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The EXAMINER, OR Gilbert against Tennent.

Containing a Confutation of the Reverend Mr. GILBERT TENNENT and his ADHERENTS: Extracted chiefly from his Own Writings, and formed upon his Own Plan of comparing the MORAVIAN Principles, with the Standard of Orthodoxy, in distinct Columns.

Together with some Strictures on the Preface to the Rev, Mr. TENNENT's Five Sermons and Appendix lately published, and subscribed by Six Reverend Mi­nisters of BOSTON.

The whole being an Essay towards answering three important Queries, viz.

  • 1. What is Truth in the present Religious Commotions in this Land?
  • 2. What is the shortest Method of finding the whole Truth?
  • 3. Whether such as are given to Change, ought not in Conscience to make their publick Retractations, according to St. Austin?

The whole Essay is submitted to the Judgment of Com­mon Sense.

By Philalethes.

Mat. [...]

Judge not, that ye be not judged.

Job 14.5, 6.

Thou choosest the Tongue of the Crafty: Thine own Mouth condemneth Thee, and not I; yea thine own Lips testify against thee.

Luke 19.22.

Out of thine own Mouth will I judge thee.

BOSTON; Printed for S. ELIOT, in Cornhill. 1743

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N. B. If the Reader desires to see Mr. Tennent's Sermon at Nottingham on the Danger of an unconverted Mini­stry fully answered; notwithstanding Mr. Whitefield's high Commendation of it, as an excellent Piece, and as he judged an unanswerable One let him consult the Querists, Part III. And, the Examination and Refutation of Mr. G. Tennent's Remarks of the Protesta­tion presented to the Synod of Philadel­phia, June 1. 1741. Per Order, &c.

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THE EXAMINER, OR, Gilbert against Tennent.

WHEN I had read over Mr. G. Ten­nent's three first Sermons on Rev. 3▪3. representing the Necessity of holding fast the Truth, with the Appendix, relating to the Moravian Errors, &c. I immediately reviewed and compared therewith his famous Sermon preach'd at Nottingham upon the Danger of an Unconverted Ministry, on Mark 1 [...] 44. And must confess it is as impossible to reconcile them upon the Principles of Common Sense, as to unite the two Poles.

But then putting on that Charity which is not easily provoked, and hopeth all Things, I endeavoured to con­sider the three Sermons as a Retractation of the Notting­ham Sermon; That altho' he did not expresly retract it, yet I would charitably cast it in this Light, for the sake of Catholick Unity, and because it seems hard for an High Priest to confess his Errors even once a Year, tho' he may love to be Father Confessor himself, and bring others to the Stool.

[Page 4] But upon Enquiry, it is to be suspected that Mr. Tennent never design'd that these three Sermons should superceed the other; but that they should consist and tra­vel together like good Companions. For it is plain that after Mr. T—had preached these Sermons at N. York, in April 1742, his Sermon at Nottingham receives a new Edition at Boston, from the second Edition printed at Phi­ladelphia; by which it appears that Mr. T. or his Friends, instead of suppressing it, have been careful to propagate it, as his Master-Piece; and indeed it is a Master-Piece of it's kind: And not only so, but I'm credibly inform'd, that he has lately justified it, as containing the genuine Sentiments of his Soul; and I'm apt to think he has spo­ken the Truth. And no wonder Mr. T. won't abate one Jot or Tittle of it, since Mr. W—d has judg'd it an unanswerable Piece: for his Counsel it seems with ma­ny in these Days is, as if a Man had enquired at the O­racle of GOD. *

[Page 5] It is plain also, That Mr. T—t's zealous Advocates here and elsewhere, have by way of Charity, dispers'd about the Country great Numbers of the last Edition, tending to corrupt the Minds of People from the Sim­plicity which is in Christ, and to promote that Confusion and separating Spirit which he himself has been instru­mental of raising in many of our Places; Which the Lord rebuke in his Time. For many are fully perswaded that Mr. T—t's Sermon and Practice upon it, have sown the Seeds of all that Discord, Intrusion, Confusion, Sepa­ration, Hatred, Variance, Emulations, Wrath, Strife, Seditions, Heresies, &c. that have been springing up in so many of the Towns and Churches thro' the Province for two Years past. Who hath been so instrumental to hatch the Cockatrice as himself, tho' at the same Time he could gravely advise others to crush it in the Egg . His Principiis obsta is given out too late in the Day: That is to say, After Vows make Enquiry, instead of letting alone Contention before it be medled with.

Whoever will take the Pains to consider the main Scope of Mr. Tennent's Sermon at Nottingham, will find the Principles of it to be subversive of Gospel Order, the publick Ministry and publick Means of Education; and what have we more? What could touch the Apple of our Eye like this fatal Blow. It is a Blow at the Root.

Take here by the Way, the Sentiments of the Synod in the Examination, &c. Page 81, viz ‘We look up­on Mr. T—'s printed Sermon preach'd at Nottingham to be a notable Instance of their sowing Seeds of Divi­sion, and we charge him with perverting Scripture, uncharitable rash Judging of the Body of the Clergy of this Generation in the Lump, and encouraging Facti­ons and Disorders therein; and say we, This, This, This, and the like Speeches thereunto, filled the Minds of many People against their stated Pastors, &c.’

[Page 6] Furthermore, I can't find any Room for rational Chri­stian Charity to think that Mr. T—ever intended that his last Discourses should be interpreted as a Retracta­tion of his Sermon at Nottingham; and therefore as long as he holds two Sett of Principles as opposite to one another, as the heathenish Principles of a good and an evil god, and until he makes a publick and solemn Re­tractation of that Sermon, it is but just and equal to set Gilbert against Tennent, and judge him out of his own Mouth.

