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forward the affair of Mr. Whiston. I thought you would gladly have suffered it to sleep. The case, to be sure, wrung inuch. You have been once and again flinging to rid yourself of it; but the manner in which you now do it, rather more sorely wounds than gives you relief.
“ You tax “ me wiib misrepresentation, and with no mean “ talent that way.”+ Yea, you have the courage to confront me with a citation from bishop Burnet, to whom I had referred as supporting my account. But what will the world say, Sir! How will all your friends, if not your own beart reproach you! and tbe learned, among whom you rank, hold you in great derision, when they see you undertaking to give the public an account of his lordship's history of that case; but either carelessly overlooking, or wilfully suppressing the material and important passages which clearly and irrefragably support my account.
“ His lordship (say you)I reports it thus : “ that " it seeming doubisul whether the convocation “ could, in the first instance, proceed against a “ man for beresy; and it being certain that their “ proceedings, if not warranted by law, might ino volve them in a premunire; the upper house,
in an address, prayed the queen to ask the opi“ nion of the judges, and such others as she thought "fit, concerning these doubts, that they might o know how the law stood in this matter.” Here you stop short with the bishop's narration, haying either not patience to read, or not honesty to write farther; and then, with a fourish ask, « Will these accounts now authorize you to rea
present, as you do, the two houses of convoca"iion as waiting upon her majesty, and that too “ to be instructed by her, and to learn her judge
• Stated in Letter I. † Appendix, page 39.
* Appendix, page 38.
« ment; and not that, neither, how the laws stood “ in relation to their proceeding, but how the “ gospel stood in relation to the opinions of Mr. “ Whiston and the mystery of the Trinity? And “ do you not now perceive your misrepresenta“ tion of the case, and that I did not talk without “ book, when I speak of it as a specimen of your “ talent, which, indeed, is not mean in that way?"
There is one thing, I here perceive, Sir, which is, that if you do not talk without book, yet, when the book is before you, you either want capacity or integrity to make a proper use of it. For, besides the partial and maimed account which you have given of this matter, bis lordship expressly adds the important passages which follow; whence the public will please to observe with how little fairness and truth you treat this famous case, and how great is both the church's and my own infelicity; she in baving an advo. cate, and I an opponent, capable of such low and dishonourable methods of defence.
His lordship says, “ That, by the act of 1st. of. “ Elizabeth, which defined what should be judged « heresy, that judgment was declared to be in “ the crown. The bishops, in convocation, drew. "out several propositions from Whiston's books, " which seemed plainly to be reviving of Arian“ ism, and censured them as such. The lower “ house (excepting to one proposition) censured " them in the same manner. This the archbi
shop, being then disabled by the gout, sent by " one of the bishops to the queen, for her assent;
(page 1194, Approbation ;) who promised to CONSIDER OF IT. At their (the convocation's)
meeting next winter, no answer being come “ froin the queen, two bishops were sent to ASK “ it, and to receive her majesty's pleasure in it; « but she could not tell what was become of the
paper the archbishop had sent her. So an ex" tract of the censure was again sent to her ; but
" she THOUGHT NOT fit to send any answer to “it. So Whiston's affair slept, and all farther
proceedings against him were stopped, since “ the queen did NOT CONFIRM the step that we “ had made, though he afterwards published a Jarge work in four volumes octavo.
Here let it be noted, 1. The judgment of what is, or is not, to be treated as heresy is, by our. (truly apostolic) constitution, lodged wholly in the crown.
The QUEEN, when such wears it, is the proper, the sole judge what doctrines and books shall be censured as heretical,-what principles and tenets are, or are not, contrary 10 the holy orthodox faith.
Note 2. The two houses, having extracted several passages from Mr. Whiston's book, and censured them as heretical, deputed first one bishop, then two, to wait upon the queen, to ask her approbation and consent to receive her majesty's pleasure in this affuir, and to desire her confirmation, without which their censure was not of the least signification or validity in the church.
