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Bancroft's Sermons. England from the unchangeable laws and to beware of remotest antiquity of truth and recti- their doctrine.to the late revolutude."
And why, says he,
“We are com• even of yourselves the liberty given manded to call no judge ye not what and taken to think
man father, know- is right ? If a man freely, the devil's ing that one is our come to me, and power visibly de- Father, who is in bate not his father clined, & England, heaven.” p. 22. and mother, he as well as the Unit
cannot be my dis. ed Provinces, ceas “ Good senti- ciple. And he ed to be any part ments legitimnately commanded his of his Christian derived from the own disciples not territories.
word of God, are to be called rabbi “Let the priests unquestionably the nor masters; by give such an in- foundation of reli- which last words stance of their suc. gion. But in deter- our learned comcess against the mining what these mentator, the Rev. devil any where."
are, every man Dr. Whitby, un
must judge for him. derstands, that Plain English.
self. Why even we should call no “ If you are apt to be afraid of the of yourselves,' man guide, or mas. devil, think freely of him, and you saith Lord, ter upon eartb, no destroy him and his kingdom. Free- judge ye not fathers, no church, thinking has done him more mischief what is right.'- no council.' And than all the clergy in the world ever • Not for that we indeed whoever could do ; they believe in the devil, have dominion considers, that all they have an interest in him, and over your faith,' the priests upon therefore are the great supports of his saith our Apostle. earth were kingdom.” My meaning is, that to And again, · Who mies to our blessed think freely of the devil, is to think art thou, that judg- Saviour and his there is no devil at all; and he that est another man's gospel, and that thinks so, the devil's in him if he be servant.' Every he, giving the priafraid of the devil.” 'pp. 6, 7.
must judge vilege of infallibi.
for himself, and any lity to no body " Our Saviour “Our Saviour attempt to subject besides bis holy a. prefaces a case of particularly comhim to any incon- postles, could not moral duty with mands us to search venience on this be secure that any the question, why, the scriptures, that account is usurpa. priests would ever even of yourselves, is, to endeavour to tion.” Elec. Serm. be otherwise ; I judge ye not what find out their true 1822.
say, he who conis right ? It is then meaning. And for
siders this, evident that Christ fear we should sut
never think it posrecognised powers render our judg.
sible for Christ to in man to judge of ments to our fath
give so partial a the evidence on ers, and mothers,
command, as to which his religion or church rulers,
contain a reserve is founded, and to or preachers, he
in behalf of any perceive that his bids us take heed
set of priests, in instructions are what we hear, and
prejudice of the conformable to the whom we bear,
general rules of
Plain English. free-thinking, on
“6 Christ bimself commands us to be wbich, the gospel free-thinkers, for he bids us search the was to be built, scriptures, and take heed whal and and which he so whom we hear; by which he plainly particularly Jaid warns us, not to believe our bishops down and inculcate and clergy; for Jesus Christ, when ed.” pp. 45, 46. he considered that all the Jewish and
“ As there can heathen priests, whose religion he be no reasonable came to abolish, were his enemies, change of opinions rightly concluded that those appointed among men, po by him to preach his own gospel, quitting of any old would probably be so too ; and could religion, no recep- not be secure, that any set of priests, tion of any new of the faith be delivered, would ever religion, nor be- be otherwise ; therefore it is fully lieving any reli- demonstrated that the clergy of the gion at all, but by church of England are mortal enemies means of free. to Christ, and ought not to be be. thinking ; so the lieved."
9. holy scriptures, a. Dan Huntington. greeably to reason,
“ The most vio “ It is evidently and to the design lent dissensions and matter of fact that of our blessed Sa- the most bloody a viour of establish. wars bave arisen thinking is the ing his religion among men, in at• cause of all the throughout the tempting, by au• confusion which is whole universe, thority, to regulate pretended to arise imply every where each other's opi- from diversity of and press in many nions.
