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and he went and dwelt on Mount Moriah, to till the ground from whence he was created.
24. 0. So he drove forth the man, and established at the east of the garden of Eden, the cherubim and a Tharp sword continually turning to keep the way of the tree of life.
P.J. So he drove forth the man from the place where he established the glory of his majesty towards the east between two cherubim : before that he created the world, he created the law : he prepared the garden of Eden for the just, that they might eat and delight themselves with the fruit of the trees, because that they have cultivated in their lifetime the doctrine of the law in this world, and have kept the commandments : he ordained hell for the wicked, which resembleth a tharp sword that confumeth with two edges : he prepared in the midst of it, sparks of fire and hot burning coals to judge therewith the wicked who rebelled in their lifetime against the doctrine of the jaw. The law is good to him who doeth it, above the fruit of the tree of lite, which the word of the Lord hath prepared for him that obferveth it, that he may live for ever, and walk in the paths of the way or life of the world to come.
. Thereore he drove out the man, and placed the glory of his majesty from of old at the east of the garden of Eden, over above the two cherubim : two thousand years 'ere yet the world was created, he created the law, and ordained hell and the garden of Eden : he ordained the garden of Eden for the righteous, who thall eat and thall delight themselves with the fruit of that tree, because that they have kept the commandments of the law in this world: he ordained hell for the wicked, which is like unto a sword whose edge destroyeth on both sides : he ordained in the midst of it fparks of fire and burning coals for the wicked, to take vengeance on them in the world to come, for that they have not observed the commande ments of the law in this world. For the tree of life is the law : every one who keepeth it in this world surely liveth, and thall be established as the tree of life. The law is good to him who cultivated it in this world, as the fruit of the tree of life in the world to come.
REMARKS ON THE TOLERATION ACT. TO THE EDITORS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE.
GENTLEMEN, No one can lament more sincerely than myself the increase of Schism,
and the prevalence of that wild enthusiastic spirit which daily adds to the number of those who separate themselves from the CHURCH OF ENGLAND, and who run after ignorant and fanatical teachers. Several of your numerous and learned correspondents, have lately, with great truth, complained of the increase of METHODISM, which hath spread it. self very widely over the kingdom, and you have laid before your readers some striking instances of the dreadful effects it hath produced on the minds of ihe weak and unwary. To endeavour to ascertain the caure or causes of this increase, may perhaps not be an unimproving employment for a leisure hour, and may at least furnish a few hints for the further confideration of such of your correspondents as have time to investigate the topic.
It hath occurred to me, that one remarkable cause, amongst others, arises from the great facility with which any ENTHUSIAST, who feels
himself" gifted, as he supposes with the Holy Ghost," may propagate his wild and preposterous notions; by availing himself of the advantages held out by the TOLERATION ACT. Let us turn our thoughts to the confideration of this famous act, and inquire what ground there may be for this opinion; and whether, if it should be found correct, some revision and alteration of it by the legislature would not be a wise and falutary measure.
When WILLIAM III. was placed on the throne of these kingdoms, foon after the abdication of it by JAMES II. in the year 1688, that famous ACT OF PARLIAMENT, known by the name of “THE TOLERATION ACT” was passed into a law in the year 1689, being the first of his reign. The bias which WILLIAM felt towards the DissenTERS, and some de. gree of opposition which he had met with from the members of the EsTABLISHED CHURCH, caused him to be very desirous of favoring the former, by every means in his power. He endeavoured to take off the Sacramental Test from DISSENTERS, and thus render them capable of holding places of trust and confidence without it; but this attempt was repulsed in the House of Lords by a large majority. Though baffled in this point, he was more successful in the toleration of religious worship, which he was so anxious to procure for his friends. After a considerable debate, a bill framed for this purpose by the EARL of NOTTINGHAM was paffed into a law, bearing the title of " AN ACT FOR EXEMPTING THEIR MAJESTY'S PROTESTANT DISSENTING SUBJECTS FROM THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND, FROM THE PENALTIES OF CERTAIN LAWS.".---The preamble of this famous law declares it was made for " ease to scrupulous confciences in the exercise of religion,” which it adds, “ may be an effeétual means to unite their Majesty's Protestant subjects in inter. est and affe&tion.” Few instances can perhaps be pointed out which more ftrikingly evince the weakness and insuificiency of human W'isdom, than the one now before us. For an ACT OF PARLIAMENT passed with the grave deliberation of a whole nation, and possessing a majority of votes in its favor, to constitute it a law; and profefling in its preamble to be a means of “ uniting their Majesly's Protefiant Subjects, &c.” hath in its effects been productive of more DIVISION and SCHISM, than any other cause that can be named. Let us proceed to investigate some of the clauses of the Bill itself.
