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Art. I:--The General Prayer-Book ; cieties of Christians (if such there be)
containing Forms of Prayer on Prin- as, agreeing in the general doctrines ciples common to all Christians, for of the gospel, in the desire to unite on Religious Societies, for Families, this foundation, and in the expediency and for Individuals: chiefly selected of a liturgy, are vet of different persuafrom the Scriptures, the Book of sions on some of the controverted points Common Prayer, and the Writings of faith. Churches of this description, of various Authors. By John Prior alone Catholic, will feel the value of Estlin, LL.D. Cr. 8vo. pp. 236. this manual of charity and devotion. Longman and Co. 6s. 6d. 1815. In the Preface, Dr. Estlin states, in
a been the mere symbols of party, sentiments on some of the most inte serving to instruct the several sects in resting topics of Christian morality. their Shiltoleths. One of these com- He thus explains the reasons of his pilations has been the occasion of more nonconformity: misery than any other hundred volumes
“ Approving of the occasional use of which were ever published. From St. printed forms of prayer, both in public Bartholomew Day, 1662, to the pre- and in private, and admiring the style and sent time, its influence has been ma- manner of the Liturgy of the Church of nifested by divisions and excommuni- England, he lamients that he is precluded cations, wounded consciences and from joining in it, by a disbelief of some of broken hearts.
the doctrines which it contains, and a disa We therefore hail the appearance of approbation of the claim to infallibility, a Book of Common Prayer, the design and the intolerant spirit which character. of which is to unite and not to divide, ize one of its fundamental creeds. to support Christianity and not human he was influenced by no sectarian spirit
“In connecting himself with Dissenters, systems, and to promote charity and for the first wish of his heart, until he piety and not what the compiler may was nearly twenty years of age, was to ofdeem ordlodary.
ficiate in the Established Church, and to “Of the following collection of prayers, procure for himself that share of its emothe first form is taken entirely from the luments and honours which was to be Scriptures ; 'the second is taken chiefly obtained by a fair competition, by profrom a Paraphrase on the Lord's Prayer fessional industry, and by consistency of by the Rev. John Simpson; the third, character. trom some Services published about fifty “ It has often been a painful considerayears ago, for the use of a congregation tion to him, and has led to a most unpleain Liverpool; the fourth and fifth, from sant general inference, that kis close alterations of the Common Prayer; and attention to the subject, and his fired dethe sixth, which preserves the mode gene- termination never to sacrifice principle to rally in use aniong Dissenters, from a inclination, should have operated as the Prayer writteu for a Fast-day, and pub- cause of his exclusion. With every pious lished by request of the congregation with mind he would cordially sympathize, if it which the writer is connected. It conse- could be made to appear that the opposite quently contains both the religious and qualities—that ignorance and want of political sentiments of that respectable principle, not only presented no bar, but society. The prayers for Families, for afforded a facility to admission. Individuals and for Young Persons, are “ Further consideration, instead of repartly original and partly taken from the moving, only increased his difficulties, until Essex-street Liturgy, from the services of he was forced at last to rest in the convicDr. Enfield, Mr. Kingsbury, Mr. Merivale, tion, that as conformity to the mode of and the Prayers published by the Unita- religion established in this country would rian Society.". Pref. Pp. xvi. xvii. require hiin to subscribe about two hun
Both the original and the selected dred and fifty propositions, miny of which forins in this volume appear to us an- which he considered as unscriptural and
he did not believe, and to read creeds swerable to the professions of the con intolerant, and above all, to lead the devopiler, and to be drawn up." on Princi- tions of a congregation when he could not ples common to all Christians." They accompany them with his heart; such will be found of great use to such so conformity in bin, would be nonconformity,
Dr. Estlin's General Prayer-Book. to the first principles of Christianity and that some hundreds of propositions on the Protestantism, and to the eteriral laws of most abstruse points of theology, should truth, as well as to every principle of for centuries constitute the faith of so Christian humility and eharity.” Pp. iv. v. many thousands as from some motive or The following thoughts on “Sab- other are induced to subscribe what are
called the thirty-nine articles. scription,” are worthy of serious con
