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at whose feet the great St. Paul boasts his edue cation. Out of many, I will select, from the Acts of the Apostles, but one other negative proof in this matter. In ch. ix, we have the story of Cornelius, who though a Gentile, was— A devout

man, and one that feared God, with all his " house ; which gave much alms to the people, S and prayed to God alway. To this man, this Gentile, (unluckily for our thirteenth article) an angel declared Thy prayers, and thine alms rare come up for a memorial before God,' commanded him to fend for (not go to) St. Peter, who was at Joppa, and added ' He shall tell

thee what thou oughtest to do.' Peter himself was prepared for this extraordinary business by a vifion, and a dictating fpirit: his entry into the house of Cornelius, was in the presence of their several friends collected for the purpose ; before whom Cornelius related his vision, and then called upon Peter Now therefore are we all here pre• sent before God, to hear all things that are come o manded thee of God.' Peter, upon this, related the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus; adding—And he commanded us to preach unto • the people, and to testify that it is he which

was ordained of God to be the judge of quick

and dead. To him gave all the prophets wit. ' ness, that through his name, whosoever believ. eth in him, shall receive remission of sins.' Here instead of resting the matter upon the Jewish pro


phecies, was a fair and proper opportunity for de. claring, that the power of remitting sins was actually vested in him two several times, by Jesus himself; once fingly, before his death ; and once "conjunctively (with nine other) after his resurrection. And here, if he possessed such a power, a proper opportunity offered, in which the exercise of it became even necesary: but we find no, thing related that has the least tendency that way: we are told, that Peter perceiving the Holy Ghost had fallen upon all men (meaning the Gentiles) that heard the word, ordered them to be baptized in the nanie of the Lord; and fo ends the affair. If there was any remission of sins in this case; if: was given by God himself, and manifested by the operation of the Holy Ghost, previous to their baptism; as a reward for their belief that Jeslis was his Son, &e, I have, in this short enquiry,

shewn the weak foundation upon which the Cat tholic church erected a fabric, large, convenient, and profitable; but weak, and dark : strong ignorance prope the first of these defects; and the last was helped by glimmering fuperftition. But when- Great Erasmus drove those holy Van“ dals' from the shrine ; down came this delusive manfion, and the abominations committed in its darkest cells; were, in open day, exposed to the astonished multitude. The Protestant compilers appear to have hung up the sign of this Catholic mansion house, but for what purpose, I know • Z



not ; whatever they may wish to sell; certain it is, in this age, there are no buyers. And I hope their wishes for a revival of the godly discipline of pefinance, with which they have prefaced the anti-christian, Jewish, commination fervice, will ever be as ineffectual, and unavailing. The faid commination is an unwise, as well as unchristian ceremony; contradictory to the command of Jes sus : “ Judge not, lest ye be judged:' Those who commit the crimes therein particularized; may, with propriety, be pronounced finners; but that they should be cursed by their friends and neighbours, wives and children: consists, I affirm, neither with duty, humility, or charity ; whatever

the prophet David beareth-witness, to the contrary. The writings of that Jew; though deno. minated a prophet, and, notwithstanding the enormity of his crimes,' the man after God's own

heart,' fill up too much of our chưrch service. The feverity with which he curses his enemies : his représentations of God's swearing in his wrath: calling upon him-- Up Lord, why sleepest thou? And then describing him. So the Lord awaked

as one out of sleep, and like a giant refreshed " with wine;' are but indifferent, or rather, are bad lessons for a Christian congregation in the present age. Even the least excepcionable of his works used as a guide, often involves the inattentive Christian in absurdity; frequently leads him to presumption, and sometimes to untruths : if this is the case; Why are they not abolished in the first age of Christianity; shewing respect to the memory of this favorite hero, king, and prophet; might be good policy, as influencing the Jews to conversion : but in the last twelve hun. dred years, I believe, not twelve instances of that kind peradventure can be found even if you add thereto all the influence of racks, swords, and fire, which have been often inost cruelly tried upon them by the teachers of mercy. In the present age, wherein these horrid practices are abolished, and in which the ingenuity of our industrious divines has been eni ployed to prove; the divine legation of Moses : the coincidence of Isaiah's prophecy the harmony of the gospels, &c. &0.--These children, får reinoved beyond the third and fourth generation, are still as averse to believing that Je. Yus was the Messiah promised, as their fathers were : and this circumstance, with its effect, is denominated by our divines, a standing miracle, If they can prove it such, they must prove it a very cruel one. But, however that may be ; wg are now convinced that the Christian politeneis Thewn in the retention of this leven, hath not, in many ages, produced a conversion, or even a limilar compliance in the Jews; and what is worse, we perceive that it has fermented, unchariçableness, injustice, and cruelty, in the hearts of thou, fands, their own descendants. Proofs of this may be adduced, not only from the actions of the ig.





340 RITES AND CEREMONIES, &c. norant commonalty; but from the conduct and writings of their most learned and popular teachers : even when they werë opprefied by their Pagan niasters, arid were earnestly recommending toleration, charity, and mercy, they were so strongly worked by this leven that they could not suppress the pleasure they felt in the idea of a complete revenge in another world. The exultation of Tertullian in this way, is shocking to humanity: David's cixth Psalm, is unequal to it; and whether Ernulphus, with all his labour, hath exceeded it, let the prieits of Baal determine: We find, and are not surprised at it, that when these kind of Christians-by pious frauds, practised upon the weak, and by collusions, practised with the wicked-had obtained fufficient power; they delayed not their revenge, for the amusements of another life, but pursued it with ävidity in this. All their former precepts were forgotten, and they blindly followed this infatiate and undistinguishing fury; through seas of blood. Having excluded the far greater part of mankind from mercy hereafter, no wonder they thewed them none here; and the Pagans who escaped, were not at all surprized at the massacre: but what was their astonishinent; when they beheld these enlightened, these elect, reformers, turning their bloody weapons against each other: some forcing, and others refusing alternately, dogmas which neither understood. Five hundred

no V


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