Imatges de pÓgina
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• 1** I remember once, when he was urged (in a dispute about government) with the example of our blessed Saviour's suffering as applied by St. Peter, he made no scruple to affirm that the example of our Lord is much more peculiarly fit to be urged to slaves—than to subjects ; a doctrine which will make the ears of a Christian tingle, and ought to make him read with caution a writer so fond of his own notions as to take such steps to defend them.”

On these words his lordship fixes his charge of calumny. Now if it shall appear that this is a proper instance of the thing charged on the bishop; that the words quoted from his lordship are his own words, and make an intire assertion or proposition of themselves, and make the whole of his assertion ; that nothing is left out that can alter the assertion, or make it other than it appears to be; then I hope the world will acquit me of the charge of calumny; and I trust the warmth of any expression used on this occasion may be excused by the nature of the proposition I had under consideration, and the dishonor done by it to our blessed Lord and Master.

I will show the reader then :

1. That the instance was proper. I shall give his lordship’s own account of the occasion of his assertions. His words are these :

The occasion of it was this. This argument from St. Peter's exhorting slaves to be subject to their masters, 'not only to the kind but to the froward,' was urged as implying in it the duty of subjects with respect to their civil rights; and the example of our blessed Saviour being by St. Peter proposed to slaves, it was declared that this example of Christ belongs more, or is more peculiarly fit to be urged, to subjects than to slaves, in order to press the duty of passive obedience on them. Answer to Dr. Atterbury, p. 54. After many other considerations, I add, particularly in answer to this latter allegation, the following passage," p. 64. 65. 66.

His lordship here says that after many other considerations he added the following passage; that is, the passage which contains the proposition I quoted, and his lordship’s proofs of it.

* Answer to Dr. Atterbury, p. 65.

This is in truth the case : his lordship had answered that “ the example (of Christ) is very proper to be recommended to superiors as well as inferiors, to kings and masters as well as to subjects and slaves ;” and that “ the manner, and not the matter, of our suffering is to be taken from the example of our Lord;" that is, that the example of our Lord's sufferings is proper

for all Christians in their several trials and afflictions ; that it belongs to them as Christians, and not as considered under the relations of king and subject, of master and servant; and consequently that the example of Christ cannot be urged to limit or adjust the rights flowing from such relations. Thus his lordship had answered ; and had his lordship stopped here, he would have given no offence: but not content with this, he presses on, and in the true spirit of opposition asserts the very contrary (though he had no occasion so to do) to what was objected to him, and affirms, “it is so far from being true that his example was more peculiarly fit to be recommended to subjects, considered as such, than to slaves, that I think the very contrary to be evident.' And after producing some of his reasons which moved him so to think, he says, I cannot forbear (I am sorry he could not) making the two following observations : the second of which observations is in these

very words ; " and likewise that the example of our Lord is much more peculiarly fit to be urged to slaves, by whose condition he is pleased frequently to describe his own low estate, than to subjects, whose condition is never used to that purpose, and whom he is never said to personate in his lowest and most oppressed condition."

I have stated the case, as I truly think, with all fairness ; and I desire the reader to judge whether this be not an instance of his lordship’s running into extremes out of opposition ? Can any one think that if his lordship had been considering the example of Christ's sufferings, without an objection drawn from it against his own doctrine, that he could possibly have come to say," that Christ's example is much more peculiarly fit to be urged to slaves—than to subjects ?” For my own part I do not believe this of his lordship; and as I placed it at first to the account of the extreme opposition to his adversary, so do I still place it to the same account; and it is therefore, as I con

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ceive, a proper instance, and comes up fully to the point for which it is mentioned.

2. That the words quoted by me are his lordship’s own words. This is not denied.

3. That as they make an intire assertion or proposition of themselves, so do they contain truly the whole of what he asserts, exclusive of his reasons for it. The proposition which his lordship was to confute, as expressed by himself, was this; “ that the example of Christ was more peculiarly fit to be recommended to subjects, considered as such, than to slaves;" and he says that he “thinks the very contrary to be evident." The contrary proposition then was what his lordship was to maintain, and that is fully expressed in the words by me quoted ; and the words which I omitted make no part of the contrary proposition. From whence it is plain that I have given the intire assertion and proposition which his lordship professed to maintain, and intirely in his own words, without adding to or substracting from the proposition which he undertook to justify; that proposition which his lordship laid down at the beginning of paragraph 10, (and is now transcribed into his answer,) and which he labors to maintain to the end of that long paragraph.

