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verbal prophecy. II. On typical prophecy. III. On the liberty of the gospel IV. On the parable of the different talents. V. On the called and chosen. X. What shall I do to be saved? XI. On spiritual stewardship. XVII. The Lord's cup. XVIII. On the promises of the gospel. XX. The hus .bandman. XXI. It is finished. XXII. The hour cometh. XXIII. Chris"tian joy. XXIV. The rich man and Lazarus. Will the Critical Reviewer maintain that no regard is here paid to Evangelical truth? Will lie affirm that it is superseded by meagre scraps of heathen morality? Such a character he will find it impossible to attach, even to the discourses which are not here particularly introduced to his notice. "But this (he will say) is a solitary instance; shew me another and I will be convinced." Another I will shew thee, thou uncharitable reviler; but without the hope of making a convert of thee by ten such instances.
Let the Reviewer cast an unwilling eye upon P. 49, &c. of the AntiJacobin Review for January 1801. He will find there, Discourses on several Subjects by Christopher Wells, B. D. formerly of Jesus College, Oxford, Rector of Remenham, Berks. Our wish is, to know of what these several subjects consist. Sermon I. The first and second advent of Christ. II. Christ the saviour of sinners. III. Prophetical representations of Christ's salvation. IV. Christ the day-spring. V. The nativity of Christ. VI. The death of Christ. VII. The resurrection of Christ. VIII. The ascension of Christ. IX. The gift of tongues, X. The divinity of Christ. XIII. The first and great commandment. XXIII. The marriage feast. XXIV. The unjust steward. XXV. The pearl of great price. XXVI. The gospel a light and joy to the world. XXVII. Confession of sins to God. XXVIII. Godly sorrow. XXIX. The penitent restored. These are contained in the first volume. In the second volume we find, Sermon I. Faith in Christ. II Christian blessedness. III. The hungry soul filled. IV. The same subject continued. V. The law and the prophets fulfilled. VI. Worldly anxiety forbidden. VII. The service of God and Mammon not possible together. VIII. Encouragement to prayer. XI. Example of Christ. XII. Christ's answer to the disciples of John. XIII. The excellency of the knowledge of Christ. XIV. The son of man's death a ransom for many. XV. The power of the gospel. XVI. The testimony of the apostles. XVII. and XVIII. The sin and danger of immorality and unbelief. XIX. The great sin of neglecting the Gospel. XX. The excellency of the knowledge of the scriptures. XXI. Repentance and the fear of God. XXII. The duties and rewards of the Christian life. XXIII. The holy communion. XXIV. The kingdom of God. XXV. The sin of shutting up the scriptures. XXVI. The service required of Christians. XXVII. The leper cleansed.
Such are the subjects discussed by Mr. Wells. Having noticed them with all possible brevity, I return to the charge with the Critical Reviewers. If at the mouth of two or three witnesses, (as the divine law, quoted by St. Paul, has laid it down,) a matter is to be established, then may I expect of every reasonable man, the acquittal of the clergy from the accusation of not instructing their flock in evangelical truth. I have produced two instances, and they are the most recent upon record, that they are not so remiss as to dole out meagre scraps of heathen morality, instead of the truths of the gospel. If moral preaching be sometimes adopted by them, it is sanctioned by the exam ple of our Lord himself in his sermon on the mount; it is sanctioned by all the Epistles. They have authority even to treat of sound politics, and to instil maxims of good government into their hearers. But it is no part of their
duty to preach rebellion and sedition; and they have accordingly left that office to the sectary. The word of scripture is the seed of their argument; and every vain suggestion of the mind is brought into subjection to the truth that is revealed. They cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God: they bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. They do not square the scripture to their own superficial philosophy, like Monthly Reviewers, when they deem everlasting punishment unjust*. They see the mercy and the justice of God displayed in that most awful truth, in a manner the most consistent and the most favourable to sal vation. It is true, that temporal sin cannot deserve eternal wrath, considered without references to God's promises. But if he has tendered to temporal virtue, a reward which its utmost perseverance can never merit, namely, everlasting happiness, it is no injustice to inflict on those who reject that reward, everlasting misery. It is a consequence which follows of course, without which, though the mercy of God might be infinite, his justice could not be so. To believe punishment to be not eternal, is to return to the old notion of purgatory, a notion which Monthly Reviewers are certainly not anxious to restore. The eternity of future sufferings is a doctrine which man cannot argue down, while he is a true believer; however he may be disposed to refute it, when his conscience whispers him, the good that I would I do not, and the evil which I would not, that I do.
