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they will separate with a fonderfully-and that we might more regard than ever for their respective clearly read our title to eternal life. systems. But in prayer, the angry My Arminian friend was much edipassions are hushed; each speaks fied and comforted by this prayer; simply as he feels, and as a penitent which he described as highly spisinner uiters his confessions, or as a ritual, and as having induced him grateful believer his acknowledg- to resolve more than ever to "press inents, before " the God and Father forward towards the inark of the of our Lord Jesus Christ," and prays prize of his bigh calling of God for the temporal and spiritual mer- in Christ Jesus.” cies of which they mutually feel The prayer on the succeeding their need. Hence, as the parties morning was to the following effect: do not appear to differ, it is con- It began with an expression of hucluded that they agree.
mility and awe in approaching the This inference, bowever, by no Divine presence; it went on to means follows; for a closer examina- pray for the pardon of our sins, tionwillshewthat the petitionsof each enumerating not only what are callwere imperceptibly modelled upon ed spiritual sins, but unamiable his own system; and that the whole tempers, unbecoming words, and a strain of their prayers, though not variety of moral offences; not of the contradictory, was perfectly dis- grosser kind, to which none of the Tinct. They differ chiefly by omis- party were probably addicted, but sion; and by a tendency each to view of those into which we might be only one side of the question. This more likely to fall; in respect of may be illustrated by an example.- which, and every other sin, our I some time since heard two clergy- friend implored grace to coutend, men, on two successive mornings, and strength to obtain daily victopray with a party of friends at ries. He further prayed that our the usual devotions of the family. hearts might be cleansed, and our They were both men of integrity, motives purified ; and that we piety, and prudence; but were, might advance in all the graces and in the current, though incorrect, virtues of the Christian character, phraseology of the times, desig- so as to adoro our holy profession, nated, the one a Calvivist, the and 10 maintain serenity of conother an Arininian. The prayer science, and peaceful communion of my Calvinistic friend
with God. He also prayed that menced with grateful adoration to we might become humble, gentle, God for the stability of his cove- aud forgiving in our spirit; that nant, the unchangeableness of his we might be more diligent, self-de. promises, and the freedom of his nying, and benevolevi in our conmercy, which it exemplified in the duct; that we might “ work while cases of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, it is called to-day,” and might ever David, and several other scriplural keep the glories of heaven full int characters. It went on to recite a our view as
a constant stimulus number of the most consolatory to perseverance in our Christiau passages of Scripture relative to
course. My Calvinistic friend reThe goodness of God to his people; marked, that he had felt deeply it disclaimed all human merit, and humbled before God while he was implored that we might be kept thus drawn to reflect upon the evil from a self-righteous bias ; it dwelt nature which, notwithstanding his upon the character and offices of conversion of heart, be still retain. the Redeemer; it entreated the ed; and of which he could say outpouring of the Holy Spirit; it with the Apostle, that it was opprayed for a deeper insight into posed to the spirit of his mind, and The doctrines of grace-ihat God too often brought him into captivity would reveal himself to us more to his love af sin. Hence he was led
to look more humbly and implicitly nary devotions of my family. In to the sacrifice of his Redeemer, the former case, the whole sermon, and to renounce every tendency to without, perhaps, any one unscripself-justification and complacency tural or unkiud statement, has been in his own attainments.
silently correcting my mistakes, and It appears, then, that neither initiating my congregation in a betparty was offended with the other; ter line of thinking. In the latter, though, if we look at the general the prayer has been evidently concomplexion of their prayers, it is structed in the same charitable spi. impossible not to see that they se- rit. I had, perhaps, from the pascretly referred to different systems. sage which occurred in the regular Indeed, in some parts of each pray- reading of the Scriptures with my er, a third person might be led to family offered a few expository resuspect that each had the supposed marks, without any reference to errors of the other in his view in controversy. My zealous friend, some of his deprecatory clauses. not being confined to a written But if this were the case, why, it form in his prayer, took that op. may be asked, did not the opposite portunity of altering the impression party feel the force of the refe- left by the exposition. All he said rence? Precisely because he did was perhaps scriptural and useful; not cherish the supposed doctrine it shocked no prejudice on either at which the deprecation was level- side ; yet it was easy to see that led. When, for example, my Cal. it was intended to obviate certain vinistic friend prayed against a self. errors into which he thought it prorighteous spirit, I thought, not only bable my exposition might lead my from some of his expressions, but family. from the disproportionate length of
The whole of this effect arises this part of his prayer, and from from persons addicting themselves the peculiar fervour with wbich be more prominent view of a preached while he prayed, that he part of the Gospel than of the feared some of the company were whole. When, a few mornings a little inclined to this fault. But since, I urged upon my domestic my Arminian friend I found enter- auditory the duty of heavenly-minded as warınly into the petition as edness, I of course did not intend the speaker himself, and confessed, to derogate from the doctrine of in subsequent conversation, how the atonement, or of justification much we are all in danger of this by faith, or to deny the necessity legality of spirit; never suspect- of the Holy Spirit's influences; yet ing that the prayer was intended as such might have been supposed to 2 sort of side-blow at his own fa. have been my intention by any third vourite system. A similar effect person who had heard my reverend followed in reference to some of friend's prayer-the chief part of the petitions of the Arminian, in which was, that we might not be which he seemed to glance at cer- ensnared to trust in " duties,” but tain supposed evil tendencies of the might adhere wholly to the Cross Calvinistic bypothesis.
