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ed faith of the reformed church- of Dissenters are not formed es ;but it is such a perversion, upon such slight foundation, as as would have excited the resent the unlearned and thoughtless ment of Laud himself. In dem may imagine. They were thornominating those Puritans, who oughly considered, and judicious . refused compliance with their ly reduced to the standard of arbitrary requisition, Episcopal- Scripture, and the writings of anians had no reference to doctrin- tiquity, by a great number of al articles of faith ; nor the least men of learning and integrity, I suspicion, that by so doing they mean the Bartholomew divines, should in process of time sub- or the ministers ejected in the ject those articles to the stigma year 1662; men prepared to of being the creed of weak and lose all, and to suffer martyrdom ignorapt bigots only, and not of itself, and who actually resigned Inen of enlarged and enlightened their livings (which with most of understandings. Every dissent. them were, under God, all that er from the worship and ceremo- they and their families had to nies of the church of England is subsist upon) rather than sin in reality a Puritan in the tech- against God, and desert the cause nical sense of the term. No of civil and religious liberty ; honest and well informed Dis- which, together with serious resenter, therefore, can feel him- ligion, would, I am persuaded, self at liberty to apply this op- have sunk to a very low ebb in probrious term in such a con- the nation, had it not been for nexion, as to bring the doctrines the bold and noble stand, these of grace into disrepute. Of this worthies made against imposieffect indeed there would be no tion upon conscience, profanedanger, if the character of the ness, and arbitrary power. They Puritans had not been grossly had the best education, England misrepresented. To remedy could afford ; most of them were this evil, in part at least, as well excellent scholars, judicious dias to gratify and improve your vines, pious, faithful, and laboriserious and pious readers, be ous ministers ; of great zeal for pleased to insert in your very God and religion; undaunted useful publication a few extracts and courageous in their Master's from the lives of some Puritan work ; keeping close to their ministers. With the same view, people in the worst times ; dili. and as a natural introduction to gent in their studies ; solid, afthe extracts, the following testi- fectionate, powerful, lively, amony is proposed for previous wakening preachers ; aiming at insertion ; being the opinion of the advancement of real, vital rea man distinguished by erudition ligion in the hearts and lives of and strength of mind, but cer- men, which, it cannot be denied, tainly not influenced by partiali- flourished greatly wherever they ty to the favourite doctrines of could influence. Particularly tbe Nonconformists.
they were men of great devotion Extract from the character of the eject
and eminent abilities in prayer, ed nonconformist ministers, by Dr. uttered, as God enabled them, John TAYLOR, of Norwich, from the abundance of their .“ The principles and worship hearts and affections ; men of die Vol. II. No. 9.
vine eloquence in pleading at the to one,* as long as was convenient, throne of grace ; raising and for certain purposes ; and how melting the affections of their frequent occasion he had of aphearers, and being happily instru- pearing (never unacceptably) be. mental in transfusing into their fore another.t His grave and souls the same spirit and heaven- aniable aspect commanded both ly gift. And this was the ground reverence and love. A constant of all their other qualifications; serenity reigned in his countethey were excellent men, because nance; a visible sign of the diexcellent, instant and fervent in vine calm in his breast. His prayer. Such were the fathers, natural endowments were much the first formers of the Dissenting beyond the common rate. His interest. Those who knew them apprehension was quick and not, might despise them ; but clear; his reasoning faculty your forefathers, wiser and less acute and ready ; bis judgment prejudiced, esteemed them high- penetrating and solid ; his wit ly in love for their work's sake. never light or vain, though fa. The presence and blessing of cetious and pleasant. His mem. God appeared in their assem- ory was admirable ; nor was it blies, and attended their labours. impaired to the last. He deliv.
Let my soul forever be with the ered, his sermons memoriter, souls of these men!"
which, as he said, he continued • To this may be added the tes. to do, when in years, partly to timony of the great Mr. LOCKE, teach some, who were younger, who was well acquainted with to preach without notes. He -several of them. Speaking of was reputed one of the best orathe Act of uniformity he says, tors of the age. His voice was “ That BARTHOLOMEW Day was charming; his language always fatal to our church and religion, elegant ; his style inimitably po- by throwing out a very great lite, yet easy, and to himself the -number of WORTHY, LEARNED, most natural.
