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rakes and profligates. I have seen a poor wretch make an impreffion on a diffolute fellow, who could not pick a farthing from a very wealthy Gentleman in Black. The reason why persons of this laft character are fo backward in feeling for their fellow-creatures appears to me to be this; they accustom themselves fo frequently to speak what they do not believe, and are employed in what they have no affection for, that they render their minds infenfible to all things where their interest is not concerned.
I have, in the preceding discourse, demonstrated, that our High Priests are true copies of the Jewish Pharifees, and that there is no foundation for the Hierarchy, either under the ancient Theocracy, or under the Gofpel. I fhall next endeavour to fhew, that every kind of earthly fupremacy in the Church is a burden grievous to be borne.
1. This will appear, a priore, by reafoning from the cause to the effect. If we confider the cause of this evil, it is the wicked one, who never meant well to the human race.
Our Saviour af
firmed this of the Pharifees:-Ye are of
your father the devil, your father ye will do. our firft Parents to
and the works of
By bringing over notions of Hie
rarchy, he fixed a burden upon them and their posterity, which is yet to be felt.It was wicked spite in the Devil to envy our firft Parents the happiness they enjoyed under the dominion of their Maker; his yoke is never grievous; obedience to his laws is the highest liberty. Satan seems to have perceived this, and made his attack in fuch a manner, that if he fucceeded in his ftratagem, he was fure to inflave the human He put a earthly Hierarchy into their head, and perfuaded them, that if they would obey his injunctions, they should be as Gods, knowing Good and Evil.
Evil. Our foolish first Parents believed this Father of Lies, and fwallowed the bait which he offered them. It is a pleafing idea to be at the head of affairs. Few are able to refift a temptation, which, in all respects, flatters their pride,—and to be as Gods too, was exceedingly pleafing. By this défire of fupremacy, poor foolish man became a dupe to the arti fice of an enemy, from whom no good could be expected. This new Hierarchy has entailed a burden of guilt upon the world, and rendered mankind abfolute flaves. It is amazing how the fame fnare catches all the children of Adam; for almost all men love to be first in directing matters, which concern both themselves and others. The fame principle which made our old Father feek to be as God, determines his offspring to feek to be Monarchs and Bishops. It was especially a spiritual dominion which the deceiver perfuaded man to affe&t ;→→ to know Good and Evil belongs to the
Mind.God is the Supreme Judge in this matter; and to feek to attain it in any other way than the channel of his pleasure, is no less a crime than high treafon against the Almighty. The Devil is the author of this treafon; for he abode not in the Truth, but first rebelled against Heaven himself, and then seduced man into the fame error. If any credit can be given to Milton, who feems to have been particularly acquainted with the hiftory of Satan, it was the defire of dominion which inclined him to rebel. He defired to be Archbishop in Heaven, and all the religious Hierarchies have proceeded upon his principles. Milton fays, that he envied the pre-eminence of the Meffiah, whom he found that JEHOVAH was to exalt above all principalities and powers; he therefore wanted to fupplant him, or at least to fhare with him in dominion. My Lords, you cannot affign a better reafon for Diocefan Epifcopacy than this, which
which Milton has fuggefted. I am almost forry to pursue this fubject, for fear I fhall argue downwards, till I come to the Bishops. The top of the fabric of Hierarchy over men's fouls was Lucifer; from him it defcended to our firft Parents, from them to their fon Cain; Nimrod is faid to have affumed it, and fet up the worship of fire, and to have imposed the articles of his Creed on all who were under his jurisdiction on pain of burning. It came down to Nebuchadnezzar, who set up an idol in the plains of Dura, and obliged all to worship it, on pain of death.The Jews feem to have learned this principle at Babylon, and brought it home with them to their own land; then it fell into the hands of the High Priefts, Scribes, and Pharifees. Diotrephes catched it in the days of the Apoftles; from him it was carried to Afia and Africa; it proceeded westward, and fettled for a long time at Rome. But it came to England,