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and then exulted in his spoliation, has taken shelter under this obnoxious plea. Nothing, in any age, has opposed an obstruction so effectual to the progress of truth; while errors every kind, have luxuriated in its congenial soil. Learning and science, not less than religion, suffer from its torpedo influence. Every thing, but vice and priestcraft, stagnates wherever its power is felt. "In its beginning (says Bishop Hoadley) it is infamous to all the faculties we boast of; and in its end destructive to whole communities." And, now that we have quoted this great man, worthy, though a prelate, of taking rank for the freedom of his political principles with the still greater Locke, we may as well fortify our own sentiments, and perhaps, as some may think, give them additional value,* by letting our readers see how they coincide with his. Of authority then he says,
Against this claim of authority in matters of conscience, in whatever shape, and by whatever parties, it has been advanced, it is the glory of Dissenters to have always protested. They know that the genius of Christianity is essentially and eternally opposed to the exercise of human control over religious opinions. The charter of his spiritual liberties every man holds from heaven; and Christianity will spread over him the broad shield of her protection, while he asserts the rights of conscience, and claims to determine for himself, free from any authoritative interference on the part of his fellow-men, how he shall understand the scriptures, and discharge his responsibility to God. To assert, as Hooker does, that private judgment must give place to ecclesiastical decisions, and that "the church is strengthened with authority from above to exact obedience to her laws, and enjoin gainsayers silence," is to justify not the English establishment only, but the Inquisition. The advocates of such a principle should consider where it will lead them; and, unless they are prepared to follow it to its ultimate consequences, they will consult their own consistency, not less than the interests of truth, by its timely abnegation. Every tyranny, no matter how odious; every despotism, "It was authority which crushed the no matter how Satanical; which under noble sentiments of Socrates, and others, pretence of religion has plundered in the heathen world; and prevented the man of his liberties and dearest rights, reception of them amongst men.
"It is, indeed, the greatest and most irrethat this world ever furnished out, since it concileable enemy to truth, and argument, was in being. All the sophistry, all the cunning of the subtilest disputer in the colour of plausibility, all the artifice and world, may be laid open, and turned to the advantage of that very truth which they are designed to hide or to depress. But against authority there is no defence. It is authority alone which keeps up the grossest errors in the countries around us. And, where truth happens to be received for the sake of authority, there is just so much diminished from the love of truth, and the glory of reason, and the acceptableness of men to God, as there is attributed to authority.
• "I am sensible that the mere authority of great names is of no account in the enquiry after truth; but there are many who will hear that with patience from Mr. Hooker, which they will receive with abhorrence from another."-Hoadley. The original and institution of civil government discussed, ch. xi. sec. 1. We do not suspect much difference of opinion among those who generally read our pages on this topic; but, if by chance they should fall into the hands of a Churchman, it may not have been amiss to have subjoined this note, the application of which to our purpose is obvious.
authority which hindered the voice of the Son of God himself from being heard; and which alone stood in opposition to his powerful arguments, and his divine doctrine.
It was authority, among heathens, which afterwards put all the stop to Christ's profession which this world could put. And when Christians increased into a majority, and came to think the same method to be the only proper one, for the advantage of their cause, which had been the enemy and destroyer of it; then it was the authority of Christians, which, by degrees, not only laid waste the honour of Christianity, but well nigh extinguished it from amongst men. It was authority which brought in all that merciless heap of useless and burthensome fopperies! prayer in an unknown tongue; prayers to multitudes of beings; and the whole load of absurdities, and de' pravations of true religion, under which the Christian people were in captivity, till they became gross and weighty enough at last to break the props that supported them. It was authority which recommended and guarded them, by disgraces, and by inquisitions, by making it infamous, or terrible, to any to oppose them. It was authority which would have prevented all reformation, where it is; and which has put a barrier against it, wherever it is not."-Answer to the Representation of the Committee of the Lower House of Convocation, Works, fol. vol. ii. pp. 571, 572.
This it will be admitted is strong language; but it is not stronger than just views of the native independence of the human mind, and of man's relation to his Maker, entitle their advocate to use; nor than history, both ecclesiastical and civil, most abundantly warrants. The mystery is how it comes to be found in the lips of a Bishop; and all that can be said upon this point seems to be, that it is one of those anomalies which sometimes arise, to baffle our philosophy; and to set at defiance all human calculations upon the doctrine of probable tendencies. But Hoadley was a lover of liberty, a patriot, and a philanthropist; and though a dignitary of the National church, and a voluminous writer against Nonconformists, he is worthy of being honoured for his strenuous opposition to the principle of unresisting obedience to arbitrary power, and for his manly defence of the rights of conscience.
