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times produced these effects, has been actively at work among us.

But the indirect may be almost as mischievous as the direct influence of such writings. There is danger with regard to wen, little disposed to become intemperate religionists, that they may be led to believe, that the temper and character which these writings exbibit bave really some connextion with Christianity, and are such as our religion is adapted to produce. Their anthors are pertinaciously insisting that they, and those who think and feel as they do, are the only true Cbristians; and that a very large proportion of all the most enlightened men, who have embraced our religion with sincere conviction, and endeavored to conform their lives to its spirit, have been in fact its worst enemies; men, who, to quote a common perversion of Scripture, bave denied the Lord who bought them. The best disposed can hardly prevent their minds from being in some degree affected by what is continually repeated ; and we fear that those, who are not very friendly to Christianity, will be ready enough to take advantage of such misstatements. There is danger that the men of whom we speak will write and talk about religion, till they in some degree associate with the subject itself, the disgust which their manner of treating it is adapted to produce. There have been at all times those who have pretended to be the exclusive friends of Christianity; and who, to manifest their zeal in her cause, have principally employed themselves in driving away from her service, by violence, or scoffs, or outcries, all those who would not acknowledge their claim to this distinction. Such religionists as these have done inore injury and discredit to our faith; they have done more to impede its reception, and counteract its influ. ence, than we can well estimate. True religion produces high thoughts, and enlarged conceptions, and noble desires. It in. fuses into man a new principle of life, and gives him the spirit of an immortal. It is the parent of all that is most liberal, and generous, and honorable." But wbat is that, which produces the character discovered in such writings as those on wbich we have remarked.

But we beliere, and we are happy to believe, that some effects have resulted from these writings which were not intended. There bas been, we think, a reaction against them of the good sense, and good feelings of the community. A large proportion of those who may differ from us much upon other topics, will, we believe, agree with us in this, that the religion which is first pure, then peaceable, was given for quite other ends than to nourish spiritual pride and mutual animosity among its professors. The great body of our countrymen in this part of our land have too much plain good sense, and native shrewdness, too much honesty and real religion, to be easily manufactured into fanatics and unprincipled sectarians. To the great majority of those who may differ from us in their views of the doctrines of religion, we think we may appeal with confidence, respecting the unfairness and immorality of the mode of warfare which has been adopted. We beg them not to suffer such writings as we have noticed to have any influence upon their minds. We ask it for our own sakes, and for theirs. For ourselves, as an act of common justice. For their sakes, because the tendency of sucb writings is to disturb the peace of the community ; to alienate man from man,-Christian from Christian ; and to produce some of the worst passions by which the human character is deformed. If our doctrines be regarded as false, let them be attacked by fair argument. We will not shrink from it; but if we continue to think them true, we will defend them as we can; and, we trust, without losing our good will toward those by whom they are assailed. If, in the eagerness of controversy, some expressions should pass the bounds of decorum, we will not complain, and we hope we should not retaliate. But let our characters be spared. We are not infidels. We are Christians, with the most sincere conviction of the truth of our religion ; and with a deep sense of its inestimable value. We do not deny the Lord who bought us. We acknowledge Jesus Christ as our guide, instructer, and master, as the Saviour of the world from sin and error ; we have no stronger desire than to be found among his faithful followers; to receive all the doctrines wbich he taught, and to obey all the precepts which he gave. We do not treat the Scriptures with irreverence. We may repeat again, what has already been said a hundred times, that we regard the Scriptures as the only rule of a Christian's faith, in opposition to all the systems of error, wbich have been the work of human folly and human ingenuity labouring together. We believe that the doctrines which we hold, are most fully and most explicitly declared in the Scriptures, and it is therefore that we hold them with so firm a conviction. We do not separate religion from morality, and teach men to rest content in mere worldly virtue. We teach that they are inseparable ; that the same principles and affections, in their different operations, produce love to God, and love to inan. That morality without religion is deprived of its principle of life, and that religion without morality is religion only in name. We teach, that Christian faith is the only source of Christian purity and of Christian charity; and

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that he, who would overcome the world, must believe that Jesus the Son of God. We are not hypocrites, nor are we indifferent about what we believe the truth. We are ready to use earnestly every fair and honourable means for its promotion. We are ready to devote to this object our time, our talents, all that we can offer ; to encounter defamation and reproach, and to make, if need be, the sacrifice of a fair reputation.

