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* minds, and the rebellion of our hearts, and blend them into ' obedience to his blessed will. Therefore as we confess God the • Father to have created us and that his Son Jesus our Lord, re• deemed us when we were bis enemies : so we also confess, that . tbe Holy Spirit, without any respect of our merit, (whether
it be before, or afier, regeneration,) hath sanctified and regene• rated us. And that we may say this one thing yet more plainly; • as we have spoiled ourselves of all the glory and honour of
our creation and redemption, so also of our regeneration and • sanctification : for we are not sufficient of ourselves to think
any thing good; but he who has begun the good work in os, is • he alone, who continues that same in us, to the praise and glory • of his unmerited grace.'
AKTICLE XIII.—The Cause of Good WVurks. “Therefore we confess, that our free-will is not the cause of our good works, but the Spirit of our Lord Jesus, wbo, dwelling ' in our hearts by true faith, produces such good works as God ' has prepared, ihat we should walk in them."
EXTRACTS FROM THE BELGICK CONFESSION.
ARTICLE XIV. • We believe that God, from the clay of the earth, created man ' ever things men deliver concerning free-will, (libero arbitrio,)
after his own inage, good indeed, and just, and holy, who was * able by his own tree choice, to fashion his own will, and render • it conformable to the will of God. But when he was in honour • he kuew not, and did not understand his own excellency; but,
knowingly and willingly, subjected himself to sin, and by con
sequence to death and ibe curse, wbile affording his ear to the ' words and impostures of the devil, he transgressed the com• mandmept of life which he had received from God; and entirely ! withdrew himself from God, (his true Life,) and alienated
himself, his parure being wholly vitiated and corrupted by sin; ' whence it came to pass, that lie rendered himself obnoxious, • both to bodily and spirimal death. Thus, being made wicked * and perverse, and being corrupted in all his ways and pursuits, • he lost all those gitis, with which he (God) had adorned him:
so that only very small sparks and slender traces of them are • left, uliich yet suffice to render men inexcusable; because ' whatever there is of light in us, is turned into blind darkness i
as also the Scripture itself teaches. “ The light shineth in “ darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not.”
• For there John manifestly calls men darkness. Therefore, what
we deservedly reject, when he is the slave of sin; and " a man
can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven." • For who will dare to boast, that he is able to perform whatever • he shall will, when Christ himself says : “No one is able to
come to me, except my Father, who hath sent me shall draw “ him?" "Who will boast his own will, who heareth, that all • carnal affections are enmities against God? Who will glory
concerning his own understanding, who knows that the animal
man is not capable of receiving the things of the Spirit of • God? In a word, who will bring forth into the midst even
any one thought, who understands, that we are not sufficient of ourselves to think any thing; but that we are sufficient, that
is all of God? It ought therefore to remain certain and firm, " that it is God who workeih in us both to will, and to effect, of “ his gratuitous benevolence." For no mind, no will, acqui.
esces in the will of God, which Christ himself has not first wrought, who also himself teacheth us, saying, “ Without me ye can do nothing."
We believe that sin, through the disobedience of Adam, • which they call original, hath been scattered and poured out • unto the whole human race; for original sin is the corruption
of the whole nature, and hereditary depravity, (vitium,) with ' which even infants themselves in the womb of their mothers
are polluted ; and which as a certain noxious root, causes to spring forth all kinds of sins in man: and it is so base and
execrable before God, that it suffices for the condemnation of " the whole human race. Nor is it to be believed, that it can • be altogether extinguished, or torn up by the roots, through • baptism ; seeing thai from it, as from a corrupt spring of waters,
perpetual waves and rivulets constantly arise, and flow forth:
though in the children of God it doth not fall out (cedat,) or • is imputed unto condemnation, but is forgiven to them of the
mere grace and mercy of God. Not that, confiding in this • remission, they should fall asleep; but that the feeling of this
corruption may excite more frequent groans in believers, and • that they may more ardently wish to be freed from this body • of death. Hence, therefore, we condemn the errors of the
Pelagians, who assert, that this original sin is nothing other, • than imitation.'
• We believe, that God, (after the whole race of Adam, was thus precipitated into perdition and banishinent,) deinonstrated VOL. II.
• and exhibited himself to be such an One as he really is ; : namely meRCIFUL and Just. Merciful indeed, in freeing • and saving those from damnation and destruction, whom in bis * own eternal counsel, of his own gratuitous goodness, he had • elected by Jesus Christ our Lord, without any respect of their ' works. But Just, in leaving others, in that their fall and
perdition, into which they had precipitated themselves.
EXTRACTS FROM The CzengeRIAN CONFESSION.
Concerning the Cause of Sin. . As it is impossible, that things fighting in opposition to one ' another, and mutually destroying each other, can be the • efficient and formal cause of things contrary to themselves : . as light cannot be the cause of darkness, nor warmth of cold : • So it is impossible that God, wbo is Light, Justice, Truth, " Wisdom, Goodness, Life, can be the cause of darkness, sin,
lying, ignorance, blindness, malice, and death: but Satan and • men are the causes of all these things. For whatever God • forbids, and for which he condemns, he cannot, of himself ' and by himself do.'
