« הקודםהמשך »
I have many years been determined never to subscribe, agreeably to the requirement of the thirty-sixth Canoil, more, whatever offers of preferment might be made me. But, when I reflect seriously and closely upon the subject, this does not fatisfy me. I cannot help considering my holding ạ church, and complying with all its rites and ceremonies, as a silent acquiescence in, and a tacit approbation of, all the unevangelical traits of the Church of England, as by law established. While such is my situation, I certainly constitute a part of the grand system of the anti-christian apostacy, which, as I understand the prophetic Scriptures, is, in due time, to undergo a total subversion.
“ You are quitting a situation of uncommon useful, ness."
Granted: With my views, however, I cannot bonour. ably and safely do otherwise. I believe, and fear, and tremble at, the Word of the Most High. Besides, God can do as well without my labours as with them. And if he should think proper, by this step, to cast me quite aside, as a broken vessel no longer of use, I will endea, your to acquiesce in the Divine determination.
• God doth not need
They also serye, who only stand and wait.” If the Church of England retains much of the spirit, and some of the superstitions of the Church of Rome*, what is a conscientious man to do, and how is he to act, under fuch a persuasion ? Let any person weigh thoroughly the meaning of the following declarations, and then let him say in what manner I ought to act :- And the third Angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, if any man worship the beast and his IMAGE, and receive his MARK in bis forebead, or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of
• The late Lord CHATHAM, in a celebrated speech, which he made ,,in the house of Lords in favour of the Difjenters, faid, “ We have a ^ Popish liturgy, a Calvinistic creed, and an Arminian clergy.".
the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of bis indignation ; and be hall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of tbe boly angels, and in the presence of the LAMB; and the smoke of their forment ascendeth. up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the Beast and bis IMAGE, and wbosoever receiveth ibe MARK of his name*. Rev. xiv. 9.-11.
Are not these words enough to make the hair « stand
on end like quills upon the fretful porcupine ?" We all read them, and have read them many times for many years, and yet, from our general conduct, no such passage might be found in the Sacred Writings, We Protestants are almost universally of opinion, that they apply directly to the Members of the Church of Rome. The Members of that Church read them as well as we Protestants, and yet we hardly ever hear of a Catholic becoming a Protestant, any more than a Jew becoming a Christian. They have eyes, and see not; ears, and bear not; hearts, and understand not. The LORD, in judgment, halb fent them strong delufion that they should believe a lie. The words are extremely plain, and expressibly alarming; but the force of them is always evaded, by applying them to any thing, rather than to their own church.We Protestants too read them, and make ourselves easy under the awful denunciation, by applying them exclusively to the Church of Rome; never dreaming, that they are, at least, in a secondary sense, equally applicable, not only to the English, but to every Church Establishment in Christendom, which retains
* Dr. DOD DDRIDGE observes on this paragraph of scripture, “ When I seriously reflect on this text, and how directly the force of it lies against those, who, contrary to the light of their consciences, continue in the communion of the Church of Rome, for fecular advantage, or to avoid the terror of persecution, it almost makes me tremble; and I heartily with, that all others, who connive at those things in the discipline and worship of Protestant churches, which they in their consciences think to be finful remains of Popish fuperftition and corruption, would feriously attend to this passage, which is one of the most dreadful in the wboie book of God, and weigh its awful contents, that they may keep at the greatest possible distance from this horrible curse, which is sufficient to make the cars of rvery one that bears it to tingla.".
any of the marks of the Beast. To me this admits of no doubt. If I am mistaken, it is my very great misfortune. My judgment has not been biaffed by interest, by connections, by inclination, or by any human considerations whatever. I have thought much upon the subject; read on both sides of the question whatever has fallen in my way; conversed with various persons for the sake of information; suffered the matter to rest upon my mind for fome years undetermined; have never made my fears, suspicions, and disfatisfaction known to any man; and now, when I bring near to myself the thought of quitting one of the most commodious churches in the kingdom, erected on purpose for my own ministrations; leaving interred by it many a precious deposit, who will, I trust, be my jcy and crown in the great day of the Lord JESUS, besides a mother, a wife, two children, and a fifter; and giving up various kind friends, whom I love as my own soul, together with a large body of people, that, if it were polfible, would have plucked out their own eyes, and have given them to me :~What shall I say?--All that is affectionate within me recoils. I am torn with conflicting passions; and am ready to say with the Apostle, I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my friends and brethren, whom I love in the bowels of Jesus CHRIST.
But then, various passages of Scripture(ill understood, fome will say)-urge me, on the most momentous considerations, to renounce a situation, which I cannot any longer retain with peace of mind. Perhaps it is my own fault; certainly it is my very heavy misfortune. I bewail it exceedingly, I have received no affront; conceived no disgust; formed no plans; made no connections; consulted no friends; experience no weariness of the ministerial office, the ways of religion are still pleasant; I have been glad when duty called me to the house of God; his Word hath been delightful; the pulpit has been awfully pleasing; the table of the Lord hath been the joy of my heart; and now that PROVIDENCE calleth me away, with some degree of reluctance it is that I say, LORD, here I am. Do wich me what seemneth thee good. Let me stay where I am.
I gladly stay. Send me where thou wilt. I will endeavour to submit. Only go with me, and thy pleasure Ihall be mine.
“ I argue not Against Heav'n's hand or will, nor bate a jot « Of heart or hope; but still bear up and steer
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