Page images
PDF
EPUB

common people are imposed upon, and the necessity of exerting the utmolt force of the laws, or providing new ones against such impoitors, who with no other allistance than a little cunning, and a brazen froni, gain fortunes by dispersing poison, and depopulating their country.

G. J.

S IR! The following account of our new Enthufiafts you may think,

perhaps, as good as any you bave met with, I therefore, send it to you to make what use of it you think fit.

London, July 6, 1739. S to Mr Whitefield, vast crouds of the simple order (your humble A

servant was there twice) Aock to hear him ; I seriously with the gentleman's designs may be good, and turn out quite disinterested. I fuspend my judgment, and only say, that such popular methods look more like folly and enthusiasm than any thing else. I have been once in . his company, his behaviour is stiff, and something not unlike that of the

Quakers about 50 years ago, full of lighs, and pretences to immediate revelation, new-birth, &c. quite Quaking principles (You'll allow I am a judge, my ancestors of the father's side being all of that tribe); where this will end, God alone knows. I travelled in a coach the greatest part of the way from Salisbury to London, in company with the reverend Mr Hutchins, and the reverend Mr Kinching, both very young men and Methodifts. They had been promoting their notions, (you'!l excuse my not saying preaching) in Hampshire and parts adjacent, where they suc. ceeded so well, as to put several people into I despair ; particularly a wealthy farmer near Bafingstoke. This poor man concluded his right eye to be evil, and, that it would be impoflible for him to enter into the kingdom of heaven, unless it was cut out. To effect this, therefore, he applied to a fkilful surgeon at Basingstoke, who, rightly judging the man not to be in his proper senses, refused to perform the operation, but gave him good advice, and recommended him to his friends to take case of him : This story I had from the reverend gentlemen before inentioned. They added, that near the same instant of tiine, as the poor delirious father went to have his eye cut out, his only son had bis pulted out with a pirch-fork, which they insisted was a judginent from the almighty for the father's presumption to have his eye cut out. I happened to be of a different opinion, and accordingly told thein as much, which afforded chat for twenty miles. I think, I insisted that it wi's something odd, that the poor boy should lose his eye, becaule his father

[ocr errors]

was

• The Quakers undoubtedly are the most melarcbily sect that ever was yet in the world. Dr H. Moore'o brief discourse of Enekusiasm, 1662.

I For curivus and carnal perfono, lacking the spirit of Ctrif, 'o have continually before their eyes she lentence of God's predeftiration is a moft dangerous downfall, whereby the devil doch chroff them either jnro desperation, or into wicicklekness of uncian Jiring Ao lcha perilous than desperation, XVII article of rengisa.

was a mad-man. I instanced several cases from the holy writ, particu. larly that of Amalek. We parted without seeding the point.

[ocr errors]

Some of the arts of Protestant Mifhoners to betray the

priests and people of the Church of England to Popery, discovered.

In a letter to a friend, TN the christian church there is only one proper sacrifice, which our lord

offered upon the cross; and consequently christians can't partake of any sacrifice in a literal and friet fense, without allowing tranfubftantiation. The names of oblation and sacrifice were used by the primitive fathers in a very true and pious sense, but have been grossly abused by the Papifts in their doctrine of the mass, which depends upon their other absurd doctrine of transubstantiation. A. Bp Potter's discourse of cburcbgovernment, p. 268, 274, edit. 1707. The form and manner of ordering of priests.

The Bishop . Are you persuaded, That the holy scriptures contain fufficiently all doctrine requir'd of necessity for eternal salvation through faith in Jesus Chrift? And are you determined out of the said scriptures to instruct the people committed to your charge, and to teach nothing (as required of necessity to eternal salvation) but that which you shall be persuaded may be concluded and proved by the scripture?

Answer. I am lo persuaded, and am so determined by God's grace.

The Bihop. Will you then give your faithful diligence always so to minister the doctrine and sacraments, and the discipline of Cbriff as the Lord hath commanded, and as this church and realm hath received the fame, according to the commandments of God; so, that you may teach the people committed to your cure and charge with all diligence to keep and oblerve the same?

Anfever. I will do so by the help of the Lord.

