« ZurückWeiter »
Notice taken of the receipt of the bishop's postscript, and of the apparent agreement between his doctrines and those of . the dean. Consideration of the bishop's complaint concerning the dean's suspicions that he encouraged the letter-writer, by which his lordship was brought into the debate : also of the dean's manner of writing, and his directing the bishop in what sense he is to understand his own words. The dean's design in his explications was plainly declared, but mistaken by the bishop. The merits of the cause are now brought into question. The dean's answer to a charge made by the bishop, that he is represented as writing down the magistrate's power in all cases : also to another, in which the natural consequences of the whole tenor of his lordship’s sermon are perverted, and he is represented as saying, that the magistrate has no obligation to reward the outward practice of what is good for human society, or to punish the contrary. The cause of complaint on this charge is removed. It is next considered whether the consequences charged on his lordship's doctrine do really belong to it or not. It is stated that the bishop throughout his argument calls an action a law, though properly speaking, a law is a rule of action : this done in order that the same law, as enacted by Christ, and as encouraged by the magistrate, might be considered as two different laws. Passages quoted from his lordship's work establishing this principle. The dean shows, first, that it is not true that outward actions, as they affect society only, are the matter of human laws: secondly, that the account given by the bishop divests the civil magistrate and his laws of all moral rectitude.
The argument by which the bishop proves the service done to the magistrate in his sermon, is next considered. A passage quoted by the dean from one of his sermons indicating his own doctrine on the points in question. Notice taken of a syllogism of the dean's, misrepresented by the bishop. Notwithstanding his lordship's rebuke, the dean ventures on another syllogism in the following terms : “ the laws of reason and the moral laws of God are the same; but the bishop affirms that the laws of Christ are the same as to the matter only with the laws of reason; therefore the laws of Christ are the same as to the matter only with the laws of God.” Another passage in the bishop's postscript considered, in which he says that a person may maintain the maxims or notives of this world to be contrary to those motives on which Christ's kingdom was founded by himself, without maintaining either that worldly motives always destroy all true religion, or that it is wicked in any to apply them in those points which he truly intended in his sermon, &c. Another point considered, in which the bishop falsely claims a concession, as made by the dean, relating to Christ's authority. Opinion of the Committee of the Lower House of Convocation on the point of absolute authority cleared. Committee vindicated in their quotation of passages from his lordship's sermon. The bishop answered respecting two allegations made from secret history. A compliment made by the bishop on the dean's abilities noticed : grounds on which it is rejected. Complaint respecting the dean's manner of examining an argument answered. The dean expresses reasons for his being surprised that the bishop should add a postscript, and thereby his authority, to such a letter. The bishop's unjust treatment of Dr. Snape, by misrepresenting a passage of his, stated and commented on. The bishop is asked, finally, whether he will be answerable for his friend's defence of his doctrine ? Two instances given of this friend's ill-managed defence. Conclusion.
OCCASIONED BY A POSTSCRIPT FROM THE RIGHT RE
VEREND THE LORD BISHOP OF BANGOR TO THE DEAN
OF CHICHESTER, OFFERED TO HIS LORDSHIP.
MY LORD, I received the favor of your lordship's postscript; and though I should have been better pleased to have heard from your lordship in any other way, yet I shall always show a respect to your commands in whatever method you think fit to communicate them; especially since I have learned from your lordship what great matters must be affected by the success of
your defence. I am glad, my lord, your views are so extended since the preaching of your sermon, and that you have now such great ones before you in the defence of it. Your lordship tells me that every one will see our agreement more and more plainly every day; and indeed I conceive some hopes of it, from observing how this great point begins to clear up.
In other matters the agreement may be longer a-coming; but I am so far from despairing of it, that I give your lordship this trouble in order to promote it, by showing your lordship the reasons why I cannot concur with you in some doctrines advanced in this postscript; hoping that they may appear so clear to your lordship, or be so clearly answered by your lordship, that they may no longer divide us.
in what I have to say I shall follow the order and method of the postscript; and the rather, that the world may observe the labyrinth in this case (if any there be) to be of your lordship’s contrivance, and not of mine.
Your lordship begins with complaining "that any suspicion of your having been the author or encourager of the former
letter to me (which you assure me you were not) should have carried me manifestly out of my way, from my own defence, to bring you
debate.” My suspicions, my lord, shall make no part of the controversy between your lordship and me. Whatever they were in this case, they came not into my answer; and it is only your lordship's suspicion that they are chargeable with carrying me manifestly out of my way.
I am at a loss to know why your lordship complains to me that you were brought into the debate. Ask your friend the letter-writer the reason ; it was he brought you in, and not I. His charge was, that my doctrine was the same with your Jordship’s. Was I at liberty to answer him or no? If I was, could it be done without considering your lordship's doctrine as well as my own? Was it then going out of the way to examine the doctrines which gave occasion to the debate, and were the main subject of it? As to your future defence, my lord, I brought it not into the debate, nor was I diverted by it from the subject of my own defence. Whoever will but look into my ansver, may see that I said nothing of your lordship’s future defence, until I had gone through with my own, and the debate was over.
Your lordship perhaps may judge that I was not able to defend myself; but you cannot but see that I was not diverted from it to bring you or your future defence into the debate.
Your lordship complains farther in this paragraph of my manner of writing, and thanks me for directing you in what sense you are to understand your own words.
As to my manner, my lord, it is the common misfortune of those who have appeared in this controversy not to have given satisfaction in their manner of writing : I am sorry it is mine ; but this may be perhaps naturæ vitium, non animi ; men must write as they can, or else be silent. But I shall have occasion to resume this subject before I take leave of your lordship, and shall therefore say no more of it here.
As for your lordship’s thanks for my directions in what sense you are to understand your own words; though I should be glad to merit your lordship’s thanks for any service I could do you; yet in this, my lord, you have been bountiful beyond
my deserts. I will do myself the honor to say that I am not altogether such a stranger to your lordship's manner of writing as not to be able to guess sometimes what is likely to afford you matter of complaint. I foresaw this occasion, and took all possible care to prevent it. I will repeat my own words, and leave the reader to judge what directions I gave your lordship in this matter. “I shall show his lordship’s opinion from the sense which his words seem to me to carry; not intending hereby to preclude his lordship from any other sense or meaning which he shall think fit to insist on.” I humbly hope, my lord, that your complaint of my manner in general may be founded on a like misapprehension of my design ; and that it may be rather
fault to be under your displeasure.
The observations which I offered on your future defence are grounded on your own account of it; and I do not find by any thing your lordship has said, that I mistook your meaning in it. And pray, my lord, where is the offence of telling your lordship beforehand what you must have been told after the publication of the answer, when you would have heard it less patiently? Your lordship calls this immediately a happiness arising from the delay of your answer : how happy your lordship is in it I cannot tell; but I meant it as an instance of that fairness with which I think all controversy should be conducted. It would serve the purpose of an adversary much better if your lordship would be pleased to write a book nothing to the purpose; but it would serve the cause of truth much worse. I have done you no injury, my lord, in telling you what the true point of the Representation is; you are still at liberty to write on any other point, and call it too an Answer to the Representation, if you think it proper so to do. The uneasiness your lordship expresses at being told the true point, shows how unwilling you are to come to it, how very loth to part with the noble subject of absolute authority; an opinion which, I perceive, your adversaries must hold whether they will or no, in order to make way for your lordship's future victory and triumph. This is so necessary, it seems, to your lordship's defence, that you cannot in your conscience and judgment wholly part with it: your judgment I admire; for it is much