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language in which he is addressed should be the plainest possible, and the exposition of the scheme and proofs of his religion condensed into the smallest compass, consistent with perfect perspicuity. I mention this, because the clergy in their sermons are generally guilty of beginning at the wrong end : they set about enforcing the doctrines, before the hearer is instructed as to the grounds upon which they are offered to his reception; so that it is a petitio principii from first to last. Indeed, nothing can be much more unsatisfactory to a reflecting mind than sermons in general are. A text is selected, and all the learning of the preacher expended in fortifying and ornamenting this isolated fragment, of whose bearings the yawning hearer may be as innocent as of the longitude: it is like the man we read of in ancient times, who, to give an idea of the house he was anxious to dispose of, carried one of the bricks in his pocket. And, as if there was not sufficient mystification, should the reverend gentleman be a man of an ambitious turn, I have known him weave into the texture of his discourse, speculations recherché enough for an auditory of metaphysicians : and all this he does to avoid the greatest of all blemishes, triteness. In short, so that he may but shine in this embroidered suit, he recks not if he fires over the heads of half the flock. This coxcombry we may pardon in young men; but, alas! one is doomed to listen to such hoary-headed exhibitions. But these gentlemen ought to be told, that plainness is as essential a part of preaching, as simplification is of doctrine. “ For even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped ? So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? For ye shall speak into the air.”

I have no objection to join issue with the whole bench of Bishops, to prove that the system of practical piety, as taught by the clergy in the present day, is sadly below what it ought to be, and what we must conclude it would be, did they implicitly believe the religion they preach. But whether it be true, or only a secular invention, and merely a means of gaining a livelihood, their conduct, as I have already shewn, is equally absurd. We may depend upon it, the people have got a full peep

behind the curtain. Nothing sharpens the reasoning faculty like the necessity of thinking. It converts even the poorest and most ignorant man into a logician. The exactions of the church in these recent times of failure in our national prosperity, have led more men of every class to inquire into the cui bono of our church establishment, than all that they were wont to observe of the laxity and luxury of its ministers.

Now in what a cruel dilemma all we have been discussing must place the man who is conscientiously anxious to serve his God as he ought! To such a man it does, indeed, add a double measure of bitterness to the draught of life, to find that while he is rated as an imbecile by the wise men of the earth, he has nothing but thorns in place of consolation to repose on, from the Church! Can it be wondered that hasty, impetuous natures should heartily desire an

end to a system which so egregiously trifles with their reason and their feelings? I

envy not the clergyman who merely makes a livelihood of his profession. It must be a source of the utmost dissatisfaction, to be conscious every time he bends the knee before his congregation, and in the awful presence of the Searcher of hearts, that the whole thing is but formality, merely something done to entitle him to a stipend; that while he lifts his voice in prayer to his Redeemer, his inward supplication is

Da mihi fallere, da justo sanctoque videri.

I envy not such a man, even though he could apply the flattering unction that the religion were not true. Under any circumstances, it would be a base prostitution of principle, levelling in him all that is valuable much below the brutes that perish.

CHAP. X.

In the prosecution of my purpose to offer some remarks on the medical profession in my own country, as suggested by what came to my knowledge of its state in France, I find my engagement must be redeemed very briefly indeed, the quantity of preceding matter obliging me to curtail what I had to say to less than one third ; and this brevity is the more necessary, until farther opportunity shall have supplied me with fuller information on different points connected with the government and usages of our College of Physicians. Short and comparatively unsatisfactory as the present sketch must be, I shall nevertheless have occasion to entreat the professional reader to be very patient with me. To whatever side his

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