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and therefore dreads giving the least countenance to any system or mode of worship which in his own judgment he condemns. He sears God, and sears nothing else; and, provided his own heart does not condemn him, he cares not what men may fey of him, or do - unto him.
But perhaps it will be pleaded by some, that they do not repeat what they disapprove. Upon the same principle you may join in the religious services of any body of men upon earth. You may join in the worship of the church of Rome, in the worship of a mahometan or of a heathen assembly, and thus pass for a good catholic in France, a saithsul mujjulman in Turkey, and an honest pagan in Africa. And think one moment, whether that principle can be good, righteous, and eligible, which will admit you as well to be members of any superstitious and idolatrous church in the world, as of the church of England itself?
Suppose that a set of unenlightened heathens, zealous for the religion of their ancestors, should erect a temple in your neighbourhood, and consecrate it to the service of the gods of antiquity; should you think yourselves excusable in shunning christian assemblies, and bending your knee before the altar of Jupiter, of Venus, or of Bacchus ?—Should you think it sufficient to justisy your conduct, that you adopted no expression inconsistent with your real sentiments? Most certainly not. You would be shocked at the idea of such a conduct, You would think yourselves under
'an an indi'spensible obligation to confine yourselves to that worship which is more agreeable to your christian principles, to that temple in which your seelings would not be wounded, nor your devotions disturbed, by the addresses of your sellow-worshippers to the deities of their imaginations. But, for the very same reason, it behoves you to forsake the communion of the church of England, and join in the religious services of a society whose principles are more agreeable to your own: unless you think that the circumstance of its being established by the civil magistrate, creates a distinction, unless you think that the civilmagistrate can change the very nature of right and wrong, and make that consistent with integrity, which' would otherwise be insincere and hypocritical.
Your attendance at the trinitarian place os worship, will lead others to imagine that you-are trinitarians. Let me put a parallel case. Suppose there are two music-meetings in the town where you live, in one of which there is never any song allowed, but what you are convinced is persectly consistent with religion and virtue-; while in the other there are> some prosane and indecent songs mingled with the good? Suppose your-sonvoluntarily chose to attend the latter, and there shewed no diflike to the prosaneness and immodesty of the songs, but seemed as much to join with these Es with-such as were innocent; would you not severely reprove and condemn him, and imagine that- he had too much love
for for obscenity and impiety? And suppose he should tell you at home, that when he was at the musicmeeting, and bore a part in the tunes, he either stopped when the indecent passages occurred, or else fung some other words; would you admit this as a sufficient excuse? Would you not insist upon it, that it was his duty, there, upon the spot, to publish his dislike, or rather to resolve to go thither no more? And would you not think that his choofng to avoid the innocent concert, and to frequent the vicious one, was a sign he was grown in love with profaneness and immorality? And would you not urge that his protesting against fact would not serve his turn? No. more wilier protesting against fact serve yours. Is there not all the same reason to condemn your practice, which is exactly like it? By taking a patt in trinitarian worship, you virtually prosess, in the face of all who see you do so, that you are trinitarians.—Unless your contradiction of this prosession be as public as the action itself, you must, with regard to many, be acting the hypocrite. And, indeed, if it were possible, for you to caution all who witness your devotions, from considering you as trinitarians, there would be so glaring an inconsistency in your conduct, that you must expect the censure, if not contempt cf the honest.
If you really look upon several passages in the liturgy to be contrary to truth, and to the hory scripture, and to contain in them contradictions and
idolatry; idolatry; is there riot as much reason,, that you sBoiiU leave the communion of the church, as that your son should avoid profane music-meetings? Act a consistent part. Leave your hypocrisy. Dare not any longer to trifle with men and with a heart-searching God, Be not ashamed of the truth in an unbelieving and scofsing age. "Be faithful to death, and you shall inherit the crowa of lise*."—But consider, farther,
Fourthly. Tour obligations to the cause of truthand chr'Jlianity. Do you not look upon it as desirable, my Unitarian friends,, that the truth should be generally known and received? But how is it possible that this should ever be the case, if it be never professed? Do you think there would have been at this day any christians in the world, if all the disciples of Jesus, in the earlier ages, had contented themselves with a silent acquiescence in the truth of the gospel,, whilst they regularly frequented the temples os idol gods? Do you imagine that there would have been any reformation two hundred years ago, had the first protestants never thought of withdrawing themselvesfrom the communion of the church of Rome, nor of forming societies, whose religious services should be conducted more agreeably to the scripture plan? Can it be expected, then, that the doctrine of the divine unity should gain ground, whilst Unitarians remain
* See an Address to conforming arians, printed in *735» reprinted, at Cambridge, in 1788*.
quietly in a trinitarian church? The experiment
avail, . - .