A word or two more might be said to the Monthly Reviewers upon their truly Godwinian approbation of the impatience of the boy Kotzebue during the church service at Weimar. Perhaps these gentlemen have the same opinion of prayer as the undevout sailor, who, being at length brought upon his knees by a severe storm, pleaded, as a valid reason why his petition should be heard, that he did not bother God Almighty every day as the rest did. But I must return to the Critical Reviewer and his less learned but more cárnest instructors, whom he curiously describes as speaking to the heart, in terms intelligible to themselves. I shall not, however, dwell upon this unfortunate specimen of perspicuity, after the manner of Ireland; neither shall I take notice of his strutting conclusion, his refinement of taste, and acumen of philosophy. I leave him to enjoy this remarkable testimonial of the liberality, extenuation, and candour of Critical Reviewers, with a promise, that when the next number of this polite review has made its appearance, I will again hold up the mirror to him and his colleagues. It may possibly be to no purpose, and they may straightway forget what manner of men they are. The world, however, will not forget; and if such contumely be continued, it cannot be long before every gentleman will be ashamed to see the Critical Review on his table. To say that it is at present conducted by gentlemen, is manifestly a gross misnomer. Let them not imagine that I wish for their failure, when I speak thus hastily of their demerits. While criticism is carried on fairly and honestly, it matters not whether the authors of it are Jews, Turks, Infidels, or Heretics; they are entitled to a hearing. But when it is converted into a vehicle of calumny and party spite, when it insidiously attempts to inspire us, in every page, with a contempt of what we ever have held, and ever shall hold, and ought to hold sacred and respectable, it is time that opposition should be made. War, in the province of literature, is ever to be deprecated, as fatal to the best interests of man. But when rebellion against truth and good manners is begun, and when critics tyrannically insist upon pouring their burning dross into our mouths,
* See their anti-scriptural arguments in their Review for January, 1801, p. 9.3. ↑ See page 79. Hh
NO. XXXIV. VOL. 111.
it is disgraceful to be indifferent. Resistance is both just and necessary, and if we cannot procure a truce by remonstrance, we must exact it by flagellation.
Feb. 25, 1801.
N. B. We are happy to find, that, notwithstanding the strenuous efforts of the Dissenting critics to check its circulation, by their usual arts, Mr. Pearson's Sermon has already entered a second edition.
TO THE EDITOR.
TAKE up my pen to difcharge a duty, which I ought to have dif
Your Review for Auguft, 1798, page 137, contains a very serious charge against the Quakers in general, and thofe of Pennfylvania in particu lar. In your cenfure of the English Quakers, for refufing to contribute towards a fund, the avowed object of which was the defence of the kingdom against invafion, I heartily concur. I perfectly agree with you, that their alledged objection was a " pitiful fubterfuge ;" and the tenderness and generofity, which they voluntarily and eagerly difplayed towards the French and Dutch prifoners of war (a circumftance that I wonder you never noticed,) but too clearly indicate the bias of their political inclinations and affections.
But, Sir, while I object to all the particular tenets of the Quakers, more especially those on which they ground their refufal to contribute towards the defence of the State and the maintenance of the Church: while I decidedly disapprove of the conduct of fome, at leaft, of the English Quakers, during the prefent conteft, and strongly fufpect them of partiality for the levelling, the bloody, and blafphemous French, that juftice, for which you have ever been a zealous and able advocate, calls upon me to defend the character of the Quakers of Pennsylvania, particularly with regard to the tranfaction, to which your charge against them more immediately refers.
