Abbildungen der Seite

and a

but of great importance to the interests of religion and the public good. To these objects he will think it his duty to make some saerifices. The sacrifices, I think, are not great that any one would have to make in the present day. To those who yet remain in communion with the Church, or have no objection to allege against its doctrines or modes, there is nothing wanţing but a firm adherence to their own principles,

stedfast continuance in the Apostle's doctrine and fellowship * to preserve " the Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of Peace.”

Here is a knot too difficult for the dextrous fingers of Mr. Overton himself to untie, and not to be cut asunder by any sword which any, the most violent, of his party wields, The chain of reasoning here, is as strong as iron. I leave these theological maniacs bound with it-linked with traitors and anarchists, with the foes of bishops 'and the enemies of kings, the desecrators of Churches, and the overturners of thrones.

Yes, gentlemen, amongst the dissenters and the schismatics in general (I speak from authority incontrovertible, I have a source of intelligençe, open to few of my rank in life); and I assert that A MONGŚT THE DISSENTERS AND THE SCHISMATICS, THE DISSAFFECTED FINL) THEIR STRONGEST PARTIZANS. Let no man despise a humble tradesman, I watch the ferment of popular opinion as closely as did my illustrious grandfather of Dublin ; and I believe I have a more intimate acquaintance with the public mind, in the lower classes, than even he possessed. Every member who falls away from the Church increases the hopes of the abettors of anarchy, every schismatic, and every maker of schismatics, co-operates more or less powerfully with the restless members of the London corresponding Society; a' society which is not extinct : and I caution all people against mistaking see crecy for non-existence, and silence for tranquillity. This was the case recently in Ireland ; and rebellion burst out, as of old in that country-thirty-thousand strong! Here, if I can effect any thing, no such explosion shall take place. The eyes of JONATHAN DRAPIER, penetrate into the most secret recesses of sedition, and his pen shall ever be employed in exposing the artifices of schism. Nearly are they connected;-and " with a learned spirit of human dealings are they thrown together in one deprecation of the Litany" from all sedition, privy conspiracy and rebellion, from all false doctrine, heresy and schism ;-Good Lord deliver us!

So prays, most ardently, the humblest, but one of the most devoted sons of the Church, Shadwell, Sept. 1, 1803.

JONATHAN DRapier, P.S. I observe upon the Blue-cover of your Magazine a loyal Paper intituled THE FATE OF LABOURING MEN AND THE POOR IN CASE OF INVASION. The writer is well known to me, and though but a yearly servant, I acknowledge him one of my cousins, Matthew BICKERSTAFF is his name ;-the DR A L'IERS are not ashamed of their poor relations.

Acts ii. 42.

Ephes. iv. 3.

Vol. V. Churchm. Mag. Sept: 1803.





The true Churchmen ascertained; or, an Apology for those of the regular

Clergy of the Establishment, who are sometimes called Evangelical Mini, sters : occasioned by the Publications of Drs. Paley, Hey, Croft ; Messrs. Daubeny, Ludlam, Polwhele, Fellows; the Reviewers, &c. &c, by John

Overton, A. B. 800. p. 424. The second Edition, 1802. Vindiciæ Ecclesiæ Anglicanæ ; in which some of the false Reasonings, in

correct Statements, and palpable Misrepresentations in a Publication entitled, The True Churchmen ascertained," by John Overton, 4.B are pointed out. By the Red. C. Daubeny, Fellow of Winchester College, Minister of Christ's-Church, Bath; and Author of "A Guide to the Church.” 8vo. pp. 471. 1803. Rivingtons 'HOSE who undertake the defence of the Church of England, are

