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than a declaration of the opinions and advice of the divines assembled at that place. And besides, they are drawn up in such a manner, as that both the high and low men may receive them without changing their own opinions. But that which is most remarkable of all, is, that the late Queen of glorious memory did by her own authority forbid the publication of the aforesaid Articles of Lambeth; and that the King [James I.] who now reigns, being desired by some divines to cause those Articles to be inserted into the Confession of the English Church, refused his consent, thinking it would be of no use to stuff the said book of confession with theological conclusions.
“ If the toleration be rejected, one of these three things will necessarily follow ; either all the clergy must be brought to one and the same opinion with respect to these points : or else one part of them must be excluded the ministry : or lastly, there must be two Reformed Churches in these provinces.- To bring all the clergy to be of the same mind, is impossible: for both parties quote several passages of Holy Writ in their favour, produce many plausible arguments, and boast of many great men of the Primitive as well as of the Reformed churches. To turn out of the ministry those of either of the opinions, is neither chris. tian nor practicable:* It is not christian, because the doctrine of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ teaches more moderation and temper, than to allow that any man's talents should be rendered useless, for no other reason but because they disagree with us in opinions which by many are so difficultly understood: Neither is it practicable, for the number as well of the clergy as of the people, on each side, is too great to bring about such a business, without putting the nation in a flame.—The Reformed
* In alluding to the Toleration here claimed for both parties, the artful Historical Preface to the Dort Acts says : “ It was to be feared, if opinions so discordant to each other were permitted to be propounded from the same pulpits to the same congregations, the peace of the Churches would be still further disturbed, as had been previously proved by experience.” What is the sage comment of the late Rev. Thomas Scott on this permission, granted by the Civil Magistrates, for the Dutch Calvinists and Arminians to enjoy an equal liberty of preaching the gospel, according to their own peculiar tenets, provided each party restrained itself within the limits which the States prescribed ? He says, “Let it be recollected, that all the parties were strict Presbyterians as to church government. The toleration here described is entirely different from any thing known in Britain, or indeed at present thought of. The general sentiment,—even of those who claim not only the fullest toleration, but something beyond toleration, as their indisputable right,-is, at least, separate places of worship for those of discordant opinions.” Now, the case of thé Arminian Pastors was this,-their brethren the Calvinists had entered into a compact not to allow the pulpits which they occupied to be defiled with Arminian doctrines,—and the States of Holland had passed an Act, that neither party should have separate places of worship. What course then was to be taken ? Why, that which was ultimately pursued, the poor Arminian ministers, being then through political events the weaker party, were not only excluded from the ministry, but by the same Calvinistic association were banished out of the country.
But Mr. Scott says, with his wonted forgetfulness, « The toleration here described is entirely different from any thing known in Britain,” after hav
Church of these provinces (which, God be praised, has hitherto been uniform,) may indeed be rent or divided, but it will be dangerous to the last degree. It is true, Gentlemen, we connive at some conventicles, or private meetings of Martinists and Mennonites, but you know this is quite a different case; since the States have not taken upon them the defence of such sectaries, but only that of the true Reformed churches, which they ought to preserve undivided, as when they received them under their patronage. The schism between the Lutherans and the Reformed had its beginning about the year 1530, increasing more and more till it was entirely formed in 1575; since which many pious divines have laboured to cure the wound, but in vain. So much easier is it to divide than to unite! And therefore the beginning of such evils ought to be obviated with the utmost industry, and the rather, since schism is of such a nature that there spring from it in time many errors which are much worse than the pretended causes of the schism itself. Accordingly we find, that both the Novatians and Donatists, after their separation from the orthodox, departed still more and more from the truth, as have the Lutherans by falling into the Ubiquitarian error. The reason of this, next to the just judgment of God, is, because, by schism, all order and discipline is destroyed, and each party, apprehending further divisions, is afraid to use the proper remedies. If it be lawful to make a schism on account of the articles in question, why not on account of others which equally regard the business of predestination, and with reference to which even the Contra-Remonstrants differ among themselves? Is it allowable to separate for these? then why not, much more, for the points that concern justification, such as those
which are canvassed by Piscator and Tilenus on one side, and Du Moulin and many more with him on the other? The Lutherans, after having separated from the rest of the Protestant churches, were immediately split into Flaccians, ing told us that all the parties were strict Presbyterians as to church
On the contrary, a similar toleration is to this day practised in the Church of England. I know many large towns in England, and several parishes in London, the inhabitants of which are favoured with a sermon in the afternoon or evening from a lecturer, chosen by the parishioners, who either gives them some Calvinistic doctrine, or (which is now more fashionable,) something Baxterian, though he generally makes it apparent that he has never studied BAXTER's Aphorisms on Justification! This is frequently done in churches, in which other two sermons are preached every Sunday of a gracious Arminian aspect. If, therefore, the vicars or rectors of such parishes do not utter any lamentations about “ permitting opinions so discordant to each other to be propounded from the same pulpit to the same congregation,”-by allowing both Calvirists and Arminians to have a portion of meat in due season, they shew themselves to be far more charitable than those Dutch Calvinists whose sentiments are recorded at the commencement of this note. But if these beneficed clergymen were to exert their authority and influence, an prevent the introduction such Calvinistic afternoon or evening-lecturers, they could incur no blame from those defenders of “ toleration” who are governed by the principles which Mr. Scott has here avowed and approved.
