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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Clerical Epithets in the Eighteenth Century

By Charles Chauncy (1705–1787)

[From Seasonable Thoughts on the State of Religion in New-England. 1743.]

A SURPRISING instance of this, we have in Mr. Tennent, notwithstanding his character by Mr. Whitefield, as a mighty charitable man. Perhaps there cannot be produced, out of any author, a greater number of more slanderous names than he has freely bestowed upon the body of the clergy of this generation. I shall here present the reader with a list of them, as they have been collected out of his sermon at Nottingham, and published by the Synod at Philadelphia. They are therein represented as hirelings; caterpillars; letter-learned-Pharisees; men that have the craft of foxes, and the cruelty of wolves; plastered hypocrites; varlets; the seed of the serpent; foolish builders, whom the devil drives into the ministry; dry nurses; dead dogs that cannot bark; blind men; dead men; men possessed with the devil; rebels and enemies to God; guides that are stone-blind, and stone-dead; children of Satan, that, like their father, may do good to men’s souls by chance-medley; daubers with untempered mortar; moral negroes; salt without savor; that stink in the nostrils of God and man; Judases, whose chief desire is to finger the penny, and to carry the bag; murderous hypocrites, that are to take care less they feel the force of a halter in this world, or an aggravated damnation in the next; subtle selfish hypocrites, that would not let one honest man come into the ministry if they could help it; swarms of locusts; crowds of Pharisees, that have as coveteously, as cruelly, crept into the ministry, in this adulterous generation, who as nearly resemble the character given of the old Pharisees, as one crow’s egg does another, whose hearers are as blind as moles, and dead as stones; successors of Nicodemus; blind leaders of the blind; formalists; dead drones; sons of Sceva, with a fine long string of prayers; false apostles; deceitful workers, ministers of Satan, etc.