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lieve it to be the doctrine of God's revealed will. Such a liberty as this, in defiance of all kind of censure, would be destructive of the very being of the church, as a society. He brings a comparison, p. 24. that makes against him. "It is exactly the same in "civil matters. If I have a right to judge for my


self," &c.-" I have a right to speak and write," &c. Use it, sir, if you please; and write as big a book as this, to prove that king George is not true king, any more than Jesus Christ is true God. You will find, I believe, (and it is fit you should,) that civil liberty has its bounds; and why then, by your own way of reasoning, should religious be unlimited?

As to civil penalties and civil discouragements, which he mentions p. 24, 25. Dr. Waterland has said nothing about them. He has not condemned civil or political toleration, even of Arianism, though our laws do not tolerate it. The doctor only pleads against ecclesiastical toleration, or admitting to communion, and to the right hand of fellowship; and might be defended herein (if he wanted such defence) even by the chief Socinians themselves. Even these particular friends of toleration and moderation carry their rigours as far as the doctor does, even against Socinians: for they renounce communion with as many as refuse to worship Christ, and declare them no Christians. This Dr. Waterland has observed, out of the Racovian Catechism, in his Remarks upon Dr. Clarke's Exposition, &c. p. 22.

This author talks as if Dr. Waterland claimed a right not to convince, but to punish those who oppose his doctrine. Dr. Waterland has done more

* P. 22.

than any other man in England to convince this author himself: it is all in vain; he not only resists the truth, but treats the doctor as his enemy for telling him it. But what then, will he say, If I am sincere, though in error, shall I be punished? It seems to be this fear of punishment, as he calls it, that is of more weight with our author than any other consideration. Thus he talks, p. 1, 2. of being “pu"nished as the law shall think fit," "and ruined." To which it is sufficient to answer, that Dr. Waterland concerns himself with no law but the gospellaw, and what that directs in the affair, considered as a case of conscience. Surely upon the foot of private judgment, men may choose whom to receive as brethren in Christ, according to the rules laid down in scripture. This does not always amount to judicial censure: for inferiors may claim it as their right, as it is also their duty, to reject the communion of heretics, of what station or eminence soever. need the heretics so rejected be ruined; we know of instances to the contrary. However, everlasting ruin is the dreadful consequence of corrupting or subverting the faith, or of partaking in their sins by receiving them. Must conscience give way to interest? Suppose the establishment were on the Arian side, and there were but a single man left, and he a layman, to stand up for Christ; he ought to do it; and to renounce communion with the rest, though sure to punish none but himself by doing it. Nothing therefore can be more absurd, than for this author to make such an outcry about punishment. Merely renouncing communion with others is not properly punishment at all. Inconveniences may accidentally arise to the persons so rejected; but be

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these as they may, the church is certainly the wors constituted society upon earth, if it may not provide for its own safety, for fear the most grievous offenders against it should suffer some inconveniences. It is a jest in him to talk of being " bound in duty to the church" to teach and instruct men contrary to its own doctrines . Do men ever enjoy the benefits and privileges of a society, only in order to transgress, and to teach others to transgress it rules? If men think the doctrines of any church to be such antichristian, diabolical doctrines as this writer calls the doctrines of ours, they ought not to pretend to be teachers in that church, or they ought to be rejected, if they do: and where's the injury done them? Do they lose any thing they were born to, any thing which they have any claim to, upon any other terms than those which they won't com ply with? Let them take their fate with other common mortals! and if this be but reasonable, it is no matter if men, concerned that it should not be esteemed so, call it popery or persecution. Reason and truth will finally prevail over invidious appellations.

This writer is wonderfully liberal of his compli ments of this kind. Dr. Waterland had argued to this purpose, that protestant churches do not propose their doctrines to be received without examination; that they determine however beforehand, that men ought to find these doctrines true. The reason is, because they carry their evidence along with them; so that if men examine with care, and decide with impartiality, they cannot think otherwise. Now this pretence, that men ought upon examination to

y P. 21.

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find these doctrines true, is, as our author says, page 14, “the very pretence of the popish church." In direct contradiction to which he affirms, page 16, that the church of Rome "fairly and sincerely tells her members, that they have no right to examine her "doctrines at all;' and therefore will not let them "read the scriptures," &c. But omitting this, his assertion is plainly false, and his sentiment absurd. The different grounds of popish and protestant faith may be seen in the Importance, &c. at one view, p. 181. And as to requiring men to find that true which is true, what is it more than requiring the right conduct of their understandings, and regulation of their wills? But our author all along seems to think, that if men be not infallible, they can never be certain of the right and reason of the cause. Is he infallible himself? he will not pretend to it. Is he morally certain of any thing? if he be, others may; the governors of the church, for instance: and if he is not, he must be in just consequence a perfect sceptic. How then (as no man writes in a more confident and dogmatical manner than himself) will he justify his own conduct? He has pronounced very confidently and dogmatically against the doctrine of all the protestant churches, (nay of all the Christian world, in a manner, from the fourth century, at least, by his own confession,) that it is tritheism, or Sabellianism; that it is gross, irreligious, antichristian, blasphemous, atheistical, diabolical. And all this without being morally certain of the right and reason of the cause, and without being infallible. We know indeed that he has done it, not only without moral certainty, but against it. However, by his own account, and in consequence of his own argu

ment, he has done it without certain ground for so doing; and therefore is self-condemned, and guilty of a most flaming breach of Christian charity, candour, justice, and common honesty. Rash accusation, (and all is rash that has no certain ground to go upon,) and of such a kind, is desperate iniquity. Persuasion alone will not suffice: men ought to know what they say, and what they do. Papists are consistent in their censures, on the foot of their supposed infallibility; and protestants likewise, on the foot of moral certainty: but such sceptical Arians as admit no certainty ought to be exceeding modest in their censures, or rather to forbear censuring at all. But his Christian Liberty is marvellous.

But perhaps, after all, I was too hasty in inferring, that upon supposition he himself is morally certain of any thing, therefore the governors of the church may be so too; for he tells us, [p. 24.] that though "sincere men" (a character to be sure that he will lay claim to ")" are in no danger of erring in funda"mental points," yet "churches are; have erred, " and do grossly err," &c. Now what paradox, what perverseness is this? If sincerity be a security against error, may not church-governors sometimes happen to be sincere? No, they have neither sin

z We may, however, have leave to ask, whether others will allow his claim to be good? For if this maxim be certain, then as often as men err fundamentally, we may justly infer they are not sincere, in the full sense of the word. And therefore, as it is evident that this writer does err, grossly and fundamentally, he is certainly, by his own rule, not sincere; as we may infer likewise from his misreporting, misrepresenting, and romancing so often, and so maliciously. To do this when he knows better is very insincere and immoral; and even want of due care and caution is want of sincerity.

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