« FöregåendeFortsätt »
not then believe him; but upon my going home, I soon light upon the Pamphlet itself, and found it was as Dr. Rundle said. Whereupon I went again to Mr. Venn, and told him, that since this Suspicion of mine about Mr. Chubb, proved groundless, I, who had known Dr. Rundle so many Years, knew no Reason for any such Suspicion upon him: Which I also went and told my old and faithful Advocate Dr. Paul; and assured him that there feem'd to be no sufficient Reason for Mr. Venn's Accusation, or for Dr. Rundle's Rejection upon that Account.
And now having given some Account of several of our present Bishops, and almost all of them political Bishops also, who spend so much of their Time, not in their own Dioceses, where they ought both to live and die, but in the capital City, and in Parliament: It may be worth our while to take some Notice how little Good they do there, either to Learning, Morality, or Religion; they being too well known to be little better than Tools of the Court, to merit better Bishopricks by voting as they are directed; which they feldom fail to do. Yet has there lately been two Cases, when the Business they were to do was so prodigiously Gross, one of which was the last Gin Bill, (which Gin is, by one of the best Judges, estimated to kill no fewer than 100,000 poor People in Europe every Year, and by some Examples that I have known, I deem that Estimation not very extravagant) that not one single Bishop could be prevailed on to vote for it : Nay, some of them were fo T 2
unusually bold, as to speak against it. Now what was the Consequence of this unanimous Opposition? Why the Bill went through the House of Lords notwithstanding; and stands as an Act of Parliament, assented to by the Lords Spiritual, as well as Temporal, at this Day. Which Thing puts me in mind of an Answer the Lord Carteret made fometime since to Bishop Hare, who when he complained of the hard Words that Lord had given some of the Bishops in a Speech in the House of Lords, put him in mind, that his Lordship might one Day be a Minister of State himself, and might then want the Bishop's Votes. This Lord replied, “ If I want you, I know how to have you." The Meaning of which Words are easily understood, without a Comment. In short, I cannot but esteem Bishops in the House of Lords, to be the very greatest Grievance of Christianity now in these Kingdoms, and utterly contrary to the Laws of the Gospel, See my Christian Discipline, Page 62.
I now come to Mr. Chubb of Sarum, already mentioned, who from one of the most judicious Cbristians, without a learned Education, that I had then met with, when he published, or rather I published for him, his Eight Arguments on the Supremacy of the Father, A.D. 1714. seems to have degenerated into the directly opposite Character of one of the most foolish and injudicious of our modern Unbelievers, as a Comparison of his first and laft Books will démonstrate : And since I was the Person who introduc'd him into our Society for Promoting Primitive Christianity, and took Care of the Correcting
the forementioned first and best Book that ever he wrote; and besides introduced him into the Favour and Family of Sir Joseph Jekyl, who allow'd him an annual Salary; and when I thought myself obliged to inform Sir Joseph afterward, that he was become a Sceptick, and to caution him against procuring himself a Blot, by openly supporting him ; (tho' I never desired him to diminish his Aflistance to him in pivate :) He was not willing to believe my Representation ; which yet Time has too certainly verified. Since I say this is the Case, I think myself greatly obliged to give some Account of him, for the Satisfaction of the Publick, and of Pofterity, who may light upon his Pamphlets, wbich are become very common. Now it happened that fome Years after the Publication of his Eight Arguments, about 1717, or 1718, I was informed that Mr. Chubb was becoming a Socinian, at the same Time that he owned that the New Testament favoured those called Arians, which indeed he had fully demonstrated in his first Book. Upon this I wrote him a friendly Letter, which I cannot find any Copy of; it contain'd a Caution, and a Prediction, that he would turn a Sceptick; which his Answer did by no Means clear ; and which his later Writings too fully juftify.
It was not, I think, very long after thefe Letters, that I was informed, that what I foreboded proved true; and that Mr. Chubb was become a great Sceptick, not only in Revealed, but in Natural Religion also; and had written against Mens Obligations to Pray to God, as what could not be
Justified by Reason; tho' he did not then disowa the Obligation to Thanksgiving for Mercies received; tho' I imagine a very little Alteration in a Train of Thoughts, might as well have determined for Prayer, and against Thanksgiving. I never saw this Pamphlet of Mr. Chubb's myself, that I can remember, for I think it was never printed ; but had this Account from Mr. Thomas Emlyn, who saw it. About this Time also it was, I suppose, that he wrote his Previous Question, against the Morality of that most eminent Act of Obedience in Abraham, when he went to offer his Son Isaac as a Sacrifice to God. This Pamphlet gave me the Occasion of writing a short Treatise, Concerning God's Command to Abraham to offer up Isaac his Son for a Satrifice: Which I afterward made the third Differtation prefixed to my English Josephus, and which I found gave great Satisfaction to the Inquisitive ; for it was chiefly Mr. Chubb that I had in View, when I said near its Beginning, that “ This « Command is become a Stone of Stumbling, and a “ Rock of Offence among us; and that sometimes “ to Persons of otherwise good Sense, and of a reli
gious Disposition of Mind also.” But as to Mr. Chubb's later Writings, I perceive they are so wild and extravagant, that I shall say nothing more about them; but put Men rather in mind of the Words of a wiser Man than either he, or any of his Followers, which I recommended to him before, in the forementioned Dissertation; I mean Solomon : Trust in the Lord with all thine Heart, and lean not to thine cwn Understanding. In all thy
Ways acknowledge bim, and be Mall direct thy Paths. Be not wife in thine own Eyes. Prov. iii. 5, 6, 7. Nor are the late wild Writings of Dr. Morgan, and Mr. Elwall considerable enough to deferve a Place in this Account, nor was I so deeply concerned about them myself, as to require me to pursue this Digression any farther on their Account; only so far, that I think those who preach or write operously against such as those do them a great deal too much Honour. If they can fully prove any of the Prophecies or Miracles, by which the Jewish and Christian Religion are supported to be false, they ought to be heard ; but while that is not pretended to, Ni. codemus's Words to Jefus of Nazareth, are lo perfectly agreeable to common Sense, and the Light of Nature, that all Pretences to the Contrary are abfurd and unreasonable, in the highest Degree, Rabbi, We know that thou art a Teacher come from God; for no one can do the Miracles which thou dost except God be with him. John iii. 2.
N. B. It deserves greatly to be observed, that abating the present Mischief our modern Writers against the Christian Religion do to the weak and wicked Part of this foolish Age wherein we live, they at the Upshot have mightily tended to strengthen and support it, by affording Occasion for the truly Learned to examine its Foundation deeper than they had formerly done. Thus Mr. Chubb's Pamphlet against Abraham's offering up Isaac, gave me, as I have already said, Occasion of fully clearing that Matter, in my Differtation