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in catholic countries, there we witness the reign of ignorance and error. The reason is, the people are not permitted to think and judge for themselves; they therefore quietly fall asleep in the arms of the clergy, and content themselves with believing as the church believes; they believe everything, and know nothing. In this state of mind they are prepared to receive every absurdity which the clergy can invent for the benefit of their craft. It is in this way our Lord accounts for the introduction of heresy : “While men slept,” says he, “the enemy sowed his tares."
The greater part of the noble army of martyrs, whose heroism is celebrated in our synagogues every sabbath day, were persecuted to death for preaching Christ in opposition to the authority of the church. Our holding up these worthies to general admiration, shows that we approve of an independent spirit in our ancestors; and when we condemn this in the moderns, we are only acting over again the farce of the Jews, who, in the days of our Lord, built the sepulchres of the ancient prophets, and murdered their contemporaries.
The matters of principal moment are, to have a heavenly temper and disposition of mind, to act under the influence of pure principles and motives, and to regulate the conduct by the divine precepts. An agreement in these points is the only scripture rule of unity and uniformity. A parrot may be taught to repeat a creed, and a monkey to perform the ceremonies of worship; and these animals might be made saints in comparison of many reputed orthodox christians. Men, in general, have always betrayed a propensity to lay more stress upon articles of faith and rites of devotion, than upon purity of heart and rectitude of conduct. If a man only adopt the popular creed, and, perform the prescribed ceremonies, he may be a blasphemer, a drunkard, a sabbath breaker, an adulterer, etc., and there is little the matter; the wholesome and godly discipline of the church is scarcely ever employed in the correction of these venial faults; but should
the same man attend the conventicle and reform his life, he is immediately an arch heretic, a damnable schismatic, a wild enthusiast; his religion is hypocrisy, his morality preciseness, and his end destruction. " Come to church and obey the laws, and be a dissembler, be a hypocrite, or a devil if thou wilt." Such was the godly counsel of a pious and venerable reformer to a scrupulous puritan. See Neal, vol. i., chap. viii.
BY A CHURCHMAN.
Of all the works which have come under our notice, we do not recollect one equal to this for ignorance and presumption. Mr. Isaac sets himself to work to prove, that there has not been an uninterrupted succession of bishops; that the ordination of ministers is a ceremony destitute of scripture authority, and of no importance ; that the pretence of bishops to give the Holy Ghost in ordination is a mere farce; that learning is of no value to a clergyman; and that the only qualifications for the ministry, of any consequence, are the enthusiasm and fanaticism of Methodism.
To those of our readers who wish to see all the absurdities and heresies of the sectaries, embodied in a small publication, we can cordially recommend this volume. What judge Jeffries said, with perhaps too much warmth, of the works of Mr. Baxter, may be soberly affirmed of these
pages, they are as full of poison as an egg is full of meat."
After the many masterly defences of our excellent establishment which have of late years issued from the press, it is perfectly unnecessary for us to enter the lists with this puny antagonist. We are very much
deceived if there be not generally diffused among our countrymen, too much intelligence to permit them to be seduced by this incoherent rhapsody; and we suspect, that when Mr. Isaac comes to settle with his bookseller, his book-making fever will abate; there is no danger of his insulting a second time the good sense of the public.
Hitherto the sectaries have spoken with some degree of modesty, when they have expressed the reasons of their dissent from the national church; but this writer is the most vain and coxcomical scribbler we have ever seen. The greatest champions of our celestial hierarchy, whose piety and abilities have been uniformly respected, and sometimes even panegyrised by its greatest enemies, are treated by this important personage, with the lordly air of a village pedagogue correcting his refractory school boys. The reading of this book has convinced us more than ever, of the necessity of repressing these fanatics by some legislative enactment; for, if this insolerice is to be tolerated, we will venture to predict, without pretending to Methodistical inspiration, that the time is not far distant,
when the church of England shall be no more.
[N.B. The author thinks the above critique will very well suit the Monthly, Critical, Anti-jacobin, Edinburgh, Quarterly, and British Reviews. He begs leave to assure the editors, that they are at perfect liberty to insert it in their respective publications, on the condition of paying him half a guinea each, which he presumes to think, is a very moderate price for an article so orthodox, and so elegantly written.]