. PIOUS, and ORTHODOX di- His learning was a vast treasvines, who could not come ure, and his knowledge of books up to this, and other things in so extensive, that one of the that act.”
brightest ornaments of the 'estab
lishment said, “ were he to colSKETCH OF WILLIAM BATES, D.D.
lect a library, he would as soon
consult Dr. Bates, as any man he DR. BATEs was born in 1625. knew." He was well versed in He was educated in the Univer the politer parts of learning, sity of Cambridge, where he took which rendered his conversation the degree of B. A. 1647, and of highly entertaining to the more D. D. 1660. His graceful mien and comely person were adapted
Charles II. to whom he was chap. to command respect in that pub.
lain. lic station, for which Providence
King WILLIAM III. To whom,
at his accession to the throne, he pre. designed him. His concern lay sented the congratulatory address of not only with mean men; he was the dissenting ministers. He also to stand before kings. It is well presented their address of condolence known in what relation he stood
i on the death of the Queen.
intelligent part of mankind, and capacity could hear his most fahis company was much coveted miliar discourses, without great by persons of quality. He was advantage, or great negligence. honoured with the friendship of To place religion in a morose the Lord-keeper Bridgman. The sourness was far from his pracLord Chancellor Finch, and the tice, judgment, and temper. earl of Nottingham had a partice But his mind was most intent on ular respect for him. Archbisho divine things; and his discourse op Tillotson held him in high es- on other subjects was interwoven teem, and maintained an intima with religion, and centered in it; cy with him to the end of his life. especially what is most vital and If interest would have induced essential to it. “I never knew him to conformity, he could not any one (says Mr. Howe) more have wanted a temptation. He frequent or affectionate in the might have had any bishopric in admiration of divine grace, upon the kingdom, if he would have all occasions, than he was, as deserted his cause. His integri- none had a deeper sense of the ty, modesty, and peaceable tem- impotence and depravity of hu. per are conspicuous in the close man nature. Into what transof his farewel sermon, Aug. 17, ports of admiration of the love 1662, (the Sabbath preceding the of God have I seen him break general ejectment of the dissent. forth! How easy a step did he ing clergy by the act of uniformi inake it from earth to heaven! ity)" I know you expect me With what flights of thought and to say something as to my nón- affection was he wont to speak of. conformity. I shall only say the heavenly state! Even like a thus much ; it is neither fancy, man more akin to the other faction, por humour, that makes world than this." me not comply ; but merely the He was ejected from St. Dun. fear of offending God. And if, stan's in the west, London. He after the best means used for my was many years one of the Tuesillumination; as prayer to God, day lecturers at Salter's hall, discourse, and study, I am not where he preached to a thronged able to be satisfied concerning assembly. In the latter part of the lawfulness of what is requis life he exercised his ministry at cd, it be my unhappiness to be Hackney with great success. in error, surely men will have He died in 1699, aged 74. Mr. no reason to be angry with me Howe's funeral sermon for him in this world, and I hope God (founded on John xi. 16. Let you will pardon me in the next." also go, and die with him) contains
His piety was very conspicu. a most passionate lamentation ous, and his private conversation over him, in a strength of lanso instructive and quickening, in guage characteristic of thạt great reference to religion and godli, writer. ness, that no man of ordinary
SURVEY OF NEW ENGLAND' to an enlightened conclusion on CHURCHES.
this subject, it is necessary to
consider, that the perfection (Continued from p. 365.). of the Scriptures consists in their
being completely adapted to the Another argument against ends, for which they were inconfessions of faith will now be tended. Their perfection must investigated.
