« AnteriorContinuar »
clearly perceiving his intentions, detected, and fully ex. ploded his falsehood and calumnies.
These are the principal WRITINGS he published, before he attacked the great Bellarmine, the stoutest champion of the popish cause; whom he met in the plain open field, and began the combat relative to the whole controverted points, and fairly overthrew his adversary. First, he began the controversies about the scriptures, which, in six questions methodically proposed, and most accurately and successfully handled, he published in the year 1588. Then proceeding in order, he entered upon the controversy relating to the church, and discussed it in seven questions : Then, that concerning the councils, in six questions ;--- that, concerning the Pope, in eight ;--that, about Ministers and Presbyters, in five;-that of Departed Saints, in six ;-that, of the Church Triumphant, in seven;
that, of the Sacraments in general, in eight ;--that, of Baptism, in six ;--and that, of the Eucharist, in five. It is to be wished he had revised and published them all at his leisure ; which was the earnest desire of his hearers, to whose very great admiration and approbation he had managed the whole controversy. But being carried on by a desire of answering Bellarmine in all the controversies, he kept these studied disputations by him, hoping for (what
did not afterwards happen) a more convenient opportu_nity for publishing them. For, while he was thus fighting in the cause of Christ on earth, against the ministers of antichrist; he was called to triumph with Christ in heaven.
In managing all these controversies, he used the greatest care and diligence ; reading, agreeable to the statutes, twice or thrice every week all term-time, unless hindered by some more important business, which very seldom happened, and which he diligently guarded against. He treated his adversaries ingenuously, frankly, and as became a gallant soldier ; always, without reluctance, granting what was proper to be yielded; never satyrically inagnifying, or craftily dissembling their strongest arguments : but having faithfully collected and recited them, he unravelled the knot, in which the whole force of the argument lay hid, and refelled it with the greatest dexterity and skill. In short, he dealt peaceably, modestly, and gently, without taunting, bantering, wrath, deceit, or insidious language; so that you might easily see him to be no cunning and obstinate partisan, but a most studious searcher after divine truth, Nevertheless, during
the silence of Bellarmine, with whom Whitaker chiefly engaged, Thomas Stapleton, professor of Louvain, when just dropping into the grave, ripped up as it were the whole disputation of Whitaker, relating to the third question, of the first controversy, concerning the Scriptures, in a very yoluminous book, in his own profuse style. This angry, raižing, old man, lest he should foolishly think himself too wise, Whitaker, contrary to custom, answered a little roughly; in which he imitated the physicians, who, as Plutarch, out of Sophocles, says, ' expel bitter choler by s bitter medicines.'
There still remain several Tracts, which it is much to be wished had been published: Such are, “ some Discourses before the clergy, delivered at the beginning of every year, and attended by a great concourse of the whole university :--Some short, but judicious Determinations of the Theological Questions in the public şchools, when the annual disputations are made, according to custon, for obtaining degrees ; which disputations were Numerous, and all written with his own hand. Also a little book against Stapleton, on original sin, fully written put and prepared for the press, in which the sophistry and superstition of Stapleton were displayed. This was the last work he finished before he left the world.”
Dr Whitaker was twice married, for which Stapleton upbraids him, in his book published in the year 1592, as a matter of reproach ; not considering the words of the Lord, Matt. xix. il. All cannot receive this saying ; and of the Apostle Paul, 1 Cor. ix. 5. Have we not all power to dead about a sister, a wife ? &c. and of his directing Timo. phy as to the office of a bishop, 1 Tim. iii. 2. A biskop must be the husband of one wife. But, if, Papist-like, Stapleton hell the councils and fathers to be of superior authority to the scriptures, he might have remembered, what, upon the motion of Paphnutius who was a bachelor, the council of Nice decreed concerning the marriage of priests; nor have forgotten what St Augustin taught : « Truly,' says he, one who is married, that is faithful and obedisent to God, is preferable to one that is continent, s but of less faith and obedience.' Whitaker differed in no one instance, more widely from the Papists in general, and Hoffæus in particular, thạn in the article of matrimony. Hoffæus was an assistant at Rome, and a counsellor of the pope, and is reported to have said, “That a
priest sins less by living in adultery, than by marrying a wife.' Whitaker was no advocate for unnatural lusts,
hor practised them, like great numbers among the Roa tish priests, jesuits, and cardinals. I might add, not even those holy fathers, the popes, are free either from the suspicion or the crime of this filthiness. But Whitaker lived temperately, and practised chastity; not that kind which these Pharisees erroneously follow, and unchastely and basely obtrude upon their oath-breaking votaries; but that which God instituted in Paradise, Gen. ii. 24. which Christ honoured with his presence in Cana of Galilee, John ii. 2. which the apostle called a remedy against lust, 1 Cor. vii. 2; 9. and in fine, which all sound divines acknowledge to be lawful for ministers of the gospel, as well as for other men.
