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gether with numerous discords, distractions, quarrellings, and divisions seem to be in existence amongst them.' pp. 176, 7.
• The Dissenters and the Political Unions have the same objects in view, and only make use of different means to accomplish those objects.' p. 178.
• In all the Word of God there is not the slightest intimation of commission o: authority to examine, choose, ordain, appoint or oversee ministers being given to any collective body of men whatever ; and, therefore, neither an assembly of unordained Ministers,—nor an union of ignorant, upstart religious fungusses,-nor a board of congregational teachers,-nor a clab of Independents, has any right or authority from Christ to examine, choose, ordain, appoint, or oversee Ministers. And in claiming and exercising a pretended authority, such societies do rob the Saviour of his due honour-wrest the sceptre of Government from his hand-snatch the crown from his head_thrust him off from his throne, and impiously usurp his place and authority.' p. 179.
After citing some blasphemous expressions libellously attributed to some Presbyterian Ministers in 1643, this mendacious defamer adds :
I could produce many other instances of the blasphemous nonsense and monstrous iniquities of extempore praying schismatics; but enough, I am sure, has been said to satisfy any unprejudiced person, that if precomposed set Forms of Prayer had no other advantage than that of preventing the use of such irreverent and abominably wicked expressions, it would be amply sufficient to prove their vast superiority over extemporary prayers : . I can truly say, that the more I hear and see of extemporary praying, and the more I reflect upon the pride and the irreverence and wickedness connected with it, the more heartily thankful do I feel for our excellent and incomparable Liturgy, acknowledged to be so even by our Dissenting enemies. p. 253.
· Dissenters, in dissenting and separating from the Church, commit the heinous sin of schism, which is, in my opinion, a greater sin than the sin of drunkenness; and, therefore, a great deal more frequently spoken against in the word of God.'
I look upon schism, in fact, as tantamount to a renunciation of Christianity. What is it but a renouncing of the Church of Christ-a renouncing of her ministers, and through them a renouncing of Christ himself? Do not schismatics, in forsaking the Church of God, and thus abandoning that machine which God has placed upon earth for the accomplishment of this great work of redemption in the salvation of men, and inventing new schemes of salvation, prefer their own wisdom, and their own ways, to the wisdom and ways of God? And as schismatics forsake the Church, and cut themselves off from her, they ought to be the very first persons over whom the Church should refuse her Burial Service to be read.' pp. 263, 4.
· Dissent and Monarchy can never coalesce or stand together. Dissent is naturally opposed to Monarchy, and cannot be otherwise. Its very principles naturally generate, and ever must generate disloyalty
and disaffection to a King, and insubordination and rebellion to any form of Government that does not square with the Dissenting notions of Democracy. Dissenters do sometimes, to be sure, boast of their loyalty, but just as a criminal asserts his innocence-in such a way that the very manner of doing it is only calculated to excite suspicion. But actions always speak louder than words; why do not Dissenting Teachers, in Sermons from their pulpits and otherwise, enforce the duty of loyalty upon their followers? I have heard hundreds of Sermons preached by Dissenters, but never one upon that subject. But both in public and private, I have heard numerous anecdotes, observations, and insinuations, tending directly to disloyalty, and the breach of that positive command, “Honour the King. And why do they not obey the injunction of St. Paul, and pray"
for Kings, and for all that are in authority” under him? The late Mr. Abraham Booth, an eminent Dissenting Teacher, at London, would never pray for the King (George the Third) at all. And it is a well-known fact, that a great many Dissenting Teachers follow his example, and those who act otherwise, only do so occasionally, which manifests their disinclination to obey the Apostolic command at all. And, indeed, nothing of this kind can be surprising, when we recollect that they teach their Disciples that insurrection and rebellion are pious duties--that they may
piously lift their hands against the Government of their country.” This is the very same infernal doctrine that prevailed in the time of the Dissenting rebellion under the pious Cromwell.' pp. 347, 8.
