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" on to subscribe those Articles; still to disbe“ lieve and contradict them &."

Under the existing circumstances there is no room to wonder at such observations. But ought not something to be done by the Dignitaries of the Church to rescue the Clergy at large from these censures ? Above all, docs it not behove the Primates to inquire into the causes of such serious charges, and to take some effective steps towards removing them ?

The conspicuous part which your Grace has taken in the Society lately instituted, for educating the children of the poor in the principles of the Church of England, forbids me to question your readiness to manifest equal anxiety and zeal for the religious instruction and spiritual edification of the adults of the community. But how are these objects provided for in the present state of the established ministry ? Such is the discordance between the doctrines preached in different churches, and in some cases even in the same church on different parts of the day, by Clergymen who have all subscribed to the same theolo. gical system, that a regular churchman, unless he previously knows who will occupy the pulpit, cannot form even a probable conjecture, whether he shall hear truth or error, orthodoxy or heresy.

An observation long ago made by Dr. Waterland, on the subject of clerical subscription by those who did not fully agree with the doctrine

a Ind. Wh. vol. iii. p. 403, 404.

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of the Church respecting the Trinity, is equally applicable to the subject more immediately under consideration. If either State oaths on the one

hand, or Church subscriptions on the other, “ once come to be made light of; and subtleties “ be invented to defend, or palliate, such gross in

sincerity, we may bid farewell to principles, “and religion will be little better than disguised “ atheism.” But every one, at all acquainted with the state of the Clergy, knows that in innumerable instances their “ Church subscriptions” have been "made" as “light of” as the generality of oaths taken at our custom-houses, which have long been proverbial as so many unmeaning forms. But what becomes of principles? If, as has been justly observed, every posiure is an approximation to a shape, and every act an advance towards a habit, what fatal effects such solemn acts of gross insincerity be reasonably expected to produce on the moral sense of the Clergy themselves! And how is it possible for the Laity to escape the mischievous conse, quences ?

Are there not too many, who commence the clerical career by “subscribing willingly and ex animo" to certain Articles, as being "and every agreeable to the word of God,” which they have scarcely given themselves the trouble to read, or perhaps have read and disbelieved and never intend to preach ?Of such

may not

s6 all

* First Defence of Queries, against Dr. Clarke, pref. p. 4.

xxviii

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unworthy sons of the Church, such antipodes of
what Clergymen ought to be, we may

well

say-
“ Is this the path of sanctity? Is this
" To stand a way mark io the road to bliss ?
« Himself a wanderer from the narrow way,
“ His silly sheep, what wonder if they stray?
“Go, cast your orders at your Bishop's feet,

your
dishonour'd gown

to Monmouth-street.
66 The sacred faoction in

your

hands is made,
Sad sacrilege! no function, but a trade •."
Happy for the Church, that amidst the too ge-
neral dereliction of principle, there are some to be
found, among the various orders of the Clergy,
who possess a different character. It may sur-
prise many persons to hear those represented as
the truest Sons of the Church, who are so fre-
quently stigmatized in the language of invective,
ridicule, and contempt. But let the matter of fact
at this very time be fairly and fully examined.

Who among the Clergy are the most exact in
fulfilling “ the solemn promise and vow that was
“ made in their name at their baptism,” and
subsequently “ratified and confirmed in their
“ own persons),” to “ renounce the Devil and all
his works, the pomps and vanity of this wicked

world, and all the sinful .lusts of the flesh ?" not only avoiding the grosser pollutions, the vulgar vices of the world, but also refraining from the various

gay and fashionable expedients which perverse ingenuity has contrived for murdering

a Cowper.

b

Confirmation Service.

c Catechism.

4

time and dissipating serious thought ? Who are the most diligent in discharging the duties of their office public and private ? Who are most “ attentive to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine;

meditating upon these things; giving them“ selves wholly to them; that their profiting may

appear unto alla ?” Who are most laborious in

preaching the word, instant in season and out “ of seasonb;” privately as well as publicly re

proving, rebuking, exhorting with all long “suffering and doctrine?” Who are followed by the most numerous and attentive congregations ? Of whom may it truly be said, as it was of our divine Lord, during his ministry on earth, that " the common people heard him gladlyoz” Whose preaching is most effectual “by sound “ doctrine both to exhort and to convince the

gainsayersd”-to “convert sinners from the “error of their wayse”-to “ turn many to

righteousnessf”--to “ make men wise unto sal“ vation, by faith in Christ Jesus?"—Who are the closest followers of the apostolic exhortation,

Be thou an example of the believers, in word, “in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, “ in purity h?” Who possess the refined pleasure of beholding the most important practical advantages resulting from their labours--such as, the libertine become chaste, the drunkard sober,

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* 1 Tim. iv. 13, 15.
d Tit. i. I.
& 2 Tim. iii. 15.

b 2 Tim. iv. 2.
e James v. 20.
hi Tim. iv. 12.

• Mark xii. 37.
i Daniel xii, 3.

the avaricious liberal, the slothful industrious, the fraudulent honest, the censorious candid, the liar a speaker of truth, the contentious peaceable the passionate meek, the proud humble, the malicious benevolent; in a word, those who “ were " the servants of sin, made free from sin, and “ become servants of God, having their fruit “unto holiness, and the end everlasting lifea ?" The answer to these questions, to be consistent with truth, must be- THOSE WHO SUBSCRIBE THE ARTICLES IN “THE LITERAL AND GRAMMATICAL SENSE.” No person can attend THEIR ministrations, and observe the multitudes hanging upon their lips, without contrasting the interest excited by their sermons to the indifference discovered under those of the generality of their brethren. And every unprejudiced observer finds himself surrounded by numerous proofs, that their preaching does in fact answer the ends for which the preaching of the Gospel was originally instituted.

What sincere regret, then, must it occasion to every true Churchman, that these firmest friends and most active promoters of the best interests of the Church should be discountenanced by any of those who ought to encourage them in their work, and to rejoice in the success of their labours ! Yet such is the melancholy fact. The pulpit and the press the episcopal charge, and the private intercourse, have all been employed to raise prejudices against them, and bring

Rom, vi. 20, 22. ·

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