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of Mr. W. who would not have been influenced by Mr. S. Both prayed for the divine teaching of the Holy Spirit to assist their inquiry, and both believed that iheir prayers were answered, and I do not know that we have any right to dispute it; for, although they disagree in some inferior points, yet we must observe that they perfectly agree in the grand article of salvation only by Jesus Christ, and they might possibly be permitied to differ in some unessential matters, in order to their more extensive usefulness. I have produced this singular contrast for the purpose of shiewing how guarded we ought to be against censuring those who differ froin us in religious opinions with respect to things that are mysterious, or not essentially important; and sincerely clo I hope that Mr. Fuller and liis friends will profit froin it, and no more stain the pages of your Micellany with uncandid and uncharitable epistles. Though they do not consider the adinission of iheir letters as any favour, yet they must allow it to be a proof of your impırtiality, which I trust will always be one distinguishing feature of your publication. I grant that it becomes every sincere believer to contend earnestly " for" what he believes to be “ the faith,” yet let it be done in the spirit of charity and brotherly love; and I cannot help remarking, that I thirik Amicus might have inflicted a sufficient castigation upon your Hoxton correspondent for any hasty, uncandid, or arrogant expressions which le might have used respecting Mr. Fuller, without all that contemptuous Language directed against his youth, which could serve to no purpose but that of irritation; and it brought to my mind, Mr. Editor, the well known history of David and Goliah; but I recollect that the boasting giant was oviu come by the stripling youth, and at last slain with his own sword. . .
I am, „CROYDON.
Your most obedient servant,
REPLY TO THE LETTER
INDEPENDENCE OF CHRISTIAN ASSEMBLIES
SIR, DESIROUS of pleasing all men for their ediíication, I come forward * once more in your Miscellany to give Mr. A. B. an opportunity of exhibiting a further display of his knowledge and of his critical abilities, by declaring myself perfectly dissatisfied with Sis remarks on my letter, he not seeming, to me, either to understand me, or, if he did, not to be willing to enlighten me; but as he comes to no conclusion which may either remoy my doubts or confirm my expectations, it is not possible for ine to answer his letter, but by expressing my doubts upon the assertions he has made; and although the gentleman is so much offended at ny doubting, he must forgive me for saying that his epistle, instead of removing, has but increased them. · Mr. A. B. is fully persuaded “ that Christian assemblies, or churches, ate perfectly distinct from each other, and independent as it relates either to doctrine or practice." With him, Sir, I am fully persuaded, that they are so; but not that they ought so to be. Christianity is a principle of union to all that believe in it; its doctrine is one; so ought its faith to be, and so its practice; but such it never will be whilst they are distinct and independant. It was not so in primitive days, in churches, éven in different cities, much less in the same city. Paul, writing to the Colossians, says, “ Cause that this epistle be read also in the church of the Ltoliceans; and that ye likewise read the episile froin Laodicea." Here is intimacy, love, union, and that mutual dependance which arises from mutual interest and mutual obligations; I am therefore fully persuaded that the doctrints of Christians are not necessarily distinet, and that they ought not so to be; and that, if they are so, it is because they assert mutual independance; whereas, from the beginning it was bot so; therefore, in this sense also, that which God hath joined, men ought not put asunder.
Mr. A. B. acknowledges that “ The New Testament says not a word about the churches of Jerusalem, of Corinth, or of any other great city;" I thank him for the acknowledgement; and, unwilling to be in his debt in point of openness, I confess with him that I think ' “ The reason is as plain, as the observation is easy;" because there was but one church there ;--though perhaps, Sir, we may as much differ concerning this church as a Quaker and a Bishop would upon the question, What is a church? The first contending it was the people, the other it was the place.
