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infinitesimal; determines the organization of a stance totally and essentially different from matfuture body : does no less than fix, whether that ter, (as most certainly these operations, though efwhich is about to be produced, shall be a vegeta- | fected by material causes, hold very little affinity ble, a merely sentient, or a rational being; an oak, to any properties of matter with which we are aca frog, or a philospher; makes all these differences; quainted,) adopt perhaps a juster reasoning and a gives to the future body its qualities, and nature better philosophy: and by these the considerations and species. And this particle, from which springs, above suggested are not wanted, at least in the and by which is determined, a whole future na same degree. But to such as find, which some ture, itself proceeds from, and owes its constitu- persons do find, an insuperable difficulty in shaktion to, a prior body: nevertheless, which is seen ing off an adherence to those analogies, which the in plants most decisively, the incepted organiza- corporeal world is continually suggesting to their tion, though formed within, and through, and by, thoughts; to such, I say, every consideration will a preceding organization, is not corrupted by its be a relief, which manifests the extent of that intelcorruption, or destroyed by its dissolution : but on ligent power which is acting in nature, the fruitthe contrary, is sometimes extricated and developed fulness of its resources, the variety, and aptness, by those very causes; survives and comes into ac- and success of its means; most especially every tion, when the purpose, for which it was prepared, consideration, which tends to show that, in the requires its use. Now an economy which nature translation of a conscious existence, there is not, has adopted, when the purpose was to transfer an even in their own way of regarding it, any thing organization from one individual to another, may greatly beyond, or totally unlike, what takes place have something analogous to it, when the purpose in such parts (probably small parts) of the order is to transmit an organization from one state of of nature, as are accessible to our observation. being to another state: and they who found Again; if there be those who think, that the thought in organization, may see something in this contractedness and debility of the human faculties analogy applicable to their difficulties; for what in our present state, seem ill to accord with the ever can transmit a similarity of organization will high destinies which the expectations of religion answer their purpose, because, according even to point out to us; I would only ask them, whether their own theory, it may be the vehicle of conscious- any one, who saw a child two hours after its birth, ness; and because consciousness carries identity could suppose that it would ever come to underand individuality along with it through all changes stand fluxions ;* or who then shall say, what far. of form or of visible qualities. In the most general ther amplification of intellectual powers, what accase, that, as we have said, of the derivation of cession of knowledge, what advance and improveplants and animals from one another, the latent ment, the rational faculty, be its constitution what organization is either itself similar to the old or- it will, may not admit of, when placed amidst new ganization, or has the power of communicating to objects, and endowed with a sensorium adapted, new matter the old organic form. But it is not as it undoubtedly will be, and as our present senses restricted to this rule. There are other cases, es- are, to the perception of those substances, and of pecially in the progress of insect life, in which the those properties of things, with which our concern dormant organization does not much resemble that mav lie. which encloses it, and still less suits with the situ Upon the whole; in every thing which respects ation in which the enclosing body is placed, but this awful, but, as we trust, glorious change, we suits with a different situation to which it is des- have a wise and powerful Being (the author, in tined. In the larva of the libellula, which lives nature, of infinitely various expedients for infinitely constantly, and has still long to live under water, various ends,) upon whom to rely for the choice are descried the wings of a fly which two years and appointment of means adequate to the exeafterward is to mount into the air. Is there no-cution of any plan which his goodness or his justhing in this analogy? It serves at least to show tice may have formed for the moral and accountathat even in the observable course of nature, or ble part of his terrestrial creation. That great ganizations are formed one beneath another; and, office rests with him; be it ours to hope and to amongst a thousand other instances, it shows prepare, under a firm and settled persuasion, that, completely, that the Deity can mould and fa- living and dying, we are his : that life is passed in shion the parts of material nature, so as to fulfil his constant presence, that death resigns us to his any purpose whatever which he is pleased to merciful disposal. appoint.
They who refer the operations of mind to a sub * See Search's Light of Nature, passim.
