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SOME THINGS ARE ASCRIBED BY HIS LORDSHIP, TO
CALVINISTS, WHICH ARE NOT APPLICABLE TO THEM.
Some things are imputed to Calvinists, which belong to
NO EXISTING Sect of Christians.
§ 1, 2. That the Calvinists seem to trust in the grace of Simon Magus a
and $3. To maintain that matter is incapable of salvation. 4. That there are two sorts of men formed by Angels. $5. That some men are good and others bad by Nature. $ 6. That men have earthly, spiritual, and middle natures. $ 7. That some are authorized to sin because of their perfectior-examined.
§ 1. The Calvinistic reader will probably be surprised to learn from the Bishop of Lincoln, that he is charged with believing in the grace of Simon Magus! His Lordship quotes a great number of Opinions of earliest Heretics 'greatly resembling the peculiar tenets of Cal
vinism;' and from the writings of IRENÆUS this is one notable proof of it. 6" He says, " that one of the doctrines of Simon Magus was,
that those who trust in him [i. e. Simon Magus) and his Helena, should have no further care, and that they are free to do what they like; for that men are saved according to his grace, [i, e. Simon Magus's grace) but not
'according to just works."'* "The assertion of * Simon Magus, who is mentioned in the Acts ' of the Apostles, and called by ecclesiastical
historians the first Christian heretic, that 'men e are saved according to his [i. e. Simon's] 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't Now, I ask the reader, is there any existing sect, is there any individual on the face of the globe, who holds, or is ever likely to hold, this heretical opinion? Does any one professing Christianity in the present day “ trust in Simon Magus and his Helena," — and that men are saved according to “Simon's grace," and not according to just works? Is there any reader of the Refutation so credulous as to believe, that this heretical, monstrous opinion, contains
in it the essence of Calvinism!' Calvinists indeed believe and profess, that “we are saved by grace,” that is, the grace of God, “ through faith ;” and that all true Christians are “newcreated unto good works," in which it is divinely 4 ordained that we should walk;
" and that Jesus Christ is become the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him.”
§ 2. Perhaps his Lordship thought that Cal
* Refut. p. 515.
+ Ib. p. 571.
vinists have no access to the works of IRENÆUS, or that such atrocious heretics do not understand Latin! Is it sufficient to constitute the similarity, that both Simon and Calvin adopted the word “Grace" to express their tenets respectively? On, this supposition, the Bishop himself cannot easily escape. What however, does IRENÆUS say? “Prophetas autem a mundi fabricatoribus Angelis inspiratos dixisse prophetias : quapropter nec ulterius curarent eos, hi qui in eum et in Selenen [vel, Helenam] ejus spem habeant, et ut liberos agere quæ velint: secundum enim ipsius gratiam salvari homines, sed non secundum operas justas.”* That is, “That the prophets uttered their predictions as inspired by angels, who are the creators of the world: wherefore, they who trust in him and in his Helena need no further care; and, being free, they may act as they please : moreover, that men are saved according to his grace, but not according to just works.” Here is not one word about the grace of God, but all about the grace of Simon Magus, and of his Helena, a Tyrian strumpet that he carried about with him! And as Simon blasphemously declared himself to be “God the Father,” so he conferred on this woman the honourable title of “ the mother of all!” So much for the heresy of Simon Magus 'greatly
* IRENÆl opera. p. 116. Ed. 1639.
resembling the peculiar tenets of Calvinism!' Greatly resembling !
§ 3. Again, the Calvinists, it seems 'greatly * resemble' the Valentinians, who asserted, 'that * matter is incapable of salvation.'--'For as it is * impossible that the material should partake of salvation (for they say it is not capable of it) so again it is impossible that the spiritual, meaning • themselves, should be subject to corruption, • whatever conduct they pursue. - Wherefore,
those of them who are the most perfect, do * without fear all things which are forbidden.'* Calvinistic reader, did ever any mirror give you a more striking resemblance of yourself? As you are so like a Valentinian, of course you cannot believe that Jesus Christ is “the Saviour of the body,” or that there is any resurrection of the dead. You must have expunged from
creed that Jesus Christ will change this vile body, and make it like unto his glorious body.” You must have renounced what the Valentinians (the very image of yourself) considered impossible, viz, that the mate rial part of
should partake of salvation, a salvation of which it is 'not capable.” While you so nearly resemble these heretics, you must hold it an impossibility that you should be sub
your bible and
* Refut. p. 513, 14. From IREN.ÆUS.
ject to corruption of any kind, whatever conduct you pursue.' And as you believe yourself to be one of the most perfect of human beings, you cannot scruple to “ do without fear all things which are forbidden." But if
disown the resemblance, can you point out any other existing sect of Christians who bear it?
§ 4. The Calvinists are represented as holding tenets resembling the heresy of SATURNINUS, viz. That there are two sorts of men formed by angels. ““ He (Saturninus) first asserted, that ' there are two sorts of men formed by the angels, the one good, the other bad. And, • because demons assist the worst men, that the • Saviour came to destroy bad men and demons, * but to save good men.
This is the whole of the quotation, and therefore some part of it at least must be intended as a resemblance of Calvinism. But where shall we find it except in the first part, without involving the Bishop himself, who will allow, no doubt, that the Saviour came to save the good and to destroy the wicked among men as well as evil spirits; and that demons assist the worst of men by diabolical temptations. It remains then, that if there be any thing peculiar to Calvinism resembling the heresy of SATURNINUS, it must be
# Refut. p. 515. From IRENÆUS.