With Mr. A. B. it must be allowed that the Christians sometimes met publicly in the Temple, but not in the manner Mr. A. B. seems to insinuate; as if the Temple had been the first Christian church. You, Sir, used to meet some of your friends at St. Agnes Le Clair, and, surrounded by them, preach the gospel to the multitude- in like manner, Sir, I conceive the apostles to have inet in the Temple, and for the same purpose, Is is evident it was in the face of the world, or the world would not have been converted by them. I presume, Sir, Mr. A. B. would not allow the church and the world assembling together to be a Christian church; and if not, I cannot allow such a meeting as that in the Temple to be a Christian church any more than I can allow that the brief statement of Luke, which contains only a few striking ficis, goes in the least to establish the absurd idea that " their meetings were mostly public,' except when they were under a state of persecution." Their ministry might be, nay, from the nature of it, must be public ; but that their church assemblies were public is ridiculous : is it likely, Sir, that the elećiing deacons, taking care of widows, overseeing the distant churches, hearing of and considering such evils as might arise or had arisen in the church, were public, whek
they would not admit a converted Paul into their company till he had brought a testimony of the fact of his conversion ? -. I know, Sir, as well as Mr. A. B. that a church scattered is not a model for order, but a church before it was scattered may be; nor does, any idea founded upon the Acts of the Apostles that Christians, met in retired places and upper rooms of houses arise from my mistaking the singular for the plural, a distinction I believe I knew before he was born W ith regard to my assertion, " That, they had not any place large enough to hold the whole body of Christians together;" this assertion Sir, is not made from an habit Mr. A. B. charitably insinuates that I have contracted of bending the New Testament to my system, by making use of assertions in place of arguments; no, Sir, please to present my besi respects to Mr. A. B. and acquaint him that I have not been so taught nor so practised; but that I hope he will excuse ine for having made such an assertion; that I did not mean to offend his high authority that I was indeed intirely ignorant of his thoughts upon the subject, but having been, from infancy, instructed that it was my duty, in all my conjectures, to go in some measure hand in hand with consistency and coinmon sense, I had inferred that since three thousand were at one time converted, and five thousand at another time, there could not be in the whole, every circumstance connected together considered, fewer Christians in Jerusalem than from nine to ten thousand, and, as none of our steeple houses would hold such a multitude, I did think myself justified in making the assertion; but having been so severly reprimandechy I retrart; I do not think they could neet in any one rooim at Jerusalein; but since Mr. A. B. asserts that the assertion is totally unfounded, I call-upon hira to prove it; and i shall expect his proof to have good foundation in exact diinensions, taken from actual survey.
But now, Sir, we come to the grandest proof of criiical acumen.
1. “Upper room is in the nominative case, and therefore ough to be rendered the upper rooin.” .
2. St. Luke, who wrote this, had, Luke, xxiv. told us they were continually in the Temple; and therefore when he continues his narration in the Acts, and says “ they went up into the upper room, where abnde Peter, James, and John; it consequently was an upper room in the Temple." Wonderful ! astonishing discovery! only lam fer ul that some ill natured critics may say that, had Mr. A. B. set upon Forin l. at Nerchant Taylor's School, if he had not made a fur:her discovery that nominative homo, the inan, meint also home, a man, such orders might have been given as would have caused him to discover that which most boys in such cases love to keep well covered.', ;
But, Sir, Mr. A. B. has in this also made other wonderful and surprising discoveries; he has found out that the fisherinen of Galilee had lodgings in the temple of Jerusalem. This, Sir, was not only attacking the enemy in their sirongest bu warks, but even taking possession of the citadel--not only so, Sir, but that this upper room, where abo:de Peter, James, and John, could not only contain them and the other disciples, but eight ihou and new converts. Pray, Sir, request of Mr. A. B. that he be very exact in his dimensions of this soul
its situation in the Temple, and to account how the priests perenited these men, not only of a different tribe from that of Levi, to live in the Temple, but these reforming men, who only got into it to take away their craft. Let every particular be exactly set down, lest that it! Jooking fellow, Common Sense, should endeavour to detract from the merits of this wonderful discovery! . · But seriously, Sir, to conclude, the whole of the remainder of Mr. A. B.'s letter contains no argument in ii, unless he first proves that the church of Jerusalem, consisting of so many thousands, could ineet together at one place. If it is allowed they met but at two, (and perhaps it was two handred) the argument falls 10 the ground, and the Christians at Jerusalem will then be, as Mr. A. B. allows, one church, and, as niy former letter supposed, meeting together as convenient to themselves, or upon some settled plan, but connected by one government: though of various sentiments, yet having but one doctrine and one practice; none independent of the other, and the whole collectively dependent on God...
