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volume.”* The passages which I have quoted are gross and coarse insults; but they affect yourself only, and not me. This is more extraordinary, as in other parts of your work you write with great candour and liberality. Your conclusion t I particularly admire. My address to you on the subject of necessity was uniformly respectful. I
It was particularly illiberal in you, and what I am willing to hope you will never repeat, to use the term conventicle, in speaking of the places of public worship in which I and Mr. Lindsey officiate. Would not that contemptuous appellation have applied equally well to the societies of the primitive Christians, or to those of all the Dissenters from the Church of Rome before the Reformation ? And what is it that has given your places of public worship a more honourable title, but the sanction of the civil powers, with which my religion never had
any alliance? I glory in such independence and opprobrium.
By conventicle is usually meant an unlawful assembly. But since the late act of parliament in favour of Dissenters, our places of worship are as legal as yours. The only difference between them is, that ours are not supported by the wealth of the state as yours are; so that I am unjustly compelled to contribute to your maintenance, || while you, instead of paying any thing towards mine, insult me for it. Our meeting-houses are equally known to the laws, and protected by them. If by conventicles you meant nothing more
Charge, p. 66. (P.) Tracts, pp. 66, 67. † “ Though truth," says Dr. Horsley,“ in these controversies can be only on one side; be (the advocate of that form of sound words, which was originally delivered to the saints) will indulge, and he will avow, the charitable opinion, that sincerity may be on both. And he will enjoy the reflection, that by an equal sincerity, through the power of that blood which was shed equally for all, both parties may at last find equal mercy,
“ In the transport of this holy hope he will anticipate that glorious consummation, when faith shall be absorbed in knowledge, and the fire of controversy for ever quenched. When the same generous zeal for God and truth, which too often, in this world of folly and confusion, sets those at widest variance whom the similitude of virtuous feelings should the most unite, shall be the cement of an indissoluble friendship; when the innumerable multitude of all nations, kindreds and people, (why sliould I not add, of all sects and parties ?) assembled round the throve, shall, like the first Christians, be of one soul, and one mind, giving praise with one consent to Him that sitteth on the Throne, and to the Lamb that was slain to redeem them by his blood.” Tracts, pp. 72, 74, 75.
I See Vol. IV. pp. 150, 152, 155.
Ś Charge, p. 38. (P.) “ It was, therefore, that sublime doctrine, which is at this day taught in the conventicles of Dr. Priestley and Mr. Lindsey, the doctrive of our Lord's meer undeified humanity, that Theodotus, the learned tanver of Byzantium, a deserter of his Lord, and a fugitive from his country, broached at Rome, in the end of the second century." Tracts, pp. 38, 39. See supra, pp. 107, 108. l! See, on this complaint, Vol. XV. p. 392, Note *. VOL. XVIII.
than a term of reproach, the good manners of the present age ought to have protected them from such an insult.
If your pride, as a churchman,* and the contemptuous airs
you give yourself with respect to Dissenters, be founded on the idea of your being a member of a great establishment, pray, Sir, what is your church establishment in this country? It is a thing of yesterday compared to the far more ancient and venerable Church of Roine, whose members consider you as a schismatic and a sectary as much as myself. If, on the contrary, you boast of your separation from the Church of Rome, that mother of harlots and abominations, consider that the community of Christians to which I belong is several removes further from her than yours, and is therefore less likely to be one of those harlots of which she is the mother.
On any consideration, therefore, I think that a style of greater modesty would have become you better. The time is approaching that will try every man's work, what it is; and if we learn the pure faith of the gospel, and our lives be conformable to it, it will not then be inquired whether we learned it in a church or a conventicle; in a church such as you have access to and from which I am excluded, or in such conventicles as the apostles were contented with.
As you strongly and repeatedly recommend the writings of Bishop Bull, with which, I own, I was but little ac. quainted, I have been induced to purchase them; and having looked pretty carefully through them, I find they have been the chief storehouse of weapons to yourself and others. Having found, therefore, where your great strength lies, I cannot help wishing that you would publish the whole of your great champion's works in English, and thus put forth all your strength at once. It would give me sincere pleasure to see you do this, and at the same time to avow yourself their defender.
As you rank yourself among those “whom the indulgence of Providence has released from the more laborious offices of the priesthood,”ť to whom your “ more occupied brethren which they
* Charge, p. 71. (P.) Where Dr. Horsley thus lauds his best-constituted church : “ An extensive erudition in Pagan as well as Christian antiquity, joined with a critical understanding of the sacred text, is that which hath so long enabled the clergy of the Church of England to take the lead among Protestants as the apologists of the apostolic faith and discipline; and to baffle the united strength of their adversaries of all denominations." Tracts, p. 71.
+ I find no trace of any Christian priesthood in the New Testament, except what belongs to all Christians, who are figuratively styled kings and priests unto God. (P.)
have a right to look up-for support and succour in the common cause,” this may be one of the services to which you “stand peculiarly engaged,” as well as to answer my History of the Corruptions of Christianity: “ It is,” you say, "for them” (speaking of those among whom you rank your. self) “ to stand forth the champions of the common faith, and the advocates of their order. It is for them to wipe off the aspersions injuriously cast upon the sons of the establishment, as uninformed in the true grounds of the doctrine
teach, or insincere in the belief of it. To this duty they are indispensably obliged by their providential exemption from work of a harder kind. It is the proper business of the station which is allotted them in Christ's household ; and deep will be their shame, and insupportable their punishment, if in the great day of reckoning it should appear that they have received the wages of a service which hath never been performed.”
