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the passage gave me no trouble, because I | bered as an honor, and may be of some use did not consider it as a metaphysical asser- to them hereafter. tion, but as a plain reference to the words of He had considered, that there is such a the Scripture ; which to each person of the thing as a pure and primitive constitution of Godhead, distinctly taken by himself, so far the church of Christ, when viewed apart as that can be done, does certainly give the from those qutward appendages of worldly titles both of God and Lord.* In this, there- power, and worldly protection, which are fore, instead of depending on the Creed, we sometimes mistaken, as if they were as essenonly depend, as that does, upon the words of tial to the being of the church, as they are the Scripture. With this he was satisfied, useful to its sustentation. The history of the and allowed that such an intention in the Christian church, in its early ages, is a proof Creed removed the difficulty.
of the contrary; when it underwent various The last considerable affair in which he hardships and sufferings from the fluctuating concerned himself while Dean of Canter- policy of earthly kingdoms. And the same bury, was an application from the bishops of happened to the Episcopal Church of Scotthe Episcopal Church of Scotland; three land, at the revolution in 1688 : when episof whom, in the year 1789, came up to Lon- copacy was abolished by the state, and the don, to petition parliament for relief from Presbyterian form of church-government the hard penalties under which they had long established. * By this establishment the suffered. This they ventured to do, in con- bishops were deprived of their jurisdiction, sideration of the loyalty and attachment they and of all right to the temporalities of their had lately professed toward the king and the sees. But in this forlorn state they still constitution.
continued to exist, and to exercise the spiritIt was my lot likewise not to be an un- ual functions of their Episcopal character : concerned spectator in this business. Through by means of which, a regular succession of an intimacy which had long subsisted be- bishops, and episcopally-ordained clergymen, tween myself and a gentleman of great worth has been kept up in Scotland, under all the and learning in the county of Kent, (the disadvantages arising from a suspicion of their Rev. Nicholas Brett, of Spring-Grove,) I being disaffected to the crown, and attached became acquainted with the Bishop of to the interest of an exiled family. While Edinburgh, Dr. Abernethy Drummond, of attempts were making in behalf of that famHawthornden, and had frequently corres- ily, a variety of circumstances rendered it ponded with him. As soon as he came to impossible for them to remove this suspicion, London with his colleagues on the business notwithstanding the many inconveniences aforesaid, he wrote me word of his arrival, and hardships to which it exposed them. and explained the cause of the journey they All they could do was to conduct themselves had undertaken. Being myself of too incon- in such a quiet manner, as might at length siderable a station to be of any immediate convince the government they had nothing service to them in a matter of such import- to fear from a Scotch Episcopal church, and ance, I thought it the most prudent step I consequently that there was no necessity for could take, to forward the letter to a great the execution of those severe laws, which person ; who, with his usual goodness and on different occasions had been enacted discretion, undertook to be an advocate for against it, them; together with many other persons At last the happy period came, which was of high respectability; and their petition to relieve them from this embarrassing situawas at length brought to such an issue, as tion. The wisdom and clemency of his preexcited great thankfulness in the petitioners, sent majesty's government encouraged them though it did not exactly come up to the to hope, that an offer of their allegiance wishes they had formed at setting out. would not be rejected : and, as soon as they
There was no small difficulty in making could make that offer in a conscientious mansome persons understand, who and what ner, they had the satisfaction to find by the these poor petitioners were : and the case, king's answer to their address, that it was notwithstanding all that has passed, may still graciously accepted : in consequence of be the same with many at this day. I therefore hope to be excused, if I enlarge a little * It is notorious, that the violence of the adverse in this place on their history and character, party against the Episcopal Church in Scotland beas they appeared and were known to Dr. gan before the government under King William was
settled: when it could not be known by experience Horne; whose good opinion will be remem- whether they would join with it or not. Before
the convention met, their clergy were forcibly * See John, xx. 28. Acts. v. 4. and xxviii. 25, driven from their churches, and their possessions and many other like passages.