of Christ. But my zealous friend Had I selected a stronger case, was so in the habit of viewing but I might have proved still more fully one half of the Gospel, that he was the difference between wbat I have unable to discern the whole in its ventured to denominate a Calvin- scriptural connexion. I have anoistic and an Arminian prayer. I ther friend who is as jealous on the have particularly felt this contrast contrary side, and who seems to when a zealous friend, inclined to fear for me, lest the exhibition of either extreme, has assisted me the free grace of God in Christ, either in the pulpit or in the ordi- with all the consolatory positions - CHRIST, OBSERV, No. 223.
which flow from that truth, should charity, and, perbaps, even of ordilead my little circle to Autinomian nary civility, might ensue! But let presumption and an unholy life. us imagine the Calvinist putting
The object which I proposed to his ideas into the shape of humble myself by these remarks was, to prayer and thanksgiving. He would, point out an easy, and, I trust, perhaps, express himself in somescriptural, mode of rendering reli- ibing like the following manner:gious persons of both parties less “Oh Lord, to Thee am I indebted violent disputants, and, perhaps, for all the spiritual as well as temsiocere friends, without concession poral blessings which I enjoy. I or retractation on either side. My was once living without Thee in plan is simply this: Let each preach the world : my tastes and inclinaas he prays. This, it is true, will tions were depraved : I had no will not alter the sentiments of either; to turn to Thee, for I preferred the but it will place them in a form in world and its vanities to the things which they will not be perpetual of eternity. But thou didst change subjects of misconception or irrita- my heart. Thou didst convince tion. It will lead each party to a
of my sin and folly; and by thy scriptural elucidation of his own Holy Spirit didst both give me the views, without vehemently attack- desire and assist me in the endeaving those of his Christian brethren. our to return unto the Lord my And this is one great secret for God; else I had still been disobepeace: it is also the usual practice dient, and had perished in my sins." of the sacred writers thus to pre. What pious Arminian, unless renvent error by preoccupying its place dered peculiarly suspicious by conwith truth. Nothing can be less troversy, but would fully acquiesce controversial than most of those in these sentiments, or, at least, passages in the writings of St. Paul, would suffer them to pass without which are claimed by the Calvinist: offence, Yet clothed in “ good they do not occur as topics of spe- set terms,” and formed into cold culation, but as motives to love, to abstract propositions, and unconjoy, to humility, to holiness, to nected with the personal experience self-renunciation. Let us suppose of the individual Christian, some of a zealous Calvinist and an Arminian the sentiments, more or less implied disputing respecting the doctrine of in this confession and thanksgiving, free-will and human power. What have helped to furnish reams of nice distinctions would they invert! angry controversy, and to confuse What direful tendencies would each many a weak brain with a cloud of fix on the bypothesis of his oppo- logical distinctions, vent! What breaches of Christian
Tothe Editor of the Christian Observer. Although some montlis bave “A KING," observes the sagacious elapsed since this sentence was fulVerulam, “is a mortal god on earth, filled in the case of our late belovunto whom the living God hath lented Monarch, and many communihis own name as a great honour; cations bave appeared both in your but withal told him, he should die Numbers and in various other publike men, lest he should be proud, lications on his character, it may and flatter himself that God hath, not be regarded as an unwelcome with his name, imparted to him his effort once inore to draw the attennature also."
tion of your readers to the subject. It is not meant to repeat the in the Latin language. From the various details of his life ; they will latter, the following passages are be collected and recorded else- selected, as in a peculiar degree where; but there has appeared to applicable to the character of our the writer of these lines to be so late revered Sovereign. striking a parallel between our “ This nation is highly indebted late revered monarch, and the (remarks Melancthon, speaking of received characters of those two the Saxons,) to the higher orders illustrious brothers, who, at the for the advancement of sacred lidawn of the 16th century, suc- terature, and, under Divine Provicessively filled the electorate of dence, for the existence of a prince Saxony, Frederic III. and John who, being formed by nature pa1., that while it deserves to be cific, humane, and merciful, esteemnoticed as illustrative of the uni- ed nothing more dear to him than form operation of Christian prin- the best interests of his people. ciples in those who occupy tbe lofty He was just, gentle, firm ; careful and difficult province of rulers, it of the public welfare, diligent in may serve also with but few devi- ascertaining the rights of others, ations, which arise from the differ- and pacifying the contentions of ence of circumstances and events, fellow-citizens; patient towards to delineate some of the qualities the faults of the people, aiming of George III., and to present them mildly to restore those who were in their practical bearings to the capable of amelioration, but severe contemplation of those who survive in punishing the wicked and incorhim. I propose, therefore, to col- rigible*. lect a few passages from the bis-,
• The multitude, I am aware tories of the period of the Reforma- (continues he), is struck with adtion, illustrative of the characters miration of heroic achievements, of these two Electors, and the prin- and esteems the soldier above the ciples by which they were actuated, quiet citizen. The virtues of do. and to notice briefly as I proceed mestic life are overlooked, and the applicability of some features they who cultivate peace and the to the delineation of our deceased
arts acquire but slender praise. King, leaving to your readers to But I confess myself of a far difremark the more general charac- ferent opinion." ters of resemblance. I am the
“ Frederic excelled in the more more inclined to transcribe the ex. useful virtues. His wisdom, zeal, tracts to which I allude, because, and fortitude were of no common independently of the parallel which cast, co-operating to overcome the I propose to draw, they are in impetuosity of anger, to spare the themselves interesting, as being lives of his subjects, and to allay descriptive of two characters cele- the violence of armed hostility by brated in the annals of the Prole- every reason and counsel. Never stant Reformation.
