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Either this Author is very stupid, or he presumes his Church of England Reader to be so. If the latter can without Resentment bear to have the-Cap so impudently put upon his Head, he deserves to wear it; if he can't, it shall be taken from bis, and put upon the Author's, which it will fit better.
I could quietly put up with the Infolence and Affront to the Church of England, if no other Malice, or the Design of Mis bief were discover able at the Bottom of it. But as it apparently tends to bellen- the Reputation our Church has acquir'd among her Neigbbours for her fignal Fidelity to ber Princes, so it is manifestly rais'd and levell’d to batter the pious Resolution which her Majesty has graciously declared berself to have taken in Favour of our Church.
Even this Effort too might be flighted, did not the Spirit of the Party glare anmask'd quite ibro' it ; I mean Calumny and Disingenuity. To wave a particular Discusion of the remoter Instances of the Church of England's Disloyalty, which he pretends to fetch from History, ibo’ be cites none, and to spare ourselves the Trouble of raking into Misrepresentations, foreign to, and too tedious for this Place, and to which, perhaps, want of Books, or want of understanding 'em, may be pleaded in mitigation of Damages ; it may suffice to observe his Candour and Justice to the Church of England in the single Point of the late Revolution. Those of it; that did concur with others, in promoting that Revolution, are revild and villify'd, as Men of no Faith or Principles, and therefore not fit to be trusted, countenanc’d.or protected ; and those that did not, as Men of pernicious Principles, inconsistent with, and destructive of the Civil Rights and Liberties of ihe People, and therefore fit only to be hang'd or drowned out of the Way. I bere's the Church of England provided for all at once, by an easy Expedient, and the Author bas prepared a sufficient Justification of it. Hang some of the Rogues for adhering to King James, and kick the rest out of Doors as Rebels for not adhering to him. This Author, by his Principles and Justice, pould be a New England Author, where the godly Brethren are famous for commuting, and other quaint Devices, to get rid of unsanElified People.
But sure this Author does think in bis Conscience, (if be has any) that either they did well who abandon’d the Interests of King James, or they who stood by them. Then why are they equally be patter'd and render'd cdious ? Why, but because they profess themselves of ihe Church of England, and well or ill-doing is equal to bim; 'tis all Abomination, if the Doer be a Church of England-man? And why should deserting the Interest of an unhappy. Prince be imputed by him to the Sons of the Church as a Crime, which A&t be not only justifies in the Dillenters, but extols as big bly meritorious ; because, (as this Author. insinuates) the Church-man offends against the Light of bis Conscience, fins against Principle, and stands Self.convičted and condemn'd; which i'other (as he pretends) does not.
But bere bis. Conclusions out-ftrip bis Arguments, and his Assertions go a great Way farther than bis Proofs. There are two Things with which be very -boldly charges the Church of England, and wherein consists the Force and Asivity of all that Venom which le. Spits at her, which it will be very hard for. biin to make out. VOL. III.
First, That Paffive Obedience was ever a Principle of the Church of England.
Secondly, That, if it was ever a Principle, the Church has fince renounc'd it, laid it aside, or broke through it.
But so unlikely an Adversary is ibis Gentleman, to prove the Church false to her Principles, that he does not seem to know what it is that constitutes any DoEtrine a Principle of the Church, nor bow to distinguish between the Tenets and Opinions of private DoEtors, and the Principles of the Church. To entitle any Church, religious Congregation, or Society, to any DoEtrine, as a. Principle, it ought to have been once, at leaft, enjoined to be received as necessary Matter of Faith, by fucb Person or Perfons, as by the Consent of the colleEtitie Body of the Church, are vefted with an Authority declarative of what is necesary to be believed.
It is not to our present Purpose to enquire with whoin the Church of England bas lody'd that Power ; it is sufficient to know, that all that pe bas enjoin'd as necesary to be believed, is contain'd in her nine and thirty Articles, and in ber Canons ; in which I dare venture to affirm, that there is nothing to be found, which does, either in a literal, or even constructive Sense, enjoin the Belief of Palive Obedience in such a Manner or Sense. as he has charged it upon ber; and therefore it is a malicious, and very ignorant Scandal, to charge ber with falling from ber Principles, even tha' Me should have asted contrary to the Notion of Palive Obedience, as by him laid down.
