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many of the preachers and of those who had been representatives of the General
Baptist Churches most cordially expressed their friendship towards me and some of them declared, that, in their opinion, the attack which had been made upon me was shareful and di graceful. It was ikewise said by persons of great respectability and judgment, and who heard the discourse delivered, that it must be published; and that if it were published exactly as it had been preached, it would be a suficicnt vindication from the calumniatin charge which some had endeavoured to fix upon it. This ) have faithfully done, without uppre sing, or having uppressed "one single expression which was used from the pulpit. If I am not mi taken the act of the Assembly in acquitting me of the charge, will do the members of it more honour than the whole of Mr. M.'s letter. There are thirteen expressions in Mir. Marten's list of indecency. Seven of these, are not only seriptural, but are found in what we may call the popular passages of the bible. Were not all these parsages of scripture publicly read in the Jewi h Church? and are they not 'still continued to be read ? 'Have they not been quoted by Christ and his apostles, in their discourses, and in the cpi t es of the apo tles, which have alway, been publicly read in the churches of Christians? Hare they not been quoted, and that continually, in our public sermons, both ancient and modern ? Yes they have. Who ever charged them, with such indecency, that they were not fit for females to hear, 'before Air. M.? Nebody. Well, then, let him have the honour of the discovery. The remaining six phrases are to be charged to my account. And first. “ The husband of the mother must be the father of the son.” Where are we to look for indecency in this sentence? lo it in the word husband, niother, father, or son, or in all of them put together? Really I cannot tell. Next comes the word “commerce." This is used in a quotation translated from Rabhilsaac, and was used by Dr. Priestley before me. And it is used by every other writer who has had occasion to convey the same idea ; yea, even by farmer Trueman in his advice to his daughter Mary. See his 26th di course, page 187, Unitarian Tracts. Next comes, " His descent is traced through the body of Joseph.” Where is the indecency in this phrase ? Is there any thing more in it ihan saying, “ Jacob berat Joseph. Certainly not. * An unmarried woman should conceive a fon.” I am perfectly at a loss to know where the indecency of this phrase is to be found. I uppose Mr. M. never reads the two first chapiers of Luke in public Wonderfully modest !! I have heard of a man who would not return thanks for a woman after childbirth in public, and I knew one who said, that a woman ought not to suckie her insant in company, and both pleaded indecency. “ An eye witness to the miraculous conception." Here Mr. M. has outrun truth. The words“ miraculous conception," are his not mine. * The connexion between the Holy Ghot and the mother of Jesus." The word “ connexion," in relation to marriage, is frequently used by the best of writers. As I have used it in reference to the power of God with Mary, it must be pure and innocent. Next com es,“ &c. &c. What is behind I cannot tell; but it is to be wished that he had made his list perfect when he was about it. My opinion is still, that the charge is frivolous and vexatious. But, as Mr. Marten has we lobserved, “ It sometimes happens that the zeal of good men leads thein into iniprudence." I now take leave of this charge, I hope for ever, and I shall make no further reply, until I see it better substantiated. I remain, as before, the sincere friend of Mr. Marten, and I hope that we shall meet as such at our next Annual Assenbly. Dichling, Nov. 24, 1807.
MR. B. MARTEN'S REPLY TO MR. STURCII, Ox MR. BENXETI's
To the Editor of the Monthly Repository: Sir, Your correspondent Mr. Sturch has commenced a war of recrimination against nie in a tone very much resembling some of those gentry, who, styling themse.ves eritics and reviewers, assumç the right of whipping unmercifully all who happen to differ from them in opinion, while they are the first to be offended at the lash of others. He begins his observations with contending for that which I have never disputed, viz. the right of an Editor's inserting nothing anonymous which relaces to matters of fact; but how long and how generally this has been the custom in the Repository, your correspondent has not informed me. I should hope, Sir, for your credit as an Editor, that mine is not a solitary case.
