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In order to prove that I have not afferted any thing untrue, I have copied from the lift the following names as they appear in the work, and in another column, I haye given you their real ticuations, viz.
F. Foster, Mr. Richard, Jefus College, Cambridge.A corn-merchant, a
Diffenter at Cambridge. G. Girling, Mr. Trinity College, Cambridge.--A taylor, a Dis.
senter at Cambridge. H. Hollick, Mr. William, Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. A re.
tired grocer, a Diflenter, formerly of Cam.
bridge, now of Whittlesford. Hovell, Mr. Thomas, King's College, Cambridge.--A haberdasher, a
Diffenter at Cambridge. Humphrey, Mr. Sen. St. Peter's College, Cam. SA couple of car
penters at Cam. Humphrey, Mr. Jun. Ditto Ditto bridge.
L. Lyon, Mr. Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.-Agram
cer, a Dissenter at Cambridge. N. Nutter, Mr. Jesus College, Cambridge.--Acorn-merchant, a
Diflenter at Cambridge. S. Smith, Mr. Thomas, Emanuel College, Cambridge. Formerly an up
holsterer in Cambridge. If Mr. Wakefield will thus meanly impose upon the public, what falsehoods, what mil-translations, what mifrepresentations, are we not to expect in the rest of the book? And when this imposture is fixed to the head of those pages which we acknowledge to be the word of truth itself, ought we not to take every means in our power to expose the au. thors of such impofitions, and use our utmost endeavours to counteract their wicked designs ? But I have brought the culprit to your bar, and I leave him to such punishment as you all think proper to infict. A Translation of the New Testament, by Gilbert Wakefield, B.A.
Vol. Ill. London : Printed at the Philanthropic Press; and* sold by J. Deighton, Holborn, 1791.
From the PREFACE. * I MUST not be withholden from declaring, that some of my chief obligations are due to zealous individuals among the Disenters, who made in several places a common cause of 'my undertaking and exerted me to the completion of it. The Clergy must not expect to maintain an authority fo complete, as heretofore, over the consciences of men. Learning and genius are deserting, in numbers, from the 80. XXXI, VOL. VIII,"
quarters quarters of the Church. The damps of tyranny, the mifts of priet. craft are daily dispersing before the beams of knowledge and the gales of liberty. Weep ye instruments of bigotry! tremble ye oppressors of mankind! the defolation of your empire is at hand.--Some grammatical irregularities, and even inconfiflencies will be found in this
Translation. The complacency of affurance with which Churehmen advance arguments that have been confuted over and over again, as if no answer had ever been attempted by any controversionifts, respectable either for talents or virtue, almost petrifies me with astonishment. But, indeed, it is possible, that we expect too much from poor human nature, when we suppose her capable of attending to the still voice of religious TRUTH, amid the noise and bustle of an elevated ftation," &c. &c.
The next Letter, we are ashamed to say, has been in our poffeffion twelve months.
TO THE EDITOR. SIR, FROM local and particular observations I proceed, according to my promise, to some facts respecting the general conduct of the Diffenters in my neighbourhood. One of the observations I had to make upon this subject you have already anticipated in your note upon G.'s Letter, No. XVII. P. 346. This letter (part of which has called forth from you such severe but justly merited animadversions) convinces me that, either he is not one of the secretly initiated; or, if he is, that he wrote the first part of his letter without consulting the more cautious part of his Society, as, (however bold and daring these sectaries are now become) I yet think they would hardly venture thus openly to avow, however secretly they may inculcate opinions so decidedly hostile to the present Church Establishment, as those which have drawn upon him your commendable cenfures. At all events, I think, the sect will, in this instance, be apt to exclaim-" Non des fenforibus iftis, &c.