The contrast between his sentiments and those of Hooker, on the subject of church authority, is sufficiently strik
ing; but, widely as they differ on this point, the difference, it ought to be stated, arises from the palpable inconsistency of the latter. Hoadley was a whig throughout. The noble principles upon which he advocated the liberties of the people, as members of civil society, he carried with him into his views of their Ecclesiastical relations. If they were freemen in the one case, he maintained them to be equally free in the other; and, acknowledging them to possess the ultimate control in the state, he was consistent in releasing them from any obligation to lie down in obsequious prostration under what Hooker calls "the more than
motherly power of the church." the author of the Ecclesiastical Polity, on the contrary, maintains, as we have seen, that submission is the only duty a man has to discharge towards his religious superiors. The church, or, in less ambiguous phrase, the Bishops, determine for him what he shall believe, and how he shall worship. It is their province to legislate, and dogmatize; and his province to "lead a peacefor their pastoral care of his conable and quiet life," in all thankfulness science; and in all obedience to their lordly control. While, however, he thus takes away from the people every shred of liberty in their religious concerns, with a marvellous inconsistency, he asserts them in civil polity to be the depositaries of all substantial power, to possess the unquestionable right of choosing by whom they will be governed, and to have. "naturally no superior under God.” On the original, and ends of government, his sentiments are those which have been advocated by the most enlightened and philosophical writers in subsequent times. In opposition to such as trace the power of the magistrate to patriarchal authority; or found it upon the divine right of kings, deeming them Lord's anointed," and therefore not the people's choice, nor reigning by the people's consent; he maintains, and reiterates upon all occasions when the subject is before him, that, in the ordinary state of God's providence, the people are the exclusive source of legitimate power; and only as the result of their own agreement can any have the right to govern them. An appointment to the regal office by an imme
diate commission from the Supreme Governor of the world, such as the Jewish monarchs received, of course staves off all dispute upon the subject: but, where no such interference with the common course of providence takes place, no such claim to a divinely derived authority can be set up. Civil society, and all that belongs to its legislative management, is, in his judgment, entirely a thing of human contrivance, in which no man is governed but by his own consent. How, with such views of the constitution of the Commonwealth, and of men's natural liberty, he could deliver them over, bound hand and foot, to the clergy, as to "a state whereunto the rest of God's people must be subject," is a problem of which we are incompetent to offer any satisfactory solution. Nor does it much concern us to solve it. We are quite convinced that the two sets of principles are destructive of each other, and that if Hooker, or any other man, will put Civil Government upon such a basis, he cannot, with any consistency, erect his Ecclesiastical Polity upon another, so directly the opposite. As we have given several passages, exhibiting his views of church power, it is but impartial, while it will confirm our representations, to select a few others explanatory of his political creed.
families as every politic society in the world doth, impossible it is that any should have complete lawful power but by consent of men or immediate appointment of God; because, not having the natural superiority of fathers, their power must needs be either usurped, and then unlawful; or, if lawful, then either
granted or consented unto by them over whom they exercise the same, or else given extraordinarily from God, unto whom all the world is subject.. So that, in a word, all public regiment, of what kind soever, seemeth evidently to have risen from deliberate advise, consultation, and composition between men, judging it convenient and behoveful; there being no impossibility in nature considered by itself, but that men might have lived without any public regiment. Howbeit, the corruption of our nature being pre-supof nature doth now require of necessity posed, we may not deny but that the law some kind of regiment; so that to bring things unto the first course they were in, and utterly to take away all kinds of public government in the world, were apparently to overturn the whole world. The case of man's nature standing therefore as it doth, some kind of regiment the law of nature doth require; yet, the kinds thereof being many, nature tieth not to any one, but leaveth the choice as a thing arbitrary. At the first, when some certain kind of reginothing was then further thought upon for ment was once approved, it may be that the manner of governing, but all permitted unto their wisdom and discretion which were to rule, till by experience they found this for all parts very inconvenient, so as that the thing which they had devised for a remedy did indeed but increase the sore which it should have cured. They saw that to live by one man's will became the cause of all men's misery... Howbeit laws do not take their constraining force from the quality of such as devise them, but from that power which doth give them the strength of laws. That which we spake before, concerning the power of government, must here be applied to the power of making laws whereby to govern, which power God hath over all and by the natural law, whereunto he hath made all subject, the lawful power of making laws to command whole politic societies of men, belonging so properly unto the same intire societies, that for any prince or potentate of what kind soever upon earth to exercise the same of himself, and not either by express commission immediately and personally received from God, or else by authority derived at the first from their consent upon whose persons they impose laws, is no better than mere tyranny. Laws they are not therefore which public approbation hath not made so...... point, therefore, we are to note, that sith *The italics in these extracts are ours.
