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bishop's Palace, about two o'clock in the morning, in the chamber over that in which the bishop slept, “ which” he says, “ by God's providence, to which I ascribe all the blessings and deliverances ! meet with, I soon extinguished ; had it continued undiscovered but a very short space of time, the wind was so high, that in all probability it would have reduced my house to ashes.”
In the year 1703, he obtained an act of settlement, of which men. tion is made in his history of the Isle of Man, which history was at the desire of Bishop Gibson inserted in his second edition of Cambden's Britannia :-But his great modesty would never permit him to say that he was the author of that benefit to his diocese, though it was obtained solely by his indefatigable pains and application.This year was remarkable for the ecclesiastical constitutions, which were read to the clergy, and agreed to in full convocation, and meeting with the full approbation of the Lords, Deemsters, and Keys, passed into a law. These constitutions, planned and framed by his Lordship, will afford and exhibit to the world a specimen of that primitive discipline which existed in this diocese during his Lordship's Episcopate, and long after ; superseding virtually the preface to the communion office.
Lord Chancellor King was so well pleased with these constitutions, that he said, " If the ancient discipline of the church were lost, it might be found in all its purity in the Isle of Man.
On the 5th September, 1704, the bishop accompanied Mrs. Wilson, who had been some time in a declining state of health, to Warrington, for the benefit of her native air, and continued with her praying for her soul, which, full of hope of a blessed immortality, she resigned into the hands of her Creator. In this severe trial his prayers abound with religious sentiment, and christian resignation ; pronouncing with a feeling emphasis, “ Thy will be done, O God.” He felt like a man, but not like a man without hope. He had lost a comfort; but the happiness she had gained overcome his sorrow, and gave him that serenity of mind which none but good men can feel like him in the hour of affliction.
On the 3d of March, 1707, he was made doctor of divinity in full convocation at Oxford ; and on the 11th of June following, the same honor was decreed him by the university of Cambridge. About the same time he was admitted member of the society for promoting christian knowledge. In the same ycar, he had the church catechism translated and printed in Manks and English. On the 21st of September, 1708, he consecrated a new chapel at Douglass, to which he was a considerable benefactor. April 20, 1710, the li brary of Castletown was finished; the greater part of the expence, which amounted to eighty-three pounds five shillings and siz-pence, he subscribed himself.
In the year 1711, this worthy and excellent bisl.op, went to London, to settle some affairs relating to the excise, for the Lord and people of the Island; when he was taken great notice of by Queen Anne, before whom he preached ermon on Holy Thursday. Her Majesty offered him an English bishopric, but he declined the favor, saying, that with the blessing of God, he could do some good
in the little spot where he resided ; if he were removed into a wider sphere, he might be lost, and forget his duty to his flock and to God. Upon his return to his diocese, and finding the vicarage-house at Kirk Arbory in ruins, he subscribed and collected enough to erect a new one. The charges which he delivered on different occasions to the clergy of his diocese, contain such important advice, are so replete with christian piety, and discover so much warmth and affection, that the feelings are roused when we peruse them, and our admiration is divided between a love for the man, and the practical and christian advice that is every where displayed in his writings. The bishop in his convocation charge, delivered June 9th, 1720, among other evils likely to pervade his diocese, particularly levelled his censure at some books, which, if they were not designed to destroy the christian religion itself, were certainly meant to set aside all form, ceremony, and even practice of devotion, and more especially to debase the office of the clergy in general. We have power and authority," says the bishop, “both from God and the laws, to rebuke gainsayers ; and while we are unanimous and faithful in the discharge of our duty, we may hope that our people will not be corrupted with novel opinions. Now the most effectual way to prevent this will be, for all of us that are appointed to watch over the flock of Christ, to employ our thoughts, our zeal, and our time in promoting of true piety ; in laboring to make men good ; and in converting sinners from the error of their ways, that we may preserve the power as well as the form of godliness. In a word, there was never more need than noty, of hearkening to the apostle's advice and exhortation to the elders at Ephesus, to take heed unto ourselves and to the flock over which the Holy Ghost has made us overseers ; to ourselves lest we give just occasion of offence, and to the fock, lest they be infected with novel opinions contrary to faith and godliness." These extracts are exceedingly applicable to the present times, when opinions are gone forth, not only subversive of christian doctrine, but of christian discipline; when the church of England is not only in danger from the hatred borne her by levellers ar.d latitudinarians, but from the irregular conduct of certain clergymen within her pale, and the puritanic enthusiasm of selfappointed teachers without. Both have conspired to destroy her unity ; the former by violating her discipline, the latter by intruding themselves into functions to which they have not been regularly called ; both are actuated by one spirit, and both seem to have leagued together for the destruction of her apostolic authority. But whoever will read St. Ignatius' epistles, will see what that holy martyr and disciple of St. John saith, “ of the necessity of being in union with the bishop; and that such as are not so, are not in onion with Christ.”
