صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

SKETCHES OF THE REFORMATION.

[ocr errors]

NO. X.

Manye other prognostycacyons therefore the consideration of these we had, or sygnes afore hande, of topics, I shall advert to another hys goynge awaye from us. For all which has of late been the subject of the yeare afore he sayd oft tymes much contention : I mean the alleged unto us that he coveted to journaye identity of baptism and regeneration. another waye. And as he desyred, On this point, let us hear the opiso came it to passe. For as the no- nion of Latimer. ble Earles of Mansfelde had sent for Except a man he born again hym into hys owne natyve cytye of froin above, he cannot sec the kingIszleben, by hys ghostlye counsell dom of God. He must have a reyeto quyet their matters of controver- neration. And what is this regenesye, as he did most gracyouslye, he ration? It is not to be christened in deceased there clerelye from thys water as these firebrands (the palyfe. The maner of thys Christen pists) expound it and nothing else.” departynge ye have in writynge hy . We be born again, not by a inordyverse men lerned and of most tal seed, but by an immortal;--hy grounded testymonye, whych were the word of God preached and opeuthere present, with the prayer whych ed.” p. 71. Some wicked persons he mayde afore he gave up hys say it is no matter whatsoever we lyfe, whych here to repete were su- do. we be baptized, we cannot be perfluouse.'

damned: for all these that be baptized, and be called Christians, shall be saved.' This is a false and wicked opinion.” “ Such fellow's be

worse than Turks.” p. 129. “ How BISHOP LATIMER.

conieth regeneration? By hearing ALTHOUGH two of these sketches and believing of the word of God." have been already occupied in un- p. 186. “ Baptism ascertaineth and folding the sentiments of the vene

assureth us, that like as the water rable Latimer, on some of the most washeth the body and cleanseth it, important points in tbeology, the

so the blood of Christ our Saviour subject is not yet exhausted. And cleanseth and washeth us from all so much am I impressed with the filth and uncleanness of sin.” p. value of this prelate's testimony, 287. “Baptism signifieth that we that, at the risk of appearing tire- must wash away the old Adam, forsome to your readers, I will venture sake and set aside all carnal lusts, to lay before them a few additional and besides put on Christ, receive extracts from the same

him with a pure heart, and study to which have already furnished so me not to admit of any dispute, it may nemany quotations.

vertheless be expedient to subjoin a passage After what appeared in my

last or two in confirmation of them. paper, it seems scarcely necessary to “ All we be contaminate from our birth state, that the doctrine of the cor- with sin, and so should justly be firebrands ruption of man and his utter inabi. in hell world without end." p. 275. “ How lity to save himself by any efforts of great need have we had of Christ: for no his own, is explicitly and unequivo- doubt if we had not had him all mankind cally affirmed by Latimer: and that should have been damned, yea, the best of the ineans of removing this corrup- Christ, of our own nature we can do 10

us world without end." p. 276. “ Without tion, and remedying this helpless- thing but commit sin, and are not able to ness, are represented with equal make amends for the least sin that we comclearness to arise from the redemp- init.” p. 231. “ Nothing cleanseth from tion of Jesus Christ, and the influ- sin, neither in heaven nor carth, saving ence of his holy spirit*. Quitting only the blood of our Saviour Jesus Christ.”

“ The oply remedy is to call upou * Although these are points which, God to strengthen thy faith and to endue after the extracts already given, seem to thee with the Holy Ghost.” p. 327.

sermons

p. 128.

