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“ what must I do? How shall I know, among all the “ uncharitable and contending denominations of Christi.
ans, who is right, and who is wrong, and to whom I “ should unite myself in Christian fellowship?”.
“Take the New Testament into your hand; read it diligently, call upon the LORD for direction, faithfully, and follow whithersoever it leads the way. Take nothing upon trust; pin your faith upon no man's sleeve; to the law and the testimony *. Believe in CHRIST, as the Word teaches; put your
whole trust and confidence in him; obey his precepts; worship God publicly and privately with sincerity and zeal; do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your MAKER; and look for his mercy through CHRIST Jesus unto eternal life; and be assured all shall be well.
“Be all these things, however, as they may, the religion " of Jesus is a thing of which you do not approve. He
might be a very good sort of man, but his doctrines are “ not to your taste. If
If you could only get clear of the
* Few of the Sectarists of the present day have departed farthier from the scriptural view of things than the New Church. The form of baptism in their Liturgy, is this :-" I baptize thee in the name of the LORD “ JESUS CHRIST, who is at once FATHER, Son, and Holy SPIRIT." Their confession is this :-" Dost thou believe that God is One, both “ in essence and in person, in whom is a divine trinity, consisting of « Father, Son, and Holy SPIRIT; and that the LORD and SAVIOUR " JESUS CHRIST is He? I do.”—The Holy Supper is thus administered: “ The Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is the divine good “ of his divine love, nourish and preserve you'unto éternal life. Take “ and eat this, in remembrance that the Lord glorified his human, and
thereby became the God of heaven and earth.
Enough! One is grieved and surprized, that any set of people should take such liberties in altering the Sacred Writings. To our own master, however, we must each of us stand or fall.
Some time since, there was a Letter written and addressed to the Clergy, in behalf of SWEDENBORG's Theological Works. The Letter is admirably well written, and in an excellent spirit, whoever was the author. But surely a man of his sense, must see the fallaciousness of his own reasoning on the 13th page of the small edition, where he gives his reasons why the writings he wishes to recommend should be received. The whole force of his recommendation rests upon the reasons there given in favour of SWEDENBORG's divine commission; and yet those reasons are altogether without any sound and legitimate foundation. What will not ingenious men say, and how far will they not go, to establish a favoufáte hypothesis ?
“ Bible, and the d-d Priests *, of every denomination, “ as the noble French have done, you then flatter your- “ selves we should see happier days ?".
* It is greatly to be lamented, that the Clergy, in most ages of the Christian Church, have been very generally unfriendly to řileration, and that they should have been the instruments of calling for, or stirring up, the civil power to persecution. Every good and liberal-minded man must confess and bewail this misfortune. This spirit, however, has not been confined to ministers of the Establishment. Jews, Heathens, and Mahometans, Presbyterians, Independents, and Baptists, have all, in their turns, when the power has come into their hands, been guilty of the same intolerant conductt. It is human nature, and a part of its disease.
But the Gospel itself, all pure, and perfective of reasonable beings, is free from the bloody charge. JESUS, the author of it, was the most generous, humane, and amiable of characters. But, alas, we have sadly forgotten, or perverted his institutions. Perseco. tion and bloody deeds are the infallible marks of Antichrist; Rev.xvii.6. That the Protestant churches should have imitated the Beast in this worst part of his conduct, can never be sufficiently bewailed. Every reign almost from the Reformation to the Revolution was stained with the blood of sculs.--Henry VIII. who contrived to remove the Pope of Rome from being Head of the English church, and put himself in his place, was a vile, tyrannical, libidinous, and bloody wretch. A considerable num. ber of persons were put to death in his reign for conscience sake. Nay, even the excellent young King, EDWARD VI. was a persecutor in some cases unto death, being overpersuaded by those about him, particularly the good, but mistaken CRANMER. Mary and ELIZABETH shed much blood on account of religion. JAMES and CHARLES were not innocent. They stained their hands in blood on the same account. CROMWELL, and the prevailing parties during the Rebellion, made dreadful havoc. After the Restoration, it is computed, that not less than 8000 persons perished in prison, and the sum of two millions of money was wrested from the sufferers. Sixty thousand persons are said to have suffered, in one way or other, from the Restoration to the Revolution, which was only a period of about thirty years.
Let the reader consult Dr. DODDRIDGE's excellent Sermon against the damnable spirit of persecution.
Indeed, all national religions, whether Pagan, Jiwish, Turkish, or Christian, have ever hitherto been national tyrannies. The last began with CONSTANTINE, the first Christian emperor, and continues to this day, our own Establishment not excepted. And what pliable stuff we Parsons are made of, has been tried upon various occasions in this coun. try. When HenrY VIII. discarded the Pope of Rome, and made him. self Pope in his place, the great body of Bishops and Clergy followed the example; very few, comparatively, suffered death for refusal. When
+ See the Pamphlet entitled, A Look to the Last Century; or the Dissenters weighed in their own, Scales, An instructive piece !
The Bible, and the persons appointed by that book to minister in holy things, are unquestionably great restraints upon the passions of men; and blameable as our Order has been, and, bad as the world is, there is no little reason to suppose, it would be much worse without that Order. It is probable you have not well considered what the consequence would be of removing these grievances out of the way. A successful invasion from the French would, in all likelihood, enable you to obtain these ends, for a considerable time. Had we not, however, “better bear those ills “ we have, than fly to others that we know not of?” Refore mation of the decayed, impolitical, and unevangelical parts of the British constitution—not surely the destruction of the whole---should be the ardent wish of every true friend to his country, and to human nature. Perfect liberty, civil and religious, is the birth-right of man. Whatever of this nature is still wanting in this happy land, might be easily obtained froin the very nature of our government.
