Imatges de pÓgina

the assumption of that dictatorial authority; by which an individual deals out his peremptory decrees with that contemptuous disregard of others, which no distinction of talents can excuse, no pre-eminence of learning justify. And when it is considered moreover, that the Professor prepared these Lectures for the press; we think that what Dr. Johnson said of Lord Chesterfield, he might probably, had he been living, have applied on this occasion to Dr. Campbell; by saying, that he had charged his blunderbuss against the Church of England, and left it to his executors to be fired off; because he himself was afraid of the recoil: for the Professor must have known, it is presumed, that there were not wanting Divines in the Church of England, (and I add with pleasure, in the Episcopal Church of Scotland also,) qualified to remove that veil of fallacy, with which, through the concurrent assistance of unfair representation, partial quotation, inconclusive reasoning, and confident assertion, he has contrived to disguise, and thereby disgrace the cause he undertook to maintain.


To what the Professor has thought proper to say on the subject of the Scotch Episcopal Church, the Reviewer of Dr. Campbell's Lectures in the Anti-Jacobin has rendered any farther reply unnecessary. The weakness of the ground the Professor has taken, for the purpose of supporting his illiberal attack on the Episcopal character of the Scotch Bishops, has been so completely laid open by this manly, clear, and judicious critic; that to dwell longer on the subject, would be to trespass on the time and patience of the intelligent reader. I shall only therefore briefly observe; that Dr. Campbell must be little acquainted with the nature of the Christian Church, to suppose that any human authority can annihilate the Apostolical commission of its Divine Founder. And that no suspension in the exercise of that commission has taken place in Scotland, the regular succession of the Scotch Episcopacy furnishes demonstrative proof. Whilst Dr. Campbell's attempt to deprive the Scotch Bishops of their just title to the Episcopal character, grounded on the circumstance of their not having the charge


of any particular diocese to superintend; (were the fact admitted to be strictly true;) appears to have no more of reason to support it, than would the attempt of a lawless banditti, who had made a forcible entry into my parsonage, and by violence driven me from the charge of my parish; to deprive me of my pastoral character, because I had it no longer in my power to feed my particular flock. And when I consider on the one hand, the steps by which Presbytery in Scotland arrived at its present establishment; and on the other, the Christian resignation which has marked the character of the Scotch Episcopal Church during the days of her humiliation ; I feel no hesitation in declaring, on the supposition that Church

government was a subject of more doubtful controversy then it really is; Malo cum Episcopo errare, quam cum Presbyteris rectè sentire.

It is indeed to be lamented, that it is become the fashion in these days, which are remarkable for nothing so much as for the unsettlement of all established institutions, to weigh the Circumstantials of


Religion against the Essentials of it; as if there was a necessity of drawing a comparison between two things, which the Deity designed never to be separated. This plan of setting the purity of religion against the Establishment of it, the author of all confusion has already adopted with signal success; and the Church of Christ in this country, has never completely recovered from the fatal experiment. Did nations grow wise by experience, it might be hoped, that language, which has been so fully understood, should be incapable of leading thinking minds into a second imposition. To those who now make use of it for the same purpose to which it so effectually ministered at a former period of our History, we of the Clergy must, it is supposed, continue to be silent; for we are the last persons they wish to hear. But to those pious well-meaning people, who suffer their minds to be so occupied with one idea on this subject, as to leave little or no place for any other, we beg leave to say a few words, in the hope, that with them our influence is not, as yet, entirely lost.


We would wish them to consider then, that Religion, though a subject of a spiritual nature, must be adapted to the condition of the parties for whom it is designed: That the form and spirit of it, though in themselves essentially distinct from each other, appear nevertheless to have been so connected together by its Divine Author, that their separation has generally proved mutually destructive. A}} true Religion, it should be remembered, bas its source in Revelation. To that saine source the essentials, and for the most part the circumstantials of it also, are to be traced up. Considered in that light, it is our Duty to hold them in equal reverence. The Divine Author of Religion at all times knew by what means the knowledge of it was to be best preserved in the world. Under every dispensation of it, he has not failed therefore to provide accordingly. And by our conformity to the provision made, we may rest assured, the end designed to be answered by it, will be most effectually secured. “ But (to make use of the observation of the judicious Butler,) as it is one of the peculiar weaknesses of hu


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