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The Methodists call themselves episcopal, and claim an affinity with that church ; therefore, they lay a claim to Protestantism, because the Episcopalians were Protestants : they say that Bishop Cranmer, and others, were active in the reformation, and suffered martyrdom for their doctrines. All this is true. The Episcopalians were Protestants, and many of ham suffered for it by the Roman Catholics, or Freewillers ; and these articles of faith show what kind of Episcopalians they were.
If the reader wishes to be further convinced as to the doctrines which were maintained by them in those days, we will lay before him the articles of Lambeth, which were drawn up in the fifteenth century, in the days of Queen Elizabeth, under the direction and by the assistance of Archbishop Whitgift, Bishop Bancroft, Bishop Vaughen, and other eminent dig. nitaries of the church :
“ Ist. God hath from eternity predestinated certain persons to life, and bath reprobated certain persons unto death. 20. The moving or efficient cause of predestination unto life is not the foresight of faith, or of perseverance, or of good works, or of any thing that is in the persons predestinated ; but the alone will of God's good pleasure. 3d. The predestinati are à predetermined and certain number, which can neither be lessened nor increased. 4th. Such as are not predestinated to salvation, shall inevitably be condemned on account of their sins." They add~" 8th. No man is able to come to Christ, unless it be given him, and unless the Father draw him; and all men are not drawn by the Father, that they may come to his Son. 9th. It is not in the will and power
every man to be saved."* These were sent to Cambridge University, to be adopted by the students for articles of faith. The reader can here see for himself, what were the sentiments of the Episcopalians, and all others who were called Protestants, in the days of the reformation. Because some of the present Episcopalians have departed from the standards of their own church, and embraced the freewill scheme, that by no means proves that these were their doctrines in the days of the reformation, when they were called Protestants. One of their own modern writers, when arguing against the doctrine of inherent grace, (or light and saving grace given to all men,) he says
" This is the fundamental heresy of the papists ; and how many nominal Protestants have fallen into it, our enemies can tell. They see with pleasure that there is very little appearance of religion among us, and that some of our most decent professors are become Papists in that leading principle which separates the Popish from the Protestant communion." He
“Our fathers threw off the Romish
* See Buck's Theological Dictionary, article Lam.
yoke, and received the pure doctrines of the gospel." -Then adds, “Great multitudes of Protestants are going fast back again to Popery, and seemingly without knowing it.*
Many have attempted to cast the blame upon Calvin, for being the inventor of this doctrine. It is true, he was a distinguished character, among others, in the reformation—but Luther preceded him, and taught these doctrines before ever the world knew any thing about Calvin : and the body of the Protestants were sometimes called by the Papists the Lutheran conspiracy. And when the Protestants afterwards divided into two parties, the one called Lutherans and the other Calvinists, they by no means were divided about these doctrines. For proof of this, the reader may see Luther's letter to Erasmus.
Before we present any extracts of this letter, we would observe, that this Erasmus was a man who had joined the Protestants in the days of reformation ; but he afterwards wrote and published a book with which the Methodists are now much pleased, because he maintains their doctrines : yet the Protestants of that day rejected both him and bis doctrines—and they would not own him among their number, notwithstanding at that time they did not differ about points of doctrine that were not essential to salvation,
See William Romaine, ser. 5.
But the Pope and the Spanish Inquisition examined his book, and approved of the doctrines ; and the Pope wrote to him that he was orthodox, and that he had nothing to fear: that is, from his persecution against the Protestants. * And, indeed, the Pope could not, consistently, do otherwise ; because, (as we have shown the reader already,), in all the fundamental doctrines of salvation, there is no difference between them.
This same Erasmus, in his book, when wri. ting against predestination, says, “What can be more useless than to publish this paradox to the world ? namely, that whatever we do is done, not by virtue of our own freewill, but in a way of necessity, &c. What a wide gap does the publication of this tenet open among men, for the commission of all ungodliness! What wicked person will reform his life? Who will dare to believe himself a favourite of heaven ? Who will fight against his own corrupt inclinations ? Therefore, where is either the need or the utility of spreading these notions, from whence so many evils seem to flow ?”
To which Luther replies,f " If, my Erasmus, you consider these paradoxes (as you term them) to be no more than the inventions of men, why are you so extravagantly heated on the occasion ? Where, alas! are your fears and reverence of the Deity, when you soundly declare, that this branch of truth, which he has revealed from heaven, is, at best, useless and unnecessary to be known? Wbat! shall the adorable Creator be taught by you, bis creature, what is fit to be preached, and what to be suppressed ? Who art thou, O Erasmus, that thou shouldest reply against God, and say to the Almighty, what doest thou ? Saint Paul, discoursing of God, declares peremptorily, “ whom he will he hardeneth," and, again, God willing to show his wrath, &c.
* See Milner's Church History, vol. 5.
+ It will not comport with our designs of brerity, to give the whole of this letter; although for its excellence and strength of argument, it richly deserves a place. Where there is an omission it will be noted thus
What can sound harder in the uncircumcised ears of carnal men, than those words of Christ : “ Many are called, but few chosen ?” And elsewhere, “I know whom I have chosen.
Now these, and similar assertions of Christ and his apostles, are the very positions which you, O Erasmus, brand as useless and hurtful. You object, 'If these things are so, who will endeavour to amend his life ? I answer, - the elect, and truly pious are amended by the spirit of God, and those who are not amended by him will perish. You ask, who will dare to believe himself a favourite of beaven ? I answer, the elect shall be so enabled; they shall believe themselves to be what indeed they are. As for the rest, who are not endued with faith, they shall perish, raging and blaspheming as you do
Yet you would have us abstain from the