This book is made up of a number of Articles contributed by Dr Cunningham to the British and Foreign Evangelical Review, with a few additions from his manuscript Lectures on Church History. The substance of these Articles originally formed a series of carefully prepared Lectures, delivered to his Class, on the leading Reformers and the character of their Theology ; and they were subsequently transferred to the pages of the Review in which they appeared, with almost no alteration beyond extensive enlargements and additions, and such references to the more recent criticisms upon the Reformers as were suggested by the books reviewed. They were written upon a plan, and as an orderly series of discussions, embracing the leading historical characters, and the great developments of scriptural truth at the time of the Reformation ; and were intended by their Author for separate publication as a connected whole. Happily the series was completed before Dr Cunningham's death; and it now exhibits a full and systematic view of the leading agents, and of the spiritual principles, of that great theological and ecclesiastical movement in the sixteenth century, which constitutes the greatest event in the history of the Church of Christ since the Apostolic Age, and which has bequeathed to us, in the present day, both our Church creeds and our Church polity. The alterations which the Editors, in the exercise of their discretion, have made on the original text, have been more numerous than important, and in no case have affected the substance of the thought or reasoning. They have been guided in these alterations, sometimes by the manuscript corrections made by Dr Cunningham himself; sometimes by the desire to avoid those repetitions and references to passing events, which naturally occur in a series of Articles appearing at intervals in the pages of a periodical ; and sometimes by a conviction — which many years of confidential intercourse with the Author on the subjects handled, as well as his own last instructions to them, enabled and warranted them to act upon — of what he himself would have done had he been permitted to revise, with his own eye, the sheets before publication. The quotations and references have been verified and corrected, with the kind assistance of the Rev. John Laing, Librarian to the New College.
The Editors expect to be enabled in a short time to issue two other volumes similar to the present, and comprising a full review of the leading theological discussions that have taken place in the Christian Church since the Apostolic Age.
New College, Edinburgh, April 1862.
Table of Contents
Leaders of the Reformation
The Reformers and the Doctrine of Assurance
Melancthon and the Theology of the Church of England
Zwingli and the Doctrine of the Sacraments
Calvin and Beza
Calvinism and Arminianism
Calvinism and the Doctrine of Philosophical Necessity
Calvinism and Its Practical Application
The Reformers and the Lessons From Their History