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Yalden's Malignity to Milton. Till thy seditious prose provokes our rage, Princes may have their names easily And soils the beauties of thy brightest inscribed within the compass of one page.
ring." He, however, advises the peoThus here we see transporting scenes arise, ple“ to desire the best, and give God Heav'n's radiant host, and opening para- thanks for the middle sort, and bear
with the worst, for the doctrine and Then trembling view the dread abyss beneath,
example of Christ."
PLEBEIUS. Hell's horrid mansions, and the realms of
death. Whilst here thy bold majestic numbers
Bromley, Feb. 4, 1816. rise,
SIR, And range th' embattled legions of the N the number for Feb. 1819, Vol. skies,
viii. p. 110, a curious “ Quaker With armies fill the azure plains of light, Creed” is given with some judicious And paint the lively terrors of the fight,
remarks on it by “ N. C.," in order We own the poet worthy to rehearse
to shew your readers “ what sort of Heav'n's lasting triumphs in immortal
a Trinity it is, which at least some But when thy impious mercenary pen
highly accredited members of this Insults the best of princes, best of men,
Society profess to believe.” He was Our admiration turns to just disdain,
furnished with it “ by a Friend," who And we revoke the fond applause again. had, it seems, questioned his right to Like the fall’n angels in their happy consider himself a Christian, “ because state,
he was understood not to believe in Thou shar'dst their nature, insolence and the Divinity of Christ." fate :
Your correspondent replied, “ that To harps divine, immortal hymns they if by divinity was meant, divine comsung,
mission and authority, he believed it As sweet thy voice, as sweet thy lyre was
as firmly as any person"-but that if strung As they did rebels to th' Almighty grow,
this term meant, “ essential Deity, So thou prophan’st his image here below. equality with the Father,” he did not Apostate bard ! may not thy guilty ghost, * conceive“ that any person could Discover to its own eternal cost,
prove such a doctrine from the scripThat as they heaven, thou paradise hast tures." The friend “ declined enterlost !
ing into any explanations," observing,
" that it was not the practice of their The “impious and mercenary pen" Society to engage in theological conof Milton, and Charles, “the best of troversy." But in return for Dr. princes, best of men," are poetic fan- Priestley's Appeal, and Elwall's Trial, cies, equally amusing. Yalden, who he furnished “ N. C.” with the said died in 1736, aged 65, had been a “ Quaker Creed,” which the latter contemporary, at Magdalen College, sent for insertion in your Journal. It Oxford, with Addison and Sachever does not, as he remarked, even hold ell, adhering to the political prioci- the doctrine of " a mere modal Trini. ples of the latter. In the heaven of ty, ex citly disavowing the idea Court-Divines and Poets, Kings, or of three persons, or essences," in the Protectors, when Kings could not be Deity. That in short, like other mofound, have always shone as stars of difications of the Sabellian scheme it the first magnitude. Thus Sprat, only supplies “a pretence for the who, as a young collegian, in 1658, (partial] use of orthodox language, while hopeless of the return of royalty, while the real doctrine is strictly Unichaunted the praises of the deceased tariay." Cromwell, “ the subject of the no- Yet has this Creed been lately reblest pens and most divine phansies," published, verbatim, by an accredited was ready, as a grateful Bishop, to Elder in the Society of Friends, Wilcelebrate, in a mournful Pastoral, the hiam Alexander, of York, in his “AnApotheosis of Charles II. How dif- nual Monitor, for the year 1816," with ferent a place was discovered by the this commentatory preface : The foluncourtly Quevedo, in one of his Vi- lowing explanation of the Unity of the sions, for “ all the Kings that ever Divine Being was found in MŠ. a few reigned.” Grotius too, in his Votum years ago, hearing the marks of not pro pace, as translated in 1652, quotes being a very modern production; but
“ true saying," that “ all good without any clue by which to discoMr. Gilchrist in Reply to A. A. ver the author. Its coincidence with Son, and Holy Spirit," are essentially the sentiments of the Editor induced and identically one and the same, each him to request a copy of the indivi- signifying the true God, my reverence dual amoug whose papers it was for the authentic records of the Chrisfound, and he trusts it will not be tian Revelation induces me to withless pleasing to many of his readers. hold my assent. I cannot find that
“ The words, in the general, are they contain any such doctrine. placed in brackets, being an addition And although the author of this which he has ventured to insert; as Creed, like other Sabellians, uses he does not conceive by the tenure such very incorrect language, it is [tenor) of the whole piece, that the obvious he felt the necessity of disauthor intended so unqualified a re- tinguishing those “ different appellastriction of the several appellations as tions" from each other, and that he his words may otherwise possibly im- exclusively ascribed the creation and ply."
