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able to deck out in fair colours the charge of SOCINIANISM, and that they might defend their own schism and the persecution which they instituted against the Remonstrants, under the specious pretext of the latent Socinianism among them which would insensibly betray itself,' they contrived to frame a distinction between the early Remonstrants who dissented from them solely in the Five Points, and the latter whom they stigmatized as Socinians. Others of their writers, (Spanheim, &c.) not content with this two-fold distinction, have invented FOUR classes of Remonstrants, that merge at length into the two already described. But in vain do the Calvinists endeavour to find some refuge for themselves under this distinction: For it is a circumstance well known to every one, that the Remonstrants were condemned at the Synod of Dort solely on account of the Five Articles about Predestination. The Acts and Canons of that assembly proclaim the same fact. On account of those Five Points alone, the Remonstrant pastors were discharged from the ministry and banished, and their churches were harassed with a most grievous persecution of ten years' continuance. By the judgment of the Provincial Synods, fraternal communion was refused to those who professed that benevo→ lent sentiment. If therefore the latter Remonstrants had adopted Socinianism, that can neither be an argument in excuse for the schism, which had some time previously been introduced only through the dissension about Predestination, nor of the atrocious per secution with which that schism was connected."
But though Arminius dissented from his Calvinistic brethren in the manner of stating the order and subject of God's decrees, he was too good a divine to reject the rest of the scriptural doctrines which they maintained. In all his labours his paramount desire was, according to his own words, "to perceive his countrymen employing a nicer accuracy of distinction." (P. 478.) knew that, in a revelation from Heaven,-how great soever may be the condescension of the Deity in humbling Himself to creatures of the earth, and in accommodating his expressions to the finite capacities of mankind,-some matters must appear mysterious: "Secret things belong unto the LORD OUR GOD; but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children," &c. Among those grand verities which have been REVEALED, these two hold a distinguished place: (1.) "It is GoD WHO WORKETH IN YOU both to will and to do of his good pleasure." (Philip. ii. 13.)-(2.) In the same passage, the believers at Philippi are thus exhorted, on the ground of their constant obedience, "Work our your own salvation with fear and trembling."* St. Peter also exhorts those who had
"The concurrence of God and man," says Archbishop Bramhall, "in producing the act of our believing or conversion to God, is so evident in Holy Scripture, that it is vanity and lost labour to oppose it. If God did not concur, the Scripture would not say, It is God that worketh in us both the will and the deed.' If man did not concur, the Scripture would not say,
Work out your own
obtained like precious faith with himself, through the righte ousness of God and their Saviour Jesus Christ, "Give diligence to make your calling and election SURE: For, if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ." Arminius has been accused, by those who knew little either about him or his doctrines, " of having arrogantly tried to reconcile these two apparently opposite propositions; and, when he was not able to effect a satisfactory reconeiliation," it is said, "he then attempted to elevate the doctrine contained in the second proposition at the expence of the other." All this is pure fiction: For Arminius acknowledged both of them to be REVEALED scriptural truths; but THE MODE in which the irresistible power of God can exert itself in the work of human salvation with fear and trembling.' If our repentance were God's work alone, God would not say to man, Turn ye unto me with all your heart;' and if repentance were man's work alone, we had no need to pray, Turn us, O Lord, and we shall be turned. We are commanded to repent and to believe: In vain are commandments given to them who cannot at all concur to the acting of that which is commanded. Faith and repentance are proposed unto us, as conditions to obtain blessedness and avoid destruction. If thou shalt confess with thy mouth, and believe with thy heart, thou shalt be saved.' And Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish. To propose impossible conditions, which they, to whom they are proposed,have no power either to accept or refuse, is a mere mockery. Our unbelief and impenitence is imputed to us as our own fault, Because of unbelief thou wert broken off";' and After thy hardness and impenitent heart, thou treasurest up unto thyself wrath.' Their unbelief and impeni tence were not their own faults, if they neither had power to concur with the grace of God to the production of faith and repentance; nor yet to refuse the grace of God. The Holy Scripture doth teach us, that God doth help us in doing works of piety: The Lord is my Helper,' and The Spirit helpeth our infirmities.' If we did not co-operate at all, God could not be said to help us. There is, therefore, there must be, co-operation. Neither doth this concurrence or co-operation of man, at all, entrench upon the power or honour of God, because this very liberty to co-operate is his gift, and this manner of acting his own institution."
