Page images

to have induced the Czar to attend “ Being invited up stairs, we obthe Friends' Meeting, at Gracechurch served two tall men walking in a large Street, with his suite and interpreter, room, and being directed to the Czar's the next Sunday morning. And while interpreter, he told us, that such a he was at Deptford, afterwards, ac- person had been in the Czar's service, quiring a practical knowledge of ship- but was dead. building, he occasionally attended their “In the mean time, the Czar and meeting at that place, and behaved not Prince Menzicoff, his general, came to only with great propriety, but with us, and upon the Czar saying somethe condescension of a truly great thing to his interpreter which we did man, by changing seats, or standing not understand ; he asked us, as we up to accommodate others. His con- had our hats on, "Why do you not duct also towards the Quakers in so pay respect to great persons when promptly ordering his soldiers out of you are in their presence?' I anTheir Meeting-house at Frederickstadt, swered, (says Thomas Story,) “So we going himself to their meeting, and do when we are fully sensible of it, acting as an interpreter to his atten- especially to kings and princes; for, dants, who did not understand the lan- though we decline all vain and empty guage of the preacher, was to give an shows of respect and duty, and Aatterimpressive, practical lesson of tolera- ing titles, whereby they are generally tion, and almost of religious liberty, deceived by insincere and designing which many monarchs have yet to men; yet we yield all due and sincere learn, or want the virtue or the wis- respect to such, and all in authority dom to act upon. There seems, in- under them, by ready obedience to all deed, to have been in his intercourse their lawful commands. But when, at with the Friends, an entire consonance any time, any of them, either through between his actions and his profes- tyranny or ignorance, or ill counsel, sions, which is more than I can say of happen to cominand any thing conAlexander's.

trary to our duty to the Almighty, or His I confess rather remind me of his "Son, Christ our Lord, then we the saying of Napoleon, who was per- offer our prayers to God, and humble sonally acquainted with him, and a addresses into such rulers, that their shrewd discerner of the real character understandings may be opened, and of others, (whatever might be the de- their minds changed towards us.' fects of his own,) when he described “ The Czar made no reply to this, Alexander, as “ delightful in conver- but talked with his interpreter again, sution, but as false und treacherous who then asked, “Of what use can as a Greek,” alluding, I suppose, not you be in any kingdom or governto the modern Greeks, but to the ment, seeing you will not bear arms Irell-known line in Virgil

and fight?' -"timeo Danaos et dona ferentes." “ To this I replied, “That many of


us had borne arms in times past; but

when it pleased God to reveal in our At this time,” (1697,) says Tho- hearts the life and power of Jesus mas Story, (Journal of his Life, fol. Christ, his Son, our Lord, whose comVol. I. p. 123,) “Peter the Great, Czar mandment is love, we were then reof Muscovy, being in London incog., conciled unto God, one unto another, and Gilbert Mollyson (Robert Barclay's unto our enemies, and unto all men. wife's brother) having heard that a Yet we are of use in any kingdom or kinsman of his was in the Czar's ser- government. For the principle of our vice, and being desirous to increase religion forbids idleness and incites the kuowledge of the truth, requested to industry; as it is written, They me to go with him in quest of his shall beat their swords into ploughkinsman to the Czar's residence, a shares, and their spears into pruninglarge house at the bottom of York hooks. And we being concerned in Buildings, in order to present him all manner of husbandry, as likewise with some of Robert - Barclay's Apo- in manufactories and merchandizing, logies in Latin, hoping they might fall with the blessing of heaven upon our under the Czar's notice. When we labours, do not want, but rather came to the place, Gilbert inquired of abound. the porter after his cousin.

“And though we are prohibited


arms, and fighting in person, as incon- "That is a calumny, and proves the sistent (we think) with the rules of necessity of our endeavours in that the gospel of Christ, yet we can, and respect at this time. We have DO do by his example, readily and cheer- Jesuits among us. Our religion and fully pay unto every government where theirs differ very widely. we happen to be subject, such sums “This book was writ by a near and assessments as are required of us, relation of mine who was not a Jesuit, by the respective laws under which we but sincerely of those principles as

