« ZurückWeiter »
< XV. Son of God an appellation common to a great portion of the human race-Adam and Jesus in a more appropriate manner fons of God- Jesus the son of God-but not the son of himself.
XVI. Eternity of the earth-form of God humiliation of God.
• XVII. A spirit brooding over matter not the holy ghost-the holy spirit a thing given-procession of the holy spirit--the holy spirit allowed by the bihop to be a quality.
.6 XVIII. A verse in the English Bible fpurious--hopes that the bißop will continue the examination of the scriptures.
"XIX. Predeftination- newspaper herefy-mother and babe bishop's babes--the women puzzled-suspicion of episcopal heresy --author's opinion on the five, points.
• XX. Heresy! heresy ! heresy !-profane swearing a very idle custom-the bilhop and the author agree-the church of England point-blank against them bothbishop's violent language against the church-it is fafer for one man to steal a horse than for another to look over the hedge.
. XXI. The bishop and the author convicted --can any one be a member of the church of England - wisdom of the articles for Christian communion-conclusion.'
The liberality of sentiment exhibited in the bishop of Lincoln's Elements, and the manliness of daring to think for hiin. self, are well known, and have excited no small degree of asto.. nishment in the church. And in consequence of his having thrown off the trammels of authority, and relolved to be determined by the reason of his own mind, our author, in the above series of letters, brings to this test a variety of doctrinal articies which still appear to constitute the bishop's creed-and candidly discusses with hin whether or not they will endure this fiery and purifying ordeal, and, in consequence, whether, or not he should any longer submit to their influence? As a specimen of the mode in which he combines pleasantry with ratiocination, we shall select the letter on heresy, comprising the twentieth in the above arrangement.
• My Lord, • Not many years ago I was in a company when a clergyman gave a toast pretty common in those times, “ Damnation to the dir. senters," and the impression made by it upon my mind was similar to that, which the damnation clause in the AthanaGan Creed seems to have made upon your lordship. If a drunken wretch in the Streets should call out on either of us as we were passing— Damn your eyes and limbs,” we know how to pity him, and to lament, that such expressions (hould bring is into deserved disgrace among foreign nations : but, if a set of men, dressed up in fine robes, with wax tapers in their hands, fhould in a folemn assembly, called for that purpose, address an unfortunate individual, who happened
not to think as they did ;- Damn your eyes and limbs, you infamous heretick, infidel, apostate, dejít, atheist," a sudden awe seizes the spectators, they look with horror on the object of these curses, they think that such a solemn denunciation will produce its effect on the almighty. Strange conceit! The poor wreich in the streets, and there poorer wretches in the church, are beheld with an equal eye by the Lord of Heaven and Earth. The God of Love will not Jitten to the curses of human beings, the one drunk with fermented liquor, the others with the ferment of fpiritual pride, intolerance, and ambition,
• The kingdom of England was for many years treated somewhat in this manner. An old bifhop, attended by a number of archbiAlops and bishops, was accustomed to lay our country under a folemn curse, and the farce, baling its impiety, was as amufing as many other farces played by that bishop and his brethren in publick. We see at once the impiety of these curses when levelled against ourselves; but, how common is it to entertain a limilar fen. -timent in our own minds when difguiled under lefs offensive terms !
Thus, because the fcriptures have faid: “ He that believeth Mall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be judged ;" fects have laid down the terms for this belief and salvation, and whoever differs from them in the articles of their creed is subjected to eternal dampation.
Your lord ship is not of this opinion. “ We are not to consider all, who differ from us, as unworthy of or excluded from the favour of God.” In this sentiment I hearrily concur with your lordfhip: to his own Maker every man ttandeth or falleth, and there is one judge appointed over all, Jesus our Saviour. But, my lord, how are we to reconcile our opinion with that of the church of England. The church says, there are three creeds “ which ought thoroughly to be received and believed, for they may be proved by most certain warrants of holy scripture." In one of these creeds is a clause which I Mall here copy : “ This is the catholick faith, which except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved. Whosoever will be saved, belore all things it is necesary that he hold the catholick faith, which faith, except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly."
• The church of England says, that the above clause " onght to be received and believed, for it may be proved by most certain warrants of holy scripture." I read your lord lip's account of this clause, and find, forft, that, according to your lordip, the church would have acted more wisely” in leaving it out. Is this really true? How must the faith then of every churchman in the articles be staggered by an opinion advanced from such high authority? But this is not all! This negative disparagement of the church does not satisfy your lord ship: you speak more decidedly on this subject, and absolutely deny, that the Athanafian Creed can, as the church of England Cavs it may, “ be proved by most certain warrants of holy scripture.” For you do not scruple to assert, that " it is ut. terly repugnant to the attributes of God, and it cannot be reconciled to our ideas of common justice, that a person should be configned to eternal punishment, because he did not believe certain articles of faith, which were never proposed to him, or of the truth of which he was not qualified to judge.” The church, my lord, does not allow of any such distinctions; her words are clear and explicit : “ which faith, except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he fall perish everlastingly.”
