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CHAPTER IV

and even obscene insinuations; the avowed provocatives to unsanctified passions; and, at best, the vulgar and foolish subjects with which the Drama, especially the Comic, abounds, render it unworthy the approbation of a well-informed, and especially of a pious mind, and wholly improper to be honoured with the presence and countenance of a real Christian. He whose heart is renewed, who loves a holy God, and trembles at his word, who is devoted to the Saviour that died to redeem him from a world which lieth in wickedness, and who prays daily to be kept from temptation, will not go to the playhouse. Unconverted men, even those who have the form of godliness but are destitute of its power, may think it strange that the Lord's people do not run with them to the same excess of dissipation and amusements. But, if it should ever please God to bring those men to a correct knowledge of their own vile and deceitful hearts, and make them anxious to be saved from their sins, through a crucified Redeemer, they will readily know and acknowledge that a playhouse is inimical to their devotion, and fatal to their peace. They will cordially unite with all sincere penitents in disapproving the Theatre; and, without being swayed or overawed by the interested or deluded sons of pleasure, will pronounce the playhouse to be the most pernicious institution that exists in civilized

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CHAPTER IV

and polished society. They will condemn it as the greatest enemy to the religion of the Holy Jesus, and wonder that it is suffered to prevail, or meets with patrons, in nations who are called after the name of Christ."

"My early aversion to the Theatre has increased and been corroborated by painful observation. I have known several hopeful youths of respectable connections, who might have been an honour to their families, and a blessing to the community, to be totally ruined by their early attachment to the playhouse. Their corruption commenced with their attendance at the Theatre. There they formed an acquaintance with low and unworthy characters; there, under its baneful influence, they grew indolent and dissipated, impatient of study and close application to any business; and, in the issue, they became some of them insipid and useless drones and coxcombs, many of them final victims to intemperance, and all of them a grief to their parents."

The truth of this testimony to the pernicious effects of theatrical exhibitions, will not be called in question by any who were acquainted personally with the witness, or know the pure and elevated character he sustained; and it is earnestly desired that it may prove the means of turning the






        
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