I am glad, Sir, to find that you have so just a sense of the important duties of your elevated situation; and, thinking the translation of Bishop Bull's works to be naturally comprised in your description of the duties incumbent upon you in it, I am ready to join with your “ weaker brethren,” Í as you call them, (whose attainments you represent as very low,) in inviting you to undertake it; imagining, as I sincerely do, that the cause of truth will be promoted by it; and to some of those weaker brethren it may be more agreeable, as well as take up less time, to read Bishop Bull's works in English than in Latin. In my opinion, no writings are more easy to be refuted than those of this bishop; and though encumbered with what you call the laborious offices of the priesthood, as well as engaged in a variety of other pursuits, I shall not think it any great addition to my labours if I undertake to reply to you, thus ably as you may think yourself supported.
You have, I perceive, some advantages which I have not, especially in having access to scarce books. I, for instance, had not so much as heard of the work of Daniel Zwicker, from which you suppose I have borrowed most of my arguments; whereas you appear to be well acquainted with it, and all the writings of that author, or you could not have said as you do, " Nor is a single argument to be found in the writings either of Zwicker or Episcopius, which is not unanswerably confuted by our learned Dr. George Bull, afterwards Lord Bishop of St. David's, in three celebrated • Charge, p. 5. (P.) Tracts, pp. 4,5.
+ Ibid. p. 4.
treatises, which deserve the particular attention of every one who would take upon him to be either a teacher or an historian of the Christian faith."*
You should not, however, have charged me with borrow. ing from a work which, though in your possession, you might have known was not very common. A learned friend, whom I desired to inquire for it, tells me that it is not to be found at any bookseller's in London, in the British Museum, or in the Bodleian or Sion Libraries; and that at last he inquired of particular persons most likely to have it, but none of them could tell him where it was to be met with.t I shall endeavour, however, to make the most of such books as I have, and in time I may be able to procure more.
But what is of more importance than any thing else in these studies is, a sincere love of truth, and a cool and patient investigation of it, which I shall endeavour to cultivate. I hope also to keep my mind always open to conviction, and that I shall not neglect to avail myself of any light that may be furnished me, from friend or from foe.
Hoping to hear from you as soon as your leisure will permit, and assuring you of the pleasure it will give me to continue this correspondence, till each of us shall have advanced what may occur to us on the subject,
I am, dear Sir,
• Charge, p. 9. (P.) Tracts, p. 9.
tl find in the General Biographical Dictionary, under the article Comenius, that Zwicker wrote three defences of his original work, entitled Irenicon Irenicorum, in answer to Comenius; and that Bishop Bull was accused by D. Crellius of not having read those pieces, for want of which he censured Zwicker for some things which he otherwise would not have objected to him. (P.) See supra, p. 48.
The titles of Zwicker's works, to which Dr. Priestley here refers, are ihus given by Sandius :
« Irenicum Irenicorum, seu Reconciliatoris Christianorum hodiernorum Norma triplex; sana omnium Hominum Ratio, Scriptura sacra, et Traditiones. Amstelædami a. 1658, 12 Novemb. 89.
“ Irenico-Mastix prior, seu nova Confirmatio Irenici contra Comenium, a. 1661, 15 Januarii, 89.
“ Irenico-Mastix posterior, iteratè victus et constrictus, imò obmutescens, seu novum et memorabile Exemplum infelicissimæ Pugnæ Dn. Joh. Amos Comenii, contra Irenici Irenicorum Autorem, a. 1662, 19 Martii, 8o.
“ Ejusdem pars specialis, seu finalis Confutatio Comenii, Hoornbeckii, et aliorum, a. 1662, 15 Septembris circiter : in titulo tamen 1667, annus positus est, in 80." Bibliotheca Anti-Trinitariorum, 1684, pp. 152, 153.
Besides these, Zwicker left in MS., on the same subject, “ Responsio ad Friderici Sylvii scriptum, cui talem dederat titulum; • Dissertatio Epistolaris ad CL. virum Danielem Zwickerum, Socinianæ de persona Christi sententiæ hodie Promachum, quâ ET IKpois subjicitur, super certamine ejus cum celeberrimis viris DD. Ioh. Amoso Comenio et Iohanne Hoornbeckio, et pugna instauratur.'" Ibid. p. 156.
ARTICLE OF THE MONTHLY REVIEW FOR SEPTEMBER, 1783,7
Answer to the Reply
FORMER ANIMADVERSIONS IN THAT WORK. I
A WRITER in the Monthly Review having made an elabo. rate answer to my Reply to his former animadversions on my history, it will be expected that I take some notice of it. On its own account I certainly should not have thought it necessary, any more than I should with respect to his former remarks. But being written in a specious and imposing manner, as the former were ; and especially having the advantage of going without expense into the hands of almost all readers, I shall notice an article or two in it, in which he himself evidently thinks that he has the most advantage, and only give my opinion in general with respect to the rest.
As to the temper with which this controversy has been conducted, I appeal to our readers, whether my Reply was not candid and temperate, beyond what his first remarks were entitled to; and whether his Answer be not extremely uncandid and insolent. I do not pretend to be a judge in my own cause. I know, however, that, whereas he supposes I used the term criticiser by way of contempt, I only used it for the sake of variety, instead of critic, reviewer, &c. meaning simply one that criticises.
After quoting a passage from Justin Martyr, I added, “ This language has all the appearance of an apology for an opinion contrary to the general and prevailing one ; as that of the humanity of Christ (at least with the belief of
P. S. No. X. of “ Letters to Dr. Horsley,” 1783. Sce supra, p. 46.