A History of the Nonjurors/Chapter 8
A. D. 1720—1724.
efore we proceed with the narrative of the Nonjurors, it may be well to gather up some particulars respecting the state of the members of the Anglican Church, who were oftentimes subjected, in those days of professed liberty, to much annoyance and even suffering. It must strike reflecting persons, as a mark of the Divine goodness towards the Church, that she was preserved in her integrity, when so many persons in authority were unwilling to afford their countenance and support. That the Church was maintained in connexion with the state must be attributed, not to the affection of the Whig ministers, but to the noble and consistent course of the great majority of the Clergy, who interposed, and prevented the evils, which, but for their exertions, would have overtaken the land. With the Clergy and the people in favour of the Church, it was not possible for any political party to effect very serious innovations. Still individuals were frequently exposed to much trouble and inconvenience, simply because they evidenced their strong attachment to the Church. The case of Mr. Hendley, to which I shall now refer, affords a striking illustration of the persecutions, to which even men, who took the Oaths, were subjected. Dissenters and others were ready to fasten the brand of disloyalty and Jacobinism on men, who refused to yield to the latitudinarian feelings of the age.
Mr. Hendley, a clergyman, who resided at Islington, obtained permission from the Rector of Chiselhurst, and also from the Diocesan, the Bishop of Rochester, to preach sermons in the parish Church, in aid of St. Ann's Charity Schools, Aldersgate Street. In order to render the appeal more effectual, the master and some of the children were sent down to Chiselhurst on Saturday, August 23rd, 1718. On Sunday, August 24th, he preached in the Church. After sermon Mr. Wilson, the Rector of the parish, commenced reading the Offertory, the collectors proceeding to receive the alms of the parishioners. A gentleman present seized one of the collectors, alleging, that the act was illegal. After much confusion, some persons declaring that they cared neither for the Bishop nor the Archbishop, the collection was relinquished. In the evening of the same day, the rector, the preacher, and the persons who took the children to Chiselhurst, were actually taken into custody, as though an offence against the laws had been committed. Bail was taken by the magistrates for their appearance at the Sessions: and afterwards, on a charge of being rioters and vagrants, Mr. Hendley and the other parties were bound over to make their appearance at the assizes for trial.
At the assizes a true bill was found against the parties for sedition. It was proved at the trial, that the preacher had the consent of the Bishop and the incumbent: and it was alleged in their defence, that the Archbishops had preached in various churches for charities connected with other parishes: and that the House of Lords had attended on some such occasions. The counsel for the prosecution contended that the practice was illegal; but the most extraordinary part of the business was the summing up of the judge, who descended so far to degrade the seat of justice as to tell the jury, that Mr. Hendley probably had permission from Cardinal Alberoni, as well as from the Bishop of Rochester. In our day no judge could so forget himself. The circumstance affords a sad specimen of the state of courts of justice at that time. From the bench of justice, Sir Littleton Powys actually insinuated the most unfounded charges against a respectable clergyman, who was standing before him on a groundless charge of sedition. The jury, after such a charge, found Mr. Hendley and his companions guilty, when the judge inflicted a fine of six shillings and eightpence on each person, telling them that if they were dissatisfied, they might bring a writ of error.
Sir Littleton Powys, the judge, before whom the case was tried, wrote a letter to the Lord Chancellor, dated August 4th, 1719, giving an account of this singular trial. It affords striking evidence of the hard condition, to which the Clergy of that day were, or at least might be, subjected, simply from their faithful attachment to the Church. In this letter he tells the Chancellor what he had said to the jury: and among other extraordinary assertions he remarks, "No collection even for charity (unless for the poor of the same parish) is by law to be made, but by the leave and permission of the King. I told the jury that this was a case of dangerous consequence, and was an invasion, not only on the King's prerogative, but also upon the legislature, and that I thought the defendants guilty." He also tells the Chancellor that he had not inflicted a heavy fine, lest compassion should have been excited, and a collection made for the parties. In the same letter he alludes to the Bishop of London: "I gave Mr. Woodford a newspaper, wherein was an advertisement, which I thought very fit to be shewed to superiors: that the Bishop of London had issued a circular letter to all his Clergy, to collect charities in their parishes for the poor vicarages in England, which I thought much akin to the late collection in Kent, or rather more dangerous, not only by raising a vast sum of money, (if the like in all dioceses) but also by marking out people how far affected to the Church throughout England." The judge, and probably many other persons, were fearful lest it should appear, that the great mass of the people of England were well affected towards the Church. But what a picture of oppression is presented to our view in this letter. The Bishop of London is even complained of for an act of charity towards the Church.
It should be mentioned, that Mr. Wilson, the Incumbent of Chiselhurst, died within forty-eight hours after his return from the Sessions, at which the parties were bound over to appear at the Assizes: and his death was caused by the fatigue of that journey. This year, 1718, was, it has been said, "remarkable for the severity of the ministry, and the Parliament through them, in punishing the authors of obnoxious publications." Mr. Hendley did not very long survive: so that no further proceedings were adopted in this extraordinary case.
The harsh proceedings of the government have been alluded to in the previous pages: but perhaps the period of Hendley's trial was the time of the greatest severity. Nothing could have been more severe than their conduct towards Matthews, a Printer's Apprentice, who had printed a Pamphlet, intitled, "Ex Ore Tuo Te Judico, Vox Populi Vox Dei." He was brought to trial at the Old Bailey, Oct. 4th, 1719, on a charge of maintaining the rights of the Pretender to the crown of Great Britain. He was found guilty, and actually executed at Tyburn, being only in the nineteenth year of his age.
I now proceed to some circumstances of especial interest, in connexion with the Anglican and Scottish Nonjurors. They relate to a project, which some of the Nonjurors entertained, respecting a union with the Greek Church in the east. The scheme was first thought of in 1716, when Arsenius, an Archbishop of the Eastern Church, was in London soliciting assistance for his afflicted brethren in Alexandria. Gadderer. Skinner says, that there never was much probability of success, and that, in the event of success, no good end would have been answered., one of the Scottish Bishops, became acquainted with the Archbishop: "and," as says, "having a scheming turn for every thing which he thought of general usefulness to the Church, took occasion in conversation to hint something of this kind." Campbell mentioned the matter to his friends at a meeting. At first all were united: but the disputes respecting the usages having arisen, , though he had previously translated their proposals into Greek, together with and , declined to proceed any further in the business, which was subsequently carried on by , , and Griffin, with the Scottish Bishops Campbell and
An account of the correspondence, between the Nonjurors and the Patriarchs of the oriental Church, was drawn up by Brett, some few years after the scheme had failed. It is preserved among Bishop Jolly's MSS. Having been furnished with a copy, I now submit to the Public all the letters and Papers, which were written by the Nonjurors, contenting myself with giving certain extracts only, though sufficient to exhibit a summary of their arguments, from the replies of the Patriarchs.
"In the month of July 1716, the Bishops called Nonjurors meeting about some affairs relating to their little Church, Mr. Campbell took occasion to speak of the Archbishop of Thebais then in London; and proposed that we should endeavour a union with the Greek Church, and draw up some propositions in order thereto, and deliver them to that Archbishop, with whom he intimated, as if he had already had some discourse upon that subject. I was then a perfect stranger to the doctrines and forms of worship of that Church, but as I wished most heartily for a general union of all Christians in one communion, J was ready to have joined with Mr. Campbell on this occasion. But four Eastern Patriarchs. Before the return of the Patriarch's answer to the proposals, a breach of communion happened among the Nonjurors here, Mr. Hawes, Mr. Spinkes, and Mr. Gandy on the one side, and Mr. Collier, Mr. Campbell, Mr. Gadderer, and myself on the other. So that when the Patriarch's answer came to London, in 1722, Mr. Spinkes refused to be any further concerned in the affair, and Mr. Gadderer and I joined in it. After Mr. Gadderer went to Scotland, Mr. Griffin, being consulted, joined with us. The rest of the story relating to this matter may be gathered from the letters and the subscriptions to them. Mr. Collier subscribes Jeremias, Mr. Campbell Archibaldus, Mr. Gadderer Jacobus, and I, Thomas,being in the room, drew me aside, and told me, that the Greeks were more corrupt and more bigoted than the Romanists, and therefore vehemently pressed me not to be concerned in the affair: but Mr. Collier, Mr. Campbell, Mr. Spinkes joined in it, and drew up proposals, which Mr. Spinkes (as Mr. Campbell informed me) put into Greek, and they went together and delivered them to the Archbishop of Thebais, who carried them to Moscovy, and engaged the Czar in the affair, and they were encouraged to write to his majesty on that occasion, who heartily espoused the matter, and sent the proposals by James, Proto-Cyncellus to the Patriarch of Alexandria, to be communicated to the
Sic. Sub.Thomas Brett."
March 30th, 1728.
"A Proposal for a concordate betwixt the othodox and catholic remnant of the British Churches, and the Catholic and Apostolic Oriental Church.
"1. That the Church of Jerusalem be acknowledged as the true mother Church and principal of ecclesiastical unity, whence all the other Churches have been derived, and to which, therefore, they owe a peculiar regard.
"2. That a principality of Order be in consequence hereof allowed to the Bishop of Jerusalem above all other Christian Bishops.
"3. That the Churches of Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople, with the Bishops thereof, his colleagues, be recognized as to all their ancient canonical rites, privileges, and pre-eminences.
"4. That to the Bishop and Patriarch of Constantinople in particular an equality of honour with that of the Bishop of Rome be given, and that the very same powers and privileges be acknowleged to reside in them both alike.
