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My dear father also vowed, if I was once more mercifully brought into the bosom of the church, that he would give to our Lady of Loretto a new robe, and a pair of silver candlesticks of fifty pounds weight.
I could do no less than thank my friends for the concern and zeal they manifested for
welfare : and I promised to go
father on the conditions he had mentioned ; for I long to see my brother, between whom and myself the mutual affection was so great that one soul seemed to animate us both.
I do not know when we shall set out, but I expect it will be soon; nor do I know whether my sister will accompany us.
I rather wish she may not, as she has greatly persecuted me. Poor girl, the greater is her misfortune. I ought not to think it hard; for who in their right minds would not rather suffer affliction with the people of God, than enjoy the pleasure of sin for a sea
You may depend upon it, Madam, that I shall embrace every opportunity of writing to you, which my dear Miss Barnwell must consider as writing to her also; and I hope to have the pleasure of copying another of Mrs. Worthington's letters for the perusal of my brother. I have transcribed in a fair hand the whole of our correspondence; since, as my friends as well as myself will be accused to him of heresy, it is but just he should see wherein our heresy consists. Requesting the prayers of you and my dear Miranda, that God will mercifully preserve me, I once more subscribe myself,
And humble servant,
From Mrs. Worthington, to Miss Eusebia Neville.
MY DEAR MISS NEVILLE,
I AM sorry that you are going into a popish country, but having promised to accompany your father, you can
not retract, especially as he has engaged not to force you into a nunnery. I commend you to the care and guidance of the Shepherd of Israel, who neither slumbers nor sleeps. Cast all your care upon him, my dear friend, for he careth for you.
The argumeut used by your friends to prove the excellence of the church of Rome, founded upon the holiness of many of its members, is inconclusive. În self-denial and mortifications of almost every kind, the devotees in the most corrupt religions have neither been exceeded nor equalled by catholics or protestants. Many of the Hindoos use such cruelty to their bodies in order to atone for their sins, that the hair-shirts worn by catholics on the same account, together with their whipping themselves, and other austerities, bear scarcely any proportion to it. The priests of Baal also were sincere wonohippers of that senseless idol ; witness their crying unto him from morning to evening, and cutting themselves with knives and lancetes
and I have no doubt but in their day they had the repute of being very holy men, as well as those idolators who made their children pass through the fire to Moloch, giving the fruit of their bodies for the sin of their souls.
I believe mortals have never erred more concerning any one thing than concerning holiness. The generality seem to think, that if they are sincere, devout, and what is called moral, they must be holy. But it ought to be considered that devotion may have for its object an idol of the imagination ; an unknown God, who may be ignorantly worshipped. Hence our Lord lays so great a stress upon the knowledge of the true God, and of the Messiah, who is the only medium of access to him whom no man hath
The Old and New Testaments contain the revealed mind of God. The love of that mind is the essence of true holiness. They who love the mind of God love God, and feel the deepest contrition on account of the sins of their most holy things. From these principles flows that obedience which is accepted by God after it has been washed in the blood of the Saviour. Any other holiness is no better than suffering coals of fire to lie on the head, with the Hindoo; than yisiting the tomb of Mahomet with the
seen nor can see.
mussulman; or than going on pilgrimage, with the catholic, to what he calls the holy land.
I pray, my dear child, that our correspondence wbich you have transcribed for
your brother's perusal, may have a proper effect. The obedience and death of Christ are the sin-offering, the peace-offering, and the grand atonement, whereby a guilty sinner has access to God. If your brother has had his sins set in array before him, and if he has had a view of the mountains of divine wrath which will certainly overwhelm the ungodly, the letters which you have transcribed may with the divine blessing convince him that nothing can recommend him to the divine favour but the blood of the Saviour. Being once convinced of thiş, he will esteem the many things substituted by both catholics and protestants in its room, as things of no value. Thus Paul esteemed every thing, when compared with the knowledge of Christ, and with being found in him, not having his own righteousness.
