« PreviousContinue »
of my parishioners, for two or three of them to take in, at their joint expence, your Magazine, as I wish to see it as commonly in the houses of Churchmen, as the Methodili's Magazine is to be seen in the houses of the members of that denomination.
Shall you, gentlemen, who are the editors of this Miscellany. be offended, if I propose a Query for your consideration ? -Should there not be, generally, translations of the passages, in the ancient and modern languages, which occur in your Magazine ?
You perceive, gentlemen, that I am desirous of having this publication as much as possible, adapted for the perusal of such of my Fellow-Christians, as only understand the vulgar tongue.
3. Refpe&ting the third Query, I must observe, that I was lately informed of several Clubs, or Friendly Societies, in this neighbourhood, which have been broken up in consequence of dividing part of the money, and not leaving a sufficient fum in the club-box to defray their expences. - Perhaps the societies here are nearly upon the same plan, as those in other parts of the kingdom. The members pay each, every month, one Thilling to the box, and two-pence to be spent. They allow feven shillings per week to the sick ; but if deemed incurable, only five shillings. And forty shillings towards the funeral expences of a member who has been entered two years; and five pounds to his widow, or relation. When the stock amounts to one hundred pounds, they draw out fixty pounds, and each receives a proportionable share, according to the tinie that he has been entered. --Some societies divide annually the whole of the money excepting ten or twenty pounds.
Would it not be better to increase the weekly allowance, when the Itock amounts to one hundred pounds, as seven shillings is not more than
one third part of the money which many men here earn in a week: and : "when the stock is two hundred pounds, then to divide half of it ?
I will only now mention the occasion of my proposing this subject to your consideration, and to the confideration of your intelligent correspondents. There are in this parith several men, who are deprived of five shillings per week, in consequence of the diffolution of their society, and who are too old to be admitted into any other Friendly Society ! They consider it as a great hardihip, that they can no longer have recourse to that fund, to which they, for many years, contributed; but must be obliged to ask for the paltry pittance of parochial relief, which is given with reluctance, if not with reproaches!
July 17th, 1802,
AGE OF REASON.
GENTLEMEN, THE wretched Paine denied, in his “ Age of Reason,” that the Holy 1 Scripture is the word of God, and referred us to the works of Creation as his only authentic word. I have not yet seen this audacious folly treated exactly as I could with ; and therefore I would atk the inebriated traitor, who “ has blasphemed God and the King," where we are to look for instruction in righteousness, or for moral direction in the works of creation? Will the orbits of the planets coincide with the circle of social duties ? Will the eccentricities of comets explain to us the dreadful confe
quences quences of aberration from virtue? Will the attraction of the sensible regulate the affections of the intelle&ual world? Will the way in which plant lies folded up within plant, and feed inclosed within seed, teach us our duty towards the rising generation ? Will the examination of the animalcules that sport in a drop of water, “ or the gay motes that people the sun-beam,” instruct us how to distinguish between virtues and vices, when they abut upon, or are nearly blended with each other ; and to mark where the former cease, and the latter begin? Then ought we to study the virtues through a /pying gla/s ; and the differential characters of right and wrong by means of a microscope ; – then ought our way through human life, like the course of a vessel through the waves of the ocean, to be determined by the polarity of a magnetized needle. Need I add a word more? Not a word; except that I am, .
Gentlemen, your's faithfully,
A LONDON CURATE.
POPISH ARTIFICES AND DISSENTERS TOOLS OF THE
PAPISTS. · To the EDITORS Of the ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE.
GenTLEMEN, THERE is a part of the Ecclesiastical History of England which, in my
I opinion, has not had that attention paid to it which it deserves : there can be no doubt, however, that the Puritanical Party in the reigns of Elizabeth and the first James, was industriously supported, if not first fet up by the Papilis, Our Church has always been honoured with the peculiar hatred of that of Rome. Having laid aside the errors, the foppery, and the frippery of the Romish Church ; and having retained the primitive doctrine and discipline; our " adversaries are ashamed, having no evil thing to say of us." They cannot deny that our glorious Church is formed upon the very model of that of the apostolic age: the believes in the Holy TRINITY ; she has a LITURGY which exemplifies all “ the beauty of holiness ;” and she has EpisCOPACY, and a clear succession of those who alone have power to “ fend labourers into the vineyard” of our LORD, continued from the Apostles themselves. Whilft her buluarks remained ụnsapped, and her towers without a breach, the Papists knew she was impregnable. Our retaining of Episcopacy, so necessary to the form and ellence of a church, particularly moved their spleen. Cardinal Barberini, as Bilhop Stillingteet (then Dean of St. Paul's,) tells us, in the Preface to his Book, intituled “ The Unreafonableness of Separation,” said, in the hearing of a gentleman, who told it the Bithop, that “ he could be content there were no Priests in England, so there were no Bishops :"-an horrible expression : -in order to secure a chance of regaining to the Pope that power he had lost in this country, the Cardinal could be content that we should not have even the form of a Church ; that we should not have either Sacraments or Clergy! Where there is no Priest there can be no Sacraments. The Papifts finding themselves unequal to an open attack, (how completely did the English Fathers of the Reformation discomfit them !) went craftily to work : they endeavoured to low diffention within the Church, and to raise a mutiny within the sacred garrison of our Sion. And thus," while Harding, Sanders, and others, attacked our Church on one side,” and in one way, " Coleman, Button, Hallingham, Ben
fon, and others, were as busy on the other; and under the pretence of a purer reformation, opposed the Duc pline, Liturgy, and Calling of our Bihops, as approaching too near to that of Rome.” And thus it appears that our first Sectaries were but the tools of the Papits; who, if they did not suggest, cherished attentively all their abiurd fcruples; and were ever on the watch to foment divitions in the Church of Engiand.