"5. That the Catholic remnant of the British Churches, acknowledging that they first received their Christianity from such as came forth from the Church of Jerusalem, before they were subject to the Bishop of Rome and that Church, and professing the same holy Catholic faith, delivered by the Apostles, and explained in the councils of Nice, and Constantinople, be reciprocally acknowledged as part of the Catholic Church in communion with the Apostles, with the holy fathers of these councils, and with their successors.
"6. That the said Catholic remnant shall thereupon oblige themselves to revive what they long professed to wish for, the ancient godly discipline of the Church, and which they have already actually began to restore.
"7. That in order still to a nearer union, there be as near a conformity in worship established as is consistent with the different circumstances and customs of nations, and with the rites of particular Churches, in that case allowed of.
"8. That the most ancient English Liturgy, as more near approaching the manner of the Oriental Church, be in the first place restored, with such proper additions and alterations, as may be agreed on to render it still more conformable both to that and the primitive standard.
"9. That several of the Homilies of , and other approved Fathers of the said Oriental Church be forthwith translated into English and read in our holy assemblies.
"10. That in the public worship, when prayer is made for the Catholic Church, there be an^express commemoration made of the Bishop of Jerusalem, and that, especially in the Communion Service, Prayer be offered up for him and the other Patriarchs, with all the Bishops of the same communion, and for the deliverance and restoration of the whole Oriental Church.
"11. That the faithful and orthodox remnant of the Britannic Church is to be also, by the said Oriental Church, on proper occasions, or on certain days publicly commemorated and prayed for.
"12. That there be letters communicatory settled betwixt one and the other, and the acts and deeds on both sides be mutually confirmed.
"Wherefore in order to establish such a concordate, until that a firm and perfect union can be fixed, the suffering Catholic Bishops of the old constitution of Great Britain have thought fit hereby to declare, wherein they agree and wherein they cannot come to a perfect agreement.
"1. They agree in the twelve Articles of the Creed as delivered in the first and second General Councils, which they take to be sufficient for faith, and thereupon cannot agree with the Latin Church, which hath superadded thereto twelve other articles of faith.
"2. They agree in believing the Holy Ghost to be consubstantial with the Father and the Son, according to the orthodox confession of the Oriental Church; and moreover, that the Father is properly the fountain and original whence the Holy Ghost proceedeth; and that it is altogether sufficient for salvation to believe herein what Christ himself hath taught.
"3. They agree that the Holy Ghost is sent forth by the Son from the Father, and when they say in any of their confessions, that He is sent forth or proceedeth from the Son, they mean no more than what is, and always has been confessed by the Oriental Church, i. e. from the Father by the Son.
"4. They agree, that the Holy Ghost did truly speak by the prophets and apostles, and is the genuine author of all the Scriptures.
"5. They agree, that the Holy Ghost assisteth the Church in judging rightly concerning matters of faith, and that both general and particular orthodox councils, convened after the example of the first council of Jerusalem, may reasonably expect that assistance in their resolutions.
"6. They agree, in the number and nature of the charismata of the Spirit.
"7. They agree, that there is no other foundation of the Church but Christ alone, and that the prophets and apostles are no otherwise to be called so, but in a less proper and secondary sense respectively only.
"8. They agree that Christ alone is the head of the Church, which title ought not therefore to be assumed by any one, much less by any secular power, how great soever, and that Bishops under him have a vicarious headship, as his proper representatives and vicegerents, being thence subject in spirituals to no temporal power on earth: and in consequence hereof they hope the patriarchs of the Oriental Church will be pleased, by an express article, to signify, that they own the independency of the Church in spirituals upon all lay powers, and consequently declare against all lay deprivations.
"9. They agree, that every Christian ought to be subject to the Church, and that the Church is by Christ sufficiently instructed and authorized to examine the writings and censure the persons of her subjects or ministers, though never so great.
"10. They agree, that the Sacrament of the body and blood of Christ ought to be administered to the faithful in both kinds, and that the Latin Church have transgressed the Institution of Christ by restraining from the laity one kind.
"11. They agree, that Baptism and this are of general necessity to salvation, for all the faithful, and that the other holy mysteries instituted by Christ, or appointed by his Apostles, which are not so generally necessary unto all, ought nevertheless to be received and celebrated with due reverence, according to Catholic and immemorial practice.
"12. They agree, that there is no proper purgatorial fire in the future state, for the purgation of souls, nor consequently any redemption of souls out of the fire of purgatory by the suffrages of the living: but that notwithstanding none do immediately ascend into the heaven of heavens, but do remain until the resurrection in certain inferior mansions, appropriated to them, waiting in hope for the revelation of that day, and joining in the prayers and praises of the militant church upon earth, offered up in faith."
"As to the points wherein they cannot, at present, perfectly agree, they declare.
"1. They have a great reverence for the canons of ancient general councils, yet they allow them not the same authority as is due to the sacred text, and think, they may be dispensed with by the governors of the Church, where charity or necessity require.
"2. Though they call the mother of our Lord blessed, and magnify the grace of God, which so highly exalted her, yet are they afraid of giving the glory of God to a creature, or to run into any extreme by blessing and magnifying her, and do hence rather choose to bless and magnify God, for the high grace and honour conferred upon her, and for the benefits which we receive by that means.
"3. Though they believe that both saints and angels have joy in the conversion of one sinner, and in the progress of a Christian, and do unite with us in our prayers and thanksgivings, when rightly offered to God in the communion of the Church: yet are they jealous of detracting from the mediation of Jesus Christ, and therefore cannot use a direct invocation to any of them, the ever blessed Virgin herself not excepted, while we desire nevertheless to join with them in spirit, and to communicate with them in perfect charity.
"4. Though they believe a perfect mystery in the Holy Eucharist, through the invocation of the Holy Spirit, upon the elements, whereby the faithful do verily and indeed receive the body and blood of Christ, they believe it yet to be after a manner, which flesh and blood cannot conceive; and seeing no sufficient ground from Scripture or tradition to determine the manner of it, are for leaving it indefinite and undetermined: so that every one may freely, according to Christ's own institution and meaning, receive the same in faith, and also worship Christ in spirit, as verily and indeed present, without being obliged to worship the Sacred symbols of his presence.
"5. Though they honour the memory of all the faithful witnesses of Christ, and count it not unlawful in itself to assist the imagination by pictures and representations of them and their glorious acts and sufferings, yet they are afraid of giving thereby, on one hand, scandal to the Jews and Mahometans, or on the other, to many well meaning Christians: and they are moreover apprehensive that, though the wise may be safe from receiving any damage, by a wrong application, yet the vulgar may come thereby to be ensnared, and be carried to symbolize too much with the custom of idolaters, without designing it: to prevent which they therefore propose, that the 9th Article of the second Council of Nice, concerning the worship of Images, be so explained by the wisdom of the Bishops and Patriarchs of the Oriental Church, as to make it inoffensive, and to remove the scandal, which may be occasioned by a direct application to them.
"If a concordate can be agreed on with some limitations and indulgences on both sides, then it is proposed that a Church, to be called the Concordia, be built in or about London, which may be under the jurisdiction of the Patriarch of Alexandria, and in which, at certain times to be agreed on, there shall be the English service of the united British Catholics performed according as the same shall be approved or licensed by that Patriarch, or by the representatives of the Oriental Church. And that on the other side, if it should please God to restore the suffering Church of this island and her Bishops to her and their just rights, they promise to use their endeavours, that leave be granted to a Greek Bishop here for the time residing, or to such as shall be deputed by him, to celebrate, upon certain days, divine service in the cathedral church of St. Paul according to the Greek rites. But if one common Liturgy could be on both sides agreed on, which should be unexceptionable, being compiled out of the ancient Greek Liturgies, some passages and rites only omitted, which are not of the substance, and which may give offence to one side, it is thought that nothing can more conduce to the establishing a union and communion betwixt both parties on catholic terms, would but the Patriarchs of the Oriental Church graciously condescend, that the same common Liturgy should be used in Great Britain, both by the Greeks themselves here residing, and by the united British Catholics.
"None to be excluded from entering into this concordate who are willing, and all endeavours to be used on both sides to heal the breaches of Christendom, and to promote and propagate Christian unanimity and peace.
August 18th, 1716."
"A Letter to the Czar of Moscovy relating to the preceding proposal.
"Sir,—The Archimandrite, who attended the Archbishop of Thebais at London, acquaints us, that your Majesty is pleased to encourage the proposal of union between the Greek and Britannic Churches, and that your Majesty has graciously offered to send the Articles to the four Eastern Patriarchs. This welcome information has made it our duty, to return your Majesty our most humble thanks for the honour of your countenance. And since God hath put it into the heart of so great a Prince, to assist in closing the breach of the Catholic Church, and restoring the harmony designed by the Christian institution, we hope the undertaking will prosper in your Majesty's hand.
"Some late practices with respect to Church and State have reduced our Communion to a few; but your Majesty knows truth and right do not depend on numbers. That God may reward your Majesty's pious endeavours, and long continue you glorious and happy to yourself and subjects, is the unfeigned prayer of us, who are with the most profound regard, Your Majesty's most Obedient Servants."
Oct. 8th, 1717.
"Copy of a Letter of the Archbishop of Thebais in Egypt, by whom the first proposals from Britain were transmitted to the Eastern Patriarchs."
This Letter is dated from St. Petersburgh, August 16, 1721. It was brought by James, the Patriarchal Proto-Cyncellus, who had carried the questions to the Patriarchs. He also brought with him a very long answer from the Eastern Patriarchs, intitled "The Answer from the Orthodox of the East to the proposals sent from Britain for an union and agreement with the Oriental Church."