Mr. S. has thought proper to as :ert that my design in writing was to fix a stigma on Mr. Bennett, which declaration ill becomes him after the frank and friendly opinion which I have expressed towards that gentleman, who I am per uaded cannot by this correspondent's mischievous insinuations be made to think that I entertain again t him any motives of personal animosity. I have, Sir, only given it as my opinion that Mr. B. was incorrect when he said that he obtained a patient hearing of his sermon, while Mr. S. most dogmatically aserts the contrary. Mr. S. ap. peals for the truth of his assertion to the expressions of some of his friends, who I suppose like hin elf were present merely during the time of public service, and at the dinner table afterwards : while I equally appeal to a number of my friends who were present during the whole business of the day, and whose disapprobation Mr. Bennett himseif was both an eye and an ear witness to, nor would it be a difficult task to prove, that during the delivery of the scrmon there were visible marks in the congregation both of impatience, interruption and disgust.
If Mt. Dennett is an injured man, to what cause is it to be attributed ? Certainly not to me nor the Assembly, but to himself and those of his friends who have rashly advised him to add one iinproper act to another : oor has Mr. Sturch's de licacy towards his friend Mr. Bennett appeared very conspicuous in agitating a subject, wirich perhaps would have been much better láid at rest.
When I wrote my former letter, I was not aware that amongst your numerous readers, there could have existed a disposition so captious as to have taken an advantage of my words, while the meaning was sufficiently obvious. Was it possible for any one but Mr. S. to have understood me to mean (notwithstanding some incorrectness of expression) that cach of the passages which I quoted: was repeated thirty or forty tinies, and not that such like passages occurred so often in the dis. course! And if I had substituted the word introduction for that of repetition, I might have escaped the talons of this angry critic. Indeed, Sir, were l in my turn to recriminate, I might charge Mr. S. with asserting that Mr. Bennett's own passages in his sermon were “ more unexieptionable" than those which he borrowed from scripture, but this would betray a spirit which every friend to truth ought to de. precate. I am as anxious as any man for the spread of pure and unadulterated christianity, and the true worship of the one supreme Cod, but I hope my zeal in the good cause will never betray me into errors, and especially into that great absurdity of defending the measures of any advocate, right or wrong, merely because i believe hini to be a good man, and much more so, when his conduct icada to stigmatize a large body of his equally well meaning brethren. And as I have never, either directly or indirectly, charged one word of scripture language with indecency, so I think the levity of Mt. Starch in the latter part of bis lester is ill timed; it may indeed suit the feelings of a sneering, or gratify the splees of an angry critic, but it deserves by me only to be treated with silent contempt.
I remain, Sir, your's &c. Barston, Dor. ro, 1807.
1. 23, from the bottom, for “ in punctually obey " read de punctually
Austin, St. Robt. Robinson's ac-
quiry in, 47. Melancholy conse- His success in conversion, and
gory, ib. His miracles
297. An evidence to the truth
mended to their translations of
409 anism, 80, 133, 195, 253, 304,
268 206, 271, 326,384. Of his fast
mon before General Baptists, 564.
Bigotry, what is not, 135, 539.
Celestius, theological opinions of
1,57. Rev. Thomas Threlkeld, thor of tbe Apocalypse
a negro, Chandler, Rev. Dr. inquiry and re-
ed work, 482,
why not reformers of the church 645 China, edict of the emperor of,
ar institution so called, 21. Re. Christian church, a new era in
and means of the Government 387 virtue the sole foundation of 239
293 in Wales, from the rime of Pela-
284 gius to that of Austin of Rome,
sing on the consciences of the prophecy, 72. Depraved and
against, 183. Anecdotes of the
exercise of, ib. Defence of
573 propagation of Christianity
of, 195. An example of the ter- the illiberality of the Eclecuc
484 abolition of the slave trade 504
ing at, 125. A templation to sin,
126 Cobbet, William, his arguments
49 rance, 614. With his plans for
strictures on his lectures, 80, of them, 616. His luminous ac-
301 Common sense, decisions of on the
Controversy, more beneficial to co- Doddridge and Watts, orthodoxy
288, 340, 396, 452, 508, 564, East, Sandys' contrasted account of,
version of N. T. p. 25. Paulus' tions on Mr. Clarke answered 63
adduction of Locke, in support
vi. 62, p. 546, 620. clean birds," 262. An asylum
for heretics, 263. les apostolical
Evangelical Magazine, its appeal on
the late zealous exertions of the
Unitarians, 130. Its accu tomed
abuse of their opinions and prac-
575 in the pre-existence of Christ,
605, 638 writings and character, 128.
po foundation for clief of, in Letter from, to Lord Rederdale,
on the catholic question, 363, 423
cies and marvellous attainments
451 cion on the exhibition of