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those truths which Protestants consider fundamental. ARMINIUS was one of the earliest divines who attempted practically to apply, to the purposes of general christian union the comprehensive plan, which had been devised by Erasmus, Junius, and others, of defining those few grand truths the belief of which is necessary to salvation. On this subject, his nine orphan children say: “ The mind of our beloved father was strangely exercised with many thoughts of this kind, which often drew tears from his eyes, and excited sensations painful beyond any thing that he ever experienced. For by his incredible sagacity he could discern how the dissensions of friends, while they operated as losses to themselves, were advantageous to their enemies. The whole of these considerations he has most accurately expressed in his elaborate oration on this subject. With this view, under the Divine favour, he most diligently and mildly applied the powers of his mind to effect a complete union of the Churches, at least of those which differed very little from each other ; and in this way endeavoured according to his ability to remove sects from the Reformed portion of Christendom, a measure most offensive to them, and to destroy the kingdom of Antichrist-always stipulating for the inviolability of that truth by which we either stand or fall, and having a due regard to the preservation of their own names to all those to whom such an object was of consequence. He was desirous to point out in a sparing manner the method by which this design might be
well over against their own new inventions, as over-against the old faith of the church. This burthen was as easily kicked off by the Congregations, as laid on by the Presbyteries ; as carrying, indeed, no conviction with it, hut the sword, and what penalties the sword should inforce it with. Which failing, what is come instead of it, to warrant the salvation of christians, but that the Bible is preached, (which what heresy disowneth ?) and by them whom the Triers count godly men ? make they what they can of it. 1, from my nonage, had embraced the Church of England, and attained the order of Priesthood in it, upon supposition that it was a true church and salvation to be bad in it and by it; owning, nevertheless, (as the Church of England did own,)the Church of Rome for a church in which salvation, though more difficult, yet might be had and obtained. That there is no such thing as a ehurch by God's law, in the nature of a body, (wbich this state of religion requireth,) is opposite to an article of my creed, who always thought myself a member of such a body, by being of the Church of England. The issue of that which I have published, concerning that title of Reformation wbich the war pretended, was this : That they are schismatics, that concur to the breaking or destroying of the Church of England for those causes.- If the salvation of a christian consist in professing the common christianity, as ! shew you at large, shall not the salvation of a divine consist in professing what he hath attained to believe, when he thinks the exigent of the time renders it necessary to the salvation of God's people ? How shall be otherwise be ministerial to the work of God's grace, in strengthening them that stand, in coinforting and helping the weak, in raising them that are fallen, in resolving the doubtful, without searching the bottom of the cause ? Nay, how shall be make reparation for the offences he may have given, by not knowing that which now he thinks he knows?”—THORNDIKE's Epiloguć, 1654.
“ They [the Puritans), promote the interest of Rome, and betray the Protestant cause; partly by mistaking the question, (a very common fault among them,) but especially through the necessity of some false principle or
accomplished, through a lure to others; by which means he studied to procure commendation for them, rather than seem himself to seek his own honour by prescribing a method to his governors and fellow ministers, to all of whom he paid
a most willing homage." But, unlike Grotius* and some of his English other; which, having once imbibed, they think themselves bound to maintain. Among those false principles, it shall suffice for the present to have named but this one, . That the Church of Rome is no true church. The disadvantages of which assertion to our cause in the dispute about the visibility of the Church, (besides the falseness and uncharitableness of it,) their zeal, or prejudice rather, will not suffer them to consider. With what out-cries was Bishop Hall, (good mau ! who little dreamt of any peace with Rome,) pursued by Burton and other Hotspurs, for yielding it a church? Who had made the same concession over and over again before he was Bishop, (as Junius, Reynolds, and our best controversy-writers generally do,) and no notice taken, no noise made of it. You may perceive by this one instance where the shoe wringeth."-SANDERSON's Preface. On these outcries against Bishop Hall consult a succeeding note, which contains Sadler's examination.