In this document the Patriarchs refuse to make the desired concessions, giving their reasons at great length. To the first five proposals they state, that they shall give one answer, since they all relate to one point, namely, the order of the five Patriarchal thrones. "They who call themselves the remnant of primitive orthodoxy in Britain, would (if this be their meaning, which will be shewn to be otherwise hereafter) have them dispossessed of their situation given them by orthodox princes, and confirmed by divine and holy synods, and be settled in a new and different order: so that neither the Roman nor Constantinopolitan throne should any longer have the preference, but that of Jerusalem. But somebody may thus bespeak them, if gentlemen, the subject of your union with the orthodox Oriental Church be matter of doctrine and holy faith, to what purpose should the order of the Patriarchal thrones be changed, which can neither the one way nor the other, be any advantage or detriment to religion? It would rather create divisions than conciliate an union, for it has the face of an innovation; whereas our Oriental Church, the immaculate Bride of the Lord, has never at any time admitted any novelty, nor will at all allow of any. And why should they have the preference given to the throne of Jerusalem? Because, say they, from thence came out the evangelical law of grace and truth, according to that prophesy, 'but out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.' Now they would by these words seem wiser and more provident, than those who place the thrones in this order, as if they had acted rashly and unadvisedly in making such an appointment, which God forbid. For the authors and legislators of this order were divine men, of extensive knowledge and judgment, and had the Spirit of the Lord: nor can we pretend to be better and more sagacious than they, or to overturn, or in the least disorder their wise settlements, lest we be found to fight against the saints and against God."—
They afterwards say:
"Some time since, the Pope of Rome, being deceived by the malice of the devil, and falling into strange novel doctrines, revolted from the unity of the holy Church, and was cut off: and it is now like a shattered rag of a sail of the spiritual vessel of the Church, which formerly consisted and was made up of five parts, four of which continue in the same state of unity and agreement: and by these we easily and calmly sail through the ocean of this life, and without difficulty pass over the waves of heresy, till we arrive within the haven of salvation. But he who is the fifth part, being separated from the entire sail, and remaining by himself in a small piece of the torn sheet, is unable to perform his voyage, and therefore we behold him at a distance tossed with constant waves and tempest till he return to our Catholic, Apostolic, Oriental, immaculate faith, and be reinstated in the sail from whence he was broken off: for this will make him secure, and able to weather the spiritual storms and tempests that beset him. Thus therefore the holy Church of Christ with us subsists on four pillars, namely, the four Patriarchs, and continues firm and immoveable. The first in order is the Patriarch of Constantinople. The second the Pope of Alexandria. The third of Antioch. The fourth of Jerusalem."
They grant however:
"If those who are called the remains of the primitive orthodoxy, out of any particular affection of piety to the holy and Apostolical throne of Jerusalem, would prefer and esteem it above the rest, we have no objection to it: for we ourselves,, though for order's sake we number it in the 4th place, yet pay it the utmost reverence and respect, and honour it as the place where the light of religion and salvation arose, where the redemption of man and the preaching of the Gospel shone out into all the world, and because there our Lord suffered for us, and there shed his precious blood. And if this be the desire of the pious remnant in Britain, we grant and allow it, only let them not despise the ancient order, nor accuse it of error, nor reject it."
They add further on this point:
"But it is necessary also that he should, either immediately or by deputation, consecrate the British Bishops by the grace of the Holy Spirit, no other Patriarch but that of Jerusalem daring to ordain in Britain, or to enter upon his jurisdiction."
To the 6th proposal respecting the ancient discipline they remark, "that they are ignorant of what is intended. If it be to make the Patriarch of Jerusalem supreme over all, they cannot consent, as it would subvert the ancient order: but if they only wish him to be primus in Britain, they consent. If the things to be revived were such as needed a synodical examination, they promise to submit them 'to a council of the universal Church.'"
To the 7th proposal they observe, that it is obscure, but they promise, that all such things shall be settled, if the union should be accomplished.
To the 8th proposal respecting King Edward's First Liturgy, they say: "The Oriental orthodox Church acknowledges but one Liturgy, the same which was delivered down by the Apostles, but written by the first Bishop of Jerusalem, by that of St. Chrysostom. As for the English Liturgy we are unacquainted with it, having never either seen or read it, but we have suspicion of it, because many and various heresies and schisms and sects have arisen up in those parts, lest the heretics should have introduced into it any corruption or deviation from the right path. Upon this account it is necessary that we should both see and read it, and then either approve it as right, or reject it as dis. agreeable to our unspotted faith. When, therefore, we have considered it, if it needs correction, we will correct it, and if possible will give it the sanction of a genuine form. But what occasion have those for any other Liturgy, who have the true and sincere one of the divine Father Chrysostom, which is made use of in all the Oriental Churches of the Orthodox Greeks, Russians, Iberians, and Arabians, and many other orthodox nations? For if they who are called the remnant will receive this, they will thereby be more intimately united, and more nearly related to us: for the people do not so much look upon the heart as the appearance."the brother of God, and afterwards abbreviated upon account of its length by the great Father, , and afterwards again epitomized by John, the golden-tongued Patriarch of Constantinople, which from the times of Basil and Chrysostom, until now, the Oriental orthodox Church receives and uses every where, and by them administers the unbloody sacrifice in every Church of the orthodox. It is proper, therefore, that those, who are called the remnant of primitive piety, should, when they are united to us, make use of those, that in this point also there be no discord between us, but that they as well as we should on proper days officiate by the Liturgy of St. Basil, and daily
To the 9th Proposal, respecting the Homilies of Chrysostom, they assent, and commend it. To the 10th Proposal also they assent, as well as to the 11th, which they regard as of the same character. With respect to the 12th Proposal, they promise to transmit the decrees of their canons, and to receive the public and synodical determinations from Britain, and to take them into their consideration.
The Patriarchs then proceed to the points, in which the Nonjurors express their agreement with the Eastern Church. To the first four, a general agreement is expressed, only, with regard to the fourth, they wish them to add, that the Holy Ghost also "spake by the Holy Synods and Divine Fathers, and then they will be in the right, and not far from the truth." To the rest of the propositions also a general agreement is expressed; only they state their belief in Seven Sacraments, though two only "exceed in necessity, and are such as no one can be saved without them." On the question of Purgatorial fire, they remark: "As for Purgatorial fire, invented by the Papists to command the purse of the ignorant, we will by no means hear of it. For it is a fiction and a doting fable invented for lucre, and to deceive the simple, and, in a word, has no existence but in the imagination. There is no appearance or mention of it in the Holy Scriptures or Fathers, whatsoever the authors or abettors of it may clamour to the contrary." They contend, however, for Prayers for Saints departed.
In the next place, the Patriarchs and Bishops proceed to the points of disagreement, as expressed by the Nonjurors, remarking that they constitute the greatest difficulty. "But, say they, this is not to be wondered at, for being born and educated in the principles of the Lutheran Calvinists, and possessed with their prejudices, they tenaciously adhere to them, like ivy to a tree, and are hardly drawn off." They answer the points in the order, in which they were placed by the Nonjurors.
To the First they say, that the proposition cannot be received, for they cannot allow the decrees of Synods to be despised. To the Second respecting the Virgin Mary, they say, "Here we may fairly cry out with David, 'They were in great fear where no fear was:'" and then they proceed to shew, that they do not give her divine honours. In replying to the Third point, they contend that the saints may be invocated and addressed as helpers. The Fourth proposition relative to the Eucharist is termed blasphemous, and the Patriarchs express their belief in Transubstantiation. To the Fifth point, respecting Images, they state, that to honour the saints by pictures is an ancient piece of devotion, which they daily practice. They argue at some length that the honour paid to them is only relative. The proposal, at the end of the points of disagreement, respecting a church in or near London, is approved of and accepted: and also that the Eastern Bishops, or those appointed by the Patriarch of Alexandria, should, in the event of a change in the government, perform divine service in St. Paul's in Greek and English. They then recommend the translation of the Greek Liturgy for general use.
At the close of the answers, it is added:
"The answers here transcribed to the proposals sent from Britain, were drawn up by a synodical judgment and determination of the Eastern Church, after the most mature deliberation, of the Lord Jeremias, the most holy œcumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, the new Rome, and the blessed and most holy Patriarchs, the Lord Samuel of Alexandria, and the Lord Chrysanthus of Jerusalem, with the holy metropolitans, and the holy Clergy of the great Church of Christ in Constantinople, in council assembled, in the year 1718, in the month of April, day the 12th."
Then follows a synodical answer to a question, respecting the sentiments of the Greek Church, sent into Britain in the year 1672. The same decisions are expressed as in the preceding answers. It was signed by thirty-seven Patriarchs, Archbishops and Bishops. Another Synodical Decree is also given, on the same points, bearing the date 1691, and subscribed by several Patriarchs and Bishops.
The following is the reply of the Nonjurors to the communication from the Patriarchs.
"Copy of a Reply to the Answers of the Orthodox of the East.
"Before the Catholic remainder of the British Church proceed to reply to the answers of the four most Reverend Patriarchs of the Catholic Oriental Church, they think themselves obliged to return their most hearty thanks to their Patriarchal Lordships for the trouble they have given themselves, in drawing up an answer to our proposals, and transmitting it to so distant a country as Great Britain: hoping that this charitable disposition and generous ardour their Patriarchal Lordships express for preserving an harmony between us, and enlarging the union of Christendom, may be carried on to a happy conclusion; and as the Catholic remnant of Britain will omit nothing, in order to so desirable an issue, but willingly stretch to the utmost of their power: so having the satisfaction to understand, that their Patriarchal Lordships refer the difference of sentiments between us to the decision of the Scriptures and primitive Church, they have no uncomfortable prospect of a coalition. For since the determining rule is equally received by the Oriental Churches and the Catholic remainder in Britain; since the inspired writings of the Old and New Testament, as interpreted by the primitive Fathers, are the common standard of faith and worship to both, we do not despair, but by the blessing of God, when the case shall be further examined by the Catholic Oriental Church, such allowances and concessions may be made, as may dispose both parties to unite in communion with each other. And now, after this short mention of our wishes and regard, we shall proceed to speak of the answer their Patriarchal Lordships have done us the honour to send us.
