« הקודםהמשך »
may justly be considered as a powerful incentive to the zeal and vigilance of rulers temporal and spiritual, of the pastors and people of the reformed churches, against the encroachments of Rome.
The author of the Confessional complains, and perhaps justly, of the bold and public appearance which popery has of late made in England. “ The “ papists (says he) strengthened and animated by an “ influx of Jesuits, expelled even from popish coun“ tries for crimes and practices of the worst com
plexion, open public mass-houses, and affront the “ laws of this Protestant kingdom in other respects, “ not without insulting some of those who endeavour 6 to check their insolence. And we are told, with “the utmost coolness and composure, that popish “bishops go about here, and exercise every part of “ their function, without offence, and without obser66 vation.” This is, indeed, a circumstance that the friends of reformation and religious liberty cannot behold without offence: I say, the friends of religious liberty ; because the maintenance of all liberty, both civil and religious, depends on circumscribing popery within proper bounds, since it is not a system of innocent speculative opinions, but a yoke of despotism, an enormous mixture of princely and priestly tyranny, designed to enslave the consciences of mankind, and to destroy their most sacred and invaluable rights. But, at the same time, I do not think we can, from this public appearance of popery, rationally conclude that it gains ground, much less (as the author of the Confessional suggests), that the two hierarchies .(i. e. the episcopal and the popish) are growing • daily more and more into a resemblance of each • other. The natural reason of this bold appearance of popery is the spirit of toleration, that has been carried to a great height, and has rendered the execution of the laws against papists, in recent times, less rigorous and severe.
How it may be proper to act with regard to the growing insolence of popery, is a matter that must
be left to the wisdom and clemency of government. Rigor against any thing that bears the name of religion, gives pain to a candid and generous mind; and it is certainly more eligible to extend too far, than to circumscribe too narrowly, the bounds of forbearance and indulgent charity.
If the dangerous tendency of popery, considered as a pernicious system of policy, should be pleaded as a sufficient reason to except it from the indulgence due to merely speculative systems of theology ;-if the voice of history should be appealed to, as declaring the assassinations, rebellions, conspiracies, the horrid scenes of carnage and desolation, that popery has produced ;-if standing principles and maxims of the Romish church should be quoted, which authorise these enormities ;-if it should be alleged, finally, that popery is much more malignant and dangerous in Great Britain than in any other Protestant country ;-I acknowlege that all these pleas against it are well-founded, and plead for modifications to the connivance which the clemency of government may think proper to grant to that unfriendly system of religion. All I wish is, that mercy and humanity may ever accompany the execution of justice, and that nothing like merely rea ligious persecution may stain the British annals ; and all I maintain with respect to the chief point under consideration is, that the public appearance of popery, which is justly complained of, is no certain proof of its growth, but rather shews its indiscretion than its strength, and the declining vigor of our zeal than the growing influence of its maxims.
THE FOURTH APPENDIX.
A circumstantial and exact Account of the Correspondence
that was carried on, in the years 1717 and 1718, between Dr. William Wake, Archbishop of Canterbury, and certain Doctors of the Sorbonne at Paris, relative to a Project of Union between the English and Gallican Churches.
Magis amica veritas.
