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single in seeing with two eyes as with one ;* and many other things which will occur to him who has not studied anatomy in vain. In short, with the exception of accidental death, it may be shown to be as wonderful, on Materialist principles, that we ever die, as that we live so long, seeing that, commencing upon the principle of constantly throwing off, and receiving new supplies of, matter, we should seem to have been formed for immortality. Let them ask the Materialist to account, if he can, for the cause of the origin of that gradual deviation from the law of infant matter, without which there would be neither decay nor old age; to explain also why it is the law of our matter, that hair and nails should grow both in the growing, and in the full-grown, body; why, without an intelligent mind to weigh the conveniences and inconveniences, our bodies do not go on growing till they reach the clouds, or those depositions in our arteries, or whatever they mention to account for stoppage of growth do not also similarly affect the hair and nails. Having brought the sceptic back to Deism, where, if he be candid and intelligent, he will acknowledge he can find no meet resting-place for the sole of his foot; let them proceed to show the reasonableness of accepting the Christian doctrine, first, by what are called the evidences of Christianity; and here we would remark upon the high value of Paley's "Hora Paulina," whether separately, or in conjunction with his "Evidences," which latter ought never to be alone relied upon.† Secondly, by the doctrines themselves, which, if they made doubt impossible, could not be suited to our present state, which is one of faith and probation, not of knowledge; and, thirdly, by proving, that without some prospect beyond the grave, all here would to the thinking mind be vanity and vexation of spirit, except in some few cases perhaps of great prosperity, with that certainty of soon leaving it, which old age announces, being very remote. When, from being a philosopher, "falsely so called," (1 Tim. vi. 20,) they have by fair "persuasion," (2 Cor. v. 11,) or argument, conducted him to
*We see by instances of fever and intoxication, that a double sensation is possible; it is true, that we call it the effect of disorder; but I can conceive nothing but its being the will of a Supreme Being, sufficient to account for the disorder not being the natural state, and vice versa.
I have never met a Deist, or Materialist, who could resist that part of Paley's" Hora Palina," upon the question of the imposture of the Christian story; but I have known some, who tried to escape complete conviction by the argument of Christ and his apostles being under a delusion. Now, there is one miracle, that of our Lord walking on the sea, which, I think, ought to decide the whole question of delusion. To suppose such convenient coincidences of delusion, and of time, as for one man to fancy he could, and did, walk upon the sea, twelve men or more, to fancy they saw him, for one of those twelve to fancy he walked to the thirteenth, them to fancy they walked back to the eleven, those eleven fancying they witnessed such coming back to the ship, is without parellel in the history of delusion from fever, or insanity, and downright incredible; therefore these things actually happened, or the three Evangelists who recorded them, and also the others for not contradicting their statement, were lying impostors, who circulated what they knew to be a falsehood.
that true philosophy, which alone can give the mind satisfaction and consolation, they will have, not to fully explain all things, (for that, with our present limited faculties, would be as absurd as to think we could derive any thing but confusion from staring at the sun at noon day,) but to show some advantages which may be derived (perhaps chosen partly on that account) from those features in both revealed and natural religion, which weak or bad men so often take occasion to cavil against.* Thus the coward and the blood-thirsty may be shown that he degrades himself to the level of beasts of prey; the ungrateful may be shown, that he stands condemned by the dog; the impatient under afflictions, that he is condemned by the despised ass; the intemperate, that he may bring on diseases, which will reduce him to the level of the most hated vermin; the vain, from person, or acquirements, may be shown the once beautiful ingredients of which the dung-hill is composed. And in revealed religion, they will have to show the splendid examples of virtue, which arise from the mode of redemption adopted; in which we do not see, as it were, an example of one giving largely, but yet so from his superfluities, as not to materially interfere with his own comfort; but we see, as it were. one so sincerely benevolent as to be content to forego for a time, every thing of personal comfort and pomp, to serve his fellows, though they, at the time, are so ungrateful, that he has not where to lay his head; they will also have to show, from the worldly disinterestedness of our Saviour and his apostles, the sublime example of not hesitating a moment which to choose, when our temporal interests and our religious duties clash; and from their sufferings, and patience under them, they will teach them, though praying that the cup of affliction may not be their lot, to add a sentiment of resignation to the divine will, and not to be tempted to think that God had left or forsaken them, if, in his wise plan of providence, he should allow adversity to overtake them. There remain two other points, to which the attention of preachers must be drawn.
