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a popular character, like what we call Congregationalism. But they held that neither this, nor any other form of discipline was divinely ordained for perpetual observance. They considered it to be the prerogative of the civil government, in a Christian land, to regulate these matters, and to organize the Church as it would the army or the judiciary. And to these arrangements, all good subjects were bound to conform. The claim of "divine right" was first advanced in England in behalf of Presbyterianism. This was very strenuously asserted by the learned and long-suffering Cartwright. The Episcopal divines soon took the hint, and set up the same claim in behalf of their order; though, at first, it sounded strange to their own brethren.
Dr. Bancroft, archbishop Whitgift's chaplain, and his successor in the see of Canterbury, maintained in a sermon, preached January 12th, 1588, that "bishops were a distinct order from priests; and that they had a superiority over them by divine right, and directly from God." This startling doctrine produced a great excitement. Sir Francis Knollys, one of Queen Elizabeth's distinguished statesmen, remonstrated warmly with Whitgift against it. In a letter to Sir Francis, who had requested his opinion, Dr. Reynolds observes: "All who have labored in reforming the church, for five hundred years, have taught that all pastors, whether they are entitled bishops or priests, have equal authority and power by God's word; as the Waldenses, next Marsilius Patavinus, then Wicliffe and his scholars, afterwards Huss and the Hussites; and Luther, Calvin, Brentius, Bullinger and Musculus. Among ourselves, we have bishops, the queen's professors of divinity, and other learned men; as Bradford, Lambert, Jewel, Pilkington, Humphrey, Fulke, &c. But why do I speak of particular persons? It is the opinion of the reformed churches of Helvetia, Savoy, France, Scotland, Germany, Hungary, Poland, the Low Countries, and our own. I hope Dr. Bancroft will not say, that all these have approved that for sound doctrine, which was condemned by the general consent of the whole church as heresy, in the most flourishing time. I hope he will acknowledge that he was overseen, when he avouched the superiority of bishops over the rest of the clergy to be God's own ordinance."
Good Dr. Reynolds' charitable hopes, though backed by such an overwhelmning array of authorities, were doomed to be dis
appointed. Bancroft's novel doctrine has been in fashion ever since. Still there are those who soundly hold with Reynolds, that "unto us Christians no land is strange, no ground unholy; every coast is Jewry, every town Jerusalem, every house Sion; and every faithful company, yea, every faithful body, a temple to serve God in. The presence of Christ among two or three, gathered together in his name, maketh any place a church, even as the presence of a king with his attendants maketh any place a
Notwithstanding that Elizabeth was no lover of men puritanically inclined, she felt constrained to notice the eminent learning and services of Dr. Reynolds. In 1598, she made him dean of Lincoln; and offered him a bishopric. The latter dignity he meekly refused preferring his studious academical life to the wealth and honors of any such ecclesiastical station. It is supposed, however, that conscientious scruples had more to do with his declining the office intended for him.
In 1599, he resigned his deanery, and also the mastership of Queen's College, which latter post he had for some time occupied. He was then chosen President of Corpus Christi College, in which office he was exceedingly active and useful till his death.
King James appointed him, in 1603, to be one of the four divines who should represent the puritan interest at the Hampton Court Conference. Here he was almost the only speaker on his side of the question, and confronted the king and primate, with eight bishops, and as many deans. The records of what transpired are wholly from the pen of his adversaries, who are careful. that he should not appear to any great advantage. It is manifest from their own account, that, in this "mock conference," the Puritans were wholly overborne by kingly insolence and prelatic pride. In fact, the whole affair was merely got up to give the king an opportunity to declare himself as to the course of ecclesiastical policy he meant to pursue.
The only good which resulted from this oppressive and insulting conference was our present admirable translation of the Bible. The king scornfully rejected nearly every other demand on the part of the Puritans; but, at the entreaty of Dr. Reynolds, consented that there should be a new and more accurate translation, prepared under the royal sanction. The next year Dr. Reynolds himself was put upon the list of translators. He
labored in the work with zeal, bringing all his vast acquisitions to aid in accomplishing the task, though he did not live to see it completed. In the progress of it, he was seized with the consumption. During his decline, the learned members of the company to which he belonged met regularly every week in his chamber, to compare and perfect their work. Thus he ended his days like Venerable Bede; and "was employed in translating the word of life, even till he himself was translated to life everlasting." During his sickness, his time was wholly taken up in prayer, and in hearing the Scriptures, and translating them.