CONSIDERATIONS ON THE PROPRIETY OF REQUIRING A SUBSCRIPTION TO
ARTICLES OF FAITH,
IN REPLY TO A LATE ANSWER FROM THE CLARENDON PRESS.
The fair way of conducting a dispute, is to ex- | is necessary that those who are to be ordained bibit one by one the arguments of your opponent, teachers in the church should he sound in the faith, and with each argument the precise and specific and consequently that they should give to those answer you are able to give it. If this method be who ordain them some proof and assurance that not so common, nor found so convenient, as might they are so, and that the method of this proof be expected, the reason is, because it suits not should be settled by public authority.” Now the always with the designs of a writer, which are no perfection of this sort of reasoning is that it comes more perhaps than to make a book'; to confound as well from the mouth of the pope's professor of some arguments, and to keep others out of sight; divinity in the university of Bologna, as from the to leave what is called an impression upon the Clarendon press. A church has only, with our reader, without any care to inform him of the author, to call her creed the “faithful word,” and proofs or principles by which his opinion should it follows from Scripture that " we must hold it be governed. With such views it may be consis-fast.” Her dissatistied sons, let her only denomi. tent to despatch objections, by observing of some nate as he does, * " vain talkers and deceivers," " that they are old,” and therefore, like certain and St. Paul himself commands us to stop their drugs, have lost, we may suppose, their strength; mouths.” Every one that questions or opposes of others, that “they have long since received an her decisions she pronounces, with him, a heretic, answer;" which implies, to be sure, a confutation: and "a man that is a heretic, after the first and to attack straggling remarks, and decline the main second admonition, reject." In like manner, callreasoning, as mere declamation ;" to pass by one ing her tenets " sound doctrine," or taking it for passage because it is “long winded,” another be granted that they are so, (which the conclave at cause the answerer“ has neither leisure nor incli- Rome can do as well as the convocation at London,) nation to enter into the discussion of it;" to pro- and soundness in the faith being a necessary duce extracts and quotations, which, taken alone, qualification in a Christian teacher," there is no imperfectly, if at all, express their author's mean- avoiding the conclusion, that every "Christian ing; to dismiss a stubborn difficulty with a “refer- teacher" (in, and out of the church too, if you can ence," which ten to one the reader never looks at; catch him, "soundness in the faith” being alike and, lastly, in order to give the whole a certain necessary” in all) must have these tenets strapfashionable air of candour and moderation, to ped about his neck by oaths and subscriptions. make a concession* or two which nobody thanks An argument which thus fights in any cause, or on him for, or yield up a few points which it is no either side, deserves no quarter. I have said, that longer any credit to maintain.
this reasoning, and these applications of Scripture, How far the writer with whom we have to do are equally competent to the defenders of popery is concerned in this description, his readers will they are more so. The popes, when they asjudge: he shall receive, however, from us, that sumed the power of the apostles, laid claim also to justice which he has not shown the author of the their infallibility; and in this they were consistent. “Considerations,” to have his arguments fully Protestant churches renounce with all their might and distinctly stated and examined.
this infallibility, whilst they apply to themselves After complaining, as is usual on these occa- every expression that describes it
, and will not sions, of disappointinent and dissatisfaction; the part with a jot of the authority which is built upon answerer sets out with an argument which com But to return to the terms of the argument. prises, we are told, in a "narrow compass,” the "Is it necessary that a Christian teacher should whole merits of the question betwixi us; and be sound in the faith ?" which is neither more nor less than this, that "it 1. Not in nine instances out of ten to which the
test is now extended. Nor, Such as, that is people keep their opinions to them. selves, no man will hurt them," and the like.-Answer,
• Page 18.
tion still more authentic. ditious enthusiasts, and de.
