church dispute civil
HOADLY, BENJAMIN (1676-1761), the originator of the Bangorian controversy, was the second son of the Rev. Samuel Hoadly, and was born at Westerham, Kent, November 14, 1676. After receiving his early education under the direction of his father, he entered Catherine Hall, Cambridge, where he graduated M.A. and was for two years tutor, after which he held for ten years the lectureship of St Mildred in the Poultry, and along with it for the last eight years the rectory of St Peter-le-Poer, London. His first appearance as a controversialist was against Mr Calamy in reference to conformity, and immediately after this he engaged in a more important dispute with Bishop Atterbury against the Anglican doctrine of nonresistance. His principal treatises on this subject were the Measures of Submission to the Civil Magistrate and The Origin and fustitution of Civil Government discussed ; and his part in the discussion was so much appreciated by the Commons that in 1709 they presented an address to the queen praying her to "bestow some dignity in the church on Mr Hoadly for his eminent services both to church and state." The queen returned a favourable answer, but the dignity was not conferred. In 1710 he was presented by a private patron to the rectory of Streatham in Surrey. In 1715 he was appointed chaplain to the king, and the same year he obtained the bishopric of Bangor. fn 1716 he published a Preservative against the Principles and Practices of Yonjurors in Church and State, and in the following year preached before the king his famous sermon on the _Kingdom of Christ, which was immediately published by royal command. These works were attacks on the divine authority of kings and of the clergy, but as the sermon dealt more specifically and distinctly with the power of the church, its publication caused an ecclesiastical ferment which in certain aspects has no parallel in religious history. It was at once resolved to proceed against him in convocation, but this was prevented by the king proroguing the assembly, a step which had consequences of vital bearing on the history of the church, since from that period the great Anglican council ceased to transact business of a more than formal nature. The restrained sentiments of the council in regard to Hoadly found expression in a war of pamphlets known as the Bangorian controversy, which, partly from a want of clearness in the statements of Hoadly, due perhaps both to his intellectual defects and to a cautious regard to ulterior consequences, partly from the disingenuousness of his opponents and the confusion resulting from exasperated feelings, developed into an intricate and bewildering maze of side discussions in which the main issues of the dispute were concealed almost beyond the possibility of discovery. But however vague and uncertain might be the meaning of Hoadly in regard to several of the important bearings of the questions around which he aroused discussion, he was explicit in denying the power of the church over the conscience, and its right to determine the condition of men in relation to the favour of God. To such an extent was the mind of the religious world exercised on the matters in dispute that in July 1717 as many as seventy-four pamphlets made their appearance ; and at one period the crisis became so serious that the business of London was for sonic days virtually at a standstill. Hoadly was translated in 1721 to the see of Here. ford, in 1723 to Salisbury, and in 1731 to Winchester. He died at his palace at Chelsea, April 17, 1761. Though his writings possess no charm of style, and are not only devoid of originality, but characterized by great prolixity and dulness, they in their own day did important service to the cause of civil and religious liberty, and accidentally he was the occasion of a change iu the practical authority of the church which had an influence of prime importance on its after history. He was an intimate friend of Dr Samuel Clarke, of whom he wrote a life.
The works of Hoadly were collected and published by his son in 3 vols., 1773. To the first volume was prefixed the article " lIoadly," from the supplement to the Biographia Britannica.