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a revival of that opposition, and probably too, by a revival of the persecution of its most zealous advocates, even unto death, that it must be purified, refined, and restored to its primitive beauty and simplicity. Philosophical unbelievers, as well as intolerant Christians, will proceed, per fas atque nefas, to carry a favourite point. Human nature is the same in all, however modified, and whatever our pretensions. The pure gospel of Christ, too, never had more deterinined and well-furnished enemies in these latter ages, than Lewis the fourteenth,(1) Bolingbroke,
lujah racked the wits of whole universities. Doctors of divinity were created and pronounced 'most sufficient, who had never read the Bible. Erasmus says, divines of 80 years of age were all amazement at hearing any thing quoted from Paul, and, that preachers of 50 years standing, ad never seen the New Testa.
Musculus assures us, that multitudes of them never saw the Scriptures in their lives. Amama tells us of the archbishop of Mentz, that opening the Bible, he said, in truth, I do not know what this book is, but I perceive that every thing in it is against
Cardinal Hosius's persuasion was, that it had been best for the church, if no gospel had been written.
The popish clergy all through Europe, are still in a situation truly deplorable. They have had, indeed, some considerable in. dividuals especially among the Jesuits; but taking them as a bo. dy, there has been a most melancholy deficiency of literary at. tainments.
If it had not been for the reformation, most of the riches of christendom would at this day have been in the hands of the clergy. The revenues of the present archbishop of Mexico are 70,000 pounds a year! The bishopric of Durham is 20,0001. a year; Winchester is very considerable, and some others are the same.
(1) The Roman Catholics, since the rise of persecution, in the seventh or eighth century, have butchered, in their blind and infernal zeal for the church, no less than fifty millions of Protes. tant Christians of different descriptions. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel. A righteous Provi. dence is now taking vengeance on them for their horrible transactions? It is about 300 years since the Spaniards discovered America and the West Indies. The Governor of the world has a quarrel with them for dreadful cruelties towards the poor, unoffending inhabitants. Twelve millions they butchered on the continent, besides the many millions who fell in the islands. Arise, O God, and plead the cause of these thy creatures.
and Voltaire; never more true and powerful friends. The sword of the first, the philosophy of the second, and the ridicule of the third, have already had very considerable effects. The French themselves at this
And is England less guilty, with respect to her trade in human beings? In ages to come, it will scarcely meet with credit, that we, who boast ourselves of being a free nation, the most religious people in Europe, and the purest and best constituted church in the world, should have been capable of buying and selling annually, upon an average, 60,000 souls. If there were no other cause, this is enough to bring down the severest of the divine judgments! No political motives whatever can justify the diabolical traific. Andis it not strange, that when the abolition of this trade had passed the house of commons, it should not be able to pass the house of lords, where are assembled twenty-six shepherds and bishops of souls? Blessings on the head of those few worthy prelates, who pleaded the cause of humanity, and stood forth the advocates of universal freedom !
We have long enjoyed a share both of civil and religious liberty. We have made our boast of this privilege, sometimes very insolently insulting other nations, because they did not enjoy the same. And yet we have the impudence, the inhumanity, the cruelty, the horrible villany, to enslave 60,000 poor helpless souls every year! O England !
of Canst thou, and honour'd with a Christian name,
may the wolf, whom famine has made bold
He found it inconvenient to be poor.” We have also a long and dreadful account to setile with divine Providence for our rapacious conduct in the East Indies. This wonderful country has at the same time enriched and ruined every nation which hath possessed it. The Spaniards, by a just re-action of a righteous Providence, have been enriched and ruined, by the possession of Mexico and Peru. Every man who goes to the East Indies, with mercantile views, goes to make his fortune. This is frequently done, and too often in ways the most dishonourable. In the year 1769 three millions of the natives of Bengal perished for want, through the avarice of a few Englishmen!
moment, are but tools in his hand, to bring forward his designs ; to purge the gospel of its contracted inpurities; to manifest to mankind the truth of the prophetic Scriptures; to punish the kingdoms for their
“ Hast thou, though suckled at fair freedom's breast,
To tempt the poor to sell himself to thee." By way of softening our resentment against the traders in human creatures, it may be here observed, that the most polished of the ancient nations were over-run with slaves of the most oppressed kind. Every person acquainted with profane history knows well the miserable condition of the Helots in Sparta.
