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Review-Wilson's Dissenting Churches.

not go the pen dropt; and no chapter is to be found in his work, in which an attempt is made to defend insincerity in the worship of Almighty God.

"The appeal is made to every pious parent, and to every ingenuous youth, whether the taking of oaths which are not to be observed, and the subscription to articles which are not believed, as the first step of a preparation for the Christian ministry, would not be succeeded, as its second step, by joining in the worship of God with lying lips; and whether such a repetition of sounds can be called the worship of God at all." P. x.

Every enlightened mind will take pleasure in the author's benevolent speculations with regard to the progress of pure and undefiled religion."

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"The return of peace; the general cir

culation of the Bible and the extension of the ability to read it; the recognition and the bringing into exercise of many general principles, which in former ages were only occasionally discerned, and soon obscured by the clouds of ignorance and prejudice, are most auspicious circumstances; and in the midst of so much enthusiasm, super

stition and bigotry on the one side, and indifference on the other, are highly consolatory and grateful to the feeling mind. "There is a rotation of intellectual taste, as well as of outward fashion. The attributes of God; the character of his administration; the everlasting state of mankind; the means of obtaining and enjoying that felicity for which God has designed us; the obligations of religious integrity, and Christian humility and charity; in a word, the science of religion and morals, with a view to its practical application, will not, in every period of the world, be considered as the least important of all the subjects which can employ the attention of

the human mind." P. xvi,

ART. II.-The History and Antiquities of Dissenting Churches, &c. [Continued from p. 292.] ATHANIEL LARDNER, D. D.

N is one of the few names of which all the Dissenters make their boast. A full account of him is here given from the memoirs already existing It is a circumstance not generally known, says Mr. Wilson, I. 91, that he commenced his stated labours in the ministry at an ancient meeting house in Hoxton Square. Here he preached for a few years as assistant to his father, Mr. Richard Lardner.

"In the year 1757, Dr. Lardner, in conjunction with the Rev. Caleb Fleming, revised for publication and introduced with

a preface, a posthumous tract of Mr. Thomas Moore, entitled, An Inquiry into the Nature of our Saviour's Agony in the Garden.'-Mr. Moore.was a woollendraper in Holywell Street, Strand; a thinking man and stadious in the scriptares. The design of his pamphlet is to account for our Lord's agony, from the series of events which befel him during the latter part of his ministry, without supposing it to have been the result of any preternatural inflictions." Pp. 103, 104; and note.

We take notice of this tract in order to suggest that if any person possessing it will entrust it to our care by means of our publishers, we will cause it to be re-printed. There is a sermon, also, on the same subject, which we beg leave to inquire after, with the same view the following character of it and of the author is taken from Wakefield's Evidences of Christianity, 2nd edit. 8vo. 1793, pp. 136, 137 :-:

"But I forbear to enlarge on this subject of our Lord's agony, because it has been discussed with much good friend, the Rev. Timothy Wylde, late sense and perspicuity, by my venerable master of the free-school in Nottingham, in a sermon preached almost sixty-three years ago at that place, upon Matt. xxvi. 39,* from which I shall quote the three reasons assigned for this extraordinary emotion of our Saviour:

"1. The first ground of Christ's fear and agony I shall mention, is his knowing beforehand the particular circumstances of his torment and death.

"2. Another reason of our Saviour's fear and disorder was, the remarkable severity of his sufferings, and the many circumstances of cruelty with which his death was attended.

for our Saviour's fear of death (and "3. The only other reason I assign what I principally rely on), is his sense of the important consequences which depended on his dying well.

who reasons on each of these propo"Thus far this intelligent preacher, sitions in a rational, convincing and instructive manner."

To return to the History: Mr. Wilpublication of Dr. Lardner's Letter on son having given an account of the the Logos, drops a reflection which we cannot pass over :

The author is still alive, and has the full enjoyment of his intellect, in ex-t treme old age. The sermon well deserves re-publication."

Review.—Wilson's Dissenting Churches.

"It is with extreme concern that we

place so great a man as Dr. Lardner on the list of Socinian authors, who, however respectable, on account of their la bours in the cause of literaturé, have con

tributed by their writings to poison the

streams of divine truth and promote an universal scepticism in matters of belief." P. 105.

To this uncharitable assertion is added a still more uncharitable note:

"We have somewhere met with an observation of the celebrated Dr. Taylor of Norwich, which is much to our present purpose. The Doctor, who was a zealous Socinian, and a learned tutor at Warrington, expressed his surprise how it happened that most of his pupils turned Deists.' The fact, it seems, he admitted; but he never thought of accounting for it from the sceptical tendency of Socinian principles." Ib.