1. Many become sceptics from the apparent contradictions, and sometimes apparent impossibilities, which they meet with in the sacred books; and this is not all, for some lay hold of any ambiguous passages in support of the wildest fanaticism, such as taking the 15th verse of the 2nd chapter of the 1st Epistle to the Corinthians, which refers exclusively to judgment of doctrine, not of
I have hinted at the reverse side of Nature, which Materialists find it convenient to forget. Now taking both sides of the picture in connexion with a state of probation, and a future and more perfect state of existence, reason may endure it on many accounts, some of which I have mentioned; but taking Nature as our summum bonum, as our Alpha and Omega, our god (for the Materialist makes her his god) to reward virtue and punish vice, which she by no means invariably does, instead of considering Nature as the creation of a Supreme Being from inert matter, what, in the most disgusting of the superstitions of Hindostan, is more unphilosophical. The cat pounces upon the weaker mouse, to punish the latter for following the impulse of its natural appetite, and this is the god of the Materialists!
men; and from it attempting to justify their uncharitable judgment of their neighbours, forbidden in the Sermon on the Mount, and in many other places, and particularly in the 14th chapter of St. Paul's Epistle to the Romans. Preachers should therefore be very cautious, when they are alluding to any part of Scripture, to try to recollect if any other part apparently militates against their argument, and by comparing spiritual things with spiritual, (1 Cor. ii. 13,) and always trying to give a common sense interpretation of any passage, to clear up the difficulty, remembering that the duties of Christian faith and obedience are declared by the apostle, (Romans xii. 1,) to be a "reasonable service." Let then study the Scriptures well, and they will not fail to see how mistaken is the policy of those, who think some apparently difficult passages had better not be alluded to, for they will reflect that the faith of their hearers is more likely to be shaken by their leaving them a prey to their own fanciful interpretations, if their eye happens to meet
2. The other point is, that a common taunt of the infidel is, to ask what moral good Christianity has after all effected. The well informed preacher will be at no loss to remember the answer of Paley, and others, to this. But more should be said, because every sincere Christian must regret, that, now in the nineteenth century, there should still be so much nominal, and lukewarm, religion among those who profess faith in Christ, and so much hypocrisy and fanaticism, so calculated to tempt other men to be sceptics, that one might almost suspect that it was a cunning device of the enemy. They should never cease to impress upon the minds of their hearers, that each individual has an important talent committed to him, and that the practical and sincere part for each individual, is to do all he can to improve his own talents, and to pray for the Divine blessing upon his exertions and example. And they should remind their hearers also, that they should not allow the consideration of there being so much wickedness in the world to create any misgivings in their minds of the truth of their religion, seeing that time is not with our eteri.al Creator as with us, (2 Peter iii. 8,9,) and that, if Christianity may be said, with reference to its effects upon the hearts of men, to be still in its swaddling clothes, (which it cannot be fairly said to be,) we ought to remember it is not now, old as it is in one sense, of half the number of years that it may be said to have been in the womb, viz. from the delivery of the promise that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head, (Gen. iii. 15,) to the birth of our Saviour.
