April 5, 2016

Henry Hickman’s (d.1692) Reply to Peter Heylin (1599–1662) on John Hooper (c.1495/1500–1555), Hugh Latimer (c.1487–1555), John Calvin (1509–1564), and Reprobation

I have all this while said nothing of Bishop Hooper and Bishop Latimer, out of whose Writings the Doctor hath transcribed so much. And truly the things transcribed out of them are so impertinent that it would be no hazard to my Reader if I should wholly pass them over in silence. Yet I will not; but first shall say something of the men, secondly of their writings. Latimer was once a very hot Papist, as himself acknowledgeth against himself. Being converted from Popery, he was as zealous for the Reformed Religion; boldly reproving the sins of all, whether Rulers or Ruled. In his Sermons he used a style, which perhaps was then accounted elegant; but would now be judged ridiculous, at least unbeseeming the Pulpit. Hooper I look upon as one that feared the Lord from his youth; for he chose from his youth to leave Oxford, that he might not ensnare his conscience. Beyond the Seas he fell into acquiantance with the learned Henry Bullinger; and returned not into England till the Reign of King Edward: when he gained more love from the Laicks, than Clergy, being a stiff Non-conformist. Hand in drawing up the Articles of Religion he had none, one of them being diametrically opposite to his declared judgment; yet because he was very great, both for piety and learning, as his writings evidently show, therefore his judgment is not to be sleighted. And if Dr. Heylin have proved, or any one else can prove, that he and Latimer held the opinions afterwards called Arminian; I will grant that those opinions were not by the Protestant Church in King Edward’s time adjudged intolerable. Whether they held them or no? must be considered. First, I yield that they both asserted Universal Redemption. This being granted, the Doctor dare say, that

Dr. H[eylin]. Part 2. page 50.
He, (Mr. Hickman he means,) will not be confident in affirming, there can be any room for such an absolute Decree of Reprobation, antecedaneous and precedent to the death of Christ, as his great Masters in the School of Calvin have been pleased to teach him.
Ans. Mr. Hickman’s mind is best known to himself, so are his great Masters in the School of Calvin, if he ever had any such; but this I am confident of, that Calvin’s Decree of Reprobation may be maintained, and yet Universal Redemption not denied. Monsieur Amyrald [Amyraut], as great a Scholar as this last age hath afforded, hath in a whole Book defended Calvin’s absolute Decree against Mr. Hoard; yet the same Amyrald most strenuously defends Universal Redemption. Two Dissertations also of Bishop Davenant are published by careful and faithful hands: in the first, he sets himself to assert Universal Redemption by Christ; in the second, to assert Personal, both Election and Reprobation.

Let us see now what the Doctor can find in Latimer and Hooper.

Dr. H. Part 2. pag. 37.
Latimer in his Sermon on Septuages. rebukes those vain Fellows who abuse Election and Reprobation to carnal Liberty, or Presumption.
Answ. Why so doth Calvin, so doth Ursin[us], so do our Divines at the Synod of Dort.

Dr. H. page 38.
Hooper in his Preface to the ten Commandments, saith, “We must not extenuate Original Sin, nor make God the Author of Evil; nor yet say, that God hath written fatal Laws, with the Stoicks, and in the necessity of destiny violently pulleth one by the hair into Heaven, and thrusteth the other headlong into Hell.”
Answ. All this is just according to Calvin’s method. No Calvinists say, that God’s Decree offereth violence to Man’s Will, or pulleth a man into Heaven. Only they say, that Electing love makes men willing, and that Holiness is an effect of Election. As for Sin, that, they say, is not an effect of Reprobation, but only a Consequent. I, but

Dr. H. page 39.
Bishop Latimer teacheth us, that we are to enquire no further after our Election, than as it is to be found in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Answ. Why so teach the Calvinists too, that our Election is not to be known, but by our knowledge of our interest in Christ. But the Anticalvinist will not say with Latimer, If thou findest thy self in Christ, then art thou sure of eternal life: He saith, A man may be in Christ, and be a Reprobate; a man may be in Christ to day, and in Hell to morrow.