• I hesitate not to say, that bad as Oxford and Cambridge may be, Dissenting Academies are ten times worse, uniting with their immorality the grossest hypocrisy. Besides, the means by which many enter these Dissenting hot-beds of vice, vanity, pride, and foppishness are not extremely pure.' p. 371.
Part of the note from which we take this last extract, is so filthy as to require to be veiled in a learned language. The defamatory insinuations it contains, stamp the writer with the broad marks of a scoundrel, too contemptible for prosecution, and too vile for other notice. As a further specimen of his wilful fabrications, we may mention, that he insinuates that 20,0001. were • collected pretendedly for missionary purposes, but actually pocketed by a few Dissenting teachers and others, and never accounted for to the public. The personal abuse lavished on Mr. James, Mr. Scales, Dr. Bennett, and other Dissenting Ministers, is in the same spirit. Lying, disloyalty, arianism, infidelity, venality, and hypocrisy, are charged upon them in round terms; and the most atrocious sentiments are put into their mouths by means of garbled sentences perverted from their obvious meaning. But it is useless to waste another word upon this frightful display of baseness and wickedness, which we will not say, in the writer's own language, require as their only remedy, curationem car
nificis,' but which, unrepented of, will entail a more fearful punishment.
We should be glad to think that such a volume as this could find acceptance and credit with no class of readers; but there is reason to fear that many who will warmly disapprove of the Writer's low abuse and ribaldry, and others who will affect to be displeased with his spirit and style, though secretly enjoying the dirty sport of pelting the Dissenters with hard names,—will in different degrees be imposed upon by its apparent authority as king's evidence, and will not care to sift very nicely his misquotations and more audacious falsehoods. Those, however, can alone be deceived by the statements of such a witness, who are willing to be deceived; and the only injury which the book can do, is to the cause which it advocates.
In one point of view, indeed, the volume may be useful. It exhibits, throughout, as in a convex mirror, the distorted reflection of those sentiments which are found in the pages of High-church writers, broadened as it were into caricature, but still preserving the likeness. Except in the malignity of its spirit, and the entire abandonment of truth which it displays, it is a suitable companion to Mr. Meek's “Reasons for Conformity,” which are quoted by his fellow-convert from schism with due honour. The genuine character of Church-of-Englandism could not have been more finely satirized, and at the same time more fully developed, than in the Letters of L. S. E., which might in some places be mistaken for an ironical defence of the Established Church from the
pen of an enemy. We are quite sure that, had such been the real nature of the work, its author would have been charged wit) overacting his part, and exaggerating the intolerance and bitterness of those he wished to satirize. In this work, we have but the distilled spirit, the tincture instead of the infusion, of the bigotry which is found in a less concentrated form in the pages of Messrs. Cawood, Meek, and Co., in the British Magazine, the Christian Guardian, and the Record. To the liberal and pious ministers of the Establishment, such an exaggerated and hideous portrait of the ecclesiastical polity which they have embraced, may not be without its use. Let them ask themselves, whether Dissenters can be much to blame for any violence of opposition to a system bearing such fruits as these; whether they can be expected to rest content that the patronage of the State should continue to be given to a Church by which they are anathematized, although the equal protection of the State renders its anathemas impotent.
Our readers will bear witness that, to any thing approaching to violence or sectarian animosity, we have uniformly been opposed; so much so as, by our pacific counsels, to lay ourselves open to the unjust suspicion of favouring the enemy. We confess that, at one time, we did cherish the hope that a truce of God might have been maintained between the rival denominations of the religious world, to allow of their making common cause against ignorance and infidelity ; but the position of stern, inflexible hostility which the evangelical clergy have taken in relation to the claims of the Dissenters, leaves no prospect of peace except as the fruit of fair conquest. Attempts are continually made to represent the Dissenters in the light of aggressors who first broke the truce. This is not the fact. No assault was made or meditated upon the Establishment, till it opened its batteries upon the peaceable petitioners for a redress of civil grievances. If Dissenters are become more political in spirit than they were, the political conduct of the Churchmen has made them so.
