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versy, between the followers of Luther and those of Zwingliusj but not as to the present question. His celebrity in this line, seems to have begun with the rude attack made on him in the face of his congregation, by Jerome Balsec, a physician. Thi9 was in the autumn of 1551: but the articles of the Church of England had been drawn up early in that year, and were in the hands of some of the bishops for their consideration. They were sanctioned and published two years afterwards.
Perhaps it will occur, that there had been previously edited the celebrated work of Calvin, called " The Institutions of the Christian Religion:" in which, as it is now before the world, his system is displayed to the extent. This might have weight, were we sure that there was the like display in the original work: but of this there is here entertained a doubt. It was edited in 1535; and as it then appeared, it is called a Sketch by Bayle, who quotes Beza, calling it " Opus longe Maximi Rudimentum." The larger work appeared in 1558. At first, the Institutions consisted of only twenty-one chapters; at present there are eighty chapters, comprehended in four books.
The decisions of the Council of Trent were consummated at about the time of the enacting of the Articles of the Church of England. Mosheim represents the influence of Calvin as very limited, when that Council sat: and evidence of this may be seen in the circumstance, that when the different speakers animadvert on supposed errours, they never mention his name; however often the names of Luther and Zwinglius come in their way.
What seems to give considerable weight to the present statement is, the long and intimate correspondence which had been carried on of Cranmer and other eminent divines of the Church of England, with sundry of the Lutheran divines: and not only this, but an actual copying of passages of the Confessions of Augsburg and Wirtemberg, into the 39 Articles; as will appear on a comparing of the former instruments with the Latin copy of the last of them.
The Confession of Augsburg had been given to the world above twenty years before the reformation of the Church of England. It was drawn up by Melancthon, whose dissent from the theory in question is well known. And it is worth while to observe, that near to the time of instituting the Articles, a professorship of divinity in one of the English universities was kept vacant for a considerable time, with the expectation of its being filled by this great and amiable man.
At about the same period, there was an order issued by the government, that in every Church there should be kept, for the reading of the people, a copy of the paraphrase of the New Testament, by Erasmus. It is but to consult this work to perceive the anti-Calvinistick tendency of the passages which come under notice in the Calvinistick controversy.
But independently on all these considerations, it ought to be sufficient to produce the 36th Article, and some of the Prayers; such as, (to name but one,) the prayer of the Consecration of the elements in the Eucharist. That the oblation of Christ was for the sins of the whole world, and that it was for a part of the world .wily, are positions which can never be brought to harmonize.
It is an errour frequently made on the present subject, to appeal to the sentiments of some Calvinistick divines who flourished in the reign of queen Elisabeth. This is not relevant to the question. If it were as to the binding operation of the Articles in England, the appeal ought certainly to be to the act of Parliament made in the reign of the said queen, and prefixed to the Book of Common Prayer; and not to the act in the reign of Edward, which had been repealed in that of Mary. But when, the question is concerning the meaning of the Articles, it is of importance to know the sentiments of divines who were not living under Elisabeth.
This is not said as admitting that Calvinism was predominant in the beginning of her reign. On the contrary, it is here believed, that the theory, although it had been gradually progressing, did not become prevalent until about the time of the controversy in Cambridge, which led to the framing of the Lambeth Articles. Before that time, Baroe, in his divinity lectureship of the same university, had been in the habit of teaching doctrines repugnant to the theory, and without interruption.
I hope that these strictures will be received in the friendly spirit in which they are made. And I am, Mr. Editor, Your very humble servant, * A SUBSCRIBER.
THE Editor presents his thanks to a very respectable and learned Subscriber for the above communication; on which he would only take the liberty to remark, that when the Christian Observer in the passage in question states it to be his opinion, that " the private sentiments of our reformers were what are now termed Calvinistick," he must either have alluded to some of the divines who put a finishing hand to the English reformation in the reign of Elisabeth, by resettling the Church; or meant only those articles of the Church which are termed Calvinistick by some divines of the present and two last centuries, though held by the first fathers of the English Church in common with Calvin. It is only in one or the other of these senses, that the Editor admits the opinion of the Christian Observer.
That the framers of the Articles in the reign of Edward VI. were materially influenced either by the authority or writings of Calvin, is not to be admitted: our Subscriber's arguments are unanswerable on this head. To which it may be added, that the discriminating doctrines of what is called pure Calvinism, and are delivered in Calvin's Institutes, are not to be found in the writings oi the first founders of the English Churoh. We read not in them, that the fall of Adam was the effect of a divine decree; that the effectual offer of salvation is limited to a chosen few; w« read not of unconditional predestination; of pretention or reprobation; irrc* riitible grace, ovjinal perseverance.
The Editor confesses that he has met with nothing in the writings of the first English reformers to countenance these opinions. Let the learned and holy martyr, bishop Latimer, speak for all his cotemporaries on some of these points. In a sermon on the Gospel for the second Sunday in Advent, he says, treating on the general judgment—" ' Go, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, which is prepared for the devil and all his angels;' get you henc« from me; for ye might have been saved, but ye would not: ,ye despised my words and commandments: ye regarded more your own pleasure, than that which I had commanded you," &c. \gain, in a sermon on the 33d Sunday after Trinity, he has these words; "For Christ only, and no man else, merited remission, justification, and eternal felicity, for as many as will believe the same: they that will not believe it, shall not have it; for it is no more, but believe and have. For Christ shed as much blood for Judas as he did for Peter. Peter believed, and therefore was saved; Judas would not believe, and therefore he was condemned; the fault lying in him only, and nobody else." Again, in a sermon preached on the first Sunday after the Epiphany, " Deus vult omnes homines salvos fieri;" " God would have All men to be saved: but the fault is in ourselves, and in our own madness, that had rather have damnation, than salvation." Again, in a sermon on the third Sunday after the Epiphany—" Think that God has chosen those that believe in Christ, and that Christ is the book of Life. If thou believest in him, then thou art written in the book of life, and shalt be saved. So we need not go about to trouble ourselves with curious questions of the predestination of Godi but let us rather endeavour ourselves, that we may be in Christ; for when we be in him, then are we well, and then we may be assured that we are ordained to eternal life. But you will say, how .shall I know that I am in the book of life? how shall I try myself to be elect of God to everlasting life? I answer; first, we may know that we may one time be in the book, and another time come out again, as it appeareth by David, who was written in the book of life: but when he sinned, he at that same time was out of the book of the favour of God, until he had repented and was sorry for his faults. So we may be in the book one time, and afterwards, when we forget God and his word, and do wickedly, we come out of the book, that is, out of Christ, which is the book; and in that lxtok are written all believers." Sec. Sec.
