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676 Review of the Life and Times of Arminius and Bishop Hall. [Nov.
traiture of the synod, for a precious monument of their respects to my poor endeavours." It is more to our point to observe, on taking similar leave of the synod, with Dean Hall himself, that the mode of admitting our English divines to that synod was in express violation of its own rule, only to admit the deputies of churches, not political agents; and was obtained surreptitiously, and with much management, by its secret conductors. It is stated, that their instructions went so far in private from King James, as to tie them up to vote in the synod for general redemption, which may serve to explain and introduce the following quotation from Hall's Life, in allusion to the transactions at Dort*. by some of his portraitures, came into the possession of the family of Jermy, of Bayfield Hall, near Holt, in the county of Norfolk; and was bequeathed by William Jermy, Esq. at his death, which happened in January 1750 (Gent. Magazine), to Emmanuel College, Cambridge. See Master's History of Bene't College, Cambridge, p. 367. We should be glad if some Cambridge friend would ascertain the fact of this medal's safe custody, which we have grounds to doubt.
These transactions we may appositely close with a quotation by Mr. Nichols, from one who was as glad to escape the office of deputy to the synod as Dean Hall. "I rejoice that I am not present at the Dutch Synod (says Bergius, who had been appointed a Brandenburg deputy); for I can see nothing transacted in that assembly which is worthy of such immense preparations, labour, and expense. Agricola has acquainted me by letter with almost all the particulars. I am not only certain that no benefit will accrue from the synod, but that the flames of a greater evil will be excited by it; which, although now perhaps suppressed by the power of adversaries, lies hidden in the embers, and will burst forth in a short time with the greater impetuosity. And undoubtedly it is impossible for us to deny, that the Remonstrants have been treated with too much unfairness. What man will ever think of charging it against them as a crime, that they would not acknowledge for their presidents and judges, the Bogermans, the Gomars, the Sibrands, and others, whom they have always accounted their most bitter enemies? How can we [the Lutherans] bring such an accusation against them, when we refuse to have pontiffs and cardinals for our judges? But what act could be more ridiculous, after the Remonstrants were commanded
"When the opinions of the British divines upon the extent of Christ's redemption were read, it was observed that sufficiency and efficacy of it; nor did they they omitted the distinction between the touch upon the limitation of those passages of Scripture, which, speaking of Christ's to retire, than for their judges to occupy declaiming against them, and in boldly rethemselves for whole days afterwards in futing their arguments? That is an occupation which does not appear to me of such great importance, as to induce one, for the sake of joining in it, to undertake of winter. But this is the sort of proa long and late journey in the very depth ceedings of which those who attended autumnal fair, I expect to see exposed for have been witnesses. At our next sale the satirical remarks of the Papists, the protestations of the Remonstrants, and the refutations of the Synod. May only hope of safety which remained, was God have mercy upon his church! The in the reverend fathers of the synod shewand to unite discordant spirits: when I ing themselves desirous to reconcile parties was disappointed in this, I entertained no expectations of any thing safe or beneficial." Arminius, p. 420.
The friendly intentions of the Synod nomination of Hall's successor, Dr. Goad, beforehand expressed, as early as the letter from the English Ambassador to are contained in the following page, in a King James.
Remonstrants' opinions, this course will "When the synod hath done with the be taken with their persons: That the copius, Grevinchovius, and Vorstius, with chief ringleaders (as Uitenbogardt, Episnote of infamy, and thrust out both of some others), will be branded with some church and state: some others of the chief will have their entertainments [salaries] continued, but [will] be suspended in their functions: the rest, by reason of want of fit men to supply their charges, will be will keep them within their bounds. This continued, in hope the example of others [in the present posture of affairs]. But if course is like to be taken, rebus sic stantibus the French ambassador's endeavours for they have now had two public audiences,) the delivery of our prisoners, (about which or if their private practices in favour of the Arminian party should take any place, we must then expect a mutation." By those persons whom the ambassador here calls veldt, Grotius, and Hogerbeets, three of our prisoners, are to be understood Barnethe most eminent men and upright statesmen of the Low Countries, who had alnianism, and who, for their patriotic serways patronized the cause of Armivices to their native country, had, in defiance of all law, been arrested and imprisoned by the orders of Prince Maurice.
