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whole society to exercise the functions of Government, they, or a inajority of them, appointed persons, in whom they reposed most confidence; to act as governors, and invested them with sufficient powers for that purpose.
“ Thus, according to this fyftem, Government is a delegation iffu. ing from the people, and its power is entirely derived from them. But the people, the only source of authority, did not part with their original right. They retained their supposed Sovereignty : and the power, which issued from them in the first instance, depends, for its continuance, on the streams which flow from the fountain head. In fact, as these visionaries contend, the powers of Government are merely a trust, created by the people, which they, at all times, are intitled to recal, and to vest, at their discretion, in other hands. They are. always free to displace the governors whom they have appointed, and to punish them for mal-administration--to diffolve the Government which they have created, and to choose a new one, in whatever form, and manner they think proper; over which they will, of course, have the same controul as they had over the first, and so on, ad infinitum, or, at least, till time shall be no more.
« These crude and unnatural speculations, respecting the origin of Government, had long floated in the minds of men, and had been often used as a pretexi, by factious and turbulent characters, to dilo turb the order of society; when they acquired an unfortunate respect. ability and influence, from being seriously adopted and ftrenuously supported by Mr. Locke. That writer moulded them into a system which has since been the creed of a party, who, under the denomina. tion of Whigs, consider themselves as the only friends to civil liberty. In his Treatise on Civil Government, Mr. Locke made the world a present which has proved fatal to its repose and happiness. In the moft elaborate manner he there contends, that, ' men are by nature free, equal, and independent'--that no one can be put out of this eftate, and subjected to the political power of another, or put on the bonds of civil society, without his own consent'--that such consent is the only beginning of lawful government'--that it is false to infer, that, because men are born under government, they are natu. rally subjects to it,' or that they are not at liberty to begin a new one'--for ‘no man can, by any compact whatever, bind his children or pofterity; a child is born a subject of no country or government, but is merely under his father's tuition and authority, till he comes to age of discretion, and then he is a freeman, at liberty what government to put himself under.'
" There is no doubt that Mr. Locke thought the above system of society cffential to the existence of freedom, and that, under this impression, instead of examining, candidly and impartially, whether it was really founded in nature, or consistent with reason, he determined, at all hazards, to maintain it; and, like an advocate wishing only to triumph over his adverfary, (Sir Robert Filmer,) he bent his whole faculties to the support of his hypothesis. That such a fyftem is most inimical to the liberties of mankind, will be shewn hereafter.
But to prove that it is impracticable, Mr. Locke is certainly the best polsible evidence. This, with that inconsistency which is ever the fate of system-mongers, he has completely done. For, having afferted that individual content is the only beginning of lawful government,' and contended for the absolute right of every individual, though born under a government fo instituted, when he comes of age to refuse subjection to it, he foon finds that the social machine cannot be thus kept in motion. He therefore feeks for another principle, fomewhat less absurd, indeed, but equally inapplicable to a Itate of society; and he gets rid of his difficulty by vetting, in a majority, the right of binding the other members of his felf-created community. But he was not aware that, in establishing his fanciful and impracticable right of majorities, he overthrew the very principle of individual confent which he had made the foundation of his whole fyftem. For he says, “If the consent of the majority shall not, in reason, be re. ceived, as the act of the whole, and conclude every individual, nothing but the consent of every individual can make any thing to be the act of the whole. But such a consent is next to impossible ever to be had, if we consider the infirmities of health, and avocations of business, which in a number, though much less than that of a come monwealth, will necessarily keep many away from the public assembly. To which, if we add the variety of opinions, and contrariety of interest, which unavoidally happen in all collections of men, the coming into fociety upon such terms would be only like Cato's coming into the theatre, only to go out again. Such a constitution as this would make the mighty Leviathan of a shorter duration than the feeblest creatures, and not let it out-last the day it was born in; which cannot be supposed, till we can think that rational creatures shall dea fire and constitute societies only to be dissolved; for where the ma. jority cannot conclude the rest, there they cannot act as one body, and, consequently, will be immediately diffolved again.” Pp. 90-95.