It is true, the Notion of Passive Obedience bas been frequently and vigorously inculcated into the Sons of the Church by divers of ber Doctors; but i ben it was done without any other Power than that of Perfuafion, or other Authority tbaia fucle Arguments as they were able to bring from Scripture, Reafon, and the Writings of the Fathers. It is not material to enquire whether their Doftrine was erroneous or not; because if it were, the Church is not answerable for it, and if it were true, it does no more thereby become a Principle of tbe Church, than that every equilateral Triangle is equal to twa right ones, is a Principle of the Church. And yet I believe every individual Doctor of the Church, who bas considered the Proposition, does believe it to be most infallibly true. The Church does not interpose its Authority for every useful Truth; but leaves her Sons at Liberty as to many great Points, concerning wbich they may differ, according la the several Convictions of their own Minds, and yet be equally ber Sons. Of these, the now unfashionable Point is one ; of whicb: I shall anly add; that were it as confiftent with worldly Interest and Security, as it is conformable to: tbe: Gospel Spirit of Christianity, I fee no Reason to quarrel with it.
But supposing a Belief of. Passive Obedience bad been enjoined by the Church's How does it appear, that the Church has revolted, or broken loose from the Oblin gation of that. Principle, allowing it (for. Argument. Sake only) to be a Principle of the Church? What did the Church do in Violation of it Did the Church turn out King James? Did the Church, by any falemn Act or Declaration, renounce Palive. Obedience, or declare King Jamnes deprived of his Regal Crown
and Dignity ? Without some fucb Acts as these, by the Authority of the Church, or (to go somewhat farther than we are in Justice obliged) a general Defeation of the Members of the Church from their Allegiance, and of none else, if any Thing was criminal in the Transactions of that Time, it is not to be charged upon the Church.
The great and only Instance of the Church of England's pretended Disoyalty and NegleEt of Principles, is the deposing (for fo this Author will have it to be) of King James. I ak who did that? While it was a Recommendation at Court, the Dissenters or Whigs (which are synonimous Terms with bim) laid fole Claim 10 it, as a meritorious Work, and were bountifully rewarded for it. Now the great Advantage is thought to be over, the Church is to be entitled to the Odium. But to ease the Disenters as much as I can, I say it was ibe Prince of Orange's Army and the Convention that did it. The Army drove the King away, and the Convention declared his going away Abdication. I fall not bere undertake to de-, termine, whether this was or was not according to Law or Gospel; but we · know who at that Time urg'd both against it. I suppose it may be doubted, whether the Church of England bad a Majority in either; and therefore what tbey did, ought not to be charged as the A&t and Deed of the Church.
But ibis Gentleman says they fought against the King in Ireland, and if they did not kill bim, they intended it; for their Bullets had no Condition of Exception. It was, indeed, a Fault in the Church of England Men (if any there were) not to limit the Commission of their Bullets to three Miles, left they mould touch the Lord's Anointed. But how comes this to be the Fault of the Church? How does it appear, that a few Red-coats, Soldiers of Fortune (whose Religion is usually to be chofen) fome Dutch, fome Danes, some Swiss, Tome French, Tomé Irish, some Scots, were the legal Representatives of the Church of England ? Till be proves them to be so, the Church is not obliged to answer for what they did.
But after all, this Gentleman seems to have no Manner of clear Notion of Paffive Obedience: It implies no more, than not refifting by Violence those whom God has fet over us, without involving curselves in the Intricacies and Difficulties of doubtful, or disputed Titles: Who made us Judges over Israel? We send our wise Men to represent and determine, and 'tis our Duty to submit.
It is bard to stop bere ; the insufferable Infolence of the Parallel between the Usage that King Charles I. met wiib from the Disenters, and King James II. met with from the Church of England, is scarce to be borne. The Provocation is very great, and the field unbounded; but we bave not Room to prosecuto she War bere ; but if this Author jall think fit to carry on the War, I promise to accept bis Challenge.
In the mean Time this Author tells us, that he does not intend to widen Breaches, and means nothing but Reconciliation. We have met with Friendships indeed in History before, which have begun with Asasinations, but we never beard of their Reality or Duration. He that mould spit in ny Face pullickly, and pretend afterwards it was meer Kindness and Respect, would have a hard Task to persuade me. I shall not pretend to advise the Genilemen of the Church
of England, who, I presume, will be sufficiently aware of Men of this Writer"; Kidney, who, while they pretend to make Advances of Kindness and Reconciliation, labour to sink the Reputation of their Probity, Virtue, and Under, standing
T has been the hard Fortune of the People of England to be misrepre
sented, for some Years last past, both Abroad and at Home, and thereby to be render'd contemptible and odious to their Neighbours ; as a People inconsistent with themselves, wavering in their Resolutions, fickle in their Alliances, unfriendly to their Neighbours ; and to become jealous of one another, angry with their best Patriots, and fond of those who labour'd to subvert their Constitution, Church and Liberties, &c.
