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Mr. Gisborne, at page 21, professes that he cannot assent to the doctrines of Calvin. We will take him at his word ; and we will ask him how then he can by his union with high Calvinistic dissenters, enable them more widely to disseminate doctrines which he must own to be erroneous in point of faith, and pernicious in point of morals. He must be aware that the Bibles placed in their hands will all be applied to the propagation of Those dangerous doctřines, among an ignorant and a deluded multitude. He cannot plead the general advantage to be de: rived from the distribution of the Scriptures, as by the same subscription on the part of himself and his friend to another Society, an equal number of copies might be distributed, without the danger of their readers being infected with Calvinistic notions. As a Churchman therefore, he either does or ought to protest against the consequences of the union which he recommends: The union therefore itself is not real, but fallacious. How a sincere Unitarian can join the ranks of the Bible Society, eren in the first instance, we know not, when its object is to distribute a book, which, according to the opinions of his ministers is replete with wilful mistranslations ; nor again are we able to comprehend how he can by the aid of his purse and his influence, place in the hands of Methodists or Anabaptists, the power of distributing a volume, with every copy of which must be inculcated the grossest and most idolatrous imposture. We leave it for all the discordant sectaries to settle this point among themselves; they are probably of opinion that the general good effect resulting from any diminution in the intluence of their common object of hatred, the Church, will more than compensate for the evil arising from the propagation of false doctrine by their brethren in dissent. Thus then there is a fallacy in the very terms of the union, because the simple act alone is considered, without any reference to its immediate and necessary consequences.
So far then from the Bible Society producing any union, that it is scattering widely the seeds of discord; the plants of which will appear in due season, to curse with their deadly harvest this unhappy country.
Illa est agricolæ nessis iniqua sua, That it has already divided our national Church into two opposite parties is but too clear, and of the spirit which animates one of them, the pamphlet before us is a convincing evidence.
It is plain that this argument applies principally to the operations of the Society at home. There are many cases in which the Churchman and dissenter may unite for the purpose of sending Bibles abroad, in those countries especially, where the several established Churches have the power of applying such
donations to their own purpose and in their own method ; where consequently Churchman and dissenter can have but one view in supplying the spiritual wants of their fellow Christians. We very much doubt however, if the operations of the Society were confined to its foreign department, whether the Churchmen would not be left to conduct it alone, unless indeed the wide field which India opens to their prospect, might tempt the fanatics to join their party.
These then are cur reasons, why " the distribution of the Bible is not one of those good works in which Churchmen may fitly unite with dissenters. Our readers have now before them Mr. Gisborne's proof of the affirmative, and our proof of the negative ; and in the decision of those who are sufficiently cool to exercise their judgment upon this important point, we shall readily acquiesce.
In a part of the pamphlet to which we have before alluded, Mr. G. proposes the following important question ; whether a clergyman who has solemnly promised to obey his ordinary "iş not by that engagement bound to withdraw from the Bible Society, or to abstain from joining it, if duly apprised, that his diocesan disapproves the Society." This question Mr. G. after three pages of discussion, answers in the negative. And at the close of the discussion, be thus addresses himself to the Bishop of Gloucester.
« Were I a Gloucestershire clergyman, you might require me reverently to obey your command not to contribute a guinea to a county infirmary, so long as there should remain a subscribing dissenter. You might prohibit me by a godly admonition from looking into any book written by a member of the Bible Society.”
And after an impertinent remark, which we shall not repeat, Mr. G. thus concludes.
“ I do not conceive, that our Church and our Legislature, at the moment, when under the blessing of God, they emancipated themselves from the bondage of popery, elevated each succeeding bishop into a pope."
From the lecture, which Mr. G. thus gives to the Bishop of Gloucester, we suspect that Mr. G. is fearful, lest his Lordship at bis primary visitation, should inculcate notions which Mr. G. disapproves: and therefore gives him to understand, that his clergy in that case would do well, not to listen to his advice, inasmuch as an English Bishop is not a Pope. We much doubt, whether the Bishop of Gloucester will thank Mr. G. for such a broad bint. For our own parts, we entertain no doubt that his Lordship will take occasion to insist on the peculiar
necessity in the present times, of taking every measure to uphold the Church Establishment, and of avoiding every measure which may tend to destroy or even weaken it. And if his clergy should infer from this general principle, that a Society which tends to maintain the Establishment, is preferable to one which cannot have such a tendency, we trust that the “godly admonition," as Mr. G. contemptuously terms it, will not be construed into the mandate of a pope, but received as good advice, which is so much the more to be regarded as proceeding from a Bishop of our Established Church.