Moreover, Having reviewed the florid Preface to Mr. Tennent's late Discourses, subscribed by Six Reve­rend Divines, ‘of whose Opinion it's said much Use is made in the Country,’ I stumbled at the Threshold again, when I could not find one Word to help out my Charity towards reconciling Mr. T—t with himself: But they set it forth as an Epistle of Commendation of this their dear Brother and his Works without any Ex­ception.

They call his Performance, A Labour of Love and Effort of holy Zeal of One that has learn'd to contend earnestly for the Faith once delivered to the Saints; and with the Light of a wise Master-Builder, on the Foundation which Christ and his Apostles have laid. The Metaphor would run as smoothly in the Words of the great Apostle, A Workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.

They say further, ‘When this our dear Brother, whose Praise is in the Churches thro' the Provinces, visited us at Boston, two Years ago, and in the Spirit of the Rev. Mr. Whitefield, entred into his Labours here; it pleased God in a wonderful Manner to crown his abundant Services with Success, in the Conviction, and (we trust) Conversion of many Souls: As there­fore the Name of Mr. Tennent is greatly endear'd to us, so we beseech our ascended SAVIOUR, the Head [Page 7]of the Church long to continue him for a burning Light, and extensive Blessing to our Provinces; and in particular to use this faithful, judicious, and season­able Endeavour of his Servant, for a Guard and De­fence about his own sacred Truths, and his glorious Work in the midst of us, which too many are ready to speak evil of and oppose.’

One must be cloathed with Charity down to the Foot to think that these Reverend Gentlemen had not seen Mr. Tennent's Sermon at Nottingham, &c. which stands in direct Opposition to some Parts of his Doctrine and Con­duct exprest in these Sermons and elsewhere, as I shall demonstrate in parallel Lines.

If therefore they had well confidered and compared the one with the other, how is it reconcileable with the Simplicity that is in CHRIST, to represent Mr. T— as such a burning Light, when his Spots are so conspi­cuous to the most cursory Reader?— One might expect that if Mr. Tennent had not the Ingenuity to say, I Re­pent, that at least these Reverend Gentlemen would have attempted a Reconciliation for him, if they think as Protestants generally do that Infallibility may mistake.

Nay ought they not to have said publickly (as it is affirmed One of them said in private Conversation) that Mr. T. was now come Right: I suppose he meant Right about; which implies, that he had been Wrong. But it seems no Man dar'd or car'd to say unto him, Why dost thou such Things? Such is the Danger of ha­ving Men's Persons in Admiration, because of Advantage.

It seems, Such a prime Instrument of the Work that has been going on in the American Provinces for the two last Years, must be judged infallible and supported with the highest Encomiums of Six most Reverend Mi­nisters,* [Page 8]I heartily wish he was more worthy for whom they have done this; and that they themselves had not in this Labour of Love to their dear & honoured Brother, betrayed too great a liking of what is common­ly called this Work.

These Reverend Gentlemen say, That this our dear Brother visited us at Boston two Years ago, and in the Spirit of the Rev. Mr. Whitefield, enter'd into his Labours.

It's true Mr. T— visited these Parts about that Time, and the Visit was full of Extraordinaries: His Pro­gress thro' this Province savour'd more of worldly Pomp and Grandeur, than the Humility of the meek and lowly Jesus: He came eating and drinking, galloping over the Country with his Congregatio de propagandâ, &c. Magna Comitante Caterva, with a Troop of 20 or 30 Horse, entring into other Men's Labours, and devouring their Livings, having all Things in common.

[Page 9] He came — in the Spirit of Mr. Whitefield in­deed, when Proclamation was made before him as Visitor or Vicar-General, The Rev. Mr. T. designs to preach in such a City or Church to Day, and to Morrow in ano­ther, and continue in a Third and get Gain, without the least Regard to the stated Pastors of these Churches, [...], nolens; pleading Extraordinaries for suspending Scripture-Rules.

He came in the Spirit of Mr. Whitefield, when he treated the Body of the Ministry in this Province with so much Neglect and Contempt as he did, not only in not suffering himself to hear any of them, no not in Boston it self except once or twice; but also in cruelly censuring them in general and raising Jealousies in the Minds of People of their Faithful Ministers even to that Degree, as hath ended in a Spirit of dreadful Separation in many Places.

But then are these Rev Messirs. of the the same Mind, Spirit and Judgment? Did they come in the same Spirit when Mr. W—d, in his Journal, Part 3d, Page 63, saith, "These bodily Convulsions, I believe come from the De­vil; who, now the Work of GOD is going on, wants to bring an evil Report upon it?" And seeing nothing is more evident than that Mr. T.— is the grand Instru­ment of promoting those animal Convulsions into which many of our New-Converts have fallen, and upon which great Stress is laid by many in the Work of Conversion. Do not they take the Devils Part, who use Methods to further such sad Appearances, and condemn them for Opposers of GOD's Work, who labour to undeceive People about these Fits, by ascribing them to inferiour Causes?

[Page 10] ‘But is it not Matter of Fact when many of the Hearers of some Preachers fell into Convulsion-like Fits and roared, that the usual Note of such Preachers then was, Will any of you come to Christ? When at the same Time they pronounced heavy Curses upon such as took not such Fits, as being hard-hearted Pharisees, &c. *

Again, These Reverend Gentlemen, say, This our dear Brother enter'd into Mr. Whitefield's Labours. That is in other Words, Mr. Whitefield planted and Mr. Tennent watered; as if the Gospel had never been planted and watered in this Wilderness before these Rev. Messirs introduced the Practice of itenerary Preaching.

