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)kias t And why should our friend uniformly persist! in adopting this translation, and by so doing contrive to bring a charge against his competitor for this gloria quantalibet, of having appeared to do, what perhaps he himself has done for him ?—If the fulfilment of any promise is not to be considered as a proof, and indeed the best proof, of the unquestionable veracity of the maker of that promise, what is to be considered as a stronger proof of it? God, it must be allowed, would have been entitled to credit, had he only promised—he. is, we however find, said to have sworn. And why he did so, if it was not to excite greater confidence in him, it rs not easy to see. Even after he had sworn, he "was, it seems, willing still more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel.—And this he did, as our friend has endeavoured to persuade ire, by swearing again to another person, which second solemn act, he would have us believe, ought to be admitted on his own evidence, and being admitted would enable us to fee the good fense of the sacred writer (not only in saying that those two oaths evinced an impossibility in God to lie, but, that God mediated by the second oath, and by the second rather than the first) better than if he had said that God had actually fulfilled the purport of his oath—or, in other words, than if he had done the fact, which he had bound himself to do by oath.
What Paul meant to suggest to the Hebrews by the elliptical expression ev 01; Usvvoltov •\z£V<ra,7^xi ©eov.was no doubt pretty well understood by them. The ellipsis, if I recollect rightly, our friend has uniformly filled with the verb substantive, and with the verb substantive of past time, and as if it was so in the original, when he has succeeded in his undertaking, he may have some reason to do so; but as long as the true meaning of epEtriTsvo-ev opxw is at issue, it is hardly fair to take this liberty. If it ought to be understood that God mediated by promise or oath to David, or by promise or oath to Abraham, or by both promises or both oaths, or by both promises and both oaths, it ought perhaps to be filled with it was—but if that phrase ought to be understood of God's having mediated in Jesus, it should be rather rendered it is, if indeed it ought to be filled by the verb substantive at all, concerning which point I think there is something like a reason to doubt. When only the generation, which is said to be benefited by this transaction is considered, it may be thought that there is rather more reason to supply the ellipsis by some verb of present than of past time.
Vol. XIII. Churchm. Mag.for July 1807,
In my second letter I said "Is it not observable that every one of those allusions precedes the express mention of the promise and oath to Abraham? That further discourse concerning Melchisedic is pronounced to be unprofitable because unintelligible—that another subject is assumed in the beginning of this chap.—And almost as observable that it appears to be intimated of that oath in particular, that it Was the end of all strife?" The force of this our friend seems to think is sufficiently obviated by saying that "it appears to him, that the words of whom * at. the beginning of v. u. are to be referred not to Melchisedec, but to Christ." But as Christ is mentioned only once in the course of this passage, and then in the beginning of it—and Melchi* sedec is afterwards twice mentioned, and, in each case, with the article relative who and of whom immediately following, it may perhaps be thought a little excusable if any one should still be of opinion that Melchisedec is rather likely to be the person to whom the article relates, at least, till he is assured that Melchisedec and Christ are the same person. But leaving the remarks concerning the transition to a new subject, out of the question, I might still propose two or three queries which would perhaps be allowed to be a little more pertinent. I might ask—" Is it not observable that no mention of, nor allusion to, the oath to David, is made in the preceding part of the sixth chapter? Is it not rather more observable that no such mention or allusion is made after the oath to Abraham is mentioned—And is it not again still more observable that the writer does not appear to lose fight of one oath—viz. that to Abraham from the 13th to the 17th. v.?
* In the 5th. ch. it is said "Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God &c; &c." , I n the 6th. "Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ (which by his own account in the former chapter were necessary to be taught) let us go on top erfection ; not laying again the foundation of, &c. &c. &c. and this will we do if God permit.'' If there was a necessity that the Hebrews should be taught great things rather than deep things, why is the apostle made to talk of passing ov6r plain things in his way to perfection i And to say, if God permit? Has he indeed left those several doctrines unnoticed.—Has he not, on the contrary, in the sequel treated of each, and of faith in particular? This passage appears to be very questionable.—If it can be rendered more intelligible, it should be so. I think it may be easily done.
To expect that it should be admitted, that the oath to David may have been meant by opxw notwithstanding the oath to Abraham is expressly mentioned and alluded to in the four verses immediately preceding, is to expect what even Mr. Pearson's good humoured friend J. R. cannot help thinking 3 little unreasonable.
Wijlmaris Wood, Dartmoor. Your's
June 11. 1807. J. R.
OUR REFORMERS NOT CALVINISTS.
To The Editor Of The Orthodox Churchman S
CONSIDER the public as greatly indebted to the Editors of the Churchman's Remembrancer for reprinting, and bringing again into view, Dr. Winchester's excellent Dissertation on the XVIIih Article of the Church of England; in which it is proved, beyond a doubt, that the compilers of it were not Calvinists. As some of your readers may not be in possession of this work, it may be of use to present them with the following specimen of it. This specimen, though it ought not to supersede the use of the whole, will be sufficient to (how, that those, who appeal to the authority of our Reformers for a proof of the truth of Calvinism, or for a proof, that the Articles, &c. compiled by them, must be Calvinistic, are not well aware of what they .ire doing.