themselves into the minis
2. If it were, is this the way to make him so; 1 that had been cast uponsple,other protestant churchthere being as little probability that the determi- them, by setting forth some es, thought fit to draw up nations of a set of men whose good fortune had fessions, as a declaration or this they did partly to acadvanced them to high stations in the church their faith and worship quit themselves of the scan. should be right, as the conclusions of private in. And to make such declara dal of aberting wild and se. quirers. Nor,
3. Were they actually right, is it possible to they likewise engaged them claring what were their real conceive how they can, upon this author's princi- conformity to all these Con how tenderly this is intro. ples, produce the effect contended for, since " we
--Considera duced) “ to prevent suchen. set them not up as a rule of faith ;'* since " they tions, page 6.
thusiasts on the one hand, do not decide matters for us, nor bind them upon
and popish emissaries on
the other, from intruding us;” since " they tie no man up from altering his opinion," are "no ways inconsistent with the
try.--Answer, pages 6, 7. right of private judgment,” are, in a word, of no
Now, were the "origin" of a custom of inore more authority than an old sermon; nor, conse consequence than it is to a question concerning quently, much more effectual, either for the pro- the " propriety" of it, can any one doubt, who ducing or securing of "soundness in the faith."
credits even the answerer's own account, but that The answerer, not trusting altogether to the the motive assigned in the considerations, both strength of his “argument," endeavours next to did exist, and was tbe principal motive ? There avail himself of a “concession” which he has is one account, indeed, of the origin of this cusgained, he imagines, from his adversary, and tom, which, were it true, would directly concern which he is pleased to look upon" as in a manner the question. “This practice," our author tells giving up the main point.” Our business, there- us in another part of his Answer, * " is said to be fore, will be to show what this concession, as he derived from the apostles themselves.". I care calls it, amounts to, and wherein it differs from not what “is said." It is impossible that the the “ main point,” the requisition of subscription practice complained of, the imposition of articles to established formularies. It is objected to the of faith by "fallible” men, could originate from Articles of the Church of England, that they are the “apostles," who, under the direction by which at variance with the actual opinions both of the they acted were infallible."'+ governors and members of that church; so much
But this practice, from whatever" root of bitter80, that the men who most faithfully and expli- ness” it sprung, has been one of the chief causes, citly maintain these articles, get persecuted for we assert, of the divisions and distresses which their singularity, excluded from orders, driven we read of in ecclesiastical history. The matter from universities, and are compelled to preach the of fact our author does not, because he cannot, established religion in fields and conventicles. deny. He rather chooses to insinuate that “ such Now this objection, which must cleave to every divisions and disturbances were not owing to the fired formulary, might, we conceive, be removed if a test was substituted, supposing any test to be governors of the church, but to the perverse disinsisted upon, which could adapt itself to the know that there is oppression as well as resistance,
putings of heretics and schismatics." He must opinions, and keep pace with the improvements, provocation as well as resentment, abuse of power of each succeeding age. This, in some measure, would be the case, if the governors of the church take for granted, without one syllable of proof,
as well as opposition to it: and it is too much to for the time being, were authorized to receive that those in possession of power have been from candidates for orders declarations of their re- always in the right, and those who withstood ligious principles in their own words, and allowed, them in the wrong. " Divisions" and " disturbat their discretion, to admit them into the minis-ances” have in fact, and in all ages, arisen on this try. Bishops being taken out of the lump of the account, and it is a poor shift to say, because it community will generally be of the same leaven, may always be said, that such only are charge. and partake both of the opinions and moderation able with these mischiefs as refused to submit of the times they live in. This is the most that can be made of the concession; and how this gives up the “main point," or indeed any thing, it is
* Page 19.
| How a creed is to be made, as the Considerations not easy to discover.
recommend, in which all parties shall agree, our author The next paragraph of the Answer attacks tbe cannot understand. I will tell him bow; by adhering account which the Considerations have given of to Scripture terms: and this will suit the best idea of a the “ rise” and “ progress” of the custom
in ques Creed (a summary or compendium of a larger volume.) tion; "the reverse of which," the answerer tells
and the only fair purpose of one, instruction.
