« ZurückWeiter »
[No. II.] Copy of a Letter from the Rev. Doctor Bowden, to the Rev. CHARLES Des. BENY, L. L. B. of Bath, Great Britain ; now Archdeacon of Sarum.
Cheshire, Cona. June 18th, 1801. REVEREND SIR,
THE Convocation of the Episcopal Church in this State, resolved unanimously, at Newtown, the 4th inst. to return you their hearty thanks for your excellent book, entitled, “ A Guide to the Church ;' and they have directed me to express to you, the very high sense they entertain of your piety, learning and zeal; and also, their most ardent wishes and prayers, that so good a work may be productive of beneficial consequences to the Church of Christ in general ; and in particular, to the orthodox and pure Church of England, from which we have descended, and for which we entertain every sentiment of respect, reverence and affection.
And now, Sir, having discharged this pleasing duty, I take the liberty to assure you of the favourable and indelible impressions, which your excellent discourses have made on my own mind. I have read them with delight and with improvement. The senti. ments are just, the language pure and energetic, the arguments conclusive, and the facts incontestible. Frequently hare I said to myself while reading it, Who that possesses a mind free from pre, judice, can read this book, and not be convinced? Who that bas impartially weighed its arguments, can be a dissenter from the Church of England ? But alas! Sir, I know too well the imperious infuence of education, and of party attachments, to hope for great and exten. sive effects from it. A few may be brought back to the fold, but the generality will remain obstinately firm in error and schism,
I cannot but congratulate myself upon being the person, who in. troduced your book into this country. The first account I bad of it, was from the Anti-Jacobin Review, (abother most admirable publicae tion) and immediately I got a bookseller to send for it. But a few have yet reached us; but it will not be long before we shall have an ample supply. I am confident it will have a great run, among Churchmen at least ; and we are determined, that it shall be a standard-book for all our candidates for boly orders. Clergymen úrought up at the feet of Leslie, Horne, Jones, and Daubeny, will not fail to be orthodox in their faith, pure in thcir lives, and zealous to promote the kingdom of Christ.
Permit me, much respected Sirs to wish you licalth and length of days on your own account ; but particulariy on account of that excclient Church to which you belong. My heart is with you, with the state and church of England. May the nation overcome all her enemies, and bleedive Europe, by the hands of Englishmen, be restored to peace and happiness!
I have the honour to be, Rev. Sir,
JOHN BOWDEN, d. D. ; Principal, Episcopal Academy, Cheshire, Connecticut. P.S. It will gratify us to hear of your receiving this testimony of our respect and affection.
[No. III.] The following answer to the above letter, was not reseived till upwards of
three years after its date. Where the detention was, has never been as. certained.
I RECEIVED the favour of your letter bearing date the 18th June 1801, conveying to me the unanimous resolution of the Convacation of the Episcopal Church of Connecticut, relative to my late publication, entitled, " A GUIDE TO THE CHURCH." The high sense I entertain of the honour done me by so respectable a bady, in their approbation of my humble labours for the Church of Christ, I should seek in vain for words fully to express. I have to request therefore, Sir, that, through this channel, my sincerest and most respectful acknowledgments may be made acceptable to the Right Reverend the Bishop of Connecticut, and my reverend brethren the Clergy of his Diocese; assuring them, that my most earnest wish and prayer is, that the same good Providence which has at length established the Church of Christ in America under its original form of govern. ment, may watch over and preserve it in peace, unity, and prosperi. ty to the end of time.
Perinit me now, Sir, to return you my best thanks for the very po. lite and handsome manner, in which you have discharged the task imposed upon you. The judgment you have formed of the “Guide to the Church," cannot fail of being highly gratifying to its author, however he may think you have overrated his publication. It has been my good fortune, Sir, to sit, during a great part of my life, at the feet of Hammond, Hickes, Leslie, Jones and Horne. And whoever has the happiness to be acquainted with those able divines, will find that he has nothing to learn from me. The only merit of my book, if it boasts any, being that it concenters within a small compass much isformation, which is to be found dispersed through the differenţ par:3 of their valuable writings. Such a compendium may in. deed be useful to young divines; and for such only I presume to write.
