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the MODERATE Calvinists, then a most powerful and numerous body, would not have been outraged ; and EVANGELICAL ARMI, NIANISM, as promulgated by the Founder of the system, would have obtained an easy and complete triumph in England. In page 296, I have alluded to “the re-action of hypocrisy and enthusiasm, which was apparent at the Restoration :” and in the Works of Arminius, (vol. i. page 624,) the reader will find further mention made of the same “natural feeling of revulsion." But in avoiding the torrid zone of Calvinistic fanaticism, not a few of those English Arminians had the prudence to keep at an have every reason to believe, that the transactions which took place at Dort, and the strong measures by which they were succeeded, did more good than barm to the cause of Arminianisın. The injustice and cruelty with which the Arminians were treated, awakened compassion, and produced a powerful bias in their favour. The Synod was of such a public and solemn character, and continued its deliberations so long, that many were induced to examine for themselves the merits of the controversy; and, of course, not a few would discover something in the obnoxious tenets that was agreeable to their theological taste. The Arminian doctors, too, many of whom were able and learned men, were compelled to employ all their talents, and to make every exertion in defence of their system and conduct; which zeal had, doubtless, no inconsiderable effect in gaiving proselytes. And above all, being forced into various and distant parts of the country, their opinions got a much wider range; and, recommended by their novelty, by their merciful and liberal complexion, and especially by the sufferings of those who had been persecuted for holding them, they obtained the respect and belief of many, to whom they might otherwise bave remained unknown, or, at least, subjects of indifference." —But of the growth of English Arminianism bé gives the followiug description : " In spite of all the strenuous opposition the Arminians met with from the Paritans, in spite of the opprobrious epithets with which their system was loaded, in spite of the speeches made against it in Parliament, and the pamphlets written against it throughout the nation, in spite of the ignominious death which Laud and his sovereign suffered,-the exertions of that able and tyrannical prelate, in behalf of Arminianism, were in a great measure successful. It languished during the usurpation of Cromwell, but revived again with fresh vigour at the Restoration, when every thing hostile to Calvinistic or Puritanical principles became fashionable and gainful. Ever since that period it has continued to flourish."
The most erroneous part of this account relates to the alleged “ languishing" condition of Arminianism“ during the usurpation of Cromwell," when the very causes, which are here adduced to account for the progress of Dutch Arminianism, are quite as applicable to its growth in England during the Inter-reguum. Numerous proofs have already been given of the rapid spread of its evangelical principles at that period; but were all direct and collateral testimony on this point destroyed, one circumstance alone would prove the fallacy of this writer's statement. For let him, or any other person, collect together the most eminent of those six thousand Episcopal divines who remained in the church, after the ejectment of their two thousand Nonconforming brethren, in 1662; and, for ONE MAN of that number who had been an Arminian prior to the subversion of Church and State, (which may be said to have had its commencement in 1640,) I will engage to produce from the same list, at least ten equally famous, who were converts to Arminianism between 1640 and the Restoration. Iudeed, nearly all the the divines of eminence, who flourished after 1662, had been won over to the system of Arminius, by ibe force of conviction alone, and without any reference whatever to secular advantage; for the whole of Republican preferment then ran in a contrary direction, and was bestowed on those Calvinists or Baxterians whose principles were approved by the Triers and EJECTORS. See pages 687-691.
equal distance from it and from the frigid zone of mere morality. Many of them boldly insisted on the inward enjoyments which christianity affords, the experience of divine consolation, and the approving testimony of God's Holy Spirit, as the necessary fruits of a believer's faith in Christ. Others of them received their Arminianism from Curcellæus ard Poelenburgh, the successors of Episcopius as Professors of Divinity at Amsterdam, neither of whom was orthodox on some points of faith which will be afterwards specified.* The same observation applies to Limborch, from whom Locke, and some of the Whigs of 1688, may be said to have obtained a more intimate acquaintance with the religious principles of the Dutch Remonstrants, and with the salutary influence which those principles were calculated to exert on the frame of civil society. No one therefore can wonder if some of the religious doctrines imported from the corrupt portion of the Dutch Arminians, gave umbrage to the Calvinists. Happy for all parties would it have been, if the fine gold of General Redemption had been separated from such dross ? +
In a letter addressed to his friend John Evelyn, Esq. in September, 1656, alluding to his own novel doctrine about original sió, Dr. Jeremy Taylor says : • I have lately received, from a learned person beyond sea, certain extracts of the Eastern aud Southern Antiquities, which very much confirm my opinion and doctrine; for the learned man was pleased to express great pleasure in the reasonableness of it, and my discourses concerning it.” It is pot improbable that this “ learned person beyond sea" was either Poelenburgh or Courcellous.
On this topic, for which he was traduced as a rank heretic, he betrayed some irritation of feeling in the dedication to his Deus JUSTIFICATUS : “! know the arts of these men,—who enter into the houses of the rich and honourable, and whisper secret oppositions and accusations rather than arguments; and they often put me in mind of what was told me by Mr. Sackville, the late Earl of Dorset's uncle, that the cunning sects of the world (he named the Jesuits and the Presbyterians,) did more prevail by whispering to ladies, thau all the Church of England and the more sober Protestants could do by fine force and strength of argument."
