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dabbling in divinity, and venturing beyond his last ; your baker could talk of nothing but the old leaven ; the blacksmith, with a spark of zeal in his throat, would be hammering out hobnails and heresy : and the grocer was always retailing religion. You could not buy an ounce of pepper but you had a pound of edification into the bargain ; and the shopman would repeat you a chapter while he was twisting his packthread. I knew a trader in a market-town, who was very dexterous this way ; when a countryman came in he would weigh hini his ounce of tobacco, and then (if the shop was empty, otherwise his religion always submitted to his interest) invite him to sit and smoke a pipe; in the discourse he would not fail to acquaint him with the accomplishments of his minister, à faithful labourer in the Lord, and persuade him to come and hear that powerful man (for once only, and there could be no harm in that) who was as much beyond the parson of his parish, as The simple rustic thanks him for his love, and innocently accepts his kindness, blows out one smoke, but sucks in another far more dangerous and intoxicating : he is persuaded, comes to the next meeting, hears and applauds what he does not understand ; goes home, tells the fine story to his neighbours, and draws them likewise into the tunnel.
I am forced to break off in this abrupt manner, because my little grandson, who writes for me, begins to be tired; but you may expect to receive a farther account at a more convenient time, from,
Instead of any own remarks upon this letter, I shall beg leave to subjoin u speech of Archbishop Whitgift to Queen Elizabeth, which appears to be a direct prophecy of those licentious-times : this princess it seeins, apon the request of her favourite the Eurl of Leicester, was persuaded to encroach upon the Church, and break in upon her privileges, which was su warmly resented by this prelate, that he bravely addressed himself in this manner.
I beseech your Majesty to hear me patiently, and believe that the church's and your safety are dearer to me than my life, but my conscience dearer than both; and therefore beg leave to discharge my duty in telling you, that princes are intrusted with power to protect the church, and therefore God forbid you should be so much as passive in her ruin, when you may prevent it, or that I should see it without horror or detestation, or forbear to acquaint your Majesty with the sin and danger that attend it; Madam, there are such sins as profaneness and sacrilege; and that as the last is the greatest, so the curse of God is due to it in a higher degree. Your Majesty, like all your predecessors, was sworn at your coronation to protect the church in all her rights and privileges ; and it would be a great crime in any that abhor idols to commit sacrilege, Let not what the Earl of Leicester objected against some few Clergymen prevail with your Majesty to prejudice posterity. Let particular men be punished for particular errors; and not the righteous made to suffer with the wicked. I pretend not to prophecy, yet would have posterity observe, that church lands added to an ancient inheritance, have often consumed both. And though I forbear to speak reproachfully of your Father, King Henry the VIIIth. yet I beg you to take notice, that part
of of the church's estate being added to the vast treasure, left him by his Father, brought an inevitable consumption upon both, notwithstanding all his sedulity to preserve it. And your Majesty may please to consider, that after he had violated his oath, with respect to Magna Charta, God so far denyed him his restraining grace, that he fell into greater sins than I will mention. Madam, religion is the foundation and the bond of humane societies, and when they that minister at God's altar shall be reduced to poverty and contempt, religion will soon dwindle into nothing; and therefore as your Majesty is now endued with a power to save or consume the revenues of the church, yet I beg you, for Jesus sake, the good of your kingdom, and the peace of your own conscience, to dispose of them according to the intention of the donors. Animate the spirit of the Universities, and imitate the example of Samuel, in whose days the schools of the prophets flourished; even Saul himself, who did much hurt among the people, yet when he came to the schools of the prophets, his heart relented, he durst not violate their rights, but put off his robes, and prophesied among them. Put a stop, I beseech you, to the ruin of the Church, as you expect comfort in the great day of the Lord, for kings must be judged. Pardon this. dutiful plainness, my most dear sovereign, continue me in your favour, and the Lord continue you in his.
ON LAY PREACHING, &c.
TO THE EDITORS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE, W HOEVER reads with any degree of attention the epistolary part
of the New Testament, will be struck with the predictions which it contains, of an apostacy to take place in the last days from the Christian religion. The characters of this apostacy are pointed out in the clearest language : among which characters the following are some not of the least prominent. It is said, that people will have itching ears, or be fond of novelty in religious matters, that, for the gratification of this restless humour, they will heap to themselves teachers, that these teachers will affect uncommon sanctity as a convenient cloak to cover their sinister ends, that they and their abettors will speak evil of the way of truth, be disobedient to their civil and ecclesiastical rulers, and multiply divisions without cause among Christians.
