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but under the conduct of humility. But this is not all: for such is the nature of truth, that after we have embraced it, we can never give it a fixed entertainment, nor ever be secure of not starting from it again, unless we continue under the same influence of humility. For truth, though it want not beauty, yet it is plain and simple, uniform and always alike. Its first and strictest obligation to all its followers is, that advice of the Apostle, “To be of the same mind; to walk by the same rule; and to mind the same thing." So that he who will fix upon truth must necessarily be humble in this respect,—be must content himself to think as others do; to agree with the vulgar notion ; and to go in the common track. Truth cannot put on those various modes and shapes that please the levity of human affections. Truth cannot start any thing novel and strange, to take the multitude, who admire nothing so much as monsters. Truth can make no room for the pleasure of singularity; none for the love of contradicting ; none for the glory of heading, or the interest of siding with, a sect. All these are the rights and privileges of error: insomuch that it is impossible for a man, unless he be humble, to resist the temptation of catching at error, though he has truth already in his hand. And to this purpose it might easily appear from the particular history of all errors and heresies that ever sprung up to the disturbance of the church and the world, that not one of a hundred of them did ever spring from invincible ignorance, and want of light, but from affected mistake, and want of humility. Either ambition of greatness, or the thirst of glory, or impatience of a defeat, or some other designing intrigue of human pride, will appear to have been at the bottom of every dissension. So that all the different opinions wbich obtain in the world, and the various mists which are cast upon the face of truth, and the clamorous pretences that are laid to her by several sides, which it is certain can never be but one ; all these do no way argue either the failure or limitation of God's promise to his church,—that he would send his Holy Spirit to guide her into all truth. They only argue this,—that men are arrogant and opinionative, and therefore will not stick, upon every small occasion, to run away from their Guide. This is one advantage that humility brings. It disposes man to give a fixed entertainment to truth.
Opinion of ourselves is like the casting of a shadow, which is always longest when the sun is at the greatest distance. By the degrees that the sun approaches, the shadow shortens; and under the direct meridian light it becomes none at all. It is so with our opinion of ourselves. While the good influences of God are at the greatest distance from us, it is then always that we conceive best of ourselves. As God approaches, the conceit lessens, till we receive the fuller measures of his grace; and then we become nothing in our own conceit, and God appears to be all in all.—Dean Young.
POPERY To the Editor of the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine. It is a subject of painful regret, were suffering the maladies which that, amidst the religious means it was endowed with properties to and advantages by which the present heal. But while by the greater part period is distinguished, there should of mankind it was not accounted be too much reason to apprehend worth admission to a place on their that the system of Popery, with all blasted, desolated soil, the manner in its pernicious effects, is considerably which its virtue was frustrated among on the increase in several parts of those who pretended to esteem it, this kingdom. Many of your readers, as it was, the best gift of the divine I am persuaded, will be much grati- beneficence, is recorded in eternal fied by the following just and power- reproach of the Christian nations. ful delineation of the nature and As the hostility of Heathenism, character of that grossest of all the in the direct endeavours to extir. corruptions of Christianity, from pate the Christian religion, became the pen of a writer, “who,” in the evidently hopeless in the nations words of the late Mr. Hall,) “to a within the Roman empire, there was a vein of profound and original a grand change of the policy of evil; thought, together with just views of and all manner of reprobate things, religion and morals, joins the talent Heathenism itself among them, of recommending his ideas by the rushed, as by general conspiracy, graces of imagination, and the into treacherous conjunction with powers of eloquence.”
