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guide to our doings, is peculiar to the English confession.
From the whole, it may be inferred, that the compilers of the Articles intended not to speak decidedly a Calvinistic, exclusive language, but rather to forbear pressing the points in dispute, in the hope of healing the differences attendant upon the Reformation. The Articles are not to be comimented on, then, as implying a Calvinistic sense ; for not only do they bear intrinsic evidence of an intention not to speak that sense; but when the Lambeth Articles, in the reign of Elizabeth, and the Puritan preachers in that of Charles the First, attempted to pronounce that sense as their only interpretation, the suppression of the former, and the declaration forbidding innovation directed against the latter, prove that the Articles are intended by the imposers, as they were by the compilers, to be understood in their plain and literal meaning..
... We have been, in this place, only concerned to show, that the Articles admit clearly of Arminian interpretation, but not clearly of Calvinistic. How a Calvinist can subscribe the thirty-first, which, in admitting universal redemption, destroys the whole quinquarticular fabric, we leave it with his conscience to determine,
:.. . .:: ORIGINAL SIN.
Lambeth Article, fourth (applied to infants). “They who are not predestinated to salvation, , shall bę NECESSARILY Damned for their sins.“ • Synod of Dort. 'N. B. (abbreviated by Dan. Tilenus). This synod may be held as the representative of all the Calvinian shurches of Europe, except those of France. ...
“ That by Adam's fall, his posterity lost their free-will ; being put to an unavoidable necessity to do, or not to do, what soever they do, or do not, whether it be good or bad, being predestinated thereunto by the eternal and effectul secret dea, cred of Godin...
'; : Ninth Article of the English Church, revised by the Assembly of Divines, at Westminster, in 1643. , “ Man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil;" altered into, " Wholly deprived of original righteousnéks, and is of his own nature, inclined only to evil :" and again, “ Concupiscence hath the nature of sin ;" to, “ Is truly and properly sin.", al s us !
Irish Articles of 1615. “None can come to Christ unless it be given unto him; and all men are not so drawn by the Fa. ther, tliat' they may come to the Son ; 'neither is there such a sufficient measure of grace vouchsafed to every man, whereby he is enabled to come to everlasting life.'. urat's it !
Assembly's shorter Catechism, approved by the Scottish Gene ral Assemlly. “ The corruption of his WHOLE nature, which is commonly called original tin, ".&c. And whereas our ninth Article says, gently and timidly, of original sin, that it DeSERVET# God's wrath and damnation, &c. this Catechism de. clares, that “ All mankind, by their fall, lost communion with
God; are under his wrath and curse; and so made liable to all the miseries of this life, to death itself, and to the pains of kell for ever."
Lambeth Article, fifth. A justifying faith falleth not away, in the elect, either totally or finally.- Sixth. A man endued with justifying faith, is CERTAIN of the remission of his sins, and of his everlasting salvation by Christ. See the whole.
Synod of Dort, fourth. “ That God, to save his elect from the corrupt mass, doth beget faith in them, by a power equal to that whereby he created the world ; insomuch that they to whom it is given, cannot reject it; and the rest, being reprobate, cannot accept it.”
Eleventh Article of the English Church, altered by the Assembly of Divines, in 1643. “ We are accounted righteous before God, &c.” altered into, “We are justified, that is, accounted righteous , before God, and have remission of sins, freely by his grace,”: &c. : and there is inserted the passage, “ his whole obedience and satisfaction being by God imputed to us."
bisk Articles of 1615. “ The Scripture useth to say, that faith without works, and the ancient fathers of the church to the same purpose, that faith only doth justify us. So that a trte believer may be certain, by the assurance of faith, of the forgiveness of his sins, and of his everlasting salvation by Christ. A true life, by justifying faith, and the sanctifying Spirit of God, is not extinguished, nor vanisheth away, in the regenerate, either finally, or totally."
Calvin's Cammon Prayer Book for Geneva. “The justice of Jesus Christ is imputed to such as, by true faith, cleave unto him."
Assembly's Catechism; or, Confessionalof Scotland. “Q. What benefits do they that are effectUALLY called, partake of in this life? A. Justification, adoption, &c. Q. What is justi. fication ? A. Justification is an act of God's free grace, wherein he pardoneth all our sins, and accepteth us as righteous in his sight, only for the righteousness of Christ imputed to us, and received by faith alone.-Q. What benefits, in this life, ace company justification ? A. Assurance of God's love, increase of grace, and perseverance therein, to the end."
Lambeth Articles. 1. God, from eternity, predestinated certain men to life; certain men he hath REPROBATBD. 2. The moving cause of predestination unto life, is not the foresight of faith, or of good works, &c. but only the good will of God. 7. Saving grace is not given to all mén, &c.; and, 9. It is not in the will or power of every one to be saved.
Synod of Dort. 1. That God, by an absolute decree, hath elected to salvation a very small number of men, without any regard to their faith or obedience whatsoever ; and secluded from saving grace all the rest of mankind, and appointed them by the sure decree, to eternal damnation, without any regard to their infidelity or impenitence.
Irish Articles of 1615. By the same eternal counsel God hath predestinated some unto life, and reprobated some unto death, of both which there is a certain number, &c.
The cause moving God to predestinate unto life, is not the foreseeing of faith, or perseverance, or of good works, or of any thing in the person predestinated, but only the good pleasure of God himself, &c. “ But such as are not predestinated lo salvation, shall finally be condemned for their sins."
Calvin's Common Prayer Book for the English Church at Geo neva. “God, who, of the lost sons of Adam, bath ordained some as vessels of wrath to damnation ; and hath chosen others as vessels of his mercy to be saved." Phoenix, vol. ii. p. 207.
Assembly's Catechism (Shorter, for Youth), set forth ly the Westminster Divines, in the time of Charles the First. “Q. Did .God leave all mankind to perish in the estate of sin and mi.
sery? A. God, having, out of his mere good pleasure, from all eternity, elected some to eternal life, did enter into a covenant of grace, to deliver them out of the state of sin and misery, and to bring them into a state of salvation by a Redeemer.-Q. Who is the Redeemer of God's elect? A. The Redeemer of God's elect, &c.”
Compare these three titles with the whole of our Thirty-nine Articles, and particularly with the ninth, eleventh, and seventeenth, or with the analysis of them offered above, and sea whether they hold a language having even the remotest affinity to such strong, unambiguous Calvinism.