As to the Articles agreed on between us, they shall be passed over unmentioned except as they stand in number.
1, 2, 3, 4, 5. To the answers to the first five propositions we have nothing to except, only we conceive, that the British Bishops may remain independent of all the Patriarchs.
6. Under this Article we never intended to prescribe to the wisdom, or question the learning of the Catholic Oriental Church, our meaning by the word παιδεια relating only to points of discipline.
7. The answer of their Patriarchal Lordships is here agreed to.
8. It is likewise agreed, that the Liturgy by which we now officiate shall be translated into Greek, and transmitted to their Patriarchal Lordships to be inspected by them.
9. 10, 11, 12. The answer is agreed to. With respect to the 12th, we believe the prayers of the living, together with the Eucharistic Sacrifice, are serviceable to the dead, for the improvement of their happiness during the interval between death and the resurrection, but then we declare no further upon this Article.
As to the last five Articles, in which there still continue some differences to be adjusted, we desire to observe in general, that what conjectures soever the Catholic Oriental Church might have to suspect us of Luthero-Calvinism, we openly declare, that none of the distinguishing principles of either of those sects can fairly be charged upon us, and we further believe, that upon perusal of our reply they will most readily acquit us of any such imputation.
To come now to particulars.
I. Our reply to the answer to the 1st Proposition, relating to the reception of the seven general Councils as of equal authority to the Holy Scriptures, must be made with somewhat an abatement of regard. We willingly declare, we receive the faith decreed in the first six general Councils, as being agreeable to the Holy Scriptures, though our sentiments cannot advance so far as to believe the Fathers of those Councils assisted with an equal degree of inspiration with the Prophets, Evangelists, and Apostles; but here we desire not to lie under any restraint imposed by the disciplinary of those Councils. To this we must subjoin, that as to the seventh General Council assembled at Nice, we think ourselves obliged to declare, that we cannot assent to the giving even the worship Dulia to angels or departed saints. Some of our reasons are these.
1. There is no clear instance in the Old Testament that the Jews worshipped angels, but rather the contrary. Had that nation believed the worship of these superior beings lawful, they had particular motives for such an application: for angels had appeared to the Patriarchs, delivered the Mosaic laws, conducted them through the wilderness, and Michael is said to be their prince, and to have the guardianship of their country. Dan. x. 'Tis true Abraham is said to bow down before the angels: but it is plain by this entertainment he took them to be men. 'Tis granted Moses and Joshua are commanded to put off their shoes, and told the place was holy ground by the angel that appeared. But the Fathers generally believed it was our Saviour under this quality and denomination. Particularly , , , and declare for this opinion. Justin Martyr, Cum Try. Iren: lib. 4. cap. 22. Tertul. lib. acta Judeos. Athan. lib. 4. Cont. Arian. Thus the Fathers observe, that when the angels appeared, they refused adoration, as the angel that appeared to Manoa and St. John. Judges and Revelation. Besides it is not the same thing to worship visible and invisible angels. When they are visible there is a regard due to the superiority of their nature, to their character and message; which reasons for regard don't hold, when they are unseen and possibly out of reach. Further tells he slandered the Jews (Origin Cont. Cels. lib. i.) in saying they worshipped angels. "That nothing is to be worshipped but God Almighty: neither are prayers addressed to any but the sovereign being. That the right way of worshipping God is by directing our devotions to him, without any application to angels. That if we are so happy as to have God's favour, all the angels and blessed spirits will be our friends, and pray for us without application." Ibid. There are several texts in the Old and New Testament from whence we may conclude the worshipping of angels unlawful. Deut. iv. 13, with reference to verse 4. 1 Sam. vii. 3, where the word in LXXII. is δεδευσατε, which overthrows the distinction between Latria and Dulia. To these we may add Luke iv. 8, Col. ii. 18, 19, with 's comment. To mention some more of the Fathers, Irenæus (lib. 2. cap. 1.) declares expressly, "The Church did not work any miracles by invocation of angels, or by an unlawful curiosity." Antiochenus gives the reason why the Christians could not adore the Emperor, "Thus because his Majesty was not God." Ad. Autoly. The council of Laodicea, Canon 25, denounced an anathema against those that worshipped angels. But here it is pretended, this Canon is only levelled against those heretics who held the angels brought salvation by delivering the law, and worshipped them exclusively of our Saviour. But that this is not the meaning of the Council may be made good. 1st. Because the Council condemns angel worship on general and comprehensive terms, without any restraining clause or limitation. Whereas had they thought it lawful in any respect, such a prudent assembly as we may reasonably collect would have distinguished the case, remarked the fault, and pointed their anathema only upon the irregularities and excesses of such a worship. 2nd. Though those that are censured are said to forsake the Church, yet this implies no more than that they held private conventicles, as the Canon intimates. For had they maintained the angels brought salvation by publishing the law, had they looked upon them as their proper and primary mediators, had they neither prayed to our Saviour, nor worshipped him, they had been no Christians. And if so, they were out of the jurisdiction of the Council. For as says, what have we to do with them that are without? 'Tis not the custom of the Church to excommunicate Jews, pagans, or apostates: for that would be to exclude those from her society that had gone off already. And besides, her power does not extend beyond the state of Christendom. 'Tis plain therefore the anathema of the Council is levelled against those who had not wholly abandoned the worship of our Saviour; what therefore could they be condemned for but for worshipping the angels together with him, and making more mediators in religious worship than one? St. Athanasius in his discourse against the Arians (lib. iv.) having proved, that the angels waited on our Saviour and worshipped him, adds, "They adored him not because he was an higher order than themselves, but because he was a distinct, an uncreated nature." For if dignity and height of station were sufficient ground for adoration, all inferior angels should worship their Superiors. But it is not so, κτισμα γαρ κτισματι προσκυνει, for one creature is not to worship another. And after he has produced the instances of forbidding Cornelius to worship him, Acts x, and the angels forbidding , Rev. xix, he concludes "That God alone is to be worshipped." Athan. Cont. Arian, pp. 286, 394, ed. Paris. Epiphanius, reporting the heresy of those that worshipped the B. Virgin, argues thus, " Neither Elias, who was carried in a fiery chariot to heaven, and is now living, nor St. John, who was particularly favoured by our Saviour, nor any of the saints is worshipped. If God does not allow angels to be worshipped, much less the daughter of Joachim." Epiph. Hæres. 79. And elsewhere he declares "that no created being ought to be worshipped." To those we shall only subjoin one testimony from , who though a Latin Father, was a person of great character for piety and learning, and wrote in some part of the fourth and fifth centuries. This Father remarks, "that the angel in the Revelation forbid the paying him any worship, that he was the Apostle's fellow, and that God was only to be worshipped." Aug. De Dioct. Christiana, lib. i. cap. 33. To draw towards a conclusion. As some of these testimonies expressly discountenance religious applications to saints, so those other authorities, which point particularly upon the angels, seem by more than parity of reason, to comprehend the faithful departed under the same direction. For if the angels, whom the Scriptures declare guardians and ministering spirits, to the heirs of salvation (Ps. xxxiv, Heb. i.) are not to receive application and worship, the consequence of this prohibition will come stronger upon the saints departed, because they have no such commission for protecting mankind, no such liberty for revisiting this world, at least that we know of, and therefore our reasons for address and acknowledgment must proportionably abate. As to the texts of Scripture produced for maintaining application to the saints departed, we conceive that the proof alleged falls short of conviction. For instance, King Hezekiah, as being delivered from Senacherib's army by David, though deceased, this passage seems plainly foreign to the argument. For the text only says that God promised to defend Jerusalem for his servant David's sake and for his own sake; but here is not the least mention, that the Jews made any application to David for his intercession, without which their Lordships' arguments can't bear. Their next citation from Acts xii, 5, where it is said that prayer was made without ceasing of the Church unto God for St. Peter; this proves no farther, than that one part of the Church militant prayed for another; neither does St. Paul's desiring the Romans to join with him in prayer to God, for his deliverance from the unbelieving, reach any further. Neither do we deny any such mediation. Farther, we are willing to grant that the saints departed intercede for the faithful upon earth: but this does by no means prove, that we are to address them for this purpose, both because we may reasonably conclude the benevolence of their nature will prompt them to assist us without religious submissions: and besides, we are not assured they are within the reach of our petitions. Tis too well known indeed that the ill nature of men is often such, that they will do nothing without worship and servile application: they spoil the grace of obligation by delays and distance, and morose behaviour, and sometimes there is more trouble with them than the thing is worth. They believe their greatness consists in the littleness of others, and therefore they will not part with their favours without submission: they think they are slighted when they are not flattered; and endeavour to make up their defects in solid advantages, by haughtiness and pretending. But all this proceeds from scandalous principles, from ignorance and weakness, and malice. This climate of this miserable world does not differ more from the regions of happiness, than such a temper from those that dwell there. The blessed spirits understand their own height too well to fancy our obeisance can make any addition, are too good to have any thing of state or exceptionness in them. There has been no pride in the mansions of bliss since Lucifer was thrown out, and therefore we need not fear that those who are there will be disobliged with the omission of a little ceremony, especially when they know we do not forbear it out of disrespect but for fear of offending God. Their goodness is too absolute to clog their assistance with any encumbrance. Their greatness is without vanity, their kindness is without design, and therefore all their favours will arise unbespoken of themselves. Their generous charity is sufficient to oblige them to do their utmost: so that it is needless for us to go about to waken their beneficence by importunity and homage. And whereas they assert that our Saviour's mediation relates only to original sin, and that we are to address the saints to intercede with the God of the Universe for the remission of post-baptismal sins, this assertion, with all due regard to their Patriarchal Lordships, we conceive repugnant to plain Scripture, and derogatory to the mediatorial office of our Saviour as God and man. For our blessed Saviour plainly commands the Apostles, and by consequence all the faithful, to apply immediately to God, John xiv. 13, 14, and chap. xvi. Our Saviour assures his disciples, that whatsoever they shall ask the Father in his name he will give it them. From whence our Lord continues, "Hitherto ye have asked nothing; ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." Thus we see there is an express command for addressing God directly for all the blessings relating to this life and the other. And that the same holds for immediate application to God for the remission of post-baptismal sins, we may learn from the same Apostle, 1 Epist. ii. 1, where we are told "if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and he is the propitiation for our sins." By the Apostle declaring, that if any man sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, it is evident only actual sins are meant, for original sin was contracted long before any persons were in being in St. John's time. Besides, the Apostle's affirming our Saviour to be then an advocate and propitiation for our sins manifestly implies his intercession with God the Father, for post-baptismal sins ever since his ascension.