In fpeaking of that tenet (a ridiculous cne I allow,) which requires Quakers to bear teftimony against every fpecies of fighting, you afk "whether they have uniformly adhered to the pacific tenor of their faith, by refraining, on all occafions, from the ufe of arms in open war?" And hereupon you ftate, that, during the conteft between Great Britain and the Colonies, "the Quakers of Pennsylvania actually bore arms against their mother country; and one of them, named Mifflin, attained the rank of General."
Give me leave, Sir, to communicate to you, that information, on this fubject, which, had you been in poffeffion of it in the year 1798, would, I am certain, have prevented the above statement from appearing in your va luable work.
Soon after the breaking out of the rebellion, (on the 20th of November, 1776,) the Quakers of Pennsylvania put forth a declaration of their principles, entitled, "The ancient Testimony of the People called QUAKERS renewed, with Refpect to the King and Government, and touching the Commotions now prevailing in thefe and other Parts of America; addreffed to the People in general." In this declaration, which was figned by John Pemberton, in the name of the whole Society, and published in the city of Philadelphia, the Quakers make the following unequivocal avowal of their attachment to the King and his Government.
"It hath been our judgment and principle, fince we were called to profefs the light of Chrift Jefus, manifefted in our confciences unto this day, that the fetting up and putting down of Kings and Government is God's peculiar prerogative, for caufes beft known to himfelf: And, that it is not our business to have any hand or contrivance therein; nor to be busy bodies above our station, much lefs to plot and contrive the ruin, or overturn any of them, but to pray for the King, and fafety of the nation, and good of all men; that we may live a peaceable and quiet life, in all godliness and honefty, under the King and Government which it hath pleafed (od to fet over us."-After difapproving of the inflammatory and feditious públications of the day, the declaration concludes by calling on the people of America, "firmly to unite in the abhorrence of all fuch writings and meafures, as evince a defire and defign to break off the happy connection we have hitherto enjoyed with the kingdom of Great Britain, and our juft and neceffary fubordination to the King, and thofe who are lawfully placed in authority under him."
Such, Sir, were the principles, openly profeffed and promulgated by the Quakers of Pennfylvania; how exactly they correfpond with thofe of the Church of England need not be pointed out to you. Nor did the Quakers of Pennsylvania, like too many other focieties that we have seen in the world, content themfelves with a mere profeffion of their principles: they adhered to them with unthaken conftancy, through a long feries of troubles, of hardships, of dangers, and of perfecutions.
The declaration which I have quoted, failed not to excite against the Quakers the hatred and malice of the Whigs. Paine, ho had juft entered on that career, which has fince rendered him fo notorious, had the infamy to begin the attack. The Quakers, and their loyal declaration, form the subject of no fmall part of his feveral numbers of that abominable work called the Crifis, through the pages of which he ridiculed, traduced, and reproached them; till, at laft, he had the audacity to mark them out as fit objects of punishment, in which he was, however, no more than the tool of Reid, Bryan, M'Kean, and other leading rebels of the day. An extract or two from the writings of this traitor will form a higher eulogium on the Quakers of Pennfylvania than any that I can pronounce.