which, they could not but hope, that the there really were bishops in Scotland. When British legislature would take their case into Bishop Horne was waited upon with this consideration, and see the expediency of re- view by the committee of the Scotch church, lieving both clergy and laity of the Episcopal and one of them observed, that his lordship communion in Scotland from the penalties to could assure the chancellor they were good which they were exposed in the exercise of bishops, he answered, with his usual affability their religion.
and good humor, “ Yes, sir, much better With this hope, three* of their bishops, bishops than I am.” as I have said, came to London in the year A clergyman of Scotland, who had re1789; and, notwithstanding the ample re-ceived English ordination, applied to him, commendations they brought with them from wishing to be considered as under the juristheir own country, they found it a work of diction of some English bishop; that is, to time to make themselves and their applica- be, in effect, independent of the bishops of tion properly understood. It would have Scotland in their own country; but he gave been barbarous, after the die was cast, to no countenance to the proposal, and advised have thrown any discouragements in their the person who made it quietly to acknowway, but I was of opinion, from the begin- ledge the bishop of the diocese in which he ning, that they were come too soon : more lived, who, he knew, would be ready to repreparation was requisite than they were ceive him into communion, and require aware of. The penal laws had reduced the nothing of him, but what was necessary to Scotch Episcopal church to a condition so maintain the order and unity of a Christian depressed and obscure, that it could scarcely church ; assuring him, at the same time, that, be known to exist, but by such persons as if he were a private clergyman himself, he were previously acquainted with its history. should be glad to be under the authority of Among these, none entered more willingly such a bishop. One anecdote more upon and warmly than the then good Dean of this subject, and I have done. Canterbury. As soon as he heard of the ar- From the present circumstances of its rival of the Scotch bishops at London, he primitive orthodoxy, piety, poverty, and dewas anxious to let them know how heartily pressed state, he had such an opinion of this he approved of the object of their journey, church, as to think, that, if the great apostle and kindly offered every assistance in his of the Gentiles were upon earth, and it were power to bring this matter to a happy conclu- put to his choice with what denomination of sion. He paid them every mark of atten- Christians he would communicate, the prefertion both at London and Oxford; and, when ence would probably be given to the Episthey set out on their return to Scotland, copalians of Scotland, as most like to the without having attained their object, he ex- people he had been used to. This happened, pressed, in very affectionate terms, his con- as I perfectly recollect, while we were talkcern at their disappointment, and told them ing together on the subject of the Scotch at parting not to be discouraged; for, said petition, on one of the hills near the city he,“ your cause is good, and your request of Canterbury, higher than the pinnacles so reasonable, that it cannot long be denied.” of the cathedral, where there was no wit
In February, 1791, after having taken ness to our discourse but the sky that was his seat in the house of lords, as Bishop of over our heads; and yet, when all things Norwich, he wrote a friendly letter to Bishop are duly considered, I think no good man Skinner, of Aberdeen, assuring him and the would have been angry, if he had overheard other members of the committee for manag- us. ing the business of the Episcopal Church of If the reader should wish to know more Scotland, that any help in his power should of the people of this communion, let him be at their service; and, speaking of their consult an ecclesiatical history of the church applying anew to both houses of parliament, of Scotland, by Mr. Skinner, father to the he said, “ It grieved him to think they had present worthy Bishop of Aberdeen; a hisso much heavy work to do over again, but tory comprehending a plain and unaffected business of that sort required patience and detail of facts very interesting and amusing : perseverance.”
and I hope he will also be convinced by the It was said about this time, that the lord narrative I have here given, not only that chancellor, Thurlow, withheld his consent to the bishops of Scotland are true Christian the Scotch Episcopal bill, till he should be bishops, but that the bishops of England, from satisfied by some of the English prelates, that the part they kindly took in the affair, do
little deserve the clamor which some have • Dr. John Skinner, Bishop of Aberdeen; Dr. raised against them, as if they were so dazAbernethy Drummond, Bishop of Edinburgh; and zled by their temporalities, as to lose sight of Dr. William Strachan, Bishop of Brechin.