We return for a moment to the sermon, of which we have taken notice in the corpinencement of this article. We should be doing, we conceive, not a little injustice to the citizens of our metropolis, it we were to imagine for a moment, that the circumstances attending its publication would have any effect to check that spirit of liberality, by which they have been so honourably distinguished. We should do injustice also, we believe, to the inhabitants of St. John's, it we did not suppose that they would regard this sermon with stronger reprobation, than any one among us has thought it worth while to express. We hope and we trust that our fellow.citizens will always retain the character which they bave established, for the disinterested employment of wealth in private charity, and to promote objects of public utility. On this subject we may be permitted to add a word or two before we conclude Religious knowledge, literature, and science must look to the liberal among us for the means of their advancement. But it is necessary to exercise not only liberality, but judgment. Without the latter, he who gives his money, as well as he who devotes his time and talents, with the intention of serving his fellow-men, may entirely fail of his purpose. Inconsiderate and ill-directed liberality often produces almost unmingled evil. In our charity to the poor we may be giving to their vices, and not to their necessities. In contributing to purposes, called religious, we may be promoting error and not truth. Nay, a man may give his money to what is called a religious object, and do no more service to the community, than if he were to contribute towards erecting a distillery, for the purpose of supplying the poor with ardent spirits, gratis. But from well directed liberality, we may look for the best and happiest effects. From the union of this with the exertions of piety, talents, and learning, we may hope to see just and honourable notions of our religion generally prevailing, and producing all those consequences which are their natural result.

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ARTICLE V.

An Alphabetical Explication of some terms and phrases,

which occur in Scripture, in hymns and psalms, and other books of devotion ; intended to promote the profit and pleasure of those who use them. By the late Rev. NEWCOME Cappe. Boston, 1818. Printed by Joseph T. Buckingham. pp. 21.

Is not religion something simple, level to ordinary capacities, and intelligible by the unlearned ? Is it not a record “made plain upon tables, so that he may run who readeth it?”' Is it pot “a high way, in which the wayfaring man, thougb a fool, shall not err?” Is it not a gospel for the poor, and iberefore necessary to be clear and explicit ? Is it not addressed to the illiterate who have not tbe capacity, and to the busy who have pot the leisure, to engage in remote researches ? Is it not practical ? and is not its appeal direct and distinct to the affections and consciences of men ? Where, then, is the need of laboured explications, or of any displays of acuteness or learning ? Truly, if ihe bible is not to be understood without all the dictionaries, and notes, and commentaries, that are employed in its behalf, it might almost as well be in the hands of the priests again : for it has no suitableness to the wants and opportunities of those whom it is to instruct.

This representation is partly true, and partly erroneous. If we mean by religion a rule of life and a ground of hope, it is certainly most plain. There is no obscurity, no difficulty. The scriptures set in the strongest possible light the perfections of the Deity ; the moral dangers and resources of man ; what we must do, and what we may expect ;-whatever, in other words, is essential to our religious knowledge, obedience, and faith. They do not teach more evidently that there is a God, than they do that virtue is his service, and a happy iinmortality "the recompense of its reward.” What it is to be virtuous they leave no opportunity for mistaking. The will of God is as manifest to the humblest in condition, and the most limited in education and privileges, as it is to the most distinguished, intellectual, and learned.-- But if we mean by religion whalever is contained in the writings of the Old and New Testaments, we must instantly perceive that it is by no means simple, nor easy to be thoroughly understood. Tbis name is, indeed, improperly used in such an application. Those writings are historical of events connected with religion, or devout exercises, or religioos documents: they contain the materials of our belief, and are the authority, to which we refer and in which we rest. But they are not religion itself. They are in many places difficult and perplexing; but so are not the leading truths, which they unfold and enforce. They are obscure in many places; but not so are Christian morality and the Christian promises. They may suggest doubts and speculations ; but all that is vital to religion is plain enough. They may be, and very often are misunderstood; but an upright conscience, and a humble faith, can never fall into dangerous errour. The Bible is a book; there.fore to be interpreted by the same principles as other compositions :-a miscellaneous book; therefore requiring an unusual share of discrimination :-a translated book; therefore needing the aids of buman learning, and an acquaintance with other tongues :-a most ancient book; and consequently demanding a knowledge of antiquity, and familiarity with manners, modes of thinking, forms of expression, very different from those of our own country and age. Language itself is imperfect and am. biguous : even our own, and on common affairs. Controversial writers, in the same, and that their native tongue, are perpetually mistaking each other, and half their disputes are merely verbal. Think then how many difficulties must arise here; when' the language is soreign, very peculiar, and no longer spoken :-wben it comes from a strange people amidst strange in. stitutions :-when it is employed often on topicks that are local, involving circumstances but partially transmitted to us; and often on controversies that bave ceased and are forgotten :when it now hides its meaning in allegory, and now rises to the boldest flights of poetical rapture. Beside all this, the Bible has come down to us through the midst of conflicting sects, through ages of ignorance and superstition, through the bands of system-makers. It is so prescribed to us from infancy what meaning we are to affix to its expressions ; every word and phrase of it has become so appropiated; that we scarcely know how to exercise our reason on the subject ; scarcely know bow we should have interpreted the scriptures, had no human creeds and confessions condescended to direct us how we must. It is a great source of errour, that we annex to the words of holy writ the meaning that early habit, and not personal inquiry, has led us to apply to them. This is in effect to choose for our religious teachers, in a greater or less extent, and with more or less directness, the disputants of the most benighted times, that the gospel has ever looked upon. There is a large list of terms, which Christians most commonly misunderstand, from having heard them always used in some peculiar acceptation, and in connexion with certain theological opinions. Thus, " to

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