Sayfadaki görseller
PDF
ePub

of Mr. Wesley's Doctrines, in his Logica Wesleiensis, and in his Strictures on Mr. Fletcher, is another defender of Calvinism. And to these may be added Mr. T. Williams, in his Vindication of the Calvinistic Doctrines of Depravity, the Atonement, Divine Influence, &c.

See also a work entitled Examen du Livre, qui porte pour titre prejugees legitimes contre les Cal-vinistes. Haye, 12mo, 1683. This last work was written by Nicole, a Roman Catholic ; and the author of the Examen was the famous Claude Pajon, a French Protestant, and a moderate divine, who leaned somewhat towards the Arminian System; a “propensity," says Dr. M‘Laine, “ that was not uncommon among the French Protestants."

On the other side, the Arminian tenets are vindicated by Mr. Wesley, in his Predestination calmly considered, and in other parts of his writings; and also by his friend Mr. Fletcher of Madeley, in his Checks to Antinomianism, and in several additional publications.

See also Dr. Jortin's Six Dissertations, No. 1. and 2., and Dr. Tower's Review of the Genuine Doctrines of Christianity; comprehending Remarks on several principal Calvinistic Doctrines, &c.

I conclude this article in the words of a pious and agreeable writer :-"It is usual with men, either to entertain ideas of divine goodness which are derogatory to perfect holiness and justice, or to

exalt these latter attributes, taken in conjunction with absolute sovereignty, to the prejudice of that mercy which is revealed in Scripture, and is also not obscurely indicated in nature and providence; a proceeding which tends, in the one case, to inspire the mind with presumption, and, in the other, to sink it in despondence; and nothing can be of more importance than to guard equally against both these extremes."*

* Bates' Rural Philosophy, Pref. p. 26.

ARMINIANISM,

AND

ARMINIANS.

Names. Those who maintain the doctrines in regard to Predestination and Grace, that were embraced, and ably defended, by James Harmensen or Arminius, an eminent Protestant divine, and a native of Oude-Water, in Holland, who flourished at the beginning of the 17th century, have been, since that period, called by his name.

The term Arminian, however, like many others in current use, is doubtless less appropriate; for though it, of course, did not exist at the Reformation, the doctrines were not then unknown, which were afterwards distinguished by it. Bolsec is said to have taught them even at Geneva in 1551; and they have no doubt many professors at this day, who will not scruple to assert that they are coeval with Christianity itself.

The same religionists have also been called Remonstrants, particularly on the continent, because, in 1610, they presented an humble petition, entitled their Remonstrance, to the States of Holland, in which they state their grievances, and pray for relief.

RISE, PROGRESS, &c.—Arminius, from whom are derived the origin and the name, but not the doctrines of the sect, who was born in 1560, and died in 1609, first studied at Leyden, and then at Geneva. After visiting Italy, and spending some time at Padua, he was admitted to the exercise of the ministry at Amsterdam, and was called to the divinity chair at Leyden in 1603.

When at the university of. Geneva, he studied under Beza, by whom he was instructed in the doctrines of Calvin: and having been judged by Martin Lydius, professor of divinity at Franeker,

fit person to refute a work, in which the Calvinistic doctrine of Predestination had been attacked by some ministers of Delft, he undertook the task: but, upon strict examination of the reasons on both sides, he became a convert to the opinions which he was employed to refute, and afterwards went still farther than the ministers of Delft had done. The result of his enquiries on this, and other subjects connected with it, was, that, thinking the doctrine of Calvin, with regard to freewill, predestination, and grace, too severe, he began to express his doubts respecting them in the year 1591, and at last adopted the religious system of those who extend the love of God, and the merits of his Son, to all mankind.

After his appointment to the theological chair at Leyden, he thought it his duty to avow and vin

dicate the principles which he had embraced ; and • the freedom with which he published and defend

ed them, exposed him to the resentment of those that adhered to the theological system of Calvin, which then prevailed in Holland; but his principal opponent was Gomar his colleague.-The controversy, thus begun, became more general after the death of Arminius, and threatened to involve the United Provinces in civil discord. Disputes ran high, and on each side considerable talents and learning were displayed. The Arminian tenets, however, gained ground, under the mild and favourable treatment of the Magistrates of Holland, and were adopted by several persons of merit and distinction; but the Calvinists, or Gomarists, as they were now called, appealed to a national Synod, and accordingly a Synod was convened by order of the States General at Dordrecht or Dort. * It was composed of ecclesiastical and lay-deputies from the United Provinces, and also of ecclesiastical deputies from the reformed Churches of England, Switzerland, Bremen, Hesse, and the Palatinate, and it sat from 1st Nov. 1618, to 26th April 1619.

In this Synod, in which politics got mixed with religion, the principal advocate in favour of the

* It was not, however, with the unanimous consent of the States that this Synod assembled; for three of the Seven Provinces protested against the holding of it, viz. Holland, Utrecht, and Overyssel.

« ÖncekiDevam »