Obrázky na stránke

affairs. The charge against him formed, and this new article ad. was for impugning, or preaching mitted. Such a correspondence beagainst certain of the Thirty-nine tween a judge and a prosecutor Articles; and it was brought by a would appear very odd in our Mr. Bishop, the king's proctor criminal law courts! But be it general. It does not appear that as it may, the new article being this Mr. Bishop heard the sermou admitted, Mr. Bishop, the prosc. delivered; it is not known whether cutor, examined his witnesses on he has instituted the prosecution the new charge, and the term endon his own account, or on the ac. ed in that state, when the prosecu. count of certain persons behind tor had still the business in his own the curtain, who pay his expenses hands; and it was expected that in this very extraordinary pro. he would finish what he had to do secution.

and bring in his proofs in the beIn consequence, however, of the ginning of the next term. citation, Mr. Stone took advice It should be observed that, in of his proctor what he was to do, all this transaction Mr. Stone, on and, following that advice, left his part, has left Mr. Bishop very the answer to him; and the much to himself. Mr. Stone pro. proctor appeared for his client; tested against the citation before and the cause has been carried Sir William Scott, Doctor of on, from that moment to this, Laws, because he was called to according to the form of the appear before an improper tribu. ecclesiastical court. The vexation nal, one incompetent to judge the and expense to which Mr. Stone merits of the case. The judge, has been put may be easily con- however, decided against him. ceived by all who know any thing He resisted also the introduction of the ecclesiastical courts. Mr. of a new article, because he con. Bishop brought in a variety of ceived, that when a person was put charges, under the name of articles, on his trial upon any charges, it and during the last summer was was not just, or equitable, or employed in examining witnesses lawful, to introduce new charges, upon them. This last term, it was and to interweave them with the ux pected that the cause would original charges. But in this also have been finished by the prose. the judge was against him. In all cutor, when, instead of this taking other respects, Mr. Stone has left place, he begged leave to introduce Mr. Bishop to do what he pleases, a new article. This of course and to examine what witnesses he was resisted by Mr. Stone's coun- pleases. Mr. Stone has not cross. cil, bnt, after a little debate on the examined any of them. The wit. subject, the judge decided that the nesses are chiefly booksellers, or new article should be brought in: their servants. One witness is a and it was a sight, we are informed, Doctor of Divinity, the Reverend which struck one of the spectators John Symonds Breedon, but to with horror to see Mr. Bishop, what point his evidence extends the prosecutor, rise very coolly we know 110t. from his seat at the bottom of the This is a short history of the table, walk up to the judge, and prosecution ; but in this publica. there discuss with him in what iion Mr. Stone has kept a dignitied under the articles should be re. silence on this head. He does nos

even mention the name of Mr. • Answer. I will, the Lord bc Bishop, the prosecutor; nor does ing my helper.” he bint at all at the proceedings of Here, then, Mr. Stone rests his the court and the resistance he has case. He says that he has strictly made to what he deems improper complied with the vow made by in its conduct. His whole letter him to his ordaining bishop, who is taken up with this plain and never asked him whether he would important question : Was it right teach or preach in conformity to for the Bishop of London to cite the articles. The engagement to into a criminal court, a clergyman, the bishop, he contends, is unconfor opinions delivered in his ser. ditional and scriptural, and common, contrary to those maintained pletely emancipates him from the in the Thirty-nie Articles? The galling yoke of the Thirty-nine Arquestion is argued in a very grave ticles. How indeed is a preacher and solemn manner by the author, to act? is he to act against his and he denies that the preaching conscience because he may say of opinions contrary to the Thirty- something against the articles ? nine Articles is matter for a crimi. No. He is bound by his vow benal prosecution.

fore God and the christian church He argues in this manner: The to preach and teach only that church of England has established which he is persuaded may be certain articles to which a candic proved by the scriptures. The ardate for what are called holy or- gument is, in our opinion, concluders must subscribe, previous to sive, and Mr. Stone deserves the ordination. After this subscription thanks of the Clergy for having so he goes through a certain ceremo- well pleased their cause. ny, and is solemnly adjured by the Having produced his argument, Bishop to answer in the sight of Mr. Stone puts himself in the place God the following questions. of the Bishop, and supposes how

"Are you persuaded that the holy he should act if, in a similar case, scriptures contain sufficiently all a clergyman, supposed to have doctrines required of necessity for preached erroneous doctrines, had eternal salvation, through faith in been brought before him. The Jesus Christ ? and are you deter- sentiments he advances in this manmined out of the said scriptures. ner are highly worthy of a christian to instruct the people committed bishop, and we recommend them to your charge, and to teach no. to the perusal not only of the bithing, as required of necessity to shops of the churches of Rome, eternal salvation, but that which Greece, and England, but to the you shall be persuaded may be Presbyters of Scotland and the concluded and proved by scrip- ministers of every congregation of ture?"

