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if they are not kept under exacts discipline, that by way of caution o and

nd prevention, 'cwere better, at ćemig tain times, to affect some degree of 3 needless reserve, than hazard any

any ill to consequences from the other

But when almost the whole of relibris gion is made to confist in the pious:0 fooleries of penances and fuffer-lib ings, as is practised in the church of ad Rome (did no other evil attend it), si yet, since it is putting religion upon is a wrong scent, placing it more in ow these than in inward purity and id-)) tegrity of heart, one cannot guard bas too much against this, as well as alty

fach abuses of religion, asa za other such abuses of make it to consist in something which, qıai it ought not. How such mockery.,

COS 201


QMLE 2 became abpart of

part religion at first, or upon what motives they were ima.

bob gined to be services acceptable to God, is hard to give a better account of kithan whar was hirited above; namely, that men of melancholy and morofel tempers, conceiving the Deity to be like themselves, a gloomy, discontented and sorrowful heing, believed he delighted, as they did, in fplenetic and mortifying actions, and therefore made their religiousworfhip to conifile of chimeras as wild and barbarous as their own dreams andivapours.ana) 9 10

What ignorance and enthufiasm at first introduced,

-now tyramy and

500LS imposture continue to support. So that the political improvement of

these delusions to the purposes of wealth and power, is made one of the strongest pillars which upholds the 'Romish religion ;-which, with all its pretences to a more strict mortification and fanctity,—when you examine. ic minutely, is little else than a mere pecuniary contrivance. And the truest definition you can give ef popery-is-that it is a fyftem put together and contrived to operate upon men's weakneffes and pasions,--and thereby to pick their pockets, and leave them in a fata condition for its arbitrary designs.3159

And indeed that church has not been wanting in graritude for the good offices of this kind, which the doctrine of penances has done them,

for, in consideration of its services, they have raised it above the level of moral duties-and have at leogth complimented it into the number of their facraments, and made it a' ne cessary point to falvation.

By thefe, and other tenets, no less politic and inquifitional,-popery has found out the art of making men miserable in fpite of their senses, and the plenty with which God has bleffed them.

So that in many countries where popery reigns, ---but especially in that part of Italy where she has raised her throne

---though, by the happiness of. its foil and climate, it is capable of producing as great variety and abundance as any country upon earth 37

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yet fo successful have its fpiricual directors been in the management and retail of these blefings, that they have found means to sallay, if not entirely to defeat them all, by one pretence or other. Some bitterness is officioully squeezed into : every man's


for his soul's health, till at length, the whole intention of nature and providence is destroyed -It is not surprising, that where such unnatural severities are practised and heightened by other hardships, -the most fruitful land thould, bel barren, and wear a face of poverty and desolation ; -- or that many thousa Sänds, as have been observed, should fly from the rigours of such a goals


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