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frailty may tempt us to overlook and despise them. Some object to the validity of a divine Ordinance for the want of sufficient holiness in the Administrator. So the Donatists argued formerly, upon an opinion of their own sanctity above that of other men. How, said they, can any man give that which he hath not? But they received a proper answer in few words-Humana sunt opera, sed Dei sunt munera-The works are of man, but the gifts are of God: he who pretends to confer them from himself mistakes the nature of his commission and profanely assumes that honour which belongs to
IX. I have not insisted on this distinction, as if I thought the Clergy of the Church of England were more in need of it than any other Class of Ministers in the Church. If any are not as they should be, may God make them better : but upon the whole I suppose we may stand the comparison with any other Society this day in the world. And I trust, that the same God, who, when the Earth was filled with violence in the days of Noah, protected that righteous man in the building of an Ark to the saving of his house, when he was surrounded with reproE E 3
bates, as ready to pull it to pieces or set fire to it as he was to build it; that the same God, I say, however wickedness and infidélity may increase in these latter days, will interpose for the government and preservation of this Church, that his people may receive all those means of grace which are requisite to prepare them for his glorious kingdom.
O Lord save thy people, and bless thine heritage. Govern them, and lift them up for
GROWTH OF HEATHENISM
LETTER TO A FRIEND AT OXFORD.
Humbly recommended to the serious Consideration of all those
who are entrusted with the EDUCATION of YOUTH.
BY A PRESBYTER OF THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
To the Edition printed in 1794.
THE Reader may be shocked when he is told, that there is a disposition to Heathenism in an age of so much improvement, and pronounce the accusation improbable and visionary; but he is requested to weigh impartially the facts here offered, and then to form his judgment. The following Letter was intended only for the inspection of a friend; but if there is any tendency in the public to such a peculiar kind of corruption, as is here pointed out, they ought to have some warning of it; and therefore it has been judged that the present publication can be neither impertinent nor unseasonable.
The present Edition of this Letter, in the year 1794, is more seasonable than the first; now we have been witness to the profane affectation of Heathen manners by the Philosophers of France; with its malignant effects on Religion, Government, and the Peace of the Christian world.