Page images

consirmed, and they themselves stigmatized


\i) See An- cated In the gospel (£). And therefore well were it for drew Mar- the world, if it had an assurance of their never more essay touch- corn'ng into reputation j for the mischiefs they always

ing general cause are innumerable. No wonder then that the

councils, synod of Dart turned out as it did. It had been a miand Jottin'i racle if peace had been the consequence of it;. For preface w his whatever has been the pretence, 1 believe it hardly ever remarks^ was tne reai enci Gf tne meetings of this fort. But let history,Vol. us '"ee what hand James had in this synods and how he i.p. J4. contributed to the condemnation of the followers of Arminius.——The synod began to meet Ndv. 13,1618. It consisted of thirty-six ministers of the United Provinces^ and sive professors, together with twenty elders; to these were added twenty-eight foreign divines,among whom were the following sent by James, George Carleton bishop of Landaff, Joseph Hall dean of fVarce/ler, John Davenant professor of divinity and master of queen's college at Cambridge, and Samuel Ward archdeacon of Taunton, head of Sydney college at Cambridge, and sometime after, Walter Balcanqual, a Scotch divine, was added to them, to represent the

(c) Abridg- churches of his country (s). [The «ver memorable tnent of John Hales also attended the synod, not as a member, f,randt4'J. but was sent by Sir Dudley Carleton, the English am

(d) fiaies's bassador at Holland, whose chaplain he was, to give golden re- him an account of what passed in the synod (</).] These mams, p. divines sent by James were not as furious in their belond. 1687. haviour towards the remonstrants, as their own countrymen; but they performed the errand for which they were sent, the condemnation of the opinions of Armtniits-, and establishment of those of Calvin. For this purpose these gentlemen, though one of them a bishop, and most of the other dignisied in an episcopal church; these gentlemen, I fay, took on them to handle the controverted points,.and to engage against the errors of the Arminians, in a synod made up of mere presbyters, and the president of which was only one of the lame character.

Us introductors of novelties, obstinate and


racter (I). They made speeches to overthrow certain M Hales's distinctions framed by the remonstrants, for the main- "=TMlns» P' tenance of their positions, and evasion from the contraremonstrants arguments (/'). They differed among (/)ld-Pthemselves (g), and sell into heats with some of the f^?'u other members (h); but they agreed in approving the 470. Belgic consession of faith, and the Heidelberg catechism (*)si- P. (•). In short, they dispatched the work intended, and *£ an Contributed to the woes which followed soon after upon(/) Abridg.

the poor Arminians. 'Tis remarkable also that seven TMen')of

years did not suffice to allay the wrath of James against jTM" ',°" l^orjiius: for almost at the conclusion of the synod, his clergy read an extract of that prosessor's errors 5 they called those errors blasphemies against the nature of God, and faid that the fale of For/lius's book should be; prohibited. Lastly, they demanded that his book de De» should be burned in -a solemn manner; and they produced a decree of the university of Cambridge, by virtue of which that book had been burnt publickly (k). n\ jd. . The effect of these representations I have mentioned in 514. note (xX). If it be asked why the part the English clergy took in the affairs at Dort, is attributed to James? the answer is, that they themselves owned, that they had been deputed to the synod by the king, and not by the church of England (/). And so intent was he on (/T u. ?. the business of the synod, " that he commanded them 501' *' to give him a weekly account of all ita memorable '' passages, with the receipt of which he was highly "pleased (m)." "Yea, they were instructed at als(«) Fuller** *' times to consult with the English ambassador [Sirchurch hist« "Dudley Carleton'] who was acquainted with the form'TM''*7'' *' of the Low Countries, understood well the questions "and differences amongst them, and from time to time

"received James's princely directions (»)." So that (») 1dVp.78.

he was properly the actor in this place, and the condemner of the opinions held by the enemy of God (0), W See note and his followers. Whoever calls' to mind the depriva-^AAA^'

disobedient, preachers of erroneous doctrines and corruptors of religion; and as such condemned to be deprived of all ecclesiastical and academical functions;

* But

tiohs and banishment which followed the decisions of this synod, of such great men as Episcopius, Uvtenbogart, Corvinus, Sic. and the persecution whic,h ensued throughout the United Provinces, against the Arminians; whoever considers these, will be apt to entertain but a poor opinion of those men who were actors in it. Some of the divines might possibly mean well; but the kingsj princes, and great men concerned therein, had^ undoubtedly, worldly views, and were actuated by them; For though purity of doctrine, peace of the church, extirpation of heresy, were pretended, the state faction of the Arminians was to be suppressed, and that of Maurice prince of Orange exalted. A synod was judged necessary for these purposes, and it extremely well performed what it was intended for. The remonstrants were rendered odious to tbe populace; their men of parts sent into exile j their strength was exhausted ; and ihey could no longer oppose the measures of their adverfaries. Dr. Heylin observes, that" as king "James

