To allure them to be become religious

One error into which even some good people are apt to fall, is that endeavouring to deceive young minds by temporising expedients. In order to allure them to be become religious, they exhibit false, or fait, or inadequate views of Christianity; and while they represent it as it really is, as a life of superior happiness and advantage, they conceal its difficulties, and like the Jesuitical Chinese missionaries, extenuate, or sink, or deny, such parts of it as are least alluring to human pride. In attempting to disguise its principles, they destroy its efficacy. They deny the cross instead of making it the badge of a Christian.

~ Hannah More

 

Do not take up with a vague, general, and undefined religion

Above all things then you should beware that your pupils do not take up with a vague, general, and undefined religion, but look to it that their Christianity be really the religion of Christ. Instead of slurring over the doctrines of the Cross, as disreputable appendages to our religion, which are to be disguised or got over as well as we can, but which are never to be dwelt upon, taken care to make these your grand fundamental articles. Do not dilute or explain away these doctrines, and by some elegant periphrasis hint at a Saviour, instead of making him the foundation-stone of your system. Do not convey primary, and plain, and awful, and indispensable truths elliptically, I mean as something that is to be understood without being expressed; nor study fashionable circumlocutions to avoid names and things on which our salvation hangs in order to prevent your discourse from being offensive.

~ Hannah More

Turning our liberty into licentiousness

There is so little of the Author of Christianity left in his own religion, that an apprehensive believer is ready to exclaim, with the woman at the sepulchre, ‘They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him.’ The locality of Hell and the existence of an Evil Spirit are annihilated, or considered as abstract ideas. When they are alluded to, it is periphrastically; or they are discontinued not on the ground of their being awful and terrible, but they are set aside as topics too vulgar for the polished, too liberal for the learned, and as savouring too much of credulity for the enlightened.

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Piety maintains no natural war with elegance

Piety maintains no natural war with elegance, and Christianity would be no gainer by making her disciples unamiable. Religion does not forbid that the exterior be made to a certain degree the object of attention. But the admiration bestowed, the sums expended, and the time lavished on arts, which add little to the intrinsic value of life, should have limitations. While these arts should be admired, let them not be admired above their just value: while they are practised, let it not be to the exclusion of higher employments: while they are cultivated, let it be to amuse leisure, not to engross life.

~ Hannah More