their spiritual character, and bury the Chris-versation between him and some of his tian bishop in the peer of parliament. friends. In the summer of the year 1790,
The year 1789 was the fatal period, when he was upon a visit at the seat of a gentleFrench infidelity, with all the enthusiastic man in Norfolk, for whom he had a great fury of fanaticism, which it had affected to regard. I met his lordship there, by his apabhor, rose up to destroy all regal authority, pointment; and it so happened, that, during to extirpate all religion, to silence with the our visit, Mr. John Wesley was upon his halter or the axe all that were not with them; circuit about the counties of Norfolk and and, in consequence of their success at home, Suffolk, and came to a market-town very undertook to shake, and dissolve, if possible, near us. Here he had many followers; and, all the kingdoms of the world. When this being desirous of preaching to a large contremendous form of wickedness first appeared, gregation, he sent some of his friends to the it happened that I was at Canterbury, on a minister of the place, to ask for the use of visit to the dean; and being called upon to the parish church for the forenoon of the preach in the cathedral, I took the subject next day. The clergyman was under diffiof the time, and freely delivered my own culty how to conduct himself; but recollectsense of it; which is now, I believe, the ing that the bishop of the diocese was universal sense of all that are true friends to at hand, he advised them to go and ask his this country. But some persons, to whose permission. The messengers accordingly affairs a similar revolution in England would went; and the bishop sent them back to the have been of great service, were very much clergyman with this answer: “Mr. Wesley offended; and one of them abused me grossly is a regularly ordained clergyman of the for it in a newspaper. Not many weeks church of England; and, if the minister after, the dean himself
, on a court holiday, makes no objection, I shall make none." So took the same subject in the same pulpit ; in it was determined that Mr. Wesley should consequence of which, the same person that preach in the church the next day. As I had reviled me was heard to declare, that his never had an interview with that extraordisermon ought to be burned by the hangman. nary man, and had often desired to meet When he informed me by letter of this acci- him, I would have taken this opportunity; dent, he observed upon it in his easy way especially as there was a matter of no small that, as our doctrines, in bad times, would importance, concering which I had a ques certainly bring us both to the lamp-post, it tion to ask him. But being at this time an might then be said of us, “ in their death attendant upon the bishop of the diocese, we they were not divided.” The character of did not know how it might appear, and were the man, who had treated us with all this unwilling to run the hazard of such reports insolence, was so vulnerable from its infamy, as might have been raised upon the occasion, that some other person, who was intimately But our friend, at whose house we then were, acquainted with his exploits, paid off our being of the laity, was under none of our scores to the last farthing, by exposing them difficulties; and a more intelligent person for to the public in a paper of the time. In so the purpose was no where to be found. I doing, he verified a wise observation, which therefore requested him to get to the speech I once received from a traveller in France, of Mr. Wesley in private, after the sermon who had seen and knew more of the world should be over, and to ask him in my name than any I ever met with : “ The man,” the following question: “Whether it was said he, who injures me without provocation, true, as I had been assured, that he had inwill never be able to contain himself without vested two gentlemen with the Episcopal injuring others in like manner; some of character, and had sent them, in that capawhom will be sure to pay off my scores, and city, over to America ?” With some difficulty save me the trouble : and in the course of our friend obtained a private audience; and, my life, I never yet found, but that somebody after some short civilities had passed, he put or other, in due time, revenged my quarrel, his question. At first, Mr. Wesley was not far beyond its value, upon that man whose direct in his answer ; but by degrees he ill manners and insolence I had patiently owned the fact, and gave the following reaneglected.”
son for it: that, as soon as we had made The life of Dr. Horne, during his episco- peace with America, and allowed them their pate, affords but few incidents considerable independence, all religious connection, beenough to be here related : but there was tween this country and the independent colone, which became the subject of much con- onies, was at an end; in consequence of
which, the sectaries fell to work to increase • The two discourses here spoken of are to be their several parties, and the Anabaptists in found in Bishop Horne’s Sermons, vol. ii. dis. lix. I particular were carrying all before them. Jones's Sermons, vol. ii, disc. i.
