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- sin; and so death passed upon all; because all :“ have sinned.” The wickedness of his posterity
also is voluntary ; in choosing evil, they need no one e to “ incline their hearts;” they are in themselves
fully inclined. It is only in respect of choosing what is good in the sight.of God, that they need to be made willing by preventing grace; and then they become voluntary also in obedience.
P. DvII. 1. 26. "It does not belong to a just God to punish him who is necessarily wicked.' If necessarily means involuntarily; no such character ever did or can exist; for no creature can be responsible for what was involuntary. But the necessity arising from a totally depraved nature, left finally to itself, is of another kind.
With Theodoret his Lordship closes his quotations' ; from the fathers; but he adds a few Latin quotations,
from more modern writers, in which some things į may properly be noticed.
P. Dviii. 1. 9. "Et eo, &c.'
* 'And in this respect, there is the less need of this 'labour ;
seeing the great Calvin himself acknowledges not obscurely that this was the opinion of antiquity. (B. 2nd. Inst.) And God moves the will, not as it was for many ages delivered down,
that it should be of our choice, to obey or resist the motion of 2. God.'— For lest thou shouldst think, that this is to be under''stood of the school-divines, he presently shews, that he speaks * of those ages, in which especially the christian religion flou
rished throughout the world. For he subjoins, “That, therefore,
so often repeated by Chrysostom, must necessarily be rejected; j'whom he draws, he draws as willing. He names Chrysostom ' alone : but it did not escape that most learned man, that this
was taught by other fathers also.' (Vossius.)
P. dix. I. 11. "Beza also acknowledges the Anticalvinism of the fathers prior to Augustine.' In proof of this position his Lordship produces a passage from Beza, as quoted by Vossius; in which he ascribes the source of the opinion, that men are elected on the foresight of their faith and works, (which he calls turpissimum errorem,) to Origen. His Lordship then observes, “The opinion, here • attributed to Origen was held by the fathers prior to
him:'-—and also by “ Augustine himself, in the • early part of his life.' That is, before he had more fully examined the subject : and then he judged otherwise, and published his retractations. It was likewise held by the writer of these remarks, in the early part of his life; and perhaps even by Calvin himself. For the doctrine of God's predestination is not congenial to human nature, and is seldom received, even as a notion, without instruction and study. The subject of the fathers before Origen, and before Augustine, will be considered, in the eighth chapter of the Refutation, On · The Histoorical Account of Calvinistic Doctrines.'
* The reference is made to Rom. ix. 39: which must be ar error of the press.
REMARKS ON CHAPTER VI.
QUOTATIONS FROM THE ANCIENT FATHERS OF THE
CHRISTIAN CHURCH, FOR THE PURPOSE OF PROVING THAT THE EARLIEST HERETICS MAINTAINED OPINIONS GREATLY RESEMBLING THE PECULIAR Tenets of CALVINISM.
The very title of this chapter is formidable to a Calvinist. The writer of these remarks, however, feels no alarm or perturbation : but hopes to be enabled by divine grace, with much composure to examine the contents of it; and to make such re. marks as are needful on the occasion.
P. DXi, I. 9. It is well known, &c.” This is so well known even to those, who have comparatively but a slight acquaintance with ecclesiastical history; that authors, almost with one consent, consider it as futile in any man, to attempt disproving their sentiments, by quotations from ancient writers; though many of them, when it can serve their purpose of running down an opponent, or an opposite party, speak, as if a quotation from the fathers were as conclusive as a text of Scripture: nay, more so ; for the text of Scripture, even contrary to its literal
"It is well known by those, who have any acquaintance with ecclesiastical history, that many other doctrines of the gospel were corrupted in the apostolic age, and in the age immediately 'succeeding:
and grammatical meaning, must bear the sense, which some one of the ancient fathers was pleased to put upon it. It is not yet decided, so as to be put beyond all reasonable doubt, whether the doc. trines of the gospel were more corrupted by those, subsequent to the apostolick age, whom the church, in after ages, canonized as saints, or those whom it anathematized as hereticks. Origen three hundred years after his death was excommunicated, and Chrysostom, who was condemned, and, I acknow. ledge, used most scandalously, in his life-time, was received to communion, and canonized, thirty-five years after his death : yet it is not easy to determine which of the two deviated the furthest from the simplicity of apostolick doctrine. Only Origen opened the way, by corrupting christianity with vain philosophy.--I am not attempting to prepare the reader, for a vindication of the doctrines of Calvinism, should it be proved, that they greatly resemble, or fully coincide with, the opinions of the ancient hereticks mentioned in this chapter: but merely to shew, (by his Lordship's own concession,) that as christianity began to be corrupted even in the apos• tolick age,' subsequent testimonies are of no authority; and the appeal must be exclusively made to " the oracles of God.” Men speak of antiqui! and novelty in respect of doctrines; but we appea! to the Scriptures, as most ancient, and protest against the novelty of all subsequent authors. We do not appeal to Augustine or Calvin, but to the prophets and apostles : and why should we not be as able to understand their writings, as the ancient fathers vere: who generally were brought up, either in secular employments, or in heathen philosophy, and
vho were, by the almost universal consent of learned men, very incompetent criticks and expositors, very Ellogical reasoners, and very superficial theologians ? I cannot but think, that even his Lordship's quotastions, (not to say the remarks which have been made on them,) put this matter beyond all doubt, with attentive impartial judges. I shall, however, at present urge the matter no further. The acknowledged early corruption of christianity, even while the apostles were living, is a sufficient answer to the argument deduced, from the proximity of some of these ancient fathers to the apostolick age. Few individuals, when young, had perhaps even seen an apostle ; two or three of them, had probably, conversed at least with St. John; that is, when by their youth they were incompetent to enter into the depth of St. John's instructions, much more, many years after, of accurately reporting them; while others had received, by hearsay, traditions concerning the doctrine of the apostles. But “ To the law and to “the testimony.” The “ testimony of the LORD " is sure, making wise the simple :" and these conversations and traditions, even if more unequivocally authenticated than they are, must be very uncertain and unsatisfactory. · P. Dxi. I. 17. 'I find, &c." No doubt any one may find this: and, I can also find, in the quota,
F"I find that some of the first heretics maintained opinions in a
bigh degree resembling what are now called Calvinistic doce trines.