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a vast esteem and regard for her liturgy, sacraments, ordination, and other ordinances, that it hath been, and still is, a matter of regret to me, whenever business or any other impediment hath deprived me of the benefit of them.
Her episcopacy, though so much disregarded by other Protestant Churches, and cried down, as invalid, by that Church of Rome, hath long ago been looked upon more, not only as a singular blessing but as a necessary constituent of a church, the divine institution of which hath been, in my opinion, as fully proved against the former, as the validity of its ordination hath against the latter ; and all I have to wish for her sake, is, that she was as happy in the choice, appointment, and promotion of her prelates; and that the congé-délire were something more than a phrase without meaning. However, that needs not debar us, in ihis imperfect state, from enjoying the benefits of their sacred function to very good purposes; nor discourage us from wishing and praying for a reformation of those abuses which worldly politicians have introduced into it.
Most people, indeed, who look upon the evil to lie in human nature itself, have little hopes to see any amendinent to it, till we have a new heaven and a new earth, especially as those in whose power the remedy is, are inost interested to suppress it. But a good Christian will look higher up than those at the helm for so desirable a change, since, as I believe, we have much more reason to hope for it, from the interposition of heaven, than any of the neighbouring churches which labour under the same difficulties. As for those countries abroad, which have secularized their bishoprics, &c., they will hardly charge our church with abusing her's worse than they have done their's ; so that upon the whole, it appears, in all respects, to stand upon a better and more hopeful footing than any other I know, with all its imperfections and defects.
I cannot dismiss this point without taking some notice of a charge which some of our present Methodists have laid to it, viz., its having departed from some of its ancient doctrines, particularly those of predestination and free grace, or imputed righteousness. With respect to the former, it doth not appear that the compilers of the seventeenth article ever designed to impose the belief of it as necessary to salvation, but only to define the term of predestination and free grace, or imputed righteousness, as strenuously maintained by the reformed churches of Geneva, Switzerland, Holland, &c., leaving it to the option of every one either to assent or dissent from it: much less do they seem to have insisted upon the belief of it, in that full and extensive sense (and including absolute reprobatiou) in which the Supralapsarians explain it, which doctrine is now justly rejected by most divines, and members of this church. Mr. Whitefield's charge of innovation is, therefore, unjust; and it is well known, that he did not think otherwise of it, till he was persuaded into that opinion upon his going to preach in America. If however, it could be supposed that the first reformers really designed it in that Supralapsarian sense, I should have commended any synod who should have since then ordered it to have been erased, seeing the truth of a Christian doctrine is not founded on the opinion or authority of any men, but on the evidence of Holy Writ.
With respect to the other charge, viz., inherent and imputed righteousness, it must be owned, that our sermons and books of devotion seem rather to run so much in commendation of good works, as to lead people to lay a greater stress on the former ihan on the latter, and confide more on their good deeds than on the merits of Christ, which is certainly a dangerous mistake, since our hope of acceptance and salvation must be chiefly founded upon the latter, without which our best duties could never be acceptable from such frail and sinful creatures to a God of infinite holiness.
It were, therefore, to be wished, that our preachers and divines would take some more care to caution their hearers and readers, whenever they insist on the necessity of good works, against their putting their chief dependence on them, and to remind them, that they alone, the merits and intercession of our divine Redeemer, can give them their saving efficacy. But though this last point is not so frequently inculcated and insisted upon as could be wished, yet that it is always understood and implied, is certain, because it always was, and is still acknowledged to be a fundamental article of the Church of England; so that it is unjust to charge it with having departed from it; and yet this is the common cry of these modern enthusiasts, who are everywhere denouncing damnation against all those who insist on, or put any dependance on, inherent righteousness: but how unjustly and falsely, let the apostle St. Paul inform them, who expressly tells us (1 Cor. iii. 11-15,) that such men shall be saved, though with great difficulty; or as he expresses it, so that as by fire, though not one of their works should stand the fiery trial; for how precious soever, the superstructure be, whilst Christ is the foundation, he cannot but be safe that builds his hopes upon it, whatever straw, stubble, or other trash he may intermix with it.