4. As for their Patriarchal Lordships' sentiment, maintaining the bread and wine in the Holy Eucharist being changed, after consecration, into the actual body and blood of our Saviour, nothing of the elements remaining excepting the bare accidents void of substance, we can by no means agree with their Lordships' doctrine: such a corporal presence which they call Transubstantiation having no foundation in Scripture, and being by implication, and sometimes plainly denied by the most celebrated Fathers of the Primitive Church. As to the Scripture, 'tis true our Saviour calls the Eucharistic bread and wine his body and blood, but that these words are not to be restrained in a literal sense we may collect from other places of Scripture, where our Saviour calls him a vine, an olive, and in other places of Holy Writ he is called the lamb of God, and the lion of the tribe of Judah. All which texts we doubt not, but the Oriental Church will allow must be construed to a metaphorical sense, and if these texts are to be figuratively interpreted, why not the other at the institution of the Holy Eucharist, which if restrained to the letter is no less shocking than the rest? Farther, St. Paul calls the Eucharistic element bread, even after the consecration, when it was to be received, 1 Cor. xi. 28. And to allege some testimonies from the primitive Fathers. St. Justin Martyr declares that our bodies are nourished by the consecrated bread and wine. Apo. 2. From whence the inference is plain, this Father believed the substance of the Eucharistic elements to remain after consecration. For if the doctrine of accidents had been established, which 'tis plain the primitive Fathers knew nothing of, supposing this doctrine current, which way would St. Justin Martyr conceive our bodies could be nourished by bare accidents? For accidents are out of all substance, and then which way can it be supposed a body can receive nourishment and addition of parts from that which is no body? St. Irenæus, who lived in some part of the same second century with St. Justin, informs us the Holy Eucharist consists of two parts, an earthly and a heavenly: the first is the bread and wine, the other consists in the mystic force and efficacy conveyed by the descent of the Holy Ghost. St. Cyril of Jerusalem, it is granted, has a passage that sounds strongly towards transubstantiation. Catech. Mystic. 4. He observes, "that as our Saviour turned water into wine at Cana in Galilee, so we have no reason to question but that he gave his body and blood at the Institution. Therefore that we may be certainly assured, that we receive his body under the species of bread, and his blood under the species of wine." But that these expressions, .how strong soever, are not to be mounted to Transubstantiation, seems pretty plain from his discourse upon the Holy Chrism, Nat. Myst. 2. The words are these, "as the Eucharistic bread, after the invocation of the Holy Ghost, is no longer mere or common bread, but the body of Christ, so the holy ointment remains no longer mere or common ointment after the invocation, but becomes χαρισμα or grace of Christ, and the very presence and divinity of the Holy Spirit." From this reasoning we may conclude, that as the Holy Chrism cannot be supposed to be raised to essence and sublimity of the deity, so neither, by the force of the comparison, can we infer, that this Father meant any more, than that the Eucharistic elements had a supernatural force and beneficial energy transfused by consecration upon them. The next testimony shall be the famous St. Chrysostom in the Epistle to Casarias. Here this Father, disputing against the heresy of , brings an instance, by way of illustration, from the Holy Eucharist. "The bread," says he, "before consecration is called bread, but after it has passed through the force of the solemnity and been consecrated by the Priest, it is then discharged from the name of bread, and dignified by the name of the Lord's body, though the nature of the bread still remains in it." And thus by the form of the expression and the application of the instance, he shews clearly that he believed the nature or substance of bread remained, after the consecration. Theodoret, who is the last Greek father we shall mention, has a passage full to the same purpose. It is in his second dialogue between Orthodoxus and Eranistes: the latter of these two persons represents an Eutychian. Now by the doctrine of the Eutychian heresy our Saviour's human nature was absorbed in the Divine. To make good this point Eranistes argues from the change of the elements in the Holy Eucharist. "As the symbols of our Saviour's body," says he, "are one thing before the invocation of the Priest, but after the Prayer of consecration has passed upon them, they are changed and become another, so our Lord's body after his ascension is changed into the divine substance." "You are catched in your own net," replies Orthodoxus, who stands for Theodoret. Ουδε γαρ μετα τὸν ἁγιας μον τα μυστικα συμβολα τὴς οιχιας εξισταται φυσεας μενει γας επι της προτερας ουσιας, &c. That is, "the mysterious symbols dont lose their nature upon consecration, but continue in their former substance." And to apply this matter farther, it is well known St. Chrysostom and Theodoret were never charged with any unorthodoxy or singularity of opinion with regard to the Holy Eucharist. We may therefore safely conclude, that their opinions in the matter were no other than the Catholic doctrine of the Primitive Church. These authorities of the Eastern Fathers shall be fortified, by three of the Western Churches of famous memory. The first is Tertullian, who wrote in the beginning of the third; the others are St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, and , who lived in the fourth and fifth centuries. Tertullian reports, contra Marcion, "that our Saviour by what he calls his body in the Holy Eucharist meant the symbol representation of his body. Corpus meum, hoc est figura corporis mei." St. Augustine lays down the following rule as a maxim for interpreting Scripture. "If the text," says he, "forbids something that is wicked and flagitious, and commands what is serviceable and beneficial, then the precept is to be literally understood; but if it seems to command a wicked action, and forbid a good one, then it is a figurative expression." And to apply and illustrate this maxim, he instances the text in St. John's Gospel, chap. vi. urged sometimes in proof of the corporal presence, "Unless ye eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you." "Here something very ill and inhuman seems commanded, therefore the place has a figurative meaning. The sense is, that we ought gratefully to recollect our Saviour's passion and entertain our memory with the contemplation, that his flesh has been crucified and wounded for us." His words are "figura est ergo prsecipica passioni ejus esse communicandum et suaviter et utiliter in memoria recollendum, quod pro nobis caro ejus crucifixa et vulnerata sit." Augus. De Doct. Christiana. Lib. iii. cap. 15. And in the same book he expressly pronounces, "That it is not really and strictly speaking our Saviour's body, which will not continue with him to all eternity." Ibid. cap. 33. From hence nothing can be more evident, than that this celebrated Father did not believe the Eucharistic elements were Transubstantiated into our Saviour's natural body. For it is granted on all hands, that the Eucharistic Sacrifice will for ever cease at the day of Judgment. For when the final decision is past, and every one's fate is fixed, where will be no more remission of sins, or need of grace against temptations, the reason for sacrificing of course must drop. And when the Eucharistic elements are no longer consecrated, the natural body of our Saviour supposed to emerge from them, can no longer be produced, and by consequence cannot continue with him to all eternity.
Pope Gelasius is no less strongly determining against Transubstantiation. This Pope, who wrote in the latter end of the 5th century, plainly declares, "the substance and nature of the bread and wine remains after consecration." 'Tis in Test. Contra Nestorium et Eutych. 'Tis true he there tells us, "the elements are changed into a divine thing," are raised to a divine offering by the operation of the Holy Ghost; which change we most willingly confess, viz. that there is a mystic virtue and supernatural force transfused upon the elements, by the Priest's pronouncing the words of consecration, and his Prayer for the descent of the Holy Ghost.
As to what has been urged from these Latin Fathers, their testimony can't be justly excepted to, for since they are early in time and considerable in character, their being members of the Western Church can be no disadvantage to their authority. For they lived several centuries before a rupture between the Greek and Latin Churches. And as for their not writing in Greek, we conceive their Patriarchal Lordships will not consider them with abatement on that score.
Our reply to the answer to the 5th Article, is, that since we cannot be convinced of any liberty for invocating the saints and paying religious worship to them, we conceive the argument lies strongly against giving relative worship or religious respect to their images. For since the prototype cannot be thus addressed, 'tis still more difficult to imagine the bare representation of such a being can claim any such honour. To proceed—That neither the worship, nor so much as the use of them, was very early in the Christian Church, is pretty plain from St. Epiphanius, Bishop of Constantia, in Cyprus, in his letter to John of Jerusalem, where he declares strongly against this practice. "When I came into a country church of Palestine, called Anablatha, I found a certain hanging over the door, upon which there was a picture painted like that of our Saviour or some saint, for I cannot certainly remember whose picture it was. However, seeing the figure of a man in the Church of Christ, contrary to the authority of the Holy SS, I tore it, and gave orders to the church-wardens to wrap it about some corpse and bury it, &c." And though this Father went too far in asserting the unlawfulness of having images in Churches, yet we may fairly infer, that this practice was not customary in Cyprus or Palestine in Epiphanius's time. See Council of Nice 2nd: Epiph. Hæres: 27, which last agrees with the testimony cited.
