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modern Congregationalists, asseverate “ that human creeds possess no authority over the faith and practice of Christians ;"* but, like men who were not ashamed to profess their belief, they sternly required that all who sought admission to their body should “own either the doctrinal part of those commonly called the Articles of the Church of England, or the Confession, or Catechisms, Shorter or Larger, compiled by the Assembly at Westminster, or the Confession agreed on at the Savoy as agreeable to the Word of God.”+

“Verus’ may be assured, however, that “the three Secession ministers" were not so imperfectly acquainted with the terms of the Union of 1691, as to imagine for a moment that it had an exclusive reference to doctrinal opinion. But it soon became apparent, that what were conceived to be “fundamental articles of faith,” absorbed a larger share of the attention of the Unionists than our Congregational opponent finds it convenient to admit. Unimpeachable soundness of belief was regarded as a matter of vital importance. Accordingly, we deemed ourselves justifiable in further affirming, “ that some heads of agreement respecting doctrinal subjects were drawn up and signed by the leading ministers of the the two denominations, in and about London.” I Our account of this transaction, which occurred soon after the formation of the Union, might have been rendered more complete, had we thought it worth while to specify the date. But, if we omitted to do so as unimportant to our purpose, we were perfectly assured, that of the fact itself there could be no dispute; for Dr. Daniel Williams, a "leading divine among the Presbyterian” portion of the Unionists, assures us that “the united ministers" bound themselves" by a subscription to certain doctrinal propositions, of which you have an account," as he subsequently states, “ in the paper entitled the Agreement in Doctrine, subscribed and published Anno Dom. 1692." And Mr. Joshua Wilson, in bis “ Historical Inquiry,” states, that in “a tract entitled the Agreement in Doctrine among the dissenting ministers in London, subscribed December 16th, 1692, ..., they proceed to declare that in order to the composing of matters in controversy, we all of us haring referred ourselves to the Holy Scriptures, and the doctrinal articles of the Church of England, the Westminster and Savoy Confessions, the Larger and Shorter Catechisms, do subscribe these following propositions, as what do most full provide against the Arminian, Antinomian, Socinian, and Popish errors; and shall always be content that any sermons or books of ours be interpreted by the said articles and confessions, desiring all others, if they meet with any expressions from any of us, that are to them of doubtful signification, they would judge of them and interpret them by the Holy Scriptures, and the said articles and confessions." * These quotations, which might have been greatly extended, may be safely left to answer for themselves. They not only corroborate the truth of our statement, but they do more. They prove with all the force of demonstration—a friend of “Verus” being witness—that the Presbyterian and Independent ministers of 1691 and 1692, did not less "rigidly adhere to the exact phraseology" of creeds and confessions, than the ministers whom he designates as “Scotch” Presbyterians. They prove that the venerable men, with whose principles he tries to identify modern Independency, were as inflexible stickers for subscription, as “the fiercest Scotch champion for absolute uniformity can be.” And finally, they prove that if a cordial attachment to subordinate standards, as tests of orthodoxy, was as unequivocally avowed by the Unionists of 1691 and 1692, as it is by the Presbyterian petitioners in the Hewley suit, there is no alternative but to conclude, that not a vestige appears to exist among modern Congregationalists, who boldly declare, that they “ disallow the utility of creeds and articles of religion as a bond of union, and protest against subscription to any human formularies as a term of communion ... reserving to every one the most perfect liberty of conscience." +

* Declaration, &c., of 1833, p. 10.

† See Heads of Agreement, as quoted by Joshua Wilson, Esq., in his Historical Inquiry, p. 56.

