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populous towns. We ought every one to step out of the routine of our accustomed methods of doing good, and ftrive with peculiar energy to fave our peoples fouls from death, and our beloved country from ruin. An affociation of Proteftant Diffenters, of different denominations, has also been formed at Bedford. About thirty minifters in that neighbourhood are already engaged to co-operate in fpreading the knowledge of the Gospel through all the towns and villages, in that vicinity, upon the moft liberal plan. The fame kind of affociations are formed alfo in London, Kent, Dorfetfhire, Surry, Suffolk, Lancashire, Cheshire, Derbyfbire, Northumberland, and will probably in a little time pervade the whole of the three kingdoms. This is good news to all that with well to the cause of religion, without regard to fects, parties, and opinions; and may convince us, that the Gospel of JESUS wants nothing but fair play, and that human establishments, and great worldly emolu ments, are not effentially neceffary for its fupport and propagation. The Puritans were frowned on by the govern ment from the time of the Reformation to the days of CHARLES I. and yet they encreased to fuch a height as to overturn both Church and State. The Diffenters have been, in fome refpects, frowned on again from the Restoration to the prefent time, and yet they, and the Methodists, who are in the fame predicament, are much more upon the increaset, than we of the Establishment, who are foftered by

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* Confult Mr. GREATHEED's Sermon at Bedford on General Union : a valuable difcourfe.

+ It is faid the Methodists have encreased fome thousands last year. This brings to my mind an anecdote that is related of the late Rev. GEORGE WHITEFIELD, in the reign of King GEORGE II. which is, that when a certain Bishop was complaining to the King of Mr. WHITEFIELD's great and eccentric labours, and advifing with him what steps were beft to be taken to put a stop to his preaching, his Majesty very fhrewdly replied, "My Lord, I can fee no other way but for us to make "a Bishop of him. This will ftand a good chance of flopping his wild

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"" career, If this is the recipe for curing a Clergyman of an excess of public preaching, the following prescription, given by a valuable author about thirty years ago, would have no little effect in preventing the growth and increase of Methodifm," Let the Clergy live more holily,

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pray more fervently, preach more heavenly, and labour more dili"gently, than the Methodist minifters appear to do: then will Chriftians "flock to the churches to hear us, as they now flock to the meetings të "hear them.”

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the government, attended by the nobles and gentry of the land, and fupported by the State, at the expence of near two millions a year. When fhall it once be, that the Great Ones of the world will be capable of feeing, that oppreffion, of every kind and degree, for confcience' fake, always produces an effect directly contrary to the wishes and intentions of the oppreffor?

The villages in England alone, befides cities and market towns, are about 30,000. All thefe call upon us for every exertion to evangelize them, and to fave the peoples fouls alive.-A branch off from the Methodists is likewife fpreading itself far and wide, under the direction of Mr. ALEXANDER KILHAM. At prefent they have about feventeen circuits, twenty preachers, and upwards of 5000 perfons in fociety, and are encreafing confiderably each year. Shall we then, we, the eighteen thousand Clergymen of the Establishment, who are under fuch fuperior obligations, many of whom are paid by the State,, at the rate of fome hundreds, and others at the rate of fome thoufands a year; fhall we be all asleep, fit ftill, and purfue no peculiarly vigorous measures, each one in our own sphere, or various of us in concert, till deftruction come upon us to the uttermoft*? Is not the time nearly arrived for the fubverfion of the nations? And can any thing under heaven prevent our fharing in the common fate of Christendom, but a speedy and effectual return to evangelical principles and practices? Is not our fifter kingdom already deluged with blood? And is not the alarm of war in our own borders! Does not the murderous fword draw nearer and nearer every year? And fhall we Clergymen, who above all men in the kingdom are devoted to the most affured deftruction, be indifferent to circumftances? Let the very laudable conduct of the feveral zealous bodies of Chriftians in this nation, before mentioned,

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* It is related of the Rev. JOHN CARLYON, L. L. B. in the Gentleman's Mag. for Oct. 1798, that when his health would not permit him to refide upon the valuable Living of Bradwell, in Effex, he refolutely gave it up, and would not ferve it by a Curate, though entreated by the Bi Shop fo to do. There was not, however, in this cafe that close trial of confcientious integrity, that we have known in fome others; because Mr. CARLYON was a perfon of confiderable private fortune,

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not excite our rage and envy, but rather let it provoke the great body of us, the established Clergy, to jealousy and emulation. If ever there was a time when it was neceffary to awake out of fleep, and be alive to the interefts of the Gospel, furely it is now. If our most reverend and right reverend the Archbishops and Bishops are indifpofed towards a meliorated ftate of the ecclefiaftical part of the conftitution, let them at least lay afide their affectation of pomp and fhew, come among their clergy and people, and let us an example of a warm and judicious zeal in preaching-not merely a refined morality-but the great and glorious truths of the everlafting Gofpelt, in fuch a way as we can all underfland and feel. This would have a ftrong tendency to animate and encourage the pious part of the Clergy in their ministerial labours for the good of mankind, and to discountenance and overawe the licentious and profane, thofe dreadful pefts of every neighbourhood, which has the misfortune to be curfed with their example. Such a reformation as this, is within the power of every Bishop upon the bench, whofe age and

See Bishop GIBSON on the Evil and Danger of Lukewarmness in

Religion.