At one

live and go forward in all goodness, neral remarks on the extracts which according unto his will and com- have been produced from the writmandments.” p. 290.

ings of this vencrable prelate. I will next advert to the views The first thing, on the perusal of which Latimer entertained of the these extracts, that is likely to arrest importance and efficacy of preach- the attention of the intelligent reaing the Gospel*. He declares it 10 der, is the tone of moderation, (some he “ the power of God to every would say the inconsistency,) with man that doth believe," p. 71.“ The which Latimer discusses the points first step in the ladder of heaven.” of doctrine supposed to be comp. 63. “ Take away this, you take prized in our 17th article. away salvation.” p. 38. " It is the time he employs language which Inighty instrument of God,” p. 132, no Arminian would think it safe to for “ by hearing we must come to adopt. At another time he expresses faith: through faith we must be jus- himself in terms to which no Calvitified.” “ Therefore we ought not nist could possibly subscribe. The to despise preaching, or little regard doctrines of predestination and elecit; for it is God's instrument where- tion he affirms, indeed, in a general by he worketh faith in our hearts.” way; and his reasoning occasionally p. 195. “But for all this,” adds proceeds on the admission of their Latimer with becoming caution, “a trutht. But yet he evidently did man may not take upon him to not apprehend, that the affirmation preach God's word except he be of these doctrines involved, necessacalled unto it; for if he do it, he doth rily, the various consequences which not well, though he have learning almost all the modern asserters of and wisdom to be a preacher; yet predestination are disposed to regard for all that he ought not to come as inseparably connected with it. himself without any lawful calling. Many of these, it is true, would conIt was no doubt a good thing to keep cur with hin in maintaining the unithe ark from falling, yet for all that versality of the redemption of Christ. Oza (Uzzah) was stricken to death I question, however, whether any because he took in hand to meddle would feel themselves at liberty to exwith it without any commission.” press their belief of this proposition,

in terms so unequivocal and unreIn the same strain of practical served as those which Latimer has wisdom is the following reinark on thought it right to use, when he the proper method of expounding says, for example, that“ Christ shed the parables: and I would recommend as much blood' for Judas, as he did it to the earnest attention of those for Petert." who are fond of tracing out a hidden I would just advert to another tomeaning in every individual ex- pic of some delicacy. The final pression contained in them. “It is perseverance of all regenerate and not requisite in a parable," he ob- justified persons is considered, by: serves, "to expound every word of modern theologians, as a corollary the same. For every parable hath from the doctrines of predestination a certain scope, to the which we and election. It is undeniable, howmust have a respect, and not go ever, that Latimer's mode of viewabout to set all words together, or ing this intricate subject must have make a gloss for the same: for it is differed from theirs: because though enough for us when we have the he had before his eyes the 17th armeaning of the principal scope; and ticle, which he himself, it is also more needeth not.” p. 320.

to be remembered, had assisted I now proceed to inake a few ge- in framning; and though his reason. * It will be remembered that some pains ing stands at times on the admission have been taken of late to detract from the + No. for January, p. 2–5. value of this divine ordinance,

Ib. p. 2.

p. 242.

of the truth of the doctrines of pre- continuance in well doing. In the destination and election, he is yet so absence of these essential ingredients far from maintaining the certainty of of the Christian character, Latimer the final perseverance of believers, would deny their right to any spithat he makes no hesitation to af- ritual comfort: nay he would plainly. firm, that those who have been jus- tell such as were living in the wilful tified

may lose their justification; commission of any sin, or in the wiland that ihe child of God may be ful indulgence of any unholy temcome a child of the wicked one*. per, that whatever may have been

Another point worthy of remark their past experience, they were now is the small stress which Latimer in a state of condemnation. (p. 3.) seems to lay on those more abstruse But whatever question may fairly doctrines to which I have adverted; arise respecting the just and legitiand his evident wish to discourage mate interpretation of Latimer's senhis hearers from quitting the broad timents, on the doctrine of predestiand safe ground of scriptural aflirma- nation; on points of far more transtion, in order to indulge that passion cendent moment, he has expressed for systematising, and that taste for himself with a clèarness and fulness metaphysical refinement, which had which exclude every pretence for probably begun to seduce them from doubt. These points are: The total the simplicity that is in Christ, and apostacy of mankind from God in which have since embroiled the consequence of the fall, and the peace, and marred the prosperity of inevitable ruin which must follow the church. Happy bad it been for this apostacy, without the interventhe interests of true religion, had the tion of divine grace: The restoration combatants on both sides learned, of our lost race to the favour of God from our venerable martyr,“to keep solely by the sacrifice of his son, them from all curious and dangerous and to the divine image solely by questions of the predestination of throperation of the Iloly Ghost : That Godt ;” an advice, it is to be sinful man is justified before God, observed, which the Bishop secms

