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nefs, mutual forbearance, candid allowance for infirmity and mistake; an honeft endeavour to promote knowledge, impartial ftudy, and search of the fcriptures--free communication, and ready admittance of what is found in them! These are the virtues which make us truly Chriftians; thus we fhall grow up into Chrift in all things; thus our hearts, and in time our heads too, will be united, as far as the present state of things will admit; thus religion will flourish, and shine with a charming luftre in the eyes of the world!
And when, O when will the glorious day fhine upon our world; when meeknefs, forbearance, charity, and brotherly kindness, fhall flourish among Chriftians! when, fetting aside all partyfchemes and odious diftinctions, all felfifh views, all worldly emoluments, all pride and bigotry, all prejudice and prepoffeffion, all envy, wrath, and bitterness, we fhall receive one another upon the true fcriptural terms of Christian communion; that with one heart and with one mouth, we may all glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jefus Chrift? When fhall we fee the error and mifchief of that deteftable principle, that difference of judgment in finding out the true fenfe of the fcripture, strips a man of his Chriftian character, and giveth us a right to abuse him? When will the happy ftate of things be created, wherein the witneffes of our Lord Jesus Christ, who honeftly endeavour to vindicate the truth as it is
in him, fhall no longer prophefy, clothed in sackcloth, under the heavy burden of unrighteous cenfure and infult? Come, Lord Jefus, come quickly. Defence of the Rights of Chriftians.
JAMES DUCHAL, D. D.
DUBLIN DIED 1761.
HAT if there have been debates about
many particulars, fuch as the decrees of God, the divine agency upon the minds of men (which, however, are not debates peculiar to Christianity) about the person and offices of our bleffed Saviour, in fome things lefs connected with vital religion, and many other matters, about which men have difputed with too much warmth; fo that indeed the true Chriftian fpirit hath been in a great measure loft in the tumults they have raised? Muft we therefore imagine, that an honest enquirer cannot find out the true defign of the religion of Christ, and the way of ferving it effectually? Can he not difcern what is the true end of life, and fupreme good of the human mind? Hath he not a clear view of his duty to God, to his neighbour, and to himself, with the addition of the duty we owe to the Son of God, as appointed by the Father to be the only Mediator between him and mankind; to whom the utmoft gratitude for what he hath done and fuffered for us,
and an unreferved obedience, is due? Can he not fee that God, as moral governor of the world, is attentive to the temper and conduct of every individual; and that he will bring him into judgment for it, rewarding the fincerely obedient, and punishing the rebellious and impenitent? Can he not fee express declarations, that upon fincere repentance for fin, and a cordial fubmiffion to the gofpel, he fhall be taken into the divine favour and protection; fhall have all neceffary encouragement and affistance in the performance of his duty, and that God will always take care of him, and order what concerneth him in the best manner? Can he not fee moft joyful affurance of a glorious immortality in referve for the righte ous, of which our Saviour's triumph over death is the bleffed pledge; and that he shall be happy in the heavenly ftate, happy to his with, and beyond all that he can at prefent imagine? And if an honest attentive reader is fully inftructed in all this by the New Teftament, what more could a wife man with?
It is not neceffary that men fhould enter into perplexing controverfies, or difquiet their minds about matters in which they fee they cannot be competent judges. The way to falvation is plain and eafy. To attain to the knowledge of this, a well difpofed mind, a fincere heart, are the main requites; whereas great penetration and fkill in controverfies are not neceffary. Christianity is
intended to be the religion of all, and is, therefore, within the reach of common capacity. And we are not to attend to what controverfies the prejudices and corrupt lufts, or the weakness or folly of mankind have occafioned; but what a man of plain understanding and an honeft heart may attain to, by a careful perufal of his bible.
Prefumptive Arguments for the
GEORGE BENSON, D. D.
T is now above two hundred commencement of the reformation. Is it not then a fhame, and a reproach to Proteftants of all denominations, that there thould yet be among them any pretences to infallibility, or any remains of bigotry and perfecution; the very worst part of popery? That the free, noble, and generous fpirit of benevolence and liberty, has not yet had an univerfal spread among them, and footed out the fpirit of perfecution and uncharitableness in all the kinds and degrees thereof? If fuch a fpirit and temper were diffufed among us and prevailed, the more fober and confiderate enemies of Revelation would be more ready to harken to what we have to fay. And as to the body of them, who have never read the bible through
with any tolerable care and attention, who with Christianity may be falfe, because it is convenient for them it fhould be fo, inasmuch as it condemns their vices, and threatens with a righteous judgment to come, and a terrible hereafter :when we had gained the more virtuous and judicious, fuch loofe and abandoned perfons would either be put out of countenance, as having nothing plaufible to fay in their own vindication; or they would fhew mankind that they are against revelation, purely becaufe revelation is against them.
At a time when all religion is fo boldly ftruck at, we ought not to load religion with the pretended power and authority of any man, or number of men. We ought to content ourfelves with being Chriftians, and not lift ourfelves into a party, and glory in the name of particular heads and leaders. One alone is our mafter, our head, and our Lord-Jefus Chrift; and we fhould glory in his name only-we should take our religion from his word, and make that the fole ftandard. Then fhould we bring about the most glorious reformation indeed! not by burning heretics (that is, perfons who differ from us no more than we differ from them) not by hunting down those whom we cannot convince, but by the force of evidence and in the spirit of love and meeknefs; by kind treatment, invinciblè arguments, and inoffenfive, holy, and exemplary lives.
Then would the glorious fpirit of