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“Whatever renders religion more rational, renders it more credible ; and he who by a diligent and faithful examination of the original records, dismisses from the system one article which contradicts the apprehension, the experience, or the reasoning, of mankind, does more towards recommending the belief, and with the belief the influence of Christianity, to the understandings and onsciences of serious inquirers, and through them to universal reception and authority, than can be effected by a thousand contenders for creeds and ordinances of human establishment.





Page 21. line 21. For Adml. read Capt.

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CONVERSATION I. On the use, and excellence, of the KEY OF THE APOSTLE PAUL for opening the Holy SCRIPTURES.

Admiral. Good morning to you, my friend, I have called upon you early, wishing to have a little conversation with you, if convenient.

Captain. It is perfectly so. Your conversations with me have ever been kind and interesting ; and, I doubt not their being so on the present occasion. Let us, therefore, Admiral, without further preface, enter upon the subject which procures me the pleasure of this early visit.

Adml. The subject, my friend, is religion ; a subject of all others the most important. On this subject I claim no right to catechise you ; but, as a sincere friend, I would wish to ask you one plain question. How happens it that you, hitherto a regular churchman and, as far as appearances go, a truly pious Christian ? though you do not talk so much about religion as is now the fashion with some of our brother-officers ; How happens it, my friend, that you should have turned your back upon the church and all religion ? I should have supposed that you were turned a Methodist, or Puritan, but, as far as I can find, you have not worshipped God, in either church or chapel, for the last year, or more. I should be sorry to offend you, but, this intelligence grieves me much.

Capt. So far from being offended at your question, I regard it as an additional proof of that kind friendship with which you have for so many years honoured me; and which it would grieve me to the heart to lose. I will, therefore, endeavour to answer your question with the plainness and sincerity due to the subject, and also to yourself. I have, it is very true, as you are pleased to express it, turned my back on your church, but not on the divine religion of Jesus. The more I study this religion,—and it is my daily study—the more I am enamoured with it—the more I revere, venerate and love its divine Author. I am not given to boasting, or, as you observe, to much talking about religion ; but yet, I can with truth say to you, in the words of St. Paul, “ I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die for the name of the Lord JESUS.” My cause of absence from church is this. After many years of painful inquiry, with devout prayer to God to aid me in the search after divine truth, I find that some part of the worship offered up there, is not only unsanctioned by our Lord, but directly opposed to his example. This, if we would be his disciples, we ought to follow.

Printed by Thomas Thrush of Ilarrogate.

ildml. I doubt not, my friend, your zeal in a cause you believe to be a good one, nor your courage in defending it ; but, here, I am much inclined to suspect the correctness of your judgment. What you say much surprises me, and I beg of you to explain yourself—I have ever held the Liturgy of the Established Church in high veneration.

Capt. Many of the prayers of the Liturgy, as devotional compositions, command the admiration of pious Christians of all sects : but there are other parts of it highly revolting to the feelings of many good men-men who reud the Scriptures daily. I mean those parts where prayer is offered up to God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, to the Blessed Trinity, to the Lamb of God, und to the Son of David. Neither Jesus, nor his Apostles, ever prayed thus, or taught men so to pray. The command is as plain as it is imperative—“When ye pray, say OUR FATHER.” Durst


disobey so plain a command issued by the Lords of the Admiralty ? I know you durst not.

And yet, without any valid excuse- as I shall endeavour to shew-you worship, or pray to, other persons besides THE FATHER. In not adhering to the command of Jesus, Do you not dishonour Ilim ? And in dishonouring Him, Do you not dishonour HIM who sent Him? Do you not worship the person sent instead of the great GOD who sent Him ? In short, If yon are not guilty of idol-worship; Can you regard yourself as a true worshipper : True worshippers, says our Savionr, worship the FATHER in spirit, and in truth ; for the FATHER seeketh such to worship HIM.—That is one person, HIM,-not three persons.