$. Upon the receipt of this request, the Queen, as sole judge, promised to CONSIDER OF IT. The affair was of great importance, viz. “ What the “ primitive apostolic doctrine was concerning “ the Trinity, Incarnation, Nature and Genera“tion of the Logos? Whether there were three
persons existing in one undivided substance ; “ or whether the Logos was distinct in essence
Burnett's History of his Times, Vol. VI. pages 11, 33, 34, 35, 94. Edit, 1 emo. + The archbishops and bishops, in their address to the
queen, say, that Mr Whiston had advanced several damnable and blasphemous assertions against the doctrine and worship of the ever blessed Trinity: and in their censure, they earnestly beseech all Christian people, by the mercies of Christ, to take heed how they give ear io the false doctrines, as they tender the hom nour and glory of our Saviour, &c.
A from the Father, not created, nor made, but « in an ineffable manner begotten from eternity? “ And, finally, whether the apostolical consti“tutions were a genuine and inspired book, and
a true part of the sacred canon." Her majesty was now applied to by her two houses of convocation, and requested, as sole judge, to pronounce authoritatively upon these points, i. e. to tell them whether Mr. Whiston's doctrine was to be received or rejected, to be considered as heresy, or not, in this church. The queen, as became a wise judge, refused to pronounce rashly. She took time to consider of it, to weigh sedately in her mind the merits of the cause, lest she should condemn the innocent.
Note :-The scriptures, and the four first general councils, are the measure set by law to judge of heresy. Her majesty, therefore, being now requested by her clergy to judge authoritatively.in this important ease, acted a worthy part in de ferring her judgment till she bad examined carefully the rule by which she was to judge.
Observe, 4. After the queen had taken time maturely to consider of these deep and mysterious points, she thought not fit to send any arswer. Upon her majesty's THOUGATS the issue of this great affair is seen absolutely to depend.
Finally, 5. It is worthy to be observed, that her majesty's thoughts and judgment, on this weighty case, were quite different from those of her learned bishops and clergy. These thought Mr. Whiston's writings" contained damnable " and wicked doctrines, and earnestly beseech " all Christian people, by tile mercies of Christ, “ to take heed how they give ear, &c."-and judged them to deserve a public and solemo censure: her majesty thought otherwise. She did not think fit to pass this public and solemn censure on them by confirming the step the convocation had taken. In consequence of which,
their proceedings were all stopped, and the solemn censure they had passed with all their earnest obtestations, by the mercies of Christ, evaporate into air. This is a fair and true state of the case. What improvements are here made, by the wisdom of laier ages, in the primitive apostolic plan! Behold the WOMAN now empowered not only to teach, but to usurp authority over the man; over all the archbishops, bishops, and priests of this realm; to vacate their most solemn censures, to quash and stop at once their spiritual proceedings, in an affair where blasphemous doctrines and damnable and wicked errors were bringing danger of everlasting ruin to the souls over
whom they watched ! See here, Sir, the two scales that are to try doctrines and opinions in your holy apostolic church. In one is laid the united judginent of all the bishops and clergy in convocation convened; in the other, the queen's alone :-In, the former mounts and kicks the beam! The single judgment of the queen, in the balance of the church, weighs more than that of all the learned bishops and priests of the realm !*
And is not this exactly consonant to the account I had given ? " Is not bere, Sir, the very comely and edifying sight (at which you except)t of the two houses of convocation wait
* See a series of such exertions of feminine-archiepiscopal pastoral authority, throughout the whole reign of Queen Eliizabeth ; particularly the case of Archbishop Grindal, whom she sequestered in great wrath from his archiepiscopal functions, for refusing to obey a rash and tyrannical order of the Queen, relating to church-matters. Under this sequesterian he continued many years. The two houses of convocation presented to the Queen a most humble and carnest petition for his restoration, but could not obtain it. Vide Fuller's Church Hist. Book IX. page 120.--Neal's Hist. Pur. Vol. Ia pages 358, 374.
* Appendix, page 37