+ Dr. Jeremy Taylor was one of those divines who, in addition to the pure doctrines of Armiuius, had imbibed some of the beteredoxies of the less evangelical of his Dutch followers. Of his grand error Bishop Heber gives the following account:
" In his UNUM NECESSARIUM, or the Doctrine and Practice of Repentance, &c. Taylor had expressed himself concerning the nature of original sin, and the extent of man's corruption, in a manner, if not unprecedented and unwarrantable, at least at variance with the opinion of christians in general, and more particularly of the Protestant Churches; and he appears to have felt, and not without reason, considerable anxiety as to the manner in which his work would be received by them. He has introduced his treatise with a preface, in which he strenuously, though with many expressions of humility and submission to his spiritual superiors, exculpates himself from the charge of heresy, or of holding language linconsistent with the Liturgy and Articles of Religion. The apology thus inade was not, however, thought sufficient. The letters from Evelyn prove that a considerable alarm was excited among the orthodox clergy, not only by the supposed danger of the doctrine thus advanced, but by the scandal to which their persecuted church would be exposed if the charge of PELAGIANISM, so often brought against it, should receive support from the writings of one of its most distinguished champions. Warner [Bishop of Rochester] addressed him in a private letter of expostulation and argument, of which we now know nothing except throngh the answer. The
But though Courcelles, Poelenburgh, and Limborch are seen to have been deficient in evangelical purity of doctrine, and to be shunned as unsound or incorrect expounders of some Arminian doctrines; yet all three of them were on many accounts highly estimable characters, and entitled to the gratitude of venerable Sanderson too, Professor of Divinity in Oxford, though he had by this time abandoned the high Calvinistic interpretatation of the Articles which in his earlier life he had defeuded, is said to have deplored, with much warmth and even with tears, this departure from the cautious and scriptural decision of the Church of England ; and to have bewailed the misery of the times, which did not admit of suppressing, by authority, such perilous and unseasonable novelties. It was fortunate for Taylor, that persuasion and urgument were the only engines in the Professor's power; and those he sought for in two letters to Thomas Barlow, then Fellow of Queen's College, Oxford, afierwards Sanderson's own successor in the see of Lincolu, whom he exhorted with much earnestness, though without success, to undertake the refutation of Taylor's error. Whatever may be thought of his peculiar opinions, there are few who will venture to assert, that such a man 'as Taylor either embraced them rashly, or professed them without sincerity, or was negligent in his applications to the throne of grace for celestial light and assistance. The doctrines, however, are, it will be readily allowed by most meu in the present day, irreconcilable with the Articles of the Church which he loved and honoured, and coutrary to the plain sense of those scriptures which were his consolation and his guide. It is even probable that he would never have entertained them, had it not been for the monstrous and dangerous glosses with which the truth had been obscured by Augustine and his followers; by which our nature, instead of being very far gone from original righteousness, is represented as become utterly diabolical, and the gracious remedy provided for the disease of ALL MANKIND is confined to a few favoured individuals.”
The reflections which the Bishop has subjoined are exceedingly important, on more than one account, and demand a place in this exposition of scriptural Arminianism :
“ Yet these doctrines, which appear to most of us, as they doubtless appeared to Taylor, so offensive to reason, and so unworthy of the Deity, were maintained by men as wise, perhaps, and certainly as holy, as Taylor himself, who, on their parts, regarded with horror bis denial of absolute predes · tination, and of the doctrine that infants unbaptized were immediate objects of God's anger. Such considerations should not only lead us to think charitably of the persons with whom we differ, but should warn us against a too basty condemnation of their opinions. They should warn us against supposing the reverse of wrong to be right; and should endear to us still more the moderation, the discretion, and the humility, with which, on these awful and most mysterious subjects, our own excellent and apostolic church has expressed herself. There is yet one caution more. Taylor, as the reader will have seen, was confident in the truth of his bypothesis, from the persuasion that it manifested the goodness and justice of God, and taught men to speak • honour of God and meanly of themselves.'. It is probable that, on these very same grounds, the most vehement of his adversaries were prejudiced in favour of Calvinism. The inference is plain, that, though it be sufficient cause to reconsider most diligently and most jealously whatever opinion appears to us or to others to militate against our natural notions of fitness and general analogy of the Divine perfections,-yet, is it wise, in all such cases, to suspect that our own perceptions may be erroneous, our own reasoning inconsequent, and that it becomes us to believe of God, not so much what we may think worthy of him, as what he has himself revealed, concerning his nature and his actions.-As a commentator on Scripture, as a guide to the interpretation of Scripture, our reason is inost useful and most necessary; but Scripture, and Scripture only, is the rule of our faith ; and that is the perfection of reason which leads us to adhere most closely to the only guide, which, in all necessary points of belief, is infallible." See another description of Reason and its province, in page 800.
