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the utter depravity of human nature, unconditional election, endless punishment, and the like. These, my dear Sir, were not the doctrines of the Reformation. They are the very doctrines which were not REFORMED. They were not allowed to be examined. Servetus did indeed attempt to reform the doctrine of the trinity, but lost bis life in the worthy undertaking. Zuingle did likewise reject some of the other human traditions, but was severely censured for his liberality. The rest of the Reformers received them without discussion, and for this reason they form no part of the doctrines of the Reformation. No; they are really and literally the doctrines of the Catholic church; for more or less of them had been actually voted into her creed by the holding up of priestly hands, at different times and under various forms; and those which were not so introduced, had been invented and advocated by individual members of her communion, long before the Reformation. It is perfectly absurd, therefore, to call those very doctrines, which had been embraced for years in the Catholic denomination, which were not suffered to be examined at the time of the Reformation, and which are still retained as fundamental articles by the mother church, doctrines of the Reformation. As well may you call the existence of God, the divine origin of Christianity, and the immortality of man, doctrines of the Reformation. I do hope, that honest men will no longer endeavour to impose on themselves and the community, by asserting that the fundamental articles of the Catholic creed were the grand doctrines of the Reformation.
And permit me to inquire, if there was any remarkable agreement between Calvin and Luther, so as to cause you to distinguish these two from the rest of the Reformers? I think not; although I admit that these two did not proceed so far as some others in reforming several Catholic doctrines, and therefore had more points in coinmon. It does appear to me, that they quarrelled in a most shameful manner, and that there has been but precious little harmony among their followers. Did my limits permit, I could produce a great abundance of evidence in proof of these assertions; but I must content myself with a few quotations from their writings. From the commencement of the Reformation, the Calvinists and Lutherans were embroiled in most bitter controversy. At an early period of its progress, a champion was appointed by each party to settle some disputed subjects in public debate. Beza was delegated to defend the Calvinistic doctrine, and André the Lutheran. After a long war of words, in which no difficulties were adjusted, Beza thue declared: “ Quia dextras fraternitatis nobis porrigere recusatis, et nos pro fratribus agnoscere non vultis, amicitiæ dextras etiam nolo.” The meaning of which is this : “Because you will not give us the right-hand of fellowship, nor acknowledge us as brethren, neither indeed will I extend to you the right-band of friendship.” Does this look like union ? André thus anaswered. “ Ergo intermittatur.” “ Let us then terminate our dispute.” The old writer, from whom this fact is taken, thus concludes the account. “Imo creverunt odia.” “ Thus the enmity of the two parties rather increased.” Is this evidence of agreement? But this is only the beginning of testimony. In several of the Lutheran writers of the first respectability, you find the doctrine of Calvinism pronounced “ sacrilegam, execrandam, abominandam, et diabolicam.” “ The doc
Is this the language of Christian fellowship? But let us proceed to the sayings of the great Reforiners themselves. Among other points of difference, Luther believed the soul was material, and slept with the body until the resurrection. Calvin was violently opposed to this opinion, and accordingly wrote a book to controvert this dangerous error, entitled, “Psychopannychia.” In this work, he calls all who advocate Luther's doctrine of the sleep of the soul, “ babblers, madmen, dreamers, and drunkards.” Are these the most appropriate expressions of brotherly love? Let us now hear Luther's opinion of the spirit of the Calvinists. Here you have it in his own words. “Spiritus Calvinistarum est diabolicus spiritus, mendax spiritus, rebellionis et dissentionis spiritus, fugitivus, inconstans, et vertiginosus spiritus.” “The spirit of the Calvinists is a devilish spirit, a lying spirit, a rebellious and quarrelsome spirit, a cowardly, changing, giddy spirit.” Remember that these are the kind expressions of Luther's friendship. Let us hear his opinion respecting the Calvinists themselves. Here you have it in his own words. “ Calvinistæ sunt fanatici, progenies viperina, animicidæ, impii, blasphemi, deceptores, sanguinarii, infernales molossi, Germanici Turcæ, a Sathanâ missi et obsessi, Mahometani baptizati, perdiabolati, transdiabolati, superdiabolati." I would not give the English of this passage, were it not to gratify my orthodox readers with as many of the choice sayings of the venerated Reformer as my limits permit. llere it is. “ The Calvinists are fanatics, a progeny of vipers, soul-murderers, impious, blasphemous, deceivers, bloodthirsty, hellish dogs, German Turks, sent and possessed by Satan, baptized Mahometans, very devilish, more than devilish, superlatively devilish.” This is pretty strony language for one 6 pious and blessed” Reformer to use towards the followers of another, with whom he was on terms of perfect agreement. It is certainly rather a novel mode of expressing union, harmony, affection, and cordial co-operation. Had such expressions come from unitarians, would you have regarded them as the most expressive signs of Christian fellowship? I think sufficient evidence has been produced to convince the world's people, that there was no love lost between Calvin and Luther; and that their wonderful agreement in the great doctrines of the Reformation did not produce the most Christian disposition in either. I will only add, that I shall never more be surprised at the denunciations of the orthodox, while I remember that they proceed from those who “ choose to walk, and insist on walking, in the old piths of the Reformers."
