Page images

tainly fufpect fuch Priests, who live viciously, who play with Oaths; who, though fwearing to the Government, are Jacobites in their Hearts (as Dr. Hickes fays, I hope falfely, the main Body of the Clergy, God be thanked, are); who are uncharitable in their Cenfures, and are Perfecutors; who defend plain Abfurdities; who difpute against the Reasonableness of Reafon; who contend for human Authority, that is, their own, in Matters of Religion; and argue for the Belief of unintelligible Propofitions. or Mysteries (For Men of common Senfe, and common Honefty, can hardly be supposed to join real Belief and fuch Things together). And above all, those Priefts are to be suspected as Atheists, who are conftantly charging others with Atheism, and thofe oftentimes the most learned, beft, and most religious Men, as Cudworth, Tillotson, and Locke. Upon fuch we may justly return the Charge of Atheism, in the Words of a modern Philofopher: "How, ແ fays be to a High Presbyterian Priest, could


you think me an Atheist, unless it were, be"cause finding your Doubts of the Deity more66 frequent than other Mens are, you are thereby the apter to fall upon that kind of Re"proach? Wherein you are like Women of 66 poor and evil, Education, when they fcold;



❝ amongst whom the readiest disgraceful Word "is Whore. Why not Thief, or any other "ill Name, but because, when they remember "themselves, they think that Reproach the "likelieft to be true?"


AND, as many Priefts give fuch Cause of Sufpicion, so I would fain know what Mr. LESLEY must esteem the Priefts of our Church to be, when he fays, "That the Par"liament cannot make an Oath which the "Clergy will not take? And whether many "of our Clergy must not be esteemed Atheists, according to the Saying of the late Bishop " of Worcester, It was a great Providence of "God, that fo many of the Clergy refused the "Oaths to the Government, left People fhould "think there was no fuch thing as Religion, "and incline to Atheism ?" And lastly, wha can be thought of the Majority of a Lower House of Convocation, who, in their Represen tation of the prefent State of Religion, with regard to the late exceffive Growth of Infidelity, Herefy, and Profaneness, fell upon the truly religious (though erroneous) Books of Mr. Whiston and others, but paffed over the Tale of a Tub, a Book of a Reverend Brother; tho' that Book was the fole open Attack that had been made upon Chriftianity fince the Revolu

tion, except the Oracles of Reason; and was not inferior, in Banter and Malice, to the Attacks of CELSUS, or JULIAN, or PORPHYRY, or LUCIAN! And what can we think of the Majority of another Convocation, which a worthy Member spoke to in these Words? "With what Face or Confcience, Mr. Prolocr cutor, can we offer to complain of the Li«centiousness taken by Lay-Writers, and yet " connive at the like Offences given by the «Minifters of our Church; I doubt, greater "Offences? For if all the ill Books against "Religion, Scripture, &c. were here packed Сс up together, I would undertake to pick out "the worst of them, by pointing at those "written by Clergymen, even of the most cc profane Drollery, as well as the most serious "Heresy ?" So that, upon the Whole, the HighChurch Priests seem to me to derive a mighty Benefit from Atheism. They have it chiefly among themselves, and protect one another in it, and thereby have the Profit of Atheism, arifing from taking false Oaths, and from doing many things without Scruple of Conscience, as also the Pleasure, as fome of them esteem it, (fee Dr. Atterbury's Sermon at Bennet's Funeral) arifing from the Practice of Vice. And at the fame time they themselves ftand clear of


of the Imputation of Atheism, and brand with it those whom they do not like, and fuch as aro oftentimes the best Men, and beft Chriftians.


P. S. The Author of this Paper, having received two very modest and religious, though anonymous Letters, which take Offence at an Expreffion in the Independent Whig, No. XXXVIII. about Godly Sorrow, returns for Answer, That Sorrow for our Sins is not there opposed, but mechanic Sorrow, and fuch as proceeds from wrong Causes; and the Author only supposes, that such enthusiastic People, as he has before mentioned, knew not the true Principles of Repentance, which he himself has defcribed.

IN fine, as to Godly Sorrow, Sorrow for Sin; I know it to be fo much a religious Duty, that I know there can be no Religion without it.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]


Wednesday, December 7. 1720.

No PRIESTS inftituted by the Chriftian Religion.


WILL, in this Paper, fhew, that there are no Priefts or Sacrificers in the Gospel Difpenfation, in any other Senfe, than as every Christian may be called fo, as he offers up to God the Sacrifices of Praises and Thanksgivings, and a pure and contrite Heart: and, in this refpect, St. Peter calls all Christians, a spiritual House, an holy Priesthood, to offer up spiritual Sacrifices, a chofen Generation, a Royal Priesthood,an holy Nation, a peculiar People, God's Heritage, or more properly, God's Clergy.

IT is undoubtedly true, that all Power, Superiority, or Diftinction amongst Men, muft be derived either from the pofitive Institutions


« PreviousContinue »