The recent Session has put to a test the spirit of the Establishment. It might have been hoped,' to employ the language of a weekly journal*, that sound policy and Christian feeling would have led the more liberal-minded portion of the evangelical clergy to take a different position. It would have cost them nothing to say to the Dissenters :-We acknowledge your grievances; we sympathize with you as our Christian brethren ; we will aid you in obtaining relief as to your just claims; but, as touching a ' separation of Church and State, we are at issue with you on the abstract question, and will resist your efforts as directed to that object to the utmost. By conceding thus far to the practical grievances of the Dissenters, they would have disarmed their opponents of every angry feeling; they would have occupied a vantage-ground, and raised their own professional character by a conduct at once fair, manly, and conciliatory. This opportunity they have blindly thrown away. They have been betrayed by the secular prejudice engendered by an ecclesiastical monopoly into a course as impolitic as it is intolerant. They have thus lost a noble opportunity of vindicating before the world the spirit of the religion they profess. Had the evangelical clergy acted towards the Dissenters as became their platform professions, the world would have given them credit for disinterestedness, and for valuing the interests of religion more than the honour of their order. Dissenters themselves might have been induced to falter in their opposition to an Establishment producing the fruits of liberality. Was it unreasonable to expect as much as this from some portion of the pious clergy of “cur Apostolic Church" in the nineteenth century ? What then must be the genuine tendency of an ecclesiastical establishment ? Under all the circumstances of the case, the uncompromising hostility manifested by the evangelical section of the Church Political to the claims of Protestant Dissenters, appears to us scarcely less decisive and flagrant an exemplification of the anti-christian spirit of the Institution, than the fierce
* The Patriot. Sep. 10,
bigotry which kindled the flames of martyrdom in Smithfield, and, under Protestant sovereigns, consigned Bunyan, and Baxter, and De Laune, and a whole army of confessors, to bonds and imprisonment.
The best excuse that can be offered for our evangelical brethren of the Establishment, (if they will allow us still to claim any fraternal relation,) is, that they have taken alarm at discovering the unsuspected strength of the despised sectaries. The avowed opinions of the orthodox Dissenters are the same that they have ever been, on the subject of State interference with the Church of Christ: but it was scarcely deemed worth while to ascertain what those opinions were, or the grounds of them, till the Reform in the representation discovered the political and social strength of the hitherto unrepresented Dissenters. This is the true explanation of the sore, fretful, and bitter feeling which the pious clergy discover alike towards the Dissenters and the House of Commons. The Record Newspaper, which at once reflects and panders to this feeling, striving with accursed zeal to widen as much as possible the breach, has adopted a tone in politics equally opposed to the powers that be, and hostile to the Dissenters. Before the agitation of the Reform Bill, however, all classes of the clergy, evangelical and heterodox, were not less unanimous in resisting the repeal of the Sacramental Test. The life principle of the Establishment being the political ascendancy of the clerical order, every concession to the Dissenters is resented as an injury to the Church. Till that ascendancy be destroyed, there can be no religious peace in the Protestant brotherhood. The clergy have unsheathed the sword; their watchword is, No concession: before the sword can be beaten into a ploughshare, it must be wrested from the hands of these churchmen militant; and when disarmed, they will discover that they have no enemies to fight against.
We have in a former article exposed the entirely unfounded nature of the assertion, that, till within the last thirty or forty years, the lawfulness of religious Establishments was unquestioned, and their expediency and necessity admitted by Dissenters themselves. If this were true, how came it to be deemed necessary to defend the Church, as an Establishment, against the opinions of Dissenters? Why did Warburton vindicate the Alliance, or Paley invent his theory of an Establishment ? Mr. Pritchard, the minister of Attercliffe Chapel, near Sheffield, puts a very home question to one of the Sheffield clergy who have been indiscreetly making the pulpit the organ of invectives against the Dissenters. ‘I would,' he says, 'ask the Preacher, who, having been born
and educated under the roof of a Dissenting minister, cannot but be well acquainted with the subject, whether he was not aware that it has always been a fundamental and distinctive principle with the Independents, that every sect should stand
VOL. XII.-N. S.