To this we may observe, that the Council of Constantinople held under Constantine Copronymus, against images, asserts, that there was no prayer in the Church Service for consecrating images, which suggestion the 2nd Council of Nice does not deny. Baron A. D. 754. Concil. Labb. Tom. 7. And St. Augustine mentioning some superstitious Christians, (for so he calls them) says, he knew a great many who worshipped pictures." August. De Moribus Eccl. Cath. cap. 34. And for a farther declaration of our sentiments upon this article, we willingly acknowledge, that the use of images in Churches is not only lawful, but may be serviceable for representing the history of the saints, for refreshing the memory and warming the devotion of the people. And thus one reason for alleging the foregoing testimonies is not against the use, but only against the worship of images. For if the bare usage was sometimes condemned, and nowhere generally practised in the primitive Church, it follows a fortiori, that the worship of them in those early ages cannot be supposed.
And thus having represented the difference between us, we are now to suggest a temper, and offer a compromise. If our liberty is left us therefore in the instances above mentioned; if the oriental Patriarchs, Bishops, &c. will authentically declare us not obliged to the invocation of saints and angels, the worship of images, nor the adoration of the host. If they please publicly and authoritatively, by an instrument signed by them, to pronounce us perfectly disengaged in these particulars: disengaged we say, at home and abroad, in their Churches and in our own. These relaxing concessions allowed, we hope may answer the overtures on both sides and conciliate an union. And we further desire their Patriarchal Lordships, &c. would please to remember, that Christianity is no gradual religion, but was entire and perfect when the Evangelists and Apostles were deceased: and therefore the earliest traditions are undoubtedly preferable, and the first guides the best. For the stream runs clearest towards the fountain head. Thus whatever variations there are from the original state, whatever crosses in belief or practice upon the earliest ages ought to come under suspicion. Therefore as they charitably put us in mind to shake off all prejudices, so we entreat them not to take it amiss if we humbly suggest the same advice. We hope therefore your Lordships' impartial consideration will not determine by prepossessions, or by the precedents of latter times, but rather be governed by the general usages and doctrines of the first four centuries, not excluding the 5th: that they will not think themselves unalterably bound by any solemn decisions of the East in the 8th century, which was even then opposed by an equal authority in the West. And thus presuming both parties will hold the balance and wish for truth to prove it, we are not without expectation of advancing so far towards uniformity, as may make up the unhappy breach, and close the distance between us. And to release their Patriarchal Lordships, we take leave with our most earnest prayers, "That the All-wise and Merciful God, who makes men to be of one mind in an house, who is the Author of peace and Lover of concord," may graciously please to continue their benevolent wishes, animate their zeal, and direct their measures, for finishing so glorious a work. That the orthodox oriental Church and the Catholic remnant in Britain, may at last join in the solemnities of religion, and be made more intimately one fold under our Shepherd Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord and Saviour, to whom with the Father and the Holy Ghost be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen."
"This reply was concluded and delivered to some Greeks in London, to be by them transmitted to the Four Eastern Patriarchs. May 29th, 1722."
"We were much refreshed by your letter, which you sent us by the Rev. James, the Patriarchal Proto-Cyncellus, as being an evident testimony of the great desire you have of bringing a coalition between the catholic eastern Churches, and the catholic remnant of the British Churches to bear upon such terms as may give us both the comfortable hope of its being permanent. We have now together with this sent our answers to the four Patriarchs founded upon Holy Writ, as interpreted by the Fathers of the Primitive Church, and in such terms, as we hope, will make our sincere desires and endeavours to promote and finish a blessed concordate very apparent to them and to you. And we return you our hearty thanks, for the great pains you have been at, in bringing it this length, and doubt not of your doing your utmost to finish what you have so charitably carried on hitherto, under such discouragements from the situation of public affairs, and the great distance we are at from one another. Nor need we inform you of the many difficulties and discouragements that we have to struggle with on this occasion. For while we had the happiness of your residing amongst us, you were pretty fully apprised of a good share of them, and they are not fewer now than they were then. Yet no difficulty or discouragement of this nature shall hinder us, by God's help, from doing our utmost endeavours to promote so good a design. It is no small grief to us, that under our present pressures we have not been able to offer such civilities to the diligent and faithful Proto-Cyncellus, as we willingly would, but he is most acceptable to us, and we have a deep sense of the great pains he has taken in this affair.
Our hopes of a happy conclusion in this affair are increased, by the generous encouragement, which we are glad to understand, his Imperial Majesty is graciously pleased to give it, and which will redound to the immortalizing of his name. And we are very sensible, that we owe his Majesty's being rightly apprized of this affair to your faithful representations of it to him, as we do his countenancing and encouraging of it to his own greatness of soul and catholic charity.
Archibaldus, Scoto-Britanniæ Episcopus.
Jacobus, Scoto-Britanniæ Episcopus.
Jeremias, Primus Anglo-Britanniæ Episcopus.
Thomas, Anglo-Britanniæ Episcopus.
Dated, A. D. 1722,
Maii Die Tricesimo."
"We the underwritten Bishops of the Catholic remainder in Britain, have thought ourselves obliged, in point of regard to this right Honourable Board, to acquaint your Lordships, that by the hands of the Rev. Gennadius Archimandrita, and the Rev. Jacobus Proto-Cyncellus, we have lately received an answer from the four Patriarchs to some proposals of ours in order to a coalition, to which answers we have now returned a reply, with a transcript of it to your Lordships: humbly desiring your Lordships would give the Greek copy the conveyance to the most reverend Patriarchs. And the design of this projected union, being apparently undertaken upon true Christian motives, without any interested views on either side, we hope your Lordships' countenance and recommendation will second our endeavours. And being sensible that some difficulties with respect to authority and expense may probably arise, which neither party are in a condition to remove, we most humbly beg His Imperial Majesty will please to condescend so far as to lend his favour and assistance. And thus having the honour of encouragement and protection from so glorious a monarch, the affair, by the blessing of God, may be conducted to a happy conclusion. And we entreat, this Right Honourable Board would please to believe we have nothing more at heart, than that the issue may prove successful, and answer the overtures made by us, who are with the greatest regard. Your Lordships' most obedient Servants."
Signatures as before.
The next Letter is addressed to Le Compte De Galowskin, the Grand Chancellor, and is as follows:
"Most noble Lord.—These are to return your Lordship our humble thanks for the trouble you have been pleased to give yourself, in promoting the union between the Orthodox Oriental Church, and the Catholic Remainder in Great Britain. And as an affair of this nature stands in need of inclination and encouragement from those, at the head both of Church and State: so we hope your Lordship's countenance and assistance will prove considerably instrumental, for the success of so great an undertaking. We therefore humbly intreat your Lordship would please to continue your favour and protection, without which we are afraid the business must languish and miscarry. My Lord, as to the Archimandrite, we are entirely satisfied with his conduct and good intentions, and hope he will still reside with us, for the carrying on of what he has hitherto so worthily engaged in."
Signed as the first, only Brett's signature is omitted.
May 31, 1722.
Next follows a Letter from Arsenius, dated June llth 1722, expressive of his sorrow at not having received the answers to the Papers of the Patriarchs. He presses for a speedy reply. The Letter is addressed "To the Most Venerable Bishop, and Wise Brother Mr. Campbell, and all the Brethren." A Letter then follows, from the Proto-Cyncellus, who conveyed the reply to the Patriarchs. This was written from Petersburgh, and commences thus: "Most Reverend Fathers." They are also in this Letter styled "Your Lordships." He states that the court was at Moscow, to which place he was about to proceed.
The next Document consists of another Letter from Arsenius, dated December 9th 1722, from Moscow. It is addressed "To the Most Reverend Brethren and Bishops beloved of God, the Lord Jeremias, the Lord Archibald, the Lord Thomas, the Lord James, and to all the rest my most beloved Sons in Christ." Arsenius states, that he had received their Letter, with the Reply to the Patriarchs in November. He mentions the absence of the Emperor from Moscow, and promises after his return to forward their reply to the Patriarchs. In a postscript he requests, that future letters to him may be written in Latin.
The British Bishops reply to the Letter of Arsenius as follows:
"Your letter, most eminent Prelate, full of all love and affection, dated at Moscow, we have received with all joy and thankfulness, chiefly delighted, that so earnest a desire of peace and concord fills your heart, as that we may assuredly expect everything in your power to procure it. You have done us the greatest kindness in delivering our Letters to the most eminent Lord, the Lord Great Chancellor, to whom we are also exceedingly obliged, that of his goodness, he has promised us his favour. Nor are we less obliged to you, for your purpose to recommend our letter and our cause to the protection of His Imperial Majesty, and to incline the heart of that great Emperor to be favourable to us. We assure you, that we are not discouraged by the distance of place, or any other obstacle that may occur to obstruct an union between us, but with most earnest and sincere desires hope for an agreement, to obtain which we shall leave nothing undone, that may be done with a good conscience.
The Archimandrite Gennadius, a man worthy of all commendation, is most dear to us: and we are very sorry that the strait circumstances, under which we labour have hindered us from giving him greater testimonies of our friendship. To your labours the most holy Patriarchs have added gifts, and of their great good will have presented us with excellent books, which kindness of theirs we shall always gratefully acknowledge.
We earnestly desire you to salute the Rev. Proto-Cyncellus in our names: his works and labours of love are, and always shall be, written in our hearts. But you, most Reverend, go on to perfect these your offices of love. Send our answers to the most holy Patriarchs, and believe us to be exceedingly indebted to you for this. May you live prosperously and enjoy your health, may the most gracious God prosper your undertaking and grant you a long continuance here, for His Church's sake.
These things, most dear Brother, have we written to you at present. The rest of our colleagues have not subscribed their names with us, being at a great distance in the country. Yet in this, as in all other matters, they agree with us, that they have a most high esteem for you.
Jan. 28, 1722-3.