The principal design of all itinerant Methodists, Mr. Editor, is to withdraw the populace from the Church, and to diminish or destroy the respect due to the regular Clergymen. And this they endeavour to effect by various means. Firtt, they earnestly impress upon their hearers G's doctrine of “ The divine operation of the Holy Spirit," that is to say, they maintain that unless a Minister can tell the very instant he saw or perceived the influence of the Holy Spirit, and was commanded by it to go forth and preach, he is not a true Minister of the Gofpel of Christ. This “divine operation" they (I had almost faid impiously) assert that they have felt or seen, and thus arrogantly assume a more than Popilh tyranny over the reason and consciences of their deluded hearers. The preacher unblushingly affures them, that what he utters is through the immediate communication of the Holy Spirit, and that without its sacred influence he can say nothing ; so that having once convinced them of his divine mission, the ignorang and impudent fanatic cán, at leisure, from under cover of this feven
fold shield, discharge among the unthinking multitude the envenomed arrows of civil discord and religious schism. This grand point once gained, it is no difficult matter to persuade his audience that the pa. rochial Clergy, who differ from him in their mode of teaching, are not properly authorized to preach the Gospel. That is to say, that a Clergyman, however pious, regular, decent, and afliduous he may be in the discharge of his public duty'; however willing and able to may be to teach his flock the moral and religious duties of the holy Gospel, is not worthy the attention of his parishioners if he wants that command of countenance and volubility of tongue which will enable him to deliver extempore, at any time, and on any thefis, a random discourse (however unconnected) upon texts of Scripture, and if he is moreover deficient in respect of those stentorian lungs, that frantic stare and demeanour which peculiarly distinguish these spiritual reformers. It is sufficient to observe here, that the most voluble are not always the most wise; or the most violent, the best reasoners. The general competency of the Parish Priest to instruct his flock being thus denied, they proceed to undermine his private conduct. If, from the difference of clocks, or any other cause, he is five minutes before or after the usual time of service, he is, they say, negligent and inatten. tive to his duty. If his mode of delivery be Now and emphatic, he is tedious ; if it be quick and spirited, he is in too great a hurry, and wants that impressive energy which a teacher shoold poffefs. In short, Sir, no established Clergy man can, according to their rules, attain the happy medium. But should it by chance be admitted, that he in unexceptionable in these respects, he is still to undergo another ordeal before the tribunal of these self.created judges. The most private transactions of his life, the most minute occurrences of his domestic conduct are insidiously pried into, and the slightest deviation, from what they think right, held out as an object of public ricic ile or cen. sure. If there be in his conduct or disposition one fingle fault or foible, (and where is the man who has not one at least?) such is immedia ately blazoned abroad among the enthusiastic throng as an unpardon. able sin, and a violation of his sacred character. Nay, Sir, the most common and innocent amusements of life are made vehicles for the abuse of our cloth ; not (I am convinced) because they themselves feria oudly think such sinful, but that they occasionally happen to be prac. tised by members of our Church. Thus, according to these new morality-mongers, a harmless game of cards is “dealing with the devils books,” a play or an opera is, 5 Heathenish and unchristian. like performance ;" and so on, until every little recreation that the mind indulges in, is transformed, by the magic talisman of these morose Cynics, into a crime of the greatest magnitude and deepest dye. * In
A reverend Gentleman of very correct life and manners, happen. ing to be present when some friends of his were amusing themselves with the diversion of hunting, was accosted by a Methodist, and defired to observe the nature of the chace, That,” said this insolent
order that I may not tresspass too much upon your indulgence at once, I shall postpone all further observations until another opportunity ; but, in the mean time, I think it necessary to state, that, upon no account, will I enter into a controversy with any perfon upon this fubject. My object is not controversy, but to give a plain ftatement of fa&isfaits which may be denied but cannot be refuted, as they are sufficiently obvious to every person who has at all observed the conduct of the Diffenters.