[To be concluded in our next.]
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Every scribe which is instructed into the kingdom of heaven, is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasures things new and old....Matthew xii. 52. Though points of controversy are by no means so important as practical in
struction, yet they ought not to be altogether neglected. A knowledge of the views which the primitive christians entertained on subjects which have puzzled the wits and swelled the volumes of modern polemic divines, may be useful. For this reason the following from Justin Martyr is inserted This writer it will be recollected lived about the middle of the second century. Justin Martyr on Prophecy and God's Foreknowledge.
SINCE the spirit of prophecy speaks of future events in a manner as if they were past, which manifestly appears from what has been cited; lest there should be any difficulty in understanding this, it shall be explained. That which is clearly forcknown, is spoken of as past. And that you may see the word of prophecy ought so to be understood, attend to what follows:
David, one thousand and five hundred years* before Christ be came man and was crucified, spake those words which have been adduced; nor was any one, who lived and was crucified before his time, a joy to the nations, as no one hath been since. But our Je. sus Christ was crucified; he died, arose, and ascended into heaven, there to reign ; and from those things which by his authority, the apostles promulgated to all nations, he caused joy to such as wait for immortality announced by him. Here, lest any should pretend that from what we advance, we maintain that the things which are foreknown must come to pass by a fatal necessity, this also shall be refuted. We have been taught by the prophets, and we affirm for truth, that every one, according to the desert of his works, shall be either punished with torments, or rewarded with joy unspeakable. If it were not so, and that all things came to pass by fate, it is clear nothing would be in our power. And if it were fatally determined that one should be good and another evil, there were no reason why the former should be commended and the latter condemned. And unless men had the faculty by their own free will to fly the evil, and choose the good, they could not reasonably be blamed for any thing they should do But that they have this liberty to make a wise choice of virtue or fall into sin, inay be thus shown—we see the same man by turns passing from one to the other. But if it were destined by fate that he should be either good or evil, he would be incapable of the contrary, nor would he so often change. Nor could some be good and others evil ; since (if it were so it would appear that fate, being the cause of evil, would counteract itself; or what hath been already said must at least be true, that virtue and vice are nothing more than the good or bad opinions we form of men's actions ; which, as reason can but teach, is the
* Justin arpenrs to have followed the septuagint chronology.
† In this wmter's view there is a difference between fore-knowledge and fore-ordination which is now denicel by some.
heighth of impiety and wickedness. But we do indeed maintain that proper rewards for those who choose the good, and adequate punishments for those who pursue the contrary, are immutably determined. For God created not man like the rest of his works, as vegetables and brutes incapable of doing any thing from choice and the direction of reason : nor were he worthy of praise and reward, if he chose not good by his own free act; but were such only because he was so created ; nor being evil, could he be justly punished, if he were such not from himself, but for no other reason than because he was thus formed. The holy spirit of prophecy hath taught this by Moses, who says that when God had created man, he said, Lo, I set before you good and evil, choose the good.* Likewise the spirit by another prophet, Isaiah, makes the same declaration from God the parent and Lord of all things, saying, Wash you, make you clean, put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes ; learn to do well-judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow : though they be red like crimson, they shall be like wool. If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land. But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured by the sword ; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.t By his saying, ye shall be devoured by the sword, we are not to understand that the disobedient are to be slain by the sword : But the sword of God is the fire, the fuel of which they shall be who persevere in iniquity : For he says, ye shall be devoured by the sword, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. If he had spoken of the (material) sword which was to pierce and destroy them, he would not have used the word devour.