The papists had spread a report that their famous opposer had recanted his protestant sentiments. He was much grieved at hearing of the rumor; but being too feeble to speak, set his name to the following declaration: "These are to testify to all the world, that I die in the profession of that faith which I have taught all my life, both in my preaching and in my writings, with an assured hope of my salvation, only by the merits of Christ, my Saviour." The next day, May 21st, 1607, he breathed his last, in the sixty-eighth year of his age. His funeral obsequies were attended with great solemnity and academic pomp, and the general lamentation of good men.
His learning and piety are largely attested by his numerous publications, which long continued in high esteem. Dr. Crackenthorp, his intimate acquaintance, though a zealous churchman, gives this account of him: "He turned over all writers, profane, ecclesiastical and divine; and all the councils, fathers, and histories of the church. He was most excellent in all tongues, useful or ornamental to a divine. He had a sharp and ready wit, a grave and mature judgment, and was indefatigably industrious. He was so well skilled in all arts and sciences, as if he had spent his whole life in each of them. And as to virtue, integrity, piety, and sanctity of life, he was so eminent and conspicuous, that to name Reynolds is to commend virtue itself." From other testimonies of the like character, we will only adduce that of the distinguished Bishop Hall of Norwich: "He alone was a well furnished library, full of all faculties, of all studies, of all learning. The memory and reading of that man were near to a miracle."
Such was one of the worthies in the noble company of Translators. Nothing can tend more to inspire confidence in their
version of the Bible, than the knowledge of their immense. acquirements, almost incredible in this age of smatterers, sciolists and pretenders.
How much more to be coveted is the accumulation of knowledge, and the dispensing of its riches to numerous generations, than the amassing of money, and the bequeathing of hoarded wealth! Who would not choose the Christian erudition of an Andrews or Reynolds, rather than the millions of Astor or Girard?
PROSPECTS OF THE TRUTH.
In the prospects of the truth every Christian, in these days, must feel a deep and serious interest. His solicitude leads him at some times to ask, in view of the multitude and progress of 660 my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?" At others, he will rest on such words as these: "Fear not, for they that be with us, are more than they that be with them."
By "the truth," we mean that system of doctrine which Christ and his apostles called "the truth;" "Christ crucified;" "sound doctrine;" and sometimes now called "the doctrine of the Reformation," essentially embodied in the theology of Calvin, Edwards and the New England fathers of the Puritan school. And this designation we employ, as it sets apart sound doctrine in careful distinction from the several systems known in our country by the appellations Arminianism, Pelagianism, New Theology, Perfectionism, Unitarianism, Rationalism, Universalism, Romanism, and its ally, Puseyism. But one system of religion, as such, can be true, and contain the proper elements of a Christian's creed.
It will be fully admitted that there are prospects of the truth which will painfully try the faith of its friends. It is to be tested by opposition, direct and indirect; open and secret; through the pen, the press, yea, the very pulpit itself. It will be tested by perversion, in various forms and degrees of refinement, and under "good words and fair speeches, which deceive the simple;" and by what to the superficial and undiscriminating, will appear, the occasional triumph of error. It is to be tested,
as aforetime, by the ridicule of the flippant, and by the grave ironies of men of strong minds, and who give out their scepticisms or their sober blasphemies, in fine rhetorical periods. Apostacies will continue for a time. "Some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them." Truth has often been tested, and will for a time continue to be, by men, supposed sound in the faith, and from whom charity is slow to withdraw its confidence; but who have struck into erratic courses of thought, and doubtful methods of reasoning; and who have a fondness for making the experiment how near they can approach the brink of ruinous error without falling; and how much they can startle good men with strange announcements on points of doctrine, and still challenge the proof that they are in error.
In short, reasoning from the past and the present to the future, and taking the intimations of the Scriptures, we see in prospect, continued tests of the truth. "The thing that hath been, is that which shall be:" and it is neither wise nor safe for its friends to expect otherwise at present.
But there is a brighter side of this subject; bright as the wisdom, purposes and power of the God of truth can make it, to the eyes of all that love him and his kingdom on earth.
Let us, however, take a preliminary glance at the final destiny of all religious error. Paul, writing to Timothy, of men "ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth," and "reprobate concerning the faith;" says, "but they shall proceed no farther, but their folly shall be manifested." Whatever the forms of corrupt faith, and whether making parts of systems in which there is some truth, or constituting whole systems of error," the time of the end" is on its way. They are predestined to decline and extinction. Though popular, for a time, widely diffused, embraced by the millions, and supported by men of might not a few, patronised by the learned and the rich, and some of them interwoven with the history, the poetry and the eloquence of nations; the record of every such a system, already, has been, like that of the Beast in the Apocalypse, "it was and is not." A fatality like that attending the genera tions of men attends all religious errors; "one passeth away and another cometh."
The zealous propounder of a system of false doctrine spends his own life in refining and improving it; sees his disciples out