neither in whole or in part by bis to address with no less emphasis to own obedience to the divine law, those who object to the doctrine, but solely for the sake of what has than to those who maintain it. May been done for him by Jesus Christ, vre of the present day profit hy past the benefits of whose redemption are experience, and set ourselves in applied to the soul only by a living earnest to siudy that lesson of mo- faith: That he must undergo a spi. deration, which soine of our fore. ritual regeneration through the powe fathers unhappily overlooked, and er of the Holy Ghost and must which many among ourselves are abound in all the fruits of the spialso too much inclined to disregard. rit: And that by the utter renuncia

It likewise deserves to be noticed tion of every sinful thought, word, that Latimer, in treating of pre- and work, by the constant cultivadestination, uniformly reasons up- tion of every holy and heavenly afwards, and cautiously infers the cer- fection, and by the undeviating pertainty of the election of individuals, formance of every prescribed duty, not from the eternal decrees of God, he must be prepared for the kingbut froin their repentance, their dom of heaven; from which one faith, their holiness of heart and wilful sin unrepented of would inlife, their universal obedience, their fallibly exclude him. On these

points Latimer strenuously insists,as * No. for January, p. 3.

İying at the root of all true religion. + Ib. p. 3. In this view of the subject I am happy

And here permit me again to reto say, that there exists no differ'nce be- commend to the notice of my cleritween I atimer and the intelligent part of cal brethren, the particularity with modern Calvinists,

which the venerable prelate attacks

1

Q.

part of

any indi

the reigning sins and follies of his of the Christian Observer, and to day. He seems not to have feared the disadvantage of the venerable the invidious reproach of legality; prelate. but to have rightly considered that sin retained in the practice, or cherished in the heart, is the real hindrance to the success of the Gospel. To the Editor of the Christian Observer. And let me ask them, do they really In your number for November last, believe that sloth and self indul- you have inserted a paper signed gence, frivolity and dissipation, co- D. W. in which the writer, from vetousness and love of the world, an alledged insufficiency in our deceit and dishonesty, pride and pas- present translation of the Bible, sion, sensuality and hard-hearted- suggests an alteration in the reading ness, censoriousness and self conceit, of the first and second verses of the inattention to relative duties, and 4th chapter of the 1st Epistle of Pedisregard of God, are not as prevail. ter. As a friend myself to sober ing evils in congregations now, as and impartial enquiry, it is impossithey were in the days of Latimer? ble for me to object to a laudable How then can they satisfy their endeavour on the consciences with dwelling, in their vidual to obviate a supposed dillisermons, ou some general truth how- culty of Scripture, or to throw light ever important, and with introducing upon any passage in the sacred writsome allusion to existing evils mere- ings generally deemed obscure. !y as an inference from the pre-Your Correspondent however, upon mises: instead of making a direct at- this occasion must pardon me, if tack on those practices and disposi- after having attentively considered tions, which, although they do not the subject of his criticism, I ain prevent a civil and accommodating obliged to differ with him in opiadinission of evangelical truth, yet nion, and feel disposed to adhere to sto as effectually exclude Christ the usual exposition of the passage from the heart as infidelity itself. in preference to that which he re

Before I conclude, I wish to press commends. one consideration on those divines The words of St. Peter, as transwho are in the habit of representing, lated in our Bible, are as followsas dangerous and heretical, the “ Forasmuch then as Christ hath views of evangelical doctrine which suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourare maintained by the Christian Ob- selves likewise with the same mind; server. If they have any of that for he that hath suffered in the t'esh value for truth which they profess hath ceased from sin, that he no to entertain; if they have any re- longer should live the rest of his gard to the awful responsibility at time in the flesh to the lusts of men, taching to those who either wilfully, but to the will of God.” or by theircriminal negligence,con. All the difficulty in this place, if tribute to its perversion; let them indeed any real difficulty does exist, at least suspend their censures, till respects the subject, to whom the they shall have compared the senti- terms “ he that hath suffered in the ments contained in the work which flesh,” or as they are found in the they so unreservedly condemn, with original, o Tabwv sv caçui, are to be those which have now been exhibit- referred ; whether for instance to ed from the writings of one of the Christ or to the Christian.

