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nruch witkin as without the pale of the Establishment , of which a considerable party in the Church , in the present day , affords abundant proof . But , thirdly , the austerity of the early Nonconformists was greatly increased by the treatment they received from those
who seemed to have little regard for religion , but as an instrument of state policy ; who certainly scrupled not to sanction impiety , profaneness and vice , that they might strengthen
their party among the profligate part of society , ( too naturally an object with ail establishments , ) that they might shew the extent of authority claimed by them in religious matters , and wound to the utmost the
consciences of those who " would obey God rather than man . " We must further make a reasonable allowance for the strictness and watchfulness of a rising and a persecuted sect , which had a tendency to extremes from the warmth of its laudable zeal , and had rather be over severe at the risk of any suffering ,
than purchase security by the smallest improper conformity to the world ; which was too serious from danger and affliction , and too constantly kept upon the watch in its religious business , to run any risk of being too much occupied in worldly pleasures and trifling enjoyments .
. Finally , it must not be forgotten , nor can those who are familiar with their biography , or have seen any thing of what even till lately remained of their genuine manners , be in any danger of forgetting , that , with all their strictness and austerity and abstinence from the amusements of the
world , there was among the old Nonconformists a vast deal of real cheerfulness and true enjoyment of life . They freely partook in the best pleasures of social intercourse which was at once refreshing and improving , and they well knew how to season their more serious discourse with
lively wit and attractive gaity . They enjoyed a peace in their own minds far better than any thing the world has to bestow ; and they have left a character to their descendants which , if
it be mellowed and softened by time , without losing its essential qualities , will most harmoniously and happily blend the austere with the amiable , the useful with the captivating virtues If * ISfonconfojptnity be a " crab ~ stock , "
let it be remembered , that its flowers are blooming and the fragrance is sweet . H . ( H . )
€ 64 Vindication of frisk Presbyterian Ministers .
Cork , Sir , Sept .- 21 , 1821 . TWO articles , the one in the Monthly Repository for August 1821 , the other in the Christian Rel former for the same month , added to suggestions of a similar nature in other numbers of those very valuable and justly respected works , call for some little explanation , if mot
animad-. In the former , ( pp . 473—475 , ) a writer signing himself J . M'Cready , advances a charge against what he is pleased to term , the regular Irish Presbyterian Clergy , of want of zeal , if not of absolute inattention to tlieir
flocks , because they do not introduce into their pulpits religious controversy , and , with rash vehemence , urge what may to him appear important gospel truths , but which appear to
them not sufficiently important to risk the breaking up of their congregations for the sake of propagating them . On this ground , as well as on the notion he entertains that Ireland is now ripe for an extensive reform on the
subject of religion , he calls loudly for the aid of English missionary preachers ; mentioning Cork , Bandon and Kinsale , as peculiarly proper fields of action . He insinuates likewise that Irish Presbyterian ministers have their lips sealed by the influence of the aid
received from government , called the Regium Donum , concerning which it should be known , that in Ireland it is not so much a gift , as a very inadequate substitute for advantages possessed and voluntarily given up ; that it has been continued uninterruptedly since
the reign of William III ., and that ministers can be deprived of it only upon the substantiated charge of immoral conduct . This writer will not , then , allow the ministers to whom he refers , to act with that prudence which circumstances and the mixed nature
of their congregations require , without incurring thereby , the charge ot coldness , if not of sloth . He does not
consider that a man may as well expect to beat down £ < marble walloy dashing hte head against it , as , bynmiring directly against them , to ovfcf-
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Nov. 2, 1821, page 664, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2506/page/32/