Concerning God's not respecting Persons. • As he who justly renders an equal recompence to those who • labour equally together; and who gives of his favour, and free • choice, what he will to those who do not deserve, is not "a points, than may be extracted from the writings of the compilers, or of their contemporaries. For all that is fit for the work of an individual author, is not proper for an article of faith, for whole churches or nations, through succeeding generations.
respecter of persons." - So God, who renders equal death and condemnation, as the wages of sin, to all who deserve than, of due, according to justice and his own law, bath done justly. And, on the contrary, while he gives to those who are ' undeserving, for the sake of his Son, of the fulness of his own
grace and free-will, righteousness and life, he is not Prosopoliptis,
that is, not a respecter of persons; as it is said, “ What is " thine own and thou hast deserved, take, and go thy way. Is " it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is “ not thine eye evil ? Not my eye, because I am good."
If any persons should be surprised, that in these publick confessions, there is much less of the high points of Calvinism, than the writings of the divines, who compiled them, might have led them to expect : let them also think this concerning our Articles and Homilies; that they contain less of these higher and awful
I shall now only add a very few extracts from the Augsburg Confession, and others connected with it. These are generally supposed to be wholly discordant with the other formularies in the Calvinist churches, put forth in the first years of the reformation : and, indeed, the cautious spirit of Melancthon, and the peculiarly delicate circumstances, in which he drew up the Augsburg Confessions, to be presented in the Diet of the Empire, must of course render it something different, even if he and his associates had believed all, which Calvin afterwards maintained; but which they certainly did not. Yet they avowed in those perilous times, far more, than the clergy of Britain, in these our peaceful days, are generally willing to subscribe to, except with such salvos as satisfy their minds in subscribing to the Articles of our church.
EXTRACTS FROM THE AUGSBURG Confession.
Moreover they teach, that, after the fall of Adam, all men propagated in the natural manner, when born, have original
sin. But we understand by original sin, that which the holy • fathers call so, and all orthodox and pious persons in the church,
namely, 'the guilt, in which being born, on account of the • fall of Adam, they are exposed (rei sunt) to the anger of . God and eternal death; and the corruption itself of nature
propagated from Adam. And this corruption of human nature, the want of righteousness or integrity, or of original obedience,
comprises also concupiscence. This defect (defectus) is hor• rible blindness and disobedience, so as to want that light and
knowledge of God, which would have been in upright nature ; ' also to want thai rectitude, which is perpetual obedience, in the
true, and pure, and supreme love of God; and the like endow'ments of upright nature. Wherefore, these defects and con
cupiscepce are a thing condemned, and worthy of death, by its own nature. Therefore the original depravity (vicium originis) is truly sin, condemning, and bringing now also eternal death to those, who are not born again by baptism, and by the
Holy Spirit. They condemn the Pelagians, who deny original * sin, and think, that those defects (defectus,) or concupiscence, are things indifferent, or only punishments, and are not thing3
• to be condemned in their own nature ; and dream, that man
can satisfy the law of God; and, on account of this his owo proper righteousness, be pronounced just before God.
• But that we may obtain these benefits of Christ, namely, re' mission of sins, justification, and eternal life, Christ has given • The gospel, in which these benefits are proposed to us: as it is " writien in the last chapter of Luke, “That repentance in his
name, and remission of sins, should be preached among all “ nations." "For when all men, propagated in a natural manner, " have sin, nor can truly satisfy the law of God, the Gospel convicts
sins, (arguit peccata,) and shews unto us Christ the Mediator, • and thus teaches us the remission of sins. When the gospel • convicts our sins, our greatly terrified hearts ought to deter(mine, that remission of sins and justification on account of
Christ, may be given to us gratis, by the faith, with which we • ought to believe and confess, that these things are given to us • for Christ's sake, who was made a sacrifice for us, and appeased
the Father. Therefore, though the gospel requires repentance; yet, that remission of sins may be certain, it teaches ibat it is
freely given ; that is, that it does not depend on the condition ' of our worthiness, nor is given because of any preceding ' works, or the worthiness (dignitatem) of those that follow. • For forgiveness would become uncertain, if it would come to us, after we had merited by preceding works, that our repente ance was sufficiently worthy. For conscience, under genuine
alarms, findeth no work, which it can oppose to the wrath of • God: and Christ is given and proposed to us, that he should • be the Propitiator. This honour of Christ ought not to be transferred to our works. Therefore Paul
By grace are ye saved :"
Also, “ By faith freely, that the promise might “ be firm :" • That is, that remission will be certain, when we
know, that it does not depend on the condition of our worthiness, but is given because of Christ. This is the firm and
necessary consolatioz to pious and terrified minds. And so • teach the holy fathers. And there is extant in Ambrose a me. • morable and remarkable sentiment, in these words, This has • been appointed of God, that he who believeth in Christ, should
be saved, without work, by faith alone, freely receiving the remission of sins,' And the word, “ of faith," not only
signifies the knowledge of the history concerning Christ, but • also to believe, and assent to this promise, which is proper to • the gospel ; in which for ibe sake of Christ, remission of sins, justification, and eternal life, are promised to us.'