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the most precious body and blood of his own most dear and beloved son Jesus Christ, who, besides this ransom, fulfilled the law for us perfectly.” Again-" The end of his (Christ's) coming was to save and deliver his people, to fulfil the law for us, &c.” Still more explicitly it states the formal cause of our justification to be," the gracious imputation of God the Father, accounting his Son's righteousness unto the sinner, and by that account making it his to all effects, as if he himself had performed it." No sophistry cap explain away, no art elude the force of this explicit declaration. On the subject of the extent of the ransom, or in relation to those for whom the ransom was offered, there is nothing very explicit in the articles; but it may be asked, how can the law be“ perfectly fulfilled," and the ransom fully paid to divine justice for any sinner, and yet that sinner, to all eternity, be compelled to suffer, in his own person, the punishment due to his sins, and thus pay a second time the ransom, which Christ had paid for him in his life and at his death? Is not this to offer an indignity to divine justice, and to represent God as doing that which a virtuous man would not do? It may be said the raosom is paid and liberation offered to the sinner in the gospel, but that he by
unbelief rejects the offered salvation, and thus must suffer · for the rejection. This would not solve the difficulty with respect to the heathen who have never heard of Christ Jesus. Again, with respect to those who hear the gospel, their rejection is a sin, and if Christ paid the ransom for all the sins of all mankind, he must have satisfied for this sin. But if it be said he satisfied justice for all sins except uobe. lief, what then is gained by his satisfaction for only a part of our sins? Nothing surely. But every man is guilty of unbelief until the day in which he believes; hence, as according to the homilies, all his sins are pardoned on account of the righteousness of Christ, his past unbelief, must have been atoned for; and hence Christ must have made satisfaction for this as well as other sins. It is impossible then to make the homilies consistent with themselves, without attributing to them the doctrine of a definite atonement.
That such was the opinion of their compilers, there can be little doubt.
This is farther elucidated by the doctrine which they teach relative to the regeneration of the sinner. The homily for rogation week, hath these words:-“Let us, there . fore meekly call upon that bountiful Spirit, the Holy Ghost, which proceedeth from our Father of mercy, and from our mediator Christ, that he would assist us, and inspire us with his presence, for without his lively and secret inspiration, can we pot so much as speak in the name of our mediator." This cannot mean merely the calling upon God with our mouths in the name of Christ, but must be understood of the prayer of the heart offered up to God through the Redeemer, which can proceed from the inspiration of the Holy Ghost only. To the same purpose speaks the homily on "a fruitful exhortation to the reading and knowledge of the Holy Scriptures.” “ The words of the Holy Scripture, be called words of everlasting life, for they be God's instrument ordained for the same purpose. They have power to turn us through God's promise, and they be effectual through God's assistance, and, being received in a faithful heart, they have ever an heavenly and spiritual working in thein.” Again, the homily for Whitsuntide:-“ He that is the Lord of heaven and earth, of his great mercy so work in all men's hearts, by the mighty power of the Holy Ghost, that the comfortable gospel of his son Christ, may be truly preached, truly received, and truly followed in all places.” Farther:-“ Man's human and worldly wisdom and science, is not needful to the understanding of the scripture, but the revelation of the Holy Ghost, who inspireth the true meaning unto them, that with humility and diligence search therefor.". The seventeenth article, bears testimony to the same truth. “ The godly consideration of predestination, and our election in Christ, is full of sweet, pleasant and unspeakable comfort to godly persons, and such as feel in themseves the working of the spirit of Christ mortifying the deeds of the flesh.” Besides a very distinct assertion of the doctrine that the Holy Spirit works in us to the sav.
