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is, with the same person, proof as positive as light, that the assertor holds irrespective reprobation. These distinctions may be, or may not be, without a difference in themselves; but they most certainly have a difference in the minds of those writers whom Mr. Nichols and others too readily and rashly claim for their own. Perhaps it may be after all advanced, that the really middle man in temper and spirit is he who feels, admits, and is not ashamed of apparent ambiguity. And then, if Mr. Nichols's clear discerning upon conditionate election will not allow us to place him amongst the ambiguous divines, will he be content to part company even with his own, his most beloved Arminius; and, resigning him to Hall and Overall, the semi-Calvinists, will he hear from the Via Media the following one conclusion of the whole matter?
"For the [topics, not touching salvation, and for suppressing them] we need no other judge than St. Austin himself, who calls this question of predestination, whereon the rest depend, Questionem difficillimam, et paucis intelligibilem.'...... What need we any other witness, than the learnedest followers of Arminius; who, in their epistle to foreign divines, confess, that it hath seemed good to the most wise God to involve these mysteries in obscurity, and in an ambiguity of places seemingly contradictory.' And they profess to subscribe to the judgment of all divines, both ancient and modern, that these questions of predestination being perplexed, thorny, and troublesome, through their obscureness, may, without all detriment of salvation, be either unknown or not discussed...... But what idleness were it to prove the danger of the passage through those sands and rocks, when we see the shipwrecks? Where ever did the great Doctor of the Gentiles cry 'O altitudo !' but at this point? To fall upon these discourses, then, in popular auditories, what were it other than to teach alCHRIST. OBSERV. No. 311.
All this, be it observed, is from Hall, though no Arminian. After which he adds, with that sanguine disposition which always attended him,
"Who can tell whether God did not
purposely send me to be a witness of these quarrels abroad, that I might be able to speak a word in season for their appeasing at home?"
Poor man! After which, for peace' sake, he proposes to call in, to settle the controversy, "the followers of the tenet of the Synod of Dort defendants; the other, which vary from these, following the steps either of acute Arminius, or of our learned and judicious Bishop Overall, opponents." Via Media, Hall's Works, vol. ix. pp. 827, 828.
In the mean time, King James, in 1625, is carried to his funeral, amidst the fanciful and fulsome panegyrics of his courtiers. The pleasantness of his common universal appellation as the "Solomon" of his age, with which even Hall fell in, leaves indeed no manner of doubt that he had qualities of mind and tongue beyond the mere selfish king-craft attributed to him by his enemies. His legacies, on the other hand, to his unfortunate son Charles, of synodical Calvinism transferred. from Dort to his own subjects; of Arminianism, all his own and his bishops', on their later review of doctrine; and of political violence and intrigue as the support of both, soon began to work their own unhappy execution. In 1627, Hall was elevated to the bench, in the well-earned see of Exeter. This advancement was an exception to the Arminian proceedings of the court, and was the just fruit of his great talents, and perhaps of that apparent obsequiousness, but real humility, which so eminently distinguished his character. It were needless to add, that the poor man found indeed the Episcopal bench to be no "bed of roses." Hitherto he had peacefully "meditated" at Halsted, and di4 T
682 Review of the Life and Times vinely "contemplated" at Waltham, and walked his Via Media in the deanery of Worcester. His future labours, now from his 53d year, are to be in the style either of harassing controversy, or of Christian "Contentation" under severe trial, or of the art of dying well and hoping for a more peaceful scene in a future world. His motto, in short, had been formerly,
"Ille ego qui quondam gracili modulatus
"Arma viram que cano: or, in Miltonic strains, "No more of talk with God and angel guest. His own words will best express his feelings on an occasion of the first of those slanders to which his life was now about to be consigned. They will shew his own view, and perhaps the true view, of that distinguished elevation so much the object of ambition to soine, of envy to more, but perhaps of joy in the possession to few indeed, at least in troublesome times like those of Bishop Hall.
"Alas, poor man [it was a Puritan slanderer], at what distance doth he see us! Foggy air useth to represent every object far bigger than it is. Our Saviour, in his temptation upon the mount, had only the glory of those kingdoms shewed to him by that subtle spirit; not the cares and vexations; right so are our dignities exhibited to these envious beholders little do these men see the toils and anxieties that attend this supposedly pleasing eminence.