existence of all things both animate To enable your readers to judge of and inanimate “ to God the Father." this singular piece of conjectural cri. The first part of this Creed is pureticism, I will subjoin the paragraph ly Sabellian. If the second part conto which it relates, with the intended cerning the Son is pure Quakerism, amendment, viz. “ The different ap- N. C.'s correct observation that not pellations of Father, Son, and Holy a word is used under this head “ that Spirit are, nevertheless, not to be can be supposed to have the remotest used indifferently or indiscriminately reference to the history, doctrine, one for another, because [in the gene- death or resurrection of the Lord Jeral) they are properly and consistent- sus Christ,” is well worthy the serious ly used only, as this one Supreme, attention of its members, and espeSelf-existing Essence is considered in cially of Wm. Alexander, the publisher different points of view."
and patron of this Creed. RecomI have put the above word only in mending it to their notice, italics, as Wm. Alexander seems to
I am, sincerely yours, have overlooked its import, and be
THOMAS FOSTER. cause the passage is absolutely incompatible with the construction he would Newington Green, Feb. 6, 1816. put upon it. His criticism reminds
Sir, me of the groundless and fancisul no- TOUR last number (p. 16,) contains tion of a worthy man, and a reputed
animadversions on a Sermon of ly orthodox divine, who being closely mine, to which I deem some reply pressed with scriptural proofs, that necessary. Such animadversions may prayer should only be offered to God not be unprecedented, but they are the Father, admitted that in the gene- rather unusual, and I conceive hardly ral, such was the duty, and had al- justifiable. Is it not enough that auways been the practice of Christians; thors be subjected to the judgments but nevertheless contended for the and decisions of anonymous reviewers propriety of sometimes addressing pray- without the privilege of appeal or reer to Christ in cases of peculiar emer. pły? Must they also be exposed to gency !
the attacks of anonymous letter-wri. The above and every other modi- ters? fication of the Sabellian hypothesis, There are several circumstances that I have seen, asserts that there is connected with the indictment in “ but one true God," as all Christians question not very creditable to him agree, and also that this Supreme who drew it up. He is an officious Being does not consist, as all Trinita
For the same reason that rians affirm, of “ three distinct per- he writes reprehensively of me or of sons,” and is so far sound and scrip- my publications a thousand others tural. As it is also, in representing might do so; but I do not suppose this one true God, as the “ first Cause that he has an ex-officio commission of all things, from whence the whole to put himself forward as accuser-geuniverse derives its origin and exis- neral. He says that “ there can be tence,” the proper Author of all tem- but one opinion" respecting my Serporal and spiritual blessings.
mon; but for that very reason the When, however, it declares that publishing of his opinion was uncal" the different appellations of Father, led for and upuecessary. I would
Mr. Gilchrist in Reply to A. A. not hastily suspect or impute bad lenger, but rather attacks in the man. motives ; but I must be permitted to ner of one whom I shall not name, say that there is some appearance of lest I should be be uncharitable eenvy about his strictures. He indi- nough to shock his ears and hurt his rectly confesses it was the character delicacy ; for he need not be told given of the sermon as “ acute, able what class of men wear a mask and and eloquent,” that provoked his rc- shoot from ambush. There is a sort of proaches; and without considering wild justice and generosity to be met ihe abatement made in the conclud- with at times even among them; but ing remarks of the Review, he reluc- was it just or fair in your correspontantly and grudgingly admits of any dent to pretend he was criticising my excellence by saying, “ whatever sermon when he was only quoting may be thought of the argument from the notes appended to it?" which, though clear and simple, does I am unwilling to consider his innot strike me as peculiarly ingeniouś genious, original and classical allusion or novel.” If this be not the language of the philosopher's tub in the light of envy it is so very like it as to be in of splendid poverty. It is always eadanger of misleading common under sier to repeat than to invent; but he standings. I have a higher opinion is surely not necessitated after such a of the talents of the wiiter than to wide range of reading to bedeck his suppose he cannot rise to honourable compositions with the worn-out finery distinction by the native buoyancy of of fabulous traditions. Does he really his own genius; or that he must at- believe in the Tale of a Tub? Did it tempt to pull down the reputation of never occer to him that Diogenes was surrounding talents lest his own should calumniated like our own Hobbes ; be overshadowed and concealed. But and that merely because he had sa why does he not abstain from the gacity to discern and courage to ridivery appearance of ignoble motives? cule the nonsense of such popular He complains loudly and bitterly of philosophers as Socrates, Plato and uncourteousness and uncharitableness; Aristotle, the holy trinity of classical yet he can be very uncourteous and idolatry? uncharitable in his turn; which is But these are only circumstances something like (to use an old vulgar let us come to the matter of the insaying! Satan reproving sin. In the dictment. It may be resolved into small space of a short letter the reader uncourteousness, uncharitableness and will find a great many hard