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in merely adyancing any opinion, and the reasons on which it is founded. Are not the clergy at full liberty to answer those reasons ? Was it worth their while to trouble every member of the house of Commons, and all the bishops, with an account of my wishing only to reason with them on the subject ? Will the clergy seriously say that they are afraid of my arguments, and as much terrified at them, as they would be at real gunpowder?
Mr. Madan ridicules, p. 16, our attempt to plead a precedent for “our district meetings, our national meetings, « and our common funds, from the admired system of that
peaceable set of men, the Quakers.” “But I believe,” he says, “every body will smile at an example fo totally “ inapplicable to your present subject. Your farther read
ing, it is true, may perhaps induce the next change of
your principles to coincide with those of that respectable “ fraternity, and I heartily wish it may."
Now, should not Mr. Madan have shewn in what respects our conduct has differed from that of the Quakers ? But it is much easier to assert and to calumniate, than to prove a charge. I have clearly shewn you, that our conduct does not at all differ from that of the Quakers, and our public papers Thew that from the first we had their conduct in view. In a letter of Mr. Walker's, which was circuJated with a view to promote our late proceedings, copies of which were printed here, and sent to all parts of England, is the following paragraph, “The example of the Quakers, « of whose union this plan is almost an exact conterpart, is “ a complete answer to every objection that can be made to « this intention, and this mode, of consolidating the coma munion of Diffenters through the kingdom." The compliment Mr. Madan pays the Quakers, is evidently meant to be at our expence, which is nothing but a poor artifice, to engage them on his fide, against us. But I know that body of men better than he does. I know that they wish well to our application, and I do not despair of their openly joining us when it shall be renewed.
I am particularly sorry to perceive that Mr. Madan is not ashamed of retailing the low fcurrility of Swift. “Your “ virulent abuse,” he says, p. 35, “ of the writings and
memory of Dean Swift, cannot fail to return with in« creased force upon yourself; and his character is above
Now I said nothing about his writings and memory in general, but of his illiberal prejudices against the Diffenters; and that I am not fingular in treating this part of his character with contempt, Mr. Madan may see in the last Monthly Review, which I now have in my hands, in which the following censure is passed on the late republication of the Dean's Tracts on the repeal of the Test Act, p. 343.
" Dean Swift's hatred to the Diflenters " is well known; and all calm and dispailionate men are of “ opinion, that his hatred urged him even to gross defama« tion. We are sorry, therefore, to see the present contro“verly on the Test Act thickened by throwing into the “cauldron any of his illiberality and virulence.'
I am, &c.
LET TER XI.
Of Mr. Madan's farther Arguments in Support of his Position
that the Principles of the Diflenters are unquestionably Republican, and of the Decision of the House of Commons against the Disenters.
My Townsmen and Neighbours, AS
S Mr. Madan promised one final reply to all these
Letters, you would naturally expect that it would have been an effectual one, so as to leave nothing of any consequence to add to it. Now, in order to this he should not have contented himself with looking for the principles of modern Diffenters in those of the time of Charles I. but have examined our late conduit, and the principles that we now teach. For admitting that we did put to death one king in the middle of the last century, we may have repented of it before the conclusion of this. Now it does not appear that we made any attempt upon the life of William III. queen Ann, George I. or II. or that of his present majesty. Nay, the Diflenters entered into no conspiracy against Charles II. or James II. And as their loyalty to the princes of the house of Hanover stands unimpeached, it ought in reason to be concluded that, in their proceedings against Charles I. they did not consider him merely as a king; for then they would have had the same diflike to all kings. Mr. Madan therefore, in his final reply, should by all means have answered this argument, which I very particularly urged against his maxim that the principles of the presbyterians (meaning those of the Difsenters in general) are unquestionably republican.
He ought also to have replied to my argument from the Scots (who always were, and still are, Presbyterians) never having shewn any predilection for a republican form of government, but having always had kings, and a proper attachment to them. But though he intimates, p. 26, that he could have explained this remarkable fact consistently with his accusation of all Presbyterians being of course republicans, he leaves you to guess at what he might fay; and I am sure it is not in my power to divine what it could be. Warburton may give what reasons he pleases for allowing the Scots to retain their presbyterian forin of church government; but the attempt to force episcopacy upon them in the tiine of Charles II. proves that it was a measure of necesity, not of choice. Bur though Mr. Madan says nothing in reply to my
objections to this doctrine, he still maintains his own, viz. that the principles of Presbyterians, both in the antient and modern sense of the word, are unquestionably republican; and
in proof of it he now alleges, p. 26, the case of Holland, Geneva, and that of other foreign Protestants, whose principles he supposes to be presbyterian, and whose governments are republican.
But in the fame manner he might prove that the principles of the Catholics are republican. For in Switzerland there are as many popish cantons as protestant ones. Also, the religious principles of the natives of Holland and of Geneva are materially different from those of the Diffenters of this country: If they be Presbyterians, the French Protestants are so too, and can Mr. Madan thew that they ever discovered a leaning towards a republican governinent?
Even the Lutheran church may be said to be presbyterian, since its conftitution approaches much nearer to this system, than to that of the church of England. The circumstance that particularly distinguishes Presbyterians from the members of the church of England, is that the latter are governed by diocefan bishops. But among no foreign protestants are there any bishops with such powers as those in England. They do not there rank with the nobility, so as to have feats in the supreme council of the nation; and they have no such temporal courts (very improperly called [piria tual) as, to your sorrow and cost, you often find they have here. The Lutherans, however, though in fact Presbyterians, compared with Episcopalians in this country, are not republicans; but have always acquiefced in the government of the empire, and have submitted to the laws of it, as much as the catholic subjects.
On the whole, Mr. Madan's favourite idea of the natural connection between the principles of religion and those of civil
government, on which he charges the Diffenters with being republicans, is altogether unsupported by any facts in history. He might just as well infer that because his next neighbour was both a presbyterian and a buttonmaker, that therefore all prefbyterians were button-makers, or all button-makers presbyterians; as because the people of Geneva, or any other particular state, are republicans and
presbyterians, that therefore all other presbyterians are republicans. As, if he walk through this town he will find button-makers of all religions, so if he step beyond the territory of Geneva, he will find republics composed of zealous Catholics; and Mr. Madan himself will hardly say that the principles of the Catholics arc unquestionably republican.
Mr. Madan, a little conscious, perhaps, that his arguments from present facts, and past history, such as we usually call arguments a posteriori, have but ill served his purpose, has recourse to a new and very curious argument a priori; inferring facts from principles; and in the following manner he argues that republican principles must at this day exist among Dissenters, notwithstanding all the changes which he allows to have taken place among us fince the time of Charles I. “Parties," he says, p. 24, “ change every day « but principles are a long-lived generation. Where then,' says he, p. 28, “are the principles of some of the leading “ characters who sunk again into the general mass when the “ Restoration happily took place.” I ask him the same question. Let him find them if he can. Only I will say they are not among the Dissenters. Where are the principles of the violent Anabaptifts in Germany? I do not believe that they exist any where; and yet according to Mr. Madan they must be somewhere. Besides, if these republican principles do exist among the Diflenters, they cannot affect the great body of them; for the king-killers in the time of Charles I. were very few.
But if there must be republican and king-killing principles among the Diffenters, mult there not, for the same reason, be the principles of pallive obedience and non-refiftance among the clergy; fince they did exist, and were far more general among them, and in a very late period too, than republican principles ever were among the Dissenters? And, in consequence of this are not the clergy as much to be dreaded, because friends to arbitrary power, as the Diffenters are for being too great friends to the liberties of the people?