‘But pray will Mr. T. tell the World what great Success had Mr. W—d or himself, but where they had Opportunity to enter into other Men's Labours? And who planted and watered Congregations for them to crow of their Success therein? For in Maryland, Virginia and North-Carolina, where Ministers are com­paratively scarce, what News of Mr. W—'s great Success.’

These Reverend Gentlemen conclude their Preface by saying, We beseech our ascended Saviour, the Head of the Church in particular to use this faithful, judi­cious and seasonable Endeavour of his Servant, for a Guard and Defence about his own sacred Truths, and his glorious Work in the midst of us, which too many are ready to speak evil of and oppose. I would cha­ritably hope that these Rev. Divines don't pretend by the last Paragraph to patronize and defend all the Extra­ordinaries that have passed current for the Work of God, in this Time of Strife of Tongues and Confusion of Babel; or to Brand all with the black Character of Op­posers of His Work, who are Enemies to Enthusiasm and [Page 11] Delusion. There are many wild Disorders and Confusions in some of our Churches at this Day which really resem­ble the Corinthian Disorders in the Times of the Apo­stles. Necessity is therefore laid upon the faithful Mini­sters of CHRIST to bear publick and seasonable Testimony against them; and pity it is these Rev. Gentlemen let slip so good an Opportunity as this to do it. But seeing they refuse to give a differencing Account of the Work, it is well that one of the Country Ministers hath since faithfully done it to their Hand, in one of their Pulpits.*

‘That the Reader may be able to form a right Judg­ment of the contending Parties, let him resolve this plain Query, viz. Whether the Opposers of Enthusi­astick Pranks, set up under the Name of Reformations or Religion; or the warm Admirers of and Contenders for such, deserve the Name of Opposers of God's Work?

Upon the whole, I could find no other Key but that in the Sermon upon the little Foxes in the End of Mr. Tennent's late Treatise, to let him out of the Labyrinth into which he had plunged himself. Where it is said Pag. 8, 9. Foxes have Holes. Foxes have most commonly many Ways and Passages to come out at, because if one should be stopt or closed up, they may have another to creep out at.—Foxes are crafty, and know how to dissemble.— Foxes that they may not be so easily ensnared, seldom run right forward, but run to one Side, and to the other Side and cross ways.—They have a sly Way of creeping into other Holes, and of turning other Animals, (it may be said) out of their rightful Possessions, so it is with respect to— for of this Sort are these which creep into Houses, 2 Tim. 3.6. And it may be generally said of them, that they creep into setled Ministries and Congregations, and turn out those that are Orthodox amongst them, &c.

[Page 12] It is evident that Mr. T— design'd by translating this Sermon, that it should be used as a Key to open the cunning, crafty Intreagues and Evasions of the Moravians in propagating their wild and frightful Errors. See Page 65, 100.

Mr. T. must excuse me if I turn the same Key upon himself, to let him out of many Inconsistencies and Con­tradictions charged upon him; I expect that he will make use of Fox-like Shifts to evade the Discovery.—Witness his second Letter printed in the Pensylvania Gazette of Sept. 2.1742.*

I shall follow the same Method Mr. Tennent has taken with the Moravians; and compare his Sermon preach'd at Nottingham, with his late Discourses and Appendix, in distinct Columns; or, in other Words, set Gilbert against Tennent for the Readers ease in finding out the Truth.

GILBERT.

Page 47. ‘In my Opi­nion a disposition to se­parate from a true Church because many of her Members are un­converted, and some are under deadness, is a sign of a proud Spirit: Were not the Pharisees of old proud Separatists? See this applied to the Moravians. in Page 63’

[Page 13] ‘They have a Sheep's Coat on, they seem to be mighty mild, harmless and innocent in their Looks, but inwardly they hold dividing, dan­gerous Principles; you may know them by their Fruits: Like Wolves they cruelly scatter the poor Sheep of CHRIST, by their damnable Doctrines. Beware, my dear Bre­thren of the Leaven — of these Moravians, who like the Pharisees of old, are proud Sepa­ratists, make broad Phylacteries, and com­pass Sea and Land to make Proselytes.’

Page 48. ‘It is also an Instance of Pride, to de­spise and slight Mini­sters or People, that are unconverted, or supposed to be so: Is not the Language of such a Practice as the Prophet Isaiah describes it, Stand off, for I am holier than Thou?

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TENNENT.

Compare his Sermon at No­tingham, Page 12. of the last Edition, under the 2d Inference. ‘We may learn that such who are contented under a dead Ministry, have not in them the Temper of that Saviour they profess. It's an awful sign that they are as blind as Moles, and as dead as Stones, without any spiritual taste and relish.’

[Page 13] And it is the Language of several Pages under his 4th Inference—BE YE SEPERATE. ‘If the Ministry, says he, of natural Men be as it has been represented; then it is both lawful and expedi­ent to go from them to hear godly Persons; yea, It is so far from being sinful to do this, that one who lives un­der a pious Minister of les­ser Gifts, after having ho­nestly endeavour'd to get Benefit by his Ministry, and yet gets little or none, but doth find real Bene­fit and more Benefit else­where; I say, he may law­fully go, and that frequent­ly, where he gets most good to his precious Soul,— Let who will oppose it.’ Pag. 19.

Alas! How could Mr. T. preach and print this after printing his Sermon at Not­tingham, without expressing deep Repentance for the hard contemptuous Speeches, he has there poured out upon the Body of the Clergy of this Generation? Doth not this savour of Pride and Unchari­tableness?

I shall beg leave here to lay before my Readers some [Page 14]of the reproachful Language he has plentifully bestowed on the Body of the Clergy of this Generation, as the Synod of Philadelphia has lately col­lected it to my Hand out of the same Sermon*. —

*
See Examiner, Page 149.

