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most loudly exclaimed against : that the book of common prayer, and the doctrine of the established church, were both unexceptionable. And as to the rites and ceremonies, they had the practice of the primitive church to plead in their defence. And lastly, that notwithstanding with the consent of the bishops and other learned men, some passages were rather explained than altered, yet with a reasonable construction every thing might very well have stood in its former condition."
l'he only authentic account ever given of this conference, was drawn up by Dr. Barlow, who was a party therein, and of course had the best opportunities to inake bimself acquainted with all that passed. His account was very carefully digested and examined before it ap
peared to the world; after which no attempt was made to invalidate its accuracy for above fifty years: neither did the adverse party publish a contrary statement. This piece having become very scarce, was reprinted in a collection of curious tracts, called the Phænix, in 1721; but as that book is now rare, and as the conference itself has been referred to several times in the recent controversy respecting the genuine doctrine of the church of England, with regard to justification and election, the present editors have done an acceptable service in republishing it in the present form. In a very ingenious preface, they have completely vindicated the character of Bishop Barlow, and the veracity of his narrative from the petulant and malevolent charges of Pierce and Neale, the one the apologist, and the other the historian of the puritans. We beg leave to return our thanks to the Edi. tors, for this seasonable publication, which, however, would have been more complete, if they had prefixed to it a brief memoir of the author, and subjoined the proclamation of King James, on the conclusion of the conference.
Letter to a Country Clergyman, occasioned by his address
to Lord TesGNMOUTH, President of the British und
Sub-urban Clergyman. 8vo. pp. 61. IN N our last number we gave our approbation to the let
ter addressed to LORD TEIGNMOUTH, on the character and constitution of the Society to which his Lordship
has in our opinion rather imprudently lent his respectable name as president. We were before well aware of the real description of that society, and it was, therefore, with great satisfaction, that we read the adınirable expostulation which the country clergymnan addressed to his Lordship on the subject. It was natural to expect that some of the persons closely interested in, or connected i with, this goodly project, would endeavour to counteract, the effects of thai spirited and convincing publication. This has been attempted in the pamphlet before us, in which there is evidently more of soreness of feeling than ; soundness of reasoning: This Sub-urban clergy man plainly writes as a man who has soinething more to do with the British and Foreign Bible Society, than a mere common subscriber, or an impartial observer. He is full of irrascibility, and dips his pen in gall and vinegar, while he affects uncommon good nature and liberality.
The writer of the address had remonstrated with Lord Teignmouth for “ bestowing his patronage and protection : upon every description of the Church's enemies." The sub-urban Clergyman catches at this inaccuracy if it is such, by saying that “ The Church's enemies are so very numerous, and some of them so little known, that I think it very probable many descriptions could be mentioned, which have never obtained a place in your enumeration.” This we cannot but treat as mere quibbling. The dissenting parties who have so large an influence, cannot be considered as other than enemies of the Established Church. They have always proved themselves such; and though we should be sorry to abridge the Act of Toleration by which they are sheltered on that account, we do not think it altogether decent or consistent (we have no scruple in making use of these terms) for Clergymen and dignitaries of the Established Church to associate with them in institutions of such a nature as this, especially where the majority of influence and numbers is on their side. But the Letter Writer goes so far as even to vindicate his Lordship for bestowing his patronage upon the “ Church's enemies, knowing them to be so. He says that for such an act his Lordship has the highest precedent, and the least questionable authority. For every time the several denominations of Christians meet to worship God according to their various rites (and they may meet just as ofien as they will), they enjoy the patronage
tion of that exalted personage, who, as the guardian of the constitution, is present wherever there are rights to protect, and laws lo protect them.” What sort of reasoning is this? The King protects and tolerates Roman Catholics, and will not allow their religious assemblies to be violated by riot or intrusion, but is he therefore at liberty to sanction those assemblies by his own presence; or would he be justified in admitting men of that persuasion to his Council?
We all admit that the different persuasions of Christians should be tolerated, and God forbid that the proper limits of Christian liberty should ever be trenched upon. But we may be permitted to maintain, that the hereditary senators of this land, and especially the ecclesiastical dignitaries as well as the clergy in general, ought to be ex tremely scrupulous how far they enter into any public connexion with sects hostile to the established Church.. They may be liberal towards them, and friendly to individuals, but all this may well be without forming associations with them, which may only have a tendency to pro, mote the cause of schism.