not be made to consist in the ut. Objection II. Confessions of most degree of any one quality, faith are inconsistent with the ab. or in their being fitted to any solute perfection and sufficiency of one particular purpose ; but in the Holy Scriptures. It is in the the adaptedness of the whole to inspired writings only that we can the complex design of revelation. be sure to find the genuine doc; That complex design is to fur. trines of Christianity expressed nish mankind with a universal with perspicuity and a just ex, rule of faith and practice. Such tent. No phrases can be 80 well a design requires fulness, and adapted to the nature of divine perspicuity. There is a perfect things, or 80 well caleulated to fulness in the Scriptures, if they preserve the purity of religion, reveal all that is necessary for us as those which the Holy Ghost has in the present state. And as to seen fit to 48t. And, therefore, their perspicuity, it is sufficient creeds, consisting of words of to answer all the cavils of infidels, man's wisdom, are a great disre, if they reveal necessary truths spect to the sacred writings, and with such plainness, that persons an affront to the divine Spirit of every capacity may attain the which inspired them. At the same knowledge of them, by a dili. time they show a presumptuous gent and pious use of apconfidence in man, as if he could pointed means. The perfection devise more proper expressions, of the Scriptures does not imply, than those of Scripture ; or as if that divine truth is always exthe purity of faith could be better pressed in the most obvious man. maintained by human inventions, ner, or that plainer expressions than by a steady adherence to our could not possibly be used; but infallible standard. In short, that it is expressed so plainly, confessions are an evident en that every devout inquirer may croachment upon the authority of understand it, as far as God sees the Bible, and lead men 10 neglect to be necessary. The perspicui, its holy contents, "and thus tend to ty of Scripture, it must be reundermine the foundation of reli- membered, is calculated for diligion.
gence, and not for sloth. Though This objection, which is almost the necessary truths of revela the only one that remains to be tion may be easily understood by considered, claims for its support the attentive and impartial mind, the perfection of the Scriptures. they may be greatly misappre: Now in order that we may come hended by a mind biassed with
prejudice, puffed up with pride, a mere man. Two men may or clouded by any evil passion. subscribe certain passages of
Now if it can be made to apPaul's writings, when from those pear that confessions of faith, in very passages they derive differ, their nature and design, are by ent and irreconcileable doctrines, no means incompatible with the Whence it clearly follows, that,
jection, stated above, will lose its person's owning his belief of the force.
Scriptures, and assenting to par: Let it, then, be constantly kept ticular passages is not, in itself, in mind, that creeds are to be the least proof of the sentiments considered neither as a substitute he embraces. for Scripture, nor supplementary This fact is easily accounted to it, nor as a rule, conformably för. It ought to be most thank, to which Scripture ought to be fully acknowledged, that the sameasured and understood by the cred oracles are adorned with a people, nor in any degree as a noble simplicity, and, considered standard of truth and falsehood in in themselves, are free from ar, matters of religion. So that the tifice and ambiguity. They are question before us is precisely an open, plain, and impartial rethis ; whether creeds may be presentation of the doctrines con-' drawn up in any words, but those ,tained in them; so that, without of Scripture, not as rules of faith, any addition or explication, they but as declarations of our own sen, may be truly, though not perfeci. timents, and means of discovering ly understood by all, who sincere, the sentiments of others,
ly apply their minds to the disIn order to show the proprie covery of divine truth. And ty and necessity of creeds, fram whenever we speak of the plained and used in this manner, it is ness and perspicuity of Scripture sufficient to prove, that we can phrases, we mean to consider not make a satisfactory declara them, as they lie in the Scription of our own sentiments, or a tures, and as they are expresclear discovery of the sentiments sions of God's mind to his creaof others, so long as we confine tures. But the words and phrapurselves to the precise words ses of Scripture have, by one and expressions of holy writ. party or another, been greatly The reason of this may soon ap; perverted from their true sense. pear. But whatever the reason, People ascribe different meanthe fact is plain.
ings to them, and whenever they Take a particular text. Two use them, intend to express difpersons may subscribe it, and yet ferent notions. As they are used contradict one another with res- and understood by mankind, they pect to the very article which it are of an ambiguous and indetercontains. A Socinian will readi- minate signification. Hence it is ly assent to any passages of plain, they are not clear expresScripture, which assert the di- sions of a person's faith, even as vinity of Christ ; and at the same to the most essential articles of time we know that, according to Christianity. If churches, fully the gloss which he puts upon persuaded that certain prevailing them, they represent Christ as sentiments are inconsistent with