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aim at in reading him, or any other author; and till we, from his words, paint his very ideas and thoughts in our minds, we do not understand him.
In a writer like St Paul, it is not so easy always to find precisely where one subject ends, and another begins. He is full of the matter he treats, and writes with warmth ; which usually neglects method, and those partitions and pauses, which men educated in the schools of rhetoricians usually observe. Those arts of writing St Paul, as well out of design as temper, wholly laid by; the subject he had in hand and the grounds upon which it stood firm, and by which he enforced it, were what alone he minded; and, without solemnly winding up one argument, and intimating any way that he began another, let his thoughts, which were fully possessed of the matter, run in one continued train, wherein the parts of his discourse were woven one into another. So that it is seldom that the scheme of his discourse makes any gap; and therefore, without breaking in upon the connexion of his language, it is hardly possible to separate his discourse, and give a distinct view of his several arguments in distinct sections.
I am far from pretending infallibility, in the sense which I have anywhere given to his words; that would be to erect myself into an Apostle, a presumption of the highest nature in any one, that cannot confirm what he says by miracles.
my own information, sought the true meaning, as far as my poor abilities would reach; and I have unbiassedly embraced what, upon a fair inquiry, appeared so to me. This I thought my duty and interest, in a matter of so great
concernment to me. If I must believe for myself, it is unavoidable that I must understand for myself; for if I blindly, and with an implicit faith, take the Pope's interpretation of the sacred Scripture, without examining whether it be Christ's meaning, it is the Pope I believe in, and not in Christ; it is his authority I rest upon; it is what he says I embrace; for what it is Christ says, I neither know, nor concern myself.
It is the same thing when I set up any other man in Christ's place, and make him the authentic interpreter of sacred Scripture to myself. He may possibly understand the sacred Scripture as right as any man, but I shall do well to examine myself, whether that which I do not know, nay which in the way I take) I can never know, can justify me in making myself his disciple, instead of Jesus Christ's, who of right is alone, and ought to be my only, Lord and Master; and it will be no less sacrilege in me to substitute to myself any other in his room, to be a prophet to me, than to be my king, or priest.
We are all men liable to errors, and infected with them; but have this sure way to preserve ourselves, every one, from danger by them, if, laying aside sloth, carelessness, prejudice, party, and a reverence of men, we betake ourselves in earnest to the study of the way to salvation, in those holy writings wherein God has revealed it from Heaven, and proposed it to the world; seeking our religion where we are sure it is in truth to be found, comparing spiritual things with spiritual things.
PIETY AT HOME.
BY CALEB STETSON.
PRINTED FOR THE
AMERICAN UNITARIAN ASSOCIATION.
RBPRINTED FROM THE AMERICAN EDITION.
PRINTED FOR JOHN MARDON,
PIETY AT HOME.
St. Paul, in his epistle to Timothy, charges him to exhort the younger members of families, 'to learn to show piety at home,' as their first duty. He seems to have used the word piety in a restricted sense-nearly as it was employed by ancient classical writers—to denote the duties of children to their parents. We are at liberty however so to enlarge its signification, as to comprehend, under ' piety at home,' all the duties which grow out of our various domestic relations. How highly the Apostle valued this kind of piety, may be inferred from the strong terms in which he recommended it. If any man,' said he, provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel ;' and with good reason; for the want of practical goodness in the most intimate conections of life, is of all wants the most disastrous to human happi
I fear it is the tendency of this age, to underrate that kind of piety, which consists in doing right in a natural and quiet way. There is an inordinate appetite for strong sensations and startling effects; and they who are much engaged in what is technically called 'the religious action of the period,' are apt to regard patient con