placed in the midst between two dangerous extremes, and it is their duty to guard equally against both. While, on the one hand, they take care that none of her essential doctrines be cut off by the Antitrinitarian, they ought to be cautious of suffering those doctrines to be debased by the erroneous interpretation of the Calvinist. As the one, by reducing revelation to the level of natural religion, tends to render Christianity nugatory in itself; so the other by exciting a disgust to it among the more rational and enlightened part of mankind, and encouraging the rest in mistaken notions of its nature and design, has no less a tendency to impede its progress, and to interfere with its beneficial effects. In the present times, there seems peculiar need of a warning voice against the dangers of both these extremes, and we shall make it our endeavour, in the progress of our undertaking, to pay a due degree of attention to each of them. With respect to the latter, no work of modern date is more entitled to our notice than Mr. Overton's “ True Churchmen ascertained :" for, whether we are to consider that work as the production of Mr. Overton alone, or as the joint effort of a council, the principles it inculcates have been so recognised by the adherents to Evangelical (i. e. Calvinistical) opinions, and particularly by the editor of the Christian Observer, a periodical publication set on foot for the express purpose of promoting those opinions, that we are fully justified in considering it as speaking the sentiments of the Evangelical party ; and that part is now become so numerous, and threatens so much mischief to the real and permanent interests of the establishment, that it is matter of great importance to apprize the public of their opinions and designs, and of still greater importance to furnish the arguments, and to point out the methods, by which their opinions may be combated, and their designs frustrated. The merits of Mr. O.'s book, indeed, have already been so much canvassed, and its numerous errors so repeatedly pointed out and refuted, both by express answers to different parts of it, and by the copious and ex. cellent critiques upon it in the British Critic and the Anti-Jacobin Review, that it may seem a work of supererogation to invite the atten, tion of our readers to it again, or once more to “ slay the slain.” Mr. O's publication, however, presents such a fruitful harvest of errors, that there is more danger of a want of labourers to reap them, than of sufficient employment for all, who are likely to engage in so unpleasant a task. Besides, as we are called upon, both by duty and inclination, to give an account of Mr. Daubeny's Vindiciæ Ecclesiæ Anglicane, the first regular and detailed reply to Mr. O.'s work, that has appeared, we could not bring ourselves to do this without entering more fully than we have hitherto done, into the merits of that work itself.


In order to give our readers a clear idea of Mr. O.'s plan, we think it best to begin with stating his table of contents. After a short pre face, consisting of many candid declarations, which are well adapted to take the unsuspecting reader off his guard with respect to the un. candid proceedings in the work itself, but by which Mr. O, may very easily be condemned out of his own mouth, the table stands thus :

“ Introductory chapter.

“ CHAPTER II. The real sense of the articles, and doctrines of our reformers, investigated, and appealed to on the question.

" Sect. 1. The true interpretation sought from our different Forms, as they illustrate and explain each other : the title and preamble annexed to the articles; the circumstances and object of our reformers; their other public and approved writings; and the authorities they respected.

“ Sect. 11. The true Interpretation of the articles further sought from the known private sentiments of our reformers.

“ CHAP. III. An examination whose Teaching most resembles that of our Church and her reformers, in respect to the use made of the peculiar doctrines of the gospel, and the accessity of practical christianity.

“ CHAP. IV. The inquiry pursued with regard to the doctrine of Original Sin, and consequent state and character of man in this World as a sinner.

“ CHAP. V. The investigation continued, with respect to the doctrine of Repentance.

« CHAP. VI. The question prosecuted with regard to the doctrine of Justification.

“ CHAP. VII. The question of adherence pursued in respect to the doctrine of good Works; with a vindication of our tenets on this Head.

" Sect. i. Concerning the standard of morals.
“ Sect. 2. Concerning the sanctions of morality.
Recapitulatory Conclusion."

Mr. Daubeny's table of contents, with the exception that, after sect. 2. chap. vii. entitled, “Concerning the sanctions of morality;" he has only a “ Recapitulatory Conclusion,” is exactly the same.

It being one great error of Mr. O. and his associates, to excite a dispute about those points, which are either unimportant in themselves, or unnecessary to be determined, and to make them the çriterea of orthodoxy, Mr. D. in his “ Introductory chapter,” after an appropriate quotation on this subject from the pious Bp. Hall, very justly observes, that " so long as matters of private opinion are suffered to remain such, Christians may travel on in the same road to Bb2


heaven, as they ought, without falling out by the way; but that, when private opinions on either side are attempted to be made indispensable articles of faith, then discord begins; each party having an equal right of appeal to his own judgment, as the standard for decision.” -- Mr.'D. Objects to the title of “ Evangelical ministers of the establishment,” which Mr. O. assumes to himself and his party, on the same grounds, on which Mr. Pearson, in his “Second letter to Mr. O." had before objected to it, i. e. as being, “ the exclusive approbation of a title to themselves, which implies a notorious dereliction of duty on the part of their opponents * ;” and he contends, that the title of Mr. O.'s book ought rather to have been,“ An apology for those regular clérgymen of the establishment, who maintain the articles of the Church of England' to be Calvinistic, in opposition to the great body of the clergy; who do not see them in that light." In like manner, Mr. D. agrees with Mr. Pearson in thinking, not only, that “ Calvinism may be considered as containing opinions, with respect to which the best of Christians

may be allowed to differ, without any forfeiture of their Christian character provided they break not the bond of charity in doing so ;?? but also, that "our Church, after the example of the primitive, bath thought fit on these points to walk in a latitude, and to be sparing in her definitions, confining herself, as far as possible, to the letter of Scripture.” Mr. Pearson had before addressed Mr. O. to nearly the same purpose: If you had been content with affirming, that, in subscribing to the articles in the Calvinistic sense, you had a right to be considered as a legitimate member and minister of the Church of England, you would not have had to number me among your opponents; and I am inclined to believe, that, if Calvinistic ministers of the establishment in general had been content with the quiet pos-session of their own opinions, without insinuating on all occasions, and sometimes openly declaring that Arminian opinions are contrary to the truth of the gospel, and to the doctrines of the Church, they never would have experienced any molestation, or have been drawn into the thorny paths of controversy." Second Lett, to Mr. O. p. 31.

