qualities whatever, to be universally the best'. Consequently, even 'The justice and expediency of toleration we found principally in its conduciveness to truth'.25
Hoadly and Warburton failed to destroy a High Church rationale for establishment. This was also shown by the rapidly acclaimed Commentaries of William Blackstone, who treated Christianity as integral to civil society.26 For Blackstone, the value of the Church of England was grounded in the truth of its doctrines, combined with its resistance to the threat posed to the state by Dissenters.27 Consequently, the civil magistrate 'is bound indeed to protect the established church, by admitting none but it's genuine members to offices of trust and emolument: for, if every sect was to be indulged in a free communion of civil employments, the idea of a national establishment would be at once destroyed, and the episcopal church would no longer be the church of England'.
Blackstone pointed to 'two bulwarks', the Corporation and Test Acts, 'which secure both our civil and religious liberties', but he offered no deeper reflection on the sense in which the church was 'established'.28 The old common law doctrine that 'christianity is part of the laws of England', repeated by Blackstone,29 was still relied on by judges into the early nineteenth century in cases of blasphemous libel. Not only did Blackstone pour scorn on the Whig contractarian account of the origin of the state,30 but his account of the history of the church left no room for a contract either: the origins of its established status were implicitly revealed in his chapter on the clergy, for Blackstone there traced their 'large privileges' back before Charlemagne, beyond any demonstrable moment of alliance between church and state.31
The argument for practical advantages of an established church was strong into the early nineteenth century. But from the 1760s a rival strand was reasserted in Anglican ecclesiology that criticized the Hoadly-Warburton-Paley tradition and identified it as a falling away from High Church ecclesiology. Represented by George Horne, William Jones of Nayland, Samuel Horsley, and Charles Daubeny, this tradition offered various readings of divine-right monarchy and episcopacy: it portrayed the church as part of the origins of the state, by divine institution. For them, Scripture provided the texts for an account of a Providential, not a contractual, social order.
This reassertion of a Catholic ecclesiology led by 1815 to a defence of the establishment, despite the fact that the church's 'high and transcendent claims' were 'not of a temporal nature', and that the church's position as 'a National Establishment' meant only state provision for its worship and state protection against other denominations, not a right to coerce the laity. Thus a reasserted
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