Mirus in hisce aliisque orientalium liturgiis confenfum videas circa invocationem fpiritus fanéti, ut dona faciat corpus et sanguinem chrifli. De bac hturgica intocatione tamen in genuinis apoftolorum scriptis ne gp'u. Fabricii codicis apocrypbi nor'i teftamenti pars tertia. Præfatio, 1719. The heart and life of the facrifice. 7. Johnson, SIR,

March 8, 1744. I herewith return you, with my thanks for the use of it, the colle&tion of paper's written by the late ichitmatical bishop George Hickes, D.D. printed in the year M.DCC.XVI. You fee how he writes of the R. Reverend Bp Ken in his letter to Mr Nelson, p. 226, 227: Is it not

crue, Jays be, that the consecrations of our bihops wanted bishop Ken's

< con

consent, which he gave before in a letter, which he wrote on pur• pole to the bishop of Ely, one of the Consecrators : and afterwards when

he met one of the Consecrated, gave him this congratulation in these or

the like words, that tho' bu' was not present in person at kis Confecration, set be was present at it in spirit. And since, when some of our com• munion told him they were afraid * no provision was made for the • church, he, to give them fatisfaction, affared them that provision was • made by new confecrations. But this was before the firange bumour

çf resizning took him. But this is very different from what we are told by Nir Hacokins, the bishop's kinsman and executor, in his account of bishop Ken's life, printed 1713, whilft Dr Hicks was yet alive, po 26, viz, That his opinion was not agreeable with such of the Non-ju• rors who were for continuing a separation, by private con cra:ions a• mong themselves, may, should there be any good occasion, best be ' known by his answers to letters written from men of learning who con' versed with him on that fubjcct; and from what I must affirm, that it • was on bis request the prelent bishop of Bath and Wells accepted of that fee.'

But this is not the only instance of the doctor's want of faithfulness and integrity. It is immediately attended with such another: I think • is, said he, a ftrange bumour-Lecaule he resigns to one wiih shom • he does not communicate upon the account of the inumeral prayers, • whereby the bishop, to whom he resign’d, effcciually reaches the Rock • which he resign’d io him the damnable dabrine of iclitance and depo

fing sovereign princes.' ---But, I. The doctrinc of refiruce which the church and Itate of England have condemned as damnable, is the Popill or Hildebrandine doctrine, that princes excommunicated by the Pope inay be deposed and murthered by their subjects. II. None of the I political writers allow the lawfulness of mere subjects resiling abloluie lovereign princes. III. They distinguish betwixt princes of an intiie majesty and absolute power, and those of a limited power: betwixt subjects who are. to merely or absolutely, and mix'd subjects who have a share in the sovereignty, and a right to defend their authority by rcfisting any attempt of their sovereign to deprive them of it. Such is the constitution of the kingdom of Great Britain. The most bigh and absolute power of it, faith Sir Thomas || Smith, confisteth in the parliament, viz. the king's molt excellent majesty, the lords fpiritual and temporal, and commons, by whole authority as well as consent our laws are made and enacted. To what purpose now have they this authority if they may not defend it, or resist any arbitrary power or military force used to deprive them of it? And yet this was all which was done at the revolution. Dr $ Hicks allowed the lawfulness of a civil relillance, or fubjcets going to law with the king, and defending themselves against him in the courts of law, He likewise own'd, that the lords of parliament might put the bride of che law on the king's head, and the bit into his mouth, when he was unruly, and running wild. But fuppose the prince will not fand still to be bridled, but will use a military force and power to dettroy his Dd

brivilers :

• This thews, that ebey knew nothing of the private confecrations.
I ). Gerard de magiftratu poli'ic).

The Commonwealth of England,
Harmony of Law and Divinity,

bridlers: Are they io stand till and lose their lives; or submit to the prince, and resign their authority, and become the mere or absolute subjects of an arbitrary sovereign? IV. It is an uncontroverted maxim,,chat Evangelium non abolet Politeias ; or, that christianity does not meddle with civil states or polities, but only requires every foul to be subject to the powers which are, without any particular specification of them. It was therefore a very evil surmise, and unjult reproach of the two bishops Ken and Hooper, that they both agreed to betray the flock by teaching them a damnable doctrine.

Dr Hicks was more chargeable with such a criminal behaviour towards the clergy of the church of England, by publishing and defending such doétrines as served to betray them to Popery. This will appear but too plain to those who compare his writings with those of our fathers and brethren who were martyrs * and confessors for Protestantism, and particularly those who opposed Popery in the reigns of K. Charles II. and K.James II. According to them it was Popery to allert,

I. That orders is a facrament.

II. That an indelible character is imprinted on the souls of those who receive them.

III. That a succession of bishops is a note of the church.

IV. That baptism adminifused by those who are not episcopally ordained, is invalid.

V. The ecclefiaftic liberty or independency.

VI. That chriftian priests have power to pass God's pardons ; or, that. to them it pertainech to forgive ins against God, and not only offences against the church.

VII. That when they minister the facrament of the lord's supper, they offer a proper sacrifice, and make atonement for their own sins, and the fins of ihe people.