Christianity, retaining their own
quality under the sanction of its But let us now look at the intel. name, and by a rapid process reduclectual state of the people denomi- ing it to surrender almost every thing nated Christian, during the long distinctive of it but that dishocourse of ages preceding the Reforma- noured name. There were, indeed, tion. The acquisition made by earth in existence the inspired oracles; from heaven of Christianity might and these could not be essentially have seemed to bring with it an in- falsified. But there was no luck of evitable necessity of an immense expedients and pretexts for keeping difference, speedily, and for perma- them in a great measure secreted. It nence, taking place in regard to the might be done under a pretence that competence of men's knowledge to reverence for their sanctity required prevent their destruction. It was they should be secluded, as within as if, in the physical system, some the recesses of a temple; nor be one production, far more salutary there consulted, but by consecrated to life than all the other things fur. personages; a pretence excellently nished from the elements, had been adapted for effect, since it was, by reserved by the Creator, to spring its very nature, its own security up in a later age, after many genera- against exposure, the people being tions of men had been languishing kept thus unaware that the sacred through life, and prematurely dying writings themselves expressly invited for the deficient virtue of their sus- popular inspection, by declaring tenance and remedies. The image themselves addressed to mankind at of the inestimable plant had been large. And while the deceivers had shown to the Prophets in their vic specious pretexts to cover their masions, but the reality was now given nagement, they were not worse off to the world; it had the “ seed in for the other facilities. In the proitself;” was of “ wholly a right gress of translation, the holy Scrip. seed ;” and claimed to be cultivated tures could be arrested and stopped by the people, who, in every land, short in a language but little less in
telligible than the original ones to the falsehoods and absurdities of nothe bulk of the people, in order that tion, and of the vanities and corthis “ profane vulgar” might never ruptions of practice, which it was hear the very words of God, but devised to make the terms and names only such report as it should please of religion designate and sanction! certain men, at their discretion, to while it was also managed with no give of what He had said. But less sedulity and success, that the even though the people had under- inventors and propagators should be stood the language in the usage of held in submissive reverence by the social converse, there was a grand community, as the oracular deposisecurity against them, in keeping taries of truth. That community them so destitute of the knowledge had not knowledge enough of any of letters, that the Bible, if such a other kind to create a resisting and rare thing did ever happen to fall defensive power against this imposiinto any of their hands, would be tion in the concern of religion. A no more to them than a scroll of sound exercise of reason on subhieroglyphics. When to this was jects out of that province, a modeadded the great cost of a copy of so rate degree of instruction in literalarge a book before the invention of ture and science, rightly so called, printing, it remained perhaps just might have produced, in the persons worth while (and it would be a mat- of superior native capacity, a competer of no difficulty or daring) to tence to question, to examine, and inake it, in the maturity of the sys- to detect some of the fallacies imtem, an offence and a sacrilegious posed for Christian faith. But in invasion of sacerdotal privilege to such completeness of ignorance, the look into a Bible. If it might seem general mind was on all sides pressed hard thus to constitute a new sin, in and borne down to its fate. All readdition to the long list already de- action ceased; and the people were pounced by the divine law, amends reduced to exist in one huge, unwere made by indulgently rescioding intelligent, monotonous substance, some articles in that list, and quali united by the interfusion of a vile fying the rules of obligation with superstition, which permitted just respect to them all.
enough mental life in the mass to In this latency of the sacred au- accommodate it to all the uses of thorities, withdrawn from all com- cheats and tyrants,-a proper submunication with the human under- ject of " our Lord God the Pope," standing, there were retained still as he was sometimes denominated; many of the terms and names ap- and might have been denominated propriate to religion. They re- without exciting indignation, in the mained, but they remained only such hearing of millions of beings, bearing as they could be when the departing the form of men, and the name of spirit of that religion was leaving Christians. them void of their import and so- Reflect, that all this took place unlemnity, and so applicable to the der the nominal ascendancy of the purposes of deception and mischief. best and brightest economy of inThey were as holy vessels, in which struction from heaven. Reflect, that the original contents might, as they it was in the nations where even the were escaping, be clandestinely re- sovereign authority professed hoplaced by the most malignant prepa- mage to the religion of Christ, and rations. And as crafty and wicked adopted and enforced it as a grand men had a most direct interest in national institution, that the popular this substitution, the pernicious mass was thus reduced to a material operation went on incessantly; and fit for all the bad uses to which with an ability, and to an extent, priestcraft could wish to put the evincing that the utmost barbarism souls and bodies of its slaves. And of the times cannot extinguish ge- then consider what should have been nius when it is iniquity that sets it the condition of this great aggregate, on fire.
wherever Christianity was acknowHow prolific was the invention of ledged by all as the true religion. Vol. XIV. Third Series SertEMBER, 1835.
The people should have consisted of under the lofty vault, among the so many beings, having each, iu some superb arches and columns, of one degree, the independent beneficial of the most splendid of these edifices use of his mind; all of them trained remaining at this day in our own with a reference to the necessity of country. If he has sensibility and their being made sensible of their taste, the magnificence, the graceful responsibility to their Creator, for the union, of so many diverse inventions exercise of their reason on the mat- of art, the whole mighty creation of ters of belief and choice; all of them genius that so many centuries since capacitated for improvement by be. quitted the world without leaving ing furnished with the rudiments even a name, will come with magical and instrumental means of know- impression on his mind, while it is ledge; and all having within their contemplatively darkening into the easy reach, in their own language, awe of antiquity. But he will be the Scriptures of divine truth. recalled. The sculptures, the in.
Can any doubt arise whether there scriptions, the sanctuaries enclosed were in the Christian states resources off for the special benefit, after competent, if so applied, to secure to death, of persons who had very all the people an elementary instruc- different concerns during life from tion, and the possession of the Bi- that of the care of their salvation, ble? Resources competent! All and various other insignia of the nations, sufficiently raised above original character of the place, will perfect barbarism to exist as states, help to recal him to the thought, have in all ages consumed, in some that these proud piles were, in fact, way or other else than they should, raised to celebrate the conquest, and an infinitely greater amount of means prolong the dominion, of the Power than would have sufficed, after com- of Darkness over the souls of the fortable physical subsistence was people. They were as triumphal provided for, to afford a moderate arches, erected in memorial of share of instruction to all the people; the extermination of that truth and in those Popish ages, that ex- which was given to be the life of penditure alone which went to ec. clesiastical use would have been far As he looks round, and looks upmore than adequate to this beneficent ward, on the prodigy of design, and purpose.
