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How dost thou reconcile these two texts of scripture? Why," said the Quaker," Solomon don't say so?" To which Mr. Bull replied," Aye, but he doth;" and turning to the places, he soon convinced him. On which the Quaker, being much out of countenance, said, "why then Solomon's a fool;" which ended the controversy.
Mr. Ball was a most diligent pastor, and adhered scrúpulously to all the prescriptions of the church; and though in his preaching he made but little use of notes, which was owing to the singular strength of his memory, and the clearness of his judgment, yet he never wandered into any mystical or enthusiastic flight. His discourses, though frequently doctrinal, and oftentimes profound, were in general plain and earnest exhortations to the practice of the Christian duties, as the only satisfactory evidence of righteousness. He was not content with the discharge of his public duty as a parish priest, but he attended with equal assiduity to the temporal necessities of his people. He had not the least tincture of covetousness in his temper; hospitable he was to all his neighbours, and they never wanted relief who were known to him to stand in need of it. When he visited any poor sick family, his prayers and alms went together. He would send largely to poor housekeepers in the time of their distress, when they were visited with sickness, or had sustained any great loss. But the widows and orphans of Clergymen who were unprovided for, were the constant objects of his care and concern: he usually gave liberally himself, and was very active in procuring charities from the gentry on such occasions, and his character was such, that his solicitations for charitable purposes were never in vain. One particular method of his in doing good, was in keeping poor children at school of the advantages attending religious education he was deeply sensible; and this made him particularly attentive to the children of the poor, many of whom at the last day will arise and call him blessed.
The only amusement he indulged in, besides that of cheerful conversation, was in his books. "His study," says the excellent writer of his Life, was the scene of his most exquisite pleasure; and he would freely own with great assurance, that he tasted the most refined satisfaction in the pursuit of knowledge that the present state of human nature was capable of; and that when his thoughts were lively, and lucky in his compositions, he
found no reason to envy the most voluptuous epicure. In 1669 he printed that excellent work his Apostolical Harmony, or two dissertations concerning the doctrine of St. James on Justification, and a reconciliation between the sentiments of that apostle and those of St. Paul on that important subject. This work, which is in Latin, was dedicated to his friend and patron Bishop Nicholson, who had greatly encouraged him in the composition of it. Mr. Bull's aim herein was to settle the much agitated question of Justification by Faith or Works, which had produced the fiercest dissensions among Divines both at home and abroad. Though he leans more to the Arminian side than to the Calvinistic, he yet prudently avoids the extremes to which many partizans of the former scheme had carried their definitions and conditions. The grand object of his first dissertation is to shew, "That good works, which proceed from faith, and are joined with faith, are a necessary condition required from us by God, to the end that by the new and evangelical covenant obtained by and sealed in the blood of Christ the mediator of it, we may be justified according to his free and unmerited grace. Thus it is evident, that though he holds that good works are a condition, yet, against both Papists and Pelagians, he renounces all plea of merit in those works. Of this great and evangelical principle, the second dissertation was no more than an elaborate illustration of defence. This performance attracted considerable notice, and was attacked by several writers, as well in as out of the church of England. The controversy lasted a long time, and was managed by some of Mr. Bull's opponents, particularly by Dr. Tully, with considerable ability and asperity. However, our author replied, and perhaps few impartial and competent readers will scruple to allow, that the advantage lay materially, if not wholly, on his side. At least thus much is certain, that in consequence of the publication of the Harmony, and the dispute attending it, the high Calvinistic doctrines went rapidly down, and a more liberal and scriptural view of the doctrine of Man's Acceptance with God prevailed. In 1678, Mr. Bull's great merit recommended him to the patronage of the lord chancellor Finch, afterwards Earl of Nottingham, who bestowed upon him a prebend in the cathedral of Glouces-,
In 1685, our divine published the greatest of his works, his Defensio Fidei Nicena, concerning which he
had thrown out a hint in one of his former treatises, and which had of course excited general expectations. In this most profound and laboured performance, the" Consubstantiality and Co-eternity of the son of God," is ir refragably proved to have been the Catholic Faith before the council of Nice. Nothing could be more seasonable than this work at the time of its publication, for numerous pieces in favour of the Arian and Socinian heresies were artfully dispersed over England; and some learned divines, in their zeal to vindicate the Catholic doctrine of the Trinity, had committed strange mistakes, and made concessions which were likely to be of dangerous consequence. This book was no sooner printed at Oxford, than it was received with universal applause; and the fame of it spread itself into foreign parts, where it was highly valued by the best judges of antiquity, and was noticed in a very distinguishing manner by the famous Bossuet, bishop of Meaux, between whom and our divine there was afterwards a friendly correspondence. The same year he was presented to the rectory of Avening in Gloucestershire; and the year following, archbishop Sancroft conferred on him the archdeaconry of Llandaff, about which time the university of Oxford conferred on him the degree of D.D. without fees. Soon after the revolution, he was put into the commission of the peace; the main inducement to his acceptance of which,' says his biographer, was, "that he might have an opportunity to put the laws in execution against immorality and profaneness." And this we think will be a sufficient apology for a clergyman's acting in the same capacity.
