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he an absolute falshood, occasioned by the author's including among the rights of a citizen, more than any citizen has a right to claim. The author's particular objections to the sacramental test, shall be considered afterwards; but it will be expedient to examine first, the reasoning by which he opposes all tests, f >r it that reasoning be conclusive, the sacramental test mull be abandoned ot course.
"The foundation," he says; "of all the reasoning os the opponents of the claims of the dissenters, is a supposed alliance between church and state, between the church of England and the state os England, and the necessity of each to the preservation and prosperity of each." P. 269.
«' We alk then, in what code of laws is this alliance to be found. We assert, from the evidence of all history, that there neither is, nor can be, an alliance between the state and any, particular church, and that the supposition charges the state with the disgrace of infidelity to her successive allies. If the church of England be an essential part, and necessary , to the,existence of the civil cpnstitution, it is a singular paradox, that this civil constitution should have had an origin, and continued many centuries, before the Church os England had a being, and th4t during the greater part of her existence, she should have been adverse to thfc •true ants proper constitution of England." P. 279!
Had we been less accustomed than we h«ve been of late to the hai dy assertions of party-writers, the, <> Hen ions contained in these extracts would have greatly surprised us. In answer to the author's question ;<—In what code, tit laws the alliance between the church and Hate ol England is lo be found? We reply, that it-is to,be touud-.in the common larw of England; in the coronation oath of the, Anglo-Saxon Kings* ; .iu, the gr«.*at.chapter granted by -Kipg John, of which the party of this author so loudly boallsf; ia the , .. , ■ .. 'fourth
* See Turner's History of the Anglo-Saxons, Vol. 4, Chap, t and 4. - . - _. . _
+ "In the beginning of that charter, the King declares, that, for the honour of God, and the sotety of bely church, -he has in1" the first, place granted to God, and confirmed by the said charter, tor himself, and for his heirs 'for fv'er, That the Churches of England fhatl be ft'ce, and ib a] I enjoy their rights and franchises entirely and fully; and he concludes it with the following word;:—*' We will, -and strictly command, that the Church of England be free, and errjoy all the said liberties, and rights and grants,-well and lit "peace, freely and quietly, fully and entirely to them and their .heirs, in all things, in all plaM*,
fourth and eighth conditions of the act passed in the reign of William the third, for limiting the crown in succession to the house of Hanover, being Protestants*; in the coronation Oith taken by every King or Queen of England ; and in acts of parliament innumerable.
the hay and flubble, which their predecessors had been accumulating tor ages, and removed every thing which tended to destro\ the symmetry of the original building, they retained whatever appeared to them' necessary to give it stability oo its sure foundation. The church was thus rendered more perfect than she had ever been in England, at least since t ie conversion of Ethelbert, by Austin*; and (he w^s bi ought to her present state of purity, long before our civil constitution was perfected by the revolution, which, in 168S was brought about, not by dissenters, but by churchmen.
Can the author have been serious when he affirmed, and appealed to the truth of all history; that there neither is, nor can be, an alliance between the state and any particular church? Had he forgotten that the state and church of the Israelites were not only allied but incorporated with each other by God himself, when he laid the foundation of both by the instrumentality of his servant Moses? Was not the heathen religion or church allied to the state of Rome, when the office ot Pontifex Maximus was held by the Chief Magistrate, and when the Christians were persecuted to death for refusing to join in the established religion and to worship the gods of the empire. For the three first centuries, the Christian Church was indeed in alliance with no Jlate, but existed in great purity as an independent society governed by her own bishops and presbyters, &c.; bi t did she not form an all ance with the Roman stale when Constantine made her the established Church of the Roman Empire?
But, says the author, there can be no alliance between the church and state of England, because " the civil constitution had au origin, and continued many centuries before the Church of England had a being." That there was in each of the small kingdoms, into which England was divided bv our Saxon ancestors, some kind os civil constitution before the arrival ot Austin at Canterbury, is indeed true; but were not those slates, which constituted what is commonlv called the Heptarchy, at that period, in alliance with the religion and church of Paganism ? and when their sovereigns were, in succession, converted to the faith by Austin and his associates, did they not all break that alliance, and form a new alliance with the church of Christ? When the kitig
and far ever as aforesaid. And We, and our barons have sworn, that all things above written, shall be kept on our parts, in good faith, without ill-design."
* These clauses or conditions are,—"That whosoever shall hereafter come to the possession of this crown, shall join in communion with the Church of England, and as by law eltablilbed." And,—" That further provisions (shall) be made for the confirming of all laws and statutes for the securing cur rcligiia, and the rights and liberties of the people,"
doms of the Heptarchy were all united under one Sovereign, did not he continue the alliance with the church, which, from that period to the present, has never been interrupted except lor ten or twelve years during the seventeenth century, when the monarchy, the church, and the aristocracy were all overthrown, and the constitution, both civil and ecclesiastical, entirely changed?
