« ForrigeFortsæt »
them in chains for the crime of one of their forefathers, to set forth the king's wonderful justice, display his glorious sovereignty, and make his chosen people relish the better their sweet distinguishing privileges as Englishmen.
“ Moreover his majesty, who loves order and harmony, charges his loving subjects to consider still the statutes of England, which are in force against fo. reigners, as very good rules of life for the English, which they shall do well to follow, but better to break because every breach of those rules will work for their good, and make them sing louder the faithfulness of the king, the goodness of the prince, and the sweetness of this gospel proclamation. 13.66 Again, as nothing is so displeasing to the king as legality, which he hates even more than extortion and whoredom; lest any of his dear people, who have acted the part of a strumpet, robber, murderer, or traitor, should through the remains of their inbred corruption, and ridiculous legality, mourn too deeply for breaking some of their rules of life, our gracious monarch solemnly assures them, that though he highly disapproves of adultery and murder, yet these breaches of rules are not worse in his sight thau a wandering thought in speaking to him, or a moment's dulness in his service : That robbers, therefore, and traitors, adulterers, and murderers, who are free-born Englishmen, need not at all be uneasy about losing his royal favour; this being utterly impossible, because they always stand complete in the honesty, loyalty, chastity, and charity of the prince.
“ Moreover, because the king changes not, whatever lengths the English go on in immorality, he will always look upon them as his pleasant children, his dear people, and men after his own heart;' and that, on the other hand, whatsoever lengths foreigners go in pious morality, his gracious majesty is determined still to consider them as hypocrites, vessels of wrath,' and cursed children, for whom is re
serred the blackness of darkness for ever ;' because he always views them as completely guilty, and absolutely condemned in a certain robe of uprighteousness, woven thousands of years ago by one of their ancestors. This dreadful sanbenettoř his majesty hath thought fit to put upon them by imputation; and in it, it is his good pleasure that they shall hang in adamantine chains, or burn in fire unquenchable.
“Finally, as foreigners are dangerous people, and may stir up his majesty's subjects to rebellion, the English are informed, that if any one of them, were he to come over from Geneva itself, shall dare to insinuate, that his most gracious gospel proclamation is not according to equity, morality, and godliness, the first Englishman that meets him shall have full leave to brand him as a Papist, without judge or jury, in the forehead or on the back, as he thinks best; and that, till he is farther proceeded with according to the utmost severity of the law, the chosen people shall be informed, in the Gospel Magazine, to beware of him, as a man who scatters firebrands, arrows, and deaths,' and makes uviversal havoc of every article of this sweet gospel proclamation.
“ Given at Geneva, and signed by four of his majesty's principal secretaries of stute for the predestinarian department. “ JOHN CALVIN.
DR. CRISP. " THE AUTHOR OF P. O. ROWLAND HILL."
4,436 What would wise men think of such a manifesto ? Who does not see, his majesty might as well have informed us at once, that all the laws of the land are now repealed ; that instead of being laws, they shall be only moral fiuger-posts, directing men in the narrow way of righteousness, or in the broad way of
A frock, painted with fames and devils, in which heretics are burned by the Inquisition.
iniquity, if the one pleases them better than the other?
Suppose a courtier asserted, That we are still under the laws of the land as rules of life; would not thinking men answer, No: We are now absolutely lawless : For statutes according to which no Englishman can he prosecuted, much less executed, are no laws at all for Englishmen; they are only directions, which every one is at full liberty to follow or not, as he pleases. It is not less absurd to give the name of laws to rules, which are not enforced with the sanction of pro. per rewards or penalties, than to call Baxter's Directory a code of laws, becanse it contains excellent rules of life.
Oye abettors of Dr. Crisp's mistakes, how long will you regard vain words, and inadvertently pour contempt upon the King of kings ? How long will you rashly charge us with robbing him of his glory, because we cannot join you, when, under the plausible preteuce of advancing the honour of his priesthood, you explain a way the most awful protestations which he made as a prophet, and rob him of the royal glory of punishing his rebellious, and rewarding his faithful subjects, according to law, as a righteous King ?
Alas! even while you seem zealous for God's sorereignty, do you not unawares represent Jesus as the weakest of princes, or fiercest of tyrants? Do you not inadvertently, (for I know you would uot do it deliberately for the world,) du you not, I say, inadvertently crown him with the sharpest thorns that ever grew in the territory of inystic Genera? Instead of the sceptre of his kingdom,' which is ' a right sceptre,' do you not at one time put in his hand a reed, which the Antinomian elect may insult with more impunity, than the frogs in the fable did the royal log sent by Jupiter to reign over them ? And, at another time, while you give him Nimrod's iron sceptre, do you not put upon him Nero's purple robe ; and even slip into his !nying bosom a black
book of horrible decrecs, more full of the names of
To Richard Hill, Esquire.
HON, AND DEAR SIR,
ALTHOUGH I reserve for two separate Tracts, my Answer to your objections against
“ the monstrous doctrine of Perfectiou," and my reply to the argument which you draw from our Seventeenth Article, in favour of the doctrine of Unconditional Election ; the already exorbitant length of this Check calls for a speedy conclusion; and I hasten towards it, by laying before my readers the present state of our controversy; enlarging chiefly upon imputed righteousness and free will, two points which I have not yet particularly discussed in this piece.
Imputed righteousness, as it is held by the Calvivists, I have endeavoured to expose in the Second Check, by the most absurd, and yet (upon your plan) most reasonable plea of a bare-faced Antinomian, who expects to be justified in the great day, by Christ's im puted righteousness without works. To this you have answered, (Review, p. 68, &c.,) by exclaiming, “Shocking slander, slanderous banter,” &c., and I might reply only by crying out, Logica Genevensis ! But, as honest inquirers after the truth would not be benefited, for their sakes I shall in this letter show how far we agree, wherein we disagree, and what makes us dissent from you, about the doctrine of imputed righteous