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fairs, which had been claimed and granted before to the pope.
We mention these events to shew the provision which the great Head of the church had made, to prepare the way for introducing into England a knowledge of the way of salvation, through Jesus Christ. Light from the continent of Europe, and from Scotland, began to shed its beams upon England. Archbishop Cranmer, though in some things defective, was a very learned and pious divine. He taught the doctrine of atonement in the most explicit terms, it runs through every thing he wrote. He also invited learned men from the continent to the university of Oxford, and patronised the cause of letters generally throughout the kingdom. He made a translation of the scriptures into the English language, and had editions of it printed so cheap as to place it in the reach of the poor. The effect of the diffusion of the oracles of truth among the common people was a means of leading them to a belief in the doctrine of the atonement. However heretics may wrest the scriptures, and by subtilty of argument bewilder themselves, and those who are fond of their curious and sophistical speculations, the common people always derive from them the doctrine of salvation by Jesus Christ, not only as a prophet instructing them, and as a king governing them, but as a priest making atonement for the sins of his people. The circulation of the scriptures, among the English peasantry, was one of the noblest works effected by Cranmer. He also applied himself to the formation of a confession of faith for the English church. This celebrated system has since been known by the name of the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England. It asserts in the strongest terms the doctrine of the trinity, the equality of the Son and Holy Ghost with God the Father, the substitution of Christ Jesus in the room of the sinner, and his perfect satisfaction made to the law of God, to the divine justice; and that by the imputation of his righteousness to the sinner, who by faith accepts of it as offered in the gospel, justification, consisting of pardon of sin and acceptance
with God as righteous, is procured, and that all this sal. vation is applied and rendered effectual for salvation by the agency of the Holy Spirit.
These articles were never fully adopted, nor generally received in the church of England during the reign of Henry VIII. who manifested no regard for the interests of true religion, either in his own person, or among his subjects. The clergy when he ascended the throne were not only shamefully ignorant of every thing which resembled Christianity in theory, but were in a high degree profligate in their lives. In every kingdom of Europe, and no where more than in England, the monks were the opprobrium of religion, and the scorn of all sensible men. The king suppressed monasteries, and a part of their revenues was divided between the crown and the nobility, and the remainder given to the monks for their support, but no provision was made in any effectual manner for the supply of able and learned spiritual instructors. Hence, nearly all that was done, for the propagation of correct principles, among the people, was through the medium of the word of life, without the aid of living instructors, and so few could read, that the effects produced by the scriptures were not so great, as we might at first view imagine. Such was the caprice and tyranny of Henry, that no steady measures, which the archbishop suggested, and wished to carry into operation, could be pursued. The people, however, began to be generally convinced that the priests could not save them.
In 1547, Cranmer was freed from the tyranny and caprice of the master who had elevated him to his high rank, by the death of Henry VIII., and he now exerted himself with very great vigour in promoting the cause of reformation. We have said that Cranmer encouraged learning, and learned men. With the concurrence of the regent,
governed the kingdom during the minority of Edward VI., son of Henry VIII., those learned protestants, Peter Martyr, Martin Bucer, Paul Fagius, and Emanuel Tremellius were placed in Oxford college. These distinguished
men brought with them the doctrines relative to the atonement, that they had learned in the school of Luther, and they taught them to numerous youth of the most powerful families in the kingdom, who resorted to Oxford. This measure had a happy effect in a two told way, by communi. cating, through the medium of the youth, a knowledge of the way of salvation into the first families in England, and by securing the education of young men, to furnish the church with a learned ministry. All other events, even the translation of the Bible and its circulation in the English language, were little more than preparatory to this measure, which produced a most extensive and powerful effect. With all the exertion of the primate and the efforts of the learned protestants, whom he had brought over from the continent to aid him, the progress of truth was still slow. The clergy were unwilling and unable to instruct the people, who were sunk into the lowest state of igno
Soon after the death of Henry VIII., John Knox, whose fame had spread extensively in England, being released from the French gallies, in which he had been confined, visited London, where he was received with every mark of respect and friendship by the archbishop, to whom as well as to the privy council, his late sufferings had greatly recommended him. He preached, with his usual zeal, and to vast audiences, the doctrines in which he had been instructed from the word of God, both in his native country and at Geneva. He was appointed to preach at Berwick, on the borders between the two kingdoms, by which he had it in his power to be instrumental in leading many people of both kingdoms, from the Catholic church, and instructing them in the knowledge of that salvation, which is by Christ Jesus.
