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ang among them are rightmany the pure church of God. All lay claim to being such, though there is as much difference between them as is between darkness and light. Who then can decide ?-In one opinion, however, all agree; and their agreement, in that one opinion, will perpetuate their difference in all other things. All of them profess to believe, that when the faithful among them die, they will go to heaven. Now, as long as this idea is maintained, so long will the church be kept in a state of division; and, as long as division continues, idolatry will reign; and, as long as idolatry reigns, infidelity will extend itself.--Ingenuity of argument is not necessary to prove this. For instance---make the people believe that they shall go to heaven (if prepared for it) when they die, they immediately inquire for those who best understand the nature of the preparation. They then select a preacher for their guide, whose reasoning is, to them, plausible. He communicates to them his understanding of scripture, and enforces the necessity of supplicating the Spirit's enlightening power but it must be to see as he does. Now the sincere amongst such, forsaking sin, and fervently seeking boliness, feel a change. This change is ascribed to the preacher. But true devotion to God ever produces lively feelings in the sond; and those feelings, when persons are assembled together, stamp sanctity on the place, and saintship on the preacher. Now, if this devotedness were felt in either a desert or a cave the effect would be the same: nay, better, because it would be free from prejudice against any other body of worshippers. The truly sincere among them have a confidence that whenever they die they shall go to heaven; and they naturally conceive that the man through whose ministry they have obtained this confidence deserves the merit.They do not say that he is the author of it, but that he begot them to it, and is therefore their spiritual Father. This term is very common amongst them, though Christ expressly forbad it. “Call no man Father upon earth ; for, one is your Father who is in heaven.” Math. xxiii. 9.—Let any person suggest that in some instances the preacher is a mistaken man, and the idolatry will immediately appear. Now, this is only the state of those who are truly sincere; but, numbers have great connexions, and from creaturely attachment support him, whilst many find it highly beneficial to their worldly interest to be numbered amongst them; and will consequently be sufficiently lavish in their praise. All this is kept alive from the idea, that they have a certainty of going to heaven immediately they die: and as the oracle they have attended has shown them the way, he must necessarily come in for a share of the praise, and of consequence be handsomely remunerated.

Fifty years ago, I was but young, yet was old enough. to make my observation on the progress of idolatry. Being once in a large assembly of worshippers at the west end of the town, a man standing beside me, with his head hanging down, attracted my attention. A loud

groan from him alarmed me, as I feared he was taken ill; and, impelled by the dictates of humanity, was going to offer assistance: but, to my astonishment, I soon found, that it was the fashion of the place. And I supposed it was in imitation of the Lord, at the grave of Lazarus. The preacher, whom I shall not name, because he is still living, said he had received a letter from a gentleman, requesting to know whether if he went to a play with a select company he should


be doing any injury to his soul ? After dwelling a long time on this --with uplifted hands, be said, “Let me “ tell that gentleman, if he is here,-if be goes to a

play, let him go with what company he will,-be is “ damned !"-Here was a universal groan.-It seemed the signal for it, like the breaking the pitchers, at Gideon's blowing his trumpet.-I was at that time in the habit of visiting the playhouse. And had I believed this very puritanical preacher, -it was requisite that I should add to the number of groaners.-But, unfortunately for me, I had a couplet of the poet's in my head, namely

Plays are as mirrors, made for men to see-
"How bad they are,-how good they ought to be!”

It altogether appeared to me to be a stupid business, one man to ask another such a question. The man asked, to give such a thundering denunciation and tremendous thump on the cushion,-as were sufficient to send some timid female of weak nerves into hysterics ;—and then such a general groan to follow. I thought this must have the reputation of being a wonderful man.--He produced by this one sentence,that which the Saviour of man doth not appear to have produced when hanging, with the agonies he did on

the cross.

There could be no objection to an expression of grief or sympathy, or whatever it might arise from, if it were real; but such a general concert of groaning, at an upwarrapted assertion of a creature, really wore the face of affectation, and appeared only done to gratify the speaker: this, and various other attempts made to give conséquence to the creatures in the present day, among all the divided sects, is idolatry, equal to worshipping images. Such only make a figure of the deity they worship;-but these followers of Christ have in their idea the image of him before them only with this difference, it is an animated imagem has the gift of speech - and tells them, that, by believing and understanding thus, heaven, when they die, is certain, --whereas, Christ tells them, “Unless they are humbled as little children, they never can enter.

View the whole of the divided professing world, and you will find this no very incorrect statement. Those of this country rail much against the Church of Rome, for the use of pictures, crosses, and the like, and call them idolaters. They do not worship them ;--but use them to give life to their feelings, towards the substance, of which they are the shadows. They are for these things branded with being the followers of Antichrist; yet these inanimate images are harmless, compared to some of the living ones in this country. These Roman Catholics in their turn denounce the Protestants as heretics; and each sends the other to Pluto's regi

How can there be any other than deism and infidelity in the land ? Must not they that follow only the dictates of reason say, there can be no reality in religion, or there could not be such a diversity of opinion among them that give their mind up wholly to the study of it? Cahtolic against protestant, protestant against catholic; churchman against dissenter, dissenter against Churchman; Calvinist against Arminian, and Arminian against Calvinist ; those who deny the divinity of Christ, against the trinitarians, calling them idolaters, making more Gods than one, and the latter branding the unbelievers of their doctrine as infidels : each one sending those that belong to themselves to



heaven, and turning over the rest of worshippers to Satan to be buffetted.

What is the cause of this Babylonish confusion ? I answer, the opinion that man has of man, instead of that dependence all should have on the promise of Christ ! sending the Holy Ghost, the comforter, to lead us into the knowledge of all truth. Christ never commanded man to show any the way to heaven; or told them when they would get there,—the way he had pointed out himself, and the time when,-namely, when we attain his likeness; when we have what he taught us to pray for,--namely, the power of doing the will of God on earth, as it is done in heaven; and never before.

What are the effects of this confusion ? Instead of harmony and union, we have discord and division. Instead of all being led to God, through Christ, to implore the fulfilment of the promise, of having the Holy Ghost, the comforter, to lead them into a knowledge of all truth, all are taught to know the truth, or what they are disposed to call the truth, by a diversity of human opinion. Instead of all the church being brought into one bond of union, as Christ prayed, John, xvii. 20, 2). we have upwards of one hundred creeds, the workmanship of man's wisdom; and instead of that light, and life, and harmony, which the church might have, by simply being taught by the pare precepts of the Gospel, unadulterated by the ingenuity of man--we have Egyptian darkness, dismal deadness, and gloomy disorder :- each body of worshippers supposing they have some security in preference to all others. This picture, though from the pen of an obscure individual, will be found not very inaccurate.

What is the remedy of all this? -The Lord is plea

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