Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 27.djvu/24

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In 1710, when tory principles were greatly in the ascendant, Hoadly published a collection of twelve political pieces, which were designed to be satirical and ironical, all strongly in support of ‘revolution principles.’ For the next few years his publications were chiefly of a religious character and do not require any special notice.

The queen's death and the accession of the Hanoverian prince brought a great prospect of advancement to Hoadly. He was almost immediately made royal chaplain, having previously obtained the degree of D.D. from Archbishop Wake. In this year (1715) came out a publication which is of very great importance in the history of Hoadly's theological career, namely, a satirical ‘Dedication to Pope Clement XI,’ prefixed to Sir R. Steele's ‘Account of the State of the Roman Catholic Religion.’ Hoadly has here entirely quitted the standpoint of his treatise on ‘Episcopal Ordination’ and his controversy with Calamy. He now ridicules the notion of church authority, and shows himself quite prepared to accept the Arian teaching of Clarke and Whiston. This piece is disfigured by some very fulsome adulation of the new king. The desired effect was quickly realised. On 21 Dec. 1715 Hoadly was promoted to the bishopric of Bangor, and was consecrated 18 March following. He was allowed to hold both his livings in commendam, and he remained in London as the advocate of extreme latitudinarian principles, never visiting his diocese during his six years tenure of the see.

In 1716 Hoadly endeavoured to justify the favour shown to him by the publication of his famous treatise ‘A Preservative against the Principles and Practices of the Nonjurors both in Church and State.’ This treatise was occasioned by the publication of some of the papers of the nonjuror, George Hickes [q. v.] It is a popular work, designed, according to its author, (1) to state the case between the protestant branches of the royal family and the popish; (2) to maintain the right in all civil governments to preserve themselves against persons in ecclesiastical offices as well as others; (3) to state the cause between Jesus Christ and those who, professing to be his followers and ministers, substitute themselves in his place. The most notable sentence in the treatise is that in which Hoadly affirms that a man's ‘title to God's favour cannot depend upon his actual being or continuing in any particular method, but upon his real sincerity in the conduct of his conscience and of his own actions under it.’ This doctrine, sufficiently startling to all churchmen, was followed up in a sermon preached before the king, 31 March 1717, on the ‘Nature of the Kingdom or Church of Christ.’ The preacher denies absolutely and pointedly that there is such a thing as a visible church of Christ, or rather in which ‘any one more than another has authority either to make new laws for Christ's subjects, or to impose a sense upon the old ones, or to judge, censure, or punish the servants of another master in matters relating purely to conscience or salvation.’ It is asserted that the subject of this sermon was suggested by the king, and the sermon was immediately printed by his command. It was a distinct challenge to the high churchmen, and it was at once accepted. What is known as the ‘Bangorian Controversy’ forthwith commenced. The first writer who attacked Hoadly's views was Dr. Andrew Snape, provost of Eton and chaplain to the king. He maintains that Christ had appointed certain ministers in his church who had authority to act in his stead. Hoadly replied, denying that even the apostles had absolute authority. In a second pamphlet Snape accuses Hoadly of sophistry and equivocation, and reproaches him with having a jesuit in his family as the tutor of his sons. This was M. de la Pillonière, a converted jesuit, whose name appears prominently in this controversy. On 3 May 1717 the lower house of the convocation of Canterbury voted the appointment of a committee to consider the Bishop of Bangor's sermon. On the 10th the committee brought in their report to the house. It was to the effect that the sermon, taken together with the treatise on the ‘Principles and Practice of the Nonjurors,’ had a tendency to subvert all government and discipline in the church of Christ, and to impugn the regal supremacy in causes ecclesiastical and the authority of the legislature to enforce obedience in matters of religion by civil sanctions. The report of the committee was not formally accepted by the lower house, but was ordered, nemine contradicente, to be presented to the upper house. At this the ministers took fright. To have a formal condemnation of Hoadly's doctrine, which would carry with it almost the whole of the clergy, would have been inconvenient to the government. The royal supremacy was therefore used to order the prorogation of the convocation to 22 Nov. Hoadly was accused of having sought to silence his opponents by this act of authority. This he strongly denies in his ‘Reply to the Representation of Convocation,’ a lengthy treatise of 130 folio pages. Part of this treatise is directed against the convocation report and part against a tract which had been written by Sherlock, dean of Chichester. Numerous writers assailed Hoadly's reply. By far the most remarkable of these was William Law