However, I do not doubt but this false alarm of the Methodists hath proved of some use to many Christians, as I own it hath to ine, and hath awakened them into a better and humbler opinion of their inherent righteousness, than they perhaps had before. As to my own particular, though I always depended solely on the merits of a crucified Redeemer for pardon and acceptance, and looked upon all our best services to be destitute of the least worth, but what they receive from him; yet I have been warned, by this late outcry, to put less stress and confidence in them, and to look upon them rather as the evidence of our sincerity and salvation, than as the means or foundation of it, rather as our qualification
for heaven (on which account we may safely wish, endeavour, and pray, that we may more and more abound in them) than as things capable to give us any title to it, which nothing can do but the imputed righteousness of Christ.
Thus much I thought it incumbent on me to declare, concerning my notions of religion in general, of the Church of England in particular, and my reason for preferring her communion to all others. I hope they are all agreeable to the word of God, and that I have taken all possible care and pains to have them chiefly founded on that, by frequently reading and consulting the sacred volumes in their original, and using all proper helps, as commentators, paraphrasts, books of controversy, &c., in order to come at their true meaning. But, above all, my chief dependance hath been
upon the guidance and assistance of God's holy spirit, which, for a great number of years, I have never failed daily to implore, as I was truly sensible how poor and insignificant all other helps would be without it, towards the bringing us through the vast mazes of controversy, which reign all over christendom, to the wished for heaven and salvation, to which I earnestly pray to God to bring every sincere sonl, that longs and strives for it. "I firmly rely on the same divine goodness to whom I owe so many mercies, and so wonderful a change, that if there be yet anything erroneous or amiss, either in my belief and practice, he will, in his own time, and by his all-sufficient light and grace, enable me to rectify it, that I may have nothing left to do but to acknowledge and adore his infinite and undeserved mercies to me, and particularly for having enabled me to see so much of my own weakness and insufficiency, unworthiness and misery, as to put my whole trust and confidence in his all-powerful grace and unbounded goodness, through the infinite merits of our blessed Redeemer.
Idleness is the bane of body and mind, the nurse of naughtiness, the step-mother of discipline, the chief author of all mischief, one of the seven deadly sins, the cushion upon which the devil chiefly reposes, and a great cause not only of melancholy, but of many other diseases; for the mind is naturally active, and if it be not occupied about some bonest business, it rushes into mischief, or sinks into melancholy.
VOLTAIRE defines a physician to be an unfortunate gentleman, who is every day required to perform a miracle, namely, to reconcile health with intemperance.
INDIAN MODE OF MOURNING. Without jostling the mourners, I crowded in among them as far as I could get towards the centre, in order to have a view of what was going on in the centre of the crowd. I at first thought that two chiefs were dancing, for I saw headdresses with tall feathers moving up and down with terpsichorean undulations; but obtaining a better position, I discovered that they were rude images fastened to a board, one of red cloth and the other of white, bound with coloured gaiters spirally wound around them; and pendant from what should be the breast hung the shell of a pearl oyster, which is among their most valuable ornaments. These images were in the hands of two squaws, who gave them the motion of dancing. As they moved slowly around, the crowds gave way for them, extending their arms towards the images, or throwing them out into vacancy, uttering at the same time the heartfelt sounds of grief, with tears streaming down their cheeks, which ever and anon each wiped from the other's eyes. Sometimes one laid his hand upon another's head, as if invoking a blessing; then, again, extending a naked arm, with the hand flat, made slight motions in the air. Sometimes the women, in double files, with their arms thrown around the one before them, moved in procession with the dancing images at their head, but never proceeded far in a direction from the main body. All night long they kept up their lamentations, and when the morning came the spirits were made happy, and the tribes returned to their several homes.
ADDRESS (DURING ILLNESS) TO A LADY.
Dear Mary, I mean, now I'm laid on the shelf,
and anon Heraclitus;
I shew no respect where I never can feel it;
TRUTH. LORD WENTWORTH gave very cavalier advice to one going upon a diplomatic mission. He was up to the system of courts, or be would not have committed himself by such a satire. “To secure yourself, and serve your country, you must at all times, and upon all occasions, speak the truth; for ( said he) you will never be be.. lieved; and by this means your truth will both secure yourself if you can be questioned, and put those you deal with, who question your veracity, to a loss in all their disquisitions and undertakings."
CONVENTS AND CASTLES. AGAINST Mr. Chambers's Bill for the inspection of nunneries it may be urged by the Irish Brigade that every man's house is his castle ; but even if the houses of women can, in some sense be so denominated, their character, as castles, needs not be so complete as to include a dungeon amongst their arrangements.
A DEFINITION TO A HAIR. The greatest failure of the crops-having one's hair very wretchcdly cut