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well as the injustice, of fuch proceeding might have ftared them in the face. · These circumstances, humiliating to man, as a reasonable creature, have been brought forward to convince the reader, that separation from the church as generally leads to further disunion among the feparatists themselves, as it certainly does to the breach of that charity, by which the Christian reli-' gion, when professed in purity, binds all men together.

But, for the confideration of bigots of every defcription, 'whether in the church, or out of it, (for the principle upon which they act is equally to be condemned) be it observed, that the honour of God can never be promoted at the experice of Christian charity; and he that maketh the glory of God the end, must take the word of God for the rule, of his actions. We are told, indeed, that“ it is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing;” and we readily subfcribe to the do&rinę. : We are, moreover, exhorted by the Apostle to contend earnestly for the faith;" and God forbid, that Christians should at any time be otherwise disposed. But whilft we guard against that general indifference in religious matters, which constitutes one of the striking charac'teristics of the age; we must at the same time re.

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member, that Christian zeal, under the direction of that wisdom which descendeth from above, will be

pure and peaceable, full of mercy, and of good fruits;" in contradistinction to that, furious and destructive quality, which has at different periods ufurped its facred name, but which bears the unequivocal mark of its disgraceful origin; it being “ earthly, sensual, devilish.”

In a word, the zeal of the Christian must not be of a kind with that which the Disciples felt, when they would have called down fire from heaven to destroy the city that was indisposed to receive them; but muft resemble, as far as may be, the holy and affectionate zeal of that blessed person, who came into the world, not to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And that man knows nothing of the Christian religion, who does not know it to be what it has been here represented; and where what is called by that facred name, is unaccompanied with the fruits above specified, depend upon it, fome poisonous doctrine has been mixed up with it, destructive of its falutary effect; or the profeffor, how zealous foever he may be, has substituted the creature of his own imagination, for the truth as it is in CHRIST JESUS.


“ It were well, (fays an old writer*) if, instead of wild enthusiasm, we would come to learn the sobriety of religion. In which let us heighten our żeal and Divine enthusiasm, to adhere strictly to the revealed will of scripture; to have a flaming charity for the good of the body, and the unity of the church; that our enthusiasm may tend to heal, and 'not to divide; to advance the glory of God, and to humble ourselves in our own conceits;, that we may be willing cheerfully to submit ourselves to our fuiperiors both in church and state; and not be so apt to judge others, as to censure ourselves: and then, though we had different opinions, yet we should have no schism. We should live together, as members of the fame body; that though one were more honourable or useful than another, yet there would be no strife, no emulation, but which should exceed most in mutual good offices, and care for the whole. Such a heaven we should see, if we had no schism."

But the evils resulting from schism are not confined to men in their private character of Christians, but affect them also in their public one, as members of a civilized state.


Schism and rebellion have, in all ages of the world, been intimately connected with each other. The fame disposition of mind that leads individuals to make their own church, if uncontroled, leads them also to imagine themselves qualified to form their own government. Hence it is, that fchifmatics have been at all times, more or less, what they were in St. Jude's days, murmurers and complainers. By fuch men this kingdom has once been brought to deso-lation. The ministers of the church were driven from their pulpits by them; that the godly preachers, as they were then called, might step into their places. And the fruit of their doctrine, when ripened to perfection, was this: a most pious prince was murdered, because he would not join with them in pulling down that church, which he had sworn to support; and the constitution of this country was destroyed, because it was not built upon a plan of their own forming.

The same leaven of wickedness, which produced those scenes of misery and confusion in the last century, is, it is to be feared, now working in this kingdom; and it will be no breach of charity to say, that the doctrines, which are at times delivered by some of those irregular preachers, with which, unhappily for us, this country so much abounds, tend in a great degree to spread the mischief. In contempt of former experience, and in defiance of an existing example, the most wretched in its kind that the world ever produced, of the effects attendant upon a general diffolution of order in fociety; there are not wanting men, who, 'either from vanity or design, are desirous of making hazardous experiments, under the plausible idea of improving a science, upon which few heads are competent to form a judgment; and to the consequences of a mistaken theory, upon which the very existence of a state may eventually fall a facrifice.

Reformation, it shall be readily granted, is at all times a desirable thing, when the honesty as well as judgment of the reforming party are fully to be depended on. But there is a further and very important consideration belonging to this subject, which is seldom taken into account; and against which neither honesty nor judgment are a sufficient security. In politics, the most important events are ofttimes unforeseen, and derived from causes with which they have no immediate or apparent connection. Circum. stances in proof of this position are to be met with in the history of every country. A plan set on foot by wise and honest men may be so distorted in its work

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