It is observed in the Considerations, that the multi. us," is the truth,” and by way of proof gives his plicity of the propositions contained in the thirty-nine own account of the matter, which, so far from Articles is alone sufficient to show the impossibility of being the “ reverse,” is in effect, or very nearly, the that consent
which the Church imposes and requires , to this?
Why, "that there are no less than three propositions in The reader shall see the two accounts side by the very first verse of St. John's Gospel."' Had there side, and is desired to judge whether the author been" three thousand" it would have been nothing to of the Considerations, so far from being confuted the purpose, where propositions are rece, ved upon the in this point, is even contradicted.
authority of the proposer, it matters not how many of
them there are ; the doubt is not increased with the The protestants, awarel “ As some who set up for number; the same reason which establishes one esta. how greatly they were mis reformershad broached ma.
blishes all But is this the case with a system of proposi. represented and abused, be ny erroneous and pestilent Lions which derives no evidence from the proposer ? gan to think it necessary to doctrines; the Lutherans, which must each stand upon its own separate and in. Tepel the various calumnies tirst, and, after their exam: trinsic proof?-We thought it necessary to oppose note
to note in the place in which we found it; though
neither here nor in the Answer is it much connected * Pages 11. 13. 19. 29.
with the text.
to whatever their superiors thought proper to all who continue in the church whilst they disselit impose.*
from her Articles, one would not suppose there Nor is it much better when he tells us, "that was a pardon left for those, who "keep even to these subtleties of metaphysical debate, which we themselves an opinion” inconsistent with any one complain of in our Articles, were introduced by proposition they have subscribed. The fact is, the several heretics of those times;" especially as the gentleman has either shifted his opinion in the it is evident that whoever first introduced, it is the course of writing the Answer, or had put down governors of the church who still continue them. these assertions, not expecting that he should have
But our author cannot conceive what all this, occasion afterwards to contradict them. as relating to “creeds” only and “confessions," tó It seemed to add strength to this objection, that the “ terms of communion” rather than of admis- the judgment of most thinking men being in a sion into the ministry, is to the purpose. Will he progressive state, their opinions of course must then give up “creeds” and “confessions ?" or will many of them change; the evil and iniquity of his church thank him for it if he does ? a church which the answerer sets forth with great pleawhich, by transfusing the substance of her Arti-santry, but has forgot at the same time to give us cles into the form of her public worship, has in any remedy for the misfortune, except the old effect made the "terms of communion” and of ad- woman's receipt, to leave off thinking for fear of mission into the ministry the same. This ques- thinking wrong. tion, like every other, however naked you may But our church “preaches,” it seems, strip it by abstraction, must always be considered other Gospel than that which she received,” nor with a reference to the practice you wish to propounds any other Articles for Gospel,” nor reform.
"fixes any standards or criterions of faith, sepaThe author of the Considerations contends rate from this Gospel: and so she herself fully de very properly, that it is one of the first duties a clares;"and we are to take her “word” for it, when Christian owes to his Master, " to keep his mind the very complaint is, that she has never “acted” up open and unbiassed” in religious inquiries. Can to this declaration, but in direct contradiction to it. a man be said to do this, who must bring himself When she puts forth a system of propositions to assent to opinions proposed by another ? who conceived in a new dialect, and in unscriptural enters into a profession where both his subsistence terms; when she ascribes to these the same eviand success depend upon his continuance in a dence and certainty as to Scripture itself, or de particular persuasion ? In answer to this we are crees and acts as if they were equally evident and informed, that these Articles are no "rule of faith;” certain; she incurs, we apprehend, the charge (what! not to those who subscribe them ?) that which these expressions imply. She claims indeed the church deprives no man of his right of private "authority in controversies of faith,” but “only judgment;"(she cannot-she hangs, however, a so far," says her apologist, as “to judge for herself dead weight upon it;) that it is a“ very unfair what should be her own terms of communion, state of the case, to call subscription a declaration and what qualifications, she shall require in her of our full and final persuasion in matters of faith;” own ministers.” All which, in plainer English, though if it bé not a “ full” persuasion, what is it ? comes to this; that two or three men, betwixt and ten to one it will be "final,” when such con. two and three centuries ago, fixed a multitude of sequences attend a change. That “no man is obscure and dubious propositions, which many hereby tied up from impartially examining the millions after must bring themselves to believe, word of God," i. e. with the “ impartiality of a before they be