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the sex with increased regard, and love even his own wife better, when Mrs. More has taught him to read in her mind beauties that cannot fade, and over which old age withering power.
The works of this excellent Lady we have not time to particularize. They all of them deservedly hold a high place in the estimation of the best judges, for literary merit ; and in all of them correct and elegant sentiment is mingled with the beauties of holiness The elegant pen of Bishop Porteus, who knew how to appreciate, and how to celebrate, worth, has assigned her a distinguished rank among the English writers, and her last publications have added other unfading honours to her name. Together with Majesty itself, and every other person and thing sacred and venerable, she has also had the honour to be ridiculed by Peter Pindar the buffoon.
About seventeen years since, Mr. Wilberforce first published his Practical View, &c. The well known, because well tried, abilities of this gentleman, his eloquence, his strong powers of moral discrimination, his vast information, his talent for reasoning, his deep penetration into the various forms that human passions assume, his virtues as solid as they are splendid, his fervent piety, his genuine patriotism, his universal philanthropy, and his knowledge of Christian Politics, had all combined to excite no ordinary measure of attention to his observations, on the « Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians, in the higher and middle classes in this Country, compared with real Christianity.” In this work the profundity of Philosophy, the elegance of Literature, the accuracy of the facts, and the correctness of the painting, are found united with an exhibition of Christian doctrine, the most lucid and vivid. In colours strong, but not overcharged, he represents the system of religion generally embraced,
and with the representation he contrasts the features of Christianity, as they are delineated by the Son of God, and by the Prophets and Apostles who were inspired by his Spirit.
He first shows men what they are, and then what manner of persons they ought to be, in all godly conversation. The success of his work in the higher and mid dle ranks of life has been great, is still increasing, and it is to be hoped will continue to grow.
Mr. Soame Jenyns, in his “ View of the Internal Eric dence of the Christian Religion," a work which compresses much profundity and originality of thought, though by no means uniformly Evangelical, has forcibly defended the doctrine of the Trinity and Atonement against the attacks of the Unitarians, and shown that the spirit of the practical religion which the Gospel teaches, not only rises far above the maxims of philosophy, but stands, in many of the essential duties of Christianity, in direct opposition to the most applauded precepts of the men of the world. The tone of the religion enforced by this celebrated writer, appears to be both animated and sublimated, when we compare it with the vapid and grovelling system of many nominal Christians. In this respect, though he cannot be called an Evangelical writer, he is at least a writer who is the ally of those who have adopted Evangelical sentiments,
Mr. Bates, in his “ Rural Philosophy,” has contrived to bring into the view of his readers the great discoveries of Revelation, in all their various combinations and bearings, upon the love and the worship we owe to God, the daties we owe to ourselves, and the relative duties we are commanded to practise to our fellow men. His philosophy is wholly christianized, apd his Christianity philosophized, in perfect consistency with the dignity of the one, and the sanctity of the other. When the true principles of science, and the pure doctrines of the Gospel are harmonized, as they were in Mr. Bates's elegant mind, the author is enabled to reach distinguished excellence. When the combined influence of Christian principles and philosophical talents is exerted, for the instruction and salvation of mankind, under the conduct of a correct and chaste eloquence, the effect, in the cause of God and man, is neither without its success, nor without its reward ; and in such a writer as Mr. Bates, the latter would be enjoyed in a high degree, by the attainment of the former.
To the names already mentioned we shall only add that of Granville Sharp, Esq., a name ever to be respected by the lovers of learning, as well as by the friends of genuine piety, for his abilities as a writer, for the purity of his religious sentiments, and for his distinguished philanthropy; and that of Dr. Gregory, who, in a late performance of great worth and excellence, has pleaded the cause of genuine Christianity, with great ability.* To the diffusion of Evangelical piety, two periodical works, the Christian Observer, and the Christian Guardian, both managed by Members of the Church of England, have greatly contributed. Both these works are well calculated to promote the great ends of Evangelical instruction, and to add the support of literature, talent, and taste to the pare doctrines of the Gospel.
But it is not merely to the powers of reasoning, or to the eloquence and skill of her Apologists, that Evangeli. cal religion, in our times, owes the rapidity of her pro
• Letters to a Friend on the Evidences, Doctrines, and Duties of the Christian Religion.
gress. Men are much more accustomed to judge of the excellence of religious systems, by the influence they have in forming the characters, and in stamping dignity and worth upon the actions of men, than by the arguments and skill of those who are their advocates. This test of religious doctrines is entitled to the greatest respect, because it is possessed of the highest authority. “ By their works ye shall know them. Men do not gather grapes of thorns, nor figs of thistles.” It is not our intention to insinuate, for a moment, that integrity and consistency of conduct, that purity of principle, that the most expanded philanthropy, and the most diffusive beneficence are peculiar to those who are called Evangelical ; a term of distinction not always judiciously applied ; to some improperly attached, and from others as improperly withheld; but it cannot be denied that many whose religious sentiments were decidedly Evangelical, hare been the ornaments of society,'and hare never been outshone in the most substantial virtues. Where, in our times, shall we find the record of a man, in the private walks of life, whose bounty flowed in a channel so deep and wide, and with a current so strong as to reach the four quarters of the world, carrying with it balm to bind up the wounds of men's souls and bodies ? Among the professors of Evangelical religion, we shall find the man to whose memory a monument is erected in every feeling breast, which time itself can hardly efface. Such, among the Evangelical worshippers who frequented the altars of the Church of England, was John Thornton, whose life was rich in good works, because it was rich in faith ; and who sued for that mercy from his God, which so well be had learned to practise to his fellow men.
Such was Henry Thornton ; such, according to his abilities, was Granville Sharp ; such was Sir William Dolben ; such was Isaac Hawkins; such, with almost every accomplishment that could adorn human nature, was Lord Dartmouth; with many other personages who have left our polluted abodes, and now shine as the sun in the Kingdom of Heaven. Such are many members of the same Church, who have adopted the same religious system ; the living examples of every grace and virtue, whose diffusive bounty, winding in secret channels, and seen only by the verdure it communicates, spreads health and joy, where distress and sickness had formerly taken up their abode. In the character of Mr. Stanley, it is the name only that is fictitious. As the Evangelical body is not without its Ranby's, it has also its Stanley Groves, where every virtue flourishes, and scatters blessings around it.—Among the Evangelical Dissenters, too, was found the celebrated John Howard, the philanthropist, the friend of God and of man, who, like his Saviour, went about doing good; in whom all the tender sensibilities of Christianity were embodied, and shone with the brightest, and yet with the softest lustre. In the same body, characters are still to be found of the most distinguished excellence; lights of the world, men who fill, and who adorn the stations in which they are placed. - In the Church, it is well known, that, many who entertained strong prejudices against the doctrines called Evangelical, have been, by the powerful attraction of the exemplary conduct of some who had embraced that system, brought first to examine it with candour, and afterwards to embrace its principles. When the influence of shining virtues to invite to examination, is combined with strong arguments to convince, the evidence can only be resisted by indifference, or by enmity to the truth.