Because undoubted Fathers of our church. they are the words predicated of I challenge them to name a single Jesus Christ at the opening of the point in which, if a difference does verse, D. W.is of opinion that they exist, that difference, judging ac- must, unless we admit a very harslı cording to their own estimate of and unnatural construction of them, Christianity, will not be in favour be made to refer to the same person

[ocr errors]

in the subsequent member of the him, that the body of sin might be sentence. But this being incompa- destroyed, that henceforth we should tible with the rest of the passage, as

not serve sin: for he that is dead is it stands in our version, he proposes freed from sin.” The affections and an alteration in the rendering of the lusts of the natural man constitute verb retaulai, which instead of what is emphatically called the body “hath ceased,” he would translate of sin. As Christ therefore suffered “ hath made to cease;" so that the for us in the flesh by bearing our words, according to his interpreta- sins in his own body on the tree, so tion, ought to run thus—“he that is every Christian likewise called hath suffered in the flesh (i. e. upon, after the example of his great Christ) hath made or caused you to pattern, to "suffer in the flesh;" and cease from sin.” For my pari, how- this he is to do, by crucifying and ever, I do not see any such ambi- destroying that body of sin, which guity in the passage in question, as to he by nature inherits, the effect of authorize a deviation from the sense which is, that he dies to sin, or in given to it by our translators; and as other words, ceases from sin. to D. W.'s proposed emendation, it It has been observed, and with diminishes in my opinion not a little great truth, that there exists a strikfrom the force of the Apostle's rea- ing conformity between the sentisoning.

ments and precepts contained in St. Peter's object being to urge this Epistle of St. Peter, and those upon the Christian converts the ne- of St. Paul. The passage under cessity of a strict conformity to review, provided the ordinary exChrist, in respect both of patience position of it be retained, affords a under amictions and freedom from proof of this resemblance. And if sin, he has recourse to that peculia- this be admitted, it is by no means rity of expression, so common with an unfair inference to conclude, that St. Paul, by which the same phrases the sense which best preserves this employed to describe the several similitude of character between the circumstances in the external suf- two inspired writers, is that which ferings of Christ, are metaphorically in all probability the Apostle here applied to denote those inward and designed. As to the forced and uncorrespondent sufferings, which are natural turn which the words are to be experienced in the heart of the made to assume in our translation, believer, and which are necessary this is not to be ascribed to any to render him conformable to the misapprehension of the passage, but image of his Saviour. The expres- to an inherent want of perspicuity sion therefore 'o Trafwy Ey gacxb, as in the original; a fault not uncomapplied to the Christian, who not mon with the sacred writers, parti. only by outward persecution, but cularly those, whose style is of a inward' mortification, is made a more sublime and elevated charac“partaker of Christ's sufferings," ter, and whose pen, being under the is strictly analogous to those other infallible guidance of inspiration, expressions, by which he is said disdained an attention to the technilo be crucified with Christ," to be cal rules and niceties of composition. dead 10 sin,to be dead with Christ," Haminond in his commentary does to be baptized into his death,' not notice any difficulty in this pasbe planted together in the likeness of his sage, though he has a note upon the death,” and many more of the like words 'o malwy av capxi, which he kind. The whole 6th chapter of the expounds according to their general Epistle to the Romans may be taken acceptation. Archbishop Leighton as a comment upon these words of gives the same sense to them, from St. Peter, particularly the 6th and the application of the phrase in one 7th verses of it—" Knowing this, part of the sentence to Christ, and that our old man is crucified with in the other to the Christian, which,

66

to

« السابقةمتابعة »