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but as it stands revealed in his Bible, or clearly accordant with it. And will he follow, instead of this exact critérion, his own carnal and short-sighted reason, or the similar reasonings of men whose minds inust be corrupt, if they are either destitute of the truth, or, what is much the same, if they venture beyond or fall short of it?
§ 79. It is not enough, that such a one has the name, the title, or the preferment, of a minister and member of the Church of England: He is, in very deed, a Dissenter; and a Dissenter of the worst and (because of his contrary profession) of the lowest and basest kind. This Church is not to be known merely by buildings, or habits, or preferments; but by those solemn and acknowledged declarations, which have been established by public laws, and avowed upon oath to be ex animo, or the heart-felt, sentiment and belief of every man, admitted to its holy
offices. I shall not stay in this place to lament the perjury, the gross and horrible sin of perjury, which threatens to sink the excellent fabric of our Church into ruins, and to multiply Schisms and Separatists without number; but it may most truly be averred, that if a strict and formal oath to the Church cannot bind a man to its principles; then any oath, taken without a sense of its importance, or with a mind and sense in real contradiction to its object, either for worldly honour or for filthy lucre's sake, stamps the person, so taking it, for a bold and rank Nonconformist; and, may I not seriously add, for a Heretic and Hypocrite of the worst description, for whose moral turpitude in the case it is hard to find
He not only appears to be a Schismatic of the basest kind, but the great occasion of deplorable schisms and separations to perhaps well-disposed, though uninformed, people
about hin. When such men come to appear before God, as they shortly must, with this lie in their right hand; what what will they have to answer to the inquiry, “ How, and for what purpose became ye Shepherds ? And how fed ye, or attended, the flocks committed to your charge ??"*
* The following description of true divines, drawn by one who was himself of great eminence, is submitted both for its beauty and use to the consideration of those whom it may peculiarly
“ Non ad calidarum disputationum risas instructi, non novarum inventionum opinione turgidi, non tumidi sermonis ampullis, et sesquipedalium verborum inaniis, se apud plebem juveniliter jactantes, non ambitionem vitave fastum 'simplicitati apostolicæ et cruci Christi anteponentes; sed humiles, modesti, mansueti, pacifici, simplices et sapientes tamen, prudentes atque efficaces evangelicæ fidei ac pietatis præcones, Dei reverentes, magistratum honorantes, fraternæque unionis studiosi.”
$ 80. It may aiso be well for such men, such innovators of the doctrines of the Church, to “ reflect (in the words of a learned Prelate, used indeed for another purpose), that, while they bring every thing within private suggestion, they encourage in religion the very principle, which in politics has proved so fatal to the peace and good government of states; being no other than that of giving the reins to PRIVATE OPIXION IN OPPOSITION TO PUBLIC (and, I may add, long-established) AUTHORITY."*
81. There is also another point, which may strike some of these persons with the more attention, as it may affect their own private or temporal interest. The world cannot be expected to value any means, but for the end to which they serve.
The end of
* Bishop of Oxford's Charge.
a public ministry is the due worship of God, including in that idea the promotion of human happiness and salvation. Now, if land-holders and others, who think they have an interest in whatever they pay to the Church, observe, in those appointed to instruct them and their households in the principles and practice of religion, a vehement and predominant regard for honours, wealth, pleasure, or other low and sordid pursuits, with small concern for the sublime duties of their holy office; what can such ministers expect, and how will they answer for themselves? They have indeed the law, at present, on their side; and, as a sincere member of the esta. blihed Church, I pray God that they may always have it; for, it will be a deplorable day to the nation as well as to them, when a proper maintenance is denied to the ministers of the Gospel, or when the present system of