posterity as assertors of civil and religious freedom. The benevolence and philanthropy breathed in the commencement of the following extract from one of Poelenburgh's letters, will be much admired by all modern Calvinists, who generally complain of the cruel usage which their ancestors received from King Charles the Second. It was written at Amsterdam, on the 16th of July, 1660, soon after his Majesty had been invited to return to his paternal dominions, and to assume and exercise the longsuspended functions of royalty: And as it contains several elucidations of the topics which I have recently discussed, I insert it among the valuable quotations, with which I close this bulky volume. After alluding to the affable reception which his Majesty had given to a deputation from the Quakers, Poelenburgh says:
“ From the equity of the monarch what hopes may not others justly form, if he does not refuse liberty to men whose manners are so unaccommodating to human civility, and who are so remote from the truth in their tenets ! I am thus glad, not on account of our friends (the English Arminians], as though I hoped they would be publicly defended and protected, since it is manifest that the different sentiments on Predestination entertained even by the ministers of the churches are openly tolerated with the greatest mutual equanimity:* But the joy which I feel arises from the wish, that no one may be either the oppressed or the oppressor for conscience sake, and that all may enjoy equal liberty; and because I consider it a subject of congratulation to the christian world, and especially to the Reformed part of it, that such a king now resides among our friends, upon whom the insignia of his widely-ruling sceptre reflect no less reful-, gence, than do these brilliant ornaments of the great virtues of patience, clemency, and moderation. For in the latter consists the only method of extending the length and breadth of the territories of the kingdom of heaven, over which Christ presides in his glorified state ; since it is not by force, but by reason, not by fire and the sword of steel, but by the sword of the Spirit, the spirit of gentleness and christian charity,that men are drawn to the obedience of religion and of the true faith. But since this monarch, whom God has enabled to overcome so many afflictions, appears thus in a certain peculiar manner to have been consecrated for commencing and completing such a sublime and glorious enterprise ; we hope that as soon as by the guidance of God, (to whom alone he professes to be indebted for the recovery of his kingdom,) he shall enjoy a firm and lasting peace in his own dominions, he will exert all his energies in sedulously recommending concord to all the Reformed Churches, that have formed new christian communities apart from the
* This, with many other similar testimonies from well-informed foreigners, is in proof of the extensive spread of Arminianism and Cameronism during the Interregnum.
Roman Pontiff, and in procuring it for them by his royal authority. My wish is, that our God, the God of peace, who has loaded this king with such a number of most ample benefits, would inspire him from above with the disposition to turn all his thoughts to the accomplishment of this pious and laudable. affair. It will not be possible for his Majesty to render to God. any thanksgiving that will be more grateful, or to offer to Christ any service more acceptable, than that of his recalling into the communion of one mystical body such an immense number of people, who are in a continued course of separation, and whom he may convince [of the impropriety of this dividing humour] and unite together in one.
“ The king will not gain so much true glory, pleasing to God and salutary to mankind, by discomfiting his enemies in all directions, as he will obtain by allaying the dissensions which have too long prevailed, by joining together under happy auspices minds that have endured the evil of mutual estrangement, and by yielding up to Christ, the Prince of peace, a kingdom at tranquility. Those illustrious Prelates of the Church who are of approved erudition and piety, will, I hope, assist in this pacific enterprise: For they were formerly addicted to concord, when they were themselves in a quiet and prosperous condition ;* how much more ardently will they now endeavour to promote this blessed object, after they have themselves been exercised by misfortunes ! + For the greatest ardour and a cer
* This just compliment refers to the pacific labours of the Arminians in the Church of England, which were instituted by them long before the subversion of Episcopacy, and of which I have giveu a long exposition in this volume.
+ Though Dr. Jeremy Taylor was not one of those divines who had been extersively engaged in this general pacification, (for at that period he was very young,) he was one who had, under the Usurpation, been deeply cised by misfortunes." His Arminianism was not the sole cause of those “misfortunes.' He had been patronised, Bishop Heber says, when only twenty years of age, by Archbishop Laud, “ who had then recently left the See of London for that of Canterbury, and who, with all his faults of temper and judgment, (exaggerated as those faults have been beyond all bounds by the bitterness of the party whom he first persecuted, and who afterwards hunted him to death,) must ever deserve the thanks of posterity as a liberal and judicious patron of that LEARNING and PIETY which he himself possessed in no ordinary degree." His intimacy with the Archbishop was, independent of all other considerations, a sufficient proof of his criminality in those days, of misrule. One might have hoped, however, that the memory of a man who was eminent for integrity of mind, and simplicity of manners, would in this age of reputed candour have been bighly venerated, and that his name would never be pronounced without expressions either of eulogy or, at least, of respect. But whoever he might be that had calculated so much upon the justice or the liberality of modern times, he will in one instance find himself grievously mistaken. In bis Life of Dr. John Owen, Mr. Orme has given an additional display of his deep-rooted malevolence towards every person that bore the name of Arminian, and, among the rest, towards Bishop Taylor. I am happy to have it in my power to present my readers at once with the poison and its antidote. If that INDEPENDENT Biographer possesses any blushing propensities, they must certainly have been brought into exercise by the perusal of the following very judicious defence of Taylor, which is the composition of Bishop Heber, and forms a part of his able life of that excellent Prelate.