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“I would follow other guides." " What need “ have we of further evidence" of her non-descriptism? Law's religion and doctrine, repentance, is defined and known; H. More's “ evan“gelical light,” “other guides," is undefined, therefore not known. It is something mystical; it is not a “ reasonable service.” In perusing her works, the mind is led into a state of intellectual retrogradation, the more we read and hear of her non-descriptism, the less we know of it.
From p. 233 to 260 we have some useful practical preaching.
Approaching now (p. 272) the conclusion of her work, an Analysis, or rather a Syllabus of the “ Doctrines of Christianity," are laid before us; and this is done by giving an abridged account of the system, laying, as usual, its foundation in the “ fall of man," and the consequent corruption of human nature.
The Aimsy arguments in proof of human corruption, are the simplicity and credulity of children, the existence of law and lawyers, death and sickness, war, bars and bolts, bonds and securities, individual suspicion. From scripture her arguments are, “God saw the wickedness of man “ was great, and that every imagination of the " thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” “ God looked upon the earth, and behold it was “ corrupt,” &c. This before the flood; but of the Cosmogony and the Mythos, in the first chap. of Genesis, nor of the apple, has she made any mention. Since the flood, from David's complaints
and confessions of sins. In the gospel, from our
Here she has conceded too much, and brought her fabric about her ears. That doctrine must be defended by an abler pen than hers, otherwise it will prove untenable. The horrors of the consequences of “ her peculiarities” seem here to have struck her and she sinks down. Her views · of christianity are not just
From the epistles, however, more plausible texts are brought forward to maintain the doctrine of the fall and corruption. Those who wish to be
satisfied on this subject, will consult the writings • of the Unitarians, Socinians, and the Trinita
rians. The doctrine of atonement is of course maintained, as well as that of free grace, and sectarian Antinomianism disavowed. The absolute necessity of a change of heart and life, and the influences of the Holy Spirit are insisted on, and I think not unscripturally; and some pains are taken to maintain the existence of the devil,
about whose destruction and banishment from this
“ May I, with great humility and respect, presume to “ suggest to our divines that they would do well not to lend “ their countenance to these modish curtailments of the 6 Christian faith ; nor to shun the introduction of this doc“ trine (the devil) whenever it consists with their subject 6 to bring it forward.” :
The published works, avowed by Mrs. More, and of which I have here given an account, end with a chapter on the “ Duty and Efficacy of Prayer," of borrowed and transcribed excellence, and it concludes with the following petition :
“ She earnestly implores that Being, who can make the “meanest of his creatures instrumental to his glory, to bless “ this humble attempt to those for whom it was written, may " she, without presumption, entreat that this work of Chris“ tian Charity may be reciprocal, and that those who peruse “ these pages may put up a petition for her, that in the great “ day to which we are all hastening, she may not be found “ to have suggested to others what she herself did not believe, “ or to have recommended what she did not desire to prac“ tise? In that awful day of everlasting decision, may both “the reader and the writer be pardoned and accepted, not “ for any work of righteousness which they have done,' is but through the merits of the GREAT INTERCESSOR.”
Upon this, I have only to remark, that during the two last years which I have passed at Bath, · Bristol, and the neighbourhood, I have read every thing on the Blagdon controversy, of which I shall subjoin a cursory review; I have made enquiry into the facts, and real characters of the different parties, and with deep regret I lament, on account of the former credit and character of H. More, that that dispute had ever existed. Alas! alas! alas! “ The heart is deceitful above all things, and “ desperately wicked: who can know it?".
THE BLAGDON DISPUTE.
DY the consent of Mr. Bere, the Curate, and at the request of H. More, a Sunday school was established at Blagdon. The teacher, H. Young, agreeably to Mrs. More's avowed plan, did not confine himself to the instruction of children, but extended it to adults. Reading and writing were not only taught, but his lessons extended to preaching and prayer, in an extempore manner. Experiences were narrated, confessions heard, scriptures were expounded by ignorance, sudden and epileptical conversions had taken place, and many extravagancies practised, disgraceful to true religion, and offensive to decency. The individual temper also of the teacher is proved to have been thạt of a meddler in domestic and private affairs. Of these eccentricities information was given to Mrs. More, which she acknowledged in too imperious and consequential a manner. Here is Mrs. More's first fault. Eccentricities are continued and justified.