WHEN the famous Bossuet, bishop of Meaux, laid an insidious snare for unthinking Protestants, in his artful Exposition of the Doctrine of the Church of Rome, the pious and learned Dr. Wake unmasked this deceiver; and the writings he published on this occasion gave him a distinguished rank among the victorious champions of the Protestant cause. Should any person, who had perused these writings, be informed, that this pretended champion of the Pro* testant religion had set on foot a project of union * with a popish church, with concessions in favor of
the grossest superstition and idolatry a,' he would be apt to stare; at least, he would require the strongest possible evidence for a fact, in all appearance so contradictory and unaccountable. This accusation has, nevertheless, been brought against the eminent prelate, by the ingenious and intrepid author of the Confessional; and it is founded upon an extraordinary passage in Dr. Mosheim's Ecclesiastical History ; where we are told, that Dr. Wake “formed
a project of peace and union between the English • and Gallican churches, founded upon this condition,
that each of the two communities should retain the 'greatest part of their respective and peculiar doc
a See the Confessional, 2d edition, Pref. p. lxxvi,
• trines b.'. This passage, though it is, perhaps, too uncharitably interpreted by the author already men
• Dr. Mosheim had certainly a very imperfect idea of this correspondence; and he seems to have been mis-led by the account of it, which Kiorning has given in his dissertation De Consecrationibus Episcoporum Anglorum, published at Helmstadt in 1739; which account, notwithstanding the means of information its author seemed to have by his journey to England, and his conversations with Dr. Courayer, is full of mistakes. Thus Kiorning tells us, that Dr. Wake submitted to the judgement of the Romish doctors, his correspondents, the conditions of peace between the two churches, which he had drawn up ;-that he sent a learned man (Dr. Wilkins, his chaplain) to Paris, to forward and complete, if possible, the projected union ;-that, in a certain assembly holden at Paris, the difficulties of promoting this union without the pope's concurrence were insisted upon by some men of high rank, who seemed inclined to the union, and that these difficulties put an end to the conferences ;--that, however, two French divines (whom he supposes to be Du-Pin and Girardin) were sent to England to propose new terms. It now happens unluckily for Mr. Kiorning's reputation as an historian, that not one syllable of all this is true, as will appear sufficiently to the reader, who peruses with attention the account and the pieces which I here lay before the public.—But one of the most egregious errors in the account given by Kiorning, is at page 61 of his Dissertation, where he says, that archbishop Wake was so much elated with the prospect of success in the scheme of an accommodation, that he acquainted the divines of Geneva with it in 1719, and plainly intimated to them, that he thought it an easier thing ihan reconciling the Protestants with each other. Let us now see where Kiorning received this information.-Why, truly, it was from a letter of Dr. Wake to Professor Turretin of Geneva, in which there is not one syllable relative to a scheme of union between the English and Gallican churches; and yet Kiorning quotes a passage in this letter as the only authority he has for this affirmation. The case was this : Dr. Wake, in the former part of his letter to Turretin, speaks of the sufferings of the Hungarian and Piedmontese churches, which he had successfully endeavoured to alleviate, by engaging George I. to intercede in their behalf; and then proceeds to express his desire of healing the differences that disturbed the union of the Protestant churches abroad. • Interim (says he) dum hæc (i. e.
the endeavours to relieve the Hungarian and Piedmontese churches) feliciter peraguntur, ignoscite, Fratres Dilectissimi, si majoris quidem laboris atque difficultatis, sed longè maximi • omnibus commodi inceptum vobis proponam; unionem nimirùm, . &c. Professor Turretin, in his work entitled, Nubes Testium, printed only the latter part of Dr. Wake's letter, beginning
tioned, would furnish, without doubt, just matter of censure, were it founded in truth. I was both surprised and perplexed while I was translating it. I could not immediately procure proper information with respect to the fact, nor could I examine Mosheim's proofs of this strange assertion, because he alleged none. Destitute of materials, either to invalidate or confirm the fact, I made a slight mention, in a short note, of a correspondence which had been carried on between archbishop Wake and Dr. Du-Pin, with the particulars of which I was not acquainted ; and, in this my ignorance, only made a general observation, drawn from Dr. Wake's known zeal for the Protestant religion, which was designed, not to confirm that assertion, but rather to insinuate my disbelief of it. It never could come into
head, that the interests of the Protestant religion would have been safe in archbishop Wake's hands, had I given the smallest degree of credit to Dr. Mosheim's assertion, or even suspected that this eminent prelate was inclined to form an union between the English and Gallican churches, founded on this con* dition, that each of the two communities should * retain the greatest part of their respective and pe• culiar doctrines.'
If the author of the Confessional had given a little more attention to this, he could not have represented me, as confirming the fact alleged by Mosheim, much less as giving it what he is pleased to call the
with the words, “Interim, &c.' and Kiorning, not having seen the preceding part of this letter, which relates to the Hungarian and Piedmontese churches, and with which these words are connected, took it into his head that these words were relative to the scheme of union between the English and Gallican churches. Nor did he only take this into his head by way of conjecture, but he affirms, very sturdily and positively, that the words have this signification : Hæc verba (says he) tangunt pacis cum Gallis instaurandæ negotium, quod ex temporum rationibus manifestum est.' To shew him, however, that he grossly errs, I have published among the annexed pieces (No. XX.) the whole letter of archbishop Wake to Turretin.