It is an unfavourable augury when an historian is extremely concerned and manifestly reluctant to relate historical truth. Dr. Lardner was in opinion what he saw reason for being; and it is not for his biographers either to hide his faith or to sit in judgment upon it. Such a man could not believe without, much less against, evidence.

The pleasure of vilifying "Socinian authors" is, we believe, very great: still, it was hardly to be expected that, with Lardner at their head, they should be characterized as a class of men who "have contributed by their writings to poison the streams of divine truth and promote an universal scepticism in matters of belief!" The citation of such a sentence is reprobation enough. Mr. Wilson must excuse our doubt ing the truth of the anecdote relating to Dr. Taylor. He should not have told such a story without being prepared to allege his authority. His "somewhere" will, we suspect, turn out to be no-where. If we wrong him, he may set himself right with our readers in the department of our work allotted to Correspondence.

We have no satisfaction in making objections to Mr. Wilson's work, which, upon the whole, we consider highly valuable and interesting, but we feel it to be a duty to endeavour to prevent his poisoning the streams of his toric truth and promoting an universal scepticism in matters of ecclesiastical history; and therefore we cannot pass by the account of Mr. Paul Cardale without animadversion. The name

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of this gentleman is introduced into the History, in consequence of Dr. Lardner's having revised the manuscript of his Treatise on the True Doctrine of the New Testament concern

ing Jesus Christ, and the following biographical note is subjoined :

"Mr. Cardale was educated for the ministry under Dr. Latham, at Findern, in Derbyshire. About the year 1785, he settled at Evesham, where he preached about forty years, till his death, early in 1775. At the last, he had about twenty people to hear him, having ruined a fine congregation by his very learned, dry and critical discourses, an extreme heaviness in the pulpit, and an almost total neglect of pastoral visits and private instruction.* He wrote several pieces in a dull, tedious way in favour of Socinianism. In common with other writers of his stamp, he endeavours to impress his readers with an idea that every creed promulgated under the name of Christian, is equally acceptable that there is no such thing as religious to the Divine Being; or, in other words, truth. His publications, according to Dr. Kippis,+ had considerable influence in drawing over persons to his own opinions." P. 106.

There is great indecorum in the atMr. Cardale, who we know was respecttack upon the ministerial character of ed and beloved by his hearers. Job Orton's authority is not sufficient for the charge: Orton was subject to fits of bear the marks of severity and intole ill-humour, and many of his letters

rance.

inconsistency of describing Cardale as
Did not Mr. Wilson perceive the
a dull, tedious writer, and at the same
tion of Dr. Kippis, that he was suc-
time of admitting, on the representa-
cessful in making converts by his
publications? Let the historian read

he will find that they display learning
the works which he has censured and
and judgment and talents, and that
the author occupies, if not the first
rank as a writer, yet one which will
dence of his readers.
ever secure him the respect and confi-

Mr. Cardale, says the historian, in
Socinians," en-
common with other "
deavours to shew that there is no such
thing as truth! Astounded at this as-
sertion, we took down from its shelf

"Orton's Letters to Dissenting Ministers, vol. i. p. 154."

+"Life of Lardner, p. 67."

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Review.-Wilson's Dissenting Churches.

our copy of The True Doctrine, and almost the first passage which met our eye, was the following, which we extract for Mr. Wilson's information :The principal thing, therefore, that I would recommend and inculcate, is, a love of truth. This is the most promising and likely way to be led into it, the best preparative for receiving it, and, in all cases, the best preservative against every dangerous error and delusion. It is for want of this, that there are multitudes in the world who labour under mental slavery and oppression, and are hardly ever sensible of it. Reason must always be dormant, and in a state of captivity, when there is no disposition and relish for free inquiry. And I cannot but lay the greater stress upon this, as the apostle, when speaking of the grand apostacy, thus accounts for it, telling us, that, because men received not the love of truth, they erred to their own destruction. See that remarkable passage in 2 Thess. ii. 10, 11, &c. where the apostle strongly intimates, that persons need not, or rather cannot be deluded, by the lying wonders, the unrighteous and fraudulent wiles of the man of sin, if they are lovers of truth and virtue. It is only upon other characters, that God, at any time, sendeth strong delusion, so that they should believe a lie, or embrace the most absurd and foolish things, &c. whereas the mind of a truly honest man, who sincerely loves and seeks the truth, being free from every corrupt and criminal bias, will seldom, if ever, err, in any matters of real importance. Truth of every kind, and especially religious truth, will be always dear to him. He will, e. g. inquire after and cordially embrace whatever appears to be the truth of the gospel, however contrary it may be to his former opinions, to the faith of his own, or to the articles of any other church. Upon the same principle, he will always act as conscience persuades, and be strictly just and true to the light and sentiments of his own mind; knowing, that, how light a matter soever some persons make of it, conscience is very much concerned in stedfastly adhering to what we apprehend to be the truth, how wide or different soever it may be from the apprehensions of others." Pref. Ess. pp. 68, 69.

