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the true Protestant Bishop, &c. Blown up with this success, his next step is to publish in the royal audience the same doctrines. He denies all power in the church, all in the state to support religion; he impeaches the act of uniformity, and the articles of the church; and pleads for a removal of those negative discouragements which hurt nobody, and are meant only to secure the church. What is this but throwing oil into the fire, and kindling anew the flames that were dying away for want of fuel ? His lordship is no weak man ; how then shall we persuade the people that his are vain words? He will be thought to know more than others, and yet to be so wise as to speak nothing improper ; how then shall we deal with this imputation? Should a man endeavor it, would he not be answered, the bishop knows more than you, and could best judge whether it was proper or no? Help me,
art! all ye powers of logic and learning, help me to remove this false, this vile suggestion! And yet what art, what learning is wanting to lay the blame at the proper door, and to show those who are most nearly concerned how such preaching and such doctrines disturb the peace and threaten the security of the public ? This was fit work for a Convocation : this they were doing, and putting into proper hands the noblest opportunity of dispelling all the fears of the people at once, and bowing the hearts of the nation, even as the heart of one man. And
any man of sober sense and reason weigh his lordship's services to the government, and speak impartially. Has any thing he has done tended to create in the minds of the people a confidence of their happiness, or to make them take pleasure in the prospect before them ? Nay, has not all he has done tended to make them suspicious, fearful, and uneasy ? Is
assistance to his friends, any terror to his enemies ? Are not his doctrines and his new schemes a weight, a heavy weight on those who espouse him ? And must we still be told that it is disaffection to the government not to approve his doctrines ? Were such doctrines once to grow general among the bishops, episcopacy would be a word less bellowed out than
In such circumstances the danger of the church would
it is. *
* Letter to the Dean of Chichester, p. 8.
seem less dangerous ; ruin itself would afford some prospect of deliverance; and the episcopal chairs would fall the less lamented for the sake of those who filled them.
But we hope for better things; in confidence of which we earnestly and ardently wish that his Majesty King George's days may be many and prosperous; that his government may be calm and serene as his own temper ; fixed and unmoveable as his royal heart.
Reason given for entering on the work. Design of the letter-writer, as expressed by himself. The charge is merely a personal one: the inquiry is, whether the dean had not taught the same doctrine which he disapproved when taught by the bishop. The point of agreement between them, as stated in the letter, solely regards the authority of the civil magistrate in matters of religion. To enable the reader to judge between them, it is shown how this cause comes to be attended with any difficulties. If religion, as it relates to the worship and service of God, were one plain and uniform thing, about which there could be no more reason to dispute than about the law of reason and nature in moral points, there would then be nothing left for the magistrate but to use his power to inforce obedience in religion as well as in morality; and his right to do so would be undeniable. So in particular it may be said of the Christian institution. But the case in fact is, that the magistrate may possibly misapply his rewards and punishments, when he interposes in matters of a religious nature ; since many points of mere speculation, &c. have by degrees been brought into religion, and churches have divided on those points: instance of the church of Rome. - The dean's sermon declared to have had reference to its doctrines. True point of the question under consideration stated ; namely, "so to preserve the authority of the magistrate in matters of religion, as not to set him up to be a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart; so to exclude him from meddling in these points, as not to destroy his authority to support true religion,” &c. This declared to have been a point argued in the dean's sermon on the 5th of November. With respect to his agreement with the bishop, his lordship’s opinion is shown from the sense which his words seem to carry. First passage produced from his lordship's sermon is one controverted between the bishop and Dr. Snape. His lordship’s explication of it considered : his doctrine shown to amount to this; viz. that it is an invasion of Christ's kingdom to add sanctions to his laws.
But the laws of Christ are almost all laws of reason and nature, and intended to make us perform the will of God : therefore, for princes to add sanctions to make men obey the laws of reason, or perform the will of God, is an invasion of Christ's kingdom. The letter-writer's exposition is different from this. . His evasion shown to be not applicable to the passage under consideration. Second passage produced, as quoted in the Representation, and by the letter-writer: this commented on : third passage produced and commented on also. From the whole it is concluded that the bishop's doctrine stands thus :
That it is an invasion of Christ's kingdom for any power on earth to add temporal rewards and punishments to Christ's laws.
That it is contrary to Christian maxims to encourage true religion, or discourage the contrary by the sanctions of this world :
And consequently it is impious and wicked for any prince to interpose his authority to support true religion and the honor of God.
It is next shown what the dean publicly declared on the same subject. Passages quoted from sermons preached before and after that to which the letter-writer refers. These show a difference from that of the bishop. Doctrine of the 5th of November sermon next declared. It had reference to the occasion of the day, and the practices of the church of Rome, then naturally
under consideration. But the bishop chose his subject, and without
mention made of the church of Rome and its practices, he writes down the magistrate's power in all cases. With respect to our Saviour's reason for the exclusion of temporal power in matters of religion, the dean's words in his sermon were : 1. that it holds in all cases with respect to church power; that is, the church, as such, has no temporal power : 2. that the argument does not affect the civil magistrate's power, nor tie up his hands from interposing with the civil sword in matters proper for his jurisdiction, however they may be pretended to be allied to religion. All points of conscience relating to this subject are throughout considered under two views: 1. as residing in the mind, (when they are styled matters purely of a religious nature, where the magistrate ought not to touch them : 2. as breaking out into ill practices, which the magistrate may lawfully punish. On this distinction the whole sermon is founded : this proved by various passages. If these be not sufficient to show its true scope and aim, one evidence more may be produced in the letter-writer himself. It is shown that although passages produced from the dean's sermon and that of the bishop may agree in words, they differ in sentiments, since they speak of different things. Here the subject might be left; but to set the matter quite clear, particular passages produced by the letter-writer out of the dean's sermon are examined; whence the disagreement between his doctrines and those of the bishop is made manifest. Surprise expressed that the Committee is treated with so much anger for seeing what all the world sees. Both friends and foes agree in his lordship's meaning. Instances of the Layman's Letter of Thanks ; the Anatomy of the Convocation, &c. Their praise converted into censure.
The bishop's account of the Answer, which he is preparing to the Representation, considered. The charge in the Representation is, that his lordship's doctrines tend to subvert all government and discipline in the church of Christ :