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Scripture, the duty of a magistrate to encourage truth and piety.
The fourth chapter meets the grand objection, that, according to this system, it may become the duty of a magistrate to support falsehoods, or erroneous forms of truth, he being liable to error. But to the first case it is answered, that all legislators have found religion to be a necessary ingredient in political society. Therefore the supporting a bad one, is better than supporting none, And of course as to the second erroneous forms of true religion will be better than a complete system of falsehood. If again it is urged, that the magistrate may encourage true religion improperly; the possibility must be granted, bứt we cannot regard an argument so illogical as one drawn from the abuse against the use.
Our author considers, in his last chapter, the different modes by which the magistrate may exercise this authority, and thence shews the practicability of the theory without doing violence to conscience, or exercising such influence on the mind, as would be painful to the feelings of
To the thinking part of the community, these arguments, it is presumed, may prove an antidote against those wild notions which at present so ge. nerally prevail. They are indeed the production of that revolutionary furor which deranged the moral world, no less in degree, and more irre.
trievably in effect, than the political. From ancient lore, the practice of antiquity, the events of six thousand years, men have rashly flown to try experiments on nations and religions, as they would on chemical combinations. Others, although aware of the folly, have promoted the confusion, expecting to guide the storm, and rise preeminent over its ruins. For such a supposition can alone account for the encouragement which the worst form of christianity has lately met with, or for the coldness so long shewn to the best.
And we may fairly regard that to be the best, which no one considers inferior to any sect but his own.
A SERMON ON PHIL. IV. 5.
BY THOMAS BRETT, LL D.
RECTOR OF BETTESHANGER IN KENT.
Let your Moderation be known unto all Men.
Phil. iv. 5. MODERATION being a virtue which has of late years been wonderfully cried up, and continually in the mouths of some, who glory in nothing so much as the name of moderate men, and who are continually pressing this portion of Scripture upon all zealous members of the Established Church, as if our zeal for our most excellent rem ligion was not to be reconciled with this precept of St. Paul, I think it very requisite that we should consider what is the true, natural, genuine meaning of these words, and the duty required by the Apostle in this text. In order to which I. shall shew
First, What Moderation is, in what sense it is a virtue, and in what it is not so. And
Secondly, How it is to be made known.
I. First, Then we may observe that moderation is a word not to be found in our English Bibles, except in this one place, where some will have it, that it is not well rendered, as not answering the true sense of the original. But I design not to find fault with the translation, or to quarrel with the word, which I think a very good one, if it be rightly understood. . And I am persuaded the best way to understand it may be, to consider how our translators have rendered the original word here used in other parts of the New Testament. Acts xxiv. 4. we find it translated clemency; 2 Cor. x, 1. gentleness, and 1 Tim. iii. 3. patience. And in the Old Testament, Psal. lxxxvi. 5. where the same word is used in the Greek, we find it rendered a readiness to forgive. The Latin translations, as the Vulgar Latin, Arias Montanus, Beza and Tremelius, rendered it by such words as signify lenity or mildness, equity, modesty or humility. And I take it that our word moderation, as it signifies a virtue, and as it is to be understood in this place, comprehends all these. So that to say, « Let your moderation be known unto all men," is the same as to say, behave yourselves towards all persons, that whosoever you have to deal with may find you to be kind, gentle, patient, ready to forgive, mild, equal, modest and humble. But certainly there is nothing in the whole Scripture that can give a colour to that construction, which those, who pride themselves in the name of mo