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famous trio, whose names I have classed together, were converts to the doctrinal system of the Remonstrants during the Civil Wars. The Presbyterians, perhaps, have the greatest cause to complain of the manner in which the history of British Toleration is generally related: For, the great body of “ the Latitude men,” (p. 796,) who at the Restoration placed themselves under the wings of Episcopacy, were liberal Arminians. They had either become Presbyterians by education, or by the preference which, in the multitude of contending parties, they had given to that form of ecclesiastical regimen: But they found the doctrinal as well as the ceremonial restraints of the Presbytery too strict for them; and as soon as Episcopacy was, by the good Providence of God, restored to her former pre-eminence, in vast numbers they joined her truly catholic communion.
In the preceding extracts, one of the Presbyterians intimated, that “ Episcopacy in his Pontificalibus might, by means of” the the Toleration for which the Independents pleaded, “ be retrieved and called from exile.” (Page lxiii.) Yet the same preacher, who knew the wishes of his party as Calvinists, (p. 454,) % intreats the PURE INDEPENDENTS,”-that is, those who adopted all the Westminster Confession of Faith except the parts which relate to Church-government, to declare zealously and seriously against the doctrinal errors and heresies of those days.” The manner in which the latter complied with their brethren's request, and by which they brought themselves within the amicable arrangement of their Calvinistic “ strivings," (being “ those of one Israelite with another,” whom “ Moses quiets and parts fairly,”) will be described in the commencement of the second volume. In that part, I expose the conduct of the TRIERS AND EJECTORS, of whom “the Independents formed the majority, and were the most active in the use of their delegated powers.” -“ These « TRIERS," says Granger, « for the most part, brought the test
to a short issue: If a Minister readily gave up the Five Points “ of Arminius, embraced the tenets of Calvin, and was orthodox i “ in politics, he was generally qualified to hold any benefice in « the Church.”
The obnoxious view which both Presbyterians and Independents took of Arminianism, has been shewn in several of the preceding pages. This will be still more apparent from the following extract of a sermon, preached before the House of Communs, December 30, 1646, by MATTHEW NEWCOMEN, who, as one of the famous Smectymnyan faction, had pleaded for Presbyterian liberty against good Bishop Hall:
“ There is yet another dying object of your pity; and that is Truth, Religion, the Gospel, the Lord Jesus Christ, that lies a bleeding, that is drawn to death, ready to be slain : O do not, I beseech you, forbear to deliver them. There is scarce any truth of Christ, any doctrine of the gospel, any point of our religion, but by some temerarious hand or other hath been invaded, as
saulted, maimed, ready to be slain. The doctrine of the Trinity, of the Godhead of Christ, and of the Holy Ghost, of the verity of the scriptures; the doctrine of election, of redemption, of vocation, of justification, of sanctification; the work of the Spirit, the rule of life, of holiness; the doctrine of the sacraments, of the immortality of the soul, &c.—Truth it is, right honourable and beloved, that, when first you met in Parliament, we were in great danger of losing our religion. There was a Popish Arminian faction, that had a design to rob us of our religion. God gave you hearts to be very sensible of that danger, and to be very zealous for the prevention of it: I, and thousands more, must and will bear you record, that, if it had been possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes, rather than have parted with the least apex or iota of divine truth, out of a lenity or indulgence to Papist or Arminian, or any other Heretic:* Where is then your former
:. On the same day and to the same audience, STEPHEN MARSHALL delivered the following harangue :
“Our times are times of errors, horrible errors. I mean not such errors as are to be found among God's people, to whom he never hath given an equal light: and, notwithstanding which errors, Himself bears with them, and would have his people bear one with another. But I mean, our times are times of such errors as are heretical and blasphemous, such as concern our christian faith, and holy conversation, in a very high degree. It would weary you, but to tell you the things that are generally known to spread as a gangrene. A new generation of men are risen up, and spread all the points of Arminianism, Universal Redemption, Apostasy from Grace, Man's Free-will. Multitudes of others cry down the law, as not having any thing to do with God's people, others denying that the Saints of God should ever any more confess sin to God in prayer: Others questioning Whether there be any church or ministry this day upon the face of the earth, and whether there shall be any till new apostles arise. Nay, beyond all these, many denying the Lord Jesus, that bought us with his blood, to be God, or the Holy Ghost to be God: Others denying the Three Persons in the Trinity, and, consequently affirming that we, and all the christian world with us, do worship idols instead of God; for if these men be right, they are idols whom we worship. These, and abundance of such horrid things as these are, do spread and scatter like wild-fire every where in all corners of the land, to the great provocation of God's wrath, and our reproach through the christian world. And what have our heads to do at such a time ? Certainly you, and all others, ought to mourn for these things, and tear your clothes, and your hairs, and your hearts, that God should be so dishonoured.
