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and blew the trumpet of war: if the modern Quakers profess to follow his principles, they must allow of war, as one of his principles, taught him, as he pretends, from the Lord God, or they must consider him not infallible, but as an impious blafphemer and impostor,
I am, Sir, yours, &c. May 8th, 1799.
To the Editor.
exertions in the cause of religion, and moral truth are prompted by a generous and sincere desire to support and preserve the peace and happiness of society; I feel myself peculiarly gratified in being able to consult so honourable a design, by communicating an event which in some meafure serves to prove that such worthy efforts do not fait of effect.
In a Book-Society established in one of the eastern counties, and consisting of Clergymen of the Eftablished Church, the Monthly Review had long
been received and read; its authority was often referred to as introductory of many of the books which constituted their literary collection ; and as its influence was corrected by the admission of the British Critic, the confidence of the society was not often abused -some few instances had occurred before the British Critic shared its sway, wherein the principles of the members suffered some degree of violence from now and then being sure prized with a production which in its political and religious tenets did not meet their ideas of Civil and Ecclefiaftical Polity; but notwithstanding they were uniformly attached to that Conftitution of Church and State by which the present Government is regulated, they could tolerate sentiments which did not exactly conform to their own; and although they did not embrace them, they were not so exceptious as to refule them a portion of their reading.
Since the British Critic has been published it has constantly shared in the direction of their literary divisions: this journal was first produced at the beginning of the French revolution, with the avowed design to counteract the revolutionary sentiments of those writers, who, misguided by a mistaken zeal for universal liberty, or impelled by a treacherous inclination to involve the well-modified government of this country in all the licentious disorder of modern republicanism, over-run the press with their pernicious doc. trines; attempting to take captive the sense of the people, and to surprize them into affent by the plausibility of their tenets.
It was now that the Monthly Review began to unfold itself; its political and religious diffent had already prepared it to meet more ihan halfway the innovating schemes of these writers; the lane guage of its dissent was observed to grow stronger and more decided, and the partiality of their criticism became more marked ; still, bowever, this fociety refused it not tolerance, aware that the con
ftitutional integrity of the Britsh Critic would always afford a safe resource and secure dependence; whilst it became a matter of cu. riosity to trace the powerless endeavours of the Monthly to render the well-devifed plan of its antagonist abortive.
At length the Anti-Jacobin appeared, formed upon a more direct and comprehensive fyftem of detection and defence : the mischief was increasing, and means of energetic investigation and positive conviction became indispensible. These the talents and opportuni. ties of the authors of the Anti-Jacobin could amply supply: supe. rior intelligence and extensive information stamped its pages with incontrovertible authority.—The Reviews of opposition became the objects of its deserved reprehension, and their falsehoods, their misrepresentations, their partialities, were exposed to the public eye.--It will be almost superfluous to add that the Monthly Re. view stood convicted with the rest.
Then it was that the Members of this Society perceived how injurious the liberal reception which they had given to this Review was to the cause of truth : the latitude of opinion which it encou.
in religion, morals and politics, made it of dangerous tendency: the circulation which it promoted of books manifestly planned, constituted and published to revile, debase, and if poflible overturn the established orders of this kingdom, rendered it in it. self subversive of that religious, moral, and political restraint so effential to preserve social tranquillity and union.--They referred themselves to its critique ; they found the Socinian, the Latitudinarian, the Republican, triumphing in its journals.-A Priestley, a Godwin, a Paine, there found supporters, advocates ; may I not say, patrons.
It was time then that Clergymen of the Established Church should no longer hesitate to evince themselves the unequivocal alfertors of the dignity of their Lord, the defenders of his religion, the upholders of his righteousness, the vindicators of his precepts, the friends of their fellow-lubjects and their King.--The hour of vigilance and decision was arrived: the question was no longer relative, and the Monthly Review was excluded by the unanimous defire of the Society from their literary collettion.