They are represented therein as Hirelings, Caterpil­lars, Letter-learned Pharisees, Men that have the Craft of Foxes, and the Cruelty of Wolves, plaistered Hypocrites, Varlets, the Seed of the Serpent, foolish Builders, whom the Devil drives into the Ministry, dry-Nurses, dead Dogs that cannot bark; blind Men, dead Men, Men possessed with the Devil, Rebels and Enemies to God, Guides that are stone-blind and stone-dead, Children of Satan, that like their Father may do good to Men's Souls by Chance-Medley, Daubers with untempered Mortar, moral Negroes, Salt without savour, that stink in the Nostrils of God and Man, Judas's whose chief Desire is to finger the Penny and to carry the Bag, Hirelings, murderous Hypocrites, that are to take Care least we feel the Force of a Halter in this World, or an aggravated Damnation in the next; subtle selfish Hypocrites, that would not let one honest Man come into the Ministry if they could help it, swarms of Lo­custs, Crowds of Pharisees, that have as covetously, as cruelly crept into the Ministry in this adulterous Generation, who as nearly resemble the Character of the old Pharisees, as one Crows Egg does another, whose Hearers are as blind as Moles, and dead as Stones, Successors of Nicodemus, blind Leaders of the Blind, Formalists, dead Drones, Sons of Scaeva with a fine long String of Prayers , false Apo­stles, deceitful Workers, Ministers of Satan, &c.

[Page 15] The Rev. Gentlemen of that Synod, go on to ob­serve; Are not these base and uncharitable Reproaches unbecoming any Christian, much less a Minister of the Gospel, both from the Pulpit and the Press?

GILBERT.

Page 48. ‘And here I must take leave to ob­serve, that the Practice of staying at Home, ra­ther than going to hear such Ministers (sound in Principle and regu­lar in Practice) as are judged by some to be unconverted, is un­scriptural, and of dan­gerous Tendency (in my Opinion) for it hangs the whole weight of the publick Worship of God upon the un­certain Judgment of Men. Though uncon­verted Ministers are not likely to do so much good as others, yet see­ing that many of them doubtless, do preach the same Word of God, which others do; why may not the sovereign God, who permits them by his Providence [Page 16]to come into the Mi­nistry, bless his Word delivered by them for the Good of Mankind?’

Besides the aforesaid Practice of staying at Home, &c. opens a Door to Delusion by false Tea­chers as well as to Con­fusions and Schisms in the Church of God.

Page 49. ‘I must de­clare to the World that I dread the Tho'ts of Schisms and Separations in the Church of God, &c.

[Page 17] Page 53. In order to preserve our selves and our Posterity from the Infection of Error, I think it is needful to use (in our proper Spheres) all suitable Means to obtain a godly, learned & regular Mi­nistry. — When ig­norant Novices are ad­mitted into the mini­sterial Order, they are apt to be puffed up to the Churches great Pre­judice, as well as their own; and to spread Error when they know it not.—’

‘To say, That these Qualifications may be ordinarily attain'd with­out [Page 18] humane Learning, is notoriously enthusiasti­cal and foolish, &c. — In short either humane Learning is necessary, or there must be Inspi­ration to supply the want thereof.’

Page 62, he saith, ‘For any Man to pretend to know certainly who are gracious, as one of the Moravians did in my hearing, is to as­sume an incommuni­cable Prerogative of God: And to run up­on this false Plan in Church Matters, is to turn all into the wildest Disorder and Confusion.’

[Page 19] Page 66, ‘Do any e­steem this new upstart Moravian Sect because of their Shew of Humi­lity, while in the mean Time they undervalue all but themselves?

‘Some of the Heads of that Party have spo­ken most reproachfully of New-Brunswick, of all the Protestant Re­formed Churches. One of them in my hearing compared them to Ba­bel. Is this Humility to imagine themselves more advanced in Grace than all the World be­sides?’

See Page also 103, of the Appendix.

[Page 15]

TENNENT.

Page 8. Of his Serm. at Nottingham, he scarce owns a Possibility of profiting under an unconverted Ministry— when he says, ‘Is a dead Man fit to bring others to Life? Sad Experience verifies the unprofitable­ness of the Ministry of un­converted Men. Look in­to the Congregations of un­converted Ministers, and see what a sad Security reigns there: Not a Soul convinced that can be heard of, for many Years toge­ther. — What if some Instances could be shewn of unconverted Ministers being Instrumental in con­vincing Persons of their lost Estate? The Thing is very rare and extraor­dinary. And for what I know, as many Instances might be given, of Satan's convincing Persons by his Temptations. Indeed it's [Page 16]a kind of Chance-Medley, both in respect of his Fa­ther and his Children, when any such Event happens; and is'nt this the Reason why a Work of Conviction and Conversion has been so rarely heard of for a long Time in the Churches, till of late, viz. That the Bulk of her spiritual Guides were stone-blind and stone-dead?’

Again, Page 20. ‘I be­seech you, my dear Breth­ren, to consider that there is no probability of your getting Good by the Mini­stry of Pharisees. For they are no Shepherds (no faith­ful Ones) in Christ's Ac­count: They are as good as none, nay worse than none upon some Accounts: For take them first and last, and they generally do more Hurt than Good.’

See the Note at the Aste­rism. *

[Page 17] Page 11. of his Sermon at Nottingham, ‘The most likely Method to stock the Church with a faithful Ministry, (not learned) in the present Situation of Things, the publick Aca­demies being so much cor­rupted and abused general­ly, is to encourage private Schools or Seminaries of Learning, which are under the Care of skilful and ex­perienced Christians; in which those only should be admitted, who upon strict Examination have in the Judgment of a reasona­ble Charity, the plain Evi­dences of experimental Re­ligion. —This Method in my Opinion, has a noble [Page 18]Tendency to build up the Church of God — Don't think it much if the Phari­sees should be offended at such a Proposal, &c. .’