Whitaker honoured nuptial chastity, by making choice of a young lady that was modest, chaste, a true believer, full of good works, and especially of almıs-giving to the poor, whom she cheerfully maintained and supported according to her income, and almost beyond it. Her parents were of honourable descent, and remarkable for true piety; who comforted and encouraged the faithful under the cruel persecution of bloody Q. Mary, and sent yearly a large sum of money for the support of the pious exiles. This lady dying two years afterwards, he married the widow of the learned Dudley Fenner, of Cambridge. By these two wives our Author had eight children, whom he carefully brought up in the principles of true religion and virtue.
In the government of his college he was easy and gentle, agreeable to the mildness of his own disposition and to the liberality of a gentleman and a scholar. He was remote from every suspicion of covetousness, as appears from the attestation of all who lived under his instructions, and the slender income with which he supported himself and family. His first concern was to enlarge the public interest of his college, by all due means; and he really added nothing to his own estate. Yet he performed excellent service for the university, and also for the whole church of England, the peace and unity of which in truth he above all things studied ; and employed himself for composing some controversies, very lately sprung up relative to religion, the very last week before he died. He set out for London with the dean of Ely, professor of Queen’s-college, who treated of the controverted points with Whitgift, archbishop of Canterbury, and several other bishops and learned divines, who were all unanimous and agreed in their doctrine. This was drawn up in the form of the “ Nine Articles,”
commonly called the « Lambeth Articles," because Dr Whitaker drew them up at the palace at Lambeth. They were approved by the archbishops of both provinces, the bishops of London and Bangor, and other bishops and learned men of the church, and by them sent to Cambridge, (where they were highly approved by the whole university), to compose the differences which had arisen by two free-willers ; namely, Barret, and Peter Baro, a Frenchman, Lady Margaret’s professor in that university. And, as they contain the undoubted sense of our most orthodox church, respecting those important doctrines of predestination, election, perseverance, free-will, assurance, saving faith, efficacious grace, &c. we have subjoined them both in Latin and English ; presuming that the perusal of them may be acceptable to the Reader *. Dr Whitaker's journey to London being in the middle of winter, but espe
6. A man truly faithful, that is, such a one as is endued with justifying faith, is certain with the full alurance of faith of the remiffion of his fins and his everlasting falvation by CHRIST.
7. Gratia falutaris non tribuitur, non communicatur, non conceditus univerfis hominibus, quâ fervari pollint fi voluerint.
7. Saving cially his excessive hard study, and the very little time allotted for sleep, are supposed to have been the causes of the disease under which he laboured on the road, and of which, having returned to Cambridge, he soon after died.
In the whole course of his sickness he discovered a great submission to the will of GOD; expressing himself in prayer in the words of Job, --- () Lord my irod, though thous killest me, get, I am sure, with these eyes I shall see thee ; for in thee do I hope. To a friend, who one morning asked him how he did, he answered, --- () happy night! I “ have not taken so sweet a sleep since my disease fell “ upon me.” But his friend finding him in a cold sweat, and telling him that signs of death appeared on him, he answered, Life or death is equally welcome to me, “ which God pleaseth : But death will be my gain, I « desire not to live, but only so far as I may promote « the honour of God, and do his church service.” About eight o'clock on the Thursday morning, of the fourth day' of December; 1695, he quietly resigned his breath, and sweetly fell asleep in Jesus, in the forty-seventh year of his age: Having filled the professor's chair about sixteen years, and after being master of St John's-college almost nine. He was buried with great solemnity and general lamentation in the chapel of the same college ; where an epitaph is placed in the wall over his grave.
As to his character; it fully appears that Dr Whitaker was a pious holy man, of an even grave demeanour; and not abroad only, but at home among his domestics. He was very remarkable for patient bearing of injuries; and though many were done to him, he never made revenges to any body; but was so obliging to all who could expect no good of him, through his love to religion and peace, that in the strictest sense of the word, he might be said, to return good for evil. To the poor and needy he was extremely kind and liberal, according to his circumstances, yet not in the way of pomp and shew, in order
7. Saving grace is not given, is not communicated, is not granted to all men, by which they may be saved if they will.
8. Nemo poteft venire ad Chriftum, nifi datumi ei fuerit, et nisi Pater eum traxerit; et omnes homines nion crahuntur à Patre ut veniant ad fi. lium.
8. No man can come unto CHRIST, unless it be given unto him, and ugg less the Father draw him; all men are not drawn by the Father, that they may come to the Son.
'9. Non est pofitum in. arbitrio' aut poteftate uniuscujusque hominis fervari.
9. It is not in the will or power of every one to be faved.