For when a general tax was serted and maintained in the book, as laid by the Roman Czar upon his ex- our whole community is.' teusive einpire, and the time of pay “ Then the Czarand interpreter talkment came, the Lord Jesus Christ, ed together again ; after which, the whose kingdom is not of this world, latter offered us some gold for the demanded of Peter,– Of whom do the books; but I told them, they were kings of the earth take custom or a present to that great prince; all tribute? Of their own children, or of we desired was, that they might be strangers ? Peter saith unto him, Of acceptable ; and that in case any of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, our Friends should come into his Then are the children free. Notwith- country and preach those principles, standing, lest we should offend them, and meet with opposition, and be pergo thou to the sea, and cast an hook, secuted by any officers or persons in and take up the fish that first cometh power under him for the same, he up; and when thou hast opened his wonld please to afford them protection mouth, thou shalt find a piece of mo- and relief. Then they talked together ney; that take, and give unto them again, the interpreter kept the books, (the tribute-gatherers) for me and and the Czar and Prince Menzicoff thee :' thus working a miracle to pay retired into the room from whence a tax, where it was not strictly due. they came. We, by so great an example, do freely "The interpreter afterwards told us, pay our taxes to Cæsar, who, of right, the Czar did not understand the Latin hath the direction and application of tongue, but only his own language them, to the various ends of govern- and high Dutch.' This was about the ment, to peace or to war, as it pleas- beginning of the week, and the next cth him, or as need may be, accord- first day (Sunday) the Czar, the prince, ing to the constitution or laws of his and a great company of his other attenkingdom ; and in which we, as sub- dants, came in the morning to our jects, have no direction or share. For meeting in Grace-church Street, all in it is Cæsar's part to rule in justice English habits, like English gentleand in truth ; but ours to be subject, men, and the same interpreter with and mind our own business, and not him. I happened to be there in the to meddle with his.'

[preachers') gallery, and the first I “After this I said to the interpre- knew was Prince Menzicoff. Robert ter, that we understood there was a Haddock had begun to preach a little person of great dignity and distinction before they came in, upon the subject in that place, a stranger very inspec. of Naaman, the captain-general of the tious into the state of affairs and host of the Assyrians, going to the things in general; and might be also prophet for cure of his leprosy; who inquisitive into the state of religion; directing him to dip himself seven and we, lest that great prince should times in the river Jordan, the general, be inisinformed concerning us and our despising the means, was about to rereligion, had brought him some books turn without a cure, till being perdedicated to the sovereign of our own suaded, by his own servant, to make a country; by which he might please to trial of the means prescribed, he found see a full account of our principles. the end accomplished by happy expeWe then produced two of the Apolo- rience. gies in Latin.

The nations of this world,' said "The Czar then talked again with the preacher, being defiled and disthe interpreter, who asked us, 'Were tempered, as with a leprosy of sin and not these books writ by a Jesuit? uncleanness, no cure or help could be It is said there are Jesuits among you.' found until the Almighty, in his infiTo which Gilbert Mollyson replied, nite goodness, sent his Son Jesus

Christ into the world to die for man, many particulars, to the great advance. as a propitiation for sin ; through ment thereof in general. whom also he hath sent forth his “ In the year 1712, the Czar of Musdivine light, spirit and grace upon all covy, being in the city of Frederickmankind, in order for the completing stadt, with 5000 soldiers to assist the of that cure; which nothing less can Danes against the Swedes, after he do, and to which all mankind are had quartered his men, inquired of one directed by the servants of Christ; of the Burgomasters, whether there and as many as have believed, and were any of the people called Quakers made trial of this excellent means, there. The officer told him there were hare found the blessed effects thereof; a few. The Czar asked him if they they have been healed, cured and had a meeting in the place. The ofticleansed.'

cer told him they had. Then the Now,' said he, if thou wert the Czar bid the officer let the Friends greatest king, emperor or potentate know that if they would appoint their upon earth, thou art not too great to meeting that forenoon, being first make use of the means offered by the day, he would be at it. The officer Almighty for thy healing and restora- replied, that there were thirty of his tion, if ever thou expect to enter his soldiers in the meeting place, so that kingdom, into which no unclean thing there could not be any meeting in it. · can come.'

