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in a qualified sense. If it be understood to mean that so great is the value and dignity of his atonement, that through it all might be saved, would they believe, we would assent to it; for sometimes orthodox divines have used the phrase in that sense. But if they mean that he procured actual remission of sin, and restoration to the divine favour, for those who shall eternally perish, the propositions ought to be rejected as erroneous. It can by no means be asserted with truth, that Christ procured the actual remission, of sin and reconciliation, so that by his death all men are reconciled to God, are redeemed and have a right to pardon of sin and eternal life. All the blessings which he procured, were for his sheep, that is for the elect, whom the Father gave to him, to save with an everlasting salvation; to them and not to others do the blessings of his purchase belong."
The Swiss divines say:—that Christ according to the eternal purpose and good pleasure of the Father, procured by his death and obedience, remission of sin, reconciliation with God, restoration to the divine favour, justification before God, salvation or eternal glory, for all the elect and for the elect alone, and of the whole world, since he obtained it for believers, both under the Old and New Testament, so that he will apply it to those very believers for whom he hath procured it. We deny, say they, that according to the eterDal purpose of the Father, or his own, Christ Jesus, hath procured salvation indiscriminately for all men as fallen sinners-We deny that the death of Christ and its fruits can be separated, so that his death was in the room of more than those who are embraced in his resurrection, and intercession. We have learned from the Holy Scriptures, that he was raised for the justification of those for whose offences he was delivered, that he opens for them a way into the heavenly sanctuary, and that “he ever liveth to make intercession for them.”
The divines from the Seven United Provinces, from the Netherlands, from Nassau, and from Geneva, all exhibit substantially the same view of these important subjects. We should be astonished that all the reformed divines, from
countries so widely separated from each other, speaking different languages, and raised under different forms of government, of different manners, should so admirably harmo. nize, were it not that they all drew their doctrines from the same fountain of divine truth.
These views were exhibited to the synod; in relation to a paper presented by the disciples of Arminius, in which they assert that Christ died for all men indiscriminately, that that there were none eternally elected to everlasting life, by an unchangeable decree, that Christ died. for all, without any definitive object. There never has been so general an expression of the opinions of the protestant churches on the doctrine of the atonement since the commencement of the reformation. The ultimate decision of the synod, was substantially the same with that delivered by the delegates from the various protestant churches which were there represented. The Arminian doctrines were condemned as erroneous. They drew up a remonstrance against this decision. Hence they were called Remonstrants, and after the close of the synod, became exceedingly clamorous, complaining that they had been treated unfairly in not being permitted to exhibit an ample view of the ground, which they occupied. The doctrines of Arminius had taken deep root, they were too well adapted to flatter human depravity, and to the opinions of the catholic church, to be eradicated by the decisions of the synod of Dort. If we are to credit the historians of that time, they spread more rapidly after the synod than they had done before. Nearly all the protestant churches were more or less affected by them. They found their way into France, and in the end produced the most deplorable consequences. We now invite the reader's attention to France.
Very soon after the commencement of the reformation in Germany, the eyes of a few people in that kingdom were opened to the truth. · The Old and New Testaments were translated from the original Greek and Hebrew, into the French language by Oliveton, Calvin's uncle. So great was his assiduity that he completed the work in one year from its
commencement. Vatablus, regius professor of Hebrew, had prevailed upon Clement Marot to translate fifty of the psalms of David. The remainder were translated by Theodore Beza. The use of the psalms in divine worship, instead of the light trash composed by mere men, which had before been chaunted by popish worshippers, must have had a happy effect in opening the eyes of many to the true way of salvation. The effects of translating the Scriptures into the verpacular languages of Europe, were always, to teach many to abandon every reliance upon the absolution of the priests, the penances and remonstrances of the Church of Rome, to which they had formerly resorted for quieting their consci. ence, and to fly to the atoning sacrifice of Christ Jesus for the pardon of their sins.