I now, Sir, leave the subject on the same ground it before stood upon: if any of your correspondents, or even Mr. A. B. will have the goodness to consider' my letter, page 242. not as assertions, but merely as propositions drawn froin the general appearance of the evangelical and apostolical writings, and will give them that upright candid investigation the importance of the subject demands, the uniting in the investigation, which ever way the subject may take, will give the greatest pleasure to,
ARCHBISHOP TILLOTSON NO UNIVERSALIST.
DEAR SIR, TN the first volume of the Universalist's Miscellany you inserted a list
of such English writers on the restoration, whose works you had either read or heard of; ainong the number, you reckon Archbishop Tillotson as one. I am sorry you should have been so wrongly informed with respect to him: for instead of being a writer in favour of the Universal Restoration, he was an opposer of it. And, what is worthy of remark, the very sermon which is quoted in your Miscellany, (Vol. I. p. 106.) as a proof of his being an Universalist, was preached professedly against that doctrine.
But it may be expected that I should bring some proof of this assertion; in order so to do, I will briefly give you the substance of the discourse in question : which was preached before, the queen at Whitehall, March 7, 1689-90. and may be found in the folio volume of his works, page 491.
The text is one which is generally brought as an objection to the Universal Doctrine, viz. Matt. xxv. 46. after saying, that Christ has elearly revealed the eternal state of rewards and punishment in another world, he observes, " that every one gladly admits, that the righteous will be eternally happy. But many are loth to believe the eternal punishment of wicked men. And they therefore pretend, that it is contrary to the justice of God, to punish temporary crimes, with eternal torments." Having thus stated the objection to the eternity of future punishment, he proceeds' to answer it, by endeavouring to prove two things.
-“ First, that the eternal punishment of wicked men in another world is plainly threatened in Scripture. . • Secondly, that this is not inconsistent elther with the justice, or the goodness of God."
In order to prove that eternal punishment is threatened in Scripture, he quotes Mart. xviii. 8.-**v. 41, 46. Mark ix. and 2 Thes. i. g. he acknowledges that the words for ever, and everlasting do not always signify endless duration, but he contends they must be understood so, when they relate to future' panishment, « because, the languages wherein the Scriptures are written, do hardly afford fulter and more certain words, than those used in this case, whereby to express to us a duration without end; and likewise, which is almost' a' peremptory decision of the thing, because the duration of the punishment of wicked men, is in the very' saine sentence, expressed by the very same word, which is used for the duration of the happiness of the righteous." .,
Having thus established, or attempted to establish, his first position, ke next endeavors to prove, that “this is not inconsistent either with the justice or goodness of God." Which he does from the following consideration, viz. - Because the measure of penalties is not taken from any strict proportion between criines and punishments: but from one great end and design of government, which is to secure the observuice of wholesome and necessary laws; and consequently whatever penalties are proper and necessary to this end are not unjust." He says that, “ This will yet appear more reasonable when we consider, that after all, he that threatens hath still the power of execution in his own hands." Then follows the quotation inserted in your Miscellany. He concludes his argument by saying, “ Notwithstanding his (God's) threatening, he hath reserved power enough in his own hands to do right to all his perfeciions; so that we may rest assured, that he will judge the world in righteousness; and if it be any wise inconsistent either with righteousness or goodness, (which he knows '
much better than we do) to make sinners 'miserable for ever, that he will not do it; nor is it credible, that he would threaten sinners with à punishment which he could not justly execute upon them. Therefore sinners ought always to be afraid of it, and reckon upon ir: and always "to remember, that there is great goodness and inercy' in the severity of God's threatenings; and that nothing will more justify the infliction of eternal torments thao