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adopt the language of Jerem. II. 13, with fufficient propriety ; nor can it, I think, be deemed a breach of charity to make a direct application of 2 Tim. IV, 3, to your case, and to every case of a similar nature. As you once were a member of the Church of England, it behoved you, before you left it, to lay before the particular minifter, under whose care Providence had seen good to place you, the difficulties you felt, and the reasons, which seemed to call upon you to withdraw yourself. Had you done this, and he had been unable to remove your objections, you would have stood clearer from the charge of schili, than you now do.
The three reasons, which you give for your separation, confirm me in the opinion, that you have no good reason to give ; for the first two are founded on a mis-representation of facts, and the third is founded only on your own imagination. In your first reason, you apply 2 Cor. vi. 17, " Come out from among them, and be ye separate, &c.” to the Church of England. It is probable, that, in the Meeting-house, this text is often fo applied; but, if you think it rightly applied, I do not see how you can, with a safe conscience, attend the service of the Church of England at all. It is, however, a sad and uncharitable perversion of the Apostle's meaning. He is speaking of the intercourse, which the early Christians had with the heathens, and is warning his converts against the danger, into which such intercourse led them, of being carried back again to the worship of idols, which were the gods of the heathens. If this text were rightly applied to the Church of England, you would be no more justified in attending her service, than the early Christians would have been jur. tified in worshipping in the heathen temples. It is very proper to avoid associating with ungodly people, who, by their example, &c. may lead you into wrong conduct; but this is a very different thing from leaving their worship. Their worship may be right, though their general conduct is wrong. You cannot say, that the worship of the Church of England is ungodly. Some of the profeffed members of the Church of England may be ungodly. It must be acknowledged, that too many of them are fo. “ They are not all Ifrael, which are of Israel." But then you should remember, that you cannot know who are ungodly in their hearts. There is another, who judgeth. See Rom. xiv. 4, 10, 13. See also Jam. iv. il, 12. Your business is with the worship of the Church of England, not with the character of its particular members. Heb. x. 25, which you quote as a justification of your aisembling together for worship, does not come up to the purpose. I not only allow, but I infist upon it, that it is a duty to assemble for public worship; but then I contend, that the mode of affembling for this purpose ought to be such as is justified by reason and fcripture, and sanctioned by public authority. If this passage justified every mode of assembling for public worship, there could be no such thing as schisin; at least, schilm could not be a pn; and we know, that the Apostle earnestly contends against schism as a hin.
With respect to your second reason, namely, that " fome of the ministers of the Church of England deny, that there is any such thing as the pardon of fin in this world," I only alk, whether the particular minifter, under whom you were placed, denied this ? and whether he omitted to read the absolution ? If so, you had reason to complain. If not, I can only fay, that you have been sadly mis-informed. Before you suffered yourself to act upon luch a supposition, you ought to have been well as
sured Mured of its truth, and to have experienced some real spiritual inconvenience from it; neither of which you can pretend. The private opinions of fome clergymen of the Church of England, who live you know not where, could be no good reason for your separation from the Church, even if their opinions had been as you state. What could that be to you, unless they had hindered you from the benefit of abfolution?
Your third reason, namely, that “ you have found more benefit to your soul under the Methodist ministry than any other,” being, as I said, founded only on your own imagination, does not admit of any answer on the grounds of reason. You alone can be a judge of it. I can only say, respecting it, that our imaginations are very deceitful things to build on, and that I wish to rest upon a firmer foundation.
I send you a little book, * which I hope you will read with candour and attention. It is my wish, that you may receive benefit from it, and pursue such a conduct as may be satisfactory to yourself, and most promote your happiness. I again express my sorrow, that you did not at first, consult with the minister of your pariih, as in duty you were bound to do. I fear you are in the hands of teachers, who may find it flattering to themselves to keep you among them, and it can hardly be expected, that they will give you disinterested advice. They are, however, fo inconsistent with themselves, that you may, in time, when you conje to think for yourself, see their inconsistency. I happen to be able to give you an instance. A Methodist teacher wrote to me, not long since, requesting me to explain to him a difficult pailage of scripture, on which, he said, he had preached the Sunday before to a crouded audience; and he was afraid, that he had mis-interpreted the pallage, and incurred the guilt of leading the people into dangerous errors. He told me, in the fame letter, that the Spirit of Christ had called him to preach the Goipel. Now, what inconsistency is here! Can we believe, that the Spirit of Christ should call a person to preach the Gospel, and yet allow him, in his preaching, to lead the people into dangerous error ? This letter I have now by me, and I consider it as a signal proof, as well as specimen, of the inconsistencies, into which preachers of that description must frequently fall.
I am, &c.
To the EDITORS of The ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE.