ing of the soul, we have here the doctrine of predestination, and of our election in Christ distinctly taught. A host of writers who have explained these articles, and who have exhibited their views of the doctrines of grace, might be quoted to the same effect: the works of divines who have been an ornament not only to the English church, but also to human nature. Now, how can Christ have fully paid the ransom, for those for whom he died, they be utterly unable to accept of the offer of salvation made in consequence of this payment, and the Holy Ghost's agency be necessary in the application of the purchased redemption, while Christ should be said to have died for millions, who never heard of this salvation, and for millions who have heard of it, to whom, yet the Holy Ghost, who alone can apply it by working faith in the hearts, never does, and never will apply it? Are not all the operations of all the persons of the Trinity in harmony with each other? Surely. If God the Father willed the salvation of all men, and sent his Son to die for all men; if the Son willed the salvation of all and died for all, shall not the Holy Ghost also will the salvation of all? Most assuredly. But how can he be supposed to will the salvation of those to whom he does not apply the salvation which Christ has procured for them? There could not be a greater absurdity, unless it be the other side of the question, that though both God the Father and God the Son, wills the salvation of all, yet the Holy Ghost opposes their will and refuses to apply that salvation which the Father and Son wish him to apply. To make the homilies speak the language of Arminius, or even to maintain that they may be fairly interpreted in such a manner as to admit those who profess a belief in them to hold the Arminian errors, is to attribute to them impious absurdities. Yet strange as it may seem, thousands who have solemnly declared their approbation of them, hold even worse than all the errors of Arminianism.
Yet it must be admitted that the doctrine of a definite atonement, though fairly inferable from them, is not explicitly stated in the articles. Either the framers, had not
themselves very distinct views on the subject, which is far from improbable, or they purposely expressed themselves in a manner not very definite. We shall hereafter see, that the consequences of this loose manner of expression have not been less fatal in England than on the continent-that a flood of errors has poured into the church, to the destruction of both truth and holiness.
While the reformation was thus progressing in England, it was also continuing to advance rapidly in North Britain. The power of its enemies was gradually becoming more feeble. The continual civil wars rather promoted than retarded its progress. All the violent opposition of Queen Mary and her popish friends could not check its growth; even the very means which they devised for its destruction, accelera
ted its progress.
The Genevan confession of faith was adopted and sanctioned by the Scottish reformers. This instrument is very brief, but the doctrine of the atonement is fully and explicitly stated, so as that it cannot be misunderstood. Indeed it seems to have been justly considered the grand centre from which all the other doctrines of Christianity radiate. After exhibiting distinctly the doctrine of the Trinity, as at present taught in all the Calvinistic branches of the church, in the first article; the second article, is expressed in these words:
“I believe, and confess Jesus Christ, the only Saviour and Messias, who being equal with God, made himself of no reputation but took on him the shape of a servant, and became man, in all things like unto us, sin excepted, to assure us of mercy and forgiveness, for when, through our father Adam's transgression, we were become children of perdition, there was no means to bring us from that yoke of sin and damnation, but only Jesus Christ our Lord, who giving us that grace, which was by his nature, made us through taith the children of God-and, forasmuch as he, being only God, could not feel death; neither being only man, could overcome death, he joined both together, and suffered his humanity to be punished with death, feeling in
himself the anger and severe judgment of God, even as if he had been in the extreme torments of hell, and therefore cried with a loud voice, · My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?'
“ Thus of his free mercy, without compulsion, he offered himself as the only sacrifice to purge the sins of all the world; so that all other sacrifices for sin are blasphemous, and derogate from the sufficiency hereof."
The doctrines of faith and regeneration, through the agency of the Holy Ghost, are the same with those taught by the standards of the English church. Indeed there can be no doubt, however many members of the British establishment employ their time in attempts to degrade Calvin, that the doctrines taught in the Articles and Homilies were originally derived partly from Geneva.
The Genevan confession, from which those extracts are taken, was adopted at an early period of the Reformation in Scotland, but the Scotch reformers did not stop here; they formed, for themselves a confession of faith which was adopted, as the Confession of Faith for the kingdom, by the parliament in the year 1560. It contains a very full and lucid exhibition of the Christian system; and is perhaps more perfect than any similar instrument formed by any of the churches, in the sixteenth century. That the views which it contains were chiefly derived from the Genevan school, through the instrumentality of Knox, there can be no doubt, as it was adopted nine years after he was invited by the nobility to return to Scotland, before which time he had been at Geneva.
The third article treats of original sin; and is in these words:-“ By which transgression” (that of Adam)“ commonly called original sin, was the image of God utterly defaced in man, and he and his posterity of nature become enemies to God, slaves to satan, servants to sin; insomuch that death everlasting hath had, and shall have, power and dominion over all that have not been, are not or shall not be regenerated from above; which regeneration is wrought by the power of the Holy Ghost, working in the hearts of