The honour you do the author of the Guide, in determining to make it a standard book for Candidates for Holy Orders, makes me solicitous to render it more complete, by adding to it “ The Appen. dix;" which owed its existence to a very rough and illiberal attack made on the principles contained in the Guide, by that well known, high flown calvinist, Sir Richard Hill, Bt. ; to whose respectable situation in life it was judged that some attention should be paid. Two copies of this Appendix I have directed to be sent to your ad. dress. One of them requests your own acceptance. The other is designed, through you, to be presented with my humble respeets to the Right Reverend the Bishop of Connecticut. The satisfaction you profess to have received from the “ Guide to the Church," will, I trust, suffer no diminution from the perusal of the Appendix to it. And thankful shall I be, Sir, if the honourable use to which you have
thought fit to dedicate the Guide, proves in any degree instrumental to the promotion of the great object you have in view.
The conclusion of your letter breathes a language of such strong and affectionate interest for the welfare of that Church and nation to which I have the honour to belong, that I should be wanting both in feeling and gratitude, did I not return it in kind.“ - Accept then, reverend Sir, my sincerest wishes for the preserva. tion of your health, together with the prosperity of the Academy over which you preside. May the Church and State to which you belong, be ever blessed with the constant superintendance of a gracious Providence. And may the connection which once subsisted between Great Britain and America, still hold them together by that bond, firmly woven by religion, by interest, and affection, which the per, nicious councils of an insidious nation shall be never able to burst asunder.
I have the honour to be, Rev. Sir,
CHARLES DAUBENY. · Bath, Sept. 25, 1801.
FROM THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE.
LIFE OF DR. NICOLAS RIDLEY,
• BISHOP OF LONDON.
[Continued from page 389.] IN the beginning of the year 1553, Bishop Ridley preached before the King, who now began to decay apace, at Westminster. The subject he chose to discourse upon, was charity; and he, in very moving and affecting terms, pressed the King to take care that a constant and settled maintenance should be provided for the poor. The sermon made so great an impression on the young King, that he sent for the Bishop : and after he had commanded him to sit down, and be covered, returned him his hearty thanks for his good exhortation; and desired him to communicate to him his opinion, what would be the best expedient, effectually to bring to pass so great and good a design. The Bishop was very much pleased to find the King's inclinations so forward ; and with tears of joy, told him, that the London poor, by reason of their great numbers, stood in need of his more immediate concern ; and that he would therefore advise him to order letters to be wrote to the lord mayor and aldermen, to take this affair into consideration, and project a scheme for the relief of the poor, who swarmed in great numbers about the city. The King approved of his advice, and ordered letters to that effect to be forth with dispatched, before he would permit the Bishop to go out of his presence.
Bishop Ridley, furnished with these letters and instructions, deliv. ered them to Sir Richard Dobbs, then lord mayor of London ; who immediately called together as many of the aldermen and common
council as were thought fit to be advised with in the present business; and not only with great earnestness pleaded the cause of the poor, and pressed them to a forward zeal in the affair ; but introduced Bishop Ridley into the council-chamber of the city, to be their advocate, and to guide and assist himself and his brethren in their counsels. After divers consultations, they resolved that a general contribution should be made by all the wealthy citizens, to the ad. vancement of a work so highly conducing to the public good. To this end they were summoned to their respective parish churches, and there exhorted by the lord mayor, their several aldermen, and other grave citizens, to contribute generously and bountifully to this noble design ; and they were urged to it the more earnestly by setting before them the many great advantages that the city would reap, if the poor were removed out of their streets, lanes and alleys, and bestowed and provided for in proper hospitals. It was therefore moved, that every man should signify what he would give towards the building and furnishing such hospitals, and how much he would contribute weekly to their maintenance, until they were supplied with a more liberal endowment. The motion was readily accepted ; every man gave according to his ability; and books were kept in every ward of the city, in which the sums each person had subscribed, were set down; which, when the contribution was finished, were delivered by the mayor into the hands of the King's commissioners.
