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nounced some principles he had once received, I was very desirous to know how that matter might be: and Dr. Golding, at my request, was so obliging as to do me the honour of a visit, while I lived at a private house in Oxford. I told him plainly, that there were some opinions of Hutchinson in Natural Philosophy, which, when properly distinguished, did appear to me to be true, and, as such, worth recommending to the world : and that, as I had some intention of taking the office upon myself, I should esteem it as a great favour, if he, being a person of more years and experience, would communicate to me fairly those objections, which had taken effect upon his own mind; that if I should be staggered with them, my design might be laid aside. The Doctor was full of pleasantry and good humour; gave me the whole story about the pamphlet, as above related, and spoke with great respect of Mr. Horne: but as to the particular object of my enquiry, his philosophical reasons, I could not succeed in drawing any one of them out of him, and am to this hour in the dark upon the subject. I shall not therefore indulge myself in speculations and conjectures, for which I have no authority; but only remark in general, what all men of discernment know to be true; that, as a man's opinions have an influence upon his expectations in this world, so his expectations in this world may have an influence upon his opinions. Hoping that I shall be pardoned for a small digression, not quite foreign to the subject in hand, I return now to Mr. Horne and his Apology *, of which I shall give a short view; but it is a work which cannot with
* The title is—" An Apology for certain Gentlemen in the University of Oxford, aspersed in a late anonymous Pamphlet,” &c. A new Edition, with a new Preface, is just published.
out injury be abridged; as comprehending a great variety of subjects in a small compass.
The temper of it appears in the first page. The excellent Hooker had replied to a petulant adversary in the following very significant words : “ Your next argument consists of railing and reasons. railing I say nothing: to your reasons I say what follows.” “ This sentence,” says the apologist, “ I am obliged to adopt, as the rule of my own conduct; the author I am now concerned with having mixed with his arguments a great deal of bitterness and abuse, which must do as little credit to himself as service to his cause. He is in full expectation of being heartily abused in return: but I have no occasion for that sort of artillery: and have learned beside, that the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God. Therefore, in the words of the excellent Hooker, to his railing I say nothing : to his reasons I say what follows."
To the charge of being an Hutchinsonian, a name so invidiously applied, as a sectarian appellation, to himself and other readers of Hutchinson's writings, he answers, that, as Christians, they acknowledge no Master but one, that is, Christ: that they were members only of The Church: and that, as all their reading had not formed them into a Sect, they ought not to have a mark set upon them. “ Is it not hard measure,” says he, “ that when a clergyman only preaches the doctrines and enforces the duties of Christianity from the Scriptures, his character shall be blasted, and himself rendered odious by the force of a name, which, in such cases, always signifies what the imposers please to mean, and the people to hate? There are many names of this kind now in vogue. If a man preaches Christ, that he is the end
of the law, and the fulness of the Gospel — You need not mind him; he is a Hutchinsonian. If he mentions the assistance and direction of the Holy Spirit, with the necessity of prayer, mortification, and the taking up of the cross—0, he is a Methodist ! If he talks of the divine right of Episcopacy, with a word concerning the danger of Schism* Just going over to Popery! And if he preaches obedience to King George --' You may depend upon it, he is a Pretender's man.' Many things may be ridiculed under their false titles, which it would not be so decent to laugh at under their true ones.”
As to their being a sect or combination of Separatists from the Church-of-England Christians, “We do,” says he, “ most sincerely disavow the name and the thing. In the communion of the Church of England we intend to die. To every zealous friend and promoter of the interest of Christianity, the Scriptures, and the Church, we are ready cheerfully to give the right hand of fellowship, whether he be a reader of Mr. Hutchinson or not,” &c. They tell men,” (said their accuser) “ that they, and they only, are the servants of the most high God, who shew forth the way of salvation :"_" they labour to discredit all other preachers.” By no means :" (says the answerer)“ they labour to discredit all false doctrines, preached by many who SHOULD preach the Gospel. It is the complaint of hundreds of serious and pious Christians, who never read or heard of Mr. Hutchinson, that there is at present a lamentable falling off from the old way of preaching and expounding the word of God. And, if there be such a defection from the primitive manner of preaching, the proper place wherein to speak of it is in the Uni
versity, where preachers are educated. If offence should be taken at this, I can only say, that if any one will tell me how truth may be spoken, in such cases as these, without offending some, I will spare no labour to learn the art of it."
If any person wishes to know all the particular charges brought forward by this author, and how they are answered, he will find the pamphlet at large a very curious piece, and to that I would refer him: but some of these answers carry so much instruction, that I cannot refrain from extracting a few of them. To the charge of their insulting and trampling upon reason, under pretence of glorifying revelation, Mr. Horne answers : “ The abuse, not the use, of reason, is what we argue against. Reason, we say, was made to learn, not to teach. What the
What the eye is to the body, reason or understanding is to the soul; as saith the apostle, Eph. i. 18, having the eyes of your understanding enlightened. The eye is framed in such a manner as to be capable of seeing; reason in such a manner as to be capable of knowing. But the eye, though ever so good, cannot see without light: reason, though ever so perfect, cannot know without instruction. Therefore the phrase, light of reason, is improper; because it is as absurd to make reason its own informer, as to make the eye the source of its own light : whereas reason can be no more than the organ which receives instruction, as the eye admits the light of heaven. A man may as well take a view of things upon earth in a dark night by the light of his own eye, as discover the things of heaven, during the night of nature, by the light of his own reason,” &c.
To another similar objection, often made against them, that they decry natural religion, it is answered,
“ To be sure, we do; because, at the best, it is a religion without the knowledge of the true God, or the hope of salvation; which is Deism : and it is a matter of fact, that, from Adam to this day, there never was, or could be, a man left to himself, to make a religion of nature. It is, we know, a received notion, that man, by a due and proper use of his reasoning faculties, may do great things: and so by a due and proper use of the organs of vision, he may know much of the objects around him. But still, the pinching question returns : Is it not light that enables him to make a due and proper use of the one, and instruction of the other ? Shew us the eye that sees without light, and the understanding that reasons upon religion without instruction, and we will allow they both do it by the light of nature. Till then, let us hear no more of natural religion. And let me, on the subjects of reason and nature, recommend two books : the first, Mr. Leslie's Short and Easy Method with the Deists; where the debate between them and the Christians upon the evidence of revelation is brought to a single point, and their cause overthrown for ever. This most excellent piece, with the other Tracts of the same author usually bound with it, have, I thank God, entirely removed every doubt from my mind : and, in my poor opinion, they render the metaphysical performances upon the subject entirely useless. The second book I would recommend is Dr. Ellis's Knowledge of Divine Things from Revelation, not from Reason or Nature. In this book natural religion is fairly demolished.”
Mr. Horne and his friends were farther charged with a great contempt for learning." « But that," says he,“ depends upon the nature and kind of the