“ An alataning, and ajustly to be dreaded sideration :
effect of this adherence to ancient establish“ It is an idea which has forcibly taken ments is, that it will probably lead to atpossession of his mind, that a subscription tempts to bring down the standaril of moto articles of religion which are not be- rality to human institutions, instead of lieved, is ihe condition of obtaining any endeavouring to raise human institutions worldly advantage--the subscription to and to the standard of morality. And if this repetition of creeds which are so far froin be not a national corruption of morais, being the actual creed of the subscriber or what is?” Pp. v. vii. Tepeater, that he himself is sentenced by
Dr. Estlin considers, and we thinks them to everlasting perdition--above all, professing to worship the God of Truthi, justly, that he only is a Churdh-man, when the heart is at variance with the lips, who believes the Athanasian Creed. -if it be not that specific crime for the “ It would seem to be a question of easy commission of which tro persons were solution, what is it which constitutes & strieken dead by an apostle, is a species of churcbinan? Can it be any thing else crime comprehended under that generic than a belief in the creeds and articles of character which is laid down by the apostle the church, manifested by a correspondrit to excite a suitable horror on this awful conduc! ? It is true a inan may profiss occasion.
himself a churchman, without this belief. “ If there be any foundation for this It is equally true, a man who disbelieves apprehension, if moral evils of this nature the divine mission of our Saviour, or even actually exist, as soon as their existence is an Atheist, may profess himself a Christian. generally kuown and adverted to, it is pre- “ A churchman, then, is one who ensumed that the integrity of the nation will braces the following creed.
“ Wbosoever be as steadily directed to the means of re- will be saved, before all things it is nemoving them, as the benevolence of the cessary that he hold the Catholic faith. nation was to the means of effecting the Which faith, except every one do keep abolition of the slave-trade. The causes whole and undefied, without doubt he shall are obvious; the remedies may be applied perish everlastingly.” A man who believes with perfect facility, and they cannot; this may undoubtedly, consistently with refrom the nature of things (for they are ligious integrity, read it or join in it, and agreeable to the nature of things which be a member of a church of which this has been obstructed only because they were forms a constituent part. But nothing not applied before, they cannot) be attended appears clearer to the compiler of these with any inconvenience whatever.
forms of prayer, than that the person who “ Sach ehanges have been produced in attends the service of the church without mea's religious opinions by that great in- believing this, is by profession a churchnovator Time, that, notwithstanding some man, but in principle a dinsenter." P. ixa symptoms of a retrograde inarch of mind
The author expresses himself very to the darkest ages, the understanding of a man cannot be moulded into an ac
strongly, but wito will say too stronglys quiescence in the infallibility of the com
on Dr. Paley's celebrated chapter in posers of our articles and liturgy, or of the the Moral Philosophy. infallibility of Elizabeth and her parliament, “ The writer of these remarks wishes, under whom they received the sanction of bowever, to add one word more on the law, or of Charles the Second and his par- subject of religious integrity. It is with kament, by whom this sanction was cond the sentiment of disapprobation that lie firmed. The absurdity of a similar esta« alway reads Dr. Paley's t'hapter on liies. blishment in medicine every person would It is with unspeakable pain that he reads immediately perceive ;' and it is presumed that on Ouths to obsirve lucrl Studies, that few physicians at present, whatever It is with horror that be retus that of might have been the case among the an- Subscription to Articles of Religi ??. Bicient Egyptians, would submit to be ment- cellent as the works of this author are ia bers of such an establishment. Institutions general, it appears to him, that in these supposed useful in certain circumstances instances he has surrendered the citadel of (not that the utility of sanctioning by law truth. The united exertims of men vi human creeds or human articles in any religious integrity, from all denominations circumstances is acknowledged) may sur- of Christians, be trusts will so angain it. vive their utility. It is hard to conceive Farther this accommodating wiiter could
not go : the pen dropt; and no chapter is a preface, a posthumous tract of Mr. to be found in his work, in which an at- Thomas Moore, entitled, An Inquiry tempt is made to defend insincerity in the into the Nature of our Saviour's Agony in worship of Almighty God.
