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This, says the apostle John, is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. If ye love me, says our Lord, keep my commandments. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you; and this is my commandment, that ye love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have lovt one for another.
Remember that true christian charity is humble, modest, and diffident; and that he is pronounced to be happy, who feareth always, so as to be circumspect in thought, word, and deed; and that, for this purpose, we are to put on the whole armour of God, that we may withstand the temptations of the world.
Rather than indulge a pharisaical pride, in recounting your experiences, boasting how vile you have once been, or thought yourselves to be, in order to make others believe how holy and sanctified you are now, content yourselves with the language and practice of the humble publican, who, speaking to God and his own heart only, cried, God be merciful to me a sinner.
Rejoice in all the real good you see done by others, whatever may be their ill-will, or Opposition to you; and be especially upon your guard, lest your just aversion to what is corrupt in the principles or practices of others lead you to dislike what is good in them. Let not the pharisaical rigour of some throw you into the opposite extreme <?s levity; and let not their laying an undue stress - E upon upon praying, preaching, and other means of religion, make you neglect them, as we are too apt to do with respect to any thing that has been much abused.
Having enough to do with our own hearts, let us be particularly upon our guard against that spirit of censoriousness, which many prosessing christians indulge with too little restraint. Let us remember that the true christian bearetb all things, and hopeth all things; and let us never forget the awsul warning of our Lord, Judge not that ye be not judged: for with what judgment ye judge, ye Jhall be judged; and with what measure ye mete, it shalt be measured to you again.
Be not moved, my brethren, by the rash censures and reproaches of others. Persecution, of some kind, is what all who live godlily in Christ Jesus must expetf to suffer in this world. To their wrath, anger, clamour, eviLspeaking, and malice, answerwith the wisdom that is from above; which is pure, peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated; full of mercy, and good fruits, without partiality, and witb~ out hypocrisy. Let us even rejoice that we are counted worthy to suffer shame, and insult, for the sake of Christ, though our sufferings come not from the prosessed enemies of Christ, but from false brethren; and let us not be concerned at beinocounted deceivers, if we be conscious to ourselves that we truly love the gospel, and that we labour to promote and adoin it.
You will be called arminians and ficinians by your adversaries, or something else that shall express more of their hatred and dislike. But let not this offend you. If there be any proper meaning in those epithets, it can only be that you hold certain opinions which they deem to be false, but which you cherish as the only genuine doctrines of the gospel. If nothing more is meant by those terms, besides mere reproach and abuse, think yourselves happy, as being reproached for the name of Christ. I Peter iv. 14. With many the appellation of Lutheran or Calvinisl is reproachful, and with many also that of Christian is much more so. Besides, both Arminius and Socinus were men who loved the gospel, and who suffered more for their adherence to it, than most others of the reformers, especially Socinus.
If we be christians indeed, we shall consider ourselves as not of this world, but as citizens of heaven. The friend/hip of this world, therefore, together with popularity, and success in it, ought not to be considered as any object for us. If we abide in Christ, and walk even as he also walked, not being conformed to this world, but being transformed by the renewing of our minds, we are heirs of a far nobler inheritance, an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for us; and when Christ, who is our life, and for whom we suffer reproach, shall appear, we alfa shall appear with him in glory,
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I shall conclude this address with a word of advice and exhortation to all Unitarians, whether they be members of the established church, or of any society of dissenters in this country.
Of such great importance is the doctrine of the divine unity, that nothing will more fully justify a separation from any christian church that does not openly prosess it, and much more from those that avow the contrary doctrine, directing prayers, and paying supreme worship, to any other than the God end Father of our Lord Jesus Chrisi.
It was for the preservation of this great and fundamental doctrine, that Abraham, and his family by Isaac and Jacob, were separated from the rest of the world, and made a distinct people, as it were, to be the depositaries of the true religion, which consists principally in the sole worship of the one true and living God, the maker and preserver of all things. The fame important doctrine was uniformly taught by Christ and the apostles; though christians in after-times, like the Israelites after the time of Joshua, relapsed into that idolatry which has generally prevailed to this day.
If it was a sufficient justisication of the first reformers, that they considered the church from which they separated as worshiping saints and angels; will it not justify your separation from their partial reformations, that you consider them as praying to and worshiping one whom you con
der as a man like yourselves, though honoured and distinguished by. God above all other men?
To join habitually in public worship with trinitarians, is countenancing that worship, which you must consider as idolatrous; and which, however innocent in them, is highly criminal in you. If they think it a point of conscience not to go to mass in popish countries, because, in their opinion, it is idolizing a piece of bread, you ought to make a point of conscience of not worshiping with them, because, in your opinion, it is idolizing a man, who is as much a creature of God as a piece cf bread, and just as improper an object of worship.
Besides, the great offence to jews, mahometans, and the world at large, being the doctrine os the trinity, it is highly necessary that societies of christians should be formed expressly on this principle of the divine unity, that it may be evident to all the world, that there are christians, and societies of christians, who hold the doctrine of the trinity in as much abhorrence as they themselves can do. For the conversion of jews or mahometans to christianity, while it is supposed to contain the doctrine the trinity, no person who knows, or has heard of jews or mahometans, can ever expect.
You will fay we unitarians are but sew, even in
large towns, and still sewer in villages, and there
are no men of leisure or learning among us. But
was not this the case with the primitive christians,
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