The mere circulation of the Scriptures cannot be objected to by a protestant, and particularly by Members of the Church of England. But the writer of the address did contend, and properly contended, that Sectaries in - the distribution of the Bible, have something more in view than the mere communication of Revealed Truth. They have peculiar notions which it is their invariable and universal practice to propagate with the utmost industry. When, therefore, they give away a bible, it is their aim and endeavour to make the party who receives it, a proselyte to their opinions, by representing the Scriptures as favourable to their creed. The Sub-Urban Clergyman does not deny this, because he could not, and consequently so far from succeeding in advocating the cause of this heterogeneous institution, he has, in our judgment, completely confirmed the apprehensions and ubjections so ably stated by the author of the address.
The greatest part of the present pamphlet consists of forced suppositions of irrelevant cases, quaintnesses of wit, and perversions of passages violently wrested from the contextin the address and turned into ridi cule. But all thewhile we see that the Letter Writer is far from being at his ease, and we can pretty well account for the reason. He cannot get over the direct and very serious
charge of being improperly associated with the Church's enemies. This is a stubborn fact which nothing can palliate; and as a Clergyman, we may paturally suppose that he could not but feel the aukwardness of his situation. The error is not so glaring and deep in the noble personage addressed, but it is of a very different complexion with the sub-urban clergyman'," whom we may be allowed to guess, is of some consequence, both in the Church and in the Society, whose cause he has here volunteered himself to defend with more zeal than judgment. An advertisement in the papers the other day, announced a meeting of the Bible Socieety, signed with the names of the three secretaries, of whom 'one is a well known clergyman of the established church in the vicinity of Lundon, another a Baptist teacher, and the third of some other communion.
How such associations are to be reconciled with religious consistency, especially by persons who are members of the venerable Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, we shall not pretend to say; though the Sub-Urban Clergyman has attempted something like it, by apologizing for a methodistical Bookseller, who in the frontispiece to a thing called the Christian Lady's Pocket Book, published some time ago, represented an English Bishop, shaking hands with a methodistical lay preacher, a calvinistic Baptist and a Socinian!
The Duty of holding fast the Doctrine of the Gospel, A
Sermon, preached at a Convocation of Bishops and Cler-, gy of the Scotch Episcopal Church, holden at Laurencekirk, in the County of Kincardine, on the 24th day of October, 1804. And published at their request. By the Right Rev. John Skinner in Aberdeen, Senior Bishop
of that Church. Svo. Pp. 45. W!
E ought to make an apology to the right reverend
author of this excellent discourse, and to our brethren of the Scotch episcopal church, for having by a strange inadvertence so long delayed noticing it in our Review. Whence that delay has arisen, can be of no moment to relate, though, if stated, it would, we have no doubt, be admitted as a sufficient excuse. Let it, how ever, be permitted to us to observe, that it neither pro
Vol. VIII, Churchm. Mag. Apirl 1805. Sis ceeded
ceeded from a want of respect to the reverend body at whiose request the sermon has been published, nor from an indifference to the important occasion on which it was delivered. Our sentiments of that pure and long persecuted part of Christ's church have long since been explicitly avowed, and we thankfully bless God on her behalf, in seeing by the present act, her firm and united attachment to the primitive and sound principles of our common faith. How it happened, 'that an episcopal church, possessing a liturgy and ritual, should hitherto have been without a particular confession of faith, as a test for its clergy, we cannot account, but it certainly does appear very like an anomaly. This distinction, however, does not now subsist, for by a public and solemn act, the Scotch episcopal church, has adopted the Thirty-nine Articles of the church of England and Ireland, as the standard profession of her belief, and which all who are admitted to orders in that communion, will be henceforward required to subscribe. On this remarkable, and we may venture to add, inportant occasion, Bishop Skinner the senior prelate of that church, delivered an appropriate and well-written discourse, from 2 Tim. i. 13. Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love, which is in Christ Jesus.
After briefly stating the providential change which has taken place in the circumstances of their church, the right reverend preacher proceeds to shew to his hearers, the necessity of every church's having a form of sound words as a standard of doctrine, and then pointing out the occasion and excellence of that which was framed by the reformers of the church of England, he enters upon a particular consideration of the articles themselves. We cannot consistently with our prescribed limits make any extracts from this judicious explication ; but we do not hesitate to say, that one more perspicuous, neat, and orthodox, has never passed under our observation.' Bishop Skinner notices properly the recent attempts made by some calling themselves true churchmen, to give a Calvinistic sense to the articles; and he adduces with great effect, the arguments which have been urged against that preposterous claim.
After thus explaining the sense of the Articles, and recommending them as a Confession to be adopted and subscribed by the clergy of the episcopal clergy of Seotland, we meet with the following excellent remarks.