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their zeal for the doctrines either of Calvin or of Arminias. They acknowledge that, mingled with both parties, there are men of distinguished talents and warm piety, who, adorned with every virtue, reflect that light and glory back upon Christianity, which they have derived from it. They are also forced to observe, that there are connected with both, several individuals, whose zeal is expended more upon points of difference, than upon those in which they coalesce, whose arguments are more distinguished by smoke than by brightness, and who rather derive their honour from the body to which they are attached, than contribute to its eminence and distinction.

A variety of causes have contributed to render the doctrines of Calvinism extremely unpopular in England. The first is, its having been the religious system generally embraced by those who, in Charles the First's time, overturned the Constitution, and brought that Monarch to the blook. The violence of the Calvinistic party in Holland, and their bitter persecution of those who, on political grounds, as well as on the subject of election, were in a state of counteraction with them, was another source of obloquy. The adoption of reprobation, as the counterpart of election, by those who took the highest ground on this awful subject, contributed greatly to render their system unpopular. The stiff and formal air, with which some divines have invested the doctrines of Calvinism, by reducing them to a dry metaphysical system, and the subtraction from it by others, of all exhortations to accept the invitations of the Gospel, by robbing Christianity of all that either rouses the fears, or interests the hopes of men,

have operated greatly to its prejudice. The scrupulosity of Calvinists in avoiding the use of terms employed in the Scriptures to point out the extent of Redemption;

and the substitution of phrases more congenial with limite ed views of that doctrine, have been urged by different writers, as spots and blemishes attached to Calvinism. It has also been generally charged with promoting a starched and precise, instead of the popular style employed in the sacred volume. A great want of candour has certainly appeared in the writings of some Calvinists, who, not satisfied with bringing to the support of their peculiarities all the arguments they could muster, have had recourse to the illiberal arts of misrepresentation, and have classed Arminians with Roman Catholics, and even with Arians and Socinians. Calvinism, it must be added, though it has been embraced and defended by a numerous body of writers, and some of them men of great learning and acuteness, has not, so often as the system that is opposed to it, found its advocates among the eloquent and elegant authors, on whom wait all the graces and charms of polished diction.

To those Clergymen of the Church of England who are called Calvinists, it is only doing justice to state, that their Calvinism in general is not only moderate, but conciliating. They do not, in general, bring into the services of religion discussions of this deeply mysterious subject. The doctrines to which, in their sermons, they give prominence are those of Evangelical Religion, without much calling the attention of men to the various shades that distinguish its friends from each other. Few expressions generally escape them, that would sound harsh in the ears of a pious disciple of Arminius. Their aims are to conciliate, not to exasperate the minds of those who cannot adopt all their views. Their views of predestination appear to be precisely the same with those of Cran. mer, Hooper, Philpot, and almost all the Bishops, Dig

nitaries, and Divines of the Church, till towards the end of James the First's reign. Some excellent men, such as Usher, Whitgift, &c. carried the doctrine of absolate decrees much higher, and embraced the whole system of Calvin. The same moderate system was received by the most eminent of the Dissenters; by Baxter, by Watts, by Doddridge; and, if Dr. Williams's sentiments may be considered as a fair specimen of the modern Calvinism that circulates among the present Dissenters, it is of the same temperate kind. In the Church, as well as among Dissentients, an individual or two may sometimes be found, who has adopted a more rigid and a sterner creed. Of this kind was Mr. Toplady, whom Dr. Priestley in his Essay on Philosophical Necessity, claims as his associate in his labours to establish that doctrine. Even the great Edwards is also mentioned by the Doctor, as having adopted the same principles. From the Restoration to our times, the number of those who have been reckoned Calvinists has not been great. Bishop Beveridge is the most eminent, and is supposed to have been the last divine of such sentiments, that was raised to the Episcopal bench. Dr. South, though a clergyman of High Church principles, has left incontestible evidence, in his sermons, of his having adopted sentiments called Calvinistical. Within these thirty years their number has rapidly increased. Their fervent piety,* their exemplary conduct and moderation, their unwearied labours in the cause of religion, in gene

The fervent piety of some Ministers of Calrinistic sentiments has, sometimes, forcibly struck those whose opinions were decidedly hostile to Calvinism; and even to all the Evangelical doctrines. Such was the Poet Burns, who latterly attended upon the ministry of a pious and excellent Minister of Cal. vinistic sentiments, the Rev. William Inglis, Dumfries.

ral, and the patience with which they have borne many privations and hardships, are supposed greatly to have contributed to their increase. The violence and illiberality of attack, which seem now to have deserted this party and to have passed over to those who call themselves Arminians, the confounding of the vital doctrines of Christianity with the peculiarities of Calvinism, and the attempts to prove the Articles of the Church to be AntiCalvinistic, have all greatly added to their numbers. The Bishop of Lincoln allows the attachment of some of them to the Church, to be firm and resolute.-Mr. Scott insinuates, that some of the Bishops have refused ordination to some young men, who had been regularly educated at the Universities; for no other reason, than their supposed belief in the doctrine of absolute election. But there must surely have been some other reason for such refusals. No Bishop, surely, would deliberately provide men of piety and popular talents and furnished with the advantages of literature, to figure in the ranks of Dissent, or of Method. ism. There have been instances of men possessed of such qualifications as have carried hundreds, and even thousands with them into the lines of hostility to the Church. That general who thins his own ranks that he may fill those of the enemy, with whom he may one day come to a decisive engagement, is in some danger of returning from the field, without the palm of victory.

Of the Evangelical Clergy who are disciples of the Arminian school, there are men of tried piety, of distinguished abilities, and who are equally sedulous, as those from whom they differ, in promoting the best interests of men. Their own yiews of those disputed su bjects, they generally prosecute with calm and unruffled minds, and instead of converting the pulpit into a stage for the trial of polemiVOL. II.

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cal skill, they unite the doctrines of grace and peace. A moderate Calvinist would seldom be able to decide, from their discourses, that they had adopted a system different from his own. Man is still considered as a creature fallen and guilty, who can be restored to the image of his Maker, only by the influence of the Holy Spirit, and who can approach to his Creator only when he comes through the mediation of the Son of God, and receives the gift of righteousness by faith. In the habits of Christian friend. ship, which are mutually cultivated by Evangelical clergymen, who embrace the different sides of this question, mutual conciliation, and the spirit of mutual forbearance are carefully prosecuted. It was not so about half a century ago, when the same controversy came to be agitated between the two different parties, both in and out of the Church. The subject was debated with all the acrimony of envenomed passions. Pamphlet was heaped upon pamphlet, and volume piled upon volume, mutually to embitter the tempers of the parties, and to blow up the sparks of contention. The men of the world stood spectators of the combat, while the friends of Evangelical religion, like gladiators, exhibited for their diversion feats of chivalry, and dealt mutual wounds. “It is just,” said they, “as we would have it. We have only to look on till they drench the sand with their own blood, and expire in their own wars." Profane wits beheld with scorn the scene that was presented before them, while they exclaimed in the language of the poet

Tantæne animis cælestibus iræ ?"

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