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New York. Pubhslied by T. Mason & G.Lane 200 Mulberry Street.



We have an instance of this collision in the sacramental test, by which the participation of one of the sacraments is perverted into a VOL. VIII.-October, 1837.


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V. Alliance of Church and State.

This alliance is attended with so many disadvantages, that it seems strange more vigorous efforts have not been adopted to sever the connection. We do not here pretend to enumerate all the evils of this alliance, nor to give extended views of those which we will present. A few brief observations are all we have room for.

1. This connection of church and state reduces the church to a servile condition, inconsistent alike with Scripture and the example of the primitive church. The clergy are in a state of abject dependance on the civil magistrate, and of miserable subjection to unconstitutional canons. The king and parliament may fashion the church into any shape they see fit, in opposition to the united exertions of the clergy. King Henry did this once; and it may be done again whenever the king and parliament are so disposed. For one hundred years the convocation has done no business; and it is not likely the king can be persuaded to permit it to do any, though the most serious changes are about to take place in the government of the church by the king and parliament.

2. The dogmas of the church seem to be in opposition to the constitution of the state. The result that always may be expected from such a connection is, contention and continually clashing interests coming into contact with each other. Both kinds of jurisdiction, the civil and religious, are made strangely to encroach on one another. We do not here particularly refer to the judicial power of the bishops' courts, in matrimonial or testamentary matters, though these are purely secular. As church censures are followed with civil penalties, the loss of liberty or imprisonment, and the forfeiture of the privileges of a citizen, the clergy must have become absolute lords of the persons and properties of the people, had there not been lodged in the civil judicatories a superior jurisdiction, by which the sentences of the spiritual courts can be revised, suspended, and annulled.

We have an instance of this collision in the sacramental test, by which the participation of one of the sacraments is perverted into a VOL. VIII.-October, 1837.


test for civil offices. A minister may be compelled by the civil magistrate to admit a wicked and profligate person to the Lord's supper. Thus, by the law of the land, the institution of Christ is made void. The sacrament is made a qualification or test, necessary for the attainment of a lucrative office, and for securing continuance in it when attained. There is, indeed, no way in which the spirit, power, and use of the sacrament could be more effectually abrogated by statute, than by thus retaining the form, and at the same time altering its proper design.

3. Another consequence of the confusion of spiritual and secular jurisdiction in the English Church is, that ecclesiastical censures now have little or no regard, agreeably to their original destination, to purity and good morals. They serve only as a political engine for the eviction of tithes, surplice fees, and the like, and for the execution of other sentences in matters purely temporal. No possible method could be more effectual in rendering the clerical character odious, and the discipline contemptible, than this.

4. Besides, a plan of relief, retaining the present alliance of church and state, seems impossible, without involving the state in the most serious calamities. England, in consequence of her religious establishment, is now agitated to an extent which threatens seriously her political existence and the cause of true religion. We will here introduce the sentiments of Warburton on this subject, in his Alliance, as quoted by Dyer:-" While the civil magistrate endows the clergy, and bestows on them a jurisdiction with coactive powers, these privileges create one supreme government within another, if the civil magistrate have not, in return, the supremacy of the church. And nothing is so much to be dreaded as an ecclesiastical government not under the control of the civil magistrate. It is ever encroaching on his province, and can never be satisfied. In the Roman Church, when spiritual men had got influence enough to be exempted from civil courts, and to set up a separate jurisdiction, popes became, by degrees, the sovereigns of emperors and kings. Cardinals, the beloved children of these popes, became princes; and bishops, as their brothers, became at once secular and spiritual lords. And, on the other hand, the Presbyterian government, during the little time it prevailed in England, gave no favorable proofs of its designs when its progress was retarded by Oliver and his adherents. A religious establishment, free of many of those political evils which are wont to attend a state on account of religion, might, I aver, be framed; but the true policy is, to let religion and civil government exist apart, and to encourage each to attend to its own province. Both, then, will flourish."

5. Moreover, true religion cannot be promoted by coercion. Men, however, have been long in discovering, and even yet seem scarcely to have discovered, that genuine religion is of too delicate a nature to be compelled by the coarse implements of human authority and worldly sanctions. The law of the land ought to restrain vice and injustice of every kind, as ruinous to the peace and good order of society, for this is its province; but let it not tamper with religion, by attempting to enforce its exercises and duties. These, unless they be free-will offerings, are nothing. They are even worse than nothing; they are injurious to all concerned. By such an alliance, and ill-judged aid,

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