In the scheme drawn up for the relief of the poor, they were rang. ed under three divisions: in the first were placed the poor distressed orphans; in the second, the sick, lame, and infected; in the third, the lazy and licentious vagabonds. For the orphans Christ's hospital was provided, where they were furnished with necessaries, brought up in a religious and virtuous manner, and fitted for some honest business. The hospitals of St. Thomas, in Southwark, and St. Bartholomew, in West Smithfield, were appointed for the reception of the wounded, sick, impotent and maimed; and the King gave his palace of Bridewell, erected by Henry the eighth, for the reception of vagabonds, sturdy beggars, &c. where they were to receive due correction, and be kept to hard labour. For the better endowment of this, and the other hospitals, and to furnish them with a competent maintenance, the King dissolved the hospital which Henry the seventh had founded in the Savoy, for the support of pilgrims and travellers ; but which was now employed to most scandalous uses, and made a shelter for lewd and lazy persons, and the harbour of thieves and vagabonds; and he gave their lands amounting to the value of six hundre: pounds per annum, and all their furniture, to the city of London, for the maintenance of these new foundations. :
The Duke of Northumberland was now the favourite at court; and hoped, by his interest with the king, to raise himself an immense estate out of the spoils of the Church. These sacrilegious designs, Bishop Ridley with great courage opposed, which caused him to fall under the duke's displeasure. But the king was so far from disapproving his honest zeal, that he nominated him to the see of Dur. ham ; to which, notwithstanding, he never was translated; the trou
Bles that ensued on the loss of that excellent Prince preventing him. · On the decease of the king, Bishop Ridley was so unhappy as to join the Lady Jane, and by order of her council, to undertake to defend her title in a sermon at St. Paul's Cross. And here he employ. ed all his rhetoric against Queen Mary; he enlarged on the calamities which her succession seemed to threaten, and the danger of the established religion from her govertiment; he harangued strongly on this topic, alarming the people's fears, and giving them an account of the conversation which passed between the queen and himself in the late reign, when he offered his service to preach before her; and thence he inferred, that she was unalterably fixed in her misbelief; and that nothing could be expected from her reign, but an utter subVersion of the true faith, the bringing in a foreign power to tyrannize over them, and the ruit of all, that the late king, her brother, had with so great labour and difficulty established. This was the only false step Bishop Ridley ever made ; the only blemish in his otherwise unspotted character. But this unfortunate sermon made little or no impression on the people ; and notwithstanding the many just fears and jealousies of the reformed, conscience prevailed over interest; and they flocked in to Queen Mary daily in great numbers, until at last all opposition fell before her.
Bishop Ridley had now considered matters coolly; and found, that his passions had been too strong for his reason, and hurried hiin into unjustifiable measures ; and to make reparation for which, he resolved to repair to the queen, who was then at Framinghan in Suffolk, to throw himfelf at her feet; acknowledge bis fault, and submit to her mercy. But this submission availed him nothing; for instead of being favourably received by her, he was treated with great rudeness, despoiled of all his dignities, and sent prisoner, on a lame halting horse, to the Tower.
During his confinement there, Secretary Bourne, and Mr. Feckenham, who was made dean of St. Paul's, Dr. May being ejectedly came to dine with the lieutenant; and Bishop Ridley was purposely invited, that they might have some conference with him. The discourse began about the definition of an heretic ; whom Bourne defined to be one, who stubornly and stilly maintained an untruth. The bishop told him, he ought to have added, in niatters of religion, and which concerned an article of faith ; for obstinacy in untruths of another nature cannot denominate a man a heretic. To this Bourne assented; and then Feckenham told them, that a heretic might rightly be defined, one who does not believe what the scrip ture affirms, but obstinately maintains the contrary ; from which definition he endeavoured to prove, that the deniers of transubstantiation were rank heretics, since they expressly contradicted so many texts of scripture, in which the bread is called Christ's body, and the wine his blood. The bishop allowed the definition to be good; but put him in mind, “That all texts of scripture are not to be interpreted literally; that Christ calls himself the true vine, and the door of the sheen, and that St. Paul says, the rock was Christ ; to interpret which in a strict literal sense, were extremely absurd and ridiculous; and