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country as the present hierarchy is now. According to this, it would be a fin to resist any government. But is not this strange .
doctrine? Would it not even shake your belief in the Bible itself, if you saw that this flavish and absurd tenet was really contained in it? It might do very well as a Bible for the Turks, but ought to be rejected with indignation by Englishmen.
Another text that Mr. Madan quotes as an argument against all innovation, is Proverbs xxiv. 21. My son, fear thou the Lord and the king, and meddle not with them that are given to change. But would not this have been a much better text for cardinal Pole before the Reformation, than for Mr. Madan after it? He means by this quotation, and on the authority of Solomon, to give you a bad impression of us Disfenters, as a people that are continually reftlefs, and given to change, whom nothing reasonable can satisfy; whose demands, therefore, are never to be regarded, but who are always to be kept under by proper authority. But what are all the changes that we propose, compared to that great change in consequence of which Mr. Madan now enjoys the valuable livings of Ipstock and of St. Philip's, in Birmingham, and a prebend at Lichfield, besides being chaplain to the king, and having by that means, no doubt, foine much more considerable preferment in prospect. If he really condemn all changes, he must condemn that of the reformation from popery; and then he ought to resign his livings, and become a catholic Disenter, with a salary of twenty or thirty pounds a year. If he did not mean to condemn all changes, why did he quote this text without explanation or limitation; and if some changes be proper and lawful, why may not others ?
If Mr. Madan expounds the scriptures in the usual course of his Sermons no better than he has done in this, by putting together a number of texts in an arbitrary manner, without any regard to their connexion, he may lead you into many strange mistakes. He may tell you from the scriptures, that there is no God, for that sentence is found
there (Psal. xiv. 1.) and after giving an account of Judas hanging himself, he may add from the scriptures, Go thou and do likewise (Luke x. 37.) Without some comment, or at least the context (or what goes before and after any particular fentence) the mere words of scripture give you no solid instruction, or safe direction. Though the apostle does say, as Mr. Madan quotes, p. 14, Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers, for there is no power but of God, The powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power resisteth the ordinance of God, and they that refift fall receive to themselves damnation, Mr. Madan himself, in another situation, would no more preach obedience to all powers that be, than he would advise you to hang yourfelves. Do you think that he would approve of obedience to Oliver Cromwell ; and would he say that it would have been unlawful to depose him? And yet his power was at one time, to all appearance, as well efablished as that of the church of England at this day, of the permanency of which, I own, that I now begin to have some doubts.
If Mr. Madan mean that we should explain the text above mentioned by what immediately follows, and which in this case he has honestly subjoined, For rulers are not a terror to good works but to the evil, and that this power is the minister of God for good, allowing us to judge for ourselves, whether it be good or not, his argument for submission is impertinent; because we shall then be required to submit to no government but what we ourselves are convinced is a good one, and therefore shall be at full liberty to refift whatever we conceive to be a bad government, or such as we fee does not answer its proper end. This Mr. Madan could not but have seen ; and therefore, if he have any meaning at all, that is to his own purpose, he must mean that all governments that we any where find actually eftablished are good ones.
What extravagant things the advocates for establishments can say, we see in Mr. Madan's Note from Wollaston's Religion of Nature, p, 25, “ Were it not for that sense
« of virtue, which is principally preserved, as far as it is
pre“ ferved, by national forms and habits of religion, men « would soon lose it all, run wild, prey upon one another, « and do what else the worst of favages would do."
This was written many years ago, when every country had an established religion, and therefore a sense of public virtue might, with some plausibility, be ascribed to it. For since both existed together, one of them might appear to be the cause of the other. But Mr. Madan has seen more, and he ought to have reflected on what he had seen. He might see that in America men do not lose all sense of religion and public virtue, by losing an establishment. The people of that country do not run wild, prey upon one another, and act like the worst of savages. Mr. Wollaston could not see much of this. At least he might say, that, though there was no proper establishment of christianity in America, yet that the people of that country were more or less controlled by this, in which there is an establishment of Feligion. But Mr. Madan might have seen America independent of England, and though without an establishment, as virtuous as this; but he has turned his eyes another way.
A man may as well say that the rising of the fun, or the falling of the rain, is owing to ecclefiaftical establithments, as that a general sense of religion, and of virtue in a country depends upon them. They are, I doubt not, great obftru&tions to true religion, and the cause of much of the infidelity of the Great at the present day. What is most conspicuous in religion, is, of course, that which is established, and what is established they see to be abfurt, and therefore they inake no farther inquiry about it. They conform to it in public, but laugh at it in private. For the sake, therefore, of religion, and public virtue, I wish to see an end of these corrupi eilablishments; and I mall not fail to do the little that may be in my power towards accomplishing this great and most delirable end.
I am, &c.
P. S. Having
P. S. Having, in the two laft Letters, considered establishments in general, I shall in some future Letters, take a view of that of the church of England, so highly, and for such good reasons, admired by Mr. Madan, whose Alma mater it is. After this I shall proceed to give an account of those turbulent sectaries, and that dæmon of heresy, which seems to have terrified him so much, and by which he prays, p. 243 that our unrivalled conftitution may not be contaminated. And perhaps, in his animadversions on this part of my correspondence, he may be pleased to explain in what manner it is that dæmons do contaminate such things, as well as how they may be maken by diffenfion. In the latter, I suppose he alludes to some danger from within, and in the former to something from without.
Perhaps, on a nearer view than Mr. Madan has yet had the courage to take, this damon may not appear quite fo hideous and frightful a thing as, from a distant view, it appears to him. However I will thew you what this dæmon really is, and then you may judge for yourselves. The sight shall not cost you much, nor will the exhibition take up much of your time. As to myself, I shall attend you with pleasure, and as I shall go very near it, you will see that it does not actually devour all that come in its way. If you fear being contaminated by it, at first only look at it, and be careful not to touch it. But really you will find this same heresy, to be as gentle, clean, and harmless a thing, as a young lamh, and no frightful, contaminating, dæmon at all.
You may safely venture to approach and stroke it. It has neither the fierceness of the tyger, nor the filthiness of the hog; if it was this unclean animal that gave Mr. Madan the idea of its contaminating property. If it was suggested to him by the account of the unclean spirits in the history of our Saviour and the apoitles, let him, and let the rest of the clergy, prove their genuine succession from the apostles by caft. ing them out. According to Mr. Madan, the number of persons polled is of late much increased, and therefore, if they can do any thing (Mark ix, 22.) in the business, they
Should exert themselves, and that soon. As to myself, Mr. Madan, I imagine, will conclude that I have within me not less than a legion of these unclean spirits, cum justo equitatu (he will understand me, and in his next Sermon explain it to you.) But let him, and his brother exorcists, take care left, by proceeding incautiously in this business, the poffefied should cry out, as in Acts xix. 15, Jefus we know, and Paul we know, but who are ye; and thus some mischief should arise to themselves, and their fyftem, in consequence of the attempt.
This day, I observe Mr. Madan is to publish one final reply to these Letters, including, no doubt, these which he has not yet feen, and those which I have not yet written, as well as the former. As I do not pretend, to such a gift of second fight, I must wait till I have an opportunity of seeing his performance; and as I find by his second advertisement, that it is to be a Letter addressed to myself, you may depend upon my reading it, and giving you all the information I can concerning it. Having begun this correspondeace, I do not mean to close it very soon. I have been how to speak, but having long forborne, now that I am urged to it, by Mr. Burn and Mr. Madan, I shall not stop till, as Pope says,
I've pour'd out all myself, as plain