was our illustrious Prince known to On the 5th of May 1625, Fre- revenge private injuries; and, like deric, Elector of Saxony, departed Pericles, when his friends were this life. His death was peaceful enumerating his trophies, and conand pious; and as he had been the gratulating him on bis victories, he early friend as well as the constant might have replied,. The praise proiector of the reformed cause, of these does not belong so much it was an event which could not
to me as to my soldiers ; but this fail of producing a strong impres. sion on the minds of Luther and
* Is not this paragraph a just descripMelancthon. Luther delivered a
tion of our late Sovereign's cautions short discourse in German, and but intrepid conduct during the riots Melancthon pronounced an oration of the year 1780?
I will claim as a just distinction, dence of religious truth, he emthat no citizen through my means
braced it with all his soul; and it ever put on mourning ;' intimating became the means of establishing that he had never been guilty of and nourishing his piety. He shunany treacherous violence to advance ned insignificant disputes, which his own dignity*.
did not conduce to edification ; and “ He possessed, moreover, the when he observed certain impious greatest private virtues, and a pe- men, upon pretence of enjoying culiar devotedness to the study of evangelical liberty, debasing themthe Christian Religion. He always selves and religion, by a ferocioustreated sacred things with the ut. ness of conduct and a contempt most seriousness; and, amidst the of public decency; he cautiously contrariety of opinions prevalent avoided giving them or others occain the present age, he diligently sion of introducing rash changes aimed to discover the best and least through his example, perceiving dubitable. Often would he confer the dangerous tendency of such inwith learned men on the nature and novations." power of religiont.
“ Our country also (adds Me. “ He neither approved nor con
lancthon) has lost not only a usedemned any thing with precipita- ful and gracious prince, but also tion. Whenever be saw the evi. an excellent father. They merit
the highest bonour in every place This was emphatically true of our who assiduously cultivate the counlate Monarch. I need scarcely remind try: he did indeed cultivate it, dethe reader of his generous conduct to voting his time to its improvement", wards the unfortunate individuals who
to the education of youth, and to at two several times attempted his life :
the promotion of commerce.” -not only forgiving them, but even
Such is the outline of that porpensioning their relatives. It is but recently that one of these annuities
trait which the pen of Melancthou has ceased by the death of the party.
drew of the illustrions Frederic. Such conduct almost compels the remark He was succeeded by his brother, applied to Archbishop Cranmer, “Do the Elector John, who ruled during unto my Lord of Canterbury a shrewd a period of considerable agitation turn, and then you may be sure to have
for seven years, and died in August him for your friend whilst he liveth.” 1532. From Melancihon's elegant See some remarkable instances of this Latin oration at his funeral, the in Richmond's Fathers of the English Church, Vol. III. p. 17, &c.
following passages are extracted, + A similar plan was adopted by
as furnishing features of resem. Queen Caroline, consort of George II.
blance to the tranquil and dignifiShe appointed a particular day in the ed conduct of our late Monarch. week when learned men, divines and “ I shall not speak (he remarks) others, were invited to attend ber Royal of his noble birth, or of his youthHighness in the evening; a practice ful pursuits, though he might be which she continued after her accession highly eulogized for modesty and to the throne. Of this
company were Doctors Clarke, Hoadley, Berkeley, and Sherlock. See Bishop Berkeley's • On the subject of the education of Memoirs, p. 28.
the poor, it can hardly be necessary to Our late Sovereign likewise frequent remind the reader that at no period of ly enjoyed the couversation of wise and British history were such efforts made, pious men, whom he sent for to his pa- and so many deep-rooted prejudices Jace expressly for this purpose. See, overcome, towards the accomplishment for instance, the accounts of liis inter of this object, as in the reign of King views with Dr Beattie and others. The George III.; and our late King himself, interesting dialogue which occurred with his venerable consort, were among with the former is related in your vo- the first and most generous supporters ume for 1807, p. 513.
of Sunday as well as other sehools.