Arminius, p. 421.
dying for the whole world, are frequently interpreted of the world of the elect. Dr. Davenant and some of his brethren in
clined to the doctrine of universal redemp
tion: he and Dr. Ward were for a middle way between the two extremes; they maintained the certainty of the salvation of the elect, and that offers of pardon were sent not only to all who should believe and repent, but to all who hear the Gospel; and that grace sufficient to convince and persuade the impenitent (so as to lay the blame of their condemnation upon selves,) went along with these offers: that the redemption of Christ and his merits were applicable to these, and consequently there was a possibility of their salvation. They however complied with the Synod, and agreed to their confession, as in general agreeable to the word of God. But some years after, a report arose that they had deserted the doctrine of the Church of England; upon which Dr. Hall expressed his concern to Dr. Davenant in these words-'I will live and die in the suffrage of that Synod of Dort; and I do confidently avow, that those other opinions (of Arminius) cannot stand with the doctrine of the Church of England.' which Dr. Davenant replied, I know that no man can embrace Arminianism in
the doctrines of predestination and grace, but he must desert the articles agreed upon by the Church of England; nor in the point of perseverance, but he must vary from the received opinions of our best approved doctors in the English Church.'" Hall, pp. 90-92.
The Dean having failed in his golden opportunity of making peace abroad, returned to make it, if possible, at home. Very soon, in his quiet retreat at Waltham, and his deanery at Worcester, he finds "the Church of England become sick of the Belgic disease." The transmission and diffusion of this Arminian epidemic through our own ill-fated isle was unfortunately but too easy, The pragmatical airs of James had well prepared the atmosphere of Britain for its reception. His sanction to the violence of the dominant party at the Synod of Dort was too tempting a precedent to be resisted by his courtly divines at home. They forgot his Calvinism, and he himself likewise. Not so the immense Calvinistic party whom he had encouraged by his embassy to Dort: whilst all that he and his own divines remembered was the successful issue of measures to silence
and exterminate religious opponents. Hence the Arminians at home take
up the weapons of the Dort Calvinists abroad. In the mean time, a worthy Jesuit attacks the whole Protestant body, Arminian and Calvinist, with a charge of errors substantially drawn from the tenets of the Synod of Dort, on the subject of predestination. This, which he calls" a new Gag for the Old Gospel," is rebutted by Mr. Montagu's "New Gag for an Old Goose;" where, in Dr. Hall's lively language, which shall supersede our own,
"Mr. Montague's tart and vehement assertions of some positions, near of kin to the Remonstrants of Netherland, gave occasion of raising no small broil in the church. Sides were taken: pulpits every where rang of these opinions: but parliaments took notice of the division, and questioned the occasioner. Now, as one that desired to do all good offices to our dear and common mother, I set my thoughts on work how so dangerous a quarrel might be happily composed: and, finding that mistaking was more guilty of this dissension than misbelieving (since it plainly appeared to me, that Mr. Montague meant to express, not Arminius, but B. Overal, a more moderate and safe author, however he sped in delivery of him,) I wrote a little project of pacification, wherein I desired to rectify the judgment of men conshewing them the true party in this uncerning this misapprehended controversy;
seasonable plea: and, because B. Overal went a midway betwixt the two opinions which he held extreme, and must needs therefore somewhat differ from the commonly received tenet in these points, I gathered out of B. Overal on the one side, and out of our English divines at Dort on the other, such common propositions concerning these five busy articles as wherein being put together, seemed unto me to both of them are fully agreed. All which make up so sufficient a body of accorded truth, that all other questions moved hereabouts appeared merely superfluous; and every moderate Christian might find where to rest himself, without hazard of contradiction. These I made bold, by the hands of Dr. Young, the worthy Dean of Winchester, to present to his excellent Majesty, together with an humble motion of a peaceable silence to be enjoined to both parts, in those other collateral and needless disquisitions: which, if they might benefit the schools of academical disputants, could not certainly sound well from the pulpits of popular auditories. Those reconciliatory papers fell under the eyes of some grave divines on both parts. Mr. Monta