“When the Czar heard this, he was "The Czar and his interpreter were angry that they had put soldiers there, often whispering together, though and sent an order by one of his own Robert Haddock knew nothing of his captains, that they should all be put out being in the meeting; and thus he forthwith, and that notice should be staid very sociably, till observing the given to the Friends by the captain, people crowd up before him to gaze, that if they would appoint the meet(which he could not endure,) he re- ing, he would come to it, and accord tired on a sudden, along with his com- ingly the officer gave notice to Jacob pany, before the meeting was quite Hagen, then at Frederickstadt, and over. Some people in the streets had Philip Defair, a public Friend [or seen him as he came, and, discovering minister] who lived there ; and not who he was, crowded after him to see only ordered the soldiers out of the him more perfectly.

room, but made them take away all "After this he went incognito to that they had brought thither. And Deptford, to improve himself in the the place being made ready, they had art of ship-building, and there wrought their meeting at the second hour at it with his own hands. Gilbert afternoon ; to which the Czar came, Mollyson and I acquainting some and brought with bim Prince MenFriends bow we happened to see him, zicoff, of Muscovy, the General Doland liad given him some books, and that goruchez, and several others of his he understood High Dutch, William dukes, generals, and secretaries of Penn, George Whiteliead and some state, and other great men. A great other Friends went to Deptford, and crowd following, he ordered the door waited on him privately, and presented to be shut, as soon as a competent him with more of the same books in number were in to sit comfortably, that language, which he accepted ; and many more came to the windows and, afterwards, was sometimes at our and all about. meeting there, behaving as a private “ After some time of silence, Philip person, and very social; changing Defair preached the doctrine of truth seats, standing or sitting as occasion among them, and all sat very quiet, might be, to accommodate others as but especially the Czar; who sat very well as himself.

gravely all the time of silence, and all “When this great prince had, in a the others, being awed by his example good degree, furnished himself with and presence, did so likewise. But useful knowledge in natural things, the Muscovite lords and generals not necessary for the civilizing and im- understanding the language, and the proving the barbarous people of his Czar himself understanding it pretty. kingdom and nation, he returned thi- well, interpreted to them what was ther, accomplished with experience in declared, with much gravity and seri..



ousness ; commending what he heard, They dare not call in our Bibles and saying, that whoever could live ac- substitute the Prarer-Book for them ; cording to that doctrine would be but they take infinite and unwearied happy. A Friend, after this, present- pains to prove that it is dangerous to ing him with Robert Barclay's Cate. trust the Bible alone. “A Bible," ehism and Apology in High Dutch, says one of these worthies, " giren he said he would have them translated away by a Papist will be productive of and printed in his own language." Popery; the Socinian will make his

Bible speak Socinianism ; while the SIR,

Calvinist, the Baptist and the Quaker, JE I have, as your correspondent will teach the opinions peculiar to been guilty of an “uncharitable im- Bibles, (I speak as a true Churchputation of want of charity,” in the man,) and you will supply them with ease of Dr. Marsh and Co., 1 am sin- arins against yourself.” * What cerely sorry for it: and gladly should God has joined together,” says Dr. I acknowledge my error could I find, Wordsworth, speaking of the circulaon an attentive re-consideration of the tion of Church tracts with the Bible, subject, any reasons for so doing. In “let not man put asunder.” “ For John Buncle's letter I see, indeed, a though,” says Dr. Marsh, “ without very brisk retort on the Evangelical the Bible, the Liturgy has no support, party, which, as I provoked it, I sup- yet, without the Liturgy, men are left pose it behoves me to bear patiently. in doubt, whether the principles of At the same time, as I am neither our faith should be embraced by them Evangelical nor High Church, but a or not. Without the Liturgy, they lover of conscientious honesty where- want a guide, to lead them to the erer I can meet with it, I hope not to Established Church. Without the be considered a friend to orthodox Liturgy, the Bible may be made to faith or practice any farther than as lead them into doctrine and discipline this appears in connexion with inge- most discordant with our own." + guousness, and that with charity. Nor In a better and, with leave from do I presume to attack the High John Buncle, in a more “ Protestant Church party upon other ground than spirit,” exclaims Dealtry, (an Evanthat of disingenuousness, in retaining gelical Churchman,) “And this is and upholding a system of faith, by common sense and reason and charity which it yet refuses to abide: and of and sound Churchmanship! Eternal illiberality in hunting out of the God! hast thou provided thy blessed Church men whose greater conformity Word ' to be a lamp unto our feet, of belief gives them a superior claim and a light unto our path'? Hast thon to be considered as its real members. indeed enjoined it upon us all, as a

But it is to the expression of “Pro- sacred duty, to search the Scriptures ; testant spirit," as applied to them, to read them by day; to meditate upon that John Buncle chiefly objects. I them by night ; to teach them dilido not know what ideas the word gently to our children; to talk of them “Protestant" may suggest to his mind. when we sit in the house, when we lie Sure I am that though to me it brings down and when we rise up; to receive many cheering and delightful images, them with all reverence, as the record I cannot connect the past history of of truth, as the guide to everlasting those who have borne it with any ex- life? And shall creatures like us attended views of religious toleration. tempt to impede the free course of I regard its chief and peculiar gift to thy mercy, and to defeat thy provihave been the Holy Scriptures ; and dential designs ? Shall we interpose its great boon to man, the substitution of the words of our Lord and his followers, for the traditions of a church. Now it does seem to me very clear, Lord Teignmouth.

