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by considering my unconditional promise of conformity in a stronger point of view, than I had before beheld it.
But, besides the force of this obligation, the remedy was in itself insufficient, because the trinitarian expressions and forms of worship, and express prayer to Jesus Christ, occur so frequently, -and are so blended and united throughout the service, that there is no satisfactory relief to be had by partial omissions, without breaking in upon, and interrupting, the regularity and order of the prayers, and consequently dispersing, or confounding, the pious affections of many serious and devout persons. Therefore, after something more than two years, I resumed the accustomed conformity to the ordinary parts of the public service.
From that time to the present I have continued to prosecute my inquiry, and have assiduoufly attended, in hopes of some satisfaction, to the many desences of the doctrine of the trinity. The result has, however, been my entire conviction of the divine unity in its utmost extent, and an increased sense of the importance of these great truths, that God Is One, and HE Only to be worshipped.
Under the accumulated influence of this fixed opinion, entertained after successive examinations, under many doubts, and much anxiety of mind, my continuing to minister under a form of religious worship consessedly trinitarian, or tritheistic, became more serioufly grievous. Tne earnest desire to
worship 'worship the one God, and Father of all, in the simplicity of the gospel revelation, gained additional strength and power over my mind; and my continuance in a practice so repugnant lo my convictions, was every day more and more intolerable.
It has been suggested, on similar occasions, that to engage an assistant, whose opinions would lead him to a conscientious conformity to the services of the church, would remove all personal difficulty. This expedient was also no less insufficient to my relief than the former ones; for I should then have been neglectsul of my duty in the place appointed me; and indirectly assenting, by the employment of another, to that which I did still disbelieve. And I must then have absented myself from all public worship of almighty God, or have entirely forsaken the people of whom I had taken the charge. And this I should have done, for no better reason than because I wished to enjoy the emoluments of my preserment, while I scrupled to discharge the duties annexed to my situation; and should have set an example of the most disingenuous dealing, and of a neglect of the ordinances of God.
Thus, alter the most deliberate consideration of all argument?, and aster passing several painsul years in much solicitude and apprehension of incurring the displeasure of almighty God, I had but one choice to make, if ever I hoped for his approbation. I, therefore, in obedience to the sullest convictions of my mind, have resigned my ministry and- preserments in the church of England.
I should be much concerned, if any good man should so interpret this secession of mine from the worship of the church established, as if I thereby, in the most remote degree, took upon me to blame, or condemn, those who may continue their ministrations in it, even though their opinions on certain doctrines may nearly approach, to my own.
I am sensible, from what has passed within myself, how differently similan convictions operate in different .states of the mind, and how very long a man may be prevailed upon to go on doing things in which he blames himself, from regards to a family, or to more distant kindred, and to various other local circumstances, which cannot easily be explained to others; and the still greater difficulty, at a certain time of lise, of sinding bread for a family any where else.
I am thankful now, and I trust I mall always be so, whatever be the event as to this world, that I have been brought out of a situation, in which I went on, from day to day, condemning myself, and that it has pleased divine providence to lead me to a station, where I may still bear my testimony to the truth and holiness of the gospel, and have the satisfaction of being united to a congregation of christians, assembling at the chapel of Essex-Street, London -y where prayer is avowedly mr.de to the oiily true God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; and where^I dull still have more cause to be thankful, if my> B labours iabours may be so far successful, that I may be an instrument of promoting his sole worship, and at the fame time, serve the great end of the gospel, in encouraging and exciting myself and others to piety and all virtue.
I have been led to fay thus much concerning myself, in order to state the motives and reasons of my sinally quitting or departing from, the established church; and to convince others, that such my withdrawing from it, is not the consequence of an hasty and undigested thought, but of much careful examination and serious reflection, and of an earnest desire to worship God, according to what I am now fully persuaded is agreeable to his own directions in the scriptures. The difficulties and embarrassments of my mind have, for a long time, been well known to several of my more intimate and much esteemed friends. Nor have there been wanting some, who, while they selt for all my uneasiness, affectionately sympathized also with me in respect of the many particular circumstances which attended my situation, but which it is not necessary here to relate.
It may probably hence arise, that I may expose myself to sonle misconstruction and evil report, as even persons the most unprejudiced in these matters, from the nature of the case, are unable to judge quite right, or decide for others. Nevertheless, I can sasely say, that I take with me the most entire approbation of my own mind. And it is impossible to to regulate our conduct, as to satisfy the discordant cordant and contradictory opinions of mankind. I have complied with the established forms of religious worship sull as long as I could excuse myself therein; so that my continuance in the church unto this time, and my present separation from it, should equally bespeak a patient hearing, and candid judgment, from the firmest friend to the established doctrines. Whatever names of reproach may be given on the present, or on similar occasions, I am well satisfied that there is no guilty herejy, nothing wrong, in following the convictions of my own mind, aster a sull examination; and, moreover, that there would have been great hypocrisy in continuing any longer to conform to a mode of worship quite contrary to my convictions.
It has ever been my defire and practice, in the course of my ministry, to explain the great truths of Christianity, and thence to enforce and press upon my hearers the moral duties of the gospel, and the indispensible necessity of a virtuous and holy lise; to remind them, that to live soberly, righteously, and piously, in this present world, to sear God and keep his commandments, to love our neighbour, and assist him by all kind offices, are among the things first needsul, and of the greatest importance.
I make no doubt, but the time will come, when the forms of worship in the liturgy of the church of England will be corrected, and reduced nearer to the standard of scripture. But, alas! this will not be the work of my day. This generation will probably