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travagancies of a man, eminent as he was in his day, for his piety, his wisdom, and his learning; and to whom the reformation, in its beginning, is

so much indebted. At least, take especial care, . before you aim your shafts at Calvinism, that you { know what is Calvinism, and what is not; that,

in that mass of doctrine, which it is of late become the fashion to abuse under the name of Calvinisin, you can distinguish, with certainty, between that part of it, which is nothing better than Calvinism, ! and that which belongs to our common Christi4 anity, and the general faith of the reformed ! churches : lest, when you mean only to fall foul • of Calvinism, you should unwarily attack something more sacred, and of a higher origin. I

must say, that I have found a great want of this discrimination in some late controversial writings, ! on the side of the Church, as they were meant to I be, against the Methodists: the authours of which . have acquired much applause and reputation, but with

so little real knowledge of their subject; that, give me the principles upon which these writers argue, and I will undertake to convict, I will not say • Arminians only, and Archbishop Laud ; but, upon { these principles, I will undertake to convict the · fathers of the Council of Trent of Calvinism. So closely is a great part of that which is now ignorantly called Calvinism, interwoven with the very rudiments of Christianity. Better were it for the Church, if such apologists would withhold their services.

• Non tali auxilio, nec defensoribus istis.

But the true lesson to be drawn from the failure of such disputants, is, that it is not for every one, who may possess somewhat more than the ordinary share of learning, to meddle with these difficult subjects."

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Bp. Horseley's last charge to the clergy of the diocese of it. Asaph.

CHAPTER VIII.

CONTAINING A BRIEF HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF WHAT ARE NOW CALLED CALVINISTIC DOCTRINES.

P. DLXXI. 1. 1.

The quotations, &c.''

That

1. The quotations which have been produced in the three

preceding chapters, from the writings of the antient fatbers, • and from the works of Calvin, not only prove that the peculiar • tenets of Calvinism are in direct opposition to the doctrines

maintained in the primitive church of Christ, but they also • shew that there is a great similiarity between the Calvinistic

system and the earliest heresies. The assertion of Simon

Magus, who is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, and • called by ecclesiastical historians the first Christian beretic, that

men are saved according to his grace, and not according to " just works," "contains in it the essence of Calvinism ; and it 'clearly appears that Irenæus considered this as an heretical

opinion. We also trace Calvinism in the tenets of the Basili• dians, who considered faith as a gift of Nature, not as the • rational consent of a mind endowed with free-will, or as in

any degree acquired by human exertion; and who represented · faith and election as confined to their own sect, and conveying

an assurance of salvation.' The Valentinians, like the Cal. 'vinists of later days, affirmed, that one part of mankind is

certain of salvation, and another incapable of attaining it ; • that some men are naturally good, and some men naturally • bad; some ordained by nature to be saved, others to perish; . and they called themselves the elect seed, pre-ordained to sal" yation. The Manichæans denied the freedom of the human ' will; spoke of the elect as persons who could not sin, or fail

men are saved, according to the grace of God, s and of our Lord Jesus Christ,' and not according to just works,'"contains the essence of Calvinism,' and of Christianity. If this is the Calvinism, of which his Lordship is about to give the history, he must begin from the first promise, or prophecy: “I “ will put enmity between thee and the woman, and “ between thy Seed and her seed: he shall bruise

thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel :") and trace it through all the Scriptures to the last chapter of Revelation. “Let him that is athirst,

come ; and whosoever will, let him take of the ::" water of life freely." But to be saved by the

grace of Simon Magus and his Helena, is a widely different thing: and Irenæus might well consider

it as an heretical, or, rather a most blasphemous, i opinion. The original of this train of hereticks, : (Valentinus, Basilides, Saturninus, the Mani. chees, &c.) is to be fetched from Simon Magus, whose assertion was: that Christ had neither come, • nor suffered any thing of the Jews. Wherefore,

of salvation, and contended that the nature of man is incapable of improvement or change. These and other heretics of the second and third centuries, who maintained similiar opinions, were all of the Gnostic sect; and their religion was a mixture of the tenets of the Eastern philosophy with the truths of divine revelation. The absurd notions which they held concerning the origin of evil, and the creation and government of the world, were so manifestly contrary to the principles of the Gospel, that very little notice is taken of them by the early

orthodox fathers; but enough is said to shew, that they considered their doctrines concerning grace, faith, election, and • salvation, as heretical and unscriprural.' 1 Gen. iii. 15. 2 Remarks on vi. ch. Refutation,

making himself the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, "he affirmed, that he had appeared, only in shew, i(putative,) in the person of the Son; and so that • he had suffered as the Son among the Jews; that in truth he suffered not, bat in appearance

only. Now whát Simon Magus said of himself, when he made himself the Son, those who fol• lowed said of Christ :'' that is, they said, that Christ did not suffer in reality, but in appearance only. Hence it is manifest, that Simon meant,

that men are saved by his grace, and not according * to just works. He was the Messiah, by whose graće, and that of his Helena, men must be saved; • and might be saved, if they trusted in them, however wicked they had been, and continued. --What Calvinist ever considered faith as the gift of na

ture?' Unless nature and grace, nature and God, be the same. • Confined to their own sect,' I verily believe, that thousands and ten thousands, who dissent from my creed, as to those doctrines, which are more properly called Calvinistick, are in the way

of salvation ; and shall be “ kept by the power “ of God, through faith unto salvation :” and that thousands and ten thousands, who profess and contend for these doctrines, will not be saved : because, however sound their creed, they have only a dead faith.-Do Calvinists say, that one part of mankind is naturally good ?That some are ordained by nature to be saved, others to perish?' It seems,

Bp. Pearson

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