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Berkshire (United Kingdom) (search for this): chapter 5
e of our great seats of learning, miscalled national, which are reserved for the exclusive benefit of the established church, must obviously have many prejudices to encounter and remove before he can obtain admittance on a footing of equality and intimacy among those who, having enjoyed privileges from which others are debarred, are often disposed, for that very reason, to look down on the scholarship which has not been acquired among themselves, From Cambridge he removed to Newbury, in Berkshire, where he seems to have been very eligibly situated with an attached and encouraging congregation. During his residence here, he distinguished himself by various publications on the controversy between the church and the dissenters. His first appearance on this arena was in reply to a Dr. Wells, a clergyman in Leicestershire, who had published A Letter to Mr. Donley, a dissenting minister, containing many unfounded statements and gross misrepresentations of the principles and character
Stepney (Connecticut, United States) (search for this): chapter 5
ffusion of the doctrines everywhere spoken against, but of checking the growth of priestly domination and of spiritual pride, lording it over the consciences of men, which are so inconsistent with the true spirit of the gospel of peace. Mr. Peirce was the son of respectable parents in good circumstances, and was born in London, in the year 1673. Having the misfortune to lose his parents early in life, he was placed under the care of Mr. Matthew Mead, an eminent Nonconformist minister at Stepney, and father of the celebrated Dr. Mead. After a suitable course of preparatory instruction, partly in the house of his guardian and partly at various grammar schools, he was sent, according to a practice not uncommon among the English dissenters of that period, to pursue his theological studies in Holland, first at the University of Utrecht, and afterwards at the sister seminary of Leyden. At both these celebrated seats of learning the principal chairs were at that time occupied by a cons
Exeter (United Kingdom) (search for this): chapter 5
year 1713, when Mr. Peirce was invited to remove to Exeter, he was fully convinced that the common doctrine ofwere at that time three dissenting congregations at Exeter, assembling in different places of worship, but so ns, as they called them, were altogether unknown at Exeter; but this is denied by Mr. Peirce. The writings ofdisputes like those which at this time prevailed at Exeter increased the violence of party-spirit and sectariavehement sermon, charging some of the dissenters of Exeter with damnable heresies, denying the Lord that boughheir views on disputed points, again united. The Exeter controversy, in consequence of the appeal made by b The parties who had been severally applied to from Exeter, when it was determined on to lay the question befowerful body was favourable to the orthodox party at Exeter, and could not be contented without an express decl. He was buried in the churchyard of St. Leonard's, Exeter, and his friends were desirous of erecting a monume
Providence, R. I. (Rhode Island, United States) (search for this): chapter 5
influence of the Nonconformists of that day, taken as a body. But, on the other hand, it is not less evident that, in the midst of the din of contending factions, the voice of truth was heard by many. The general attention was forcibly directed to important principles, some of them hitherto unsuspected, and others, though tacitly acknowledged, yet never before pursued to their practical consequences; so that what the friends of peace deeply deplored at the time, became, in the hands of Providence, the instrument of important and extensive good. The parties who had been severally applied to from Exeter, when it was determined on to lay the question before the general body of ministers in London, were each bent on carrying the matter in their own way, and made great exertions to collect together as strong a body of supporters as they could. The friends of Mr. Peirce came prepared with a series of propositions entitled Advices for Peace; of which the fourth, and most important, is a
Leicestershire (United Kingdom) (search for this): chapter 5
ed, are often disposed, for that very reason, to look down on the scholarship which has not been acquired among themselves, From Cambridge he removed to Newbury, in Berkshire, where he seems to have been very eligibly situated with an attached and encouraging congregation. During his residence here, he distinguished himself by various publications on the controversy between the church and the dissenters. His first appearance on this arena was in reply to a Dr. Wells, a clergyman in Leicestershire, who had published A Letter to Mr. Donley, a dissenting minister, containing many unfounded statements and gross misrepresentations of the principles and character of the dissenters. This pamphlet being circulated with great activity, Mr. Peirce, in 1707, published A Eight Letters to Dr. Wells, in which he convicted him, not only of various mistakes, but of gross and unjust calumnies. But his most remarkable and valuable work, in connexion with this controversy, was occasioned by the a