No man, therefore, who is a friend to his country, could desire to see it involved in political ruin, for the sake of obtaining what he may conceive to be some considerable advantages. Enlighten the public mind, and it will not be long before all remaining abuses shall be rectified... EDWARD VI. rejected most of the remaining rubbish of Popery, and be. came Protestant, almost all the Bishops and Clergy again followed his example. Then when Mary afterwards undid all that EDWARD had done, and introduced Popery again, near 3000 were turned out of their Livings, but not more than four or five hundred both of the clergy and laity suf. fered for refusal to join her. And then, once more, when ELIZABETH rejected Papery, the Clergy, very generally, imitated her conduct. Not more than 200 gave up their preferment. All these changes took place in the course of forty years. But whoever prevailed, Papist or Protestant, they were steady to their purpose of persecuting those who refused to comply with their tyrannical injunctions. Nay, even CALVIN perse, cuted Serverus unto death; and the gentle MELANCTHON approved of what CALVIN had done. CRANMER * had his victims; and, what is worse, the laws of Egland, in the close of the eighteenth century, con. rain bloody statutes in full force. Bloody laws, however, on account of religion, though of no force, through the liberality of the times, ought to be repealed, if it were only for the honour of old England; but there is a higher reason which should influence the professors of an so iz persecuting Master.
* CRANMER was concerned in putting five or six persons to death for their religious opinions, and he himself was at lasi put w death by queen Mary for the same cause. A
just retaliation !
Delenda est Carthago* is the uniform language of Frenchmen. What the meaning of that phrase will be, we may form a pretty good idea, from the history of Carthage, and the treatment which Lyons, one of their own cities, received, when it refused to comply with the decrees of the Convention. It is worth while to state this at some length, `as a useful lesson to my Countrymen.
By the new constitution of France, it was decreed, the King could not be dethroned, unless found at the head of an army against his country. This was to be regarded as the highest crime he could possibly commit, and even for this he could be punished no otherwise than by being dethroned. “ No crime whatever,” says the constitution, “shall be con“ strued to affect his life.” This constitution every Frenchman had sworn “to obey, and maintain with all his might.' When, therefore, it was proposed to the people of Lyons, by the emissaries of the National Convention, to petition for the death
of the King, they replied, almost with one voice, “ No: We have sworn, with all France, to maintain the new constitution with all our might. That constitution declares, that no crime whatsoever shall affect the life of the King. For any thing we have yet seen or heard, we believe him innocent of every crime that has been laid to his charge. The mode of bis trial is unprecedented in the annals of injustice, the Convention being at once accuser, evidence, and judge. We believe him perfectly innocent; but whether he be or not, the constitution that we have, by a solemn oath, bound ourselves to maintain with all our might, declares, that no crime whatever shall be construed to affect his life: that life, therefore, we cannot, we will not demand. The rest of the nation may sport with engagements which they have called the AlmiChty to witness; they may add the crime of assassination to that of perjury; they may stain themselves with the blood of
* The city of Carthage was taken and plundered by the Romans 144 years before the birth of Christ. It was twenty-four miles in compass, and the burning of it continued seventeen days together. CATU was the author of the sentence, Delenda est Carthagi, and Scipio put it in execution, with infinite horror, blood, and slaughter. Sce the Roman History for the account at large.
their innocent and unfortunate prince ; the Lyonese never will."
This was an answer full of good sense, justice, piety, and honour.
What, however, was the consequence? The Convention immediately vowed vengeance. A numerous army was prepared. Siege was laid to the city. Ten thousand of the inhabitants defended it for sixty days against fifteen times their number, though it had neither magazines nor fortifications. Thirty thousand men were slain without the city. Provisions failed within. A capitulation was proposed by the besieged. The besiegers, however, knowing the extremity to which the city was reduced for want of bread, would grant them no terms whatever, without putting to death indiscriminately all those who had taken up arms within the city. Seeing no hopes of capitulation, the besieged determined to cut their way through the enemy, or fall in the attempt. The besiegers, knowing all that passed from their partisans within the city, were prepared to receive them; insomuch that out of near four thousand persons who made this desperate effort, the whole were either killed or taken, except about fifty*.
* The French have always been a brave and warlike people. In no war, however, did they ever fight with such desperate and ferocious cou. rage as in the present. On the first of June against Lord Howe, and in the other more recent actions, they displayed the most determined reso. lution. The Dutch did the same in the late action against Admiral DUNCAN. But if the French and Dutch displayed such feats of bravery, what must the English have done? By land too, as well as by sea, the English, in the course of the present unhappy struggle, have discovered very eminent superiority. We usually say, Facis are stubborn things. Let the following then speak the language of honest truth: At Lincelle, 1109 Brilish Guards stormed a forinidable work, defended by six times their number, completely routed the enemy, and made themselves masters of the artillery.--In an action near Ceteau, 1800 British Cavalry defeated their army
25,000 men, pursued them to the gate of Cambray, took their general prisoner, and upwards of fifty pieces of cannon.--At the battle of Tournay, a small British Brigade, under the command of general Fox, drove back general Pichegru's left wing, and decided the victory, till that moment doubtful.--At a sortie from Nimeguen, six British Bat. talions marched out in the middle of the day, threw themselves, without firing a shot, into the enemy's trenches, dispersed the troops that guarded them, and, after being in possession of them two hours, and completely