Perhaps the Doctor will find more against Calvinistical Reprobation; or if he do not, he must be concluded to have beaten the Air. First we must hear what he makes Calvinistical Reprobation to be. ‘Tis that, he saith,

Dr. H. Part 2. pag. 47.
By which the far greater part of mankind are pre-ordained, and consequently pre-condemned to the the pit of torments, without any respect had unto their sins and incredulities. This is generally, he saith, maintained and taught in the Schools of Calvin.
Ans. If it be so, then I am sure I never was in any School of Calvin; for I never heard or read of any such Reprobation: nay, I never read of any person whatsoever, that asserted such a Reprobation. Sundry famous Schoolmen, quoted by Dr. Rivet in his fifth Disputation de Reprobatione, were of opinion, that if God had decreed even innocent creatures to eternal damnation, he had decreed nothing unworthy of himself; and they seem to have but too much countenance for this bold and audacious Tenent from a passage of St. Austin’s, in his 16. cap. de Praedestinatione & Gratia: But the Calvinists (as many as I have met with) say, that as God never actually damned any man but for sin, so he never decreed to damn any but for sin. All that they say is but this, that Whereas Judas and Peter were both alike corrupted by the fall, and both alike apt by nature to abuse and reject grace, the reason why God determined effectually to cure the corruption of Peter and not of Judas, was the mere good pleasure of his will. The Calvinists are not engaged to say, that God reprobates any man who was not worthy to be reprobated. All that their opinion obligeth them to, is but this, Not to make sin the cause of preterition or non-election, comparatively considered. And against such preterition there is nothing in the Prayers of our Church, nothing in Latimer, nothing in Hooper, nothing in Cranmer, nothing in the whole Tenth Chapter of the Doctor’s second Part. And it is a wonder, that so ancient a Divine should trouble himself in so many pages to do execution upon a mere Chimæra: and yet this employment was so pleasing and acceptable to him, that he falls to it again in his Eleventh Chapter; In which, page 64, he makes the main Controversie in the Point of man’s Conversion to move upon this hinge, Whether the influences of God’s grace be so strong and powerful, that withall they are absolutely irresistible, so that it is not possible for the will of man not to consent unto the same? But they that have either read the determinations of the Synod of Dort, or Calvin’s own Institutions, know, that the Controversie moves upon no such hinge: but this is the Question, Whether when converting Grace hath produced the whole effect God designed it unto, man still remains unconverted, and indifferent either to turn himself or not turn himself unto God? If converting Grace do leave a man thus indifferent, they say, that Conversion is rather to be ascribed to man than God; and that Paul made himself to differ from other Persecutors, and not God. But they never say, that God forceth or offereth violence unto the natural faculty of the will, or destroyeth any liberty that is essential to it. If any violence be offered, it is only unto corrupt lusts, and sinful inclinations; in which, I hope, I may have fair liberty to say, that the freedom of man’s will doth not consist. Let but any one fairly and impartially state this Question, by drawing Propositions concerning it out of the Writings before mentioned, and he will find nothing in Hooper or Latimer contradictory. The tenth Article of King Edward’s he will find perfectly to express the mind of the Calvinists. And so I might dismiss this matter, had not the Doctor thought meet page 67, as also in another Writing, to smite at us with a Dilemma, or something like a Dilemma, grounded upon the omitting of this Article in Queen Elizabeth’s time. Either this Article did favour Calvinism, or it did not: If it did not, why do the Calvinists alledge it? If it did, why is it in our latter Editions of the Articles left out? We have learnt from Logick, that such Dilemmas are not to be used, which may be inverted or retorted upon those that make them; and such is the present Dilemma, apparently, notoriously such. For thus I argue, Either this Article is Anti-calvinistical, or it is not: If it be not, why doth the Doctor produce it as such? If it be, why did our Reformers in Queen Elizabeth’s time (who were, as he would fain persuade us, Anticalvinistical) leave it out? He must either answer for himself, or not expect that we should answer for our selves: which yet we could easily do, did any Law of Disputation require it of us; for this might be the reason of the omission, because there was nothing in King Edward’s tenth Article, but what doth naturally and lineally descend from our present seventeenth Article.
Henry Hickman, Historia Quinq-Articularis Exarticulata; Or, Animadversions on Doctor Heylin’s Quinquarticular History (London: Printed for Robert Boulter at the Turks-head in Cornhil over against the Royal Exchange, 1674), 179–183.


Note: William Lorimer, Richard Baxter and Andrew Fuller, in addition to Hickman above, all claimed that John Hooper and Hugh Latimer taught universal redemption, in the sense that Christ satisfied for the sins of all men.

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