opinions ; and that places the duty of “ Much has been liberty of thinking free.thinking said on the subject is the remedy for
“ The design of of heresy, & much all the disorders the gospel was, by has been done to which are pretendpreaching, to set suppress it. But ed to arise from all men upon free. it is worthy of re- diversity of opinthinking, that they mark, that all the ions.” p. 103. might think them. mischief in society selves out of those has arisen rather notions of God from opposition to and religion which heresy, than from were every where heresy itself.” E. established by law, Sermon. and receive an un
Plain English. known God and an “ It may be objected, that the bulk unknown religion of mankind is as well qualified for on the evidence the flying as thinking, and if every man apostles, or first thought it his duty to think freely, and messengers, pro- trouble his neighbour with his thoughts duced to convince (which is an essential part of freethem.” pp. 43, 44. thinking,) it would make wild work in
the world. I answer; whoever cannot think freely, may let it alone if he pleases, by virtue of his right to think freely; that is to say, if such a man freely thinks that he cannot think freely, of which every man is a sufficient judge, why then he need not think freely, unless he thinks fit.”—
“When every single man comes to have a different opinion every day from the whole world, and from himself, by virtue of free-thinking, and thinks it his duty to convert every man to his own free-thinking, as all we free-thinkers do,) how can that possibly create so great a diversity of opinions, as to have a set of priests agree among themselves to teach the same opinions in their several parishes to all who will come to hear them ? Besides, if all people were of the same opinion, the remedy would be worse than the disease; I will tell you the reason some other time.” p. 18. Worcester Committee.
Collins. " If the correct. " I might in like vess of religious manner have intenets could be stanced in Eras. tested by the ta- mus, father Paul, lents, the learning, Joseph Scaliger, or the moral worth Cartesius, Gassenof those who have dus,Grotius, Hookmaintained them, er, Chillingworth, the faith of unita. lord Falkland, lord rians might safely Herbert, of Cherrest on such au- bury, Selden, thorities as Locke, Hales, Milton, and Newton, and Wilkins, Marsham, Clarke, and Lard. Spencer, Whitchner, and Emlyn, cot, Cudworth, and Priestly, and More, sir W. TemPrice. In the ple, and Locke ; works of these dis but that I am afraid tinguished men, & I have been alreaof many others, dy too tedious; may be found a and besides, they vindication of the are all already sentiments they known for their professed.” Pre- penetration, vir: face to Dr. Ban- tue, and freecroft's Sermons. thinking, to those
Collins. who apply themselves to the read. ing of the best modern authors, and even by fame to others. I will only add, that as I take it to be a dif. ficult, if not impossible task, to name a man dis. tinguished for his sense and virtue, and who has left any thing behind him to enable us to judge of him, who has not given us some proofs of his free-thinking, by departing from the opinions commonly received, (as indeed every man of sense who thinks at all niust do, unless it cau be supposed possible, when opinions prevail by mere chance, without any regard to rea.
reason and chance should produce the same effect ;) so I look upon it as impossible to name an enemy to freethinking, however dignified or distin. guished, who has not been either crack-brained and enthusiastical, or guilty of the most diabolical vices, malice, ambition, inhumanity, and sticking at means (though ev
nounce the communion of it.” Works, so immoral) 10th ed. p. 24. which be thought “ We all do worthily condemn and tended to Gud's detest that blasphemous heresy of the glory and the good Socinians, who exclude the meritorious of the church ; or death and suffering of Christ from havhas not left
using any necessary influence into our some marks of bis justification and salvation, making it
igno. of no greater virtue than the sufferings rance and brutali. of the blessed martyrs, who, by their ty.” p. 177.
death, set their seal and testimony to Plain English.
the truth of the gospel which freely “I could name one and twenty more
offers forgiveness of sins to all penigreat men, who were all free-thinkers; tent believers.” Serm. v. p. 58. but that I fear to be tedious. For, 'tis certain that all men of sense de
To the Editor of the Gospel Advocate. part from the opinions commonly received ; and are consequently more or The Age of Benevclence, A Poem, by
Carlos Wilcox. Book I. New less men of sense, according as they
Haven, 1822. depart more or less from the opinions commonly received; neither can you I HAVE lately read, with great pleasure, name an enemy to free-thinking, how- this interesting production of the Ame: ever he be dignified or distinguished, rican muse, and admire it no less for whether archbishop, bishop, priest, or the excellence of its matter, than for deacon, who has not been either a the beautiful garb in which it is adorncrack-braineid enthusiast, a diabolical ed. When the charms of poetry are villian, or a most profound ignorant thus enlisted in the cause of pure and brute.”
undefiled religion, and the peculiar
doctrines of the gospel are the theme of From the last extract, the reader admiration and gratitude ; when gewill see that the free-thinkers of the nius exerts its utmost efforts, and fancy last century were as fond of quoting its warmest glow, in the cause of truth great names as the right-of-private. and of heaven, how much does the in. judgment-gentlemen are in the present. trinsick worth of the American poet Chillingworth and Locke certainly rise above the licentious principles of belonged to the one quite as much as the bewildered Byron ! It is delight. to the other.
