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more immediate brethren, as it will set them right on a very important and long-mooted item of Christian theology, and enable them to decide with greater accuracy on the points of difference between Calvinism and Arminianism.
Although we have received no new light on this subject, having been long satisfied that Arminianism, as taught either by Arminius himself or by John Wesley, would bear the light of a thorough and, impartial examination, yet we rejoice that Professor Stuart was led to take this subject in hand, as many will read his work and believe his word, that would, in all probability, otherwise never have been rightly informed on these subjects. And if the professor will now take up the Life and Times of John Wesley, and do as ample justice to him and his doctrine, as he has done to Arminius and his doctrine, he will add another item to the catalogue of his good deeds, and thereby convince his readers that Methodism should no longer be ranked among sources of the adversary.'
As reference has been made in the preceding quotation from Professor Stuart to the circumstances which led Arminius forth into the field of controversy, perhaps it may be satisfactory to our readers to have these explained more at large. The following account of these matters is taken from Nichols' edition of the Works of Arminius, vol. i, page 59 :
• the re
• The cause of the controversy was this : Coornhert one day entered into conversation with a man who made a great boast of having left the communion of the Church of Rome, and joined the Reformed or Calvinists. Coornhert, perceiving from his conversation, that this proselyte from popery could adduce no solid reason for the change, dryly observed, “ It is a matter that may admit of some doubt, whether the profession of religion which you have abandoned, or that which you have embraced, be the better.” This expression being repeated with a few obnoxious additions, as is the general custom in cases of this kind, excited the sensitive zeal of the two Calvinist ministers, and in the heat of their passion they challenged Coornhert to a public controversy on the characteristics of the true Church. Coornhert maintained, that the congregations
that believed and professed the doctrines of Calvin, could not be true Churches : to prove this thesis, he reprobated in a masterly and popular manner their peculiar views of predestination, justification, and killing heretics. After this public conference had been conducted on both sides a short time, it was prohibited by order of the states general,—but resumed a few weeks afterward at Leyden, where certain deputies were appointed by their high mightinesses to attend as moderators in the assembly. Coornhert relates, that he was not allowed by these commissioners of the states, to mention the subject of punishing heretics with death ; and he was compelled to follow the two ministers in the order in which they chose to conduct the dispute and to answer the questions which they proposed.
Yet though he had to maintain his cause against two subtil opponents, and before judges who were themselves of the Calvinistic persuasion, he completely silenced the chief speaker Cornelison, who, being greatly enraged, was not able to proceed with his intended arguments. Donteklok came to his assist ce, but soon caught the infectious stammering and hesitation of his colleague, and when he was obliged suddenly to stop, either through a defect of recollection or a want of argument, Coornhert, who was a bold and witty man, said rather smartly, “What! is this the doctrine of Calvin and Beza ?" Their honors, the commissioners, thinking this a good opportunity for relieving the embarrassment of the discomfitted ministers, turned round to Coornhert and reprimanded him severely for having mentioned the names of those two venerable reformers. Another person also added something in the way of reproof, to whom Coornhert, having given an answer in kind, proceeded to say, “We are permitted to repeat the name both of God and the devil, without being called to an account for such words; why then ought we to be blamed for speaking of two mortal men that were liable to error ?". Many warm expressions followed on both sides, and Coornhert left them, declaring before the hundreds of assembled hearers, that he should reason no longer with men who would not concede to him the right of reply.
Each party, as is usual on such occasions, claimed the victory for itself. Coornhert was for some years prohibited from publishing his remarks on this or any other religious controversy, although he petitioned the states, without effect, against such a severe and sweeping restriction. But the ministers of Delft,—willing to give the best coloring to the doctrine of Calvinistic predestination, some time about the year 1589, wrote the popular pamphlet, the title of which has already been given, and in which they defended the lower or sublapsarian scheme.