The Querists pertinently observe, Page 10, Part 3d, ‘That the Scope of the whole Sermon at Nottingham, seems to imply, that Mr. T. would have Men believe that they may know a con­verted from an unconver­ted Minister; or else would not the main Part of the Fabrick fall?’

The Moravians speak out what is more artfully conceal­ed by Mr. T. under the Guise of a near Guess, a probable Knowledge, &c. of Men's State towards God, by an Exami­nation of Men's Principles, Experiences & Practice. Who made thee a Judge of Men's [Page 19]inward Experience & secret-State?*

Compare, Page 11, 12. of his Sermon at Nottingham, where he condemns the Body of the Clergy of this Genera­tion, as Swarms of Locusts, Crowds of Pharisees, that have as covetously as cruelly crept into the Ministry in this adul­terous Generation; who as nearly resemble the Character given of the old Pharisees, as one Crows Egg does another.

Again, Page 9. ‘The Bulk of her spiritual Guides are stone-blind, and stone-dead.

This reproachful Censure of the Body of the Clergy of the Protestant Reformed Chur­ches is abundantly confirmed by Mr. T's Reply to Mr. Dick­inson's Proposal for an Ac­commodation in behalf of him­self, and Adherents; says he, [Page 20] ‘We are informed, that the Church of Scotland is in [...], degenerate State, many of her Mem­bers corrupt in Principles, and more void of the Pow­er of Religion; as also that the Church of Ireland, (I mean the Presbyterian) is notoriously corrupted — They seem to be, as far as we hear, sunk into a deep and dreadful Security.’

*
This Declaration is much like that in 27th Page of the aforesaid Examination, &c. where Mr. T. declares, As to what is alledged of our encouraging the Flocks of our protesting Brethren to forsake their Ministry, I know nothing of this; neither do I know any of our Number that has. They Answer, ‘It seems very strange to us, that Mr. T. of all the Men alive, should have the Face to express himself thus after writing, preaching and printing his Sermon at Nottingham. For did not his own Party under­stand that Sermon an Encouragement to forsake our Ministry And have not their Adherents at Nottingham and many other Places set up separate Meetings, in compliance with said Ser­mon, and others of the same kind.’

Moreover they affirm, Page 133, ‘That the whole Country, knows that it is a notorious Falshood, and that he has encou­raged them both from the Pulpit and the Press to forsake our Ministry.’

Some of Mr. Tennent's very good Friends have confess'd that this Proposal has a very friendly Aspect on his Father's Log-House. But it's generally thought if that should be built up on the Ruin of our publick Academies, neither Religion nor Learning would be greatly served thereby. See the Examination, Page 13, 52.
*
Mr. T. who leads a Party, is charged publickly by the Synod, ‘with having imbibed some uncouth Notions of an inward Call into the Ministry; and of admitting Men into the Ministry up­on a Judgment so formed of their secret State, by their Declara­ration of inward Experiences, which are inconsistent with all regular Trials for the Ministry in a Gospel Way.’ See Exami­ner, Page 14.

And Page 115, 116. ‘Will Mr. T. tell us, where God re­quired it of ordinary Ministers or People to make positive Judg­ments of the secret States of orderly Professors; or to set up a Court of Inquisition, to pry into one another's secret State, any further than it appears in their Profession and Practice?

‘We are informed that the Presbyterians in England have generally but little of the Life of Religion a­mong them; and that several of them are corrupted with gross and damnable Errors. And by the best Information we can get, a dead Formality, generally prevails too much in Boston, and many other Places of New-England. Indeed we are of Opinion that the Majority of Church Judicatories, almost every where, are dead Formalists, if they have got that length; and therefore we encline to make no more Application to Men in the Affair aforesaid.’

Where then is Wisdom and the Power of Godliness to be found? — Why truly among the little Brunswick-Party, that little Flock. The Generality of Protes­tants are but dead Formalists at best; for so Mr. T — proceeds to say,

‘We are assured, Gentlemen, That it is the Cause of GOD that We are engaged in, and are therefore resolved to defend it till Death against all Opposers. [...] Examination, &c. Page 9, 11, 12. The above Character given of the Ministers of our Perswasion in England, Scotland, Ireland and New-England, agrees well with Mr. T—'s pronouncing the Body of the Clergy of this Generation, Judas's, hypocritical Varlets, &c.*

[Page 21] Where is Mr. T —'s Charity to himself and his Party shewn here? And yet this is the Gentleman that has the Face to recommend the Vertue of Charity to others in his Fifth Sermon, &c, viz.

That Charity which thinketh no evil; surely then it will speak none. — That Charity which enclines to Mildness, Candour and Courtesy in Speech and Behaviour, it behaveth not it self unseemly. That Cha­rity which prefers a publick Good to a private Inte­rest, it seeketh not her own Things. And that Charity which enclines those that posses it to Humility, it vaun­teth not it self, is not puffed up. Thou that teachest another, teachest thou not thy self?

HAVING given the Reader a summary View of this Reverend Gentleman's inconsistent Doctrine and Principles; I shall proceed to represent his Conduct in the same Light; and to apply his own Words with re­spect to Mr. Spangenberg, a Moravian Missionary (Page 99, Appendix) ‘I have seen and heard of so much in­consistent Conduct in him and others of that Sect, that I can hardly avoid a Jealousy of his Sincerity. And with respect to Count Zinzendorf he says (Page 105,) I am credibly inform'd, that the Count has in the hearing of several Persons denied the Articles offered against him in the Beginning of this Appendix, which he expressed in New-Brunswick as they now stand, some of them absolutely and entirely.’

