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the Romanists, were not the result of systematic contrivance, * but sprung up spontaneously, as the indigenous growth of the

human heart: they arose successively, gradually, impercepti• bly; and were in most instances probably first overlooked,

then tolerated, then sanctioned, and finally embodied in that • detestable system, of which they are rather to be regarded as • the cause than the effect. Since then, as I have said, cor‘ruptions of religion neither first sprang from Romanism, nor

can be expected to end with it, the tendency to them being • inherent in our common nature ; it is evident that constant ' watchfulness alone can preserve us from, not the very same corruptions with those of our predecessors, but similar ones, under some fresh disguise; and that this danger is enhanced by * the very circumstance which seems to secure us from it, our abhorrence of those errors in them. From practices the very same in name and form with theirs, such abhorrence is indeed a safeguard ; while, at the same time, it makes us the less ready 'to suspect ourselves of the faults disguised: the vain security 'thus generated draws off our thoughts from self-examination'a task for which the mind is in general least fitted when it is most occupied in detecting and exposing the faults of others.

In treating, then, of such corruptions of religion as those into • which the Church of Rome has fallen, my primary object is to excite a spirit, not of self-congratulation, and self-confidence, but of self-distrust, and self-examination. pp. 31–33.

We were greatly surprised to find so learned and accurate à writer giving an erroneous definition of the word "superstition,” and arguing upon this erroneous basis throughout the whole of the chapter upon this subject. After observing that the Second Commandment is as much violated by acts of worship which God does not command, as by not performing those acts which He does command, he defines superstition to consist, either in the worship of false gods; or in the assignment of such a • degree, or such a kind, of religious veneration to any object, as * that object, though worthy of some reverence, does not deserve; 'or in the worship of the true God through the medium of improper ceremonies or symbols.' p. 26.

It is with unfeigned hesitation that we venture to dissent from this definition, and to substitute in its stead another, which we are satisfied is more correct. “The worship of. false gods” is idolatry, not superstition; and though the subsequent clauses come more nearly to the meaning, they do not express it correctly. Superstition is simply an addition ; a superstructure of error upon a true foundation: and nce it is that the erroneous practices of the Church of Rome, having all a truth in them, the enlightened worshipper in that communion may be a better instructed Christian than mere drily orthodox Protestants.

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In a subsequent passage our author considers superstition to be' the attributing of some sacred efficacy to the performance of ' an outward act, or the presence of some material object, without 'any inward devotion of the heart being required to accompany

it,' &c. This again is idolatry; a relying upon self, instead of relying on God, for salvation; the error expressed by the nation of Israel and censured by God under the name of “ going down unto Egypt for help,”—the common phrase used for the same by the Puritan divines. In the conclusion of the paragraph from whence the above extract is taken, mere ordinary formalitythat is, the reliance on empty forms by themselves—is spoken of as a kind of superstition.

• The adoration of saints, indeed, or of any other being besides 'the one true God, must be always, and in itself, superstitious.' -Here again we must beg to substitute the word idolatrous for superstitious; for it is not possible to conceive in what idolatry can consist, if it be not in the adoration of a being besides the true God.

Some good remarks are made upon the folly of teaching catechisms to children which they cannot understand. But we must pass on to the next chapter, on Vicarious Religion, which contains some very valuable observations. The doctrine of the Trinity, it is the summary of that faith into which, Euç To ovoua, we were baptized, and the key-stone of the Christian system, ought to be set

forth, continually and universally, as the support of every part of the building of the Christian faith, and the Christian life: reference should be made to it, not merely on some stated solemn occasions, as to an abstruse tenet to be assented to, and then • laid aside, but perpetually, as to a practical doctrine, connected * with every other point of religious belief and conduct.' p. 89.

p In a former passage the author had justly censured the notion, entertained both by clergy and people, of setting apart a cer

tain portion of (supposed)Divine knowledge, as unnecessary and ' unfit for vulgar contemplation. Mysterious doctrines uncon'nected with Christian practice, at least with such practice as ' was required from the great mass of Christians, it was sufficient ' that they should assent to with implicit faith, without attempt‘ing to examine the proofs of such matters--to understand the

doctrines themselves-or even to know what they were. “I do ' not presume, nor am able, to comprehend the mysteries of the ' faith, but leave them to my spiritual guides; I believe all that *the Holy Catholic Church 'receives." "Such was the language,

such the easy and compendious confession of faith, which resulted ' from the indolence, the spiritual carelessness, the weakness,

and the dishonest ambition, of human nature.' Such, however, is precisely the view in which those cart-loads of practical sermons are written to which we have so often alluded. The

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obvious meaning is, that the writers are versed in high mysteries, or hidden secrets, which it is improper or impossible for the OL nollor to discuss; or, at least, that there is a portion of revealed truth which is not practical.

Doctrinal religion consists in explaining how, and in what way, all the parts of the scheme and method of man's salvation do display the being, attributes, and character of God. The Trinity is not taught in Scripture as an abstract truth, but revealed as a fact, in virtue of which man's salvation was planned, .and in consequence of which that salvation could be effected consistently with the harmony of God's moral being.

The object of this chapter of Dr. Whately's is to shew that men in all churches have a propensity to shove off upon the shoulders of others the trouble of looking after their own souls, and at this propensity is the foundation of that power to which the Popish priests attained. The truth is, mankind have an innate propensity, as to other errors, so to that of endeavouring to serve God by proxy; to commit to some distinct order of men the care of their religious concerns, in the same manner as they confide the care of their bodily health to the

physician, and of their legal transactions to the lawyer; deem*ing it sufficient to follow implicitly their directions, without attempting themselves to become acquainted with the mysteries of medicine or of law.' p. 92.

