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thor was in understanding, what a miracle of abilities, and how universally accepted and esteemed! Oh, what a vigorous mind! when the meaning perhaps is not whether he is wrong or right, but that he is a learned manufacturer of his opinions. He works up his stuff well, but it is good for nothing; and if the mischief be great, it is chiefly because we do not begin with God, who will never deceive us. I am the more earnest in this matter, because the age abounds with affected declamations against human authority; whereas there never was a time when men so meanly submitted their understandings to be led away by one another. When opinion takes us captive, we think our chains honourable, and attempt not to recover the liberty wherewith God hath made us free from one another. It is an honour to submit our faculties to God, who gave them; but it is base and servile to submit to the usurpations of man, in things pertaining to God. There is no remedy, but in taking his word, and depending upon his truth; after which, all other truth, so far as it is necessary or useful, shall be added.
We have allowed so much to human philosophy, that it is too commonly known against our preachers, and factiously objected to them, that they neglect the Gospel, and take what they call good natural religion into the pulpit. This is justly thought to be a great and crying abuse; in consequence of which gospelpreachers arise and abound, who have no authority to teach the people. One reformation without authority soon begets another of the same sort; confusion thickens; and of spiritual, as well as of political anarchy, we all know the end; we know whence it cometh, and whither it goeth. One corruption, once admitted, soon increases to more, till all is lost.
We preach wrong: that error is corrected by another; by a reformation founded in disobedience: that turns to schism: and in schism, they that are wise without the Church, will soon be wise against it; this leads to heresy, and that to infidelity; a dreadful progress ; but it hath been verified a thousand times. Whence comes all this? what is the root of all? how are our preachers formed and educated ? Look at Bishop Warburton's directions for the studies of a young Clergyman; his first book is Locke on Human Understanding: you need look no farther, for if he begin here, we know what road he will pursue. When I speak of Mr. Locke, I speak not of the man, but of his principles. God will measure no man by his powers, but by his application of them. We must allow that he was a man of uncommon talents, and wise in his generation; but so much the worse, if his foundations were false, and his schemes dangerous. We must allow that the world is gone after him: worse still, for they are a large body; and if they are out of the way, great must be the power to fetch them back again : We may add, which is worst of all, that he was the oracle to those who began and conducted the American Rebellion; which led to the French Revolution; which will lead (if God permit) to the total overthrow of Religion and Government in this kingdom, perhaps in the whole Christian world; and all this from Mr. Locke; the prime favourite, and grand instrument, with that mischievous infidel Voltaire; who knew what he was about, when he came forward to destroy Christianity, as he had threatened, with Mr. Locke in his hand; and it has answered his purpose : after which, let any person judge, whether the doctrines of Mr. Locke will prepare any young man for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Facts are stubborn things,
and they furnish a plain and certain rule to our judgment; the same with that of the Gospel, By their fruits ye shall know them. I
may be thought to have said too much, and gone too far, but I am afraid I have not gone far enough. This is not a time to trifle; we are not to tremble at small dangers, when evils of the first magnitude are ready to fall upon us. I would not rudely conclude any notion to be false, because it is popular; but popularity with me is no recommendation, when I consider what absurdities have been propagated by learned men, and swallowed by the populace in the Church of Rome. But this I know withal, that he who slights popularity must never expect to be popular: a great misfortune to some men, but a very small one to others. I learned very early in life, that if any one would go through the world with peace to his mind, and advantage to his fortune, he must hear, and see, and say nothing ; but I learned afterwards, that the truth of God is worth all the world; and in this persuasion, as I have long lived, so now I hope to die; leaving behind me this paper, as a witness that there was one man, of little note, and of no ambition, who, having his eyes opened to see some great errors of the time, with the power they have obtained over the judgments of learned men; and knowing their tendency to alienate us farther from God, and involve us in that total corruption which must bring divine judgment upon us, could not refrain from warning his brethren, that they consider in time (if time be still left to us) how far, and in what respect, they are departed from the faith and truth of the Church of England, as it was at the Reformation : how far they have been seduced by novel schemes, which have no foundation but in men's heads; how far they have been carried down
the stream by the current opinions of the time, and the influence of fashion, which few minds are able to withstand. We are told that things may be highly esteemed among men, and yet be abomination in the sight of God. What are these things ? where are they to be found ? and how are they to be detected ? not by scholastic subtilties, but by this easy rule before mentioned, and ever to be remembered ; in the application of which it is scarcely possible to err, BY THEIR FRUITS YE SHALL KNOW THEM. One naked strait line from Heaven will detect all the numberless crooked lines of earthly wisdom, with all their flourishes and decorations about them.
Let every word I have said be put to this test; it is all the allowance I ask or desire; but from the world I will never take the rule of my judgment: I will take it only from God, who is the judge of all. Knowing the danger of human authority, and the rashness of human speculation, I will depend no more on any philosopher, however great and celebrated, than
poor fallen Pope of Rome: if he do not depend upon God, I will not depend upon him : and if the world, for so doing, should shut me out from its mercy, God, I trust, will receive me to his, through Jesus Christ : in whose name, and for whose sake, I subscribe myself, with duty and affection.
A Friend and Servant to the
Church of England.
A CHURCH ORGAN.
The structure of this instrument is not unlike that of my bodily frame, with its different powers and faculties--the marvellous work of God, who buildeth all things. The materials of which it is composed were taken from the earth; when the work was complete, it left the world, and was brought hither to be dedicated as long as it lasts to the service of God. And here it remains abstracted from all earthly concerns, and inclosed within the walls of this sacred building; it keeps company with none but those who come to worship God, together with the departed, who in the days of their flesh did the same, and never refuses to join in the sound of his praise, either by day or night. But yet of itself it is a machine dead and silent, incapable of acting, till it be first acted upon,
for it hath no voice, unless the air supplies it with breath, of which men hear the sound, but see not whence it cometh, or whither it goeth.
Such, oh my Soul, is every one that is born of the Spirit. God hath taken thee out of the world, and given thee a place in his holy Catholic Church; the Temple of Jerusalem, whose walls are called Salvation, and his gates Praise. This organ by its situation is become