Something therefore was to be done, without that, if bishops were wanting in America for loss of time, for his poor people (as he called the preservation of unity among his people, them) in America: and he had therefore taken and he himself did not send them, nobody the step in question, with the hope of pre-else ever would : for, as the British governventing farther disorders. The fact being ment did not send them, when it had power not denied, the gentleman, who, for a lay- so to do, it was little to be expected they man, is as able a church-casuist as most of would attempt it when they had none. I his own or any other order, began to inquire cannot say what use he might make of the a little farther into the case, with the desire dispute between Dr. Mayhew, an American to know, how Mr. Wesley had satisfied his dissenter, and Archbishop Secker, about the own mind in this matter, and what grounds sending of bishops from hence to America: he had gone upon. But as they were pro- which I have always considered as the beceeding, some of his friends, either being ginning and cause of the revolt that soon impatient of any delay, or suspecting that followed : this, I say, I do not know, and it some mischief might be going forward, came would be vain to speculate: therefore, let us abruptly into the room, and reminded Mr. now ask the second question, by what auWesley that he had no more time to spare. thority he sent bishops to America ? Thus the conference was ended, and our There are but two possible ways of putting friend was obliged to take his leave. Some men truly into the ministry: the one is by time afterwards (for we had left his house succession ; the other by immediate revelathat morning) he gave us this account, as tion or appointment from God himself
. Paul nearly as I can recollect; and having been received his commission to preach, not of present at Mr. Wesley's sermon, was so well man nor by man, but of God, who put him pleased, that he wished half the clergy of into the ministry. Other ministers of the the church of England had preached the Gospel receive their commission by imposisame doctrines, with the same zeal and devotion of hands, from those who had received tion.*
it before. In this latter way of succession, In this preaching of Mr. Wesley, and the no man can possibly give that which he hath subject of the conference, when compared not received. Mr. Wesley, being himself together, we have the character of Method- but a presbyter, could no more make a bishop, ism complete: it is Christian godliness with than a member of the house of commons can out Christian order. It is pity we could not make a member of the house of lords, who obtain Mr. Wesley's own sense of the com- is made by creation from the king ; the less mission with which his bishops were sent is blessed of the greater, not the greater of out: but, as we were disappointed in that, the less. And, as this could not be done by we must inquire for ourselves, and answer as Mr. Wesley in virtue of what he was, it well as we can, without his help. The case must have been done in virtue of what he obliges us to ask these two questions: thought himself to be, a vicar-general With what view this was done ? and 2. By heaven, who was above all human rules, and what authority? By Mr. Wesley's own accould give a commsssion, by a superior right count, this was his expedient for the pre- vested in his own person. If he acted of venting of confusion : whence we may gather himself, as John Wesley, a presbyter of the that he supposed confusion was not to be church of England, he acted against all sense prevented among Christians, but by retaining and order; and, by taking upon himself the order of bishops : and farther, that unity what no man can take, he would introduce had, in his opinion, been preserved among in the issue more confusion than he would his own people by their relation to the epis- prevent. The end will never be prosperous, copacy of the church of England, from which when we do evil that good may come ; and, neither he nor they did ever profess them- if it doth not please God to uphold his own selves to be in a state of separation. Of this work in his own way, no man can do it for many proofs might be given. Their present him. He may seem to do something, but it application to the bishop of the diocese was will not last : he works upon a principle, the a confession of his authority, and signified a tendency of which is not to edification but to desire of acting under it: and Mr. Wesley dissolution. If Mr. Wesley did not act as had presented himself at the communion in of himself, but as by immediate revelation the cathedral church at Bristol, and had re- from God, and by the primary authority of ceived it from the hands of Bishop Bagot, as Jesus Christ in his church, then he was an the bishop himself informed me. Mr. Wes- enthusiast, in the strictest and fullest sense of ley might perhaps have considered farther, the words and any other person, or any
hundred persons, might act as he did, if they • Let us hope that the other half do preach them. could think of themselves as he thought of VOL. I.
