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resembles much the following brief account which he gives to the same individual in another letter:
“ The way to determine fundamental articles must be made very short, easy and evident; or it will breed ma controversies, as are about the points themselves in question. I can gather that by what I sometimes meet with. It is not fit that a confession, which concerns all that will be saved to know and remember, should be any long or tedious discourse. The ten commandments given by God are an Epitome faciendorum; the Lord's prayer is Summa or Epitome petendorum : According to which pattern the confession we seek for should be but Summa credendorum.” See a similar passage, p. 757.
In accordance with the liberality of these FUNDAMENTAL ARTICLES, he delivered the following advice to Mr. Hartlib, for framing a Fundamental Confession: “When I read over Mr. Dury's Consultation, I perceived he aimed at the self-same ground for the discovery and discerning of Fundamental Verities from Non-Fundamental that I had formerly done in mine to you, though in a differing way of expression, as men that conceive apart are wont to do. I made them to be such truths as ' have necessary influence upon the acts and functions of
christian life, or without the explicit knowledge whereaf · those acts and functions cannot be exercised.' further and specifies wherein this christian life consisteth:* therefore not needful to be understood of every one distinctly, and explicitely, as the former, but implicitely only and as far as they shall be capable or have means to come to the knowledge thereof."
* The letter to Mr. Hartlib, to which in this extract Mr. Mede refers, contains an intimation very similar to this by Mr. Dury. "It occurs in some remarks on Mr. Streso's book, on which he says: “ As for the third sort of Fundamentals, or super-fundamentals, which Mr. Streso makes such as are
by immediate or necessary consequence deducible from the fundamentum 'salutis,' I make some question whether all such are necessaria cognitu et creditu ad salutem simply.--FIRST. Because the necessity of such consequence may not be apprebended by all who hold the fundamentum.SECONDLY. Because I am not yet persuaded, that to deny or to be ignorant of a truth which is merely speculative, (such as some of these consequences may be,) is damnable; but only [to be ignorant) of such truths, the knowledge and acknowledgment whereof haih necessary connection with some practical requisite unto salvation; I mean, whereon depends necessarily ibe acquiring of some act necessary, or the avoiding of some act repugnant, to salvation.”-From this paragraph every man of discernment will perceive the true reason, why the more rigid Calvinists spurned all these conciliatory schemes, that represented the doctrine of Absolute Election and Eternal Reprobation as a truth merely speculative, the denial or ignorance of which was pot damnable.” This was in their eyes past all human endurance. See pages 496 and 748.
Mr. Mede then proceeds, in the same letter, thus to explain himself :“ So that still it seems to me, the readiest and easiest way for resolution in this matter is, to inquire and examine what those acts are wherein consists our spiritual life, or that union and fellowship, which we have with the Father and his son our Mediator Jesus Christ. That which is necessarium cognitu et creditu unto them, is fundamental to salvation, that is, cujus agnitioni salus tanquam fundamento innititur. That which is not so, is not fundamental ad salutem. For example: He that comes uuto God,' says St. Paul, must believe that God is.' So likewise, he that comes unto
Namely, as natural life consists in the conjunction of the soul with the body, so doth spiritual life in the conjunction of men with God, that is, in being in covenant with him. All those verities, therefore, the knowledge and belief whereof is necessary to the acts and functions requisite to the being and continuation in the covenant with God in Jesus Christ, are Fundamental Verities, without the explicit knowledge and belief of which a man cannot be saved.”
He then immediately adds: “ But for the framing or composing such fundamental confession as is sought for, let me discover my opinion, fancy, or whatsoever it be. I observe, that the confessions or creeds of the ancient Church, (which were their symbols of communion,) were always the former creeds or confessions enlarged with such further additions or explanations subjoined to the former articles respectively, as the heresies of the times made requisite for the distinction of orthodox believers. So the Nicene creed was the creed of the Apostles enlarged in the Articles of Father and Son, and one or two other. The creed of Constantinople added, to the Article of the Holy Ghost in that of Nice, these words, • The Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father (and the Son,] who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified;' against Macedonius. This is the creed we say at the communion in our Church. That of Athanasius yet more enlarges that of Nice, as doth that of Chalcedon also the article of the Son
Christ, or unto the Father by him, (as everyone must do that will be saved,) must believe that Christ is, and that he is constituted the Mediator between God and us. He that comes unto and relies upon Christ for remission of sin, must believe that Christ suffered, and was offered a sacrifice for the sins of men, and thereby purchased that power to confer remission uvto all that should repent and believe in his name. He that bids a true farewell to sin, and saviugly buckles to the works of a new life, must believe there is a life to come, and a day wherein God, by the man he hath ordained, shall judge
both the quick and dead, and give unto every one according to his works ;' according to that of St. Paul, Acts xxiv, 15, 16. I have hope towards God, • that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, botle of the just aud unjust.
