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idiotism, are the evils which it too often carries in its train. This is the spectacle at which they should tremble who believe, that religious feelings do not require the control of reason, and the aid of sound instruction; the spectacle of a mind dead for ever to all joy, without peace, or restin the day, or in the night, the victim of incurable, hopeless madness: These are the proper warnings for those who are tired with the moderation of the English church, who ask for something less calm, more vehement, and more stimulating than they can meet with here: At this moment, a thousand human creatures are chained to the earth, suffering, in imagination, all the torments of hell, and groaning groaning under the fancied vengeance of an angry God. What has broken them down, and what is the cause of their great ruin? zeal without knowledge; the violence of worship; passions let loose upon the most exalted of all objects; utter contempt of all moderation; hatred, and suspicion of the moderate; a dereliction of old, safe, and established worship; a thirst for novelty,
and noise; a childish admiration of every
Perhaps this sect is come too late; perhaps, in spite of their incessant activity, it is not possible that mankind should again fall very extensively under the dominion of enthusiasm; in the mean time, whatever be their ultimate, and general success, this will be the character of their immediate proselytes; they will have all who are broken down by the miseries of the world, and who will fly to the drunkenness of enthusiasm, as a cure for the pangs of sorrow; they will have all men, in whose minds fear predominates over hope, profligates, who have exhausted the pleasures of life, will begin to blame those pleasures enthusiastically, and to atone, by the corruption of their reason, for the corruption of their hearts. Designing hypocrites will sometimes join them, and throw a mask of sanctity over the sordid impurities of their lives. It will be a general receptacle for imbecility, fear, worn-out debauchery, and designing fraud. It will nourish a scorn
for religion, produce a constant succession of scoffers, and so blend the excesses of the human mind, upon religious subjects, with its sound, and serious efforts, that men, not caring to disentangle the evil from the good, will cast both the evil and the good away, and live in habitual carelessness for their salvation.
But it is urged, in answer to this, that the lives of these men are good: Admit them to be so; are there no good men who are not enthusiasts? Are there no men, deeply impressed with the truth of the gospel, who avoid all singularity, party spirit, and display in their obedience to that gospel? Is there no such thing as earnest, yet tranquil piety? Is a sound understanding really so incompatible with a pure heart, that men must become spectacles, and laughing stocks, in this world, before they consider themselves as fit for another, and a better? "I respect these people," says one of the greatest ornaments of the English church, (now no more.* .*)" I respect them,
* Dr. Paley, whose works have adorned, and whose low situation in the English church has disgraced the age in which he lived.
because I believe they are sincere, but I have never been present at their worship, without saying to myself, how different is this from the primitive purity, and simplicity of the gospel."
It is possible to love a thing so ardently, and to covet it so much, that we cease to be good judges of the means by which it is to be attained, or preserved when it is attained. We have in our church, and in theirs, one common object,-salvation,-the greatest that the mind can conceive, or the passions covet. We will not believe, that an All- · wise, and an Almighty being has made our eternal happiness to depend upon the display of impetuous feeling, or the observance of unmeaning trifles: We will bend our whole heart to the Lord our God, and to the great author of our redemption; but we will do it with calm adoration, and with. zeal according to knowledge; these habits may not impose, they may not dazzle, they 'may not attract :-but they are practical, they are permanent, they will endure; and, while a thousand new sects are swelling into importance, from their extravagance, and dissolving again, when that extravagance