« הקודםהמשך »
we copy his offences.-Much less are we answerable for the Lambeth articles, or those of the Synod of Dort.
In the last chapter, the author takes the liberty of beginning the history of Calvinism, long before either Calvin's or Augustine's days, even from the times of Moses and the prophets ; and also of pointing out some inaccuracies in his Lordship’s statement of these subjects.
At the conclusion he has added an Appendix of translations, from several of the confessions of the reformed and Lutheran churches, to which he
especially requests the careful attention of the reader, both for the importance of them in the argument, and for the excellent instruction which they contain; for, in this respect, he considers them as the best part of the publication.
Nov. 16, 1811.
THE REFUTATION, &c.
ON THE PREFACE. IT being the plan of this Publication, to follow * The Refutation of Calvinism,' from page to page, without any other method, it is needless to detain the reader, with any formal introduction,
The preface contains little, which requires to be adduced, in this place; being chiefly a prospectus of the publication ; and some anticipated remarks on the evidence, which the author is about to bring forward, and which he considers as fully conclusive on the subject. One passage, however, may be noticed. Page vi. vii.
If Calvinists, &c.'' The word pretend seems to be here used, instead of maintain, or, contend.—It will appear, in the course of the
'If Calvinists pretend that absolute decrees, the unconditiopal • election and reprobation of individuals, particular redemption,
irresistible grace, and the entire destruction of free-will in man ' in consequence of the fall, were the doctrines of the primitive church of Christ,' &c.
work, which of these tenets modern Calvinists in general, and the evangelical clergy in particular, do maintain, and which they do not; and in what sense they understand them.
His Lordship, though he says, 'The design of the following work, iš to refute the peculiar doctrines of the system of theology, which was maintained .by Calvin,' undoubtedly intends to refute modern Calvinists: and therefore, their tenets should, in the first place, have been stated, with precision and accuracy.
In addition to the multifarious quotations, which have been made, froin authors of discordant sentiments; or, perhaps, in preference to some of them; a collection of passages should, in fairness, have been brought, from the works of that company, whose opinions were to be refuted. The want of this must be sensibly felt by all serious and impartial enquirers after truth ; by all readers who, in the true spirit of an English jury, desire to have the witnesses examined, and the counsel heard, on both sides, even before they hear the judge sum up the evidence, and deliver his charge; much more, before they bring in the important verdict, on which the property, the liberty, the reputation, the country, or even the life, of a fellow-citizen depends.
But, waving this for the present: if, by the primitive church of Christ,' the church, during the lives of the apostles, and the other writers of the New Testament, be meant, we adınit its authority, in the most unqualified sense; and would maintain no opinions, which we cannot prove from their
writings. If, however, the primitive church include the writers after the close of the sacred canon, to the middle, or conclusion, of the fourth century, or during any part of that period, we avowedly disclaim its authority: we appeal from fallible fathers and councils to the infallible apostles ; and we neither pretend, nor maintain, that the former held the same doctrines which we do ; nor do we allow the contrary. “ To the law and to the testimony." . Holy * scripture containeth all things necessary to salva* tion: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor 'may be proved thereby, is not required of any man,
that it should be believed, as an article of faith, or • be thought requisite or necessary to salvation.',
This subject, however, and others coincident with it, will require a more particular consideration, in the remarks on the fifth and sixth chapters of the Refutation,
s Art. vi.