# See our affidavit of 18th May, 1836, in Third Act, p. 8. § Dr. Daniel Williams' Works, vol. iv. pp. 325, 339.

The Congregational relators, and their apologist “ Verus," seem to me to have entirely misapprehended the real constitution of the Union of the two sects. On the authority of Neal, as cited by Mr. Joshua Wilson, I contend that the Union of 1691 was nothing more than a "brotherly association,"into which the Presbyterians, who professed their adherence to certain fundamental articles of faith in common with the Independents, might enter, without at all compromising their distinctive views of church government. According to Dr. Williams, one of its original promoters, it was simply an expedient, " by which they thought their meetings of ministers were secured, and opposite meetings prevented.” I And according to Mr. Joshua Wilson, “ Identity may not be accurately descriptive of the real state of things. An incorporating union was not intended from the first, but a mutual interchange of friendly offices, the reciprocation of brotherly feelings and affections.” § Nor is this Mr. Wilson's only admission : he elsewhere assures us, that "it should be recollected, that the original design of the Union was rather to bring the two denominations to combine and

* Historical Inquiry, concerning the Principles, &c. of the English Presbyterians, by Joshua Wilson, Esq., 1835, pp. 76, 77.

† Declaration of Faith of Congregational Dissenters in 1833, fifth preliminary note. # Williams' Works, p. 323.

§ Wilson's Historical Inquiry, p. 135.

co-operate, than to destroy their separate identity, and incorporate them into one.” * But I need not multiply quotations. Those I have adduced are sufficient to show how far they harmonize with a hazardous assertion in the February number of the Congregational Magazine, wherein it is alleged, that "the Heads of Agreement are represented by historical writers ... as having had the effect of terminating the separate existence of the Presbyterian community in England, and of blending the two denominations into one body of associated Congregational churches !!” +

Nor is the Congregational apologist of the policy of the relators correct when he affirms, that the Union of 1691 and 1692 was “permanent.” For the credit of our common Christianity, which always suffers from the quarrellings of its professors, I wish it were in my power to give the slightest confirmation to this unsupported assertion. But the testimony of history is so explicit to the contrary, as to compel me to maintain

I. That this “ brotherly association,” from which good men of both parties anticipated much benefit to the interests of religion, was soon interrupted. Dr. Williams informs us, that some of the “ Congregational ministers in and about London,” such as “Mr. Cole, Mr. (James) Mather, and Richard Taylor,” never acceded to it at all. But although the Independents were not unanimous in their approval, the Doctor adds, that “ the Union was tolerably maintained for a while, notwithstanding the attempts of some to break it, as we have reason to fear, and of others to make it serviceable to purposes not fit to be mentioned.” I Similar to the testimony of this jure divino Presbyterian, is that of a modern Congregational historian, Mr. Joshua Wilson, who states, that “a few of the more rigid Independents, who had opposed the Union at first, retained their hostility after it was established. Two of them, Dr. Chauncey and Mr. Mather, (the latter of whom Dr. Williams charges with being unwearied in hindering and breaking it) brought charges of highly erroneous doctrine against him (Dr. Williams) for some positions advanced in two sermons preached by him at Pinners' Hall, and in a book published in 1692, in reply to Dr. Crisp, entitled Gospel Truth Stated and Vindicated.' ” || The difference, according to Dr. Calamy, “was chiefly about some terms and phrases relating to the doctrine of justification, and about the extent of redemption, and the middle way ; but they managed them with such heat, as to give those who have at all times been forward enough to reflect upon them occasion to say, Let but these Dissenters alone, and they'l do their own work."* And, so marked and unseemly was the alienation of feeling to which their misapprobation gave rise, that Dr. Williams, lamenting it, adds, “Alas ! in a little time we found that, besides the endeavours of those (Congregationalists) who came not into the Union, to prejudice people against us and our doctrine, as well as against the Union, that several of those called Congregational, who were members of the Union, frequented not our meeting, but oft joined with the former in a meeting at Pinners' Hall, the very day and hour of the week in which our meetings of ministers are statedly kept; yea, and some of them, in print, reflected on our meetings, in very unbeseeming terms." +

* Wilson's Historical Inquiry, p. 129.
† Congregational Magazine for February, p. 103.

Dr. Williams' Works, vol. iv. pp. 322, 323. § Calamy's Life and Times, vol. ii. p. 30. ll Wilson's Historical Inquiry, p. 75. * Calamy's Abridgment of the Life of Baxter, p. 516. † Dr. Williams' Works, vol. iv. p. 328.

