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innovators start up, and, under the influence of CENT. XVIII.
XVII. Many place in this fanatical case the team
CENT. XVII.call themselves the descendants of the Bohemian
and Moravian Brethren, who, in the fifteenth century, threw off the despotic yoke of Rome, animated by the zealous exhortations and heroic example of John Huss. They may, however, be said, with more propriety, to imitate the example of that famous community, than to descend from those who composed it; for it is well known, that there are very few Bohemians and Moravians in the fraternity of the Herrenhutters; and it is extremely doubtful, whether even this small number are to be considered as the posterity of the ancient Bohemian Brethren, that distinguished themselves so early by their zeal for the Reformation.
If we are to give credit to the declarations of the Herrenhutters, they agree with the Lutherans in their doctrine and opinions, and only differ from them in their ecclesiastical discipline, and in those religious institutions and rules of life which form the resemblance between the Bohemian Brethren and the disciples of Zinzendorff. There are, indeed, many who doubt much of the truth of this decla. ration, and suspect that the society now under consideration, and more especially their rulers and ringleaders, speak the language of Lutheranism when they are among the Lutherans, in order to obtain their favor and indulgence; and those who have examined this matter with the greatest attention, represent this fraternity as composed of persons of different religions, as well as of various ranks and orders. Be that as it may, it is at least very difficult to guess the reason that induces them to live in such an entire state of separation from the Lutheran communion, and to be so ambitiously zealous in augmenting their sect, if there be no other difference between them and the Lutherans than that of discipline and of ceremony; for the true and genuine followers of Jesus Christ are little concerned about the outward forms of ecclesiastical government and discipline, knowing that real reli
gion consists in faith and charity, and not in external cent. xvii. rites and institutions m.
om It is somewhat surprising to hear Dr. Mosheim speak in such vague and general terms of this sect, without taking the least notice of their pernicious doctrines and their flagitious practices, that not only disfigure the sacred truths of the Gospel, but also sap all the foundations of morality. To be persuaded of this, the reader, beside the accounts which Rimius has given of this enormous sect, will do well to consult a curious Preface, prefixed to the French translation of a Pastoral Letter against Fanaticism, addressed by Mr. Stinstra; an Anabaptist minister in Friseland, to his congregation, and published at Leyden în 1752. It may not be amiss to add here a passage relating to this odious community, from the bishop of Glocester's treatise, entitled, the Doctrine of Grace. The words of that great and eminent prelate are as follow : “ As purity respects practice, the Moravians give us little trouble. If
credit the yet unconfuted relations, both in print and “ in MS., composed by their own members, the participants in “their most sacred mysterious rites, their practices in the con“summation of marriage are so horribly, so unspeakably fla
gitious, that this people seem to have no more pretence to “ be put into the number of Christian sects, than the Turlu“ pins of the thirteenth century, a vagabond crew of miscreants, « who rambled over Italy, France, and Germany, calling " themselves the Brothers and Sisters of the Free Spirit, who, “ in speculation, professed that species of atheism called Pan“theism, and, in practice, pretended to be exempted from all “ the obligations of morality and religion.” See The Doctrine of Grace, vol. ii. As to the doctrines of this sect, they open a door to the most licentious effects of fanaticism. Such among many others are the following, drawn from the express declarations of count Zinzendorff, the head and founder of the community : that the law is not a rule of life to a believer ;—that the moral law belongs only to the Jews ;—that a converted person cannot sin against light. But of all the singularities for which this sect is famous, the notions they entertain of the organs of generation in both sexes are the most enormously wild and extravagant. I consider (says Zinzendorff, -in one of his sermons) the parts for distinguishing both sexes in Christians, as the most honorable of the whole body, my Lord and God having partly inhabited them, and partly worn them himself.' This raving secretary looks upon the conjugal act as a piece of scenery, in which the male represents Christ the husband of souls, and the female the church. The married brother (says
he) knows matrimony, respects it, but does not think upon it • of his own accord; and thus the precious member of the covenant (i. e. the penis) is so much forgotten, becomes so useless, and consequently is reduced to such a natural numbness, by
CENT. XVIII. XVIII. It was the opinion of many, that the The state of succours of philosophy were absolutely necessary to philosophy stem the torrent of superstition, and stop its growing Lutherans. progress, and that these alone were adapted to
accomplish this desirable purpose. Hence the study of philosophy, which, toward the conclusion of the last century, seemed to decline, was now revived, established upon a more rational footing, and pursued with uncommon assiduity and ardor. The branch of philosophy which is commonly known under the denomination of Metaphysics, was generally preferred, as it leads to the first principles of things; and the improvements made in this important science were very considerable. These improvements were chiefly produced by the genius and penetration of Leibnitz, who threw a new light upon metaphysics, and gave this interesting branch of philosophy a more regular form.
This science received a still greater degree of perfection from the philosophical labors of the acute and indefatigable Wolff, who reduced it into a scientific order, and gave to its decisions the strength and evidence of a geometrical demonstration. Under this new and respectable form it captivated the attention and esteem of the greatest part of the German philosophers, and of those in general who pursue truth through the paths of strict evidence; and it was applied with great ardor and zeal to illustrate and confirm the great truths both of natural and revealed religion. This application of the First Philosophy gave much uneasiness to some pious men, who were extremely solicitous to preserve, pure and unmixed, the doctrines of Christianity; and it was
not being used, that afterwards, when he is to marry, and use it, • the Saviour must restore him from this deadness of body. And . when an Esther by grace, and sister according to her make, gets
sight of this member, her senses are shut up, and she piously pera • ceives, that God the Son was a boy. Ye holy matrons, who as • wives are about your Vice-Christs, honor that precious sign with • the utmost veneration. We beg the chaste reader's pardon for presenting him with this odious specimen of the horrors of the Moravian theology.
accordingly opposed by them with great eagerness CENT. XVIII.
XIX. In order to justify this heavy charge against The