Page images

ence upon a wife and gracious Providence, and to warm and purify our hearts with fentiments of piety, and of zeal to promote the honour of God by labouring for the real interefts of his creatures, and by "walking in all his commandments blamelefs:-And Separately, as they influence the fate of rational and accountable beings, fallen from their firft eftate of innocence and immortality-restored to hope of future happiness by the marvellous work which has accomplished their Redemption; and urged to the performance of duty in this short probationary life by the affurance of Divine affistance, and by the promise of that Eternal reward which is held out to every man for his rejection or acceptance, without any respect to his rank or fituation-his great or little fphere of action;-fince the final allotment of happiness and glory is made to depend wholly (through the merits of our Redecmer) upon his performance of the part affigned to him upon the theatre of life, whether he be a "hero or a ferving man," a Sovereign or a Slave.

[ocr errors]

Let ALL, then, who bear the name of CHRISTIANS, confider the real dignity of the character, and “walk as children of the light amidst a crooked and perverfe generation, looking

looking for the glorious appearing of their Lord." Let those who remain unconvinced of the truth of Revelation by the evidencederived from PROPHECY, remember, that many other unanswerable proofs may be drawn from other fources. Let them examine the various arguments presented by the INTERNAL EVIDENCE of the SCRIPTures. Let them pursue the opening path of ORIENTAL LITERATURE, and confider with particular attention the Chaldean sphere, recording, at it were, the earlieft annals of the world first written in the HEAVENS. Then let them fearch the EARTH for testimony, for the earth itself bears conftant witness to the truth of the Mofaic Hiftory". What shall I fay more? IF THEY WILL NOT" then " HEAR MOSES AND THE PROPHETS, NEITHER WILL THEY BE PERSUADED, THOUGH ONE ROSE FROM THE DEAD.'

[ocr errors]


See Maurice's Hift. and Antiq. of India...

"See De Luc's Letters on Geology, Howard on the Structure of this Globe, &c.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Additional Note to the Second Edition.

It has been fuggefted by a perfon, eminently diftinguished by his zeal and exertions in the fervice of Religion, that this work bears hard upon the Roman Catholics, at a time when Chriftians of all denominations fhould lay afide antient animofities, and unite against the common enemy. The Author cannot therefore fuffer another Edition to appear, without obferving, that nothing has been advanced inconfiftent with the moft cordial wifh for union among the Members of the different Chriftian Churches, upon real christian principles. But how far that is likely to be effected, while the Members of the Church of Rome adhere to the authority of Councils, and of Popes, for the rule of their faith and practice, and while fo many of the Protestant Churches and fectarists maintain the fupreme authority of human Reafon, as the judge of revealed doctrines, and the guide of life, let others determine. In point of fact, both parties reject the authority of Scripture; the one often ignorantly, when it difagrees with the decifions of their Church; and the other often arrogantly, when it exceeds their comprehenfion, or opposes their opinions. THE AUTHORITY OF SCRIPTURE MUST THEN BE. MADE THE POINT OF UNION; and therefore those Churches which maintain this authority, and prove their doctrines to be founded upon it, cannot quit their station, without evident injury to the great cause of Religion, and without incurring individual guilt: for temporifing measures with respect to the fundamental doctrines of Christianity can never be justified, even upon the ground of expediency, though they may be highly laudable' when confined to unimportant points of difference. Let the Roman Catholics, who profefs to venerate the Scriptures,

[ocr errors]

but fairly examine the perfecuting, the tyrannical, the idolatrous decrees, and the unfounded dogmas of their Church, by the light of the Gofpel, and the teftimony of History, and they must acknowledge them to be inconfiftent with the Word of God, and cease to think their Church infallible. Let them compare the Prophecies concerning Antichrift with their corruptions, and with their prefent calamities; and they will fee the indifpenfable neceffity of reforming their Church, or of leaving her communion, according to the example of their predeceffors, who led the way to the feparation of the truth from the errors with which it had been unhappily mingled. Surely then whatever tends to open their eyes to a conviction of these truths, muft tend to effect a union between them and the Epifcopal Proteftant Church, to whofe truly Chriftian principles they are indebted for receiving good for evil, and whofe doctrines are the fame with those held by the Church of Rome itself, in the primitive ages of Chriftianity-a Church which, aware of the mifchiefs attending the undue exaltation, as well as the depreffion, of human Reason, erected the fandard of her faith upon the Scriptures, and has preserved it with the bleffing of God, unchanged *, amidft the din of controverfy, as the beacon of a troubled world.

Let thofe Proteftants, who, relying upon Reason as the fole director of their faith, difclaim every fpecies of authority, and renounce every doctrine not level to their underftandings, be warned by the fatal tendency of their principles towards Anarchy and Atheism. Let them, "while they stand fast in the liberty, with which Chrift has made them free," "bring every thought under captivity to the Gospel of Chrift," and, "avoiding queftions that do gender trifes," remove the odium of a prefumptuous verfatility in their opinions.--Thus indeed may the various Churches,


See the Bishop of Lincoln's Chriftian Theology, vol. ii.


now diftracted by divifions, be reconciled; and though not in perfect unity of faith and practice, preferve the bond of peace in Chriftian charity, and ftrengthen themselves against the enemy of all Religion, whatever are its forms and doctrines.

Additional Notes to the FOURTH Edition.

Vol. i. p. 364. It has been objected by fome zealous Proteftants, that the term faints cannot be properly applied to Roman Catholics, and therefore that the perfecution of the priefs by the infidel power of France cannot be deemed any fulfilment of this prophecy. But furely the piety and exemplary conduct of many professors of the Romish religion, may certainly entitle them in the opinion of all Chriftians, to the name of faints, or holy men. We should ever distinguish the perfonal excellence of the profeffors, from the corrupt and antichristian doctrines of the Church of Rome: just as we must distinguish the profligacy of many of its members, from the purity of the doctrines of the Church of England; and no one will deny that the French Revolution has feparated the Wheat from the Chaff in a very remarkable manner. The perfecution of all religious principles is, however, a fufficient mark of the antichriftian power in the Image fet up in France.

Vol. ii. p. 50, The prefent fituation and conduct of the pope and of the ecclefiaftical ftates of Germany, fo ftrongly mark the fubjection of the papal to the infidel power, that we feem authorized to expect another step of degradation will foon be apparent; yet the formation of a new order, or rather perhaps the revival of an abolished order, under a new name, feems to point towards a future. ftruggle.

P. 60, line 19. Chrift commanded that "the gospel fhould be preached to the poor," and quoted the prophecy which he fulfilled by preaching it himself, in proof of his

« EelmineJätka »