Christians. How long will it be “Answer. I am so determined, before the teachers of Christianity and have so determined, by God's have learned that their's is a reli

gion of love, and that an erring “ The Bishop. Will you be brother is to be brought back into ready with all faithful diligence to the fold by arguinent, and that it banish and drive away all errone- is possible for one man to be right ous and strange doctrines, contrary and a whole church to be wrong! to God's word?"

Protestants allow this in their dis


cussions with papists, but in their the same ; namely, that he is to contests with each other the max- obey Gud rather than man; he is im is continually forgotten. to look to the scriptures for his

The tenets advanced in the ser- instructions, not to the articles. mon are maintained in this letter. So striking a publication has not The whole is written with great for many years made its appear. dignity, and due respect to his ance; and it is singular enough spiritual superior. In fact, the that both Mr. Stone and the Bishop tenets in the sermon are nothing were on the same side about foriy to the argument; for whether he years ago, when they endeavoured protests boldly against some lead- each to obtain a reform on the ing points of the faith of the church subject of subscription to the arof England, or expresses only, like ticles. The Bishop of Lincoln, his dissent

AMICUS. from one of them, his argument is ART. IV.--The Danger of reading Improper Books.-A Ser

mon, preached in the Rev. John Goode's Meeting, at a Mouthly Association of Congregational Ministers and Churches in London. Oct. 8, 1807. By the Rev. John Clayton, jun. 8vo. PP. 44. Black and Co.

The subject of this discourse is of that dread and hatred of free of considerable importance, and at inquiry, that anxiety to perpethe same time not entirely without tuate ignorance amongst the mass its difficulties. It is therefore de- of the people, and to prevent the sirable that the person who enters least ray of knowledge from enteron the discussion of it should be 'ing the mind by blocking up all distinguished by the extent of his its avenues, and that earnesi eninformation, the liberality of his deavour to keep religion in the mind, and the soundness of his hands of the priest and the ma. judgment. Whether these cha- gistrale, which have characterised racteristics are discoverable in the ihe most corrupt periods of antipresent attempt must be determine christian darkness: ed by a fair examination of it. In the first head of the discourse

The design of the preacher ap- (p. 6.) we are told that "it pears in part to be entitled to ap- would be wrong for an individual, probation; and the reader will tind some observations on the mischief arising from an indiscriminate pe- * Our readers will, we are persuaded, rusal of the trash of our circulating feel, with us, indebted to our correlibraries, which are just and ra- spondent for this ingenious and interestional. But we are sorry to add, ing article of Review. Such as wish to

see the question of Mr. Stone's conduct that in other parts of the discourse in the church fully discussed are referred will be found, not merely a bigot- to his own Letters in the Montbly Reed attachment to a system which pository, which contain the substance of the author chooses to denominate the pamphlet here reviewed, vol ii. pp. " the peculiarities of evangelic lowing papers, viz. vol. i. p. 490, and testimony," but also a large portion 591. Vol. ii. p. 20, 69, 139, and 134.

[ocr errors]