CHAP, I. In this chapter, as Mr. D. observes, Mr. Overton, by an immediate deviation from its title, sets out with the application of an unqualified charge to the case of Dr. Croft ; and from him oceeds to make it bear on the language of Mr. Polwhele, Mr. Haggitt, &c. together with a whole tribe of unnamed modern writers, « whose reasonings,” Mr. O. says, " proceed on the supposition, that the rest of the clergy do, but that those regular ministers of the establishment (for whom Mr. O. professes to apologize) do not teach according to the established doctrines of our Church.” This charge being afterwards extended

**" It is,” says Mr P. “most devoutly to be wished, that difference of opie nion among the ministers of the establishment, which renders terms of distinction necessary, may.speedily be done away; but if, unhappily, this should not be the case, it may yet very reasonably be insisted on that the use of such terms of distinction on one side, as imply a dereliction of professed principles on the uther, be carefully avoided." p. 8.


to Mr. D. in consequence of his saying, in reply to the disparaging observations made on the clergy of the establishment by Mr. Wilber, force, that such an opinion of the clergy was “ unjust, and derived more from the indecent revilings of irregular preachers, than from fact," Mr. D. repels it by shewing,' that'“ he could not be understood to mean the regular ministers of the establishment, but to have in his eye those irregular self-constituted preachers, who are now making their way into all parishes under the assumed title of Gospel Preachers, and drawing away light-minded people from their parish churches, on the plausible ground, that the Gospel is not preached in them.”

“ I really,” says Mr. D. “considered myself on this occasion, in the character of an advocate for the collective body of the Clergy against a charge, which to me appeared unjust, impolitic, and uncharitable: unjust, because, as a general charge, it cannot be supported by facts; impolitic, because in its effect it must proye detrimental to the constitution of this country and uncharitable, as exposing a most useful body of men to rash, random, and indiscriminate censure." The truth seems to be, that Mr. 0. was so feelingly alive to every attack on Evangelical or Gospel preachers, that he did not stop to conşider whether the attack was made on those, who were regular ouvir regular, those within or those without the Church ; rsos that, like many of his Calvinistic brethren, in the warmth of his zeal for this peculiat opinions, he laid aside that dislike to schism, which, in his cooler mo. ments, he professes to entertain.

“ The question,” says Mr. D. “which Mr. Overton places before his readers as that which his publication was expressly designed to an swer, is this.. Whose doctrines are really those of our Articles, Homi: lies, and Liturgy: The doctrines of the Evangelical-Ministers, whose cause Mr. 0. pleads, or the doctrines of their supposed opponents, classed under the heads mentioned in Mr. O's title page? As a leading circumstance to determine this question, the supposed difference of conduct of each party respecting subscription is first pointed out. After several pages spent in references to the writings of individual divines, who appear to have written loosely and' unjustifiably on the subject of subscription, Mr. O. winds up this chapter with a variety of respectable authorities; which, it is presumed, are brought forward for the purpose of contributing their assistance to the support of the position, which the chapter is meant to establish.. "Who would expect, says Mr. O. p. 34, any thing in support of our position from our very warm opponents, the Anti-Jacobin Reviewers p-The position meant to be established is, that the Clergy, for whom Mr: 0. pleads, do.preach the genuine doctrines of the Articles, and that their supposed opponents do not. To substantiate this position, which constitutes a chief subject of the present chapter, the testimonies of the Anti-Jacobin Reviewers, of the late Mr. Jones, of Archbishop Secker, Bishop of London, Bishop Horsley, Bishop Horne, and the Bishop of Durham, to which is added that of the Bishop of Lincoln, in support of an honest subscription to our Articles, are brought forward.

“ Having ranged this respectable authority before his reader, Mr. O. thus proceeds upon it: p. 42.. ' And is there, after all, no ground for this complaint? Do not these distinguished heads and champions of the Church, after the most diligent view, understand the subject? or are they guilty of 'gross misrepresentation ? Is this the raving of enthilsiasm ? or will the British Critic, and Mr. Daubeny, call this the re

« ZurückWeiter »