Jeremias, Angliæ Episcopus.
Archibaldus, Scotiæ Episcopus.
Arsenius addressed a letter to the Bishops in reply, styling them "the Lord Jeremias, Lord Archibaldus, Lord Thomas, and Lord James." He states that the answers were forwarded to the Patriarchs, and that the Emperor entered most warmly into the subject. He further requests, at the wish of the Emperor, that two of their party might be sent to Russia for the purpose of mutual and friendly conferences: but to prevent the appearance of submission, he requests, that they have only power to debate the two points, on which the English Nonjuring Bishops were in doubt. In this same letter, Arsenius mentions, that the Patriarch of Constantinople had signified to the Russian Governing Council his reception of their answers, and that they should be examined as soon as a Synod could be convened for the purpose. This letter is dated from Moscow August 25th, 1723.
The Governing Council also addressed a letter "to the Very Reverend the Bishops of the Catholic Church in Great Britain," in which they mention the forwarding of the answers to the Patriarchs written in Greek, and promise to promote the cause to the utmost of their power. They also state the Emperor's wish, that two persons should be sent to hold conferences on the points at issue. This is dated February 1723. Next year, in the month of February, they addressed another letter to the Nonjuring Bishops. It seems that the former had not been forwarded, as the Archimandrite had not been able to prosecute his journey. They express the same wish for a conference as in the previous letter. At this time the answers of the Patriarchs had been received at St. Petersburgh, and were forwarded to England by the same channel. The document is addressed "To the Most Reverend the Bishops of the Catholic Church in Great Britain, our dearest brothers." It is called "The Orthodox Confession of the Apostolical, Catholic, and Oriental Church of Christ." A Synod had been assembled to consider the previous answer of the Nonjuring Bishops; and the decision was now transmitted to England. They acknowledge the reception of the Nonjurors' reply; but they add, that they have nothing further to remark, in addition to their previous answer. They state, however, that the doctrines have been decided upon, and "that it is neither lawful to add any thing to them nor take any thing from them: and that those, who are disposed to agree with us in the divine doctrines of the orthodox faith, must necessarily follow and submit to what has been defined and determined, by ancient Fathers and the holy Œcumenical Synods, from the time of the Apostles and their holy successors, the Fathers of our Church to this time. We say they must submit to them, with sincerity and obedience, and without any scruple or dispute. And this is a sufficient answer to what you have written." With this letter they forward "An Exposition of the Orthodox Faith" of the Eastern Church, agreed upon in a Synod called the Synod of Jerusalem, 1672, and printed in 1675. With respect to "custom and ecclesiastical order, and for the form and discipline of administering the Sacraments, they will be easily settled," say they, "when once an union is effected. For it is evident from ecclesiastical history, that there have been and now are different customs and regulations in different places and churches, and that the unity of faith and doctrine is preserved the same." This letter is signed by the Patriarchs and several Archbishops and Bishops, and dated September 1723, from Constantinople. An edition of The Synodus Bethlehemetica, to which the letter refers, was printed at Paris in 1676: and a translation of portions is given in the MS. translated by the Nonjurors. In this document the doctrine of Transubstantiation is strongly stated; and the statement respecting images is similar to that contained in the previous answer of the Patriarchs. After the translation of the decision of the Synod, follows a letter from Bartholomew Cassano, alluding to his services, and requesting the Bishops to give him a commission to act in their behalf. The next document is a letter to the Archimandrite, the uncle of Cassano, requesting him to allow his nephew to accompany their brethren to Russia. It is as follows.
"Rev. Sir,—We earnestly desire you to send your kinsman, Bartholomew Cassano, to accompany our two brethren to Russia to be their interpreter in our common affairs, which will be pleasing to us, and necessary for them.
"Your brothers in Christ, and most humble servants,
Archibaldus, Episcopus Scoto-Britannicæ.
Jeremias, Primus Anglo-Britannico Episcopus."
The next document is a letter to Arsenius at Petersburgh.
"We cannot but acknowledge the great obligations we lie under to your Lordship, for so long continuance in Muscovy, in order to promote an happy union betwixt our Church and your own. For by that means we have been enabled to treat with the most holy Patriarchs of the East, in a much better manner, than we could have hoped for by any other means. It is your merit and interest, next to your own innate goodness, that has obtained for us the favour of the great Emperor of Russia, and has engaged him to condescend to take notice of us, and not only to order the transmission of our letters to the most holy Patriarchs, and the return of their answers, but also to encourage the sending two persons to confer with such as may be appointed to discourse the matters, wherein any difference remains. Accordingly we acquainted the Rev. Archimandrite and Proto-Cyncellus, that we would send them. But one of those, whom we had chosen for that purpose being at a great distance, it was so long before he was arrived and could settle his private affairs, as made their coming this summer impracticable. But if it please God, they will not fail to wait on you as early as conveniently may be the next summer. In the mean time, we must desire you to make an apology for us to the Emperor, the Chancellor, and the great Synod, that they may not think us negligent in an affair of such moment, which indeed we have much at heart. May Almighty God pour forth his blessing upon our endeavours, upon you, and upon all who have a helping hand to the advancement of this great work. We commit your Lordship to his protection, and subscribe ourselves,
Jeremias, Primus-Anglo-Britanniæ Episcopus.
Thomas, Anglo-Britanniæ Episcopus.
Johannes, Anglo-Britanniæ Episcopus.
They also addressed a letter to the Ecclesiastical Synod of Russia.
"My Lords,—'Twas with no small satisfaction we received your Lordships' letters. The honour of your correspondence, and the indication of your zeal for a coalition, are strong motives for an acknowledgment, and make the prospect look not unpromising. And since an union is thus earnestly desired on both sides, we hope the means of effecting it may not prove impracticable. To close the breaches made in the Catholic Church is a glorious undertaking, and which nothing but the parting with essential truths ought to prevent. And though there may be a distance remaining in some few branches of belief, a charitable latitude may be left open for the repose of conscience and reviving an harmony in worship. And thus we may join in all the offices of communion and walk in the house of God as friends.
As to his Imperial Majesty, none can be more sensible of his condescending goodness and princely generosity than ourselves, and for which we entreat our most bumble thanks may be returned.
'Tis not without regret, that we cannot send two of our clergy to wait on your Lordships this summer, pursuant to what we promised the Rev. Archimandrite and Proto-Cyncellus, but accidents unforeseen will sometimes happen, and which we hope you will please to excuse. The case is this: one of the gentlemen came but lately to town, and could not possibly put his private concerns in any tolerable order till the season for his voyage would be past. But as soon as the next spring presents fair, they will certainly, God willing, attend your Lordships, with our worthy friend Mr. Cassano. We own ourselves much obliged to the Proto-Cyncellus for the great fatigue and hazard he has undergone in this affair: and are sorry our circumstances would not give us leave to shew the marks of our regard with better significancy. And the same we likewise add with reference to the Archimandrite and his nephew. This latter at his coming will more particularly acquaint you with some disadvantages we lie under, and give further assurance how much we are, my Lords, your Lordships' most humble and obedient servants,
July 13, 1724.
Archibaldus Scoto Britanniæ Episcopus.
Jeremias, Primus Angliæ Episcopus.
Thomas, Angliæ Episcopus.
Johannes, Angliæ Episcopus."
A Letter was also addressed to the Chancellor.
"My Lord. The lustre and interest of your station in the Emperor of Great Russia's Court, makes us repeat our address, and humbly solicit your Lordship's recommendation of the endeavours for a coalition between the Great Muscovitic and Britannic Churches. To this we are the more encouraged by your Lordship's disposition to promote that Christian design. We are likewise deeply sensible of his Imperial Majesty's condescension and bounty, and for the liberty his Majesty is pleased to give us for debating matters with some of the Russian clergy, and concerting measures for settling the union. This indulging a personal conference is a fresh instance of his Imperial Majesty's goodness, and will prevent the delay of corresponding by letters."
They specify, as in the preceding letters, the cause of the delay: and subscribe themselves as before. They then add a receipt for Books."The names underwritten testify that we Bishops of the Britannic Churches have received from the hands of James, the Rev. Proto-Cyncellus of Alexandria, four very learned Books, which were sent hither as a present for the use and benefit of the Catholic remainder of our Church, by the most Blessed Lord, the Lord Chrysanthus, Patriarch of the Church of Jerusalem, and with the greatest care and faithfulness delivered to us by the Rev. Proto-Cyncellus, for which we acknowledge many thanks to be due, and freely give them. Dated the 13th of the month of July in the year of Christ 1724."
This document was signed by the four Bishops as before: then the following minute occurs, dated March 8th, 1724-5:
"Mr. Cassano is desired to write that we were ready till the melancholy news arrived of the Emperor's death, which has put a stop to the affairs till we receive fresh directions from court."
They also wrote to the Synod on the same subject.
"We are sensibly affected with the melancholy account of the great Emperor of Russia's death, and heartily condole with your Lordships upon this unhappy occasion, though we hope the loss may be made up by the accession of her Imperial Majesty to his throne. This misfortune has put a stop to the affair between us till we receive fresh directions, and know your Lordships' pleasure. For which purpose we have desired our worthy friend Mr. Cassano to wait upon your Lordships, upon whose fidelity and care we entirely rely. We commend your Lordships to the Divine protection, and remain, &c. April 11th, 1725."
This letter was subscribed by the four Bishops, like the preceding, and in the same form. A letter of similar import was also addressed by the same parties to the Chancellor: and another to Arsenius as follows:
"'Tis with great concern that we received the news of the Emperor of Russia's death, which has put a stop to our affair till we have fresh directions from that court. We have now by our friend Mr. Cassano sent a letter to the Holy Synod and another to the Great Chancellor, of which he can give your Lordship a full account. We desire that your Lordship would be pleased to inform us of the situation of affairs, so far as relates to the religious negociation between us, and shall always think ourselves happy in the continuance of your friendship and favour. We commit your Lordship to the divine protection, and shall always remain, &c."
