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92 Extract

from Alexander's Sermon on the Universal Progress of the Gospel. witch and destroy their enemies, carry 10 1559, the inquisitor general purbpestilence into their flocks, and blight lished the first list of prohibited books." Their fruits. “More than twenty mur- Among these the New Testament is ders, damages, and acts of vengeance," mentioned; the probibition of which were proved against one poor wretch was repeated in 1583. Such is the who suffered under our cominission. growth of superstition, when minisEvidence was also given of the deaths tered to by ignorance and sheltered by of many children who had been the power, that soon after this period a victims of witchcraft: the blood of noted Jesuit (Martin del Rio) wrote soine had been sucked; others had to prove (aye, and quotes authorities been hanged; others had been scourged too) that Luther was the carnal son with brambles to death; and many of the devil, who in the form of a had been destroyed by the poisonous goat seduced his mother and that all pills. After many details of this cha- heretics are magicians, calmly recomracter, the inquisitors break off and say, mending that they may be brought to “ The number of these murders is so the torture, which he supposes would great, that it is impossible to go into make them confess the fact. The particulars of all.”

It would be an useful, it might In the course of their inquiries, the even be an interesting object, to trace inquisitors obtained information of an the influence of ecclesiastical tyranny Aquelarre of more than five hundred on the literature, the civil rights, the wiiches; but it seems they were un- happiness of a nation, which has successful in their attempt to convict gradually sunk from the summit of them.

political influence, and power and What precedes is a very imperfect pride, into a state of moral, mental, and abbreviated account of the disco- and political degradation. veries and proceedings of the Logrono

B. inquisitors. Many disgusting details are omitted, but enough are given to SIR, Bath, Dec. 6, 1816. barbarism and credulity

BEG leave to transmit to you an of a tribunal which professed to justify extract from a sermon preached at the character of God, and to purify re- Lurgan, in Ireland, before a body of ligion from all its errors.

Dissenting ministers, by Andrew The establishment of the inquisition Alexander, of Urney. The subject in Spain seems to have been ihe pre was the universal progress of the gosJude to the gradual decline of that pel—the text Isaiah xi. 9. “ renowned, romantic land." The After the author had illustrated the most, enlightened writers, (and es- doctrine, he then proceeds to conpecially Hernando de Pulgar) oppo- sider the causes which prevent its sed the introduction of this merciless immediate accomplishment; and, tribunal with energy and eloquence. first he considers the prejudices of More than twenty thousand persons education. He says, it is very natural were marked out for its prey, imme- to think, that whatever opinions get' diately after its establishment ; of first hold of the mind, will take the whom two thousand were burnt, and deepest root; they grow up with its about the same number, condemned growth, and strengthen with its to death, Aled to the mountains, and strength. They are generally received escaped, as they were able, from their from parents or masters, whom young country.

persons are inclinable to treat with In 1492, the barbarous decree was great deference and respect; and it issued, which drove nearly half a may be they are patronized by great million of Jews from the Peninsula, names, for some particular accomwho took with them immense trea- plishments highly reputable. These sures, and whose removal almost circumstances are all apt to conspire crushed the rising spirit of literature in rendering the bulk of mankind in Spain, for among them were some extremely tenacious of such sentiof the ablest philosophers and most ments, and very unwilling to admit intelligent critics.*

answered by our Anthony Collins), Castro, And their talents descended to their Pinedo, and other famous Hebraists, were children. Spinoza, Monteira (whose descendants of the Portugueze and Spanish shrewd objections against Christianity were expatriated Jews.

show the gross

any thing that opposes or condemns provements; to guard against every them. By this means they are con- bias, that may give them advice for verted into prejudices, those pernicious or pleasure in one side of the question weeds of the mind, that choak every more than another, and to keep the fair plant of reason and truth; and as mind like a just balance, ever ready religious prejudices are of all others to be weighed down by the appearance the most inveterate and incurable, of truth, and to allow the clearest men are disposed to regard religious and strongest evidence from time to matters as in themselves so sacred, time to preponderate, as any addition that, whenever attempts are made to may be made to either side. In proremove any mistake that bears this portion as this temper prevails, we hallowed slamp, they instantly take shall be ready to hear and to receive the alarm, as if their dearest and most instruction, to examine, alter, or Jay valuable interests were in danger of aside our opinions, and allow due being torn from them. They cannot force to every thing that can be