678 Review of the Life and Times of Arminius and Bishop Hall. [Nov.
gue professed that he had seen them, and
Amongst the obnoxious tenets im-
sole will and absolute decree, bath irrespectively resolved and inevitably decreed some to be saved, some to be damned from all eternity;" Montague proceeds:—
"Some Protestants, and no more than some, have considered God, for this effect of his will, in reference to Peter and Judas, thus; that Peter was saved because that God would have him saved absolutely; and resolved to save him necessarily, because he would so, and no further: that Judas was damned as necessarily, because that God, as absolute to decree as omnipotent to effect, did primarily so resolve concerning him, and so determine touching him, without respect of any thing but his own will: insomuch that Peter could not perish, though he would; nor Judas be saved, do what he could. This is not the doctrine of the Protestants: the Lutherans in Germany detest and abhor it: it is the private fancies of some men, I grant: but what are opinions unto decisions? private opinions unto received and decided doctrines? The Church of England hath not taught it, doth not believe it, hath opposed it. Wisely contenting herself with this 'quousque and limitation.' Article 17:
We must receive God's promises in such wise as they be generally set forth to us in Holy Scripture;' and not presuming to determine of where, how, wherefore, or whom; secrets reserved to God alone. this Goose the Gagger may put his gag into the bills of many of his own gaggle, as well as into other's lagges; who presume as far and wander as wide, sometimes as they do, though more covertly in their terms. Bible in express words, saith what Our we believe: it teacheth not contrary to that which is resolved in the Church of England: the positive doctrine whereof is no other but what this wittal confirmeth out of Scripture; that God at the beginning made not death,' as Wisd. i. 13, because she hath learned out of St. Paul, that through sin death came into the world: whereof God
was neither author nor abettor; but he, the father of lies, a liar, a murderer from the beginning,' in procuring the fall of man. Sin being entered, and by sin death, and so all mankind in the mass of perdition, God fitted and prepared a Restorer, a Mediator, the man Christ Jesus; that so whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life;' out of his mercy both free and mere, because he was not willing that any should perish, but all should come to repentance,' as 2 Pet. iii. 9, and be saved. So large was his mercy, so enlarged his love, that out of his good pleasure it was his will, all men to be saved, and to come to knowledge of the truth.' Shew a contrary resolution of the Church of England, and gag up my mouth, Sir Goose, for ever: else go gaggle on the green.' R. Montague's New Gagg for an Old Goose, pp. 179,180. 1624.folio. The demon of discord was now let loose; nor was it easy to stay its progress of disaster and blood. It was not in the still small voice of the pacific and well meaning Hall, endeavouring to take the middle course, the "via media," between extremes to accomplish that object. He foresaw the storm which perhaps he had contributed originally, though unintentionally, to raise by the precedents at Dort; but to lay it must have been the work of some higher Prospero. In a tractate published at this period, with the title as above, of "Via Media," he gives the following exquisite passage, deeply affecting as a too true presage of the storm, and yet itself exhibiting, at its close, its very spirit.
"There needs no prophetical spirit to discern by a small cloud that there is a storm coming towards our church: such a one as shall not only drench our plumes, but shake our peace. Already do we see the sky thicken, and hear the winds whistle hollow afar off, and feel all the presages of a tempest, which the late example of our neighbours bids us fear."........ The advice which, in con
sequence, he humbly dedicates to his Majesty is, "not to betake himself to his chariot to outride the shower;" but to interpose "his Majesty's seasonable prevention." Only the powerful breath of your sovereign authority," he adds, " can dispel those clouds, and clear our heaven, and reduce a happy calm." Language such as this echoing on all sides of that servile court, was that which, in fact, hastened and matured the storm. There was, however, something worse than this; for, a little onward in this "Via Media," this "by way of peace," after warning men against controversy, since "never did that Belgic quarrel grow to extremity, till after the solemn conference before the States at the Hague [in 1611] which was intended to appease it,”the good Dean proceeds, "There is no possible redress, but in a severe edict of restraint to charm all tongues and pens, upon the sharpest punishment, from passing those moderate bounds, which the Church of England, guided by the Scriptures, hath expressly set; or which, on both sides, are fully accorded on." p. 827, vol. ii. Hall's Works.-The advice was followed: and, first, by strangling, as he gives us to understand, his own Via Media; next, by silencing all Puritanism, that is, Calvinism, doctrinal or disciplinarian ; lastly, by giving full swing and full preferment to all anti-Calvinism, of whatever class or degree. What opinions the Dean afterwards formed respecting the "charming" proceedings in the Star Chamber, and the Court of High Commission, we find no trace of in his Life or Writings. The terrible retaliation and reaction of the suffering party, he has sufficiently detailed, as we shall hereafter have occasion to notice in his "Hard Measure."
