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The bishops themselves, however, being generally guilty of holding a vari. ety of preferments, and of most inexcusable non-residence, are disposed to connive at every thing of the kind among the superior clergy, who are under their inspection.
66 The extravagances of some sects, have given great and just offence to many sensible and well disposed people, and have been instrumental in driving no small number into downright indifference to all religion; while others havecontracted the most inveterate principles of infidelity. But shall the follies of a few mistaken individuals, subvert the nature of things, and the laws of everlasting truth? Because some men are weak, silly, enthusiastic, and inflamed with spiritual pride, shall we take upon us to say, there is no such thing as sound religion and good sense in the world? This would be to make ourselves as weak and culpable as those whom we condemn.-All revivals of religion have heen attended with excesses; all sects and parties have had,
and will have among them, men of warm imaginations and feeble intel. lects; and wherever persons of this description. become strongly impressed with the importance of religious truth, they seldom fail to disgrace the party to which they belong. There is no remedy for such unfortunate cases, but to use our best endeavours to restrain and keep them within the bounds of moderation. This however is usually extremely difficult; for all such persons are most commonly wiser than ten men that can render a reason. They are blown up with self-importance, consi. der themselves as the peculiar favourites of heaven, and under the immediate teachings and leadings of the Divine Spirit. While this persuasion continues, they treat the direction of scripture as a dead letter, and in vain do you attempt to reduce them to order, and the sober dictates of reason and common sense.” And sometimes the preachers are even worse than the peo. ple; who, instead of discouraging this frantic spirit, those sparks of human
fire, exert all their vociferous eloquence to fan it to a flame, by working their animal passions up to the highest pitch of enthusiastic delirium !
An Appeal to men of reason and common sense, relative to
the impartiality and consistency of the doctrines of the Bible
WE have exhibited in the antecedent department, as clear as a ray of light in an unclouded atmosphere, some flagrant instances wherein the rights of God are infringed; our object now is to prove his impartiality from scripture, reason, and common sense. Well might the apostle exclaim, 6 Let God be true, and every man a liar.” The infinite and impartial goodness of God is so amazing and divine, in my estimation, that the ideas resulting therefrom are too big to be born alive! I cannot find language sufficiently sonorous, to express the glowing sentiments of my mind !! Indeed, when I seriously meditate upon the Divine goodness, manifested to myself from youth to age, and at the same time reflect upon my manifold delinquency, I can only ex
press my sensibility and gratitude with tears, which more than speak!
" After all that I have done,
“Tears of joy my eyes o'erflow,
That I have any hope of heav'n;
For I have much forgiv’n.”
I would here entreat the reader to take a counter march into the rear of time, and recapitulate the abundant mercies of God, that he also may participate the joys of heaven, which are the offspring of gratitude. Angels have nothing to give the Almighty but gratitude, and man may make the same of fering. For grateful angels and grateful men are the same as the minor and mature children of the same kind parent. Perhaps it would be insulting the understanding of the reader to suggest even a doubt of his ingratitude to God, lf, for instance, a certain man received for many years, innumerable favours and benefactions, from a certain bepe. volent ruler; if, after all these partici.