propatiently hear any of their religious posed; and thus shall we, as the tenets treated as erroneous, much less happy consequence of enjoying the calmly attend to or consider maturely gospel, be filled with wisdom and and impartially what may be advanced spiritual understanding, become fruitagainst them. This was remarkably ful in every work, and daily increase the case when Christianity was at first in the knowledge of God, and of our published, though attended with the Lord Jesus Christ. most striking proofs of a Divine Power The author goes on, 2dly, to shew, interposing in its favour. By the the obstruction to the increase of relistrength of prepossession, it became gious knowledge, arising from imputo the Jews a stumbling block and to rity, of heart and life, the prevalence the Greeks foolishne Nay, where of those sinful lusts that war against the gospel has been long received and the soul; 3dly, to the growth of reprofessed, there have been and still ligious knowledge, from the injumay be prejudices early imbibed, very dicious and unfair representations that unfavourable to that improvement in have been frequently made of religion the knowledge of God and religion, and especially of Christianity; and, which we have reason to hope for, lastly, the exercise of that power from the improvement of the capaci- claimed by Christians of almost every ties of human nature, from the ad- class, of prescribing in the inost vancing state of society, and from the sacred matters to all within the spirit of wisdom speaking in the reach of their influence, and of redumouths of all the prophets. It is cing them to an uniformity of sentigenerally allowed that the power of ments with their respective leaders, prejudice is very conspicuous in the whether civil or ecclesiastical. I have professed members of the Roman not room to introduce either of these church, and that it has been in all articles, though they are well worthy ages the grand obstruction to a more of our notice. thorough and perfect reformation.

W. H. But, if we examine how matters stand among the reformed, it will be found Thoughts on Missionary Societies. that each of the parties into which

Nov. 25, 1816. they are unhappily divided, hath (in) ESUS CHRIST is the

proits own prepossessions, more or less unfriendly to that growth in grace, for ours only, but also, for those, and in the knowledge of their com ONB T8 XOOM8, of the whole world." mon Lord, to promote which is the 1 John ii. 2. That is, the benefits great design of the gospel. As no sect arising from the life and death of of Protestants will have the confidence Christ, to those who are duly disposed to pretend, that all its partisans are and qualified to receive thein (howeither infallible or impeccable, Is ever we may differ as to their mode raelites indeed in whom there is no of operation in the gospel scheme), guile, it is surely incumbent on all are not confined to those płaces where carefully, to examine the system of he is preached, but extend to all the their religious' belief, that they may generations of Adam, past, present, discover whatever it contains that and to come. Richard Baxter, in his may disqualify them for higher im- treatise on “ Universal Redemption,"

"hath employed fifty seven proposi- good action, or even to think a good 'tions, and sixty explanatory theses, thought. He would then proceed to in illustration of this glorious and the doctrines of irresistible grace; important truth, which St. John hath a trione Deity; the necessity of infinite clearly and emphatically expressed in merit to atone tor infinite guilt, 'three sentences! It hath been said which he imputes to a frail, finite of this eminent divine, that he was, and fallible creature, because com" unhappily subtle and metaphy- mitted against an infinite Being; and sical in everything." The term the assertion, that if they die without subile, in a bad sense, is ill applied the Christian faith, even when it has to Mr. Baxter, but he is certainly been but briefly proposed to them, liable sometimes to the charge of and they have had little time to exmetaphysical obscurity, which, as amine its evidences, they will be must ever be the case, renders his infallibly condemned to all eternity. works far less useful than otherwise If they should express astonishment they would be.

at some of these positions, as "things But, not to digress, it is to be hard to be understood !" and are observed, that although the text abore dreadfully alarmed at the idea of cited, with many others, fully establish infinite and everlasting rengeance, he this important principle, and thereby will presently soothe their fears, by decisively prove the acceptableness of informing them, that though their natural religion, where no other is to case is at present desperate, it is so be obtained ; yet, it by no means far from being hopeless, or without follows that our best endeavours remedy, that it may be changed for should not be exerted, to promote the the better in an instant; that they knowledge and influence of Christ- have only to accept of Christ, by a ianity, where it is at present un- strong and lively faith, and the work known. On the contrary, possessing is done: That he hath wrought out as we do, in the enjoyment of this a free and full salvation for all his Divine gist, immense privileges and elect, of which number, each indiadvantages, we should be solicitous, vidual to whom he is preached, may as far as we are able, to communi- hope to be one, seeing we cannot cate these blessings to the compara- search the book of God's decrees; tively benighted corners of the habita- and who can never finally fall from ble globe, and to labour as well as his grace, for whom he loves, “he pray, in the use of reasonable, proba- loves to the end :” That it is true, ble, and allowed means, (as to the na- this faith should operate to the ture and application of which we must mending their manners, and reformbe supposed to differ), “That the lighting their wicked lives, and that this of the glorious gospel of Christ, who it will infallibly accomplish; but that is the image of God, may shine into at the same time, they must always them."

