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Word Enthusiasm, according to its true Etymology.


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They who were fuppofed to be in this State were called by the Antients Everasa, EVDEO, εONT701, or Numine afflati - Men animated in an extraordinary Manner with the Spirit of God, or apprehended, feized, or infpired of God. And this Meaning of the Word is allowed and ufed by Dr. H. More, in his Treatise on Enthufiafm, where he fpeaks of verum, pium, probatumque Enthufiafmum fanctarum, fincerarumque animarum, or the pious, true and approved Enthu→ fiasm of fincere and holy Souls; doubtless meaning among thefe fuch as he describes in the Vifion of the Rider of the White Horfe, Men rooted and grounded in the Love of God, and flaming with a Holy Zeal for Chrift, and therefore fit Inftruments to reform the World. I cannot help quoting the Paffage (tho' with fome little Abbrevia tion) as it seems to be delivered in the Ardour of a prophetic Spirit: " The sharp"edged Sword which is here faid to come "out of the Mouth of Chrift, is in Effect "the very fame that comes out of the "Mouths of his Saints, who rule the "World, by convincing them of their d 3

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"Wickedness and caufing them to return to "God. This fharp, piercing and vehe"ment Reproof out of the Mouths of the

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People of God against the Beast and "the falfe Prophet is here faid to be a "Sword coming out of the Mouth of Christ, "because their Mouths are his Mouth, and "He infpires them by his Spirit to transmit "that Blaft of Fire and flaming Breath


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(as it is called in Efdras) whereby the "Wicked are confumed. This Flame "and this Sword I take to be clear Truth "and found searching Reafon infpired from "the Eternal Word, which whetted with a holy, fincere, and unaffected kind of "Enthufiaftic Zeal, and backed with an unexceptionable Life and Conversation, " will be like a sharp-edged Sword with the Weight of running Quick-filver in the "Back of it, whofe Stroke will fall with "fuch a Sway that it will even chine the Enemy at one Blow, will divide asunder "Soul and Spirit, and pierce through the Joints and Marrow." Let thus much fuffice to diftinguish between true and falfe Enthufiafm, and to rescue the Word from that popular Odium and Abuse of Language with which the Pretence or Delufion


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of fome feigned or fanciful Illuminati have disgraced it.

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But however exalted the foregoing Character given by the Doctor may seem, and really is, yet inasmuch as it generally comes under the Denomination of mixt Enthusiasm, it is not exempt from Infirmity and Error: But if we refolve to admit of no Reformers but fuch as are perfect Saints, and free from every Degree of Hallucination and Misconduct, we are not likely to fee any Amendment wrought in the World. That Difference which appears among the Fathers of the Church in their Judgment concerning fome Points of Religion; their Disputes one against another * ; their Retractations, and fome Particulars in their Conduct, if brought to the Teft of a fevere Examination, may all ferve to exemplify the Truth of the Apoftle's Words, that every Priest taken from among Men is compaffed about with Infirmity. Yet what fhall we fay of a Boyle or a Middleton, who could overlook the eminent Gifts and Graees of thefe holy Men, to pick out their Blemishes of human Infirmity, in order to

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*As betwixt Chryfoftom and Epiphanius, Jerom and RuCyril and Theodoret, &c.

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difcrédit their Teftimony and all that was divine in their Characters. There is not perhaps any thing more oppofite to the Ge nius of true Christianity than that Closeness and Bigotry of Spirit which hinders us from seeing and loving the Beauty of Holiness in the Character of any Perfon, only because he thinks not or walks not with us; as if the all-bountiful God measured out his Grace and Goodness according to the scanty Pattern of the national, notional Orthodoxy of Men: And therefore what a little Heart must a late Writer have had when he went about to depreciate the exalted Virtues of the Marquis De Renti, on account of his beingo of the Romish Communion! Could he fee nothing worthy of his own Imitation in that excellent Nobleman, that Mirrour of Chrif tian Piety Could he fix his Eye upon no thing in fo glorious a Character but his Reverence for a monitory Crucifix, that Excefs of Honour he paid the Saints, and some other Particularities of his Church which we commend not? Let it be told him, what he might have seen, if his Eyes had not blinded by Prejudice: He might have seen in him a young Gentleman of Quality and Fortune renouncing the Pomps and Vani

ties of the World for the Love of God:: He might have feen in him an Initance of profound Humility in high Life walking in the Steps of his Bleffed Mafter, and after his Example going about doing good both to the Bodies and Souls of Men: And he might have beheld in him the manifest Tokens of a devout Heart and heavenly Affections, and a moft illuftrious Exemplification of divine Faith, Hope, and Charity. All this he might have feen in the Marquis De Renti, if it had not better fuited a mocking Humour to ridicule his Mortification and Self-denial together with fome Mixture of Weakness in a Life confecrated to God. How much more ingenuous, of how catholick a Spirit was that honeft Quaker, who was fo charmed with this Pattern of Christian Excellency (tho' I believe as much averse to Superstition as this Author) that he thought an Epitome of fuch a Character an Embellishment to his Book *.

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was (fays he) a Man of an enlightened "Mind; and of a Soul mortified to the "World, and quickened to fome Taste of

a fupernatural Life: Let his Youth, let "his Quality adorned with so much Zeal

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