4. Orthodor agreement with Calvinism. In the fourth place, does the orthodox denomination agree with the peculiar sentiments of John Calvin ? I think not generally; but I will not decide the question without evidence. What then are the grand doctrines of Calvinism ? Not those surely which he received from his Catholic mother, and which she still teaches to her faithful children. No; the doctrines of Calvinism must be those which were peculiar to Calvin, and which have been honored with his name. Such doctrines do indeed exist. They are called the Five Points of Calvinism. They are so called to distinguish, them from Arminianism, or to indicate the particulars in which his doctrine differed from the views of Arminius. What then are these articles. I will give them to you, as agreed upon by the large body of Calvinistic divines at the fainous synod of Dort. I take them as abridged by Daniel Tilenus. “ Art. I. That God, by an absolute decree, hath elected to salvation a very small number of men, without any regard to their faith or obedience whatever ; and secluded from saving grace all the rest of mankind, and appointed them, by the same decree, to eternal damnation, without any regard to their infidelity or impenitency. – Art. II. That Jesus Christ hath not suffered death for any other, but for those elect only; having neither had any intent, nor commandment of his Father, to make satisfaction for the sins of the whole world. — Art. III. That by Adam's fall his posterity lost their free will, being put to an unavoidable necessity to do, or not to do, whatever they do, or do not, whether it be good or evil; being thereunto predestinated by the eternal and effectual secret decree of God. - Art. IV. That God to save his elect from the corrupt mass, doth beget faith in them by a power equal to that whereby he created the world and raised up the dead ; insomuch that such, unto whom he gives that grace, cannot reject it, and the rest, being reprobate, cannot accept it. — Art. V. That such as bave once received that grace by faith, can never fall from it finally or totally, notwithstanding the most enormous sins they can commit.” No one acquainted with the writings of Calvin will deny, that these are his real sentiments ; – the five points in which his views differ from Arminianism. Reject these articles, and you reject Calvinism ; receive them and you are a Calvinist.