This extract from the Irish Prelate is given by the Bishop of Winchester, in his Lordship's able "REFUTATION OF CALVINISM." In the late Rev. THCMAS SCOTT's Remarks, it is said, "This quotation is not materially different from the sentiments of modern Calvinists. None of us [Calvinists] imagine, that our repentance is God's work alone,' and he admits, that if it were our ❝ work alone, we need not pray, Turn thou us, O Lord, and we shall be turned.” None of us suppose, that God has, proposed impossible conditions, which they, to whom they are proposed, have no power to accept or refuse.' We have, by nature, both power and inclination to refuse; and nothing is wanting but a willing mind, in order to accept of them: But Bishop Bramhall would admit, that whatever power we have, we have not that willing mind, except by the grace of God. The liberty to co-operate is His gift ;' but the inclination to comply with his proposal, is His also. How far the word co-operate is proper, may be questioned: But, as the matter is here stated, I feel no great repugnancy to it; especially as explained in the concluding part of the quotation.'
The man, who could make these large admissions in sincerity, must have been at that time an Arminian, how pertinaciously soever he might on other occasions contend for some of the peculiarities of Calvin's scheme, of which nevertheless he does not seen to have had a clear conception.
salvation, without destroying the free agency of man, he viewed as one of those SECRET THINGS which belong unto the Lord." clumsy manner in which the Calvinists solve this difficulty, resembles the act of Alexander the Great when he cut the Gordian knot: They resolve all the deeds of moral agents into the Absolute Will and Irresistible Power of God, and by tearing away one of these relative propositions from its fellow, they make the first of them the foundation of their system, while the numerous exhortations, promises and threatenings of the scriptures become with them objects of inferior consideration. Arminius did not, in this, follow their example: In modestly advocating the freedom of the will, he spoke more cautiously about it than even Melancthon* had done, and always described it as utterly incompetent to effect any good unless when assisted by the exciting, preceding, and accompanying Grace of God. Though he could not perfectly reconcile the two propositions which are quoted at the commencement of this paragraph, yet he conceived them to be equally binding on the belief and practice of christians, and consequently subjects on which reason, enlightened by revelation and aided by the Spirit of God, might appropriately exercise itself. In the ample notes to the first volume of his WORKS, I have felt much pleasure in elucidating the moderation and sobriety which Arminius displayed in all his theological researches, of which the following extract, from a letter quoted in that volume, page 682, presents a good specimen: "In justification we are not taught from whence faith arises. Let it suffice, that it is there proved, Believers,
In the sixteen particulars concerning Arminius, which Dr. Thomas PIERCE has given, in his Divine Philanthropy Defended, the following forms the twelfth :
"For myself I do declare, that I was then in the opinions I now am in when I had not read one page of Arminius's works: Nor do I agree with him any farther, than he agrees with Scripture, Antiquity, the Church of England, and Melancthon after the time of his conversion from the errors of Luther, and Mr. Calvin. This Melanchthon at first had been as it were the scholar of Luther, and drew from him his first errors: But, being a pious, learned, and unpassionate man, (pursuing truth, not faction,) he saw his error, and forsook it, embracing those opinions concerning the liberty of the will, the cause of sin, the universality of grace, and the respectiveness of God's decrees, which I asserted in those notes against which Mr. B. now declaims. This Melanchthon was and is still the DARLING, (more than any one man) of the Reformed part of the Christian world; so much the rather, because besides his vast learning, unbiassed judgment, and transcendent piety, he was almost proverbial for MODERATION. For this was he chosen to write the Augustan Confession: For this he was much considered by them that composed our Book of Articles, and our other Book of Homilies which shews us what is the doctrine of the true Church of England: For this he was imitated and admired by the glorious martyrs of our religion in the days of Queen Mary: For this he was esteemed far above Mr. Calvin by Jacobus ARMINIUS, the famous Professor of Divinity in the University of Leyden, who, however a Presbyterian as to matter of discipline, did yet so very far excel the other divines of that sect, in exactness of learning as well as life, that we may say he became Melanchthon's convert."