“ But for your duties who are in high places, for what is peculiar to you, I'll not dispute any controversy at this time, but set down two things which I know you must yield to. One is : Certainly you must search diligently into the scriptures, and enquire whether Jesus Christ would have you oppose yourselves against these things that are so opposite to him :-If, upon a diligent search, you find that he hath not authorized you, do not you arrogate any authority that Christ hath not given you :-My lie will never honour God, though I should tell it for God's glory. And your thrusting yourselves into an office Christ hath not called you unto, will never be accepted by him. But if, SECONDLY, Upon a diligent search, it appears he hath given authority unto you, then I am as assured that he hath not left it to your arbitrement whether you will use it, or no; he hath not left it to your will, whether you will punish them. But if you have power to stop them and do not, he will lay them all at your doors, and require them at your hands. Therefore scarch diligently what you have power to do,
zeal? Is religion and truth less dear and precions now, than it Was before? God forbid ! Is it in less danger ? Oh that it were! But surely, beloved, our danger in this particular is but a little changed, not quite removed. Then indeed religion was in danger of a more violent and quick dispatch, and now it is in danger of a more lingering, but as sure a death : Then it was like to have been dispatched with one thrust of a sword, or one chop of a hatchet, by the hand of known and undoubted enemies; now it is like to be stabbed to death with bodkins, with variety and multiplicity of errors, that have wounded our religion in every vein; and this assassinate upon religion, committed by those that would be counted her chief and only friends.
“Truly when I behold the face and state of religion among us, it is in mine eyes, as if the Lord Jesus Christ were crucified afresh, and put to open shame in the midst of us.--Here comes a blasphemous: ARIAN, and he wounds his head, by denying him to be God.—There comes a sectary that is a flat ARMINIAN, though he hath not wit enough to know it, and he wounds him through the heart, by maintaining universal redemption, and that Christ shed his blood for all men, a thing that never entered into the heart of Christ !--There comes an ANTINOMIAN, and he pierceth his hands and his feet, by denying that exact walking and working by the rule of the moral law, which Jesus Christ came not to give an indulgence or dispensation from, but to give himself an example of: Atque hæc impunè. Can you plead ignorance of these things, and say, Behold we know it noi ? You cannot. Blessed be God, you de not; you have begun to set your faces against these blasphemies and heresies, that (servis dormientibus) are broken in upon us. Go on in this your might, to stop the mouth of all ungodliness, and the zeal of the Lord of Hosts be your strength! I know it hath been said by some, that because a heart to know and em• brace the truth is the gift of God, and the Magistrate cannot by • forcible means work such a heart in men, therefore the Magis• trate must use no compulsion or co-ercion in matters of religion.' But certainly, though the Magistrate cannot give grace, yet he may compel men to attend upon those means where God doth usually give that grace: (2 Chron. xxxiv, 11. Ezra, x, 7, 8.)
and then let not these things go on to God's dishonour. But supposing you have authority, Whal then is to be done I answer, you must not take blasphemies, errors, and heresies to be such upon the reports of other men, but as the Lord ordered them in the 13th of Deuteronomy, so likewise must you do, search diligently whether indeed such and such things are done ; and when they appear to be done, out of the zeal of God do that against them which the Lord would have you do ; let not your religlon be thus contaminated ; suffer not your children to whom you ought to be nursing-fathers, to be thus poisoned by such corrupt doc. trines, nor devoured by such wolves : This I know you will all subscribe unto :This I desire above all may stick with you, that if the Lord hath given you power, he hath not given you liberty to forbear such men: God in mercy make you zealous for him that hath been zealous for you in all your troubles !”
Else you must not only repeal the laws that enjoin Papists to come to our churches, but repent of them, as yours and the nations sins. And though the Magistrate cannot give men a heart to know and love the truth, yet certainly the Magistrate may make laws to restrain and punish errors and blasphemies that are against the truth; (Dan. iii, 29.) else, pari ratione, because a chaste heart, or a true and loyal heart, is the gift of God, and the Magistrate by all his penal laws, cannot make men have such hearts, therefore the Magistrate may not make laws to punish adultery, incest, theft, treason: Were this good divinity, or good policy ?”