Now does the orthodox denomination at the present day believe these five articles of Calvin, as well as the doctrines of the Catholic church which he retained, and the doctrines of infant damnation and the lawfulness of murdering those who differ from their human standard of religious truth ? I am willing to admit that many of the leaders do really believe in all of Calvinism but the two last articles; but I venture to assert that a great majority of professors in orthodox churches do not believe more than one or two points of Calvinism, and but a part of the Catholic doctrines which were preserved by the Genevan Reform er. In proof of this assertion, I can merely refer you to three or four sources of evidence. In the first place, go into society, and ask the members of orthodox congregations to explain their views of religion. I have done this in different places, and to some considerable extent ; and I have found but a precious few, who adhered to the sentiments of Calvin, or to the particular form in which he advocated the unreformed doctrines of the Catholic church. In the second place, a graduate of your Seminary related to me the following anecdote in substance. Said he, “I was passing an evening with a very intelligent and highly educated lady of the orthodox church ; she uttered some severe remarks concerning Arminian sentiinents. I took occasion afterward to read to her the articles on Calvinism and Arminianism in Hannah Adams's Lictionary of Religions, without letting her know to which side they belonged. I asked which statement expressed most nearly her vicws of religion? She readily answered, — The one last read,' wliich was Ara minianism. And if the same thing could be done in the same manner to all the members of our denomination, I have no doubt, that nine out of ten would make the same reply.” Of the truth of this supposition I have not the least doubt ; for iny own experience and observation fully confirm the statement. In the third place, look at the frequent complaints of misrepresentations made by members of your party. Whenever a unitarian, either in the pulpit or from the press, has given the Calvinis:ic sentiments, the great mass of your professors have declared that they held no such opinions. But there is another more satisfactory source of evidence. I mean the publications of some of your church members and preachers. By comparing their real opinions with Calvinism, I can see no great resemblance; and for one, I firmly believe that if Calvin was now alive in this country, and entertained the same opinions as before his death, and possessed the same disposition and power as when reigning at Geneva, he would very quickly serve even yourself, and no small portion of your denomination, as he did Servetus, for your heresies or departures from the articles of his creed. I think every man who will examine this subject must come to the same conclusion. Why then will you attempt to make the less informed part of the community believe, that you still adhere to all the important sentiments of Calvin ?
But perhaps you will say, that you have already publicly declared that "you do not receive every thing which Calvin taught, nor any thing because he taught it.” Very well. This is a most iinportant declaration. Now if you have the right of renouncing one Calvinistic doctrine, because it does not appear to your mind to coincide with the instructions of Scripture, have I not the same right? May I not, for the same reason, renounce every Calvinistic doctrine, which appears to me unchristian? Surely. Why then do you condemn me
for so doing? Why do you make such great exertions to prejudice the ignorant against unitarians, by assuring them that they have renounced the great doctrines of the Reformation? Does not such a practice condemn yourself? Or are you commissioned to decide just how far a man may depart from Calvinism and remain innocent? If you have received any such authority, please to exhibit your credentials, for on this question your mere assertion is not satisfactory; and if you have no such infallibility, why not act consistently? Why not acknowledge, that I have the same right to depart ten steps from Calvinism, that you have to depart two? Why not admit, that I may as justly censure you for lingering behind in the march of religious knowledge, as you may blame me for marching at too rapid a pace? I must confess, that all this noise and blustering about the doctrines of the Reformation, appear to me perfectly ridiculous, to say nothing more severe. I am free to acknowledge, that the authority of the Reformers weighs exceeding little in my estimation. For who were those said Reformers ? Mere fallible, prejudiced, sinful mortals ; men who had been stuffed even to surfeiting with Catholic traditions, absurdities, and errors; men whose advantages for ascertaining the true meaning of the Gospel were far inferior to those of the present day; men who make no claims to perfection, infallibility, or inspiration. And must I regard such characters as lights of the world? Is it to be supposed, that men thus educated and situated could have burst at once from the midnight darkness of Popery to the meridian splendor of Christianity ? No; such a supposition would be perfectly absurd. I am as ready as any one to acknowledge their true merits, and their just claims on our gratitude. They were great men for that unenlightened period; but were they now living, would you point to them as the doctors of theological science and knowledge ? They were good men for those wicked days; but were they now exhibiting the same temper and conduct, would you hold them up as worthy examples of imitation in Christian holiness? They had many blemishes and sins in their religious characters; and were such now practised by any of your divines, would not their very standing in society be forfeited ? I indeed honor their courage, their resolution, their perseverance, in breaking from the shackles of the mother church, and asserting the sufficiency of the Scriptures, and the right of private judgment; but I censure their open violation of the fundamental principles of Protestantism. I respect their virtues and achievements in the cause of truth and religious liberty ; but I pity their superstitions, their errors, their bigotry, and their cruelty. I have no desire to be baptized into the names of any of the number. And as to their writings, I am prepared to adhere to them just so far as they appear to me to adhere to the plain instructions of revelation, and no farther. I should as soon think of taking my views of Chemistry from the lucubrations of the old Alchemists, as my views of Christianity from