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1 John i. 3. 'Fellowship with us.--The effect of the gospel is that we all, being joined together in Christ by faith, should be the song of God.
1 John iii. 12. Translated from death unto life, because we love, &c.--This love is the special fruit of our faith, and a certain sign of our regeneration. Lev. xix. 17.
Many similar quotations might have been madey. but these will enable every reader to judge of the views of the leading bishops, in an early part of Queen Elizabeth's reign.
The author does not mean to justify each annotation as the exact exposition of the passage, he only gives them as conveying the sentiments of the annotators.
* He would leave it to the general reader, who has an opportunity to contrast the two works, to form his own judgment. The general strain of sentiment, in the more recent annotations, is obviously different. may be, however, useful, though the Author feels the delicacy of the ground on which he treads, to enter into farther particulars.
The system of selection, from approved writers, was in itself valuable; but, without much care, it leads to a considerable difference in the tone of divinity, according to the different writers from whom the selections are taken. It was to be expected that the notes taken from Andrews, Beveridge, Caryl, Daneus, Hall, Hooker, Latimer, Mede, &c. should be superior in tone of doctrine to those from Bull, Clarke, Grabe, Hammond, Jortin, Locke, Macknight, Pyle, Tillotson, Tomline, Whitby, Womack, &c.?
The necessary doctrine, &c. should not have been quoted, and ought not to be designated as Cranmer's work. Bishop Lloyd remarks that it is probable that Gardiner (the great enemy of Cranmer) had more influence in the preparation of this work than
In a commentary designed for families and general use, in the middle and lower classes, practical reflec-" tions and personal application of the truth is especially valuable. If these had abounded, and if devotional
in either the Articles or Institution previously published. Cranmer's genuine sentiments upon the Erudition are still preserved in remarks which he made upon it, and which were published in the Fathers of the Church. There being a very defective view of justi. fication in the Erudition, Cranmer closes his Annotations with a scriptural view of this all-important doctrine. He first shows that faith is an assured hope and confidence in Christ's mercy; and points out how sinful all men are, and God's mercifulness to peni. tent sinners for Christ's sake, and the importance of a personal reception of these truths. He then proceeds: 'The commandments of God lay our faults before our eyes, which puts us in fear and dread, and makes us see the wrath of God against our sins, as St. Paul says, By the law is the knowledge of sin ; and the law worketh wrath, and makes us sorry and repentant that we should ever come into the displeasure of God and the captivity of the devil. The, gracious and benign promises of God, by the mediation of Christ, show us, and that to our great relief and comfort, whensoever we be repentant and return fully to God in our hearts, that we have forgiveness of our sins, be reconciled to God, and be accepted and reputed just and righteous in his sight only by his grace and mercy, which he grants and gives unto us for his dearly. beloved Son's sake, Jesus Christ, who paid a sufficient ransom for our sins; whose blood does wash away the same; whose bitter and grievous passion is the only satisfying oblation that puts away from us the wrath of God his Father: who sanctified body, offered on the cross, is the only sacrifice of sweet and pleasant savour, as St. Paul says; that is to say, of such sweetness and pleasantness to the Father, that for the same he accepts and reputes of like sweetness all them that the same offering does serve for. *** These benefits of God, with innumerable others, whosoever expends and well ponders in his heart, and thereby conceives a firm trust and feeling of God's mercy, whereof springs in his heart a warm love and fervent heart of zeal towards God, it is not possible but that he shall fall to work, and be ready to the performance of all such works as he knows to be acceptable to God. And these works only which follow our justification do please God, for so much as they proceed from a heart endued with pure faith and love to God, But the works which we do before our justification, be not allowed and accepted before God, although they appear never So good and glorious in the sight of man. For after our justification only begin we to work as the law of God requires. Then we shall do all good works willingly, although not so exactly as the law
as well as evangelical statement had come in every chapter, they would have rendered it far more edifying and popular.
The work contains much useful information, gathered from quarters where readers in general would not look for it, and often throws considerable light on difficulties. As a work containing the result of extensive critical labours and learning, clearly expressed, and generally with much judgment, it is truly valuable.