tbe Garden.'--Mr. Moore was a woollen“ The appeal is made to every pious draper in Holywell Street, Strand; a parent, and to every ingenuous youth, thinking nian and studious in the scripwhether the taking of oaths which are not tures. The design of his pamphlet is to to be observed, and the subscription to account for our Lord's agony, from tho articles which are not believed, as the first series of events which befel hiin during step of a preparation for the Christian mi- the latter part of his ministry, without nistry, would not be succeeded, as its second supposing it to have been the result of step, by joining in the worship of God with any preternatural inflictions.'". Pp. 103, lying lips; and whether such a repetition 104; and note. of sounds can be called the worship of God
We take notice of this tract in order at all." P. x.
to suggest that if any person possessing Every enlightened mind will take it will entrust it to our care by means pleasure in the author's benevolent spe- of our publishers, we will cause it to culations with regard to the progress of be re-printed. There is a sermon, “pure and undefiled religion.' also, on the same subject, which we
“ The return of peace; the general cir- beg leave to inquire after, with the culation of the Bible and the extension of same view: the following character the ability to read it; the recognition and of it and of the author is taken from the bringing into exercise of many general Wakefield's Evidences of Christianity, principles, which in former ages were only 2nd edit. 8vo. 1793, pp. 136, 137 :occasionally discerned, and soon obscured “ But I forbear to enlarge on this by the clouds of ignorance and prejudice, subject of our Lord's agony,
because are most auspicious circumstances; and in it has been discussed with much good the midst of so much enthusiasnı, superstition and bigotry on the one side, and friend, the Rev. Timothy Wylde, late
tense and perspicuity, by my venerable indifference on the other, are highly consolatory and grateful to the feeling mind. naster of the free-school in Nöttingham,
in “ There is a rotation of interlectual
2 sermoni preached almost sixty-three, taste, as well as of outward fashion. The years ago at that place, upon Matt. attributes of God; the character of his xxvi. 39,* from which I shall quote administration; the everlasting state of the three reasons assigned for this exs mankind; the means of obtaining and en- traordinary emotion of our Saviour: joying that felicity for which God has de- “]. The first ground of Christ's fear signed us; the obligations of religious in- and agony I shall mention, is his tegrity, and Christian humility and charity; knowing beforehand the particular cirin a word, the science of religion and mo- cumstances of his torment and death, rals, with a view to its practical application, “9. Another reason of our Saviour's will not, in every period of the world, be fear and disorder was, the remarkable considered as the least important of all the severity of his sufferings, and the many subjects which can employ the attention of circumstances of cruelty with which the human mind." P. xvi.
his death was attended. Art. II.-The History and Antiquities for our Saviour's fear of death (and
“'3. The only other reason I assign of Dissenting Churches, &c. [Continued from p. 292.]
what I principally rely on), is his NAT ATHANIEL LARDNER, D.DE which depended on his dying well.
sense of the important consequences is one of the few names of which all the Dissenters make their boast. who reasons on each of these propo
“ Thus far this intelligent preacher, A full account of him is here given sitions in a rational, convincing and from the memoirs already existing instructive manner." It is a circumstance not generally known, says Mr. Wilson, I. 91, that
To return to the History: Mr. Wilhe coinmenced his stated labours in son having given an account of the the ministry at an ancient meeting the Logos, drops a reflection which we
publication of Dr. Lardner's Letter on house in Hoxton Square. Here he
cannot pass over : preached for a few years as assistant to his father, Mr. Richard Lardner.
“ The author is still alive, and has “ In the year 1757, Dr. Lardner, in the full enjoyment of his intellect, in ex-? conjunction with the Rer. Caleb Fleming, treme old age. The sermon well deserves kevised for publication and introduced with re-publication."