As soon as Edward ascended the throne, he used his utmost exertions to promote the protestant cause, of which he was a warm friend, and pious professor. He appointed six protestant chaplains, two of whom were to preach to himself and his court, while the other four were to itinerate
through the kingdom and supply the place of those lazy and ignorant bishops, who neglected their flocks. One of those was Knox, whose instrumentality in advancing the cause of truth during his residence in England was very great. The thirty-nine articles, and the liturgy generally, a great part of which was taken from the Augsburgh Confession and Liturgy, and had been compiled by Cranmer, was adopted, and by authority fully introduced into the church during the short reign of Edward. Knox was consulted on this occasion. Some of those who were active in bringing the liturgy into use, were for retaining in it the doctrine of the corporeal presence in the Eucharistic bread and wine; but, through the influence of Knox, it was expunged, and also the practice of kneeling, at the reception of the elements. It is now time that from the standards of the church of England, we should lay before the reader a few selections, relative to the subject of atonement; and first of original sin, the fountain whence flow all the evils which render a satisfaction necessary. The Homily on the misery of man has these words:" In ourselves (as of ourselves) we find nothing whereby we may be delivered from the miserable captivity into which we are cast through the envy of the devil; by breaking God's commandment in our first parent Adam.” The same Homily asserts that we cannot deliver ourselves from the consequences of the fall by any power of our own. “We cannot think a good thought of ourselves, much less can we say well, or do well of ourselves.” Of this original guilt it says again:-“ Wherefore he,” (i. e. David) " says, Mark and behold I was conceived in sins; he saith not sin, but in the plural number, sins; forasmuch as out of one as a fountain spring all the rest." The Homily on Christ's nativity, is clear and full to the same point. “ As before he,” (Adam) was most beautiful and preci. ous, so now he was most wretched and vile in the sight of the Lord his Maker. Instead of the image of God, he was now become the image of the devil; instead of the citizen of heaven, he was now become the bond-slave of hell, having in himself no one part of his former purity and
cleanness, but being altogether spotted and defiled, insomuch that he now seemed to be nothing else but a lump of sin, and therefore by the just judgment of God condemned to everlasting death.”
The ninth article is entitled, “ Of original sin,” which it thus defines; “ Original sin standeth not in the following of Adam (as the Pelagians do vainly talk) but it is the fault of the corruption of the nature of every man, that naturally is engendered of the offspring of Adam, whereby man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil, so that the flesh lusteth always contrary to the spirit.” Lest it should be thought that by all these expressions, no more is intended than the derivation of corruption from Adam fallen, while we are not accountable for his violation of the covenant, the Homilies assert " that we are by nature children of wrath, but we are not able to make ourselves inheritors of God's glory.” Again; “ We are all miserable persons, damnable persons, justly driven out of Paradise, justly excluded from heaven, justly condemned to hell.” As if the writers of the standards of the English church found it difficult to express, in the Eng. lish language the greatness of this sin, they heap epithet upon epithet, so as to put their meaning beyond all doubt. Hence the Homily on the nativity of Christ" Before Christ's coming into the world, all men universally in Adam, were nothing else but a crooked generation, rotten and corrupt tares, stony ground, full of brambles, and briars, lost sheep, prodigal sons, naughty and unprofitable servants, unrighteous stewards, workers of iniquity, the brood of adders, blind guides, sitting in darkness, and the shadow of death; to be short nothing else, but chil. dren of perdition, and inheritors of hell.” All this is not merely of themselves or by actual transgression, but in Adam, that is, if language have any meaning, by the guilt of Adam's sin in breaking the covenant of works, being imputed to them. Listen again to the tremendous language of the Homilies, which, strange to tell, many swear to maintain, and yet are Arminians, who deny the doctrine of ori