Sidebilder
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

THOU SHALT NOT MAKE UNTO

THEE ANY GRAVEN IMAGE, OR
ANY LIKENESS OF ANY THING
THAT IS IN HEAVEN ABOVE, OR
THAT IS IN THE EARTH BE-
NEATH, OR THAT IS IN THE WA-
TER UNDER THE EARTH. THOU
SHALT NOT BOW DOWN THYSELF
TO THEM, NOR SERVE THEM.

[ocr errors]

HE medicine administered for the

cure of one distemper will fonietimes bring on another; and this in dif

orders

[ocr errors]

orders of the mind as well as body; and
in both chiefly where the habit is bad.
What wonder indeed that our applica-

tions are unsuccessful, when, to use the Jer.xv.18. expression of the Prophet, The wound

REFUSETH to be healed?

Where little pomp, and few ceremonies are used in the celebration of God's worship, it is too often neglected, or attended with indifference.

His adorable perfections, and divine benefits are all loft upon us. The imagination, wanting a sensible object to lay hold on, is unmoved: and we can present our supplications with lifeless lips and a cold heart before the Author of all Being, and Giver of all good.

But when an English Protestant happens to be present in the congregations of Catholics abroad, he is amazed to observe such fervours of devotion, as he was never

á witness of among his own countrymen; such violent emotions and rapture, as are not produced by prayers put up directly to Heaven, and the simplicity of a reasonable service.

On the other hand, we allege that those very representations and symbols which

appear so great a help to devotion, are the hindrance of true piety and virtue; and this both among the higher tanks of mankind, and the vulgar.

The former of these, having the sense to see that Religion cannot consist in such ceremonies, haftily conclude that it is wholly imposture and delusion; and that all the preaching of the Gospel is but fraud, and the profession of it hypocrisy or enthusiasm. They are made utterly unbelievers by such pious shews: religion is killed by being cherished overmuch : and there is no where to be found so much Infidelity, as in those countries, VOL. II.

B

where

where there is most of this appearance of Devotion.

The common people too, for whose benefit these decorations of religion were designed, are not a little injured. For besides that they are apt to take up the opinions of their betters, and when Irreligion is esteemed Politeness, foon think themselves qualified to be infidels, they. get by these means wrong notions of religion, which are always favourable to corruptions in practice: if they fall not into Atheism, they become either enthufiaftical or superstitious; and in all the three cases, their lives, it is likely, will be wicked.

When they are kindled into enthusiastic fervours, they feel an internal impulse, which will hearken to no restraint, and are carried out a great way beyond the ordinary road of duty. The offices of common life are neglected; the calls of

nature,

« ForrigeFortsett »