Having read this passage, our concern

for the Historian led us to look into Mr. Cardale's other principal work, The Gospel Sanctuary; where we were equally at a loss for any one sentence to justify Mr. Wilson's censure: we found one passage, however, which, though it does not bear him out in his condemnatory criticism, may possibly set him right in spirit?

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Christians, as such, would do well to consider, that one eminent branch or precept of this gospel is charity, (charity in respect to other men's opi nions, and our own temper and conduct towards them that differ from us,) and that the peculiar doctrines of Christianity do, in the strongest manner, recommiend and enforce it. All uncharitableness is unrighteousness : it is iniquity; or a manifest breach of the gospel rule, which is a rule of equity, and contrary to the very spirit and design of it. When professed Christians, in open defiance of this noble maxim, grow angry with those that differ from them, call in question their honesty, deny them the rights of common humanity, and are for propagating what they call truths in the way of the Alcoran, not of the Bille; this is the lane of Christianity, and inconsistent with all true religion: or, this is that bitter zeal, (as the apostle truly describes it,) which is carthly, sensual, and devilish, and ought never to have a place, or a name, amongst Christians, amongst Protestants." Pref. pp. xx. xxi.

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The historian sinks into the partizan in the description of Dr. Lardner's character, (p. 111.) It is needless to quote Mr. Wilson's words: the purport of them is that he wishes Dr. Lardner had believed as he (Mr. W.) believes, regrets that Dr. Lardner should have assisted in the destruction of the faith of Christians, and disavows moderation and charity where "Socinianism" is concerned! Charity, for a system that stabs at the very vitals of Christianity, is no longer a virtue, but a crime!" Were the History disgraced with many passages of this ridiculous, insolent character, we should take little interest in it; but regarding Mr. Wilson's intolerance as occasional and as an exception to the usual spirit which he breathes in these pages, we deem ourselves not ill-employed in pointing out places where he may employ the pruning-knife with credit to himself.

George Benson, D.D. was another of the eminent men who preached in

Review-Wilson's Dissenting Churches.

Poor Jewry Lane. He was educated in Calvinism, and was first settled over a congregation professing that system at Abingdon, in Berkshire. Whilst here, he published three practical Discourses to young persons, which he afterwards suppressed, Mr. Wilson says, " on account of their evangelical tendency," meaning, we suppose, on account of their inculcating the doctrines of John Calvin, which Dr. Benson in the maturity of his understanding renounced as odious corruptions of the gospel.

Mr. Wilson charges Dr. Benson's "Account of Calvin's causing Servetus to be burned" with exaggeration. We think the charge groundless. The death of the Unitarian martyr is brought home by a chain of unquestionable evidence to the Genevan dogmatist, whose language concerning the murdered Spaniard, after the tragical deed, convicts him of a barbarousness of heart which is rare even in the annals of persecution. It is due to Mr. Wilson to state that he avows in measured terms his disapprobation of Calvin's conduct in this affair.

In delineating Dr. Benson's cha racter, the historian is betrayed by his zeal for his own system of faith into reflections, resembling those which deform the picture which he has given of Dr. Lardner,

Ebenezer Radcliff [Radcliffe,] who changed the style of Reverend for that of Esquire, was living when Mr. Wilson drew up the account of him, but died shortly after. We inserted (V. 707-711) an interesting Memoir of him from the pen of a near friend. His first settlement as a minister is

there said to have been at Boston, not

at Stamford, as stated by Mr. Wilson. Mr. Radcliffe's Sermon on the refusal of the repeal of the Test Act in 1772, is said by our Author, with apparent acquiescence, to have been "considered at the time much too violent:" but what publication against injustice and oppression ever escaped this accusation? It has been humourously said that the verb reform has no present tense; and the efforts of reformers have been always pronounced by such as are wise in their generation to be ill-timed and imprudent.

Richard Price, D.D. was afternoon [or evening?] preacher at Poor Jewry

See Review of Morgan's Life of Price, Mon. Repos. X. 505.

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Lane at the same time that he was pastor at Newington Green; he continued here till his acceptance of the pastorship, in 1770, at the Gravel Pit, Hackney.

John Calder, D.D. is the last name on this distinguished list. We extract Mr. Wilson's account of him:

"Upon the resignation of Dr. Price, the afternoon service in Poor Jewry Lane was undertaken by Dr. Calder. This gentleman (who is still living) is a native of Scotland, and received his education in the University of Aberdeen, from whence be received his degree. He was settled some time with a congregation at Alnwick, in Northumberland, where he married a lady of considerable fortune. From thence he removed to London, and succeeded Dr. After the Price as already mentioned. Lane, Dr. Calder retired to Hammersmith, dissolution of the society in Poor Jewry where he devoted himself chiefly to his literary labours. Since that time he has not undertaken any stated work in the ministry, and he is now a member of Mr. Belsham's congregation in Essex Street."*

Dr. Calder is since dead. He left a valuable library, chiefly numismatic, with the late Dr. Towers's, by public which was not long ago sold, together der was Librarian of Dr. Williams's auction. For a short period, Dr. CalLibrary, Red-Cross Street.