From these and many other similar passages, it appears evidently, that the extremes of the Calvinistick system were not mbraced by our first reformers; whilst, at the same time, it ia ,-qually evident, that they contended earnestly for what are geneally styled the doctrines of grace, as contained in the Articles,nd which are thought by many to wear the milder features of : Calvinistick system, or rather to coincide with it in those Vol. L—No, II, 3 T
point's which all consistent protestants conceive to be grounded en the Scriptures-. Ed.
FOR THE THEOLOGICAL MAGAZINE.
A'Commentatg on (he Questions in the Offices for th~e Ordaining of Priests and Deacons.
OFFICE FOR &EACOJVS.
QvxsfloN I. "DO you trust that you are inwardly moved by the Holy Ghost, to take upon you this office and ministration, to serve God for the promoting of his glory, and the edifying of his people?"
In proportion ts the solemnity of this appeal to the conscience, there should be care* on the one hand, not to adopt any expedient for thfe lessening of the responsibility designed to be brought on the candidate, and on the other hand, not to suppose that there is exacted a species of call of which not a single instance appears ©n record in the NeW Testament. Accordingly there may be a propriety in delaying the attention for a while, on the force of the expression, " I trust." It is not Uncommon to hear this question appealed tOj in order to prove, that the Church requires an absolute assurance of a divine call to the ministerial office. Were there indeed- an inward call, alike clear with that outward call Which St. Paul heard on his journey to Damascus; it would become the person receiving it, in imitation of the same apostle, who-" conferred not with flesh and blood," to enter on his office without the consent ot man. But the whole scheme of the Christian ministry, as framed by the apostles, and handed down to us in succession, implies the intervention of an ecclesiastical order, designated for the purpose. Accordingly, as the question of the candidate's fitness for the office, is not subjected altogether to the test of a consciousness in his own mind; eo, in reference to what passes there, as duly pointed to its object, he is expected to declare, not his assurance, but his trust. And indeed, the Church by making mis the ground of her proceeding, rejects the other; whichj-if there were any warrant for it, ought to have been noticed and demanded.
Very important, however, is the appeal made, under the expression which the service uses: and very awful is the responsibility involved in the reference to the Holy Spirit. It will be no difficult matter to ascertain what the Church means, when she -warrants the ascribing of any religious disposition of the mind to so high an agency. The scriptures assure us, Eph. v. 9. * that the fruits of the Spirit we in all goodness, and righteousness, and timth.' In Gal. v. 22. the fruits of the Spirit are described more at large. And the passages are many, in which there is attributed to the Spirit of grace whatever is holy and good in man. <Our Church, keeping in view this evangelical truth, recognises it continually in her service. If then, agreeably to the expressions which follow in the question of serving God for the promoting of his glory, and the edifying of his people, a man be desirous of taking on him the ministerial office, under a sufficient knowledge of the purposes for which it was instituted, accompanied by a. due regard to them; and if he be desirous of devoting his time, his talents, and his labours, to so holy and benevolent a use; • surely it is not less to be ascribed to the holy Spirit, than any good work which he can perform.
But, to place this matter in a more practical point of view, let it be inquired, what are the grounds on which, after an investigation of the evidences of being moved by the Holy Ghost, in the sense which has been unfolded, there may be either assurance of the negative, or a modest trust in the affirmative.
If the motive be either wealth or maintenance, it is corrupt; coming under the censure which St. Peter passes on those who undertake the ministry "for filthy lucre's sake." If it be the effect of ambition, and for the display of any talent which may be possessed, it is indeed not so sordid as the other, but not in the least more holy.
There is no need to enumerate the improper passions which may actuate the heart of man: of all which we may pronounce, that the motive cannot be correct, if there be any trait of character which, if known, would throw dishonour on the calling. Gn the scriptural principle of there being *' no communion of light with darkness," the Holy Spirit cannot dwell under such an alienation from the genius of the Christian ministry; and therefore, under the disqualification of such a circumstance, cannot move to it.
Further; if there be not, in addition to this absence of every foul stain, a bent of mind that disposes to devotion; that takes delight in the truths, and in the consolations of religion; that rejoices in whatever extends her influence, and grieves at any thing by which she is dishonoured; it is impossible that a person to whom this is wanting can be moved by the Holy Ghost, to interest himself in her concerns, or to administer in her offices.
But if a man desirous of the ministry, should believe, on an honest inquiry into his heart, that in sincerity, although doubtless mixed with imperfection, he is desirous of discharging his duty to God and man; if he should be not sensible of any known sin, that cats him off from the benefits of the Christian covenant, and ought therefore to bar him from the Christian ministry; if he do not feel himself prompted, either by the love of gain, or by the love of honour; although under *he former head he may lawfully look, with moderation, to the supply of the wants of himself and «f his family} and, wider the latter, he may enjoy any reputation