In 1694, Dr. Bull published his Judicium Ecclesia Catholicæ, from the Oxford press; the design of which was to defend the anathema pronounced at the first council of Nice, against the exceptions of Episcopius.
The last treatise which he wrote was, the "Primitive · and Apostolical Tradition of the Doctrine received in the Catholic Church, concerning the Divinity of our Saviour Jesus Christ, asserted and evidently demonstrated against Daniel Zwicker, &c.;" but it did not appear till 1703, when it was published, with the rest of his works, by the learned Dr. Grabe.
In 1704-5, Dr. Bull was consecrated, though much against his own inclinations, bishop of St. David's, which extensive diocese he governed with great care and tender
ness, though at the time of his advancement he was 71 years of age. He resided almost constantly in his dioeese, and thus watched with a truly episcopal vigilance over the conduct of his clergy. He reformed a great number of abuses, and instituted many excellent regulations for the promotion of pure religion. His charities were very extensive, and he was particularly attentive to the wants of the aged poor.
This incomparable prelate died in the full triumph of faith, February 17, 170%; and the last word he spoke was Amen, to the commendatory prayer, which he repeated twice distinctly and audibly after his usual man,
He was buried in the collegiate church of Brecknock, about a week after his death, between two of his predecessors, Bishop Manwaring and Bishop Lucy. He left behind him but two out of eleven children. His son Robert was rector of Tortworth in Gloucestershire, and prebendary of the cathedral church in that county. He married a grand-daughter of the great Judge Hale, and the bishop's daughter married a grandson of the same judge.
Bishop Bull's Latin works were collected and published under the direction of the excellent Dr. Grabe, in 1 vol. folio, 1703. After his death were printed his Sermons and Charges, in 4 vols, Svo. His Life, with his Portrait, was published in 1 vol. 8vo. 1713, by that emis nently pious Christian, Robert Nelson, Esq.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE
N looking the other day into Mr Granville Sharp's "Three Tracts on the Syntax and Pronunciation of the Hebrew Tongue," my eye was arrested by a very long note, containing an account of a pretended assembly or general council of the Jews in the plain of Ageda in Hungary, to examine the Scriptures concerning Christ.
I was exceedingly surprised that a person of Mr.
Sharp's good sense and discernment, should be so greatly imposed upon, as to admit such a miserable piece of imposture into his book. The tract which he has copied into his work, originally made its appearance in the year 1655; and though it never received the slightest degree of credit, it was reprinted by the compilers of the Phoenix, in the first volume of their heterogeneous collection. of scarce tracts, in 1721.
There can be no occasion for entering into a minute exposure of this bungling fabrication. A few plain remarks will be sufficient to shew that it is totally unworthy of
The pretended author, Mr. Samuel Brett, says, that he was a chirurgeon, and that being in the Straits, for a cure which he did perform on Orlando de Spina of Gollipulo (i. e. Gallipoli) an eminent man in those parts, he was preferred to be a captain of a ship of Malta.'
Now here is a falsity too gross to pass upon any man of common information; for to omit the absurdity of making "a chirurgeon captain of a ship of war," it is well known, that none were ever appointed to the command of ships of Malta, but those who were of the order, and consequently Roman Catholics. Yet Brett calls himself a Protestant. In the account of his travels, he tells us that, among other cities, he visited TROY; and in his description of Egypt, he speaks of the land of Goshen, where the Israelites dwelt, as being still a province bearing that name, and remarkable for its fertility." The water of the Red Sea," he says, "is of the colour of other water, but that the sand at the bottom is reddish, and giveth that colour to the water." So much for geographical accuracy!
After noticing the zeal and bigotry of the Spaniards, he says, "that they were more Romanists than the Romans themselves, for with them there is an Inquisition, and in Rome," says he," I never heard of the same dan"Now if Brett had really been in any part gerous snare. of Italy, he must have known that the Inquisition tyrannized there with as great terror as in Spain or Portugal. Poor Mr. Mole, a clergyman of the Church of England, and tutor to a nobleman on his travels, was seized in the reign of James the first, at Rome, and shut up in the prison of the Inquisition, where he died after a confinement of several years.
But to come to this pretended council of the Jews. Brett pretends that there were above 3000 spectators Vol. XI. Churchm. Mag. for July, 1806. C present,