Osiandrians, and the like. We see the English Puritans are separating from the church and from one another every day ; but, above all, the Anabaptists are remarkable on this account, who have so many sects swarming among them, that scarce any can reckon their number or names. From hence, Gentlemen, we may justly conclude, that if we once suffer a separation, we can expect nothing else but greater devastations in the Reformed churches, to the hurt of the true religion and to the joy and victory of the Papists; and what mischiefs it may introduce into the state, is not unknown to our civil governors. If the plague of schism be spread in the churches, it will soon infect the state ; especially in a nation where the chief band of union is religion. În kingdoms themselves, diversity in the public exercise of religion is extremely prejudicial; but, to republics, it is utterly destructive.* On the other hand, if we embrace
* I quote these few sentences at the close of the Oration, to shew that those persons who praise the tolerant views of Grotius and the Dutch Arminians, at the expence of Archbishop Laud and his friends, know nothing at all about the matter. Uniformity in religion appeared so desirable as to induce both those great man to argue that, for its sake, several minor differences ought to be sacrificed. The only difference between the means which each of them adopted to effect the same purpose, was this,-Grotius and his friends procured the enactment of an admirable statute, at the time when it was particularly needed, for allaying the dissensions of two contending parlies in the Church,-while Archbishop Laud only exercised those large ecclesiastical powers which the Constitution as it then stood had vested in his Archi-episcopal predecessors. I have the means of proving, that Laud executed those powers with more equity than any former Archbishop, and with more mildness too, if we consider the opprobrious epithets bestowed upon him and his high function, and the gross libels upon his administration of affairs ecclesiastical which were published by the Calvinists, who, whether Churchmen or Dissenters, seemed to glory in their unholy combination for his destruction. Yet, amidst all these personal provocations, which were far greater than those which had been endured by the whole of his Protestant predecessors in the Archi-episcopal see, he maintained that“ tole ration" in the Church for which Grotius bere pleads, and between two parties that stood nearly in the saine relation towards each other as their respective brethren did in the United Provinces. ludeed, it is a fact which easily admits of proof, that, during the period when he had the disposal of ecclesiastical patronage, more Calvinistic clergymen obtained dignities in the Church than Arminian clergymen did under the rule of Archbishop Abbot.
Such were the commendable though unproductive efforts of two great pleaders for UNIFORMITY in the public worship of God, but not in doc. trine : For each of them wished the Dutch and the English National Churches to shelter both Arminians and Calvinists. What was the conduct pursued by another great European peace-maker, at the period when Episcopacy was abolished, and when Presbyterianism, though not absolutely the established religion, was the only one which enjoyed the advantages of formal Parliamentary sanction ? At that juncture,—when Arminianism
had no existence either in the numerous separate congregations or in the Presbytery, but was crushed under the ruins of the Episcopal Church and its professors were excluded from all offices of honour or emolument by every vexatious and tyraunical method that could be devised,-at that juncture when the successful Calvinists had only to legislate for their own dear Predestinarian bretbren, the famous Joh Dury, better known by his Latio name DURÆCs, a member of the Westminster Assembly of Divines, on the request of the INDEPENDENTS to be permitted "..to have a few churches according to their own inodel," spuke thus; “ It would lay the foundation of strife and
christian moderation and allow of a toleration with reasonable restrictions, we shall first attain that which is most necessary for us in this burning fever,-rest and quietness; all doctrines contradictory to the universal faith of the Reformed churches will be unanimously expelled out of our churches.”
These sentiments are worthy of the great man by whom they were pronounced, and are highly indicative of the enlarged philanthropy which filled the breast of this true disciple of Arminius; but it is a subject of lamentation, that they were addressed to persons that were resolved to punish real peace-makers, which
purpose of theirs was soon afterwards effected in the Synod of Dort. I refer the reader to what Mosheim has said respecting that Synod in a preceding page, (151,) and every man who knows the history of its proceedings will give it the appellation which it merits, if, with that learned historian, he calls it “ an Assembly destructive of sacred peace!". The only trace of liberal feeling, with respect to Fundamental Articles, is to be found in the sentiments of the Bremen divines,* who endured the most cruel treatment from the majority of that Calvinistic Council, and much obloquy and persecution after their return to Bremen,-only because they displayed greater benevolence of disposition and uttered more correct opinions about the goodness of God to all men, than were indulged by several of
division in the kingdom to have two ways of church-government: Which may agree with some Machiavilian, but no Christian, policy. And therefore it will be no wisdom in the state, to yield to the suit of the [Independent] brethren; except it be induced thereto by the necessity of avoiding some greater inconveniency, than is the admitting of a seed of perpetual divison within itself, which is in my apprehension the greatest of all other, and most opposite to the kingdom of Christ.”
