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the Lord will always be sufficient for arming his Joshuas and his Gideons, * enabling them to remove all obstructions, and to smooth the way for his people, that they make a great proficiency in all truth.–Far less cause therefore have we to be afraid of the Arminians. Yet I would not go to deprive them of any part of that due praise for genius or erudition, to which they may be justly entitled. They will be permitted by me to receive from the christian reader, and to enjoy any degree of esteem on account of their studies, provided they apply themselves to the study of truth. But if, instead of extending their studies to the defence of the truth, they confine them to its corruption and to the patronizing of errors,—and if, elated with confidence in their powers, they impose upon their readers by a certain semblance of learning and erudition,-it will be equitable for us, not only to devote our labours to the confirmation of the truth, but to the unmasking of the arts and impostures of our adversaries, who have grown insolent under this specious kind of erudition, and diligently to engage in exposing to all men how inconsistent is the reasoning of the Arminians with the proper method of discussion, though their proceedings bear sufficient marks of pomposity. Since therefore Arminius
makes pretensions to a singular degree of exactness, and strives hard to persuade his readers that he is desirous of recalling students,
over lax mode of treating theological subjects, to a more accurate method of discussion,t I may be permitted here
* In a preceding sentence the Doctor has alluded to “ the spiritual arms of the Lord,” with which his predestinarian friends “ endeavoured to seize upon and possess the land.” He afterwards calls this co-ercive power “ the sword of the Lord,” and declares it to be “ always sufficient for arming his Joshuas and his Gideons, enabling them to remove all obstructions,' &c. Now, in Dr. Twisse's vocabulary, these Joshuas and Gideons were the Earl of Essex, Lord Fairfax, and other successful Parliamentary Generals, who "smoothed the way for God's people,” and waged war against christ in the Church of England."
+ Bertius adduces this very properly as a singular excellence in the character of Arminius. His words are: “ Scarcely had he entered the University, when he discovered that the Divinity Students involved themselves in the intricacies of disputations and controversies, and that they had become the sectaries of certain knotty theorems and difficult problems, to the neglect of the sacred scriptures. After conferring with his colleagues, he endeavoured to correct this evil; and succeeded in a great degree. For he recalled that ancieut, mas. culine, and hardy method of study; and, as far as possible, he withdrew these erratic candidates for holy orders from their wanderings, and brought them back to the fountains of salvation,-those pure fountains whose pellucid streams refuse to flow in muddy channels. He therefore exhorted all men to the exercise of piety; and it was a more peculiar object of his care and study, first, to cut off those intricate questions and to break in pieces that immense mass of vague and useless assertions with which the Schools resound; and, then, to excite men to search out, in the scriptures alone, those things which might contribute to the necessity of faith, and which might teach them how to pass their lives in a state of holiness and kappiness in Christ Jesus.”
These were the godlike designs of that great divine. How impertinent therefore will the remarks of Dr. Twisse appear, when they do not apply to this wise plan of Arminius, but to his supposed deficiency in scholastic
to profess that I have made the experiment, and can deliver it as a fact fully proved by particular evidence that this divine is by no means qualified to adorn the province to which he has aspired, being a man who employs logic and scholastic theology in a manner the most puerile.—He accuses our divines Con a certain occasion] of reasoning in a circle, which he accommodates to the statement of their sentiments thus, · The death of Christ w 'fore-ordained by God, for the expiation of Adam's sin: The * fall of Adam was fore-ordained by God, that it might receive • expiation through the death of Christ. But, I assert these expressions contain nothing like a circle ; which it will be possible easily to demonstrate to any man of learning, who is only moderately skilled in logical matters. For the circle (in Logic] never obtains, except when the same things are employed as mutual causes the one to the other, and when they are of the same genus.-From these specimens the reader may perceive how ill-instructed Arminius was in Logic, and what an unfit Theologian he has proved himself to be, and unqualified to rule in the schools, (to preside as Moderator in a scholastic disputation, ] when he has never yet learnt to frame the bare analysis of a Logical proposition.--I have been treating about the logical talents of Arminius; it now remains for me to propound some of my animadversions on his scholastic Divinity. Arminius is accustomed entirely to confound the order of things in intention and execution, in opposition to all philosophy and to the experience of common sense.*
In order to restrain attainments! Those who have perused with attention the productions of these two learned men, will find no difficulty in awarding the palm of scholastic proficiency to Arminius: All other persons must form their judgments on different and more uncertain data, among which the passions generally claim a considerable portion of influence.