With such scriptural predictions before us, should we blindly follow every one who, with an apparent concern for our spiritual welfare, offers to be our guide in the path of salvation : should we not rather distrust appearances, and, before we give any ear to new teachers, enquire carefully what authority they have to preach the Gospel, whether they be qualified for the office, and whether the doctrine which they deliver be sound.
How shall they preach except they be sent ? is a question which supposes that such as are not sent ought not to preach. A mission for this purpose is of two sorts; extraordinary and ordinary. The evidence of an
extraordinary mission is ability to work miracles, . An ordinary mis, sion is conferred only by Episcopal Ordination. For, to say nothing of the Scriptures, which yet-are more explicit on the subject than some wish to believe, every source of information which we have concerning ecclesiastical affairs, makes it as clear as noon-day, that episcopacy is of apostolical institution, and that ordination is one of the exclusive privileges of the hishops of the Church. Hence, they who reject Episcopal Ordination, and are unable to produce the evidence of an extraordinary mission, may call themselves ministers of Christ, but they have in reality no right to the saered character. They are precisely under the Gospel what Korah and his associates were under the Law.
The people in general ought to know from their own ignorance, that they are not competent judges of the qualifications requisite for the exr ecution of the pastoral office. Whatever, therefore, relates to this mat, ter, they should leave to the judgment and determination of those, to whon, on account of their station in the Church, and their abilities, it properly belongs. But the people may know, that those persons are not qualified for the pastoral office, who undertake it not only without a regular mission, but also without going through that course of education which has ever been deemed an indispensible preparation. If a man should take it into his head, that he could, for example, make shoes or weave cloth, without having learnt those trades, common sense would tell the most illiterate, that the man was some how or other mistaken; and this consideration would prevent them from employing him. And is it not equally evident to the common sense of every person, that they cannot, in the nature of things, be qualified to preach the Gospel who quit the counter, the awl, or the loom, to ascend the pulpit?
The teacher who does not recommend it to the people to avoid division, and to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, neglects to deliver an important part of the gospel. The teacher who inculcates such an abstraction from the world as neither the precepts nor the example of Christ require, nor the connexions of man in society allow, misrepresents the Gospel. The teacher who maintains, that a part of mankind is elected to life, and a part doomed to damnation by an absolute decree of God, contradicts the Gospel. He also contradicts the Gospel who maintains, that divine zrace is irresistible in its operation on the human mind, that good works as conditions of salvation are of no significance, or that a sinner may know by a sudden impression made on his mind the moment of his conversion, and the certainty of his being pardoned. The proof is at hand, that the Gospel is contradicted by these doctrines ; for, the Gospel informs us to our great and endless comfort, that God wills the salvation of all, that. Christ died for all, and that the Holy Spirit is ready to assist all who comply with the evangelical terms of acceptance. The Gospel warns us against resisting and quenching the Spirit, and assigns the doing so as the grand cause of the sins which mankind commit, and of the misery which they bring on themselves. The Gospel represents faith as a practical principle, and denies admission into the kingdom of God to those whose faith does not appear in a godly, righteous, and sober life. In fine, the Gospel assures us, that this life is a time of trial, of indurance, and of hope; and encourages us to depend on no other evidence of our being pardoned, and in a state of salvation, but that Vol. V. Churchm. Mag. July 1803.
which arises from a conscious care to avoid sin and to advance in piety and virtue.
The application is so obvious, that it needs not be pointed out. In order, therefore, that the effect of it may not be lost on our minds, let us duly consider, that most divisions in the Christian world have been begun and are perpetuated upon principles, which render the great duty of union impracticable. The divisions among Protestants harden the Romanist in his errors, by leailing him to view the reformation as a necessary source of endless separations. And the unbeliever triumphs in them as so many proofs of the uncertainty of religious truth, and of the unfriendly nature of Christianity to the reason and peace of mankind. And now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned ; and avoid them. For tlıèy that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Ckrist, but their own belly ; and by good words, and fair speeches, deceive the hearts of the simple. Rom. 16, 17, 18.
