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This is true, because vehemence on one side begets it on the other, and in a contest of the kind, vehement truth will prevail over vehement error. “ Magna est veritas et prævalebit." It will be seen in this extract, that even Unitarians themselves cannot help commenting on the weapons they themselves employ. Mr. Rowntree considers it abuse to designate his attack on Mr. Dudley by its right name: but he thinks it no abuse, to tell us, Ist--that the Church of England is “ built” “ on acts of parliament as its foundation, the king himself being the chief corner stone .!” (Reply, p. 4); 2nd—that “ the very head and front of his offending is, that he disputes the power of the Church established by LAW “ to decree" according to Article XX, rites and ceremonies, and authority on matters of faith ;"_3d, that, according to that veracious gentleman, the late Jeremy Bentham, (with whose memory be peace !) “ 4,999 out of 5,000 lay members of the Church of England are really dissenters from that Church?” He adds, moreover, 4thly—as if to keep the said laity in good humour : " How many, or I should say how few, are they who minister at her altar, that believe in the whole of the 39 Articles ?” And then, 5thly—to settle all this upon an individual, as a supposed example, one might fairly suspect from the MANNER in which I am accused of uttering “all kinds of censure of the Church of England,” that the writer LIVES by the altar ! !” (Note to Reply, p. 3.)
Now to prove this “censure" to be “ abuse," and saving the odour of those “good manners" (p. 3) which Mr. R., amongst his other recommendations, boasts' of, to be somewhat worse than abuse,-something which I shall not name,I shall take all these assertions in order, not as they occur in the note, but as they occur in the quotations, which have done for the note, what I hope to do for all Mr. Rowntree has written,-turned it upside down.
Ist. Touching “ the corner stone of the Church;"-I leave it to Mr. Rowntree's conscience to decide, whether, when he wrote these words, he did not know, that no Churchof England man ever professed such a notion--and that, quoting Chillingworth's words*, “ The Bible only is the
* Mr. R. shews himself at every turn incapable of literary generosity. The words of Chillingworth are : THEY ALL AGREE ;THE BIBLE, THE BIBLE, I say, The Bible only is the Religion
Whatever else they believe besides it, and the plain irrefragable and “ indubitable consequences of it, weil may they hold it as a matter of opinion, but not as “ a matter of Faith or Religion ; neither can they with consistence to their own grounds, " believe it themselves; nor require the Belief of it from others, without most high and “ most SCHISMATICAL PRESUMPTION.” (ch. 6, n. 56.)
“ BY THB RELIGION OF PROTESTANTS, I UNDERSTAND-THAT WHEREIN
* of Protestants.
religion of Protestants,” he did not himself refute the assertion, knowing, as he must know, if he has ever read, as he professes, the Articles of the Church of England, that Article VI. declares, that “ Holy Scripture containeth all
things necessary to salvation; so that whatsoever is not “read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be re
quired of any man, that it'shonld be believed as an article “ of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salva“ tion.” Now the Holy Scripture tells us, that "Kings are to be the nursing fathers of the Church.” (Is. xlix. 23; and that “other foundation can no man lay than is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. iii. 11.)-illustrating this elsewhere by the remark, "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone." (Eph. ii, 20). No doubt, there are many who would prefer the notion of “acts of parliament" for foundation, and the “ king" for a corner stone, because Acts of Parliament are revoked more easily than prophets and apostles; and earthly kings are deposed more easily than “THE King of KingS AND LORD OF LORDS !” But such would the Church of England, not prefer—though she is compelled to submit to acts of Parliament; for, what says she in her Article XXXVII ? “Where we attribute to the King's Majesty the “ chief government; by which title, we understand the minds “ of some slanderous folk to be offended; we give not to our princes the ministering either of God's Word, or of the “ Sacrament, the which thing the injunctions also lately set “forth by Elizabeth, our Queen, do most plainly testify; but " that only prerogative, which we see to have been given “ always to all godly princes in Holy Scriptures by God him“self; that is, that they should rule all states and degrees “committed to their charge by God, whether they be eccle“siastical or temporal, and restrain, with the civil sword, “the stubborn and evil doers.” But, supposing the Church to be “ built on acts of parliament*,”—whose fault would it
* It is a maxim of English law, according to Blackstone (vol. 1, 160,) and Delolme (p. 118), that Acts of Parliament can do any thing, but make a woman a man, or a man a woman"-and, therefore Mr. R. may look forward to that political millenium, when the Church “ must undergo a little reformation at no distant period” (p. 4), with hope, that the OMNIPOTENCE of Parliament will no longer “ exclude him from her portals ;” but surely he cannot suppose, that Acts of Parliament can unmake HETERODOXY, reform ORTHODOXY, or open the “portals” of the Church of Christ “ to those who will belong to it just as little as they now do, when the Church of England shall not be “ESTABLISHED,” but UPSET by “ Law.” Whether Unitarians ever belong rightly to an Establishment in England, or not, Unitarianism, in the opinion of those who nowocmbrace the doctrines of the establishcá church, will be just as far from the truth as ever. Orthodoxy was in fashion long before Acts of Parliament were heard of-and will keep its ground when Acts of Parliament shall have put the mitre on Mr. Rowntree, in spite of himself !