It may seem strange to those who have not sufficiently consider'd, or are not well acquainted with Matters of this Nature, that it should be possible for a People to become contemptible to their Neighbours, while they gave such manifest Proofs of their Strength, Courage and Wealth ; or to be odious to those who subsisted chiefly by their Succours and Amstance.
Yet such has been the Artifice of fome designing People, that our Allies have been made to believe, that tho' we had all those Qualities actually existent in us, yet we were a rude, indigested Mass, a Rabble of People that had no Soul or Form, but what the King, and a few of his Ministers, gave us ; that, like Flints, we had no Fire but what was struck from us; and would exert none of our unactive, lazy Powers, but by their In fpiration.
This gave our Allies a very high Idea of the King, and thofe about him, that could move such a lumpish, inanimate Body to such great and noble Actions ; but it fill'd chem, at the same Time, with a Contempt of that People, who wanted Life and Soul to exert that Force that lay dormant in them, till it was 'rouz’d and directed by others. They took us to be like Guns, that might do a great deal of Good or Harni as we were used; but that all the Thanks was owing to the Engineers and Gunners that mounted, charg'd, and fir'd at us; and that after the Service was over, it was no Matter whether we split or rusted. This was manifest from the little Regard that was shewn the English Nation, during the whole Course of the late War, and after it ; and was owing to the Artifices of some People, who magnified their own Services and Affection to our Allies, and represented a House of Commons, (the Representatives of the collective Body of the People) as a weak Assembly, which they could either lead or drive as they pleased. By these Means they gain’d so far upon some of our Neighbours, as to be able to prompt them to interpose in Matters of the highest Importance to us, and to prevail fometimes against the manifest Interest of this Kingdom.
To support this Credit Abroad, they found it necessary to make some Figure of it at Hoine, and to keep a Party, which, tho' considerable for nothing
but their Capacity of Conscience, and confidence, were thought proper Inftruments, by false Clamour, and forg'd Calumnies, to create Divisions, and foment Faction among the People; to maintain which Party, and to keep their Inventions warm, Millions, perhaps, of the publick Money have been unaccountably lavish'd, and one Mint has labour'd to encourage the other. By these Arts they fo far poison'd a great Part of common People with Jealousies and groundless Apprehensions, as to render many of the Gentlemen in all Parts of England, who are most considerable for their 'Abilities, Integrity and Courage, as well as Quality and Estate, suspected and fear'd by them. No sooner did any of these signalize himself in the House of Commons but his Honour was attack'd, and he was branded with Popery and France, how unjustly foever ; scandalous Stories, Libels, and malicious lying Accusations were spread of him throughout England, without either Proof or Author, and his Reputation was wounded by unknown Hands, that made their Markets at the Expence of his Fame.
It may be worth while to observe whither these Practices tended. First, By representing us a weak, irresolute People in ourselves, that knew nor how to manage our own Strength and Wealth, they gave our Neighbours and Allies Courage to prefume upon us, and to interpose in our Affairs, and to test themselves secure, that having gained those few (whom they thought our Leaders) on their Side, they had nothing to do but to gain over the King to their. Party, and the Business was done ; the Affes would be tame, and might be driven to the Pound, or whither else they pleafed ; and by possessing them, that we were such malevolent ill Neighbours, as were never to be brought to any hearty or sincere Intentions towards their Allies, they provok'd them to hate us ; and having wrought them to a Belief, that to them only they were obliged for all the great Services they received from England, prepared them to back all their Measures, and second their Designs, whenever they should signify to them their Schemes were ripe, and that the proper Season was come ; which, had not Providence prevented, we might have seen ten Times more Foreign Soldiers in England than those we struggle fo hard to send away, and as many fewer of our own at Home than we thought safe to keep up.
But as this Design was bipartite, it was as necessary to be well with one Party at least at Home as Abroad. The Gentlemen all over England were found unfit for their Purposes; their Principles were found, and their Scakes too great, to give up either our Church or Constitution, and therefore a Party who had always laboured the Subversion of both, were advanced and carrels'd, as the only true stanch Protestants. But these being a Party alone too weak to effect what they aimed at, they took in a Sort of mungril Church-goers, whose Conformity was not the Result of Principle, but of a-luke-warm Compliance with the Humour of the Times ; who could as readily have embraced any other Church and Doctrines, in which they cou'd find their own private Accompt. . These they dignified with the specious Title of Men of Moderation and Temper, tho' they, and the Party they were now united with, were