permitted to share in the provision man who must “eat" or "starve” according as which the state has made (and to which all of the examination turns out; an “impartiality" so every sect contribute) for regular opportunities of suspected, that a court of justice would not receive public worship, and the giving and receiving of his evidence under half of the same influence: I public instruction. And this our author calls the "nor from altering his opinion if he finds reason i magistrate's “judging for himself,"* and exercisso to do, which few, I conceive, will “find,” when ing the “same right as all other persons have to the alteration must cost them so dear. If one judge for themselves." For the reasonableness of could give credit to our author in what he says here, it, however, he has nothing to offer, but that it " is and in some other passages of his Answer, one no more than what other churches, popish” too, to would suppose that, in his judgment at least, sub- strengthen the argument," as well as protestant," scription restrained no man from adopting what have done before. He might have added, seeing opinion he pleased, provided " he does not think "custom” is to determine the matter, that it had himself bound openly to maintain it :” that “men been "customary" too from early ages for Chrismay retain their preferments, if they will but keep tians to anathematize and burn each other for their opinions to themselves.” If this be what the difference of opinion in some points of faith, and church of England means, let her say so. This for difference of practice in some points of cereis indeed what our author admits here, and yet, mony. from the outcry he has afterwards raised against We now accompany the learned answerer to
what he is pleased to call the “main question," * The following sentiment of our anthor is too cu. and which he is so much “puzzled to keep in rious to be omitted : “ Possibly too he (the author of the sight.” The argumentt in favour of subscription bellions in the state are not owing to the unruliness of and the arbitrary exclusion of men from the church factions subjects, but to kings and rulers; but most rea or ministry, drawn from the nature of a society sonable men. I believe, will think otherwise."--A common reader may think this observation of the answerer a lillle beside the question.-But the answerer may say,
* Page 26. with Cicero and Dr. King, “ Surcepto negotio majus
| What would any man in his wits think of this armibi quiddam proposui, in quo meam in Rempublicam gument, if upon the strength of it they were to niake a voluntatem populus perspiceri posset."-Motio to Dr. law, that none but red-haired people should be admitted K.'s Oration in 1749.
into orders, or even into churches.
and the rights incidental to society, our author, Why, it is the very question, Whether the maresigns to its fate, and to the answer which has gistrate ought to contine the provision he makes been given it in the Considerations. He contends for religion to those who assent, or declare their only, that the conduct of the apostles in admitting assent, to a particular system of controverted the eunuch and the centurion upon a general pro- | divinity: and this is one direct objection against fession of their faith in Christ, “has nothing to it. Bút “must the magistrate then," exclaims do with the case of subscription," as they were our alarmed adversary, "establish no tithes, no admitted, not into the ministry, but only the com- rich benefices, no dignities, or bishoprics ?" As munion of the church. Now, in the first place, many as he pleases, only let him not convert them suppose the eunuch or centurion had taken upon into snares and traps by idle and unnecessary them, as probably they did, to teach Christianity, conditions. “ But must he admit all persons would they have been inhibited by the apostles as indiscriminately to these advantages ?" The aunot having given sufficient “ proof or assurance of thor of the Considerations has told him, that he their soundness in the faith ?" And if not, what be- may require conformity to the liturgy, rites, and comes of the necessity of such “assurances from a offices he shall prescribe; he may trust his offiChristian teacher ?"In the second place, suppose cers with a discretion as to the religious princiyou consider the church as one society, and its ples of candidates for orders, similar to what they teachers as another, is it probable that those who now exercise with regard to their qualitications ; were so tender in keeping any one out of the first, he may censure extravagant preaching when it would have thought the argument we were en appears ;” precautions surely sufficient either to countering, or any thing else, a pretence for a keep the “wildest sectaries” out of the church, or right of arbitrary exclusion from the latter ? The prevent their doing any mischief if they get in. case of Cornelius, says our author, is “cxtraordi- | The exclusion of papists is a separate consideranary; while St. Peter was preaching to him, the tion. The laws against popery, as far as they Holy Ghost fell upon all them which heard the are justifiable, proceed upon principles with which worů.” And is not this author ashamed to own, the author of the Considerations has nothing to that any are excluded from the communion, or do. Where, from the particular circumstances even ministry of the church, who would have of a country, attachments and dispositions hostile been entitled by their faith to the gifts of the and dangerous to the state, are accidentally or Holy Ghost ?"
