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his word anathematizes. It will admit no man's religion to be genuine, whose hope has not a purifying efficacy, and it consigns to the regions of everlasting misery, all who live in the habits of known sin. A religion and morality so rigid and uncomplying, must ever wear a forbidding aspect to those, who indulge the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. To every man who does not strive to enter in by the strait gate, and to walk in the narrow way that leads to life, it is easy to see that the ministers of a religion so utterly repulsive of licentiousness, and so decidedly hostile to every evil work, must often appear as intruders, who disturb the false peace of the world. While some teachers of religion, by lowering its standard, and accommodating it to the ordinary practice of the world, prophesy smooth things, he who has no concessions to make, he who dares not desecrate his office, by dispensing with the laws of God, and by ruining the souls of men, must expect a reception hardly decent, from such as are resolved, at all hazards, not to part with their sins.
But the preachers of Christianity are not only to hold up to the world, in their doctrine, a picture of what it requires; but to exhibit the doctrine of Christ embodied in their own lives. They are to show its transforming influence, in assimilating their tempers to that of the Saviour, in animating their exertions to glorify God, as their Divine Master glorified Him, and in expressing the sanctity his Gospel has impressed on them, by correspondent dispositions and lives. To conciliate men to the doctrine of the Cross, there must be no sacrifices of personal ease which they are not willing to make; no labours which they will not cheerfully undergo ; no hazards which they will not resolutely run; and no mortifications
to which they will not submit. Like St. Paul, they will “ endure all things for the elects' sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.”—But if, in the neighbourhood of those who combine and exhibit this assemblage of Christian graces, there should happen to be a minister invested with the same office, whose character, though becoming a man of the world, partakes nothing of their sublimating views; who has chosen the Church, because it presents him with an honourable and elegant retreat from the business of the world, that he may, in the circle of fashionable so. ciety, enjoy the pleasures of gay life : in what point of view must the conduct of the former appear to the latter?
- They have received the same ordination, and bave both declared that they trusted they were moved by the Holy Ghost, to undertake the sacred office. They have subscribed to the same doctrines and forms of religion; but, in their aims and pursuits, the elevation of the one above the other is immeasurable. They move in regions more opposite, than those of the frigid and torrid zones. His hope is a richer benefice, or an additional one to that which he now possesses, and this hope he prosecutes with an avidity insatiable as the grave, while the feeding of the flock of God, which He purchased with his own blood, the very end of the sacred office, is neglected. Their bope, their joy, and their crown, is to rescue the souls of men from the dominion of ignorance and sensuality, and to see them walking in the brightness of holiness. They cannot look upon his prostitution of an office, more dig. nified than that of the highest seraph before the throne of God, without pity and indignation ; and he cannot behold their conversation in Heaven, without the most painful sensations of self-condemnation. While the image of their
self-denial and exalted devotion is forced upon his reflections, his mind is stung with remorse.
He blushes for the part he has acted, and yet his addiction to a life of indulgence, will not suffer him to escape from the snare into which he has fallen, or to redeem his character. What at once prevents his reconciliation with himself, and exposes him to the censures of the more reflecting part of mankind,—the contrast that appears between their characters and his own, condemns him to feelings and pains which he must necessarily hide from the world. This combat ends in a fixed hatred of those who have broken his internal peace, and exposed his hypocrisy ta the eyes of men. As he cannot rise to their elevation, his next attempt is to sink them to his own level. The general consistency of their lives is invulnerable, and presents no point of attack; but the best characters in this world, are not without their imperfections. These he tries to magnify into crimes, and what he cannot effect consistently with truth, he knows how to supply by fiction. But the fertility of his invention appears in nothing so much as in assigning base and unworthy motives to their actions, or in misrepresenting them. Their faith he represents as faction; their zeal for God as bigotry; the ardour of their devotion as fanaticism ; their persevering labours for the salvation of men, as their love of popularity; their spirituality as their want of rationality ; their attachment to the doctrine of Grace, as the spirit of opposition to good works. To these imputations he endeavours to give a circulation as wide as his influence reaches. In this disguise of character, the ministers of Evangelical Religion come, perhaps, to be represented to their Diocesan. The venerable man whose cares are feelingly alive for the interests of Religion, and whose situation does not, perhaps, admit of a closer inspection into their aims, or of seeing their intentions through a clearer medium, is &larmed, and considers himself in duty bound to warn his Clergy against enthusiasm ; whereas, if his Lordship had fully known the state of facts, he would have found it necessary to warn them against a spirit that secularizes the Ministers of Christianity, and sinks them into men of the world. There has, in our times, been an instance or two of this chance-medley of characters, in charges delivered by a respectable Prelate. It has been known, that in a charge in which Ecclesiastical sportsmen, leaders of the gay dance, the frequenters of the gaming table, and those more “ familiar with a round of Ladyships," than with the afflicted of their parishes, were addressed, the whole weight of censure has fallen upon the laborious and exemplary ministers of Evangelical Religion. The scene recorded by Juvenal has again been acted :
" Dat veniam corvis, vexat censura columbos."
The Evangelical Clergy stand at a distance from those scenes of dissipation and folly, in which a considerable number of other Ministers of religion are known to mingle. The Theatres, particularly, they avoid as the haunts of impurity and licentiousness, where wit is polluted by indelicacy, and serious religion is mentioned only to be ridiculed. Their abstraction from these public amusements, by which time is wasted, and the taste and morals of men are in danger of being contaminated, has brought upon them the charge of stiffness, preciseness, and Paritadism. It is known that the Bishops universally keep themselves without the circle of such seductive pleasures. The conformity of the Evangelical Clergy, with so high and decorous an example, cannot reasonably be objected to. It will be difficult to find a reason for the absence of the heads of the Clergy from these exhibitions that will not, with equal force, apply to all the ministers of religion. For “if the first-fruit be holy, the lump should also be holy; and if the root be holy, so also should the branches be."
Besides the Evangelical party in the Church who are correct and regular, and who are equally observant of its discipline as of its doctrines, there is another small body, equally tenacious of the latter, though but little attached to the former. These can, with equal readiness, conduct the liturgical worship, in a Church or Chapel of the Establishment, and the extempore prayers of the Dissenting and Methodist Meeting-house. The circulation of intercourse between the Clergymen of these two different bodies, is always languid. The regular Evangelical Clergy, how much soever they may approve, in other things, the piety and zeal of those who are regardless of the discipline of the Church, exceedingly blame their diverting them into irregular channels, when there are so many others in which their devotion may flow, in perfect consistency with their duty as sons of the Church. Of the latter party Dr. Haweis is the most distinguished person.
There are likewise in the Church a very considerable number of Clergymen, and many of them highly respectable, both for piety and learning, and also for active exertions in the cause of religion, who may be called Semi-Evangelical. The doctrine of the Atonement, and of the necessity of Divine influence to sanctify men, are topics not only recognized in their discourses, but topics, the importance of which, they endeavour to impress upon