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sound words, as the best adapted to the wants and capacities of all, so that the whole people with one mind and one mouth may glorify God through Jesus Christ our Lord, from one end of the empire to the other.
This being recognized by the State, it deserves the sanction, and ought to be cherished by the State; because religious principles which bind man to man, will not suffer us to consent to what is false ourselves, or to instruct another in that which we believe to be in error or untrue. Wherefore, to maintain all creeds alike is contrary to the Spirit of Christ. To make no distinction between them would be alike opposed to the principles of the Church in every age, and to the practice of every society of Christians, and to common sense.
Blessed as we have been, moreover, by the grace of God, with an authorized version of the Holy Bible, which, with small exception, Protestant Christians have hitherto with one consent, received as the inspired word of God, we cannot be too careful of the inestimable treasure. For, if in the vain attempt to please men, or to reconcile their religious differences, this authorized version should be rendered null, what shall remain as the standard and the test of Truth amongst us? If each religious sect may, under the sanction of authority, introduce its own version of the Holy Bible as the basis of instruction, in order either to establish its own“ private interpretation,” or to propound a system of religious education adapted to its own peculiar opinions, to what shall we appeal for the validity of our holy religion ?* Babel itself can figure to the imagination no confusion so great as the consequence of annihilating confidence in the
* See Note 0.
authenticity of an authorized standard version of the Holy Bible. Nor can any greater punishment for such iniquity be contemplated, than the uncertainty and doubt which must inevitably follow.
It is, therefore, the wisdom of the people of this nation, to hold fast to the holy Scripture, which is written, as it should seem, because God will not suffer a lie to be propagated before the congregation of his saints, without the means of its detection.
Wherefore, through fear of damage or hope of reward, not to move the Public Opinion against the danger and the folly of annihilating the authorized version of the Holy Scriptures, as the only standard and the test of Truth, would be a base abandonment of my duty as a minister of Christ. Here then I faithfully warn you, my fellow-Christians, that if the people care not to retain the knowledge of God our heavenly Father, and of His Will as He has revealed it, we must expect to be given over to a reprobate mind; and being thus filled with all iniquity, we shall be fitted only for destruction. We, who have been hitherto nourished as the sheep of God's pasture, may then expect to be visited with famine; not a famine for bread, nor thirst for water, but of hearing the word of the Lord.
But let us remember that our Father which is in heaven is all-powerful, and able to overrule all things by his Sovereign will. To Him our Lord Jesus Christ hath taught us to pray for ourselves and for all men; and therefore we may comprehend His readiness to hear our prayers and His power to grant them. Let the sublimity of His exalted throne prevail with us to lift up our hearts to Him, for the exercise of His dominion, so that His kingdom may come, and His will be done, and His name be hallowed, and that the evil which seems to overhang our holy religion may pass over like a morning cloud, and be seen no more.
Having blessed us with the means of spreading the holy gospel, as a nation and as individuals let us privately and publicly pray to Our Father for His grace and help, and thus cast all our care upon God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Then we may expect that He will ride forth in the chariot of his everlasting gospel, that He will then take to Himself His glorious power of conquering His enemies, and thus shall His Truth become a light to lighten the Gentiles ; then shall sinners be turned from the error of their ways; and by the blessing of God we shall hand down to our children and our children's children the unadulterated word of God, and the holy religion of Christ Jesus our Lord, by whose Spirit alone they can be sanctified.
Certain lands were reserved for the maintenance of Church of England Ministers in North America, and until such lands should be productive of a revenue, this grant was made for their support, and handed over to the Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts, which was thus in fact made almoner to the Government to the amount of £16,000 per annum. But unhappily for the cause of Christianity, as if this nation had forgotten that she was a Christian nation, she has not only withdrawn this grant, but she has disposed of some of the reserved lands, and disposed of the produce of their sale for other than church purposes. The people of England ought to know that “ the incomes of the clergy of the Roman church, amounting to £200 per annum, for each, are still enjoyed by them, whilst our own Protestant clergy have to obtain a precarious living from the bounty of the public, " . e. the voluntary contributions of the members of the Church of England. See Bishop of London's Speech at Willis's Rooms, June 22, 1838.
When the Brahmins, at Thunassar, came by night to the tent of the Bishop (Wilson) of Calcutta, a Pundit, attracted by a boy who had heard that the bishop was learning Sanscrit, to inquire the truth of the report, they were shown Dr. Mills' Christa Sangita, which they read with fluency. “ They disbelieved the author to be an European. When assured of the fact, they declared he must be an angel; nor were they satisfied without sitting down and making my pundit read to them till break of day from the wonderful book, as they called it.”- Letter of Bishop of Calcutta. Report of Soc. for Prom. Chris. Knowledge, 1838, p. 45.
C. The following is an extract from the notice framed and hung up in the Travellers' Room, in the Black Swan Inn, at York.
“ York Four Days'
“ Stage Coach Begins on Friday, April 12, 1706. All that are desirous to pass from London to York, or from York to London, or any other place on that road; let them repair to the Black Swan, Holbourn, in London, and to the Black Swan, in Coney Street, in York. At both which places, they may be received in a Stage Coach every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, which performs the whole journey in four days, (if God permits) and sets forth at Five in the morning, and returns from York to Stamford in two days, and from Stamford by Huntingdon in two days more; and the like Stages on their return.”
It is curious to contrast this with the records of the Great Western Steamer, which made her passage across the Atlantic within twelve days.
However opposed Protestant Dissenters of various denominations may have been aforetime to the Church of England, they have been generally more determined in the opposition to the Roman Church. But now, as Herod and Pilate who were at enmity with each other before they united for the accomplishment of the death of Christ, the Romanists and many of the Dissenters have, with some honourable exceptions, like these ancient adversaries of God and godliness, joined hands for the destruction of the Church of England.
E. If it be admitted that the Church of Rome prevailed in England from A.D. 596, the date of Augustine's mission, until the era of the Reformation, still it must be admitted also, that under her influence, the force of authority and constraint exercised by kings who espoused her cause, and literary destitution conspired both to make and to secure her proselytes. “ The desire of aggrandizement, the regard for superstitious rites, the pride and the pomp of the Romish Church were speedily diffused, like leaven, among the English proselytes; and they were no sooner subdued to its yoke, than they were left to themselves, and the imperfect tuition of native Saxon priests." This will, in some degree, account for the miserable condition in which learning was found, in the reign of Alfred,* say A.D. 870, nearly 300 years after the introduction of the Roman Church. Such also was the ignorance of the priests at the Reformation, that the Homilies were drawn up to enable them to teach the people the sacred Truths necessary to salvation. At this day, the people, however they may be influenced by example, will not adopt any system of religion at the bidding of authority. They have been instructed for the most part: they must have a reason assigned for what they are required to receive for "doctrine :" it must also be based upon the authority of Holy Writ; and public opinion, thus made up must be expressed, and must prevail, or the tide of superstition and infidelity will overwhelm the nation with anarchy and confusion.
* Mosheim, vol. i. pp. 322, 431. Cunningham's Lives of Eminent Englishmen, vol. i. pp, 121, 122.1