Think of the boundless skill, and perseverance, and tributcost for supporting the magnificence ary wealth, he may image to himself and satiating the rapacity of the the multitudes that, during succes. hierarchy, from its triple crowned sive ages, frequented this fane in head, down through all the orders, the assured belief, that the idle cereconsecrated under that head to monies and impious superstitions maintain the delusion, and share the which they there performed or witspoil. Recollect the immense sys- nessed were a service acceptable to tem of policy for jurisdiction and Heaven, and to be repaid in blessintrigue,-every agent of which was ings to the offerers. He may say to a consumer. Recollect the pomps himself, Here, on this very floor, and pageants for which the general under that elevated and decorated resources were to be taxed; while vault, in a “dim religious light," the general industry was injured by like this, but with the darkness of the interruption of useful employ- the shadow of death in their souls, ment, and the diversion of the peo. they prostrated themselves to their ple to such dissipation as their con saints, or their “queen of heaven ;" dition qualified them to indulge in nay, to painted images, and toys of Think also of the incalculable cost wood or wax, to some ounce or two of ecclesiastical structures, the tem- of bread and wine, to fragments of ples of idolatry, as in truth they may old bones, and rags of cast-off vestbe adjudged to have been. One of ments. Hither they came, when conthe most striking situations for a re- science, in looking either back or for. ligious and reflective Protestant is, ward, dismayed them, to purchase that of passing some solitary hour remission with money or atoning
penances, or to acquire the privilege was obtained as the price of dispen. of sinning in a certain manner, or sations and pardons. for a certain time, with impunity ; In all this, and in the whole conand they went out at yonder door in stitution of the grand apostasy inthe perfect confidence that the Priest volving innumerable forms of abuse had secured in the one case, the sus- and abomination, to which our obpension, in the other the satisfac- ject does not require any allusion, tion, of the divine law. Here they how sad a spectacle is held forth of solemnly believed, as they were the people destroyed for lack of taught, that, by donatives to the knowledge! If, as one of their Church, they delivered the souls of plagues, an inferior one in itself, they their departed sinful relatives from were plundered, as we have seen, of the state of punishment; and they their worldly goods, it was that the went out at that door resolved to spoil might subserve to a still greater bequeath some portion of their pos- wrong. What was lost to the acsessions, to operate in the same commodation of the body was to be manner for themselves another day, made to contribute to the depravain the highly probable case of need. tion of the spirit. It supplied means Here they were convened to listen for multiplying the powers of the in reverence to some representative grand ecclesiastical machinery, and emissary of the man of sin, with confirming the ecclesiastical despotnew dictates of blasphemy or iniqui- ism of the absolute authorities in ty promulgated in the name of the religion. Those authorities enforced Almighty; or to witness the trickery on the people, on pain of final perof some detestable farce, devised to dition, an acquiescence in principles cheat or fright them out of whatever and ordinances which, in effect, preremainder the former impositions cluded their direct access to the Al. might have left them of sense, con- mighty, and the Saviour of the science, or property. Here, in fine, world ; interposing between them there was never presented to their and the Divine Majesty a very exunderstanding, from their childhood tensive, complicated, and heathenish to their death, a comprehensive, mediation, which in a great measure honest declaration of the laws of substituted itself for the real and duty, and the pure doctrines of sal- exclusive mediation of Christ, obvation. To think, that they should scured by its vast creation of interhave mistaken for the house of God, cepting vanities the glory of the and the very gate of heaven, a place Eternal Being, and thus almost exwhere the Power of Darkness had so tinguished the true worship. But short a way to come from his appro- how calamitous was such a condipriate dominions, and his agents and tion! to be thus intercepted from purchased slaves so short a way to direct intercourse with the Supreme go thither! If we could imagine a Spirit, and to have the solemn and momentary visit from Him who once elevating sentiment of devotion flung entered a fabric of sacred denomina- downward, on objects and phantion with a scourge, because it was toms which even the most superstimade the resort of a common traffic, tious could not pay homage to, withwith what aspect and voice, with out some indistinct sense of degrawhat infliction, but the “rebuke dation ! with flames of fire," would he have We have often mused, and felt a entered this mart of iniquity, assum- gloom of dreariness spreading over ing the name of his sanctuary, where the mind while we have mused, on the traffic was in delusions, crimes, descriptions of the aspect of a country and the souls of men ? It was even after a pestilence has left it in desoas if, to use the Prophet's language, lation, or of a region where the peothe very “stone cried out in the
ple are perishing by famine. It has wall, and the beam out of the timber seemed a mournful thing to behold, answered it,” in denunciation ; for in contemplation, the multitude of a portion of the means of building, lifeless forms, occupying in silence in the case of some of these edifices, the same abodes in which they had