Sidor som bilder

« Isaac, was by legasie and testament, given unto Jacob and his posterities. * « St. Paule useth this example of Jacob and Esau for none other purpose but to “ take awaie from the Jews, the thing that they most put their trust in, to say, « the vaine hope they had in the carnall linage, and natural descent from the « family and houshold of Abraham, and likewise their false confidence they had “ in the keeping of the law of Moses. Paule's whole purpose is, in the Epistle, " to bring man unto a knowledge of his sinne, and to shew hina how it maye bee « remitted, and with manye testimonies and examples of the scripture, hee pror“ eth man to be saved, only by mercy, for the merits of Christ. Which is appre« prehended and received by faith, as he at large sheweth in the 3, 4, and 5 “ chapters of the same epistle."

We must add also an extract from Bishop Latimer, not only as it shews his opinion of these rigid doctrines, but as it strongly entorces that salutary caution with which our 17th article concludes. - Furthermore, we must receive God's promises in such wise, as they be generally set forth to us in holy scripture. And in our duings, that will of God is to be followed, which we have expressly declared unto us in the word of God."

· « In his sermon on the third Sunday after Epiphany, he says t,“ We read « in the Apostles (Acts xiii, 48.) that when St. Paule had mare a long sermon at “ Antioch, there beleeved (saith the Evangelist) as many as were ORDAINED TO life everlasting: with the which saying a great number of people have been “ offended, and have said, we perceive, that onely those shall come to belecve “ and so to everlasting lite, which are chosen of God unto it: therefore it is no “ matter whatsoever we doe, for if we be chosen to everlasting life we shall have “ it, and so they have opened a door unto themselves of all wickednesse and car“ nall liberty against the true meaning of the scripture. For if the inost part be “ damned, the fault is not in God, but in themselves : for it is written, God * WOULD THAT ALL MEN SHOULD BE SAVED; but they themselves procure their “ own damnation, and despise the passion of Christ, by their own wicked and ** inordinate living. Heere we may learn to keepe us from all curious and dan“ gerous questions, when we heard that some be chosen and some be damned : « let us have good hope that we shall be amongst the chosen, and live after this « hope, that is uprightly and godly, then shalt thou not be deceived. Think that « God hath chosen those that believe in Christ, and that Christ is the booke só of life. If thou beleevest in him, then thou art written in the booke of life, ." and shall be saved. So we need not go about to trouble ourselves with curious * questions on the predestination of God, but let us rather endeavour ourselves “ that we may be in Christ; for when we be in hin, then are we well, and then “ we may be sure that we are ordained to everlasting life."

The 5th section considers the difference in opinion on this subject between those who were imprisoned by Queen Mary. Dr. W. here satisfactorily shews that even they whose sentiments of election approached nearly to those of Calvin did not conceive our article to coincide with them, as otherwise they would have urged it in their favor, and that Bradford who was the most learned, and as it were the head of that party, could not prevail on his fellow prisoners and co-martyrs, Archbishop Cranmer, and the Bishops Ridley and Latimer, to sanction a statement of this doctrine which he laid before them. But having * Rom. ix. 11. &c. † P. 311, 312. P. 208.


been already so copious in our extracts, we must, for the matter contained in this section, refer to the tract itself.

We cannot, however, deny ourselves the satisfaction of inserting " the conclusion" of this valuable work, as is states shortly the history of The article, and clearly proves that the doctrine contained in it cannot fairly be urged by the Calvinists as supporting their rigid notions.

“THE CONCLUSION --The several periods of time proper to be considered, in order to give a full history of our XVIIth Article, and the doctrine it contains, are---First, the period immediately preceding the Reformation. --Secondly, the commencement of the Rerormation under Henry VIII.--Thirdly, the progress thade in it during the time of Edward VI--Fourthly, the completion of it in Elizabeth's time--And fifthly, the several struggles with regard to this doctrine, during the reiins of James I. and Charles I.

** The learned * Dean of Gloucester has considered the first period, and, by way of consequence, "lavsit down as a most solenin truth, that at the time just .“ preceding the Reformation, the church of Rome, in respect to predestination; " grace, freewill, and perseverance, was truly Calvinistical.” He has likewise stated both sides of the questions relating to the Five Points, and compared them severally with the publick othces of the church of England, in her liturgy; and clearly evinced, that in them she has given no countenance to the Calvinis. tical sense of thein.

