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The first discourse, on the clerical character,' which was a visitation-sermon, first printed in 1794, contains many reflections well adapted to the occasion on which it was delivered, Some may perhaps think, that the preacher has exaggerated the evil of which he justly complains : but the period in which he addressed his auditory was the crisis of alarm; and, in order to rouse the clergy to proper exertion, he leads them to reflect that
* There are, even in this country, busy, restless, malicious advers saries, who have long been secretly meditating our destruction; and who, of late years, have attempted it in a more open and decisive manner. This is a truth which we must be blind indeed not to acknowlege.'_* Our ecclesiastical and civil establishment was the object of their avowed hostility. Could they but have accomplished the overthrow of either part of our system, they doubted not that the downfall of its associate would speedily follow. Therefore did they encourage themselves in mischief-therefore did they proclaim inveterate war against loyalty and religion, and set up their banners for tokens. Fain would they have planted their “ abomination that maketh desolate” amidst the ruins of thrones and altars : that tree, whose fruit is unto profanation, and the end thereof everlasting death: that tree, which (like the fabled poison-shrub of the eastern world) causes all other vegetation to languish and die; which creates a desert around its noxious trunk, and rejoices in horror and devastation. And were the stately pines, the glory of Lebanon, and all the trees of the forest, to be abandoned for this ? Were they to fall, prostrate and overthrown, before it ? Above the rest was this SACRED OAK, which for so long a period has braved the violence of winds and storms, was this to be rooted out, though the hills are covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof are like the goodly cedars?" We have seen the
oppressor let loose upon mankind -we have seen the judgment beginning at the house of God. At the commencement of those events which now astonish the world, it was the privilege of one luminous mind to trace the infant monster to its horrible maturity. During the progress, and in the consum. mation of those events, we have all obtained conviction. If here the arm of the destroying angel has been arrested—if here the temple, the altar, and the ministers of God are rescued from profanation, let us not be lulled into morbid and lethargic repose-still less let us ascribe to merit, what is due only to mercy. Alas! were the faithful pastors, who have fallen under the daggers of assassination, sinners above all the servants of Christ? Far otherwise. As gold in the furnace have they been tried, and received as a burnt-offering. However we may differ from them on some important doctrinal points, we must be lost to a sense of all that is great and glorious, if we do not applaud their heroic constancy, their unconquerable zeal, and that hope, full of immortality, which surmounted the fear of dissolution'. Faithful confessors, intrepid martyrs, they rejoiced in following the steps of their Redeemer--and their church, solitary and a widow, is 7
more venerable, more lovely amidst its tears, than in all the pride and pageantry of bridal magnificence.'
Whether these high expressions of panegyric and condo. lence be well-founded, we presume not to say. Though we commiserate the condition of individual sufferers, condemn the violence of many of those measures of which they have just reason to complain, and lament the dissemication of infidelity in those countries in which error and superstition generally prevailed, we confess that, as Protestants and believers in revelation, we have not been accustomed to contemplate that church, which is part of an antichristian system, and to the gradual and total overthrow of which the prophecies of Scripture direct our views, - with a very great degree of veneration and esteem.
In the sermon on the Creation, the author comprehends a variety of subjects very remotely connected with the text; for he not only considers the history of the world—perfect in its creation'--but also thrown into confusion by sin--renewed by the divine mercy in Christ—and now waiting the last awful doom. Whether the sentiment that occurs in the following passage be not exceptionable, let the reader judge: know no other way by which understan, Ford of God," because we
is do we consider this as the debasement, but, on the contrary, as the highest exaltation of human reason. The invisible things of him are from the creation of the world clearly seen-and why? because God bath shewed them. In this consists the real dignity of our nature, that its powers are called forth, not by any intrinsic ability or resources of its own, but by the all-powerful inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and the grace of God, ever present with the oracles of truth.'
In a discourse on the Unity of God,' founded on Mark, x.18, -There is none good but one that is God, Mr. Glasse observes,
• The church of England, established on the most sure basis of Christianity, is, in conformity to the letter and spirit of her Master's doctrinc, strictly UNITARIAN. Let not my beloved brethren be startled at the word. Let them not shrink from a title, which is the glory of the true believer, because it has been profaned and contaminated by the enemies of our holy faith : because innovating here. tics have dared to stigmatize us with idolatry, and to challenge for themselves, by a bold usurpation, the name of Unitarians, as if we had gods many, and lords many, while in fact we have but one God, and his name One ; his holy, reverend, incommunicable name.'
After having cited the article which expresses the Unity of the Godhead, consisting of three persons, of one substance, power, and eternity, he proceeds:
Rev. JUNE 1799
• Can any charge then be more grossly unfounded, can any asser. tion be more false and unprincipled, than that which accuses the orthodox believers of multiplying the objects of religious adoration, and doing homage to more gods than one ?-When heretics cavil, and infidels blaspheme, be valiant for the faith. Now the right faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man. Witness this good confession before many witnesses. Acknowledge to its full extent the fact assumed in my text, that none is good but one, that is God. But reject with abhorrence the pestilent insinuation, that the Author of our salvation, though inferior to the Father as touching his Manhood, was not equal to him with respect to his Godhead.
