Page:A Collection of Essays and Tracts, Volume 1, Part 1.djvu/17

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This treatise was originally written in Latin, and constituted part of a work, entitled Nubes Testium, or Cloud of Witnesses, which was dedicated to the Archbishop of Canterbury. It gained great applause among the learned, and the part, which is now offered to the public, was translated into English and published in London in the year 1720. The greater portion of the work, from which this article is taken, is made up of copious extracts from ancient and modern writers of high authority, which the author adduces as testimonies, that his opinions respecting fundamental articles are not new or rash, but have been supported by the most enlightened men in all ages of the church. These testimonies are arranged in four classes. The first contains the sentiments of the ancient Fathers; the second embraces extracts from Luther and Lutheran divines; the third from Zuinglins, Calvin, and their followers; the fourth from the Acts of Synods and Councils. "Yet," says the English translator, "our author complains under each class, that, for the most part, men have not been so uniform and consistent with such expressions as might be wished: but produces them as testimonies extorted by the force of truth, which has darted into men's minds with irresistible light, when they have calmly and impartially considered these things." And in regard to the decisions of Synods and Councils, he argues, that their failure has not been owing to any defect