This brief notice may possibly induce some of his surviving friends to furnish a complete memoir.

The latter end of Poor Jewry Lane instance of the mutability of all that is Meeting-House exhibits a melancholy human and of the degeneracy of institutions which depend upon the talents been shut up a short time it was reof successive individuals. After having Opened by a new people, termed a Common Prayer-Book, and the other chapel, furnished with an organ and a attractive et cetera of Calvinistic Methodists, the name itself of Poor Jewry Lane giving place to that of Jewry

Street.

his subject; his account of the conOur author manifestly droops with verted place of worship is scarcely above the style of the Obituary of the Evangelical Magazine. He takes apparently as much pleasure in the minute biography of obscure, however Benson. A short memoir is given in virtuous, preachers as of Lardner and a note of Henry Mead, who " was very

"Private information."

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Review.—Society for preventing War.

near becoming minister of Jewry Street Chapel, and had purchased the organ, which was built for the little Minories Church." The names of the actual ministers of this Chapel, from the period of its becoming such to that of this publication, are William Aldridge, Richard: Povah, and John Ball.

Mr. Aldridge was one of Lady Huntingdon's students. He left her connexion and became in 1776 stated minister at Jewry Street, where he continued till his death in 1797. He published a funeral sermon on the death of his patroness, the Countess of Huntingdon, and " The Doctrine of the Trinity stated, proved, and defended." He was occasionally assisted by "a Mr. Bryan," also a student at Trevecca, who obtained holy orders from Erasmus, a Greek Bishop, who visited London in the year 1763, and ordained several persons that could not procure ordination from the English Bishops. Mr. Bryan became minister of a congregation at Sheffield, but "was afflicted for many years, at intervals, with an unhappy dejection of spirits, which bordered upon derangement."

Mr. Povah was introduced to the ministry by means of Lady Huntingdon after his settlement at Jewry Street, he conformed to the Church of England and endeavoured to put the chapel under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London; this being resisted by the trustees, led to the resignation of his charge. He then became cu rate and lecturer of St. James's, Duke's Place; and has since, we be lieve, been harassed by proceedings against him in the spiritual court on the ground of his being heretical in his notions of baptism.

Mr. John Ball was 66 designed for the water," and "spent a part of his youth upon the river Thames," but, diverted from his original calling, entered Dr. Addington's Academy at Mile End, and after various ministerial engagements settled at Jewry Street, where the History leaves him. "In 1807, Mr. Ball took up the cudgels in defence of the Rev. Rowland Hill," in a pamphlet in answer to "An Admonitory Epistle." (See M. Repos. II. 447. This pamphlet is said by Mr. Wilson to have been written in an ill temper."

The importance of the former part of this article in the History, must plead our apology for devoting to it so

many of our pages. Our notices of the remaining historical and biographical articles will be more brief; we anticipate less and less occasion for animadversions on the historian.

ART. III-A Solemn Review of the Custom of War; shewing that War is the Effect of popular Delusion; with a Proposal for a Remedy. 8vo. pp. 16. [Price 3d. or 2s. 6d. per Dozen.] Souter, Paternoster Row. THIS is the first number of the

TH

Tracts of the Society for preventing War. We hail the rise of such a Society, and insert with pleasure the three first Resolutions of the persons composing it, explanatory of its object:

"London Coffee House,

"March 20, 1816. "At a meeting of friends to the principle of this Society, Sir Richard Phillips having been invited to take the chair, the following Resolutions were passed:

"1. That a Society be now formed whose object it shall be to circulate knowledge among all nations, on subjects of public morality, on the folly, inutility and wickedness of war, and on the obligations of governments not to appeal to the sword on slight occasions, on questions of equivocal policy, or for the gratification of pride, revenge or ambition.

"2. That to guard the proposed Society against misrepresentations, it is deemed proper to declare that its purpose is of a nature purely moral; that it addresses itself to no particular party, either religious or political; and that it will on no occasion mix itself with questions of temporary and local politics.

"3. That some approved tract, tending to promote the objects of this Society, shall be published every three months."

The only name as yet published in connexion with the Society is that of the Chairman, who offers to give information concerning the Institution to such as may apply to him for it. The same information may be obtained' of the publisher of this tract, who is also appointed general publisher to the Society.

We trust, however, that more efficient means will be adopted to make the Society known, and to secure the patronage of the moral and Christian

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