The Rer. T. Levis, author of “ THE SCOURGE, in l'indication of the Church of England, gives “ a remarkable hiftory of cne Faithful Ciemmin, a Romith Divine, who came over into England in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, and was generally reputed as a very zealous Proteftant. His seeming piety procured him a very great character with the interior people, who were more particularly pleased with him for his severe raillery against the Church of Rome, and his bitter invectives againit the Pope himself : this impofior was at last detected; but by an eicape avoided the hands of justice, and returned to Rome. The Pope immediately in priioned him for the abuses he had spread about him in Englaud; but (unmin writ to his Holiness, and acquainted him that he had iomething of importance to communicate to him, if he could have the honour to be admitted into his presence. The Pope sent for him next day ; and as icon as he saw him, « Sir,” said he, “ I have heard the character you have bestowed upon me, and my predecessors, among your hereticks in England, by revising my perfon, and exposing my Church:-(unimin replied, “I confess my lips have uttered what my heart never thought; but your Holiness little imagines the confiderable service I have done you :”- to which the Pope returned, “ How, in the name of Jesus, Mary, and all the Saints, haft thou done fo?-Sir, said Cummin, “ I preached against fet forms of prayer, and I called the English Liturgy a tranfation of the Majs-book ; and I have made the people fond of extempore prayer; and by that means the Church of England is become as odious to my profelytes, as mals is to the Church of England, AND THIS WILL BE A STUMBLING BLOCK TO THAT CHURCH WHILE IT IS A CHURCH. Upon which the Pope commended him, and gave him a reward of two thousand ducats for his good ferrice."
Let the Separatist now with confusion blush, and no more stretch his mouth with the outcries of Popery against the ceremonies of our Church; let him observe how this arrow originally came out of the Romith quiver, and be ashamed to sharpen his sword at the forges of the Philistines.” Scourge, No. 31, pp. 195-6.
I with some of my brother Churchmen, who are blessed with literatum otium, would turn over the leaves of the writers of the Elizabethan æra ; and throw together the scattered stories of similar artifices which were practised with melancholy fuccess against one of the purest Churches which the world ever faw.
As to The Scourge, I have just been favoured with the loan of a copy of that scarce book. Almost every syllable it contains, relative to the dangers which threatened the established Church from the artifices of the Diflenters in the beginning of the reign of George I. is applicable to the hazard it is now put in by the practices of the methodists under Geo. III.
But, non deiperandum est de Ecclesia. Great is truth, and will prevail over trick. Ifl, ó & a XISOTEROS TOVTWV TWv ayowy, might presume to give advice to my brethren, I would exhort them to urge upon their congrega. tions points of Discipline as well as Doctrine. The preachers under the Wesleian connection have but Presbyterian ordination, and the self
constituted ministers of the Whitfieldian faction, have nothing; por lave the moft subtle of their apologilts any thing to urge against the neceflity for episcopal ordination, and submillion to the authority of our Apoftolic Church. The doctrines of the Methodists are the doctrines of the Church, carried perhaps to a dangerous extreme; but their discipline is schismatical, and therefore finful, in a very high degree. The Methodists have not the plausible plea for feparation which the Diffenters had.
I am, gentlemen, your's faithfully, Sept.7, 1802.
A LONDON CURATE.
To The EDITORS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE:
GENTLEMEN, T PURCHASED, upon your recommendation, Dr. Rennel's Discourses,
even though there was in one of your extracts from them, a claule, which, in my eyes, did not look well. That clause compared with a note annexed to the Discourse (Discourse IV.) wbich contains it, gives me, I must say, no favourable opinion of the Doctor's principles with regard to Church government. In other respects I readily allow, that he is beyond all praise ; but here he appears to me to err exceedingly : my reasons for thinking so, I shall state as briefly as poffible.