* The Doctor alludes in this passage to his celebrated sophism, as applied to the operations of the Divine Mind, That which is last in Intention is first in Execution. Notwithstanding the admiration which the Calvinists bestow on this fallacious postulate, I never yet could find one of them that understood it, or could explain its meaning : It was enough for them, that it had been asserted by Dr. T'wisse, consequiently, by a man of less name it might not be controverted. This undistinguishing admiration reminds one of the wonderment expressed by an old lady on hearing a grand and florid sermon delivered by a fine preacher. She told her friends that he was a very far learned man: When questioned respecting the foundations of this opinion, she adduced this lucid proof of the minister's erudition, that “he had made frequent use of that beautiful word Mesopotamia !"!
Dr. Twisse here charges it as a grievous defect in the scholastic attainments of Arminius, that he did not understand the right order of things in Intention and Execution. Bishop Sanderson, one of the greatest masters of Scholastic Theology that ever lived, has shewn in a succeeding page, (489) that the inverse order adopted by Dr. Twisse, and which is indeed the main foundation of the reasoning contained in his book, is erroneous. Its defects will be instantly perceived by every one capable of appreciating the argument. For Dr. Twisse has employed the inverse order of thing's with respect to Intention and Execution, as a principle to account for the actings of the Divine Mind upon itself,-all of which, being the results of Infinite Wisdem, are, (speaking after the manner of men,) produced solely by INTUI
his readers, and to close their lips from even whispering any thing contradictory, he considers that he has made abundant provision for himself by frequently professing, God executes in no other manner than as he has decreed ; which proposition, I own, has astonished and confounded not a few individuals. But, by a similar mode of reasoning, it would have been possible for him completely to overturn the axiom of the inverse order of things in intention and execution, and to state the contrary doctrine, since it is sufficiently evident that God, angels, and men execute any thing in no other manner than as they have decreed, in case the thing have been prudently decreed by them. Indeed, Arminius very seldom TION : Yet the principle thus applied to God is strictly applicable to the results of the actings of a finite human mind alone, which are produced by the more tedious process of INDUCTION, aud in which first au final causes, considered metaphysically as consecutive propelling motives, under due restrictions may be allowed to have a place, in the very order which the Doctor has described.
The grand postulate of Dr. Twisse had not its origin in mistake: It was purely a matter of choice, or rather of necessity. He acquaints us, in bis Preface, with his unsuccessful attempt on the doctrine of Ideas : “ in which,” he says, “ all things gave sufficient tokeus of obscurity, although they are almost constantly in the mouth of every person : Just as if a full discovery had been made of the sentiments which ought to be held respecting ideas in the Divine Mind as the exemplars of all things. I indulged hopes of finding the investigation of this part of truth more easy, on account of the studies which modern Jesuits have bestowed on that subject, and which are now producing something new." This novelty produced by the Jesuits seems, from a subsequent part of the Doctor's work, to be Scientia Media. To defend and support the absurdities of Supralapsarian Calvinism against the new mode of attack employed by Arminius and his admirers, it was necessary to call into action either the doctrine of Scientia Media, or that of the inverse order of things with regard to their Intention and Execution.--The former doctrine was employed by Gomarus, who shewed himself as high a Supralapsarian or Creabilitarian as Dr. Twisse, aud was one of the earliest and most rancorous of the enemies of Arminius: Though the unbending tenacity of his mind in adhering to his favourite opinions was celebrated by Daniel Heinsius, in an elegant Latin Poem which he wrote in his praise ; yet, on this point, and on another recorded by Bishop Womack in a preceding page, (20,) Gomarus proved that “ he knew how to yield” even in old age to the force of conviction. The latter doctrive was embraced by Dr. Twisse, who ascribed such an absurdity to the Divine Being, rather than permit high Calvinism to lie open to the successful attacks of its enemies. Bishop Sanderson “ wonders, how a person of such acuteness and subtility of wit could possibly be deceived with it.”