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I beg leave farther to ask Mr. G. one or two questions with a particular reference to this subject. Is it not within his knowledge, that fome of the Calvinistic Diffenters have recently learnt, from Cure nections in France, that their opinions are gaining ground falt in the French army? and is it not within his knowledge that many of the kaine Hefcription earnestly hope that a republic will eventually be established in connection with the fame religious principles in this kingdom?
P. S. I found my claim to the ground I have taken the liberty to occupy at the outlet of my letter on G.'s own words. bowever be urged that several amongst the orthodox Diflenters have been active and strenawus in political concerns I am forry that it is true in some instances, but I'maintain they are very few compared with the body of the orthodox Diflenters :" and upon his remarks selative to Mr. Boucher's Discourses. The instances I have ad. duced are not selected from the young, and inexperienced; the miniiter cannot be much less than eighty years of age, and his hearer, I Thould apprehend, certainly not letszó than thrcescore winters worn."
6. It may
To ibe Editor. SIR, CHERE appeared, some time fince, in that ingenious vehicle of
infidelity, called the Monthly Magazine, a paper which roundly denied that the Scriptures of the O! Tėliament discovered any trace of a perional plurality in the Godhead. I sent to the publither a demonstration of the fall hood of that affertion; but my pains might have been fared. The only notice taken of the refutation, was a bint upon the cover of the next number, that the Monthly Magazine was not defigned to become a vehicle of theoJogical controverfy. You will probably agree, that the inference to be drawn from these premises is, that any thing derogatory to Christianity was acceptable, but that arguments in defence of it. were inadmillible to that Magazine. ... “It gives me much pleasure that I am able to contraft with the above, the conduer you have pursued, relative to the censures that have been paffed, in your publication, on the exertions of Dillenters in village preaching. By your impartial admifsion of arguments on cacb fide of the question, I hope your readers will be enabled to poffefs themfelves of the ground upon which it really stands: I defire nothing more than that they Nhould know the truthy, and act accordingly. } have delayed replying to the papers inserted in your miscellaneous department for February, partly because I thought almost every thing advanced in them had been precluded by my former letters; and parely becaufe expected to have feen, in your last number, fomething additional that might have de manded my attention. Being ditappointed in this refpect, I trouble you again at present, under the apprelication that a longer delay would be liable to misinterpretation.
1 decline entering the lifts with such an antagonift as the writer of that virulent letier (P. 214,) at your fecond volume. He bas" Laved me the trouble and degradation of such a contest, by exposing, the weakness of his caufe in a manner that is accesible to the comprehenfion, I imagine, of all your readers. In order to ftiga, matize Protestant Diffenters with ditasfection to the British government, he is under the neceflity of lifting into their uumber,.indi-. viduals who have published their contempt of all revealed religion, and of all social worthip. I am only forry, that he thould have been the occasion of introducing into the index of your former volume, so striking an inconfittency as the following; “Godwin, a Diflinting Alinifter, p. 632.5: - Godwin declares no perfon in bis. right forces will frequent places of public worsbip, p. 91." What I said to you, Sir, in my tirit letter, which I did not then expect to fee in print, I now beg beave to say to all your readers ; PROTESTANT DISSEN TERS ARE NOT INFIDELS NOR DESPISERS OF
It is only by their attendance on public torfbip that the law recognizes them as Dilenters; and it tolerates then only upon their profefling themselves to be Christians and Proteftants, and that they believe the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament, as con. monly received among Protestant churches, to contain the revealed will of God, and that they receive the same as the rule of their doca trine and practice. Stat. 19 Geo. IIL cap. 44. If there be persons who once were Diflenters, but who now are intidels, to them the Diflenters inay, with the stricteft propriety, apply the language of the Apostle :. They went not from us, but they were not of us: for if ihey had been of us, they would, no doubt, have continued with us : but thcy went out, that they miglut be unade manifeft, that they were not all of us."., 1. John ii. 19.
