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himself a theological writer, and by no means remarkable for his conciseness. To deny space to his brother theologians, who are writing on the most difficult subjects, not from choice, but necessity; not for fame, but for bread; and to award rejection as the penalty of prolixity does appear to us no slight deviation from Christian gentleness. The tyranny of calling for such short answers is very strikingly pointed out in a letter from Mr. Thurtell to the Bishop of Peterborough; the style of which pleads, we think, very powerfully in favour of the writer.
Beccles, Suffolk, August 28th, 1821. • My Lord,
I ought, in the first place, to apologise for delaying so long to answer your Lordship's letter : but the difficulty in which I was involved, by receiving another copy of your Lordship's Questions, with positive directions to give short answers, may be sufficient to account for that delay.
• It is my sincere desire to meet your Lordship's wishes, and to obey your Lordship’s directions in every particular; and I would therefore immediately have returned answers, without any “restrictions or modifications," to the Questions which your Lordship has thought fit to send me, if, in so doing, I could have discharged the obligations of my conscience, by showing what my opinions really are. But it appears to me, that the Questions proposed to me by your Lordship are so constructed as to elicit only two sets of opinions; and that, by answering them in so concise a manner, I should be representing myself to your Lordship as one who believes in either of two particular creeds, to neither of which I do really subscribe. For instance, to answer Question I. chap. ii. in the manner your Lordship desires, I am reduced to the alternative of declaring, either that “ mankind are a mass of mere corruption," which expresses more than I intend, or of leaving room for the inference, that they are only partially corrupt, which is opposed to the plainest declarations of the Homilies; such as these, “ Man is altogether spotted and defiled” (Hom. on Nat.), “ without a spark of goodness in him ” (Serm. on Mis. of Man, &c.).
. Again, by answering the Questions comprised in the chapter on “ Free Will," according to your Lordship's directions, I am compelled to acknowledge, either that man has such a share in the work of his own salvation as to exclude the sole agency of God, or that he has no share whatever; when the Homilies for Rogation Week and Witsunday positively declare, that God is the “only Worker," or, in other words, sole Agent; and at the same time assign to man a certain share in the work of his own salvation. In short, I could, with your Lordship's permission, point out twenty Questions, involving doctrines of the utmost importance, which I am unable to answer, so
as to convey my real sentiments, without more room for explanation than the printed sheet affords.
. In this view of the subject, therefore, and in the most deliberate exercise of my judgment, I deem it indispensable to my acting with that candour and truth with which it is my wish and duty to act, and with which I cannot but believe your Lordship desires I should act, to state my opinions in that language which expresses them most fully, plainly, and unreservedly. This I have endeavoured to do in the answers now in the possession of your Lordship. If any further explanation be required, I am most willing to give it, even to a minuteness of opinion beyond what the Articles require. At the same time, I would humbly and respectfully appeal to your Lordship's candour, whether it is not hard to demand my decided opinion upon points which have been the themes of volumes ; upon which the most pious and learned men of the Church have conscientiously differed; and upon which the Articles, in the judgment of Bishop Burnet, have pronounced no definite sentence. To those Articles, my Lord, I have already subscribed; and I am willing again to subscribe to every one of them, “ in its literal and grammatical sense,” according to His Majesty's declaration prefixed to them.
• I hope, therefore, in consideration of the above statement, that your Lordship will not compel me, by the conciseness of my answers, to assent to doctrines which I do not believe, or to expose myself to inferences which do not fairly and legitimately follow from my opinions.
'I am, my Lord, &c. &c.'
We are not much acquainted with the practices of courts of justice; but, if we remernber right, when a man is going to be hanged, the judge lets him make his defence in his own way, without complaining of its length. We should think a Christian Bishop might be equally indulgent to a man who is going to be ruined. The answers are required to be clear, concise, and correct - short, plain, and positive. In other words, a poor
curate, extremely agitated at the idea of losing his livelihood, is required to write with brevity and perspicuity on the following subjects:— Redemption by Jesus Christ - Original Sin - Free Will — Justification
Justification in reference to its causes - Justification in reference to the time when it takes place— Everlasting Salvation - Predestination — Regeneration on the New Birth — Renovation, and the Holy Trinity. As a specimen of these questions, the answer to which is required to be so brief and clear, we shall insert the following quotation:
Section 11.- Of Justification, in reference to its cause. • 1. Does not the eleventh Article declare, that we are “jus
tified by Faith only ?” • 2. Does not the expression “Faith only” derive additional
strength from the negative expression in the same
Article " and not for our own works?". • 3. Does not therefore the eleventh Article exclude good
works from all share in the office of Justifying ? Or can we so construe the term “Faith " in that Article,
as to make it include good works? • 4. Do not the twelfth and thirteenth Articles further ex
clude them, the one by asserting that good works follow after Justification, the other by maintaining
that they cannot precede it ? • 5. Can that which never precedes an effect be reckoned
among the causes of that effect? 6. Can we then, consistently with our Articles, reckon the
performance of good works among the causes of Justification, whatever qualifying epithet be used with the term cause?'
We entirely deny that the Calvinistical Clergy are bad members of their profession. We maintain that as many instances of good, serious, and pious men— of persons zealously interesting themselves in the temporal and spiritual welfare of their parishioners, are to be found among them, as among the clergy who put an opposite interpretation on the Articles. The Articles of Religion are older than Arminianism, eo nomine. The early reformers leant to Calvinism; and would, to a