* Of the early opinions of Grotins on this subject it is necessary to give some account, because, at a subsequent period of his life, they were objected to him as contradictory to his more mature thoughts and desigus : In 1611, when he was twenty-seven years of age, on consulting Anthony Walæus about one of his first publications, he thus addresses him : “ I perceived that it would be easy for me to clear myself, before those persons who would enter into a right consideration of my design ; and yet that it would be an act of greater prudence and correctness, if every expression were so mollified as to require the least possible excuse or apology. But, as this course was oue of difficulty, for I seemed always inclined to stumble against one side or the other, I began to deliberate if it would not be better to suppress this production, or to defer its publication to a more peaceful period.-The saying of yours is undoubtedly true, 'that, among those topics of controversy between • us and the Papists, there are some which openly attack the citadel of the true faith. Yet the foundations of the citadel are still apparent among them; and, if a comparison be instituted, we shall find those foundations to be greater and more dignified than the structure that is erected upon them, aud than that part of the structure itself which is nearest the foundations, for there are gradations even between the different parts. Our Junius was accustomed to say, · The Popists err in the foundatioos so as not to err FROM • the foundations: To this distinction 1 yield my full assent. In this book, in which I had purposed to abstain from all controversies, I could not pass over in silence, among other topics, that most profane custom of forming representations of the Deity by images; because iu reality I hope, that wo prudent men in the church of Rome itself can possibly approve of that iinpiety, as they must likewise disapprove of those gross and Pelagian opinions of some men about Merits, and Free-will in reference to its opposition to Grace. But even these points among the Papists which are most dangerous, may, I think, be undermined and overturned by the very principles which I lay down as gravted. The authority of these principles ought to be the greater, because those who are convicted by them of falsehood, dare not deny their truth. The declaration made by certain divines of great reputation, approaches very near the truth : All those truths which we believe, are acknowledged by the
Papists; but to them are added other things which are false, and which are 'totally inconsistent with those prime truths which they acknowledge. The consequence is this, when religion is reduced to those truths in which all christian churches of every age agree, Popery will be ruined, because it is composed of private opinions," which have no connection with the recognised verities of the Church Universal.]
It is amazing that any one should have objected against these sentiments ; for they are the very germs of the principles which he afterwards expanded in the blessed work of pacification. This is rendered still more apparent, by a letter to the same learned divine, written two months afterwards, of which the following is an extract: ".Between you and me no difference of opinion
disciples, Arminius rejected the Papacy from his project of pacification, as Bertius informs us, and it is also recorded in his last Will and Testament: “ He shewed great solicitude, exists respecting the Papists, though each of us may employ different phrases from the other, which is uothing unusual. For I concede to you, that, in Popery, there are certain things which it has in common with other churches, and that there are likewise some things which are peculiar to itself: Those of the former class are christian, those of the latter are for the most part antichristian ; the former by themselves are of a saving nature, the latter, when separated, are destructive. But we have cause of gratitude to God on one account—those individuals among the Papists who possess a larger portion of candour and liberality, are compelled to own, that all the articles of their ! belief are not of equal authority, and therefore that those assured pripci
ples which are common to our Christianity, ought to be apprehended with a • kind of special knowledge that does not belong to the others. For this reason the way in which I proceed seemed to me not unsuitable for healing those who are capable of a cure, and that is to teach them to hold those things as undoubted which are of a salutary nature, and, if they cannot yet execrate the others, as pestiferous, to lay them aside in the mean time as unnecessary. Though I readily understand how important and difficult of reconciliation those topics are which are controverted among christians, and particularly those which are subjects of discussion between us and the Papists, yet to place before their eyes this importance and difficulty was no part of my intention, which only included a wish to exhort real christians to the exercise of charity, on account of those things which are common to all of them : and to advise all others to embrace those things which are professed by christians in general, and to omit all the subjects of dispute. Unless such a plan be adopted towards those who are not christians, they will undoubtedly be so scandalized at our dissensions, as almost to think that, excepting the name of CHRISTIAN, there is no other point in which we all agree.".
