Imatges de pÓgina

But when besides these impertinent duct of even those martyrs and forms and injunctions, the church confessors, who shine so illustri. with whom I join, does absolutely ously in the annals of former ages. require its members explicitly to I am sensible, Sir, that the gen. profess and maintain a doctrine eral excuse alleged by those who not only contrary to my natural statedly attend un divine services conceptions of the Divine Being; which they do not approve is, that but which on the strictest enquiry they take care to separate in their I likewise find to be contradictory ideas, and to assent or dissent acto the express revelation of his cording to the matter delivered.will : When its offices are blended But as the vigour and ardency of throughout with such essential our devotion must be much inter. errors, as ascribing the supreme rupted by such a practice, so it is glory of the God and Father of certainly much more expedient to all to subordinate beings; of whom offer up our addresses to the Fa. the same scriptures, which inform ther of Spirits with those (if such us of their existence, have assured there are,) of whom we cannot us that all that power they pos. reasonably entertain any doubt or sess is derived and delegated to suspicion of being unadvisedly led them from him who has expressly into what we cannot but pro. declared that he is jealous of his nounce to be a considerable spehonour and authority! and that cies of idolatry; for as a very late he will not give his glory to ano. writer justly observes, “a man ther :- When this church persists ought to be at all times as ready in retaining and inforcing these to give his unfeigned assent to the errors, against the remonstrances of truth and equity of every thing the worthiest and most conscienti. contained in that mode of worship, ous of its members, requiring them, with which he ventures to apin the participation of its most proach the throne of grace, as he solemn rights, to declare, that is willing to justify himself in the what they believe of the glory of use of it; otherwise he seems to the Father, the same they believe betray the necessity and reasonof the glory of the Son and of the ableness of the form itself, and Holy Ghost, without any differ. that by thus equivocating with his ence or inequality: and on the own conscience he turns the pub. the anniversaries of its solemn lic worship of God into a solemn festivals, impiously denouncing piece of mockery." Knowles's damnation on all such as shall Answer to an Essay on Spirit. presume to think contrary to her London, 1754. determinations—To separate from With regard to the author of and enter my protest against such your book; as I should lay very a society, I cannot but conclude little stress on so partial a contro. to be my indispensable duty; even vertist, as he declares in the prethough my separation were likely face to his work, that he hadrato be attended with the greatest ther maintain an error in such secular disadvantages. For if this company, as that wherein he is be not a sufficient reason for the listed, than profess the truth with leaving any religious society, I am some others; so I am surprised at a loss how to vindicate the con. that you, Sir, (whom I have frequently with pleasure observed to vours to reduce christianity to its appear quite dissatisfied on receiv, pure and primitive state must be ing any thing that was superficial considered as works of supereroin answer to your Queries) should gation, as aitempts of becoming look on what is advanced in this righteous overmuch, and indeed piece as giving the least solution as things (to speak in the softest lo a point widely different from terms of them) entirely needless. the subject, whereof it treateth. It might be urged, that there is This writer aims at nothing more not perhaps any society, whose than the justifying conformity to religious prirciples and usages some ceremonial usages in the Es. tally in all respects with the judge tablished Church; which he urges ment of an inquisitive person,--to (improperly enough I imagine,) which I reply, thaı if a man can from the apostles complying, on a discover any particular society, particular emergency, once, or whose profession comes nearest to perhaps twice, with the use of his sentiments, prudence will desome obsolete Jewish ceremonies ; termine him to join practice to wbich though at that time super. opinion; the transition being (I seded by the Christian institution, speak it from my own experience) yet by immediate extraordinary quite natural, if not in a manner direction of the Holy Ghost they irresistible. For I can assure you, were enjoined to practise on this Sir, that my separation was the peculiar crisis, in order to estab. result of no small reasoning and lish mutual charity (that bond of enquiry, but of mature reflection perfectness) amongst the several and strong debates with myself; very opposite sects then proselyted and not the less, undoubtedly, as to the christian religion. But this, I foresaw that my temporal interI apprehend, bears no analogy to est must be considerably affected the case of those persons, whose thereby. However dissatisfied at exceptions lie against the funda. the inflexibility of our church gomental and essential part of the vernors with regard to any farther Liturgy, in that the ultimate ob. reformation; and observing that ject of worship is so far from being in the church to which I now betherein ascertained, that a plural- long, the necessary distinctions of ily of supreme beings are evidently supreme and subordinate were invoked and worshipped through. carefully preserved in the devoout the whole service.