This controversy had occurred ten years before ; yet, in consequence of it, Coornhert had frequently become the object of pulpit vituperation. Some of his theological opinions were certainly too loosely expressed, and were such as could not be maintained by any conscientious ARMINIAN,-a term of distinction at that time unknown among professors of religion. He was a man of great sincerity, a hater of persecution on religious account, and his life and conduct were most holy and exemplary. He had rendered important services to his country on various trying emergencies at the risk of his life, and had been a most zealous and active champion in the cause of the reformation. Yet he was loaded with reproaches, and his name was cast out as evil. • The heretic” and “the libertine” were the usual epithets by which he was known among his enemies ; and to refute his supposed errors from the press and the pulpit, was the labor which almost every petty synod in the United Provinces delegated to one of the most able of its members. When Lydius, therefore, who was an admirer of Beza and consequently a supralapsarian, had sent the pamphlet published by the ministers at Delft, and had solicited Arminius to defend the sentiments of his old master, against those which were then considered to be much too mild and fraught with error,-at the very same period the ecclesiastical senate of Amsterdam preferred a
VOL. IV.January, 1833. 4
request to him that he would undertake the province of exposing the errors of Coornhert. Thus, by a remarkable coincidence, was committed into the hands of Arminius, a young divine of the greatest promise, the momentous charge of refuting what were deemed to be two very opposite heresies. The providence of God, under whose control are all the affairs of His Church, seems, for the wisest and most beneficent purposes, to have brought into immediate contact, at a remarkable crisis, two clashing propositions involving an important verity of Christian doctrine, that they might arouse the attention and excite the energies of a mortal who had been highly gifted of God, and upon whom had been bestowed an enlarged and most capacious understanding, and a mind so peculiarly trained to close thought and logical deductions, as if it had been educated with the sole intent of skilfully eliciting the portion of conflicting truth contained in each of these propositions, and of framing from them a grand and Scriptural system which most signally “ justifies the ways of God to man.” ?
On page 11 Professor Stuart gives it as his opinion that if Arminius had taken the sage advice addressed to him by Beza, and reduced it to practice, he would have never been the head of a party which is called by his name; and he would have avoided many a scandal and sorrow, and much disturbance to the Church of God.'' In this we by no means agree with the professor. It was not owing to a rage for novelty, nor from an improper warmth of temperament, which led Arminius to perceive the errors of high-toned Calvinism ; but an ardent
l love of the truth, and a conscientious regard to its sacred dictates. Indeed, it is not at all to be wondered at that a mind like that of Arminius, so richly furnished with science, so deeply bent on the pursuit of truth, and withal so thoroughly imbued with the fear and love of God, should have discovered the legitimate and pernicious consequences of Calvin's doctrine of the Divine sovereignty.
The authority also on which the professor relies for these particulars respecting Arminius, is at least of an equivocal character. Bayle was a professed skeptic, and as such was no doubt a believer in the doctrine of fatality ; and hence he would naturally be inclined to pour contempt on, or at least to find a fault if possible in the man who did so much to undermine the foundation of his skepticism. All, we be*lieve, with the exception of this infidel writer, (Bayle,) who have impartially searched into the character of Arminius, allow that he was no less remarkable for his humility and love of truth than he was for his commanding ability and profound erudition. Nor do we believe that if his antagonists had been possessed of a kindred spirit, the Church would ever have suffered so much disturbance,' nor Arminius himself have been afflicted with that scandal and sorrow,' which came upon him and upon the Church without his fault. We believe, moreover, that thousands will bless God for ever, that He raised up such a man
as James Arminius and made him instrumental in clearing away the mists which the objectionable features of Calvinism had collected around the character of God.
AFRICAN EXPEDITION. Journal of an Expedition to explore the source and termination of the
Niger :, with a Narrative of a voyage down that river to its termination. By Richard and John Lander. Illustrated with engrav-, ings and maps. In two volumes, 18mo. Vol. i, 384, vol. ii, 366 pages.