"All we want to know in America is fimply this, who is for Independence, and who is not? Thofe who are for it, will fupport it, and the remainder will undoubtedly fee the reafonablenefs of their paying the charges; while those who oppofe, or feek to betray it, muft expect the more rigid fate of the gaol or the gibbet. There is a baftard kind of generofity, which, by being extended to all men, is as fatal to fociety on one hand, as the want of true generofity is on the other. A lax manner of adminiftering juftice, falfely termed moderation, has a tendency both to difpirit public virtue, and promote the growth of public evils. Had the late COMMITTEE Of SafeTy taken cognizance of the declaration of the Quakers, and proceeded against fuch delinquents as were concerned therein, they would, probably, have prevented the treafonable plans which have been fince concerted. When one villain is fuffered to efcape, it encourages another to proceed. It has been a matter of general furprize, that no notice was taken of the incendiary publication of the Quakers of the 20th of November laft; a publication evidently intended to promote fedition and treafon, and to encourage the enemy.' This perfuafive eloquence was foon followed by the effect, which the malignant wretch, who made ufe of it, intended it to produce. A memorial drawn up in the name of the Whigs of Philadelphia, and figned by a blood, thirfty printer named Bradford, and others, was prefented to a gang of revolutionary
volutionary plunderers, denominated the COUNCIL OF SAFETY, calling for justice on the heads of those Quakers who were concerned in the declara, tion. This memorial, from which one would imagine, that Hebert, Marat, Prudhomme, and the other fcribbling cut-throats of France, borrowed their invocations to pillage and maffacre, concluded in thefe words: "We, therefore, requeft the Council of Safety to take into their confideration the paper figned John Pemberton; and, if it fhall appear to them to be of a dangerous tendency, or of a treasonable nature, that they would commit the figner of it, together with fuch other perfons as they can difcover were concerned therein, into close cuftody, until fuch time as fome mode of trial has afcertained the full degree of their guilt and punishment; in doing of which, the Council ought to difregard the man, his connections, interefts, riches, poverty, or principles of religion, and to punish with the utmoft rigour." On this profligate and fanguinary memorial Paine reasoned thus ::- The moft cavilling Tory cannot accufe the memorial of containing the least in. gredient of ferfecution! The free spirit, on which the American cause is founded, difdains to mix with fuch an impurity, and leaves it as rubbish, fit only for narrow and fufpicious minds to grovel in. Had the Quakers minded their religion and their bufinefs, they might have lived through this dispute in enviable ease; but now their conduct comes as a matter of criminality before either the authority of the particular State, in which it is acted, or of the Continent againft which it operates. Every attempt to fupport the authority of the King of Great Britain over America, is treason against every State; therefore it is impoffible that any one State can pardon, or fcreen from punishment, an offender against them all."
At the time this hardened villain was thus crying for the blood of the loyal Quakers, for oppofing the measures of the Congrefs, nineteen-twentieths of the people of Pennsylvania were averfe to thofe measures, and eagerly wifhed for a reconciliation with the Mother Country; but, as the rebel M'Kean obferved at the time, the other twentieth had the arms in their hands. Thofe glittering minions, thofe play-acting generals and captains, who difgufted the Philadelphians by their diffolute manners, and by their shameful want of zeal in the fervice of their King, have ftudiously reprefented the people of Pennsylvania as being univerfally treacherous, and difaffected to the royal caufe. Never did timidity and neglect of duty feek for thelter from a more vile and impudent mifreprefentation. Had the residents in the county of Middlefex been as loyal as those in Pennsylvania, America would to this day have formed a part of the British empire.
But, to return to the Quakers. The poisonous doctrines of Paine were but flowly adopted by the Whigs. Plans of confifcation and murder were not to be, all at once, rendered popular, even amongst those who had dared to set up the standard of rebellion. Availing himself, however, of every circumftance favourable to the views of his bafe employers, he, by degrees, fucceeded in accomplishing the object to which all his nefarious labours were directed.
"The Quakers," said he, in his Crifis, dated April, 1777, " trusting to their fhort-fighted fagacity, have, moft unluckily for themselves, made their declaration, and we ought now to take them at their word. They have voluntarily excommunicated themselves from our union, and ought not to be restored to it again but by payment and penitence."-He next draws a picture of the pecuniary embarraffments of the Congrefs, and of the Whigs in general; and concludes with the following exhortation to plunder the Quakers, I copy it entire, as a complete fpecimen of republican reafoning;