tional part of their services, and You will certainly be induced, mediatorial worship given to the Sir, to pronounce me dogmatical, Son according to scripture, the even to impertinence, in expatiat. positive institutions of christianity ing so freely on the conduct of administered in their native simsome, of probably the most virtu- plicity, and proper care taken to ous, of my contemporaries. But if it guard its members against forming be indeed a matter of indifference any enthusiastic notions, or irra. with what society we join in the tional and unpromised expectapublic offices of religion, provided tions from a participation thereof: we secretly maintain our own and that as to the want of a litur. principles, then surely the Refor. gy, (the only defect I could, or mation itself, and all other endea- can still discover in our mode of VOL. VII.

2 F

worship) it was what the most ra- the truth before a sinful genera. tional of this class of Dissenters tiun, of such will be be ashamed," approved and would be glad to see and such will he consequently reused in their assemblies:- Upon ject, when with ineffable terror and the whole, Sır, I could not be per- solemnity he shall come to judge suaded, but that such conviction the world in righteousness. laid me under an obligation pub- I have now finished my tedious licly to confess and profess the and unexpected.epiatle, which, I truth with them, though in doing confess, I find much more difficult it I freely own I was obliged to to excuse than to dictate. · Howa encounter with some considerable ever, if my own conduct stood in obstacles, with greater obstacles need of an apology, that must be althan can easily be imagined, or than lowed to be sufhcient. If not, your it is necessary now to particular- approved candour will necessarily ize. Yet on the utmost enquiry, incline you to put a fav Urable for I am still as fond of enquiry as construction on what was certain ever, I have not found the least ly well intended, and to believe me shadow of a reason for retracting to be, with great esteem and af. a titile in this respect, but rather fection, the contrary; especially when I

Sir, reflect on this express declaration Your most obliged, humble Sert. of the Son of God, that " whoso.

[The two remaining Letters in our ever shall be ashamed to contess next. Ed.]


Sketch of English Protestant ing every allowance for what may

Persecution. Letter II, be called the licentia aulica, or the

April 4, 1812. extravagance of courtly panegyI closed my last letter (p. 42.) ric, No person can read the acat a very interesting period of the count of this prince, when in his English History. Henry the 15th year, as he then appeared to Eighth, under whom, as Buchan. the learned Cardan, without bean remarks, from his own obser- lieving that Edward had been envaliun, “ the very same day, and dowed with an uncommon capaci. almost with one and the same ty, and that Sir John Cheke, his fire, Protestants and Papists were celebrated preceptor, had bestowed burnt," bad just come to his grave, upon his pupil, attentions, far behappily for his contemporaries, in yond those which now constitute the prime of life, though, awfully, a princely education, as we are for himself, in a full age of guilt compelled, according to the apand cruelty. His son Edward proved maxim, by their fruits ye the Sixth, succeeded, Jan. 28, shall know them, to appreciate the 1547, at the age of nine years and term. Burnet, in his History of three months, a child to whom ex, the Reformation (ii. 2.) has transtraordinary mental accomplish-lated Cardan's character of Ed. ments must be ascribed, after mak. ward, aud preserved the original in the same volume. (Recurds, p. that her example might breed too 81.)

much inconvenience." (Rec. p. 21.) From an unhappy assimilation Thus sensibly, and to the disgrace , of Christianity to Judaism, a king- of Protestants, now argued this dom not of this word to a Theo- popish princess for Christian libercracy guarded by temporal sanc. ty. Fox, in his 2d volume, has tions, there was a common opinion, preserved a long and rather tedious still, I fear, far from obsolete, correspondence between Mary and which Edward could scarcely have the council. It is now of small failed to imbibe, that it became value, except to shew what justice the bounden daty of a Christian papal depression may expect from prince to probibit the exercise of Protestant ascendancy, and how a religion which he deemed idola. much both parties were concerned, įrous. : Qa this principle he re. could they have possibly seen their fused to his sister Mary the rites true interest, to confine the magis. of her worship, against the opinie trate to his proper duty in spiriton of his courtiers, who would have uals, the choice of a religion for permitted them, on the score of po. himself. Policy, however, pro. licy. In the British Museum is cured for Mary, at least for a preserved a journal of Edward's time, what was denied to justice. reign, written by himself, and as Her relation, Charles the fifth, has been observed by the learned brought into the discussion a threat Judge Barrington “On the Anci. of his powerful sword, an unan. ent Statutes,” possessing peculiar swerable argument, the 'ratio authenticity by discovering the ultima regum. gradual improvement of a child's The council, having many goods hand writing In this journal, belonging to the public at Antpublished by Burnet in his 2nd werp, thought it not adviscable to volume, is the following entry, un. provoke the Emperor while such der the year 1549, 50.

