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injury that we receive from it is the fame. So far he advances his accusations as unquestionable axioms. I demand his proofs, and do not wish for more impartial judges than yourselves.
Mr. Madan is a young man, and may not have had leisure to read much English history; but he has heard and seen something; and there is a fact fo recent, as to be within his memory, which demonstrates that the Disfenters in general were as ready as the members of the established church to express their approbation of the measures of the king, when they imagined (whether justly or not) that his prerogative was in danger of being trampled upon. This was the memorable period of the coalition, when the Difsenters were particularly forward in their addresses to give their fanction to the measures of a court which had always been unfriendly to them. Would they have done this if they had been, from principle, hostile to the king, and difposed to take a pleasure in thwarting him?
But what has been the return for this unquestionable proof of our loyalty and zeal? Has it secured to us the gratitude of the king, or the minister, whose cause we espoused? We are still, however, ready, as on many former occasions, to do good for evil, and to shew our loyalty on any future occasion, whenever we shall think the just prerogative of the king, as well as that of the commons, really violated. We consider not what others ought to do, but only what becomes ourselves, as good citizens, and friends to the genuine principles of the constitution.
I am, &c.
The Inconclusiveness of Mr. Madan's Reasoning on this Subject
demonstrated from a Variety of Considerations.
My good Friends and Neighbours, ADMITTING that Mr. Madan was right
in his strange notion, that they were the Presbyterians who put king Charles to death, and that this was in itself the most criminal of all transactions, an enormity never to be expiated by all the public calamities that ever befel a nation; can he be justified in charging it upon us, or in imputing to us the same maxims, at the distance of more than four generations, because we bear the same name? Do not bodies of men, and whole nations, change their principles, in a course of years, even much more than individual persons; and must they who are now innocent suffer for the fins of their remotest ancestors ? I shall mention a few well known faits, to shew how unreasonable such imputations would be.
The most turbulent of all religionists at the time of the reformation were the Anabaptists in Germany. But the Mennonites, who are much more properly descended from them, than the Presbyterians of this age from those in the time of Charles I. are the most peaceable and inoffenfive of mankind. They are perfect Quakers. The clergy of this country do not, in several respects, hold the same principles now that their ancestors did at the time of the reformation. Their doctrines were then Calvinistic, as the thirty-nine articles, and all the writings of that age, abundantly shew. But Arminianism came in with archbishop Laud, and has been prevalent among the clergy to this day. Then also they, as well as almost all the christian world, were intolerant. But happily all Europe, and England, has since that time received much light on this important subject, so that no
person will now openly avow himself a friend to perfecution.
Admitting then that, contrary to all evidence of facts, the old Presbyterians were the persons principally concerned in the killing, or the murder, of king Charles I. that they were then determined enemies of all kings, and that Scotland, occupied chiefly by Presbyterians, never had a king, it does not follow but that the Preibyterians of this day, and especially those of England, who have seen many good kings (far better, in their opinion at lealt, than either of the Charles's, or their father James, before them) may not be very well reconciled to kingly government. Allowing all that Mr. Madan has said, notoriously false as it is, of the old Presbyterians, it will not follow that we now, all of us, carry daggers about us, ready to strike at every king we meet with, or that we are in any sense, those dangerous people that Mr. Madan represents us. The very terms of Prisoyterian and Indipendant have changed their meaning fince the last century ; so that nothing that may be alleged, though with truth, concerning them, can be any just ground of accufation against us.
If wir. Madan means that the present Presbyterians, or Independants, are the lineal delcendants of the old ones, and that the same king killing principles have been transmitted from father to son, he will find himself ftill more embarrafted in his argument. For many persons, we see every day, adopt principles unknown to their ancestors. My own grandfather was a Churchman, and bishop Horsley's was a Ditlenter. But do I, on that account, retain any of the principles of Churchmen, or the bishop thole of Diflenters. I do not believe that any such thing is suspected of eitlier of us. Our worthy rector of St. Martin's is in the same predicament. But who entertains the least doubt of the difinterested purity of bis zeal for the church, or thinks that he ever looks back to the principles of his family? King Charles himself, like Bishop Horiley's father, was the son of a Presbyterian, who for the sake of proferment conformned
to the church of England, which is a coincidence of circumstances not a little remarkable; and I mention it as what may farther recommend my friend the bishop to the admirers of the royal and blessed martyr. If the sons of the bishop, like those of this king, should become Catholics, the parallel will be still more complete.
It is true that more is required of new converts, as a proof of their fincerity (on the same principles that miracles require stronger evidence than ordinary faits) but the king gave these abundant proofs, and the bishop has done the fame. Though no person, I believe, ever questioned the fincerity of king Charles's attach:nent to the church of England, notwithstanding his father had been a Presbyterian, there are some, however, so unreasonable as to require more evidence than they have yet feen of the bishop's disinterested attachment to it. But then there are persons whom the evidence of miracles will not satisfy.
To make Mr. Madan's accusation at all probable, he fhould point out some connection between the principles of Dissenters, and the republican, or king killing principles that he ascribes to them. Now, though I have frequently turned the subject over in my own mind, I cannot fix upon any religious principles that we are either known, or supposed, to hold, that could lead him to imagine that we have any predilection for a republican government, or entertain a greater antipathy to kings than any other classes of men. Beiides, our principles are fo various, and some of them fo directly opposite to those of others, that if some were favourable to republican government, others must be as favourable to monarchical.
What just now perhaps distinguishes us the most is, that fome of us are Trinitarians, some Arians, and others Unitarians. If Mr. Madan judge by the majority, the Trinitarians only must be the Republicans, and myself and friends, who are the minority, must be good royalists. Or, lince the great body of Diflenters pray extempore, and myself and a few more use our own pre-composed forms. (and I have even
declared a preference for a liturgy) I ought on this account also to be excepted from the charge of republicanism, which falls on Diffenters in general. Most dissenting ministers pray in a plain black coat. If the republicanisın lie in that, I and a few others, who conforın so far as to wear a gown and calock in the pulpit, because we find it convenient (especially as a cover for a rusiy coat, or a tattered pair of breeches) have a third ground of exception from a charge that affects the rest of the Diffenters.
But, my good friends, to be serious, though it is difficult to be so in replying to a charge fo absurd and ridiculous as that of Mr. Madan; what have any notions about the trinity, what have modes of prayer, or modes of dress, or any thing else belonging to Diffenters, to do with systems of civil government?
Mr. Madan will, no doubt, say that our disloyalty arises from some principle that is common to all Diflenters, though we differ ever so much in other respects. Now, we agree in nothing but this, that we equally reject all human authority in maiters of religion. But surely that does not imply that we reject all authority in civil matters, since the things are in themselves totally different. It is a maxim with us to render to God the things that are God's; but then there is another maxim, the counterpart of this, which is equally facred with us, viz. to render to Cafar the things that are Cafar's. Our Saviour saw no inconsistency in these maxims, neither do we.
If it be a general spirit of disobedience and revolt that necessarily seizes all Dissenters, our wives and children, whom we endeavour to make as good Diflenters as ourselves, mult partake of it; and that would thew itself in the disorder of private families, in the disobedience of wives to their husbands, children to their parents, and servants to their masters. But if Mr. Madan visited any families of Diflenters, he would find them as well regulated as those of the established church, where the principles of pallive