« AnteriorContinuar »
N. B. Our late Addresses to the Crown, nay,our Prayers and Sermons still call our present Conftitution in Church and State, an Happy Constitution. I cannot join in the Epithet Happy: Since I verily think it a most unhappy one, as having not the least distinct Regard to the Laws of God, to the Bible, or to Christianity in any of our Courts, Civil or Temporal, nay, not in our Ecclesiasticalor Spiritual Courts neither. To say nothing more of the Periniffion of a Bishop to be Nonresident for fix Years together, and yet to be prefer'd afterward to three other Bishopricks Successively : Of the like Permission of Bishops, as well as Priests and Deacons, to marry twice, nay thrice, nay four times, and still to give them leave to officiate as Bishops, Priests, and Deacons still ; contrary to the known Laws of the Gospel, not only recorded in the Apostolical Constitution and Canons, but in the ordinary Books of the New Testament. See my Christian Discipline, page 31-38, and my Friendly Address to the Baptists, to be hereafter inserted
But before I proceed farther, give me leave to try to shame those called Christians, to act with more Regard to the Bible and the Laws of Christianity than they do at Present, by producing a most remarkable Relation, taken out of Prince Cantemir's History of the Ottomans, page 103, 104, 105, which will clearly shew, how vastly greater Regard the Turks pay to their Coran, than we do to our
Bible. The History is this. When Sultan Mabomet II. took Conftantinople A. D. 1453. it was Part of it taken by Force ; and in that Part the Christian Religion was suppress’d. But the other Part was delivered up by Composition; and an Agreement was made that the Christian Religion should be preserved, as well as the Churches and Clergy thereto belonging. This Toleration was enjoyed till the Reign of Sultan Selim I. who had a mind to Force all the Christians to turn Mebometans, as the only Way to their Salvation. Accordingly when the Mufty was once with him, he asked him, whether was most meritorious, to fight for the Propogation of the true Religion, and the Salvation of Souls, or for temporal Dominion ? the Mufty was not throughly apprized of the full Intention of the Grand Senior ; but said, that to fight for the true Religion and Salvation of Souls (one of which was of more worth than the whole World) was by far the most meritorious. So that when a Decree of the Grand Seniors was brought him to sign, for abolishing the Christian Religion in Conftantinople, and obliging all the Christians there to turn Musslemen, he ralhly signed it ; and thereby, according to their Law, it was become sacred and irrevocable. When the Grand Vifier found how this matter stood, he was forely grieved ; and went and reproached the Mufty for what he had done ; shewing him how expresly this Decree contradicted the Goran, which directly allowed Toleration to all that would pay annual Tribute : The Mufty hereupon confeffed his Miftake, and sware that he would un
do what he had done. Accordingly the Grand Vifer and Mufty sent to the Christian Patriarch and Clergy to demand a legal Trial before the Mufty: Which it seems could not be denyed them: " At which Time they folemnly pleaded the express Law of the Coran, and the Publick League which had been made with them. When this Law of the Coran was pleaded from the Text itself, and the Agreement of the Commentators in its Interpretation the Mufty declared, that so it was : And that this Law was to stand inviolable ; and therefore the Decree must be reversed. Nor durft the Grand Senior oppose. However the Teftar Dar, or Treasurer, who, as his Office required, pleaded' for the Sultan, said farther, that the Christians, besides the Authority of the Coran, alleg'd an Agreement or League also; which he insisted they should produce. In this Case the Christians pleaded, that such a League was certainly made ; but the Record of it was burnt in a Fire, that had some Time since happened at Constantinople. Which they proved by producing three very old Janisaries; who folemnly attested the Truth of it, which they well remembered. So the Christians carried there Cause intirely ; and the Toleration which they still enjoy at Confiantinople must be owing to their Success in this important Tryal, with the Sultan's own Submission to their sacred Coran, and strict Regard to their League. Nor was he able to do more against the Christians at this Time, than to order the Demolition of the generality of the Christians fine Churches there, built of Stone; and to obliget them to be content with
more humble ones built of Wood. Which Decree was not contrary either to the Coran or League. This was executed accordingly. I wish, heartily wish that the most Christian, and Catholick King ; with our own Defender of the Faith, may thew as great a Regard to the Bible as the Sultan did to the Coran.
In the Year 1710, Octob. 30. I was banished the University of Cambridge: With which Severity, when Mrs. Roberts of Glaiston, afterward reproached Dr. Richardson, Rector of that Town, and Master of Peter-house in Cambridge, one of those that banished me, he replied,
66 Of what " they did at Cambridge they were not bound to “ give an Account to any body.” : Accordingly, no one, that I know of, has ever written in Contradiction to my Accounts, or in Vindication of that Banishinent to this Day.
In this Year 1710, but before that Banilhment, I published Prælectiones Phyfico Mathematicæ, Cantabrigiæ, in Scholis publicis habite. Quibus Philosophia Illuftrifimi Newtoni Matbematica explicatius Traditur; et facilius demonstratur. Cometographia etiam Halleiana Commentariolo illustratur. In usum Juventutis Academica. Typis Academicis 8vo.. pretium 45, 6 d.
N, B. These Lectures were also
put afterward at London, and published there, under, my own Review, but corrected by Mr. Cunn.
In page 53, 54, of the Latin Edition, there was a Mistake made in the Rule for finding the
Motion of Elastick Bodies after their Collision:
N. B. I had been several Years, before my Banishment, a Member of that most valuable Society, called The Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge; one of those greatly encouraged, if not first formed by my old Friend Dr. Bray, already mentioned. Now it happened, that from the Year 1708, I had gone into deeper Enquiries and Designs; no less than the Discovery and Restoration of truly Primitive Christianity, as our Saviour and his Apo stles left it, without all Regard to modern Ages :* While this Society thought themselves only capable of supporting Things as 'they then stood in the Church of England, by Law established : I therefore foon found my frequenting that Society any longer, would rather occasion Contests and Difputés, than promote Christianity; would hinder rather than further even those really good Designs, as I should esteem them, of the Society. Hereupon I thought it best to withdraw my Attendance. And, on December 18, 1710, I wrote a Letter to their Secretary, to be communicated to the Society ; such an one as Mr. Nelson, one of the best of all our Members, as I have been told, greatly approved of. It was inserted into the Books of that Society; and thence I present it to the Reader ; having not myself found a Copy of it among my own Papers. It was in these Words.; directed to Mr. Secretary Nevoman, who had long been my great Friend.