GENTLEMEN, I Am a new correspondent, but we may, perhaps, in time be better ac
quainted, as I thall be happy to atlist your excellent undertaking, not only as a purchaser, but a contributor.
Though no one is more ready to join in the merited compliment of « Gloria Vincenti !" yet I must own, I think the Vincentian Controversy has been, and may be, productive of much good, and ought not to be concluded prematurely. Other masters, at least of the largest seminaries, should also give the same fatisfaction to the public respecting their principles and modes of instruction, that their illustrious leader has done. The new master of Eton in particular, Dr. Goodall, might be expected not to be far behind hand. I mean not, however, to suggest anything respecting this gentleman, whom I do not know, but I have introduced the tube
* Address to the people called Methoiti?s. Vol. III. Churchm. Mag. Aug. 1802. N
ject merely for the sake of asking the following plain and open questions, Is there, or is there not, at Eton, at this very time, a book-society composed of young pupil-mongers, who take in the Monthly Magazine, and other publications of that fort? And has not the British Critic, Peter Porcupine, &c. been unanimously voted out by them, with marks of derision and contempt, such as “ Ah, poor Peter, not one vote for him, he! he! he! &c. ?” This I look upon as an enquiry of the utmost importance ; for, if the youth of our very first families be consigned for education to persons of such principles, what can we expect, but that whig-clubs will be recruited and multiplied, 'till our religion and government, and every thing that is dear to us, be swallowed up in the barathrum of jacobinical liberty, and The Dev'l, and Bonaparte divide the prize? I am, gentlemen, your's, &c.
OBSCURUS, P.S. When a young man at College, 40 years ago, I noted in my Common-place Book, St. Paul's tas uzdodela78 A1a6ca8, (see p. 326 of your last Vol.) as the probable and appropriate definition of Methodilin, The propriety has not since been leffened.
TO THE EDITORS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE, GENTLEMEN,
London, 4th August, 1802. I Feel myself under particular obligations for the honor you have done me, I by inserting the letters I have heretofore taken the liberty of writing. I must now beg leave, through the medium of your excellent Miscellany, to make a remark on the subject of monumental inscriptions, which I am sorry to observe are too frequently, either by the badness of the grammar, or quaintness or ludicrousness of the expreslions, more calculated to raise a smile, than inspire that seriousness, which such subjects ought to excite. I would, therefore, with submission propose, that no epitaph (where there is any more than the name and age of the parties) should be permitted to be placed in any church or church-yard, until it had been revised and approved of by the Rector or Vicar of the parish ; a small compensation to whom for his trouble, as might be deemed reasonable, would not, I trust, be thought exorbitant by those who wish to pay that tribute of refpeét, to the memory of their departed friends.
I am, gentlemen, your's, &c.
ON THE CRITICAL REVIEW OF MR. BASELEY's SERMONS. TO THE EDITORS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE,
GENTLEMEN, THOUGH it does not appear to make any part of your plan to notice. 1 the erroneous principles and improper conduct of the periodical critics, yet I think an occasional animadversion upon them, would be fàtisfactory to many of your readers. Whether this hint meets with your ap. probation or not, you will, I trust, allow an old correspondent to occupy an early page of your useful Miscellany, in remarking upon a criticism which appeared in the CRITICAL Review for June last, of Mr. Baleley's Volume of Sermons, recently published, and mentioned with due commendation in the critical department of your work.
The critic pecks in the outset, at the two discourses on Liberty and Necessity, the reasoning on which he says, “he is not sure that he rightly apprehends.” This wears the face of candour, but it would have been more good-natured, and certainly it would have been more consistent with the rules of found criticism, to have stated the positions which are so extremely involved, as to have perplexed a sagacious reviewer " in the silence of his closet.” It is very easy to charge a discourse or treatise with obscurity and absurdity, but the impartial byítander will naturally enquire for proofs of this obscurity and absurdity, else the critic will fall under the just accusation of malice or ignorance. But why should there be a studied endeavour to set a volume of sermons in an unfavourable light, by lightly observing, that there are positions and conclusions in them which the reviewer does not rightly understand ? It was his business to have studied the subject and the reasoning upon it, with a little more closeness before he issued forth his judicial opinion ; and if he was not competent to the task, which it is pretty evident he was not, his temerity proves his disgrace.
But I wave this point, and proceed to another. The Critical Reviewer was certainly in a very ill-natured humour, when this Volume of Disa courses lay before him: and the bile on his stomach must have had a very pernicious influence upon his pericranium. Unfortunately Mr. Baseley has chosen as a text for his Sermon on Religious Mysteries, the famous passage i John v, 7. concerning the interpolation of which, so much has been written and so little proved.