4. There is nothing left out in my quotation) that can alter the assertion, or make it other than it appears to be.

The words left out in my quotation contain the reasons given by his lordship for the assertion. A reason brought to support a proposition cannot alter the nature of the proposition, or make it other than it is in itself; and therefore his lordship must not say that the proposition quoted in his own words is not his proposition, because I did not quote his reasons in support of it. The proposition is the same, and expresses the same

, thing, whether the reasons be added or not added. I never before heard that there was any calumny in quoting or reporting a man's principles or assertions, though you did not at the same time report his reasons for them. Indeed the reasons which his lordship himself has now produced to the world, are so far from satisfying even himself, that he seems not willing to rest the cause on them, but has given such an interpretation of hiš words quoted by me, as is inconsistent with the common

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use of language and with common sense. I will insert the paragraph intire where his lordship comes to the pinch of the case.

I hope it is not too shocking to the ears of a Christian dean to affirm that the example of Christ is very fit to be proposed to slaves, in order to engage them to bear the unavoidable evils of their unhappy condition with patience and resignation; because the Apostles themselves have done this. And I beg to know the great difference between saying that this is fit and proper in the positive degree; and saying, in the compa

; rative, that this is more peculiarly fit than to propose it to civil subjects, considered as such."

His lordship’s defence here turns on this, that there is no great difference between saying positively, that the example of Christ is fit and proper to be proposed to slaves; and saying, by way of comparison, that it is (much) more peculiarly fit to be urged to slaves than to subjects. His lordship can see no great difference, and I profess I can see very little similitude between the two assertions. He that says, it is very fit to be proposed to, slaves,' says what is very true ; but he that says, it is much more peculiarly fit to be urged to slaves than subjects,' says what will appear to be very false, and I must still say, very shocking to a Christian. The example of Christ was not purposed to or fitted for any one sort of men more than another; but it is recommended to all as Christians: it was as proper to be urged to King Charles the First in his days of distress, as ever it was to the meanest slave in the Roman empire; for though, as his lordship observes, our Saviour appeared in a low and afflicted condition, yet he descended from the highest and most glorious state; and consequently, his example is equally fit for the highest of the sons of men in their affliction, and for the lowest. How comes his lordship then to affirm that it is inuch more peculiarly fit to be urged to slaves than subjects. Is not the bishop sensible this cannot be defended, when he tells us there is no great difference between this assertion, and saying that the example of Christ is fit to be proposed to slaves ? I desire his lordship would try these two ways of speaking in any other case, and see whether they amount to one and the same thing. Let us try them in a case in which his lordship is concerned. He tells us often that every Christian has a right to interpret the Scripture. Suppose then that I should tell his lordship that it is his sense, that it is fit and proper for the weakest men to interpret Scripture; he would perhaps allow the consequence; but should I tell him that he appears to me to affirm that it is much more peculiarly fit for the weakest men to interpret Scripture than for the wisest and most learned, I am afraid he would complain of very ill usage; and yet why should he, if there be no great difference between these two forms of expression ? It is plain then, that however his lordship in his anger charges me with calumny for quoting his words; yet he himself, after all he can say for them, is not willing to abide by them, and would have the reader believe that there is no great difference between saying, “ that the example of Christ is fit to be proposed to slaves ;” and," that it is much more peculiarly fit to be urged

" to slaves than to subjects.” He that says it is fit for slaves, may say also it is equally fit for subjects ; but he that says it is peculiarly fit for slaves, does imply that there is some degree of unfitness in it with respect to subjects. And what can I do in this case, but appeal to the common sense of mankind ? I am willing to put the cause on this issue, on which his lordship has put it: if there appears no great difference between the two assertions, then am I to be charged; but, in truth, rather with want of sense than with the guilt of calumny. But if these two expressions do greatly differ, then let others judge what his lordship is guilty of in charging me with calumny for reminding him of his own words; words which he has too much sense to defend, and too little ingenuity to retract.

What his lordship confesses, that he has affirmed, “ that our blessed Lord's example is more peculiarly fit to be proposed to the low, poor, and distressed part of mankind, than to the fortunate and rich,” may be true; and yet it will be very wrong and shocking in any one to affirm that the example of Christ is much more peculiarly fit to be urged to a beggar than to a gentleman. But in truth this confession of his lordship appears to me to be a mere fallacy: if he means that an example of patient suffering is more fit to be urged to those who do suffer than to those who do not, he speaks a great truth, but nothing to the present purpose. If he means that our Lord's example

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