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fanatic, every zealous minister of their own church! And. why? Because, forsooth, he spends that time in pastoral visits, or in preparing his discourses for the pulpit, which others (that is other ministers of the church) spend in frivolous amusements, at the play house, or at the curdtable! Pastoral visits and preparing discourses for the pulpit, will without doubt occupy a considerable part, if not the greatest part of the time of a zealous and conscientious minister, especially if he has the care of a large parish, and has two sermons on a Sunday. Hence, if we may credit your correspondent, those ministers who are not called methodists, &c. that is a very great majority of the clergy in the kingdom, spend the same time in a very improper, not to say scandalous manner, in frivolous amusements at the play house, or at the cardtable.
This is a most serious charge indeed! And if not made directly from the conventicle, comes evidently from no true friend to the church. Under the pretence of defending his reputed methodistical friends, your correspondent has thus in one foul, indiscrimninate, and unmerited censure, involved a great many men, whose professional character, whose talents, whose labours, and whose worth ought to secure them the approbation of every well wisher to the establishment. With what sliew of justice or of truth, does he wantonly vility and traduce those ministers of the church, many of whom are certainly not less respectable, not less conscientious, and zealous than those whom he attempts to vindicate? I ain acquainted with several zealous, conscientious and deserving parish priests, who are not called methodists, enthusiasts, or fanatics. They do not spend their time in frivolous amusements, or in places of dissipation. They do not frequent the play house or the card table ; nor do they live in a way disgraceful to their profession. . It is no uncommon thing, Mr. Editor, with the abet
tors of methodism, to pretend that many of the clergymen of the establishment are called methodists, merely because they confine themselves inore to the duties of their parish, and are more pious and zealous than the sest of their brethren. This, however, is so far from being always supported by facts, that generally speaking, I am convinced it is a direct violation of the truth. As far as my observation has extended, the most pious, worthy, and useful ministers of the church of England;
those who are most exemplary in their lives, and most attentive to their parochial duties, never were, I believe, suspected of methodism, or stigmatized with the apellation.
Those ministers within the pale of the establishment, who are stiled by the methodisis Evangelical, or Gospelpreachers, are now, I understand, usually called by churehmen, methodists, or Calvinistic methodists, not from any comparative excellence of clerical character; but either froin a belief that their tenets are not those of the articles and liturgy of the Church of England, from their shewing an evident partiality to the methodists, and some other sectaries, or for both these reasons; and particularly, when besides, they infringe the discipline of the Church by preaching in conventicles, or other places not licensed by the bishop.
I am no advocate for terins of reproach however me. rited, much less for those of exclusive assumption. Those men certainly have no shadow of a claim to the exclusive appellation of Gospel preachers, nor have they in general any pretensions to superiority over the other ministers of the Church. Those of this description, with whose characters I am best acquainted, are indisputably inferior to many of the neighbouring clergymen in their conduct, both as men and as ministers.
But to press the point a little more closely with your correspondent. Will he candidly declare that those clergymen who, he insinuatės, are dubbed methodists on account of their being very pious and zealous men, are not deemed evangelical or Gospel preachers, and followed as such by their methodistical neighbours and friends, who attend the meeting-house? Have they never avowed themselves Calvinists, or defended Calvinistic doctrines? Have they never shewed a marked partiality to those parishioners who are methodists in preference to the Church people ? Have they never applauded and recommended Dr. Haweis, Presbyter, Overton's Church man, Rowland and Richard Hill's publications, the Christian Observer, and books of the same tendency? Have they never abused the Orthodox Churchman's Magazine, and Antijacobin Review; or joined in the fanatical outcry against the works of those sound members of the establishment, Kipling, Daubeny, and Pearson --These questions candidly answered, will shew what degree of credit is due to the statement of your correspondent, and what attention his complaints merit.If he can fairly acquít his pious and zealous friends of any suspicion in these points, he need not be apprehensive that the stigma of methodism will long attach to them. Piely and zeal are more necessarily associated with methodism than they are with popery.
It is really, Mr. Editor, most lamentable to consider the rapid increase of methodisın within these few years, and towards this increase those ministers of the church, who are called Evangelical preachers have, I fear, contributed no inconsiderable share ; but with what view I do not pretend to say. I however sincerely wish and hope they may see the error of their ways, and the imminent danger to which they are exposing our most excellent establishment, and that they will make every reparation in their power. Our learned and worthy pre. lates are now, I believe, sensible of the magnitude of the evil arising from this unhappy schism in the church; and some of them have expressed their sentiments on this subject, in a way which does them honour. Their wisdom will, we trust, apply a speedy and effectual remedy to the growing evil. If fanaticism be not soon restrained and kept within proper bounds, and still more, if it be permitted to occupy'our churches, how much reason have we to apprehend a repetition of the shocking disorders, and a recurrence of the mournful events which took place during the reign of Charles I. and the usurpation of Cromwell. The very same means are now industriously employed, and if not counteracted will inevitably produce the same end. We shall have to lament (with the unfortunate Archbishop Laud) that the venerable oak, of our establishment, is cleft to shivers with wedges made out of its own body. Sept. 15, 1804.
TO THE EDITORS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S
MAGAZINE. GENTLEMEN, . A S from the nature and conduct of your miscellany it. H is to be presumed that the orihodox clergy tl:roughout the kingdom, give it their uniform perusal and support, I request you will give rooin to a remark which occurred to me in reading two very excellent pamphlets
entituled “ A Dialogue between a Minister of the Church and his Parishioner, concerning the Christian's liberty of choosing his Teacher,” and “ a second Dialogue, concerning Christian Edification,” by the Rev. Thomas Sikes, M. A.
In the last dialogue the honest, but misled John Twilight, properly asks this important question, “What am I to do, supposing the minister of my parish preaches false doctrine?" To which the minister answers that “this is the strongest of John's weak arguments for deserting him, of any that has been urged," but instead of solving it satisfactorily he evades it by another question, “ Who is to be the judge ? Is not this Socratic mode of disputation calculated to mislead; and should we not have expected to hear John ask such a question, and the minister answer it? As it is, it goes, in my opinion, to oblige persons to abide by their parish churches, even though arianism or other false doctrine be preached therein. A friend of mine who thought it his duty to attend his parish church scrupulously, continued so to do even after the establishment of a wild, ranting, extemporaneous preacher as a lecturer therein; but at last completely disgusted and shocked with the extravagancies of Calvinistic methodism, he withdrew to a neighbouring church, where he could enjoy his devotions with comfort, and hear the plain, unsophisticated doctrines of Christianity, according to the sober confession of our excellent church. In all such cases I think any man of common sense may be a judge; and I cannot help thinking that such a conduct as this is perfectly warrantable.
I am, &c.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S
MAGAZINE, SIR, I LITTLE thought that the person who sent me d an obliging letter of observation, was the London Curate, who has done himself so much credit in many of your pages. Your readers will judge of the solidity of bis présent reasoning, and of the propriety of the epithets. with which he has honoured me, though one of them, I think, he would not have used, had he recollected, Mat,
Vol. VII. Churchm. Mag. Sept. 1801. Dd xix, emade 1. The notition
xix. 17. Engaged, however, as we are in a search after truth, I must beg to say a few words in reply.
The awkwardness of the Archbishop's expressions mise led your correspondent, and made me think that too much was conceded to the Romanists. The parts of a sacrament are but two, and Wake says, that “not one of the Romish sacraments hath ALL the (two) conditions required to make a sacrament, and the most part hardly any (either) of them*.” But the Archbishop soon makes amends by saying, “ Christ neither ordained the sign in confirmation, nor made it the means of conveying any special spiritual grace,” and again," In extreme unction there is an outward sign, but neither of Christ's nor his Apostles' institution;" though this latter is an improper statement, which he contradicts directly afterwards. So then it comes out at last, on Wake's own authority, that these sacraments have none, or neither of what he calls conditions, &c. The truth is, that several sacred rites, besides the Romish sacraments, have 'outward signs, and perhaps adumbrating something inward and spiritual; let us however call them, not requisites of a sacrament, but signs resembling those of a sacrament, and then all the difficulties vanishes. Nothing in fact, as our catechism, which is truly venerable, asserts can be a sacra ment, or any part, or requisite of a sacrament, but what is “ ordained by Christ himself.” What your correspondent says about " washing of feet,” seems to be in. genious, and worthy of attention, : The to črpor, or dry ground through the Red Sea, need not, I conceive, be understood to mean absolutely dry and parched ļike the neighbouring desert. When fire came down from heaven on the sacrifice of Elijah, the nature of the miracle required that the water should be compleatly “ licked up;" but in the present miracle neither the same agent was employed, nor was it ne. cessary that the same effect should be produced. The
* When I received the above letter, I was just sendiug off the proof of this part of the Catechism, to a press at a great distance, Desirous However, to comply in some degree with advice, which seemed to come from a respectable quarter, I incautiously wrote in iny haste, (in note x.) , * These pretended Sacraments will be found to have scarcely any, I beliere we might assert, not one necessary property.&c." I wish the words in italics were omitted, or marked as an erratum,