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of that Church in which I was first captivated with the lovelinessof religion, may seem to be of too polemical a character to be acceptable. But those who are best acquainted with me, know, that controversy is not the element in which I delight. The rise of Arminianism, however, in the Church of England, and its subsequent obligations to that of Holland, could not be elucidated without controverting many of the reproachful and untrue accounts of its most bitter adversaries. Since, therefore, this page of English ecclesiastical History required the aid of one to whom Dutch affairs, and the constitution of the different States which composed that Republic, were familiar,—and my studies, especially in my youthful days, having been turned much in that direction, I resolved to take this burden upon myself; and, amidst numerous impediments, have been enabled, by the kindness of Heaven, to finish the First Volume of my arduous undertaking. As its multifarious contents will require, from all parties, a long time for digestion; and as the Second Volume will, like this, consist at least of 1,000 closely-printed pages; the latter (also in two parts) must not be expected till I have completed the publication of the Works of Arminius.
A few of the reasons for giving this short account of myself, are here subjoined: I wish to shew,-that, though attached from principle to the doctrines and institutions of the Church of England, I am no bigot, but love and reverence good men of every denomination ;-that, from my early scruples on ceremonial and minute matters, while I have learnt to respect those of other persons and to treat them with tenderness, I feel desirous to be instrumental in removing them ;—that the indulgence and subsequent removal of my own scruples, (which, be it remembered, were never about doctrinal matters,) led me into a course of reading, that afforded me many advantages for the execution of the work in which I am now engaged ;-that, I have no party or sinister purposes to serve by this publication, having nothing whatever to hope or to fear from men of any religious persuasion; -and that, on several important points, my evidence, corroborated as it generally is by more competent authorities, must be viewed as tolerably impartial and unprejudiced. Indeed, I may venture, with due bumility and in a qualified sense, to adopt one of “the ever-inemorable Hales’s” expressions, and say: “ The “pursuit of Truth hath been my only care, ever since I first “ understood the meaning of the word. For this, I have for“ saken all hopes, all friends, all desires, which might bias me • and hinder me from driving right at what I ained. For this, I " have spent my money, my means, iny youth, and all I have, that I "might remove from myself that censure of Tertullian, suo vitio “ quis quid ignorat. If with all this cost and pains my purchase « is but ERROR, I may say, 'to err hath cost me more than it hath “many to find the truth ;' and Truth itself shall give me this testi
mony at last, that if I have missed of her, it is not my fault, " but my misfortune.”
VOTED), STATED, AND IMPOSED, BUT NOT DISPUTED,
UPON THE FUNDAMENTAL THESES OF MR. THOMAS PARKER.
PRINTED FOR R. ROYSTON, AT THE ANGEL IN IVY LANE,
REPRINTED BY JAMES NICHOLS, 22, WARWICK SQUARE,
PREFACE BY THE EDITOR.
Of the Life of Dr. Laurence Womack, the learned and ingenious author of “the Examination of TILENUS,” the reader will find a brief sketch in the beginning of the second volume of “Calvinism and Arminianism Compared.” I hope to procure materials for a more copious account of this excellent Prelate, to prefix to a new edition of his Calvinists') CABINET UNLOCKED, which I have in contemplation. He was one of many hundred divines, who, when through an attachment to Episcopacy they were ejected from their benefices, directed their attention, during the Civil Wars, to the important differences between Calvinism and Arminianism, which had been studiously depicted as one of the chief ostensible causes of the contest between the monarch and his people. Dr. Womack, in common with other great and eminent men of that age, had been full of zeal for the system of Calvin ; and nothing more strikingly displays the beneficial results of the change produced in his mind, than a contrast between his sentiments in 1640 and 1660, in two works which he wrote at those periods in behalf of the Episcopal Church. Many eloquent passages, in praise of Episcopacy, I have had the satisfaction of perusing ; but never any so eloquent and nervous as those of Bishop Womack.
Every man of feeling will be captivated with the simplicity of style in which he relates his secession from Calvinism, in one of the following pages, (10,) which was effected by his perusal of the writings of the persecuted Dutch Remonstrants : “ The greater the prejudices were which had been « instilled into me against these doctrines, the greater you “ought to conclude the light to be which hath wrought this “ my present conviction of their truth, and hath induced me “ to embrace them, against all the charms of interest and “ secular advantages, wherewith the world tempts us to the “contrary." This was the way in which multitudes of the Episcopal clergy became converts to Arminianism, during the
Inter-regnum ; but Dr. Womack is the first man whom I have found openly acknowledging his immediate obligations to the writings of the Dutch Divines. In Archbishop Laud's days, popular as Arminianism is usually said to have been, no man would own himself to be an Arminian, or indebted to the Remonstrants for the change effected in his sentiments: The reason for this shyness I have given in the second volume, and an allusion to it will be found in page 688. Traces of this feeling may be seen even in that intrepid defender of the doctrines of General Redemption, John Goodwin, who had nothing to fear or to hope from his Republican brethren, and who, in all his previous writings, never once made a direct avowal of his obligations to the illustrious and amiable Professor of Leyden, till after he had read and admired Dr. Womack's manly account of his departure from the ranks of the Genevan reformer. In doing this, however, Dr. Womack did not risk any part of his reputation; for his pamphlet was published anonymously, and few of his intimate friends knew him as the writer. His enemies knew still less about the matter, and outrageously charged other two eminent men with the publication.
After a perusal of the Examination of Tilenus, it will be perceived, that its style is far superior to the common style of that age: It is exceedingly chaste, and does not abound in Augustinian “quips and quirks,” the jocose allusions and double meanings, which sometimes disfigured and sometimes enlivened the productions of the eminent men who flourished in that and the preceding century. But though Dr. Womack had been educated in a knowledge of many of those doctrines which are as much the doctrines of the Gospel as of Calvinism, I regret to find, in this masterly exposition of high Predestinarian intolerance, the germs of those noxious crrors which, arising from a spirit of revulsion to some even of the excellences of Calvinism, became distinguishing tenets in the creed of the succeeding English Arminians. Yet, in humorously animadverting upon the errors of the domineering Predestinarians, it was almost impossible to avoid the extreme to which I have here adverted ; and such passages of the work as relate to experimental religion must be read with as much caution as