Pavicu.—Wilson's Dissenting CPurchas.
343 " It is with extreme concern that we of this gentleman is introduced into place so great a man as Dr. Lardner on the History, in consequence of Dr. The list of Socinian authors, who, how- Lardner's having revised the manuever respectable, on account of their la- script of his 'Treatise on the True Docbours in the cause of literature, bare con- trinc of the New Testament concerntributed by their writings to 'poison the ing Jesus Christ, and the following streams of divine truth and promote an universal scepticism in matters of belief." biographical note is subjoined :P. 105.
“ Mr. Cardale was educated for the To this uncharitable assertion is ministry under Dr. Latham, at Findern,
in Derbyshire. About the year 1785, aduled a still more uncharitable note :
he settled at Eresbam, where he preached “ We hare somewhere met with an about forty years, till his death, early in observation of the celebrated Dr. Taylor 1775. At the last, he had about twenty of Norwich, which is much to our present people to hear hiin, having ruined a fine purpose. The Doctor, who was a zealous congregation by his very learned, dry and Socinian, and a learned tutor at Warring- critical discourses, an extreme heaviness ton, expressed his surprise' low it hap- in the pulpit, and an almost total neglect pened that most of his pupils turned of pastoral visits and private instruction.* Deists.' The fact, it seems, he admitted; He wroie sereral pieces in a dull, tedious but he never thought of accounting for it way in favour of Socinianism. In common from the sceptical tendency of Socinian with otber writers of his stamp, he endeaprinciples." 16.
vours to impress his readers with an idea It is an unfavourable augury when that every creed promulgated under the an historian is extremely concerned and
name of Christian, is equally acceptable manifestly reluctant to reiate historical that ihere is no such thing as religious
to the Divine Being; or, in other words, trath. Þr. Lardner was in opinion truth. His publications, according to Dr. what he saw reason for being; and it Kippis, t bad considerable influence in is not for his biographers either to hide drawing over persons to his own opinions." his faith or to sit in judgment upon it. P. 106. Such a man could not believe without, much less against, evidence.
There is great indecorum in the at
tack The pleasure of vilifying “ Socini
upon the ministerial character of
Mr. Cardale, who we knew was respectan authors" is, we believe, very great : ed and beloved by his hearers. Job Orstill
, it was hardly to be expected that, ton's authority is not sufficient for the with Lardner at their head, they should be characterized as a class of charge: Orton was subject to fits of inen who " have contributed by their bear the marks of severity and intola
ill-humour, and many of his letters. writings to poison the streams of divine
rance. truth and promote an universal scepticism
Did not Mr. Wilson perceive the in mattors of l-elief!" The citation of such a sentence is reprobation enough.
inconsistency of describing Cardale as Mr. Wilson must excuse our doubt- a dull
, tedious writer, and at the same ing the truth of the anecdote relating tion of Dr. Kippis, that he was suc
time of admitting, on the representato Dr. Taylor. He should not have told such a story without being pre
cessful in making converts by his pared to allege his authority. His publications ? Let the historian read somewhere" will, we suspect, turn
the works which he has censured and out to be no-u:here. If we wrong him, and judgment and talents, and that
he will find that they display learning he may set himself right with our readers in the department of our work rank
as a writer, yet one which will
the author occupies, if not the first allotted to Correspondence. We have no satisfaction in making dence of his readers.
