תמונות בעמוד
PDF

had sent to him to desire that he would be with her upon such a day at such a time. Accordingly, Dr. Waterland came to wait upon her at the time; but she happening accidentally to be engaged with some other company, and the Doctor being kept a good while waiting without, till her Majesty should be disengaged, , and that being protracted much longer than was exexpected or intended, he (the Doctor) went away at last without any leave, and the Queen finding this afterwards, when her company had left her, took this ill from the Doctor, and for some time did from hence shew some dislike to him. However, at length, she was quite reconciled to him, and latterly (as I have heard likewise from the Doctor himself) she received him with much favour and regard. 5. That there was once a formed design to make Dr. Clarke a Bishop; and upon this Bishop Trimnel came over to Archbishop Wake, in order to get his acquiescence in it. But the Archbishop expressed his utter dislike to the thing, and declared he would not consecrate Dr. Clarke, whatever was the consequence to himself. He would incur a premunire, and the loss of every thing rather than act thus far in it. And upon this resolution of the Archbishop, the design was dropped. 6. That Archbishop Wake had greatly too much timidity about him in many cases, and too little vigilance for the good of the Church, though otherwise a very good man, and a well-wisher to good men and good principles. But for want of discernment of one side, and attention or spirit of the other, he suffered many bad things to be done, and several unworthy men to be highly preferred, without shewing due care and encouragement of bettermen, though he often had it in his power to do the last and prevent the former. This Archbishop Potter (then Bishop of Oxford) took the freedom one day to represent to REM Exi BRANCER, No. 30.

him, and desired him to look round and see how little regard had been shewn for so many years past by the great men to a number of eminent divines, while others of a different character found every advancement. That the Archbishop was moved extremely with this representation, and pleaded only for himself, that really he had not observed or considered so much the state of things before, but would be more attentive for the future. His Grace added to me, that the truth was, Archbishop Wake was not deep enough in theology and learning, especially antiquity, to know how to fix a proper rule of acting in his station, and therefore had not a proper firmness and steadiness in his conduct. That moreover, he was chiefly influenced by Bishop Trimnel, as long as he lived, who had too much regard to some great men of the laity, to do the Church much Service. 7. That Bishop Willis was a very superficial man in all learning; and being fond unaccountably of the Geneva discipline, was no cordial friend to our ecclesiastical constitution; and that he opened himself once pretty fully to his Grace, then Dr. Potter, who took occasion to enlarge pretty strongly on the other side, and referred the Bishop to certain books for his full satisfaction, if he pleased. 8. That though the Convocation had not sat for many years, yet the right of sitting was still preserved entire, together with all the original powers of the Archbishop, &c. That farther no absolute prohibition had been given him from above against their sitting, nor any general discouragement to it, but that the royal licence might be easily obtained for that purpose, whenever it should be likely to him and other sincere friends of the Church, that the Convocation might sit to good effect, and unto the real benefit of this Church. 9. That when Bishop Hoadley's sermon before the King had given X x

so much offence to the Convocation, and it was debated among the Clergy what to do upon it, his Grace (Dr. Potter) had frequent meetings about it, with Bishop Smallridge and others of the superior Clergy, well affected to the Church of England. And that his Grace proposed it as the most unexceptionable way to proceed in, and as equally effectual for the purpose, to censure not the Bishop's sermon, but one of Dr. Sykes's, lately preached upon the same text, and containing the very same obnoxious principles. That by this expedient, they would avoid any seeming rudeness to his Majesty (who had ordered the Bishop's sermon to be published) and at the same time would virtually condemn that sermon, by censuring Dr. Sykes's. This proposal was very agreeable to Bishop Atterbury and several others, the strongest Churchmen, but the warmersmen being the most numerous, it was carried in Convocation to censure the Bishop’s sermon directly, and this imprudent step produced the ill effects which followed. 10. That Charles Montague Lord Halifax, upon the turn of things in the beginning of George the First's reign, was very earnest with the great mass of his friends, to proceed moderately in the disposal of places, and was very desirous that men of ability and character, though Tories and in with the former ministry, might not be turned out, but continued in full favour. That, however his applications to this purpose became ineffectual with his party, and his not succeeding in the design affected his spirits and temper so much, as to be thought the chief cause of his early death. 11. That the late first King of Prussia, being desirous to be crowned by a Bishop, created Ursinay (one of his own chaplains) a Bishop nominally, for that purpose, though really not made such in any proper * form, before or afterwards. 12. That Dr. Grabe left Prussia,

and came into England in King William’s time, to avoid the troubles which were likely to befall him in his own country, on account of some offence he had given there in some religious matters, for which he was summoned once before an ecclesiastical consistory. That when he first came over here, he was almost a stranger to all philological learning and criticism, though otherwise a man well acquainted with the Holy Scriptures, and some antient writers of the Church. That he lived at first a good deal, or chiefly at 0xford, in chambers which the learned Dr. Mill very kindly assigned to him in his own Hall; and drew up there at the instance and under the direction of the same Dr. Mill, his Spicilegium Patrum, which he af. terwards published. That moreover his Grace was with Bishop Stillingfleet when Dr. Grabe waited upon the Bishop with a present of some tract of his. N. B. April 10, 1745. His Grace Dr. Potter delivered a paper to the Duke of Newcastle, containing an earnest proposal, that Bishops atcording to the form of the Church of England, may be established in America, with reasons for it, and anticipating indirectly of presumed objections to it. This paper I have read myself, soon after it was delivered by his Grace’s favour.

--**

To the Editor of the Remembrancer.

(Continued from P. 280.) Sir,

III. My third position is “that though I propose religious character as the general aim or object of mankind, as that object by the attaining of which we fulfil all the conditions of future happiness, I do not, any more than Scripture does, propose any limitation of their object or end:—that though Scripture does not limit us to this object it does propose it to us; and that to propose it, as I have attempted to do, in strict analogy to what is done in Scripture, may often have an emiment moral utility.” What you say on this point is that it may well be “doubted whether a continual attention to the state and progress of our motives and affections will not distract the attention from more important objects, will not monopolize our assiduity, and Inislead our judgment.” (C. R. p. 167.) Undoubtedly—but you have failed to observe that the same caution is repeatedly and even systematically enforced throughout my work”. You proceed to urge that “we are to be determined through life by considering not merely what is most likely to improve our mind and character, but generally by considering what is right, and what is wrong.” (C. R. p. 167.) “Where,” you ask, “does the Gospel limit our object to the acquisition of good habits." (P. 164.) “ We receive a great variety of consistent rules to every part of which it is necessary that we should attend.” “It would be highly improper to lay” them “aside or to treat them as a mere matter of deduction and inference, instead of substantial and positive precepts.”

(p. 165.) I agree entirely with what

you have said so well: and you are quite aware that I consider the Gospel as something much better than any system of philosophy can be. But then you suppose me to treat the rules of the Gospel as being mere matters of deduction and inference:— that is, I presume, you suppose me to mean, that the just motive for abstaining from those acotions from which the Gospel commands us to abstain, or for doing ...those which it commands us to do, is not that we have to obey an ex"pressicommand, but that we infer *lorio a you to "... See Human Motives, P. II. C. iv. v. 'si and particularly pp. 170–172. 182– *18481*, *ts, ests to as so son

or argue that our motives, or characters, will derive, as the case may be, benefit or injury, from the doing of those actions, or the abstaining from them. Now what I have said on this point is briefly this. In the distribution which I have made of the human motives into their several orders or kinds, I have explicitly and repeatedly stated piety to be by far the most comprehensive and important of them all. But in this great motive is evidently included the whole principle of paying obedience to God's will. The term obedience, indeed, is not expressed in that delineation of the nature of piety, which, in the chapter which treats formally of this motive *, I have copied from one of Butler's Sermons; but then the principle is clearly implied in “reverence,” and the other affections there specified: and accordingly I speak of piety in the next paragraph +, as “regulating all the inferior motives, and the conduct which they suggest or impel, in due subordination and reference to" God’s “will.”—This is obedience.— And, so also, in the only proof which I have thought necessary to give of the moral utility of the affection of benevolence. I refer to the positive command of God, that he who loveth Hin should love his brother also 1. Let me here request you also to advert for a few monients to the third and fourth sections of Part II. C. iii. “On the necessity of definite and particular rules,” and “on the principle on which these rules are to be constructed.” In what is there said of the direct utility of teaching the rules of morals on authority, and to the wise not less than to the ignorant, it is plain that I consider obedience to precept as forming the practical aim or object of all men. Nor can any reader, I think, fail to perceive that the special conclusion, intended to be drawn from the ar

* Human Motives, p. 58, o f l bid., p. 60' at #. Human Motives, p. 8?, f, to

gument of these sections, is that all
Christians derive an eminent advan-
tage from the rules expressly taught
in Scripture. At least I persuaded
myself, while writing those sections,
that this was the obvious inference
which they would suggest.
I have, I believe, now shown that
by proposing religious character as
the general aim or object of man-
kind, I do not, any more than Scrip-
ture does, propose any limitation of
their objects or ends. For you will
not say that we limit the moral ob-
ject, when we propose an object so
important and comprehensive that
the whole of morals is included in its
scope. I have now to show that
even the Scripture itself does pro-
pose this object for our imitation;
and that to propose it, as I have
attempted to do, in strict analogy
to what is done in Scripture, may
often have an eminent moral utility.
Where then is this object pro-
posed in Scripture?—Wherever love
is said to fulfil the law:—In very
many of those numerous passages in
which salvation is said to be couse-
quent on faith;-and in all those in
which our Saviour himself is set
before us as the perfect model or
object of imitation.
If then this object be proposed in
Scripture, I might spare myself the
question whether or no it be useful
so to propose it. But it may still
be proper to show specifically what
uses, the so proposing of it, or the
tracing of a system which serves to
explain the manner in which all sub-
ordinate objects of pursuit are com-
prised or included in this compre-
hensive one, is calculated to afford.
1n the first place, it is certain that
almost all men, all men at least who
have had a tolerable education, and
have ever thought seriously of the
condition of human life, do, in fact,
in some way or other, attempt to
systematize their moral opinions.
That they must and will do this is
shown abundantly by the history of
moral theories, and still more for-
cibly by that of the theories of re-

ligion, Now all these persons, as you are fully aware, must of necessity fall into some of those errors into which all partial and imperfect systems betray; such for example, as that of comprising in benevolence the whole of human virtue or excellence; unless they are taught a more comprehensive system, a system

which includes in its wide circuit.

every principle which moral science
can embrace.
On this ground, therefore, on
which it were easy to enlarge, a true
system must be of evident usefulness,
though it were only to serve to pro-
tect us from those errors into which
all partial systems betray. I might
add also that, without some system
or other, there can be no method by
which we can prove any precept to
be in its nature holy, just, and good;
or by which we can trace any con-
nection whatever between the doc-
trines of a spiritual religion, and the
requisitions of a moral law. And
it is quite certain that to trace the
connection between those doctrines
and these requisitions, to show that
they are connected, as parts of a
system, or by the ties and depen-
dencies of that order of nature which
we find established by the will of
God, enables us to advance both in

the study of doctrine, and corres

pondingly also in the practice of virtue, with a far greater degree of firmness and alacrity, than that with which we should be able to proceed, if we could not see their connection, or if we held them to have no connection at all, or to be connected only by an arbitrary decree. Indeed, if our experience can teach us any thing, it teaches that to discern the reason of a precept always insures a prompter obedience to it; and though Scripture is not written systematically, few books contain so much reference to first principles, or so much require to be systematically explained; and no writers can be more diligent in instructing men in the reasons of their duty, or the true motives to prac

tice it, than the Scripture writers are seen to be. * So far on the uses of proposing, inonecomprehensive system or form, the moral objector pattern of human life, uses which are, I think, manifestly intended in all those comprehensive summaries of our duty, which are in various places set forth in Scripture, some of which have been already recited. Let me repeat, however, that though I consider the system, in which I have proposed the religious character for imitation, to be thus incontestibly a useful system, it has not been the main intention of my treatise to propose or assert a system or theory. I speak, certainly, and this for the sake of system, of one great object, as comprehending all objects at which we have to aim in order to attain future happiness. If, however, men will but aim at all those objects which are included in that comprehensive one, they will so attain the great end proposed to them, even thongh they fail to understand the system in which all those objects are comprehended, and lose, as I think, for want of that system, one method of attaining their great end. My main argument is that if, of all the subordinate virtues, there be not one, which is not purified and exalted by the influence of religious character, or of religious motives, we cannot possibly attain those virtues themselves in that their purest and most exalted state, unless we keep also that character in view. That character, so in view, must be an object to which it is indispensably necessary for us to attend, whether it be a comprehensive object or no. IV. I must now show, fourthly, “that to propose as the test of ac

tions, in the way in which I have

proposed it, the tendency to the formation of religious character, is not to exclude, in any proper case, other tests which are more precise and specifie; and that, however vague this test may be, it is both

useful and necessary that we should have it.” - I might here say, that, if as has

been proved “, religious character

be an object we have to pursue, the tendency to the formation of that character, must, of necessity, be the ultimate test of all actions which have that object in view. If we want to arrive at any place, our consideration must be, what is the road to it? And so, whatever end we pursue, the laying down of the road, or the tendency, to it, must, of necessity, be the final test of the question, whether we be pursuing it wisely or not. And though other tests, which are more precise and specific, may often have more practical use than this has; those tests, again, must, in the last resort, come always to be tried by the same tendency. Thus, let the object be an increase of benevolence, a virtue included in the attainment of the religious character. A question arises respecting the uses of almsgiving as the proper method by which this object is to be gained. We must now inquire, therefore, into the tendency of giving alms —or say that Scripture has decided this point, we have still only the same tendency for our guide, in determining the rules or limitations by which the practice of almsgiving should be defined. This proof, I believe, of the necessity of this test, supposing our object to be the attainment of religious character, does not, in strictness, need any addition. But to be more particular: since, though the necessity of this test follows directly, if I mistake not, from my last position, it is also capable of being separately proved; and the separate proof of it may throw an additional light on the principle for which I have all alon been arguing, and on the practica benefit which it may afford:

* See above the proof of the IIId, powtion. -

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« הקודםהמשך »