be? Or whose loss is it already, so far as acts of parliament do supersede the obsolete canons of the Church ?-Why; it is the fault of the parliament ;-of those seceders from the Church of England,—who are in parliament, and who deny to ministers of that Church, that which Unitarian ministers may enjoy, viz., the right of legislating as members of parliament, for “ this act of parliament Church!” And thus we behold Unitarians making common cause with those from whom they differ toto cælo,—to degrade the latter, over whom they already exercise the office of legislators! But it was so once before! when “ Christ” was to be condemned, be
“ he was the King of the Jews,” they who where at enmity could unite,--and whosoever should write the history of the overthrow (if it should ever please God to remove her candlestick from its place) of that branch of Christ's church, which professes, most valiantly, THE ETERNAL kingship of Christ, may perhaps, borrow the expressive words of the Gospel : “ The same day Pilate, and Herod, were made friends together; for BEFORE they were at enmity between themselves,” (Luke xxiii. 12).
Loyal, as all Church-of-England men are, or profess to be, their loyalty has not gone to such extremes, as setting up their earthly monarch in place of their heavenly king! And so I leave Mr. Rowntree on his new fashioned corner-stone, hoping, that when he resolutely sets about building, he will have more solid ground to lay his foundation on, than he has selected for the Church; thanking him, at the same time, for the confession, that the Church has, at least, “acts of parliament with her*, as well as the Gospel. Pity 'tis, his communion has neither!
* It must be a matter of sorrow to many sincere lovers of their country, to see the pains that are taken so industriously to separate the state from the hallowing influences of religion. It is no argument to say, that religion may be secularised by the state ; that is an abuse of our forefather's wisdom, not the correct use of their institutions. No truc churchman wishes such abuse ;-he suffers more from the evil than any one else. But the junction of Church and State (A CHunch and THE STATE), is the only guarantee that CHRISTIANS shall not have an Infidel Government, and that, they who are now Dissenting Protestants, should not be subject to a Romanist Prince; it is the only guarantee against indifference in Religion, and anarchy in Politics. Even under the Pagan Romans no Consul went into office, till he had been to the temple of Jupiter, and paid his homage there. This doctrine by no means shuts out Reform of grievances, and restoration to purity, when required. But men, who see things with only one eye, are apt to censure Churchmen for what they cannot help: they quote obsolete Canons against private clergymen, and talk of the starving Curates as if they were the representatives of Saturn who ate his own children. Yet withal, the CONVOCATION, by which the Church would reform herself, is denied her. The Church is branded as intolerant, and church rates and tithes are employed as common images in rhetoric, with the bayonet and the bludgeon. Excommunication is talked of, as if the Queen Mary had risen again ; the accusers forgetting all the while, that by neglecting the offices of religion in the Church, they virtually excommunicate themselves. There are cases in which Church Rates do not assist the ChurchI can afford an example. And as to Tithes, there is not a clergyman living by them, who would not rather live without the unpleasantness of collecting them. The time is coming when I hope every real grievance will be removed. But whilst this Reform is in advance, why cannot men let the question rest! It looks like unchristian triumph.
