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not that right of Christian liberty for which Bishop Warburton is here pleading: a right which Bishop Jewell never admitted; as may be seen from his sermon at St. Paul's cross, in which he learnedly defends the Church of England, and severely condemns the dissenters for their non-conformity to it; which he could not consistently have done, had he seen the Reformation in the light in which Bishops Hoadley and Warburton have here placed it.

In fact, this right, upon which the reformers did not act, because it was a right which they did not acknowledge, takes the Reformation off from that firm ground of reason and scripture upon which it will ever stand secure; and places it upon that uncertain ground of precarious opinion, upon which the Church, as a society, can no where exist.

For if Christian liberty gives every man a right to worship God according to his conscience, in other words, according to his own private opinion and persuasion, (for conscience, in the modern acceptation of the term, means nothing more) I would be glad to know what argument can be brought to promote the unity of the Christian Church, which this principle does not immediately set aside; a principle which justifies the extravagancies of the wildest sectary, and places religious persuasions of every kind upon the same dead level.

Bishop Warburton's notions of the Church communion, as it was to be expected, correspond with his notions of Church authority; and appear calculated rather to loosen and dissolve that bond of union, by which the Church of Christ was designed to be held together, than to answer any other

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purpose. They are founded upon the following
distinction, which this celebrated writer has made
between the Jewish and Christian Church.
Gospel (says he) was first addressed to the Jews as
a nation, a Church, a society. But when the
Gentiles had in their turn the Gospel offered unto
them, the address was only to particulars. For
though the terms of salvation respected the Jewish
Sanhedrim, yet the Roman Senate, as such, had no
concern in them. And those particulars who
received the word, became, not necessarily, from
the simple nature and genius of the faith, members
of any community, but of the spiritual kingdom of

Should the foregoing account of the distinction between Jew and Gentile have conveyed á satisfactory idea to the mind of the reader, it certainly has not to mine; for with a desire to pay all due respect to the authority from whence it proceeds, I have been unable to discover the least ground for it.

The Jewish Sanhedrim and Roman Senate, with respect to the terms of salvation under the Gospel, appear to have stood precisely upon the same footing: for to the members of neither of these bodies, in their collective character, were those terms addressed. In St. Peter's first sermon at Jerusalem, his address was not to the Jews as a nation, a Church, or a society; but to the men of Israel, who crucified the Lord Christ. And his answer to their question, when, upon their being pricked in their hearts, they said to Peter and the rest of the Apostles, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?"


was thus addressed to



them as individuals-
every one of in the


Repent, and be bap for the remission le

name of Jesus Christ


and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
It was ordained, indeed, that the Gospel should be
first preached to the lost sheep of the house of
Israel; upon the idea, it is probable, that from their
education under"
er the law, as a
school-master to
bring them to Christ, they ought to have been in
state of preparation to receive it. But this parti-
cular attention to the Jew, though it tended for
some little time to confirm the Amost
Apostles in their
prejudices, made no alteration in the
nature of the
commission which they had received. That was
of the most general kind. They were to "go into
all the world, and preach the Gospel to every
creature."+ When the wall of partition
Jew and Gentile had been broken down by him,
who had made both one, the Church was open for
the equal reception of all people. In the
In the general
execution, therefore, of the Apostolic commission,
there was to be "no difference between Jew and
Greek," between bond and free,"
ee, between male an
female; all were to be "one in Christ Jesus," the
same Lord over all
being "rich unto all who ca
upon him." Both Jew and Gentile, therefore,
were admitted into the Church of Christ upon the
same plan; respect being had only to their profes-
sion of faith, as individuals, in a crucified Redeemer.


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*Acts ii. 36, et seg. Eph. ii. 14.

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The distinction, then, here made between the Jew and Gentile, in their manner of receiving the


+ Mark xvi. 15.
Rom. x. 12; and Gal iii. 28.

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Gospel, appears to be not less imaginary, than the


conclusion built

it upon


1. 107 103315 to be unfounded. For the spiritual kingdom of God has generally been understood, in scripture, language, to be descriptive of the Church of Christ, or of that community of which the author must be supposed to be here 10 999 1201 fi godi 6

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This mode, therefore, of representing Christians,
as members of Christ's spiritual kingdom, as it were
in contradistinction to their being members of any
community is that kind of description which every
that k
bony 18
professor will not fail to accommodate to his own
particular case; but it is
104 Case; but it is not to
to be reconciled with
the account of the Christian Church in the sacred
writings; into which all who professed the true
faith were necessarily to be admitted. For from
these writings it appears, that the particulars to
whom the Gospel was addressed, were, by virtue of
their faith, admitted members of a community, or
13908 6V 113 FUL


spiritual society, distinguished by the name of the kingdom or Church of Christ.




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would be to trespass upon



the reader to enter upon a particular analysis of this learned author's mode of arguing upon the subject before him; or to point out the various contradictions that are to be met with in the pages alluded to. It may suf fice to observe, that the argument upon which much is built, by all advocates for religious liberty, and which ch has its force when confined to the corruptions of the Church of Rome, becomes weak and ineffectual in its general application to the Church of Christ.

But an author, who, though highly distinguished

for his sagacity and erudition, appears. from his writings, not to have formed a consistent idea of the nature and constitution of the Christian Church himself, cannot be expected to convey that idea to his readers. And in such case, great abilities serve rather to confound and perplex the truth, by rendering it a subject of more complex investigation, than to elucidate and confirm it.

What we lament in this case is, that bishops, whose sacred office it is to preside over and govern the Church of Christ committed to their charge, should use a language calculated, if generally acted upon, to leave no Church on earth for the exercise of the spiritual authority with which they have been entrusted.

There is still a third writer of great respectability, whose opinions upon Church subjects appear to differ widely from those of the old school. In his chapter on religious establishments, Archdeacon Paley informs his readers, "That it cannot be proved that any form of Church government was laid down in the Christian Church; that no command for that purpose was delivered by Christ himself; and upon the supposition that bishops and presbyters were appointed by the Apostles, that the true conclusion is, that such offices were at first erected in the Christian Church, as the good order, the instruction, and exigencies of the society at that time required; without any intention of regulating the appointment, authority, or the distinction of Christian ministers under future circumstances."

Such appears to be the Archdeacon's conclusion upon this subject; although such is not the conclu

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