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ship must by no means be withheld, seeing that a suspicion was unjustly entertained in some quarters that your Lordship was not THOROUGH, but was disposed to lean to a liberal policy, which in these days is another word for revolution. It is said that your brother Prelates have by no means felt or expressed a cordial approbation of your tactics, especially during Lord Grey's administration; but all doubts must now be removed, and the whole body of the Clergy must confess that you are a staunch advocate of that system which Archbishop Laud significantly termed THOROUGH.
I know not well how to account for these illgrounded doubts to which I have alluded, for in truth my slight observation would have led me to a different conclusion: only this seems certain, that some persons have entertained doubts of the soundness of your theology, which, they say, cannot be reconciled with the doctrines contained in the Articles, Liturgy and Homilies : and if it should turn out that your Lordship is not a churchman in doctrine, how can you, it is asked, be so in any other respect ? Now on this topic I will not undertake to decide anything, for I know by experience how impossible it is to get at the meaning of words when churchmen are resolved to interpret a document according to their own system; and I have observed that a Bishop can take a chapter of the Bible, or an Article, and by means of some secret alchemy, turn it out in so new a form, and with such a different aspect, that no man could have imagined he was in the presence of an old friend ; therefore, I say, I will myself pronounce nothing, but simply state what people assert. Now these doubters declare that the founders and first Bishops of the Established Church were notorious Calvinists; that the Articles are Calvinistic, and that for a century nothing but pure
Calvinism was tolerated in the Church of England. In proof of this assertion they quote the famous seventeenth Article, which for nearly two centuries has been a slough of despond for Bishops and Prebendaries, a soft place for dignified feet-and which never yet has been filled up, though no man can calculate the cart-loads of Arminian rubbish in the shape of books and sermons, which have been thrown in here to make the road to Lambeth and York more pleasant, but without the slightest visible amendment.
Thus speaketh the Article:-“Predestination to life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he hath constantly decreed by his counsel, secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as
vessels made to honour. Wherefore they which be endowed with so excellent a benefit of God, be called according to God's purpose by his Spirit working in due season-they through grace obey the calling—they be justified freely; they be made sons of God by adoption; they be made like the image of his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ; they walk religiously in good works, and at length, by God's mercy, they attain to everlasting salvation.” Parallel with this article they place your Lordship’s published sentiments :
“ St. John called our Saviour the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world: not of the chosen few, the predestinated, but of the whole world, whose sins being thus taken away, they are justified, and may be saved if they please*.
“When the Apostle tells them to give diligence to make their calling and election sure, he does in -effect tell them that it may be forfeited, and lost for want of diligence: and that, therefore, none of them can have been for a surety chosen beforehand of God to be saved. All the other passages in the writings of the Apostles where election is mentioned, are to be explained in like manner;
* “Sermon on Predestination, intended for the use of country congregations; by Charles James Blomfield, D.D., Rector of St. Botolph's; 1820.”
so that the term elect is never used to distinguish some Christians from others, but to distinguish all Christians in general from those who had not taken up the Christian profession; all who are baptized into the name of Christ and profess his saving faith are elect, and yet may forfeit their election by unchristian conduct. All who disown that holy name, or dishonour it by their practise, are reprobate, and yet by God's grace they may be brought back into the truth, and rooted in the faith, and by diligence make their calling and election sure.
“ There are no doubt some expressions in the writings of St. Paul, which seem at first sight to give some countenance to the doctrine of predestination to life; but St. Peter has told us that in the writings of that great Apostle there are some things hard to be understood, amongst which we may safely* reckon those which I refer—i. e. Rom. viii. 29.”
The question then seems to be this, is the seventeeth Article the language of Calvin, and is your Lordship's doctrine that of Arminius? Does your lordship sing the same song with the Article ? or is your lordship out of tune? I have heard a cockatoo and a bulfinch sing together, but they seemed to me rather out of tune.
* Compare this with Bradwardine's words in the next note.
There was a time, my Lord, when the House of Commons resented with high wrath any the smallest deviation from Calvinism, because they saw clearly, first, that the Church of England was Calvinistic, and secondly, that Arminian tenets were embraced by all the enemies of the country, and that Papists, semi-Papists, and Bishops, are always taking refuge in those doctrines which the Reformation confuted and confounded. And there are persons even now who say, that if the majority of the House of Commons consisted, at this present time, of true Calvinists, it would be much better for the nation, and that we could depend upon the principles of such men much more than we can on that mighty sect of Free-thinkers which now prevails there—but this is merely an opinion: I am now about matters of fact, and your Lordship must remember how smart the Commons used to be upon the Arminians. For instance, in the reign of Charles I., they laid hold of one Montague, a High-Church clergyman, who had published a sermon containing theology, very like your Lordship's, and, on review of this sermon, they resolved, that “Whereas the Seventeenth Article had declared, &c. (quoting the article at length), he, the said Richard Montague, in the said book, doth affirm and maintain that men justified may fall away from that state