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turgy of the Church of England will be devoutly rehearsed, and the genuine doctrines of the Gospel zealously enforced; neither obscured by the subtleties of false Philosophy, deformed by the gloom of excluding Calvinism, nor debased by the gabble of vulgar Fanaticism. And here, it is presumed, all descriptions of men will find that accommodation, to which they are justly entitled as fellow Christians, and from which, I grieve to say, they, who most want instruction, are too often debarred. Excluded from their parochial churches, by the enclosure of pews, appropriated to the more opulent, the mechanic and the labourer either wastes the Sabbath in idleness at home, or resorts to those licensed receptacles of drunkenness and impiety, which are permitted to taint the land for the revenue they supply; or, if better disposed, he takes refuge in some popular conventicle, where ignorant enthusiasm, throwing aside the shuttle or the last, rashly lays hand upon the sacred Ark, assumes the tone of apostolical authority, and, affecting to feel the impulse of inspiration, delights to dwell on those awful mysteries, “ which the angels desired to look into,” yet cannot penetrate. From these schools of Schism and Delusion, may the wanderers return to their fold !-may every Pastor, on whose head the consecrating hand is imposed, make it his unremitting care and study, as it is his bounden and acknowledged duty, "to take heed unto himself, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath made him overseer, to feed the Church of God, which He hath purchased with his own blood !" And may the weakest and meanest of the herd “go in, and out, and find pasture !”—Nor let the superior ranks of society refuse to “ suffer the word of exhortation.” They, who are rendered conspicuous, by high station, or great ability, must be sensible of the influence of their example on dependents and inferiors. But I can hardly suppose that any man, who regards the welfare of the world, whatever be his sentiments respecting forms of devotion, or modes of faith, will now be inclined to discourage those appointed means, by which tranquillity and virtue are evidently maintained. The mere politician must perceive, however cold he may be to religion, that, with reverence to God, is inseparably connected good-will to man; and that, to promote Christianity, is to promote public peace, as well as private happi
Religion cherishes and sanctifies every relative duty; it teaches moderation to the prince, and obedience to the people; it enjoins temperance and humanity to the rich, sobriety and resignation to the poor ; it arrests the arm of oppression, and calms the rage of faction. If there be any season when such a system should be more peculiarly supported, it is surely when the spirits of discontent and anarchy, the spirits of licentiousness and unbelief, hostile to the State and to the Church, seem, like the great Adversary of old, “ walking to and fro upon the earth ;” and not only ranging the mansions of the great, but descending into the cabin of the peasant, blasting all ranks with their malignant influence. To check the progress of an enemy, armed against our temporal, as well as our eternal welfare, every wise and virtuous man will cordially unite.
We have had, in modern times, a fearful example of a nation, who, in undermining the heterogeneous incumbrances of superstition, overthrew the solid fabric of their faith ; who, in the phrenzy of liberty, lost the gentler morals, which soften the temper and harmonize the passions; and, from a polite, loyal, and humane people, became a fierce, turbulent, and sanguinary rabble. Let no one, then, imagine, that any thing but evil can result, from removing the wholesome restraints of Religion. Even the gross folly of enthusiasm, is not so much to be dreaded, as the desperate madness of impiety. For, to adopt the observation of an acute and excellent philosopher and divine, “ Amongst the awful lessons, which the crimes and miseries of France afford to mankind, this is one—that in order to be a persecutor, it is not necessary to be a bigot; that in rage and in cruelty, in mischief and destruction, fanaticism itself can be outdone by infidelity.”
ON PUBLIC TEACHING.
ROMANS, CHAP. X. VER. 14.
“ How then shall they call on Him, in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him, of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear, without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent?”
If we can suppose (which I can hardly suppose) any people to be so totally void of all tradition from our first parents of the Being who made them, as to be without any notion of a God, they would, perhaps, be as soon led to the knowledge of His existence and attributes by the power of conscience, by the testimony of this internal monitor, as by the observation of the works of nature. “The invisible things of Him, even his eternal power and Godhead, are clearly seen by the things that are made,” and His impartial justice and equity, His approbation of virtue and disapprobation of vice, are as clearly understood, and his moral