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as the Society's Eleventh Report"-to the full as prolific in discoveries of " the finger of God," and of instances of "glorious work,” “ “ pronounced" upon equal evidence, and with cqual hardihood of assertion, to be " the grand operation of his Jand," and this record is entitled JEHOVAH Jireh. GOD IN THE MOUNT; or ENGLAND'S PARLIAMENTARY CHRONICLE. Containing a most exact narration of all the most material proceedings of this renowned and unparalleled Parliament; collected and published principally for the high honour of our wonder-working God, still most graciously and gloriously carrying on the great work of a pure reformation, in Church and State ; by the most unworthy admirer thereof, JOHN VICARS. London: 1644. This notable production, we repeat it, and the Society's Reports are competitors for public amazement, exactly formed for comparison with each other; for it is no very extravagant figure of speech to designate that general assembly of deputies, under whose sanction the latter publications issue, the Parliament of the confederacy--not in the saddle indeed, as was that Parliament which ordered JEHOVAH JIREH' to be published, but creeping on annu:lly towards that vantage ground, from which they may spring into it with certainty ; and in the mean time, as Nalson says of the sad-countenanced puritanical reformers, " encouraging their own party, and discouraging weak and timorous minds from meddling with them, by the constant use of Gamaliel's apothegm ; which has served the purposes of every religious faction, in its embryo state, from his days to those of the Bible Society, whose propagandists from the Dean of Carlisle and Mr. Dealtry down to the letter writer before us, giving it the semblance of a divine Counsel, brandish it on every emergency for the purpose of intimidatiou.
Having thus established, as he conceives, the arrogant pretensions of the Bible Society to Spiritual Supremacy, he sets fortặ its stile and title, THE SOCIETY OP the whole CHRISTIAN MORLD; i. e. the Holy Catholic Church according to the new model of this omnipotent and infallible body; and then proceeds to speak of its Constitution. And here be comes really to the point, for he admits all that the Bishop alleges agaiust ii; įhat it is composed of men of any Creed, and of no Creed; that “those who avow the falsest doctrines, the most notorious heresies, and the most determined schisms," may be incorporated in it, nay, that "many Jews, some Mahometans, and even some Pagun Priests are contributing to promote its designs;" and having thus made the characteristic feature of the confederacy as an!i-christian as possible, he pronounces " the one object for which the union is forined, -that of dispersing the Sacred Scriptures, without note or comment," its full justifica
tio . We have not time to analyse this passage as it deserves, but we must remark upon the speculation with which the author concludes it, that of effecting a confederation of all the aforesaid enemies of the Gospel in all the world, and joining them with himself in one fraternity for the promotion of his favourite object; that if reverence for the Scriptures cannot restrain him
from the puritanical impiety of laying violent hands on them to decoy popular superstition, by their means, into the espousing so palpably unscripturul an imagination, le must suffer us to con. front his reference with another from the Sacred Volume, and to submit it to the decision of our readers whether, with respect to the probable issue of such a project, Zech. xiv. 9. should not give place to Rev. xviii. 2, 4. as the more apposite citation.
Towards the close of the Pamphlet a transient qualın of conscience passes over the Author's mind, and in spite of his own nature he bears this testimony to the bench of Bishops, that “ by age, by station, and very generally by talents and learning, they are highly dignified characters, and entitled to a very large share of respectful deference ;” and with it couples this report of himself, that “as compared with the Bishop of Lincoln's claims to public attention," he is “an indi. vidual of very humble pretensions indeed," and certainly may appear presumptuous
"*" thus to stand forward and controvert the justness of his Lordship's positions, and the wisdom of his recommendations.” Against this admonition of couscience how ever, he instantly hardens himself by alleging that " our Bishops are not Popes, before whose infallibility we must bow in silence, or burn for our contumacy;" and then concludes with an outrage against Episcopacy, which nove but a most mischievous incendiary would have offered--that of exhibiting the venerable bench at discord amongst themselves, and at a time when their unanimity and concert are indispensable to the preservation of the Church, attempting to commit ibem in hostility with each other *
The last Pamphlet of the collection is avowed to be the production, not merely of a Clergyman, but of a Clergyman of Lincoln Diocese, and therefore of a person under a solemn engagement of reverent obedience to the Bishop, and of sub. mission to his godly judgement. The argumentative part of
* Besides the above insulting passage at the close of this Pamphlet ; it opens, like the last, with imputing to the Bishop the disseminating the extract from his charge “ with at least somewhat of a demi-official character, though he had “ resolutely declined the publication of it in a more authentic shape.” Yet the Editor of the Christian Guardiản, a Clergyman of Leicester, designates this a respectful Letter. What an inversion of intellect, and what a corruption of the moral sense does Bible Society membership generate !
it is chiefly occupied in an attempt to justify the connection subsisting between Churchimen and Dissenters in the Bible Society, its materials being wholly borrowed from the common stock of eloquence consolidated in the Reports of Auxiliary De clamations, shreds of which, all contributing more and more to sophisticate the important point of Christian Unity, and dissolve its limitations, are strung together through thirty pages of Jatitudinarian slang, quibble, and prevarication. As a sort of after-piece to this, the Christian Knowledge Society is brought forward, to be disparaged and lowered as much as possible in pubJic estimation, and because truth can lay oo serious del:!!quency to its charge, falsehood and misrepresentation are employed for this worthy purpose. The former of these methods of depreciation is exemplified in the assertion, that within the last six years “the Managing Committee of the So ciety have expressed their wish that its Members would spare, as much as possible, the issue of Bibles, and rather favour the issue of Tracts;" for which, upon enquiry of the Secretary, we are informed there is no foundation whatever ; and the latter in what is insinuated respecting the alteration of the Society's Tracts, which might easily be shewn, (were this the place to enter into the explanation) to derive from the author's false co. louring all its appearance of criminality.
