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66. glorify not that, not the imperfect doers of these sorbe « works, but theit Father which is in heaven. Whereas,
there there which is inh u " as things are at present carried on, the obvious conclusion .66 must be, either that Christians do not believe in the reli. gion they profess, or that there is no truth in the religion $t itself.”
What, for the sake of human nature in general, and Mrs. More in particular, would I not give that the Blagdon controversy had not existed ! Oh! “ how fallen!”
Much has fately been said of this lady ; much för and against her. She has written much, and some things I hope usefully. She apprehends she is, and she is considered, as of an undescribed species of methodism. I marked, as I read her works, her system and her principles, and the rea. sult is, that in religion, as in the rest of her charácter, she is specious and crafty. For the scriptures she always expresses the utmost veneration, professes piety and practical religion, but alludes, though obscurely, to some latent speculative doctrine. Her TALES, and ALLEGORIES are better than her RELIQION OF THE FASHIONABLE WORLD. There the heart is warmed, the sympathies of virtue and piety excited; here is a cold censoriousness, efforts to prove every thing wrong and to set them right; with an uncertain, undetermined, and often contradictory plan of conduct, as, supplementary to the “. present fashionable. “ christianity,' With anxiety I have looked for, and expected to meet with, her definition of our religion, and her opinion of those doctrines which create sectarism. I have expected and looked in
täin. She thinks fréelý, spéáks frééły, speaks tautiously, speak's rigidly, “ seriously, strictly;": she seems to know right and wrong, good and evil, orthodoxy and heterodoxy, and every doxy, all delivered in decent and appropriate language, sometimes arising from her desire to censure all, instruct all, offend none, obscure ; and, in short, every thing; but her design to make a book, is in- . visible. Ať length, p. 226, something like a negative, but imperfect definition, is met with.
os The Christian religion is not intended, as somé of its 's fashionable professors seem to fáńcy, (she should have " said Methodists) to operate as a charm, a talismant, or in“ cantation, and to produce its effect by our pronouncing 6 certain mystical words, attending at certain consecrated “ places, and performing certain hallowed ceremonies; but 6 it is an active, vital, influential principle, operating on " the heart, restraining the desires, affecting the general ** conduct, and as much regulating our commerce with the * world, our business, pleasures, and enjoyments, out con« versations, designs, and actions, as our behaviour in pub“ lic worship, or even in private devotion."
But, as if thinking this description of christianity wrong, in p. 240, she favours us with a more systematic one, and more decisive and characteristic of herself and her supposed sectarism, in the following definition:
6 But if I were to ventuře to take my estimate with "a view more immediately evangelical ; to insist that, o whatever natural religion and fashionable religion may « teach, it is the peculiarity of the Christian religion to 6 humble the sinner and exalt the Saviour; to insist that * not only the grossly flagitious, but that att ħavé sínned ; " that all are by nature in a state of condemnation. If I
" were to express these doctrines in plain scriptural terms,
The “ Bible is true;" but because the bible is true, are we to believe any non-descript proposition H. More thinks proper to frame? The argument is sophistical. By the same reasoning we may prove any thing; and say, Cain sler his brother Abel because he hated him; and therefore, if the bible be true, every man when he hates his brother may slay him. Mrs. H. More, who has been called a pious woman, and believes the bible, has told several stories, and is convicted of “ secret accusations,” to injure a clergyman, therefore it is no crime or sin to tell lies, or to “accuse privately."
The bible is true ; but this is neither a “ sim“ple nor a faithful description of christianity.”Respecting the trinitarian doctrine, the church of England is what is called orthodox. It has received and believes it. But how to “exalt the “Saviour” by whom, I suppose, she means Jesus Christ, above the degree of second person in the Trinity, without depressing God the father, I am at a loss to conjecture. The truth is, although
she denies it, that of the words Jesus Christ she is desirous, like all the non-descripts, to make a “charm, a talisman, an incantation," a mystical, ünscriptural, unreasonable, unintelligible “ strange “ doctrine.”
I have myself heard one of these exalters of the Saviour, in his church in Bristol, from the pulpit speak these words:-" There is no glory in hea“ ven, but what Jesus Christ gives it."
The clergy of the church of England, with some exceptions, are censured for not preaching and inculcating this doctrine; they are charged with teaching only a “frigid morality,” they are (p. 244)
"Lukewarm and temporizing divines, who have become " popular by blunting the edge of that heavenly tempered
weapon, whose salutary keenness, but for their deceit“ ful handling,' would oftener pierce to the dividing “ asunder of soul and spirit.”
.“ But, (she goes on, p. 245) those severer preachers of “ righteousness, who disgust by applying too closely to “ the conscience; who lay the axe to the root, oftener “ than the pruning knife to the branch ; such heart-searchsing writers as these will seldom find access to the houses 56 and hearts of the more modish Christians." "She is not “ sure whether the former sort have not done religion much “ more harm than good.”
In p. 76, she tells us
“We have a wise and virtuous Minister,” (Mr. Pitt!) “ many respectable, and not a few serious' clergy. Their * number,” she adds, “ I am willing to hope is daily in“ creasing."
And so it would appear from the Blagdon controversy. There are nine connected with her and her schools in Somersetshire ! Shé, however, disclaims all desire of seeing the enthusiastic scenes of THE HOLY FATHERS OF THE DESART acted over again. Whether the scenes of the 17th century be congenial to the spirit of puritannical enthusiasm, let the preachers of “ frigid “ morality” in the church of England judge, and remember the 27th and 30th of January, 1648, when the Bishops were dismissed, and cathedrals and colleges converted into stables for the soldiers of the Lord, the exalters of the Saviour.
Of her Remarks on DuPont'S SPEŁCH, I have little now to remark. She, wicked sinner, did all she could, and exalted her vulture's croak to engage the nations in a war ruinous to both, and to the royal cause and family of France. Her “ bloody piety” is more deleterious to the human race than even the atheism of Dupont. He was for sparing the lives of his fellow-creatures by peace. She preached up blood and war, for the destruction of the innocent, to send myriads, untimely, without reperitance, with all their sins upon their heads, to the eternal allotment. However foolish the speech of Dupont was, for noite but a fool could say, “ I am an atheist,” that he was far less cruel than H. More is evident. That woman, I am persuaded, would by any means destroy any object that had the misfortune to displease her, or stand in the way of her projects. The whole history of her life proves it. The Blagdon controversy demonstrates it. She is now marked, and when the nation has recovered from the delirium of war, and John Bull shall have had