be exceedingly careful not to pay any With this view, much expense undue regard to the good works and labour have recently been em- which they may perforın, which, ployed in this country, by different being imperfect, can neither be the denominations, in the institution of cause, matter, nor condition of our Missionary Societies, for the propaga- justification, and which, in any wise tion of the gospel in foreign parts, confided in, will ultimately deprive into the degrees of the success or them of all the privileges and blessfailure of which we do not nowings of gospel grace. He will guard inquire. We may conceive, however, then against Satanic influence, the of various methods which ministers author of which, he will describe as of different religious sentiments might a kind of demi-god, possessed of a naturally be led to adopt in the pro- species of omnipresence, having ac-secution of this important object. cess to the minds of men in all times,

Let us suppose a zealous Calvinist, places and circumstances, and tempt. engaged in this arduous undertakinging them to kinds and degrees of sin, He will probably begin his work with far beyond the extent and discovery of the history of the fall; the supposed their own natural powers and corrupconsequent inherent depravity of hu- tions. The writer believes, that he man nature; the utter incapacity of does not misrepresent a species of inan, in his natural state, to do a preaching, to be met with in, no


inconsiderable degree, in some reli- and glorious Being whom we worgious communities: if he doth, he ship, in all his imitable excellencies will be very ready, upon conviction, and perfections : he would proceed to acknowledge' his

Nor to demonstrate the evident traces of a would he by any means insinuate moral government, begun, but not that pious and sensible ministers of consummated in the system around us, this class preach nothing else but. and the consequent inferences which these principles : he only means to wise men in all ages have hence intimate that they frequently consti- deduced in favour of the belief in a tute a leading part of their public future state of rewards and punishdiscourses.

ments; the natural equality of manNow, let us suppose, on the other kind, as creatures of the same God, hand, ú Bishop Taylor or a Wilkins, endowed with powers and faculties a Clarke or a Tillotson, a Whichcote alike in kind, though difierent in deor a Foster, a Price or a Paley, en- gree, and apparently designed for the gaged in the same design. He would same glorious end, and at the same probably, like the great founder of time the necessary subordination of Christianity, begin with deducing his ranks in society, arising from the instructions from the things around very constitution of hunan nature, him, and lead his hearers from na our different talents, capacities and ture, up to nature's God: he would inclinations, and the prodigious vadisplay the wonders of creation, and riety of labours and occupations requi- . the different effects which they pro- site in the circumstances in which duce, upon the mind of the 'atten we are placed ; the sacredness of protive, and of the superficial observer :* perty, the necessity and advantage of he would expatiate on the nature civil order, and just government; our and perfections of the Deity, as far as social and relative duties, as parents discoverable by us; his unity, and and children, masters and servants, supremacy, his infinite power, pre- subjects and rulers, neighbours, relasence, wisdom, and goodness; and tives, and friends; the evils and miswhen they had arrived at some tolera- chiefs arising from polygamy, adultery, ble acquaintance with, and conviction and promiscuous concubinage; the of those important and fundamental harmony of families where two only principles, he would proceed to de- are joined in wedlock; the benefiis monstrate the justice and holiness of thence arising to the children and God, the essential and unalterable servants; and the probability of an distinction between moral good and original law in this behalf, from the evil, the obligation of gratitude to great Creator, who manifests simthe Supreme Being for all his bene- plicity and harniony in all his defits, the necessity and advantage of signs and operations : he would constant and humble prayer in all dwell on the beauty and necessity of created natures, and more especially public as well as of personal and in so frail, fallible, and dependent á family worship; how' admirably being as man, not only as an essential adapted it is to serve the cause of means of religion, but as an integral religion and morality; how it “ wipes and constituent part of it, and of off the rust of the weck," and attaches conformity to the image of the great man to man in more close and inti

mate bonds: then he would lay # “ Pontoppidan, Bishop of Bergen, world we inhabit, and, perhaps, some

before them a moral chart of the introduced into his sermons complete times in private, a natural one; he tracts of natural history, considering them would describe the d Herent situations, as excellent articles of theology."

