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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 • project of an union between the two churches.’ This is guessin with a witness:—and it is hard to imagine how the boldest calculator of probabilities could conclude from Dr. Wake's handsome mention of Dr. Du-Pin, that the former had a share, of any kind, in forming the project of union now under consideration. For the ingenious guesser happens to be quite mistaken in his conjecture; and I hope to convince him of this, by satisfying his desire. He desires the letter of the 27th (or rather the 28th) of November; I have referred to it in the preceding note, and he may read it at the end of this account. He desires the letter in which handsome mention is made of Du-Pin; and I can assure him, that in that letter there is not a single syllable relative to an union. The passage that regards Dr. Du-Pin is as follows: ‘I am much obliged to you (says Dr. Wake, in his letter to Mr. “Beauvoir, dated January 2, 1717-18.) for making my name “known to Dr. Du-Pin. He is a gentleman by whose labors I “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 anything 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 j 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 not commence a negotiation, until they had received the Fo powers srom their respective sovereigns; and I do think
e 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, notes and the letters subjoined, No. XI.
1717-18; in which, toward the conclusion, he intimates his desire of an union between the English and Gallican churches, and observes, that the difference between them, in most points, was not so
reat as to render a reconciliation impracticable; and that it was his earnest wish, that all Christians should be united in one sheepfold. His words are: “Unum “addam cum boná veniã tuă, me vehementer optare, “ut unionis inter Ecclesias Anglicanam et Gallicanam ‘in.eundae via aliqua inveniri posset: non ita sumus “ab invicem in plerisque dissiti, ut non possimus ‘mutuo reconciliari. Atque utinam Christiani omnes ‘essent unum ovile.' The archbishop wrote an answer to this letter, dated February 18-24, 1717-18, in which he asserts, at large, the purity of the church of England, in faith, worship, government, and discipline, and tells his correspondent, that he is persuaded that there are few things in the doctrine and constitution of that church, which even he himself (Du-Pin) would desire to see changed; the original words are: “Aut ego vehementer fallor, aut in efi “pauca admodum sunt, quae vel tu-immutanda ‘ velles;' and again, ‘Sincere judica, quid in hac “nostră ecclesiá invenias, quod jure damnari debeat, ‘aut nos atrá haereticorum, vel etiam schismaticorum, “notá inurere.” The zeal of the venerable prelate goes still farther; and the moderate sentiments which he observed in Dr. Du-Pin’s letter induced him to exhort the French to maintain, if not to enlarge, the rights and privileges of the Gallican church, for which the existing disputes, about the constitution Unigenitus, furnished the most favorable occasion. He also expresses his readiness to concur in improving any opportunity, that might be offered by these debates, to form an union that might be productive of a farther reformation, in which, not only the most rational Protestants, but also a considerable number of the Roman catholic churches, should join with the church of England; “si exhinc (says the archbishop, * speaking of the recent commotions excited by the * Constitution) aliquid amplius elici possit ad unionem * nobiscum ecclesiasticamineundam; unde forte nova * quaedam reformatio exoriatur, in quam non solum “ex Protestantibus optimi quique, verum etiam pars * magna ecclesiarum Communionis Romano-Catho‘licae, una nobiscum conveniant.” Hitherto we see, that the expressions of the two learned doctors of the English and Gallican churches, relating to the union under consideration, are of a vague and general nature. When they were thus far advanced in their correspondence, an event happened, which rendered it more close, serious, and interesting, and even brought on some particular mention of preliminary terms, and certain preparatives for a future negotiation. The event I mean, was a discourse delivered, in an extraordinary meeting of the Sorbonne, March 17-28, 1717-18, by Dr. Patrick Piers de Girardin, in which he exhorts the doctors of that society to proceed in their design of revising the doctrines and rules of the church, to separate things necessary from those which are not so, by which they will shew the church of England that they do not hold every decision of the pope for an article of faith. The learned orator observes farther (upon what foundation it is difficult to guess), that the English church may be more easily reconciled than the Greek was ; and that the disputes between the Gallican church and the court of Rome, removing the apprehensions of papal tyranny, which terrified the English from the Catholic communion, will lead them back into the bosom of the church, with greater celerity than they formerly fled from it: ‘Facient ‘(says he) profecto offensiones, quae vos inter et “senatum Capitolinum videntur intervenisse, ut ‘Angli, deposito servitutis metu, in ecclesiae gremium * revolent alacrius quam olim inde, quorundam exosi * tyrannidem, avolārunt. Meministis ortas inter * Paulum et Barnabam dissensiones animorum tandem ‘eo recidisse, ut singuli propagandae in diversis regio‘nibus fidei felicius insudaverint sigillatim, quam ‘junctis viribus fortasse insudássent.’ This last sentence (in which Dr. Girardin observes, that Paul and Barnabas probably made more converts in consequence of their separation, than they would have done had they traveled together, and acted in concert,) is not a little remarkable; and, indeed, the whole passage discovers rather a desire of making proselytes, than an inclination to form a coalition founded upon concessions and some reformation on the side of popery. It may, perhaps, be alleged, in opposition to this remark, that prudence required a language of this kind, in the infancy of a project of union, whatever
two churches might come to an agreement about other matters, as far as was necessary. But the author of the Confessional supposes, that the archbishop must have made some concessions, because the letters on both sides were sent to Rome, and received there as ‘so many trophies gained from the enemies of the church.' This supposition, however, is somewhat hasty. Could nothing but concessions from the archbishop make the court of Rome consider those letters in that light? Would they not think it a great triumph, that they had obliged Du-Pin's party to give up the letters as a token of their submission, and defeated the archbishop's design of engaging the Gallican church to assert its liberty, by throwing off the papal yoke 2 If Dr. Wake made concessions, where are they? And if these were the trophies, why did not the partisans of Rome publish authentic copies of them to the world? Did the author of the Confessional ever hear of a victorious general, who carefully hid under ground the standards he had taken from the enemy? This, indeed, is a new method of dealing with trophies. Our author, however, does not, as yet, quit his hold; he alleges, that the French divines could not have acknowleged the catholic benevolence of the archbishop, if he made no concessions to them. This reasoning would be plausible, if charity toward those who err consisted in embracing their errors; but this is a definition of charity, that, I fancy, the ingenious author will give up, upon second thoughts. Dr. Wake's catholic benevolence consisted in his esteem for the merit and learning of his correspondents, in his compassion for their servitude and their errors, in his desire of the reformation and liberty of their church, and his inclination to live in friendship and concord, as far as was possible, with all that bear the Christian name; and this disposition, so suitable to the benevolent genius of Christianity, will always reflect a true and solid glory upon his character as a Christian bishop.