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nomination or another; I obey the painful dictates of my own mind. Poslibly I am miltaken. If I am so, it is to be lamented, because I prefer my present situation to most ochers I know of in England. If I had been disposed to leave it, I have not been without opportunity. Twenty years ago, the late John THORNTON, Esq. of Clapham, near London, voluntarily offered to procure me better pre, ferment, if I would accept of it; but I told him, after exs pressing my gratitude, that Divine PROVIDENCE seemed to have placed me where I was, and I coulè not think of quitting iny station, merely for the sake of a better living; till the time came that the same PROVIDENCE should call me away. That time seems to me to be now come ; since I cannot any longer keep my church and retain my honour, in obeying the dictates of consciençę... In my opinion, this is a providential call to quit my station, though I never expect to be so happily circumstanced again. I know well what pain such a determination will give my dear people ; but, with all due regard to the feelings of my friends, I must consider, that I am amenable, in the first place, tố the great Head of the Church for my conduct, and must, on the highest considerations, endeavour to conduct myself agreeably to his pleasure. After a thousand defects, both in my public ministrations and private conduct, I can al, most say, I have done my best to promote as well the tem poral as fpiritual interests of the town of Macclesfield; and I heartily wish my Succesor may be more acceptable, mora heavenly minded, more laborious, more useful, and more successful in winning fouls to Christ.
“ To all this, I am aware, it will be objected, that I
am taking a very disreputable step, and that a vast ma" jority of the men of sense and learning around me are of “ a different opinion.”
Very true. I admit every thing that can be said on this score, in the utmost latitude. But a passage or two of our Saviour's discourses is a fufficient support against all obloquy of this nature. These monopolisers of sense and learning must answer for themselves, and I must give an account unto God for my own conduct. I consider myself as a lhadow that paffęth away. I feel the infirmities of
nature coming on, and death stands ready at the door ta fummon me before the bar of my REDEEMER. It is, therefore, of consequence we act now as we shall wish we had acted ther. At that trial, no man can be responsible for his brother:-Every one that bath forsaken houses, or brethren, or fifters; or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for MY SAKE and the Gospel's, shall receive an hundred fold now, with perfecutions, and in the world to come eternal life. Matt. xix. 29. Mark x. 29, 30.
Wbosoever shall be ashamed of me and of MY WORDS, in this adulterous and finful generation, of him also shall the Son
of Man be ashamed, when he hall come in the glory of kis FATHER with the boly angels. Mark viii. 38.
“ Why are you so squeamish in little matters? Why « not make yourself easy, and conduct yourself like the “ rest of your clerical brethren?"
To tell you the truth, candid reader, whosoever you may be, I have long and earnestly endeavoured to quiet my conscience, and to reconcile it to my present situation. I have used every method in my power for this purpose. I have pleaded the example of others, great men, good men, useful men; I have foothed it; I have defifted from reading, thinking, examining; I have pleaded the wishes of my friends, the usefulness of my ministerial labours; the disagreeableness of changing my situation, and forming new connections; the extreme inconvenience of giving up my present income; &c. &c. but after all I can do, conscience follows me from place to place, and thunders in my car, What is a man profited, if he fall gain the whole world, and lose bis own scul? or, what mall a man give in exchange for his soul? --He that loveth fatber or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth fon or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me: and he that taketh not his cross and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. Ho that findeth his life skall lose it; and be that loseth his life for my fake shall find it.
How would you conduct yourself in such a case? ACcording to the thirty-sixth Canon we are willingly and ex animo to subscribe, that the book of Common Prayer, and of ordering of Bishops, Priefts, and Deacons, containeth in
it nothing contrary to the Scriptures; and that we acknowledge all and every the thirty-nine Articles, besides the Ratification, to be agreeable to the Word of God.
God of my fathers ! what a requirement is this? Can I lift up my hand to heaven and swear by Him that liveth for ever and ever, that I do willingly and ex animo subscribe as is legally required? And can any man living thus subscribe, who has thoroughly considered the subject? We muft shuffle and prevaricate in some things, say and do what we will. I myself strongly approve the general strain of the doctrines of our Church; but then here is no choice. It must be willingly and ex animo all and every thing! There is no medium.
And can I (among other things which are to be subscribed) believe from my soul, before the Searcher of hearts, who requireth truth in the inward parts, and in the
• As to Mr. PALEY's scheme of subscribing the thirty-nine Articles, as articles of peace, it is all sophistry, and fuch as an honest man should be ashamed to avoi. I admire the abilities of the man, but detelt his secommending prevarication to the Clergy. See his very able and popular work, entitled, Moral and Political Philosophy, b. 3. p. 1. ch. 22. p. 180. edit. 1.