His early views on this subject receive further illustration from a Letter addressed, six years afterwards, to his brother, who was then at Paris on his travels. "My Brother, your safe arrival at Paris in the midst of such difficult circumstances, is a true source of pleasure to me : Nor is it the less pleasing to hear, that at the very commencement of your journey you bave begun to know a race of men whom you had not seen Hefore, who are objects of hatred to every good man, and distinguish themselves by that most arrogant appellation of JESUITS; as though it was not sufficient for them to be called CHRISTIANS,-a title with which the piety of such a multitude of ages has been content! The objections which they stated to you about the Catholic Church, are of no value. For it is as great an absurdity to dignify the
, it Church of Holland. Both these churches are only parts of the universal body, whose head is Christ. The Greek, Syriac, Coptic, Abyssinian, Russian, Armenian, and as many more that lie under no obligations to the Roman Pontiff, are parts of the same great body. These are stigmatized by the Roman Catholics as schismatics, because they do not own that new domination of the Universal Bishopric which Gregory, the Roman Pontiff, specified long ago as the mark of the future Antichrist. It is an undoubted fact, that the Christian Name is far more widely extended among those nations that are unacquainted with the Papal kingdom, than it is among such as have submitted their necks to that unjust yoke. But if the Roman Pontiff would coufine himself within the ancient limits, and would account it enough to he the First Patriarch, and at the same time the Son but not the Lord of the Church, some hopes might then be indulged concerning the restoration of unity, which cannot form any possible ground of hope as long as liberty is thus manifestly under oppression. The conversion of the Gentiles is indeed promised to the true church, and, in the first ages after Christ, that prophecy received an abundant fulfilment. Yet I cannot deny, that some persons have been gained from Paganism to Christianity, as well by Papists as by Protestants : But this circumstance is of no avail, either to them or to us, in discovering the truth under controversy,-no more than it concerned
that the scattered members of the Church should no longer remain in a state of separation, but should now at length, according to their Lord's command, be incorporated into one body. In his judgment, which in this instance is supported by facts, the Court of Rome does not seek those things which are Christ's, but the pleasures, the honours, the profit, and the splendour of this world, and a system of tyranny over both the minds and the bodies of men; and he therefore considered it neither possible nor proper for any person to enter into consultation with that harlot respecting the concerns of salvation, or the estab.shment of peace throughout the Christian community. In other religious denominations he could generally perceive a studied regard and attention to conscience and piety, and that these parties did not intentionally or by design offend against the integrity of the Church, so much as by doubtful ambiguities or intricate enquiries. To render these noble attempts abortive, or to elude their efficacy, Satan
and says :
those of old that compassed sea and land to make one proselyte, who,
when he was made, became two-fold more than his masters the child of hell but not of heaven. (Matt. xxiii, 15.).”-At the close of the same letter, he alludes to a principle contained in his treatise on the Freedom of the Ocean,
My treatise by no means concedes an indirect dominion to the Pope; but it derives its argument from those principles which are professed among the Cardinals themselves. I approve of the sentiments of those individuals among the Roman Catholics who declare, 'that Bishops, and among them, the Roman Pontiff, if he be desirous of properly, dischargiog his functions,-have a right over the sheep of their fold to make arrangements about the concerns of their flock in the way of persuasion, but not of command. If any person refuses obedience, he may for equitable reasons be excluded from communion, but he cannot be compelled. But if those who are called Heretics may through the fear of contagion, be excluded from the privileges which are common to all by the law of nations, why may not access into Spain be denied to us and to the English? Thanks be to God, we are not heretics: but we can say with St. Paul, After the way which they call HERESY, so worship we the God of our Fathers !"