They considered that they were Clergymen of the Establishment, and that besides their positive duties of ecclesiastical and parochial service, they had other collateral obligations to acquit themselves of, the defence of good order, the preservation of social comfort : whatever therefore militated against either became the proper object of their censure.
Much of the mischief which has embroiled society has been begun and continued by the circulation of irreligious and immoral writings; and if it be the duty of such men to oppose the progress of the sentiments professed in them, à fortiori, it is their duty to oppose the authority which recommends them and throws them into circulation. They cannot, perhaps, however devoutly to be wished, arrest the motion of the heart of the conspiracy, and Lo put a stop to its vital pulsation at once; but they may, they cer.
tainly can impede its progress, by cutting off fome of the material arteries and so circumscribe the extent of its general circulation.Thele form some of the most material of their collateral duties; fupineness ariling from an inactive dependence upon the security of national eltablishment, has too long laid our best interests open to the fecret and indefatigable designs of our adverfaries.-That ncgative relistance which wraps us up in the selfish folds of individual cale and lafety, leaves tholc adverfaries at full liberty to plan, to frame, and execute.-They are daily increasing in their strength, whilst we make little or no addition to our force ; which it is to be feared by their secret operations and open attacks even now confiderably luffers.
We have seen a Porteus, a Landaff, a Daubeny, a Jones, advance with undaunted firmness to repel those attacks; we have seen their prowess, and success to their endeavours: still if the hands of our leaders (although a hoft in themselves) be not strengthened by the collected efforts of the rest of the Clergy, that succeis will only prove of partial and temporary consequence, or at best, perhaps, will terminate in a short-lived and inferior advantage.
Let me then be allowed to close this letter with one or two seasonable fuggeftions.-A Clergyman, bc his sphere of action confined or extensive, be his station in the church exalted or subordinate, has many opportunities of rendering extraordinary tervice to the general cause of the cltablishment; his education gives him ability, the religious and moral character of his profeflion gives him influence, and the general avocations of his parochial duties conftantly present him with lubjects for his praltical attention : be it then his especial care to check the progrels of infidelity, by fortifying the minds of his flock with the first principles of Christian truths ; let him not shrink from the toil of explanation ; but whilst he rouzes the attention of the well-inforined, let him in. fruét the ignorant, not only in the rudiments of the faith of their Redeemer, but in the purport of that service and public form of prayer in which the church teaches them to worship him.-- Does the restless fpirit of sedition seek to low the tares of ditcontent in the minds of his flock, let not the pastor forget that in forming tlic real Christian, he must make himn a good neighbour and a peaceful subječt; it would not, therefore, take him beyond the pale of his office were he to strive to defend the unwary and the doubtful man from the deligns of the turbulent and crafty, and prevent him from being drawn into the agency of the latter, by expoling to the capa. city of his understanding, the falle and spurious reasonings which are made ule of to betray him, by describing to his conviction the reality of those advantages and comforts, of which his aflent to tuch reafonings must eventually deprive hin.
All this cannot be more readily effected than by fedulously es. posing the circulation of those books which are.the engines of infidelity and dillention, and by carefully dilleminating thote of con• trary tendency.
“ Fas eft ab hofte doceri ;” we have seen the secrecv, the unre. mitting perseverance with which the enemies of our Church and No. XI, VOL. 111,
State have laboured to insinuate their principles, by the introdare tion of writings which enforce them; why then should we be less a&ive than they; we, who have a nobler cause to support the cause of Religion, Morality, and good Government ? --The justice of that cause rejects the delpciable artifees of stratagem, but if we carelessly neglect our guard, and suffer our industry to grow remits, the caule itself may fall, and we its advocates and friends may be involved in its ruin.
To the Editor.
THINK your correspondent, under the signature G. may be diflenters are at present active in their hostility in our constitution in.church and state;' and this induces me to attract the notice of the public to the following statement, for the sruth of which I shall conlider myself anlwerable.