* Country Clergyman's Address to that if in the English Church there

+ National Religion the Foundation of be any agency at work to counteract National Education, a Sermon preached this blessed effect of Protestantism, it in St. Paul's, June 13, 1811. By Herbert is that of the High Church party. Marsh, D.D. F. R. S.

he says,

to arrest the pure stream of heavenly If Dr. Marsh has really departed light, till they can be rendered more from the faith of the Church of Enfit for their purpose by the misera- gland, as expressed in her Articles; ble contrivances of human ingenuity ? if he has adopted larger and more * Keep back thy servants from pre liberal views, we cannot but lament sumptuous sins; let them not have that he should thus uphold her with all dominion over us, then shall we be her sins upon her head, and discourage upright and innocent from the great the free circulation of that volume, to transgression.' Cordially as I love the which we must hope he himself owes Church of England, and in this coun- his revulsion from Calvinism. But try I am persuaded that the existence really it is too much to believe in the of true religion is involved in her ex- existence of liberal views of toleration, istence, I cannot admit that any sys- where we see a mode of proceeding so tem should be supported by the sup- very opposite to the gospel spirit

. pression of the Scriptures." Again I wish I were convinced that the

I know of no commentary High Church party are satisfied with on the Scriptures, or on any other themselves about their past concesbook, of which it can truly be said sions to Unitarian Dissenters. Joining that it is given by inspiration of the Evangelical in nothing else, it is God.' Away, then, with these pro- not very likely they will unite with fane and vain babblings, which would them against a sect to which, in a few elevate the traditions and comments points of doctrine, they approach a of men to the rank of heaven's blessed degree nearer than their Calvinistic and lively oracles ! Other writings brethren ; but that they have a warm are valuable, but these are above all and hearty desire to extend the right value : others may be wise, but these hand of fellowship to Unitarians, I do flow from the Fountain of Wisdom: not believe. others may be useful, but these are If the continual insinuations of their given for the conversion of the organ, “ The Quarterly Review,” world.” *

mean any thing, they seem to say that This is not the language and senti- Unitarians have not been sufficiently ments of one individual in a party. grateful for the kind condescension If John Buncle has made any inquiries already shewn them; and that there at all on the subject, he must be aware is no danger of their receiving more that in the passages I have quoted I favours speedily. I do not, however, have given the sentiments of both sides wish to add to the list of suspicions fairly, and I leave it to your readers which, I fear, your correspondent will to decide whether my expression, ex- already deem " uncharitable” enough. plained as I have explained it, is not with regard to politics, my own exjustified. I am sorry to say, instances perience is decidedly of an opposite have come to my own knowledge, in nature to his. The Évangelical clergy which poor curates have been re- have, with very few exceptions, apstrained by the high hand of ecclesi- peared to me to be strikingly devoid astical power, and that in the inost of interest, even in politics ; and to tyrannical manner, from attending leave the battle to be fought by High Bible-meetings; and have read most Church Tories and the Whigs and awakening sermons, addressed to coun- Reformers. Submissive they undoubttry congregations, by affrighted High edly are; but this is from a feeling of Church ministers, on the appearance reverence (which John Buncle," no of a little cloud “no bigger than a doubt, will agree with me in thinking man's hand,” indicative of the ap- superstitious in this case) for the words proach of that fearful thing a Bible of St. Paul, which they admit very Society. Yet, now, it proves that all literally. But I will not take up your this affection for the Church is not an time with discussions which are not affection for her doctrines, but for as profitable as could be wished. that spirit of non-inquiry in which

Q Priests and Popery have fourished.


a Unitarian, but not without

Dealery's Vindication of the Bible I doube and disculey , consequently,

Society, pp. 31, 133.

very desirous of seeing all the agreea

« PreviousContinue »