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intended to answer. So long as they keep within such allowed limits of interpretation, they need only be careful to avoid, what would be their greatest possible error, Mr. Overton's exclusive sentiment,
We, and we only, are the true Churchmen.” Whether Mr. C. thinks exactly as I do on the subject of subscription, I do not know; but, since he deemed it necessary at all to refer to the grounds, on which, thinking as he does of the 17th Article, he rests the defence of his subscription to it, I wish he had gone on to state them more particularly. Sure I am, from my knowledge of his integrity, that he can defend it upon a better principle than that of recrimination ; which, at best, is a defence, that can be addressed only to particular persons, and which, even with respect to them, is more adapted to silence than convince. To subscribe any article in a sense, in which we do not believe it to be true; or, what is the same thing, to suppose that the sense, in which we believe it to be true, is not one of the senses, in which subscription is allowed by authority, is nothing less than to prevaricate ; and my friend cannot prevaricate, however, for want of a more full explication of his sentiments, he may have given occasion to those who have not the advantage of knowing him, to think or say so.
Towards the end of his letter, Mr. Cobbold, in his endeavour to show the agreement between the Article and the Liturgy, makes use of an illustration, drawn from the doctrine of the Trinity, from which, I am persuaded, he would have abstained, if he had been aware of its tendency. What need is there of attempting to make a doctrine, which is supposed to be erroneous, agree with the Liturgy, which is supposed to be true? Can error' agree with truth? If it could, would it be proper to illustrate their agreement by the agreement of two other propositions, which are both supposed to be true ? If Mr. C. had made out, what it was not his intention to do, that the Calvinistic doctrine of election, and the doctrine of conditional salvation are both true, his illustration would have been just and happy; but, when he afterwards tells us, that he does not believe the Calvinistic doctrine of election to be true, it leads us to suspect, what I am sure is not the case, that neither does he believe the two propositions, of which the doctrine of the Trinity is composed, to be both true. Rempstone, Nov. 9, 1803.
VINDICATION OF THE LATE DR. CROSSMAN.
TO THE EDITORS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE,
DURING the contest of conflicting passions, and whilst the heat
of Controversy endures, it is frequently extremely difficult for even unprejudiced persons, and the public at large, to come at the truth, and justly to appreciate the character of those individuals who,
whether willingly or not, have been brought into a prominent point of view before the tribunal of the public. But when those individuals, who have a good deal interested the public attention, are no more ; when those passions, which are too apt to adhere to human nature, and to cause each person to side with one party or the other, are hushed to silence; and when prejudice itself is buried with the deceased in the silence of the peaceful grave, I have frequently remarked, that there is so proper a sense of natural-justice residing in the breasts of men, that they have been readily disposed to give that eandid hearing to the apology for an individual when dead, which they could scarcely prevail on themselves to grant him whilst living. For the purpose therefore of vindicating the character of a much-traduced and most exemplary individual, and of recording some of his many virtues in the pages of your widely circulated, and, I trust, long-enduring Magazine, I venture to trouble you with the following particulars respecting one of the principal parties in the Blagdon Controversy, viz. my lately departed friend the Rector of West Monkton and Blagdon, in the unty of Somerset
As 'one step towards appreciating fairly the views and character of some of the principal parties in the above-mentioned long depending controversy, it is a circumstance which has not, apparently, made that impression on the public mind, which it ought to have done, that many letters of the Rector of Blagdon to his Curate, which were written under the presumed seal of secrecy, and in the confidence of friendship, to a man who, by his own printed confession, had been in habits of strict friendship with him for 17 years, were laid before the public expressly contrary to his consent and wishes. This I had from the late rector's own mouth, and I leave any one to judge how extremely unhandsome this conduct was from a man, who had declared in print, that he had received a series of civilities from his rector for the space of time which is mentioned above; and of what materials can we suppose his mind to be composed, who could suffer so long an arrear of friendship and kindness to be obliterated by the receipt of what he considered as one act of unkindness, even on the supposition of his complaint being well founded ? I had an opportunity of knowing how great a shock the above proceeding gave to the deceased, on its being first made known to him. For though, I believe, few men might, with less fear, submit their most secret proceedings to the eye of all mankind than the deceased; yet that fceling sense which he ever retained of what was delicate, honourable, and fair, led him to apprehend, that many things might have escaped his pen of a private nature, in the confidential epistolary correspondence with a man whom he had highly esteemed till this unfortunate affair, which he would by no means wish to have laid open to the public view. Added to this, his feelings were greatly shocked at meeting with such treatment from the person, from whom he had hitherto received only marks of attention, civility, and respect. The event, however, turned out that his apprehensions, on this score, were without founa? dation"; for he told me, “that there was not a single passage in any of his letters, that were printed on this occasion, which he could wish to have altered.” This does not, however, the least excuse the Vol. V. Churchm. Mag. Nov. 1803.
