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would turn the other : If robbed of his upper garment, would give the under ; or if compelled to go one mile, would go twain ?

Where is the man, who beholding a woman with a lustful eye, plucketh it out and cafteth it from him? Where is the man, who having with his hand, committed fraud, or violence, cuttech it off, and cafteth it from him? Or where is the man, who can truly fay--I love my enemy? There are indeed many who take no thought for the morrow, and whose condue justifies the saying 'Suficient unto the

da is the evil thereof,' but can it be proved, that one of them is stimulated by the Christian precept ? Or will their example be held up as worthy of imitation? It will generally be found, that in cases where too much is required ; too little will be performed : and our retreat from any particular dogma, or act of worship, which offends our reason'; will be further than is absolutely necessary, or perhaps warrantable. Thereföre again I ask-Why have we not a plain, confiftent, rational system of religion, whose basis is morality? If I am anfwered by orthodoxy-The present is such, and you need no other, if you practice the doctrine drawn from thence and which we preach. I reply-That doctrine, most assuredly, is the best, which produces the best effects, and to judge of these we must examine


the general manners of those who profess different religions. This examination, as to the times past or present, will not, I believe, turn out to the advantage of Christianity: A religion, which from its first promulgation to this period, has, for no considerable time, pofseffed uniformity or stability: nor do I see, if the Scriptures have always been what they now are, how it should. This observation gives strength to the opinion I have advanced page 250, that corruptions of the Scriptures must have been made in the first age of Christianity. History informs us that the different sects (and they were not a few) which then existed; took the liberty of erasing from, adding to, and altering the Scriptures ; as their various opinions or designs led them. Here then we find the source from whence flowed those errors which deluged the Christian world with blood, and covered it with darkness. Which rendered a religion the ridiculé, contempt, nay even abhorrence of mankind; which was given by its author, as a pure, benevolent, and universal system of ethics; admirable for its accelerating virtue and preventing vice, by an assurance, that in a future state, the first would be nobly rewarded and the last severely punished. To bring it back to this its origin, tends my reasonable proposal ; my fincere with ; and fanguine hope. One reformation has freed us


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from some errors : Why not another, that may free us from all ?

From the Scriptures strike out all the excep: tionable parts. Reduce the numerous articles of the present inconsistent faith: few, plain, and fimple, let them be : such as the unlearned may easily comprehend; and the well informed may admit without fcruple, Let our forms and ceremonies, which are little more than the police of religion, be long, or short ; pompous, or plain ; it matters not greatly : but let them be such as exclude not Teason, truth, or fincerity, And for our government with respect to moral actions ; we have a rule, so plain ; so just; so equitable ; that had we no other assurance of its being the will of God, the evidence of the precept itself would confirm us in that belief beyond the possibility of a doubt

Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you; do ye even so them.' Comprehensive, complete, divine precept ! Suited to every capacity, every rank, and every situation of mankind throughout the world. In which; where is the man so ignorant, as not to understand it ? So weak, as to be incapable of performing it? Where the man so wife, as not to admire it? So powerful, as not to dread the infringement of it by others ? More especially in cases wherein his property or personal afety is concerned. An exemplification of this


unexceptionable rule, in the great variety of cases to which it extends; would afford ample scope for the useful talents of our clergy. Released from the galling fetters forged by fraud and ignorance ; freed from the unhappy necessity of teaching what they understand not, perhaps believe not, themselves; how different will their situation, their feelings, their powers be, both with respect to themselves and others. Convinced in their own minds of the reasonableness of Christianity, they would enforce its truth with energy irresistible : not by working upon the pallions, which may produce moral actions in a tranfitory way, but by convincing the judgment, which inay not only produce moral actions; but support and maintain the practice of them, constantly and unifomly through life. They may quote their own example in proof of their own belief; and at the same time point out their Marter's iinerring rule whereby their fincerity, and that of others may be, with certainty, dererınıned By their fruits, ye shall know them.'

To precure the means whereby every man may be fitted for this fcrutiny, was the inotive which actuated the author of these theets: it is the most that can be done by an individual of small fortune and less influence, who boasts neither learning or literary faill. A little plain sense or com

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mion understanding ; unbiassed (not having read what others have written upon the subject) and governing the best intention, is all he claims. Farewel candid reader; criticise the author's head, as severely as thou wilt, but spare his heart: and if thou hast power, promote the good he intended for the benefit of mankind.

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