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formed a new episcopal church, which differed, in certain points of doctrine, and certain circumstances of public worship, from the established church of England. This new religious community were denominated Nonjurors, on account of their refusing to take the oath of allegiance, and were also called the high church, on account of the high notions they entertained of the dignity and power of the church, and the extent they gave to its prerogatives and jurisdiction. Those, on the other hand, who disapproved of this schism, who distinguished themselves by their charity and moderation toward dissenters, and were less ardent in extending the limits of ecclesiastical authority, were denominated low churchmen." The bishops, who were deprived of their ecclesiastical dignities, and those who embarked in their cause, maintained openly, that the church was independent on the jurisdiction of king and parliament, subject to the authority of God alone, and empowered to govern itself by its own laws; that, of consequence, the sentence pronounced against these prelates by the great council of the nation was destitute both of justice and validity; and that it was only by the decree of an ecclesiastical council that a bishop could be deposed: This high notion of the authority and prerogatives of the church was maintained and propagated, with peculiar zeal, by the famous Henry Dodwell
, who led the way in this important cause, and who, by his example and abilities, formed a considerable number of champions for its defence; hence arose a very nice and intricate controversy, concerning the nature, privileges, and authority of the church, which has not yet been brought to a satisfactory conclusion.
that will be ever pronounced with veneration by such as are capable of esteeming solid, well-employed learning and genuine piety, and that will always shine among the brightest ornaments of the church of England.
k The denomination of high church is given, certainly with great propriety, to the nonjurors, who have very proud notions of church power; but it is commonly used in a more extensive signification, and is applied to all those who, though far from being nonjurors, or otherwise disaffected to the present happy establishment, yet forin pompous and ambitious conceptions of the authority and jurisdiction of the church, and would raise it to an absolute independence on all buman power. Many such are to be found even among those who go under the general denomination of the low church party.
I Dodwell himself was deprived of his professorship of history for refusing to take tbe oaths of allegiance to king William and queen Mary, and this circumstance, no doubt, augmented the zeal with which he interested himself in the defence of the bishops, who were suspended for the same reason. It was on this occasion that he published his Cautionary discourse of Schism, with a particular regard to the case of the bishops who are suspended for refusing to take the new oath. This book was
XXVII. The nonjurors or high churchmen, who boast with peculiar ostentation of their orthodoxy, and treat High church the low church as unsound and schismatical, dif- principles. fer in several things from the members of the episcopal church, in its present establishment; but they are more particularly distinguished by the following principles ; 1. 6. That it is never lawful for the people, under any provocation or pretext whatever, to resist the sovereign.” This is called in England passive obedience, and is a doctrine warmly opposed by many, who think it both lawful and necessary, in certain circumstances, and in cases of an urgent and momentous nature, to resist the prince for the happiness of the people. They maintain further, 2. “ That the hereditary succession to the throne is of divine institution, and therefore can never be interrupted, suspended, or annulled, on any pretext. 3. That the church is sub ject to the jurisdiction, not of the civil magistrate, but of God alone, particularly in matters of a religious nature, 4. That consequently, Sancroft and the other bishops, deposed by king William III. remained,
notwithstanding their deposition, true bishops to the day of their death; and that those who were substituted in their places were the unjust possessors of other men's property. 5. That these unjust possessors of ecclesiastical digņities were rebels against the state, as well as schismatics in the church; and that all therefore who held communion with them were also chargeable with rebellion and schism. 6. That this schism, which rents the church in pieces, is a most heinous sin, whose punishment must fall heavy upon all those who
fully refuted by the learned Dr. Hody, in the year 1691, in a work, entitled 'The un. reasonableness of a separation from the new bishops, or a Treatise out of Ecclesiastical History, showing that although a bishop was unjustly deprived, neither he nor the church ever made a separation, if the successor was not a heretic ; translated out of an ancient Greek manuscript,' viz. among the Boroccian MSS. ' in the public library at Oxford.' The learned author translated this work asterward into Latin, and prefixed to it some pieces out of ecclesiastical antiquity, relative to the same subject. Dodwell published in 1692 an answer to it, which he called, 'A vindication of the deprived bishops,' &c. to which Dr. Hody replied in a treatise, entitled 'The Case of the Sees vacant by an unjust or uncanonical Deprivation stated, in reply to the Vindication,' &c. The controversy did not end here ; and it was the hardest thing in the world to reduce Mr. Dodwell to silence. Accordingly he came forth a third time with his stiff and rigid polemics, and published in 1695, his ' Desence of the Vindication of the deprived bishops. The preface, which he designed to prefix to this work, was at first suppressed, but appeared afterward under the following title: 'The Doctrine of the Church of England concerning the Indepeng dency of the Clergy on the lay power, as to those rights of theirs which are purely spiritual, reconciled with our oath of supremacy and the lay deprivation of the Popish bishops in the beginning of the Reformation. Several other pamphlets were published on the subject of this controversy. VOL. IV,
Tbeological contests among tbe Dutch.
