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such an assembly. And the reason for which I have adverted to it, is by way of proof of the high state of learning among our English divines, at that period. Nothing could be more to the honour of the church of England, nor to the character of James, than the appointment of the truly great men which were delegated to attend at Dort from this land. They were Dr. Hall, afterwards bishop of Exeter, and then Norwich. Dr. Carlton, bishop of Llandaff. Dr. Davenant, bishop of Salisbury; and Dr. Ward. And of the vast assembly of divines from the various parts present, Dr. Hall had the distinguished honour of being selected to preach before the whole body the sermon in latin.

It appears from history, that James had so much the weighty business at heart, for which this council was convened, that, previous to the departure of his delegates, the king sat and conversed with them two hours, with the greatest familiarity; and at parting, begged the Lord's blessing upon their embassy.*-See Fuller's History.

And, although it is mattter of deep regret, not only in the history of James, but in the history of every man, whether prince or beggar, when, in religion, headknowledge is unaccompanied with heart-influence; yet, it is a most certain truth, in the life of this prince, however faulty his conduct in other matters, his con

If the reader be not acquainted with this part of the church history, in relation to the synod at Dort, perhaps it may not be unacceptable to him the information, that this Dordrechtan council was appointed for the free and full discussion of what was called The Five Points of the great and distinguishing doctrine of the reformed churches throughout Europe. The five points were, 1. The doctrine of election. 2. Particular redemption. 3. The inability of the human will through original sin. 4. The invincible efficacy of God's grace. And 5. The final perseverance of the saints. A very solemn oath was administered to each delegate on entering upon the office, that he would accept of no guide, and be directed by no authority to form his judgment but the word of God. The decision of this sacred council ended in the establishment of the whole five points as here enumerated. So much for the history of the synod of Dort.

victions of divine things were clear and decided. And if we may credit the ablest and most faithful historians of those times, to the very close of his reign, James uniformly countenanced and cherished the leading doctrines established at the reformation; and invariably advanced into the higher department of the church, the most learned and orthodox of his clergy.

We have upon record, the address of the university of Oxford presented to his majesty at Woodstock, and within a few months before his decease. It was delivered before the king, in the name of the convocation, by that eminently learned divine, Dr. John Prideaux, at that time vice-chancellor, and afterwards bishop of Worcester. Among a great many handsome things with which James was complimented, the vice-chancellor said, 'Do we rejoice, that the university of Oxford is preserved untainted from the leaven of popery? We are indebted for that preservation, under God, to your majesty's care. Do we congratulate ourselves, that our seats remain uninfected by the arminian pestilence? It was your forecast, which supplied us with the timely antidote. Are the discipline of the church, the good order of our colleges, and the episcopal government itself, preserved from the levelling and confounding innovations of puritanism? It is your royal and experienced wisdom, which hath damped the rage of the puritans, and restrained them with the bridle they deserve. Yes! to you we owe, that popery hangs its head; that arminianism is repressed; and that puritanism doth not lay waste our borders. Within the last nine years, Oxford hath sent forth seventy-three doctors in divinity; and more than one hundred and eighty bachelors in the same sacred science. I, as your majesty's divinity professor, had the honour to be concerned, in the conferring of those degrees. And I can confidently affirm, that all those two hundred and fifty-three divines, and more, are warm detesters of popery; remote from the favouring

arminianism; and strong disapprovers of puritanism.*

Though I have connected into one view, the monarchies of Elizabeth and James, in order for the better discovery of the learned men of those days, who filled the higher departments of the church; yet I am well aware, that in so doing, I have not strictly confined myself to what is proposed in the title-page of this work. I beg pardon for this departure. Indeed, it hath been in some degree unavoidable. Beginning the outlines of this portrait from the reformation, it should be recollected, that half the sixteenth century was nearly exhausted at that time; so that, strictly and properly speaking, to include an hundred years, or nearly that number, I have been necessarily led, as far as the end of James's reign, into the seventeenth century. I request forgiveness for this trespass. But beyond this period, I shall not advance. Indeed, I can extend my portrait no further, without vast alteration. very different shades marked the features of England's bishops in the succeeding reign of Charles! the complexion from the bench soon manifested the departing glory, as those eminent lights disappeared, one by one, whom James, at his decease, left, in all the sees of the realm!


