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pose, and must convince the Christian reader of this great truth. But surely there is a manifest absurdity and inconsistency in this attempt of the preacher to cancel the two first chapters of St. Matthew from the canon of Srripture, while he leaves untouched the tirst chapter of St. John, the very chapter from which his iext is laken.: or in no place of Scripture is the pre-existence and divine nature of Christ more fully set forth than in this chapter. We there read, that the Word was with God, and was God; that all things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made." We are further told that this Word was made fesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as the only begotten of the Father full of Grace and Truth.” And when John saw Jesus come unto him, he saith, “ Behold ine Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world." Can these things be spoken of Jesus as mere man, the natural son of Joseph and Mary?
But I will not trouble the reader with any further reply to this Discourse at present, but will leave this hoary veteran in blasphemy and heresy in the hands of the superior powers of the Church, and to the correetion of the law of the land, against which he has so notoriously offended.
For my part, I have been taught from my earliest youth, to honour the Son even as we honour the Father; and inaturer years and study of the Holy Scriptures now fully confirm these sentiments. I glory in professing myself a member of the Church of England, as it is now by law established ; and think myself bound by the confession of a true Faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of the Divine Majesty, to worship the Unity. · If the worship of Christ, therefore, was to be aboJished, and the doctrines of this preacher established, I should certainly become a Dissenter, and should be obliged to relinquish the small preferment I enjoy in the Church ; and after having been for thirty-six years, a labourer in the vineyard, must seek to gain a livelihood in some other profession. But we are persuaded better things of our governors both in Church and State, and trust that they will be ever ready to maintain the truth as it is in Christ Jesus, and to uphold and support the Christian Religion, as it is by law established in these realıns, It must be expected, indeed, in these evil days,
that offences will come, and that many will fall from the Faith being spoiled through philosophy and vaim deceit
. But though enthusiasm on the one hand, and heresy and intidelity on the other, direct their batteries against our Holy Mother the Church; yet are we persuaded that it is founded on a rock and cannot be shaken, and that the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. .
I remain, yours, &c.
CLERICUS. Nov. 24th, 1806.
TO THE BDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN's
Baptism against the doctrine of the Quakers, I fully intended sending you (having much matter nearly prepared) very early, further remarks on the peculiar tenets of this sect; and were it not, that I have really not been able to spare time from my numerous avocations, I should certainly have troubled you before now; and at this moment hastily snatch up my pen. Before I enter upon the particular investigation I have promised, let me loudly demand of the Quakers and every sectarian congregation, what would become of a nation without a national form of worship, what would become of a people were there not some establishment in religion? Public duty, and interest, and private feeling are distinct things. I know a man may feel the spiritual drawings the Quakers dwell so much upon; but why not yield to such emotions in private? If decency and order are ever necessary, sukely they are most essentially so, in a pational point of view ; surely they are, where the public's best interests are concerned. And were there no pure, firm, solid, rational basis of established worship, I do not hazard much in venturing to say, we should have no religion at ull.
I'myself was born a Quaker, was bred one, but I saw when arrived at the rears of discretion, that the necessity of some establishment was so strikingly evident, so 'clearly palpable, that I felt it a duty on mine own ac; Vol. XI. Churchm. Mag. for Dec. 1806. 3 K çount count as well as on that of others, to set such an exa ample to my fellow-beings, as I knew was right, and good for them to follow; I therefore attended the public established worship of the Church, and ever since I have been daily more and more convinced of its decided claim and superiority over every sect whatever, and that in point of sound sense, sound reason, and pure unsullied doctrine, it stands unrivalled. I care not who revile the Church, every good thing has been reviled, and ever will be reviled in this evil world. I have read much of Clarkson's celebrated work, and were I to take the trouble I could expose every page of it*.
Quakerism is root and branch a bad system, or rather no system at all, while a few individuals may make it suit their plans and views it would prove a most inadequate system for the aggregate of the people. What shall we say of ChrisTIANS without BAPTISM, a Church without SACRAMENTS, a CONGREGATION without a TEACHER, having self-ordained preachers without any authority
* Clarksop in getting over the Quaker's rejection of baptism, is obliged to take the pitiful argument that our Saviour's disciples were not, as is generaliy received and allowed, qualified to know his mind on that, or other subjects, and that they betray great want 'of proper remem, brance, and attention to his sayings. However, strikingly mistaken (as I will shew) Clarkson is, he quotes the passage I have taken in my former letter, for his opinion, where St. Peter exclaims, “ Then remembered I the word of the Lord, how that he said, John indeed baptized you with water, but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost." Now Clarkson forces the argument that the term “ remembered”, argued forgetfuliness in Peter, and that, therefore, we are not warranted to trust much to the actions of a man who sp soon forgot his master's words so lately delivered to him. for Clarkson cannot for a moment deny the palpaBle fact of Peter's calling for water, “Can any man forbid water," says he. What a miserable, contemptible subterfuge is Clarkson here guilty of; it is astonishing how any man, unless wilfully blind, could overlook the real meaning of the word remember, as used by Peter. For I say, it does not mean the remembrance of a thing forgotten, but a second "recurrence of thought produced by the fuct then before him. When
Peter saw the words fulálled then was evinced to him thie fulfilment of thein. Then did this fulilinent peculiarly cause him to recur to the astonishing prediction of Christ, that such a thing should coine to pass. Peter had not forgotten, and when he says that he remembered, his meaning is," then thought I'on the word of my blessed Lord” which is now fulfilled.