For this cause do I exercise myself to have always a conscience void of offence toward God and toward men. According to these examples you may examine more.-Take this similitude: In a creature endued with animal life, are many members or organs, whereof though none can be wanting, hurt or wounded, without some deformity, defect or detriment of the whole, yet all are not essential unto the life of the body, but such only from whence those faculties and functions flow, whereon life necessarily depends, such as are, respiratio, nutritio, gustus, tactus, pulsus, somnus, and the like. Therefore the organs whereon these depend can neither be wanting, nor notoriously hurt or wounded, but the body presently dieth. Without legs, arms, tongue, eyes, ears, nose, a man may live, though a most pitiful, ugly, and loathsome spectacle, and more fit for the spital than the public society of men: But without head, heart, lungs, stomach, and the like, he canuot, namely, because these members, and the sound and
good temper of them in some degree, are necessary to those faculties and functions which are requisite unto life. Apply this, and improve it by your meditation."
against Eutyches. Were it not fit therefore, that we should. tread in their steps, and frame our confession or symbolum in like manner? to wit, not making the form of our confession wholly new, but taking the former creeds or some of them for, our ground, to enlarge their articles, with such further additions and explanations as the state of the times requires: that so our confession might be the creeds of the ancient Church, specified only to the present condition of the Churches and no other. Thus we should both testify to the world our communion and agreement with the ancient Catholic Church, (a matter of no small moment, that we may not seem to have made a new church or religion, as we are charged, and yet withal distinguish ourselves from the sects, heresies and apostacies of the times. To which end it were fit the words of the ancient creeds should be retained as much as could be; and for the more easy reception thereof, that the additions and insertions should be made in the express words of scripture, as near as the nature of the composure would suffer it, and not otherwise. As for the meaning of them, their application to the several articles would specify it, as far as were needful to the end aimed at by such a confession. Compare the creeds of Nice, Athanasius and Chalcedon, with that of the Apostles, and you will understand my meaning. And consider, that in such a business as this we must not be too much in love with methods of our own devising, (though perhaps they seem better,) but follow that which all the Churches will most easily yield unto, and cannot except against. I believe our own, (as may by some passages be already guessed,)* would hardly be brought to subscribe to any other form than of such a mould. Take this also before I conclude: That my meaning is not, we should do as the council of Trent hath done, by adding twelve more articles to the creed; but that our additions should be inserted into the several articles of the ancient creed, as subordinate to them, and further explanations of them. Which those of Trent indeed could not well do, those which were added being the worst of them, incompatible and inconsistent with the former articles according to the true and original meaning of the same, and therefore not to be incorporated with them."
To those already apprised of the aversion which the Calvinists generally manifested to the authority of the Christian Fathers, (page 430) it will not seem marvellous that they should reject all outlines of a Catholic Confession, like that which Mr. Mede had devised. His old friend. Dr. Twisse, who had with avidity sought his acquaintance while he talked about the destruction of Antichrist, (page 510) could not endure the bare mention of Fundamental Articles. In a letter which Mr. Hartlib sent to
* See an account of this in pages 496 and 741.
