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We have thus, without rafhness, and of their virtues, impelled them to actions on the grounds of observation and expe- of difinterested patriotism, and gave wife rience, given our free fentiments on “the dom to their legislation and policy, at institution in Margaret fireet :” and if we which we are astonished, was religion. were inclined to appeal to any authority Their descendents, improved in all the to countenance our freedom, it should be arts of life, intelligent in the principles fo Mr Williams himself, who tells us, and interests of society, with characters that “ all thoughts, wrong as well as and names which science and philosophy right, fhould be freely communicated.” will hand down to eternity,-are advan
We hope, our freedom hath been tem- ving to a political decrepitude and depered with moderation and decency : ftruction,--from a puerile and wretched though if we were inclined to be abu- irreligion.- Religion hath been laid hold five, we might plead his example to give of by the State as an expedient to serve á sanction to calumny; for he fays, with its purposes ; not generally and nobly out scruple or referve, that " preaching countenanced as the means of making keeps up an order of men who are under men happy, by making them virtuous. a neceffity of diffembling their failings A variety of sects bave sprung up, who and faults, and, consequently, of taint have not only relinquished the advantaing their own minds, and those of their ges held out by the State, but have withhearers, with hypocrity ; - a vice almost stood its power. Here genuine and virinfeparable from an assembly under the tuous Free-thinkers might have hoped direction of a priest, whether called re- for shelter, if they had not fpirit enough ligious, moral, or sentimental.”
to affert their own rights. No. All deThe clergy were firft indebted to the nominations of Diffenters have founded politeness of Mr Hume for this reflection their claims on the nature of their faith; on the character of their order. Mr Wil- and no fect hath asserted the indisputable liams bears his teftimony to the juftness right of man, not only to think for him. of the reflection. This must give it felf, but to disturb the sacred repose of double credit; for having been of the or- the public, so far as to attempt its imder bimfelf--and “ still not satisfied (he provement and advantage. All religious tells us out of his employment,” he contentions have been on the comparamust be a competent judge of the vice tive excellence of theological tenets. An which naturally taints the mind of a Arian or a Socinian might venture some priest.
inconvenience from a Calvinist or an ArAs we have now done justice to our minian: not merely because he felt himimpartiality, we proceed to discharge an- self intitled to a common right of human other obligation; and that is, to do ju- nature ; but because his faith was more stice to the fingular merit of this lively rational, or more scriptural; more worand most ingenious Moralift. We do thy to be the established belief, and to renot say, that the excellencies of these ceive the dignities and emoluments of the Lectures will atone for their errors and church. Let any of these denomination's defects; but this we muft fay, that these be put into power, and we only exchange excellencies are so various and Itriking, tyrants; and have new names and tenets that they must appear in spite of every to which we muft facrifice our integrity thing that tends to obscure them.
and liberty. The warfare of religious Mr Williams begins his series of loc. fects has had one effect, however, in protures with a discourle on public worship. ducing what they never intended,- afpiIt is a defultory, but an ingenious and rit of universal toleration.” fpirited effay. He doth not reason ac. These reflections are not unsupported cording to the forms of logic; nor doth by fact, or at least strong analogy. We he declaim according to the rules of the know how the Arians became persecupulpit: but he frequently doth better tors, in their turn, when the power of than the mere man of logic, or the mere the State gave them an advantage 0 man of the pulpit, is capable of doing. ver the Athanafians; and that Socio
We know we shall please all readers mus discovered more a want of power of taste and candour by the following than a want of inclination to crush extract.
the sects which tended to weaken bis " The great principle which animated interest. His conduct toward Franour brave and virtuous ancestors, which cis Davidis hath met with apologists, tinctured with sublimity the favageness who, like the apologifts for Calvin in