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That she believed the doctrines of grace, and experienced their power in her own heart, is evident, from the drift, both of the few writings she left behind her, and of her religious behaviour in general. I shall, particularly, instance this, in the article of final perseverance. In an account of her sufferings, written by herself, after observing that the lord chancellor Wriothesley assisted in torturing her on the rack, with his own hands, till she was almost dead; and that, after she was taken off from the rack, she sat for near two hours on the bare floor, disputing with the lord chancellor, who vehemently importuned her to renounce the faith : she adds, “ But my Lord God, I thank bis everlasting goodness, gave me grace to persevere; and will do, I hope, to the very end.” [Fox, ii. 488.] What, under the pressure of those languishing circumstances, she only expressed an hope of; she shortly after, expressed her full assurance of: “I doubt not,” said she, “ But God will perform his work in me, like as he hath begun.” [Ibid.] I desire no stronger proof of her Calvinism. Whosoever “ doubts not,” that the work of grace is of God's beginning, and shall be of God's completing ; must either adopt such incoherencies, as would disgrace the meanest understanding, or be clear in those other articles of the gospel with which these are so intimately and necessarily connected.
VIII. I must not forget the eminently learned doctor Robert Barns: of whose conversion, pious
Not oft use I to write,
in prose, nor yet in rhyme: Yet will I show one sight, which I saw in my
time. I saw a royal throne,
where justice should have sit; but in her stead was one
of moody cruel wit. Absorb'd was righteousness,
as by a raging flood :
Satan in fierce excess
Suck'd up the guiltless blood. Then thought I-Jesu, Lord,
when thou shalt judge us all, hard is it to record
on these men what will fall. Yet, Lord, I thee desire,
for what they do to mee Let them not taste the hire
Of their iniquitee.
Mr. Bilney had been the instrument. Lord Crom- . well's fall (who was beheaded July 28, 1540,) seems to have involved in it the doom of this illustrious protestant, who was burned for the gospel on the 30th of the same month.
Heylin's Arminian pen shall, for the present, suffice to prove the Calvinism of Dr. Barns.
“ It is no marvel,” says that virulent polemist, “ if we find somewhat in bis [i. e. in Barns'] writings, agreeable to the palate of the Calvinists and rigid Lutherans. From whence it is, that, laying down the doctrine of predestination, he [i. e. Dr. Barns] discourseth thus: But yet, sayest thou, that he [God] giveth to the one, mercy; and, to the other, none. I answer, wbat is that to thee? Is not his mercy his own? Is it not lawful for him to give it to whom he will ? Is thine eye evil, because his is good ? Take that which is thine, and go thy way. For, if he will show his wrath, and make his power known, over the vessels of wrath ordained to dam. nation ; and to declare the riches of his glory, unto the vessels of mercy, which 'he hath prepared and elected unto glory; what hast thou therewith to do ?-But here will subtile blindness say, 'God saw before, that Jacob should do good: he saw also that Esau should do evil; therefore did he condemn him.' Alas, for blindness! what? will you judge of that which God foresaw? These children being yet unborn, they had done neither good nor bad: and yet one of them is chosen, and the other of them is refused. St. Paul knoweth no other cause, but the will of God : and will you needs discuss another? He saith not, I will have mercy on him who I see shall do good; but, I will show mercy to whom I will.
“ God, of his infinite power, lets nothing be exempted from him, but all things to be subject unto his action : and nothing can be done by them, but by his principal motion. So that he worketh in all
manner of things, that be either good or bad: not changing their nature,” [i. e. God is not the author of sin, as though he changed any thing to bad from good,] “ but only moving them to work after their natures, so that good worketh good, and evil worketh evil: and God useth them both as instruments. And yet doth he nothing evil, but evil is done alone through the will of man ; God working by him, but not evil, as by an instrument (i).” Old father Heylin, who cites these judicious passages, is not very well pleased with them. He is particularly disgusted with, what he calls, the Subtlety in the Close thereof: and, because he cannot distil the least drop of Arminianism from these flowers of paradise, he sagely concludes, that Barns draws nearer to “ the Zuinglians, touching God's working on the will, than possibly may be capable of a good [i. e. of an Arminian] construction.
