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When they met, .Dr. Clarke, at some length, in very guarded terms, and with great apparent perspicuity, exposed his system. After he had finished, a pause of some length ensued: Dr. Hawarden then said, that " he had listened, with the greatest attention, to what had been said by Dr. Clarke; that he believed he apprehended rightly the whole of his system; and that the only reply which he should make to it, was, asking a single question:" that, "if the question should be thought to contain any ambiguity, he wished it to be cleared of its ambiguity before any answer to it was given;" but desired that, " when the answer to it should be given, it should be expressed either by the affirmative or negative monosyllable.' To this proposition Dr. Clarke assented. "Then," said Dr. Hawarden, " I ask,-Can God the Father annihilate the Son and the Holy Ghost ?— Answer me Yes or No." Dr. Clarke continued for some time in deep thought, and then said, "it was a question which he had never considered." Here the conference ended. A searching question it certainly was; and the reader will readily perceive its bearings. If Dr. Clarke answered Yes, he admitted the Son and Holy Ghost to be mere creatures; if he answered No, he admitted them to be absolutely Gods. The writer of these pages has frequently heard the conference thus related,— particularly by the late Mr. Alban Butler, the
Mr. Winstanley, the professor of philosophy at the English college at Doway. It gave rise to Dr. Hawarden's "Answer to Dr. Clarke and Mr. Whiston, concerning the Divinity of the Son of God, and of the Holy Spirit; with a summary account of the writers of the three first ages.'
The unitarians have no symbolic book; the book, which, from the universal respect in which it is held by them, approacheth nearest, in their estimation, to a document of that description, is Dr. Lardner's Letter on the Logos, published in 1730, and printed in the eleventh volume of the works of that very learned, very modest, and very instructive writer.
THE SYMBOLIC BOOKS OF THE CHURCH OF
THE seeds of the Reformation were first sown in England by lutheran hands. In the reign of Edward the sixth, the disciples of Calvin obtained great influence in all its ecclesiastical concerns. Queen Elizabeth adopted the whole of the discipline, and much of the creed, of the lutheran church but, in her final settlement of the creed and discipline, by the thirty-nine articles, she admitted a considerable proportion of calvinism.
The symbolic books of the Church of England are the Thirty-nine Articles and the Book of Common Prayer. Such, too, of the oaths prescribed by the laws of England, as express theological doctrines, partake, so far as they are confined to these, of the nature of symbolic books-I. We shall, therefore, begin this article with an account of the English Theological Oaths: II. Then consider, successively, the Articles of Henry the eighth; III. The Articles of Edward the sixth; IV. The Thirty-nine Articles; V. The Canons; VI. The Controversy on the authentic edition of the Thirtynine Articles; VII. The Book of Common Prayer; and, VIII. The Books of Homilies.
The English Theological Oaths.
1. AMONG the Theological Oaths prescribed by the law of England, those, by which it is declared that the king is, and ought to be, the supreme head of the church of this realm, present themselves first to our consideration.
By a statute passed in the 26th year of the reign of Henry the eighth, it was enacted, that," His majesty, his heirs and successors, kings of England, should be the only supreme head, on earth, of the church of England; and should have all the honours, dignities, immunities, profits, and commodities
authority to visit, repress, redress, reform, order, correct, restrain, and amend, all such errors, heresies, abuses, contempts, and enormities, as ought or lawfully might be reformed, repressed, ordered, redressed, corrected, restrained, or amended, by any manner of spiritual jurisdiction or supremacy."
By an act of the 37th year of the same reign, it was declared, that "archbishops, and the other ecclesiastical persons, had no manner of jurisdiction, ecclesiastical, but by, under, and from his royal majesty; and that his majesty was the only supreme head of the church of England and Ireland; to whom, by holy scripture, all authority and power was wholy given, to hear and determine all manner of causes ecclesiastical; and to correct all manner of heresies, errors, vices, and sins whatsoever, and to all such persons, as his majesty should appoint thereunto."
Language, it should seem, cannot confer spiritual power on a sovereign, or those to whom he shall please to delegate it, in terms more ample or explicit, than those adopted in these statutes. They were in force during the whole of the reign of king Edward the sixth; were repealed by the first parliament of queen Mary; revived by the first parliament of queen Elizabeth; have since continued, and are now in force.
In the first year of the reign of queen Elizabeth, the doctrine expressed in these statutes was inserted in an oath. Persons were required by it to swear,
that" in their consciences, they testified and declared, that the queen was the only supreme governor of the realm, as well in all spiritual or ecclesiastical things or causes, as temporal; and that no foreign prince, person, prelate, state or potentate had or ought to have any jurisdiction, power, superiority, pre-eminence or authority, ecclesiastical or spiritual, within this realm; and that they renounced all foreign jurisdictions, powers, superiorities and authorities."
Elizabeth, however, after the passing of this act, published a declaration, that, "nothing was or could be meant or intended by it, than what was acknowledged to be due to king Henry her father, or king Edward her brother; and that she neither did or would challenge any other authority by the same, than what was challenged and lately due to the said two kings;—which was, under God, to have the sovereignty and rule over all persons within her realm or dominions, of what estates (either ecclesiastical or temporal,) soever they were, so as no foreign power should or ought to have any superiority over them."
"This explanation," says Dr. Heylin, giving general satisfaction, the bishops and clergy, in their convocation of the year 1652, by the queen's authority, declared more plainly, that they gave not to their princess, by virtue of the said act, or otherwise, either the ministry of God's