But why doth this Gentleman deny to those Moravian Gentlemen the same Liberty he takes himself; to say, and unsay Things as liketh him? More especially seeing he himself has had greater Advantages of coming to the Knowledge of the Truth in a Protestant Country, than the Moravian's who have just emerged out of the Dark­ness and Errors of Propery.

Mr. T. complains bitterly of Mr. Batener's contradict­ing himself in his Hearing in the Space of Two or [Page 22]Three Minutes (Page 104.) But let Mr. T. first cast out the Beam out of his own Eye: For is it not as culpa­ble for a leading Divine of New-Brunswick to contradict himself often in the Space of Two or Three Years, as for Mr. Betaner to do it once in the space of Two or Three Minutes in his hearing. To believe Contradictions, is a detestable Simplicity; Mr. T— himself being judge.

Mr. Tennet's Reflections upon the Experience and Practice of Moravians, too nearly resemble his own Conduct, and the Practice and Experience of his Adhe­rents to be passed over in Silence: And I wonder that a Gentleman of his pretended Penetration should be so blind as not to see his own Image and Likeness in the Mirror he has held up to the Moravians; or imagine that others would not run the Comparison as followeth:

The Conversion and after Experiences of the Moravians, compared with the Manner of Conversion and after Experiences propagated by Mr. T—and his Party.

Mr. T—'s Reflections on the Conversions, &c. of the Moravians.

Page 103 of the Appendix.

‘The Conversion of the most of them, is very sligh­ty,— done in Moment. Have we not reason to fear that their Conversion is but a strong Flight of Imagina­nation or a Satanical De­lusion?’

‘And we have the more Reason for the Fear afore­said [Page 23]said when we consider how easy they are generally af­ter their supposed Conver­sion, without Fears, with­out Complaints of Sin, &c. Did not the Seed sown on the stony-Ground spring up quickly; but on the contrary, did not the good Ground bring forth Fruit with Patience?’

‘If we will believe the Scriptures, does not their Conversion & Experiences look like Presumption and Delusion?’

And in Page 8, he says, ‘What is the Moravian Faith, but a sorry Mush­room of a Nights growth, unworthy of the Name of Faith, &c.?

Page 66.—Do any e­steem ‘this new upstart Mo­ravian Sect, because they say they have Communion with God, and in conse­quence hereof Joy and Sweetness. I answer, when we consider the Antinomian Principles, they hold con­cerning Faith and Justi­fication, as well as the proud Effects of their pretended good Frames, and that un­der a Mask of Humility, &c. we have good reason [Page 24]to suspect their Communion to be but a Delusion of the grand Enemy, and their Joys to be the Joys of time Believers, and stony-ground Hearers. True Commu­nion with God doth cer­tainly humble the Soul. Job 42.5, 6. It's no new Thing for Antinomians and En­thusiasts to talk of Joys and Comforts. But they are a false Cure to all Soul-Trou­bles.’

[Page 22]

Applied to his own Party, &c.

If we are to judge the unsoundness of Conversion by the suddenness thereof, have we not as much rea­son to fear that the Con­version of many among the N. Brunswick Party, is as strong a Flight of Imagi­nation, or a satanical De­lusion as that the Moravi­an Conversion is so?

Even such is the easy, quiet, happy State of Mul­titudes [Page 23]of the late Converts, without Fear! without Complaints, &c. Why then should the State of the one be better and safer than the other?

Yea, and all such-like sudden and rapturous Con­versions are equally pre­sumptuous and delusive: But as a sorry Mushroom of a Nights growth.

Every Reader of com­mon Observation will find the Transition very easy from the Moravians to many of the Converts now a-days, who talk boldly of their high Joys, and full Assurances, under a Mask of Humility; at the same Time trusting in themselves that they are righteous, and despising others.

Let them not be high­minded, but fear lest their [Page 24] Communion be but a De­lusion, and their Joys the Joys of the stony ground Hearers.

Mr. T—'s Reflections on the Spirit of the Moravians compared with his own Spirit, and that of his Ad­herents.

Appendix, Page 104. ‘Are not the Moravi­ans, many of them un­charitable and divisive in their Speech and Practice, and that under a pretext of Charity and Catholicism, witness Mr. Spangenberg's com­paring the Protestant Churches to a Babel, &c.’

‘Witness their not being willing to join with any Protestant Body of Men, and yet their receiving Persons of diverse Societies to their Fellowship, with [Page 25]little Examination into their Principles.’

Page 65. ‘How very different are the Fruits of their coming into the Country from the Reverend Mr. White­field's: His plain and pungent Preaching of the Truths of the Re­formation, united ge­nerally the Hearts of good Men thro' the Land. But the Moravi­ans wherever they have any Influence divide the People of God, and and set them a jangling.’

Page 67. ‘Do any esteem the Moravians because they travel and take great Pains? I answer, Did not the Pha­risees of old compass Sea and Land to make one Proselyte? And do not [Page 26] Jesuites and many other Enthufiasts travel still. But what good do the Moravians do by their travelling unless it be good to sowTares to cor­rupt and divide religi­ous People?’

Page 104, ‘Do not those Things, together with their sending of their ignorant Miffiona­ries to gather separate Societies in Places where there is a sound Mini­stry signify, that their Design is not Catholic, whatever their Preten­ces be notwithstanding?’

Again, he says, Page 54. ‘Whatsoever good Ap­pearance thrusting out ignorant Persons (how pious soever) into the Ministry may Have, yet it is a dangerous Prac­tice [Page 27]tending directly to divide and corrupt the Church of God, and bring the Ministry thereof into Contempt.’

