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them for his own children by adoption, and to incorporate them into his holy church.” When the same children are presented to the bishop for confirmation, he also addresses the Divine Being as having a vouchsafed to regenerate them by water and the Holy Ghost, and as having given unto them the forgiveness of all their sins ;" while many of them are as vile young rogues as ever existed. Then, when we come to bury them, we dare do no other than send them all to heaven, though many of those we commit to the earth bave been as wicked in life as men well can be on this side hell. This surely is a great hardship. Yet we have no remedy. We must do it, or forfeit our roast beef and plumb-pudding.
6 But what I infer from this view of the matter is, that if the doctrines of baptismal regeneration and final perseverance be true, every member of the chureb of England is as sure of heaven when he dies, as if he were already there. How is this consistent with the 17th article of religion?--There is ano. .
ther circumstance in our public offices, which seems to me to affect the credit of our church, and the comfort of its ministers. The morning service formerly consisted of three parts, which were used at three different times of the forenoon. These are now thrown into one, and all used at one and the same time. Supposing each service taken singly to be ever so unexceptionable, the conjunction of them renders the whole full of repetition. By this absurd union, the Lord's prayer is repeated five times every Sunday morning; and on sacrament days, if there happens to be a baptism and a churching, it is repeated no less than eight times, in the space of about two hours, Use may reconcile us to any thing, how absurd soever it be-witness the popish ceremonies—but let us suppose, that any of the sectarists of the country should, in their public devotions, be guilty of the same tautology, what should we think and say of them ? Should we not conclude they were mad?
< By the same absurd conjunction of the three ancient services into one, we are obliged by the laws of our church to pray for the king no less than five times every Lord's day morning; and on communion days even six.
“ If I were a bishop or a rich pluralist, or a fat rector, my eyes might be so far blinded with gold dust that I should not see these imperfections of our public service; but as it is, I do see them, and feel them, and groan under them every sabbath day of my life. They may love such things that will, I do not.
16 Some of the objections, which are usually made to several parts of our ecclesiastical code of doctrines and laws, are of great consequence in tbemselves; and as they respectively constitute a part of the general system, and are connected with other things of a more serious and objectionable nature, and as we are compelled to swear obedience to all the canons, and subscribe, ex animo, to all and every thing contained in the common prayer, &c, as being agreeable to the holy scriptures; the least deviation from those scriptures, become great and weighty. And though there can be no solid objection to the doctrines of the establishment, in general, yet seeing there are some things, which certainly are reprehensible, and those too of no very indif. ferent nature, the imposition of them in à manner so solemn, is an extremely great hardship, and not to be justified upon any principle of expedience whatever. There is not a bishop in Eng. land who does not continually transgress one or more of the 141 canons; and, there is not an episcopal character in the nation, who can lay his band upon his heart, and appeal to heaven, that he believes all and every thing he subscribes. Why then not strive to repeal what is faulty ? Why not ease the labouring consciences of those cler. gy men who are upright in the land ?
66 Chillingworth's conduct has had a considerable effect in reconciling the clergy to subscribe to doctrines which they avowedly do not believe. For he declared, in a letter to Sheldon, that,
if he subscribed, he 'subscribed his own damnation,” and yet in no long space of time, he actually did subscribe to the articles of the church again and again! Lord! what is man !
« The salvó by which he and some other clergymen get over their scruples, is, to subscribe the 39 articles as arti. cles and terms of peace. This is a shameful évasion, and inconsistent with common honesty. At this rate, a man in Italy may subscribe Pius's creed; în Turkey the koran of Mohammed; or in a Jewish government, the talmud of the Rabbins.
66 I have been struck with a similar sentiment in Paine's Age of Reason; and here at least I agree with him, though we differ toto cælo, upon almost every thing where the sacred writings are concerned :-6 It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief, if I may so express it, that mental lying has produced in society. When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted the chastity of his mind, as to subscribe his professional belief of things which