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let them cite their authority, let them refer to the works in which these doctrines are actually taught. If such opinions were really held, we, could not fail to meet with some trace of them in the various and voluminous works of the numerous authors which are still extant. I assert, that no such trace is to be found; and I challenge the Calvinists of the present day to produce an author prior to Augustine, who maintained what are now called Calvinistic opinions. What weight is due to Augustine, I leave my Readers to decide, when they shall have seen my quotations from the greater part of his works in the Sixth Chapter, and also the observations respecting him in the concluding Chapter. But in any case he is but one, unsupported by any earlier writer (and even by hiinself, before his judgement was perverted by the warmth of the Pelagian controversy), against a cloud of witnesses, all of whom lived nearer to the Apostolical times, and concur in bearing an opposite testimony, in uninterrupted succession, through a period of four complete centuries. Ex ipso ordine manifestatur, id esse Dóminigum et verum, quod sit prius traditum; id autein extraneum et falsum, quod sit posterius immissum (a).
I have (a) Tert. de Præsc. Hær. p. 213.
I have placed the Authors from whose works I have given extracts, in chronological order, and stated the year in which each lived; and that my Readers might have the means of judging of the: correctness of the translations, which it has been my endeavour to make as literal as is consistent with perspicuity, I have mentioned the edition, volume, and page, from which I have quoted.
There is so close a connexion between the peculiar doctrines of Calvinism, that I have sometimes found occasion to quote the same texts of Scripture, and to use the same arguments, in different Chapters. My design was to make each Chapter a whole; and I trust that this repetition, in the few instances in which it occurs, will be excused. I must also request my Readers to remember, that what I have said concerning the Parochial Clergy, was a part of my
Visitation Charges already mentioned.
At the end of my last Charge, in adverting to the general state of religious opinions in this Country, I noticed the attempts, then recently made, to procure the repeal of the Laws which exclude Roman Catholics from certain offices and 7
situations of trust and power; and I expressed my decided opinion, that those restraints could not be removed without extreme hazard to our Constitution in Church and State. But as this is a subject totally uncounected with the points here discussed, I have not thought it necessary to insert that part of my Charge in the present Work.
Buckden Palace, January 1st, 1811.
p. 107. (note) I. 12. for ó read ou
R E F U Τ Α Τ Ι Ο Ν
CHAPTER THE FIRST.
OF ORIGINAL SIN, FREE WILL, AND THE OPERATION
OF THE HOLY SPIRIT.
T is evident from the account left us by Moses,
that a considerable change took place in the minds of our first Parents immediately after they had transgressed the prohibitory command of God, not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of Good and Evil (a); but the conciseness with which the sacred Historian has described the primitive condition of Man, and his Fall from the state in which he was created, has led to a variety of opinions respecting the effects of Adam's disobedience upon himself and his posterity. Without entering into a detail of the numerous controversies which have arisen in the Christian Church concerning Original Sin, or attempting
to (a). Gen. c. 2. v. 17.