In my niece's last letter is a dialogue between her and Mrs. Law upon the subject of dissent from national religions. Any religion would do better for å state religion than Christianity, because no other religion would be thereby injured: whereas Christianity, by its alliance with the state, is greatly debased. The only motive for teaching and professing Christianity ought to be the hope of eternal life. Should it be objected, that dissenting teachers as well as others live by preaching the gospel, it may be replied, that there are few instances wherein the abili.
and character required of a dissenting minister might not be more profitably engaged in trade, manufactures, and merchandize, or in the professions of medicine and the law.
Your brother may possibly reply, that the catholics in England are in this respect upon the same footing with other dissenters. I answer, This is not the case ; for, the consciences of Roman catholics being under the direction of the bishop of Rome, they are obliged to approve
of national religion. When they cease to do this, they are Roman catholics in nothing but the name ; for the very thing and poison of popery consist in the alliance between church and state ; or in the kings of the earth giving their power to that ravenous beast, which is represented in the Revelation as the IMAGE of Rome pagan. But for the interpo.
sition of the kings of the earth, the Scriptures could not for so many ages have been kept out of the hands of the people. The invention of printing, that wonderful art, was such a cause of the dissemination of knowledge, that from that moment we may date the beginning of the fall of antichrist. A partial reformation took place in several countries of Europe, and popery, even in popish countries received a rude shock: but this is nothing to what it is to receive; for the word of God must be accomplished. The time approaches when national religions will fall to rise
Indeed, a knowledge of the pride, ignorance, covetousness, and cruelty of the great body of the clergy of all establishments, will be so abundantly transmitted to future generations by the faithful page of history, that when the mother of harlots and her daughters are buried, there will be no danger of their rising from the dead.
I do not wonder that there are some dissenting ministers who approve of religious establishments under what they call proper regulations. Human nature is the same out of national churches as in them. It is because they desire to be independent of their people. I have however long observed, that, in general, where ministers among the dissenters walk in a becoming manner, no people meet with greater respect
Where it is otherwise, it commonly arises from a real or supposed difference of sentiments. In such a case, it may be prudent for a minister to remove to a place where his labours will be more acceptable : and, if he has behaved properly, in doing this he will find no difficulty. But if the great majority of the people where he has laboured should desire him to continue among them, and he should comply with this desire, the minority will probably secede. If any should form an objection from this to the independency of churches, we may reply, that in this life there is nothing perfect; and that every rose has its thorn. Frequently, however, such divisions are necessary, and, instead of being an evil, are a great good. In process of time, the majority of a church of protestant dissenters are liable to depart from the faith and practice of their pious ancestors. - A minister of their own sentiments will probably be chosen. It will then be prudent for the minority peaceably to withdraw. And it ought to be esteemed a great mercy that they can do so : for what fellowship has Christ with Belial ; or those who
Tremble at God's word, with persons who appear not to pay an implicit obedience to what he has revealed ? Itis & great imperfection adhering to national churches, that they are composed of Calvinists, Arminians, Arians, Socinians, and the visibly dishonest and profane. Such a heterogeneous mixture, united neither by truth, nor love, nor civility, can derive no benefit from church-fellowship. When they meet together to commemorate the death of Christ, ard to profess, in the presence of God, that, as they partake of one bread, so they consider themselves as one body, united together by faith and love ;-if they think at all, they must consider this as solemn mockery.
The church of Rome, my dear friend, has this imperfection in common with other national churches, and frequently in a much greater degree. If, therefore, I were to be with your brother at St. Omer's, I would entreat him to read his New Testament on his knees, and to endeavour to learn from that invaluable book, whether the church or kingdom of Christ was intended to be a worldly kingdom, contrary to the good confession testified by Christ before Pilate, that his kingdom was not of this world.
Pray give my kind love to your brother. He will perceive that in writing this letter, I did not forget him. I have had two things principally in view ; first, the nature of Christ's church or kingdom; and secondly, the nature of that holiness without which no man shall see the Lord.
As we cannot expect to hear regularly fro you, we shall wish to know how you spend your time in France, I beg you will minute every night the occurrences of the day, especially the conversations in which you shall have been engaged. A journal of this kind will exceedingly oblige me. Indeed I shall esteem nothing uninteresting that concerns my dear friend.
Wishing you a prosperous journey, and the presence of him who has promised to be with his children to the end of the world,
with the greatest esteem, My dear Miss Neville,
Your affectionate friend,