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NAME, without whose effective agency we can neither think, speak, or do any thing, that is right or acceptable to God; or use, in its stead, terms of circumlocution, which may avoid offence to natural men, who, after all, will be offended with real truth, or terms which may square better with the ideas and language of an unbelieving world ?
$ 48. Much also has been said of late upon the subject of Schism, as well as enthusiasm ; and truly serious persons, who abhor both of these in their evil serse, have been charged with maintaining or abetting them. But the charge is misapplied, and should have been directed elsewhere. Those are the worst Schismatics, the real and most dangerous dissenters from the ductrine, and the greatest disgrace to the discipline, of the Church of England, who, while they profess to be its ministers and mem
bers, do most strenuously contradict, by evil life or heterodox principlesy, the Fundamentals of the Christian religion, and pervert the true end and purpose, for which our own, or indeed any other, Establishment was protected by secular laws. Idle and dissolute clergymen, who (one must say with regret) are to be found in every place of worldly entertainment, and almost in any place rather than in their duties or churches, where the service seems too often tedious and burthensome; the loose, the ignorant, the unprincipled, laymen, professing at the same time to be members of the Church; these, and these chiefly, are the grand Schismatics and Enthusiasts, the ardent and persevering Enthusiasts, in the pursuits of the world, the flesh, and the devil, and should be altogether the first objects of episcopal care, and of episcopal correction.
Serious and considerate people look at the use
and result of things; and if they are led to lament, that the sacred offices are filled by men, not selected for their worth or their piety, but from worldly or political motives only,' and that therefore the duties of religion are huddled over as matters of dry and unimportant concern, or are regarded mainly for the purposes of secular interest; how can they be blamed, if, turning from such persons with the same disgust which would have expelled them in a moment from the primitive church, they resort, if they have opportunity, to more worthy pastors in the establishment, or even out of it, if no such pastors are at hand! Can it be expected, that persons, really concerned for truth and salvation, will listen to the voice of the fox-hunter, the gambler, the sordid worldling, or the openly profane ? The voice of such strangers to truth and godliness they will not, they can
not, follow. These, whose chief god is their belly, are the worst enemies both of the Cross of Christ, and of the excellent Establishment to which they claim to belong. No wonder then, that, in a thousand instances, the laity contribute to the support of such men with reluctance, while they observe that, not the souls of the people unhappily committed to their charge, but their own miserable indulgences, are the main points of sedulity and concern.
It is with a very ill grace, therefore, that ministers of this stamp complain of the increase of Dissenters. They themselves are the principal cause of that increase. For, though unity is certainly a most desirable thing, there can be no real or sincere unity without the bond of truth. The real schismatics are those who divide and depart from the truth, which only can influence the heart into the love of God, and the life into
goodness and usefulness among men. To insist therefore upon religious unity with worldly, graceless, ungodly, men, is almost as strange as an amalgamation of fire and water, or the attempt to form an indissoluble texture by a rope of sand. The true way to reduce sects and parties is to exceed them in all zeal and duty; or, as a bishop of our church once recommended to a complainant against dissenters, to “ out-preach them, out-pray them, out-live them."
This would reclaim many, and prevent (under God) that much-to-be-feared dissolution of our ecclesiastical state, which ungodly men in the Church, and unprincipled men out of it, are hastening on as fast as in them lies, and, in some instances, with a kind of wicked and malignant joy. - I say all this with the deepest concern; because I will yield to no man in zealous attachment to