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popish impositions and priestcraft, what might not those poor misguided creatures give, for the happiness which we know not how to value, -of being born in a country where a church is established by our laws, and encouraged by our princes; which not only allows the free study of the Scriptures, but even exhorts and invites us to it;a church that is a stranger to the tricks and artifice of having the Bible in an unknown tongue, to give the greater latitude to the designs of the clergy, in imposing their own trumpery, and foifting in whatever may best serve to aggrandize themselves, or
or enslave the wretches committed to their trust. In short, our religion was not given us to raise our imaginations with ornaments of words, or strokes of eloquence ; but to purify our hearts, and lead us into the paths of righteousness.--However, not to defend ourselves,—when the attack is principally levelled at this point,--might give occasion to our adversaries to triumph, and charge us either with negligence or inability.-It is well known how willing
PSALM XCV. 6, 7.
o come let us worship and fall down before him :
for he is the Lord our God.
IN n this psalm we find holy David taken
up with the pious contemplation of God's infinite power, majesty, and greatness :-he considers him as the fovereign Lord of the whole earth, the maker and supporter of all things ;that by himn the heavens were created, and all the host of them; that the earth was wisely fashioned by his hands; -he had founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods : -- that we likewise, the people of his pasture, were raised up by the fame creating hand, from nothing, to the dignity of rational creatures, made, with respect to our reafon and understanding, after his own most perfect image.
the enemies of our religion are to seek occasions against us ;-how ready to magnify every mote in our eyes to the bigness of a beam ;-how eager, upon the least default, to insult and cry out,
- There, there! so would we have it : -not, perhaps, that we are so much the subject of malice and aversion, but that the licentious age seems bent upon bringing christianity into difcredit at any rate; and, rather than miss the aim, would strike through the sides of those that are sent to teach it.-Thank God, the truth of our holy religion is eftablished with such strong evidence, that it rests upon a foundation never to be overthrown, either by the open assaults or cunning devices of wicked and designing men.--The part we have to act is to be steady, fober, and vigilant; to be ready to every good work; to reprove, rebuke, and exhort with all longsuffering; to give occasion of offence to no man ; that, with well-doing, we may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.
I shall close all with that excellent col. lect of our church :
Blessed Lord, who has caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning, --grant that we may in suchwise hear them, read, mark; learn, and inwardly digest them, that, by patience and comfort of thy holy word, we may embrace, and ever hold fast, the blessed hope of everlasting life, which thou hast given us in thy Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Now to God the Father, &c.