What will the dissenter and his advocates fay? Do you call the church that was planted in England by Austin, and flourished under the Saxon, and Danish, and Norman Governments, and to which Kin;* John granted, in the great charter, certain privileges and franchises, the Church ©f England? To be lure we do. The church of England is not a new church, which arose, as this author seems to think, at the reformation. At that period, the corruptions which she had contracted from her connexion with the See of Rome, were indeed thrown away; but the stamina os the church,—her faith, and government, and authority derived iiy the renular succession of her bishops, were preserved entire. The Church of England is a phrase, which, though legal, is not perfectly accurate; and inattention to the inaccuracy, has milled many, and, as it would seem, Mtv Walker among others. The church is the church, net of England, nor of Rome, nor of any other place, but of God, or »f Christ. It is one society spread over tlie whole Christian world, of which a particular branch or shoot was planted in England by Austin and his associates; that branch was incorporated with the slate by the several Kings and Legislatures of England; but the church herself is here, as every where else, "built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Chi iff himself being the chief comerstone*;" *'Other foundation than this," the Apostle himself assures us, "that no man can lay," while he admits +, that men may build on this foundation many things which ought not to be built on it,—such as "gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, and stubble." Many such things were indeed imparted by Austin himself, and many more were added by his successors; but no attempt was ever made in this country (except during the grand rebellion in the 17ih century) to remove the superstructure from the only foundation by which it could be supported. Of all this our reformers were duly sensible. They pretended not therefore to erect a new Church; but while they burnt
It is therefore so far from being true, as this author alledges, that what we call "our civil constitution had an origin, and continued many centuries, before the Church ot England had a being," that the very revei fe is the truth; that the Church ot England was in alliance with the state before any thing like our present constitution had a being; that she continued in alliance with the state through f-very step of its progress towards perfection; that lhe was peculiarly attive in extorting from the tyrant John the great charier; that (he was herselt reformed from the corruptions of popery long before the civil constitution was brought to its present state of perfection; and that her members were (KiS&J the instruments, under Providence, of bringing it to that state; while thole who, forty-hie years be to re that period, had dissolved the alliance between her and the state, destroyed the civil constitution at the fame time,
•' Mr. Walker indeed allows,—
That there is a natural alliance between religion and human nature, and that therefore religion becomes the interest of every civil government. But whether it be the Druidical religion in the forefls of the ancient Britons, the religion of papal Rome from the' time of St. Austin, or the Church of England from the period of the Reformation, depends on the information of the day, as well as on a variety of co-operating causes." P. 274.
There is not much decency in the comparison of Christianity to Druidism; but we (hall neither cavil at trifles, nor make mysteries where we find none. If it be the interest of every civil government to support religion, it must be so, not because it is the duty of the civil magistrate to conduct
• There was a British Church before the arrival of Austin, which never acknowledged the supremacy of the biihop of Rome and was probably very pure.
his subjects, by what he thinks the most direct wav, to future happiness, for no such duty is incumbent on him, but because to support some torm of religion among his subjects is necessary to preserve among them present tranquillity. The establishment which will best answer this purpose, is, unquestionably, that, which teaching the great and unchange-. able duties of piety and morality, together with the doctrine of a future state of rewards and punishments, is most acceptable in its government, forms of worship, and theological doctrines to the majority of the people; and in its principles, most friendly to the civil- constitution, which all are, by the' supposition, desirous to maintain. These, aud these alone, are the circumstances which ought to determine the legislature in giving a civil establishment to one constitution of the church, and one system of faith in preference to all other constitutions and systems. Now, at the time when the test laws were enacted, the Church of England was certainly more acceptable to the great body of the people, and to all ranks in the state, and believed to be In her principles more friendly to the civil constitution in King, Lords and Commons, than any one of those sects, whether Catholic or Protestant, which dissented from her. It was therefore the duty of the legislature to preserve to that church all her privileges and immunities, and to prevent those hostile sectaries from getting into any civil office in which they could contrive to injure her, under the pretence of discharging their duty to the state. It,was with this view that the test laws were enacted, and it is with the fame view that the legislature has hitherto rejected every petition for their repeal. By all this, no man has been deprived of his rights, far less of rights which conscience calls on him t» maintain; for, as we have already proved, individuals derive no right from their loyalty to hold, under the executive government, civil offices, which are conferred by that government on certain terms\ which the legislature has unquestionable authority to prescribe.
That the care of the legislature to preserve uninjured the bulwarks of the church is as necessary now, and as much its duty, as it was in the reigns of Charles II, and James II,. cannot, we think, be questioned, when the very advocate for the repeal of the test laws, declares, that
"As all civil polity has a tendency to corruption, insomuch that not the mafiperfect form, tuhich mankind htme ever experienced, can be reconciled with the sober maxims of virtue end religion, while few are found, which are not greatly abhorrent to both; it is not to be expected that the union of religion with civil