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« Iw. Sir, I am sorry for the words I have said, because they do not become a Christian; but I meant no harm to them, I only meant that I detest {heir principles, and their doctrines, and so forth : "for Mr. B. has ofien told us that they make very poor Christians.

Min. Look you now !How difficult is the task of knowing ours, selves! Ah! Mr. B.“ Why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's cye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? or box wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull the mote out of thine eye, and behold a beam is in thine own eye?” Matt. vii. 3. But let us see—I told yon, that you were much nearer being a dissenter than you would like to see yourself, and I will shew you how: The dissenters, you know, despise and will not hear those ministers whom God hath set over them: So do you. The difference between you is this : that they choose any man they like, out of the church, and set him up, and then call him the Rev. Mr. Such-an-one, as we do Christian clergymen, and make believe to obey him : for mind ye; the instant the Rev. Mr. Such-ab-one disobliges bis employers, they send him packing, and get somebody else 10 do the work of their meeting.—You choose one in the Church; and so far, your error is not quite so preposterous.--But then, to be as like a dissenter as you can, if your parish priest does not please you, as you cannot turn him out of the Church, (as the dissenters do, and as you would certainly do if you could)-why you leave him there, and go to some other preacher that pleascs you better.–Again, the dissenters cause divisions, and schisms, as the Bible calls them) among Christians.-Sơ do you.-Such people as you set the minister of a parish and bis congregation at variance ; you cause difference of opinion, and make the people separate from their pastor.- But the Church of Christ, which he calls his body, should be all of one mind, and base no divisions in it. Christians should praise God with one mouth and one heart; and not say, I am of Paul, and I am of Apollos.” The Church of Christ should be without rent or division, as his blessed coat was without seam, Now, the only difference between you and the dissenters is ibis; They completely tear and destroy this sacred garment, and scalter the rags in every corner of the kingdom ; You fear and rend it from top to bottom, and make it totally unfit either for use or ornament, but do not quite separate the tattered pieces. You sec there is hardly a pin to choose between these two horrible things.'

The sin of schism or division must certainly be considered as attaching to divisions in the Church, rather than out of it. Now, Dissenters peaceably, and it may be · from pure motives • of conscience,' as Mr. Sikes allows, withdraw from the Parish Charch. They are separatists then, but mast not be called schismatics, for they do not divide the Church ; always understanding by the Church, the Church of England. The schism is, when Mr. Sikes is preaching in one parish church, and ** • Gospel preacher' is preaching - grace and election, justifica* tion and the new birthi,' and other hard things in the adjoitiing parislı, and drawing away all Mr. Sikes's patishionero.


Here is a schism with a vengeance; altar against altar; the Church against itself! Which of the two is the schismatic, we dare not attempt to decide ; but the Church is obviously divided both in doctrine and in fact. The Gospel preacher may allege that he is the innocent occasion of this division; that in being charged with turning the world upside down, he only shares in the reproach in which the Apostles gloried; that Christianity has always been the occasion of schisms, setting the mother against the daughter, the father against the son, the circumcised against the uncircumcised; but that the occasion of such schisms is unjustly charged with being the cause of them. All this may be said, and said with truth. But then, the existence of the schism being indisputable, the inference will be most dangerous ; to wit, that schism is a thing inevitable in a Church constituted as is the Church of England ; that, as it is inevitable, so, as to those who are chargeable with originating it, it is innocent; nay, that under all the circumstances of the case, this most horrible evil is a good thing.

As Dissenters, then, we maintain that we stand quite clear of schisin. The schismatics are the members of the Established Church, who stray from their own parish. This is as clear as the light of noon.

Let us not be misunderstood, however, as meaning to cast any reproach upon their Christian character. They are only bad Churchmen. We only mean that they are schismatics, ecclesiastically speaking, as rebelling against their lawfully ordained and divinely commissioned parish-priest, and depreciating the sufficiency of the provision which the Church has made, in the Liturgy and the Sacraments, for their edificatiun.: As schismatics, in a New Testament sense, we are far from regarding them; notwitstanding they are very apt to bestow that hard name upon us.

That Dissent is no schism, we can prove by analogy. Every one knows the fierce contest which so long agitated the Romish Church, between the Jansenists and the Molinists. Here was a theological schism. Again, when two, and in one case three, rival Popes were contending for the chair of St. Peter, and excommunicating each other, while their partisans zealously had recourse to the logic of cold steel to decide the point, there was a political schism in the Church. But when Henry the Eighth declared himself the head of the Anglican Church, there was no schism, but only, as every Churchman will admit, a withdrawment, a peaceable separation. In like manner, when the Nonjuror party in our National Church, refused to acknowledge King William as the head of that Church, here was a schism, and a dangerous one: and about the same time, the Hoadleyan controversy produced a theological division of the most angry kind. But when two thousand clergymen were ejected from the Church in the days of Charles II., the Church was only purified of schism, by getting rid of the schismaties who troubled her. It was, like the Reformation in Henry the VIIIth's time, a separation of parts, the sound from the unsound ; with this difference only, that the minority who went out, did not carry the King along with them.

But though we have thus succeeded in proving-we hope to Mr. Sikes's satisfaction, that we are not guilty of schism in our separation from the Church, we are aware that we have yet to clear ourselves from the crime of breaking the laws, and despising the Divine claims of the duly ordained clergy of this, realm. To this charge we shall now briefly address ourselves.

