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ever that may be, I have no objection to his Lordship's conclusion, though it has perhaps, ' more of sound than meaning.' For we cannot imagine 'it possible that any church or sect should not say the same thing concerning itself; and we have no doubt, that Calvin and the Institutes themselves, if they could speak, were they reproached with any human origin, would indignantly disclaim the charge, and affirm, that they 'were not Lutheran, &c., but scriptural.'
And the evangelical clergy, before God, must continue to say the same concerning themselves and their tenets, till some more conclusive 'refutation' has been made of them.
And now, at the close of this work, I may perhaps assume a measure of confidence, not unlike what the very title of his Lordship's book exhibits. I am confident, that I have demonstrated the doctrines, commonly called Calvinistic, (though not every tenet of Calvin,) to be that of our liturgy, our articles, and our homilies; and of those reformers, both before and after Queen Mary's reign, who compiled them: and I call on the opponents of Calvinism to disprove this, if they can, by fair quotations and substantial arguments; for assertions must go for nothing. I trust I have also shewn them to be the doctrines of the holy scriptures, both in the Old and New Testament.But before I close I would drop one hint. If indeed the doctrines in question be those of our established church; and if its rulers in general proceed on the plan adopted by some of them; 'Chr. Observer, Sep. 1811, p. 593.
namely, that of discrediting, as much as they can, the most pious, laborious, and competent clergymen, who hold them: if, when one of this description is removed, they make a point of substituting in his place a man of discordant principles: if they discourage, as to ordination, the most exemplary, regular, and unexceptionable young men in all other things, even if only suspected, by reason of their connexions and friendships, of holding these sentiments, and prefer men of far inferior talents, learning, and even moral character: will they not, with their own hands, endeavour to subvert the establishment? Could a shrewd dissenter, if admitted as an unsuspected privy-counsellor, give them more appropriate advice, in order to accomplish his purpose of gaining the ascendancy to the dissenting interest? They who have been used to hear the doctrines called evangelical, in which the question, "What must I," a lost sinner, "do to be saved?" is constantly asked and clearly answered; if they at all pay attention to it, will never after endure another doctrine in which this question is not answered to their satisfaction. However attached to the establishment, they will at length seek at the meeting-house that instruction which they cannot find at church: and, though this at first be the only inducement, yet, becoming acquainted with dissenters, and hearing all their objections; (having at the same time no person at hand to answer these objections ;) they will gradually imbibe the esprit du corps, and perhaps at length become more zealous dissenters than they are to whom they join themselves. Thus hundreds often become dissenters simply by
the removal of an evangelical clergyman, and the substitution of one of contrary sentiments; who has the mortification of officiating in an almost empty church, while his sole relief consists in declaiming against Calvinists and dissenters, which makes the case still worse. All this would be prevented, if a competent evangelical man were appointed, if not as rector, yet as curate to succeed one of his own sentiments; and the person of contrary tenets were more comfortably provided for elsewhere. And, unless it be vainly supposed that authority can crush the whole party, surely this would be the more politic conduct.-Again, a young man who desires the ministry as "a good "work," and longs pro officio, non pro beneficio; who can without hesitation declare that he thinks ' himself moved by the Holy Ghost to take this ' office upon him;' will never finally give up his object. If excluded from the church, what he accounts ill usage will weaken his attachment; his objections to the dissenting cause will proportionably abate; and he will gradually be led to enter the ministry among the dissenters. And, as these things, considering what human nature is at the best, cannot but tend to alienate his mind from those who have been unkind to him, and to attach it to those who are kind; (and the heart has a vast effect or the judgment;) it will not be wonderful if at length he become a zealous dissenter, and a champion of the party against the church of England. Thus, some of the most pious, able, and even learned of our young men, having received an university education, in order to be ministers of the establishment, may be thrown
into the opposite interest, and spend all their lives and talents, in a manner unfavourable to her predominance in the nation.-Our danger is therefore more from within, than from without, whatever numbers may suppose; far more from our own negligence and impolicy, than from the machinations of any adversaries.
Indeed the marked hostility manifested to the great principles of the gospel, throughout this and other late publications, even by those who should be chief master builders of our Sion, forms no strong presumption, at least against the doctrines opposed. British priests and prelates may be on the wrong side, as well as Jewish priests and scribes and rulers; and prelates and councils in succeeding ages. Hence a very serious admonition might be addressed to them, to beware "lest
haply they be found even to fight against God;" to scrutinize the sources and principles of their opposition; and to beg of God to set them right wherever they err, and to lead them in the "midst "of the paths of judgment."
And now, O God, before whom we must all soon appear, without respect of persons, to receive our final and eternal doom; Thou God of truth, who knowest on which side in this argument thy truth is found; illuminate all bishops, priests, and ' deacons' by thy Holy Spirit, in the true know'ledge and understanding of thy word 'Grant ' us all by the same Spirit, to have a right judg'ment in all things: Bring into the way of truth 'all such as have erred and are deceived:'Take away from us all blindness of heart, all pride,
' vain glory and hypocrisy, and all uncharitableness:''Grant that all who profess and call them'selves Christians may be led into the way of truth, ' and hold the faith in unity of the Spirit, in the 'bond of peace, and in righteousness of life :' 'Have, mercy on all Jews, Turks, infidels, and 'heretics; take from them all hardness of heart, ' and contempt of thy word; and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, to thy flock, that they may 'be saved among the remnant of the true Israelites; "That so thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving health unto all nations;' 'Grant this, O Lord, for the honour, and through the merits, ' of our only Advocate and Mediator, Jesus Christ.' Amen.