Your correspondent X. writes in a manner nach make becoming a gentleman and a Chriftian than the former; but I think, that, if he turns back to my first leter, he will find, that it does not conq; tuin the principal positions which he controverts. . I neveraflerted that the religions meetings in villages were beld “ for the purpose of attaching people to Goveriment." 1. 217. I firmly believe that they have a tendency to render the populace peaceable and useful subjects, under any form of civil government; but the purport of my letter was to maintain that these meetings were held purely for religious purposes, and were by no means designed, or adapted, to propagate fedition. Respecting intercellion for the parochial clergy, I did not wert it to be made generally, or throughout the kingdom, at the village meetings ; not that I knew it to be otherwise, but because I bad not sufficient information to serve for the ground for such an affertion ) spoke expressly of the religious meetings in my own neigbbourbood, that is, in Buckinghamshire and Bedfordšhire'; at several of which I have been a personal witness of the fact; and at many others, I know, from ample testimony, that the fame interceflion is usually made. Your correspondent has also inserted the word only (P. 215) in making a quotation, where I had not used it; but I imagine this to bave been inadvertently, and it rather obfcures, G 3
than changes, the meaning of the sentence. I fill affirm, thit, lolar as my knowledge extends, it is chiefly in villages where no clergymais resides, and in hamlets, which have no parochial place of worship, that the Diflenters have lately begun to preach ; and that they avoid places which are bleiled with pious and zealous clergynien, By the latter, I do not mean those gentlemen, however respectable otherwise, who generally omit, in their public ministrations, the important doctrines of the atoneinent of Christ, and the renovating work of the Holy Ghoft. But I know not a single initance of Diflenters recently intruding themselves into a parih, were these truths; which tbry judge to be effential to the salvation of finners, are clearly and usually inforced in the church. I could produce Atriking facts of a conduct directly the reverse, if there were room, or occasion, for alledging them.
The case of the Reverend J. Martin is cited-by X, in suppport of the political censures pafled upon Diffenters; but I think it is not in point. I highly esteem Mr. M. but his declaration at Broad Street was furely ill-judged. When he bad intimated to his bearers, that he believed some of them would join the French, if they landed; he reduced them to the dilemma, of either acquiescing silently in the charge, or publicly resenting it. They adopted the latter; and all that it proves is, that they were unwilling to be thought diraffe.ied to the government under which they live.
If your correspondent B. M. apprehends, that I defired the truth of his statement, as to the number of places lately registered, and the poverty of the attendants, he mistakes my design. All that I meant to or pose, is the conclnfion, that be drew from these facts, compared with the former proceedings of the Jacobites, who were the most violent enemies of Protestant Diflenters at the commences inent of this century. This analogy', corroborated only by a preconceived opinion of Dissenters which I think erroneous, seeins to me scarcely admiflible, even as presumptive evidence. My judge ment of the defign's and conduct of Protestant Diflenters in the diocese of Calisbury, is formed upon my personal knowledge of feveral Ministers who reside thereį and especially upon the printed testimony of my excellent friend Mr. Kingibury, at Southampton, whofe integrity and loyalty I believe to be unimpeachable, and who cannot be ignorant of what is done by his neighbouring Brethren. As to the declarations in the concluding paragraph of my firft letter, I beg the favour of B. M. to disprove the truth of cay orie of them. I am ready to naine a bundred places, where the conduct is invariably pursued.
Permit me, in closing, to exprefs iny hearty acquiescence in the frontiment, exprefferl in your firtt mumber, that the departments in which you review the reviewers, is the most useful, and most necefó fary part of your plan. The excellent remarks of Metellus, by which t was introduced, might juftly have precluded those cena fures of Protestant Diflenters, which have arisen from clailing * among thein profefled unbelievers of Scripture. Recomniendo ing the ailention of all your readers, to the obfervations of Meiel,
Tus on a passage in the Monthly Review, in Pp. 317, and 439, of your firit volume; and hoping that none of your learned cor, refpondents will be regardless of the Latin adages prefixed to that branch of your work, in p. 53.
