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THE TRUE CHURCHMEN &c.
CHAPTER 1. The main question stated ; and argued against the Afailants, from their CONDUCT IN SUBSCRIPTION,-their own CONCESSIONS,--and the COMPLAINTS OF SEVERAL EMINENT BISHOPS.
O ur first object shall be to state fully in what the matter at iffue consists. We will begin with an extract from a pamphlet entitled “ Thoughts concerning the Methodists and the established Clergy; by George Croft, D. D.” In this pamphlet the Doctor expresses himself thus: “ They alone, if we believe themselves, have adhered to the doctrines of the articles, homilies, and liturgy. This, he proceeds, is gross misrepresentation. They taught MORE than these doctrines, and we teach them as they were first delivered by our Reformersa."—Now that Dr. Croft includes under this censure persons of the description specified in our preface, those who are guilty of no species of irregularity, but who, as they conceive, in all things adhere strictly to the rules of the establishment, is beyond a question. He alludes expressly, in this fame pamphlet, to Mr. Milner, to the Minister of " the New Church,” and all the ministers, except “one Individual,” then 2 in the churches at Hull; to Dr. Coulthurst, his Curate, and those " who are anticipating appointments to the Chapels in his parish ;" to Mr. Romaine; and to all for whom presentations have been procured " by a noble Earl, and some gentlemen of opulence;" and, with equal explicitness, alludes to them as 6 fanatical Divines,” “ clerical Enthusiasts,” 66 pretended Favourites of heaven 6.” &c.
(a) Page 19.
(b) P. 14, 29, 31.
The same, however, in effect, with the above proposition of Dr. Croft, is the language of Mr. Polwhele e, Mr. Haggitt , and a whole tribe of modern writers on this subject. Whatever different objects these gentlemen have immediately in view, or however more or less sparing they are in the mention of individuals, or in epithets of reproach, directly or indirectly, their censures uniformly involve the characters in question ; and their reasonings obviously pro. ceed on the supposition that the rest of the clergy do, and that these persons DO NOT, teach according to the established doctrines of our Church. .
This, in effect, is the proposition maintained by Mr. Daubeny and his admirers, against the well-known objects of his strictures, Mr. Wilberforce and Mrs. More. The opinion Mr. W. has expressed f respecting the difference between the actual and the profesed principles of many of the clergy, Mr. D. says is “ unjust,” and “ derived more from the indecent revilings of irregular preachers than from fact 8.” To other parts of this publication Mr. D. has “ thought it neceffary to object as 'more favourable to enthusiasm than practical Christianity h.”
In his Letter to Mrs. More, after quoting the words of both Mrs. M. and Mr. Wilberforce respecting the union between the doctrines and duties of Christianity,' he obferves, “ But, Madam, this is not the language either of the Scripture, or of the CHURCH OF ENGLANDI.” And then, having stated his own opposite notions on the point, " the CHURCH OF ENGLAND,” he adds, “ teaches the same doctrinek.” Accordingly, “ If,” his panegyrist observes, “ Mrs. More be really of Mr. Wilberforce's school, her faith, like bis, is Calvinism in disguise; and her attachment to the Church of England, of a very questionable kind."" " Those who
(e) Letters to Dr. Hawker. (z) See a visitation Sermon preached at Cambridge, June 1799, by the Rev. John Haggitt, B. D. Fellow of Clare Hall, and Vicar of Madingley. (f) Practical View &c. p. 408. (g) Guide to the Church,p. 324,378. (h) Ibid. 313. (i) p. 39. (k) Ibid. p. 40. (1) Antijac. Rev. Nov. 1799. p. 255.
are distinguished GOSPEL-MINISTERS,” Mr. Daubeny says, it should rather be called preachers of absolute decrees, predestination, election, and faith without works m.” And, in short, to prove the heresy of persons of this description, and his own churchmanship, he has favoured the world with several volumes.
Nor must we view in any other light the Essays of Thomas Ludlam, A. M. He also refers us to the Articles and Reformers; not indeed frequently; but, as the “ Rector of Foston,” he can scarcely object to this standard of doctrine. The object of this writer's movie immediate attack is Mr. Robinson, the author of the “ Scripture Characters”.” A portion of his reproof and correction is, however, extended to Mr. Hervey, Mr. Milner, Mr. Venn, Dr. Hawker, Dr. Knox, Mr. Wilberforce, Mr. Scott of the Lock, and, as he exprefses it, “ the whole tribe of those who call themselves serious Divines and Gospel-Ministers ?, and whom the world not unfrequently calls Methodistso.". And what renders this ftri&ture more deserving of notice is, that the part of it contained in Mr. L.'s four Essays is commended by the respectable British Critic, whose profeffed object it is to protect the genuine doctrines of the churchP. Mr. Ludlam, it is said, “ diffects with justice” the work of Mr. R. and “ finds in it the feeds of many opinions, which he censures as unfound, and as belonging to the principles of Methodismo; &c." Correspondent also with this decision, is the sentiment difcovered by this Critic, in his Review of Mr. Scott's Thanksgiving Sermon".
But what is perhaps not less to be lamented, our admired political friends, the Antijacobin Reviewers, have claffed this description of Divines with Heretics and Schifmatics,
(m) Appendix to Guide, p. 622. (n) See Title page of “ Four Effays, &c.” (2) Mr. L. seems to use this appellation as synonimous with “Calvinistical Divines.” See four Essays, p. 59, and note. (0) Four Essays, p. 44, and passim ; and six Essays. (p) See the Prospectus, &c. (9) For April 1798. p. 400. . (y) See British Critic, June 1799.
We can, however, readily forgive them. Engaged as they are in suppressing the Hydra of Jacobinism, it is no wonder, if they cannot always bestow a sufficient attention upon other matters. We wot, that through something they have observed in the Metropolis, where, perhaps, in some in. stances, order is not sufficiently regarded; or, through the representation of some angry but ill-informed correspondents, they have done it. It is however to be hoped, that without any relaxation of their vigilance, or any fuppreffion of just fufpicions, this Corps de garde will learn to distinguish their Allies from the Enemy; and hence, cease to play their artillery upon a large body of men who are both as zealous Antijacobins, and as sincere Antischismatics, as themselves.
Their manner of speaking on the subject, however, ex, · actly coincides with what has been already advanced,
“ These Goipel-ministers,” they say, “ as their followers are instructed to call them, upbraid the clergy of our church with not preaching the whole counsel of God. We boldly reply to such a charge, that the sound and orthodox divines, of whom there are thousands in England, firmly believe, and frequently preach, as pure and true doctrines, those contained in t!ę 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, and 13th Articles of our faith ?." “ These teachers,” they say again,“ pride themselves as being the only true members of the church of England, who adopt the faith contained in her Articles and Homilies, &c. .... Bụt let us examine what these schifinatics mean by their church of England. .... Let us investigate the fundamental principles on which they pretend to ground their superiority over their nominal brethren!." These they represent to be, holding election, talking of experience, vital knowledge, and feeling, in respect to falvation; notions of which they wholly disapproveo: Or, to adduce the words of their correspondent, " It would be easy,'' it is said, “ to prove that those who arrogate to themselves exclusively the title of Evangelical preachers, are not true
(5) April 1799. p. 368. (s) Ibid. p. 362—368. (o) Ibid.