Previously to the establishment of the Genevan school, little more progress had been made by the reformation in France, than what was just sufficient to provoke persecution, by which, as we have before stated, Calvin was compelled to fly from his native country. In no country on the continent, except Holland and the Swiss Cantons, did the Genevan school produce a more powerful effect, than in France. This might be partly owing to its contiguity, and partly to the circumstance that both Calvin and Beza were patives of France and received their education there. There were their friends, and the greater number of their correspondents. Their theological works were immediately translated into French, and circulated extensively through the kingdom. Their lectures were carried into France, became generally known, and the doctrines which they taught were embraced by thousands of all ranks. The youth, who among the reformers, consecrated themselves to the gospel ministry, were ambitious to hear the lectures of the Genevan professors, and profit by their instructions.
Ten years after the arrival of Beža at Geneva, the first general synod of the reformed church was held at Paris, and was a large, learned, and pious body, zealously attached to the cause of reformation. At this synod a Confession of Faith for the Gallic reformned church was presented and ex
amined. It consisted of forty articles, which are well arrang. ed, and generally exhibit correct and lucid views of the christian system.
In the fifth article they adopt unequivocally the Athanasian creed, give their own views to the same effect of the doctrine of the trinity, and condemn the heresies against which Athanasius, Hilary, Cyril, and Ambrose wrote. In the eighth article they say:—" We deny that God is the author of sin, or that the blame of things done amiss, can be laid upon him.” The ninth article treats of the depravity of human nature, concerning which we have these words:“ His," man's, “nature has become altogether defiled, and being blind in his understanding, and corrupt in his heart, he hath utterly lost the integrity in which he was created.” In article tenth, they speak to the same effect. “We believe,” say they, “ that all the offspring of Adam are affected with the contagion of original sin:” and in the next article they go on to say, “we believe that this stain of original sin is sin indeed; for it hath that mischievous power in it, to con. demn all mankind, even infants that are unborn.” The twelfth article treats of the delivery which God has provided, to rescue his people from this evil. “ We believe," they say, " that out of this general corruption and condemnation, into which all men are plunged, God doth deliver them whom he hath in his eternal and unchangeable counsel chosen of his mere goodness and mercy, through our Lord Jesus Christ, without any consideration of their good works, leaving the rest in their sins and damnable estate.” The following article speaks of the person, who wrought out this salvation, in the following words:-“We believe Jesus Christ, being the wisdom and eternal Son of God the Father, took
upon him our nature, so that he is in one person, God and man."
The confession, which contains these views of the original depravity of human nature, rendering an atonement necessary, of the atonement itself, and of the person who made it, was written by John Calvio, and published by order of the reformed church in France, in 1556; but its solemn and final
ratification did not take place until the year 1571, at Rochelle, where a general synod was held that year. Beza presided in this synod, which was truly a venerable and illustrious body, and honoured with the presence of many persons of great distinction. At this ratification it was made a term of communion, by unanimous consent and with the full approbation of the protestant princes of the kingdom. It had been before its adoption, shown to Francis II. and to Louis IX. The act of ratification was signed by Jane, queen of Navarre, Henry, prince of Berne, Henry de Bourbon, prince of Condé, Louis, count of Nassau, and Sir Gasper de Colligne, high admiral of France. Thus ratified it was ordered that it should be read at the opening of every general synod, by which excellent regulation it was hoped that the ministers, who attended those synods, would have the system of doctrine continually before them in all their proceedings. The condition of the reformed church at that period, was in a high degree flourishing, and its increase had been surprisingly rapid. There were two thousand one hundred and fifty organized congregations, in many of which there were no less than six ministers, constantly employed in the performance of parochial duties, as was the case in that of Orleans, which had seven thousand communicants. Such was their number, their power, their wealth, their activity, and so many princes and princesses of high rank were there, who espoused the cause of the reformers, that the government though popish, of a high tone and absolutely despotic, was compelled to respect them.
Henry, prince of Navarre, was a protestant, and his influence and powers were at first, all exerted to promote the views of the reformers. He attended at the synods, and gave them his countenance. Upon the death of the king, he by the laws of hereditary succession had a right to the crown, but by the constitution of the empire, it was impossible for him; or, more correctly, because the great majority of the nobility and great families were Roinan catholics, it was impossible for him to ascend the throne, unless he professed the Roman catholic religion, on which condition the