« הקודםהמשך »
nesses, vices, and follies of its advocates? Will Philosophy endure to be tried by this test? The fact is, truth is a stubborn thing, and does not fluctuate with the varying whims and opinions of men. Every person must give an account of himself unto God. Hypocrites have no encouragement from the Bible. Why should any man, therefore, make their hypocrisy an objection to that Bible ? Let the blame fall where it belongs. The fate of such person is fixed by the Judge of the world himself. Their false pretensions are utterly disclaimed by him. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven ; but he that doeth the will of my FATHER which is in heaven. Many shall say unto me in that day, LORD, LORD, hare we net prophesied in thy name, and in thy name cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works ; but then will l profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, all ye that work iniquity.
The weakness, folly, and enthusiasm ; the noise and nonsense of the Zealots* among all the denominations of
* The extravagances of some of the German Anabaptists, the French Prophets, the English Quakers, Puritans, and Methodists, have given great and just offence to many sensible and well-disposed people, and been instrumental in driving no small number into down-right indifference to all religion; while cthers have contracted the most inveterate principles of Infidelity. But shall the follies of a few mistaken indivi. duals subvert the nature of things, and the laws of everlasting truth?
are weak, silly, enthusiastic, and enflamed with spiritual pride, shall we take upon us to say, there is no such thing as sound religion and good sense in the world? This would be to make ourselves as weak and culpable as those who take upon us to condemn.All revivals of religion have been attended with excesses; all sects and parties have had, and will have among them men of warın imaginations and feeble intellects; and wherever persons of this description become strongly impressed with the importance of religious truths, they seidon fail to disgrace the party to which they belong: There is no renody for such unfortunate cases, but to use our best endeavours to restrain and keep them within the bounds of moderation. This, however, is usually extremely difficult ; for all such persons are most cominonly wiser than ten men that can render a reason. They are blown up with self-importance, consider themselves as the peculiar favourites of Heaven, and under the immediate teachings and leadings of the Divine SPIRIT. While this persuasion continues, they treat the directions of Scripture as a dead letter, and in vain you attempt to reduce them to order, and the super dictates of reason and common sense,
Christians, is another cause of the Infidelity of the age. Unbelievers see the absurdity of their pretensions and proceedings, and they are undistinguishing and illiberal enough to comprehend them, and the pure Gospel of CHRIST, in one general sentence of reprobation. Such a conduct is surely uncandid, and highly unbecoming the character of men who would be thought lovers of wisdom. Where we see integrity and good intention at the bottom, we should make all requisite allowance for the infirmities of men. The best and wisest are encompassed with darkness, and know but in part. One grain of piety and moral excellence is more worth than the highest attainments in the arts and sciences, without those moral and religious qualifications.
Others again take offence at the absurd doctrines of the several religious Establishments* in Christendom. They
" It is the corruption of Establishments, ten thousand times worse " than the rudest dominion of tyranny, which has changed and is
changing, the face of the modern world.”
Mr. ÉRSKINE's Pamphlet on the Causes and Consequences of the present Wor, from which these words are extracted, contains a number of important political truths, but seems to me by no means satisfactory in speaking on the Causes of the war. Let any man read with sober consideration the Collection of Addresses transmitted by certain English Clubs and Societies to the National Convention of France, Miles's Conduct of France towards Great Britain-GIFFORD's Letter to the Earl of Lau. VENDALE-D'Iver NOISES's Account of the late Revolution in Genevawwith Eowles's Real Growieds of the present Wor with France. This litile purphiet is sufficiently satisfactory. Lord MORNINGTON's Specch before the Horise of Coximons is to the same purpose with the above. HARPER's Observations on the Dispute between the United States and France, is a decisive litle work. Tlie designs of the French are therein completely developer?. Nothing can be clearer, then that they were use aggressors in the present contest. He that cannot see this, when the evidence is so plainly laid before him, must be blinded by, and given up 1C, pariy.
In addition to what has becnadvanced by these several authors, I beg leave here to add a declaration of Lord AUCKLAND, Jan. 9, 1798, in the House of Lords, in reply to Loid HOLLAND. Speaking on the causes of the war, he said, “It was a war of accessity and not of choice; for he himself at the time
sent witii inil powers to preserve peace, if i could be done consistently with the honour and interest of this country. He was to have met DuMourier on the subject ; but, before the time appointed for that interview, a confidential officer came and informed him, that the
discoverin themcertain peculiarities which they conceive to be irrational. They confound the doctrines of these human institutions which were formed in the very dawn of the Reformation, while men's eyes were yet scarcely open enough to discover truth) with genuine Christianitý. Not being at the pains to examine matters to the bottom, anddistinguish accurately, they suppose them to be alike, and hence contract a rooted indifference, if not an unconquerable aversion, to all religion.
Some there are again, who, seeing the pomp and pride of many of our Bishops and dignified Clergy, how they, in direct opposition to the whole spirit of the Gospel, the example of primitive clerks, as well as their own holy profession, scramble for emolument, and heap together from two to half a score lucrative pieces of preferment, while several thousands of their brethren are destitute of the ordinary comforts of life, without further examination, naturally suppose that Religion is all priest-craft and selfinterest, honour and conscience baving nothing to do in the business. --It may be of use to state this more at large.
