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Few men were more bigotted or cruel than Archbishop Laud. He sharpened the spiritual sword, and drew it against all sorts of offenders; intending that the discipline of the church should be felt as well as spoken of. There had not been such a crowd of business in the high commission court since the reformation, nor so many large fines imposed, as under this prelate's administration. These fines we are told, were assigned to the repairs of St. Paul's, which gave rise to an unlucky proverb, “ that the church was repaired with the sins of the people.”
The following account of the conduct of a mother towards her son shews us that bigotry has a tendency to eradicate even some of the best af. fections which the Almighty has planted in our nature for the wisest of purposes. The son had, it seems, from a principle of conscience in oppo. sition to his interest, renounced the religious system in which he had been educated for another which he deemed more consonant to truth. When the mother was informed of the circumstance, she told him, that she found it her duty, however severe the struggle, to alienate her affections from him, now he had rendered himself an enemy to God, by embracing such erroneous sentiments.” It is said, that she was completely successful in these endeavours, and that the duty she enjoined upon herself was scrupulously performed during the remainder of her days. What an affecting in, stance of perverted principles !
Such is the nature of bigotry, and such the evil of prejudice, that it insults the dead as well as the living. Chillingworth's book, entitled, “ The Re, ligion of Protestants a safe Way to Salvation,” is acknowledged to be one of the most solid and rational defences of protestantism ever published. But such was Dr. Cheynell's prejudice against it, that when Chillingworth was buried, he came to his
grave with this book in his hand, and after a short preamble to the people, in which he assured them how happy it would be for the kingdom if this book and all its fellows could be so buried, that they might never rise more, unless it were for a confutation, “ Get thee gone,” say's he, " thou cursed book, which has seduced so many precious souls; get thee gone, thou corrupt rotten book, earth to earth, dust to dust : gei thee gone into the place of rottenness, that thou mayest rot with thy author, and see corruption.” Poor doc. tor! how feeble thy efforts; how ineffectual thy wishes! Protestantism yet lives and flourishes, and we have reason to believe it will live and ex. tend itself in all directions, and for tl - reason, because it is the religion of the Bible, and the cause of truth. Eneinies it may and will have, but, being divine, it is incapable of being wounded, and will, in the issue, walk with a meek and godlike dignity over the graves of her opponents, and finally triumph in the complete blessedness of all her adherents.”
We in general look for this spirit of bigotry and prejudice among the lower classes of society, and those whose minds have never been expanded by sound knowledge. But, alas ! It is too prevalent among those who are considered as intelli, gent and learned. What shall we say to the following instances ? Whiston would not go to hear Dr. Gill preach, merely because he was informed that the doctor had written a folio book on the
Canticles. A wise reason indeed !-Dr. Johnson, when he was at Edinburgh, although he was personally acquainted with the celebrated Dr. Rob. ertson, declined going to hear him, because he would not be seen in a Presbyterian church. Dr. Berkely, late prebendary of Canterbury, in his sermon on Ist Tim. i. 15. declares that salvation is promised only to the episcopal church; and another modern divine, in a recent publication, devoutly gives up all dissenters from episcopacy to the uncovenanted mercies of God. Benign Jehovah, defend us from such iltiberality!
At the funeral of Mr. G., when Mr.D., a clergyman, refused to walk in procession with Mr. B., a dissenting minister, a man of activity and spirit, the following pleasant circumstance happened. Mr. D. meeting the corpse, and finding Mr. B. walking before it, directed him to walk behind. Kür. B. not complying with this order, Mr. D. endeavoured to outwalk him ; but Mr. B being as nimble as he, kept up with him, till the rector quickening his pace, they both fairly ran for it till they got to the church door. Mr. D. was so much offended, that, after the funeral, his pride and bigotry getting the better of every other consideration, he sent back the hatbund and scarf, and even the pins that had been used on the occasion.
When Mr. Staunton preached a lecture on Loid's-day afternoon at — in Oxfordshire, his labours were so acceptable, that people flocked from all parts to hear him. This was not pleasing to the incumbent, who took the more time in reading prayers, that, this novel lecurer might have the less time for preaching, and then left the church, but was followed by none but his clerk, whom he would not suffer to give out the psalm. Mr. S. had preached some time on that text “ Buy the truth, and sell it not ;" upon which the incumbent, when he met any coming into the church as he went out, would say with a sheer
“ What! are you going to buy the truth?” Poor creature, how it hurt him to see all the peo. ple going one way, while he and his clerk were going another!
An Irish earl related the following anecdote of his grandfather, when an insurrection of the papists was expected in Ireland. The earl's grandfather, conversing familiarly with one of his popish tenants (a good kind of man so called, whom he had favoured,) told him that he was sure he would not have any hand in murdering him, should the papists prevail. “No,” said the farmer, “I never would hurt your lordship.” “ But,” said peer, “suppose the priest should tell
that it is the pope's order, and that it is for the good of the church ?" " 0, then,” said the poor bigotted papist, “ your lordship knows I could not disobey the pope's order.” Such is the nature of implicit faith and the spirit of bigotry !!!
THE CAVILLER REPROVED.
A CERTAIN man went to a dervise, and
proposed three questions. Ist, Why do they say that God is omnipotent ? I do not see him in any place : shew me where he is. 2dly, Why is man punished for crimes? since whatever he does proceeds from God: man has no free will, for he
cannnot do any thing contrary to the will of God; and if he had power, he would do every thing for his own good. 3dly, How can God punish Satan in hell fire, since he is formed of that ele. ment? and what impression can fire make on itself?
The dervise took up a large clod of earth, and struck him on the head with it. The man went to the cadi, and said, “ I proposed three questions to such a dervise, who flung such a clod of earth at me as has made my head ache.” The cadi, having.sent for tiie dervise, asked" Why did you throw a clod of earth at his head instead of answering his questions ?" The dervise replied" The clod of earth was an answer to his speech; he says he has a pain in his head : let him shew me where it is, and I will make God visible to him. · And why does he exhibit a complaint to you against me? whatever I did was the act of God: I did not strike him without the will of God; and, what power do I possess? And as he is compounded of earth, how can he suffer pain from that element?” The man was confounded, and the cadi highly pleased with the dervise's
THERE is something truly noble and praise worthy in constancy. To be firm in the midst of opposition, to endure hardships without murmuring, and to persevere through every difficulty, is highly characteristic of the Christian spirit : such, however great their sufferings, shall not