effeets were in his ports; nor were “ March 18. The Lady Mary, they willing to draw a new war on my sister, came to me at West. their heals, especially from so vic. minster, where, after salutations, torio is a prince. They therefore she was called, with my council, advised the king to leave his sister into a chamber; where was de to her own discretion at present ; clared how long I had suffered her but the king could not be induced mass, in hope of ber reconcilia. to give way to it; be judged the tion, and how, now being no hope, popish mass to be sinful, and would which I perceived by her letters, noi consent to the continuance of except I saw some short amend. it. Upon this, the council ordered ment. I could not bear it. She Cranmer, Ridley, and Ponet to aaswered, that her soul was God's discourse about it with the king. and her faith she would not change They told him that it was always & por dissemble ber opinion with sin in a prince to give licence to cuntrary doings. It was said sin ; but not always so to forbear constrained not her faith, but or remit the punishment for a time willed her, not as a king to rule, in hopes of amendment; and that but ias a subject to obey; and sometimes a less evil connived at

might prevent a greater. The formidable insurrections, discou. king was prevailed upon with diff. raged the attempt. cuity; and, bursting into tears, la. I have, before me, the 66 Lise mented his sister's ubstinacy, and and martyrdom of Rowland Tay: that he must suffer her to continue lor," published in 1682, and writin su abominabl a way of worship ten by one who appears to have as he esu emned the mass.” Ridley's justly admired the pious Rector of Life p. 331.

Hadleigh. Dr. T. is described Though Edward was thus warm. as accusting in the following terms ly intent on inflicting the persecu' a Romish Priest, whom soon after tion of restraint, yet, as I shall the accession of Mary, he found have occasion to shew, he was officiating in his church: Thou very hardly persuaded to shed devil incarnate, who made thee so blood on account of religious opi- audacious as to enter this church, nions. His council had no such to defile and profane it with thy scruples. Whatever they had re- abominable idolatry? I command formd in doctrine, they fully thee, thou popish wolf, in the name retained the spirit of the Anti- of (iod, tu depart hence, and not cbristian church. Cranmer, who io presume thus to poison the flock boie a principal part among them, of Christ. The Priest appears to in ecclesiasticai affairs, seems to advantage in his reply to this have possessed a natural disposi- harsh greeting, on the principle tion peculiarly forbe aring and to common to both, the magistrate's have exercised a Christian spirit right of controul in religion. He on every subject; but religion. “ said to Dr. Taylor,Thou trai. Shakespeare makes his Henry the tor, what makes you come hither Eiybth, say of him," as the com. to lett and disturb the Queen's promon voice,”

ceedings ? In an age when perseDo my Lord of Canterbury

cution, to death, was in vogue A shrewd turn, and he is your friend could Dr. T. want any thing but

power, lo burn the “ popish wolf," Yet Cranmer was as slaunch a which had intruded into bis fold? persecutor, under the genile Ed. This is a fair conjecture, but ward, as when he had approved there is on record a damning proof under his imperious master Henry, of the sanguinary spirit which now the burning oí Lambert and Anne possessed the English Reformers. Ascue. Mr. Gilpin, in his Life of Fox, in bis Latin Book of Martyrs the Archbishop, (p. 59) says, far which I have not had an opportunity too mildly, “ibai the spirit of po. of consulting but as translated, no pery was not yet wholly repressed.” doubt faithfully, in Peirce's VinThe Refurmers would have ab- dication of the Dissenters, (2d ed. horred the impiety of repressing p. 30), charges the Reformers with that spirit. Nor is there any good a design against the life of Hooper, reason to doubt that they would if he had not submitted to the ba. have anticipated a Marian perse, bits, and adds " which unless he cution and burned the worshippers had done there are those who think with their images, had not the the bishops would have endeapower of the papists, instanced in youred to take away his life ; for

for ever

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