I am, Sir, your well-wisher,
On a late Charge of Jacobinical Principles againft - Cole
fairly fay, a charge of Jacobinical principles against one of our moit diftinguished colleges, at a time like the present, is a charge of no mean account. Such are the sentiments which a late report of a cer. tain secret committee has awakened in every mind, that the idea of a feminary of cducation, which has always been looked upon as one of the very first in this country, having been for several years past in the habits of setting the moft pernicious examples to our rising generation, at an age in which the impressions they receive are of the deepest con. sequence, must have blled every well. Thinking person with a degree
of horror. At the same time that a society, which successive genera* tions have been taught to consider with the highest gratitude and ad
miration, which has affordked its foftering protection to some of the greatest ornaments of our history, as well as of our own day; and Jaitly, which is rich, almost beyond example, in the endowments of royal munificence, should, at a time when every exertion is requisite for the support of good order in civil society, be found capable of Such an example, bears certainly upon the face of it a very paradox. ical appearance.
It is, at any rate, an inconteftible fact, that, in a volume lately offered for publication, and which is evidently the production of no contemptible scribbler, fuch a charge has been moft vchemently urged in a long and very eloquent note. The tidings of an attempt like this, of course, speedily reached the Society; who, encouraged, as it is said, by the words of Lord Kenyon, even truth may be a libel, threatened a prosecution, and thus stopped the sale of the book till the offenfive passage was cancelled. How far they acted with propriety upon this occafion, it is not my present intention to enquire ; suffice it for me, as' A FRIEND TO TRUTH, and a lover of my King, my country, and its conitication, to fay that I was one of the for. tunate few who obtained a copy of the book in its original form, and that, from the most dilonteretted love to fociety, I am determined, by your permission, to examine into the validity of the charge ; and te endeavour to thew whether the College in question, may still be entrutter with the care of our fons, or whether, as we have been
taught by this writer to suppose, we are to consider it as a deteftable Jacobinical College, where the rising generation fee the mofi per. nicious examples, in the adoption and conduet of those very persons whom they are taught to respect and imitate examples which may make she age to come even more rueful of the consequences than that in whiph we live.
After a few remarks on the conduct of the Society to a particular gentleman, we are told, “Alas ! vain is the search for equity amid the party.intrigues of those spruce, antiquated democrats, with which this Society is so well locked. Long had their fpirit lain dormant, from the want of a proper opportunity to display itself; 'till at laft, fortunately, a pamphlet was published in Cambridge, which called loudly for a prosecution of the Author, by the better. disposed members of the University. Upon the occasion of this trial we relate the circumstance with a degree of horror-two moit con. spicuous men in the Society, totally unmindful of the reputation of that very inftitution which raised and feeds them, had the audacity to fit, in the eyes of the whole University and of the world, on the same feat with the defendant, as abertors of his cause ;, and to prompt him with every contemptible equivoque and quibble, which would occur to their distorted fancies, in cxtenuarion of the most glaring and shameful expressions, And, what is even more remarkable in a Society consisting of fixty fellows and a master, three only could be found who would join in the prosecution ; when the rest of the University, hardly larger in collection than this Society of itself, produced TWENTY-FOUR! No sooner was such a declaration of principles thus publicly made, than the junior Sheridan and Erskine, the patriot son of Earl Derby with his adherent Hornbys, and a copious litt of like-affected Irish, flocked to this standard of instruction. The examples they saw they followed with complacency, the very air they breathed was a grateful democratic medium, the very teniple in which they knelt was frequently prophaned with noisy Jacobinical harangues, the grateful effervescence of youthful warmth and youth. ful fancy; and thus a nest of Jacobins was built in the noblett foundation of one of our princely Universities, where, in fatal parental affection, are cherished the infant brood.”'
In his expression, Spruce, antiquated democrats, the writer is evi. dently a copy ist of the celebrated author of the Pursuits of LITERATURE, who, in a note in one of his late editions, applied these very words to the members of the same Society,
Respecting the conduct of the two persons alluded to on the occasion of Mr. Frend's trial, I confess it has always appeared to me to be
open to considerable censure. It is true, these gentlemen had been for many years in labits of intimacy with Mr. Frend, and therefore, we are told, it was an amiable weakness, if a weakness at all, to endeavour to serve him in a season of need. But let me ask, was not the friendthip which they owed to this College, infinitely superior to that which any individual could claim from them and ought not every sentiment toward such an individual, however warm, to have