(To be continued.)
Art. IV. Eight Sermons preached (as Lady Moyer's Lectures)
in the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, London, in the Year 1757
To which is added, a Latin Oration, Spoken in the Hall, at Magdalen College, Oxford, on the Founder's Day, July 22, 1733. By William Clements, A. M. then Curate of St. Mary at Hill, London ; now Librarian at Sion College. 8vo. Pp. 197. Rivingtons. Price 5s.
1797 I Tis with infinite fatisfaction that we can review fome old
fashioned divinity. The good and pious Mr. Clements, at the age of eighty-eight, has published a volume of Lady Moyer's Lectures, preached by himself, more than NO. VII, VOL. II.
forty years ago. To the disgrace of the persons who have a right to nominate the lecturers on this pious establishment, we are surprized to find, that “ the custom of annually appointing a new preacher on this institution has been discontinued for several years.” On a farther enquiry relative to the antidotes which the wisdom of our forefathers had prepared to counteract the poison of sectaries, Arians, Socinians, Sabellians, and Unitarians, we learn, to our great forrow, that at least an equal neglect of duty, or a falsely refined system of moderation, has prevented the nomination of a le&turer at Bow church, agreeably to the foundation of the great Boyle!!! Hence we cannot but infer, that negligence, at least, has prevailed in the preachers of the fee of Canterbury, and the cathedral of St. Paul's. We now fimply ask, in the language of the acute and learned Dean of Glouceiter, “whose business it is to prevent the mischiefs arising from these abuses ? and whole duty it is to undertake the cure?" Of these eight lectures, the two first contain a display of the truth and importance of the doctrine of the ever-blelled Trinity in Unity; by Thewing the neceflity of a determinate faith, and rightly understanding the scripture-doctrine concerning the three Persons, into whose name we have been baptized : the two next display the real and effential divinity of the Son of God, and the personal union of the divine and human natures in him ; this is proved from scripture, compared with fcripture, and illustrated by antiquity, its best interpreter, which shews, that the doctrine of three Persons, in the unity of the Godhead, is that faith : the fifth and sixth exhibit the doctrine of the fall and redemption of mankind, in which the author endeavours to prove, in opposition to the Socinian heresy, the fact both of our fall in Adam, and our recovery in Jesus Christ ; that on the reality and connection of these two great events, the whole of revealed religion turns; and that on these the truth and consistency of the books, both of the Old and New Testament, manifestly depend : in the seventh, having previously confidered the nature and person of our blessed Redeemer, he proceeds to consider the Holy Ghost in the same respects, viz. as to his nature and person, that he is a person distinct from the Father and the Son, and truly God, in unity of effence with the Father and the Son, the inspirer, enlightener, and fanctifier of the faithful: and, in the last lecture, having previously considered the truth and importance of these great doctrines of our common salvation, it remains that he should exhort us in the words of the Apostle, in his text, “ earnestly to contend for this faith," as its truth and importance deserve.
The infolence, arrogance, and doginatical assumption of the consequential Doctors Price and Priestley, Meff. Wake.
ficld, Bilham, and Paine, that have stigmatized with the title of indiscreet effrontery,” (Analytical Review, P. 568, an. 1798,) the exertions of Horsley, Whitaker, Boucher, and Daubeny, to prevent schisms in our church, compel us to adopt a retrograde review, and to commence our observations with an extract from the eighth sermon ;
“ For, let us only ask, what are creeds but fummaries of the Chriftian faith, which the church, like a tender mother, provides for the instruction of her children in the faith into which they have been baptized, by giving its essential and important articles in a short and comprehenfive view, as in the Apostles' Creed. Or, if we consider the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds, they teach no other gospel or doctrine, no new articles of faith, but are only a more explicit declaration of the sense in which the church always understood the Apostles' Creed, and, indeed, the scriptures themselves ; and were drawn up as an antidote to the false doctrines and interpretations of the facred writings, ftrenuously propagated by Arius, Sabellius, and other heretics. Now, what can be more disingenuous—what baser artifice invented to delude the unwary, than this used by the heretics of the present age, in declaiming against creeds in general ? Every one who acknowledges the holy scripture for the rule of his faith must and will afiert his own sense of it, in important doctrinal points; and that sense, which he teaches and contends for, is his creed, as much as the Nicene and Athanasian is ours. Why, then, do they clamour against us for doing what they do themselves? The Arians and Socinians industriously propagate their notions ; let them, therefore, if they can, give a reason why the catholic church of Christ may not consult its edification by publishing its own true and ancient creed, or sense of scripture-doctrine of the Trinity, with as much zeal as they consult iis destruction, by publishing their new and falle creeds !