Even in Athens, where slaves were treated with less inhumanity, they found their condition so intolerable, that 20,000 of them deserted during one of the wars in which they were engaged.
About the year 310 before Christ, the small state of Attica alone contained 400,000 slaves.
Slavery greatly abounded in the Roman empire also. Among them, slaves were frequently mutilated in their youth, and abandoned in their old age. Some, whom age or infirmities had rendered unfit for labour, were conveyed to a small uninhabited isl. and in the Tyber, where they were left to perish with famine. In short, all sorts of punishments, which the wickedness, wantonness, cruelty, or caprice of their owners could inflict, were frequently used.
Such has been the general practice of mankind in every age preceding the introduction of the gospel! And it is the introduction and profession of that gospel which renders the dealing in slaves so enormously wicked! A Christian buying and selling slaves! A man, who professes, that the leading law of his life, is, to do as he would be done by, spending his time, and ainassing a fortune, in buying and selling his fellow-men!
" Is there not some chosen curse,
abominations; to rouse them from their long sleep of guilty security; to remove all the rubbish of superstition and human ordinances out of the way; and to bring in the reign of universal righteousness, when contending nations shall learn war no more. In the mean time, there is great reason to apprehend, there will be no small degree of human misery throughout the several countries professing christianity, before these halcyon days come forward.
It is a melancholy circumstance, that before the present French war broke out, there were fought, in little more than a century, an hundred bloody battles hy land, besides what were fought by sea, between the several Christian governments of Europe. This state of things is awful. It is the pouring out the vials of God's wrath upon the churches. The time, however, is fast approaching, when these miseries shall have an end." The beast shall be destroyed, and his . dominion taken away.
The several king doms which have supported him shall be overturned. False, superstitious, and idolatrous doctrines, rites, and ceremonies, shall all be swept off, and the pure, simple, unadulterated gospel of Jesus shall spring up, The French are God's rod, to scourge the nations of Europe for their unchristian abominations. They are God's
besom, and intended to sweep the Christian church of its filth, and nonsense, and superstition, and idolatry. It is true, they have no such intentions: but when the Lord has accomplished his whole
the corrupt Christian nations and churches, then he will lay them aside, cause the indignatjon to cease, and
pure undefiled religion shall nourish. This can never be, till the rubbish is removed. The superstitions of popery must first be done away. One generation, or perhaps two or three must first be swept off, and in the course of a few centuries, those, who then live, will see more peaceable, more happy, and more glorious days. But it will be long
ere the nonsensical superstitious doctrines and practices of antichrist, can be rooted out of the several popish countries. And it is exceedingly probable, that infidelity must first become almost general among the several orders of the people, before pure, .genuine, purged christianity can prevail. We
We protestants who have never been abroad, can have no proper
idea of the poor, low, silly, superstitious state, in which the minds of the common people are kept, by the mummery and art of the priests in all the catholic countries. In Naples, which contains only about 300,000 inhabitants, there are 300 churches, 120 convents of men, and 40 of women. The motherchurch is dedicated to St. Januarius, and when any calamitous events arise, this St. Januarius is applied to, his image is carried about in procession, and thousands of prayers are offered up to this supposed patron, for deliverance.
Processions of a similar kind are extremely common at Rome, and all over Italy, and, indeed, all through the catholic world. At Madrid, the capital of Spain, the Virgin Mary, it seems, is the most favourite protectress. Abundance of ceremonies are here continually carrying on in honour of the mother of our Lord. In all Madrid not a single street or house is to be found, which is not decorated with a portrait or bust of the Virgin. Incredible is the annual consumption of flowers made use of in Spain for crowning the Virgin's image; incredible the number of hands, which are continually employed from morning till night in dressing her caps, turning her petticoats, and embroidering her ruffles. Every Spaniard regards the Virgin in the light of his friend, his confidante, his mistress, whose whole attention is directed to himself, and who is perpetually watching over his happiness. Hence the name of Mary hangs incessantly upon his lips, mixes in all his compliments, and forms a part of all his wishes. speaking, in writing, his appeal is always to the vir