Page images

The same mistake occurs in other places, not worth our notice.

All this will appear less wonderful, when it is compared with the same author's account of the Trinity in Unity, which he calls, “ Dr. Waterland's notions of three equally " supreme intelligent agent, and of one intelligent agents *." But neither Dr. Waterland, nor any other Christian, ancient or modern, orthodox or heterodox, did ever believe the Holy Trinity to be three and one in the same respect. Arians of all sizes have indeed made a common practice of imputing this absurdity to us; though they have generally been content with making us weak enough to believe Three Gods (in the plural) to be one God (in the singular.) But Dr. Sykes is not satisfied without carrying quite out of the precincts of grammar, having invented a new transformation of the terms into three agent, and one agents; which if the Printer can get over without an error of the press, he will have better fortune with his types, than I have had with my pen.

If we consider the Doctor as an orator, we shall find his style distinguished by a certain inharmonious repetition, which shews the writer to have laboured under the most extreme poverty of diction, of which, the following are a few examples—so apparently so—this is just such a pretty way of reasoning as this. This gave me occasion to demand what were the criteria by which we might judge which those par. ticular articles are, which leave a latitude t. ,

As an historian, he imagined himself to have found Dr. Waterland guilty of a gross anachronism; and while he is correcting him for it, observes, with an air of triumph, that Samuel Hubert's book “ was written forty years after the “ articles were made, and near forty after Cranmer was rot- ten in his grave 1.” If it be remembered that archbishop Cranmer was a person of the first ecclesiastical character in this kingdom, a man of exact learning, great piety, and venerable in the eyes of all good men, as a martyr to the

• See Waterland's Supplement, p. 33. + See p. 42. 4. 33.

Waterl. Suppl. p. 44.

protestant cause, the language with which his memory is here treated is consistent neither with decency nor charity, nor indeed with common humanity. But that this same Cranmer should be rotten in his grave, whom all the world knows to have been publicly burnt to ashes at a stake, and sent to Heaven in a fiery chariot, is a discovery, of which the whole merit is due to the acute Dr. Sykes *. I do not take upon me to say, that this is the particular merit which recommended him to the author of the Confessional, for I Tather suppose it to have been that of disbelieving the Creeds, which is a sufficient recommendation with him, who judges of every man's wisdom or folly, by first observing whether he is for, or against the church. In this practice he brings to my mind the character of Georgius Trapezuntius, a scholastic doctor of eminence in the 15th century. Aristotelis admirator summus; Platonis contemptor maximus. When a critic is thus unhappily swayed by the summus on one side, and the maximus on the other, his accounts are to be taken with very great abatements. If his admiration and contempt are each of them misplaced, and have exchanged their proper objects, the matter cannot then be rectified by any discountings. This spirit of partiality hath filled the Confessional with malignant ridicule and fulsome panegyric, of which it is not necessary, in this place, to produce any more examples, because some of them will meet us of course in the ensuing Remarks; from which the reader may form a judgment of all the rest, as safely and surely as he may know the taste of sea-water, without being obliged to drink up the ocean. .

It may be proper to observe, that the Confessional is referred to in its original form of the first edition ; and it ought to be known, for the author's vindication, that these papers might have appeared many months ago, if politics, &c. had not taken off the Printer's attention from works of divinity.

* If the reader will please to consult à Letter to the Common People, published with the last edition of the Catholic Doctrine of the Trinity, he will find some account of another acute writer, who, in this author's vapouring style, is invested with all the terrors of con troversial ability. See Confess. p. 320.

[ocr errors]







A SEQUEL to the Second EDITION of a FULL ANSWER to an

Essay on SPIRIT...





A short View of the Grounds of this Author's Dispute

against the Church of England.

WHEN a controversy is started in which the spiritual interests of Christian people are nearly concerned, it is their duty to inquire, as far as they are able, into the real merits of the cause; and to consider the question, if possible, in the same naked and .. simple state in which it existed in the head of an author, before it was disposed according to the rules of art, and disguised under the rhetorical furniture of a large book, comprehending an hundred different subjects wrought up into one mass.

In conversation, it is not unusual to hear two persons disputing fiercely for a long time, without gaining an inch of ground on either side: because it is the practice of reasoners, who are deficient either in respect of a sound cause, an upright intention, or a clear head, to wander far and wide from the subject in debate. Every subject is so nearly related to other

VOL. II. .


« PreviousContinue »