The critic wonders that any man should venture to quote this text as genuine, and he wonders more, that a chaplain of the Bishop of Lincoln should preach upon it; and the reason why he wonders is, because the bishop has given up the authenticity of the verse. And so, because his lordship has yielded, and in my opinion too easily, to certain mathematical critics, who have been applying their scale of proportions to the scriptures, we are to follow his example, Much as I revere and respect this excellent prelate, I am bold enough to assert my liberty in this instance, and on the solid footing of antiquity and the analogy of faith, I will not yield a particle of scripture verity to any man whatever. If this application of the proportional scale is to be admitted on all occasions of scripture criticisms, I tremble for the consequences. As to the text's being wanting in more of the Greek MSS. than in the Latin, it is not sufficient to overthrow its authority even upon a mathematical mode of reasoning. For as the opposition to the Catholic doctrine of the Trinity began in the Eastern Churches, the probability is, that the guilt of leaving out the paslage in question lies with them; and not the guilt of foilting it in upon the Latins.
I am glad to see that Mr. Baseley has had the spirit to preach and print too upon this famous text, notwithstanding the conceflions made to the adversaries of our faith, by writers of found orthodoxy and piety. But it is curious to see a Critical Reviewer, who generally clamours about freedom of thought, liberty of private judgment, and independence of principle, blaming our author for not pinning, part at least, of his faith upon the sleeve of the Bifhop of Lincoln, to whom he is chaplain.
I know not whether this reviewer be, as I have heard it whispered, a clergyman of the Established Church, or whether he is a sectary of the Socinian class. What makes me inclined to believe the former is, that
th- Peport is marked with screwhat more of decent clothing, than usually Conguithes the critiques of the Critarian faction. But at ail erents, thie artice tetrays an enmity to the corner tone cf Chritianity, I mean the eternal godicad ci aur bietied Sariour. I am, seulemen, &c. Auenit gth, 1802.
ADMONITIONS IN TIME OF HARVEST. Let us now fear the Lord our God, who giveth rain bork he former and the laiter, in his fearon: ke referveih unto us the artcinied teeks of harsel. Jerem. V.24. TIME and circumstances enhance the laudableness or the guilt of Imen's tempers and actions.–To offend a benefatior openly and noto. 1cy, at the time He is beliowing His LARGESS, would be concilind by air men, as the vileft ingratiiude. To apply this: lil Haraof the supreme bene acier, Almighty God, is giving us his bounty
', therefore at such feaíons if ihe inga:kevers not only rob God of hij duc tribute of thankfulness and praise, but alio profane His name, alue the gifts cf His providence to drunkennels, and excess, and et ont Lim to llis face, by words and ways too many to be expressed ; t!iito fin with crimson and scarlet dye, and with higher aggravations than at other times.
Ve speak as to reasonable persons; are not these things fo? Be pera' fuaded, then, to fiand in awe, and beg of God, for Christ's fake, you may not thus fin. Watch and remember, that impiety in this season is ihrerfold impiety. Therefore,
I. Let mailers and servants bearin mind the bright examples recorded of that wealthy and honourable husbandman Boaz and his reapers, Ruth ii. 4. And Behold Boaz came from Bethlchem, and said unto his reapers, the Lord be with you; and they answered him, ile Lod bless thee. May you do fo, and be bleiled!
II. Let it be considered, that all the plenty on the earth is the Lord's : He is the proprietor, Pf. xxiv. 1. The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof, the world, and they who dwell therein. Pf. civ. 13, 14, 15, 27, et seq.
III. Consider also, it is at his pleasure whether there shall be weeks of Harvest or not. When He pleafeih He saith to the Snow, be thou upon the earth : likewise to the small rain, and to the grrat rain of His strength. He fealeth up every man's hand, that all men may know His work. Job xxxvii. 6, 7.-Surely they deserve the marks of His high displeasure to whom it might be said as in Jeremich v. 24. Neither say they in their heart, let us nou; frar the Lord our God, who giveth rain, both the former and the latter in Mis seafon : He referveth unto us the appointed weeks of HARVEST. May it not be expected He will say in his anger as in Hofea ii. 8, 9. For she did not know (i. e. did not consider) that I gave her corn and wine and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal. Therefore cuill I return and take away my corn in the time thereof, &c.
IV. Further consider, your health, strength, and life are in His hand. He can send upon you cursing, vexation, and rebuke in all you set your hand unto. He can smite you with consumption, and with a fever, and with an inflammation, and extreme burning, with the burning ague, and with the sword, &c. Deuter. xxviii. 20. 22. Levit. xxvi. 16. Oh! reverence the Almighty speaking, Deuter. xxxii. 39. See now that I, even I, am He, and there is no God with me : I kill, and I make alive: I wound and I heal: