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being of the community; - their will serve to slew what hath been description of the crime being thus done by ancient and famous comexpressed :-" tending to the dis- monwealthis, against this disorder, honour of God, the scandal of the till the very time that this project Christian religion, and the profes- of licensing crept out of the Inquisors thereof, and destructive to hu- sition, was catched up by our Preman society."
lates, and bath caught some of our As J. M. C. has attempted, Presbyters. though in vain, to impress Milton “In Athens, where books and wits into his service; I shall be excused were ever busier than in any other in giving some other quotations, part of Greece, I find but only two from his works, to prove that his sorts of writings which the magisopinions have been misrepresented. trates cared to take notice of: In his “ Speech for the liberty of those either blasphemous and atheisunlicensed printing, addressed to tical, or LIBELLOUS. Thus the the Parliament,” he expressly sanc- books of Protagoras were, by the tions the suppression of blasphema- judges of Areopagus, condemned to ous publications; while he pleads be burnt, and himself banished the most powerfully against a censor- territory, for a discourse, begun ship of the press.
with his confessing not to know, "I deny not,” says he,“ but that whether there were gods or not." it is of greatest concernment in the Again, in Milton's “ Observations Church and Commonwealth, to have upon the Articles of Peace with the a vigilant eye how books demean Irish Rebels," he says, in reply to themselves as well as men; and some taunts, that even blasphemers thereafter to confine, imprison, and were protected in England : : do sbarpest judgment upon them, “ Our protection, therefore, to as malefactors : for books are not men in civil matters unoffensive we absolutely dead things, but do con- cannot deny; their consciences we tain a potencie of life in them to be leave as not within our cognizance, as active as that soul was whose to the proper cure of instruction progeny they are; nay, they do praying for them. Nevertheless, if preserve, as in a viol, the purest any, be found among us declared efficacy and extraction of that living atheists, malicious enemies of God intellect that bred them. I know and of Christ ; the Parliament, I they are as lively and as vigorously think, professes not to tolerate such, productive, as those fabulous dra. but, with all befiting endeavours to gon's teeth; and being sown up suppress them :--that we invite and down, may chance to spring such as these, or encourage them, up armed men."
is a mere slander without proof.” “ But, lest I should be condemned From fully approving the sentiof introducing license, while I op- ments of this greatest of uninspired pose licensing, * I refuse not the men, advanced by him, too, in sevepains to be so much historical, as ral different treatises, and, when
writing in defence of unrestricted * Milton knew how to draw the line
the line religious liberty, and the unalienable between Liberty and Licentiousness; rights of conscience, I shall contilicense and licensing :
nue to maintain, that “ discounte
impiety !” I, however, dený, prove, that they were not justly the consequences which J. M. C. - buffetted for their faults ?" ; states result from this sentiment. I give credit to J. M. C, and those What, then, is there no differ- who think with him, for sincerity, and ence between the apostles having for sopposing that they are defendtold the Athenians, that “they ing Christianity from being chargeought not to think the godhead was able with the improper exercise of like unto silver and gold ?"--and magisterial authority. But, when I that “ they were no gods which find them treating, with affected were made with hands ;” and those contempt, or studied indifference, atheists and infidels who curse the opinions of such men as Gill, the living and true God, and re- and Watts, and Blackstone, and proachfully revile and ridicule the Locke, and Milton! I cannot but inspired oracles ?. What pernicious conclude, that they have either misuneffects, or public inconveniences to derstood the subject which they opthe well-being of the civil communi. pose, or have not weighed the argu. ty, was the gospel the cause of pro- ments by which it has been defendducing? J. M. C. says, the Roman ed. The sophisms they endeavour Emperors considered the apostles as to maintain are ;~ that, because reli“impious Atheists !” This, however, gious opinions are not within the was not the opinion of the judici- province of the magistrate, that ous GALLIO! He evidently saw wicked actions, relating to God, rethrough the nature of the charge late to him only; and, therefore, are brought against them by Demetrius; not cognizable by human authority : and, in his reply, vindicates them and, also, that ihose vicious pracfrom any improper exposure of “the tices which, wbile private, cannot great goddess Diana, and of the come under human cognizance, image which fell down from Jupi. when they are publicly committed, ter!"_" For ye have brought hither necessarily do so; because the these men, which are neither robbers care of the magistrate, like the duof churches, nor yet blasphemers of ties of a father, extends to the wellyour goddess !”-Now, if the hea. being of the whole family subject then magistrates had acted upon the to his authority, and entitled to his principles of GAI.L10, as they ought protection. Let these distinctions to have done, the apostles would be observed, and, we may conclude, not have been treated as criminals, no more will be said to condemn nor obtained the crown of martyrs ! the laws of our enlightened country, The same remarks apply to Mis. as being antichristian, nor to blame sionaries among the heathen, or the equitable administration of Mahometans, at the present day. them, against those, who, by utterWhile they propagate Christianity ing, or publishing, blasphemy with its only legitimate weapons, against God, or by reproachfully sober argument, and scriptural dis- and scurriously ridiculing and recussion, it would be a wicked pre- viling the sacred scriptures, have text for persecution, were they to done all in their power to destroy all be punished by Pagan or Mahome- those bonds which are essential to tau magistrates, as “evil doers;” promote and preserve the social -but, if they were to employ scur- compact. rilous declanation, for "ridiculing
J. I. the heatben gods,” what friend of 20, Harpur-street, religious liberty would undertake to. Dec. 3, 1824.
Mr. Cox's Reply to the Review of tain a vast number of theoretic Bap.
his Work on Baptism, in the Con- tists." He exclaims, in anguish,
gregational Magazine for Octo- "the other party," that is, his own, ·ber last.
“ have quite as good a right to take (To the Editors of the Congregational up the same sentiment,” and, conMagazine.)
sequently, that this would be a proGENTLEMEN,
per subject for arbitration. It really The review of my work “ On is not in my power to pacify him by BAPTISM," inserted in your num. any concession here : for so far ber for October, which many parti. from our Pædobaptist friends having sans may be likely enough to think as good a right to make a similar a very clever thing, appears to me declaration, I believe there is not to require some animadversion; I one of them, no, not this Reviewer trust to your impartiality to publish himself, who has lemerity enough 10 the following remarks. Had the affirm, that the best Baptist writers review in question been merely have made them repeated and imabusive, (with which quality it is portant concessions, or any conces. sufficiently sprinkled,) I should have sions whatever ; or that many, if not left it to that unpitied dissolution, a majority, of our living teachers, ad. which is the usual fate of an adver- mit half their arguments; for they sary when mortally wounded ; but never admit any ; or that a vast nimi. who still retains his inveteracy, ber of theoretic Pædobaptists are who frets, and fumes, and worries found in our churches'; for it is no. himself to death ; but, as it makes torious and incontrovertible, that some pretension to reasoning, and our churches contain no theoretic carries with it an air of conscious Pædobaptists! victory, I wish just to inform your The irritability which pervades Reviewer and his readers, that some the whole review is most lamentthing may yet be said on the other able ; though, to me, were I in purside; and, indeed, that for aught he suit of victory only, it would be most has been able to accomplish, we gratifying: it has betrayed the have “ all the argument” still! writer both into misrepresentation
Although it is difficult, in a reply, and sophism. His language is not to exceed the extent of the ob- “ It ill becomes the advocate, jecting publication, yet, to avoid on either side, of a litigated giving either myself or your readers question, to assume that he has more trouble than is absolutely ne- all the argument;" and he goes cessary, I shall compress my obser- on with a most abusive tirade about vations into the smallest aitainable “ vapid braggery,” which only prolimit. Really, Gentlemen, 1 had no duces emotions of pity and regret! intention of inflicting such tortures Now, Gentlemen, you, whom I upon any poor opponent, as I ap. expect to look at my stalement dispear to bave done, by simply stating passionately, as editorial 'um pires, my persuasion, that was an evidence will, I am confident, perceive, that the argument is ours, not only have I have not asserted we have all the the best Pædobaptist writers made argument, implying by that expresus repeated and most important sion, that Pædobaptists bave noconcessions, while mauy, if not a thing at all to say in their own vin. majority, of their living teachers, dication. The offensive words are, constantly admit one-half, at least, “ my persuasion is, that popular of our arguments for the mode of feeling is theirs, the argument ours." baptism ; but their churches con- A fair and candid critic would have
supposed me to mean, what indeed that the argument in favour of PROI did intend, that the preponderance TESTANTISM was yours-ye who of argument, in my opinion, not were, at the time, advocates of “ one withstanding the popular feeling, of the smallest, nay, the very smallwhich is so often excited by appeals est of Christian sects !” to parental affection, is on our side There is a bitterness in the conof the question. If this were not cluding part of the sentence, which my conviction; why am I a Bap. I am truly grieved to observe, though tist? If this be not your convic. I will not retort by intimating it is tion, on the other side, why are you characteristic of a “ bad cause." a Pædobaptist ? I have stated Whatever asperities may escape this simply my persuasion ; a persua. anonymous critic, under the influ. sion, which is the universal senti. ence of resentment and vexation, I ment of every man on every sub- think he will not dare me to the inject, on which he professes to hold vidious task of proving that we have any truth whatever! Have I used had, and do at present possess, a any reproachful epithets? Have I competent share of “acute reasonemployed scurrilous and depre- ers and genuine scholars.” I should, ciating language? Have I indeed, undertake such a service charged my brethren who ditfer with very little hope of producing from us, with dogmatism, and are conviction in his mind; because rogance, and rashness, and I know whoever pleads, that when a person not what beside? Your Reviewer is said to come out of the water, it may be angry still, but I repeat, implies, that he had previously gone (and I do it with the utmost cool. into it, is, in his estiination, doubtdess and deliberation,) it is yet my less, a miserable reasoner; and whopersuasion.
ever maintains that βάπτω and βαπThe Baptist denomination has ríbw signify to immerse, is a perfect the honour of being reproached ignoramus !! through me, as “ the smallest of To the contradiction of the Christian sects--a sect too distin- statement, “ that the best Pædo. guished, neither in its past or pre. baptist writers have made us resent state, by any overwhelming peated and most important conmajority of acute reasoners and ge- cessions," I can only say, it is nenuine scholars !” I am yet to learn, vertheless still my persuasion, and, that the numbers composing a de- notwithstanding the Reviewer's connomination have any relation to the tempt of what he terms the secondtruth or falsehood of their opinions. hand authorities of Booth, (though So then a theological question is to with wliat propriety I am at a loss be settled by arithmetic! This is, to divine,) « to that acute reasoner" at least, a novel application of ma. I beg to refer for ample demonstrathematical science! This language tion. The Reviewer remarks, that would befit the mouth of BELLAR- “ before an opponent counts upon MIN, or of any popish advocate, the concessions of these writers, he extremely well. I do not at this should ascertain how far they carry momentrecollect whether BOSSUET, the concurrence of the party,” If in his celebrated work against the he wait for this, he will certainly Reformers, employs it; but I think wait long enough, because the party it not improbable; and it must will always quarrel with those, howhave been wonderfully available! ever learned, who have made conYe Protestants of yore--LUTHER cessions. All the stiff, and bigotand MELANCTHON, how dare ye ed, and illiterate, all who are either assert, that it was your persuasion, unwilling or unable to exercise a vigorous judgment, and a literary rection; and with regard to the discrimination, will object to con- latter, it is a mere misrepresentacession; but, if it should appear, tion. He ought to have seen that that the most competent, the most my reference was to that body of learned, the most judicious, who Christians, who are distinctively have liberality sufficient to publish classified as Pædobaptists or Indetheir own discoveries and convictions, pendents. I can only say, that I should unite in admitting, that the have conversed with some of their party have adhered to errors, ei. learned men, who have really conther of criticism or argument, which ceded this point; and I could name have been propagated without in- one of their most learned friends quiry, and swallowed greedily by who has solemnly avowed to me the voracious appetite of prejudice his belief, that on that part of the -then every candid investigator of controversy, we had the strongest truth will admit, that the clamorous evidence; and, as a little amusing objections to liberal concession, re- anecdote, which I had not thought peated by the multitude or the party, of repeating, much less printing, weigh not a feather against learned had he not insisted upon some eftestimony and critital acumen. With fort at plausible proof, I can assure regard to Mr. Booth's citations, your readers, that only a few they are taken, as he correctly states, months ago, I heard, in company from those “ who must be consi. with a respectable Pædobaptist dered as persons of learning and friend, a popular preacher in one eminence in the several commu- of our University towns, and in a pions to which they belonged; and, University pulpit, positively declare as no small number of them were to approving multitudes and confamous professors in Protestant senting gownsmen, (with whom I Universities, their declarations in know that he had had previous the argumentum ad hominem, can- discussion) ibat “ the allusion to not but have the utmost weight.” the Israelites being baptized to
In reply to my statement, that Moses in the cloud and in the sea, many, if not a majority of living was to the initiatory ordinance of Pædobaptist teachers admit our baptism ;” and he added, “ this arguments for immersion, as the allusion would appear far more apostolic mode of baptism ; it is said, forcible and obvious, did we in the by your Reviewer, “ we are not ac. present day retain the true apostolic quainted with a single individual mode of plunging the candidate in who admits it.” He nevertheless water.” Another fact is worth retakes credit to himself, for being as cording. At no very great distance extensively acquainted with Pædo. of time, I had the opportunity of baptists as myself, (which I do not hearing in our metropolis a Scotch question,) and adds, “ really it is a Minister, who has attained extravery bold and peremptory thing for ordinary celebrity, positively dea man to affirm and publish of so clare, that John DIPPED (this was large a body of learned and pious his word) the people in Jordan. To men as the Pædobaptists of Eng. this statement, I could bring a hunland, Scotland, and Ireland, the dred witnesses. How is it ihat the many thousands of clergy, &c. &c. representatives both of the English that they allow it to be the scrip- and Scotch churches will make tural mode." All that can be said these public avowals, while their to the former part of this statement writers, or at least some of them, is, that your critic's acquaintance' pertinaciously insist upon it, they and mine lie in a very different di- believe no such thing? Thoughi