II. In 1694, three years after its formation, this “brotherly association" of the Presbyterians and Independents was broken up. Dr. Williams specifies the date of the rupture as Nov. 7th, 1694, when, he adds, “all such of the Dissenting (Independent) brethren, who were managers of the relief for poor widows, deserted their associates,” the Presbyterians; and when “all the brethren called Congregational, except the upright Mr. Barker and a very few more, joined as a separate party from us in the Monday's meeting at Pinners' Hall, with the (Congregational) ministers who had opposed the Union, ever since it was concluded.” I Such is the convincing testimony borne to the fact, by an eminent Presbyterian contemporary, whose competency to attest it cannot be disputed. Nor is the language of Mr. Joshua Wilson, in 1835, less decided : “Controversy,” says he," was carried on for some time with great violence, and led, in 1694, to an open rupture among the preachers at Pinners' Hall, and to the establishment of a new lecture at Salters' Hall.” $

III. After this rupture, Dr. Williams and his Presbyterian associates made various attempts to bring back the Congregational separatists, but in vain. Mr. Joshua Wilson states, that “an overture for peace, on the part of the portion which included the Presbyterians, was made shortly after, with a view to the satisfaction of those (Independents) who had left them, and also of those (Independents) who, from the first, had refused to join them."|| He afterwards assures us, that " this overture failed of producing the desired effect, and most of the Congregational ministers withdrew and joined the separate meetings of those who had been decided opponents of the Union.” And once more he adds, that “in 1676 another attempt was made on the part of the United Brethren, for by that title the Presbyterians and few remaining Congregationalists who continued then to meet and act together were still called, for an accommodation with such as had left the Union.

# Ib. vol, iv. p. 334. Wilson's Historical Inquiry, p. 74.

|| Ib. p. 78.

f Ib. p. 80. p. 390.

Finally, The Congregational separatists never returned. After several ineffectual attempts to bring them back, Dr. Williams, whose faithfulness in denouncing Antinomianism had been the unintentional cause of the schism, published, in 1699, a work entitled “ An End to Discord ; wherein is demonstrated that no Doctrinal Controversy remains between the Presbyterian and Congregational Ministers fit to justify longer division.” With a well-founded despondency, however, as to the result of his benevolent exertions, he states in the Introduction, that “if peace must not be allowed us (the Presbyterians) after this, we must bewail a judicial stroke, and expect to be despised by such who perceive our common hurt from these debates, but have not judgment to distinguish between the injured seekers of peace (the Presbyterians) and the injurious fomenters of trouble," the Independents.* And at the close of a lengthened argument, which, although conducted with much Christian moderation, seems to have been lost upon the Separatists for whom it was designed, he adds, “ May these hints contribute to an agreement...... or at least incline all to Christian forbearance, and I shall reckon it worth all my labour and sufferings. Oh! that the God of peace would give us peace by any just means.”+ But all the efforts of Dr. Williams and the Presbyterian lovers of peace were utterly ineffective in reclaiming the Independents. For, according to Toulmin, “from the time of forming a new and separate lecture at Salters' Hall, the two denominations of Presbyterians and Independents, became distinct communities, and acted separately, with respect to their own denominations.”I Nor is this the only proof; even Mr. Wilson is constrained to state, “I admit that the two denominations in the metropolis did not afterwards coalesce," but "continued ever after to hold separate meetings."$

Thus ended a Union, which I justly denounced as hollow and ephemeral ; but which the anonymous apologist of the views of the relators contends “was sincere and permanent.” Which of these counter statements is the more correct, I leave it to every unprejudiced reader to decide. To quote the language of a candid modern biographer of Howe, “ This formal attempt terminated, as might have been foreseen, only in exciting jealousies which might not have existed, and awakening prejudices that might have slumbered for ever." ||

From all this it is obvious, that, in so far as the final withdrawal of the Congregationalists was concerned, the Union of 1691 was, after a very ephemeral existence, dissolved. Nor is it less evident that, if the

* Williams' Works, vol. v. p. 10.

+ Ib. vol. v. p. 156. Historical View of the State of the Protestant Dissenters, by J. Toulmin, D.D., p. 213.

§ Wilson's Historical Inquiry, pp. 129, 135. || Life and Character of John Howe, M.A., by Henry Rogers; London, 1836;

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