[Page 24] And are not Mr. T—, and many of his zealous Ad­vocates, just like 'em? wit­ness his Sermon at Nottingham, which is as full of unchari­table and divisive Principles and Speeches, as a Crows Egg is full of Meat.

Witness also Mr. T.— and many of our late Zealots, Ministers & others, who have been ready to censure and separate from all that differ'd in Sentiment from them; but at the same Time, receiving [Page 25]into their Fellowship, and with Charity eno', every one that pretended to be of their Way, pronouncing them true Converts upon little Exami­nation and Proof of a Work of Grace in them.

Has not the coming of the Rev. Messi. W—d & T— and their Successors, into these Provinces divided the People of God, and see them a jangling, as much as the Peregrination of the Moravians in Pensyl­vania has done there?

But it seems Mr. T. hath felt the bad Effects of their uncharitable intrusive Spirit near Home, which makes him complain and flinch as much as his Neighbours, who felt the Weight of his rough Hands and heavy Fists.

Exactly true; And pray, What good do the Itinerants do by their Travelling unless it be good to sow Tares to cor­rupt and divide religious Peo­ple*

[Page 26] Wherein doth the Mora­vian Conduct differ from [...] of our Itinerants who have raised such a Spirit of Jealou­sy and Separation in many of the Towns & Churches thro' the Provinces when there is a sound Ministry, as discovers too much a private Design of proseliting People to their own Party whatever their Preten­ces be notwithstanding.

Who but the Brunswick-Party thrust out Mr. Rowland in to the Ministry*, in Con­tempt of the Synod, after it was confess'd on all Sides he was very deficient in many Parts of useful Learning, tho' [Page 27]educated at the Log-House?

Who but Party-Zealots have ordained Evangelists and sent them forth to gather Societies in Places where there is a sound Ministry, instead of sending them into ungospelized Parts?

Who but Party Zealots have admitted into their Pul­pits such Novices as D—n E—s, S—l T—h—r, L—y—r P—ne, &c. tending to bring the sacred Ministry into Contempt, and divide and corrupt the Church of God?

Mr. T—'s Reflections on the Practice of the Mora­vians, compared with his own Practice, and that of his Adberents.

Appendix, Page 106. ‘Do not some Moravians slight humane Reason & Learn­ing, &c. Page 97. Mr. Spangenberg declaimed in my hearing more than once, against humane Learning, &c.

Again, Page 108. ‘I think it looks exceeding black in the Moravians to slight speculative Knowledge, so as they do which they call Head-Knowledge.’

‘Is not speculative Know­ledge the same for Sub­stance with that which 18 saving, only destitute of it's Influence upon Heart and Practice?’

[Page 28] Ibid. ‘Don't the Mora­vians begin with the Affections first? And is this fair Dealing?’

‘Do they not endea­vour to insinuate them­selves into People's Af­fections first by Smiles, &c. And in Page 65. Do any esteem the Mo­ravian Sect because they Smile generally and ap­pear loving? But Bre­thren, is not this Judas-like to betray us with a Kiss? For while they shew such Love, they draw pious People into Error, and so set them a quarreling with one ano­ther; shall we suffer them to smile us out, of our Princples. Then I'm sure we are poorly grounded in them.’

Ibid. ‘Do not they take special Care to apply to young Persons, Females and ignorant People who are full of Affection?’

‘Who do they imitate [Page 29]in attacking the weaker Part of Man, viz. the Passions? and the weaker Sex first, but the Devil, the Father of Lies and Errors? Did not he deal thus with our first Parents, and by the weaker Sex seduced Adam.

Page 107. ‘And don't they refuse generally to reason upon Points in Re­ligion whereby one might convince another, and leave People to be pro­selyted by Sight only? It is politick in them in­deed to wave Reasoning, and shun Discovery, for their Principles will bear neither.’ And in Page 65.

‘My Soul is grieved to see the childish Fickle­ness of the Sons & Daugh­ters of this Generation! who are toss'd about with every Wind of Doctrine; who are smil'd out of their Religion, without being able to offer one solid Reason for their Change.’

[Page 30] See Page 58 ‘Chil­dren are fond of new Things, of Things that look bright, tho' they be of little Value: Thus, young Novices in Chri­stianity, who are just be­ginning the christian Course, ignorant in a great measure as to chri­stian Principles, but full of Affection and Self-Con­ceit; when a Moravian comes among them, sets down a while, and looks very harmless and inno­cent & sober, gives some Smiles, and talks about the Blood of Christ in their mystical Way, and of Love; Love! O brave! O what a fine Man is this?’

[Page 27] Hath not Mr. T— de­claimed more publickly and fiercely against Learning than the Moravians, when he pronounced his Anathe­ma against the publick Aca­demies, and poured Con­tempt upon a learned Clergy, calling them Letter-learn­ed, &c.

Why then do we hear so much of the spiritual and mystical Sense of Scripture? &c.

[Page 28] Pray, Has not this been the constant Practice of the Itinerants to address and move the Passions first?

Is not Mr. T. the Primum Mobile, a principal Mover and Promoter of the Passio­nate-Religion, now prevail­ing among so many? Is it not as unfair Dealing in the Itinerants as in the Mora­vians?

Who can help smiling at this, that considers what is past and now is?—Strange that Mr. T. should complain of the Moravian Smiles in religious Matters! when it is notorious that he himself not only smil'd, but laughed heartily over his Converts, even while they were under a preparatory Work of the Law. And his Followers have practiced upon him, and not been ashamed to ex­press their Joy at—by loud Laughing, even in the so­lemn Assemblies. Is not this ludere cum Sacris? an un­justifiable Practice in one, as well as another.