And now let the reader pause, and let him contemplate, from what hath been brought before him, the general state of learning among the order of bishops in the sixteenth century. What a body of divines, taken altogether, did this era of the world produce? Indeed, it should seem, as if the Lord had determined

The original of this elegant address of the vice-chancellor was, as may be supposed coming from the university, delivered in latin. It may still be seen among the articles; Lectionum in Theolog. Johann. Prideaux. Edit. Oxon, 1648.

It should be remembered that the puritans of those days were a very different description of men from what was afterwards called puritans. Those in the time of James were persons unfavourable to monarchy.

to render memorable, in forming at this period of the church, a rich constellation to shine in one full blaze to his own glory, and to enlighten the people. And though with thankfulness, we desire to acknowledge, that every age of christianity even in the worst of times, hath still been blessed with great men here and there, to support the Lord's interests in the earth; yet never, except in the days of the apostles, was there made to meet, such an assemblage of godly and great men, as in this age of the church; as if formed for the society of each other, and to promote, at this critical season, the Lord's cause, by an accumulation of the Lord's grace in the hearts of his people.

I must not stay to particularize. But when we find in the same century with the great reformers of our church, the names of Bucer, Paul, Fagius, Voetius, Sebelius, Zanchy, and a long et cæteri, of cotemporaries, all ministering in the same moment, to the common interest of the true church of Christ; we are led to see, that it was an age in which, by the overruling appointment of God, great men were raised up to live together. Neither are we at a loss, in some measure, to discover the Lord's designs in this providence. Popery was indeed palsied; but, like the serpent the peasant brought home to his house, though frozen, yet not dead. And we find, the thaw of succeeding centuries hath warmed, and given it new life. It will be more from the Lord's mercies over us as a nation than our deserts, if similar effects, as followed in the poor man's instance, do not follow us. Blessed, however, is the memory of the sixteenth century, through the whole of it from the reformation, and to the end of James's reign in the seventeenth. God then gave the church pastors after his own heart, which fed his people with knowledge and understanding. Both at home and abroad, the protestant interest had great prosperity. For the faithful servants of the Lord united as in one common cause,

which, for a while, kept back the chilling hand of papal influence.

And the high esteem entertained by all the learned on the Continent for the English divines, of the reformed church, cannot be better conceived than by recording a well known adage of the times. It was the usual phrase abroad, when speaking of our clergy, to say, 'Clerici Anglicani stupor mundi,' 'The English clergy is the world's wonder.' And it was almost proverbial, when any minister in the Lutheran churches on the Continent excelled in preaching, to say, Percipimus hunc hominem fuisse in Anglia, We perceive this man hath been in England.'

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And let any man read the writings of those divines; let him observe the beautiful simplicity and godly sincerity which, like a golden thread, run through all their works: let him notice their plain unstudied language, in which all the great truths of God are delivered in a style altogether artless and unassuming: convincing more by arguments than borrowing strength from human eloquence: and, surely, we may challenge the acumen of all the censors which ever lived to con over, with an eagle-eye of criticism, their labours; and find cause to alter a single phrase, or correct a single sentiment, either in doctrine or in language. And yet they wrote not to get favour: not to acquire the praise of men: but they held forth the great truths of salvation, and sought only how best to commend their ministry to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

And what summed up and put a beautiful finish to their whole character, they lived what they preached, and taught only what they themselves practised. Some men can talk well of God by books, but those men spake from the heart. The general feature of those saints of God, corresponded to what Jerome said of Nepotianus, who by frequent and unremitting meditation of the scriptures had his mind so stored with them,

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