who can have but little time for faith. It is true that they extend
reading, to peruse the objections this prohibition to the reading of
which have been brought against the scriptures, and with great con-
divine truth"—that is, against Mr, sistency ; since the universal pre-
J.Clayton's creed--but" it may be valence of this practice, though it
right for a minister or magistrate would not in the least injure the
to read them;" and in the next Christian religion,would be certain
page we are informed that the "hu. ruin to the pretended orthodox
man mind is in direct enmity against faith. Mr. C. is not quite so con-
the truth of God;” and that there sistent. He permits the reading of
is not a more successful method of the scriptures; he even speaks of
confirming this natural enmity, the true nobility of the Beræans
than reading the productions of whose practice it was to search
those who have boldly opposed, or them. But we cannot commend
insidiously denied the prculiarities the prudence of this permission,
of evangelic testimony ;alias, the since we have no hesitation in sayo
peculiar opinions in which Mr.J.C. ing, that if this practice be encou-
has been educated. Thus, by work. raged, and the study of the scrip-
ing upon the fears of the private tures upon just and liberal prin.
Christian, he is to be deterred from ciples of criticism become general,
free inquiry, andis to be induced it will be in vain for Mr. J. C. to
to take every thing upon trust from think of keeping his young friends
the priest. The priest will kindly “out of the reach of the contami-
take charge of his soul; while he, nating influence of those princi.
simple creature ! has nothing to do ples wbich he holds in such
but to shut his eyes and open his abhorrence.
mouth, and swallow whatever spi- Mr. J.C. truly remarks (p.11.)
ritual food the priest shall be plcase that “no man can embrace error
ed to provide for him.

witliout suffering injury” But what, These, gentle reader, are the 'in Mr.J.C.'s opinion, are the most avowed sentiinents of a protestant effectual means of guarding the dissenting divine! May it not fairly human mind against error? Dues be asked, in what respect do they he recommend a diligent and carediffer from Popery? Or at least, ful inquiry after truth? Does he do they come any thing short of a advise his hearers, in order that direct denial of that best and no. they may enter upon this inquiry blest principle of protestantism, with every advantage, and pursue THE RIGHT AND DUTY OF PRI- it with the greatest probability of VATE JUDGMENT? What says the success, to endeavour as far as Rumish priest? The vulgar are possible to divest themselves of not judges of truth ; and if they prejudice and prepossession, to free attempt to read and think for ilacm- themselves from every undue bias, selves the consequence will be that and to seek the truth in the love they will become heretics and be of it? In the study of the scripdamned. They must not be per- tures, does he exhort them to suffer mitted therefore to see heretical no man to have dominion over buoks. Nothing must be put into their faith, but to avail themselves their hands that is not perfectly of assistance from every quarter ? cunsistent with the orthodox Does he warn them against the

[ocr errors]

influence of great names, against preacher,) that some religious prosubmitting to the authority of sects fessors have for years contributed and parties, against being disheart. (by taking in these works) twice as ened by the fear of obloquy, 're. much to the spread of Christ. proach, and persecution? In the degrading and soul-ruining opini. examination of controverted pas. ons, as to the support of their evan. sages, dues he urge them to spare gelical minister." Hinc illæ lano pains to inform themselves con- crymæ! This is the mortifying cerning the correctness of the text circumstance, that the Unitarian and the fidelity of the translations, who preaches eternal life by Jesus to compare the various and some. Christ, to those only who patiently times opposite senses which bave continue in well doing, which been assigned to these passages by every body knows to be a difficult men of different religious, senti. thing, should be paid twice as ments, to weigh their arguments much as the orthodox teacher who carefully, and at length, with manly assures his pupils that Christ has courage, tempered by Christian hu• done every thing for them, so that mility, to judge for themselves I -- nothing is required of them but to Not a hint of this sort is to be believe. We take it for granted found. On the contrary Mr. J.C.'s that Mr. J.C. is correct in his state. object seems to be to keep them ment, and as we think it no crime from deviating one hair's breadth either “to hearaSocinian preach," from the path marked out for thein or to “ give a guinea for his supby their ministers; and to per- port,” we shall not conceal our suade them that every syllable of pleasure in being informed, upon our common English Bible is en. such authority, that the readers of titled to the character of the in. Unitarian publications, amongst spired word of God, and that the the reputed orthodox, are so nuwhole must be understood and merous and their subscriptions so believed in that sense which he liberal. This looks well. chooses to call erungelicul.

Mr. J.C. in soliciting the attenThere is one cause of Mr. J.C.'s tion of his hearers informs them uneasiness which is somewhat cli- that he has "preferred the selection rious. " I know many persons, of useful remark to any attempt at. says he, (p. 18) who would not go a display of genius." In the seto hear a Socinian preach, much lection of useful remark, we think less give a guint a to his sipport-- he has been in some instances hapthus far all is well ; but alas! these py, and in others very unfortunate; same persons— habitually read but in his endeavour to avoid any the produce of his pen, and liberally display of genius, we can assure subscribe to the printed propagation our readers he has every where of his sentiments. And I will succeeded to admiration! undertake to prove, adds the


« PredošláPokračovať »