Will the reader permit me to subjoin the testimony of two worthy persons, who suffered for the gospel in Scotland, prior to the reformation? I am sensible, that their suffrage does not strictly pertain to the argument of the present section. It is not, however, entirely foreign to it; as martyrs of all nations, are brethren; and as it will conduce to demonstrate, that the first protestants of that country, no less than of our own, were companions in faith as well as in patience.
I. Mr. Patrick Hamelton was a person of very illustrious descent; nearly related, both by father's and mother's side, to James V. the then reigning king of Scotland (k). Early in life, he was made abbot of Ferme; and his subsequent preferments would have been very great, had not God opened his eyes, to see the antichristianism of popery." Making the tour of Germany, he became acquainted with
(i) Barns, as quoted by Heylin in his Miscel. Tracts, p. 544, 545. (k) Burnet's History of the Reformation, vol. i. p. 291.
Luther and other learned protestants; whose conversation was blessed to the conversion of this excellent man.
On his return to his own country, he was very assiduous in communicating to others the spiritual Jight he had received. His sermons were animated with great zeal against the doctrinal corruptions which then prevailed; and his labours were crowned with such success, as alarmed the ruling ecclesiastics; who, from that time forward, marked him for the shambles. Being cited to answer before James Beton, archbishop of St. Andrews; such was the martyr's courageous zeal, that he made his appearance early in the morning, some hours before the time appointed. The prelate, and his consistory bishops and abbots, being totally unable to resist the wisdom and spirit with which he asserted the doctrines of Christ, realized the old popish argument, "you bave the word, but we have the sword,” by condemning him on the spot: and, in such haste were they to dispatch him, that he was burned the same afternoon, which was either the last day of February, or the first of March, 1527. “ Learned men,” says Mr. Fox, “ who communed and reasoned with him, do testify, that the following are the very articles for which he suffered:
“ 1. Man hath no free-will. “ 2. A man is only justified by faith in Christ. “ 8. A man, so long as he liveth, is not without sin.
“ 4. He is not worthy to be called a Christian, who doth not believe that he is in grace.
“5. A good man doth good works : good works do not make a good man.
“ 6. An evil man bringeth forth evil works : evil works being faithfully repented, do not make an evil man.
“ 7. Faith, hope, and charity, be so linked together, that one of them cannot be without another in one man, in this life (1).”
(2) Fox's Acts and Mon. ii. 183.
In exact conformity with the above articles, part of the sentence of condemnation, pronounced on him immediately after his trial, ran thus: “We, James, by the mercy of God, archbishop of St. Andrews, primate of Scotland ;-have found Master Patrick Hamelton many ways infamed with heresy ; disputing, holding, and maintaining divers heresies of Martin Luther and his followers, repugnant to our faith :that man hath no free-will; that man is in sin so long as he liveth ; that children, incon. tinent after baptism, are sinners; that all Christians, who be worthy to be called Christians, do know that they are in grace; that no man is justified by works, but by faith only; that good works make not a good man, but a good man doth make good works; that faith, hope, and charity, are so knit, that he, who hath one, hath the rest.-With divers other heresies and detestable opinions; and hath per. sisted so obstinate in the same, that, by no counsel nor persuasion, he may be drawn therefrom to the way of our right faith.-All these premises being considered, We-do pronounce, &c. (m).”
This great and holy martyr, who was executed in the 23d year
year of his age, drew up a short sketch of Evangelical Divinity, which was afterwards published, with a recommendatory preface, by an eminent martyr of our own country, the learned and pious Mr. John Frith (n), who suffered death at London,
(m) Fox, ibid.
(n) This Mr. Frith merits a distinct article to himself, in the present essay. But I am forced to omit both him and a multitude of others : else, my octavo would swell to a folio. I find myself obliged to be superficial, in order to be tolerably concise. Yet let me just observe, that Mr. Frith might vie with Calvin, or with Zuinglius, or even with Luther himself, as a predestinarian. Heylin affirms, that, in this respect, Frith soared higher than even Mr. Tyndal's penetrating sight could follow: and yet, as I have shown in this very section, Tyndal looked as far into predestination, as most men ever did. But, it seems, Frith could contemplate the glorious lustre of that sun, with a still more acute and less dazzled eye. No wonder, there-,