The sermon on the Atonement,' from Psalm xxii. 1. be. gins in the following abrupt manner :
• To recite these words is to apply them. Your hearts are gone. already to Mount Calvary, and you behold with the eye of faith your crucified Redeemer. The rocks are rent–the mid-day sun is plunged into obscurity—the graves are opened the saints who slept in death arise and appear-the frame of nature feels as it were the pangs of dissolution, while its Creator suffers. When, on the return of this sacred day, or at any other season of devotion, we meditate on the passion of our Lord—when we accompany the innocent Jesus through the horrors of his arraignment-through his unjust and merciless trial—when we witness the mockery and despitefulness of his triumphant enemies, the treachery, the defection, and the apostacy of his disciples when we survey the instruments of torturethe wreath of thorns, the bloody scourge—the ponderous cross under .which his weakened, exhausted nature fainted, and almost sank away
when we view him fastened to the engine of death-his hands and his feet transfixed with the nails--the iron entering into his soul-his blessed side pierced by wanton, officious cruelty-when we behold all this, how little do we comprehend the extent of our Saviour's anguish, how imperfectly do we conceive the bitterness of his cup, if we do not keep always in our view the leading feature in his passione the woe of all woes, the terrors of God set in array against him, the wrath of his father heavy upon him, the consummate guilt of a world, heaped upon his guiltless head?'
In a similar strain of declamation, the anthor concludes his sermon on John, xii. 28. entitled • The Name of God glorified.' · His manner of treating a popular subject at the close of the year,' We all do fade as a leaf, will appear from the following extract :
• The comparison between human and vegetable life has been elegantly descanted on by authors of the earliest antiquity—it has been stated, with eloquence and precision, by divines and moralists of later times—but more particularly we find it'illustrated, by all the varieties of metaphor, throughout the figurative language of scripture. And
Surely no comparison can be more apposite, no similitude more affect.
you hear of infancy sent to an early grave—when you behold youth and beauty languishing under deadly sickness, does not the image force itself on your minds of a fair and blooming flower, suddenly cut down by the pitiless hand of the destroyer? Or look around you—the world is now wintry; those leaves which so lately flourished in all the perfection of their richest verdure, now lie scattered upon the ground, faded, lifeless, discoloured, and about to mingle with their parent earth! Let us read our destiny in theirsfrom the dust we likewise had our origin, and thither we shall likewise return.
• The parallel so accurately drawn in my text, in its primary signification, adapts itself to the natural decay of age, as typified by the falling of the withered leaf. But is it not also strictly applicable to the termination of our existence at other periods? Are there not storms and tempests, which, even in the midst of summer, deprive the trees of their luxuriant foliage, and lay prostrate on the ground the glory of the once-smiling year? Is there not the slow-consuming canker? Is there not the devouring worm, that prematurely destroys while yet in the bloom, or even in the bud, the hope and the pride of spring? We are more than justified in the application of the fading leaf to death, come as it will, at any time, or in any form. At whatever season our life is brought to its conclusion, we do most assuredly fade as the leaf, all of us.
• We, like the plants and flowers, have our spring, which ushers us into life, when we burst forth in all the luxuriance of early beauty. The sunimer, the high meridian of our days, next advances, when we flourish in the full maturity of strength and comeliness. Before we are conscious of the alteration, but probably not before others have perceived it, the blooming tints of youth, the ripened graces of manhood, are gradually retiring from us, and we fall into our autumnal wane. One more change awaits us, and completes the revolution of our days. Soon, very soon, are we led on by the withering hand of old age to the winter of death. And lo, when we are passed away, another generation cometh in our place, to whom life is imparted on conditions exactly similar to those ordained to us, when we entered on our portion of existence. In like manner, when the winter of nature is past, a fresh succession of leaves will appear, and will flourish during their appointed season.'
In the sermons on the nature, object, and triumphs of Christian faith, are many useful and striking observations of a practical and consolatory nature, blended with some others which in our estimation are exceptionable :
• Under the sanction of this high authority (says Mr. G. referring to his text, “ Ye believe in God, believe also in me,'') 1 shall endeavour to shew, that to believe in God, without believing in Christ, is vain and fruitless--nay, that it is impossible—nor shall I scruple the assertion, harsh as it may sound, that he who is not a Christian, is virtually, though not nominally, an atheist-and that to believe in God and in
Christ is one inseparable act of faith; is indeed only one operation of
• An act of faith is the assent of the mind to the certainty of that
Pure Deism the author describes as
• a religion without a service, without a temple, without a sacrifice, without a Redeemer, without a Comforter, without prayer, without praise, without faith, without hope, without sanctification, wihout salvation--without every thing!' — Gospel truth, or the religion of the Bible, declares, that the Son of God is come, and hath given us understanding, that we may honour him that is true ; and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ—THI$ IS THE TRUE Gon, and everlasting life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. If this is the true God, it follows, that all other gods are false; and he who denies the truths of Christianity, must pardon us for pronouncing him to be absolutely without God, inasmuch as he is without the only true object of religious adoration.'
Mr. Glasse might well apprize those who may be dissatisfied with some of the positions advanced in this sermon, by an advertisement prefixed to it, that if he should be attacked on the subject, he is enabled to retire for protection to the adamantine shield of Bishop HORSLEY.'- In the introductory sentences of the sermon entitled · The Christian's Rest,'on Psalm iii. 5. I laid ne dosen and slept – I awaked, for the Lord sustained sne, the author informs us that the words have a natural, and that they have a spiritual signification. They are a morning hymn for the faithful Christian while on earth; and they will, on the resurrection-day, turst from his heart, after his silnce