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ing I believe errors have, in some in. stances, been fathered upon the book of God, by the mis-transcriptions and mis-translations of man. Yet, even in the present adulterated state of that blessed book, I believe, and am assured, that it is far preferable to all
the books in the world beside ; and " " is able to make us wise unto salva
tion, through faith, which is in Jesus Christ. Finally, all Scripture given by inspiration of God, is profitable for correction, for instruction in righteousness; that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto every good work." 2 Tim. iii. If, therefore, I find any thing in the sacred Scriptures, repugnant to truth, reason, and common sense, I do not immediately condemn the whole as fabulous, but rather impute the error to some of the transcribers or translators; who, I fear, did not always give us the signification of the words of their authors, but rather strained them, in order to give the opinion they had of truth. And as for commentators, they often, instead of with groanings which cannot be utter. ed." --Rom. viii. 1, 2, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 26.
Since, therefore, it is so clearly proyed from Scripture, that it is the privi. lege of every Christian to have the spirit of Christ dwelling in him, and that “Whosoever hath not the spirit of God is none of his," wbạt miserable folly is it to oppose this wholesome and bæppyfying doctrine, which to believe and obey is life eternal? The spirit of Christ leads to all truth and felicity, yet it is rejected by most professors, while our own spirits lead to all folly and mise. ry; yet, alas! we follow them with avidity. The spirit of God never leads a man to do a cruel act: but the spirit of the devil has stimulated men, in the name of God and religion to murder millions of men; at the same time asserting, that Scripture commanded,
that reason allowed, and tradition sti, · mulated them to extirpate by fire and
sword, so many of their fellow worms from the face of the earth! All this was the consequence of their rejecting
the spirit of God, and obeying the evil
Have not the Pagans persecuted the Papists ? the Papists the Protestants ? the Protestants the Presbyterians ? the Presbyterians the Baptists ? the Bap. tists the Quakers ? and here delicacy commands me to stop. The fact is, in most of the denominations that I know, there are popes, bishops, and tyrannical dictators. We need not look only to Europe, to view a persecuting intolerant spirit; In America it may also be seen in its dictatorial attitude, and with its arbitrary appendages. I could give a tragical picture of the intolerance of a certain denomination, whom one would think, from their ori.
gin, would be the last to stand forward * in support of this terrible auxiliary of hell, (I mean, ecclesiastical tyranny) which would cause the philanthropist to melt into tears ! Indeed, a persecuting spirit, in whatever form it may be assimilated, whatever name it may assume, or whatever excuse it may plead, whether it is in miniature or magnitude, · is most assuredly a fatal auxiliary of hel; the curse and disgrace of the human race.
It seems that societies are as prone to degenerate as individuals, and from the same cause mean prosperity. Hence I will again assert, that adversity is the patron of virtue and true re. ligion, both as it respects individuals, as well as associations of them. This I can testify from experience, Calamity has caused me to seek refuge in the bosom of God, wbile the persecutions and calumny of sectarians, has caused the scales to fall from my intellectual eyes, has removed the prejudice of my cducation, and local prepossessions; has caused me to look from the indwelling of the Spirit of truth, as my infallible criterion and dictator, and not the vociferous eloquence of those interested and arbitrary worms of the earth, who call themselves rev. and right rev. doctors of divinity; or with a littlo modification of title, but with the same arbitrary power, are called bishops, elders, deacons, &c.
It is the most difficult thing in the world to remove local prejudice, and long standing prepossessions. Oft
times the worst political and ecclesiastical tyranny cannot do it. Men can see their fellow creatures oppressed, and applaud and justify the oppressor. But if bappily they participate the same oppression, they sometimes do get their intellectual eyes opened thereby: and then, and not till then, they will seek refuge in God, and see the absurdity and servility of apologizing for, or vindicating the cause of the oppressor, to the destruction of the oppressed, and the mist of ignorance once dissipated, can never be collected again. Let any impartial man read the Book of Martyrs, and he will see on the one hand, the cruelty of ecclesi. astical tyrants, and on the other, the cringing servility of their adherents and flatterers; and that cruel spirit by which they were influenced, I am sorry to say, is far from being extirpa. ted from this land of political liberty; and it is, as it always has been, the antipode, and the greatest enemy to the cross and spirit of Christ; and is the primary cause, the Christian world is crowded with infidels, and that so