Presbyterians that lasted nearly a decade. Faith is essential for salvation, said Abernethy, and by its very nature it must be deliberate, arising from the freest exercise of our understanding. Another Irish Presbyterian anti-subscriptionist, Thomas Nevin, based his arguments, like Hoadly, upon the spiritual nature of the church, criticized the law against blasphemy and boldly championed complete religious freedom for the Jews.
Paradoxically, while toleration was one of the most divisive of political issues, its history was linked with efforts at Christian reunion, in both practical and theoretical terms. The best-known early modern theorists of Christian reunion were also ardent defenders of toleration: Hugo Grotius, Johannes Comenius, and the Scottish divine, John Dury. A serious theoretical attempt at broaching the Protestant-Catholic divide was explored in the extended correspondence between Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and Jacques Benigine Bossuet between 1683 and 1700. When William Wake became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1716, he energetically set about to foster cordial relations and possible reunion with the Catholic Church in France. Wake commenced an extensive correspondence with L. E. Du Pin that led to theologians at the Sorbonne actually approving a remarkable proposal which, from the Catholic side, conceded such things as worship without the use of images and communion in both kinds. Wake's efforts with foreign Protestants were equally energetic, but both projects ultimately failed through lack of support from the civil authorities. Church politics also complicated efforts at reunion. In their quest for legitimacy, a few English and Scottish non-juring bishops made very tentative negotiations with the Greek and Russian Orthodox churches in 1716-22, but these efforts were of necessity conducted outside of the Anglican communion and hence were opposed and finally repudiated by Archbishop Wake himself.15 Most writers in the irenic tradition, however, aimed to secure the reunion of Protestants within a single national framework, and with few exceptions, the ideal of religious unity was connected to the assumed importance of a unified confessional state. In Brandenburg-Prussia, for example, Elector Frederick III (later King Frederick I) dedicated himself to the calming of religious conflict between the Lutherans and the Reformed, and he embarked on an ambitious plan to unite the two churches within his realm. He employed the court preacher Daniel Ernst Jablonski to promote religious compromise, and in an effort to find a suitable middle ground, he championed the use of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer (translated into German in 1704). In 1711
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