« ПредишнаНапред »
no existence, and to deceive yourselves with a delufion, which is of all others most dangerous.
So that you may observe with great pleasure, that the Religion of Christ proposeth, with the most winning benevolence, confolation to finners the most afflicted, and to fouls the most depressed ; while it encourageth not the least appearance of iniquity; but recommends the most solid and fațional piecy in a system of laws, the most pure and the most perfect that the earth ever saw ; upon motives, the most Works. When St. Paul in his epistle to the Romans, chap. ive ver. 6. fpeaks of Righteousness without Works, it is evident to any man, who understandsthe language in which he writes, or who attends to the context, that he means only justification or parden of paft fins, upon Faith and Repentance. For in the 7th verse he says, (quoting the Pfalmift) Blefed are they whale iniquities are forgiver, and whose fins are covered. Airaioun thould properly have been rendered juftification, in agree. ment with Adomasocon, &c. which our tranflators have rent dered justified, justifieth, &c. - in ver. 2., 5, 86.. And it is much to be wished, that this accuracy had been preserved throughout our Tranflation ; that the same word in the original always had been rendered by the same word in the English. By this means many objections and controverfies agitated with no small fury, had been prevented. Righteoulness without works, is a contradi&tion in terms, in our lan. guage; for Righteoufress is only a complex word for all motal virtues, or good works. To say that it means the Righteousness of Christ in this place betrays great inattention ; fince the apostle is evidently speaking only of justification or pardon of paft offences, through faith ; and Faith, says he, was reckoned to Abraham for. righteousness, ver. 9. nogion τω Αβρααμ η πισις εις Δικαιοσυνην, that is, he was looked upon by God as a justified person, as in a state of pardon, on ac, count of that Faith, which the Apostle describes in the following verses : See also ver. 5 and 2?.
57 affecting and persuasive; and under sanctions, , the most holy, awful, and formidable.
This may, suffice to shew the end, and the excellence of the Christian institution : which might indeed be consider'd in various other inimitable parts, did not the time, and the design we are met to encourage; -render it the less seasonable. I cannot however fail to observe, that so striking is the beauty of the Religion we profess, that it hath extorted, as it were, unwilling praises from the pen of a late noble writer *, who applied all his wit and his parts to oppose and degrade it. For HE acknowledgeth that it is a most amiable, and useful institution ; whose na!ural tendency is direEled to promote the peace and happiness of mankind; that it contains all the duties of natural Religion, and teacheth them in the most plain and fimple, manner ; that it is one continued leson of the strietest Morality, of Justice, of Benevolence, and of universal charity : That, as its moral precepts, are exçellent ; so its positive institutions are not only innocent bút profitable, and extremely proper to keep
the spirit of Religion ; that it is, a moft fimple and intelligible rule of belief, worship, and prac
* Lord Boling broke, from different parts of the fourth volume of whofe works the passages following are extracted.
Now if even an enemy could bear such a testimony to it, how much doth it behove us to bear a more useful teftimony to it, by the integrity of our lives, and the exemplariness of our practice?
- 11. And you, worthy hearers, are ready to bear that testimony, I am persuaded, by your appearance in this place for the promotion of a charitable design, furely, of all others moft conformable to the nature and end of the Chriftian Religion.
That end, you have heard from the mouth of the benevolent author of this religion himself, is " the falvation of sinners :” that salvation, you perceive is to be effected, by bringing finners to repentance :" and your great ford and master hath shewn you a pattern, and left you to imitate an example of the most tender compassion and unwearied benevolence in this important work. Your present laudable Design is a noble copy after his example : Tender compassion, and the most disinterested benevolence have mov'd you to provide the means of repentance, and so the means of salvation for many misérable souls, who, without this provision, must perish in inevitable destruction. Thus are you happy in treading in the steps, and being fellow-workers together with the God of your salvation.
'Tis true, that to common and superficial observers of things, nothing seems a more deteftable object, more worthy our hatred and fcorn, than a common and pestilent Prostitute, And indeed were those in that miserable condition, either plac'd in it by their own choice, or detained in it, by their own free-will: had a vicious inclination at first introduced, or did the same vicious inclination continue them in it, amidst repeated opportunities to retrieve and return": we would then grant, they were utterly unworthy the least compassion, and more beneath humanity, than the beast that perisheth. But when we are fully convinc'd, that different, far different is the truth of the case ; then compassion pleads their cause, and humanity urgeth us to their succour and redress.
For though the great author of our being hath, for wife and good ends, implanted the same passions in either sex, and therefore tranfgression is as possible, and of consequence as excuseable on the weaker fide, as it is on the stronger ; yet fact abundantly demonstrates to us, that men for the most part, are the Seducers ; and the generality of those, who now claim our aid, have been introduced to their misery; by the complicated arts of leduction, and by every unjustifiable method, which cruel and brutish Just suggests to the crafty seducer.
. And it is well known, how much harder that case in this particular, is with the female sex, than with our own.-One false step for ever ruins their fair fame; blafts the fragrance of virgin innocence, and consigns them to contempt and disgrace! while the author of their distress may triumph in his villainy! and shame to hu, man nature-not be branded with one mark of reproach for the ruin of a fellow-creature !
And when once, by whatever unhappy means undone, the wretched outcaft hath no resource, no redress : but must fall from fhame to shame : from forrow to forrow: fall lower and lower in the pit of foul misery, and drudge in the labour of odious prostitution, to preserve a burthensome Being from famine and from death.
Thus soul and body are lost at once ; and ana useful member is cut off from the community in early youth, having done no good, nay, having diffused much evil amongst her fellowcreatures. In early youth indeed ; very many of the unhappy objects now in the house, being under fourteen years of age, and a great part debauch'd and introduc'd into this wretched way of life, before that age *, and of course, before
In a paper of our worthy Treasurer's now before me, and written some time since, I read, " Out of an hundred girls, now in the Magdalen House, above a seventh part have not yet seen their fifteenth
year ; several are under fourteen ; and one third of the whole have been betray'd before that