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a servant though a wicked or a slothful one.” That is, as I understand the author,-although the minister of a parish should actually preach such doctrine as in the judgment of the church should be deemed false, yet that this cannot at once dissolve all relations between him and his parishioners; because it cannot be shewn that ill behaviour in a commissioned person, makes null the coinmission itself; the sincere Christian is therefore carefully still to recognize the authority of Christ in all his ministrations, although he should find cause to with: hold his assent, to all his doctrines from the pulpit Twilight's last question is this, What is an honest and good man to do, who is not satisfied with the decision of the church? “ Truly, friend, says he, if there be such a man upon the face of the earth, it is impossible to do any more for him ;” and then the conversation closes with this argument: “He whom our Lord considers as an heathen and a publican, (that is, not a Christian but a greal sinuer) cannot be an honest and conscientious man. But our Lord considers him, who hears not the church as an heathen and a sinner, he therefore, cannot be an honest and conscientious man; and your case is nearly an impossible one. Therefore iny good friend, till you have shewed the man you describe, we may as well close our conversation ; for our life is short, and our time so precious, that he can hardly be called honest and conscientious, who would consume his days in solving fictitious difficulties, when so many practical points dengand his attention and his talents,"
I have been unintentionally and unavoidably led into ihis detail of the dialogue, to inake out my point against your correspondent, that the question is not evaded : will Juvenis permit me to suppose the case his own, and accept my solution of it to the best of my abilities? He comes and tells me, that his parish minister preaches false doetrine. I should ask, how knows he that what be has heard is false doctrine: He replies, that he is a man of coinınon sense and has himself judged it to be so. But will your correspondent maintain, that this common sense is sufficient to enable him to decide with equal confidence, what is false doctrine in law or physic? I take it for granted he cannot. How is it then that Theology, the most important of all the sciences, and that which has engaged the most learned of all ages in controversy, is now become level to ordinary persons, so
that its deep points may be competently decided upon by any man of common sense? But let us suppose that the complainant satisfactorily makes out the doctrine preached is really false; what is he to do? I would now appeal to his common sense; which I imagine would suggest something very similar to the doctrine of the Dialogue, Complain to the offender's superior; whose office and duty it is, to maintain the faith in its purity, and who is vested with power to restrain those who go about to corrupt it. You may thus remove a scandal from the church, and do a benefit of great importance to a whole congregation. But he who runs away from his fold, upon the first alarm of false doctrine, can hardly be justified from the sin of schism, or escape from many very obvious and alarming dangers,
I am, &c.
BIBLE SOCIETY, AND THE ECLECTIC REVIEW.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCIIMAN'S
MAGAZINE. SIR, . . AS you have, with great success, and on more occaA sions than one, exposed the insidious practices of the Christian Observer, and others of the saine slamp, in representing as the express doctrine of the Gospel, and the established tenets of our hols church, what is not to Þe deduced from the“ one, and consequently is not received by the other; allow me thus early to call your attention to what appears to be a similar attempt, assuming somewhat of a different form, and recommended by an outward shew of disinterested and Christian charity, which, if not quite novel for its prototype, inay perhaps be found in the Evangelical Magazine, is certainly cal,culated, in no small degree, to impose upon the unwary:
Disclaiming every view to emolument, and every prospect of gain, the conductors of the publication I allude to, declare themselves “pledged by a legal agreement, to apply the profits of the work, when the expences attending the same are discharged, to the assistance of the
and effent Euses societate most
New British and Foreign Bible Society, an institution which has (they say) happily united in its support chris: tians of every class and denomination in Britain."
At such an union, and for such a purpose, every Christian will certainly be disposed to rejoice; but when I look at the names which are most conspicuous amongst the supporters of this society, and revert to your valuable correspondent Eusebius's intimation, p. 419, of the object and effect of a Bank and an East India Director, on another occasion; as well as to the language and conduct of the Good Samaritan School Society, so properly recorded in the same page; I am a little inclined to mistrust charitable professions in general, and to regard, with peculiar jealousy, the mired sort of committee by which the principal concerns of the Bible Society are to be managed: and would, if it could be done without presumption in an obscure individual, humbly but fervently entreat those great and venerable characters which appear amongst vice-presidents, and are at the head of thai establishment, which is, it seems, to be honoured with something like pre-eminence in the formation of those committees, seriously to attend to the 11th article of their plan *. And when they consider, amongst the subscribers, who are most likely “ most frequently to attend," and thus to gain an allowed ascendancy in the future direction of all their proceedings, I should hope it would be unnecessary to guard every real friend to the established church against negligence in what they have undertaken, which is thus provided for in the outset, as a pretext for excluding them; and above all, against that too common, but most fatal error (of which, amongst a thousand others that might be mentioned, Eusebius has cited the late proceedings in Clerkenwellt'as a most alarming proof), of
* 11. « The committee shall consist of thirty-six laymen; of whom twenty-four who shall have most frequently attended shall be eligible for re-election for the ensuing year. Six of the committee shall be foreigners resident in London and its vicinity, half the remainder shall be members of the Church of England, and the other half members of other denominations of Christians." See the revised plan in their circular letter,
** Their influence (that of the methodists) at these parochial trusts, has been rendered still more decisive by the circumstance of many of the more respectable and independent of the parishioners having become so completely disgusted with the proceedings of this artful faction, as Aardly ever to attend either of these boards." Orthodox Churchman's Magazine, Vol. 7. p. 418. And when they are thus sure of carrying a point, they clearly want neither talents nor inclination for the necessary incans of success.