AFRICA,* though connected with the continent of Asia by the isthmus of Suez, by a neck of land about sixty miles in breadth, lying between the Mediterranean Sea and the Arabian Gulf, has been reckoned one of the four great continents into which the world is divided. In point of size it ranks next to Asia and America. It forms an immense peninsula, being united to Asia by the isthmus just mentioned, bounded on the north by the Mediterranean, which separates it from Europe, on the west by the Atlantic, which separates it from America, on the south by the Southern Ocean, on the east by the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, and part of Asia. It stretches from Cape Bona in the Mediterranean on the north to the Cape of Good Hope in the south, comprehending about 70 deg. of latitude, or 4980 miles; and from Cape Verd on the west to Cape Guardafui east, about 68 deg. of longitude, or somewhat more than 4790 miles.
Though the northern parts of Africa, comprehending Egypt, Ethiopia, and Carthaginía, were well known to the ancients, yet the southern regions, particularly the interior provinces, have never been accurately surveyed even to this day. Herodotus seems to have been well acquainted with those countries from Mount Atlas to Ethiopia ; but his knowledge of the central parts of the country was extremely limited, as his inaccurate accounts of it evidently show.
The striking diversity of appearance by which the inhabitants of different parts of Africa are distinguished from each other, and the negroes from all the rest of mankind, would naturally lead us into a discussion concerning its original population ; but history furnishes us with no facts sufficient to direct us in this interesting inquiry. The northern and eastern regions probably received their first inhabitants from the adjacent coasts of Asia. A general resemblance in feature,
* Various conjectures have been entertained respecting the etymology of the name given to this country; but the most plausible appears to be that of Servius, who derives it from the Greek a priv. or not, and opern, cold, not cold, which is certainly expressive of that burning climate by which most parts of Africa are distinguished. * We by no means concur in the opinion expressed above respecting the indi. genous origin of these people, as it savors too much of infidelity, and is moreover unphilosophical. The difference of color may, we think, be accounted for from difference of climate, habits, and modes of living. That the climate has great influence in forming the color of the skin is manifest even in our own country. Compare, for instance, the hands of a man who is accustomed to labor in the open air, with those of another who is kept chiefly in-doors, and never goes out without defending his skin from the atmosphere by wearing gloves, and there is as great a difference between the one and the other as there is between the skin of the laboring man and that of an African. Look also at those families who are brought up in habits of idleness, filth, and rags, exposed much to the rays of a burning sun, and what a difference in their whole appearance from those of cleanly and orderly habits.
in manners, and in some of their religious tenets, seems to indicate an affinity between the Egyptians and the natives of Hindostan. The Abyssinians are evidently of Arabian extraction. Carthage was originally peopled by a colony from Tyre; and Sallust, on the authority of Punic manuscripts, informs us, that other parts of the African coasts were colonized by Medes, Persians, and Armenians. The Romans, who extended their conquests in Africa as far as the river Niger, established in these fertile regions many flourishing colonies. When their empire was subverted by the northern barbarians, the Vandals passed from Spain into Africa ; and, after converting one of the richest and most populous countries in the world into a barren wilderness, erected there a kingdom which lasted for upward of a century. The north of Africa was, after that interval, subdued by Mohammedan Arabs, who, under the name of Moors, 'form now a great proportion of its population. Among the mountains of Barbary there is a race of men distinct from the Moors in the plains, of a fair complexion, thin, light, and active. Though a pastoral people, their sentiments are lofty, their manners are more elegant, and their morals less licentious than those of the Moors. Berberia, the ancient name of Barbary, may easily be traced to Breber, the appellation by which these people are still distinguished ; and from many other circumstances, it is probable that they are the most ancient inhabitants of this part of Africa ; and
; have mingled so little with foreigners, that they retain much of their original appearance. On the southern frontiers of Morocco, there is a tribe apparently the same with the Brebers, known by the name of Shellu, who speak a language of their own, which is supposed to be derived from the ancient Punic. They correspond almost exactly to the description of the Mauritenians, given by the Roman writers; and are said still to denominate Europeans by a name that sounds like Roumi. The countries south of Sahara, or the great desert, are inhabited by the negroes, apparently a distinct and indigenous race.*
As to the unmeaning physiognomy of some of the Africans, it arises, we believe, altogether from want of mental culture and from a barbarous custom practised upon