I am, Sir, Yours, &c. Rempjlone, June 7, 1807. E. PEARSON.
Cranmer. "God is naturally good, and willeth all men to be saved, and careth for them, and provideth all things, by which they may be saved, except by their own malice they will be evil, and so, by righteous judgment of God, perish and be lost. For truly men be to themselves, the authors of sin and dam
D 2 nation,
nation. God is neither author of sin, nor the cause of damnation. And yet doth he most righteously damn those men, that do with vices corrupt their nature, which be made good, and do abuse the same to evil desires, against his most holy will.* Wherefore men be to be warned, that they do not impute to God their vice, or their damnation, but to themselves, which by free will have abused the grace and benefits « of God.
"All men be also to be monifhed, and chiefly preachers, that, in this high matter, they, looking on both sides, so attemper and moderate themselves, that neither they so preach the grace of God, that they take away thereby free will, nor, on the other side, so extol free will, that injury be done to the grace of God.
"Although our Saviour Christ hath offered himself upon the cross, a sufficient redemption and satisfaction for the sins of all the world, and hath made himself an open way and entry unto God the Father for all mankind, only by his worthy merit and deserving, and, willing all men to be saved, calleth upon all the world, without respect to persons, to come and be partakers of the righteousness, peace, and glory, which is in him; yet, for all this benignity and grace, wowed universally to the whole world, none fliall have the effect of the benefit of our Saviour Christ, and enjoy everlasting salvation by him, but they, tbat take such ways to attain the fame, as he hath taught and appointed by his holy word.
"And it is no doubt, but although we be oneejustisied, yet we may fall therefrom by our own free will and consenting unto fin, and following the desires thereof. For, srtbeit the house of our conscience be once made clean, and the foul spirit be expelled from us, in baptism, or penance;
J''et, if we wax idle and take not heed, he will return with even worse spirts, and possess us again. And, although we be illuminated, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and fee made partakers of the Holy Ghost, yet we may fall, and dis* please God. Wherefore, as St. Paul faith, He thatjlandeth, let him take heed that he jail not. t
* Mr. Simeon, of Cambridge, will find it difficult to reconcile his notion of the total depravity of human nature, as asserted in his Sermon, entitled, " The Churchman's Confession," with these and other similarsentimentsofCranrner, the principal of our Reformers.
f Mr: Robinson, of Leicester, therefore, must not think, that, in asserting the doctrine of final perseverance, as he does in his "Christain System unfolded," Essay 54th, he has Cranmer on his side.
"And here all fantastical imagination, curious reasoning, and vain trust of predejiination, is to be laid apart. And, according to the plain manner of speaking and teaching of Scripture, in innumerable places, we ought evermore to be in dread of our own frailty and natural pronity to fin, and not to assure ourselves, that we be elected, any otherwise than by feeling of spiritual motions in our heart, and by the tokens of good and virtuous living, in following the grace of God, and persevering in the same to the end.
"And whereas, in certain places of the Scripture, our justification is ascribed to faith, without any further addition or mention of any other virtue, or gift ot God, it is to be understood of faith in the second acceptation, as before is declared in the article of faith, wherein the. fear of God, repentance, hope, and charity be included and comprised, all which must be joined together in our justification; so that no faith is sufficient to justification or salvation, but such a faith as worketh by charity, as is plainly expressed by St. Paul in his epistle to the Galatians." *
The words of bishop Ridley, in the Preface to his Disputation at Oxford, a little before his martyrdom, are these: —" Ex epistola ad Hebræos patet unicam esse oblationem et unicum vere vivihcum sacrificium, oblatum in ara Crucis, qui suit, est et erit in perpetuum propitiatio pro peccatis totius mundi:" i. e. It appears from the epistle to the Hebrews, that the one only oblation, and the one only true life-giving sacrifice, was offered on the altar of the Cross, who was, is, and (hall be for ever, a propitiation for the sins of the whole world.
"John faith, No man cometh to me except my Father draw him. Many mtfn understand these words in a wrong fense, as though God required in a reasonable man no more than in a dead post, and marketh not the words, that follow. Every man, that heareth and learneth of my Father, cometh tome. God draweth with his word and the Holy Ghost, but man's duty is to hear and lc.trn, that is to fay, receive the
* This passage deserves the particular attention of Miss Hannah More, who, by representing the star of God, repauance, hope and charity, as the natural and necessary productions of faith, would persuade us, that such cautions, as Cranmer here gives us, (and J might add) such as St. James has given us, are unnecessary and groundless.