Sidor som bilder


In presenting to the theological students of this country, the following Analysis of Bishop Burnet's Exposition of the Thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England, it will be necessary to explain the motives with which I engaged in it, and the design I have had in view. Bishop Burnet was confessedly a man of the rnost varied and extensive erudition. The universal adoption of his invaluable commentary on the Articles by our schools of Divinity, is a sufficient proof of the estimation in which his talents and his learning have been held. But notwithstanding these advantages, he certainly did not possess either perspicuity of style or clearness of arrangement ; qualifications which are equally necessary to the character of a perfect author, His matter is in general so confused, his arguments so scattered, and his observations so misplaced, that to follow him through his discussions, replete as they are with the most valuable information, is a labour to which few students are willing to submit.

These defects I have endeavoured to rectify, at the same time retaining the excellent matter, which in the original, they are calculated to obscure. I have adhered to his observations as closely as was consistent with my plan of retaining only what would prove generally useful ; and his arguments I have endeavoured to state with clearness, arranging them under general heads in a regular method. These heads, it will be perceived, are printed in Italics; in order, that the reader may thus by a glance, collect at once the substance of the entire Article. In the notes I have added whatever information appeared necessary, in order to the perfect understanding of the text, and I have particularly directed the student's attention to those works in which he will find the simplest and most satisfactory elucidation of the various subjects which are discussed.

With respect to those Articles which allude to the differences existing between the Calvinists and their opponents, I have endeavoured to follow Bishop Burnet's admirable impartiality, and have not presumed to advance my individual opinions.

This is briefly the design of the following pages. How far I have succeeded in the execution of it, must be decided by those for whom the work is intended.

« FöregåendeFortsätt »