Admi. What you say, regarding true worshippers, must be true, for you use the very words of Jesus : but He also says, I and my FATHER are one ; and again, That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. When men, therefore, pray unto Jesus, Is it not equivalent to praying to the Father ?

Capt. The difference is this. In one case, men obey the command of Jesus, in the other, they do that for which they have no scriptural precept, neglecting the sacred oracles of God, they cleave to the customs and traditions of uninspired men. Had Jesus said that He and the FATHER were one and the same God ; or, as men wise beyond what is written say, of the same essence, or substance, (which seems to mean the same thing, ) the orthodox mnight defend their worship of Jesus. But our Lord never said, nor meant, any such thing. The whole of the xviith. chapter of St. John's Gospel affords proof of this. If we read the whole chapter with care, we cannot fail to discover the meaning of our Lord's expression, I and my Father are one.--nay, we shall find (See v. 21 and 22.) that good men of the present day are, in the same sense, one with God. Besides, the whole of this chapter is one continued prayer; and to suppose that Jesus was God, is to suppose that he addressed this prayer to himself—a supposition so highly revolting to piety and sound sense that no good man, daring to use his reason, can, for a single moment, entertain it. As to the other text you have quoted, it does not at all answer your purpose, unless you can prove

that honour and worship mean the same thing ; viz, divine worship ; but in several passages this is not the case. St. Paul tells us, to honour the king ; nay, to honour all men ; but what Christian ever dreamt of offering divine worship to his fellow-mortals ? Ard, Cornelius met him,(Peter) fell down at his feet, and worshipped him. Acts x. 25. And, They that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God. Matt. xiv. 33. In both these instances, it is evident, nothing more is meant thanthat civil respect, or homage, which, as you well know, is now paid by Asiatics to persons of distinction. See also Matt. vii. 2. xvi. 26. &c. &c. Nebuchadnezzar is said to have worshipped Daniel. See Dan. ii. 46.

With regard to losing the good opinion of yourself and many friends whom I love and respect, this would, indeed, be a severe trial to me; but now, as in the Apostolic age, The friendship of the world is enmity with God. If I have hitherto placed too high a value upon this friendship, it behoves me to seek more earnestly the friendship of God during the few years he may see fit to continue me here—to patiently bear the censures, and scoffs of the world—10 surrender the friendship of my dearest friends, even your's, in order to prove myself a disciple of Jesus, whose virtues I truly admire, and ardently, yet humbly, desire to follow.

Adml. What you have just said surprises me still more. I thought I had seriously considered these matters ; but now, I begin to think that you also may have paid attention to the subject : permit me, therefore, for my own information, to propose to you some other questions. Is it not to be inferred, when Jesus commands baptism to be performed in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost ; and also when St Paul says, The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, &c. &c. that these three persons are eqnally God, and equally entitled to divine worship.

Capt. To say nothing of the presumption of departing from the plain command of our Lord, “When ye pray, say OUR FATHER," I would

What would be the consequence of thus applying these two texts ? It would irrefragably follow, ( each of these divine persons being God) that there are two Gods more than St. Paul held. In the celebrated passage 1, Cor. viii. 6. he says, “To us ( Christians) there is but one God the Father, of whom are all things, and we in Him ; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.” These words are thus paraphrased by Mr. Locke, “To us Christians there is but one God, the Father and Author of all things, to whom alone we address all our worship and service; and but one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom all things come from God to us, and by whom we have access to the Father.” These words of the Apostle, at the same time that they establish the Messiahship, or Lordship, of Jesus, exclude his supreme divinity. They contain two plainly-revealed truths.

1. The first truth is, that there is but one God, or object of supreme worship, and that is (not a Triune God, but) THE FATHER. To us there is but one God, the Father. Consequently, we ought to worship HIM only.

2. The second truth, which is in perfect harmony with the first, tells us that to us there is but one Lord, or Master. For the application of these two

ask you,

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