« ElőzőTovább »
SERIES THE THIRD.
PERMUTET DOMINOS, ET CEDAT IN ALTERA JUR4.
AND SOLD SY J. DÆIGBTON, CAMBRIDGE; RANWELL AND PARKER,
SERIES THE THIRD.
Art. 1.- An Attempt to illustrate those Articles of the
Church of England, which the Calvinists improperly consider as Calvinistical, in Eight Sermons, prenched before the University of Oxford in the Year 1804, at 'the Lecture founded by J. Bampton, A. A. Canon of Salisbury. By Richard Laurence, LL.D. of University College. 8vo. Rivingtons. 1805.
TO enumerate how often certain articles of the established confession of faith in the church of England, have been asserted to be Calvinistical, by what various descriptions of men, and with what inconsistent and contending views and affections, would be a long and difficult, though perhaps. neither an unentertaining nor uninstructive einployment. The frequency, however, of such an imputation is sufficicntly notorious, and is all that we are required particularly to refer to on the present occasion. .
Dr. Laurence, perhaps from a charilable desire to suppress occasions and provocations of disunion and displeasure, has been more anxious to reject the imputation, and to refute it : as erroneous, than to compile a catalogue of the names and sayings of those single individuals, or collective bodies of men, who have given so much currency to the charge in question. The only reference which he has made is to a passage which of itself, as it arraigns the honesty of a great part of the clergy in very explicit terms, nothing short of the most satisfactory and incontrovertible evidence could possibly justify. (See P. 459.) But in Dr. Laurence's opinion. so far is this evidence from being palpable and obvious, that he is bold enough to affirm, that much has been written, and satisfactorily written, to prove, that the predestinarian system of Calvin is totally inconsistent with the doctrine of our artis cles; that it is equally irreconcileable with our liturgy and homilies; and that the private sentiments of our reformers were likewise inimical to it. To the concluding clause of this deslaration, if we might be permitted to insert the word princi
Crit. Rev, Vol. 7. January, 1806.
pal before s reformers,' we should fully and cordially accede. The two former are expressed in inuch too summary a way for our taste: nor are we prepared to he in them consenting and cheerful companions of Dr. L., unless he will allow us to understand his words as implying no more than that the predestiparian system of Calvin is not contained in, but is an unlovely and unsuitable addition to, the doctrine of our liturgy, articles, and homilies. Si
But besides the imputation of Calvinism on certain articles of our national creed, which are, or are usually supposed to be more or less allied to the predestinarian controversy, (page 4--5) the dispute, in process of time, has assumed additional characters, and passing within the pale of the church, on the one hand, it has been contended, in this intestine warfare, that our articles are conscnant with the crccd of Calvin ; on the other, with that of Arminius. (r.7, .)
If we undersland Dr. Laurence righily, those who maintain this latter opinion are, in his mind, not much nearer the truth than the advocates of the former. If we do not misinterpret bim, it is Dr. Li's opinion, that the whole controversy, at least under these appellations, is erroneous, extrin. sical, and irrelative. The peculiar points in controversy between the Calvinists and Arminians are of a later date than the æra of our confessions; or if not of a later date, at least they were not so in the contemplation of our reformers, as to constitute any part of that doctrine wbich they prescribed for public consent and approbation. When therefore we look ļor the peculiar opinions referred to in those authoritative documents, we seek for what they were not intended to contain; and if we find our respective notions there, it is. not so much through the aid of truth, as by the help of modern prejudices, as by affections heated, and a brain disturbed by the operations and influence of party-spirit and controversy.
How far we have unfolded fairly, or otherwise, the sentia ments of Dr. Laurence, we are desirous that our readers should be er abied to jusige for theinselves, by the following passages, froin which principally we have gathered the above estimate. Speaking of the contention between Cal. vinists and Amminians, he says,
*It is not my intention to follosv this controverted question inta particulars.' P. 8.
• Wilde these points the elucidation which I propose, is by no means connecieri. Ibid.
Of the tenth article it is said,