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in persuading themselves that it is of nò value. The unceremonious manner in which Dr. B. rejects testimony is amusing. 'The testimony of Archbishop Grindal is set aside on the ground of his being “ somewhat fanatically inclined," and "lax in his discipline.” The testimony of Wickliffe, on the ground of his being supposed to have embraced error as to other points. The testimony of Dr. Raignolds is rejected, because, though a regular member of the Church of England, he was a puritan at heart. The testimony of Archbishop Usher is pronounced to consist only in a scholastic distinction, which dull Presbyterians have not perceived ; “ the difference between him and other
Episcopalians being only verbal.” That of Bishop Stilling fleet, upon the ground of the immaturity of a juvenile mind, the visionary speculations of which were corrected by age. That of Archbishop Tillotson, because he was a "a very moderate churchman" a sort of neutral man,” and withal“ suspected of Arianism and Universalism." That of Bishop Croft, because his name is so ob. scure that not one of the Episcopal clergy of this city ever heard of him before; and because he was “ a man of very comprehensive principles, and an
enemy of all creeds and subscriptions." That of Mosheim, because " he had the system of his own Church to maintain*." But when testimony is
* If the testimony of Mosheim is to be rejected on this ground, then the testimony all the Episcopalians quoted by Dr. B. himself, must be set aside on the same ground.
adduced which cannot be set aside by any such frivolous pretext, it is boldly pronounced " worthless," “ of no value," perfectly “ destitute of force," &c. Nothing can be drawn from testimony. It is waste of time and labour to collect it.
Mr. How's mode of treating the concessions of Episcopalians, is still more ludicrous. plains that I have produced extracts only from “ between thirty and forty writers;" pronounces this a number too trifling to be regarded as of any weight; and expresses a suspicion that he could present a much larger list of Presbyterian writers who have opposed the doctrines of their own Church. In answer to this plea, I will only say, that when Mr. How shall present me with an equally long list of standard Presbyterian writers, who are praised,
Will he agree to this ? Besides, I thought Dr. Bowden had assured us that the Lutheran church is Episcopal ; and yet Dr. Mosheim's testimony against Episcopacy is to be rejected, because he had," the system of his own church to main. táin !”
The truth is, the testimony of Mosheim, and of other Lutheran divines on this subject is peculiarly weighty: for while they have in their church a sort of qualified Episcopacy; and while they have as strong a templation as other churches to place their constitution on the footing of divine right; they unanimously grant now, what they have unanimously granted since the days of Luther, that Prelacy is not a divine or apostolic institution ; that it was introduced after the days of the Apostles; and that it rests on the ground of human expediency alone. This fact will weigh more, with every impartial inquirer, than all that the collected learning and zeal of the divines of the church of England have ever advanced in favour of Episcopacy, because “ they have the system of their own church to maintain."
quoted, studied, and made the guides of theological students, and who at the same time oppose fundamental doctrines, I shall then acknowledge that those doctrines are not the doctrines of the Presbyterian Church.
Were there time to go over in detail the extracts from Episcopal writers which I have presented as concessions, it would be easy to show that almost all the glosses of Dr. Bowden and Mr. How are either irrelevant or worse.
But such a process would be an unreasonable trespass on your patience. I have already given a specimen of the mode of answering adopted by the former of these gentlemen, in the case of Bishop Jewel. The latter is no less vulnerable in a variety of instances. He tells us, for example, (p. 56.) that Archbishop Usher pronounces Presbyterian ordination to be schismatical, in all cases excepting that of necessity alone. This is not true. Usher says neither this, nor any thing like it. He says, “ the ordinations made by such
Presbyters as have severed themselves from those
Bishops unto whom they had sworn canonical obe“ dience, cannot possibly by me be excused from “ being schismatical;" immediately after which he goes on to say, that he “ loves and honours” the Presbyterian Churches of Holland and France, as “ true members of the Church universal ;” and that he would with pleasure receive the sacrament from the hands of the ministers in either.*
Fudgment of the late Archbishop of Armagh. 110–123.
My argument drawn from the Practical influence of Prelacy, has, as I fully expected, both embarrassed and offended my opponents. But, after all their impatience and irritation under it, and all their cavils against it, I still think it a sound and ir.. resistible argument. If the Episcopal Church, be the only true Church, the only denomination of professing. Christians who are in covenant with God," then the demand that they should exhibit more of the distinguishing character of God's covenant people, viz. universal holiness, is surely a reasonable demand. In truth, their mode of replying to this demand amounts to a surrender of the argument. With their subterfuge respecting the Quakers, I have already shown that we have nothing to do.
Dr. Bowden complains that, in speaking of the practical influence of Prelacy, I have expressed my.. self in terms much too severe concerning Prelates and their system. He complains especially of the following passage : “ If we examine the history “ of any Episcopal Church on earth, we shall find " it exhibiting, to say the least, as large a share of "heresy, contention, and schism, as any which “ bears the Presbyterian form : and, what is more,
we shall ever find the Prelates themselves quite as forward as any
others in scenes of violence “ and outrage.” He asserts that “ these charges
could not have proceeded from a proper mo“ tive;" and that,“ if they were even well-found“ ed, they ought not to have been advanced.” On what ground Dr. Bowden should have taken so much offence at this passage, it is not easy to see. Was it going either an indecent or an unreason, able length, when I was fairly called to speak on the subject, to say, that Prelacy has been proved to be quite as favourable to heresy, contention, and schism, as Presbyterianism ; and Prelates as chargeable with violence and outrage as Presbyters? If this was indecent, then what shall be said of this gentleman himself, who has asserted that every charge which I have brought against Prelacy“ may be retorted upon Presbytery in a ten-fold degree ?” If my motives were bad for merely, alleging that Presbyterians stand on as good ground, with regard to the practical influence of their system, as Episcopalians do ; what must have been the motives of Dr. B. in alleging that the former are tenfold worse than the latter? What must have been his motives in expressing himself frequently in much more severe and indelicate terms of Presby, terians and Presbytery? But the cases are, in his estimation, essentially different. The abuse of Presbyterians is no crime. That this must be his opinion is evident from the reproachful charges which he unreservedly heaps upon them, in those very parts of his work in which he censures me for my unexceptionable comparison.