. From the variety of argumentative postures in which Dr. Twisse places this doctrine, and from the numerous reasons adduced for it in different parts of his massy volume, it is evident that he was perfectly aware of its fallacy and weakness, and wished to force it down the understandings of his readers by means of re-iterated assertions concerning its potency:
ť In this part of the Doctor's performance, among other allegations against Arminius, he adduces the following : “ It has long been received in the Schools, as a matter so well verified as scarcely any thing can admit of better proof, that some small degree of NECESSITY, and that of the antecedent kind, may consist with LIBERTY. For, what sober person would deny, that God can decree and efficaciously procure something to be done freely? But this is not admitted by Arminius. Yet he does not approach to attack and overturn that dogma, as a man furnished with arguments; but, according to his usual audacity, he lays down this postulate, as one which is con
employs arguments in combat; but assuming the airs of a dogmatical divine, he propounds his dictates with sufficient magisterialness ; as though they were oracles, and worthy of receiving implicit credence. Sometimes he seems to be a subtle disputer, especially in two places: (1) For instance, when he disputes, that the object of predestination cannot possibly be a mass not-yet-created. The argumentation which he used on this topic deceived that famous divine Peter Du Moulin,* who yet
ceded on l-know-not what authority, or which must be conceded by all men, - No necessity of this kind (that is, antecedent] can possibly comport with liberty.” But we willingly acknowledge, Great is the mystery of God's secret Providence. We do not take away freedom from angels or men ; but we command both of them to be content with their condition, that they may be satisfied with the liberty which is suitable to creatures, which neither is nor ever can be so great as that which appertains to God. For it is equitable, that all second causes should in their operation be subjected to the motion or operation of the First Cause; and it is unjust and unreasonable, that the First Cause should be subjected to the motion or operation of a second cause."
Every one who knows the sentiments of Arminius on Necessity, will at once perceive that the Doctor's remarks contain nothing more than special pleading. The subjoined extract from the Works of Arminius, (vol. i, p. 695,) will be a sufficient developement of the reasons which induced that great man to oppose the fatal necessity of the Calvinists, and to propound in all meekness his own more correct and scriptual views on that subject: “ I am desirous, that we should in preference contend for the NECESSITY OF GOD ALONE,—that is, for his necessary existence and for the necessary production of his ad intra [internal] acts,-and that we should contend for the CONTINGENCY OF ALL OTHER THINGS AND EFFECTS. Such a procedure on our part would conduce far more to the glory of God; to whom by this method would be attributed both the GLORY of his necessary existence, that is, of his eternity, according to which it is a pure act without (the exercise of] power, -and the GLORY of his free creation of all other things, by wbich also his Goodness becomes a supreme object of our commendation.'
* This is another proof of the change of argumentative tactics which the system of Arminius compelled the Calvinists to adopt. It was most unfortunate for them, that they could not fix on one common plau of defence, but every man pursued that course which seemed best to himself. The consequence of this was, that the principles of some of these new leaders, when applied to those of others, effected their subversion as completely as could have been done by Arminianism itself. This is sufficiently apparent in Appendix C, and will be more amply illustrated in Appendix M.
