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always rapid, never so moral as to be dry and insipid, never so evangelical and savoury as to spiritualize the scriptures, till the fat of a kidney is as good a body of divinity as the whole sermon of Jesus Christ on the mount. Different as my ideas of some subjects are from those of Mr. Saurin, yet I wish we had a Saurin in every parish; yea so intirely would I go into the doctrine of the apostle's allegory just now mentioned, that I would encourage even a builder of wood, hay and stubble, suppose he erected his absurdities on the foundation laid in scripture, to destroy the works of the devil in
any place where those works are practised. In a village made up of a stupid thing called a squire, a mercenary priest, a set of intoxicated farmers, and a train of idle, profligate and miserable poor, and where the barbarous rhymes in their church yard inform us that they are all either gone or going to heaven, (and we have too many such parishes in remote parts of the kingdom) would it not be infinitely better for society if an honest enthusiast could convert these people to piety and morality, though it were effected by spiritualizing all the flanks and kidnies, and bullocks and red cows mentioned in scripture ? Any thing of religion is better than debauchery and blasphemy.
Such a set of converts would grow in time up to majority, and when of age would look back on their first religious nourishment as men do on the amusements of their childhood ; and among other reformations would cleanse public instruction from Jewish allegory, pagan philosophy, and the gaud y tinsel of the schools. From a state of gross ignorance and vice up to a state of the highest perfection of christian knowledge and virtue, lie infinite degrees of improvement, one above another in a scale of excellence up to the first born of every creature, the perfect teacher sent from God. In this scale our author occupies a high place in my eye, and if the reader chooses to place him a few degrees lower, I shall not contend about that ; for on my principles if he contribute in any, even in the least degree to the cause of truth and virtue, he is a foreigner worth our acquaintance, and the gallic in his appearance will not disgust a friend to the best interests of mankind. I say nothing of the translation ; it does not become me. Let those who are able do better. Envy of this kind I have
M E MOIRS
OF THE LIFE OF THE
Rev. JOHN CLAUDE,
MINISTER OF THE FRENCH REFORMED CHURCH
AT CHARENTON ;
Prefixed to the first Volume of a Translation of
CLAUDE'S ESSAY ON THE COMPOSITION OF A
SERMON, WITH NOTES.
[FIRST PRINTED, 1782.]