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“trines". 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 than 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 haec (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 commodiinceptum vobisproponam ; unionem nimirüm, • &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 sur
prised 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 my 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: ‘Haec verba (says he) tangunt * pacis cum Gallis instaurandae 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,
sanction of my approbation. I did not confirm the fact; for I only said there was a correspondence on the subject, without speaking a syllable of the unlos condition that forms the charge against Dr.
ake. I shall not enter here into a debate about the grammatical import of my expressions, as I have something more interesting to present to the reader, who is curious of information about archbishop Wake's real conduct in relation to the correspondence already mentioned. I have been favored with authentic copies of the letters which passed in this correspondence, which are now in the hands of Mr. Beauvoir of Canterbury, the worthy son of the clergyman who was chaplain to lord Stair in the year 1717, and also with others, from the valuable col
lection of manuscripts left by Dr. Wake to the li- .
brary of Christ-Church College in Oxford. It is from these letters that I have drawn the following account, at the end of which copies of them are printed, to serve as proofs of the truth of this relation, which I publish with a disinterested regard to truth. This impartiality may be, in some measure, expected from my situation in life, which has placed me at a distance from the scenes of religious and ecclesiastical contention in England, and cut me off from those personal connexions, that nourish the prejudices of a party spirit, more than many are aware of; but it would be still more expected from my principles, were they known. From this narrative, confirmed by authentic papers, it will appear with the utmost evidence, 1st, That archbishop Wake was not the first mover in this correspondence, nor the person who formed the project of union between the English and Gallican churches. 2dly, That he never made any concessions, nor offered to give up, for the sake of peace, any one point of the established doctrine and discipline of the church of England, in order to promote this union. 3dly, That any desires of union with the church VOL. VI, K
of Rome, expressed in the archbishop's letters, proceeded from the hopes (well founded, or illusory, is not my business to examine here) that he at first entertained of a considerable reformation in that church, and from an expectation that its most absurd doctrines would fall to the ground, if they could once be deprived of their great support, the papal authority;-the destruction of which authority was the very basis of this correspondence. It will farther appear, that Dr. Wake considered union in external worship, as one of the best methods of healing the uncharitable dissensions that are often occasioned by a variety of sentiments in point of doctrine, in which a perfect uniformity is not to be expected. This is undoubtedly a wise principle, when it is not carried too far; and whether or no it was carried too far by this eminent prelate, the candid reader is left to judge from the following relation. In the month of November, 1717, archbishop Wake wrote a letter to Mr. Beauvoir, chaplain to the earl of Stair, then ambassador at Paris, in which his grace acknowleges the receipt of several obliging letters from Mr. Beauvoir. This is manifestly the first letter which the prelate wrote to that gentleman, and the whole contents of it are matters of a literary nature". In answer to this letter, Mr. Beauvoir, in one dated the eleventh of December, 1717, O. S. gives the archbishop the information he desired, about the method of subscribing to a new edition of St. Chrysostom, which was at that time in the press at Paris, and then mentions his having dined with Du-Pin, and three other doctors of the Sorbonne, who talked as if the whole kingdom of France was to appeal (in the affair of the Bull Unigenitus) to a future general council, and who “wished for an “union with the church of England, as the most * effectual means to unite all the western churches.’ Mr. Beauvoir adds, that Dr. Du-Pin had desired him to give his duty to the archbishop". Here we see the first hint, the very first overture that was made relative to a project of union between the English and Gallican churches; and this hint comes originally from the doctors of the Sorbonne, and is not occasioned by any thing contained in preceding letters from archbishop Wake to Mr. Beauvoir, since the one only letter, which Mr. Beauvoir had hitherto
* The perusal of this letter (which the reader will find among the pieces here subjoined, No. I.) is sufficient to remove the suspicions of the author of the Confessional, who seems inclined to believe, that archbishop Wake was the first mover in the project of uniting the English and Gallican churches. This author, having mentioned Mr. Beauvoir's letter, in which Du-Pin's desire of this union is communicated to the archbishop, asks the following question: “Can any man be certain that Beauvoir “mentioned this merely out of his own head, and without some “previous occasion given, in the archbishop's letter to him, for * such a conversation with the Sorbonne doctors?” I answer to this question, that every one who reads the archbishop's letter of the 28th of November, to which this letter of Mr. Beauvoir is an answer, may be very certain that Dr. Wake's letter did not give him the least occasion for such a conversation, but relates entirely to the Benedictine edition of St. Chrysostom,
Martenne's Thesaurus Anecdotorum, and Moreri's Dictionary. “But, says our author, there is an &c., in this copy of Mr. “Beauvoir's letter, very suspiciously placed, as if to cover “something improper to be disclosed”. But really if any
thing was covered here, it was covered from the archbishop as .
well as from the public, since the very same &c. that we see in the printed copy of Mr. Beauvoir’s letter, stands in the original. Besides, I would be glad to know, what there is in the placing of this &c. that can give rise to suspicion? The passage of Beauvoir's letter runs thus: “They (the Sorbonne doctors) • talked as if the whole kingdom was to appeal to the future “general council, &c. They wished for an union with the ‘church of England, as the most effectual means to unite all “ the Western churches.’ It is palpably evident, that the &c. here has not the least relation to the union in question, and gives no sort of reason to suspect anything but the spirit of discontent, which the insolent proceedings of the court of Rome had excited among the French divines. d See the Letters subjoined, No. II.
* The other reflexions that the author has there made upon the correspondence between archbishop Wake and the doctors of the Sorbonne, are examined in the following note,