Imprimis, we deny the whole fiction of the ecclesiastical commission pretended to. We regard it as altogether apocry. phal; as much so as the stories of Asmodeus and Bel and the Dragon. That it proceeds from the Lord,' we consider as a most impudent pretence, since it is well known that the Bishop derives all his authority from the King, and that he is the head of the Church. The authority the Bishop possesses, is a purely secular authority, as much so as that of the justice of the peace from whom the Dissenting teacher takes out his license; and the appointment he confers or sanctions, is a political authority also. The Establishment is, from the top to the bottom, a political arrangement designed to provide for the instruction of the people. Its form and constitution have been settled by the State, its articles decided on by the State, its ceremonies decreed by the State. It may be called a Royal Church, or a Parliamentary Church, or a National Church ; any thing but an Apostolic Church. The Apostles explicitly disclaimed that very dominion which prelacy arrogates to itself. It is therefore a contradiction in terms, to suppose that they could devolve this species of jurisdiction on any imaginary

We have ample proofs in the New Testament, that many of the primitive Christians exercised the function of preaching with efficiency and success, who never took out their commission even from the Apostles ; and the Apostle Paul rejoiced that in any way Christ was preached. The Bishops of the Apostolic Churches were any thing but lords diocesan and princes palatine. They had no political authority, and they could not impart any. They had not more authority, and not larger dioceses, than many of our Dissenting bishops, the pastors of congregations.

That what the Bishop does in the Church, our Lord considers as done by himself, is an assertion very false, and, considering what a modern Bishop is, and who made him a Bishop,


and what raised him to the see, a very impious misstatement. Here are the Wellesleys, and the Beresfords, and other Irish families at this moment besieging the Prime Minister for the vacant arch-bishoprics of Ireland ; and no one questions that political reasons will entirely determine the appointment. Lord Liverpool will decide which noble family shall have each Apostolic mitre that is vacant, with the immense revenue attaching to it. And are we to believe, that all that his Grace shall thenceforward do in the Irish Church, our Lord will consider as done by himself? Oh, Mr. Sikes, well have you named your worthy parishioner, John Twilight. But a man must be quite in the dark to believe that Christ has any thing to do with such appointments, or that every Bishop and every parish minister is a servant of Christ. He is a servant of the Crown, if you please.

That God Almighty is to be considered as setting the parish minister over the particular cure to which, if the rector, he has been presented by the patron,-if the curate, appointed by the rector,-is another grievous mistake. We know that « the

powers that be, are ordained of God.” Government of all kinds is his ordinance. But in this sense, the Romish priest must be considered as equally set over his flock by Almighty God. Nay, the Mahommedan priest can, in Turkey, shew as good a warrant as respects his appointment by the powers that be. And according to Mr. Sikes's hypothesis, it must be not less a man's duty under those circumstances to submit to his appointed rulers. God's providence may be pleaded in the one case as well as in the other, as sanctioning such obedience. But when all the circumstances under which the disposal of livings takes place are considered, how shocking must appear the profanation of Scripture language, which represents the life-tenant of the tithes, or his curate, as set over Christ's flock in that part of his vineyard; as having by Christ's authority, the rule over that parish!

But we do not wish to speak lightly of an authority derived from the King. While we feel imperiously bound to obey God rather than man, we are glad, when their laws do not clash, to obey both. But Mr. Sikes • cannot see how an honest Dissenter can possibly be so good a subject as an honest Churcbman; because the Churchman obeys all the King's laws without exception; but the Dissenter, by the act of toleration, has got leave to break all those laws concerning the Church and Sacraments, which the King and Parliament have enacted to maintain true Christianity among us. The King says to his people, in the words of the great Joshua, “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve ; as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” And surely those subjects he must consider as the best, who choose to go right with him in the old religion of their forefathers, rather than those who have got leave to go wrong.

There is some truth in this, and it partly accounts for his late Majesty's friendly disposition towards the Dissenters. He considered them as good subjects for this very reason, because he regarded them as the most religious part of the community. The good old King was too wise and too religious, to imagine that going to Church was the same thing as serving the Lord. He had not read Henry on the Bible to so little advantage as to fall into so fatal an error. He knew that the Dissenters were in the main going right, while too many loyal Churchmes, too many of his own clergy, were going wrong.

But Mr. Sikes must allow us to undeceive him on one point. He thinks that an honest Dissenter' cannot possibly be so good a subject as a Churchman. From the stress laid on the epithet • honest,' we should be led to suppose that a dishonest Dissenter may be. We will take it for granted, however, that this is not Mr. S.'s meaning. Honest or dishonest, a Dissenter cannot be so good a subject, because he has got leave,' &c. But we should have imagined, that his getting leave would have made him all the better subject. This very extraordinary privilege, which makes it lawful for him to break the laws, ought to hind him more firmly than ever to his King, out of gratitude. Who does not see that the privileged Dissenter has a motive for being a good subject, which the Churchman has not ? We are not sure that we have yet hit Mr. Sikes's meaning. Perhaps he means, not that the Dissenter's having got leave to break certain laws, makes him the worse subject, but his making use of his privilege. Then, the laws which confer upon him that

leave to go wrong,' must be considered as sanctioning his misdoing. Oh! wicked laws, which make a man the worse subject! But how can he be said to break the laws, who does nothing but what the laws allow and sanction? Was ever such a thing heard of in this world, as laws giving a man leave to break laws, and making it right to go wrong? Yet so says Mr. Sikes. Here are certain of the King's laws, which the Dissenter has obtained leave to break. Then it is lawful to break them. Then they have ceased to be laws; for the laws are binding upon all, and when they cease to be binding, they cease to exist. Then, the Dissenter cannot break them. And so, after all, he is deprived of this admirable motive for being a good subject, the leave to disobey; and is reduced to the common level of those who are bound by the laws.

But Dissent is only tolerated.'Were this true, Dissent must be lovful, unless we could have laws tolerating and protecting what is unlawful. Suppose that a law was passed, tole.

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