“ To evade this question they will, perhaps, tell us that they make no creeds.' But it is already evident, that to assert and propagate one fense of the words of scripture in opposition to another, is to make and publish a creed. If they do it not in an authoritative manner, this is only because they have not thought proper to resign, for conscience sake, their stations in the church ; nor the churches of England and Ireland, in their present unhappy state with regard to discipline, to reject and deprive them. If they could once unite in a separate body, or, which seems more desirable to them, could get a majority, it is probable we should soon see the Nicene and Athanafan Creeds condemned as heretical, and a new one formed in favour of Arianism or Socinianism.
“ In the mean time let us fee, and examine a little, what they propose to us as a means of giving some ease to their own confciences, and putting an end to disputes concerning the faith. The chief thing proposed to this end is to lessen the number of our creeds, by rejecting the Nicene and Athanasian, and retaining only that called the Apostles 'Creed.
This (they say) is acknowledged to contain all the fundamental articles of the Chriftian faith.** We acknowledge it does contain them all; and so do the holy scriptures : for it is not the design of this, or either of the other creeds, to make new articles of faith. Why, then, do these objectors admit any creed, even that called the Apostle's? Perhaps they will say, because the church always required a baptismal confesiion of faith,' and they are content to admit the Apostles Creed, as a proper and fufficient form for that purpose. It is to provided it be understood according to the true and consistent sense of scripture-doctrine, as professed from the beginning in the church of Christ. And, accordingly, it was, in fact, fufficient in the earlier and purer ages of christianity ; but when herctical depravers of the faith began to explain away the sense of scripture, whilst they professed to believe the words of it, it was very easy to do the same with the Apostles Creed, which runs almost entirely in fcripture-terms. Hence arole a necessity of ascertaining the true sense of scripture, by a more explicit declaration of its effential and important doctrines, in the Nicene and Athanafian Creeds. The heretics, viz. Arius, Sa. bellius, &c. were really the aggressors in creed-making, as they call it; i. e. in propagating their sense of the scripture and of the Apostles Creed, in unscriptural and metaphysical terms : the Nicene and Atha. nafian Creeds are therefore only necessary antidotes to the false creeds that occafioned them; and will continue to be neceifary, as long as the church continues to be infeited with the same hereiies.
“ It has been objected,+ by a distinguished writer, to the Nicene Creed, that it is nothing but the determination of a number of bishops in the fourth century—that the present is a more enlightened age--that is the infeparable property of time ever more and more to discover truth ;' and therefore he thinks it (unreasonable that we, at this distance of time, should be tied down to their determinations, Here it will be proper to enquire of the objector, whither this determination of a number of bishops, in the fourth century, was in too late, or in too early, an age, to be venerable and of weight with him? He does not say it was too late, and so an innovation upon primitive doctrine, as taught in the second and third centuries : he feems to know that antiquity was against him, and therefore fets himself against it, by observing that it is the inseparable property of time ever more and more to discover truth;' and inferring from thence that the scripture-doctrine of the Trinity was reserved for the discovery of this enlightened age. But, whatever truths time may have discovered, yet I will venture to say, that the faith once delivered
** Vide Bishop of Clogher's Speech in the House of Lords, Duh. lin, spoken February 2, 1756. Printed for Baldwin and Cooper, 1757. Price 6d.
# Vide Dr. Clayton, Bishop of Clogher's Speech in the Irish House of Lords.