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the inconsistency which must necessarily attend such a system of absurdities, as that comprehended under the name of moderate Calvinism, Mr. O. now censures those for paying too much attention to practical Christianity, and laying too great a stress upon it, whom before he had censured for paying too little, and laying no stress at all upon it. The very same persons whom, in his third chapter, he had accused of teaching, that “ all, who are nominal members of the Christian church, are sure of obtaining eternal salvation, whatever be their characters," are, in this chapter, condemned for making "obedience to the precepts of the Gospel a condition of justification and salvation.”
Mr. O. and his friends, as is well known, are generally considered as depreciating good works; but, by a curious kind of legerdemain, he had contrived to turn the tables of accusation against his opponents, and to set up a proof, such as it is, that they, and not he and his friends, are the persons who depreciate good works; forasmuch as they give the members of the Church to understand, that, in consequence of their admission into the Church by baptism, they are sure of, " obtaining eternal happiness, whatever be their characters.” Though this argument, as we have seen, is entirely built on a misrepresentation, and a very palpable one, of Mr. Daubeny's meaning, we cannot but admit, that it does credit to Mr. O’s ingenuity. He is himself so pleased with it, that though he sometimes, as in the chapter before us, finds it necessary to reason inconsistently with it, he frequently recurs to it in the course of his work. What regard ought to be paid to accusations, which are of so contrary a nature, we shall leave our readers to determine.
To one of the charges, however, the great body of the English clergy will probably plead guilty ; nor can
they they do otherwise consistently with truth! It is certain that they make good works, if there be any opportunity of performing them, a necessary condition of salvation ; and it is equally certain, that, in doing so, they have the authority of scripture, and of the venerable reformers of the Church of England on their side. We shall not waste our time, nor the patience of our readers, in proving, what has been so often proved to demonstration, the former part of this proposition; and, with respect to the latter part of it, we shall content ourselves with the single testimony, which may be derived from the Church Catechism. We are there told, that, in order to become “inheritors of the kingdom of heaven, we are bound to believe and to do, as our godfathers and godmothers promised for us in our baptism.” Now, it was expressly promised for us in our baptism, that we should “ keep God's holy will and commandments, and walk in the same all the days of our life.” As this is only another way of expressing the obligation to perform good works, it evidently follows, that according to the doctrine of our Church, the performance of good works is a necessary condition of obtaining salvation. For, if that is not a condition, upon the performance of which a certain thing is offered to us, and without the performance of which it is not to be obtained, we should be glad to know of Mr. O. what a condition is.
On'many occasions, Mr. O. is very fond of appealing to the authority of the pious Bishop Hall. We wish, therefore, on this occasion, that he would take into serious consideration the following excellent passage, given us from that prelate by Mr. Daubeny, which, we have no hesitation in saying, is perfectly conformable to the sentiinents of the great body of the clergy; and which, while it serves to clear up Mr. O.'s ideas on the subject, may, at the same time convince him that his divinity is very different from Bishop Hall's divinity, and that is not safe to appeal to Bishop Hall as a decided Calvinist, or an Evangelical divine of the modern school. The passage is this:-“When we say Christ died for mankind, we mean that Christ died for the benefit of mankind. Now, let this benefit be distinguished, and contentions hereabout will cease. For, if this benefit be considered as the remission of sins, and the salvation of our souls, these are benefits obtainable only upon the conditions of faith and repentance. On the one side, no man will say that Christ died - to this end, to procure forgiveness and salvation to everyone, , whether they believe and repent, or no. So, on the other, none will deny that he died to this end, that salvation and remission should redound to all and to every one, in case they should believe and repent. For this depends upon the sufficiency of that price, which our Saviour paid for the redemption of the world.” Vol. III. p. 574 *.
In opposition to this, Mr. O. affirms, that “ faith only, or faith without works, is the conditional or instrumental cause of justification ;” that “ good works are neither the meritorious cause, nor the appointed condition of justification;" and frequently, in the course of this chap
* Mr. O. is unwilling to admit the authority of the “ Necessary Doctrine, &c." though principally written by Cranmer himself; otherwise we might present him with the following passage still more full to the same purpose. “ The blessing of justification is granted for the merits and satisfaction of our blessed Saviour ; our pardon stands upon this ground; and no good works, on our part, could reconcile us unto God, procure his favour, and prevail for justification. However, this benefit is suspended upon conditions; ; such reliance
the divine goodness, observing our Saviour's commands, and performing the oflices of justice and charity."
ter, admission called
ter, does he censure his opponents for maintaining, that “ good works are a condition of salvation.” In order to shew the opposition of opinion between Bishop Hall and Mr. O. more clearly, we have only to remind our readers, that what repentance is in a retrospective view, obedience, or the performance of good works, is in a prospective view ; since repentance, in order to be complete and effectual, must at least comprehend a sincere resolution of future obedience. This sentiment is thus more fully expressed by Mr. Pearson in his first letter to Mr. O. “When we look back to time past, the conditions of justification are repentance and faith ; when we look forward to time to come, the conditions are faith and good works : which is much the same as saying, that we are always to perform our duty to the best of our power; but never to think that we have performed it as we ought.”
Our Church, in her office of baptism, calls all those who are baptized regenerated; which, so far at least as justification can take place in this life must be considered as equivalent to being justified. Accordingly, in the Homily on Salvation, part the third, the terms - baptized and justified are used as synonymous; and the Church expressly declares, that “ children, which are baptized, dying before they commit actual sin, are undoubtedly saved.” As Mr. O. is desirous of confining the benefit of justification to those whom he deems the elect, this language of the Church puzzles him not a little. In order to get rid of the effects of it, he finds it necessary, on various occasions, as is usual with writers of his persuasion, to depreciate the privileges of baptism. In this he is strongly supported by his panegyrists, the Editors of the Christian Observer, who do not scruple to assert, that “ baptism is only the outward sign of our admission into the Church, administered by fallible men, and may or may not be accompanied by justification, wbich is the act of God alone.” See Christian Observer for July 1802, p.440, as corrected in a subsequent number.
We cannot avoid noticing, in passing, that these are the editors, who afterwards (January 1803, p. 35) ventured to say, “ We challenge the Dean of Peterborough, or any one similarly affected towards us, to produce a single passage in the Christian Observer, which betrays a disposition hostile, either to the established government, or the established Church.” What, then, is it no hostility to the established Church to depreciate one of its sacraments? and to teach, that it is not of that efficacy which the Church would wish us to suppose ? If a baptized infant be not justified, how can we believe, what the Church expressly asserts, that, dying before it commits actual sin, it will undoubtedly be saved ?
Do the editors of the Christian Observer think, that the efficacy of the sacraments depends upon the personal qualities of those, by whom they are administered ? If they do, is it not certain, that they think in direct contradiction to the 26th article of the church and that they run into the error of the old Anabaptists, who, as Luther plains, “propter hominum vitia vel indignitatem, damnabant verum baptisma ?*”—“No;" these editors would say, if they had courage fully to explain themselves, “this is not what we mean. We mean, that an infant, though baptized, according to the forms of the Church, is not justified, and consequently cannot be saved, unless he be in the number of those, who are pre-ordained to be saved." This is what they nean, though, so long as they find it prudent to halt, or seem to halt, between two opinions, and wish to have it thought, that they are See Hey's Norrisian Lectures, Vol. IV. p. 255.