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from certain circumstances of recent occurrence. The ere^* tion of schools, for educating youth in the principles of the Church of England; the institution of Prayer-Book and Homily Societies, and Missionary Tract Societies, is evidently intended to divert the people from bending their attention to the scriptures. They profess to have no objection to the circulation of the scriptures, only they would not have them sent forth defenceless; they have no wish to prevent the apostles from travelling, to heal the diseases of the mind; but, that their cures may appear more miraculous, they would have them to walk upon crutches. Thus both parties of the clergy, although in different ways, plain' ly acknowledge that the Bible, without note or comment, is quite sufficient to give the most ignorant a thorough knowledge of the Christian religion. The one class openly declare their persuasion, that the Bible Society is the noblest institution under heaven, inasmuch ns it supplies men with that book, which exhibits, in its purity, the doctrine of the grace of God; and the other class, by the opposition which they shew to that society, give full proof of their being aware, that nothing more is necessary to lead the people to despise every modification of the priesthood, than the understanding of the scriptures. It is to be hoped, that their endeavours to enlighten the people will prove extensively useful; and that Christians in general would enter into their views on the subject, and act as if they believed that the scriptures, without note or comment, are sufficient to furnish them for the performance of every good work. The Bible Society are employed in sending that book into every land where they can find admission for it; they send it to the nations of tho world with the highest possible recommendation; they present it to them in their own language, as a book suited to the weakest capacity, as capable of affording the highest consolation; of dispelling ignorance 'and superstition; of introducing man to the knowledge of his Maker; of directing him as to his conduct in life, and as a light to lead him to eternal day. But, oh! let them spare us the disgrace of having it published in connection) with all this, that in this small island alone, many thousands of priests have, for ages, been employed in explaining; it to us, and that their services are still deemed as necessary as ever.

Certainly there exists a misunderstanding somewhere on this subject; either the Bible Society, or the clergy, are mistaken in their aim; for if the Bible, without even note or comment; is sufficient to teach men Christianity, then there never was a society whose principles were more hostile to priestcraft in every shape, and which promised fairer to chase it from the earth. But if priests arestill to be considered as necessary; if people are not to read the Bible as they read any other book, and interpret it according to the dictates of reason and common sense, the standard of all truth, then ought the Bible Society to send priests wherever they send the Bible, that the people may know in what sense they are to understand it. They are daily multiplying; and widely circulating copies of the Bible, and many will by this means be made acquainted with Christianity who have never before heard of it; but what would such think of the exhibitions of Christianity which are made by many in this country, should they ever witness them.' Let us however hope, that at any rate they will never feel disposed to copy our example ; that the New Testament will teach them better things than to attempt to unite together murder and peace; that they will never so completely mistake the meaning of that book as to suppose that it sanctions intolerance, or warrants them to inflict bodily punishments on those who may differ from them in religious opinion ; and that they will never imagine it necessary, far less attempt to justify the practice, by appealing to these writings, to set apart, and pay, and honour with a parcel of unmeaning names and titles, a number of their fellow men as spiritual guides. One thing is certain—if ever those who receive the scriptures, should fashion their conduct after the example of the greater part of the religious professors in this country, it must be the effect of" notes and comments" of false glosses and artful interpretations of scripture ; for no two things can be more at variance than the spirit of the gospel, and the practice of the multitude who profess to believe it.Boss tlie menns), who have the common feelings of humanity, and enjoy the advantages of civilized society.

Perhaps some may be disposed to attribute these remarks to a desire of bringing into contempt a body of respectable and useful men. But it is not for the sake of joining the common cry against the clergy that they make their appearance. The writer wishes to appeal to matter of fact; he is convinced that the existence of a distinct body of men, as thp 6ole teachers of Christianity, is contrary to divine revelation; that if Christians in general acted as they ought to do, the supposed necessity of such an order of men would very soon disappear; that they are the cause of the great ignorance that reigns among the various sects professing Christianity, inasmuch as they keep back the exercise of the talents of thousands, whose united exertions, as members of the church

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of God, might do much in promotingthe interests of religion.
He has not tlie smallest degree of dislike to them as men;
but as clergymen, he can in no respect esteem them; as
men, as Christians, and as members of the Christian church,
lie is persuaded that they would appear much more respect
table, and make themselves more eminently useful than
they can as clergymen. In fact, notwithstanding all that is
said about their respectability and utility as a body, the
clergy have never been so much esteemed as they appear to
have supposed they were; they have been more more dread-
ed than loved ; and although the people have felt them to be
a heavy burden, they have not had resolution to free them-
selves of their load. Supposing then that Christians should
unanimously resolve to abolish the order, the clergy could
have no ground of complaint; for, as men, and as Christians,
they would not be injured thereby: they deny that they preach
for hire, consequently Christianity would have the benefit
of their services whether they were paid or not; as men
they could lose nothing by standing on a footing with other
men, for the clerical character forms no part of the rights
of men.

Should any one feel inclined to controvert these senti-
ments, the writer of them, so far from being averse to see-
ing them overtiirown, will rejoice in their downfal, provid-
ed that it be occasioned by a fair appeal to scripture and
reason. The subject is one in which the interests of Chris-
tianity aro deeply involved; and like every other subject
Connected with religion, must be benefited by free discussion
instead of being injured. If it can be shewn from the New
Testament that priests are necessary to the existence of
Christianity, and that they ought to be supported for that
purpose, and appointed the exclusive teachers in the church;
that the pjan pursued by modern Christians is the most use-
ful, anrt scriptural ; and that there is no authority in scrip-
ture for the mode suggested in this paper ; I have no doubt
but that the same candour which allows this to appear be-
fore the public, will most readily find room for the pro-
duction or any one who will undertake the task.

1 am, Sir, your's, &c.
Feb. 2, I8J3. M,

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To those men who may have objections to unite with us in our benevolent pursuits, on account of our religious principles, we would strongly recommend the adoption of a similar plan in their own circles; for where the work is extended, even without our junction, we shall honestly say, M We do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice."

We would advise religious bodies and others in the country, to institute similar societies, which appears to us practicable in almost every neighbourhood; for the smallest individual subscription, when combined with a number of others, may form a fund capable of lessening the distresses of their surrounding poor.

From persons in both town and country, who may be desirous of joining with us in our earnest endeavours, we shall be glad to receive the smallest subscription, at the same time reminding them to consult their circumstances, and on no account give more than they can afford, as there is often more pure Denevolence in the widow's mite, than the most splendid gift thrown into the treasury.

Being anxious not to detain your readers any longer, from a perusal of the following regulations, I shall only wish that they may experience as much pleasure in the perusal as that originally felt by

London, Feb. 9, 1813. A Subscriber.


1. That a Benevolent Society be instituted, for the relief of thepoor of all denominations.

2. That none ofthe members of the Church meeting at this place be permitted, on any account, to participate in the relief to be afford-, ed by the Society.

3. That subscriptions to the fund be open to all persons desirous of aiding so laudable an institution, whether members of the Church or not.

4. That the subscriptions be from one penny per week and upwards, and that a Treasurer be appointed to receive the same, and a Secretary to keep an account of the receipts and disbursements.

5. That the Society meet every Sunday evening at seven o'clock* when subscribers are invited to attend. i

6. That at this meeting a short Lecture on Benevolence be delivered by one of the junior members of the Church.

- 7. That eight visitors be appointed from the junior members of the Church, who shall convey the sum allotted, and give such adviee and instruction to the persons vit>ited, as the case shall seem to require.

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