But the Author cannot faithfully express his views without adding, that while there are some distinct requires, by means of the infirmity of the flesh; nevertheless by. the merit and benefit of Christ, we being sorry that we cannot do all things more exquisitely and duly, all our works shall be accepted and taken of God, as most exquisite, pure and perfect.
Now they that think they may come to justification by the performance of the law, by their own deeds and merits, or by any other mean than is above rehearsed; they go from Christ, they renounce his grace. Christ is become of no effect to you, whosoever, of you are justified by the law, ye are fallen from grace. They be not partakers of the justice which he has procured, or the merciful benefits that be given by him. For St. Paul says, a general ruler for all them that will seek such by-paths to justification; those, says he, which will not acknowledge the justice or righteousness which comes by God, but go about to advance their own righteous,'' ness, shall never come to that righteousness which we have by God; which is the righteousness of Christ, by whom only all the saints in heaven, and all others that have been saved, have been reputed righteous and justified. So that to Christ our only Saviour and Redeemer, of whose righteousness both their and our justification doth depend, is to be transcribed all the glory thereof.?!
In those Annotations Archbishop Cranmer also most distinctly maintains final perseverance and election. Of perseverance he says: • The elect, of whom is here spoken, will follow Christ's precepts; I and repent, and rise again when they fall; and the right faith cannot be without following of Christ's precepts, and repentance after falling. Therefore, in my sentence, it were better to say thus, The elect shall follow Christ's precepts, or when they fall yet shall they repent, and rise again, and obtain remission.' (P. 88.) Of election,
Certain it is, that our election cometh only and wholly of the benefit and grace of God, for the merits of Christ's passion, and for no part of our merits and good works.'
1 Fathers, &c. Vol. iii, 110-112.
statements of evangelical doctrine, there are others which he conceives to be seriously objectionable. He would refer to the extracts from Jortin, on Jer. xvii. 9. and from Dr. Hammond, Dean Tucker, and Bishop, Tomline, on Eph. ii. 8. as specimens , of this nature.
It is greatly to be desired that every part of a work so sanctioned, and so widely circulated, should contain, unobscured by doubtful quotations, an evangelical, sound, practical, and holy exposition of the full meaning of the sacred word, throughout furnishing clear exhibitions of salvation by Christ, and abun-w dantly dispensing the streams of redeeming grace, and the operations of the Divine Spirit, with which the sacred fountain of holy writ abounds.
The Author has been more free in these remarks, as the tracts and books are under a course of revision; and he is convinced that nothing would be more likely to to bring in a large accession of strength to the Society, and promote the usefulness of its labours, than a revision which would leave out questionable statements, and raise the general tone of the Society's publicationsex to the divinity of the Reformation. At present many are kept from joining it, and others give it not a hearty and full support, from well-founded conscientious ce
utdat hy scruples, which such a revision would removeo miragby, es tiene
May the Great Head of the Church so pour out his Spirit upon us, as more and more to raise all our hearts to that rich and consoling view of His truth which made our Reformers willing to die in the flames for His name's sake; and may the successors of Cranmer, Ridley, Latimer, and Bradford, ever hold the doctrine, for the maintenance of which they suffered, even the pure doctrine of Jesus Christ !
" * 57 )
REFLECTIONS ON THE PRECEDING, OUTLINES OF
THE HISTORY OF DIVINITY.
In reviewing the last chapter, some reflections have arisen, which are added in the hope that they may tend to the student's edification.
The history of divinity is another commentary on the leading truths of scripture. The faithfulness and mercy of God, who never forsakes His church; the sinfulness of man, ever prone to corrupt His truth ; and the reception, which that truth has met with in the world, all confirm the doctrines of Christianity, and throw light upon them. As the events of history illustrate that prophetical word which foretels them, so the history and experience of the church developes and displays those doctrines which that church has received from the Divine record.
It is an immense mercy that all truth, in its purest state, is contained in one volume. We need not dive into a countless number of books, we need not spend our lives in vain searches after truth; here it is all in one book. Read the Bible with prayer, and we shall not miss the highest result of all study. Human lights are weak, feeble, and soon expire; the Divine light shines from age to age, and in every land.
It is too evident that the most eminent and the best human writers have many imperfections. Who is wholly free from error? Let us call no man master. Neither Luther, nor Calvin, nor Cranmer; neither Arminius nor Baxter ; neither Taylor nor Waterland: