« PreviousContinue »
tages of the military character are very strikingly dilineated; and the preacher's exhortations while they cannot but be profilable to all descriptions of persons, must have been particularly felt by the military part of his audience, Mr. Symons takes occasion very judiciously to expose the absurdity of Mr. Warner's position of the inconsista ency of war with Christianity. “There are those," he obseryes, “who talk of the unlawfulness of war, and the inconsistence of war with Christianity ; but they anticipate a period which is not yet come; and have not considered that till that time, which future ages are encour raged to expect, wars and fightings there must be, While one nation remains unconverted to the gospel, or uninfluenced by its benign and peaceful principles, we must ever be subject to the banetul effects of ambition, avarice, national pride, jealousieș, resentments, and all the passions which actuate and inflame the feelings of nations as of individuals: and as in private life it is not the most peaceful dispositions on our own part that will protect us from the quarrelsome, and contentious tempers of others; so in our pational and public concerns, however peaceable our own dispositions may be, however just and honourable our conduct towards other nations, other nations may not be like-minded with ourselvesthey may not be governed by the same principles, actuated by the same just and honourable motives, or disposed, like ourselves, to do the things which make for peace. Their hostile temper and conduct may force us into war against our strongest inclination; and if we are not prepared for defence, the consequences are too obvious for the slightest penetration not to discover. At this time, for instance, what would the stake of this country, and all its dependencies be, if we were not armed in our defence, and prepared to defeat the hostile designs of an ambitious and restless enemy, who envies our prosperity, and will allow no peace to his neighbours, nor any security but in their own spirited exertions to protect and defend themselves.”.
From the advice given by John the Baptist to the sol, diers, Mr. Symons takes occasion to infer the lawfulness of war, and to frame a suitable exhortation to his military hearers.
“The silence of the Baptist,” says he, “upon the subject of the lawfulness or unlawfulness of war, would be a tacit admission, that it is not inconsistent with the duty of Christians; but he goes further: he not only allows the thing, but points out the way in which it is to be done. As much as to say, your profession is a necessary. one. War is unavoidable; but take care that it is to be conducted upon principles of justice and humanity. “ Do violence to no man," nor employ the power which is put into your hands to the purposes of oppression and wrong."
We should be glad to see this admirable discourse printed in a small and cheap form, for general distribution among all who bear the military character, from the general to the private soldier.
An Address to LORD TEIGNMOUTH, President of the Bri
tish and Foreign Bible Society, occasioned by his Address to the Clergy of the Church of England. By a Country Clergyman, 8vo. Pp. 36. N no part of the world can there be found so many and for other objects of avowed general good, as in this kingdom. The liberality of the British nation can only be equalled by a correspondent spirit of good natured and easy credulity. Imposing professions are certain to meet with implicit credence, and the most liberal encouragement. Hence we observe continually new societies arising, pretending to have for their pure and disinterested objects, the spreading of truth, the promotion of virtue, or the remedy of some prevalent evils, while in reality the whole design originates.solely in the private speculation of some artful individuals, or with a crafty and insidious view to promote a party purpose. Thus we have missionary societies, otbers for circulating religious tracts, some for supporting Sunday and other charitable schools, and now our attention is called to one designating itself the British and Foreign Bible Society. All these are in fact nothing less than so many branches of that great body of schism and fanaticism, which at the present moment, threatens the destruction of the established church, and to inundate the land with hypocrisy, blasphemy, rebellion, and the numerous pestilential evils which distinguished the Oliverian period of our history.
I'he acute author of the address before us, has done great service to the cause of truth, by unmasking the real character, and exposing the hidden views of the
Society Society to which Lord Teignmouth has most imprudently lent the sanction of his name.
After some very sensible observations on the propriety of exercising caution before one unites with any society, the letter-writer comes to a particular consideration of this institution : !
“When I cast my eye over the list of your officers, and sub-seribers, (over which your Lordship's eye has undoubtedly passed,) I am really in doubt, whether your Lordship be in jest or carnest, when you recommend the institution to the attention of a Clergyman of the Church of England; and, I wonder much, what arguments your Lordship can use, to press it home." In this list, I must acknowledge, I see many respectable names, with which I should be happy to place mine. But I likewise see a very Jarge proportion of others, with which, as an honest man, i can have nothing to do; I see many names of persons whose objects and pursuits have been diametrically the opposite of mine:
what I build, they pull down: what I teach, they mock, and endeavour to render ineffectual. The sacred cause, which as a Clergyman of the Church of England, I have sworn to serve and support, (and which, with the best talents I have, I will support, as long as I have my life,) they hold up to scorn, and abuse with hard names and jeers. They vilify my character, as a servant of the Most Higbest, and set ine forth to the world, as a dishonest man. Now, were I, my Lord, allured by your Lordship's invitation, and tempted by the sound of what you call lie“ liberal basis of your establishmeụt;" (the sense of which I have not yet apprehended :) should I be induced, I say, to venture myself into the company of men, of whom I have hitherto always been horribly afraid, being frightened at the idea' of having the national establishinent blown up, as one of them said, clergy and all: can your Lordship afford me protection and safety? can your Lordship shew me, that our days are so evangelical, that the lamb may now dwell with the wolf in safety? I see your Lordship is ready kindly to allay my fears; and to demand, if persons associating for the simple and pure putpose of disseminating the Scriptures, ought to be suspected of such views and projects ? My Lord, since I have been a shepherd, I have seen so many wolves, and have undergone such terrors for my poor sheep, that you must have the charity to pity my weakness, and excuse my unconquerable fears. Those who are old in the business, have a right at least to be attended to, in matters which concern their experience. Wolves, my Lord, our great Master has warned us, sometimes put on sheep's clothing; and we find, I assure you, much harder work with these crafty beasts, than with those, which, without disguise, prowl about in their proper character.' But have I not Joo good reason to be afraid of those who openly, and fairly
avow, that their object is to eat us up, both sheep and shepherd tvo? In plain terms, if your Lordship can demonstrate to us, that those persons with whom you invite me to associate, under pretence of doing God service, have at any time really revoked their hostility to the church and ministry, which they have so frequently, and so fully avowed; shew us the time when, and the place where, they have deliberately recanted their wellknown threats and projects, repented of their numerous slanders and calumnies, and have as soleinnly sworn peace with the church and clergy, as before they have sworn and pursued their enmity. Nay, my Lord, I ask no unreasonable thing; if you can only shew, that upon this present occasion alone, they have explicitly and solemnly put off their old man of hostility and hatred, aud have put on the new man of peace, and love, and concord—I am silent, I request your secretary will please to insert my name, and accept my donation. But, my good Lord, if the enmity of these men has never been revoked; if their hostility, and destructive resolutions have never been cancelled; if no proof to the contrary can be adduced, but we are still left in possession of the thousand well-known proofs; nay, in many places, of the open confession of iheir intentions of undermining and destroying both church establishment and clergy too: I then will leave it to any person of sane intellect to determine, whether it be prudent, whether it be upright, whether it be safe, to accept your Lordship's proposal.”
The author then proceeds to object against the plan of the institution : “ not indeed to the simple, pure object of disseminating the Scriptures:” for “one of these days he hopes to see the earth full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. The mischief lies in the manner and the means of carrying that object into effect.
“ Your society is composed of pot only many secret foes, and treacherous familiar friends, but of a very large proportion of sworn enemies of the church; to which enemies, a much larger share of influence is given by the rules and regulations of your society, than naturally they have any right to. The consequence of which measure is this: that your society, so far from being, in amity with the constitutional church of this kingdom, upholds and promotes the cause of its adversaries; and consequently seeks and assists in its destruction.”
It is very judiciously observed, that
“ The word of God is in itself pure and perfect, and, more to be desired than much fine gold: but as the finest gold may be turned to base purposes, so may the Scrip, tures. For, Alas! through the lusts of men, and the co-, vetousness of the world, the precious book of flie is made the instrument of error, as well as of truth; of much evil, as, well as of infinite good. When it is remembered, that to the Scriptures, not only the true church of Christ appeals for confirmation of its divine doctrine, but likewise that every sect and heresy, by which it ever was defaced, has regularly pretended likewise to deduce its error; 'when we observe the Papist, and Puritan, the Socinian, and Calvinist, the Baptist, and Quaker, all appealing to the Bible for the truth of their principles, and pretending to prove them thereby ;- it will not be maintained, I think, that the mere distribution of Bibles, under the present circumstances of the times, is likely to spread the truth. On the contrary, it is to be expected, that each member of your heterogeneous society, will draw his portion of books for the promotion of his particular opinion: for it is easily seen, that a Bible given away by a Papist, will be productive of popery. The Socinian will make his Bible speak, and spread socinianism : while the Calvinist, the Baptist, and the Quaker, will teach the opinions peculiar to their sects. Supply these men with Bibles, (I speak as to a true churchman) and you supply them with arins against yourself.”
The hostility of this sanctified Institution to the esta-. . blished Church, is thus incontrovertibly proved.
" It was to have been expected, that your Lordship, who professes to be of the established denomination of Christians, if you had been disinclined to assist the church, would certainly not have betrayed her, in any degree or mode; much less have addressed a clergyman, inviting hiin to do the same. My Lord, this I never will believe was your own act and deed. You have lent an incautious ear to some insidious friend, who abuses your respectable name to purposes of his own. How else is it possible to conceive that your Lordship could have invited me into an association, under such a regulation as that which is numbered eleven? in which the committee, (which is “ to conduct the business of the society, appoint all officers, except the treasurer, have power to call special meetings, and are charged with procuring for the society suitable patronage) shall consist of thirty-six laymen; of whom twenty-four who shall have most frequently attended, shall be eligible for re-election for the ensuing year; six shall be foreigners, resident in London or its vi-, cinity; half the remainder shall be members of the Church of. England, and the other half members of other denonvinations of Christians !!!"
“We hate here a standing majority against the Church! Oh, my Lord, how could you join in such a plot? What could induce your Lordship to lend your name to such a business as this ; and why should you think so basely of the clergy, as to tempt thom by your own example and fair seputation, to signs