VIII. That the benefits which we receive by the sacrifice of Christ's death are applied by the facerdotal act of the priest, not by the lively faith of the worthy communicant: That we have the merits of Christ's

death

See Archbp Cranmer's defence of the true and catholic dc&rine of the facrament of the body and blood of our faviour Christ. But this great man and glorious marty; has been calumniated by the nonjuror Mr Siepbens, who filed himself An English cartolic, as the corrupter of ihe true

English liturgi. He has been followed lince by a clergy-man beneficed in the church of England, who in a book, which he fally entituled A rational illuftration of ste bok of Common Prayer. tells his readers, that Archbp Cranmer proposed to have a new review

of the first Engl: liturgy, compiler by martyrs and confefTors by be aid of the Hily Ghoft and to this er.d called in the affinance of Martin Bucer and Peter Martyr, ?**foreigners, who laid aside several very primitive and evererable ufages; and, that the parliament declared, that these a'terations pruceeded from curiosity raiber sban any worrby caule: but he conc-aled, as Stepbens bad done, the parliament's declaration, that this sevited book of common prayer' and adminißration of the lactament was

as well for the more plain and inanifeft cxplanation thereof, as for the more perfe&108 of • the said order of common prayer in some places, where it is neceffary to make the lame prayer and fashion of service more carnefit and fit' to ftis christian

people to the true ho• nooring of almighty God': and, that they were the fame martyrs and confefTyrs, who compil.d the firft brok in 1549, who now reviewed and alter'd it in 1552. The act of uniformity paff:d 13. Cbarles 11. declares, that the book of common prayer set forth in the firit yrar of Q. Elizabetb is agreeable to the word of God, and usage of the primitive church, or before it was corrupted by the introduction of Apocryphal liturgies, framed after the inventions of weak men, who were fond of outward pomp and celebrity, con:sary to che limplici'y which is in Cbrist Jefuse

death transferred to us by actually I feeding on those elements which are by his authority sublituted to be his body and blood sacrificed for us ; and, that we are not so united, or do not receive such favours by coming duly prepared to the Lord's table, or being meet partakers of thole holy mysteries. Propit. Oblation, p. 100.

IX. That a fincere christian thinks and believes, that when he is praying at God's altar, and receiving the holy eucharift, he has the price of his redemption in his hand, or lying before his eyes. ibid.

X. That the consecrated bread and wine are by the descent of the Holy Ghoft upon them changed in quality, and have a real, inward and permanent holiness imparted to them, and do not go into the draught like other bread and wine. Unbloody Sacrifice, Part I.

But the appearing zealous for thele crude and antiprotestant conceits served to anfwer the purpose of Dr Hickes, and his emiffaries, of bringing over some weak and ignorant clergymen of the church of England, fond of magnifying their office, and of asserting the honour and dignity of the priesthood, and of the claim of false facerdotal powers, to bis poli. tical party, and causing himself to be esteemed and reverenced as their father and master.

I have taken some liberty here, but, I hope, no other than such as will be found, upon due examination, to be the liberty of a son of God, and a fincere and consistent Protestant of the pure, reformed and uncos, rupted church of England.

[ocr errors]

Mr Johnson in the Appendix to his Unbloody Sacrifice unt'eiled, p. 14. cites one Magnes, A. D. 165, which is, I suppose, a misprint for 265. Dr Cave in his second edition of his Hifioria Literaria, Vol. I. p. 135. observes, that he is an author unknown to any of the antients, but, that Fr. Turrian produced some fragments of a MS. of his against one Theoftines in the library of St Mark at Venice; and therefore advised his readers 'anéxov, to suspend their judginent of authors of this kind till they themselves appear or are published. Magnes's words, as printed by Turrian in favour of tran/ubftantiation, and copied by Mr Johnson, or by Dr Hickes for him, are to this purpole in English.

• The eucharift is not a type of the body and blood, as some stupid creatures trifle, but is saiher the body and blood."

To the same purpose the learned Edm. Albertine observed, that all the certainty we have of this obscure author's writings is from Turrian, a man of little judgment, and suspected credit.

A great 1 This was one of his eminence Card. Bellarmine's conceits, that the holy eucharift, as a sacrifice, may profit those who are not duly prepared. De effect. Sacrament. But the doctrine of the church of England is, that they who receive this sacrament to their comfort, or have their fouls ftrengthned and refreshed by it, muft truly and earneAtly repent them of cheir fins, and be in love and charity with their neighboure, and intend to lead a new life, following the commandments of God, and walking from thenceferth in his holy ways. Or, in the words of its Catechism, it is required of those who come to the Lord's lupper, that they truly repent them of their fins, and stedfastly purpose to lead a new life, having a lively faith in God', mercies through Chrift, with a thankful remembrance of his death; and to be in charity with all men. Whereas the wicked and impenitent, and such as are void of a lively faith, do in no wise partake of the blessings or benefico of Cbrif's death and sacrifice, ehe means of grace, and ike bopes of glory and immortality,

« PreviousContinue »