indulged with unbounded sway for seven years, the state of society was not amended, and the people shewed their strong aversion to the Predestinarian rigours.

+ The subjoined paragraph commences with a quotation from Ames, which will prove, that the carly Puritans, as well as their successors who flourished

account of AMES will also furnish me with an occasion of insti. tuting a comparison between the arbitrary measures of Arche bishop ABBOT, and those of his great but ill-fated successor Archbishop Laud: When, notwithstanding the popular yet ille founded prejudices against the latter, I shall adduce proofs sufficient to convince every equitable man, that Laud excelled his predecessor both in the liberality of his sentiments, and in the actual execution of his measures.* during the Civil Wars, had no just notions whatever either of civil or religious liberty, in the modern acceptation of these terms. The only Toleration which they acknowledged, was the law of retaliation ; and the axiom, by which they regulated their conduct towards those who differed from them on any doctrinal or ceremonial point, was that of Kill, or be killed ! • OBADIAH SEDGWICK, in his sermon before the Commons, on the same day and from the same chapter as Hussey's in a subsequent page, says to the members of the Honourable House : “ It was but the scornful speech of Ti. berius, that the Gods alone must remedy the injuries offered unto them. O no! You are custodes utriusque tabulæ. You are designed to be nursing. fathers: You have received the sword, to be a terror to the evil. Pious and and learned Amesius, (Cases of Conscience, l. 4, c. 4,) speaking to that ques. tion, "Whether Heretics are to be punished by the Civil Magistrate ?,' answers thus: It is his place and duty to repress them and restrain them, if they be ( noxious and turbulent.' Yea, and he adds more than every one will be patient to hcar, namely, that, if also they be manifestly blasphemous and pertinacious, • they may be cut off supplicio capitali, [by capital punishment, ] according to

that in Leviticus, xxiv, 16.'”-The passage to which Ames refers, is the following: • And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: As well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shali he be put to death.' Obadiah then specifies "nine ways,” by which “ the dangerous flood” of heresies might be stopped. In the third of them he says, “ If the discipline (of the Presbytery] were fully and generally established, you should not have a heresy, or blasphemy, or any erroneous opinion, creeping out in any part of the kingdom, but there would be a timely discovery of it, and likewise a spiritual remedy to recover erring persons, and to prevent their further spreading." The ninth way is, “ By using your co-ercive power, with such methods and proportions as the real safety of truth and souls doth require, and the repression of dangerous errors doth need : So managing the distributions thereof, that, under the notion of restraining heresy, you by no means injure real sanctity, nor yet, under the pretence of sanctity, you do not favour the growth of heresy."

; . Perhaps the following passage from Louis Du Moulin's “ Appeal of all the Nonconformists in England to God, and all the Protestants of Europe, in order to manifest their sincerity to God and the King," in 1680, will serve as an explanation of this matter : “ The Assembly of Divines in Westminster, “ chosen by the Parliament, were all CONFORMISTS, and none of them SI. “LENCED MINISTERS, except eight or nine, and four Scots.”—This, unlike many of that rash man's assertions, is almost correct, and corroborated nearly verbatim by RICHARD BAXTER, in the First Part of his Nonconformists' Plea; in which work he also describes “ the Houses of Lords and Commons, excepting “ an inconsiderable number, the Lord Lieutenants whom the Parliament chose, " and the far greater part of the General Officers, &c., of the Earl of Essex his “ army, and of the sea-captains," &c., as consisting of “ those that had still lived in Conformity.” The fallacy of these remarks will be exposed in another part of this Introduction, by the difference between 1640 and 1643. Now, to

Appendices I and K will not occupy much space, the former consisting solely of a short account of Parker's Theses, and the latter of a few remarks on the deficiency of learning in the vaunting Prefacer.

· Appendix L will be very long: After alluding to Arminius, Corvinus, and Tilenus, it will embrace many curious particulars concerning the origin, the genius, the progress, and the effects of Arminianism in Holland and Great Britain. The decidedly Arminian complexion of the Articles of the Church of England, will also be summarily described, in valuable quotations from a few of our best divines. Among some of the conclusions, which I shall endeavour to deduce from undisputed historic facts, i be the very important one, that the adherents to all the reli. gious systems which have passed the golden mean maintained by Arminianism, (between Baxterianism and Calvinism on the one hand, and between Semi-pelagianism and Pelagianism on the other,) have fallen into errors on the important doctrine of the TRINITY, while those who have adhered to the evangelical Armi. nian scheme, as propounded by its founder, have retained all the grand verities which distinguish the orthodox both among the Ancients and the Moderns.

In Appendix M, the doctrine of Scientia Media will be compendiously exhibited ; and, in N, Bishop Womack's remarks on the absurdity of several metaphysical reveries about Christian doctrines will be strenuously enforced.

These are the subjects which were suggested by a perusal of the Preface to Parker's Theses, and of Bishop Womack's annotations; and this is the outline of the plan, according to which I have attempted to institute a comparison between CALVINISM and ARMINIANISM, and to demonstrate the favourable bearing which the LATTER SYSTEM, has had upon the civil and religious liberties of mankind.

evince Archbishop Laud's superior moderation, I only require any man, who is acquainted with the general history of that period, to peruse the list of the far. famed Assembly of Divines, and then deliberately to declare if, at any former period, such pragmatical Divines, as three-fourths of the members had then proved themselves to be, would have been permitted to be unsilenced ministers. Under none of Laud's predecessors, even those of them who were most Calvin. istically inclined, would the majority of those who afterwards composed the Predestinarian Assembly have been allowed to remain in the circumstances described by Du Moulin ; on account of their previous mal-practices, they would either have been suspended or banished. That restless old Nonconformist, Cartwright, in the days of Archbishop Whtigift, was a petty offender against the eeclesiastical laws of the realm, when compared with many of these disaffected though “con. formable” individuals. With the exception of two or three members, the Divines summoned to the Assembly were Calvinists; and, at the very commencement of the Civil Troubles, arranged themselves either in the ranks of Presbyterianism or Independency. (See page 400.) Of the few very able Episcopal Clergy, who were nominated to that office, Archbishop Usher, Dr. Sanderson, Dr. Gauden, and other worthies, had not then become Arminians.

« AnteriorContinuar »