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ment of the independency and privileges of each particular country, and each particular church.
“ Si quam prærogativam,” says the archbishop in his letter to Girardin," after having defied the court of Rome to produce any precept of Christ in favour of the primacy of its bishop, “ecclesiæ concilia sedis imperialis episcopo concesserint, etsi cadente imperio etiam ea prerogativa excidisse merito possit censeri, tamen, quod ad me attinet, servatis semper regnorum juribus, ecclesiarum libertatibus, episcoporum dig. nitate, modo in cæteris conveniatur, per me licet, suo fruatur qualicumque Primatu: non ego illi locum primum, non inanem honoris titulum invideo. At in alias ecclesias dominari, &c. hæc nec nos unquam ferre potuimus, nec vos debetis."
It appears farther, from these letters, that any proposals or terms conceived by the archbishop in relation to this project of union, were of a vague and general nature, and that his views terminated rather in a plan of mutual toleration than in a scheme for effectuating an entire uniformity. The scheme that seemed to his Grace the most likely to succeed, was, that “ the independence of every national church, or any other, and its right to determine all matters that arise within itself, should be acknowledged on both sides; that for points of doctrine, they should agree, as far as possible, in all articles of any moment, as in effect the two churches either already did, or easily might; and in other matters, that a difference should be allowed until God should bring them to an union in them also." It must be, however, though the expression is still general, that the archbishop was for “purging out of the public offices of the church all such things as hinder a perfect communion in divine service, so that persons coming from one church to the other might join in prayers, and the holy sacrament, and the public service." He was persuaded that, in the liturgy of the church of England, there was nothing but what the Roman Catholics would adopt, except the single Rubric relating to the eucharist; and that in the Romish liturgy there was nothing to which Protestants object, but what the more rational Romanists agree might be laid aside, and yet the public offices be never the
q No. VI.
worse, or more imperfect, for the want of it. He there. fore thought it proper to make the demands already mentioned the groundwork of the project of union, at the beginning of the negotiation ; not that he meant to stop here, but that, being thus far agreed, they might the more easily go farther, descend to particulars, and render their scheme more perfect by degrees.'
The violent measures of the court of Rome against that part of the Gallican church which refused to admit the constitution Unigenitus as an ecclesiastical law, made the archwishop imagine that it would be no difficult matter to bring this opposition to an open rupture, and to engage the persons concerned in it to throw off the papal yoke, which seemed to be borne with impatience in France. The despotic bull of Clement XI. dated August 28, 1718, and which begins with the words, Pastoralis officii, was a formal act of excommunication, thundered out against all the anticonstitutionists, as the opposers of the bull Unigenitus were called ; and it exasperated the doctors of the Sorbonne in the highest degree. It is to this that the archbishop alludes, when he says, in his letter to Mr. Beauvoir, dated the 234 of January, 1718,"" At present he, the pope, has put them out of his communion. We have withdrawn ourselves from his; both are out of communion with him, and I think it is not material on which side the breach lies.” But the wished-for separation from the court of Rome, notwithstanding all the provocations of its pontiff, was still far off. Though, on numberless occasions, the French divines showed very little respect for the papal authority, yet the renouncing it altogether was a step, which required deep deliberation, and which, however inclined they might be to it, they could not make, if they were not seconded by the state. But from the state they were not likely to have any countenance. The regent of France was governed by the abbe Du Bois, and the abbe Du Bois was aspiring eagerly after a cardinal's cap. This circumstance, not more unimportant than many secret connexions and trivial views that daily influence the course of public events, the transactions of government, and the fate of nations, was sufficient to stop the Sorbonne and its doctors in the midst of their career; and in effect, it contributed greatly
t Sce the pieces subjoined to this Appendix, No. VIII.
to stop the correspondence of which I have been now giving an account, and to nip the project of union in the bud.
The correspondence between the archbishop and the two doctors of the Sorbonne had been carried on with a high degree of secrecy. This secrecy was prudent, as neither of the corresponding parties was authorized by the civil powers to negotiate an union between the two churches;' and, on Dr. Wake's part, it was partly owing to his having nobody that he could trust with what he did. He was satisfied, as he says in a letter to Mr. Beauvoir, “ that most of the high church bishops and clergy would readily come into such a design; but these, adds his Grace, are not men either to be confided in, or made use of, by
The correspondence, however, was divulged; and the project of union engrossed the whole conversation of the city of Paris. Lord Stanhope and Lord Stair were congratulated thereupon
by some great personages in the royal palace. The duke Regent himself, and abbe Du Bois, minister of foreign affairs, and Mr. Joli de Fleury, the attorney-general, gave the line at first, appeared to favour the correspondence and the project, and let things run on to certain lengths. But the Jesuits and Constitutioners sounded the alarm, and overturned the whole scheme, by spreading a report, that cardinal de Noailles, and his friends, the Jansenists, were upon the point of making a coalition with the heretics. Hereupon the regent was intimidated, and Du Bois had an opportunity of appearing a meritorious
candidate for a place in the sacred college. Dr. Piers Girardin was sent for to court, was severely reprimanded by Du Bois, and strictly charged, upon pain of being sent to the Bastile, to give up all the letters he had received from the archbishop of Canterbury, as also a copy of all his own. The doctor was forced to obey; and all the letters were immediately sent to Rome, as so many tro
y Dr. Wake seems to have been sensible of the impropriety of carrying on a negotiation of this nature without the approbation and countenance of government. “I have always," says he, in his letter to Mr. Beauvoir, which the reader will find at the end of this Appendix, No. X. “ taken it for granted, that no step should be taken toward an union, but with the knowledge, approbation, and even by the authority of civil powers. All, therefore, that has passed hitherto, stands clear of any exception as to the civil magistrale. It is only a consultation, in order to find out a way how an union might be made, if a fit occasion should hereafter be offered."
