Page images

liberty and charity flow in every vein, and beat in every pulse—the most godlike benevolence warm every heart, and influence


action. Then would the salvation of God be nigh unto them that fear him, and glory dwell in our land ! mercy and truth would meet together : righteousness and peace embrace each other! Truth would Spring out of the earth, and righteousness look down from heaven!

This is a reformation devoutly to be wished for by every humane and virtuous man ! A Spectacle which God might look down upon with pleasure! A reformation which would bring glory to God on high, peace on earth, and the most extensive benevolence among men! God grant that it may be effected and take place speedily! not only in our happy island, but over the face of the whole globe! and may every creature in heaven and on earth, with one unanimous applaud. ing voice, say, even fo-- Amen.

A Defence of the Account of Servetus.


DUBLIN-DIED 1766. AFTER all the clamour that has been raised

about differences among Christians, as to the sense of scripture, there are many things of great importance, about which there hath been,

[ocr errors]

in all ages, a very general agreement among professed Christians. They are agreed, that there is one God who made heaven and earth, and all things which are therein: that he preserveth all things by the word of his power, and governeth all things by his providence: that he is infinitely powerful, wife, and good, and is to be loved, feared, adored, and obeyed above all : that as there is one God, fo there is one Mediator between God and man, Jesus Christ the righteous, whom he, in his infinite love and mercy, fent into the world to save and redeemn us : that he came to instruct us by his doctrine, and bring a clear revelation of the divine will, and to set before us a bright and most perfect example for our imitation : that he submitted to the most grievous sufferings, and to death itself, for our fakes, that he might obtain eternal redemption for us: that he rose again from the dead and ascended into heaven, and is now crowned with glory and honour, and even liveth to make intercefsion for through him, and in his name, we are to offer up our prayers, and hope for the acceptance of our persons and services, and for gracious affistance in the performance of our duty: that in him there is a new covenant establifhed and published to the world, in which there is a free and univerfal offer of pardon and mercy to all the truly penitent, and a most express promise of eternal life, as the reward of our sincere, though


us: that

[ocr errors]

imperfect obedience : that it is not enough to have a bare speculative faith, but we must be formed into a holy and godlike temper; and in order to be prepared for that future happiness, must live soberly, righteously, and godly in this preJent world : that there shall be a resurrection both of the just and the unjust, and a future judgment; when Christ shall judge the world in the Father's name, and give to every man according to his deeds : that the wicked shall be doomed to the most grievous punishments, and the righteous shall be unspeakably happy to all eternity.

These are things of great consequence, and which have been geperally acknowledged by Christians in all ages. And if there have been several things advanced by those who call themselves Chriftians, which are not well consistent with these generally acknowledged principles ; if there have been controversies among thein about points of confiderable importance, as well as many contentions about things of little or no moment, this is no argument against the divine authority, or usefulness of the facred writings. Those that wrest the scriptures must be account: able to him who gave them, for that perversion ,and abuse, as men must be accountable for the abuse of reason ; but this is far from proving that, therefore, the scriptures answer no valuable purpose, and could not be of divine original.

Still it is true, that whofoever will with a teachable and attentive mind, and an upright attention to know and do the will of God, apply himself to read and consider the holy fcriptures in an humble dependance on God's gracious affistance, will find vast advantage for instructing him in the knowledge of religion, and engaging him to the practice of it; and for guiding him in the way of salvation.

May God awaken the true genuire spirit of Christianity, which suffers very much from the looseness and libertinism of fome, and from the too great narrowness of others.

View of the Deistical Writers, and

Letter to Doddridge.


DIED.-1766. CHARITY is truly the end of the command

ment, as it is the great intention of all the precepts of righteousness to promote it, and as there can be no defect in, or deviation from, any social duties, or moral duties, where charity forms the temper and influences the conduct. It never deigns to dwell but where it finds, or creates a pure heart; it is the perpetual companion of good conscience, makes its voice soft and pleasing, .and fills it with fatisfactions celestial in their na


ture, and which are preparative for, and the earnest of, joys fully complete, uninterrupted, and eternal.

Whatever end we can imagine the comMANDS of REVELATION to have, we shall find they are most powerfully and effectually answered by the prevalence of this charity, or under the sacred and propitious influence of love to God and our neighbour. Do they aim at the honour of God, the supreme Lord and Governor of the world? He who loves him must be desirous of promoting it, and doing whatever he doth to his glory; and if he loves his neighbour as himself, in obedience to, and imitation of God, he will demonstrate the fincerity of it by such an habitual behaviour' towards him in all the instances of undifsembled friendship and goodness, as thall be a full proof of the prevailing regards he pays to the divine authority, and his sincere delire of promoting that kingdom of God which consists in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Is the end of the Christian command to advance the interest of Christ in the world, and to render him precious and glorious in the esteem of mankind ? As he was born, and came into the world to do his Father's work, carry on the great purposes of his mercy, and promote the happiness and salvation of mankind; how can we better fhow our regard for him, or recommend his re

« PreviousContinue »