This Letter was dated April 11, 1725, and signed by three of the four Bishops. The Chancellor acknowledges the receipt of the Letter to him under the date of September 16, 1725, in which, after expressing his thanks to the Bishops, whom he styles Lords, for their sympathy respecting the Emperor, he assures them that the affair of the union will be promoted by her Imperial Majesty in the same way as by her predecessor.
No further steps, however, were taken, and the matter was dropped. At the end of the correspondence between the Nonjurors and the Eastern Church there is an index of the various papers. It is stated, too, that the papers were written some in Greek, some in Latin, and some in English, though in the collection prefixed all were in English. After the index is an account of Arsenius.
"Arsenius, Archbishop of Thebais, was sent in 1712, by Samuel, Patriarch of Alexandria, from Grand Cairo in Egypt, to represent to the Protestant Princes and States in Europe the truly deplorable circumstances of the Greek Church under the severe tyranny and oppression of the Turks, and to solicit a sum of money, particularly for the Patriarchal See of Alexandria brought under a load of debt of 30,000 dollars, by one Cosmo, formerly Archbishop of Mount Sinai, his pretending to deprive said Samuel of his right to the Patriarchate of Alexandria and to take possession for himself, having by the force of money procured himself to be invested by the Grand Vizier in said Patriarchal throne, whose Clergy made a noble stand for their Patriarch, Samuel, and would not suffer him to be deprived by his adversary. For which cause, to raise money, Samuel was forced to sell and lay in pawn many of the sacred vessels, patriarchal habits, and other utensils of the Church. Cosmo at length renounced all title to Alexandria, and was then duly elected Patriarch of Constantinople, upon which a firm peace and friendship commenced between Samuel and him. At what particular time Arsenius arrived in England I have not yet discovered, but that he was in London in 1714, and 1716 is very certain. He received from Anne, £300 Sterling, and from George I. £100, for the Church of Alexandria. But Arsenius by his long stay in London, being nine in family, had contracted debts for necessary subsistence on the most ordinary food: for the payment of which he was obliged to apply in the way of humble petition to all charitable and tender-hearted Christians. He was attended by Father Gennadius (whom I take to be the one called the Archimandrite in the foregoing correspondence) Abbot of the monks of the See of Alexandria, and by Deacons and other domestics. All this is set forth at large in a 4to. Pamphlet of twenty pages including title page and preface, intitled 'Lachrymæ et Suspiria Ecclesiæ Græcæ; or the distressed State of the Greek Church humbly represented in a Letter to her late Majesty Queen Anne.' Printed at London, 1715.
"Not only the death of the Czar, put a stop to the much desired union between the Greek Church and British Nonjurors: but likewise the indiscretion of the Patriarch of Jerusalem in writing to then Archbishop of Canterbury, and sending copies of proposals to him, &c. quite knocked that scheme in the head. Wake behaved with great prudence and discretion in the case, not exposing the papers nor suffering them to be ridiculed.
"I have frequently heard that the late Right Reverend Dr. Thomas Rattray, of Craighall, having been in London in 1716, assisted Mr. Spinkes in translating into Greek the proposals from the Nonjurors to the Oriental Church."
Thus the MS. account of the correspondence closes. My object was to exhibit the views, and feelings of the Nonjurors, which is fully attained by the plan, which I have adopted. The answers sent by the Patriarchs do not bear on the History of the Nonjurors: but merely contain the opinions of the Oriental Church, the nature of which will be gathered from the replies of the English Nonjuring Bishops. While, therefore, I have omitted the greater part of the documents from the East, alluding to them only for the purpose of elucidation, I have submitted the whole of the correspondence on the part of the Nonjurors, because I feel convinced, that anything from them, not generally known, must be received with favour by the public.
The pamphlet to which Brett alludes is a curious document. The writer of the preface zealously espoused the cause of Arsenius, as a few extracts will testify. "The following papers set forth the deplorable circumstances of the Greek Church of Alexandria, venerable for a most ancient and uninterrupted succession of Bishops from the Apostles, who have handed down the Christian faith, doctrine and discipline as pure as any other part of the Christian world." The late Queen had given £300, of which £200 were still in the hands of the Bishop of London. George I. had also given £100 for the same object, namely, for the Church of Alexandria, so that these sums could not be appropriated to the payment of the Archbishop's debts. The writer then mentions, as a motive to charity, the benefits received from that Church. "If we have profited by the labours of the learned and pious Fathers of that Church; if we have been obliged to Clemens, Origen, , Athanasius, Cyril, Chrysostom and others, for handing down the faith of the Church in opposition to heretics and infidels; we are obliged to them for Spiritual things, and ought now to minister unto them in carnal things." The Petition is addressed, "To the Most Noble, Most Reverend, Honourable and Worthy, the Nobility, Clergy, Gentry, and Commons, Citizens or Strangers, in the kingdom of England whose hearts God hath touched with divine love and charity, to commiserate the distresses of their afflicted brethren." The Petition then gives a summary of the facts of the case: that the Archbishop was sent by the Patriarch of Alexandria in 1712, to represent the sad state of the Greek Church under the tyranny of the Turks: that the expences of so long a journey had involved him in debts which had been contracted on the credit of what he and his family, being nine in number, had expected to receive: and that the state of public affairs had been a hindrance to obtaining the relief, which they had anticipated. The document is dated August 18, 1715. In the petition the Church of England is described as "for orthodoxy and piety, famed over the earth." With the Petition of Arsenius is coupled the Letter from the Patriarch of Alexandria, to Queen Anne, in which a most deplorable account is given of the sufferings of the Greek Church in Alexandria. Further the Patriarch's statement is attested by the British Consuls at Cairo, and Tripoli, as well as the Consul for the Netherlands at Tunis. The results of this application to the British public I cannot state.
The preceding correspondence concerning the projected union is a sufficient refutation of the malignant charge of Popery, so frequently alleged against the Nonjurors. Some of them held peculiar opinions, on what were termed the Usages; but even this section was no more inclined towards Rome, than the parties, by whom the charge has been alleged. If indeed actions are to be regarded as the criterion of principles, then the Dissenters of the period of the Revolution for supporting King James, and those of the present day for uniting with Romanists, are much more obnoxious to the charge than the Nonjurors, who ever acted consistently with their principles, in opposition both to Popery and Dissent. The parties, who make this charge, who are generally Dissenters, or Churchmen of lax principles, to whom the Church and Dissent are equally agreeable, should remember the period of the Revolution, when, but for the exertions of many, who became Nonjurors, Popery must have prevailed in England. Undoubtedly some of the Nonjurors were uncharitable in speaking of the Church of England: but they are not, on that account, by way of retaliation, to be charged with errors, of which they were innocent. While we lament the bitterness, into which they were sometimes betrayed, we need not copy their example. On the contrary, it behoves us to remember the sufferings, which they so patiently endured, and the many provocations to which they were subjected.
The correspondence also furnishes evidence of the straitened circumstances of the Nonjurors, as well as of the suspicion and severity of the government. They had not the means even of shewing ordinary hospitality to the foreigners, with whom they were in communication respecting the union with the Oriental Church. This is mentioned incidentally in their letters: and they distinctly state, that their circumstances, with respect to liberty of conscience, were in no way improved. If, therefore, these conscientious men were sometimes betrayed into a tone of speaking, which cannot be justified, their circumstances should be remembered, not in the way of justification, but by way of palliation. But after all, their conduct presented a striking contrast to that of many of their opponents, for whose rancour, and malice, and bitterness, no excuse can be pleaded.
- It is difficult to understand how any magistrates could be found to act in such a case. Two of the body were at the Church, and actually headed the opposition. They certainly were the criminals, not Mr. Hendley and Mr. Wilson. One of these notable justices ordered a constable to cause the congregation to disperse. The pretence was, that the parties were collecting money for the Pretender.
- Charity still a Christian Virtue: or an impartial Account of the Trial and Conviction of the Reverend Mr. Hendley, for Preaching a Charity Sermon at Chiselhurst. And of Mr. Chapman, Mr. Pratt, and Mr. Harding, for collecting at the same time the Alms of the Congregation. At the Assizes held at Rochester, on Wednesday July 15th, 1719. Offered to the consideration of the Clergy of the Church of England, 8vo. London, 1719. There is a frontispiece to this extraordinary account, in which the Clergy are represented at the rails, and the people are pressing forward to offer their alms. The account in the State Trials is taken from this volume. State Trials, Vol. X. Appendix 89—91.
- State Trials, Vol. x. App. 91.
- Noble, iii. 142. Mr. Hendley published the Sermon, which he had preached at Chiselhurst, on occasion of the collection, with the following title: "The Rich Man's Proper Barns, a Srmon preached at the Parish Church of Chiselhurst in the county of Kent; on Sunday, August 24, 1718. For the benefit of the Charity Children belonging to St. Ann's, within Aldersgate, London. By W. Hendley, Curate and Lecturer of St. Mary at Islington, and Chaplain to the Right Honourable Charles, Lord Fitzwalter. 8vo. London, 1720." He states, that he published it because the people generally "imagined it to be upon the account of what was contained in my Sermon, that the prosecution was at first begun, and afterwards carried on against me."
- The full Title of the Pamphlet is as follows. "Lachrymæ et Suspiria Ecclesiæ Græcæ: or the Distressed State of the Greek Church. Humbly represented in a Letter to Her late Majesty, Queen Anne, from the Patriarch of Alexandria: by the hands of Arsenius, Archbishop of Thebais, now residing in London." London. Printed in the year, 1715.