I am, Sir, with much respect,
ANECDOTES. A BANKER, who, for some years, had been at the head of the Dissenters in Suffolk, lately failed, and, not appearing to the statute, was outlawed: the eldest son being intended for the bar, had taken a degree at Cambridge; but, having the offer of a living, applied for ordination; unfortunately, however, he had not been baptized, he therefore applied to a clergyman, his friend. The ceremony was performed without the notices, &c. prescribed; and a certificate given him, in which the two last figures, in 1799, were made so much like the seven, that the Bishop thought the gentleman had been received into the church in 1777. By some means, however, his lordship discovered the deception; the clergyman was severely reprimanded, and the young man refused ordination in Sept. last; (1799) but as some interest is making, it is supposed he will be finally successful.
About a year since a clergyman, on a visit in S********, assisted at the sacrament in the parish church in the morning, and went publicly to the conventicle in the afternoon; the impropriety of the action was delicately hinted to his connections. A few months after, however, upon his next visit, he repaired again publicly to the same conventicle.
On the 30th of Jan, last, the bells at S******** were ringing most of the evening ; while, on the 29th of May last, the corporation was as silent as the grave; even the union flag at the fort was not displayed; Lieutenant B.....1, who commands at the signal-station, in the adjoining parish, was so astonished and displeased that he noted this very pointed omission in his journal. This gentleman is highly to be respected for his loyalty and attachment to the civil
hypocrite, “is an exact representation of what will be your lot here.
. after ; for as the dogs pursue and torment this poor hare, so shall the evil spirits torment and tear in pieces your soul in hell for your wickudness in partaking of fo unholy a diversion,"
and religious establishments of his country, as well as for his unremitting attention to the duties of his station.
These anecdotes need no comment from us; we shall only observe in respect of the second, that the clergyman followed the example of Dr. Hawes, the rector of Aldwinkle, who had, some time before, opened the Dissenting Meeting-House, in Canonbury Lane, Islington. Dr. Hawes's curate, too, a Mr. Chew, has preached several times in Lady HUNTINGDON's Chapel at Bathi such things are; but we have no scruple to say, that such things ought not to be, and that our Bishops should attend to them.
In the third volume of our Review P. 51, we had occasion to speak, in terms of highly-merited commendation, of a sermon preached at Dunmore, in Essex, by the Rev. J. Howlett, on the. consecration of the colours of the yeomanry cavalry of that district. Soon after the appearance of our remarks upon that discourse, the worthy preacher received the following letter by the post, bearing the Manchester post-mark.
" To Mr. J. Howlett, Vicar of Great Dunmore, Essex.
your inflammatory sermon, you say you are happy to find it has become a sort of fashion upon raising any military force to consecrate its arms and its banners, to the Lord of Hosts, the God of battles; thereby appealing to heaven for the justice of our cause. Surely you have not considered that war is so bad a thing, that netking but a mixture of religion can make it worse. Oh! do not again prostitute the venerable name of religion, or of the holy name of God to such impious purposes; for such conduct it is that so much irreligion prevails. Do you think that any soldier, who has the least reflection, will not despise and ridicule inwardly the nonsensical and unmeaning parade of consecrating, (I used the term consecrate, though improper) a rag. Priests of every country and of every denomination are the pests of society when they act thus."
To shew what a coincidence there is between the sentiments of Dissenters and PROFESSED Deists, on the subject of consecration and fast sermons, and on imploring the favour of the “ God of Bat; tles” on our arms, when urged in a just and upright cause, we have extracted the following passage from one of the well-known lectures of the ReveREND DAVID WILLIAMS, which were delivered at a chapel in Margaret-Street, Cavendish Square, in 1776 and 1777, and were afterwards published in a quarto volume.
" It is presumed no person, accustomed to attend here, will think it improper to interrupt the series of our moral enquiries, for one day, when the nation has been so lately called upon to humble itself before God for its sins,* and to pray for success, in destroying those
*“ This lecture was read a second time on Sunday the first of March, 1778. The preceding Friday had been appointed as a public fast, on account of the American war.”