*' had formerly aspersed the remonstrant partyj so he "continued a most bitter enemy unto them, till he had "brought them at the last to an extermination. But *' he seems at a loss to tell what should induce him herew unto. Some suppose, fays he, that he was drawn in"to it by Abbot and Mountague; others imputed it to *' his education in the church of Scotland: one thought "that he was drawn into it by his affection for prince "Maurice; another that he Was moved by reason of "state, for the preventing a dangerous and incurable "rupture, which otherwise was like to follo w inthestate *' of the Netherlands." This last reason he thinks most probable. He afterwards adds, " that James sent such ** of his divines as were most likely to be sufsiciently • ** active

But severe as James was against, the Arminians abroad, he favoured them .much at home (dddj, and advanced several of theni


"active in the condemnation of the Arminians {p)" (p) HeylV* Reasons of statemight have had some influence on James, °' \cf the though he had little knowledge of it, and generally was ans, P. 40*. - little influenced by it. But I fancy it was a regard to Fo1- Oxford his own character which chiefly induced him to act as l6;0, he did in this affair. For we have seen how he had treated the name of Arminius., in a writing dispersed throughout Europe. Had he failed on such an opportunity to extirpate his errors, his zeal for orthodoxy might have been thought to have been lessened, and he to have failed in that which he had declared to be the duty of a king, the extirpation of heresy.

(ddd) He favoured the Arminians much at home.] The articles of the church of England are plainly calvihistical, as will appear to every one who will read theni attentively. They wqre " agreed on by the archbishops "and bishops of both provinces, and the whole clergy, "in the convocation holden at London, in the year "1562, for the avoiding of diversities of opinions, and "for the establishment of consent touching true religion "(a)." The avoiding of diversities of opinions, and (<*) Vid. the the establishment of consent, was the prosessed design of 2r,.,c!es of them, and doubtless 1 the compilers of them imagined constituthat they should effectually accomplish it, by requiring tions and all who entered into the church to subscribe to them. cano"SCC

\ . , clenastxal,

But they were very much mistaken. Diversity of opi- canon 36. hions soon arose, and men who subscribed the fame ar- and ft"'"** tides, held contradictory opinions. Nor could it pos- J| ('c'^' *' sibly be otherwise; for'while men are inquisitive they and 3,' • will see things in new lights; and those who are honest and sincere, will not speak contrary to their sentiments. Subscriptions then are only clogs and incumbrances; they answer no good end, but may occasion many mischiefs. Yea, many there are who believe that " the K "imposing

to the greatest dignities. "So amazingly inconsistent was his conduct.


'c imposing articles has given occasion to almost all the "uncharitableness and persecutions, the devastations "and destruction of christians, that have ever been

(ft Essay on" since articles first were made (b)." In the time of

imposingand £//Z3^^ there was a pretty great uniformity of belief

subscribing , , n , , • » r i • • <_i

articles of in tne doctrinal points of religion among the clergy; religion, by they in general were Calvinists, and so were their sucPh.ieieu- ce(rors in the reign of James. Bancroft indeed was tabrigSiensi""verv different in his opinion. But Abbot, Mountague, and p. Ji. Lond. almost all the rest of the bishops adhered to the doctrine 1719. 8»o. 0f tne church in like manner as their predecessors. Thus things continued till about the year 1616, when James being acquainted with what dangers would proceed from training up of young students in the grounds of Calvinism, dispatched some directions to the vicechancellor, and prosessors of divinity at Oxford, which was "• the first step, fays Dr. Heylin, towards the sup"pressing of that reputation which Calvin and his wri(c)Heylin's" tings had attained unto in that university (c)." And life of Laud, in the year 7622, instructions were drawn up and sent 1*668 Fo".'t0 t'lc arcnbishops, and by them to the bishops, in which they were required to see to it, " that no preacher *' of what title soever, under the degree of a bishop cr "dean at the least, do henceforth presume to preach in "any popular auditory, the deep points of predestina"tion, election, reprobation, or of the universality, "efficacy, refistibility, or irresistibility of God's grace (J) 1d. p. 98." (d)." Laud had a hand in drawing this up, and what his intent was thereby,- is not difficult to guess. However so it was, that the Calvinists continually lost ground in the king's favour, and the Arminians had credit with him. Laud, Howfin, and Corbet were advanced to bishopricks by him, though publicly known to be Arminians: Neile, of'the like opinion, was in . great favour, and received many promotions from him:


« PreviousContinue »