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the case to the French protestants. The French, as soon as they understood the true state of the case, complained of having been treated with duplicity, and declared against the bishops, and against the cause, which they were endeavouring to support.
Had Mr. Claude lived a hundred years longer, he would have seen now and then a Burnet and a Hoadly making a few feeble efforts to relieve conscience; but generally suspected, often abused, and always carried along the stream by a succession of Stillingfleets and Comptons. He would have seen a modest petition for freedom from penal laws, unaccompanied with any request for establishment, incorporation, perferment, or even the crumbs that fall from rectorial tables, rejected by English bishops. He would have been convinced, that it would be doing such men too much honour ever hereafter to ask their votes in favour of religious liberty, either in the dastardly fawning style of free and candid disquisitions, or in the nervous language of petitioning non-conformists, habituated to free inquiry at home, and frankness of expression abroad. In a word, he would have been more non-conformable than ever; he would have said with one of old, I WILL WALK AT-LIBERTY, FOR I SEEK THY PRECEPTS : I WILL SPEAK OF THY TESTIMONIES ALSO BEFORE KINGS, AND WILL NOT BE ASHAMED. REMOVE FROM ME THE WAY OF LYING, AND GRACIOUSLY GRANT ME THY LAW!
MINISTRATION of the DIVINE WORD;
Prefixed to a Translation of Claude's Essay on the Composition
of a Sermon, Volume II.
(FIRST PRINTED, 1779.]
BRIEF DISSERTATION, &C.
PHILOSOPHERS love to contrast the religion of nature with that of revelation, and some of them ascribe superiority to the former. Christian ministers have much better reasons for ascribing it to the latter; and there are two, which desérve particular attention.
If we consider each as a body of science, and allow, revelation contains all the articles of information included in natural religion, and many more than the religion of nature ever knew, all necessary to the perfection of a system of theology, and all important to the felicity of man, it will follow, superior excellence belongs to revealed religion.
If we advert to the mode of communication peculiar to each, and grant, it is not enough in an universal religion to have a body of science, there must be also an easy method of imparting it, it will follow, superiority is due to revelation. Nature is a speechless beauty, silently waiting till depraved