The first clause declares, that none of the former penal laws made in several preceding reigns shall extend to any person, - diflenting from the Church of England, that thill take the oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, and subscribe the Diclaration AE against Popery, &c.'' By the same clause " the justices of the peace at the general quarter sellions are required to tender and adminifter these oaths and declaration To SUCH PER. SONS AS SHALL OFFER THEMSELVES tótake and subscribe the same, &c." This certainly is a most exceptionable clause, and may be juftly regarded as one great cause of the abundance of enthusiastic and fanatical teachers, who so much prevail in the present day. The jufiices by this clause are obliged to adminifter the oaths to all persons indiscriminately who Mall offer themselves, without having, by the law, the smalleft power of rejecting any candidates, how unqualified or unworthy foever they may be, provided they will declare themselves to be DISSENTERS,'* and take
* A very learned friend and near neiglıbour of mine, not long since, told me that
such oaths as this law demands. Can we wonder at the increase of MeTHODISM when we reflect upon this?
Some of the following sections provide that those Disenters who come ply with the condition of this act in taking the oaths and making the declaration aforesaid, thall not be prosecuted in any ecelefiaftical court for non-conformity to the Church of England.” – Neither shall they be liable to the “pains and penalties of certain acts made in former reigns by reason of their PREACHING or OFFICIATING in any congregation for the exercise of religion permitted and allowed by this act;" that is any congrem gation which profesies to difent from the Church of England. By these clauses PROTESTANT DISSENTERS of every description are defended from all molestation, and may preach their crude and oftentimes unscriptural notions, whensoever they please, to the great disturbance of the regular clergy, and the diminution of their congregations, as well as the incalculable injury of those credulous persons who are led away by them. To all this they may, on being expoftulated with, though in ever so mild a manner, add insult and defiance, and dare the “true shepherd” to drive them from the sheepfold, let them commit what mischief soever they will therein. Can any words describe the sensations of that sincere and conscientious PASTOR of a ChRISTIAN FLOCK, who is thus compelled to see, with an unavailing and useless regret, the havock thus infolently committed in his fold by the wolf fearlessly breaking in upon it? He sees the depredation which is committed, be deplores the wretchedness of his innocent charge,--and he has no power in the lightest manner to afford relief !!
The eleventh section provides that " every teacher or preacher of a congregation who shall take the oaths, &c. required by this ACT, shall be thenceforth exempted from serving on any jury, being chosen churchwarden, overseer of the poor, &c." if he hath taken care to have “ his name” and the fact of his taking the said oaths, &c. "recorded in the said court, for which fixpence shall be paid to the clerk of the peace, and no more." Thus the violent SEPARATIST, is by this clause rewarded with immuni. ties and privileges (which the honeft con FORMIST doth not enjoy) for causing scHISM in the church, and broaching new and dangerous doce trines in the Chriftian community. Does not this demand immediate and effectual revision* ?
he was deputed some time since by his brother'justices to examine such persons as came to the sessions to be licensed under this Act as TEACHERS of a PROTES. TANT DISSENTING CONGREGATION; and such was the deplorable ignorance of one man, that he was unable to give any consistent account of his religious tenets; at last, to extricate himself from his dilemma, he asserted « that his religious opi. nions were the same as those of the CHURCH OF ENGLAND!!"
* Our worthy correspondent must excuse is for entering our caveat against his objeétion to this clause, and we are confident that upon re-consideration he will perceive that we do lo upon a just ground. So far from the clause holding out immunities to diffenting teachers, we take it to be a very salutary resiraint. Other de. scriptions of persons are exempted from serving upon juries belides thefe, because it is fuppoled, that in their professional character they may be bio jed. Dissenting teach. ers are as likely to be so as any others; from the nature of their connexion, and therefore they are properly excluded from serving. With respect to their also being ex. empted from serving parochial offices, as church-warden, overseer, &6. we think
that Finally, each CONGREGATION OR ASSEMBLY for religious purposes allowed by this Act must be certified to the BISHOP of the diocere, &c. and registered in the said bishop's &c. court; and all persons may have a cer. tificate of the same on demanding it and paying the sum of sixpence. · The fundamental error of this Act of PARLIAMENT is that a suf. ficient discretionary power is not lodged in the breasts of the justi. ces appointed by this ACT to grant licences to diffenting teachers, to reject fuch, as on fair and equitable enquiry, shall be found unable, from want of fufficient learning, &c. or unworthy from badness of character, &c. to discharge with fidelity and propriety that most important of all functions, a public teacher of religion. The only disqualifications which appear upon the face of this Act are, those of the candidate's being a “ POPISH RECUSANT,” or “ denying in preaching or writing the doctrine of the blessed Trinity :" all others, be their religious opinions what they may, are entitled by this law to demand a licence to spread their poisonous and peftiferous tenets as widely as they please: and as though enmity to the establithment was a recommendation to them, they mult “ diffent from the CHURCH OF ENGLAND” before they can be intitled to the be. nefits and immunities held forth by this act. · Whoever turns his thoughts towards the high and important office of the MINISTRY in the CHURCH OF ENGLAND, is usually prepared for it by a suitable education at some reputable school; in due time he is removed to one of the universities, and takes one degree there, at least, before he thinks of offering himself as a candidate for HoLY ORDERS: being thus previously and expensively prepared, and having attained the age of twenty-three years, he must look out for some CURACY or other employment in the church, which is to be approved by the BISHOP, and is called a TITLE: he must previously send to the bishop a sufficient TesTIMONIAL from three clergymen of his learning, morals, &c. and at the ap. pointed time must attend to be examined by the BISHOP or his CHAPLAIN; and then, if every thing meets the approbation of the BISHOP, he is with PRAYER and the IMPOSITION OF HANDS most folemnly fet apart for the sacred office of the ministry, and is diligently, faithfully, and according to the best of his abilities to labour in his high vocation.
