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self, by Principles of Conscience, rendred incapable of any Preferments among my Brethren of the Clergy, in the present Circumstances of the Church, and very well satisfied without them ; yet ought I not to neglect any prudent Care of making Provision for those my Children, who being in a Manner, together with their Father, incapable of such Preferments, yet have rendred themselves, I believe neither unworthy of, nor unfit for other Employments, and those even relating to the sacred Function ; I mean, to both Learning and Religion; which Sort of Employments, therefore, they are,
which I humbly hope for of this Society, either considered as such here, or in their private Capacity and Intereft elsewhere. And since I think, on a very moderate Computation, and without reckoning Interest, it may well be suppos’d, that Dr. Turner was, and this Society is, 5000 l. richer, and myself 1200 1. poorer by my Behaviour towards him, I may justly esteem myself, per accidens, a Benefactor to this charitable Society in the former, and somewhat more than per accidens, a Benefactor in the latter Sum. Which Circumstances are hereby humbly offered to the Consideration of this society. London May 13, 1731.
N. B. When the Society were informed of this Matter, it was not denied but I had an equitable Claim to fome Affistance for my Family; but no Opportunity offering, I was oblig'd to sit down contented without it.
In this Year also l published Proposals for ere&ting Societies for premoting Primitive Cbriftianity, and gave them away in great Numbers, gratis, in half a Sheet: Which I shall reprint at the End of these Memoirs, with the like Intention of reviving that Society.
N. B. These Proposals were afterward reprinted, and inserted at the End of the small Edition of the four Volumes of Primitive Christianity Reviv'd. But because they were a few Years afterward carefully revis'd, abridg’d, and improv'd, at the first setting up of such a Society at my House, of which presently. This first Copy is to be looked on as not so perfect, as the other: Tho' I would not have it omitted to any future Editions of the Book beforementioned : The perfect Copy is already printed in my
Life of Dr. Clarke, ift Edit. Page 87---96. About the same Year 1712, I printed fifty Proposals for printing a cheap and correct Edition of all the Primitive Fathers, before the Council of Nice; ending with Eufebius's Ecclesiastical History, in twelve Volumes : And communicated the same to many
' of my learned Friends, for their Improvements, and Corrections.
But not meeting with Encouragement then, the design dropt. However, it was about 1723 reviv'd, with great Improvements, and some Hopes of Success, that such an intire. Set might be gotten into all the Parishes of Great-Britain, till Mr. Collins, the Author of Grounds and Reasons, quite diverted mine and others Thoughts another Way. Which amended
Proposals are by me inserted into the sixth Volume of my Sacred History of the Old and New Testament, now published. Page. 609-613.
In these two Years 1711, and 1712, my Affairs were before the Conovcation, as the History of that Convocation, so far as I was concerned, already mentioned, will shew. What I would here add is, somewhat about this Mat ter in Bishop Burnet's Hiftory of his own Times; which I esteem a most authentick and a most valuable History : [especially theConclusion, which is hardly parrelled in any modernComposition that I have ever met with.] Now as to this Bishop's Account of my Affairs, they nearly agree with my own, as to the Facts; and so they need not here be repeated. But his Character of me, and his Opinion of the Censures of such Convocations cannot be omitted. They are in these Words, on these two Years, and did me great Service among his Friends ever after.
1711, an Incident happened that diverted the Thoughts of the Convocation to another Matter. " Mr. Whiston, the Professor of Mathematicks in
Cambridge, a learned Man, of a sober and ex: "emplary Life, but much set on hunting for Paroor doxes, fell on the reviving the Arian Heresy, " tho’ he pretended to differ from Arius in sevesi ral Particulars ; yet upon the Main he was part" ly Apolinarist, partly Arian. For he thought the * Nous or Word was all the Soul that acted in our “ Saviour's Body. He found his Notions favour“ ed by the Apoftolical Constitutions ; so he " reckon'd them a Part, and the chief Part of the
Canon of the Scriptures. For these Tenets he
was censured at Cambridge, and expelled the Uni“ versity. Upon that he wrote a Vindication of " himself, and his Doctrine ; and dedicated it to " the Convocation ; promising a larger Work on " these Subjects.
“ AttheConvocation Meeting in Winter, no An“ swer came from the Queen; and two Bishops were " sent to ask it ; but she could not tell what was be“ come of the Paper which the Archbishop had sent “ her; so a new Extract of the Censure was again “ fent to her ; but she has not thought fit to send an • Answer to it : So Whiston's Affair sleeps ; tho' he “ has published a large Work in four Volumes in “ Octavo, justifying his Doctrine, and maintaining " the Canonicalness of the Apostolical Constitutions ; "preferring their Authority not only, to the Epi“ ftles, but even to the Gospels. In this last I do not “ find he has made any Profelytes, tho' he has set s himself much to support that Paradox.
1912 The Censure that was pass'd on Whiston's 66. Book in the former Sessions had been laid before " the Queen in due Form, for her Approbation : “ But at the opening of this Sessions in December, r the Bishops finding that no Return was come from - the Throne in that Matter, fent two of their " Number to receive her Majesty's Pleasure in it ; " the Archbishop being so ill of the Gout, that he
came not among us all that Winter. The Queen 66 had
the Censure into the Hands of some of “ her Ministers, but could not remember to whom “ The gave it ; fo a new Extract was sent to her;
" and she said she would send her Pleasure upon “ it very speedily; but none came during the “ Session; so all future Proceedings against him
were stopped, since the Queen did not confirm “ the Step that we had made.
This was not unacceptable to some of us, and to myself in “ particular. I was gone into my Diocese when " that Censure was passed. And I have ever " Thought, that the true Interest of the Christian
Religion was best consulted, when nice disputing rs about Myfteries was laid aside and forgotten”.
Since I have here mentioned Bishop Burnet, as unwilling to censure good Men that differ from the Publick, it will not be amiss if I here farther produce another memorable Passage relating to him, and not foreign to this History. It is taken out of his Life, written by his Son, now Mr. Justice Burnet, Page 1364, 1365. —He was much caress’d and esteem'd by the principal Men of Geneva, [about 1686.] He saw they insisted strongly upon their Consent of Deatrine : [This is a Formulary commonly known by the Name of the Consensus.] Which they required all those to subscribe who were admitted into Orders. He also employed all the Eloquence he was Master of, and all the Credit he had acquired amongst them, to obtain an Alteration of this Practice. He represented to them the Folly and ill Consequence of such Subscriptions ; whereby the honestest and worthiest Men were frequently reduc'd to the Necessities of quitting their Native Country, and seeking a Subsistance elsewhere : Whilst others, of less Virtue, were induced to sub