It is certainly true that the priests of Rome are not one whit more anxious to assume to themselves a peculiar prerogative, and capacity for understanding the Christian religion, than the priests of every other sect. None of our readers, who are at all conversant with the controversies which exist upon the various points, that have been treated in the pages of this journal, can have failed to remark the sneers which have been thrown out against any supposed lay writers who have ventured to question the soundness and knowledge of Protestant Popes, whether Independent, Episcopal, or Presbyterian; and Mr. Erskine in Scotland has been specially marked out by Scotch priests on this score.

Dr. Whately has made some excellent remarks upon the way in which the Popish clergy have become no longer to be the ministers of Christ's religion, but the sacrificing priests which belong to all religions on earth, except the Christian. We regret that our space will not allow us to transcribe from

p. 108 to p. 113 inclusive. The observations which he makes upon those who object to the people being instructed, because they can be good practical Christians without such instruction, are equally applicable to the writers of practical sermons, and on the same ground: they mean, that it is possible for a man without any education 'to be sober, honest, industrious, contented, &c.; and that

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sobriety, honesty, and the rest are Christian virtues ; and that, consequently, a man may be a good practical Christian without any education.' (Of course, in the application we ought to subjoin the words “in the doctrine of religion;" but we would not alter the words of the author). What they mean, in short, by a 'man's being a good Christian, is his doing those things which “are enjoined to Christians, and abstaining from those things 'which are forbidden. To know on what grounds the Chris

tian religion is to be believed, to understand any thing of its doctrines, to adopt or comprehend any Christian motives and ' principles of conduct—all this they conceive to be unnecessary, * except for the clergy and the higher classes, as long as a man's conduct is but right. Now this is in fact, as I have said, the • Romish system; which is so natural to man, that under one

shape or another it is continually springing up under new ' names.' p. 117.

The effect of example is very well stated, and in a point in which the most excellent of the clergy are apt to err. It is I • believe sometimes supposed, by some of the best-intentioned • among the ministry, that there is little or no danger except on the side of laxity ;--that excessive scrupulosity in respect of matters in themselves indifferept, can, at the worst, only be un. necessary. Of course it will not be expected that I should enter

into particulars, or attempt to draw the line in each case that may occur ; but the remark to which I would invite attention is, ' that as it is confessedly one great part of a clergyman's duty to set a good example, so it is self-evident that his example can have no influence (except on his brother ministers), no • chance of being imitated by the people, in respect of any thing which he is supposed to do, or to abstain from, merely as a clergyman. Whatever things they are which are supposed to be 'professionally decorous or indecorous; whatever is supposed to be suitable or unsuitable to a clergyman as such, and not to Christians as Christians; it is plain that no strictness on the part of the clergy in these points can have the least tendency to induce a corresponding strictness in the laity. I am not saying that 'there are no points of this nature; that there should be nothing * peculiar belonging to the clergy; but merely that in these points

they are setting no example to the people; that that, in short, is 'not an example, which is supposed peculiar to one profession,

and therefore not meant to be imitated in others. I admit that 'a life of great strictness in such points may give great satisfac

tion, may be admired, may procure respect for the individual ; ' and so far may even give weight to what he says on other 'points; nay, it may be even called by the unthinking erem

plary: but it is plain, that so far as it is regarded as professional 'it never can be exemplary, except to the clergy themselves.


And the more there is of this professional distinction, the greater ' will be the danger, and the more sedulously must it be guarded against, of the people's falling into the error of regarding other things also as pertaining to the Christian Minister alone, which in fact pertain to the Christian : the longer the list is of things ' forbidden or enjoined to the clergy, and not to the laity, the greater the risk of their adding to the list that Christian knowledge, thatChristian self-controul,and sobriety of conduct, which are required of all that partake of the Christian covenant and * Christian hopes. pp. 131-133.

The truth of these observations may be seen in the remarks which are constantly made respecting the appearance of clergymen at races and balls; as if these scenes could be improper for them, but quite justifiable in laymen. Duelling also is considered indecorous for one habited in black, while any other coloured cloth is not supposed to be under the controul of the commandment “ Thou shalt do no murder."

In the following chapter, on Pious Frauds, Dr. Whately alludes to many Protestant practices which equally come under that denomination. Among these the author enumerates the assertion of those preachers who say their sermons are dictated by the Holy Spirit, although they know that the more they practise and study and premeditate the better they preach : the saying of what the preacher is convinced is true, but not in the sense in which most of his hearers understand it: the argument for the truth of the Deluge from finding marine shells imbedded in rock on the summit of a hill, although it is obvious that from Moses's account they could not have got there by that means : the asserting of the Church of England that which is only true of the church of Christ : inculcating the observance of rites on false grounds, &c. &c. To this catalogue might have been added, the turning missionary out of a fancied zeal for the souls of heathen, when that zeal is bounded by the amount of stipulated pay; the erection of places of Worship, in order to furnish a subsistence to the preacher who performs therein; and, above all, the urging men to circulate Bibles and tracts in order to convert the whole world, while believing that the whole world is never to be converted by these means. Such things, and many more like them, furnish abundant proof of our author's position, that there is great danger in ‘ referring various errors of Romanism

to the Romish Church as their source, and of representing *that system as the cause of those corruptions, which in fact produced it, and which have their origin in our common nature; and hence of regarding what are emphatically called the errors of Romanism as peculiar to that church, and into which, consequently, Protestants are in no danger of falling......The tendency to aim at a supposed good end by fraudulent means,

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