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or chapels in which the evangelical clergy officiate, are by far the most strictly moral part of the established church, in respect of exemption from gross vices; and, further, that they exert themselves in endeavouring to relieve the distresses of the
poor, to instruct their children, and to forward every good work, with more decided diligence, earnestness, and liberality, than are generally manifested among their opponents. And I appeal to every candid observer, who differs from me in religious sentiments, but who has carefully compared our parishes and congregations with other parishes and congregations, whether this be not true and indisputable !”?
Again : -“What a lamentable thing is it, that in every age there should be great numbers to whom this description 2 in some sense may be applied! They assent to the truth of Christianity in general, and to many of its doctrines : they are not infidels ; they have a notional faith, but they are wicked men; that is, they live in the habitual practice of sin, and neglect of their duty to God and man, and are worldly, ungodly, and selfish, in their whole conduct. There are no doubt many of this description among Calvinists ; but there is at least as large a proportion among Anticalvinists ; and especially among those who oppose the doctrine of justification by faith, and salvation
1 Page 430 : or Works, vol. vii. p. 547, 548. 2 “The wicked who have faith : fidelium iniquorum." Augustine.
by grace alone. They profess to depend on good works, yet neglect to practise them ; as if the very scarcity of them would enhance their value ! Yet they encourage themselves in this strange inconsistent course of life, by a presumptuous reliance on the mercy of God; and soothe their consciences by the idea, that, as professed Christians, they shall not be judged by the strict and holy law of God, but by some milder and more pliable rule! What millions of these antinomian professors of Christianity are there at this day in the visible church." I
These, be it observed, are antinomians not upon an evangelical foundation. He shortly after adds, on the words, “ Presume not on the mercy of God to sin " &c. : “ I may be bold to say, that Great Britain produces no set of men who more decidedly, particularly, and constantly testify against this perversion of the gospel, and every variety of it, by sermons, and publications of various kinds, than the evangelical clergy. It would be easy to prove this by quotations : but the appeal is made to our printed works in general."
1 Page 704 : or Works, vol. viii. p. 290.
May 6, 1824.
In references to the Life of the Author, the figures enclosed in parentheses, point out the pages of the seventh edition; the other figures, those of some preceding editions.
On expensive habits
Lancelot Brown, Esq.