. But all such confusion was foreseen | he made thousands of people sober and godly; and prevented, by the rules and orders of a and, while he was doing good, he avoided church visibly appointed and visibly contin- evil; he avoided (at least in words) the sin ued. When any people, whoever they are, of schism: he took the Christian side, in think they can act with God against the rules stating the origin of power, against the repubof God, they are either become rationalists, licans of America; for which he was abused who do all by human authority, and deny all as an old for, who only wanted to be made spiritual communication between God and a bishop. But with all this, he raised a man; or enthusiasts, who think the inspira- society on such principles as cannot preserve tion or spirit of the Gospel has set them its unity; and thence, in effect, its existence. above the forms of the church; which per- I now understand, that partly from the loss suasion terminates in spiritual republicanism. of their leader, and partly from the confusion In the Christian society, two things are to be of the times, they have embraced some bad kept up with all diligence; these are unity opinions; in consequence of which, with and piety. The man who should suppose that little or no relation to the church, they will unity without piety will be sufficient to carry not much longer be distinguished from other him to heaven, would be under a great mis- dissenters, and may in time be as bad as the take, and he would be justly condemned and worst of them. When the lamp is broken, despised for it. But is not he, who supposes the snuff may lie burning for a time; but the that piety without unity will carry him to supply of oil being gone, the light can be of heaven, under as greať (and, if he believes no long continuance. If the Methodists the apostle, as dangerous) a mistake ?* The would keep what they have got, and prevent subject merits great consideration : but I say their own ruin, they must do as Mr. Wesley no more of it in this place. It reminds me did: they must preserve some relation to the of an anecdote I heard several years ago, church, so long as any church shall remain and I believe Bishop Horne was my author. to which they may be related. When John and Charles Wesley began their About a year after the accident of the sernew ministry, one of them went to consult mon and the conference, a Life of Mr. Weswith Mr. William Law, as a person of pro- ley was published by a Mr. Hampson, in found judgment in spiritual matters; and, which the fact of sending out bishops is conwhen the case had been opened, and the in- fessed. This book Bishop Horne had protention explained, Mr. Law made answer : cured ; and taking it out of his pocket as we “ Mr. Wesley, if you wish to reform the were walking together in his garden at Nora world and spread the Gospel, you must wich, he turned to the passage and showed it undertake the work in the same spirit as you me; and afterwards he put it into his Charge, would take a curacy in the Peak of Derby- which was the last work he printed before shire; but, if you pretend to a new com- his death ; and this brings me to the end of misssion, and go forth in the spirit and power his literary life. of an apostle, your scheme will end in Bed- For the sake of those who admire Bishop lam.”
Horne's works, and were not acquainted with John Wesley was a wonderful man in his his person, it may be proper, before I conway; his labors were abundant and almost clude, to say something of his natural life. incredible :t in many respects he did good; When he first came to the University of Ox
ford, he was quite a boy; but being at a time * See and consider the xiith and xiiith chapters of life when boys alter very fast, he soon of 1 Cor. the xiiith as a continuation of the xiith. grew up into a person so agreeable, that, at Some excellent hints will be found on this subject the opening of the Radcliffe library, when in the Appendix.
all were assembled and made their best ap† Among his own people, he seemed to do more pearance, I heard it said of him, that there than he did. Of this I was informed by a book was not then a handsomer young man in the seller, who, like others, had been injured in his theatre. But he was not of a strong and trade by the encroachments of Mr. Wesley in the muscular constitution ; and, from the disadway of book-making : and I was witness to some instances of this myself
. He put his name to a vantage of being very near-sighted (quite translation of Thomas A. Kempis, as if the transla- helpless without the use of a glass,) he did tion had been his own : but a friend showed me an not render himself more robust by the pracold translation, with which it agreed, so far as we could see, in every word. He put his name to a verse, without asking the consent, or making a Compendium of Philosophy, though he tells us word of acknowledgment in the title or a preface, to curiously in the preface, it was taken from the work the author. He was free to produce any possible of a professor at Jena in Germany: yet he must be good from any labor of mine, without being envied ; allowed great merit in amplifying the work. He but such proceedings have too much the appearance sold a work of mine, as if it had been an original of party-craft to consist well with honest unaffected work, partly copied, and partly put into English piety.