« These papers are confined to the times of Henry VIII, and Edward VI. The first notice that is taken of the rigid doctrine of predestination is in the ye. CESSARY DOCTRINE, &c. where it is carefully guarded against, by establishing a different doctrine. This work was a publick act of the church at that time, confirmed by act of Parliament. The same persons that were concerned at this period of the Reformation, were the principal agents in the more happy one of Edward VI. Here the work went on with the full concurrence of the Crown, The articles, homilies, and liturgy were now framed and established: CRANMER was the great superintender of the whole. The articles were principally his work, aided and assisted with the learning and abilities of RIDLEY. The article under consideration was first suggested to them by MELANCTHON, and the shocking consequences drawn from the rigid doctrine by the GOSPELLERS here made it more immediately necessary to be taken notice of in the confession drawn up for the use of the church of England. The XVIIth Article therefore was intended as a guard both against their doctrine and the consequences they drew from it. The moderation with which it was drawn is admirable. Calvin was now carrying on the Reformation with great vigour, and at the same time establishing his doctrine of the divine decrces with no less. His great use in lowering the power of the church of Rome, and forwarding the Reformation, obliged our Reformers to exercise their usual moderation in framing this article. They define the doc trine in the words of scripture, without any comment of their own; with great aldress distinguish out two different senses of the doctrine; show us the way how we are to judge ourselves included under the one, and point out the fatal consequences of the other; and at last rcfer us to God's promises as generally set forth in the holy scripture, and direct us to the proper rule of our lives and conversation.

" Concurrent with the Articles the Reformation of the Ecclesiastical Laws was carried on. CRANMER was at the head of this work likewise. After laying down the positive doctrines of the gospel, the REFORMATIO LEGUM proceeds to guard against the heresies. Several of these are particularly mentioned. Amongst the rust the riyi'I doctrine of predestination, with the consequences drawn from it, has a place. Here the whole is more explicit than in the article. By the

manner of drawing up this chapter, it appears that our Reformers were more i intent upon guarding against the fatal consequences of this doctrine, than in det

* Dean Tucker in his letters to Dr. Kippis, p. 81, &c.


livering one of their own. In short, it is probable that they were more particular in this Digest of the Ecclesiastical Laws, as it was intended for the internal regimen of the church; whereas the Articles were considered not only in that light, but as a declaration to the church of Rome, and the rest of the Christian world, that when we threw off her yoke, we professed the doctrine of the gospel.

Both before and during the time of drawing up the Articles and Ecclesiastical Laws, LATIMER and HOOPER, in their popular discourses, were guarding the people against the rigid doctrine and its fatal consequences.---Last of all, when Bradford, in consequence of the disputes annongst the prisoners in Queen Mary's time, drew up a state of this doctrine to be laid before them, and applied to CRANMER, RIDLEY, and LATIMER to give their sanction to it; these three bishops refused to sign it, judging, no doubt, that he had gone too far.

“ Upon the whole, it cannot be imagined that our Article was drawn up agreeable to the principles of CALVIN.

* The last period, under the reigns of Elizabeth, Jaines I. and Charles I. is fully considered by the learned * Dr. Waterland. During this period many of our divines having, under Queen Mary's persecution, been thrown into the bosom of Calvin;--and in James's time the remarkable transactions at the synod of Dort happening ;--and lastly, during the reign of Charles, the Calvinistical principles having taken decp root amongst us, and these adopted by many of the leaders in the civil factions of the time; all these together introduced many subtilties and distinctions into this subject, which were unknown to the simplicity of our Reformers.

“ During this period the Calvinists were so little satisfied, that our Articles came up to their doctrines, that they were frequently calling for additions to them, to make them speak agreeably to their minds.”

. * Supplement to the Arian Subscription, p. 43, &c.

An Abridgement of the Lord Bishop of Lincoln's Elements of Christian

Theology, for the use of Families : containing proofs of the authenticity and inspiration of the Holy Scriptures; a summary of the History of the Jews; a brief statement of the contents of the several books of the Old and New Testaments; a short account of the Eng. lish Translations of the Bible, and of the Liturgy; and a Scriptura! Exposition of the Thirty-nine Articles of Religion. By the Rev. S. Clapham, M. A. Vicar of Christ Church, Hampshire, and of Great Ouseborne, near Knaresborough, Yorkshire. Octavo p. p. 707.

W E have long delayed noticing this very excellent publication; but

V we have all along consoled ourselves with the reflection, that it needed not our recommendation. The Author, the Bishop of Lincoln, is universally considered as one of the highest ornaments of our Church. His polished and engaging manners, his profound learning and universal knowledge, his uniform conduct and professional zeal have gained him the reverence and affection, not merely of the clergy of his diocese and the gentlemen in his neighbourhood, but of every friend to the establishment acquainted with his character and his

Supplem. to Vol. V. Churchm. Mag. Jan. 1804. 30 writings,

writings. The work, of which the Volume before us is an abridgement, was written principally for the use of candidates for holy orders. That it might be rendered more generally useful, and give information to many, to whom in its original form, it would, from its price, have been not merely inaccessible, but from the supposed nature of its contents, altogether unknown, the amiable Author permitted it to appear in a more popular shape, and enabled families, for whose use it is abridged, to purchase it at the very easiest