And here we cannot omit expressing our humble hope that a brighter era is beginning to dawn upon us, that, for the future, the Clergy of the diffent branches of the catholic church will advocate real, not nominal discipline; and we cannot forbear alluding to the great probability which for some time has been apparent, that our All-wise Father will so bring good out of evil, that the number of professing Christians will, before the next century, be more than
doubled by the destruction of that long tolerated and most impudent imposture, the doctrine of Mahomet. What a sublime reply to the taunts of unbelievers upon the greater numbers of Mahometans than Christians, (the former, however, confessedly through the power of the sword,) and the length of time the Koran has retained its influence.*
Should it so happen, that, from illness, or other reasonable excuse, a sermon cannot be preached by the Minister, the clerk shall read one of the homilies prescribed, or to be prescribed, by autho
*This Canon I have so much enlarged upon, more for the sake of giving a few hints, after great consideration of the matter, to the Clergy, of the sort of sermons, which present times require to stop the alarming spread of avowed, and of secret infidelity, which none, who inix much in the world can doubt to exist, than for the purpose of making it a perpetual Canon, though for this purpose, no alterations occur to me: of that, however, others can better judge. The idea of a good deal of it I have taken from the excellent Sermons of Bishop Copleston, nearly the only preacher I have heard, who seems always to remember that there may be infidels among his hearers. I have reason to think that his sermons have been highly efficacious, both in staggering some, who thought themselves too firmly fixed in their infidel notions ever to give way, and also in making real and sincere believers in others, who before were only nominal, mechanical Christians, who scarcely knew more of what they fancied they believed than they did of the principles of the least known of the pagan sects. Our Saviour says, "Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein." (Mark x. 15.) In the case of those of a timid temperament, and who are not calculated to go deep into any question, merely quoting this verse may sometimes seem to do a great deal, but in the case of the deeply read, and contemplative Deist, or Materialist, who is probably still closer wedded to his theory, from that theory agreeing more nearly with his political predilections than the Christian kingdom, (or doctrine,) which is "not of this world," that is, which obliges us in temporal matters to obey whatever principalities or magistrates we may find set over us;-in such a case it is true that we must get him to enter the kingdom of God (or embrace the gospel) as a little child, (or in a spirit of meekness,) or we can never make him enter therein; and what way can be so effectual as to show him, by comparing Christianity with natural religion, and with nature without religion, that what he thinks an unreasonably imperative condition is compatible with the soundest philosophy; that, take what subject he will in philosophy or science, he can only embrace the system before him by entering in as a little child; that is, by throwing aside all pride, and humbly acknowledging that, though he understands enough to justify his belief in such and such conclusions, still that at every turn he meets with something mysterious, something beyond a conclusive explanation according to the rules of scepticism generally adopted against Christianity? In a word, I am convinced, that if our Clergy would more generally adopt the style of the distinguished Prelate I have above mentioned, so many of our youth would not fall an easy prey to the first plausible infidel they might happen to converse with, as most would then be able to follow the excellent plan of St. Peter against the attacks of seducers, viz. to "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh them a reason of the hope that is in them with meekness and fear," or, in other words, not presuming to pretend to explain those secret things, however firmly they may think it reasonable to believe them, which, till a future state of being, when our faculties will be enlarged, "belong only to the Lord." (Deut. xxix. 29.)
rity, or, if he be in Deacon's orders, he may, if prepared, preach a sermon himself. (Note. A new set of homilies are much wanted.)
XLVII.-Absence of beneficed men to be supplied by Curates. To be altered in accordance with Canon 44.
XLVIII. None to be Curates but allowed by the Bishop. Altered verbally a little.
XLIX.-Ministers, not allowed Preachers, may not expound. The altered 46th Canon makes this one useless.
L.-Strangers not admitted to preach without showing their Licence. As in Prayer Book.
LI.-Strangers not admitted to preach in Cathedral Churches without sufficient Authority.
LII.-The names of strange Preachers to be noted in a Book. As in Prayer Book.
LIII. No public opposition between Preachers.
LIV.-The Licence of Preachers refusing Conformity to be Void. As in Prayer Book.
LV.—The Form of a Prayer to be said by Preachers before their Sermons.
Altered into the form now usual, and add, that this form be confined to the principal feast days, and other great occasions. For other occasions, substitute the choice of one of these Collects, (and the Lord's Prayer,) the Collect for the Second Sunday in Advent, for the Third Sunday in ditto, for St. Peter's Day, for St. Bartholomew's Day, (changing" thine Apostle Bartholomew," to "thine Apostles,") and for St. Simon and St. Jude's Day.
LVI-Preachers and Lecturers to read Divine Service, and administer the Sacraments twice a year at the least.
Altered verbally a little.