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A SPEECH, SUPPOSED TO BE MADE BY THE BIBLE. From the days of Constantine, emperor of Rome, down to the present, my character in Europe has been held in high estimation. Indeed, I have been acknowledged by all, to be the onlytrue teacher of religion. Notwithstanding this complaisance, the treatment I have received from many has been worse than unpolite. People of opposite sentiments, have not only whispered among their own cir. cles, but proclaimed it to the world, that I support them both. Such double conduct I detest; but as few, com. paratively, consulted me, many adopted all the false and ruinous tenets propagated in my name.
The Roman pontiff acquired excessive temporal power by gradual encroachments. He and his associates formed, as they said, a religion founded on my instructions; and sent out emissaries, in all directions, to compel men, by fire and faggot, to confess their inventions to be my truths.
As I had pourtrayed this ecclesiastical monster with great accuracy,and warned the world of his approach, they soon viewed me with a jealous eye. At length I was laid under the severest restrictions, being enjoined never to address any people in the language they understood. As no nation spake Latin after the overthrow of the Roman em. pire by the northern barbarians, they assigned to me that language. However, they would not have been highly displeased, though I had spoken French in Holland, and Dutch in France.
Finding that even this barbarity did not wholly prevent me from teaching truth to the nations, they laid me under an embargo, till they had made such incisions and alterations upon my tongue, that I could hardly utter a sentence
intelligibly. Indeed, they pared my tongue with such in. genuity, that, in spite of myself, I appeared to speak in favor of superstition and absurdity. For example, when I attempted to say, "Jacob worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff,” it always sounded to the hear. ers, as if I had said, "Jacob worshipped the top of his staff;” which made many suppose there had been an im- . age of Enoch carved on the top, to which he paid religious honor. But as I had always been accustomed to give a distinct and certain sound, many perceived the wounds I had received in the house of my pretended friends, and likewise the effect it had on my articulation. The mo. ment they perceived it, they condemned the cruelty and knavery of Rome; but these, my advocates, were silenc. ed by a rod of iron; the old way of answering arguments. In a few ages, men lost the remembrance of my fair character; and Rome had the effrontery to assure the world I was become such a mystic, that no mortal but herself could understand what I said; and falsely asserted I had appointed her my sole and infallible interpreter. The world believed her, and tamely surrendered their right of judging for themselves.
In consequence of all this malice, sophistry,and treach. cry,I walked in the world, prophesying in sackcloth and chains; and no man dared to express a desire for my
lib. eration. However, even in the darkest ages of Roman tyranny and superstition, I had a few familiar friends, whom God taught io understand me, and influenced to believe and love my ancient testimony. These continually cried to God to dispel the cloud with which I was covered, that I might illumine the world, as in primitive times.
The prayers of these friends came up before God in an accepted time. He heard and sent deliverance, by exposing the deceit and absurdity of the antichristian hierarchy. Calvin, Luther, and others were enlightened to discern my truth and purity; and obtained courage to publish the discovery. They inveighed against my captivity, and detailed the barbarous treatment I had experienced during its continuance; how cruelly they had increased my tor. ture, year after year; how frequently they had published lies in my name!
Multitudes were shocked at the conduct of Rome by this exposure, and would no more acknowledge her to be their teacher. They said they had eyes and ears as well as the conclave; wherefore, in matters of everlasting moment, they would not trust to those of others. My friends then applied ointment to my wounds; by which means they were soon healed; and all the bad matter with which I had been inoculated was extracted; so that I travelled about with my pristine health and vigor. Thus was my age renewed like the eagle's; and I promoted the health and happiness of many countries. Rome raged because I was liberated, and laid many a spare to renew my captivity; but without success.
To be sure, many of my admirers suffered for their friendship; but they died rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer in such a cause.
My peregrinations became so rapid and extensive, that Rome could not follow me. At length she began to tremble, lest I should remove her from her seat.
Upon this she cried for help to all her friends and flatterers. One of the Henrys, king of England, wrote a little in her favor;
she styled him her defender; and declared that hissons, to the very latest posterity, might assume the same honora. ble title, even though they should never put pen to paper in her favor; so much did she consider herself obliged to this foreigner. However, in a few years this very Henry began to turn against her, and laugh at her folly; and then renounced all connexion with her. Being con. demned to die a lingering death, she has long been in a declining state.
At present, many of my friends, who have had peculiar happiness in my company, and who have been taught my real worth, are liberally subscribing, for the purpose of sending me on a mission to many countries, which are as foreign to me as I am to them. These friends know, that when I am sent in my native simplicity, I never give an uncertain sound; but teach in all places the same truths I have taught them. I am also the cheapest missionary they can send; I require nothing to pay for bed or board. I say more than any man about God and godliness, and preach as willingly at midnight as midday, and with the same pleasure to one as to a thousand; to a slave as to a sovereign; nor do I fear the face of man.
My travels are the travels of truth. Where I am known, there is no night; clouds and darkness flee before me. I shall persevere in my mission to man till all shall know me, from the least unto the greatest; till the glory of the Lord shall cover the earth as the waters cover the channel of the sea.
Those who assist in bringing me forward on my journey, after a godly sort, shall do well. My God shall supply all their needs, according to his glorious riches, by Christ Jesus.
THE LATE REV. S. PEARCE.
ers, that I
MR. P, being one week day evening in town, and not engaged to preach, asked his friend Mr. S. where he could hear a good sermon. Mr. S. mentioned two places. "Well,” said Mr. P.“tell me the character of the preach
choose." "Mr. D.” said his friend, bexhibits the orator, and is much admired for his pulpit eloquence.” “Well," said Mr. P. "and what is the oth. er?” “Why, I hardly know what to say of Mr. C. he always throws himself in the back ground, and you see his Master only.” “That's the man for the amiable Pearce; et us go and hear him."
MISS LIVELY; OR, THE EFFECTS OF RELIGION ON A
PERSON OF STRONG FEELINGS.
Ah, what is man, when his own will prevails!
Wisdom is a good guide to zeal, and only can preserve it from extremes. If discretion does not hold the reins, good intentions will both break their own necks and the rider's. BISHOP HALL.
The following account of Miss Lively, was drawn up by my friend Peter Fervid. The character was taken from life, and the principal incidents may be depended on as facts. The whole exemplifies so well the effects of religion on a person of warm affections, that I hope it will be profitable to some of my readers, and interesting to all.