At page 21, Mr. G. laments that a comparison should ever have been made, between the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, and the Society of which he is the advocate. He even asserts that they who have made the comparison, are the worst enemies of the credit and respectability of the elder Society. We are well assured that the elder Society entertains a very different opinion of its defenders : and we are equally assured, that in the elder Society. no small indignation will be excited, when the members of it hear the reason assigned by Mr. G. why they ought likewise to support the younger Society, He says at page 22; “ Each Society has a department which the other cannot occupy." Now the elder Society has not less than four different departments; 1. The distribution of the Bible; 2. The distribution of the Prayer-book; 3. The distribution of Religious Tracts, in unison with the principles of the Established Church ; and 4. The promotion of Christian Missions. That the elder Society therefore has three departinents, which the younger cannot occupy, is very true : for the first of these departmeats, is the only one which can be occupied by the younger Society. But what Mr. G. means, when he says, that each Society has a department which the other cannot occupy, we are quite unable to comprehend. We are not ignorant that many advocates of the younger Society would gladly degrade the elder Society into a mere Society for the distribution of Tracts; and contine the distribution of Bibles to the younger Society. But we never heard before that this was a department, which the elder Society cannot occupy. If Mr. G. should explain himself by saying, that he means the distribution of Bibles in foreign languages, this again is a department which was occupied by the elder Society, and in which the elder Society exerted itself to the extent of its means, more than half a century before the younger Society existed. It is true that the younger Society, partly by taking credit for numerous translations, which would have been equally made, if no such Society had existed, and partly by the immense contributions, which it has received froin every quarter, has been enabled to produce a list of biblical versions, of which
the elder Society cannot boast. But let not the elder Society be charged with neglect on this account, and still less with the inability to promote translations of the Scriptures, when its career has been arrested by those very persons, who now pretend that the younger Society has a department, which the elder cannot occupy. If the immense funds, which Churchimen have bestowed on the former, had been bestowed on the latter, we should have seen, that no other Bible Society was wanted, for any purpose, which could be contemplated by a true Churchman.
Mr. Gisborne then proceeds to argue, that if a Society composed of Churchmen and dissenters, united for the exclusive purpose of distributing the Bible be dangerous to the Established Church, then is the Naval and Military Bible Society, which was instituted in 1780 for the purpose of distributing Bibles alone among the Army and Navy, to which Churchmen and Dissenters indifferently belong, an institution dangerous and prejudicial to the Establishment. And yet many of the opposers of the British and Foreign Bible Society are active supporters of the Naval and Military.
To the premises of this argument we fully agree, but we object to the inference for a reason which we are assured will appear conclusive.
It is true that Churchmen and Dissenters may unite in this institution, but we shall recur to our former argument, and enquire into the consequences of such an uuion, Though men of all denominations are admitted both into the army and into the navy, yet the religious observances there enforced are those of the Established Church. To Roman Ca. tholics alone the liberty of attending their own chapel is by a recent act allowed. The Bibles therefore thus distributed by the joint contributions of Churchmen and Dissenters, must be accompanied by the prayers, the ordinances, and the doctrines of the Established Church. Thus then in this Society the sacrifice is made by the Dissenters, and if we inspect the reports, we shall find that there are few enough who have ever thought it worth while to make it. For this reason therefore the very same Churchmen who oppose the one Society, are fully justified in supporting the other. As we conceive that this reason alone is of itself sufficient to establish the distinction, we shall not enter into a further demonstration of the practical difference which appears in the conduct and in the spirit of the two Societies.
We should 110w proceed to animadvert upon the attack which Mr. Gisborne has thought proper to make upon the Bishop of Lincoln, were not all his inuendos conceived in a strain of such flippant vulgarity, as to disarm insolence of its sting, and to render malignity itself contemptible. Of the good intentions of Mr. Gisborne we have no doubt, but the next pamphlet which he
may undertake, we should advise him to submit to some judicious friend, who by fresh arrangement and free alteration, may enable him to give his good intentions their due effect. We will present our readers with a specimen.
x6 Were we to represent to ourselves the object of the enemies of the British and Foreign Bible Society accomplished ; their feelings on the event would form a curious subject of contemplation What if we suppose the case, and contemplate an individual under it?. What if, by way of adding a little dignity to our fiction, we imagine the individual a bishop? See him entering his library, witla looks of astonishment at the wide and lofty pile of letters on his table. He opens them in rapid succession, and reads them with an increasing glow on his countenance. The first announces that the Archbishop of Georgia, and the Heads of the Greek, Catholic, and Armenian churches, who lately united in the Russian Bible for ciety, having each become convinced of the sinfulness of joining his heretical and schismatical associates, have published an ana. thema against the impious Parent of the evil, the British and For reign Bible Society, and have seceded ; and that the Emperor has abolished the institution, and sent its president, Prince Gallitzin, into Siberia. The next brings intelligence from Berlin, that, with similar anathemas against our British Society, and in consequence of a similar conviction that the iniquity of orthodox and heterodox. association is the same with that of joining in a political union, and furnishing with money and arms, men known to be exciters of sedition, abettors of privy conspiracy, and promoters of rebeilion; the Bible Society in Prussia is dissolved. Another bears tidings, in every point corresponding, from Wurtemburg; another from Sweden; another from Copenhagen ; another from Poland ; another from Bavaria ; another from Switzerland; another from Saxony: another from Hanover. Another imparts the extinction from the same identical cause, and with the same anathemas, of every Bible Society in North America. Others prove the Declaration of the Greek Patriarch of Constantinople, and the Letter of the Shah of Persia to Sir Gore Ouseley, to be forgeries. The final packet, stretching the parent on the slaughtered children, conveys a joint "resolution of the two Houses of Parliament in favour of a bill for the immediate abolition of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and for the resumption and the conflagration of all copies of the Scriptures issued from that contaminated and contaminating
O joyful hour for the expectants of the mitre ! For on finishing that concluding letter, the good Bishop inevitably drops from his chair suffocated by transports of pious exultation.” P. 29,
Such an effusion as this would doubtless have been received with all the tumultuous applause which it deserves, at an auxiliary meeting in the county hall of Stafford, but Mr. Gisborne should remember that what be prints and publishes is subject to