Devonshire (United Kingdom) (search for this): chapter 5
the neighbourhood, narrow-minded and bigoted men, who encouraged him to thwart and oppose his colleagues, and availed themselves to the full extent of the opportunity which these troubles afforded them to exercise an inquisitorial influence in the concerns of other religious societies. In the general meeting of ministers called the Assembly, which was held twice a year, in May and September, the old forms of Presbyterian Church government were at that time retained to a greater extent in Devonshire than in any other part of the country; and though they were not in themselves connected with any considerable ecclesiastical power, at least not in ordinary times, yet at a period of popular excitement or alarm, when disputes like those which at this time prevailed at Exeter increased the violence of party-spirit and sectarian animosity, they afforded facilities for the display of an illiberal bigotry, which, though it was happily disarmed of its more formidable attributes, had still power
Plymouth (United Kingdom) (search for this): chapter 5
(he adds) is your act as well as ours. But the authoritative separating and commissioning him to the work is not your act, but primarily the Lord's, and secondarily our acting in his name. If we are to rely on the account given by Mr. Fox, of Plymouth, in his curious and biographical papers, See Monthly Repository, O. S., vol. XVI. Mr. Peirce was not indisposed, as long as his popularity continued, to carry matters with a high hand in the assembly; and he even insinuates that, if his fallture period conceive to be most conformable to reason and scripture. The orthodox majority, of course, retained possession of the original meeting-house,. and speedily nominated successors to the ejected. ministers, one of whom (Mr. Enty, from Plymouth). was among the most active and zealous abettors of the recent illiberal proceedings. They continued, as before, to act in concert on all important occasions; but had no communication with their heretical brethren who had gone out from them. I
Newbury, Mass. (Massachusetts, United States) (search for this): chapter 5
ality and intimacy among those who, having enjoyed privileges from which others are debarred, are often disposed, for that very reason, to look down on the scholarship which has not been acquired among themselves, From Cambridge he removed to Newbury, in Berkshire, where he seems to have been very eligibly situated with an attached and encouraging congregation. During his residence here, he distinguished himself by various publications on the controversy between the church and the dissenter connected in the history of Protestant dissent. In some places he even makes it an objection to Dr. N., that he represents his church as having departed from the standards of Calvinistic orthodoxy. Nevertheless, even during his residence at Newbury, it would seem, from Mr. Peirce's own account, that in respect of the doctrine of the Trinity, he had himself already deviated considerably from these standards. He had been brought up, he tells us, in a scheme which he was unable afterwards to
n the words of Bishop Pearson: though the Father and the Son are two distinct persons, yet since the Son is of and from the Father as the fountain of deity, and intimately united with him, I conceive in this sense he may be said to be one God with the Father. But this was not accepted. After some further deliberation, they received a message from the gentlemen to this effect: If the ministers have nothing more to say to us, we have nothing to say to them. Case of the Ministers ejected at Exon, p. 12. The next day, without the formality of any regular appeal to the congregation at large, three of the four trustees took possession of the keys of the meeting-house in which Mr. Peirce and Mr. Hallet were accustomed chiefly to officiate; and a meeting of the body of trustees (or proprietors as they style themselves) of the three chapels passed a resolution, declaring that neither of these gentlemen should henceforth preach in any of them. This was a strong measure, outstepping th
th may be expected to employ on all occasions. It may be added, also, that of the other ministers, Mr. Hallet, if not Mr. Withers, appear in a great measure to have adopted the same views, and to have acted on the same principle. In 1715, a vacaoly Ghost, were called the one God. The orthodox party only answered by dwelling upon consequences. At this meeting, Mr. Withers delivered an able and elaborate speech against the course proposed; arguing strongly both against tests in general, a in scripture words. Mr. Hallet in like manner refused his assent. Mr. Lavington of course gave it without reserve. Mr. Withers offered them this explication in the words of Bishop Pearson: though the Father and the Son are two distinct persons, ve of the manner of doing it. Of the three suspected ministers, Peirce and Hallet only were ultimately ejected; for Mr. Withers, notwithstanding the firmness and decision with which he had remonstrated against the first inquisitorial proceedings,
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