A single word, however, more, before we proceed, respecting the general contents of this important "Via Media," as a go-between, we may call it, of Calvinism and Arminianism and that particularly, in
connexion with Mr. Nichols's Arminian Bishop Overall; whose sentiments, it is moreover suggested by Hall, were those intended to be echoed by the gagging Mr. Montague. It so happens, that for almost every sentiment verging on Calvinism in the Via Media, Dean Hall expressly quotes Bishop Overall; and, putting all together, we seem for a moment to be in a goodly company of harmonious doctrinists, beginning with our somewhat Calvinistic Dean, and thence, through Bishop Overall, clear round to the ambiguous Montague, and thus to our avowed Arminian author, Mr. Nichols. The main point, on which we require far more light than Mr. Nichols has given us, nay, on which we think he has quite outrun his authority, is this, namely, the part actually taken by Bishop Overall in this concerted movement. Mr. Nichols alleges Bishop Overall to his own favourite point of conditionate predestination" ex fide prævisâ."
"In addition to the great divines here enumerated by Dr. Heylin, as favourers and defenders of conditional predestination prior to the time in which Arminius flourished, we may specify the names of Erasmus, Bullinger, Sarcerius, Latimer, Duifhusius, Dr. ÖVERAL, Bishop Andrews, Dr. Clayton, and last, but not least, the two learned professors, (formasi ambo!) Hemmingius of Copenhagen, and Baro of Cambridge." Arminius, p. 89.
Dean Hall as distinctly quotes Overall, for all that we can see to the contrary, as holding with himself unconditional election: and, in terms, we think, very difficult to be mistaken. "It is not the precision of faith, or any other grace or act of man*, where
Non er præscientia humanæ fidei aut voluntatis sed ex proposito divinæ voluntatis
et gratiæ, de his, quos Deus elegit in Christo
liberandis et salvandis. D. Overal de V. Art. in Belgio Controversis.-The history, and character, and opinions of Bishop Overall are most important, as bearing on those times. Coeval in birth with Arminius, but not surviving the Synod of Dort, the friend of Grotius, most learned and most pious, supposed to be the true middle way or stepping stone of the Anglican into Arminian tenets-where,nevertheless, does Mr. Nichols find or ground his assertion,
upon this decree of God [to give special grace to the predestinate] is grounded; but the mere and gra cious good will and pleasure of God from all eternity, appointing to save those whom he hath chosen in Christ, as the head and foundation of the elect. This decree of God's election is absolute, unchangeable, and from everlasting. God doth not either actually damn or appoint any soul to damnation, without the consideration in respect of sin." p. 121. Ibid.
The reconciliation of these counter statements we must leave to Mr. Nichols. For ourselves, if our opinion is demanded respecting the decrees of most writers in this "middle" school, we are ready to avow our feeling of an apparent, and, as to some, a misleading ambiguity in their several statements. In expressing their notions of predestination, so as to meet the views on both sides, they make, for instance, with studied accuracy, the rejection of men from salvation the result of no antecedent decree, but simply of sin foreseen. In this they rebut the charge of reprobating souls simply for
the good pleasure of God." The election of man is, nevertheless, and most simply given to "the good pleasure of God;" and is made the result, not of faith foreseen, but simply a decree. The want of duly appreciating this distinction of the "middle men," gives an ambiguity to all their statements in the view of the real anti-Calvinist, which is the primum mobile of all his mistakes respecting them; and this from Hey!in, down to Mr. Nichols, who closely imitates the views of Heylin. To assert, that man is lost without decree, simply for his sin, leads at once the Heylin of the day to claim the assertor, as maintaining condi tionate election. To assert, on the contrary, election as of grace, without respect to faith foreseen,
that Bishop Overall was among the favourers and defenders of conditionate predestination; and that, too, prior to the time in whieh Arminius flourished?