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“ primitive antiquity, they take up with such as 4 comes to them at second or third hand from ► the lake of Geneva: if the spirit of a Cyprian, “ exerted in the maintenance of the vigor Epifcopatûs and the constitution of the Church, « be accounted for bigotry and narrowness “ and Clement and Ignatius pafs for but very “moderate divines, when compared with the

new lights of the Tabernacle and Foundery. • Should this method of studying divinity prekvail, to the exclufion of the other, there will “ foon be neither order left in the Church, nor * certainty in the faith."

The season of anarchy and inftability, which this excellent Prelate fo pathetically anticipated, appears to be gaining ground upon us with rapid strides : whilst men, defpising all ecclefiastical subordination and discipline, all unity of “ mind and judgment,” and esteeming themfelves wifer than their teachers, tenaciously adhere to fuch practices and opinions as are sight in their own eyes; or rather fuch, as ate agreeable to their own inclination and conceit. Thus fectarism, in all its manifold variety of forms, is perpetually inlifting fresh profelytes, who are distinguished, rather by hostility to the national faith, than by attachment to any fettled fystem of doctrines; and of whom it

Bp. Horne’s Sermons, vol. 8. p. 66.

may more easily be affirmed, what they are not, than what they are. Meanwhile the accufation against the clergy, that the Gospel is not preached in the Church, is circulated with unremitting affiduity :by fome, whose fupes rior knowledge might reasonably have led us to expect from them a more enlarged charity :--and by others, who are alike unacquainted, both with the true scope of the Gofa pel, and with the doctrines of the national clergy; and in whose excuse it might be pleaded, that “they know neither what they

fay, nor whereof they affirm," were not their ignorance accompanied with a high degree of spiritual pride; with a supercilious contempt of others; and an overweening esteem for themselves. The coarfe and crude attacks of this latter class of our assailants has not provoked me to a reply. My remarks have been almost entirely confined to those, whom a more liberal education, or a legitimate appointment to the ministry, or the respectability of their personal characters, has rendered fitter objects of notice; although fome of them have not unfrequently disgraced themselves by language, totally unworthy of an enlightened, or a religious mind. The principal specific forms, under which the accusation is conveyed against us, have been examined in the foregoing lectures. It will be my object, in this concluding discourse, to offer some remarks on the

general character of the charge.

I. First, then, I observe, that the charge alleged against the national clergy, that they are not preachers of the Gospel, is arrogant . and presumptuous. It is so with respect to those, who make it :-men, oftentimes“ of “ the lowest of the people ;” oftentimes deficient in the ordinary means of procuring information; and proportionally rude and ignorant :-men, at the best, “ of like pafsions”. and like infirmities with those, whom they condemn; poffeffed of no superior natural endowments, of no fuperior opportunities for the acquisition of knowledge, and (notwithstanding the pretensions, which some of them have made to apoftolical authority) of no superior spiritual gifts. It is presumptuous, again, with respect to the doctrines, on which it rests, Take, for instance, the doctrine of absolute predestination, that which is the most commonly and the most vehemently urged. “ The “ five disputed points,” says a learned writer, much conversant in these controversies, “ The “ five disputed points, which in these last “ times are reproached by the name of Armi.

nianism, had more or less exercised the “ Church in all times and ages, especially after “ the breaking out of the Pelagian heresies, 66 when all the niceties thereof were more

thoroughly canvaffed. Neither the piety and 46 fobriety of the primitive times, nor the au

thority of the popes, nor the commanding « spirit of Luther, nor the more powerful name “ of Calvin, have prevailed so far, but that the “ Church, and every broken fragment of it, “ bath found some subdivision about these de4 bates b." Whence then this fancied infallibility, wherewith our accusers assume the character and office of the judge, and confidently pronounce sentence in their own behalf? Wherefore, upon questions notoriously much controverted, and therefore, it is to be prefumed, of some difficulty and perplexity, do they assume the prerogative of deciding, as in a case of no' difficulty or intricacy at all? Is it consistent with modesty, with humility, with decency, thus to condemn without appeal, not only the great body of the English clergy, against whom they more immediately direct their attacks ; but some also of the most glorious names, which shed a lustre on the annals of the Christian Church ? I speak not of the earliest Fathers of the Church, whose opinions have been proved to run with a full current against those of Calvin and his followers : yet, setting their authority aside, numerous and noble is the catalogue of those, who have un

Heylyn's Hiftoria Quinquarticularis. Preface.

equivocally difsented from the doctrines of abfolute predestination, partial redemption, and irresistible grace; and who must unquestionably share in the sentence of condemnation, which is confidently pronounced upon us. We rest our defence indeed upon the declarations of Scripture : but in the interpretation of Scripture, the judgment of learned men deferves, and demands, attention. And surely the names of Chryfoftom and Jerome ; of Mes lanchon, and Arminius, and Grotius; of Latimer and Cranmer; of Jackson, and Taylor, and Leslie, and Beveridge, and Barrow; might abate the confidence of the absolute Predeftinarian; and moderate his asperity in the condemnation of opinions, for which such advocates have stood forward in their support,

But even allowing the Calvinistic doctrines to be probably true, still is it not presumptuous, we may ask, to represent the preaching of them as the criterion of ministerial fidelity; and to condemn thote, who forbear to preach them, as guilty of apoftafy from their profession? “I « bold,” said the learned Mede, “ that commu" nion is not to be broken but for fundamen" tals; of which kind I take none of the diffe“ rences between the Calvinists and Lutherans " to be." A belief in these mysterious articles

Jofeph Mede's Works, book iv, p. 866.

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