"All the revenge that I would wish to this uncharitable censurer, should be this, that he might be but for a while adjudged to this so glorious seat of mine; that so his experience might taste the bewitching pleasures of this envied greatness; he should well find more danger of being overspent with work, than of languishing with ease and delicacy. For me, Ineed not appeal to Heaven: eyes enough can witness, how few free hours I have enjoyed, since I put on these robes of sacred honour. Insomuch as I could find in my heart, with holy Gregory, to complain of my change; were it not, that I see these public troubles are so many acceptable services to my God, whose glory is the end of my being. Certainly, my lord, if none but earthly respects should sway me, I should heartily wish to change
Arminius and Bishop Hall. [Nov. this palace, which the providence of God and the bounty of my gracious sovereign Waltham, where I had so sweet leisure to hath put me into, for my quiet cell at enjoy God, your lordship, and myself. But I have followed the calling of my God, to whose service I am willingly dience to his Divine Majesty, with what sacrificed; and must now, in a holy obecheerfulness I may, ride out all the storms of envy, which unavoidably will alight upon the least appearance of a conceived greatness. In the mean time, whatever I may seem to others, I was never less in my own apprehensions; and, were it not for this attendance of envy, could not yield myself any whit greater than I was." Hall, pp. 119–121.
Bishop Hall, with all his prescripconscientious Arminius, now finds tions for quiet to the amiable and himself on the very sea of trouble, of the storm. He had in truth to or at least begins to feel the rocking contend with three great master
spirits of opposition: the Romanists on one side, the Puritans on another, third. In conciliating the Romanists, and the anti-Calvinistic clergy on a he falls into the trap of the Puritans; in conciliating the Puritans, he opens of the church. He could not in conhimself to charge from his brethren science compromise his churchmanship to the Puritans, his liberality to the Star-chamber, nor, without offence be it said, his Calvinism to fact become a party man. the Arminians. He could not in
His first dealings in coming to the bench, and which led to the complaints above alluded to, had been with the Romanists. These had thrown another torch of discord into Protestant England, as it is alleged by some of our more zealous church writers they afterwards continued to do, in the very garb and character of Puritanism. reply to one of those Jesuits, like Hall, in gagging Montague before him, had appeared to allow too much to the adversaries he had encountered. He
* Works, vol. IX. pp. 315, 316.-This may be reckoned a correct and fair reprebishops in the Church of England: the sentation of the general condition of pious weighty and anxious cares of their vocation being better known to themselves than to others.
was accordingly attacked by the Puritans. The scriptural, the Protestant, even the Calvinistic Hall, was charged by some Puritans, and calumniated, as a friend to Popery. He doubtless gave but little satisfaction to the Presbyterians, as to their motive for attack, by an appeal to Episcopal or dignified authorities for a discharge. He did so however, and the result apparently was peace.
Upon the misrepresentation of his opinion repecting the visibility of the Church of Rome, Bishop Hall consulted Bishop Morton, Bishop Davenant, Dr. Prideaux, Dr. Primrose, &c. and requested each of them to express their sentiments concerning the point in dispute. They unanimously concurred with Bishop Hall's view of the subject: so that the treatise, entitled the Reconciler, was seconded with the letters of the above learned and sound divines, whose indubitable au
thority,' says Bishop Hall, was able to bear down calumny itself. Which done, I did by a seasonable moderation provide for the peace of the church, in silencing both my defendants and challengers, in this unkind and ill-raised quarrel." pp. 121, 122.
This most injurious charge against Bishop Hall, be it observed, was alleged in 1627-29, twelve years before the meeting of the Long Parliament, when the aggravations of party-feeling had scarcely arisen on either side; within a short period indeed of Charles's elevation to the throne, and before the period of Laud's predominating influence. It therefore clearly proved in limine what was the general tendency of the yet under current of Puritanism. It proved clearly, that the struggle which followed aimed not only at the preservation of our civil liberties, but also at the predominance of high Calvinistic principles and Calvinistic discipline in the church. Whoever objected to either of these became the object of hostility. It was sufficient for some, that Hall, in
"A suspicion of leaning towards Popery was attached at that time to all who favoured the Episcopacy. But it is evident, from the whole tenor of Bishop Hall's works, and the general course of his life, that nothing was more abhorrent to his soul."
his Via Media, had urged a kind of prohibition "to preach the saving doctrines of God's free grace in election and predestination to eternal life, according to the 17th Article." It was more than sufficient for others, that he was a bishop; by which he accumulated mischiefs on his head, from the various and varying parties of the day. They met in this, that he must be opposed; and Romanism" was the plea, where "Arminianism" was not an imputation to be maintained.