Mr. Paley is very juftly reprehended by the excellent Mr. Gis. BORNE. “ The opinion which Mr. Paley maintains,” says he," appears to me not only unsupported by argument, but likely to be productive of consequences highly pernicious. That subscription may be justified without an actual belief of each of the Articles, as I understand Mr. Paley to intimate, is a gratuitious assumption. On this point lec the Articles speak for themselves. Why is an Article continued in its place, if it be not meant to be believed ? If one may be figned without being believed, why not all ? By what criterion are we to distinguish those which may be subscribed by a person who thinks them false, from those which may not? Is not the present mode of subscriptions virtually the same as if each Article were seperately offered to the subscriber? And in that case, could any man be justified in subscribing one which he dirþelieved !!
“ No circumstance,” he adds," could have a more direct tendency to ensnare the consciences of the Clergy; no circumstance could afford the enemies of the established church a more advantageous occasion of charging her minifters with infincerity, than the admillion of the opinion, that the Articles may safely be subscribed without a conviction of their truth, taken feierally, as well as collectively. That opinion I have seen maintained in publications of inferior note, but I could not, without particular surprize and concern, behold it avowed by a writer of such authority as Mr. PALEY."
face face of the whole Christian world) declare, that “whosoever “ doth not hold the Catholic faith” as explained in the Athanasion creed" and keep it whole and undefiled, shall “ without doubt; perish everlastingly?” This hellish proposition we are enjoined, not only to believe ourselves, but to affirm that we do willingly and ex animo subscribe to it, as being agreeable to the Word of God; and then we must openly profefs our faith in it fourteen times every year. . I am not unacquainted that various manæuvres are made use of to render these harsh expresfions palatable; but all illustrations and modifications of these damnatory sentences appear to me illufive. Bishop BURNET has said all that well can be said upon them, but, in my opinion, to very little purpose. Honestly, therefore, did : Archbishop Tillotson declare to him, “ The account given of Athanasius's creed seems to me no • wise satisfactory. I wish we were well rid of it."-And fo do I too, for the credit of our common Chriftianity. It has been a mill-stone about the neck of many thousand worthy men. To be sure, declarations like these defcended out of the bottomless pit, to disgrace the subscribing Clergy, to render ridiculous the doctrines of the Gospel, to impel the world into infidelity, and to damn the fouls of those, who, for the sake of filthy lucre,, set their hands to what they do not honestly believe. The truth is, though I do believe the doctrine of the Trinity as revealed in the Scripture, yet I am not prepared, openly and explicitly, to send to the devil, under my folemn subscription, every one who cannot embrace the Athanafian illustration of it. In this thing the LORD pardon his fervant for subscribing in time paft. Affuredly I will do so 'no more. Those that can do it are extremely welcome to the best bishoprics and livings in the kingdom. I should like to retain what I have already gotten, but not upon the conditions required. As an honest man, and a man under expectations of salvation, I must renounce my present situation, and the little emoluments which arise therefrom. There is no other alternative*,
* I have for fome years made myself tolerably easy under the damna. tory clauses of the Aibanafian creed, by omitting to read it at the times
" But, you are acting a part extremely imprudent, on « account of your family.”
True; but then I am obeying the dictates of conscience, and, of course, the commands of GOD. know where it is written :-By faith ABRAHAM,: when he was called to go out into a place which he should after reccive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing
wbither be went. By faith be sajourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: for he looked for a ciiy which hath foundations; whole builder and maker is GOD.
By faith Moses, when he was come to years,i refused to be called the son of PHAROAH's daughter ; choosing rather to fuffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; sieeming the REPROACH of Christ greater, riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he had refpečt unto the recompençe of the reward*:
" You are already in the Church, and have got over the « business of Subscription. You may continue, therefore, in
your present station without being called upon to repeat “ the same painful ceremony." appointed. But, to an upright mind, this is not perfectly satisfactory; because we solemnly declare and subscribe our names before the Bibop, that we will conform to the Liturgy' of the Church of England as by law established. Now every time we omit to read the said creed, or any other part of the service of the church, when appointed by law to be read, we are guilty of a breach of engagement. So that, whether we read the creed in question, or neglect to read it, we are culpable, if we do not ex animo approve of it:
* I do not recollect reading or hearing of any instance so like unto this of Moses as that of the Marquis of Vico in Italy, who died A. D. 1592, at the age of 74. " When he was come to years, and the knowledge of Jesus Christ, he refused to be called the son and heir to a Morquis, a cup-bearer' to an Emperor, nephew'to a Pope, and chose rather to suffer affliction, persecution, banishment, loss of lands, 'livings, wife, children, honours, and preferments, than to enjoy the sinful pleasures of Italy for a season ; esleeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the honours of the most brilliant connections, and all the enjoyments of the moit ample fortune ; for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
See his Life at large, written by Mr. Samuel Clark, which is exItremely well worth the attention of every man, who is in any respect a fufferer for the sake of a good conscience,