author of this unhandsome conduct; and few persons, besides himself, I am inclined to think, would have resorted to such an expedient.
With regard to the principles of the Sunday-School Master having leaned towards METHODISM, which seems to be the grand point at issue in this long protracted controversy, and on the proof of which the Curate chiefly, rested his defence, as likewise the reason of his first venturing to bring his cause before the public ; there are some circumstances which have a reference to this particular point, which I am inclined to think have never as yet been fairly laid before the bar of that tribunal to which the Curate thought fit to appeal. The circumstances, to which I now allude, are these which follow. The Rector of Blagdon being at the rectory-house in Blagdon, some time after the School-master had been appointed to the situation he then held, the Curate introduced him to his Rector as a man more than commonly well qualified for the situation he held, and as deserving of encouragement on that account, and this, as the deceased himself told me, in the presence of a person who is now living. And lest it should be supposed, that I had fabricated this very importunt fact, I will add, that the person named by the deceased as being present on the aboveoccasion, was Matthew Brickdale, Esq. his father-in-law, who resides at West-Monkton, in the county of Somerset. Having sometime before received so warm a recommendation of the School-master, it was extremely natural that he should wish to have the fact above-mentioned well ascertained, and that his Curate would take the trouble of thoroughly investigating the possibility of his having been imposed on by some ill-disposed person. In the mean time, the Rector received intimation that the charge which had been preferred by his Curate arose from personal pique, and that the charge itself was devoid of foundation. Here I am aware it may be said, and I know personally that it has been said, that as the Rector found the School-master was obnoxious to his Curate, he ought to have supported the latter against the former, and then this lengthened controversy would never have existed. This, I think, is the real ground of all the blame which has been, or possibly can be, cast upon the conduct of the late Rector throughout this affair. But let any unprejudiced individual fairly consider the very delicate predicament, in which the late Rector at that time stood. He had received strong intimation, that this was merely a private affair between the two individuals already mentioned. Wishing, therefore, if this were indeed the case, that the breach might be made up between them, he thought it right to pause a short time till contending passions began to cool, and did not suppose that a small delay could be productive of any, and much less of such serious ill-consequences as have proceeded from it; and that at last, if proper, he could give permission to the removal of the School-master. In this state of the business, the controversy came before the public, and the very opposite evidence which came forth from the different parties concerned in it, must be ailowed to be an excuse for the late Rector's not sooner coming to a decision on the quest.on, as it may fairly be conjectured that even at this present moment numbers scarcely know how to inake up their minds con. cerning it. But how much soever or how little soever the above excuse may
be allowed by the public, there is one point concerning which I should be most happy to rectify the public opinion, because, as I am enabled to speak on it expressly from my own knowledge, I feel inclined to hope that my testimony may throw some light upon it. The many pamphlets which have come before the public, in the course of the Blagdon Controversy, have a manifest tendency to shew the late Rector of Blagdon in the light of the patron and supporter of METHODISM. This idea I feel extremely anxious to combat and disprove. In all the serious conversation on this and other subjects connected with it, that I have had, at different times with my late worthy and much-lamented friend, and which, in the course of my ten years acquaintance with him, have been many, I solemnly protest that no opinion ever escaped his lips, in the least degree favourable to the cause or tenets of Methodism; but always directly the reverse. And, in particular, I remember, and shall remember as long as I live, in the last serious conversation but one that I had with him a few weeks only before his death, we were discoursing on the subject of the Calvinistic doctrines of absolute predestination and reprobation, &c. and my deceased friend spoke of them with the greatest horror and detestation, as striking at the root of all morality, and subversive of the genuine doctrines of our Saviour's religion. In addition to this he told me, at that time, of his having been formerly appointed by his brother Magistrates examiner of those ignorant and impudent fanatics who came to the Quartersessions to be licensed as teachers or preachers of separate congres gations, and of the ease and particular manner with which he confounded them, and in consequence their being absolutely denied such licence. And is such a man as this to be maligned with impunity, as the abettor and supporter of the horrible doctrines of Calvin ? Forbid it honour ; and forbid it justice !!
I can foresee, Gentlemen, no material objection to the candid ree ception of this vindication with an impartial public, except it be on the ground that I am the warm friend and admirer of the late worthy Rector of Blagdon, and therefore can only be considered as a partial evidence in his cause ; consequently that evidence must be received with
many grains of allowance. I confess that I am indeed his warm friend and admirer, and I glory in the confession ; and I will add, that no good mind could long enjoy the happiness of his acquaintance and not both admire and respect him. That I have enjoyed the honour of his friendship-that I have partaken of the benefit of his conversation and advice that I have so long had the advantage of his excellent example constantly before my eyes, are circumstances which will be reflected on with pleasure to the latest moment of my life. The remembrance of his worth and goodness is so deeply impressed on my "heart, that no distance of time, I am well convinced, will ever be able to efface it, I shall bear about me the most tender respect for his
memory so long as life endures ; and when the lamp of existence is glimmering in its socket ; when I stand upon the extreme verge of that undiscovered country, “ from whose bourne no traveller has R 12
yet returned ;” if reason and if memory remain unto me, it will be my last humble prayer to the Throne of Grace, that I may be found worthy to partake of his society and fellowship in the realms of eternal bliss. Truly sorry, however, should I be if an idea should prevail, that I have sacrificed Truth on the altar of FRIENDSHIP; or advanced a single sentence which ponour and TRUTH would not fully justify: No; in this instance I have spoken " the truth and nothing but the truth," and I have done this solely with a view of doing bare justice to the memory of a most worthy individual, by rescuing it from unjust and unmerited calumny. The late Dr. Crossman's character was of too bright, too luminous a nature to stand in need of the meretricious ornaments of falsehood to deck it out; it required only the faithful colouring of truth to make it stand in that high and just degree of estimation to which it is most justly entitled. Whilst any sense of goodness, any affection for virtue remain amongst the sons
his memory will be revered by all who had the happiness of knowing him personally, and his character will be held in the highest degree of estimation by those who knew him from description alone.
I am, Gentlemen,
With the warmest wishes for the success of your Miscellany, Creech-Saint-Michael,
Your's very sincerely, Nov. 10, 1803.
REMARKS ON THE WORD ORTHODOX.
"TO THE EDITORS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE.
GENTLEMEN, AWARE of the prejudice, which is generally entertained against the
term Orthodor, it has been my endeavour, ever since I became a reader of your miscellany, and more especially since I became a contributor to it, to remove that prejudice from the minds of those, to whom I have thought it right to recommend it; and it has occurred to me, that I might be able to do this still more effectually, if you
would permit me to state my thoughts on the subject to your readers in general.
Many persons, confounding orthodoxy with bigotry, are apt to imagine, that a pretence to orthodoxy is utterly incompatible with all free enquiry. It is, indeed, but too true, that zealous persons of all per*suasions, taking for granted, that their own opinions are right, compliment them with the title of orthodox; and thus it comes to pass that there are as many sorts of orthodoxy in the world, as there are varieties of opinion. This, however, being an evident misapplication of the term, an unfavourable idea of it, which is conceived on this ground, can be no other than a prejudice. Bigotry refers to the me. thod of supporting an opinion, rather than to the nature of the opinion itself. The orthodox man holds a right opinion, and he holds it be cause he believes it to be a right one. The heterodor man holds a wrong opinion, believing it to be a right one. The bigot is obstinately ,