otherwise connected with certain opinions in reli-. The answerer in the next paragraph acknow- gion, it may be necessary to lay encumbrances ledges, that to admit converts into the church and restraints upon the profession or propagation upon this one article of faith, that Jesus is the of such opinions. Where a great part of any Messiah, was indeed the practice of the apostles ;* sect or religious order of men are enemies to the but then he tells us, what must sound a little odd constitution, and you have no way of distinguishto a Christian ear, and comes the more awkward- ing those who are not so, it is right perhaps to ly from this author, whom, if you turn over a fence the whole order out of your civil and relipage, you will tind quoting the “ practice of the gious establishment : it is the right at least of apostles" with a vengeance; he tells us, I say, self-defence, and of extreme necessity. But even “that no argument can be drawn from the prac- this is not on account of the religious opinions tice of the apostles."| Now, with regard to the themselves, but as they are probable marks, and "practice of the apostles," and the application of the only marks you have, of designs and princiit to ourselves, the case seems to be this (the very ples which it is necessary to disarm. I would reverse, observe, of our author's rule,) that we observe, however, that in proportion as this conare always bound not "to go beyond” the pre-nexion between the civil and religious principles cedent, though, for want of the same authority of the papists is dissolved, in the same proportion we may not always "advance up to it." It surely ought the state to mitigate the hardships and at least becomes us to be cautious of“ proceed- relax the restraints to which they are made subing,” where they, in the plenitude of their com-ject. mission, thought proper "to stop."
If we complain of severities, of pains and peIt is alleged in the Considerations, that annex- nalties, the answerer cannot discover " whom or ing emoluments to the profession of particular what we mean:" and lest his reader should, by a opinions, is a strong and dangerous inducement figure extremely well known in the craft of conto prevarication ; and the danger is the greater, troversy, he proposes a string of questions in the as prevarication in one instance has a tendency person of his adversary, to which he gives his to relax the most sacred obligations, and make own peremptory and definitive no.* We will way for perfidy in every other. But “this," it take a method, not altogether so compendious, seems, “has nothing to do with the question.": but, we trust, somewhat more satisfactory. We
will repeat the same questions, and let the church Although the question, whether to believe that and state answer for themselves. First, then, Jesus is the Messiah, be not the only necessary art cle of “Does our church or our government inflict faith, is a question in which we have no concern ; our any corporal punishment, author, with the best inclination in the world, not be.
levy any fines or ing able to fix such an opinion upon us; yet I cannot penalties on those who will not comply with the help observing, that he has put two of the oddest con. terms of her communion ?”—“ Be it enacted, that structions upon the terins of the propositions that ever all and every person or persons that shall neglect entered into the fancy of man to conceive. One is, which or refuse to receive the sacrament of the Lord's you may be sure he intends for his adversaries, so that it is necessary to believe Jesus to be a true prophet, yet Supper according to the usage of the Church of not necessary to believe one doctrine that he has taught." England, and yet, after such neglect or refusal, The other, which he means for himself, is, that " by the shall execute any office or offices, civil or military, Messiah we are to understand the oily begotten Son of after the times be expired wherein lie or they God, anointed, and sent by the Father to make propitia. tion for the sins of the whole world." | Page 16. | Pages 19, 20. ộ Page 16.