صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

THE

INCREASE, INFLUENCE,

AND

STABILITY,

OF

UNESTABLISHED RELIGION,

NO CAUSE OF ALARM

TO

Established Christians:

BEING

A REPLY

TO

ARCHDEACON NARES's CHARGE

"On the Influence of the Sectaries, and the Stability of
the Church."

BY JACOB STANLEY.

Go not forth hastily to strive, lest thou know not what to do in the

end thereof, when thy neighbour hath put thee to shame.

Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

SOLOMON.

PAUL.

WEDNESBURY:

PRINTED AND SOLD BY J. BOOTH.

Sold also by the Author; by T. Blanshard, 14, City Road, London;
Swinney & Ferrall, and Peart & Co. Birmingham; Lomax, Lich-
field; Hall, Worcester; Maurice, Dudley; Chester, Newcastle; and
Rusher, Reading.

1813.

130. e. 57.

46.

PREFACE.

[ocr errors]

THE Author of the following Letters is a decided friend to the free and unfettered discussion of theological subjects; being persuaded that such discussion, if prosecuted in a christian temper, will tend ultimately to the refutation of error and the establishment of truth.

There are two evils into which controversialists are in danger of being betrayed. The first is, undue deference to established systems and great names. The grand subject of enquiry frequently is not so much "What is truth," as how such opinions accord with a certain system, which has been revered for ages, and which has received the sanction of multitudes famed for learning and science? Implicit deference to the supposed wisdom of ancestors, and the perfection of human religious institutions, perpetuated the reign of Popery for many centuries. Nor was it till Luther and his coadjutors in the work of reformation ceased to know any "man after the flesh," and to make their appeal from human authorities to the "law and the testimony," that the manacles of superstition were broken-the anathemas of papal Rome despised-and the common people raised to the high honour of an acquaintance with those "scriptures which are able to make men wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." To correct misrepresentations, ◆ and to establish truth, regardless of human authori

·

ties, and not to support any human system, is the objest of these Letters

A second en into which controversialists are apt to fil is, that of pouring contempt on ther oppoteris. But let it be remembered comerpt is a crgument. Ridicule is not the test of truth. We ought to make a dietinction between a man's heart and is argements. The former may be good, and the latter bad Many charitable allowances ought also to be made ke the infaence of education, stodes, connexions, sitsation, interest, &c. In the following Pages, the Azthor is of opinion that he has detected Eistorted statements, inconclusive reasoning, untenable positions, and false theology; yet he hopes he has not departed from that courtesy to which a gentleman of such high respectability as Mr. Archdeacon Nares is unquestionably entitled.

The whole is now submitted to the candid investigation and decision of a discerning public, by the

Wednesbury, June 25, 1513.

AUTHOR.

ERRATUM-Page 26, 1, 20, for amino, read anime.

LETTER I.

REVEREND sir,

Ir will probably surprise you to receive a series of Letters from one who to you is utterly unknown, and who would not have presumed to address a gentleman of your respectability and rank in the established church, but from a conviction that your late Charge, On the Influence of Sectaries, and the Stability of the Church, contains several objectionable positions, which, as far as they are received, are likely to have an unfriendly influence on the interests of Christianity. The custom of delivering charges to the inferior clergy is certainly very laudable; and were these employed in urging scriptural piety, in exciting attention to theological studies, and in promoting the zealous performance of clerical duties, the advantages resulting from them might be incalculable. Ministers would return to their several flocks with a double portion of the spirit of their office; and would call forth all their powers into exercise, and labour for the salvation of their people as those who must give an account. Such charges would give an impetus to the piety of the church of England, and would eminently tend to the revival and general prevalence of primitive Christianity both among her clergy and laity.

But when these objects are lost sight of, and others of a very different complexion introduced: when a venerable dignitary fills up his hour in panegyrising

[ocr errors]
« السابقةمتابعة »