But the Pamphlet is chiefly remarkable for its gross personalities against the Bishop. The torrent opens at P.6, with the author's delivery of this judgment on the Charge, that he has * seldom read a composition more full of false statement and false reasoning;" at P.7, it is described as not having “excited any misgivinus in his mind, excepting such as respect the solidity of the Bishop's judgment," which it is insolently surmised at P. 8, that " perhaps the lapse of years might have impaired." In the same page the Charge is characterised, “ as having the stamp of haughty arrogant assertions, combined with a kind of insulting compassion for those weak, unsuspicious, though well meaning 'men, who have suffered themselves to be seduced mto the support of the pernicious designs attributed to the Bible Society." At P.9, the Bishop's “piety” is obliquely Feflected on; and it is insinuated, that in his case, “the (Episcopal) office (as too often unhappily occurs) is filled by one of a mere worldly spirit;" at P. 11, a particular passage of the Charge is spoken of as “ quite destitute of either strength or aythority, and as deriving all its seeming force from the mere management of words;" at P. 14,“ envy, hatred, malice, and all macharitableness,” are obliquely imputed to his Lordship ;-at P.21, the convenience of dealing in loose invective, when facts are not at hand to effect the object,” is cast as a reflection
upon him, and his remarks upon associating with Disseuters, are characterised as the attack of caluinny,”- the basest and inost hateful of crimes." At P. 22, these same sentiments are provounced justly censurable for their “ malignancy;" at P. 24, they are represented as befitting only the Roman Pontiff in the days of Luther:" at P. 31, the Bishop is called upon to
point out the temporal advantages which they (the Clergy) can propose to theniselves through the medium of the Society, or to forbear to cloak his positions with the mere words of Scripture, only to invest them with soune şhew of strength and authority, when the original meaning of the words will not warrant their application ;” and to close this disgusting exhibition with a copious - effusion of abuse and acrimony, at P. 19, it is left “ to the determination of his Lordship's feelings, how he will be able at any future Visitation, “ to meet those Clergymen whom he has thus grossly insulted, when he finds them not in the least degree cured of their folly, by the happy disclosure of his sentiments concerning them :" and it is added, that ". unless he possesses the supple art of a confirmed diplomatist, he will be scarcely able so to conceal his uneasiness, as to extract from his brethren even the compliment of thanks for his polite attentions, which were so ingeniously devised and
* The proceeding here adverted to, and detailed with disingenuous reservations, took place 'at Leicester, where the Bishop after holding his Visitation dined as usual with his Clergy. When the cloth was drawn, a dignitary of the Church, since elevated to the Bench, whose province it was to propose for himself and his brethren the suitable acknowledgements to their Diocesan, instead of expressing himself in the usual form, passed what is ironically called above " the compliment of thanks to his Lordship for his polite attentions.” The toast however had no sooner gone round, than its insufficiency, in the estimation of the meeting, to convey the sentiments which the Charge had left impressed upon their minds, was conspicuously manifested, for a second toast was immediately given out by the Clergyman next in precedence, with the concurrence of the first mover, which, besides specifying the Charge, as the particular ground of their acknowledgements, went on to characterise it, as most excellent, most judicious, and well-timed;" and with the exception, it is said, of one or two, was hailed with applause by the whole company, who rose with one spontaneous movement in testimony of their approbation. All this would have remained matter of conversation amongst the Clergy present on the occasion, had ņot the avowed purpose of “gratifying the friends of the Bible Society, in the neighbourhood of Bostop," with a sketch of
awarded to bis Lordship for his labours on the present oecasion :” and still to protract the depraved gratification of being scurrilous, a possibility is alleged that “ his Lordship anticipates a speedy translation to another sphere of action, and has kindly intended only to relieve the minds of some of his Clergy from any poignant feeling of sorrow at his departure ;" and he is “ congratulated on the complete success," if such was his intention, which in many instances “is likely to attend his remedy."
We have now put our readers in possession of the substance of the three pamphlets of which the Bishop of Lincoln's Charge has been made the occasion ; and we are persuaded that had we nothing farther to alledge in aggravatiou of what our summary contains, we have made such an exhibition of the spirit which the Bible Society generates, and of the menacing aspect which it has assumed against the Hierarchy of the Church, as must very forcibly remonstrate with every conscientious Member of our Communion against affording further countenance and support to so portentous a confederation : but the outrage offered to Episcopacy in the person of the Bishop of Lincoln is very far from being comprised within the limits of the publications before us. Every instrument, which could vociferale clamour, has been employed to make the country resound from one end to the other with invective against bis Lordship, and to call down upon him universał obloquy and contempt.
The Christian Observer, the fugelman of the party, which gives the eue to all its subsidiary publications, made an attack upou the Charge whilst it was still in course of delivery.. The..
ten thousand throats in the Society's interest, im
Episcopacy, insulted in the person of their own Diocesan, tempted a Socinian partizan of the confederacy, to try his skill at distorting facts in the shape of a Letter to the Editor of that provincial newspaper, traducing both the dignitary above referred to, and the Clergy present--the one, by representing him as not only hav. ing objected publicly to the amended toast, but as having taken the liberty to animadvert very freely upon the contents of the Charge in strong terms of disapprobation : and the other by the gross calumny, that upon a second proposal of the amended toast, the najority signified their disapprobation of it by remaining silent, and covering their glasses with their hands ; at which to make the triumph of fanaticism appear complete) he goes on to state, that the Bishop was so much mortified, that he took his hat, and left the room very soon after. See the Boston Gazette of July 25, and the Leicester Journal of August 11, the one for the falsehood, the other for its refutation.