網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

with groanings which cannot be utter. ed.":

-Rom. viii. 1, 2, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 26.

Since, therefore, it is so clearly prov. ed from Scripture, that it is the privi. lege of every Christian to have the spirit of Christ dwelling in him, and that 6 Whosoever hath not the spirit of God is none of his," what miserable folly is it to oppose this wholesome and happyfying 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

[ocr errors]

the spirit of God, and obeying the evil spirit.

Have not the Pagans persecuted the Papists ? the Papists the Protestants ? the Protestants the Presbyterians ? the Presbyterians the Baptists ? the Baptists 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 origin, 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 as. sume, or whatever excuse it may plead,

whether it is in miniature or magnitude, · is most assuredly a fatal auxiliary of hell; 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 little 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 ecclesias. tical 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 extirpated 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

many well disposed people, nurture doubts relative to the impartiality of the great Jehovah, which we will now en. deavour to remove by the most reason. able and scriptural argumentation. It is a fact as lamentable as it is obvious, that man is a fallen creature ; tbat he is not now as he was when first created; that the cause of his present miserable condition, is bis own criminality; that as the eternal and immutable laws of order were violated by the delin. quency of man, an adequate punishment must follow the same, and nothing but an expiatory sacrifice .could make God, consistent with himself, or (as the Scriptures declare) just, and yet the jastifier of those, who relied upon this exertion of divine wisdom and goodness in the great Creator, for the relief of his fallen creatures. That such was the immense and boundless mercy of God, that he gave the Son of his love a sacrifice, to make a full and perfect atonement for the delinquency of man, as without such an atonement it would be impossible for any of the human family to be rescued from the

« 上一頁繼續 »