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humble authority, and modeft resolution, and meek integrity, and prudent zeal. To insist upon this, will be called preaching up ourselves, and magnifying our office; and perhaps the subject might be treated to more advantage by those who are not personally concerned in it. But thus much, without breach of decency, we may foftly insinuate,---and the fober part of the world will bear witness to it—that we usurp no dominion over men's consciences, or perfons, or purses; that we pretend not to what every Priest of the Romish Church afsụnes, every gifted Saint, and illuminated Fanatic. And yet, for want of a better objection, we have been accused of formal state, and spiritual pride, and of bearing ourselves as Embasadors of heaven, a phrase which we never much affected. For this, the Drunkards make Songs upon us, and grimacing Ridicule aims at something, that is meant for a jeft. They will not grant us, it seems, what the Devil paid to Paul and Silas, when he said, These men are servants of the Most High God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. But it is to small purpose to expostulate with persons, whose Politeness hath refined away their manners, and whose Taste hath eaten up their understanding; and it is altogether unnecessary to warn them, not to make an ill use of their Wit. Happy would they be, if they were as secure from all other danger; for, in this respect, they may fairly claim a place amongst those, to whom little has been given ; and of whom, consequently, little will be required.
“ But,” it may be said, “after all, over-bearing haughtiness and folemn pride are bad things, and deserve blaine." Very true ; nor are we backward to disapprove them. We are not unwilling to condemn all pride in general ; and in particular that poor and filly pride, which makes a man exalt himfelf on account of his station, and thereby confess that he has nothing better to be proud of : Nor have we any thing to plead in behalf of cold and distant airs, or of that forbidding gravity, which has been called, well enough, “a mystery of the Body, invented to conceal the imperfections of the Understanding."
There are particular seasons and occasions for particular exhortations; as when a person is advanced to any high station in the Christian republic : It is then expedient that he should be admonished to beware of himself, and to remember what God and men expect from him; and every one who deserves such a station, will take it kindly, to be thus reminded of his duty. In St. Paul's exhortations to Timothy and to Titus, there is something, which, according to our modern ideas of civility, must appear strange. To exhort such persons that they avoid what is evil, and practise what is good, seems to us a tacit insinuation, that they are deficient in their duty, or, at least, a kind of supérfluous profufion of counsel. But, in the opinion of St. Paul, no man was too skilful, or too high, or too holy, to be exhorted and advised. In the Apoftolical writings we see an unaffected fim
plicity of sentiment and diction, which, when it is found in other ancient authors, never fails to please the judicious; and usually surpaffes studied thoughts and laboured - sentences, as much as Nature is superior to Art. One good man admonishes -another with a candid freedom, and gives him a leflon of caution and humility, upon the supposition, that none is entirely safe and quite remote from all spiritual danger, whilst he is in a state of probation. The divine Wisdom, which would not level threatenings against impossibilities, has madea folemn commination,-When the righteous mån turneth away from his righteousness which is enough to make a righteous man tremble. A person may continue such for a considerable time; so far true to his duty, as to contract no very foul spot; till at length some imperious Temptation demands admittance; and then Virtue, Conscience, Honour, Religion, fall before her, to the surprise of men, and to the grief of Angels. Admonition therefore is right and fit; and fo judges .our Church, and has made a provision for it in the Office of Confecration. :: It may be thought that the Admonition in the Office is a proper subject to be assumed and enlarged upon in a discourse; and so it would, if it were in suitable hands. The elders, says St. Peter, , I exhort, who am also an elder. It is impossible to attempt it in the presence of one, who, as in all
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other respects, so, in eminence of station, is far better qualified to perform it.
Shall we then discourse concerning the Degrees of sacred offices, and the form of Church
government which is here established ; and vindicate it from the rude aspersions of fome, and the weak prejudices of others? This is a discouraging subject, for it has been frequently and fully discussed, and nothing new can be offered upon it worthy to engage attention. But from the mention of it we may take occasion to admonish and exhort men, to set a just esteem upon the religion which the kind Providence of God has preserved amongst us, and by which we are as advantageously diftinguished as we can reasonably expect; for Perfection dzvells not. bere below. Whosoever knows, even fuperficially, what passes and has passed in the Christian world, knows what has been the spirit and the conduct of some Synods and Assemblies, - I will not say any thing harder of Protestant brethren; and what the imperiousness of that Church, which calls herself the Mother and the Mistress of all Churches; and what the procedures of the Inquifation ; which he who has seen, has beheld a * Of one who has been in the Inquisition, it might be said,
Tænarias etiam fauces, alta ostia Ditis,
Virg. Georg. IV. 467. This might serve for a faint representation,
more formidable representation of the infernal regions, than even poetic fancy ever painted.
It is to be hoped that our love for our own Church has been rather increased than diminished, by the apprehensions which we had, not long ago, of her falling into the hands of her worft enemies. Our eyes then viewed her, as they pursue the mild and gentle light of the setting fun : * we then began to understand her value, because we then feared to lose her.
Shall I proceed to speak more particularly concerning the person now appointed to the Episcopal function? Inclination draws that way, and words present themselves unfought; and it is a pleasure to utter them, when the heart and the tongue conspire together, and Truth guides them boch: But the Censorious would pronounce it Flattery, and the Severe would call it injudicious Gratitude. It is better to be silent, than to be suspected of offering what is not fit for the one to give, and the other to receive.
Shall we then rather speak in general of the discreet choice which is made of persons to preside over us in Church and State ? Many would say that this was paying compliments to the Age, at the expense of truth. It were no hard talk to confute them; but, declining this, for several
# Ut elle folis gratius lumen
folet Jamjam cadentis.