It would require the display of much greater finesse, even than that which is usually employed, to produce any plausible point of comparison between the Arminian Archbishop's conduct and that of DURY the intolerant Presbyterian!
* Louis Crocius thus describes the pacific exertions of the Bremen deputies, in the Preface to a work which he published after the death of Martinius, who was one of his colleagues at the Synod of Dort: “ It cannot easily have escaped the recollectiou of any of the Synodical Fathers, that the deputies from Bremen ook uncommon pains with the English, Hessian, and other divines in that Assembly, to prevent the deadly schism of the churches, and openly to disapprove of the inconvenient and rigid opinions and phrases of certain persons; by which method, not only the Remonstrants in Holland, but the Lutherans in Germany, might the more readily have been induced to unite with us. The desire of promoting and establishing such a union, was seriously inculcated by their Honours, the magistrates.—That mau of consummate wisdom [Martinius) remembered the designs and the cautions entrusted to us when we were deputed to the Synod; which were, that the moderate doctrine, to which the church of Bremen had been accustomed from the commencement of the Reformation up to that period, should not be rendered more difficult by the rigid speeches and opinions of some foreigners,-and that the consciences of the more infirm should not through disgust be turned aside from our congregations : So that whenever princes or other individuals enquired of us especting the state of religion, we mig be able to shew, by the priuciples which we taught, that without the least disguise or fraud we WERE REAL ADHERENTS TO THE AUGSBURGH CONFESSION!”
their violent and churlish associates.* The confused and multifarious decisions of that Predestinarian Council are in direct opposition to this plan of Fundamental Articles ; any proposal
* At the conclusion of their decision on the Fifth Article on Perseverance, the divines of Bremen thus recorded some of their judicious reflections : " This is the sum of the whole matter, we are not pleased with any doctrine which engenders mean and little ideas about God, while it elevates man and renders him great, but which does not at all times resolve itself into this sentiment, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord! There are in this world many secret things, the knowledge of which we might with great personal benefit defer to the heavenly Assembly of the spirits of just men made perfect ; and we ought, in the mean time, to worship Gyd in purity of heart and with constant atfection. We must undoubtedly stand upon our guard, lest, under the title of liberty of prophesying, licentiousness should transgress all just boundaries, and should drown and suffocate the tender and fruitful plants of the Church. The word of God itself admonishes us, that we must treat controversies about religion in a religious manner, and with all due discrimination and caution; not for the purpose of doing any thing to grieve each other, but that we may mutually favour each other's labours, and may distinguish things that are necessary from those which are unnecessary, and such as are probable from those which are less probable. For, unless we practise this EQUITY, we cau never hope for any peace either in the Churches or in the Universities."
The tolerant conclusion of this extract, which strongly marks the character of the upright and intelligent Martinius, reminds me of an excellent passage respecting, this pious man's death, in a letter which Dr. Laud, then Bishop of London, addressed to the venerable Gerard Vossius in 1630 :“ But I the more deeply lament the death of Matthias Martinius, because the Church is in greater want of THAT EQUITY which flourished in him, and which, I still hope, is not entirely buried in his tomb. I say, I hope it is not ENTIRELY buried; yet, I am afraid, it is much more rare and upcommon than becomes the clerical profession. That History, from which Martinius professed to have derived this EQUITY, contains within itself ample stores, and from them such readers as are not too unworthy may obtain the same virtue. Again I tender you my thanks for that production; and now, since you have promised it more than once, prepare yourself for writing another History, the History of the Ancient Church. For, if it please God, I have a great desire to behold Baronius [the Popish Annalist] 'falling under the force of your weapons before the destinies open the tomb for me: You cannot therefore expect to receive any letler from me, without a repetition of this stimulus,” &c.
The book to wbich the Bishop here refers, and which had proved beneficial to Martinius, was the famous PELAGIAN History of the learned Vossius, written a short time before the convention of the Synod of Dort, to afford the reverend members of that Council an impartial view of the opinions of the Ancient Christian Fathers on the matters in controversy between the Calvinists and Arminians. But though both parties own its authority, I know no Calvinist who in those days of ecclesiastical tyranny durst openly acknowledge his obligations to it, or who was enlightened by it in the same manner as this celebrated Bremen divine.
It is kuown, that the opinions of the British Divines on the extent of Christ's redemption were more expansive and scriptural than those of their associates, with the exception of the enlarged sentiments of Martinius, concerning wbom it is related, in one of Hales's Letters to Sir D. Carleton, “My Lord Bishop of late hath taken some pains with Martinius of Breme, tó bring him from his opinion of UNIVERSAL GRace: By chance I came to see his letter written to Martinius, in which he expounded that place in the third of John, So God loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, &c; Which is the strongest ground upon which Martinius rests himself.” 1 am inclined to believe, that this anecdote is the foundation of another related thus by the Rev. Anthony Farindon : “ You may please to take notice, that in his younger days he was a Calvinist, and even then when he was employed at that