2.-Respecting Mr. R.'s “schism and sinfulness," and the quiet imprecation," on other heads than our own, be our schism and sinfulnes !” (p. 4), I shall only observe, that no doubt, they will fall upon other heads, and if they were not likely to do so, they might be enjoyed undisturbed; but it would not have been amiss, to have taken a hint from the Jews, who, bad as they were in actually crucifying the Lord of glory, had, at least common honesty enough to say “ His blood be on us and our CHILDREN!”°(Matt. xxvii. 25).
“ The very head and front of my offending” adds Mr. R. “ is, that I dispute the power of the Church established by Law, to decree according to Article XX, rites and ceremonies, and authority in matters of faith.”—Now, what is the fact? So far from making Mr. R.'s disputing of “the
powers of the Church,” &c., " the very head and front of his offending,” it was actually passed over in the Reviewer Reviewed,” unnoticed in any way; because, it was supposed, that such an assertion as Mr. R. made about Article XX, required no further disproof, than the mere perusal of that Article, in the Prayer book, would suggest to the veriest infant, yho could read a word of five syllables. But, as Mr. R. has given a fillip to my memory, by a second allusion to this awful article ; it may be as well to quote it unmutilated, by which it will be found, that all this as much ado about nothing,” recoils like an overcharged gun upon the unhappy person who, unfortunately for himself, pulled the trigger, not wounding his opponent, but knocking himself down.
“Of the Authority of the Church. The Church hath “power to decree rites and ceremonies, and authority in “ controversies of Faith: and yet it is not lawful for the “ Church to ordain anything that is contrary to God's Word “written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, " that it be repugnant to another. Wherefore, although the “ Church be a witness and a keeper of Holy Writ, yet as it “ought not to decree anything against the same, so besides “the same ought it not to ENFORCE ANYTHING to be believed "for the necessity of salvation."
And what does this article amount to ? That the Church of England, like every other society, has a right to decree rites and ceremonies for the use of her members, ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURE AND NOT CONTRARY THERETO ; and that, so far from being infallible, her authority is not to impose faith, but to decide controversies amongst her members in matters of faith, yet strictly according to the Gospel.
“ This,” says an able expositor of this Article, “is the “ principle of all creeds, and indeed the only principle upon “which the unity of the faith once delivered into the saints' “ (Jude v. 3), can be preserved. Every church, therefore, “must possess a right to compose new, or to alter existing "articles, according as the circumstances of the times shall “make it necessary to defend the purity of Christian doctrine " against prevailing heresies, and to point out to the unlearned “part of the community, the snares which may be laid in “their paths.”—( Tomline's Theology, vol. 2, p. 342. See also Hooker, lib. 3 and 8.)
Surely, surely, Mr. Rowntree cannot think, that his disputing this power is a matter of such moment, as he states it to be! I might think that a person who does not, by his own refusal to profit by her, belong to the Church of England, would be presumptuous, in attempting to dispute or to intera fere with what he puts out of his own power to have the least concern in,—but such a proceeding would not elicit an angry feeling, or the slightest emotion of any kind, beyond the regret, which one always feels, to see a man who thinks himself marching along the high road of legitimate duty, floundering about in a quagmire of his own creation. The Church of England claims no more power to decree rites or ceremonies for those who dissent from her, than she does to regulate the cut of Socinian or Unitarian orthodoxy, or to dictate the length of the three tails, that make the dignity of a Pacha in Turkey. She claims no more for her members, than Mr. R.'s community claim for his ;-and, I suppose, there are rites and ceremonies in Hill Street, as well as authority in controversies of faith,” else there is a minister without any authority, and faith without any standard! And so much for the mutilated Article XX., and assumption of power in the Apostolic Church.” If all Mr. R.'s expositions are as correct as these, much good may his preaching do his followers !
3.-As to the 4,999 lay hypocrites, out of every 5,000 members of the Church,-a charge made by Jeremy Bentham, at second hand, after “ an honest but zealous Churchof-England man,” and here repeated by Mr. R. as an authority for his own surmises, it may be as well to ascertain what credit is due to the said Jeremy. Now, on turning to a very celebrated work of his, entitled, “ Not Paul, but Jesus,” published under the name of Gamaliel Smith, Esq., we discover that the said Jeremy, alias Gamaliel, accuses St. Peter of inverting the declaration of Jesus, that " it is