« VorigeDoorgaan »
of Christianity is necessary to the making of a good divine.-Ου δει μετριως κεκινημείου απτεσθαι.
When a man of learning censures without justice, he opens a door for the free remarks of others upon
himself. But I search not into the gentleman's writings, for any examples of severity, scurrility, adulation, perplexity of principle, smoke and smother, pedantry and bombast : let others look for such things, who take delight in finding them. For my own part, I would rather wish that my learned friend, when he is throwing his fine words about, would consider a little beforehand, how unworthy it may be found to attempt to lessen in any degree the good effect of such a character as that of Dr. Horne upon the Christian world, in its present declining condition and dangerous situation : and how much more it would be for his honour to use the eloquence he is master of, rather in promoting than in hindering its influence. He knows too much of the world to be ignorant, that in this age, when so many counterfeits are abroad, when some are so wild, and others so squeamish, no wound is so cruel upon a religious man, as the imputation of a wild enthusiastic fancy: a fault wantonly imputed by the vicious and the ignorant, to unexceptionable persons, only because they have a little more religion than themselves : and if such persons have made it their business, like Dr. Horne, to be deep in the Scripture, they will always be in danger from those who are not so. Heathens accused the first Christians of atheism and sacrilege, because they would not worship idols ; and abused them as haters of mankind, only because they avoided evil communications, and refused to be conformed to this world. Voltaire had no name for the Christian faith, but that of superstition or fanaticism. There is a very useful and judicious dissection of enthusiasm, by Dr. Horne himself, the best I ever met with, just published in a compilation by a society for a Reformation of principles, which if gentlemen will condescend to examine, they may be better able to distinguish properly betwixt those who are enthusiasts and those who are called so.
All good men are walking by the same way to the same end. If there are any individuals, who by the shining of their light render the path more plain and pleasant, let us agree to make the most we can of them, and be followers of them, who through faith and paiience inherit the promises.