Such is the awful and folemn process which every regular minister of the established church must undergo, previous to his taking on him that sacred office: in all and in every stage of it the bishop hath the power of rejeciing the candidate, and this without being obliged to align any reason for it : on the other hand, the NON-CONFORMIST, without any education, without preparation, and very frequently, doubtless, without desert, if not indeed positively unworthy of the high office he seeks, may offer himself at the quarter-feflions, proclaim his dislike to the national religion, offer to take a few oaths, &c. which perhaps he never thinks of afterwards, and may INSIST on being licensed to “teach or preach”in a Christian Congregation what religionis opinions he will. If he is the lowest and baseft of mankind, yet provided he complies with the clauses of this Act, he must be licensed as above, and may propagate what milchief he pleases under the semblance of religion; and by this law, shall
that no Church of England man can liave any objection to it, but has cause rather to rejoice that they are not permitted to hold truits of so much importance.-.
be protected from “all pains and penalties whatsoever." This may be frong language, but it is TRUTH, and most loudly proves the necessity of fome reformation in this point!
Gentlemen, I hope yourselves and readers will do me the justice to believe, that nothing but an ardent and fincere regard for that pure part of the Protestant reformed faith to which we, who are of the Church of England belong, could induce me either to trouble you with these few observations, or to enter so warmly into the cause as I have now done. Molt firmly am I persuaded, that, until our legiflators shall effe&tually revise and alter the several provisions of the TOLERATION ACT, we may expeét that METHODISM, FANATICISM, and ANTICHRISTIAN DOCTRINES of every description will flourith and abound. With you, who seem so well aware of the dreadful consequences hereof, I need no longer argue on this unpleasing subject; I shall only offer my fervent wishes that those who have the power of reforming the abuses, may see it in the same light, and very speedily take such effectual steps to remove them, as may by God's bleffing, produce the best and happielt consequences.
With my hearty prayers for the success of the commendable work you have undertaken,--my best wishes for the happiness and prosperity of the CHURCH OF ENGLAND,--and my hopes that all good men will heartily affift you herein, I remain, Gentiemen, with ail truth and fine cerity, your affectionate brother in Christ Jesus, June 7, 1802.
INSPECTOR AND DOCTOR PRIESTLEY. To TŅE EDITORS OF The ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE.
GENTLEMEN, NOT finding the signature of Inspector in your last Magazine, I sufo N fered a severe disappointment. You promise, however, his “ En. quiry into the names of ihe Deity,” in your Supplement, to be published on the 15th instant;-this, in fome measure, consoles me.—Left your Ma. gazine, to appear on Auguft ift, thould be without any original matter from his masterly pen, give me leave to supply an extract from one of his works, intituled, by way of pre-eminence, “ The Inspector.” This extract is not in his learned way; it confifts merely of matter of fact; but it gives us a fact to curious, and exhibits a sečtary, Dr. Priestley him. Self, bearing such strong, though reluctant testimony against Sectarianilm, that I think it cannot but prove acceptable to your readers of the Establishment.
In the summer of 1787 (says the INSPECTOR) I had a conversation with Doctor Priestley at his commodious and elegant villa near Birmingham; in the course of which American politics were introduced. He warmly recommended the American latitudinarian plan of no Church Establishment, but a general and impartial toleration of all religious secls. I pleaded the recency. of the American confiitution; and that no valid argument could be drawn from the ftate of that new country, for fifty years at least, until their constitution should be more thoroughly settled; and I then suddenly re. torted- Prithee, Doctor Priestley, have you felt no inconvenience in being Jubject to the beck of every old woman in your congregation?"-" No man, Sir, (answered he, with warmth) has felt it more leverely than myfelf.” “ If so, (replied I) GIVE ME an eccLESIASTICAL ESTABLISHMENT." This I will Vol. III. Churchm, Mag, July, 1802.