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England from the
unchangeable laws and to beware of
remotest antiquity of truth and recti- their doctrine.tude." p. 18. And why, says he,
to the late revolution; when upon the liberty given and taken to think
freely, the devil's power visibly declined, & England, as well as the United Provinces, ceased to be any part of his Christian territories.
"Let the priests give such an instance of their suc cess against the devil any where.” p. 30.
"If you are apt to be afraid of the devil, think freely of him, and you destroy him and his kingdom. Freethinking has done him more mischief than all the clergy in the world ever could do; they believe in the devil, they have an interest in him, and therefore are the great supports of his kingdom." "My meaning is, that to think freely of the devil, is to think there is no devil at all; and he that thinks so, the devil's in him if he be afraid of the devil." pp. 6, 7.
"Our Saviour "Our Saviour prefaces a case of particularly com moral duty with mands us to search the question, why, the scriptures, that even of yourselves, is, to endeavour to judge ye not what find out their true is right? It is then meaning. And for evident that Christ fear we should surrecognised powers render our judg in man to judge of ments to our faththe evidence on ers, and mothers, .which his religion or church rulers, is founded, and to or preachers, perceive that his bids us take heed instructions are what we hear, and conformable to the whom we hear,
"We are com- even of yourselves manded to call no judge ye not what man father, know- is right? If a man ing that one is our come to me, and Father, who is in hate not his father heaven." p. 22. and mother, he Dan Huntington. cannot be my dis"Good senti- ciple. And he ments legitimately commanded his derived from the own disciples not word of God, are to be called rabbi unquestionably the nor masters; by foundation of reli- which last words gion. But in deter- our learned commining what these mentator, the Rev. are, every man Dr. Whitby, unmust judge for him- derstands,
Why even we should call no yourselves,' man guide, or masour Lord, ter upon earth, no ye not fathers, no church, right.' no council.' And 'Not for that we indeed whoever
saith judge what is
dominion considers, that all over your faith,' the priests upon saith our Apostle. earth were And again, Who mies to our blessed art thou, that judg- Saviour and his est another man's gospel, and that servant.' Every he, giving the priman must judge vilege of infallibifor himself, and any lity to no body attempt to subject besides his holy ahim to any incon- postles, could not venience on this be secure that any account is usurpa- priests would ever tion." Elec. Serm. be otherwise; I 1822.
say, he who considers this, never think it possible for Christ to give so partial a command, as to contain a reserve in behalf of any set of priests, in prejudice of the general rules of
free-thinking, on "Christ himself commands us to be free-thinkers, for he bids us search the scriptures, and take heed what and whom we hear; by which he plainly warns us, not to believe our bishops and clergy; for Jesus Christ, when he considered that all the Jewish and heathen priests, whose religion he came to abolish, were his enemies, rightly concluded that those appointed by him to preach his own gospel, would probably be so too; and could not be secure, that any set of priests, of the faith he delivered, would ever be otherwise; therefore it is fully demonstrated that the clergy of the church of England are mortal enemies to Christ, and ought not to be believed." p. 9.
which the gospel was to be built, and which he so particularly laid down and inculcat ed." pp. 45, 46. "As there can be no reasonable change of opinions among men, no quitting of any old religion, no reception of any new religion, nor believing any religion at all, but by means of free thinking; so the holy scriptures, agreeably to reason, "The most vio- "It is evidently and to the design lent dissensions and matter of fact that of our blessed Sa- the most bloody a restraint upon viour of establish wars have arisen thinking is the ing his religion among men, in at cause of all the throughout the tempting, by au- confusion which is whole universe, thority, to regulate pretended to arise imply every where each other's opi- from diversity of and press in many opinions; and that places the duty of "Much has been liberty of thinking free-thinking. said on the subject is the remedy for "The design of of heresy, & much all the disorders the gospel was, by has been done to which are pretendpreaching, to set suppress it. But ed to arise from all men upon free- it is worthy of re- diversity of opinthinking, that they mark, that all the ions." p. 103. might think them- mischief in society selves out of those has arisen rather notions of God from opposition to and religion which heresy, than from were every where heresy itself." E. established by law, Sermon. and receive an unknown God and an unknown religion on the evidence the apostles, or first messengers, produced to convince them." pp. 43, 44.
"It may be objected, that the bulk of mankind is as well qualified for flying as thinking, and if every man thought it his duty to think freely, and trouble his neighbour with his thoughts (which is an essential part of freethinking,) it would make wild work in
the world. I answer; whoever cannot think freely, may let it alone if he pleases, by virtue of his right to think freely; that is to say, if such a man freely thinks that he cannot think freely, of which every man is a sufficient judge, why then he need not think freely, unless he thinks fit."p. 17.
"When every single man comes to have a different opinion every day from the whole world, and from himself, by virtue of free-thinking, and thinks it his duty to convert every man to his own free-thinking, (as all we free-thinkers do,) how can that possibly create so great a diversity of opinions, as to have a set of priests agree among themselves to teach the same opinions in their several parishes to all who will come to hear them? Besides, if all people were of the same opinion, the remedy would be worse than the disease; I will tell you the reason some other time." p. 18.