It is well known then, that there are about 18,000 Clergymen in England and IPales, of the established religion, and near 10,000 parishes. The Rectories are 5098 ; the Vicarages 3687 ; the Livings of other descriptions 2970; in all 11,755.
Twenty or thirty of those Livings may be a thousand a year and upwards: Four or five hundred of them 500 pounds a year and upwards: Two thousand of them 200 pounds a year and upwards: Five thousand of them under
100 pounds Directory had declared war against England; thus, by this pretended ne. gotiation, taking the opportunity to seize upon our shipping.”
London Chronicle, Jan. y--ll, 1798. The above several publications contain the whole merits of the cause concerning the authors of the war. And let it terminate as it ...?y, they will convince us that it could not have bcen avoided on any principle of honour or safety. In expectation of subverting the government of the country, the French, encouraged by disaffected persons in this kingdom, plunged into the war. Indeed, it is, properly speaking, the war of English Jacobins. If the French had not been stimulated by persons here, there has been no war.-Let us not, however, murmur against ven--the whole is of God. Great and good purposes are to be answered yit, in the due order of DivinE PROVIDENCE.
100 pounds a year.
The average value of Livings is about 140 pounds a year, reckoning them at 10,000.
As these things are not very generally understood, we will be a little more particular.
In the year 1714, when Queen Ann's Bounty began to be distributed, there were
1071 Livings not more than 10 pounds a year. 1467
50 In all 5697 Livings not more than 50 pounds a year a
piece. All the 10 and 20 pound Livings have now been augmevted by the above donation.
This bounty is about 13,000 pounds a year, clear of deductions, and is, therefore, equal to 65 augmentations annually, at 200 pounds a piece*.
The whole income of the Church and two Universities is about 1,500,000 pounds a year. There are 26 Bishops, whose annual income is 72,000, or according to another account 99,000 pounds: Each Bishop, therefore, has on an average 2,770 or 3,538 pounds a year, supposing he had no other preferment. — There are 28 Deaneries and Chapters, whose income is about 5000 pounds a year each, making together about 140,000 pounds. —The income of the two Universities is together about 180,000 pounds a year. The 10,000 Clergy t have together about 1,108,000
* The Clergy are indebted to Bishop Burnet for this application. The money
itself arises from the first-fruits and tenths of church-livings, above a certain value, which, before the time of Henry the 8th, u.ed to go to the Pope of Rome.
+ The Dissenters in England and Wales are said, by the late Mr. Ro. BINSON, of Cambridge, to make about a fifth part of the nation, consisting of near 1400 congregations. The Quakers are numerous, being about 50,000, but the Baptists are still more numerous than either the Quakers, or the Presinyterians, or Independents, or Moravians.
To these should be added the Methodist Preachers of the Gospel. The seguiar circuit Preachers in Great Britain are about 300, and the local Preachers are supposed to amount to near 2000.
pounds a year among them, which is little more than 100 pounds a piece. The whole body of the Clergy and their families make near 100,000 souls, that is, about an eightieth part of the nation. And reckoning the population of England and IVales at eight millions of people, every Clergyman would have a congregation of 44* persons to attend to, in the same way of calculation. There are, moreover, 28 Cathedrals
, 26 Deans, 60 Archdeacons, and 544 Prebends, Canons, &c.—Besides
The Preachers of this description in Ireland are so, and the local Preachers 2 or 300.
In addition to these, they have 300 Preachers in America, besides local assistants. The number of Missionaries in the West Indies is 20, besides 50 Negro Preachers. In Antigua there are three Missionaries; in St. Christopher's, two; in Barbadoes, one; in Grenada, one ; in St. Bartholomew's, one; and in Jamaica, five. Hence it appears, that the whole number of persons, who preach the Gospel to the poor in the Me. thodist connection at present, may be about 2 or 3000; of which nunber 2000 are stationed in Great Britain.
The number of persons belonging to the societies of the late Reverend John Wesley is about 82,600 in this country; 18,000 in Ireland; 60,000 in America; and 9,000 in the West Indies; namely, 3,000 in Tortola and the Virgin Islands, about 2,600 in Antigua, about 1,600 in St. Christopher's, about 500 in Nevis, about 20 in Montserrat, about 80 in Dominica, about 1000 in St. Vincent's, about 60 in Bar. badoes, about 80 in Grenada, and about 900 in Jamaica; in all 169,600. The number of Negroes who attend the Methodist preachings in the West Indies is about 50,000 : and the number of poor Blocks on the continent of America, belonging to the Methodist societies, is about 14,000. These and the 9,000 in the West Indies, making together 23,000 Negroes, have renounced their besetting sin-polygamy, and, in the main, live as becomes the Gospel.
The followers of the late Reverend GEORGE WHITEFielt, and Lady HUNTINGDON, are said to consist of nearly an equal number in Great Britain, though, I should suppose, this calculation is rather exaggerated.
It appears from Dr. WHITEHEAD's Lives of the Wesley family, that the name of Methodist was first bestowed upon Mr. CHARLES WE's: LEY in 1728, at Oxford, for the exact method and order which he ob. served in spending his time, and regulating his conduct. An origin surely truly honourable, and of which ro wise man need be ashamed !
And then, what a highly respectable compliment do the “blind mouths” of this world pay the Methodists, in calling every man by that name, whose conduet is moral, whose piety is fervent, and whose affections are set upon the things that are above?-Good men in all ages have been what the foolish world now call Methodists.