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nine years exile he was restored through the instrumentality of general Monk, after the end of the presidency of Cromwell. The Rev. Mr. Douglas was the first person who proposed his restoration. At his restoration, Charles acted over again the same scene of hypocrisy.
During the government of Cromwell, the Independents, who reject episcopal and presbyterial government, and consider all ecclesiastical power to be vested in the hands of the minister and his congregation, prevailed in England. On the doctrine of the atonement, and indeed in every other point except that of church government, they adopted the creed of the Genevan school. Of this denomination was the Rev. Dr. John Owen, chancellor of Oxford University. He was a man of extraordinary learning, and industry, vast conceptions, profound knowledge of the Christian system, and fervent piety. He wrote and published between eighty and a hundred volumes, all of which were designed to illus, trate the system of redemption, especially the doctrine of atonement. The Socinians, the Arians, the Pelagians, and the Arminians, were the adversaries, against whom he directed his heaviest artillery. His greatest work is a commentary on the epistle to the Hebrews, in four volumes folio. It is a work of stupendous labour, the whole of which may be considered as a dissertation on the doctrine of the atonement; in which he defends from the text of the
apostle and collateral passages of scripture, the infinite dignity of the person of Messiah, who makes the atonement; the infinite value which it possesses, and proves that in its extent and object it is limited to those who were elected by God the Father from all eternity, and given to the Son, to be redeemed by him; and that all others are excluded. This he infers from the doctrine of substitution, illustrated by copious illustrations of the sacrificial ritual of the Jews, from the eternal covenant, from express declarations of scripture and from the justice of God. He also exhibits and amply proves the total depravity of human nature, and the utter incompetency of man to aid himself by his works, or to do any thing by which he can merit salvation. In early life, this
great divine read very extensively the ancient fathers of the church, studied with care the writings of the Jewish rabbins, and was intimate with the poets, philosophers, historians, and metaphysicians of the Grecian republics, and of the Roman empire. His treasures of learning were vast, and his mind of gigantic magnitude, and his conceptions grand. All these were laid under contribution in the execution of this work. Such a monument of learning, divinity, intellect and piety has never been erected by any other writer, to the honour of the British empire. His exercitations alone, preparing the way for his commentary, would fill more than one folio volume. In every work which he has left behind him, we trace the features of the same mighty mind, which fabricated the Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews. Owen may be compared to Du Moulin of France, to Luther of Germany, to Witsius of Holland, to Calvin and Turrettin of Geneva. The nature of his works and their plan did not require him to be so systematic as Turrettin, and his mind was not probably trained to the formation of such a metho. dical digest, as that of the Genevan divine; in other respects, they were very similar to each other, lived at the same time, and, except on the article of church government, fully harmonized in their views of the doctrines of the system of grace. Owen's mind was not so polished nor his imagination so rapid, nor so chaste as that of Calvin; while he entered into the details of the work of redemption with more perspicuity than that divine. He was less copious and eloquent than Du Moulin, but he possessed more energy of native genius, more learning, and was more profound. He was more refined in his views and whole character than Luther, while in the boldness of his investigations, and in the rapidity of his intellectual operations, he was not quite equal to the German reformer. Witsius was more refined, more accurate, and more classical than any of the others, but inferior to them all in intellectual vigour, and depth of learning. The theological works of these five divines form a complete theological Encyclopædia. Men in our day talk of the improved state of thcology. But what are all modern
divines compared to those wonderful men, who with many others of their cotemporaries and predecessors in the work of reformation, exhibited a vastness of mind, and an extent of learning which astonish us? The human mind, at that time, awoke from the slumber of ages, and performed atchievements in exploring the treasures of science and religion, which command the admiration of all lovers of knowledge, while they awaken the gratitude of the pious to the God of grace, for his goodness in raising up such instruments to enlighten that, and each succeeding age.
All that was done by these illustrious men in Britain was almost destroyed by Charles after his restoration. He fell upon
those very men who had been instrumental in his recal with all the merciless rage of persecution, abjuring all his solemn obligations and breaking through ties the most sacred. The earl of Argyle, who placed the crown upon his head, and William Guthrie, a pious divine, who had been very active in his restoration, and had preached his coronation sermon, he beheaded. He embraced the Catholic religion, and shewed that he was animated by all its persecuting spirit. The people, always too ready to follow the example set by princes, together with the great body of the clergy, betrayed the cause of truth into the hands of the enemy.