do not return sincerely to the true church, from which they have departed.” xxvin. It will now be proper to change the scene, and
to consider a little the state of the reformed church in Holland. The Dutch Calvinists thought them
selves happy after the defeat of the Arminians, and were flattering themselves with the agreeable prospect of enjoying long, in tranquillity and repose, the fruits of their victory, when new scenes of tumult arose from another quarter. Scarcely had they triumphed over the enemies of absolute predestination, when, by an ill-hap, they became the prey of intestine disputes, and were divided among themselves in such a deplorable manner, that, during the whole of this century, the United Provinces were a scene of contention, animosity, and strife. It is not necessary to mention all the subjects of these religious quarrels ; nor indeed would this be an easy task. We shall therefore pass over in silence the debates of certain divines, who disputed about some particular, though not very momentous points of doctrine and discipline; such as those of the famous Voet and the learned Des Marets ; as also the disputes of Salmasius, Boxhorn, Voet, and others, concerning usury, ornaments in dress, stage-players, and other minute points of morality; and the contests of Apollonius, Trigland, and Videlius, concerning the power of the magistrate in matters of religion and ecclesiastical discipline, which produced such a flaming division between Frederic Spanheim and John Vander Wayen. These and other debates of like nature and importance rather discover the sentiments of certain learned men, concerning some particular points of religion and morality, than exhibit a view of the true internal state of the Belgic church. The knowledge of this must be derived from those controversies alone in which the whole church, or at least the greatest part of its doctors, have been directly concerned. xxix. Such were the controversies occasioned in Hol
land by the philosophy of Des Cartes, and the The Cartesian theological novelties of Cocceius. Hence arose controversies. the two powerful and numerous factions, distin
m See Whiston's Memoirs of his Life and Writings, vol. i. p. 30. Hickes's Memoirs of the Life of John Kettlewell
, printed at London in 1718.' Nonweau Diction. Histor. ei Cruir, at the article Collier Ph. Masson, Histor. Critique de la Repub, des Lettres, imm. kü. p. 299.
guished by the denominations of Cocceians and Voetians, which still subsist, though their debates are now less violent, and their champions somewhat more moderate, than they were in former times. The Cocceian theology and the Cartesian philosophy have indeed no common features, nor any thing, in their respective tenets and principles, that was in the least adapted to form a connexion between them; and, of consequence, the debates they excited, and the factions they produced, had no natural relation to, or dependence on each other. It nevertheless so happened, that the respective votaries of these very different sciences formed themselves into one sect; so far at least, that those who chose Cocceius for their guide in theology, took Des Cartes for their master in philosophy." This will appear less surprising when we consider, that the very same persons who opposed the progress of Cartesianism in Holland, were the warm adversaries of the Cocceian theology; for this opposition, equally levelled at these two great men and their respective systems, laid the Cartesians and Cocceians under a kind of necessity of uniting their force in order to defend their cause, in a more effectual manner, against the formidable attacks of their numerous adversaries. The Voetians were so called from Gisbert Voet, a learned and eminent professor of divinity, in the university of Utrecht, who first sounded the alarm of this theologico-philosophical war, and led on, with zeal, the polemic legions against those who followed the standard of Des Cartes and Cocceius.
xxx. The Cartesian philosophy, at its first appearance, attracted the attention and esteem of many, and seemed more comformable to truth and nature, as controversy. well as more elegant and pleasing in its aspect, than the intricate labyrinths of peripatetic wisdom. It was consider, ed in this light in Holland; it however met there with a formidable adversary, in the year 1639, in the famous Voet, who taught theology at Utrecht with the greatest reputation, and gave plain intimations of his looking upon Cartesianism as a system of impiety. Voet was a man of uncommon application and immense learning ; he had made an extraordinary progress in all the various branches of erudition and philology; but he was not endowed with : large portion of that philosophical spirit, that judges with
n See Frid. Spanhemii Epistola de novissimis in Belgio dissidiis, tom. ii. opp. p. 973.
acuteness and precision of natural science and abstract truths. While Des Cartes resided at Utrecht, Voet found fault with many things in his philosophy; but what induced him to cast upon it the aspersion of impiety, was its being introduced by the following principles; “That the person who aspires after the character of a true philosopher must begin by doubting of all things, even of the existence of a Supreme Being ; that the nature or essence of spirit, and even of God himself, consists in thought ; that space has no real existence, is no more than the creature of fancy, and that, consequently, matter is without bounds.”
Des Cartes defended his principles, with his usual acuteness, against the professor of Utrecht; his disciples and followers thought themselves obliged, on this occasion, to assist their master; and thus war was formally declared. On the other hand, Voet was not only seconded by those Belgic divines that were the most eminent, at this time, for the extent of their learning and the soundness of their theology, such as Rivet, Des Marets, and Mastricht, but also was followed and applauded by the greatest part of the Dutch clergy. While the flame of controversy burned with sufficient ardour, it was considerably augmented by the proceedings of certain doctors, who applied the principles and tenets of Des Cartes to the illustration of theological truth. Hence, in the year 1656, an alarm was raised in the Dutch churches and schools of learning, and a resolution was taken in several of their ecclesiastical assemblies, commonly called classes, to make head against Cartesianism, and not to permit that imperious philosophy to make such encroachments upon the domain of theology. The states of Holland not only approved of this resolution, but also gave it new force and efficacy by a public edict, issued out the very same year, by which both the professors of philosophy and theology were forbidden either to explain the writings of Des Cartes to the youth under their care, orto illustrate the doctrines of the gospel by the principles of philosophy. It was further resolved, in an assembly of the clergy, held at Delft the year following, that no candidatè for holy orders should be received into the ministry before he made a solemn declaration that he would neither promote the Cartesian philosophy, nor disfigure the divine
o See Baillet's Vie de M. Des Cartes, tom. ii. chap. y. p. 33. Daniel, Voyage du Monde the Des Cartes, tom. i. de ses Oeuvres, p. 84.