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I computed the number of our people, by reckoning how many millions there might be of each religious sect, or political party among us.
Their reputation, as holders of mystic and pernicious principles, having spread before them, the Puritans early endeavored to banish, and to prevent the further intrusion of the rising sect.
The poet, that beautified the sect, that was otherwise inferior to the rest, saith yet excellently well: It is a pleasure, to stand upon the shore, and to see ships tossed upon the sea; a pleasure, to stand in the window of a castle, and to see a battle, and the adventures thereof below: but no pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage ground of truth
This little body of the faithful was called the Little Church; and those within its fold, like the Jansenists, led the strictly ordered lives that appear to be a first necessity of existence in all proscribed and persecuted sects.
Brayne's crazy millions had hitherto been scattered among so many sects that they did little to alter the balance of things.
We pass in the world for sects and schools, for erudition and piety, and we are all the time jejune babes.
But one fact was indubitable--she was in amicable relations with the highest dignitaries of all the churches and sects.
Stiggins did not desire his hearers to be upon their guard against those false prophets and wretched mockers of religion, who, without sense to expound its first doctrines, or hearts to feel its first principles, are more dangerous members of society than the common criminal; imposing, as they necessarily do, upon the weakest and worst informed, casting scorn and contempt on what should be held most sacred, and bringing into partial disrepute large bodies of virtuous and well-conducted persons of many excellent sects and persuasions.
Then she might have come down to us in history, hand in hand with Ann Hutchinson, as the foundress of a religious sect.
But unlike Captain Peleg --who cared not a rush for what are called serious things, and indeed deemed those selfsame serious things the veriest of all trifles --Captain Bildad had not only been originally educated according to the strictest sect of Nantucket Quakerism, but all his subsequent ocean life, and the sight of many unclad, lovely island creatures, round the Horn --all that had not moved this native born Quaker one single jot, had not so much as altered one angle of his vest.
I could have given my own sect the preference and made everybody a Presby- terian without any trouble, but that would have been to affront a law of human nature: spiritual wants and instincts are as various in the human family as are physical appetites, complexions, and features, and a man is only at his best, morally, when he is equipped with the religious garment whose color and shape and size most nicely accommodate themselves to the spirit- ual complexion, angularities, and stature of the indi- vidual who wears it; and, besides, I was afraid of a united Church; it makes a mighty power, the mightiest conceivable, and then when it by and by gets into selfish hands, as it is always bound to do, it means death to human liberty and paralysis to human thought.
As a promising way of setting them right, half of the half-dozen had become members of a fantastic sect of Convulsionists, and were even then considering within themselves whether they should foam, rage, roar, and turn cataleptic on the spot--thereby setting up a highly intelligible finger-post to the Future, for Monseigneur's guidance.