In what way, however, did the really Arminian clergy on their part proceed? This will lead us to step farther into the Episcopal history of Hall. We call them, be it observed, "Arminians," not but what we deem them a little more inclined to Popery, and a little less inclined even to Lutheranism, than the Melancthonian Arminius: whilst, however, at that period, they would not have spoken out on conditionate election so freely as some "followers of Arminius;" for example, our worthy author Mr. Nichols. What steps, however, did these clergy, tales quales, on their part pursue? They pursued the course still open to them, of political power, and the suppression, if possible, of their rising adversaries. Arminianism, it is true, had been defeated, crushed, and exterminated in Holland; but why might it not stand on firmer ground, and with the weight of Royal and Episcopal authority on its side, against Calvinism in England? This was the question, which, upon Hall's recovery from Puritan charges, he found awaiting him to decide and to act upon, in the further discharge of his Episcopal functions. In the mean time, and almost for the first time, commenced the real grievances of the Puritans. Their writings, their contumacy, their non-conformity began to be prosecuted, and that most severely in the "charming" proceedings of the Star-chamber and court of High Commission. The Parliament, which met in 1628 for the last time, in the
early part of the reign was found to be so highly Calvinistic, that it was dissolved for proceeding under the motion of "Oliver Cromwell, Esq.," to the religious question, before it touched upon politics: upon which the House of Convocation, under the growing influence of Laud, very sagaciously devised new tests to ensure conformity to the old; and previous to the meeting of the Long Parliament a dreary period,truly!a real Iliad of more than ten years' struggle succeeded, between innovating Episcopacy and High Commission on the one part, and stern unbending Calvinism and Presbyterianism on the other. Catechising was substituted for preaching in the afternoon. Lectures in general were suppressed, as nurseries of Puritanism; a fund for the purchase of livings was seized upon and some mere political grievances were superadded, lest it might be possible for a moment to forget the constant pressure of authority, or the unceasing irritation of the subject. How Bishop Hall, who at this time was digesting his important work on "Hard Texts" at Exeter, then fared in the harder work of managing at once those under whom, and those over whom, he was placed in authority, will be seen at once from the following "specialities," which are carried up from this period to the close of the first parliament in 1640; after which the synodical or et-cetera oath, inter alia, was set forth by the infatuated convocation which then sat.
"I entered upon that place, not without much prejudice and suspicion on some hands; for some, that sat at the stern of the church, had me in great jealousy for too much favour of Puritanism. I soon had intelligence who were set over me for espials. My ways were curiously observed and scanned. However, I took
the resolution to follow those courses
which might most conduce to the peace and happiness of my new and weighty charge. Finding, therefore, some factious spirits very busy in that diocese, I used all fair and gentle means to win them to good order; and therein so happily prevailed, that, saving two of that numerous clergy who, continuing in their refractoriness, fled away
from censure, they were all perfectly reclaimed: so as I had not one minister pro orders (for I was never guilty of urging any fessedly opposite to the anciently received new impositions) of the church in that large diocese.
"Thus we went on comfortably toclergy, being guilty of their own negligence gether, till some persons of note in the and disorderly courses, began to envy our success; and, finding me ever ready to encourage those whom I found conscionand willingly giving way to orthodox and ably forward and painful in their places, peaceable lectures in several parts of my diocese, opened their mouths against me, both obliquely in the pulpit and directly at the court; complaining of my too much diligence to persons disaffected, and my too much liberty of frequent lecturings within my charge. The billows went so high, that I was three several times upon my knee to his majesty, to answer these great criminations; and what contestation I had with some great lords concerning these particulars, it would be too long to report: only this; under how dark a cloud I was hereupon I was so sensible, that I plainly told the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, that, rather than I would be obnoxious to those slanderous tongues of his misinformers, I would cast up my rochet. I knew I went right ways, and would not endure to live under undeserved suspicions.