A curious kind of compact seems to have existed among the Calvinists, by which it was understood, that, with what virulence soever they might attack each other, they were to be severally exonerated from all harsh reprehension, as long as they continued to be links ju the golden chain of Calvin. Of this a curious instance is related, page 284 ; and concerning the same person, the elder Du Moulin, the following judicious remarks occur in one of Professor Poelenburgh's Letters, written in 1660. In allusion to Leonard a Ryssen, wbo bad composed a pamphlet against him and the Arminians, he says: “If he be unwilling to go to them, [the Heathen authors] whom he is not afraid of consigning in a body to the flames of bell, and if he be desirous of directing the whole of his attention to the Fathers, let him read, in the first place, St. Jerome and Lactantius, both for tbe sake of their Latin style and of learning from them, that these his crude dogmatical effusions are matters that were exceedingly displeasing to the Ancient Church. He must likewise be exhorted to read St. Augustine and Prosper, because from them be will derive an opportunity of mitigating many of his asperities. But I refer again to the obscurity in which he appears sometimnes purposely to indulge, that it may bear the semblance of subtlety. He bas, I confess, occasionally
was really entitled to celebrity for his scholastic erudition : But, when it is brought to the test of scholastic examination, it vanishes into smoke, and though specious in appearance, yet, vain and delusive in fact, it is found to contain none of the indications either of genius or learning. (2.) The other pas
drawn some things from the pools of the School Divines with sufficient subtlety ; with so much indeed, as to account it necessary to allow no one to remain in ignorance of his having wandered too long among the schoolmen.' In order, therefore, that no one may suppose this great person to be a little school-man, he offers to our notice THOMAS, whom he calls - the angelical Doctor;' BONAVENTURE, the seraphical;' John Scotus, the subtle;' BRADWARDINE, • the profound doctor ;' and various epithets with which he dignifies Suarez, Alvarez, Cumel, and I know not how many more School Divines, whom he produces in clusters, that no one may entertain a suspicion concerning his want of skill in School Divinity. But, when he compares me with himself, I become the peculiar object of his scorn, because, according to his own words, he feels a strong persuasion that I have never read a single school-man. What reception could this class of men be expected to give to the Apostles, if they were now to rise from the dead? Those ancient fisher men would be treated with contempt, because, not having been educated among the dust of School-men, they employ a mode of speech that is so perspicuous and plain, as at once to convince us of their complete ignorance of School Divinity. Would not the Apostle Paul be derided by these men, as much as he was hy the Stoics of old ? 'Would not this our opponent march forth into the arena and say, “Dost thou, who, I am « fully persuaded, hast never read a single School' Divine,- dost thou at
tempt to write against the great Twisse who is within himself a host ?' Such would be his address to St. Paul, because that Apostle also rises up in opposition to T'wisse, when he so frequently inculcates the doctrine of God willing the salvation of all men, of Christ having died for every individual, &c. For it seems wonderful to our opponent, how I, who in his estimation am rude in Scholastic Lore, bave had the hardihood to attack Twisse, and to undertake the subversion of such an impregnable argument, as that magnanimous hero [Twisse] boasted could never be solved, even by the devil himself and the whole retinue of his angels !
“ But I can easily comprehend why he does not account me a Scholastic: For he perceives that I am not delighted with these little refined sophisms and subtle displays of wit, and that I do not defend any dogma which is propped up by such supports. For if any writer appears in vindication of Calvin's sentiments, or makes a near approach to them, he is soon greeted with the title of ' AN EMINENT SCHOLASTIC, as Du Moulin was by. Twisse. But if another writer approximates more closely to our [the Arminian] opinions, he will probably be suffered to remain a SCHOLASTIC, but he will obtain no portion of praise for his acuteness or subtlety in that species of learning:-Yet, I ow», such is the small esteem in which I hold these scholastic trifles, that I think our leisure may be much more profitably occupied in investigating and forming an acquaintance with sacred literature. On the contrary, I freely acknowledge, I have bestowed some attention on School Divinity, for the sole purpose of understanding the sophistries of our adversaries which seize upon words and expressions, and that I may be enabled with the greater advantage to refute them, when I feel any fear about their producing false security.
In a subsequent part of his letter it is said : " But that we are not the only individuals who place little value on the boastful and vain-glorious judgment of Twisse, is evident from one of the productions of Samuel Marets against the very celebrated Daillée, in which he replies to the charge of Twisse against Du Moulin : It is certain that the judgment of Twisse is contrary to all rule, that it is unjust, and proceeds from a man who is beyond measure self-complaisant, and who is violently bent on willing
whatever he pleases; and, what is more, his judgment is directly opposed ' to the determination of the Synod of Dort.'”