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society to which they, by their very dissent, avow they do not belong. And should the society, community, or state, relax their laws, as, upon certain conditions, to permit Dissenters even to dwell amongst them, it is a boon and an indulgence to which they have no manner of right, and for which, therefore, they ought to be exceedingly thankful.” (280.) "A Dissenter can have neither a national nor an acquired right to anything that belongs to the Commonwealth of England." (282.)
This is of course but a sketch of the leading points of my discourse, which I concluded with a more close reference to the text. "The Apostle Jude, (I said,) here rightly calls Dissenters filthy dreamers; for Dissenters are like persons who having got dead drunk, fall asleep and dream of such filthy things as their tender consciences,' and 'the Scripture being the rule of faith.'"
"To despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities, is the substance of the great dissenting delusion, called by the blessed Jude a dream;" because, in a dream, men do not make a right use of their reason. The dominion of Archbishops and Bishops, and the dignities of the great Prelates was established by the Author of our religion; he made them spiritual Barons, and the Apostles decreed, as it is written in the Acts of the Apostles, that they should be called "Graces," Lords," "Most Reverend," "Right Reverend," and "Very Reverend." All the four Evangelists unanimously
declare that they should live in palaces, have precedence of barons, be settled in dioceses, hold spiritual courts, wear purple coats and aprons, have purple coaches, and purple footmen, sit in Parliament, and possess immense incomes. They are the oxen that tread out the corn, and their mouths must not be muzzled. Right reason consists in obeying, loving, and cherishing the Bishops and the Clergy: they that speak evil of them dream; therefore, Dissenters, schismatics, and sectarians of all grades, awake out of your dream! be filthy no longer! Come to the Church, submit to her ordinances, leave off your evil practices, repent of your iniquity; yea, awake, before the gulf opens, and ye be swallowed up in the fiery flaming fissure, with Korah, Dathan, and Abiram, and all their company. Amen.”
This letter is very long; I cannot add any more at present, except that I delivered the whole Sermon with a voice of thunder. The effect it produced you shall hear in my next.
Your loving Brother,
FROM THE SAME TO THE SAME.
I CAN imagine your joy, my dear Brother, when you read my last letter, but I do not wait for an answer to give you my second despatch from head-quarters, for I know how impatient you must be to hear the result of my sermon. The effect of the morning service was throughout perfect. The schismatics (and I calculate that two-thirds of my congregation were of that sort) seemed perfectly astounded. I saw all the schismatical teachers in one pew together. The effect of our procession and of Doctor Birch's scarlet gown seemed so to discompose them, that they did not get into a tolerably listening posture for the first hour. In short, the whole congregation seemed stricken with astonishment, and every one looked as if he were ready to ask "What next?” But when I began my sermon their surprise seemed heightened into consternation, and all were in breathless silence, catching the words as they came from my lips. The schismatical teachers looked at one another in mute distress, and I perceived Mervyn the Independent wiping his eyes
repeatedly when I had got half through my
There is an old man in the parish, Othniel Prynne by name, but called familiarly by the people old Father Oddy. The old fellow says he is descended from the brother of that Prynne whose ears were most righteously cut off by the blessed Archbishop Laud. I know not whether the genealogy be correct, but Dr. Birch, who studies these matters, says it is, and old Oddy is mortally offended if any one doubts it. The old fellow seems to know the Scriptures by heart, for he never meets me without giving me a sermon made up all together of texts. He is, as you may suppose, a great oracle amongst the schismatics, and as he is now retired from his trade, which was that of a gardener, and as he is in comfortable circumstances, he seems to have little else to do but to preach and cant all day long. Oddy being somewhat deaf (for he is eighty-three years old) stationed himself directly in front of the pulpit, so that I fired all my red hot shot full into his trumpet. His large blue eyes and silver hair and aged face made a delightful mark for my guns, and by the gaping of his mouth I perceived that every discharge of my batteries took effect. When I finished my sermon I heard him audibly say, as if thinking aloud, "Lord have mercy upon us!"
After the sermon our party retired to the vestry.
Dr. Birch was ready to jump for joy. Stubbs, the orthodox churchwarden, a rosy-faced lover of the bottle, and of the "successors of the apostles," had prepared a glorious bumper of parish wine to refresh me after my labours." In the name of the parish of Tuddington," said this honest fellow, after all the clergy present were duly helped to a glass-" in the name of the parish of Tuddington, I drink the health of the Reverend Rabshakeh Gathercoal, and thank him for his excellent sermon; and as senior churchwarden I request him to print that noble discourse we have had the privilege to hear to-day."
"And I second the motion," shouted Dr. Birch, filling another bumper.
"Amen," responded the clergy, helping themselves to a second glass.
"My reverend brethren," said I,
"and you, Mr. Churchwarden, I am highly flattered with your warm approbation of my sermon delivered this day. These are dangerous times we live in. The Church is hard pushed by those gaping bulls of Bashan the Dissenters; Church-rates are refused; Irish bishopricks are abolished; Church Reform is threatened; the bishops are pelted, and the nation is filled with pestilential publications against the faith once delivered to the saints;' no man therefore who prays for the prosperity of
This faith, in the doctrine of L. S. E., consists in a humble obedience to bishop, priest, and deacon.