z See the letters subjoined, No. IX.
phies, says a certain author, gained from the enemies of the church. The archbishop's letters were greatly admired, as striking proofs both of his catholic benevolence and extensive abilities.
Mr. Beauvoir informed the archbishop, by a letter dated February 8, 1719, N. S. that Dr. Du Pin had been summoned, by the abbe Du Bois, to give an account of what had passed between him and Dr. Wake. This step naturally suspended the correspondence, though the archbishop was at a loss, at first, whether he should look upon it as favourable, or detrimental, to the projected union." The letters which he wrote to Mr. Beauvoir and Dr. Du Pin after this, express the same sentiments which he discovered through the whole of this transaction. The letter to Dr. Du Pin, more especially, is full of a pacific and reconciling spirit ; and expresses the archbishop's desire of cultivating fraternal charity, with the doctors, and his regret at the ill success of their endeavours toward the projected union. Du Pin died before this letter, which was retarded by some accident, arrived at Paris. Before the archbishop had heard of his death, he wrote to Mr. Beauvoir, to express his concern that an account was going to be published of what had passed between the two doctors and himself; and his hope, “ that they would keep in generals, as the only way to renew the good design, if occasion should serve, and to prevent themselves trouble from the reflections of their enemies," on account, as the archbishop undoubtedly means, of the concessions they had made, which, though insufficient to satisfy true Protestants, were adapted to exasperate bigoted Papists. The prelate adds, in the conclusion of this letter, “ I shall be glad to know that your doctors still continue their good opinion of us. For, though we need not the approbation of men on our own account; yet I can not but wish it as a means to bring them, if not to a perfect agreement in all things with us, which is not presently to be expected, yet to such an union as may put an end to the odious charges against, and conse
a These trophies were the defeat of the moderate part of the Gallican church, and the ruin of their project to break the papal yoke and unite with the church of England. See above note ", page 65, where the conclusion which the author of the Confessional has drawn from this expression is shown to be groundless.
b See his letter to Mr. Beauvoir, in the pieces subjoined, No. XI. dated February 5, 1718–19, 0. S. that is, February 16, 1719, N, S. c See ibid. No. XI.--XVIII. d See his letter to Mr. Beauvoir, No. XV.
quential aversion of us, as heretics and schismatics, and, in truth, make them cease to be so."
Dr. Du Pin, whom the archbishop very sincerely lamented, as the only man, after Mr. Ravechet, on whom the hopes of a reformation in France seemed to depend, left behind him an account of this famous correspondence. Some time before he died, he showed it to Mr. Beauvoir, and told him, that he intended to communicate it to a very great man, probably the regent. Mr. Beauvoir observed to the doctor, that one would be led to imagine, from the manner in which this account was drawn up, that the archbishop made the first overtures with respect to the correspondence, and was the first who intimated his desire of the union; whereas it was palpably evident that he, Dr. Du Pin, had first solicited the one and the other. Du Pin acknowledged this freely and candidly, and promised to rectify it, but was prevented by death.
It does not, however, appear that Du Pin's death put a final stop to the correspondence ; for we learn by a letter from the archbishop to Mr. Beauvoir, dated August 27, 1719, that Dr. Piers Girardin frequently wrote to his Grace. But the opportunity was past; the appellants from the bull Unigenitus, or the anticonstitutionists, were divided; the court did not smile at all upon the project, because the regent was afraid of the Spanish party and the Jesuits; and therefore the continuation of this correspondence after Du Pin's death was without effect.
Let the reader now, after having perused this historical account, judge of the appearance which Dr. Wake makes in this transaction. An impartial reader will certainly draw from this whole correspondence the following conclusions: That archbishop Wake was invited to this correspondence by Dr. Du Pin, the most moderate of all the Roman Catholic divines ; that he entered into it with a view to improve one of the most favourable opportunities that could be offered, of withdrawing the church of France from the jurisdiction of the pope, a circumstance which must have immediately weakened the power of the court of Rome; and, in its consequences, offered a fair prospect of a farther reformation in doctrine and worship, as the case happened in the church of England, when it happily threw off the papal yoke; that he did not give Du Pin, or any of the doctors of the Sorbonne, the smallest