But to return ; when Plato says that “ Blame supposes choice, bat God is without blame," he drew this from the prophet Moses; for Moses is more ancient than all the writers of Greece. And indeed all the poets and philosophers have said concerning the imimmortality of the soul, or punishments after death, or the contemplation of heavenly things or any the like doctrines, they took in sub-' stance from the prophets, and published as their own. Hence the seeds of truth appear to have existed among all men ; but yet not to have been very exactly comprehended, since in many respects they contradict themselves in what they advance. In fine, in maintaining that events are foretold by the prophets in their prophesies, we do not hold that such events come to pass by a fatal necessity ; but only that God foreknows the future actions of all men. And since it is a universal opinion that every one shall be rewarded according to his deeds, God himself, the better to impress on men's minds this important truth, and make them preserve a recollection of it through all ages, hath shown by the spirit of prophe
cy, that he will make it his business and care to see that these re| wards shall be exactly proportioned to each one's deserts. I
APOL, PRIM. Deut. xxx. 19. f Isaiah i. 16, 19.
From the whole of this discussion it appears manifest enough, as is other. stise known, what the question conceraing God's fore-knowledge, his decrees,
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History of the Church in Waterbury.
A KNOWLEDGE of the causes which have at any time contributed to produce changes in the sentiments of people, on important subjects, and especially on that of religion, is not only curious but useful. It is useful because it may often afford a clue to the truth; and besides may inspire those, who are looked to for instruction, with prudence and caution: it may teach them to use the wisdom of the serpent, and the harmlessness of the dove. The people of Connecticut are almost universally descended from the puritans, who left the mother country with strong prejudices against the national church. These prejudices continued to operate so powerfully, that at the commencement of the last century there was not an Episcopal congregation in the state; perhaps hardly a single professor of the church. And notwithstanding the noise that Dr. Cutler's conformity must have made, the interest that must have been felt, when the President of Yale College changed his sentiments, together with several others in high repute, among whom was Dr. Johnson, which happened about the year 1720, yet there were not more than three or four congregations, until near 1740; when a large number appear to have been formed, and churches erected in various parts of the state.
This circumstance is easily accounted for when we consider what took place about that time. The boisterous and theatrical manner of preaching practised by the celebrated Mr. WHITFIELD, and attempted to be imitated by his followers, most of whom were far his inferiors in point of genius and talents, disgusted many people of sober intellects, who looked rather for the still small voice heard by the prophets, than the thunder and storm of enthusiasm. The strange and almost frantic actions that were frequently exhibited at their evening lectures, completed their disgust, and put them upon enquiry, whether religion were not something more sober and rational. And this enquiry terminated in a conviction, that even the calmer but rigid doctrincs of Calvin, concerning predestination and election, in which they had been instructed, were not founded on the word of God. To these motives in many cases, might no doubi be added others less commendable ; for when we consider the propensities of mankind, it is not to be expected, that all who embrace the truth, should do it for the truth's sake. Yet on the whole when the obloquy and reproach are considered, to which singularity is always exposed; and the actual inconvenience and expense incurred by and man's free will, was then by no means agitated in the manner it hath since been. This question, with all its labyrinths of curious enquiry, it is well known, was first started by St. Augustin 200 years after Justin ; and at the reformation revived by Calvin, with considerable improvements; and is still continued, we have reason to fear, to the injury of genuine piety and practical christianity. Such men as Justin Martyr were content piously to believe that God foreknows all our actions, yet that we have a liberty of choice; and hence that we are urged to make a wise choice, and look for his approbation, in wliose presence we act, and consequent glory from his goodness.