This Abridgement is executed with great judgment. However celebrated Mr. Clapham might be hy his professional studies, to fulfil the task he had undertaken; we are not to suppose that the learned Prelate would allow a production of such distinguished reputation to he presented to the world under a different appearance, without his previous examination and superintendence. This, without having any means of knowing, we presume to be the fact. Be that as it may, the Abridgment is not merely unexceptionable, but is entitled to the highest praise. We design in this account of it, to confine ourselves solely to the eloquent introduction, of which we shall give an analysis: in our next, we shall proceed to an examination of the work itself. And we are induced to this, because the introduction sets, forth in a very plain and perspicuous, yet in a very pleasing and elegant style, the great usefulness of the book, pointing out, at the same time, the several classes of people for whose service it is peculiarly designed.

The Bishop, in his prcface which Mr. Clapham quotes, says, “ In treating of the Old Testament, I have begun with proving the authen. ticity and inspiration of the books of which it consists, and have entered into thesc subjects at considerable length. In the second chapter, I have given a very brief account of the contents of the sacred books of the Old Testament, and have mentioned the respective authors, and the times when they lived. In the historical books, I have stated the period which they comprchend, and the principal facts which they relate; and in the prophetical books, I have enumerated the prophecies they contain, and the few particulars which are known concerning the prophets themselves. The third chapter is an abridgment of the history of the Old Testament; and as a connection between the Old and New Testaments, and to make the historical parts of the new Testament more intelligible, the history of the Jews is continued down to the destruction of Jerusalem. The fourth chapter of this part contains an account of the Jewish sects.”

“The first chapter of the Second Part is upon the canon and inspiration, the thirty following Chapters contain a separate account, of the Books of the New Testament. I have mentioned the place from which each was published, or from which it was written; its date; the cause or design of its being written; its contents, and such other particulars as belong to the respective Books. The last Chapter of this part is an abridgement of the New Testament History. The first Chapter of the Third Part contains a short account of the English translations of the Bible. The second Chapter is upon the

Liturgy; Liturgy, and the remainder of the Volume is devoted to an Exposition of the Thirty-nine Articles, of the Church of England. In this Exposition I have taken every sentence, and endeavoured to explain or prove it, as the case required; so that there is not a single proposion in these articles, the truth of which I have not attempted to establish.”

“ The subjects,” Mr. Clapham observes, " which solicit the attention of the reader, are, indeed, so important in their nature, and so interesting in their consequences, that it must be the wish of every man, convinced of their truth, and living under their influence, to introduce them to the acquaintance, and familiarize them to the minds of all, whose expectations in futurity are founded on the declarations of the gospel. The following abridgment, if perused with frequency and attention, will, they may be assured, amply repay its readers: it will enable them to understand the genius and design of the gospel; it will teach them to reconcile doctrines apparently at variance with each other, and will shew them the agreement and harmony between the liturgy and the articles of our church, and the scriptures and the doctrines they hear delivered from the pulpit."

To render this abridgment as extensively useful, as it is my sanguine hope, and fervent prayer it will become, there are certain descriptions of people, to whom, in a more especial manner, I presuine to recommend it.

s6 The first person I would interest in the diffusing of it is, the instructor of youth. Before his pupils leave his school, if they are arrived at a certain age, let him have the satisfaction of knowing, that their minds, be their destination in life what it may, are convinced of the authenticity and inspiration of the books contained in the Old and New Testament. Whilst the young man derives conviction to his mind, and consolation to his heart, by the perusal of the first and second Parts of this Abridgment, he will learn from the attentive reading of the third Part, to comprehend with clearness the characteristic doctrines of that church of which he is a member : and from the expo-sition of the Thirty-nine Articles, being taught to judge not increly from the literal expressioil, but from the general scope and tendency of the passage; when he hears discourses from the pulpit, where the terms, l'aith, Justification, and Election may frequently occur, he will see how far they are applicable to his state and circumstances; and thus, instead of being carried about with every wind of doctrine, he will be preserved from the contagion of error, and will have the comfortable conviction of knowing in whom he believeth."

" I would not be understood as confining this recommendation to the instructors oof ne sex only. If the governesses of ladies' schools would devote a little of their own time, and of the time of their pupils to the perusal of this Abridgment, and would frequently examine their pupils to see how they understand it : besides the communication of use. ful knowledge, independent of the progress made in the science of salvation, they will accomplish this very useful purpose which is seldom attended to in boarding-schools; they will by such reading insensibly fix their minds, and regulate their inaginations; they will teach them to think with more clearness, and to arrange their thoughts with more

3 0.2


« FöregåendeFortsätt »