Dr. Rennel owns, what indeed cannot be denied, that the Episcopal Regimen is a feature of Christian antiquity, permanent, unvaried, and uniform from the earliest Apoftolic times, down to the very dawning of the reformation. Yet, in Dean Swift's words, thinking, perhaps, that they would obtain more credit to his affertion, he says, that the Episcopal Regimen is not absolutely necesary to the existence of a Christian Church. The reverse, however, I am inclined to believe, is the truth ; for, to the existence of a Christian Church, considered as a fociety, the Episcopal Regimen must be absolutely necessary, otherwise Christ appointed in his Church a form of government, which might be changed, as circumstances seemed to require. But where is the evidence that Christ appointed in his Church, a form of government, subject, in this sense, to the influence of circumstances, and to mutable in its nature as such a form of government muli be? The Doctor produces no evidence of this : I will be bold to say he cun produce none. In his affirmation, unsupported by any appearance of proof, that the Episcopal Regimen is not absolutely neceilary to the existence of a Christian Church, Dr Rennel's end is to apologize, in the best way he can, for the want of that Regimen in the Kirk of Scotland: then, in a strain of the highest and most affectionate panegyric, he says, that the Kirk of Scotland is worthy of the higheli refpect; that the Church of England is proved to profess the warmejl teneration to her; and that the Clergy of the Church of England are most ready to express the maji unqualified regard to her.
The Episcopal Regimen, for a reason already given, I maintain to be absolutely necefsary to the existence of a Christian Church, considered under the idea of a society. But the Episcopal Regimen, the Kirk of Scotland, not only wants, but pronounces, in her confeffion of Faith, Antichristian Tyranny, deserving the abhorrence of all good Christians, and calling for their united efforts for its extirpation. And, with a consistence which ought to teach the Bishops and Clergy of the Church of England an obrious lesson, one of the most learned, and in the general opinion, most
candid candid and moderate Doctors of the Kirk, has, in his Lectures lately pubo lithed, held up that apostolic, and, therefore, divinely instituted form of Church government, as an object of ridicule, nay, as you have justly obferred, has perverted even the sacred text to get rid of it.
The thirty-nine Articles of the Church of England should undoubtedly be ever interpreted in a sense which makes them harmonize with the Liturgy. Interpreted in a Calvinistic sense, it is evident to every one who is not resolved to be blind, that they do not harmonize with the Liturgy, but contradict it most palpably. On this account, Dr. Rennel, I suppose, will not say that the Church of England is Calvinistic in her doctrines. But that the Kirk of Scotland is lo, is indisputable.
To this I beg leave to add, that the Kirk of Scotland, in the exercise of public worthip, has no Creed, no Ten Commandments, no Lord's Prayer, no Doxology, no reading of the Scriptures : nor does the observe any of the Festivals, so admirably calculated to awaken the devotion, and to refreth the mind of every well disposed Chriftian. In fact, these things are considered, by the lower ranks of people, downright popery: and their ministers care not to rectify their error. There are of them, at the same time, who abstain intentionally, in their public discourses, from erplicit mention of the peculiar doctrines of the gospel, because they are disputed. Which fact, compared with another, nainely, that to students of Theology, the works of Clarke and Priestley are not unfrequently recommended, points out pretty clearly what fide these gentlemen favour. In the Kirk of Scotland, to ipeak out the truth, the Unitarians in England, and per: fons of lax principles, have more friends than is at present generally luspected. Such is the Kirk of Scotland : and is the worthy of the highejt respect? Is the Church of England indeed prored to profess the warmest
eneration to her? Are the Clergy of the Church of England most ready to express the most unqualified regard for her ? To these questions Dr. Rennel answers in the affirmative. But I with the Church of England too well to credit even Dr. Rennel in this. If, besides, the Church of Eng. land regard the Kirk of Scotland with all that respect and veneration which Dr. Rennel says she does, where, I would ask, is the sense of the language which the Church of England has always addressed to the Presbyterians in England ? The Doctor, in the overflowings of his affection for the Kirk, has, in my judgment, made that language something worse than nonsenfical; and has put into the mouth of every Presbyterian Diflenter a plea by which he may justify his continuance in a state of separation from the Church. This, I make no doubt, Bithop Hoadley would have approved ; but that it never would have obtained the sanction of Bishop Horne, I am confident.
What Dr. Renvel calls other strong marks of excellence in the Kirk of Scotland, have some of them no exilience at all; and the rest he has stated in such a manner as to go beyond the bounds of truth. May he benceforth avoid the indiscriminate and dangerous praise, which has occasioned the foregoing remarks; and duly consider, that being an Episcopal Divine, he ought to write as such. July 17, 1802.
A North BRITON,