"To take away all such mutual grievances, injuries, and wrongs, there was no way but only by growing unto composition and agreement amongst themselves, by ordaining some kind of government public, and by yielding themselves subject thereunto, that unto whom they granted authority to rule and govern, by them the peace, tranquillity, and happy estate of the rest might be procured...... Although there be, according to the opinion of some very great and judicious men, a kind of natural right in the noble, wise, and virtuous, to govern them which are of servile disposition; nevertheless, for manifestation of this their right, and men's more peaceable contentment on both sides, the assent of them who are to be governed seemeth necessary. To fathers, within their private families, nature hath given a supreme power, for which cause we see throughout the world, even from the first foundation thereof, all men have ever been taken as lords and lawful kings in their own houses. Howbeit, over a whole grand multitude, having no such dependency upon any one, and consisting of so many
men naturally have no full and perfect power to command whole politic multitudes of men, therefore, utterly without our consent, we could in such sort be at no man's commandment living. Vol. i. pp. 108-112. Book i. 10.
Sometimes it pleaseth God himself by special appointment to choose out and nominate such as to whom dominion shall be given, which thing he did often in the Commonwealth of Israel. They which in their sort receive power immediately from God have it by mere divine right: they by human, on whom the same is bestowed according to men's discretion, when they are left freely by God to make choice of their own governors. Albeit we judge it a thing most true, that kings, even inheritors, do hold their right in the power of dominion, with dependency upon the whole body politic over which they have rule as kings. By dependency we mean subordination and subjection. A manifest token of which dependency may be this, as there is no more certain argument that lands are held under any as lords, than if we see that such lands in defect of heirs fall unto them by escheat; in like manner it doth follow rightly, that, seeing dominion when there is none to inherit it returneth unto the body, therefore they which before were inheritors thereof, did hold it with dependency upon the body, so that by comparing the body with the head, as touching power, it seemeth always to reside in both; fundamentally and radically in the one, in the other derivatively; in one the habit, in the other the act of power... Where the king doth guide the state, and the law the king, that Commonwealth is like an harp or melodious instrument, the strings whereof are tuned and handled all by one hand, following as laws the rules and canons of musical science. Most divinely, therefore, Archytas maketh unto public felicity these four steps and degrees, every of which doth spring from the former as from another cause, ὁ δὲ βασιλεὺς νόμιμος, ὃ δὲ ἀρχων ἀκόλουθος, ὁ δέ ἀρχόμενος ἀπέλυπος, ἡ δέ δ'λη κοινωνία εὐδαίμων, “the king ruling by law, the magistrate following, the subject free, and the whole society happy :" adding, on the contrary side, that where this order is not it cometh by transgression thereof to pass that a king groweth a tyrant; he that ruleth under him abhorreth to be guided by him, or commanded; the people subject unto both have freedom under neither, and the whole community is wretched."-- Vol.iii. pp. 267, 270, 272. Book viii. 2, 3.
It is in his fifth book, by far the longest of the eight, that Hooker descends from more general reasonings, to the specialities of the argument as it stood between the puritans and the prelatists, and as in great measure it remains now.
This part of his work is therefore a defence of the ceremonial of the establishment. It is minute and elaborate; and contains, as most churchmen we suppose would admit, all that can well be said on the subject. Every rite, as practised in the church, finds from him an ample vindication; even to the clothing of the clergy in the surplice, and the signing the infant at its christening with the cross.