words contemptuousness. The cars of your (though the arguments be soft and correspondent have been long accusslippery) well barbed with personal tomed to the language of scripture, reflections. In this respect, at least, else they would be shocked with the the accuser has outdone the accused ; specimens of Christian courtesy which and I hope to convince him that how- might be selected from the speeches ever hot aud violent I may be when of Christ and his apostles. I intend I have no one human being in view, no reproach to his understanding by I can use the gentlest words in the remarking that, it is of great imporEnglish vocabulary when repelling a tance to reflect carefully on the napersonal attack. I do not object to ture of things and meaning of words ; the words applied to me or to my ser- especially on such words as are ever mon : they are as truly respectable as sounding in our ears ; for without the hypocritical misuomers and sla. much attention, our roting begets a vish inuendos rendered to the arbi- silly habit of repeating after repeaters trary laws and despotic fashions of as the jay chattereth English. Chamodern etiquette are mean and con- rity (as I understand the term) means temptible. But I have a right to meet benevolence; and therefore to the people on the ground which them. charge of uncharitableness I plead not selves have chosen, and to demand guilty; for I sincerely wish those consistency between their professions whose opinions differ from mine all and their practice. I am sorry to the blessings of the life that now is, speak unhandsomely of one, who and of that which is to come. But, gives himself the airs of a gentleman ; if, as suspect, your correspondent but I must tell the unprovoked as- means by charity, what the French sailant in question, that he does not (from whom we borrowed it) call come forward as an honourable chals the art of pleasing and the art of lio.
Mr. Gilchrist in Reply to A. A.
91 ing, I glory in being uncharitable ; ject I may have to treat of, I shall and in setting all the petty ordinances certainly not spare the insect generaof the modern idol at defiance. If tion of scribblers; for I would rather your correspondent wishes to go into bear the marks of their displeasure the merits of bienséance and courtesy than have the hum of their approba(of the same origin with courtesan) I tion. There are many Trinitarian beam prepared to give my reasons for lievers for whose understanding as verging towards the opposite extreme well as character I have the greatest from that of the fashion ; and what respect; but nione who know how to will probably have more weight with argue would attempt to support the his judgment, I am prepared to back doctrine of the Trinity by argument. those reasons with high authorities ; Bacon was of opinion that reason for though I do not borrow my opin- ought not to be employed about the jons they are not quite so singular mysteries of the church; and one of as some readers may suppose.
the ablest reasoners and most eloquent Your correspondent ought to have writers among the orthodox in the sagacity enough to discern that the present time has been frequently heard objectionable matter in the notes ad- to say, that the doctrine of the Trinided to my sermon, is a literary rather ty cannot be supported by argument. than a theological question. Whe- It is highly improbable that ever I ther he perceived this and did not shall write or publish on that subject think proper to notice it, but chose again ; and whatever your corresponrather to speak of the odium theologi- dent may say about disgusting affeccum, is not for me to determine. Ås, tation, or ridiculous vanity, I can once however, he glories in belonging to more declare that I do think it a dethe dwarfish age of smooth, courtly grading task to have to reason with petits maitres, he might have been third-rate mystical declaimers. I have expected to repel the violent attack already wasted more time than the made upon its tender delicacy and occasion called for; and shall conaccomplished refinement. But I am clude with a remark or two on the contemptuous. Towards whom am object of your correspondent's letter. I contemptuous ? The only living He must have intended to correct author named by me is Robert Hall; the offender-or simply to punish but so far from contempt, I have the him—or thirdly, to proclaim to the highest admiration of his splendid ta- Catholic church of orthodox Trinitalents and pre-eminent genius ; and riaps, that though the Catholic church would rather read a volume of his of orthodox Unitarians, might through writings than a page of the dull cen- the laxness of her discipline harbour sors' of faults which they have not ta- such a daring heretic, yet that he was lent enough to commit. Your corres- rather tolerated than approved. As pondent will not assert that I have to the first purpose, your correspon. expressed any contempt for the other dent has written very unhappily and names introduced; and to these I unsuccessfully; and though he says could add, if not a multitude, at least something about conciliating and pleasa goodly number of authors for whom ing, I fear he will be an unsuccessful I have the greatest esteem and affcc- candidate for the reward promised by tion. I am not conscious of express- his supreme holiness in the Vatican to ing contempt towards that numerous the best prize-essay on that important and respectable body of the people subject. * But perhaps he did not wish who are of the orthodox faith. I am to conciliate but to irritate ; and depersuaded that there is as much in- spairing of correcting, hoped simply tellectual dignity and moral worth to punish. Being a gentleman of examong them as in the Catholic church quisite delicacy and courtly accomof Orthodox Unitarians.