And is not this Practice exactly correspondent with the Practice of Mr. T—and other heady Itinerants, which creep into Houses, and lead captive silly Women?

[Page 29] It is evident to a Demon­stration that they have had most Success among Females and young ignorant People.

The whole Passage is so very applicable to the Itine­rants in general, that I should have taken it for a Representation (not to say Refutation) of their Conduct if Mr. T—had not taught me to apply it to the Mora­vians.

This Rev. Gentleman had forgot surely the Motto of his own Party, viz. An­swer him not a Word, when he wrote this, it is thought by some that their Strength was herein.

Even so many judicious and serious Christians are grieved at the Heart to see the childish Fickleness; of many Professors at this Day, who are as Children tossed to and fro, and carried a­bout with diverse & strange Doctrines, separating them­selves, and having Men's Persons in Admiration; with­out being able to offer one solid Reason for their Change.

[Page 30] It is a moving Argument and Proof that People, are not so well taught in this Land as is pretended, but have now as much need as ever to have their Minds in­structed as well as their Pas­sions moved.

The Image is very strong and lively.

Page 107. ‘Certainly, says he, we should adhere in­violably to the Principles we have been instructed in, until we find better, which we should be always-ready to receive upon proper Conviction, which is not to be attained by the Sight of the Grimaces of Strangers, or by immediate Revelations or Enthusiasms, but by Scrip­ture Reason and Argument." And in Page 52. "He directs in order to hold fast Christ's precious Truth, it is needful to wave a positive Conclusion, respecting the good State of Strangers, when we have not sufficient Evi­dences for it, in respect of their Principles, Experiences, and Practice. Rash Judging either Way is certainly unreasonable and prejudicial: When Persons do speedily, without sufficient Grounds conclude Strangers, who come among them, to be Pious, and perhaps eminently so because of their fair Appearances in Behaviour, without examining their Principles. By this rash Method of proceeding their Affections are apt to be unreasonably [Page 31]engaged in their Favour; and these being inflamed do give a secret wrong Byass to their Judgment, and thus they lay themselves open to all manner of Delusion.’

I am confident the impartial Reader is full convinced by this time that Mr. Tennent has drawn his own Picture to the Life, by the Representation he has given of the Principles and Practices of the Moravians, and that I have only set the Mirror in such a position that He and his Ad­herents may see themselves and be ashamed. But if they are blinded with Self-love, Admiration, Conceit, Party-Zeal, and the like, and will not, or cannot see their own likeness. I believe others have so much of a Spirit of dis­cerning as to see that Mr. T—and his Partizans as nearly resemble the Character here given of the Moravians as one Crow's Egg does another (to use his own homely Com­parison.)

The Reader may take this Examination as an help to discover what is Truth in the late Religious Commotion in this Country, and he will find it to be just that which the Opposers so called, are zealous to maintain, viz. the Or­der of the Gospel, and the sacred Honours due to the holy Spirit of God. Strip this Work of its Extraordinary's, and you will discern what is the Work of God, from that which is added to it by Art and Man's device. ‘Pray what is there extraordinary on one side more that t'other; but what is justly to be exploded, viz. extraordinary Errors, Disorders, Intrusions, rash Censures, Clamours, Excla­mations, vain glorious Boastings, Fits, Pretence of Sights and Visions, Roarings, Tremblings, &c. Com­pare Mr. T—with himself, and shave off his Extraordi­nary's (turning the edge of his own Weapon upon him­self) and his Strength will go from him, and he will be like any other Man; a Man Subject to like Passions as we are. I can't find but that the New-Brunswick Party are fallible as other Men, and chargeable with as many Errors, Intru­sions, Contradictions, &c. as their Neighbours, ‘whom they are ready to condemn as Enemies of God's Work and Enemies of Religion meerly for opposing their Errors and real in Discretions:" Whereas the true Interest of Re­ligion is doubtless served by such Opposition.’

[Page 32] I know of no shorter Method to open the Eyes of blind party-Zealots, and convince them of the bad Tendency of extraordinary Self-Conceit, Dominion, rash Judging, &c. than to bring them home to their own Doors, and turn these edge Tools upon themselves; prove them now here­with, and you will find these crucified Gentlemen have yet as much Sensation and are as ready to cry out of Dan­ger as any of their abused Neighbours.

The Moravians it seems treated Mr. Tennent in the same uncharitable, censorious, imperious, divisive Manner in which he himself has treated the Body of the Clergy of this Generation, and then the Spirit appears to him in a most frightful Shape, and must be avoided. Now it is come up­on thee, thou faintest: And it toucheth thee, and thou art troubled.

It is generally tho't that Mr. D—pt's clamorous Preaching in Boston against unconverted Ministers, espe­cially at C—p's Hill, tended more to open the Mouths of some Reverend leading Ministers there, to forbid the mad­ness of the Prophet, than seven Men that can render a Reason. Therefore let the Clergy as well as Laity bear one another's Burdens, and remember them that are in Bonds as bound with them, and as being themselves also in the Body. Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that Men should do to you, do ye even so to them.

In fine, I must earnestly advise Mr. Tennent to retract his famous Sermon at Nottingham, and call in the several Editions of it, for 'till then it is as impossible to reconcile Gilbert with Tennent as to mingle Light with Darkness, a double minded Man is unstable in all his Ways: Nay, I think he ought in Conscience to make a solemn Retracta­tion of it and cry Peccavi, (and all such Changlings with him.) For it is a meer Incendiary wherever it tracks abroad and nothing but the Fire can purge and purify it.

If any Mans Work abide which he hath built upon the true Foundation which is Christ, he shall receive a Reward. If any Mans Work shall be burnt, he shall suffer loss, but he himself shall be saved, yet so as by Fire.

PHILALETHES.

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