66 If the correct- "I might in like ness of religious manner have intenets could be stanced in Erastested by the ta- mus, father Paul, lents, the learning, Joseph Scaliger, or the moral worth Cartesius, Gassenof those who have dus,Grotius, Hookmaintained them, er, Chillingworth, the faith of unita- lord Falkland, lord rians might safely Herbert, of Cherrest on such au- bury, Selden, thorities as Locke, Hales, Milton, and Newton, and Wilkins, Marsham, Clarke, and Lard- Spencer, Whitchner, and Emlyn, cot, Cudworth, and Priestly, and More, sir W. TemPrice. In the ple, and Locke; works of these dis- but that I am afraid tinguished men, & I have been alreaof many others, dy too tedious; may be found a and besides, they vindication of the are all already sentiments they known for their professed." Pre- penetration, face to Dr. Ban- tue, and freecroft's Sermons. thinking, to those
who apply themselves to the reading of the best modern authors, and even by fame to others. I will only add, that as I take it to be a difficult, if not impossible task, to name a man distinguished for his sense and virtue, and who has left any thing behind him to enable us to judge of him, who has not given us some proofs of his free-thinking, by departing from the opinions com. monly received,
(as indeed every man of sense who thinks at all must do, unless it can be supposed possible, when opinions prevail by mere chance, without any regard to reason, that reason and chance should produce the same effect;) so I look upon it as impossible to name an enemy to freethinking, however dignified or distinguished, who has not been either crack-brained and enthusiastical, or guilty of the most diabolical vices, malice, ambition, inhumanity, and sticking at no means (though ev
nounce the communion of it." Works, 10th ed. p. 24.
"We all do worthily condemn and detest that blasphemous heresy of the Socinians, who exclude the meritorious death and suffering of Christ from having any necessary influence into our justification and salvation, making it of no greater virtue than the sufferings of the blessed martyrs, who, by their death, set their seal and testimony to the truth of the gospel which freely offers forgiveness of sins to all penitent believers." Serm. v. p. 58.
"I could name one and twenty more great men, who were all free-thinkers; but that I fear to be tedious. For, 'tis certain that all men of sense depart from the opinions commonly received; and are consequently more or less men of sense, according as they depart more or less from the opinions commonly received; neither can you I name an enemy to free-thinking, however he be dignified or distinguished, whether archbishop, bishop, priest, or deacon, who has not been either a crack-brained enthusiast, a diabolical villian, or a most profound ignorant brute." p. 29.
From the last extract, the reader will see that the free-thinkers of the last century were as fond of quoting great names as the right-of-privatejudgment-gentlemen are in the present. Chillingworth and Locke certainly belonged to the one quite as much as to the other.
"If you would have your son reason well," said Locke, " let him read Chillingworth." And as the name of Chillingworth is mentioned so often, and with so much confidence, by the free-thinkers of the present day, it may not be amiss to conclude with the following extracts from his writings. "For the church of England I am persuaded that the constant doctrine of it is so pure and orthodox, that whosoever believes it, and lives according to it, undoubtedly he shall be saved; and that there is no errour in it, which may necessitate or warrant any man to disturb the peace, or re
ADVOCATE, VOL. II.
To the Editor of the Gospel Advocate.
The Age of Benevolence, A Poem, by
Book I. New
HAVE lately read, with great pleasure, this interesting production of the American muse, and admire it no less for the excellence of its matter, than for the beautiful garb in which it is adorned. When the charms of poetry are thus enlisted in the cause of pure and undefiled religion, and the peculiar doctrines of the gospel are the theme of admiration and gratitude; when genius exerts its utmost efforts, and fancy its warmest glow, in the cause of truth and of heaven, how much does the intrinsick worth of the American poet rise above the licentious principles of the bewildered Byron! It is delightful to the feelings of the pious heart to know, that, while the infidel and the scorner, and him who bears the Christian name without the Christian's faith, are all engaged in overthrowing the venerable fabrick of "the faith once delivered to the saints," there are those, who, with the "fear of God before their eyes," and a "knowledge of his truth" in their hearts, raise the banner of the cross, and proclaim salvation to a guilty world, through the atoning blood of the incarnate God. Such men are an honour to. American literature, and to their country, and their country should give them the meed of its applause. Mr. Wilcox
"But, far above all others, though sublime,
Poured from his heart of overflowing love.
Threatening destruction. Wisdom, justice,
All measureless, to this stupendous work
Love made the covenant ere time began,
That rose to intercede, and judge, and reign.
Its work to finish, in despite of earth,
"The bleeding cross, howe'er by thank-
Scorned as the monument of his deep guilt,
And to a curse perverted by the blind,
The earth, united by no golden chain
With what rapidity and terrible force, Straight toward destruction would it drive along,
From its whole surface sending to the skies
And grope, at every step, in painful doubt Which way to turn, though on the fatal brink?
As if upon a world of one long night