+Confult the Charge of Bishop HORSLEY in 1790, on the Truths of the Gospel.

For the various efforts that have long been making, and are at this moment still making, for the deftruction of all the churches and governments in Christendom, fee thofe two very curious and interefting works, ROBISON'S Proofs of a Conspiracy against all the Religions and Governments of Europe, and BARRUEL's Memoirs of Jacobinijm.

Bishop NEWTON, in his three admirable volumes on the Prophecies, which were first published forty or fifty years ago, hath spoken in terms nearly as ftrong as any of the foregoing concerning the danger the country is in because of our national iniquities. See vol. 2. p. 239.

Bishop HORNE alfo hath expreffed his fears to the fame purpose, at the. 162 of his Sixteen Sermons; to which two able writers, I beg leave to recommend the reader.

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Bishop BURNET speaks on this fubject with great concern. "I fay it with great regret," fays he, "I have obferved the Clergy in all places through which I have travelled, Papifts, Lutherans, Calvinists, and Diffenters; but of them all, our Clergy are the most remifs in their labours in private, and the least severe in their lives.-Unless a better spirit poffelles the Clergy, arguments, and what is more, laws and authority, will not prove ftrong enough to preferve the church."

Own Times, vol. 4. p. p. 411, 430. health

health will admit of exertion; and no one need wait for the concurrence of his brethren. As matters, however, are now managed, a large proportion both of our Bishops and Clergy are, in a very confiderable degree, a ufelefs burden upon the public. We not only do little or no good, but we do a great deal of harm. While we continue dead to the interefts of religion; fubfcribe what we do not believe; read what we do not approve; and fet the pulpit and reading defk at loggerheads one with the other while our doctrines are unevangelical; our spirit lukewarm ; cur minds fecular, worldly; our ftudies merely literary, or philofophical; and our conduct immoral; far better would it be the nation were without us, and all our preferments fequeftered to the purposes of the State, as they respectively become vacant, and the people left_to provide at their own expence for minifters, as is at present among all denominations of Diffenters. In this cafe, minifters in general would both be better provided for, the people would be better ferved, the Government would gradually obtain confiderable fums of money to aid them in their efforts to fave the country, and all the dumb dogs, the useless and immoral part of the Clergy, would be sent a packing, one to his farm, and another to his merchandife*. Can any rational man fay, that this would be a misfortune to the nation? At least, were I in the Prime Minister's place, and wanted to raise money for the falvation of the kingdom, as it is well known he must do, I fhould certainly turn my attention to the property of the Church. What need is there that a Bishop fhould enjoy public money to the amount of-from two to twenty thousand pounds a year? and for what? Where is the neceffity too that a private Clergyman should hold a living or livings to the amount of one, two, or three thousand pounds a year? I proteft my fagacity cannot difcern either the neceffity or propriety of these thingst. If I

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Dr. SOUTH very juftly fomewhere fays, if my memory fail me not, that "many a man has run his head against a pulpit, who would have cut an excellent figure at a plough tail.”

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The ingenious MONTESQUIEU tells us, that "the profperity of religion is different from that of civil government. A celebrated author

fays,

might be permitted to speak from my own feelings, I can truly fay I never took more pains in the ministry, than when I had only fixty pounds a year. Since I have been married and had a family, my income from the church has never amounted to an hundred and twenty pounds a year. Notwithstanding this, I have been, thank God, not only content, but happy. I have laboured hard, studied hard, and, probably, have been as ufeful, and well fatisfied with my condition as the fatteft rector in all the diocese of Chefter. If any perfon, in the mean time, had bestowed upon me a living of five hundred or a thousand pounds a year, to be fure I fhould have been under great obligation to fuch a perfon, but I very much question whether I fhould have been made either a more happy man, or a more useful minifter of the Gospel*. It is much more likely, I fhould have been very seriously injured, fhould have compofed myself to reft, and cried with the rich fool, Soul, thou haft much goods laid up for many years; take thine eafe, eat, drink, and be merry. The Clergy with large preferments are, generally speaking, the drones of fociety. They neither write any thing to good purpose, nor do they take any ferious pains in their vocation of preaching the Gospel. If they do write,

fays, that religion may be well in an afflicted state, because affliction is the true ftate of a Chriftian. To which we may add, that the humiliations and difperfion of the Church, the deftruction of her temples, and the perfecutions of her martyrs, are the diftinguished times of her glory. On the contrary, when the appears triumphant in the eye of the world, The is generally finking in adverfity."

De la Grand et la Decad des Romains.

Agreeably to this, Bishop NEWTON, in his learned Differtations on the Prophecies, fpeaking of CONSTANTINE's open profeflion of Chriftia nity, fays, "Though it added much to the temporal profperity, yet it contributed little to the fpiritual graces and virtues of Chriftians. It enlarged their revenues, and encreased their endowments; but proved the fatal means of corrupting the doctrine, and relaxing the discipline of the Church.

Vol. 2. p. 164.

This brings to my recollection a story of one of the Popes of Rome, who, feeing a large fum of money laying upon his table, faid to one of the Cardinals, "The Church can no longer fay, Silver and gold bave I "none."—"No," answered the other, "nor can the Church any longer "fay, Take up thy bed and walk.”

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