Thursday, January 17, 2013


Pretensions to Divine Approbation

Samuel Butler (1774–1839), Christian Liberty. A Sermon, Preached at St. Mary's, Before his Royal Highness the Duke of Gloucester, (Chancellor of the University) and the University of Cambridge, at the Installation, June 30, 1811 (Shrewsbury: W. Eddowes, 1811), p. 29:
Now when pretensions to the peculiar and exclusive approbation of God are thus set up by any sect, and when the common accidents of life are interpreted into deliverances for those who belong to that sect, and judgments against those who differ from it, we surely have a decisive proof before us, that the effects of superstition on mankind are in all ages nearly the same, and that whether the subject of it be a Catholic or a Calvinist, a Pharisee or a Puritan, its tendency is equally fatal to the best interests, and the highest duties, and the noblest pursuits, and the most generous feelings, and the most enlarged conceptions of the human mind.

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