ever secure him the
respect and conti. objections to Mr. Wilson's work,
Mr. Cardale, says the historian, in which, upon the whole, we consider highly valuable and interesting, but common with other “ Socinians," enwe feet it to be a duty to endeavour to deavours to shew that there is no such prevent his poisoning the streams of his thing as truth! Astounded at this astoric truth and promoting an universal sertion, we took down from its shelf srepticism in matters of ecclesiastical history; and therefore we cannot pass # “ Orton's Letters to Dissenting Miby the account of Mr. Paul Cardale nisters, vol. i. p. 154.” without animadversion. The name + “Life of Lardner, p. 67,"
our copy of The True Doctrine, and for the Historian led us to look into almost the first passage which met our Mr. Cardale's other principal work, cye, was the following, which we ex- The Gospel Sanctuary; where we were tract for Mr. Wilson's information :
equally at a loss for any one sentence “ The principal thing, therefore, to justify Mr. Wilson's censure: we that I would recommend and incul- found one passage, however, which, cate, is, a love of truth. This is the though it does not bear him out in his most promising and likely way to be condemnatory criticis:n, may possibly led into it, the best preparative for re- set him right in spirit? ceiving it, and, in all cases, the best “ Christians, as such, would do well preservative against every dangerous to consider, that one eminent branch error and delusion. It is for want of or precept of this gospel is churity, this, that there are multitudes in the (charity in respect to other men's opi. world who' labour under mental sla- nions, and our own temper and conduct very and oppression, and are hardly towards them that differ from us,) and ever sensible of it. Reason must al- that the peculiar doctrines of Christian· ways be dormant, and in a state of ity do, in the strongest manner, recomcaptivity, when there is no disposition niend and enforce it. All uncharitableand relish for free inquiry. And I ness is unrightcousness : it is iniquity; or cannot but lay the greater stress upon a manifest breach of the gospel rule, this, as the apostle, when speaking which is a rule of equity, and contrary of the grand apostacy, thus accounts 10 the very spirit and design of it. for it, telling us, that, because men When professed Christians, in open received not the love of truth, they erred defiance of this noble maum, grow to their own destiuction. See that angry with those that differ from them, remarkable passage in 2 Thess. ii. 10, call"in question their honesty, deny II, &c. where the apo tle strongly them the rights of common humanity, intimates, that persons need net, or and are for propagating what they call sather cannot be deluded, by the lying truths in the way of the Alcoran, not of wonders, the unrighteous and frau- the Bille; this is the lane of Christiandulent wiles of the man of sin, if they ity, and inconsistent with all true reliare lovers of truth and virtue. It is gion: or, this is that bitter zeal, (as the only upon other characters, that God, apostle truly describes it,) which is at any time, sendeth strong delusion, carthly, sensual, and devilish, and ought so that they should believe a lie, or never to have a place, or a name, amongst embrace the inost absurd and foolish Christians, amongst Protestants.” Pref. things, &c. whercas the mind of a pp. xx. xxi. trul, honest man, who sincerely loves The historian sinks into the partizan and seeks the truth, being free froin in the description of Dr. Lardner's chaevery corrupt and criminal bias, will racter, (p. 111.) It is needless to quote seldom, if ever, err, in any matters of Mr. Wilson's words : the purport of real importance. Truth of every kind, them is that he wishes Dr. Lardner and especially religious truth, will be had believed as he (Mr. W.) believes, always dear to him. He will, e. g. regrets that Dr. Lardner should have inquire after and cordially embrace assisted in the destruction of the faith of whatever appears to be țhe truth of Christians, and disavows moderation the gospel, however contrary, it may and charity where “ Socinianism" is be to his former opinions, to the faith concerned ! Charity, for a system of his own, or to the articles of any that stabs at the very vitals of Christother church.Upon the same prin- ianity, is no longer a virtue, but a ciple, he will alwayɛ act as conscience crime!" Were the History disgraced persuades, and be strictly just and with many passages of this ridiculous, true to the light and sentiments of his insolent character, we should take little own mind; knowing, that, how light interest in it; but regarding Mr. Wila matter soever some persons make of son's intolerance as occasional and as ii, conscience is very much concerned an exception to the usual spirit which in stedfastly adhering to what we ap- he breathes in these pages, we deem prehend to be the truth, how wide or ourselves not ill-employed in pointing different soever it may be from the out places where he may employ the apprehensions of others.” Pref. Ess. pruning-knife with credit to himself. pp. 68, 69.
George Benson, D.D. was another Having read this passage, our concern of the eminent men who preached in