This was the common strain in which all the English Calvinists spoke concerning Arminianism ; and their acts corresponded with * their sayings. When, therefore, the two grand parties, into
which the Predestinarians were divided, had scarcely sufficient charity to tolerate each other in the small matters about which they disagreed, it is not surprising that they would not suffer the Arminians, whom they classed with “ heretics and blasphem. ers," to enjoy the exercise of their religious privileges without molestation. In pages 496 and 552, I have shewn the origin of this deadly antipathy to those who were attached to the doctrines of General Redemption. Gomarus declared, “ that he durst not “ appear in the presence of his Maker, if he maintained the “ opinions which Arminius professed ;” and all the subsequent champions of Calvinism, in Great Britain and in Holland, had studiously perpetuated this infernal feeling, by exhibiting the Predestinarian differences between themselves and their Arminian brethren, as fundamental verities and essential to salvation !—The English Independents, therefore, who acted upon this excluding principle to the time of the Restoration, when they were compelled to resign their “ powers ecclesiastic,” have in reality as slender a claim as their Presbyterian friends to the title of “ the
earliest and best friends to Toleration." • In several of these sermons before the Long Parliament, the army is blamed as “the grand hot-bed of errors, heresies, and blasphemies.” That the different military corps were far removed from uniformity both in doctrine and discipline, and that they had imbibed many egregious errors, no impartial person will deny. But the wonderful economy of the Providence of God is here again strikingly displayed, in over-ruling the spread of these evils for the attainment of a greater good. If the army had contained no Arians, Socinians, or Antinomians, with whom Arminians were likewise invidiously classed, the parties who held the hundred and four-score new opinions, to which Bishop Hall alludes, (p. 707,) would have had nothing to lolerate in each other: But as their religious sentiments were exceedingly multiform, and as they soon proved to the nation that they held the Supremacy in their own hands, though sufficiently zealous for their several principles, (p. 778,) they saw the propriety as well as the safety of yielding much
liberty to each other, “in things of the mind," as it is expressed
• “ These considerations of the unproportionableness of any other Churchgovernment than a right Episcopacy to the temper of England, moved the super. cilious, yet very learned, Salmasius,-in his advice to the Prince Elector (Pala. tine) then in England, and to some other of the Long Parliament and of Scotized Assembly, (who desired his judgment upon the then hot and perboiling, yea, pas. sionate and overboiling debates touching Episcopacy,)—to tell them, that, as 'the Episcopal government, rightly constituted and executed, is very agreeable to
the word of God and most conform to all Antiquity ; so it was, of all other, most suitable to the English spirit and constitution: The want of which, he • already foresaw, was and would ever be the cause of much disorder and dis. « traction, of infinite factions, heresies, schisms, and confusions.'-_Thus the great Dictator of Learning (as he esteemed himself) was pleased, in this passage and other-where, graciously to express his judgment and pleasure, according to the humour he was in or to the interest which he was pleased to adopt. Sometimes he is WALO MESSALINUS, and ashamed to own his name against Epis. copacy : He was, in that disguise, to gratify the pretensions of Presbytery, and the adherence or dependence which he had to the French and Dutch Churches. Otherwhile he puts off the vizard, and with open face owns the eminency, autho. rity, antiquity, and universality of Episcopacy ; yea, the incomparable utility of it, when joined with a grave and orderly Presbytery, besides a particular aptitude in it to the English genius."-GAUDEN's Ecclesiæ Anglicana Suspiria.
Salmasius was a very learned and clever man, but addicted to the love of money and of changes : His changeableness and mercenary habits rendered his writings against Milton of little estimation, though, abating his childish personalities, they were in many respects worthy of his great reputation. His character also will not be much enhanced, after the reader has perused the following extract from the last letter which the illustrious Grotius addressed to his brother in 1645, the year in which he died : “ I do not know whether the account which I have heard í be correct, that letters have been written in the English Parliament to Sal. “ masius, to engage him in the defence of their (the Presbyterians') ecclesiastical « government against the Bishops and the Independents; and that he will do this “ in the book which he is writing concerning the Primacy.” When the English Presbyterians had contributed their share towards the murder of their king, (p. 385,) Salmasius wrote vigorously against the whole Calvinian phalanx ; but his pen was represented as a venal one by his former employers, and his fame suffered much in consequence of this report. His injustice to the memory of Grotius, by whom he had been invariably treated with particular delicacy and atten: tion, (p. 593,) operated to his disadvantage. In his ungenerous attack upon Epis. copacy, then in ruins, he had a compeer in the famous David BLONDEL, who, though nominally a Cameronist, afterwards succeeded G. J. Vossius in the Chair