Friday, January 20 1758

Gave Mr Jeremiah French the note of hand he gave me the 2nd instant, value £12, which he paid to my wife the 18th instant. We dined on a hot beef pie and a baked rice pudding. My brother came over this afternoon, but did not stay. A very sharp day; a considerable quantity of snow fell today.

In the day read part of The Universal Magazine for December, and in the evening read a pamphlet entitled “Primitive Christianity prepounded or an Essay To revive the Antient Mode or manner of Preaching the Gospel“. This is a pamphlet which I imagine to be written by a Baptist preacher in favour of preaching without notes. I must in my own private opinion say that I can see no harm consequent on our method of reading, as the author is pleased to call it. But I must acknowledge the idle lazy way of preaching, which many of our clergy are got into, seeming rather to make self-interest the motive for the exercising their profession than the eternal happiness and salvation of men’s souls. To which if we add the intolerable degree of pride and covetousness predominant in too many of our clergy, we need not wonder at our degeneracy from the strict piety with which our fore-fathers worshipped God in the first ages of Christianity. I would not by this digression be thought to derogate from the Established Church of England. No! but only I think the precept and practice in most (that is, in too many of us) are opposite to each other.

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