The revolution which placed William and Mary on the throne of England, established the episcopal form of church government in England, and nominally made the thirtynine articles the standard of doctrine, both in Ireland and England, while presbyterianism was established in Scotland. The sword of persecution was sheathed, but this was the only advantage which the church derived from this event. The profligacy which prevailed in the court during the reign of the house of Stuart, especially the latter part of it, and the general relaxation of principle, have continued to produce the most deplorable effects, ever since the present order of things has been established in Britain. The most monstrous errors and heresies have issued from the bosom of the established church, all which have, either in a greater
or less degree, attacked the doctrine of the atonement. The Arminian error, we have before remarked, early spread into England. Archbishop Laud, who, by his tyrannies, and murders, has rendered his character sufficiently notorious, was one of the greatest patrons of Arminianism. He would willingly have rendered the thirty-nine articles Arminian, but the state of public opinion would not permit him. Though these articles are Calvinistic, and form the creed of the British establishment, it is merely so in name. Men, while they must swear to support them, before they can be elevated to the dignities of either church or state, may and do hold, and publicly avow, sentiments directly hostile to them, even in points of capital importance. Many Arminian writers have attempted to pacify their consciences by elaborate works, designed to prove that in the articles there is nothing absolutely inconsistent with the Arminian creed. A great majority of the clergy of the episcopal church have been avowedly of the Arminian school, and a host of writers have employed their pens in dressing up in a new form, the very arguments of Arminius and his immediate disciples, which had been triumphantly refuted long before by Calvinistic divines, both in Britain and on the continent. At the head of these stands Whitby, who adopts all the doctrines exhibited by the remonstrating Arminians, at the synod of Dort, except that of perfectibility.
What has been experienced in all ages of the church, has been exhibited in the British established church:—those who have been the most clamorous for the moral powers of human nature, and for the efficacy of good works, have been the most deficient in performing them. The church has been overflown with immorality. Even the warmest friends of the episcopal establishment admit, that the life and power of religion have in a great measure departed from the majority of its professors. About the time of the meeting of the assembly of divines at Westminster, and even from the commencement of the reformation in Scotland, the reformers, both clergy and laity, were conspicuous for their attention to the practical duties of religion. The churches
were crowded, the performance of secret prayer, family devotion, and the instruction of children, both by heads of families and the pastors of the congregations, were attended to with great punctuality. Offences were comparatively rare, and discipline was exercised by church officers with vigilance and justice. Mere form was not sufficient to satisfy the Scottish and English reformers; they sought after experimental religion, and knew what it was. The pulpits were not occupied with hollow dissertations, on decency and morality, such as would have been more worthy of Epictetus or Seneca, than of Christian bishops; but the doctrines which improve the heart and promote vital godliness, such as Paul and his fellow apostles taught, were themes dealt upon by the reformed preachers. Men were sensible of their personal weakness and imperfection, acknowledged them, looked to God for aid, and received it. They did not hope to obtain salvation by their own good works, and thus render them hostile to the nature of the gospel dispensation; but relying upon the atonement," practised holiness in the fear of the Lord,” with a view to glorify the Redeemer and make themselves meet for the enjoyment of heaven.
At the time when the royal army and that of Cromwell were encamped against each other, every morning and evening the praises of God were heard along the whole lines of both armies, and prayers were offered up in the tents of the warriors. Modern infidels mock at all this as hypocritical cant, and so do graceless professors,-by which they only proclaim their own ignorance and impiety.
After the work of reformation was, in a great measure, undone, and the Arminian heresy became prevalent, the reverse of all this was exhibited in Great Britain,—on the throne, in the army, in the cabinet, and in the sacred pulpit.
A denial of the doctrine of the divine decrees, and of the definite atonement, was the point at which they began to diverge from the truth in the British islands, as we have seen the reformers doing on the continent; and like the continental backsliders, they did not stop here. The next step was Socinianism. All the Arminians did not indeed become