Mr. Mede in 1637, he gives an extract from one that he had received from the testy old Predestinarian: “I had occasion,” says Mr. Hartlib,“ to exchange some letters of late with Dr. Twisse: In his last he writes thus unto me:
• As for regnum 6 sanctorum et Christi in terris, resurrectio prima, &c. passages
there have been between me and Mr. Mede thereabouts, and I am • but his scholar therein. I have yet no liberty to take into con6 sideration the matter of FUNDAMENTALS, neither have I any i
affection to it, as finding no sure footing in that argument.' Thus far he."* - In this expression
of antipathy to Fundamental Articles, as a high Calvinist, Dr. Twisse was not singular: For, on examining the names of the divines, who, in various parts of Europe, granted the highest encouragement to Mr. Dury's designs, it will be found, that they consisted principally of those who had espoused the benign doctrines of General Redemption, or of those who, to avoid the stigma then attached to an open profession of Arminianism, sheltered themselves under the system of Camero, Amyraut, or Baxter. The rigid Predestinarians, whose ranks were rapidly thinning, would give no countenance to a scheme, that militated against the pre-eminence which they had assigned to Absolute Election. subsequent letter, Mr. Mede gives his opinion about " a paper" which Mr. Hartlib had sent to him, as the production of a third person who was anonymous, but who, from certain indications, was either Dr. Twisse himself or one of his friends. I subjoin part of the letter, and give a large extract in the note:t “What
* In another of Mr. Mede's letters to Mr. Hartlib, he shews the unwillingness evinced by the chief of the Calvinists to countenance Dury's project. The third person described by him in the subjoined extract, is evidently Dr. Twisse :
“ I received your last, with the continuation of Mr. Dury's progress and success. So unwilling, are ours here to acquaiut themselves with any such business, that you shall scarce get them to read any thing that way without much entreaty. Yea I found * * * himself, when I carried him this, in somewhat a like disposition. Fain he would have declined the reading of it: - You can tell,' said he, “the substance of it,' &c.—One Doctor, a great Calvinist for the points of predestination, being shewn it by, a friend to whom I had lent it, could not be gotten, after he had read a leaf or thereabouts, to read one jot more, but cried out, It is a thing simply impossi• ble, and never can or will be.' I know one in the world, otherwise a wise, discreet and understanding man, to whom discoursing historically about Mr. Dury's negotiation and hopes, he commended it for a good and pious endeavour : But I pray God,' saith he, he doth not much hurt, as
things now stand at this time. He meant, as I supposed, give advantage to the Arminian party, whereunto he is a great opposite.--Yea, I'll tell you, but sub sigillo, that I have heard *** himself say as much before. You see how hard it is for men who have once drawn blood in these controversies, I mean have publicly engaged and declared themselves in them, to listen to any overture of peace.”
+ In page 497, both in the text and note, I have given extracts from the commencement of this letter, which prove, in the most convincing manner, the guile of the Calvinists in wishing to screen their
peculiar doctrines by assuring the world that they were FUNDAMENTAL. This paragraph immediately follows:
greater evil can befall the Church [Universal] than schism and breach of charity between her members, and the woeful effects that do inevitably follow thereof? Shall we then, to avoid the lesser and such as perhaps may not be, cherish the greater which threaten ruin to the whole body? that I say nothing of the spiritual estate of those who are engaged therein, if they are not so much as willing to be at unity! This is a great piece of PRACTICAL Divinity, and to be more considered than it is. The whole discourse, methinks, moves rather upon the hinges of Policy than of Divinity: as is too manifest, in that he would have the Foreign Churches to labour such a confession, and ours to lie at the advantage to approve or not to approve it, as we shall find it makes for or against our particular tenets.”.
But Dr. Twisse and his friends, having imbibed all the lulling sweetness of the maxim, Once in grace always in grace, personal concern about their own spiritual estate while resisting these peaceful efforts ; and the “ piece of Practical Divinity, to which Mr. Mede alludes, engaged no part of their anxious consideration.
These extracts pourtray with sufficient clearness the kind of Fundamentals which Dury propounded to the different Churches on the continent, as the basis of a grand Protestant confederacy, that might successfully compete with the boasted Unity of the Church of Rome, and preserve the members of Reformed com
" I would know whether the author of this letter thinks that the Lutherans and Calvinists agree not in so much as is necessary unto salvation. If htey do, would not a Confession, composed of such things wherein they agree, contain all things necessaria cognitú ad salutem ; and yet no necessity that this or that particular tenet should be defined by such confession to be or not to be fundamental ?-I would kuow also whether he thinks it fit that particular churches should have particular confessions, whereunto their members should profess their assent. If so, I would have it considered, whether some of his inconveniences be not as incident to such confessions towards the members of a particular church, as would be from a general confession towards the members of several churches.-All such inconveniences are per accidens, but the good and benefit is per se ; yea, prevents far greater evils, with which such contingent and casual inconveniences may not stand in competition."
After the very judicious observations contained in the text, Mr. Mede adds : -“ Moreover it is to be considered, that many of the evils he supposes would follow of such a confession, are already in being in most cburches, whilst there is no such confession; therefore, the declining of such a confession is not the means to avoid them; they will be, whether there be any such or not. Those who will seek for pretences to do amiss, will always find them.-Some of the evils he alleges are such, as the contrary to what he fears seem every whit as like to follow. For why should not such a declaration and limiting of fundamentals rather introduce a greater liberty and indulgence in particular churches to think what men list in other points, than an oppression or further bondage to be imposed upon the members thereof? Yea, a confession cannot descend far in particulars, but some men's consciences or other will be wronged by it: And a man in this case should not have respect to his own conscience only, but as well to other men's, who may scruple the contrary to his.-He seems to me to confound points of faith with matters of practice and manners. But the question is not, what is licitum or illicitum in practice, or what is necessarium factu, but what is necessarium creditu ad salutem.”