In all these extracts, Grotius manifests the same liberal feeling as he exhibited nearly thirty years afterwards, with the exception of his bint about the mark of Antichrist. Most justly therefore could be observe to his brother in 1643, in reference to a scurrilous publication against him : “ I have seen the book which James Laurence has dedicated to me. I wonder, how be, who calls himself the defender of the truth, can utter such audacious falsehoods, -as he does when he says, that Ruárus lodged in my house,'-and when be applies to the Sociniaus the arguments which, in my book on the Laws of War and Peace, I had written against the Mennonites. I am not aware of any Protestant having hitherto declared, that no man, in the communion of the Church of Rome, cau possibly be saved ! A doctrine contrary to this was both taught and written by Camero, Ferrarius, and many other Protestants. The causes which he adduces are exceedingly vapid. For the Council of Trent says, that the righteousness which obtains the approbation of God, and which it is his pleasure to render saving, is derived from God through Christ. It is also possible for persons in that Communion to abstain from idolatry, by honouring the saints only as the servants of God, by using images as refreshing excitements to their memories, and by venerating in the sacrament that which is its principal part, as the Council of Trent has made the adoration the crament to be tantamount to adöring Christ in the sacrament.-Hě objects against me many of my former opinions, as if they were at variance with my recent writings; yet there is no actual variation
endeavoured to excite a persuasion in certain inconsiderate persons, that in all these things Arminius was actuated by a selfish desire to procure his own glory, to make an ostentatious display of the force of his genius, to introduce innovations into the Church, and to put in motion the recriminating saw of mutual contentions and altercations.” By consulting the Works of Arminius, (vol. 1, pp. 408—451, 639, 660,) the reader will become acquainted with the philanthropic and liberal views of that great man, who made those benevolent declarations, when, according to the statement of the Dort Synodists “ the magistrates were favourable to the Arminians, and they could accomplish any thing through Uitenbogardt's influence with the Advocate of Holland.”* (Arminius, vol. 1, pp. 514, 548.) between them, if they be examined according to the exact rules of Logic. If my judyment has become purer and more refined through process of time, conversation with the learned, or through diligent reading, Iought uot, on that account, to be accused of inconstancy, any more than St. Augustine, who in his Retractations has corrected many of his own opinions.-But, in defiance of all justice, he charges the Psaltery of Bonaventura upon the whole body of Catholics, (though it was condemned by the Doctors of the Sorbonne,) and those verses to the Virgin Mary wbich commence with Impera Redemptori, as well as some others which he has quoted from their books. Prudent men among the Roman Catholics believe, not only that censors of books but that Popes themselves may be fallible, and often are deceived ou many subjects.”
* In page 496, I have said, that “the Dutch Calvinists adopted the expedient of calling the doctrine of Unconditional Election and Reprobation fundamental ;” and it is there shewn to be a Popish principle. For, with the substitution of the word Calvinists, the Arminians might employ Mr. Mede's phrase, and say : “ The Calvinists aud we differ not in the articles WE account to be fundamental; not that we differ not, and mainly too, in those which THEY account fundamental."
The first mention of such a proposition was made by Gomarus, at the close of a Public Conference between him and Arminius, before the States of Holland, on the 24th of May, 1608. After a patient beariug of the parties, the President of that honourable assembly had thanked Gud that the controversy between the two Professors did not at all concern the main points of the christian religion; but Gomarus passionately affirmed “ that the controversy " between them was of such vast importance, that he durst not appear in the
presence of his Maker, if he maintained the opinions which Arminius pro« fessed !" To this uncharitable speech should always be appended the just remark of one of his co-temporaries : “I would much more readily appear “ before the tribunal of God with the Faith of Arminius, than with the “ CHARITY of Gomarus !"-The reply of Gomarus was much applauded by bis friends, ard the principle which it avowed was pertinaciously maintained by the Dutch Calvinists, during the whole of the succeeding half century. But, though inclined to live in amity with his colleague, Gomarus was attacked on his weak side; and being constituted the leader of the high Predestinarian party, he was furnished with projectiles, which, at the suggestion of some craftier men, he hurled against the scriptural doctrines of General Redemption. To this fact some allusions are made in the Life of Arminius ; and it is easily proved by a document, signed by Gomarus, only three years before, in which he explicitly states, “ that, among the Professors of the Faculty of Theology (in Leyden], no difference existed that could be considered as in the least affecting the fundamentals of doctrine !!! It was not even pretended, that Arminius had disclosed any fresh heterodoxies between the years 1605 and 1608; but the Calvinists bad discovered, that, unless they boldly affirmed their DOCTRINAL peculiarities to be essential to salvation,-a