What messages of caution I had from some of my wary brethren, and what expostulatory letters I had from above, I need not relate. Sure I am, I had peace and comfort at home, in the happy sense of that general unanimity and loving correspondence of my clergy, till, in the last year of my presiding there, after the synodical oath was set on foot (which yet I did never tender to any one minister of my diocese), by the incitation of some busy interlopers of the neighbour county, some of them began to enter into an unkind contestation with me about the election of clerks of the convocation."" Hall, pp. 113-115.
Hitherto then it appears, that with comparative ease a man of real principle, piety, and prudence, might still have been able partially to evade, or to quench those fiery darts which were so soon to set the whole kingdom in a flame, and level to the ground every sacred and civil institution. "The violences," as Mr. Jones properly observes on the above passage,
"which should have been justly ascribed to the [political] circumstances of the time, were unhappily imputed to the Church of England; whilst Bishop Laud, and others, who had great credit with the
king, were continually representing to him all those as Puritans, who were not entirely submissive to the regal power, and were using against them severities in the High Commission, and Star-chamber, very unbecoming the spirit of Christianity. Thus the breach grew wider daily be tween the king and the Puritans; and after the death of Archbishop Abbot, Bishop Laud was advanced into the primacy; the breach still widened through this Primate's intolerancy, till it ended in his own destruction, and that of the king, and the Church of England." Hall, pp.
During this period, about 16378-9, Archbishop Laud set the learned and eloquent Bishop of Exeter on a work, doubtless, as in the case of Arminius of old, for the benefit of his personal orthodoxy; namely, the defence of the Episcopal order against the Scotch and English Presbyterians. Happily Hall was more firmly rooted in his churchmanship than Jacob Harmens in the doctrine of predestination, when he was called upon to defend it. Hall accordingly produced "to the contentment of his sovereign, the satisfaction of his metropolitan, and his own great honour," his celebrated treatise upon the Divine Right of Episcopacy; though, adds Mr. Jones, in some few things, "modelled according to the views and sentiments of Laud." Some intimations are given, that those alterations, touching the actual divinity of Episcopal right and its universal necessity; and denying, what Hall had affirmed, the pope to be anti-Christ, were inserted somewhat unwillingly by Hall. For our own part we believe him to have been far too honest a man to have concluded upon any one leading position in his work contrary to his own full and deliberate judgment. And we think it no small testimony to the substantial justice of the Episcopal cause, which nothing but the politics of a Laud could have contrived to overthrow, that the sound head and honest heart of Hall, perhaps altogether the first man and truest martyr of his age, should have maintained it in its
utmost extent of Apostolical and Divine authority in the face of Puritan violence, as well as under the provoking impositions of the court. Every thing material on the subject will in truth be found in his memorable treatise; together with which are recorded the replies of the author to the exceptions of tractate, a humble remonstrance to Smectymnuus* against his second parliament on Liturgies and Episcopacy. The controversy, as such, will be found in the ninth volume of Bishop Hall's works by Mr. Pratt, and is worthy of the most attentive perusal. But the question of the day was not to be settled by fair and honourable discussion. The profligacy of libel, and the taunts of revenge were deemed the fittest replies to Episcopal intolerance; and the sword was very speedily to determine who had the stronger side, and could most successfully shed the blood of his adversaries. In the field of mere controversy, which had the victory in point of temper, whether the pious Hall, or the pious five his opponents and professed religionists, an opponent himself shall decide.
"It is said," [as quoted by Brook, in his Lives of the Puritans, vol. III. p. 246,] "of the treatise of Smectymnuus, that it
"Five Presbyterian divines who' clubbed their wits together to frame an answer.' These dissenting ministers were Stephen Marshall, Edmund Calamy, Thomas Young, Matthew Newcomen, and William Spurstow. Their performance bore the strange title of Smectymnuus; or an Answer to an Humble Remonstrance,' &c.
This fictitious word is made up of the initial letters of the names of the above authors. Bishop Hall, in his reply entitled A Defence of that Remonstrance,' alluding to his antagonists, merrily says,
My single Remonstrance is encountered with a plural adversary, that talks in the style of We' and Us.' Their names, persons, qualities, numbers, I care not to know: but could they say, my name is Legion, for we are many; or, were they as many legions as men; my cause, yea God's, would bid me to meet them undismayed, and to say with holy David, Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear."" Hall, pp. 205, 206.