« FöregåendeFortsätt »
To which I replied the next day,
January 16, 1711-12.
fwering the main design of my letter is intirely avoided. I perceive also, that his grace, as well as the rest of the learned, are not willing their proper unbiass'd thoughts should be known to me and to the world : fo I shall no longer expect what his grace so freely promised me on that head ; tho' he may be assured, that the least hints of his desire against a publication would certainly have prevented any such thing; had those his thoughts been never fo freely communicated to me. As to the falfebood of what I said, that his grace neglected the publick communication of my letter, intended for the convocation, that very account of the matter which you give me proves that it was not false : Since I meant by the neglect of that publick communication, that letter was not communicated to the convocation publickly, as it was designed to have been, in distinction from any communication to any other persons. Nor am I any way relieved by saying his grace's subfitute dropt it for private reasons ; since he could not have done so had he had it in charge to do otherwise: nor do I know who was then his grace's subftitule, to make my complaint to him. And if it Came too late the first day, certainly that was no reason why it might not have been communicated the next, or some of those that followed : if his grace wishes me no ill, I hope he will please to shew it, by stopping all reports against my integrity, till that hearing is allowed me, which I insisted on in my last. And if his grace should rejoice more at my conversion than my ruin, I hope he will shew it in reality hereafter, and put my matters into that way of fair examination, which is the only method for my
conviction and conversion ; and not that of legal prosecution, which is the only way to my ruin, either in this world or the next ; since his grace knows, that such a legal prosecution can have no other effect, than either to expose me to excommunication and imprisonment, so as to ruin me and my family in this world; or, in order to the avoiding these temporal penalties, lay me under temptations of prevarication and hypocrisy ; and so can only tend to my utter ruin for ever in the world to come. I do not know that I ever desired his grace to do unfitting things on my account, unless it be unfit for a judge to hear before sentence, and for a christian to examine what comes recommended to him under the sacred authority of Christ and his apostles. I am, Sir, (with humble duty to his grace.)
To which I never received any answer ; but only the archbishop complained to my old patron, bishop More, how hard my letters were upon him : the reason of which is
obvious. In February 1711-12, I published, in a half sheet, The Supposal, or Anew Seheme of Government ; humbly offered to publick consideration, by a lover of truth and peace ; which I afterward reprinted, and owned it for mine. It is republished at the end of my Scripture Politicks ; of which hereafter.
In the same year, 1711-12, that great general, prince Eugene of Savoy, was in England : and because I did then, as I do now, interpret the end of the Hour, and Day, and Month, and rear, for the Ottoman devastations, Apoc, ix. 15. to have been put by his glorious victory over the Turks, Septem
ber 1, 1697, 0. S. or the succeeding peace of Carlowitz, 1698. I printed a short dedication of
my first imperfect Elay on the Revelation of St. John, and fixed it to the cover of a copy of that Effay, and presented it to the prince ; upon which he fent me a present of fifteen guineas.
The Dedication was thus ; Illuftrifimo Principi Eugenio Sabaudiensi, Vatici
niorum Apocalypticorum Unum, Turcarum Vaftationibus finiendis destinatum, dudum adimplenti; Alterum etiam, de Gallorum imperio subvertendo, magnâ exparte, utispes eft, mox adimpleturo, bunc Libellum fummâ quâ decet reverentia, dat,
dicat, consecrat. 8 id. Mart. 1711-12.
GULIELMUS WHISTON, In April 1712, 1 published what had been in part discovered by Dr. Robert Cannon, and still farther improved by my great and learned friend Mr. Rich. Allin, a pamphlet, ftiled, Athanasius convicted of Forgery. In a letter to Mr. Thirlby, of Jesus College, in Cambridge, in two sheets. But because it was afterwards twice improv'd, and reprinted ; once in the three Esays, Page 196–203, and again, more compleatly, in the second appendix to my Argument ; where was added withal, A Reply to Mr. Thirlby's second Defence of Atbanasius ; I refer the reader to this last edition for his satisfaction.
In the same year, 1712, I published Primitive Cbriftianity Reviv’d, Volume V.containing, The Recognitions of Clement : Or, The Travels of Peter ; in ten Books; done into English. As also two Appendixes, the one containing, Some observations on Dr. Clark's Scripture Doctrine of the Trinity ; and the other, Afariber Account of the convocation's and other proceedings with relation 10 me. 8vo. price 5 s. But with the four Volumes, il 13
As to the Ebionite edition, and interpolations of the catholick edition of these Recognitions, see the Collection of Authentick Records, Appendix VIII,
In the same year, 1712, I published a small pamphlet, entitled, Primitive Infant-Baptism Res viv'd: Or, An account of the do&trine and practice of the two first centuries, concerning the Baptism of Infants, in the words of the sacred and primitive writers themselves, 8vo, to which is to be added, the Memorial for setting up charity-schools in England and Wales, dated June 10, 1610 ; of which already. This treatise of Infant-Baptism was afterward reprinted, without any alterations, and added to the small edition of my four volumes.
Now the occasion of my discovery of this antient error, of the baptisın of uncatechiz'd infants, was a question puţ to me by Mr. Shelfwell, when I was preparing to baptize him and a sister of his, who were good christians, excepting that they had never been baptiz'd before, whether I should not think it. were better, if baptism were deferred till after instruction, than used before it ? My answer was this; That I must honestly confess, I should myself have thought fo : but that I was no legislator, and fo submitted to what I then took to be a law of Christ. Constitut. VI. 15. “ Do you also baptize your “ infants, and bring them up in the nurture and ad" monition of God? For, says he, suffer the little « children to come unto me, and forbid them not." When Mr. Shelfwell was gone, I reflected upon what had been said, and was diffatisfied that I had been forced to allow that, in my opinion, this law of Christ was not so right as it should be. Whereupon I immediately set myself to examiné, what the New Testament and the most early fathers meant by the words which they used, when they speak of baptism of Infants, or Little Children, I mean νήπια & παιδία, and which they efteemed not in
capable of that holy ordinance. And I soon difcovered, that they were only those that were capable of catechetick instruction, but not fit for understanding harder matters; and that none but such infants and little children were ever, in the first and second century, made partakers of baptism. This most important discovery I foon communicated to the world, in this paper, which both bishop Hoadly and Dr. Clarke greatly approved ; but still went on in the ordinary practice, notwithstanding. I fent this paper also, by an intimate friend, Mr. Haines, to Sir Isaac Newton, and desired to know his opinion : the answer returned was this, that they both had discovered the same before : nay, I afterward found that Sir Isaac Newton was so hearty for the baptists, as well as for the Eusebians or Arians, that he sometimes suspected these two were the two witnesses in the Revelation. See Authent. Rec. part II. page 1075.
I now desire my readers to divert a little from my books of learning, to take my account at large of what highly concerned me and my family, with relation to Dr. Thomas Turner's great benefaction to the corporation for relief of poor widows and children of clergymen: which, tho’ it were not written and dedicated to the governors and benefactors of the corporation, 'till May 1731, when my family was in distress; yet does it really belong to this year 1712, when I sent the letter therein contained to Dr. Turner,