. But, my lord, what shall I say to a ftill greater attack made upon the church, which affects its discipline as well as its doctrine ? These are your words : “ I cannot but conceive it to be both una necessary and presuinptuous to say, that except every one do keep them whole and undefiled, without doubt he hall perish everlastingly.” Your lordip thinks it presumptuous to utter these words !!! But the church of England not only says that these words shall be uttered, but has appointed the days in which they fall be uttered folemnly in all the churches of England. Your lord ship, much to your honour, frequents, and often officiates, I understand, in the parish church adjoining to your palace. What will be the consen quence of this your declaration to that parish, and indeed to your clergy in general!!! If your lordhip should officiate on one of the days appointed for the reading of this clause, and it should be omitted, will not the clergy be encouraged by such an example to garble the liturgy according to their apprehensions of the propriety of its lan
guage? If a clergy man officiates before your lord ship on that day, · and the clause is uttered, how can he presume to enter afterwards into your presence? and, if it is not uttered, how can he reconcile with such a conduct his promise to perform the service of the church as prescribed in its liturgy?
• You may reinember, my lord, a gentleinan, who not many years ago was attacked at Cambridge by a cabal there known by the name of the cubicks, under the pretext of " impugning religion as establifted by publick authority within this realm." You were prea fent at some part of the proceedings against him, which ended in driving him from his ludies, and raisng several of his adversaries to dignities and preferments in the univerlity and church. One article against him was for saying, that the liberty of the established church " is very far from the standard of purity in doctrine which is regaired in such compofitions." What an unfortunate man he was to be unacquainted at that time with your lordship's sentiments! Ho snight have requested you to answer a few questions, which, without doubt, would have had some influence on the court.
• Question. My lord bishop of Lincoln, did you ever read in the liturgy the following sentence? “ Which faith, except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perilh ever. la stingly."
• Answer. I have,
"Q. Does your lordship think, that this sentence is very far from the standard of purity required in such compofitions ?
A. I think it both unnecessary and presumptuous to utter such a sentence.
• After such a declaration, my lord, is there not a danger that the name of the right reverend George Pretyman, lord bishop of Lincoln, will in the annals of the university descend to posterity as an impugner of the liturgy of the established church.
With all the respect I can entertain for a person who thinks it unnecessary and presumptuous to utter what the church has ordain. ed to be uttered in her most solemn assemblies, I remain, &c.' P. 141.
It should seem from a note fubjoined to this letter, that the • gentleman' here referred to, as having been attacked by the cubicks, is the author himself: and we are directed for farther information on this subject to an Account of the Proceedings in the Uuiversity of Cambridge against William Frend, M. A. Fellow of Jesus College, Cambridge, for publishing a Pamphlet, intitled Peace and Union, &c. published by the Defendant. 1793. Robinsons.'
The letter that follows concludes the series; and, with an obvious allusion to what has been already advanced, Mr. Frend quotes from Dr. Pretyman the following very honour. able declaration in his Elements, that if any one thinks that he fees reason to diffent from any of the doctrines asserted in the articles of the church, no dread of inconvenience or difappointment should induce him to express his folemn assent to propositions which, in fact, he does not believe.' Upon this passage our author makes the following observation.
• Dissent in your lord lip's estimation from any of the doctrines precludes subscription. It matters not whether the doctrine, which I disbelieve, is considered by your lordship to be of great importance, or the doctrine, which you disbelieve, is conGdered by my. self to be of little importance, we are not either of us conftituted judges of this importance; we cannot either of us conscientiously * Subscribe to the articles : we are not either of us true members of the church of England.
• If then, according to your lord ship's account, you cannot be assured of “ the divine blessing upon that course of life, to which you have solemnly devoted yourself," what is to be done? Muit your lordslip relign your bishoprick, give up the deanery of St. Paul's, quit your high station in the church? These are serious questions, my lord, and the dilemma, in which you have placed yourself, is a solemn call on your lord thip to compare the faith re. *quired by the church of England of its members with the terms laid down by our Saviour and his apostles for Chriftian communion.' P. 148.
,. The dilemma here pointed out is, we think, obvious: but
From the specimens we have given of these letters, our readers, we apprehend, will wish to become farther acquainted with them ; and they will uniformly find, in the perufal, satire combined with courtesy, and seriousnels with ratiocination.
Journal of a Voyage performed in the Lion Extra Indiaman,
from Madras to Columbo, and Da Lagoa Bay, on the Eastern Coast of Africa (where thc Ship was condemned), in the Year . 1798." With some Account of the Manners and Customs of the Inhabitants of Da Lagoa Bay, and a Vocabulary of the Language. By William White, Esq. Captain in the 73d Highland Regiment of Foot. Plates. 410. 75. Boards. Stockdale. 1800.
THE author of this Journal has prefixed to it the follow. ing advertisement.
• When I left India I had not the slightest idea of ever offering any thing to the public eye, and of course was by no means prepared for such an undertaking. My role reason for laying the fol. lowing pages before the public is not vanily, but a sincere wish of giving fome information to my country, respecting a part of Africa not much known, though often frequented by both British and American whalers. If this Mould be so considered, my end is gained ; though I must observe, that if my health had permitted, and I had made a longer stay, I could have rendered it much more inieresting. I had hardly paper fufficient to make a fair transcript of what I had written, and few or no materials for drawing.'
The narrative is plain and unadorned. Captain White left