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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 unpleasing condition that forms the charge against Dr. Wake. 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 collection of manuscripts left by Dr. Wake to the library 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.
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
• The perusal of this letter (which the reader will find among the pieces here subjoined, No. 1,) is sufficient to remove the suspicions of the author of the Confessional, who seems inclined
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 Benedietine edition of St. Chrysostom,
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 archbishopa. 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
Martenne's Thesaurus Anecdotorum, and Moreri's Dictionary.
But, says our author, there is an 8c. 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 any thing 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.
received from that eminent prelate, was entirely taken up in inquiries about some new editions of books that were then publishing at Paris.
Upon this the archbishop wrote a letter to Mr. Beauvoir, in which he makes honorable mention of Du-Pin as an author of merit, and expresses his desire of serving him, with that benevolent politeness which reigns in our learned prelate's letters, and seems to have been a striking line in his amiable character Dr. Du-Pin improved this favorable
• This handsome mention of Dr. Du-Pin, made by the archbishop, gives new subject of suspicion to the author of the Confessional. He had learned the fact from the article Wake, in the Biographia Britannica ; but, says he, we are left to guess what this handsome mention was ;-had the biographer given us this letter, together with that of November 27, they might probably (it would have been more accurate to have said • possibly), have discovered what the biographer did not want we
should know, namely, the share Dr. Wake had in forming the
have profited these many years ; and I do really admire how it • is possible for one man to publish so much, and yet so cor
rectly, as he has generally done. I desire my respects to him; • and that, if there be any thing here whereby I may be service• able to him, he will 'freely command me.' Such was the archbishop's handsome mention of Du-Pin; and it evidently shews that, till then, there never had been any communication between them. Yet these are all the proofs which the author of the Confessional gives of the probability that the archbishop was the first mover in this affair.
But · his grace accepted the party, a formal treaty com. mences, and is carried on in a correspondence of some length,'
occasion of writing to the archbishop a letter of thanks, dated January 31, (February 11, N. S.)
says the author of the Confessional. And I would candidly ask that author, upon what principles of Christianity, reason, or charity, Dr. Wake could have refused to hear the proposals, terms, and sentiments of the Sorbonne doctors, who discovered an inclination to unite with his church? The author of the Confessional says elsewhere, that it was, at the best, officious and presumptuous in Dr. Wake to enter into a negotiation of this
nature, without authority from the church or the government.' But the truth is, that he entered into no negotiation or treaty on this head; he considered the letters that were written on both sides as a personal correspondence between individuals, who could no commence a negotiation, until they had received the proper powers from their respective sovereigns; and I do think he was greatly in the right to enter into this correspondence, as it seemed very likely, in the then circumstances of the Gallican church, to serve the Protestant interest and the cause of reformation. If, indeed, in the course of this correspondence, he had discovered any thing like what Mosheim imputes to him, even a disposition toward an union, founded upon the condition that each of the two churches should retain the greatest part of their respective and peculiar doctrines, I should think his conduct liable to censure. But no such thing appears in his letters, which I have subjoined to this account, that the candid examiner may receive full satisfaction in this affair. Mosheim's mistake is palpable, and the author of the Confessional seems certainly to have been too hasty in adopting it. He alleges, that Dr. Wake might have maintained the justice and orthodoxy of every individual article of the church of England, and yet "give up some of them • for the sake of peace. But the archbishop expressly declares, in his letters, that he would give up none of them, and that, though he was a friend to peace, he was still a greater friend to truth. The author's reflexion, that, without some concessions on the part of the archbishop, the treaty could not have gone a step farther, may be questioned in theory; for treaties are often carried on for a long time without concessions on both sides, or perhaps on either; and the archbishop might hope that Du-Pin, who had yielded several things, would still yield more; but this remark is overturned by the plain fact. Besides, I repeat what I have already insinuated, that this correspondence does not deserve the name of a treaty * Proposals were made only on DuPin's side ; and these proposals were positively rejected by the archbishop, in his letters to Mr. Beauvoir. Nor did he propose any thing in return to either of the Sorbonne doctors, but that they should entirely renounce the authority of the pope, hoping, though perhaps too fancifully, that, when this was done, the
* See post, pote 8 and the letters subjoined, No. XI.