It is impossible for us to lead our readers through the multifarious contents of this portion of the work; norisit necessary that we should. They are sufciently acquainted with the liturgical observances of the church, and satisfied, we apprehend, that they are many of them relics of popery, and pernicious excrescences on public worship. In the same degree as religion is made to be dependent for its effect upon the sumptuousness of churches, the decoration of its ministers, the pomp of its ritual, and the multiplicity of its ceremonies in the same degree, that is, as the attention of the worshipper is drawn from what is spiritual, and fixed upon what is external-an injury is done to him, and the character of religion itself is degraded. If Christian worship, as described in the New Testament, be distinguished by one feature more than another, that feature is, beyond all question, its simplicity. And it has ever appeared to us that from this very circumstance it acquires a pre-eminent fitness for universal propagation. Let the churchman make the experiment; let him go into the wilds of Africa, or the plains of Persia, or into any other heathen country, for the purpose of propagating the gospel, carrying with him to direct his proceedings, and discipline the untutored natives in the knowledge and practice of the religion of Christ, not the New Testament alone, but the New Testament explained in " the Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments, and other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church," and what would be the effect? We put it to himself if he could even attempt such an enterprize? The very supposition is absurd. And the consequence is that the pious clergy of the establishment, when they came forward to take part in evangelizing the world, were compelled to forego their own principles, and to act
upon ours. It then became evident that such an apparatus as their church provided them with was not only unfit for use, but would have been a positive hindrance had they attempted to use it. There is a freedom and dignity in Christian institutions utterly at variance with the monotonous and frigid forms of human prescription; and, however averse men may be to perceive this under the influence of ancient prejudice, it must ultimately force itself upon popular conviction. Nor perhaps will any thing in the end prove so fatal to religious establishments, and generally to all the corruptions which may be existing in the Christian church, as the efforts which its denominations, almost without an exception, are making for the universal diffusion of Christianity. It is the property of truth to defecate itself, as it flows, from any impurities that may have been thrown into its otherwise pellucid stream; and we certainly look to its extending propagation as likely, beyond almost any other means, to dis cover and lead to the correction of those sectarian errors with which among all parties it is blended.
But we recur to another view of the subject, already partially glanced at in some of our preceding remarks. Much doubtless there is that lies open to serious objection in the ceremonial of the establishment. Many of its forms are puerile, most of them are papistical, and against some we allege the heavier charge that they are anti-scriptural. But let the supposition be entertained that they were all precisely as we could wish them, and our antipathy would be scarcely at all abated. Let the supposition be carried farther; let it be conceived possible for the proposition to be submitted to us, that our own church should be established; still we should retain our hostility. Our principles involve an irreconcileable aversion to establishments of Christianity in every form. They are in themselves obnoxious, independently of any modification into which they may be shaped. The union of church and state in any conceivable mode we deem a fundamental error in ecclesiastical legislation; and, so long as this error exists, no reformation of minor abuses will be deemed satisfactory; nor in our judgment can it be of permanent con
tinuance. The source of corruption, the prolific cause of all church pravity, the fons mali, will remain still unsealed; and, though the streams that issue from it may for a time be medicated, nothing will be able to preserve them thoroughly or long from the potent and poisonous taint of the fountain. It would doubtless be far better that the national church should be reformed, and evangelical ministers be every where put into her pulpits, than that things should remain as they are, if the country is for ever to have its religion thus dealt out to it by the civil government. And, were there no other alternative than this, we should have no difficulty in determining the part it would become us, and the dissenters at large, to take, in the struggle between the advocates and the opponents of reform. But this is not the true state of the case. The question is, shall we lend our aid in the re-edification of a dilapidated building upon a rotten foundation? Shall we give the weight of our influence, whatever it may be, to perpetuate a system, which, though it should be externally improved, will be still unsound at the core? Shall we not rather strike at the root of the evil, and endeavour, by all legitimate means, to subvert it from the very basis? What have Dissenters to do with the canons and the liturgy, with tithes and patronage, with the creed of St. Athanasius and the service for ordaining deacons and priests? Nothing, we answer fearlessly, but to aim at sweeping them all away. Revision assuredly in no sense belongs to them. Their course is plain, and not difficult to pursue. By sound argument, by forcible persuasion, by an uncompromising adherence to the principles of independency, let them show to the public the scriptural nature and the practical influence of their own views, and leave churchmen to shore up the falling edifice by themselves. They can take no complacency in it, though it should be made the very model of symmetry and architectural proportion, while it stands upon its present foundation. Let the establishment be wrought to the very image of ideal perfection, let the gospel resound in all its parishes, let its bishops be pastors, who will
naturally care for the flock," let its prayer book undergo a rigid and un