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Since the second edition has been in the press, I received the following remark from a very worthy friend in the country: it relates to a fact which does not affect the merits of the cause; but I am willing to rectify any mistake, and therefore think fit to add the following remark in the words of
As to what you say, at p. 58.* that it cannot be suggested that King William consented to as much as he could obtain from his parliament, &c. Dr. Calamy, at p. 439 of his abridgment of Baxter's Life, writes thus— His Majesty (King William) in one of his speeches to the two Houses (in the year 1689, and before the passing the act of indulgence, as he has placed it) told them he hoped they would leave room for the admission of all protestants that were willing and able to serve him, which was a thing would tend to the better uniting themselves, and the strengthening them against their common adversaries. Pursuant hereto, when the act for abrogating of the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, and appointing other oaths, was read a second time in the House of Lords, a clause was ordered to be brought in, to take away the necessity of receiving the sacrament to make a man capable of having an office. Such a clause being after reported to the House, was rejected by a great majority.'
After this he says, at p. 440. • Another clause was inserted by the court party in the aforesaid bill, by which it was provided that any man should be sufficiently qualified for any office, employment, or place of trust, who within a year before or after his admission or entrance thereinto, did receive the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, either according to the usage of the church of England, or in any other protestant congregation, and could produce a certificate under the hands of the minister and two other credible persons, members of such a protestant congregation. The question being put, whether this clause should be made part of the bill, it passed in the negative.'
* P. 460.
“From these two passages it seems to appear that King William dd what he could at his accession to the crown and after, to have exempted the dissenters from the test, or at least from the taking it in the church of England. It is also very plain that they would not refuse to take it (for offices) in their own congregations, if they could gain that point; and yet that practice would be liable to all Bishop Hoadley's objections. They never made the least objection against the naturalisation act, when it was in force ; which required foreign protestants to receive the sacrament in any protestant congregation; notwithstanding what Mr. Peirce writes, whose words I will beg leave to transcribe; for perhaps you have not the book by you. • The parliament did never design to guard against the dissenters by the test act, but only against the papists; however the act has been since basely abused. For though it is true those who first devised the act used not to attend our assemblies, yet it is well known they were favorers of the dissenters, and friends to our civil liberties. The law itself has been censured by dissenters and churchmen as unjust and ungodly; and if our adversaries had any regard to the honor of Christianity, they would long ago have earnestly solicited the repeal of it, &c.'".
* Vindication of the Dissenters, p. 284. Part. i.-a book which gives the true spirit and principles of the dissenters.
END OF VOL. IV.
PRINTED BY A. J. VALPY, RED LION COURT, FLEET STREET.