This very part relating to baptism, as I shewed in my former letter is the most striking evidence which can be produced, and to say the Apostles were likely to be mistaken in their knowledge of the will of Jesus is too paltry a subterfuge to need my taking up one moment more of your yaluable time to refute,
whatever ? Can these things be? We admire the morality of the Quakers ; let us imitate it, but let us still hold fast the faith which is in us, being fully persuaded in cannot fail to lead us into all righteousness. While I am convinced that even martyrdom itself is not sufficient to establish the claims of many who have wonderfully uns dergone all its torturing sufferings, shall. I be taken with the mere fallacious seeming of demure manners, demure works, and a formal behaviour? No, no; I have often argued, and still 'repeat the argument, that no one need enlist under any other banners than those of THE CHURCH, to become all that is praise-worthy, all that is good, all that is honourable in the sight of God and man. I care not for all the cant of modern times. I never saw any people more truly happy than the plain, honest, straight forward members of the Church of Enga land. I am not easily taken with outside appearances, I admire sound morality and worthy characters, whereever I see them ; but I am not so siinple as to say, or to think, I must follow their peculiar tenets, that I must walk in the path they point out, whose conduct I admire. I feel and know that I have only to prove myself a worthy member of the Church of England, to be what all those I respect, and revere, ure, or can be. I want no new system, I want no new doctrine, I feel I only want more completely to act up to what the sound doctrine of the Church inculcates.
In my next, I will enter more fully into particulars, and trust, shall prove what I have advanced in this and my former letter. I now merely wish to declare in plain terms, that let the people be led as they may by popular clamour, and popular declamation, sound sense, sound reason, sound experience, all inculcate the necessity of a public established faith and mode of worship in every nation. Let the individual in his private capacity, and in his retirement exercise his private devotions as often as he will, let the spiritually minded (who is more warm in his feelings of religion) pray in spirit, as often as he is led, to tlie God who made hin's but let himn recollect that decency and good order enforce him in his public capacity, to join the solemn), devout worship of the Church, where he will find every incitement of his most zealous feeling. He is to consider that without a public established form of worship, all wor"ship, nay, all religion, would soon cease.
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I am not duped by the mere shew and appearance the inembers of the different sects; all the good I see in them, my Creed, and my principles of Religion lead me to imitate. Let the worthy member of the Church make this useful and instructive observation, and he will learn a most useful lesson. The general character of the Quakers is praise-worthy; they are much indebted to the smallness of their sect for this advantage, which is by nó
more necessarily derived from Quakerism thart from that Church which has all the supreme excellency of Religion within itself, under whose fostering care and protection such striking characters of the greatest goodness have been sent into the world, like shining lights in a land of darkness; men who have proved beyond a power of contradiction that there can be no necessity of secession from the established Church to be all that religion teaches us. Let the Quaker deny himself the pleasure arising from the amusements of the stage, the ball-room, and other places of public resort. The times certainly are corrupt; the theatres certainly are grossly defiled : but the entire reliaquishment of such scenes of amusement has a tendency to make negative characters; characters who fear temptation, lest they should be tempted and fall: and much may be argued for such conduct.' But a truly religious man, whose principles are firinly fixed, can walk uncontaminated in the midst of corruption, can walk blameless in the midst of a sinful world. But grant, that the attendance upon public places under existing circunstances, from the horrid state of depravity which mankind is fallen into, leads to vice; I say, grant, a really conscientious man feels he is in danger from frequenting the theatres, what ought he to do? Why, feeling as he feels, he ought decidedly to forego the gratification of pleasure when attended with bad consequences. But let him not fancy he cannot be a good man according to the most scrupulous points of conscience, and remain a worthy Church-man. His peculiar disposition may demand peculiar treatment; but how truly absurd and preposterous for a man thus seriously disposed to think he must turn Quaker, or some gloomy sectarian ! it is mere folly and madness. Let bim enter what-sect he will, let him bear in mind, he will find himself grievously deceived if he expect to find any stronger incitement to a religious life and conversation, than he found, or might have found, in the CHURCH. What shall