St. Pierre,

climates, advantages and disadvana Dr. Young speaks of those, who

tages of the globe; he would acquaint " Ne'er ask'd the moon one question, thereby to afford then just views of

them with the outlines of astronomy, Deyer held Least correspondence with a single star :

the grandeur and immensity of the Nor rear'd an altar to the queen of universe; he would lead them from heaven,

world to world, and from system to Walking in brightness ! or her train system, from this small speck of adored !"

earth, to worlds and suns abose, VOL. XII.



innumerable, unknown, and uncon- will then gradually unfold the history ceived ! and when they were lost in of the patriachal, Jewish, and Christthe immense survey, and sinking from ian dispensations, with their charac. this towering height, he would suse teristic distinctions and peculiarities; tain and renovate their fainting spi- the superiority of the latter above the rits with this glorious and animating former, in a vast variety of respects, truth, that

particularly in its universality, and thic

extent of its promises and prospects; -“ One soul outweighs them all! And calls th' astonishing magnificence

the sublime morality of all, in perfect Of unintelligent creation, poor.”'

unison with the principles of natural YOUNG, light, and in what respects these

principles are by the gospel improved He would now proceed to consider and enlarged: he will represent the the different religions in the world, Divine Author of our religion, as a and to shew that all nations have person appearing in our proper 18some religion : lie would demon- ture, long designated in the councils strate that the Deity has various me- of the Most High, foretold by the thods of comunicating his mind and ancient prophets, himself a prophet; will to his rational offspring, always and greater than them all, described and every where by, the objects of in the Jewish Scriptures as the naturc, the course of Providence, and desire of all nations, and sanifested the powers of reason and conscience, “in the fulness of time ;" that, by sometimes by the instrumentality of virtue of his high office and character, superior beings, called angels, who he is invested with a name greater have appeared occasionally in a glo- than the kings of the earth, and to rious, and at other times in a human which none of the preceding prophets form; but that, as our present facul- could lay any claim ; that he is em. ties are weak and imperfect, and we phatically styled “Emmanuel, or God can scarcely bear the effulgence of with us," « the Son of God," the angelic, and still less of Divine glory, Saviour and Judge of the world, the he hath been graciously pleased for Ambassador of the Most High, the the most part to speak to us by the grand Organ and Dispenser of the inedium of sages, patriarchs, and Divine grace and mercy to mankind, prophets, men in all respects like whose words are to be regarded as ourselves, except in those extraordi- the words of God, whose threatenings nary and supernatural powers with

are not promulgated in vain, and which they were occasionally en- whose promises shall be abundantly dowed, and by means of which they fulfilled! were enabled to point out with autho

He will represent the former and rity the path of duty to an ignorant the latter prophets, and especially the and benighted race, who, by neglect, great prophet of Nazareth and his : ing the natural notices of God, and apostles, as proving their Divine comhis Providence, and of their duty and mission, by the performance of incons: expectations, had departed from their testible miracles-a species of evidence allegiance, and rendered themselves of which they will readily perceive obnoxious to his displeasure : he the force and importance, when they will shew the evils of paganism, as a are convinced that all things are: corruption of the true primitive reli- equally subject to the Divine jurisgion, the absurdity of bowing down diotion; that the same power which io stocks and stones, as to visible created, can easily change or destroy ; gods, which our hands have formed; and that none can work a true mirafor, how can those things help us, cle but God, or those commissioned which, though we cannot create, we by him: that therefore a miracle is: can alter or destroy ? and even the an occasional departure from the comfolly of worshipping the host of hea. mon course of nature, by a Divine ver, which, though essentially ser- interposition, in attestation of the viceable to man by their benign authority of a particular person, or influences, appear to be as much for the accomplishment of some imunder a law, as the elements of fire portant moral purpose, immediate or and water which are more imme- remote: that, if they were to see diately under our cognizance : he four thousand persons fed in a

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