seceding from the meeting of those to whom they have lent their sanction and authority, but whose measures they can no longer approve; and by thus withdrawing what may still remain of their actual influence and controul, entirely sacrificing their common interest in a .concern which originally appeared to them so important as to require all the support they could possibly give it. :
But, Sir, to return to the Eclectic Review, for it is to that you will most likely have by this time discovered that I wish to direct your attention. The conductors of this work, whose existence and principles are so clearly, and legally identified with those of the Bible Society, certainly profess“ the most cordial attachment to the doctrines of Christianity, as erpressed in the articles of the Church of England--for I mean to confine myself solely to their theological principles--and in this profession, fair and promising as it confessedly is, even you will probably think me too easily alarmed, when I nevertheless tell you, that, after so much discussion as has lately taken place respecting the sense of these articles, I thought I perceived some grounds for suspicion that all was not secure. And if my doubts were in this respect entirely removed, my perplexity was, at the same time, not at all diminished, by turning again from their prospectus to their preface; for we are there, Sir, expressly told, that in “having'avowed their cordial approbation of the doctrinal articles of the Church of England, they conceive those articles to be congenial with those of the Kiik of Scotland; of the principal churches of Europe and America; and of a vast majority of those secessions which have arisen wherever Britons have dwelt.” Pref. page iii.me What the conductors and supporters of the Eclectic Rediew mean by the latter part of this sentence, I shall leave to themselves to explain; it is quite enough for me to have learnt in what sense they must understand the articles of the Church of England, who “ conceive thein to be congenial with those of the Kirk of Scotland*.
* The church of Scotland (says Mosheim) acknowledges as its founder Jobn Knox, the diseiple of Caloin, and accordingly from its first reforination it adopted the doctrine, rites, and form of ecclesiastical govering ment established at Geneva. These it has always adhered to with the utmost uniformity, and maintained with the greatest jealousy and zeal. A quite different constitution of things is observable in the church of England, which could never be brought to an entire compliance with the ecclesiastical laws of Geneva, and which retained but a short time even those which it adopted. Mosheim Eccles. History by Maclaine, Vol. IV. p. 386.
Vol. VIII. Churchm. Mag. Feb. 1803." Q Upon
Upon this declaration, therefore (for here it is my perplexity still continues) before it extends also to articles of church discipline and episcopal government, I hope the right reverend vice-presidents of the Bible Society will favour us, ex cathedrâ, either in their respective dioceses, or at Ironmongers' Hall, with a few expository remarks ; for if any doubt can possibly remain of the calvinistical, methodistical, and self-denominated evangelical complexion of the Eclectic Review, which I am confident will, more and more, disclose itself in the progress of the work, and would refer your readers to the reviewers remarks on Law's and on Biddulph's Sermons, in the latter of which they will find a complaint of many of the clergy engaging in the secular employments of country gentlemen, to the degradation of their office and character, without any notice of the carpenters, coblers, taylors, birdcatchers, &c. who, together with their usual occupations, exercise that also of exclusive preachers of the gospel! Above all, I would recommend them not hastily tu pass over, which they might otherwise be disposed to do, their review of Bisset's Modern Literature, nor the alarm they express at the threatened renewal of his offence, as à novelist; an offence of so heinous a nature, that they avow their determination, in a spirit of criticism for justice and impartiality hitherto not very common, of never honouring the work with their notice! for which, however, they have reasons that cannot easily be concealed or mistaken, when it is known that the author professedly has it in view therein to expose “ the absurdities, follies, and mischiefs of methodism* !" Your's, &c.
3 TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S
MAGAZINE, Sir, TH x cellent Letter in your last number signed
I LL. B. proposing the advertisements of religious books, has the hearty approbation of all the clergy I have talked with on the subject. I fatter myself that the