and they alone, are justified without the works of the law. I have endeavoured to distinguish, or rather to disjoin, this decree by which God resolves to justify and adopt believers, from that by which He determines to bestow faith on these or those [particular individuals: This distinction I have attempted to make, from the nature and necessity of the things themselves; expressly with this design-that people may learn that our controversy does not relate to every kind of Predestination, but to that only which is included in the last-named decree.-A consideration of the only order which God has established, will require us to teach, that God justifies none except those who believe, though in that action He perform the condition required by himself, which condition could not have been performed except through that [irresistible] action. Add to this, that, beside his own omnipotent and internal action, God is both able and willing to employ the following argument: God justifies no persons except such as believe: Believe therefore, that thou mayest be justified.' With respect, then, to this argument, FAITH will arise from suasion; but with respect to the omnipotent and internal act of God, FAITH will arise from an irresistible efficacy-Should any one object, That it is impossible for faith to spring at the same time from a SUASION which may be ' resisted, and from AN EFFICACY which is irresistible;' I have nothing to offer that will be any great contradiction to this remark. But I have another observation to make, that is somewhat different; it is this, In his omnipotent act God employs [or uses] this argument; and by this argument, when rightly understood, 'he efficaciously produces faith." If it were otherwise, the operation would be expended on a stone or a lifeless body, and not upon the INTELLECT of a MAN."*
In another part of the letter, he says, "I do not deny, that faith is communicated to us through the Spirit of Christ, whom he has obtained from the Father, and of whom He is constituted the Donor and Dispenser by the Father. But we must observe, that the Spirit, considered absolutely as the Author of faith, precedes even the union of Christ with us: This conclusion may easily be drawn from the circumstance that our union with Christ is perfected by the Spirit and faith.There is nothing in that reasoning by Calvin of which I cannot heartily approve, if all things in it be rightly understood. For I confess, that the grace by which the Holy Spirit is bestowed, is not common to all men. I also acknowledge, that God's gratuitous [free] election may be said to be the fountain of faith;' but it is an election to bestow faith and not to communicate salvation. For a believer is elected to a participation of SALVATION, but a sinner is elected to FAITH. Let this passage also be taken into consideration, (2 Thess. ii. 13.) Because God hath ELECTED you to salvation See exactly a similar mode of reasoning, in the succeeding extract from Dr. Coplestone, (p. xv.) and from Arminius himself at the close of this volume, page 827.
through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth,' &c.; and this two-fold election will be apparent. Or at least, it will seem impossible to say, that election to salvation is an election to faith;' because the former is produced through faith [or belief] and sanctification of the Spirit.'
I might quote parallel passages from several of the old evange lical Arminians of the Church of England, but I prefer a large extract, illustrative of the topics which engaged the attention of Arminius, from a highly accomplished modern author, whose chaste and scriptural views of Revealed Truth will recommend themselves to the approbation of every christian, and who has expressed his "dissatisfaction" with some of "the attempts made to refute the Calvinistic opinions,"-attempts which seemed to him "often to retain as much error on their own side as they exposed on the opposite, and to deprive Christianity of much of that SPIRITUAL AND VITAL FORCE which is its main characteristic and essential property." I allude to Doctor Edward COPLESTON, Provost of Oriel College, Oxford, who thus expresses himself in his dispassionate Enquiry into the Doctrines of NECESSITY and PREDESTINATION:"
"The next difficulty which I suppose may be objected to the opinions we maintain, is, that they are inconsistent with the lan guage habitually employed by religious men to denote their sense of the supernatural agency exerted in the world. It is an undeniable fact, that in all ages and under all forms of religion, (setting aside for the present the doctrines of Revelation,) serious and good men have regarded the events of this life as subject to the controul of Divine Providence-that they have talked of the folly and conceit of mankind in supposing that their wisdom, their foresight, their power and contrivance, brought about the great or good things which happen-and though the men who make these reflections have had their hopes and fears, and taken their full share in planning and executing measures with a view to such events, yet after the event is passed, or even before it comes, in their graver and more contemplative hours they admit that it is God's will alone to which the whole is owing-and that all things have conspired to the furtherance of some great plan of his, which has either served to promote the happiness of men, or to illustrate his own transcendent excellence.
"Where then,' it may be said, 'is the consistency of all this? Either they do not, while they are acting, think as they do when 'truth forces these reflections from them; or, if they do, it is a proof that men may believe in a Superior Power bearing onward with a steady and irresistible course, and yet act in concurrence ' with that Power, just as if the issue depended on themselves.' Now as to the first of these suppositions, it may be admitted without scruple, that men do, while they are engaged in action, think more of their immediate business, than of the share the