plishments he thought, perhaps, that The question then returns towards dull admonition and pointless satire whom am I contemptuous ? I will are the most effectual means of refined tell your correspondent - sciolists, torture ; for the blunter the instru. witlings and pretenders of all descrip- ment the longer it is of dispatching tions, who have the vanity and pre- the victim. I confess my pride is sumption to write on subjects while deeply wounded to think that your they know not what they say nor correspondent should suppose me unwhereof they affirm. Whatever sub- worthy of acute pains and costly ceJ. J. on Sunday Tolls. remonies; or that such musty, mur- church or chapel, or other place of dered metaphors as abortions of genius, religious worship on Sundays, or any red-hot ashes, and old philosophers' other day on which divine service is tubs were good enough for me. I ordered by authority to be celebrated, thought I had written better than to
or going to or returning from attend. deserve such scorutul treatment; and ing the funeral of any person who though I have not seen the Sermon shall die and be buried in any of the in question since the last proof-sheet parishes in which the said road lies, passed through my bands, I begin to &c.” think it deserves to be committed to But all other persons, travelling on the flames. But finally-if it was the the said road on Sundays, are obliged holy, catholic purpose of your wor- to pay double toll, even though they thy correspondent to inform the church' attend public worship in the church of orthodox Trinitarians that the of the parish where the gate stands, church of orthodos Unitarians does if it be not their proper and usual not approve of my sermon—he might place of attending the said worship. have surely saved himself the trouble So that a person in a chaise and pair, of writing a letter. I was conscious passing to attend in our church, or of peculiarity and singularity in my any Dissenting place of worstap in style; and took care to inform the this or any other town (for we make public that I was not the organ of no invidious distinctions of denomithe Unitarian Church, and that all the nations) from or into a parish in which faults of manner and spirit in my com- our road does not lie, must pay a toll position were ascribable and charge of two shillings, though on other days able to me alone. Your correspon- he passes for one shilling. This douldent is no doubt a most charitable ble toll has been provided because it Christian and refined gentleman; but
was thought that such as travel for perhaps some of your readers will amusement on the Lord's Day can think bis sense of honour is not very afford such payment for the benefit high-mettled which suffered him to of the road. The regulations of other make an attack upon the manner and local Acts may be ditierent, and therespirit of a sermon after the above de- fore reference should be had, as beclaration from the author.
fore observed, to the Act under which JAMES GILCHRIST. the gate alluded to by J. P. was
erected. Moreton Hampstead, Feb. 8, 1816. . Were all Acts worded as the clause Sir,
above extracted, I should hope no T seems to me, that it was not person would think of demanding
necessary for your correspondent from a Dissenter a toll to which a J. P., p. 14, of your number for Ja- Churchman is not liable. And if nuary last, to make a profession of there be any Act which exempts the his faith, however correct it may be, latter and not the former, it must be in seeking information on the subject owing, I should think, to the neglect of Sunday Tolls. Our highway acts of Dissenters at the time of paseing it; have nothing to do with the faith, and they must bear it with patience but only the passing of traveilers : until the next time of renewal, which and to know who is to pay, and who canuot be obtained without their is exempted, on Sundays, he must knowledge, unless it be again their consult the local Act under which
own fault. At the meeting of the the gate has been erected, at which trustees which is called to prepare for toll is demanded of him, or the ta- such renewal, they should appear, ble, which is, or ought to be, hung aud make their claim to the same exat the gate, containing the tolls and emption as others, and without doubt exemptions. The Act, under which they will prevail : but if they should the road which passes by my door not, they should by their counsel in has been made says, in the clause of parliament, petition for it, or against exemptions,—“ No toll shall be de- the renewal of the act,--and surely manded, of or from any person or they cannot fail of full redress. persons going to or returning from
J. J. his, her or their proper parochial