A NORTH BRITON.
TO THE EDITORS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE,
GENTLEMEN, I WILLINGLY take upon me the performance of the task assigned 1 me by your Reviewer, p. 369, viz. the Examination of the Review of " Unity the Bond of Peace, and the friend of Virtue,” in the Chris.' tian Observer, of March and April last.-The Methodists look for con'verts from among people in my class of life ; I enter upon my undertaking the more readily, therefore, convinced that I shall do a kindness to my neighbour's and fellow-tradesmen; and hoping to shew the methodistical faction, that'teir artifices do not impose upon us all.
The character which the Christian Observer most affects is that of Moderation. He would be deemed a friend to the Church, but then he must confess there are many things which might be mended in it. He would be thought to contend with the Church's enemies, but to-besure he must allow that they now and then speak the truth. With all his love for the Clergy, and all his affection for Churchmen, he cannot but sometimes admit all that is laid to their cliarge. But the mask how and then slips aside, and beneath its fixedly' placid smile, we see the gratulating grin of glutted malice.
I perfectly coincide with your Reviewer in opinion, that the supporters of the Church should be cautious how they make concessions to their enemies; and should be very careful how they adopt the language of despondency. All they concede, the adversary greedily seizes on, and the voice of the false friend augments the enemy's acclamations of success. Sometimes, however, the zeal of the latter carries him to take that for granted which is not conceded, and to cry “ Io Triumphe" in the
wrong place.-Thus, says the Christian Observer, with no very Christian spirit, deserved stress is laid by this writer (the author of Unity, &c.) upon the well ascertained fact, that the means which are used to detach the members of the Church from their pastors, though, in many instances, they fail of their full purpose, yet in very many instances produce, in the minds of those, who still tleave to the Church, a diminution of respect for the established Clergy, a contempt of their authority, and a want of confidence in the soundness of their doctrines, which cunnot but have a fatal effect in checking the influence of their ministrations.” The Reviewer here obviously alludes to what occurs in * Unity," p. 16. But the author is there only arguing in general terms on the artifices of zealous new converts to schism, and asserts that“ such ill-judged efforts of misguided zeal are always attended with too much success ” But this is a very different thing from laying stress upon the well ascertained fact, &c. above quoted. How readily the Reviewer exaits a general argum ment into a well ascertuined fact! And then with what a thin covering of regret does he remark upon it!
The Reviewer next quotes a passage from p. 23, at the end of which the author says the Clergy " ought not to meet with any opposition or obstruction on the part of those who might have the purest motives for what they do ; much less should they be harassed and counteracted in their endeavours to fulfil the ends of their ministry, by the illiberal invectives and unjust reflections of those who have interested views in depreciating their characters and defeating their labours." Upon this the Christian Observer remarks “ While we unreservedly acquiesce with the author of this passage in all the sentiments which it contains, we are not unaware, and we should not omit to remind others, that the greatest caution should be exercised, in the particular imputation cf such mo. tives as are mentioned in the latter clause of the quotation, lest we charge them upon those who have been, in no degree, actuated by them. Of the necessity of this caution, experience has afforded very satisfactory evidence. It would require no very elaborate research, to meet with instances of persons who have been accused of “ interested views," “ illiberal invective," and " unjust reflections," on account of remarks made by them upon the clergy of the establishment; which remarks have, nevertheless, appeared to every one who attentively considered them, and candidly and conscientiously interpreted them, to have been evidently dictated by an affectionate concern for the respecta. bility and usefulness of the clergy--a concern so genuine, lively, and honest, that it would not pass over in silence what appeared capable of being corrected by faithful reproof, or improved by judicious admonition." · Now here is a candid and conscientious apology for the abuse poured upon the Clergy from the tubs, and the arrows shot at them from the three-legged stools of schism ; for the interference of Methodists in parishes, where the most exemplary parish-priests reside ; for the imperti- “ nent labours of the missionaries of contention ; for the reams of crude malignity issuing from the press in the form of Evangelical Magazines and Pocket-Books, Sernions, Tracts, Letters, Tours, and Voyages; for the arttul sophistry of Overton, the misguided zeal of Wilberforce, the pan. hlets of Sir Richard Hill, and the ravings of his brother, the history