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he does not believe, he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime. He takes up the trade of priest for the sake of gain, and to qualify himself for that trade, he begins with perjury. Can we conceive any thing more destructive of morality than
“ This subject is considered in a very serious point of view by Burnet, only he applies it to our declaring that we are moved by the Holy Gbost to preach the gospel.
“A clergyman of our church hath said—“ If any one asks, what the expressions in scripture, regenerate-born of the spirit--new creatures, mean? We answer, that they mean nothing! nothing to us! nothing to be found, or sought for, in the present circumstances of Christianity.”—This
gentleman knows that these declarations of his are extremely different from the doctrines of the church of England, and yet since he published these sentiments, he has subscribed more than once, and as far as appears, would subscribe again
and again if two or three more good preferments should fall in his way.
My indignation compels me to say, that a body of clergy of that description-however learned, ingenious, and worthy they may be in other respects, deserve extirpation from the face of the earth; and if there be a judgment to come, our doom shall be uncommonly severe. The Scripture declares, all liars shall have their part in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone. And what more solemn lie can there be, than subscribing our names, that we believe a number of propositions, which in our consciences we judge to be false? unless it be that other declaration, “ we trust we are moved by the Holy Ghost to preach the gospel,” when we do not believe there is any Holy Ghost, but laugh at every pre. tention of the sort as Methodism and enthusiasm ? If the Lord be a God of knowledge by whom actions are weighed, we prevaricating parsons shall have a sad account to give another day. We may keep up our heads a few years
now, while in possession of two or three good livings,and the world smiles upon us, but the day of darkness is at no great distance, when nothing but integrity and conscious uprightness will stand uş in any stead, and when the clergy become generally prevaricators with their solemn subscriptionş, the fate of the English church is determined.
66 We are all popes in our own way: every denomination has its imperious and overbearing dictators.--Let no man think the worse
of the New Testamentreligion, because of the different hobbyhorses which we parsons think proper to ride. Our order has had its day; and a pretty long day it has been ! The pope has ridden the bishops, the bishops have ridden the priests, and the priests have ridden the people. ?“ Every man is an oppressor who holds, that which ought to be in the hands of another. It does not appear to me, that we can justly blame any man for being a deist, while the great body of us, the bishops and clergy,
conduct ourselves in the manner we usually do. The spirit of hierarchy is in direct opposition to the spirit of the gospel. A conscientious deist, if such can be found, who worships God in spirit and in truth, is infinitely pre. ferable to a proud, haughty, pompous bishop, or dignified clergyman, who trades in livings and souls ; and will be damned with a damnation far less severe. Bishops and clergymen of this description, profess what they will, are infidels at bottom. They believe nothing of the spirit of Christianity. Religion is their trade, and gain with them is godliness. They live in the spirit of the ancient Scribes and Pharisees, and they may expect to share in the fate of the Scribes and Pharisees.
6. Mr. Ostervald, attributes the corruption of the people chiefly to the cler. gy.
.-" The cause of the corruption of Christians is chiefly to be found in the clergy. I do not mean to speak here of all churchmen indifferently. We must do right to some, who distinguish them. selves by their talents, their zeal, and
the holiness of their lives. Bụt the number of these is not considerable enough to stop the course of these disorders, which are occasioned in the church by the vast multitudes of remiss and corrupt pastors. These pull down what the others endeavour to build
66. The instances of extreme blame which attaches to the higher orders of the English clergy are very numerous. A. certain gentleman, not an hundred miles from my own neighbourhood, is possessed of about a thousand a year private fortune. He is a married man, but without children. He has one liv. ing in Cheshire, of the value of more than 400 pounds a year, another in Essex, and another elsewhere, the three together make a thousand a year, more or less. He is moreover, chaplain to a company, and private tutor in a nobleman's family, But what is most culpable, he resides upon none of his livings, and very seldom comes near them. Can that church be faultless, which permits such horrible abuses ?