ful to the feelings of the pious heart to "If you would have your son reason know, that, while the infidel and the well,” said Locke, “ let him read scorner, and him who bears the ChrisChillingworth.” And as the name of tian name without the Christian's Cbillingworth is mentioned so often, faith, are all engaged in overthrowing and with so much confidence, by the the venerable fabrick of “ the faith free-thinkers of the present day, it once delivered to the saints,” there may not be amiss to conclude with are those, who, with the “ fear of God the following extracts from his writings. before their eyes," and a "knowledge
“For the church of England I am of his truth" in their hearts, raise the persuaded that the constant doctrine banner of the cross, and proclaim salof it is so pure and orthodox, that vation to a guilty world, through the whosoever believes it, and lives ac- atoning blood of the incarnate God. cording to it, undoubtedly he shall be Such men are an honour to. American saved ; and that there is no errour in literature, and to their country, and it, which may necessitate or warrant their country should give them the any man to disturb the peace, or re- meed of its applause. Mr. Wilcox
45 ADVOCATE, VOL. II.
certainly ranks with the first, and I Its work to finish, in despite of earth, would add, our best poets. The sub. Sin, death, and hell, combined for its defeat, jects he has chosen for his theme are
Safely, triumphantly, to heaven conveys important, as well as interesting. "The Forever, to its everlasting praise.
Trophies innumerable, there to shine benevolence of God in his works : His benevolence the theme of revela. “The bleeding cross, howe'er by thanktion : Its highest glory in the work of
less man redemption, and in the renovating ef- Scorned as the monument of his deep guilt,
His utter helplessness, ruin entire, fects of the preaching of the cross, Entire dependence on another's aid, &c. &c. are subjects on which angels is yet the only monument that shows, delight to dwell.
In all the greatness of his high descent As it is not, however, my object to And destiny iinmortal, his true worth review the work as a critick, I shall lo heaven's account. The cross, howe'er
despised, content myself with inviting the atten.
And to a curse perverted by the blind, tion of your readers to the following is yet the only ladder to the skies, extract from this interesting poem ; For men to climb, or angels to descend. and recommending the work to their Between this world and that of spirits blest,
Glad intercourse, without the cross, were patronage.
The earth, united by no golden chain 6 But, far above all others, though sublime, of mercy, to the realm of innocence, One grand display of goodness infinite By none united to the throne above, Rises to view, astonishes, attracts,
Would i un alone its melancholy course, Commands the admiration of high heaven,
By its Creator's never changing frown The gratitude of earth. All eyes at once
Blasted throughout, presenting to the sight To Calvary look, for this supreme display
Of heaven's pure beings, keeping all aloof, Of greatness and benevolence combined ; A spectacle of horrour unrelieved. To man's redemption from the curse deserved Torn from the anchor of hope, a wreck im. Of death eternal, at the price of blood
mense, Poured from the wounds of God's expiring With what rapidity and terrible force, Son,
Straight toward destruction would it drive Poured from his he:art of overflowing love.
along, Here all the glories of the Godhead meet,
Froin its whole surface sending to the skies And in one splendid constellation shine ; The shrieks and wailings of despairing men ! Here with consummate harinony they blend Without the radiance of etherial day, Their various beauties, and together form
From the third heaven let down, a cheering A token of mercy, thrown across that cloud stream, Suspended o'er the world, with vengeance Through the one skylight opened by the charg'd,
cross, Threatening destruction. Wisdom, justice, With what thick darkness were this dungeon power,
filled, All measureless, to this stupendous work That nothing could remove and none endure ! The grandeur of divinity impart ;
And live there those, within this heavenly But love imparts the loveliness divine.
light, Love, love unspeakable, pervades the whole, Who, fond of darkness, madly shut their Throughout diffusing its immortal charms.
eyes, Love was its source in the eternal mind, And grope, at every step, in painful doubt And its accomplishment was wrought by which way to turn, though on the fatal love.
brink ? Love made the covenant ere time began, As if upon a world of one long night And love fulfilled it at the destined hour. A sun should rise, and its juhabitants, 'Twas love that wept, and agonized, and In wilsul blindness, should still feel their way,
Stumbling at noon. Is there, within this light, That rose to intercede, and judge, and reign. A single eye, that overlooks the cross, "Tis love unquenchable, its great design As fabled, or not needed? Can there be Pursuing still intently, that sends down An eye, that never watered it with tears The gracious Spirit, to constrain, and fit Of penitence and love ? a stubborn knee, The guilty, proffered pardon to receive, That never bowed before it? or a band The lost salvation ; and almighty love, That never clasped it with the energy