In a populous commercial town, at no great distance from Leeds, in Yorkshire, where the officiating clergy are certainly not remarkable for any great deficiency in attending to the duties of iheit ftazion, a perfectly good understanding lad fublisted for a number of years between them, and the resident dissenting ministers. The baptist minister, in particular, with great apparent candour, attended frequently at divine service in the church; and the clergy had contributed, I believe, handlomely towards the baptist million into foreign parts: though both parties, it is probable, expressed with candour their difference of opinion, and that publicly, yet they appeared determined that the bond of peace should not be broken.
Now this was emalily as it should be ; but a pernicious pamphles which had the appetrance of being circulated in rather a clandeftine wanner, and that for a considerable time, felly, at length, into the hands of the clergy. Great, indeed, in all probability, must have been their surprize, when they found that the circulator of this malignant book was that identical minister to whom they had fincere. ly given the right hand of fellowship, and with whom they walked in the house of God as friends. The book conlists of exer: cts from the diffenting gentleman's letters to Mr. While; and the spirit with which it is written may be collected from the following short pecimen :
“ The christian religion is an address to the reason and understandings of mankind: establishments are an address to their prejudices and pallions. The language of the christian religion is--prove all things, hold falt that which is good: but that of the civil magistrate is, I have proved and examined for you, and unless you hold fast what I have determined to be right you shall be deprived of many temporal advantages here; and, without doubt, perill everlastingly hereafter."
To my apprehension it contains, moreover, a number of inflam. matory falichoods highly disgraceful to the left which gave it births
and when it was first put into my hands I really considered it as a violent Jacobin publication. It is fupposed to have been the production of a neighbouring private press, which has already attained a character not very honourable to it's possessor.
'Now, Sir, as I cannot attribute this translation to a nasty narrow undermining hypocritical fpirit in a man whom I really believe to be a christian, I attribute it, without hesitation, to a sectarian influ. ence, which, in my opinion proves; in union with other collateral circumstances, that a democratic bias operates very strongly, and, perhaps, generally, at present, in the minds of the most respectable of This description of dislenters, and one collateral circumstance I will with your permission, trke the liberty to mention :
A gentleman of the same place of well known loyalty had occasion for the second part of Paine's Rights of Man, he made his applicasion to a Itationer, one of the baptist's hearers, a reputed democrat, for the book. The bookleller told him he had none.*
" Have you not really, Sir," said the gentleman.--" No, Sir," replied the bookseller.-" Come, Sir," said the gentleman, “don't jelt with me, for I really want one." The book leller than flew into a rage, and said, “ Do
honour ?" “Ņot at all, Sir," replied the gemlcman, and held the book up to his eyes. But, Sir, I will not avail myself of the advantage you have given me to injure you, if you will let me have one." The matter was now easily coinpromised; and the Gentleman is, I believe, at this day, in por fellion of the Rights of Man.
One farther observation is I think a fair one, of the two parties which pretty generally divide our book clubs--the dissenters, if they join either, are, I believe, almost universally seen with the democratic party; the writer is master of one instance where this is the cale; and he is convinced it is not a lolitary one. It is, therefore; devoutly to be wilhed that, instead of endeavouring to vindicate their body from charges-which are only top true, the loyal amongst the diflenters would exert their influence to restrain a lpirit which they are, with propriety, alhamed of; and which, I believe, to be an instructive relic of that injudicious, not to fay, inchristian, coalition, which took place no long time ago in opposition to the test act. I believe, Sir, the character of your correlpondent is such that his word requires no verification by an oath; it is past, and if his health permit he will support it. His hand writing is, as the Monthly Reviewer justly observes, too bad, when once known, to be concealed; and his nane is, with the Editor of the Anti. Jacobin, to be produced upon any proper occafion.
The Diffenting gentleman's letters were written by a Mr. Tow. good, pellibly one of the gentlemen whose names are mentioned as being of the committee of the revolution society for the year 1792.
Vide Rivington's Annual Register for that year, Appendix to ths Chronicle, P. 135.
The gentleman immediate!y upon entering the shop has covered one which bad been left upon the counter with his hand.